Welcome! How about some nice cool MUSICA? Oui! I imagine lots of you are just coming over from your 

It just started going out today (Wednesday), and it now takes about five days for it all to go … if you don’t already get it, sign up now and maybe you’ll be in time to find a letter in your box. It’s a fun one! It has announcements!  I thought today, in celebration of the coming change of season ~ I’d make us Zucchini Bread for tea! But before I do that, a reminder about the new Fall Giveaway I mentioned in Willard! When you get to the bottom of this post, look for the tiny word “comments” ~ click there, leave a few words so you’ll automatically be entered in our drawing . . . for this . . .

Not one, not two, but three books ~ all of them signed to the winner (or if you’ll be giving them as a gift, to whomever you like!), Autumn, Heart of the Home, and Gratitude ~ in addition, for complete celebration, I’m including one of our new Autumn cups along with a bag of Gingerbread Cake Black Tea.👏 Just leave a comment, and keep your fingers crossed! It could be YOU! It really could! Much better odds than the lottery. And we ship, so no matter where you are, if you win, you win!

Speaking of fall … this is one of my favorite things, a harbinger of the changing season, the way the light dances on my kitchen walls as the wind blows through the leaves outside ~ it’s mesmerizing!

It actually shimmers all over the house . . .  there is something very cozy about it . . .

I’ve been taking pictures of it for a long time. This was the porch of my first Island house, called Holly Oak, during my first fall on the Island (my first “real” fall, period). For those of you who don’t know ….I had moved to the Island from California and had only lived there for a few months, but I could feel the season changing, and I knew then I was falling in mad love with this place. It’s been the same every year since, watching the light and the way the colors change is magical. 🍂

Joe and I walk down this dirt road each morning, through the dappled woods, trees and thickets are still green, but we’re  starting to see tiny pops of color (you can see some at top, over the road).

I even take pictures of other people’s shadows!

The solar eclipse was only partial up here in New England, but it made the shadows even more fun … you could see the moon in them. Making me realize for the first time, that when you see a splotch of sunlight through the trees, you are seeing the entire sun in that one bit of light. Because here, the moon is blocking part of it … and so you get these little scalloped moons dappled under all the trees. Isn’t that wild?

So much moon and sun, they almost made tulips!

This little one … the moon in the sun … quite an amazing bit of sweetness.

They even made it into the house… sparkled down the kitchen counters and across the floor. I wonder how many times this has happened in this house, and what the other people we’ve shared these old rooms with must have thought about it.

There’s Joe, my hero, outside washing the specks of spaghetti sauce and bacon grease off the windows and filling the bird feeders for me . . .

We visit through the windows while I set the oven temperature for 325° and find my recipe for Zucchini Bread. Ah yes . . .

 I’ll show you how to make this delicious seasonal yumminess  . . . and don’t worry, I’ll put the recipe at the bottom so you can print it out. First we need a couple of  bowls and a loaf pan.

This recipe is as fast and easy as any packaged mix ~ I make it at least once a year. You get two big loaves from it, one for you and one to give away or freeze. In one of the bowls, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In the other bowl, whisk eggs, then add sugar and vegetable oil and whisk well.

whisking well.

The you grate zucchini . . .

and stir it into the egg mixture . . .

The birds keep me company while I work, always a good thing!

Stir well.

Add the dry ingredients,

along with the chopped walnuts,

and the vanilla . . .

And voila! Mix well and pour into buttered loaf pans. Bake 60 minutes until a knife in the center comes out clean.

While the cake was baking, I took Jack and we went into the wood room to put up our feet and watch a good old movie.

See? His feet are up.

Our movie starts out all nice and sweet … with Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine ~ Perfect! In this movie, she’s wealthy and shy and he’s a charming playboy without a penny to his name, but she doesn’t know that yet. She’s falling, hook, line, and sinker.

Boy meets Girl, it must be love . . . and I’m settled in, happy as a clam ….

“Have you ever been kissed in a car?” he asks her, and she says, “no” and he says, “would you like to be?”  . . . and then they go on an amazing honeymoon and waltz all over Europe to this MUSICA  … so delightful ~ they come home to their new house that I would like to own and he immediately puts on “their song” and they dance around their new living room from happiness!

And she is now Mrs. John Aysgarth … sooo happy. But, I forgot to mention, this is an Alfred Hitchcock movie, so it comes with a twist. ⚡️

 . . . Which I’ll show you in a moment (not giving anything away, even though I’m pretty sure you’ve seen this movie ~ it came out in 1941, but just in cases) ~ this film has everything I love . . . it’s set in Sussex, England, so there’s already plenty of unspoken history and gravitas, there are darling cottages, and cute cars ~ they have tea, there are quirky characters, and a wonderful scene on a train…

. . . plus it’s mostly British actors, Dames and Sirs, and there are things like riding to the hounds . . . (… just about now, that cake in the oven was starting to smell so good, all cinnamon and sugar!)

. . . and little village churches. Alfred Hitchcock was English so he knew about these things.

The hair, the clothes, the architecture, are all perfection. Everything I love. Love the little bow ~ a bit of 1941 Diane Keaton.

Wonderful romantic curtains, and look, leafy shadows on her windows!

The buzzer just went off, my zucchini bread is done! YUM! Out it comes to cool . . . back I go to the movie . . .

SO, yes, Alfred Hitchcock, which means that besides the charm in every scene and especially the charm of the wonderful actors, there was another character in this “romantic psychological thriller” that got no billing at all . . . Bwaaaaaah! It’s the shadows! Look at them! They aren’t mentioned in the credits, but they are a definite presence in this movie and tell you everything you need to know. I don’t think the shadows in my house are sinister at all, but here, they definitely are! First thing I would do if I was her is get a dog. She actually has a dog but I would get another one with bigger teeth.

Because this movie is called Suspicion, and you don’t have to say it twice, it’s in every scene.  Look at those shadows . . . I feel suspicious right now.

For example, what fresh hell is HE up to, lurking around the bar .  . . we don’t know, but we know it’s something!

Oh, Alfred, you are so good! Slashed with a shadow! They don’t make ’em like they used to!

Even here, she goes into this office (in the adorable little English town that’s actually probably some place in Hollywood) and look what he’s done with the light ~ I have no doubt that he controlled every corner of this movie.

Cake’s cool, time for tea! No problem, I can watch TV while I make tea! My biggest problem? Which cup shall I use? I take turns.

My shadow’s right with me … lotta shadows in this blog! But this one is the best. Back to our chair we go . . .

Uh-oh — Cary and Joanie play Scrabble with Beaky (Nigel Bruce, naive friend), and we get another rather huge clue . . .

And as time goes by, it becomes more obvious that this lighthearted movie isn’t as lighthearted as we thought (or is it?). Here comes Cary with the poison milk! We know it’s poison milk because it’s all lit up! And we are very suspicious, because of the sinister shadows from the moonlight through the conservatory roof. We can see that milk coming up the stairs a mile away! Bang with the shadows! 💥

OMG, he’s in the bedroom, don’t drink it Joanie!!!  (Love the satin pillow on the left. And whatever is behind it. Love everything in this house.) I better stop. I’m going to give the whole thing away. You are just going to have to watch it yourself! Make a loaf of Zucchini Bread first, it’s moist and nutty, and all chewy on the edges ~ it adds  a lot to the ambience.XOXO

Joe’s feeders are emptying fast but the windows look so much better! The birds outside our kitchen windows are constant entertainment ~ they bring their babies, fight for footholds, and sing their hearts out. We keep a bird book nearby, to identify possible strangers.

In my next blog post, besides announcing the winner of the drawing, I’m going to write: “How to Travel: the Tricks of the Trade.”  We are getting to be experts. Only thing we haven’t figured out yet, how to take only one suitcase!  Getting us ready for our virtual and real trip to the other side of the pond. So excited … love all these months in front of us for planning and “looking forward!”One more shadow . . . we were downtown over the weekend, walking home after dinner, and looked up to see one of my favorite sights, a kitty in the window!Today I get to plan the menu for the winners of the Possible Dreams Auction that was held here on the Island a couple of weeks ago ~ they’re coming on Friday! You might remember, I mentioned the auction in one of my recent posts, and just in case anyone is interested, here’s the update: I’ll be making lunch and spending the afternoon with the highest bidder and three of her friends (I heard it went for $4,000, which all goes to our local Community Services so it was a wonderful thing for someone to do 💗). What shall I make, what SHALL I make . . . going to get out the books. I’m thinking we should eat outside under the arbor … I want this to be GOOD.

We went to the nursery yesterday, where everything is on sale, it’s end of season! We wanted to freshen the garden, get some fall color . . . and look how pretty, that’s our cart!

It’s a good time of year to get plants. They’re less expensive, you can see how big they are and know for sure what color the flowers will be. And then next year? Oooh, la wee!

Love you Girls, I’m still singing Dancing Queen from the Willard, 🎶 You can dance, you can jive, havin’ the time of your life … 🎵 See that girl, watch that scene, digging’ the Dancing’ Queen . . .🎶 … Have a wonderful day! Don’t forget to leave a comment to win our Giveaway! XOXO

Z U C C H I N I    B R E A D

Preheat oven to 325° Makes two 8″ x 4″ loaves

  • 2 c. flour (unsifted, lighten by stirring with fork, then measure)
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 c. grated, raw, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325°. In a lg. bowl, whisk together first five ingredients and set aside.  In another lg. bowl, beat eggs, add sugar and oil and beat well. Stir in zucchini; then add the dry ingredients along with the walnuts and the vanilla and mix well. Pour into two buttered loaf pans. Bake one hour until knife in center comes out clean. Cool completely before turning onto serving dish. 💖

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3,432 Responses to THE LIGHT IS CHANGING

  1. Sharon from CA says:

    Susan – just had to add another comment. I was hoping to order one of your wooden recipe boxes but by the time I got around to ordering they were sold out 🙁 Hope you will do some more in the future ?
    Thanks to your talking about these, I rediscovered my grandma’s wooden recipe box which has some fun handwritten recipes like orange pudding and soft cream jumbles. There’s also a newspaper clipping with a recipe for “Apple Pan Dowdy Fine Dessert for Any Meal.”
    Funny on the back of the clipping is an ad for a new movie: Cecil B. DeMille’s mighty spectacle “Reap the Wild Wind” which was released in 1942.
    So this little piece of newspaper has survived 75 years !
    Now I want to make apple pan dowdy and watch this movie 🙂
    Thanks for inspiring and sharing,

    • sbranch says:

      Such a treasure Sharon. xoxo I don’t think I’ll do more of them, they really took me forever, collecting, saving, and then making time to choose all the best recipes and making sure each box had the right amount of cuteness. But it sounds like you have all you need to make one of your own! I understand about the Apple Pan Dowdy, and the movie!!

      • Sharon from CA says:

        Thanks so much for the reply Susan. I’m going to work on my little recipe box to cute it up. My Grandma would be tickled. I may even take your idea and make up a couple for my nieces for Christmas. Fun project.
        Also I decided to use some birthday money to buy your 30th edition Heart of the Home book and it’s expected to arrive tomorrow; Yay, I’m excited !
        Kind Regards, Sharon

        • sbranch says:

          When I started to do them for my nieces and family, I wrote my dad, sisters, mom, everyone and asked them to write me a few recipe cards and sign them … gave them the size of the boxes I was doing. And they did! So I added them to the boxes. I have to say, with all the new recipes, Heart of the Home has become my favorite cookbook (more or less!) ~ hope you like it!

  2. Norine Hayes says:

    I love the blog! It puts me in such a happy mood.

  3. Deborah Robinson says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for a delightful “Willard” publication; it and your blog postings are on my “favorites” list. But to have a give-away too, well it made my week!
    I too feel Autumn is around the corner, though we’re enduring another heatwave in the Sierra foothills.

  4. Sandy says:

    I wait anxiously all year for Autumn!!! It is my favorite season of all. The zucchini bread looks delicious and I love the baking dish you used. The smells of Autumn – such a gift. Fingers crossed for the giveaway!!

  5. Janice N. says:

    Thank you, Susan, for another lovely post. I’m ready to embrace Fall! Yesterday I baked 4 loaves of Zucchini Bread. My husband and I love to toast it, smear it with butter, and enjoy by the fire pit on Fall evenings. Fingers crossed, I would love to win the Giveaway. Happy Fall! 🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂🍁🍂

  6. Yvonne Harvey says:

    I so look forward to each and every post! When you and Joe travel, I stay glued to Twitter so that I don’t miss a word or pic! Susan, I absolutely love every thing you write, draw & dream about out loud. I’m happy to say that I’m one of the original girlfriends from way back when. 🙂 I have two of your beautiful cups (even my husband noticed & admired them) and your original tea, but I would LOVE to be the lucky winner of your Autumn cup, Gingerbread Cake Black Tea & your beautifully illustrated books! Thank you for making our world a bit more warm and cozy.

  7. Jani says:

    Love the Willards! The drawing is very generous; was wondering if you might publish your recipe for the Gingerbread-Cake tea?

  8. I’m going to have to work at modifying your recipes for my plant based, vegan way of eating. Also, on my front yard hummingbird feeder yesterday morning I saw Mr. & Mrs. Oriole, a woodpecker, and of course the hummingbirds. They were all very good at taking turns! Even the little, cheerful titmice enjoy the sugar water. Who can blame them?

  9. Shirley Hubbs says:

    Thank you Susan for your wonderful blog post! I loved it and always look forward to your next! My goodness do we ever think alike! I would be thrilled to win your giveaway prize! I’m caregiver for my husband who has a stroke in February of 2016 your books and posts are my biggest hobby these days!

  10. Mary Black says:

    Autumn is my favorite season…and I love the birds! Thanks so much for bringing joy to us.

  11. Gail says:

    Hi Susan, I just read the blog post and Willard. You make me want to live on Martha’s Vineyard (or at least visit). Hopefully we’ll get there one day 🙂

  12. Rachel in PA says:

    I love zucchini bread, and am so excited to try your recipe. Thanks for another wonderful post. With all that’s happening in the world, it’s so refreshing to read your posts.

  13. Noilin says:

    This is my first time reading your blog but thoroughly enjoyed it. Like you I lovve shadows and I am fortunate here in my kitchen in Ireland that I have stained glass to make even more vivid shadows. I will try your zuchinni bread to have with a cup of coffee tomorrow morning.

  14. Dee Geroe says:

    I would so love to win your giveaway! I just received my first Willard and loved it! I also made some zucchini bread, delish! Thank you for the recipe. 😊👍🏻

  15. Fran Patten says:

    Hi, Susan,
    A dear friend introduced me to you and your talent and wonderful spirit. I just love your life, your home and Jack and your birds. Thanks for everything that brings joy into my life.
    Luvya, Fran

  16. Rose Yahnig says:

    I love the dancing light of the afternoon too. And Autumn is also when I really get things done. Thanks for the joyful words and thoughts.

  17. Lydia Alejandro says:

    Dear Susana,
    It was nice to see a picture of you and your mom on my Willard newsletter.
    It brings happy memories of my “ama”. She was as lovely as your mom.
    If I could have one “do over” day… it would be to spend a day with my “ama” (pronounced in Spanish “ah ma”.
    PLEEZ enter me in your terrific giveaway. I have my prayer antenna up!
    God bless you!

  18. Margaret in AG says:

    As always you entertain us with posts and Willard.!!

  19. Laura B. says:

    Thank you for always being a HUGE ray of sunshine, Susan! You always bring happiness to the world & help us focus on the beautiful simplicity around us! Thank you for YOU! 🙂

  20. Melissa says:

    Hello Susan! You truly inspire me! I love your watercolors and how your books and products inspire so many people. I always LOVE reading your Blog. It is filled with charm, hospitality and love. I missed you on your last book tour in Tennessee. I hope you will be doing another tour soon!


  21. Peggy Lison says:

    Wow, loved the magical
    eclipse shadows -tres cool Susan Thanks for sharing those pics.
    Wish I had thought to look DOWN instead of up:)) xoxoPeggy in Madison

  22. Margie says:

    What a delightful treat to find 2 post in my email. Can hardly wait to try the zucchini bread recipe. Zucchini has been plentiful and the weather cooler perfect combo for baking. I have been observing more shadows lately so thank you for making me to take some time to enjoy the little things in life. Can hardly wait in 7 years we live in the path of totality for the eclipse. It was my great neices 16th b-day this past Monday when the eclipse took place so we are already planning on on being together. Thank you as always for a beautiful post.

  23. Terri from Idaho says:

    I can’t wait to virtually tour Ireland with your photos and drawings next year! So happy you are going there (and England, too!!)!

  24. Connie Erskine says:

    Love zucchini bread and shadows of light. Great post.
    Thanks as always, Connie
    P.S. Love my Autumn mug.

  25. Deborah Hatt says:

    I cannot tell you how much I look forward to your timely blogs and your dear Willard’s. I deeply appreciate your quest to be positive, uplifting, and focused on all that is good, pure, beautiful, honest, and of good report (Philippians 4:8). It is increasingly difficult to find anyone who is NOT complaining, accusing, angry, bitter, and just plain ornery. So, dear Susan, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! for continuing to give me beautiful, happy, joyful, loving, and positive, interesting things to read, see, and think about.

    I adore ALL the things you have in your little shop, but alas, they are far above my means. But I thank you for posting them anyway, because they make me smile. And you are right, those treasured old recipe boxes truly are more precious than gold! I’m so glad others are able to enjoy your wares, and I rejoice with them.

    God bless you, Susan! May your tribe increase. Happy Trails, my dear!

  26. Lynn Richmond says:

    Eeek – love old movies. So fun to watch. I can almost smell your Zucchini Bread and taste the warm piece with jus a smudge of butter!

    Lynn in Nashville, TN

  27. Karen Matthews says:

    Just now reading your blog, we live in Livingston, Texas, just 1 hr north of Houston, so it’s a difficult time for all. Fall will be a welcome time here to help instill hope in our hearts. You are always so uplifting, know just the right words to say to encourage us. I’ve been making zucchini bread for over 40years and love to share it with someone new each time to see their reaction as to how great it tastes!! Anxious to try your recipe. Loved the pics of the eclipse-never thought to look for the moon on the ground like you did!!

    • sbranch says:

      Love to you and all our Texas Girlfriends…it’s true, it’s a hard time, but I love how the news concentrates on the multitudes of heroes coming out to help! People pulling together. xoxo Be careful!

      • Judy in Ohio says:

        God bless you all, Karen…Sending thoughts and prayers your way. Stay hopeful. XOXO


      • Annette says:

        Praying for Texas and Louisiana. Y’all have such quiet grit. This blog is a perfect refuge in a time of such chaos. ♥️🙏🏻

  28. HveHope says:

    Not really figurin’ that there is much chance, BUT, one never knows…. 🙂

  29. Michele says:

    Enjoyed the lovely issue of Willard!

  30. Sara says:

    Thanks again for yet another uplifting blog post and Willard. There’s nothing like slowing down and taking a bit of time to savor each one.
    I also want to let you know that I am loving my new bluebird tea cup and use it each morning.
    Your give away is so thoughtful, so generous, so YOU! I appreciate all you the ways you brighten the world!

  31. Anna Rendell says:

    What a lovely recipe, and fun blog post! I found myself holding my breath as I read about the movie… and now I’m wishing video rental stores still existed so I could run down the street and rent Suspicion!

    Crossing my fingers for the sweet giveaway!

  32. Anne McLean says:

    I’m going to make this zucchini bread tomorrow !

  33. Jenny says:

    I’ve enjoyed your art and books for a long time. Thank you so much for all you give! What a great giveaway. Would love to win it.

  34. Gayle H says:

    My granddaughters picked a large zucchini from my garden this summer. Immediately they told me they wanted to make zucchini bread. We mixed, and spread flour far and wide! We also giggled and smiled making lasting memories and a delicious loaf of zucchini bread.

  35. Jo'L says:

    What a great post: tea, zucchini bread, Joe, Jack, and a movie “review/tease”. You really did a super job on this one, oh, and new plants for the garden! Wow, I’m just so buoyed up by these treats you shared.
    Now I am going to be greedy and hope with all my being that I will be the future owner of all of the books, the tea and the gorgeous mug. Autumn is my favorite time of year and having the beautiful things you have brought into being would bring me so much joy. Fingers crossed.

    • Jo'L says:

      Just read Willard: Fall, England, food, beautiful artwork, music to delight the heart and a surprise ending! You should write a movie, sure it would be wonderful.

  36. Kelly Machnov says:

    If you love old movies here is one that finally was released on iTunes Movies🎞🎥 – ‘Miracle In The Rain’ with Van Johnson and Jane Wyman. I think you will enjoy this black and white romance. Just thought I would share this with you. As always, thank you for the wonderful Willard and the blog posting.
    Best always,
    Kelly from Walnut Creek, CA

  37. MARY V. says:

    I just LOVE YOU!!!!! I live my dreams through you!!!!! THANK YOU, till I can do my own….

  38. Carol S says:

    Beautiful post, as always. And thanks for the Willard! 🙂

  39. Susan says:

    My mother-in-law introduced me to both fresh zucchini bread AND Susan Branch this summer! How can I ever repay her?! 🙂

  40. Kathryn Styer says:

    Susan, you MAKE my day!

  41. Anne says:

    If I wasn’t excited for the Fall season before I definitely am now after reading your blog and Willard! Wonderful!😍 I love “Suspicion!” Such a great movie. There are no more Cary Grants or Joan Fontaines for that matter 🙁 Weren’t they just divine?! Thank you for all the good thoughts and zucchini bread! #youdabest xoxo 😘

  42. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Lovely read, thank you! 4 days wonderfully spent with BFFs in your old neck of the woods – even drove by your old store front.. 🙁 …! So lovely down there, so hot up here! Ugh! Day of the Eclipse, we were on the road…such excitement, so many cars pulled over with various methods of watching! Great pictures you took of the Eclipse in the shadows…who knew? We stayed in a charming “Little House” in Oceano, ate fruits & bread from farm stands…yummy & fresh! Thank you for your beautiful gifts for just the right winner! Now over to visit with Willard! xoxoxo

  43. Leona says:

    I was just thinking to myself this past weekend, there are so many Alfred Hitchcock movies I haven’t seen and now you post this! It’s a sign – I will have to work my way through them :). So excited to see you are re-printing your Autumn book. I always comb garage sales and thrift shops for copies of your books. This one I will definitely be ordering! Thank you Susan!

  44. Jan Cain says:

    Your posts always make me smile and sigh and very nostalgic. Love Jack. I have a lovey black and white kitty with a nose split between black and white.

  45. Deanna Rabe says:

    I have to check out that movie! We adore all the old ones!

    My dream is still to visit England one day(I’ve been to Scotland). Its my heritage and I love history – so it’d be a win-win!

    Autumn is my favorite season, and I’m on the hunt for one of your Autumn books!

  46. Jillian J. says:

    I love all of your new cups! Thank you for the joy that your work brings to so many!

  47. Marie Knight (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Such a wonderfully uplifting post! Loved all of it! xoxoxo

  48. Del says:

    What a wonderful blog post! Love them all!

  49. Kathy says:

    Dear Susan,
    I loved this post! Even though it is still summer, bit by bit, I’ve noticed the change in the sunlight early in the morning.
    Thank you for the zucchini bread recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

  50. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan…I loved Willard…love that you are able to share memories for your Mom… This is what we have to do sometimes. What a wonderful Mom she is and have created such blessed memories for you. Love how the pin drops! What fun that must be for you!! And to be able to return back to England…I can hardly wait!! Promise I will pack light and you won’t hardly know I’m there with you!! ~smile~ Oh, how I’d love to win your fall collection! (I hope I made it in time.) I must see Suspicion, even though I’ve seen it before at some point in my life…it’s a must see again movie!! Oh, the lucky lady who won a day with you! When I read it in the other post, I cried! All I could think of was what an amazing time that would be! Your life is like a fairytale. … So glad the auction went so well!!

    Blessings..have a great day!

  51. Susan Williams says:

    Hello Susan!
    Thank you ever so much for sharing all that you share (it’s one of life’s blessings🎀). Autumn is my favorite season and your blog, along with your books, stories, ideas, etc. make it even better. It is raining this morning and your zucchini bread has inspired me to bake something yummy. I wish you a wonderful fall – enjoy the gifts of this bountiful time of year!
    Susan Williams

  52. Ilona Taylor says:

    Hello Susan! I so love all the pictures you share with all of us! We take pictures of our kitty in the window, too. That’s kind of become our picture of home. It really is empty without a kitty waiting for us. Enjoy the dappled sunshine!!! Blessings!

  53. Valorie Veld says:

    Wonderful to read. Thank you. Thank you too for such a great give away!!! 🙂

  54. Tawni Urrutia says:

    Dear Sweet Susan,
    Made your zucchini bread yesterday, beyond delicious!😋 Big thank you from my husband Mike♥️
    Tawni Urrutia in Lodi, Ca

  55. Carla says:

    Love, love, love your blog and Willard! I especially love your idea for using old recipe boxes with old family recipes. I do a blog using my grandma’s recipes – and she had a LOT! There’s nothing better than to have those old ones in their dear handwriting! Keep your beautiful artwork coming – I’ve been collecting your books for years! Love them!

  56. Dottie Campion says:

    I just love zucchini bread and all your blogs. Thanks Susan for such wonderful

  57. judy says:

    Love to get your blog and willard in my mail, so glad you reminded about the calendar, I always try to get one this month. Thanks

  58. Debbie Smith says:

    Hello Susan,
    I hopped on instagram and looked you up and then came here soon as I read that you had a new blog post up. Then I see there’s going to be a giveaway, exciting!
    I’ve always loved your art and writing since my first encounter with one of your little books at my sis-n-laws years ago. I was so excited when she showed me one of your trilogy books. I read Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams through a library loan and loved it! 🙂 I had a birthday this month and my son had me pick a gift through Amazon (how fun is that?! getting to pick your own gift! 🙂 so of course I picked one of your books. This time, A Fine Romance, and I loved it too! Can’t wait to read The Fairy Tail Girl! We have 3 sons in the US Air Force. One is stationed in England and one in Germany. If we ever make it over there for a visit I’ll have your book for great tips and suggestions. Feel like I’ve had a nice visit there already, thanks to your book. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your gift of art and writing. I try not to read your books too fast because I don’t want them to end! 🙂 Not only are they a pleasure to read but quite a treat for the eyes with your lovely handwriting and your art and pictures all throughout in such interesting and fun layouts…each page unique. 🙂 Your style has such a personal feel to it that is so inviting and inspiring!!
    I’m going to go puruse through your blog for a while before I get busy with my day.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Debbie, I’m thrilled you like the books! I hope you get over to visit your sons! And thank them for the job they do, we all love our guys in uniform!

  59. Kathy Thurman says:

    Your newsletters are so beautiful and cheerful😁 A nice reprieve from what is going on here in Houston! Martha’s Vineyard has been on my bucket list for years and one day I will get to see how beautiful it is in person. Thank you for the opportunity to win. 😊

    • sbranch says:

      Hope you are okay Kathy! Our hearts are with everyone in Houston, in Texas, and wherever that hideous hurricane is going next! xoxo

  60. Colleen Schumm says:

    I haven’t had much time to comment as I just been blessed with the arrival of my first grandson. What joy! I just printed out 10 or so copies of your darling bookmark and plan on sharing them with my book club.

  61. Nancy says:

    Fall is absolutely my favorite time of the year, even though here in sunny Arizona we don’t really start to feel it until early October mornings. How I would love to experience the four seasons as you do there!
    Thanks for the Zucchini Bread recipe. I will be baking that one soon! XO

  62. Nanette says:

    Loved this blog, dear Susan! I wanted to tell you that I ordered this movie from Amazon after you told us about it and I enjoyed it so much! Would you please tell us about the movies you come up on that are so good? I printed out your old movies list, too. Thank you for your movie tutorial!

    I wanted to tell you about a website I happened upon through Face Book called ” The Queen’s English.” I think you and the girlfriends would enjoy it. You can subscribe so you never miss their new feed.

    It may just be the end of August but I do believe we are getting an early fall in Alabama. I have already gotten out your fall book to enjoy…..a favorite tradition! So! I wish you a very happy FALL day, dear Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      Same to you Nanette! That list you have, those are all total winners, just start at the top, and welcome to a new life of constant wonderment and joy. That’s how I feel about the old movies, so much charm!

      • nanette from alabama says:

        Thank you for the list! I have watched an old Alfred Hitchcock every day this week! Loved it. I don’t have “regular t.v.” as I am not interested in most of what comes on but have asked for “Filmstruck” for my birthday present this year! Thank you for telling us about it! You have enhanced my life in many ways. I am grateful!

  63. Karen says:

    I can’t tell you how much I loved this blog post! I love the Fall, and esp Alfred Hitchcock movies! But mostly, I loved, loved, loved the latest Willard. Thank-you so much for making me feel childlike, excited for Fall, and hopeful all at once.

  64. madddie says:

    What a happy blog post…I feel amazing relaxed!! Continue to spread your cheer!

  65. Vicki Reimer says:

    Just finished reading my Willard. Thank-you!

  66. Debbie P., Weedsport, NY says:

    Hi, Sue ~
    What great photos of the always changing, sometimes dancing light! It’s one of my favorite things, too! I was sitting in our living room a couple of days ago, in late afternoon, watching the flickering light and the little rainbows moving around the room as the sun bounced off the stained glass in my windows. It was just mesmerizing….almost meditative. In that instant, I realized I want to paint my coffee table and end table white to brighten things up in the room. I can’t wait to get started! I’ve been adding more and more white space to our home and it feels so fresh and new! I do struggle sometimes, though, with painting beautiful old wood, though. I think you have to leave that richness also to create a nice balance. I was noticing your door with the fringed throw hanging over it….How creative and what a lovely way to soften the dark wood! I just love those little details about creating a warm, inviting home space! You are the genius when it comes to that (and so much else)!
    Once again, you generous heart can’t help itself. Such an amazing give-away! I would be over the moon if Vanna happened to pick me! Looking forward to every post, every conversation with you, dear heart!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Debbie! I’m doing the same thing as you, clearing spaces, lightening things. We even bought a new couch for the first time in eons. It’s PERFECT for naps. I took one yesterday, waiting for a storm, very cool, had to close the windows, covered in my grandma’s knit blankets, and I’m still not over the heaven-ness of it! LOL. Life is good! xoxo

  67. Jeannie says:

    Love your blog. Am drinking my tea in my Bluebird Mug here on Bluebird Hill Farm. Bought the mugs for my daughters and daughter-in-law. Am going to try your zucchini bread. Have been a fan since your first cookbook was published. Have vase and sugar and creamer you made and, of course, all your cookbooks.
    Thanks for sharing your life

  68. Lindy munday says:

    Susan I just read Willard and can’t wait to go to England, will have to start teaching quilting again to pay for trip but I have to go!
    I made the zucchini bread and we love it, made it on a day before we got back into the 100’s here in good old California.

  69. I like the same things as you and you make me think about them fore frequently. Thank you for being my friend.

  70. Patti Heisler says:

    Suspicion, one of my favorite Hitchcock movies. I always looked for the “Hitchcock” cameo shot in his movies: he actually shows up twice in Suspicion- once walking horse at the hunt and posting a letter in the village.
    Your Joe at the window picture reminded me of the cameos.

  71. Nancy Wells says:

    Just finished your book, A Fine Romance, as an inspiration for heading to England this week. We will visit our grand daughter who will receive her Masters degree at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Your column is quite timely as her degree is in Film Studies.

    We are so looking forward to tea and scones and seeing all of south eastern England. Thank you for your books and for the loveliness of them. I would love to add more of your books to my beginning library.

    • sbranch says:

      I have to say, I’m a tiny bit jealous of your very lucky daughter!!! Good for her, good for you. What an education! Have a wonderful time! xoxo

  72. Carol Richmond says:

    I’m going to try your Zucchini recipe this afternoon. It’s been cool all week in NJ & cool weather turns on my baking desires! As always, love your blog. And YOU!

  73. Jennifer P. says:

    Just starting to get excited for Fall, right now we’re having a heat wave and I’m wishing for cooler weather (and soup!!!).

  74. Shelley Palmer says:

    I have my cup, and love it! Martha’s Vineyard was my choice, as it’s on my bucket list for a place to visit, to see and enjoy. I chose it to have something tangible to make it happen. I’ve traveled quite a bit, have been to most states here in the US, traveled to many European countries, and lived 5 1/2 years in Germany…but have never gotten to MV. Hopefully, that will happen in the next year or two. I know you love all four seasons, but for a visit…any suggestions? ♥️♥️♥️

    • sbranch says:

      Come early spring, like the first week in June is usually heaven and the roses have begun to bloom … or fall, anytime after Labor Day when everyone goes home and it’s a wee bit quieter. You’ll love it, it’s a very sweet, evocative, and magical place. xoxo

  75. Tamara Otterstein says:

    Love it – thanks!

  76. Jan Johnson says:

    Those eclipse shadows – or lights! – were wonderful! Shadows and silhouettes make things come alive.

    I haven’t seen that Hitchcock film, even though I’ve seen most everything with Cary Grant. I’ll have to search it out. I love black and white movies – those dramatic shadows! They used to play them on TV regularly when I was a kid in the 60s and 70s, and my sister and I would watch and rewatch – James Stewart, Shirley Temple, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn. Those were the days!

  77. Sydney Ellen says:

    So sweet! You do the nicest things for us girlfriends.

  78. Linda says:

    Hi Sue, thanks so much for sharing the lovely details, great capture of the eclipse shadows, and for the recipe, now must see “Suspicion” also, as we head toward fall, best combo of weather!

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

    good morning Susan, Girlfriends. another smoky day for around here, those fires are really belching out the smoke and it seems to wander and collect here…. ICKY!!! one can hardly see the local mountains because of the smoke, the one good thing about all this smoke is it is keeping us cool, instead of triple digits that being predicted we stay in the middle 80’s to low 90’s… that is tolerable. mama and the babies have been reintroduced to the flock and re safely in the pen now. they had a fun summer wandering about and munching on the greens out in the backyard lawn. time to get with flock and stay safe. hope the rainy season comes soon, we could use it around here. for the kids, just one more week and its back to school, come next Tuesday and classes begin. I always loved back to school, a chance to catch up with friends, and the smell and feel of new notebooks, paper, pencils and pens and new clothes and shoes. and it was always fun to see what teacher you got for your classes. well I had better get busy, time to start cooking up the potatoes and bacon for the clam chowder for dinner tonight, I felt like soup for dinner and I felt like trying my dad’s recipe for chowder. if the recipe turns out good, I will definitely doing it more often in the Fall and Winter, since that is when we really chow down on soups and stews. to all the Texas girlfriends, we are all praying for you, stay safe and stay away from those floating fire ants. I had the sad experience when visiting in Texas to step on some… never again. that was no fun. well off to start cooking…. have a wonderful day everyone, love much, laugh often and live well and stay safe. hugs….. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Not fair, you could use a bit of that Texas rain to put out those fires! xoxo

      • pat addison ( cave junction, OR) says:

        we could use it, and if Texas wishes we will gladly take it and use it well. we need to put the fires out, and we need to clean the air around here and a good drenching would do the job. but we will continue to survive and send help to Texas anyway we all can. its going to be Labor day weekend and I can’t wait, I have been waiting all year long for these.. Lion burgers, best burgers in the valley. the Lions club cooks up the best hamburgers around and I wait ( quite impatiently at times) all year to go get some, and I literally pig out over the Labor day weekend. I get my fill and that will have to hold me until year… sigh!!! the chowder turned out very well so I plan to do it more often during the Fall and Winter. well cross your fingers and hope we see some rain and soon, every drop will help . Have a great Labor day weekend everyone, love much, laugh often and live well. hugs to all….. hugs…. 🙂

  80. Jackie Ransome says:

    Good evening im sitting here reading your blog , which I have read for years , watching the first episode of this years bake off (without Mary Berry) eating grapes and almonds .
    one if the contestants is , coincidentally, making courgette and lemon cake which ,as I have a glut of squash, i shall make tomorrow as well as your loaf . When there is a glut of home grown vegetables there is always a race to cook and preserve as much as possible before the produce spoils , of course much is also given away

  81. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! YOU truly are all of us Girlfriend’s Fairy Godmother!!!!! You shower us with great music, yummy recipes, pictures galore to make us smile, old time movies to check out, annnnnnnnnnnnnd another spectacular give-a-way contest to win treasures by YOU!!!!!! Hope all was a success with your luncheon for the Dream Auction winners!!! They were very lucky ladies to dine with you and Joe!!!! Bless them for their most generous charity donation!!! This past Saturday morning I walked down the street to my neighbor’s little garage sale and spotted a place setting for 4 of white and rosey color cups and saucers , and dessert dishes that were made in England. Underneath was stamped E IT, and it said English Ironstone. Sooooooooooo pretty! I never knew Ironstone could be so delicate and light weight! I just love them, as they resemble your China you have photographed on your diningroom table in the past!!! Did you see Ironstone dishes in the shops in England on any of your trips? (My neighbor received the dishes from a girlfriend, so is not knowledgeable about where they came from in England, or when……..) My thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by the wrath of Hurricane Harvey. Take care and God Bless. Thank you Susan for Willard, too……I am ready for my second cup of tea to enjoy reading it now, before the rush to prepare dinner begins!!!! Bye bye!

    • sbranch says:

      How wonderful, your discovery of new dishes you love! Yes, Ironstone is wonderful too. You might put the writing on the bottom into Google and perhaps find out more about them. Have a wonderful day!

  82. Sandra Parker says:

    I love your Willard’s♥♥♥

  83. Kat Fry on Rose Creek Farm says:

    Oops late to the Party…Again!…wow! look at all these wonderful, funny, heartwarming & interesting comments. Like a dear Twitter friend recently said, reading the comments & conversations, why, it’s like reading a novel. Sitting here looking out at the darkening sky…just light rain up here in the part of East Texas we live in. We expect heavy rain starting tonight & lasting through next week. Ol’ Harvey has turned into a slow moving son of a gun & that will be devastating for so many. Prayers & acting on those prayers are going out to so many down along the Texas coast & in Houston. And we’re feeling & muchly appreciating all those thoughts & prayers pouring in from all the F.O.S.B.s around the World!I’m feeling ready to hit the field in my old worn out Witten Cowboy Jersey…I do believe that picture of Joe outside the kitchen window looking in is one of the best ever! And Jack, getting refreshments before hopping back to put his paws up to watch Suspicion! hilarious! That zucchini bready cake…cakey bread is tantalizingly tempting! And even though I’ve seen Suspicion ever so many times, I was on the edge of my seat! Your ‘shadowy’ commentary added so much! I’d never noticed all those shadows & caught all their whispers! Oooohhh shivers up & down! I feel the urge to pop up some popcorn, grab a Dr. Pepper, some Goobers & settle in! I’m doing things bassackwards here, as usual…& now am off to find Willard. Can’t wait to see the recipe boxes everyone is talking about. So happy that Lisa was able to nab one! Go Lisa! Thanks for brightening our days coast to coast and across the Pond. Sweet Sue…someone should write a song about you! I bet they already have. Love to your 2 sidekicks.
    XOXOXOXO As Ever Kat on Rose Creek Farm

    • sbranch says:

      Love you Kat, it’s so AWFUL what’s going on there. Was talking to Joe last night, imagining being suddenly homeless, and even jobless, overnight. Losing family pictures. OMG, what a complete nightmare of the very worst kind. I hope your area can take the amount of rain, be careful Girlfriend. Thank you for saying hello, feel the prayers winging in your direction. xoxo

      • Kat Fry on Rose Creek Farm says:

        You n Joe are the kindest, most compassionate folks. I feel the thoughts & prayers & am chasing them like fireflies & bubbles…will pull them out to gain comfort & strength & smiles. Such sweet & kind words! True what y’all say…homeless & jobless comes after disasters of this magnitude. The ordinary, mundane become precious…clean undies, toothpaste & a toothbrush! comb…socks! not to mention diapers for wee ones, something to cuddle with, a book, a Bible. All dear. These are what we box up & put on trucks. Along with the funds to get food & water to them. We humans, all over the World, come together. Its in our blood to help. We feel y’all’s love & hugs. And sned bunches to y’all! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

        • sbranch says:

          Thank you sweetie, it’s just good to hear from you. I’m watching helicopter rescues now. It’s so unbelievable. xoxo

          • pat addison ( cave junction, OR) says:

            our group is sending Diapers, socks, chewing gum, moist wipes and travel sized bottles of bath soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes and all the little things that help make you feel human again. we are also sending boxes of coloring boxes, crayons, pencils and paint boxes for the kids to have something to do, balls, board games for all ages, play cards, magazines, books and storybooks for younger kids. just things to help them stay occupied and busy and to give mom and dad a break.

  84. Laura W. says:

    I love the old classic movies, especially the thrillers. I’ve never seen this one before so I’m going to be looking out for it on the movie classics channel. Thanks so much for telling us about it, Susan!

  85. Linda K. says:

    Dear Susan,
    Reading your blog and following your instagram posts, always reminds me of all of the things I love best in the world. What a delightful post around shadows. It makes me smile and I so needed this. Thank you for your lovely posts!
    Linda in Illinois

  86. Just luv-lee, dear Susan! I can hear your happiness in every word, here and in our wonderful Willard. It’s such fun to know that you are planning a very special lunch for your four special (lucky!) guests on Friday. Can’t wait to hear all of the details! I’ve been busy getting our guest room ready for our dear friend. She is coming from Germany in September to stay with us for a few weeks. We can hardly wait!!!! I’ve moved my Susan Branch book collection into the guest room so she can enjoy them all. Girlfriends Forever will be on her beside table! What is your very favorite tip for making a special guest feel oh-so welcome?
    Heartfelt thanks for reminding me to stop and notice the shadows!
    Warmest hugs!
    Dawn (in Illinois)

    • sbranch says:

      Flowers! But anyone visiting your house is going to be in heaven!

      • You are too sweet, Susan! I take all of my inspiration and wisdom from you, dear heart! Oh, yes! Lots of flowers ~ in each room and on the front porch, as always. I’ve been making lots of changes in my perennial and herb gardens over the past year. I’m just tickled with the new look. I’ve been faithfully adding garden-keeping memories to my Garden Joys journal, with a bit of doodling, too. Come take a peek into my journal, if you like! I shared lots of pages this summer. It will be a treat to enjoy the garden on a cold, winter’s day with a cup of tea and my journal. Guess who inspired my journal?? 💕
        Love you, Susan!💗💗

        • sbranch says:

          I know you love your picket fence garden! Us too…this has been our year in the garden, after these last few when we were traveling too much. I’m starting to color outside the boxes in my garden, which I have never done before! Lots of new things planted, so even though this year has been outstanding, I still can’t wait to see what happens next year! Have fun with your guests!

          • We are most definitely kindred Perennials, Susan! Can’t wait to see all of the changes in your garden! I have actually been working very hard to ‘right-size’ my perennial and herb gardens. I’ve made them smaller and more manageable, while preserving all of my old-fashioned favorites. Less time weeding means more time in my little papercrafting studio! 🙂 Digging and transplanting feels like watercoloring with real flowers!

            Our dear German guest is a flower herself. Her name is Iris! She is my ‘Rachel.’ We have been dearest friends, writing letters and visiting one another for 39 years. Girlfriends forever!! Sending paper hugs, dear Susan and Joe! ♡♡

  87. Kathryn says:

    Thanks so much Susan. I plan to make the zucchini bed tonight and enjoy with a cup of coffee.

  88. Kathryn says:

    Ha…..I typed zucchini “bed”…..I meant bread but perhaps it was a slip as I am very sleepy and a nap sounds wonderful. Thanks again Susan.

  89. Sandra Stephens says:

    I always enjoy reading your blog…I really like it when you share a part of
    your daily life with us. It would be wonderful to win the goodies that
    you are giving away.

  90. Judy says:

    Oh my – what a tease of a movie review!

    And the moon shadows – thank you for that perspective.

    As always, a delightful read. Your joy in life is palpable – a gift to us all.

    • sbranch says:

      I didn’t realize I was teasing until I started reading the comments! I thought everyone had seen it! Ha ha ha, well, now I know how to tease a movie!

  91. Connie Dunham says:

    I am forever grateful to my dear friend, Katha Chamberlain, for gifting me with HEART OF THE HOME so many years ago, and thus introducing me to all things Susan Branch! She started something big, because I followed her example and have shared many of your books and goodies with kindred spirits. She is a true blessing in my life!

  92. Kelly Kennedy says:

    What a wonderful way to end my day… I was just thinking, I wonder what recipe SB uses for her Zucchini Bread, because I just got two hand picked zucchinis. Hooray, you are always right on time. Thank you kindly, and God bless you and Joe.

  93. Corrie Kaspardlov says:

    Love that recipe holder idea- would be a great project to work on with my lovely sisters 🙂 So sad that Autumn cup is sold out but was able to order the book. Your blog is so inspirational- love it!

  94. Suzanne Giljum says:

    Hi Susan,
    I had lunch today with 4 amazing friends. I made them your newest bookmark for each of them. To my surprise they hadn’t heard of you (shame on them) I am hoping to win so I can introduce you to them.. I told them to make sure to check out your web site. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they will and that I win. Thank you for your giveaways. One of these days I’ll win.

    • sbranch says:

      Word of mouth, girlfriend to girlfriend, who could ask for anything more, thank you so much Suzanne! Very sweet of you to do that! Hope you do win!

  95. Nancy Ford says:

    Thank you for bringing such enormous joy and comfort in your beautiful blog. It’s heartening to know there are so many kindred spirits out there who still enjoy so many of the fine things which make life rich, even in the most difficult times. You are a gift to the world, and certainly to me, personally.

  96. Deborah says:

    Hi Susan, what a fun Willard…as usual! I always look so forward to your posts…they make me smile every time!!!! 🙂 What a lovely and generous fall giveaway…would love to be the winner, as everyone else would also!!! Thank you for the chance to win! Hope you have a wonderful week! Smiles, Deborah. 🙂

  97. Chris L. says:

    Shadows! How delightful!

  98. ann in E. oregon says:

    Hi Susan! I am ready for fall in NE Oregon, but it’s sooooooooo HOT (102 degrees today!) 🙁
    I am looking forward to sweaters, cooking hot dogs in our fire pit, falling leaves and the horses hairing up for the winter! 🙂
    Thank you for all the wonderful chances to win your beautiful products, although I have to admit that seeing there are already almost 3,000 comments is a wee bit discouraging. Despite that…….I still have hope! 🙂

  99. Lisa says:

    Susan: Hello from Toronto. I am so inspired by your books, and enjoy making books myself. Your blog is a favourite! Visited Martha’s Vineyard last summer, got to the bottom of Spring St., but ran out of time….Some interesting shops on your main street.

    Your biography/travel books, are some of my favourites…and I do love books! Hope to meet you sometime soon, Lisa from T.O.

  100. Joanna B says:

    First time visitor, long-time fan! Looks like I have plenty of reading to do while the days are still long!

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