Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas on the Porch From Last Year

I hope that y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday.  
We celebrated our first one here in Texas.  Now the left overs
are in the fridge and it's time to think about Christmas!  Well,
it doesn't feel like Christmas here. The sun is shinning and it will
be around 70 degrees today.  Beautiful day with no snow in sight.

The wonderful thing about Picasa Web is that old pics from 
previous years are so handy to refer to.  Do you remember the
decorations I had on my porch last year?  Well I pulled up some
of the pics to remind myself what I did.  I want to decorate every
square inch of our new place including our back and front porches.
But I need a little different theme this year.  I am opening 
Christmas decorating boxes and plan a quick trip to Hobby
Lobby today too.  I hope that it's not too crazy out there.  I 
usually avoid black Friday shopping, but holiday decorations
are always the exception.

Every house has a different personality and the porch is no
exception.  I think I will start with the potting bench and let it
evolve from there.  Do you decorate that way?  I usually don't have
anything specific in mind.  I just pull out a few things and see
where the muse directs me.  I don't think that I have ever
decorated the same way twice.

I left some of my decorations in storage back in Idaho.  One day when we
finally get that cabin built I will already have the furniture and decorations
up there for it.  I remember last Christmas we had plans to start construction
in the spring.  Then the move to Texas came about and well the cabin
just took a back seat.

Now we are down here near the Gulf Coast.  Maybe I 
need a beach theme for this year.  We'll see what happens.

So stop back by and see what's going on.  

Bentley is still in bed.  He played so hard and had so
much turkey yesterday.  He's being lazy now.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Step Aside Chickies It's Time For Turkey

I have been cooking for two days and I am still going.  You would think that I
was feeding an army!  

Bentley and I wish y'all the Happiest Thanksgiving

Love and Hugs From Texas
Susan and Bentley

Monday, November 25, 2013

Table Top Tweaking By Mom

Mom has been tweaking some table tops in the living room.  As you may
or may not know, Mom has free reign to decorate the living room
 as she likes.  I happen to like this arrangement and told her to keep
 it this way for a while.  Mom is into nearly daily tweaking.  Trust me,
if you walk into this room today it will change by tomorrow.  She
 tweaks so often that she can't remember where she started.  So I
have decided to create a tweaking scrapbook for her :-)

I love this vase.  The bottom is fluted cranberry glass and above that are
hand painted blossoms.  There are no markings on the bottom so I
have no idea who produced it.  I still love it and don't remember ever
seeing another one like it.

Mom tweaked this table top too.  I have no idea what she is dreaming 
up next because she just walked down the hall towards her bedroom
with a stack of Southern Living back issues in her hands.  I guess
the tweaking gene runs in our family!

Bentley is bored with today's tweaking and is taking a nap.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Shoes To Go With The Dress

Now I have the dress (post from a couple of days ago) and today
I bought the shoes.  Michael Kors ~ Yvonne Platform Pump.
Now I need to find the right pair of earrings.  

More Later

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nesting on a Wednesday Afternoon

A rainy afternoon.  Dreary and windy.  A good day for nesting.

I spent the morning and part of the afternoon creating a gallery wall in 
the hallway leading to Mom's bedroom.  We are not quite finished yet,
but getting close now.  I would love to take some pics to show you
but it's so dark and cloudy.  Not a good picture taking day.

With Thanksgiving on it's way, I am consumed with thoughts of the dining room and
recipes.  It's our first Thanksgiving in our new house and I want to make it as
special as I can.  Mom and I have been planning all kinds of changes for this room
but honestly, I think it would be more realistic for us to consider these changes
after the holidays.

Isn't this a pretty dish?  I  just love looking at it.

I thought I would take a pic of the kitchen before next week.  It won't be
so neat and tidy then ;-)

Remember when I was talking about a cream and neutral color palate for
my kitchen?   What was I thinking???  Y'all know that can't happen.
After all ~ reds just keep on creeping in!

I am kind of partied out right now so no links today.  Just lots of love
and of course ~

Big Texas Hugs,
from Susan and Bentley

Monday, November 18, 2013

Finding the Right Dress For a Holiday Ball

After days and days of going through pictures of dresses to wear to the
Court of Six Flags Holiday Ball at the Victoria Country Club, I have
finally found the dress I want ...
And here it is.  It is the same Ann Taylor dress that Kate Hudson
wore to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Hot Pink Party
last April in New York City.

Here is Kate in the dress.  

I think this one will work for me.  I am petite and slim and I like to
keep my style sleek so that it does not overwhelm me.  Mom thinks I should
wear my shoulder length blonde hair up, but I think I will wear it down
as Kate did.  However, I would wear it up if I had chosen this other
Ann Taylor dress.

I almost went with this dress, and still love it, but I have other strapless dresses 
and my legs are really my best feature.  I am tempted to get this one too
since they are both specially priced right now, but really how many 
black tie events to I get invited to???

I plan on keeping the jewelry very simple.  I have a large vintage rhinestone
cuff and I will look for some knock out earrings.  Oh and shoes ~ I need to
find a great pair of shoes too.  At the moment I don't look the least bit
sophisticated or elegant.  I am still wearing my work out sweats from
this morning's work out :-)  I am pre-tweaked!

Bentley are you excited about seeing your mama and daddy
all dressed up in black tie attire?  Lately you have only been
seeing mama in shorts and tee shirts.  I know.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Letting Go of the Old to Embrace the New

A funny thing happened to me today.  After weeks of trying to feel 
comfortable in our new house, I quit trying and suddenly it happened.

I felt at home!

Now when I think of my little cottage (look at Bentley on his porch) that was so
deeply loved, I think of only happy memories, not the sad ones of leaving.
I think of the sweet and dear cottage that is now home to a retired pastor who
is happily living alongside property owned by his daughter.  It's like passing
on the baton to a worthy contender.

So I woke up this morning feeling so at ease.  So deeply at home.
What a great feeling it is.  And would you just look at those huge live oaks.
They just envelope the house.

I think back to when we first moved in a few months ago and
Bentley (and we were too) in a sea of boxes.  Everything felt
exciting and intimidating at the same time.

And then little by little things began to fall into place.
Uncertain steps, uncharted waters, but in we plunged.

Exploring our neighborhood.  Getting to know the terrain and our neighbors too.

Old favorites in a new home and adding some new elements too ...

And suddenly one morning you get up to make coffee, sigh and think
to yourself ...

Yes it feels like home now.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Few Fun Finds For Your Home

I was looking for some wallpaper (because I am thinking of adding some
above the chair rail in our dining room) and I found this whimsical pattern.
Of course by now y'all know the real boss of this house is ...


Dog themes are huge in this house.

This paper is so dang cute, I have to find a place to use it.
Have y'all noticed how much Southern speech is creeping 
into my dialog?  

Okay then ~ I am fix'n to show you something else ...


I love this little lamp!  I am going to put it on my Christmas wish list.
I will have to really butter David up this year and Santa too
because my list is growing exponentially!


I recently found and purchased these Audubon nesting tables for
my Mom's bedroom.  We both love them!

That's it.  I'll be on the hunt for more.  Just click onto the source
so you can learn where you can get these goodies.  None of these
vendors have sponsored me.  I'm just giving them some free

Show and Tell Friday

Bentley ~ hurry and go find a spot where we can use
that great wallpaper!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thank You From The Bottom Of My Heart

There is something so renewing, so fresh, so spiritual about
white.  Clean, simple a new beginning ...
and it is a new day.

Thank you so much for all of your kind words and wise advice.
I reached out for help and you were there.  You uplifted my
heart when I was feeling defeated.  

Thank You!

You all gave me sensible, realistic and sound ideas for 
how to handle what I was not handling very well.
You were both firm and loving.  I could not ask for
better friends.

Your words of encouragement both as blog comments and
as personal emails touched my heart.  You uplifted me and gave
me hope.

The two most important things I learned was that I was (as one commenter
so wisely stated) being treated like a teenager.  So true and I was 
beginning to act like one too.

Years ago I had a little cartoon that I kept on my desk in my office.
At that time I was a pretty successful business woman.  I wore 
power suits, carried an expensive briefcase and had an expense account.
Now this cartoon showed a woman dressed like I was at that time.
She was headed to the airport to get on a plane to go home.
She arrives at the door of her parents home.  She has shed that
business suit, the briefcase has fallen to the ground and there
is a teddy bear in her hand instead.  She has reverted to a child.
I can't think of a better depiction of the person I have been lately.

Parents can do that to us.  They have the power to reduce us to
children when we no longer are.  Logically I knew this but
my heart had forgotten.

With your help I was reminded that I need to set boundaries.
That is step one.

Mom needs some freedom and some time away from me.
I am contacting a caregiving agency that provides 
companion services.  I will have someone pick her up
and take her places until Mom has established a network
of friends here in our new city.

I need to put the needs of my marriage first.
While I will always make sure that my Mom is
comfortable, safe and secure, her needs can be no more
important than those of other family members.

When I get frustrated I need to take a time out and 
exercise, meditate, have a facial or lunch with a friend.

Many of you suggested that I move Mom to assisted living.
Knowing me and knowing my Mom, I just can't do that.
I will do what I can to create the happiest environment for all
concerned and just not sweat the small stuff.

Thank You
Thank You
Thank You!

How blessed I am to have you as friends.

Please visit my friends 

They are celebrating their 100th What's It Wednesday
Party.  Congratulations girls!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, November 11, 2013

Adjusting To Living With Mom

Adjusting to having my Mom come to live with us has not been easy for
any of us, especially not for me.  Let me make myself very clear ~ I 
love my Mom very much, but she is in no stretch of the imagination an
easy going person.  One of the last things one of Mom's closest friends 
said to me before we left Idaho is "I love your Mom but she can be
quite difficult and demanding.  Stand your ground".  

Not an easy thing to do.

Unfortunately Mom believes that the world revolves around her.
This morning I had the sad task of informing her that my aunt and her sister
(and only sibling) went back into the hospital for yet more spinal 
compression fractures.  Mom's response was oh that's too bad.  I will
send some flowers.  Then she switched topics and spent the next
thirty minutes discussing her own aches and pains.   Mom is so 
competitive.  I will listen politely for a while but when I try to change
the subject to something more cheerful, she gets mad at me and sulks
for hours.

I even hate to bring this up, but I am at my wit's end.  A couple of days
will go by and we will get along quite well and then she is upset with me
once again.  This is not a new issue.  We have had this type of relationship
in the past.  She wants something, and if she does not get it immediately in
her time frame, then she is unhappy.  For example, a few years ago she 
wanted an artificial topiary.  She had me run all over town trying to find one
for her at the price she was willing to pay.  When I finally found one at 
Michael's and delivered it to her, she was fine and happy for a couple of
days.  Then I get a phone call that she had decided she hates  it and wants
 me to come right over with a saw and cut it into three different sections.
When I did not have the time to get over to her house to cut the topiary per
her schedule, she got mad, threw the topiary in the garage and sulked.

What is a daughter supposed to do?  Whatever I do is not enough.  When my
Daddy was still alive and before the Alzheimer's took over, he brought some
rationality to the picture.  Although she still sulked and carried on when she did
not get her way, he was far less tolerant and she would straighten up.  Oh how I
miss him.  He was always so sensible and intelligent.  But he's not here anymore.
My Mom is getting older and needs help.  Her eyesight has diminished because
of her macular degeneration.  We have done all we can to attempt it's further
deterioration, but it there is no cure at this time.  I have to read things for her.
I have to help her with her paperwork and explain what she cannot see for
herself.  I am happy to do this for her.  But I have another problem ~
her vanity ...
Mom is very vain.  She never passes a mirror without checking her
hair and her appearance.  Okay, I can live with that, but here is the rub.
Mom is getting to be quite deaf.  We purchased hearing aids for her.  
She seldom wears them because they interfere with her hair.  So if
someones says something she can't understand or she misunderstands,
she flies off the handle.  I am the one who gets the brunt of her anger.

Then there are the decorating issues.  When we decided to all live together
the agreement was that she would decorate the living room, dining room,
her bedroom, bath and the hallway leading to her those rooms any way
she desired.  I would be able to decorate the family room, kitchen, master
bed and bath and my little studio.  The back porch and patio were a joint
affair as would be the front entry.  We had a family meeting and all
agreed to that arrangement prior to moving to Texas.  

Once we arrived little arguments started cropping up.  As I mentioned 
before, my Mom is very competitive and she is also especially
competitive with me.  Once I started to set up the family room she 
commented that she liked what I was doing and said she wanted some
help decorating the living room.  I knew I would be walking on thin ice,
but I agreed to offer some suggestions.  Keep in mind that she is a very
nervous decorator.  She is always afraid of making a mistake.  Sadly
for her she can't relax and just do what makes her happy.  Over the years
she has spent a fortune (and I do not use that term lightly) on furniture.
Interior designers have come and gone by the dozens.  Thank goodness
Daddy had to spend a good bit of his career traveling and did not have to
witness the daily decorating drama that took place at home.

To get back to my current predicament, I agreed to help her find some
new pieces for her living room.   I spent hours on the internet looking at
antiques, book marking possibilities and showing them to her.  We
ordered several pieces that she liked and had them shipped from Georgia,
North Carolina and Virginia.  I thought everything was fine until one
day she just snapped at me and told me not to tell her what to do because
it is "her room to decorate".  I said that my suggestions were only that ~
suggestions ...
and that I only offered them at her request.  Did not matter.  She 
scolded me called me "young lady" (always in trouble when she calls
me that) and then went to her room and started throwing things in the 

I am sorry to go on like this.  I just need some help.  I know that I am too
close to the situation to be fully objective, or even objective at all.  I so
wanted this to be a good experience for us.  I hoped that we would be able
to spend her last years growing closer.  It seems like I say something or do
or not do something to upset her constantly.  I am getting so nervous now
and it's beginning to effect everything.  I snapped at David once last week
and last night too.  He does not deserve it and I don't want to be a shrew.

What I really want to do is curl up in a quilt and hide in my bed and
watch old movies.  Of course I can't do that and I know it so I
have to find some kind of an acceptable solution.   I need your help.
I have come to know so many of you and am continually awed by 
your compassion and wisdom.  I am willing to listen to any
advice you have.  I need tweaking.

I am so thankful for Bentley.  He is such a devoted little guy.
I love him so.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...