Sunday, January 31, 2016

Thank You Prayer Warriors!

A big thank you to everyone who kept baby Tucker in their prayers.
I just heard from his grandmother this morning, and Tucker is much
better today and his loving parents may be able to take him home.

It was a big scare for one so young ~ just three weeks old and he
was very ill.  He is a fighter though and I believe that our prayers
helped him turn the corner.  

RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus is common in children
and adults, but can be very serious for infants and premature
babies.  Here is a link you may read to learn more about
the virus, it's cause and treatment.  As you know, I have
been sick recently and just learned that two of my neighbors
have been as well.  It's not the flu, but a very nasty cold
that is quite debilitating.  Take care everyone and do what
your mamas always told you to do to prevent catching this

Thanks again!  Y'all have helped to prove once again
that prayer is powerful!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Prayer Request for a Tiny Infant

Dear friends of ours had their first grandchild just about
three weeks ago.  Little Tucker became ill and is now
in the hospital in isolation suffering from the flu and 

Please join me in praying for Tucker.  He is a sweet
little guy whose life has just begun.  May God bless
him and heal him.  We all know how powerful
prayer is, especially when we pray together.

Thank you.

Big Texas Hugs,

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tweaking a Mini Bookcase

A few weeks ago I was in the miniature section of Hobby Lobby and
found this unfinished mini bookcase and brought it home.

So I painted and distressed it and started filling the shelves with books.
I found some very charming antique looking books on etsy.
Here is the link to the shop:

Debby does some great work and I will be buying some more books
from her in the future.

Here is how it looks on the bookshelf.  I made that little wing chair several
years ago.  I learned from the mistakes I made on this one and have started
making another.  

I am completely enchanted by miniatures.  

I am feeling much better today.  What a pleasure not to be coughing so
much and sneezing so loudly that David can hear me all away across the
house ~ and it's a big sprawling ranch house so believe me when I
tell you that I am a very loud sneezer.  I am such a tiny person, but
my sneezes could shatter glass ;-)

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Farmhouse Musings

I am still feeling lousy.  It's day three.  I am starting to feel the teeniest,
tiniest bit better but I have so little energy that I think I will head back to
bed.  It's been a restless three days.  I have coughed so hard at times that
I was afraid I might have cracked a rib.  I know that it is not too serious
because I have never developed a fever, and realize that all I can really
do is wait it out a bit longer.  

I took a couple of pictures in my kitchen hoping that photography 
would work some kind of healing magic.  For a couple of moments
it seemed to help, but now that the pics are loaded up on this post
I have come to the realization that finishing this post will be the
most amount of work I will accomplish today.  

Despite being propped up on lots of pillows in bed, I have not been
able to turn my mind off.  I have been reading all sorts of scholarly
articles on the web.  I watched a lengthy YouTube lecture on the 
economic future of China.   Why you ask?   I suppose it's because my
Daddy used to lecture at different universities about emerging Asian
markets, so in some strange way this particular lecture just struck 
a chord with me.  

Then I began to feel that I was having a mini existential crisis when I
started to examine all of the areas of my intellectual life that need a
boost.  I can be very melodramatic at times ;-)

Mini crisis resolved.  I have decided to take some non~credit courses
through MIT Open Courseware to keep my little gray cells from 
shriveling and drying up.  Now that I have that issue resolved,
I have decided to attack the really important issue ~ finding a
contractor to install the farmhouse sink that has been sitting in
my garage for the past two years!

Yes, farmhouse musings are much less traumatic :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, January 25, 2016

Blogging From Bed

I  have been fighting a cold off for days.  The cold won.  It's really my
own fault.  I starting feeling the symptoms on Friday.  When David came
home from work on Friday evening, he said "let's go to Houston tomorrow".
Not wanting to miss a fun outing, I said "sure, let's do it".

So we went and I really had a fun time visiting some of our
favorite shops, stopping for a yummy lunch and then picking 
up some supplies from Costco before returning home.

I didn't feel great yesterday, but had to run to our local HEB for
milk and lettuce and stuff.  I came home and got dinner ready 
and was all set for a comfy evening at home watching
Downton Abbey.  Then it hit … sneezing, runny nose, scratchy
throat.  Bummer!  David took over the nightly walk with Bentley
while I put on flannel pi's, grabbed cough drops, tissues, hot
tea and climbed into bed.

Woke up this morning with a raging cold, so I am giving in to it and
staying at home, in bed with old movies, my current read, Facebook
on my iPhone and the January issue of Southern Living.  There is an
article about waking up the bedroom by promoting color and
pattern.  I took a good look around our own bedroom and thought
to myself ~ "I think we have that covered":-)

I am hoping I feel much better by tomorrow because there are lots
of things I am longing to do.  Wish me luck!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Immersed in a Good Book

I have been meaning to read this book for quite a long time.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.  Somehow other books
rose to the top of the list, and this one sadly was forgotten.
Recently I read a friend's list of favorite books and I headed 
to our Victoria Public Library and checked it out.  

It's a wonderful historical novel beginning in London.  The 
year is 1913 and a very young girl is abandoned on a ship
headed for Australia.  A husband and his wife take her into
their home in Australia and treat her as their own, yet she
is haunted by memories of her origins and a generational
search begins to uncover the truth from the few memories
and leads she possesses.

It's a good long read and I am happy for that because I am
totally immersed!  I also checked out Kate's other novels,
Distant Hours and The House at Riverton.  I will be happily
reading away for hours and hours and hours.  If you have
not read The Forgotten Garden,  I do recommend it
and hope you enjoy it if you do indeed check out a copy.

I also want to take this opportunity to remind you to please
support your local library.  The library is a tremendous 
resource for all ages and a cornerstone of every community.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cloudy Day ~ Sunny Attitude

It's cloudy and gray outside today.  The news is terrible.  Stock market
is down another 500 points.  The price of oil continues to slide.  Terrorist
attacks.   Presidential candidates slinging mud.  Our nation is trillions
of dollars in debt.  More and more Americans are out of the workforce.

Yet ...

When I look outside my windows I see that my everlasting azaleas are 
still blooming.  Life goes on.  The seasons change.  There will be
sunny days ahead.  We will get through this just as we have
survived many storms in our past.  

I choose to be positive and hopeful.  I choose to be happy and look
for that silver lining.  I choose to be kind and helpful to everyone.
I choose to maintain my sunny attitude despite the storms that come
our way.  Keep your chins up y'all.  We will get through this 
together.  I believe in the power of prayer, so join me in praying
for sunny days and goodness and kindness and happiness
for all.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Toast and Tea Cures Everything

Yesterday I was feeling poorly.  I was dragging around all day, so
last night I could hardly wait to climb into bed.

This morning I did not feel much better.  I had all the tell tale signs
of coming down with some kind of bug.  I probably picked up 
something during my travels last week.  So I thought I would just
take some aspirin and get cozy and climb back into bed with the
current book on my nightstand.  Bentley wanted to go outside to
double check that our squirrels were staying in line.  While 
waiting for him, I decided to make a cup of tea and then thought
I needed something other than my usual oatmeal and mixed berries.


Not the whole wheat, whole grain, healthy for you kind of toast.
No, feeling too poorly for that ;-)  What I wanted was two slices
of good old Texas Toast with lots of butter!  The kind of toast
that is pure comfort food.  

So I sat down with my tea and my toast and read Susan Branch's
latest blog post about the recent Downton Abbey episode.
After a few minutes something happened.  I noticed some
changes in how I was feeling.  Suddenly the headache and
stuffy nose had disappeared.  The achey feeling was leaving me

It's a miracle!  Toast and tea is a miracle!  I am cured!!
I closed up my laptop and headed to the fridge for some orange
juice.  I chased down a vitamin C tablet with the juice just to
make sure that the recovery lasts :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, January 18, 2016

What I Brought Home from Magnolia Market

There were many things I could have purchased at Magnolia Market, 
but since I already have a full house, I limited myself to things that
would add to my current decor and not break the bank.

I purchased three of these tulip buds knowing that they would be
right at home in a cute little pitcher my sister-in-law Cindy gave me
for Christmas.  

Then I found this adorable little sage green picture frame.  It's on my desk in
our bedroom. 

I added an old photo of my granddaddy who was planting a vegetable
garden in his backyard.  Both my grandparents were avid gardeners and 
went so far as to have pint sized garden tools for when the grands came to
visit.  I loved "helping" my granddaddy in the garden.  I idolized him!

I found some flowering branches too.  Come spring I can put them in
a large glass jug.  For now, I put them in my French market basket to
show them off to y'all.

I also found this sweet herb wreath for the door leading to the kitchen 
from the breezeway.  

And this herb wreath will be going out in the potting shed.  I am so excited
about the potting shed project.  David and I spent some time this weekend
deciding what to do.  I really think it will be my most fun project ever.
I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and start working!

And lastly, I purchased this potted sage plant.  It's sitting in a tiny twig
chair next to the back door of the breezeway.  

So that's it for today.  I am so happy to be home once again after
being away all last week.  Thanks for stopping by.  We are always
so happy to see you!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My Visit to Magnolia Market

Super observant Stacey from Poofing the Pillows guessed correctly.  I did
indeed stop at Magnolia Market and it was even better than I expected!
It's a huge facility with lots of indoor space and a great outdoor space too.
Very family friendly and exudes Texas hospitality and fun.

The twin silos are big and rusty and wonderful and this adorable 1953 Willy's Jeep
in red (my favorite color) is parked outside.  Trust me, my heart was going pitter
patter because I have always, always, loved this vehicle!

The only vehicle that comes close to this perfection is a vintage pick-up!

Love the front entry too.

I was greeted at the front door by this charming mantel and vignettes.
Simple and whimsical too.

This first area is dominated by beautiful flower and cotton stems and all kinds
of wreaths.  I could have easily bought every single one!  After seeing all of
this I know just how I want to decorate my potting shed and I already have
discussed my plans with David.  Can't wait to get started.

On a side note, prior to to arriving in Waco, David and Bentley and I were
up in Throckmorton talking to an oil man there.  On the way to the
well site, we went past acres and acres of cotton fields.  I was so tempted
to ask the farmers if I could just pick a few stems ;-)  Of course I did not,
but it sure made me want to plant some.  David joked and said "look
away".  That was his successful attempt at a bit of levity :-)

There is a big Scratch and Dent room.  Trust me, if you visit and see 
something you want, grab it, because it won't be there for more than a minute!

Even the husbands seemed to be enjoying themselves.  Maybe Chip's
outgoing and fun personality is rubbing off on them and husbands have
decided that remodeling can be fun!

Olive buckets and big glass jugs and wooden trays everywhere.

Another great mantel display.

The vibe of this place is warm and friendly just like Chip and
Joanna.  They were not there, but the staff is large and they are
very welcoming and helpful.  

I wish I could have spent more time there, but we still had a long
drive back to Victoria.  Next time I go I will allow much more time
to spend not only at Magnolia Market, but also at the many other
shops that are in the area.  Come back tomorrow and I will show
you what I purchased.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Saturday, January 16, 2016

1,265 Miles of Texas ~ Yee Haw!

Bentley and I travelled with David over 1,265 miles through Texas over 
the past five days.  No, unfortunately not in this vintage Willy's, but in
a much newer truck.  

We were out in the west Texas desert, through the oil patch, in the
Hill Country and the prairie.  I went with David on business and it
was a great, but exhausting trip.  I will tell you all about it after we
recover.  Here's a little hint of where I went on Friday afternoon ~
if you recognize the base of this rusty old silo, then you have 
guessed correctly ;-)

I'll be back to tell you all about it tomorrow.  Until then, I am
planning on a bubble bath, fresh jammies and then watching the
Peach Cobbler Mystery on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries

Texas sure is a big state ~ isn't it Bentley?

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Downton Abbey Kind of Morning

Some cold winds blew into our area last night.  When I took
Bentley for his nightly walk, my cheeks were cold and rosy and
Bentley was all invigorated when we returned.  I knew then
that an early morning fire would be just the thing on Sunday.

So here we are.  Fire ablaze and classical music in the 
background.  It's all so cozy and relaxing.  Just the right
precursor to the next episode of Downton Abbey tonight.

My Mini Cooper and Union Jack cup is full of some 
nice hot coffee.  My own wee bit of England here deep in
the heart of Texas.  

Bentley is still curled up on the sofa sound asleep with his
head on the pillow and a fleece blanket tucking him in
cozy comfort.  He had a very busy day yesterday.  I am
here by the fire enjoying the peacefulness of a lovely 
morning and looking forward to episode 2 of the final
season of my favorite show.  Wishing y'all a lovely day!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, January 8, 2016

Cocooning Syndrome

I've been experiencing Cocooning Syndrome.  I don't know that medical
science has addressed this issue or not, and don't care if they doubt
it's existence.  For me, this is a very real reaction to a hectic schedule.
It's a need to balance my social butterfly side with my home loving
and private side.  

My "sister" Robin and I have discussed this and we both need our
down time.  We believe that it is somewhat unique to being an
only child.  We love out friends and family and love being 
surrounded by them, but also love being alone.

Being alone is a time to be quiet and listen to my own voice.
I turn off the chatter of others and avoid the need to be 
interesting to others and not to feel that I am on stage.  My
alone time refreshes my spirit.  It renews my soul.  It aids
my creativity.  

So I have spent the past week taking down Christmas decorations
while listening to music I love.  I have carefully wrapped ornaments
and stowed them in marked boxes.  I have been sorting through
decorations I know I won't use next year and marked them for

I have spent some time reading and making a list of all the books
I want to read this year.  I will share this list with you when it
is complete.  

I took down all the Christmas decorations in my miniature rooms
too and have started thinking of how to decorate the dollhouse
rooms for Valentine's Day.  Y'all know how obsessed I have 
been with miniatures for the past few years.  Sometimes I think
that decorating mini rooms is more fun (and certainly less expensive)
than decorating full size ones ;-)

I always enjoy my time in the kitchen, but the last few weeks during
the Christmas season there were lots of meals out and lots of meals
on the run, so I have spent the past week just taking my time and
enjoying the creativity of cooking.

I have enjoyed cuddling with Bentley under a pile of quilts and
watching old movies.  I mean really old movies like the ones
they air on Turner Classic Movies.   Here are some of my

Desk Set ~ love, love, love it!
The Women ~ the original, not the remake!
One day I will write a blog post about the magic
that happened in my life after watching The
Enchanted Cottage for the first time.  It will
amaze you!

  For the past week I have lived
in a bubble of my own making.  It's been great and
now I feel refreshed and renewed and ready to 
take on the year ahead.  Look out world!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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