Making Sausage

Well, I know you’ve been wondering what happened to me and I have an excuse. I’ve been making sausage and it’s not the kind you eat! Musica? Of course!


I know some of you are worried about me. And you SHOULD be worried! Despite how normal everything looks from the outside, I’m like that commercial, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

what a mess

Only I haven’t fallen. I’ve just gone stark staring mad.  My desk has looked like this for days now. Honestly, it never looks like this. That’s why I love watercolor, because Jack 2016 susan branch calendarit’s so NEAT. But this is different . . . my watercolors are under all of this. To add to the glory, Jack periodically comes and lays down on top of everything. Sometimes he hits the table and skids through everything. Then I wish to kill him. But instead I pick him up and kiss him madly and then he wishes to kill me. Despite the way it looks, this mess is actually organized,  until Jack gets there. Yes, throw the rubber band. Get up, stop the concentration, because this mess does require it, and throw the dang rubber band. It’s just that I am doing the funnest book-two and wish not to be interrupted. What you see here are just part of the photos that are going into the book. They say no one likes to Jack on the stairswatch sausage being made, so if that is so, maybe you should look away, because this is an inside look at scrapbook book writing.  And these are just the photos!  Wait until you see the watercolors!  I feel guilty for having this much fun while being derelict in my duties. But Mark Twain says it’s okay so if you have a problem with it, you will have to talk to him.quotetime


Here I am this morning … notice it’s still dark outside? Yes, I know, so what else is new. I’ve been wanting to write you but I keep thinking I’ll get this done and THEN I’ll write, but guess what?  It’s never going to get done!  It clearly will never happen. This is going to be groundhog day forever. So here I am, because I MISS you! 

making sausage

Don’t worry about me, it shouldn’t, but there’s something about this that puts me in hog heaven. What can Do not disturbI say?  Making stuff is my middle name. And this book has so many little textures and parts, I’m enjoying myself immensely, except if the phone rings or Jack knocks everything off the table. Until then I’m happy as a clam in my house of creativity, and I have no problem, especially when the days are chilly and the leaves are falling and I start wrapping up in shawls and lighting candles, shutting out the world and just making stuff. In fact, I feel just plain blessed.

happy home

the walk

I do allow, appreciate, and adore this.  Our walk. It’s more gorgeous than ever these lovely October days, and we never miss it, we go everyday. Doesn’t that sound healthy and balanced?  Of course it does! I have myself fooled.

the walk

Pretty huh?  I wish you could feel the breeze, and see the leaves drifting out of the trees. So far I haven’t managed to catch one in mid air, but I keep trying. It’s exhilarating out there! We walked along the shore today, listened to the waves roll in, and filled our pockets with shells, glass, tiny sea-worn bricks, and rocks.fallLovely, lovely weather we’re having.

the walk

The long and winding road . . . 


So I’m going to bed now, I just had to say hello . . . I realized I forgot to show you this. It’s a scarecrow we saw at Moulton Farmstand in Meredith, New Hampshire. Note the squash situation. I think I knew this guy in another life. Aren’t people creative? It never ends. Love you dears.  Hope all is well with you.  Never worry about me, I am a loud and frequent complainer whenever push comes to shove. If there was ever anything actually wrong, I’m pretty sure I would tell you! In fact, you can depend on it. Sweet dreams Girlfriends! XOXO

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414 Responses to Making Sausage

  1. Carolyn says:

    Enjoy all of the fun you are having creating your next book, Susan! Thanks for sharing a look at your creative process, kitty included, and the glory of your morning walk. Loving living vicariously!

  2. Mary Brehm says:

    That’s what my Gramma would call a “happy mess”. It’s the perfect time of year to nest and be creative. Give Jack a bop on the head for me. My Kitty has been doing the same thing to me. I have a quilt that I am marking for hand quilting and every time I lay it out on the floor he comes over and lays right on my stencil and starts swatting at my pen as i’m tracing. It is so gosh darn frustrating, but how can i be mad? I love him so. I just scoop him up and bop him and then he runs away, but he always comes back. It is so pretty here right now. The colors are beautiful. Tomorrow is my Birthday. My hubby took the day off from work to spend it with me. We are going hunting for bittersweet and maybe some antique shopping. He’s said he would help me wash my windows. I know that doesn’t sound like something one should do on her birthday, but it will make me happy. I love sparkly windows! Have a good night, I’m sure you will be up bright and early and back at it in the morning 🙂

  3. Eurika says:

    Your Fairy Tale Girl arrived today, here in the Virgin islands Susan! So happy!! Will be reading it this weekend! So happy. All of the best with your following book!

  4. Charissa says:

    Phew:) I was a dumb bunny who worried. I feel so much better now. So glad you are doing what you love to do in hog heaven over there. You happy = me happy. I won’t worry again. probably;) I had just sat down at the computer with my dessert on this dark and stormy night. A take and bake baked apple from Whole Foods and a thimble full of Armagnac yum! My pumpkin fireside candle burning and your post popped up. Could there be anything cozier?! xoxo

  5. Kathy (SE Massachusetts) says:

    Lovely to hear from you and know that you are entrenched in the happy burden of finishing part 2 of your memoir. We all look forward to it. I’m currently watching a teaser for the final season of Downton Abbey on PBS. Another upcoming treat. It was wonderful seeing you and the Girlfriends at Titcombs Bookstore last weekend. What a pretty autumn day we had for the gathering. We had so much fun chatting together as we waited in line. (I brought you a big red leaf from my Boston Ivy.) The vibrant colors are spectacular this year I think. I was lucky to have a nice chat with Joe out in the parking lot too – a great guy! Thank you so much for all you do – we all love you for it. -Kathy

    • sbranch says:

      Oh that leaf! Yes, it was a perfect day. I’m still floating on a cloud. Thank you for being there Kathy!

  6. Marilyn says:

    Dear Susan, so glad to hear from you again. I look for you everyday. You had me on the fellow on the milk stool milking the “fake” cow. I had to look twice to make sure I was seeing what I thought I saw! Too funny!

  7. Diane Cassano says:

    Hi there. Sitting here laughing out loud – just me and the doggie. Biggest funny was the “squash”. Jealous as the dickens about your beach walks. Inspired me to talk a ride to the Connecticut shore soon. Life is good mostly.

  8. Paula says:

    Just found this quick “Hello” from you, Susan! Thanks for taking time to connect.

    I am so glad you enjoy your “work” so much!

    Funny use of a squash–quite realistic, isn’t it? 🙂

    Hugs, Paula

  9. Jeanette in Illinois says:

    How delightful to see you here tonight!!! Sending wishes for a blissfully restful night, the sweetest of sweet dreams and the squishiest hugs.
    You make fabulous sausage and for that we are grateful!!

  10. Mary McCumber says:

    What an amazing way to end MY day, reading about yours! So peaceful sleep to us all, in my world 5 am comes soon, with children knocking at my door by 6!! Daycare in my home! Tomorrow, MUFFINS for breakfast!! Have a lovely weekend Susan!

  11. Karen says:

    Don’t you just love the golden cast Autumn projects onto everything in nature…it’s simply spiritual.
    Speaking of spiritual matters, i experienced deja vu while reading Fairytale Girl. Not in the subject matter, but in the experience I shared when flipping through the Hans Christian Anderson book my father brought me back from a business trip when I was 6 years old. I kept flitting back and forth from the stories to the beautiful artwork within. Not in a distracting manner, but in an alluring beckoning to get your feet wet all the way above your ankles and step into the story manner. It was great fun! Thank you for the experience.

  12. Carol Le Blanc says:

    Awwww Susan sweet dreams and when I’m missing you I have all your books to keep me they say. I just finished The Fairy Tale Girl for the second time. I love all your books but this last one is my favorite and then the next one will be my favorite..really. I so admire your happy gene and every once in awhile I see a little bit of you in me. Oh and I love Shalimar..I have had a love affair with that scent for 40 years. So make your sausages and check in when you can..Hugs and kisses to Girl Kitty and Jack🎃👻🎃

  13. Pat V says:

    The difference between your desk and mine is that mine are covered with bills and nasty things. Oh, and I must have that lovely milkman!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL! “Must have!”

      • Margot at the Beach says:

        I believe you all mean “milking man” and I have one of those! Or at least one who knows how to do that, because he actually left the farm and joined the NAVY. LOL

      • Margot at the Beach says:

        The “milkman” is the equally cute guy, who picks up the milk from the farm. Or the same term is used for the guy; who delivers milk, butter, cheese or even ice cream to your door.
        I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!! LOL

  14. Gail Gismondi says:

    It is so wonderful to find a post from you. I absolutely love seeing your book process; it is always so inspirational, and makes me get back to my own projects. Your morning walk is beautiful in every season, and we are cat lovers(as well as dogs, etc.) here, so it is fun to hear about Jack and Girl. Our cat, Marley, is recovering from surgery, and we are spoiling him even more than usual.
    Relish every moment in your creative work. Can’t wait to get Part 2!

  15. Kristina says:

    I finished reading “The Fairy Tale Girl” and I loved it so! I actually read the part about your childhood 3 times. What a lovely way to grow up. My childhood was a bit tumultuous. Interesting, but tumultuous. Can’t wait to read your next book!! Happy creating!!!

  16. Linda Metcalf says:

    Good to see you here. This weather….good cozy nesting weather. Can’t wait to see THOSE photos in THAT book! Love the walk and all the beautiful Fall colors.

    • sbranch says:

      Won’t be long! It might seem like forever, but it’s something to look forward to after Downton Abbey ends!

  17. Chris says:

    That is the best kind of creative….losing yourself in your project. I used to love working in my sewing room thru he night -hubby and kids sleeping. No phone, dog going out and in, no meals to make. Everyone had breakfast and left for work/ school and I went to bed! The peaceful world of me.

    • sbranch says:

      That’s the thing, this quiet morning time is priceless. Me, kitties, tea, all quiet. Jack just jumped on the table and is happily making my photos into a nest.

  18. Mickey says:

    Hi Susan,
    I am so excited I stumbled upon your blog. I have been such a fan of your beautiful art a
    nd your blog is as I would expect it to be…wonderful! I love the picture of the scarecrow, hilarious!

    xoxo Mickey

  19. Wendy-Louise says:

    Sweet Dreams too, you darling person, doing what makes you happy and others too!
    How wonderful is that ? So happy to see you last week at the book signing feast of lovely people. And Thanks so much for that wonderful man of yours for making my wonderful man love booking signings, he had a wonderful time. Picture perfect day all around!!!!!!! Love, Wendy-Louise
    PS Ain”t life grande ! oxox

    • sbranch says:

      YOU win for the smiliest happiest most sublime-faced person! I loved seeing you Wendy-Louise! You spread sunshine just in your presence! xoxo

  20. Pat Mofjeld says:

    I think this scarecrow needs a Duluth Trading t-shirt…are you familiar with their advertisement? “Our 2” longer shirts have you covered no matter what you are doing”… also advertised as “eliminating plumber’s butt”… LOL!!!! 🙂

  21. Maryellen says:

    Sweet Sue – we do miss you! But that is the price we pay to be able to enjoy your lovely books. It is fun to see the process, much more fun than the actual process, I am afraid. I am glad you are going out for your daily airing! And I am glad that Jack doesn’t let the situation get too serious. Soon we will all be packing to become those followers of rock stars and camp at each of your book signings (like the “deadheads” did for the Grateful Dead!).

  22. Alysia says:

    Susan, all of us girlfriends understand, and appreciate all that you do in your creative process. You are joyfully creating and sharing a huge part of your soul and on top of it sharing the process and life you have surrounding it…. I love scrapbooking-old school which in itself is a process. On top of it you are writing and painting everything…so much work and all detailed and needing concentration to do it. I am glad that you are surrounded by your husband and family and friends who can support you while at the same time steal you away for a break which you most likely need and definitely deserve! Jack in his own way is also trying to break up your day a bit…imagine what he would say if he had a way to speak our language? Or maybe he is trying to help you reorganize or doesn’t agree with your layout and has his own ideas? We all love and appreciate you and are excited to see the unveiled labors of your wonderful creativity! Hang in there…one day at a time!xoxo Alysia

    • sbranch says:

      Well you can definitely see this book is handmade! Thank you so much Alysia, I’m hanging in there. xoxo

  23. Vicki says:

    I think it’s great, too, that Joe gives you the space you need in a day. When I’m working in ‘quiet time’ on a project, my husband sometimes decides those are the exact moments when he should be chatty (when normally he is not). I think it makes him feel shut out. So, I’ve learned that rather than getting myself in a dither with the interruption, it’s best to just set stuff down, hear him out, let him feel a part of what I’m doing…oh dear, this is making my husband sound like Jack The Cat, needing a bit of attention!

    Your daily beach walk sounds like a slice of Heaven. I only once have known a beach weekend when it was cold and foggy…and I loved it, wrapped up in a big knitted sweater, drinking hot cocoa at the table indoors, playing board games while glancing up from time to time to look over the ‘wintery’ seascape. There was this old-timey movie from my younger days (’70s era) with that hunky actor (of the deep voice) named Sam Elliot…called “Lifeguard”…and although I guess parts of it are a little corny now, I always thought the film had an interesting premise about a guy in his 30s coming to terms with his priorities and what made him happy (as others were questioning how long he could keep being a lifeguard, like when was he going to ‘grow up’ and get a real job). Anyway, I remember a part in the movie when he describes the off-season beach and how it’s quieter, no crowds; you could really feel the character’s affinity for the shore in all its seasons.

    • sbranch says:

      Joe gets to feel a part because every time I think of something that I think is cute, or do something I think is cute, I have to run and show him. He could probably live without it! Your lifeguard story is just how it is here. No one out there but us! Everyone has gone home!

  24. Joann says:

    VERY, VERY cute!!!!! (the squash—I’ve seen that done one time before and it was so funny; people ARE so creative!!!!) Yes, I totally understand about wanting to write but first this, then that, and then you’re exhausted, so thank you for the update. LOVE your writing surface and pictures and kitty bands, and fur and all that is cuddly cute!

    We’ve had 2 days in a row of socked in cold rain, so we can’t possibly go out and rake in that! But Saturday should be pleasant and then we’ll be out getting layer one off the lawn. Gotta reap another harvest before the freeze predicted next week. Cadie is off to Japan (her husband has a business trip there) and I get to watch chickens! And kitties…..oh poor me, right?

    Did you know that Cadie’s name is Cassandra? It is! Cassandra Melissa, but her older sister Brie couldn’t say it so called her Ca-ca. Well, we couldn’t have that! So, it evolved into Cadie.

    Well, we had a MAH-velous time in upstate NY and New England. I have a couple of great inns if anyone needs some suggestions and one NOT to try! (yikes) but overall, it was splendid!! Good to be home now, too. Fall decorations up, a pot of chili made this week, and time to plant garlic!

    OK…enough….love and hugs from Colorado Susie-Q!! Love you! xoxo Joann
    (you have no idea how much you inspire me)

    • sbranch says:

      Love Cassandra! AND Cadie, and the story about Ca-ca. You made a good decision there! Also, chickens and kitties. Life is good! And love YOU! xoxo

  25. Joan says:

    At least you have an excuse for a messy desk. Seeing your computer just wondering do you have a desk or laptop and is it an apple ? Iam shopping for new one and torn between laptop or desk. Have Ipad and iPhone so leaning toward Apple. Keep having fun!!🌷

  26. Joann says:

    oh yes, one more thing….just a bit of interest: You know I’m an English teacher (retired). My favorite professor of English, who was such an inspiration to me in my own love of Jane Austin, was the president of the Jane Austen society for years….. She has since retired. I thought you’d enjoy her bio from the University of Colorado, where I attended:
    Joan Klingel Ray, a native of NYC, earned her AM and PhD degrees in English at Brown University through Brown’s University Fellowship. She came to UCCS in August 1978 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. Enjoying a wonderful career at UCCS, she retired at the end of December 2012 as Professor Emerita of English. In AY 1993/94, she was named a CU President’s Teaching Scholar. Professor Ray is on the Board of Trustees of Chawton House Library for the Study of Early Women Writers in Hampshire, England, which is located on the estate that once belonged to Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight. As a retiree, Dr. Ray still enjoys sharing her love for and knowledge of the works of Jane Austen: in fall 2014, she will teach two sessions on Austen, one on her life and one on Pride and Prejudice, for the PILLAR Institute for Lifelong Learning in Colorado Springs. In spring 2015, she will continue her Jane Austen’s novels series at Grace Episcopal Church, which is free and open to the public and offered on a weekday; it will focus on Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion.
    So, if any of you live in CO and love Jane Austen….. check out Joan’s teachings!! She’s amazing!

    • sbranch says:

      WOW — How fun Joann! We have a Grace Church here and my eyes were flying over your words, hoping to see “on Martha’s Vineyard” added to it!!! Fantastic information, thank you for sending it!

  27. Kay Cox says:

    Hi Susan, Your desk looks a lot like mine when I’m in super creative scrapbooking mode, enjoy the process. I really loved your book Fairy Tale Girl and can’t wait for your next one.I was surprised at how similar growing up in the 50’s and 60’s in Australia was to the USA . I guess we had a lot of TV, movies, books and magazines to influence us, I remember buying Seventeen magazine on the way home from school. You are lucky to have such a beautiful place to take your daily walk I love the glimpses of Martha’s Vinyard that you share with us and look forward to your blog . Enjoy your Autumn days with all that beautiful colour to come.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Kay! Loved hearing that about Australia. I’ve always sort of thought we were doing some of the same things at the same time. Kids are kids the world around!

  28. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Loved The Fairy Tale Girl, I was sad when I finished it. But so happy to see you are working hard to get the next book done. I can’t wait to read the next part of your very fun and interesting life!! I’m also glad you enjoy the process of writing so much. It’s good that you and Joe take those daily walks to get some fresh air. Hope you remember to eat and sleep too.
    We are all cheering you on and waiting for that next great book.
    Happy Autumn and Halloween!!

    • sbranch says:

      Never worry about the eating, only the sleeping. I wake up thinking of something that should go in the book and SPRING out of bed to run to the studio. It’s like Christmas! 🙂

  29. Judy in Ohio says:

    Good morning, dear Susan! Thanks for stopping by to say “Hi!”…
    And don’t worry, we DO understand! You just keep on doing what YOU want to be doing, when you want to be doing it!! You are the most persistent person I think I have ever encountered in this life, and you have every right to do things the way you think they need to be done!

    It sounds like you are finding out (or probably just being reminded, as I am quite OFTEN also) …we belong to our art, not the other way around. 😉

    The way out is the way through, dear girlfriend!…Carry on!!! 😀

    Onward and upward!!

    And have a nice weekend!!


  30. Debbie Noyola says:

    You are blessed and we are blessed to be allowed a peek into your sanctuary. I especially love the pictures from your walking path. I’ve only visited New England in the summer and my dear sister who lived in Plymouth shared that joyful experience with me. Sadly she is no longer with us and I miss her terribly. She told me once that she wished I could visit in the fall to experience its loveliness. Thank you for sharing Susan.

  31. Naomi Jones says:

    You are really an inspiration to me. I am a firstborn too (of six children). I have always loved creativity but it is a struggle to make it happen when I have three littles plus one kitty boy running around. Your sharing your life has shown me to appreciate the beauty all around me and not to give up. I might have been creatively fruitful years ahead of me… after diapers. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      It’s so true, I watched my sisters pour their creativity into their children, the way my mom did. It’s an amazing gift for them (and the world), but hard to do both and have sleep too! xoxo

  32. AngieTink says:

    ☆☮✰❆♡♫♬♪ Good~Morning Sweet Sue Excellent~Blog~Post…Your Creative~Juices Are Flowing… 🙂 ☆♡ Autumn On Your Magical Island Makes Me Do The Pumpkin~Jiggity~Jig ♫♬♪….Everything is So Gorgeous! I Love That Photo of That Crazy~Scarecrow OMG! lol & All Those Pumpkins!!! 🙂 When Will We Be Able To Pre~Order The Newest Book? Cause Guess What? My Mom Irene… Is Going To Buy It For Me For My Birthday!!!(Birthday January 3rd) I’ve Been Twirling Ever Since She Told Me!!!! 🙂 Wishing You & Joe & Girl~Kitty & Jack a Very Wonderful~Autumn~Weekend! When You Get A Minute Take a Peek on Twitter I Finally Took a Photo Of My Fairy~Tale~Girl~Book! Tis Cute & I Think it Will Make You Smile Sweet Sue Tweet~Me!…. ☆☮✰❆♡♫♬♪ Autumn~Pixie~Dust Everywhere! Conting Down to Halloween!!!! BOO! 😉 P.S. Time To Check Your Real~Mail Too….See You in Twitterville Sweet Sue! Hugzzz & Always Love & Lots of Autumn~Blessings For Everyone! Yay! ☆☮✰❆♡♫♬♪☆☮✰❆♡♫♬♪ 🙂

    • AngieTink says:

      Good~Morning Sweet Sue….I Think You Missed Me 😉 ….lol Those Gremlins Perhaps….I’m Happy You Like My Fairy~Tale~Girl~Photo In Twitterville & You Got Your “Real~Mail” Yay! 🙂 Happy~Delightful~Weekend To You & Joe & The Kitties… One Week To Halloween!!!! OMG!!!!! Savoring Every October Day….xoxo Boooooo! 🙂 😉

      • sbranch says:

        I always miss you Angie and love it when you’re here! xoxo

        • AngieTink says:

          Good~Morning Sweetest Sue…..It’s Here! Halloween~Week!!! Oh My Goodness! I Know There is So Much Fun & Frolic On Your Magical~Island! Have Fun! xoxo Boooooo! ☆☮✰❆♡♫♬♪☆☮✰❆♡♫♬♪ Yay! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I saw your Fairy Tale Book on Twitter . . . you are so cute Angie!!! I’ll ask Kellee, she always has a great feel for putting up a new book. DEFINITELY before your Birthday . . . I’ll tell her!!! xoxo

  33. So glad to see that you are alive and well. Projects tend to swallow me up as well…I cannot rest until it is finished. Lately that has been cross stitching…I am on a roll and I have completed two rather big projects and working on a third. Something about pulling threads through the linen calms my soul as it has for ladies since the time needlework was discovered! Love all the pretty autumn colors up your way and I totally agree with your sweet owl. Here in Alabama we are just getting some pretty color.

    • sbranch says:

      A person needs to concentrate. The phone rings and I want to kill it! Sometimes ~ and sometimes I see who it is, and say, OH Goodie!

  34. Jane Franks says:

    Hi Susan! I NEVER worry about you! Because I’m the same way! Never happier than when I’m in the thick of creating something. And it looks like we have soooo much to look forward to! So you keep right on making messes in the dark, girl!! 🙂 To quote another girlfriend (above), I’m jealous as the dickens about your beach walks, too! All the more so when I remember I was there about this time last year (only being whipped by a Nor’easter! (Which was fun!) In fact, wonderful! And I think the best time for me to be there — no crowds, and fun mingling with locals, drinking hot coffee and eating those marvelous blueberry pancakes at Linda Jean’s!!) I’m in mourning. Love the “squash”!! Our Open Studio had low number turnout, but high dollar volume! And. . .I sold out my Christmas note cards! So I’m going to disappear from daily chores in November and make more mess of my own! So good to hear from you dear friend! Love looking over your shoulder. Such inspiration!! Really! This helps keep me moving forward. xo

    • sbranch says:

      Love to hear from you Jane . . . I’m a Nor’easter-lover myself. Life would be too plain without a good storm every so often! HAPPY to hear about successful Open Studio!! Congratulations, and you go girl!

  35. Marie (Long Beach, California) says:

    YOU GO GIRL! Nothing like being in the mist of something you love, being able to just enjoy the process and get lost in it all. It makes me so happy, when you’re so happy. The picture of Jack with the rubber band in his mouth on the steps… priceless. You keep doing what you’re doing and do not feel the least bit guilty. Life is crazy good! ♥

  36. Margot at the Beach says:

    Lovely pictures of the walking path!!! I am trying to get done before the colors come in down here, so I can head up to the Historic Triangle. I have my own mess of sorts this week. I ripped off all the 70s/80s?? wallpaper in my front entry, and put a lovely Swan White above the chair rail and Stone Gray below the chair rail in our very long wrap around hallway. If that doesn’t sell this house, I am out of ideas.

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha, it sounds beautiful Margot!

      • Margot at the Beach says:

        This selling is very frustrating. My realtor keeps pressuring us to lower our price below the assessment. I have done a lot of work to this house and we set the price on the low end already, and it is in line with the neighborhood. I think that she just wants to make a fast sale, and we are not in a hurry. The headquarters for my husband’s job is here. We are not required to live in the area though, and we want to go home. I hate to move when it may be snowing.

        • sbranch says:

          Hold on to what you believe is right. You only get to do this right once. Money isn’t everything, but being pressured isn’t right. Fingers crossed for you Margot. xoxo

          • Margot at the Beach says:

            Thanks! You are right money isn’t everything, but we are looking ahead toward retirement. Trying to be frugal and pay-off the next home by then. Over the weekend we found MANY examples that we are UNDER priced already. I wonder too if the realtor is trying to make her end of the year sales club prize.
            My husband is not as expirienced in selling a house as I am, and he was the one in the military. Now he sees what I have been saying about the pricing. Funny how life ends up. I had to move more than a military family in my children’s lifetime. Not fair to the boys. The crazy former spouse of mine is moving to Italy…NOT a good time to live anywhere in Europe.

          • sbranch says:

            Good luck with it Margot!!!

  37. winnie Nielsen says:

    Good Morning Susan! I am so glad you share what goes on in your artist studio to make wonderful things happen! WE are so blessed to be part of your Girlfriends circle and get a ringside seat and “see” the process. It has always been a mystery to me what and how an artist can take ideas and transform them into art forms. When you share with us, we have the privilege to see first hand what is going on before we have the finished product in our hands. It is our own “Art Process Class 101”! What is wonderful about your class, I think, is that not only do we get a glimpse of how you transform ideas to form, but also how the “distractions” (yes Jack, I am talking about YOU!) fit into the mix of energy and happiness. Plus, the other part of our class is that it illustrates how artistic energy is enhanced and balanced by morning Science 101 excursions along the path, fantastic homemade foods warm the body and feed the soul, and friends buffer the tedious parts. I am not familiar with other artists who have welcomed folks like me and all of us here into their creative process. But, I am grateful that you do!

    Good Morning Blog Daddy from me here in Florida!

    And a big Trick or Treat, Susan, to you and Joe!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Winnie, you are going to LOVE the next book!!!

      • winnie Nielsen says:

        I already do!!! When I finished this most recent book, I thought, Waaaaaaa, it is so LONG until Spring when I can read the rest of the story!! Thank goodness, like you mentioned earlier, we have Halloween (my all time Favorite holiday) Thanksgiving, Christmas and Downton Abby to distract……and photos of Jack keeping things real!!

  38. Becky says:

    No worries Susan! I figured you were working on your new book or on book tour! I also assumed you were taking those science walks and just living/loving your life! You CAN do that after all! Meanwhile your friends are here (all over the place) cheering you on and just wishing you the very best! Happy Fall from Becky in soggy Oklahoma!

    • sbranch says:

      Book tour won’t be until next spring . . . just a few here and there to keep things interesting. I feel the cheers Becky, thank you so much!

  39. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Love watching you make sausages! Scarecrow cracked me up!!!!! Kitties & Joe are great assistants, when your others are way ‘cross country here in CA, & we’re all waiting around for Fall!! Keep on keeping on, whilst we’re waiting……..! ♥ xoxo ♥

    • sbranch says:

      Hope you get some fall soon! Was so worried about Mexico! Worried it would go north . . . but now I only hope California gets some of that lovely rain!

  40. lin rader says:

    I am still chuckling over the cow milker! So New England! Love, love it! No matter how busy you are, you always manage to enrich our day with laughter. Your sweet Jack and Girl Kitty provide us with smiles and just looking at dear Joe in his saucy beret brings a smile. Looking at your desk reminds us of how much dedication and work it takes to bring those delightful books to all of us. Adored the Fairy Tale Girl and like so many others, am reading it again for the second time. That’s the wonder of the written word, one can enjoy it again and again whenever one likes. How super is that!?

    Happy for your walks….that way we know that no matter how hard you work, we are assured you are getting a daily respite. That is important to any artist, too much “burn-out” can make you an “ash”. ha ha Enough of my brevity. Blessings to you and yours. Love from a colorful autumn in Michigan.

  41. Marian Yeckinevich says:

    Thank you Susan for keeping all of us Girl Friends updated on your well being and activities. I almost feel as if I am with you on your daily walk to the water. The pictures you share are incredible. Thank you so much for reminding us how beautiful and simple life can be if we just take the time to see all the beauty around us. Everyday is a blessing. Fairy Tale Girl was enchanting and am so looking forward to book number 2. We love you!

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t it wonderful how the computer shows up the pictures so beautifully? And we can take as many as we want and don’t have to worry about film! Lucky!

  42. Oh, Susan! I love, love, love your desk! 🙂 It would be such fun to pull up a chair, look through the photos, and hear all the stories together! Before we know it, Spring will be here, and we will all be hugging our copies of Isle of Dreams! You truly are documenting your life in the most lovely of ways! Our stories do matter!

    Yesterday, I shared a photo of my scrapbooking desk, too. It’s going to get very messy soon! I’ve been so busy with the last of the gardenkeeping for the season. It’s always so hard for me to say farewell to the garden. From that moment on, I start dreaming my garden dreams for next year! If you have a taste for Pumpkin Soup, come visit!
    Warm, scrappy hugs!
    Dawn (in Illinois)

  43. Mary S. says:

    How lovely to hear from you, dear Susan, and to know that you are working on the highly anticipated second book!!! Someday I’m going to take the time to tell you some of the things I loved the best about The Fairy Tale Girl. It was sooooo amazingly wonderful, I hated to finish it!!! Much love from Mary S. In Fresno, CA (in Medford, OR at the moment)

  44. Gail M. says:

    Happy Friday, Susan! Your post is a wonderful bright spot this morning! Can’t wait to see the final result of your “organized confusion!” Enjoy every minute of the creative process! That kind of project is pure bliss to me, so I really get it! Give Jack and Girl Kitty a nuzzle from a fellow kitty lover, and have a great weekend!

  45. Chris Wells From Knickerbocker, W. TX says:

    We definitely miss you…BUT, if it means you will get book #2 to us faster, I for one, am good with that! I flew through The Fairy tale Girl and ready for Isle of Dreams! Then I guess we will have to wait for the movie to come out!

  46. Regina Carretta says:

    So enjoyed your morning post today……don’t we love our fur bucket family pets? When I have a “hot mess” of papers, magazines, photo’s on my dining table, my old Golden Retriever, Rosie (Rosebud), finds her leash, drags it to my feet, and gives me a wink before laying on it, on her dog pillow….our pets know what we need,and it is pretty cute that your kitty plunks down in your creative pile! thank you for sharing all the process you go through when writing a book….looking forward to reading both books ……

  47. Ann Jane Koerber says:

    Hi Susan! I LOVE your creative “mess”……..that’s just how I work when I’m on a project or cooking! It’s a happy place for me and I know yours is for you. It’s your passion……….no one could be as good at creativity, art and writing books as you are if it wasn’t a lifelong passion!

    The foliage is brilliant here in Western MA……prettier than I can ever remember. I have to tell you something fun that happened this week: Two of my girlfriends (neighbors) and I share birthdays this week…………we went to a great little restaurant for a wonderful chatty lunch to celebrate……….took a pretty foliage ride……….and then went to the cemetery in our neighborhood because the trees and fallen leaves by the gravesites are so gorgeous…………we decided that it’s a wonderful place to go for “parents to be” to find a unique, vintage name for their newborn. The names are wonderful and “stately”……..and, even though it borders two busy streets, once you’re in the cemetery, it is so peaceful and quiet like there is nothing else around….. like reading a book. BTW, we are 66, 67 and 89! Catherine is 89 and told her family that she wants a cane like Violet’s (Downton) for her birthday……..she’s widowed twice, and dating a gentlemen 10 years younger than her………what a “hoot”! – we refer to her as “Catherine the Great”. Your blog, as always, made my day! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Birthday Ann Jane! I love graveyards too… I know just how you feel! Love to Catherine the Great too!

  48. Carolyn H. says:

    Just finished your book last night. LOVED IT! Could relate to so much in it. And I especially loved your adventures with the Beatles. So looking forward to the next book!

  49. Sandra Mailey says:

    Thanks for sharing the photos of your “work in progress”. Those pictures only add to the excited anticipation – waiting for “Isle of Dreams” to appear on the doorstep!

    The pictures of the beautiful fall foliage on your way to the sea are also a treat! It is such a luxury to have that “long and winding road” just outside your back door! Thanks for sharing it with us at all the seasons of the year!

    Well, it is time to set out to try to tackle “the list” for the day. Most of it will be fun if it is approached with the right attitude – isn’t that true of most things in life?
    Have a wonderful, creative Friday!! XOXO

  50. Anne in Maine says:

    Susan, I just had to tell you how much I am loving Fairy Tale Girl! I was trying to hold off starting it until the fireplace was going and I could sit in front of it reading with a cup of tea, but couldn’t hold off any longer. I started reading in bed the other night. I have to say, my husband who was downstairs had to come up to see why I was laughing out loud. I was reading how you felt about flying; your “lucky” seat and wishing you could smell the pilots breath. Also love the picture of you in pigtails. I had forgotten all about the “yarnies” we used to tie our hair with back then. And your little sketch of the pocketbook with the fringe at the bottom; I had one just like it! I can’t wait to see what is on the next page. The book is absolutely beautiful. It’s really a keepsake. Enjoy this beautiful Fall we are having in New England! Anne

  51. peg says:

    Oh, Susan! The bigger the ‘mess’, the more fun is to be had!!! I can totally relate! I’m so glad my studio is down under the house…if someone stops in or I have to run an errand or we are having friends over, I simply turn out the lights, lock the door and head back upstairs! Like you, sometimes it is hard to stop creating…especially when I’m on a roll. You might put Jack to work…picking up paper scraps or, warming your toes! He does need to earn some of his keep, right? Thanks for checking in with all of us Girlfriends. I kinda knew where you were…but its great that you came up for air and giving us a visual of the work in progress! We can’t wait for part 2!!! xoxoxo peg

  52. Ann says:

    We’ve missed you too! It is a beautiful, blue sky day here in MD. Leaves are at their peak and tomorrow is my birthday! Yesterday I bought myself some candles for my cake that glow in colors. Twice as much as the regular old birthday candles but when you are 63 you deserve something extra. I’m going to keep the color thing a secret from my husband so he will be surprised when he lights them!

  53. Julie says:

    Hi Susan. That is SOME stack of photos! I have a question. I’m reading “The Fairy Tale Girl” and loving it as I’m from SLO. I love thinking about how the area was in the 70’s…it WAS slooooo!

    I simply must have your grandma’s recipe for turkey dressing you mention in the book. Can you tell me where I can locate it?

    Thank you.

  54. Wendy (redsoxgal ) says:

    Oh Susan, I so identify with your desk. My sewing room is just the same. Right now a project is taking over again. Funny how I can work in this chaos just fine? Last week it was the kitchen, our 5 grape vines of Concord were ripe, we picked almost all in two days and I put them up. What a purple mess. I looked around and there were buckets, container, jelly bags hanging. Dinner was left overs, laundry was forgotten. But done now, cleaned up on to tuffet making! Saws, drills and sewing machine are ready. We have our lovely New England fall back today I see, chill in the air with sunshine. Life is good. Can’t wait for part 2…. loved, loved loved part 1, your best ever ( I know I’ve said it before, was true then, is true now!) Just a wonderful life I could identify with…. especially the Beatles story!! I told my husband, he said “sounds like you”.

    • sbranch says:

      I thought of you today … out on our walk were three people wearing redsox sweatshirts and t-shirts! SO happy you enjoyed the book Wendy, Book 2 is coming up soon!

  55. Heather says:

    I love sneak peeks into creative womens’ sanctuaries! And I most especially love peeks at creative womens’ kitty-helpers. I don’t know what I would do without my little girl to lay on the keyboard, sit on my (open) books, or push my pens on the floor. Sounds like handsome Jack is doing his job very well. 🙂

  56. Hi Susan! Thanks for checking in with us and showing us your latest project, sausage making. I laughed picturing Jack sliding across all your almost-organized-into-order-stuff, like “Ta Da here I am!”. Cats are such a hoot! My Louie has decided we cannot have dinner without him ON THE TABLE. Right next to me. He will come out of a deep sleep, saunter up to the table and fall back to sleep right near my dinner plate! I have tried everything to break this habit all to no avail. Somewhere in his lil pea brain he has decided I cannot have dinner without him. Once dinner is done, off he goes. I call him “5 o’clock Charlie” (from Mash). Only dinner. What the heck? He cares less about the food or amomas, he just needs to be near me. Help Jack! Your next book looks like it will be loads of good fun and reading. Keep up the good work and thanks again for popping into our day to say “hey”.

    • sbranch says:

      When they make up their minds about something, you only have one choice, you have to go with it. But my cats will do something for years, and then one day, they will drop it, and start up something else totally different!

  57. Vivian Borgstrom says:

    What a wonderful surprise! I sat down at my desk late because I just “knew” there was nothing earthshaking to see on the computer! So here I am with a cup of coffee and here you are ! What a fantastic surprise ! I do so enjoy it when you let us come to visit! I do have a beautiful view from my desk, but nothing like yours ! I look out over green hills with avocado groves and a golf course….yes, I am in southern California. So….no beautiful leaves turning… is surely times like these that I could be transplanted for at least awhile ! I am so looking forward to your next book!! But LOVE seeing the process ! Loved the scarecrow… our small town (35,000) the businesses every year have a scarecrow contest and we get to vote on it and choose the “best” one! They are out and are SO adorable! It is amazing the adorable things that brighten our streets at least for a month.
    People are so creative! I was so excited to her about your quilting….I am a quilter also and we are getting ready for a show. Fun and exciting time! Although I have never tried hand quilting…..we are getting ready for a class. What a challenge!
    I just love everything you do, so just keep on doing…..we all just appreciate it more than you’ll ever know! Have loved you for year and will keep on….Viv

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Vivian. It’s very nice to have you here. I bet you will love the hand quilting. There is something so peaceful about the needle going in and out. Love the scarecrow contest too!

  58. Melissa says:

    So nice to hear from you! I love seeing and hearing about Jack and Kitty, I have 2 little darlings at home that I love more then anything as well! I wanted to drop you a note to let you know about a great little gem I have re-discovered. I have currently planning my husband and I’s 5th anniversary trip back to Maine where we started our honeymoon. In my research I have discovered they have re-opened the ferry from Portland Maine to Nova Scotia! What wonderful news! This cuts down driving time and gives you a wonderful sea voyage as well! This was not open 5 years ago and my husband and I instead took the land route to Nova Scotia then on to Prince Edward Island. I just had to share this, as it seems like something you love! We won’t be able to do this next year – but hopefully for our 10 year 🙂

  59. Marilyn H says:

    Thanks for the quick hello and greetings back to you but don’t let me keep you from your delirious creative self in a mound of chaos, like the leaves outside on a fall day. Loved “Fairy Tale Girl” and am looking forward to your next literary concoction, like a soup for the soul. And back off Jack , please , wind your lovely furry body around those stocking legs instead of landing in your mistress’ pile of “leaves”.
    Love your work and your person. Blessings

  60. Sandra R says:

    I loved The Fairy Tale Girl. Reading on a plane (happier circumstances than in the book thankfully) made it even more fun. Please tell us what happened to the cat you left behind in your sequel.
    Your positive tone on “everything” in the book is impressive. I love the watercolors best I think.. and then the quote from your grandmother about men. Brilliant woman.
    Dive deep and have fun. I cannot wait to see what you do next!

  61. Ruth thomas says:

    Glad to hear you are okay but I know how busy you are with the next book. Glad you are enjoying your walks and playing with Jack. Still warm here on Indiana. My oldest grandson has been staying with me since he had knee surgery and I have enjoyed him so much. They grow up too fast. Take your time, we are patient friends.

  62. Kathy Phenix says:

    So glad to see you are back. I did miss you but figured you were working on something special for us. (And you are!) Kiss Jack for me. He never fails to make me smile. Thanks for sharing your walk with us. I miss my CT autumns. After all I went to Maple St School and guess what lined Maple St? The most beautiful Maple trees, many of them planted by my great grandfather. They are still flourishing too.

  63. MaryBeth Hibbert says:

    I just love your posts…..they make me feel so light and airy. Just like your walks might make you feel. Stay sane cause it helps all your friends online feel happy and free. Cherish these times together!!

    • sbranch says:

      Well it’s a little too late for the “stay sane” part … but I still have my motto, fake it till you make it. 🙂

  64. So glad you are in creative paradise!
    Just finished The fairy Tale Girl and LOVED it! I pre-ordered an then saved it for when my hubby was out of town. 😉 I even enjoyed the sad parts because, as we know, you are better for them. We grew up in the same era, so much of it seemed like my childhood too (Cali Girls).
    Take all the time you need to make 2 even more special. BTW, I found a Petey at a flea for $10 and I love him so, ’cause he reminds me of my very favorite book…A Fine Romance.
    Blessings as you work,

    • sbranch says:

      Yay for you and a Petey! Such a good deal too! Don’t worry, my whole heart is going into book two. xoxo

  65. Nancy West says:

    I am a little melancholy today! Then out of nowhere I got your blog, and it made me happy to see what’s going on in your world!

  66. Kathy Wagner says:

    Hi Susan….How lucky you are to be doing the work you love. I was wondering if you are doing a book signing at R J Julia’s in Madison CT? I want your newest book to add to my Susan Branch collection and a signed edition would be even better. Thanks Kathy Wagner

    • sbranch says:

      I’m going to try! It’s been years since we’ve been there — hopefully in the spring. If you’re in there, put in a good word for me please. It always helps if they know someone wants me to come xoxo

      • Marty from NYC says:

        R.J. Julias is one of my favorite independents! IT would be a fantastic setting for the Fairy tale Girl and all your books. I will ask about it when I am next there.
        We travel around a bit on the weekends , but always look for the joy of an independent bookstore. The Corner Bookstore in NYC and The Bethleham Bookstore in Bethleham P.A. are my other two most favorite places to be.
        All three are wonderful and it would be so nice to see you at any one of them.
        Shaping up to be a wonderful fall day in NYC. Enjoy! Marty

        • sbranch says:

          I wrote them down and will work on it! Thank you for RJ Julia, they are so popular it’s very hard to get in there!

  67. Margi says:

    I was missing you.
    But of course it was worth the wait.
    I loved your desk…so much creativity and planning and love going on. A neat desk should only last for a second til the next wave of wonderfulness.
    I love the scarecrow….thank you.
    Oh what a sweet place to walk..don’t forget to venture out, not only is it beautiful but it will also rejuvenate you.
    So good of you to stop by and say HI

  68. Cathy B says:

    Hi Susan. Thank you for taking the time to share a peek into your world. I love the Mark Twain post. My thoughts exactly. Also, the Moulton Farmstead scarecrow is the best scarecrow I’ve ever seen. 😊😀😁

  69. Diana H. says:

    Hi Susan! Thanks for the new post, and on my baby sister’s birthday too! My sister and I plus our Mom just had the most wonderful day. We drove up the River Road and enjoyed the beautiful colors and had lunch at a place called the Loading Dock, sitting in the sun and soaking in the beautiful scene. Then we drove to a state park and drove through taking pictures that we take every year, but somehow they are always different! Mother Nature at her best! Back down the road home with a stop for ice cream first, of course!!! It is a tradition to do this drive though the weather usually isn’t in the summertime feel of 80’s!!!!!! We have been in summer mode the last couple of days, but are now dropping back to fall, I hope for good! I’m done with summer now! LOL… I feel so fortunate to be able to spend time with my loved ones now that I am not working, a.k.a. retired, and cherish every bit of goodness I can. I am very blessed. I am very blessed to have this place to come for beauty, inspiration, fellowship and just to know there are others that appreciate the same is so exciting! We just want you to take care of yourself and just know that we love that you take time for us!!!

    I do so want to make it to MV and would love to come in the fall when the “season” is over, as I love the water but don’t really have to be in it to appreciate it! It is magical to me. Love to you and yours and to all the girlfriends…… HAPPY FALL !!!!

  70. Oh my I loved your book The Fairy Tale Girl – kept me awake 2 nights in a row. Looking forward to reading the story of Joe in book 2.
    Also way fun to find you on Instagram.
    Love Leanne (New Zealand)

    • sbranch says:

      I want to do more on Instagram Leanne, just need more time. I think when I go on the road next year and am in the car so much it will be perfect for Instagram!

  71. marty from NYC says:

    All I can say is “go Girl!” We don’t always have the freedom or make the time to do something really creative and you are an inspiration. Like Jack, I would love to interrupt you and say we need your time and attention, but that is being greedy. You give so much more by doing what you do so well.

    As for Jack, where do these cats learn exactly the most efficient way to cause havoc whenever there is a paper project, or a file or a good book around? Do they have a secret blog where they pass along tips to all their feline and canine friends? Our cat has a summa cum laude degree in disruption–all in the name of love. Who can argue with that? Have a wonderful weekend. Marty.

  72. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    I love when I open up my emails and see a new post from you*** its so exciting. I love that path you and Joe walk down. Its dreamy. I live at the beach but dont’ have the woods like you do. Just beach, which of course is so beautiful but I would love to have both like you. Your desk looks magical to me. Love the stuff all over. How fun. Enjoy this glorious day today Susan

  73. Ok, I’m just gonna say it: You NEED a bigger desk!! We love seeing where ‘the magic happens’ and since we all want to see more of it….
    Just received my copy of The Fairy Tale Girl yesterday via Amazon,curled up to read it when I had a break last night and zoom….back to the 70s & SLO where we were in the same places at the same time (OK I wasn’t old enough to go to the Graduate, but I’d drive by longingly….) and I was walking the streets downtown with you & hearing the creek by the mission (where we knew the head gardener & were gifted with some yummy figs). When you talked about Cliff’s mom, I thought, “hmmm…Betty Branch….that name sounds familiar….”. Duh! I used to write for the newspapers there & she was always in the news, so no wonder. I’ve only read up to where you moved to Shell Beach (oh, that glass house, what a metaphor waiting to happen) & toasted the stove. Oops. Wonder if Julia ever did that? Well, she was a lot older than we were then!
    Enjoying the trip down both of our memory lanes immensely! THANK YOU for sharing your heart. The best things happen when we do, don’t they?♥

    • sbranch says:

      Ha ha ha, I bet if I got a bigger desk, it would STILL look like that! Love hearing your memories mixed with mine! Yes, Betty was QUITE the woman. I bet Julia burnt up a stove, but it’s probably just wishful thinking!

  74. Diane from Poulsbo says:

    I dont know why, but I dont worry about you…….I think it is marvelous that you are engrossed inside the created bubble that is who you are and who we adore! I always love to hear when others are happy and having fun. Your desk is hilarious, and fun looking. Its probably a very good thing that you have a whole room set aside for projects and that you dont constantly have to clean off the dining or kitchen tables every day. Now THAT is what could kill creativity. Lol. Arent we LOVING Autumn this year? The weather has been absolutely perfect….sunshine, but cool temps, and the leaves turning colors every day. I am fixing chili and cornbread for dinner tonight….yum! The paths you and Joe take for your daily walks look gorgeous these days , and you are sooo blessed to be able to end up right on the beach with water! Heavenly! I cannot wait for the new book. Since this one will be kind of like the happy ending, it is going to be sheer joy! 😊 xxxxxxx

    • sbranch says:

      I think you might be right, because of the sheer joy I’m getting while writing it . . . I just pray it transfers! And yes, it’s been a wonderful Autumn here too. xoxo

  75. judy says:

    Dear Susan, I finished Fairy Tale Girl and sighed….I don’t want to wish away months, but am so looking forward to the “rest of the story.” I always seem to have A Fine Romance close by, so I can refer to it and reread. So, my encouragement is “Please keep writing!” However, walks with Joe are a good thing, too. 😉
    love and prayers, judy

  76. shirley burt says:

    Oh my goodness, I read the title and thought is Susan going to have Joe teach us to make sausage. I should have known better. Your HAPPY PLACE-YOUR DESK looks like my dining room table only instead of papers are bits of fabrics in all sizes. My husband will shake his head, but ask are you having fun?. Of course I am I will say smiling happily. Enjoy the process, and we all will cherish the result. Thank you bunny bunches, Susan for sharing all you do. We appreciate it.
    Love and bunny hugs,
    Shirley from a rainy Aledo, Texas

  77. mari1017 says:

    “Making stuff is my middle name.” Classic! Your quote is now forever associated with Susan Branch in my mind ♥ And we LOVE you for it, Susan ♥ Don’t ever stop ~ please 🙂 I just received my blotter calendar for 2016 in the mail today – each month so gorgeous and creative and inspiring! Thank you, thank you!
    Have a wonderful weekend in the glory of Autumn! Whooohooo!!!

  78. Yvonne says:

    I love reading your blogs, best bright spot of my day! Thanks so much for the wonderful photos! I am fortunate to live in the beautiful Pacific NW, but seriously miss the bounty of the Fall colors from back East. I can smell the woods when I see your photos! And Jack’s shenanigans are hilarious! Thanks so much for sharing, love it!

    • sbranch says:

      The smell of the woods, the mulching leaves, and the wind off the sea, I am so spoiled with all of that. Snow has a smell too, just as good.

  79. kay walker says:

    I’m happy that you’re doing fine. I’m happy that you love your work, because I love your work too and hope you keep doing it for years and years.

  80. Susan dear,
    Reading of your incredible creativity, I must ask if you knew another creative lady on your island who died this March in her home at age 107…………Peggy Freydberg? Her friend just published her poetry in a book called, POEMS FROM THE POND? Peggy began writing poetry from her pond house on MV at age 90! What a book. Of course your own are also amazing.

    • sbranch says:

      I do know and you are so right, 90. It just never ends, unless, of course, it does. She is who I hope I will be.

  81. Paula Lewis says:

    Hi Susan….imagine my delight when opening your new book to discover that not only were we born in the same city, at the same hospital, the same year but delivered by the same physician as well! Truly soul sisters!

  82. Hi Susan,
    It’s so good to read that you are nestled back at home and happily back at work! After your long day at Titcomb’s Bookstore last Saturday, I’m sure it’s a pleasure to have some personal time.
    I was so excited to meet you that I felt a little tongue-tied. I was way at the end of the line (#71) but I enjoyed the entire wait. There was a Mom and her 2 sweet children in line ahead of me. They were so well behaved. Next time I see you, I won’t be so shy. 🙂
    Your book has revived many memories for me. It’s remarkable how much I began to recall as I read about your childhood! It’s like reading about a parallel life on the opposite coast of our country. I grew up in Massachusetts, but my life was very similar to yours, minus the bomb shelter.
    Thank you for the visit today!
    Janet xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I’m shy too, so I do understand. I remember the children you’re speaking of, they were darling. Thank you for coming Janet!

  83. Nancy says:

    Good to hear that you are fine and busy! Love Jack on the steps with his band in his mouth!
    I think we need a SB app! Happy Halloween!

  84. Starr miller says:

    Love love love your book/ Miss Fairy Tale Girl. I can identify with so many events , wishes and thoughts!!
    Messy desks are inspiring!! Keep it up.
    And be well–☺️

  85. Barbara says:

    Hi Susan, not to sound too creepy but I’m parked in front of your house right now. I didn’t plan it, honest. I just turned a corner, found a spot and looked up to see your pumpkins! My husband and I have been on your island for a few days, loved it of course. Good luck getting the next book together!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL! That’s funny! Thank you for the luck wishes, I need them!

    • Sara McKeefer says:

      I am cracking up at your comment, Barbara! 😀 😀 You have a great sense of humor! At least you didn’t knock on the door! Creepy would have been having your hubs take a picture of you sitting on the front porch step. (Oh, tell me you did that, please!) 😀 Sara 😀

    • judi says:

      Oh, that is a hoot….just too funny. I guess if any of us were to go to MV we would have to see where our favorite friend lives.

    • Diane from Poulsbo says:

      Haha….Love it that you were right there in front of Susan’s house! I also laughed out loud when I read this! xxx

  86. Deborah in Odessa, Tx says:

    Ahhh the Milkman!!! LOVE!!…hehehe. And as one girlfriend suggested a Daluth shirt…butt, then he would lose his “charm”…**. We are going to love your book. Jack is like my Sassy, except I quilt. Have a glorious weekend……and do not forget how much I want Tree Talk in a print.

  87. Lori Metschan says:

    Love your posts and can’t wait for book two!! Love you!! ♥

  88. Roxanne Scully says:

    Hi Susan! I am always so happy to find a post from you (complete with Musica, love it!) I think of you almost every morning preparing my mug of coffee right next to my favorite ” A Proper Tea” teapot as well as my mini pie plate holder filled with crisp shiny Honeycrisp apples. <3
    Most of all though, I bring my morning coffee into my favorite happy place always accompanied by our 2 golden retrievers who curl up at my feet. Proudly displayed in full view is my beautiful, TREASURED Susan Branch quilt that I was so very lucky to win when you were celebrating your 1st Anniversary online! THANK YOU, THANK YOU ! Susan for all the smiles, warmth & happiness you provide to us all. You are surely a blessing in my life
    and I am thrilled to call you my " Friend ". : )
    Putnam Valley, NY

    • sbranch says:

      Love this Roxanne, and while I was reading it I had one hand on the head of Jack and the other on the head of Girl Kitty, reading about your quilt and our first anniversary ~ who could ask for anything more! (Oh yes, Homefires PBS is on TV right now too!).

  89. Charlene says:

    Hi Susan, I just started reading you book The Fairy Tale Girl. It is already wonderful. You are so entertaining with both your art and your writing. I loved your Fine Romance as well. Thank you for your post to your fans. I just love that you are still growing as a writer and artist as a older woman. I am your age and you are an inspiration to us all.

    Thank you

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

    Susan, it’s so neat to see this blog today. I am really looking forward to Isle of Dreams , and this post makes the anticipation even better. I finished The Fairy Tale Girl just a couple of days ago, and as I mentioned to my friend Chris W in Texas, I’m so glad that I knew ahead of time that the girl got her fairy tale after all. I’m glad I knew about the Isle of Dreams and the Fine Romance. As a matter of fact, I’m rereading Fine Romance now – I had to reassure myself that the story ended with happily ever after! I loved the book; my heart was broken for you and then it felt lighter as I read about your growing up years. What fun to read about those days! And aren’t we glad we had fairies instead of vampires? So now I can’t wait to read about the interval between leaving CA and meeting Joe. I hope you snatch lots more moments to enjoy the fall season with your Prince Charming! Love and hugs!

    • Susan Morgon ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

      Oh, yes, I almost forgot – I noted that you are descended from King Edward I and I wondered if you knew that the actress Valerie Bertinelli is also. She was on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? I thought you might be interested, if you don’t already know it.

      • sbranch says:

        I almost think we are all related at least sideways if not directly. I’m even related to my girlfriend Lowely who lives two doors over!!! And Churchill! And John Wayne! Ha ha ha!

    • sbranch says:

      You’ll see, the heartbreak will be worth it. And YES, fairies instead of vampires, thank you God. Once I started reading a book by Anne Rice, and suddenly realized, WHAT am I doing? She was very popular, so maybe I should have tried harder, but I couldn’t get past a certain wine glass scene!

  91. Rhonda Williams says:

    Happy to hear your voice. I took a chance on seeing you had written something new and you did! Love the pictures and I can hear the waves even though I am land locked in Indiana! Thank you for sharing.

  92. Barbara Weaver says:

    You are literally up to your armpits in book! And it sounds like you’re having a ball! That’s how I can tell that this book is going to be very, very good. You know that saying…do what you love…. I love that your daily walks are still in place. The artiste needs her down time, after all! Relaxing bubble baths are also good for tired eyes and backs that stiffen from long hours at the desk. Thank you so much for taking the time to write a post for us! We do appreciate it! Love, love, loved the pumpkin derrière. People are, indeed, creative!

  93. Sharon Avinger says:

    Oh, Susan, I wanted you to know how much I LOVED Fairy Tale Girl! I can’t wait for the follow-up book. Hurry, hurry! I’m planning to re-read soon A Fine Romance with a big mug of tea, a slice of pumpkin bread and my favorite throw – all curled up in my favorite chair. Thank you for your creativity and beautiful writing!

  94. Barbara Stewart says:

    I just reread “The Fairy Tale Girl” again and it is even better with a second read. I am giving my girlfriends copies of the new book for Christmas gifts & I feel like I have won the lottery. My shopping is done & I am weeks ahead of now being finished. I have already started marking off the days on my calendar until the next book arrives in May. We all feel so blessed to have you share with us your wonderful life. I have a new fall recipe for potato mushroom soup which sounds terrific. If it is good I may have to send you a copy. Do you think if & when you have time (ha ha extra time) you might also write another cookbook? I hope so. Happy fall, happy writing.
    Barbara S. Plano, Tx.

    • sbranch says:

      Im going to try! You are so good to have finished your shopping! Joe and I were just talking about what kind of lights we want to put on the house this year!

  95. Peggy says:

    Once the second book comes out, will you be doing an extended book tour like you did for a Fine Romance? I am hoping so! I missed you last time!

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

    Your desk looks like mine at times when I’m in the middle of making cards. You just can’t keep it neat then. And, like you, it’s all very organized, but if someone came in, they would never know it.

    We came home from visiting a dear friend in Boise, ID yesterday. We had such a good time. The weather was crisp and sunny. I’m in the mood now of cleaning out closets and find myself starting to want to hibernate. I’ve never really taken the time to really organize the pantry and our walk-in closet. Oh, it looks okay, but I know it can look much better and with more space for stuff.

    I loved your post today. Looking more and more like Autumn.

    Carol M

    • sbranch says:

      Google pantries and you can see just how really CUTE they can look. Sometimes I decorate mine ala Country Living, fluffing it up and making it all charm. It’s a fun project (but of course, being the pantry, it never lasts!).

  97. Cindy says:

    Susan, I JUST finished The Fairy Tale Girl and I need MORE lol. So this post is perfect–I can witness the work in process. I could not put The Fairy Tale Girl down!!! I’d sneak upstairs and read a few pages, make dinner, sneak and read..I just want to tell you how much I LOVED your book!!! (I kinda wanted to hunt Cliff down and kick him but I know he was part of the process of you becoming YOU!)
    I cant wait for the next one to come out! My Susan Branch books are all together on my bookshelf and I look up at them and SMILE! Thank YOU!!!

  98. Donna Bradley says:

    Hi Susan!
    I just love how you are so real with all of your girlfriends and let us see behind the scenes, especially where you create! It made me feel good to see your desk, because honestly, mine looks the same way at times. We creative souls have to make a mess at times to make art and wonderful things happen, don’t we? With that said, I’m getting more and more excited to read your next book! You go girl! Happy painting!

  99. Cindy (in South Carolina) says:

    Hi Susan, I love your desk and it reminds me that I must get up to my room and work on my scrapbooks and card making. I did crochet my granddaughter the cutest mermaid afghan. Now I will work on one for her sister. Happy autumn!

  100. Trisha says:

    Dear Susan, Just

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