Another Gorgeous Day in Paradise

Another gorgeous day in paradise! MUSICA!Musica


Oh, I am working so good now, girls. So excited for the new book. It’s my most favorite thing I’ve ever done and that is truly saying something. You are going to love it. I almost don’t want it to be done. I’ve already started painting for it, yesterday I painted my first little house as a doll house with no walls! That was fun! And I’m laying out the pages, hurrying before you all forget where we left off from The Fairy Tale Girl!

But then, the sun begins to come up, I look outside . . . and oh my . . .

from the bedroom window

I meant to do my work


I had to go out the kitchen door . . . because all the leaves were calling me! What was going on in our back yard this morning as the sun got into the tops of the trees was just wonderful!



fall on Martha's Vineyard

The sun was lighting the tree tops on fire . . .


Here’s the garden before the sun got to it . . .

frost quote


Nice and cozy . . . all this beauty right outside the door!

sunrise fall

But this is what I meant . . . the sun was hitting the tops of trees, coming through other trees and splotching them with light, like it does on the walls inside the house . . .pretty amazing, don’t you think?



fallVita quote

Oh yes, definitely treasure . . .

clothes on the line

It’s hard to show the wind in a photo . . . I keep wishing the leaves would stop in mid air and let me photograph them coming down . . . they are flying through the trees today.I can even see them here from my window in the studio because the light catches them and they flicker all the way down. 

I almost forgot to tell you . . . I caught one in the woods today! It is not as easy as it sounds, believe me. But I got one, and I made a wish on it and tossed it!


Shhhhh, I would really like it to come true!

fall on Martha's VineyardDishtowels on the line are a pretty good second-choice indication of wind . . . . .
drying dishtowels on the lineThey can really get going . . . the wind is cool and fresh and smells good too. *Someone* should start raking up leaves!thoughtful cat

Let’s let *Jackie* do it! He won’t mind. He’d do just about anything to get out there! 

kitty moves

He heard me say that . . . Really? We’re going out ???? 


You might remember this photo taken in the spring, only instead of leaves, these branches were filled with white flowers . . . it’s an ornamental pear tree. Trees are year-round giving things. Squirrels love them too.

From our bathroom window on the second floor the squirrel condo in the linden tree.

squirrels outside the bathroom window

You can't have everything quote; susan branch art

Yes, just like Bogie and Bacall!


Sun in the tree tops . . . Autumn gold.


autumn fall book

carved pumpkinI hope you are getting lots of use from your Autumn book!  There are a couple of recipes you may not have tried but I think you would love . . . one of them is Roasted Radicchio on p.50. A most amazing side dish, drizzled with balsamic syrup and so good, and different! Also the Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Sauce and whipped cream on p. 93. I’ve never tasted a better one. Honest. You’ll love it! Also, as a treat, because you deserve it, on your next rainy day, try the Red Chili Onion Rings on page 29! Heaven! And just in case you’d like to make my Grandma’s Stuffing this year . . . here’s how to do it, very simple, but you need to plan ahead a little bit.

grilled cheese

And then there’s this . . . mmmmmmm. Grilled cheese. Good for breakfast or anytime!

Girl Kitty

Here’s my darling Girl Kitty. Getting a little ear-scratching. We are having lots of quality time these days . . . I brush her every day to help her with those dastardly hair balls. She loves it and so do I!

building a house

lovelyWhile I was walking around the garden taking pictures, I went out back to the street for more splotches of morning sunlight . . . They have taken this old house almost completely down in order to save the parts that are salvageable. It will be gorgeous one day. Seeing it made me think, building a book is a lot like building a house. First you need a foundation, then you add the framing, nature and lovethen the sheathing, the shingles or the clapboards, then the windows and doors, so it’s all enclosed and begins to look like a house. And the whole time you’re tapping your foot and saying Hurry. Then you get the wiring, insulation and plaster, then the cupboards. the linoleum, and the tub . . . and FINALLY you get to the good parts, the paint and wallpaper (don’t quote me on how to build a house) and then, most exciting of all, you get to the part where you get to cut flowers from your garden to fill a little vase hometo sit on your window sill. ♥ And that’s exactly where I am on the book right now. At the flowers-in-the-vase stage. I’ve made myself a mock-up version of the book so although it’s very clunky, I get to see exactly what it will look like! And you are always on my mind as I choose the Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreamsperfect photo, the perfect bit of art, the perfect quote and my very best words. And so it goes, until the house is built. Which will be sooner rather than later. I COULD get it to the printer in two months, IF I did nothing else, BUT, I don’t think that’s going to happen, SO, asap will have to do!


In the meantime, Kellee is away on vacation, when she gets home I will have a brand new WILLARD all ready for her to send out . . . I think she said it will go out on the 17th . . . so get ready and sign up your sister and your best friend so they get one too! I have so many exciting things to tell you. Many surprises are coming this way, Girlfriends, for all of us!one secret

rainy day


Just had to show you this beautiful rainy day we had last week . . . too pretty not to mention.

And this . . .

moon rise

Moonrise last week over Vineyard Haven Harbor . . . We went down to Owen Park to take this picture. The October Hunter’s Moon always seems like the biggest one here on the Island . . . It was so exciting, waiting, waiting, the light of it came first, and then finally, there it was, peeking over the horizon! Looks like the sun, but it’s really the moon!

carved pumpkin

And here’s one of my favorite dishes, just love this color and love to see it every year.

dishesmy paintbrush, doing what comes naturally

And now, one of the many reasons I LVE my Blog, a surprise for my dad, a giant hug to say I miss you, Dad! Hope your day is going wonderfully! Kiss Jeanie for me!  XOXO

Love my daddy



I   A D O R E 

And you too Girlfriends, the OTHER reason I LVE my blog . . . hope your day is going wonderfully too! I will hug the kitties for you! XOXO

I've got my love to keep me warm

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405 Responses to Another Gorgeous Day in Paradise

  1. mari1017 says:

    What a glorious post! I just drank it all in, and by reading all the comments, I love being in the company of so many that glory in Autumn! Your photos are gorgeous and really capture the trees on fire! We had a day like that here yesterday in central Virginia. Achingly perfect blue sky, cloudless, leaves of every color and shape and size with sun blazing through – and temps in the 70s on November 3 – yeah! What a perfect day – a day that used to be marked on calendars as a Red Letter Day 🙂
    Thank you for the smiles and joy – your dad is soooo very special, and thank you for sharing him with all of us! Beautiful kitties too 🙂 Can’t wait for the new book and possibility of meeting you on your book tour this coming Spring. Keep up the good work & blogs & Willards – how do you do it all??? It must be for the joy ♥♥♥
    p.s. Fresh turkeys coming into Trader Joe’s in 9 days – can Thanksgiving be far behind? Cranberry Apple Crisp here we go!

  2. Cheryl says:

    These photos are so stunning. Our world is so beautiful. It was lovely reading your blog post on a very blustery autumn day.

  3. Barbara Weaver says:

    Thank you for this new blog. Your happy gene always shines through and brightens my day!

  4. Rosemary Monk says:

    I’m a little slow figuring out blogging, just found out how to write to you here. This was my 3rd or 4th Blog and such a pleasure to read. Loved the art, the photos, and your words. We’re in NE also, just outside of Boston, and are also enjoying this beautiful fall. Some of the trees in our town appear to have been dipped in red or yellow paint, they’re so vibrant. There’s a tree I can see from our bedroom window that is just full of color, from the right angle it looks like staring into a warm glowing fireplace. Loved, loved, loved Fairy Tale Girl, read it real-fast-all-the-way-through as soon as it landed on my doorstep, then again, slowly savoring every page. I’m happy to wait patiently for Part II, will be happier still when it’s finally in my hot, widdle hands. Thank you for the beauty you continue to bring to our world.

  5. Mary/Indiana says:

    Love, love, love your Fall pics! We’ve had a gorgeous one here in Indiana, too.
    Freaky weather, though. Last week was cold and this week it’s 70’s but we’ll take it!
    I had to get my Autumn book out in order to make your Apple Crisp for dessert!
    Smells yummy in my house right now! Hubby wants whipped cream on top and I
    would die for Cinnamon ice cream but alas, he won this one cause there’s a can in the
    Fridge on the door. I have to keep it for Hot Chocolate, Pumpkin Pie and the occasional “squirt-in-the-mouth” for my Grandkiddies! Can’t wait for my next installment of your
    Book! Keep plugging away. ANTICIPATION!

  6. Cynthia Rothbard says:

    I so enjoyed this post. The Fall seems especially beautiful this year and I thank you for sharing. It is not something that we see in Florida. (Today, it was 87 degrees! ). Okay, that is all I wanted to say….Thank You!

  7. Ann Woleben says:

    I’ve been waiting for your post and I am not disappointed – so many wonderful photos. You might be surprised to know that the rainy day photo is my favorite, like an Impressionist painting – that autumnal moment in time. I can hear the rhythmic swishing of the wipers and the drops of rain splashing down on the car. I think of the end of a rainy day drive, headed to the coziness of home and a cup of tea (with a few sugar cookies!) – yum! Sometimes I think I could be the perfect hermit, but then I look at the beauty of the earth and receive a call from family or friends, and I know I have to head out! Happy Autumn days, Susan. As always, thank you for sharing. I look forward to Willard and to a Thanksgiving post?!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I feel the same way, I always take photos of rain. (Along with everything else! :-)) Half guilty hermit, half gregarious fool. ♥️

  8. Such Fall beauty! Always love your photos Susan – and your lovely musica.

    Been getting out the sweaters and warmer coats here in the northwoods. We haven’t had snow….yet – but the rain is COLD! It’s been warming chili and cookie baking weather too. Oatmeal chocolate chip today. Sending you some sweet wishes through the screen! I may need to try that gingerbread recipe next. I love your Autumn book and just finished reading it again last week.

    I can’t wait for the next book!! I gobbled up The Fairy Tale Girl and have speed re-read it already too. So happy the next one is going well. Stay warm and cozy and hugs to You, Joe and Kitties. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Carrie! Don’t we just love how so many things completely change when the seasons change? Makes life to interesting!

  9. Kathy Madigan says:

    I just bought your 2016 calendar and love, love, love it!!! You always lift my spirits! Happy Fall!

  10. Loved all the “fall in New England” blog photos, especially with the shining sun making the leaves sparkle. Do you know what I love nearly just as much? All the ‘girlfriends’ comments! What a lovely group of kindred spirits. One of them reminded me I needed to leave a review for the Fairy Tale Girl on Amazon (check), another reminded me to plan a Downton Abbey season premiere tea (partial check), others reminded me I’m surrounded by SB lovers right here near Seattle, so a shout out to them (check)!
    But I FORGOT to tell you that my world has intersected with Downton Abbey like Six Degrees of Separation down to One Degree because when I went to ship an online purchase a couple weeks ago I shipped it to…..yes! Downton Abbey! Ok, as my local girlfriend & DA lover pointed out, so it was actually Highclere Castle, but SAME THING, right?! (I even took a picture of the shipping label so I could provide her proof!) Now a little piece of me (and my DNA on the scotch tape) is residing at Downton Abbey. Sigh. Kinda makes my little world perfect 🙂 (I knew you & the girlfriends would ‘get’ it!)

  11. Sharon Byars says:

    I love your photos and your thoughts. Your move from SLO inspired me to take the plunge to the East Coast . It was the best move I have ever made. The 4 seasons are incredible. Appreciate the “light” moving in the trees and all the color ! Your optimism is contagious ! Thanks also for the tip on the poison ivy awhile back. Recall thinking “what gorgeous color” on those trees. Glad I did not decide to take them home!

    • sbranch says:

      LOVE that Sharon. Incredible is just the right word. So in love. Joe still has to warn me away from the poison ivy … so pretty!

  12. Beth L. says:

    I have not finished The Fairy Tale Girl yet…but LOVING every word!!!
    So you may have shared this, but wondering how Daddio Jack spoke into your life during that difficult season…father to daughter…and how you felt his presence? His love….

    There can be no greater suffering than when our children suffer. I know my own dad didn’t speak depths of words (as women are wont to do!) as I grew up with my craziness in the 60’s…but he was present. Said little. And one bear hug spoke volumes. It was a different day then….but I wonder what Jack thought?

    And how would your 60 Something Self encourage your 20 Something Self now knowing ALL the wisdom and truth of Life that you’ve experienced? How would you advise young Susan now? Just thinking of my own journey….xoxo

  13. Cindy says:

    Susan, what a beautiful post! Loved all those luminous fall photos! You always brighten my day. Thank you!

  14. nellie says:

    What a marvelous tribute to Autumn on Martha’s Vineyard! It must be the prettiest time of year! Nature greets us with such beauty! How blessed we are!
    This has to be the loveliest season to be there.

    Now, we are all waiting with great anticipation for the next Willard! Such a treat.

    Sending you the very best as you continue your work!

    xo Nellie

  15. Cyndi in NC says:

    I can home from AZ on Sunday to find that I had not only white ginger blooming but hydrangeas too!! The smell was heavenly and caught me by surprise. It was a great welcome home. The drive across country was full of amazing things. I don’t think of the desert in NM to be at such a high altitude but it is. Going through the mountains near Ashville, NC wasn’t as high! Go figure. *L* Loved seeing the leaves from OK to the coast here. Beautiful! I was afraid I’m miss them all. Now I have my book to read and another to look forward to. Going to take a peek at the Autumn book for some good recipe ideas as well as other goodies. Now if the weather would cool down and not rain here it was be wonderful!! But there really is no place like home! Hug the kitties, hugs to you and Joe and all the girlfriends!!

    • sbranch says:

      New Mexico surprised me too . . . more snow and freezing roads than I imagined! Welcome Home, Cyndi!

      • Cyndi in NC says:

        Thanks Susan, it’s good to be home. Yes, most people don’t know they get snow in places. I’d love to go to the balloon festival in Albuquerque. I think that would be a blast!

  16. Joann says:

    Love the paints, the leaves, the squirrels. I love the hug—-Daddio. My Dad used to say that….”Daddio” Such a ‘long time ago’ phrase. I miss it. He has been gone for so long…40 years! He had this push thing he’d rake leaves with…can’t explain it, but he’d make the biggest piles and of course, I had to jump in them.

    I’ve been raking and mowing and bagging and raking….for three straight days. I had to!! The weather is changing drastically and piles and piles of wet leaves are no fun. Today, I could feel the air changing as I was out there. The day started out beautifully….then I had to take off my wool cardigan….. I worked SO HARD!!
    Then the day started to darken….oh hurry—keep going….you can do it I told myself!!! And I did. I’ve got about 15 bags of leaves and we’ve already taken 20+ to a place in town that used them for compost. The rain had started about 2 o’clock. I kept going.
    It was invigorating in the most exciting way. I felt like I was on the prairie preparing for Winter!
    Take time with your book………savor each page. Recount each memory. Birth each paragraph with the love, humor, and joy that only you can! Enjoy the upcoming holidays. Have some pear Ci-dah, and r-e-l-a-x.
    I couldn’t be reading it right now anyway!! I’ve still got more leaves coming down!!

    • sbranch says:

      LOL! I know how you feel. Just when you think you have it under control! I will take my time on the book, while I hurry! 🙂

    • Chris Wells From Knickerbocker, W. TX says:

      Hahaha Joann! You remind me of my daughter-in-love. She breaks out that leaf blower and I swear she gets them before they hit the ground! My most memorable image is of her very, very pregnant with the leaf blower clearing the driveway! She is just a little OCD!

      • sbranch says:

        You should have seen me the first fall on the Island. I had NO idea what to do with all those leaves . . .

  17. Dena says:

    Another lovely post, made me get out my autumn and other books of your I have and look threw them , one of my favorite recipes , is the lavender orange cake, hope you will let us know if and when we can pre-purchase your next book. Thanks

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

    Hello Susan! What beautiful colors! I am a Fall Girl and everything Fall just speaks to me. And for some reason it is VERY slow coming this year. Although yesterday, probably because of this post, as I drove over Spring Creek on my way to work, I looked to see how full the creek was and bingo!…..all the leaves on the top of the pecans have turned yellow. It was just beautiful, big huge pecans hanging over the creek all ablaze in color. This is Texas, yellow is ablaze as we get!! And Saturday’s high is to be in the 60’s, so I am thinking of a big pot of wonderfulness on the stove!
    And that picture of Jack turning his head is priceless! He so reminds me of my dear Scamper, who was a blur streaking around the house most of his younger life. The second half of his life was spent on top of me. The minute I sat down, he was in my lap.
    Thank you for the pick me up. I was a little under the weather the last two days, and this post helped.
    Big hug to Blog Daddy, if he isn’t tired of being squeezed by now!
    And a big hug to you, Susan!
    Knickerbocker, W Tx

    • Chris Wells From Knickerbocker, W. TX says:

      I forgot to mention…. a GFSB messaged me on Pinterest, asking if I was the same Chris Wells that commented on your blog! I said yes, and told her that Susan brought us all together and now we bump into each other all over the internet! It was fun.
      Seriously, I have looked at other blogs and no one has the connectiveness that you have with their readers and the friendships that have sprung up among the followers. I now know people all over the country that I have a strong affection for. We have laughed together and grieved together and held each other in prayer. We are girlfriends in the purist sense, although we may never meet. You have done something so special….way beyond the books and the art, Susan.

      • sbranch says:

        It is something I’ve thought about since I received my first wonderful letter from a “stranger.” And after a while, I just wished there was some way that all these nice people who were writing to me, could meet! Isn’t that amazing? I never imagined, even when I was learning about computers, that this would actually happen. SO fun that you ran into someone like that on Pinterest . . . small world! 🙂

      • Sharon in So. Calif. says:

        Hi Chris! You beat me to telling Susan about our “meet” on Pinterest, lol. Hope you are feeling better.

        • sbranch says:

          This is too much fun!

        • Chris Wells From Knickerbocker, W. TX says:

          There you are! Sharon, you need to meet my friend Susan Morgon ( formerly from Ohio living in SoCal), you could be neighbors! 🙂 Susan Morgon and I lived in neighboring towns in our Ohio life, but we met here on Susan’s blog! Then we were able to meet up in Ohio this past May while we were both visiting family. Is that not just the wildest thing. And Susan
          Morgon, if you are reading this, Sharon is a Cincinnati Girl!
          Well that is the best I can do with the introductions!

          • Sharon in So. Calif. says:

            WOW and double wow!! I will definitely have to meet Susan, (Hi, if you’re reading this), what a small world after all. P.S. Go Bengals!! (had to say that, lol).

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

            Hi Sharon ! A big thanks to Chris for letting me know that I needed to catch up on reading comments! Where are you in SoCal? I’m in Long Beach. Pinterest is pretty neat , too. I had met Chris here on the blog, then one day, when I was catching up in Pinterest ( it had been months since I had been there ), I noticed Chris was following me and messaged her from there. I was amazed at that coincidence! Nice to meet you, too!

    • sbranch says:

      Yours is slow and ours is going on for a very long time. We should be leafless and chilled to the bone by now! No one is complaining! I hope the second half of Jack’s life he is in my lap the minute I sit down. We are working in that direction! Glad to hear you’re feeling better Chris! xoxo

  19. Anne says:

    And good morning from golden Maryland. This post was a great way to start my day. My kitty Ophelia says hi to G.K. and Jack.

  20. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    We adore you too! I am not to the end of Fairy Tale Girl, I don’t want it to end, I am in the sweet part where you are talking about your wonderful childhood. I hurried thru the sad parts because I didn’t want to leave you in that place for very long. Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs!

    • sbranch says:

      I had to write that part though, because the rest would make no sense without it. Glad you got through it! Happy weekend to you too!

  21. Patty in Michigan says:

    Thank you for all the beautiful fall pictures. Those squirrels are too cute. I have a couple chipmunks that chase each other in my yard and they make me smile each time they do. I am so thankful for your blog, Susan. Life can be exhausting e at times and you have a way of showing us the simpler things that can bring us joy. This fall has been one of the most beautiful ones I can remember. We have had temperatures here in Michigan all week in the 70s. I went for a bike ride with my kids yesterday….. it’s November! Love it! Love that picture of you and your Daddy. What a special relationship you must have with him. What a blessing! Love you, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      We’ll I’ve known him for some 70 years, which is pretty good right there! Love the sound of your bike ride!

  22. Hi Susan, I’ve been absent from the blog-world for some time and am just getting back into it. Since my last visit on your blog I did finally finish the log cabin quilt that I was making from your fabric lines. I love it. My friend asked me to share some of the fabrics left over with her and now she is making a quilt with them. Can’t wait to see hers. Your photos are so pretty and so inspiring! Happy Autumn!

  23. Rae Lange says:

    good morning from the beautiful Ozarks!! I really loved the pic of rainy day drive. It reminded me of all the ‘wet’ days in Portland OR walking to school in the fall and smelling the wet leaves. I still love that smell. Isn’t autumn so wonderful with all the beautiful colors??it’s hard to pick a favorite so I guess they’re ALL my favs….oh yes. I am no respecter (respector?) of leaf color…LOL.
    love ‘crazy eyes’ Jack wanting to get out….haha, made my laugh.
    enjoy the rest of the beautiful color! I’m going to enjoy a nice rainy day here – much needed rain. I feel a laaaazy day coming on. oh dear…

    • sbranch says:

      We had a 60 something-degree-day today here! Windy but warmish . . . in November! Amazing. Our leaves are just a full oooh-and ahhh all the time now!

  24. Virginia says:

    Thank you for another memorable blog. How do you do it all? The books, the blog, Willard, beautiful homemaking and cooking, and morning science to top it all off. It’s amazing.

    One of the most important things I’ve learned from you is to take photos of those little moments that really are a big part of the joy of life. Views out my window, fall foliage in my own garden, my grandmother’s meatloaf I made last night and so on. I have them in my memory but what a pleasure to photograph them to share with family. Thanks so much for that gift. I never would have thought of it otherwise.

    • sbranch says:

      I just don’t do it all on the same day! 🙂 Oh, that’s so nice, yes, every day can be a celebration, it’s all in the way you see your grandmother’s meatloaf! xoxo

  25. Susan says:

    OMG Susan,
    Just started reading Fairy Tale girl and I got the biggest dejavue! Being raised in So. California from a family of 7 kids and a sister 15 years younger then I, my adventure began. Graduated in 67, worked at Bob’s Big Boy on 17th street Newport Beach, lived for music and moved to Santa Barbara, while my soon to be husband went to UCSB. Started a co-op, referred to the Whole Earth Catalog that we still have, but Bruce and I moved to Hawaii in 69, which is a major difference. Still in all, I am on my 6 chapter and I’m enjoying every page. AND….my sister (Amy) and I just got back from a beautiful tour to the New England states, last month. I loved it there! Now I see!!! There’s a definite connection between you and I. Maybe you’re our other sister! 🙂
    Looking forward to more of your magic carpet ride!
    Aloha, Susan

    • sbranch says:

      You wouldn’t want me for your sister, I have so much baggage, we’d be a family of 15 kids and that’s just way too many! Love hearing about our parallel lives!

      • Susan says:

        Aloha Susan,
        Well…….I finished the book and loved the parallel life that we seemed to have traveled. The story about the Beatles adventure was so exciting! From one Beatle manic to another, how did you ever keep stand while talking with them. You lived the dream that so many only hoped to have experienced. Our father was an electrician in Balboa and Newport beach and also work for Disney putting all the wiring in so many of the first rides. We would get a family day at the park with everything free once a year. Maybe 300 people in there at that time and what a time we had! Dad also worked privately for John Wayne, and Andy Devine (Jingle’s from Hop Along Cassidy). My sisters and I got to go to John Wayne’s home and play with his kids while Dad worked. I remember hiding behind his door when I heard him come in to meet me. 🙂 He was so tall in my eyes! Our memories from that time are so precious! We were the lucky ones to have experienced that era. Peace, Love and Happiness and the best music in the world.
        One more note, my father-in-law was an OBGYN at St Mary’s hospital, and head of staff. He may have know your doctor! Our daughter was born there as well in 1970.
        Now I’m waiting patiently to read the next part of your very lovely fairytale!
        Loved it Susan!
        Susan B

  26. Julie says:

    Hello Susan~ Thanks for your letter full of sunshine and cheer. Please tell me, where did you get tht DARLING teacup that says “love” on it with the little birdie inside? Do you have that teacup for sale? L_O_V_E it so much Susan!
    Happy day from MO <3

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a tiny cream pitcher and it was a gift from my English girlfriend Rachel. . . . . Oh you are going to love this . . . just for fun I checked the bottom of the cup and found a name and googled it, and guess what . . . Amazon has lots of things by the same designer HERE . . . 🙂

      • Julie says:

        Oh thank you, you are soo sweet! I do love what you have done……out of love 🙂 And what a sweet girlfriend, Rachel to gift you with it. Thank you, Susan <3 ~Happy Painting Day~
        Hugs back from MO

  27. Hi Susan! Loved your post…I wanted to write you to tell you that I just made your macaroni and cheese recipe from “Autumn From the Heart of the Home”, on Monday this week. it was so good!!! I have been looking for a good macaroni and cheese recipe that does not have flour in it for a very long time. I have tried so many and there was just always something missing or not quite right. Low and behold! It was eggs and dry mustard that were missing! I have never tried a recipe with those two ingredients. The recipes I’ve have tried either have been too cheesey (if there is such a thing…lol), the texture was off, or they just had no flavor/too bland. I loved your recipe! All the right everything! The funny part is that I have had “Autumn From the Heart of the Home” since 2004 when it was first published, and only now found that recipe. I peruse it every Fall, as I do “Christmas From the heart of the Home”, at Christmas time, and “The Summer Book” in the summer time. I don’t know how I have missed it all these years! Anyway, thank you for your wonderful and “HEARTWARMING” books…I love them all! They give me so much Joy and Comfort.
    By the way, I just finished reading “The Fairy Tale Girl”, week before last, and I cannot wait for the second book!
    Thank you for being you and for sharing with us all that you do.
    Have a beautiful Autumn day! Hugs from Maryland!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh that’s great Sandi! I’m so glad you enjoyed the Macaroni and Cheese . . . sometimes I think the simplest old time recipes have been changed so much it’s hard to find a “normal” one anymore! Anyway, glad you liked it! xoxo

  28. Lois Rehm says:

    Thanks for your “ode to autumn”! I second the numerous positive reviews from the FOSB on the beauty of the visuals and the charm and quality of your text. The picture of you and your father embracing struck my heart also since it reminded me so much of how my dad’s arms and hands looked. The Longfellow poem, The Village Blacksmith, came to mind:

    “The smith, a mighty man is he,
    with large and sinewy hands;
    And the muscles of his brawny arms
    Are strong as iron bands.”

    Longfellow paints a picture of a hard working, honest man
    “Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing,
    Onward through life he goes . . .
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Something attempted, something done,
    Has earned a night’s repose.”

    And ends up thanking the blacksmith for the lesson
    he has taught by example. Sounds like all of our fathers have also left
    indellible impressions on us.

    Warms wishes,


    • sbranch says:

      Haven’t heard that in a very long time . . . thank you Lois!

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

      I love this poem ! I taught American lit for many years and always loved the day this one was on the agenda. Thanks for sharing it here, Lois!

  29. Thank you for sharing one of the prettiest autumn days I’ve seen this year. The moon rising was pretty spectacular too!

    Can’t wait for the second book!

  30. Nancy J says:

    Loved this. Always love reading your blog. I especially noticed your picture of the mantle with the shadows. In going through my old house sometimes I stop because I notice as the seasons change the light is so different in the house and the shadows it creates. Glad I am not the only one who likes the shadows of a house.

  31. Sara McKeefer says:

    Shadows on the mantle
    Sunlight in the trees
    Dishtowels hanging on the line
    Dancing in the breeze.

    Catching falling leaves
    Making secret wishes
    Vineyard Haven Harbor moon-rise
    Favorite apple dishes.

    Heart rocks on the windowsill
    Jackie’s double-take
    Rainy roads, Willard’s coming
    *Someone* get the rake!

    Enjoyed the little respite
    But back to work I go
    A giant hug to say ‘hello’
    And ‘I miss you, Daddio’!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful, marvelous, very good day, Susan.
    We love you to the moon and back!


  32. Joy Kordos says:

    Please send me your blogs at my email address. i’m not sure how i can blog my comments. I love to read your warmth, caring and loving comments on your nature walks, and read your books. Oh, so peaceful and I love your Kitties and choice of music. It totally reminds me of gradys Tabers books of long ago. With Love, joy

    • sbranch says:

      You did a good job of adding your comments here. I’ll have the blog delivered to your email address, but on those emails, the “comment” link, is, for some reason, not included. You would still have to come back to http://www. in order to leave your comment as you have done here. Just FYI Joy . . . nice to hear from you!

  33. Jack says:

    Sara , I loved your poetry … So captures the detailed essence of Sue’s morning blog right
    down to the ” heart rocks in the window. You also have a special gift…..Sue can
    Compose and you can convert it to a lyrical presentation …..with a remberence for your own Dad in the process ….. You did good Sara!

    • sbranch says:


    • Sara says:

      Thanks so much, Jack, especially for giving us your dear Susan! You have to be so proud that she is using her gifts to bless so many people! 🙂

      • mary spring says:

        ..Amen to that, Sara !..when I was reading Fairy Tale Girl I kept getting teary- eyed; I wanted to thank Susan’s parents for all they have done !!.. ( coming from a very large family myself, I can appreciate what they did for their children, as well as what my dear parents did and still do for all of us !!’s called love.. )

  34. Kirsten in So. Cal says:

    I am in heaven! My air conditioning has not run for two whole days and nights. My thermostat reads 71 F. Can it really be Autumn in Southern California? I am putting more than just a sheet on the bed tonight. Isn’t that wonderful? So what if the weekend forecast says it will be high 80’s this weekend. We had the hottest Oct. Nov. has GOT to have cooler days! I love sweater weather.
    Susan, when you caught the leaf did you wish Autumn for everyone?

  35. Mary Ann McCann says:

    What happiness to wake up in the early dark morning only to see and read your latest blog! Beautiful glistening fall leaves floating from heaven. and your fuzzy wuzzy Jack kitty…..I can feel and hear him purring as he is wishing to go outside. Thank you for starting my day on such a delightful note! Your happiness and excitement about the best things in life are so contagious! Can’t wait for your new book and am so savoring and enjoying “Fairy Tale Girl”! Have an awesome and beautiful fall day, Susan! XO Mary Ann

  36. Vida Howard says:

    Autumn! Happy Autumn!

    Love the pictures and Autumn Speak. Isnt it a blessing to have seasons? Our whole attitude changes with them.

    Thank you for your building of this community of friends and fans. It is always a joy to read your blog and the comments. Once again….Happy Autumn to All!

  37. Hi Susan,
    Thank you for this lovely post. Your writing always helps me get in balance. There’s so much joy written here. You are a wonderful girlfriend to have.
    Have a beautiful Autumn weekend!

  38. Sharon in So. Calif. says:

    Dear Sweet Sue, sorry I haven’t been able to comment for awhile, my computer was down for weeks, ugh, it drove me crazy! But now I have been able to catch up on all of your wonderful posts. You are so good to us the way you share your life and home. I also am a “fall” gal, love it so much, the blowy winds, a crackling fire and YOUR corn chowder on the stove. I am already anticipating your cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. Sorry I have not read The Fairy Tale Girl yet, I have to wait for Christmas! It’s pure torture, but much to look forward too. Can’t wait for the Willard too. Much love to you and Joe, Jack & Girl (& Blog Daddy, love him so). xo

  39. Paula Cutchey says:

    I finished your lovely and thoughtful “The Fairy Tale Girl” recently and mulled it over for a while. It seems you were as much a mother to your siblings as your mother was. So when you left home I am sure you missed them without even realizing it. So I see part of your journey as reconnecting the past with the present.
    Being overwhelmed can bring greatness. It happened to Beatrix Potter also. I expect we all are overwhelmed by life’s events when men are involved. Moving forward is not running away. It is the hand of God at our back and all girlfriends have been there.
    Keep writing Susan, you are at the beginning.

    • sbranch says:

      In real life, like all of us, I had to discover things slowly and alone, it’s much more fun to bring others on the journey with me!

  40. Kathy G says:

    Aahh, so happy you still have your Dad. It makes me miss mine; he was the best. Enjoy your blogs so much.

  41. Wende Taylor says:

    Hi Sue … read your wonderful blog the other day, always such a great treat, love your pictures and just hearing about your lovely life. My ‘tweetie Dave gave me “Fairy Tale Girl” for my birthday a couple weeks ago, came with your signature and a little birthday wish – what a fabulous gift and I ‘speed read’ it but am now going thru it slowly, savouring each beautiful page. How brave to put yourself out there to us. My step-dad passed away unexpectedly the other nite and I was sitting here now, feeling so sad so I opened your blog again, picked up where I’d left off before… reading the girlfriends comments and as I read about how we all ‘connect’ thru you and love reading each other’s comments, I burst into tears and sobs that hurt my chest. Somehow I seemed to ‘feel’ you and the girlfriends and my grief just swept me away. I knew the girlfriends would understand. Not sure why I’m sharing this but wth. Thank you Sue, for all you give us… you are a gift.

    • sbranch says:

      ((((Group Hug Wende)))) We do understand. Life. There are no words. Just sending love across the miles. XOXO

    • Charissa says:

      Wende, My heart goes out to you. We all sure do want send you a big hug and wish we could take the pain away. Sending warm fuzzies your way. xoxo

    • Diane from Poulsbo says:

      Wende, the Girlfriends DO understand! Sending you comfort and peace!

  42. Laura says:

    Such a sweet photo of you and your dad. What I would give to hug my dad again. It’s been 16 years and every now and then a picture or memory, or a smell will tug at my heart. Thank you for such a lovely post.

  43. Amylisa says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just got my copy of Fairy Tale Girl yesterday and I can’t wait to get into it. I am saving it just a bit longer. Flipping through it, it looks beautiful.
    Planning to pull out one of your cookbooks tonight, my daughter worked at a farm stand that just closed for the season and she brought home a whole bunch of tomatoes. Going to make your tomato soup recipe, my family loved it last time I made it!
    Thanks for the inspiration you send into our lives and homes. Love to you and your sweet kitties.

  44. Alys Milner says:

    Dear Susan, I’ve just finished The Fairy Tale Girl and look forward to the second installment. A fellow blogger alerted me to your book and I bought two: one to read and one to send to the friend that introduced me to you in the first place. I’m recovering from foot surgery, so it’s been the perfect time to indulge in your enjoyable book. Thank you for sharing your life with your Girlfriends.

    I’m delighted to find your blog, full of kitties and fall days, clothes on the line and rain on your windshield. I live in drought-parched San Jose, so even a glimpse of rain makes my heart soar.

    • sbranch says:

      Happy to have you here Alys, hope the foot is getting better! And thank you!

    • Hi Alys! I just knew you would enjoy reading The Fairy Tale Girl. So happy that you have joined all of the lovely Girlfriends here! Susan has created a very special gathering place for kindred spirits. 🙂
      Get lots of rest… so your foot will heal very soon! ♡Dawn

  45. Angie V says:

    Hi Susan

    What kind of bread do you use for your grilled cheese? It looks yummy!

    Angie V

    • sbranch says:

      Not sure which one that was, I just looked for the crunchiest, seediest, healthiest, and that’s what I went for.

  46. Paula says:

    Once, again, Susan~~A heartfelt thank you! You brighten so many lives.

  47. Janice says:

    Never ever disappointed in your lovely post… Love the photos all the pretty colors of Autumn here in San Francisco we really don’t have those beautiful trees here.. Autumn. Your autumn cook book is wonderful, I recently made the Ginger cake and sauce and the butter loved it all it tasted so good.. me and my daughter and two grandsons had a little tea party. and I made the pasta from your summer book and shared them on my blog.. I love your sweet kitty’s as well and I can’t wait for the new Willard.. Yay.. And boy I can’t wait for the new book.. I enjoyed the fairy tale girl at the most… sending girl friend love across the waves.. with love Janice

  48. Amy Warren says:

    Hello Susan…reading your new book and am making myself go slow with it, just to make it last. You mentioned how back in the day you wrote letters to your mother despite living close. I do the same with my mum….she’s a coupon girl, having grown up in the Great Depression. I send her the weekly coupons for Stop and Shop. I know you are on Facebook and Twitter, but is there a P.O. Box we can send fan mail to you? Letter writing is a hobby of mine, I have over 30 penpals. I love it!

    • sbranch says:

      I love it too, although I no longer have time to answer everyone back, that’s the bad news, and I always feel so guilty! I was raised to answer my mail! But I have books and Willards to write so those are the hard choices! I always read my mail anyway, and you can send yours to PO Box 2463, Vineyard Haven, mA 02568 xoxo

      • Amy says:

        No worries about answering back. I was at Savers recently and picked up a copy of a very old book on Martha’s Vineyard, thought you would get a kick out of it. Awhile back, I sent you a children’s book about a girl named Susan who had a dollhouse..I sent it care of your publisher there on the island because I wasn’t sure which address to send it to. I LOVE to send things to people in the mail, it gives me a huge thrill. Thanks, Susan!

  49. Darla Unger says:

    I went yesterday to the Barnes and Noble by my house in Roseville Mn.and bought (the last copy in the store) of the Fairy Tale girl. I have been reading and loving every page so far it’s reminding me of my past and my best friend Denise. I ordered when I was there Autumn from the Heart for some reason when I tried ordering from your website it wouldn’t let me. Thanks Again the book is Great so far!!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m just happy to hear they had it! That’s a surprise, Barnes and Noble has been very difficult to get into, this is a GOOD thing! Happy you like it!

  50. Amylisa says:

    Well I was not able to wait. I stayed up til midnight last night/this morning and read at least two thirds of the book. I did not realize what it would be about. So much I identified with, I’ll have to write you a letter! Way too much to say for a comment box! 🙂

    I had to smile and laugh out loud when I got to the part about John Lennon running down the stairs. 😉 You’ve had some real adventures. More to come no doubt! Especially with your Joe by your side! Thank you for sharing your life with us Susan.

  51. Suzanne C. says:

    God Bless you Susan Branch….your writing make my heart sing too! Please come to Las Vegas someday as you cross this country!!!! Please…please…pretty please……

    • sbranch says:

      I would LOVE to Suzanne . . . believe me I would, but this is such a HUGE country . . . we’ve plotted out a 9,000 mile trip so far! Very difficult to choose!

  52. Gladys Marie says:

    Bless Your Heart, Susan. You Do Bless Ours.

  53. sondra fox says:

    Hi Susan, I must let you know of a book I came across, that is a “must read,” for sheep lovers, plus it’s about parts of the country in England that you walked upon on your trip over there. It’s called “The Shepherd’s Life,” by James Rebanks. I think you’d really enjoy it. All about sheep farmers & sheep. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  54. Hi Susan!
    It’s so exciting to know that you are in the flowers-in-the-vase stage of our next book!! I’m so excited to read about buying a little home of your own. I think that I will feel so many connections to this chapter in your life! 🙂

    Sending extra-big hugs for your dad! 🙂 We just returned from a nice visit to celebrate both of my parents’ birthdays. They live about an hour away from your dad. One of my dad’s favorite gifts was a big tin of your Ginger Crisps, cut into shapes of Autumn leaves, acorns, Lionel trains, and Ford Mustangs. My mom loved her new Susan Branch calendar and pretty, handmade cards. It’s such a blessing to see them feeling healthy and happy!!

    Happy painting, dear Susan!
    Dawn (in Illinois)

    • sbranch says:

      I put a tiny preview of the next book in the Willard I just finished writing. One of the flowers in the vases 🙂

  55. Julie says:

    That picture of your Dad’s hands, wrapped around his cherished daughter, you…

    Sigh. So beautiful…

  56. Christine Perica says:

    Oh my gosh! Those freckled worn wrinkled used man hands of your Father’s hugging his daughter so tightly are gorgeous. I love that you love your Daddio so much and are enjoying him for such a long time. Wish I had a photo like that of a hug from my Dad but will keep this one in my mind. As always, thank you.

  57. JoLynnH says:

    Just getting around to stealing some quiet moments to catch up! Thank you for sharing photo of your dad and you…brought tears to my eyes seeing how tightly he holds his girl <3 Love. Look forward to hearing from you soon!

  58. Diane from Poulsbo says:

    I feel a bit badly for being so late to comment, and I heard once that to say that “I have been so busy” is rude……so I will just jump in with joy anyway! I am loving Autumn, and we have had the most gorgeous one here in the PNW. Usually , here, it seems to zoom by too quickly into cold, wet, winter, but this season has been extra long and beautiful. I also love Thanksgiving sooo much, so I try to push Christmas until after turkey day so that it doesnt get minimized in our family. Which makes me appreciate your blogs….season by season….so much. They give me such peace when I read them and everyone’s comments, and the older I get, and the crazier the world seems, the more I value it. I have a question….do you still have the wild “FREE RANGE” turkeys that wander through the island? LOL…what a hoot! One last thing….I cannot wait again for your NEW BOOK next year. It is really going to be a beautiful glimpse into you and your life’s journey…and with Joe, who is the true love of your life. I hope there will be a bit of romance woven in even though in a Fine Romance we were given a lot! I love how you have enjoyed the journey of your entire life. I think you represent to so many of us an example of a life well lived. We love you!!! xxxxxx

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I’m about to put a new photo of them passing through our yard the other day . . .Thank you so much Diane! xoxo

  59. debra sewell says:

    Ahh this weekend. Well mine started today Thurs, Nov 12. I flew out of Clearwater,FL back to Boston for my grandsons 1st birthday on Sat. Sooo smoith flight to Boston where i love. Then took commuter rail from North Station to Haverhill, MA where one of my baby sisters lives. I am one of 7. Jyst to see her. Then Fri ill take train back into Boston and roam city to my fav haunts. I love love Boston.However, do not want to shovel snow anymore. I lived in Maine for 32 years and then MA so toooooo much snow. So then Boston boy birthday at my sons then have to fly out Early Sunday back to Clearwatet, FL. So having an awsome very fall weekend. Been beautiful!!

  60. And speaking of rain…from ten o’clock last night until five o’clock this afternoon we had 2.4 inches of rain out here on the west (wet) coast of Canada. Well, that’s November.

    Lovely post, as usual, Susan. I can’t wait to get your new book.

  61. Veona says:

    Your blogs are so inspiring and interesting and amazingly creative…thank you for giving us so much to smile about. Talking about your grandmother was so special and really made me think of mine as her maiden name was Smith, and her married name was Orr, which was my maiden name! Maybe just coincidental ! HA

  62. Gail says:

    Every time I read your post it makes me miss the vineyard so much. I only got to visit 10 days this year. I live in western Mass.,and fall is one of my favorite seasons. Nothing I love more than walking in the woods ,when it’s snowing the leaves of fall. My golden retriever Sioux, running ahead of me with his ears flying in the wind. On my way to take him for a walk. Then I think I’ll have some tea while looking thru your Autumn and Christmas book. Have a great week.

  63. Evelyn Hill says:

    Thank you so much, Susan, for this end of autumn post!! I loved every word and picture!! The most touching moment by far was the final picture of you hugging your dad…how precious are those hugs!!! How generously you share with all of us; I pray the blessings come back to you multiplied many times over! Looking forward to Willard!!

    Wishing you the most blessed Thanksgiving!

  64. Dearest Susan,
    Your latest book and 2016 calendars arrived last week. I started reading your sweet book towards the end of the week and then the terrible attacks happened in Paris on Friday. I was very grateful after watching the evening news for the last few nights that I could reach over to my night stand and read a few more pages of your book before turning off the light. It was helpful to have your darling pictures and sayings on my mind rather than the sad news, before falling asleep. Thank you for all you do to help us literally “see” that there is more good in this world than bad. Take care. Donna O.

    • sbranch says:

      All you have to do is read the comments on this blog and you will always know that the world is filled with wonderful people. xoxoxoxo

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