We’ve all been waiting for an October Surprise, so I thought I’d get it over with. Here it is! YAY! MUSICA? You bet!💞 Luv-lee, luv-lee Gladys, tells us how it is!

Our walk is changing so quickly … no matter how long I live here, even thought I know it’s coming, October is ALWAYS a surprise to me!🎆

Time for coats and hats … We went out at sunset the other day … Luminious is the right word! World gone gold!

Nature gives us many miracles, from bees to camels, bittersweet to redwoods, apple orchards, the smell of sweet peas and gardenias, and everyday a sunset, and at night, the moon and stars, but add to that, the miracle of four seasons! Aren’t they just wild? Thank you is what I say! When I first moved to the island, I would meet someone and ask them how long they had lived here. They’d always answer me in winters. “I’ve been here seven winters.” It scared me a little bit to hear that. I was a beginner from California and major change of seasons were new to me. Hadn’t they lived here seven springs? Why did they choose winter?😳 

I’m not a beginner anymore.🍂🍁 Now I’m just here to celebrate.👏 🎶 But if I’d ever leave you,
It couldn’t be in autumn.
How I’d leave in autumn
I never will know.🎵
I’ve seen how you sparkle
When fall nips the air.
I know you in autumn
And I must be there.

Our walk never gets boring even though we’ve been going this same route almost every day, in all seasons, since we moved into our house in 1989… down a sun-splotched, puddled and rutted dirt road, through the woods of pine and oak, now festooned with bittersweet, past old fishing shacks, to the sea . . . and back. A perfect almost-three miles. Best part of our day.

We get a little sad sometimes, when we remember our wonderful walks in England… and feel very sick of this dampanic 😷, 

. . . wishing we were kicking up leaves in England… sitting in front of pub fires . . .🔥

Or, riding a train to California in our room with a view . . . stopping for dinner in Chicago . . . having adventures! But then we remember how lucky we are to be safe at home, and how much harder it is for so many who’ve lost much more than we have. All we’ve lost is our freedom. It could be so much worse.

There is nothing to complain about. We have a clothesline!

And leaves . . .

And Jack . . .

I have window sills!

And work I love to do, for people I love to do it for 😘 . . . who could ask for anything more?🍁 And I’ve already been thinking about Thanksgiving. Unless something changes and Doctor Fauci gives us the all-clear, I guess Joe and I will be alone this year. So I have it all figured out: I’m going to stuff a big chicken with my grandma’s stuffing, and roast it until the skin is buttery-crisp, and make delicious gravy with the drippings for the mashed potatoes, and I’ll make whole berry Cranberry Sauce, I can’t wait! And pumpkin pie with real homemade pie crust! I’ll polish two forks and two knives, light some candles and we’ll eat it all in front of the fire.And then we’ll watch one of these!

This little girl got our entire country through a World War, I guess she can get us through a winter. Grandfather! Grandfather! You can never go wrong with a Shirley Temple movie!

And something else. Give your heart a rest and spend a few minutes in heaven among the sweetest sheep you ever saw with Kirsten and Joerg on their visit to Yew Tree Farm in the Lake District. This is one of the farms Beatrix Potter saved from the developers and it’s also where they filmed the movie Miss Potter (while you’re at it, watch that too)! Your cheeks will hurt from smiling so much.😘

And another little cheer-up October surprise . . . a new bookmark! Just click HERE and print it out on card stock. Laminate it if you like, send one to someone you love . . . And now, for a recipe!Many of you have read my new book Home for Christmas, and you probably remember I wrote about Snippy Doodle, one of our family treats when we were little. It’s not in any of my books (yet), but I thought you might like the recipe. (I made this recipe into cards ~ and now you know why . . .  guess what I’ll be sending everyone in our family this Thanksgiving?) 

My mom wrote down this recipe for me years ago, even her handwriting brings back wonderful memories . . . She wrote “Grandma Orr” on it, so it wasn’t just my mom’s recipe, it wasn’t from the 1950s, it was my Great Grandmother Sarah Foster Orr’s recipe and she was probably making it on a cast iron stove in 1895. I LOVE family food and the way it connects the generations!

I know exactly what she means!💞

So, do you think it’s time yet? Shall we draw the winning name for this delicious quilt? Drawings are by far the hardest thing I have to do on this blog. The whole time I DON’T do the drawing, everyone is a winner, but the moment Vanna comes in to the picture, it’s the beginning of the end for everyone but one Lucky Person.

Teeny, tiny, perfect, professional-looking stitches, so tight nothing could ever come apart, all handmade, and for sure, for whoever made this, it was not their first quilt, it is too perfect. What a family treasure that somehow got let go into the world until I pounced on it. I hope whoever wins it will love it as much as I do.❤️

And before I let Vanna do her stuff, let me just say that if you want to hang quilts on your kitchen chairs, you should go right ahead and do it! I know it doesn’t make sense, quilts in the kitchen, but if you need the chair you can move the them. Until then, they are SO cozy and SO pretty, good for fall, good for Christmas🎄, good for winter, actually, good for every season ~ and you get to enjoy them in the spot where we spend so much of our time. The heart of the home! Of course they are gorgeous no matter where you put them. I’ve found all of mine in second hand stores, antique stores, yard sales. The prettiest ones are hard to find, but that’s what makes the hunt so much fun, and when you find one that you love, and when the price is right, you POUNCE. Otherwise, you wait, like a stalking lion, until you feel your heart soar, and then you know you’re in the right place.💝 

I call this a Flower Pot quilt although I have no idea what the true name of the pattern is. But it looks like flower pots to me! There she is, all folded and ready to go . . .🌺

She has danced with the angels here on Martha’s Vineyard 🍂 . . .And now she’s going home . . . with our lucky Girlfriend who I am SURE will take good care of her . . . so are we ready??? Here we go! The winner is

VAL S. from OHIO!!!!C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S    V A L ! ! !

I’m so happy for her! I hope she’s surprised! Okay, you all know there is something else. Another small treat:

It’s this lovely rare book about Christmas at the turn of the century … published in 1938, no longer in print, and very hard to find these days . . 

Filled with sweet line drawings by beloved artist Lois Lenski.  I hope the lucky winner of this charming book will have someone to read it to this holiday season! And the Lucky Winner is:


Ooooo, I know this Rachel, she’s been a girlfriend of ours for a very long time! How fun! Congratulations Rachel! AND I do think she’ll have someone to read it to!💞

You two can look for emails from me so I can get your addresses to send your October Surprises.💌 I’m so sorry for anyone who had their heart set on one of these treasures, but you know I will have others . . . . 💞

And here’s a teeny-tiny partly-printed quilt you can make yourself! And a little embroidered stuffed Jack goes with it!❤️

I keep mine all wrapped up in a bedside table drawer in the Peter Rabbit room, so if we have a guest, and if they open the drawer, they’ll find they aren’t alone!💞

As lots of you know, knitting, embroidering, cross-stitch, and sewing are luv-lee things to do while watching an old movie when the weather gets cold, and Kellee wanted me to let you know all of our embroidery and sewing kits and patterns just came back in! Maybe a little Christmas gift in there for someone you love.💞

And who doesn’t love homemade dishtowels! These are embroidered and appliquéd. Use up some of that fabric you’ve been stashing forever! I hope you find something HERE that inspires you!

We’re going to have a special full-moon on Halloween night, the second one this month, it’s a Blue Moon! So, be sure to go outside and make a wish on it. This old world needs us and all our good prayers more than ever🙏, it’s been proven that if lots of people pray at the same time, good things will happen.❤️And Sheri wanted me to tell you our Puzzle is right on schedule! We should have it by the end of this month or the first week in November and they will go right out to all of you who have preordered! It’s called

It’s a big one! I’m so happy! I’m going to take it slow, I want it to last all winter!!!

“We are all children of God” . . . the Pope just said it on TV while I was writing this, about to say goodbye for now, and it made me feel so good! What a perfect ending! Take good care of yourselves dear ones! Thank all of you that were able to make it to my Zoom programs! So fun! There’s another one this Sunday … you can get the details in the column on the right of this blog page, just click on the word “EVENT” and voila! See you soon! 

🎃❤️🎃PS This just in . . . my new ad in Yankee Magazine! So excited!

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442 Responses to OCTOBER SURPRISE

  1. Linda Pintarell says:

    Such a lovely blog. Must admit I use to be a summer gal…bred, born and raised in California and couldn’t wait for it each year. Probably had something to do with the freedom of being out of school, the beach, the swimming pools, riding bikes all day. HOWEVER, late in life (77), I’m a changed woman. Autumn/Fall is now going to be my time. So much more colorful; so much more comfortable; so many warm and comfy recipes to make; love hot totties; love good soups; good chili; good stew. Found my happy time!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I do believe we grow into the seasons and nature . . . I don’t think I really heard bird song until I moved to the island!😂

  2. starr miller says:

    Hello Susan
    Thank you your wonderful post. I ❤️ The Camelot musical opening. It’s a favorite of mine and as I just read, the Kennedys. Every November I read at least one book about Jack or Jackie. This year it’s her interview with Arthur Schlesinger four months after the president’s death. It’s quite profound.
    But for Christmas I’m saving your most charming, beautiful new book. I’ll be reading it while sipping tea in your new Christmas mug!
    And I’ve ordered Charlie Brown’s Christmas dvd because Apple TV bought it- and it won’t be on any channel this year.
    I loved your story about your fellow islanders saying they’ve been on the island in ‘winter’ years. Funny because we always say we’ve been here _ summers.
    The holidays won’t be the same this year with the Covid 19 but we will get through them with our traditions new and old—Lots of FaceTime and Zoom gatherings too.
    I envy your picturesque daily walks. I can visualize you both enjoying every moment of them no matter the weather.
    Best to you and Joe

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

    Hello and Good afternoon Susan, Girlfriends. another wonderful Fall day here, crisp, cool and windy so i’m enjoying a hot cup of tea and watching the leaves and the squirrels in the front yard. seems to have the cats’ full attention, never saw so many tails twitching by the windows. its almost Halloween and soon it will be Thanksgiving, my favorite time of the year. Like just about everyone else, we are planning to stay home for Thanksgiving, just too risky going over the in-laws’ place, they are high risk with underlying medical issues… heart problems and diabetes and COPD!!! i’m thinking a new recipe for pumpkin pie and what i came up with is pumpkin pie cheesecake, a traditional cheesecake with pureed pumpkin added along with pumpkin pie spice and maybe some toasted pecans on top. but i have a problem, how much puree should i add??? too much and its all pumpkin and too little its too cheesy. anyone ever done this before???? and since my hubby loves turkey, he can’t get enough of it, how big a turkey should i get. he gets a gift certificate from work each year and buys the biggest turkey he can get… 20-25 pounds and it feed the whole family, well this year i don’t need such a big turkey for just us, so how big should i go… 10-15 pounds sound about right??? i love this time of the year, the colors, the crisp cool air, the blue skies and the lovely aromas of soups, stews and roasts cooking with apples, onions and sage… YUMMY!!! well i’ll finish my tea, sweep off the porch and get the laundry going and then plan dinner… something nice and warm, going to be another cold night… below freezing again. hmm maybe i had better bring up some more firewood, the cats loved the fire last night, they all curled up on the rug in front of the wood stove, nice and warm and cozy. have a great day and stay well. Happy Halloween. hugs…… 😀

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Pat! If you have my Autumn book, I have a really delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe there… truly heavenly. I wonder if they even have a 5 lb turkey? Maybe you need to special order if you want a little one. All I ever see are giants, and then of course, Turkey breasts and legs! Happy Halloween Sweetie, keep on keepin’ on!🎃

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        Good morning Susan, thanks for the recipe suggestion, it did look yummy!! i guess maybe i will have to go talk to the butcher here and see what he suggests, maybe a 10-12 pound turkey??? whatever, all i know is if hubby gets a big bird, he is cooking it out on the grill this year, i’ll be needing my oven freed up for the side dishes. i have a small oven, another suggestion to put on my “ask Santa list” this year. i ask every year, maybe this year i will get my new oven and range….. i hope, i hope!!! Halloween hugs….. 😀 BOO!!!!!

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        Thank you Susan, i looked up the recipe and it is just what i want. i know what “pumpkin pie” will our dessert this year… YUMMY!!! been out raking up the leaves, well raking them away from the house and sweeping them off of the porch. the pumpkins are ready for Halloween, the whole house is, don’t know if we will get trick or treaters this year, but we are ready for them if they do come around. our cemetery is up and we have the sound effects, got 2 new C.D’s with the sound effects for Halloween so will have them playing for Halloween. having our neighbors over a beloved family holiday tradition, Peanuts “its the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and Disney’s the legend of Sleepy Hollow with Bing Crosby telling the tale of Ichabod Crane. i always watch Peanuts every Halloween and since the networks are not playing it this year, i will watch my DVD instead, but a family tradition will continue. besides it is not Halloween until the Great Pumpkin has come around and Sleepy Hollow. Happy Halloween Susan and Everyone…. hugs…. 😀

    • Dianne says:

      I usually get a 10-12lb turkey, since we love turkey – and the leftovers!! I also make turkey soup with the carcass and the back meat. I love soup, especially this time of year. When making a pumpkin cheesecake, you might want to try a gingersnap (ground) crust instead of the traditional graham cracker. Good luck

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Oooooooo, ginger snap crust, great idea.

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        Thank you Dianne, i think we are going for the 15 pound turkey, no need for 20-25 pounds this year. i like that idea of using the gingersnap crust, may try that… it sounded delicious.

  4. Jennie Lou says:

    Happy October, Susan! Autumn and Spring, I cannot help but feel the fear and the thrill that the cavefolk of ages past felt with the shortening of the days, the long, cold nights, the Moon, orange and glowing and sooo close! Then the lengthening days, the warmth of the sun lingering on and on… it happens every year and I should be able to ignore it, but it is always there, lingering in the little corner of my soul, the place that still jumps at a sudden noise and thrills at the bird’s song and warms with a stranger’s kindness. Happy Autumn! Thank you for the Gladys Taber, too, I always treasure her books when the leaves begin to swirl against the windows.

  5. Karen B. says:

    Your sweetness among the strife is a pleasant refreshment. Thank you for offering your skills of beautiful artwork, suggestions for cozying-up a home, and an appreciation of nature, to lighten the days. May you be blessed with more golden sunshine and health to enjoy your daily walks with Joe!

  6. Mary Lawrence says:

    Need this our country so heartsick.I will be glad when the election is over and whatever the outcome we pull together and not apart.No matter who wins they will be my President and know my respect ,even if we don’t agree. You and I live in places where we can get away from the ugliest part of human nature,so many can’t.God bless and happy all Hallows eve.Mary Elizabeth

    • sbranch says:

      Praying for kindness, compassion, truth, and health for all of us. It’s been very tough, but so many feel like you and I do Mary, we need to come together. My biggest focus this holiday season will be on helping food banks. Those people, standing in line, make tears in my eyes. And it’s just getting worse. Unbearable over the holidays. Yes, we are so lucky. And so much just a big ole accident of fate. xoxo❤️

      • Linda says:

        Great idea on the food bank, we are giving all the bogo foods to them, and any things not expired that we won’t be able to eat. We have a local st Francis house and we feel so glad to share with them.

  7. jeanie says:

    Always enchanted and today is no different! What a lovely quilt — I love that it danced with the angels. And sheep! Quilts and sheep make me a happy camper indeed!

  8. Kathy F says:

    I love reading your blogs and hearing such positive words that send me wonderful visions of your travels and your staycay in MV. I have been a fan of yours for many winters here in Virginia. I’ve been inspired to take up watercolors a little and your paintings give me wings to try to paint as well. I have 2 Of your cookbooks I’m filling out for my daughters so I definitely need to add Grandma Orr’s recipe!

    I also enjoy reading your many girlfriends’ comments and adventures too!
    Thanks for being a bright light for us all!

    • sbranch says:

      Aren’t they wonderful? Love that you’re filling out the cookbooks… making such family treasures for your girls!💞

  9. Ann Y. says:

    Congratulations to the winners…what a treat! Yep, it’s going to be a quiet and cozy Thanksgiving. Like you…just the two of us – and I intend to make the dinner for us and then – the movie. Each Thanksgiving night we watch the original Miracle on 34th Street. And we have a tradition…my dear Uncle Joe was a bachelor and was very good and generous to my brother and sisters and me. He had white hair and we used to call him Santa Claus…and one Thanksgiving when the rest of the family was not able to get together we had him to our home for dinner. My dear husband drove one hour to get him, one hour back to our home, he did not want to stay over, so another 2 hour round trip…but – oh! We watched Miracle on 34th Street after dinner and he loved it ( he was in his 80’s then and used a cane…) and motioned to his cane that he really WAS Santa Claus. A few years after that he passed away…my aunt, his sister, called us to his home and said “take what you want”. I asked for the cane. I keep it in our umbrella stand all year….but after we watch the movie it comes out and stays propped up against the fireplace until New Year’s. And we say a little prayer and thanks to Uncle Joe. Snippy Doodle….going to make it this weekend for our Sunday night PBS watching treat! Thank you…for everything!

    • sbranch says:

      What a happy, happy memory! I Love it Ann! Magic!💖

    • Chris Wells Knickerbocker, TX says:

      What a wonder story. Thanks for sharing. The original Miracle on 34th St is also my favorite Christmas movie! As a child I thought that movie was just magical!

    • Dianne says:

      My family has also always watched Miracle on 34th Street (the original) on Thanksgiving – it was the perfect ending to my favorite holiday. This year will be different, of course, since we won’t be gathering as a family, but I think that the movie will be even more meaningful. I’ll be thinking of you and your Uncle Joe, imagining his cane next to your fireplace. Take care

  10. Dear Susan – I just light up reading your newsletters. I live near San Francisco and wish I could have connected with you when you lived here in California. With Thanksgiving coming up and you talking about the movies you will watch, I wanted to share a song that many people use as their blessing song on that day. I have written many songs with gratitude as a theme and this is my favorite.
    youtube.com/watch?v=2SHaEjFtP2g I am so blessed
    and my newest gratitude song: youtube.com/watch?v=y0M2d1YomWA I am grateful
    You inspire me I hope these songs inspire you!
    Love – karen

  11. Lynette Strohbach says:

    This is going to be a hard holiday season for people who live alone, including me. People who have family that live with them are so lucky. I am trying to save your book Home for the holidays to read at Christmas, and am hoping that it gives me comfort like your other books have. Thank you Susan for always getting us through the good times and bad. Even though I don’t know you, I feel that you truly are a girlfriend! I will try the Snippy Doodle, sounds delicious!

    • sbranch says:

      It is so tough Lynette. I think in places like California and Florida it will be easier because they can be outside year round … but very rough for those of us in freezing places! Stay safe dear friend. We’ll be here!

  12. Nancy Diane Brown says:

    Hi Susan,
    Camelot! One of my favorite movies and sound tracks. I’ll be humming this tune and not be able to get it out my head all night. It’s a good thing!
    I can’t wait to make your Snippy Doodle cake either. Thank you for always sharing such fun stuff with us, and I am also loving this fall weather.
    Free to be. Lucky me. Dampanic…This too shall pass.
    Stay well and happy!

  13. Penny Carpenter says:

    Your post is so uplifting again! The autumn is soul refreshing for me. Another friend has been diagnosed with Covid 19 in our small community in the woods. North Idaho has become a “paradise” for us having moved here from Montana. Lots of ties still there too though. Going to try your coffee cake in the morning!
    Stay well!!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I’m so sorry Penny. People get well, praying your person is one of them and everyone else in your area stays safe.💖

  14. Jo'l says:

    Full of beauty as always. Thanks.

  15. Kathie Hood says:

    I haven’t gotten an email from you recently and I’ve missed you so much. I am a huge fan of anything Susan Branch. I have all your books but somehow missed your latest Christmas one. I envy just a little the three mile walk with Joe. I had a stroke in Nov of 2016 and will always need a walker but most days I walk 1/2 mile with my walker, Bobby and our dear Chasey, a fox red lab mix. He is litterly the sweetest dog I have ever had. When I was in a coma I didn’t get to see him but he was welcomed at my second rehab. He would come in the evening, after lots of loving by the staff. He would come by my bed for some loving, then would curl up on the floor and go to sleep.

    • sbranch says:

      I LOVE your positivity Kathie, you are a beautiful example of love and hope and not giving up. That walk has to be a wonderful thing, fresh air and nature and sweet doggy. I’m so proud of you for doing it!👏👏👏💋

  16. grace thorne says:

    ooh christmas in connecticut is one of my all time fave movies…luv-lee post and delish recipe to try…and a new bookmark! i’ll be watching yankee for your ad!

  17. Karen B. says:

    When I receive an email informing me you have a new post I always set aside time to listen to the music and enjoy each and every word. It never fails to brighten my day. Thank you.

  18. Chris Wells. Knickerbocker, TX says:

    So happy for Rachael and Val! Congratulations! I have my Christmas book but I am waiting to open it until it gets a little closer to Thanksgiving. Yes Thanksgiving will be different this year, but it will still be Thanksgiving!! Since we are supposed to have a dryer and warmer winter (what else is new), I am planning on Thanksgiving on the porch. I think that would be so lovely.
    You know, other than the shortages, and missing an occasional lunch with my best friend, I guess I am made for a pandemic. Now I don’t have to make an excuse for why I would rather stay home! I have my puppies, my cats, and my garden and my love. What more can I need?
    Somewhere you mentioned burning the 2020calendar in your fire pit, page by page on December 31. I love that idea. If it is too cold and windy outside I will burn one in the fireplace. Now to find a 2020 calendar…because there is no way I am burning my Susan Branch one. Maybe I can just print one out on the computer.
    Love the post and I hope to make the cake when we get a little change in weather.

  19. Debbie P says:

    Good morning!
    After several rainy, dark days, the sun is out and the trees are looking as if they’ve been electrified ~ brilliant golds against the blue sky!
    I just wanted to say Thank You for that adorable video of the visit to Yew Tree Farm. You were right ~ a bit of heavenly peace and I never stopped smiling! It reminded me of a wonderful working sheep farm that I used to take my daycare family to each year ~ The Woolamby Sheep Farm. The woman who owned the place dressed up and called herself Mother Goose. She would give us a tour of her little farm, which also included bunnies and kittens and a sweet border collie, who would put on an amazing demonstration of herding the sheep together at Mother Goose’s command. The children were allowed to wander, climb on split rail fences and hay bales; hold and hug the animals, learn how wool was sheared and watch Mother Goose spin it into yarn on her spinning wheel set up in the barn. It was so magical! Each spring, a few of the baby lambs were dyed in kool-aid! It was the most adorable thing to see them in their pastel colors! Mother Goose would gather the children into a cozy corner of the barn and read a story and then take us all on wagon ride around the farm. If we visited in Autumn, we could stop and pick a pumpkin from her pumpkin patch. I always packed a picnic lunch and we would stay for hours! I remember there was a really large wooden replica of the shoe from “There was an old woman who lived in a shoe” that the children could actually go inside and climb up to the top window. I really enjoyed my visits there as much as anyone.
    I invited Mother Goose to bring one of her little lambies to my home for our son’s 4th birthday and she agreed! It was the end of February or first part of March and very cold outside. I spread a large blanket in the living room and Mother Goose arrived, carried in the lamb, and the children were able to circle around and touch and ask questions. We were so lucky to have such a place to visit but unfortunately, when they retired, they sold the property and there was no one to carry on in their footsteps.
    These are memories from about 25 years ago but still treasured!
    Wishing you and Joe many more beautiful morning walks to the sea ~ Happy October! Can’t wait to hear from you again!
    Debbie xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Well, right now, I miss Mother Goose and I never even met her! Some people are just born to make magic! Can you imagine all the lives she touched with her simple acts of sharing the love. Lucky you and your kids!💖

  20. Bev Armani says:

    These little spots of joy are so needed…especially now…I enjoyed the lyrics you included from “If Ever I Would Leave You” from Camelot…I found myself singing it as I read it…I went to see that movie twice in one day when I was in college..I was obsessed!!! Actually watched it again recently…stay safe..be well…

  21. Tiffany Finegan says:

    You’ve inspired me to be on the look out for quilts at my local second hand stores! What great treasures you have found. I love the idea of hanging them on the chair backs. Thanks so much for the Snippy Doodle recipe! Definitely going to try it 🙂

  22. Lynn Marie says:

    What a fun post! I hope you and Joe visit The Yew Tree Farm on your next trip across the pond–those sheep are adorable!

  23. Karen says:

    Stop saying ‘dampanic’. There is nothing cutesy about 222,000 deaths in the USA alone.

  24. Larkin Myers says:

    I love you so much. Thank you for the calming influence in the midst of the elections, the dampanic, the chaos. Girlfriends forever.

  25. Debbie Dority says:

    Wonderful blog post, and October Surprise, Susan! So many of my favorite topics…Fall, train trips, Shirley Temple, favorite family recipes…I feel like a winner because we have the Snippy Doodle recipe 😊👍🏻 That Grandma of yours, she was a rock star! My two grandmas could not have been more different, both in heaven a long time now but still cherished very much. We’ve been watching TCM lately, the Topper movies with Cary Grant, Billie Burke…♥️♥️ Happy October everyone! 🎃🧡🍂🍁🌻

  26. Linda says:

    Hi Susan,

    Enjoyed escaping to your post this morning, and the beautiful pictures of the autumn season. As always, uplifting to the spirit. I would love to see your movie list on a printable bookmark for easy reference, or maybe I missed one you already made.

    Looking forward to your puzzle coming soon!
    XO Linda

  27. Such a fun post… I can’t wait to make the Snippy Doodle! Thank you for the recipe. I also plan to make Moon Water…a recipe from the grandgirls: Fill a jar with water, wait until full dark. Place in the full moon light and wait for the magic to be made. The only trick is to be sure it is brought inside before sunrise. Happy Days and Happy Halloween!
    Love, Kari

  28. Sharon Crane says:

    Hello Susan! I was just talking about how different Thanksgiving will be this year with my daughter, but we have so much to be thankful for! I’m going to make my usual turkey dinner with all the trimmings because who doesn’t love those leftovers? I’m thankful for your lovely blog which always inspires me! Plus a package was left on my doorstep today with your 2021 calendar and Christmas book inside(so excited!!!). My husband always gets me the calendar for Christmas, so I’m not allowed to peek at it. Also, I’m super excited for Halloween and the Blue Moon! Thank you for your beautiful words, pictures and recipes, Susan!

  29. Marilyn Ghere says:

    Loved the link for the trip to Yew Farm with Kirsten and Joerg that you shared with us. Such stunning views, and Kirsten and Jeorg are delightful. (Kirsten with those terrific dimples and Joerg standing behind her, adding his little
    comments !!) The sheep were delightful. I’m glad you share links to so many wonderful folks with all of us. There is a blog that I so enjoy, “Country Ways and Cottage Days.” I am pretty sure I read a comment by the author on one your blogs and so I decided to look at her blog. I have appreciated reading it ever since. I am glad that you enjoy the author and artist, Lois Lenski, and found that rare book of hers. I have just a few strong memories of books that made an impression on me when I was an avid young reader. One is a book by Lois Lenski. It is titled, “Judy’s Journey.” The reason the book made such an impression is that it tells all about a migrant family and what their life is like—having to move frequently and all of the heartaches involved with that life. Later, when I was a little older, maybe in junior high school, I met a friend who lived in housing that was built to house migrants who worked in the fields. I still remember her name, Hermalinda. I have thought of Hermalinda and that book so many times over the years that finally a few years ago I searched for this book. I actually didn’t remember the title, but I was pretty sure I could figure it out and I did. I ordered it right then! It is very satisfying to have this book. Perhaps with your generous gift of “Home for Christmas”, you have introduced a person to Lois Lenski. Happy glorious Autumn !

  30. Gina Derksen says:

    Had to share: my sweet daughter had your new book delivered, “Happy Quarantine,” as I was inadvertently exposed to the The Cooties. Been enjoying a bit each day, spreading the joy, and so excited to see the recipe above. Growing up in So Cal, I remember Candy Cane Lane! Also looking through the Autumn book for ideas, now that I am allowed to cook for my guy again. Going to do the roast lamb, I think. Love the quilts! I make lots and collect old ones too. For years I have had a stack of your quilt fabric; finally bravely used it with vintage feedsacks and 1930’s reproductions in a Jen Kingwell pattern called, “Wild Ride.”

  31. Janeen says:

    Thank you for mentioning Kirsten and Joerg. I watch there channel on YouTube. Love their adventures. They make me think of you often.

  32. Such a sweet delight to read your post – quilts in the kitchen – love that! The little surprise in the guest room drawer is just wonderful. So much eye candy and happiness – enjoy the fleeting fall so you can count one more winter. xx K

  33. Jan Lane says:

    Autumn is a time to enjoy the richness of the many colours and the golden hues which reflect from the clouds. It is a time to savour the warmth of the shorter days. It is a time to sip hot beverages from a favourite cup. The days seem to fly by in autumn. It makes sense to linger and relax. Before you know it, the frenzy of holiday preparations is going to be hard to avoid.
    I think that this year will be very different for many of us. We are probably going to be forced to slow the pace. It may even feel uncomfortable to some of us.
    I am trying to take every day as it comes. I won’t pretend by saying that this has been the best year of my life. It certainly hasn’t. The loss of our brother, leaving myself and my sister the only ones still here, alive and breathing has brought the challenges right to our doorsteps. But it is also important to understand the essence of living in the moment and making the best our of it.
    May you all find a moment of peace and joy and thank you, Susan, for sharing happy thoughts with us!

  34. Helen says:

    Congratulations to the winners!

  35. Christine Morgan says:

    Thank you for another wonderful post. I got up this morning and looked out the window. I decided I should walk around my garden and take in as much as possible because we are getting rainy weather here this week and that will ruin the beautiful leaves. To my surprise there were still some blooms and some beautiful leaves. I got my clippers and picked a beautiful fall bouquet made up of all the last minute blooms. So nice. Since spending so much time at home these little things mean so much. Similar to your walks you take. My garden and nature in general keep me looking forward to the next season. Love all your quilts. Going to try you cake recipe. Sounds wonderful with a cup of hot tea.

  36. Barbara Irvine says:

    Now that the cooler weather has arrived, I’m drinking more hot tea. Unfortunately, that tea is staining the insides of my beautiful Susan Branch cups!

    Does anyone have a good solution to bleaching out the stains? I have used OxyClean, which does bleach out the stains, but it seems to leave an aftertaste, regardless of how many times I rinse the cup. Any suggestions?

    Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween!


    • sbranch says:

      Have you tried a cleanser like Comet? I haven’t had that happen… and I’m sorry to hear it. I thought they were magic that way, staying unstained, but I bet it has to do with the water!💖 Let me know if the Comet worked! It works great on my porcelain sinks.

      • Vicki South of Arroyo says:

        Oh, I have this happen every day because I use my SB cups every day! Just pour in a bit of apple cider vinegar with some water; let it sit a bit. Wipes right out. Probably any vinegar would do; it’s just that the day it first happened, because I like my tea really strong (and it can stain ANYthing), the apple cider vinegar was closest at hand.

    • sue says:

      I wet the inside of the cup. and then sprinkle baking soda in and rub until it comes out. It works like a charm. I hope that helps. Sue

  37. becky smith says:

    Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful “Snippy Doodle” recipe with us, Susan. It brought back many cherished memories of my childhood when my mom made the same recipe back in the 50’s. There was no name for it, but we just knew it was good. She would whip it up on a busy day when she didn’t have time to make a fancy dessert; but we kids didn’t know the difference. It was pure heaven. So thanks Susan for putting a name to this wonderful treasured recipe.

  38. Dianne Anderson says:

    I save your blogs for Saturday mornings when the pace is slower. Enough time to savor each thought and soak in the musica! Going to share this with my friend in Delaware who is an avid quilter and going to bake L.A. Unified School District coffee cake this morning. I’ve been super busy phonebanking – can’t stand the thought of waking up Nov. 4 thinking I didn’t do enough – am up to 3485 calls and have met the nicest people! You brought back taste memories of my cranberry zinfandel sauce for turkey day. Did you hear farmers are worried they have raised too many large birds! Just the info I need to put two in the freezer and do a 22+lb bird for this year even though it will only be 6 – 3 pods of safe people. Blessings to you and yours, including adorable Jack! Heading to the sewing kits in the store! Thank you so much for your always delightful blogs!

  39. Thank you, Susan for another sweet, lovely, wonderful, soul-hugging post! I was feeling quite sad this morning with all that is going on in the world and with our personal loss of loved ones in this pandemic. I needed to do something to feel better. Got out into nature in my garden and then decided to head on over to your blog. I’m so glad I did! You brought me much needed joy today! Love your recipe and I always enjoy your wonderful descriptions of your nature walk to the sea.

    I popped back into your Peter Rabbit room 🙂 Seeing the Peters around their little bonfire just brought me so much happy joy! I happen to have those same little BP bunny figurines and just gathered them up and they are having their own little bonfire, too! So yours have friends gathered round the fire here in Hatboro, PA 🙂 And I just went over and registered for your Home for Christmas Tea with the King’s English Bookshop tomorrow. Sharing this delightful time with you and all the lovely folks all over will be sooo wonderful! See you tomorrow 🙂
    Sue – Hatboro, PA

  40. Helen (Maggie) Giltmier says:

    Beautiful, as always! I will make your coffee cake and pray God’s Blessings for all of us. I would hope to hold my little Liam who is two, and see the moon on Halloween, and sing a lullaby to him. My daughter is retiring from being the Chief of Police on Oct.30th, and Halloween is her favorite holiday, she has served her community for 30 years and been a blessing to so many. Enjoy this special time! God Bless Us All and our World! Maggie

    • sbranch says:

      Please give our love to your daughter, and thank her for her years of service!!! God Bless Us All and our World and little Liam too . . . XOXOXO

  41. just me says:

    PS I am also a first born and looked after/mothered my 2 brothers and baby sister–I pushed her around in my doll buggy. With my father away in the war I became mother’s little helper.

  42. Paula says:

    “We are all children of God.” I understand how hearing that truth made you feel, Susan. I do not like to think of how life would be if I did not know that God is my loving Father and will care for his children no matter what! As always, this BLOG was a delight for the mind to read and the eyes to see! I “sneaked a peek” at the Yew Tree Farm tour and look forward to savoring the watching. I did some shopping at a birthday gift for a friend and the puzzle for my granddaughter who earned her Masters Degree this spring and is a voracious reader. 🙂 You always brighten our lives with your cheerful attitude, even amidst this “dampanic.” I think a lot of our family (not my husband or me) and some friends and acquaintances had the dreaded flu earlier on, before it was labelled. They all said it was the worst flu they had ever had. Thankfully, they are all well now. One friend had it at 85 and she came through with flying colors. I am sorry for all who suffer the death of loved ones, no matter of what they died. This was on a sandwich board at a local store: “On a positive note, no one has died of old age since March.” Thank you for your choice to bring cheer and to focus on the good and beautiful, Susan. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      We think we both had it too! It lasted easy 5 weeks, was SUCH a strange thing, not really a flu, just this dry cough and shortness of breath, and so so tired. But that was last January! I’m glad you didn’t get it! Have a wonderful day! Thank you Paula!

  43. Janet Yamanishi says:

    Made Snippy Doodle this morning, delicious! I have made the orange marmalade loaf recipe you posted some time ago, also delicious!
    Stay well,

  44. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan, I received your Home for Christmas books (one for me and one for three friends). I’m saving it to read on Christmas Eve. The Christmas I was 8 years old, 1954, Santa left me a pink wicker dolls cradle and a baby doll. I still have the cradle but the doll was made of soft rubber that dried out and crumbled over the years. I do still have the head, creepy as that is. So I’ve decided to replicate that Christmas of 66 years ago. I have pictures to guide me. The plan is for Santa to bring me a new baby doll and I’m sure he won’t disappoint such a firm believer in him. I have paper dolls, books I loved back then, a diary with a lock and key, new jammies lined up to go under the tree. I want to thank you for the inspiration for all of this. One thing I won’t be replicating is the Toni home perm. Remember those? Hugs, Elaine

  45. Terri Brewster says:

    Happy Fall to you, Joe and Jack. This season truly is my favorite. Your blog posts always come at just the right time when I need something to warm my soul. I sit with a cup of fall flavored tea and dive right in. This year is one for the record books and one I can’t wait to watch go off into the sunset. It has been one of struggle and seems to keep dishing out tough times at every corner, yet we also have much to be thankful for. It has taught me what is important. While I miss traveling, enjoying hugging girlfriends and some freedoms we have lost. I have learned to love being home, quiet time with my family, new hobbies and how to be creative in connecting with girlfriends. The holidays will be different, but I hope we can all celebrate our blessings and keep those who have lost so much this year in our thoughts, hearts and prayers while we look forward to a much brighter future.
    Much love to you all!

  46. Therese says:

    Dear Susan,
    Such a nourishing post–from the Newman and Tagore quotes to the quilts on the line and the needlework inspiration.
    I especially love “Recipes are like poems…”
    It has been a magical, glorious Autumn!
    The lull in human activity has brought deeper quiet and space(!!!) for Nature. My maples, still bright against the blue October sky, had so much to say
    to the south wind this past week-end.
    We took down the wren house and filled the feeders.
    That November “batten down” feeling is coming in stronger
    and I especially value and treasure correspon-dance.
    Thanks as always.

  47. Carole Mazurek says:

    I love October… I live in Georgia where the trees are still just turning colors. My husband is in Wisconsin today and called to tell me that it was snowing there!! God has a great sense of humor. Let us hope that He will send us strong leaders in this next election and brings an end to the pandemic. We can begin a new journey in a healthy world.
    Happy Halloween,

  48. Anna Olson says:

    Hey, Susan, I am a 17 year old girl from Nebraska. I love your style and your book At Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside’ is my favorite; I’ve read it 5 times and am hoping to go to England myself for a year of collage. Hoping to gain an accent, wish me luck! I did really enjoy this blog post, however, there was one point that I disagree with you. You said, “All we have lost is our freedom. It could be so much worse.” If I understand correctly, you meant giving up the freedom to travel is a very small sacrifice compared with a lot of suffering and problems going on in the world. I would disagree with you that losing our freedom is a small sacrifice, though. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Those who give up freedom for security deserve neither and lose both.” And that is exactly what I, as a young person, see going on in America and around the world right now. Even though they have been proven not to help, masks are mandated across the country and religious groups are being targeted to be shut down ‘due to COVID-19’ while protests and riots are being endorsed. I guess I am worried that Americans will trade their hard- earned freedom of speech, religion and so much more to be ‘kept safe’ from a virus that has claimed less lives then the annual flu. I know a lot of people don’t share my views but I believe that we should fight for our freedom that was bought at such a cost for us.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, so right, Anna, I was talking about giving up our freedom to travel, compared to others, who are losing jobs, homes, and family members to this virus. As for masks, I see it sort of like seat belts. No one says bad things about seat belts, we know they save our lives. And masks, such a small thing to ask. Remember learning about WWII? My dad fought in that war. Our men went to war, women stayed home and worried about husbands and brothers, they went to work in the factories to build ships and planes, people were food and energy rationed. In other countries, homes were bombed night after night. It went on for years, but people stayed strong. Those people were called The Greatest Generation. Because they suffered for the common good. We are only being asked to wear a mask. So our nurses and doctors don’t get sick and hospitals don’t get overwhelmed. Only for a while. We just want to keep as many people alive as we can until we get a vaccine ~ which we hope won’t be too long from now. There are 54 million Americans, moms, dads, kids, teen-agers, with pre-existing conditions who would die if they get this virus, and that doesn’t even count senior citizens. As long as half of us have to stay home because the other half won’t wear a mask, our way of life can never come back. I love that you are thinking about this at your young age. It’s a wonderful thing to be active. But remember, caring for our neighbors is part of the American way. Lots of people are putting off weddings, not going to church or school, not going out to eat, for just one reason, to care for each other. It’s really quite beautiful if you think about it! Your age kids are suffering so much … everyone worries for you. But I think maybe your generation will get a “great” in front of it one day! Love to you, I know you will LOVE England someday when you get to go. Such a magical place!💖

  49. Davi Mondt Lowman says:

    Susan, your posts, your books, your attitude – always positive and loving and beautiful. Those things give me strength, hope, and peace. As November 3rd approaches, I have trust and faith in the good people of America to vote for truth, decency, acceptance of all, and a return to a position of respect for our country. I have cried enough tears, felt too hopeless and helpless over the last four years, been so angry I’ve felt physically sick – but, as my Great Grandmother Nellie Bly Peyton Balcer said, “This too will pass.” Hopefully, many have learned the lessons that the Universe sent us. The main one being… LOVE will prevail. Not hatred and evil. So, here’s to you, Susan… my little beam of brightness and joy… please continue with your enduring happiness and positivity. You may not realize it, but you are a true Warrior.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve always been about home, family, love, truth, kindness, closeness, creativity, integrity, best friends, quilts, laughter, equality, moms, 100% cotton, really good food, old movies, birds, flowers, gardens, fresh air, trains, and freedom, and I am forever and ever for everything that supports these things.💋💋💋

  50. Madelyn says:

    Great email today. So glad to hear from you as I know my fellow friend love to get a message from you on your Blog……..Also glad you are doing well in Martha’s Vineyard and not out here in CA. Too many fires and too much being shut in’s as our Governor wants.

    Got your darling little book for a friend for Christmas. was taken back a little by the size, but still a really sweet new book.
    Enjoy the holidays as best you and everyone else this year. What a year that we have lost but thanking God most of us are safe. But still a lost year for so many. Happy Thanksgiving and I hope Christmas is a blessed one for
    you too…….. 2021 I pray will be a great year for everyone!!

    • sbranch says:

      I kept saying it was little book ~ 64 pages! Just a little Christmas story!♥️ I’m glad to hear you liked it, I hope you weren’t disappointed! Yes, a lost year, but I think we all plan to make up for it royally just as soon as we can!!! 💞

  51. Ann R says:

    Susan, that tv recommendation illustration would make a lovely bookmark (hint hint) Thanks for the October one and cake recipe on behalf of all the October birthday gals. Aloha, Sweet Sue

  52. Maria says:

    Hi Susan

    Made your Snippy Doodle cake but changed it a bit to make it gluten and dairy free for my son and he loved it! Plus I tried a pièce with a good jam and thought I could use it for a Victoria Sponge! It was delicious. Also wanted to tell you that I love your Turkey Meatloaf recipe, your Summer Tomatoes salad dressing/bruschetta topping and your pumpkin trifle. Everything I make out of your books or your blog turns out great. I have all of them! To read the books and try the recipes is relaxing during this pandemic😞 Thanks xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      How nice of you Maria . . . thank you for the kind words. Makes me so happy to hear that. I work hard to make sure my recipes turn out right! Once in a while I forget something like how long to cook something (did that once) and also what temperature to cook something at (also, once)… but everything else should go swimmingly!💖 Nothing like cooking, making something from nothing, creating, and nurturing. xoxo

  53. Sherry Palla says:

    I’m so glad I live in a world with October’s! Happy October Susan! 💕🎃

  54. Kristen says:

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

  55. Lucia Ann France-Bryant says:

    Hi Susan, I got your book in the mail yesterday and tried to save it but I just read it! I love it! It’s so much like my childhood! I had tears in my eyes reading about your grandma. I still miss mine. Only good memories. Thank you so much!

  56. Debra Sewell says:

    Beautiful stunning quilts. The first full size quilt I ever made was for my very darling Doctor when I had my 1st child. He was married to a real home birth midwife and he made sure that 1st birth was exactly as I wanted it. Quiet, natural and peaceful. Hence big Bears Paw quilt. Wonderful Willard and prices for lucky people. So exciting always. Be safe, be romantic. I’m going to get all those movies you listed in dvds from my library.


  57. karen seward says:

    I always enjoy your blog, TY

  58. Mary Eva says:

    Thank you Susan for all these wonderful words. Love them ❤️. Be safe & Happy Halloween

  59. Colleen van de Kraat says:

    Well, JUST what I needed!
    I feel like I was sitting in front of a fire listening to the ‘Musica,’ reading and browsing. Thank you Susan for your sweet thoughts, humor, and seeing the beauty in this world.

  60. Cindy says:

    Just how old is Jack? I love every single photo you post of that handsome boy!

  61. Debbie Boerger says:

    Trivia………..I looked up Orr’s Island, Maine. Wikipedia has a good bit of info, including the fact that Harriett Beecher Stow wrote a book, The Pearl of Orr’s Island. Could they have been some of your “People”? I always laugh when I ask that question. In the very Deep South, one was frequently asked by old ladies, “Who ahh yoah people, my deah?” They meant no harm, just needed to place you in the proper slot.
    I began preparing a humongous pot roast at 1 PM. Been at it all me bloomin’ life it feels. Almost 6, Tom just made a fire, and I think the roast is finally getting tender. No Chuck, so I have a shoulder instead. Not as tender and juicy, but it will be good. Yummy mushroom/onion gravy it’s simmering in…lots of slivers of garlic in tiny slits in the roast. Done before the browning. Fresh green beans, taters, carrots. And of course little buttermilk biscuits.
    It was 26 this morning, so I think it’s finally winter. The sky was just awesome last night. We had our first snow flurries today. Forecast to be snowing on Friday. We’re ready. We can live a week or more on that roast!!!!
    Stay safe and healthy, Dear Sue, Joe and Jack.
    Mucho love,
    Debbie in Downeast Maine

    • sbranch says:

      Maybe, our Orr ancestor came from Scotland in 1740 … the next generations went from Plymouth MA, to upstate NY. But that’s our main branch, no telling what the brothers and sisters of that first family did! It’s really an insane investigation when you go running off the branches, that’s how you end up realizing we’re ALL related!!! Dinner sounds fabulous! It’s Friday today, cold, windy, rainy on the island . . . did you get your snow? xoxoxo

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        My oldest and dearest friend in Tampa, has been doing genealogy since I first moved next door to them in 1970. In the days of no internet, she’d go to the library and do research, and after becoming good buds, I got to stay with her 2 very young daughters. She had lots of “trees” that she’d inherited from both sides of her family.
        She’s listed me as a contributor on Ancestry. I get a notice in my email when new things have been added, and it all reads as the entire history of England as well as the US from the early settlers. On Tom’s first trip to Jolly Olde with me, we visited a couple of old Saxon chapels in Kent, one that had the tombs of a few of Anne’s ancestors under the floors. In Godmersham, Kent, the ancient lodge of her ancestor was sold to Jane Austin’s brother. Jane did visit.
        One of Anne’s daughters is a Medievalist, now a prof at Leicester. Tom and I have visited on two occasions, my fav. being when she and her 2 kids lived in Edinburgh, where she hopes to return. Both kids were born at home in Edinburgh. She spent one whole day with her aging friend (moi) and we poured over the Pictish collection in the big museum. I’ve always focused on the really deep roots of the many peoples of Britain, my roots. Then, low and behold, I find I have a fairly large chunk of Scandinavian DNA. I am a Viking!!!! Anne says often that as you travel back on your tree, you’ll find that we really are all related in some way.
        Thank you for helping me stay a tiny bit sane during this scary, scary time. Tom assures me that we will be OK, even if Voldemort is returned for another shot at tearing down our country. So very frightening.
        Snippy Doodle for tonight. If all else fails, cook!!!
        Mucho love to all,
        Debbie in Maine

        • sbranch says:

          Love all the ancestry! I have a bit of Viking myself, and everything else is Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England. Tad of western France. Love the name Godmersham… going to look it up!

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        No snow, but I think you did!!! It was 22 this morning, brilliant sunshine. Almost full moon last night, with Mars nearby. At
        5 AM Jupiter was very bright. We’ll be waiting for the moon to rise tonight, All Hallows Eve. Hard to see much of the sky in Tampa. Too many lights, buildings and trees that never go bare.
        Spent 2 hours on Zoom with Boerger siblings and their spouses. It was fun. Maybe we could do a Zoom Thanksgiving meal, as one of our Girlfriends said her family would do. Great Idea!

  62. Jake Gariepy says:

    I haven’t commented in ages, but I am always checking in and finding reasons to be happy and content. I think this community must be among the coziest and most supportive of any anywhere!

    I am thrilled for the winner of One Christmas. I saw a picture of your little stack of Christmas books years ago and have tried to find all of those that I didn’t already have. I’m doing so, I came across dozens of others. Now, along with all of the vintage Christmas magazines we have so many things to read each year, we have to start in November and go into January!

    This does lead me to a question for you and all of the girlfriends… do you have any suggestions for really cozy autumn/Thanksgiving stories? I’m thinking along the lines of Gladys Taber. Things from the ‘20s-‘50s that deal with the home, food, the garden. I know I’m being rather specific, but I have several stories and books along this line for Christmas, and I feel sure some must exist around this other great holiday.

    Finally, I was delighted to see “Margie” listed among your movies. I first saw this on the local PBS station when they aired a classic movie on Saturday nights in the ‘80s. I was just a kid but remembered it well and was so happy to discover it years later.

    Thanks for being the bastion of coziness, Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      I would go straight to Gladys Taber, Jake, she never gets old. Anything that speaks of blessings, nature, history, food as love. I have a little story in my Autumn book about the first Thanksgiving that I think is nice for a reminder of our history, and of that amazing coming together of the Native Americans in their incredible generosity for the Pilgrims, so endangered, so far from home, and all that was familiar. Yes, isn’t Margie wonderful? I don’t know why we don’t see it more often. So much charm! Girl and mom in attic, remembering. Happy to hear from you! Happy October, November, December, and here’s to a healthy, peaceful 2021.

  63. Kathleen Hansen says:

    Since you will be home for Thanksgiving…..along with all of us…could you do one thing? I just adore the story about your Grandma’s Turkey Dressing recipe. I love how she would dry out the bread on the old ironing board….I have saved that picture from previous years but can not find it now. Would you please, please include the pictures of bread drying and her recipe? It is such a cozy, family tradition that I would love to have another picture of it. Makes me feel like we are all family together….we especially need togetherness this year. We will be having dinner in front of the computer to Zoom with family and friends!

    • sbranch says:

      Thanksgiving family stories are the BEST! Such a wonderful holiday that celebrates gratitude, and no better year to do that than this one. Counting our blessings, remembering our loved ones lost. xoxoxo

    • Debbie Boerger says:

      Thank you, Kathleen, dinner on Zoom is a Great Idea!!
      Debbie in Maine

  64. Annie (Sydney, Australia) says:

    I’m late to the party and I don’t have a note! I always feel soothed after reading your posts, Susan. Thanks muchly. Congrats to the winners of your generous give-a-way.
    I like to knit during our winter and have spent many nights, this winter, knitting sweaters (jumpers in our lingo) for poddy (orphan) lambs as they can’t regulate their temperature when babies. The farmers have been doing it tough with drought, fires etc. and they put out a call and the world responded – such a wonderful world. This cute, happy-making Instagram video is the lambs showing-off their sweaters: instagram.com/p/CFbuHBXndek/
    P.S. For whatever reason, when using an Instagram link, you need to go to Instagram, then paste the link in their search bar.

    • sbranch says:

      LOVED your video, and those little sweaters on those precious lambs!!!

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Just delightful, I sent it on to a special girlfriend, who can’t get to England to see her grand kids. We laugh about first time being exposed to the new lambs, and how long it was before we could eat lamb. Sort of the way I was for a few years after the piglets were born on my cousin’s farm. They were all Wilbur to me!!!
        Debbie in Maine, second home of the wonderful EB White

  65. Linda Severs says:

    Hello Susan

    I so enjoyed your blog and I agree with you about England, and how I miss being there as well. I wish I could be there just to take those walks and see my extended family, and the Lakes District and all the Pubs and to have fish and chips. A surprise this morning to see snow here in New England and one day before Halloween, so I was quickly bringing in all my potted plants and harvesting the rosemary and thyme to dry and I still had hydrangeas on the bush that were blue, some turned a nice purple, so I clipped them to hang upside down inside.
    I will be making your cake and I think with the snow today it will be nice to have. I just wanted to mention that on a previous blog you had sent, you sent a drawing of a certain badge called my Mother My Confidence, I have that very same one, that I still carry in my wallet to this day. It was given to me in grammar school so it is many years old and yet it always stays with me. As always Susan thank you for your joy and inspiration that you give us all and your joy for the little things in life and to find beauty in everything from nature. I would also like to mention that I received as a gift from my Mom some years back your Autumn cook book in which she signed and also it was a copy that has your signature in it too, although my Mom has passed I hold everything she has given me so dear to my heart.
    Did your area get the snow today, if so enjoy a lovely walk with Joe.
    All the best to you both

  66. Hilary M says:

    Hi Susan,

    When will your new book about your latest trip to the UK be published? Are you still working on it? I am looking forward to it.

  67. Patty Walker says:

    Hi Susan,

    As always you give generously from your heart to all that read your blogs and then some! Special wishes and treats are always making my heart smile when I read your blog and I look for it every month! The quilts were beautiful so I forwarded your blog to a friend who came to mind immediately since she creates beautiful quilts herself. I am passing the love…..

    Patty Walker

  68. Debbie Boerger says:

    More trivia from the Trivia Queen, or maybe the trivial queen? When younger, I could beat the pants off anyone playing Trivial Pursuit and Jeopardy, no more, I slowly fade in that aspect of life. I don’t mind, really, because I am forgetting the darkness in early life. It’s all light now, with Mr. T.
    Been flying around and up and down 2 flights of stairs…holding on to hand rails. I have twice stepped off too soon and broken one, then the other foot. The Lovely Tom found a fabulously clever plastic hamper that has a very wide shoulder strap. It’s softly bendable, so I can schlepp the clothes and even other things to take to the basement fridge. I have to swear never again go down with a load that blocks my view of my feet!!
    I have been on a clean it out tear this last week. Being very short, I have to use my long handled rubbery spatula to rake things in the upper cabinet shelves out. Just amazing how many things have been hiding back there for over 20 years. Found 3 boxes of wooden toothpicks that were made by Forster Inc., the first wooden toothpick factory in the US, since 1887. They are labeled, “These polished (yes, polished!) white birch toothpicks are ideal for dental care as well as kitchen, workshops and general household use.”f They were the official toothpick for the ???? World’s Fair. Made in Winton, Maine.
    I have much, much more Trivia I have unearthed, but I’ll spare you and get on with our supper. Oh, how I am Loving being here with the wind ripping outside, Tom watching football, and a nice fire going. I’m thinking of all the girlfriends who live alone. We know you are there, and we all Care!!!

    Question….Why was our delightful Jane Pauley wearing a yellow rain slicker on Sunday Morning today? Anybody?
    Mucho Love and Grande Thanks,
    Debbie in stormy Maine…which makes Hugge feel even better!!

    • sbranch says:

      Our house was built by am Arctic Whaling captain and our stairs should be on a boat. More like ladders than stairs. Straight up and made for size 4 feet! I fear them. I will keep your “watch your feet” advice in mind. I go up and down with armloads of everything, never thought about watching my feet! I do hold on though! Be careful Debbie! Love your cozy world … SO happy you decided to stay!

  69. Jennie Lou says:

    Rabbit – Rabbit!
    Happy November to you!

  70. Joanne Ramsay says:

    I haven’t been able to get my order thru HELP!!!!!!! I’m not good on the computer so that’s probably why, but I have ordered (and paid) before so can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Thanks for your living of life the way you do and sharing it.

  71. Carol Melville says:

    Dear Susan
    I so enjoyed your little Christmas Book. I’m in my 6o’s now, was one of 9 children. I share many similar memories. Thank you.
    I recently purchased your Christmas Santa mugs for my grandchildren. We’re enjoying our Halloween tea cups now. I purchased the corresponding SB Santa fabric and made the most adorable coordinating Santa placemats. I know the kids will love them as much as I. Wish I could attach a photo.
    I’m an ICU nurse and this past year has wounded my spirit. Your presence has helped me escape the horrors and find peace and comfort. Thank you.
    Bless you and Joe
    Carol M

    • sbranch says:

      Oh my goodness Carol, I can just imagine your wounded spirit. Please put a big hug and huge appreciation from me into the mix. Sending all my love. xoxoxo

    • Jennie Lou says:

      Oh, Carol! On behalf of every daughter and every daughter in law and every wife who has ever sat in an ICU ward, THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU! I have been all three, and I would do anything to heal your wounded spirit for all you and your kind have healed mine. When I count my blessings, I count you three times!

  72. Judith A, Harris says:

    Thank you for your photo wall calendar/November with the Flander’s Fields quotation! My Dad would recite it on a moments notice, even up to age 92. He was educated with literature from Great Britain in Newfoundland. It warms my heart to reminisce these thoughts. The icing on the cake is, November is my birthday month. Thank you for all the lovely time, words and recipes you share with us! With love and hugs, Judy

  73. Maureen from So. Cal says:


    I am just now getting the time to truly read and enjoy this latest blog post; I could only skim it when it came out. I wanted to take time out on this day to read it and recall some of the good things in life that you remind us of each month. I am just wanting to take a respite from what’s going on today and the anxiety of it all. A bit of calm in this crazy political storm. Thank you for these moments of peace.
    Blessings and joy to you, Joe & cutie pie Jack.

  74. Judith Harris says:

    Thank you for your photo wall calendar/November with the Flander’s Fields quotation! My Dad would recite it on a moments notice, even up to age 92. He was educated from British literature in Newfoundland. It warms my heart to reminisce. The icing on the cake is, November is my birthday month. Thank you for all the lovely time, words and recipes you share with us! Hugs, Judy

  75. Laurie says:

    Such a beautiful post, I can no longer see your photos but I have the audio feature read your blog to me. I have all your books and have the images safely tucked away in my minds eye from before I lost sight. Thank you for bringing some normal everyday joy to our troubled times. And some yummy recipes too!

  76. Debbie Boerger says:

    Awoke to about 4 inches of beautiful, fluffy snow yesterday, Tuesday. We keep our loft cold at night, so the bathroom roof window made it easy to see the individual flakes and the amazing geometry of each one. Don’t you love seeing all the critter tracks in the new snow? Trees still “flocked” today, but it will be near 70 on the weekend. Lots of outdoor chores will get finished, hopefully.

    Today is proving challenging for me. I am staying off any media, including newspapers. This election is making me physically ill. The antidote is Nature, the awesome quiet here. I’m even saving your Twitter for later. When I can’t even swallow my coffee, I know I’m in trouble. Made another Snippy Doodle yesterday, but instead of topping with sugar and cinnamon, I smeared it with some of the apple butter I made. Tom loved it. Fresh Salmon on the grill tonight. Oh, Save Me, Vesta, keep of the Home Fires!!!

    Stay safe and well, Dear Lady,
    Mucho Love to you and all wonderful Girlfriends,
    Debbie in beautiful Maine

  77. Chris Wells. Knickerbocker TX says:

    Hi Susan, today is Thursday…I am going to break out of this funk I have been in since Tuesday. I am turning off the TV, going OUTSIDE and plant my garlic, play with the dogs and then come in and have a long bath with a glass of wine, listen to the Carpenters And watch The Bishops Wife while I make dinner! And pray that kindness and goodness and common sense prevails.

    • sbranch says:

      It’s impossible not to cheer yourself with a day like you planned for yourself. I hope it’s better Chris! xoxo

  78. Nicoline says:

    Dear Susan,
    I;m LATE LATE LATE in sending you a comment on this lovely post, so sorry, it was lovely as always. And the great surprise was that my dear sweet Rachel won the darling little book!!
    We had a gorgeous day at the beach today, sun was out, blue sky and everyone keeping a safe distance.
    This afternoon I made your yummy Gingerbread cake, to be eaten with the lemon sauce and whipped cream. I made it in a flowery bundt shape, and will add a Happy Birthday on it, because it’s Tim’s 23rd birthday tomorrow, goodness where has the time gone haha.
    And tonight we heard the wonderful news that you have a NEW President, yeah!! That makes it a red, white and blue letter day, with extra glitter!!
    Stay safe you 2, and have a great weekend!
    Lots of love from Holland, from
    Gabri and Nicoline

    • sbranch says:

      We’re going to the beach, taking book and lunch, in about 2 hours! We planned our day for this. It’s almost 70 degrees here, almost unheard of this time of year! Happy Birthday Dear Tim, and Happy day to all of your wonderful family!❌⭕️❌⭕️

  79. Wendi Unrein says:

    Darn I got to this too late! But it never disappoints even if I don’t win anything LOL! We all win when we get to read your fun newsletters Susan! Always fun to catch up and your thing on the embroidered dish towels it’s quite intriguing to me right now as I used to do it a lot when I was younger but now that I am Busy in my art it’s hard to find a time! Why does it seem that life just gets so busy at times? Fort was amazing here and I hope it was for you to! I have a new favorite tree color, it used to be make the maple red but now I have a new crush and I think it’s a oak tree as the colors with this beautiful rusty leaf! Absolutely stunning! Sadly the wind took my visual away buttt it was a symphony of color for a good month and I’m grateful!

  80. Dianne Carrol says:

    Hello Susan,
    I recently wrote to you somewhere on your web letting you know how much I loved your HOME FOR CHRISTMAS book. It was such a comfort to me during my recent long surgery and hospital stays. It truly helped me through a challenging time because the little book is so full of love and joy and beautiful memories that were similar to mine. Everything you produce is always uplifting and makes life happier. Hope this note goes through to you.

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