Monday, October 31, 2011

Autumn Cloche

It's been crazy busy around here, and I am trying to get a bit of autumn 
decorating done inside while I am busy painting my living room.

I planned to get the living room painted weeks ago, but everyone has been
sick and we have been running in for doctor's visits.  

Right now everyone, including me, seems to be healthy, so it's back to painting
and arranging for my husband's team of carpenters to start some projects in
my house before we redo my Mom's kitchen.  

So here is my little autumn cloche for Marty's Fall Cloche Party,
because I certainly did not want to miss that!  I can't wait to see the other

Bentley is napping after a very busy weekend.  He'll need his rest
before the trick or treater's show up tonight.

Susan and Bentley

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Beware ~ Ghosts in the North End!

It's the night before Halloween.  Things are getting very
eerie around here!

Ghosts, goblins and cemeteries at every turn!

Fire breathing dragons and ...
someone spotted ~ could it really be???


Spooky business ...

Be safe and 

have a fun and safe Halloween!

Susan and Bentley

Boo From Bentley

Bentley really loves the kids in our neighborhood and the littlest ones the 
best.  So I decided to create a pumpkin just for Bentley to greet the little ones
up the stone steps leading to our cottage door.

Just a cheerful boo from Bentley!

I am linking up to

Come on Bentley ~ we are going to show your Grandma all of the 
Halloween decorations in our neighborhood.

Susan and Bentley

Friday, October 28, 2011

What No Pink?

Not everything at Ash Tree Cottage is pink ...

Just ...

Some things!

Wishing all of my Pink Saturday friends a 
safe and happy Halloween!

Thank you Beverly for hosting another fun

Be sure to stop back for a visit later this weekend when
I'll be taking you on a tour of great Halloween decorations and
the big reveal of Bentley's very own pumpkin!

Susan and Bentley

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What's Your Halloween Style?

What's your style for this Halloween?
Farmhouse Fresh?



Or ...

Over the top?

I am linking to 

Potpourri Friday
Farmhouse Friday

Bentley ~ Get your pumpkin ready for a big reveal!

Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Looking For Adventure

I love to travel.  Before I was married to David, I traveled the globe.  I lived abroad for
three years and I was lucky enough to visit many exotic places.

It's harder to get away these days.  My husband and I own a business.  There are family
obligations and responsibilities, so taking off for exotic foreign lands is just
not on my schedule any more.  But it does not mean that I don't have the
urge to get away.  It just means that the trips are closer to home.

So out come the maps and the dreams of taking off for a bit of fun.  I love these old
cameras.  Even though today's digital ones take great pics, the old cameras have so
much character ~ don't you agree?

So come join me for some demitasse and we can chat about trips we would love to

I am linking to


Bentley goes along whenever we travel.  He even has his own travel
bag ~ don't you Bentley?

Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just Doing Nothing

I can't think of anything exciting to show you
I don't feel like linking up to any parties today 
So ...

I am just going to say ~ Hi!

Okay Bentley, resume cuddle position.

Susan and Bentley

Monday, October 24, 2011

There's a New Roo in Town!

Watch out Thelma!

Move over King Strut!

There's a new Roo at Ash Tree Cottage and he's a nifty thrifty looker
who is currently on my table top before he makes his way to his new
roost as the back porch doorstop.  Quite the looker don't you think?

I love a good bargain and he will really come in handy keeping the wind from
slamming the back door shut!


Table Top Tuesday

What do you think Bentley ~ don't you love the way I keep adding hens and
roos to the cottage?

Susan and Bentley

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Glorious Fall Colors

It is the most beautiful afternoon here in Idaho and I don't want to miss a 
minute of it ~ so I am keeping this post short and sweet.  Besides, what
words can compete with these beautiful fall colors?

I am joining our friend Mary for

Okay Bentley ~ let's go back outside and enjoy this glorious afternoon!

Susan and Bentley

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Inga's Scarecrow

My neighbor Inga is such a talented artist.  She lives in the tiniest little cottage you ever
did see.  Her cottage garden is tiny too, but everywhere you look, there is 
something that will delight you!

Like this inspired scarecrow.  Adorable!!!

I am linking up to 

for more seasonal delights!

Bentley ~ the weather is so beautiful, let's go for a nice long walk
tomorrow and take lots of pics of the neighborhood!

Susan and Bentley

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Pink Flowered Pumpkin

I have seen a lot of the decoupaged pumpkins everywhere, but I wanted to come
up with something special for Pink Saturday.

So I took a white pumpkin, my craft paints, some ribbon and a couple of 
artificial flowers and created my very own girly pink pumpkin.

I am going to take it over to my Mom's house because I think it will look
great in her solarium which is all white with touches of pink and green. 

Okay gals ~ lets go visit Beverly for 

Bentley ~ maybe I should paint another pumpkin for Daisy!

Susan and Bentley

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Soup's On ~ Hearty Beef Barley

Yesterday I showed you a few of my favorite soup tureens with a promise
that I would share my Beef and Barley soup recipe, so here it is.

Let's collect the ingredients:

1/2 to 3/4 lb lean beef stew meat
1 - 32 oz container beef stock or broth 
1/2 large onion, chopped 
1 to 3 cloves chopped garlic (we love lots)
3 to 4 peeled and chopped carrots
1 to 2 chopped celery ribs and don't forget the leaves
1/2 cup pearl barley
S & P to taste and 1 bay leaf

In a 3 quart soup pot, add a thin film of extra virgin olive oil to just coat the
bottom of the soup pan. While you pat the beef chunks dry with paper towels, get
that oil screaming hot.  Now I don't salt my meat at this point because I want to
thoroughly brown my meat to give the stock a rich, deep flavor.

I only brown a few pieces at a time because I want the meat to brown and not stew.
Just pull out the brown chunks and add more until all are thoroughly browned.
When you have completed this step, you will have brown bits left in the pot.  This is
good!  Now add the chopped onion and celery.  This is when I add my Kosher salt and
pepper.  Saute until onions become translucent, then add garlic and continue to 
saute, followed by the carrots.  I just let the carrots soak up these flavors a bit and then
I add a splash of whatever red wine I have around to blend in all of the brown bits.
You can skip this step, but if you are worried about the alcohol, it all burns off in 
the cooking.  Add the reserved beef chunks, all of the stock and bay leaf.  Cover and simmer for 1/2 to 2 hours.  Add the barley and continue to cook another 30 to 45 minutes.

Salt and Pepper to taste if needed.  

You will have a hearty and healthy soup.  I like to serve this soup with assorted
greens and a simple vinaigrette.  A crusty baguette is yummy with this soup as well,
along with a glass of Pinot Noir or a Merlot.

This recipe will serve 2 - 4.  Bon Appetit!

I am linking to


Don't worry Bentley ~ I will save some beef and barley soup for you.

Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Soup Tureen Time

I love this time of the year when there is a chill in the air and it's the perfect time
for making soups and stews.

It's fun to serve family and friends homemade soup from a vintage
tureen.  There is nothing more comforting than coming home to the lovely 
aroma of soup simmering on the stove.

Tomorrow I will be sharing my recipe for beef and barley soup.  It's a 
hearty soup that you can easily make a meal from served with crusty bread
and a salad.  I will be sharing lots of my soup recipes with you.  If you are
a vegetarian or a vegan, I have recipes for you too.  

Until tomorrow let's party with ~


Bentley ~ should I arrange a play date for you and sweet Daisy?

Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bentley's New Girl Friend

Here she is ~ Daisy!  
Isn't she the cutest little girl?  She is a Maltese puppy and her Momma is my
groomer Tina.  Tina brought her by yesterday and I spent some time with 
this sweet girl while Bentley was being groomed.   She is so precious!!

It was a lovely warm and sunny morning on the porch so I set up a cozy bed
for Daisy with a pink and white quilt, a pillow and a teddy bear for her to
snuggle up to.  Because ~ after we played for a while she started to get sleepy.

Puppies do so much napping and she was soon sound asleep.  I just sat by her 
while drinking my tea.  She and Bentley will have so much fun playing 
together in the future.    Bentley is already smitten!

I am linking to

Susan and Bentley

Monday, October 17, 2011

Table Tops and Chair Seats

I manage to fill every available table top and chair seat with something.
Vignettes, baskets full of crisp red apples ...

And quilts and of course lots of pillows.  Then there are the fall
 decorations and before long ...

It will be time to add the Christmas decorations.  
Let's just say that I make use of each and every decorating space!

I am joining ~ 

Bentley takes after me ~ he leaves his toys on every available
surface too!

Susan and Bentley


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