Hiiii! We’re home!! MUSICA? Yes! It’s great to be here, and we had a WONDERFUL time in California! It was soooo good to see everyone. And I did bring home that special giveaway I promised ~ you’ll find it at the bottom of this post . . . but W A I T, don’t go yet  . . .  because getting home was the BEST. Here we are racing toward New England in our train room with awesome view . . .

. . . Hoping the whole way that we might still have some leaves on our trees. It was the end of October and normally by then they’re gone. But the way things were looking, we were thinking m a y b e . . . 🍂 🍁🍂🍁

Speeding through upstate New York, I was heartened by the color! Nothing like leaf-peeping from a train window.

We got off the train on Sunday in Albany, rented a car (so we could make the last ferry to the Island that same night) and drove through the gorgeous Berkshires, feeling more and more positive there would still be leaves on our trees at home.

We made the last boat but didn’t get home until after 10, so we couldn’t SEE the trees! Sleeping that night, when we finally got in our very own bed for the first time in a month, was as exciting as the night before Christmas! Would there still be fall when we woke up?

Dawn, from our bedroom window, assurance, and every dream come true.

I raced from window to window upstairs . . .

And down . . .

Then out to the side garden . . .

And around the house to the back . . . sooooThen all the way back for the long view! Fall waited for us! Leaves blowing down, chill in the air, smell of the sea, sound of the ferry horn, church spire to the sky, sturdy house that has seen it all, everything that says Home. Thank you God. Ommmmm.

My own kitchen, and no noise or rocking, just me and the benevolent ghosts of time gone by. And since I’d done a lot of decorating before we left, we were pretty much ready!

AHHHHHHHH…. Home ~ our bed is pure heaven, cold rooms at night, snuggled under covers, mooshing the comforters around my ears, dragging my cozy flanneled legs out in the morning, stuffing my feet into wool slippers, throwing on an old sweater, padding down the stairs, Jack leading the way, tail high in the air, filling the tea kettle, deciding which cup. We are sitting, and we are staying. So this was Monday, our first day home. On Tuesday the dining room curtains came. On Wednesday it was Halloween. So let’s start with the curtains! Ready?

And of course, I know what you’re waiting for, in the category of “everything that says Home,” Jack, furry soft petty-pet and perfect decor. He seemed really happy to see us. Presented himself upside-down, in wiggle formation, for belly rubs, and gave me a very Loooooong forehead butt, a meeting of the minds, the brain exchange. So here are the new curtains for the dining room. And where does Jack choose to sit?

On them. And why not. King of the World can do no wrong. Reunited and it feels so goooood! 🎶 He’s still my shadow, he still brings back the hair ties, he still cuddles next to me when I read. Now Joe and I aren’t going anywhere for the next year and a half, we are 

I peeled Jack off and we hung the new curtains . . . (Jessica, who made them, with Lowely, my darling friend and neighbor)

 And so voila, here they are! What do you think? I’m thinking the flowers make up for the ones we lost when we took the wallpaper down.💞

I’ve wanted “real” English curtains for sooooo long! They make you feel like you live on the inside of a marshmallow! We are now padded head to toe. I couldn’t wait for dark so I could light the candles!

They’re extra cozy because they’re completely lined in heavy flannel (just like the ones in England). They keep your house warm too.

Okay. So here was the problem and the reason I waited so long to show you the living room. I know you won’t think of this as a “problem.” With problems like this who needs enemies? Or whatever that phrase is. These are the curtains we got before we left and I’ve been pondering ever since. They are also very beautiful, thick and cozy, but for me, for the House of Creativity, for US? They feel a little much.

A wee bit too Duchess of Devonshire. I adore the fabric and love the pillows Jessica made to match, and I love the curtains too, they are glorious, but I was afraid after a while I might start doing the circular queen’s wave when I leave the house.

So we tried to tone it down (ps, they look pink in this photo, but they are really a soft beige with pink hydrangeas) . . . the first thing we did was take the decorative trim off the hems of the valances. Which softened things a little and took away some of the formality. This old house is your basic farmhouse with a barn and uninsulated pantry, the bathroom used to be a “three-holer,” and there are rooms you have to walk through to get to other rooms (i.e., no hall).  It’s not a fancy house. It has “good bones,” as a dear friend said a long time ago, and also that New England simplicity I love. You have to give a house what it wants. And I try. But I think my imagination was bigger than my stomach, or what ever that saying is.So next we tried removing the valances all the way. And I liked it SO MUCH BETTER. Back and forth we went, throwing out ideas, me, Joe, Jessica, and Lowely, with the tape measure, up the ladder, down the ladder, measure and pin and hold it up, stand back to see what it looks like, what if we get rid of the floral chairs? What if we change the lampshades? No stone was left unturned . . . and what we sort of decided is to keep the valances but bring them down so they aren’t all the way up to the ceiling, and then shorten the valance skirt by about 6 inches so it just covers the wood trim at the top of the window, to the first panes of glass. Make the valances lower and shorter is basically what we decided. And the other end of the room?

Here they are, the same fabric, but these are simpler and quieter.

Maybe I’m just bad at change! But I have to say, we’ve now been living with them for six days, and they’re growing on me. Most of my life I’ve made my curtains, so I’m used to unlined, crooked, half finished, a bit wrinkled, mostly made out of tablecloths, which is probably the problem! These are too good!

Jessica also made me a curtain for the guest room . . . Which I LOVE. Just a simple little thing, and pillows to match with a tiny blue and white stripe piping.

Just sweet and simple.

So then it was time to get ready for our Halloween party!

It was a pot-luck Halloween neighborhood Open House we were having, after the trick-or-treaters had gone home. Lowely brought cold slaw, Martha made a big pan of Corn Pudding, Carol brought a bowl of Dry Bones, Jaime came with a big green salad, and Barbara brought Brownies. I made Touchdown Chili and

A Pumpkin Trifle

Broken up chocolate cake on the bottom, then pumpkin mousse, then crushed oreo cookies, whipped cream, more chocolate cake, and more pumpkin mousse with a Hershey’s Syrup spiderweb on top!

While I was doing that, my boyfriend for life was outside in the driveway on that perfect fall day, carving away!

Making my favorite star pumpkins for our front porch.

offering me pumpkin seeds . . .

I came back in and did the dishes . . .

. . . then watered plants to stuff into baskets for arrangements for the house, swept the leaves off the porches . . . made sure all the votives and candle holders were filled . . . put Jack’s food and toys upstairs and locked him in our bedroom where no Halloween Cat thieves could find him . . .

We lit the fire,

And lit our ghost in the upstairs window . . . Casper is our “neighborhood watch,” he has a great view all the way up the street.

Bowls were filled with candy ~ We had hot spiced-cider for the moms and dads. We were READY! Bring on those kids! And here they come!

I love this tradition. Parents bringing their kids, waiting behind them, most of them in costume too … Look at this pink princess . . . Adorable or what?

We have friends who live so far out in the country they don’t get any trick-or-treaters ~we invite them to our house to give out candy at our door ~ we share the wealth ~ because, we definitely get kids! From all over the island . . . we are one of the few neighborhoods where the houses are close enough together for kids to get to without walking a mile in the dark! Halloween is huge on our island.

Is it ever! Early in the evening, at dusk, they’re very young, some even babies, in the cutest costumes, cows, and trees and bunnies, oh my!

 As the night gets darker, the kids get older . . .

We stop them to take their picture, and they put up with our 10,000 questions!

By 6:30 our neighborhood is in full Halloween mode. The police close down the streets to cars. It’s not just us, up and down our street and around the corner, its a mad house! 🍁

I got my camera and came around out front to take photos of the door … loved the tree shadows on our house from across the street, whoooo! To see the pumpkins Joe made, I had to wait until the everyone moved aside . . .

Which took a little while . . . everyone running in the dark, superheroes and angels, clowns and unicorns, with bags of loot, laughing, chewing tootsie rolls and eating M&Ms!

Other than the one partially finished pumpkin I saw when Joe was doing them, I hadn’t seen what he’d done. I looked at that one in the middle!  Whaaat?

And I got closer, laughing all the time. Went inside and Joe got a big KISS for this good surprise! Doing his part to make a cuter neighborhood, and a better world!

We had about thirty people for Chili dinner, and I was so busy eating and talking (receiving compliments on my new curtains!!!) I forgot to take pictures, but it was wonderful seeing everyone (remember, we just got back!) and it ended in the living room, where a girlfriend with a ukulele played while the dregs of the party (which would be us and some neighbors), had a sing-along. 🎃 It was a wonderful ending. And since it’s party season, here are a few ideas to make giving a party a bit easier. No matter if it’s a small party or large, formal or casual, Thanksgiving, tea party, book club, or election night party.And, speaking of election night parties . . . Here are some delicious recipes, all tried and true, perfect for a roller coaster ride which this night is bound to be. Won’t it be FUN when
it’s over? Then we’ll all live with the results and can stop thinking about it for a while.  And then we’ll get to do it all over again in two years! Politics seems to be America’s newest sport! I remember when I was in high school, I didn’t even know what I was! Or anyone else. I think my mom was a Republican and my dad was a Democrat, but they never argued and they both LIKED IKE! ‘Course the two political parties were 100% different then, and we didn’t have as much to worry about as kids do now, we were safe at school. It was a simpler and I would say a rather happier time. One of the many, many things on which we are all in perfect agreement, we all LOVE to eat . . . so let’s start HERE:

Yummy, from my Autumn Book . . . in case you have it at home, otherwise you can print this out!

These recipes are from Heart of the Home . . .

Wonderful spiced nuts from my Autumn Book . . .

. . . which I just made! I use them all season long!

Deliciousness from Heart of the Home. We’re going to my girlfriend Lowely’s house on Tuesday night to watch the results come in, I’m bringing Cheese Bites!

Opened my eyes from meditation, and across from where I was sitting, Jack was asleep on the sofa. 

I got the evil eye when I put the camera close . . . I SEE YOU, it says in green technicolor.

When we were in California, I picked up a box of my mom’s papers to bring home ~ I went through some of it this morning ~ it was a treasure trove! Saved birthday cards, old letters my grandma wrote, yellowed birth certificates and fancy engraved marriage licenses, hand-written report cards, and certificates of baptism, priceless to my mom, and priceless to me. Above, is a 91-year-old brushed LEATHER ribbon-tied folder with gold lettering, four pages of names and this . . .

. . . my Grandma’s Sioux City, Central High School Diploma from 1927. That’s her, below, on the left. Her class graduated only three weeks after Lindbergh flew the Atlantic non-stop to France! Those kids must have felt like their generation was going to own the world! Just a few days after they graduated, Lindbergh’s ticker tape parade was held in New York, which they listened to as a family on a radio the size of a refrigerator. I’m sure my grandma and all her 18-year-old girlfriends  shortened their skirts, bobbed their hair, and danced the “Lindy,” . . . they were teenagers during the Roaring Twenties, Calvin Coolidge was president, F. Scott Fitzgerald was the literary star, The Jazz Singer came out in 1927, the first movie with sound! Only two years later, when she was 20, the Great Depression started. She’d already had one World War to deal with as a child. The cards were being dealt. Life was unfolding. And before she fell asleep in her house with a music room on the 3rd floor and nine brothers & sisters, she listened to the most popular song of 1927. I love history, and picturing people in their times. My Grandma shared the planet with Mark Twain for two years. She shared it with Anne Frank, and then she shared Anne Frank with me.💞 Now I have her diploma.

And this! It’s my great grandmother’s 1925 application to join the Martha Washington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, DC. Four pages of family names, births, and deaths back to 1710, all in her lovely handwriting … with “Ancestor’s Services” that tells that her 5th great grandfather (and I guess my 7th), Captain Asa Foster of Andover, Massachusetts, was appointed in 1765 to “oppose the arbitrary measures of the British Government.” Eeeek. My grandma had given me a copy of this when I was in my 20s (part of my dreamscape for New England before I’d ever been here), but it was very different to hold the real thing in my hands. After recently reading a biography of George Washington (Ron Chernow), I realized just how dangerous it was to come out against your government back then. If they’d lost (and there was no reason on EARTH they should have believed they could win against the British Empire!), they would have all been hanged! But hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do and he believed in his cause. His son Abiel graduated from Harvard in 1756, was a minister who represented New Hampshire in the first Congress. I could write a book about these people! We found both of their graves, in Old North Parish Burying Ground in North Andover and in the Canterbury Cemetery in New Hampshire.

And this little slip of paper was in there too, written in my great grandfather’s hand, showing the dates of birth for his parents (my great, great grandparents), and their children. I met Merrill James Orr, born in 1871,  the man who wrote this, the father of my grandma ~ that’s him holding me, my mom’s on the right, my grandma’s on the left. I feel the generations behind me, and I see younger members of my family going on into the future. Such a connection. And the threads of that connection go on and on, out in all directions. Pretty soon, as you research your family tree, you start thinking you’re related to EVERYONE. Then you get your DNA done and find out you absolutely are!

And now it’s my turn to save little old pieces of paper, tiny fragments of a lifetime of memories. I guess I got that from them! 💞 Like here, in the England diary I’m now illustrating and rewriting in my “good handwriting.” You can just imagine how much I revel in the magic I feel when I write, spellbound in the dream of it (hours and clocks mean nothing), about the history we found in Enchanted England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. My pages will be peopled by spirits of the past, Winston Churchill, Beatrix Potter, Jane Austen, hill forts, stone circles, and fairy winds . . . all that and Rachel too! I’ll do it as the leaves blow, as the snow flies, as the cat naps, and when the daffodils come again, I’ll still be here in my old house, fireplace glowing, shawl pulled tight, pen noises scratching, paint brush ringing on the side of the water dish I bought in Disneyland before I knew I could paint, Jack at my side, living the dream with my boyfriend for life, loving the road, because

I kept Joe’s pumpkin for our front window . . . like keeping a light on! Never forget our fathers and grandfathers fought for this right, so that today, no matter how we came to this country, we get a say in the kind of government we want. It was EVERYTHING to them, their lives were on the line, and there’s nothing quite like it in the world. The right to vote. Honor our ancestors. Go vote, and take someone with you. Don’t think you don’t know what you’re doing, because believe me, you probably know more than most! The world has fought for civility since time began, fought to overcome human nature prone to barbarism, it hasn’t been easy, but despite all, we keep bringing it forward, so families everywhere can live in peace and prosperity. They’ve told us that we have nothing to fear but fear itself, and proved it time and time again. Because we can solve all problems when we come together. I know they’ve made it hard to tell truth from lies, the water has been muddied, even on Facebook, where we put our family photos, and share recipes! But it’s not impossible. No source is perfect but we can find a balance. When I have specific questions, I go to websites like Politifact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-finding website. They can answer almost any question, “Did such and such REALLY happen, Did he REALLY say that, Does America have open borders, What is the Caravan made up of, Which members of Congress take money from the NRA, Who IS (fill in the blank)” ~ even old questions, like “Did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction, what was the Fairness Doctrine, what happened when the banks failed?” On and on, they have researched it all. Huge help for lovers of history like me.

“All shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of thing shall be well.” 💞Julian of Norwich, the first woman in recorded history to write a book. And aren’t they the perfect words!SO, we’re going off for a walk to the water, but before we go, as promised, last but not least, NEXT Saturday, Joe and I hop on the ferry to the Mainland for the day, where I’ll be at the West Falmouth Library answering questions, signing books, and reading the first chapter of Enchanted, just like I did at the Apple Farm in California. If you’re coming, or even if you’re not, click here and please print out this name tag/bookmark. Write your name on the bottom so we’ll know each other! And yes, for everyone who’s going to be there, you each will be getting a copy of your own first chapter. I’m sorry tickets for this event are sold out, but I promise I’ll be out again in the future, and we can try again. And if you remember, waaaaaaay back when I started this post, I promised YOU a giveaway!  So here she is! To win, just leave a comment at the bottom of this post (you’ll see tiny gray words that say, “comment” ~ click there and say hello, and you will automatically be entered. And if your name is chosen, you will receive your very own signed copy of the first chapter my new book!

In fact, Kellee made me FIVE 23-page booklets, all just for you💞 . . . so, this time, there will be five winners! Yay!!! I hope one of them is YOU!

I wanted to start at The Beginning with a love story, like I did with A Fine Romance, so I did!  I hope you enjoy it!That’s it for today darling girlfriends. I shall return! Have a luv-lee evening. Keep the home fires burning!

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2,436 Responses to WE’RE HOME!

  1. Mary Younker says:

    Looking forward to your new book.

  2. Marcy says:

    Greetings from SLO! Loved your description and your pictures of Halloween night!

  3. Patricia Dorwin says:

    Love, love, love everything you publish and have for years.

  4. Diane Hunter says:

    Lovely post

  5. Glynis Thomas says:

    Love your blog, always so inspiring. Your home is so beautiful, warm and inviting. Your talent and ability to take us on your journeys is magical! Always look forward to more.

  6. Miss Marion says:

    Welcome back! Trying to post again.

  7. Jane Kuesel says:

    Loved catching up with your travels and seeing your joy in the New England Fall. Me, too — just so beautiful to be here. Looking forward to you new book1

  8. Karen Haulenbeek says:

    Heartfelt thanks for another wonderful post Susan! It’s all luv-lee, from the charming new curtains, to Joe’s ‘Vote’ pumpkin and EVERYTHING in between. May you and Joe have blessed holidays. P,S. Hope when Vanna dives in the bowl that I might be one of the Fortunate Five!

  9. Sheila says:

    I loved seeing your old family photos…what treasures you have. I noticed right away how much you look like your sweet grandma! I am so looking forward to the new book too…hugs from So. Calif. (where we’ve been going through a rough patch for sure).

  10. Sandra says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading about your Great-Gran’s association with DAR. It’s entirely possible our umpty-ump Great Grandfather’s were together with George Washington during the American Revolution. Hopefully, civility will come back into style; it’s been missing for decades.

  11. Lynne Barlow says:

    Ooooo! Let it be me this time, Lynne Barlow from Eureka Springs! I looooove your blogs and LOOOOVE my coffee cups. I bought the one with Jack and the books for my hubby, a writer, and he loves it. Your Jack is very similar to our Minnie, so it’s dear to his heart.
    P.s. I agree, the curtains without the valances are beautiful. I love that molding showing between the panels.

  12. Donna Wilder says:

    I know one thing for sure, your ancestors stand with you, by you, live through you and are incredible proud of you!

  13. Katy Welty says:

    The internet imps took my comment so I’ll post again. I love your blog! So grounding! I still have your “Reasons to Go on Living” print in the crisis office at the agency I work in. Much love from the 3 bunnies and me!

  14. Crystal Burns says:

    Dear Susan, I am very excited about your new book coming out. I have never won anything in your drawing so I will try again. I am very happily enjoying reading your blog in front of a cozy fire right now. I love to take notes about all your wonderful party ideas. You are such an inspiration on this chilly day. Love to you and your family.
    Crystal from Cannon Falls, Minnesota

    • sbranch says:

      I hope you win, the hardest part is watching Vanna choose ONE name . . . at least this time there will be five!

  15. Jennifer Graja says:

    Hello, Susan! Thank you for the grace and beauty that you bring to the world. Your blog is a cozy place to spend time!

  16. Jennifer Graja says:

    Hi Susan! I think my earlier comment did not post for some reason. Just wanted to say thank you for all the grace and beauty that you bring to this world!

  17. Debbi says:

    I love the design on the name tags.
    I think I’ll print it out as a small picture for my book shelf.
    Thank you for sharing your talents.

  18. Donna says:

    Doesn’t it feel extra good to be home after a long trip? Somehow the sheets feel crisper, the sun shines brighter and the furkids are extra loving. Welcome home.

  19. charlotte Schultz says:

    Dear Susan,
    I want to say that the new decor is lovely. I do love the new curtains, but I believe that the 2 wing chairs should have been redone in the fabric used on the curtains and valances or a solid color with pillows to match. Have a small lap throw/quilt made in the same curtain fabric to place over 1. back of one chair or the sofa. Love decorating in the Fall to cozy my home too. Married 53 years this coming February to my high school sweetheart/boyfriend. Love is grand!

  20. What a lovely, bright light you are against the darkness. Love the Halloween Party and the tricking and treating. Love the “Vote” pumpkin and Jack covering his eyes as he sleeps- my Poirot does the same. Adorabibble!

    Keep on the shining hours and small delights -they are the stuff of goodness! <3

  21. wJoann Bentson says:

    I had read your post and after going to the Hitty site and saw Hitty visited your
    reading and a little time with you; I went back and reread the blog.
    Your rooms turned out English. I love the country English look with all the
    flowers, ruffled bed skirts and rockers in front of the fireplace.
    Looking forward to reading your new book.
    Have great holidays; happy and healthy 2019.
    Joann Bentson

  22. Edie McAdoo says:

    So glad to get this new blog – and to see Jack so very happy that you are home!

  23. Beth Backus says:

    I loved reading about the history of your family. It sounds fascinating.

    One of my mother’s great+++grandfathers was the first treasurer of the United States, not Secretary of the Treasury, but the name that goes on the issued currency. Check a current ten dollar bill and you will see what I mean.

  24. Deborah Muccio says:

    I check everyday to see if you have posted an update on the web. And am so full of hope. Somedays I am disappointed. Some days I completely for get to check anything on the web. And today, voila! there it was. The way home. Your writing is always delightful.

  25. Lori Hamilton says:

    Wow, almost 3,000 comments!!!
    I love your blog, your books, your cups. I love “feeling” life with you. I love that you love our country and England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
    I don’t think we agree all the time on politics, but that’s okay. No matter which “side” we’re on I think we all want what’s best for the U.S. and each other. I refuse to call names or feel hatred toward those who think differently and one reason I come here is to soak in your positivity.
    As Booker T. Washington said, “I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”
    Happy November and thank you for writing! (Hoping to be one of the 5 giveaways!)

    • sbranch says:

      Absolutely Lori. I agree, name calling isn’t going to get us anywhere! And we have places to GO! Beautiful quote. Thank you for writing!

  26. carolyn mason says:

    welcome home! thanks for updates

  27. Rosemary Monk says:

    Hello Susan,
    Having trouble posting again, but that’s ok, I mostly just enjoy your blog, all of it. Thank you for always being here, for writing about all the beauty in our lives, your grand adventures and funny moments, and the lovely artwork–and also for saying the hard things, which at times very much need to be said. Am thrilled that you’re working on your new book, I’ll be waiting breathlessly for it to come out, but also please take your time and make it–as all your books have been–exactly what you want. Give hugs to Joe and kitty.
    As always,
    Rosemary, from somewhere north of Boston

  28. Loved this post!! So glad you came through the Berkshires on your way home too! My husband has read everyone of Phillip R. Craig books, and said he calls going off Island, going to America. He just loves that, and every time we go to the Vineyard he says that when we have to go home. Loved Joe’s pumpkin – wish we had thought of that! xo

    • sbranch says:

      We say it too, that’s funny. One time the Island tried to secede from the Union, I think in the 70s … before I got here.

  29. Cam O'B says:

    Dear Susan,
    I enjoyed this blog with all the beautiful photos of your new curtains, fall decorations and celebrating Halloween. The recipes are inspiration as are your decorating touches. Looking forward to your new book!

  30. Annette Carrozzo says:

    Dear Susan,
    I look forward to hearing from you every month! I can’t wait for your new book and artwork to come out! Your blog is balm to my soul.

  31. Phyllis says:

    Enjoyed the Halloween festivities and the “vote” pumpkin.
    The new curtains and pillows are so beautiful.
    Thank you for the recipes, some good ones there.

  32. Crystal Burns says:

    Dear Sue, I hope I can be entered into your drawing as I have not won anything yet. Really enjoyed catching up on your blog posts, thanks.

  33. MJ in MI says:

    Thanks for the giveaway Susan — can’t wait to read your new book — enjoy being home!

  34. SusanA says:

    I don’t know what happened; I’ve been subscribed to your posts for years, but all of a sudden, they aren’t showing up in my Inbox anymore. Hmmm… Anyway, today I was in need of some uplifting and realized I haven’t had a Susan Branch fix since September! I’m glad I checked in, and I’m glad you’re back home safely and joyfully to Jack and fall and coziness and Halloween fun and a winter of writing. I can’t wait for your new book!

  35. Barbara A Case says:

    Hi !!! Sooo glad to see you……have missed you bunches……reading your posts is calming….and mostly what I need these days ! The redo is lovely . Thank you Susan !!!

  36. Susan P says:

    Hello 👋. Glad you returned before old man winter arrives!

  37. Mary Revercomb says:

    Aloha Susan, I would have responded sooner but very busy on sales trip to Hawaii. Such a wonderful blog as always. So special that you share your adventures and life with us and make us all feel like we are your dear friend. Thanks so much and hope you & Joe have wonderful Thanksgiving!🍁🍗🍂💕

  38. Kathleen Williams says:

    Here I am up at 12:41 AM relaxing and reading your latest post…. it’s such a treat. Quit time. I so love it when you share your day with us … pictures and thoughts. Love your new look at home too, fresh paint, new curtains …heaven!!!
    Can’t wait for your new book. Thanks for being you Susan XXXX

  39. Christine Morgan says:

    Love the new curtains. They really lend themselves to your beautiful home. I’m sure you are happy to be home especially this time of the year. I get to make my first trip to California in January. So excited. An old girlfriend I worked with years ago was in town with her mom and we met up. It was as if no time had passed. We picked up where we left off. She invited me to visit her and I can’t wait. Time is such a mysterious thing. Thanks for a beautiful blog post. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  40. Cheryl Hubbard says:

    hello from our cosy narrowboat on the Shropshire canal xx love Cheryl

  41. Terri Major says:

    Let the Thanksgiving games begin!

  42. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Such a beautiful post! I enjoyed every picture, story, and of course Jack! Wishing you, Joe, and Jack and beautiful and peaceful holiday season. You’ve definitely started it off right with a perfect Halloween, spent with close friends and neighbors. And please thank Kellee, from me, for making the FIVE 23-page booklets, fingers crossed I’m one of the winners! ♥♥♥

  43. Rhonda J says:

    Everything I love in this post! Fall – Food – and Family history. Thank you for sharing with us. Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving!

  44. Gale Jourdet says:

    Oh ! Susan Branch I have missed you since you have been away.
    This political season has just “wrung us all out.” I needed a dose of your wonderful outlook on life..no matter what is going on, your words and welcoming emails remind me that I must look beyond the news of the day. Then I do. So glad you are back and writing to us all.
    Happy Fall to you and Happy Thanksgiving!

    P.S. I loved Joe’s VOTE pumpkin. And boy! ….did we as a nation do it! Now we must get thru whatever ugly, angry tirade will be thrown at us next. We must collectively keep the hope that this time will not last. (Impeachment or not) We simply must put our heads down for the next 2 years…do a lot of talking door to door, letter writing, marching whatever it takes to help our nation work thru this. And we must remember, no matter how atrocious it can get, we voters can go to the polls in 2020 and do it again.

    • sbranch says:

      So well said, Gale, look beyond the news of the day, to all the fine and wonderful people doing fine and wonderful things all over the world. Shining light on truth. That’s everyone’s job now. We had a continual stream of Rush Limbaugh radio lies, division, and bigotry since 1988, telling people they didn’t need to think, that he would do it for them, joined by Glen Beck, FOX TV, and about 15 radio stations, non-stop, 24-7 for 3 generations, spreading fear and lies, making up conspiracy theories, telling everyone not to trust our media or our government! Telling them west coast or east coast people don’t like our relatives and friends in the middle!!! Then, to add injury to injury, Russia joined in and used all these lies to rip us apart. And we basically did nothing. Had no twitter or blogs or Facebook, no way to fight back, we just let it happen. Time to turn on those lights and say, no, that is just not true. xoxoxo

  45. Gill Smith says:

    Hello Susan! Wow loving the new’English” curtains! How cosy the room looks with them.
    Your Halloween celebrations looked a lot of fun, we don’t have that much fun here in the UK although year by year it’s getting more popular.
    Gill Devon UK x

    • sbranch says:

      It’s a good one. Not TOO much about money involved, more about kids and fun…homemade costumes are always the best, although they sure do have some wonderful store-bought ones these days!

  46. Gill Smith says:

    Trying this short post as my last one is flying around somewhere unknown!!
    Gill Devon UKx

  47. Suzanne Maven says:

    I’m so glad to know you’re home safe and sound and back with your precious boy, Jack!! I LOVE the new curtains and all the new decor……so beautiful and SO you!
    Thank you for all the effort you put into this post, and all your posts. You teach us and inspire us. You are an absolute angel to so many of us.
    I will eagerly anticipate your new book…..I’ve loved them all.
    God Bless.

  48. Chris says:

    Love the blog. So neat going coast to coast with you as my traveling days are over.

  49. Donna Winchester says:

    I would love a copy of the first chapter of your new book😊 I can’t wait to read about your trip!!

  50. Jamie Bergeson says:

    I can not wait to read your new book!! You are such an inspiration!!

  51. christine lelacheur says:

    Susan, You made my weekend, I finally met you and Joe at the Falmouth library what a treat. Thank you, Christine

  52. Rene Marie Foust says:

    Hello and welcome home I am so happy that the leaves were still on the trees when you arrived back home. It seems that fall came late and winter is coming early here on the east coast. I love reading your blog, it inspires me and makes me feel cozy and comfortable. I cant wait to read your next book i have read them all and loved them all. I have requested that my book club, Foxy Readers Book Club read your first book and I know they will all love it just like me.

    Thanks for being an inspiration


  53. Sarah says:

    Looks like you have a very beautiful fall!

  54. Barbara Weaver says:

    I love the new curtains. They’re so cheerful and flower filled. Quite a welcome home coming gift for you! Our new windows were installed so I washed and ironed all of the curtains, rehung them, and it’s all fresh and clean now. Isn’t it a good feeling to have the windows and curtains all freshened up? Now I’m ready for the holidays! Best time of the year!

  55. Elizabeth says:

    Love your new curtains. I mean LOVE (I’d be happy to take any you’re letting go…just sayin’).

    And your house is so warm and cozy…and so Autumn perfect!
    I just love reading whatever you’re up to.
    ~Elizabeth from CA

  56. Sharon Sellers says:

    Hi Susan . I just got back from a road trip to Utah visiting my sister and in a welcome basket on my bed was a Autumn cookbook by Susan Branch . It is so beautiful I’m reading it like a novel . Your the best Sharon

  57. Brenna says:

    Oh Susan, my life is endlessly enriched through you. I don’t know how many times I’ve read ‘A Fine Romance.’ Can’t wait for this book. ❤️

  58. Patricia in NC says:

    Hi Susan,
    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, your handwriting is just as neat as your great-grandfather’s. Thanks for the wonderful post!

  59. Patricia in NC says:

    Resending…not sure if previous went through. Usually says waiting for moderation. Regardless, thanks for a wonderful post.

  60. gail kelly says:

    Hi Susan, Not sure if my comment went threw. Just in case Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble to all!!! Loved your blog as always.

  61. 🎃🍂 That Joe is a real keeper! Love the VOTE pumpkin 💛🧡💛🧡
    Attending the Michelle Obama live book interview tonight with Oprah at the United Center in Chicago. I’m so psyched ❤️
    Crossing fingers and toes that You pick me in the drawing.😍

  62. Nina says:

    Hi Susan!
    I just had my very first garage/porch sale, so I have been a bit busy. If I knew how much fun they were I would’ve had one a lot sooner. I met the nicest people! Of course, I was selling Christmas ornaments so this may have influenced the attitude of my shoppers 🙂 But boy did I have a blast talking to people, seeing what they liked, hearing their stories. I used to help my mom put up 8 trees! (a Peanuts tree, teddy bear, nutcracker, murano glass, fancy tree (Waterford, Radko), Bird tree, a family tree, and a little baby tree.. We had so much fun planning for our annual Christmas party. Now it’s time for someone else to enjoy them. I sent them out into the world hoping that they will bring as much beauty and joy as they brought my family. Hope you are enjoying the comforts of home and burrowing in deeply.

  63. Janet Conn says:


    If this is a duplicate comment, please ignore. I tried to leave a comment the other day and I wasn’t sure it worked as I was having some computer glitches. Anyway, thanks for a beautiful blog post and the chance to win one of your wonderful give-a-ways. Happy holidays to you, Joe and Jack! Welcome home.

  64. Melanie says:

    Wonderful Autumn pictures! Am halfway through ‘A Fine Romance’ and loving all the allusions. Makes me laugh and cry and want to get my watercolors back out. Just purchased ‘Summer’ this morning online.

    Do you take an interest in your genealogy? Knowing ‘who’ you are is fascinating. Where they were from isn’t nearly as important as understanding who they were and what they did – what went into making you you. Wasn’t clear but are you a member of the DAR? I am.

    Thanks for all the work that went into creating all these charming books.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not, haven’t ever applied. Not sure, maybe it gets passed down, but I don’t think so. Just learning about it all has been wonderful! SO glad you’re enjoying the book! xoxo

  65. Alisa stratton says:

    Love the tour of your home! And the spiced pecans are my favorite

  66. Audrey by the sea. says:

    Hello! What a wonderful blog post.

  67. Nancy T. says:

    Thank you so much for sharing so much with us. You are such an incredible inspiration!

  68. Denny144 says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of your new book. I know I’ll love it as much as the others.

  69. Jill Bezzant says:

    Trees were late this year. My leaf peeping relatives came too eatly.

  70. Mary D. says:

    I love the curtains without the valances. Thanks for the lovely blog. This is such nice time of year.

  71. June Fisher says:

    I’d so love to win this time, Susan, can you put in a good word for me with Vanna?

    I wish Jack could meet Cassie, they’d be a handsome couple but she doesn’t share well.
    I haven’t had curtains for years but seeing yours makes me think about it.

  72. Nancy Myers says:

    Susan – This blog post was a true cornucopia of topics, truly something for everyone! Loved it. Noticed your reference to Julian of Norwich, an inspirational woman. I’m a member of the Julian of Norwich chapter of Daughters of the King, which is an Episcopal prayer order for women. One person I’m thankful for is you, Susan. You are also an inspirational woman. Blessings!

    Nan in Kansas

  73. Patricia Ayala says:

    Hi Susan!
    It’s so wonderful to get lost in your post! So happy, silly me, but as much as I love you taking us along on your trips, makes me so relive that you and Joe are home safe with Jack! 🙂 and we get to see what you’re doing at home! ~everything looks lovely! My darling friend Susan P. went to SLO for your talk, share photos of that beautiful day, she mailed me the leaves that wrapped the cookie boxes, she assure me the cookies were delicious!! 🙂 even though I couldn’t make it, in a way I was there!
    So much happening in this world of us, just 3 miles from my home the Woolsey fire in So.Cal. and just 15 minutes the senseless shooting, the lost of young people, friends of friends and in the mist of sadness a ray of hope in love all around us!
    Thank you for all that you share!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry Patricia, these awful happenings are always on my mind these days. Bless you and everyone, pray the fires are out soon. Bless the firefighters. Amazingly brave people working so hard. xoxoxo

  74. Debbie N says:

    4th try. Crossing my fingers this one posts. Love your blog & especially your books!

  75. Candace Tufo says:

    So happy you are home safely!

  76. Irene says:

    Isn’t that Book finished yet, Susan!!! LOL We can hardly wait.
    Happy Fall~Happy Thanksgiving
    Irene and Elizabeth, too. xo

  77. Barbara says:

    I tried to leave a comment a couple days ago but I think it was lost in cyberspace! Anyway, I love everything about your new blog entry! Glad you got to enjoy the leaves in their colorful beauty when you got back home. Our leaves held on much longer than usual too this year. I love your new curtains, either way you have them, but I do like the more informal look without the valances. Loved seeing the trick or treaters, and what a fun night that must have been.Now we have Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas soon to follow. Hope you have a great rest of the week and are enjoying the Autumn weather!

  78. Jennifer Calvert says:

    Curtain crises, decorating dilemmas! Your thoughts remind me of my first foray into window treatment. This was in the 1960’s in my earth-mother, early-marriage days. Our sofa was orange and brown tweed and our wing chair an orange and brown crewel print. My choice of art was a Bernard Buffet reproduction featuring wine bottles and (get this!) a big ORANGE pumpkin.

    Thus equipped, I went out to purchase draw draperies for the large picture window. And WHAT LUCK! I found ORANGE ones! (Be still my beating heart!) I hurried home and hung them. Then I stepped back, expecting to be knocked out by the wonderfulness, but I was, instead, knocked out by the terribleness! Even I, a total novice (decorating dummy), realized I’d made a huge mistake. TOO MUCH OF A MUCHNESS! I took them down quickly, rushed back to the drapery store and threw myself on their mercy. They kindly let me return them, allowing me an exchange for plain off-white. WHEW!

    So know, darling Susan, we relate to your struggles and think you are brave to share them. You are a bright light in this world, a phenomenal inspiration to us whatever your decor. And we love you lots and lots.

    Tennessee Jennifer

  79. Suzanne Less says:

    Dear Susan
    So good to have you home. It was fun to follow along on your train trip. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you so much for sharing the trip and your family and Mom with all of us. Been to England , and your new curtains look lovely in your pink dining room. Just the right touch for your pretty house. I wish you, Joe, and precious Jack a blessed Thanksgiving . Love that Jack! I will cat sit him anytime you want. Thank you for being an inspiration to all.
    All the best always, God bless,

  80. Flossy Stewart says:

    So looking forward to your next book, Susan, especially about your visit to Scotland…my husband of almost 50 years ( Dec 7th ♡ ) is originally from Blair Atholl, Scotland…love to you, Joe and Jack…

  81. susan cowles says:

    Love your drapes,just beautiful! I have always enjoy your travels especially New England as I once lived there!! Loved your blog about Jack and Halloween!! I am so enjoying your mugs, just love them!! My tea taste wonderful in them!!
    Take care! Susan

  82. JoEllen Bendall says:

    Darling girl, I’m sliding in under the wire! Such a week. And now, just minutes ago, I decide I’m n having Thanksgiving! What?! My house is a wreak. No new curtains, but painting, which means emptying china & books… Their will be YOUR side dishes, & onion pie from Gladys Taber, and my grandmother’s dressing (which is identical to YOUR grandmother’s dressing!). I LOVE YOUR CURTAINS, Just for the record. However u sort them out, your house will welcome them with all it’s heart. xx

  83. Holly Field says:

    Hello! So glad you made home safe & sound. Jack is adorable once again. My boy cat, Henry, does that cute arm over eyes while sleeping….. Just too sweet. We have one new wee kitty, 6 weeks old. She likes the name Molly.
    Since I’ve been ill for a long while now, I’ve worked on genealogy. All my ancestors arrived around 1620, some to MA, others to Baltimore & Charleston. Most came for religious freedom, some for business, but they all wanted to own land & be free.. They all came from Scotland. One MacDonald man married himself into the Cherokee clan by marrying the chief’s daughter. I even found Chief Moytoy’s portrait. Most of the paperwork was easy thanks to ancestry.com and that all lines but one lead to royalty. Those folks kept good records. I too love to imagine the people in their place in time.
    I think autumn waited for you to make it home. Here in IN we still have color too. Usually it’s gone by now. Ttfn

    • sbranch says:

      Remarkable Holly, isn’t it fun to unravel the lines? To a certain extent … after a while I realized we’re all related! I hope your illness is backing off, leaving you alone, sending blessings and love xoxoxo

  84. Emma says:

    🍂Dear Susan.
    This blog- post has everything I love about your blog:
    a little history, a little travel, lots and lots about home and heart and food,
    and all of it is realy about HYGGE.
    So thankful for you and all of your sweet girlfriends.
    Love from Emma in Norway🍂

    • sbranch says:

      Hello Emma! I’m so glad you came to comment and sign up for the giveaway! Say hello to Norway for me! xoxo

  85. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    “Thank You” for always being brave and sharing your heart and soul with us. Little bits of “Susan Branch” is sprinkled all over this world and that’s a good thing! YoU did good and wishing you a “pork chop” day! 😚✨ love you my hero!

  86. Mim says:

    Thank you, can’twait to win!

  87. Genie in NC says:

    Like Jack, one of our two cats also occasionally sleeps with one paw covering his face. (How cute is that!) Finding the ‘treasures’ of your mom’s was touching. I have old greeting cards, rationing stamps from the Depression, and so much more from my mom. It certainly brings history to life, and ties our heart strings to the women who came before us in our family line — the women who now ARE us.

  88. Patti Reed says:

    So happy to enter the giveaway. I really can’t wait for this book to come out!

  89. Ginette Wheeler says:

    Susan so sorry it’s taken me soooo long to get to read your post, I always look forward to reading it the minute you post but this time I kept saving it for “a better day” and honestly today is the first day I’ve had off mother duty in two weeks. My mother has been showing all the signs of dementia, the memory loss, the mood swings and impaired reasoning (that’s the worst). Her doctor found a suspicious mole that was confirmed skin cancer and that sent her into quite a state and put me into the position of trying to reason and get her taken care of which was an hour by hour battle. She finally had the procedure and as she waits to have her stitches removed she goes in and out of reality and made up scenarios that result in countless phone calls and much needed reassurance.

    On top of that I live in Florida, FLORIDA where once again the voting is a mess and at a recount though I feel it will not go in our favor in the end. I’m at least grateful for the gains in the house and hope our country can get to fixing the real problems at hand!

    But enough about me, YOU and your wonderful post!! It just brightens my day and gives me much food for thought, literally and metaphorically! I see you in your grandmothers’ photo, what a treasure to have that box of goodies! Glad you and Joe are home safe and Jack has his Mommy and Daddy back, he’s so adorable and takes such good pictures. Looking forward to your new book! XOXO

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I’m so sorry about your mom, Ginette! I hope you’re going to do something just for you today. And hopefully they will hurry up and finish counting the vote . . . but I heard the machines were breaking down. What I don’t understand is after the last time, why didn’t Florida get new machines? You just want to grab someone by the collar! Yes, wonderful to be home! To be back with Jack. Sending you love, and hoping things calm down for you soon!

  90. Pam Butterick says:

    Susan, I waited for 45 minutes of pure peace to read this, and found it this morning, on the Island Home, crossing the Sound. I loved every detail…it would take a blog of my own to single out everything I would NEED to comment on!😍.
    Thank you for you wonderfully eloquent words and pictures and paintings of inspiration. ❤️🇺🇸🎨🎶❤️

  91. Tina Lemke says:

    Welcome home! Thank you for taking us along another train ride across the country and back again! The Halloween party was wonderful! I could almost smell the goodies! And then there’s Jack! Luv him!

  92. Lee Ann says:

    Glad your home safe! Love seeing the fall colors in your pictures. Don’t get much of that here!

  93. Denise S says:

    Susan dear, This was one of you best blogs yet. Fall photos, Halloween photos, family history, and Jack. But especially wow for me was curtain talk. I’ve been through the same decision making in the past. Thanks for including the process. I love the way it all turned out!

  94. Fiona Jorgensen says:

    Hello Susan,
    Another wonderful blog post, I love reading about all your adventures and it would be great to win your giveaway.
    Best wishes,

  95. Gail Marshall says:

    Dear Susan
    Your blog makes my heart sing
    Thank you ❤️

  96. Diane Profy says:

    Love reading and seeing all of this…as always! Love the curtains….especially in the guest room!
    Never doubt your power to make us feel a part of something safe, fun, and inspirational!

  97. Becky Foutz says:

    I love all your books, but don’t own any of them yet, so it would be lovely to win one!

  98. Wendi DeClercq says:

    Always lovely to read your posts! Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe!

  99. Jessica Tron says:

    I love everything you write, draw, paint and share!! You have a way of transporting the reader to where you are! Have a very blessed Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing you lovely home, ( and new curtains!) with us.
    I would love to be a “winner” if it’s in the cards…

  100. Eleanor Botts says:

    In your Halloween postings you mentioned that “Carol brought Dry Bones.” What are these? This KY girl doesn’t know. Enjoy this blog so much. Ellen B.

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