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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Sweet Treat

Our dear Cielo ,who lives in that sweet house among the roses, is hosting a dessert carnival today! I was not able to get mine sent to her in time so will post it here. I hope you enjoy it but please! Run, do not tarry, over to see Cielo! Her blog is a feast for the eyes every day but today, well, today it is also a feast for your taste buds!
~Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake~

2-½ lbs cream cheese 1 cup sugar 6 tbsp ap flour 2 tsp lemon zest 1 tsp vanilla extract ½ cup lemon juice 1 cup blueberries 4 each eggs 3 each egg yolks

  • Cream the cheese and sugar on low speed of stand mixer (speed 2 on kitchen-aid) until very pliable. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula.
  • Add flour in two parts, mixing well after each addition.
  • Add egg and yolks one at a time mixing well after each one. When 4 eggs have been added, stop the mixer and scrape down the side and bottom with spatula. Turn back on to low speed incorporating the rest of the eggs. Blend until last egg has just been incorporated and stop. Add the vanilla, zest, lemon juice and ½ of the blueberries and blend for just 2 minutes. Pour into prepared crust. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries on top of the pie.
  • Bake in oven with water bath at 425 F for 20 minutes. Then turn temp down to 350 F and continue to bake for 50-60 minutes longer until set. (Little to no jiggle in center of pie)


2 cups graham crumbs 4 oz butter melted pinch salt 1 oz ladle of sugar 10-inch spring-form pan

  • Mix together, press into spring-form pan and bake at 400 F for about 15 min until just starting to get color. Remove and cool before adding pie mixture.

This recipe comes from The Inn at Cedar Falls in Logan, Ohio. A lovely spot surrounded by the natural beauty of the Hocking Hills. Bill and I adore Bed and Breakfast Inns and this one is a delight. Their restaurant is renowned for their top notch cuisine set in an authentic antique log cabin. It is a wonderful experience!

Thank you Cielo for hosting such a sweet event!

Love and Hugs,

Susie Q

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Books, Books And More Books

I found this today and thought it interesting! Here is a list of 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. I suppose they could have been purchased by consumers to sit on the shelf in hopes that those titles would make said consumers look ever so intelligent or oh so sophisticated! Especially if they came with those pretty leather bound covers and all....hmmm....oooh. Or, better yet, antique ones that are sweetly musty smelling with delightfully frayed corners. I love those!

But, just for fun, let's see. I will highlight those I HAVE read in RED and any I own, but have NEVER actually read, in PINK. Those that I started but never finished will be highlighted in PURPLE!

Please play along if you wish!

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell~ Anna Karenina~ Crime and Punishment~ Catch-22~ One Hundred Years of Solitude~ Wuthering Heights~ The Silmarillion~ Life of Pi : a novel~ The Name of the Rose~ Don Quixote~ Moby Dick~ Ulysses~ Madame Bovary~ The Odyssey~ Pride and Prejudice~ Jane Eyre~ A Tale of Two Cities~ The Brothers Karamazov~ Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies~ War and Peace~ Vanity Fair~ The Time Traveler’s Wife~ The Iliad~ Emma~ The Blind Assassin~ The Kite Runner~ Mrs. Dalloway~ Great Expectations~ American Gods~ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius~ Atlas Shrugged~ Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books~ Memoirs of a Geisha~ Middlesex~ Quicksilver~ Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West~ The Canterbury Tales~ The Historian : a novel~
  • Brave New World~ A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man~ Love in the Time of Cholera~ The Fountainhead~ Foucault’s Pendulum~ Middlemarch~ Frankenstein~ The Count of Monte Cristo~ Dracula~ A Clockwork Orange~ Anansi Boys~
  • The Grapes of Wrath~ The Once and Future King~ The Poisonwood Bible : a novel~ 1984~ Angels & Demons~ The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)~ The Satanic Verses~ Sense and Sensibility~ The Picture of Dorian Gray~ Mansfield Park~
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest~ To the Lighthouse~ Tess of the D’Urbervilles~ Oliver Twist~
  • Gulliver's Travels~ Les Misérables The Corrections~ The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay~ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time~ Dune~ The Prince~ The Sound and the Fury~ Angela’s Ashes : a memoir~ The God of Small Things~ A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present~ Cryptonomicon~ Neverwhere~ A Confederacy of Dunces~ A Short History of Nearly Everything~ Dubliners~ The Unbearable Lightness of Being~ Beloved~ Slaughterhouse-five~
  • The Scarlet Letter~ Eats, Shoots & Leaves~ The Mists of Avalon~ Oryx and Crake : a novel~ Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed~ Cloud Atlas~ The Confusion~ Lolita~ Persuasion~ Northanger Abbey~ The Catcher in the Rye~ On the Road~ The Hunchback of Notre Dame~ Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values~ The Aeneid~ Watership Down~ Gravity’s Rainbow~ The Hobbit~ In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences~ White Teeth~ Treasure Island~ David Copperfield~ The Three Musketeers~
Here is where I should note that "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an inquiry into values" makes a wonderful book title when you are playing Charades! Now, I must say that some of those HAVE READ titles were during High School and College but I suppose that still counts right? I guess I need to work on those pink and purple titles and check into those that remain in the black. I read a lot but not as often as I once did I am sad to say. My favorite novel remains "To Kill A Mockingbird" and I re-read it every year. Harper Lee created some of the strongest characters ever written. In my humble opinion, it is literary perfection! Another favorite book is the poignant and powerful "Anne Frank : The Diary of a Young Girl" which I read every year as well. Being able to visit her hideaway in Amsterdam was one of the highlights of my life. I adore anything written by Jane Austin, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway. I love E.M. Forster, Edith Wharton, C.S Lewis, Alex Haley, Charles Dickens, John Irving. And how I love to read the work of Pearl Buck, J.K. Rowling, John Berndt, Frank McCourt and Arthur Miller. I have read everything by Bill Bryson, Nora Ephron, Shel Silverstein, Roald Dahl, A,A Milne, Eugene O'Neill, William Faulkner and James Herriot. ....and isn't Janet Evanovich fun? I often find myself happily engrossed in delicious biographies, the life stories of politicians, actors and even the authors themselves. And oh those fantastic books on history! I have my favorite children's I adore so many stories and aren't the beautiful illustrations in many children's picture books delightful? I cherish many books from childhood...Anne of Green Gables, The Little Princess, The Secret Garden. Oh yes, there is also my love for decorating and travel books. At last count, we owned 232 decorating books and YES! I do actually read each one and am often dragging out one or two for inspiration or just the pure joy of reading it again. Right now I am enjoying Mary Emmerling's new "Beach Cottages: At Home By The Sea". I have long been a fan of her books. I also adore Mary Englebreit's decorating books, her children's books and her cookbooks! She has a book to fit into each of my favorite genres! I may not be the best cook in the world but oh how I love my collection of cookbooks! Just try to take away my Paula Deens! Thankfully, I am married to a die hard bookworm. He usually has two to three books going at once. He is reading through "Finnegan's Wake" now. And although I think James Joyce is brilliant, that is one novel I have yet, or probably will ever try, to tackle!
What are some of *your* favorite books?
Reading can be a pleasure like no other! Can you remember discovering a fantastic new author or one that was new to you? How sweet it is to cozy up with a good book and a cup of tea on a weekend or a rainy day. Try it...become life-long friends with a great character or simply lose yourself in the worlds created by books.
There is nothing like the printed word...
Love and Hugs, Susie Q

New Life

We have visitors at Rabbit Run Cottage! Ms. Bunny (So named by Miss Grace) Robin has made the sweetest nest in my front door basket. There, nestled among the silk forsythia and greenery is her new home and 5 perfect little eggs. Of course this means that I am worrying about them and obsessing over whether or not we will have 5 tiny baby robins soon. Some of you may remember that a dove (whom we named Madeline) hatched 4 little ones in this same basket 2 years ago. Sadly, a neighbor's cat paid a visit one night and we lost all but one. My fingers are crossed that these 5 escape a similar fate!

A Birthday Greeting

I am a little late (Yes, I know, it is a problem for this poor menopausal, oh so addled brain of mine) but please join me in wishing Teresa a very happy birthday! She is a peach of a gal...funny, dear, beautiful of face, figure, heart and spirit. A gorgeous family, a knock out home...yes. I *could* just grumble and try to loathe her but, alas, she is far too wonderful to elicit that awful emotion! *smile* Dear Teresa? I hope your day was as lovely as could be and that this will be a year filled with laughter, love and thousands of sweet moments.
Love and Hugs, Susie Q

Monday, April 28, 2008

My New Slogan...

Your Slogan Should Be
Sue. Live the Pleasure.
Perhaps someone should tell Brian Dennehy about it. PLEASE. do not ask if I looked to see what Brian's slogan would be. Hey! I said don't ask! Okay, it's like this. We cracked up reading it and suffice to say Bill said Mr. D. would be quite honored with such a slogan but I dare not print it. I would surely lose my *family friendly* rating if you get my drift. Ahem. But it did give us both a laugh! Well, I snorted just a little too but I did so with great elegance.

Spring Is In The Air...

...and in my eyes, and nose, and head and throat! Oh how I love the beauty of this season but the allergies that accompany it are awful! Uh...uh...excuse me...AH...CHOO!! Whew. Excuse me! One reason I have been so AWOL recently has been because of all this honking and snorting and wheezing and weeping. Yes, I have asthma which does NOT like any of this at all. Also, my eyes have taken such a beating from the pollen that I look quite a fright. Hm? Oh yes, even MORE a fright that usual! So I stayed in most of Saturday, cleaning and puttering around the house. Bill, who has had his share of allergy issues and swollen eyes too, cleaned out the garage and re-dressed the deck. That evening we had lasagna and salad and oh how good it tasted after working all day. Mom and my buddy *T* stopped by to see us so we asked them to stay. After dinner we all cozied up and watched "Becoming Jane". The film is charming and simply glows, basking in the sunshine of the Irish countryside. It was filmed in Ireland, which acted as a stand in for Austin's true home place, Hampshire, England. Some scholars have debated the truthfulness of this particular story but I remain happily ignorant if these facts. I just reveled in the period costumes and delicious soundtrack. And yes. I would recommend it greatly. Now, what does someone saddled with allergy problems do on a pretty Sunday? Ah...choo, I mean, ahhhh...head out to a park! Yes, I paid for it last night but we did so enjoy the warm afternoon among the flowers and trees. Bill, Grace, Dan, Mom and I all went out to Wegerzyn Gardens, one of Dayton, Ohio's Five Rivers Metroparks. Such a peaceful place and I was able to get in my daily walk while there! The trail you follow is a little over a mile long and winds through shade and sunlight, trees and arbors. Then it was on to my brother and sister in law's home for a visit. Casey, their new puppy, is growing so fast! She is truly such a sweet tempered girl and has been so good with my nephew Boo. We had a delicious dinner of chicken and rice and then it was home to water some new plants and walk our Kipper. We finished the day munching popcorn while watching "Bertie and Elizabeth" on PBS. As some of you know, I have always been a bit obsessed (Okay, so, in truth, it is a HUGE obsession but even so...okay. So I am quite crazy really about it all!) with England and learning about the Royal Family. I enjoyed this film immensely. I hope your weekend was a sweet one and that you had much to smile about. May this week ahead treat you well!
Love and Hugs, Susie Q

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Classic Episode of "Wings"!

Blackout Biggins!

Frasier Opens A Restaurant

One Of The Best Episodes Of Any Situation Comedy Ever...Enjoy!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Cat's Guide To Good Health

Eat Your Veggies Everyday!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just this.... I haven't a lot of time today but did want to let you know about my big news! Yes, it is true. I am a bazillionaire. True, so true. Why, soon, oh so soon, I will have currency flowing into my bank account in many different variations. The riches will be in the form of Deutsche Mark, Dinar, Dirham, Drachma, Dollar, Euro, Franc, Guilder, Koruna, Kip, Rupee, Shekel, Som, Tala, Yen, Won, Krona, Lira, Peso, Pound and Punt. I must be the luckiest person on this Earth! Almost daily I receive email from all over the world. It seems that my web account and/or my name itself, has been chosen dozens of times, nay, hundreds of times, to be the recipient of vast fortunes. Some will be the loot I won in sweepstakes and lotteries from as far away as Vietnam! Yes! And I have no recollection of entering! Isn't that amazing? Some monies will come from old, long forgotten bank accounts, some will arrive ahead of their owners as they make their way into the US. I will then be awarded half the monies for my assistance. Even more will be awarded to me as I am the only living relative of long dead people who I never knew or heard about. Hmmm...I wonder about that one since I do have a living Mom and a brother and wouldn't THEY too be relatives of those...oh well. Let them be awarded their OWN riches. Hmpf. This money is mine, all mine! Oh yes, I am wallowing in money. Dough. Moolah. Bread. Boodle. Smackers. Coppers. Bucks. Greenbacks. Maggies. Clams, Scratch and Jack. And all I have to do is send these wonderfully generous folks my bank account numbers, my telephone numbers, address, full name, credit card numbers, second cousin's (twice removed, sordid tale that I shan't speak about) middle name and the combination of my high school gym locker. That one was the toughie. Bad memory and all. And these people are trustworthy. After all, they use really BIG words and called me *Madam*, said please and thank you and had *Esquire* at the end of their names! Whoa! Now that is impressive! Heck, I don't have anything at the end of my name except a period or question mark. The first thing I plan to do with my financial coup is produce a Broadway that features plenty of love scenes, foreign lands, romance, pirates, cowboys, arty sets, lyrical music, acrobats and Brian Dennehy. I will produce, direct, write the book and star. It is only fair right? I mean, after all, this is MY money isn't it? I will let you know when this will all take place. I am sure free tickets for you and a friend can be arranged to opening night. Champagne and chocolate truffles will be served but hands off Dennehy. Got it? Now, go out and enjoy your day. I need to check my email. I may have another financial windfall coming my way!
Love and Hugs, Susie Q

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weekend Finery

There was not a lot of sun light peeking through the clouds this weekend but oh how warm & sunny the days felt anyway! We had a full weekend of sweet moments with family and friends. Our dear friends, B & J, were here from Tennessee so we had a small get together with a group of our buddies. On Saturday evening, our wonderful neighbor, W, had a delicious dinner for us and 12 other neighbors. It was just one of those nights that you eat well, laugh often and enjoy the company of some very special people. Sunday found us in church, visiting with family and enjoying nature. We took a drive through some favorite areas of town and then stopped by the Cox Arboretum for a walk. A little drizzle didn't hurt! Heck, I didn't even melt. I am not made from sugar you know, oh no, far from that! Then we ventured downtown to The Neon Movies and saw "Miss Pettigrew Lives For The Day" and so enjoyed it! All in all, a nice two days! I hope your weekend was a sweet one and that you found plenty to smile about. I will be able to return to visiting all of you today and tomorrow. I have missed doing that regularly!
Love to you all! Susie Q

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sweet Weekend Wishes

Hello dear friends. Happy Friday! The sun is shining and it is so warm outside. To paraphrase our dear Manuela's recent comment, "Spring may well be over here already!" Here too I am afraid! It is almost hot outside in the sun! I have begun the rather arduous task of de-Wintering the backyard garden and my poor joints and back feel every hour of it. you feel sorry for me yet? No? Aw gee...okay. I am not the most deliriously happy gardener by nature but I like it to look lovely and to be able to be IN it so, work on it is necessary! Spring has been here such a short time but those pesky weeds and grasses- that grow where we do not wish them to- have been hard at work making MY life miserable! Feel sorry for me yet? Still no? I do so wish to get planting soon. Some day lilies, more phlox, black eyed Susie Qs and some cone flowers. I am so sorry that I have been a terrible blogging friend and blog *poster* this week. My nephew has needed me, there were oh so many things to be done here and we had out of town company! In short, life got busy! One precious moment...I received a most wonderful package from our lovely Mary at Dear Little Red House. Oh Mary! I just love it all so much. I will post photos soon. Mary is one of the best blog writers and photographers and please! If you have yet to stop by the Little Red House, do so soon! It is a pleasure! I will be visiting you all this weekend and into next week. I keep you in my thoughts, prayers and heart always. Enjoy your weekend and may it be a sweet one for you all.
Love and Hugs, Susie Q

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sweet Spring

in Just—
spring when the world is mud—
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles far and wee
~e.e. cummings

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Girls Gone Wild...

...on Spring Break! Uh huh. Wild. Crazy. Unfettered. Silly even. Singing show tunes and spending all that birthday loot my girl had saved. First stop, Grace's choice for lunch, The Cheesecake Factory. There's our smiling girl! Could this be why she was so happy? And this was the smaller lunch portion! This kid loves pasta, the spicier the better! Then it was off to Sephora for a little makeover. Now, before anyone pops in to tell me that she is too young to wear cosmetics, let me say this. No wearing anything to school is Mom and Dad's rule. And the beauty experts at Sephora chose only a slightly pink tinged moisturizer (SPF 30!) and some pretty pink lip gloss. We also picked up some pale pink eye shadow that they showed her how to use as a very light blusher. These are only to be used for special occasions like the weddings we are attending this Summer. But oh how she loved it and I think she truly felt pretty. It has been a difficult road for her, self image wise. If doing something like this helps our girl feel good about herself, than it is a very small price to pay. That is "Justice" just over her right shoulder, with the blue awnings. This kid loves that store more than I can say. They all know her in there and she is nothing short than a walking, talking advertisement for them. She saves her money from holidays and birthdays and chores and then is allowed to use some for clothes. Oh but she loves clothes. Today's shopping adventure included picking up this year's bathing suit. Summer will be here before we know it! Now, the BIG event. Grace got her hair cut! We went to see our wonderful hair dresser, Julie, at Utopia Salon and snip, snip, snip. 10 inches were gone just like that! Grace has been growing out her hair for almost 2 years so she could donate it to a very worthy cause. Here is the proof! Off to "Locks of Love" go Grace's pretty tresses and they go with our prayers and love for the recipient. The new look...our beautiful girl. Can you imagine how proud we are of her?

When We Were Not Playing...

...we were inside watching shows like this. Ah, memories of the 1960s.

I SO Had One...

Santa brought this little beauty and my Barbies were living the good life. Those spoiled girls never thanked me for all that decorating I did for them. Ungrateful wenches.

I Am You? Or Was She Me?

I never quite became *her* but then that may well be a good thing! Ken was never my type. I do have an original Barbie though and a few others thrown in for good measure. How about you?

Did You Want One? Did You Have One?

Rubber Bugs?

I can still smell that magical *Goop* heating up.

And yes, I burned my fingers more than once! Such toys would never pass the safety tests now but life was cheaper back then! Or so it would seem!

Where Did The 1960's Toys All go?

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Birthday Tea

I am running behind as always and do have another celebration for which to send a little Rabbit Run cheer. Our Brenda, over at Country Romance, had a birthday. Now, I am pretty sure it is her 25th because she doesn't look a day older than that. Warm wishes were sent your way Brenda, wrapped in many tight hugs. May this be a year of sweet moments, tea parties and days filled with sunshine. Happy Birthday!!