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Good Things to Know

Once upon a time, there was a girl who grew up in the city, she ate her meat out of a package that came from Meijer, tomatoes out of her mom’s garden or from the Meijer produce section. She never lived further than 3 miles from a grocery store. Enter knight in shining armor otherwise known as the hunter. The hunter was disguised as a man about town; he dressed the part, lived in the city, loved the finer things in life for instance; the theatre, fine dining restaurants, travel, etc.

Suddenly the hunter exposes his comoflauge and cowboy boots and sweeps the scraped up princess to the mountains of Arizona. The hunter and now mended huntress build a home on the mountain. With their Year and a half project drawing to the end she is outside spraying the porch when she hears her contractor yell, “Susan, you have cows!!” Immediately she thinks, ELK, because the hunter has trained her to the proper cow verses girl elk when referring to the female of the species. With excitement she runs across their newly landscaped yard to find…


not the beautiful female elk she was hoping to find on their land but the gigantic cloven prints of CATTLE across their beautiful vibrant new grass and landscape! The bohemoth divots left in the new turf, turned up infant plants, chewed up and left to dry, and the recently, lovely, flowering crabapple tree now looking more like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree is an on going reminder of midnight visitors.2013-03-30_15-25-51_12
Even the sandy hill was not left unscathed, they trampled across easily as if flat ground. 2013-03-30_15-17-22_319The Yellow Page ad keeps running through her mind, “Phone First!”

This would be when due diligence would have come in handy. A country girl may have know better. Perhaps a call to the neighborhood association to find out this beautiful mountain side they are building on is FREE RANGE!! Who knew? Evidently the residence of Lazy Y U on the Hualapai Mountain Range knew, the sheriff knew, the builder knew. 😉 2013-03-21_16-57-46_12The kind ranch owner, was out the next day in search of his wayward cattle that drifted onto our lovely landscaped and irrigated land.

The sheriff, I’m sure with his tonguedeeply embedded in his cheek answered my questions with, “Free Range ma’am, if you want the cattle kept out of your yard, build a fence.”

Teri, my lovely sherpa, tries to keep me from embarrassing myself and normally stops me from making these sort of calls allowed me to make the call to confirm Free Range.

Well another lesson learned for this city girl living on a mountain. Next week I will be hiring  a fence builder on to phase three of the Dunning, Mohave County, Hualapai Mountain experience.

Schooled ~Susie


Friday Night, Do you know where your cardiologist is?

Well it’s been a busy week. Dennis is on call this weekend and if the weekdays are an indicator it’s going to be a hopping weekend for Dr. Dunning. We had a lull in the action at our house the past couple of weeks but don’t tell Jeff the drywall mudder I said such a thing.

Jeff the tough mudder

Look at his cool stilts! He is single handedly smooth dry walling our home. He has been working and working and working. Evidently not too many people in the west do smooth dry wall and he is working hard.

This week has been fun because our big windows are in!!

And Jim our handy craftsman at 4725 East Stallion Dr has stained and is installing our ceiling on our back porch.That is my cute boyfriend checking out the windows and the progress 😉

The ceiling is going to be beautifulNow that the windows are in the dry walling and stucco-ing around them can resume and we press on!

I’m excited about our update. It is great to keep looking forward to being settled soon and unpack our boxes piled in the garage. It will kinda be like a birthday!

Well, I just got the call that my knight is heading up the mountain. We are then off to the Hualapai Mountain Lodge for dinner.

Sunny in Kingman ~ Susie


Gus and I are enjoying the breezy, 87 degree day out here on the high desert mountain.

I am such a dreamer. If only this, if only that. How about, “if I would just do?” I have a beautiful setting, a husband who provides security, love and encouragement. My job is just that, to do my job.

So here I am out on this lovely patio writing and working. Hebrews 9:13 gives a list of old testament examples of sacrifices used to purify us, only to point to verse 14 (from the Message) which says; If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.

All I can do is be obedient and He produces something I could have never imagined.

So my book is coming! I am quenched in the desert and loving every minute of it.My recreation! Who would have guessed!?

Last game of the season tonight. It has been fun and I’ve made many new friends.

Washed in the Blood and so very thankful ~ Susie


Emotions gone wild

What a week. Wedding, New Home, Kingman, Grand Rapids, Texas, Tennessee wow.

I have gone quite a while without a picture of my Zoe Girl. Really missing her these days. I feel a skype date needed in Texas. On the Tennessee front; Carter was in his car seat while I was talking to his mom today and as soon as she said, “Josh”. On Que Carter was in the background saying, “Dada!” Oh be still my heart. Fortunately for all of us Samantha and Pete are getting married right around the corner and we all get to spend some much-needed time together.

Samantha and Pete plow through this prenuptial time. The rest of their life is coming up quick and they are full board on. It makes my heart so happy to hear Samantha talk about the commitment and the things they are learning from videos they are watching, premarital counseling with one of our favorite married dynamic duos and experiencing life.

My struggle with being separated from Samantha while planning her wedding is eased by my friends picking up the slack. Micki, Kirsti and Cindy are the epitome of true friendship and unconditional love that God gives.

On the home front, my contractor team (they will now be always mentioned in the plural) The Humphries, Doug and Teri have skillfully supported me through decision making here on my own. They are building one beautiful home, they are artists with a touch of counseling 😉

A lot going on above the ceiling in the master bedroom.

Dennis and I feel we are home. We have settled into a church family. We are both greeting for the services and we are making friends in and around the Kingdom of God here in Kingman, AZ. Oh and I think I mentioned I am playing on the co-ed softball team and for the first time in my life hit the ball past, yes I said past 3rd base!!

Ha, this is the front yard, which faces the Northeast

I am so unbelievably nurtured by our heavenly Father. I am in awe of how mindful He is of me.

Psalm 8:3-5When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

In the palm of His hand ~ Susie


Mixed Bag

My photo sources are mixed, I didn’t take pictures at Samantha’s shower. I forgot my camera when I went to Grand Rapids so I had to use my phone the entire time. I am not an expert with Android photo taking

First morning at Nanny’s, Carter, Mom and Tia.Carter Saying Cheeese!

Pete and I sandwich Samantha. She is in her glory.There I am in the dugout at my softball team debut.

Back home and back to work on our house. Our trusty builder, Doug Humphries uses scraps to explain his work. We like him.


Lovin’ Life~Susie


Windy days

Ahhh, spring in Kingman. The blustery winds begin. We are in full swing of our build. I thought you might like to grasp the length of the house and let me clarify, it is long because it is narrow, we wanted all rooms to share the beauty of the view, so all but guest bedrooms face the mountains. Therefore you end up with a very long house!

From family room to master bedroom; Where’s Dennis?From family room to front door, Where’s Dennis and Gus?Family room to kitchen; Where is Dennis and Gus?

Now I couldn’t resist, we stopped to get our mail at our new mailbox bank and look at the mailboxes.Welcome to Arizona, the old west, where there may be more card carrying members than Michigan!!

We are hard at moving to our temporary home. While in my heart is in Michigan where they are burying my cousin Tom. My heart breaks for all of my cousins and their beautiful families. I knew that times like these would be tough to be away. It is.

I will be in Grand Rapids to celebrate Samantha’s upcoming nuptials and stay with my mom. Until then my family; you are definitely in my thoughts and prayers.

On the move ~ Susie

Lumber and Labor

Well the moving has begun. We are getting closer to our new house, geographically anyway. Our temporary house is 2 miles away from our permanent and in the same subdivision.

This used to be a 3000 acre ranch, now it is a subdivision of homes on the mountain. Here is our new temporary digs.

The view is beautiful here too.

See we have neighbors! Our realtor Wes found this for us to rent while we finish our build. It is two miles down the road from our new house. Which as of yesterday looks like this, I saw it from a distance while measuring the miles but Dennis asked me not to go see it without him so here’s the shot I took….

This was my teaser until Dennis got out of work. This is so exciting I could hardly stand to stay away! Here’s what it looks like with him. This is the front wall.

and this is a view from the family room.

And my boyfriend waiting to carry me over the threshold 😉

It’s a hassle moving twice, but we will live close to our new house and be able to visit easily.  I wish I could share the smell. Oh the lumber, the aroma of fresh walls is so sweet!

This is a happy man. He is Thrilled to work hard and build a dream nest. Can you see in the distance, next to that humongous rock outcrop our friend’s house? Yes we will have neighbors and the great thing is that they are already friends!

Ephesians 3:20, 21ish  Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory.

We are so thankful, God is so loving. I never imagined this!

On the move ~Susie

The Vow

Fifteen years ago plus two months, Dennis and I stood and vowed to spend the rest of our lives together. There has been better, there has been worse, we’ve had poor and we have had rich. I have to say this past year has been a blur but it has been one of the best in our marriage. Moving to a new place has pushed us to cling to one another and probably lay down our lives for each other (John 15:13) like we have never done, resulting in becoming even closer friends.

We’re not big Valentine celebrators, maybe it’s so many years of hurt or awkwardness or many years of waiting tables for others’ to celebrate or it is just Hallmark; but a card and “Happy Valentine’s Day” is usually the sum of it.

We did however, venture out to the Kingman 4 Movie Theater for the first time. I was quite impressed.

Kingman 4

It’s a little theater, we purchased our tickets and popcorn at the same counter. The popcorn was delicious and fresh. There are four smallish theaters, the seats were comfy and sound good. Wow! Oh and their senior citizen discount starts at 55 years old, one of us qualified. 😉

We saw “the Vow”. Good movie, although 2/3 of the way through Dennis leaned over and whispered, “I thought this was going to be one of your feel good movies.” Oh Dennis, it’s called The Vow!

Grateful ~ Susie


Growing up in Michigan I enjoyed small lakes as well as the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. I also love grass, waking to a layer of dew on the thick, green, plush yard or running around playing ball, tag are some other yard game in an open yard with soft grass. I am enamored with spring flowers especially the peach and apple blossoms that perform on “the ridge” every year without fail.  Oh the push of the crocuses who make that first appearance to give us the hope of spring. These things I grew up with and truly relished.

Now I live in the high desert. There are no large grassy yards and no long days of winter for the crocuses to excite us. The beauty here is different. There are so many types of cacti and the rocks are astounding. Pansies love the “winter” months and thrive where planted. I’m sure I will miss the tulips and daffodils.

The most incredible thing about living in the desert is that it is sunny! The sun shines and shines and shines. We have cloudy days, super windy days, snowy days but they are all sprinkled between day after day of sunshine.

Kingman, AZ has approximately 280 days of sunshine. This is wonderful but it also means, there is not much rain, It’s The Desert! If you want plants you have to water them and up on the mountain, where we will live the pinion pines and junipers are not tall. If you want a shade tree you water it yourself 🙂

Of course if mid-westerners keep moving to AZ and planting desiduous trees we may end up with more rain. That is a whole different blog!

So as I head out today to run, I slather the 45 spf sun screen on skin that is exposed. I am collecting what was once cute freckles on a little girl’s nose but are now called age spots on this 48 year old face.

Discovering ~ Susie




It turns out November in Kingman, AZ is chilly but maybe not so ugly as November in Grand Rapids, MI.

Morning snow

One week ago Dennis and I were waking up at a Marriott Hotel in Las Vegas. Dennis had an early morning meeting up there so we decided to drive in the evening, have a nice dinner, spend the night and I would wander to a coffee shop and write while he was busy until about 3:00 pm. I dropped him off, drove his car about 5 blocks and my quiet day was shot. The car stalled, right in the middle of Desert Inn Drive. Luckily it had enough coast left to make into the driveway of the nearby Liquor store which also houses slot machines. I’m thankful for cell phones and AAA. Car towed, I wandered around Henderson, NV waiting for results of the damages. Don’t feel sorry for me, I was cozy at a Panera with wifi, coffee and a bagel. Then there was the Loft, Williams Sanoma, Pottery Barn and the Crescendo….. Gymboree!

Exactly 12 hours from the stall on Desert Inn Drive we drove off the showroom floor with a new car on our way back to Kingman, AZ. It wasn’t really that impulsive. We had been discussing getting a new car. 😉

Sunday we were back in Vegas collecting Micki! Micki and I spent 3.5 days together. It was terrific. We worked hard at choosing and gathering things for our new home. We enjoy one another, just being.

Working hard or lunch at Cheesecake Factory

I love that Micki got to see a taste of our life here. I think she left thinking we are crazy! God always puts us where we need to be, when we need to be there. Life is good. God is so gentle.

Phil 4:9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Loving God ~Susie



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