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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Oh Coleen. We Could Have Told You...

Doubtful, but do any of you remember my silly rant from early January? Here it is if you missed it... My sweet bloggy friends were so supportive but yes. I was chastised by some anonymous folks who felt I had a cold, downright icy heart...okay. Perhaps I was harsh about one Ms. Britney Spears, IF she does, in fact, have a mental disorder. And yes, I do have pity for her but more so for her poor children who have been caught in the maelstrom. 'Nuff said again. But I also wrote about one Coleen Sullivan, former news anchor on a local Dayton television station. Beautiful and oft described as brainy, she left her job and the US for one Earl Spencer. Oh, and the Earl was still married to wife number two. Oh, and she had just given birth to his 5th or 6th child (I have lost count). Wife number two came along after he dumped wife number one for some other lovelies who he also dumped along the way. Does anyone else here see a pattern? And Coleen was described as "brainy"? Whoa. Coleen flew to England and interviewed the Earl of Rat about the Diana exhibit due to come to the Dayton Art Institute. Yes, THAT Earl of Rat. Her brother. Coleen was seen entertaining said Earl of Rat whilst he was in Dayton during the exhibit's opening days. And closing days. Then Coleen flew the proverbial Dayton coop. For England or South Africa...wherever the Earl hung his hat. Now, could we all have NOT seen THIS coming? Heck, I doubt anyone has ever described me as "brainy" but I saw this coming from 3,000 light years away. Since a few of you have asked about this loving couple's status...
From the Dayton press: Newspaper Website reports Earl dumps Coleen Sullivan Staff Report Monday, June 23, 2008 It seems that former WDTN-TV reporter Coleen Sullivan has been dumped. At least that's the word coming out of London on Monday night, June 23, from Daily Mail columnist Richard Kay. "Just 18 months after abandoning his vivacious second wife Caroline for an American TV presenter, 44-year-old Earl Spencer is single again. "I can reveal he has dumped Coleen Sullivan, who moved in with Princess Diana's brother soon after being sent to Britain to interview him. The break-up has stunned friends who thought that the libidinous Earl had at last found the third Countess Spencer," Kay wrote. "Their relationship has certainly followed a predictable pattern. He fell so passionately for the dark-haired Coleen that he left Caroline just months after she had given birth to their daughter Lara — their second child and his sixth. But the couple are no longer living together at his magnificent stately home, Althorp in Northamptonshire, where Diana is buried," Kay wrote. "Coleen was not seen at last week's literary festival at Althorp, which Spencer takes a great pride in. A friend tells me: "She has gone home to America. What else do you expect a girl to do?" Policeman's daughter Coleen, 34, first met the Earl when she visited Althorp in February 2006 to make a documentary about the Princess of Wales for her TV station, WDTN Channel 2, where she had earned a reputation as being something of a pin-up. Within a matter of weeks, Coleen had dumped her American boyfriend of 11 years and, the following October, Charles told Caroline he wanted a divorce." From the British press:
Earl's girl is given the heave-ho! 24th June 2008 Some will see it as the act of a man never destined to find happiness; others will view it as yet more evidence of Earl Spencer's ruthless and selfish streak. Just 18 months after abandoning his vivacious second wife Caroline for an American TV presenter, 44-year-old Spencer is single again. Split: Earl Spencer and Coleen Sullivan have broken up I can reveal he has dumped Coleen Sullivan, who moved in with Princess Diana's brother soon after being sent to Britain to interview him. The break-up has stunned friends who thought that the libidinous Earl had at last found the third Countess Spencer. After the huge sadness he caused by leaving Caroline - "Pidge" to her friends - it was widely expected he and Coleen would marry. "The only difference between this and his previous break-ups is that at least he won't have to pay out a divorce settlement," says a friend of Old Etonian Spencer. Their relationship has certainly followed a predictable pattern. He fell so passionately for the dark-haired Coleen that he left Caroline just months after she had given birth to their daughter Lara - their second child and his sixth. But the couple are no longer living together at his magnificent stately home, Althorp in Northamptonshire, where Diana is buried. Coleen was not seen at last week's literary festival at Althorp, which Spencer takes a great pride in. A friend tells me: "She has gone home to America. What else do you expect a girl to do?" Policeman's daughter Coleen, 34, first met the Earl when she visited Althorp in February 2006 to make a documentary about the Princess of Wales for her TV station, Ohio's WDTN Channel 2, where she had earned a reputation as being something of a pin-up. Within a matter of weeks, Coleen had dumped her American boyfriend of 11 years and, the following October, Charles told Caroline he wanted a divorce. Spencer's sometimes cruel treatment of the women in his life is epitomised by the anecdote repeated from his bitter Cape Town divorce from his first wife, model Victoria Lockwood, the mother of his four elder children. Her lawyer told of how Spencer was reminded by his late father at a birthday party that he should stick with his wife through thick and thin, and he unkindly replied that Victoria "was thin and certainly thick". So what is the reason for this latest split? I am told by a friend that Coleen, who was so popular with male viewers that her TV station was bombarded with e-mails when she quit to move to Britain, "suddenly became unattractive to him" for no apparent reason. "She is very beautiful, but he suddenly went off her," I am told. Adds a previous girlfriend of the aristocrat: "He is no oil painting himself." Shocking isn't it? Nah...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy, Happy, Happy Shoes

Cake From: Yes, that's a cake! A very happy birthday cake from Etiquette of Chocolate! And it is the perfect birthday cake for our Andi! Andi is stylish and sophisticated and beautiful. Generous and dear, supportive and oh so special. Oh yeah, she also loves shoes. Gosh how she loves shoes! So, happy, happy birthday dear Andi! Everyone at Rabbit Run loves you and sends you lots of hugs! Love and Hugs, Susie Q

Friday, June 27, 2008

Am I Violating Copyrights? Nah...

" Good evening..I am Grace and here is your 6:00pm news."
What do I know...but here is the story. See that picture I use as a banner? It was chosen by a local television station to be used in a promo spot. I guess they now own the rights huh? But till I am told to do so, I will keep it up 'cause, darn it. I took it and I like it! I was also asked to come down to the station and record a promo using the words that I wrote to describe Dayton that accompanied the photo.
It was scaled down to just a few lines to better fit the time allowed and I had to go in and be filmed saying said words. The photo will be used as the back drop. I had lots of fun doing it and Grace loved being there and watching it all. Doesn't she look fantastic delivering the news? Sign this kid up!
"This is Grace with your evening forecast! It will be hot where it is not cold and rainy when it is not sunny. You may get snow or you may not. Back to you Mark!"
The people were fantastic and I am always up for a new life experience. *sigh* Meeting movie stars and filming television promos...what will I do for fun NEXT week?
Have a wonderful weekend dear friends! I am sorry not to have been a better visitor this week. I am trying to get around to see you all. I have been needed to watch my nephew this week so that has taken up a lot of my free time. But no complaints as you all know how much I adore this little boy! He is my heart!
Be good to yourselves and smile becasue you are loved!
Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Uh..Oh Sure Susie Q...I'll get Right On That...

I came all the way to Dayton, Ohio to do a little talk and sign some books and this Susie Q keeps pestering me about Brian Dennehy. Hey, what's wrong with me huh? I'm a pretty good looking guy. Oh, and I have 2, count 'em, 2 Oscars. Does Dennehy have 2 Oscars? Yeah, yeah, so the guy has 2 Tonys. *I* have 2 OSCARS! And that movie in which he and I both starred? Whose name came first on the marquee huh?? That's what I thought. But still she yammers on about Dennehy. Can you introduce me to him and isn't he cute. Blah, blah, blah. Cute? DENNEHY? Sheesh...but still she yaks.
Did Dennehy write a book about the Civil War? Well, did HE?
Okay Susie Q. I will sign your book and smile for your camera. Just do NOT ask me anymore questions about Dennehy okay?
From the Dayton Daily News, June 22nd, 2008 From scene stealer to scene writer actor Gene Hackman, with partner Daniel Lenihan, has traded playing characters for creating them. By Dave Larsen Staff Writer Sunday, June 22, 2008 People are often surprised to learn that Gene Hackman is an author, despite his having published three historical novels over the past 10 years with co-author Daniel Lenihan. "I think people tend to put you into a category," Hackman said by phone. "The guy's an actor and if he's writing a book, obviously somebody else is writing it for him." Of course, Hackman isn't just any actor. He's made nearly 80 films, and won Academy Awards as narcotics agent Popeye Doyle in "The French Connection" and as a small-town sheriff in "Unforgiven." Lenihan is a leading underwater archaeologist and frequent contributor to "Natural History" magazine. The pair will introduce their new Civil War novel, "Escape From Andersonville," on Monday, June 23, at Books & Co. at the Greene in Beavercreek. Hackman and Lenihan also co-wrote "Justice for None" and "Wake of the Perdido Star." They typically work out a detailed story line and then write separately, crafting their own chapters and characters. "We work from a third-person point of view in two main characters that will then be introduced maybe a few chapters later and then take over for a couple of chapters," Lenihan explained. Hackman's roles in such films as "The Poseidon Adventure," "Mississippi Burning" and "Hoosiers" help him to create his written characters. "There's a real parallel between the way I approach acting and the way I approach a character that I'm writing," he said. "I ask myself almost the same questions: What does the character want? Where are they going? Where have they been? Just basic acting fundamentals, and it gets me started as a writer. "If I answer some of those questions, I inevitably will come up with a scene and with a character that hopefully is full and satisfying." Hackman and Lenihan have been friends for nearly 15 years. Their collaboration isn't always an easy process. "Gene is a very intense guy in his acting and is a very intense guy in his writing," Lenihan said. "He throws everything into those characters, so you'll have moments where you're upset or trying to pull yourself together, but in the long run I've found it to be really rewarding." Hackman always aspired to be a writer. His grandfather and uncle were newspaper reporters, and his father also worked in newspapers. "So I had a little bit of background in terms of finding out what writers' lives were like," Hackman said. "I thought what would be so different from what I had known for the last 57 years as an actor." Hackman, 78, hasn't made a film in more than four years. He's given up acting to become a full-time author. "I'm at an age now where I don't want to go on location for three or four months and sleep in a motel bed somewhere that I'm not really comfortable with. I'd just rather take my time and enjoy what I'm doing right now." The authors have not yet been approached about a film or miniseries adaptation of "Escape From Andersonville." If so, they might write the first draft of a screenplay. "Other than that, I wouldn't want to be involved," Hackman said, laughing. "I don't want to go back."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How I Spent My Monday Evening, By Susie Q

Edited on Tuesday June 24th: Just wanted to tell all of you who really love Mr. H, he was a so nice. The store had announced no personal pictures but he said he would be honored to pose with anyone who wished it. He looked fantastic. It is so hard to believe that this man is 78! He was dressed impeccably, smelled good and had a firm handshake. (Oh how I hate a man who shakes a lady's hand limply!) He was funny and intelligent and it was a pleasure to hear him give his talk. Oh, and he said I had a "lovely smile". Can you say, "Over the moon"? I think you can. I met his wife as well. Terribly attractive and sweet, she spoke with me and the family I had been in line with for over 3 hours. She seemed shocked that we knew who she was. I had seen photos of her with him over the last few years...a lovely lady. He says he has officially retired from acting but would direct more and continue writing. It was such a fun experience! Just a quick post. I have more to share and more photos from the last few days but, for now, I wanted to pop in an say howdy. Here is a little photo from earlier this evening. Oh, just 2 time Academy Award winning actor Gene Hackman and me hanging around a book store. Now, don't look at the 14 chins on me...just look how tickled I am to be standing next to Mr. French Connection himself!
More soon...till then, take care and be happy, just like old smiley Susie Q in this picture!
See how little it takes to delight the old girl?
Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Egad! And A Recipe To Boot!

In the questions post. I DID forget to mention Decorating Cents didn't I? Egad! I love Joan Steffand and the show. The format has been tweaked some over the years but it is one that I still adore watching.
I still like Design on a Dime, Curb Appeal and several others that have been around for some time.
I can still remember when HGTV went on the air! How exciting! An entie network devoted to decorating and homes and...well, it was fantastic!
And, I also have one more question to answer! Tara has asked what my favorite, no fail recipe is.
Now, I could say whatever I pick up at McDonald's but I actually DO cook. Sometimes.
I really do!
I can add a few recipes later this week but you know what my never fail, easy as pie recipe is? Remove the skin from chicken thighs (Breasts work well too), melt margarine in a bowl and add garlic, parsley and pepper. (Could be fresh, minced garlic and parsely or straight out of a jar)
Pour the seasoned margarine evenly over the chicken and bake. Usually an hour at 350 does it. Serve it over rice (My family is hooked on *souped up* rice. Minute rice cooked in a cream soup such as Mushroom. This can be doctored up a little) Add some fresh, well seasoned green beans and you have a meal!
It is fast, good and everyone seems to love it. Could not be more simple!
I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. Stay well and safe and smile often!
Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Friday, June 20, 2008

The World Has Lost Another Treasure

MARLBORO, Vt. (AP) — Children's book illustrator Tasha Tudor, whose whimsical drawings of country outings, gardens and family life in rural New England echoed her own picturesque lifestyle, has died. She was 92. Tudor, who illustrated such classics as Little Women and The Secret Garden, died Wednesday at her home, surrounded by her family and friends, according to a statement posted on her website. Her death was confirmed by Atamaniuk Funeral Home in Brattleboro, which was handling the arrangements. "She was ahead of her time, but she lived in the past," said Jill Adams-Mancivalano, a longtime friend. Tudor, who quit school after eighth grade, wrote or collaborated on nearly 100 children's books after making her debut with Pumpkin Moonshine in 1938. Besides The Secret Garden, she illustrated The Night Before Christmas and wrote books of her own, including Corgiville Fair. Her home in this southern Vermont town was a replica of a 19th-century New England homestead, replete with antique utensils, tiny windows and doorways of varying sizes. In later life, she burnished her reputation among fans with her gardening, weaving and sewing exploits. She made her own clothing — fashioned after 19th-century apparel — and raised Nubian goats for their milk. Adams-Mancivalano, whose family farm in nearby Wilmington hosted open-to-the-public birthday parties and other events in which Tudor held forth with fans, called her a witty, engaging homebody who loved to insert friends, family members and little details of her own life into her work. "Just to watch her draw — the detail and the whimsy that she had in her later life was just incredible. I asked her about that one time, how her work has evolved, and her comment to me was, 'Well, my eyesight is starting to fail, and I don't have the perfection I used to,' so she'd add more stuff." Her family said an online memorial on her website was open for fans to share their feelings and memories of her. The address is

Ah...Those Pesky Questions!

You see? I did remember that I still have many questions left to answer...many wonderful ones that you, my dear blog friends, sent in. I hang my head in shame that I still have not answered them, so, without any fan fare, here they are!
Dear Janet asked:
1) what is your favorite HGTV show currently in production?
2) what is your favorite HGTV show no longer on the air?
I love to watch Candace Olson on Divine Design. Even if the room is wildly contemporary (which I am decidedly not), I know I will love what she did with it. I have never seen a room she designed that I did not think was stunning. And she is a breath of fresh air on HGTV.
I have been watching Myles of Style and am enjoying her very much.
I do look forward to seeing the new Rate My Space when it premieres.
Oh how I miss Kitty Bartholomew. I miss This Small Space...I miss Country Style very much. I also liked watching Debbie Travis' Painted House.
There are so many how to sell or de-clutter your home now and I don't get much from them. House Hunters was a must see for Bill and me at one time. Now? I get a little queasy watching
people tromp through enormous homes complaining how they are "too small". Beautiful spaces they those same folks deem "outdated". When did people get so greedy or to lazy to paint and re-do a home to their liking? They want it all THEIR way today! Okay, that is a story for another day!
I think the HGTV viewer dynamic passed me by a while ago...*sigh*
Now I spend more time with the Food Network. I am in love with Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive Ins and Dives! We have found a place to eat while on our trip to Minneapolis next month!
Sweet Rue asked:
What is the most precious object in your home, no matter what it cost? People and animals don't count ;)
My bible. It sits on my little secretary in my tiny study. It was given to me by my late Grandmother the year I turned 20. She wrote in the first pages and that note means so much to me. It also holds many pieces of family ephemera. There is a favor from my grandparent's wedding, Grandma's handkerchief that she carried during the wedding is tucked inside the pages..
There is the letter from Buckingham Palace that was sent to all the US troops who fought in
WW I. It was sent to my Grandpa upon his return from France.
I have my Grandfather's high school graduation announcement, Mom's HS and college announcements in that bible as well.
There are several items from Bill's Grandfather that have to do with his farm during the 30s and 40s. There are some little treasures from my paternal Grandfather's days as a farmer too.
There are a few letters from Bill to me written during the Gulf War, from my Grandparents, my Mother and my Father all written to me. My Dad was not a big letter writer so when he did, it was special. he wrote things that I will cherish all of my days.
There are also letters from Grandpa to Grandma that are so sweet it brings tears to my eyes thinking about them.
This bible probably means more to me than any other item in our home...
From the lovely Andi:
If you were to purchase one silly frivolous thing that you really didn't need but wanted...and money were no object...what would you buy? Just 1 now!
Oh wow. THIS is tough! I love frivolous! I am the Queen of frivolous fun!
Do not laugh...okay, go ahead and laugh. I probably should be laughed at for saying this.
A movie warehouse in LA is having an auction of wardrobe and props tomorrow.
My buddy in LA sent me the info about it...and yes. They have a Dennehy item. Well, actually, items would be more exact. His police uniform from from Assault on precinct 13. Jacket, short, pants, belt, badge...yup. The whole shebang. Is that frivolous enough? *laugh*
I know it is but I can not help wishing I could have it, just because. Now, go ahead and laugh at this silly, silly woman.
Andi also asked:
I know your beautiful daughter is artistic but I also understand you do some painting. When are you going to show us your artwork and do a post about it? And if you've done one and I missed it...please advise me of the date so I can read about it.
I have never posted any of my drawings...someday I will. I have not done much for awhile and most I did were given away. I should get back to this I think. I always enjoyed it. I am not really so gifted at it but I love it.
Dear Teresa queried:
How did you meet your sweet hubbin? We want the entire "scoop" ...when, where, how, what you were wearing...what he was wearing...what was said, when was the second date long did you know him before you KNEW???? this is a post I have been planning. You see? Our 30th anniversary is this coming August and I will address these questions and more. I will also get some wedding photos scanned and up as well.
Here's a quick tidbit. I actually met him in an I 75 rest stop. I think I told this once early on...
he was headed to Gatlinburg, TN with 2 friends and I was headed there with 3 friends.
One of his buddies knew one of mine...we met, we talked, we agreed to meet up in Gatlinburg.
The rest will be shared soon I promise!
Sweet Gretchen asked:
What's your best, no fail mothering tip, and what have you learned to do differently (not just based on gender) between your son and your daughter?
I doubt that I am the best woman to offer any tips. I have made more than my share of mistakes believe me. I am much calmer with Grace than I was with Dan. Of course, part of that is our life is much more settled now. I was so new at mothering and here I was with an almost 8 year old who spoke no English. On top of that, Bill left just after Dan's arrival and was at sea for
9 months. It sounds trite but I learned to pray. I learned to trust and believe and to hold onto my faith that all would work out. It usually does.
I believe that I must be the mother first and foremost, not their buddy and pal. Dan says I was always his most trusted friend but never a *pal*. He knew what lines he could not cross and they were set in stone. He also knew he was loved unconditionally but that I did not always *like* him. I know that is the same for all Moms right?
My only real tip, and I bet you all are good at this, is to listen, really listen to what your kids say.
Read between the lines if you can but listen and listen hard. It often surprises people how much their children will tell them if they know they are heard.
Respect them as people...they have ideas and desires and thoughts in those heads! I hate to hear parents callously dismiss their children's questions, their input. What happens in the family, the home, your life, does affect them as well.
As touched on earlier, I am calmer with Grace. I am calmer with everything in general I suppose. I am tough on many things but probably lax on others. I pick my battles...*smile*
I am older now, that has helped too!
Then my friend Andi asked one more thing:
I would love to see a post of your "favorites". As much as I know you dislike posting a "list". It should include things like your favorite song, movie, movie we have to guess at that one, game, sport, book, color, ballet, Broadway show...that you've seen, restaurant, auto, get the idea. can only name "1" thing for each 1st, 2nd and 3rd rules.Then...once you create the "favorites game" you have to get 5 more bloggers to do the same thing. I love making rules!!!And you have to create a cute little "I played Susie Q's Game" icon that we can post on our blogs when we play.
I would love to do this! Not that I love lists or anything...but I will do it!
Need to work on that logo and get the questions up. How about next week? Are you all up to that?
I might have to skip the Favorite Star question. Is there anyone left in the free world that does NOT know what my answer would be? *laugh*
So, be here next week and I will introduce that new exciting blog game that is sweeping the nation. Okay, so it is only sweeping around on my dirty kitchen floor but hey.
Have a sweet weekend and stay well. Smile often and know you are loved!
Susie Q

More Images Of A Sweet Week

DC by day...
DC by night...
DC by day...oh what a sight.
And then there were our wonderful evenings in Old Town.
Old Town Alexandria is truly a treat for visitors. History abounds on every corner but so does the delicious smells and lovely treasures calling your name as you stroll past the many shops.
Despite the heat, it WAS a sweet week. This week has been business as usual, albeit, busier than it often is. With Grace home, there are classes to run to and the occasionally picnic in the park.
We ferry my nephew, the Boo Man, to and from his school and spend time with my mother.
Grace is a huge help in the garden and around the house. The girl just LOVES it. In fact, she is rather pushy about it! "Come on Mom! Let's get to it!" *sigh* Oh my aching back!
We have a weekend of yard work, ice skating lessons, dinner with friends, a birthday party and a wedding shower. The weather has been just as perfect as one could imagine Summer should be. Soft and warm...low humidity, warm, not hot, temperatures with just enough rain at night to keep us from watering each day. The greens are lush and the bright colors are brilliant. All in all, a lovely June.
Wendy and Tammy? Check my giveaway post are both winners! (Whether you like it or not!) Just email me your address and your little packages will be on their way.
Oh! Guess who is at my favorite book seller's on Monday evening? Gene Hackman! He has co-written a book on the Civil War so my brother and I will be heading over to see him. There was a time, before I discovered one Mr. Dennehy, that Mr. Hackman was IT for me. Other girls my age were pining over the 20 something actors but me? It was Gene in The French Connection baby.
Now, he also appeared in a film, Twice In A Lifetime in which Mr. D played his best friend. Forget that French Connection...he has a Dennehy Connection!
I had yet to make mention of this, but one week ago, we lost someone in the news media in whom I trusted and admired. When I was asked who I would love to run into in DC (I have always run into someone while visiting...once it was Congressman Sonny Bono!), I quickly responded with his name. Sadly, that was not to be. Farewell Timothy J. Russert. Yours was a life well lived.
Well, I must run. Grace is a tough taskmaster and duty calls!
Stay well and be good to yourselves. You are loved.
Susie Q

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Any Guesses ?

Who ARE these young and oh so skinny kids from the late 70s?
And these two... not quite as skinny, just slightly older duo from the late 80s...who are they?
I have NO idea.

Yes, Yes. I Remembered!

I did! I swear I remembered! Okay, so it momentarily slipped my mind. I would never really forget the giveaway. Uh huh. That little thing! Yup. I have a sweet tea towel from Washington DC, a nice little book about the wonderful spots in the DC area and a sweet box of Dayton, Ohio's own Esther Price chocolates here to give to someone. Let's see, there were 56 comments left from 56 beautiful and intelligent, creative and elegant women. So, those names go into the free, online random number generator....and poof! Out pops number....18. So, let's count...1, 2, 3...18. Wendster!! Wendy, come on down! You are the winner of the little "Susie Q Went To DC And All I Got Was This Lousy Tea Towel, A Book And A Box Of Chocolates!" giveaway!
I also decided to add another box of EP delicious chocolates into the mix so here goes that random number generator....aha! 26! That would be one Tammy from Family Doin's!
So, just pop those addresses in an email to me at: and your packages will be on their way to you shortly! Remember, I am slow but steady...just like that tortoise but I
have a much softer shell.
And yes, I DO need to add a picture of the gifts. The tea towel is adorable!
Love and hugs to you all and thank you for all your sweet comments! It was so much fun to read them all.
Susie Q

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

So Little Time...

...and so much to do! The laundry pile threatens a coup, the garden sprouted weeds that are taunting me, name calling and spitting. It is horribly rude out there. Grace has ice skating lessons (Yes, I have the ER on speed dial!)) and reading tutoring and Boo is back in his school for the Summer session which means Auntie Sue is on the run again.
This coupled with 2 wedding gifts and shower gifts to purchase...all means that I may not be able to visit you all as I love to do. I have much blogging to catch up on and am anxious to see what you have been up to while I was away. I will, I promise...even if it means reading and running, a crime I know. Comments will come soon I promise. I adore you give my life color and joy. That is a priceless gift I can never repay. I still have questions aplenty to answer and more photos of our behind can one woman get? NO....Not how BIG a behind I have! I mean really! I am surprised at you all....
I will post and visit over the next week. I just may be slow...well, slower than usual *ahem*, so please forgive me!
I want to send another special thank you and warm hug to of Hermione's crown are forthcoming...and to Penny. Penny did something so amazing and generous and loving this week that I will ask if I can share with you all. Just know that I am rendered speechless and that is almost impossible to do.
Words will never fully express my affection and admiration for all of you. I can not imagine *not* blogging and not having you all in my life. You have meant more to me than you will ever know.
Blessings to you all...
Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Monday, June 16, 2008

Just A First Peek...

I have a great affection for this city, our nation's capitol. I have been privileged to spend a great deal of time in the DC Metro area over the years and have come to love it's monuments, parks, shops, restaurants and history. For anyone who may be planning a trip here in the future, I have oodles (Yes, I said oodles!) of ideas of must sees and dos. Not that I know more than those who actually LIVE here but I know the area well from a tourist's perspective! From some of the oldest museums (The Smithsonian), to the newest (The Museum of the Native American), it is a treasure trove of learning and adventure. The Holocaust Museum is one of the most moving and powerful places I have visited in my entire life. As somber as the subject matter is, in the end, you are left with a pure sense of hope and the light of the enduring human spirit.
As lovely as the city is by day, it seems almost magical at dusk. Even the most staid buildings, like the US Treasury Department's offices, take on an ethereal glow. The next 4 photos were taken at the World War II memorial. It was one of my must sees this trip. I had yet to experience it's power and was awestruck by it. I am, as many of you know, a lover of history but particularly of the WW III era. My father served in the Pacific during the war so it is especially meaningful to me.
One of the most iconic monuments in the DC area is most assuredly the Washington Memorial.
The museums of the Smithsonian are amazing but I love the architecture of the *Old* Smithsonian building. It is a wonder from any angle. Arlington Cemetery is a very special spot and a must see for any American. You could spend an entire day here and not see each unique aspect of this sacred place. The next 3 photos were taken at the Lincoln memorial. It is one of the most recognizable sights in America and one of the most popular destinations for every tourist.
It is a well designed city with a easily accessible Metro system. It is also a great walking city...even with the heat turned up to *High*! Plenty of shady areas, places to sit and rest or reflect and lots of great little spots to have a bite to eat. One of our favorites is in the cafe located on the grounds of the Holocaust Museum. It is has an amazing vegetarian menu for a small establishment and also features kosher meals as well.
The parks are so beautiful and the streets are clean and well maintained befitting a nation's capital city.
And remember, the museums are free...the memorials are free...the glorious art galleries are free...touring the Capital building or White House is free. Just speak with one of your state's congress persons or Senators about passes. Free is a wonderful word isn't it? And free just seems to be a word that runs through my head as I tour this I am free because I am a citizen of this nation. This country is not perfect, no, not infallible, but it is a shining example of the word *FREE*'s definition. I.E. a: having the legal and political rights of a citizen b: enjoying civil and political liberty c: enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d: enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another...
And yes, to be free to ramble on aimlessly on my blog! Free truly IS a marvelous word and Washington DC IS a marvelous city.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What a Wonderful City...

~ Tomb of the Unknown~

...what a wonderful trip. This was my 15th visit to the DC area and yet there are always new and oh so wonderful things to see and do. This was Grace's first visit and she loved it all...okay. Maybe NOT all. The heat and humidity was just awful but, since there was nothing we could do about it, we just kept going. I could not help but think I was beginning to resemble the Wicked Witch of the West as I began to *melt*. Hmm...but I am decidedly NOT green skinned. Mine is more red and blotchy.
And I have yet to find the broom that would hold my ample tushie as I fly from here to there and back again. Still, I do think Brian Dennehy would have made a lovely Winkie Guard. But we are surely digressing here...
We spent a great deal of time in the charming old town of Alexandria, VA where our hotel was located. Beautiful old homes, historical buildings, delightful shops and fantastic restaurants. You can not beat such a delicious combination!
3 days were devoted to Washington itself and it is always a treat. What an honor it was to finally see the newest memorial: a beautiful and very moving tribute to those who fought in, and supported the home front during, World War II.
The highlight of Grace's trip was our tour of The White House. Of course, no cameras can be taken inside.
The list of other items not allowed included: diaper bags, purses, backpacks, pens, make up, water, fanny packs, food, lotions, if you have it, it ain't welcome, well, except for cell phones. You can not believe the folks with passes who were turned away because they thought they could break the rules! Those Secret Service men have little patience with such antics!
I was able to take a photo of Grace near the front portico with my phone and will try to get that posted soon.
I will be posting pictures in the next day or so AND announce my giveaway winner!
I thank you all for leaving comments on my last post! It was such fun to read them all upon our return late last night!
Today we celebrated not only Father's Day but also my Mother's 81st birthday and my brother's birthday. It was such a nice day with family...but now I have a mountain of clothes to wash and suitcases to unpack and groceries to buy and, well, let's just say I need to
get to work!
I hope you all had a sweet weekend...I have missed you all!
Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Away For A Little While...And A Giveaway!

You are all so very important to me....each one of you is the *apple of my eye*! I cherish the friendships I have made through blogging. You will stay in my thoughts and heart and prayers while we are away. We will be in Washington D.C until the 14th. Bill has to be at a conference in the city so Grace and I are tagging along! We have made many trips to our nation's capital over the years. We were able to take Daniel to every major museum and government structure (Including a tour of the White House) during a 4 year period. He will not be able to be with us this time but Grace is quite excited to visit the city for the first time! She and I will be entering the White House on Wednesday and she is over the moon at this prospect! It is always an honor to visit this magnificent building and revel in it's history! Our hotel is in Old Town Alexandria, a favorite spot of ours, and near Mount Vernon so we will be able to see lots of wonderful things and show Grace a cracker jack of a good time. And yes...there will be swimming and pillow fights and Cheryl Wray endorsed Bed Jumping as well! I will miss you all and do hope to be able to check in here from time to time. I have tried to get around to see each of you before I go but, if I missed anyone, please know I am so sorry and will make up for that transgression upon our return! I promise! On that note....I want to offer a little giveaway. Just leave a comment on this post and I will enter you into the drawing! I will be on the look out for something delicious and/or delightful in D.C to share with one or two of you. I want to do this as a small thank you to each one of you. I feel so honored and blessed that you come here and visit me. I hope you know how much I care about you all. Through blogging I have been inspired, delighted, charmed, educated, warmed, blessed and wrapped in a hug! I adore each one of you. Oh, Kipper wants me to remind you...if you have not seen *his* post below, please visit it and share in his monthly Ritter Partay!! It is a scene dudes! Until I return...much love and friendship to you all! Now, go and leave that comment!
Love and Hugs, Susie Q

Hey Dudes, Let's Partay!

Hey dudes. It's me, the Kipper. Monday was dog nite at Ritter's. First Monday of every month is the best. All dogs get a free cuppa vanilla custard with a dog bone on top! Is that cool or what? The answer is, COOL dudes! It was a really warm night so there musta been like 10 million dogs there. Mom says I am prone to exaggerate whatever that means but DUDE! There was a lotta dogs! Hey dude! No back seat drivin' in there... Bad to the bone? Nah dude. You are just a big sweetheart. Love ya dude. Great face huh? Not as great as mine of course but hey. We can't all be The Kip. Can you get over that tongue? It is waaay cool. I mean, look at it! Dude! This pretty lady really *looks up to her Mommy*. Hey dudes...I gotta million of these jokes... Now little one, eat all your custard so you can grow up big and strong like Kipper over there. I swear dudes. Tank's tongue is bigger than some countries! Is that totally excellent or what? Yo man, I gotta lay off the treats....tomorrow dude. I think that is what Babe is sayin'. Like I said, I gotta million of 'em. Is this how a dog gets on The Last Comic Standing? Dandy is what we call a lap sitter. She never leaves the lap. I swear! I think she is glued on. We all gotta lean on someone now and then, right dudes? Pssst dude. You there with the ice cream...come on over. Yeah, that's it. Don't be afraid... Muffin practices her adorable face in the mirror for hours at a time. It is SO workin' right? Man dude. I am DOG tired...get it? DOG Tired...get it? Okay pardner dude. Smile when you say that... Tanner said my Mom told him to pose, so, he posed! To Buttons, "the world looks awfully big and girl sometimes you're all alone..." I heard that on a TV show somewhere... Good lookin' dude right dudes? I taught him everything he knows. Really! I did! Okay, maybe he picked up some things off the street but hey...I am only one dude! My Dad says that if you look up *contentment* in something called a dictionary, this dude's picture is there. I dunno what THAT means! Like Sweetie here says, sometimes we all need a hand or two... Aw man dude. Don't look at the cup as half empty...look at it as half dude. Half nothin'. That cup is totally empty. What?? Timmy who?? What well? What was he doing playing around a well anyhoo? Well dudes...that's it for this month. I will be back for July's extravaganza at Ritter's and I'll be sporting my new red, white and blue bandanna. Look for me dudes! Till's me, The Kip, signin' off! Smooches, Kipper