Most of the photos here at Rabbit Run Cottage
can be enlarged just by clicking on each one!
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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Decorating Cottage Style

One of my favorite books....
It's not what you DON'T have, it's what you do with what you DO Have! ~Designer Kitty Bartholomew
This is one of my favorite decorating books and helped lead me into decorating my home "cottage style" in a BIG way!

America's early settlers didn't have much in the way of creature comforts. Their homes featured walls and floors of fresh-cut wood, few windows, and little ornamentation.

Items pleasant to see and touch were brought in: fabrics, furniture, and small items. The rough-and-rugged surroundings made these items all the sweeter. Cottage style is rooted in the decor of these humble homes.


Decidedly simple, cottages have always evoked a get-away-from-it-all feeling-a place of childhood dreams and special family memories. From those cozy nooks and corners in the bedroom to the sunny window seat in the living room, cottages are quaint yet functional, a virtual doll house on a large scale. Just what I love about this style. I once had someone say to me, "Your house looks just like a Barbie House. Small and Cutesy." Believe me, they did NOT mean it as a compliment! You can imagine their surprise when I answered, "Thank you! That is just what I was going for!" Okay, so that was a sarcastic answer to a sarcastic comment but I think you know what I meant! I like small. I really am not aiming for "cute" but there are far worse things someone could say about my house!

The cottage-style living room invites you to slouch on the couch, put your feet up and sit for awhile, read a book, take a nap. Furnishings are relaxed and unpretentious. A style that suits me totally. I am about as unpretentious as you can get. As you know, elegant surroundings with ME in them would be laughable! If you are going for a cottage look, the first thing you need to do is to pick your favorite cottage-style decorating plan. Choose what makes you feel happy and comfortable! It is all about an easy going and casual life style. It could be in the realm of Shabby Chic, Southwestern, Rustic, Country French, Americana, Contemporary or English Country/Victorian. That is entirely up to you. Your cottage style can even be a combination of many styles. For example, you may wish to combine Southwestern with Contemporary; or even, Shabby Chic with English Country/Victorian. Whatever cottage style you choose to live with, make sure that your decision completely comes from your heart! When it comes from your heart, there is no way you can go wrong! ~~~~~~~~~~
Sofas should be relaxed in attitude, such as an overstuffed style with a homey fabric like a floral, an awning or pillow tick stripe, or a nubby cotton. Look for big rolled arms and a cushioned back. Just the sort to sink into with a huge bowl of popcorn and watch a movie.
Look for easy chairs that are in the same general style but don't match - cottage style is eclectic.
That is what I like best about this way of decorating! I was eclectic long before I even knew what this word meant!

Make the sofa and chairs more comfy by adding pillows, possibly in vintage-look fabrics such as a 1940s floral, salvaged quilt pieces or old-style cotton chenille.

Make sure the coffee table invites you to put your feet up. Try to find an old kitchen table that you can cut down - or even a chicken coop to which you add a glass top. How about an old trunk?
Dress the windows simply or leave them bare - you want lots of light in a cottage-style room. Choose simple unlined curtains, sweet valances. Also look for plain white wood or matchstick blinds if you must cover them. Shutters also make a wonderful cottage statement.

Accent artfully with the things you collect and love. Favorite books, heirloom jewelry, old family photos, and other mementos express who you are and can have a place in your decorating scheme. Composing like items in groups tells a story and adds to their overall impact within a room.

Hang old-style pictures in old-style frames. Look for quilts and plates to hang on walls, too. ~~~~~~~~~~
Top tables with folk art sculpture and casual flower arrangements. Use dried flowers and potted plants in the room, and try to keep the containers humble. Bring the outdoors in with garden furniture and ornaments. Wire plant stands, metal garden chairs, tole-painted trays, and botanical prints are often inexpensive, easy-to-find elements that mix well in a cottage room. Plain pitchers overflowing with bouquets of flowers increase the feeling of garden abundance. Whether from your own garden or purchased from your local supermarket or farmers' market, flowers add life to any space. Add candlelight, a simple yet elegant way to put romance in a cottage room. Include crystal candle holders for more sparkle. Use candles scented with florals or spices for another delightful sensation.
Choose your paint colors by your choice of cottage style. If you have selected English Country as your mode, you might want to use colors such as: rosy pink, hunter green, and leathery brown. These colors, when combined with the proper accessories and some chintzy fabrics and aged leather, will help translate the wonderful English cutting gardens of the countryside and the dark, earthy colors of a gentleman's library. Maybe, you have decided upon a Shabby Chic cottage. The pastel colors of celadon green, ice blue, bashful pink, and creamy white will romantically compliment all the roughest textures of iron and ever so gently peeled paint furniture that you will want to include. Maybe you wish your cottage to encompass the true Americana Cottage style of patriotic and simple colors of red, white, and blue mixed with dark, primitive wood furniture, and plenty of whimsical folk art and antique collectibles.
Personally I love the darker, richer colors. Reds, golds, browns and blues. I also love dark oak, pine and cherry. But I also love a home done with a lighter hand. Just go visit Bethy's blog and see her truly lovely home! ~~~~~~~~~~
Because cottage style is humble in nature, it can be executed on a budget. Don't feel you must have new pieces; you can make finds at flea markets, tag sales, thrift shops and secondhand stores. These are often the best sources for wonderful cottage style finds! Just check out Kim at Daisy Cottage or Cindy at Romantic Home. Their blogs can be accessed by clicking on their names at the right of this page! Both of these ladies have the most delectable homes and much of their decor was purchased via thrift shops and flea markets! Pay them a visit, their homes are glorious! ~~~~~~~~~~

Also visit Pat's home, Andrea's, Donna's, Rhoda's, Allie's....we all have slightly different color schemes and our homes vary in size and style but their houses all bear the mark of someone who truly loves their spaces, has the knack for arranging their treasures and lives to create a warm, happy nest. I can easily relate to anyone who is a true Nester! What I lack in house size and money to do what I wish, I make up for in desire! Oh but my wish list is looooong.

And look at the wonderful homes and gardens that Pea, Betty Jo, Cherry, Rosemary, Chris, Teresa, Andi, Jolene, Tammy, Sharon Kay, Leona, Terri, Sheila, Deb, Sheila, Kate, and so many other blog friends have created and shared with us in their blogs! If I have forgotten to add your name here, I will make it up to you I promise! ~~~~~~~~~~ The bottom line is this, your home has to suit YOU and your family. Not the neighbors, not the lady on the 3rd street over from the elementary school, not the in laws. Not me, not the other bloggers. It belongs to you. Make it any style that makes your heart sing. When you walk in the door after a hard day, your home should say, "Hey! I missed you! Sit down and relax." Okay, so not LITERALLY you know...ahem...but I comfortable in your spaces. Be surrounded by the things you love. Be *at home*....*at home*.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Someone Had A Birthday!

We had Chinese food for dinner tonight and look at the fortune I received! What do you think this could mean?
So, you are are still 5 and a half years younger and way more cool than me you whipper snapper! We hope your day was a happy one! Love ya!

Life Lesson Learned From Movies

Most of you know how much I love movies. I had no idea that while viewing a film I was actually learning so many lessons about life! Here are some things we have learned from the movies!

1. Large, loft-style apartments in New York City are well within the price range of most people - whether they are employed or not.

2. At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil.

3. Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one.

4. Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communications system of any invading alien society.

5. It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts; your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.

6. When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.

7. If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to become a world expert on nuclear fission at the age of 22.

8. Honest and hardworking policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement.

9. Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their archenemies using complicated machinery involving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gasses, lasers, and man-eating sharks, which allow their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.

10. All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach the armpit level on a woman, but only to the waist level on the man lying beside her.

11. All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.

12. It's easy for anyone to land a plane, provided there is someone in the control tower.

13. Once applied, lipstick will never rub off - even while scuba diving.

14. You're very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.

15. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German or Russian officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German or Russian accent will do.

16. The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.

17. A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.

18. If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it before long.

19. If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noise in their most revealing underwear.

20. Word processors never display a cursor on the screen but will always say: "Enter password now."

21. Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.

22. All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.

23. A detective can only solve a case once he has been suspended from duty.

24. If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you meet will know all the steps.

25. Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is the total opposite.

26. When they are alone, all foreign military officers prefer to speak to each other in English.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What A Special Treasure

I saved this wonderful, one of a kind, artistic treasure for a little while....I knew that Lisa would approve! She had sent it to Grace and we decided to wait until her oral surgery was completed to give it to her. We left it on her nightstand with "just enough" "really special fairy moneys" as Grace said repeatedly! She shared it at school and her teacher told us she was so proud when the other children all oohed and aahed. Of course, when she is a bit older, she will know exactly who created this for her. For now, she still believes that she has a very talented and dear fairy on her side. (Which, by the way, is true! Lisa IS so talented and dear! Hmmm...possibly part fairy?) I am sure that our Lisa (Oceandreamer) would approve of us holding onto fairies for just a little longer.... Lisa and her husband have had a loss in their family so please join me in sending love, prayers and your sweet thoughts their way. She is such a dear person.

Oooh...So Good

You didn't think I was done now did you? Here is a much more traditional recipe for potato salad. Just perfect for that 4th of July picnic in the park! I love the classic kind but am married to a man who hates mayonnaise! Really! I know, it IS sacrilege! He eats NO tuna salad, NO chicken salad, NO egg salad, NO traditional potato salad, spreads NO mayo on his sandwiches...shocking! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ingredients: 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, 3 medium-large potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 ribs celery, finely chopped 1/2 small to medium yellow skinned onion, finely chopped 3 tablespoons chopped pimento, drained 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish 1/3 cup mayonnaise, to your liking 1/3 cup yellow mustard, to your liking Salt and pepper 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, optional Boil potatoes in salted water 10 to12 minutes, or until just tender. Drain the potatoes and spread out onto a cookie sheet to cool quickly, about 10 minutes.

In a bowl, combine celery, onion, pimento, relish, mayonnaise and mustard.

When you are ready to serve, combine cooled potatoes with other ingredients. Stir the potatoes to

combine and season with salt and pepper.

French Country Potato Salad

Summer is almost here and what could be better than potato salad as a side dish? Heck. I could eat it as the main course! Here is a recipe for potato salad with a little French country twist....
3 pounds small creamer potatoes (about 30), unpeeled and scrubbed well 4 pieces leek (white part only), split lengthwise and thinly sliced 2 roasted red peppers, jarred or homemade 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves 2/3 cup Champagne Vinaigrette, recipe follows 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 teaspoons sea salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepperIn a pot with a steamer insert, steam the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. (The potatoes can also be cooked in boiling salted water for the same amount of time.) Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a pot of boiling water, blanch the leeks for 30 seconds, or until tender. Rinse in cold water and drain. Set aside.

Cut the roasted peppers in 1/2 crosswise and then cut them into 1/2-inch slices.

Cut each potato into 8 pieces. In a medium bowl, mix the potatoes, leeks, peppers, thyme, and tarragon. In a separate bowl, stir together the Champagne vinaigrette with the mustard. Drizzle the vinaigrette on the potato salad and toss gently until the vinaigrette coats the salad evenly. Season with the salt and pepper and toss again.

Champagne Vinaigrette: 1/2 cup Champagne vinegar 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and salt together until the salt dissolves. Slowly whisk in the oil until the dressing is well blended. Season with pepper, to taste.

Yield: 2 cups

Monday, May 28, 2007

Another List! Okay, I Apologize!

I got this list from Tea and Margarita's wonderful blog! 1. A person opens a fortune cookie ~ What does the fortune say that you have written? You will soon find 3 missing black, one brown, one with a hole in it's toe. 2. You are having a long lunch at the Time Travel Diner ~ what three people from history will be joining you? Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. We will have omelets and salads. Maybe a white wine spritzer or two. 3. What has been the primary area in which you have worked and what other job would you be most interested in pursuing? Education and Child Care. I would have loved to pursue art. I actually started college as an art major. Switched to Art Ed, , went on to Education and then got a degree in Sociology/Education. I would love to do anything related to the arts.... 4. The last thing you had to eat was what? Daniel's birthday cake...coconut, with strawberry ice cream. 5. What has been the most memorable musical performance you attended live? Probably the first time I saw Elton John. It was "The Yellow Brick Road" tour. I was in High School and back then, a group of us saw just about every concert that came our way! 6. Your favorite fragrance is what? That changes day to day and season to season. Right now it is Philosophy's "Falling In Love". 7. What happens to you when you die? I believe in Heaven but I do not say I have any idea just what it will be like. It *will* be full of love acceptance and peace. Of that I am fairly certain. 8. What do you collect? Books, Movies, Teddy Bears, Roosters, British Royal Family memorabilia, Blue and White anything. I also have small collections of many other things that I love but I have stopped looking as actively as I once did. 9. You have the opportunity to spend one day anywhere in the world ~ Where do you go? Hmm...I think Florence, Italy. 10. The thing you find most interesting in nature is what? The wonderful consistency. Spring follows Winter, Summer follows Spring, Fall follows Summer, Winter follows Fall...each possessing it's own magical beauty & blessings. 11. Given the opportunity to order one meal {Your last?} ~ What do you have to eat? I will start with a bowl of minestrone or chicken tortilla soup, some great crusty bread and a wonderful field greens salad. A lovely risotto or pasta dish...seasonal veggies, a bottomless Coca Cola & Key Lime Pie or a Creme' Brulee. Heck, it's my last meal so we go with both desserts! 12. The first thing that comes to mind when you see the word romance is what? A fireplace, candle light...soft breezes... 13. You are getting a tattoo {or another one}? Where are you getting it and what will it be? I am much too much a coward to ever get a tattoo! But hey...I could put Brian Dennehy's face on my upper left you think Bill would mind? 14. Friday night, what is your favorite thing to do? Have a nice dinner and watch a movie! Make popcorn! 15. The last television program you watched was what? Hmmm....well, OH! It was actually the BBC's "Keeping Up Appearances" on our PBS station. I adore Hyacinth Bucket...that's pronounced *Bouquet* if you please! 16. What do you find most confusing in life? Why so many precious, generous and dear people have to suffer when there are some folks in this old world that would not do a decent thing for anyone or anything but they skate through life with no real problems. I guess I will never understand that...maybe, someday, all will be explained. Oh yeah, and I want to know why I have never been chosen as a beauty queen! Or as a Nobel Prize Winner! This just totally confuses me! 17. What question do you wish had been on the list? And what is the answer? Why does Susie Q think that anyone is really interested in her silly old list answers! The answer? Sssshhh....she is slightly delusional!

Saturday...Er...I mean...Monday In The Park...

Even Kipper loved the can just see him in the picture! That's Bill, my sis in law, Lisa and nephew Brady too. My 2 Jocks Grace played ball with Bill and my brother Jim. She had never done so before and was pretty good! Uh oh, now Thomas wants to slide too! My mom and her first grandchild, Daniel! Making a face at Auntie Sue! Brady gets that face from his, making a face at me too! Time to end a very nice evening... We hope your day was a sweet one! Hugs!

Shocking! Outrageous!

I am hanging my head in shame...I am late with a birthday greeting for dear Sheila in the land they call Chicago. I am a horrible friend and will have to think of an adequate punishment for my crime. Just know that all of us at Rabbit Run Cottage send their love and wish you another sweet year!
Okay now...blow out the candles so we can eat some of this delicious cake!
Yes Graham, it IS shocking isn't it! Even more shocking than seeing *you* reporting it! After all, you are STILL dead! (Sheila will get this joke...and any other Pythonaniacs as well!) Nudge, nudge, wink, wink...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Poppies Blow In Flander's Fields...


In Flanders field the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

~~By Major John McCrae, May 1915.~~

Stalking Is Such An Ugly Word Isn't It?

I get absolutely no respect from my respect at all. See? This is what they think passes as comedy! I am simply appalled. Simply. Appalled. Harumpf.

And The Kid Turns 25....

Today is Daniel's 25th birthday. To paraphrase something my marvelous son said, "We did not *give him life* but we *gave him A life*." He has my heart. Always. We went to church this morning and then out to lunch at Panera Bread. We had stopped at the newer Panera at The Greene, our newest mall. It is all outdoors and filled with wonderful stores and restaurants. I clucked plenty when they destroyed this wooded area to build it but here I and eating there. Okay, I DO feel like a hypocrite! Yup, a BIG one but still...there we were... After lunch we went into a place called "Sassy Girl Spa". Every young girl's dream store according to the Diva who lives in our house. Part beauty shop, part decorative treasures for the young girl's bedroom, part fashion trend accoutrement shop. Yeah, Grace's idea of Heaven. Especially when one of the staff took her aside, painted a glittery star on the Diva's cheek and sprayed pink glitter in her hair. Uh huh. Heaven. Then it was on to "Justice For Girls" to do a little bathing suit shopping. After much debate and while Daddy and Grandma still had SOME hair left on their heads (Oh the hair pulling was fierce...all that stressful shopping!) we decided on a cute striped number. Grace still had some BD (That's *birthday* NOT Brian Dennehy) money left so she also chose matching flip flops and a bag which featured a monkey quite prominently on the front! I mean, a diva must be properly coordinated when she hits the pool right? Otherwise she would end up looking Mommy! Egads! Albeit a slightly less chubby one! Home again to check on the pets and present Dan with his gifts! I should have taken a picture of the packages Grace wrapped for him. Beautifully done! It was shame to tear into them! He got money and books and clothes...all appreciated and will be enjoyed. All of us then headed for SIMA, a new Japanese/Korean BBQ/Sushi Bar. It was absolutely delicious and we all plan on returning soon! Now we are home and have just popped in the DVD of Disney's "The Absent Minded Professor". Popcorn is popping and it is cuddle on the couch time... Tomorrow will be a family BD get together here. We are fixing a huge lasagna and salad with coconut cake and chocolate ice cream per Dan's request! It will be fun. I wish you all a sweet week ahead. To all my fellow Americans (and no, I am not giving a speech here...), enjoy your Memorial Day. Please pause to remember your loved ones who have gone on ahead but also remember our brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Say a prayer as well for our troops around the globe and for their families who are missing them. Love to you all! Hugs!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

2nd Street Public Market

The family and I went downtown late this morning to spend a little time at 2nd Street Public Market. Run by the MetroPark's of Dayton, it is located downtown. There is a lot of old fashioned charm to be found here as well as fresh fruit, vegetables, artisan breads straight out of the oven, cheese, tea, coffee, honey, wine, fresh flowers, maple syrup and beautifully scented soaps, lotions, herbs and spices. There are booths which house jewelry, garden decor, toys, unique paintings and pottery & plants. We picked up some amazing smelling soaps and lotions all made by the sweet lady proprietor. Greek pastries were purchased for later and it was then we realized how hungry we were! Food choices abound! We found a little table and chairs just next to an open bay window. It had started to rain and it felt so cozy inside watching it gently fall. Mom and I chose egg salad croissants, Grace had home made egg noodles and Bill picked a lunch of delicious cabbage rolls and mashed potatoes. There was a wonderful folk guitarist/singer entertaining while we ate. A sweet, simple afternoon!
We went to our favorite bookstore, Books and Company, to look for a few little things and next door to Cheryl and Company Cookies to pick up a little birthday gift. We are meeting some friends tonight to help celebrate our dear friend John's 50th! He and Barb live in Tennessee now but made the trip up to be with all of us tonight. You may remember the pictures from the party we threw for Barb last March in honor of HER 50th. Now, how is it that all my buddies are 50?? How can that be! Why, *I* am only, So *I* am 50. Wanna make something out of that huh? HUH? No? *Whew* That's a relief because at my advanced age I might break a hip or something. Stop snickering now you young whippersnappers.... I must run now and get cleaned up for tonight! I think I got some egg salad on my new sweater...elegance IS my middle name. Okay, not really but that just sounded good huh? Maybe this is why I was never invited to a State dinner at the White House. So, it is just *ONE* of the many reasons but hey.... I hope your Saturday has been a sweet one as well. I am still playing my patented game of "Blog Catch Up" so will be by to visit soon! Hugs, Susie Q

Friday, May 25, 2007

A World A'Fair

Warning! Grace loves Korean kimchi! A few of our Roman friends! Grace's best friend, Miss M, and a new friend from China Netherlands Diorama Lots of Chinese Beer .... But the girls opted for a frozen lemonade! Artists from China Slavic musicians Scottish musicians
Gosh I am glad to be back among the blogging community! I have missed you all! Hey dear Pamela! I *knew* you were just kidding about that list! *smile* I had just been thinking that, perhaps, I post a list a little too often but what was done is done! I was just in one of those goofy moods and felt I needed to apologize! Oh, by the way, I am blogging with some spaghetti sauce on my white shirt...a remnant of our family dinner tonight! Just so you know I have not gone *all elegant on you* in my absence! I posted the home tour photos earlier and, in my zeal to play *catch up* will no post a few photos from Dayton's "World A'Fair" that my family attended last Saturday evening! A yearly event, we all greatly enjoyed ourselves! We met up with our friends and neighbors and had a wonderful evening! I hope you will enjoy the photos!