AUTUMN from the HEART of the HOME

Hello darling people!   MUSICAMusicaTea

Get a cup of tea and join me for AUTUMN from the Heart of the Home, it’s blog time!

tree talk fall Trees make SUCH good sense when you can get one to talk. Fall is when they do it, you can hear it in the shhhhh of their leaves . . . and you find out they make sense in more ways than one! 

leaf border

through the woods

And they smell good too!  Especially this time a year, when the air is filled with them.  Here was our walk yesterday. It’s getting very beautiful out there.  Still lots of green, but the change is coming . . . 

flower border


flower border

if you dream it


As you can see, we are nowhere near peak yet, color wise, but a few things are beginning to burst, like the bittersweet . . . such a fun thing to decorate with although I can use it outside only because it’s not good for kitties.

flower border

poison ivy

You would NOT want to decorate with this inside OR out, because this is poison ivy. But isn’t it pretty?  Our woods are filled with this climber that turns bright red . . . they should have called this bittersweet — because with poison ivy you get the bitter, but in the color you get the sweet! 

fall color

You can see a bit more of it in red on the tree in the back . . . it’s gorgeous, one of the prettiest fall plants in the woods.

down to the sea

Bittersweet tumbles everywhere. It lights the shadowy places up.

Through the trees

Sassafras!  Pretty pretty pretty. The wind makes the leaves shimmer in the light . . .

flower border

leaf fall

So I was wearing this kind of loose-knit sweater and I started gathering leaves, flowers and berries to bring home so instead of carrying them, I strung them through my sweater . . .

elizabeth von arnim

wear your love like heavenThis face says Ha! I thought it looked great. I wanted to cover my entire sweater in them. Make a fall costume. But, when a car drove by us out there, Joe pretended not to know me. Silly boy. Doesn’t he know . . .

normal ones


Here it all is, that’s our woods!

windfall crabapples

These are windfall crabapples I found on the ground under a tree when we were in New Hampshire. So cute, I brought them home to put on the kitchen table. P.S. They were free!  Just lying around on the ground. Can you imagine?

last rose of season

And this gorgeous rose is the last one of the season from our garden. I debated, bring it in, or enjoy it in the garden? IN! I felt good about my decision. Up close and personal, not just for me, but for you too. Through the MAGIC of the Internet! I still can’t believe we can DO this!

2015 calendar

October, my darling, slooow down. Last two months, please . . .I really love you. I had such fun painting this page, I want it to stick around for a while!

flower border

decorating for autumn

mums from the garden

We almost always end up getting mums to decorate our porch, and then we plant them in the garden afterwards. And they always come back. These wine-red mums are growing in the garden now.

the porch

Lowely was just here for tea, she heard we’re going to have a freeze on Saturday! So I’ll cover the mums with a blanket to get them to last a bit longer. The hand-painted little thrift shop vase up there is my newest favorite thing ~ it was a gift from my girlfriend Pat  . . . adorable don’t you think? For the collection . . . From one “little vase” lover to another . . . 

…How does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells…

stove decor

Top o’ the stove as of yesterday. . .

1950s O'keefe & Merritt stove

We are cookin’ with gas in more ways than one . . . because it’s getting chilly out there!

little vases

flower border

Fall color

Casper from the back

And it’s Casper time.  A VERY friendly ghost . . . already lighting the bedroom window upstairs. . . hello to the street!


See him?  Our pumpkins are up too. But you can see, although there are colored leaves on the ground, the trees still have a little ways to go. Mas MUSICA? OUI!

stove decor

When I want to decorate I just shop my house and pull out anything that says “Autumn” to me, like these little faux pears and that pinecone I found out on the road. Nature (and the attic) provides.
Feed Your Creative Heart


I read my Autumn Book and set it up in my kitchen to get inspired . . . such a creative time of year! 

the window

See, just little stuff we have around . . . the birds we sell in our web store ~ along with little faux leaves I got somewhere and saved.

The Fairy Tale Girl

We had such a nice time at our book signing in Meredith, New Hampshire with the good people at Innisfree Books ~ Lots of our Girlfriends were there! By the way, I left lots of signed copies of The Fairy Tale Girl and A Fine Romance at this wonderful Independent Bookstore if you’re interested . . . they told me they would be happy to send you one for as long as they last. You can call them at 603-279-3905.

Susan Branch the Autumn Book

They decorate their store with huge posters that authors sign for them. I figured out where to sign the poster for The Fairy Tale Girl, but was having trouble with Autumn. The caption (and my left hand) would say, “Yeah, but where?”

border flower
Innisfree Bookstore

But I figured out . . . and was very proud of myself!

little things
Fall farmstands

We stopped in the BEST farm stands when we were up there . . . and got ourselves some very large pumpkins to carve for Halloween.

good witches

reading in front of the fire

But my favorite thing was reading in front of the fire at Lowely’s grandmother’s house . . . a little bit of heaven. 


I suggested Corn Pudding on the October page of this year’s calendar (up there  and hopefully on your wall) so I thought I should give you the recipe. It’s in the Autumn Book too. SO good, SO easy, and DO float it in a puddle of maple syrup … It’s the perfect food for this time of year, I promise!


Jackie Boy

Jack. In his new capacity of door beggar. PLEASE take me out!  Please!!!!!!!! I hope over the winter he forgets about the great outdoors because, despite his little mustache and his melting green eyes, this boy has terrible killer instincts and if he were set loose, I would fear for the world of birds, bunnies and other kitties! A neighborhood cat becomes visible through a window and Jack turns into a Rhodesian Ridgeback. One scary kitty.

sammy, Studio cat

I tell Jack he has it so easy. The cats in California are working cats! This is darling SAMMY . . . helping out at the Studio. He sleeps with us when we are there, and I have to say, I get a tear in my eye when I have to leave him. He looks a little scary in this photo, but that’s just the camera, he is the MOST wonderful kitty, SO loving. After Jack and Girl of course. (I think they can read.)

Sasha, Studio Cat

And Sasha! Another HUGE help at the Studio. Look at those front paws! I Love that my Studio has kitties. Kellee’s yellow lab, Reese, comes to work with her too, so we know we are running the RIGHT kind of business, don’t you agree? If things get too busy and Kellee and Sheri get stressed, they can just reach over, pet a kitty or a dog, and voila, stress is a thing of the past and they are smiling again!

All five stars for The Fairy Tale Girl

I’m smiling too because we have 52 five-star reviews on Amazon for The Fairy Tale Girl!!! Already, before most of our Girlfriends in the UK have even gotten their books. You can’t ask for more than that! I had to check Amazon, it’s the only way I know to gauge how the book is doing. So exciting and so lucky! Whoever has taken the time to write those reviews, if you are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank ALL of you. I love reading your comments here on the blog. I’m really overwhelmed to tell you the truth. This book was a long time coming . . . XOXO


Just so you know, every day I work on Book Two. Trying to girl paintingget it done ASAP! Cliff hangers (I’ve come to realize) are so unfair! No matter how much fun they are! I think you think you know how this next book will end, but I think you will be surprised. *That’s all I’m saying*. And for all the talk about making The Fairy Tale Girl into a movie (or, a series with Zooey Deschanel in the starring role, ha ha), I have one thing to say, where is Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle) when we need her? Hear that, adorable Richard Curtis who made Love Actually?fun is goodAnd so are dreams. . .even if you don’t get them!

Flap copy for The Fairy Tale Girl


So, what else . . ? Oh, yes, I’ll be signing THE FAIRY TALE GIRL at Titcombs Bookshop on the Cape in Sandwich this Saturday, October 17th, from 1-3 p.m. if anyone is in the birthday kittyneighborhood. Joe and I are having lunch with the Beatrix Potter Girlfriends before the signing, to talk about next year, the 150th anniversary of the Birth of Beatrix, a light upon the earth for her time here, and still, after all these years. There are plans afoot for a celebration. I will tell you more later . . . hope to see some of you at the signing.

come see us

pumpkins in the garden

october susan branch

border flower

Joy to the world, that’s all I have to say. Not really ALL I have to say. That’ll be the day.:-) We are starting to plan our cross-country bookstore tour for next year . . . we are very excited. You know how good it feels to put something fun on the calendar?  Oh boy, do we feel good! Because we are also planning a very big birthday party for Joe next August. With a band and a tent and everything!  pumpkinPLUS, we still have another book to do, PLUS, Downton Abbey is coming, it’s all so exciting. PLUS Thanksgiving, PLUS Christmas. AND the first snow. Our cup runneth over.  Love you Girls, have a WONDERFUL day. EAT corn pudding! XOXO 

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

556 Responses to AUTUMN from the HEART of the HOME

  1. MarySue Knight says:

    Oh Susan thank you for Autumn!! 🍂🍁Here in Arizona Autumn is hard to come by and I still decorate when it’s 99* out. You brought me smiles and joy. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you back Mary Sue! Sending a big whiff of Autumn air your way.

    • Judy Young says:

      It feels like Fall today here in North Texas. 79 for a high, yea! I have been very inspired by your post today Susan and have been cleaning the house and burning Autumny candles. Took an old silver tray that I had painted with blackboard paint (handles and surround still old silver) and using chalk board paint pens drew Welcome Fall (in shadow letters) and drew an actual pumpkin that looks very real! You are such an inspiration Susan! Also plan to search my cupboards for small vases and pitchers, and can’t wait to go shopping to find more. But today I am relaxing after a busy week at work and taking time for me. I made a cup of Darjeeling tea in my favorite old “Olde Coalport” floral English bone china cup. It’s an extra big cup and saucer and is so pretty. Found it at a nearby consignment shop for $25. I ate two of Trader Joes Lemon Bars with it. If you haven’t tried them you should. They taste just like a lemon bar should taste, nothing artificial….ummm. Now washing some of my Fall dishes to use in seasonal decorating. By the way, Trader Joes has some great pumpkins, not the perfect ones, but very colorful with interesting surfaces on them for $5.99 each. Pumpkins can be very expensive this time of year and these are a bargain, and they are a good size. Happy Fall everyone!

  2. Hi Sue,
    I have been watching for a blog post every morning except today! 🙁 I had some volunteer work to do and never got a chance to check. I have to tell you how much I am enjoying The Fairy Tale Girl. I was born in 1947 and my father was in the Navy at sea in the Pacific. The parallels in our lives go on and on. At times I have been giggling and other parts have made me so sad. I can’t wait to read part two.
    I can think of several people I want to share it with, so I’m going to try to come to Sandwich. I hope I can meet you. <3

    • sbranch says:

      I hope so too Janet! Plus it seems like lots of our Girlfriends are coming . . . fun to meet each other!

  3. diana from ancaster says:

    So love this recent post…..Bright October is here in ALL her glory…have cooked my way through your cookbooks…..always fills the heart as well as the belly!

    hugs from here

  4. Ann Woleben says:

    How did you know I needed to “escape” today? Your blog post came at the perfect time. Every word and photo a treat before Halloween! Happy Autumn~

  5. Pam says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just love your kitties. And the studio kitties are so precious. I just lost my big orange tiger, Spencer, to lymphoma. Heartbroken. But your cat pictures made me smile through my tears. Enjoy every moment.
    Thanks for all your lovely art and books.

    • sbranch says:

      So so sorry Pam xoxo

    • Chris Wells From Knickerbocker, W. TX says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, Pam. They fill our lives and leave a big hole in our hearts when they are gone. Non pet people don’t understand our grief. Sending a big warm hug to you!

  6. Brenda Caldwell says:

    I’ve tried to be quiet for awhile, but this post just made me want to say something, lol! I love your fall decor and the sweater is just fabulous 🙂 I honestly get the most enjoyment out of reading your posts and then getting to read all the comments from the girlfriends, it’s like the icing on the cake. Happy Fall Susan and everyone!

  7. Judy in Oregon says:

    Actually it’s Judy in New Hampshire at the moment and enjoying all the fall color that is so breathtakingly beautiful. Tomorrow we are going to our friends house in Mashpee and I am planning to be at your book signing on Saturday.

  8. Susan Morgon ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

    Susan, your posts are always so heartwarming! I loved looking at all of your colorful pictures. I thought to myself, ‘Next year we will surely be back in Ohio where the fall faerie paints the earth with colorful splashes!’ Here the colors are muted, and everything is so dry. But next year, next year! Now, I have to confess that I haven’t read my new book yet. ( Can you believe it? ) Since I had some library books to finish off, I set it on the shelf next to its siblings and admire it often. And another girlfriend shared my same sentiments when she said she was just waiting for that special right time. Exactly how I feel! I did peek in, however, so I know good things are waiting for me. I hope you will return to The Learned Owl in Ohio on the next book jaunt, and I truly hope to be able to see you there.

  9. mari1017 says:

    What a gorgeous, happy and tender October Autumn post this is, Susan! Love it ~ love Autumn with all my heart and am enjoying it here in central Virginia. The leaves are curiously enough at about the same stage as yours on MV which surprised me! Since the storms we have had absolutely perfect days and nights.
    You will be signing at Titcomb’s Bookshop on my birthday, and how I wish I was there!!! I wonder if Horsefeathers is still open further down 6A ~ that was another of my very favorite stops along the road in Sandwich. Anyway, hoping to maybe be lucky enough to see you somewhere in Virginia??? You will need a caravan for this journey lol 😉 p.s. maybe you can get Paul McCartney to sign “When I’m 64” at Joe’s birthday bash ♥ Enjoy every blessed second of this glorious month!!! Loving it all ♥

    • sbranch says:

      That means tomorrow’s your birthday . . . Hope it’s a wonderful day. I’m pretty sure Horsefeathers will still be there. I always look, and so far, it always is. Such a beautiful shop. I’m already planning a When I’m 64 speech for Joe’s birthday . . . “Birthday greetings, bottle of wine — if he stays out till quarter of 4, I WON’T lock the door . . . 🙂 I’m probably much more excited about his party than he is!

      • Susan P. says:

        Susan, On my 25th birthday, my husband to be Mark, sang to me “When I am 64″…and said when “You turn 64 I will sing this song to you again” Well last year at my family party I got the surprise I was hoping he would give me…. Mark and all of my children and in-laws and guest all sang to me…”When I am 64″…. It was the best gift…and the bottle of wine wasn’t to bad either…hahaha. Love, Susan P.

  10. Edie McAdoo says:

    Almost finished The Fairy Tale Girl. A sheer delight!!

  11. Linda Metcalf says:

    I’m still waiting on my bittersweet….I love to decorate with it. I go to a local park and collect pinecones and acorns for décor also. Your photos are glorious. Autumn is so colorful and the cooler weather is all about cooking and baking. I received my book last week and read it in a day and a half. It took my mind off losing my sweet little doggie, Sam on Friday. I can’t wait for the next! You bring happiness !

  12. Wendy says:

    Oh what a great post this is, Susan!!

    I LOVE the kitty pictures, of course. Jack and the two studio kitties. Gorgeousness! Did I tell you I now work as an adoption manager for a humane society, where my main responsibility is to play with kitties and get them adopted to wonderful furrever homes? Yes! That’s what I do now! I can’t even TELL you how much I love it!

    And MARK MY WORDS: I WILL meet you during your book tour next year. My mom got to meet you last year and I WILL meet you next year. I cannot wait to hug your neck!

    Much love and cool October breezes! <3

    • sbranch says:

      What a wonderful job you have Wendy! But so dangerous, I would imagine you want to take them all home! See you soon!

  13. Lynnie says:

    Hi Susan!

    You live like feel and enjoy all your posts and enthusiasm for life and all things wonderful. Living with Fibromyalgia has really been a challenge as it has progressed over the years but you bring a light in my life as it has changed whether I like it or not. I hope you come to my area of MI so I can have a visit book signing as even my symptoms will not stop me from that! Keep on with your spirit and love for all things we love. Till we meet again at a signing 🙂 and your next book is done…and those Autumn beads are back in stock…can’t wait to order one of those, I’ll be here absorbing your wonderful spirit of light. Lynnie

  14. susan says:

    Dear, dear Susan!
    As I began to read your post, I found myself taking in a nice deep breath and slowly letting it out – you bring such a feeling of peace to me and so many! I did love your ‘collecting sweater’ idea too. It’s perfect! How many times one starts a walk in the woods and very quickly, small nature items are in hand! Last weekend I was in Western Connecticut, enjoying the colors and hearing – and loving- that same crinkle of leaves in the wind that only happens in the fall. I started painting with watercolor a few years ago, inspired by your beautiful recreations of life. Thank you for all of your inspiration, whatever the season!

  15. Thea says:

    I love the sweater leaves picture of you above! You are too cute! Xo t

  16. Margot at the Beach says:

    I keep forgeting to ask…What is the name of that rose you brought into the house??? I like that color. I like salmon colored roses too.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s called Just Joey, and is one of the best roses I’ve ever had. The color is wonderful, but it also smells amazing, lasts a long time, is prolific and doesn’t get diseases. How about THAT!? Plus, you know, the name — that’s what got me into it in the first place.

      • Margot at the Beach says:

        Oh that’s the Just Joey! Love the heartiness, and I will get one when I settle in up north.

  17. Carol Oliver says:

    Dear Sweet Susan,
    wow…I really loved your Book…I thought I knew soooo much about you, following you all these years…I first met you in San Luis Obispo for a
    Book Signing…I brought all Books you had written up until then, and you
    signed all of them, I believe 1994….but I did not know about your Life
    In San Louie…wow…You wrote your book beautifully, very sentimentally,
    I could not stop reading, so I was actually reading 2 books at the time, because once I opened The Fairy Tale Girl, I could not stop. After I met
    you, your mom came to see me, when at the time I worked in the L.B. Auto Club Office, and she brought me things that you made and created, and that was it for me, I was hooked on Susan Branch…Now I know where Branch came from.
    OK, The Beatles.I actually know all this knowing you all these years and all your books and Blogs, and stories, but that still amazes me…that story..
    I think that I will know you…In Book 2…since I really got to know you in the 2nd half of your life…your Store, I have met you 3 times…Remnants…Congrats Susan, Love your Book…Autumn Book, Love Book, those are also favorites..
    We are the same age…a few months apart…One last thing, you did it, you took the leap we all think about doing, booked the trip, and went to New England…I have said that many times…I want to live there…I have been to New England 2 times in Fall…the locals say…Live here one Winter First before deciding. You did, and never looked back… Love ya Susan, thanks for making my life a little more Country….Vintage, lovely. Carol O. in So. Calif. just over the Bridge from Mom, with YOUR Red Toille Gravy Boat..Forever mine…xo

    • sbranch says:

      I always get a kick at how you sign your comments! So cute! Thank you Carol . . .Love that my mom brought us together!

  18. Diana H. says:

    Gorgeous post Susan! We are just tipping into fall here in southern Illinois and am loving it, although it looks a little strange now that all the corn has been harvested, but now we can pay attention to the colors better!!! I don’t have anything redeeming to say but just wanted you to know that I saw the Christmas ornament was in the shop and grabbed it right away. THANK YOU SO MUCH for doing that!!! I know it is another to do on your big list, but I just love your ornaments. Thanks again for all you do for us and have a wonderful rest of your fall.. to you and yours and all the Girlfriends!!!

  19. Peggy Cooper, Pueblo, CO says:

    By the time I get to the end of your wonderful posts, there’s so much whirling around in my head. And I’m such a talker so you know I can go on and on. But all I’m going to say this time is – yes, we are the normal ones!

  20. Cyndi in NC says:

    I am excited about all the things you mentioned in the last paragraph plus January is my birthday month and I’m going on a cruise in February, my first!! It will be a busy time for us all and I can’t wait. Hopefully the end of this end and from no on will be much better than our last year. I have my fingers crossed. We have had a good time in AZ but I’m ready to go home. I didn’t have the book sent out here. I figure it was ment to be read at home so it will be waiting for me. I’m so excited to read it!!!!!!! To be in my own bed in my own home. *S* But to be here with my husband and daughter and grand dog has been super. I know how you miss the kitties and I know they miss you. I love the CA kitties. Sammy and his little “beauty mark” and Sasha, what a beauty she is. They are very lucky to have the kitties at work. Yes, they are great stress relievers. Nothing like hugging a soft purring cat.

  21. Cindy Stierhoff says:

    Loved all your Autumn news today, Miss Sue…never knew poison ivy gets so red…was in Arroyo Grande a couple weeks past, loved it so much, that we plan now to retire somewhere in 5 Beach City area in a couple of years. The Avila Barn Maket had spectacular pumpkins this year, colors I had never seen before. Will you be in Califonia next August by chance???? That leafy sweater was too darling for words…..and the cats, you have the most beautiful tuxies, Sammy and Girl kitty, love them so much.


    • sbranch says:

      Yes, it’s a wonderful place! Check with locals about the weather . . . too far inland it gets VERY hot, too close to shore, it gets very foggy, but in the middle, oooo-la-wee perfection! We’ll be in California in the spring, but next August we’ll be on the Island. xoxo Thank you!

      • Vicki says:

        Susan! While we have your attention on the subject of Five Cities/SLO/environs…yes, Paso is too hot for me; Atascadero, forget it, even more hot and too inland. A friend of mine is very partial to Pismo. But, since you know the area very, very well, what would be your fave Central Coast city to live in as a retiree, or was Arroyo Grande the ultimate favorite? Do weigh in. I know no one in the area to ask. Things ‘seniors’ like to consider is “walkable,” a good hospital not too far, etc. I so love the idea of a year’round/weekly Farmer’s Market and I’m sure with Cal Poly there are probably lots of offerings like (even sometimes ‘free’) plays, concerts, etc. Thanks; your opinions would be really helpful!

        • sbranch says:

          Anything over the grade is too hot for me! Cambria’s a little too foggy. But Arroyo Grande, not too far from the shore, but not too close, is nirvana, weatherwise. PLENTY of nice small town things to do there.

  22. Pat Johnson says:

    Always makes me happy to read your blog and then read the messages sent to you. I am reminded that we really are a special group of people who not only follow you….but each other. That is very special. I am almost at the end of the book – read it when I go to bed – it is quiet and peaceful and I can concentrate and pull up memories of my own. The thing is, I really, really want young people to read this book because it shares what it was like so many years ago. I refer to the “family” and how we looked out for each other – even when we had other things we wanted to do – my memories of what you went through surfaced and that was good. It has been way too long – remembering growing up during the 40s & 50s & 60s. How as a family we sat down to dinner TOGETHER and talked to each other. My sister and I shared the chore of washing dishes and listened to the radio as we did it – singing much of the time. I can still see the nights that my Dad went out and got bottles of Coke and vanilla ice cream for Coke Floats – the smiles he would get. It saddens me to watch my children eat too late, sit in front of the TV and not talk to their children. Growing up they did sit at the table and we ate, laughed and talked. Thank you for such a remarkable and moving story… is so special to read it and know it comes from our Susan. Hugs galore!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Pat . . . I love hearing everyone’s “take” on the book, and their memories of those times. We had so much in common, even then!

  23. Judy in Ohio says:

    How much FUN, dear Susan, to read, see and listen
    to your new post here as I am winding down the day
    and getting ready for sleep!

    It sounds like you and Joe and your friends had a wonderful
    and eventful and adventurous trip up north. I am so glad that
    at least some of the foliage cooperated while you were out and about to see it! The best is yet to come…and that is true here in Ohio too.
    I predict that next weekend may be THE weekend for our annual drive down through the nooks and crannies to enjoy the color!
    (I could be wrong…but whenever it is, my husband and I are READY!!)

    I received MY book last week :)…but have been so swamped with work that
    I havenot gotten to it YET! 🙁 I peered into it, but I did not dare to look too
    hard, as I know there I would be …right in it…much like the time
    I had with some of your MUSICA recently (you may remember)
    that led me down a”long and winding road” into Beatles country…
    where I was for quite some time! (Not complaining, mind you!!)
    But..NOW…this beautiful little book is laying here on the little side
    table right next to my desk and is SCREAMING AT ME …and has been for a few days! …
    The GOOD news is that I have gotten my work pile down to a point where the book is fairly visible and not as covered now…and I will be cracking it open soooon! …And I can’t wait!! (I hope it was screaming because it was covered up!!)

    I have been looking at the Reviews also…and I just checked a bit ago and there are now 56 FIVE-STAR Reviews!! I am so excited for you…and I am darn sure you sincerely deserve them!!

    I am looking forward to all of the upcoming “happenings” as you are…but among my things I will be doing will also be watching “Hobson’s Choice” for the first time AND sipping hot chocolate while I read “The Fairy Tale Girl” on these upcoming cold autumn evenings!!

    Thank you again so much, dear friend, for all you do to get us out of life…
    and INTO LIVING!! (You do it so well, too!!)


    • sbranch says:

      Wonderful comment Judy. Happy Hobson’s Choice, I know you will love it! I hope the Fairy Tale Girl stops screaming at you soon! xoxo

      • judy in Ohio says:

        Thanks, Susan!

        I also wanted to correct myself (I may have been more sleepy when I wrote you last night than I thought)…What I meant to say is that “I hope it was NOT screaming because it was covered up!!”

        She is in plain sight now, so it will not be long! 🙂

        Really looking forward to “Hobson’s Choice” too (not as much a your book!) …I cannot believe that I had not heard of it before you mentioned it…and you have not been wrong about what I will like yet!!

        Have a fantastic weekend…And thanks again so much!!


  24. Aloyce Levin says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for the lovely, heartfelt post. I’m working my way through “Fairy Tale Girl” and am relishing each page-words and artwork. You have taken the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, to new heights. Thank you for sharing your abundant optimism and good humor with all of us. I know each page was a labor of love and work intensive.
    We are near contemporaries, as my 68th birthday is this Sunday the 18th.
    It is a gift to know how blessed we are each day despite life’s inevitable setbacks.
    Keep spreading the joy!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we all have them, that’s for sure. And, speaking for myself, I needed to have a big setback. Otherwise who knows the direction my life would have taken . . . and I’m kind of partial to it now. Thank you Aloyce! xoxo

    • Pam Bradley says:

      Happy Early Birthday Eloyce … isn’t it fun having Susan for a friend! It makes us all friends by association! Enjoy your special day!

  25. Vicki says:

    “Cliff hangers” – did two words ever have such a double meaning??!!

    I don’t have a hint of autumn in 90+-degree(f) Southern California but I can dream, with your absolutely-GORGEOUS autumn leaves and flowers; what a treat.

    Two times through now for me, with The Fairy Tale Girl. Both times I read it, I picked up something new. Written with such humor and pathos, Susan; I have enjoyed it so much. We’ve all, of that age, re-lived some of our own journey through yours.

    I always enjoy the quotes and illustrations you give us in these blog posts and, of course, in your other publications. Of this I’m sure…just as you quote the others, others will now quote you over all the years to come; point in case:

    “Sometimes, what looks like the bitter end, is just the beginning.”
    “Loss very often turns into a gift.”
    “Loneliness is probably the way we get our wings.”
    “Heartache and rejection can evolve into inspiration.”

    • sbranch says:

      No, I know. I can barely say the word Cliff these days where it doesn’t do that! LOL! Quotes: Wouldn’t that be lovely! XOXO

      • Margot at the Beach says:

        Ah my favorite movie, so loverly! It is where I got my love of languages and linguistics. Too bad I didn’t realize THAT in college.
        I love the quote about the bitter end. So true! Did you know that many things we say came out of the seafaring days, so appropriate since you live on an whaling island. The “bitter end” refers to the end of a line in knot tying. Metaphorically, when you get to the bitter end you have nothing left.

  26. winnie Nielsen says:

    So happy to hear from you again and delighted that the first book signing tour was successful! I love the photo of the bookstore interior. It feels so homey and cozy and the perfect place to just browse AND meet the author!

    Fall is my favorite time of year and even though I live in the deep South and we don’t have the splendor of New England, there are beautiful subtle changes and the days do get cooler a less humid. Here in the South, Fall is comes at a different pace, but the energy and natural changes exist and are just wonderful. I am wondering if our Fall is something like Fall at your studio in California?

    I am so happy you posted today about just looking at the little things changing about you that scream beautiful Fall. It is hard, sometimes, to not long for the majesty of orange Maple trees in yards down here or Bittersweet growing wild.
    But in our area, there are deciduous trees like Dogwoods , Southern Red Maples, and Southern Red Oaks that turn vibrant later in the season. Plus we have Pecan trees dropping nuts everywhere now. Like you say, you just have to look carefully and “shop” in your own area for beautiful things to bring home. This year, I am trying to do more of that and your ideas are a powerful reminder that the real beauty in Fall is everywhere if you look carefully. I think it takes an artists eye like yours to pick up on these subtle things and help people like me open my eyes to what is right in front of me. This is why I just adore your Autumn book! And your reminder to make corn pudding is a good one. Will do that one soon!!

  27. Biz G says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for the Autumn post. My favorite time of year. It FEELS like Autumn here in MD. But the leaves are just starting to turn here and there and every time you catch that little splash of color, it’s like a new discovery. I have been to that bookstore in Meredith. I recognize it by the picture. I was there on a day trip to Keepsake Quilting. If only I lived closer! I give Fairy Tale Girl 5 stars as well. Well done girl! Keep it up. I think I pulled out my Autumn book back in September for the first time and have flipped through it a few more times to “get in the mood”, which I don’t need a lot of help for anyway. Happy Friday and keep those posts coming.

  28. Denise in SC says:

    Stumbled onto your site a few weeks ago looking for a wire bound, lined journal like the one you sold years ago (filled mine up at last). Never realized how much SB I had-notecards, journal and notepad, stickers galore, Summertime and Autumn books, even a box of special occasion cards. I ordered your two newest, plus a calendar, and started reading your blog from the beginning. This ended up being a good thing, because I live in Columbia SC-if you have been watching the news, we have a little water problem here. Your blog was a cheerful refuge during some nasty, worrisome days. When the skies cleared, I got your package of books-now I can escape at bedtime too! Thanks for putting in such effort and hard work with each post. It really is a nice way to start the day.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we’ve been noticing your “little water problem!” Hope things are better . . . its so strange, you are being drowned and poor California is drying up! Nice to hear from you Denise!

      • Vicki says:

        This thing about us Californians drying up…what is maybe one of the most disturbing aspects to me (pick one) is the loss of trees. I have never in my life seen so many dead trees, town to town. I’m talking oaks and sycamore trees (many others) which have been standing since the beginnings of our small city and from the end of the 19th century or worse. Even evergreens/pine trees. (What seems unaffected is eucalyptus and palms.) And so much hillside foliage has died off that there’s nothing to hold the dirt. As you’ve alluded to in some of the replies with this post, Susan, it’s not a stretch to know if we get those El Nino rains, we’re going to have massive sliding; it already happened yesterday north of me, off California’s Highway 5 (you know the Grapevine, right, Susan?). Man, is that a weird thing….to crave the rain, yet almost fear the rain. Anyway, I don’t think in my remaining natural lifetime they can ever replant/replace the amount of trees lost to the environment due to unprecedented drought.

        • sbranch says:

          Trees! It must be awful. I can’t help but think that somewhere, down at the bottom of the roots, in a very secret place, they are hibernating and will come back in the next good rainstorm. Yes, I know the grapevine. Lucky everyone is getting warned, hopefully they will plan ahead. I don’t know who it was, but on the radio this morning, I heard someone refer to global warming as our “landing on the moon” — we determined to do that, and we did it. We can do this too, if we make up our minds to do it. xoxo

  29. ann says:

    I just wanted to tell you YOUR BOOK IS WONDERFUL! I wanted to read it slowly but instead I sat and read all one day (only stopping for necessities) and did the same the next day. Why did I do that?! Needless to say I enjoyed it thoroughly. Thank you for writing it!

  30. Good Morning! I’m experiencing my first Fall in 15 years and LOVING every minute. You blog is perfect for me today. So nice to see it waiting in my inbox this morning, a great start to my weekend. My Mom is staying with me from Florida, and I lent her my Fairy Tale Girl to read- she loved it of course! Have a wonderful day!!! xoxo Jacqui

  31. Hi, Susan! So nice to hear about all of the excitement in Smallville this Autumn… and beyond! 🙂 There are so many wonderful things to look forward to that I’m sure the months will fly by a bit too quickly! In Chicagoland, we are expecting our first frost tonight. Freeze warnings mean time to harvest herbs and enough Hydrangeas to fill baskets, crocks, and pitchers. It’s such fun to bring my garden inside for the winter! I will cover the mums in the garden, too. Our trees are still green, with just a hint of yellow at the moment. Autumn is definitely in the air!
    Wishing you another lovely book signing on Saturday, Susan! So excited to hear more about a celebration for Beatrix Potter!
    Autumn hugs!
    Dawn (in Illinois)

    • sbranch says:

      Yikes, frost! Cover everything! Thank you Dawn . . . hope I see you again out there when we come back in the spring!

    • Chris Wells says:

      Yikes Frost! my son said he saw some snow flakes today in Ohio! I am so envious. must be careful what I wish for!

  32. Shelia Wotring says:

    Called the bookstore in Meredith,(my red headed granddaughters name) New Hampshire, and they had signed copies of The Fairy Tale Girl left and I was sooooo excited! They are shipping me one all the way to Virginia! I can hardly wait! I’m on vacation next week and I will be curling up with a WONDERFUL BOOK! I’m sure I will be in heaven! Its so exciting to be finally getting my copy and a signed one yet! Never thought I’d ever have one of those! Thanks Susan!

  33. Wendy Louise says:

    OK Darling Susan,
    Just finished your Heart warming book “The Fairy Tale Girl” and once again you hit a HOME RUN ! I love it and I know others will love it. You tickled my very inner soul as I am sure it will do to others. All Baby Boomers should read this, you give such a sound explanation to the times we grew up in, I personally loved it all. Thank-you from a girl who was born in 1959, all I wanted was to be domestic, find my PC, have a family, and a white picket fence. The outside world frowned on me by me wanting that and it was a struggle. I did go to college for Education and Social Work, but my little secret during the 70’s was kept inside. I did find my PC and made my domestic bliss. I tried doing both career and family but my heart was only in the family. If only we could give the credit where credit is due. Mom’s contribute so much when they raise their children with all they have. Your Mom was a super hero and she made one too! Love, Wendy -Louise
    P.S. Can’t wait for the, To be continued……..😃

    • sbranch says:

      She WAS a superhero (as are all moms!) which I get to talk about in Book Two . . . to be continued! xoxo

  34. Grace says:

    Hi Susan:
    The Innisfree event was fun. Waiting in line was a party; meeting and chatting with new folks and seeing an old friend, whose wedding I had photographed a few decades ago. I hope the Pennsylvania couple, who were visiting NH for the first time, enjoyed their White Mountain foliage drive.
    At the signing, I told you how impressed I was by the young people who love your books. I referenced a NY Times article which stated that ebook sales had declined over 10% and more young people were buying print books. I promised that I would send you the link:
    I love both ebooks and print. The Fairy Tale Girl is a wonderful example of the unique qualities of printed media. Like many I will be singing “Anticipation” waiting until May. Great book.

    • sbranch says:

      Loved that article and just Tweeted it to cheer people up . . . hate to lose things, okay to get more things but really hate to lose bookstores! Thank you SO much for remembering to send it! So nice to have met you Grace! xoxo

  35. Tina Mandeville says:

    I love how you are all about the cozy! Gosh, can we never get enough of that! And it amazes me how you are able to do all that you do and still manage to keep up with the rest of us cozy bunch! And an upcoming celebration for Joe – sounds wonderful already! What are “we” celebrating?!
    I want to comment on your “Watercolor” blog post….”His painting made me fall in love with his understanding and view of the human heart.”…your quote about Mr. Rockwell yet this so describes how we feel about your creations, no matter what they are! I love the quote, “Your talent is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift back to God.” Truism. How beautiful that your passions and talents come out in blazing glory at what must have been during one of the (if not the) darkest time(s) in your life. There is always a bigger picture…literally!
    My second son is a Fine Arts major in college. He was born with a crayon in his hand! From as early as we can remember, he was always creating. We tapped into it very early as did his teachers. We enrolled him into an art school when he was in second grade…and the rest as they say is history! It has been quite an experience to raise and artist child. His brain is wired differently, he sees things so differently, he sees things we don’t see….but instead enlightens us to his vision…even if we are both looking at the same thing!!! And he is still always, always creating! His art is as important to him as the air that he breathes. There is a “chaos” to his process…one we learned a long time ago that we had to subscribe to if we were going to survive our parenting of him….but what has always come and continues to become is something extraordinary. It is truly his gift and my life with his artistry gives me a deeper and greater understanding of yours.
    I never cease to be amazed when we are able to look back….reading now chapters that while we were living them, were being written. In the past we can now see what the future held. We don’t always know where any of it is heading, but there is always purpose and reason… is often just ours to live in faith, grace, and reverance. xo

    • sbranch says:

      Besides Joe’s 64th birthday, we have a LOT to celebrate! Just want to bring everyone we know together to do it! Beautiful words about raising your son Tina, just beautiful! Thank you!

  36. Pam Bradley says:

    Susan … As usual, you have transported me to a place I have never been … New England! I just finished reading The Fairy Tale girl … I have loved getting to know the earlier version of you … each page was filled with more and more to enjoy and love about you … I have always said, I would love to walk in your shoes (and mind) for just 24 hours! You see things and describe things in a way that the rest of us just walk on by and don’t even notice! Thanks for just being YOU, and being a “girlfriend” to us all! Now, I’m ready to open up my AUTUMN book and re-read it again this season! I’ll pretend I’m cozy next to a fire in New England, rather than hot and humid Southern California! A girl can dream can’t she?

  37. Karen says:

    Just finished The Fairy Tale Girl. I think I was with you! Can’t wait for the next one….thank you for making the day special. Happy Fall.

  38. Patsy in Nixa, MO says:

    The photo of you in your nature sweater tells us exactly who you are – fun, imaginative, enthusiastic, nature-lover. I’ve copied that photo for my Susan-Joe folder in my Friends archive, and when I’m gone my kids will say, “Who are these people? We’ve never met them”. Then my local friends will tell them, because they all follow your blog and read your books.

    Now about those books – I know you’re trying to finish your book which we’re all clamoring for to find out “And what happens next?”, but Summer and Fall are sitting on my bookshelf, asking “When are our sisters, Spring and Winter going to join us?” I keep telling them to be patient, but I’m very eager, too. Can we at least have Spring before your next trip to England? Please, pretty please.

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha, who are these people! 🙂 Our next trip to England is next year, and I think I better get part two, Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams done before I even think of anything else!

      • Patsy in Nixa, MO says:

        Next year?!!! Wow! Didn’t know it would be so soon. I’ll tell Autumn and Summer to just sit tight. Of course, that means the England Trip book will be ahead of Spring and Winter, right? How exciting! Look at all we can look forward to.

        I, too, want you to finish Isle of Dreams. I’ve even called CA to see when I can pre-order. I had read The Fairy Tale Girl before some of the Girlfriends had even received their books. I discovered the secret – the sending schedule follows the ordering schedule. First order in – first book out.

        Well, don’t let me push you too much. Take time to make more nature sweaters and collect more jingle shells.

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

    Oh, Susan…. I just loved reading your latest post today!! I’m a couple days late in reading, as I wasn’t on the computer yesterday other than reading my email. I’m really into Autumn now! You silly girl, you got me very inspired with all those cute little flowers in your sweater from your walk and all the pumpkins laying around by your garden fence.

    We’ve been really warm (high 70s) for a past couple weeks. I’m so anxious to plant my spring bulbs, but it’s too warm still. I don’t want them to start growing now. Our irrigation water was turned off earlier this week. Around here, that means Autumn is really here. No more watering the grass and plants. I have a couple plants that their leaves are starting to turn. Lots of maple trees in the sub division here are bare of their leave already.

    I’m going to make your “corn pudding” soon. Sounds really good!

    Looking forward to our road trip to see a dear friend in Boise, Id next week.

    Carol M

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

    good morning/afternoon Susan, girlfriends. been busy this morning, trying to figure out why the ducks are so mad a our rooster, Reuben. for most of this week the ducks see Reuben and chase him round the yard and into the henhouse, then if they see him set so much as a foot outside the henhouse they all swarm over there and chase him around some more. they are really ticked off with him, and I have no clue as to what he might have done to get them so upset with him. I have to admit its funny to watch, but its also ridiculous as he needs to be out there watching over the hens, though the way those ducks are being I pity anything that gets in there and on their bad side these days. must be the molting season or something. love the idea of sticking the leaves on the sweater, just one problem with that here, one finds creepy little surprises under some of the leaves… ICK!!! love the kitties, and I agree nothing better relieves the stress like cuddling up to a purring cat. now I have a big favor to ask you and the girlfriends…. a recipe for good mince meat. I don’t plan to make the pies for Thanksgiving, but I found if one warms the mincemeat, and serves it on top of good vanilla ice cream with a small spoonful of brandy, you have a splendid dessert to top off the feast. or warmed up all by itself with a dollop of whipped cream with brandy, very tasty and elegant. just serve in a small dish or a very small plate. you don’t want folks getting tipsy on dessert. so any and all recipes for good mincemeat will be appreciated. thanks everyone. now I have to scoot, have to cover up the graveyard with tarps before it starts to rain here, I don’t need wet and muddy graves to deal with, and I have to locate my bag of bones to scatter around the graveyard. have a lot of fun things going on here, the haunted houses and corn mazes are open along with several pumpkin patches and of course the pumpkin cannons for punkin chunkin. also the graveyard or cemetery tours with the historical society members appearing as ghosts of certain local characters. also have the fun of the Hanley farm and the mystery of the lady in black, a night time tour of a haunted farmhouse and corn maze by lamplight and of course you are invited to solve the mystery. the fun doesn’t stop there, we have a big quilt show here in town this weekend as well. the fun never stops around here, and a big Autumn craft fair this weekend. well off to go cover the graves. have a fun weekend. hugs… 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      How did the brandied peaches come out? Have fun with Halloween, I guess I don’t need to say that to you! 🙂

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        the peaches came out great, I still plan to try brandied pears. Halloween around here is fun, you ought to come around this area in the Fall and go to the local farms for the pumpkin patches and corn mazes, and the punkin chunkin, we have a season end competition for distance, who can chunk the punkin the farthest distance. the farmers love it, they plow up the pumpkin remains into their fields and feed the field for the winter ahead.

        • sbranch says:

          Such a great time of year, love all your celebrations Pat!

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

            you’re welcome around here anytime Susan. but I really think you would love it in the Fall, with all the farms to visit and the corn mazes, and the pumpkin patches, not to mention the haunted cemetery tours. you and Joe would have a ball!!!

        • Charissa says:

          For you brandied fruit lovers, I have an especially easy recipe for Brandied Cranberries.
          12 oz Package of cranberries rinsed and picked
          1 1/2 cups sugar
          3/4 cup brandy
          pour in 9×9 glass pan, give a little stir, cover with tin foil tight. bake at 300 for 1 hr, turn oven off, but leave in for another hour, cool or serve immediately.

          They are gorgeous turn translucent and look like rubies and make their own syrup. I always get compliments and they are just so darn easy. Great on ice cream, chocolate cake, any garnish you need a little red for Christmas. I have them on buttered toast in the mornings with a cup of Susan’s Apricot Jam tea. Just perfect. Add orange peel and use as cranberry relish.

          • sbranch says:

            Almost the same recipe I use, only without the brandy — and I also love it with chocolate cake and I make CHRISTMAS JAM with it too (click there and scroll down until you see the ruby colored cranberries!) Kindred spirits!

          • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

            YUM!! Charissa that sounds delicious and a perfect dessert to go with Thanksgiving, or Halloween. definitely going to give that a try, thanks for the recipe. 🙂

          • charissa says:

            Oh gosh Susan!! I am so sorry if I did something wrong to post something that was so close to your recipe. I’ve gone white and the color is draining from my body. I just saw brandied fruit and thought of my old recipe. I obviously had seen your Yankee post, but it didn’t enter my mind or I would have never typed it. Yikes. Sorry. But you did say kindred spirits so maybe your not too upset?;) I am going to try your Christmas Jam this year for sure. What a great idea.

          • sbranch says:

            Don’t be silly, recipes are constantly being changed and added to! What comes first, the chicken or the egg, that’s how recipes work! I love seeing how they develop. I’m going to try it your way!!! xoxo

          • Charissa says:

            Thanks Pat and thanks Susan. I feel like I need to give my neighbor credit.:) She gave me the recipe almost 10 yrs ago. Her name is Delores. She is a spunky 80+ and has a basset hound named Patty that she walks all the time. She is always making me things and is one of the best cooks I know. I hope you enjoy it.

    • Holly says:

      Hi Pat, If your rooster is anything like our rooster, he is busy making sure all our eggs are fertile. I bet he’s tried to have his way with the ducks! Have you ever had Orpington chickens? We have three this year, and they are amazing birds. Very big chickens, about 10 lbs, and lay so many big double yolk eggs! Plus they are cute, they waddle, and are very gentle nature.

  41. Susan Cardot Lance says:

    Thank you for all the fall pictures and drawings! In Southern California we don’t see these fall sights much. Do you have a print or card of your “Tree Talk” at the beginning of this blog? I love it! Also I’m in the middle of reading The Fairy Tale Girl. I know when a book is good because I read as much as I can each evening and then think about it at work and can ‘t wait to get home and read some more! Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      Tree Talk is in my Autumn Book, but there aren’t any cards. Maybe I should do that! Love your book review Susan! Thank you!

      • Marty from NYC says:

        PLEASE, PLEASE , Susan.
        A card, A sampler almost anything that can be shared with the TREES wisdom and humor would be so welcome.
        I have shared it with some of my friends and everyone takes something from it. Just a great reminder of some of life’s lessons. Would love to be able to have it in other forms. Marty

      • Diana H. says:

        YES PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Naomi Jones says:

    Remember plain ol’ Indiana when you make your plans. You are a delight!

  43. Ruth thomas says:

    I think I am crazy. Got the book I could not wait for but have not begun to read it yet…why, because I know I will be sad for it to end and I will have to wait for the next one. I so treasure every single piece of art you do, whether it is books, stationary, stickers or anything else. I finally opened a box of stationary to use for the lovely penpal I found through your website. Thank you Susan for sharing your beautiful ideas with us and making our lives more beautiful and inspired and I have to get your Autumn book!

  44. Kathy says:

    So sorry to break the news that those are not Sassafras leaves, but they are entirely lovely JUST THE SAME! They are a type of oak, actually, but I’m not entirely sure which oak without a little investigation.

    We are facing a chilly fall weekend here in Ohio and your post made me want to snuggle into my thickest sweater (even though, girlfriends, I have started to have HOT FLASHES – me of the former perpetual chilliness – it’s SO WEIRD) and sit in front of a roaring fire! Thank you for making me stop my busy life to enjoy the beauty and bounty of each season. So, maybe this season it will be a tank top and a small cinnamon candle instead of a thick sweater and a roaring fire! It will be beautiful, anyway!

    • sbranch says:

      Had to look again, and you are so right, those are white oaks — sassafras only has 3 lobes, Oh well! All good. Winter is just delicious for hot flashing people! 🙂

    • Chris Wells says:

      I will always remember my aunt who lives in Pennsylvania telling me about going outside in the winter and flinging herself into a snow bank during a hot flash! I envied her down here in West Texas…no snow banks. but you have a very good chance this winter. LOL

  45. sondra fox says:

    Happy Fall Susan & GF’s,
    Cooler weather’s coming our way AT LAST, here in So. CA! Oh my, but it’s been hot here all summer.
    I adore your fall sweater! Only you would think of such a novel idea Susan.
    I sat down this morning, with my morning coffee, thinking that I’d turn the TV on, just for awhile, & came across this wonderful movie on TV. Two hours later, well you know my story I’m sure. I watched this 1949 movie with this outstanding cast, Walter Pidgeon, Peter Lawford, Ethel Barrymore, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh, & Louis Calhern!!!! The movie is “Red Danube.” Have you ever seen it? If not, you’ve got to go online somewhere to view it. Just marvelous. My time was not wasted, that’s for sure. Anyway, I didn’t want to do housework this morning.
    Must tell you, I had trouble signing up for your book, online, so I called your CA office. I got the book the next day!! I couldn’t believe it. What great service. I’m sure your staff is so efficient because they have two kitties & a dog to keep them company. Such adorable kitties.
    Happy Fall to ALL, (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  46. Deborah in Odessa, Tx says:

    Dear Susan, please consider having Tree Talk released as a print…..please. Thank you. I love it so..and it needs to go with the house print one I got from you. Cheereeo..

  47. Rosemary says:

    The fall is showing up in New England but certainly not here in North Texas. Record high of 97* yesterday…and so dry but today is much better. We got to be in Vermont last October, which was so wonderful and we went all the way out to Maine coast before coming back home. For the “chowdah”.
    I sat down with my Fairy Tale Girl a couple of Sunday afternoons ago….and did not stop until it was done. It is such a revelation to me about your life in California. Quite truthfully, I am happy you went to MV for your new life, which to me is the Susan Branch I know and love. Cannot wait for volume 2. I am so glad you are writing these books! It has always fascinated me to see what makes people “tick.” Loved it! And the fact that you are two years younger than I am means that all of the times of which you speak are the times I also lived through. BIG CHANGES in our culture. I think (?) they were for the good.
    Have a lovely weekend.

    • sbranch says:

      I feel the same way, love autobiographies for that same reason, how do people do what they do…. xoxo

      • Margot at the Beach says:

        My husband said he never saw me read a book so fast, and I said I prefer non-fiction. I have read autobiographies since I learned to read. I also read historical fiction (Willa Cather) and mysteries (Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sue Grafton).

        PS I am sorry that I couldn’t come on Saturday. Bad driving weather Friday along the coast.

  48. Oh, beautiful autumn! I love this post – always love your posts – with your lovely photographs. Stove-top decorating —- fabulous. I know it’s going to be a little longer till we see the last (sniff sniff) season of “Downton Abbey,” so I am filling in some of the time with PBS’s “Home Fires.” It is so very good. Highly recommended. Sending blessings from here on the farm.

  49. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan!! This is the first October of my life (since I was 5 years old really) that I haven’t been in school!! That’s 57 Octobers in school either as a student or as a teacher…never missing a one….making THIS October all the more extra special. It is my favorite month of the year and you have captured the essence of it all in this blog post and my favorite SB book..”Autumn”!!!…I have always made time for the walks among the falling leaves and the cooking and baking all of the wonderful fall foods, but this year I am able to savor it all the more. Have loved your pictures and am thinking that you should patent your sweater idea…what a hoot!!! that is just THE BEST!!! 🙂 Our fall has been spectacular this year. I am not sure that it can really hold a candle to New England, but the Ozark Mountains ain’t nothin’ to sneeze when it comes to autumn. The leaves are brilliant and the scents are strong…. I am so happy that so many Girlfriends are enjoying this extra-special season… Thank you for a lovely happy post and for reminding us to relish the moments and each other….. that is what it’s all about….off to the market..corn pudding tonight….oh yum!!!! XOXOXOX love, cindy
    ps….enjoy your upcoming book signing….don’t forget about St. Louis in the spring…two lovely spots to suggest: Left Bank Books ( independently-owned shop in the Central West End area of St. Louis….a neighborhood of upscale shops, restaurants and cultural institutions bordering on our beautiful Forest Park), and Main Street Books ( also independently-owned and situated on an old cobblestone street in the heart of historic St. Charles, Missouri which is a stone’s throw away from the city. This historic town is located on the Missouri River shore, has many one-of-a kind shops to explore, wonderful cuisine, wineries, and B&B’s…)….just happy to help!!!!! 🙂 c

    • Diana H. says:

      Cindy – Hi! Thank you for recommending the STL area sites….. it would just be HEAVENLY for Susan to stop in our neck of the woods!! I’m in Highland, IL, just about 30 miles east but that’s just a hop, skip and jump for me. I’m in the area all the time for Cards games, symphony, Jazz at the Bistro, etc. We are about the same age and I am enjoying my second year of not working, a.k.a. retirement. Loving it! Nice to meet another “local” Susan Branch fan!!!

      • Cindy Maulin says:

        Hi Diane! It is fun meeting SB Girlfriends!! Have met several via Twitter too! I am not very good at the Twitter thing, but you can find me at @granny2626 if u have an account! c ❤️SB

  50. beth in Medina, Ohio says:

    Your certainly an inspiration.. enjoy all your work..
    Wish you could come our way for a signing..
    if you do.. keep me in the loop..
    Happy fall!!

  51. Linda says:

    An Autumn HELLO! To you Susan!
    I am so in love with season, I just can’t say it enough! I live for this time of year!! The smells, the sights, the sounds! Thank you for yet again sharing a wonderful blog post! (by the by, those are oak leaves, not sassafrass, just sayin) We were camping last weekend here in Eastern PA and it was so beautiful! I collected leaves to bring home, I have them in an old phone book (what else can you do with phone books these days?) I am also collecting a few leaves each day and stringing them with thread and hanging them in my kitchen window (now I wonder where I got that idea?”wink, wink”)
    Thanks again for posting! Love it!!!
    Blessings to you and your sweetie!

  52. Joann says:

    Hi Susan,

    We have had a wonderful week skipping through leaves, gathering acorns, and having delicious meals filled with extra tasty calories!!! Our trip finishes up tomorrow, but not before we have another 1/2 day filled with leaves. We hit incredible leaves in upstate NY, then headed to Lenox, Mass. where they were even better. While there, we took a day trip up to Manchester, Vermont and that ride was PRIMO!!! WE hit the colors of all time and stopped at antique stores, farm stores, and picked apples.
    Red flannel hash for breakfast, apple cake for my sweetheart, and some delicious steamy cups of tea along the way…..
    We visited the baseball hall of fame—big hit!!! Covered bridges, one lane bridges and some incredible seafood, too. We’ll be thinking of you tomorrow (Sat) as you sign away and greet people with your beautiful smile!! Lucky folks who will meet you for the first time and several for the 2nd or 3rd I presume!! Wish we were there—couldn’t get tickets changed, but hopefully on your road show!! Love you both!! xoxo Joann

  53. Andi M says:

    Your sweater with the leaves and all is just what my costume for school is this year! I have artificial leaves on a vine that I am going to attach to my clothes and wear to the elementary school library where I work. I will also be hanging a sign on my back (or front) that has the word “vegetation” and it’s dictionary definition. This is the same outfit my daughter wore in, what her school called, the vocabulary parade. The previous year my daughter won for the “funniest” costume when her word was, poultry and she dressed like a chicken. You were having your own little parade in from the island woods. So happy to see your vegetation sweater! Happy Fall!

  54. Candice Hill says:

    Hi, Susan…I had the nicest thing happen to me! I had gotten behind on reading my email, so I thought I’d better get caught up. And there was a note that your book “the Fairy Tale Girl” was on it’s way to me! And I said what a great gift it was,to hear, on my birthday, that it had been shipped. It made my birthday day! Well, that night, I was about ready to go to bed, and I realized I hadn’t got the mail,yet (busy birthday celebrating and all). So I hopped in my VW with the top down, (it was warm and breezy out, like always around this time of year)and zipped down to the mailbox(we have a long driveway and it’s very dark down there). And you’ll never guess what! Your book was THERE! I was so happy!!!!!!!!!! I hugged it! I read it, like, in two days. I loved it! I felt like I was reading about my own life, not quite as glamorous, but very familiar! It was the most delightful trip, I’ve been on, yet!!!! Thank you for telling your story. Wuv you, Candy 🙂

  55. Lucy de Leeuw says:

    I received my copy of “The Fairy Tale Girl” from Amazon today!! Reading it now** I also enjoy October as the best month of the year. The cooling air is magical, the colors, the smells in the kitchen, nature has its way of getting our attention, can’t wait to jump into the leave pile to make Autumn Angels.

    Thanks again for your many inspirations, does the HEART good 🙂
    PS Julia Child’s Cook book was also my first!

  56. Rae Lange says:

    loved the pic of the leaves stuck to your sweater!! lol… I remember a photo you posted of Joe walking around the house with a wet teabag stuck to his shirt button!! you guys crack me up!
    beautiful autumn pics you posted – I LOVE this time of year, too! thanks for posting another long one; so enjoyable!
    love to the kitties.
    please let Jack go out. haha

  57. Thanks for sharing that you love Fall as much as I do dear Susan! My sweater would have been filled as well. Lol

    My birthday was yesterday & the nicest gift was having time to go through your Fairytale Girl book again. I already read it, but before I could loan it to my Mom I needed to read through it again (fast version). It’s so good & I can’t wait for the next one!

    I have been re-reading your Autumn book as well. Tradition. 😉 thanks for it all.
    Blessings. Xo

  58. Lisa R (northern Az) says:

    Hi Susan,
    On our way home from visiting parents, we drove through Camp Verde/Cottonwood, and I always say “hi Susan’s Dad” when we drive through. There was rain on the drive. Yay! A perfect fall day. This post too, is perfect for fall, perfect for October, perfectly pumpkin charming. LOVED the pumpkin and mouse at the end! Can’t wait to make the Corn Pudding! And I recently received The Fairy Tale Girl. Perfect. Enjoy these lovely October days.

  59. Patty in Michigan says:

    Enjoying my coffee this morning with my hubby and so thankful to find a post on your blog. I love fall. It is my favorite time of the year. Here in Michigan we are enjoying all the colors which seem to be extra beautiful this year. We visit the cider Mills which are full of wonderful apples, cider and the most insane, yummy donuts you will ever eat! I have my Autumn book out in the kitchen. Probably my favorite of all your books. Although that would really be hard to decide. You are so cute carrying all the goodies from your walk on your sweater. Loved seeing you! Much love to you and Joe. What a blessing you are to so many, Susan!

  60. Mary Whiting says:

    Good Morning Susan,
    I brought your book with me to Concord MA. on our anniversary trip. I began the section of your childhood memories late last night.
    The tears were running down my face with your thoughts of your wonderful parents. Lucky, lucky girl. Two young people brought such life, memories, laughter and life lessons to the children they loved so much – what a blessing. I would love an entire book based just on your childhood. One book chock full of memories, fun, struggles and Arf and Arfy conversations. For those of us born in the 50’s it is getting harder and harder to remember the innocent, wonderful lives we were given with all that is going on these days. Please send along a “Thank you” to your parents from one of your “girlfriends” ……..they touched my heart with their love.
    XO Mary

  61. nanette from alabama says:

    What a beautiful blog! Thank you! I’ve got to tell you………..I just finished reading THE FAIRY TALE GIRL (which my best friend pre-ordered from you for my birthday) and as much as I love all the other books you’ve written, this one is my absolute favorite! You had me smiling, brought tears to my eyes, staying up too late to read “just one more chapter” and wanting to try your recipes………..and reliving my own memories of those times in the 60’s and 70’s. It was a delight. I’ve got to say…… are an amazing person and an inspiration……no matter where things took a wrong turn in life, you look back on it and look for how it blessed your life and appreciate it. I admire that so much. I can hardly wait for Mother’s Day now so I can finish reading the story…….it’s an agony to wait that long! Meantime………’s hoping that you’ll be having that lovely winter to refresh yourself in and rest up before the great book tour! Even though my friend ordered the book from you, I plan to go to Amazon to leave my own 5 star feedback! Loved the book………..and love you even more!

  62. Donna C says:

    Yesterday I made your Corn Pudding and it is wonderful. Ate it warm with a little maple syrup…..comfort food for sure. I love autumn….makes me happy and sad all at once…..SAPPY.

  63. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Fabulous autumn post! Speaking of fabulous, have you seen the new Masterpiece Theatre series, Homefires? Sept 1939, a beautiful British village, all about the women!! The vistas of the English countryside remind me so much of photos from AFR! I watched two episodes yesterday. The third airs this Sunday. Love it!

  64. Rhonda D. says:

    Enjoyed seeing a peek at autumn in MV. You are so close to me and yet the leaves here in New Brunswick are just brilliant, at their peak and breathtaking. I just got back from Nova Scotia and they are not as nice there either. Hopefully Mother Nature will do her job and everywhere will soon be wrapped in autumn’s glory. Your house looks like so festive. I can smell the Spice Muffins baking right through my iPad.

    I was excited to get The Fairy Tale Girl in the mail this week. I have read it from cover to cover already. Looking forward to reading it again, taking more time to savour and enjoy everything about it. (I sort of inhaled it first time around). There’s just so much goodness to
    soak in. Loved the book. There are just too many things to list. (One thing for sure, I now have a new meaning for “cliffhanger.” I probably shouldn’t write it here). But then look at what we all have now….new and better cliffhangers coming our way. Can’t wait for the next book. You have my curiosity up now. Thank you for all the effort you put into this project. It’s lighting a path and giving hope to others. And I can tell you for sure you don’t even know the extent of that right now. Congratulations Susan. Well done! (P.C. was right … your eyes do sparkle, right out into a bright life that gives us so much joy – his loss, our gain). xo

  65. Marion Rose says:

    Oh Susan, I had the best time at Titcomb’s Book Store in Sandwich. It was so
    good to see Joe outside talking with all your girlfriends before we entered the store. My girlfriend brought her Black Dog cookbook with her, and Joe signed it. They talked for awhile about the book and his picture in it.
    While we waited in line to see and talk with you, we talked with the girlfriends
    around us about TEA! It is amazing how many different types of tea you can buy. I thought I was one of the few that needs to drink decaf——–but, all of us in the line at that time need to have decaf—–would you believe that!!!
    We all agreed that they have improved the taste of decaf tea!
    It was sooo good to see you. My granddaughter will be so happy with AUTUMN, you signed for her. She likes to bake—-loves to learn new things
    in the kitchen. I so enjoyed reading “The Fairy Tale Girl” and now it is signed
    by you in person. You picked a beautiful day to come to Sandwich——–
    Thank you for coming——Marion

  66. Laurie, Nico's Mom says:

    Thank you, Susan for another absolutely lovely post! You are my lifestyle coach and such a positive motivator. I have spent most of today sitting outside on our deck reading your post and the comments as well. Today it is 17 Celsius here in southern Alberta. Most of our fall leaves are already down, but the temperatures have been so mild my sweet peas are still blooming!
    My husband, Robin and I just had our 23 wedding anniversary. I was planning a special dinner for the two of us and asked if he had any requests. “That spinach thing with the red pepper heart” was his answer. I normally make this for Valentine’s Day. This recipe is in Vineyard Seasons I believe. So cute that he remembers it! And so tasty!
    I had already planned to make corn pudding tomorrow to share with my monthly craft group. We love it for brunch. Jiffy corn muffin mix is not available in Canada but I found a homemade version in a book called Food for Friends by Sally Pasley Vargas. For those other Canucks out there:
    2 cups yellow cornmeal
    9 cups all purpose flour
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
    4 teaspoons baking soda
    2 teaspoons salt
    Sift together
    I use 1 1/2 cups of this for your corn pudding recipe. I also use this mix for your blueberry corn cakes. So yummy!
    Thanks once again for inspiring us all Susan! Happy glorious autumn to all!
    Bunny Blessings

  67. Laurie, Nico's Mom says:

    Also wanted to add myself to the growing list of those who love your pumpkin and mouse! That woul make a great addition to my autumn decor.

  68. Laurie, Nico's Mom says:

    Can’t believe I forgot to tell you how much I am enjoying Fairy Tale Girl. I only allow myself one chapter at a time so it will last longer. The first thing I did when it arrived was to admire the weight and the feel of it in my hands. Then I had a good long sniff! I love that new book smell. Gorgeous paper, too. Not to mention what’s on the paper! Love it and can hardly wait for part two.

  69. Debbie Gage says:

    Dear Susan,
    I know that when I write I usually have a bunch to say but today I just want to tell you that I love you and thank you for brightening my life!

    • Debbie Gage says:

      Hi Susan,
      I wrote something to you recently (the 17th at 7:08). It is still awaiting moderation. I was in a hurry and just wanted to express my love for your blog and should have finished that thought :/ because it just came out sounding …not right. Please do not let that go to “blog print”. I’m sure you get it – I appreciate you and I, like so many of the girlfriends, love to sit and read your blog and get that warm-all-over cozy feeling that we get when reading and seeing the world through your eyes and it helps me see mine from a different perspective, also.
      Anyway, my previous message just seems – unfinished and I’m glad that you have not approved it yet. 🙂
      Thanks, Susan.
      Debbie Gage

      • sbranch says:

        I’ll try and find it…I didn’t approve because I’ve been doing other things, I’m sure what you said was just as wonderful as usual! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      You could not have said it better. XOXO

  70. Ann says:

    … Joe pretended not to know me!… just had me on the floor laughing! Here I was thinking when I saw the photo that was an ingenious way of saving found treasures on your walks and it looked pretty too. Men certainly think differently than us gals. With your sweater and the upcoming holidays it got me thinking of my favorite Christmas corsage I used to have pinned to my winter coat lapel. It was made of curled plush olive green pipe cleaners and Christmas ornaments. It made me feel grown up when my mom gave it to me to put on my coat. Susan you’re a peach, thanks for the memories and laughs it makes your girlfriends/boomettes forget our aching joints.

  71. Chris Miller says:

    Dear Susan,
    I just finished reading The Fairy Tale Girl and my heart is bursting! How can I stop in the middle of your life and wait until May, 2016 for the continuation? So I thought I would solve my yearning by rereading A Fine Romance since I loved it so much. But then I remembered that I introduced it to my book group and they agreed to read it for the Month of January. As a matter of fact, I suggested they ask for it for Christmas and that way we’ll all have it for our January meeting! I’m so excited to share your endearing writing style and beautiful illustrations with my dearest friends and can hardly wait to see their joy and appreciation for it. On that note, hmmm…I’ll just read it anew since January is soooo far away! Here I go off to England with you again! =)

    • sbranch says:

      I am going to hurry to get the second book done earlier! XOXO I wish you were right about January, but I fear it will be here before we know it!

  72. Jackie P says:

    Hi Susan,
    Great blog. Loved the decorated sweater. It suits you! And the image of all of your little findings in the woods: another indication of what a fine eye you have for decorative delights. Fall foliage is peaking now in southern NH and is breathtaking. So surpised after such a dry summer. The colors couldn’t be lovelier.

  73. barbara lassiter says:

    Just read your post and it as delightful. Thank you. However, now I have to go back to the store for some Jiffy cornmeal mix since reading the corn pudding recipe. Funny thing…I never see it so much in the store anymore and I saw it this past week! I had a fleeting thought that I should get some, though I usually make my corn bread and muffins from scratch! HA! Also, Sasha is so much like my calico kitty that I had in high school, that they could be twins…..the same beautiful face and coloring. She was such a sweet cat and I missed her so much when she was gone. A good memory indeed! Congrats on the success of this new book. How could it help but be a winner!

  74. Loretta says:

    HI Susan… nice to hear from you! I love your emails…..this one is great! My favorite season is Autumn/Fall….The colors are beautiful, I love to bake and smell all the wonderful seasonings….cinnamon, etc. It brings such warmth in the homes. Take care…..Loretta/Calif.

  75. Joan Lesmeister says:

    I suppose the reason we have poison oak & poison ivy is because their colors are so beautiful in the Fall!?! Mom picked a beautiful bouquet of poison oak, in the Fall, when we first moved to Placerville in 1952….my Dad was a realtor, tromped through those foothills, but folks had warned him about the leaves of 3 let it be….yup, of the 5 in our family, I was allergic….out went the beautiful bouquet! Mom enjoyed the colors from afar after that day! We celebrated her 100th birthday on the 12th, & she has had lots more stories to tell through the years!
    Great blog & comments, pretty pictures, nicely decorated sweater, so charming dear sweet Sue…..God Bless & thank you! xoxoxo

  76. Sandra Mailey says:

    “Tree Talk” would make a wonderful addition to the “kitchen art” section of the web store!! It is just beautiful! AND would make a great companion piece for “Reasons To Go ON Living”. Just a thought. . .

  77. Linda S Smith says:

    How unique, a hands free way to collect autumn leaves. Hysterical, you could have attached some to your glasses to compliment the look. Thanks for sharing Autumn with us so cal girls, were still waiting.

  78. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    Such a gorgeous bunch of pictures in this post. Love the fall collection bodice bouquet :-). Annnd that CUTE small glass vase with red mums. I’ve gotten rave reports back from a couple friends I gifted with FairyTail Girl. They are loving it. The thought of a movie made from FTG is titillating to say the least. Currently I’m hooked on The Age of Adelaide and can’t stop watching it. Love the kid actor who plays a young Harrison Ford. Have you seen it?

  79. Anne B. says:

    Hi Susan, I just finished your book and I LOVED it! Thanks for sharing all your ups and downs….loved reading about your evolution as an artist – very inspiring. I’ve had a few “Cliffs” in my life and I’m sure I’m not alone when I tell you that I LOL when you ripped out the last 2 pages of “Dimmi’s” paperback. That was priceless. I totally agree with you, good can come out of bad, if you let it. You’re living proof ! OMG you met Tarzan – Ron Ely!! Had the biggest crush on him when I was a kid! Along with the Fab Four of course:-). You’re a lucky girl meeting all those cute boys:-). Happy Autumn and happy trails to you & Joe. XO

    • sbranch says:

      Ron Ely was just exactly the way you would hope he would be. A doll! Fun! Always had us come sit in his trailer when everyone was hanging around. In his closet were three of those little leather outfits he wore and that was all!!!

  80. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    Whoops, The Age of Adaline is the correct name.

  81. Thank you, dear Susan, for encouraging us to be happy and “ourselves.”
    Believe it or not, you were the one who gave me the green light to be me–

    Oh. I’m so glad it’s not too late.
    Thanks again from the bottom of my heart.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m pretty sure most of us have someone in our life who gives the green light . . . it is with most humble pleasure to think that I could do that for you. XOXO

  82. Elizabeth K. says:

    Hello form Chilly Chilmark, Susan!
    Have you had a book signing at Bunch of Grapes? I hope to attend; if I haven’t missed it.
    Boston Baked beans, Brown Bread & Indian Pudding are on our Saturday menu. We also have roasting chestnuts for the open fire, from our friend, Caitlin, at Mermaid Farm.
    Your popovers and German Pancake are two of our favorite Saturday breakfast choices!
    Our chickens and puddle ducks are always willing to donate fresh eggs to the course!
    Thank you for your ongoing inspiration.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Elizabeth! There’s going to be a signing at Bunch of Grapes on the Saturday after Thanksgiving — I think it’s the 28th . . . I’ll post it again, but just so you know. Hope to meet you there!

  83. Dana Burton says:

    Happy Autumn Susan! I have my book displayed on my kitchen counter so I can be inspired daily.😊 I loved looking at all the pictures of how the island is beginning to change and I LOVED your Fall Sweater! Next time, Joe will have to make one as well, Ha! I had no idea poison ivy could look so pretty. Then, I began to think, maybe God made it turn bright RED as a way to say, WARNING, do not touch me! Just a thought!😊 I’ve been meaning to write and tell you how wonderful The Fairy Tale Girl is! First, when I received it in the mail, I could not believe how big and beautiful it was….heavy too! Some Awe!! I could not put it down although, I tried to stretch it out over a few days because I didn’t want it to end! I shared all about it with my daughters and little do they know, they will be getting their own copies to put in their hope chests for their milestone birthdays this year! My middle daughter, Caroline will be 13 and my oldest daughter, Olivia will be 16. They are both avid readers, huge SB fans (like their Momma) and they both LOVE the Beatles! They could not believe you actually met them! Well, sorry this has gotten a bit long, I apologize to the girlfriends too! It’s time to start getting everyone up for school. Have a magnificent day!
    Love and Light,

  84. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    What a lovely post. love the kitty pictures and your sweater….how cute, such a fashion statement. Joe just doesn’t know fashion like us girls. My wish is for you to make an grown up coloring book with your beautiful drawings for us girlfriends to color. I am hooked on grown up coloring books, its so relaxing in the evenings. I know you are busy, but thought I would put my wish out there 🙂
    Have a great week!

  85. Debbie says:

    I loved the book !! It was worth the wait. You are amazing and an inspiration in many ways. I can’t wait til next Mother’s Day for the second book. Thanks too for your upbeat posts on Fall coming – it is coming slowly but surely here too – it’s pretty along our rivers and the bay. My Autumn book is out and that corn pudding sounds just right after our first real frost last night. You’ve brightened my day yet again. Thanks so much for everything. I appreciate all you do (and Joe for all his help too).

  86. Janice says:

    I just can’t seem to get my Autumn decor going on.. It’s like in delay in my mind.. I simply love your new book read the whole book till my neck was ready to fall off.. I just love Jack he is so adorable…and I just can’t wait for every new post… I check often. Corn pudding sounds great I just found a great recipe for Plum cake from Martha and I just loved it.. I’m sure Susan you would love it.. It’s perfect for teatime… can’t wait for a willard.. those feel so personal.. Love n hugs Janice

  87. Sue says:

    After several years of visiting Martha’s Vineyard virtually through your eyes, I am here, “on island”, recognizing bits and pieces (thank you very much) and treasuring every moment of our experience. Imagine my delight yesterday as I glanced up from the traffic and realized I knew that home with the pumpkins over the door and the ghost in the window! It was like seeing an old friend and I now have a new perspective for enjoying these virtual visits when I am back home in AZ. Thank you for sharing your Isle of Dreams so eloquently with all of us.

  88. Judy Wooley says:

    I loved your book Fairy Tale Girl and look forward to the next one.Thank you so much for making my days brighter.I even love reading all of your comments. Have a wonderful holiday and please stop in Kentucky for on your book signing tour. Judy in Kentucky

  89. Janet Hundley - Grafton, WI says:

    Please, please, please plan a stop in Milwaukee, WI on the next cross country trip…..or Madison or Chicago. Pretty please?

    • sbranch says:


      • Margot at the Beach says:

        We really are trying to get to MV for a signing in Nov., but Milwaukee next year will be good too. Janet lives 11 miles from where I grew up!! My family home will be finished as Coffeeville Cafe in March! A historic log home. There is a very cute town north of Milwaukee that would be good for a signing is Cedarburg. More Girlfriend speed. Close to Lake Michigan too. The gals in Racine and Appleton can get there easily too!

  90. Julie says:

    “A neighborhood cat becomes visible through a window and Jack turns into a Rhodesian Ridgeback. One scary kitty.”

    Oh, you make me laugh Susan….thank you and happy October, the very best month of the year for too many reasons to count (in my humble opinion).

  91. Laurie Walt says:

    Hi Susan! I just finished the book. Fairy Tales are written by you! My favorite part was when you went into the cemetary. I felt as though I was standing right next to you. I could hear the rain on the umbrella, smell the earth, feel the chill, and see all those glorious headstones! What a beautiful book. I think I was one of the first to recieve my book, but I forced myself to read only a few pages at a time. I knew soon enough I would be wanting more! P.S. and by the way… I love the pumpkin and mouse watercolor in this post.Your Great Aunt was hung…how sad and what a great wealth of info you have.Loving fall and savoring every moment of it! Love.

  92. Linda Wattier says:

    Love spending fall with you. It is my favorite season. Got out my autumn book and laid it on the dining room table with all my other fall decorations! Loved your book. Couldn’t put it down. WOW! That is all I can say! Have a lovely fall. Greetings from South Dakota.

  93. barb bussell says:

    Thank you again, Susan, for such a cozy celebration of all things Autumn!
    I’m in heaven this week…I’ve left my home in northern Indiana to enjoy a 40th Anniversary getaway with my hubby Tom to my dream place for the last fifty years…New England! We arrived in Boston yesterday, explored the city and all of the historical sites today in Boston, Lexington, Concord (Orchard House!), and Plymouth, ending our day here in Hyannis, at the Cape Codder. I feel like I’m in a dream, savoring every moment, drinking it all in. And tomorrow our tour heads to my favorite spot of our week…Martha’s Vineyard! A whole day on the island, to explore as a group, and also on our own! My cup runneth over for sure!
    I can’t tell you how excited I am, just to be in the midst of all of the wonderful images you talk about and share photos of in your blog posts, Susan. I daydream about your surroundings all the time…and tomorrow I get to actually BE there. I’m so thankful that my dear hubby Tom was amenable to me fulfilling my highschool dream of visiting the New England states. What took me so long?
    Always a fan, and a fellow lover of life,
    Barbzie Bussell

    • sbranch says:

      I’m excited for you Barb! How was it? We are having amazing weather, I hope you loved it!

      • barb bussell says:

        Susan, it was a dream.
        We had two hours to wander through charming Edgartown. Poked around the neighborhood side streets, charmed at one beautifully cozy house after another. Ate lunch at the Seafood Shanty. Wandered into the Catholic church to see the beautiful stained glass.
        Leaving Edgartown, we made a short stop at “Jaws Beach”, and got some of the backstory of the making of Jaws on the island, years ago.
        Then it was off to Oak Bluffs for another two hours while we saw the gingerbread cottages and learned alot about the history of the Methodist church camps, and of the amazing tabernacle there, way ahead of it’s time, as far as engineering goes. Those gingerbread cottages were something to see, especially the ones that formed a circle around the area of the tabernacle (which it was fascinating to find out, is the site of the graduation commencement ceremony for the graduating seniors on the island). There were two cottages that I swear only had six inches between the side windows…borrowing a cup of sugar would be SO easy…right through the window!
        After Oak Bluffs, we headed toward Vineyard Haven. Only had about 45 minutes, and I just HAD to stop into Carly Simon’s store and poke around (Midnight Hill? Don’t remember the name.) Ended up heading upstairs to see this huge interactive art installation that her daughter Sally Taylor had orchestrated with her idea of different creative disciplines (photography, painting, dance, sculpture, etc) having a hand in creating a combined effort of creativity. I don’t even remember what she called it, but, as an artist, I was inspired, and ended up buying the CD that was available, that had all twenty songs inspired by all twenty photographs that chosen photographers had created that depicted what they felt Martha’s Vineyard meant to them. It was such a lofty, energetic project. I wish I’d had more time to look at all of the final works and immerse myself in the artists’ creativity.
        Then it was back on the ferry, heading to the mainland, back to our hotel in Hyannis, and ready to leave in the morning to see the mansions at Newport, RI, and then to Mystic, CT, where we’ll finish off the day and spend our night.
        Our tour heads to Norman Rockwell’s studio after that, then off to Stratton, VT, North Conway, NH, and Portland, ME, on Monday.
        It’s truly been wonderful. I never would have thought that I’d enjoy a tour as much as going it alone, doing our own thing. But not knowing the area, and what to see, how to maneuver the roads, etc., the tour has been just ideal for the two of us.
        I can definitely see why your heart led you to this part of the country. I’ve always been a fan in my imagination, and now in real life as well!
        Have a wonderful autumn!

        • sbranch says:

          It sounds like your tour guide knows all the most wonderful places to go! Don’t you just love the history? It’s a lot like England in that way. Enjoy, Barb!

  94. Charissa says:

    Normally I don’t worry when we haven’t heard from you because I know you are so so busy. For some reason, this time, I’m worried. Sending you lots of prayers and warm fuzzies and well wishes. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I wrote you a blog Charissa!

      • Charissa says:

        LOL OH MY GOSH Thank you;) I feel so much better. I don’t know what got into me this time. I am sure I am not the only one though. We just love you so much. I hate if I made you feel guilty though. Poop. It must feel like a bit of a burden if people worry, so I pledge not to worry again!!! Back to unadultered cozy time for both of us xoxo

  95. Paula says:

    Even your fall leaves sweater is a work of art, Susan! It made me smile with delight! Very creative, and it kept your nature finds in much better condition than if you had tried to hold them all pressed in your hands! 🙂

    I love the way you share your walking path in all seasons. You are an inspiration to be consistent in walking, regardless of the weather.

    As usual, this post was a delight. Thank you, again, for sharing with us, and making everyday happenings and things (decor gathered from around the house and delicious, homemade foods) so special.


    • sbranch says:

      I’ve walked to that pond almost everyday since 1982. We are like the mailman out there, “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night” keeps us away. Ice does. 🙂

  96. Margie Orr says:

    Love the butternut bare bottom picture I your latest blog. Here in Maryland is pretty too! My desk is almost as bad as yours….just have fun doing your next book. Hope you had a good time in South Hero on Lake Chanplain…we loved it at the crescent Bay Farm B & B this past August! Loved the breakfast dishes and Julie. I have all your books……and loved every one even though I don’t like to cook, but I get enjoyment cooking when it’s your cookbooks. Miss Cape Cod a lot in the Fall when all the tourists go north so I understand how you feel. We rode our bikes on Martha’s Vineyard years ago. I enjoy the seasons too…each has beauty of its own. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ And one for Joe for making you happy! ❤️

    • sbranch says:

      I feel SO MUCH BETTER, hearing about everyone’s messy desks! I didn’t know! I just passed the heart to Joe and he said I should send it “back at you!” xoxo

  97. Gwen Ferguson says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just read your blog and, as always,it makes me feel good. Thank you very much.

    I ,also, went to the “What’s New” section and in the stationary items, you had several notes and things that had pens and it said they were not included. Are they available for purchase anywhere?

    thank you,

  98. Gwen Ferguson says:

    Thank you, I will.

  99. CJ Love says:

    I was feeling down in the dumps, so I visited your page. Viola, all better now.

  100. Tracy says:

    I love reading you all season long, but especially in the fall. It was marvelous seeing your house this summer-of course, it would have been more marvelous to actually see YOU, but I’m honored that you would at least email me back. I’m so glad you got your book finished. If I return to work at the camp on MV next summer, I’ll try to coax you out to say hello. Is there any way for you to set up an email notification when you write a new blog post? Or is that something you don’t want to do? with fondness, Tracy

    • sbranch says:

      You can sign up to receive notification — it’s in that right hand column of the blog. and Thank you Tracy!

Comments are closed.