Friday, February 27, 2015

Bentley's Spa Day

It's never easy giving Bentley a bath.  One would think by the look
on his face that he was being punished.  He hates it.  So in effort
to make the experience more pleasurable for him, I created a spa
retreat.  He's still not buying it :-(

Of course, once the lathering and rinsing is complete and he is
bundled up in a fluffy towel he will be happy once more. Then he
 runs all over the house while I clap my hands and call him a
 "clean baby".  This is followed by a treat.  I think someone is just
a little bit spoiled don't you?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bring on Spring

While it has been a typical winter here in south Texas, for many of you
living in the midwest and the east, this winter has been brutal.  Having
grown up in a northern Chicago suburb right along Lake Michigan,
I can remember how long and tiring winter can be.  

I remember the huge snowdrifts left behind after the streets were
plowed.  Heavy jackets, tights, sweaters and boots.  The static 
electricity my long hair gathered.  Learning that if I dampened my
comb those long and errant strays would fall into place.  Yet then
again, only to return after the wearing of a knit cap.  The dreaded
hat hair.  

Despite these inconveniences, there are the treasured memories of 
winter too.  Ice skating with friends every weekend on the village ice 
rink.  Hot chocolate in the field house afterwards.  The two fireplaces
in our house always aglow with a fire.  Watching the burning embers
with the lamps turned off.  My Daddy capturing the glistening
branches covered in ice and highlighted by the moon as he worked
his magic with his camera.  

Once when there was a particularly bad ice storm, all the power went 
out for several hours on a Saturday.  My parents were supposed to 
attend a party that night.  Being typical hearty midwesterners, the ice
did not deter their party going spirit and they braved the elements.  
Meanwhile my next door neighbor Madeleine came over to spend the
night with me.  We camped out in sleeping bags with extra down filled
comforters in front of the fireplace in the recreation room.  Armed with
pizza, cokes, chips and an array of "junk food" we giggled away
the evening.  My parents eventually made it back home safely after
having a very memorable and joyful evening.  And for me, it that 
evening is also very memorable.  My dear childhood friend Madeleine
passed away several years ago.  Taken away from us far too soon by 
colon cancer.  Whenever I think of her, I remember that evening.
The giggling, the sharing of young hopes and dreams.

So here we are at the end of February.  We have all been down this
path before.  March can and will probably continue to be an
unpredictable month.  There will be days that will tease us into
believing spring is here at long last, and then convince us otherwise.
Yet we remain hopeful.  I for one say ~ bring on spring!
We are all ready now.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Let's Decorate a Beach Cottage

Let's pretend we have a beach cottage to decorate.  We can just whisk 
ourselves away in our minds for a mini vacation somewhere warm and
sunny because winter is getting old and we are by now all longing
to feel the warm rays of the sun on our skin.  

So let's get started ….


I love the look of all white with pops of color.  Love the ceiling too.  So
much texture and interest.


I have always loved this room.  So cottage.  So cozy.

This room just screams FUN!  I can just see myself walking into a
room like this while I am wearing white shorts, a hot pink tunic top and
wearing flip flops with sand between my toes :-)

I love those vintage lamps and shades.  So kitschy.

Such a happy spot to wash dishes.


This kitchen is so cute I want to hug it!

Let's not forget to decorate the bath.

After a fun filled day at the beach, a girl is going to need a cozy place to
rest her head.  This room is so serene and charming.



Still one of my favorite beach cottage bedrooms.

Screened in porch so we don't have to worry about bugs :-)

I am beginning to think a Mojito would be really good right about now.

I hope that this mini vacation chased away the winter doldrums.
Spring and summer are looming on the horizon.  Hooray!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cheerful and Bright

As many of you know, this was my Mom's bedroom and now it is a
guest bedroom.  No matter how gray and cold and dreary the day may be,
it's always cheerful in this room.  

There are four sets of floor to nearly ceiling windows with vintage 
shutters that provide lots of light and the best view in the house of
our gigantic magnolia tree.

I am going to make a change in this room.  I am replacing the twin bed
with a queen so things will be rearranged a bit in the future.  But that's
always fun don't you think?

If I can't find Bentley anywhere, I will often find him curled up on the
little love seat.   He loves to snuggle in that fake fur throw.

 This pillow is encouragement of canine repose ;-)

Bentley is happily demonstrating for you.

The wing chair is a nice spot to sit and enjoy a magazine and a cup of
tea while looking out the French doors to the back garden.
No matter how gloomy the day, it's always cheerful in here.

That's it for today.  I am working on recovering some pillows.
Y'all know how much I love pillows!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, February 23, 2015

Let's Talk Granny Chic

It's cold outside today!  Over the weekend it was so warm that we had
the air-conditioning on.  Then last evening the winds kicked up and 
we had a touch of the arctic.  Gone are the flip flops and back on are
the cozy socks and slippers.  

It's dark, gray and windy outside.  I am so thankful I don't have to be
anywhere today.  So here is the plan ….

Chicken cacciatore slowly cooking away.  All the daily chores
are complete.  Now is the time for some serious nesting in our
bedroom.  Under a quilt ( I am the quilt lady), resting on a stack of
fluffy pillows and …

watch some TV ~ there's Chip and Joanna.  I TiVo'd a few episodes of
Flipper Upper.  Next I plan on watching an old movie.   I won't
really be napping because I am not very good at it.  I flunked nap time
in nursery school and still can't do it.  However, resting is supposed
to be beneficial too … right?  Bentley however is a master napper.

About that ceiling fan ….  I know that some of you will say that the room
would look so much better without it.  Well to that I say …. try surviving in
south Texas without one.  In about a month the air conditioning will come
on and won't go off again until next November.  A ceiling fan is crucial if
one wants to get a quality night's rest, despite the air conditioning cranked
up to max.  Trust me, at 3:00 AM I am much more concerned with function
than with form.

Now you may also have noticed that the style of our bedroom is very 
granny chic.  Well, you are correct.  With the exception of our bed which 
was handmade by some Amish folks in Pennsylvania, everything is vintage.

I love it that way and I planned it that way.  Our room reminds me of the
bedrooms in the old movies that starred Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant,
Myra Loy and Greer Garson.  Any of life's problems could be easily 
solved in one of those classic rooms.  Well, at least that's what I 
think.  In fact ….

see what I mean?  In black and white this room could be in a 
Connecticut farmhouse.  "Very homespun, very blueberry pie" to quote
a line from Myrna Loy in Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House.

Now if I could just figure out a way where I could flip a switch and
the whole room would be instantly converted to black and white
nostalgia ;-)  Maybe Brenda  would know.  She is very skilled
at tweaking.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, February 22, 2015

This and That Sunday

Church this morning followed by brunch.

Hubby is out playing 18 holes of golf.

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Gray skies, warm humid temps.  The quiet stillness of the 
air before the next cold front comes in and lowers the temps
down to 40 degrees tonight.

Bentley and I enjoying a peaceful and contemplative
afternoon at home.  

The biggest decision to be made today is how to spend the
remainder of the day.  Watch a movie, read a book, tweak some
things around the house, or just take a nap?  All of those
options have merit :-)

All the while the eager anticipation of another episode of 
Downton Abbey this evening.  Such is the luxury of a 
Sunday afternoon.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Anniversary of Mom's Passing

Last year at 4:30 am my Mom passed away from this world into 
another.  I was with her.  I remember every moment of those wee
hours of the morning.  The darkness, the stillness.  The phone call to the 
hospice nurse who had just been with us a few hours earlier. 

The oxygen being shut off.  The lights in her dimly lit bedroom suddenly
bright.  The soft classical music playing in the background.  The 
stethoscope.  The nurse checking her watch for the exact time.

I was impervious to pain.  I was lost in a haze ~ somewhere ~ nowhere ~ like
a body dropped off a ship and left to float in an unknown sea.  Alone, so
terribly alone now.  

Going through the motions.  Talking with and yet not fully hearing the words of the
nurse sitting by my side.  Waiting for someone from the mortuary to arrive.
Feeling so uncertain in a town where I had only lived for a few short months.

It was nine days since her massive stroke.  I was always hopeful, despite the
dire predictions of the palliative care physician.  He knew the end was coming
although I chose not to accept it.  

Now it was over.  Had I forgotten how to breathe?  I was cold, so cold
I could not warm up.  Get some rest I was told.  Later that day would be
a busy one.  I felt like I had left my body and was looking at myself from
afar.  I was thrust onto a stage and left without a script.  

It was over ….

During these last twelve months I have struggled with my loss.  Some
months were better than others.  I had a very tough set back last fall, yet
somehow and from somewhere I began to feel a renewed strength.  I 
nurtured that tiny bit of strength.  I held on to it tightly.  As I nurtured
it, it began to grow slowly and steadily.  

Time does indeed heal wounds.  I made it through the past year without
completely crumbling.  I know that my Mom and Daddy are together
and that gives me comfort.  If you were to eavesdrop on me when I am
at home alone, you might well catch me talking to them.  I fill them in on
what's going on in my life.  I feel like they are listening and that helps
me cope with the loss.

I am hopeful for the future.  Life goes on and although greatly missed,
 loved ones always live on in our hearts.  I love you mama.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mini Tour of My Home

It's been a busy week.  I have been gathering pics for our magazine
spread.  Bentley follows me around all day, bless his heart.
Hope you enjoyed our little tour.  We are still taking photos and
I will share more later.  TGIF!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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