Hello Everyone! Rabbit-Rabbit! Happy October!🎃 It’s really Autumn! MUSICA for falling leaves . . .

I’m inspired by our daily walks through the sun-dappled woods to the sea, leaves are just beginning to turn, drifting from trees, smells of compost and salty air, gulls swooping and calling, woodsmoke on the wind, coming home to my own harvest kitchen . . . 

Once again I have too much to tell you for one blog! There’s our trip to the Hudson River with Rachel and Paul who flew over from England, the Red Lion Inn, the Norman Rockwell Museum, the amazing studio of Daniel Chester French who designed the Lincoln Memorial, our adventures with FOOD, and so much more! Ray and I saw Downton! Each of these stories is a blog post all by itself! Plus Cookies! The fall garden! And, there’s FREE STUFF! (Done, click there for fall gifties!) I’m going to have to save some of this for next time. Just wanted you to know it’s lurking . . . First off, three 🎥 quickies:We bravely went to see Quentin Tarantino newest movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood . . . turns out, it’s one of those movies you can’t quit thinking about! Changes history brilliantly. So fun to talk about afterward. Go if you can. (One girlfriend said Brad Pitt on the roof was worth the price of the movie! Yessss!) Peeking through fingers only required toward the end, it’s Tarantino after all, but you will know, and it’s all SO worth it. We also went to Lowely’s house last night 🍿 and watched Richard Curtis movie Yesterday. Pure Sweetness and Light. Has Lily James in it. Music makes you cry. Isn’t it nice, Yesterday, like Downty, HUGE financial successes without violence! Hope for the world!!! And another to come, Renee Zellweger staring as Judy Garland, in theaters now or soon! (See how I am ~ yak-yak ~ We’ll never get out of here.)

SO! Here we go! We picked up Ray and Paul in Boston ~ there they were, all smiles and hugs. We threw their bags into the car and off we went, four old friends, hill and dale, on back roads through the NEW England Countryside, talk-talk-talking, to our first stop…the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, for lunch.

There’s our table . . . and if you love wallpaper like I love wallpaper, you are a happy camper at this moment. See the teapots on the shelf in the window lights? It’s what they do at the historical Red Lion Inn.

Paul and Joe are best friends. These talented boys can cook! Which they did for us in our rented house . . . they are ALL about the newspapers and food, maps and curiosity. What’s not to love.💘

The front porch of the Inn . . . we had wonderful weather! We ate here twice, on our way to, and on our way back.

You would recognize this town if you’re familiar with Norman Rockwell illustrations. For years his studio was on the second floor of a building right here in the middle of town. He thought Stockbridge was the prettiest small town in New England. 

Spectacularly charming, could move right in.

So pretty, in the most old-fashioned way. I knew you would like this.

And of course, they have an Inn cat, aptly named “Norman” ~ probably the most spoiled cat in the history of the world as he gets petted about 3,000 times a day! Add me to the multitudes.

We rented a house in Hudson, New York  . . (the one on the right! Just wanted you to see the leaves!). It’s owned by a Scottish woman named “Morag” ~ she showed us around, highlighting the “reason she bought the house,” a wonderful PANTRY, filled with dishes and every pot, pan, and cooking utensil known to man, a girl after own heart . . . her walls were covered with art, her bookcases spilled over with books about everything we love, Beatrix Potter, British cookery books, antiques, gardens, on and on.

She showed us where to put the veg peelings, egg shells and coffee grounds . . . this little notice was framed on the wall in the kitchen, we decided, yes for sure, she is PLU (People Like Us). We loved the house.

It had a porch perfect for sitting, being served by husbands, tea and toast, or dishes of cheese and biscuits, wine and nuts, and lots of newspapers.

Way too much to see in this part of the country for the one week we were there. We never even went north, despite the clear glories of doing so, but time restrictions kept us seeing as much as we could, going south and crossing back and forth over the Hudson River . . . The good news is, we didn’t come near to seeing everything. We’ll have to go back!

We mostly ate, but when we weren’t eating, we visited homes, gardens, and museums (and the gift shops) of local heroes . . . filling ourselves with beauty and history.

Here we are at Olana, home of Frederick Edwin Church, famous landscape artist of the Hudson Valley (look at his view! No wonder!) who I knew almost nothing about, except I’m related to him! ( strikes again!)

House was filled with art, but a bit dark ~ quite a nice gift shop . . . the outdoors was luv-lee. 

More quick pics . . . Joe and Ray in the kitchen!

Me in Rhinebeck.

Us, out and about.

Downtown Hudson.

Sweet photo of Paul and Ray . . .

Lunch on the porch of the historic Liberty Public House in Rhinebeck, New York. We had such a wonderful time.

Really and truly, all we did was eat . . . Delicious restaurants in Hudson, this was a place called “Swoon Kitchen Bar.” Which we definitely did swoon! We also loved La Perche. And P.S., excellent shopping and a GORGEOUS church in Hudson. Lots of antique stores too! (Paul’s eye was bothering him, so we got him a patch. He looked so cute in it, we thought he should keep it forever! Swashbuckling! We all started saying things like, Arrrgh, aye, and bucko.)

Here’s our boys making dinner . . . Mas Musica . . .(The voice of Martha’s Vineyard if it could sing) . . .🎶

. . . while grateful girls hang out on porch, toast the guys, read books, solve world problems, and do Twitter.

Fruits of their labors! Delicious, salmon, baked squash, scalloped potatoes, salad, and . . .

For dessert, Joe’s absolute FAVORITE, Friendly’s (he knows their whole history), “Forbidden Chocolate” and “Vienna Mocha Chunk.”As you know . . .

If you’re going to this neck of the woods, be sure to save time for the antique stores. They’re everywhere!

Filled with lovely useful things, perfect for recyclers. . . just waiting for adoption.

Of course we stopped at farm stands ~ had to have Cider donuts! Covered in crunchy sugar!

Picked up our favorite local Honey Crisp apples, must be a cup of apple juice in these juicy things!🍎

Got these too, to put over our front door!

Took Ray to Wal-mart to get little things they can’t find in England . . . grape jelly and Pam Vegetable Spray! Paul got a new hat! There’s so much more to tell you ~ it was awful to say goodbye to them, we live so far apart, but I know you know that. It’s never over for us, there will always be a next time.🚢 So much to look forward to! There she is, at her house! But what I have to do now is go to Physical Therapy for my wrist in about an hour! I want to mail this out to you first, and I have MORE, so let’s change the subject to . . . Home Sweet Home and

I was making cookies … so I set the butter out to come to room temperature, then “helped” Joe put up the pumpkins . . . my job was taking pictures!

Pumpkins above the door are a tradition for this old house . . .🎃

And one for the kitchen porch.

Then out to the garden I went to gather some flowers for my little vases. Our garden is showing signs of age …

But still filled with fall color . . . We planted lots of different kinds of lettuce and kale ~ the easy way, with a couple six-packs of starts. We’ll pick fresh leaves for salads until the first heavy frost!

Tiny vases on window sills cheer a person up.


Happiness is . . .

Our boy on the ironing board . . . My shadow . . .

My favorite dishes for Autumn needed a good washing . . . Having a birthday party for Martha next week, so I’ll use my Johnson Brothers “Windsorware” (Made in England, just down the block from where our cups are made!) because they make a beautiful table.

Into the dishwasher they go! Purple goes great with all fall colors!

And this doll.💋 Water’s boiling, tea for me, tea for Joe . . . and now . . . the butter is soft, ready for creaming with sugar to make . . .

Years ago I was at a party and someone served butter cookies that looked like candy corn. I thought they were darling. I’ve been meaning to try to figure out how it was done for years, and yesterday was the day!And you do it with Home Cooking . . . and fall is the perfect time! Cooking, planting lettuce, and putting flowers in vases are very wonderful ways of reducing stress. A win-win every time!

They didn’t turn out quite perfect, shape-wise, but still cute, and they tasted delicious . . . I did learn how . . . so I’ll show you and you can do better!

I used my recipe for Butter Cookies (Annie Hall’s) in my Christmas Book on p. 82 (for you that have that book ~ but I’ll also put the recipe at the end of this post). First, with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the egg yolks and vanilla . . . so easy!

Sift the flour and salt together (you see my mother’s daughter here in the folded pieces of wax paper . . . she always used them at least twice, folded them up and saved them for the next time ~ so me too). Like our New England grandmothers said, “Make do, or do without.”

Then beat the flour into the butter . . .

You want to just bring the dough together (with your hands if necessary), because there’s extra mixing when you add the food coloring . . . But first divide the dough in half, then divide the other half into one-third and two-thirds pieces ~ so you have small, medium, and large chunks of dough. Set them aside.

I was so enthralled with this part I almost forgot to take pictures, but with a combination of mixer and kneading, you add the food coloring. You add more than you think because baking softens the color and you want it strong, keep putting drops of coloring in until you get it right (start with at least 8 drops of each color), mix dough only as much as you have to. The largest piece should be nice bright yellow. The two-thirds piece will be orange (as in photo above, mixture of red and yellow coloring), and the smallest will remain “white” or dough-colored.

You’re basically looking for this.

Once colored, lay out a piece of clean wax paper, roll the pieces between your hands into 10″ rolls, all three the same length. Put the yellow on the bottom, the orange on top of the yellow, the plain on top of that.

So it’s like this. You can gauge your colors from this photo . . . very bright when raw, but kinda perfect when cooked.

Then you mold your shape. Here’s where I would have made changes, while the dough was still nice and soft, I would have smoothed the seams a bit, and widened the bottom by pushing down on the top a little more.

It does NOT have to be perfect for cuteness, but afterwards, I drew the shape you should aim for . . . the cookies don’t change shape much while baking, so what you see is what you get. Once you get your rolls pushed into shape, wrap the dough in waxed paper and put it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. When ready, preheat oven to 350º and slice off the end of the roll for as many cookies as you wish to make. Place them on an UN-greased cookie sheet, bake 10-12 minutes, but do not brown the bottoms.

Mine, all chilled, and ready to go in. And because they are now so cold and firm, it’s not a good time to attempt changing the shape.

Here they are cooling on our kitchen table, and if I do say myself, DELICIOUS. Took them to movie night at Lowely and John’s last night and they loved them too.

But you can do a better job of shaping, and I will too, next time! Living and learning.😘Now, here’s where it gets crazy, because I have to go! I’ll be back later and put the recipe right here at the bottom of this post, so if you want it, come on back and here it will be! Wrist got its morning exercise! Going to get it bent back into shape, just like the cookies! Love you girls, still More To Come for the PLU. That means YOU. 💞 P.S. Speaking in Edgartown, MA Oct. 26, read all about it here, just in cases you’ll be on Martha’s Vineyard ~ so much going on for the Food and Wine Festival! 😘 Okay, zee recipe ~ Here we go, I halved it, but if you make the whole thing you’ll get 6-7 dozen cookies.


  • 2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Yellow and red food coloring

With an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix well. Sift flour and salt together and beat into butter mixture until mixed. Use your fingers to gather the dough into a ball. Divide dough in half, then divide one of the halves into 1/3 and 2/3 pieces. You’ll have 3 hunks of dough, small, medium, and large. Poke holes in the large piece, and put in drops of yellow food coloring, at least 8 drops to start. Break the dough up a bit in the bowl and use mixer to spread the strong color evenly. Make a ball. Do the same with the medium size piece ~ use yellow and red to make a good strong orange. Leave the smallest piece natural. Because I halved the recipe, I made each color of dough into a 10″ roll, but if you make the whole recipe, you’ll need to make two sets of 10″ rolls (otherwise they’ll be so long they won’t fit in the fridge). Put the orange roll on top of the yellow roll, the white on top of the yellow. Look at the drawing I did. You’ll see you need to mold the sides in so it’s wider on the bottom, narrower on the top, top should be rounded. You can do this! It’s fun! Wrap it up, put it in the fridge for 4 hours, or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350º … cut the dough into 1/2″ slices, put them on ungreased cookie sheet, about 1″ apart. Bake 10 min, but don’t brown them. Remove baked cookies from pan while still warm and cool, onto sheets of waxed paper. Ta daah! (And don’t forget, same recipe works for all your cookie cutter recipes!)You can sign up HERE to have this blog delivered to your email box! And one more thing! (Do I keep saying that?)

Remember this happiness from last Christmas?

Guess what! I searched and searched, because we had so much fun with these colorful necklaces, I wanted to find them for you, and I DID! For as long as they last, first come, first serve. They made our dinner sparkle!The Christmas tree garland too (hanging on the mirror), and doves! We just got a new supply, getting ready!

Okay, I think now I’m really done. Hope you all have a WONDERFUL day. Making home a wonderful place, deep breathing, stopping to smell the flowers, and remembering all the ways we’ve been blessed.💖 

This is for our girlfriend Nicoline . . . Rachel’s Lemon Butter Cookies in the darling Chinese version of A Fine Romance, coming your way soon, Nicoline!💖

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417 Responses to IT’S REALLY AUTUMN

  1. Beth L says:

    YES! to your mama’s wise ways….
    …and mine too! as I was raised to endlessly RECYCLE nearly all Wax Paper AND Aluminum Foil…I have a drawer devoted to both! Completely baffles my husband when there are new rolls in the cupboard! Haha! I kinda think it makes All Kitchen Creations taste better! And both trump plastic wrap…ugghhh.
    Cookies look so Fun and Delish!

  2. Laurie Walt says:

    Those cookies are darling! Must try! Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip, it looked like a great time with great friends❤️ Love.

  3. Jean Runion says:

    Enjoyed reading the blog. So many interesting places you were with your friends! I haven’t read it for sometime. Feels like being right there with you. Thanks for an enjoyable read. Until next time……..

  4. Maryellen says:

    What a lovely vacay getaway with special friends. I am making a list of these restaurants, because you know, PLU love to eat our way through our time away! And the perfect time of year, too. What fun! Hoping that wrist gets bent back quickly, it must be so frustrating. Although sitting on the porch while those two gorgeous guys cook meals and fix snacks sounds pretty heavenly, too.

  5. Kitty DeMento says:

    What a beautiful post and I loved reading about your travels!
    I used to read Trixie Belden books when I was young and it all takes place in the Hudson River Valley where Julie Campbell, the author, lived. I have always wanted to visit!
    Your home with the pumpkins placed above the door is when your house first found me. What a wonderful memory!!!
    Thank you again for the post!!!!💗

    • sbranch says:

      I love that my house found you! Just like this island reached out, 3,000 miles, and grabbed me by the heart! xoxoxo

  6. Carole Coler Dark says:

    Love getting my “letter”… makes me so happy… fills my heart…

  7. Monica Wilson says:

    Oh, every bit of your trip looked just lovely. I admire how you always find the best places to stay, eat, and shop. It looked like a lovely time with gorgeous weather! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures, as always! So fun to travel vicariously with you, Susan!

  8. Gail Yard says:

    What a fun read. Although, in Pennsylvania, we will hit the 90s tomorrow, there is a promise of cool weather to come. The warm weather has allowed the monarch butterflies to remain in the area, covering the butterfly bushes, where there are still blossoms.
    Your blog has inspired me to try to make the butter cookies, too.
    Thank you for sharing your trip. It looked like great fun.
    Happy Fall!

  9. Betsy Brunette says:

    The lighted necklaces…..are you selling them or helping us know where to order them?

  10. Judi says:

    An absolutely spirit-lifting sit down visit with you, Joe and your friends. Thank you Susan!

  11. Grace Arjona-Ramirez says:

    I love your posts! Thank you for sharing ~ helps make the world a cheerful, peaceful, hopeful place. Very grateful for you, shining your light so brightly.✨
    My hub & I also viewed, and absolutely loved, the Tarantino movie. I too was “warned” by my son to close my eyes or view through my fingers for the last few minutes, lol. But what a wonderful film that focuses – in spite of that horrific tragedy – on Sharon Tate’s innocence & joy; we felt her so beautifully portrayed. We left the theater feeling happy. Thank you so much once again for your lovely posts!

    • sbranch says:

      I know. It was so good. Loved all the characters really, thinking it over afterward, they had so much depth. Piece of true art, that one!

  12. What a delightful way to spend a week. Someday I will visit New England for real. Since my sister has moved to Quebec it doesn’t seem so far away. I love the pumpkins above the door. You mustn’t have to worry about the wind toppling them off.

  13. So newsy and fun to read!

  14. Kate says:

    Stockbridge was one of my husband’s and my favorite vacations. We toured Norman Rockwell’s museum and walked the streets he walked. We bought curtains at the little curtain store they had at the time at the Red Lion Inn. My husband and I got lost in the Inn and ended up back in the kitchen where the chef was talking to his staff. He was rather surprised to see us. We said, “Sorry,” and kept on going. It’s certainly a beautiful part of the country and a darling town. Would love to go back.

  15. Diane Singleton says:

    So fun to read,so bubbly just like Susan!

  16. Judi Becker says:

    Dear Susan, Ah, your Hudson Valley trip with Special Friends looks so lovely. It must’ve been hard to see them off, back to England. I enjoy all your posts always, this one had so many extra goodies, the recipe, and also your Freebies. Love the bookmark and stationery. This time the stationery printed out 6″ X 7 1/4″, is there a way to make it 8 1/2 X 11 as in the past? I hope sometime you’ll offer the seagull stationery again, I only printed out one and sent it to a seaside friend and now wish I had another sheet or two. Many thanks for your inspiring and thoughtful blogs! Happy Autumn! Hugs, Judi

  17. Emily from the Berkshires says:

    Your recent trip looks like it was truly wonderful! I may be a bit biased, though. How funny that I mentioned being from the region and it ended up being your destination! I love Olana and The Red Lion Inn, especially. My fiancé and I have celebrated a few of our anniversaries there. I always admire the teapots and look for sweet little Norman. You should see the gingerbread/candy inn they display at Christmastime! Thank you for sharing another delightful post, Susan. They are always a joy to read. Enjoy your October!

  18. Edwina H. says:

    Thank you for sharing the lovely photos of the Hudson Valley. It brought back wonderful memories of boating days on the Hudson River. Also enjoyed seeing photos of The Stockbridge Inn…more precious memories from years ago. Happy Fall!

  19. Siobhan in Santa Monica says:

    I sigh deeply with happiness. 🥰


    Once again, our minds have thought alike. My family and I traveled the Hudson River Valley a few years ago staying in Rhinebeck at the old Beekman Arm’s Inn, visiting extraordinary Kykuit, FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt’s home sites, and then moving on to Lenox and visiting the Red Lion Inn. Edith Wharton’s The Mount, Chesterwood, the Crane’s stationery site, and finally on to the Deerfield Inn and beautiful historic Deerfield. And all at the peak of the magnificent fall season! Life is good, my friend!

    Charlotte Klamer
    Williamsburg, VA

  21. Dixie Reimold says:

    Loved the Red Lion..lived in Boston for several yrs. and passed thru the Berkshires on my frequent trips back to PA…alas and alack, seriously meant to Stop …but never did..always watching the Clock..the wallpaper, the tea cups, the porch and charming. And the eating! So Fun with Friends. Thanks for sharing! Good to see Jack!

  22. Raynette Cornejo says:


  23. Ruth Elder says:

    It’s been a bad day here. Adding more stress I didn’t need. This post, as I’m heading to bed, has put a smile on my face, a tear in my eye, given me music that I loved, and reminded me of what is important. Love, friends, family, home. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  24. linda matera says:

    Thank you for letting me travel with you.
    I live just about 1 1/2 hours from Stockbridge..My husband & i have been taking day trips for years to sit on The Red Lion Inn porch…On Birthdays & an Anniversery we would stay overnight.
    Sadly i lost the Love Of My Life in May….Our trips together will be my favorite memories.
    Love your pictures & stories & of course love your mugs…
    Looking forward to your next Blog—Linda from Connecticut

  25. Karen L. Sullivan says:

    Susan, I loved the blog and you are looking fabulous. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Dena says:

    Thanks for the advice on movies, Il have to go see them, Always love a good chick flick. Wondering did you see the Downton abbey movie yet,? I saw the sneak preview and was given a mini snow globe with the Downton house it. LOVED the movie, if you haven’t seen the movie its a must!!!

  27. Susan Thompson says:

    I just LOVE reading (and seeing) your blog!

  28. Mary Cunningham says:

    Your candy corn cookies are whimsically fun! Is that a word? Buttery sugar cookies are perfect for any occasion and Autumn is certainly an occasion! Happy Fall, love your tiny pumpkin queue greeting your guests.Enjoy the crisp atmosphere coming your way!

  29. Martha Lane says:

    What a lovely escape from reality! I wish we had your cool temps, we are still in the 90’s here and in despite need of rain. Luckily next week rain is on the way and so is a drop in the temperature. Fall is my favourite season and I am more Han ready for it! Glad to hear that your wrist is doing well.

  30. Pat Harmon says:

    Love, love, all of it! Candy corn is my fave theme for fall. I made similar cookies last year
    🧡🍂🎃🍁💛. May rehab restore completely, dear Susan.

  31. Annelies says:

    Always so delightful…..and remembering meeting you and Joe last year at this time. Lovely
    Apple Farm and a heart full of memories. Oma just had her 97th birthday. I am certain the secret to longevity is endless birthday cakes and celebrations. I am so blessed. We both send kisses for you both …..and maybe Oma sends an extra kiss for Joe. Try not to be jealous 😘

    • sbranch says:

      No one would ever guess she is 97! And Joe’s right here, blowing kisses back! Tell her! 👏😘

  32. Marge says:

    Oh! This has been for me one of the most delightful reads in a while. Although your blog is forever interesting, this one had Brits, food, old houses, antiques, cats, art, tea, dishes, and so many more favorite things! You and Joe are LUV LEE people! Thanks again!

  33. Pam Erselius says:

    Hi Susan,
    Did you write that “My kitchen…” poem at the bottom? Lovely.
    It’s fun to see your books in another language! Maybe you could post others. I was wondering if that Chinese writing was cute and charming like yours is in English. I imagine so but I can’t tell. I wonder if the editor had to go interview Chinese people to find a charming font.
    Regarding shaping the candy corn cookies, perhaps you could make the small end very pointed. It will probably curve in the baking process. Also I’ve seen the dough rolled flat in 3 long abutted strips (white orange yellow). Then they’re cut zigzagged(/\/\/\) so when they’re done the bottoms and tops have alternate colors. CHEERS!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes I did write that 😁 thank you Pam. Everyone who reads Chinese, which isn’t me, has told me they did a wonderful translation. So that’s what I’m going on! It really does look cute anyway! They told me they would use the “charm” font … but, LOL, it all looks the same to me, like tiny pictures! The cookies didn’t change size at all in baking…they aren’t spreaders.

  34. Melisss Quarles says:

    So happy you got to see my part of the world…Hudson Valley is so lovely!

  35. Geri from Delaware says:

    Thank you once again for sharing your travels with us..
    I love reading about the trip (and the food!) and seeing all the photos. I love falkland loved this post.

  36. Karen Baron says:

    You have done it again another superb blog!! 🍁🧡

  37. Nettie says:

    Oh my goodness I love this blog!!! I adore Stockbridge and the Red Lion Inn and all things New England!!!
    Such fun. Happy for you❤️

  38. Eileen says:

    Made me sooooo homesick for Massachusetts… also for a short time lived on the Hudson River across from Rhinebeck. Enjoy your newsletters very much.

  39. Diane T says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely blog post! Must visit the Hudson Valley and Stockbridge, MA!!!

  40. Linda Lee Miller says:


    What a fabulous get-away! Stockbridge looked so neat, especially in autumn. And the Red Lion Inn must have been filled with history. Loved the antique shops, quaint restaurants, and delicious food. Your photos captured all the fun and adventures that you had. Thank you for taking us along! Candy corn cookies are adorable…I will give them a try! Happy October!

  41. Amy from Salem says:

    What a wonderful surprise for the 1st of October, a new blog from you. Loved hearing about your travel with friends. I love New England in the fall. Thanks for the cookie recipe idea I think I will try making some for the annual Halloween party with my quilty ladies. Our leaves stated turning a week or so ago here in Salem which is what I look forward to, I love the Autumn.

  42. Margaret R Harke says:

    I’ll be in Edgartown for just part of a day Oct. 10 with a tour group. Hope I can soaked up as much of the atmosphere of the area as possible in such a short time. So looking forward to this trip. Have a 9th great grandfather buried on the island, Nicholas Norton 1610-1690.
    Thank you for the wonderful, as usual, blog. Love reading the blogs with either a glass of wine or a cup of tea. Great entertainment!

    • sbranch says:

      One of my dear island Girlfriends is Laura Norton ~ almost certainly related to you . . . she lives in Indiana now, but her dad is still here, and her g. grandmother’s house on the water. Lots of Hortons here. Have FUN!

  43. Pam Malnati says:

    I live quite near Stockbridge in the Berkshires. I so wish I could have met you. I could have shown you more local treasures.
    Your blog is just about the only email I love to see in my mailbox.
    Thank you for writing it!
    Best warm regards,

  44. Julie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your adventure in words and pictures, I just love reading your blog 🙂 also, thank you for the possibility to change the wallpaper, I just change mine for your lovely birds, so I will feel good every time I open my computer :). I wish you a great autumn with fantastic colors!

  45. Michelle Colwell says:

    What would holidays be without Susan Branch?

  46. Jennifer says:

    Just love reading your wonderful beautiful blog. I’m not sure I’ve said it before, but
    Thank you so so much for doing this for us, all your work and effort is truly appreciated. I can’t imagine the time it must take to make such a scrumptious blog. Love love it.
    PS The only time I’ve ever disagreed with anything you’ve ever posted – thought the movie was absolutely dreadful, the ending? Sorry…

    • sbranch says:

      Probably if we sat down and talked about it. . . I’d end up agreeing with you! But didn’t you love the change of history? I came out a bit wistful, which is strange considering the crazy way it ends. Now I even laugh at it, it was so ridiculously over the top. But what a good boy Brad Pitt’s character was. In the weirdest way possible. You are welcome for the blog, my pleasure. Love the connections here!

  47. Ruth Winkler says:

    Thank you for showing such lovely photos Happy of The Red Lion Inn. My husband and I have spent weekends there and sat in those rocking chairs on the porch. We visited the Rockwell museum too and loved it. Jane Fitzpatrick who owned the Inn plus the Country Curtains was born and grew up here in Cuttingsville, Vermont. The Fitzpatricks have passed on and their children are taking good care of the properties. Loved seeing Jack and you and Joe and special friends. Happy Autumn.

  48. Helen says:

    Looks like a lovely trip. I need to get back to the Red Lion Inn one of these days. I have a wonderful teapot from the store. Happy Fall!

  49. Angie says:

    How on earth did you ever find this quaint little town? I love that these places still exist. How fun. Yet another trip for me to add to my bucket list. You look great, by the way. Keep up the healthy eating.

    • sbranch says:

      New England has a LOT in common with Olde England. Lots of charming villages. Just get off the freeway and there they are! Thank you Angie!

  50. Mary in Oregon says:

    I loved your quote by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Did you see they have done a remake of The Secret Garden that will come out in 2020, starring Colin Firth?! I’m going to see Downton in 2 days … then Little Women in December … and then I can look forward to The Secret Garden. Very exciting. Fall is beginning to show her colors here in the Pacific Northwest and I’m tickled. Thanks for your lovely tour of the Northeast … I feel so well rounded.


  51. Daniela Medina says:

    HI, love the picture of the porch at red lion inn, remind me a scene of the age of innocence, when Newland and Ellen drink tea and talk about their situation, I almost can say is the same place.Thank you for take us to your trips, I enjoy a lot. 🙂

  52. Dixie Johnson says:

    So envious of your fall weather! The Memphis area is still in the 90s! We were in Stockbridge in 1972 & Mrs Norman Rockwell was our guide thru the house where the Rockwell paintings were at that time! Thank you for the charming blog!

    • sbranch says:

      I heard you’re getting warmest temps EVER for this time of year! Us too, 80 in Boston today. Stay cool, hopefully this too shall pass!

  53. Barbara Vlcek-Vinikow says:

    Hi Susan! Autumn Greetings to you and Joe and Jack!
    I love how you love poetry…I do, too! Since I was a little girl and read “A Child’s Garden of Verses”. Years ago, when I was in college (yes, an English Lit major), I found the following poem titled “Autumn Days” by Will Carleton:

    Yellow, mellow, ripened days,
    Sheltered in a golden coating;
    O’er the dreamy, listless haze,
    White and dainty cloudlets floating;
    Winking at the blushing trees,
    And the sombre, furrowed fallow;
    Smiling at the airy ease,
    Of the southward flying swallow.
    Sweet and smiling are thy ways,
    Beauteous, golden Autumn days.

    I hope you like it, and maybe will be inspired to use it in your artworks!!! So happy to know your wrist is healing and becoming stronger! Glad that you had such a luv-lee time with your friends! Thank you for sharing your fun with us, and all the pictures were beautiful! Sending you love & hugs, Barbara V in Reno,NV

    • sbranch says:

      I love it. Someone as crazy about Autumn as the rest of us and knows the words to tell about it! Thank you Barbara!

  54. Dayna A says:

    Oh what a wonderful trip with wonderful friends! A great way to connect to what’s real & important in these troubling times. Thank you so much for “ taking us along” so that one day we can maybe go for ourselves. That is not an area I had high on my list to explore but it sure looks fun. Thank you Susan, Joe, Paul & Rachel for letting us tag along!

  55. Anne Rowe says:

    From upstate NY. .. capitol district area. ..traveled often thru Stockbridge while visiting my daughter who still lives there. Spent days alone wandering through Hudson…Bennington…Saratoga before returning home to Portsmouth., NH. Your trip brought back sweet memories. ..thank you!

  56. Carolyn Collins-Hunt says:

    Going to Martha’s Vineyard today!!!! On a bus tour of Cape Cod. The weather may be rainy but I don’t care. We were hoping to see some fall color.
    Love hearing about your trip. Good friends are the best. 😍 My bestie and I are going to see Downton as soon as I get home.
    Take care Susan❤

  57. Nadine says:

    What a lovely trip! We’re in week 3 of ours from Cali…..just left Lake George and landed at a little cottage on the Cape for 3 weeks…..hoping to see lots of fall color….seems a little late coming this year?

    • sbranch says:

      Just barely beginning. Weather changes here too …. You’d have to go north for more color …. but even Boston is supposed to be 80 today! Crazy! But then tomorrow? 56º ! Yay!

      • Nadine H says:

        Heading to York, ME for a day trip next week….maybe colorful leaves then! Yes, 50s here today and delightful! I grew up in NYS so I know the potential color possible! The beauty of a season “letting go!”

  58. Wanda says:

    My husband and i went to Stockbridge for our honeymoon, we got married December 19th so everything was just wonderful, all decorated! We loved the Inn (my first Hot Toddy) and the Rockwell museum. It is such a beautiful area. I loved seeing your pictures, they brought back many memories. Happy Fall!

  59. Sue Graham says:

    Getting a new blog from you is a happy gift – love your beautifully illustrated life, your flowers, your home, your distinguished yet goofy cat, your travels, your books, etc. I found your Girlfriends book at a library book sale so now I’ve decided to go to all places that have used books (especially library sales) and look for your books to add to my growing collection. Hugs!!

  60. Laura in Indiana says:

    Your fall excursion with friends is lovely to read about! New England is a special place, isn’t it? My mom grew up in Connecticut. She married my dad, who is from South Carolina, in 1966. (I think his family was horrified that he married a Yankee!!) My parents settled back in CT over 30 years ago and just celebrated 55 years of marriage! 😊

  61. Donna says:

    Absolutely loved this blog. Love meeting and traveling with old friends…so special. Thank you for this…made my day! Blessings❤️

  62. Pamela Torchia says:

    Wow, much to my surprise and delight much of your blog is about my home, Hudson. I can’t wait to share this with my friends! I hope you walked down to the very end of Warren St and up to Promenade hill to view the river and lighthouse, very special place. Glad you got up to Olana too. Hudson is very rich in history, & the early years connected to the Coffin family of Nantucket. I also very much enjoyed reading about Stockbridge, since we have a second home nearby. The red lion Inn serves an awesome turkey dinner on Sundays. There are few better places to be in the Fall than the Berkshires unless of course it’s the Hudson Valley and Catskills. You would love Tannersville, about 30 miles west, from Hudson, up in the Catskill mountains. ❤

  63. Susan says:

    Loved seeing your travels. We just discovered the Hudson area last year. Loved it so much we are going back in a few weeks. This year we will take the two hour boat tour up the Hudson. Where was the shop with all the plates? Would love to stop there.

  64. Cheree Hull says:

    Our son is attending West Point right on the Hudson–and an amazing view of it! We have just begun exploring some of the towns around there and are really having fun with it! If (that’s IF) he gets weekend leave, he needs to stay within 70 mi or so and, as we gen. fly out of Newark, we prefer to stay closer but I guess we have 4 years of visits to play around with it! These places look so fun and even tho it’s farther we may work in the Red Lion Inn etc as we usu give ourselves an extra day or two after the weekend to explore (heading to Philly in a few weeks to check out the history). Do you have any suggestions for just a little farther down the Hudson?

    • sbranch says:

      I saw West Point from a boat on the Hudson one time and never forgot it! Amazing. We didn’t get very far, just the places I mentioned in the blog . . . but I don’t think you can go wrong!

  65. Pamela Torchia says:

    Still so excited! The house you stayed at in Hudson is just down the street from the home I grew up in. The same neighborhood as my husband too. ❤ My Dad was a former Policemen, later Chief. Hudson is a great little town now and definitely has evolved from a sad downward turn in the late 80’s. Hudson was one of the best places ever to grow up in the 60’s and 70’s, extremely thriving. I hope you got to see the volunteers Fireman’s home and the beautiful school and grounds built during the FDR years. Come again soon, spring is beautiful here!

  66. Grace says:

    Thanks so much for taking us along on your beautiful New England journey! And I love these long posts with lots of travel, but also homey moments (like seeing this year’s pumpkins above your door!). I’m pretty sure we visited Stockbridge when I was a young girl, it looked very familiar. Would love to take my family there sometime.

  67. Cathy from Golden, CO says:

    Pure LOVE this chilly Oct morning! Thank you!

  68. Betsy says:

    What a happy way to start the day!!! Thank you Susan, I love your travels. I have a bucket list I’ve added to over the years because of you. The dishes are so pretty! My friend uses olive colored cloth napkins with her purple dishes and it’s a gorgeous color combination. Your cookies are precious. xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Mine are orange and olive plaid! Sounds crazy with purple floral but they look great for casual fall dinner!

  69. DARLENE says:

    I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful blogs. They make me pause in life and help me not to forget to dream and enjoy life. Life can be so hectic with working and everything that happens day to day. I feel so relaxed after reading each one of your posts. I Can’t wait to make the cookies, my family will love them. Have a great day.

  70. Vickie Wilder says:

    Dear Susan, enjoyed your blog so much as I always due. So glad to see you enjoyed my neck of the woods, grew up in Hudson and surrounding area. Went to school, married and raised my children here, it is truly beautiful, please come again.

  71. Anne says:

    Dear Susan, what a lovely post, and to think my husband and I were just in Rhinebeck. We live in Washington state and were in the area to celebrate his 40th reunion at West Point, just down the river. We had a glorious time in the Hudson Valley, though the weather was hot for the end of September.
    We are home now and I am in full Fall mode. The Autumn Cookbook is out and I am adding quilts to the beds, lighting the Fall candles and making frequent trips to the farm stands and Trader Joe’s for their latest fall temptations.
    There really is no place like the Northeast in Autumn; it was a delight to see the the beauty of the Hudson Valley and reminisce about our days in the beautiful Northeast.
    Thank you once again for your inspirational work. I have been a fan from your earliest days.

  72. Laura S says:

    Loved reading all about your excursion; can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the Downton movie!!

    • sbranch says:

      Still hearing from Girlfriends they are going to see it . . . so when I talk about it I won’t give anything away!!

  73. Lorrie says:

    Such a lovely read/chat over a cup of tea this early October morning. Loved reading about your trip with your friends, and can I say how svelte you are looking – your new way of eating (that you likely abandoned for a few days) is showing results! Hooray for you!
    I’m going to see Downton this coming Friday night with my girls – we can hardly wait!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s like going home again! And thank you Lorrie! Yes, set aside the “whole foods” for that Friendly’s ice cream! Totally worth it!

  74. Oh I can’t believe that we are already in October. This year has whizzed by. My mom and dad would have been married 65 years this month. My dad still phones the house so that he can hear my mom’s voice on the answer machine (my sister has kept it) and he leaves messages for her. So very touching, but onto happy things. I haven’t seen the Downton Abby film yet, but its on my wish list, maybe next week. I have some friends who have been twice so it must be excellent. I also have Yesterday on my wish list!

    What a delightful area to visit and visits shared with good friends are twice the fun I think! Loved all the photos. If I could live anywhere else but where I live (coz I do love England so) I would live in a small sleepy New England Town. Vermont is my favourite place on earth. I have family there.

    We are hunkering down at the moment getting ready for Hurricane Lorenzo. I doubt it will amount to much but you never know! I think your cookies turned out lovely and wouldn’t change a thing. That is what is so charming about home-baked goodies! I’ve been praying that your arm/wrist gets better and better with each day that passes. I know how important that is to an artist! I have enjoyed your post from top to bottom and back up again. You never fail to deposit a lump of delight in my heart.

    “She made a feast of little things,
    A brown egg in a pretty cup,
    A candle on a birthday cake;
    A few stray flowers gathered up
    and put in an old-fashioned vase,
    As beautiful as Flemish Lace.
    She made a feast of love and joy,
    Of every common household task,
    Sweeping the hallways and the stair
    Keeping them beautiful – nor ask
    A finer mission than to make
    Her home a heaven for His sake.”
    ~ Edna Jacques

    Just thought I would share a few verses of this poem with you. They reminded me of you. Thank you for all you so very generously share with us each time you post! Happy October!

    • sbranch says:

      How pretty. Home. What better word is there than that! And me too, listened to my Dad’s voice on the answering machine just this morning! I like it, even though I’ve memorized his words, he sounds so alive! Good luck with Lorenzo. I hope he falls apart long before he reaches land. xoxo

      • Vicki South of Arroyo says:

        Oh,these answering machine treasures; I so WISH I had something like this. Sometimes I feel like I can’t remember my dad’s voice, yet I can remember his hearty laugh. He loved to laugh. Hearts aching for our dads …

        Something I do have is that for years, mostly from the late 70s and early 1980s, my dad started setting up the tape recorder in the ‘stereo’ at holiday time, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it’s a lot of random family conversation going in and out of the room until people got wise to the idea that the recorder was on! (My uncle did this, too, back in the 1950s & 60s; I have a bunch of his tapes, on gigantic round reels from that era. He’d engage me in conversation about school and piano lessons; I was like age 10, reciting a story. I sorta sound like Minnie Mouse.) But with Dad’s tape-recorder adventures in subsequent years, we’d also sing carols and Mom would play the piano, intentionally recording ourselves (we had no shame!).

        I hadn’t for a long time felt strong enough (emotionally) to listen to any of it but I’m hoping to find those cassette tapes in storage this year, and I don’t care if it’s July, I’m going to listen to every second of them so I can hear the voices of my loved ones no longer with me. (I pray the tape is intact after long-term storage; I know there are companies who can take reels and cassettes to restore; my husband actually had that done for somebody, so he knows how to accomplish the task.)

        How lucky people are, too, to have home movies, like from the 40s & 50s, and tapes from the new ‘video recorders’ (hand-held video cams/camcorders) people were discovering at the time (my brother rented one in maybe 1983-84 [they were so expensive to buy {retail} back then] and got the great-aunt & uncle on ‘camera’; I’ve gotta find this stuff!).

        Now of course, people’s phones document everything, but I’m thinking it can be a darn good thing.

  75. Mary D Webb says:

    Thank you again Susan for my awwww morning!
    It revives me, inspires me and blesses me each time I receive your letters.
    How is your wrist healing? Hoping perfect.
    Pictures stopped right after the tiny vase and bird on windowsill…?
    Until next time breath the fresh crisp Fall air 🙂

  76. Shannon(Pennsylvania) says:

    Read this loveliness last night right after we watched trms. Rachel is must watch for us, bless her, even though we sometimes have to watch while peeking through our fingers. Scary stuff. She is an excellent journalist, and she is as incredibly rattled as her viewers with all that’s going on in our country. But even so, she is still concise and fair and spot on in her reporting. Anyway, this post was a balm for my weary mind before going to sleep. I’m thinking…how about a PLU mug or bead? I’d love that, and I’m thinking a bunch of girlfriends would, too!❤️

  77. Lori says:

    Happy Fall! Thanks for the ideas and encouragement. Your blog always inspires. Hoping the best for your wrist.

  78. Jane Franks says:

    Hi Susan: I needed this! We were reviewing our life purpose yesterday. Part of it: “To bring beauty, truth and goodness to our world through art and literature.” We’ve hit a bump in the road, and it was good to remind ourselves of who we are, down deep in side, and where we’ve been. “But we have promises to keep; and miles to go before we sleep.” So good, and nostalgic, to take the trip with you through the Hudson River Valley. Studied so much of the rich art from there we used to teach and Gene emulated with his, too. Another time, I highly recommend the Adirondacks. You both would love them in the fall. Thank you so much for sharing all of this beauty and friendship with us. And the cookies look wonderful, too. Thank you for the recipe. Must try this!! Happy October. . . and Autumn!!

  79. Grace from Barnstable says:

    I always knew your Hubby was a close second to my hubby Joe because of how fabulous he is in every way. Now I think I found the real reason why I think your Joe is the cat’s meow: his favorite reason for living, oops did I say that out loud? I meant Ice Cream, is Vienna Mocha Chunk!! That’s been my favorite for years. On Cape Cod, The Creamery’s Menemsha Mocha Chip comes close but Friendly’s is still the one to beat.

    • sbranch says:

      Mine too, that Mocha Chunk is ridiculous.😋 And all the “fancy” ice creams out there, who needs them when you taste Friendly’s!

  80. Robin in New Jersey says:

    So much fun! My mother-in-law grew up in Stockbridge. My husband’s grandmother lived right down the street from the Red Lion Inn in a home her husband built, until her death in 1993. While visiting his Grammie one time, we took our kids to see where Daniel Chester French carved the Lincoln statue. Is Country Curtains still behind the Inn? Thanks for sharing with us Susan. Whenever I see that you have a new post up, it brightens my day.

  81. Kathy Fletcher says:

    Hi Sue, i have a question, for the cookie recipe- is that self rising flour or all purpose you used?

    Kathy in Kentucky

  82. Nancy Marin says:

    What a fabulous trip! So much history in your neck of the woods. I just have one question. How do you keep your cats from going after the flowers in your little vases? Our Gracie always tries to eat them and invariably tips the vase over.

    • sbranch says:

      They’re all so different. Jack likes big plants or bouquets, but doesn’t seem to notice the little vases!

  83. Jennifer J Lauri says:

    Are you nutz??? Those cookies look GREAT! Loved this blog <3

  84. Lucille D. says:

    Yes, it was totally worth seeing boyfriend Brad take off his shirt — we got a nice, long look, too. Deliberate on Tarantino’s part, I’m sure!

  85. Danielle Hollingsworth says:

    I need to start compiling a Susan Branch New England Travel Guide for when I get out there some day!! I’m so excited to make those cookies my girls will love them and those Christmas necklaces too! Thank you Susan!

  86. Marilyn Young says:

    Lovely trip and your descriptions make me want to go! Well, I can’t, so I’ll enjoy everything thru your eyes! Have a wonderful Fall and enjoy the weather.

  87. Barbara Anne says:

    What a delightful post, travel log, great recipe, and wonderful photos. It was extra nice to see the recipe for Rachel’s Butter Cookies in Chinese for Nicoline.

    On Oct. 2, 2019 in my part of Virginia it’s 97*F, and somebody needs to explain that! Where, oh where, is autumn?

    Thanks for adding a needed sprinkling of magic to my day today!


  88. Sharon Swift says:

    Hi Susan,

    Just saw your blog this afternoon and just loved it. Thank you for sharing your adventures in New England with everyone. I’m like you, I love “old” things; antiques, towns, history and Norman Rockwell paintings, and like you, I believe Home is where the heart is. I use quite a bit of my mother’s and grandmother’s things as they bring back so many good memories. Well Fall isn’t here in North Texas just yet, (it’s in the 90’s today), but we are supposed to have a cold front move through Sunday night with the high on Monday only being in the low 70’s….I can hardly wait. It’s also time to get some delicious smells coming from my kitchen. Those cookies you made look great. I do have the Christmas book, so I will have to try them….my husband likes cookies. I don’t there is a cookie he doesn’t like. I might even try them out for our Bunco group next month which we are hosting. Anyway, glad you had a wonderful time with your friends and that your wrist is healing well. Blessings to you and Joe…..

  89. Debi Hutchinson says:

    What a luv-lee post! I was sitting at my desk on my lunch hour reading your blog and felt very far away from work. Thanks so much for the “trip”!

  90. Susan says:

    Such a lovely blog. A tribute to good friends. We shared so many of the places you visited with good friends too. Thank you for sharing. Your blog brought back happy memories. Thank you for the freebies too!!!!

  91. Barbara Irvine says:

    Your trip with Ray, Paul and Joe looks wonderful! You visited some lovely places — I love the Red Lion Inn! Did you find any treasures in the antique shops? Of course we want to know! And I hope Ray found a little something special to take back with her.

    When you mentioned wax paper, it reminded me of when we were kids and begged our Moms for wax paper to rub on the metal (aluminum?) slide in the playground, to make it slippery. The paper was rationed out and we were often disappointed, but it sure was fun when that slide was waxed up and the ride was fast. It didn’t take much to give us a thrill back then!

    I saw the Downton movie this afternoon, and it is beyond fantastic! I knew it would be great, but it far exceeded my expectations. All the actors did a wonderful job; the sets were amazing; the dresses !! the gowns !! the jewelry !! the cars !! Maggie Smith !! I hope it wins a lot of Oscars! Thank you, Julian Fellowes!

    • sbranch says:

      The only thing I bought, that I actually needed, was lace-edged linen dresser scarf! And a pumpkin colored beret!

  92. Ann R says:

    Happy October Susan,
    Thanks for the cheery blogpost! Before I forget, Rabbit Rabbit went National! Robin Roberts on Good Morning America said rabbit rabbit on the air yesterday. Do you think she reads your blog? In the last blog post I forgot to comment AARP Hawaii hosted a free movie viewing of Downton Abbey this past Sunday. It was a full house and wonderful. In Nov. and Dec. they are also hosting 2 more free movie viewings (check the events section of AARP Hawaii). So tell your AARP Hawaii girlfriends (you don’t have to be a member to attend). Also thanks for the cookie tutorial and free stationary it feels like Christmas but Fall (to me this is the most wonderful time of the year). Aloha ha!

  93. Helen says:

    We live in CT but we spent last Sunday in Hudson and ate at La Perche! (Avocado toast is so good!) I fell in love with Hudson! Two weeks ago we were in Stockbridge at the Rockwell Museum. So, I know you have been having a VERY good time with some very good weather. How cool to rent a house and be able to cook and explore. Those cookies! They look so good! What a fun blog post with so many photos! It has been a wonderful autumn so far. Cooler weather around the corner but such beauty everywhere this year.

  94. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    I’ve said this before, but Paul is adorable; he’s so handsome, he could be in the movies! He looks like an actor. The eye patch just made him cuter. He and “Ray” are a darling couple. I think it’s great you four are all such good friends and can travel together; it just quadruples the fun!

  95. jeanie says:

    There is so much to love here — my favorite part of the world (I have a bit of a passion for Stockbridge and Rockwell!); Johnson Brothers dishes (were those JB in the antique store too?) and the wonderful cookie recipe. All wrapped up and tied up with a beautiful bow of love and friendship. It all makes me smile.

  96. Mame Johnston says:

    My momma always said, “Waste not, want not!” She saved rubber bands, tin foil pieces, string, waxed paper, bits of soap to make hand soap with water, etc. She was a product of the depression, and clearly knew how to stretch a dollar. I miss her every moment of every day! Thanks, Susan, for reminding me of her today in this post.

  97. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    So fun to go traveling with you. I LOVE that big kitty in the Inn. The small pumpkins look so darling on your house. Happy that you have some wrist action back.

  98. Bev says:

    Lovely surprise in my mailbox- as I am sitting here preparing for a colonoscopy tomorrow- this made me get my mind on beautiful things- friendships, movies, good food, New England in the fall… and cookies. I can have a cookie tomorrow. Thanks

  99. Diane L. in Bend, OR says:

    Happy Autumn, Susan! Thank you for another delightful post – – such a happy distraction from life’s stressors, and reminders of just how good this life is. Bless you for taking the time to write, paint, photograph, and share with your girlfriends. Also, the free stationery you make available to download is much appreciated. I print it out and use to send letters to my daughter in Ireland, and to my dear long-time pen pal in Colorado. They enjoy the beautiful artwork and sweet sayings, just like I do.

  100. Rob says:

    I grew up across the river in the charming historic village of Athens. Growing up, Hudson was a special trip across the river to shop, go out to the movies or a special dinner. There is so much more you would enjoy in the area you have to come back and check in with some of us for more suggestions. The Hudson Athens Lighthouse was featured on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1946 and recently a restoration of the interior and twinkle lights outlining it a Christmastime make it magical. You can see it from the Amtrak train that passes on the Hudson side of the river. Directly across from Hudson is Athens, my hometown. It has an amazing riverfront park with views, the Stewart House Victorian hotel and restaurant featured in Ironweed and War of The Worlds, a collection of beautifully maintained houses dating back as far as the 1700s when the Dutch first built there, a restored opera house where Teddy Roosevelt spoke that is now an award winning brewery and more. There is also the Thomas Cole house in Catskill, just over the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. He was a student of Church’s. The Clermont Estate, Livingston Manner etc etc. Thanks for giving our corner of the world a visit and a mention!

    • sbranch says:

      Actually Church studied under Cole! We went to Coles house too, otherwise I would never have known. But LOOK at all we missed. Must go back to Athens! Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions, Rob!

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