Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wars and Rumors of Wars

  Over the past few months I have limited the amount of time I devote to
either reading the news or watching televised broadcasts.  It's not that I 
have chosen to be uninformed, rather I believe excessive reading and
stewing about the events I cannot control is harmful to my emotional
health.  Recently, the drum beats of possible war have increased in 
volume and have become so loud that they are possible to ignore.

World War I was once called the war to end all wars, but of course that
was not to be as it was followed shortly after by World War II.  Our
ability to kill one another has dramatically increased since then and
the consequences of nuclear warfare will be far more devastating than
we have ever known.  

Despite the desire for peace by many of this world's citizens, there
always seems to be some tyrant, dictator, instigator, etc, who wishes
otherwise.  Control of resources or wealth or just power for
power's sake, dominates the minds of some and brings devastating
consequences for the masses.  Will this cycle ever end?  It does not
seem so.

Books are written about how to swim with the sharks and how to
outwit others.  The Art of War dates back to the 5th century BC.  It has
been read by military strategists, businessmen and lawyers for
centuries.  It is essential reading for those who want to get the 
upper hand and win the game.  This is not a philosophy only adhered
to by politicians or in business, I know of someone who used these
principles to cheat their family members out of their inheritance.
Those who wield the power over others are not always good hearted.
Hence the famous quote ...

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely 
 ~ Lord Acton

So here we are in an environment that is just ripe for a major world war.
There is great and ever increasing unrest in the Middle East.  There is
a political leader in North Korea who is insisting on wiping out our
nation just because he thinks he can.   Other nations in Asia are flexing
their muscles and entering into power plays.  

Struggles between man and nation have continued for thousands of years.
Nothing has changed, just the players have different names from different

And here I am, just a little blogger from a small city in South Texas
and my only goal is to have a happy home life and share the pleasures
of a cozy cottage with my readers.  While leaders on the world stage
make threats and beat drums, I will continue to talk about decorating, and
cooking, loving my little dog and telling you about the latest book
I have read.  I will keep showing you my successes and failures in
my garden and telling you of the dreams for my she shed.  While I
won't be burying my head in the sand, I refuse to live in a constant
state of fear either. 

From the New Testament, Matthew 24:6

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.  See that ye be not
troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is
not yet.

I'm not sure what tomorrow's post will be about, but I will keep
it cheerful and together we will live our lives in hope and not fear.
God bless us all.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Stylish Gardening Jeans!

Couldn't help myself.  When I learned that Nordstroms is selling jeans
with fake mud for $425, I decided that I could do it too except that mine
are also ripped, so I am charging an extra $25.00 lol.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Life Is Too Short and Time Flies

Yesterday we attended the church funeral of a greatly respected and well
loved man in our community.  He was a prominent physician who helped
many during his career.  He was also a great contributor to the arts and to
education in our small city.  His achievements were many and his life
ended far too soon.

The church service was standing room only.  All of our neighbors were
in attendance.  His three adult children gave very moving tributes to their
father and there was not a dry eye to be found.  His eldest daughter who
is a pathologist just like her dad, wrote a very profound tribute that
made a lasting impression on me and it's message was:

Life is far too short and time flies.  It is never too late to begin
again.  A simple message yet one we all often ignore.

None of us should waste a moment of the precious time we are given
here in this realm.  Each of us have talents that when allowed to flourish,
benefit the lives of others.  These talents are meant to be shared and not
hidden away.  One should never dismiss a talent as being too 
insignificant or unworthy.  Each day we are given an opportunity to
express our unique talent for the betterment of all, and we have
the opportunity to begin again.

I once worked with a woman who was born with Cerebral Palsy.  This 
affliction caused her to walk with a limp and prevented her from speaking
clearly, and her handwriting was impaired as well.  She was intelligent 
though, and was often very witty.  Her real talent however, was her 
beautiful and loving heart.  She never complained about her disability
although it was a daily struggle for her.  She was always kind to everyone
and never said anything hurtful.  She radiated goodness in a way that I
have never seen so fully in anyone else.  It was a blessing to know her
and she proved to others that the power of love is greater than any
other.  She was and is a true angel walking on this earth.

Here are two hand painted plates nestled on top of a scalloped one.
These two plates were painted by a fellow student in my Mom's
china painting class.  My Mom purchased these two plates at a
school art sale.  It is obvious to me that although the painter of these
plates was elderly, she was still expressing her talent to share with
others.  I always smile when I see these in my hutch.  Talent comes
in all forms, and from all ages.  Whatever your talent is, it is meant
to be appreciated. Don't hide it away, and don't be afraid to begin
again if you have ignored it.

Years ago I found this little clock at a thrift shop.  It was brown and kind
of homely, but I loved the shape of it and painted it to give it new life.
It's not a very special piece, yet it suddenly has new meaning to me.
Don't waste time.  Focus on the beauty of life.  Cultivate your interests.
Figure out what your talent is and work daily to make it grow.  Don't
focus on what you can't do, focus on what you can.  

Life is far too short and times flies.  Don't waste a minute of this
precious gift.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, April 24, 2017

Five Minute Farmhouse Table Centerpieces

I'm not the kind of girl who re-arranges furniture every day, or every
month.  I do however, like to change the centerpiece on my farmhouse
table in the breakfast room.  Since I walk past it several times per day,
I just feel the need to freshen it up now and again.  When I do get the
urge, I start rummaging through my cabinets and pull out things I
have stored away.  So, I am going to show you how I created five
different centerpieces in just five minutes!

Centerpiece number one.  One of my vintage bread boards, the 
rooster from my kitchen island, the enamel milk pail (also from the 
island) and a tiny white cow creamer.

I love this little creamer!  I think I bought it up in Fredericksburg ~ also
known around here as just Fred or FBG.

Centerpiece number 2.  Same bread board, a galvanized pail full of
farmstyle napkins and a white pitcher filled with vintage spoons.

I just purchased this cute little spoon. Bless your heart indeed!
You can find this spoon and others here.

Okay, we're on a roll here, let's move on to centerpiece number 3.
Here is a thrift shop wicker tray with a little pitcher filled with 
daisies, a red transferware creamer and a milk glass hen on
a basket.   I added the homemade and homespun heart just because.

I love this milk glass hen!

Here is number 4.  Kept the wicker tray, added the vintage scale topped
with a basket filled with little fabric hearts and added a fabric chicken.

Are you beginning to see how practical it is to have cabinets full
of stuff???

And the last one is the one that I will keep on the table for a while.
Same wicker tray, my vintage enamel coffee pot, a roo, and a
farm stand  apple scented candle.

I threw in the red gingham napkin for a pop of color. Okay, now I am
challenging you to create your own Five Minute Farmhouse Table
Centerpiece!  I will warn you, it's addictive!!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tender Moments

I love the Spring.  Everything is so tender and pretty as if the whole 
world was in soft focus.  It's such a dreamy time of year too, when
reality just seems to slip away for a while.

In the morning, everything feels so fresh and new and the air in
the garden is filled with the chorus of birds.

I just want to take every moment in and hold it close to 
my heart.

So as you go about your day, don't rush.  Hold on to these tender
moments and treasure them for what they are,  gifts from nature.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, April 17, 2017

I'm Having A Red Letter Day

I'm having a Red Letter Day.  This is an invention of Susan Branch for
a time when you need to be extra kind to yourself.  You do something
that you enjoy to bolster your spirits.

I decided to play around with some vignettes all in red and white.  I call
it play therapy.  It's hard to feel blue when you start playing with red.  I am
not having a majorly sad day, I am feeling a bit sad after a holiday.  Holidays
are just not the same anymore since Mom, Daddy, and my Aunt Susan are
gone.  Yesterday we went to brunch at our club and I felt kind of sad seeing
the big tables of families all together.  David and I sat at our little table for
two and we were up in the front and it made us feel so obvious.  I know 
that others were not staring at us, they were busy with their own 
conversations, but we felt on display.  The no kids, no family couple.
It's kind of lonely.

So today I am being extra kind to myself.  

I'll finish some chores around the house.  Do some laundry and decide
what to cook for dinner.

Put on my workout clothes and pop in a Denise Austin aerobics DVD.

Cuddle with Bentley while I finish reading Ladies' Night by 
Mary Kay Andrews.   That's how I will be spending my own
Red Letter Day.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017


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