Most of the photos here at Rabbit Run Cottage
can be enlarged just by clicking on each one!
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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Four...Three...Two...One...Happy New Year!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne? And here's a hand, my trusty friend And gie's a hand o' thine We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet For auld lang syne
So many resolutions are being made during these last days of 2007...ones that may have a shelf life of only a few weeks or less. I ought to know. I have shattered more resolutions than one human being should be able to. On that note, may I offer some more ideas, resolutions that may be a bit easier to hold on to during the year to come?
Be kind to yourself. Do not expect perfection. It is almost always impossible to attain. Allow yourself time alone, time to read, to rest, to enjoy the wonderful things you HAVE accomplished. Do not waste one second of valuable life minutes wishing you had the possessions or life style of someone else. Those people could very well be wishing THEY had the life style of someone else...that old proverbial vicious circle. Rejoice in those little things that give you pleasure. Life is made up of those sweet, little moments. ~~~~~~~~~~ Enjoy your special times with family and friends. Savor it. It does not have to be elegant or a big splashy party. Take out Chinese and a rented movie can feel like a world premiere and dinner at Le Cirque when shared with those you adore. ~~~~~~~~~~ Take care of yourself. Diets seldom work. It is the small lifestyle changes that DO work. I will be sharing this mission with some of you. Eat healthier but do not deprive yourself every treat. Get out and walk, ride a bicycle, swim...just move a bit more! Do it for YOU and no one else. ~~~~~~~~~~ Embrace who you are. Not all of us can be thin or rich. We can not all be great scholars or HGTV designers. We can, however, love the person we were born to be. Each of us has talents. Enjoy the ones with which you are blessed. God does not create junk. ~~~~~~~~~~ Smile more (even when you do not feel like it!) & give more to those less fortunate. No matter how bad you think you have it, sadly, there are always those who have it far worse. Give all you can and do so with a happy heart. That heart of yours will thank you and, in turn, help that pretty face of yours to smile more. See how that works? ~~~~~~~~~~ Never stop learning. Never. ~~~~~~~~~~ Hold onto the magic and wonder of your childhood. Giggle more. Act silly when the mood strikes. Sing. Hum. Skip. Believe in the impossible. ~~~~~~~~~~ Pray more. Ceaselessly. Talk to God. He is there to listen and He has big shoulders. I wish each of you a 2008 that holds more laughter than tears, peace of heart and mind and warm hugs from the people you love. I wish you joy. God Bless you all. Happy New Year to all of you. Love and hugs, Susie Q

Friday, December 28, 2007

Scenes From A Christmas Holiday

Just a few scenes from my week...a little of this and a little of that. We attended an afternoon performance of The Nutcracker at Dayton's Schuster Center. Grace has deemed this a must do tradition. She gets a new nutcracker for her collection each year as well. We were at my brother and sister in law's home last Sunday. Grace created her gingerbread house while there. The architect's tools of the trade... The finished project! My nephew, the Booman, playing Santa! Okay, so I taught Boo how do give "Nose Kisses" and he had to try it out on everyone! Oh the face he made while planting a "Nose Kiss" on all of us! Grandma found it quite amusing! Grace at Grandma's house, Christmas Eve. Dan showing Boo how to play with Grace's Nintendo DS. Now, what's up with the hat on Dan's head you ask? ARGH...the kid got his head shaved a bit TOO short and knew I hated it. Thus, the head gear. I realized that every picture I had of him also featured *The Hat* on Christmas night. Oh well...a hat is just a hat right? Showing Grace how to play.... Christmas morning...Santa brought the coveted American Girl Samantha doll. There was much rejoicing in the land. We visited with friends at our buddy *T*'s house. This is Grace with Daddy and our dear friend *J*. He and his wife *B* drove up from Tennessee to visit. The kid in the hat with the dog in the bandana. Grace with her beloved Henry. Just a few shots of a happy week. It was just the sort of Christmas we love best. Unhurried and quiet. Lots of good food, good movies, good friends, family, laughter and boisterous conversation. We are off to have lunch with the family...I hope your weekend is a sweet one. 2007 is rapidly coming to a close. I have so much for which to be grateful. I am, as always, so blessed to have each one of you in my life. Your friendships mean so much. Here's to a splendid 2008 for us all and a Blogging Babe Blowout Bonanza this year!
Love and hugs, Susie Q

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Happy Week To You All!

I hope you are all having a happy filled with warmth and joy and sweet memory making moments. All of us at Rabbit Run Cottage had a wonderful Christmas and hope you did as well. Can you believe that Christmas 2007 is now over? But we still have plenty of fun planned and are busy enjoying family and friends. I will get back to regular blogging and visiting soon. I have lots of pictures to share and am so anxious to see what all of you have been up to! Until then, please know I am thinking about you all and sending each one of you love and hugs.

Monday, December 24, 2007

NORAD Tracks Santa - New York, NY

He is almost here!

I Wish You Joy...

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better through out the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas- time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder
I wish you joy. I wish you abundant blessings. I wish you the magic of a youthful heart and the warmth of love. I humbly thank you for the joy, blessings, magic, warmth and love your friendships have given me. I hold you close in my thoughts... Merry Christmas dear friends. Love and Hugs, Susie Q

Friday, December 21, 2007

Measure Twice And...

Huh? Who's hat? Has Santa been by already? Checking on Grace to see if she has been ever so good? Ohhh...he is measuring the fireplace surround to see if he can get Brian D. down the chimney! Good going Santa! Of course, since it is a Gas fireplace, getting down the non- existent chimney will be a feat in itself. But I digress... I just wanted to show off my Christmas cluttered mantel before Henry had a chance to destroy it. would seem that he has taken a liking to the objects on said mantel and is doing his best to bring each one, a little at a time, down to his level. Oh Where did I put that water pistol?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

So Much Ahead of Her...

32 years ago today our blog buddy Jen was born...she has no idea how much wonder and magic lie ahead of her! She is creative and caring and hard working. She is an amazing woman, wife and mother. She does not always see that but we, those of us who know her, do. I am blessed to know her and call her my friend. Happy Birthday dear Jen.

Oops...I Blame Menopause, Global Warming And Fire Ants

May I please have your kind attention? Oh my. Is my face red. Dear, dear Andi...I tagged you after YOU tagged me and I should have tagged someone else because you had already tagged me then I took too long to do the tag and my mind wandered and then I forgot and tagged you when I meant to tag someone else but I tagged you instead with a tag. *Deep Breath* Okay, so my mind ALWAYS wanders (Especially when writing run on sentences that use the word *tag* a lot) but it is not my fault really. I blame menopause, global warming and fire ants. And not necessarily in that order. You may now go about your business. That is all.

Linus Christmas Monologue

Remember to pause the sideboard music...

It's All About The Hoopla!

Just what is a hoopla anyway...well, it is boisterous, jovial commotion or raucous excitement. It's a hullabaloo, a to-do. A ballyhoo. And, all too often, a blatant or sensational promotion of self or a product. Now, I am not too big on *self* promotion but I am however, hugely enamored with a little boisterous excitement! I love a good ballyhoo! So, when several of my dear blog friends tagged me for this, I jumped to the task. Okay. So *jumped* may be a bit of a stretch. Yeah. That's it...let's just say I *stretched* and pulled myself up off the couch to the task. I was also tagged by a few dear friends to do a list of 12 Christmas facts about old moi. Is this in anyway related to this hoopla? I mean, I really hate to burden you all with 24 things about me that relate to Christmas. Surely that would be a punishment for which no one could recover. I love you all far too much to do that. Now. Will someone explain to me why all of you think I love lists so much? This is a puzzlement! I can not imagine how this idea has been planted in so many pretty heads. Well, alright. I will trudge along and do my duty. It is a tough job but someone has to do it. Is any really buying this? Oh...well, I thought that maybe...oh. Never mind. Now, on with the Hoopla!
Here are the rules: (Oh how I hate rules...grrr...) 1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas 2. Please refer to it as a 'HOOPLA' and not the dreaded meme. 3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere. 4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible. 12. I believe in Santa Claus. Do not try to convince me there is not one. Many have tried. Many have failed. He exists as surely as you and I exist. Rudolph, Comet and Vixen too. Prancer? Not so much. 11. I absolutely love the giving part. Now, please don't get all soft and tell me how sweet I am and all that gooey stuff. Not me. I am as hard as nails. I do not do it for any other reason than it makes *ME* feel so good. I am really selfish that way. Really. Susie Selfish. 10. On November 30th I always say "I won't go overboard decorating this year!" And, on December 22nd Bill always ends up saying, "I thought you were not going to go overboard decorating this year!" 9. I have this really evil thought each year...that this is the year I will pull an Erma Bombeck and send out a truly hysterical Christmas letter. OR, better yet, I will send one that is SO disgusting and drippy and sugary that people will go into shock just holding it in their hands. Then I think about the people who just would NOT get the humor...oh yes. We do know some who would not see the levity and they are in our extended family I am sad to say. Ouch. But one of these years... 8. I get up on Christmas morning each year fully expecting to find Brian Dennehy in my stocking. And yes, I am delusional. How could that possibly happen? I KNOW it is silly. It is crazy beyond words. Even *I* know that he would never fit in my stocking... 7. I love the reds and greens and snowy whites of Christmas. Over the years I have done all of my decorations in naturals, blue, silver and white or in gold and copper...I even went the elegant burgundy and hunter green route. I adored all of those but here I am, back to the reds and greens of my yesteryear. What does this say about me huh? Wait! Don't tell me... 6. I love to watch Christmas movies over and over until the rest of the family is screaming for mercy. Then I just watch them with the closed captioning on and ear plugs in place. I will even watch them during the dog days of Summer. What is more uplifting than a treasured holiday film classic? Okay, other than a Brian Dennehy movie. That goes without saying... 5. Seeing a performance of The Nutcracker is a sweet tradition with me. So Daniel tired of it long ago and Bill would really rather be somewhere else. *I* love it and now I have my Grace who loves it as much as I do. Bill and Dan are SO pleased. Lets them off that proverbial hook. 4. I really loathe seeing Christmas decor up before Thanksgiving. I don't want to step on toes here and do understand that many people would have it around them 12 months of the year if given the chance...but I love Thanksgiving so much and feel it deserves it's own set of traditions and celebration and joy. And please do not get me started on Christmas decor fighting for space with Halloween ghosts and goblins. Ack. It's just so wrong... 3. I am not a fruitcake lover by nature. I *AM* a fruitcake quite naturally but eating one has never been something I enjoyed. But then, perhaps it is because I have never tasted YOUR, homemade with love, fruitcake. I would love it I am sure...maybe. 2. I can recite Charlie Brown's Christmas word for word. I have it all down cold, even that little lisp that Linus has. I will do it for you sometime. What? Well, that is just rude. Gee whiz... ...and the number one answer to my Christmas Hoopla is: 1. Fudge. You have to have it. You have to eat it. I tag...hmmm...wait. She did it about...nope. She did one too. Andi? Would you like to give it a try? Love and Hugs to you all, Susie Q

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Out And About , Dan Fogelberg And Santa Says Howdy!

Hello dear blog friends! I have been just awful at blogging and visiting of late haven't I? Hey...OKAY! That *YES MA'AM* was a little LOUD don'tcha think? But I DID like the Ma'am part...Um...okay. So I will try to be better but I do have a good excuse., so I don't really but it IS The Christmas Season and it is a busy time and I have been out and about. And about and out and in and there and here and waaaaay over yonder. I know you all are staying busy too right? I hope you are also staying well and being good to yourselves. As Moms and wives and employees we are always giving and giving and doing and doing and our health often takes a back seat. Take some time just for you...YOU deserve it. We have been on the go of late. Bill's company Christmas party was last Friday and it was a great one. Now, you must understand I am used to military shindigs so this was quite the celebration! Good food and drink, wonderful door prizes and beautiful decorations! We had a fun table of folks and new friends and also were able to sit near our dear friends M & C. C also works for the company and has for a long time. Being with them is always a treat! We have been able to take time for dinners and lunches with so many special friends...T & J, T & R, T, PB...neighbors and family. It is warm times like this that makes a heart sing! Okay, so mine sings out of tune but it does sing! And while we are speaking about singing, let's talk about great singers. I am so sad that we have lost Dan Fogelberg. That man had such a warm butterscotch voice and the most exceptionally poetic lyrics. Pure magic...Longer is still one of the most romantic songs ever written. He was a superb musician, although a true balladeer, he was also a man who could rock with the best of them. Sail free Dan...prayers go out to his wife Jean. Dan died from advanced prostate cancer and it was announced that another of our favorites, Stephen Stills, is now fighting this disease as well. Please hound those men of your ladies...get your exams and blood work! We love you and need you here for a long time!
~One of Grace's recent art pieces~
Grace recently had one of her art pieces chosen to be displayed at our town's High School. The works were to depict the artist's plea for peace in our world. We are all heading out to see the exhibit tonight. Last evening was Santa time! We all headed over to The Greene to visit the jolly guy. And just like Mickey Dolenez and The Monkees, Grace IS a believer. Of course, *I* am one as well so we really enjoyed our time with big man. The Greene is a fun place during the holiday season....carriage rides, strolling carollers, a live Nativity, a beautiful tree and Santa himself. We did a little shopping at our favorite book store, Books and Co., had a peppermint cappuccino and some hot chocolate, sugar cookies and a talk with the man in the red suit. We did get the photos they took (which were wonderful by the way) but they also encouraged me to snap my own. I told Santa he would be up on ye olde blog today and he said to tell all of you "Howdy!" It is warmer today, sunny and mild. Grace had her school party at school today...nothing is more fun than 24 3rd graders hopped up on sugar cookies, excitement and candy canes unless it is 20 Kindergartners! Now THEY were a fun group! Whoa... I am making my way around the blog world, visiting each of you when I can. I really enjoyed seeing so many brightly decorated homes during Boomama's Holiday House Tour. I hope you were all able to visit a few! Do take care of yourselves and enjoy this season...blessing to all of you.
Love and Hugs, Susie Q

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Come On In! You Are SO Welcome Here!

Hey there! You made it and I am so glad you did. I know you have a lot of people to visit today so come on in and get warm. It has been so cold the past few days and we have had so much snow and ice. You can leave your boots right there... ...let me take your coat! Henry and Kipper let me know you were coming! They are awfully good at being busybodies. So, here we are in our tiny foyer. Uh huh. I KNOW our house is small but we like it that way. There is just enough room for the 4 of us (7 counting our furbabies) but it seems the house grows to welcome all the family and friends who stop by. The magic of love just does that to a house don't you think? Our theme this year was chosen by my daughter Grace. She asked for "Candy canes, snowmen, Santas and lots of red and white." So, you will pardon us if the place looks like a candy cane factory exploded. Over done, yes. Over the top, yes. But it IS Christmas and is there really ever TOO much? Nope, didn't think so! Don't mind the teddies...they are all decked out in their festive wear and preparing for the big day. We will go up these stairs to the landing and into the master bedroom where you will find a tree just for Bill and me... I love the golds and coppers and browns and think it displays this nativity well. My late mother in law made this as a gift for me 29 years ago. It just feels right to have this tree here in our bedroom where we can enjoy it...just the two of us. I guess we should head back downstairs now...Grace did not wish to have her room shown today as she is still busy wrapping and creating and sewing and ...well...if you COULD see it you would find lots of pink and purple decorations! She has a little pink tree filled with all manner of handmade ornaments. Her nutcracker collection is on display and there is a pink , white and purple paper garland over her bed. In my son Dan's room, his Nutcracker's are displayed...the ones he collected for several years and from a few different countries. I doubt he would mind his room being shown but I think he might well still be asleep...he did work late last night and I don't know how Christmasy it would be to see my son in his boxers...even if they ARE his "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" boxers. Ahem...This is the door to my little study...little being the operative word. I actually made this wreath all by myself. Hard to believe I know. Try not to bump it. It could fall apart at any moment! This is a sweet little decoupaged bowl that Grace made last year. It holds some of the pretty glass ornaments that my sister in law, Lisa, gave me a few years ago. I just love this little Christmas fairy...Grace says her name is Kelly. Yeah, Grace she told. Me, nope. Fairies! I know...I *AM* a big kid at heart. Teddies and rabbits, penguins, dolls and mice...all are welcome here at Rabbit Run! Spiders and snakes? Not so much. This is a little tree here in my study. It is filled with tiny bears and rabbits and it is always a hit with the children who pop by. It has also been a huge hit with Henry who seems to find it absolutely irresistible. Just ask the tree. Poor tree. These are just two of the little animals who make this tree their home every December. Pillows..the more the merrier right? Yup, MORE teddies and under this glass cloche? My beloved "Christmas Story" figures which were a gift from my brother a few years back. Let's go into the dining room now shall we? Prepare yourself...the snow people have invaded and, well, I just hope you don't find it too unsettling. They DO like to stare...and stare. But I did catch one of them blinking the other day. Well, I DID. There is some of my precious blue and white in evidence... Here... ...and here. My late mother in law created 4 of these stockings and they are really treasures for each of us. Our names and the date are sewn onto each one. I know they mean a lot to my son and daughter. To Bill and to me as well. The table is all set for our Christmas Eve dinner. The moose and rabbits are getting ready to celebrate. Let's go down the hallway...oh! Here is our powder room. Tiny bath? Tiny tree.A friend recently gave me this ornament of the Empire State Building. A Target find! Have I ever told you how much I *LOVE* Target? Oh...I have have I? Okay then... My, this bath is even tinier with both of us in it...what do you say we move on into the living room? Oompf... Our cat Henry loves to make this little bell ring...I guess he heard that, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets their wings." Henry is working hard on being an *angel* but that naughty, curious streak does him in every time. I change the mantel every year... I believe. Do YOU believe? These two, our Lucy and Henry, they believe! Our big tree holds ornaments that we have collected over the last 32 years. Bill and I bought our first one the year we were engaged. This is one we were given the year we married. And NO. I do NOT Think this classifies as an antique quite yet thank you very much. Hmpf. I have lots of Lucy's on my tree. Some alone... ...and some with Ricky too. It IS "A Wonderful Life" isn't it? My tiny gnomes were gifts from a dear friend. This is one of the first ornaments Daniel made for us. Our countdown hangs on the pantry door. My little kitchen tree. It sits in an old milk can which was painted, folk art style, with a snowman. It has an assortment of things on it...antique cookie cutters, tiny tea pots, small kitchen implements and... ...a few of my smaller pieces of Blue Willow. My Jim Shore dog was a gift from my husband Bill. I love Jim Shore's work. This little tree sits on our kitchen bar. It is filled with tiny mice and bears. Even some of the tiniest ornaments have been with us for years! Each year my mother gives us a gorgeous wreath from a local tree farm. This one smells just heavenly. I found these valances at K Mart and could not resist using them for the holidays! I love mixing patterns and these two just seemed fun together. Can I offer you a mug of hot chocolate? Would you like Marshmallows with it? I thought so! Grace and I baked sugar cookies last night. Can I get you one or two. 4? Sure! Would you like the recipe? It is SO simple...even *I* can make them! Now THAT is simple!


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
Oh, see the Santa head? That was one of the first things that my mother bought when she and my dad were married. She thought it suited my kitchen and gave it to me this year. He just makes me smile! These little snow men shakers were gifts from a precious friend. The book was mine as a child! Now, even a small laundry room needs a little holiday cheer don't you think? No one in this house can resist making this snow guy play that piano when they come in...and he just loves to sing. And play. And sing. And play. And sing. Darn those Everyready Batteries... Well, I think we have reached the end of our tour! Yes, my home is small and will never be featured in a magazine. It is not elegant or stunning or awe inspiring. Yet, it is ours and it is warm and cozy and just plain suits is to that good old proverbial *T*. It is here we feel safe and welcome and happy. I hope that you felt warm and welcome while you were here. Be careful now...mind the snow! Have fun today and enjoy each of the homes! Hey! I think I will get my coat and join you mind? No? Great! Let's sing some Christmas carols as we go...huh? Ah gee. My singing isn't that bad is it? Come on...gee whiz. Okay, YOU sing and I'll that patch of ice. I AM humming...sheesh...