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

Saturday, November 29, 2008


This is how we spent our evening with 3 great friends and my Mom. Can you wait a sec. Oh Brian sweetie? Hands over your ears now my love...can you say Hugh Jackman is a hottie? Uh huh.I knew you could. Whew. This is the sort of sweeping epic that Hollywood used to make. If I had listened to the critics (And I NEVER do by the way!) we would not have gone at all. What we would have missed! I have not cried that much at the movies in awhile! Cried, laughed and came straight up off my seat! Now THAT is a movie! And this precious young man, Brandon Walters, he grabbed my heart at the film's start and never let go. And Hugh? Oh but the man looks good on a horse. And in a tux. And without the horse and the tux. Did I just say that? Um, I guess I did. Forgive me. "Australia" was a huge hit with the 4 ladies and 2 gentlemen in our group (although the men refused to answer the "Isn't Jackman hot?" question) just might be a hit with you as well. Okay now Brian! You can listen in now...and if any of these ladies tries to tell you that I said Hugh Jackman was hot, that are fibbing. Hmpf.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Greenhurst Nursery With Conniekins

Our sweet blog friend, Connie, has been sharing some of the most wonderful pictures of late! Just this month she toured the magical Greenhurst Nursery in her own hometown. Wow. You need to stop by, tell Connie hello, and take a look at all of the seasonal delights this place holds! It will put you right into the holiday mood!
This is just one of the many images to be found...just look at this kitchen area! I could get lost in this spot for hours!
Do drop by and see Connie...tell her I said hello!
Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

An Open Letter From Santa

Dear Susie Q,
Oh my dear girl. Once again I am writing to you about your Christmas wish list. Tsk tsk Susie. We go though this every year now don't we? You always request the same gift and each year I have to take the time from my all too busy schedule to explain why that gift is NOT possible! My dearest girl...even IF I COULD bring Brian Dennehy to you on Christmas Eve, he would never fit into your stocking. Even YOUR stockings my precious rotund lady. Now, don't be offended...I myself am a tubby. I understand tubby but he ain't fittin' in even YOUR plus sized leg wear.
Come to think about it, Brian is a BIG man! Getting him down that chimney of yours would be impossible so that is another problem. My bad back just would not be able to do it...years of being out in the cold, flying all over the world...oooh how it aches. But let's get back to the issue at hand.
Let's be honest little Missy. Brian is a married man with children and grandchildren! And may I remind YOU that YOU are a married woman with children? A middle aged woman with children I might add. Sheesh! Don't you think the poor man would like to spend the holidays with THEM and NOT with you ogling him? And just how were you planning to explain to Billy boy how Brian just happened to be left under your tree? Hmmm?
I will admit that
although Mrs. Claus finds Mr. D. quite a dish, she much prefers Justin Timberlake. Mrs. C. digs those younger, pretty SHE ain't gettin' Justin in HER stocking anymore than YOU are gettin' Mr. D. in yours!
Let's face it, it's also a fact that you have been more than a little naughty this year so a big lump of coal might just be a more appropriate gift than a big hunk of man.
So, have a happy holiday season Susie Q. Suck up this annual Yuletide disappointment and be of good cheer. If I see Brian I will be sure to warn him about him your love.
Your old pal,
Santa Claus

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Gratitude is usually defined as a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation. “Thank you” probably ranks right up there with the first sentences you taught your children to say right? Why? Not only because it is the polite thing to do, but because we all need to feel appreciated. Thankful people are just more pleasant to be around. Right? Sure! And heck, if that alone is not enough reason to be more thankful, and to teach our children to be more thankful, scientists have linked gratitude to mental and physical well-being. Uh huh. It's true! These studies show that truly grateful people report higher levels of life satisfaction, vitality, and optimism while also feeling less depressed and stressed during those inevitable rough patches. The best thing you can do to help your children develop a thankful heart is to be a good role model. Feel grateful and you will radiate gratitude! It will positively ooze from every pore!
Remember to say thank you to your children when they clean up their rooms, even if the job they do is not exactly up to your specifications or even those of the local board of health. Say thanks to the rookie waitress who, although trying her very best, still forgets your baked potato & brings you a regular Coke instead of a Diet Coke. 3 separate times. Say thank you to your wife for always being there for you, yes, even when you leave your boxers on the bathroom floor and toothpaste in the sink.
As you lay your head on the pillow each night, think about the good things, the often little, overlooked things that made you smile, laugh, and feel good. Those things are there, I promise you that. Even in the midst of frustration, emotional pain and sorrow, they are there.
A beautiful sunset, a cooling breeze on a sticky Summer night. Perfectly brewed iced tea, a good, really engrossing book, a song that gets your foot tapping in spite of yourself. Oh but life can be so sweet when we take the time to be thankful for those small things that all alone, never seem to amount to much. But put them all together and oh what magic they can perform in our lives.
At Thanksgiving, and every day, I am filled with gratitude for those things that lift my spirits, sustain me and lighten my husband, my children, my brother, sister in law and nephew. My Mom and the memories of my father and my mother & father in law. Our friends who truly are family to us. The family's pets...Kipper, Lucy, Henry, Abby and Casey.
And our little home, Rabbit Run Cottage, and the dear neighbors who surround us. These are my most precious blessings...well those and my collection of Brian Dennehy movies but that goes without saying right?
I am also so very thankful to have each and every one of you, my dear blogging friends, in my life. You bring me joy, laughter, inspiration, support and love. Each of you owns a piece of my and forever. Happy Thanksgiving...may God bless you and all those you love.
Love and hugs,
Susie Q


Oh the humanity...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pittsburgh: Day One

And you thought I had completely forgotten about Day One. Hmpf. I am just way behind as usual. Isn't there a saying that goes, The busier I am, the behind-er I get? Well, maybe not but there SHOULD be for me!
With all there is to do, add the must dos and want to dos during the holiday season and POOF! Online time flies right out of the window! I know you all understand as it happens to is all right?
To play a bit of catch up...we were in Pittsburgh during the weekend before last. Had a wonderful time! Now, phooey on those folks who have said to me, "Pittsburgh??? Why??" Heck, why not? It is a lovely city with so much to do. In fact, we are planning to meet our friends there next Summer! Only 4 1/2 hours from our doorstep to hotel lobby, a lot to do, especially for the girls and really friendly people. We met with the family who adopted Grace's orphanage bunk mate. Both girls were 6 1/2 and had been in the the facility for 3 1/2 years. We quickly became friends with the other Mom and Dad (They live in upstate NY) and really enjoy their company. They also have another daughter whom they adopted in China as an infant. She is a year older than Grace. All 3 get along so well and have a lot of fun together. We always have side by side rooms and rarely have the connecting door shut. The girls have one big *sleep over* and spend the nights giggling and pillow fighting. We really liked the hotel and found it to be very user friendly for the parents and the girls alike. Great indoor pool, delicious complimentary breakfasts and a lovely on site restaurant. Each year we meet in November, somewhere fun, for a long weekend. This year's choice, Pittsburgh, had so many things that looked like fun things for the girls AND the parents alike and it was about the same distance for each family to drive. We had a great time and look forward to returning!
The view of the hotel restaurant from our room.
Near the lobby... Yes, the fish WERE that big! And spoiled. This one was practically out of the water beggig for food!
We met a new friend, Maggie, at the hotel. Shh! Don't tell Kipper that dogs WERE allowed!
The girls watching the hotel's fish...
At the National Aviary....these fish nibbled our fingers after we fed them. The girls LOVED this.
Grace's favorite of course! Is there really any other color?
Just how tall are we this year?
Isn't he beautiful?
As is he!
And you too Javier!
Aren't they gorgeous creatures?
As was this Sea Eagle.
Just outside the Aviary...
Downtown, outside Heinz Stadium, the Home of the Pittsburgh Steelers
The Incline
The Carnegie Science Center. We spent 7 hours there and had a wonderful time! Such a great place for families to spend a day, especially when it is gray, cold and rainy outside.
3 sweet girls...Pretty in Pittsburgh! I am back on schedule! Okay, so I am still behind but I am trying! I swear, I am trying!
Last night was Grace's first experience playing in a concert. the 4Th and 5Th grade strings, from all the local elementary schools, played as a collective group. yes, I DO have some if you thought I wouldn't!
I hope all is well with each one of you. Thanksgiving is fast approaching...where did the Autumn go? Blew away on an icy wind...more soon.
Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day Two: Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh: Day Two...
Now, who better than old backwards Susie Q to post her trip beginning with Day Two? Yup, I am starting with the second day so there. Why not? Rules were made to be broken right? I'm a rebel...a real black leather jacket and boots wearing baddie..okay, so I'm more likely to wear baby blue polyester and support shoes but a gal can dream can't she?
I do want to mention here that on Day One, during our hotel arrival check in, we were greeted with a huge bag of goodies! It seems one Miss Meg, blog friend extraordinaire, had popped in and left it as a surprise for us. Isn't that the sweetest thing? Ooh did we all snack well during our 2 day Pittsburgh extravaganza! Thank you Meg!
And did Meg stop at treats for the humans? Oh no...she also included snacks for our 4 legged family members! Kipper, Lucy and Henry all send their love and thank yous!
The weather was a little on the nasty side last weekend but hey. I am one who actually LIKES gray, snowy days. Just another of my odd quirks and I have a million of 'em. But I digress...
Our friends had to leave earlier than they planned as it was to snow a bit more in their area of New York than here in Ohio. We had such a sweet time with them...and Grace always loves being with the girls. We adore both the girls AND their parents! We said our goodbyes and promises to meet again next year...maybe MORE than once! Then our little family trio (Where was Dan? Back home studying for finals and pet sitting!) headed back downtown to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. What a beautiful spot. Although the afternoon was bitterly cold and dark, inside this lovely spot it was warm and cheery. They were busily preparing for the Christmas holidays and although we did not get to see everything decked out, we did see some festively done areas! Beautiful right? But the two prettiest flowers in the place were not found planted in the dirt. Oh no...take a look at these two! We met our wonderful bloggy friend, Meg! She came out in the cold just to see us! Can you imagine? I doubt we were worth the trip but oh how WE loved meeting her! She is every bit as sweet and charming as you thought she was! Such a lovely lady in every way. I probably rambled incoherently most of the time we spent together...okay, so that is pretty normal for me...but Meg graciously remained charming even in the face of my inanity! She looked positively spiffy and so stylish! Grace, the Fashion Diva, pointed this fact out to me as you can imagine. Uh huh, she certainly was stylish and beautiful. I LOVED her outfit right down to her pretty shoes! I know I looked like the schlump I am next to her but hey. Meeting her was such a pleasure I didn't have time to think about that! Thank you sweet Meg, thank you for coming out in the cold to join us for an all too brief visit! Tomorrow...Pittsburgh: Day One! You know, if I keep posting like this, I can virtually stop my aging in it's tracks right? I will just keep going backwards and wow. I will get younger with each blog addition! Huh? Wha'....? It doesn't WORK like that? Dang. Well you can't blame me for tryin'. Till tomorrow...remember to put one foot behind the other and face backwards. Or something like that...
Love and Hugs,
Susie Q


Elegance...oh to be elegant. Sophisticated, smooth, graceful. Oh to be graceful. I can only imagine what it must be like to drift across the ice, seemingly without effort, gently. Oh so gently as if on air. Yes...tall and willowy, the skater delicately glides across the rink. All eyes are on this lissome creature who, with style and ease, becomes one with the ice.
Uh huh, that would be pretty spiffy. Then the music stops, the lights come up and reality sets in. I doubt that anyone ever described me as tall and willowy. Stocky and clumsy maybe. Delicately gliding across ice? More like awkwardly skidding and then tumbling on to my ample fanny where I sit, freezing my, well, freezing my well padded dignity off.
Still, there in the dark for a couple of hours, it isn't difficult to imagine...

...Not seldom from the uproar I retired Into a silent bay, or sportively

Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng, To cut across the shadow of a star

That gleamed upon the ice. And often times When we had given our bodies to the wind, And all the shadowy banks on either sideCame sweeping through the darkness, spinning still

The rapid line of motion, then at once Have I, reclining back upon my heels, Stopped short --- yet still the solitary cliffs

Wheeled by me, even as if the earth had rolled

With visible motion her diurnal round.

Behind me did they stretch in solemn train,

Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watched

Till all was tranquil as a dreamless sleep.

~William Woodsworth