Friday, May 6, 2016

I Love a Cozy Kitchen


Sometimes when I am watching a design show on television, or I open up a
magazine and see and ad for a very modern kitchen, I will think to myself ~ that's
attractive, sleek and modern, but just not me.  I love a kitchen that is clean of course,
but I also love aged and worn and well loved elements.  Copper and aged brick
and warm wood tones can do a lot to warm up today's modern stainless appliances.


I love a kitchen that doesn't look staged, but rather proudly displays its
sense of purpose and it's heart of the home sensibility.


Love that copper!


Of course, this Paris kitchen was staged by the set designers of the movie
Julie and Julia, but one gets the sense that something yummy and wonderful
is going to come from this space.  It's layered and cozy while being serious
at the same time.  I can just imagine the wonderful aromas, and perhaps
some lovely French tunes in the background and a glass of wine.

Oh well, just dreaming a bit and just wanted to share the thought
with you.  Have a great start to the weekend.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Porch Swing Days

Beautiful day in South Texas.  The rain and clouds of last week are
long gone and now the true spender of the season has returned.  These
are Porch Swing Days.  It's the kind of day when I want the warm sun
to shine on my skin and feed my soul.  A day to go barefoot and play
in the garden ~ well, maybe not barefoot ~ it is Texas after all :-)   It's
a sweet tea kind of day and I won't linger on the blog too long to miss it.
Have a wonderful Thursday y'all!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Two Favorite TV Couples

I love these two together.  I like them individually and together I think 
they are the image of the ideal couple.  It's so obvious that they are so
happy and still so in love.


Look at how adorable they are.  The met when Ina was just 15 and married
on December 22, 1968.  Forty eight years of marriage!   Such great things
were waiting in the wings for them on that day.


I found this pair of photos of them as little ones.  Such cuties.

They are accomplished on their own.  Ina once worked at the White House
and has an MBA.  Her love of cooking ruled her heart and the rest is history.

Jeffrey has served three United States Presidents, Nixon, Ford and Carter, in
a variety of foreign policy and economic positions.  He earned a BA from
Dartmouth, an MA and PhD from John Hopkins School of Advanced
International Studies.  He is currently Dean Emeritus at the Yale
School of Management.


But together, they are a loving and happy couple.  The perfect
example of what marriage is meant to be.


Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Like Ina and Jeffrey, it's pretty obvious that
these two are not acting to be happily married ~ they are.   You just
can't help enjoy their teasing and affection for each other and their
precious family.


And what cute kids!!!

Chip and Joanna are both Baylor grads.  Here is the link to a great
article about them in Baylor Magazine.  They are a great example of
a couple who are committed to one another, to family and to the
community too.

As we approach the wedding season, I think it's important for young
couples of today to realize that marriage is much more than just the
fancy wedding and the gifts.  It's a life long commitment to support
one another.  To be strong and focused on individual goals while
championing their lives together too.

I love watching these two happy couples!

By the way ~ I have a new post up on my other blog:
Ash Tree Cottage Dollhouse Minis

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What's Up Girlfriends?

I am on day one of my body, mind, and soul renewal program.  Last 
night was okay, but I did wake up at 3 am and started reading a new book
until my eyelids got heavy around 4am.  So far, I like this book, the title is
Still Life by Louise Penny.  My dear friend Claudia over at 
Mockingbird Hill Cottage, likes Louise Penny very much, so I thought
I would give it a try and checked out a copy at my local library.  I do
like mysteries and am working on my own.  I think I told you that before
didn't I? 

So when my eyelids started to get heavy, I crawled back into bed and turned
on my Tunein Radio ~ a free app on my phone ~ so that I could listen to
the first hour of Coast to Coast am, a replay coming out of Idaho on News
Radio 590.  George Noury's (the host) guest was Glynis McCants, aka 
"The Numbers Lady"who was making predictions using numerology.  I 
can't say that I believe in numerology, but it's fun to listen to.  I didn't hear
a word of it, because I fell asleep.  By the way, David and I figured out our
numbers once ~ I am a 3 and he is a 5.  3's are the communicators ~ well no
surprise there ;-)  5's are fun loving people who crave adventure, and that
is David.    But as I was saying, I really don't believe in that stuff, well,
maybe just a little bit.

Regarding sleepless nights, I will have to tell you the story about this bear
who sits on the window seat in my office.  Years ago I went on a three day
buying trip to Seattle with two other women.  I had been on these buying
trips before and it was always fun seeing the new designs in furniture,
linens and china.  It was tiring too.  The sponsors of these shows were 
there to get buyers to commit to lots of new purchases and kept our 
schedules filled for long days and nights.

After a full day and dinner, the three of us returned to our suite, hoping
to make it an early night.  I crawled into my hotel bed and tossed and turned.
So, I got up, got dressed and went down to the gift shop to buy a book
or magazine to read.  I did find a book, but I saw this bear and thought she
was so cute and bought her also.  When I got back to the room and
crawled into bed with my book, I took the bear with me too.  I ended up
putting the book down, turning out the light and falling asleep with my
arms wrapped around the bear.  I slept as soundly as a little girl that
night, so I have always considered her my good luck bear.

It's finally sunny outside today, so I will be spending about an hour in 
the garden spreading egg shells around some of my plants that the snails
have been chomping on.  I read that egg shells will keep the snails away,
so now that the gully washers have stopped, I am armed and ready to
give those snails the boot!

Then later on, it's 45 full minutes with Denise Austin doing Pilates.
Yoga mat on the floor, a couple of light weights and I'll be working
on my core.

That's what's up with me.  What's up with you girlfriends?

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, May 2, 2016

Chasing Away The Clouds

I want to thank each and every one of you who shared your concerns and offered
advice as to how to overcome my depression.  Your compassion touched my
heart and was the first step on my path to recovery.

I was very fortunate to receive some help from someone I respect and am
following his advice to chase away the dark clouds that have been
hanging around recently.

The steps I am taking are simple ones that will give me a sense of control
over my situation.  This person helped me to see that there are areas of my
life that I can control and that is where my focus needs to be now.

One of the ways I will accomplish this is through daily exercise to release
the positive endorphins I need to start the healing process.  I have always
been good about getting enough physical activity in the past, but have 
allowed that effort to slip in recent months.

Because there was a specific event that started my downward spiral, it
will be necessary for me to limit my exposure to those who are negative
and hurtful.  I won't go into who it was or what happened, but it was
significant enough to cause heartache and leave me feeling very

Years ago while I was in college, I minored in psychology and one
of the courses required for that minor was Abnormal Psych.  One of 
the sections of that course focused on antisocial and narcissistic personalities
and how their need for control and their actions can hurt others.  We 
spent one classroom period watching the movie The Bad Seed.  If you have
never seen it, you will find it quite memorable.  It's about a pretty and 
very charming little girl who wanted to win a spelling contest at her 
school.  She especially wanted to win the medal this contest awarded.
But another little boy in her class won the prize, so she took matters into
her own hands and drown him at the school picnic.  She tried to get the 
medal, but could not get it away from him before he died.

No one saw Rhoda cause his death and no one would ever suspect
her involvement because she was such a pretty little girl, a good little
girl, yet she would stop at nothing to get what she wanted, not even 
murder.  Eventually her mother discovers the truth about her precious
daughter and tries to take her own life and the life of her child.  She 
does not succeed.  I believe, in the original play, Rhoda and her mother
live on, but in Hollywood fashion, while her mother lies in the hospital,
Rhoda sneaks out of the house during a thunderstorm and heads to
the lake where she drowned the little boy.  She goes out to the end of
the pier with her flashlight in attempts to see the medal in the water.
She is struck by lightning and the movie is over.

Not all narcissists are like Rhoda.  What they do have in common with
Rhoda is that they just don't care.  No, in all likelihood they will not be
struck by lightning and will often breeze through life untouched, yet they
are still capable of causing heartache for others.  They can't be cured.  
They want what they want, and don't care if someone gets hurt in the 
process of getting what they want.  

Sometimes when a situation is too close, it takes someone else to help
put things into perspective.  I had to step back from the canvas a bit to
see what was going on and to view things in a different light. 

I can't control what others do or say.  I can, however, control my
reaction to what is said or done.  Here's a little Texas analogy for
you ~ there are often rattlesnakes in the fields of beautiful Blue Bonnets
in the spring.  We know they are there, it's part of nature.  We just
recognize their existence and don't get close enough for them to
strike, because they will strike if we get too close.  That's a guarantee.

So for now, I will exercise, take care of my little family, concentrate on
my work and push the clouds out of my mind.  I will focus on the good
things in my life, and work to help others to do the same.  Nothing is quite
so therapeutic as aiding others.  

I know that many of you suggested I get a prescription to get me over
this hurdle.  I think that there are times when that can be necessary and
don't criticize the use of drugs to help in many cases.  I just didn't want to
go that route first.  Years ago I lost everything I owned when my townhouse
was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.  A couple of weeks 
later my brand new Camaro was stolen from a parking lot.  I felt so
defeated that I could hardly breathe, yet breathe I did and I just
kept putting one foot in front of the other and I moved on.  That's
just me.  I may be a petite little person, but I have a lot of grit.  I
am leaning on that grit and blowing away the clouds and looking for
the sun.  You are a big reason why I need to keep my chin up and
I love all of you for being here for me when I needed a friend.
God bless you all.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley 

This post is dedicated to my dear cousin who cared enough
to help me see the light.


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