Grab your favorite cup, fill it with something warm and delicious and come back, because I’m going to try and show you what New England in the fall is all about! MUSICA

Dad's mug

This mug has been in my family for as long as I can remember, it was in the house when I was a little girl.  I don’t know where it came from, maybe if Blog Daddy remembers it, he will know . . . I loved it since I was little, the colors are what attracted me, and of course, anything with a house on it.  I snapped it up at the first chance I got!  Which was long ago, I’m not exactly sure when my parents lost custody, I’ve had it a long time.  It’s just

my cup of tea


Of course, if your kitty is like mine, you are going to have company while you wait for the water to boil . . .

pour the water

Back about a month ago, one of my photos showed this mug in the background; one of our Girlfriends asked for a closer look, which I promised I would do ~ seemed like tea time was the right time to do it!  (I’m seeing something almost alike in our colors here!)

my paintbrush, doing what comes naturally

bottom of the cup

This is my only clue as to where it came from . . . Germany 29 ~ but we are not German, and have not gone to Germany, so I’m thinking it might have belonged to my Grandma or Great Grandma (even tho’ they are not German either!).

Jack's treat

Jack could care less about which mug I use . . . he just wants to be where I am.  In order to distract him, I gave him a little milk to lap up . . . 


So I could take pictures.  You know how much this kitty loves me?  This much {               ↔                } or more.

Know how much I love him?  To the ends of the earth and back and then out again.

add the creamKitty Love. . . and then, while he’s busy, milk for me.  So here we go, on a road trip through New England, are you ready?

Come on Jack, let’s go to the studio . . . my shadow goes everywhere with me.

travel buddy

So here we are, this last weekend, on the back roads of central Massachusetts, going out to two book signings . . . one at Titcombs Bookshop in the darling historic town of Sandwich on the Cape . . . and the other, a fundraiser for the Westfield Library, clear on the other side of the state.


We could not have asked for a better weekend, leaves flew off the trees as we took the side roads and stayed off the freeways as much as we could.


This leaf blew up and landed on the windshield then went for a little ride with us . . .

leaf peeping

See the leaves coming down out of the trees?  My favorite thing about Autumn, they way the leaves fly through the air.


Look how gorgeous, this is why I moved here, I needed to smell this!

Wallum Lake

Just following signs off the road less traveled, curiosity brought us here to a place we never heard of called Wallum Lake in Douglas State Park

Wallum Lake

Pretty ♣  pretty ♣  pretty.  Smelled as good as it looks, fresh, clean, woodsy, fallish. Sounds of water lapping on shore.



Hard to believe the color . . . 

the road west

Or the lovely New England Architecture.

house along the road

I thought this stone house was just about perfection of coziness. I could almost smell the corn pudding baking in there!

Lovely old graveyard

We saw beautiful Oak Ridge graveyard and went for a little walk.


Peaceful, old and elegant.


See the leaf flying by? You can’t make this stuff up.


Colors are wonderful, leaves are crunchy . . .

amazing grace

. . . Trees are brilliant . . .

deep roots

And the roots . . .

life is for the living

go way down . . .


I think cemeteries are works of art  . . . so real and human and filled with love and loss and all the important things like memory and history and reminders of carpe diem  . . . because life is for the living . . .

Life is for the living

Right Jack?  This little boy never spends one moment of his day worrying, especially about anything he can’t control.  Which brings me to something I would normally ignore, and that is Ebola.  I’m sorry, I realize you are inundated with it these days, but I just need to say something and then I will forever hold my peace.  

You know how when a storm is coming to your area, the media, almost 100% of the time, blows it completely out of proportion? candles in a snowy window(When we have a storm forecast for the Island my entire family calls from California, they are so worried about us, we answer the phone and tell them not to worry while we are busy lighting candles and roasting a chicken, loving every moment of it, figuring if it turns bad, we’re as ready as we’ll ever be and cross that bridge when we come to it and every other cliche we can think of that means we have a handle on it.)

yummy!  Storm!

This is what we do during storms.


Remember Y2K?  When the entire world was supposed to come to an Keep calmend and all the planes were supposed to crash at midnight between Dec 31, 1999 and Jan. 1, 2000?  The media had a field day with that one, it went on for months. Then, when they were wrong, as they almost always are, it’s just ooops, sorry. I don’t think they are sorry. I think they like it. Because when we get afraid and fearful we are more likely to tune in and watch every word that comes out of their mouths, which means they get higher ratings ~ and higher ratings brings in money.  It’s always money these days. You can always ask yourself, OK, who makes money from this?, and you’ll usually find the answer and that will be your culprit.  

Jackie says "follow the money!"

Anyway, bottom line is this: The chances of most of us getting joyEbola is somewhere between zip and zilch.  Unless we physically touch the urine, sweat, blood, vomit or feces of someone who already has ebola, we can’t get it.  It isn’t spread by a cough.  Common sense will guide us about this, our brave hospital worker-heroes, all very smart, caring, wonderful people, will have it under control in a very short time. I have complete faith.



little things Faith that it’s the little everyday things that make life sweet.  Not denial, but faith.  Don’t let the media scare you or your loved ones. Life is for the living, and that is us. If we get it, we get it.  Other than that, we aren’t going to.  So turn off these people and go about your business, with maybe just a tad more caution because you know you have much more common sense than any of these fear mongers do. I rest my case.  Off the soap box I step. With love for all of us in this beautiful season of color and nature, kitties and God. xoxo

girl bowing

Now, I’ve been saving this to tell you about . . .

Pasta fantastica!

Much more constructive to think about your health in terms of what you can do to make it better, which brings it all back to home sweet home . . . our favorite place. I found something I’ve been wanting to share with you!  My new favorite thing!  And you’ll see why.



This is me making noodles out of zucchini!!!!!!  YES!  It’s true. I am making noodles out of zucchini!


Take a look at these, in a matter of moments, the easiest thing in the world ~ delicious squiggly noodles, just like pasta, only better, less fattening, healthier, and really just as good, only better! (One small caviot: I’ve been reading about GMO foods, zucchini is one of the biggies they have really fooled around with ~ only use organic zucchini when you make your noodles.)



This little machine (Kellee got a few of them in to our web store, go NOW if you want one) uses no electricity!!!  Another reason to love it.  It’s easy to clean and easy to use. You just cut off the end of a zucchini to make it flat, pop it into the pusher, crank the handle and out they come from the other side.

cooking with love


vegisYou can put any sauce on them, make Linguini and Clam Sauce if you want, or even the simplest thing: heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, add some garlic, maybe some mushrooms, perhaps carrots or a little broccoli slaw, and saute everything until soft . . . add the “pasta zucchini,” cook until al dente, pour onto your plate, sprinkle over salt, pepper and Parmesan, and voila!  You can add them to soup too!


Here I toasted up the potatoes before I put in the zucchini ~


Besides zucchini you can make vegetable noodles out of potatoes (like those above), carrots (get the largest you can find), beets, onions, sweet potatoes, apples, eggplant, cucumber, radishes, cabbage, and butternut squash.  FUN!  It comes with three blades, in three sizes!!!



Here I am tossing the potatoes in the pan with some shallots . .  .  Use another blade, make them slightly thicker and you have curly fries!  I mean, it’s truly the best thing in the world.  With all due respect to all the other best things in the world.

Kellee ready for Thanksgiving

Like Kellee in her darling Pilgrim Thanksgiving apron . . .(whoever took the picture cut off the best part!)

best thing  Or, Jack helping me with the laundry . . .

Girl Kittyor, Girl Kitty, prepping for a nap.

Old movies

or, the Turner Movie Channel (TCM) which is much better than the news and leaves you feeling up, happy, positive.

pumpkins at Remnants of the Past

a Bountiful Harvest of the Best things in Life.


Like Penelope . . .


. . . who just naturally keeps . . .

Keeping her face in the light

Her face turned toward the light.

nature love


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555 Responses to NEW ENGLAND FALL

  1. Jennifer says:

    Wow, this was an amazing post, and just what God knew I needed to read this morning. The pictures are so lovely and makes me yearn to live in New England. (sigh) But since that’s not happening any time soon, I’ll just enjoy your beautiful blog! 🙂
    I especially appreciate your words about the ebola “scare.” I live in Dallas, and two of my daughters are nurses. You are right, the media loves to get people worked up, so I rarely listen to the news. I just trust that God is in control (thank goodness!)
    I absolutely love your zucchini noodles! I already use spaghetti squash sometimes in place of pasta, but I can’t wait to try the zucchini. 🙂 Thanks for the idea!
    Hugs to you (and Joe and the kitties, of course) and Happy Autumn!

  2. Mary from PA. says:

    Oh, Susan your post was so beautiful, fall is so warm, colorful, and tranquil.
    please give those precious kitties a hug for me.
    Have a great day.

  3. Ruthie P says:

    Thank you Susan…again you have just the right words for us.Reading your posts is like a soft warm blanket wrapped around you on a cold night.I don’t watch the news anymore.I check in in the morning and then at night.My head isn’t in the sand,I just can’t be saturated with it.Loved the trip through New England with you and Joe….love the kitties …can they be more precious.Looking forward to your trip to CA…can’t wait to get on the train with you;) XOXO Ruthie

  4. Sreekala says:

    Hi Susan,
    It was the same in Pune 2009 with the H1N1 scare. People were walking around with terror in their hearts of the airborne virus especially because Pune was the epicenter of the epidemic which was brought by some students on an exchange program. Whenever I went outside, I kept dodging people all the time out of fear. Until an epiphany came to me – this disease is just a teeny tiny virus looking for a congenial environment to grow in. When I saw the picture of that tiny virus in my mind, it lost all its terrorizing capabilities. Thereafter, I just followed the health precautions and lost the fear. The Ebola virus can’t be much bigger, surely? 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Definitely not. All of this and so far we have only one, very unfortunate, deceased victim in the whole of the United States. Thank goodness people don’t die of fear, because the germs for that are still spreading like wildfire! It has more to do with our upcoming elections than anything “real” — but many people don’t realize it and they are truly frightened. At one time it was Bird Flu that was going to take us all down. I wish the old story of the boy who called wolf would be remembered. Because enough is enough. I’m maddest at the fear mongers. It’s unAmerican. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

      • Lynn Cunningham says:

        I so agree with each and every word ~ including what the fear mongering is really all about. Enough really is enough for me, too. I saw a political cartoon in the paper this morning ~ the caption was “what magnifies Ebola”, and it showed two things: a microscope and the media. The 24 hour news cycle isn’t doing our country or us any favors.

  5. Karla Barry says:

    I love the way you think!!!!!!

  6. Tammie Crouch says:

    How precious, in deed, is your motherly advice on the ebola scare! I feel so much better now, as if you have kissed my nightmares away. Thank you, dear Mrs. Branch,…and now I will skip around my North Carolina home and be happy in this lovely Fall Season!

  7. Audrianne Hill says:

    Your mug most definitely came from Germany and probably near the border of the Netherlands by the picture. My ancestors came from the province of Bentheim which borders Germany and during many skirmishes found itself in and out of the German border. My great-grandmother was born in the Netherlands but by the time she was christened, the church was in Germany. It reverted back after WWI. The various windmills in the area often had their homes attached to them unless it was a grain mill which due to the heat produced by grinding could start a fire, so those mills were separate from the home. What a find and cherished family memento.

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

    I love cemeteries too! The history of it all. Beautiful fall post!! Thank you.

  9. Diana from Ohio says:

    What a great email. Also feel the same about the news cycles! It is like they are calling wolf all the time about something. I think part of the problem is the 24 hour news! Just think when we were kids we only had 3 channels ABC,NBC, & CBS with 1/2 hour news and times seemed so much simpler.
    Thanks as I just feel with this email we are “bosom friends”. (I think I have that right from Anne)

    • sbranch says:

      I totally agree with you. xoxo yes, kindred spirits!

      • sondra fox says:

        Ahhhhh Girlfriends, do you remember Kukla, Fran, & Ollie? I used to watch that with little kids I was babysitting with. Those were the days of beginning TV, back when TV was quality. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  10. Jayne Parsons says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just had to write you and thank you for your common sense on Eboli. As a public health nurse. I am constantly being asked if I am afraid of getting Eboli. My answer is no. Sure it is a concern and many people are suffering from it but we have to realize the countries being effected have little health care or means to care for these patients properly. Trust me, the CBC, your state and county health departments. and health care providers know how to handle these situations. We’ve got your backs. OK thats enough on that subject. Really enjoy this blog. It helps me get through the day.
    Jayne from Indy

  11. Laura C. says:

    Love your Fall tour. So beautiful. Here in CA we don’t get much. However, I have to tell you organic zucchini means raised without pesticides. It does not mean it’s not GMO.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, that’s my fear. I’ll never understand why our food can’t be labeled. One of these days we women are going to have to have a big fat fit about that.

      • Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

        There is an initiative in Oregon in the upcoming election on whether to label food GMO. I am voting a big YES! One of the arguments against is that Oregon would be the only state to require it, but I say yay for us! After all, Oregon was the first state to enact the bottle bill in the 1970’s, and have a history of leading on such issues. Apparently much of Europe and other countries around the world already require GMO labeling. Here’s hoping we can start the trend here!

  12. Becky says:

    Dear Susan,
    Yes! Thank you for this post and for always reminding us what life is really about. Finding beauty and joy and truth and peace is exactly why I read your blog. And when too many people try to increase the media chaos I also look at .
    Thank you and Happy Autumn.

  13. Amy Collett says:

    Dear Susan,

    How your blog is a beacon of light, joy and all things good (the soapbox moment included!)!! Keep up the lovely posts! The colours in your New England tour are FANTASTIC – if only the colours could stick around even after a cold, strong wind. Here in the central part of Alberta, Canada, our leaves are quickly making their way to the ground and I am missing the beauty already, so thanks again for sharing yours.

    Your zucchini and potato noodles brought me to excitement so much that here I am at work, nearly yelling out loud, “No way!”. What a great idea! I think I’ll be putting my order in.

    Take care!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, no way, but it’s true! They work! Now I’ve invited people to dinner on Thursday to blow their minds!

    • Laurie Nico's Mom says:

      Hi Amy! Nice to see another Canadian. I live North west of Calgary, so that puts me in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, for those of you not familiar with the area. We need to band together and have Susan come for a visit up here!

  14. Priscilla Monson says:

    Love all your posts, but this is my favorite by far! So much beauty, plus a healthy dose of common sense and good advice! Your words about the Ebola situation were perfect and calming…..much needed in our nation today. Thanks for sharing your wisdom along with the normal joy you bring to us!

    Priscilla Monson
    Brownwood, TX

  15. Sharon C. says:

    Dear Susan–as always, I loved your beautiful pictures but I also really appreciated your wise words on media coverage! I read this on a day when I was starting to feel a little anxious so, thank you so much!!! Now, back to tea time and my boy kitty, Patrick! 🙂

  16. Lynn McCormack says:

    Hi Susan, Just love your blogs! I have to admit the big E controversy had me crazy. My son is in the NYPD and I worry about so many things. My solution to all that craziness is to gather up all your wonderful books and sit by the fireplace and read, with a big glass of wine!!

  17. So much to love here. Where do I start? Impossible to pick a favourite bit, but those pictures of Jack lapping it up are tugging on my heart strings.

    I try hard not to worry about the things I can’t control. What will be will be with or without my help! I just enjoy what I can while I can and to the max! xxoo

    PS – The New England Photos also tugged on my heart strings. I miss the autumn colours of home.

  18. Brenda says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you so much for your beautiful post filled with wonderful pictures. I’ve always hated when fall came around, not the awesome colors but knowing that winter wasn’t far off. After reading your post I feel much better about the changing seasons and I love the picture with the leaf on the car window. It was so cool.
    My husband and I went for a car ride the other day and at one point a swirl of leaves fell on our car and it was awesome! It made me think of you and how you see the beauty in everything. I’m going to try harder to do that. I still don’t look forward to seeing the bare trees in winter, to me it always seems that they’re crying but I know in spring, my favorite time of year, they will be happy once again.
    I know this sounds a little corny but it’s how I feel.

    • sbranch says:

      Those swirling leaves are my favorite. I always turn around in my seat in the car to watch them fly up behind us! You’ll see, stick with us, we’ll make winter wonderful for you! XOXO

      • Jack says:

        The trees , like the bears are hibernating , building up strength and accumulating sugars for the growing time ,next spring …. Don’t feel sad
        it’s their resting that makes each new bud a glorious trophy celebrating
        a new spring And trees have no inhibitions , with total confidence , they display themselves to the world …stark naked , every limb and twig exposed . They seem to say , “yep, it’s me , my roots are planted so take me as I am , or move on —the next guy will paint my stark branches against a slate grey sky and win a ribbon!

  19. Amylisa says:

    Oh man, you were right up the street from me when you went to Wallum Lake! And the stone house you photographed….there is one just like that, going in the other direction on Rte. 16 up to Milford. My house is actually right on rte. 16.
    I wish I’d known you were going to be having that book signing out at the Westfield Library. It was a nice weekend for a drive. I need to visit your blog more and check your schedule!! Thanks for such a wonderful post! I love reading about Jack, too. I may have to get one of those black and white kitties from your shop. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I try to put EVENTS on the blog fairly far in advance — hope to see you next time! LOVED your neck of the woods. It was just beautiful!

  20. Genie in NC says:

    Keep a song in your heart… ♥ Just received a nifty email with a link to a jukebox that plays hundreds of tunes — along with video. Lots of oldies too! Am listening to “How much is that Doggie in the Window?” and watching it being sung by Patti Page. You can click on tunes from the 1940s, Motown, Country, British Invasion, Glenn Miller, the Bee Gees, tunes from individual years, and many more. Pretty neat : )

  21. Sherri says:

    Dear Susan,
    These days with all the sensation on the news and the dreadful things happening in the Middle East it is so important to adjust our perspective and remember that our life is happening right now and we don’t want to miss the hundreds of little joys and blessings that are right in front of us.
    I, too, thank you for your sound advice. Thank you, also, for always turning our thoughts to the beauty of the earth, the comfort of friends and loved ones and HOME! I hope you know that you make a difference in the lives of everyone who follows your blog and reads your books.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  22. Donna C says:

    Love love love this post….every bit of it. There is a wonderful Bible verse that
    fits your thoughts to a ‘tea’……Philippians 4:8. Thank you for all your heartfelt words.

    • sbranch says:

      Whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely . . . think on these things . . . oh yes, lovely. Thank you Donna!

  23. Hi Susan,
    Your Fall photos are wonderful. Autumn in New England is the best. What a wonderful idea to make noodles from vegetables. I want you to know that the thing I most admire about you, is your ability to create your own piece of heaven. I have been trying to find new inspiration to fill my days with pretty, while the world seems scarier than any Halloween movie I have ever seen. Like my Grandmother used to say “this too shall pass”. I think that instead of closing my door in fear, I want to open my door and share what light I can find today. You are a light!

    Thank you as always for a beautiful and comforting post.

    • sbranch says:

      So far, knock on wood, they have always passed, almost like a flame going out, I’m sure this will be the same and in the meantime, I love how you are keeping busy! xoxo

  24. Michele M. says:

    Susan, thank you so much for being such a positive force for all of us, with every post!! I will admit I laughed out loud about the news casters part and their winter woe’s, I get the SAME phone calls/emails from relatives!
    We are the most experienced people on earth to be able to handle the winters in New England 🙂 It is however nice to know people care about us so much!
    All the media scares make me so angry. People need to learn to shut all of that off from time to time! (believe us, it will STILL be there).

    Your New England pictures are perfect. I grew up here, moved away, and moved back just because I missed this so much! This is where I belong. I still find myself, driving down a highway, or a back road to my Dad’s, and grinning ear to ear for the fall colors and remembering every second, how lucky I am to be in this part of the country.

    • sbranch says:

      This is where I belong too. Winters are long, which I know is what makes some people leave, but when you belong in a place, you have to take it as it comes.♥

  25. Jeanne Farmer says:

    thank you for putting out the words i want to say to everyone out there also, life is too short and too precious to worry about something that will probably never reach our doors. my favorite time of the year is fall and i too a photo of the leaves on the ground, didn’t come out as colorful as yours but fun just the same. can’t wait for the next blog—feel like i’ve spent the afternoon at your house.

    • sbranch says:

      Love to have you here, Jeanne. I’m working hard on my book, loving it, getting ready to take the train from Boston to LA to visit family . . .

  26. Tina Mandeville says:

    Hi, Susan!
    I just came upon some time to respond to your post….still reeling from the knowledge you were driving around my corner of the universe! EEEK again!
    There is nothing like travelling the back roads! You come upon such treasures otherwise lost in such travels. Let me tell you a little story behind the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Southbridge you visited. One of the boys in my youngest son’s Boy Scout Troop did his eagle scout project there a little while back. The photos you posted of those very old headstones which are in the forefront of the cemetery date back to the civil war. Most are loved ones from prominent family names still in residence today. Many of these stones are so old and were not even registered with the commission so the boys took it upon themselves to do the research on them! It was all quite interesting. They were able to retrieve information on quite alot but sadly, some were unreadable. Whatever was retrieved was most appreciated by the town and families alike. Thought you might like that little story of interest story pertaining to. I hope you share more of this travel of yours as I am wondering what places time allowed you to visit. I thought how a stop to old world Nana B’s Tea Room ( right there in Southbridge would have been the perfect for you and Joe! I live in neighboring Charlton, home of that wonderful Signal Rock Sheep Farm ( I had shared previously with you! If you ever have a chance to visit, the owners are such wonderfully gracious people! I wondered if you had a chance to drive up the road through Sturbridge…..perhaps the most beautiful time of year here! Old Sturbridge Village (, The Publick House ( are huge attractions as are many of the wonderful antique shops! Each October, the Sturbridge Common (in front of the Publick House) is filled with the most creative array of scarecrows and just this weekend was the big town Harvest Festival. If you didn’t get a chance to see/visit these places, they are all worthy to catalog as I know you have been known to travel toward central/western Ma. Another great place I need to mention is on Route 169 but in Woodstock, CT, just miles over the Southbridge line. There is a delightful British Tea Room called Mrs. Bridges’ Pantry that I KNOW you would love! Here is link to a wonderful write up about it with photos!……..On the same site as Mrs. Bridges” Pantry is the Scranton’s Shops – an antique lovers paradise! So, in my ongoing excitement that you were “here”, I just had to share some of these places that are in my backyard but right up your alley! 🙂 I say again, if I happened to have have seen your van driving around, it would have stopped me in my tracks! My heart would have pounded a little bit harder for sure…..because that’s just what happens when happiness takes hold of it, right?!

    • sbranch says:

      Great suggestions! Yes, we did go to Sturbridge — we go to Brimfield fairly often and so we’re familiar with them for lots of years — we ate at the Whistling Swan and drove by the display at the Publick House. I’m keeping your suggestions for more next time! Don’t you live in a GORGEOUS place!?!

  27. Karen Lotito from Aquebogue, NY says:

    This is one of my favorite posts. Thank you for sharing not only the beautiful pictures – you’ve gotta love Fall! – but your words of wisdom. It was so nice to read this on a rainy day here on Long Island. If we listen to the news enough, I think we’ll all believe that the world is ending, we’re all going to catch Ebola, etc. It adds to a low-level angst that is very unhealthy. If we focus on the little things – falling leaves, a cup of tea, kitties playing, the innocence of little children, the changing of the seasons, the first snowfall, a good book – I could go on and on – we’d be a lot happier instead of paying attention to negativity and toxic people. This goes for the upcoming holiday season. Forget about the “holiday shopping season” because that it is NOT, forget about Black Friday and people trampling each other to get more of what they don’t need and don’t really want, the pressures of the “perfect holiday” and the “best holiday ever” and just sit back and take in the small things, the little wonders that make life very special indeed.

  28. Carol C says:

    I am so glad you have the courage to say that the ebola scare is being hyped up for the election. I agree totally. When people have no ideas about what should be done they just point the finger at someone else and blame them for all the ills. For sure there are problems to be ironed out, but let’s work on them! That’s what we have elected them for! An the TV stations do not report the news they editorialize. Give us the facts and we voters are smart enough to figure out who will do the job. (Climbing down from the soapbox.)

    • sbranch says:

      I look at our own town government where political parties don’t exist — our elected officials are just there to make the town work. People disagree and work it out. Sometimes we’re happy about the outcome, sometimes not, but we move forward. So I’m right with you Carol. This whole democrat republican thing is making a mess of everything!

  29. charlotte says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful fall pictures. Down here in North Carolina fall is barely under way. We have the crisper air at night and 65-70 degrees during the day, but not much color yet. I am sure in the western part of the state in the mountains there is more. I was wondering how you got Jack to chase rubber bands? How did it start? I love his sweet face and it makes me miss our old tuxedo cat, Tucker. He had such a big personality. Anyway, thanks again for the fall beauty.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think I remember exactly. I feel like it was his idea, but how could that be? Maybe I threw one, since I was throwing his red ball at the time, and he went for it, and pretty soon, he didn’t care about the red ball anymore. He is one smart little kitty.

  30. Linda Hurst says:

    Susan, your fall colors….love ’em, love ’em, love ’em!!!!!

  31. Julie (Omaha ) says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’m up here in the North Woods helping my sister close up her cabin for the winter. We are enjoying the beautiful fall colors and falling leaves as well!
    I want to thank you for your comment on Ebola. I live in Omaha and actually work at the University of Nebraska Med’l Ctr where 2 of the Ebola patients have been treated. You can imagine the ” breaking news” reports that interrupt normal broadcasts to let us know for example, the “plane has arrived with the patient”, or ” the ambulance has arrived at the hospital” etc etc. I must say it gets quite frustrating to see the undue stress and anxiety this is causing. My young daughter was very worried we could catch Ebola and pleaded with me not to go to work. It seems that we live in a ” breaking news” society now days. Oh for the days where you could watch the news ( unbiased, unaffiliated ) w/o a ticker tape running below about a totally different story than the one being reported by the commentator. God bless you for your calming words and God bless the healthcare workers who volunteer to care for these patients!

    • sbranch says:

      I couldn’t agree more. The media used to be our best hope, but they’ve become more of a problem than what they are there to cover!

  32. Marybeth Ferrie says:

    Reading through tears…thank you. You always seem to know how to get our heads turned around correctly! xoxo

  33. Susan Cardot Lance says:

    Thank You for the beautiful Fall photos! Here in Southern California I am always looking for online web cams so I can so Fall colors around the country!

  34. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    The girlfriends are like Penelope, with our faces turned toward the light.. We were lucky to host a big family gathering this past weekend, including our two darling grandkids, so I am filled with light and love, and the fear mongers cannot touch me. (My kitty was not quite so thrilled with the invasion of relatives, however!) By the way, there’s a wonderful old movie on Turner Thurs evening, just in time for Halloween, called The Uninvited. Made in 1944, it stars Ray Milland, and is the best kind of ghost story. England, a house on a cliff next to the ocean, a mystery from the past! we are supposed to have a rain storm that night. Perfect! Kitty and I will be snuggled under a quilt with our popcorn and hot chocolate.

  35. Linda of Shadow Hills says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you So Much for sharing your beautiful pictures of Fall Color !
    Our God is such an Awesome Creator : )
    As much as I love living in So Cal, I miss the seasons I used to experience in my youth back in MN . . . I think my new goal should be to take a Fall Color trip to the East Coast every Autumn from now on !!
    Happy Autumn to You and Yours,
    Linda C. : )

  36. Anne Miller says:

    Hello, Susan! Thank you for this lovely post, as always, a day- brightener! I need to tell you that one of my favorite books during my teen years was, “Our Hearts were Young and Gay.” by Cornelia Otis Skinner…you probably know the story…two nineteen year-old friends making a transatlantic crossing and grand tour of Europe during the 1920s. That book planted the seed for my own adventure. Then, after reading “A Fine Romance” I was convinced, that at age 60, it was my turn! I made the crossing with my sweet daughter, Elizabeth (a main-stage performer on a cruise line, completing her contract at the end of the crossing) we then traveled in Spain, France and Ireland. My sister and my husband met up with us in Paris! Thank you, Miss Beautiful Light, as I have come to think of you, for helping me see the Light! Your book was my inspiration.
    Right now I am reading an important book, “This is a Story of a Happy Marriage.” by Ann Patchett author of bel canto. I think that you would love it! Blessings!

    • sbranch says:

      That book was one of my seeds too . . . I just loved all the travel in the old movies, boats and trains are my cup of tea! Your trip sounds wonderful! I’m so glad you made it happen! Thank you Anne!

  37. Gloria Howard says:

    Thank you so much Susan! Something was drawing me to your blog today and now I know why. I needed to read your sound advice on the whole Ebola crisis.
    Now I need to go back to the living room and turn my TV OFF !
    And I think that the leaves this year in New England are better than ever. But maybe I say this every year. I have found all kinds of really special leaves with multiple colors on the same leaf this year.

  38. Jonna Green says:

    Hi Susan,

    Loved your post! Puts things in perspective for sure!

    Also, I love making “zoodles!” I have had a spiralizer for a few years and it’s the best! I also make some delicious extra lean ground turkey meatballs that I use quinoa in for a binder instead of bread crumbs for added protein and they are so good!

    Happy Fall!

  39. Marla says:

    Hi Susan!
    It’s a great time of year for all of us to find some “me” time, get outside (away from the 24 hr news cycle – ugh!) and enjoy the sights, smells, textures and amazing fall colors.
    Last weekend, we took a beautiful drive on the Great River Road along the Mississippi River. The views are etched in my mind – a canopy of golden leaves along a winding road, historic barns and cows grazing throughout the hilly countryside and all the small town main streets decorated in their finest fall decor. One of my favorite towns, Galena, IL, is one I think you would like! We also made a special stop outside Platteville, WI, for a photo op with “That Tree” – an inspirational burr oak tree over 160 years old! We had no real agenda and stopped whenever we felt like it – pure bliss!
    Thanks for your lovely New England fall post! Happy fall everyone!

  40. Mrs. Belote's 2nd Grade Gifted and Talented Class says:

    Dear Mrs. Branch,

    Thank you for your beautiful fall pictures. We live in Texas and our leaves never put on as brilliant a show as yours. Sometimes, they just turn brown and get whooshed off the trees by a blast of wind.

    Wow! You are an excellent artist. We can tell that you took your time creating pictures and other things. Jack is the cutest, funniest cat ever! We learned that you like to create things, care about people and animals, nature is important to you, and you are following your passion. Have a lovely day!


    Mrs. Belote’s 2nd Grade Class

    • sbranch says:

      Hello Mrs. Belote and your lovely Second Grade class! It is so nice that you paid a visit to my blog. You were so good and so quiet, I hardly knew you were here . . . but you seemed to be paying attention. I bet you like to create things too, love people and animals and nature too. xoxo Sending love!

  41. N Jean says:

    What a beautiful post. I love ALL things autumn. I wanted you to know that you inspired me to read Gladys Taber’s books, and to learn about her. I recently went to a little used book store and found an 8 x 10 oil painting of Gladys Taber’s home at Stillmeadow in the winter. It is roughly done, but wonderful all of the same. I was able to locate two of her books also. One is Stillmeadow Seasons and the other is Stillmeadow Daybook. I love them both. Thank you for all of your inspirational blog posts.

  42. Mary from Ipswich MA says:

    You are an angel from Heaven. Truth.

  43. Judy Dow says:

    Hi Susan! Thank you for your sensible blog! You really put this Ebola scare to rest! The trees in Indiana are so gorgeous this year. I find myself going miles out of the way to run errands just to stay on woodsy roads! Seasons are truly a gift. Thanks for sharing your leaf photos. I could hear the crunching on the beautiful cemetery path! This season is gone too soon. Enjoy! Love to Joe and the kitties! Love, lucy

  44. Cindy Zuch says:

    Loved your post. I noticed your gray flecked linoleum countertop with the silver trim – exactly like my mom’s kitchen in the home I grew up in. Seeing it brought back lots of good memories of my mom’s cooking with me sitting at the kitchen table doing my homework and smelling the great dinners. Thank you!

  45. Monique says:

    It looks just like here..Even the church and graveyard..just up my street..left on Main Road..and the right ,on the water.
    I have that spiralizer too..such a great little gadget.makes everything pretty.
    I was amazed the other day looking at Diane her early twenties and some photos you have shared of you..A pretty resemblance:)

  46. Cathy H says:

    Thank you for that beautiful post – exactly what I needed to see and read. I live in upstate NY in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains and fall is my most favorite time of year. Both of my sisters have moved to South Carolina and while I miss them, there is no chance of me leaving my hometown. Fall is a feast for all of the senses!

    Thank you too, for all of your beautiful books, pictures, recipes, quotes – the whole kit n kaboodle! I never fail to smile and feel good when I’m reading your stuff.

  47. Kathryn B. says:

    Thank you, Susan for your beautiful post. The pictures are an awesome display of fall and I truly appreciate your opinion on how the press manages to make everything an emergency – I feel the same way and never listen or read the news unless forced:)
    I received my darling sheep bank this week and it has a place of honor in my home (as does everything I order from your store). I am drinking my coffee out of my rose and bee cup from Emma Bridgewater and just as “happy as a lark” right now.
    I am going to try to come to the book signing in Cayucos, CA in November. My Granddaughter wants to come too. And good news!! The weather has cooled down!! They are even predicting rain toward the end of October . . . that would be so wonderful; we will see . . .

    Cheers! Kathy

  48. Dena says:

    the picture of the leaves are beautiful, all i can think about is how pretty they would look between two sheets of laminate, and made into a place mat , or matt under a vase. will have to get me one of those veggie slicer, im a big veggie eater and getting tired of salads. OH what is that big safety pin looking thing in your coffee/tea cup?

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, it’s a tea infuser, like a double sided spoon that opens so you can fill it with loose tea and stir into hot water.

  49. Donna Miller says:

    well, great minds think alike, I guess! Loved your message about Ebola. I don’t intend to touch those things, so figure I am pretty safe. I DO think the media likes to keep is “worked up”! The pictures are gorgeous, we don’t get many pretty leaves in Oklahoma. In fact tomorrow in OKC the temperature is supposed to be over 90 degrees…crazy!

  50. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan, just in from helping at a friend’s church bazaar. Lot’s of fun plus a really good bake sale. I noticed you have a vintage book for sale called “Home for Christmas”. Could you tell us a little more about the book, please? Is it short stories or a novel or general ways to celebrate Christmas? Thanks. It’s never too early to think about Christmas.

    • sbranch says:

      I have that same book ~ it looks so pretty on the coffee table during the holidays. It’s a vintage Christmas story about being home for Christmas, with color and line drawings inside.

  51. Jack says:

    Then three were the two morons working at building a house …..the first guy started to pound the nail he had and couldn’t get it started , so he yells at his partner , “look they put the head of this nail on the wrong end” …..after a moment his partner yells back , ” don ‘t be stupid ….it goes in the other wall !

  52. Jack says:

    New book title – Me , Myself and I , we all had to grow to be One.

  53. Jack says:

    The night crawler is on the first step – the night crawler is on the second step
    The night crawler’s skeleton nahah ha ha!…is coming to your bedroom to crawl on you !

  54. Jennifer Logan says:

    So glad you said that! I am sitting here drinking morning coffee and listening to my 6 yr old chatter while my boys are asleep upstairs and scaring myself with more news headlines. I just sat up and pulled up your blog for a dose of happy, and you said the just right thing! Have a great day and I’ll go enjoy mine 🙂

  55. Kimberly says:

    In At Home in Mitford, Father Tim’s bishop tells him that Cynthia is “a tonic” to the priest. I think of you, Susan Branch, as a tonic to us. And I think of your new book about your trip to England as a tonic. It’s such a wonderful vacation for me when life gets to be too much. When I think of all that you do here and in your books it reminds me of this scripture,

    “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

    You provide those things that are excellent and praiseworthy, and I thank you for it. And please consider turning your blog posts into future books like A Fine Romance. It’s my absolute favorite, so far. I would love to have your whole blog in book form on my bookshelves!

    P.S. Thanks for mentioning the ebola thing. I agree that the news media seems to live to stir us up so they can keep us tuned in and the money flowing in. It’s why I can only listen to the news in bits. Too much hype and fear-mongering.

  56. Sheryl says:

    Dear Friend Susan,
    Just now got to read your post and it’s Sunday morning already. It’s been sitting in front of me for a few days, but I wanted soft music playing, sun shining in the window and not a thing to do except get ready for a walk with our dogs. I was looking for serenity and here it is. I had the Today Show on earlier and heard the latest. I turned it off, but I admit I researched my old town’s newspaper because it is in the news big time. I lived in Auburn CA until 3 years ago and this is where the two police officers were shot and killed this past Friday. This has shattered the people of the community. Auburn is as idyllic as it gets. A foothill town below Lake Tahoe that is below the snow and above the fog with Victorian houses everywhere, antique shops, quaint restaurants, canyons and rivers to hike in, on and on. People move to Auburn from all over the U.S. because it’s so desirable. I said my prayers of peace and hope to all involved in the shootings. Now I will let it all go today and not dwell on it. I will talk to my Daughters, Granddaughters, Husband and maybe a friend or two and make peace with my thoughts and spread love where I can. I’m starting to use the phrase “Keep Calm And Carry On” more and more.

    Thanks for the inspiration blog. It takes me back to what’s important..always. Hugs to you! Sheryl

    • sbranch says:

      My brother lives in Auburn, it’s a wonderful small place and so terrible that this has happened. The psychotics have gotten their hands on weapons. I almost don’t even think “terrorist” anymore, I think crazy! xoxo Sheryl, keep the faith.

      • Sheryl says:

        Thanks for replying. I’m glad I looked back to see if my note was accepted and then I see you took the time to answer me. How do you do it all? Susan, you are truly a cut above in all you do and share. Wishing you and Joe a beautiful train ride out West. xoxo Sheryl

        • sbranch says:

          It’s from the heart Sheryl, I think I’m the luckiest person to get to do this and meet all of you!

  57. Susan Cowles says:

    I love your blogs!! I love hearing about New England! Grew up there and really miss for 40 yrs!! Lived in Simi Valley for 35yrs and now live in Las Vegas!! Love Jack!, what a great personality he has!! Hugs, Susan

  58. Tracy Dunne says:

    Ad majorem Dei gloriam – for the greater glory of God!

    With much enjoyment I have been reading your recent posts filled with the goodness of autumn, Mother Effie’s bread, lavender soap, kitties, and comfort food.

    To keep peace amid chaos and worry, to see beauty amid ugliness, to offer our crosses for good rather than letting them weigh us down – nothing offered to God is wasted.

    Thank you for spreading beauty, peace, and joy!

  59. Joy says:

    Isnt it wonderful to get off the main drag and take the wind-y way? This Fall, I worked at a golf course, hand watering several newly planted gardens…I felt sorry for the golfers cuz *I* was the one that got to see the little flowers, or the buds, or the berrys because I had to walk among the plants…oh the beauty that was missed!! Well, it didnt totally go to waste because I shared on facebook several albums of flowers so others could see.
    And tomorrow…snow and 40 mph winds…
    Fall…it’s great while it lasts, isnt it?

  60. Melissa says:

    I just discovered “zoodles” myself, and I am loving them! There is a smaller hand held tool to use to make them called a Vegetti, and you can find them on Amazon, but I like the look of yours a little better. Yay veggies!

    Have you tried cauliflower rice? Just take a head of cauliflower and grate it with the larger holes on your grater, fry it in a pan (not for too long-maybe 10 to 15 minutes?) with a little olive oil or even use a little broth. I normally don’t like cauliflower but this stuff is really good, totally passes for rice in my opinion. I made chicken fried “rice” the other day and it was fantastic!

    Thank you for the beautiful photos! I just love the fall season, all of those falling leaves, and that cemetery is amazing! Did you notice any of the dates of the headstones? Looks like a wonderful piece of history.

    • sbranch says:

      I haven’t tried cauliflower rice, but I definitely will, I bet it’s nutty and delicious when it’s fried!

  61. Paula says:

    This comment is rather late, but ever since I was privileged to read this BLOG entry I have wanted to comment on it.

    First, I loved your “soap box” message, and I completely agree with you. We needn’t let the fear mongers ruin our lives. It would behoove people to read more BLOGS like yours rather than watch the news. I practice what I preach: a friend said something to me, in a rather concerned tone of voice, about ebola. I hadn’t a clue what she was talking about until she told me that
    far away, in Texas, someone had this virus…and so on. I saw no cause to worry, but I did pray for those who might have been exposed. I like your comment: “Faith that it’s the little everyday things that make life sweet. Not denial, but faith. Don’t let the media scare you or your loved ones.♥”

    I liked your comments on cemeteries, also. One time we were waiting for something, and we got out of our car and walked a short distance to a rather small plot of grass in an unlikely location. It was situated near some busy roads that had obviously, purposefully been made to skirt this patch of lawn. Come to find out, it was an old, old burying place. The grave markers were flat. It was clear that, at one point, there had been some type of sickness that took out two to four family members, in several families, in close succession. The inscriptions were so sweet: words of faith in God despite the loss.

    Your photos of the cardinals and of the candles glowing inside your house give me feelings of joy and warmth and contentment. You have a gift of speaking volumes with your pictures. 🙂

    I have thoroughly been enjoying the colorful leaves this autumn. Thank you for sharing your fall colors with us. 🙂

    Thank you, again, for your positive outlook on life, Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Paula. Lovely words. There is one old house in Edgartown (on Martha’s Vineyard), from way back in the day, with about five different sized very old, carved headstones in the front yard. Family house, I’m sure. Touches your heart to see it.

  62. Linda says:

    Your combination of optimism and realism is so wonderful and a great reminder to not jump to conclusions in life especially when the conclusions are all is lost! You provide inspiration, entertainment and a reminder of the good in life. I’m also happy for the beauty you share in your words and photos. I had all your books except the Autumn cookbook and I bought it a week ago and savor a page or so a night which gives me a smile on my face and in my heart before bedtime. My husband enjoys the happiness you bring to me. Best wishes to you always and happy holidays, Linda

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