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Thursday, December 24, 2009

From Our Home To Yours

Wishing you a joyous Christmas...may your day be filled with love, happy smiles, sweet memories, good food and peace of spirit and heart.
I am not always the best at visiting and leaving comments, but I do think of each one of often and love you all. My life has been richly blessed by my blog friendships and I thank God for each of you.

Merry Christmas!

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Poem...Ahem

Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring,
 Except for old Susie Q who was still wrapping but...

Okay! I will just sit here quietly...sorry!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Good. He can help me finish all of the..okay! Okay!

The children were nestled all snug in their beds...
Um, so Dan was up working on his computer but hey...sssh. I know. Ssssh...

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.

Okay. What exactly IS a sugar plum? Have you ever eaten one 'cause I sure as heck have never had that odd pleasure.

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Let's stop right here. This old Mama does NOT wear a kerchief and I guarantee you that Billy Boy is not wearing a cap to bed.
Glad we cleared THAT up.

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

My brain NEVER settles...maybe that's why I don't get a good nights sleep but then...what? Okay, okay...

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Now THIS we all know is a falsehood. I haven't flown like a flash never! More like, "I wearily hobbled to the window." Just keepin' it real here folks...

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
Tore? Me? I would never!

And our windows are so hard to open that  *I* would be the one who "threw up", not that proverbial sash!

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
Ah...doesn't that sound just as pretty as pretty can be? Okay! I will try not to interrupt!

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

If it WAS mimiature, no way would these old eyes see it. I would hafta go back and try to find my glasses and then...okay! OKAY!

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

Coursers...I never liked that part. Why couldn't old Clement just say reindeer! He had to use some fancy pantsy words like coursers! REINDEER! They are reindeer dang it!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!

And not one mention of Rudolph. The guy looks a little different and poof. Clement leaves him straight out of the poem...

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all.

They could dash faster WITH Rudolph but Clement left the little guy out of HIS poem...guess he wasn't enough of a "courser"...alright. I'll be quiet.

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

Did I ever tell you about the hurricane I was in? Um...okay. Maybe later.

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

There we go again. "Coursers". Sheesh...they like to be called REINDEER!

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

They better not do any damage up there. My insurance company won't like that one bit...well, I was just sayin'!

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

Here's another problem folks. We have a gas fireplace. There is no *real* chimney to speak of. So the jolly old man is gonna hafta come through the front door. I sure hope he wipes his feet.
Alright! I'll be quiet...

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

I have a REAL problem with this...unless it was *faux* fur. Was it? Well, why DON'T you know?

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

I KNEW he was gonna make a mess...I knew it!

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

What? I didn't say a word!

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

Huh? Oh, I thought you were describing me? Go on...go!

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

Okay. Just a minute. One more issue...I do NOT allow smokin' in here...the old guy is gonna hafta leave that pipe outside. I don't care WHO he is!

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

Now I KNOW you are describing me! How rude!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!

Is he jolly because he is plump and chubby? Isn't that a little degrading? I myself am a little chubby and plump (Which, by the way Clement, is a tad redundant) and I am not always jolly. Hmpf.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

Except for that pipe smoke and all that soot and dirt he brought in on his boots...sheesh...

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk

Stockings...okay, here is another complaint. Every year I ask Santa to put Brian Dennehy in MY stocking. For 31 years I have asked the old elf for the same thing. Has he ever come through? Excuses, excuses...Brian would not fit in my stocking, Brian wants to spend Christmas with his own family, Bill might not like it...excuses, excuses. What? Okay...go on. I will just sit here quietly...

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

Like I said, we have no real chimney. The old guy has to use the door! Gee many times must I...what? Okay, okay..

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

I just wanna see this old, chubby, plump guy spring anywhere...

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

"'Ere" he driving those *coursers*?
Sheesh...they are REINDEER!

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

Like he said...I have been asked to cease and desist all further chatter...

*whispering* Merry Christmas anyway!

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q ~ who just may see how it
feels to sleep in a kerchief

Hey Mom...

...WHEN will Santa BE here?

*sigh* Even little kitties just can't wait...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let's Go Down To Rike's...Er..The Schuster!

Going into Dayton, to see a show or performance at The Schuster, is always a treat.
It is a beautiful structure, inside and out!

But there was a time that going down to Second and Main meant something very different...
To Daytonians it meant,  "Going down to Rike's".

Rikes was a seven-story department store in downtown Dayton, Ohio. It began in the 1850's as a dry goods firm and moved to the corner of Second and Main in 1912 where it remained until it was demolished in 1999.

Once upon a time, a wonderful and magical holiday tradition was on prominent display, entertaining and delighting children of all ages - hopefully creating memories that would last for the duration of their lives.

These glorious windows became the focal point of Christmas in downtown Dayton, and nearly every area family would bring children downtown each December to enjoy the magnificent presentations featuring dancing elves, woodland creatures, happy families and all manner of holiday delights!

Yes, for most of us who grew up in the Dayton, Ohio area, going down to Rike's department store during the holidays was a must do! Their windows were just such fun! I can still remember standing in the bitter temperatures, nose pressed to the cold glass, drinking in every single detail each scene offered.

Now, I am sure that to our technology fed children, these scenes seem all too simple in nature and but to us, the children of the 50s and 60s, they were an integral part of our Christmas magic.

When Rike's was imploded to make way for the Schuster, these scenes were salvaged and reconditioned. Each holiday season they are, once again, brought to life in the very spots where they once delighted scores of children. Where once they were inside of Rike's, they now spend the holidays inside the Wintergarden section of the Schuster Center. They stand ready to bring smiles to the young ones and fond memories to those of us who are a wee bit older!

Just yours truly, doing what I love to do...

I so enjoy going downtown to see these wonderful treasures, and thsis year I went with my buddy Sue Sullivan...we had such a sweet day. Thank you Suey!

And thank YOU for going along with us and sharing in my Dayton Christmas memories!

I am a little behind this year due to Kip's sudden illness...but things are slowly getting done.
Cards are mailed and shopping is finsihed. Grace and I are about to begin the smells of Christmas!

Thank you to everyone for your prayers and concern for Kipper. He is not feeling like himself, the meds do that, and not quite up to snuff but we all know recovery takes time! How I wish I could explain that to him! Poor baby! We cannot leave him alone so Grace and I will stay until Dan and Bill get in from work. Then she and I will be off to get all we need for our Christmas Eve dinner.

I hope you are all having a sweet week and that your holiday plans are falling into place.

Love and Candy Cane Hugs,
Susie Q

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Kipper Update!

Thank you for all the sweet prayers and love...from us and from Kip too. He did not have surgery until almost 9 last night. He was being kept comfortable and as he was stable and healthy otherwise, he had to wait. They had quite a few "life or death" cases ahead of him...

We had taken him (Thursday evening) to a Cincinnati emergency hospital on our vet's referral. Oh my. This place is state of thge art! I have been so impressed by the level of care Kip has received.

Anyhoo, they called us at 11:00 pm to say he had done "beautifully" and was out of anesthesia. This morning he is up and has even had breakfast! We are hopeful we can go and get him ths evening...yes, this hospital is 24 hours and they do releases at any hour. We MISS the little guy!

Bill even asked if Kip could have some Ritter's tomorrow and they said "of course!" So Ritter's he will get!

Kip send his love to all of do we.

Now, go on down to the new post I just put up and take a tour of St. Anne's Hill with us!

Love to you all.,
Susie Q

Walking In St. Anne's Hill

You are cordially invited to join me and our family to take a little tour of St. Anne's Hill in Dayton!  Each year, the Historic Society

celebrates the warmth and friendship of the holidays in  St. Anne's Hill Historic District

with a tour of our Victorian homes,  lovingly restored and decked in their holiday best.

Our tour began at the High Street Gallery with musical entertainment in keeping with the season,

after which guides dressed in 19th Century finery  led you through this most charming historic neighborhood.

The tour concluded at the landmark Bossler Mansion,

where we were treated to old-fashioned Christmas desserts like their scrumptous bread pudding!

St. Anne's Hill is a remarkable and diverse neighborhood. It has gone the full cycle from agricultural out-land, to an ethnic core, to a flourishing streetcar community and presently, a re-gentrified historic district. It has a history of hosting diverse social and economic groups and its architecture reflects this diversity.

The area now known as St. Anne's Hill was part of the original out-lots of the City of Dayton which were plotted in 1815 by Daniel C. Cooper. Although not settled for several decades, by the 1830's the first documented use of the name "St. Anne's Hill" for the area is found in newspaper advertisements promoting the sale of nursery stock from a greenhouse in the area. Unfortunately, no explanation for the origin of the name has been discovered.
From the late 1860's to the 1880's, additional working-class homes were built in the neighborhood to serve the demands of the ever-increasing German immigrant population who came to serve Dayton industries associated with the building and industrial trades, canal trade, railroad trade, and the domestic needs of the large estate homes on The Hill. These working-class homes (typically two-story, wood-frame, vernacular, Victorian, single-family homes on narrow lots with detached carriage houses) reflect progressive improvement in the social and economic stature of the neighborhood during those years. The homes built during the 1860's are modest, but those built in the 1870's have more interesting architectural detail, and those built during the 1880's were quite ornate and more expensive.

In the 1870's, 1880's and 1890's, more prominent homes were again being built in the neighborhood, primarily by German tradesmen who had become economic successes. They were typically of brick construction, rather than wood-frame. Examples of the more prominent homes include those of Wesley Boren, (builder), 48 High Street (now the "High Street Gallery," 1870, Italianate style); Conrad Herman (builder), 104 High Street (1881, Italianate style), and Thomas H. Cridland (industrialist, Joyce-Cridland Co.), 601 McLain Street (1887, vernacular Queen Anne style). During this "heyday," many of the pre-existing homes, both prominent and working-class, were architecturally "Victorianized," including the Dutoit Farmhouse and The Steamboat House. Also, during this era, other support structures began to evolve in the neighborhood. East Fifth Street became lined with storefront shops where the proprietor typically lived on the second floor and operated his business on the first. Typical businesses included saloons (e.g., The Stockert Saloon, 1878, Italianate, now The Baroque Violin Shop at 1500 E. Fifth Street), grocery shops, meat shops, and bakeries. During this time, the portion of Fifth Street passing through St. Anne's Hill became the first paved street in the city of Dayton and East Fifth Street became one of the city's primary thoroughfares as planned by Daniel C. Cooper in 1802.

As the neighborhood flourished, social support institutions began to abound. The neighborhood developed a strong family orientation, and numerous churches, clubs, societies and schools sprang up in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fortunately, due to its hill location, the buildings in St. Anne's Hill were spared from damage during The Great Flood of 1913. In fact, many of its buildings served as flood victims' havens. The Bomberger Center at East Fifth and High Streets, which replaced the Bomberger estate in 1908, became Ohio's first public recreation center (the original building and pool were Romanesque Revival). Stivers High School (1909 - 14) became Ohio's first vocational high school, and the Odd Fellows Hall (1911 - Romanesque Revival) housed a social/benevolence society which provided social support during pre-public welfare days.

During the Great Depression of the 1930's and following World War II, St. Anne's became very densely populated, with many of the prominent homes being divided up into rental units. Many of the homes of St. Anne's architecturally suffered from over-use and abuse during the post-war housing shortage. Then, in the late 1950's and 1960's, suburban flight began to occur. An increasing absentee landlord rate left many residents without the resources or motivation to maintain or improve properties. Many of the "improvements" made during this time were not sympathetic with the architectural integrity of the neighborhood. By the 1970's, St. Anne's Hill was losing many architecturally significant structures. This got the attention of some long-term residents and a small group of preservationists, and local historic designation for the neighborhood was petitioned for and achieved in 1974. Entry into the National Register of Historic Places was later gained in 1986.

Since that time, historic preservation has been the mainstay of the neighborhood. Today, St. Anne's Hill has one of Dayton's strongest and most active historic societies with a commitment to continued revitalization.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of these homes as much as we did! Such a sweet experience!

Wishing all of you a wonderful Saturday!

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Prayer For Kipper

...please? Our Kip began to have some problems today and by evening it had worsened. Our vet saw him and diagnosed bladder stones, one of which had lodged in his urethra. Our senior vet, who has done many of these surgeries, was out of town and the younger vets all asked that we take Kip to the emergency vet hospital in Cincinnati where he could be seen by a vet surgeon experienced in these types of lodged stones.
You can guess we were in a whirlwind for several hours and so sad to have to leave Kipper there. They will keep him comfortable tonight and probably do surgery in the morning. I have faith he will be fine but still so sad and anxious about our boy. I may seem silly to ask for prayers for him but those of you who share, or have shared, the sweet love of a pet, know this plea.
Kip just cried and cried when we left...that broke our hearts and many tears were shed on the way home...but I have asked God to keep Kipper safe and believe he will return home to us Saturday evening.
I am sure that one of us will be hopping over to Ritter's so we can bring our sweet little guy a treat...he deserves no less right?

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What A Boar...2009!

We attended the annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival and Wassail Bowl at Grace United Methodist Church in Dayton. It's such a fun meaningful, with lovely music and talented & enthusiastic participants! We go every year and never fail to enjoy ourselves.
It is a joy just to BE in this most beautiful church. My parents were married here in 1958, Bill and I followed suit in 1978! Our family loves to attend this annual holiday treat, as does my friend Terri, who usually goes with us.

The Boar's Head is probably the oldest continuing festival of the Christmas season. This pageant is rooted in ancient times when the boar was sovereign of the forest. A ferocious beast and menace to humans it was hunted as a public enemy. At Roman feasts, boar was the first dish served. Like our Thanksgiving turkey, roasted boar was a staple of medieval banquets. As Christian beliefs overtook pagan customs in Europe, the presentation of a boar's head at Christmas came to symbolize the triumph of the Christ Child over sin.

The Festival we know today originated at Queen's College, Oxford, England in 1340. Legend has it that a scholar was studying a book of Aristotle while walking through the forest on his way to Christmas Mass. Suddenly, he was confronted by an angry wild boar. Having no other weapon, the resourceful Oxonian rammed his metal-bound philosophy book down the throat of the charging animal, whereupon the brute choked to death. That night the boar's head, finely dressed and garnished, was borne in procession to the dining room, accompanied by carolers singing "in honor of the King of bliss."

By 1607, an expansive ceremony was in use at St. John's College, Cambridge, England. There, the boar's head was accompanied by "mustard for the eating" and decorated with flags and sprigs of evergreen, bay rosemary and holly. It was carried in state to the strains of the Boar's Head carol, still sung in the Christ Church ceremony.

By then the traditional Boar's Head Festival had grown to include lords, ladies, knights, historical characters, cooks, hunters, and pages. Eventually, shepherds and wise men were added to tell the story of the Nativity. The whole was embellished with additional carols, customs and accoutrements. Mince pie and plum pudding good King Wenceslas and his pages, a yule log lighted from the last year's ember...all found a place and a symbolic meaning in the procession. This was the ceremony brought to colonial America by the Bouton family, persecuted French Huguenots who had learned of the custom during a period of exile in England. The Boutons settled in Troy, New York, and were closely connected with the Episcopal church and its schools, including Hoosac School where their descendant became Rector in 1888. He established the festival which had meant so much to his family as an annual Christmas observance. In 1926, the New York Evening Post described the Bask Boar's Head as a "complex and rich tapestry" of "exquisite melodies."

.I hope your week is going well! There is always so much to do at this special time of year...all of us at Rabbit Run have been *hopping* like crazy! I have had such a sweet time of late and have a few more posts planned to share it all with you.

But for now I must a School Room Mom, I have lots to do  to prepare for the big party on Friday!

Can you believe it is already December 16th? My! Where has this month gone?

I know all of you are busy too...just take time to relax a bit, do something fun and smile. This lovely season is so glorious and passes by in the wink of an eye!

Love and Hugs,
Susie Q