Wednesday, June 25, 2008


You all know Sweet Pea. While Mom (Rob's mom) was in Massachusetts, and Rob was staying at her house to care for Fenway, and I totaled the BMW, something awful happened. I opened the door late one night and Sweet Pea ran out. I was tired, I didn't have any shoes on, it was dark and I didn't want to play his stupid game, so I finished what I was doing and said into the night air "I'll see you in the morning honey." Huge mistake. He wasn't anywhere to be found in the morning. I felt absolute panic. I called Rob and he drove so fast I thought the car had wings. You have to understand the relationship between Sweet Pea and Rob, they are connected at the hip. They love one another to death. Rob arrived and immediately went door to door informing all neighbors within a 3 block radius that Sweet Pea was missing while I worked on this flyer,

916-***-**** (HM)
510-***-**** (CELL)
JUNE 3, 2008
Rob would arrive every morning to look for Sweet Pea and talk to neighbors. Then would drive down again at night (25 miles) to check. He said he met everyone in the neighborhood and they were all kind and helpful. Many have become wonderful friends. We received lots of calls informing us Sweet Pea was in the area and so we just waited, and walked, and checked night and day, called for him, looked, kept knocking on doors, posted our flyers. It was awful because Sweet Pea is the center of our household and without him we were all lost. It was horrible. A week past and we were in such a panic we didn't know what to do. We actually made up a new flyer to post the morning I opened the front door and there he was. I just started to cry and told him to please come in. He looked like a wreck. I called Rob and told him Sweet Pea was home and to get to the house immediately to take him to the vet's because I had to go to the park to feed the ferals. Sweet Pea was badly injured, but I didn't realize until the overwhelming welcome was over. All the kitties and T-Bone couldn't get enough of him, and then I picked him up and held him so tight. I saw his leg, his eye, his face and I knew he was in very bad shape. We still don't know what happened the week he wasn't with us, but it wasn't good. Rob rushed down, they went to the vet's, Sweet Pea was shaved, put on antibiotics for horrible bites to his leg, and steroids for a scratch to his eye. He's still recovering. But the best news of all is we have him and he came home to get help.
Life without him would have been awful. He would have left such a void. Yes, animals matter that much.
Welcome home baby.
Love Mom, Dad and The Peeps XO

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Garden Party

I've been invited by Cielo, at The House in the Roses, to join her garden party. Please come in and have a look around (I'll be back later to write more ~ I'm late to feed the ferals!). Please visit Cielo and her friends at for a journey through some beautiful spaces.
This is a David Austin, English rose. The name escapes me right now, but it is AMAZING! It's a shrub rose that looks beautiful all the time, it is an insane cut flower (even opens from a bud) and lasts in a vase for well over a week. And no, that little beauty isn't even planted. I plopped it there after buying it and there she sits. Yes, I'm an imperfect gardener. I'm sure there are many of you just like me. She's adjusted and set down roots. We'll have to fix that and give her a bit of respect.

Eureka. I have her in bush and standard form (this is the standard). She never disappoints. Never. I think she's a Jackson Perkins rose. Hardy as hell.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Don't even get me started on hydrangeas. They make me weak at the knees. Why? I don't. I just love them. That's one bush by the way, and I didn't even capture the whole thing! It's the one called "Endless Summer." It's an insane bloomer and every year just gets more and more beautiful. I have a whole bunch of them and can't believe my good fortune. They're expensive. About $15 a pop at Home Depot or Lowe's, but worth every penny. Hydrangeas are so easy to propagate, so if you buy just one, you can have something like a gazillion in 3 years! And a successful business in no less than 4!
Isn't that pretty. I bought it with money my neighbor's gave me for babysitting their gold fish pond and kitty. I got a whopping $50 bucks for enjoying myself. I didn't expect a dime, but while they were away had to buy a whole lot of umbrellas to cover the pond because it was about 115 and the fishies were struggling. So my dear friends felt compelled to compensate me. The back yard looked like an art installation! That was compensation enough!!! Very colorful! This is the climbing rose that commemorates 911. I think it's called Stars and Stripes. It's a Jackson Perkins rose. It cost me almost $30 with tax at the most expensive nursery in town (no, I usually don't shop there) and worth every penny because it wasn't my money. She's a keeper. Always beautiful, great in a vase, and inspiring. Yup, she's still in her container, but has set down roots. I know, I have a lot of work to do!
I have a thing about English Geraniums. A BIG thing. No, they aren't like American geraniums. Big difference. Huge difference. They're a perennial, all lacy and pretty, hardy and easy. That would be the purple glob! Then I have an Eastern Redbud tree I planted over 3 years ago. It's only grown that big. Huge disappointment, but what a looker. This year the cheap climbing rose I bought at Long's Drug Store for around $3 on sale, in an effort to save it's life, decided to climb it. I love the combination.
Lost the tag, but think it's called Bridal Pink. I love this rose. It has so many pedals you couldn't ask for more.
A Jackson Perkins shrub rose called Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is an AMAZING rose bush. AMAZING!!! Best shrub rose. Best cut flower. Easiest bush to navigate. Not a single problem. Hardy, beautiful, amazing. Oh, forgot to mention...I love her!!!
My David Austin rose with I think a rose called "Bridal Pink" in the background. Yes the grass needs to be mowed and the edges trimmed. Did you notice our new fence?!
Looking out the living room window. Clematis climbing over a Nandina.

Looking out the breakfast room window in spring. Forsythia coming into bloom. Nope the three candle holders didn't make it, nor did the blue and white planter. Ohno killed them all. That cat is a menace. Oh, and the crystals? Well, those who know him, know he knocked the crap out of those too! That cat has no respect for anything is this house! Yummy hydrangeas.
Spanish lavender and that really cheap climbing rose I saved from the garbage at Long's Drugs.
A favorite combo...roses and hydrangeas.
A beautiful memory of our lost tree.
Lots of hydrangeas. Most are all Endless Summer.
Heritage and Gertrude Jykell roses (English/David Austin roses). Oh the scent!
Another David Austin rose outside our living room window. Can't think of the name off hand, but if you want it, I can easily come up with it.
The following photos and this one are all of the roses this past May. As most of you know I didn't have time to prune, so everything was about 8-9 feet high. Too funny. When you see photos looking up, that's accurate! I'm almost 5'2", so as you can tell, I was well below the canopy. What an amazing sight! I will never forget this year. It was a lesson in what not to do in the future. I'll let the photos speak for themselves. And yes...I have weeds!
Jackson Perkins shrub rose, Heaven on Earth, and it is. One of the best roses of all time. Best vase rose, bar none.
My dear friend Gertrude!
Heaven on Earth.
Apricot Nector and I think, Perfume Delight.
I can identify two things. The "New" compost pile and weeds. I have a climber in there and a great deep pink rose. I'll get you the names if you need or want them. And in the background, a native California Oak.
Is that Perfume Delight or that other deep pink rose? I don't know?
Lots of roses!
Iceberg (white), Perfume Delight, and my Crab Apple tree!

One of my standards. Baby's Blanket. Can you believe that little stem supports that huge canopy? Nope, me either. But she and I work together.
Azaleas. Oh God, don't even get me started. I love them too.
Thanks for stopping by!!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Have a beautiful Thursday dear friends.
I love you.
In 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People, the 14th lesson is, "Share with others how important they are to you."

The first paragraph reads "Relationships are built on mutual appreciation, and there is no better way to show that appreciation than to tell someone how much you care."

P.S. PJ, Mark, Kylie and all my friends in India and elsewhere, Happy Friday! Whoops, almost forgot about that time difference.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Examining A Life...

T-Bone almost looks like a deer. And yes, that's the fern he fertilized into maturity. It's the best 'Male Fern' we have because of
his attention to detail!
I was talking to my dad on Father's Day and we discussed life, diappointment, joy, success, failure, kids, family, art, politics, animals, nature, trees, sawmills, home ownership, relationships, husbands, wives, parents, cars, heavy equipment, engines, sisters, brothers, gardens, roses, doctors, illness, etc.. Our converstations are always long and always interesting. And Dad never fails to say at the end, "The pleasure was all mine, I love you too." Did Dad do everything right as a parent? No, of course not. Did he try? Yes. Did I do everything right as a daughter? Absolutely not. Somehow we're arrived at this place of mutual respect, and overwhelming admiration being dad and daughter. I love that most about my dad. He never gave up despite my ability to disappoint him. And he never let me think I wasn't capable. NEVER! My sisters and I didn't have to be macho to do what he thought we could do, we just had to have a brain. Honestly, he didn't care if we were a son or daughter, he simply had faith and hope!!! That's a good dad.
I said "Dad, I'm worried I haven't lived up to my own expectations or potential, nor anyone else's. I'm facing my 49th birthday and I don't even think I deserve it." He replied, "Sue, you have examined your life and agonized about it longer than anyone I have every known, so I'll leave you with this:"
"The unexamined life is a wasted life." - Plato
That in a nutshell, is my dad. And that, in a nutshell, is our relationship.
I love you Dad, and thank you.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Birthday Bouquet For A Special Lady...

Happy Birthday Random Chick!
We hope you're having a beautiful day.
The Gang

Monday, June 9, 2008

Okay, this time I'm serious!

I do have to take the vacation the doctor ordered. And this time I'm serious! I don't think she had what happened over the past 48 hours in mind when she said "I want you to relax Suzanne." I won't tell her I've screwed up royally if you don't.

I'll check in now and then, say a quick hello, and bring you up to date on happenings here at Rose Cottage (God I love that name, mostly because I live in a mid century ranch! Too funny.) I'm going to miss the hell out of all of you, but I think it's time to shut up and stay out of trouble! At least for a few weeks. I'm beginning to think I have a scarlet letter on my chest. The letter T.

Oh, and by the way, that's a David Austin English rose right outside the living room window. It's gorgeous, but planted in the wrong place. Last year it reached the roof, and it's not a climber! I'm not kidding. It smells like baby powder and I love it. I pick a bouquet and think I'm the proud mommy of a newborn. ;)

This is hard. I don't want to go, but like Just Bob said, "Go, get, skedaddle." Love you all and see you soon! Probably really soon, I'm going to spend the rest of the night commenting. I know, I'm hopeless.

XO Suze

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Oh screw the last post and Brian. I just watched Hillary Clinton's speech. It was remarkable. Thank God for really smart women. All the little crap doesn't matter. This does. Go Girl!!!

Fair Weather Friends...

To all of you who commented on Brian's blog yesterday, I want to point something out. I wrote my comment the day after my car accident. The day he posted it ~ May 23rd. That was over two weeks ago. Where were all of you then? Where was his anger? Where was I.V.? Where were all of you? It's been there for 16 days. And where were all of you? It didn't miraculously appear yesterday just because I.V. blogged about it. It's been there the whole time and no one mentioned a damn word. Suddenly it's important and horrible. You know what? I give up. And yes, truthfully, I thought he posted it purposely and that was why I was so venomous on the 23rd. Was it deliberate? Who knows and who cares at this point, but on the 23rd it felt very personal. It was simply too coincidental. Those who are my friends, thank you, those who don't want to be, go, get, leave me the hell alone because I'm simply exhausted by stupid shit. I don't have the energy for crap any more. For all of you with big SUV's and trucks and who think you own the road, you don't. You share it with someone just like me. And the accident you might cause hurts someone just like me. Try to keep that in mind when you move into a lane occupied by another vehicle.

Yes, this is officially a rant. And where are all you brave souls? You weren't scarce yesterday, so where are you today?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Life Changes...

To get this spot, Ohno knocked everything off the shelf over the course of a week. He broke the beautiful blue and white planter that held the plant when it crashed to the floor, pushed the books off, the shells, everything. All to have simplicity, and this space. How could I not grant him his wish?
I have to stop blogging you know. Doctor's orders. I know you've all been waiting for me to confirm it. I've been trying so hard to find a way out the past few days, but I can't. It's only for a few weeks to a month. Longer if Dr. P. orders it. She wants me to simplify my life. Like Ohno, I have to kick everything off my shelf in order to relax and hopefully recover from what ever it is I'm suffering.
My numbness and tingling isn't getting better, it's getting worse. The concern is I'm on the highway to a heart attack. Not a stroke. I'm in good shape, my BMI is way below average, my weight is good, I don't smoke, etc., so a stroke doesn't seem likely, however, I'm completely stressed out and was diagnosed with anxiety, so the concern is a heart attack. I'm on an aspirin a day (probably for the rest of my life) and being tested to death this week. My doctor doesn't think I have a brain tumor, but my CAT Scan is Wednesday, just to take a peek and be safe. I'm also being tested for everything under the sun including my thyroid and a Vit-B deficiency because I'm a vegetarian. I learned a Vit B deficiency can cause what I have and so can my thyroid. Who knew?
I'll tell you a funny story. I had to do my 12 hour fasting blood test this morning at 7 am. Ugh. When my number was called at the lab I was asked "How are you dear?" I replied "Well, I haven't had a cup of coffee, I haven't eaten and I'm exhausted. How would you feel?" We both started to laugh so hard we couldn't stop. It was brilliant. Then I was given a cup for my urinalysis and told to go to the powder room. I did. I collected what I was supposed to collect, had no place to put it so set it in the sink only to discover the faucet was automatic and proceeded to waterate in my urine! "NO!!!! NO!!!! NO!!!! I waited 12 hours with no food or coffee for that urine!!! NO!!!!" I walked back out with my empty urine cup to tell the assistant my urine had been compromised. We started to laugh and couldn't stop. She said "You aren't alone. This happens to so many people. We've complained about it. Do you think you still have a little tinkle? We only need a fraction of an inch." We were still laughing and I told her I didn't. Could I take a new cup with me and drop it off on the way back from the park after feeding the ferals! ? The answer was "Yes, of course." So after having what seemed like gallons of my blood drawn, I was off to the park with my little brown bag and cup. Half way through the hospital I felt a tinkle. I was able to get enough to confirm my urine is yellow and clear!!!! Like I told Random least my pee isn't going to kill me!
This is what I've learned. My doctor, who is amazing by the way, and believe me, I know doctors, has asked me to simplify. For everything I keep in my life I have to give up two other things. And she's not kidding. I also have to walk every day, do relaxation exercises or meditation twice a day, and enroll in 3 Kaiser classes (she selected them!). I also have to stop working around the house as much as possible. Rather than work in the gardens, she wants me to sit and look at them. Not weed, worry, etc. Just look and enjoy what I've created for two weeks (I've already cheated, but don't tell her). Trust me, I do understand. I'm doing too much and it's killing me. Mom (MIL) and I have already discussed ways to simplify the gardens. We've also discussed selling lots of plants in the fall. It's time to let go of lots of "stuff." I also have to get my roses down to a reasonable number. 200 isn't reasonable. I've taken the past few days to figure out what's really important and I think I know. This blog is important, but to keep the ferals I have to give up two things (Dr. P told me I had to give up both blogging and the ferals. I told her I wouldn't do that. In retaliation she made up the keep one give up two rule). She informed me I can't keep the ferals and the blog. So I'll give up the blog. I'm crying, so you know it's breaking my heart, but I know that all of you understand that you can survive without me, but I'm not so sure about the kitties. I'll be back. I just hope you won't forget me. I love all of you so much and you've made such a difference in my life, so when I come back, I hope all of you do too. And yes, I will be back.
With so much love,
Suze XO