Thursday, September 3, 2020

Susan and Oliver Down the Rabbit Hole


I just want to escape from all the mania in our country today!  I wish that Oliver and
I could shrink ourselves down for the day and play in the land of miniatures!
I feel like we are headed into a full scale abyss, so I may as well grab Oliver and
go down the rabbit hole.  



The world above this rabbit hole is one filled with contradiction.  Do this, but I don't
have to do it.  Do as I say, not as I do!

Tear down all the statues and deface every monument, every grave stone
in sight!  

Destroy property, and allow citizens to be terrorized in their own cities.

Wear a mask, now don't wear a mask ... but wait, put that mask back on!

Candidates who can barely string two words together.  Don't worry about
the fact that they don't know where they are.  

Don't visit your elderly parents in assisted living, not even if they
are on their death beds.

Hide!  Hide in your homes!  Hide in your basement!

Don't notice that China is amassing an enormous naval operation.
Don't look at that ~ look over here!

What happened to all those missing children on the milk cartons?
Were they all sent to a private island visited by the rich and
famous???

For heavens sake, don't get a haircut, or work out in a gym or
go visit a favorite restaurant, or spend time with family and
friends!  



How could life down the rabbit hole possibly be any worse than
the one we have been living right here above ground?  Lewis Carrol was
a very intuitive man.  

Take care my dear friends.  Be safe and be happy any way you can
because it's a crazy world out there.

Big Texas Hugs and Lots of Love,
Susan and Oliver


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Life With Oliver


This little guy has totally changed our lives for the better.  We were
so very sad after Bentley passed away.  Then came Covid, and then
my husband was laid off from his job.  David works in the oil business
and oil went down to $ 0 per barrel.  




Then Oliver came into our lives.  From the moment we brought him 
home, our hearts were filled with happiness.



This tiny little peanut with the big personality changed everything!



He's been growing and he is now 6 months old.  He had his first haircut, and
his last Parvo vaccine from the Vet.  He now weighs 3 lbs, 4 oz!  Trust me,
that is 3lbs, 4 oz of energy and fun.



He's still teething, so he is busy chewing on toys, and sometimes
our hands.  We forgive him though because he's just so darn cute!



He's my baby!



Thanks for stopping by to see us.  If you were here in person,
Oliver would give you a big kiss!

Love,
Susan and Oliver



 

Friday, July 31, 2020

Ahh ~ There's No Place Like Home for Real Comfort



So sorry to be gone for so long.  I have been so busy healing and
going to and from the hospital for treatments.  The good news is that
I am in REMISSION!    My treatments have been cut back to a
maintenance dose and I am feeling stronger day by day.  I am so
happy to be given a greater chance to enjoy life that I do not mind
sheltering at home.  


Little Oliver has been such a comfort and a blessing.  All of his
adorable little antics have brought such joy into our home once
again.  He will be five months old on August 2nd.  He's still teacup
sized ~ about 2 1/2 pounds, but full of boundless energy.



I have been enjoying fluffing the cottage once again.  It's amazing how
one misses everyday chores and the daily activities of living.  I 
really appreciate the simplest of things now. 



I have gained some weight which has made my doctors and nurses
very happy.  I am up to 95 pounds now.  I am happy with that weight
because it is my "normal" and so much better than the 78 pounds I was
just a few short months ago.  Now I won't blow away in a strong wind!

I am glad to be back.  I'll be filling you in on little Oliver's 
cute pics and stories soon.  Until next time,

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Oliver 



Wednesday, June 17, 2020

How Perfectionism Prevents Creativity From Flourishing


Both of my parents were perfectionists.  It was a bit difficult for them to accept
the fact that they had given birth to a free spirit who did not feel harnessed by
that perfectionistic behavior.  Perhaps I rebelled against it because I 
understood the tension it created, or perhaps I was just wired differently.
I am not sure.

My Daddy was less concerned by the perfect than my Mama.  She had to
make sure that everything she started must be finished without mistake.
I never understood her attitude completely until she told me that her
own father once criticized her for using an eraser to alter a word on
her homework.  He asked, "Why must you use an eraser?  Why don't
you think carefully before you print out your homework assignment?"
She told me she never forgot those words, and from that moment on
she was very careful.  It's my belief now that she carried that sense of
caution throughout her life.  




She never realized our fully embraced her talents, of which there were
many.  She always had beautiful flower gardens.  She always decorated
our home to perfection.  She was an excellent baker and she could
decorate a cake as well as any professional.  She sewed many darling
dresses for my dolls, and her Christmas wrappings were always so 
original and beautiful that we hardly wanted to open our gifts.

One of her pursuits was taking a china painting class.  This was
her first creation.   I didn't see it for the longest time because
she didn't think it was very good.  She compared herself to others
in the class and envied their talent.  In my mind, it is a beautiful
plate and it shows to me that she indeed had the soul of an artist.
It's charming in it's simplicity and conveys a sense of joy to
the eye.  I only wish that she recognized this talent she possessed,
and that she would have enjoyed it more fully.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Oliver

Monday, June 8, 2020

Where I Create


This is my little corner of the world.  It's a part of my office,
and for me, it's where dreams are hatched, and creativity can
flourish



My inner child comes to play here, and there are no
boundaries to where my imagination can take me.




Everyone needs a little spot where they can dream big dreams,
and to continue to be in awe of the wonders of the world.




You can create your own special place, even if it's just on a shelf.



Thank you for visiting my special place!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Oliver

Thursday, June 4, 2020

What Should I Make For Dinner Tonight?




Recently, my mind has been swimming with ideas for dinner.
Today, I have hit the wall.  No ideas at all.  I have been so 
preoccupied with doctor's appointments that I haven't given
cooking a thought.  Well, I had my last appointment this afternoon, 
and I won't have to go back for another three weeks.  Time to focus
on cooking again ... but what?  



The pantry is a bit bare, and I need to order groceries again. 
Now is a good time to pull out some recipes so that I can make
a list of what I need.  I wish Paula Deen would move next door
so that I get some help.  I watch her YouTube channel all the time,
not just for her recipes, but for entertainment too.  She always
has a big smile on her face and her cheerfulness is so contagious!



Maybe I'll make some sautéed chicken, country green beans, garlic mashed 
potatoes and buttermilk biscuits for dinner.  I think that Paula just jumped
into my head and gave me that inspiration!  Thank you Paula!!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Oliver





Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Garden Around Sweet Tea Cottage


Aside from the work I am doing inside the cottage ~ wallpaper and 
paint, I am slowly tending the garden around the cottage too.
I bought more pea gravel to fill in spots that seem a bit too sparse.



I am refreshing my annuals too.  Most of my vinca survived the
winter because it was a mild one here.  I have added a few more
plants as well.



Back in Idaho, my potting shed was covered in English ivy.  I love
that look and I am encouraging the ivy growth here as well.



The creeping Jenny in the window boxes survived the winter and is
starting lots of new growth.  On the left is jasmine which has already
bloomed.  It was so fragrant.  I miss that lovely scent now.



I bought some basil and some mint too.  Trying to keep the mint contained
because I know how it loves to spread.  There is some chamomile in that
little tea cup.  It will probably get too big for that cup, but I think it looks
sweet in there for now.

Little by little there are more changes.  I enjoy this little cottage so
much and I am in the process of creating a series of cozy mysteries
based on a cottage such as this one.  Stay tuned!

Love,
Susan and Oliver


Monday, May 25, 2020

Honoring Our Troops Past and Present


I just finished reading the Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson.
Excellent read, and I highly recommend it to any lover of history
and Winston Churchill.  I am an admitted Anglophile, and a 
great lover of our country as well.  This book is about the 
horrors endured by the British citizens, and Winston
Churchill's steadfast defense of his nation.  It is also about the
bond between our two nations and how our continued pursuit
for freedom is shared.  Without the strength and courage of our
US troops, we would all be living in a very different world.  A
world we would not like, devoid of the freedoms and 
opportunities we all enjoy.

Today we thank and honor all the courageous service men and
women both past and present who devote themselves to 
preserving our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness.

THANK YOU!

Love,
Susan and Oliver

Sunday, May 24, 2020

In The Kitchen With Me


I have spent some time recently looking through old
cookbooks for tried and true recipes.   Since I have been
feeling better I have a renewed interest in cooking and have
really been enjoying my time in the kitchen once again.  



I started baking, and I am loving it.  Now I am making sure I have
necessary ingredients on hand for baking and cooking.  This is 
my newly organized jelly cabinet that I am filling with staples.



Aprons and oven mitts are at the ready.




Baking essentials too.
I hope you are having a fun holiday weekend and that you
are spending time doing things you love to do!

Love,
Susan and Oliver

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Oliver Says Hello


Good morning everyone!  I just finished a morning nap in my
little bed in the family room.  I like this bed to be
turned over on its side so that it is like a little cocoon.
I think I will spend the day following my mama
around and trying to stay out of trouble.

Love,
Oliver

Monday, May 18, 2020

Happy Monday Y'All


It's a bright and cheerful Monday morning here in South Texas
It's going to be a hot one though.  We have been spoiled by the
previously lovely temps of spring.  Now it seems that summer is
waving hello at us and probably deciding to stay until next fall.

I made blueberry muffins from scratch for the first time.
They taste good, but are not as pretty as I would like.  I have
never been a baker and am using this time to teach myself some
baking skills.  I am having fun doing it!




My friend Sarah, sent me a lovely recipe for lemon/blueberry loaf.
I will be trying it.  I love the flavor of lemon in anything!  I will
share it with you after I have tried it.




Today will be a busy one.  I have lots of projects planned and
am now starting them.  What are you planning for this new week?

Love,
Susan and Oliver

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday Morning Musings


I love the way the early morning sun starts peeking into the
sitting area of our master bedroom.  Such a peaceful time of 
day.

I have several projects I am working on right now.  Praise
God for my continued health progress so that I can enjoy
working on projects once again.  I bought a new rug for my
Sweet Tea Cottage, and I am anxious to get it down while my
hubby is at home today.  I will need some help moving the 
furniture out before the rug goes down.  


Here's a photo of the rug.  The wallpaper arrived and I am anxious 
to put that up too, but fist I need to paint the studs white.  I asked 
David to help me put up some more trim work too.

Lots to do, but I will take my time and do what I can each day.
I hope y'all have a peaceful and fun Sunday.  See you 
next week!

Love,
Susan and Oliver




Friday, May 15, 2020

Cooking While Sheltering at Home


The restaurants around our town are starting to open up, and of
course many have been making take out and delivery an option
which we have enjoyed.  Despite these options, I still enjoy a
home cooked meal.  I've been going through old cookbooks to
find some comfort food recipes we have not had for a while.



I really like the recipes from this book!




I'm left with the question ~ what to make for dinner tonight?
Any suggestions???

Love,
Susan and Oliver

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Chit Chat


I had my second round of immunology infusion yesterday.  It's 
really quite simple.  I sit in a recliner with an IV and receive two
different types of solutions that are meant to build up my
T cells and getting them fighting the cancer cells.  It takes a 
couple of hours.  There have been no negative side effects, and
there is no hair loss from this form of chemo.



I am not alone in the center.  There are two rooms of patients
receiving their own infusions.  Everyone is so friendly and
quite cheerful and the mood is kept upbeat by the kindest
nurses who work to make sure everything runs smoothly, and
that we are all comfortable.  They help to keep the laughter
going.




I cannot say enough nice things about the nurses I have come to 
know throughout my several months of illness.  They are truly
competent angels!  It would have been much, much harder to get
through all the treatments and scary days I have experienced.
God bless them!  I am forever grateful for their expertise and for
their compassion.  

Love,
Susan and Oliver



Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Baking Banana Bread


Yesterday I did something I have never done before ~ I baked my
very first loaf of banana bread ever!  That's right friends, I never did
this before.  I have always loved to cook, but just never became a
baker.  My Mama was a wonderful baker, and both of my
Grammies were too.  What happened to me???  I baked
cookies at Christmas time, but that was all.  

So I decided to use this stay at home time to learn new
things.  Baking was on my bucket list.  Guess what ~ the
bread tastes delicious and now I am hooked.  I just hope that
my HEB has plenty of flour because now I am on a roll!
What have you been doing recently that perhaps you never
did before?

Love,
Susan and Oliver

Monday, May 11, 2020

Opening Up Sweet Tea Cottage


Until yesterday, the doors to my Sweet Tea Cottage had been closed since
last fall.  I had planned to have it all decorated for Christmas, but then I
became ill and spent 45 days in the hospital, and Christmas never happened
for me.  

I wasn't sure what I would face when I went inside, so I let David take
a peek and see if everything was fine.  My big concern was that a
snake may have taken up residence, but no snakes thank goodness.
Every thing was just fine!




It is so good to get back into this little cottage.  It's like a vintage 
playhouse for grown ups ~ and that would be me!  




It was such a beautiful day yesterday, so I opened up the windows to give everything 
a good airing.  I noticed that the windows need to be cleaned, but somehow the little
windows are more fun to clean than the big ones on our house.  Dusting is more
fun in a little cottage too.  It's more like playing.




I have been thinking about what to do about the interior walls.  I finally
decided to wall paper the walls and paint the supporting beams white.
I found a vintage looking wallpaper I love and ordered it online
yesterday.  The weather has been so lovely that this will be a good
time to get going on that project before the heat returns to 
South Texas.  Oh, and I also found a red and white check rug for
the floor.  It's so cute!  Can't wait to show you!




So that's it for the interior.  I started doing some clean up around
the little garden outside of the cottage.  I was very pleased to see
that many of the plants survived the winter, including most of my 
herbs.  I purchased some ground cover roses, a first for me of that
variety, and plan to get them into the ground today.  I'll keep you
posted.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Love,
Susan and Oliver

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