Saturday, December 13, 2008

Everything but the kitchen sink...

A work in progress. Yes. I'm decorating. And you know what? It took over 4 hours to get this far and initially I was a bit grumpy. You know, having to clean the front entrance and all and then work more!!! But after about 2 hours I started singing Christmas carols and knew I was okay. Happy as a clam. Cece called just as I was ending this task for the evening, vowing to finish tomorrow. I said "Cece, for our mental health, I think we should all decorate every single day of the year!!!" We laughed really hard.

The garland around the door still has to be "poofed up and straightened (yes, I just threw it up there!)," the Azalea topiary still has to be lighted (can't find the lights and as Cece knows, I'm so organized, so where are the freakin lights?!), I have to find a fourth baby duck because I realized tonight someone took my 4th baby duck! What's up with that? Who would take a baby duck? I have to hide the cords, put down the holiday entrance know, just make it look all pretty!
I have a funny story. As I was decorating today a neighbor walked by and said "Oh, I'm so glad to see you're decorating." "Thanks, why?" "Because my wife and I were walking by a few nights ago and she said "I don't think they're going to decorate this's getting late." But I told her you would. I replied "Well, after years of marriage you can finally go home and tell your wife she's wrong and you're right." The man roared. High five! And you know what's so funny, my neighbor's motivated me to decorate. I didn't want to decorate this year. Too tired and depressed about stuff at the park, but the complements I get are insane. Everyone seems to love this house at Christmas and all I decorate is the front entrance, so they made this happen. I honestly think they willed it. As you can see almost everything is natural and collected from the garden. I think that's what captures people's imagination as they walk by (and yes, lemons are always part of the theme. I turn the lights on at around 4 am for early joggers and dog walkers and I can't tell you how many beautiful comments I've recieved over the years. I really do it for all of them.

One of many Christmas flags, but this is my favorite because he's me.

A little birdhouse tucked in Nandina berries.
Nash. Still causing trouble at the park. He didn't learn anything after tripping me. Always walks between my feet.
A very cold, foggy day at the park. The day I rescued the last feral kitten. She was shivering and cold and knew her mom, Emma, was never coming back and she was alone. I walked back to the car, got the carrier and took her to the Vet's. The best decision I've ever made. She's home from the Vet's and sleeping next to me as I type this. She's perfection and so very, very happy. I honestly believe Emma is so proud of her and know she's watching from Heaven.
The bike path. I go into the woods second big tree on the left, just past the raspberry patch.
Entering the park the morning I rescued the last remaining wee one. I was alone. Not a person or car in sight. Cold. I remember it was so cold and damp. You would think I'd be scared being all alone in this big old park. There are days I am, but as I came down the hill to the entrance gate this day, I felt peace. The park was all mine and I know it so well. It's like a dear, dear friend. Writing this I remember the morning as if it were yesterday. The morning of Friday, December 12th, rushing around as usual to feed everyone, prepare to leave for the park, feed the birds and squirrels, do the first load of laundry, try to find time for a shower, etc., and then realized the view from my kitchen window was lovely. White Birch in the background, Camillias in the dessert dish.

Rusty's favorite thing in the whole world is warm laundry just out of the dryer! Another lucky day!!!
T-Bone and I went for a walk around the neighborhood and saw some wonderful decorations. This is just two houses up and the place is decorated to the hilt. T-Bone is fine with all the stuff at night, but when I took him past the house this afternoon, I was telling Cece he went all nutty on me!! Tail uncurled, tail down, ears down. It was hilarious. He was afraid of Santa and afraid of all the 7 foot nutcrackers lining the fence. I'm laughing just remembering. I said "Come on honey, buck up." I was unceremoneously dragged to the other side of the street. Hey! I was not amused.
Wow!!! We just stood and looked a long, long time.

Then some more!
T-Bone thought it was a toy. He started running. "DUDE, STOP." He didn't hear me because he proceeded to yank my arm clear out of it's socket.
Hydrangea for Leah. Yes, we still have blue ones at Christmas!

Pyracathus just beginning to turn red. I use the berries for holiday decorations, but this year the birds have beaten me to them. I've been left with very little, but don't mind. I'd rather a bird's tummy be full and happy.
Looking at the ivy Rob was supposed to trim before it grew into the tree. Noticed my arrow. I made it for a sculpture project at UCLA in the early 90's. My professor gave me so much crap for this thing. I cut it with an acetylene torch and welded all the parts together. The day of the critique he said, in front of the whole class, "Well what's it going to do (he was really into performance art)? I said "Nothing." He replied, "Why don't you go to the roof and throw it off (big cheers from my peers!!!). I said "NO!" He said "Why, your welds won't hold up?" I replied, "Trust me, my welds will hold up, but I'm worried the steel will bend." I got an A. Still funny to this day. Richard. That man was on my ass from the moment I entered the studio. Why? I don't know? I did more than any man or woman in that class, yet he was relentless. He was constantly challenging me to do more, to think harder. I was already thinking so hard I thought my brain would burst. It didn't. Thank God. Oh, and I still have the undamaged arrow to boot!
This is for Hunter. Yup, turkeys in the back yard a few years ago. Just six with Hopper as chaperone. There were 13 or 14 in total. It was amazing to have them grace this yard.
Rob's mom's dear friend died close to Christmas 3 years ago. Mom didn't want to celebrate Christmas, so I went to Michael's, bought a fake tree with lights and decorated with everything natural, and lots of fake birds because she loves birds (God fake birds are expensive!!!). She loved it. I said "Mom, when the holidays are over, just give it back and I'll save it for next year, hoping she'd forget the following year and I'd have it for the sofa table. That woman wouldn't give up the tree!!! Yup, loved it that much. Three years later...yup, guess I'll just have to make one for myself.

Mom's Christmas tree on the kitchen table.The table you see is no longer in the kitchen, but it has a funny story attached. Richard, my sculpture professor at UCLA came in one day and said "What is this, a fucking furniture factory?" I'd made a kitchen table, a coffee table and a sofa table!!! All steel with wood tops!!! Seriously, the man was relentless! I used to walk around with a face mask I'd flip up to talk and leather everything. Leather chaps, leather jacket, leather gloves. One day I said to Richard "I'm a vegetarian and I'm sick of wearing this much leather." He said, "Well, the alternative is death. Make a choice." Hey, you little bastard. I swear to God he is one of the fondest, most annoying memories of my whole life!!! And if you've never welded, all that leather is heavy. It's not nice light leather, it's heavy. I guess so you don't burn up or something. I don't know?
Finally...the end!
;) Love you all and thanks for stickin' around.
P.S. If you've read this far, I know you're a true friend. Cece said everyone is concerned I'm overextended. I am overextended and trying to figure out what to give up. I'll figure it out. Seriously. I'll figure it out.


just bob said...

Hmmm... Blottie in leather.

Suzanne said...

Oh my God I'm so freakin' late for EVERYTHING...but I'll say this before I leave. You bet your ass. Now what can I weld it to?! Blottie ain't no sissy honey! Thank you for making my day. Gotta go. God I'M SO LATE!!! What do you think about the entrance? Am I on the right track? And yes, if I wasn't a painter I'd be a sculpture. I'd work with steel. Love it! Love everything about it. *Lifts helmet, opens leather jacket, dusts off chaps and kicks ass with steel toed boots.*

Gig said...

The door has opened!! Beautiful post Suze! I could feel Christmas in the air...loved all the pics of your decorations and your neighborhood. Thanks for sharing this with us.

I felt I was right there with you going to the park...always remember what a special person you are, we need more like you in this world. Yes, sometimes you might need to step back and take a deep breath...and then jump back in. It is who you are. It is why we all love and care about you.

Ok, there now you know how I feel about you...I posted here instead of over at Khlyies.

Now I must rearrange my living room to make room for the Christmas tree...wash dishes, do laundry, make dinner...and then go to PARTY WITH THE GIRLS!!

xoxo, giggie

Anonymous said...

Thought you'd left for good. Glad to see you're back! Beautiful decorations. Beautiful Park.

Suzanne said...

Gig, I love you to death. Sorry I haven't called. I will in the next few days. And thanks for your love and kindness. You're right, it's good to take time to gather oneself. The past few months have been so difficult, but decorating the front entrance brough a joy to my life I haven't felt in quite some time. There is a holiday spirit. It isn't about gifts or things and that's why I've decided not to send cards for the first time EVER, or buy anything. I just want to quietly reflect and enjoy my life. I'll probably volunteer Christmas day then spend the rest of it with all my wee ones. I've also decided to empty this house of all the things that clutter my mind and spirt. Simplicity. I like that word and I'm going to move fearlessly in that direction in 2009!

Thanks for your friendship and comment. I love very much.


Suzanne said...

Well, well, well...look who's here, Mr. Pickle! I had no idea you read this blog. THANKS! And thanks too for your kind word. It is a beautiful park, isn't it? It's been a difficult place to be the past few months, but it's still special.

I haven't been able to get to the front entrance today because the cable person is coming to transition us to everything COMCAST!!! As you can tell, I'm trying desperately to clean the house for his much awaited arrival between 4-6pm. Gotta go baby! Floors to clean, windows to wash...I asked Rob, "So does this mean if Comcast goes down we lose access to everything?" Answer. "Yup." How's that good? Apparently it's cheaper than the way we're currently structured and we get more. Hummmmmmmmm.

Thanks for stopping by. Do it more often Mister! It's nice to have you here. And thanks again for your kind words.


Suzanne said...


I also love "you" very much!

Megan said...

She's back with a vengeance!

Thanks for this post, Suzanne. Great pictures, great words. I can feel that fog just looking at it.

Now must go imagine Blottie in full-on 'Jennifer Beals in Flashdance! Welder Mode!' Be still my heart!!!!

Walker said...

Those are beautiful decorations and it looks like you put alot of work into it.
I know starting to decorate is slow but once you get started and the spirit of the Holidays sets in you can't stop.
If fact i leave mine up until June because they look so good.

Ok I'm lazy.

Those houses look great to and i like walking around here to see how everyone decorates their place.

Nice to see a post from you

Kookaburra said...

# pictures Susanne singing carols while cleaning the front entrance #
Wow, your Post has a little of everything! I really like your portrayal of your art class at UCLA and the story of how you gave your Mom a Christmas tree.

Have a Very Merry Christmas. xoxo

Cece said...

Mom's three year old Christmas tree is beautiful. Red Birds were my dad's favorite. I actually made him a sculpture of one out of clay when I was in the 6th grade. My mom still has it somewhere. I think I'll have to ask her about it the next time I go up. The front entrance looks great. (Even if it's just white lights) The greenery and berries add a just enough color. I too love the view from your kitchen window. Sometimes foggy mornings are very beautiful. I have been battling a terrible headache all day today, so I think I'm going to take some medicine and go to bed now. Talk to you soon. Cece

Suzanne said...

Megan! Thanks honey. Trying to imagine me in "full-on 'Jennifer Beals in Flashdance! Welder Mode!'" Wow, I'm SO HOT!! No really, I mean, wearing all that stuff was a burden and I was always really hot lugging it around. Oh, and it's not as if it was my own personal stash. It was worn by everyone, so kinda stinky too. I don't think it was ever laundered or sent to the cleaners. Ahhhhhhhhhhh...the life of an artist!

I forgot about Flash Dance. Loved that movie. Forgot dear Jen was a welder by day, dancer by night. Right? I'm going to have to google that dammit! Every time I pull out of WalMart and look into the Hooter's parking lot I think "I may have a career!" What? A girls gotta dream! I'm thinking outside the box because my retirement account has dwindled to a big fat ZERO. Something like, Hooters for Geriatrics!

And that fog. Isn't it beautful? I'm so glad my camera was able to capture it's weight. I absolutely love all the photos with it. Thanks for noticing and appreciating. That was an amazing day at the park, and yes there are many like that. That place has made me a stronger woman. I can also honestly say I'm a better human being for this experience. Humbled. Absolutely humbled.

"Be still my heart..." Well, you travel a different path, but just know I'm smiling all the way!!!

Love you darling and thanks for your kind support, friendship and laughter. You're a gem and I adore you.


Suzanne said...


Hi darling. Nice you stopped by. I'd hoped to get the front entrance completed today, but wasn't able. Tomorrow. When I do I'll post photos! I realized something about our house and decorations tonight as I was returning from the market, it's quiet. You have to make an effort to see it, but once you do, it's special. Rob came home last night and said "Suzanne, it's so beautiful. There are so many beautifully decorated houses, but ours is the best because it's so simply elegant." I liked that. He made me feel all warm and cozy.

I don't keep stuff up till June, but till the end of January. I don't know why, but I just can't take it down!!! It's too pretty to take down! I've decided next year I'm going to start decorating the day after Thanksgiving! You might want to consider that because June really is pathetic.

Love you dear and thanks for your support. It's always a pleasure when you arrive. I start to get all hot and bothered!!! And I don't think it's because of the leather!!! I think it's simply anticipation!


Suzanne said...


Why can't I comment on your blog? Everyone else can!!! I miss you all terribly. HI HONEY!!! Thanks for your kind words. Cece hates Christmas music and was telling me last night. I informed her I listen to it year round!!! Honestly. I LOVE IT!!! Why? I don't know. She thinks I'm nuts. I disagree.

Art at UCLA was pretty awesome. I learned so much. I can honestly say I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. I think Richard looked at me as a daughter and he wasn't going to let me escape without a good swift kick in the ass. I found my voice in that place and I'm forever grateful.

Mom's little Christmas tree is a gem. I'm going to try and recreate it for me this year. I need something simple and precious. I'll take photos!!! Wish me luck baby!!!

Love you Mark. Please give my love to Helen and Jo. I seriously can not post on your blog, but know that you're all in my thoughts every day. Love you all.


Suzanne said...

Hi Cece,

I didn't call because I know how hard it is to talk with head pain. I hope you're sleeping and feeling better.

Isn't that little tree precious!? I'm going to Michael's to find another one to decorate for me this year. We can't have a regular tree with all the animals!!! Too hilarious!!! So I want one just like Mom's. I expect to plunk down some dough because those fake birds are very expensive!!! Why? I'll take photos because I do one mean Christmas tree!!!

Well honey, guess what? We're officially on Comcast today for EVERYTHING. No more Sprint or AT&T. Wow. If Comcast goes down for a few hours, wish us luck because we'll be unable to communicate at all!!! I'm laughing cuz it's just too funny. But doing this saves us about $80 a month and we get better service. Hummmmmmmmm. Let the games begin. I'm hearing that damn hockey music!

Love you baby. Go to Zack's and watch the video. Yes darling, you're welcome!


Anonymous said...


First of all, I want to apologise for not having commented before - things are so busy and I hardly have time to blog or comment, but I wanted to take a little time today to comment here.
You are doing the right thing in decorating - it looks fantastic. Remember, you just maybe need to slow down a little bit and take each day as it comes.
Love you honey - have a wonderful holiday time.
Peter xxxx

Suzanne said...


Hi honey!!! Oh, it's so nice to hear your beautiful voice. I've missed you. You know what? I'm happy you're busy. I'm happy you're home. Why? Because I know you're content.

Thanks for your kind words and advice. Look, I'm sitting here at 7:30 am! I've decided to do things differently. Take my time, enjoy life a bit more. I'm here because my neighbor was walking by with her Chow (she had two, but the oldest died a few months ago) and stopped in front of the house, looked at the lights and smiled, big and wide. She didn't see me because I have all the lights on dimmers inside and keep things very low key in the morning, so I was able to stand at the kitchen sink, watch and enjoy her reaction. It made my day. I decided to check emails and relax for a few minutes (I only have 89 new emails!!! I didn't check any, just got out of there really, really fast!!!). I never do this. It feels nice. But I gotta boogie because I still have a ton of things to do before leaving for the park and I need a shower. BAD!!!

I love you baby. Have a beautiful day and we'll chat soon. I hope to finish the front entrance today and will post photos when I do. Stop by when you have some time and take a look. Please give my love to your sister and have an amazing holiday with your family and friends (and the kitties too!).

Love you dear,

farmgirl said...

What lovely decorations, what lovely commentary, what lovely stories, what lovely friends and kitties.
I think the park pictures are beautiful and thank you so much for sharing them.
I hope that you have a splendid holiday-
I spent the day putting up our tree and garlands around our doorway. Tonight we have caroling around the bonfire in the field across from our general store, something out of time... People come from allover and descend on our tiny village to be a part of it. Quite special.
I send you lots of carols, singing, greenery, comfort and joy.

Skeeter said...

Hi Suzanne,

The kitties look so happy and healthy. Glad your newest rescued kitten is home from the vet and doing well. They have so much love to give. We get the wild birds here too, but ours are mostly waterfowl because of the pond. Your turkey are big and impressive birds.

So glad YOU are back dear.

Best wishes,


Suzanne said...


Hello my dear, so nice to have you here. Thanks for the beautiful comment. All of you just make my heart sing. I mean that.

The park really is an amazing place and so many extrodinary things have happened to me while there. I'll give two examples. I was in the woods when I heard bagpipes. I'm in the middle of the freakin woods and I hear bagpipes!!! What? I love bagpipes. I'm English, French & Polish, but in my heart, I know I'm Irish, so bagpipes make me cry. It was so beautiful. I couldn't figure out where the hell it was coming from. I realized when I left. The park is located near downtown Sacramento, where the American and Sacramento Rivers meet. There is a levee that protects the town of Natomas from the rivers and you have to come off the levee to drive down into the park on one side and into an industrial park on the other. The music was coming from the industrial park. I followed the music recently and discovered a group of, I think they're called "bagpipers," bagpiping! They work in the offices and come out once a month to play together. It's stunningly beautiful. How often can you say you get to listen to really, really talented muscians playing the bagpipes? Before I started feeding the ferals I can honestly say "NEVER!!!" I've learned that when I hear them I finish with the kitties and hurry down to sit and listen. Along with lots of other fans. It's like a mini concert! It really is a wonderful open air concert. Lucky, lucky me.

And then, about 2 months ago I arrived at the park on a Sunday morning to lots of cars and though "Oh boy...parking!" Everyone knows me at the park, so even with huge event I'm allowed in free (as always) to find illegal parking! Found a nice space near the sign that reads "No parking and went into the woods. The concert began. A black woman sung the Star Spangled Banner to open the concert and I was in the woods in tears. It was so, so, so beautiful. I remember thinking, I'm in the woods, about 6 feet off the bike path, alone, listening to one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard. I gathers my stuff, apologized to the kitties and left as quickly as possible because I knew I'd never make it through a second song! Seriously! Never. I cried almost all the way home! There are three things that bring be to my knees. Beautiful architecture. Beautiful art. And beautiful music.

Your town's bonfire event sounds so wonderful. It amazes me how people come together to enjoy one another and the moment. What a special event. I hope you have a great time. And sing really loud honey, so people notice you!!! Or blend into the background so people don't!!! What? I'm giving you options. Which reminds me, I have to introduce you to my dear friend Frannie in Kentucy. She worked at the White House and her hubby (Hunny Hunk) is a retired Federal Prosector with the Attorney General's office before "Idiot" arrived. You'll love them. Match made in Heaven! They sold a million dollar home on the river in Annapolis to move to a small cabin in a small town in Kentucy because Frannnie had a dream. That's one hell of a husband!!! And Frannie's one hell of a lady. She writes for alot of magazines, so you may already know her, but if not, I'm making an introduction!!! I'm confident the two of you will embrace one another. I don't know why, but the two of you seem perfectly suited.

Honey, thanks for stopping by. I'm so happy you're here. I am. If you were standing in front of me I'd give you the biggest hug. When you have time, introduce yourself to everyone. I have the greatest group of friends as you know. They'll embrace you. I'm going to be really honest, I don't even think we care your a 5 time Grammy winner, we just love you because you're a sweetie! Hope that's okay!!! Sorry honey! But once a year will celebrate your Grammies. Like on your birthday or something! Email Cece with your birthday at the Wild Onion. Birthdays are very special around here and we have a blast. There's a lot of virtual drinking and eating. And sometimes we take a trip if RC is the event planner. Hang on baby. Yes, this is a ride!

Love you darling. Your garland and tree look beautiful. Well...only in my imagination. Start a freakin' blog for God sakes. It's not hard. Trust me. I'm a blogging sissy and I did it. What's your excuse?

Gotta go. Oh, but before I do, you must visit the previous post because I responded to your comment and some friends wrote to you. It's good for the soul.

Love you dear. Have a wonderful time at the bonefire.


P.S. Happy Holidays to you as well, but I'm sure we'll talk before the big day.

Suzanne said...


Hi honey! I'm so glad you're here. Are those turkeys gorgeous, or what?! I know, it was an absolutely amazing morning. To wake to 13 or 14 turkeys. How does a girl get so lucky? I don't know!!! Stuff like that just kills me.

I'm going to post about my newest rescue soon. She's a gem. I think my post will be intitled "To The Manor Born." Seriously. She walks around this joint like she owns it. Hook, line and sinker. It's too funny. I look at her and say "A week ago you were in the woods!" She's amazing and I want all of you to meet her. Of course I'm laughing!

I know you love music. Farmgirl is Mary Chapin Carpenter. Give her some love because we welcome all newcomers. She so fits right in to this cobweb!!! Have fun and enjoy. She really is a sweetie. And honestly, I don't think she's here for the music cuz hell, I can't sing for the life of me!!! Honey, please make her feel welcomed.

Love you darling and thanks. It's good to be back.


Karen ^..^ said...


Your house is so pretty. So beautiful. Roses all over... kitties all over. I love the photo of the flag out front because it was shot through the window where the kitties were laying. Awww...

And the entryway where the lighted baskets were was absolutely beautiful. I love your house, you are so creative and talented. Your flowers are enough to make me want to curl up on a blanket outside and have a picnic. Who would take your little duckling???

Hopefully it was a small child, and not some prankster adult.

Your blog is beautiful, all the kitties and flowers.

Beautifully written, beautifully thought out. And yes, I made it to the bottom. Loved every word.

A welder huh? You make furniture! SO COOL. I always wanted to learn how to make furniture. Woodworking. Satisfying work. I need a garage and a work bench. Hell, I need a man. LOL.

He can lift the heavy stuff.

I'll do the rest.

Ok, I'm glad to see you are posting again. Pure pleasure, this blog. Thanks, BOB!!!

Why does he call you Blottie? LOL, its a cute nickname, what does it mean?

just bob said...

Karen... check out this post.

Megan said...

Suzanne - I can't believe you know that the bagpipes are originally Irish and not Scot! Wait, what am I saying? Of course I can believe it!

Acushla, you are officially Irish as of this moment. Obviously, the blood of kings flows in your veins...

Omigoodness my verification word is bushpiper. No shit.

Suzanne said...

Bob...he's so into marketing. Honey, while you're at the store can you grab a gallon of milk? ~ Love Blottie!

Karen...that's my home office and the kitties have the best view. They're a huge hit in the neighborhood. Everyone loves the changing view. I'm often asked how many kitties I have. My answer is always the same, "I don't know, I stopped counting at 6." I'm serious! I know I'm way above 10. I bought Advantage from the Vet's the other day. A four month supply. I got home, looked at the four tubes and thought "Yup, that should do it!" I have no idea what the hell I was thinking.

*Get's white wicker garden chair for Karen.* Here honey, you just plant your ass right here! Who would take my baby duck? I don't know? Is that odd, or what? Lots of people come to the door and leave business cards, etc. I assume someone needed a baby duck. Why? That was my baby duck!!! Go to Home Depot and buy your own baby duck. I hope HD still has them. I really need that duck. The mommy duck with baby attached was an anniversary gift from Rob, the three little others were a gift to myself. *Stomps rubber boot hard in ducky mud puddle. Damn.*

Thanks for all the kind words sweetie. You're such a gem. I'm not sure you noticed, but Mary Chapin Carpenter graces my blog. She's "Farmgirl" and such a dear, sweet soul. 5 time Grammy Award winner for a reason. Go to her website ( and enjoy all the words. Read the NPR post. It's amazing how we're all connected. She's just like us and fits right in!!! Say hello if you have time.

Well, I haven't welded in about a decade but it's not as if you forget how. And furniture. God I love designing furniture. Our garage is filled with tools and woodworking equipment. All mine!!! Rob wouldn't know what to do with any of it!!! I'm laughing. Really. We're so different. Honey, you don't need a man, you just need a really healthy bank account!!!

Love you darling and so glad we met. I'll stop by tomorrow to say hello. Take care of yourself.

XO Blottie!!!

Suzanne said...


I know. I know way too much crap. Why? I DON'T KNOW!!! Seriously. I just don't know. But isn't it interesting about the Irish? I love that. Honey, it's true. I think I'm Irish. And this is why...
1) Irish music makes me cry.
2) Irish architecture makes me cry.
3) Irish quotes make me cry.
4) The Irish make me cry.
5) Green makes me cry.

What? Shall I go on? I can't help it. I'm Irish. Okay, well not technically, but in my heart. I'm British! That counts, right? So there's probably some Irish in me somewhere!!!

Honey, what does Acushla mean? I like the word. I've been searching for a name for my new kitty, and would like a word associated with fearless, but all the names are masculine. She's a pretty little girl and one bold MF. I want her name to reflect who she is. Any suggestions sweetie?

And yes, just so you know, the blood of kings does flow through my veins. I'm a decendent of Howard Castle fame. I think that makes me pretty important!!! Well also because I'm from upstate NY and I shop at WalMart for the best price on kitty food! What? An aristrocrat has to be practical too.

Love you to bits darling. Help me find a name. My first choice of course is Ireland, but after almost a year I have to finally bury Ireland and don't think it's the right time to give that name to another.

Love you drarling! Word Verification is hilarious. I often think they're watching us!


Suzanne said...

I also love you "darling!!!"

kylie said...

hey suze!
we've got blue hydrangeas at the moment too.
i love your decorations, wish i had the time and motivation to do all of that but alas......

great to see you having a good time


Suzanne said...

Hey Kylie,

I love you. I was just over at the Yarn thinking about life. It's hard, isn't it? Why? One day I know I'll just find the answer. I'll log on, say goodbye and be okay. Right now, nope. It just hurts way too much. But that's okay. The song on Zack's block just keeps playing in a loop. Too funny! Enjoy!

Karen ^..^ said...

I love Mary Chapen Carpenter!! Passionate kisses was one of my very favorites of hers. She was one of the more down to earth country singers, it seemed.

I do love your house. So beautiful. All those kitties.

I visited the profile, but sadly, no blog.

Suzanne said...


Good morning sweetie. I'm sitting here trying to figure out what to do. I should be leaving for the park RIGHT NOW, but it's raining really hard. Do I wait or do I go? I've gone in pouring rain before. The park is 12 miles away and the weather is always different there. I think I'm going to wait till the rain eases here a bit, then hurry up there. (I mean, drive really carefully and slow.) Trust me, I drive carefully in the rain.

Just talk to Mary Chapin. She likes to be called MC (Chapin is her middle name.) She's just above this comment and she's a sweetie-pie. Introduce yourself and say "Hey!" And no, she doesn't have a blog, but she does have a website. You'll love it. Please take time to read the NPR piece. Very moving. It's universal...everyone has problems!!! Thank God we're not alone!!!

You know it's funny, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of MC isn't country music. It's folk music. Mary, how do you define your music? Karen, do you think it's more country? Well Mary I always brag about your 5 Grammy Awards here, so I guess I better do some research to figure out what the hell you won them for!!! What? There are only 24 hours in my day, so I CAN NOT be expected to be well informed and perfect all the time.

Karen, I gotta go. I think it's stopped raining. Wish me luck. Just hang out if you want. There's plenty of coffee and tea, juice, scones, salad greens etc! Oh, and the kitties and T-Bone will just adore you. Pick some roses if you like and while you're at it perhaps you can finish the front entrance!!! Thanks honey!

Oh, one more thing. If you haven't already, visit the Wild Onion. It's such a fun place. And Gig just bought us a new bar for Christmas!!! It's beautiful! Life is good.

Have a great day sweetie. XO

farmgirl said...

thanks so much for your note. I forgot to explain in mine that I sign off as Mc2 as a shortened version of my name. Chapin is actually part of my first name, it's like Mary Beth or Mary Ann. No middle name.
I would love to visit the Wild Onion, but I am still a little in the dark about blogs and how they all work. And why are you called Blottie?
I have thought of starting a blog so that I can post pics, but despite what you say about your blogging abilities, I would say I am sissier, if there is such a word.

just bob said...


Here's the link to The Wild Onion Cafe. We may be a little crazy, but we're relatively safe (except for IV). By the way, you'll be a welcome addition to open mic night at the Wild Onion if you decide to hang out. I'm a decent bartender but not much of a singer.

I gave Suzanne the nickname Blottie. You can read the story by clicking on this link The First Blottie Award.

Happy Holidays... just bob

farmgirl said...

OK Suzanne, I have taken up the challenge and spent most of this evening creating a blog:

It isn't much, but it's home for now.


Cece said...

Hi MC2
Unfortunately noone can access your blog because you have not made it public. Bob, can you explain how she can make her blog public. I think if when you first log in you are in your own dashboard and you can choose settings, and then permissions? But I am not completely sure. In order to get to other people's blogs from Suzanne's you can just simply click our blue highlighted names and it will take you to our profile page. From there you can choose to read the blogs. Some of us even have a blog roll on the sidebar of our blogs where you can click on those links and go to other blogs. It is so much fun. Oh and MC2, if you are in need of some new songs for a new album, let me know. I am actually an aspiring songwriter and I may have a few that you would be interested. In the mean time, have fun with your new home called Bloggerland. It is so addictive, but yet it is so inspiring and I really find that it lifts my spirits to come here. And lately, my spirits have needed lifting and all of these guys never fail to deliver. They are all wonderful people. It is amazing how wonderful this bunch is. Ok must get twins to bed now. Have a wonderful evening and I hope to see "Farmgirl" grace my comment page soon.

OH, Love Ya, Suze We have a ground covered with sleet and ice now!!!!!!

Suzanne said...

Mc2 ~ Hey duffy, your profile's unavailable. Apparently you screwed up! I'm laughing so hard. This day has been extremely difficult. I needed this laugh. Seriously!!! I remember when I first started my blog and Blogger wouldn't allow me to access it for almost 2 months. I had to pay to play (sorta like Illinois politics) on another blogging site until Blogger allowed me back on (wouldn't recognize my password). Too funny. It's a tricky little dicky at first and I have no idea why. Some bloggers have no problem, but others want to take their keyboard and smash it over Blogger's head. If you go back to my very first post, I was without a doubt the latter. God I love this place.

I'm so happy you've taken the plunge. You're gonna be great at this! After a month or so you start getting the hang of it and then it becomes a whole hell of a lot of fun. You'll see. It'll be great too when you're out on tour because you can communicate with fans, talk to family and friends, share photos, ideas, pain,'ll see. After reading your piece on NPR, I'm confident this is a perfect place for you because great people show up and make life really, really special. Every so often you'll get a comment from and idiot, but you have this amazing feature called DELETE, but not just DELETE, DELETE FOREVER!!! We'll teach you how to use it!

Well darling, yours is the only comment I've read because it was the last, so I have to go back and check on other friends. I'll stop by later to see if your blog actually exists!!! Good luck with that honey!!!

Love having you here. It really is a hoot.


just bob said...

Although a public user profile is not available, the blog is accessible. It can be found at A Place In The World.

Suzanne said...

Bob, you're the best. Now fix this. I'm unable to comment on Mark's because it's Google. I'm now also unable to comment on Mc2's because it's Google. What the hell do I have to do to post a comment? This is going to make me nutty.

Thanks in advance Mr. Smartie. ;)

farmgirl said...

thanks to just bob for the correct link to my blog. what was wrong with the one I left? sorry if that's the dumbest question of the day. Suzanne, I didn't put up a public profile in order to be a little cautious, i have stories that would make your skin crawl about invasions of privacy over the years and just starting a blog has me feeling a little nervous. hope you understand. i put up some more pics. maybe I am getting the hang of it. it's raining and grey here today. the sun won't return for days!
hope all is sunny and fragrant in the rose cottage.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you decided to decorate, even though you "think" you're late. Hey, if you long as you do it before're not late!

Can I come over for some egg nog? Or maybe just to look at your decorations in person...I need to get away from myself. Damn! I forgot that I can't get away from myself, but I keep trying!!!

Whether you are in leather pants, a pink trench coat, a Flashdance off-the-shoulder sweat shirt, you are the one and only Blottie, and you are amazing!!!!

Love you!!!

Leah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

So nice to come over here and read everyone's comments. It's home-like. Can't wait for the updates on the entry. Although, as is, it kicks the you know what out of mine.

Suzanne said...


Bob's a very smart guy. An executive. I'm certain he earns a great deal of money, but buys a whole hell of a lot of maroon stuff. I'm not sure what's up with that!

Typically, as a blogger, one can click on the blue highlighed name (for instance, Just Bob, Farm girl, etc. and be transported to that blog. Yours, NOPE!!! All we see is the notice from Blogger informing us we are not allowed to access your blog. Thank God for Bob and the link (Bob, how do you find this stuff?). But does this mean I have to come back to my comment page to find you? Good God! And no, for some reason, I'm still not able to post a comment on your Google comment page. I've have this problem with my Aussy Land friends and have been very frustrated. Really, it's making me nutty. I'll figure it out and be over soon to stomp through the snow. Well, not really, I'm known to tread softly way too much.

Wow, the photo on your most recent album is yours? I noticed the bench of all things. Yes, it's true, I'm a gardener to my core. I do believe that's English?!!! Perfect location. Yes, I notice stuff like that!

Love you darling. Will write soon. Your blog is beautiful. Really it is. I love the photos of your animals. They're all lucky. And yes, there are days I feel as if I'm not giving[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ (whoops, my n my wee ones t(whoops) one of my newest wee ones, a feral from the park, has just discovered my office/studio, stick with me darlin'!!!) She's too funny. As I was saying, I feel as if I'm not giving everyone the attention they deserve. On those days I just tell everyone, "Mommy is so tired. Hang in there." I really do and I really mean it. I'm trying not to feel so guilty about everything. It's hard, but I think I'll probably be good to go by 2010.

Thanks for stickin' around and thanks too for your wonderful comments. It really is good to have you here. We have the most amazing group of friends and how you found us, I don't know, but you did and that's wonderful.

I'll talk to you soon, okay? Until then, take good care and I'll try to figure our my Google issue.

Invasion. Creepy people. Well, this is your lucky day honey, all my friends are the real deal. The best. I hope you enjoy them and they you. Really, I do. I've only had two really awful people on my blog, and they were easily deleted, but you never forget, do you? I know. Do whatever you have to in order to protect yourself. I'll gladly come to this comment page to get your "REAL" link.

Love you dear. Beautiful photos and words. Welcome to Blogging. Have the time of your life. I'll see you same time next year! You will have grown. Trust me.


Suzanne said...


I LOVE YOU BABY!!! I'm in my nightie and a fleece shirt/jacket/pullover. Am I still attractive? What? It's true, how could I resist? Cece get's laughing so hard because I'm always in my nightie. It's my "go to" outfit as soon as I arrive home. I could wear it 24 hours a day and often do. I bought three!!! And I'll be honest, probably because it makes my boobs look special and my legs look sexy. I've discovered my "look!" Low plunging neck line and a bit above the knees. Does that make me a whore? What? Of course I'm laughing!

Egg nog and my decorations. Here honey, you're fine with "yourself. Okay, just know that the egg nog is made with raw eggs, so if you get sick, this is my disclaimer: "The egg nog is made with raw eggs and I am NOT responsible for the content of your illness." Please sign on the dotted line if you accept this: ----------------------------------------------------

The Establishment/aka the One And Only Blottie!!!

P.S. Wow...

Queen Goob said...

It was SO good to read your post. I'm a bit behind but you have actually inspired me to decorate more this weekend. So it's only for a few days BUT.....last night as we were outside checking on our terribly tacky blow-up Christmas "thingies" a neighbor was driving by and stopped. She wanted to know where my flying flamingos and sleigh were as she had driven by the house every day for the past couple of weeks looking for it. i may not haul ALL of that out but your entryway looks beautiful so if you don't mind, I may steal a few ideas.

Hugs and I'll be around a bit here and there this weekend.

p.s. I have a cat, Joshua, that looks JUST like Nash!

farmgirl said...

Hey there Suzanne,
i am sorry that I can't figure out this access thing.
I keep looking at my settings and they show that anyone can look at my blog...does anyone have a suggestion as to what I am or am not doing correctly?
Sorry to be such a luddite here...
in the meantime, thanks Suzanne for your lovely note. I am so curious as to whether or not you have all met via your blogs or if you knew eachother in another non internet life. I try to explain to my mother, for example, that I found Suzanne's blog and then decided to say hello which led to my own blog blah blah blah and she can't quite connect the dots. I can't quite explain it any better.
Hope all is sunny in the Rose Cottage Studio and elsewhere-

just bob said...

Let me help everyone out...

MC2/farmgirl: your settings are fine. Everyone can view your blog.

Everyone: mc2/farmgirl does not have a profile made public so you will not be able to access her blog by clicking on her screen name in comments. The only way to access her blog is directly through her url address It's a bit of an extra step, but given her need for privacy concerns it is totally understandable.

I hope that clears things up a little.

word verification: vilepie (is Zach cooking again?)

farmgirl said...

Just Bob, you're a peach. Thanks for this info!

Suzanne said...

Dear Bob,

Thank you Mr. Science. Now for the really important question because I figured out the other stuff all by myself. I asked earlier, but perhaps you didn't hear me, so this time I'll SHOUT:
BOB, WHY THE HELL CAN'T I LEAVE A MESSAGE ON Mc2's AND Mark's BLOG???!!! I assume you have Comcast, I have Comcast. You can you leave a message on a Google powered comment page, but I can't? Why? What am I doing wrong? Help me Mr. Science.

Blottie XO

Kookaburra said...

Hey Suzanne,

I am following your blog and any comments here go direct to my email address which is okay with me. I have changed my Blog's comment setting to, "registered users, includes OpenID". Just click on my name in this comment and see if that works.
If not my URL address is:

I hope that works.

M. xo

Anonymous said...

I gave you an award. If you're interested, check out my blog.

Karen ^..^ said...


I had a lot of trouble making comments on people's google pages, when I was surfing via Mozilla Firefox. I was not able to see the verification word.

It drove me crazy till one day I decided to just try it via Internet Explorer, and the verification word came up, then the spot for me to sign in, and viola!! The comment was left. Finally.

I can't comment on MC2's blog unless I am on Internet Explorer, nor Brazen Teacher's (a totally brilliant blog, you should check her out) nor I hate to weight's blog (another amazing and insightful blog)

So there ya go. Hope that helps.

I guess I could fiddle around with the settings for Mozilla, but it is easier for me to just open up IE. I'm all about ease. Especially when I've found a method that does not involve the risk of me seeing the blue screen of death. LOL.

I love your blog, Suzanne. Your white wicker chair will definitely have my permanent assprint on it. It is quickly becoming my favorite.

And the comments are every bit as entertaining as the posts!!! Damn, girl, you're not shy, are ya? I like that in a friend.

Yer da bestest. And Bob? Definitely Bob is the hero of the day, sending links our way.

I subscribed via bloglines, so not only does it alert me when someone has updated, but clicking on the link takes me directly to thier current page. I like my bloglines.

take care, darlin.

Cece said...


Suzanne said...


I don't know if you'll see this, but I have been trying so hard to leave a message on your beautiful new blog, and it really is beautiful, but can't. I just got off the phone with Comcast and they can't help me and Google has absolutely no customer support. I don't know how to leave a message on your blog. I was so frustrated I typed your name into a Google search and found the YouTube concert so clicked on that to give me a few minutes to plan my next strategy (yes, that's how I actually live my life!!!). What a little gem. You made me cry sweetie. How did you manage to gather all those amazing woman to sing about the collective pain of women! I don't have words. Honestly, I don't. I watched and cried.

My mom is a huge country music fan. I grew up with it, but also every other type of music, except rap (THANK GOD!!!), so do know everyone who came on stage. I began to cry when I saw Emmylou Harris. I love that woman. She's beautiful phyically and has the voice of an angel. I am completely in awe of her. And when you all made way for TW I lost it. What an absolute honor. And then the whole group. Honey, it was too beautiful. What a masterpiece. YOU DONE GOOD GIRL!!!!! Damn woman! You must feel so proud of that. And thank you for honoring women and their stuggles. Yes, we do struggle, don't we. What an elite club. Oh, where the hell was Dolly. I love her!

Okay, gotta go, laundry and the dishwasher are calling. Honey, the house looks beautiful for Christmas. The kitties and the dogs are gorgeous, and is that a vintage barkcloth pillow on the chair near the fireplace? No, I don't miss a thing!!! I'm a very visual person!!!

Love you dear ~ talk soon.

P.S. So glad friends have found you and you've found friends. I'll try to reply to your earlier question later this evening. I see Kylie has answered the "were we friends before blogging" and did so brilliantly. I'll elaborate because that's what I do! Happy blogging darling. I'm laughing because you're doing better than me!!! Oh, and there's a New York taxi driver at the Wild Onion I know you'll love. Take the time to click his name. Art and music are very similar and I know we see the world in much the same way because we look through eyes that are different than the average person, so I'm confident you will appreciate his blog as much as I do. It's very visual, raw, emotional, real. I want to get in his cab one day and just drive through the city and listen and watch. Seriously. Enjoy my dear friend. I think he's the only taxi driver we should ever hale!!! When you're in NY you have to alert him so he can deliever you everywhere!!! God that's just too funny. Blogging! You meet the greatest people!

Gig said...

Hi Suze!!
Just stopped by to say HI!! I should be cooking something...I am so far behind. Sleep would probably be a good thing too, but oh well...

I hope things are good with you, miss you. Mr. Big has to see the Ortho Dr. tomorrow to schedule is surgery, then we are going to finish our shopping. Then it is back to the Kitchen for me, Yippee!!


Suzanne said...


Hi honey!!! I should be sleeping too, but just got up because I had a horrible nighmare. I rarely have them, so they always freak me out when I do. I've had two in three nights. If I have one every ten years it's a miracle, so something's going on and I'm trying to figure out what it is. Oh, and they aren't just average nightmares, they're absolutely nasty and freaking me out.

What are you supposed to be cooking? I'd love to be in your kitchen helping out. I'm actually a pretty good cook and I can even read recipies, take care of kids, make stuff, clean, eat and talk all at the same time! Yup, we'd have a blast. Put on the coffee baby, let's have some fun!

Is this Mr. Big's shoulder surgery? Wish him luck. I can't do it you know. When I heard "six month recovery" I froze in panic. My doctor said, "Eventually you're going to have to have this surgery." Yes, but not right now because I have kitties to feed, a dog to care for, a house to take care of and gardens to tend! I also had the BMW at the time and it was a standard and I had to shift. I remember saying to her "I won't be able to get to the park to feed the ferals if I can't shift." Yes, that's how my brain really works!!! So said, "NOPE, not doin' it."

Mr. Big and I know shoulder pain, but I'll tell you something interesting. About six months ago, I can't remember what I was doing, but it was housekeeping related. After going through PT I learned to move in certain ways, so was always very careful doing anything. I don't remember doing anything out of my rang of motion, but experienced horrible pain, then nothing. Absolutely nothing. I actually had the sensation of something slipping over my bone and as Mr. Big knows, you can hear all this stuff. It's been almost six months and I'm happy to report I'm still almost pain free. No, it's not perfect, but compared to what it was, oh my God. I can live with this because I'm clearly 95% better. Why? I don't know. I haven't even told my doctor for fear uttering the words "I'm better" might jinx my streak of good luck! You're the first person I've told. (Yes, of course I'll tell her ~ maybe next year!)

I used to have to ice my shoulder A LOT and learned the best technique from my PT (Mr. Big probably already knows, but just in case). A big bag of frozen peas or corn because they're light and mold perfectly to your shoulder. If after icing (for as long as possible) your veggie become a block of ice once placed back in the freezer, just wack it on the counter or floor and you'll have individual peas or corn again! I've had my bag of peas for close to 2 years!!!

Thanks for stopping by. I'll do the same. Miss you too. Sorry I've been such a crappy friend lately. I'm just not getting around like I used to. God that sounds too funny. Like I need a walker.

I love you Gig. Thanks for everything and please give Mr. Big a hug for me. He's going to be fine, but you're going to be working a lot harder!!!

XO ;)

Queen Goob said...

Just stopping in to say.....FIFTY-SEVENTH!!!


MARIA said...

Dear Suzanne,
I wish you WESOŁYCH ŚWIĄT/Merry Christmas/ and Happy New Year!

CIELO said...

Dearest Suzanne: Your world looks lovely.... through your hazy windows I can see a world full of promises...

Merry Christmas and warm wishes from our house to yours.


Karen ^..^ said...

Thank you for your long lovely comment on my blog. I will respond to it when I have more time, in the meantime, 60th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, please refer to my earlier comment above all of these, which explains why I wasn't able to leave comments on MC2's blog, and several others, surfing with Mozilla. I had to switch to Internet Explorer, in order to see the verification word. Such a hassle, but now I open it automatically when I need to comment, sign in, and comment to my heart's content. try it, you'll like it!

Anyway, have to take the girls to the stores, out in that horrific traffic, for extra Christmas gifts. Love ya, Leo.


Gig said...

Here I am again!! Awake when I should be sleeping!!
Mr. Big is going to have his shoulder repaired on Feb. 25th. He is in constant pain, so he made the decision. I know you understand. I am glad that you are almost pain free most of the time. And you are right I will be doing all the work!! He will not be able to drive for at least 6 weeks. His truck is a stick, ugh, oh, I don't want to think about it, so I'm not!!

Gotta go get some sleep, and get ready for kitchen duty, the coffee will be ready, so come on over to MICHIGAN!! We'll even go Snowmobiling and tubing...and then drink lots of hot cocoa with Baileys...I will "fix" your beautiful hair.
See ya soon...

love ya, gig
wv:faststr, I think I am going fast enough, thank you very much!!

Anonymous said...