Monday, December 28, 2015

After Christmas Wrap Up

Preparing for Christmas is like cooking a big feast ~ it takes
weeks to get ready and then it seems like it's over in ten minutes.
I like to spend the days following Christmas just sitting back for
a bit and enjoying the rest of the holiday.  That being said, I am
not one of those who takes down the decorations the day after
Christmas.  I am a firm believer in the Twelve Days of Christmas!

We spent Christmas Eve with two of our old and very dear
friends.  We had a delicious dinner and sat around for hours
talking and reminiscing.  We returned home quite late, but 

Christmas morning was rather hectic because we had to pack
up and drive up to Lago Vista, Texas to spend the weekend with
David's sister Cindy and her family.  Cindy and Brian have a
beautiful Austin limestone home on the shore of Lake Travis
in a community called  Montechino Lake Travis that Cindy's
husband has planned and developed.

Cindy made a delicious Christmas dinner which we enjoyed with
our nieces Julie, husband Jeremy, Angela and boyfriend Kevin,
Julie and Jeremy's adorable daughter Anna (age four) and baby
son Tucker. Bentley of course, and his two cousin dogs, Olive
  and Dakota.  A houseful of family all gathered together to share
 a joyous holiday.  Friends came over after dinner and we had
 a beautiful evening on the back porch.

The men all played golf the next morning while we girls took
the kids and all three dogs to Brushy Creek Park for a long
walk and lots of fun on the various playgrounds scattered
along the path.  Great workout!

Saturday evening we all played Mexican Train.  At this point
all three dogs were exhausted and slept all evening.  If you
have never played Mexican Train, it is a very fun dominos
game and I highly recommend it.

We were all spared from the horrible tornados that ravaged
communities to the north of us.  Eleven people lost their lives
and there is widespread damage.  Please keep all the victims of
this disaster in your prayers.  It is a reminder to us all that life is
so very precious and family and friends are really all that

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Love to You This Christmas

To all of our friends here in Texas and scattered about our country
and the globe, Bentley and I send our warmest wishes for a 
very Merry Christmas.

We will be taking off a few days to celebrate with family and
friends.  We will return to this page renewed and refreshed and
with lots of hope and encouragement.  See y'all then.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Highlights From the Past

I am busy baking cookies to deliver to our neighbors.
The Christmas lights are on all over the house and
Christmas music is playing too.  I'm in my baking
zone right now and enjoying every moment.

Wishing you a happy day!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, December 21, 2015

My Christmas Potting Shed

It's so mild outside and I have spring fever and it's not even 
Christmas day yet!  This unseasonably warm weather has brought 
with it thoughts of my potting shed.  

I was considering building a new one, but then I thought to myself
why?  Why not take the existing one and tweak it to my liking?
So that's what I plan to do.  In the meantime, I decided to spruce it
all up for Christmas.  Wait a minute ~ spruce it up ~there I go
with the puns again.  Sorry!  They just pop out all the time ;-)

So I hung a beautiful wreath that was a gift from the attorney who
represents David's company.  Thank you Tom ~ we love it!

I tied tartan bows on rusty old yard tools and on a birdhouse too.

The two metal chairs were alley finds back in Idaho.  They are rusty and
chippy and I love them.

I gave Mom's old straw gardening bonnet some tartan cheer too.
There you have it.  If the weather is still mild after the holidays, I 
will begin the potting shed renovations.  It's just so much fun to tweak!

It's Bentley's 10th birthday today.  He is being spoiled even
more than usual.  He's not complaining ;-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Joy to the World

We are so busy this time of year, rushing around, shopping, wrapping
packages, going to parties, visiting loved ones.  

We all need to slow down for a bit and remember the real reason for
all this activity.  We are celebrating the birth of our Savior.

The greatest gift we will ever receive is the salvation that He 
extends to each of us.

If we have accepted this gift, it is our duty to honor Him.

And we can do this by loving Him and by loving our 
fellow man.  

Come let us adore Him for He brings true joy to the world.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, December 18, 2015


I have decided not to wait until the new year to make a resolution.
My life has taken a different turn recently and it's a very good one.
In the morning I like to wake up and thank God for all my many
blessings.  I have been faithful about doing this recently and it's 
made a huge difference in my life.

I just take the time to say thank you and each day I have been feeling
a flood of peace, calm and contentment.

Too often we (myself included) fuss over little issues that just are not
important.  I don't know why, but we do.  

Certainly gratitude is not a new idea, yet it's one that up until recently I neglected 
to do.  Now I cannot imagine starting my day without thanking God for
His many blessings. 

No matter what is lacking in your life, focus on what you have.

Carry that feeling of peace with you all day long and remember to
share it with others.

Wishing you peace and happiness today and always.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Tablescape Ideas

Christmas tablescapes are especially fun to create.  There are so many
moments when one just wants to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee
and savor the season.   Taking time to read Christmas cards from dear
friends by a sunny window.  Any and ever place in your home is an
opportunity for a fun Christmas tablescape.

Such as serving barbecue on the patio …. well, this is Texas after all!

Getting cozy by the Christmas tree.

Or planning a special dinner to honor your favorite little dog who
will be turning 10 very shortly.  Hmmm … I wonder who that could be?

Christmas dinner in the dining room.

Or tea by the fire.

A quick bowl of soup on the kitchen island.

Or coffee on the porch swing.

Or mini Christmas cookies in the dollhouse.

As I said, the Christmas season is a time to put creative your tablescape
into play.

Well Bentley, what do you want for your birthday?
Just four days away.  Mama will have some big surprises
for you!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Life is Crazy Busy Right Now!

Now that we are getting closer to Christmas, our schedule is getting
very, very busy.  My husband is in and out of town on business, we
are flying up to Midland for a Christmas party and returning the same
evening, thankfully on a private jet, so we don't have to go through
security.  Parties, family, wrapping packages and baking cookies.

Do I have time for a nap?  

What I really want to do is to visit the next group of homes
on the Tidings Holiday Homewalk and you should too.

On today's tour is:

If you missed yesterday's tour, here are the links:

Thank you to Judy at 20 North Ora, and Cathy at
1929 Charmer Cottage for organizing this wonderful
holiday house walk!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Cozy and Warm Christmas Cottage

Welcome and Merry Christmas y'all!  We are so honored to be on
this year's Tidings Holiday Housewalk.  Bentley and I have been busy
getting everything ready for your visit, so come on in and make yourself
at home …

I'm mad for plaid this Christmas season and I used it just about
everywhere and in every way possible :-)  

And in honor of Bentley's 10th Birthday on December 21st, here is
a canine tablescape.  Can't believe my baby is going to be 10!
He is still active and healthy and we love him so.

South Texas is home to lots of birds and we enjoy them.  I have decorated
my potting sink in a bird lover's theme this Christmas.  I just started 
hanging bird feeders out in the yard and I am enjoying all the activity.
Of course the squirrels have figured out a way to get to the bird seed too.
That's okay ~ I just put out a little bit extra for them.

I spend lots of hours in my studio, so I decorated for Christmas there 
as well.  I play my Christmas CD's and happily work away.

My studio is also the home of my Texas Rosebud Townhouse.  It 
occupies one full shelf in my bookcase and it's quickly becoming
my favorite little niche.  There is a wreath over the mantel, a 
Christmas tree and packages all tied up with bows ...

Christmas cards have been arriving and cookies are being baked ...

There is a cozy little spot by the fire to read a good book like 
A Christmas Carol.

The stockings have been hung on the mantel with care.

Candy canes are on the tree and a tiny angel sits on the very top.  It's a very
cozy and merry time in the Texas Rosebud mini townhouse!

Isn't she precious?

Thanks so much for stopping by and seeing our cozy
Christmas cottage.  I am so honored to be included with
this group of friendly and talented bloggers!
And a special thank you to Judy and Cathy for arranging this tour!!

Here are the links for today's house walk:

Bentley and I will also be linking to these parties this week:

Merry Christmas y'all, it sure is coming up quick now!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

20 North Ora


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