Most of the photos here at Rabbit Run Cottage
can be enlarged just by clicking on each one!
There you go...see? Easy!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

You Must Remember This...

"You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss...a sigh is just a sigh..."
And so each episode of "As Time Goes By" begins.
Lionel Hardcastle: I saw you, and I stopped breathing. I really did. Jean Mary Pargetter: Aww...
Lionel Hardcastle: I started again, of course, or I would have died...
Warm, witty and ever so delightful. A true treasure...a rare jewel. How we would love to sit down to dine with Jean, Lionel, Judy, Sandy and all the "As Time Goes By" gang. A warm and tender series, we are enraptured by each new episode. The writing is top notch, the actors simply superb. How lovely to finally have all of these episodes offered on video tape and now, on DVD. Please dear reader, do yourself a favor and invite Jean and Lionel into your life...they have found each other again and we are all the better for it. A treasure from start to finish. Who is more delicious than Oscar winner Judi Dench and the glorious Geoffery Palmer? When you tire of the network televison assault on your senses...or when you find yourself shuddering at what passes as *pleasant comedy*, pick up these episodes, fix yourself a hot cup of tea, settle in and prepare to be delighted.
A sweet and unexpectedly long-lasting romantic sitcom from the BBC in which two masters of the genre, Geoffrey Palmer and Dame Judi Dench, made the art of comedy look easy. Palmer played Lionel, an ex-army officer and Kenyan coffee planter who returns to England to write his memoirs, entitled My Life In Kenya. Seeking the help of a temporary secretary to take care of the typing, an agency offers him the services of Judith Pargetter. Attracted by her youthful vigour, Lionel invites her out to dinner but chances to meet too with her mother Jean. During the Korean War she and Lionel had been very close, intent on marriage, but one vital letter went astray and each thought the other had given up. The point now was, could the old fires be stoked after a 38-year parting? And what about the twice-married Judith, who was rather keen on Lionel herself? Such was the situation and the dilemmas at the start of the first series. As time went by As Time Goes By changed tack somewhat and in the middle period concentrated on getting Jean and Lionel back together. Eventually they cohabited and married but things were never that simple for the prickly couple who were both too independent to settle easily into married life. As Lionel progressed in the literary world complications arose. First there was Alistair, his smarmy agent who soon started dating Judith and who, to Lionel, represented all that was wrong with the modern generation. Then there was Lionel's eccentric father Rocky and his pursuit of his dream woman Madge. But the biggest diversion of all, outside of the central relationship, was the fact that Lionel had sold the story of his and Jean's romance to an American TV company, who were going to turn it into a glossy mini-series. Numerous episodes followed the progress of the production before they all got to see the finished article.
By the time of its eighth season the show was enjoying considerable success in the USA where, despite her Oscar-winning film performances, Judi Dench was best known as Jean from As Time Goes By. The series proper ended in 2002 with the wedding of Judith and Alistair, and the departure of Canada- and marriage-bound Sandy (Jean's employee and Judith's friend) and Harry (her on-off boyfriend, a policeman), leaving Jean and Lionel quietly to themselves. A week later there was an hour-long compilation of highlights from the preceding 64 episodes in which the pair looked back at selected moments from their recent years together, ostensibly so that Lionel can consider writing part two of his autobiography. Three years later, the show's legion of devotees were given a chance to catch up on all the regulars in a two-part seasonal special.

Oh When Will Spring Arrive?

I will be the gladdest thing under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers And not pick one.
- Edna St. Vincent Millay
The Earth Laughs in Flowers
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our yard was just full of robins this morning, singing
their little hearts out. Can Spring be far away?
When bright flowers bloom
Parchment crumbles,
my words fade
The pen has dropped ...
- Morpheus
Where flowers bloom so does hope.
- Lady Bird Johnson

Oh The Appliance In Red...

"Oh the appliance in red
The lady is crazy for the appliance in red
It's a bit gaudy but oh what a pretty personality"
"Oh the appliance in red
It's such a joy to see the appliance in red
It's a bit bright but oh what sweet way to be"
With apologies to the old I Love Lucy song, it just seemed to fit after a little tweaking!
Okay, so I had this gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket ...literally! You should see the scorch marks! I needed a new can opener and coffee maker...the toaster and blender could have waited but gee...I had this gift certificate and it was getting so over heated...and this great sale was on...and...you know?
It just makes me smile to see them. Silly huh?
I hope your day has been a good one. Stay well, stay happy.
Hugs,
Suzie Q

At The Movies

I just had to do this fun list from our blog friend, sweet Cheryl. I had such fun with this. I would love to see YOUR lists as well. I just love movies, going to the movie theater, eating the popcorn...movies are one of my true vices. I think we own more DVDs than we could watch in a lifetime but I just love them all.
1) Did you see any of the Oscar-nominated Best Pictures from this year?
If so, were they good?
The Queen....fantastic film, fantastic performance by the ethereal Helen Mirren.
Little Miss Sunshine...wonderful film and that sweet, little Abigail Breslin is phenomenal.
2) What 5 movies would you put on your All-Time Best list?
Now where do I begin? Since I see that question 4 is about *classic* films, I will stick to films made in the the past 2 decades.
I doubt I can stick to 5...but then, I always bend the rules. Okay, so I often bend then until they break but you will forgive me right?
Silverado. Okay, so my beloved Brian Dennehy is in this and you may think I am just being partial but the entire cast is amazing. The cinematography is spectacular, the sound, the music, all so grand. I have suggested this film to so many and everyone that has watched it loved it. Just good old fashioned story telling and fun. Great, witty dialogue, all of which I have memorized I am embarrassed to say, the good guys versus the bad guys...and, well, I am just a sucker for a western.
I will lump the next few into one...just *to die for* romantic comedies....You've Got Mail, Sleepless In Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, When Harry Met Sally. I have the dialogue memorized from each one and yet, I will still watch them any time they are on television and will also pull them out and watch my copies once or twice a year.
Forrest Gump. I love this film...I LOVE Gary Sinise. I LOVE it's message and it's heart. 'Nuff said.
F/X 1 and 2. Yeah, yeah, Brian flicks again but I just think they are fun. I adore the Leo McCarthy character.
The next few are more *lumped together* films...This Is Spinal Tap, Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration. The collaboration of Christopher Guest & Michael McKeon have produced such fall on your face funny films...add Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard and the other funny folks so often included in these pseudo documentaries and you have
a real kick in the pants.
More *lumps*...Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan Murder Mysteries, Scoop, Radio Days, Annie Hall and Small Time Crooks just tickle me.
The original Star Wars trilogy has always been a favorite.
The Indiana Jones trilogy...
Any John Candy comedy...
Oh so many...too many to list...far too many...
3) Who is your favorite "eye candy" movie star?
Gee, I wonder who Sue will pick?? I have followed Brian's career for almost 31 years. I guess that would make him a shoe in to win this category!
I love Gary Sinise...he is a sweetheart. Chris Cooper...a great man and actor.
I have never been one to eye the actors everyone else did. I am an odd duck I know, I know but I never liked a typical *pretty guy* in movies. I was always drawn to the men that were considered *character* actors.
I do think that there are many actors today that are really sweet to look at....Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, John Cusack are but three...still, all too young for this old broad to tingle. Much. Well, maybe just a little.
Now, give me a Sean Connery or Michael Caine any day. On that note...their film, The Man Who Would Be King, is a favorite too!
(4) What is a favorite "classic" movie?
Another *impossible to put them all down* question!
I love Cary Grant's comedies...Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, My Favorite Wife, The Philadelphia Story, Operation Petticoat, Father Goose, The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, Bringing Up Baby, Charade are all classic in every sense of the word. Funny and heart warming all at the same time. I never tire of these. Oh and To Catch a Thief...fantastic.
To Kill A Mockingbird, Breakfast At Tiffany's, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, It Happened One Night, Roman Holiday...
Funny Face and Daddy Long Legs...classic Fred Astaire. Ah....
Ooh...Gene Kelly in An American In Paris. Gene was *to die for* handsome and such a fine actor.
Any Jimmy Stewart film. The man WAS classic.
Audrey Hepburn, Kate Hepburn...just the best.
The musicals...where would I even begin? I adore a big, splashy Hollywood musical!
(5) Who is your favorite "classic" movie star?
I guess I answered that already huh? Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart, Audrey Hepburn and Katherine Hepburn
(6) What movie star have people said you look like?
Don't laugh...when I was much younger, I heard Cybill Shepherd many times. Same *puggy*, rounded off nose, hair, body type. No, I do NOT hear that anymore. Okay, now stop laughing or I will have to sit on you.
More recently? Kathy Bates. Okay, she is a fantabulous actress and a wonderful person. I KNOW that. I am older and heavier and I guess my days as Cybil are over. Sniff...okay, now hand me another chocolate doughnut and no one gets hurt.
(7) What is your favorite movie snack?
Hot, buttered popcorn. The really bad for your arteries stuff you can only get at the movie theater. Uh huh. THAT kind. Oh, and Junior Mints washed down with a Sprite or 7 Up.
Okay, YOUR turn!

Okay...It's Nighty Nighty Now...

Okay, I am getting to bed way too late but have had such fun playing catch up with all of you and your blogs! Being without the Internet was awful. Really! Oh what a technoholic I have become I fear. I love your blogs and writing my mind numbing ramblings & self indulgences on mine.
Now, just what did I do without blogging? Sleep more? Okay but who needs sleep? Um...okay, I do but I need to read your blogs too! Okay, now I can slip off to bed and no one knows how ate I stayed up...well, Lucy knows but she won't tell. Kipper and Henry are sound asleep and Bill is snoring away. Just a gentle snore...just enough for me to really know he is here. I can't believe that this sound actually used to bother me! Now I listen FOR it. Odd huh?
What a week it has been and it won't quiet down for a bit. The school play is Thursday evening and Grace is quite excited. She has her line down pat and has practiced it so many times (Just ask her brother!)that I do think the furry members of the family could recite it themselves. Albeit without the flair and style that Grace has added to it! Ethel Barrymore had nothing on the Gracester. On Saturday we have Grace's 9th birthday party to throw, sling, toss, fling. So far we have received 4 RSVPs and are awaiting several more. Why, this is the biggest event of the year, or so says Miss Grace. Anyone who is anyone will be there! I wonder if we need to hire a bouncer to shoo all the paparazzi away. What do you think? Hmmm....

I still have a certain box to mail to the lovely Leona and am so embarrassed that it still sits, lonely and quite forlorn, in my study. I am a bad blog giverawayer I know. But I added a few more trinkets as an apology!

Now, I have been far too remiss in posting more delicious chocolate recipes and ideas and decadent pictures of late. And here it is February 27th! Believe me, I am hanging my head in shame. Really. It is quite sad.

Chocolate Month is almost at an end so there needs to be a few more offerings. So, without further ado...

Godiva's Devilish Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate:

4 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Dark Chocolate, chopped

1 cup water

3 cups whole milk

8 whole cloves

4 cinnamon sticks

Dash cayenne pepper

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cayenne Whipped Cream:

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch cayenne pepper

Make the hot chocolate: Place chocolate and water in microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave on medium (50% power) 1 minute.

Stir.

Microwave 1 minute more or until chocolate softens.

Stir until smooth. Let cool. Combine milk, cloves, cinnamon sticks and cayenne pepper in saucepan.

Warm milk mixture over medium heat until

bubbles form around edge of pan. Whisk chocolate mixture into milk.

Add sugar and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer

for 5 minutes. Strain mixture, reserving cinnamon sticks.

Rinse cinnamon sticks, pat dry and set aside for garnish. Return mixture to saucepan and stir in cream.

Over low heat, heat to simmer. Stir in vanilla extract.

Make the cayenne whipped cream: Combine all ingredients in bowl and whisk until

stiff peaks form. Pour hot chocolate into four mugs.

Serve immediately topped with Cayenne Whipped Cream and cinnamon stick.

Godiva's Brownie Cups

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sifted all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 bars (1.5 ounces each)

Godiva Dark Chocolate, chopped

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons water

1 large egg1 teaspoon vanilla extract

10 flat-bottomed ice cream cups

Ice Cream Filling:

1 quart ice cream (your favorite flavor) Decoration:

Candy-coated chocolate baking bits,

assorted sprinkles, chopped nuts, granola, cookie crumbs

The cups:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Place chocolate in medium bowl.

2. Combine butter, sugars and water in saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and pour hot syrup over chocolate. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes to melt chocolate. Whisk until smooth.

3. Whisk in egg, blending until smooth. Stir in vanilla and flour mixture. Divide batter among 10 ice cream cups, using about 2 1/2 tablespoons batter per cup. Arrange cups, evenly spaced, on baking sheet.

4. Bake brownie cups for 25 to 30 minutes or until cake tests or toothpick insert into center of brownie comes out clean. Set cups on baking sheet on wire rack to cool completely.

5. Place scoop of ice cream on top of each cup. Decorate with the candies of your choice.

Okay, are you happy now?? I surely am! Yummmm....

Hugs,
Suzie Q

Monday, February 26, 2007

Hmmm.....Just What Is In Their Water?

So, why are these two young (No snickering please! Okay, one IS young and the other, less than young) ladies mugging like silly? Have they lost their minds? Well, the blond (Bottled highlighted one) one did long ago but I digress. It seems that someone they know just called and said, "I am about a half an hour from home!" It sounded just like Daddy! He is almost here... Gotta run and ready the welcoming committee. That darned marching band won't stand at attention as I requested. He is home, he is home, he is home. Oh! Did I tell you Bill is almost home? Really? Well, just in case you missed it, BILL IS HOME!

Just For Me And Someone Else I Know...

Okay, so I have been having fun with youtube. I should be ashamed but this gave a friend a much needed lift of spirit! The videos here are trailers but the 2nd and 3rd are fun....especially the comedian with the ferris wheel. Silly. So, not that I expect anyone else to get the charge from them that I do but I am now officially going to end your trauma and move on to something else...bye bye for now Brian!

The Ultimate Gift Theatrical Trailer

The Ultimate Gift Trailer Featuring Brian Dennehy

The Ultimate Gift

From "Little Miss Sunshine"
Hits the theaters March 9th...
When his wealthy grandfather dies, trust fund baby Jason Stevens anticipates a big inheritance. Instead, his grandfather has devised a crash course on life: twelve gifts designed to challenge Jason in improbable ways, sending him on a journey of self-discovery and forcing him to determine what is most important in life: money or happiness. Jason thought his inheritance was the gift of money and lots of it--but Jason thought wrong. He had a very simple relationship with his impossibly wealthy Grandfather, Howard “Red” Stevens. He hated him. No heart-to-heart talks, no warm fuzzies, just cold hard cash. So of course he figured that when Red died, the whole “reading of the will” thing would be another simple cash transaction. He figured that his Grandfather’s money would allow him to continue living in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. But what Red left him was anything but simple. Red instead devised a plan for Jason to experience a crash course on life. Twelve tasks, which Red calls “gifts”, each challenging Jason in improbable ways, the accumulation of which would change him forever.
It’s refreshing at this time when so many people seem so focused on themselves and their own agendas to have a movie released whose sole purpose is to remind us of our mutual obligation to one another, as well as the importance of giving to charities. Not just money, but time as well. Even a half hour a week could make a huge difference in someone else’s life! The pre-screenings alone have resulted in more than five million dollars being donated to charities. There is a special Weekend of Giving scheduled for the opening weekend,
March 9, 10, and 11.
Drew Fuller Jason Stevens James Garner Red Stevens Ali Hillis Alexia Abigail Breslin Emily Lee Meriwether Miss Hastings Brian Dennehy Gus Bill Cobbs Ted Hamilton

At The Movies With Miss Potter

Beatrix Potter has delighted generations of children with her books. But she kept her own private life locked carefully away. Oscar-winning star Renee Zellweger is now bringing her secret story to the screen in "Miss Potter," the first film directed by Chris Noonan since his charming 1995 movie, Babe. It is set in the high summer days of late Victorian and Edwardian England, during which Beatrix develops her natural skills as artist and story-teller. When she finally publishes her debut book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, she becomes a writing celebrity. It also leads to courtship and her first love with publisher Norman Warne, played by Ewan McGregor. Their relationship and his marriage proposal in July, 1905, was to change Beatrix's life for ever.It was a love which she could not announce - or even talk about. In high-society London, her parents had insisted she keep it from friends and neighbours. They considered her proposed wedding a mismatch. Warne, they said, was from ‘trade' and demanded that she carefully reconsider their life together. Beatrix allowed herself to be persuaded to leave her fiancĂ© and London. It was supposed to be a time for reflection and calm. But, instead, she faced tragedy and loneliness and returned, with a different outlook. She became a woman of strong views and independence. She also built up a farming dynasty in the Lake District - a dynasty over which she took charge long after her writing career virtually ended in 1913. It established her as a woman ahead of her time. Despite becoming the world's most successful children's writer and a wealthy landowner and prize-winning farmer, she never forgot her first love.

Beatrix And Friends

"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail and Peter." This is the introduction to one of the best-loved children's stories of all time - The Tale of Peter Rabbit. However, the story of how Beatrix Potter's most famous character came to have a book published about him is another tale entirely.On September 4th, 1893, Beatrix sat down to write a picture letter to Noel Moore, the five-year-old son of her ex-governess, all about a naughty rabbit called Peter. Noel was ill in bed and so Beatrix wrote to him: "My dear Noel, I don't know what to write to you, so I shall tell you a story about four little rabbits..."Some years later, Beatrix thought of publishing the story as a book. She rewrote it into an exercise book and sent it to six publishers. It was rejected by every one of them. It was not until Beatrix had arranged to print the book privately that Frederick Warne agreed to publish it. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published in 1902, costing one shilling and became one of the most famous stories ever written. Though Beatrix always believed in her book, even she was surprised by quite how popular it became. It was an overnight success, and she believed that this was because the story had originally been written for a real child. Peter Rabbit has always been Beatrix Potter's most popular character - he also features in The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of The Flopsy Bunnies, and The Tale of Mr. Tod.
Did you know that Beatrix Potter really owned a pet rabbit called Peter?
In 1903, Beatrix published two more books with Frederick Warne, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tailor of Gloucester. She had become a regular visitor to the Covent Garden offices of her publishers (in London) to discuss her books, and most of her dealings were with Norman Warne, the youngest son of the late Frederick Warne.Norman was the only unmarried son in the Warne family, and was a devoted uncle to his nephews and nieces. He and Beatrix became friends, and Beatrix became a welcome visitor at the Warne family home. Beatrix was delighted when she received a letter from Norman asking her to marry him, and though her parents did not approve of the match, she was determined to accept him. However, the wedding was not to be, for soon after the engagement, Norman fell ill and died of pernicious anaemia within a few weeks. Beatrix was devastated. She wrote in a letter to his sister, Millie, "He did not live long, but he fulfilled a useful happy life. I must try to make a fresh beginning next year."
Beatrix had always loved the Lake District, and now, with the money she was earning from her Peter Rabbit books she was able to buy Hill Top Farm in the village of Sawrey. She kept on the farm manager, John Cannon, and invested in a flock of Herdwick sheep. She could not stay in her beloved new home because she was expected to take care of her parents in London, but it was her first step to independence, and she visited it whenever she could.Many of Beatrix's later books were set at Hill Top - the rats that infested the farm inspired The Tale of Samuel Whiskers; Tom Kitten and his sisters climb up the rockery wall at the bottom of Hill Top garden; and Ginger and Pickles' shop is set in Sawrey village.
~Peter Rabbit~
ONCE upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree.
'Now, my dears,' said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, 'you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.
'Now run along, and don't get into mischief. I am going out.
Then old Mrs. Rabbit took a basket and her umbrella, and went through the wood to the baker's. She bought a loaf of brown bread and five currant buns.
Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries: But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight to Mr. McGregor's garden, and squeezed under the gate!
First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes; And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.
But round the end of a cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr. McGregor!
Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees planting out young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, 'Stop thief!'
Peter was most dreadfully frightened; he rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate. He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes.
After losing them, he ran on four legs and went faster, so that I think he might have got away altogether if he had not unfortunately run into a gooseberry net, and got caught by the large buttons on his jacket. It was a blue jacket with brass buttons, quite new.
Peter gave himself up for lost, and shed big tears; but his sobs were overheard by some friendly sparrows, who flew to him in great excitement, and implored him to exert himself.
Mr. McGregor came up with a sieve, which he intended to pop upon the top of Peter; but Peter wriggled out just in time, leaving his jacket behind him. And rushed into the tool-shed, and jumped into a can. It would have been a beautiful thing to hide in, if it had not so much water in it.
Mr. McGregor was quite sure that Peter was somewhere in the tool-shed, perhaps hidden underneath a flower-pot. He began to turn them over carefully, looking under each. Presently Peter sneezed - 'Kertyschoo!' Mr. McGregor was after him in no time.
And tried to put a foot upon Peter, who jumped out of a window, upsetting three plants. The window was too small for Mr. McGregor, and he was tired of running after Peter. He went back to his work.
Peter sat down to rest; he was out of breath and trembling with fright, and he had not the least idea which way to go. Also he was very damp with sitting in that can. After a time he began to wander about, going lippity - lippity - not very fast, and looking all around.
He found a door in a wall; but it was locked, and there was no room for a fat little rabbit to squeeze underneath. An old mouse was running in and out over the stone doorstep, carrying peas and beans to her family in the wood. Peter asked her the way to the gate, but she had such a large pea in her mouth that she could not answer. She only shook her head at him. Peter began to cry. Then he tried to find his way straight across the garden, but he became more and more puzzled. Presently, he came to a pond where Mr. McGregor filled his water-cans. A white cat was staring at some gold-fish, she sat very, very still, but now and then the tip of her tail twitched as if it were alive. Peter thought it best to go away without speaking to her; he had heard about cats from his cousin, little Benjamin Bunny. He went back towards the tool-shed, but suddenly, quite close to him, he heard the noise of a hoe - scr-r-ritch, scratch, scratch, scritch. Peter scuttered underneath the bushes. But presently, as nothing happened, he came out, and climbed upon a wheel-barrow and peeped over. The first thing he saw was Mr. McGregor hoeing onions. His back was turned towards Peter, and beyond him was the gate! Peter got down very quietly off the wheel-barrow, and started running as fast as he could go, along a straight walk behind some black-currant bushes. Mr. McGregor caught sight of him at the corner but Peter did not care. He slipped underneath the gate, and was safe at last in the wood outside the garden.
Mr. McGregor hung up the little jacket and the shoes for a scare-crow to frighten the blackbirds.
Peter never stopped running or looked behind him till he got home to the big fir-tree. He was so tired that he flopped down upon the nice soft sand on the floor of the rabbit-hole, and shut his eyes. His mother was busy cooking; she wondered what he had done with his clothes. It was the second little jacket and pair of shoes that Peter had lost in a fortnight. I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some camomile tea; and she gave a dose of it to Peter! 'One tablespoon to be taken at bed-time.'
But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries, for supper. THE END.
~The Tale Of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter~

Miss Potter

A little girl in Victorian England, Beatrix Potter was taught music and art while her brother was sent away to school. She was a shy, reserved personality when interacting with the outside world, but her secret diary written in her own code, revealed a gregarious woman with highly critical opinions of her fellow artists. After the tragic death of her fiancé and publisher, Norman Warne, Beatrix remained unmarried until the age of 47, when she married William Heelis, a Lake District solicitor. She dedicated her later years to preserving the ecology and natural beauty of England's Lake District. She worked closely with The National Trust and left them a substantial part of her estate to be preserved as a living landscape.
Beatrix Potter began to draw at a very early age, encouraged by her parents, Rupert and Helen. Her earliest drawings were mostly sketches of plants and animals.The family's friendship with the painter Millais, gave her an insight into the world of artists and visits to the Royal Academy developed her critical skills. She very much enjoyed the work of Gainsborough, Reynolds, Raphael and Titian. There are many detailed accounts of her visits to these exhibitions in her Journal.During the 1890s Beatrix concentrated on natural history and in particular fungi, although at the same time she was earning a small income by selling illustrations for booklets, greetings cards and albums. Throughout her life she was guided by the principle of portraying nature as accurately as possible in her art. Beatrix Potter is usually associated with her famous animal character illustrations, and many people are surprised to learn of the wide variety of subjects in her sketches and paintings, ranging from animals to landscapes, flowers to fossils.
Long before Beatrix Potter was published, she drew illustrations from some of her favorite childhood stories - Cinderella and the Brer Rabbit stories by Uncle Remus. She drew these mostly to please herself, although sometimes she would give the pictures to friends and relatives. In the early 1890s her first published work appeared - greetings card designs and illustrations for a booklet, A Happy Pair, for the publisher Hildesheimer & Faulkner.
Beatrix Potter's sketchbooks, many of them held by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and by The National Trust, contain many landscape drawings of the significant places in her life. Some were even used as backgrounds for the illustrations in The Peter Rabbit Books.
Here are two of them.
The garden at Ees Wyke, Sawrey, 1902
The view over Top Farm and Sawrey 1905.

Tea And Thoughts

Let's start the day off right...with some delcious tea and sweet words....have a wonderful week.
It is almost March. Spring is right around the corner...
Almond Tea
Ingredients: 4 Tea bags your favorite tea
1/2 tsp Lemon zest, finely grated 4 cups Boiling water 1/2 cup Sugar 2 tbs Lemon juice 1 tsp Almond extract 1/4 tsp Vanilla
Method: Steep tea and lemon rind in boiling water for about 5 minutes.
Stir in sugar, lemon juice, almond and vanilla. Serve hot
There are many things in life that will catch your
eye. But only a few will catch your heart.... -Ben Crenshaw
The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.
-Martha Washington
I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.
-Anne Frank
If we could see the miracle of a single flower
clearly, our whole life would change.
-Buddah
When you have only two pennies left in the world,
buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.
-Chinese Proverb
A Blessing by James Wright Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota, Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass. And the eyes of those two Indian ponies Darken with kindness. They have come gladly out of the willows To welcome my friend and me. We step over the barbed wire into the pasture Where they have been grazing all day, alone. They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness That we have come. They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other. There is no loneliness like theirs. At home once more, They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness. I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms, For she has walked over to me And nuzzled my left hand. She is black and white, Her mane falls wild on her forehead, And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist. Suddenly I realize That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom.
Have a sweet week...
Hugs,
Suzie Q

Sunday, February 25, 2007

And The Posts Keep Coming...

Rabbit Run Cottage is back in business!
Okay, I posted about my tremendous surprise before this post but hey. I am just so excited!
It is these glorious little surprises that make life fun. See? I told you that Bill was pretty understanding about my long standing obsession with Mr. Dennehy. 30 years and counting...for both Brian AND Bill. Now, don't get me wrong. I would never trade Bill for anything or anyone in the world and he knows that...but, it is just a little harmless flirtation. A 30 year flirtation but an innocent one I swear.
Now, that is out of the way and I am back up and running. Okay, so I am sitting here leaning and typing and don't have a lot of energy and the thought of running makes me ill but gee....I AM back online!
I have been trying to play catch up with all of you and your blogs. I have missed you so much. Thank you for all your sweet and funny comments. You all are just so important to me.
I think the nasty weather was instrumental in keeping our Internet *down for the count*. But it is now fixed and operating! Yippee! I feel so thrilled, so delirious, so enthralled, so elated...and the repairman was really cute. Hey, that was a plus okay?
And, BILL IS COMING HOME TOMORROW!!! FOR GOOD!! Uh huh, I am just a little bit excited. It has been almost a year since he left for VA and one long weekend home a month was no way to have a happy family. No way to have a happy wife. I was so very sad without him here. Life goes on and we stayed busy with all that needed to be done but the pang was always there. Now he will be back and I think I will sleep soundly for the first time in a year.
Grace is having a birthday party next Saturday...the big 9 is looming!
And our little diva is appearing in her school's production of Seussical.
One line but she milks the heck out of it. I will be sure to take loads of pictures of both world shaking events!
Please know how much I care about all of you and how much I missed reading your blogs and staying in touch with you.
I hope this week is a special one for you all...stay warm, stay safe, stay well.
Hugs,
Susie Q

And The Award Goes To....

Okay, so this is *probably* not what Mr. Dennehy
will be wearing for his role in the play
but I like the picture okaaaay? Gee whiz...

Little pieces of paper that are worth so much to me.... If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere...
In the category of
*Husbands Who Do The Wonderfully Unexpected*...
the award goes to.....
Bill!
*insert wild applause, foot stomping and cheering*
...For his role in buying the tickets for us to see "Inherit The Wind", *ON BROADWAY*, in May.
Can you see my smiling face from where you are? Did you hear my whooping and hollering? Um, have I mentioned who is starring in this little production? Yes, Christopher Plummer to be sure...wonderful, delightful, Captain Von Trapp, yes. Anyone else? Hmmm...? Oh...that's right. Brian Dennehy! HE is in it TOO. Uh huh. I know, I HAVE seen him on the stage but never ON Broadway. We saw him, and the rest of the Tony winning Broadway cast do "Death of a Salesman" in St. Louis. Yes, I HAVE been to NYC but have yet to see a play on Broadway. One of my life's goals (Silly I know but oh how I do love the theater). I am just a little bit excited...just a weensy, teensy, bleensy bit excited. Bill had arranged the hotel (We are staying in a great little "European" style place a half block from the theater district, the airplane tickets and had everything ready to surprise me. Of course, our Grace is beside herself with happiness! She thinks of NYC in the same way as one of her favorite characters, Eloise, does. It is "evah, evah, evah, so, so, beeeeauuutiiifuuul." A carriage ride in Central Park, visiting the American Girl Place for tea with Grace's doll, Olivia. Dinner at Tavern on the Green, taking in the sights from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. All are on our list of must dos. I first saw NYC when I was Grace's age and it left an indelible impression on me. I think I will see it do the same for Grace...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Now Hear This...

Hello All, Sue's internet connectivity is NMC (Non Mission Capable) due to someone apparently slicing the cable upstream of our house. The cable company supposedly has a crack team of tehnicians exploring the situation today. Hopefully, by day's end, she's back up. In the interim, Leona's package is on the way. More, and better written, stuff is soon to be gracing the pages of the blog. Best to all of you from all of us. ...That is all. Bill

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Drumroll If You Please Mr. Conductor.....

Okay...the news that you have all been waiting on...ahem...without further ado (and before my DSL goes blinky again)....
LEONA!
Come on down....your name has been drawn from the hat. A rather sweet hat, straw with a ribbon and pink silk flower. Grace herself chose the winning strip of nicely folded paper herself. Do I have pictures? Me? The lady who always has her camera at the ready? Ask me again later tonight when we re-enact the event...and I make sure the cyber chip is IN The camera. D'oh. Thank you all so much for your sweet, funny and loving comments. I so appreciate them, and all of you, more than you can know. Leona? Drop me an email with your home address and I will get your goodies off to you ASAP. And thank you all for playing..."Leave A Comment!", the game show that is sweeping the nation!
Hugs,
Suzie Q

A Love Letter To Bill

I have happily borrowed this idea from Susie and wanted to send
a little "Love Letter" to my *Mr. Right* Noooo....not Brian Dennehy! I am so surprised you would think such a thing...
Why you would, I have no idea...um..well...no...it is a letter to Bill! My * true* Mr. Right. My guy...
~MY MR. RIGHT~

His age:
He will be 51 in May....that makes him a MUCH older man. I mean, he did practically rob the cradle when he married me. I am a GOOD 5, almost 6, months younger. Of course I was always attracted to older men so that must have been it.
How tall is he?
Just at 6 feet.
How long have you been together (married)?
We will have been married for 29 (Gasp!) years this August.
Remember, I was a child bride!
*Gulp*
How long did you know each other before you got together?
We met at an I-75 rest stop on March 20th 1976. He was going to Gatlinburg, TN with 2 buddies and I was headed there with 3 girlfriends. Spring break...we were all students at Wright State University here in Dayton. One of my friends knew one of his, we all chatted and made plans to get together in Gatlinburg.
The 7 of us got together frequently after we returned home but it took Bill until May to ask me out. We went to a Cincinnati Reds ball game. He said about 10 words the whole evening until later, while sitting on my family's front porch, we began to really talk. And, when he left, he kissed me and wow. Okay? Just wow.
What physical features attracted you to him first?
His eyes, his smile...he was quiet and just seemed very intelligent,
very cool, very mysterious. And he looked really good in blue jeans
and that T shirt & jeans shirt with the sleeves rolled up.
Eye color:
Blue...hazely
Hair color:
It was brown with lots of reddish highlights.
Now it is turning gray and I love it! I love gray hair on a man.
He also had the thickest, waviest hair then. It was longer back in college, just really nice to run my fingers through!
Hair style:
It has been kept at Navy regulation since September 1978.
It is a teeny bit longer now but still short and neat.
Normal outfit
Blue jeans and sweatshirts or T shirts, running shoes.
It was all uniforms for so long and now, for work, it is khakis or chinos and dress shirts or polos.
How did you meet?
See answer above!
Are you "in love"?
Oh yeah...oh yeah...he is my heart, my dream, my soul mate. He even cleans bathrooms! How could I NOT love that?
Do your parents like him?
My parents liked him almost from the get go. Of course, Bill had longer hair and my Dad was not a fan of that but was used to it from other boys I brought home. Bill was polite and answered all Dad's questions correctly! Daddy came to adore him so...he was so terribly proud of Bill and his Naval career. Bill adored him as well. We lost Dad 5 years ago...we still miss him terribly.
My mom thinks he is the best. He is good to her and she adores him.
Do his parents like you?
We lost both of them in 2004 I am very sad to say. His mom was difficult for me to figure out but I know she loved me. We were direct opposites to be sure but, especially in the last 5 years, she and I talked a lot and she was able to say things to me that mean so much.
His Dad? I always knew he loved me....he was the easiest going man you could ever meet. Just a great guy. He and my Dad became such great friends. I think they are both having a cup of coffee somewhere up above the clouds and are keeping a watchful eye on all of us.
Do you trust him?
Even when I am angry with him or at him. We are far from perfect...he has his ways and I have mine and often those ways clash but I trust him with all my heart. With ALL my heart.
Would you share a toothbrush with him?
Okay...now. Let's get this straight. I love and adore the guy. I think kissing him is the best. But sharing a toothbrush? Nope. No thank you. I am weird about that. Okay, I am weird about lots of things but hey...
Would he let you wear his pants?
Oh, he would LET me...the guy is generous to a fault but do you actually think I could get my ample bum IN his pants?? Are you kidding? That would be hysterical! And painful....poor me. Squuueeeeezzzzzeeeeee.....oof.
Does he smoke or do drugs?
He was a child of the 60s and 70s but all I can say is that, since 1976, this is the straightest guy where those things are concerned. Come on....Mr. Naval Officer??? Spit and polish all the way.
Do you have a shirt of his that you sleep in?
I used to....I used to be a lot thinner too you know. Why oh why do you keep rubbing this in?? Oye...um...but I have been guilty of going into his closet and burying my nose into his shirts....when he was at sea, this past year when he was away so much...just to breath in his scent.
Can you picture having kids with him?
We have two....our 24 year old son whom we adopted from Korea in 1990 and Grace whom we adopted from China in 2004. They are our greatest treasures and joys.
What bothers you the most about him?
Like I said, we are not perfect...the list is shorter than it once was. I can see him smiling at that sentence...he is clean as a pin but messy and somewhat of a clutterer. He was always more laid back about things like that then I was. Over the years, he got neater and I became less upset about messes. Well, SOME messes!
He takes awhile to react to things at times while I go into hyper drive immediately. I always get annoyed by that but he is probably doing things the correct way...it still drives me batty at times! I drive him batty too so we are even!
Does he have a temper?
You know what they say about "The Quiet Ones"? I have seen that temper a few times...he would never hit or hurt anything or anyone but yes, I have seen him explode a bit. Maybe once or twice...
Usually though, his anger is tempered and he is very straightforward with it...he can cut like a knife but it is
when it is needed...as in at someone who really deserved it.
Do you know what I mean?
It takes a lot for him to get angry...A LOT. When he does, he does. Yep. But he is the easiest going man...99.9% of the time.
Are you happy to be with him?
Oh yeah....I have learned, in the last year especially, just how much I need him. How lucky I am to have him and how blessed I am to spend my life with him.
Does he embarrass you?
Nooo....I am thinking....hmmm....I cannot think of any time he has. If it ever happened, it
must have been long ago and I have pushed it from my mind.
Does he have any piercings?
Um...Naval Officer for 27 years...hello!
Any tattoos?
He keeps joking that he will get one now that he is retired from the military
...Grace would not approve! She has already told him that he will *NEVER*do that!
Does he have any scars that you know of?
A few...but he is a man's man and they usually do! *grin*
Is he a party dude or stay at home?
He loves to have get togethers at home and at the homes of friends. Big loud parties have never been his thing. Small gatherings are what we both like best.
Does he love his mama?
He did, of course always will...he did not always understand her or like what she did or said but he always loved her. He was a great son....
Would he hang out with you and your friends?
He does! They all love him! I love HIS friends...aren't we all just too cute for words? You want to gag right? *laugh* He also encourages me to have my own time with friends...just the girls.
Sing?
He sings...he can carry a tune. He may never have the lead role in a Broadway musical (Gosh darn it) but he sings. And whistles....a lot.
The man reads to me at night (and yes...you silly you...I CAN read. It just is sooo relaxing to have someone else read to you), cleans bathrooms and anything else needed. He can cook AND clean up after. Never complains about much, is so generous it is unbelieveable, is patient and kind, never forgets a birthday or anniversary or any date of importance to us. He is such a hard worker, so responsible it is crazy. Handsome, smells good, strong and a great kisser. Gives the warmest hugs and can calm me down better than anyone. Even when I fail to show it, I have never stopped being awed by the fact that this man loves me. He never fails to tell me he loves me or how beautiful he thinks I am. Weight gain, bad hair days, zit days...no matter. He says I am gorgeous. Maybe he is delusional but I will take it.
He loves art, music, the theater, animals, sports and travel. He will do anything with me that I ask
(Well, there are some things I have never asked of him so who knows? *laugh* But he probably would if it was inportant to me)
without a single complaint. He never whines about anything....ever.
He is so uncomplaining that it is almost sad. I mean, he should tell us when he feels badly but he pushes on. I think he has only taken a handful (maybe like 3 and one of those was for a heart cath!) of sick days in all his years of work and military service. I think he is crazy but I admire his work ethic.
He has always been beloved by those who work for him and with him...
that alone says something huh?
He loves indie films, stand up comics, The Grateful Dead, jazz,
historical novels, biographies, making airplane models. He runs marathons, plays football and basketball and is
thinking about taking up golf.
He will do anything for anyone at anytime...believe me, I have seen it.
He shows little to no fear in bad situations...he is a calming influence.
He spoils his pets, his kids, his wife.
He never complains about the house or dinner being late or how I dress. He is complimentary about everything. Sometimes he brings flowers for no reason. I have no idea what I have done to deserve all this....really. It amazes me on a daily basis.
He even puts up with my adoration of Brian Dennehy albeit in his quirky, self deprecating way...yep. He is quirky and goofy at times but in a fun way. He is self deprecating in a way that is often hysterical. I think the man should write a book about his life in the Navy and just about life in general. It would be so funny...
He is smart and cool and sophisticated when it matters. He has 2 Masters Degrees and is going back to school again. Education is very important to him.
He is also a total goofball and completely without prejudice or affectation.
No, not perfect. NO one is. He has his weaknesses
(And yes, he does leave his socks on the floor
and his wet towel on the bed and it drives me crazy!) and faults. Who wants to be married to a robot of perfection? Not me...he has made mistakes yes. So have I. He doesn't wear a halo (although there have been those times when I swear I can see it twinkling above his head...like when I drag him through antique malls and teddy bear stores and he comes along without complaint!)
He can be incredibly stubborn, as can I and oh yes, we have had a few doozies over the years. hey! If you never argue, how can you make up?
But he is a super guy, a *gentle* man and one of the best human beings I have ever known. I am just so proud of him, the man he is, the father, friend, brother/brother in law, uncle, neighbor, employee he is.
I love him. Thank you for allowing me this small indulgence....
my love letter to Bill. Hurry home honey.