Hello Darlings, I’m here ~ believe it or not, it’s Willard-time again! Starting first with MUSICA! And so much to tell you. I know some of you wondered where I’ve been  . . . I’ve been WORKING! Making new things! I’ve missed you, but I was gone too long, I had so much to do when we got home! So here we go . . . catch-up time! But first, Happy November Dear Ones, and Happy . . .

In my last blog post, I took you cross-country 🚗 for a close-up look at our Booksigning Tour 2022. You saw the launch of my newest book, Distilled Genius, and met lots of our luv-lee girlfriends in person . . . and here I am ⬆️ at my very last event, getting ready to give a talk at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, it was a fantastic morning, and that night we boarded the train for home sweet home . . .🚂

Since then, my days have been made brighter because I’ve been receiving such nice messages about Distilled Genius, like from the wonderful Miranda Mills of Miranda’s Bookcase on youtube. She was so kind about Distilled Genius in her Big Book Gift Guide for Christmas ! (click there, it starts at about 17:12, but the whole thing is great!) She is so darling, if you don’t know her, you will love her! She lives in Yorkshire (home of my English ancestor, I always KNEW I should live there and be a sheepherder and paint lambs and “clever” bluebells), her voice is like a song, and her book reviews are brilliant. I’m also getting sweet photos from our girlfriends, like this ⬆️ one from Michelle and her adorable kitty . . .😻 I like to think, and hope, this book is a bit of an antidote to the world madness that attacks us with daily anxiety . . . and it, along with a kitty, a cup of something soothing, and perhaps a nap later on, is a huge help in ironing out stress.💖

. . . and this photo came from Mary Ann and HER kitty telling me how much they are enjoying the book… look at all of Mary Ann’s tabs!! I loved sharing all that genius ~ but didn’t come close to covering it all … I haven’t done pets, or gardens, or tea, or family, or Nature, or Christmas … there’s so much more ~ book two of my 40-year collection is already in the works!

But I have to say, about that quote up there, that love takes the “hard” out of work! Last May, after we sent Distilled Genius to the printer, we left for England for the most amazing trip, we were gone for two months, then home (and hot-off-the-press, Distilled Genius waiting on our kitchen porch!), a month later we were packed again and back on the road until September … You can’t go away that long and not expect to be punished when you get home! Everything needed us! First off I found out we’re almost out of several books! We have only a few of A Fine Romance and Fairy Tale Girl left ~ so we reordered them and the new printings will arrive around February ~ along with a new printing of Distilled Genius ~ but I hope we have enough of DG to last us through Christmas! If you’re looking for any of these books, and can’t find them in bookstores, we still have them here at our studio.👏

I prayed for a long fall . . . and we are getting it! Which means lots of red, orange and yellow leaves are still on the trees! And we still have lettuce growing in our garden! We planted it the minute we got home and harvest only a few leaves at a time for salads and sandwiches, so it should last us until the first freeze . . . when and if it ever comes. This is New England, it is November, and today it’s 70º… 🙀

. . . Even roses and a couple of small tomatoes have survived the shorter days!

And, because we love surprises, we planted a TON of bulbs this year. We were so happy to get home to our own dirt and get all this glory into the ground! It’s going to be gorgeous in the Spring. To plant a seed is a hopeful deed . . .

Just after my last post, Queen Elizabeth died and a piece of our hearts went with her.💔 How lucky we were to have celebrated her 70th year on the throne while we were in England  . . . and I realized, I had never painted her. I was so sad, I did just that.

I painted her before and after she became Queen. Because she was amazing. Reticence is a rare quality in a person, she did what my mom always said (which always seems to occur to me about one second too late), “Think before you speak” . . . she could make a point without offending anyone, she cared, and over time, she did the rare thing, she changed and learned to show it more, she kept her dignity throughout her life. She epitomized qualities we admire, steadfastness, manners, love of animals, kindness, hard work, England would just be any old country without her influence on the history of the monarchy. She was only human, but she was the world’s grandmother who’d been through so much, she tried the best she knew how, and was loved for it.🇬🇧

I decided that Queen Elizabeth should be on our new larger 16 oz. cup. This is the first cup I’ve designed specifically to memorialize a person. I might have to do more! I also re-designed my Birthday/Girlfriend Cup to make it the smaller 14oz. size so many of you have requested, and yes, we’re reprinting Santa! In these pictures, the Queen and Birthday cups are paper mock-ups . . . Santa is my real cup … just FYI! They’ll look better in person! Want to see the backs?

Here they are! The backs are as cheery as the fronts, so it doesn’t matter if you are left-handed or right! A win-win! How about the handles? Like to see them?

Yup! A corgi for the Queen! Want to see the sides?

Here you go! Because these bone china cups are made in England (where else?), and because they have the same world craziness in England as we do here, they added a 12.5% surcharge to help them pay for electricity! They’re also going to take longer, we probably won’t see these cups until my bulbs start coming up in May. Yes, it’s going to take forever (anticipation, a wonderful thing in short supply in this instant gratification world!) Spring will be lovely, though, as it should be, and filled with surprises. I tried to order enough cups to last to Christmas next year. I’m not putting them up for presale now, it’s too far away ~ I will, maybe in March … so if any of these designs really matter to you, watch this space, you’ll be able to make sure we reserve one for you. 💖 If you’re not familiar with our wonderful bone china cups, you can read about them HERE.

I also concocted a new loose tea . . . “Genius Tea!” Delicious, soft-flavoured, black tea with a chuchotement (whisper) of blueberries, perfect for feeding the muse. (We have the handy  little strainers too, in case you need one.)

It’s already well-known that black tea is good for your brain resulting in relaxation, better focus, and a sense of well-being, so I thought, why not combine it with a superfood like blueberries? I called my little old tea maker and asked what he could do… I loved the sample he sent and said, let’s do it! What else could we call a tea such as this but “Genius Tea?” I think you’ll love it. And don’t forget we have Cinnamon Apple Crisp Tea, too . . . AND, my favorite forever, A Fine Romance Tea (lavender, roses, and Earl Grey!) You can read more about them HERE.

With honey & cream, with sugar, or a squeeze of citrus, they’re all delicious for afternoon tea and cake . . . No cake? Do this: Thinly slice fresh white or sourdough bread, spread with good butter, sprinkle over a little sugar. Voila! Cake! (My mom used to give me this when I woke from my nap, I still love it!)

Or start your day with a little Genius-juice for breakfast and a piece of cinnamon toast . . . I love fall so much!

And one more thing, look what else came in! A new charm! In keeping with the Genius theme, I bet you know some Geniuses of your own who might like to find a Genius Charm in their Christmas stocking, or wrapped up as a celebration of accomplishment! They just arrived!👏 Yup, we’ve been busy! It’s that back-to-school feeling in the air, you just want to make things and be creative! I’ve been decorating! . . . oh yes and cooking! Corn Pudding, Cider Donuts, and Touchdown Chili …

Baking too! We still have our donut pan ~ and here’s the recipe for cider donuts! And as some of you know, this ⬆️ is THE most DELICIOUS cake, I made it for a friend’s birthday! Must celebrate!🕯It’s an easy recipe, my Cranberry Tea Cake, an upside-down cake with a crunchy cranberry topping! It’s one of the new recipes in the 30th anniversary edition of my first book Heart of the Home ~ and if you don’t have that book (which you should 🥰), here’s the recipe:

By the way, I learned a new word from my British Country Life magazine . . . it’s a word for a phobia that only Brits could come up with ~ Americans have fear of spiders or snakes . . . but the adorably quirky Brits ~ even their phobias are charming:  

Say it . . . ana-tee-dafobia

My boy has been busy too . . . how I love it when he’s being handy around the house! Look at that maple tree behind him! Stunning weather, perfect for watching paint dry!🔨

We desperately needed to rip off old wallpaper in one of our upstairs rooms, paper that was there when we bought the house! Plus the ceiling was shredding and trying to fall down ~ it looked like that movie Grey Gardens in there . . .  We waited too long ~ it was our nightmare room because over the years we managed to cover every square inch of it with STUFF, and it all had to come out in order to paint it. Joe crawled out the window onto the deck outside to caulk and whatever else he is doing out there 🤣, to make the windows tight for winter.

The room is looking BEAUTIFUL, so clean and bright, there is nothing like a new coat of paint! Our old friend Paolo is helping Joe . . . they finished the ceiling and walls, are working on the trim, and then they’ll paint the floor. I thought it would take FOREVER, but they’re moving right along.👏 I love this wall color! It’s the same as our living room: Colonial Williamsburg #519 Green Light, Russell House, Martin Senor. No matter what time of day, sunlit or lamplit, this color makes a room fresh and happy! MAS MUSICA? (Queen Elizabeth would have loved this!)

Here’s the Maple tree today at ground level . . . still beautiful and lighting up the garden! As I said, it’s very warm today, but that party ends tomorrow, temperature will make radical drop . . . maybe 56º high!

and here’s my kitty Jack, aka “Love Muffin,” aka “Poonie Kinita” waiting at the door for me to come back in!

We had a wonderful Halloween. A bit quieter in our neighborhood than usual, but the little kids were as adorable as ever, the parents outDID themselves, their costumes were as cute as the kids.

Case in point: we went to Margot’s house for dinner, she put on the wig and the hat to show us part of her Halloween costume, she’s going to be a gnome, which is perfect as you can see by her house! She should just answer the door like this! You don’t quite get the full hilarity of this photo until you look past her and notice what is sitting next to the fire. I laughed so hard when I noticed Margot and Tom’s granddaughter Georgie back there with Tom ~ I didn’t notice them when I was taking the picture of Margot! In real life, Tom is a gorgeous beardless man. Doesn’t this look like the beginning of a fairy tale? Well, it is . . .

We made it a little eery at the front door . . . but there’s a fire in the fireplace in the living room so it’s not too scary!

And here’s the little family coming to our door . . . aren’t we lucky!? That’s Margot’s daughter Scarlett, mother of Georgie, on the left… buxomness seems to be the way of the gnome!

Most of the costumes looked like they came out of closets at home!

You can look all the way up the street in this one and see what a crazy thing Halloween is around here. The wholesome kind, moms, dads, bumblebees and pirates, laughing and running in the wind, leaves swirling, calling out to each other, and avoiding the darkest shadows … very difficult to get them to hold still for photos!

Unless of course, they’re showing off their wings! Which we encourage them to do!

Not sure what you call our house, but it isn’t boring. We made new place cards for November dinner parties and birthdays ~ they come in packages of ten ~ it’s hard to believe but it’s almost Thanksgiving!🎃 We’re going to the neighbors (I’m bringing the place cards! I’m also in charge of mashed potatoes, pumpkincheesecake, and cranberry sauce! I can’t wait! We’re going to dress up, bring wine, help Lowely light the candles and be SO grateful, thank God, toast our friends, pray for good health, and count every lucky star! 

We made darling stickers for your Autumn cards and packages . . 🍂🍁🍂

And THIS … my newest excitement! You are probably saying, hey that’s Susan’s fabrics, I haven’t seen those in forever!” I KNOW, they’ve been in a nice clean box for years … piles of brand new fat quarters! And I think I finally figured out what to do with them. ⤵️

And THIS! Packed away for years. I bet lots of you have never seen these at all . . . made by Michel and Co. back in the 90s. One of a kind, the only set left that we know of. Four Christmas cups complete with quotes, a chocolate pot or teapot, and the best little tray in all the land (I have one and out it comes, every Christmas! Perfect for cookies!) And I finally figured out what to do with these too.⤵️

And this, all four season cups in one place!!! Well, the thing is, I have a lot of one-of-a-kind of things that I just can’t put a price on. So what we decided is to have an AUCTION and let YOU be the ones to do it! That way everyone has an opportunity! And we’ll give the money to charity! Another win win! Kellee and I decided we have so much packed away we can do more than one auction . . . and each auction will benefit a different charity! I’m so excited about this! There will be quilts, original art that I painted in the last century!, mixing bowls, a pair of jammies, old books . . . all kinds of special things. So auction number one starts at noon on Tuesday the 8th, and will last two weeks, until noon on November 22nd… Go HERE for details, it should be self-explanatory . . .

IN THE MEANTIME, I’m getting my loooong fall! Heaven!🍂

The shadows are getting longer . . . days getting shorter . . .


And we go walking every day . . . as always and forever . . .

Out under the blue sky to the sparkling water . . . because Nature is the gift that gives for a life time . . . the smells, the sounds, the air . . . God’s gift to the human race. 

 On our walks in the woods, Joe and I each have an EarPod in our ears, and lately we’ve been listening to Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict. I love Winston Churchill so much I thought I’d get to know the love of his life, Clementine Churchill. She broke the mold for what a politician’s wife should be back then when women in politics were best seen but not heard. He trusted her, believed in her, and took her advice, making her ideas part of his administration. It’s been interesting to step back to another time, for a close-up look at history. Today, in the book, America finally declared war and I cried tears of relief right along with Clemmie and her Pug because they were so alone, fighting terrible odds, and it meant the Yanks were Coming!🇺🇸🇬🇧 (This powerful couple was joined at the hip, madly in love, she called Winston Pug and he called her Cat, they called their first baby “P.K.” for “puppy-kitten”)…  She lived through frightful times in London during the Blitz and felt personally responsible for the health and welfare of people in the shelters . . . she suffered, as you can imagine, from serious anxiety and had to learn how to deal with it right in the middle of being bombed. Her people NEEDED her to be positive, hopeful, and optimistic. Sleep was a key ingredient to her mental and physical health but hard to come by. Several times in her life she went away to rest, to receive permission to sleep until her fatigue finally left her. I liked reading about that part of her, made her more real … and reminded me how many of our Girlfriends are suffering from anxiety too, leftover pandemic, worry about the future, worry about how much their children are worrying, worry about crazy politics, the price of bread,  an unsettled world  ~ but remember, most of this we’ve been through before, times change, we’ll be okay . . . and, never forget there are things we can do if the world and our responsibilities begin to weigh on us. First off, Google “anxiety.” I would say nowadays it’s more normal to be anxious than not! It means we care. People who’ve had it worse than us had to deal with it too, and if they can make it, so can we.😘

A thought, but probably not the answer!

THIS… is the answer . . .

I’ve been washing the children . . . because Holly, my niece (the one from my preview book of Enchanted) is coming tonight with her best friend! Want my children to be all shiny and bright for her! And PS, Kellee, at the Studio, has come into a boat load of these magical vintage figurines if you feel the yearning . . .💖

Also I’ve been cleaning Holly’s bedroom, warm comforters going onto her bed, making it cozy in there . . . she’s in the front bedroom, the one I would have LOVED to have as a child, upstairs in the trees with a view of the world out the windows. Perfect for dreaming . . . We have four posters in all our bedrooms, because I was a reader when I was a child. This is what books can do to you!

Kellee has also been crazy-busy getting our webstore ready for Christmas adding a little bit more everyday, getting in new shipments of Christmas cards, Bird trees, lots of goodies, plus my book, Christmas Memories . . . Five years of Christmas in one place! I think we might have only 200 of these left, and no more to come, for those collectors among you…🎄

Five years of family photos, five years of Christmas menus . . . all the little details of the holidays  . . . even places for your kids to write!

Five years of decorating, and pictures of your trees . . . a wonderful memory book for young families or Grandma’s house!

Okay, so guess what? I have two more booksignings scheduled!! Mark your calendar if either of them are in your neck of the woods. The first one will be November 30, at 7 pm, at RJ Julia Booksellers, a wonderful Independent Bookstore in Madison, Connecticut! I’m excited, Christmas in Connecticut! I see a road trip in our future! Think there might be some Christmas shopping along the way! You can sign up for the event HERE! Be sure to read their interesting history when you go to the website. See you there!

And one more! On Saturday December 10th, from 2pm to 4 pm I will be downtown at  Edgartown Books (that’s their staircase) here on Martha’s Vineyard. If you’ve never been to the Island, especially Edgartown, it is quintessential New England, there is a darling Christmas parade down Main Street that day . . . it’s a yearly event, Christmas in Edgartown! Hope you can make it!In addition, on Saturday, January 7th at noon west coast time, 3 pm east coast time … and everything in between in more ways than one 🕰 ~ I will once again be doing a Zoom Talk with darling Hayley Solano from the Enchanted Book Club! We’ll talk about the Magic of New Beginnings! ~ I think she’ll open it to 1000 guests, we’ll put up a link in December so you can sign up!Oh yeah, we can talk!

Coziness from me and mine ⬇️ to you and yours!💖

This is me and mine . . . my other mine is upstairs painting the floor! Time for me to go, . . . Deep breath, Girlfriends . . .

Breathing is SO important … And remember ❤️

Bye for now dearest friends.
Stay safe, stay strong, have fun, do good work, get some sleep! See you next time!

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

250 Responses to GONE TOO LONG . . .

  1. Viffy says:

    It’s so nice to see the new blog post! (And yes, we all miss you when you take a hiatus.)

    I loved all of the wonderful nods to Halloween and the warm (but not for long weather-wise) welcome to November!
    The recipe for the Cranberry Tea Cake looks amazing, too.

    Happy Thanksgiving one and all… I’m thankful for all that I have in 2022.


    Hi Susan,
    Nice to see a new post. I have all your books, really really like the
    new one”DISTILLED GENIUS”. You are a Genius and gifted.
    All fine here in western NY. Maybe snow this coming Sunday,
    been a warm NOV. So far. Did I understand you are working on yet
    another book? Glad you are home, I don’t like it when people
    go away. Always check your site, have for many years. Just
    keep going, well unless you need a nap, or just one of those times
    when “for heaven sakes just leave me alone”. I can wait.
    Hugs NancyJo

  3. Ann R says:

    On the off chance you had posted I checked & was rewarded with the latest blog post! Hurray and thanks for the November pick me up! From one island to another Alohhaa!

  4. Lynette Strohbach says:

    I just thought, hmmm, we haven’t heard from Susan in a while, and here is your blog! We’ve had unseasonably warm temps in Minnesota as well, but along with that, hardly any rain the last few months and things are getting really dry. Speaking of pandemic, I’m heading for a COVID test tomorrow with a sore throat. This pandemic will not disappear! So far mild symptoms. I can’t have the vaccines due to existing conditions, so if it is COVID, I hope it goes easy on me! Looking forward to all of your new projects coming down the pike, especially the Queen Elizabeth mug. I already have the Corgi cup, so they will work well together. Next May will be in time for my birthday. Happy Holidays!

  5. Shannon(Pennsylvania) says:

    Such a timely, comforting post..thank you, dear one❤️I have to admit that I didn’t know anything about Clementine Churchill before but I’m going to remedy that. I’ll head to our library tomorrow (we’ve already voted) and see if they have a copy of Lady Clementine. Sounds like she was an exceptional woman struggling and coping with personal issues in an extraordinary time in history. A heroine in her own right. Tonight I’ll do what you suggested, go outside and look up at that big full frost moon, take a deep breath, and make a wish for the world🙏🏻✨🌎

    PS.. I ordered your new Genius charm. I’ve collected them all. And my darling 9 year old,one eared kitty is named….Clementine🥰💖

  6. Gill Taylor says:

    Yeh – think I might be the first comment ( well it is 1.48 am here !) So pleased to have you back – you are my inspiration in all things. Thank you for your lovely tribute to the Queen and all your wise words – you will never know how much they mean to me. Hope to return to the Vineyard one day soon – enjoy the Fall and love to you all.
    Gill in Yorkshire xx

  7. Melina Bush says:

    Such a treat to find a new Willard today. I especially appreciate your comments about the crazy, toxic stress we have to endure everyday. Yep, a bubble bath, a nap, a snuggle with a loved one, that’s a great start. Also, turn off the news and listen to favorite old records. Have a great autumn, Susan.

  8. Patty H. says:

    What an amazing entry this was. You are a joy to follow along…I was worried about your time between entries…glad all is well. Thank you for sharing such joy & compassion in your blog.

  9. Lynn says:

    Hi Susan~
    I’ve been away from your blog for too long! ~ it’s been such a busy time for me~ I needed a break from reality~ you always know just what to say to bring me back to REALity!
    🍁🍂Happy Fall🍁🍂

    • Lynn says:

      Hello again~
      I just went back through others comments and felt a little sad.
      I do have to say you allow everyone to speak their thoughts/opinions (which is how it should be) agree or not. I personally found some of the comments were just not nice.
      When I read comments that blame/shame about how people dress, vaccinated or not, political opinions…it takes away from “happy place” feeling I mostly feel here.
      I guess that’s why I don’t do all the other social media out there. Maybe I shouldn’t have used “ REALity”in my first post.
      Can we nice and agree to disagree? There’s enough negativity out there.
      Let’s support each other here in this soft place to land! ~ Off the soapbox~❤️

      • Lynn says:

        I meant can we be nice? I guess I the brain works faster than the fingers when I feel emotion about something!

      • sbranch says:

        So rare I think. I love the comments I get on my blog. Maybe when someone writes something mean, I should delete it? But I don’t, because, I guess… because I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of saying I deleted them. But if it hurts my Girlfriends too, then maybe I need to make a change on that. I thought your comment was sweet as pie! Never change!

  10. Chanda says:

    This was perfect to read for this particular day. A little escape…and some home reality to remember peace can be found right at home. ❤️

  11. julie borg says:

    What a lovely way to start my day! I needed a little happy. My sweet dad passed away last week at the ripe old age of 88. So thank you for the cozy blog. Always feels like a hug.
    PS Can’t wait to get the new Queen Elizabeth mug! 💕💕

    • sbranch says:

      Oh Julie, so very sorry about your dad. Deep breath… just seems like there’s not much we can do about it. ☹️😥 Sending big love!❌⭕️

  12. Susan Morgon says:

    Susan, I’ll comment on this lovely blog later, but right now, I want to alert you to the fact some of us are receiving emails from follow.it that claim that the publisher of your blog imported us to that list. We are asked to confirm by clicking a link. This must be a phishing attempt, and I am afraid that some might think it all right to do so because they actually are subscribed to your blog, as the email says. I couldn’t find any other place to send you a message. Now I’ll go back and enjoy your new blog entry. 💚🍂💛

    • sbranch says:

      Turns out, I am the publisher!!! My IT guy combined two of our mailing lists . . . so this email was legit. He just forgot to tell me he was doing it! Sorry we scared everyone! xoxoxo

  13. Alice Dennison says:

    Dear Susan such a lovely blog. Also I received an email today from something called follow.it that said you had imported my name and email into it. ?? Did you or are they just making this stuff up ? Have a great day.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Alice. So far I’ve heard this twice. I don’t know what it is, but I wrote our computer wizards to see if they know… haven’t heard of it before. Don’t click on anything… xoxox

      • Linda Mallory-Gravis says:

        It DOES have this Willard o it and i did not receive Willard via the usual method (??) so I did read it o the follow it Email! unsure why i didnt get email dirctly as i normally do?? thaks

    • Marilyn Norris says:

      Hello, I received the same email today.

      • sbranch says:

        ALL okay! Apparently Google made us move our mailing list . . . in order to move it, everyone who was on that list got an email… and you will all need to click on the link in order to keep getting Willards … no one told me, so this is what happens! I’m sorry! But it’s all safe, sound, and more orderly than it looks! 💞

        • susan morgon says:

          You don’t need to click anything, actually. I deleted that email yesterday without clicking on either of its options. I still got a Willard notification email today.

    • Linda says:

      Me too!

  14. Carrie says:

    Beautiful Susan❤️Truly. I always read it in little snippets at a time to make it last longer and to take it all in. Then I read it all again. Love from me to you. ❤️❤️❤️

  15. Peggy Willoughby says:

    Your blog was just the thing I needed here on Election Day. Tv off. No news until maybe tomorrow when most results are in. Cozy in my chair with my dogs now settled in to reread your blog. Thank you. Thank you.
    I loved the excellent review of Distilled Genius. Miranda Mills really, really liked it, as we all do. Yes, it makes a great gift.
    I love Fall as well. A little late coming here in coastal North Carolina. It has been 80° these last few days. Cooler finally today.
    New mugs! Hooray and thank you. I have a suggestion for yet another… A large turkey/ Thanksgiving mug. I have seasonal/monthly dishes and mugs that I use. I do use your Autumn one for tea, but I love my coffee in the big mugs. No worries though. I’ve Susan gift certificates on my Christmas list so I can add to my Susan mugs.
    🦃 Happy Thanksgiving. I love you. ❤

  16. Maryellen says:

    Just what I needed to clear my head from the worries of election day. Make a cup of tea, look at pretty pictures, read inspiring words and breath. Thank you.

  17. Debbie Boerger says:

    Holy Guacamole, Miss Sue! What a sumptuous, lovely long post. I didn’t finish, as I’m still looking at lots of unpacking. I’ll enjoy the anticipation of reading the rest a bit later.
    I can’t resist commenting on the quote by Hodding Carter. He was a wonderful, brave man who used his journalistic skills to fight for Civil Rights. The Delta Democrat Times (Look it up on Wikipedia) was one of his tools. It is in Greenville, Mississippi, where I was born and grew up. Carter family were friends. Big Hodding and my Uncle Bob Brown, also a Pulitzer, Nieman Fellow were among several other “Southern Boys” who bucked the deeply ingrained Jim Crow. They both remembered lynchings and cross burnings. They were close friends, a mutual admiration society, and I benefited from their deep wisdom.

    You are so right about that particular color of green looking wonderful in any light. It’s very similar to the one I used downstairs. What a huge, long room! Good job! One day your home will be on the National Trust List of Historic Homes…..being the home of the Writer and Artist, Susan Branch, and her fabulous husband Joe Hill, plus assorted kitties.
    Enjoy having your niece being there,
    Debbie, back in Florida, awaiting another storm, this one “only” a Cat 1.

  18. Robin says:

    Hi Susan,
    Lovely, heartwarming blog (as always)… thank you!
    Two things—First, I received that odd follow.it email today too and marked it as junk immediately as it seemed sketchy. Second, lovelovelove your QElizabeth mug prototype! If you’re wondering about interest, count me in! I’ll be happily placing an order—in March you say? Will do! Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      It was fine… our IT guy combined our two mailing lists without telling me he was doing it🙄, scared me, I had no idea what was going on! That email was sent because we don’t move our mailing lists without permission from the people who’re on it … if you are still getting emails about Willard, that’s fine… but if not, you may want to sign up again!❌⭕️

  19. Jeanne Jorgensen says:

    Thank you Susan.
    So good to hear from you and see all that you and your loved ones have been doing. It has been a beautiful autumn here in Iowa and now all the leaves are down and the house is winterized, but I miss the roses already. Good luck on the auction, what a wonderful thing for you to do! Will look again when the old books come up, I have already got too much of everything else to deal with in the remaining years of this wonderful life, but never too many books. Take care.
    Jeanne of Iowa

  20. Glenda Slanina says:

    Hello Susan…..I love autumnal blogs and this was a lovely one. 🍁 I attended the Event at Vromans and enjoyed it so much. I met Beverlee in the morning (we were the first two lucky people in line) and it was an instant connection. It’s amazing how much all your girlfriends have in common! Can’t wait to see how your “new” room evolves. I’m sure it will be welcoming and simply beautiful. One last thing….what a terrific idea for the proceeds from your auctions. I know your community will come through on a big way. Enjoy the remaining days of autumn🍂 my favorite time of the year 🧡

  21. Cindy Huk says:

    Oh Susan, you swooped down and wrapped me up with an abundance of Autumn! How wonderful. So happy you’re home, travel is exciting and adventurous, however there’s no place like HOME ❤️ I’m doing the same in my little old farmhouse in CT, fixing windows, putting quilts on beds, hunkering down – this 70 degrees is nice, and my furnace is getting a break before the colder days ahead. So many of your recipes have become regulars for me, filling my home with warmth and love ❤️! Your posts brighten my days. Thank you, Friend.

  22. Jean Mowery says:

    This was a dispatch of Willard so worth waiting for, dear Susan! The memories of Queen Elizabeth and the Churchills are wonderful! My father, as a young “Yank” sailor during World War II, heard Winston give a speech in Trafalgar Square. He became a great admirer of Churchills(which he passed onto me)and enjoyed his brief time in England.
    I enjoyed your Halloween photos, especially the sweet Gnome family! Your maple tree is lovely. I was able, duuring a visit with friends in Tennessee, to go “leaf peeping”…so many beautiful colors. Autumn is my favorite time of year as well and it is far too short for my liking. Praying blessings upon you and yours!

  23. Carolyn Wilson says:

    Dear Sue, Joy cometh today within your wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing your enchanted life with us. We are all the better for your timeless advice and looking into the magic window of your everyday life. Indeed the everyday arts we practice are worth everything and enrich our souls immeasurably! Thank you Sue😍! Bonnie and I had the bestest trip to England, Scotland, and Wales. Beautiful weather and fall colors brightend our 2 weeks of dazzling new sites, friendly people, and excellent food. Loved every moment. Suitcases filled with gifts and thrift store treasures. Clothes, books, and teas to fill our season well dressed while being immersed in British lore. Heaven!

  24. Kathy A Kuhl says:

    I received an email like Alice Dennison did this morning. I did not click on it because I thought if it was valid you would have written something about it on your blog. Love seeing Jack on your blog. Happy fall to you.

  25. Stephanie says:

    I also got the “follow it” email about your Blog, with subject line “Susan Branch – new message”. “It – included advertisements in it. From “follow.ithi”@follow.it Email looked like junk. Did not click on anything, but just checking your blog today to find that you did have a new blog post. Hope this can get sorted out!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s sorted. My IT person combined two of our mailing lists because Google made him. We can’t just transfer names without permission, had to send out that email so people could re-sign up. But if you get emails telling you there’s a new Willard, you don’t have to do anything. If you don’t, then just go back and re-sign up! Hope that makes sense!

  26. Stephanie says:

    Hello again – I have forwarded the “follow.it” email to your susanbranch.com email address. Hope that helps figure this out!

  27. Emily says:

    AHHHHHHH! I need that Queen Elizabeth Mug! It will go so well with my corgi one, which I used all through the mourning period.
    I love the Christmas Memories book–I bought one at a Cracker Barrel (of all places!) a few years ago and I might have to get another one because I think I only have two years left in mine! It’s such a wonderful journal.

  28. Leslie says:

    I just love Margot’s house! Wish I could see more of it, it looks magical! We just bought our first house and I’m doing my best to give it that fantasy feeling.

  29. Sue in Houston says:

    We’ve missed you, Susan, and are so glad you’re back. I’m sure Jack was glad to have “his parents” back for those extra-special kitty-cuddles, too.

    I read “DG” in one go the moment it arrived and can’t wait for volume 2. Loved the new mugs and will be anxiously awaiting an opportunity to order at least one of them — likely, the QE II. It’s hard to imagine Britain without her, isn’t it?

    At the moment my two kittens (about 8 months now) are sleeping peacefully and looking innocently adorable. They’re no doubt dreaming of their next bit of mayhem and making plans to wreck havoc on something as soon as they wake, but after all, that’s their JOB, isn’t it? One’s latest trick is doing a split-second snatch and grab of the teabag, right out of my tea mug! Gotta love the chutzpah!

  30. Judi says:

    Welcome back, Susan! I have missed you sooo much. I was going to call your Calif store/ph# today to see if I could find out how you are, why no Oct or Nov blogs!!! Then today I rec’d in my inbox an email from follow.it, inbox@follow30.com which asked me to click on links to either get your blog or decline. So instead I went to susanbranch.com and was so very happy to see your newest Autumn blog. It’s wonderful, sooo good to hear you’ve been busy working, catching up, and not something else keeping you from blogging. Thank you for your sharing your wonderful, happy, thoughtful, uplifting messages with us. I read Distilled Genius every morning now with my breakfast instead of reading the newspaper! So much better for the spirit and to start the day. Again, Welcome back, Susan, so glad to hear from you once again.
    Love, Judi

  31. Judi says:

    Dear Susan, After leaving a comment and going back to my inbox, I find your Willard letter has arrived!!! Yay!!! 🙂 So, I am still a subscriber and don’t need to click on any links that mysteriously came my way. Thanks thanks and thanks!!!

  32. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    Susan, thank you! I was just looking for something to take my mind off today and here you are popping up with a most lovely Willard. There’s so much in here!!
    First many thanks, as an import from the Old Country, for your beautiful tribute to Her Majesty. It was her time to go but that doesn’t make it any easier. You couldn’t love her as much as I did, but were much more eloquent ith your words than I could ever be. I shall be looking out for news of the “Queen cups” when they are ready.
    I know I am not alone in needing some soothing things to think about and you did the trick! You gave us good ways to reduce the anxiety. All. Very. Special. Thank. You. I shall enjoy this again later and, meanwhile, off to the auction I go…

  33. Robin Whitaker says:

    Dearest Susan,
    Such a lovely Willard to read this morning while watching the snow fall here in Truckee, California. We didn’t have a long Autumn, much to my dismay. I love Autumn most. I miss the 70 degree days. It is supposed to be 12 degrees in the morning, brrr. I loved seeing the inside of Margot’s home and the Gnome family. Thank you for bringing all of your girlfriends (including me and Sandy Perry in California) so much joy. I believe I am one of your earliest readers Back to the Heart of the Home and even have the Baby book for my daughter, Tianna. Blessings and good health to you and Joe. Hope to see you next year if you come back to Cali.

    • Barbara Vlcek-Vinikow says:

      Hi Robin Whitaker!

      I was thinking…wouldn’t it be fun to start a Susan Branch Fan Club here in the Truckee/Reno/Tahoe area? I live in Reno, and there must be other girlfriends nearby that would enjoy meeting up every month or 2. Maybe have teaparties, where each would bake something from one of Susan’s cookbooks to bring. What do you think?
      Also, I agree with you about our too short Autumn season this year! Beautiful Novembers are one of the best things about this area! However, I do enjoy the snow, and am very grateful for the moisture that our mountains & forests so badly need. And, maybe early Winter means an early Spring!

      If this sounds like a fun idea, let me know your thoughts & we can figure out a way to be in touch.
      Barbara Vlcek-Vinikow

      • sbranch says:

        I always love it when you guys talk to each other! I’m a little jealous of your snow! I should be careful what I ask for!💖

  34. Karen Bowerman says:

    Good afternoon. So good to catch up on all that’s happening in your life. I love autumn when things can finally slow down a bit. Off to have that cup of much needed hot tea right now 🙂

  35. Debbie Clardy says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you, as always, for the wonderful ideas for anxiety relief.
    Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

  36. Rae Ann R. says:

    Hello Susan~We too are enjoying an extended fall in northern Michigan! The trees have been beautiful, but after the gale force winds we had Sunday night most of the leaves are off the trees. Our electric company has put up Christmas lights in all the trees downtown which will be turned on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Your blogs always get me going on my decorating…being by myself I don’t use all the decorations I have collected over the years, but I do put a few things out…I’m off to check out your auction~what a wonderful idea…🦃Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours🦃

  37. Sue says:

    follow.it is a way to tell your blog readers that you have published/written a new post. It is very helpful for those of us who have lots of blogs to read, so we know when YOU have written a blog for us!

  38. Becky from Kansas says:

    Yes, I received the email also. Hope you gave a wonderful and grateful Thanksgiving. Thanks for a lovely blog post. A great pick me up before going to work.

  39. Vicki South of Arroyo says:

    Fun to see you transforming that good-sized room of your wonderful, charming, strong and sturdy house; love the soft green. My great-aunt and uncle lived in a whimsical ‘English-style’ cottage here in Southern Calif; years and years ago, they had painted the entire inside of the house in a similar green, which they told me was an endeavor, with all the sweet windows too, to bring the outdoors IN (they had lovely green lawn and also roses; big ‘ol ancient, leafy oak trees, too), so I’ve always remembered that, because the green wall paint also reflected light beautifully, including that from the fireplace which they had burning nearly every day of the year because it was cozy for them (very romantic couple from the time they were teens til their 80s!).

    Also wanted to say, beyond ‘hello’ today (Hello, Susan! Have Missed You!!), that I love the Queen cup; you captured Elizabeth’s image perfectly; great job. Oh, how we’ll miss her! She was loved. I had a rare opportunity in my youth to visit the British Virgin Islands, and I recall being an afternoon guest in a neat-as-a-pin bungalow on Salt Island (‘a British overseas territory’ [I understand it’s mostly uninhabited now, forty years later; it was only very-very sparsely populated back in 1981]); the gracious owner of the home, named Clementine, didn’t have much in the way of material possessions, but there was a prominent, large, framed photo of Her Majesty on the living room wall which meant a lot to her.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Susan. You, Joe, Jack. Thanks for checking in; was great to hear of your goings-on. My little fear was that you were shutting up shop in Arroyo Grande and retiring, only to do the once-a-year calendars back on MV, but I can see you have MANY plans ahead for yourself and us; yay!!! Glad you shared!

  40. liz says:

    So excited you are coming to RJ Julia bookstore! You are going to love it and the charming town of Madison. I live one town over in Guilford, which is also quite charming, with a lovely town green, surrounded by small shops, cafes & a beautiful white steepled church.

  41. Kathy Madigan says:

    I love the new cups! Can’t wait until they come out! Thanksgiving blessings to you and Joe.

  42. Becky M says:

    Susan, I subscribe to a cooking blog and whenever a new recipe is posted, I receive a “follow-it” email. The author uses Word Press which I think you also use?

  43. Larkin Marie Myers says:

    Thank you for filling up my cup today. Always a respite from the world to calm down and relax and remember that we’ve been through all of this before. Love you so much!

  44. Laura Brown says:

    Welcome home! Distilled Genius has been so much fun to wander through. The room you’re painting was a treasure under roof, waiting to be opened. Looking forward to the new items coming available. The auction for charity is a great idea. So much goodness in one posting! Thank you Susan!

  45. Gail M Howard says:

    Thank you, dear Susan, for your delightful and inspiring post… I just received not 1, but 2, copies of Distilled Genius and it is truly perfection!! I ordered 2 copies because I needed 1, and the 2nd is for my dear friend, for a Christmas surprise!… (so shhh, don’t tell) So thankful that YOU are in our world- you are a treasure!

  46. Karen H. says:

    Greetings and Happy November! So good to hear from you Girlfriend. So many goodies in this Willard. You have been so busy since your book tour! Love the Queen Elizabeth cup…and she would have too! Thank you for posting the adorable photos of the kids in Halloween costumes. We didn’t get one at the door this year! So sad! But I celebrated anyway because Halloween is my birthday. So happy to see you mentioned Miranda Mills in Yorkshire. I love her, and her sweet mom as they do their book reviews, and sip English tea and perhaps a bit of tea cake . Enjoy your cozy home and snuggle with you lovey dovies, Joe and Jack. XO~Karen H. from Sacramento

  47. Barbara Anne says:

    What a delight to travel on your wonderful, whimsical words, taking us hither and thither, but always toward the home in our individual hearts. Thank you!

    And for today: VOTE!!


  48. Linda M. Smith says:

    This was so wonderful! It just sparked my creative energy and now I cannot wait to make donuts. I just loved all your news and updates. Thank you so very much. I went to Martha’s Vineyard once, many years ago and would love to return! I honor your energy and want you to know that it is contagious. Also, can’t wait to place your 2023 Calander on the wall for the new year. Keep the spirit. Sending love and best wishes to you. I express gratitude for the gift you are to all of us.

  49. Mary Ann in Mid-Missouri says:

    It was so wonderful to get your post. It’s been a minute, and you’ve been incredibly busy. Glad you are home for a while and getting caught up on your to-do list. I am trying to haul in all my outdoor furniture and yard ornaments, etc. for the winter before the bad weather starts. What a job. Soon it will be time to put the garland on the front porch and start decorating for Christmas. Where has this year gone? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your dear friends. We always go to our best friend’s for Thanksgiving, and they come to our house for Christmas. Love it.

  50. Carol Beeton says:

    Dear Susan,

    Your work is wonderfully uplifting, beautiful and positive,
    its not going to get better, but so much worse than we can even imagine.
    Fully commit yourself to Jesus Christ , making Him your Lord and saviour as He is coming back to earth, this time in all His glory to bring judgement on this earth, which has become as the days of Noah.

    Only believing in Jesus and trusting Him will save you from the wrath which is coming on the earth

  51. Deb says:

    Enjoyed the blog, like always! Fall is arriving slowly here in Michigan. We have 70 degree temps in the forecast with a chance of flurries over the weekend. I received an email from follow.it also….

  52. Haley says:

    Thank you for always reminding us how good life is, Susan. I really needed that. Sending lots of love. ❤️ RJ Julia is my favorite bookstore! Wish I could join you, but I live way on the other side of the country. Come to Seattle on your next tour! I work at a bookstore there and will arrange the whole thing. 😉

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

    Good afternoon Susan, i had the same experience as Alice Dennison, what is going on, have you been hacked??? hope everything is okay!! talk later, hugs … 😀

    • sbranch says:

      No, all is well, we just moved our blog email signup and no one told me! Just go ahead and click if you still want to get them! xoxoxo

      • pat addison (cave junction, OR) says:

        oh good that is a relief. will taslk lsater, got to go clean up a mess from the front porch, a branch came down. hugs .. 😀

  54. YvonneJ says:

    I also received an email from follow-it. I did not receive an email directly from you, like usual, but I just came to your blog page to find the new post. If you click the follow-it link it takes you to their web site and automatically signs you up for an account!?!

  55. Sharon Byars says:

    What a totally wonderful afternoon reading your new post! Thank you for being you!! It is such a change to read something encouraging these days. Since your last post, we went to England and Ireland, and Scotland too. I think you told me to tour the garden behind Bleinheim Palace and we did!!! It was just about our favorite place to go in the entire 3 weeks. The Cotwolds was a very close second! I thought of you today as making your Harvest Stew for a guest tomorrow night. It is always delicious and perfect now our days are getting cooler here in Raleigh.
    Thanks again for all you do…..

  56. Lacy says:

    Did I miss it? When will the Queen’s mug be available for purchase?
    What a lovely and long ‘Willard’, love it!
    You’re a blessing in a world of uncertainty.
    Take care, and be well, until next time ~ Hugs Lacy

  57. Becky from Plainfield IL says:

    Susan so happy you are back! Love this sweet post!

  58. Lori Metschan says:

    Love, love, love as usual! Can’t wait for the Queen Elizabeth cup!!

    Wob you!

    xoxo Lori from Washington State

  59. Susie Durrschmidt says:

    I just happened to look at your blog before bedtime last night and viola, there you were! It was like a big hug; filled with all kinds of goodies to look forward to, snippets of what you and Joe have been up to. And Jack. Precious Jack. Loved the picture of you and Jack snuggled up. He is so happy to have you back home. Fall has been magnificent this year. Now it official: cold. I am a summer lover; I will survive. I start dreaming about daffodils in the spring. Now, about those stairs in Edgartown Books. Wow! I am looking forward to your new cups. I have my eye on the Queen Elizabeth cup. Just beautiful. Thank you Susan for all you are. xo Happy Thanksgiving!

  60. Beverly Armani says:

    A sweet and wonderful blog…as always! there is comfort and joy everywhere throughout the blog. Thank you…and Happy Thanksgiving!

  61. Brenda says:

    I received the strange email too and I clicked to keep receiving the blog, because I had rather risk it being spam than to quit receiving your blog notices 😂

    • sbranch says:

      You’re a doll, you did the right thing! Apparently Google made us move our mailing list . . . in order to move it safely, everyone who was on that list got an email… and everyone who wants it needs to click on the link in order to keep getting Willards … no one told me, so this is what happens! It’s more orderly than it looks! Thank you for trusting… love to see you here. 💞

      • Arline in So CA. says:

        I lost that email! Do you think we can just sign up new to get the Willard’s rather than going through follow.it? I evidently double deleted it. Arline

        • sbranch says:

          Yes, I’m sure, but if you are getting an email from Willard, then you’re probably okay. If you don’t receive notice of the next one, just sign up again! oxoxo

  62. Barbara Vlcek-Vinikow says:

    Hi Susan!
    I’ve been thinking about you so much these past 6 weeks or so, wondering how & what you were doing…hoping that you were recovering from all of your travels, enjoying being home sweet home again! And, after reading your lovely blog, I am happy to know that all is well in your world…with your dear Joe (who has the cutest smile! Loved the pic of him through the window!), and with your sweet kitty, Jack!

    I celebrated my 70th (!!! Where does the time go?!!) birthday by spending it with my dear husband on the Central Oregon Coast…near a darling little village called Yachats (Yaw-hots). The beach is my happy place for sure! When we arrived it was very foggy, and stayed that way for 5 straight days. We’d rented a beach house for 8 days, so fortunately the sun did come out for the last few.

    The house was wonderful, large & spacious w/ 2 extra bedrooms, so we invited family to join us for several days. Our room & bed was heavenly, on the second floor, where we had a bit of a view of the ocean. We fell asleep every night with the windows open, listening to the sounds of the surf. My sister was traveling in Scotland, so not able to join us, however, her present to me was a copy of “Distilled Genius”!

    What a wonderfully created book, Susan!!! Each night I would read a few pages before turning out the light. Then I would close my eyes and see your beautiful pictures as I drifted off to sleep! The quote that resonated with me the most is one of yours…on page 179, your quote about writing a book. It’s very inspirational & motivating for me because I am determined to write a book, but it does seem an overwhelming project. So I’m going to keep your wise words close at hand to help me keep things in perspective.

    Another way in which your book is inspiring me, is that I’m going to use some of your quotes about books to decorate my new “Little Library” which my husband bought for me as a birthday present. I can’t wait to put it out in front of our house & fill it with books! I will take a picture of it to send to you.

    My husband surprised me with a couple of other beautiful gifts, also, one of which is tickets to go hear Itzhak Perlman perform with the Oregon Symphony in January!!! Not only did Van purchase tickets for us, he also bought 2 additional ones for my cousin & my 93 year old auntie to come with us!!! Truly a wonderful experience to look forward to!

    One more thing, and then I must go get things ready for dinner guests coming tonight. I bought a plain, beige color mug for myself, while on our Oregon trip, which simply says “Sweater Weather” on it. So, of course, I thought of you, and wondered if you might create a beautiful mug for Fall/Winter with one of your darling illustrations. I know you are busy, busy, busy now with lots of projects, including your beautiful mug commemorating Queen Elizabeth II, which I just love, but maybe keep this idea of a Sweater Weather mug for a future project. 😊

    Sending lots of love and good wishes to you, Joe & Jack! 💕🥰💕
    your friend, Barbara (in Reno where we are currently experiencing our first big snowfall of the season!!!)

  63. susan morgon says:

    What a fun blog post! The expression on Jack’s face; I just love it. What a pesronality he has. The room that you are redoing looks like such a wonderful space, with so many possibilities for using it. Will you be doing something different with it when it’s finished? I think my favorite picture is the one with the shadows. The splash of scarlet on the side is perfect.
    I’m glad the email of today turned out to be nothing. It’s interesting that we were asked to confirm something that we already signed up for; we did so because we wanted it. I googled the site and found it to be one that site owners can use to increase traffic to their sites. I don’t know if it would happen, but I decided not to click the link in case other emails followed from other sites trying to gain followers. At least it’s benign; there are too many phishing emails asking people to click a link for questionable purposes.
    Hope all goes well with the auction! Happy fall!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s actually all okay! Apparently Google made us move our mailing list . . . in order to move it in a protected way, everyone who was on that list got an email… and you will all need to click on the link in order to keep getting Willards … no one told me, so this is what happens! I’m sorry! But it’s all safe, sound, and more orderly than it looks! 💞

  64. Raynore Jones says:

    Lorelei Books in Vicksburg. She is an independent bookseller. Books in November…wouldn’t that be great?

  65. Jane Armour says:

    What a delightful Willard! You and Joe HAVE been busy with all your travel, talks, work in and around the home and so much to celebrate! I always feel as though I have had a few lovely cups of tea with a dear friend when I read these and best of all, the tensions of the day just melt away. Thank you!

  66. Julie says:

    Big breath…your blog post came at the perfect time with soothing words, thank you! I could feel the anxiety building up. Thank you for reminding me that no matter what happens, we will be ok. History tells us this. Happy Autumn Susan…

  67. Lorrie Orr says:

    Hello, dear Susan. How lovely to see a post from you, so full of newsy bits and pieces. I have a mug of tea beside me as I read and write, and a cozy blanket over my feet for we had our first snow already. So unusual here.
    Love the Queen Elizabeth mug! She was so inspiring, and completely lovely, with a great sense of humour. I saw her just once, when I was about 14 years old. She and Charles and Anne came to our little northern BC town and walked through the local park.
    I’m sewing cozy pajamas for our five grandchildren these days, with the goal of being finished by the last week of November. It’s a tradition! And since I don’t have to think about Thanksgiving (we celebrated in October), I’m moving right on to thinking about Christmas.
    I have your book, Distilled Genius, here on the table beside the sofa, and love to dip in and out of it.
    Have a most wonderful week ahead.

  68. Connie Rose Woehler says:

    What a wonderful blog! Susan, you made my day! I went straight to the auction to bid on your tea cups! Also, I have been filling out your Christmas Memories Book for the last 21 years! I am on Book 5. It is so awesome to look back on my family’s Christmases and to see how we have celebrated with our kids and grandkids throughout the years. Wonderful Christmas Memories!

  69. julia walker says:

    Dear Susan, Joe & Jack,
    I was quite relieved to get this today as I’d been worrying about you. Please don’t stay away so long in the future! But, you did have good excuses. There’s too much to comment on, so I’ll simply say, thank you for sharing your life again.

    PS I especially appreciate your paintings of Elizabeth~

  70. Kit says:

    Oh how I loved this post! Just what I needed to read to keep me away from reading news tonight. Now I can sleep with a smile on my face. Thank you! 💕

  71. Poppy says:

    A little bit of joy just arrived in my inbox! Yay, everything has gone awry today so I took the time to just sit, breath and read -I feel you would approve. Thank you so much for this lovely Willard, I hope to see just one more filled with Christmas goodness before the new year rushes upon us.

  72. Bambi Willard says:

    Susan LOVED the picture of your baby waiting at the door for you! So cute!

  73. Lovely blog post, as always… and the perfect antidote to all that pandemic/election/generalized anxiety. Reading your Willard is like a deep breath of fresh air, and never fails to bring a smile. Thanks for that – oh, and for the new mugs! Can’t wait. ♥

  74. Debbie Boerger says:

    Ahhhh, finally have time to sit with my morning cuppa and read the rest of this wonderful Willard. Our 2 boxes, mailed from Maine, will arrive today, then it will be unpack, and put away all the things we couldn’t take on the airplane.
    The blueberry tea! Perfect. I’ll take some up to Maine next May. I have so many infusers that came from little shops. Most of my kitchen things up there were from places with names such a “The Love Barn” and “The Big Chicken Barn” I’ll bet some of you who know exactly where they are. Almost all of our furniture was “used” as well, and we love it.
    Will be ordering lots of goodies for gifts. Thank you, Dear Lady for doing the work for us.
    Wonder if our lives will ever be just nice and calm. Sitting here in chaos of things all moved and covered for the installation of the huge, wind and water resistant slider. And Lo and Behold, here comes another hurricane to welcome us back to Florida. Couldn’t have a huge hole in the wall for that! Reminds me of one of the Ramona children’s books I used to read to my 3rd grade classes. Long time ago, now. Rescheduled for next week.
    Mucho Love and Thanks for all the pictures, especially of you and your two very handsome Men.
    Debbie in Tampa, watching the trees dancing

    • sbranch says:

      Feeling much lighter since election is almost over and Democracy seems to have survived! I was so worried about what we would do with George Washington if we became a dictatorship!!!🤣 Hopefully the hurricane didn’t get you! xoxoxo

  75. Shirley Burt says:

    Susan, Another delight. Thank you bunny bunches for updating us with all that is happening in your part of the world. We have just had complete plumbing meltdown, cast iron water pipes collapsing, then a 4X4 tunnel dug under our concrete slab, all new pipes under and up through the bottoms of all sinks and washer. Happily the crews were fabulous and worked so hard. Kept water going and one bathroom working most of the time. Hurray for plumbers.
    Also, I knocked my England mug off the counter and held my breath. It survived, not a chip in sight. So happy to report, your mugs are absolutely tremendously strong. Thank you. Enjoy your fall and Thanksgiving. Bunny hugs, from Texas

  76. susan morgon says:

    For those who may be nervous about yesterday’s email or sorry that you deleted it, don’t worry. I deleted that email without clicking either the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ option, and I still received an email notification today about the new Willard.

  77. So lovely to read all of your latest news, Susan! You have been so very busy, dearest!! So often, I think back to our very wonderful time together ‘behind the scenes’ at Prairie Path Books in August. You and Joe were so welcoming as we shared our hearts and our stories while nibbling yummy cookies from your grandma’s favorite recipe. Heartfelt thanks for being a true highlight of my year!!
    Susan, your Christmas Memories book is one of my truest treasures! I have several volumes that hold so many of our cherished, family Christmas memories.💕 When it was first published, Christmas Memories made the perfect Christmas gift for all of my friends!
    Enjoy this special time with your very special visitor, Susan!
    Warmest hugs,
    💗 Dawn (in Illinois)

  78. Ann Y. says:

    Hi Susan – SO happy to find a new blog waiting for me this morning! So many warm and cozy thoughts, ideas, and things to ponder. Yes to a long Fall…the leaves here in PA are SO beautiful this year…and hanging on. We traveled to Canada and Maine in October and then came home to find the prettiest trees right in our own back yard. Hmmm…there is a lesson in there somewhere. Just bought some cranberries so excited to make the cranberry tea cake for this weekend. My dear friend ( since we ended up in the same homeroom in 1972, went on to be college roommates, and can still wear out the batteries on our phones by TALKING about everything!) is coming for a visit. Our church -which we LOVE – is having a Saturday night Mass with music from Crosby Stills Nash and Young. They do this every so often…last one was the Beatles. A local band comes, they fit the songs to the readings for the week, and our wonderful pastors somehow work the songs into a sermon of hope. We will be there, in the pews, singing the songs we loved in days gone by, and then coming to our home for dinner, wine, cake, and TALKING! Guest room is all ready – love having company. Enjoy the long Fall, and the coming winter…books, fire, tea and cozy times ahead!

  79. Helen says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan and Joe! 🦃 Here in Lancaster, PA we have enjoying the extended growing season as well. It was also a spectacular Autumn! For whatever reason, the trees put on an amazing show. Wish I could make it to the event in Edgartown in December, but already my holiday schedule is packed. I tell myself that future dreams are good to have. Thank you for continuing to add beauty to my life!

  80. Fran from Michigan says:

    Wow, you really have been busy! I got tired just reading everything you have been up to. Love the picture of Joe fixing the windows and Jack ( so happy he’s still well and healthy)
    I have suffered from anxiety my entire life. It seems like I make up things to worry about! My adult children understand a little now that they have children of there own. But, I was tearing up while I was reading it.
    Do you know one thing that helps me, believe it or not. Is reading, I love to read, and sometimes when I’m really anxious I get out one of your cook books ( I love the autumn one the best. or maybe the christmas one) but they seem to help with the funny pictures and the yummy recipes. Sometimes I just go in the kitchen and make something from them, and I forget all about my worries! thank you for that.

    • sbranch says:

      Going into another world is such a lovely thing, as long as nice people live in that world, or smart people, or tricky people, or funny ones! Cooking ones are good too! xoxoxo

  81. Alice Wagner says:

    As always, enjoyed your Willard. I always see ideas in YOUR home that I’d like to have in MY home! (Wanna trade?) Here’s one little thing I’ve done in MY vintage house … (you don’t have to list this in Comments if you don’t want to; might start a avalanche of ideas from others, which of course, you don’t need as you have a zillion of your own) … I noticed that your doors have locks for old-fashioned “skeleton keys.” I spray-painted three to go with my kitchen colors, strung them on a pretty ribbon and hung them on my kitchen door. Kinda cute, I think. Best to you always …

  82. Fran from Michigan says:

    Oh one other thing, I love to watch Utube. I’m hooked on all the different people showing their homes or cooking recipes. I’d love it if you started making a few new video’s of Martha’s vineyard, your home, Jack. I watch your old ones sometimes , but they are just not long enough!

  83. Sandi from the Cape says:

    Dear Susan, your reassuring words and that picture of you and Jack are just what I needed! I have big anxiety about so many things, along with trying to sell our home and suddenly the market fell down! I ask the Universe daily to help us all out no matter what our troubles. Thanks for posting this as I too was worried about where you were. Happy Thanksgiving! (Looking forward to the upcoming Zoom!)

  84. Hello Dearie,
    Thanks for a wonderful and uplifting Willard (as usual) it’s just what my day needed. A nice long Fall is such a luxury. We have been having snow here already- which is good because we’ve been in such a drought. I just throw on another layer of clothing and am grateful for it.
    I love your domestic tranquilities, and pursuits of happiness. So goodly and delightful. I look forward to all the wonderful offerings of the auctions and the store. Please know that whatever the world throws your way there are so many of us who count you as a kindred spirit and don’t only just love you for what you create for us.
    Sending you all the love and light possible!

  85. Sarah says:

    I have that exact same cinnamon and sugar shaker with the red lid. 🙂 Loved seeing that!

  86. Sherry Winchester says:

    I always look forward to your blogposts. Uplifting and lovely…and educational! Warm wishes to you, Joe and Jack for this upcoming chilly season. I’m sure you’ll keep each other warm and toasty! Much love, Sherry.

  87. Mary Lawrence says:

    I was so happy to see your new blog,it was like chocolate for the soul.Keep being the queen
    of cozy,it made my day.As Thanksgiving is approaching I am so thankful for my family and friends.Elizabeth Lawrence

  88. Connie Blanton says:

    One of my most favorite Christmas movies is Christmas In Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck. Then I found out it was loosely based on Gladys Taber’s writings and it made me love it even more! Happy Thanksgiving, girlfriend. 🍁🦃

  89. Kay says:

    Nice newsy post. This long warm fall has been the greatest. But now our village workers have hauled away the pretty leaves that seemed to all fall in the space of 2 short days. Time to settle in for winter. Thank goodness for warm snuggling kitties.

    Your home is just beautiful. So glad you always post lots of pix. Yes, do design a mug in future to memorialize a feisty woman from our own history. Nothing against another country’s queen, but…we left all that behind ages ago.

  90. Sally Jenks Roth says:

    Oh no! Because I thought that follow.it email was spam, it has gone to spam and deleted forever. Is there any chance I can get back on the list for Willard and the blog or do I need to re-subscribe? I am sure I am not the only one who deleted it!
    Thanks for advice…

    • sbranch says:

      If you get an email about the Willard, then you’re fine, but if not, then you will have to re-sign up! I wish I’d known they were going to send that email!🤪

  91. Kathy says:

    As always, absolutely lovely to read your blog post. You are a voice of calm in a world that can sometimes feel topsy-turvy. Thank you for that. 💗

  92. Marilyn says:

    Thank you Susan for the update. The paintings of Queen Elizabeth ll are lovely. Glad your latest book is doing great. Your posts are always a treat.

  93. Joan says:

    Hi Susan, As usual your posts are full of fun and lovely things. You are so talented. Glad you had a good time with the book signings. Take care and enjoy the lovely Fall season.

  94. Marion says:

    Hello Susan, Glad to hear that you are doing fine. Those mugs you have are lovely. They are so pretty and festive. Everything you do is so special and beautiful. Hope you are having a cool.crisp Autumn weather.

  95. Jackie in Colorado says:

    Dear Susan,
    Welcome home, again! Willard was wonderful! Another Clementine book you might love is Clementine by Sonia Purnell. Another great read. Recouping from knee replacement and Willard came at a great time to put feet up, ice the knee and enjoy catching up. Best medicine ever! What fun to do auctions! The new prototype for Her Majesty’s cup will be so wonderful. Still hard to imagine her not with us. What a role model. I will savor this post a bit longer since it was fun to read and worth another go ‘round! Happy Holidays to you and Joe and of course , Jack.

  96. Jo'L says:

    Glad to see you back. Happy Autumn wishes to you too!

  97. Jill says:

    So nice to visit with you as always! I always enjoy my armchair trips to Martha’s Vineyard as I read your Willard. Your new mugs look lovely and I can’t wait for the Santa mug! I’ve been wanting him for a long time but he’s been unavailable, as you know. I looked at your first auction on your website. What whimsical and beautiful items you have. I loved them all, especially the Christmas tea set. Hmmm … do I dare put in a bid? The holidays are looming ahead and coming up soon and that tea set would come in handy. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends!

  98. Linda, near Seattle says:

    I loved this post! I always do, but hearing about Autumn at your house has made this post more meaningful to me. We have had a warm Autumn here in Western Washington, but in the past few days an atmospheric river arrived with rain and wind and lots of snow in the nearby mountains. Time for cozy evenings with a fire and a good book. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  99. Carol from Indianapolis says:

    What a joy to get your Willard! I was so worried about you. It had been so long and Autumn is your very favorite time of year. Mine too!🎃 🍁 This was just what I needed. Your joy of everyday life, your love of domesticity and uplifting outlook are such a gift to all of us. I’m so thankful for you and our band of “girlfriends” who are of such like minds.
    Enjoy every moment of your long fall and happy Thanksgiving!🦃

  100. Christine LeLacheur says:

    Susan, Luv that you are honoring Queen Elizabeth , can’t wait to preorder her cup.Thank you.Chr😍💕istine

Comments are closed.