Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Country 4th of July

If you have ever lived for an extended period of time outside of the
United States, you come to understand how very lucky we are to
live here.  When I returned, I was so very happy to be home once again.

The many, many things we take for granted are not available to 
everyone else.  Being able to turn on the tap and safely drink a glass
of water.  Electricity that barring a major storm, is dependable every
single day.  Being able to safely drive your car down the road without
having the driver of the car in front of you decide to put his car into
reverse and back up at 45 mph because he wanted to stop for someone
or something he spotted a ways back on the road.  Sewer systems.  

Little things like that.

The rights we as women have.  The opportunity to elect our leaders.  
An educational system that is available to everyone.  The ability to voice
our opinions.  The access to excellent medical care.  

As we approach this 4th of July weekend, I believe we should take the
time to reflect on the greatness of our nation.  During this election year,
we hear of so much that is wrong with our country, yet I think we 
should be taking the time to be thankful for everything we have that
is so right.

God Bless America!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Cute New Infusion Mug

This is a very cute shabby chic style mug, but there is something
special about it ....

It's an infusion mug.  Under that lid is ....  

a mesh basket that is perfect for adding tea leaves or coffee.  It is
great for when I only want one mug of tea or coffee while I am 
working in my studio.

And most importantly for me ~ it's so darn cute!  I found it at
one of my very favorite shops, British Isles.  I have been
shopping at this darling shop since I lived in Houston back in
the late 1980's.  I never miss it and they are very dog friendly and
make Bentley feel so welcome.  It's a win, win for us.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Grandmother's Heirloom Quilt

Over the weekend, David's sister Cindy gave us a vintage quilt that belonged
to their paternal grandmother.  It's a lovely quilt and it pairs very well with
the pillow I made last year from a tea towel that Cindy found at a garage
sale, and some Ralph Lauren fabric and other scraps I had to create this
cottage style pillow.

I am not certain of the era of these fabrics, but I am guessing 1930's or perhaps
1940's.  The stitching is tiny and perfect.  A very pretty quilt in excellent 

I wonder when Grandmother Freeman had time to make it since she raised five
boys and was the wife of an Army Colonel who was transferred to military bases
across the country. 

I never had the opportunity to meet Henrietta as she and the Colonel 
passed away before David and I were married.  I hope she knows that
her quilt is loved and will be well cared for until it is handed down to
the next generation.

Family heirlooms give such warmth and uniqueness to a home.
Thanks for stopping by to see our new treasure.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, June 27, 2016

An Adorable Antique Lamp

David and I spent the weekend in Houston.  We had a wonderful time
visiting family and dear friends.  We love visiting because that's where
we met and have so many fond memories of the great times we had in
the vibrant city.  

We stopped at favorite restaurants and discovered some new ones 
we liked too.  And ....

Shopping for antiques in Houston is fabulous!  There are several
great antique districts and so much to see and ooh and aah over.
I found this adorable lamp on my very first stop. 

I love unique lamps and when I found this one, I fell in love.  
A charming old gentleman with his dogs on either side of him.
Of course you know my obsession for all things canine :-)

We spent a fun morning and early afternoon with family.  Our niece 
Kimberly and her husband Zack have a beautiful home near Rice University
and they had a party for their 5 year old daughter, Hazel.  Lots of kids and
friends and some family members we have not seen for a while.  It was
great fun.  Our niece Angela just earned her MBA from UT and our other
niece Julie is expecting her third child next month.  Her due date is
July 14.  We are especially thrilled because David's birthday is July 16,
mine is the 18th and David's sister Cindy (Julie's mom) is the 22nd.  
We have a long run in July!

Cindy gave us a beautiful antique quilt that belonged to David's 
grandparents.  I will show you that tomorrow.  It's quite a lovely
quilt that is beautifully hand quilted with the kind of fabrics we 
can't find today. 

I am busy today doing laundry and catching up with things.  The
sorts of things one does when returning home after a long weekend.
Have a great Monday!

By the way, Bentley had a wonderful trip too.  He's 
catching up on his sleep now ;-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, June 24, 2016

What Would You Have Me Do Lord?

Over the years I have asked God for help, for protection for
answers, for jobs, for homes, for comfort.  He has always
been there for me.  

Recently He gave me comfort and strength and
the ability to overcome my depression.  A very dark
cloud was lifted and I once again feel whole and
strong and excited about the future.  He did it all,
I only had to ask and believe in His healing and

Now I have a new request, but it's not for me, it's for Him
How can I serve?  What can I do in His glory?  

I am waiting and listening.  What I know so far is that I am
here to give a message of hope.  Exactly how I am to do this
has not unfolded for me yet, but I know that it will.  All I 
need to do is be quiet and listen.

Have a blessed Friday.

Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Glamping Indoors

So you want to go glamping, and it's too hot or rainy, or can't leave home?
No worries ~ go glamping indoors!  

Gather up some fun accessories like a vintage picnic basket and a
candelabra and your best teapot and cups and set up your glamp.

Gather up lots of cosy pillows ~ I know you have them :-)

I found a vintage looking sleeping bag covered in roses and just 
perfect for  glamping. 

Open up the rose covered sleeping bag and you are ready to relax and
read or watch old movies or whatever in the comfort and safety of
your own home.

No bug spray needed!

Bentley likes the sleeping bag too.  He tried it out first thing.
He loves comfort :-)  If you want to know where I purchased it,
you can find it here.

Big Hot and Humid Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, June 20, 2016

After The Storm

In the wee hours of the morning, somewhere between 3 and 4 am, David and
I were both awakened by a loud bang and realized that the wind was
really howling outside.  The sky had been clear when I took Bentley out
for his nightly walk, but sometime after midnight, a big storm rolled in from
the east.  Storms almost always come in from the west and the Rio Grande
valley, so this storm was a bit unique.

David thought a tree limb had fallen on the roof because when we turned
the flood lights on in the back yard, we could see the branches of our
big Live Oaks being beaten up by the high winds.  Thankfully, as it
turned out, the loud bang we heard was the door in the breezeway.  I had
forgotten to shut it before we went to bed.  

Thunder and lightning was all around us and as we sat in the family
room, unable to sleep, David saw a flash from the light post across the street.
Our power did not go off, but our cable did, so we were no longer able
to keep up with the weather reports.

I finally decided to go back to bed and get some sleep while David
continued to monitor the storm.  

After dawn, he was able to assess the damage.  No big limbs were down, 
but debris was everywhere.  The flash that David saw was a power line
that was down and sitting on the street at the corner.  The police arrived and
guarded the live wire until the utility crews arrived.  David, being the 
sweetheart that he is, ran down to McDonalds and brought back coffee
for the officer.  By this time, we were out of power too.

It took most of the day to repair the power line and there were several
police shift changes.  The utility crews were busy because 25 lines were
down around our town.  

So this morning, I went out to start cleaning up the mess.  No one was hurt,
everything is fine although messy.  We can deal with that.  I have decided to
look upon the clean up effort as a way to get my exercise and a steam bath
at the same time :-)  Just think, folks pay good money to go to a gym and
work out and use the sauna, and I am doing it all for free in my yard!

I am keeping a positive spin on it.  The storm must have made our local
possum curious because David saw it in the backyard early this morning
when he let Bentley out.  Fortunately, David was able to grab Bentley
before he decided to have a little altercation.  For a couple of hours,
Bentley did everything he could think of to butter me up and let him
outside again, but I held my ground until the sun was fully up and the
possum had already headed for home.  

Bentley has been miffed since then.  He will get over it though.  We
often have some head butting.  Bentley is a typical stubborn terrier and
I am of Swedish descent so we both have our stubborn streaks, but
always make up!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, June 17, 2016

Summertime Bling

My fashion style is classic and simple, but when summer rolls around, I like
to add a little bling!  While I no longer spend hours perfecting a tan ~ now I
apply self tanners, I love bright colors and metallics against bronzed skin.  

Take this straw and gold metallic clutch from Lilly Pulitzer for example.
I will pair it with my gold wedges, and white jeans and a white lace top
and some pearls and I am ready for an evening out with my hubby.

I wear pearls all year.  I never layer on too many pieces of jewelry.  If I
wear this three strand pearl bracelet, then I skip and necklace and keep the
earrings small and simple.

Here are three of my favorites.  When I feel the need to be a bit more
glamorous, I wear the big hoops. 

This statement necklace works well with a strapless summer print or
to dress up a plain t-shirt with with jeans and cute sandals.

Adding pops of bright colors takes a simple solid summer sheath
to new levels.  I have a solid lime green sleeveless dress that I have worn
for years and I dress it up by adding this brightly patterned scarf and hot
pink woven handbag.

The bowtie cuff is from Lilly Pulitzer and the charm bracelet is Kate Spade.

I am a careful shopper too.  The woven bag and scarf were found at a 
consignment shop and the cuff was an eBay win.  The only new item here
is the Kate Spade charm bracelet.  I could not resist the terrier with the pink

Just because you are grocery shopping does not mean you cannot try to
look cute.  I throw on some madras shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops.  I 
like to add this cute Angela Moore hand painted bracelet.  It stretches and
is easy to wear.  The Tiffany bracelet and watch were gifts from David.

Now we're talking!  I love to show off my inner cowgirl by wearing a
pair of white jean shorts, my cowgirl boots and some pretend turquoise.
I really feel free and easy wearing this look.

Yee Haw!

I love, love, love this little horse bracelet!  The woman who makes these also
makes dog bracelets too.  You can find her fun jewelry here.

Summer is a fun and free season where we can all add a little bling to
our look.  Have a great weekend everyone!!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dying To Tell You, But Can't Yet

My life has always been about twists and turns and leaps of faith.
While I can't say that I have never made a bad decision, many of them
have been good ones that have brought me happiness and adventure.

A couple of things are going on in my life right now.  One is something
that I have wanted and looks like I am going to achieve.  I can't tell you
about it just yet, but will as soon as I can.  All I can say is, if it all works
out, I will be tickled pink!

Something else has happened that I thought I had shut the door on.  I
received an email today from a real estate agent about a property we
looked at and thought we would walk away from because it seemed to
be full of problems.  For whatever reason, I seem to have pretty good 
instincts about buying property.  I have two rules that I follow when
looking at property and the overriding one is always ~ location, location,
location.  Then there is the second rule ~ follow your heart.  If it seems
like it is meant to be, it is.  Right now I am searching my soul to see if
this is the right move because one of the obstacles seems to be something
we can overcome.   Here is a hint ~ beach cottage.

The best place for me to contemplate decisions is in my little studio.
It's the place where my mind is free to roam.   Where practical thoughts
are shoved aside in favor of thoughts that come from the heart.  It's the
spot where I hear whispers saying Grow, Grow.

That's all I can tell you for now, but when things are firmed up, I will
fill in the blanks.  In the meantime, I am thinking of having a Fashion 
Friday blog post tomorrow.  Something that is frivolous and fun and
paves the way for the weekend.  Does that sound good to you?

Before I go ~ here is a Bentley update.  That little pistol has been
full of piss and vinegar all week.  I wonder if there is a way to
measure a dog's IQ, because I am sure his is off the charts!  He is
forever inventing ways to amuse us.  Bless his heart ~ we sure do
love that little guy.

And let me leave you with this quote from Somerset Maugham:

It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but 
the very best, you often get it.  

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, June 13, 2016

New Purchase from Magnolia Market

I have a large copper pot collection and have been looking for a way
to bring it out of the cupboards.  I considered hanging it over my
island, but after looking at lots of options to do that, I decided that
I would hang it over the cooktop instead.  

Many of the pot racks that can be purchased, are very contemporary in
design and I wanted something more rustic.  I was about to head to Houston
to a wrought iron fabricator when I discovered this rack on Chip and Joanna's
Magnolia Market website.  

It has the rustic element I have been looking for.  My only complaint is
that the hooks have fairly wide ends, so a few of my pots won't hang.
I decided that I would just add a few simple wrought iron hooks to
 the rack to accommodate the sauce and saute pans too.  I think that will
just be fine.

I think that the copper warms up the coolness of the stainless steel,
and it gives me something to look at when I am cooking.  That's a
good thing because I spend lots of time in front of this stove!

Bentley and I saw another snake on our nightly walks this
weekend.  It was a small one, and it slithered into some 
vegetation on the curb and into a yard.  I am sure we are seeing
snakes because the Guadalupe River is over it's banks and
the snakes have lost some of their usual burrows.  Let's hope
they can move back home soon!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, June 10, 2016

My Magnolia Blossom

Our huge Magnolia tree is blooming right now and David brought in
one of it's blossoms last night.  It is not quite fully open, but it is
so lovely and fragrant I just had to show you.

The leaves are so beautiful too.  Makes one dream of all the 
wonderful things about the South.

Have a wonderful Friday!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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