Tuesday, May 31, 2016

We Had a Great Weekend

How was your weekend?  Ours was busy and now I just don't feel 
like doing anything.  I could easily just sit here all afternoon and do
nothing, but that's not really possible, so I am taking mini breaks
in between tasks.  Weather wise, it was a crazy weekend.  Friday
evening a big storm came through and dumped lots and lots of 
rain down in a very short time.  That made me a bit concerned
because we invited friends over for a barbecue on Saturday evening.

But by Saturday morning, the skies had cleared and our barbecue plans
were saved and we all had a great evening.

We were especially lazy on Sunday and we took naps.

Then yesterday morning, we had another big storm and lots more
rain.  Yet, after a couple of hours, the skies cleared up once more and
we hopped into the Suburban and drove down to Rockport. 

We certainly don't need any more rain.  On our way to the beach,
we saw the Guadalupe and it's overflowing banks, farm crops standing
in water and bayous swelling.  Unfortunately, we have more rain
headed our way.  In the meantime, I feel like taking a nap ;-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Flowers on Memorial Day

We had a party at our house this weekend and I found this pretty 
bouquet of flowers for the breakfast room table.  I want them to last
forever, but know that they won't, so I took pics of them to help
the memory to last.


I hope that y'all are having a wonderful Memorial Day, but most
importantly, that we all remember those who sacrificed their lives 
so that we are able to enjoy the freedom and prosperity of our
nation.  God bless the souls of the service men and women who
made that ultimate sacrifice and they are not forgotten.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, May 27, 2016

Update On Theodore the Beagle

Here is a happy and healthy pup who is going home with his
mama (Robin) today!!!

After a long week and one half, Theodore has recovered and 
will be back in his own home with his loving family.  

I want to thank all of you prayer warriors who took the time
to pray for this sweet guy.  Robin was so worried about her
baby.  She's such a good mama.  She cancelled a trip to 
San Francisco to visit her human son when she discovered that
Theodore was not well.  She took him to her local vet, but
they suggested that Theo be treated at the University of 
Illinois Vet Hospital in Champaign, 64 miles from her home.
So being the good mama that Robin is, she took him up there
and drove back and forth to visit him each day.   Day by day,
Theo improved aided by skilled veterinary care and your

Thank you so much!  It's yet another example of answered
prayer.  Praise the Lord!

I have a new dollhouse minis blog post up and running
today.  You can see it here.

Okay, now we can relax and start enjoying this holiday

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I Am Running Away to Paris

I have a split personality ~ half of me is a full fledged
Anglophile, but the artistic and romantic soul of me is
a Francophile.  I woke up this morning in one of my
French moods.  This happens to me periodically and
when it does, I immerse myself in all things Francaise.

I am pulling out all my French books from college, and, 
at the moment I am sitting in my kitchen drinking
cafe au last with the soundtrack from the movie 
French Kiss playing in the background.  Pretty soon
the Edith Piaf CDs will come out. 

The French Cookbooks will come out ~ probably while the the movie
Julie and Julia is playing in the background, followed by 
Something's Gotta Give.  I might have to put on a pot of
French Onion Soup too ;-)

Of course, I can't really run away to Paris today.  I am having
a dinner party at my house on Saturday night.  Maybe I can run
away on Sunday ~ no come to think of it I need to update my
passport.  That will take a few days ... 

In the meantime, maybe David and I will head to Houston to 
have brunch or dinner at Cafe Rabelais.  One of my favorite 
French cafes and it's right in West University, my favorite area
of town.  

I can't fly off to Paris just yet ~ c'est dommage.  Maybe soon 
mon petit Bentley, and mama will take you with me because in
Paris ~ dogs are welcome!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Latest YouTube Movie

I created a YouTube channel a few years ago, but have not been
active on it since I moved to Texas.  Well, since playing around with
my new Photos feature on my iMac, I have been discovering new
ways to place my photos into albums.  I had so much fun creating
my first album, so I decided to post it on YouTube.  

This first little "movie" is a compilation of my shabby chic
miniature dollhouse pics.  I will be posting them individually
on my other blog, Ash Tree Cottage Dollhouse Minis, but I
thought I would share them with y'all first.

I have been working on more miniature rooms, so you will be
seeing those on my mini blog next week.  This movie is not
very long, but I hope you enjoy it.

That's it for today.  I am hosting a big dinner party
at my house this weekend.  I have a long To Do List!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, May 23, 2016

Learning Curve Frustration

My blogging will probably be a bit sporadic as I work through a learning
curve.  I recently upgraded my operating system on my iMac and have
lost iPhoto and now have a new photo editing system and I am not
used to it.  I am having troubles working out the new method to import
my photos and I am frustrated!!!

Now, I need to have a cup to tea and think this through before I get
mad and rip my iMac out of the wall.  

I am repeating to myself ....

Serenity Now!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Special Prayer Request for Theodore

This is Theodore.  He is the beloved Beagle of my dear sister Robin who
writes the blog Decorating Tennis Girl.  Dear and sweet Theodore is at
the University of Illinois Veterinary Hospital right now.  He has a very
serious condition called Acidosis Ketosis which is a complication of
Diabetes.  His pancreas is inflamed and there is liver involvement as well.
He is receiving treatment right now.  

I am asking for prayers for Theodore from all you dog lovers.  We pet 
parents know that our pets are family and we always want the best for
them.  Thank you in advance for your prayers.  

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Healing Heartache

Sometimes life can be very hard.  Unfortunately, not everyone is
nice and there are some who will hurt you because they want something
you have or perhaps just because they can.  It happens to most of us
at one time or another.  Knowing that it happens never makes it any
easier when you are the victim.  

It's fairly common to withdraw after a heartache, to retreat into
a space that feels safe and secure and to avoid the possibility of
being hurt once again.  Doing just that is fine for a while.  
Curling up at home with the covers over your head will work for
a while, but sooner or later one must face the world once again.

I have spent my time at home curled up under the covers.

I have healed my wounds.

My heart has stopped aching.

I am ready to come out of my safe place ...

and face the world once again .... 

yet being careful, because ....

once bitten, twice shy.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bentley Takes Us on a Beach Vacation

Bentley decided that we needed a long weekend ~ well, not exactly.  David played in two 
separate golf tournaments in Corpus Christi and he thought it would be fun if Bentley
and I tagged along, so we did.  We love to stay at Omni Hotels because they are so pet 
friendly and do their best to make Bentley comfortable.  This note was in our suite 
when we arrived last Wednesday evening.  They left some freshly baked heart shaped
dog treaties too.  Bentley was indeed feeling like a VIP ~ very important pet that is!

He had his own pet bowls too.  Some little guy certainly was feeling like a king :-)

We took lots of long walks on the seawall and that meant lots
of naps too.  He is about to nod off.  Bentley loved sleeping  
in the sunshine that streamed through the big windows
overlooking the bay.  

We were up on the 18th floor and had two sets of sliding glass
doors out to balconies on two sides, so the views were
spectacular.  We could watch sail boats and shrimpers going out to
sea.  We saw big tankers coming in, followed by tugs.  There was
a wind surfing championship too.  

See that "look" on Bentley's face?  That's his ~ quit taking pics of me
mama look because it's nap time don't you know.   Ah, the life of a
beloved Yorkie.  There were quite a few other dogs at the hotel and
Bentley made some new friends.  I enjoyed hanging out by the
pool which is something I really love to do.  David played three full
days of golf which he loved and we had some great dinners too.

Now it's back to reality.  Vacations always end too quickly, but I 
am already making plans for the next one.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, May 13, 2016

Design Tips from Eddie Ross & Marburger Farm

Fridays are garage sale, consignment, and
antique shop days.  Here are some great tips from
designer Eddie Ross at Marbuger Farms to keep
in mind during your hunt.

So kick your boots off and spend a little time
watching these Marburger Farm videos and you may
find some inspiration for your next treasure hunting trip.

All you blue and white transfer ware lovers are
really going to enjoy this next video!

I hope that these videos give you some inspiration
to create a space that is uniquely yours. When your
home tells the story of who you are, it becomes a place
where both you, your friends and family share your life.
That's a good thing!

Have a great weekend and on Monday I will tell
y'all about the fun things that Bentley and I have
been doing.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, May 12, 2016

More Ginger Blooming in the Garden

Not all the ginger plants in my gardens bloom at the same time.  The ones
in the front yard and those by the potting shed bloom first, and this section
in the backyard always blooms last.  It this the most dramatic of the 
beds of ginger because they are not only very tall, but there are masses 
of them.    Here is the bistro set peeking out.  As you can see, the last of
the live oaks have just finished shedding their leaves.  Thankfully I
have Carlos to help me stay on top of this because it's a big job.

It really looks like a tropical jungle back here.   Lizards galore.
Frogs too.  Thankfully no snakes.

See that wire cable in the tree?  We have many of those to 
control the long, long limbs of the live oaks.

Thanks for stopping by.  Time to head back inside out of the 
heat and humidity.  Come on Bentley, lets cool off in the A/C.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Vintage Comfort Foods

I've been going through vintage cookbooks and recipe files looking for
old well loved recipes.   Some recipes are great as they are, and others
can use a bit of tweaking.

It's also fun to see what was popular years ago.  Gladys Taber 
instructed a generation with her cookbooks and magazine articles.  I 
can understand why some thought she was a model for Barbara Stanwyk's
character in the movie Christmas in Connecticut.  Gladys had a way
of bringing the joys of country living into everyone's home.

It will be fun trying some of these old recipes.  Just found a recipe card for
Welsh Rarebit or Rabbit ~ what is the correct name???  However it is
called, melted cheese over toast is always a winner for me.  After I 
finish going through some of these recipes, I will share them with you too.

Have a happy Wednesday y'all!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Recipe For Happiness

Designing a dollhouse miniature cottage kitchen makes me happy!

I'm gathering things together to show you next week on my 
other blog Ash Tree Cottage Dollhouse Minis.  I am so 
excited about this new project and can hardly wait to show
it off.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, May 9, 2016

Home Sweet Home

I have been doing some serious nesting lately.  I've just been letting my
whole house wrap it's walls around me and basking in it's ability to
make me feel safe, secure and cozy.

I love to travel, but when I am at home, I am a serious nester.

I can shut out the whole outside world and listen to the music I love,
 read favorite books and watch old movies.  

I've been going through old recipes.  Bringing back the joy of cooking and
adding some variety to the menu.  Yesterday afternoon I thought about
picking up a rotisserie chicken for dinner, but vetoed that idea because
I am getting sick of it.  Time to get creative in the kitchen again.

When Bentley is not napping, he is my official taste tester.  He is napping
right now as I am typing this.  Monday is always a big nap day for him
after all the excitement of the weekend.  He is so cute.  I just want to kiss
and hug and talk to him all day ~ and I do!

The weather was beautiful last week and now it is gray, super humid and
bugs everywhere.  See those light areas on the ginger?  Those are all
blossoms.  I will get out there and take some closeups tomorrow.  It's
just amazing how many there are!

I have to call the mosquito squad again.  We have lots of mosquitos and
millions of little no-serums and we get eaten alive the minute we step 
outside.  If you keep moving it's not so bad, but if you stand in one spot
for a minute or two you are left with a mass of welts.  I have to spray OFF
all over myself just to water the plants on the porch and terrace.  

We did find a mosquito catcher in the Frontgate catalog, so that will be
ordered.  I read good reviews about it, so I'll give it a try.  Anything to
be able to enjoy the terrace once in a while.  

It's a wonderful spot to be when the mosquitos are gone.

Well, that's all for today.  I have a long to~do list and I better get busy
if I want to get everything done before it's time to start dinner.  

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, May 6, 2016

I Love a Cozy Kitchen


Sometimes when I am watching a design show on television, or I open up a
magazine and see and ad for a very modern kitchen, I will think to myself ~ that's
attractive, sleek and modern, but just not me.  I love a kitchen that is clean of course,
but I also love aged and worn and well loved elements.  Copper and aged brick
and warm wood tones can do a lot to warm up today's modern stainless appliances.


I love a kitchen that doesn't look staged, but rather proudly displays its
sense of purpose and it's heart of the home sensibility.


Love that copper!


Of course, this Paris kitchen was staged by the set designers of the movie
Julie and Julia, but one gets the sense that something yummy and wonderful
is going to come from this space.  It's layered and cozy while being serious
at the same time.  I can just imagine the wonderful aromas, and perhaps
some lovely French tunes in the background and a glass of wine.

Oh well, just dreaming a bit and just wanted to share the thought
with you.  Have a great start to the weekend.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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