This SEPTEMBER SUNDAY will never come again . . .

So where were we? Oh yeah, paint. And curtains. Nesting. And, oh! It’s September! And Shirley Temple’s favorite, September Sunday . . . Who could ask for anything more? Not moi! MUSICA

 On days like these . . .

The light is changing . . . the late afternoon wall-sparkles are back, jumping and blowing all over the kitchen!

Diamond-bright light shimmering through the trees and onto my walls ~ nature gone wild in the best possible way, distributing beauty, free of charge . . .

The shimmers follow me all over the house, they sparkle across the bed, glimmer in the sink, even when I’m on the floor doing my exercises, the twinkling lights find me and I have to take advantage of the moment to wave hello to you!

It’s been going on for a while . . . the change that’s coming . . . the days are shortening …

And it’s getting more noticeable daily. I had to sweep leaves off the porch for the first time yesterday . . . they’re just beginning to flitter out of the trees . . . the air smells like fall, after a long hot wet summer, there’s a heavenly change in the air.  It is so easy to count my blessings . . . As forever and always, I am so grateful for these little things, as I am saying prayers for all our girlfriends, their families, homes, and their petty pets in the Carolinas being devastated by rising waters. The weather is so capricious, landing anywhere and everywhere, causing fires, floods, and storms, willy nilly, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be next, this little dot of an island sitting out in the Atlantic, but today, I’m especially blessed with the feeling of gratitude and appreciation for the kindness of so many rescuers and volunteers helping their neighbors. So much divides us these days, but in times of trouble, we turn to each other with no thought of religion, color, or politics, and it’s a beautiful thing to see. Just what we expect and know to be true about ourselves.

Oh yes, my heart is at home, and sunlight through the trees is not the only thing sparkling my walls . . . we have been very busy! I work on the new book early in the morning when it’s quiet, and the rest of the day, I work on the house!

I don’t know why, but I seem to do so much more cleaning in the fall than I do in the spring. I guess I’m just a born hunker-downer, is this true for you? I love everything about preparing for the cozy season. All my down comforters have gone to the big washers at the cleaners, all our pillows have been washed and dried on the line . . . I’m going through piles of linens now.

Washing tablecloths, napkins, dresser scarves, and curtains, mending, bleaching, starching, and ironing them into snowy clouds . . . this house has made it clear that it expects me to do this. It is not happy without its pretty old linens. It’s that kind of house. There are times I regret it, but we made a pact a long time ago ~ as the caretaker, I know what I have to do, there is a strong element of love involved.

And Jack, as always, helps! I am not alone.

I wrote last time that we were painting our dining room. I thought then, for a moment, I might paint the walls navy blue, which would have been gorgeous against the white trim, until I realized that during the winter the blue would turn black and I don’t want to live in a black house! And, the house, when it heard, actually, would not put up with it,  so we decided to paint the walls pink. Joe painted a little stripe and the dishes said YES!

We had to take down our old flowered wallpaper (there was a mold problem) which I knew I would miss so I started shopping for flowered curtain fabric! Old house says, give me flowers. I say, your wish is my command.

And, the cat . . .Mr. Adorable, helping Joe . . .

Jack blesses the work from the tops of ladders or draped over my clean sheers. How do kitties know which is very cleanest thing ~ the exact thing you are trying to keep clean and smooth? My art, he always tries to lay exactly on the page I’m painting!

Fabric swatch choices for the dining room were narrowed down to these three. I put this photo on Twitter and got lots of advice from our girlfriends! I went back and forth . . . believe it or not, they do sort of look alike, but it was a very difficult choice!

All of this frenzy of curtain activity is because every time we’ve gone to England, I’ve fallen more in love with the curtains …  those people understand curtains like no one does . . . they are everywhere, in every house we stay in, no matter how fancy or casual the house is ~ they are in all the hotels, and even in the pubs ~ Siobhan has a thick green velvet curtain charmingly hung over the inside of the door to her cottage to keep the chill out. I have promised myself for years, I’m going to go home and get me some of those. But I never do.

Look at them!  They’re real draperies (although they do call them curtains), heavy, thick, and lined . . . twice. With heavy flannel and then a backing to protect them from the light.

I really could give you dozens of pictures of curtains I’ve taken everywhere we stay, but I think you get the gist … well, okay, maybe one more . . .

This one was in a hotel room.  We only stayed there one night, just passing through on the Wales/England border, saw the hotel in a book and said, okay, let’s go there … and I have about twenty pictures of the curtains in our room, in the dining room, in the sitting room!

So here is the fabric we chose for our dining room ~ it was the less “structured” art of the three, more like watercolor I thought, and I love the touch of blue . . . we’re waiting for the fabric to arrive from England . . . I think they’ll be up by the time we come home from California at the end of October.

So we put the room back together . . . All I can do about the new curtains right now is dream . . . it’s 

And here is our choice for the new curtains in our green living room! Yes, I’ve gone stark staring curtain-mad. MAS MUSICA?

Here’s the “before” photo for the living room . . . I probably bought those green curtains at Target maybe fifteen years ago … they’re old and have little rips and it’s time to say goodbye. BUT, we get to keep a bit of their essence: they had a very nice trim on them which we took off to use on the new curtains.

And there it is! This is my talented curtain-making girlfriend Jessica . . . she does this for a living ~ she’s a good friend of my neighbor Lowely which is how we met. So of course, here she is, doing the first installation of the first valance (Rachel says, in England they call this piece a “pelmet”)… I am taking pictures and saying eeeek! I love it!

Here’s a better look at the little trim we took from the other curtains . . . looks good!

She put them high above the windows, so we lose as little window-light as possible.

Jessica taught Joe how to install the rest of them . . . then she left.

Besides saving light, putting them up that high also visually raises the ceiling height (you can see when you look at the “before” photo).  Jessica’s now making the actual curtains which we should have by the end of the month. The house is rockin’ and rollin’ in flowers now!

She’s going to do the other end of the living room too . . . We’ll keep the lace curtains, but there will be matching long curtains on both sides of this alcove window.

And outside, at the same time, we’re painting the house!

All scraped and ready for paint, something about this I love, would be fun to leave for haunted-house look for Halloween! Under all the crunchy bits, Mrs. House of Creativity is smiling!

This side too. She’s an old house, built in 1849. We hadn’t been attending to things, and finally said, when we come home from England, we PROMISE to take care of you!!!  The last coat of paint is going on today, her gutters all got linseed yesterday, and when she’s done I’ll take photos and show you next time.

Jack watches the cans of paint and ladders go by… while I . . .

. . . make new stuff . . . I heard you, Girlfriends, and finally got busy and did the final designs for a few new pieces . . . Yes, the little Courage vase is done! 💞

And here is the back side . . . you can use it as a cream-for-one, too! It’s 1 5/8″ tall.

And there will be other things . . . two nightlights . . . (this is the back of one of the designs)

And two butter dishes, one plain, with just flowers and border, and the other has this quote from the movie of Little Women . . .

The Courage vase/pitcher will come in a set of three tiny vases . . . here’s vase #2 …

And this little round one is the tallest of the three, at 2 3/4 inches.

This is the back of the last one . . . there will be more too, a tea bag caddy, a kitty dish, a ring dish, a large vase, a heart ornament that hangs from a ribbon, and a pencil cup. We will get them in to the Studio right around January first!

And this? This is going to be my first stuffed doll, how appropriate that it will be Jack! I drew him in pencil, and he’s being made into this ⤵️ !

A soft little doll you can embroider and stuff, with his own little quilt, which has a bit of embroidery outline, but the letters are printed (which you can embroider or not). For a little one. They can put their baby to bed. Coming soon. Watch this space!

Before I put the dishes and glasses back in the dining room … I washed everything, wanting to do a good deep cleaning. AND while I was doing that, I finally went through the boxes of things I’ve bought over the years, as we travel, that I saved for you . . . to put up on our website in the Vintage section.

Such as these gorgeous, etched, vintage wine glasses . . .

It’s a set of six with an extra to break (always good to have an extra) … and when you toast with these very thin glasses, they ring like bells.

And this sweet little cream and covered sugar bowl. There’s lots more, including a couple of sets of dishes, I took pictures for Kellee . . . so watch our Vintage store over the holidays, Kellee will begin putting them up on Monday.

I also signed a contract to do the new 2020 calendars coming out this time next year . . . And there’s going to be a new addition! It will be mostly photography … a 12 x 12 wall calendar showing the beauty of the English Countryside. This is the cover . . .

And here’s a sample of the inside, the top-page for May 2020! I’m sure you know that our 2019 calendars are up and ready to go when you are!

So, when I finally got my dining room/gym back, I was lying on the floor doing my exercises . . . looked up, and there he was, head dangling over the side watching me. So adorable, I had to get UP, and go get the camera.

He just laid there waiting for me.

Being the most adorable. Ah, kitty love…

Remember this? It’s the soap dish I’ve had on my counter for probably 30 years. I found it in a kitchen shop and it’s been just the best thing ever. I’m not a person in love with pump-bottles of soap on my kitchen counter, so this more-natural looking thing makes me happy.

So just in cases you aren’t a pump-soap person either, I finally found the wood dishes for you . . . and then they stopped making them! And then they started again! Yay, so we just got them back in our web store . . .  with the perfect hand soap for next to your sink, a giftified set of soap and wood dish with sweet label to make a special little stocking stuffer/housewarming gift. The soaps are also available separately in sets of three.






Joe and I leave for California by train on October 3rd (three days of Twitter from the Twain, Boston to LA, follow us on Twitter for cross-country fun! You don’t have to join to look at the pictures and read). Part of what I’ve been doing is getting the house ready for fall . . . we get home four days before Halloween, we want to walk into AUTUMN! So I got out my Autumn Book to inspire me . . . 🍁

So the owls are on the window sill . . .

And the wreath is on the wall . . .

Reminding myself about decorating, getting out wooden candlesticks and bowls, planning my Halloween menu, Touchdown Chili and Corn Pudding and Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Sauce . . .

We bring home a bit of the woods on every walk . . .

Dried corn is on the door, and right before we go, once the house is good and dry, we’ll line our pumpkins on the little shelf over the front door.

We’re having luv-lee sunsets lately, the pink of this one attached itself to the spire,

Jack says bye-bye . . . stretching in the sunlight

Bye Bye to the picket fence garden . . .

Bye Bye to whatever this is, just a cute photo I felt like putting up!

Your cups are in the cooker . . .  never know exact date, coming all the way from England, getting through customs, but before end of October if all goes well!

Hope to see you at the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo, CA on October 13th at 2 pm for a talk, book signing, and question answering! So excited! I believe it’s sold out, but they do have a waiting list. Yes! And for you hip east-coast girls,  don’t forget when we get home we’ll be at the West Falmouth Library on Cape Cod, MA for a talk and signing on November 10th at 1:30 pm.

My son helps me paint (in his own way). And I am writing like crazy, it’s like living in a conscious dream, being “there” all day and thinking how I can tell you the story in the best way. Joy of joys. I’m in the zone.

I leave you with a quote that was printed in Yankee Magazine in 2013 . . . Here comes that time of year when you can make a little world for you and your loved ones. Has to do with the smell of cooking foods they love, with fresh sheets on the bed and cozy jammies, having a little petty pet to love, and really and truly, it has everything to do with counting our many blessings.

Oh yes, and P.S., if you stuck with this long enough to get all the way to here, you should have a reward 🎉🎊, so here you go #1, the “movie” is still being thought about💃, and #2, you’re the first to know, the name of our new book is  . . .

 E  N  C  H  A  N  T  E  D

England, Wales, Scotland, and IrelandXOXO, from your Pal, Enjoy your September Sunday (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, too!) xoxo

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732 Responses to This SEPTEMBER SUNDAY will never come again . . .

  1. I cannot wait for the new book to come out. Your first book about England is one of my all time favorite books. Ever.

  2. LYNN SLOSSON says:

    Cannot wait for “Enchanted”! What a perfect title. I want it to take me where I have not yet been, but hope to be someday.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Once again you are doing something I wish I could do, even accomplish a LITTLE bit!! And that is why I love you so much! At 75 years, I am trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. Now, I know, that is huge! Particularly since I am alone in this venture. However, I just have to put on my big girl panties and march forward – saving some ideas and throwing out others. Like anything else it is a process……. and when I have solved this, it will become the REWARD! I look around my house and there are, oh so many things to tackle….. where to begin???? BUT……begin I will do….make a list, my dear…..look at things you absolutely do not want or need…..get rid of those…..and little by little I WILL see the reward! I feel like a soldier, going through the battle. Oh my!! It has been WAYtoo long since I entered your life once again and you entered mine. I still read the books (over and over again) and think of you often. You will always be my special friend – the girlfriend that I met in person in Cayucos, CA, oh so many years ago. You continue to be a blessing to all of us. Keep up the GREAT work!! Hugs!

  4. Felicia Cass says:

    Yea! For the movie. Safe travels. Isn’t the train fun. You see a lot, and can read and paint. Though I have to admit I didn’t get much sleep the first night. It took a bit of getting used to being bounced about my bunk all night.

  5. Ann R says:

    Susan, what a treat getting a blog entry. Jack, your feline Hercule Poirot is dapper and flirtatious as ever! A great way to start the week. Have you heard our “American Princess” Duchess Meghan will be hosting a book party at the palace for a new cookbook Together our Community Cookbook. Fall is in the air (yes your Autumn book is my all time fave) along with books it’s an absolutely perfect time of the year! Aloha ha, Ann

  6. Tricia B. says:

    You are enchanting, that’s it, in a nutshell. So, I think “Enchanted” is a perfect name for “our” next book! 🙂 Thank you for making my day with this delightful post. Thank you for all of the joy you bring on a daily basis. You help us all cope with everything that is going on in the world today. You remind us of what is truly important. Thank you Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m touched by your sweet words. I read over these wonderful girlfriend comments, and feel overwhelming gratitude. xoxoxo

  7. Rose Wade says:

    That cat! Oh, how I love seeing that cat!

  8. Sandi on the Cape says:

    OMG! Thank you for working so hard and for still making the wonderful blogs! I really want the movie to happen, but this blog, your books are probably better! I once had a pink living room and love your dining room! It will be fabulous for Valentines Day! Thank you dear Susan, see you on the Cape in November!

  9. Elaine Erhart says:

    Can’t wait for new book. It will be luvly. Have to keep going through the other books, just so I can remember all the wonderful things of England. Love your new paint colors. The house looks great!

  10. Angela Williams says:

    Oh Susan…I love the irony!! Mr. Thornhill with Little, Brown referred to “Heart of the Home” as an enchanting cookbook!! “Enchanted” is the perfect title for your new book!!

  11. Diane says:

    My living room & dining room are together, with no wall between, & they are that exact color! I love it; just the right enough rosiness to keep me t from stark white, but not enough to shout P I N K!!! The white trim & ceiling keep it from too much sameness & from closing in. You’ll love living in it. 😊💕

  12. Claudia Cole says:

    Hi Susan. Wow! I cannot wait for “Enchanted”. I am rereading the “Trilogy” as I write this note. I finished “A Fine Romance” and am in the middle of “Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams”. Taking my time, to enjoy the words and the pictures. “Fairy Tale Girl” is slated for about mid-October – December. Just in time for a new book and a new year! I do love the books so much.

    Also, your dinning room looks lovely in pink and the living room in green. A bit of Laura Ashley there. (love her, too). You had mentioned that the navy would have been too dark for life in winter. I think so, too. However, my parents had painted our living room and halls a dark green. It was beautiful. I loved the color. It made the room feel like a hug to me. After many years they decided to repaint in a mint green. Yuck, yuck, yuck. It was so bad. My hug was gone. I was about 17 then and maybe too old for wall color hug. Certainly not from mint green!! lol Take care and safe trip to CA.

    • sbranch says:

      Never too old for wall-color hugs!!! They say the rule is if the room is dark, like a hall, paint it dark. If it’s light, like our dining room, you should paint it light. xoxo

  13. Elaine Woodford says:

    Everything I have is “crossed”, hoping for the movie! (Even my kitties feet) Can’t wait to be “enchanted” with your new book. Yay! Waiting with baited breath to see the new curtains & newly painted dining room all together. The LR curtains are perfect. I love flowers in my rooms too, but alas the only flowers are on the furniture. ( I have white ruffled curtains, the house over.) Have a wonderful CA trip.

  14. Lorrie says:

    How lovely to sit with a bit of chocolate and read this newsy post after arriving home from school teaching. The sky is blue but there’s a nip of autumn in the air and this morning was positively chilly! Love the title of your new book! Looking forward to ordering it as soon as it comes out. (or pre-ordering!) Can I ask what colour paint you used in your dining room? It’s so warm and welcoming, yet not too pink, if you know what I mean.

  15. Karen Baron says:

    While I was on the part of your blog mentions An English Country Garden my cousin Messengered me from her elementary school class in Indonesia and asked me if I had a copy of the music from an English Country Garden that my grandmother who played it beautifully on the piano and who was the Church organist at her Church! I said I will try to get her a copy from our other cousin who plays piano and has that music! It was so serendipitous that at first I thought it couldn’t be but magic happened over your painting and posting An English Country Garden! See you at the 🍎 SLO!🤗🤗

  16. Cheryl E Brown says:

    “Enchanted” will be on my list of girlfriend gifts as I have given all your others to them in the past. Can’t wait! And, of course, I buy myself a copy.

  17. Fran P. says:

    Susan Branch, you are an angel that was created for our enjoyment. I thank you from the bottom (and top) of my heart. Your home is so very lovely and I just LOVE Jack! I have a kitty named Fred and their antics are priceless. Thanks for being you.

  18. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    Thank you for all the inspiration. Love the pink walls and English fabrics for curtains. AND that darling soft sculpture kitty project. So cute. Think I’ll make one for ME! The set of tiny vases are adorable for gifts. Great title for the new book and holding out hope about the movie :-).
    Finally all the smoke has lifted out here and boy do I feel better. Now the dappled sunlight is decorating my apartment, WHAT a difference a few weeks makes. Also really loved the Musica of Al Bowlly ’cause the piano in the background of some of it sounds just like my Dad . . . Sob Love it. Really looking forward to Tweets from the Twain 🙂 Happy Travels in advance.

  19. Anna Steinle says:

    OH MY GOD THAT’S MY MOST FAVORITE WORD IN THE HISTORY OF FOREVER! I Love that it will be called, “Enchanted” 🤗🤗🤗 Can’t wait to order the next set of cups, my 2019 calendar, oh, and I absolutely need a butter dish and a couple of vases…I’m pretty sure a simple gift certificate to your store will be perfect for birthday and Christmas 💕

  20. jeanie says:

    I couldn’t imagine a better title! Loving Jack, the England countryside cup, the curtains, the whole thing. In two weeks I leave for close to a month there, including a house rental near Bawth and I’m revisiting a Fine Romance often! So excited!

  21. Carolyn Mixon says:

    You fill our life and our hearts will enchantment with each and every thing you do, say, draw, write, and being such an exemplar of YES WE CAN be all that we dream we could be- love all the new work coming out soon, the courage pitcher I want, in fact I want it all- and the book, something to look forward to, have a wonderful time on your trips, and again a big thank you for filling my heart with such joy with each and every thing you create.

  22. Shirley Hubbs says:

    Great blog post! Curtains and decor are fabulous! Can’t wait for your new book and I have thought about the movie several times, hoping it would come to be!
    Your inspire me!

  23. Sherri McShane says:

    I have been waiting to hear from you! I envy you the change of seasons. I always loved the fall in the East. Can’t wsit to read Enchanted—love the title!

    • sbranch says:

      I grew up in a place with very little change of seasons, so they always come as a little miracle to me! Wouldn’t want to have to live without them now, so spoiled!

  24. Gail Glatttli says:

    Can never get enough of England, Scotland or Wales. I’ve been many times and it continues to draw me back. Look forward to your next book!

  25. Barbara from Niagara Falls says:

    I am really looking forward to reading your new book, “Enchanted”. You have enchanted all of us and made us fall in love with England. Of course, like your other books (after I’ve read them at least twice), I will send them to my sister. She loves your writings, too. P.S. When I was on vacation visiting my sister in Florida, my roommate painted my living room and dining room………PINK! (She painted almost every other room, too. She is a jewel…I am very blessed to have her as a friend). I love the pink, both yours and mine. CHEERIO!

  26. Ashleigh says:

    Hi Susan,

    I just want to let you know you bring me back to a time where we cared for one another. Enjoying making our loved ones laugh and feel good. The author quotes and your writings are heartwarming and reminiscent of a better time we need to get back to! Sharing recipes to make you feel comforted and will work out the way they are supposed too. Reminding us of how important nature is to our human spirit. The sharing of your feelings of family relationships and your wonderful marriage with Joe make us feel like we are watching what we have and want to aspire to. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us!

  27. Connie Leach says:

    Gosh I love fall! Every year I’m so happy it’s come again. We’re in Florida but there will be asters and purple flowers on the way over to the beach, and a very few autumn leaves– more in December. But inside the house, it’s covered in autumn! Loved the blog this time– your house looks beautiful!

  28. Jeannette from the Central Coast says:

    “Enchanted” …a wonderful name for the new book! The way time has a way of speeding by, in the autumn of my life, I know I will be reading it soon! Have a marvelous California adventure. Journey’s mercies as you ride the rails!

  29. Karolyn Lawson says:

    I miss seeing girl kitty. Is she still alive and well?

    • sbranch says:

      No, I’m so sorry, Girl Kitty went to heaven in August 2016. I wrote about her, but you must have missed it. I still have her, because I have a jillion photos and love looking at them. She was a sweetheart.

  30. Lynette Strohbach says:

    I love what you are doing with your decorating, definitely English Cottage Style! I am always sad at the end of summer, I love the sunshine and am definitely not ready for the dark winters. But I too am trying to brighten up the house with plenty of flowers; right now making a hydrangea wreath from my gardens. I can’t wait for Enchanted to come out next year, that will be a thick book! Keep it coming with the blogs in the meantime, and good look with the movie! Thanks Susan.

  31. Bindu Van Camp says:

    I’ll read your new book at least three times as I’ve done your others – they sit by my side so I can pick any one up to cheer me and make me smile! can’t wait for the movie!! thank you for all you give us !

  32. Kerri says:

    Hello dear Susan, Fall is coming! My little grandchildren are checking the pumpkin patch and anxiously looking forward to all of the fall adventures. Enchanted is exactly what it would be to see the English countryside with you as we have by following along with you this summer! I can hardly wait for your art, pictures and tales. Have a lovely train ride. Wave hello as you pass our Rocky Mountains- the leaves are changing and they are gorgeous! Take care-

  33. Margaret Harke says:

    I am going to be on Martha’s Vineyard Oct 4th,just for the day. I will be on a tour and we will be visitng Edertown (the home of my 9th great grandparents, Nicholas and Elizabeth Norton. He died there back in 1690). I am so looking forward to seeing at least a litle of your lovely island. I will then be at Apple Farm to see and hear you on the 13th. Got my teicket months ago. I am so excited for all of this! Happy Autumn!

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhh, Nortons, we have Norton friends … quite an Island name. How fun for you to be in the place of your ancestors. See you in California!!

  34. Anna Kaplan says:

    [I’m typing this around my large Lily kitty who is insisting on more food.]
    Your pastel pink dining room is the cat’s pajamas – a wonderful color for spring morning sunlit breakfasts or winter evening candlelight. I’ll look forward to seeing the new draperies as well as photos of your meals.

  35. Shauna says:

    I. Can’t. Wait.

    The new book sounds FABULOUS!

  36. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    Beautiful , just beautiful. Thank you Susan!

  37. Cindy Roberg says:

    I love that you painted your dining room pink. I am hoping for a kitchen makeover in pink . I have been collecting pyrex pink and white gooseberry pattern bowls. I have found other pink pyrex casserole dishes too. Looking forward to the new book ENCHANTED!!! 😍😍😍
    Wish I could attend your visit in SLO, but we are off to visit the grandbabies in South Carolina for two weeks in that time frame. Loving the pink . 😊

  38. Cindy says:

    I can honestly can’t wait for your new book.. I read and reread the others when life is throwing me a curve ball. I love your writing. It makes me feel so cozy. A cuppa and one of your books is heaven to me . Thank you for sharing your adventures.

  39. Susan…your house looks stunning! Perfect color choices and fabric to go with! I love all your new items…I have to have the soap! Believe me, I am writing my list to Santa 🙂 You and Joe are so fortunate to have such a great help in Jack…always there to make sure things are done right! Thank you for brightening my day, as usual. xoxoxo Happy Fall!!

  40. Carla Ludwig says:

    Oh my, I LOVE the title Enchanted! Your curtains are to die for and I love the idea of hanging them a little higher than the window for more light…..I may have to steal that idea. Everything is looking sparkling clean, like a fairy godmother went through your home with her little wand! Have a beautiful week Susan!

  41. Chris Wells Knickerbocker TX says:

    A new book! Now that is music to my heart!!!
    Love all the decorating and cleaning that is going on. I have been deep cleaning like crazy here since my retirement 11 days ago!!! Loving every minute of it!❤️
    #SBBook to Screen

    • sbranch says:

      Eleven days! You’re so energized! I think if it was my first eleven days I would get into a chair with a book and never get out until bedtime, then back to the chair!

  42. Margot In Sister Bay says:

    What is the name of your dining room color?

    • sbranch says:

      It doesn’t have a name…we should name it, but we do have the formula: It’s Pratt and Lambert Red Seal eggshell finish self priming paint and the formula is YO3-RO2-Blk1-W3oz.

  43. Lori says:

    September Sunday – Our Little Girl! One of my favorite Shirley movies and also one of my favorite times. Thanks for sharing what you have been up to. Your house looks amazing, as always. <3 to Jack!

  44. Mary Waldherr says:

    Just loved reefing this…have a great trip! Fall is my favorite time of year, and I sure did love your owls on the window sill!

  45. Sarah Green says:

    Light changing, summer’s end. 9/16 was my mother’s 100th birthday. A small celebration in Dorset, Vt. @ a charming bakery/cafe. Pink lemonade, raspberries, pink slices of watermelon, a beautiful cake that reflected her year’s as a gardener and quilter. And mom in a black/white checked shirtwaist dress wearing her pearls and a small crown, I added. Queen for a day!

  46. It amazes me that you can make hard work look inviting and exciting. I’m the hunker-down type too and I need to get going on my own Fall cleaning. We just returned home from a weekend of historical reenacting and fragments of 1754 are laying all around my house. A good airing out is in order also since everything from 1754 has the aroma of campfire smoke. I’ll be delighted when your new book is done and completely overjoyed when your life makes it to the big screen. Your are a busy bee with all of your writing and creating; thank you for the inspiration!

  47. christine lelacheur says:

    Good Morn Susan, I just purchased my ticket to meet you at the West Falmouth Library in Nov. I luv everything England(my Mum and all her relatives are from there). Thank you ,it is so much fun to follow you.Christine
    PS When I am at my place in Falmouth my neighbors always now it because I hang one of your flags at my front door!!!

  48. Janis Monachina says:

    Hi Susan ,
    Would you share the color of your pink paint ? Love your blog 🙂
    Thanks for the inspiration 💕

  49. Susan says:

    Love the new floral valences and I am so looking forward to seeing the curtains too. It makes me so happy to see your warm and cozy home. I am so tired of going to blogs and seeing the stark rooms with too much gray. Of course, seeing Jack is always a special treat! We have a feral cat who looks much like your Jack. I have named the cat “Mittens” and hope that it will be a permanent guest. We have a little Yorkie named Bentley who is blind now, so he can’t see the cat and therefore is not opposed to it spending time in his yard. Thanks for the charm and sharing all your coziness with us!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  50. Patricia Edde says:

    I’m baaaaack. Just a few add-ons since I was so excited when I first wrote you that I forgotted. I wish I could be there with you and the girlfriends at the Apple Farm but Sam needs me. When I lived in Reseda I used to go to the Apple Farm every year on my birthday – just me, myself and I – and I had the best time. I did this for too many years to remember. There was a painting on the top floor at the end by Marilyn Simandle that showed a chintz chair in a living room with the most gorgeous light coming through the window. It wasn’t for sale and I couldn’t find it anywhere on line. Now comes the best part. One of my good friends in Decorah was one of my principals best friends back when they went to Berkley. It turns out that she is good friends with Marilyn who, when asked by Barbara, found one last print that she had and gave it to Barbara to bring back to me. The world really does work in mysterious ways.
    When I went to the Apple Farm on my 50th birthday, 2 friends had Apple Farm cider (with a crystal glass don’t you know) and some decadent goodies waiting for me. From the Apple Farm I went to the airport for a flight to Boston and then a ferry to wait, wait, …….. Martha’s Vineyard which was a gift from 3 friends and my mother. They spent so much money that none of them could afford to come but I don’t mind traveling on my own. I stayed in 2 lovely B&Bs and had lots of yummy lobster and crab. My birthday is October 30th so most of the gorgeous fall colors were already gone but I had the time of my life. I went immediately out to rent a car but find out that my license had just expired (a big surprise to me) so took a car tour around the island and walked everywhere. A once-in-a-lifetime trip.
    I had planned on keeping this short but I think I have a genetic defect for shortness, except for my height. Have a great time in California and a good visit with your mom. Am I remembering rightly that she has Alzheimers? My mother had it and that’s why I ended up moving back to Decorah. I hope they find a cure for it soon because it is a terrible, terrible disease. Love to you, Joe, and, of course, Jack

    • sbranch says:

      Magic Patricia! Loved the stories. Happy Birthday! And yes, my mom has very little memory left, but her sweetness is still there and I can’t wait to see her. I don’t know if she’ll know me, but it doesn’t matter because I know her. A cure would be a wonderful thing wouldn’t it, just another miracle, and why not!?!

  51. Denise Schlesinger says:

    What a fantastic blog. The standing picture of Jack was adorable. And all the book talk. But what really got to me was the many pictures of window treatments. I loved them. Especially the valance withe marching row of single pleats. I have to have that!

  52. Vicki Whitsitt says:

    Reading your lovely blog with my cup of tea is the perfect way to start my day. Thank you!!😊

  53. Evelyn Brendle says:

    I have just finished reading my daughter’s copy of “A Fine Romance” for the third time. I even made a pink rosebud fabric cover for it! My daughter still has not read the book through, only getting into the very beginning of it. She and her hubby have 2 children and one on the way- I guess maybe that’s why! Anyway I keep borrowing it. Your next book is greatly anticipated. I believe I shall buy this one myself. Love your new look in the dinning & living room! Happy Fall Y’all!

  54. Sandra Walton says:

    Thank you Susan for your insights into life with you
    Loving the curtains..the florals look perfect and the rooms so calm and the dining room..the pink is perfect and the white against it perfect too
    Just love the title of the book….Enchanted is perfect..sums up everything and draws you clever..good wishes on all the work you have to do to make it happen..all those hours of painting and writing..thank you
    Every blessing to your California trip and visiting your family there
    Just love the toy kit and the quilt…gorgeous
    Thank you…from a very windy and @utumal Birmingham…lots of yellow leaves and the lovely cookers on the ground too
    Love Sandrax

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so happy everyone seems to like “Enchanted” because I do too! Makes it even more fun! Happy fall Sandra!

  55. Coraleen Rawls says:

    Thank you for your updates. As always it is such a delight to read your post. Every single time I read them, I float off into another dimension, full of beautiful water colors, quotes and warm greetings. Your post are a refuge from the daily stresses.
    The title to your new book is on point. Enchanted is the perfect name for all you give to us.
    I truly appreciate you and your spirit. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you

  56. Evelyn Brendle says:

    I just finished reading my daughter’s copy of a “A Fine Romance” for the third time. I keep borrowing as she has never has finished reading it, only making it through the very beginning of the book. She and hubby have 2 children and one on the way, maybe that’s the reason! I am greatly anticipating your next book and am falling in love with the English countryside through your inspired writing & blog. I probably will never be able to travel overseas, so you are taking me there in pen & picture! Thanks’ & God Bless!

  57. Mamey says:

    Enchanted is the PERFECT title! I can’t wait!! My 2019 calendars have all arrived and are safe and flat under the bed. My absolute favorite calendars. I too just got out all of my Autumn decor and it just makes me love my little cape cod home even more. It’s my favorite season of the year here in upstate NY. Thanks for sharing all the gorgeous pics of the curtains. I can’t wait to see them up! I LOVE the pink in the dining room. I agree with you, the navy would have been way too dark. Happy Autumn!

  58. Sandy Bloomer says:

    Dear Susan:
    I love the picture of Jack standing at the door looking outside. I cannot remember ever seeing a cat stand on two hind legs and stretching so tall to look outside. He is so adorable. All the work going on at your home is very exciting. Decorating with new curtains is so much fun and rewarding. Please send pictures of the finished rooms when the side drapes are installed.

    • sbranch says:

      He was more interested than I had ever seen him, so stretched out, on tip toes!!! I’ll put up the photos! Not there yet!

  59. Marybeth Ferrie says:

    I can’t stop reading your books! Thank you for putting happiness into the world.
    Love the title for the next book and can’t wait!

  60. Jana says:

    Big sigh of contentment and happiness! I’m going right now to put on the kettle for tea, hang my autumn leaf garland over the French doors, and put the autumn plaid-and-leaf tablecloth on the kitchen table. I don’t care if it is almost 90 degrees in eastern Tennessee. Thank you, lovely, dear Susan Branch!!!!

  61. SYLVIA WATKINS says:

    Testing testing. Comments not registering. Wha?

  62. Cheryl Davis says:

    “Enchanted” is perfect! I can’t wait to read it!

  63. Kimberlee W. says:

    Think I may have to get a beautiful cup to tide me over ;))
    Have a beautiful Fall…and safe travels.

  64. Loved your photo’s of everything that your busy doing , the house, the book , “Jack” loving his home, Joe hanging beautiful English curtains, vintage everything, hope to see you in West Falmouth in November, How do I get tickets ? I missed you a few yrs back @ Titcombs book store.

    • sbranch says:

      I put a link to the Library in the blog post, just click on it … you’ll go to their website and you can give them a call. Hope to see you there!

  65. Karen Baron says:

    I love your blog! See you in SLO!🍎

  66. Bobbie Calgaro says:

    We leave by train Oct. 3 to go to Washington DC from Salisbury NC. So we will be riding that day separately together. Enjoy your time in CA. My husband has never been to DC so this will be an adventure.

  67. Liz Lamon taylor says:

    Oh my, your posts just make my week. I enjoy getting lost in your beautiful world. You never disappoint. Thank you for the peek into your fabulous home that just oozes love. Can’t wait for Enchanted and hoping the movie will get the green light. Enjoy your journey west.
    Liz Lamon taylor

  68. Dani says:

    Oh Susan! I am so excited for all the new things you are working on! I was just about burnt out for the day and you have lifted my spirits! The pink looks fantastic and the curtains are going to be beautiful! I cannot wait to see! I wish I lived in California to come meet you! Thanks for sharing your lovely world! Much love! xoxo

  69. Suzanne says:

    Oh sweet joy – cannot wait for Enchanted! That’s the word that comes to mind when I read about your life. ♥

  70. Ann says:

    Oh Susan. How lovely…..the blog, the pictures, the beautiful curtains, Jack, the soft paint colors, and you yourself….all lovely.

  71. Peggy Willoughby says:

    Thank you again, Susan, for your blog and sharing your decorating. I downloaded this when I was using my daughter’s internet on Monday because my internet wasn’t up yet. I was just happy to have power back after this horrible hurricane. I read it Monday night with great joy. Then this morning, Tuesday, I savored your blog over my coffee in your Autumn mug. Your words and pictures reminded me all will be right again, holidays will be celebrated, seasonal and permanent decorating will be important again. The nightmare of flooding here in North Carolina in towns where I shop, in towns where family lives had become all encompassing. Your blog was a respite for my mind. It made me even more thankful that my home fared well, that everyone in my family who lives nearby is fine, that my neighborhood has only minor damage. Evacuees are returning, children are out of school and will be playing in the streets again, school opens Monday, cooler weather is on the way, Halloween is coming, I can relax and do some fall decorating now. Thank you, Susan. I look forward to a train ride across country with you and Joe.

    • sbranch says:

      So happy to hear from you Peggy. Miserable hurricane. What a waste of perfectly good time they are!!! I’m glad it’s over for you and things can now be faced with even greater joy and gratitude than before. Here come holidays and all will be well. Hurricanes have come here, and we’ve been “lucky” to only have to deal with the wind (not water), and our greatest loss after all was said and done was when all the leaves were ripped from the trees and fall was taken away before it came. And even then, we had to count our blessings. All my best to you sweetie, see you on Twitter!

  72. Rosemary North of Boston says:

    Dearest Susan,
    After two days of great worry, with attending to a suddenly very sick beloved little doggy who is facing surgery, and sending my stressed, overworked son back to Afghanistan, I desperately needed a dose of your beauty. Your words, quotes, artwork and photos of what “normal” life looks like with its autumn joys were what I needed. Admit I sat with some ice cream and slowly began to catch my breath. Thank you, thank you, for providing enough light and peace to allow me to sleep tonight. You must perform this magic with others, giving them a chance to re-group, remember things to thank God for and find calm for weary and fearful hearts. Bless you dear, hug Joe for me (he’s a great painter/curtain hanger/all around great guy), and give sweet Jack a soft pat for me. Rosemary

    • sbranch says:

      We all get lost in our sometimes difficult realities, but even then there is always a modicum of normalcy … if you remember it. I think we take each other out of ourselves, a gift from girlfriends to girlfriends. xoxoxo

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Rosemary, How perfectly you phrased how Susan gives us normalcy in times of great stress. I’m sure I’m not alone in sending you hopes for good outcomes for your doggy and your son….and you. Ice Cream can help, as well… : )

  73. Puzzles hot choc can't wait for new book 2020 calendar yeah just luvvvvvv your Jack also really like living room color you have been busy girl says:

    Yeah Susan I’ve been wondering about you a new post I was so excited to hear from you. Luv your dining room color and the beautiful draperies or curtains I too clean more in the fall getting things ready for colder weather puzzles

  74. Holly says:

    My goodness you’ve been busy! I love all your choices. Most of all I love Jack standing up peeping out the back door. My kitty Henry is a HUGE orange tiger boy. He acts just like. Jack. Lucky cats I think!

  75. Liz says:

    Thank you for the formula for the ♥ Enchanting Pink ♥ paint!
    Did Holly Oak once have a room that color?
    It seems as if you said you had used it before?

  76. Deb Bildner says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful home decorating projects…all your choices are gorgeous! Today I am going to reread your Autumn book and make delicious smells in my farmhouse kitchen. You always inspire me! Enjoy your cross country trip!

  77. Sarah in Tucson says:

    Dear Susan, I just LOVE your blog so much! I love to read it at the beginning of my day and it puts me in a wonderful mood. I like to do my cleaning in the fall, too. It seems to make everything more cozy. So excited about your new book! Reading A Fine Romance is also a part of my Autumn rituals. Your house looks absolutely elegant and beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

    • sbranch says:

      Nice to hear from you Sarah. The comments from our Girlfriends are my favorite thing about this blog!! xoxoxo

  78. Yvonne sulluvan says:

    Luvv your new book coming and new calender of course your kitty Jack I’ve had a calico kitty coming to my yard now my yard us hers safe trip blessings always

  79. Lauri Hyde says:

    Love, love, love your post! It really wants me to get decorating for Fall, but out here in Glendale CA, it’s been nothing but searing heat since June with no end in sight. My experience says November. It is starting to cool down a little at night now, so that’s nice. But somehow, unless it’s a whole lot cooler, I just can’t get moving on it. It just doesn’t feel right.

    Anyway…. I want to say that I will be taking my first solo road trip up to SLO to meet you at the Apple Farm! So exciting! My hubby has always done the driving, but now it’s my turn to take the wheel! I’m thinking of staying on the 101 north so I can see the ocean as much as possible on the way up. But driving up the coast on a Friday morning, I’m wondering if I will hit a lot of traffic? Maybe swing towards the 5? Ugh, boring. I will be staying in an air b&b for a couple of nights up in Grover Beach. But I hear there is going to be a surfing competition in that same space on that weekend? I was hoping to park by the ocean to look at some tidepools that are supposed to be there. It may be I won’t be able to do that because of the crowds?

    Anyway, one more time, I have so many questions to ask about your printing process for your artwork, but there likely won’t be any time for that. I am thinking about doing a tiny experiment to see if my work generates any interest out there. I may have to write a follow up letter or something?

    And one more thing, I might have mentioned this earlier, but there is another wonderful artist out there named Amanda Smith and she lives in the Canary Islands. She does cut paper collage and she lists on Etsy. There reason I mention this now is that she has been doing pieces based on…wait for it…Beatrix Potter!!! Thought you would like to take a squint at it. You will LOVE it!!!

    Thanks so much for reading this laundry list of mind. I don’t mean to be selfish, but I really wanted to share this info with you. Looking forward to your response here and meeting you at the Apple Farm!!! Yay!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      You’re way over there in the Valley Lauri … but a truly NICE way to go is through Santa Monica and up PCH, through Malibu, Trancas, and all the way to Ventura. We’re usually coming from Seal Beach, so it’s easy for us, not sure you’d want to cross that far over, but it’s a lovely way to go and we usually stop at Paradise Cove, just above Malibu (ON the beach, feet in sand) for lunch. Just a thought. You’ll love the coast where you’re going. It’s all beautiful, all views. You might like Avila Barn too, it’s not out of the way, a huge farmstand. You can ask me printing questions when I see you, I don’t know how much I know, but I’ll tell you what I can! I tried to go see the Beatrix things, but couldn’t find Amanda Smith etsy store! I’ll try more later. See you soon!

  80. Virginia says:

    Color is so hard to imagine on all four walls but you have nailed it with that pink. Can’t wait to see it all finished. You are brave–we knew that from your books–in all aspects of your life, including to change what was already so lovely. Change is very hard for me! I have wallpaper everywhere and I do love it tho I know it is Out now, esp the florals I love.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t believe in OUT, if you love it, it’s IN! I would wallpaper again in a second if I wasn’t worried about the mold thing. I adore pattern on the walls, it makes things so cozy! Like the pink too, but truly, when I think it’s safe, I’ll get some new wallpaper! 😃

  81. Christina says:

    Thank you for all of the love and kindness you put out into the world! (PS now I’m going to pull out your Autumn book for inspiration with my autumn decorating too!)

  82. Lori Ann says:

    Susan, Thanks again for another inspiring post. I love the pink dining room! I’ve been seeing little bits of fall for about a month here in Illinois. I just love the changing leaves, the busy squirrels, crisp apples(my husband and I just took a short trip to Michigan for honeycrisp apples, they are so good! I got enough to share with friends and family. It’s amazing what a simple apple does for one’s soul)

    I always say fall is my favorite season until spring arrives, then spring is my favorite. I’m so glad to live in an area where I get to experience all of the seasons! I truly love them all!

    Have a great trip to California!

    • sbranch says:

      Agree so much, Fall and Spring, they both bring such beauty and a certain kind of relief! Just ate a honey crisp for breakfast!!!

  83. Sandy Hernandez says:

    “Home IS where the heart is !!! Your home is coming along nicely !! Joe is so handy !! Lovely is the word !!! Quick question – any new bookmarks coming our way ??!! My old ones are getting used ! How about a “Fall” one !! I’m an avid reader and one book gets done and the next one is up and running !! Thanks for working hard on the new book !!

  84. Barbara Irvine from Connecticut says:

    “Enchanted” is the perfect title for your new book, Susan! I’m rereading Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, and just read of your meeting with Arthur Thornhill, President of Little, Brown in their offices on Beacon Street in Boston. You had met with Mary and left your 50 pages with her for review, and Mr. Thornhill said, ” … what I hear from Mary, you are writing an enchanting cookbook.” How perfect! Your first book, “enchanting”, and your next book, “Enchanted”. I love it !!

    • sbranch says:

      A word that used to almost scare me. And now look!!! Life, ain’t she grand?? 🤣 xoxoxo Thank you Barbara!

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

    Good morning Susan, and Girlfriends. YAY the fires here are just about out, time to get those curtains washed, ironed and back up and time to put the Autumn wreath on the front door. the weather people here figure we went over 60 days with that nasty smoke from the fires… ICK!!! no wonder my curtains smell so awful and look so sooty… YUK!! the days are getting much shorter and cooler, the nights are longer and cooler and soon if we get lucky it will be time to fire up the wood stove to warm things up. I am definitely looking forward to the Fall season, and Halloween is not too far away… time for little goblins and ghosts to come calling. getting the bed linens ready for the laundry, and then out on the line, for the very last time… after this it is definitely back to the dryer. time to hang the clothesline up for the season. the acorns are really coming down, must mean a good wet Fall is on the way and a cold winter is not too far behind. seeing some Autumn color already, and it warms my heart to see it, I love the Fall. well off to get the curtains washed and throw in the bed linens and get the wreath out on the door. Autumn will be here this weekend, and I want to be ready for it. trying to think of something good for dinner tonight…. maybe something simple like sausage and potatoes au gratin. I love the Fall, more cooking with the stove and hearty meals instead light cool ones for the summer. goodbye summer and hello fall!!! have a wonderful day everyone, stay warm and snug and safe. hugs…. 😀

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Fall, dearheart. You definitely know how to celebrate! xoxo

      • Pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        wishing you many Autumn blessings and a Happy Fall!!! have a safe trip out to California, I hear the fires there are finally under control and almost out!!! hugs….. 😀

  86. blbc says:

    I have known who you are; followed your blog. However, it was in reading Martha Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, I was transported into “your world”. I have lingered over older posts you have written and recalled growing up going to The Cape for the season. Your story “spoke” to me; how I wish I had such courage and strength as you did when you “ran away”. I still linger over the pages of this story a chapter of your life: Remarkable.

  87. Cindy Brosh says:

    Oh Susan I adore your new book title! It’s perfect, since you must be the most enchanting woman on the planet! I can hardly wait to hold your book in my hands, and hear your stories told so well. Thanks for all you do to brighten our lives.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Cindy, thank you for your sweet words. I work on it every day, and think of all of you as I write and paint it . . . kindred spirits!

  88. Ginger says:

    OK, so this is off-topic, but I just had to let you know. I learned fo Gladys Tabor from you. She wrote about her dogs often and how they gamboled along during country walks at Stillmeadow. This has been my goal with my two Labs. The Yorkie is just too unpredictable to ever get to the gamboling stage. Today, the Labs achieved gamboling! Thank you for introducing me to Gladys.

    I see Jack was in his office again.

    • sbranch says:

      So adorable Ginger, that your dogs have achieved gamboling. Many humans I know have not been able to do that! It’s a secret of life. You are so welcome, Gladys Tabor was a gift to me, I love sharing that gift with everyone else. xoxoxo

  89. Rhonda D. says:

    So inspiring Susan to see your fall post. September is one of my favorite months. I like the pink you chose for your dining room walls, and I just had a feeling that you would be chosing that fabric for your curtains. You initially wanted navy in the wall color and this curtain fabric brought hints of that into play. Nice choice. Can’t wait to see all of your decorating efforts come together, inside and out. Loving all the new dishes coming up on the radar screen. You mentioned a pencil cup…that’s exciting!

    Unfortunately, I have some not so good news to pass on. I have been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. They have given me 5 or 6 months without chemo, and a few years if I take the chemo. Apparently, a few cells from what I had a few years earlier have managed to escape through the blood stream and has resulted in this new diagnosis. I fought so hard last time and treasured the prayers of all the girlfriends..they kept me going. I started chemo on Monday, so I was glad to see this new post…they certainly help to keep my spirits up. Your posts were medicine to my soul last time I went through this. You do such a great job of keeping all of us glued together as we face our everyday lives, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
    I’ll dig deep into my faith as I did last time and God will see me through.

    Love the name of your new book and love that it will include England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Something wonderful to look forward to. Safe travels to California to see your Mom and family. Looking forward to having you back at home to put your feet up in front of the fire for the winter. ❤️ xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Dig deep darling, I stopped this moment to surround you in a prayer. I’m so sorry, but your attitude is truly brilliant. I love you Rhonda, I adore sharing my life with you girls, babies born, new love, divorce, travel, homemaking, loss of precious animals, loss of precious family members, illness, just like real life, we are here for each other.💞 I hope so much you can feel the big warm hug coming your way from me. Bake a pie darling, or fill a little vase with just one flower, it will help ground you although you sound perfect just the way you are. xoxoxo

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Rhonda, Add my prayers to those of Susan and many girlfriends. Our wonderful daughter had non-Hodgekins lymphoma, diagnosed when she was 7, and living in Eureka, California. Tom was stationed out of there for the US Coast Guard. He was at sea when she was diagnosed. She was referred to a pediatric oncologist associated with Stanford. At that time no child had lived a long life, and they were told there was not much of a chance. She is now almost 50, a marvelous kindergarten teacher, fabulous step-daughter and the light of her mom and dad’s lives.
      Guess I’m saying that we never know who will be a survivor. Why not you? Please continue to visualize yourself moving on from this. I know how Susan has helped me keep digging deep.
      Debbie in Maine

  90. Fran R says:

    Hi Susan,
    I can’t remember when last I commented but even though I didn’t have time to write, I did make time to faithfully read your blog while you were on the other side of the pond and continue to do so since your return. If I can’t spend my lunch hour reading your blog and the girlfriend comments, my day is just not complete.

    Your choice of pink for your dining room is lovely and speaking from experience, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I painted the interior of the garden shed/retreat in a lovely blush pink and it looks wonderful, both in the morning sun and in the afternoon shade. My husband designed and built it for me for my 60th birthday this year. I now have the pleasure of adding my “Franny” touches to it and I’m having a blast. While at Brimfield with my girlfriends two weeks ago, I found an old wicker chair with the original feather cushions (in great shape) that will go perfectly in my shed. I plan to paint it white and recover the cushions with a vintage cabbage rose fabric. I’m on Cape this weekend with my husband and my in-laws and today we stopped at a little antique shop on Route 6A where I found the perfect table to accompany my chair. I can’t wait to re-paint it white.

    The title of your new book strikes just the right tone . . . it captures the imagination immediately and makes this girlfriend curious and excited about reading it. My girlfriend and I have purchased tickets for your book signing in Falmouth and will travel from VT for a girlfriends’ getaway that weekend. It will be fun to show her some of my favorite places on the Cape, but the high-light will be spending Saturday afternoon with you!

    I’ve rambled on long enough and will close here. Thank you so much for sharing so much of you with all of us.

    • sbranch says:

      I LOVE Brimfield. Didn’t get to go this year, was in England, but just you mentioning it makes me want to start thinking for next year! 6A, the best antique stores, you are finding all my haunts! So glad to see you in West Falmouth, Franny! What a fun trip for girlfriends! xoxo

  91. Kathie Bee says:

    Dear Susan, please consider a re-run of the England mugs. Just when I went to order, they were gone. Maybe it could coincide with the new book release. Or else a new England mug? Please, please, please?

    • sbranch says:

      Maybe a new one when the new book is finished . . . Enchanted! I’m sorry they’re gone, we get a lot of them, but time marches on and sooner or later, they go. Be sure to check with Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo, CA and make sure they don’t have any. There are a couple of retail stores carrying them now… ask Sheri@

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

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything in this post! I’m addicted to before and after photos, they make me so happy. And the picture of Jack standing upright looking out the door is priceless… you should frame that one! Of course the one with him on the buffet and waving good bye is just too cute for words too. The paint colors and patterns you chose for your curtains is spot on. You are one talented woman! I’m looking forward owning the set of three tiny vases. Thank you Susan for all you do to make the world a happier place! ♥♥♥

  93. elisa says:


    Apple Farm says there is no waiting list for your talk 10/13. So sad. I’ve been following you for so many years.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry, there was a list at one time, but I guess it was closed. Hopefully I will get to do this again in the future!

  94. Karen Braithwaite says:

    Happy Fall from Apple Hill (NorCal)! Can’t wait to see you again at the Apple Farm! Loved it when you were there last time!🍎🍎🍎

  95. Laurie, Nico’s mom, in Alberta, Canada says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Thank you for this lovely post showing all of us your nesting activities. Inspirational to say the least! Love your paint and fabric choices. I lived with a cottage decor scheme for years. I still like it but have moved on to a less feminine, more farmhouse style which our house seems to like. It’s funny how they seem to dictate, isn’t it? I had a very similar pink shade that my mom always called “apricot “. Pink with an undertone of peach that keeps it from being too “twee” as I think the British say.
    Thank you as well for the gorgeous pictures of your darling Jack. He reminds me so much of our beloved black and white bunny, Nico, who we lost this July. When you called Jack your son I knew I had to write to let you know that Nico was gone, knowing that you would understand. Nico was well over ten, which is quite old for a bunny. He had been rescued, unhurt, from the mouth of a dog as a wee one, too young to be away from his mother. I fed him formula every 8 hours for weeks. Most orphaned rabbits don’t survive, but he did. I do not have children, but I cannot imagine loving anyone more. I count him as one of my greatest blessings in life.
    When I started following your blog we were “The Magnificent Seven”. We are now down to three bunnies, who are all senior. They have all lived in the house with us, litter trained, spayed and neutered. We love and have loved each and everyone of them, but Nico was so very, very special. He will live on in our hearts forever.
    Thank you for giving me this outlet. I have told very few people about our loss, since so few seem to understand the bond we had with Nico. Please hug Jack for me.

    Laurie, Nico’s mom

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, truly, the house knows. We had a beach house (more like a shack, wood floors, wood walls, no insulation) one time that wanted all sea colors, green, blue and yellow. That’s when I first learned how they talk to you because those are really not “my” colors, but it was perfect out there. Now my ears are more tuned to the house. I love apricot too. Goes beautifully with blue or a light turquoise. OH! I’m so sorry to hear about Nico, Laurie. Such a terrible loss. Oh dear. 😢 I understand how hard it is to talk about it, you kind of have to wait months or years to be able to do it, keep the memory all to yourself until you do. Love to you Laurie, sending hugs💞

  96. Mary/Indiana says:

    WOW! Love the pink paint and all the cutesy curtains❤️
    Can’t wait to see the final product up on the walls!
    We’re looking forward to the cooler Autumn weather here,
    too, after a long hot summer😎. With it comes a change in
    our everyday Menu, hot chocolate, oatmeal and chili dinners.
    Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait for the new book, too😍
    It’s always a joy when your email blog arrives in my inbox😍

    • sbranch says:

      Our weather turned on a dime. HOT HUMID, boom, next day, wrapped in shawl and had our first fire last night. Now if we can KEEP this for the next 2-3 months, I will be in heaven! xoxoxo

  97. Ginny Evans says:

    Happy stormy September day, Susan.
    You are a true friend–taking time to blog with your pals when we all know that you are super busy! Thanks for inviting us in on that dappled sun-sort-of day. I LOVED that and the linens and dinning room pink (you won’t be sorry). I love your new drapes, so pretty! A visit with you is such a joy and puts me in that wonderful head space of homemade, homeyness. Can’t wait for the new book! and will venture into Twitter just so I can accompany you on the train. Say “hi” to California for me, won’t you? My home town is south of you on Freeway 10 (Ontario) and I haven’t been back in a while.
    Blessings on your trip. Have fun!

    • sbranch says:

      I wish I could blog full time! However, it just doesn’t seem to pay the heating bill! And our heating bill is like a new car these days! I do love it, love the connection between us all . . . have to balance between it and new book and cups and calendars and all such things like our new little courage pitcher. But, I’ll take lots of CA pictures to give you a taste of your old home sweet home!

  98. debra sewell says:

    Love this new post. Fall is magical. You can feel the magic inside. Plus you and Joe inspire us to live our homes whether tiny or big, make it our Haven and find the joy in our space. That is a blessing. So anxious for new book, however. Reread the others all the time. Thank you so much for sharing your lives and helping people believe in themselves.

    Debra sewell

    • sbranch says:

      Aw, so sweet Debra. Little or big, home is home, one as cozy and important as the other. From experience, little is better, less wallpaper, just a pint of paint. But Joe, he found the “little” life was going to make him crazy. Someday, maybe, we will get back to it.

  99. Regina says:

    Not sure if my first post went through so I’m trying this again. Sorry if this is a duplicate. Are you familiar with Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts ? There was a special on PBS last night about Louisa May Alcott and her home. There will be a 150th Little Women celebration on September 30 there . Sounds like a fun activity. Maybe some of you in the area will be able to go there.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, have been there, and just loved it . . . totally “real.” We have to leave for cross country train trip on October 3, something tells me we’ll be too busy to get over there, otherwise I would LOVE it. Hope some of our girlfriends can make it!

  100. Debra sewell says:

    Wonderful Willard. The change of light is magic. Jack and his kitty mustash..sooo sweet. Anxious for new book. Have you done a DNA test to see exact region in Britian your roots are? Then deeply explore there and another book..A Roots Journey..or do Joe’s dna and a journey if his ancestors past. Could be another beautiful trip for you two.
    Debra Sewell

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