Tuesday, February 19, 2008


The family room has looked like this for over 3 years (we've lived here for almost 4 years). Pathetic. Yes. I know. It's the kittie's room. Nothing more, nothing less. It was a dark and depressing place with faux wood paneling when we arrived and it took 2 coats of primer and three coats of paint to get here. And that's where I stopped. Why? Who knows. Exhaustion probably. The floor still has to be done (I've primed it twice or three times...lost count) but I'm at a loss. The whole house has hardwood floors, except this room, so I thought I'd paint it. The holes still have to be drilled through the bookcases to hide the lamp cords and the ornate mirror I painted still has to be hung above the fireplace. Oh, and then there's the furniture issue. Haven't decided yet. Still looking. The current chair is only for the kitties. They abuse the crap out of it. It will need a make over if it expects to continue on this planet. But I'll get to that too. As you know, it would cost less to just buy a new one! I will admit, I like the fact the room went from dated 50's-60's to cottage. I even painted the fireplace! Change the whole complection of the room. Oh, that's Mickey, our Maine Coon kittie looking at the fireplace. Books...don't even get me started. We have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds. Also, the walls are a soft butter yellow and the trim, bookcases and fireplace, pure white. I love how the colors play against one another.

Our hedge is dying. More on that later. So is our Forsythia. When we bought the house my mother-in-law told me the Forsythia was in the wrong place and needed to be trimmed back. It was gorgeous and I didn't agree, but listened. Over the past year I started to trim and the Forsythia reacted predictably. She started to die. It has been horrible to watch her decline. I only took out a few branches, but she couldn't bare the trauma. She's down to a few branches and this spring will mark the end of her life. I'll let her bloom and then I will remove her. I made a horrible mistake and will always regret it. I know my plants and I also know what's best for them. I need to listen to my instinct.
The doors had just been primed. When we bought the house they were a dark brown and not very attractive. We like white, so if they look a bit wacky, that's why. It's just the first coat of primer over brown. They're now a high gloss white and absolutely beautiful. Took one coat of primer and three coats of paint, but worth every brush stroke! Oh, and now you know I'm at 5025 and that I like decorative flags. That's our Autumn/late Winter/Early Spring flag with a squirrel on it :).
This is a photo from last year, and yes, the grass needs to be mowed, but it grows so fast here we can't keep up. Mow once a week and it looks like this by the end. This is my little frog pond before I cleaned it. It was lovely, and then it wasn't. Cleaning changed everything. It killed all the water plants and the frog went hop-skippidy-jump to the front yard! I thought I'd done everything right, but apparently not. One year later and it still hasn't recovered. I'm going to the nursery in the next few weeks to buy more plants and make amends. Hopefully that will work.
The rose garden last year. I'm late pruning everything. I started last week while I was sick, but only pruned about 25 or so. I still have about 150 to go! That doesn't include the perennials and shrubs and the general yard clean up. I have a lot on my plate. Will have to blog less.
If I ever get that Queen Elizabeth out of the container it will be a miracle. The path you see was supposed to be planted last year, but I didn't get to it. The huge rose in the foreground is Apricot Nector or something like that. It's huge. Probably 5 ft x 5 ft after only one year in the ground. It's a producer too. An amazing rose bush.
This area on the north side of the house was all pea gravel until I planted last spring. Everything grew like crazy. The metal shed will be gone within the year and replaced with something more beautiful. It was here when we bought the house and we needed the storage, so it stayed. And yes...the green you see in the pea gravel...weeds. What's new!
Our Hawthorn hedge is dying. Last year was the last beautiful year. I'm not sure what to do. Replace the parts that are dying at $20 per plant or tear out the whole thing and redesign the front entry. Without the Forsythia and the hedge everything will feel different. Rob doesn't want it to change. I'm not sure I do either.
I'd planned to include additional information about blogs that might interests you, but that will be for another post. I'm off to the park and my ferals. I hope you all have a beautiful day.
XO Suzanne


Kärt said...

It's so interesting to see your home and garden. I think it looks good. :) The plants give out some kind of vibe that seems so you.
I hope you'll get everything under control and just the way you like it. Good luck.


NAME: CIELO said...

I'm glad to see you are back! and hopefully feeling better! I love that white room; you've done a great job thus far! And your garden... oh my dear, what I would give to walk there... my heart is singing!

Blessings to you sweet friend!


ShutterSpy said...

O_o That room looks fresh, but rather stark and cold.

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog :D

Suzanne said...


Hi dear. Nice to have you here as always. Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad the plants give out a vibe that seems like me because I do love them so and every one of them was planted with care. I'll tell you a secret however, nothing is ever under control and I doubt anything will every be just the way I like it!!! That's the challenge of course, and the fun!

Hope you're having a wonderful day (or I guess night?). Until next time, take good care of yourself.

p.s. My friend Peter is in Moscow. You might want to look him up on my sidebar. He's from England, but he's teaching in Russia. He just arrived a short time ago. He's a great guy, you'll like him.

bindhiya said...

Dear Suzanne,
Beautiful Garden!
You have done a great job with the garden...Beautiful...reminds me my home...not the one now we have...the one I grew up..My Garden and my sisters garden..full of roses, jasmine, basil and a lot of plants, i don't know the English names!

Hope you having a good day! am having another no nap day! She is singing for her dolls. She says "i am singing for the meow so meow will go sleepy sleep" :)
I love that little one...my blessing!
take care
♥ and ((hugs))

Suzanne said...

Dear Cielo,

Every time I see your beautiful face I smile and exhale. What a wonderful gift to me!

Today I'm not feeling too good. I have a nasty headache from coughing so hard! But that's okay. Compared to what I've been through, it's minor.

The family room. Thanks for your encouragement. The books have been removed because I'm going to use the shelves for ironstone or blue & white. Haven't decided yet. I liked them empty, so realized I had to keep it simple (so probably ironstone). I am going to finish painting the floor. What you see is primer, so it's very cold and white, but I'm going to paint with a warm cottage white and then probably stencil something very simple and architectural around the parimeter in another shade of white. Very subtle and elegant. The furniture. I've debated. We love Mid-Century Modern and it would look gorgeous in that room, but as always I'll fall back on my favorite Shabby Chic/English Country/Cottage style, etc. Simple furniture, beautiful lines and lots of slip covers because of the animals! I take the comfortable, easy way out. Always. I do want to incorporate the existing chair. I paid $50 for it when I bought the house. It's a keeper. It looks like a wreck right now, but when it's reupholstered it will be lovely, but it's not like we'll get to enjoy it because a slip cover will also have to be made for the kitties. I've decided to have some fun with the slip cover and keep it short, with a ruffled edge around the bottom. Almost like a 1950's or 60's prom dress! Doesn't that sound dreamie? Unfortunatley, it will only last 6 months at the most! The gang is pretty rough on furniture, but we don't really worry about it. Furniture can be replaced, animals can not.

I'm also so glad you like the garden. I wish you were here too. I love when someone's heart sings. It means you don't see all the weeds and boo-boos, you just see the beauty. I like that very much.

I haven't been on your blog because I've been so sick, but the last post I saw was the one about old homes. You know me, I had tears in my eyes. I love old architecture so much and your words expressed my feeling so beautifully. Thank you. I still plan to comment! It was such a remarkable post and I agree, how do people allow a home to die. Like you, I know they're alive and many are just waiting for the right person to come along. Thank God for people like you.

I love you,

P.S. Please visit Robyn's blog (her link is on my sidebar. She wrote a Valentine's Day post that reminded me so much of you and your husband. Trust me. You won't leave feeling empty. Love you. XO

Suzanne said...


Honey, refer to my comment to Cielo! Trust me...you'll understand.

Yes it is stark and cold at the moment, but with kitties, the dog, toys, the rug, etc., it warms up real quick! It's going to be a beautiful room/retreat once it's done. I just have to get there!

Your photos are gorgeous. You just get better. Do you realize that? I like what you see and how you see it. It's a joy to come to your blog. Have you visited John Reynold's blog yet? I hope so. I'm not a photographer, but I learn something every time I visit his blog. I'm sure you will too. He's an amazing artist.

Take care and keep warm. And thanks for always stopping by. I love having you here.

Suzanne XO

Suzanne said...

Hi Bindi,

You're welcome in my garden any time. I love that you love it. That just makes me so happy. And something funny. I love roses, jasmine and basil. Wierd! Roses of course for the obvious, jasmine a bit different. I don't know what sort of Jasmine you're used to, but here in CA we grow Confederate Jasmine. It blooms in Spring and it's like walking through Heaven. I've never walked through Heaven, but imagine it must be similar. And basil. It's my favorite herb on the planet! Couldn't live without it. I grow it as much as possible, but because I don't kill snails, they eat it and leave me with very little. But that's okay. We all share and when I'm in short supply, I go to the market! I suppose I love basil because I can't live without tomatoes. Perfect combo.

So little one is still up! Honey, are you okay?! That is a very long day. Hang in there. She'll grow up way too soon and these beautiful day will be gone forever. So hold on.

I love you my dear. Thank you for everything, but most of all, thank you for being you.

Much love,

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

You have a beautiful garden! And I love the family room! I can see it finished and how cozy it is going to be.

Suzanne said...

Hi Penny,

It's going to be a great room once finished. It's already a fun play house for T-Bone and the kitties, but it really does need some furniture and art! All in good time. You actually have me thinking about black and white because of your post. We have white slip covers in all rooms with lots of black lamp shades lines with gold (nice warm light), so your post made me think about what I want for the family room. Warm yellow walls, white slipcovers and black. Makes sense, doesn't it? Very French! Speaking of which, you know Fabulous FiFi, right? God would she love what ever it is you're creating! It's a lamp, isn't it? I can see it in her office. :) Unfortunatly she'll probably have to steal it from your client!

Love you dear. Thanks for always stopping by. So glad we met!

Much love,
Suzanne XO

Salem Stitcher said...

Your garden is beautiful. I wish I had that talent but I quilt instead. Most plants that have the misfortune of crossing my path find themselves on deathrow so I let the yard be. I do have one rose bush that I transferred from my Grandmother's house that seems to be a Superrose. I'll blog about it soon. It's a good story.

Take care,

Skeeter said...

Your rose garden was really nice, Suzanne! The crepe myrtles here in Oklahoma do well and bloom like your bushy plants, but these crepe myrtles are native and hearty. They take well to grooming and I'm so thankful because they produce so much volume each year. I hope that your plants pull through once Spring arrives. I didn't see a scratching post for the kitties in your picture. Do they get naughty and sharpen their claws on the chair?

bindhiya said...

Dear Suzanne,
I googled confederate jasmine...
te type of jasmine we had is Jasminum sambac. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasmine

I had a great day...My baby girl go sleep just at 9.30...without a nap all day...no she sleep 10 whole minutes in my hand :)
Why babies doesn't want to sleep? they want to play :)
Hope you had a good day.
take care
♥ and ((hugs))

Call for coexistence said...

peace be up on you
i hop you visit my new blog and ask about any thing you want to know

Robyn said...

Oh be still my joyful heart! Oh bless me I have missed you terribly. It wasn't the same dear friend. Please from now on (from a selfish standpoint) don't get sick again...:)!

Now on to that lovely piece of property you call your home. Look at all those nooks and crannys. Something beautiful popping out of them. Roses and more roses, secret paths that lead to frog ponds, etc. Just breathtaking. You really do have the touch for GREEN!

As for the white room...I really love it. And all those books to run my hands over. Hmmm...dreamy. And the painted fire place. Just all is so lovely. I can't thank you enough for sharing a little peek into your beautiful home. Stunning.

Maine coon cat....I have to tell you. That I at one time was looking into these cats. But I couldn't bring myself to bring another cat in, since my Siam is not very fond of strangers. He really is a beast to them. Even poor Glacier took a beating when he joined our family. Poor sweety. But now they romp and play. Even Siam at 18 years young still is frisky like a kitten. Oh...how my heart will die a bit when that day comes....I can't even fathom bringing it up. So I won't.

I can't wait to see how you will redesign the front...what ever you do will be fantastic. You are my Garden Goddess!
Miss you too much and now I have to catch up on hugs!

P.S. Thank you as always for gracing my blog with your sweet, lovely words. Jim has come to really enjoy reading your comments and blog! You are truly a special friend!

KimberlyRyanDesigns said...

SUZANNE!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness I'm so glad you found me!I lost my email address book months ago, has it been a year? Please email me, I still have your little wrapped package in my office, I constantly think about you:) Cant wait to hear from you, Hugs, Kim

Anonymous said...

Hi there, thank you for visiting my blog today. I have to say I love your roses and they make me want spring so bad here in the midwest I can not wait. I will look through the rest of your blog tomorrow when I have more time. Can't wait to see what you end up doing with the room.

Cecile said...

Damn (opps did I say that?) who needs to look at Better Homes and Gardens or Southern Living when we can come here. Personally, I like the room. I love spartan. Less is more in my opinion. And the white just looks so sterile. I like sterile.

floots said...

you have a beautiful home
thanks for letting us see it
however i do have a limited vocabulary and i often encounter words which i do not understand
"housekeeping" ???
the other day i heard another one - "ironing"
life still holds so many mysteries :)


see what i did in the second to last picture... as i was sneaking around looking for colors that dont match i knocked over yer flower pot. my bad... i'll buy ya a new one.

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

Your garden is lovely. I can just imagine enjoying it in a late July night with a glass of iced tea.

Love the photo of the kitties all curled up.

Suzanne said...

Salem Stitcher,

Thank God for old roses. They're very forgiving. I visited your blog yesterday and read your post. Absolutely loved it and would also love a cutting from your rose bush. Does it bloom just once or twice a year or does it bloom throughout the season? Do you know how to take a cutting? If not I'll explain and even pay for shipping! Seriously. I'm nutty about old roses and I like the look of yours. I also love roses with fragrance and roses that are easy to grow and care for. Yours is a keeper. How fortunate you have something your Grandmother loved so much.

It's okay if you're a horrible gardener because you're a terrific quilter. I forgive you. You can stop by my blog for pretty gardens, but no quilts! We're perfectly matched (however, I'm still working on the design of that huge quilt painting we discuss).

Let's chat about the rose. It's best to take cuttings after the first bloom.

Hope things at the office are improving and that you're relearning how to be an engineer! That's too funny. Have a nice evening.

Much love,

Suzanne said...


I just wrote to you, but lost the whole thing when I tried to publish it. My computer's been funky all day. Rob left to run errands, so I turned off his computer, unplugged everything and just putzed around his office smacking wires and cords. It worked. I turned my computer back on and everything's normal. So I'm going to try again. This will be a shorter version of my last comment. Okay, that's it. Talk to you soon. No, I'm just kidding.

Crape Myrtle is an excellent suggestion to replace the Forsythia. I hadn't thought of it. It grows beautifully here too, so I'll buy the shrub form. It won't bloom in Spring like Forsythia, but that's okay.

The kitties have several scratching posts and a gazillion toys (the family room usually looks like we have 10 kids!), but the furniture seems to be their scratching post of choice. We don't really care, life is short. So we have slipcovers on everything and if the furniture itself suffers, it's not so precious it can't be replaced or reupholstered, and that's usually after years of abuse. Slipcovers hide everything! We like beautiful, custom Shabby Chic white slipcovers, so obviously with all the kitties and a dog we do A LOT of laundry.

Have enjoged your blog so much the past few days. Lots of terrific stuff. I laughed myself silly yestde r|////////////ss that was supposed to read "yesterday," but Rusty came over and sat down on my arm and then Ohno came over and passed out on the other as well as on the keyboard and on Rusty. Good Lord. How do they expect me to work. It was so crowded Rusty fell off the desk and on the way down clawed my thigh trying to hold on, but landed on the floor. Now my thigh hurts, and I think his ego is bruised. In any event the thud scared the h*** out of Ohno and he went flying. I have my desk to myself again, but I'm bleeding, so I don't feel like a winner.

I have to attend to myself, so gotta go. Have a nice evening! Talk to you soon.


Suzanne said...


That's Arabian Jasmine. I bought three plants a few years ago at Lowe's for almost $6 a pop and the first frost we had killed all three. I wasn't a happy camper. The scent was amazing and the flower gorgeous. We don't live in the tropics so I was rather ticked off at Lowe's for selling them in this climate and I was even more ticked off at me for not readinig the label more carefully. Oh well, live and learn.

Confederate Jasmine is so lovely and blooms in mid Spring. The flower isn't as pretty as Arabian Jasmine, but it doesn't matter because the scent is heavenly.

Talk to you soon. Hope you're having a beaituful evening. Hugs to you and Serene.

Much love,

bindhiya said...

Dear Suze,
Hope you had a beautiful day..
I will be away for three more days...if i can I'll sneak...
Wish you a great weekend..
♥ & ((hugs))

Suzanne said...

beaituful can also be spelled beautiful

Suzanne said...

Bindi, I was writing to you, and had to correct spelling and you plopped in right in the middle!!!! I love that. Hi honey! I'll see you in three days. Have a nice time and good luck. LOVE YOU! Suze

bindhiya said...

Dear Suze,
Yes, am right here with a big smile :)
I can't wait to be getting a normal day...
Wish for something positive tomorrow...
See you soon.
♥ ♥ ♥ & ((a lot of hugs))

Cecile said...

Aunt Suzie,
Have I told you yet today that I love you? Well, now I have!

Suzanne said...

Call for Coexistence,

Thank you for gracing my blog. I did check yours and left a message. You're doing a wonderful thing. I'll stop by to read and say hello often. Good luck my dear.


Suzanne said...

Robyn (or shall I now refer to you only as #1?),

Thanks for all the kind words. I love you. You make my head feel so big my little neck can barely carry it! It's like walking around with a big old monster pumkin head!

You'd love this place, but not right now. Without the tree the yard looks empty and there's a hole where it stood the size of a hot tub. We're waiting to have the irrigation pipe replaced (the tree broke it) before we're able to fill in the hole and resod. The fence is still down and this week with the high winds on Wedneday I guess it was, more of the fence came down. Ugh. And then, if all of that wasn't bad enough, our darling neighbor had one of her 66 foot trees removed and decided to remove all the shrubs and trees that go along her back fence and along the fence that connects our two properties as well. We've always had so much privacy, never see another house, but now it's as if the whole neighborhood is in our back yard. It's ugly and odd ~ I'm looking at a lot of telephone poles and they hurt my eyes. We're going to plant like crazy in an effort to get some privacy back. It's funny how things can change in an instant. We look around and can't believe it. What happened to our beautiful back yard? It'll be okay though. I think I posted the photos just to remind myself that the yard used to be beautiful. It will be again, it'll just be different. I'll keep you informed.

Honey, you think I'm ever going to get to that family room?! Too much on my plate. I have to blog less in a few weeks. It's a terrific room. I'm going to keep it simple. It leads right out to the the gardens so it's a wonderful space. Thanks for the encouragement. I never took photos of the "before," and should have because the difference in unbelievable! The room was rather ugly, but paint transformed it. A lot of paint! The walls throughout this house suck up paint like a sponge ~ that's why I'm exhausted. It's hard enough to paint a room once, but 3 or 4 times?! Good Lord! I've been working on the house for over 3 years and I'm still not done. Not even close.

Ahhh, the front entrance area. Skeeter suggested a Crape Myrtle to replace the Forsythia. Good idea, don't you think? Not the tree form, the shrub. And the hedge. I'm going to leave it, dig out the two dead Hawthorns and buy two new ones at $20 a pop and see what happens. I took a long look today and realized it was the best solution. If it fails I waste $40+ tax. If it works, I save hundreds. The Crape Myrtle will cost about $25-$30, so for under a $100 I have a reborn entrance. Sound like a good idea? (Why is every thing dying around this house!!!)

Siam isn't going for a while because he seems to have a good ticker and a great attitude. He is awfully selfish though! Why can't some kitties make room for other kitties? I just don't know. When you're ready, I have some great feral kitties at the park you would LOVE to death!!! Sohia is one of the greatest kitties and moms on the planet. I can hold her and even kiss her head. We're terrific friend and I love so. Her daughter, Emma is equally brilliant. Sophia is also Ireland's mom (today is the 4 week anniversary of his disappearance). She looks like Hillary, just smaller and more delicate. She's a gem.

I'm glad Jim reads my blog. Hi Jim. When are you going to get your own. You could discuss golf with mini-CSI because his dad can't seem to get his act together for the life of him!

I love you two. Hope you're having a beautiful evening Robyn. You should be home soon. Right? Hope the nurses were nice to you today. Work can be very exhausting if you have to deal with idiots, but hang in there. You have the right attitude. And Jim, I wish you didn't work so far away. What about Folsom? That's just a hop, skip and a jump. Well, I guess if you're a frog, but you aren't, so you can use the car if that's more convenient.

HUGE, HUGE HUGS and lots of kisses,
Suze (#1b)

Suzanne said...


Finally. Together again. I left a message on your blog and had hoped to email yesterday, but life got in the way, then today the computer was all funky. If I don't shoot an email off to you tonight, I'll try to do so tomorrow.

I still have my little gift for you and you for me. We're a grand couple we make! Thank God we found one another again. I think of you "so often" too. I hope the "year" has been good to you. It sounds as if it has. And no, I can't believe it's been a year? Has it? Good Lord! Okay, pinky shake, we won't lose touch again.

It's so nice to have you here. Please don't be shy! (As if!)

Much love,

Suzanne said...


Welcome my dear. Nice to have you here. Happy Birthday. We celebrate for a week, so I think you should too. So see, I'm not even late!

I wish you or someone else could come decorate the family room. Pay for the furniture too. Sounds like a deal to me. You game? Anyone game?!

Spring will slowly advance to your neck of the woods as it does every year. I almost hate to tell you it's here in full bloom. The pear trees throughout the city are in bloom and look awesome, and so is a lot of other "stuff!" I'll post some photos to lift your spirits. Don't hate me, I'm just trying to help.

We'll talk soon. I'm glad we met. Stop by often and I'll do the same.

Much love,

Suzanne said...

Cecile you crack me up. Only you could appreciate minamalism in my house! Now just picture the room with a gazillion kitty toys, scratch pads, a bacteria collecting rug (but I bath it every 2 days), a chair that was new, but now looks a hundred years old after only 4 years, and kitties and a dog plastered all over the place. Not so sterile after all. It's an illusion...I cleaned that day! But you're welcome to stop by any time. Just watch where you sit or stand because you never know what germ might be lurking.

Love you!
Aunt Suzie XO

Suzanne said...

Dear Floots,

Knock it off! I know you know how to do both. I used know twice in one sentence, a no-no, but I'm not a poet or a writer, so I'm allowed to makes lots of errors. Right? I think Stephen Parrish would agree because he lets me get away with murder when it comes to the English language and punctuation...and so does Cecile. I'm spoiled. And my hubby simply rolls his eyes. I roll mine back.

How are you feeling? Better I hope. Were you able to fit yourself into that black bikini? Hope so. It helps the spirit, doesn't it!? Make sure you launder it before you send it back. Don't tell me you don't know how to launder.

You're poetry and photos have been amazing. I love stopping by. I've also met so many wonderful people through you and I want to take a moment to thank you for collecting such an amazing group. You're a lucky man.

Love you dear,
Suzanne XO

Suzanne said...

Inner Voices,

I saw your comment and felt like the kitty just walked into my office because I screamed "OHNO!"

It's fun to have you here you crazy guy. Well, get out your wallet because it's an antique. Believe it or not when we lived in LA it was owned by our neighbor who was the movie reviewer for Time magazine. He died and his daughter threw that and lots of other stuff out on the curb. We stopped by, asked about it and she said "come on in, you can have what ever you want." Seriously. Richard Schickel was his name and we got the full tour of his house, yard and the guest house he used as his office. It was remarkable and a wonderful experience. I'll never forget it. Whenever I look at all the little goodies we collected I smile and know he does too. We appreciate his "stuff," his daughter did not. So basically, he lives on in our yard and house in spirit.

I know you didn't kick the urn over because I put it there (plus you couldn't kick it over, it weights a ton). It had collected a bit of water and I didn't want it to cause a major catastrope in CA by increasing the mosquito population. You must have tripped over something else. Go back and pick it up and you can keep your money. And honey, if you think for an instant you're going to find "colors that don't match" in this yard, you are terribly mistaken. I have eyeballs and a brian (I meant brain! I said Brian!!! Robyn's killin me with that crap!)! Oh my God, she can't see this, she'll never let me live it down! But I can't erase it because it's too funny. She's going to be tired tonight, she'll never see it! And for God sakes, don't go sneakin' around my yard, you'll scare the crap out of me, just knock on the front door and I'll let you in to wander through all the beauty. Perhaps you'll get a bit gentler around the edges after having done so.

You want to hear something funny. I visited your blog ages ago and thought "No way." We're so different. But here we are. I think that's amazing. You're terribly funny and I was half wrong. The other half of me goes on to your blog with blinders on and I blur my vision as well in an effort to protect my heart. I see only what I want to see...the rest is left for everyone else! No, I'm not kidding. I couldn't possibly absorb it all and still be me. I pretend you're the perfect gentleman with a wicked sense of humor, and that seems to do the trick!

Much love,
Suzanne :)

Suzanne said...

Hi Kim!

Welcome. Glad you stopped by. I'm glad you can imagine the garden on a late July night with a glass of iced tea because I can't. I never get to actually sit in it! Isn't that awful? I made myself a promise this year that I'm going to try to enjoy the gardens and life more. Sit down, enjoy, exhale, relax. I can never seem to find the time, so I'm going to make the time. I've made a deal with myself to appreciate all 25 hours in the day and to use the extra hour to enjoy life more. Think that'll work?

And the kitties...well, you just have to love um! Stop by as often as you like and I'll try to do the same. Talk to you soon.

XO Suzanne :)

Suzanne said...


I love you too sweetie. Thank you.

Aunt Suzie XO

P.S. If my nieces are reading this, I know they're laughing. It's too much fun. :)

Suzanne said...


NAME: CIELO said...

Just stopping by on this cold night to say I miss YOU!.... PLEASE feel good soon...

Love ya!

Hugs to your little friends!


Suzanne said...

Darling Cielo,

Hello beautiful. Thank you. I'm trying hard to feel better, but I'm still not 100%. I couldn't stop coughing today. How did you know!? I'm doing okay though. I'm definately on the road to recovery.

Sorry to hear you're cold. It's raining here, but actually quite beautiful. The temp is reasonable and we're officially celebrating Spring. So much is in bloom and the trees are happily unfolding. It's always a special time of the year. I'll post photos soon.

Love you sweetie.
p.s. I visited your blog. I have SO MUCH TO READ. You're prolific! Read your most recent post. Love it. What's new? Thank you for making life more beautiful.

Robyn said...

Well now Suz you know I can't not right here! Come on...hey listen when I get some time I MUST talk to you about something that has me really BLOWN away. A old highschool buddy sent me the link! I am just floored by this. It will require you to sit for about 1 hour to watch . But once it is done. you will rock back in your seat with your mouth open.

Just like Jim and I were....AMAZING and not good amazing. Just feel like idiots and can't believe so many died as a result! I will email you soon. Hopefully Saturday!

I miss you and adore you to bits! (pssssst...I have a secret! You are #1 for me !) Lots of squeezes and smoochs!

Cecile said...

Yeah well, I haven't been cleaning house that much lately, so it is tomb of bacteria at the moment. I am so lazy right now. I wish I could afford a maid, but I wouldn't feel comfortable having a stranger come clean my house.

savannah_rae said...

Suze, I don't have time to reply as much as I'd like to, but I just wanted to stop by and say I LOVE YOU. Your last comment made me cry so hard, because it was the most beatiful thing anyone has ever said to me. I needed that. I'm glad that you are feeling better. It's such a horrible cold/flu season. Alex's brother just got here, he's visiting for the weekend. So, I'm going to turn into the hostess with the mostess. =] Love you dear!
XOXO, Savannah

Maithri said...

I love the pictures,

You have a beuatiful home and garden... Feels so cozy.

I'm with floots on the interesting new words... ;)

Sending you soft love and deep peace,


kylie said...

hey suze!!!!
i could pretend i wasnt commenting to give you a rest but truth is i knew that if i did write you i would be on this dumb computer every five minutes to see what you had to say back! i'm already 85% thru my data limit and about 80% thru the month so i need to do some serious cutting back.
was it me who said "there should be a little bit of lent in every day"?
not with blogging, no, nuh uh .

your garden is gorgeous and i hope your furries appreciate their spectacular playroom

you know i love that whole shabby chic/country style look but somehow i never actually choose that kind of stuff, weird, huh?

i dont think you need worry about the camel racing on cruelty grounds, they raced about 6 quarter miles in about 2 hours, with a feed and a rest in between races and not a chance of being struck, it's hard enough to hang on!!
i must say though, i have some reservations about horse racing

hope you're having fun and looking gorgeous

Suzanne said...


Okay, I'm going to type really fast so you don't use up your time. Does that count? It's 1:40 here and some where around 12 your time. Are we close? I really do have to get one of those clocks.

You're post killed me. Rob and I were laughing so hard it was silly. You write so brilliantly and the story was precious. I'm still laughing. I've told everyone I know about it! Helen and Mark should be over soon. Helen's calling me Auntie Suzanne and should be calling you Auntie Kylie in no time! I'm waiting for her to call Brian Unclie CSI! She's too adorable! Mark and Jo sure are terrific parents, and I'm going to be a terrific Auntie! You better be too if she comes knockin'.

I'm going to save the rest of my comments to your comment until March because I know you're pressed for time. I'm trying to hurry. I'll write the first week of March in order to get all my words in first! Sort of like a free pass! Get ready honey!

I love you to death. You know that.

Hug kiss and hug,
Suze :)

'54Bomber said...

G'day Suzanne,
You have a wonderful garden and I am sorry for you that you might need to replace your hedge. I've been a bit pre-occupied lately; which is why i haven't left a comment before now.
I'm zonked(tired) so i'll sign off.
Love and best wishes to you and Rob.
ps. I've got a lot of reading to catch up with on my friends' blogs.

bindhiya said...

Dear Suze,
Hope you having a good weekend...
I miss you but will be back soon...just want to say am here...am fine...
I want to say something more...but in two days i will be back to normal...
I love you ((hugs))

ShutterSpy said...

Hello again :-D

I am awaiting your next set of photos with impatience!

I like reading, but when it comes to blogs, I search out nice photos as a form of something delicious for the eyes; if cartoons are sugar for the eyes, then good photos are like wheatgerm - healthy but tasty and with varying flavours. Sorry if I'm talking a load of rubbish (or if you don't like wheatgerm)!

True, the room should warm up with some more soft furnishings and your lovely animals. It reminds me of an old fashioned 'garden room' (or maybe I just made up that term?), but anyway, it's nice as an old-fashioned 'garden room' whether that makes sense or not!

Thanks for your really nice comment (another one!) :)

I don't remember talking to John Reynolds though or being given a post from Floots :-S

You can have large printed copies of my photos if you want, but I don't know how much they would cost to produce, send, etc.

I'd also want a bit of money for them as I have never sold any and would love to make a small amount from them, but I would feel mean charging for them...

Thanks again for visiting my blog :-D

FourSistersInACottage said...

Hi Suzanne,
I LOVE YOUR WHITE ROOM!!! If I had it in me I would paint mine too.
I am having a February Pay It Forward Giveaway on my blog and website so hopefully you can stop by and enter.
Have a wonderful Sunday,
Amy (Mom to the Four Sisters)

Gig said...

Just stopped by to say hello, it has been crazy for me this last week, loved seeing your house and garden. I can picture you right there. Thanks for sharing your world with us. I hope that each day you are feeling better.
I left a note for you over at Robyns.
I appreciate your comments and how you care about the things going on around you and the world.
Well, there I go rambling...just know I think of you and all of your wonderful animals. Oh, and Rob too!

hugs and love,

Robyn said...

Well...here I am! I am tired but happy. Jim has left to go back this morning. It was HEAVEN to have him here, to support me through my sh%@ I had to deal with. And then to cut loose and have a bit of fun. I worked on Saturday and had a hell of a time getting up after getting to bed at 2am. But it was so worth it. We were celebrating...yes my small victory! I will answer everyones comments tomorrow or sunday! I am off to crawl in to bed. I have one mean creak in my neck *wink*.

Love ya and miss you something terrible! Hope you lasted through this last blowing storm we had! One day I gotta work on my fence! It isn't down yet, but the ground in soaked to much for us to put new posts in.

All right I am off!
Big squeeze!

Suzanne said...


Hi sweetie. You'll never believe this, but I found you the other day after a very long time. When you married, moved and started renovating the house, it was difficult to find you on eBay, etc. I kept looking and then eventually stopped visiting eBay. I'd check in on friends once in a while, you included, but was always told you weren't selling. I had an odd feeling. I even did a Google search and found you, but you weren't selling on your website.

Fast forward. The other day I was on Jennifer's blog (Old Painted Cottage of course!) reading the comments and was about to leave one when I saw your name. I was so excited I didn't even leave a message for our dear, beautiful Jennifer and went directly to your blog (very happy to have finally found you). I knew instantly something was wrong and then I saw your photo with short hair I started to cry, and then I went to the kitchen to get the beautiful angel hugging a rabbit you'd sent so many years ago and placed it right next to my computer ~ here it remains (it's a daily reminder), and then I started to read. After reading your entire blog, I called Rob into my office to take a look and read the current blogs about being cancer free and to look at you and your beautiful new hair. He left with tears in his eyes. You've been through so much and we both wanted to tell you how much we admire your courage and wish you a safe journey. I sat at this computer for over an hour trying to compose my thoughts and a comment, but kept erasing. The words seemed small and insignificant compared to what you'd endured. I was also having diffculty with coming in after the fact and wishing you well because where had I been all the days you'd struggled? I felt inadequate and humbled, so I decided to take a few days to compose my thoughts and find the right words. And here you are. I was so happy to see your rubber shoes!

These aren't the right words my dear, and I don't know how to find them, so I'll simply speak from my heart. I'm sorry. I know you've been to hell, and I'm so sorry. However, I'm beyond grateful you're recent test confirm you're cancer free. It is with such a heavy heart I write this, but also with such a happy heart. You are one amazing woman. I'm grateful you're still here, and your hair will grow back if that's what you want. You indicated you may not want it back, I like that. You look beautiful either way. When you spiked it Rob and I laughed so hard!

I love you my dear and the darling little boy with the rabbit connects us in such a beautiful way. They have found a permanent home next to my computer. Please stay healthy and happy. I'm so proud of you, not only as a friend, but as a woman. You give hope and courage to so many woman in your situation and to those of us who aren't, but always worry. I'm sending you the biggest hug ever, along with the most heartfelt kiss which I have placed firmly on your cheek.

Life is a challenge, isn't it Amy? I have breast cancer in my family so have had mammograms every year since turning 35. I neglected the test the past 3 years for some odd reason (fear actually) and recently had one. I'm fine. It's wonderful when you're told, "Congratulation..." because that's often not the case for many women. Thank you for being an inspiration and for allowing me to find you again. I'm grateful you're back in my life.

With so much love and admiration,
Suzanne XO

p.s. Good luck with your back. Please be careful with the pain meds, they aren't kind, as you know. We'll chat soon. XO

Suzanne said...

Robyn ~ I posted on your blog, so will make this short. So glad everything worked out and that you had a fun time Friday night.

Yes, the storm was not as bad as they predicted Saturday, but was rather nasty today (Sunday). The rest of our fence held up, but I went to the park to feed the ferals this morning and it was scary. The rain and wind was so hard and nasty on both 80 and at the park that driving was really scary. I actually got off the freeway and took the back route because with all the rain as well as the spash back from cars ahead of me, and the wind, I could barely see. Not a nice feeling. It took me longer to get to the park, but I felt safer and arrived to find 4 kitties, soaking wet, waiting for me. I brought a huge towel and dried them all off the best I could then fed them in tears. I'm not doing too well with the ones remaining. I feel like I'm failing them.

I'm so glad Jim was at home to help you through a difficult time. You two are the best together. I wish Jim could work in Folsom and you could work at Kaiser in one of the offices I visit! I'd be a happy camper. You realize we're so close we're going to have to get together! But wait. I'd like to lose 10 pounds and buy a new outfit!

I arrived home from the park and as usual looked for Ireland, despite the rain and wind. I didn't find him. Please cross your fingers for us. It's been almost 5 weeks and I'm worried I'll never see him again. You have good Karma, so if you think about it, something good will happen.

I love you honey. Honestly, I do.

#1b, aka Auntie Suzanne, aka Suze, aka Suzie, aka Suzy, aka Aunt Suzie, aka Suzanne! Good Lord!


*pops head out from bushes and kicks over antique pot again, laughs to himself and
writes something on sidewalk with chalk...*
"hows yer monday?"

Suzanne said...

Inner Voices,

Knock it off. Don't make me come over there.


bindhiya said...

Dear Suze,
Hope you having a beautiful day...I walk around without noticing it was too windy for Serene...she got real cold and we run back to house...
did you got any of my mails? yesterday and today cause i got it back saying undeliverable...please mail me back..i am waiting to hear from you..hope you have my number...it will be fine to call me around 7.30pm...
hope to hear from you soon.
♥ & ((hugs))

CIELO said...

Hi pretty Su! Just stopping by to say hi and enjoy the view of your lovely garden! I'm in heaven when I visit you!

Blessings to you, my dear!


Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Seems we have all had the winter cold lately. Glad to hear you are on the mend.

I love that your yard is full of flowers and greens. I just moved into my home this past October. I will begin to plant after the last freeze, which at the rate it is going might be June. Snowed again today and may tomorrow expected 15 for the temp. Can't plant in that now can we?

I have a fantasy about my yard. I want the area infront of my porch to be surrounded in wild flowers. There is something about the mixture of so many linds of flowers that make me swoon. In my yard, we have to part with a tree that is over a hundred years old. ut storms have torn it to pieces and because of its size it is now mixed within the wires above. Ater that the ackyard around the privacy fence will be covered in greens and purples. I love heather but am not sure it will like my yard, we will see.

By the way. I love the room as is. I mean beyond furniture, it looks lovely from here.

Thank you or sharing your home and yard.


Gig said...

Thanks for the stopping and visiting, always glad to see you. I am making my rounds, it is way past my bedtime, but can not sleep.
I am looking forward to more beautiful pictures of your garden, roses and awesome animals.

luv ya,

Robyn said...

Crapping news for me! *sighs* Had to go to the doctor's today because of some swelling in my legs (I have had it for about 2 weeks but just the last 2-3 days it has gotten much worse). *knocking head on wall* I was told I have bilateral cellulitis. My skin is red hot and hot to touch and I have no ankles anymore. The pain is intoreable, I am now on keflex and lasix and mild pain pill. I have to make this short because I have to elevate my tree trunks! I am miserable but I know this too shall pass *wistfully looking out window*.
I miss you terribly and love you to bits! I will send you good karma for that little precious furface if you do the same for me!
Talk to you VERY soon! Love ya girly!

elusive said...

oh man!you have such a beautiful place. A place anyone wd die for. Simply lovely. And elegant. Your personality definitely reflects in your house =)

krystyna said...

Hi Suzanne!
I was sure I wrote to you here. I visited you, but probably not write.
I like this color white - looks very elegant and fresh. Maybe add a little bit colour will be good too. But you know better.

krystyna said...

Whan I see your beautiful roses, I start to dream about buying a house. But I know that it takes a lot of time, energy ... and money too. I'm to old for this experiment.
But dreams are for every age and dreams are free.
Here is the good place to dream.

Best wishes to you, Suzanne!


how bout a new post... or i'll kick the pot over again...

The Queen said...

Miss you, Miss you, Miss you
Love you,

'54Bomber said...

Hey Suze,
I sent you a rather complicated reply on how to put a hit counter on your blog but it must have gone to somebody else. I don't know whom.
Any how here is a precis of my instructions:

1.Visit: http://www.freeweblogger.com/

2.Sign up to get the free counter.

3. Choose counter style and

4. copy and paste the code for same to the

5. HTTP// java script page element on your blog's layout and then save the same way you save your other links.

Cheers and beers,


Z A C K T H E M A C K 6 9 @ H O T M A I L


bindhiya said...

Good morning Sweetie,
Hope you having a beautiful day with your little ones!
my day started rough....
talk to you soon.
♥ & ((hugs))

Suzanne said...

Inner Voices,

Honey, if that's an actual email I'm unable to access it. Is it .com?

You read what I wrote, so know most of it. She was so upset about it when we talked on the phone, and after discussing it with Rob, it was too late to call her back with the info, so for some reason, just did it myself. I regret not informing her, but I don't regret doing it. I didn't say what I was supposed to say because I added way too many verbs, adjectives and nouns, and upon reflection, I could have been more concise! But I'm not a lawyer, hubby is, so I was very emotional because I love her you know and feel so protective. However, I think I got my point across despite the volume of words!

The sentence I found completely repulsive when he replied to me and also wrote on your blog, is that these were general mailings and that "lots" of people get them. What? If he hurt one person who never asked for vulgarity, but recieved it, how many other people is he hurting by imposing trash on them they never asked for? That is absolutely irresponsible.

Obviously, I have a very difficult time dealing with morons. And he's so dumb, he doesn't get it. He wrote on my blog, but I erased it without reading it and told him to never, ever step foot on my blog again. He defines disrespect and I have no times in my life for that sort of nonsense and stupidity. I just want him to "poof" be gone. It isn't as if I'm going to change of affect him because he's an older gentleman and it's too late for change, but my goal is to protect my friends. And I will always do that. So often women don't think they have a voice, but they do, they simply have to open their mouth. Therein lies the power. I wish they knew.

You know what sweetie, I ran to you because I didn't think I could handle it myself and wanted support and Rob was busy working on a murder case. I didn't need you as we discovered. But thank you for being there and making me feel as if you were the one to run to. And thank you too for taking time to delete. When I looked at your blog I started to cry because what you did was so respectful to me and women in general. Thank you.

I'll share something funny. I discovered it by accident. You can delete a comment "forever," with one simple click. When you delete a comment, hit backspace and you will be asked if you want to delete the comment "forever?" Hit yes of course and before you know it, no trace exists. It's brilliant! Who knew!???! :)

Love you dear and thank you.

I love you dear and thank you. From the bottom of my heart.


I've written to her via email an apologized for doing what I did, and hope to hear from her soon. This is supposed to be a great day for her ~ she's getting a going away bash at the office. I don't want her to worry about anything or be stressed. I want this day to be so happy.


very nice... no worries and im sure she will approve... enjoy yer day!

Cecile said...

Well, this day was happy, for many reasons. But mostly because I am blessed with friends that have my back. Thanks!

Suzanne said...

Cecile and Inner Voices,

I wrote like a hundred words to your one! Is that logical?

God I love the two of you. You are such dear, dear friends. Thank you. And Cecile, you're the best, we will always support you.

Much love to you both,
Suze XO

Ludmila M. said...

Dear friend,
After all time, i've made a new post..Take a peek there and read my news,some of them are good and some are not so good..Missing you very much..

Cecile said...

I just finished sanitizing my wastebaskets and I am about to retire for the evening. I just wanted to come by and wish you a good night before I do. Thank you for being my friend. Much love to you and Rob.

PS the stupid word verification on your comment page is 8 freaking letters long and they are so squiggly that I can barely make them out.

bindhiya said...

Dear Suze,
Good Morning!
Have a great day!
♥ & ((hugs))

kylie said...

hey, i'm back :) :) :)
looks theres some drama i've missed?
i hate that
i expect to know all the goss everywhere all the time

kylie said...

just read your comment and i have to reply this very instant...that could be why i use up my data limit :)
hwere was i ?
well whatever the drama was i get the idea it was in a circle i dont move in....i'm a much less outgoing blogger than you are...so i might not have stopped you.
cest la vie
the number of times i just have to say that and move on, it's ridiculous.
i have work to do too....told the girls they have to pick up all their crap off the floor so i can vacuum but it's going to take a whip i think

ShutterSpy said...


I was just wondering - what would you say is your favourite photo on ShutterSpy?

I'm just curious to know :)

Suzanne said...

All of you know me. You know how hard it is to keep up, but how desperately I try. I love you all dearly, and if I responded to each an every comment I'd be at about160! My ultimate goal!!! But, I can't. So I'll simple let out a collective sigh and love fest.

You matter. Each and every one. You support and love me no matter what. You make my life better. I can't even imagine it with out all of you now. In the past two months I have met some of the most beautiful people I will ever meet in my whole life and I am grateful. There are no words. I know you love me and I love you and it matters. How'd we get here? How'd we get this damn lucky? I don't know? I just know we're here and we're so lucky. And I love you all from the bottom of my heart.


Cecile said...

Ok, If you don't put up another post, I"m going to come over there and Kick your Ass. This is unheard of. There are 81 comments on this damn post and I have read almost everyone of them. What does that say about me? Damn I'm such a losser, OH and a potty mouth to boot today!. You can blame that on the Voices, his language is rubbing off on me. I'll try to remember my camera for tomorrow's meeting, but what ya gonna do if I forget? HUh HUH HUh? Ah I spend too much time on this computer. I did clean house today. I mopped my living room floor three times. I just couldn't seem to get it clean enough. I also sanitized the rest of the waste baskets, cleaned out my filthy truck, and went shopping for clothes(actually found pants my husband liked this time), did two loads of laundry, fed the dog, watered the crabs, took the kids to dinner, and to blow their allowance, went grocery shopping, Oh and I even found time to fit another post in. My dog is lying on the floor beside me chewing on a plastic wrapper that used to contain taco filling from a lunchable. The kids have a friend over and the have suceeded in destroying my clean living room by preparing these lunchable tacos in there. well, I think I have rambled on long enough, I hope I have made you proud. I didn't just use one or two simple sentences for this comment, instead I wrote a whole novel. Love ya. Cec

Suzanne said...


You're killin' me. I tried to give you an answer. Went to your blog and didn't think, just blurred my vision and looked through all the images quickly in an effort to just see color. I came up with about 20 I LOVE. Started at the beginning and went through the process again with those 20 and narrowed it to about 16. Did it again with those 16 and arrived at 15! From 15 I got to 10. I gave up at 10. Yes, the secret is out, that's how I make most choices in life!!! I'm not going to do anything more tonight because it's late and my head's a bit foggy, but I'll try to narrow the field again tomorrow. This could take a week or so. Why? Because you know how much I love your work. To get to 10 seemed "stupid funny!" I was actually laughing because when I got there I said to myself, "But what about the rest?!" Obviously, I'm not good with choices and I'm certainly horrible picking "one" thing!

I'll tell you a funny story. I'm buying some prints from John Reynolds and we settled on the first one about 2 months ago. Fast forward 2 months. He just sent "another" email and is waiting for my other selections. Again! I can't decide. They're all beautiful! But I can't afford them all! Damn.

I'm going to give it my best shot honey. You just hang in there with me. It's like asking me to pick my favorite kitty, my favorite family member, my favorite friend. It's impossible, but I'm going to do as you asked. I just want you to know my choice doesn't mean I don't love the others equally. :)

Love you!

pbsweeney said...

Oh my oh my: I love your paintings, love your gardens and your roses, love your clutter of kitties, love the photographs of those most exquisite roses. Once I had a garden of herbs and over thirty old roses, planted form scratch, but a series of unfortunate events forced my leavetaking. Do I miss my home of twenty four years? Not really - I just miss the roses!

Best, Patricia

bindhiya said...

Dear Suze,
I have tagged you again... :) I know a lot of friends tagged you already but on top of that I did too :)
I met Cecile and her cuties today!
Wonderful day! It was great...
♥ & ((hugs))

Cecile said...

*sits down in your comment section in her tank top and pickit sign.

Sign reads: NEW POST! NEW POST!

Inner Voices comes by in his spandex and joins the pickit line.

Cops come by with tear gas and rubber bullets to dispers the crowd of two.

Suzanne said...

Okay! Okay! I'm going to do something, but I've been so busy and this day so exhausting, I'm not sure I'll get more than one word out. You know, something brilliant like, "Hey!"

You'd be pretty happy in your little tank top on this nice warm CA day, but Inner Voices in spandex? Honey, I think that's why the cops came. Someone obviously called the police after seeing that walking fashion faux pas. Frankly, spandex is so tight it's a lot like Superman's suit, rubber bullets just bounce off. Duck.

Okay, I'm going to try. Don't hate me if my new post isn't adequate ~~ I'm exhausted (oh, I already said that, didn't I?). And I'm SO happy you saw Bindi and I love you're new post (one heck of a dog!), I'll be over when I get my second wind.

Okay, here I go.

Big old kiss and hug,
Moi (aka Frank ~ I say that because I.V. said after I used the word "frankly," that I "...could be whomever I want!")

ShutterSpy said...

Hehe :) Don't worry about choosing one if you don't want to - I was just curious. I'm pretty indecisive too, so I know how you feel. I don't have a favourite, because each one is different - they all show different things, have different moods, different feelings attached etc., so I wouldn't be able to choose either :-D

I just wondered if maybe there were one or two that really stood out for you :-D

Anonymous said...