No pessimist ever discoveredthe secrets of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit. -Helen Keller

The tall maple tree outside my kitchen window is bent and blowing; the branches are bouncing and almost brushing the ground; the shhhhh noise of thousands of leaves rubbing together in the wind is the music of September.Music Notes


Yesterday, they shut down the ferry boats on the island because of high surf; out on our walk, the woods were wild; the air tasted sharp like a bite of green apple; I wished I'd brought my camera and done a video out there. I will soon. I hope you enjoy the videos I've been sending to our new FRIENDS OF SUSAN BRANCH Facebook page. Sailing pictureThey're really fun to make, I have to say; I'm producer, director, narrator, of the hopefully-too-quick-to-be-boring NINE-SECOND-MOVIES. Sometimes I go wild and do TWENTY-THREE SECONDS! Thank you, thank you, no, you are too kind. (I want to thank the Academy . . . ) I only work with two actors, one balks a bit and makes me wait until he sucks in his stomach, and the other star of my movies is the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard, who comes just as she is. It helps when gorgeous sailboats float by, or giant lobster rolls jump into our car -- set design is the easiest part of the movie making process!

I LOVE Facebook, never thought I'd say those words. But I finally realized, just because I don't understand it, doesn't mean I can't do it! A new world opened. A couple of weeks ago we asked everyone on Facebook what their favorite recipes were; it was so fun for me to read the answers. Besides agreeing that Lemon Noodles and Skip-and-Go-Naked's are wonderful, I was starving by the time I got through them all! Drinks If you're not on Facebook, please come join us, you will love meeting the nicest, funnest, most inspirational bunch of Friends in the world! And by the way, two words: PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE! You have to try it!

If you're interested in cooking, you are also interested in art, love, and culture.

After fighting it (hard); being talked into it by smarter people than me, I also discovered that TWITTER is fun too. The other day I found the Twitter page of a 104-year-old-woman who lives in a nursing home in England and whose name is Ivy Bean (for the name alone you have to love her). She has over 40,000 people who follow her Twitter page just because she is so sweet and charming. She Twittered on her Cake104th Birthday and said this: "ITS MY BIRTHDAY IM SO HAPPY" I love her. I love that she can do this, and does do it. I love that she will never be lonely. There are very nice things to be said about these days we live in, and I love knowing that nothing really changes in the human heart; the need for connection is there in all of us. If you're ready for the Twitter plunge, you can find me at You can find Ivy Bean at And one more thing, a story about Ivy at HERE.3 Hearts

Inspiration is never where you expect it to be.

Speaking of touching things, I hope you all saw Julie and Julia movie? If not, run go see it. I started crying when the station wagon pulled up in front of the house in Paris (scene one). Paris in the 50's was great,Julia Tree Heart but my favorite part was how it highlighted the wonderful relationship between Julia and her husband Paul. Now I tell Joe he is my Paul, and see him stand 3 inches taller. It's working! I wrote a tiny thing about Julia Child in my AUTUMN Book, to thank her for being so inspirational to me. I met her only once, and I will never forget it. She changed my world, inspired every dinner party I ever had; inspired much more than that!


We are so lucky to be surrounded by inspiration, what so many have given with hands and hearts, so all of us can stand on their shoulders and get a little closer to the stars. You find it in Julia Child, but it's also there in a 104-year-old woman in a nursing home in England, and in every mom (like my mom) making her house a home; caring for her family; in every girlfriend lightening the load of someone else, because that's what we do.

Help one another is part of the religion of our sisterhood. -Lousia May Alcott

Am I talking too much? Twitter has trapped me into 140 characters (all you're allowed to write at a time) and now I have this big space, I might go too far.


Bean ElfIf for some reason you actually WANT to read more, there are lots of tips and hints for fun stuff to do for Autumn on -- simple ways to make this the most wonderful season of all. We also have lots of new product in our web store -- little things I love, like my favorite RED votive candles; our Collectible Christmas Ornament for 2009, our Holiday Cards for this year; an adorable kit for making your own felt Christmas stocking; Children's aprons (are you teaching your kids and grandkids to cook? It's a gift!), all kinds of INSPIRATION for things to make or do, the Christmas Tree Bundt Pan with my Chocolate Cake recipe that everyone loved so much last new BLOTTER CALENDAR, wall calendar, purse calendar, all make pretty good, not-too-expensive gifts for the special people in your life.

PillowAnd if you've been good, a little something for YOU: our HOOKED RUGS came in! Kellee has been putting them all up on our website; there are twenty rugs, twenty-seven pillows, and twenty-four chair pads to choose from! You can mix and match, and I promise you, the quality is 100% wonderful.Pillow Some I designed to look antique, some are seasonal; there are rugs inspired by England, by the island, and my garden. I have these rugs and pillows all over my house, in my kitchen, in the bedrooms, at the front door, in my studio. I've even used the chair pads as tiny rugs in certain spaces in bathrooms, and wherever I have a spot that needs perking up.

Well, I best go, I want to get back to working on the new book; it's 6 am, I'm in my dining room, I decided to write my book in this room, because the wallpaper is large roses, and there are tall windows around me. Room It's a good perch for keeping an eye on everything -- close to the kitchen, the heart of the home. Bye for now, have a wonderful month, I'll be thinking of you! Be good to yourself; go outside and play.Heart

With love, Susan Branch