Friday, November 30, 2012

Cheer Up The Porch For The Holidays

Well, here I am still decorating the porch.  It's balmy and it's 
raining and it really does not feel like tomorrow will be the 1st of 

I added the "e" to chocolate because I did not want y'all to
think I am a bad speller (refer to previous post for an explanation).

See this little bird in the knit cap?  He is one of my favorites!

As I am decorating and trying to take some pics to show you
what I have done so far, Bentley is running around in circles in the 
wet ground cover at the base of the birdbath.  My birdbath is full of
two pumpkins and one of our squirrels is busy eating all of the seeds
while Bentley is dancing around below and barking, barking, barking.

Bentley was just groomed last night by Tina our groomer.
To look at him at the moment, you would never know it.
I am trying not to let his antics distract me, but he is pretty funny.

For now, I will leave you with this little clay pot filled with
Christmas cheer.  I still need to put some tartan slipcovers on the
pillows on the chairs and I may tweak that basket, I am not sure.
Gotta run now ~ such a busy time of year.  More later!

Joining ~

Bentley ~ why do you give Tina such a hard time when she 
grooms you?  When she is done all you want to do is cuddle
up to her and give her a big kiss.  

Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cozy Up With Some Cocoa

I am starting to decorate my front porch for Christmas.  I have 
gathered up a few things to use, but baby, it's cold out here.
So ...  I think it's time for a bit of hot cocoa to take off the chill.

Notice how I misspelled chocolate.  Every time I write the word chocolate,
I leave off the "e" so it comes out "chocolat".  But it's not my fault ~
it's genetic.  My great grandmother was born in France!  

Some people have dyslexia.  I have a genetic affliction that 
causes me to revert to the French spelling. Silly girl!

I have warmed up enough to take off my jacket and gloves
and am about to get to work.  As you may have guessed, I am 
going for a lodge look on the porch.  I'll be showing you more later.

Until then I am joining ~

Tell everyone to have a bonne nuit Bentley!

Susan and Bentley

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tweaking My Toolbox For Christmas

My favorite toolbox has been tweaked for Christmas.  

Now it's filled with bits of fabric, a tiny rolling pin,
and an angel.

Cookie cutters, bits of ribbon and a vintage Santa candle.

Ready for things I need to help make this 
Christmas Merry and Bright!

I am joining ~

The squirrels have eaten all of the pumpkins that used to be on
the porch.  Now they are eating the pumpkins and the squash in
the flower boxes.  Bentley is really busy trying to keep them all 
in line.  He is like the maitre d'hotel of the Ash Tree Cottage
squirrel buffet!

Susan and Bentley

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Story Of John's Sunday Tuna Lunch

(Norman Rockwell's Famous Thanksgiving Illustration)

When I was growing up, Sunday lunch was always a roast of  some
kind, served in the dining room on a white linen covered table, with
our best dishes.  There were candles, fresh flowers, and soft music.

 Sunday lunch always followed church.  Then after lunch, we would all hop
 in the car and daddy would drive around and we would look at houses and
sometimes stop for ice cream too.

My husband David grew up with a different tradition for Sunday lunch ...

David's mom had the day off from cooking and his dad took over.
His weekly Sunday lunch was almost always Tuna and Pasta Salad.
He would tweak it on occasion, but the basic recipe consisted of ...

Canned, drained Tuna
Elbow Macaroni
Chopped Scallions
Chopped Celery
Grated Carrots
Chopped Apples

Sometimes he would add some grated cheese, usually cheddar.

This was served on luncheon plates with a splash of John's Secret Dressing.
David told me that this is proprietary and I am not allowed to share it.
I will tell you that John told me that he copied the recipe off of an
Wesson Oil bottle.  It is a basic oil and vinegar dressing with some
dry mustard and some cayenne to give it a bit of heat.

Today we had John's Tuna Salad for Sunday lunch.  
It's one of the things I do to please David, and it brings 
back lots of happy memories for us both.  John only lived for
six weeks after David and I were married.  The cancer that had
been in remission returned.  He died one day before David's 
birthday 23 years ago, and was buried on my birthday.  We miss him.
John ~ this post is for you!

Although this is a Sunday recipe, I am sharing it with Yvonne for ~

and Kathleen for ~
and Sally for ~

Bentley ~ let those squirrels eat their squash in peace.  They have to
fatten up for the winter!

Susan and Bentley

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Buy Local Or Bye Bye Local

There is a saying ~ "Buy local or bye bye local"
So true.  Today was Small Business Saturday.  I always 
support my local shops, like this one ~ 
Blooms.  I have shown you this shop before and I love it.
Beautiful and creative flower arrangements and charming, 
charming gifts.

Precious Christmas decorations have been coming in.

Sweet and magical things ...

like this adorable little bird that just happened to follow
me home.

And now I am off to Antique World Mall.  Isn't this a wonderful

This cute little doll cabinet is on my Christmas list.  I know, you
don't have to tell me ... I have never grown up and never will.

Here is a very cute pie safe with more chicken wire.
Chickens and chicken wire ~ love it all!

I am loving furniture painted black!

Here I am at my friend DeDe's shop.  Another one of my friends, Glenda
who has an adorable pink and white Victorian a couple of streets away
from me is here at DeDe's shop too with her dog Daisy.  Dogs are always
welcome at small neighborhood shops.  They are NOT welcome at the
MALL.  Just one more reason to support small business ~ it's 

No pushing or shoving or violence over bargains ...
just joyful browsing.

What sweet sheet music!


More love.  

Candy canes made from woven red and white ticking ...

Wreak the Halls ~ isn't what we bloggers are always 
doing?  We remodel, restore and repurpose.

I hope y'all enjoyed this little shopping trip as much
as I did.

Let's move along and visit ~

Bentley ~ there are two Maltese terriers named Daisy.
Both of them are cuties too.

Susan and Bentley

Friday, November 23, 2012

Planning The Christmas Porch

One of my favorite things to do at the start of each Christmas season
is to plan the decorations on our front porch.  This year is no 
exception.  I always wait until the day after Thanksgiving and since
Thanksgiving was early this year, I get a jump start on the fun.

This is an idea I saved from Pinterest.  Love the big JOY sign!

I have added wrapped empty boxes to the porch in the past, and
still like this idea.  This is my little wicker rocker from last year.
I love to use tartans to slipcover the porch chair pillows.  I think
that I will change the plaid for this year.

Last year I covered a vintage walking stick with some
Christmas embellishment.  Maybe I will save this idea for
inside the house in my umbrella stand.

Might do something like this in the clay pots.

Source: via Susan on Pinterest

I need to go out to the garage this weekend and find my old skates!

Here's an idea for the potting bench.

Love mittens!  A favorite for wearing and for decorating at Christmas!
Well this is a start.  I have to work this afternoon, but I think I will be
dreaming of Christmas too.  And I am thankful for two of my favorite
friends, Beverly and Claudia and so I will be joining ~

Bentley was really tired last night.  He was exhausted from all of 
the squirrel chasing and turkey eating.  He's well rested now though
and has been playing hard and chasing squirrels all morning.  Sure do
love the little peanut!

Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving From Susan and Bentley

Momma is inside cooking up a storm.  I am out in the yard keeping an 
eye on the squirrels.  One of the squirrels took a pumpkin off of our 
porch and ate it down to the seeds.  Bad squirrel!!

Happy Thanksgiving from momma and me.

Gotta run. Those pesky squirrels are keeping me busy.
Momma said that we will be back to see you all on Friday when
we'll be starting our Christmas posts.  I think momma will be
decorating the porch with all kinds of Christmas stuff.  See you then!

Big Thanksgiving Day Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Am Crazy Busy

Creating Centerpieces

Ironing Linens

I am crazy busy right now!
Are you?

Just wanted to pop in and say hi and to join ~

Wow Us Wednesday

Susan and Bentley

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Don't Go to the Grocery Store Hungry

I took my mom grocery shopping this afternoon.  It was one of her
"let's really stock up on the specials"  kind of afternoon.  Ever since we
put a freezer in her garage, she has been loading up on everything.  It's
really kind of funny because she is a very petite little lady, but she wants 
to make sure that she has the fixin's to feed an army.

By the time we got to the cashier, her cart was completely overflowing.
Then we loaded it up in the back of my pick-up and went to her house 
to unload.  Then I headed back home.

I stopped at our new Whole Foods Market.  It's quite the 
attraction because Boise never had one before.  The parking lot
was jammed packed, but since it was on my way home I decided 
to pick up a few things.  

 I was tired and hungry.  I had not eaten since breakfast and it
was now 4:45 PM.  The first thing I spotted was Black Box Cabernet
Sauvignon on sale.  Into my cart it went.  Oh, and then, veggie pizza
right out of the oven.  I'll just grab a couple of slices for an appetizer
before dinner.

Got home.  Threw two small Idaho spuds into the oven.  Thank
goodness I thought to marinade a flank steak earlier in the day.
I poured myself a big glass of wine and  brought out a platter
 of pizza bites to share with David, who was in his chair
watching football.

Ah ...

Just a few moments to relax before I toss a salad and start 
grilling the flank steak.  Gee that pizza was good.  Too bad I 
didn't buy more!

I am joining Yvonne.  Trust me, she and her crew will
have some great recipes for you.  At the moment I am in my
pre -Thanksgiving chef down time.  Grilling a flank steak, tossing
 a salad and picking up some  ready made pizza from Whole Foods 
 Market is as creative as I get!

Wasn't that good pizza Bentley?  Did momma tell you that she
also bought some pie while she was there?  It's a surprise for
your daddy after dinner, so don't breathe a word.

Susan and Bentley

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ree Drummond Threw Me A Curve Ball

I really thought that I had Thanksgiving all under control.  The only
things left to do were to decide on a centerpiece ...

And to decide if I wanted to use my sweet little cottage dishes with wood
chargers instead of red ones  ...

Or to stick with the blue and white scheme as previously planned.

Then it happened ...

I was lounging around this morning with my coffee, watching 
The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network.  She was sharing her
recipes for Thanksgiving dinner.  She made baked acorn squash wedges
that looked and sounded so yummy that it started me thinking ...

Do I stick with a recipe that I have been making for years
from this cookbook?  A recipe that is so sweet and yummy it
tastes like you are eating dessert with your dinner.

 This was Daddy's favorite side dish.

Or try Ree's baked acorn squash wedges?  

What should I do???  Break with tradition, or maybe make both?

Time is fleeing.  I will have to make a decision soon!
Stay tuned to see what happens.

Joining ~

Bentley votes for both.  I have never known a dog that loves 
his veggies as much as Bentley!

Susan and Bentley


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