Hi Everyone! Time for Witchcraft.The good kind! MUSICA

Love lighting candles in the fall, when it starts getting dark earlier . . . makes the rooms so cozy.

We’re deep in it now . . . Storms are now on most of our windows, I’ve remade the beds with comforters, no one wants to get up in the morning, we are too happy!

Did anyone try the donuts? I wasn’t surprised to learn how many parts of the country had never heard of Cider Donuts since we can’t get them here either, and we ARE New England and we HAVE farmstands!

I forgot to show you the bottom of the donut pans! Very festive . . . and now, it’s time for our drawing . . .

The winner of the two sizes of donut pans, the signed copy of Edible Magazine, and package of Christmas recipe cards is 

L I N D S A Y    S C H . . . . whose “little kids” will love the smell of cider donuts baking in the oven! Congratulations, Lindsay … I’ll email you and you can send me your address!

I wrote about my house for my Autumn Book. Some of you have read this story, but just in cases . . . As a young girl growing up in California, I never imagined I would someday live in an old Captain’s House on an island in New England, much too much of a dream come true, way too Louisa May Alcott, veering on the very edges of Abigail Adams . . . but that just goes to show you, life has a way of surprising us! 🍂🍂🍂

Look who came to visit! Lots of you know these two wonderful women ~ I’ve posted their pictures before, especially when we were in England together, but many of you talk to them when you call the Studio, or you’ve written to say how much you love the caring way they wrap packages they send from our web store. Kellee on the left, has been my right-hand person for twenty years (‼️), and Sheri, on the right, has been making our lives easier for the last ten years. Which means, if any of you have been trying to get hold of them for the last week, you now know why you couldn’t! They’re here!

We had the best time. It was Kellee’s second time on the island, and Sheri’s first. The weather was perfect the entire time, cool, crisp, sweater-weather, very different from the Central Coast of California where they live. We walked every single morning they were here, just like we did when we were in the Lake District for the picnic at Castle Cottage!

We have dear friends living in one of the old fishing shacks out on the water, Joe and I often stop and visit in the morning. This time we took the girls. Wanted to give them the whole wonderful experience!


Pretty as could be . . . wind through the grasses …

They loved our woods filled with magical floaty leaves . . .

Love it when our friends and family come visit and we get to take them on an “Island Tour!” We forget to go! In this pic we’re up-island, in the little fishing village of Menemsha, where Jaws was filmed.

They have some tough rules for their beach!

Very quiet this time of year. In summer it’s crazyland, crowded with summer people who come for the wonderful sunsets from the beach with rules.

Recognize this beautiful old graveyard, shining golden in the afternoon autumn sun?

Yes, we stopped by to say hello to Nancy Luce.

One of my favorite Island Heroes, Nancy Luce, the brave chicken lady. If you don’t know who she is, you’ll love her, click there and read about her.

Afterwards we walked grave-to-grave, reading out loud to each other, names and dates … I think we got back to about 1703, old names, old times, old memories, and all a mystery, except for Nancy.

At home, over breakfast, tea, and coffee, we plotted our business, what kind of calendar to do next year, what kind of new cups, new charms, cross-stitch and Christmas cards, surprises, and free things, my job, their jobs, the new book, and when, keeping up with everyone, making things work! We love this kind of creative talk! So much more fun to do it in person rather than over the phone!

Into the Fine Romance van we went every day, shotgun-person changing with each stop! On back roads overhung with red-and-green-leafed trees, lined with yellow and orange bushes, color shining in the sun.

Sheri’s in the front seat, I’m in the back, but I CAN’T get a picture of the whole lighthouse through that window! I need help!

Voila! Problem solved! Thank you Sheri!

On our way home . . . another beautiful day . . .

And next, a must-stop, the Field Gallery, with the famous dancing sculptures in the yard, many done by Tom Malley who is no longer with us . . .

So much joy and charm . . .

It’s catching!

Nearby, a road perfect for the curious mind . . . wonder where THAT goes . . . ? ? ?

Across the street from the sculptures is Alley’s General Store, a landmark since 1858!

Of course we had to take them to Little House Cafe for delicious strawberry shortcake! Which we ordered with ice cream AND chocolate sauce! And four spoons!

Back to meandering . . . we brake for nurseries!

We’ve been wanting to get some of these late-blooming daisies! They seem to be everywhere this year, except in our garden! Fixing that!

And then, a day in Edgartown . . . charming side streets lined with small and large cottages, and whaling-captain mansions with widow’s walks on roofs overlooking the harbor.

To the wide porch of the Harborview Hotel . . .

We’re laughing because this sign was just too perfect!

Did a little sunglass shopping. Joe made us laugh when he tried on these, so NOT him . . . but perfect for putting on lipstick!

Cute! For lunch at The Atlantic!

Yes, they are ALL wearing Joe’s shorts! Because this motley crew is going clamming!

Which they did and hit the mother lode of clams . . . very exciting for a first time! Beginner’s luck!

. . . they brought them home so Joe could make us his famous stuffed clams . . .

They are even better than they look, toasty, crisp on top, a wee bit of bacon, slightly spicy, chewy clams, lemon zest, delicious! They brought home the bacon!

And out to the garden I went to get the makings of our salad.

We haven’t had a freeze yet, so we’re still getting fresh leaves and herbs. And a few last roses too.

We ate lunch out every day, but cooked dinner at night, lit the candles and ate at the kitchen table. This night we had salad, lamb chops, broccoli, and spinach.

We went out back to kick up some leaves, while Joe was back there raking . . . see him?

Contemplating leaves as art . . . 

We turned around to see this! He’s getting to be more me than me!

But you know . . . time passes . . . 9:30 am on Saturday, Sheri went off to visit her son at college in New Jersey, and Kellee headed home . . . 

After kisses and hugs goodbye, onto the ferry boat they went . . .

With one last . . .

wave goodbye . . .

And home I went, to change clothes, gather goodies to go to Edgartown to speak at the Carnegie Library (which isn’t really a library now, it’s a charming museum, complete with very nice gift shop!).

Since last weekend was also the famous Edgartown Food and Wine Festival, Edgartown Books and the Martha’s Vineyard Trust, who hosted this signing, suggested I talk about my first cookbook. My baby. Fine with me!

And so I did. I read the parts in my books that made up, for me, the anatomy of my first book: from The Fairy Tale Girl I read the part where I discovered Julia Child and fell into the wonderful art of cooking. And, from Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams, the story of the dark and stormy night in my first little Holly Oak house in the woods when I started trying to figure out how to write a book. And from the same book, I read about my first scary visit to a publisher, getting lost in Boston ~ then later, leaving fifty pages of my unfinished Heart of the Home behind so they could decide if they liked it enough to publish it, standing on their porch looking over the Boston Common,🍂🍁🍂 leaves swirling around my feet, hands clutched to my chest, with eyes-to-sky 🙏, and one-word prayer, “please.” (Made myself cry with this one.) It was a lovely day, I answered questions, signed books, and visited with, as always, the nicest people in the world.📖

Ahhhhhh, yes, deep breath of autumn leaves and salty air . . .

And here we are, thirty years later, another luv-lee November on the doorstep . . .🎃

Girls are gone. Wrist feels a LOT better. Still exercising it every morning. And, there’s my Enchanted diary, fat with memories . . . Back to work I go . . .💖

Finding the right words, the right watercolors to convey the magic and try to take you there . . .🎨

Because if you can’t smell the wildflowers in the Lake District, taste the salty Irish Sea as we cross, or hear the patter of rain on ancient and historical gravestones, I’m just not doing my job!🖌

There are probably tiny cat hairs in every watercolor, but Jack is not charging me for them, they are free!

Dream world, winter is coming to the house of creativity. It’ll be just us . . . I will be boring, because this will be Groundhog Day, not a lot of change except maybe which movie plays in the background while I work ~ We are giving a nice big Christmas Party 🎄 this year, that will be fun! . . . and my heart will be very happy in my quiet world where I never feel alone, because I have YOU!💞

We still have Halloween coming . . . here are some ideas for Pumpkin faces . . . don’t forget to put cinnamon on the inside of the lids . . . smells so good with the candle burning. Watch Practical Magic while you do it! Lots of fun Halloween ideas in my Autumn Book!

Merry Halloween, Dear Ones. Rabbit-Rabbit on Friday. Make donuts! Kick leaves. Be safe. Show love.💘 XOXOXOXOXOXO


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  1. Marime says:

    My heart melted when I saw Joe’s leaves heart! Don’t you thank the universe everyday for having him to your side?

  2. Judy from Maine says:

    Aren’t messages written in nature wonderful surprises. My husband has left me messages of love in the sand, with stones and twigs…not a leaf pile heart yet, but who knows, that’s the beauty they are always a wonderful surprise.
    A super fantastical post, as always. Thank you.

  3. Dawn says:

    Happy Hallowtide! Thanks for sharing so much love, we are wallowing in it up here in Maine! Peace.

  4. Julie Fellows says:

    Thank you for another delightful post-we are beginning to have our version of fall here in the desert southwest and it’s always lovely to see how other parts of the country honor that seasonal change.
    I was so moved by the Mary Oliver quote that you shared in the “cushiony spaces” between photos and text-I think of these little gems this way!
    I think it is so important, especially now, to remind ourselves that we are indeed most richly blessed. You made my day and gave me pause-I am thankful and blessed.

  5. I love love love your blog posts! This one is as cozy as being wrapped up in a shawl, sitting by the crackling wood fire with a Small House mug of mulled cider. I write a blog, too, and I’m going to channel you for making it warm, cozy and inviting. Thank you so much!

  6. Debbie Boerger says:

    Well….if you can’t find anyone to remove stitches, Do it yourself! Which I did successfully. I had all the surgical grade instruments, which a nurse gave me. I sterilized. I used the betadine wash, held an ice cube on it to numb it, then, snip, snip. Feels so much better.

    Know I am not recommending this for everyone!!!! But if I’d waited 2 weeks more, skin would have grown over the stitches. Oh, how I miss our doctors and nurses in Maine. They are so reasonable, not too fearful of law-suits.

    Having hot tea in my Vineyard cup, wrapping fingers around it feels sooo wonderful. Makes it easier to do the straightening thing with that finger.

    Stay safe in the storm, Dear Sue and Joe,
    Debbie in Tampa

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my you brave woman. I would have been dripping in sweat before I got them out. Eeek. But freedom is worth it I’m sure! Hope the straightening thing is working! xoxo

  7. Debi Hutchinson says:

    Oh, my goodness. I sooooo needed your blog today. I am here in smokey northern California (Sonoma County) recovering from all the fires. Thankfully, the fire didn’t touch us nor were we evacuated or without power. To stop worrying and just melt into your blog was exactly what I needed. Our daughter and her husband live with us and, during this time, had our grandson, Dawson! We had so much going on, and we were feeling sad because of the fires, but blessed because of Dawson, to say I have been a bit overwhelmed is an understatement! So, again, just going to New England in your words and pictures helped tremendously! Thank you! Happy Fall!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my Debi, I’m just so happy you are safe, with house AND family and all is well. Such a scary time. Sending love to you and your neighbors. XOXOXO

  8. kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    Happy November! Happy All Saints Day! Happy All Souls Day! ( tomorrow ) Thinking about All Souls Day… the pictures of you, Sheri & Kellee at Nancy Luce’s grave We’re so nice! I clicked on to what you wrote about her a few years ago and read it again…then I brought out my copy of the book CONSIDER POOR I, and read it again also. Bullying is such a despicable shameful sin. That is what connects me to Nancy Luce. Being bullied breaks your spirit and does irreparable damage.. some people have NO IDEA of what they do to others! The poems that she wrote, especially POOR LITTLE HEARTS, are the most heart breaking poems that I have ever read. There is a special place in Heaven for Her Precious Soul and all of her beloved Chickens and some day I hope to meet her ❤️ Your visit with Sheri and Kellee looked like so much fun!! Thank you for sharing it with us all! I laughed when you wrote about riding “shotgun” and changing seats at the stops…hmmmm……I recall doing those “fire drills” as a teenager and it was an absolute blast! (especially with a car load of girls). You are such a gift Susan! You looked cute as a button in that black & white checkered skirt and black sweater with “Sunshine on Your Shoulders”!! (I’ve been listening to John Denver CDs all day….I’m always in a mood to listen to them in the Fall especially) and those LAMB CHOPS!!!! Mama Mia!!!!!THEY LOOKED WONDERFUL!!!! A couple of months ago I bought a boneless leg of lamb, cut it in half, wrapped the two pieces real good and froze them for just the right time. After looking at the beautiful lamb chops that you were making…. my timer went off…ping*…..it’s time for a nice roasted leg of lamb tomorrow!!! Again, Happy November!! I hope that you and Joe have a very Blessed, Happy Thanksgiving!!

    • sbranch says:

      There was a community chorus celebration of Nancy Luce’s life last year at the wonderful old Whaling Church in Edgartown (which was built when she was 25), the words they sang came completely from her poems. We were all in tears. Happy November dearheart! xoxo

  9. Kathy Suchy says:

    Autumn leaves and salty air …….. sounds wonderful

  10. Of all the images that blew my mind, all filled with oranges, rusts, and pumpkins, my favorite is the one of you in rusty-orange cords! As an avid wearer of long skirts myself, people notice when I wear pants. Those are fabulous! (Thank you also for the tour of the island!) I haven’t been since 2001. Rabbit Rabbit!

  11. Kathleen Hollingsworth says:

    You are just delightful! Love reading anything you write!
    Your art speaks to the Heart!

  12. Loretta Sweat says:

    Thank you for another inspiring and heartwarming column!

  13. Dorothy from California says:

    Again, your blog has been food for my soul. One thing I would love you to talk about in one of your future blogs is “The Susan Branch Mode of Medication Magic”. I have felt a pull toward meditation for years and have not known where and how to start–so I just keep putting it off and I know I need it–and don’t suppose I’m the only one out here!!! I KNOW your words on the subject would be inspirational! Please, please?

    • sbranch says:

      I would love to. When I learned to meditate, I loved it so much, I studied to become a teacher. I did teach for a very short time, but then got busy and stopped. I keep meaning to make a meditation tape, but again, the time thing! It’s still on my list. The most important thing is for you to find a class that teaches “guided” meditation. It’s too hard when you are first starting to simply make your mind blank and quiet and sit there for a half hour. Impossible. Your mind will race and you will give up! But if someone is saying to you, “Take a deep breath, now imagine a ball of the brightest light over your head . . .” ~ it’s a lot easier. Meditation should be like one deep giant positive prayer of love. xoxo

  14. Christine says:

    Happy November! Thank you for the Autumn post. Your Jane Austen quote with Elinor talking about “dead leaves,” reminded me that the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, UK, (on Facebook) is having a fundraiser for repair of the roof on the house. Buy a roof tile for 15£ or $20 US, if you or the Girlfriends might be interested. Seems like a good cause for all the Jane Austen fans out there.
    If this comment is not appropriate for your Blog, feel free to delete it. Just wanted to share that information for anyone interested.
    Enjoy the remaining Fall season, Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      Sounds wonderful to me . . . Helping our Girlfriend Jane Austen seems like a very good idea! Thank you Christine!

  15. ~Del Gato... El Grande size Gordo Y Descarado~ says:

    Stuck here for a while savoring…Grilled cheese sandwich- and the one lady starting hers @ 430 AM, no less….the power of the written word.

    Was amazed how the vibe of the comments have really changed.

    PS) thank you~

  16. Debbie Boerger says:

    I’m thinking that as soon as my hands are up to speed, I’ll get Tom to set up my sewing machine. I want a long skirt. You look so very stylish in yours. I still have a few from the 80’s, but they won’t button! Someone stole into my closet and took a few inches out of the waist bands. Can you imagine playing such a trick?

    Just beautiful here in the Big Guava the last 2 days! My oldest friend took me to a place called Hula Bay, restaurant right on the water. So much cooler, thankfully. Ate outside and watched the sunset. Frosty in my beloved Maine. Have to pinch myself to believe I’m so lucky!!!

    If we squint, we can pretend all is back to normal….but suddenly the Big Orange Head does something to remind us………………………So I’ll wait awhile to read the Sunday paper.

    Oh Yes!!! Thank you so much for the Sexy Cellist. Ooooooooo Yes!
    Mucho Love,
    Debbie in Tampa…The Big Guava today, not the Big Sauna

  17. kathiellen says:

    Dear Susan,
    Good Morning! I have to comment again….I just looked at your Twitter ( myself, not being a Tweetie…I still look…) the video that you posted with that guy playing a cello is awesome! The song…PERHAPS, PERHAPS, PERHAPS is one of my favorite songs performed by Desi Arnaz. If you haven’t heard his version, I recommend it. I have a CD with Desi’s music from the 40s and it is one that I love and listen to often…it makes me dance while I do my housework ❤️ I love his music! Well, I just love music, period. With Desi Arnaz, ALL of his songs are my favorites!! I am now going to enjoy a cuppa Oolong tea, read the Sunday Paper and soak in the sunshine that is coming through my window…..with that song ( Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps ) running through my mind❤️ Have a beautiful day!

  18. Deanna Harmon says:

    I love every word of your storytelling! I look forward to each one you post. You certainly know how to enjoy the wonderful life you have been given. Your stories and pictures take me back in time to my growing up in the country in Illinois. I now live in Arizona, but am making lots of wonderful memories here also.

  19. Ann Prins says:

    Lovely Autumn – in Michigan we enjoy Autumn too- even a little snow this weekend!! Love your travels!!!

  20. Wanda Brent says:

    You look fabulous in that picture in the cemetery in the rust pants! You have lost quite a bit of weight and from the sounds of it are feeling good. Way to go!!!!

  21. Debbie Boerger says:

    Oh, we would love a meditation “tape” in your lovely voice! I’d buy that, and I’ll bet others would, too. I had a wonderful one made just for me by the person I went to help me deal with all the things that went with a divorce. I needed to keep myself on an even keel, as I was teaching. I kept it a secret from my fellow teachers, because I didn’t want all that “advice”. Finally had to tell, as I lost so much weight that the rumor began that I had cancer! The councilor was just amazing, and I used that tape in my Walkman for years after. Then, one year arriving back from Maine to find we’d had a water leak that did major damage to our little town house, we had to live in a motel for several months. They literally had to use HazMat suits with breathing packs on their backs because of the toxic mold and mildew. Anyway, someone at the motel took my Walkman, with the tape inside. I’ve bought several tapes and CDs since. None worked. Maybe the trick is having a familiar voice guiding you?
    And by the way, Tom and I celebrate 32 years of marriage in a couple of weeks. I’m looking for a few nights over on the beach. Sunsets, sandy toes.
    Fate smiled on me when my ex dumped me. I know you feel the same, Dear Lady.
    Thank you for all you do, and Mucho Love,
    Debbie in Tampa

  22. Mary Lou Prendergast says:

    I was so late reading this last post and it just felt so good. I had happy tears in my eyes the whole time. This might be my favorite of all. Beautiful and heartwarming stories.

  23. Care Woodard says:

    What a lovely visit you had with Kellee and Sheri. Joe looked very cool in those sun glasses and he might need them if anything is happening with the movie?!!!! What is happening? I am beyond thankful to think of you over there, cozily writing Enchanted:) I can not wait to read it! Enjoy the bountiful and beautiful Fall! I know you will:) We hiked in our first snow storm last weekend, up in Vermont! My husband and I felt like little kids:)

    • sbranch says:

      It’s being read now by an Academy Award Winning Director! But that doesn’t mean very much until you hear, YES! We want it! Then you start to hope! Except I’ve already started, so we’ll see . . . It DOES feel like little kids when you’re hiking in the snow!🤣 I know what you mean! xoxo

  24. Audrey Anderson says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you for taking the time to send out these missives to your kindred spirits. After hearing about your home, work, kitties, friends and whatever other shenanigans you’ve been up to, I feel as though I’ve had a best friend for tea, even though we live 3,078.1 miles apart. (I looked it up – Naramata, B.C. to Martha’s Vineyard)
    Blessings to you and Joe, and thank you so very much for your work.

    • sbranch says:

      Love the point 1! That’s some measuring job! 😆 My pleasure Audrey, thank you for being here. xoxo

  25. Stephanie A. says:

    Hi Susan! I am re-reading Isle of Dreams for the 4th time! My hubby and I go to the island every October and we just returned…and every time we get home I read Isle of Dreams again. It makes me feel connected to the island and it also makes me believe that my dream will come true…that someday we will live on the Vineyard year round! You help me keep my dream alive and encourage me that anything is possible and you never know what will happen. It’s a beautifully written book and so descriptive of your experience on the island. Your blog makes me feel so connected to the Vineyard too. I so look forward to your posts! I am writing my first book at 40 years old and your story of writing your first book is so encouraging to me. Thank you for being a wonderful inspiration for me and for always allowing me to visit my favorite place when I can’t be there in person!

  26. Belinda says:

    What a LOVELY post as ALWAYS! So glad the girls were able to come see you and Martha’s Vineyard…DREAM come true!! I still dream of the trip I took…a lifetime memory for sure! They look wonderful and so do you and Joe!! I love the skirt you wore to the book reading….any chance you could tell me where to find one!?! You seem to look younger everyday…must be that fresh salty air! LOVE to all!! What a PERFECT heart Joe amongst the leaves….so Sue!!

    • sbranch says:

      You would have to get into the way back-machine and go to Portland Maine circa 1992 ’cause that’s where I got it! That skirt is an oldie but goodie! I wish I was more help! Thank you Belinda, very sweet of you. xoxoxo

  27. Mary says:

    I’m at home sick with a wretched cold today, first in 4 years.
    Your blog was JUST what I needed! Thanks so much for freely giving us access to your life, your friends and pleasant thoughts… too few of
    those in today’s world.

  28. cathleen R corell says:

    I so enjoyed your pictures. it gives ideas to decorate my house for fall. thank you for sharing

  29. Danielle says:

    The picture you posted of Jack on twitter looks like Batman surveying his metropolis 🙂 (I couldn’t comment on twitter because I don’t have an account)

  30. Sara says:

    Hi Susan,
    Must share that I made those scrumptious apple cider donuts and they did not disappoint. We had a picnic of apple cider and the home made donuts with our three grandchildren. Thank you! It’s a keeper.

  31. Mary Eva says:

    OMGoodness how I love reading through your blog. Looks like you had such a good time with the California gals! P.s. is Joe’s recipe for stuffed clams anywhere I could find it? THANKS. My Aunt Audrey use to make the most amazing deviled clams every summer and no one seems to have her recipe.

    • sbranch says:

      Joe’s never written the recipe down. He is constantly adding or subtracting things, honing it down. If he ever gives me the recipe, I’ll put it on the blog! It’s soooo delicious.

      • Mary Eva says:

        Thank you. I believe that’s is how my dear little Aunt Audrey was as well. She just knew what to put in to make them delish and none of us kids ever paid attention to how she made them.

  32. Claudia Cole says:

    Dear Susan,
    What a lovely vaca for your California Girls! Martha’s Vineyard is a dreamy place to live and to visit. Lucky Joe, Susan and Jack! Also, I loved your outfit you wore for the book signing. All your photos in this blog are just beautiful. Autumn, gotta love it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  33. Penny says:

    Your blog is my happy place. Love you!

  34. Paula Johnson says:

    Oh, Susan, we have been traveling and hosting guests a lot for months now, and it was such a treat to sit down as the dark begins to settle in this evening and read this BLOG entry. From start to finish (weeeell, I am not certain there is any good witchcraft :)) it was a delight. It was really delightful to see the joy that you, Joe, Sheri, and Kellee had being together! The picture of them in Joe’s shorts is so cute, and the stuffed clams looked like a treat indeed. It is so nice that Joe is a chef! You both are looking really healthy and fit! I would have loved to have heard you read the sections from your books. People back East and where ever you happen to go are really fortunate to be in your presence. In the meantime, we girlfriends are fortunate to be with you here on the pages of your BLOG. Thank you for sharing with us. I hope you have a warm hearted Thanksgiving. Hugs, Paula

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Paula . . . I hope Joe and I can do a book tour when the new one is done, go out and meet everyone! Perhaps we’ll see you then! In the meantime, this is a wonderful place to get together!

  35. Sandy says:

    Cinnamon on the underside of the top of carved pumpkin! Wow, I’ve never thought of that or done it in all my pumpkin carving years. What a shame- I missed out! But I will from now on- starting next year! I do have one small one left over from Halloween I could do for Thanksgiving….. think I will 😀 Thanks for that wonderfully good smelling tip. I hope my sister and I can one day make our way to Martha’s Vineyard! It would be a dream come true.

  36. Christine Morgan says:

    I am so far behind. This time of the year brings so much to do. Glad I took the time this morning to catch up and enjoy reading about your friend’s visit. Sounds like a great time. You are lucky to have the fall with the beautiful leaves and the ocean. Such a wonderful combination. We had a great Halloween and now getting ready for Thanksgiving. Your blog always helps me sit back with my rea and enjoy life as it is. Thank you.

  37. Helen "Maggie" Giltmier says:

    I just love you! Your sharing from your heart, all the beauty you bless us all with.I know we are kindred spirits. Loved Joe’s leaves of “Heart” bless Him, so many men could take lessons from him. I feel I am right there with all of you, could run away right this very moment! Wish I could have heard you speak about your first cookbook, I have a copy of Christmas from theHeart of Home, from1990, just going through it this morning and thinking of how you and your words bless me all these years. Thank you and bless you both! Happy Holidays.

  38. Lori C. says:

    Thank you for the Wonderful World of Willard! I have a question about the image of the beautiful tea mug that has the verse that starts: Brew me a cup for a winter’s night – For the wind howls loud … is that from an old Sold Out mug – or is it an upcoming one – or one that is currently for sale? Thanks!

  39. Annette Saul says:

    Hi Susan I have two copies of a book that I feel certain that you would love. It’s called, “The country Diary of and Edwardian Lady,” by Edith Holden. It is the facsimile reproduction of her naturalist diary for the year 1906. Like you, she wrote about daily life on her walks and did paintings of what she saw of flora and fauna on her walks around her home in Warwickshire, England. Also, like you, the notes from her diary are written in beautiful penmanship! I would love to send the book to you if you would like. I would not want to give my address to just anyone but I am a legitimate fan of all your work!! But possibly you have a Post Office Box or somewhere it could be sent.

    • sbranch says:

      Ohh, Annette, I love that book! You are so kind to offer, but I already have it . . . what a lovely gift that would be for someone! Thank you so much for thinking of ME!! xoxoxo

  40. Therese says:

    Thank you Susan for your definition of meditation. I agree that a good guide makes the process a joy–and that’s what it’s all about!
    I am remembering taking the leap off Catholicism in my early 20’s and reading everything I could get my hands on to discover “what was coming next” for me spiritually. I thought it would be zen because it spoke to the artist in me so clearly…but sitting silent for days and getting wacked with a stick when my posture sagged disillusioned me. Then I found Thich Nat Hanh’s guided sessions…I especially love his walking meditation practice.
    I am finally getting the hang of it now, in my 72nd year.
    Peace! and thank you, as always for your lovely posts.

    Being Here Now

    • sbranch says:

      You are so right Therese, Joy is what it’s all about! And there it is, living inside you all the while! The best discovery! xoxoxo

  41. Nancy says:

    Your new Willard was awesome. Just after I tweeted that I had not received mine yet and there it was in my email. What a delight! Thank you for all the time and effort to make all of the girlfriends feel so special. Where did you get the black man and woman candle holders sitting on your table? They are pretty sweet. Thank you. Stay warm!

    • sbranch says:

      Yay, you got it! You are so welcome Nancy! The candleholders were flea market finds. I WISH I could find a manufacturer! Would be so fun to have them in my webstore for everyone! See you on Twitter!

  42. Jane says:

    Good Morning, Susan! I saw on Twitter that a new Willard had been sent. I live in Washington state and it looks like the Willards are moving east to west according to the map with pins you sent. HELP!!! I’ve subscribed for so long I still have the paper ones which I received in the mail. I checked Spam but there is nothing there either. I resubscribed just on the chance I was somehow dropped off. I’m hoping you still review comments even though this is an old post. HELP! I looked at the website to see if there was a contact for the California girls but didn’t find anything. So sad — but hopeful!

  43. Pam Bair says:

    Got my Willard today and it was wonderful! Reading it was like taking a break from the world and feeling only the excitement of the approaching holidays. Thank you, Susan for the good that you bring to the world through your art and your words. Also, I recently got my donut pan in the mail and cannot wait to make the cider donuts! Thanks for inspiring me to try something new this year!

  44. Mamey says:

    Nice nice nice!! Your posts bring so much joy! Thank you Susan!

  45. Evelyn Brendle says:

    Hi Susan! Well I made those amazing cider doughnuts. I got 12 of them and kept 4, 1 for me and 3 for the hubby. The others I sent home with the grandkids. Everyone loved them and they were easy to make, but oh my, the sugar! Needless to say, I think it will be a bit before I make them again, as I have very little will power when it comes to sweets! The recipe will be saved in my Susan Branch Recipe Book my daughter gave me a few years back. Thank you for another yummy recipe!

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think they are for everyday breakfast! But for Thanksgiving, or Christmas or the New Year or Halloween, Yessss!

  46. Debbie Boerger says:

    Lovely, Happy Willard. Once again my mind boggles at how much you get done. And that’s just the things you give so freely to all of us.

    I’m going to ask a very personal question, just because today I’ve been doing bits and pieces of cleaning.. Doing battle with the sheets and pillow cases, which I have to treat with oxyclean and Tide. My lovely Tom now has paper thin skin, and with the aspirin he takes, he always has some little or Big ding in his lovely hide. Cleaned up the things I left undone in the kitchen last night, did a bit of ironing. We always stop at lunch if we are home and play a game of cribbage. Then back to jobs. Then, Yikes, it’s 4:30, and I didn’t even get to cleaning the bathroom. I think it may be time to get someone to come in once every week to do the hands and knees jobs, floors bathtubs and such. Called my best friend this morning to ask a question about Thanksgiving meal. She was down on the floor sorting papers, and wondering how she would get up. Yes! Some exercises are needed. I’ll think about that tomorrow……said Miss O’Hara.

    We did get out and about yesterday, a trip to the dentist and late breakfast at the Goody Goody in Hyde Park Village, South Tampa. Goody Goody was a town institution, famous for hamburgers and pies. It closed and was torn down for urban renewal I think. Bought by local restauranteur Richard Gonzmart, whose family own the longest serving restaurant in the US. It’s The Columbia in Ybor City…a part of Tampa. Anyway, they have done a marvelous job with it, and yesterday was nice. All open to the street, even places where you can eat with your dogs. If anyone is interested, you can look it up online.

    See, I’m turning over a new leaf, Be in the Present, Enjoy Life Today, (and not pine for Maine)
    Mucho Love and Thanks, Dear Lady,
    Debbie in Tampa

  47. Angela Quartararo says:

    I made your donuts…they were the best ever, and now my “go to” when I have friends over for coffee and tea! Thank you for sharing!!!

  48. Sara says:

    You are looking very good! I love your dress style! You should have a look at Bernadette Banner and Cathy Hay on YouTube, I think you might like them! They also love history and “Olde Things”. I want to start dressing a bit more like them, and you. I bought myself some beautiful tweed and plan on making a “riding suit” (a long skirt and a short jacket). But first I need to make my husband a shirt, out of the fabric (with little bikes on it) I bought a few months ago! I did Halloween for the very first time this year. When I was a child Halloween didn’t exist in Belgium, but it’s slowly making it’s way here. I resisted this American import holiday for a long time, but this year had fun decorating the porch, carving pumpkins and making pumpkin soup and pumpkin cupcakes (no store-bought sweets that look like eye-balls will ever enter my home!)…

    • sbranch says:

      It’s one of our few holidays, like Thanksgiving, that’s more like a gift. It’s for kids. And doesn’t require a lot of shopping. Just fun. I’m glad you enjoyed it! Love the sound of your suit! Will be wonderful!

  49. Susan, thank you for your blissful blog! I always find the joy and inspiration I need. You encourage me to be as whimsical as I want and to always keep on the sunny side 💛. I also read the November Willard this morning. By the radiator, cup of Earlier Grey in hand : a perfect start to a lovely autumn day. All the best from Savannah, GA xo

  50. Judi Davis says:

    Is it possible to get the recipe for Joe’s stuffed clams?

    • sbranch says:

      I’d like that too, but he’s never written it down! He changes it slightly every time so we can exclaim, “Oh, THIS is the very best one EVER!”

  51. Debbie Boerger says:

    Oh, Miss Sue (as we Southern gals say)! Those pictures of you and your siblings could be my brother and neighbors. Of course we grew up in the same era, so that’s not surprising. We had a little blow up pool and two ducks….Huey and Louie. I dug a hole in the ground…not easy to do in that hard ‘gumbo’ in the Delta, and sunk a big wash tub down in it. When the ducks got really too big, we took them out to cousins in the ‘Country’. We also had Danny and Fanny, two little chicks that grew up to be ready for the country as well. The rooster was a huge, gorgeous thing, who woke the neighbors up very early, thus his retirement. But we visited him often, so we knew he didn’t end up in a stew. We also had rescued baby squirrels and a baby raccoon. All bottle fed with a doll sized bottles. Such fun.

    I also have a Christmas picture of myself in complete cowgirl rig standing next to my little brother on his spring supported rocking horse.

    Thank you for the trip down Sweet Memory Lane!!!
    Mucho Love, and Happy Thanksgiving,
    Debbie in Tampa……….Celebrating our 32nd anniversary

  52. Margot is Sister Bay says:

    Wish I could have been at the talk…

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