Monday, January 15, 2018

A Really Cute New Mug

Today's post is completely frivolous.  No hidden meanings, no preaching,
no thought provoking issues ...just a cuteness overload.

Saturday, David and I drove to SugarLand, just to the west of Houston.
It's about a 1 1/2 to 2 hour drive from our town.  Our main mission was
two fold.  One, go to Pappasito's for lunch and two, go to Costco for a
big stock up.  If you ever get a chance to go to Pappasito's, I highly
recommend the Grilled Salmon and Mango salad.  Delicious!

There is a Home Goods store near the First Colony mall.  Of course,
I had to stop in to "look around".  "Look Around" is an all purpose
term meaning, browsing with intent to purchase.  Well, the store was
both packed with shoppers and merchandise.  I purchased a new non-stick
skillet, some bath towels, some soft pink no slip padded hangers, two picture
frames and I spotted this adorable mug.

Trust me, I don't need this mug.  By no stretch of the imagination 
would this be a necessary purchase.  This would be a purchase just
for the shear happiness because I think it is so darn cute!

And the added bonus is this ....

the flip side says "Hello There"!   There was no way this mug was
going to be left behind, and into the cart it went.

Of course, then I thought, hmm, I wonder if they have more than one?

And they did!  Now, if you should stop by to spend some time with 
me in my studio, we can both have a cuteness overload mug for our
coffee or tea or whatever.

Ain't life grand?  Wishing you a wonderful day!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Some Serious Soul Searching

For the past couple of months, I have been very restless and nothing I
did seemed to fulfill me.  Back in September, I went home to Chicago and
saw old friends and my dear cousins.  Following that trip, I was so happy
and elated about going home once again and spending time with those
I love.  It was great, and then the reality of my present life came back
to me.

Please don't get me wrong.  My present life is wonderful.  I have a
great husband who is everything to me.  I have adorable Bentley.
Bentley is my brave little soldier who finds his way every day despite
his blindness, and still brings me bottomless joy.  The problem is
with me and a feeling of emptiness that is unexplainable.  I have
been feeling emotionally restless, and physically restless too.  My
usual energy seemed to be diminishing.  I started feeling achy all the
time and tired too.  Little things would put me on edge and I felt
like nothing seemed to please me, not really anyway.  Oh, I can
put up a great front when necessary, but it's not heartfelt and is
just a cover up.

One day I was standing in line at Hobby Lobby.  A book caught my
eye.  I remembered hearing about it from a YouTube channel I
follow.  I grabbed the book and put it in my basket without even
looking at it.  When I returned home and unpacked my bag, I
thought to myself ... now what did you buy that for?

I am and have always been, a Christian.  I pray for myself and
for others.  What I didn't do was to spend time with Jesus.  I 
didn't take the time to talk to him and to then listen.  

I started reading this book each morning during December.  
I started to reflect upon the words on the page, and little by
little, changes started to surface.  This morning, after my
reading and meditation period, I began to realize what has been
wrong lately and why I was feeling so empty.  

I love this blog.  It has brought me so much enjoyment and a
chance to connect with such wonderful folks I would have
otherwise never known.  It has sparked my creativity and 
encouraged me to try new things.  These are good things, yet
recently I have noticed that I have not been loving this blog
as I once did.  Yes, I have been to this point before and I 
thought that perhaps just tweaking things a bit here and there
would generate more enthusiasm.  It did for a while, and then
I would once again loose interest.

I am not a magazine.  I am not a decorating guru.  I
will never be satisfied by just trying to keep up the 
traffic by giving you what you want to see.  There is more
to me than the superficial.  

What I have learned by listening over these past few 
weeks is that I have a message and I won't be satisfied 
until that message is shared.  Here is what I will tell you,
I have been tossing around ideas for a book for a long time.
I knew the subject for this book, but not how to get the
raw emotions down on the page.  I went back and forth
in my mind and struggled with the whole concept.  Today
I realized what I need to do, and how I need to do it.  I
cannot begin to tell you how relieved I feel.  I have a
mission.  It's my own personal one and not something
dictated by pop culture.  

While I write my novel, I will still be writing this blog.
What will change, is that Ash Tree Cottage will become
like a stream that meanders and takes us different places,
and will be a bit unpredictable.  

Thanks for listening to me babble.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, January 8, 2018

Winter Whites

After all the reds and greens of the holidays ....

it's nice to freshen up and create a clean slate ....

with winter whites.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Fairy Lights Stay!

All of the Christmas decorations are staying up past Epiphany.  I will
take everything down after that, except for the fairy lights in my
studio.  The fairy lights stay!  They make me feel happy and turn 
the room into such a magical spot!

I sure will miss the Christmas tree in the family room.  It's a beauty and
in still fresh and green.  We have enjoyed every moment we have spent
near it's warm glow.  By the way, I sprayed "snow" on the windows to
give the room a winter wonderland theme.  Last night we really did have
a freeze, so it was hard to tell this morning which frost was real and
which was pretend ;-)

I still have a few mornings to enjoy coffee from my Santa mug.  
He has brought some cheer into each day, and I will miss him
when I pack him away until next year.  Ah well, I suppose it's what
makes the season magical ~ but the fairy lights stay!!!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Best of 2017

Fall of 2017 went by so quickly as it always does.  We were living in
a bit of a fog following the devastating disaster brought to us by
Hurricane Harvey.  It has taken months for the clean up to be 
finished and many still are waiting for roof repairs or replacement.

Christmas brought some much needed joy to all of us.  I wasn't going
to do much decorating, but once I got started it turned out to be fun and
I just could not seem to know when to stop.  Do you ever feel that way?

David took quite a few days off and I have been enjoying having him
around.  He will be headed back to work tomorrow and I will miss
having uninterrupted time with him.   Bentley has enjoyed his constant
company too.

As you can see, I managed to decorate just about every nook and 
cranny.  Now the thought of packing is up seems daunting, but one 
of my New Year's resolutions is to take one thing at a time and 
not stress over the whole project at once.

My collection of Christmas decorations for the dollhouse has grown.
I have become totally smitten with miniatures, and that's a good thing
because I don't plan on buying any new furniture for my house, so
minis give me a creative decorating outlet.

I am not certain exactly why I feel this way, but I think that 2018 is going to
be a very good year.  I am sure that I feel this way because I have a real
sense of direction.  I will be revealing more of that in the coming days, and
am excited about the future.

My wish for you is for good health, much happiness and love, and 
all the good things life has to offer.

Happy New Year!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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