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!

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


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!

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.


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?

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 

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!

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???

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

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.  

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?

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

Have a wonderful Monday!

Susan and Oliver

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Time in the Garden

There was rain in the forecast today, but it seems to have passed
us.  I am glad because I can finally get those caladium bulbs I 
ordered planted today.

I thought I had lost this hydrangea, but I cut it way back and it is
flourishing once again.  I see that I should be getting a big blossom soon.
It looks like it will be white.  It was a vivid pink last year, so we'll just
have to wait to see what it decides to be.

My hibiscus came back too after I cut it way down.  It doesn't
always bloom for me, but even so, the foliage is so pretty.
I'm headed out to get those bulbs planted and to assess the amount
of work that needs to be done around Sweet Tea Cottage.  See
y'all later!

Susan and Oliver

Friday, May 8, 2020

Favorites in My Living Room

I have spent so much time at home these past few months that I
have spent more time fluffing the cottage and enjoying it's various
nooks and crannies.  I love my living room because of it's bright
and cheerful yellow walls, and for the sunlight filled mornings
because of its eastern exposure.  It's a good place to sit and read

I really have a passion for vintage books.  I love their decorative
spines and covers.  Whenever I come across one in an antique or
thrift shop I just can't pass it up.  I have never appreciated 
displaying books with their spines facing the back of a bookcase.
I suppose I dislike that trend because I love to see what others 
are reading.  

Here is a collection of dog photos of beloved companions who
are no longer with me.  I love seeing their little faces, and each one
has special memories for me.

The toile on this chair is just perfection.  I have two of them in this
fabric, the style of each chair is slightly different.  This one has
fully upholstered arms.

This one does not.

A desk filled with sentimental treasures.

And a lamp full of whimsey.

Staying at home during this pandemic is not always fun, but I take
comfort in appreciating the things I have in nooks and crannies that
make me smile and say "this is home".

It's Friday afternoon.  Let's make it a good weekend filled with
memorable moments.

Susan and Oliver

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Beautiful Spring Day in South Texas

It's a beautiful spring morning here in South Texas.  We have sunshine and
it's not too hot.  Just gorgeous!  Mornings on the back porch are so 
special, and I try to savor each glorious moment.

Oliver starts his day early and has already played very hard.  Now it's
time for a morning nap.  I have to make the most of the time he is
napping to get some chores done.  Today I am planting 25
caladium bulbs in our planter on the patio.  I am so looking forward to
their beauty in a couple of weeks.

Last night we sat out here for a while.  Such a beautiful evening.
Staying sheltered in place isn't at all bad when we can get outside
and enjoy the freshness.

Like everyone else right now, I am longing for life to get back to some
semblance of normalcy.  It may not be the normal we were used to in
the past, but a new one that we can still enjoy.

Make it a good day!

Susan and Oliver

Monday, May 4, 2020

Vintage and Cozy

Decorating trends come and go, and that's fine, but I'm sticking with
my own version of vintage and cozy.  Particularly since I can't get
out a lot because my cancer makes me immune compromised, it's
comforting to live in a cozy house filled with things we love.

Things I love like the color red.  Red just makes me happy, although
I will also say that I have become increasingly fond of sage green, and
the shade of green that one finds on vintage kitchen cookware.  I think
of that color as "grandma green".  It's super cozy too.

Our breakfast room has lots of touches of red with black accents.
I always gravitate towards red gingham. 

I really should fill this cookie jar with some freshly baked cookies.
I wonder how long it would take my hubby to find them there.  He
usually expects to find them in a vintage tin in the pantry, lol.

Happy Monday morning every one.  Oliver and I have a big day 
planned.  He was up with the chickens at 6:00 AM this morning,
full of kisses and cuddles.  He brightens up any morning and 
certainly mine!

Susan and Oliver

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Little Oliver Has Arrived!

We were in Magnolia, Texas yesterday to pick up our sweet little Yorkie puppy,
 Oliver.  His breeders, Carrie and Richard, are the nicest people and they breed
very beautiful, champion Yorkies.  After a long chat, and a few tears shed saying
goodbyes, we left with Oliver for our 2+ hour drive back to Victoria and to
Oliver's new forever home.  Carrie sent him home with a new bed, toys, food,
water from her well, a new grooming brush, and a complete baby book
filled with all the paperwork regarding pedigree, vet visits and shots, pictures
of his birth parents, Ivanka and Stevie and all sorts of great tips.  

Oliver slept the whole way in my lap back to Victoria.  After getting him
all situated in his new home, we had quite a lengthy play session.  Last
night I gave him a hug and a kiss goodnight at 10PM, and tucked him
into his bed.  He slept through the night with no crying.  He slept until
7:30 AM this morning.  He is amazing!

Playtime is over once again and he's taking a little nap.  Puppies are
so much fun and he has been entertaining us all day!  More pics
in future posts.

Susan and Oliver


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