TIME OUT FOR DREAMING . . .

Time out for dreaming, Girlfriends. One of the things I’ve learned over time is to listen to my inner voice when it tells me I’ll do better work if I take some time to dream and just be. So that’s exactly what I am going to do, but first a new post ~ I’ll show you what I have in mind . . . MUSICA 

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 I actually started yesterday ~ I don’t think I’ve ever felt it as strongly as I do right now, I think it’s trying to tell me something ~ all the way out on the walk this morning I was in some sort of nature trance, I could feel the movement of every leaf and the drift of every cloud ~ it was sending me to the moon.

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Our walk lends itself to that kind of dreaming. Looking at the sky through a canopy of leaves and of course staring at the sea is an excellent exercise for dreaming.

You’re all dressed up to go dreaming, mind if I come along . . .

old cokbooks

I love reading old cookbooks too, especially this time of the year, it takes my mind to another world . . .

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. . . and makes me want to bake something . . .

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Because there is nothing quite as inspiring as coming in from a chilly fall day and smelling something baking in the oven. It makes a person feel good about herself, don’t you agree?

Random Harvest

Another good one is getting under a blanket your grandma knit for you, totally guilt free, not a care in the world, with a kitty on your tummy, to watch a wonderful old movie like Random Harvest.

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Also, making dinner with the birds at the feeders and no noise at all, just the clanging of the measuring spoons, the clanking of the spoon against the bowl.

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Filling the little vases with whatever is drifting around the garden . . .bringing nature indoors. And I don’t have a photograph of this but I have to report an aphrodisiac alert!  Joe just walked by my studio window carrying our new storm door for the front door! I love a man in the yard in the fall!  So inspiring!

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I love wrapping up in a cozy shawl and lighting candles and reading or just staring at the fire as the days grow shorter.

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. . . and hanging clean dishtowels on the stove . . . is perfectly inspiring to me.

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my diary

Of course writing in my dairy . . . extra squiggles are tucked in the back of my diaries, everything from greeting cards to ticket stubs — this is one of them (on the right), totally and completely meaningless . . . I have no idea why I did it.  I think I’m thinking about clothes!

me

This was me just starting out on a lifetime of dreaming.  In those days it was the noises of the neighborhood from my bedroom window that sent me off to la-la-land. I could lay on my bed and listen to that all day. I recreate that every chance I get.

art girl

This is just a little wonderful art (which I did, of course, NOT paint!)

Beatrix

Back then my dreams had no edges, no solid lines, they were unformed, I didn’t even know I was doing it.  After I grew up I learned about Beatrix Potter and always wondered what her dreams were like as a child.  She has always seemed so grounded to me, I wonder if she had flights of fancy. 

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 But she definitely helped me to form my grown-up dreams.

Falling in love

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She gave me places to go and people to see . . .

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Dreaming taught me this . . .

counting time

Every once in a while I forget, but then I remember.

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Of course, the fastest way to fill my heart with inspiration is to imagine myself back in England, for example here, in Ellen Terry’s garden.  I can still smell the fresh green-ness of this place, and feel the breeze and remember that it is actually poetry in motion.

Time for tea

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I sat in that garden, with her lilac, writing our book, having tea AND Peah-Ci-da, listening to lambs baaah, all senses on high alert.  Deep breath, ahhhh, now that was a beautiful day.

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An empire of imagination.♥  I am SO HAPPY Scotland, with it’s lovely men in kilts and the entire ecosystem of fairy magic, chose to remain as part of England. I was so happy to hear the news this morning, it made me cry!  It would have been very sad to see them break up after so many years. MUSICA  And I’m sure it will be better now! Heres to the future!

Here’s a bit of English charm I know you will love, also from Ellen Terry’s garden.

wishes

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And this?  This is my first glimpse of Wray Castle, the place the Potter family rented on their first stay in the Lake District when Beatrix was sixteen.  I took this photo while on a boat crossing Lake Windermere, the egret was a gift. 

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I wrote about the Waterhead Hotel in Ambleside (across from where you get the boats) where there was magic in the bathroom! This is the place!  I didn’t have room for a picture in A Fine Romance, but here it is! If you haven’t read it, you can (if you squint) below.

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Like a basket of drinkable kittens . . . 

working on the book

This stone cottage in Tetbury belonged to our friends Siobhan and John.  There is a river running just below the windows, it is raining and grey outside; just behind where I am working there is a woodstove with a little crackling fire.

Dreaming . . .

story book land

Isn’t it adorable ~ a perfect storybook cottage.  I wrote and watercolored these pages while we were there:

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I was channeling Beatrix Potter when I did it. I had to.  I couldn’t help myself by that time.  I’d fallen head over heels in love with everything around me.  She must have painted and drawn on many rainy English days just like mine. 

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Lambie Pie.

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When a picture makes me cry, I know I’m on the right track.  This is the Yorkshire Dales and the grand sweep of it is beyond my words to describe.  But the sound of those wildflowers blowing against each other was enough to do a person in.  Permanently and forever.

Girlski

Oh.  I’m sorry.  I’m losing it, right Girl Kitty?  Sorry. 

red books

 Another thing that encourages my dream state, which I need right now for growth, is piddling around.  Putting away my summer books and putting out my red winter books. . .

IMG_6546 . . . filling vases and cups with flowers ~ because  I need nurturing, Joe needs nurturing, kitties need nurturing, our house needs it too, and I’m assigning me the job of doing it. For the sake of my dreams. 

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Some people hang clothes on the line because they want to dry them.  I hang them on the line so I can go outside, smell the fall air ~ and watch them fly. 

draft stop

flowers

Time to pull out the hooked rugs for the kitchen floor and put the draft stop at the door.  This draft stop is one of my favorite decorations for my kitchen in the fall.  I love it because it’s useful, it does a very good job of keeping the air out, plus, “Home Sweet Home” just says it all.  The design isn’t stamped on, it’s embroidered!  It’s filled with Balsam needles and smells like Christmas.  Kellee says our Goat Barn at the studio (where these are kept) smells WONDERFUL.  Why? Because we just got a bunch of them in!  Are you excited?  Because I am! I’ve been trying for two years!

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our walk

My guy, this morning, on our walk where all the trees were talking to me, making me cry from how beautiful it is out there. Beatrix Potter had her beloved Lakeland, and I have my wonderful island, and especially this little corner of it right here, with that guy on it, right there.

Blessings

And one last thing before I go and do as much more-of-the-above as possible for as long as it takes . . . this↑.  Several of you have asked for Count your Blessings to be made into a print.  And Kellee listened and did it! From us to you with love.  XOXO  Have a wonderful day Everyone, be sure to take a moment for dreaming. 

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408 Responses to TIME OUT FOR DREAMING . . .

  1. I think I spend too much time dreaming ~~~ can you do that? Is it too much of a good thing? No! That egret is as a dream! What a dream of a picture that is! Your adventures in England seem almost a dream, but one we can go back to again and again ~~~

    Greer Garson, I just love her, and remember her so well from “Mrs Miniver”.

    Few things beat the smell of laundry on the line ~ well, maybe fresh mown grass, or hot apple cider come close ~ the last couple days my quilts and blankets are being washed and aired from their ‘summer vacation’ preparing them for use in the cooler days ahead, as I snuggle under them while reading my seed catalogues for seeds and bulbs for spring ~ and reading my cook books too so I know what seeds to sow to grow things for those recipes.

    Been gathering bags of fallen conkers ~ dreaming of days gone by when ‘conkers’ was a playground game!

    Keep dreaming, Dear Susan, and come back writing with even more things to tell us! Waving ~~~ Debs in Wales xoxo

    p.s. our cathedral clock and bells are back at last ~~~

  2. Dear, dear Susan ~

    How glad am I that you are listening to your heart. And that you are taking time for dreamin’ and fillin’ up the soul’s deep well again.

    As for myself, I’ve been mooning over the Toba Hawthorne tree that stands outside my office window; right now it’s loaded with tiny red berries, and earlier this morning it was delightfully aflutter with birds … all nestled in the branches like tiny tree ornaments. Makes my heart float just watching it all.

    And, I feel as if I’ve been on another wee dreamin’ and fillin’ time just reading your new post these last few minutes. For that I thank you!

    Sending you hugs and peaceful blessings….
    Brenda
    xox

  3. Cindy Boggs says:

    Thank you Susan, for another wonderful, inspiring post. I also wanted to tell you how much I love my 2015 desk calendar blotter which arrived yesterday! It’s going to perk up my desk at work immeasurably!

  4. Toni says:

    Hello Susan
    Here’s to dreaming and fulfilling our dreams. I feel like you wrote this post just for me. Thank you.
    Toni

  5. Ashley Pickrell says:

    I love the Count Your Blessings, it’s just a perfect little prayer over anyone’s home. Do you have it drawn for the other seasons too?

  6. Mary Hobart says:

    Just came back from a trip to Ireland and felt the same happiness with nature as you do. Also felt that way in the Cotswolds several years ago. As always, love your blogs. Just took in a few small remaining flowers to place in a tiny vase. Small arrangements are my favorite.

  7. jeannine leonard says:

    I have that Hershey’s cookbook too, love baking all the goodies that are inside of it.
    My daughter was ecstatic this morning to hear that Scotland and England are still as one. She was so worried that the flag was going to change. She has a pair of high tops with the flag printed into the material, and a lot of other things with the flag. She is really hoping to go to further her education in London after high school. One day, we will see, for she is only in 8th grade.
    Isn’t fall wonderful!
    I am enjoying your Fall book that I received about 2 weeks ago.

  8. Jennie Lou says:

    Hi, Susan,
    What a wonderful post! If everyone gets ‘Spring fever’, what should we call this sweet/melancholy/excitement/spontaneity that comes over us when the warm weather begins to ebb and the earth is chill at dawn and sweltering at noon? I hate to rush Summer out the door (“here’s your straw hat, what’s your hurry?”) but I cannot keep from peeking behind the curtain where Autumn is waiting in the wings! I have been participating in my home State Fair, baking pies and such, and spent yesterday surrounded by QUILTS! Oh!
    is anything more delicious? Here’s to memories of the lovely Summer and the promise of Fall!

  9. Joan Ramseyer says:

    Susan….I just read your post and have to tell you that we are in the Lake District right now and are loving it. The funniest thing happened though. I thought I had booked the Waterhead in Ambleside and when we got there yesterday I was told I had booked a hotel by the same name in Coniston which is 8 miles from Ambleside down a zig zaggy road. I was so disappointed, but the Waterhead that we ended up at is off the beaten path and on a different lake. Outside our window I can see the lake, a beautiful green lawn and a pasture full of sheep. We visited the two Wordsworth homes today and are going to Hill Top tomorrow. We had pear cider on the lawn by the hotel late this afternoon. The September weather has been warm and glorious. We haven’t encountered any rain so far. All the English people we have talked to are so glad the vote in Scotland was 55% no against the referendum. We are headed to Edinburgh Sunday and then back to the Yorkshire Dales before we head to Heathrow and home next Thurs. The Lake District is so beautiful it makes me feel good to be alive. Another highlight of this trip was high tea at Highclere. There is a lot to be thankful for in this life and traveling is one of those things.

    • sbranch says:

      I loved every word of this Joan! ♥ I’m so glad the weather is nice. Good luck at Hill Top! xoxo Thank you for saying hello from the Lake District.

  10. Hellooo Susan!… Happy Autumn to you!… such a beautiful post, full of all the things I love… the photo of you when you were just a little girl is so precious!… all of my daydreams and fairytales began when I was about that age as well… and like you, I had a mama who encouraged us to daydream and be free spirits… to let our imaginations run wild, which I still do to this day… my “Autumn” book has been a constant source of inspiration to me these early Fall days (I have your original one and I also got your 10th anniversary one!)… love all of the happiness you find in hanging new dishtowels out, hanging your clothes on the line to dance in the breeze… setting out your Autumn books… and of course dreaming about your “Fine Romance” with England… I love that you “snatched” some flowers from Beatrix Potters garden to press in your journal… I think that made her smile in Heaven… are they still in your journal?… it is a glorious Autumn day here in Centerville today… I stocked up on all the Fall staples… pumpkin spice donuts, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies… spiced cider… you know the essentials… and our little farmstand down the lane and around the bend had Honeycrisps today, so a big bag of them came home with me… I have been buying them for years, but always think of you know when I do as I know you love them as well… thanks for being “you”… and making “me” smile… today I am ten years old again… xoxo… Julie Marie

  11. MARIA JOSE says:

    Thank you very much for this post, I’ve dreamed with you, I loved the music, the photos……………really inspiring.
    Thanks again, a pleasure to read you.
    xoxo

  12. mari1017 says:

    I was just checking my email when I thought, hmmm, wonder when Susan will post again – and voila! How wonderful! We have cooler temps here in Virginia – the warm days and the cool nights – so wonderful! Our house is all decorated – except for the 3 little pumpkins I will place over our front door – we face south and October 1 will be soon enough so they last 🙂 This is our first Autumn in central Virginia, and it is gorgeous! ♥ Love your dreaming, and your music and your pictures of wandering and dreaming. My sister calls me her gypsy sister lol – but now with my mom living with me, I am settled. I’m asking for that wonderful new doorstop for my birthday 🙂 I have the balsam-filled ones from Maine, but none so lovely as this one! Off to fill the bird feeder for the dinner crowd 🙂 Big hugs to you, Susan, for a wonderful blog, dreams, art and all things inspiring and beautiful !!! Enjoy the weekend!!!

  13. Love this! I’m so sick of the hot FL weather- this just revived me 🙂 Best of all, in 2 weeks I’m heading North so I can see some leaves begin to change color and the chilly wind will blow out the cobwebs.
    You never fail to make me smile- xoxo Jacqui

    • sbranch says:

      You’re going to love it Jacqui, it’s perfect up here, cool, cold this morning, but sunny and the first leaves are barely beginning to show color.

  14. jennifer says:

    Dear Susan, all your dreaming and puttering around will end up a blessing for all of us too…so…dream and putter all you like. 🙂
    I too have taken a time out for doing similar things…but mine began due to a healing period. Of all things, I have mono. At 53, I have mono. Not fun, but since I HAVE to rest, I am reading cookbooks, watching old movies, eating pancakes for supper and other soothing, nurturing meals, bubblebaths, LOTS of naps and other restful things. I would like to do some fall decorating….but that will have to wait until I can walk across the floor without stopping to rest.
    I do adore you……and this place….your website, your books….all help me to be encouraged and inspired.
    So, you go putter, and I am going to take a nap. 🙂
    Love to you.

    • sbranch says:

      Too much kissing Jennifer. I hope you learned your lesson! (Don’t mean to joke, but I hope it made you laugh, that’s what they told us caused Mono when we were in high school. Sending love, Get well soon!)

      • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

        I remember that!! Back in the day when they didn’t know much about mono and it was kinda scary when someone got it. It was called the kissing sickness, wasn’t it?

        • sbranch says:

          Where we were (10th grade I think) it was even worse, the Kissing Disease!

          • jennifer says:

            If someone sneezes with the germ then puts there hand on the buggy at the grocery store…my example….you can get this nasty thing. So who knows. I certainly don’t recommend this stuff.
            But I’ve watched some great old movies!

          • sbranch says:

            Well, that’s the good thing, you still see a bright side. I hope it goes away very soon Jennifer!

  15. Delightful post. I love having my head in the clouds. Now I know to go with it, I’m actually dreaming…oh the possibilities. Today was a gorgeous day, although it started out quite nippy. Hang on Summer! I took a leisurely drive on the north road on my way back from an appointment where all the farm stands are gearing up for “The Great Pumpkin” invasion. I stopped here and there for apples, fresh basil, tomatoes, you name it and I got it. I did feel as if I were dreaming. The sights, the smells, heavenly. I was content and very grateful. Thank you Susan!

  16. Susan ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

    Dreaming – what a delight. I am as certain as I can be that Beatrix Potter was indeed a dreamer too! Where else did all her charming little friends begin, but in a time of dreamy meditation? Wray Castle with the egret is a perfect shot. Do you have it framed? Of course, so many of your photos are frameworthy, it would be hard to choose. I think I love the photos of the garden swirlings in a bottle and the candle in the measuring cup. Utter whismy! Loved the blog, as always – until next time!

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t have it framed, it was drizzling and pouring rain that day and that photo isn’t quite the quality it needs to be for printing, but I’m sorry, that egret is beyond wonderful, I don’t care if the photo isn’t perfect, it’s perfect to me — I put it in the book anyway! Thank you Susan! PS Breaking News: an announcement: About ten seconds ago I broke down and turned on the heat for the first time this year. I tried not to, but wearing three sweaters and my heaviest shawl, I was an ice cube. And so it begins.

  17. Carol Osborn says:

    This morning as I was putting away laundry my two fall dish towels caught my eye and seemed to say “time to hang me up”. So funny you were having the same feelings. It is nice to find joy in small things!
    Carol

  18. Diana says:

    Gorgeous post Susan. Right now my hubs and I are sitting in a little garden area at an urban B§B enjoying the cool breeze, blue skies, and the locusts just started their music. Our anniversary adventure is already making my heart happy. Tonight we dine Napalese! Making memories is fun, but remembering memories is also good for the soul. Enjoy your time, refresh and relax. My motto! Love to all Girlfriends!

  19. Deb W says:

    I too was glad to hear the Scottish people chose to keep the Union together – for practical reasons: economy, currency, resources, military, the half-Scottish Queen who embodies the Union …….but I have to admit I cringed at ” remain as part of England.” I’m thinking that next year when you visit, you will discover – to your delight – that Scotland is, to quote Neil Oliver in “A History of Scotland,” “separate, different…..other.” http://www.amazon.com/A-History-Scotland-Neil-Oliver/dp/B003K025MI

    On a lighter note, I never noticed that Girl Kitty has eyeliner on only one eye! How alluring!

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I’m sorry, I said that wrong, I knew I would, that’s why I tried to keep out of it. I just had to share my heartfelt happiness at the outcome. I know, from a business aspect there are many good reasons, but from the heart, I’m just glad they are together. My prayer is that it is an equal partnership, respectful as it should be. Thank you for the DVD idea, I ordered it. I need a little education. xoxo

  20. Oh I am in the mood for fall now! My DH and I are headed to the beach tomorrow to grab one last bit of summer before fall sets in! We love going to Gulf Shores when the tourists have left and the snowbirds are arriving. I can wear my bathing suit on the beach and not worry one bit about how I look!! I packed your book, A Fine Romance, to take along with me. I have read it but it bears reading again. I also have a Gladys Taber book,(Country Chronicle) tucked in my book bag. I am looking forward for time to read, rest and reflect!

  21. Louise says:

    Thank you Susan for a great post. You mentioned that listening to the noises of your neighborhood through your window, would put you in la-la land, well, I love to listen to train whistles..I can’t help myself, they make me so happy. And at night when I lay in bed and hear them in the distance, I fall asleep like a baby.

    Keep on dreaming.

    Louise

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve always wished to live near train tracks. We have foghorns here, they are almost as good.

      • Susan daffodiltealady says:

        Here in lovely Capistrano Beach, we have train whistles AND foghorns…so gorgeously mournful at night when both sound and we’re tucked in, cozy. We’re barely feeling the fall crispy weather after two weeks of record heatwaves. Thanks for the taste…can’t wait!

  22. LynnMarie says:

    Thanks once again for a LOVELY post. I too am getting that urge, that inner voice that calls you to build your nest for the long cold months ahead. That voice calls me to quiet and calm, just like the earth is beginning to do. Happy Fall Days!

  23. Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

    Without our dreams, life would be pretty boring! I love that you share your dreams with us because so many of us have many of the same dreams and we love you for dreaming with us! I think it just tickles God’s heart when we take time to find joy in the little things that He’s put around us. Thank you for a very sweet blog and that dreamy song! xo

  24. Chrisy says:

    Happy Autumn dear Ms. Susan! Happy cool breezes blowing through your hair, beautifully colored leaves crunching under your feet, the warm sun on your face, to warm apple cider, and pumpkin bread, nights snuggled by the fire with a good cup of tea.

  25. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~Good Afternoon~ All this wonderful talk of Fall~ and now it’s going to be 80 here in Wisconsin!~
    When I commented on the last post I was making applesauce (on my 3rd batch now of your recipe Susan) because it felt so Autumn ~like ~ but I guess anytime is a good time for applesauce isn’t it? Not to mention all the variety of apples coming into season ~ I found Honeycrisp and Sweetango yesterday ~ Right now I’m opening the doors and windows~ but I know it’s short~lived~ And then this weekend I’ll start getting my garden ready for bed..sigh..
    I thought I was the only one who switched out Spring and Summer books for Fall and Winter ones…..and as for Cookbooks….I’m a little Obsessed ..okay A lot!
    ~ I see you have some of my favorites too~ I just can’t pass them by at sales~ especially ones with hand written recipe cards tucked inside or recipes written on the pages inside them~
    At .50~ $1.00 I HAVE to pick them up and add them to my obsession I mean my “Collection”!
    I must get back to the tasks at hand ~but the sun is shining~ the birds are singing ~ the wind is rustling the leaves ~its hard to stop daydreaming~ As always Thank you for taking time out if your busy life and thinking of us girlfriends~ and letting me (us) know I’m not the only one “Stopping to smell the Roses” today!!
    ~Happy Friday ~ Happy Weekend ~
    Lynn

  26. Tessa~ says:

    Happy sigh…… What a beautiful, beautiful post.
    .
    But then, all your posts are beautiful.
    .
    So I will say, along with it being beautiful, it is full of Wisdom.
    .
    Which one of us, doesn’t need to re-fill our “dream tank,” now and then?
    .
    Why? We all do!!!!
    .
    Gentle hugs,
    Tessa~

    • sbranch says:

      We all do. Sometimes the voice in my head is almost screaming before I hear it! But when I finally do, hooray!

  27. joan danaher says:

    Hi Susan,
    I just finished your “A Fine Romance” and absolutely loved it. I’ve always (it seems) been an anglophile. My uncle actually sailed from England with his family in 1912. He was pure English and was such an influence on me. I will treasure your book and re-read it often. One of the books I keep by my side to constantly refer to. I will now loan it to a friend of mine. Another anglophile and Scots woman.
    I wonder have you ever read “Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” by Edith Holden? It is a favorite or mine and has been for quite some time, like Stillmeadow.
    Blessings,
    Joan

    • sbranch says:

      I have it, have had it for years, but haven’t actually read it. It’s in my “to-do” pile! Thank you Joan, Danaher, just like Mary Kate!

  28. What a wonderful post!! I have a question and you may not want to give away your secrets but how do you get your lines of words to be straight when you do your initial pencil writing? Are you putting down a big post-it or something? I can tell you are using something and I do art journaling and struggle with that but have found no solution. Thank you so much! Also, I wish my pencil would erase cleanly. I’ve tried a big white eraser and writing lightly but I always seem to be able to see it ever so slightly still but mainly I want straight lines! 🙂 I love seeing your “in progress” work and thinking of you on holiday writing away.

  29. Kirsten Anne Wichert says:

    This is my favorite time of year. Our temperatures just went down 20 degrees to low 80’s. Relief from heat is finally in sight! The blog is so wonderful today, Susan! And thank you for the print. I am going to frame it right away and hang it. Great for Thanksgiving! Now I’m in the mood for pumpkin French toast. Still too hot here to put on the oven. I really should live a few more miles north. S. L. O. Would be just right I think!

    • sbranch says:

      The secret is Arroyo Grande . . . there is a little weather “thing” there that is pure perfection. Rarely too hot and not foggy, ocean breeze down the Arroyo.

  30. Bethany Hissong says:

    So I read earlier that you are going to Scotland! You need to watch the old movie “Ring of Bright Water” about the man and his otter! (Beatrix Potter would love this story!) I am reading the book now too– just full of details about the Scottish countryside! I have a good friend who is from Dundee and lives there. She is working on opening the Victoria and Albert Museum there in Dundee! She also helps frequently with the National Trust and they make the country so beautiful!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes they do. Such an amazing organization. Ring of Bright Water sounds so familiar — maybe I saw it, will have to go look. Thank you Bethany!

  31. Laura Anne says:

    Oh Susan.. I love the draft stopper! Is it made in the USA?

  32. Judy H in FL says:

    Ah! This is just what I needed after a long day working for a corporate giant. I couldn’t get everything done and I walked away stressed and worried. You reminded me of the important things in life. I’m taking a long weekend to walk in nature, visit family and friends, bake and dream.

    • sbranch says:

      Those are the things that work for every day happiness! Me too!

      • Judy H in FL says:

        What I did today: Spent time with my 1 year old grandson, the happiest kid I know! Love you Matthew! Made Irish Leek and Potato Soup from a cookbook I bought on my last trip to Ireland…yum! Baked oatmeal cookies, again a yum!
        Looking forward to tomorrow and another “taking time for me” day.

  33. Diane says:

    What a lovely post! It resonated with me deeply all the way through. Thank you, Susan & happy dreaming! xo

  34. Diana from Ancaster says:

    There is something about a crisp September day… Blue sky filled with that September glow that leads your mind to where your heart is…. Dreamland is a wonderful place.
    Thank you for this new post.

  35. Penny says:

    Thank you for mentioning the Scottish Referendum Susan. I would have been devastated if we in Scotland had elected to leave the UK. I love being Scottish, but I equally love being British! Now, thankfully, we will remain one country X

    • sbranch says:

      Hooray, I celebrate with you, I’m so happy, relieved, and grateful!

      • sondra fox says:

        Me included. I was hoping/wishing that Scotland would remain within the UK. Don’t know why, other than I just thought it would be best for Scotland to have the support of the UK on their side. Congrats. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  36. Jane Franks says:

    Wow! What great timing! I’m just winding up the day and looking around my office thinking, I need a break! And up pops a message from your loyal assistants at F.O.S.B. on my facebook page — “Oh, Happy Day! Susan has another blog”!! So over here I came. I thought of you more than once lately with the Referendum going on in Scotland. I was a little torn. We’ve been watching The History of Scotland — a loooong DVD series — since you told us about your trip over there next year. Pretty rugged and kind of bloody, but the scenery is gorgeous, and what tough and resilient people. I thought, they have fought so hard for centuries for their independence. Shouldn’t they have it? But then I thought they have such a wonderful Queen and all that beautiful countryside to share, and when the vote came in and I read the Queen’s wonderful unifying words, I was so glad they all decided to stay together!! What a wonderful way to do that. They had strong opinions on both sides of the pros and cons, and then this wonderful grandmother full of wisdom and experience saying, “I have no doubt that Scots, like others throughout the United Kingdom, are able to express strongly-held opinions before coming together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support, to work constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country.” Isn’t that the way it should be? We need a QE2 over here!! Oh, I’m so glad you shared snippets and glimpses of your book, Susan, and your writing and the English countryside again. I’ve been so busy — good busy — with nitty gritty details for Gene’s huge art exhibit at the Festival next month, I needed some inspiration!! I’ve been missing my “story people” and now I want to jump back in and find out where they are and what they are doing. These few minutes of dreaming along with you were just what I needed! I’m ready to jump in and do some creative cooking, writing and more planning this weekend! And dreaming with my wonderful guy about all the exciting things we are going to share!! Thank you for bringing my mind back to what’s really important! Duties are what help us stay alive, but ” . . .poetry, beauty, romance, love—these are what we stay alive for.” (Mr. Keating, Dead Poet’s Society!) Can’t wait to see what you will come up with after all your dreaming! You and Joe have a wonderful weekend! Hugs! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I left it up to them before the vote (so good of me!), I figured they would know best for them, but after the vote, I jumped for joy! Happy weekend to you and Gene! xoxo

  37. Patty Lucas says:

    The Musica was wonderful and Random Harvest is one of my favorite movies. I just saw it a few weeks ago and I cry every time I watch it. When she says Oh Smithy at the end, I just melt. Thank you for sharing.

  38. kathy Trivison says:

    Susan, your post makes me yearn for fall. Especially here in So. California. We have had a very hot summer. Praying for all these people that have orchards and farms up north, that need rain to cancel out this terrible drought. Your pictures of the Yorkshire Dales make us dream of cooler weather. Thanks………….k

    • sbranch says:

      Praying for rain for California, a nice steady rain, no floods!

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        send some our way as well, we could use the rain and if you want to send snow, well no complaints here, it will be very welcome.

  39. kathy Trivison says:

    Forgot to tell you thanks for posting on my Birthday how did you know?

  40. Carol Maurer~~~~ Kennewick, Wa says:

    Hi Susan ~~~ Ok, I’m now in dreamland! Thank you so much for this post! I love all the pictures of England once again. Reminds me of lazy days and dreaming. One thing that I’m dreaming of right now is our trip down to Eureka, Ca. to see our friends once again. Certainly do miss all those friends of ours. I also miss going to tea each week! The air around here is getting cooler…. just a bit though. Some trees are starting to change color. I’m dreaming of putting our flower garden to bed for the winter. Last year, being the first year that we were here, I just planted a few flower bulbs so that we would have some come spring. I need to pull them all out and really work the soil and put the bulbs back in. A friend of mine is giving us a bunch of Iris tubulers. Looking forward to those.

    We are still feeding the birds, but we did take down the feeder. Was really making a mess of our plants out by the fence. Get this …. so 2 days go by and Frank, my husband, couldn’t stand it any longer. He went to buy more seed and has been feeding them a little bit on the fence. No mess is left…. they come for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Can you believe it?! We’ve got them trained. No more mess no fuss 🙂

    Have a great weekend and continueing to dream!

    xoxo,
    Carol M

  41. Susan K. says:

    Okay, you’re REALLY making me want to go to England now! Actually, we’re probably going in 2016, but that sounds soooo far away.
    Just wanted to let you know that I’ve found 3 Gladys Taber books lately at estate sales and Goodwill. The first one was The Stillmeadow Road, then Stillmeadow Calender, and one of her later ones, Conversations With Amber (her cat). I really hit the jackpot! It was so fun to go back and look at the blogs where you showed her house and told her history. Thanks for introducing me to Gladys Taber!

  42. Sarah Maldonado says:

    Oh, my heavens to Betsy! What a nostalgic post. I’ve been dreaming a bit, too, and this just hit my heart! Thru the wonders of the Internet, I’ve recently “met” an 80 year old cousin of my late dad’s that I never knew about. I even have photos of her and some of her dad that she’s never had so have been emailing them to her. We live half way across the country from one another but I’m determined to take a trip to meet her in person before she leaves our world as she says. Your post says it all…home sweet home (I’m ordering that and the print today!), for, family of far descent and distance are still about home sweet home, aren’t they? I’ll be reading this lovely post again and again, Susan. Bless your dreams and sharing your heart…

  43. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Hi Susan, I am not very adventuresome but when I found someone on Kijiji willing to sell four Beatrix Potter figurines for $50 I decided to act. I fired off an email at 9:40 am, got a reply at 1:00 pm and was the proud owner of “Ribby”, “Cousin Ribby”, “Ribby with Patty Pan” and “Tabitha Twichit with Miss Moppet” by 2:30 pm. I met the person selling them in a public place. His name was Gary and he was very nice. He had them wrapped up nicely in a sturdy box. I still can’t believe it was so easy. He and his wife are downsizing. I was warned that they might be “fakes” because of the low price but my instinct said go and check them out. So glad I did. Sometimes you just have to have faith in people. I remember what Gladys said about her dad missing out alot because he was so distrustful and cynical of people. Your blog is all about dreaming and you’re never too old to dream. Enjoy the beautiful fall season everyone. Hugs.

  44. Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Dear Susan ~
    I am always amazed when I realize how closely our lives resemble each other’s!
    I just sank my weary body into a chair and breathed a deep sigh that, if translated said “T.G.I.F.” and “Lord, give me strength and inspiration this weekend to accomplish all I want to do”. George left to go watch a High School football game and I have the house to myself for the first time in days! With the chill in the air and my need to be all cozy, my thoughts immediately turned to baking something warm and delicious (that’s just the way my mind works 🙂 ) So I whipped up a batch of your delicious brownies, pulled out the afghan my mother made us for a wedding gift 38 years ago, grabbed my laptop and sat down for a quiet little dream session while the aroma of chocolate soothed my soul. Of course, that’s about the time I discovered a new post on my favorite blog. It seems you and I have been on the same page today! I’m waiting for the brownies to cool while I write this little note to you and then I plan to settle in with a cold glass of milk, a brownie and get back to my dream session. I just LOVE the way you think, girlfriend! ….and it makes me smile knowing you and I think alike!
    Hoping our dreaming today will energize us for tomorrow so we don’t miss a minute of this most wonderful autumn season!
    xoDebbie

  45. I didn’t think there was anyone else who hung the wash on the line just so they could be outside! And when I take them off the line I stand there and fold them before putting then in the basket just to prolong my time out of doors. I love the music you chose–so perfectly lovely. I see that Random Harvest is ON YouTube, so I will watch it on the next rainy day! ♡.

    • Martha Ellen of VA says:

      Cathy, I do that too! Fold the laundry outside to prolong my time outside! Storing up plenty of vitamin d. ♥

  46. Jane Zamudio says:

    Oh Susan!! You hear my heart!!, i think this is my favorite post yet..so touches my heart! And I agree, Scotland is making the right choice! Love all the good and happy thoughts of your blog today and love the door ornament!!xoxoxo!!

  47. Samantha says:

    Thank you for the inspiring reminders to stop and take in all the beauty that Mother Nature sends us. Autumn is such a rejuvenating time to refresh our spirits… if only we pause long enough to allow the still to soothe our souls. What a blessing to step off the fast track pace of life, and find yourself lost in the slow dreamy reverie of nature.

    Peaceful dreaming to you, Susan, and all of you Girlfriends dreaming away too!

  48. Perhaps it is something in the air from coast to coast, because I, too, have been feeling very contemplative and dreamy the past few days. Songs come to mind, and The Everly Brothers sing, “Dream, dream, dream…” and Anne Murray, “Dreaming, I must be dreaming.” And I grew up hearing the Johnny Mercer song you shared with us, “Dream..” Today’s post sent me off in search of the entire poem by Rupert Brooke (The Old Vicarage, Grantcester), and read about him and had my heartbroken. However, in dream states, hearts mend sooner than in others. Still I have not quite finished ‘A Fine Romance’. I’ve been reading it throughout the summer, taking my time. But now Summer, my favorite season, is on the wane. There are four days left, so I will read 10 pages a day for those days and we will have come to the end of our book journey together (at least until I reread it next summer, for it is most certainly on my list of books for summer reading.) The Wray Castle photo with the egret is stunning! Your blog was an extra special afternoon treat today!

  49. Susie says:

    Susan, I love all your photos. The picture of you with your freckles, sweet. The old cookbooks with drawings of the food…love. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  50. Beth says:

    OK Susan, tell the Truth….
    ….wasn’t it really the TIGHT curl and intoxicating smell of those Toni Home Perms (ie your adorable picture!) that REALLY sent you off to La-la-land!!! hahaha! I remember!!! A young girl’s dreams! Either that, or the toilet-paper-wrapped pin curls! Ouch! Tough sleeping! Ohh what headaches for Beauty!!!

    And “noises of the neighborhood”!!! What a flood of memories you ignite! This of course pre-dates Air Conditioning!!! I so remember laying beside my sisters in our NC bed at night with ALL windows open and listening, listening, listening….to the Quiet! Summer crickets, a lone dove, a neighbor’s car door slammed, the Boys across the street who got to stay up LATE and play outside, falling acorns, a distant dog’s howl. Time to Think…Imagine…Wonder. I painted in my mind every night before I slept….Dreaming was a Gift for Day’s End!

    You show us over and over how to NURTURE ourselves (we naturally know how to nurture “others” but don’t always put ourselves on our ToDo List!)….
    This is a Gift you always seem to give us! I can smell those muffins and candles!
    Mmmmmmm……..

  51. Linda Hurst says:

    Fall is the perfect time for dreaming! Your blog is perfect. Fall is the cool, crisp and color of lovely! I told my friends yesterday that I was sure Scotland would remain with England. So glad I was right to hope.

  52. Diane V. says:

    Hi Susan. I, too, change out my books for each season. I also love to read cookbooks at this time of year…especially yours. To sit with a cup of tea and just enjoy the beauty of your books… it’s magical!

  53. Cindy Tuning says:

    You have such a gift that you are able to give to yourself. To be able to feel the beauty and nuances of nature and to know what you need and then be able to put it in words,exactly the right words,to make someone else feel exactly what you feel. I got teary at the same point in your post that Girl was looking at you because you were teary. I’m on the path to able to do that but then let things get in the way and just got frustrated. A mostly critical hubby, my grandson that I’m raising who’s 12, so still quite a while to go. I wouldn’t trade him for the world but keep waiting for “me” time. I know, be careful what I ask for because it may not come the way I want. I loved today’s post and will read it over and over. Thank you!!

    • sbranch says:

      That thing: Feed yourSELF from the well of sweetness — it’s hard sometimes, but in the long run, it’s true that you are all you really have. Being sweet to you is just the right thing. xoxo

      • Cindy Tuning says:

        It’s too much togetherness . We are both retired now and together ALL the time. It’s entirely too much togetherness !!!

        • sbranch says:

          My girlfriend’s husband became a tour bus driver, just a few hours every week, but I think it’s saving their marriage! 🙂

  54. Susan P says:

    Susan,

    Your post is just what I needed….these last few weeks have been very emotional for me. So before I even saw this post I went to my “HAPPY PLACE” Shopping at your store. OH YES I DID !!! I was the lucky girlfriend to see and purchase the book by Gladys Taber One Dozen and One. I was given as a gift…The Book of Stillmeadow by her. I dove right in and I just LOVED IT. I am waiting for the one I just bought…Thanks for introducing me to her. We must all take that special time to dream and cry over those unbelievable sights and sounds of nature that just take our breathe away. I have been able to go back to my Sat. bike rides and oooohhhhhhh how I have missed them. I do not take them for granted and even though I am in California, the trees are changing colors and the smells of the early fall morning and yes even the cries of the coyotes… can just tug at my heart (and even get that old blood flowing a little faster) hahaha. Yes, I count my blessings and I am so thankful for the many gifts I see and receive each day. I truly, sing to the rising sun and dance to the setting sun and in between I live and enjoy. Thanks for A GREAT AND WONDERFUL POST. Love Susan P.

  55. As the seasons change, it is a perfect time to slow down, listen to our hearts, dream, and just ‘be.’ Thank you so much, Susan! The quiet words of Gladys Taber speak loudly. We are listening… and counting our blessings!
    Heartfelt hugs,
    Dawn
    ♡♡

  56. Kelly B. From Pittsburgh says:

    Susan, thanks again for taking me back to England and for sharing the wonderfulness of fall!

  57. So happy to see you quoting Gladys Taber. She was my mother’s favorite author and I also have read all of her books. Her years at Stillmeadow were lovingly shared in her writing.
    And thank you for bringing beauty to your readers (including me) in your shared thoughts and whimsical artwork. It is good to be reminded of the good things in this wonderful world we live in.

    • sbranch says:

      There’s more about Gladys, including a visit I made to her house ~ go to the top of the blog to ABOUT ME, scroll down and you’ll see how you can join her fan club and get their wonderful Newsletter. If you go HERE you can read about my visit to her house in June. Love Gladys Taber.

  58. Christy says:

    Thank you for reminding me of the joy of simple things, like clean dish towels. I think tomorrow I might do a little art journaling of my own! Thanks for the inspiration!

  59. Jan says:

    Susan,
    Yes, I do agree – we do need that “down time” I call it. Baked pumpkin muffins last night (even though I had many other things I could have been doing). I do enjoy baking and cooking. Went outside today to take some inspiring pictures of Fall – pears on the trees, Queen Anne’s Lace, clumps of wild mustard, milkweed, brightly colored leaves, and purple wild flowers. Food for the soul. Received my Autumn books and really like the dark red ribbon marker. I have your original one, but had to have one of the new ones too; and for gift giving. Love that you have your own publishing company. Made in the U.S.A. Yay! Have an enjoyable relaxing weekend! Take care!
    Jan

  60. LauraC says:

    I love the Della Lutes book! I have collected that one and all the others that came after it. All good reads but The Country Kitchen is the best one.

  61. Jacquelyn - Bainbridge Island, WA says:

    Lovely eve of fall post. Finished up the canning this morning … Last of the applesauce. Time to enjoy the last of the warmer summer days. Looking forward to fall. I’ve placed my “Autumn” book on the coffee table and will make a shopping list for our favorite recipes. Thanks Sue!
    XO
    Jackie

  62. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan… a gentle reminder to us all….a personally important post today..we all refuel differently I have found but it seems like the Girlfriends here find their energy and blessings in many of the same things…someone asked me recently why I bake so much…my answer…it’s my comfort, my creative joy, my gift and I find solace and peace while in the kitchen… I am rejuvenated and happy and have a clear sense of what is important in life. The dreaming begins and I am settled. Thank you Susan for an inspiring post that touches our nurturing spirit and tugs at our heartstrings. You are simply the best….my friend..who never seems to skip a beat when it comes to the perfect gift for her Girlfriends!! xo love, cindy

  63. sondra fox says:

    I’ve been accused of being a day dreamer ever since I was old enough for others to see me with a far away look on my face. It took me awhile to find out that being a day dreamer wasn’t all that bad. Many of my relatives used to chide me for day dreaming, so I thought it was bad. As I got older, I learned how to hide day dreaming from others. Day dreaming has become one of my favorite pastimes throughout my adult years. As a child, I remember lying on my bed, looking out my upstairs window, just at sunset, watching the lights come on in the houses in our neighborhood. I always wondered about all our neighbors, wondering if they’d had their dinner, what kids were stuck with the dishes, things of no major importance. Seeing the lights come on in those homes, always brought me a warm feeling of contentment, like all was OK with my neighbors. Each house had at least two kids per house. They were my playmates. I knew their history, they knew mine. We were soul mates, in school, & together in playing games in our neighborhood. When I’d view the lights coming on in the houses, it was as if I was viewing from a little miniature perch, from up high in a tree. Dreamers are some of my favorite people. Keep on dreaming & making beautiful pictures in your minds. (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  64. emma cook says:

    Thank you, Susan, for helping me love my home again. For years I kept my old quilts and linens in a closet thinking I had to keep my house “modern.” I was never satisfied with anything I bought and always looking for new stuff thinking that was what I needed. Now, at 67 yrs. old, I’ve brought out my quilts and linens and made my home soft and comfortable and beautiful. When my son was visiting he said, “I’ve never lived in this house but it just feels so good.” So thanks, Susan, for giving me the motivation to follow my heart and create a lovely “classic” home.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m touched to hear that Emma and so happy for you. Making a house a home. It’s the little things that matter. xoxo

  65. Pat Johnson says:

    Oh it seems to be such a long time since I entered any kind of message to one of my favorite BFFs. Dreaming is one thing I love to do. It is a special time to realize the changing of the seasons – gone are the days of hot weather and fast paced days – on to Fall and cool days with a sight of winter coming on. I moved on from Moulton Ranch Cabins in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and am now at my little cabin in the small town of Newport, Washington. My neighbors were all happy to see me – which is always nice. Days are laid back – a time to enjoy the river and the trees and the clouds that make you guess whether it will rain or not. The world becomes quieter and the turkey’s pass through the yard with the deer close behind, searching out the apples that dropped from the old apple tree. By the time you go to bed, the air is crisp and you get beneath the warm quilt and slip into that “country” sleep that I love. No matter what is happening in the world, this time of year is peaceful and makes you smile. Thank you for your reminder of “dream time” and that we need to make it a part of our lives. You are always a blessing and I cherish you, BFF. XXOO

    • sbranch says:

      How did you like the Grand Tetons? Was it chilly up there Pat? Were there any wildflowers?

      • Pat Johnson says:

        Love Love Love the Tetons and the area. The best part was I stayed in a remote area and I could look to the North and see clear down the valley and see tiny hills at the end, that were really mountains! The wide open spaces of Wyoming is a reality! First morning was a rainbow that began at the bottom of the Grand and worked its way up to the peak and then became more and more brilliant. The last night the clouds all cleared the sky EXCEPT for a little wisp at the peak of the Grand that became brilliant red. I was blown away!! Icy on some mornings but warmed up. Not many wildflowers by the time I was there. Buffalo were right outside the fence – 110 of them! I felt as though I was in the wild. Met some terrific people and shared meals with them. I was blessed!!

  66. Sara says:

    Thank you, Susan, I needed your dreamy post! I’ve been so busy getting ready for winter’s onslaught, that I’ve scarcely had time to eat let alone dream. But I’m changing that starting…well, when I get the apples picked and the garden cleared, which should take me a couple of days, along with canning applesauce and apple pie filling and watching Diane Keaton in Baby Boom.

    I used to dream of exploring PEI but my dreams nowadays are of three weeks in Yorkshire next June, and I have to pinch myself that my dream really will come true this time. Like you, I was so glad that Scotland will stay in the UK. I can’t imagine!

    I love the picture of you, Susan… I wanted freckles SO bad but didn’t get even one! And the picture of Joe and the tree-lined street. No wonder you were weepy! It’s good to cry happy tears, isn’t it?

    Blessings on you, dear Susan. And thanks for your beautiful blog! The photos, the poems, and your words were just what I needed tonight.

    Sara

  67. Jackie Cavitt says:

    Susan…Thanks for your wonderful words…just placed my order for the “Home Sweet Home” draft stopper!! Love that Fall is here; thinking about making your ham and bean soup this weekend! Thanks for “you”!!

    • sbranch says:

      You will love it Jackie, it’s really such nice quality, almost unbelievable in this day and age. Mmmmm ham and bean. You are speaking my language.

      • Jack says:

        Speaking of “mmm” , Jeanie and I made Cabbage Soup for dinner last night …. So good , so potatoee and onionee and spicy ..I picked up a few yellow potatoes for the soup ….they tend to stay intact better …
        So that was it for dinner ,plus a big bowl of black olives , one can of extra large and one can of low salt , mixed , that way you can have several without getting too much salt . Makes you into the one man in nine with a satisfied mind …..

  68. Betty says:

    Lovely post. I’ve loved Gladys Tabor for a very long time. Good to see something by her.

  69. Lisa Jorgensen says:

    Thank you Susan for more of your beautiful inspiration. It is really good for mind, body and soul to take time out of our busy lives to just relax and dream. Our favorite season is almost here! Here in California it was 108 degrees on Tuesday! Today it was a beautiful Fall like day (only 82 degrees), and I was inspired to bake pumpkin bread and decorate the house.
    How did you ever leave that cute storybook cottage? I would have wanted to stay there forever! The kitties must have brought you back.
    Happy dreaming and happy autumn!

    • sbranch says:

      It was really hard. Because Siobhan was asking us to stay. It was so magical, it was hard to say no. We thought about it, but you are right, the kitties, and my own house pulled us home.

  70. Dear Susan,
    as always, such a lovely post!! And thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures, by the sea, along the walk, in among the trees, and your adorable Kitty!
    Talking of trees, last weekend it was ” Apple Picking day” here in Holland. A day when many fruit farms open their orchards and people can pick their own fruit!
    As an added bonus, the place we visited lets us (the visitors) pick bunches of flowers too! Why? Because they plant a great wide border of wild flowers next to the orchard. This is a natural way (eco friendly) of controling pests and bugs. They are all annuals, so they need to clear the land for next year, and who better to help them, than the customers who are picking apples! Its partly funded by the government, too!
    So, we have about 15 kilos of apples, yeay!!
    Thank you Susan, and have a lovely day
    Best wishes
    Nicoline

  71. Petra Matthew says:

    You scared me Susan! Reading your beginning of the post I thought you were going to stop blogging! I find great blogs and all they do is taking a break because they are tired of blogging haha!
    You get inspiration from all the things you mentioned, as we do to, but we also get inspiration from you Susan. You can tell by all the reactions you get.
    enjoy your weekend,
    Petra from the Netherlands

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve just worked too long without a real break, that’s all. I’m only taking a week off to listen to the birds and make apple crisp. Very excited as this is DAY One! Saying hello to everyone and then off I go!

  72. Good Morning Susan!

    The path to the sea… there it is!!! Ah! I’m on my way. Changing seasons, cutting back to replenish. The nerve endings rest up a bit so they can be recharged to start up again.

    Sending xoxox up the coast to you as you look towards Fall and your journeys. It’s been overload here for a bit. I’m learning to pull back. It’s definitely not as easy as one would imagine, but it’s necessary.

    Thank you for the reminder that seasons dooooo change 🙂 and each one brings unique blessings 🙂 Every time I think one season is my favorite, a new one comes along and I fall in love all over again!

    xoxox
    Georgie from NJ

  73. I too am a dreamer, and as I approach 70 (seems strange to write that number), I surely haven’t stopped dreaming. Fall, the cozy season, encourages even more. Sending blessings from here on the farm.

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t think you ever have to stop! We may be changed on the outside, but inside, we are still little kids!

  74. Darlene says:

    Susan, as always your words have lifted my spirits. I so much want to do all those little things again….my heart has been heavy as I’ve lost one of my dear kitties, Oreo, a few weeks ago. He was sweetness through and through and I miss him everyday. I was blessed to have him for 15 years. My other kitty, my big boy, Tuggs who I’ve also had for 15 years was just diagnosed with liver cancer…I’m doing all I can for him and praying he’ll be ok. A day at a time…. thank you for the reminder to dream xoxo

  75. Nancy T. says:

    I think its amazing how much you and Beatrix Potter look alike! As always, love your posts. You are an amazing inspiration to us all. Thank you.

  76. Amylisa says:

    What a wonderful and timely post! I’m kind of in that same place…been so busy and stressed out, and I found myself last night just stopping to think and to pray and get back in touch with what is important. Yes we do need nurturing!

    It is so neat to see the page of your book that you wrote in England…then watercolored in later. For some reason I pictured your original drawing and writing being colored right off the bat. Not being an artist I didn’t know that’s not how it’s done. So nice to see part of your process. 🙂

    It is great that you have that Count Your Blessings page as a print! I told my daughter the other day, there’s a few pages in “Autumn” that I’d love to put up on the wall. I thought if I could ever find a very used copy of the book somewhere I’d buy it and use it for prints on my wall. Also love the draft stop, I am thrilled you’ll have these in the shop. I love that balsam smell too. 🙂

    Thanks for another inspiring and comforting post. I’ve been cooking more lately thanks to you. Last night I made the tomato soup recipe from your Heart of The Home cookbook. Tomorrow I am making the one pot porkchops with apples from the Autumn book. Your books have lit a new fire in me (and my family thanks you 😉

    • sbranch says:

      First I draw the page and then I color it in . . . not really later, just as I’m going along. If that makes sense? I think you will love those pork chops — it’s still one of my favorite recipes ~ it has it all, stuffing, apples, sweet potatoes, raisins and pork chops in one lovely dish! So nice to be reminded of that Amylisa, I’ll have to make it when we get home!

  77. Anne D. S. says:

    Dream a little dream…or lots of little dreams, a a great big one! Fall inspires us to stop and soak in the world as it hastens through it’s final show, before cold weather puts it to sleep. I believe the flowers get more brillliant and vividly colored–their final show before fading into flower dreams! Fall is for nesting, and warm red book covers, and Home Sweet Home draft dodgers, and spicy baking smells, and candles glowing in cut glass, and the first toasty fire of the fall! I love the version of Auld Lang Syne, that you posted. I recommend that you listen to the beautiful version your own Island girl, Kate Taylor (sister of James) sings, accompanied by her brother. And now, back to dreaming, already in progress!

  78. Ann Y in PA says:

    Oh, what a cozy post ! Those “fall feelings” are so welcome. Doing much the same here….filling vases, taking walks…Random Harvest is one of my favorites, but this fall day I managed to get Vacation From A Marriage through the wonder of library loan….got the afghan my dear Aunt Mamie knit for me, tea ready….here we go. Hope your fall gets cozier and cozier !

  79. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Thank-you for your post today. I need to be reminded that dreaming is so important for our souls. My Dad used to say that building castles in the sky allows one to actually build them on the ground. My tendency is to be task oriented and practical because it is easier and less disappointing. When the task is done and checked off the to do list, it is rewarding. When dreams don’t materialize, it feels frustrating and sad. Why bother when the dreams are so unlikely? The old “not in this lifetime” mantra takes over.

    But your post validates that dreaming is the equal partner to tasking. Both need to happen for change. And advice from our Dad’s is always the best, isn’t it?

  80. Vicki in Cincy says:

    Hi Susan! Oh what a lovely post! England is just so darned charming it should be illegal LOL! and you, my dear, are adorable 🙂 I have known from the start that we are kindred spirits. You just put into words all the things I have always loved and dreaming is so necessary for a charmed life. I just LOVE the picture of Girl Kitty and her expression, it just sums it up LOL, they keep us grounded, don’t they? Well, my dear girlfriend, I’m ready for a lovely day, in part, thanks to you. God bless you sweetie! <3

    • sbranch says:

      It should be illegal, but lucky for us, it’s not. It’s like the prettiest zoo in the world except all the animals are gardens, meadows. stone cottages and castles!

  81. peg says:

    Let the dreaming begin!!! Time to re-center…and breathe in the season we all love…..Autumn! xo peg

  82. Lynn Cooper says:

    Fall has truly arrived; the nights have been quite cool and the crickets are not as prolific with their night song. I hated to put the heat on but there was no other way to rid the house of its chill. I put my leaf garland with its tiny pumpkins on top of the front door frame ( a la Joe’s, which I loved seeing in pictures of your front door) so now I need to buy four small pumpkins to prop alongside the garland.

    The pictures of England make me want to hop on a plane and go. I am looking forward to October 14th when you will be here in western Mass. at the Westfield Library. I already bought my ticket and can’t wait to meet you and Joe. I don’t know where you’ll be staying, but Northampton is a lovely town with many restaurants and interesting little shops. I don’t know how much time you will be spending out here, but the Emily Dickinson House in Amherst has a very interesting and informative tour. Further west is Edith Wharton’s House, The Mount, and the fountains should still be on in the Italian garden, but call first to check in case you decide to venture into the Berkshires. Either way, by the 14th the colors will be good but not at the peak just yet in the Pioneer Valley; that usually happens after Columbus day weekend.

    Enjoy our apple- picking weather….it must be time to make some apple chutney! See you on the 14th!

  83. Donna C says:

    There are so many wonderful things I could comment on, but I’d just like to say, I love “knowing” so many kindred spirits through your blog. Makes me happy to know so many others think just like me ! You inspire and bring us all together. Happy weekend. xo

  84. Barbara (WA) says:

    Maybe someone else already commented about this (I haven’t enjoyed the girlfriends comments yet) but the shop says the print’s regular price is $24.95 and then “our price” is . . . $24.95! Gave me a chuckle but wondered what the price really is. (Kelly?)

    • Barbara (WA) says:

      PS: I adore little bouquets – the last of the sweet peas are in a small vase in my kitchen right now.

    • sbranch says:

      We have this “Shopping Cart” which is a program a website has to purchase in order to have a “store” — it decides what it should say, we can add descriptions, so I’m not sure what this is doing, but I’m sending your comment to Kellee to see it there is anything wrong with it! Thanks Barbara!

  85. BOBBIE FEY says:

    Susan, What a journey you have taken me on………Reading your blog, learning about your life, buying your books, loving all the creativity you gift us, plus the wise words of being a woman in this age. Thank you for all! Just finished a book of Gladys Taber’s “The Best of Stillmeadow”. What joy and peace it brought to me. The inspiration you have given me to pursue my creativity is priceless! Your gift of sharing is appreciated. Bobbie Spokane Valley, WA P.S. Love train travel also!

  86. Jen Y says:

    One thing I so love about the empty nest – something I’ve had a hard time adjusting to – is all the puttering time. I love puttering around, cleaning, decorating & moving with the changing seasons. So I’ve assigned myself the nurturing job as well. :o)

    I’ve cleaned up all my summer things & was getting ready to put out fall things when my sweetheart asked me to just leave it all plaing for a few weeks. That’s a little hard for me to do but we’ve been chaotic since last spring with a kitchen remodel. So the clean empty shelves & cleared spaces are welcome right now. I will hang my fall wreath on my front door though!

  87. Joan S says:

    Lovely post. enjoy your one week rest and the coming of Fall. The perfect time to sleep late, dream, read, cook up wonderful things that scent the house. Your Autumn book decorate my kitchen and brings a smile to my face. Now to find some Tabor.

  88. Such a lovely blogpost to read on a September Saturday morning! Happiness is so often about achieving a balance between dreams and reality, isn’t it? Like you, I dream of visiting England again (and a zillion other places besides), but I also derive such satisfaction from the small things here at home. Both home and abroad fuel our dreaming, in different ways.

  89. Pat Johnson says:

    Sorry for another post – wanted to share – May we all keep in our hearts and prayers the many people who lost their entire lives/homes to fire in Weed, CA. Cannot even imagine what they must be going through. My heart aches. NO MORE FIRES!! Cannot forget the many men and women who are fighting those fires……. Love to all of you BFFs!

  90. Connie Turnbull says:

    Big. Long. Sigh……You just took me to a blissful corner of Heaven. Thank you, Susan. The music, the pictures, the video, the music again, the England pics, your walk with your hubby…..what a wonderful blog you do. It’s one of my favorite 15 minutes of a day when I check your website and a new blog is there. Immediately my computer speakers are turned on and I sit back in joyful contentment to read, to dream, to listen, and to behold beauty in it’s purest forms. Just lovely….. “…Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.” Phil. 4:8

    • sbranch says:

      Welcome to my world, you have just made me so happy to think of you there lost in the musica! And that quote is perfection. xoxo

  91. Cyndee Randall says:

    Oh! There is someone else on this earth who decorates seasonally by old book covers. Loving your Autumn book. Two arrived just in time to give one to a friend for her birthday. I have dug my heels in this year proclaiming that it is NOT autumn until September 23rd. Also, the weather has forced my hand. Wool sweaters, flannel shirts, autumn dishes and decor all have made an appearance this week. Roar of the furnace for a few hours a day and kitties snuggling in closer at night. No denying autumn is here. Great post. Thank you.

  92. Amy Marie says:

    I lurk at your blog and just want you to know how much I enjoy it and just LOVED A Fine Romance!!! 🙂 I also love your Christmas recipe book and the Autumn one are favorites… 🙂 Thanks for spreading a bit of beauty today!!!

  93. Cyndi in NC says:

    At the beginning of each season, except not as enthusiastic about summer as now a days my body stays warm enough, I say how much I love it! But fall has to be my favorite. Leaves changing color and falling, the days growing cooler, I just love it. Getting out sweaters to take with me for the cooler evenings. Jeans more than shorts as my uniform of the day. *L* Soft socks to keep my feet warm. I’ll be going north to visit family in IN and OH/MI in October. Apple orchards will be in full swing, hopefully, and I hope to bring some fresh from the orchard home with me. Can you say baked apples!!!! Things slow down a little and the days get shorter. Time to do the things I love to best in my home, cook! Soups, stews, having the oven on with a nice roast in it. Picking up acorns to take to the wildlife refuge I volunteer at for the baby squirrels. Snuggling with my grand pup and watching a movie as I don’t have any kitties right now. Enjoy the last days of summer and look forward to fall!! Hugs to all.

  94. Jean Snyder says:

    I am drinking a wonderful fall beer! Pear Lager, brewed and bottled by Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company located in Lexington, VA. My nephew went to college there at Virginia Military Institute. Great little town to visit! He was married there one fine summer day in the Lee Chapel.

  95. Frances Fowler says:

    Susan, you love each season to the fullest (you might love summer a bit less if it were as humid up there as it is elsewhere on the east coast ^_^). Even taking time out to dream, you share. It’s always comforting to read Gladys Taber’s words; don’t they just sink right down into your heart? I also love my clothesline for anything having to do with the kitchen or bedding; it all smells sweet and fresh coming off the line! You can tell that Beatrix was a quiet, deep thinker who pondered much in her heart; pensive, but with merriment about her eyes. Little did she know how much of an inspiration she would one day be to that cute, dreaming schoolgirl who in turn was a wonderful inspiration herself! And what a gorgeous picture of the Yorkshire Dales! I hope to see them someday. I fell in love with the area when I started reading James Herriot’s wonderful books many years ago. One of my favorite Christmas books, “Willow at Christmas” by Camilla Ashforth, captures the Dales beautifully in her watercolors. And I always get so tickled at your “Peah-Ci-da,” and try to hear it pronounced like a Kennedy! Finally, your Girl, as always, appears totally imperturbable. She is beautiful 🙂 Hooray for Autumn!

    • sbranch says:

      Normally in the last few years we have had terrible humidity. In fact about four years ago we finally put in some air conditioning. But this year it was really dry, for some reason, and just perfection, the way it was when I moved to the island. I hope you get to the Dales too, it’s better than I even imagined!

  96. patti says:

    Hi Miss Susan, Wow I read your blog again. Second time in as many weeks. That’s a good sign because maybe I’m coming out of the sad place I’ve been in since summer. I too love the fall and my husband. I know what you mean with the tears. I cry every time I think about starting my new school. Everything is ready to go. Books, check. Cooking utensils, check. Uniform w/name embroidered on them, 1/2 check (they’ll be there on orientation). Pants getting hemmed by tailor, (I am soooo short), check. So now I just have to wait for the 1st day. This is the start of something great and I am one lucky lady to be able to go back to school. I’m going to have to take you with me because you are the bomb of the cook, writer and artist. You are my inspirations and have been for the last 36 years. I have two of your Autumn books otherwise I would of bought another one. I love you Miss Susan <3 Happy Fall

    • sbranch says:

      Patti, I’m so proud of your positive steps for your life, can’t wait to hear how it goes! Learning something new always perks me up too!

    • Debbie P. ~ Weedsport, NY says:

      The preparations are exciting! You GO, girl! Looking forward to updates, Patti. Just watched Julie and Julia for the 3rd time last night and thought of you! haha

  97. Esther Hayes, Gettysburg, PA says:

    Hello Susan,
    Your post was amazing………just like you. Even on my birthday, it was the best present ever. I, so, enjoy the musica that comes along with the blog. When I heard The Pied Pipers with Dream………then the sax player came on and I was in tears. My Dad, who died last Dec. at the age of 99, used to play the old songs around the house, and being my birthday, it was such a gift.
    I also like many things you mentioned, I take a walk every day, all kinds of weather, and listen to nature with different birds, wildflowers, and critters. The deer are starting to come closer with the cooler weather. I get very melancholy with this change from summer to fall, and I do a lot of dreaming.
    I thought I was the only one who put clothes on the line to watch them blowing in the wind and bring them in with the great smell of fresh air. Oh, the little things in life are the best gifts. Also, I have that saying from Gladys Taber on my kitchen counter along with “As long as you have a window, life is exciting!”. Love it! One day, I hope to get to England cause that is my heritage along with my tea and cookies in the afternoon. What a dream life you have and I thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    • sbranch says:

      I love that quote! It’s so true. Thank you Esther. xo

      • Julia says:

        I was reading the new Mitford book last night and
        my favorite quote in the whole book is:
        wear the old coat and buy the new book (Austin
        Phelps) Books and magazines are my biggest
        splurge and my biggest problem – where to put them!

  98. shirley burt says:

    Susan, Ahhhhhh, Fall, memories, nesting, cookbooks read for fun, changing linens, hot tea, quilts, and fireplaces. How very lovely and yearned for after long hot Texas summers. Thank you again Susan. I will reread this blog several times to absorb all the wonders.
    Just returned from Leicester, England, visiting my pen pals 83 year old mum, along with some of her friends. Made them all 9″ tiny Dresden plate coasters for under their teapots. They were all so dear. My pen pal/really friend, would come to drive us through little villages, down narrow zig zaggy roads that I loved so much. Visited a Pilling Lock where the house long boats were moored. Visited working farm that had gardens and livestock, and shops in old rock buildings serving and selling from just those fields. Toured abbey ruins, and downtown Leicester with a new friend who has lived there all her 80 years and drives, but prefers the bus. Knows everything about her town, and is a wonderful tour guide introducing me to shopkeepers in the marketplace. No, I did not get to the Lake District, maybe another time. It was important to spend time with these ladies filled with history and knowledge and willing to welcome this almost 65 year old to the fold. What a nice gift my husband gave me for this historic birthday.
    Much love and bunny hugs,
    Shirley
    PS Drinda broke her leg, had a screw put in and is in therapy.

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so sorry, my mind is a sieve, remind me again who Drinda is. Your trip sounds wonderful Shirely!

      • shirley burt says:

        She is my friend that I bought A fine Romance for she and her husband, who adored it. Then her husband passed away unexpectedly in March. Drinda and her husband had become fans of yours and I kept her informed because she did not use the computer. So now she has broken her leg, bones weakened from chemo and radiation.

  99. Cheryl Walsh says:

    Wonderful to do that small home prayer as a print- I found a very old version you did ( maybe the 80’s) only signed SB. It is tall and skinny and I love it in my hall where I see it everyday! One of the illustrations is a girl (you? ) in a robe and slippers reading in a arm chair, there is a yellow striped cat on the arm! Does that sound familiar? Thanks for the beautiful post girlfriend!

  100. Patsy in Nixa, MO says:

    You’re incredible. My class picnic was today and I’ve been thinking about all my classmates who have already made their transitions. And today is my daughter-in-law’s birthday and when we talked, I learned that her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease is progressing very rapidly. Naturally, I was feeling a little blue, and then here comes Susan Sunshine to put a smile back on my face.

    Your choice of music, photos, quotations, poems, beautiful artwork and the everyday joy of home and flowers and food and kitties and books and embroidery and kitchens and fireplaces and autumn leaves put me right back on track. Thank you for letting us share your life. Your inspiration makes me a better person.

    My brother is leaving on a tour Oct 26 which will take him to Martha’s Vineyard one day. If you see a guy in a Joe beret, please say “hello” to my brother Bill.

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