Most of the photos here at Rabbit Run Cottage
can be enlarged just by clicking on each one!
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Simply Sweet

There is so much beauty to be found in the simple things...

Fresh strawberries in a beloved Grandmother's tea cup...

Reading a favorite magazine...

The stillness of a Winter morning...

and being greeted by new blooms on a bitter cold day!

There is joy all around us...and isn't that simply sweet!

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh So Good Soup!

Oh so good and satisfying on a cold Winter day...mmmm...

2 medium russet potatoes (about 1/2 lb. each)

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2-1/2 cups sliced leeks (about 2 medium leeks; white and light green parts), rinsed well

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar (about 1/4 lb.)

2 Tbs. thinly sliced scallion greens or chives

Heat the oven to 375ºF. Scrub the potatoes in water, pat dry, and pierce in several places with a fork. Set them directly on an oven rack and bake until very tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the leeks are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the bacon in a skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon bits with a slotted spoon to a saucer lined with paper towels to drain and cool.

When the potatoes are cool, cut one of them in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop the flesh in one piece from each half. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside. Coarsely chop the potato skin and the entire remaining potato and add to the pot with the leeks. Purée the contents of the pot in a blender until very smooth (you'll need to work in two batches). Return the puréed soup to a clean soup pot and reheat over medium low. Whisk together the milk and sour cream until smooth and then whisk this into the soup, along with 1/2 cup of the Cheddar. Stir in the diced potato. The soup should be fairly thick, but if it seems too thick, thin it with a little water. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the remaining Cheddar, the bacon bits, and the scallions or chives.
From: Fine

Hope all of you are staying warm!

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Work Of Art

I have ordered a few sweet pieces from Donna
in the past and loved them. When I saw that she was beginning to paint dogs,
I jumped at the chance to order one of our little guy! Isn't this a true work of art!
Kipper is quite pleased with it himself!

If you have yet to meet Donna, just click on her name and pop over!
She is wonderful and you must meet her two doggies, Riley and Otis!

Thank you so much dear Donna! We love it!

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Oh my!

How I wish that lots of fun things I write about inspired the sort of mail that I have recieved over my posts about blessings! Many of you understood what I meant, some agreed and some disagreed. Most of you who disagreed did so with love and respect and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. One of the many reasons I do not discuss religion or politics on this blog is due to the fact that we all have different ideas, come from different places, worship in different churches (and some who do not attend church at all), have different beliefs...well, you know what I mean! And boy are those two subjects hot button issues!

I never said that I do not believe that God does not grant blessings! Of course I do. Sometimes in the midst of our lowest days, a blessing is given! Sometimes it comes so quietly, so softly that we could easily miss it if we are not looking! I simply said that I am careful about saying that everything  in our life IS a blessing directly from God. Also, I do not believe that everything bad is due to something we did wrong. My beliefs may well differ from yours...

But I was raised in a church that looked at things differently than some of those who wrote me. Oh my. The emails I received! As I said in one of those previous posts, I will most assuredly lose many readers for writing anything at all about how I feel but it is just I feel! What I have come to believe after living for 53 years! We all have opinions, beliefs and ideas...none are more valid than anyone else's. Mine are certainly no more right or wrong than any of yours are. I fully respect your beliefs and all I have ever asked was that you do the same for me. Not too much to ask for right?

And even if we do disagree on some things, I think we can agree that God is good and loves us all. As a Priest that I came to know and respect once told me, "God gave you the gift of a brain and he wants you to use it...and He loves you, no matter what as long as you keep His love in your heart and share it with others by being kind and doing good for your fellow man and woman."  If my brain comes up with ideas that God finds foolish, then it will be God that, one day, will tell me so!

Perhaps I should not have posted such a thing at the very time I am considering pulling our of blogging all together. The unkind emails alone would serve to make my decision an easy one.
See Sue? Stick to decorating posts and no one gets hurt!

It's funny how most of the  "less than understanding" mail has come from those who know me the least...or, in many cases, don't know me at all. I am being judged on this and this alone. How sad!

Lest I be labeled overly sensitive, trust me. I am not as sensitive as some would have me be. I am a pretty tough cookie about most things that people say or do to me personally. If age has one virtue, that has been it! But why bother at all when so many would brand me a Heathen based on this and this alone?

I have a busy and fun week ahead and planned to *take you all along* with us...

I hope to see most of you next and at your sweet cyber homes.

Love and Hugs to you all,
Susie Q

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What Did You Get For Christmas?

Gee I hope you got everything from Santa that you wanted!
I sure did...would you like to stay awhile and play?
Let's see now...

I got the super duper new Barbie Dream House!

Don't you just love the new furniture styles?

And Santa made sure I got the newest Barbie! Just look at her wigs!

My Barbie was lonely so I asked Santa for some friends...first there is her girlfriend Midge...

..and the handsome Ken to take Barbie on lots of groovy dates to the soda shop!

And I got a dolll that kisses! SMACK!

Gosh but I love my Chatty Cathy! Pull her string and she talks! How cool is that!

And I got the Penny Brite I had been begging for! Her legs really bend! Go one! Try it!

Oh look! Calamity Jiddle from the Liddle Kiddles collection!

And Baby Biddle too!

I'm glad I got the clubhouse for them to stay in so we don't lose any of the teensy stuff...

And what would Christmas be without some bubble bath? I sure love my Soaky toys and now I have Top Cat for my collection too!

I am so excited to play a game of Gidget...

...and see who my Mystery Date will be!

Or do you want to make one of these?

Then I can show you a movie! Yogi or Quickdraw first?

And we can draw with my new Etch A Sketch!

Or play dominoes...

...or Old Maid...

...or Cootie!

Colorforms are so cool! I really wanted this Mary Poppins one...

...and Miss Cookie's too! It has lots of little pieces so be careful!

I can't wait to try my new Silly Putty on the Sunday newspaper comic pages!

And I got some groovy new comics...

...and 16 Magazines! I need to catch up with all the news! Who do you like better, The Cowsills or The Monkees?

Can't forget the new rings I got! Rat Fink is sooooo groovy! Here, you can have one of them...

I am sure you are green with envy at all these cool things Santa brought
me but I had been such a good girl! And gee whiz! I WILL share them all with you!

Now let's go play...

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

(Who actually DID have all of these toys waaay back when...not necessarily all at the same time but still...)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Oh, and the photos have nothing to do with the topic except that all animals ARE blessings from God...that and I just like 'em! *smile*

Thank you to all who have commented and sent emails about the last post. You all ARE true blessings to me. I do want to apologize for having to become comment moderated...yes, that pesky spam was just getting in the path of our fun. So, for now, I will just leave it on moderate status...hopefully that will be removed in the near future!

I did receive one comment that had to do with me "not being a good Christian" and not believing that all good things are blessings from the Lord. Now, I have always said that I will never write about religion or politics on this blog. And I have not...okay, not much. *grin* But I do want to clarify what I said...just a wee bit!

I DO believe in God and I DO believe that He can give us blessings...but I do not believe that everything good is directly related to a blessing from our Maker. Like wise, I do not believe that everything bad is a punishment from Him. Some things just happen...sometimes things are just related to luck. Before I am tarred and feathered, I want to point out that this is a viewpoint that was told to me years ago by members of the clergy. I once worked in a Navy Relief office and we were attached to the offices of the base chaplains. I used to love to chat with them about life, religion, world events, you name it. There were 2 Protestant chaplains, a Catholic chaplain and a Jewish chaplain. Oh what interesting conversations we had!

It was these chaplains who told me that God didn't play favorites with His people and we should all think before we label everything we have *good* in our life as a blessing from God. God does not arbitrarily decide who should have healthy babies and who should face infertility or the birth of a handicapped child, who should own luxury homes while others live in squalor, who should be striken with illness and who should be healthy. Yes, God does give us blessings. Yes, God does answer prayers, even when that answer is not the one for which we had originally prayed. And yes, God DOES give us the strength to face the bad things that happen to us and the comfronting shoulder to cry on when we are the most disillusioned.

This idea was a huge blessing to me at a time when I was living in very UN-House Beautiful Navy quarters and facing the possibility of never having a baby.
I had been told, by one who fancied herself a "God fearing woman", that she had been "blessed" with healthy babies and a lovely home so it was "obvious that (Me) was not sitting well with God since He had not blessed (Me)." To quote one of the chaplains, "What a pompous, ridiculous woman! If anyone is not sitting well with God, it is most assuredly HER". That began our conversations about life and luck and blessings...

While watching coverage of the aftermath of a tornado recently, I heard a man say that God had blessed him as his house was virtually unharmed while his neighbor's homes were all destroyed and 3 people were killed. This chilled me to the bone. I understand that he *felt* blessed but to say that God had blessed him, while choosing NOT to bless the others, (and isn't that what he is really saying?) is a bit (to quote the chaplain) "pompous and ridiculous!" This is a situation where luck played a part...just plain old luck.

So, this is simply what I believe...that a little good luck is often the only thing that separates us from those bad things that befall so many. If you have been lucky enough to live a happy, secure life, be glad and rejoice in it and remember to help those who have been less fortunate.
Just know that if you have faced disappointment, despair and unhappiness, that God IS there with you...

And with that, so ends the only post I have ever really done concerning religion! I hope I have not frightened all of you on to far less serious topics!

And, yes, all of you truly ARE blessings to me!

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quiet Reflection

This was a sunset, as seen from my front porch, last week...a burst of fiery color on a cold Winter's evening.
It doesn't get more beautiful than that now does it?

I live in a smaller house. I don't have lots of bells and whistles. In touring the blog community it is easy to become disenchanted...well...for me at least. So many are doing so much with their homes. I look around our place and see that it pales in comparison...yes. I know that it does. But after 4 days of coverage on the horrific Haitian situation, I know that I am so, so lucky. You will never hear me use the word *blessed*.
I just do not think God chooses who to *bless* with a fine life while others suffer. No, not blessed. It is luck...having a good education yes. Hard work, yes. But luck plays the biggest part. Most of the time it comes down to just that. Yes, some occupations earn more income. Some folks inherit money. Some save and save for years. But much comes down to luck. And I am grateful for the good luck I have received.

I do not have the fanciest of homes but I am grateful to have a warm bed, clean water and heat on a cold night. So many in this country and the world at large do not have these luxuries. Yes, luxuries. The very things that many take for granted are the very things that others live without. My heart is filled with pain just now, to see what so many are forced to endure.

Call it survivors guilt, call me a hippie...yes, I have been called that a time or two...but I look around and even with all I lack, I know I have so, so much. So, instead of doing some of what I had planned to our home, we will give away what we can. I realize that my readership will dwindle even more but that is not what matters now...

I will post about our home and the little tweaks here and there (Mostly done with no money at all!) or about the little viginettes that I play with...but most posts will be about the beauty around us, the silliness found in life, the joy of being in a busy family. Yes, many will see this as unimaginative, boring even. But it is just my *luck* to live such a boring life.

I hope that most of you will stay with me...and we will see where this all takes me.

Wishing you all peace of heart and spirit. Wishing you joy and happy smiles.

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January Beauty...

I know that many people despise the cold of Winter and that I am one of those odd ducks who revels in these often bleak could anyone not see the beauty that this much maligned season can bring? A gentle overnight snow fell and all the world seems dipped in sugar...

"The door was shut, as doors should be,

Before you went to bed last night;

Yet Jack Frost has got in, you see,

And left your window silver white.

He must have waited till you slept;

And not a single word he spoke,

But pencilled o'er the panes and crept

Away again before you woke.

And now you cannot see the hills

Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;

But there are fairer things than these

His fingers traced on every pane."

- Gabriel Setoun, Jack Frost

Stay warm and be sure to enjoy the beauty this Wintry month offers!

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Friday, January 08, 2010

Kip's Winter Words Of Wisdom

Thanks for all your prayers and stuff dudes. I am almost feeling like myself again. I sure had my Mom and dad scared but the doctor dudes say I am A OK, (whatever that means)!

We had some snow yesterday and I like it 'cause it looks like Ritter's 'scream and all. But it doesn't taste like it 'cause I tried it. Phooey.

My mom has had some 'puter issues (whatever THAT means dudes) and not feelin' up to snuff (her words not mine 'cause I have no idea what a snuff is anyhoo!) but she will be back visiting you soon!

Thanks again for carin' about me and all. I am a lucky dog to have friends like you dudes!

Love and Smooches,

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

It's 2010 Already?

Wait a mo...wasn't it just Halloween? Now we are done with Christmas and looking forward to Valentive's Day? Whew...yes. I actually saw a stand for Cadbury Easter Eggs in our grocery yesterday. What does this all mean? I don't know except that I better get back to posting before it is time to weed the garden!

This was the calm before the storm that is Christmas Eve!

 Getting ready for dinner...

Yes, we always have our Christmas Crackers. Inside each one is a joke or riddle, a tiny toy and a paper crown. Uh huh, I decree you MUST wear it!

Brady's daddy showing him the proper way for a royal to wave...

The Queen Mum...

Our neighborhood set out hundreds of luminaries this was perfect!
We get to open one gift on Christmas Eve...this year Grace opened a silver
cheerleader charm. Yes, she loved it!

On Christmas Day we all were together at Mom's home.

Grandma got them both games for their Wii...

Boo and his pretty Mama checking out his presents!

My Mom got a beautiful pin with charms from my brother and sister in law.
Brady decided he like the game that Daniel got and wanted to *trade*!

Boo and his Daddy high 5 the fun day!

My best gift ever...Billy!

It was a busy, busy, happy, happy holiday! We spent almost every day, for 10 days, with family and/or friends. There were delicious dinners and lunches, great movies, games, laughs and lots of love.

All will live on in our memories always.

But now the decorations have been stored away once again and we have begun another year fresh and look ahead with sweet anticipation.

I hope your holiday was especially joyful and that 2010 will bring you more laughter than tears...and with that, shappy smiles, a sense of purpose, a peaceful heart and spirit, good health and love.

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q