Thursday, July 28, 2016

Happy 150th Birthday Beatrix Potter and A Winner!

I am hoping to get this blog post done before the thunderstorm gets here!
Thunderstorms are not my favorite, but we really need the rain!!


I'm back.  I had to get off the computer during the thunderstorm.  It 
didn't last nearly long enough, but I am grateful for any rain we 

Back to our two topics for the day, Beatrix Potter's 150th birthday and 
the winner of the enamel house sign.  I love Beatrix Potter for many 
reasons.  She was an excellent artist and creator of children's tales 
that have charmed so many for so long.  She loved biology and was
fascinated by nature.  If women had more rights back in her day, she
would have become a famous scientist instead of a children's author.
I personally am happy for the latter.  

Beatrix purchased land in the Lakes Region of England near 
Sawrey, Cumbria with monies she earned from the sale of her books
and also with an inheritance from an aunt.  She named this property
Hill Top Farm.  Because Beatrix was a conservationist, she left the
farm to the National Trust so that it would be preserved for generations
to come.  She was a very accomplished woman indeed.

We first meet Miss Potter's charming characters when we are young, and then
pass down the love of her tiny books to our children, nieces, nephews and 
grandchildren.  They are treasured by many.  So Happy Birthday Miss Potter.
Your talents and generosity of spirit will live in the generations of hearts
yet to come.

Now on to the winner of the house sign ....

Down the Lane With Daisy!    I will contact you and the Ramsign company
so that you can select the style and color of your sign that will be made
especially for you!  Congratulations!!

Thank you to all who participated in this giveaway.  If you didn't win
this time, there will be chances to win other prizes in the future.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pick A Chair

Summer reading is in full swing at our house, and I am sharing my favorite
spots to curl up with a good book.

This is in our guest room.  This room has four Southern style floor to almost
ceiling, windows plus a french door that leads out to the patio.  It is light
and bright and has such a happy feel to it.  It's the perfect spot to start a 
summer read.

At the moment, I am reading Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe.
It is about three granddaughters who have been invited to spend three
months with their grandmother at her summer cottage on Sullivan's 
Island, South Carolina.  So far, I am enjoying it.

This is the chair in my office.  It's not very often you will find me here
because you know who (a certain little five pound Yorkie) has claimed
this chair as his own :-)  Bentley, have you checked your weight lately?
You eat so many treats we might have to cool it.

This is a cozy spot for reading, especially in the winter when the 
fireplace next to this chair is aglow.  This is in the living room, another
room in the house with the Southern style windows that go down to
the floor.  Bentley loves this room because the windows are just
perfect for him to watch for cats that may invade our property.  
The cats in the neighborhood just love to tease him and get him
all riled up ;-)

This is David's big red leather chair.  I love this chair because it 
swallows me up and is so cozy.  It's in our family room.

This is another great place for reading.  It's in the "library" portion of
our family room and it's also a very cozy spot.

This spot in the master bedroom is also nice for reading, especially in the
morning when the sun is coming in from the east.  Now, during the 
summer, I have to keep the drapes closed in the afternoon because this 
is a southern exposure and the Texas sun is so hot streaming in through
those lovely floor to ceiling windows.  In the winter ~ it's great.

And then there is this spot.  I love this chair that once belonged to my
mother-in-law.  It's a great spot to read and take notes, write a letter,
or do a crossword puzzle.  We are crossword puzzle crazy at our house!
David and I both like the crossword each day.  David does the quick quip 
and I love Sudoku.  

David went to his acupuncturist last week and he told her that he just
had a birthday, and she said "oh, you are a Cancer."  And David said,
yes, and my wife's birthday is two days after mine, to which she
replied "oh, she's a Cancer too.  You two are home bodies.  You
love to be at home.  You like the same things.  You like everything
to be the same all the time."  To which, David said, yes that's true,
we just got back from spending the 4th of July up at Barton Creek
Resort in Austin.  It's our third 4th of July staying there and we even 
request the same room every time.

The acupuncturist laughed and laughed and said ~ "See I told you,
always the same thing!"

But we are not boring ~ honest we're not ;-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, July 25, 2016

Guilt on a Wrist

This is my Fitbit.  It's a great gadget, it tacks the number of footsteps I take
per day, how many calories I burn, how much water I drink, and how long
and well I sleep each night.  

Fitbit is a great motivator.  It reminds you to move each hour and I am
really enjoying it because it helps me to stay on track with my healthy
lifestyle.  I have been wearing it for 8 days now.  All was going well until
the weekend.  I was out of town both days and not walking as much as
I should.  I also did not drink as much water as I should, and my sleep
was lousy.

What I have learned from this is that  I love my Fitbit and love it
 when it tells me I am doing a great job.  We have a very happy
relationship.   For example, last week when I hit my first 10,000 steps
in a day, Fitbit congratulated me with what looked like fireworks on
my wrist.  I was thrilled and told my Fitbit thank you!

Over the weekend, when I was busy and not walking as much,
my Fitbit started reminding me.  I was getting gentle prompts like
Want to Take a Stroll?

I started to resent those prompts ;-)  Not only was I resenting
the prompts, but I was talking to MY WRIST!  At the top of each
hour, I dreaded being reminded that I would not reach my daily
goal if I didn't step it up.  I was concerned that I had not consumed
enough water and would have to gulp down 1000 ML at one time!

Suddenly, my sweet relationship with my Fitbit turned into a sour
one.  It evolved into Guilt on a Wrist!

Now that the weekend is over and I am on my regular schedule,
I have apologized to my Fitbit and we are now on civil, even
friendly terms ;-)

Whoops ~ gotta go ~ I have to walk another 250 steps this 

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, July 22, 2016

Red Roses With Love

My husband David is a real sweetheart.  He gave me a Fitbit last Sunday 
as an early birthday present, and then on Monday evening he brought me
these beautiful red roses.

He likes to buy me flowers from Devereux Gardens.  They always 
have such beautiful flowers, but more importantly, a purchase of 
flowers or cookies, buttermilk brownies and more, helps to support
the Devereux Community which provides training, rehabilitation and
so much more for adults and children in need.  It's a wonderful organization
that gives to the community.  

So these roses are a symbol of love in more ways than one.

Happy Friday Y'All!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Improve Your Curb Appeal With A Giveaway

I was contacted recently by Tezz from Ramsign about hosting another giveaway
on my blog.  I gave away one of these signs on my blog once before, and Tezz
suggested we do it again.  Of course I said ...Yes!

I love these enamel signs.  I think they are so charming and add lots of curb
appeal to a home.

Ramsign has been handcrafting these signs for over 25 years.  

They are available in different styles ....

and shapes, and colors too.

All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog stating that
you want a chance to win and one of you will!  How easy is that?

I will announce the winner on Thursday, July 27th.  Good
luck to all of you!  And a big thanks to Ramsign for this

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, July 18, 2016

Thoughts on My Birthday

Today is my birthday.  It is a happier birthday than it was last year.  Last
year my beloved Aunt Susan died just days before.  She died July 12th,
her birthday would have been the next day on the 13th.  We loved having
our birthdays so close together, and for my whole life we celebrated our
birthday month.

So this is my first year without her.  I am doing okay and honestly feel
better than I have for several years.  I am looking at this year as a new
beginning and planning on enjoying each and every moment of it.

Here I am on the right, celebrating my fourth birthday with my best friend Barbie.
Barbie and I shared the same birthday and always had our parties together despite
the fact that she was two years older.  All of her friends and all of mine came to
my house for a big party.  

Barbie was always like a big sister to me.  I didn't remember this, but Barbie
was the one who taught me to tie my own shoes.  I read about this while 
reading an old letter that my Daddy wrote to his parents.  From what Daddy
wrote, I was very "matter of fact" about the whole thing and proceeded to
teach my new found skill to all the kids my age.  Barbie was my role
model ~ and by the way, I also had a very,very big crush on her older
brother Eddie who was four years older than me :-)

Barbie and I lost track of each other over the years, but I never fail
to think of her on July 18th.

Over the weekend,  my husband David celebrated his birthday too.  We have
always celebrated three full days ~ the 16th, 17th and 18th, and it has always been

David gave me a Fitbit for my birthday.  I love it!  I am now tracking every
step, how much I exercise, how many calories I have burned, how much
sleep I am getting and how much water I drink each day.  If I sit too long,
it will beep at me to get up and move ;-)  I have always been fit, but now
I expect to be super fit.  No excuses!

I am looking forward to the next year of my life that now lies before me.
I will have to achieve some kind of momentous accomplishment that
equals learning to tie my own shoes when I was little.  I have a really good
idea of what that will be, and before long, you will know too.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who come to visit me.
Your comments, support and love mean the world to me and have
made each day a better one for me.  

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Can't Put This Down!

I started reading this book today ~ and I have not been able to put it down!
Have you read it?

This is probably my shortest blog post ever, but I just had to tell you
about this good read.  Run to your library and check it out.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, July 15, 2016

Do You Like Cozy Mysteries?

Do you read cozy mysteries?  The ones that are not too gruesome and where
although a murder takes place, it's always in some charming town where 
the protagonist  is a shop keeper, antiques dealer, chef, or gardener.  

Or a Do-It-Yourselfer.

Or maybe you like the classic who done its.  Agatha Christie is the master.

I am always attracted to the cozy series set in charming old houses in
supposedly peaceful and idyllic settings.

The cover can really draw me in too.  Love the name Aunt Dimity also :-)

I read lots of books.  I enjoy non-fiction and biographies and cookbooks
as well as novels, but when I want to get lost in an easy and engaging
novel, a cozy is always nearby.  I am also enjoying all the Hallmark
Movies and Mysteries.  I TiVo them so I can watch several of them in
a row to create my own all day movie marathon.  

Do you do this too?

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Falling in Love With Yellow Again

When I was ten years old, I wanted a yellow bedroom.  I selected a yellow
and white stripe wallpaper that was scattered with little pink flowers and
soft green stems.  I loved that paper.  I had the cutest little upholstered
boudoir chair, as my Mom called it.  It rocked and was covered in a 
yellow and white fabric.  Precious, as I recall.  My canopy bed had a
white eyelet comforter and my matching curtains had the same eyelet with
little yellow ribbons threaded through the edges.  

I loved that room.

But somewhere along the way, I fell out of love with yellow.  I am not sure why, but
I think it is because the color blue became a new favorite.  Blue and white.  Everything
had to be blue and white.  Yellow just seemed to disappear from the palatte.

It was a shame really, because blue and white can be cold and icy.  Add a touch
of yellow to the scheme and suddenly blue becomes friendlier.

Of course, you know my fondness for pink, and pink and yellow
is about as sweet and innocent a combination that one can find.
It's dainty and charming.

This a a Laura Ashley vase I picked up a few years ago at a
consignment shop.  I was totally smitten with Laura Ashley back
in the 80's.  

This little vintage doll's comforter hangs from the top drawer of that
child's cupboard on the top of my desk in my studio.  I found the
comforter in one of my favorite little antique shops back in Idaho.  
I knew I just had to have it when I saw it, although I had no idea 
how I was going to use it.  I am that way.  I often pick up things just
because I have fallen in love with them.  No rhyme or reason, just
love.  Somehow that love always ends up incorporating itself into a
design that sings to me

Sunshine on a Stem ~ yes indeed!

Happy fabrics of a quilt that hangs over my desk.  Always makes me

A pretty vase of flowers on these vintage playing cards.  My parents 
and grandparents were big time card players.   Both my Mom and 
grandmother had the prettiest decks of cards for their bridge and 
canasta groups. 

Here I am ~ I have come full circle and have fallen in love with
yellow once again.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Christmas in July ~ Ho Ho Ho!

The Hallmark Channel is playing Christmas movies.  Hobby Lobby is
filling their shelves with Christmas decorations.  Other bloggers are
writing posts about Christmas, so I thought I would join the fun too.
This is going to be a photo intensive post because frankly the heat
here in Texas is making me lazy :-)

Tartans everywhere!

In the back hall we decked the halls too.

Baked cookies of course and tartlets too!

Let's not forget the dining ~ inside and out!

And the dollhouse miniatures ~ my personal favorite!

And the dogs of course!

The boots ~ we are in Texas after all ;-)

The potting shed was decorated too.

Hot chocolate of course was the nightly beverage of choice.

So until December, just five months away, we will say goodbye to
the Christmas decorations and enjoy the rest of our summer and the
wonderful months of autumn yet to come.

Bentley ~ I think mama went a bit overboard last year.  Try to 
reign me in this coming Christmas okay?  Bentley is laughing, 
he knows that's not going to happen ;-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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