It’s November!

I used to lie on my bed as a child and ponder the world . . . I wished I had a very long crayon so I could draw on the ceiling, add eyes and a fluffy tail to the crack up there, and make it into a REAL rabbit. Now I wake up pondering and start making lists in my head! November is a huge list month, and I couldn’t get through a day without one. What with Thanksgiving and the looming Christmas season, I have LOTS of things to remember. 🤔 (And P.S. They don’t make MUSICA like they used to ~ love this clarinet!)

The moon woke me up last night . . . knocked on the window and came through the curtains and directly through my extremely thin eyelids (at least they seem that way to me, since I was little, one speck of light wakes me up!).

So up I got to write you ~ and here’s the moon-view from a downstairs window. The aptly named, “Frost” moon ~ I went outside to take pictures and got my first real feel of winter! Brrr! And tonight we turn our clocks back! It’s that time of year….Days get shorter, but mornings are longer!

We had a wonderful Halloween.🎃 Simple, old-fashioned and shared with the people we love.

Jack enjoyed watching Joe bring out the decorations . . . 👻

Joe loves it as much as I do . . . we always decorate the front hall . . .

Because that’s where the kids come . . . the door to the street is right behind me . . . We don’t want to scare them, we want to delight them. 🎃

And after the trick-or-treating is over, our friends pop by for a drink or cup of hot spiced cider and a fall dinner . . . so I have fun cooking and decorating . . .

Our street is wildness on Halloween, windy and leaf blowy. 🍂🎃🍂 We think we had over a thousand kids this year . . .

Too jostled out there to keep the camera focused!

I always escape to take pictures. . . we have friends who live out in the country who come to our house just to give candy to the children! We share the wealth! With so many kids, it takes a village! Where’s Jack? While the front door was open, he was upstairs in his bed (our bed), quiet and cozy and safe, but after everyone left, he joined the party! 😻

By 7:30 it was all over . . . we go in and get cozy in front of the fire and munch on the corns . . .  candy corn, popcorn and kettle corn.

Table is set, the candles are lit . . .

I layered while Joe sliced for Scalloped Potatoes with Sausages ~ we made three pans of these ~ it was dinner for 30, tummy warmingest, most creamy (but made with milk and no cheese), wonderful scalloped potatoes, my mom’s recipe, simply perfect, probably came from the way back machine, she’s made them for as long as I can remember. If you’d like to try them, they’re on page 97 of Vineyard Seasons. Everyone loved them.

We had a big salad to go with it . . . spinach, spiced pecans, red onion, chopped apples and my favorite holiday saladPomegranate seeds! Put them on your list! They’re better than croutons!

I also made this scary layered Pumpkin-Chocolate Trifle . . . well, like a trifle, but no alcohol, no preserves, no custard … it’s broken up chocolate cake, crushed Oreo cookies, whipped cream, and pumpkin mousse ~ it was DELICIOUS! I saw a photo of it on Twitter, thought it was so cute with the hershey’s syrup spider web (the plastic spider goes on top) ~ the perfect thing for a party, I went looking for the recipe ~ in case you want to try it next year . . . go HERE . . .

I also made my grandma’s Molasses Cookies . . . I think I put that recipe in our last WILLARD (there’s a link for it at the bottom of this page.) 🍂

And there they are, frosted and ready to go. I borrowed one of my new Home Cooking tea plates from the WINNER of our newest drawing and filled it with cookies for our guests.  Oh, yeah. Don’t worry, it’s all washed and clean and back with the others, waiting for Vanna to hand me the winning name. 😘 Shall we? You’ve been so patient and she’s right here . . . . . . already kicking off her trademark pink-satin slippers with polka-dot bows! There she goes, she’s UP, her French-manicured polished toes are curled over the edge of my art table (wearing a sleek gold lame body suit and a pink bathing cap with rubber flowers). With the unique and quirky but delightful Vanna around, you can   And now, her very deep, very graceful dive into the vat of almost 3,000 names! 🤗 Down she goes . . . Vanna’s a swirling-whirling dervish of a girl, scissor-kicking her way to the bottom, side-stroking round and round at top speed, circling the vat, not unlike a very large goldfish, mixing the names ~ my studio has teeny slips of paper with names flying around like confetti …. but I only need one! Out pops a long golden arm, one slip of paper in a hand with a thin jeweled ring on every finger . . . I take what she gives me. A big smile comes over my face . . . Vanna waves goodbye . . .

In tiny letters, I see the name of the winner … so here we go … I hope it’s you! The winner is …. N A N C Y   E L L I O T and her daughter A B B Y! Congratulations you two! This entire set of dishes now belongs to YOU! ❤️It’s the little things that mean the most. And the reason I smiled? Vanna didn’t give me one name, she gave me THREE . . . so I thought, maybe we should add on two more giveaways! . . . Because it’s November ~ and in honor of Winston Churchill who said,

Let’s “make a life” and give this now out-of-stock, impossible-to-get Santa Mug to the second name ~ which turns out to be a Girlfriend from the Netherlands 🇳🇱 ~ IRENE PIETERS! Yay! Sinterklaas! You’ll have him before December 5th!

And for our last name? A little gift package that includes my new 2018 wall calendar AND . . .

. . . the 10th Anniversary edition of Autumn from the Heart of the Home! 💋Both the book and the calendar will be signed and sent to . . . CONNIE HOWARD! And KAREN and JULIA too . . .  (because Connie’s household includes a Nana, a Daughter, and a Granddaughter ❤️) ~ perfect! Happy Fall Y’all! 🍂 I’ll write all three of our winners an email and let them know they won and get their addresses so we can send everything asap, 💞 all tied up with heartstrings!

And for the rest of us . . . still many lovely things, plenty of reasons to go on . . . and a little reminder …

Ahhhh, November . . . Mas MUSICA?

Let’s have a little bit of nature to sooth our ravaged souls . . . This is the dirt road in the woods we walk everyday, and to us, it’s a little bit of heaven. 🍁 It won’t be long now and all those leaves will be on the ground. Below is a photo of where we were this time last year . . . taking photos in a field next to the “car park” (that’s British for “parking lot”) for Hidcote Manor Garden in England, a stunning place if you are ever in the neighborhood!

And here’s Joe, happy out at the water at the end of our walk where it smells so good, and the colors are more subtle …

So you can see we have everything we need around here to be inspired . . .

The sun shines through the leaves and makes them glow . . .

It was freezing outside this morning at daybreak . . . I hurried!

I found this on the Internet . . . if you think we’re Fall-Crazy, this display is in Slindon, England . . . where they make an art of it! Isn’t it creative? They had others … so perfectly English!

And this is where I go to get my inspiration for home this time of year 🍂. . . because when I wrote this Autumn book, I put in every single detail I could think of about fall, so now, very conveniently, it’s all written down … my biggest list ever . . . and all in one place!  All I have to do when the season comes is pull it out and I’m reminded of how I decorate the guest rooms, what fun things I love to do in “sweater weather,” how to make autumn cocktails, all about cozy lighting and hygge collections, how to give a good party, and all my best recipes for everything.🍂 Very handy!

I’ve already been cooking up a storm . . .

YUM! Right? It makes your house warm and smell so good.  The meat is pure tenderness . . . What else is in it? Good flavorful things, it’s not your run of the mill stew ~ there are parsnips and sweet potatoes, orange zest and orange juice, nutmeg and raisins and cayenne too ~ a bottle of red wine makes a wonderful gravy, and the whole thing is served over wide egg noodles. Or by itself, with a slice of soft buttered bread. It’s on page 111 of my new 30th Anniversary edition of Heart of the Home, and it makes Joe very happy!

And I’ve already made this oldie but goodie ~ it’s that time of year . . . requested by Joe, from my Christmas book!

It’s Bread Pudding with apples and fresh cranberries and egg custard . . . and tons of cinnamon and nutmeg . . . filled with texture, both smooth and pudding-like, but crisp and crunchy on the edges, then served with the coup de gras  . . .

Yes, Love is the best ingredient of all, but also, this has the most delicious Whiskey Sauce to go with it.  The recipe’s on page 98 of my Christmas book, or you can click HERE and print it out.

Me neither, Julia. Just like you, I love to cook! Joe went to get the paper, stopped on the way home and surprised me with a bag of cider donuts . . . I put them in the microwave for about 25 seconds and heated up some left-over spiced cider . . . 

And then out to the yard we went . . .  we want the house to be festive next spring when everyone needs flowers and color so much . . . so out in the windy, sunny, chilly day we planted new parrot tulips to go with what’s already in the ground . . . 🌷Every year we add a few new ones . . . 

Okay Girlfriends, off I go! Thank you so much for all your WONDERFUL comments . . . you truly are the very BEST!!  And just in cases someone didn’t get their WILLARD, here’s a LINK to it. If you’d like to sign yourself or your friends or your mom up for the next one, go HERE.

And don’t forget Poppy Day 🌺, and the quiet moment of silent remembrance and gratitude for our Vets,  at 11 am, the 11th day, the 11th month . . . Pray, Love, Remember. Enjoy the little things of the season for yourself and the ones you love, slow down, don’t move too fast, ya got to make the moment last . . . 🌺 Don’t forget your list! Later tater, XOXO

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429 Responses to It’s November!

  1. Barbara (Jersey Girl) says:

    This is the highlight, I am sure, in all of our days. Besides allowing us to view your travels, and sharing such wonderful and very tasty recipes, you bring a joy to what matters most in life~ the simple beauty of nature, love and friendship.

    You are a treasure, Susan, and am so thankful for your daily inspiration. xoxo

  2. Betsy says:

    Congrats to all the winners! Susan, you sure make me laugh…….I am always mentioning ” The Way Back Machine”. My 3 year old grandson asked me the other day how we got here, of course you can guess my response : ).

  3. Susie (Rocky Point, NY) says:

    Umm I could really go for one or two of those cider donuts. Oh Joe…
    Congratulations to all the lucky winners! It could have been me. One of these days…I’ll never give up. Oh no, not me. Hope is something I strive towards. Your home and festivities on Halloween are over the moon exciting! Glad to hear Jack was safely tucked away from the ghosts and goblins of the night. He looks so spooked over those spiders! He surely makes me chuckle! Thank you for a lovely post, so chocked full of the beauty of November. I will cherish it.

  4. Deb in Wales says:

    Isn’t Autumn just the bestest season of them all? I cannot imagine that many trick or treaters and I think it’s grand that your country living friends come into town to share in the fun.

    Well done to all the winners.

    It’s only just gone 5:00 in the afternoon here in Wales, and already the sky is nearly dark ~ and in another few hours, your clocks will go back and you’ll be getting the shorter days too, all the better for snuggling by the fire with a mug of hot cider and a good book! Oh, and some chocolate. We’re barely breaking 50 degrees now, here in the west, although tomorrow might get up to the mid 50’s ~ balmy days! So, it’s time for flannel jammies and hot water bottles to bed at night now. I love my hot water bottle in it’s home made, quilted cover. So softly snuggly comforting at my feet.

    ~~~Waving~~~from Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wales xoo

  5. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    Congrats to all the lucky winners! Marvelous giveaway, Susan; so generous. That’s a ‘win-the-lottery’ when it comes to an entire set of your dishes. Wow.

    And, Susan, thank you for giving us so much to think about when we go to celebrate the seasons…food, fun and fellowship. Delicious meals; mega yum.

    I wish you and Joe and Jack a very Happy Thanksgiving; oh, to sit at your table, everything beautifully presented and tasting so delicious! My husband and I just last evening were discussing what to make for the holiday dinner and you’ve given me lots of ideas now.

    • Vicki South of Arroyo says:

      And a PS; thank you for always eventually providing a link to Willard. I have some computer probs I don’t understand which are, for some time now, preventing me from getting Willard … believe me, it’s not you, it’s me; Sheri and I have tried in the past to troubleshoot … so I very much appreciate a 2nd chance to take a look at Willard! And I’ve been thinking about the nuns. The incredible post you put up last year about their beautifully-crafted candles and other stuff. I bought a very unique clock from them after you highlighted what they make, having visited them around Christmastime. It was one of my very favorite posts of yours.

  6. Another lovely bog. I enjoy them so much. Congrats to the lucky winners! Thank you, Susan, for the opportunities to win something. That’s sweet and generous. Looking at the picture you included of your dining room I couldn’t help but notice the pretty curtains. Looks great and most inviting. To look from outside in would be to see just how comfy and inviting your home is. Pretty curtains do that. I spent last night with my daughter-in-law stuffing ourselves with the 4course meal and adult beverages. Just us 2. No guys or kids. We sort of planned Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a local holiday event to bring the kids to enjoy. I love that she likes to spend time with me. She is so fun. We laughed all night and had fun with the waitress. Happy November! I also make lists and keep adding to them: Christmas gifts – what they want, what I already made or bought, shopping lists, baking lists, etc. Uh, oh! My husband is baking his Angel food cake with fresh pineapple and he is asking for help. So I will leave my comfy spot here on the deck in the sun and help him out. It will be worth it. Yum. Love you, Susan. 🐩

  7. Sherry A Winchester says:

    Hello, Susan! This is an absolutely terrific blog entry! There is so much to delight one’s senses in Autumn….that leads us swirling into Christmas. You’ve captured much of it here…Thank you once again for sharing! A “Girlfriend” forever! :^)

  8. I keep trying to like all your photos as if they are on Facebook or twitter or Instagram. I repeatedly poke the photos like an imecile as I read your posts even though nothing is happening – thought you should know, you are missing out on many imaginary likes from my end. I’ve given up not doing it, there are worse habits.

  9. Cindy Maulin says:

    Hi Susan !!!! Beautiful beautiful blog post today! I am in the midst of making a fall pot roast for tonight’s dinner to nibble on while watching the LSU-Alabama football game. Perfect fall meal .. even here in Florida where temps have cooled and it is glorious out. The full moon was exquisite last night… huge… bright glowing golden in color and hung in the low sky for quite a while. Takes your breath away…. another chance to see it tonight. 😊 That fall display in Slindon is remarkable!
    Yes! November is chocked full of ” things to do “…. lists galore as we swing into the holiday season. Must keep calm and Holiday On!!! Already expecting company, our neighborhood open house, and traveling to see family in St. Louis… among the highlights. Thank goodness for the Autumn and Christmas books…. great recipes, ideas and full of love❤️
    Sending warm thoughts and hugs to you and Joe… enjoy the moments….

  10. Shelley S says:

    Congratulations to the winners! Lucky ladies.

    Susan, I love your table! Miss-matched chairs, candle light, transferware, it’s so cozy and inviting. Fall foods are the best. I love German food! Texans are proud of our two major international cultural/cuisine influences; Mexican, and German. They are even good together. My late mother-in-law had German potatoes down to an art. (Potatoes, bacon, spices, onions, vinegar.)

    We adore bread pudding too. What other homey dessert is so yummy and versatile? There is a favorite restaurant in Canadian, TX that serves its signature bread pudding complementery with every meal and it comes with a luscious whiskey sauce. I love your recipe for it! I love your Autumn cookbook most of all of them.

    We had an outdoor firepit chat last night. Spiced cider, marshmellows and a pinion log under the full moon. (We turn on the lights of my tiny vintage trailer and its almost like camping!) Might repeat tonight…maybe with your bread pudding!

    Thanks for spreading the warmth. We love you, Joe and Jack!

  11. Peg says:

    I love your house!

  12. AngieTink says:

    Saturday~Blessings…. Sweet~Sue…. I Just Turned On My Computer & Something Inside Told Me To Fly To Your~Blog….. 🙂 #Wow…. I LOVE Vanna! 🙂 & Congratz To All The Very Lucky~Girlies….. Nancy & Abby 🙂 🙂 & Irene 🙂 & Connie & Karen & Julia 🙂 🙂 🙂 ….Lots Of Smiles On All Their~Faces! 🙂 Wow!!! This Stew Looks Beyond Yummy… Now I Need To Make This For Herbster…. He Is Gonna Go Nutzzz! 😉 & I Am Going To Make Your Autumn~Spiced~Cider Tonight… Cause I Have All The Ingredients In The House! 🙂 So Have a Cozy Lovely First~Weekend Of November… We’re Getting Ready For The Ohio~State~Game (Herbster’s~Team) Hugzzz & Love To You & Joe & Kitty~Kisses For Jack….. See Ya In Twitterville!!! xoxo Poof! 🙂

  13. Linda Michael in PA says:

    Congratulations to all the winners! Good heavens – I’m going to have to get busy cooking – everything you made looks delicious! And now I’m hungry! Later tater!

  14. Barbara Webster-Belcher says:

    I enjoy your posts so much. Keep up the good work. LOL
    I am a world traveler as well.
    I say fill your life with adventures, not things.
    Have wonderful stories to tell not stuff to show.
    Thank God for you, you bring a smile to my face every time I read your posts or one of your fabulous books.
    Trying the Father’s Bread pudding with Whiskey Sauce, sounds yummy.
    Barbara (from Illinois)

  15. kathleen says:

    Thank you for sharing and making us enjoy the simple things in life !!! I’m now about to sit down with one of your books and plan a lovely Fall dinner. xo

  16. Laura says:

    Thank you for sharing your lovely fall!
    I am originally from Long Island but got transplanted to Florida many years ago.
    No more seasons here like up north. So I live vicariously through you!
    You are such a special warm loving person.
    I am always thrilled to read your blogs and Willards!
    Enjoy your glorious fall days.

  17. Beth T. says:

    Oh my gosh, I thought it was too late in the year to plant bulbs! I’ve been feeling like such a dunce, thinking I’d missed the deadline again. I came from Southern Cal, when everything grew all the time, and living in the Pacific Northwest, where things freeze and there are deadlines has me out of my element and always, everlastingly, behind. Perhaps I could sneak out there and give it a go. What do I have to lose, right?

    • sbranch says:

      As long as the ground isn’t frozen, you can plant them. Some bulbs need to be in the frozen ground for several weeks, so the sooner the better. Nothing to lose, everything to gain … best of all is that you sort of forget you did it, and then, spring comes and SURPRISE!

  18. Margie says:

    Amazing how the moonlight pours through the cracks in the curtains when you think they are closed. It’s like a spotlight on my sleep. The leaves barely blush this year as I walk on the brown chips. Made Popovers with the cold refreshing the clock. Fall is late this year. Love your decorations, my Halloween decorations are now ghosts 👻👻👻👻. Enjoy the season’s beauty on the Vineyard. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

  19. Kelly Houlton says:

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing pics of your Halloween trick-or-treaters on the Island 🙂 I am giving a Halloween party tonight and just sat down for a break before throwing myself back into preparations and … here is your blog in my inbox! Perfect timing! Now that I’m calm and relaxed again and reminded to cherish every moment of tonight with friends, I am ready to start cutting up the celery 😉

  20. Marie says:

    Oh my goodness, you had a lot of little visitors on Hallowe’en! We were finished by 7.30, but we only had about 20. It is cold up here in PEI too – the season is certainly changing as we head into winter. The leaves are almost gone now, as we have had some stormy weather.

    Congratulations to the winners. I think that they will be delighted with your generous gifts.

  21. Maureen Wheeler says:

    Cozy and inspiring as always ! Last week I made your delicious short ribs and the molasses cookies . You get me dreaming and scheming ❤️ XO

  22. Nancy Shuey says:

    My mouth is watering just looking at the pics of your wonderful recipes! Right now I am making some good beef vegetable soup with rivels. It has gotten colder here and now I am in the mood for soup. Susan, you make all these wonderful recipes and yet you and Joe remain slim and trim. I, too, walk probably 5 times a week and around 2 1/2 miles. I am close to your age and yet if I ate all your wonderful desserts, I couldn’t fit through the doorway. How do you do it?

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t eat that way all the time. I try to skip meals every so often … but I could also stand to lose a few pounds and be very happy about it!

  23. Martha Pettry says:

    I enjoy receiving your newsletter every month. Love the beautiful pictures.Also the recipes. I always get your calendars every year. A large one for the kitchen frig. and a small one for my computer desk. I ihave read several of your books.

  24. Suzy B. says:

    Hi Susan:) 🌻Wanted to let you know I absolutely loved your tip for putting cinnamon on the lid of our jackolanterns!🎃 I hadn’t heard that before, I tried it this year, and it was wonderful. ☺️❤️ Our whole front porch was scented with cinnamon and hopefully felt welcoming and hygge to the trick or treaters and our guests. There’s nothing better than a great, new, simple (but amazing!) tip for house and home. The little things all added up are big! 🍁🍂Thank u for happy things to read and lovely ideas to try. Happy to find your new post to read on a cozy Saturday morning. We had our first snow yesterday! ❄️ An early surprise for all of us in the PNW. 🌬❄️☃️ I still had geraniums on the back deck! 😉

    • sbranch says:

      So happy you remembered the cinnamon…it’s really such a nice touch, that lovely fragrance wafting on the chill wind! We brought our first geraniums in last night! It’s that time of year!

  25. Darla Unger says:

    The pictures on the Blog looked so festive. I loved your hallway and the dining room with all the settings. Also I couldn’t believe all the treat and treating kids… how much candy you must of had to buy. Not sure if the pumpkins were real but looked so cute. Stay Cozy!!

  26. Catherine Solomons says:

    Enjoyed your blog! I love autumn! Thanks for all the pictures. Here in the coastal south our leaves are a little on the dull side, so I really enjoy seeing fall on your island. The vegetable mosaic was awesome! All your dishes look delicious. At this time of year, I like to pull out the Libby’s Pumpkin Bread recipe. My mom made it every year and now my sister and I continue the tradition.

  27. Colleen says:

    Oh Susan……what comfort for my soul this was today.
    I’ve been sick (yucky-doodle) for the past 10 days and my husband and I went for a drive in our new home state of TN. The colors are beautiful…….
    Maybe next week when I feel up to it Hearty Dinner Stew will be cooking on my stove top!

  28. Donna Valentine says:

    Thanks for a wonderful post and so happy for all the winners…..out here in NW Montana, it looks like fall is over a little early….it has been snowing since Thursday off and on, and we are covered now… 6 inches, or more, and still falling, complete with icicles….Oh my!! Enjoy your fall and we will try to, too!! At any rate, Thanksgiving is on the way….and I hope yours is blessed!!!! 🙂 Love, Donna

  29. Donna Weir says:

    You inspire me, Susan! Didn’t receive my Willard this time so followed the link above. I definitely want to be entered in the drawing! Thank you!

  30. Marlyn says:

    Thank you for sharing! November is my favorite months and your recipes help me celebrate. Bread pudding was always a family favorite, but I am inspired to try this tasty version.

  31. Ann Woleben says:

    I’m holding onto autumn for as long as possible with all of the glory of the season. Lists starting here as well – Thanksgiving preparations – and on to Christmas. I’m waiting for your first December/Christmas post to inspire me. I’m a bit intimidated by the Father’s Bread Pudding recipe, but I have to try it!
    Thanksgiving blessings to you, Joe and Jack, of course.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s easy. Just put the bread into a large colander and pour the water through it and let it sit. It’s all easy, but don’t accidentally use more than 12 cups of bread. It’s a ton of cinnamon, but don’t worry, it’s delicious.

  32. Evelyn Patricia Bonilla says:

    Just wonderful. I admire your artistry and creativity.

  33. Diana Crick says:

    Another visit with you, how super delightful it was. Color brings JOY to this world, color expressed in so many ways but the Autumn showcase I think is the very best example of God’s love for us. How wonderful it is!
    Much love to you and Joe!

  34. vicki says:

    Lovely post…. I’ve always loved the quote, “Christmas is a time when you get homesick even when you are home”….for me it starts in autumn and goes through Christmas time. All my senses are on overload and my appreciation of everything soars. You capture that so well in your writing. You give us all the best gift…INSPIRATION! Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s my favorite gift too, so it’s always been my favorite to give! xoxo Love the quote, that yearning thing . . . xoxo

  35. Kristina says:

    Oh, lucky winners! Enjoy! I made the scalloped potatoes and sausage a couple weeks ago for my 16 year old son and 4 of his buddies (they all play on the same high school football and basketball teams and have been friends since kindergarten!)…I made 2 pans and they ate it all! I think they would have eaten 4 pans if I had made that much! It’s pure comfort food! I have a very lengthy list for November/December but I’ve started to make a dent and I’ve even purchased several Christmas gifts! Happy November!

    • sbranch says:

      I think making scalloped potatoes with or without sausages is just about the perfect guarantee that your children will speak highly of you for the rest of their lives and pass it to your grandchildren! Worked for my mom!

  36. Mary Parsons says:

    May God Bless you, Susan. Your pictures and recipes warm my heart and your words help me through the day. You might say that you are a “Way Back Happiness Machine” !

  37. Tracie says:

    You are an amazing story teller….So love your writings Thank you for being you!!

  38. sylvia in seattle says:

    Congrats to the lucky winners of the loot 🙂 Someday maybe I’ll win SOMETHING . . . Never mind we are all winners because of this wonderful blog. My nice friend Mary sent me your 2018 calendar a coupld days ago – so fun to find in my mail and browse through all the lovely paintings, quotes and such. I LOVE the Slindon, England vegetable art. I shared the pictures with family by way of a Halloween greeting. I’d love watch them putting it together. Some strong arms involved I bet.

    • sbranch says:

      Farmers! It doesn’t even seem like it’s something you could plan out on paper beforehand … but they must be able to, somehow.

  39. Monique says:

    I have thin eyelids too:(And ears that hear eveything..
    I got my calendar! It’s hanging up in my craft room..beautiful!
    Halloween looks great would never see 1000 Littles where we live..
    and 30 for dinner:)
    I don’t even know that many people to invite..looks lovely and delicious and congratulations to the winners!

  40. Sue Ribeiro says:

    I am pouting, not to have won…
    But happy for the winners- it sure was fun!
    Thanks for the contest
    Easy as pie
    You’re good for the ‘we girls’
    and never the I.
    Happy Thanksgiving Susan, from another one.

  41. kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    Happy November to you, Joe and Jack! I just read your blog and enjoyed it from the top of my head to the tip of my toes! The Holidays are upon us and as always I am very excited! I too saw the Chocolate Pumpkin Trifle on Pinterest, pinned it and cannot wait to copy it on one of your beautiful recipe cards! I haven’t made it yet but your testimonial was good enough for me! If we had enough people to eat it I would make it in a heartbeat! Like most recipes I will study it and cut the recipe in half . I bet that your Trifle disappeared very quickly! I am going to try and make some poppies that look like the ones that you got in Britain….they are so cute! I have looked on line for them but could not find them anywhere so it looks like I’m going to have to roll up my sleeves and make some myself!! Have a Happy, Blessed and Bountiful Thanksgiving to you and yours!!xoxoxox

    • Judy Young says:

      The British Emporium in Grapevine, TX has the poppies. They normally just sell them in the store, but they would probably mail one to you if you enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope plus $1 or $2 donation.

  42. Barbara (Farm Girl) says:

    I’m sitting here with a silly closed-lip grin on my face. It happens every time I read one of your messages. You sure are good at what you do Susan because only moments ago I was sitting here with a frown after reading today’s “news”, fake or otherwise. Thank you from the bottom of my “farm girl” heart!

  43. Debbie Anderson says:

    I have been making your Spiced Cider recipe for years and my family still loves and asks for it often! One of the best ever.

  44. Becky Daugherty says:

    A wonderful post, Susan. You know, I’ve been reading your blogs and Willards for so long that I now wait to see what you are doing and then I go from there. You are truly an/my inspiration! Thank you for sharing your life with all of us!

  45. carol says:

    Thank you so much, (as always) you made my day. I so enjoy reading a little about your life. 🙂 It is a chilly, rainy day here in west Michigan & I was thrilled when I checked my email. I thought we had lots of trick or treaters, but my not as many as you. What fun!

  46. Nancy says:

    Lovely warm post as always. Reading it brightens a cold and dreary day in Minneapolis.

  47. Kathy Sheehan says:

    Love the surprise of a new letter from Susan Branch in my mailbox!

  48. Martha Littlejohn says:

    Susan – thanks for the heartwarming tales of Halloween on the Vineyard. I bought your Autumn cookbook at Bunch of Grapes this summer – and have it on my kitchen counter. I just retired – so have time to cook again! We’ve been enjoying your recipes every week! I now see I will need to get the Christmas one for November and December! I hope that you and Joe enjoy your holidays!

  49. Jane Franks says:

    This is the 3rd anniversary of my enchanting 3 day visit to MV! Halloween Eve I arrived. Blustery and freezing then, too. Nor’easter . . . “trapped” for extra day, no ferries running! LOVED it!!! This blog post brought back all those memories! We are in a swirl of orange and gold with wall to wall maples in front of every house in our neighborhood. They are raining down and carpeting the ground. It just lights up the whole street. I love this, too. But needed that freezing cold that I feel coming through this post! And LOVE the painting by George Henry Boughton. Thank you for that! We are in the home stretch of “the book” (at least this part). I have just one more illustration to sketch for Gene! We will make our deadline for this year!! So excited!! Still more to go, but this accomplishment is happening! Thank you, Susan, for all your inspiration! Happy November!! Hugs to you and Joe, Gene & Jane xo

    • sbranch says:

      Oh thank you back Jane, for the author of that painting! I got that photo from a friend, and never knew who painted it! I love the sound of your neighborhood filled with maples . . . they are such wonderful trees, so colorful, they provide the perfect drama for the season. Congratulations on your movement forward Jane, and hugs to Gene! xoxo

  50. Virginia says:

    What a wonderful post, as always, and I am dizzy with all these great recipes. Where to start?! And congrats to the lucky winners too!

    Hope you don’t mind but with all due respect to the people of Slindon, England, the folks in Mitchell, South Dakota have been creating their Corn Palace every year for many decades. It’s made of corn cobs and every kind of seed and growing thing you can think of–and it is enormous. A different design every single year. I was lucky enough to see it in 1996 but you can Google ‘Corn Palace Mitchell’, read the Wiki and click on ‘Images’ to get the flavor. But the reality of it–the size and the creativity and just plain rubbing your eyes–am I really seeing this?–is worth the road trip from wherever you are.

  51. Katherine Larkin says:

    Yummmm…..I could go for some of those potatoes and sausages right now!

    Been meaning to ask you if you have discovered Love It or List It UK? I think you would enjoy it.

    • sbranch says:

      I haven’t! Where do we find that in the US?

      • Katherine Larkin says:

        It is on HGTV. Looks like the next episode is on the 9th at 6:30 a.m. I just set my dvr to record all the episodes and then watch them when convenient. Hope you enjoy!

  52. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    Thank you for your lovely post. I was interested to see that, like me, you cannot sleep when there is ANY light. But I always enjoy the full moon’s light and imagine my “special people who have gone to Heaven” sending their love down the moonbeams!
    All your words, quotes and pictures are very heart-warming and, next weekend I’m giving a house-warming party. I’ve been poring over recipes in your Autumn book, it will be delicious!
    Thanks again, blessings and happiness always…

    • sbranch says:

      The Pumpkin Cheesecake is a knockout Sally, and SO easy! With a crowd, I will sometimes use gluten free ginger snaps for the crust, and that makes the entire dessert gluten free … sometimes helpful! Have fun!

  53. Robin Medley says:

    Just to let all know I am ok! While going to the kitchen for a refill of my Beautiful Forever Love coffee cup I fell! Yep that dang goffer jump right in front of me. I guess he did not like me putting my Halloween decorations away for next year.
    In all the confusion I screamed “where is my cup?” My China cup from England that I bought from Susan Branch?. I found it 2 feet from where I fell and it was in BEAUTIFUL condition! Not a chip or scratch any where. Oh Thank you, Susan. A “Robin” bird cup is in my future.

    • sbranch says:

      YAY Robin, a happy ending! xoxo

    • Judy Young says:

      I believe bone china has real bone in it (although I am not sure what kind of bone!), which is why bone china is so strong. I have dropped a piece or two in the past and nothing has ever broken. I would die if my Susan Branch cups broke!!

  54. Kim Hanson says:

    You are a beam of light in an often dark world Susan … thanks for always showing us the beautiful side of life 💖

    • sbranch says:

      We are kindred spirits here . . . it’s a good place for us all to recognize how much true good there is in the world. I knew it as soon as I started getting mail after I wrote my first book, and it’s such a pleasure that this goodness is finding each other! (No editors here,😜 but I’m sure you know what I mean!!😘) xoxo

  55. Julie Eden says:

    The Native Americans call the full moon in Nov the beaver moon. they set their traps at that time in order to catch enough fur to last them all winter.

    • sbranch says:

      The different tribes had different names. I like to mix them up … sometimes I put it on my calendar as the Frost Moon, sometimes it’s the Beaver Moon ~ the Cherokees called it the Trading Moon … HERE is a website that explains it better than I can.

  56. Christine Jessup says:

    Enjoyable Read….Thanks so much for sharing, Susan.❤️

  57. Cyndy Rowell says:

    Ahhh, fall my second favorite time of year – mostly for the comfort food! Love all your recipes in this issue. Can’t wait to try the stew – it sounds wonderful! I’ve got your ‘Heart of the Home’ on my Christmas list this year. Hope someone notices (wink, wink) or I’ll have to buy it myself.
    Thank you for sharing all the wonderful pictures

  58. Nettie says:

    Delightful as ever your post from this morning. I spent the afternoon with my girlfriend making bittersweet and grapevine wreaths. We had such November fun laughing and recalling all the fun we had on our recent MV trip. Husbands are wonderful and girlfriends are so important to our lives. Enjoy every moment of nostalgic November

  59. Faye Meyers says:

    I don’t like winter but, Susan, you make me feel cozy and help me feel better about it! Thanks for all your charming posts and books and Willards and…..everything else!

  60. Jana says:

    The stew, salad, and bread pudding in this post all look so divine (the cider, too)!
    Will be looking up those recipes in my books tonight and flagging the pages. What a chuckle I got when I finally realized what I was looking at on the big wagon in England — a living squash mural! Blessings and appreciation overflowing to you and yours, Susan.

  61. FayE in CA! says:

    There are crunchy fall leaves dropping through my computer this morning. Thank you! Happy that YOUR heart is filled with contentment through your extensive efforts to share, play, create, enjoy and reflect during your lovely MV fall season. You are a joyful seasonal planner, instigator, hostess, “adult child”, observer and teacher throughout the year. You are generous in spirit, deed, loyalty, love and time in your personal life and on the Girlfriends’ behalf.

    REALIZATION! I have cast your pending movie/TV show!! Zoey D. will play your young adulthood (by popular consensus) and Diane Keaton will play your mid-life as you stroll into your new love and home. I say this because I watched “Baby Boom” yesterday. (ADORE the baby in this movie…stunningly “everything”.) I COULD NOT get you out of my head while watching this movie again. Color Diane’s hair dark and she is you! Bangs…signature wardrobe…joy in her eyes, contemplative, creative and a darling “Joe” to fall in love with after a knee-shaking kiss! Vermont…old house…founder of a new cottage industry success. The resemblance of her face and yours at that age was startling to me. The essence is definitely there for me. (Ignore the executive-ad-lady desire in movie…we know that is not your desire!!!)

    “We” all have wondered how to make Zoey look older for your show and now the younger you and mid-life you are cast…contracts signed…release date coming soon. You are very welcome.

    On a final note, I went to see “Remembering Christopher Robin” and did not see the movie I thought I was going to. I knew nothing about his family life before seeing the movie and sat in the theatre showcasing beautiful scenery and a LOVELY home architecturally (dark inside, though) and witnessed the scripted family portraying a family with a darling child, wonderful nanny and two parents unable to nurture Christopher as he should have been nurtured. Pooh’s loving birth and success came at a high price for Christopher’s childhood. The movie still had some charm, but I came out a bit sad instead of smiling.

    Happy that the Winnie-the-Pooh devotees have their childhood Poohs, books and memories of the beloved animals and read-aloud stories. (Personally, I never got hooked on the stories, but my sister was all in!)

    The end of my afternoon outing brought out my personal thankfulness for Nature’s paintbrush and the breathtaking (literally) canvass that awaited my exit from the movie. I walked out of the theater in the early evening to a canopy of sky that was jaw dropping…literally. HUNDREDS of cotton ball clouds were of EQUAL size dotting the blue background in EQUAL distance between each other…not kidding…mathematically placed. I felt that I had walked into a museum with a painted, curved ceiling…the kind of ceiling-d art that holds a roomful of people standing still with heads turned up…deliciously memorable.

    Wishes for unexpected joys to everyone!

  62. Laurie Snider says:

    A little morsel of loveliness on a cool, dark fall day! The way you inspire others to enjoy life’s littlest blessings is no small thing! Thank you for being the warm, kind beautiful person that you are!

  63. Victoria says:

    On that Jack…sweetest little cat face EVER! So happy for the contest winners, and happy that I already have my Santa cup. I’m having tea in it right now and watching a Hallmark Christmas movie, fire in the fireplace, cats curled up in front of it, cozy to the max! How wonderful that you get so many trick or treaters, I only got 9 this year😢. Your posts always brighten my day, thank you!😊

  64. Pat Bland says:

    Fall is a spendid time and pulling out receipes makes it even better

  65. JuneEmmert says:

    You are very generous to share so much of your good life with others. Your recipes add warmth and comfort, your sharing of activties– pictures of your walks and your travels,
    quotes that inspire, your books and your pottery, all bring happiness to others. Have
    A happy Thansgiving and thank you for all your giving!

    June Emmert

  66. FayE in CA! says:

    Sorry and Jeeze, Louise…the name of the movie is “Goodbye Christopher Robin.”

  67. Gabriele says:

    Love your posts! They made a difficult day a little lighter. After reading your words I decided to take my worries and sorries out on a fall walk.

  68. Helen Edwards says:

    So happy for the winners! Very excited to hear there was a winner from the Netherlands since we have family there.

    Your home is so welcoming. I try to do the same thing for our little guests who stop by for treats 👻🎃👺For added enjoyment this year our tree out back is especially beautiful. I am not sure if that is due to the late fall or the fact that we have putting placed our grass clippings near the tree this year. I am going to go through my autumn cookbook now to prepare for my daughter’s visit tomorrow. Have a wonderful evening!

  69. Nancy Newsom says:

    I love this blog and all things autumn, my favorite season! And I’m so inspired by your wonderful recipes, but I gain weight just them; how do you not? 😂 We were at Hidecote Manor Gardens in March, and I think we took a photo of those same sheep! It was a most delightful afternoon.

  70. Phyllis says:

    Love the pretty lady print above. Is it available anywhere?

  71. Nan says:

    Such a fun post filled with beautiful photos and scrumptious food. Love the variety of leaves you found. My roses and impatients are still doing great, so I haven’t put all my bulbs in yet. Currently reading Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey. I think you would love it. Your lovely fall post made my heart sing. Xo

    • sbranch says:

      I have a PILE of unread books, to which I will add this one! SO many must-reads these days, I yearn to do it, but time is the problem! Thank you dear!

  72. Holly Jo Martin says:

    Thank you for my “Calgon, take me away” moment Susan. I have been cramming for mid terms (I have one more to take before 10pm) with my online college studies and this was just the break I needed. It helps calm my stressed nerves. It was even alright that I didn’t win, just to see and hear from you was enough. Thank you and Happy Frost Moon!

  73. Susan Alberti says:

    Julia Child always spoke her mind. Loved her

  74. Flo Schermerhorn says:

    Your Autumn blog is of great solace to me during these days of grief following the passing of a most beloved. Thank you, Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry Flo. Each day is a baby step forward, I’m glad you join us here. Blessings on you and yours for your profound loss. xoxoxoxo

  75. Sharyl says:


    Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful recipes with us. Fall has been wonderfully cozy this year.

    We got quite a surprise this morning as we woke to 6 inches of new fluffy snow.

    Blessings to you & Joe.

    Sharyl in chilly ND.

    • sbranch says:

      The anticipation is building for that here . . . but I hope we can wait a bit . . . just as long as we get it by Christmas Eve ~ that’s my favorite moment for our first snow of the season! Sometimes we get lucky and it happens that way! Magic!

  76. Florence Payne says:


  77. Sophie T says:

    A thousand kids? And I thought we had many (we see hundreds of trick or treaters, and I think it’s a lot! And I love it!)… Just like your neighbourhood, ours is filled with kids running all over the place, from house to house, taking over all the streets! Don’t even think about driving your car between 5:30 and 7:30 in the evening! We don’t have sidewalks, so really, kids take over the streets and it’s magical! I usually have candies for about an hour (we open the house at 6:00 and are usually done by 7:00.

    I love that you make a Halloween dinner. It must be quite special. And I’ll have to find this sausage recipe of yours, as I think it would be a hit with my men!

    As always, your blog post was a pleasure to read. You are such a wonderful storyteller!

  78. Julie says:

    this post makes me feel cozy and very inspired. musica, fire, food, family, Love. Thank you!

  79. Linda says:

    What a fun post! (Eat a bullfrog? I would croak, for sure!) hee-hee. Humor and autumn color and recipes and giveaways; what more could one want? Thank you for a delightful pause in my busy-ness. Wishing you the very best Thanksgiving Celebration.

  80. Linda Miller says:

    Another wonderful post, Susan! Loved the Halloween festivities and fall menu for your friends. I saw Jack underneath the dining table….smart little boy! The trifle looked wonderful…..and so rich. Table was beautifully set…you are a great hostess! Thanks for sharing your celebrations with us as well as recipes!

  81. Karen Knowles says:

    I am inspired!

  82. Penny says:

    Love the English creative Fall display 🎃–so artistic ! Thanks for sharing it ❤️ . Also the reminder to honor our vets 11-11 at 11:00 !
    Keep inspiring us Susan 💫 In this very complicated world of ours you continue to be a breath of fresh air !

  83. Charlene Scholey says:

    I loved your musings and am so happy you share them with us. Your kitty is the cutest ever.too bad you can’t patent his face. Loved the recipes too. Makes me happy I’m here to enjoy November. Thank you ,thank you.

  84. Mary Jane Foster says:

    Susan, You never disappoint ! Lovely Autumn 🍂 things to enjoy . You live in the moment . Thank you MJ

  85. Liz Lamontaylor says:

    Sure do love your posts. It is so much fun reading about your childlike imagination and beauty. Love the way you absorb every single thing in every single day. You are pure inspiration. Thank you for taking us with you!!!

    Big hugs and smiles,

  86. Margaret Harke says:

    How lovely November is even here in CA. The days are still warm, but not too warm with cool crisp nights and a nip of winter in the air. Thank you are all the lovely pictures and yummy food ideas. I added the spider triffle recipe to my copy of your Autumn book.

  87. Mary Z says:

    Oh Susan-those sausages and potatoes, and that trifle!! I showed the pictures to my husband and he said he wished we had been invited to the party (ha, ha)!! Jack is so precious!!

  88. Christine says:

    Thank you again for another lovely posting. It is such a lovely time of year to enjoy the changes and holidays. Our Halloweens have become very quiet. Not many children left in our neighborhood. We have an old house, decorated of course, and the few children around think it is haunted! Our youngest granddaughter came and one other little girl is all. I guess we must eat candy! Thanks again you are such a joy!

  89. Ellen in New Hampshire says:

    Brilliant! Going to get out my Autumn book right now, slow down, and find some ways to make the moment last. You’re the best.

  90. Patty in Redlands says:

    Congratulations to all of the winners! And thank you, Susan, for sharing your Halloween and all of your autumn cooking with us. Wonderful!! 🍁🍂

  91. Lori Ann says:

    Happy November Susan and Joe! Thanks for sharing your cozy home with us!

  92. Erin Garcia says:

    I get so distracted by your blog and Willard newsletters! But, then again, why not? I’ll make and start my ‘to-do’ lists sometime….soon….(I hope!)
    Thank you for your wonderful outlook on life, and your beautiful appreciation of nature!

  93. Laura from Indiana says:

    Your first 2 sentences made me immediately think of the children’s book Madeline, which I think I have memorized because I read it so often to my children when they were little… “and a crack on the ceiling had the habit of sometimes looking like a rabbit.”

    I’m looking forward to trying your bread pudding! (the sauce sounds divine)
    Bring on the hygge!!

  94. Helen Laurini says:

    No matter where you go I feel as if I have been with you. It is wonderful that you share everything. Thank you.


  95. Dixie says: says:

    The leaves are finally turning here in SW Tennessee–some years it is very dry & they just kind of stay brown & fall off. But we ‘ve had rain & it’s made everything look as if it is in technicolor!!We don’t always have your glorious falls. I love your word pictures–l can truly picture your island. Looking forward to your Thanksgiving blogs!

  96. Carolyn Rector says:

    Thanks for sharing your Halloween festivities with all of your girlfriends. I love all the pictures you post, they are so beautiful. Always love to come and visit your neck of the woods and go on your wall with you and Joe via the internet. Have a lovely November and thanks again for your generosity.

  97. Congratulations to the winners…and thank you for the great post. SO cozy. Just came from church service where a new baby boy was baptized…so sweet. The service ended with this quote –
    Life is short and we have not too much time
    for gladdening the hearts of those
    who are traveling the dark way with us.
    Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.

    henri-frederic amiel – 1885
    Sounded like what you share in your blog, and your life. Thanks for “gladdening our hearts” ! Enjoy the moon and the great month ahead!

  98. Congratulations to all the winners I’m excited for you.. wished it was me… Susan thank fot the bread pudding recipe. I will have to try this. I had one years ago and dont know what happened to it.. blessing with Love Janice

  99. Laura DeGraw says:

    Gosh, you certainly bring a smile to my day. I have been a faithful fan since the early 90’s. I have all of your books and I am now on to collecting your cups. Last year I begged my husband to vacation on the island. We had a fabulous time staying in Vineyard Haven. We rode bikes, went to the beach and visited every lighthouse. Being there truly brought your books alive! You have such an amazing gift, thank you for sharing it with us.

  100. Suzanne Miller says:

    Autumn is my favorite season,,,,you make me appreciate it all the more!
    Congrats to the lucky, and I am sure, very thankful winners!

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