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!

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

442 Responses to OCTOBER SURPRISE

  1. Christine Anderson says:

    Loved the Christmas book! We are the same age, my father too had returned from the navy when i soon came along! There were six of us over 16 years!
    I always enjoyed the new ones: 4 brothers and 1 sister! We all live within a few hours of each other though we lost my oldest brother a number of years ago. Our Christmas’s were much as you described with Grandparents and an Aunt and Uncle with two cousins. Many wonderful traditions!! Brought back so many wonderful memories! Thank you for sharing!!

  2. ~Del gato GORDO y descarado~ says:

    see your Sir Lancelot- and raise you…
    *music link at bottom
    If ever I would leave you
    It wouldn’t be in summer.
    Seeing you in summer
    I never would go.
    Your hair streaked with sunlight,
    Your lips red as flame,
    Your face with a lustre
    That puts gold to shame!
    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.
    And could I leave you
    Running merrily through the snow?
    Or on a wintry evening
    When you catch the fire’s glow?
    If ever I would leave you,
    How could it be in springtime?
    Knowing how in spring I’m bewitched by you so?
    Oh, no! not in springtime!
    Summer, winter or fall!
    No, never could I leave you at all!
    Source: LyricFind
    Songwriters: Alan Jay Lerner / Frederick Loewe
    If Ever I Would Leave You lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc


    PS) thank you for this blog that fell into a wonderful music day!

  3. Barbara Gommerman says:

    Thanks Susan…can’t wait to make the Snippy Doodle. I had a Grandma Orr too. Never met her she was in Liverpool.

  4. Jackie says:

    Walking in the fall is the best and your almost 3 miles a day walk is a good habit, eh ? Thank you for another inspiring post ♥

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t know why this habit has stuck so well and so long … grateful it attached itself to us so permanently. You are welcome Jackie, thank you for being here!

  5. Pam Coblyn says:

    I would love to bring my Fenway the Border Collie to watch over the sweet Herdwicks! Thank you for the virtual trip to Yew Tree Farm.

  6. Wendy Young says:

    Sooo many treats in this October, autumn blog! I’ll be reading this many times for my pleasure. Happy wishes to the gals who won ~ Your quilts look comfy, Susan. And, thanks for the coffee cake. Breakfast tomorrow -yeah!
    Best, as always~ xx

  7. Karen Knabe says:

    I was so thrilled to come home from teaching 3rd graders and find your October surprise post! Thank you for making my day/week/month! I’m so excited to order your puzzle…it’s the perfect way to get through a cold Kansas City winter. Thank you Susan!

  8. Kathy Hinson says:

    Mmmm, not feeling well this afternoon…that cake sounds perfect! Old recipes are the best! Thanksgiving at home and alone with my husband, doesn’t sound so lonely when you describe it! Thank you!

  9. Ginny says:

    Congrats Val from Ohio, I’m from Ohio also, and I know you will be able to use that quilt!!!

  10. Jeannine Kinder says:

    Thank you Susan, Joe and Jack! Love you all.

  11. Nettie says:

    Bittersweet is how this fall makes me feel and I hear in your blog as well…..it’s such a Different year but gratitude still is very present everyday. Love your blogs you always make us feel special. I’m sad about the prizes but happy for the winners. Be well hugs to you and Joe

  12. Marsha L Whitestone says:

    Thank you Susan for being a bright spot on this grey Michigan day. Your writing and photos are always so uplifting. The world needs more like you right now. Sign me grateful!

  13. SYLVIA in Seattle says:

    Congrats to the LUCKY winners. That quilt should make the winner happy forever! I’ve pretty much stopped making quilts but that one makes me fondle my fabric stash and wonder if I could do it again. Hmmmm. I think I’ll send for the little kitty quilt with alphabet. Probably could do that one. Your baked chicken meal in front of the fireplace sounds perfect. As always thanks a million for the inspiration.

  14. Sylvia in New Hampshire says:

    Brightened my day as always!! Looking for to trying the Snippy Doodle. Thanks for sharing :}

  15. Mary from Oregon says:

    This might be my favorite blog post of yours! I grew up with 4 seasons then went without for 36 years. For the last 4 years I’ve had them back and they never cease to surprise me. But I love this post because it made me cry in all the best ways. You see, 10 days ago I lost my best friend from high school. We hadn’t lived in the same state for 45 years but that didn’t matter … we were still friends. When we were juniors, we were obsessed with the movie Camelot. Becky had the “album” and everyday after school we would go to her house and play it, while we pined after boys that didn’t ever leave us … because they weren’t there in the first place. 🙁 Last week when I was feeling so sad because I couldn’t get on a plane and go to her funeral, I said “Alexa, play the soundtrack from Camelot.” I managed to hold myself together until that beautiful song that you quoted, and then I just bawled. It felt really, really good. Just as it did today when I read that part about Autumn as I looked outside at golden leaves. So, thank you. Have a glorious season.

    • sbranch says:

      Ooo, to go without for 36 years! I went without for the first 32 years of my life, so I kind of know what you mean, although you HAD them, then lost them, that must have been 36 years of yearning! I am so sorry about your best friend. Such a loss. 😢 Beautiful music, a change of season, a loss of a friend, life in all its terrible beauty. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  16. Kathy Prell says:

    Thank you Susan for another beautiful post. I hope to join you at your book store event this Sunday!

  17. Molly says:

    “All we’ve lost is our freedom.”
    No. We have not lost our freedom. We may be inconvenienced, but that is nothing compared to losing freedom. Our inconveniences are still envied by those under communism and socialism.
    Please do not take that term so lightly.

    • sbranch says:

      I was speaking in regard to travel ~ that giving up our ability to just pick up and go is nothing compared to what others have lost. We are so lucky. You are so right…

  18. Sandra says:

    I have been enjoying your calendars and cookbooks for years, but just signed up for your blog. And what a delight it is! Thank you and I just love your idea to put quilts on kitchen chairs!

  19. Julie says:

    A cold snowy day here in MN (a bit too soon, if you ask me) and while I am trying my best to stay at the task of working from home, up pops the email that there is a new blog post. Of course I didn’t peak because I wanted to savor it! Thanks for bringing some peace and beauty to my cold day. Eager for my puzzle to arrive, and a perfect theme-BOOKS!

  20. Janet Seabridge says:

    I always feel so happy after reading your letters, Susan. I’m looking forward to the Full Moon on Halloween also. I’ll have to do some research to learn why it’s known as the Blue Moon. Re: Peter Rabbit- I am also a fan. When my (now 19 y/o) daughter was born, we had decorated her nursery in Peter Rabbit. When we were at her baptism, we were shocked to hear the Priest talk about Peter Rabbit in the sermon. And we had never mentioned the nursery! Talk about coincidence. One last thing: I had intended to be on your Zoom program this past weekend, and was terribly sad when I realized I missed it. I had failed to put it on my calendar. I hope to join the one this weekend. Happy Halloween!!

  21. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    Thank you Susan. Its All So Lovely. I love that you walk with Joe to the sea every day, very special! I’m so very grateful for my son’s successful surgery that I don’t mind quarantining when I get home, or even being by myself for Thanksgiving if it turns out that way this year. Wishing everyone peace, contentment and love.

  22. Nelda Jaarda says:

    Thank you for this post. I love it. I ordered the puzzle when the preorder came available. I will love putting that together. Enjoy!

  23. Neser says:

    Thank you so much for this lovely uplifting posting today. I was very much in need of a little picker upper. Be happy and well 🍂❤️

  24. Nancy Cadiente says:

    I loved this post! The Fall ones are my favorite with all your wonderful pictures and recipes, mainly because Fall is my very favorite season :-). I love the colors, and the music, and the farm stands with their apples and pumpkins, and the cool crisp nights. In Southern California, they are cherished for sure. Thank you for the Snippy Doodle recipe…funny name! I love to bake, so this will be a new fun one to to try this season. Can hardly wait! Enjoy your wonderful Fall in Massachusetts. My husband and I have been only once in Fall and loved it to death:-)

  25. Marian says:

    I love this post, and all the reminders of the beauty of fall. Here in Southern California, it’s just now beginning to be cooler than the 90s. Thank you for all your uplifting images and thoughts.

  26. Sue Black says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thanks for brightening my day!
    We are having forest fires, near us, N and W of Boulder, CO, so I needed a little cheer. I have been doing home inventory, in case we have to evacuate. Fortunately, our son, has room for mom and dad at his house in Arvada, CO, only 30 min. away.
    The sheep were wonderful! I love to watch the sheepdog trials, but, of course, the Nat. Western Stock Show won’t happen in Denver, this year, due to COVID. But we can catch them on TV sometimes.
    There is always something good. I can hardly wait to try the recipe for Snippy Doodle! I can smell the spices in my imagination. Yum!
    Thanks for your Blog—Always!

  27. PJ says:

    We, too, will have a quiet Thanksgiving here at the farm. Part of the family usually drives up from Connecticut, and my sister flies in from North Carolina, but, alas, not this year. We will hunker down here with our goats, cat, and dog and make the best of it. I think there may be a new puzzle included in the day. Best wishes!

  28. Carol L says:

    I found a copy of “Once On Christmas” just last week for $3.00 !!! I was so excited I did a happy dance.

  29. Vita Avanesian says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it!

  30. Yew Tree Farm is wonderful, thanks so much for the video! A few years ago I visited the farm and, by extension, the Lake District…loved, loved, loved every moment! We also visited Woolfest in Cockermouth…don’t you love English names?! One of these days I’m headed back.
    Re your recipes…do you enjoy mincemeat pies?

  31. Virginia Boyle Traver says:

    Kirsten & Joerg has been a COVID discovery for me. What fun to spend a few minutes with them each week. I, too, have been to Yew Tree Farm and loved Kirsten’s adventures with the sheep. I also love when my favorite things coincide such as your work and theirs. I have my Autumn book out — cinnamon ice cream with ginger crisps are big favorites in my house!

  32. Fiona from New South Wales, Australia says:

    As always, your post has made my day, and put perspective on a few small annoyances that were getting me down. I needed the reminder of how fortunate we are here (and to keep praying).

    And it is a refreshing treat to see how much Autumn means to you. We have been reveling in the delights of spring, the start of daylight saving time and the prospect of a nice hot summer. You can see why I relate more to your Californian self than the Martha’s Vineyard one, but I love glimpsing into a different world.

    I am so glad the puzzles are nearly here! Can’t wait to get my hands on mine.

  33. Paula says:


    Thank You for putting a cheer into the day !! xoxo I am definitely making the cake !! Here we are planning Thanksgiving dinner, and yours sounds yummy!! This time of year goes so very fast ! I was holding my breath for the quilt, my future son-in- law was just saying he would like a quilt ! But Yay for the winners.
    You and yours take care !!
    hugs from Indiana

  34. Melissa Houston says:

    Thank you, Susan! Your blog always lifts my spirits! Autumn is my favorite season. Here in Virginia, we haven’t hit our peak time. Having grown up in western MA, I appreciate all the seasons. Virginia is a good compromise in many respects. Thank you for the beautiful pictures, wonderful quotes, positive wisdom, and just plain old lovely happiness! I so appreciate you. XO


  35. Laura says:

    Susan, I know what you mean about handwritten recipes- I have my grandmother’s handwritten recipe book and every time I open it, it takes me right back to her kitchen and baking with her. In fact, I found a wonderful gift on Etsy- you can have a handwritten recipe transferred to a ceramic serving plate or pan- I had one made for my sister with my Nana’s thumbprint cookie recipe (in her handwriting)- needless to say it was a huge hit and such a perfect way to serve her cookies! Thanks for the cheery letter- I’m off to make a snippy doodle…

  36. Jana says:

    Loved the visit with the sheep. Loved the photo of Jack. Loved the old, old recipe with a simple fragrance. Heart-lifting words and pictures. Heart-healing love from the heart of your dear home.

  37. Linda W says:

    So awesome for those ladies! I always appreciate your posts and the joy of the seasons that you share. This year, especially we need joy wherever we can find it.

    PS – I hope you get the Fall face masks I made from the adorable fabric from Spoonflower. I LOVE them! They went to your local address on the Central Coast

    • sbranch says:

      I bet the girls will send them to me unless they decide to steal them! You are so sweet to make them Linda! xoxo

  38. Elise Scanlan says:

    Hi Susan,
    Just wanted to say hello and let you know how much my Mom, Harriet, who turns 95 at this end of this month, and I have enjoyed your memoirs. I received A Fine Romance as a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law shortly after publication and was immediately hooked. My mom borrowed it and said, enthusiastically, “Someone has written a book about my daughter.” She became such a big fan that, after receiving a gift card to Barnes and Noble for her 90th birthday, she bought Fairy Tale girl and Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams as soon as they were available and passed them onto me. Lucky me!
    I think her comment has to do with my love for anything Martha’s Vineyard, cats and English gardens. My husband Bill and I fell in love on MV in the mid 1970s and have enjoyed many vacations there since. I still remember the old Humphrey’s Bakery and the farmhouse next door selling Irises and Poppies in coffee cans. Right before we left for a mini vacation in August, Mom asked “Did you get in touch with Susan Branch?” So I want you to know how much pleasure your books have given us and that you have a kindred spirit living in Worcester MA. Tonight I will tell Harriet that I reached out to you and I know she’ll be delighted.
    Also, Bill and I take frequent 3 mile walks, like you and Joe, in our neighborhood and although we can’t get together with family, we’re still pretty lucky.
    Thank you!
    Kindest regards,
    Elise Scanlan

    • sbranch says:

      Well, you must give Harriet a big (maybe virtual) HUG for me … that was so sweet. Yes, you and I are obviously kindred spirits, you evoked one of my favorite memories, the screen door-slam at Humphreys and the flowers in the coffee cans on the leafy drive of the farmhouse next door. That was a true loss when that went away! Sending love to you and Bill … stay safe. 💞

  39. Jane says:

    So excited to find your blog tonight. It’s time I savor like hiding away with a favorite piece of chocolate.

  40. Char says:

    Susan, thank you for your October Surprise blog🎃 Happy for the winners, and I agree how generous of you❤️. Thanks for the reminder of those great old movies, especially Shirley Temple, I always loved all of them! I wonder if your photo is from “Captain January”? It was my favorite. Loving how nature changes in October. Trimmed back my roses today, sad to tell them to have a nice winter nap, but they’ll be back next spring🥰 And thanks for the info on the blue moon🌚, I love the night sky😊
    Love to you, Joe, and Jack

  41. Kathy W says:

    Congrats Ladies & thanks for the recipe Susan! Can’t wait to try this. It looks yummy 😋

  42. Kathleen VanDerHulst says:

    I made the cake immediately! It’s a good little cake and mixed up quickly. Thanks for the recipe.
    Isn’t this a beautiful time of year? It is here in Michigan also.

  43. Neva says:

    Congratulations to the winners. What a wonderful treasure you each have won. Enjoy. My husband and I are enjoying our daily walks in the brisk morning. We have been pleasantly surprised the last few mornings with a family of elk. Such beautiful animals. Never know what one will encounter when out in nature. Enjoy your newsletters. Always lifts my spirits. Neva

  44. Kelly Houlton says:

    Thank you, Sue, for your breath of fresh air and love! I cannot even begin to tell you what your books and blogs have meant to me. So very glad and grateful that I “discovered” you when I did. I am so happy and blessed to be a part of your “girlfriends”! Happy happy Halloween to you and Joe!

  45. LoAnn Campbell says:

    When you ask for the Website, what do you mean? My sister who does a lot of things with the computer says she doesn’t know what it is either.

    • sbranch says:

      I think it’s just if you have one, if you have a blog or a website, you can put it there, but you don’t have to!

  46. Senda says:

    Thanks Susan for your wonderful blog. My favorite season is Fall and I really enjoyed you sharing the beautiful pics of your area. We too will be alone on Thanksgiving and your dinner menu sounds grand. Think I will add the Snippy Doodle for an early breakfast 😊

  47. Karen Klein says:

    Looking forward to trying the Snippy Doodle Cake! So excited that the fresh cranberries are available at the grocery store and I’ll be making your Oven Cranberry Sauce soon. It’s become a fall tradition in my house. I have the same feeling about this cake recipe, too. You add so much light to my life, Susan and Joe and Jack. Bless you all!

  48. Mary Loro says:

    Love reading your blogs. So uplifting and inspiring
    During this lonely time. I miss my grandkids.

  49. Barbara Woodbeck says:

    Your blog is like a little beam of light! I love it! Thank you.

  50. Becky Maxwell of the Central Coast of CA says:

    Happy Halloween!! Thank you for another wonderful post. Congrats to the two winners. No I am off to finishing packing up for my move to Kansas next week. Finally going someplace that has four seasons instead of 10 months of summer and 2 months of something like winter.

  51. Nancy McElwee says:

    Oh, what I would give for a clothesline!

  52. Debbie Sisk says:

    I read Home for Christmas. I can’t tell you how those 63 pages tugged at my heart. Thanks for taking me back home!! I have a ship and I carry flour sack towels with hymns on them. One is the prayer your family said. I would like to send you one. May I? Just tell me where.

  53. Karen Garrett says:

    My favorite treasure from my mom is her recipes done in her beautiful handwriting. It is the things I can’t buy that remind me of her the most. Thanks for sharing how your recipe cards from mom mean to you. Have a wonderful Halloween!

  54. Janice B Smith says:

    Yes, Autumn is here!! Yea! I love the cooler days and evenings, and the trees begin to change their colors. Makes you want to bake! But being from Northern CA…..I love the season….but even more this year after we get a rain storm or two or three……because we need to see the end of this fire season and that’s the one thing that will end it for sure. Being retired from Fire and EMS….my husband and I spent 30 years in our careers….He as a professional firefighter and me being a volunteer…..and then training firefighters for another 10. It’s hard sometimes being retired and feeling like you should get out there. We are dealing with power outages in the high fire danger areas the next few days. So hard on folks, but the only strategy they have right now….
    That old saying…”Pray for Rain” really comes to mind. But you know there are issues all over our country, not just fires…..so we must “Subsist”……a line from that 1955 movie with Tyrone Power and Maureen O’Hara about Martin Maher an Irish Immigrant at West Point. One of those movies to watch at Thanksgiving during this Damn-panic.
    Congratulations to the winners. I am lucky to have many quilts in our home….some from my Grandmother, and some from my Godchildren’s Grandmother who loved sewing them. It’s on my bucket list to make a quilt of my own soon!! I love to sew….just have never made a quilt.
    Jan from Northern CA

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Jan, thank you for your years of service!!! I don’t think any of us has ever been quite as aware as we are now of the WORK and DEVOTION of our first responders! I swear, if I was a nurse in a town that wouldn’t wear a mask, I would go on strike! But they don’t, they just soldier on, risking their lives and the lives of their families every day. I am so grateful for the work they do, and for your firefighters too … I pray for California every day, what a horrible season … and on top of the dampanic, so unfair!!! But you sound wonderful, positive, baking and trees. Sending my love and blessings to you and yours. xoxoxo

  55. Kathy says:

    What a beautiful path you walk each morning. I can see why you love it! I am looking forward to getting my new puzzle! I always have one going on a table in my living room, and I can’t wait for yours. Just a note, I started following your friend, Rachel’s, blog years ago and now I follow her on Instagram. I love her periodic chats. They’re warm and inspiring; I can see why you’re friends. Xo

  56. Sheryl Kirk says:

    There is so much to love about this post. For me, going to Yew Tree Farm with that lovely German couple was fabulous. Thank you for sharing. I had never seen them before. I subscribed to their adventures. Now, I know maybe I shouldn’t, but I am going to make your simple coffee cake from your Grandmother’s recipe box as soon as I buy some whole milk. I am not going to sneak in any vanilla either. Thank you for all you do and write. Your fan, Sheryl

  57. Pat Harmon says:

    Perfect post for a perfect season! Cinnamon, two full moons, memories, walks, yellow and crimson everywhere, golden light: It’s heavenly! Hubs and I are at Clifty Falls State Park for a few days. Weather is fabulous, the sunlight driving through the woods is golden, the falls are sparkling. I’ve also been shopping in wonderful quilt fabric stores. Luv-lee. Thank you for all the precious blessings you give us in your letters. My beautiful granddaughter got married Sat. It was a happy, fun, beautiful celebration. My cup runneth over.🍂🧡🍁💛🥰

  58. Lorrie says:

    Congratulations to the winners! You are so generous! When I read about the recipe from “Grandma Orr” I got a bit teary-eyed, for Orr is my married last name and our children’s Grandma Orr has been in heaven for 3 years, but we still use her recipes and speak so fondly of her. We miss her so much.

  59. Donna says:

    I was especially interested in the quilts. No surprise I enjoy quilting.
    Fall does have so much beauty and you have captured it so well.
    We need to see the beauty in our world right now.

  60. Marge says:

    Congratulations to Val S., and an awesome post as usual!

  61. Gert~Iowa says:

    Congratulations Val and Rachel! What a wonderful October surprise!! Susan, I’m so glad that you and Joe are able to get out and walk everyday! And I understand how seasons and he same route changes! I too have a big..beautiful window that I am able to enjoy each and everyday! I have always lived with 4 seasons and know just how blessed I am.

    Must sign off…that coffee cake looks wonderful!! What an amazing recipe!


    • sbranch says:

      Look at you Gert, feeling better! Yes, Gladys Taber said “As long as I have a window, life is exciting!” Ain’t that the truth! I hope you’re truly recovered …. sending all my love!💖

      • Gert~Iowa says:

        Thanks Susan …yes everyday is better. Just can’t believe how the fatigue hangs on! Miss my girls as they have gone home to their families. But my son was here today doing all kinds of “mommy-do’s”. How very blessed I am.
        I think of Gladys Taber whenever I mention my beautiful window!! As if she were still here with us.. how life changes and yet stays the same!

        • sbranch says:

          I’m just SO happy you’re better … was DMing about you with Nellie this morning. We’ve been keeping track of your progress.❤️ Brenda kindly wrote and updated me … you are amazing Gert. Just take it slow. 💖 xoxoxo

  62. Hazel Steeves says:

    Loved the October blog . For sure will print off the bookmark, even though I know it by heart.We had to memorize it for school. After all, Bliss Carmen was our famous New Brunswick poet. 😊

  63. Karen Saunders says:

    So excited to get my puzzle!!! I ordered the Christmas recipe keeper as I decided to write down our Christmas recipes for my daughter. (May even do a little illustration on them myself!!!😉) I also ordered your cards with the Snippy Doodle recipe on them. Sounds wonderful. The nose is such a big part of our memories and my grandkids live with me. Want to make a few ‘nose’ memories for them. Love you Susan….you’re such a sweet soul and you have given me so many wonderful hours reading all your ‘things’ and ‘stuff’!!! Thank you❤️❤️❤️❤️

  64. Love the Snippy Doodle! My LabraDoodle, who always shares a bite or two will think I made it just for her. ♥️

  65. Sharon says:

    Congratulations, Val. That is one beautiful quilt and I am happy that you will get to enjoy it. It was generous of Susan to give it away. The old book too! Happy autumn – the best season of the year!

  66. Jean Lederer says:

    “Just when the Caterpillar thought her world was over she became a beautiful Butterfly” is a quote by Anonymous on a beloved tea cozy purchased at a quilt shop in Keene, NY many, many years ago. The woman who owned it had geatured many local artisan wares and handmade quilts galore. British sewing machines she would salvage from their dumps and stuff them in her suitcases for the flight home.

    Your blog remains balm for weary women’s woes even in days not frightened by a pandemic.
    Walking to our now adult sons’s bus stop has been my thrice-weekly goal. Would you consider a raffle of a Morning Walk with Susan and Joe? If Vanna drew my name, I would first scream OMG, jump for JOY, make reservations immediately at a B&B, and with my Rick, “ride like the wind” to Martha’s Vineyard! To walk the rugged path, padt old fisherman shacks, breathe in the salt sea air, and meet a couple whose devotion to each other ” is the stuff that dreams are made of” for sure. We’d love to play Morning Science, find a sea shell or heart-shaped rock as
    a souvenir in which to remember the stroll to the sea. I am reteading Ann Morrow Lindberg’s
    Gift from the Sea and you two love birds come to mind. Msy you cherish each morning’s glorious gift of a walk to the sea all the days of your Vineyard life! Don’t move, or rather yet, give me a heads up when you sell the beautiful This Old House my husband and I, DIYers of all things HOME, would love it as much as you do.

    Quotes from songs by
    Christopher Cross and Vineyard neighbor, the one and only, Carly Simon.

    • sbranch says:

      Isn’t that funny. I’ve always thought, if we ever sell this house, I will offer it to my girlfriends on the blog first. I would like it to go to someone who knows it almost as well as we do, and anyone who reads this blog knows about the kind ghosts, the family that lived here before us, who planted what and who built what, and our 31 years, so far, of Christmases, Thanksgivings, screen-door slamming, wallpapering, kitty-loving, art-making life here.♥️

      • Jean Lederer says:

        Please excuse,correct to your heart’s content ( shout out to Dr. Robert
        Kinpoitner, Chair of the Royal English Department at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, down here on Long Island for correcting my typos in BLUE, not feel bad RED), and know that our BFF Susan is here for us
        at all hours of the day and night, twenty four seven. Upon a not -so – good night’s sleep, I refected and suggest a FRIENDLY girlfriend BIDDING WAR for the pleasure of your “walking man” and woman
        company! All profits to go to Feeding America or local charity YOU
        would know where the need is best!!
        THANK YOU Susan for your blog, heartfelt books, and wares all these years! Beautiful lady inside and out, I am honored to know you via
        cyberspace! Be well, be safe, and as I comfortably sit in my “thoughtful spot,” writing from a horrific COVID hot
        spot outside of NYC. ….EVERYONE, please wear your masks and STAY HOME! It works, believe me! Follow the science! And directive of my governor, Andrew Cuomo! And don’t forget to VOTE Nov. 3!

        Quotes from Walking Man by James Taylor
        and Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

      • Debbie Powell says:

        I would love for you to put that all down in a book. I just love the history of old houses and those who have loved them!!!

  67. Janette Pollett says:

    The Video Clip from Kirsten and Joerg is amazing, and made me feel as if we were enjoying a holiday in The Lake District too. Herdwick Sheep are my favourites, and brought back memories of our Picnic with you at Castle Cottage. Thank you for sharing with us.

    • sbranch says:

      Hi sweetie! How are you? Nice to see you here. Glad you enjoyed that Video, I thought so too, many memories, just darling!💝 Little gifts!

      • Janette Pollett says:

        We are doing fine over here, but wish we could be exploring the UK in our campervan! Just have to be patient, and make sure we do all we can to stay safe. Love to you both from us.

  68. YOU are a treasure Susan and we are all winners who count ourselves as being one of your girls. I love going on your walks with you and Joe. Thank you so much for taking us on your adventures. Its been two years and I still cannot look at my mother’s handwriting without my heart breaking again. I am soon moving back to Canada and I will finally be able to visit her resting spot and place a stone upon it in remembrance. It will be a sweet moment, but also very heartbreaking in many ways. My sister just loves your cup! It cheered her up to no end. Thank YOU so much. You put the zippidy do da into her day and that put it into mine! Don’t we all need a little zippidy do da these days? If we find it (and I firmly believe each day contains at least some) we need to share it with each other! Joys shared are joys multiplied. Do wish me luck on my journey and this next chapter in my life. I am looking forward to snow, and a new “Winter.” I am very much trusting in this: “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and glorious at the end.” ~Robin Sharma

    • sbranch says:

      We sure do Marie, we all need some zippidy do da these days! I love how we’re all helping each other through this. You are moving home? How many years have you been living in England? Canada is FILLED with wonderful people. I know because they write me all the time and I love them all. It’s like a whole country of people with common sense! Will you be moving near your sister? I feel happy/sad for you! 💕 But I know you’re going to find the good in it, and there definitely is plenty of that!!! Hand to heart for you dear friend. xoxo

      • I will be moving in with my sister at first until I get my bearings. It will be good and perhaps be a great healing experience for both of us! I have been here for 20 years and it will be hard in many ways to leave, but you just have to do what you have to do. And how can be going to family ever be bad. We do what we need to to heal. MV was your healing spot and look at how wonderful it turned out. NS is going to be mine. I CAN do hard things! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

        • sbranch says:

          Probably this isn’t the forum for it … I do hope you are well, and all is well, and you are making this choice out of happiness and not the same reasons, or anything like them, that I moved to Martha’s Vineyard! Anyway, I know you will make it a happy experience. Love you dear, take care.

      • Debbie Boerger says:

        Dear Marie….from Chester, Soon to be Nova Scotia,
        First I want to say how much I love your beautiful Blog. You are such a talented person. Of course you can do Hard Things, but moving back to Nova Scotia may make that move a bit easier to bear.
        My husband Tom and I have always looked forward to our Fall trips to Nova Scotia. We live in Maine, so it’s doable in a day and a half. Last year we were booked for a week into a wonderful Inn, a BnB in Louisburg, way out on the Southeastern fork of Cape Breton. We wanted to see again,the ongoing restoration of that wonderful French Fortress. Going, we were obliged to stay in St. John, New Brunswick, for 2 days because to Hurricane Dorian. Like Mainers, Maritime Canadians are quite tough, and always find a way to cope, as I’m sure you do as well. NS was without power for awhile, but it made the inn very romantic with the lanterns supplied by our host.
        We often zip over to St. John, New Brunswick, for a quick day trip, and we’ve really missed it this year. Very wisely, the border is closed to us, as so many of us have placed Freedom above Love and Compassion for our fellows. Baffling to me and to all the Canadians we know. By shutting down right away, they have extremely low case load. We’ve been across the Bay of Fundy by ferry and by 4 wheels many times in 30 years. Used to camp for 2 weeks at a time, different places.
        When you get settled, let all the Girlfriends know where you will be living. Oh, we long for travel, and hope we’ll still be able to do it next year. We’re both Well Aged, 80 and 75. Thank you for all the beauty you give….You and Carrie, another native N.American are the only ones, other than our Sweet SB, that I “visit” I’ll bet you do, too.
        Mucho Love,
        Debbie in Down East Maine, where many want to “Join” Maritime Canada!!

        • sbranch says:

          Sweet words of comfort darling Debbie for our dear Marie♥️. xoxoxoxo And this is just one of the many reasons I love this blog.

        • Thanks Debbie! The Maritimes are beautiful provinces for sure! One of my ancestors came over on the Mayflower, a young girl named Elizabeth Tilley, and yet somehow through the years some of her progeny ended up in Nova Scoria. I have relatives in Vermont! I used to shop in Houlton often. I adore New England! We have a mutual admiration society it seems! God willing next year we will all be able to spread our wings and fly a little bit further from home! ❤️❤️

  69. Trudy says:

    Congratulations to Val and Rachel!!! You are lucky ladies!!!
    Thank you Susan for the recipe from your Mum/grandma. My Mum wrote also her recipes on a piece of cart and I am happy to have them still.Every time I use them there are sweet memories.
    We are wearing mask too and I made some myself so there is no waste of mask throwing away.
    Stay save and healthy.
    Greetings, Trudy from Holland

  70. Deb in Wales says:

    Good Morning Susan! Windy weather has passed, a glorious Autumn day today, but guess what? Gales to return tomorrow. No cobwebs here.
    Also, no washing line, it blew down, and with a new lockdown starting not able to get it fixed either.
    Love that photo of the two duckies swimming, it’s got a gorgeous quality about it indeed, and YES to the golden light that only Autumn brings!
    Fresh chocolate cake and vanilla buttercream for breakfast soothes the misery as we face a fortnight of confinement. I am taking to my paints and brushes to while away the days.

    ~~~Waving~~~from Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

  71. Barbara Mentzer says:

    Thanks for this sweet October Surprise! Sending love and joy to you.

  72. Joyce Schattauer says:

    Hi Susan, Funny you should send your blog out on the 21st. My hubby and I call the 21st of October “Amberglow day.” It is one of our private nature holidays. It is a day when the light coming through the trees here in northwest Pennsylvania seems to have a magical glow. We hike as much as we can at this time so we can drink in all of the beauty around us. I love hearing that you and Joe are also enjoying the glow!!!

    • sbranch says:

      It is here too …. the marsh grass becomes a blanket of gold against the blue sky, it IS a glow, you said it right!

  73. Val B. says:

    Thanks Susan. I agree that the Autumn is always a surprise, no matter how many winters you’ve lived here. It’s Nature’s way of preparing us for all that white that’s coming ❄❄ xo

  74. Lori says:

    Congratulations to those that won! We are ALL winners … we have autumn, old movies, Snippy Doodle and Susan to encourage the Girlfriends along the way.

  75. Sandi from the Cape says:

    Happy Halloween to you! It is a different year for sure but we must all push through and make it to the other side of the pandemic, it will come! I have your new Christmas book and it’s so sweet, I’m taking my time to read it so it lasts longer! Thank you for your blog and looking forward to the next one!

  76. LaDonn says:

    Congratulations to Val and Rachel!!! As a previous winner back in February, I know how exciting it is to read your name as a winner!!! So very fun! I love my gift and think how lucky I am each time I have a nice cup of tea… the recipe sounds very much like one my grandma made! I don’t recall it had a name. But her house smelled awesome. I must make it, it’s rainy here today in Iowa, so it will be the perfect day for cake!
    Stay well everyone!

  77. Trudy says:

    Strange things are happened here 🥺🥺🥺
    Send twice a reply to congratulations for the winners–1 yesterday and 1 this morning and both are not in the reply’s…..
    Well all good things are in three-so again……
    Congratulations to Val and Rachel!!! You are lucky ladies!!!
    Stay save and healthy everyone
    Greetings, Trudy from Holland

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve read two others besides this one Trudy … I think they are here. If you have a Mac, you can hit Command F, a tiny screen in the upper right corner will come down, you can put your name in, and there you’ll be. If you don’t have a Mac, ask Google what you can do to find a name in WordPress on your device. Love hearing from you! Never give up!

  78. Kimberly Plasse says:

    Just subscribed to Yankee Magazine. Can’t wait until I get the first issue, so excited!!!

  79. Care Woodard says:

    Dear Susan, Thank you for adding to the beauty of the world. There is so much of it and it sure helps to be surrounded by you and all the girlfriends’ beautiful comments; kindred spirits looking for the positive and the united hearts in challenging times.
    The trees seem lit from within here! I have a whole day off to hike with dogs, and ride my bike to town to pick up groceries:) My husband and I say, “morning science” now:) when we see some miracle of nature on our hike by the roaring brook in which we baptized Anna (snow flake girl) 21 years ago:) Peace and love held in our hearts will get us through this election

  80. Kay says:

    Congrats to the winners! Autumn is my favorite season. I love everything about it…the cooler weather, the beautiful colors, the crunchy leaves under my feet. October is my birthday month (it’s actually tomorrow!) and I celebrate all month long because I’m not getting any younger. 🙂

  81. Cheryl Reel says:

    “All we’ve lost is our freedom”. Profound and left an echo in my head. Another famous soul in America’s past said that if people are willing to trade their liberty for security they will soon have neither. Time for the dampanic (love that) to be set aside and life to resume as we have always known it. Much love and hugs from Texas!

    • sbranch says:

      I think we can set IT aside, but I don’t imagine it will set US aside. One in two Americans has some sort of preexisting condition. As long as half the country stays home because the other half won’t wear masks, as long as schools are being closed, our economy won’t ever come back. It’s so simple, I don’t know why it’s even a problem. Yeah, let’s get it OVER with!!!💋

  82. rhea says:

    Full moon on Halloween?! Perfect. Congrats to the winners!!! Everyone stay safe and take care of yourselves with a little extra pampering. Lots of love.

  83. Pam Butterick says:

    DEAR Susan!
    Quotes from Gladys Taber, Nancy Luce, Susan Branch and more….beautiful, charming and upbeat artwork and sentiments, Snippy Doodle, wonderful movies….who could ask for anything more???? 💕🍂🍁💕

  84. Jane Leniart says:

    Hi Susan…loved this blog! Just received all my calendars and anxiously awaiting my puzzle. How about making a bookmark of the “Fabulous Old Movies”? Would be great. Enjoy your holidays.

  85. Gloria J Cheney says:

    Yankee Magazine–that’s where I first found you several years ago when I found your full page ad in Yankee Magazine. I was captivated from the beginning. Thanks for all the years of encouragement and fun reading. Hopefully this new ad will bring you many new lovers of your work. Hi to Joe!

    • sbranch says:

      Well that’s nice to hear! Sometimes you put those ads in and wonder if anyone ever sees them!😂 Yay! I found YOU! 💞

  86. Nancy says:

    Reading your new post and hearing (in my mind) Robert Goulet sing “If Ever I Would Leave You” is a wonderful way to start the day! Thank you!
    Your post puts me in the mood to reread one of your books. I finished “Roots in Adobe”, by Dorothy L. Pillsbury, last night so I may just go get one. By the way, Dorothy was a Southwest gal and wrote about Sante Fe, NM back in the day. Total opposite of your home but still home.
    Enjoy your October!

    • Ann R says:

      Nancy, Thanks for the book mention of Dorothy Pillsbury sounds like a series of books I’d like to read. I had a dear friend who lived in New Mexico. I got to visit her back in the 70’s and loved it.

  87. Sandra Collins says:

    I’ll be Thanksgiving-ing alone this year and I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m planning to make all my favorites, and my Thanksgiving movies are The Secret Garden and National Velvet. I may add in Christmas in Connecticut this year too, as I love when Barbara Stanwyck is talking about fires crackling and things roasting with gravy, while she sits in her drafty apartment eating sardines. Even in that setting she makes it sound so cozy. So many funny lines in that movie! I never tire of it. Cozy is the word this year, as well it should be! Let’s all get cozy.

    • sbranch says:

      I LOVE it when they go on that sleigh ride. Very inspirational for me! Had to do it once I saw it! Took a long time to get there, but it was totally worth it!

  88. Donna says:

    Boy, you started off with a favorite tune from Camelot; then dropped in the Tagore quote.Wow thank you. Before another minute, I had to write down your sweet cake recipe. I know a couple kids who’ll also want to write it down. Thanks Susan, for the lovely mood you set when writing to us. Health and happiness to you. PS: we quilters among this crowd can be happy for today’s winner.

  89. Donna says:

    Wow. you started out with an ear bug from Camelot that I’ll be humming all day; then you dropped a quote from Tagore. Awesome. You always set lovely and calming moods in each blog. Thank you for that. Also thanks for today’s recipe from your Mom’s own hand…I agree that those are the bestest recipe to cherish and use often. Be healthy and happy throughout the rest of this dampanic.

  90. Angie Quantrell says:

    I just had to go watch the visit to Yew Tree Farm! I want to do. New bucket list item. That bucket is getting so full! Can’t wait for the walls to open up! Congrats to the winners! Happy Fall!

  91. Teresa Vaz Goodfellow says:

    My childhood was also filled with so much homemade goodness and I can still recall the smells of my childhood (and taste the love) and it takes me back like a magic carpet! How lucky are we?! I will make that mouthwatering Snippy Doodle in honor of your mother. In Portuguese we say, “Por as almas” which means “for the soul” and when someone we love is gone, we say a prayer for them, usually on a day like their birthday or the day of their passing, and eat one of their favorite foods with a prayer for their soul. I will blow a kiss to heaven to honor your mama. Thank you for sharing! XXO

  92. Margaret Harke says:

    Thank you, Susan. Just love to get a cup of tea or a glass of wine and savor your blogs! Always delightful!

  93. Kathy Branch Spicer says:

    I started to read Home for Christmas this morning before work and I was already crying just a few pages in. It brought back such memories of my own childhood. I’ve already decided I’m purchasing three more to send to my surviving siblings for Christmas. I know they’ll love it. We’re the Branch clan, and we had lovely parents. ❤

  94. Janette Pollett says:

    We are doing fine over here, but wish we could be exploring the UK in our campervan! Just have to be patient, and make sure we do all we can to stay safe. Love to you both from us.

  95. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Thank you so much for the beautiful photos, and Snippy Doodle recipe. It was really good! True confession, I had to taste test a piece hot right out of the oven! Yum! While it was baking, I called my 96 year old dad on my cell phone and let him listen to the music tune you included in the post. His assisted living facility is on lockdown, so he really liked hearing it over the phone!!!!! Wow, it really made him happy to hear music from his era! From the bottom of my 💝 heart, thank you Susan. Take care of yourself, and know that all you do is truly a gift !!!!!!!

  96. Karena Reid says:

    Dear Susan, Thank you for your inspiring message this morning. It was a Surprise! and came at just the right time. I would like to ask for permission to print the Snippy Doodle recipe for my loose leaf cookbook SB of course. but feel I need permission to do so and also instructions on how to accomplish a print off if allowed. Thank you. Karen

  97. Wendy Marvin says:

    Bless you Susan for another heartwarming letter🙏🏻💜
    I savor your words of love and positivity. A lovely reminder of living and appreciating each moment , feeling the best that we can right now.
    I am going to have a cup of tea and warm apple sauce and feel content.

    Love, Wendy Marvin

  98. Amy K says:

    Love this post, Susan! The beautiful pictures and cozy quilts are wonderful!

    I also want to thank you for introducing me to Kirsten and Joerg! I loved the video of them visiting Yew Tree Farm! I was on the tour you initiated in May 2018 with Mandy that visited with Jo at the farm and it was great to be able to see it again! Jo is an amazing artist and great guide and I’d highly recommend visiting the farm for this who haven’t. I loved the fact that during our walk, there was a goat that let him/herself out of the fenced pasture and followed us like a dog on the walk. I see it happened again with Kristen and Joerg’s tour. So funny! I’m enjoying watching several of their other YouTube videos. Such a positive, warm couple!

    Thanks again for brightening my day!

  99. Patricia Edde says:

    Hi my lovely Susan,
    First of all, how are you doing? Having lost your mother so recently it must color this time of year in different tones then before. I am thinking of you (and Joe) and sending you my love.
    When I moved back to Iowa, 12 years ago after having lived in Southern California for 53 years, I was so looking forward to wrapping my soul in 4 seasons but, alas, climate change is putting a change to that. Mainly it is Winter and Summer with a bit of Autumn thrown in. Is has been mainly either in the 40’s, 50s or in the 70’s 80’s with winds that bend trees. If I had another move in me, I would come to the East coast where I think the 4 seasons are still alive and well.
    No Halloween candy to give out this year (which is good for my waistline, that is if I had one) and no friends to share Thanksgiving with (although to be honest, the only food I liked was the mashed potatoes, spare me the gravy) and on top of that, I turn 70 (eeek) on October 30th. All I ask is “please don’t let it snow until late November/early December.” I know that is a foolish wish in this day and climate but a gal can hope can’t she?
    I loved “Home for Christmas.” I now know where you lived in relationship to me. I lived between Roscoe and Reseda Blvd. and you (I think) lived off of Tampa and Roscoe? I taught my special needs students at a school right by there. We used to take them to a grocery store right at that corner (each of us pushing one wheelchair with one hand and pulling another with the other and having a child who could walk holding on with us – what a sight we must have made, a happy one I hope) and put them on the mechanical animals out front to ride (remember those). One day a gentleman gestured me over and placed a roll of quarters in my hand and then just walked off. What a lovely thing for him to do. There are such good people in this world. Hopefully we will save it for all of them.
    So many of you speak so fondly of your grandparents. I am so envious. I hardly knew my dad’s parents and my mom’s dad passed away before I had any memories of him. My mom’s mother was not one of your typically loving grandmothers that you read about in books or that so many people have. She was a Norwegian Lutheran from Iowa and when you add all three of those elements together you usually end up with a pretty austere person. She wasn’t very loving but she COULD BAKE! That is the one memory that I have of her. Maybe in my next life, where I will have wavy red hair, brown eyes, be at least 5’5″ tall with long legs and be intelligent but kind and giving (or I won’t come back at all until I have them) I will also have a few brothers and sisters and kind and loving grandparents. That’s not asking for too much is it?
    Oh well, I’ve probably given you eyestrain having to read all of this so I better leave you in peace. I send all of the girlfriends (how come there’s never any boyfriends I wonder – some men are in touch with their feminine sides and would love this blog, maybe Joe should write a postscript, ya think?) Anyway I digress, I send all of the girlfriends hope for lovely holidays (however you can do them) and a sooner rather then later end to this damnpanic and a return to gentler times. To you sweet Susan, I send you and Joe and Jack, all of my love and the biggest THANK YOU for all that you give to us. We are kindred spirits and will raise a glass of elderberry (did I get that right, I haven’t read my “Anne of Green Gables” in quite awhile) cordial together either in this lifetime or the next.
    Con mucho amor,
    Patricia, Olivia, Bixby and Silas

    • sbranch says:

      Random thoughts to your sweet comments: My mom used to tell me about her Iowa winters! Walking to school in the snow. I have Iowa friends who agree with you, it’s not the same as it used to be. Not here either. When I moved here, no one had air conditioning, didn’t need it, didn’t even have it in our cars! That party is OVER. Couldn’t live without it with our killer summers and humidity. We lived between Tampa and Reseda Blvd. The Public Library was on Reseda Blvd. and we lived about a block and a half from that. I LOVE how you are planning your next life! That’s the most Anne with an E statement I’ve ever heard from anyone who isn’t her!😂 There are boyfriends here … every once in a while they speak up, but you know how it is when women get together, they can’t get a word in edgewise! HA HA, the end of your letter you mention Anne … kindred spirits is what we are. Have a wonderful day dear friend! XOXOXO

  100. Dorothy from California says:

    I am so happy for the friend who got the quilt! But I am so sad because my comments aren’t going through for some reason!! Thank goodness I get your blog more successfully!! Your blogs are the “shot in the arm” that we need right now!! Maybe even better than the one we’ll get for Covid!!! Happy October!!

Comments are closed.