R A B B I T    R A B B I T   Hello October!  MUSICA



Good Morning, Gypsy Vagabond Girlfriends (and all the rest of you too), Happy October!

this morning

Here’s the view outside our upstairs window this morning.  Rain and blowing leaves for us today.


first fire

Last night, we had our first fire of the season!  



We went away last weekend.  I had a wonderful booksigning and then went up to Exeter, NH (this is our view from the hotel window) to go leaf peeping and graveyard wandering. 


Best of British

pumpkinHere we are, parked in front of Best of British in Newburyport MA. It’s just the most wonderful store ~ the charming owners Bernadette and Bob Williams along with the wonderful people who work there, Cathy, Dolina, Lucy, and Evan — and Wendy Louise who volunteered for the day, made it SO nice for us. (If I forgot anyone, please forgive me!)  The store is in a darling town you should put on your list to see if you are ever in this neck of the woods.  There’s plenty of reason to be here; everything in this area is filled with early history of our country. We went over to Plymouth too, and visited the Mayflower Society House.


They saved us a parking space right out front! (Oh dear, she already has her mouth open!) (Photo borrowed, with permission, from www.karenharveycox.blogspot.com ~ she was there, thank you Karen!)


I signed books for two hours having so much fun because everyone in line was talking and laughing as if they’d known each other forever. It was a Girl Party! Everyone was remembering Joe with the tea bag!  Ha ha ha ha!  We all agreed we have the “best girlfriends” ever!  We even had nuns from the Holy Nativity Convent come to say hello, my first nuns at a booksigning, and they were adorable, you would have loved them like everyone else did.  This is Mother Seraphima.

The Mothers and me

I asked for permission to introduce them to you; they said OK, and so, from left: Mother Pelagia, Mother Xeni, me, Mother Warty pumpkinsSeraphima and Mother Martha, all from the Holy Nativity Convent.  And they’re all Girlfriends on the blog ~ They came because they’re fans of A FINE ROMANCE ~ they drove in from Brookline to have their books signed!  We had such a good time ~ they were so happy and fun to talk to, I was honored (as I was with every person I met) that they came.  They brought me a loaf of amazingly delicious bread, homemade by Mother Effie (who wasn’t with them), which I’ve been eating ever since, feeling very blessed.  

They also brought us these . . .

Beautiful Beeswax

. . . gorgeous, handmade (they make them at the convent) 100% pure Beeswax candles with the delicate delicious scent of honey.  I have one going here in my studio right now, they’re slow burning and don’t drip at all.  And I discovered they sell them on line!  They are so inexpensive I couldn’t wait to tell you about them, what a nice Thanksgiving or Christmas gift . . . only $11 for eight candles! (11 1/2″ long x 3/4″ diameter) . . . Girl Kitty loved them too, here she is this morning,


 . . . wide awake in the holy candlelight at 4:30 am.

Mothers' Bread

I munch this crunchy toast one mouse-bite at a time so it will last as long as possible.  It’s whole wheat with every healthy thing, flax seeds, oats, sunflower seeds, honey and lots more, including bulgur.  Mother Effie sent me the recipe to share ~ I’ll give it to you soon. You will love it! It’s heavenly!


Kale saladOur Girlfriend Martha was also at the signing (I’m sorry to say, we didn’t take enough photos!) and brought me this recipe which I made for dinner last night.  You can print it out if you like.  Lately I’m leaning more and more toward a vegetarian diet, not rigidly, but I like it better, I feel better, so it’s easy to do. So when I saw this HEALTHY recipe from Martha, I said, oh yes, please!

flower border

fresh kale

Here’s how it’s done:  You start with a bunch of kale (try to get organic if you can) ~ wash it and let it dry.


Put the zest of one orange into a small bowl . . .

Kale salad

. . . and mix it with a half-cup of fresh orange juice.

little orange bouquets

Speaking of orange . . . 


Whisk the juice and zest together with the rice vinegar and maple syrup and set aside.


Cut or tear a bunch of Kale into bite-sized pieces . . . removing the stems.


Put the kale in a large bowl, pour the orange dressing over, mix well, and then massage it  ~ (I know, this is a first, massaging greens, but massaging softens kale, takes away the bitterness, and makes it easier to eat) just take each piece of kale between your thumb and first two fingers and give it a good rub. To know if you’ve done it right, taste it, if it’s still bitter, massage some more.  You probably know how GOOD kale is for you? ← Click there if you don’t.



Once the kale is ready (you can even see it’s softer here), add a bag of broccoli slaw, and a half-cup each of dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and sunflower seeds. (Or instead of cranberries, try adding beets and orange segments, and maybe some creamy goat cheese).


Mix it well and let it marinate for four hours in the fridge, stirring every so often. Give yourself a hug for making such a healthy salad! It keeps in the fridge for four days.


quinoa salad

and here’s another healthy salad . . . this  delicious Quinoa salad, I wanted to remind you in case you haven’t tried it yet ~ it’s perfect for a fall dinner and would taste just as good even if you weren’t trying to be healthy!

sense of beauty; susan branch art

Some beautiful new things have come into the Studio, Girlfriends ~ starting with THIS 

be an elf!

. . . A brand new dream charm for your bracelets and necklaces!  This one is magic, it says “BE  ♥ AN ♥ ELF” one of my favorite little sayings. These days, elves are more important than ever before.

Be an Elf!

This is it from the side . . . the charms come in a small clear bag, each with a different gift card and message that says it all.


Here’s our other new charm . . . To celebrate AUTUMN from the Heart of the Home . . . ♥


This “I LOVE AUTUMN” dream charm is all about the swirling leaves of fall ~ but I’m sorry to say, there is one problem . . . we only received about a quarter of our order  . . . there was a mixup with the rest of them.  I don’t think what we have will last long, but they take such a long time to make ~ I don’t think we’ll be getting anymore this year since Autumn is racing toward winter . . . so if you like it, go now!


On top of that, our annual Limited Edition Christmas Ornament has arrived! 


Santa in all his pink-cheeked glory hanging from a gingham ribbon!


lady bird

I’m watching a movie called The Merry Widow while I’m writing you  ~ and they just did the most wonderful waltz, I thought you might enjoy it!  It’s Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette Macdonald.  I have more to tell you, but I need to go now ~ I’ll write more soon!  I promise!  xoxo Have a wonderful day! 

Von Arnim Quote

It’s raining, it’s pouring the old man is snoring . . .

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

427 Responses to HELLO OCTOBER

  1. Amy says:

    You just make my day! It was so good to hear from you!! Thank you for sharing these lovely recipes. I can’t wait to try them. And that toast looks simply delicious. Happy October Susan, I hope you enjoy it to the fullest!

    P.S. I tried some Honey Crisp Apples after reading your blog. They are my families new favorite! Thank you for introducing them to us. 🙂

  2. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    Susan…..love the Nuns!!!! Love that they had your book!!!!……………we are going to Gloucester tomorrow for a few days…..I’m a New Englander and have never “toured” the coast of Massachusetts, there is so much to see and this blog proves that. I must visit the Best of British….must, must, must!! Am so looking forward to your visit to Westfield, MA on Oct. 14……..the tickets are going fast! Going to order some candles, too. OMG, have you made my day! xoxo

  3. Karen says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks so much for the link for the candles. Just ordered some. Can’t beat that price! LOVE your site!

  4. Melissa says:

    Great to see a new post! Your second picture, the one with the leaves outside your window…I always wonder when I see your house with the small porch/walkway on the second level, if you ever use it???

    • sbranch says:

      It really is only a roof, but with gingerbread on it. There is no door to it. You could go out the window if you needed to.

  5. Susan says:

    I watched The Merry Widow this morning, too. Love the old movies! Enjoy this month of October, Susan. It happens to be my very favorite month~

  6. Petra Matthew says:

    Good to see you back! Hope you had a good time off……
    Petra from the Netherlands.

    • Petra Matthew says:

      I just looked on our biggest website that sells books here in the Netherlands to see if your autumnbook is there yet (no) and I saw that nobody wrote a review about your Englandbook yet! So I did write one Susan and I am always telling everybody about you! I am your pr-woman in The Netherlands haha!

      • sbranch says:

        I love you Petra! Personal reviews make all the difference, so thank you! You are my PR woman in the Netherlands! (This is a sentence I never thought I would say in a lifetime!) 🙂 Thank you!

  7. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Rabbit, Rabbit – Wonderful book signing – congratulations! Loved seeing the Nuns (here they’re not wearing habits anymore & I sure do miss that!), and the bread looks delicious! Salads look yummy too! I made your Apple Crisp for a GFs get together & delicious as always, many raves! We had Fuji apples, used them, & were very good! Waltzing in beautiful ball gowns, what a great movie! Gorgeous charms & new ornament! Now that I’m feeling uplifted, I guess I’ll get back to doing chores! Thank you! xoxoxo

  8. I always feel uplifted after visiting you. Thank you. Such lovely words and images.

  9. Trudy says:

    Every time I open your blog and the little bird starts singing,my 2 kitties are looking around to find that birdy! lol
    For my birthday I got your lovely book-A Fine Romance!!! What a wonderfull book and I do enjoy it so much.We went often on holiday in England and visit many places you are describing in the book.
    So every time I be back again on holiday.
    Love your kale-recepy -never eat it raw only cooked! So I’ll try this!

  10. So glad to hear from you, my best friend and I am celebrating our birthdays…hers today, mine tomorrow…we spent the weekend at Nubble Light, beautiful weather…New England is so wonderful, rain or shine…Pickety Place tomorrow, sun may be shining…your blog was an early gift…:)

  11. Vickie Getty (Little Rock, AR) says:

    As always, your blog posts remind me to stop and breathe in every beautiful second of the season and savor it. Celebrating 8 years cancer free with a walk in the Race for the Cure this weekend with loved ones, beautiful fall weather on tap! The autumn bead is just luscious, the elf bead and Santa ornament made me smile! Love the recipes. The nuns are adorable, and those candles oh my! I will be ordering some of those. Thank you Susan for sharing and brightening our days!!

  12. patricia ayala says:

    Dear Susan, thank you again for a lovely post! you are batteries for my soul. As we prepare for another triple digit temperatures here in the San Fernando Valley C.A. I have Fall in my heart and in my home:), in the fire place there’s little orange lights to give the sense of a warm fire going on.( A C set at 76) I’m dreaming and I love it. Tonight, quinoa salad ! XOXOXO

  13. Vicki Obenhaus says:

    So happy to find your beautiful blog post in my mailbox! You just made my afternoon. Thank you for the recipes and beautiful thoughts, illustrated so wonderfully!

  14. Natalie says:

    Oh, I love Girl Kitty pictures. She looks like a wise old soul. Can’t wait for the bread recipe. Yummy!

  15. Shawnee in Naples~ says:

    Always love new blog updates from you….Loved the picture of you and the Nuns….Can’t wait for you to post the recipe for their bread….it looks delish.

  16. Barbara from MA says:

    I love Newburyport. Have visited several times as my college roommate has lived there all her life. This past week end I attended our city’s Apple Pie Social and Harvest Fair and what a wonderful day it was. Warm(almost 80 degrees). The whole town attends as there’s something for everyone there especially the apple pies. The Church that sponsors the Social spend several days making and baking the pies. The best news was that I found and bought at the Used Book table 11 of the Beatrice Potter books The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Tom Kitten, Squirrel Nutkin, etc. What a great find and in mint condition. I love small town living on a beautiful day. Happy October to you all.

  17. susie says:

    Hi Susan, I love the pictures. How fun that the nuns came. Makes me miss the nun’s home here in our town. Your salad look very good and so did the lovely bread. Those candles are very nice. Blessings to all, xoxo,Susie

  18. Mary Brehm says:

    Happy Fall Susan! I’m sitting here having a cup of tea and a maple cream cookie (yummy!). My hubby and I went on a long weekend trip to Westport Mass on the26th for a belated 30th anniversary. It was on June 16th but I was taking care of my dad and then he passed away. So this trip was much needed for healing my soul. Did you see me waving across the pond to you??
    We had a lovely time just ambling around enjoying the sights. I had my first Lobster roll and we went to a bunch of antique places. It was lovely. Thank you for a lovely post. I love the nuns they look so cute. They reminded me of the nuns from the show “call the midwife” have you seen it? It’s wonderful. It’s cold here as well…stay warm and enjoy all the pretty colors…Mary Brehm in upstate NY : )

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry to hear about your dad Mary. I’m glad you had a sweet little getaway. He’s in heaven now and I’m sure he loved watching you eat that lobster roll! Yes, I’ve seen Call the Midwife — love it! Happy Autumn dear Mary!

  19. Asha says:

    What a wonderful blog, Susan! Thank you for the recipes. Can’t wait to try them. LOVE the nuns! How enchanting. New charms and candles – I’m going shopping right now! Rabbit! Rabbit! oxoxox 🙂

  20. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I LOVE October!!! It is MY month you know. 🙂 Thanks for the link to help the sister~girlfriends!
    Like the recipe and the new beads!!!

  21. Mamey Brown says:

    Great post!! I LOVE the nuns! They were adorable!! Love the new charms too. Any chance of getting the girlfriend charm in anytime soon?? I can taste that toast with some yummy butter!!! I can’t wait to try it!

    • sbranch says:

      We had originally thought we would make the charms a limited edition, but so many requests for more, perhaps next year. They’re expensive and they make us buy a minimum order, so we sort of try to make sure we don’t have them left over. But still, I do hear what everyone is saying . . . xoxo

      • Janet in Rochester says:

        Would it help things if people pre-ordered the charms? Then you’d know what would sell for sure, and I’m sure the pre-ordered number would definitely cover the minimum order amount. If it didn’t, at least you’d know – and wouldn’t have to cope with leftovers on the inventory. ???

        • sbranch says:

          It helps but not everyone likes to preorder, they want to see what they are getting first. Understandably ~ for the color and everything. But I think maybe next year we’ll do another order of them all!

          • Janet in Rochester says:

            Well, that’s true – I wouldn’t want to buy a piece of jewelry sight unseen either, but can’t the manufacturer supply a sample – for preordering purposes? Seems like that would be easy to do. Just wondering…❤️

          • sbranch says:

            No problem, I don’t mind you asking. They have to make a die, which is where the expense is, and they won’t do it for just one, that’s why they have those “minimums.”

  22. Carol D in Sierra Madre, CA says:

    Hi Susan! So glad to get your post today. I’ve been waiting to hear from you! I even had a dream that you and Joe were visiting me last night. We all had a great time! Too bad it wasn’t true! I just ordered your “I love autumn” charm, because that is my very favorite season. I only wish I were back in New England to enjoy it. My husband and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary yesterday, and we honeymooned in New England, so had many memories yesterday of that time. We love going back every few years, but haven’t been there for about 3 or so now. It’s time for another wonderful trip back there again! Will definitely try the recipes. I actually really like kale and quinoa, so they look very tasty to me. Have a beautiful day in beautiful New England!

  23. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    I just sent you a comment about my trip to CA in the last post. However, I may be able to make it to Cayucos. How far is it from San Diego???

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a bit of a hike, Cayucos is about four hours from LA . . . I forget how far LA is from San Diego, but I think it’s a couple of hours.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Yes, San Diego is about 2 hours South of Los Angeles on a good traffic day; however, much longer between 2pm and 7pm on a Friday evening! Well, any evening really.

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Are there trains that run up the coast?

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, there are — but you do have to change in LA. After LA there are quite a few trains each day (some more direct than others). You would go to San Luis Obispo, and from there you would need to have a car to drive up Highway One to Cayucos (about a 20 min. ride from SLO).

      • Linda Pintarell says:

        I live in San Diego and it’s about two hours to Los Angeles…then another four up the coast…as Susan said.

  24. Toni says:

    Hello Susan
    I loved today’s post with all of autumns glory. My favorite time of the year. I’m even seeing some of our leaves turning bright red here in sunny (and very hot) Southern California. What more can we ask for?

  25. thea says:

    I only use beeswax candles. They don’t give off any toxic fumes in the house. Thank you so much for the lead! Have a beauteous fall, madame! xo t p.s. I’ve been in Outlandia and I’m still talking with a Scottish accent. Love!

    • sbranch says:

      I heard they don’t put the dark smoke on your walls either. I just love them. Outlander is bothering me — I’m a weenie when it comes to violence and that 45 minute flogging pretty much did me in! 🙂 I Tweeted the producers and even Diana Galbadon and used the G word (gratuitous) but I mean nothing to them! Probably I’m just old-fashioned, but I think I’ve seen enough.

      • Anne in Bradford says:

        My husband watches the show but after the first display of violence I left for good. Could be that they are trying to make it “Deadwood” style for the guys to watch? I’ll stick to my memory of reading the book 10 years ago since watching it with real people makes me squirm but reading it was my own imagination of it that I enjoyed better.

        • sbranch says:

          Terrible. So disappointing. I liked my imagination better too . . . I think, if it was that violent in the book, I probably skipped over it!

  26. Julie Marie says:

    Hello Susan… Happy October to you!… I started out my post today with “Hello October” as well… my favorite month of all!!!… I was so enjoying this post, then had to leave QUICKLY and hop on over to your shop to get my “I Love Autumn” bead!… Yay!… I got one!… they are soooo gorgeous!… and Autumn is my very favorite Season of all… I want it to last forever… today is also my sister Jill’s birthday… she and my nieces all received “A Fine Romance” from me last year… I actually bought them for them for Christmas last year, but was too excited and could not wait… they are all big fans of yours too… thanks for all of the wonderful recipes you shared here… and I loved seeing girl kitty!… (Hello Jack, wherever you are???)… those nuns are adorable at your book signing!… Hello girlfriend Nuns!… we love you!… and that photo of your first fire of the Season is just beautiful!… it is cool here today, 44 degrees when I walked Princess Tessy this morning down the trail… the scent of woodsmoke drifting through the morning air… I could just talk about and gush over Autumn all day long!… love you!… xoxo… Julie Marie (Can you tell I am excited to get my Autumn bead?????)…

    • sbranch says:

      I think SO Julie Marie! Happy Birthday to Jill . . . hope you all had fun!

    • judi says:

      Julie Marie, had to tell you our middle daughter is a Julie Marie (and her birthday is TODAY). Our youngest daughter is a Jill. The first time you commented I thought it was our daughter:). Life is full of coincidences. ooo’s judi

  27. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Good Afternoon~ Thank you for the link for the candles~ I have to get some too~ finishing up the Fall decorating~ live this time of year!~ Rabbit~ Rabbit!~

  28. Lynn McMahon says:


  29. Laurie Walt says:

    Dear Susan, I have to admit I am feeling blue today. No special reason, just normal stuff that we all deal with from time to time. I kept checking your blog because you are such sunshine on a cloudy day! To my surprise there was your lovely post and those shining, smiling faces of the cutest nuns! Instant smile and a sense of sisterhood came over me. I hope you know how precious you are and that you are so loved by so many. No pressure! Loved the glow of the candle with girl kitty so cute! Can’t wait for the bread receipt. Love to try new things. Love.

  30. deezie says:

    Happy October Susan
    What a fun blog post. Love the candles. I will be ordering them also, the price is amazing. Love all the pictures you always let us see, its so much fun
    I have never been to Salem, I think we will take a trip there this weekend.
    happy day Susan
    PS. that bread looks amazing!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Go to the graveyard . . .you’ll love it, if you don’t cry. Be sure to look at the ground as you enter the Witchcraft Victims Memorial.

  31. Debbie says:

    Thank you so much for the recipes and for the link for the candles! I love this time of year so much and always hope for a nice, long autumn season. Wishing you all the best!

  32. Suzy says:

    I haven’t been online too much but always take the time to read your missives..noticed Girl Kitty but no Jack…I do hope he is still around, he is a truly good looking boy.
    Cool temps back up here in northern mi (not the u.p. but not far south of the bridge) Colors on the trees are much better than those seen in the past couple of years.
    Loved the Merry Widow clip and the info re the candles.
    Happy Hunter’s Moon to all. suz

    • sbranch says:

      Jack is definitely still around and going nowhere! 🙂 Happy Hunter’s moon!

      • Suzy says:

        Oh thank you for the update..was afraid of bad news. I have had cats and dogs all my life, well, cats for a longer time and have been without a kitty for 2 years now..husband wants to wait..well, I am standing here tapping my foot (metaphorically speaking) Am looking forward to making the kale salad – it looks wonderful.
        Best wishes for happy and colorful fall – our trees here are coming out in brilliant oranges and deep reds..

        • sbranch says:

          Oh no, if something happened to Jack I would tell you. But luckily I don’t have to do that. It is my personal opinion (get ready) that you have waited long enough for a kitten! You may quote me! 🙂

  33. Ann says:

    Happy October! Or Birthday Month as we call it around here. Daughter-in-law, 2 sons, granddaughter, good friend, goddaughter, and ME! Loved seeing Girl Kitty. Thanks for the recipes and the nuns. Hello sister-girlfriends.

  34. Colleen says:

    Strange coincidence – I made the quinoa salad last night (before this post rolled in). I must have been getting your mental vides. Anyway, first time making it and I loved it. Made your broccoli salad last week too. Both winners! So nice to have yummy food that’s actually good for me. I was inspired after re-reading “Girlfriends Forever” in search of some healthy tasty lunch options. I have pages marked all over that book to try. Have to try and “get in shape” for the holiday season before it’s too late. Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m right there with you Colleen!

      • Colleen says:

        Hah. I feel like I’m the only person who gains weight in the summer! Too much fun, I guess. Oh well, life’s short!! : )

      • Elaine in Toronto says:

        Hi Susan and Colleen, I made your gingerbread and lemon sauce for dessert yesterday and when I flipped your calendar over today, there it was, too. So good. Even better today.

  35. Pat E says:

    The salad does sound great. And if you have a Trader Joe’s handy they have a cruciferous mix already to use that includes kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage and broccoli. It is really good and easy!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll have to look for that next time we are in the Trader Joe’s neighborhood!

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      ~ Speaking of mixes~ well not really~ more of a cross~ I see there is a new veggie coming out this Fall called ” Kalettes”~ a cross between kale & Brussels sprouts ~ sounds & looks interesting…….

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        It all sounds so yummy. Arnie krinkles his nose at any one of those veggies. I just say the Dr. told you to eat your veggies. LOL…and more fish!

  36. Virginia says:

    Thank you, Susan, for coming to Newburyport to visit some of your north-of-Boston friends. It was such a treat to meet you at the book signing and to chat about Elizabeth Von Arnim and the Beatrix Potter figurines of Peter Rabbit’s friends. Your book inspired me to get the three I have out of a drawer and put them on my grandmother’s bookcase to enjoy every day. They are glad to be out of that drawer!

    Your book also inspired me to finally finish the photo album of my own trip to England–many of the same places, including Hilltop. Thank you again for the book, the blog, and all the delights you share with us all.

    • sbranch says:

      Very nice to meet and talk to you Virginia. It was such a wonderful day. I’m so glad the books came out! I feel that even if I’m not reading them at the moment, I get their benefit through osmosis, they exude book dna into our house! Thank you for coming!

  37. Gert~Iowa says:

    Susan, Happy October to you and Joe too! Looks like MV is turning to fall…with golden leaves scattered across the landscape! Our days this week have truly been fallish…between beautiful temps, to rainy…cool days! If it would stay like this till spring, I’d be happy! Lol Oh, what fun you must have had at your book signing! Having the sisters come had to be a unique experience! That bread looks “yum-yum” delishous! And I know it has to taste as well…looking forward to the recipe! For the time being that kale salad looks amazing and healthy! What more could you ask for? smile… Your new beads are beautiful! And would look great on my bracelet! Enjoy your fall… Bless you!

  38. Heartsdesire says:

    Happy October, Susan. Love the view outside your upstairs window. Fall is really here. Thanks for those wonderful recipes. The kale salad looks delish, and I know I’ll have fun massaging it.lol What a sweet face Girl Kitty has, so thoughtful looking. She is a beauty.

  39. CarolK says:

    OMG! I rushed right over and got my order in for that wonderful Autumn bead. Autumn is my very favorite time of year so you see I just had to have it. I usually don’t like kale but your recipe makes it worth giving it one more try. Fingers crossed I do it right. Rabbit, rabbit and Yeaaaaaaaa Autumn is here! Jersey hugs my friend………….

    • sbranch says:

      Kale’s very healthy and quite a strong green, and being so makes it not everyone’s cup of tea, but massaging it definitely makes it better.

    • Julie Marie says:

      Hello CarolK… I was right there with you, running to Susan’s shop to get my I Love Autumn bead too!… Autumn is my favorite time of year too… Susan’s “Autumn” book is my favorite ever… and then there is Susan herself… (love you Susan if you are reading this, and of course you are!)… and her own love of Autumn… and the beauty she shares of Fall on Martha’s Vineyard with us… I think her Autumn posts are my favorites she does!… xoxo…

  40. It was such a treat to talk to you this weekend and to get my books signed. The Best of British store was a perfect backdrop for your book. I may even learn to like tea!

  41. Sandra says:

    I love October and your whole blog posting about it. You’ve been busy and that log fire makes me nostalgic! No fireplace in my small apartment, but we’re well-heated in the winter months and I’m not complaining!

  42. It was such a treat to visit with you and having my books signed at The Best of British book signing. What a wonderful store! I may even learn to drink tea! Looking forward to your next book.

  43. Judy Dow says:

    Hooray! After a fun lake day with girlfriends I find a post from you! I loved the nuns! Can’t wait to check out the candles. Fall is really here now in Granger. Trees seem to be turning color over night. Isn’t this gift of autumn amazing! I’m wondering what time you must go to bed. Things at your house at 4:30 am seem to be hopping. I’m sure girl kitty has plenty of nap opportunities all day though! Enjoy the season! Love, Lucy

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, things are hopping at 4:30 — I go to bed somewhere between 8 and 9. I love the morning so I gave up the night to get more of it!

  44. Penny says:

    I love the nun photo! I once asked a nun what she would have liked to be if she hadn’t been a nun, imagining she would say a nurse, or a teacher, or someone who rescued small animals. She confounded me however by instantly replying ‘An Air Hostess’ ! It taught me never to make assumptions about people! X

  45. JoAnn in SoCal says:

    Gorgeous photos, recipes, a link to beeswax candles, and the promise of the Sisters’ delicious-looking bread…..thank you, Susan!!

  46. Vickie in Olympia says:

    What a reward for doing the dreaded yard work! Thank you, thank you! You have revived my spirits and given me recipes to use soon. Like some of the other girlfriends, I, too, have been in a blue funk (must be the official change of seasons, the turning of the page on the calendar)–but thanks to you I see some delights to encourage and inspire me. Focus on what I can do, not what I didn’t do. You are the best!

  47. Jo says:

    Friend Amy and I spent part of yesterday visiting a cemetery until the sun was overshadowed by rain so we toddled off to find tea and something to go with it.
    We both agree that Autumn is the best season, nice to have you with us on that.
    Lovely to have you come for a visit today and like Lynn, above, I remembered to “Rabitt, rabitt” this month.
    Thanks for the seasonal delights and including us in your company.

  48. Ginger says:

    Oh, cutting kale takes too long. You simply must watch Ann and Jane Esselstyn strip kale youtube.com/watch?v=0Mim98lSRFI. They are wife and daughter of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, one of the cardiologists responsible for Bill Clinton’s heart disease reversal.

    The salad looks yummy. I’ll try it. As a 100% whole foods, vegan, I’m always looking for new ways to dress up my greens.

    Lately, I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen with various ways to prepare portabello mushrooms. They are divine. I’ll send you a recipe if you like. I love your posts.

  49. Marian from Orange, CA says:

    It’s still very warm here in Southern California, so it’s good to see pretty leaves, and to hear about rain and your first fire. We might not be able to light one until December! Thanks for the post.

  50. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I’m spoiled. Most of the markets and now Trader Joes has BABY KALE in a bag and its more tender and not quite as bitter. I don’t like the taste of cooked spinach — too much from a can in the 1950’s– but with the availability of kale, I substitute it for the spinach. Wonderful!

    • sbranch says:

      I wonder about all this Baby stuff they are coming out with . . . Because spinach as we used to get it, was curly and had sand in the deep grooves, it was very dark green and had thick stems. Now it’s these tiny flat leaves that I wonder if they’ve been GMOed to death?

      • Susan says:

        Yes, valid point! I always try to buy non-GMO vegetables…

        • sbranch says:

          I still pray for the day they regulate food better and have to TELL us what they are doing to the food.

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            I have seen both, but I thought that the little flat leaves were baby spinach. Tough to pick I would think. I never thought of the GMO thing.

          • sbranch says:

            I’m not sure, but it does seem strange that a vegetable we were all so familiar with could completely turn into something else. Baby. Hmph.

          • Janet in Rochester says:

            I don’t buy anything I suspect has been GMO-ed and question the produce staff quite “vigorously” [as my sister said] at my market, Wegmans. This chain is dedicated to healthy, even organic products wherever possible; they even have their own test farms and fields, deal with organic farmers etc, so I do trust them. The bottom line is that the markets will not sell things the public won’t buy, so we all need to speak up about not wanting GMO products. And if necessary, we need to be obnoxious about it. The future of the planet may depend on it. Go get ’em, Girlfriends!

          • sbranch says:

            If you look on page 72 of my Girlfriends book, there’s a phone number you can call to talk about GMO’s.

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        I’ve read there is a difference between GMOs and hybrids~ Like the Kalettes I spoke about earlier. A GMO has been changed or tampered within their DNA. Hybrids are created by cross~ breeding compatible plants~ I guess that can/is done in a lab too so…..~ I think hybrids can be somewhat better~ Think roses (and flowers)…. We have a right to know what’s in our food and how it got to market~ I’ve become pen~pals with my legislators!

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, me too. I’ve been reading also Lynn ~ I guess it’s up to us to figure things out ~ that “be your own chaperone” thing again!

      • Chris Wells In Knickerbocker, W TX says:

        My mom grows spinach in both her spring and fall garden. And yes baby spinach is a little flat leaf that if you let grow, turns into that big curly strong tasting spinach. We always picked it young because it is so tender. I don’t really care for that strong taste in older spinach. I would guess the same is true of kale.

        • sbranch says:

          The trick is organic, then we won’t have to worry. You are so right . . . I got curious, I’ve been reading about GMO’s – and it doesn’t look like they’ve done anything to spinach, although they aren’t required to label. But apparently buying organic solves the problem. Thank you Chris!

  51. Gina P. from NY says:

    Hi Susan. I wonder, where is Newburyport, MA? It looks lovely from the picture. I see the New Hampshire already has it’s beautiful autumn colors in full bloom! Things are just starting to turn here in the Hudson Valley. It is quite a site when the trees are in full autumn bloom to view them from the top of the mountains here. Gorgeous!

    Can’t wait for that bread recipe! It looks so healthy and yummy – a pat of sweet butter, a bit of cream cheese &jam, or even a drizzle of honey. A great way to start the day. I am not too fond of kale or bitter greens for that matter, but your salad looks so yummy and healthy, I just may try it again – with the massaging this time! I never knew about that little secret! I suppose you could substitute baby spinach in that salad too, and it would be just as delicious.

    Hope to hear again from you soon! Happy Autumn Sue!

    • sbranch says:

      Newburyport is above Boston on the coast. I’m sure spinach would work perfectly and be very healthy too!

  52. Amy Marie says:

    *Sigh* I just love your homemake-y photos…that fire is lovely and I adore the photo with your cat and the candle! 🙂

  53. Ann Y in PA says:

    Oh, what a wonderful day you had….thank you for the link to the candles. They will be the perfect gift for girlfriends ! Your blog was such a Fall Treat….I just love that October is here. Rabbit, Rabbit !

  54. Elaine says:

    Santa looks a bit like Joe… 🙂
    I will try the kale salad, I have been resistant; I didn’t know to massage the leaves to remove the bitterness.
    Oh my Susan, I was not prepared for the Merry Widow music. My mom was an accomplished pianist and played this often when I was growing up. Things like this bring the echo from those days. Lovely.
    Thanks for the link for the candles – so fun that the nuns are fans! I look forward to the bread recipe.
    Thank you for all your charming posts, Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      I was going to put that in the post, it IS Joe. He sat on the sofa in my studio and let me paint him. Good eye Elaine! xoxo

  55. Martha Noon says:

    Susan and friends, The book signing in Newburyport was soooo exciting! Such a perfect venue to celebrate A Fine Romance, Autumn, and the new calendar! Our line snaked around the fabulous British products, ( Emma Bridgewater galore!) to where we could have our books signed. We were all giddy with excitement and anticipation chatting in line and when we had our time with you Susan, you were so kind & generous taking time for each one of us.
    I shared the Kale Salad recipe with you and am very excited to see it within this blog post!! I love your step-by- step pics Susan which will make it easy for the readers to follow.
    Here is another tip for softening the Kale: I tear the pieces of Kale in small pieces and then put the Kale in a very large ziplock bag (IKEA has really great, strong ziplock bags!) with the dressing, zip up, and then “massage it” in the bag. After the “massaging”, I add the rest of the ingredients. While it is “marinating” in the fridge, you can squish it up a couple of times in the 4 hours that it needs in the fridge. I make it on Sundays and have it to take to school all week! I put some kind of protein on top each day- leftover chicken, beef, cheese, or a hard-boiled egg. It is fair to say that I am addicted to this salad and all of its possibilities! The dressing is also a wonderful marinade for chicken, shrimp, etc…Enjoy! ❤️

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Martha of the famous Kale Salad! And the dressing is so healthy too! Thank you for the massage technique, and for the recipe! It was so nice to meet you ~ very fun day!

      • Hi Susan,
        It was such a delight meeting you on Sunday in Newburyport. I love that little town and all its shops and Best of British is on my list to return to and poke around on another trip there. Thank you for signing all of my books – I had seven or eight and you didn’t wince when Wendy Louise kept pulling them out of my bag and passing them to you….after being a fan for over 20 years, it was a dream come true. Shared the experience in my memoir writing group on Monday and encouraged all 15 of my writing friends to get on the blog and enjoy your wonderful writing. Hope it isn’t 20 years again until our paths cross. Thanks for always making my day bright.
        All best,
        Nancye Tuttle
        Wells, ME

    • Hi Martha,
      I was very excited to see your recipe on the blog late last night when I was reading it, especially since you had shown it to me when we were standing in line on Sunday. I am not a huge fan of kale either, but I think I will try this recipe and hopefully the massaging process will made it tastier. Thanks so much for taking many pictures of me with Susan…truly a highlight meeting you and becoming a part of the Girlfriends network!
      All best,
      Nancye in Wells, ME

  56. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Dinosaur Kale isn’t so tough! Easier to chop too. I take it off the stem part, then stack the halves inside each other and chop it into smaller pieces. Voila!

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

    good afternoon Susan, Hello girlfriends and Sister-girlfriends. Happy October everyone. I love this time of year, the leaves here are just starting to turn, the mornings as well as the nights are cooler and chillier and Halloween is just around the corner already. our sick little turkey is doing so much better now. she is eating and drinking water, she regularly tries to life herself up and strengthen her wings, she chirps and clucks at the other turkeys out in the yard when they are close by and her color is just about normal now. hopefully we will get her out to the henhouse soon and in the yard with the rest of the barnyard crowd. I don’t know about you all but I have been enjoying this first week of Autumn, the cooler temps, the crisper air and the beautiful colors showing up on the leaves. every morning I hear the geese honking on their way south, oh and before I forget your young male turkey is finally gobbling, he started gobbling this weekend, and he figured how to make the booming noise when he displays his feathers, silly but to us its an accomplishment. well I have to go get supper going, pot pies tonight. you all have a great evening, and a wonder Autumn season. Happy Fall everyone. hugs…. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Love watching our little pets “grow up” ~ 🙂

      • pat addison ( cave junction,OR) says:

        he is quite grown up now, but for the longest time he was not making the booming sound when they display their feathers nor was he gobbling as every male turkey should do. well I guess he figured it out either that or Ed’s gobbling at him finally made him realize he had to answer back and he did, he gobbled. hopefully he will keep the ladies happy and we will have more baby turkeys this spring. we are having a Fall themed quilt show here this weekend down in Grants Pass, I think you know where I will be… admiring the quilts and drooling over them. hugs… 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Lucky you! Enjoy the quilts!

          • pat addison ( cave junction,OR) says:

            I will, I love all the craft fairs and quilt shows they have this time of year around here, just gets all my Christmas shopping done early!!! that way I can avoid the retailers of whom I boycott every November through to January.

          • sbranch says:

            Except for the little guys. 🙂

  58. Jackie P says:

    Good to hear from you! I will definitely try the kale recipe. It looks so “crunchy-good”. I love kale — eat it raw sometimes, but ADORE kale soup — Portuguese style! Have made it twice this summer ’cause the kale looked so good in the farmers markets. Thanks!

  59. Hi Susan, I love your news posting for October and especially the photos of the nuns from, The Holy Nativity Convent. I have ordered candles from them in the past and still using them. They provide a wonderful product and prompt delivery.
    Enjoy the beautiful fall weather and fall foliage. Our fall foliage should arrive at the end of October and beginning of November.

  60. Gerry says:

    Such a treat to read your blog. Your recipes look delicious. I lean toward vegetarian also. Have you tried Jonagold apples–cross between Red Delicious and Macintosh? They are also great. I like Honey Crisp very much but also like apples that have a touch of less sugar, especially to bake with. Eager to see the bread recipe! That toast looked very good. I have been buying your books and stickers, and more for many years. Wish I knew you in person! I love children’s books–authors and illustrators–books for adults too
    . I always wished I could draw but really, I can’t. But I now, as an adult, realize there are other ways to be artistic, like having a good color sense. I make cards and also create with fabric. But I must say, I still wish I could draw. Instead I savor artists like you.

    • sbranch says:

      You’re a doll Gerry, thank you so much. I was watching a PBS special the other night with Prince Charles showing the artwork of the royals. They all received very detailed lessons when they were children, probably every day. It was a part of their education. And the artwork they did was wonderful, even when they were ten years old. It made me wish we could all have that kind of early training . . . maybe it’s in there in all of us.

  61. Carol Maurer~~~~ Kennewick, Wa says:

    Hello Susan ~~~
    I loved the picture from your upstairs window of the rain and leaves. A REAL Fall picture! It’s sunny here, but I just peeked at the temperature and it’s only 69 degrees! For my walks now, I need to buy a pair of cotton gloves to keep my hands warm and also start wearing my tennis shoes. The past couple days I’ve gone to the mall to walk as it’s a bit too breezy for my liking.

    I have a question for you…. in your kale salad, what are the long things with the kale? You didn’t mention it and I don’t know what they are.

    I’m thinking that the town you were in to sign your book looks like a real New England village. The store also looks to be filled with all sorts of neat things. I like places like that.

    Well, I’m off to finish up dinner now. Been busy making some cards of late.

    Carol M

    • sbranch says:

      I think you’re talking about the broccoli slaw? Yes, the towns in that area were settled in the 1600’s. They are wonderful!

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Hi Carol,
      I lived just north of Newburyport in New Hampshire about 10 years ago. Many of the towns in New England, especially along the coast look like that. It feels very Old World. In places where they couldn’t or didn’t run a paving truck for cars you can still walk along the original brick paved streets. Some streets one car barely fits through in the oldest neighborhoods. Imagine horse and buggy…some places there are walkways between buildings that are brick, and I called the one I used to walk through, my secret pathway. It took me 3 years to notice it.

  62. Nellie says:

    Happy First day of October!

    So, so sad that I missed out on the Autumn charm.:-( I went to order just as soon as I saw this new post from you, and they were already gone.:-( Sniff, sniff.
    But – I took care of a few other things, anyway.

    We love kale here. It was my very favorite when I was growing up. Dad grew it in the garden every fall, and Mother knew the “right” way to prepare it.:-) Not at all like we prepare it these days, though.

    I truly wish I could make it to one of those happy book signings someday!

    Sending October hugs your way!

    xo Nellie

    • sbranch says:

      Tell us the “right” way Nellie! 🙂

      • Nellie says:

        Oh, Susan! You don’t really want to cook that luscious kale with all that seasoning pork until there is no bright green remaining. That’s the way the country folk from this area did greens when I was growing up. Mother wasn’t so keen on the seasoning, but the greens were definitely overcooked compared to the way I prepare them these days. Nonetheless, those greens from the garden were favorites from my childhood.

        Now – I am off to do something with some North Carolina apples we brought back from a few days stay in the mountains. Unsweetened applesauce sounds good to me!:-)

        xo Nellie

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      We have got to get Susan down here Nellie! What kind of apples did you get and what town in the mountains were you??

  63. Treese says:

    Where is the year going? I guess the same place the rest of them have gone. October my favorite month and not just because I am a Halloween Baby. I love looking at your pictures and am amazed at Mother Nature’s beauty. We have already had our first snow here in September. The old timers are saying it is going to be a bitter cold winter this coming year, but they say that every year.

    My sweet gentle old soul Mischka is 28 years old now. He is my favorite horse out of 18 of them I own. But, he can hardly walk. I don’t ride him, but he still isn’t ready to depart this earthly plane. So, I suspect he will be in the barn most of the winter which he hates. I take him out for a walk, but the cold can be deadly for him now.

    My family have owned cattle ranches since 1880 when they came from Sweden to America. However, it is amusing because of our religion (Seventh Day Adventist) we are strict vegetarians. We don’t kill animals and we don’t eat any living creatures. I guess I am a bit of a conundrum. But, ranching was what us Swedes knew how to do. I am happy to hear you notice feeling better with an increase in your vegetarian diet. I am vegetarian 3 days a week and vegan 4 days. Just can’t seem to totally give up the milk, cheese and egg whites. Lol.
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl

    • sbranch says:

      That’s why I can’t have horses. I would have to bring him into the house! I’m so sorry he’s getting older, our animals are so important. And horses, with those melting eyes ~ 28 years, amazing. I still put milk in my tea, that is a must-be, but I’m fine without cheese and eggs ~ except for baking — but I saw a sad video called EAT, that had me in tears at the end, and I finally decided that for me, no more. For the most part. Every little bit we do helps the planet, not to mention us, so I don’t feel bad for not being perfect, I just want to do better.

  64. Nancy says:

    Love the nuns!

  65. Patty in Michigan says:

    Susan, Happy October! So happy to hear from you. Those nuns were adorable! I will be watching for the bread recipe. Sounds so yummy. Autumn and Susan Branch go together. Had a cup of tea last night and enjoyed looking through my Autumn book. It was my first Susan Branch book and it may be my favorite. You are a blessing to me!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Patty! Yes, the nuns were darling, they radiated that joy you see on their faces, who could not LOVE that!

  66. Lauren from Michigan says:

    Hi Susan Branch!
    The beginning of your post where you quoted the line from the poem “A Vagabond Song” reminded me of when I memorized that poem a few years ago in school. Memorizing poems is one thing I enjoy doing as a student. That poem is the epitome of fall!

    Thanks for the sweet post,


  67. Lynnie says:

    Hi Susan,

    Looks like I left my comment on the wrong post LOL. I ran right over and tried to purchase the Autumn charm and it’s already sold out 🙁 I so hope you get more in soon…I just love it. My GF and I go to Newberry port every year when I come home to NH too visit. I always run into the Brit store and buy a couple of Emma’s mugs too!
    Hugs, Lynnie

  68. Nettie says:

    I love love love these blogs….you are such an inspiration girlfriend!! Gonna try the recipes and share with my girlfriends who also like to eat healthy…my husband is a true meat and potatoes kind of guy. Heading to the Adirondack Mountains tomorrow to do a little hiking and lots of leaf peeking…..enjoy each and every moment of fall and this glorious weather

  69. Welcome home, Susan & Joe!
    What a heavenly booksigning in Newburyport, MA! Thanks so much for sharing these healthy recipes. Can’t wait to try them! Wishing you lovely October days!
    Warm hugs,

  70. Thank you for the recipe for the kale salad! I can’t wait to try it…I have made kale chips and I love them, so I am sure I’ll love the salad. Have a wonderful Autumn!

  71. Gerry says:

    I mentioned Jonagold apples being a cross between the wrong two apples–they are a cross between Golden Delucious and Jonathan! Sorry. I also like Empire apples–they are a cross between Macintosh and Red Delucious! Senior moment!

  72. Mary A. Brown says:

    Hi Susan,
    How fun it was to visit with the sisters. I was taught for 12 years by various orders of nuns and what a dedicated educated group of women! Girl kitty I see is still working hard. But at 4:30 in the morning!!?? What a slave driver! She must get extra cuddles for such devotion. Let me know if you need suggestions….

  73. carmel says:

    Happy Fall everyone! Thanks, Sue, for sharing your wonderful small town experiences. I loved the adorable nuns whom I’m sure are also women of substance. You’d have to be to do their work, I would think. Will buy their candles! I love the new charms. Too late this evening to buy the autumn one, but I did get the elf charm. The charm and message are perfect for what I was looking for to wear through the holidays. I bought my wonderful lace shower curtains through the website where you bought your ivy lace curtains. I can’t find their website. Do you know if they’re still in business? I tried Google, etc. unsuccessfully. I loved their Irish lace. All the best with your continued success with your book and enriching adventures.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not sure Carmel, the website I have for them is decoratingwithlace.com — but when I went there, it said page not available. On Google I saw lots of links and got this phone number . . . 877-663-3135. If you call, let me know, I would hate it if they went out of business, I love that place. They’ve been there since 1986, they can’t go!

      • carmel says:

        Thanks, Sue. I tried the number you gave me twice and it wasn’t working. I tried the website again and any others that I thought would be related with no success. Maybe they will pop up again. I believe they were a family owned business and I loved the lace items they sold. I am sad. I appreciate all the vendors you’ve shared over the years.

        • sbranch says:

          That’s really terrible news . . .but one of our other girlfriends had a good suggestion that I haven’t had time to check out yet . . . Heritage Lace, the phone number is 877-863-1270.

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      If you can’t find that store, try Heritage Lace. Their number is 877-863-1270.

      • carmel says:

        You’re kind, Margot. Thank you for the number. I took at look at their website and they have some nice things. I’m in Arlington and my friends tell me to visit Virginia Beach sometime. Do you have any suggestions for hotels, restaurants, etc.?

        • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

          Yes I do! Hotels I don’t know, but restaurants and places to see I do. The Lynnhaven Fish House is top notch and has a wonderful view of the Chesapeake Bay, on the ocean front Mahi Mahis and Waterman’s are very good, and out in the country near Sandbridge is a mom and pop place called Margie and Rays. Sandbridge beach is just north of the NC line in VB, and it isn’t so touristy. First Landing State Park is on the Bay just past the Fishhouse. Swimming on one side and a great hiking area on the other. On Fort Story is the Cape Henry Lighthouse and it is the first place the Jamestown settlers landed before heading north to Jamestown. There is a nice aquarium with local marine life. Norfolk has a great art museum, with a glass blowing school to watch. And then there is the NAVY…and they have tours.

          • carmel says:

            Thanks for taking the time to give me such wonderful information, Margot. I love it. It’ll make for more of an interesting and fun trip than the usual first trip as a tourist.

  74. Carol C says:

    He went to bed, and bumped his head,
    And couldn’t get up in the morning!
    Sang that song many times to my boys and now my grands!
    Looking forward to that bread recipe. That piece of toast looked amazing.

  75. diana from ancaster says:

    Rabbit Rabbit to you dear Susan.
    what a great way to start ‘Bright October’!

  76. Suzanne Lee says:

    I just finished THE BOOK!! Oh my, it was several days of pure bliss. I felt like I was there from NY to NY. I didn’t want it to end and I can’t wait for the NEW BOOK! Your blog and all of your work is so uplifting to me. You have a real gift and the world is a better place for having you.

  77. Janet Hundley - Grafton, WI says:

    What a wonderful post. I’m sorry I missed the Autumn Charm 🙁

  78. I’m so happy it’s October, I just love Autumn! My daughter’s name is Autumn, so of course I was crazy about your “I love Autumn” dream charm (sold out, by the way 🙂 but I’m not surprised!). Thank you for the beautiful post, it helps all of us get into the “fall-ish” mood!

  79. Traci S. says:

    Love the photos of the smiling faces of the nuns. The joy radiating in their smiles is contagious. I agree with Laurie, your posts are a ray of sunshine on even the cloudiest of life’s days and every new post is awaited with great anticipation. Autumn is my favorite time of year! I love the change in the sunlight and the cool, crisp, earthy smell in the air. Days made for tea, candles, fires, snuggly blankets (and pets), a good book, movie or music, and maybe even a yarny project. But, alas, when I popped over to the store to order an ‘Autumn’ bead, they were all sold out. So, I’ll be the one to request the impossible…a re-order of the ‘Autumn’ bead?!

    Happy Autumn!

    • sbranch says:

      I suppose we could reorder, but they have minimums, which means we have to get lots of them, they won’t just let us order half — and also, they take two months to get, so we wouldn’t see them until just around Christmas ~ should I still try? I could check and see if they can put a rush on them.

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Good idea, since they messed up your original order.

        • audrey Bell, LaBarque Creek, MO says:

          Please reorder all of the “out of stock” beads! We girlfriends promise to snatch every single one of them up!
          As a rule I do not purchase jewelry for myself, but leave this up to my dear husband, who does a wonderful job at such things as bangles and baubles and shiny pretties to wear about necks, wrists and fingers. This summer I had planned to purchase beads for my girlfriends to commemorate our trip to Martha’s Vineyard. But the beads have not been available. I am so sad!
          As soon as I saw the mention of the Autumn beads I decided I must break my own rule and order the Autumn Bead for myself… and I told my dear husband what he would be buying for my birthday, which falls on the BEST DAY of all, next Wednesday, October 8.
          Alas! The bead was not available already!
          Please dear Susan, ask them to make more… we will buy them, I promise! I think an Autumn bead would make a wonderful Christmas gift for a girl with an October birthday! (or even June, July, February…)

          • sbranch says:

            We thought maybe as a celebration, when the next book comes out, we will possibly reorder ALL of them??? Yikes! I’m working on the Autumn one now, seeing what they can do at the manufacturers.

      • I’d rather have one late in the year, out of season, than not have one at all!

        • sbranch says:

          We’re waiting to hear from the manufacturer about them — whether or not they can do them — the last batch, only a quarter made it through quality control. They would have to do better!

          • audrey Bell, LaBarque Creek, MO says:

            I agree that “out of season” is better than “out if luck.” I hate to be a pest about it, but would there be a way to preorder? If so, put my name on the list!

          • sbranch says:

            I still haven’t heard from them. But I asked again!

  80. Barbara (WA) says:

    I zoomed over to the store to buy “I love Autumn” charm and they are already sold out, boohoo. Fingers crossed you get more in!

  81. Teresa G., Lafayette, CA. says:

    Awww, sadness. The autumn charm is already gone! The girlfriends are on their toes today! I loved reading your post and seeing the smiling nuns. I have happy memories of the nuns at my school when I was growing up. Can’t wait to get the recipe for that yummy looking bread. The Kale Salad looks amazing, too! Thanks, as always, for sharing!

  82. Laura Anne says:

    Hello to you, Susan and Happy Autumn!!!

    I was so happy to see a new post from you this evening. I smiled my way through the entire thing! Your Autumn bead has already SOLD OUT! Can you believe it? In on day too!!!

    Hope you’re having a lovely week.. Off to buy some of those beeswax candles! And the Christmas ornament too.. 😉

    • sbranch says:

      So sorry about that . . . if you remember, remind me next May and I’ll reorder them for next year!

  83. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Thanks for that wonderful salad recipe! Will be making it this weekend to take to a friend’s house–really looks and sounds good! High of 48 degree and snow flakes in the air mixed with rain for Friday here in Minnesota. Our beautiful leaves won’t be lasting long in the trees…

  84. Gerry says:

    It pays to proofread a lot more carefully! DELICIOUS!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m looking for it, which delicious is it?

      • Gerry says:

        I wrote Delucious instead of delicious–about the Jonagolds being a cross between golden delicious and Jonathan apples. I am being too detailed! I do love all the apple history and how many different kinds there are, etc. I wish I knew more about it. Do you have favorites? I assume there are varieties where you live that we don’t have in MD. We have wonderful orchards here–Smithsburg being one place.

        • sbranch says:

          I like delucious just as well and may have to steal it from you! I’m just in love with Honey Crisps at this time. They are DEEE-Lucious!

  85. Mary Frances Smith says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks so much for the candle info – just ordered a bunch from the nuns but now I need to order another copy of your wonderful book. ( I gave mine to my future daughter-in-law to give to her mother just before her trip to the British Isles. ) Also – never heard of pear cider before I read your book and while I was out to dinner with friends the other night I happened to notice on the menu that they had pear cider! So of course I tried it. Yum! Next I have to try Pimm’s Cup (Is that what it’s called? See – I need another book.) LOVE your blog and all your books!

    • sbranch says:

      Great that you found Peah Ci-da! You’ll love Pimm’s Cup too . . . Joe’s favorite. Thank you Mary Frances!

  86. Robbie says:

    Hey, Susan –

    Do you watch Stephen Colbert? He always talks about the Colbert ‘bump’ when guests appear on his show to talk about their new book, movie, etc? I bet the nuns are experiencing the ‘Branch Bump’ for their candles! I know I just ordered a bunch! Just love beeswax candles and just love the price of theirs! Will continue to order from them now that I know about them! Thanks for the tip!

    • sbranch says:

      I adore Stephen Colbert! The Branch Bump, hahahaha. I hope so! You’ll love the candles, they’re beautiful quality.

  87. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    So great to hear from you. I loved the photo of the nuns, I too will order those candles. Girl Kitty always looks like a princess.
    You are so lucky to live where the seasons are “normal”. In California we are about to have another five day major heat wave! That really makes the joy of Autumn more difficult to feel. I am an October birthday girl too. I’m hoping next week the weather will cool off.
    Happy Autumn Susan!!

    • sbranch says:

      I heard, something like 101 in LA today. That’s going too far. Wishing you some cooler breezes very soon. Happy almost Birthday Lisa!

  88. Dear Susan ~~~ such a treat, sitting here, checking the virtual business of overnight on my laptop, waiting for the kwah~fee to brew {house already smelling good} in that precious still few moments before the day begins, here you are! Yay!

    Happy October ~ I am so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers!

    I do so love this entry, you have the beautiful nuns ~ I love them dearly already and I cannot tell you how happy I am to see them with you. We have a convent near us, very much a retreat convent and the nuns are all in ‘plain clothes’ too.

    Your gift of bread ~ my goodness how delicious that loaf looks! ~ has convinced me to buy a new Kitchenaid! I have not made bread in a long, long time and my soul hankers after a loaf such as yours. I adore the hand made candles for that they are handmade with love and are just perfect in their simplicity and natural beeswax colour.

    Kwah~fee is ready, going to pour some in one of my Emma Autumn mugs ~ brb ~~~
    okay, I’m back now, kwah~fee kicking in ~~~

    I had planned to do a journal entry myself on my charm bead bracelet but have not done so yet ~ I’m glad I waited, for I can share the image of your two new beads! I wear my Girlfriends bead alongside my Cariad Clogau gold one. My two special favourites side by side! What I put on my bead bracelet has to have a deeply personal meaning to me these days and I am making plans to buy the Autumn one as soon as possible! As a seamstress I am thrilled to have found one of a pair of shears!

    The days are cooler, the nights are longer, and it is now all about cosy fire sides, mugs of hot cocoa, and lazy days full of dreaming as the world winds down ~ well, maybe not that lazy, for there are leaves to jump in and then sweep up!

    Oh, blissful October ~~~ my Birthday Month too! That makes me real happy that my birthday falls in my favourite month of all {and I love opals!} ~~~

    ~~~Waving~~~ from Across The Pond ~~~ Debs in Wales ~~~ xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Deeply personal, so well said, that’s the way a charm bracelet should be. Happy October, and especially, Happy Birthday! Waving back Debs!

      • Oh, Susan ~ the Autumn charm is already sold out! I do hope more will be in very soonest ~ the trials of time difference ~ oh, well, I guess I will buy the Clogau acorn and leaf for Autumn instead, but it will not be quite the same.

        Thank you for your wishes! ~~~waving~~~

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      “~ I am so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers!”
      Well said Deb! Ah gardening and sewing…you are my kindred spirit. Nothing beats a good pair of shears.
      I think my sister needs a bead like yours, so what does Cariad Clogau mean?
      Waving Back,

      • Hello Margot!
        Clogau is jewellery made with a touch of rare Welsh gold {just a touch, as it is rare and costly; all royal wedding bands are made from it since the Queen Mother chose it for hers in 1923} Here is a link, I hope it works, best to sit down first with a big mug of tea!
        clogau.co.uk/ and Cariad is Welsh for loved one. My Daddy used to call me his ‘little cariad’ <3
        I have a retired design of Cariad charm and a daffodil so far, but a very long wish list! I will be journalling them soon. ~~~waving~~~

  89. Connie Haltermann says:

    Merry Christmas to me! My husband doesn’t know it yet, but he’s going to slip that little Be an Elf charm right into my Christmas stocking. When it arrives, I will hand it over (we love to give each other things that we just HAVE to have) and then I will forget all about it. Imagine my “surprise” when I find it in my stocking!

    I recently led a program on Random Acts of Kindness at my women’s group at church, and I made Be an Elf cards to give out. I wish I had had the charm then! Well, now I can hardly wait until Christmas. Wearing the charm will be a great reminder to everyone all during 2015 that you can be an elf any time of the year. Susan, you think of the CUTEST things to remind people to be the best that they can be.

    • sbranch says:

      What a good husband you have, Connie! 🙂

      • Connie Haltermann says:

        I do. And I’d say, “I do” all over again. We started out as college sweethearts and just celebrated our 54th anniversary this month. He’s still my best friend, too. Talk about “elves.” He’s the real deal. He is SO like your Joe. Aren’t we lucky?

  90. Good Morning Susan,
    I just loved reading your newest post! Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and of course, went straight to your store when I saw your new charms. I was so sorry to see that the “I Love Autumn” charm was already sold out. (I was going to buy them to celebrate my twin sister’s and my birthday that was in September!!) So as you said above, I will be patient and wait till next year . . . In the mean time, I will try the Kale salad and enjoy the rest of fall! Thank you!

  91. Hi Susan,
    Just posted a comment under Martha’s response (definitely will try her kale salad). But in case you don’t see that, I wanted to thank you profusely again for taking time to talk and sign all 8 of your books that I brought to Newburyport on Sunday. Was a treat to meet you after all these years and I hope it isn’t another 20 before our paths cross again – because by then I’ll be 90!!!
    Happy October and enjoy the fall! Rabbit Rabbit!
    Nancye T.
    Wells, ME

  92. AngieTink says:

    Welcome HOME Sweet Sue….Leaf Peeping & Graveyard Wandering….Divine! 1st….Girl~Kitty By Candle Light….Sweet Purrrrrrrrrrrrfection 🙂 2nd….You & Those Nuns…..Priceless…:-) 3rd.”Be ♥ An ♥ Elf”&” I Love Autumn”…Two CUTE Magical Charms Sweet Sue Oh My Goodness! Dear Santa All I Want For Christmas…. 🙂 Pretty Please 🙂 Well My Dear I’m Thrilled Your Book Signing Was Heavenly & Your Trip…..I Know The Kitties Are Happy You Two Are Back HOME Meowy! oh The Santa Ornament Is Pure Joy & Santa is Joe!!!! I’m Doing The Jiggity~Jig! 🙂 Thank You For A Delightful Post Sweet Sue I’m Gonna Get All Warm & Cozy in Front Of Your Fire & Sip Some Apple Cider & Breathe in All The Magic Of October…..From One Gypsy To Another Hugzzz & Love & Time To Twirl into The Pumpkin~Patch! 😉 xoxo Poof! ♥ ♥ ♥

  93. Ana says:

    Susan: Thank you for sharing your visit with us. Definitely trying the Kale Salad by Martha Noon. Also, the waltz (sigh) I love waltzing with my hubs. Our song is the Blue Skirt Waltz. Even though my eyes are brown…lol…he sings to me. We have the most wonderful memory, we waltzed in St. Mark’s Square in Venice to the orchestra there. *Sigh* Have a blessed day! Ana

    • sbranch says:

      Joe is many many things, but waltzing is not one of them! You are a lucky girl, such a romantic dance!

      • Rhonda D. says:

        I grew up watching my parents waltz at the drop of a hat in the kitchen for years and years. That’s pretty darn special. I think the Blue Skirt Waltz was one of their faves. What awesome memories this brings to mind. I feel very blessed.

      • Jack says:

        I know … I sing the Tennessee Waltz to Sue … It brings tears to her eyes …….I have one other favorite called ” On the wings of a dove”
        That one really gets Sue , she has to sit down and hold her head
        she just gets so emotional sometimes

  94. jan from Princeton says:

    Susan, Thank you for the wonderful new blog entry! I just now read it and am feeling all autumny now. It’s beautiful here in Princeton with the leaves changing. The farm trucks have been going past our house filled with corn from the harvesting, tobacco barns are giving off the wonderful smell of tobacco being cured, and mornings so refreshingly cool.

    I missed out on the autumn charm. (insert sad face here), but ordered the elf one. I love your charms!

    Have a great autumn!

  95. Trisha K says:

    Ahhh! Autumn is my favorite, I’m loving the October post and the smiling Sisters! I cannot wait for the bread recipe.

  96. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! So happy to hear your recent book signing was a superb success!!! Thank you for the kale recipe, looks delicious!!! (Can’t wait for the bread recipe, as they look as though they would go together in one meal.) Just wanted to let you know that YOUR 2014 calendar hanging on my kitchen wall is the BEST decoration ever for Fall!!! Turning the page yesterday made me smile and finally surrender to the season. Colorful leaves, pumpkins on porches, blossoming mums, and apples galore in the stores are all around in Dearborn, Michigan….. making our souls burst with excitement for Autumn. Thank you Susan for blessing us each and every day by showing us how to appreciate the simple things in life! Take care and have a terrific Thursday!!!! What would we do without you????????

  97. Barbara (from Argentina) says:

    Hi Susan!
    Great to hear from you again! I became a vegetarian 4 years ago. Best choice I´ve ever made. I miss hamburguers, chiken and fish, but if some of these animals can live a hole life and don´t be slaughter because I don´t eat them, its worth it. Besides, it´s a lot more healthier! I stopped needing anxiety pills when I became a vegetarian, probably because everything is Energy, and the meat of an animal is impregnated by fear. The key to a vegetarian food, I think, is the seasoning (condiments, lots of them!) so you won´t feel like “something is missing”. Great blog!

    • sbranch says:

      This film I watched called EAT informed meat-eating on three levels, our own health, what it does to animals, and what it does to the planet. Every bit of it was devastating to me, but the animals are what really got me. Their lives in the hands of corporate money-people, is not my cup of tea. Thanks Barbara — hello to Argentina!

      • Judy in Ohio says:

        I LOVE hearing about all of you V E G E T A R I A N S!!
        Great,great,great!! I have only been now for about 10 months…but I will never go back. It really was the same with me as you ,Susan…the little (and big) animals. I never ate any animal like deer or lamb or veal or bunny…I just told folks that “THOSE are NOT for eating”…But what really “did it” for me was seeing a movie called “VEGUCATED” on NetFlix. After that…I was DONE!…I just tell folks now,”Nothing with a momma! Thanks.” 🙂 It is not even that difficult to do…I wish everyone knew how simple and easy it is…and how much better they’d feel!!

        Thank you again, dear Susan, for all that you do for us…Your recipes and stories and spirit…and just your thoughtfullness! You are our angel…and our BFF!!

        We are truly blessed.


        • sbranch says:

          Thank you Judy! Yes, I’m finding it really easy to change my diet. Last night I put a little oil and minced garlic into a pan, when it was hot I stirred in some of that Kale salad (with walnuts in it among other things), shredded carrot and a couple of cups of basmati rice. Just a fast dinner, and it was DELICIOUS. Joe ate the same thing, with a steak. He’s doing much better than he used to do, but he still can’t give up the meat. Yet.

          • Judy in Ohio says:

            That is soooo funny about your Joe…My husband is just like that too. We have graduated him from “meat and potatoes” to “meat and vegetables”…but we’re getting there! Still, when I am at the market and getting ready to check out, I look down and say to myself, “Am I trying to kill him?” (LOL) But, on a serious note, (I heard) if one is a vegetarian, 95 animals a year are spared.

            I have been eating meat for 62+ years and I am not judging anyone, for sure…Just something to think about. Lots and LOTS of great reasons to try being a vegetarian/vegan, anyway!! Continued success to you, dear friend… and me!…I still have a bit of a tough time when I smell a steak on a grill…But thinking of that pretty little cow face sure helps me get over that…immediately!! 😉


          • sbranch says:

            The great thing is you can choose the degree you feel comfortable with. If you need a sparerib at least once a year, go for it! This “Why Go Veg” tells it all . . . I note that all of the sites and the video I saw start with our own health as the best reason to eat less meat, but it’s the reasons at the end that get me, the animals and the earth. I read that some of the farms, instead of making it better for animals when all of this came to light, just built higher fences with barbed wire so they keep the media out and no one can take photos. Money money money, whose idea was THAT?

          • Judy in Ohio says:

            I should have said I HAD been eating meat for 62+ years! 😀

            I look forward to your meatless recipes down the road…(And don’t forget, when you add in mushrooms, nobody misses the meat!!)


  98. Cyndi in NC says:

    Got to the blog a little late but here and loved it. I love beeswax candle and am more than happy to buy them from the wonderful nuns. If they had the bread for sale I’d have bought some and am looking forward to the recipe! That is my kind of bread! I love autumn and would love to be in New England now! But I feel like I was there with you all as usual!! I bet it was a gay event at Best of British. Love the look on the nuns faces, they were really enjoying themselves and that is great. They work hard and deserved a treat like this. Hugs to them and all the other girlfriends!!

  99. Jo Ann Pollick says:

    Hi Susan, that pesky bird here is still saying “your underwear’s dirty”.
    Would so love to meet your train with a Texas gift basket when you roll through. I know where there is a rest stop. Is that possible?
    Share your love of autumn, however ours is so much slower than yours.

    • sbranch says:

      It would be so much fun, but the train doesn’t go through Texas! Just yesterday we were invited by The British Emporium in Grapevine Texas to come for a signing! I would LOVE to do that, but it will have to be next year. Won’t that be fun!?

  100. What a wonderful post. Loved seeing the nuns enjoying the book signing and to know they are on the blog too. It reinforces the fact that anything Susan Branch is all goodness and love. I was just sitting down for a little lunch when I said, ooh, let’s go see if Susan has posted….and viola, there you were! And with Girl kitty too. I usually start whining when Fall arrives because I love Summer so. But, having you in my life makes me love each new season. You make it warm and cozy. I just have to go to my SB tea tin, make a lovely cup of tea and read your blog and I can learn to love all the beauty of the day no matter what season. Whew! Thanks Susan and girlfriends! xo

Comments are closed.