Monday, October 31, 2016

Andrew Has a New Home and a New Name

Little Andrew was the sweetest little gift from heaven.  He lived with us
from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.  I loved every minute that
he was with us.

A very dear friend of mine is very involved in dog rescue in Atlanta.
She told me that Andrew is not a Pit Bull, but more likely a
Retriever/Plott Hound mix.  The Plott is the state dog of North
Carolina and is a hunting dog used to hunt bears, wild boars,
coyotes and cougars.  A very brave breed in the field and a very 
affectionate dog at home who is also good with children and other

This little one is so sweet, calm and so good natured, that I think
a lot of retriever characteristics are also present.  That being said,
he is a smart and loving little guy.

We tried seeing how he and Bentley would get along, but poor little
Bentley was overwhelmed.  I knew that it would be harder on Bentley
as the pup grew into a big dog.  Bentley is my baby, he's 10 now and
will be 11 in December.  I had to put his needs first, so as much as
I would have loved to keep the puppy, we decided against it.  
But, and this is a big but, ONLY if we could find him a good and
loving home where he would be safe, secure and happy.

My neighbor offered assistance in helping me find a new home
for Andrew.  One of her co-workers knew of someone looking for
a puppy to be a companion to her rescue dog Nugget.  We
arranged a meeting.  Karen and her boyfriend came over and
instantly fell in love with the puppy.  I learned that they have
a large fenced in back yard, were long time dog lovers and that
Karen works from home so that she would be with Andrew all
day.  Most importantly, they fell in love with the puppy.

But what is even better, is that Andrew's new mama is
A BLOGGER.  Karen is a food blogger who will be branching
out to other topics too.  I have been to her blog and love it!

Cooking With Karen ~ Adventures of a Southern Girl

Karen is darling and you will love her blog, so make
sure y'all stop by and say hi to her!

And here is the puppy formerly known as Andrew, and now called
Chewy (after Chewbacca from Star Wars).  Chewy had a fun play session
with his big brother Nugget and needed a nap, so Karen put him in her
bed with his new teddy bear.  My last little gift to him was his blue collar.
I am so happy that everything worked out so well.  I fell in love with the
little guy and cried last night after he left and this morning too.  However,
knowing that he is happy and is loved has washed away those tears and
only smiles are left.  This is a very happy ending indeed!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Andrew the Little Lost Puppy

Last night, while taking Bentley for his nightly walk, a little puppy
who was hiding under a bush, came running out crying and hanging
onto my leg.  I picked up Bentley and then called David on my cell
to come pick us up and take us home.  We fed him and gave him
some water and then lots of loving.  He was scared and was in 
need of some tenderness.  

After I was certain that he was calm, I put him out in the garage
in an unused dog bed.  He was content just to be safe and fell

I have named him Andrew.  We think he is mostly pit bull and about 8 to 10
weeks old.  He is very sweet and quite calm.  This morning I taught him to 
come when called and not to jump up on people.  He is a fast learner.  

I don't know that we will keep him.  Bentley will be 11 in December and
he is our first priority.  I will do everything possible to ensure that Andrew
will find a good and loving home.  He deserves one!

If anyone in Texas wants a darling dog like Andrew, please contact me.
He will make someone a wonderful companion.  So sweet and so eager
to be a family member.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley and our foster dog Andrew

Friday, October 28, 2016

Missing Days Gone By

I had a tough week.  Wednesday would have been my Daddy's birthday
and I sure do miss him.  He has been gone for six years, but not a day
goes by that I do not think of him.  This week I especially missed him.

Now that I have become an orphan, I sometimes feel lost and alone.
Don't misunderstand, I have a very loving and supportive husband,
but there are times when I really miss the family I once had.  

The other problem is my adjustment to living in Texas once again.
I love my house and my neighborhood, but it is still taking some
effort to feel at home here.  At this time of year, I miss the beautiful
fall colors of the north.  I miss the cool, crisp days.  I miss wearing
sweaters and drinking hot cider and all the plentiful apples.
It just seems that a big part of my life is gone forever and now 
I have to build a new one and that's not so easily done.  It's a part
of me I can't get back.  A part of me I once loved and now gone

So, if I get a bit teary sometimes, it's not a tragedy, it's a 
period of adjustment and I will adapt eventually.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Copper Keeps It Cozy

Fall colors are so cozy, and the warm patina of copper is a great
addition to a fall table.

I am so happy to see that copper is back in fashion now.  I have
quite a few copper pieces that I love.  This copper fondue pot was
brought home to my family by my Daddy who purchased it while
on a business trip in Switzerland.  This pot has used so often
throughout the years at parties and every Christmas where a
cheese fondue was always served while we opened our presents
on Christmas morning.  

This antique copper kettle is also a family heirloom.  It came from

I would never give up either of these pieces, nor any of my copper
pots, but I am happy to see that they are back in style again too.

Now it's back out to the yard.  I need to thin the ginger out back and
cut back some dead leaves from the banana trees, which is not such
an easy task.  I have really been enjoying working in the yard once
again.  I still have to spray myself with mosquito and "noseeums" repellent,
but at least the temps have stayed in the 80's and that's a treat!

I am joining these parties today:

Have a great day today!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Sun Filled Morning in My Studio

It's such a beautiful sunny morning.  It's not too hot and the sun is streaming
through the windows of my studio filling the room with happiness.
I am working in here this morning and also trying to get some inspiration
for handmade Christmas gifts.  I have friends and family to shop for, but
I like to make special handmade things too, especially for the little ones.

I save so many craft and sewing ideas on my Pinterest boards and then
over time I forget the ideas, so I am going back through every saved Pin
to choose what I plan to make and to find out what my craft stashes are
still lacking.  

I imagine that many of you are farther along in your Christmas crafts, but I 
am a notoriously late starter.  I must have ADD because I am always so
easily distracted and have too much on my plate.  All self imposed of course ;-)

I am trying to use my time wisely because the weather is so ideal right now
for yard work and my seriously neglected garden beds have been
ignored through all the very hot and humid months.  We have a very
big yard ~ over half an acre and deep beds filled with tropicals.  I am
just trying to complete the front and side yard this week and tackle the
back yard and area around the potting shed next week.  I am really
racking up the mileage and intense workouts on my FitBit!

Well, it's almost 11:30 and I have still not have breakfast, so I better
make some oatmeal and berries and then head out to the garden for
some serious clean up!

Have a wonderful Wednesday y'all!!

Oh, and if you need some ideas too, feel free to search through
my Pinterest Boards HERE.  I am a serious pinner ;-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Girls Most Likely

High school can be a time of great highs and lows, especially for teenage 
girls.  There are always three groups of girls, the popular and pretty ones,
the average ones, who are in the majority, and the shy and introverted ones
who just have not yet found their voice.  

I am currently writing a novel about three girls, one from each category.

There is the prettiest, most popular girl.  She's the one who attains every 
honor that can possibly be attained by age 18.  She's a cheerleader, and the
homecoming queen.  She's the one every other girl wants to emulate and 
every boy wishes he could date.  Because of some fortunate convergence
of good genes, she is the one who seems to have every good thing that
can possibly be granted to one young girl.

The girl whose mother forced her into a musical career.  Although
she lost her childhood to hours of practice, she was never quite good
enough to be a star despite her stage mother's aspirations.

And finally, there is the girl who never thought she was pretty
enough, or thin enough, or popular enough.  She's the one who
made herself miserable by her falsely perceived shortcomings.

I am following these girls through high school and college and into
adulthood.  The world of high school is a surreal one.  Once we 
have survived adolescence it's a whole new ball game.  Some of 
us are prepared for the change, others are not.  In my book, I will take
you through the twists and turns of these three high school girls and
where life leads them. I am anxious to get this book finished!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What Bob Newhart, Bill Murray and I Have in Common

We are all so very happy this morning because all three of us, Bob, Bill
and I, are lifelong fans of the Chicago Cubs and we have been waiting
for this morning for a very, very, very long time!!!

The game was on last night at our house.   David watched while I paced.
I would watch for a minute, then had to leave the room because I was
so darn nervous.  I read an article yesterday that stated that Bob
Newhart (the king of calm) got nervous watching his beloved Cubbies
too.  I completely understand that reaction.  Every year of my life since
I can remember, I have hoped for the Cubs to win the pennant.  Each
year, that hope died ~ however, every spring it was renewed.  I loved
the Cubs.  I believed in them.  I was like a mama who never, ever gives
up faith in her baby.

Year after year, patiently waiting.  Never, ever, giving up hope.
My love ever strong.  

But last night I was as nervous as I could be.  I was pacing,
wringing my hands, walking in and out of the room for a peek at the
screen.  Praying, hoping, the years of faithful devotion and the 
possibility of victory actually, finally, within reach!!!

Would it really happen?  Was this the moment I have been waiting
for since childhood???

The moment it was over, tears began running down my face.  
It was if the flood gates opened and the tears didn't stop for a long time.
In fact, as I write this I am crying again.  I'm so happy!

Would Bob Newhart understand ~ yes I think so.  Would Bill
Murray understand ~ yes, I am sure he would too.

Will I be nervous when the World Series begins?  You betcha!
Will I have hope and pace?  Absolutely I will!

But for today, the sun is shining on Wrigley Field.  The 71 year curse has 
been broken and all is so right with the world today!

Thank you Chicago Cubs.  Congratulations on your victory.  Your
devoted fans love you and that includes Bob and Bill and me too.

There is one other thing Bill Murray and I have in common.  We are both
from this little village on Lake Michigan, just north of Chicago.  It is
where I spent the first few years of my life before my parents moved 
just north of Wilmette.  I am quite sure that there are lots of happy Cubs
fans celebrating there today.


Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Saturday, October 22, 2016

I Know It's Too Soon, But ....

We have not even celebrated Halloween yet and Thanksgiving is weeks away,
but I am already starting to think about Christmas decorations.

Are you thinking about Christmas too?

I am blaming it on the Hallmark Channel!  They have been advertising
their Christmas movies and now my mind has been highjacked ;-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, October 21, 2016

Things I Love About My Home

David and Bentley and I love our home.  It's our nest, the place where we
laugh, enjoy cooking, relax and share our lives.  There are some special
things I love about this nest and here are just a few.

Every morning while making tea or coffee, I see this little scene above.
It's a vignette that just makes me smile.  

I have two of these toile covered chairs in my living room.  My Mom 
and I found these chairs in a wonderful antique shop in North Carolina
and had them shipped here to Texas.  Our living room is the most 
wonderful spot to be in the morning when the sun comes streaming
through the very large Southern Colonial style windows.  Such a 
happy place.  I call it my morning room with it's sunny yellow walls.

Staffordshire figurines and books, lots of books.  We are readers.  I tend to
read more books than David, he loves his Wall Street Journal and reads it
every day.  We enjoy magazines too like Garden & Gun and Texas Monthly.
I love my Southern Living too and try out recipes from the issue each month.

I love the old scale in my kitchen, and baskets, many, many baskets.

Now this scene is not in my home, but from Marburger Farm last year.
I wish I had purchased some of these vintage red leather books.  I am still
kicking myself that I didn't snatch some up because I know they would
be right at home in our house.

Y'all know I love my roos! 

This little pitcher I found on eBay.  I have a soft spot for anything 

And of course, I love the island in my kitchen.  It's the heart of 
our home.

Take a walk around your own home and focus on all the things you
love about it and fall in love with your house all over again!
Make it a great Friday!!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, October 20, 2016

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

For the past ten plus years, my life story has been interwoven with the 
most over the top characters imaginable.  People with such, anything but 
normal type of behavior, that has led me to believe ~
You can't make this stuff up!

During this time while surrounded by this craziness, I have often
wondered ....

Why have I been cast a role in this drama?  Am I just a casual
observer standing in the wings, or am I an integral character?

I believe that Oprah once said something like ....

God drops pebbles on your head before He drops the brick

If I have misquoted Oprah, I apologize, but I have come to realize that
there are reasons why a message is delivered, and delivered again and
again until one stops ignoring the message and takes steps to unravel
it's meaning.

So now I am digging in my heels and doing the hard work of putting
all these messages into focus and bringing them to life.  

I am polishing up my story telling skills to weave some tall and not
so tall tales.  Tales that will put into meaning the saying ....

Three gallons of crazy in a two gallon bucket.

I have come to realize that is why God sent me back to Texas.
Down here in South Texas among the big old Live Oaks,
is just the perfect spot for weaving story lines and telling tales.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Cure for Election Anxiety

I don't know about you, but I am thoroughly exhausted from all the
election coverage, infighting, name calling and what my Mom 
would have called a lack of decorum.

I refuse to read any more news coverage, watch any news programs,
nor engage in any political arguments.  Constant reviewing of the polls 
and listening to the shouting matches and wiki leaks had frazzled my
nerves and when I could hear myself shouting at the TV ~ I 
realized that I had enough!

I am not listening to the news while eating my morning oatmeal.
When I bring in the morning paper, I skip the headlines and head
right for the crossword and Sudoku.  

I only play music I love on my phone or on CD.  I have pulled out
my collection of funny old sitcoms and fun movies I love.  If it's not
a comedy, it's not happening at our house right now.

World War III could have started, but there is no clue of any
turmoil in this house.  We are in the No Spin Zone ~ and I am
loving the peace!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Featured in American Miniaturist

For the past several years, collecting and curating with dollhouse
miniatures has become a beloved hobby for me.  I was enchanted by
the charming miniature rooms created by my new miniaturist
friends who inspired me to begin curating my own tiny rooms.

When I learned that the editor of American Miniaturist
wanted to feature me, I was both honored and thrilled.

I want to thank the editor, Auralea, for such a nice feature.

I was also featured in last year's October issue of 
The Doll's House magazine. That feature was a web review.
The editor found my blog and I had no idea I was going to
be featured until she asked for my permission to use my
photos.  You just never know who is reading your blog!

Writing this little blog has been such a happy adventure for me.
I have met some wonderful friends whom I treasure.  It has 
carried me through sad days of loss and encouraged me to 
stretch my horizons.  Sometimes I am asked how I can continue
writing?   To be truthful, how can I not?  This blog has 
become such an important chapter of my life and I am 
looking forward to seeing where it leads me next.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Morning In My Studio

I spent this morning in my studio.  I was organizing fabrics and notions
with the hope that it would help me settle into getting some crafts and
sewing done for Christmas.  

I always feel more inclined to sew when everything is clean and tidy
before I mess it all up again ;-)

And of course, sometimes I just like to move things around.
Y'all know all about that!  Just moving things around a bit 
gives everything a fresh new perspective don't you think?


This vintage and shabby tool box has been everywhere and has
been decorated for just about every season.  It's been hanging out
in my studio for a long time now and I think that's where it 
will stay.

I love Susan Branch's books.  She has been traveling through
England and Scotland lately, well mostly Scotland.  She has been
having trouble with her computer and has not been posting as often
as on other trips.  I hope she is still taking lots and lots of photos to
share with us when she gets back home.

I do love this room and I especially love it in the morning.  There are 
three windows that create a big bay effect and lots of light and sunshine
come through the windows because they face the east.  So 

I just looked at the clock and it is after 1 PM already and I have not 
had any breakfast, just hot water and lemon.  That's how I am when I
get involved with a project ~ I forget to eat.  Have a wonderful Friday
and a great weekend too!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


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