MINUTIA (of the best kind)

Hi Girlfriends!  I probably have six things of equal importance, that is to say, minutia, that I could write about today.  What to do? What to do? Which one first?  My main problem these days, is whether or not I can get on the blog! I couldn’t yesterday, and it has not been easy today.  Something isn’t going well with my server and I don’t know what it is . . . bear with me, those of you who manage to get through!  I’m helping us cope with these dulcet tones . . . (another word for Musica.)

Every once in a while I need to wash and iron the dresser scarves and table toppers.  Which I did before my girlfriends came from California to visit last week; part of the continuing quest for a fall cleanup … but, as you know, there’s  nothing like company to get a person going!

I can’t say that ironing is my favorite thing in life to do, but in this case, with these vintage linens, I do love it; the smell of it too, hot steamy iron, lightly fragranced washed things . . . I turn on the radio, and listen to Car Talk (90.1 WCAI radio),  and laugh myself silly, and iron, and it’s a nice day.

Vintage linens are the hardest thing for me to find . . . I have to force myself to dig through piles (and refold them!), where 99% of the things in it, I don’t want — in order to find the little wonderful thing at the bottom.  Maybe once a year I will go to antique stores or flea markets and focus just on linens, to keep my collection replenished.

As usual, I am not willing to pay a huge amount of money for these things when I know for a fact that if I am patient I will find them at a price that seems SO good, I am proud all day because I waited.

Look at the little rick rack on the edge of the red-trimmed cloth.  Embroidery, lace, applique, all so original and special and hardly being made anymore.

Some of the embroidery is just too wonderful for words.

I love the cat, I love the apples, but most of all, I love the . . .

gnome in the window. And the moon.  And I love the person who made this, whoever she was.  And now, the bathroom bears . . .

These linens are hanging on a quilt rack — so handy for everything, from quilts, to drying towels in guest rooms, so if you see one, you might want to get it … I found a green one on our New England trip for $35.  Oh yes!

This quilt rack sits in our dining room and holds tablecloths and runners.  Hi Girl Kitty!

I love linens so much I even paint them!  I like my rick-rack headed chicken pocket.

They make everything prettier, softer, including Joe’s breakfast.

They add a certain romantic charm.

When I find the round, linen coasters, I buy them, then use them as jar toppers for my canned things, jams and applesauce.

Of course you all know what a nut I am for dishtowels.  But if you don’t, just click on DISHTOWELS, and I will be happy to tell you!

This is my dishtowel display unit . . . did I buy this stove just for the handles?  Maybe.

I wrote and watercolored this card to keep in front of me when I write books, to remind me every day what it is I am trying to do.  But it works just as well for decorating the house.  I don’t think I finally figured out the actual meaning of the word “charm” until I was in my early 40’s!  Now I might like to write a book about it!

So, then, after doing the ironing, I wanted to bleach my vintage potholders because they were starting to look like something the cat dragged in.  I put them in a bowl with warm water, a little laundry soap, and about a quarter cup of liquid bleach and let them sit and soak.

And I washed the towels for the guest bathrooms . . . and took everything outside . . .

Something you know I love to do . . .

Towels dried in the open air get scratchy; I never used to dry them on the line, because I didn’t think I’d like scratchy towels — but one of the houses we stayed in when we were in England had line-dried towels, and I loved it!  My new discovery!  Scratchy towels are wonderful, invigorating, they scratch your back, and they seem more absorbent.

It took about two seconds after I brought the basket in before my shadow was in it!

Such a decorative kitty!

So then I made Cranberry Apple Crisp!  Made Corn Pudding too!

The girls who came to visit, but not ever for long enough! I asked if I could show this photo, and got a yes, so here we go, from left to right, that’s Diana (Elizabeth’s cousin), then Daisy (the daughter of)  Mimi, then Elizabeth (the kitchen-paint-chooser and sweetheart who just bought the house down the street from me), then Cathy.  Elizabeth and Cathy saw Beatrix Potter’s House together. Daisy goes to Harvard, she is beauty plus brains; the other adorable girls live in Palo Alto California and are pretty smart too.  Creative, funny, hardworking, generous girlfriends, all of them.  Joe was in heaven.  Jack got so many kisses he was sick of it and started running away from us!  (Joe stuck around and took it like a man. 🙂 )

While they were here, Mr. Wonderful kept up with his newest project.  This porch was so old, it was disintegrating; he’s been rebuilding it — what do you think Dad?  He finished yesterday . . . Here’s the final product:

♫ Oh my man I love him so ♪ . . .  I sort of want to move this to the front of the house, where all the world can see it, it looks so nice!

We are having a Halloween Party next week, I’ve started getting ready … we do it every year, friends just pop in, we have Chili and Corn bread and all the fixins!  Our neighborhood is wild at Halloween, we get hundreds of kids!  It’s very exciting!

And I also have a little present for you . . .

I asked Kellee to put this Pumpkin bookmark up on our FOSB site (Facebook) today; if you go there and click on it, you can get it as a pdf file, print it out on heavy paper (even laminate it if you want), and put it in your Halloween stockings!  Some good pumpkin facial expression examples for carving!

OK, Girls, back to work I go.  I have a job for you:  please let me know when you are so sick of this post you can’t bear to look at it anymore — when you have clicked on all the links, and have taken your first trip to an antique store to look for linens to decorate for the holidays.  And then, I will stop everything and change it ASAP!

Until then, I’ll be working on our book, which, I have to say, is SO wonderful, I can’t stop thinking about it . . . I don’t mean it’s the most wonderful thing that ever lived, I mean I LOVE it and love doing it, and only want to do it!  I worked on it the whole time the girls were here, while they were still asleep; I’m up to Page 84 right now!

It’s one thing to know what something is going to look like (in your mind), and another thing to see it being born in real life! 

OK, off I go!  I hope you’re all enjoying your WILLARDS . . . the last batch goes out this afternoon!  Have a wonderful day everyone!

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713 Responses to MINUTIA (of the best kind)

  1. Linda Wattier says:

    Oh I love dish towels and dresser scarfs and pot holders that I enjoyed your blog so much. Think I’ll go to the antique store this afternoon and add to my collection,maybe. Snowing here in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Collecting on the grass and in the trees. Looks so pretty. You’re such an inspiration. I feel so lucky to be your friend. Have a blessed day.

  2. Pam G. says:

    Hi Susan-I had to type in your address on my PC as this did not come in my e-mail, or Willard either. What is going on-I am a loyal subscriber!!!!!
    Anyway, tell Joe is porch is fabulous!
    I love old linens too. It looks like you had a long day freshening them all,, but so satisfying when you’re done. Please make sure I didn’t get unlisted somehow.
    Can’t wait for the book

    • sbranch says:

      I’m a good subscriber too, and I can’t get on either! 🙂 I don’t think you’re unlisted, but the blog is impossible to get on, and stay on, it’s getting worse every day. I will have to DO something, as soon as I figure out how! Thanks Pam!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Sue – did you call the Geek Squad? If no Geek Squad on the Island, check the local papers. Or ask friends maybe? There must be a computer genius or two taking refuge from the Rat Race there who makes house calls on an occasional basis. Or maybe your server is somewhere else? With the girls in California? CA will surely have Geek Squads [I think they’re now affiliated to the “Best Buy” chain]. Those kids can do anything!

        • sbranch says:

          It wasn’t me, it was my server, and that’s owned by some nebulous company out in cyber world that seems to have no human attachments.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Oh, right, the server – of course. Well at least I’m glad you’re not having to deal with it physically – like it’s out in your barn or something! :>)

          • sbranch says:

            Then I could have gone out and strangled the guy behind the screen, which would have been nice yesterday morning! 🙂

  3. Carin from Central California says:

    Hi, Susan. I tried to post this earlier on yesterday’s blog, but I think we collided in cyber space, so I’ll combine yesterday with today. Can’t wait for Willard (my second one); can’t wait to try the pasta dish (with arugula) and can’t wait to try the garlic bread. It’s finally cooled off here and feels a little bit like Autumn. I am wearing a cute Autumn pin on my sweater today (if I do say so myself) that looks just like a miniature leaf, all gold and orange and red with a bit of green around the edge. I love linens, potholders, and dishtowels, too, and know exactly what you mean about searching through piles and piles of linens in search of the right one AND the right price. Bingo! I could almost smell your linens drying on the line. Nothing like a clothesline. As for me, I will never be tired of your blogs and look forward to them every day. When I first found your blog, I read every single topic under each and every heading and have re-read some of my favorites from time to time. Sending you happy Autumn thoughts today. Thanks for all you do.
    P.S. Good job on the porch, Joe. Just couldn’t be better.

  4. Mary Eva Ross says:

    Susan, do you use spray starch on your linens? My friend always has such good luck with it – I usually just clog up my iron with it. Just wondering. Happy Halloween and thanks for the book mark. p.s. Joe did do a GREAT job on your porch!

    • sbranch says:

      Sometimes I do it the old fashioned way, and dip it and roll it — but I use the heavy spray starch too, Niagara is the brand. It seems to be OK, although once in a while I have to turn it upside down to unclog the nozzle.

  5. Hello Susan,
    I have a small collection of dish towels. This makes me want more. Love your clothes pins, and a special Bravo!!! to Joe for the great job on your porch. Looks fabulous.
    My sister n’law just sent me really cute place mats she made me for the holidays 2 for fall and 2 for Christmas. She is a wonderful seamstress. Beautiful vintage looking material.
    It has been a bit colder at night. But autumn is still trying to push through here in So. California. Waiting anxiously for the Williard. Have a wonderful day.

    • I bet you’re getting the Santa Ana winds, I love downtown Orange, lots of memories, my sister in law grew up there, and I lived there in early 70’s, grew up in Laguna. Are the antique malls still around the circle? Hopefully coming back out to see my brother next fall!

  6. Nellie says:

    Funny you should mention problems with accessing your server. I wasn’t able to access this site the usual way just minutes ago. Eerie goings-on in cyberspace!

    Willard came yesterday, and it was a delight to read! Thank you so much!

    I’ve only a few vintage linens. That’s one thing I’ve not scoured for in antique shops. The ones you have displayed are beautiful!

    Another gorgeous Tennessee day here today! This kind of weather will soon come to an end, I fear.

    Chili cook-off this week-end, so there will be some chili-making around here. We must have two gallons of it!

    Enjoy your Wednesday. I can hardly wait for that book!

    xo Nellie

  7. Barb says:

    What a happy coincidence to see your post about the antique linens. I have just unearthed a collection which had been hiding in the back of my china cabinet. Now I want to be able to use them all again, but sadly some are stained or yellowed. Some are Irish linen, some damask and some unknown content. Do you have a special concoction that you use to bring old linens back to brightness again? I’m reluctant to use much bleach because some of the items have embroidery or whatnot on them. The Irish linen set of placemats and napkins is handpainted if I remember correctly. One of my aunts brought them back from Ireland for my mother probably back in the 1960s. Any assistance or hints you can share would be greatly appreciated!!

    • sbranch says:

      I use Biz, as previously mentioned on my quilts — they’re so old and delicate, and Biz is gentle. If you keep the bleach level very low, you can try it too. I rarely have a cotton that the stains won’t come out of, unless they’re rust, then I always have trouble.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        I have a book at home by Linda Cobb – the “Queen of Clean” – and I’m going to look up her rust remedy for you. I’ve had rust spots on white towels and sheets caused – according to the repairman – from the washing machine basket! Wouldn’t you think they’d make those things out of stainless steel?? Apparently no. Anyway “the Queen” has a lot of good tips that work – including a cure for rust on fabric. I’m not positive but I think lemon juice is involved. Stay tuned…

      • Rhonda D. says:

        A friend of mine gave me a recipe for removing rust stains. It is cream of tartar and juice from a real lemon to make a paste. (Only real lemon juice works). I have tried it and it did work. Still a struggle though.

      • Barb says:

        I have had some success with rust stains using this method: Hold the linen over the steam from a boiling kettle or pot of water and then drip lemon juice on it. Of course, you need more than one set of hands to do this safely!

  8. Gloria Ray says:

    Susan you might try soaking your linens in BIZ ……It is kinder to old linens than some of the available bleaches, but it does take longer. Loved this post!!! Gloria

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Gloria!

      • Barbara Thomas says:

        There is a product called Restoration that you can buy in many needlework sites or even Amazon, that I love. Soak them in that for up to six hours and dry in the sun. Also Mrs. Stewart bluing works it a combination of both of these methods in succession can brighten old linens. I have left things in the sun for four days and had great results.

  9. Gill says:

    I found a 1953 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook in a thrift store today (yes, here in Norway!) and there was your stove (well…very nearly) illustrating the Special Help section. The kitchen walls are turquoise and the cupboards are ointment pink!
    I can’t quite read the words on your lovely redwork gnome embroidery, but it looks very Norwegian to me 🙂
    Happy decorating for Halloween; we just made a start too. Looking forwards to receiving Willard in due course. Thank you Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, it says “Hilsen fra Norge”

      • Susan Ericksen of Bainbridge Island, Washington says:

        Oh, one look at it and I just knew it was Norwegian…And the “Nisse” or gnome is standing in a doorway, notice the steps into the kitchen!!! My Grandmother (all Norwegian) embroidered a couple of these, in this style and it also has a Norwegian saying on it..but it is the family dancing around the living room with a fire in the fireplace…It is darling. I was so taken back when I saw this one of yours…thank you for posting it….We framed ours and it hangs in the kitchen…
        Joe did a GREAT job on the porch…it is beautiful and it makes the back door even more inviting….just needs a couple of pumpkins and a garland on the railing and some Indian corn on the door!!!! thank you for the Apple Crisp recipe…will get to that hopefully over the weekend…I am home with a lousy cold and the shivers today and will be tomorrow also….Being around all the kids at school, leaves me with a lot of opportunity to pick up all these bugs!!!! SO, for now, going to go crawl back under the down comforter and hopefully sleep this off!!!!! Thanks again for being such a wonderful girlfriend……Susan

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        it translates to “greetings from Norway” in Norwegian. my granma is Norwegian. 🙂

  10. Sandy Richmond says:

    Hi Susan, I enjoyed both Willard and this post so much. You have had some fun days! I love linens too, and wish I had a clothesline. This is my second week back to,work after my recuperation and all is going well! I have some great news- I am getting two tuxedo kittens this weekend! A brother and sister, 10 weeks old. I’m getting them from a woman who assures me they are really affectionate and the only reason she is getting rid of them is because it turns out some of her kids are allergic to them. I haven’t met the kittens yet, but have seen many pictures and I am in love with them already!! Can’t wait to have two little clowns running around the house….

    • sbranch says:

      Ten weeks old! How wonderful, that’s just the age Jack was when I got him. I am sure they are heaven! Prepare to laugh your face off! So happy you are so well Sandy! Look at you girl, you DID it!!!

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

      Hi, Sandy~
      You amaze me! So happy you’re feeling well…you sound just FULL of life…and those kittens..you won’t have time to think about anything else! Keep us posted, will you?

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Sandy – congratulations Mom! SO happy for you! It was meant to be. Those lil guys need a home and you’ll be the best momma! You’ll take care of each other – truly – in the best possible ways. I’d love to be getting a “Jack” and a “Girl” of my own – I’m pea green with envy. Echo Deb – keep us posted! You know all of us Girlfriends need a kitty fix aas often as possible. And what are you thinking about for names? =^..^=

    • Chris Wells from West Texas says:

      Sandy, So Happy that you are doing well and back to work! And Kitties…two of them. How wonderful! Couldn’t be a better prescription than TWO kittens for much laughter and merriment. Hugs and cheers!

    • Anna Limont, camano island,wa says:

      So happy to hear how well you are doing and looking forward to two new additions to your family, There must be something special about tuxedo kittens and cats, my daughter has one also and he is not only funny, but smart and sweet too, just a great kitty, a little like Susan’s Jack, I’m sure you are in for a treat! God Bless.

  11. nancy jo says:

    Hi Susan,
    Loved the post. “Susan Branch Baby Shoe Box”2003. I found it at the thrift store this week. perfect condition. I made up a real cute keepsake with it. Its on my blog. Did anything come in the box when it was new? When ever I find anything that has your name on I buy it.
    Good job on the porch Joe.
    Nancy Jo

    • sbranch says:

      It was a large heart shaped keepsake box, with lots of other little keepsake boxes inside, like for first shoes, and first teeth, etc.

  12. Martha Ellen of VA says:

    Susan, please never stop writing your wonderful blogs—-I love them and have learned so much from you. I’m feeling a little under the weather today and Willard and your blog has made my day! I too love vintage linens and scour antique stores for them. The monogrammed ones are so special —even if it’s not our initial! Have a wonderful fall day in New England! Please know you inspire me in so many ways! xoxo ♥

  13. Hello Susan… I just love this post!… I too love vintage linens and am blessed to have many that belonged to my mama, who is now my guardian angel in Heaven… and I love to wash and iron them as well… yours are all so wonderful, I love the gnome in the window too!… and your kitty is so sweet… kitty kisses little one!… also love your vintage potholders, and your Halloween mantel… your friends and family all look like they are having such a fun time with you!… thank you for the bookmark to print… I am anxiously awaiting my first Willard today!… much love, xoxo Julie Marie

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Julie Marie! Have a wonderful day!

      • Hello again Susan… my wall calendar and little planner arrived today and they are beautiful!… I love that I can use my little planner right away… I was also browsing through your shop again, and in your vintage finds you have a pretty little blue and white plate with a bird on it and a saying… I have that VERY same vintage plate!… I can read the back of mine clearly and here is what it says “Royal Crownford Ironstone Staffordshire England”… you have the sweetest things in your shop… I am making my Christmas list of things I want!… xoxo Julie Marie

  14. Carol (Daisy) says:

    I also like to listen to car talk (Click & Clack, The Tappit Brothers). They sure are fun! Love the linens. Do you have a secret to getting any stains or yellowing out of the fabrics? Thank you for the bookmark and all your interesting posts.

    • sbranch says:

      Fabrics are funny, but if it’s old cotton, and still very strong, I use a mixture of bleach and water … enough bleach to get the job done, but not too much. And you are welcome Daisy (Carol!)

      • Rhonda D. says:

        I have an older white cotton Christmas tablecloth (1970’s), hand embroidered and crocheted on the edge (both in red and green) that has really yellowed. Some of the stains could be oil. It was made by my 87 year old “wise old owl” and very dear to me. If I put it in a bleach solution of some kind, do you think it would discolor the red trim? I’m also wondering how long you leave your items in the bleach solution. My Mom did that one day to dishcloths, and when they came out of the solution, there was nothing left but the outside edges. (laughing my butt off as I’m trying to type this btw). 90% of the dishcloths were missing. One of those days the daughter will never forget. If they were vintage, they sure looked like a blast from the past! Now I’m a bit afraid to use bleach on some of my really special items…kinda sets up a visual up in your mind. Maybe she had the solution all wrong, or left them in too long. I’d absolutely love to have some help with this one. I love all my linens and especially this tablecloth.

        • sbranch says:

          LOL, that sounds like it was solid bleach! I can’t make any promises, because I wouldn’t want to be responsible. I judge each thing for itself — feeling the cloth, and following my common sense about it. If I can NEVER use it again because of the stains, then I have to take a chance, and try something. Because I need to be able to use things. So try Biz first, because it’s gentle. In the old days, they would lay things on lawns and allow them to bleach out — but it’s not that time of year, and I don’t know if it really works or not, although I do it sometimes with bedspreads. If you decide to use bleach, perhaps take a corner of the cloth, lay it into a bowl of warm water, mixed with a tablespoon of bleach and a little laundry soap, and see what happens.

          • Rhonda D. says:

            Maybe she was experimenting, just like us, but the chemistry gremlins were having a bad day. Although I’d say that “scientific bleaching process really goes BOINK!!” Thank you for the advice.

  15. Betty Marie, Pennsylvania says:

    Susan, I LOVED IT ALL! and of course I was delighted with the Photos of Jack & Miss girl kitty..The best was at the end for me with Jack In the pumpkin you painted. Oh! how it made me laugh in glee.. it is just soooo cute!!
    Your Joe is a master crafts man. You are one lucky lady & don’t you know it!!! LOL.. I was on google to be able to get Willard , and to see your blog today.. it says there is much traffic. I can see why….We all come here to find our happy place, a place where we can find some rest, good food, friends, kitties and you & Joe sharing all the wonders of ordinary days..Thank you Susan. Love Ya!((((BIG HUG)))))

    • sbranch says:

      Where do you go to see that Betty Marie? Maybe that’s why it’s been so difficult to get onto the site, but to me, it feels like it’s been going on for a little while now. xoxo

      • I haven’t received my Willard yet either (8:00 p.m. Wednesday), but I typed in “Willard Susan Branch” on Google search and found it half-way down under “Susan Branch – Willard – October, 2012”. I’m going to go read it as soon as I finish reading all these comments!

  16. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I love the mother peeling apples towel, because I don’t know how many times my grandmother, my mother and I have done that!!! I used to see “the dish running away with the spoon” pattern somewhere in my youth and loved it!!! Thanks for sharing pics with girlfriends. Can I borrow your carpenter??? You can borrow my electrician for marine or home. LOL

    • sbranch says:

      We can keep these boys busy!

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        As I didn’t really get to read the post in depth yesterday I have to say thanks for the new uses of linens! Storage is a problem in this small home and I like the jar cover idea too. I saw the linen with the monogram, and it reminded me that a year ago my mother gave me some old table cloth and napkins with my new monogram. They belonged to the mother of my aunt’s god-mother! We have the same first name and her maiden name began with the same initial as my new last name. Stranger yet, her married initials were the same as my maiden initials. I loved those people when I was young! Sometimes girls would embroider linens for their hope chest with their monograms, even in Europe. (My sisters and I called ours our hopeless chests.) LOL

  17. Terri J says:

    Oh wow! I am ‘geeking out’ (as my grandkids would say), over all the embroidered linens and crocheted potholders. And Biz! My grandma used to use that, but I haven’t seen it in years. If anyone else on the West Coast knows of a place that carries it, please let me know…
    I love your guest towels too. I know you said you like the scratchy factor now, but if anyone wants to reduce the scratchiness of line-dried items a little, adding a little white vinegar (about 1/4 c. for small loads, 1/2 c. for lg) to the rinse cycles softens them a bit. I add a tiny splash when rinsing hand washables to soften them up a bit too (don’t worry the vinegar smell dissipates quickly).
    Glad to find out that Willard is still in the process of going out. I’ve been obsessively checking my emails for it. Mine must be in the last batch.
    Can hardly wait for that book. Keep on enjoying working on it!

  18. Nancy says:

    Please don’t change a thing!! Love this post….I treasure my vintage linens from my aunt, grandmothers, and sister who are no longer with us. Love the chicken on the apron with the ricrac comb. 😉
    It is 85 degrees here today and tomorrow….then 60 for the next few days…c’mon cold air! I am busy cleaning house….trying to make it feel and smell like fall…need that cooler air to help. Loved Willard this week too.

  19. Peg says:

    Oooohhhhh, the video of the linens on the clothesline makes me homesick! We moved from Wyoming to a Phoenix suburb in May, and I miss fall at home so much, my heart aches:( Thank you for letting me experience fall through your blog…

  20. Lori says:

    Wow, Susan you really made my day! It feels like Christmas… I got the new Willard, a new blog and a bookmark. Thank you very much! Today is Indian Summer here in Indiana. We are up in the high 70s and the sun is shining. We have had lots of blustery days with rain too and most of the leaves are down. I speak for ALL the girlfriends (if I may be so bold) and let you know that we never get tired of you or the *charm* you bring to our lives.

  21. it’s coming time for Halloween –as always there’s an assortment of wicked and evil forces
    Lurking in shadows and bushes that surround us with their negative auras –causing all the bad sprained ankles and cuts with the paring knife — so behold this advice for ultimate safety…….Eat a bullfrog first thing in the morning and nothing worse can happen to you for the rest of the day!

  22. Rosanna says:

    I found your site/blog after purchasing one of your cookbook binders and then going online to find out more about you – and I’m glad I did (glad about finding out about you, your site AND the binders!)
    This blog on old linens came at just the right time for me: I have several dresser scarves, hand crocheted items including a tablecloth big enough for a banquet table(!) that I received from family and friends and I’ve been pondering how to clean them and display them, etc. This was so timely – so thank you for all your cleaning hints (using BIZ) etc.
    When I get on your site, I feel like I’m back home in NH – surrounded by all the things I grew up with – and it makes me appreciate all the more the wonderful hand made things I received from my grandmothers and mother – not to mention their wonderful cooking! Your recipes are great! Thanks for all you do.

  23. Love all the linens 🙂 they are so pretty, Susan 🙂

    thanks so much for the halloween bookmark 🙂 it’s delicious.

    Have a super time with your girlfriends!
    Denise on Rainy PEI… yes, rain, rain, rain lol

  24. Susan, love line dried everything; if you use fabric softener in your rinse, the towels, eventually, won’t dry as well. There’s something about fabric softener that builds up and makes towels “icky”. One of my favorite photos is of my flannel nightgown, shirts and jeans frozen stiff on the clothes line one January day. It’s a fine photo!
    Now, I’m off to make the cranberry apple crisp and thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not wild about fabric softener either and never use it . . . not my cup of tea. I’d rather have frozen clothes too!

  25. Susan, just wanted you to know…reading your blog makes me feel so warm and cozy, and puts a smile on my face! Thanks so much!!

  26. Last month I didn’t get a Willard but this month I got it first thing Tuesday morning when I turned on my computer. Yeaaaaaa. I too have had problems getting on here.. but this time it came on and I could comment. now I hope it goes out when I press send. 🙂 Loved every word & picture of it. Love the Girlfriends photo.. makes it feel like we were there too. Keep plugging along and enjoying that book you are working on. I know the feeling of putting something down on paper that’s in your head and then seeing that what you created really looks like that vision. It IS really amazing. We know it will be fabulous because you are loving what you are doing.

  27. Sheila Mainous says:

    I soo love your blog, mainly because we like and enjoy the very same things! Like cats (I have one about the same age as Jack so I totally understand!); and old linens, doilies, dish towels. I try to purchase “plain” ones so I can do my own embroidery and embellishing…then give them away as birthday and Christmas gifts. I just ordered a book on crazy quilting because I love, love, love it and I want to do my own but I need guidance. I am so excited to start this new venture. No autumn here (Florida) but some cooler weather next week but had stew and cornbread tonight (hubby’s request) so it is feeling “fallish.”

  28. Crystal says:

    Dear Susan! You could post 8 times a day and I would never tire of a single one and would be looking greedily for the next each time! Marvelous job on the porch, Joe. With two sets of steps you can meet yourself coming and going.

  29. Christine Anderson says:

    loved seeing all of your lovely linens! I collect linens too, esp ones with baskets on them. I use one of our wallpapers, the bed with the basket embroidered pillow on my computer. My favorite are white embroidered on white!! I may have captured the market on the napkins! I love your little ones with scenes on them. So fun!!

    Loved Willard, but what is there not to love!

  30. Pom Pom says:

    Oh, yes! I loved Willard! Happy!
    All those lovely linens . . . swoon!
    Bless you as you prepare for another party. Your hospitality goes on and on and on, Susan!

  31. I love Car Talk! In our home, I am the one who turns on NPR to hear it. The guys are hysterical and their adorable accents remind me of my son-in-law’s father who has the cutest Boston accent (although he says here in the Midwest we talk funny). 😉

    I love to find inexpensive vintage linens and to USE them (or display them if they are fragile). When my mother-in-law passed away in a car accident (years ago now), I learned a huge lesson about keeping things “for good”. For all those beautiful linens she kept for “someday” were all discolored and falling apart in boxes because they were not used!

    • sbranch says:

      If you have little windows, another way to use a crocheted runner is as a valance. I also make curtains out of old tablecloths. Happy Day Brenda!

    • Sandy Richmond says:

      Hi Brenda, I agree with you on using your “good” things. If you love them, use them. I love thrift/antique stores, and often think how someone must have treasured some of these items, and now they are in the thrift store! Well, at least then we can buy them and use them… I love Car Talk too. So glad they will continue to run it…

  32. Jane S. says:

    I too love towels that are air-dried. Yes, they’re a bit rougher but they really do seem to soak up the water more quickly.

    Ahhh, linens. I like to iron regardless of what it is, but doing vintage linens is definitely the best thing ever! Tea towels, dresser scarves, cloth napkins, quilt blocks…it’s all good. 🙂

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      I read somewhere that any fabric laundered without fabric softener will be significantly more absorbent. Apparently the softener is actually a wax agent that coats individual fibers and builds up – similar to wax buildup on floors. I no longer use it – and have not missed it at all! I buy a gallon jug of white vinegar twice a year instead!

      Just call me “Heloise Junior” – that’s what my family does!! :>)

  33. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan, your linens are beautiful. The blue bathroom bears – so simple, so charming. Your red work towel says “Regards from Norway”, isn’t that lovely? I, too, collect vintage linens. I display seasonal tea towels for show only (or perhaps for showoff) because they are so pretty and they all tell a story and deserve to be shown off to the like-minded who appreciate the work and time involved in creating these works of art. Joe did a wonderful job on the porch. Lovely to meet your friends, too. PS. I use a product called Oxy-Clean and it really works wonders on stains, yellowing, etc and is safe for fragile items.

  34. audrey Bell from LaBarque Creek, Missouri says:

    Thank you for the Jacks bookmark. I can’t wait to get it copied and laminated. I love all things Autumn and especially pumpkins. We had a wonderful set of Childcraft books while I was growing up. The pages with the pumpkins and Halloween poems is tattered and worn from me turning to those pages to pour over the illustrations while dreaming of October.
    Thanks for sharing!

  35. Karen R says:

    Oh Susan I do so enjoy your almost daily Blog. Just like a letter from home. even if I am a Native California girl. Just wish you were my next door neighbor. Love the recipes, your friendly informal way and the tarte of life in your part of the country. I do have to admit, however I cringed when you mentioned bleach in the same line as your treasured Antique linens. I am a quilter and at our Road to California Quilt show last January I discovered a product, “Retro Clean” that makes yellowed and stained linens look like new again. Needless to say I was a bit skeptical but gave it a try and was totally amazed! The old linens liiked like new again! I mean really like new! It really worked. It is safe for the fabrics and I have since learned that the product is endorsed by Eleanor Burns and Harriet Hargrave. It is available on the Retro Clean website http://www.retroclean.com Perhaps you might like to give it a try. A side note to Terry J. Both Biz powder and liquid are available in my Vons Supermarket in the San Fernando Valley area of Southern California.
    Susan, hope you fond this helpful! Love, Karen R

    • sbranch says:

      Does it really work like the website says? Thank you Karen, this is why I love blogging, everyone is so smart!

      • Cathy from Golden, CO says:

        Oh thank you for that info! I will look for that product also. I took quilting classes from Harriet! She is one amazing quilter and her shop is gorgeous!

      • Karen R says:

        Hi Susan, YES! I too was unbelieving before I tried it but thought I have nothing to loose some of my linens are so badly stained that they were not useable. This company is truthful in their advertizing. It is indeed a wonderful product for those of us that love old linens, old quilt blocks and old quilts. I just know you too will become a believer. p.s. I don’t work for this company lol. I just want to shout fom the rooftops how well it works.

        • sbranch says:

          That’s exactly how I feel when I find something wonderful — like the honey crisp apples, you just naturally want to tell everyone!

    • Terri J says:

      Someone else left a website for Biz too, but Von’s may be easier, still. Thanks, Karen!

  36. Kathy R from Iowa says:

    You said, ” I don’t think I finally figured out the actual meaning of the word “charm” until I was in my early 40′s! Now I might like to write a book about it!”

    I said, “Please do!” 🙂

  37. Carolyne says:

    Dearest ♥ Susan~ Oh, how I smiled throughout this wonderful post~!
    We truly *are* some of the last of the “iron-ers”. People look at me in a rather pitying way when I say I love to iron my pillowcases and old linens, but it’s true~! It is one of my favourite things to do, while listening to some wonderful music.
    Sunshine is the *Best* ever for old linens and I’m glad you’re letting the world know the secret of keeping them lovely.
    Then there’s the scratchy towel thing! Oh, MY goodness…..how I love them♥; smelling like the freshest air and just right for scratching my back after a quick shower.
    My dear Dad built me a clothesline when I was newly married, which my husband graciously dug up and moved with us when we relocated. It is something that will go with me wherever I go. My purple clematis planted at each post was lovely this year…..I’ll try to send you a photo. 🙂
    I always love to visit…..it’s just so much fun when I read something written so very much like I think~!

  38. Jeanette says:

    Susan, Every scroll along this post was fabulous!! Love it all. I can never have too much of all your wonderfulness. Love the linens. My Mom, who passed away last year (miss her every day) crocheted many doilies, potholders, runners, afghans, etc. She also passed along the passion for creating by hand – stitching, all fiber arts, cooking and cozy homemaking. I treasure each piece and know this art is dwindling. I encourage every young girl I can!

    Joe did a fabulous job with your new porch! He is quite talented. My sweetie is blessed with the same abilities and they are priceless.

    Hope the cyber goddess sprinkles her fairy dust of kindness upon your server!
    Hugs, love and sweet homemaking to you.

  39. Lisa Tucker (My Ordinary Country Life) says:

    I finally finished reading your entire blog….it was wonderful and my husband is much happier. But now I’m sad to just get to read one post every so often…:( I was also sad as I was reading backward when there was no more Jack…:( It’s amazing the joy animals can bring. I really do have a strong sense of self but I find now I want to collect vintage dishtowels, and I turn on my Pandora and type in Crooners to listen to and I talk with authority to my friends about Honey Crisp Apples! lol! Just wanted to let you know you bring joy and we all want to be a part of it. So keep it up! Have a great day…:))

  40. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    hello susan, good afternoon everyone. love those linens, love your helper in the basket, and in the towels and linens. i get my laundry in the house or out of the dryer and here come my helpers, nothing like a full laundry basket of warm dry clothes to bring the cats running. its still a cold wet day here, had snow yesterday, well snow and rain and it didn’t stick around. but out on the hills and on the mountains we have snow. pretty early for us, but i like it…gives me a good excuse to have a fire in the wood stove. here is a little trick my grandma taught me on how to get old linens and laces really white, dry them on the grass, strange but it does work. just lay them on a sunny patch of grass and let them dry there, they will be whiter. she mostly does it with really old laces and linens. off to go gather the eggs and check on the birds, and get them ready to go in for the night. thank heavens the henhouse and barn were cleaned out and fresh straw put in the nestboxes and down for the turkeys to nest in, keeps them nice and warm at night. have a good evening everyone. hugs…. 🙂

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      Pat – I’ve had really good luck on some occasions with “sun-bleaching” too. No chemicals, no $, virtually no work except hanging it up/bringing it in. Sometimes I blot on a little real lemon juice on the spot first just as a boost. :>)

  41. Lori C. says:

    Oh Girlfriend!! I can’t believe it! I wait to do my ironing every Saturday morning until 10:00A when Car Talk comes on! I’m so sad that they retired (but reruns are the next best thing) – I just love it when Ray gets to laughing so hard that he snorts! And when Tommy’s laughter is so uncontrollable that he starts crying and can’t see what he is supposed to be reading anymore! Your blog makes me happy – just like that! Just finished Kate Morton’s 4th book, The Secret Keeper. She is a master story teller – the ending just blew me out of the water – so don’t read the ending until you actually get there! I was going nuts until I was finally able to see your blog come up. Whew!!!

  42. Lisa from CT says:

    Your site was down for so long, tantalizing torture!!! love this post!!! keep on posting!!!

  43. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Susan, I just loved this post. All of the parts and extra links were so fun. One really fun item was the crying towel. A friend of mine recently told me that she and her best friend decided that they needed to make these for when best friends just spill their sorrows to one another and inevitably neither has a kleenex! This was the first time I had ever heard of such a thing and low and behold, the perfect crying towel on your stove!! Your love of finding great vintage linens resonates with me as well. I am always thumbing through piles for pretty pillow cases or other items. And that apple cranberry crisp? Why have I forgotten to make that recipe when I have your Autumn book? Will remedy that soon. Ohh, the Halloween decorations are looking perfect and the menu couldn’t be better!! Still waiting for my Willard so I hope I am in the last batch going out. I am hoping you have a segment on Halloween too.
    Trick or Treat!

  44. Debbie P Weedsport, NY (near Syracuse) says:

    Beautiful post, Sue! You take such good care of us all!
    I loved the ending regarding your book..it reminded me of seeing Isabella in a 3D ultrasound and imagining what she would look like…so amazing to be able to do that! But to see her as soon as she was born…well, so much more than our hearts could dare dream! Looking forward to the “birth” of the English Diary (your/our baby)!
    Now, go take care of yourself and your “baby” for a while….we’ll be good for a few days..

  45. Marilyn says:

    Love, love, love old linens. Loved seeing yours. Last year I finally found a cabinet to display the old linens in. What a good idea for the old coasters, now I will be looking for them too. Now I know I have a few somewhere. Must go looking.

  46. Sherry Winchester says:

    Can’t get enough of your blogs….love Willard!…BTW, Hubby and I went treasure hunting today….great Autumn afternoon…in the 70’s!…..Cheers, Susan!

  47. Robin Ann Barron says:

    Your posts are always the brightest spot of my Inbox, and are always read first and always saved. “Willard Loves The Wind” is especially wonderful. Thank you so much!

  48. Susan,
    Thank you for keeping the “old-fashioned” treasures alive in the 21st century where they seem to be quickly fading away (tea towels, corded phones, towels drying on a line). The only excuse I have for not drying clothes outdoors is lack of a clothesline…
    P.S. I’m not too young to appreciate these things..I’m only 41(-:
    Julie in MO

  49. Rachel says:

    You’ve convinced me! I shall be looking everywhere for linens now 😉 OK I was already on a linen kick because I wanted to make some embroidered teatowels for my sister who just got a new home 🙂 And I spent all day looking at the wonderful vintage embroidery patterns…
    Oh and my 8 year old daughter caught sight of Jack and wanted to know if this is the site where Jack and Girl Kitty are… and told me I had to back up to show her the pictures of them LOL Jack would definitely be running from her because she’d love on him too much too!

  50. Joyce Dupont says:

    Susan…Loved your linens. I also love dishtowels & embroidery!
    Your hanging them out makes me envious. My clothes pole went down when our twins were swinging on a gym set swing we had attached to the pole. All of a sudden it went down with one of the twins and the other jumping off. I do miss it, just have never had it replaced. Maybe I’ll have to nag a bit. Can I borrow Joe? I loved hanging diapers out, years ago, with three or four hung together, they always were so soft and bright from the sun.

  51. Maxine Boyce Buckman says:

    Just went to church fair and passed up buying 2 old linen towels as I have so many! Of course, now I wish I hadn’t. Have to cull house of stuff at my tender age of ?? Quite difficult to do though especially after viewing all the wonderful treasures you’ve been collecting.
    Am buying your BOOK for my Christmas/Birthday gift (Jan. 27th Mozart’s too) and am wondering if you have an approximate date for it’s BIRTH.
    Maxine in Stow,MA

    • sbranch says:

      It is growing strong, but we don’t have a due date yet, I just go. go. go. Maybe by the end of December I can do a better projection.

  52. Brenda Caldwell says:

    I got my Willard today and I just loved it!!! And if that wasn’t enough, I got to head on over to your blog and wallow in all your beautiful linens 🙂 I too collect old dish towels and linens. Thank you Karen R for letting us know about the Retro Clean, it sounds like it would be worth trying. Also thank you Terry J for the tip using vinegar in the wash to soften line-dried clothes. And thank you, Susan, for turning me on to Honey Crisp apples! My husband and I took a drive to the mountains last week and I purchased some…You are right, they are delightful!

  53. Mary says:

    Oh, I do so love vintage linens. I love the connection with the ladies who made them, and all the ladies who’ve used them. I love finding them in pristine condition and I love the old tattered ones that are just waiting to have their little bits salvaged and made into something new. I love wondering about the ladies who will find mine when I’m long gone and whether they will get it, too.
    Your girlfriends are lovely!!

    • sbranch says:

      They will get it, this isn’t something that is going away, this love of fabric and pretty handmade things. Thank you Mary!

  54. Cathy McC. says:

    OH what a fun blog to read — simply LOVED seeing all the linens and how you display them. Friend Judy aka Lucy emailed me today her frustration that she knew you had a new blog out but she couldn’t open it. I had that experience last night, but managed just now. Wish I would have gone over to her house so we could read it together — kind of a ritualistic thing we try to do.
    All that extra care on the back porch entry will pay off for you and Joe — I’m a believer in the “back door guests are best” thing, so we might as well treat them really special, huh? Sure looks like fine work.
    Tell me, what are the letters for SB JBH Home at Last (on your mantel) created from? (Game tiles? Scrabble?) Love it!!! We’ll never tire of your blogs or your creativity, dear, so keep sharing . . . please!!! Glad you had fun with your friends — your dining room must have been over-flowing with love and friendship. Skipping off to read Willard! Ethel

    • sbranch says:

      So funny, Ethel … I LOVE to read magazines with my girlfriends . . . much more fun! The website has had problems, but it seems OK, so far, today! We found our initial letters on our trip, they are made of hard plastic; I don’t know what they came from, but it does seem right that they are game pieces. The Home at Last letters I found many years ago, I think they are old scrabble pieces, but not sure.

      • Cathy McC. says:

        So, do you mean you just got the “initial letters” on this recent trip to England? Wow!!! One of my MN friends tuned me in to posting sayings in my kitchen made from scrabble tiles. The most exciting was arriving at her house a few years ago to receive news about her son and daughter-in-law: the tiles read, “The rabbit died.” Well, I screamed in delight, as it didn’t take me long to figure out who and what the message was referring to, as these were the exact words she had sent to me in a letter MANY years ago to tell me she was expecting! Anyway, my own daughter and her husband now have the scrabble tile message tradition going on in their home, too. We love when we visit eachother to read what each has posted. Amazingly, we sometimes have posted the same thing!
        I remember when I was a little girl (grade school age, back in the 50s) and my girlfriend and I would look at the Sears catalog together and each pick out what ONE special item per page we would buy if we could. Took hours and hours of our hot summer days. Of course, we were all full of giggles when we got to the underwear pages!!!! Don’t you know what I mean?!?!

        • sbranch says:

          Actually the initial letters I found on my trip through New England . . . the other tiles, we do the same thing you do, little messages here in there. In my sewing room, they are on the window sill saying Sew Sue. Don’t ask me why, but they do look cute! Love your “The rabbit died!!!” How darling!

  55. Audrianne says:

    My Willard came!!! Thank you Susan and Kellee for helping me get things straightened out. I hope they stay that way. It is a beautiful letter and I am sure your Halloween party will be as well. I can’t wait to read about it here on the blog. My festivities will begin with a village parade in the town next door – Saugatuck, followed by viewings of both “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” and “Practical Magic”. Like Sally, I always have rosemary growing by my door.

  56. Jenny says:

    Would it be possible to add a link to print the bookmarks you’ve had featured here over time? The one I’m thinking of in particular had the different moon cycles and what they meant. I didn’t get a chance to print that one and would love to have it and the others, of course. I know you’re busy but was hoping maybe someday you could offer them again. I just finished laminating the Halloween bookmark. Thank you for your generosity! Spreading some adorable one book at a time!

  57. Jane in Pennsylvania says:

    You have so many wonderful, warm, homey ideas. I love visiting “Susan Branch world”.

  58. Just got home a little while ago from a day driving along the north section of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia in almost 80 degree weather with the top down! Most of the leaves were off the trees at the highest elevation, but we could look down into the valley and still see lots of color.

    That’s a terrific idea to display your table linens on a quilt rack! I love that idea and will now be on the hunt for a rack.

    Also, that new porch Joe built looks good enough to belong inside the house!

    Thank you for the bookmark. It’s just in time for my pumpkin carving contest this weekend you inspired me to hold (just from being around you here on your Blog). It’s just for my 3 sons/2 two spouses, but I sent formal invitations in the mail that I typed up and embellished with your drawings. I will use your bookmarks as “prize tags” for each category I’ll be awarding prizes. I’m baking your Pumpkin Cheesecake for after my sausage soup. I put all this in the invitation (prizes, cheesecake, sausage soup) and all RSVP’d their planned attendance.

    • sbranch says:

      You should be able to find a quilt rack fairly easily in your neck of the world. Your party sounds wonderful!! Have fun!

      • We will! And I finally read your Willard and see you have a pumpkin carving tip I will most definitely do for my pumpkin! In doing research on the subject I discovered that if you brush the cut edges with a lemon/water solution, then coat it with either oil or vaseline it will help preserve it longer. Also, the website I went to cut the “lid” into the bottom or back because apparently it helps stabilize the pumpkin better once the pumpkin so start to deteriorate. Who knew!?

  59. Bonnie in Oregon says:

    How lucky am I? Willard arrived, check….another wondrous cyber-trip to Susan’s to enjoy brisk Autumn breezes and more vintage linens, check….AND perhaps the final trek of the season today to my own local Lone Pine Farms for another pumpkin or two and…….wait for it, Susan….the last batch of HONEY CRISP APPLES @ 2 lbs/$1.00 !! ~~Life is Good~~

  60. Juliana - Jackson, NJ says:

    Ok, so I wondered why I couldn’t post anything lately, (I knew I was behind in reading as I also had house guests). Susan, you have outdone yourself between this post and Willard!!! So many wonderful things to ponder over and re-read, this should give you a good amount of time to work on “our” book, before we are greedy enough to want more! 🙂 Love all the linens! I am lucky enough to have inherited some, made some and once even found an antique oval doll house rug with lace trim that looked just darling under a vase! Thanks for all the cleaning tips, too. So glad to see all the happy girlfriends, nothing like a visit with “the girls” to nurture and feed the soul! Love the bookmark too! – Thanks for everything!!! ! Tell Joe – fantastic job on the porch – what a guy!!!

  61. Margo says:

    Hi, Susan, just wanted to thank you for your wonderful newsy blogs. Your recently painted home looks so nice and you inspired me to do some painting myself!

  62. Vee says:

    Oh lovely collection of tea towels and linens. I’m especially charmed by the red work embroidery. Is the little gnome a Scandinavian tomte? I’m noticing words…are they English? The woman’s garment suggests Scandinavia to me.

    What a wonderful gathering of friends and yay for a husband who does such delightful work. The stairs look fantastic.

  63. Ginger says:

    Sick!!! Are you kidding!!! No, way…

    Cleaning out my MIL’s AZ house, which is now my house, I found 7 vintage dishtowels Sunday-Saturday in mint condition. Now that was cool…

    A couple week’s ago, my dad’s cousin sent me a tea cup from my grandma’s collection. Somehow her mother rescued it before my grandpa sold all the rest of her collection and other antiques at a garage sale. Now 40 years later it is part of my tea cup collection.

    Anyway….that’s the stuff that the girls out hear love to hear about from you. You have such a way of making the stuff near and dear to our (or at least my) heart charming and even good. Thank you for this lovely post and sharing your girl’s weekend.

  64. Carol C says:

    It has been a perfect day here in East TN as Nellie said. We went hiking in the Smokies and came home to home-made veg soup and corn muffins. The sky was as blue and cloudless as it could be and we walked on a carpet of gold leaves. Looking up the trees were all red and gold against the sky and the falling leaves in the sun were like thousands of butterflies. Can’t adequately describe the beauty!!! Anyway to top off a perfect day, another blog and WILLARD!! Yea! Have some vintage linens but limit the collection to blue and white. Makes the hunt a little more difficult but so rewarding to find something!! Printed out the Willard to read and reread! Keep up the good work, please!! Also love reading everyone’s replies. There are kindred spirits all over the U.S.

  65. Cindy Tuning says:

    I just love the pics of your linens and how you display them. Linens are my weakness and I rarely leave an antique shop or estate sale without a few pieces. I did read that starch will deteriorate the fabric over time so I don’t use it every time. If its something that gets washed frequently then I sprinkle water from a bottle sprinkler when I iron. They look so much better starched though. Love the red work pieces.

  66. Jo in Western Springs, IL says:

    Susan, lately I have been thinking about people and their approach to life and have come to the conclusion that you are one in a million. You’re always up and encouraging and just simply one of the nicest people I’ve come across. You inspire me to take care of all the aspects in my life with such gentle prodding that I rush to do it! If I ever grow up, I want to be just like you. Thanks for being such a lovely lady.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, still waiting to grow up myself! Thank you Jo, I think if you read some of these comments, you will see that you are among kindred spirits, so many nice people, including YOU! Most of the world IS nice, it’s just the crazy or broken ones that make the news! 🙂

    • Judy Young says:

      Just wanted to second Jo from Western Springs, IL’s comment on how you are one in a million Susan! My sentiments exactly……thank goodness for you and your uplifting personality. We never hear you grip about anything and everything you do, create, encounter, make, treasure, buy, or enjoy is written about in such a way that us Girlfriends immediately nod our heads in recognition of the same thoughts, feelings, etc. We love you so much, what would we ever do without you! Please don’t go anywhere!!! (Without taking us with you of course!).

  67. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    Terri – I use white vinegar in place of fabric softener too. I didn’t like that even when I used only about a teaspoon of softener, I’d get these funny greasy-looking spots on my fabrics & was very glad to have found out about white vinegar.

    And I like “scritchy” towels, too Sue. A little texture, just a little bit of pleasant chafiness in the terry cloth – that’s just fine with me. I prefer percale or muslin sheets too. You can keep your 800 thread-count feel-like-silk sheets, Hollywood! Percale, plain cotton, muslin are much more reasonable and if properly cared for they last just as long as the expensive stuff. I also do that idea of yours – somewhere in the ‘Home Sweet Home’ section here – of buying plain basic sheets and creating different looks by buying different pillowcases. I have flat & fitted sheets in white, cream, dove gray, shell pink and light sage green – but numerous pairs of pillowcases with different pretty trims – tucking, piping, cutwork, eyelet, applique, embroidery. So fun to mix and match – and a great idea!

    Three questions. [1] Joe’s breakfast. Looks like an egg coddler but not an egg. Is that oatmeal with an apricot? Yum. [2] Are those new Joe-built steps made of cedar? Very pretty against the new white paint. [3] Not for nothing but how did someone so handy with kitchen tools get so handy with carpentry tools too? You have yourself a Renaissance man there – the circuits on BOTH sides of that brain are firing!

    Would love to hear more about your poor ancestor in Salem sometime. That’s just fascinating I think. When did you find out about that? You must have had ancestors on the Mayflower too – how exciting!

    • sbranch says:

      No, it’s an egg! 🙂 egg coddled egg. I don’t know what the steps are made out of, and he’s asleep right now, but I do know he oiled them when he put them up. Lowely’s mom, my neighbor, does genealogy and gave me our family tree (in a little book she put together) just before we left for England. Until then, I had no idea, and yes, Governor Bradford, from Yorkshire England, was my relative on the Mayflower. Since his child had 14 children, it’s relatively easy to be related to him! 🙂 I’ve been to the graves of the “witches” in Salem, and to Elizabeth Howe’s grave, my relative. Really very sad, man’s inhumanity to man, and how fear and ignorance have such power.

      And yes, new pillowcases always perk everything up!!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Well, that is just fascinating. And that may be part of why you have always felt so connected to New England! You have a real reason to – you actually “came from” there.

        • sbranch says:

          It’s fascinating to me too, I sort of can’t quit thinking about it, I really haven’t got it fully incorporated into my psyche yet! I have always felt attached to this place, before I even put it into words.

          • I moved to Maryland in 1969 and only found out in 1996 that my ancestor lived and died in this very county in 1784. The son I’m descended from moved South in the 1780’s and his descendent ended up in Mississippi where my Dad was born in 1919 and where I lived for part of my childhood until we moved back up North back to the city I was born in (Kalamazoo, MI). So I feel like I’ve come home, too.

          • sbranch says:

            Isn’t that wonderful? I heard of one woman who found out she was living just down the street from where her Great Grandma grew up!

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            Words weren’t necessary. Your soul felt it. :>)

          • sbranch says:

            Yes, you are so right. No question. And again, when I got to York. Very powerful feelings there too.

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        I am so sorry to hear about your relative Ms. Howe. I visited the cemetery in Salem too. A combination of bad grain and mean girls in the witch trials. My sister and I studied Microbiology and were fascinated with the grain problem. How many things today are we uneducated about??? Mix in superstition.
        I always wondered why NE was calling you during your difficult time, because otherwise you could have moved to a new town in CA. Mystery solved! My sisters and I gravitate to any place with foothills or rolling hills. That is how it looks where our grandparents came from in Europe from both sides
        of our family. I LOVE the ocean, but I always want to drive west of here for the weekend. In NH I had both.
        I am very worried for the girlfriends in NJ, NY and Conn.!!!

        • sbranch says:

          Can you please tell me about the grain? Don’t think I know about that! I would say mean girls, but mean town and mean judges too, because mean girls should be put in a corner by sensible adults!

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            Ergot is a poisonous fungus that destroys rye, wheat and barley grain. It poisons livestock and humans who eat the grain. The disease is called Ergotism or St. Anthony’s fire. The symptoms were gangrene and convulsions. Thus the weird behavior of the girls.
            Ergot is now used to make certain drugs.

          • sbranch says:

            Oh how interesting!! Thank you!

  68. Chris Wells from West Texas says:

    Wow Susan, that was a tremendous crash! The web site I mean. At work, where I have high speed internet, there was a notice that the web site was no longer available and if you were the owner of the site to log in. I thought oh my it has crashed big time. Then later when I checked, it said site was being repaired. Now, I am home and the web site popped up quicker than it has in ages. So all is right with the world. I would hate to lose you and all the girls. I received my Willard on Tuesday. I really believe it is the best you have ever written. But it was about Autumn…it most certainly was going to be spectacular. I find it incredible all the work you put into this, blogging and Willards and writing books, all the time having a life! I am in awe of you. I know we are very close to the same age and I surely do not have your stamina! Tell Joe, his porch looks great! You got to love a guy with tools!! Tell the girls we all thank them for their willingness to let us peek into your weekend with them. I’m sure a good time was had by all. It is now “Bedtime for Bonzo” as I tell the dogs. They look at me, jump up from their spots in the living room and head for the bedroom. Such “good puppies.” XXXOOO Chris

    • sbranch says:

      It really was a huge crash. Scary to just get a blank screen! We had to shorten the home page to only one post at a time — for a while, just to take up less space in the cyber world (or something like this!).

  69. Linda P. Bak, Ca says:

    I love these post and especially todaybecause I spent the day in jury duty and have to go back tomorrow. It was so nice to read – I needed a shot of the happy gene. Thanks

  70. Martha says:

    Are you kidding me?!?!?!? Don’t stop! Ever!! xo

  71. Debbie says:

    Susan, I just finished reading your blog and the Willard I received today! We just found a great apple farm in New Hampshire that had trees dripping with Honey Crisp apples! We got two HUGE bags! Wow, are they amazing..and not all farms sell them! They also had the most delicious apple cider donuts!

    Also, I love the porch! So islandy! Reminds me of all the porches on Nantucket! Isn’t there a name for those kind of porches?

    • sbranch says:

      We got two bags too, on our trip. I have about half a bag left! I just can’t get over how juicy they are!

  72. Vicki says:

    Anticipation…..Willard finally arrived…. had problems with the computer in replying so hopefully this will reach you. I looked so forward to Willard and your post and was not disappointed. What an array of inspiring thoughts and things you bring to us all. I too love old linens and actually anything old and handmade. This summer I was in Vermont when a couple girlfriends and I went to an antique store. There I spotted an embroidered pillow with violets all around the outside (I’m a May baby so have a special affinity for violets) stitched in the middle was this saying, “When I went into the spring meadow to gather violets, I enjoyed myself so much that I stayed all night.” Well, I just had to have this whimsey for my own. There was no price on it so I gingerly went up to the counter and the nice man said, “$12”! I was thrilled. What a small price to pay for this treasure. A couple weeks ago you posted about washing feather pillows. I began giggling thinking of my pillows (made from grandma’s fowl) Every so often I change the cases….no easy task, always done outside. I take the new cases I’ve made and so carefully try to get the feathers from the old pillows into them. It is never without some feathers escaping making the gardens to look as if a small snowstorm overtook them! Last but not least…if you enjoyed Kate Morton’s book, you ust read another of hers, “The Forgotten Garden”….it’s a good one! Thanks for all the delights you bring to us all!

    • sbranch says:

      I read that one first . . . am looking forward to her new one! I seem to be on the KM roll! I love your snowy feather garden!

      • Vicki says:

        One of my favorite parts in “Distant Hills” is when the sisters are trying to figure out how they’ll know that they’re old……Like sunburn, you don’t know you have it until it’s too late and the 3 things they decide will determine it….1 if they relate everything back to times being better in Queen Victoria’s day,2. if they talk to anyone about their health except a doctor, and3. if they can’t put on their undergarments standing up! Gotta love it!

  73. Diane T says:

    Oh! What gifts we received from you today through your blog and Willard! Thank you so much!

  74. Tricia B. says:

    Hi Dearest Susan!! Oh my goodness, I love your beautiful linens. Especially the little video of them hanging on the line!! Love it!! Your precious little kitties add such sweetness too!! 🙂 I think your new porch is gorgeous. Joe does beautiful work!! You are so lucky that he is so handy!! 🙂 Your blog is something that I could never get tired of my dearest!! You are “charming” and so are every one of your posts!! I want to tell you that “Willard” was Wonderful!!! I was so excited to get it yesterday afternoon and I think I read it at least 3 times!!! 🙂 It looks like you had a delightful visit with your girlfriends…how lucky are they? 🙂 Thanks for sharing…you are such a special “friend” to me. 🙂 I only wish you knew just how much you inspire me. (I am sure all the girlfriends feel this way!!) 🙂 After your “Charm” Book…I vote for a decorating book!! Your style is delicious!! 🙂
    Have a wonderful evening…GOD Bless!! Love and Hugs, Tricia B. XOXOXOXO

  75. Susan (in VA) says:

    “Our” book. It makes me smile in my heart when you say that.

    I love vintage linens of all kinds (but especially tea towels). I had a pretty big stash from flea markets and such, but then I discovered Etsy. Oh, boy. I may need an intervention. And, as someone who does needlework, I lovelovelove the handstitched items.

    Your menfolk are so helpful. Joe did a great job on the porch, and Jack pitched in with the laundry.

  76. Holly says:

    Hi everyone! I just love seeing all your linens Susan. I have a small collection of old ones. Recently I purchased quite a bit of toweling by the yard at an Amish market here in Indiana. I love making a towel nice and long for covering my cookie sheets, or cutting napkins 18″, so they finish up just about square. I’ve even gotten my embroidery thread out, and used some old transfers for days of the week towels. It’s amazing how much I can get done, just stitching when I have a few minutes or take with me on a car trip.

    Thanks for all the great photos! They always give me a desire to get busy and hang my laundry, bake, sew, rearrange my Fiesta and kitchen in general, basically make things more homey.

  77. Linda Campuzano says:

    Hi Susan,

    I just finished reading your latest Willard and I am in love with the way you described the wind on Martha’s Vineyard. I read that passage over and over. You should make a card or poster with your wind description on it. I can just envision the wind blowing as you describe it and it is a wonderful thing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so beautifully with us.

    • sbranch says:

      Sweet of you to tell me . . . I know everyone doesn’t love wind, but here, it just fits. Have a great day Linda!

  78. Marion Rose says:

    Good evening Susan, my friend,
    Just loved reading Willard tonight. Oh My, you vintage linens are lovely.
    I like the idea of using linen coasters for your preserving jars. Looking at your
    linens I see a few just like mine. When I got married 49 years ago, my mother
    gave me many dish towels she embroidered. I loved them, used them,and wore
    them out! My Grandmother crocheted lots of doilies for me that I still use. My Great Grandmother crocheted about a dozen pillow case edges for me. Again, We used them and now they are gone. By having and using these linens I always felt my special family around me. My mother-in-law also did wonderful crocheting, very fine work. It makes me very happy to be using all my linens. It is nice to hear “Girlfriends” I meet on your blog, tell about their love of linens. I even like to press them. I use Magic Sizing with not a problem.
    Enjoy Autumn and the leaves blowing around, Marion

  79. Cyndi in NC says:

    Everything looks better with cat hair on it! *L* Cranberry Apple Crisp! Yum! Joe did an outstanding job on the porch. It looks great. I cherish the crocheted doilies my Mom gave me that my great grandma and grandma crocheted. I also have a bed spread that I love. That and several quilts. Makes them even more special because they are family pieces. I always love to see the things you have. Thanks for sharing again. *S*

  80. Tamra says:

    Oh Susan, Susan – THERE they are!!! They??? Yes, those adorably precious red peppermint edge striped towels – some of which (the dish towel version anyway) you sold on your website a couple of years ago (I know because I bookmarked it until it one day they sadly disappeared without my having gotten one…or two!)…I am both thrilled and bereft….the mere existance in those snappy pictures may mean there might be one (or two?) still lurking in the realm of “wishes come true” and we are selling them again? Not to advertise it outloud and have EVERYONE chasing you down, but if indeed there is a chance that a little one (or two?) could be purchased, would you be so kind to let me know? It would make my kitchen so Christmas-y minty cheerful – a decorating version of red sprinkle cookies! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I bought a whole bunch of them for the store, despite the fact that they were more expensive than any normal person would ever pay for, I fell in love with them, that little striped edge got to me! Very few of them sold, they just sat there, so I took them all home, washed them up, and into my linen closet they went. Isn’t it funny you remember them! There aren’t any unused ones left anymore, I’m sorry to say! If you look close in the blog post, you will see my friend Elizabeth is wearing the matching robe!!! I rescued that too! Sorry there aren’t more . . .

  81. Jena says:

    Willard cracked me up as I am sitting in Wild Wyoming with 3 inches of snow on the ground and 4 more to come this evening. The wind was WAY WILD WYOMING STYLE yesterday though. I sometimes forget where we live and purchased MANY daffodil bulbs, starflowers and squill that arrived yesterday. I had intended to plant them in our new front yard today. So, even with the 3 inches of snow I was out planting bulbs at sunset in the snowflurries. I can’t wait to see what the labor today brings in the Spring. I really enjoyed your Willard and your Blog.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Wild Wyoming

  82. Cathy from Golden, CO says:

    Thank you for Willard and thank you for this post. I loved reading about and seeing all your linens, which I love also. I have several that were my grandmother’s. Such good energy – sewn and stiched with such love and patience. I look for them too – also old dishes, bowls, platters. Love dishes. It is raining here and we are expecting snow in a few hours. Very blustery. Watching Little Women. I’m all cozed up! Sweet Dreams to you and all. Kisses to kitties.

    • Cathy from Golden, CO says:

      BTW – Joe does beautiful work – so talented. I wonder, does he ever just do nothing? I don’t think so. Busy hands are happy hands 🙂

  83. Oh Susan, what a surprise, even though I knew it was coming, came on the computer at 9:30pm after being off all afternoon, and there greeting me was Willard, and a few below that, Susan Branch blog!!!! 🙂
    Hah! And I thought I could get on and off to go read! No way!
    Willard was awesome as usual, walking down the path, trying to figure out your science quest, smelling the ocean breezes, imagining the now quiet beaches and shops, and parking spaces!
    And then, after smelling the sea and sand to the wonderful smell of ironing fresh dried linens! I love that smell! Didn’t you get that towel with the apples and Gnome on your New England trip, or was it your train trip to CA! I can’t remember. Wait, the little doggie one you got in Wisconsin! I don’t know, anyhow I love them all! Can’t wait to print the book mark, think I’ll print one for my granddaughter and one for my grandson too! They are 4 & almost 2, I think they will love them as much as I will!
    It was so nice to meet your friends from CA, and One is going to be a neighbor! How exciting! You all look so cozy sitting in your newly finished kitchen! So nice, tell your friend the color is perfect!

    Thank you Susan for all you do for us! Loved the music on Willard, and Frank is always a joy to hear!
    Joe, you did an absolutely wonderful job on the back steps! It looks so sturdy and safe, all set for the rainy and snowy days!

    Ooh! Your apple cranberry crisp, I love it! Think I’ll make it this week-end!

    I have got to get to bed!
    Nitey nite!
    Hugs, love and blessings to Susan, Joe, and Kitties!


  84. Diana Everett says:

    Thank you for the wonderful new Willard that just popped into my mailbox! You quoted one of my favorite childhood songs ( I learned the lyrics a little differently): “Tonight is the night when dead leaves fly, like witches on switches across the sky!” Thanks for the memory!

    Once again I find that we are so much alike! I collect vintage Halloween Post Cards, and am now up to about 2,400 or more of them! I would love to send you some as a thank you for all of your wonderful sharing of time and talent and inspiration! Where? How?

  85. Treese says:

    Oh, Boy! Three posts in one week. Real Joy. I LOVED the Willard since Halloween is my Birthday I took it as a personal gift. I have my ranch decorated for Halloween. When I lived in Cambridge my roommates and I moved out of the dorm and into a big old Victorian house on a street that was lined with them. We would decorate the old house all scary and have loads of Trick or Treaters. Now, I live too far into the country for kids to come here. I really miss it, but have made other plans to have scary fun.

    I have been fly-fishing on the Arkansas and the colors are brilliant. The air crisp and cold. There will be snow again by the weekend. There is a big bull Elk the bugles everyday at his harem. He is a beauty with his big fur coat and antlers. There are a couple of juvenile bucks that try to steal a doe, but the old gent really gives them what for.

    I have a set of kitchen towels that my great grandmother embroidered a very long time ago. There is a towel with a saying for each day of the week. They are getting thread bare and I almost hate to use them as they will eventually fall to pieces. In the summer I love to bleach them in the sun and they seem to come alive again.
    Happy Halloween.
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl

    • sbranch says:

      They would be perfect as a cloth to wrap hot bread in … won’t get as much use. I can just picture you fly fishing and how beautiful it is … ever since the movie A River Runs Through It … I’ve wanted to do that! And I am not a fisherman, but that water and place was so gorgeous!

      • Treese says:

        Great Idea! I won’t part with those towels because I only have a couple of treasures from my Great Grandmother.

        Yes, I love fly-fishing. I use “catch and release” so those beautiful fish go back into the river. I love to cast it is an art. I love to see how far I can cast the line. I love to commune with nature.

        • sbranch says:

          Remember the slow motion on the line in the movie? Just loved it, when the sun glinted off of little bugs, whoever photographed that place truly did love it.

    • Happy birthday Treese! *****~~~~~***** 🙂 🙂

  86. Elizabeth Q says:

    hi Susan,
    I love this post. As you know I love to make and buy linens. Today after reading your post I got out all the linens that I was saving for someday and washed them. Tomorrow I am going to iron them and put them in the kitchen to use. After all isn’t that what they are for? LOL Not for the kids to put in an estate sale. LOL
    Joe did a wonderful job on the step. The other day I rescued one of your older books from a used book sale. It was a bit tattered and worn but I have it in a place of honor. So sad to see that it wasn’t cared for. 🙁
    I am off to curl up with Willard .
    Elizabeth Quigley

    • sbranch says:

      I bet your house will be GORGEOUS. Freshly ironed linens really make a wonderful difference. Thank you for saving my book.

  87. maybaby says:

    Every time you post, I adore you a little bit more. Which I didn’t think was possible, after only enjoying you through your books! I collect linens and wish we could have a clothes line here in St. Paul and I dream of knocking on your door some day for your Halloween party.

    Sorry, that sounds a wee bit stalkerish….

    Can’t wait for your new book!

  88. Julie (Omaha) says:

    Please never change or, heaven forbid, stop your blog!!! I was even thinking you should compile all your posts and put in a book! And the Willard I just received .. should be printed and framed it was that good. You provide beauty for the eyes, heart and soul of us all. Thank you!

  89. Sally Bennett says:

    Susan I love your vintage linens. Today I have been unpacking a large box of linens (don’t know how vintage they are) that I inherited from a 95 year-old aunt who recently passed away. Some are very delicate and fancy. Many tea napkins and stacks of white damask napkins also. This is such a lovely gift from my aunt, but finding a place to store them in a small house is a problem. She also left me her cookbook collection of about 50 cookbooks. I could just get lost for days reading them. When family members visit, I will offer them their choice of linens and cookbooks, after I save my favorites.

  90. Miriam says:

    ALL your blogs and Willard are such FUN to read….will NEVER tire of reading them…..so interesting to see how so many of us are so alike…….before I was married (in 1964) I embroidered a ton of dish towels and pillow cases but have only a few of the pillowcases today. I used to say that I would never use a clothes dryer but after the children came along, that changed!!!! Truly there is nothing like the smell of sheets after hanging on the line!! 🙂 Biz was the best for getting out stains…..good to know it is still in stores. Your blog brings back so many memories of years gone by….. Great job to Joe! The porch is beautiful! I have to also join with you and the others that have been having computer problems……we couldn’t get on-line over the weekend at all. Kind of strange……..Fun seeing your girlfriends……just know it was a wonderful time for you all! So many thanks for all that you share and inspire that brings so much joy! Hugs!

    • sbranch says:

      I almost feel like if we were all suddenly cut off from the computer it would be like plunging us back to the dark ages! How did we get so used to it so fast!? Guilty pleasures, but pleasure is the operative word!

  91. barbara miller says:

    i love the blog but i am sad you could not even relax during your friends visit! the hard decision……..what is best for you?
    i have collected linens for a while but i really love old handerchiefs and can find them at a local thrift shop for 95 cents. i give them as gifts. and carry one with me each day. i have a lovely fall one i have on a small table.
    tell joe that the porch is wonderful.
    once again thank you for the blog.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, I did relax, we went out, went shopping, took naps too! These are the kind of guests that take care of themselves … make their own tea, make themselves at home, my favorite kind. Love your hankies … I’ve seen people make curtains and pillow cases with them!

  92. Anna Limont, camano island,wa says:

    Hello, I had to chuckle to myself when you said after you have all gone out to an antique store to look for vintage linens etc…., you know your readers well, I wonder just how many of us did just that, I know I did, but last week before this post. One thing nice about linens is that I can usually find room for them in my little house, I love dishes too, but have to be careful for lack of storage not to go overboard, but linens, yes– I can still bring them home guilt free! – I went galavanting on the Oregon coast last week , lots of cute vintage shops in cute coastal towns, plus of course the beautiful Oregon beaches. Thanks for the fun posts and decorating inspirations you give us all.

  93. Jamie V. on Doty Island, WI says:

    Hi Susan-
    My first comment didnt make it through, so Im writing this again with new news. I just tried the pumpkin latte recipe that you posted and it is fantastic! Im going to spring it on my husband tomorrow morning as a surprise. I can’t wait to see his face when he takes his first sip since pumpkin pie is his favorite. I have a feeling this recipe is going to be one of our favorites.
    I never knew the name of the musica that you had on your Willard today was called Ashocan, but I have heard it many times. It always, always tugs at my heart strings, and brings some tears too. Some music just does that to me. I can’t even listen to “O Mio Babbino Caro” with out reaching for a kleenex. And Im a sop when it comes to watching old movies about sad eyed dogs! Im a softie I admit it.
    I love your vintage linens, and as a linen junky I especially love red work and blue work. Your cute bear one is a real find! Im also impressed with what you paid for them. Isn’t the thrill of finding these lovely things fun and looking back and remembering where you found them too?
    I must thank you for your recent blog and Willard because I know you put a lot of thought and love into each and every piece you send out, and I appreciate and look forward to each and every one!
    Lots of best wishes for a happy Halloween to you and your Joe, and my Luna kitty want me to send her best to Girl kitty and handsome Jack!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Jamie, I know how you feel. I will never forget, O Mio Babbino Caro was what was playing on my headphones, standing on top of the ferry, moving to the island, alone and unloved, in 1982 … on the cold, March 6th day. I was my own sad movie! Ashokan Farewell is like a stab of beauty to my heart, that violin!!! Your husband is in for a treat! Tell him I said hello, and now let’s go find an old movie and cry! xo

  94. Lisa R (northern Az) says:

    Susan…..I promise I will not tire of this post anytime soon. I adore vintage linens, and will enjoy looking at it again and again. So you just keep working on that beautiful book we are all so anxious to see!! I will be busy embroidering too~ those wonderful redwork towels have inspired me…… and if it were up to me, Susan Branch would be a description of the word “charm” in the dictionary. 🙂

  95. Sue and Joe that porch looks great with the nice new wood on the steps and landing –were you able to salvage those decorative balls for the tops of those posts? Also , I think I would get –or form up some small concrete blocks for the bottom of the posts with “Simpson 4×4 metal separators” , for the Post bottoms to keep them off the ground –thereby
    protecting from any new dry rot starting…….any place the wood or paint comes in contact with the soil–” Zappo !”, the paint comes off and the wood will rot within a year….unless it’s redwood or cedar then it takes a couple years for the wood to go ..but off the ground they
    can be dry and will last for years…those bottom step risers seem to appear to be touching ground also ,but so far it looks wonderful!

    • sbranch says:

      OK, I’ll tell Joe! The ball post-tops, we found on our trip driving through Connecticut. There used to be little flat caps there, but we fancied it up a bit! 🙂

  96. I noticed your clothesline is a long way from the house….difficult carrying wet laundry
    that far –can you put in T posts to be closer ? will make it so much easier to hang out the wash…

    • sbranch says:

      The further I have to walk/waddle, the better it is! I should move it to the back of the yard! The clothesline is hung between two trees, au naturale.

  97. Sylvia Watkins says:

    LOVE your ironing board cover! Did you install it? Please show and tell. I’m going to dig out old embroidered dishtowels I’ve picked up on junking jaunts and start USING them. I’ve been using the same 2 or 3 over and over. Silly. I put a bunch away thinking I would use them someday somehow in a quilting project but I think they should just be hanging on the fridge door and oven handle.

    • sbranch says:

      I found my ironing board cover in a huge antique store somewhere in the mid west…a woman made them from old quilts. I tried to contact her and found out that she had sadly, passed away, so there are no more, but if you have an old, or even new, quilt, it should be really easy to make one. I love it, so nice and thick.

  98. Sue says:

    It’s all wonderful, Susan!
    Tired of reading your posts? I think not! They are relaxing and as one of the other gals said “warm & cozy”. Especially when kitties & their antics are included somewhere. 🙂 As I am reading your posts I can’t wait to see what I will find “beyond the next scroll”! 🙂 It’s exciting!
    Joe did a wonderful job with your new porch/steps! It looks so professional! Do you rent him out? 🙂 We need some work done at our house. 🙂 You could come along and bring Girl Kitty & Jack……………..They could play with my two kitties as Joe works and I would take you to tour my area (Amish Country). Oh, and I know how much you love to see old barns…………..I could take you to see LOTS of them all in one afternoon! I think of you so often when we pass them! 🙂 Oh well, wishful thinking — but a girl can dream right?
    Now I need to go read Willard. Can’t wait!
    What are the chances of a new Willard book being printed? That would be great!
    Have a great weekend, Susan!

  99. Betty Marie,pennsylvania says:

    Reply: Susan I didn’t get “Willard” so I went into Google and put in SusanBranch/WillardOct2012 WhaLa!! There it was and all the information about your sight would come up as one clicked on a sight of yours and it would take for ever for it to down load. Then the information would come up saying try again later and that there was alot of traffic or the sight was down.
    Did you know the embroidery done in the red is called “Red Work” There is a bit of history about this.
    My cold is not letting me sleep. Humm think I will go & try to sleep in my Lazy Boy chair and turn on the T.V. I hear it is going to be another beautiful Autumn day today. Just Loved your “Willard” all about the wind and Autumn.It is a really beautiful peace……. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, having a terrible time with the speed of the server . . . but working to fix it! Sweet dreams Betty Marie!

  100. Barb from Ohio says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thought I would try again to post on here since last time didn’t go through. I love this new blog with the linens and dresser scarves. I still use some of my moms and have been making some crocheted ones for end tables. I love the soft look and old fashionedness of them, but you don’t see them in most houses around here. It’s a shame. Looks like the girlfriends were enjoying themselves, but then they had a wonderful hostess! You make your house so cozy and inviting for them, they probably didn’t want to leave. You can send some of your Halloween trick or treaters down my way as we don’t get them because we’re on a busy road and way back too far. I still love to decorate anyway and celebrate the season. Thanks for the Willard, just got it today and always look forward to it. I love the fall and Halloween theme this time.

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