I think, today, I’ll take you back for more Autumn Adventure, but first, MUSICA (haven’t played this one in a while) . . . and now, is everyone comfy?  Do you have something to drink, maybe a cookie too? I’ll wait . . . . OK, here we go . . .

Very early this morning, Vanna, dressed in peach-colored chiffon jammies; still wearing the pink satin mask that keeps the morning light out of her precious private environment, reached into the hat, swirled and swirled to find just the right name . . . and pulled it out, gracefully, as only Vanna can.  Our winner is . . .

Diana Hall!

CONGRATULATIONS DIANA (and not related to Joe!) — I just signed your book, here it is!  I wrote you an email to tell you you’re the Lucky Winner . . . wishing once again, I had a couple thousand of these books lying around!!!  I hope you’ll leave a comment here and tell us all where you’re from; and let us congratulate you ourselves!

Diana’s package will soon be winging it’s way home to her . . . with a little extra surprise . . . inside, in addition to the lucky leaf I brought from Connecticut, a copy of my first book, Heart of the Home, which I rescued from the Library Book Sale, one of our new collectible Christmas Ornaments for 2012, the fat, cute, antique-store measuring cup, into which I sunk a green pear-shaped candle in sand we brought home from where we walk to the water every day, along with  some seashells and sea glass, for a little Martha’s Vineyard DNA, and,  because life is short, and girls just want to have fun . . . I put in a little surprise (teeny tiny), to light the candle, a box of “Cunard” matches we brought home from our trip on board the Queen Mary 2.  Hope Diana loves it all and it causes some redecorating to take place!

And now, I feel it’s my job to cheer everyone else UPPPPP!!!  I’m so sorry if you aren’t Diana Hall, but then again, you’re wonderful YOU, and that’s pretty darn fabulous too   . . . so let’s stop thinking about it and go back to Connecticut, OK?  Cause I have something to show you!

Here we are tooling along; it was a cool overcast day on a leafy country road, we have no idea where we are, we’re just following the dots on the map that say, “scenic.”  But I like barns, especially if they have an American Flag on them, so I say, “Joe!  Stop, let me take a picture of the flag on the barn!”  (Take note of the sign on the right, girlfriends . . . “Turkey Farm!”)

Joe pulls over, saying, “Wow, look at all the white turkeys!”  I get out of the car to walk around it and take the picture of the barn across the street, but suddenly these guys see me, and immediately jump up and start running towards me, really fast, using their wings for lift.  And because I’m unfamiliar with the habits of turkeys, I turn around and RACE back to the car, get in and close the door fast, because I don’t know if they will just fly over that short little fence and GET me.

But then, I begin to see how cute they are, with their fat bodies wobbling back and forth as they run . . . .  they are gentle adorable creatures who just want to look at me; they think I carry turkey food in that big red van.

Here they are, I want to sing a turkey song to entertain them!  I’m wracking my brain for a turkey song!

Then while I was standing there admiring them and talking to the babies . . .

A mule donkey ( 🙂 ) walked right into the picture . . . so, just in case the first one didn’t turn out, I took another video . . .

I liked reassuring them, I wonder if they believed me?

I loved this crazy peaceful kingdom.

So then I ran across the street to get my barn picture for my American Flag collection . . .

And because adventure requires sustenance, we went to the Ekonk Turkey Farm Store and got two of these cider donuts, still warm from the oven, and hot coffee with lots of cream to dip them in.  This Farm is wonderful . . . besides the bakery, it has pumpkins and dried corn and a truly fabulous Corn Maze too . . . if you’re near  Moosup, CT, this would be a very fun place to visit; I bet the leaves there are in full color by now!

I don’t think I showed you how Jack handled the idea of us preparing to go away . . .

I think he had something more like this in mind!  Of course, not on TOP of the car … 🙂

Here he tries to divert Joe from the subject of maps!

And this is what we had waiting for us when we came home . . . Girl Kitty!

. . . and Jack helped us unpack . . .

. . . while Girl looked on, reciting  The Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change . . .

Our trees have been talking constantly lately . . . shhhhhhh says the wind as it passes through the leaves; I can hear it right now, and see it, blowing through the treetops outside. I did more fall cleaning over the weekend, getting ready for my girlfriend’s visit this week, hanging clothes, blankets and sheets to flap on the line, being outside getting good advice from trees.

Look at his little paws!!

The wedding was just as romantic as I hoped.  The singing was successful!  The groom didn’t run from us, no one fainted, the guests had all had enough Peah Ci-da (or the equivalent) to be appreciative!  Joe videoed it too.  Only thing, he forgot there was a microphone on the camera, right next to his mouth, and sang the song, with what words he could remember, a capella, through the whole thing!  So funny!  We both burst out laughing when we heard it; he moaned, eyes rolling in his head, “What am I DOING?” 🙂  Cutie pie!

After his solo performance, he put the camera down and forgot it was still on, so it sat there staring at a candle for about fifteen minutes. Please pass him a Peah Ci-da!  I’ll post some photos of the wedding soon, and I’ll show you this video as soon as we learn how to edit movies on iMovie, but please, don’t hold your breath!  Have a wonderful day Girls!   Congratulations to Diana! xoxo me

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416 Responses to AUTUMN ADVENTURE

  1. Nellie says:

    Congratulations to Diana! She is a “lucky duck!”

    Now you have given me another place to visit, Susan! I want to go to that turkey farm! Saving my pennies starting today for a trip next fall!:-) They are the perfect place to consider for buying that Thanksgiving turkey!

    We are still having a beautiful fall here, and I know it must be lovely where you are. Enjoy the conversation with the trees and your company as well!

    xo Nellie

  2. Mary-Agnes from Long Island says:

    I laughed at the picture of Jack spread out on the map trying to sabotage your trip! One of our cats, Vivian, jumps into the suitcase and has to be pried out!

  3. Sylvia Watkins says:

    Fun to see your road trip adventures. Happy for Diana the winner of your book and other goodies! I bought it for myself soon after discovering your blog (used on Amazon). I would have loved the measuring cup, sand and shells AND Cunard matches :-). Oh well, There will be another chance – right? I’m going to go find that cookbook and select something to cook for upcoming dinner guests. I’ve been wracking my brains for an idea and thanks to this day’s blog I know where I’ll find it :-). Yeah. Thanks Susan.

  4. Francine says:

    Yep – sure makes one think twice about having Turkey for Thanksgiving!!!! Such sweeties….as are you kitties. I always enjoy their antics!

  5. Sandra R says:

    Congrats to Diana, of course. And I love all the “On the road” posts. I was happy to see the turkeys out in the green grass, they looked very happy and healthy. And the video of you and girls singing with Joe doing the near-by microphone accompanying, that sounds priceless. But, but, but, where did the wonderful tree illustration come from, with the wonderful words? Which book? Is it still available? Is there a POSTER? I know, not likely. But that really spoke to me, and I would love to have one. So which book? I am new here. I apologize for not having all your books committed to memory. Give me time.

  6. Mary Baynes says:

    I laughed and laughed about your Turkey scare! That would have been me too! I have a Turkey song for you. It was song by my oldest daughter (she’s 43 now) when in the 1st grade,

    Gobble Gobble says the Turkey
    Soon will be Thansgiving Day
    Will I eat you
    Or will you run away?

    LOL, I’ve taught this song to my four Grandchildren, too!
    Congrats to Diana Hall, she is one lucky girl!

  7. Linda says:

    I *love* the pic of Jack on top of the car headed down the road! What an interesting and fun illustrated children’s (of any age!) book could be written starting with that picture.

  8. violet says:

    The drawing of

  9. Jackie P says:

    Now, for those girlfriends who are still considering turkey for their thanksgiving dinner, who could ask for happier, healthier looking turkeys than these sweet birds in Connecticut? Makes all the difference . . .

  10. Lynn B from CT says:

    Congratulations to Diana Hall! That was one of my first cookbooks (from my mom, aww) and I love it still! Thanks for taking us through CT… I am inspired to get in the car and do some day tripping.

  11. mia sophia says:

    Hi Susan…Those donuts look divine! I will have to make the trek to Apple Hill this month for Apple Donuts, Apple Pie, Caramel Sauce, and Apple Cider. Such a fun fall traditional day! Yum! My mouth is watering already. Congratulations to Diana. I know she will be thrilled. The turkeys were so beautiful to see. We had a small band roaming our neighborhood last out of place. But, I hope to see them again. They need not fear me since I have not had meat in over 20 years. Trader Joes is the best…and so is Jack’s sweet face! Another great post and glorious day!

  12. Jo says:

    Hooray for Diana! Hooray for trees! Biggest and best HOORAY for Joe and what will be a splended remembrance for all involved in the wedding.
    Keep the blogs and pictures coming for my joy on a rainy day.

  13. Sandra R says:

    Through the wonders of Google, I have found it in your Autumn book. Which I am sure you would laugh to know, someone is selling a copy for 900$!!! I will probably go for one of the cheaper ones, no offense. That way I can buy more different ones. Love that illustration.

  14. Nel E from Michigan says:

    CONGRATULATIONS, Dianna Hall!! I just received my ornament today… It’s WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!
    I SO look forward to your blogs!!
    THANK YOU!!!!!

  15. CindyK (from Minnesota!) says:

    Ooooh gosh, I hope my little comment still gets read, it may be a day late. Any hoo, just wanted to make sure Diana reads my congrats! Congratulations Diana!!! What a super great give-a-way you have won! Lucky you! I know you will enjoy it!
    Susan, I loved your post! These fall posts are my favorite. You inspire me to get into fall spirit! Thank you! And I’m sure enjoying all the sweet photo’s of our cute little Jack!

  16. Donna says:

    So nice to see free range turkeys despite the fact that I don’t eat meat. I like your idea of having salmon instead of turkey for Thanksgiving.

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

    Congrats to Diana!
    You crack me up every time I watch one of your little videos and listen to you talking baby talk to the cute little animals because I thought I was the only crazy one who did that?! I talk to bunnies and toads and birds in my backyard and I’m sure the neighbors just think I’m nuts! So glad to see I’m in good company! (Talked to turkeys at Yew Tree Farm when we were in England and it’s on film for all the world to see! Entertainment for the masses!) xoxo

  18. Carol K (cent'l NJ) says:

    Congratualtions Diana, you’re a very lucky girl. On another note ~That herd of turkeys made me smile in a big way. From now on I’m going to keep a bag of dried corn kernels in the car just in case we pass a turkey farm on one of our many day trips into the PA country side. Aren’t all the animals just so precious, makes me seriously consider becoming a vegetarian but the family would probably hang me by my thumbs in the apple tree if I didn’t serve turkey for Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to see the wedding pics and ESPECIALLY the video. that’s got to be a hoot and a half………..Hugs from NJ

  19. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    OK, I think I’m beginning to understand what vegetarians mean when they say they just can’t eat anything with a face… First there were the lamb videos from England last Spring. With the dearest, sweetest little lambie faces you could possibly imagine. Many of whom, by now, have probably made appearances on dinner plates all over England – wearing paper pants and mint jelly! Waaaaahh!!! And now turkeys! In 5 short weeks those friendly, gregarious birds, who when you spoke to them answered you back in their pathetic little turkey voices, will be doing the same here in the States. Except without pants. They’ll wear only gravy and cranberry sauce! Took me back 30 years ago to when I first started teaching and my commute took me past a turkey farm every day [though not a lovely green one like the Ekonk Hill farm]. On the Monday before Thanksgiving the field was always chock-a-block with huge white birds on my way TO school, but there was nary a soul to be seen on the way home. Again, waaaahh! PS – Sue, whatever you do, please don’t ever visit a pig farm! Peering into the little pink faces of baby porkers would probably me “veganize” in no time flat! :>) :>)

    Looking forward to seeing a little of Jaime’s wedding. Even though it was a very busy Saturday with fun stuff and errands and household chores, around 5 pm or so I did find myself thinking ‘oh, I hope they’re having decent weather on MV for the wedding, etc” Bet it was a lovely ceremony and an absolutely DE LUXE party!

  20. Karen V (Connecticut) says:

    Congrats to Diane, lucky girl! I think that this is one of the best giveaways ever because you have included so many “personal touches” to the gift….the sand, leaves, and the matches from your trips…so thoughtful…
    Loved the turkeys, very cute and vocal! Also loved Jack’s paws, sitting like a proper gentleman but we know better!

  21. Linda says:

    Am I the only girlfriend that has no clue what “peah ci-da” is? I can’t even imagine after saying it out loud reading all these comments. I had a tooth pulled today so was feeling down till I opened my email and saw this and now have read it!! The pics of the cats are great as always. The turkeys—-good thing I already bought a frozen breast for Thanksgiving or I would be going turkey free after that cute video………..ohhh. Thank you for a great post. Supposed to be 78 here in Idaho today but don’t know if it got there as I slept away most of the day. Thank you again and congrats to Diana.(boo hoo me)What about the song “Turkey in the Straw”?

  22. Diana we are all so tickeled that you won and will get such a fun box to open!
    Susan I love opening your emails just as much as Diana will love opening your box of treasures! I played the musica 3 times, sat back and smiled at the turkeys, Jack spralled all over the maps and Girl Kitty sitting so refined .. ignoring Jack’s antics! Love your posts, love your blog, love your art work and I think you are the bee’s knees!

  23. Jeanette says:

    Susan, What a precious post!!! LOVE the turkeys, they are adorable. Just about the time I was thinking about what else I could eat for Thanksgiving, you said, you’d be having salmon! Too funny. Seeing them flock (no pun intended) to the fence was a bit daunting and reminded me of when I live in a rural area in Florida we had a herd of cows on the adjoining property. When I would walk my rottie to get the paper in the morning and they’d see us they too would all walk to the fence so I could feed them Spanish Moss from the trees! It was a real treat for them. My “pup” would stare up at them with intrigue, they were so big he looked like a poodle!!

    Congrats to Diana, lucky girl. Enjoy all your treats!

    Can’t wait to see the photos/video from the wedding, was thinking of you over the weekend!

    Hope you have a wonderful time with your girlfriends this week. I’m headed to Florida for a long weekend with my pallies! Can’t wait to see the gorgeous Gulf, have lots of laughs and FuN!
    Gobbles of Hugs,

  24. Ginger says:

    You have the most delightful adventures. I haven’t eaten doughnuts in ages and nearly climbed through the computer to eat yours. I’ll content myself with my vegan, non-fat, non-sugar, non-dairy, non-soy, non-gluten but amazingly delectable raspberry oat cake with raspberry glaze for dessert.

    While I still don’t have a cat, I got 4 goldfish today for my new shelfponics kitchen garden. It isn’t as lovely as an antique. But once it’s full of veggies, it will do nicely.

  25. Jack says:

    Turkeys —– Hmmmmm! — I guess wewilljusthavekittiesforThanksgiving Dinner this year – do
    You still have that good recipe ?

    • sbranch says:

      I read this, said, WHAT? Read it again, look to see who wrote this!!? Burst out laughing. You are such a brat! 🙂

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Funny! I had the same reaction–a visual double-take! Well, Jack, as you know–we will all probably be enjoying our roast turkey by Thanksgiving day…”Thankfully”, we will forget…:-)

      • Kathy Phenix says:

        Isn’t Jack staying up late for a young man? My dog, Wendy Sue goes to bed every night at 8:10. She literally insists on being in her crate at the same time every night and then goes right to sleep. Animals are wonderful! Kathy

  26. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    Very happy for Diana … a little envious too, but glad for her winning such a wonderful “parcel” of Susan Branch treasures.
    Enjoyed your travel log … actually I really enjoy all of your travel logs. Wish there would be some way to save all of them!
    Have a great weekend with you girlfriends 🙂

  27. Ruth Thomas says:

    Congratulations, Diana!!! Enjoy the generosity of such a kind person. As for pumpkin, my 16 year old grandson loves pumpkin so when the local Dairy Queen came out with their Pumpkin Pie Blizzards, we had to get one. They piled them high with pumpkin ice cream blended with pieces of pumpkin pie and piled high with whipped cream – I was driving and trying to eat the whipped cream when I pulled over so I could eat it and I said “This is Heaven” and my wise grandson said, “Grammie, this is better than Heaven” – he loves Thanksgiving and I was almost ready to give up the cooking when he was 5 and he told me it was his favorite holiday because I cooked all of his favorite foods!!! Although seeing those sweet turkeys doesn’t make my mouth water!!! Happy Day everyon e.

  28. Marcia in Brazil says:

    Congratulations, Diana! I wish I could be a tiny fly on the wall to see her face when she opens the package of incredible goodies.
    The flock of turkeys looks scary to me, so running back to the car is totally understandable and justifiable. 🙂
    I love the picture of the kitty helping you unpack. He is too cute!
    Thanks for updating on the wedding. The incurable romantics appreciate it, and now I really want a doughnut and a cup of tea.
    Good night, Susan!

  29. Brenda Caldwell says:

    I’ll keep this one short and sweet, lol…Congratulations Diana, I am thrilled for you! You are such a special person, Susan, to make someone’s day like this!

  30. Debby Moreau says:

    Congrats Diana! Enjoy, it’s such a wonderful book as are all of them.

    Sue, I just love Jack and Girl Kitty.

  31. Debby Moreau says:

    Congrats Diana! Enjoy, it’s such a wonderful book as are all of them.

    Sue, I just love Jack and Girl Kitty. Such a bright spot in any day.

  32. carmel says:

    Leave it to you, Susan, for making me smile and laugh after a long, tough day. Those turkeys are adorable! They know a sweet soul when they see one, so they just had to run to you. Joe is another adorable one (loved the story about his video taping/singing). Yes to purchasing poultry and meats from humane farms. It’s more costly, but I try to buy my eggs, etc. from a farm in Virginia (9 generations!) because they treat their animals well and told me that their animals are humanely slaughtered by the Mennonites. They come to our local farmer’s market. Last Saturday was the 2nd anniversary of my beloved Mom’s death. I’m mentioning it because she was the queen of providing comfort food for me as a child (as an adult too!) and your tapioca pudding recipe in “Vineyard Seasons” is just like hers and brings back such lovely memories. It’s also just delicious! Over the weekend I bought a box of the minute tapioca and will carry on by making your recipe to comfort myself with those fond memories.

    • sbranch says:

      Not only comfort food, right, but also just comfort. You have lovely memories, and I love your idea of giving yourself “mom comfort” so sweet Carmel.

  33. Joyce Dupont says:

    I read one time in Grit that donkeys can protect several animals and they use their back legs. Can’t remember off hand how many cattle but it looks like lots of turkeys are being protected. That’s why he came over to check you out. Good thing you were on your side of that fence. lol…
    Enjoy reading….love Jack on top of most things it seems.

  34. Peggy Cooper says:

    So wonderful to see turkeys free ranging instead of being cooped up like many are. You can have one of these for Thanksgiving without all the guilt because they are having a good life and living the way God meant for them to live.

    Your talking about Joe leaving the camera on to film a candle brought back fond memories of our friend forgetting to turn his camera off, and filming 20 minutes of the floor of St. Peter’s in Rome. A nice floor to be sure, but made us a little dizzy watching it as the camera was swaying around. This is what memories are made of :o)

  35. Priscilla from So. CA. living in SD says:

    Your drawing of Jack on top of the car brought back a funny memory for me. Our black and white cat Oreo used to get up on top of the car when we entered the garage to take a drive. We would back the car out onto the driveway and stop and then Oreo would jump off the car. I guess he thought we couldn’t back out of the garage without his help. One fine day Oreo didn’t jump off the top of the car at the designated stop on the driveway and my husband continued down our street with Oreo riding on top of the car. A neighbor saw this and waved my husband to stop, neighbor said it was the funniest thing he had ever seen!

  36. diana says:

    🙁 …perhaps next time
    congratulations to the other diana!

  37. Christine Anderson says:

    congratulations Diana!!!

    Love the turkeys runnung to greet you! They are so funny!

    I love apple cider donuts. We get them in Oak Glen, a place of apple orchards in So Cal! just had some a couple of weeks ago!!

    Thanks for the trip.

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

    Well, Susan! Though my name above shows me residing near your hometown in So. Calif., I am in a Provincetown, Mass. B & B tonight with my sister!! You could have bowled me over when I saw your musica selection!!! We are enjoying ourselves and chuckling at the turkey video and your positive assurances that you and Joe will have salmon for Thanksgiving! Tried to turn on the “musica” but was not allowed to receive on my iPad. :(. But what a happy coincidence! Our days have been wonderful, rain and shine! Have FUN with your California girlfriends! What a great treat for all of you!
    CONGRATULATIONS to Diana! Diana, please let us know where you are from! Enjoy your sweet winnings!

    • sbranch says:

      The Cape must be beautiful right now . . . Go up Rt 6, if you haven’t already, for lots of antique stores. And Diana is in the great state of Illinois! Have fun Charlene, say hi to your sis!

  39. Barb from Gloucester, MA says:

    I just love your blog, Susan. Thanks — always a treat! I’m surprised that the turkeys didn’t launch themselves over the fence. They do fly, you know! Yikes! One day I was driving down our street that has wild turkeys here and there and one took off over my car. He was right above my windshield and I thought he was going to crash right through it ’cause he was so fat! He didn’t, thankfully…but I didn’t know they flew until there he was floating above my car! Wish I’d had my camera at the ready for that!

  40. Gumbo Lily says:

    Happy, lucky Diana! Congrats!

    Thank you for the picture of the donuts. I really want one but I’m trying to be “good” for awhile. Lovely photo journal. Those turkeys!

  41. I love your choice of music – such a dreamy quality. Now, I’ll have to visit Old Cape Cod.

  42. Theresa says:

    Ahh… This was too cute, I love the running turkeys , and wouldn’t you know their guardian donkey would come to check you out! We have a guardian donkey watching over our cows. Thanks for this very fun post…

  43. Karen C says:


    Enjoyed your post! Congrats to Diana, very lucky girl. I realize now that I have never had a cider doughnut, something to add to my bucket list. Not even sure where I can find any that look as good as those did at the farm. Hope you have a great time with your visiting girlfriends. Hugs to all. 🙂

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      Me too! Am reading about “cider doughnuts” for the first time ever. Lived my whole life in Apple Country-upstate New York. Never had one. I’ve had cider AND doughnuts. But I get the idea this is a doughnut with cider in the dough, right? Live and learn. Now, I really really want one please.

  44. Beverly Brewer says:

    Enjoyed the post with turkeys and kitties—saw recently on the news where a kitty actually crawled into her owner’s suitcase and went unnoticed, flew off with all the other suitcases and arrived at the destination safely! The lady was flabbergasted when she unpacked! Thank goodness the kitty was okay and did return the more conventional way. Our sweet doggies used to get into our suitcases as we packed for trips—they are so aware of anything out of the “routine ” and want so-o-oo much to be included. Precious!

  45. Pam T. says:

    I’m still grinning…it started with the turkeys and continued right on through the Jack and Girl photos. What a treat today…well, your blog is always a treat, today’s just happened to inspire giggling. And a hearty “Congrats” to Diana. If I couldn’t win, then I’m glad she did. ;0)

  46. kit says:

    Yay for Diana! Susan you are the best. You know how to make so many of us happy. Question? When do you think your England Diary will be ready for purchase? I can’t wait! 🙂 Kit

    • sbranch says:

      It’s got a ways to go … I try to work on it every day, but between the blog and willard and calendar designs, etc., it just takes longer! Sorry!

      • Please don’t feel you need to apologize! We definitely don’t won’t you to burn yourself out and you only have two hands. And I doubt any of us really want you to cut something out (like this Blog or Willard or your calendars), so please realize our questions are because of our enthusiasm and not an attempt to make you work harder. Having said all that, though, if you feel you do need to put something on the back burner, I hope you’ll choose to do what you love the most and not worry what the rest of us want. It’s YOUR life!

      • kit says:

        Oh no worries! I will be happily anticipating it. But in the meantime I will enjoy reading about your lovely everyday life. 🙂 Kit

  47. Hi Susan

    Congratulations to the winner of your book! She is a lucky one!

    I enjoyed the turkey videos and I think I’ll have salmon this year for Thanksgiving, too, after seeing how cute those white turkeys! The doughnuts looked so yummy..what a nice treat!

    I love you “tree” art and Jack’s and Girl Kitty’s cute faces. Cats make a house a home 😉

    Enjoy your week!



  48. Cynthia says:

    Congrats to Diana! I am pretty sure you will love all your treats in your ‘goody bag’ from Susan…..have fun enjoying it all! Thanks for the pix of Jack…the more I see of him, the more I like him! Girl Kitty is so refined…a nice compliment to Jack….he is just….well….Jack! One fun loving little, or not so little…guy!

    Happy week!


  49. Miriam says:

    O.M.GOODNESS!!!! I haven’t laughed so much since I can remember!!!! Those turkeys were a kick and your talking to them made my day……I find myself doing that too… the deer in the yard, the chipmunks on our deck and the wild turkeys in our garden……glad to know that I am not the only one that talks to the animals!!!!! And glad that you assured them you were having salmon!!!! Your pictures and comments about Jack are so cute and brought back memories of our kitties… matter what paper work you would be working on, they would want to be right there in the middle!!!! Just loved your drawing of Jack on the top of the car…..will that be in one of your books? And Girl Kitty saying the Serenity Prayer was hysterical…….from her expression I could just HEAR her!!!!! Susan, you are just such so funny…..amazing……so down to earth so that we can all relate!!!! Such a funny story about Joe….you guys must laugh ALOT!!!!!! Thanks for making us all laugh!!!! Have a great time with your girlfriends……so happy for Diana, a very lucky gal!!!!! Hugs to you! Miriam

    • sbranch says:

      I have tried to talk squirrels and bunnies into eating out of my hand all my life, but never have managed it. Kitties are my squirrels! Loved your happy comment Miriam!

  50. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    I love reading about your fall adventures! In Woodland Hills CA it is in the 90’s this week. Will autumn ever arrive here? I can dream.
    The turkeys were so cute and made me happy that I am a vegetarian. So sad for them. If only the world would eat Tofurkey. Or be happy with the mashed potatoes and gravy (my favorite part of the Thanksgiving dinner.)
    Enjoy your visit with your girlfriends, sounds like lots of fun.
    Jack and Girl kitty can keep Joe busy.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t remember much Autumn when I lived in Woodland Hills! You have to go up to Cambria, stop at the wineries along the way, it’s fall in the wineries!

  51. peggy sweeney says:

    So , I started my day off by reading your blog,of which I am so jealous of the winner, anyhow, playing the song as I read it, Which then need to be restarted but then I started browsing at the other songs and I spotted Anne Murray which I totally love, use to listen to her with my mom, I found a song that is perfect for girl kitty while you are away ever…. called you belong to me…. I can picture her singing it!!!
    the other night I was so stressed out with my kids, I have six under the age of 12! and sometimes, I just don’t know how to manage the fighting, the screaming!! just all the work, they are my blessing from God but they are a lot of work, so I was thinking to ask you, to ask your mom for some advice… I know that you metioned there was 8 of you!!! ask her for me how she managed…. (sos), Peggy

    • sbranch says:

      This is one of the reasons I started writing books. Watching what my mom was dealing with (the laundry and cooking alone!) made me want to cheer her day and tell her how much all that she did meant to me! I don’t think people realize what a hard job it is to be a mom, how important they are to the workings of the world. They (you) are EVERYTHING; responsible for all the magic. And you, with six under twelve! I remember my mom crying and saying, why can’t we all be like Ozzie and Harriet; nice, well dressed, loving. When she would go to the supermarket and leave me to babysit, I handled it as any smart unmotherly person would, I locked my four brothers out of the house! They never knew because they liked it out there. I am sure you are doing everything right. It seems to be a rite of passage, like when a baby is about 18 mo and starts that ear-piercing scream they love to do, happy to be alive, killing off your ear drums? Normal; something tells me that your kids are doing what comes naturally. Most important is that you carve out breathing time for yourself. You might have to put it on your calendar, you might have to call it “dentist appointment” but you need to do it. Keep saying, “It isn’t me, it’s them.” 🙂 I wish I had a magic wand. If there is a speck of money left over in your life, which I know there isn’t, one day a week, just one, for maybe two hours, someone should help you. My heart is with you Peggy … with a virtual hug . . . xoxo

      • peggy sweeney says:

        thanks for your encouragement! I do have to say I have a wonderful husband that helps more then he knows and we try to make it on a date once a pay day… funny thing when we are out all we talk about is the kids…
        I was thinking of a book tittled “mother knows best” for those moments of fustration!!!! like a reference bible…
        well, today I took the two youngest to the play room on base and then we ran to the market to get stuff to make french onion soup, smells good in here! it’s freezing in England, so it will taste warm and yum for dinner.
        thanks for your blog, books, and ideas, it’s so fun to read, it brings me back down to earth!
        xo Peg

        • sbranch says:

          I always thought it was a bit of a thankless job, but I can’t begin to tell you how much the memories my mom made for us mattered, and has mattered through my whole life. I am so grateful, she could never know. I am sure you are that for your children. Your soup sounds wonderful… stay warm! xoxo

          • Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

            I about split my sides when I read that locked your brothers out of the house while babysitting! lol! I grew up with three brothers and we have some classic stories we tell of those growing up years! lol.
            Peggy…dont be fooled by your little ones….sometimes they are LOVING the fighting and screaming. They wont admit that to mother, but its true! And make lots of lists and buy lots of bins, baskets and storage to organize EVERY little THING that you can! And definitely carve out time for yourself….even if you have to lock the bedroom or bathroom door. If you dont put your foot down for that 30-60 minutes or whatever YOU need….noone is going to….and it teaches them when they get older that it is okay for them to do this too! 🙂 Dont I sound like a basket full of wisdom today?! lol Hugs to you both!

        • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

          I have read all the comments to you and they were great! I hope they were an encouragement to you. I, too, felt that I wasn’t a really good mom. I felt I yelled a lot. My sons (3) are all grown now. They love each other and they (still) love me too!

          Kids go through phases. I tried to remind myself of that when life was going crazy. One thing–I really tried to make sure they were busy–doing chores, involved in active play outside and inside. They also had a “quiet time” every day til the oldest was maybe 10 or 11. The younger ones would take a nap. The oldest would occupy himself on his bed drawing or reading. It’s good to give them time to “wind down” and learn to have some alone time.

          I think so many of us responded to you b/c your comment tugged at our hearts. We were/are there. We know what’s it like. It’s that sisterhood thing. Just know you are not alone. Anytime you need to get it out, you know where to go–right here where some of the neatest women are! We take care of each other!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      I miss my kids. i.e.. empty nest. I scheduled everything and color coded everything, especially their notebooks and the calendar. We didn’t run to a lot of stuff, except one sport in summer and church activities. We read books, listened to music and we hiked or walked a lot. Kids love to help, so I wish I would have assigned more chores to them at a younger age. Older ones can help younger ones. When my sister and I were in those middle years, our parents had twins! My sister and I were busy.
      AND for some reason classical music in the background made for a peaceful house. Other kinds of music or too much TV, not so much. LOL

      • Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

        Margot…I loved what you wrote! And I have to agree with you about the classical music making for a peaceful house! Have a wonderful day girlfriend!!! 🙂

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      You need to have some girlfriend time! I still don’t have an empty nest (after 30+ years) and I have 4 grown kids. ~Daughter and granddaughter moved back in several years ago.
      I need my girlfriend time today~30 years later~ as much as I did then!
      What I really love is ~it’s just me time~ usually 4:30 in the a.m. I love the quiet!
      Me, my tea and the iPad, sometimes no iPad just me and my thoughts ~Bliss~
      Believe me ~that time will seem like a blink of an eye in 20 years. You will wonder how you did it! I look at someone with 4 kids now and think ” How did I do it?”
      Hang in there honey!!

    • Hi Peggy, I’m the mother of 3 grown and left-the-nest sons and I did not always feel I was doing a very good job of raising them. I just read a book on how to relieve stress in your life (not for myself, but for one of my son’s who I feel has too much of it). I’m discovering a sense of humor is key and wished I’d known that when raising my sons….maybe this one would have learned how to handle his stress by example. I love the author’s suggestion to keep a box of silly masks (like the Groucho Marx glasses and nose) to don when you need to restore humor to your own life. I can guarantee your children will notice you and maybe even start laughing–which is a great stress buster. Having fun with your children is key and looking at the bigger picture–not whether they’ll all have clean clothes to wear tomorrow—a little airing does wonders! As for the fighting….my boys were always allowed to voice their feelings but it had to be done respectfully. They all live within a few miles of each other (an hour away from me) and get together on their own often. When I learn of those get-togethers I relax and feel I did my job well.

    • Laura Ann in Vermont says:

      Hi, Peggy. I only have five kids (now teens, but at one time I had five aged eight and under) and I can remember when they were younger I sometimes had to go out the car and just scream and scream until I got it out of my system! I don’t do that anymore–I think it does get easier as they get older, but I still wouldn’t say it’s easy. One thing I find difficult is when other people (schools, clubs, friends) don’t understand that I just can’t do all the things mothers of just one or two can. I’m stretched thinner in a lot of ways. I’m not making excuses, I just think that when more families had lots of kids, society did not put so many demands on them. There is a lot of stress in kids’ and parents’ lived today! About fighting: at one point, my two boys were fighting a lot and my grandmother, who came from a family of 13, told me not to let them do that. I laughed at her and asked how I could stop them. She said she didn’t know but I needed to find a way. I took her advice to heart and didn’t let them fight anymore. (Mainly, I separated them whenever they started. They hated that…turned out they actually liked each other.) I think my kids know that mom just won’t tolerate fighting. (They’re also not allowed to call each other names or say “shut up,” a term I especially hate.) I hope I don’t sound self-righteous, I just wanted to say that I am so glad my grandma gave me that advice all those years ago.

      • sbranch says:

        I think it’s a lot about structure, and what you are saying seems right to me.

      • peggy sweeney says:

        great advice, I hate that word too, all though I want to say as I am pulling my hair out! lol, those quite get along moments are what makes everything OK. I can’t agree with you about people not knowing how “it” is becasue I guess if your not there you don’t know , so I try to be with like people, I have a friend that has 8 and just found out she is pregnant with TWINS!! holy canoly… I had to laugh at the car screaming! I see myself!

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          Hi again~
          When all else fails you can do this~ something my dear mother ~ in ~ law and mother of 8 taught me. I did it and it worked! I even one upped her!
          When the kids will not stop fighting do this. Make the children ~who are not getting along~ stand facing each and hold hands. I start at a couple of minutes ( depends on age) and add a minute for everytime someone taddles. EXTREMELY effective it is a boy and a girl!
          When the kids would say ” I’m tired!” I would then add my own little “Okay then, you may go and sit in the Lazy Boy and hug each other.” That usually solved the problem!
          I used this tactic until they were teens~ by the age of 14 they knew I meant business if I said ” Do you want to hold hands?”
          I have even said it once or twice lately to grown children~joking~
          It is also true what my mom said, “Some day you will be glad you have each other!! I love my Sissys more now than ever!!!

  52. Susu S. says:

    Congratulations Diana! I’ve loved Heart of the Home for years.
    This post made my morning here in England. They turkeys, Jack unpacking and Girl Kitty reciting the Serenity Prayer…. and then Joe singing along while filming! Susan, you are o good at presenting the simple, fun pleasures of life. Thanks.

  53. Darlene says:

    Congratulations Diana!! Loved the turkey farm and kittycats!! Reminds me of Thanksgiving 2001 when my girl was still a kitten (she’s 11 now) while we were cleaning up she jumped up on the table, grabbed a turkey leg and ran off!! It was so big and she was so little… it was very cute and comical!! Thanks Susan for the lovely post.

  54. Any Turkey Can Tango is a fun turkey song and best of all it has a dance. I do it with the children at Story Time each November and it’s a seasonal favorite, like the Pumpkin Latte at Starbucks – sweet but with less caffeine. I’m certain your turkey friends would enjoy it. Any turkey can tango, any turkey can dance, any turkey can tango, if they have the chance…

  55. Donna says:

    Love your photos wherever you go, but mostly I love seeing Boy & Girl. You are obviously her Staff; Boy has a way of looking at his world with a wary eye…love his mustache. My cat, Casey, is territorial about our house, yard and neighborhood but loves to know where I am at all times.Thanks for your News!

  56. Wendy Louise says:

    Good Mornng Susan and everyone,
    Up early got a lot done and now for some fun ! Hey we are all winners being friends with you Sweet Sue!!! A Big Congratulations to Diana Hall she will treasure everything for sure !
    I used to take my children to a Turkey Farm not to far from home here. They loved all those White Turkeys, if they gobbled at the turkeys the whole flock would gobble back very loud and scare you. Then it became a game and I couldn’t stop them,we just had to leave. The Turkeys just stood there wanting us to stay. I felt bad knowing Thanksgiving was just around the corner, you were right and telling them you were having Salmon. 🙂
    I have just a little question for you this morning as I am looking at the wonderful ” Rose Chintz” I found in an antique store last week. I am washing them by hand but do you put them in the dishwasher ? We ate off them all weekend long and I thought I better be safe and wash by hand and then see what Susan thinks. Thank-you , OOXX 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I do put them in the dishwasher! So far, they’ve been fine and we use them as our everyday dishes now.

      • Wendy Louise says:

        Oh that is great news as much as I like washing by hand sometimes, I get to do other things with my time now. Like chasing the falling and blowing leaves outside my cottage right now! Sooooo beautiful! 🙂

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Hope this is helpful… when I worked as a bridal registry consultant, we learned that just about any china or glassware that does NOT have metal trim [gold, platinum etc] can be safely placed in a dishwasher, providing it is securely arranged, not bumping up against itself during the cycle etc. Bone china, though it looks and feels delicate, is surprisingly strong. Stoneware, ironware, transferware etc are rugged enough for the DW too. As long as it is metal-free…

        PS – if you can, I’d handwash flatware though – even durable old stainless steel flatware will stay looking nearly-new for a long time if NOT subject to a daily automatic dishwasher. It’s the detergent that’s really tough on the metal, not the action of the water.

  57. Pam K says:

    Hi Miss Susan! Lucky Diana – Congrats! You know that anytime a Girlfriend wins a giveaway we will all be happy for her. I am now on the hunt for that book.
    Loved seeing the turkeys and donkeys. Now I’m not so sure about having turkey for Thanksgiving really. They are so beautiful. And speaking of, Jack and Girl Kitty brightened my day here in Dallas. That picture of Jack on top of the car was just adorable. Aren’t they both the best companions?
    Thanks so much for sharing Miss Susan! Pam K. in Dallas, TX

  58. zinnia patch says:

    Good Morning Susan! what a wonderful post….you had me smiling ear to ear and bellying laughing through the whole thing!!!!! lol – oh what fun!!!!
    and congratulations to Diana – lucky girl!!!!!

  59. Aggie in MI says:

    Lucky Diana! I hope to have that good luck one day and win one of your sweet giveaways. Great pix of the kitties 🙂 Go Tigers!

  60. Jeanette says:

    Susan, I tried to submit this last night but I don’t believe it’s coming through to you. I know you have to review the posts, just wanted to be sure you received this. Hope I’m not a bother…

    What a precious post!!! LOVE the turkeys, they are adorable. Just about the time I was thinking about what else I could eat for Thanksgiving, you said, you’d be having salmon! Too funny. Seeing them flock (no pun intended) to the fence was a bit daunting and reminded me of when I live in a rural area in Florida we had a herd of cows on the adjoining property. When I would walk my rottie to get the paper in the morning and they’d see us they too would all walk to the fence so I could feed them Spanish Moss from the trees! It was a real treat for them. My “pup” would stare up at them with intrigue, they were so big he looked like a poodle!!

    Congrats to Diana, lucky girl. Enjoy all your treats!

    Can’t wait to see the photos/video from the wedding, was thinking of you over the weekend!

    Hope you have a wonderful time with your girlfriends this week. I’m headed to Florida for a long weekend with my pallies! Can’t wait to see the gorgeous Gulf, have lots of laughs and FuN!
    Gobbles of Hugs,

  61. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Congratulations to the big winner Diana!!!! Your turkey video was so cute………those turkeys look like they are dressed for a St. Valentine’s Day Parade, with their white feathery coats and bright red necks !!!!! (Glad the fence was there, for your safety!!!!!) Jack truly brings smiles and chuckles galore to us, Susan! My college-age son Steven really gets a break from his serious studies when I call him in the room to see the “daily Jack photos”……priceless!!!! Jack is a ray of sunshine and laughter to all……his special calling on earth !!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I acts like he knows he has a calling too, because despite his antics (he is running up and down the front stairs right now, for no apparent reason, three times so far), he is also one of the calmest cats I’ve ever known. When my girlfriends come over, he rolls on his back in adoration — he loves them and wants them to rub his belly!

  62. Pam Fortune says:

    Wow! Never experienced an old fashioned cider doughnut. I could just fancy one now with a cup of Earl Grey tea especially as it is cold, wet and windy in the U.K. Brrrrrrr……….

  63. Linda Petersen says:

    Good Morning! Congratulations Diana:0) ! Enjoy your special treats. Thanks Susan for the fun of watching the turkeys~~~~gosh there were a lot of them. Great day to soak up the fall! Cider donuts are next on my baking list. Have a bottle of boiled cider from King Arthur’s Flour that makes the BEST donuts & apple cider pound cake. You all should order some! Sounds like a good time was had by all @ the wedding~~~even Joe! (teehee). Have a lovely day.
    XOXO, Linda

    Margot~~~So sorry about your loss. My heart feels for you.

  64. CONGRATS DIANA, Susan just wanted to let you and the Girlfriends know that I won’t be on for awhile I’m working with health problems and need to get a new Dr. and have more test done before the end of the year. I’m fearful surgery will be required so until I feel better I’ve decided to focus on getting better. Hope Everyone stays well and has a Beautiful Fall. Blessings

    • sbranch says:

      We will miss you Deborah. And we’re saving your place. It will be here when you get back. Good Luck, stay strong, get well soon. xoxo

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      ~You’ll be in my prayers~

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      Deborah, You have been on my prayer list and will remain so. Know that we are thinking of you and wishing you well always. You are a FOSB girlfriend and will always be. We will be waiting to hear from you.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Okay, I just get my BFF Sandy where I don’t have to worry about her health problems and now I’ve got YOU, my SB-Email-Penpal, to worry about, Deborah! LOL! 🙂 Seriously, you are in my prayers and thoughts–Get Well Soon! 🙂

        • Dawn from Minnesota says:

          DEBORAH ………
          It seems like yesterday, when we first met…. all squished up in a suitcase! And my, what Mischief we had, and had we not….we would not have met Pat!!! 🙂
          Your Heart is so full of goodthings, your Head is so full of goodthings, …..your Health will surely follow and be back to a goodthing! Always in my thoughts and prayers……be back soon, okay? It just won’t be the same without you here! I will always save my favorite scone for you 😉 and ….WE will ALL be here waiting for YOU!! Feel Better Soon! XoXDawn

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        We WILL miss you, Deb… your name was one of the very first I recognized as a “regular” and began to look for here ‘on the blog.’ If good wishes can defeat illness, you’ll be well in no time! Best of luck, Godspeed and God bless.. . xoxo. Janet :>)

      • Sandy Richmond says:

        Hi Deborah,
        Stay strong and I hope you feel better soon! Keeping you in prayer..

    • Pam K says:

      Blessings Deborah – my prayers are with you. May you find the best doctor for your care and have a complete recovery. Pam K. from Dallas, TX

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Dearest Deborah,
      I echo what Chris said–you will be on my prayer list. You won’t be forgotten!! If you have time and want to update us, feel free. If not, you’re making a good decision to focus on your health. Just take things one day at a time. Here’s just one suggestion–don’t forget laughter. Rent some “I Love Lucy” shows or anything that makes you laugh. I read somewhere that your body reacts positively in the healing process when you laugh!

      Right now I’m sure you want to search for a good doctor and know what lies ahead. Sometimes not knowing what’s up can be very stressful. Hope you find out soon and can start to be on the road to recovery!

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Hi Deborah,
      Sending you big hugs and prayers for healing and a speedy recovery.
      You will be missed on the blog. I think you are one of the first SB girlfriends I got to know…..way back in the very beginning of the blog.
      Always love reading your comments!
      We girlfriends will be here, thinking of you…….and sending you good enery…. Just concentrate on what you need to do, to be well and healthy.
      We will be waiting for you, when you feel better.

    • Marianne in Hidden Meadows, SoCal says:

      I’ll be praying for a full and quick recovery for you, Deborah! God Bless!

    • Dorothy Ann says:

      * Hi Deborah Heater from Indiana * Friday…October 19, 2012

      Just a note to say a little “hi” and let you know I read your post to Susan on Tuesday. I, too, have been enjoying all the girlfriends’ postings, as they reply to Susan, and I feel I’m getting to know each of you more and more with every new post.

      Now, Deborah…when you wrote you would be not be posting for awhile, well…I just had to tell you, I, along with all of our girlfriends, will miss you too!

      Oh, yes, you are so right to focus on the health challenges that lie ahead for you to feel better and to get better. You are very brave to share your thoughts with us, and this special circle of friendship that Susan has gathered us into, will not be the same until you return to it.

      Susan said it best, “…and we’re saving your place. It will be here when you get back”.

      I turned the stereo on tonight… placed one of my favorite CD’s in it…and as I write this to you, Dionne Warwick is singing, “That’s What Friends Are For”. May I share a few lines with you, Deborah?

      Keep Smiling…Keep Shining…
      Knowing you can always count on us, for sure.
      That’s what friends are for.

      For Good Times….For Bad Times…
      We’ll be on your side, forever more.
      That’s what friends are for. (Burt Bacharach/Carole B. Sager)

      From across the miles…My prayers and thoughts are with you.
      * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

      • Barb (Ludlow, MA) says:

        Hi Deborah,

        Just wanted you to know thoughts and prayers are being sent your way and may God Bless You Each and Every Day. Please GetWell Soon.


  65. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    My turn for the blog gremlin to chew up my comments yesterday. Will try again today.

    FYI – if you already know the following, just ignore this – sending this just in case it’s important and you don’t know yet…

    The site has been running uncharacteristically slow for about a week, got bounced off several times etc – so I asked tech team here at my university to check my computer and they confirmed all was well. Since no other sites I visit were slow, I asked what they thought the problem could be and the consensus was a possible server issue on your end – perhaps due to the heavier-than-normal volume of the giveaway comments. Hope this is helpful and have a great day!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh thank you, it’s not just me! I will pass this on to the powers that be, THANK YOU for letting me know!

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        Maybe because youR site is so popular?!

      • Pam K says:

        It can be slow to load here too, but I just always know it’s because it’s so popular. Not just on giveaways either. But like the other Girlfriends, I am happy to wait!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Oh, I’m so glad! I really hesitated making it a comment. I thought, she has people for this… I should just e-mail the girls in California [and they probably know anyway]. But then I thought, if this was mine, I’d want to know.

        Now I’m back to reading from the day with almost 2000 comments! OMG – I DO NOT know how you do all you do every day! Do you EVER just get to sit and stare idly out the window? :>)

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      I had trouble sending during those days too. Never occured to me about volume. I agree with Janet, you need a staring blankly day Susan. I like to lay under a tree and “stare up” or last night I “stared up” to see the stars! It was a clear night.

      • sbranch says:

        I love staring. Love it in our living room, watching the shadows from the moving trees outside move along the ceiling and walls, it’s also excellent stare material.

  66. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    OK, I think I’m beginning to understand what vegetarians mean when they say they just can’t eat anything with a face… First there were the lamb videos from England last Spring. With the dearest, sweetest little lambie faces you could possibly imagine. Many of whom, by now, have probably made appearances on dinner plates all over England – wearing paper pants and mint jelly! Waaaaahh!!! And now turkeys! In 5 short weeks those friendly, gregarious birds, who when you spoke to them answered you back in their pathetic little turkey voices, will be doing the same here in the States. And they won’t even get pants – all they’ll wear is gravy and cranberry sauce! More waaaahh! Sue, whatever you do, please don’t ever visit a pig farm! Peering into the little pink faces of baby porkers would probably me “veganize” in no time flat! :>) :>)

    Looking forward to seeing a little of Jaime’s wedding. Even though it was a very busy Saturday between Fall fun and errands and chores, around 5 pm or so I did find myself thinking ‘oh, I hope they’re having decent weather on MV for the wedding, etc” Is that weird? Anyway, I bet it was a lovely ceremony and an absolutely DE LUXE party!

    • sbranch says:

      It was very beautiful and very homemade, I’ll show you soon!

    • Jeanette says:

      You’re not alone, I was thinking of Susan and Jaimie on Saturday too! Yes, thought of the weather, are they married yet? What’s on the menu? Have Susan and Martha signed a back-up singer contract yet???

      By the way, I had the same gremlin clutching my post from last night! Never fear, we forge ahead and voila! the comments appear.

      • sbranch says:

        It’s probably still here, I can’t seem to get to the bottom of this list today! Sorry!

        • Jeanette says:

          We understand and truly can’t imagine how you do all you do with our blog posts!?! Like I’ve said before, you truly amaze me! 🙂
          Let’s make a wish (’cause that’s what we like to do) and a toast to Cyber serenity…

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Two great minds with a single thought, Jeanette! :>)

  67. Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

    Congratulations Diana! I hope you enjoy your wonderful gifts!!! 🙂 I laughed out loud at GK and the “prayer”….lol…that is hilarious! Poor Girl! To have a little brother like Jack….no wonder she is praying for herself! lol. I love it so much that you include your kitties in your blogs, and they brighten up my days. The turkeys were hilarious…and the donkey! lol. And I talk to animals too….actually I embarrass my daughter and myself because I see an animal and cant resist having a conversation with them as though they are children. I have also been known to speak to my new bushes that we planted this last spring….but dont tell! lol. Thank you for sharing such wonderful art and music and yourself with us! It spreads such happiness! Have a wonderful week .

  68. Jacquelyn Wirthlin - Bainbridge Island, WA says:

    Congratulations to Diana. Loved the turkeys and the barn. Old barns have so much character, especially with Old Glory painted on one side. My favorite part, however, was Jack in the painting of the little Ford Ranch Wagon … lol. Love it.
    I use Trader Joe’s Spiced ci-da in my applesauce. Sometimes a bit of Apple-Jack, too, if I’ve remembered to get it. Makes for very “popular” applesauce … lol. Thanks for a wonderful beginning to a bright, sunny autumn day.

  69. pat addison cave junction,OR says:

    hello everyone, good morning susan. i have a little problem and i sure could use some help or advice on this one. my husband is a hunter, and this is der and bear season. well he took my little jeep this weekend on his run through the hills, usually he takes his big old truck in case he gets something, well he got something…..a 300+ pound bear. he took it to a butcher here in town, Taylors’, but the smell lingers on and believe me i am not too happy with him about that. the smell is disgustingly gross and i get nauseous whenever i get near my jeep. i put a few boxes of baking soda inthe jeep to get that odor out of there…so far no luck, i’m thinking a big bowl of clorox bleach (lavendar scented) to get rid of the smell, or a big bowl of lemon scented ammonia. anyone have any thoughts, ideas or advice on how to get rid of that nasty smell??? thank you all.

    • sbranch says:

      Good Golly Miss Molly. I say, make him do it.

      • pat addison cave junction,OR says:

        susan i would but he has no idea on how to get that smell out of my jeep. i am so mad at him right now that i am considering rounding up a skunk and sticking it into his truck to stink it up. i am hoping someone has an idea on how to get rid of that odor…..its soooo nasty and gross smelling!!!!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        I agree–let him scrub the truck with bleach! 🙂

      • pat addison cave junction,OR says:

        okay just when i thought things could not possibly get any worse…guess what i found in my freezer!!! try a nasty smelling bear’s head on one of my baking sheets in my big freezer right near the roast. the neighbor heard me scream and came running over to see what was wrong, and i showed him.. talk about trick or treat around here!!!! GOOD GRIEF!!!

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      Not sure how effective it is on bear smells but Petco sells something called Earth Care Odor Removing Bag. You should be able to hang it in your jeep. Look at it on their website~ sounds promising.
      Good Luck!

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      Pat, You need an enzyme. I work for a paper and janitorial company and there are products out there that are used for septic systems, grease traps, etc. that literally eat the odor. Check with a janitorial supply company. They are usually not expensive. I keep a gallon at home for the health of my septic system, plus I use it when I clean my cat litter pan, and the odor is GONE! Put it in a spray bottle and start spraying!

    • Diane from Poulsbo, WA says:

      Bless your heart! I would definitely have my husband fix the problem of the smell in my jeep! I would take his truck until it was fixed too! 🙂 Is there any help online if you google it? Good luck !!!

    • Joan says:

      How about filling the jeep with crumpled newspaper. I have heard that is a good odor remover – might be a lot of work to fill a vehicle, but perhaps worth a try. Phewy – so sorry!

    • Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

      I Pat! I just spoke to my bear-hunting nephew in WV. He said the best way to rid your jeep of the bear smell is to take it to a car detail-er and have the interior steam cleaned. He also said you could try opened bags of charcoal, but if the odor has settled into the carpet, seats, and headliner, it probably wouldn’t have much effect. Good luck!

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      Wow – this could be a toughie. I think you may have to call inThe Professionals. If it were me, I’d call one of the services that cleans up after floods, fires, crime scenes [gulp]. Maybe they’ll give you some free advice to try on your own. Or maybe it would just be worth having it professionally-cleaned. Either way – good luck! You should at least make your husband drive the Jeep until it’s clean again.

      PS – in the meantime, try stuffing the interior with loosely-bunched up sheets of newspaper. A lot of it! Apparently newsprint is really absorbent and will sop up a lot of stink. Though this certainly is a tall order! :>)

      • sbranch says:

        Perfect suggestion and also ask them to take the head away. I can’t imagine why he would put that in the freezer…either take it to the taxidermist or bury it. I’m starting to feel sorry for this bear.

    • Donna Hamilton (Jefferson, Arkansas) says:

      From experience of running into a skunk one time with my car, place an opened bag of charcoal (the stuff you use in the grill) into you vehicle and leave it for several days. Also, try placing a couple of sliced lemons into your vehicle. If all else fails, there are some deodorizing chemicals sold at your local Auto Parts Store that should take care of the problem……Hope this helps.

      • pat addison cave junction,OR says:

        thanks everyone for the help, i managed to get even with hubby over the jeep, i am using his charcoal for the BBQ to help get that nasty odor out, working like a charm i amy add, plus i have been able to leave the windows down now that the rain is past and with the wind and clean fresh air plus the charcoal, the smell is going away…slowly.. also got even with him for leaving that smelly bear head in my freezer. he has his own freezer for venison and whatever else so why he put in my freezer is up for debate. but since he called and told me he was working late last night i got even by wrestling that head into a big grocery sack and leaving a note on it to reheat it for his dinner and when he got home i told his dinner was in the freezer and to reheat it in the microwave, i think he got the message that he was in the dog house again, and for this weekend he has a chore to do before going out to go hunting…he has to clean my freezer with a bleach and water solution, type i use for cleaning out the fridge, and get that smell out of my freezer. and he can’t go out hunting until it is clean and i am happy with it.

    • Deb from Dixie says:

      Hi Pat……
      I hope you can get the “grizzly” smell out of your jeep……yikes.
      But I have another question……………… said your husband took the Bear to the butcher. So my question is ????? What does Bear meat taste like and what kind of dishes do you make from it?
      And I bet that Bear head in the frezzer was quite the fright…….
      yikes again!

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      oH my Stars!!!! Well, since ‘I’ can be frightened by a squirrel…..I am left just a little speechless! The Bear Head in the freezer…..would Haunt me for days…..maybe like FOREVER! Perhaps, a good car wash shop could be of help? I’m thinking 300 lbs. of bear would take a lot of baking soda and lemons! Can you trade cars for awhile? Boy, and I thought the hockey bags smelled bad! 300 lb. bear! Ya just don’t hear that everyday….take care Pat ……and, I would never want to wish a cold on anybody….but I bet you wished, that you couldn’t smell a thing right now!!!

      • sbranch says:

        Is someone eating this bear?

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          I am seriously thinking about returning to vegetarianism!
          I could never be a vegan~ I love butter and cheese too much ~ but the meat…… I could say see ya later!

          • sbranch says:

            I like spare ribs. But generally, meat, Joe loves it much more than me — but a person doesn’t have to be a vegetarian to know they probably don’t want a chunk of bear steak! 🙂

        • pat addison cave junction, OR says:

          hello susan, and to answer your question yes this bear will be eaten, but first it must be processed by the butcher here in town into pepper sticks and summer sausage, the bear was an old one so he would be really gamey and tough to eat as a roast or steak. but since i don’t like bear meat, he can have it all to hisself!!!! and about now there were times when i wished i had a really good head cold for this week. we are still getting that smell out of my jeep and hubby has a project for the weekend…before anymore hunting!!!!

          • sbranch says:

            OK, thank you for filling me in . . . Yes, about the smell, my sentence to Joe would start “I don’t care how you do it . . .” 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            OK, thank you for filling me in . . . Yes, about the smell, my sentence to Joe would start “I don’t care how you do it . . .” 🙂

  70. Congrats to Diana!!! Woohoo! And thanks, Susan for cheering the rest of us up, as only you can do! Loved your post! and Jack and Girl Kitty!!!

  71. belinda says:

    Susan, once again you have helped me realize the things I need to take time to enjoy. We live in a beautiful part of East TN. Please come and visit. You would love it here. Your sketch book would be full. Not to mention the antiques you could touch.

  72. Terri J says:

    Congrats to lucky Diana! Thanks for all the cheery photos and videos. Those turkeys! And such a picturesque farm. I was thinking with a farm name like ‘Ekonks,’ they practically HAD to have donkeys around there too. They’d be like walking advertisements, every time they bray. “E-e-konks!”

  73. Terri J says:

    Just saw Margot’s comment…so sorry for your loss. Furry family members always hold a special place in the heart.

  74. Cadie says:

    I absolutely love the drawing with the kitty on top of the car….will we be seeing that in a future book or calendar? 🙂

  75. Mae says:

    Loved reading your post today – smile on my face as you filmed the turkeys. You said you didn’t know a turkey song to sing, will here you go:
    “I heard Mr. Turkey say “gobble, gobble, gobble”
    Soon will be Thanksgiving Day, gobble, gobble, gobble.
    Some folks think it is fun, but I think that I will go and hide until the day is done,
    Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!”
    I was a preschool teacher many years ago and I have never forgot this song – always sing it to myself at Thanksgiving each year.

  76. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Thank you for sharing the turkey farm! I have never seen that many turkeys! white ones at that! They are so cute and adorable waddling over to the fence. I may have to change my Thanksgiving menu too…they are just so cute. Jack is just a riot. He makes sure he is the center of attention. Give him a hug for me! Congrats Diane! Thanks again Susan for sharing…love you Girlfriend!

  77. When I saw the cider donuts, I was ready to drive two hours to Oak Glen, Ca for some fresh ones. I haven’t seen cider donuts many places out here is Calif., but now I must go get some. Thanks Susan!

  78. Deborah T. Norling says:

    Oh, those turkey babies are so very darling…and only a few moments before viewing your blog, I had “googled” how to roast a turkey in an electric roaster ! I can’t tell you how much I love the Jack and Girl Kitty entries. One of my kitties at home is a big massive Teddy Bear of a Tuxedo cat, similar to your Jack..he looks very big and tough, but he is a big baby who loves to be held and cuddled… Originally, (not yet knowing about your Jack), I was going to name him Jack..but while gazing into his absolutely perfect little cat face, I thought of…Alec Baldwin…and indeed, he looks like a very handsome Alec Baldwin, in a Tux ! Thank you as always for sharing with us and making our days brighter !

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Heh Deborah, on your cooking a turkey in an electric roaster–once you do it that way, you’ll never do it in a regular oven again! I had been told, before I did it the first time, that the turkey would “steam and not brown”–NOT the case! It browns beautifully! The only warning I’d give you is that it seems to cook a LOT faster than in a regular oven. It is wonderful doing the turkey this way at Thanksgiving or Christmas as it lets you use your regular oven for everything else–no more juggling! I love roasting our turkey that way! Just thought I’d share my experience with you… 🙂

      • Deborah T. Norling says:

        Hello to Pat Mofjeld, Thank you for your in-put on the electric roaster and turkey ! I may try a roasted chicken this week end for a trial run..Take good care ! Deb Norling

  79. Marie (Williamsburg, Virginia) says:

    Congrats’ Diana! You’re one lucky gal receiving all those special treasures. Enjoy! Everyone loves you, Susan, even the turkeys of the world.

    Marie xo

  80. Congrats to Diana, I know you’ll treasure everything. That Rainbow Bridge site is a wonderful idea. Our pets become such an important part of our lives, and as a person who has lost a few in my lifetime, I truly understand. Hope everyone is having a great week! 🙂

  81. Rosinda says:

    I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS to Diana! And thank you to you, Susan, for all the joy you bring into our lives. xoxo

  82. Stacey says:

    OH! I just love your posts so much. Those precious turkeys look so cute running to you. Who would have ever thought? Of course you had to talk to them. They were saying, “Write a children’s book about us.” You could!

    Joe singing into the microphone is hilarious. Haven’t we all done that?

    Your illustration of the kitty on the car is perfection.

  83. Stacey says:

    From my preschool teaching days I remember this one…
    Albuquerque is a turkey and he’s feathered and he’s fine.
    And he wobbles and he gobbles and he’s absolutely mine.
    He’s the best pet that you can get better than a dog or cat.
    He’s my Albuquerque turkey and I’m awfully proud of that.

  84. Elizabeth in Montana says:

    Love this post…I got interrupted reading it earlier, and just finished it. “Turkey in the Straw” is the only turkey song I can think of offhand…love the cider donuts (yum!), the turkeys, the donkeys photobombing the turkey photo, and the thought of you running for your life from possibly homicidal poultry, who just wanted a handout! And Jack-In-The-Bag…so similar in personality to my Fletcher, who showed his displeasure at one of the dogs being in “his” spot on the bed last night, by banging our bedroom door until I became exasperated and put him to bed.

  85. Congrats to Diana. Since I have one, it wouldn’t have been nice of me to win it, but I wouldn’t have mind having one signed by you. 🙂 I absolutely adored both videos of all those Turkeys. What a fun sighting for you.

  86. veronica says:

    Congratulations too…DIANA ! What treasured gifts for a ‘Fall Welcome’ !
    ‘Sweet Susan’,thank you so much for always including us on the trip. I tell you what; Little ‘Jack Sprat’ is just something else all together. The blessed memories we make and hold so dear… Love for the day,to you and all,’the girls’…
    Veronica/ Sumerduck, Va.

  87. Kirsten Wichert from So. California says:

    The turkey story made me laugh and laugh! I could just picture your face when the turkeys started running toward you. I loved seeing the videos. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

    Congrats to Diana for winning all the Goodies!!!

  88. Jeannine Holmes, SC says:

    Wonderful stuff here . . . really liked the Tree Talk. You are such an artist putting these things together like you do. Thanks so much.

  89. sonny peterson says:

    Hey there Susan! I have been following your blog for about a year or so and thank you so much for letting me go to England with you this year . I just love your blog truly is like a visit with a girlfriend. I am also a cat lover and have been all my life . Dogs are great and I have had a couple of them when my children were little…but there`s something about a cat . I must say I have had all kinds and sorts and loved them all ,but my fave is the black and whites! Presently there is a stunning princess residing here that is black with green green eyes . You will be hearing from me often now that I have retired and have more play time! Loved your turkey adventure…they remind me of how Canadian Geese rush at you if they think you might have a morsel or two. Thought you might find this funny….I have had your Days calendar book for a very long long time and I use post it notes in it so I won`t mess it up!!!!

  90. I’ve gotten so busy lately and missed a few days of your posts and totally missed out on your giveaway! Darn it! But that’s okay, because I’m asking for your Christmas book for my birthday later this month, so that will make me happy. 🙂

    I have to say thank you for the pork chop recipe, I’m definitely going to try this. I had given up on pork chops, I always overcook them but this recipe looks awesome! And how can I resist with a such a beautifully decorated “recipe card”?

    By the way, I loved the turkey video! Too cute!


  91. Celtic Heart says:

    Congratulations Diana . . enjoy (I didn’t even know there was a givaway)

    Poor turkeys . . come live with me, I am vegetarian! It was actually seeing a turkey in a butcher’s shop that was the turning point for me when I became vegetarian 30 years ago. It is also so much easier at celebrations to not have to worry about cooking a turkey and getting it right! I have a wide repertoire of lovely vegetable strudels, pithiviers, and terrines to take centre stage at any celebration feast. Surprisingly, the meat eaters never notice that the meat is missing . . or are they just too polite to mention it.

    Yay for me! after ages of uphill struggling, not one to give in easily, I’ve finally mastered loading my videos to Facebook and my blog! My first foray is . . would you belive . . windy weather! Living in wild, wet, windy, wuthering, wonderful, west Wales, what else would it be?

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

    That was fun. Thanks. I really want to go visit those Turkeys….

  93. Jan from Northern CA says:

    Morning Susan and CO,

    The turkeys…..sooo funny! How you didn’t fall over laughing when they came waddling towards you!! And so fat!
    I so look forward to checking in here each time you write. Reading about your adventures, and also all the other adventures the “girls” write in about. So sorry about Mr. Socks. We just lost our Missie two weeks ago. She was very old and had a wonderful pampered life. We nicknamed her the Prime Minister as she ruled the house.
    Loved your road trip.The photos are fabulous, the colors and barn photos were wonderful! …and your kitties…..we have……don’t fall over…..6. Two and a half that get to come in, and three who are outside kitties. BW, Tigger, Mister….(the half in half out boy…huge black & white short hair with a personality ), Callie (only girl left…calico of course) , Tagert and Alley (he’s the stray who still won’t let me touch him….but wants to sooo much) I’m such a sucker. When they show up, hungry and lonely…..I melt.
    Well, they say dogs have owners….and cats have staff….well…”Ain’t it the truth”
    But you receive so much love from them, it’s worth it. Your Jack and Girl Kittie are so cute.
    Oh, loved the musica! Patti Page was great and so was Stevie Wonder. I’d forgotten about that song. Again, thank you for the lovely start to a busy day. And the autumn leaves and barn photos and the oh so funny turkeys!
    See you next time.
    Jan from Northern CA

  94. Sarah Maldonado says:

    Congrats, Diana! I just know you’re gonna feel the warmth and love from Susan and all of us when you open your surprise! Have a fun autumn!

  95. Sarah Maldonado says:

    Oh, Margot, just read your post. So sorry for your loss. Yes, do visit the Rainbow Bridge site. It has helped me in the past. We’ll be lighting a candle for you…..

  96. Sherry Winchester says:

    Always such a joy to read your blog! Your videos are a great bonus, too!….Meow to the kitties…^..^ ^..^

  97. Carla TePaske says:

    Yay! I am so happy for the winner. It will be a lovely surprise.

    Love your post! I smiled the entire time reading it.

    Enjoy your company!

  98. Diane Harris says:

    Those turkeys reminded me of my early years when my parents had a turkey farm in Tidioute, PA. We have more photos of turkeys than we do of me and my brother as darling children! Kinda funny. There is a photo of my dad with a khaki shirt embroidered in red “Harris Turkey Farm and Feed Mill”. I would almost kill for that shirt. Too bad my mom was not a ‘keeper’ of stuff. Ahh memories!

  99. Gert~Iowa says:

    Congratulations Diana…I just know you must feel like a very lucky lady! Susan..what a fun post…lol Love those turkeys…(especially since their all pinned up…

  100. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Hi Susan… I’ve got a question. The picture of Jack laying on the map while Joe is studying your routes, do I see a beautiful wooden acorn on the kitchen table? I love acorns and would love to hear the story behind this one, which I’m sure there is one. 😉 Love, Marie

    • sbranch says:

      It’s actually a metal “box” with an acorn lid, and there’s a candle inside. I have no idea where I got it, it was years ago. Wish I could find more of them!

      • Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

        Thank you so much for your response! Wish I could find another one like it too! It’s so beautiful and unique, probably one of a kind. ♥

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