June ~ My Mom’s Birthday Month

Thinking of Mom  this week as the 13th of June would have been her 81st birthday ~ hard to believe! Born in 1938 she was the epitome of style to me when I was growing up. Here she is in her late 40’s or early 50’s.  

In photographs from when she was in high school during the 1950’s, “Ginny” always looked so fashionable! Often wearing lovely poodle skirts, Peter Pan collars and soft angora sweaters and saddle shoes so in style in the post-war era of the 1950’s…

My mom and dad ~ he was 28 and she a young 21.

I know I have shared this photograph with you before of my parents from 1959, but it is worth sharing again. My mother, Virginia Mary Blades, looked so beautiful wearing her older sister Eleanor’s wedding dress here.

Something borrowed, something blue…

Later on Mom looked like a fashion plate as her style mirrored that of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who was then First Lady in the White House when I was born.

Somewhere there is a photo of my mother and myself where Mom is wearing her cat-eye glasses and a sleeveless summer blouse. She is holding me in her arms resting against her knees… Maybe playing “Trot trot to Boston…”

The backyard was probably at their first house in Centerville, Ohio (Dayton area). If I find it later, I will place it here.
🙂

Part of my mother’s collection: lavender jade with diamonds on either side in white gold, the wedding ring my father gave her in 1959, and smoky topaz from Taiwan when Dad brought home several “parure” (sets of jewelry including four pieces or more).

Mom’s jewelry…
These next few photographs I took a year ago but never shared… Partly for insurance documenting, partly because my father bought beautiful pieces for my mother and carried them back from several TDY trips as a JAG for the US Air Force, I wanted to share some of Mom’s lovely jewelry.

Here is the parure I inherited as I always loved Mom’s lavender jade bracelet, ring and necklace. I didn’t share the earrings. The 14k gold bracelet looks like little twigs stacked up when you see it up close.

When my mother passed, after her funeral my sister-in-law Linnea brought out all of Mom’s jewelry that Mom had given her as payment for redoing a bathroom which had a leaky roof and need ed the tile flooring redone.

My brother Gene and Linnea felt that we should all share it, so pieces went to both of our daughters (Mom’s granddaughters) and some to us daughters. My father had brought me the gold bracelet earlier when he was out on a business trip after retiring from the Air Force.  It is beautiful and heavy weighing in at 3 oz. gold.

Our Amy, whose 27th birthday was two days ago. She was my mom’s birthday present in 1992. 😉 This photograph was taken at the Carlsbad Caverns, NM, 2016.
Dad’s love language was gifting sparkly presents to my mother and Mom loved the beauties he would buy for her! She wore them to parties they attended the whole time we lived in Hawaii. Later she wore them to other parties in California and to the theater where Dad performed (his hobby).  
Once I borrowed the lavender jade ring and wore it one day to high school as I loved it and it called to me ~ then I was so terrified I would lose it, I put it inside my wallet in my locked locker in my backpack and rushed it home after school to get it safely back in her jewelry box before she got home from her teaching position in Sacramento.

I never did that again, let me tell you!

🙂


A photo of my mother during her high school days ~ posted by
one of our relatives through Ancestry.com. She is 2nd row, plaid
skirt.
Mom looked like a fashion plate when I was young as her style mirrored that of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who was then First Lady in the White House. It was the era of Camelot, after all…

My brother Frank out in the front garden ~ he lived in the house until it was sold
in 2010.

This was my parents’ last home ~ Situated on 12 acres with a 1/2 acre pond in Southbury, Connecticut, it was a lovely place!

My parents enjoyed watching the local wildlife from their kitchen table. Small herds of deer, wild turkeys eating bugs out in the meadow that my father then later my brother Frank would keep mowed. They spent $150 a month on just birdseed, my father mentioned one time, keeping the seeds in large metal trashcans in their garage.

Now black bear occasionally come through the area as my youngest brother and his wife share photos from their property just next door.

My mother Ginny, circa 1971-1974.
Recently I shared this photograph of my mother for a Mother’s Day post.  She must have been about 35 years old in this photo taken when she was beginning her teaching career at the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Last year I featured my mother-in-love Mary Virginia Fudge and my grown children who came down the week before for a visit



Hope you’ve enjoyed this little break away from decor and gardens to meet more of my family!




Happy birthday, Mom  \|”/

The Story Behind This Patriotic Mantel…

These colors don’t run… 

In my previous post sharing this patriotic mantel just a couple of quick highlight photos were shared. Today I am going to share the story of why I chose each of the items in this mantel scape.

How these small treasures honor our American patriots and veterans on this Memorial Day, 4th of July and Veterans Day…

Many of  you know my husband is a U. S. Marine Corps veteran who served eight years in California at Camp Pendleton and at H + S Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. 

Between those two posts, he served seven months in the Gulf of Oman during Operation Desert Storm (1990-1991) aboard the USS New Orleans, part of the USS Tarawa group stationed in the Gulf.  For his part, he received the Navy Achievement medal, a gold crossed-palm trees Kuwaiti medal and another medal for helping during hunger relief in Bangladesh.



When the operation was first announced no one knew if this would be another Vietnam or erupt into another world war; there was no way to know. I was terrified for Charles and am grateful that he came home with only five crushed disks in his back (a slip off the ship’s ladder during a storm with a full 70 lb. pack on his back) and a permanent skin rash. I prayed a lot and so did everyone else whom I knew who had loved ones in the air or on ship or land.


This is us at our engagement party during the summer of 1987. Charles officially went into the USMC in January 1988.

The hair got a bit shorter after this photo was taken! This was phase one of the haircuts. 😉



It is with great honor and respect that I share this post with its leaning books about Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, Navy Cross recipients and other wonderful books written about our great nation’s military.

I have also included a book on The Civil War which my father stayed up until the wee hours reading it cover to cover when he was out to visit when my daughter was very small. I think he would approve of this post!
🙂

Why are they leaning?

These books are leaning to show the men and women who have fallen in the line of duty. The leaning also convey that our military service personnel may get knocked down in battle or by post traumatic distress but they get back up, dust themselves off and keep going. That is the way of a soldier ~ resilient, humble, God-fearing, loyal… and brave.

The burning candles are for those soldiers who didn’t get to come home ~ like the continuously burning light and watch (guards) at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery who stand at attention 24-7-365. These candles are for them.

The transferware plates

Two blue transferware plates show part of America’s history ~ “Independence Hall” created by Liberty Blue, Historic Colonial Scenes, on Staffordshire ironstone; and Johnson Bros. Historic America “Covered Wagons and the Rocky Mountains.”

I found four of the “Independence Hall” plates while thrift-shopping in California a couple of years ago and shared them in this past post.  The Covered Wagons plate was one given to me by my sister-in-law Linnea 21 years ago when I drove out with the kids to visit she and my brother Gene in Weatherford, Texas. Small world that it came back here…


Flow blue delftware and a French plate

When I was an exchange student to Germany in 1981 my host family took us to Holland for a long weekend. A little of the money I’d taken with me to Europe brought home this pair of Dutch Delft shoes with little twirling windmills plus this sweet Delft cow.*

They are reminders of that special time learning about the people and culture of the Netherlands, but here later in life they have also become reminders of the sacrifices made by the Dutch people in recent history during WWII. 

The Nazis entered Holland in May 1940 destroying cities and peoples in their wake. The Netherlands were finally liberated between September 1944 and April 1945 as part of the Allied Forces surrounding Germany and ultimately forcing Hitler and the Nazi party’s surrender.

*A little more about Delft and Holland in case you are interested.

France also suffered greatly with the Nazi invasion of WWII, therefore this French soup plate “Eglantine” by K + G, Luneville, France, is my tribute to the French resistance and the people of France and their part in helping to win the war. The quietly hidden fleur-de-lis on a ribbon of  gold also shares in this patriotism.


And of course a bouquet of flowers lies there for all the fallen and for all the victories our military members have seen in 243 years of America as a country. 


A special pin to share…


Mr. Ethereal and I will be watching war movies like we usually do on Memorial Day and having a few cookouts. But this year as in most years I spend time remembering… I’m happy to share this special mantel vignette with you.  Enjoy yours!
🙂




Happy Memorial Day,

Happy Mother’s Day ~ My Mom

Mother’s Day  is a favorite holiday and this year made more so with finding some photographs of my mother
Virginia Mary Blades Simonalle.

So today I thought I’d share my mother with you. Next month I’ll share a little more on her birthday, June 13th, but for now let’s look at Mom while she was young, happy and healthy…

A collection of emails, a handwritten note, my mother’s watch and wedding photo. Also the cut crystal bowl passed down from my great-grandmother Julia 
Foley to my grand-mother Helen then my mother Ginny.

My mom loved to write and she wrote me many a long letter by hand for years (she was left handed) until the advent of home computers which made it way easier to type her thoughts as fast as she could get them on the screen. 

She loved her computer and it opened up a whole world to her where after retiring as a school teacher she went on to become a successful writer. 


Ginny was about 35 years old in this photo taken at the
Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind, Honolulu, circa 1974.


Mom started dog training just as I was entering college in Placerville and quickly gained a following as she was a really good teacher! Teaching dogs wasn’t a big leap from teaching children in my thinking, and Mom rewarded her furry pupils with praise and treats, as she most likely did with her Special Ed students those 17 years.

Dad’s was a corporate lawyer who worked for Bayer Corporation after retiring from the United States Air Force. The legal group  was moved to the Danbury corporate headquarters which moved them from California back to their East Coast roots and to southern Connecticut. They never thought they’d move back to the cold and snow! But it was a good move and one they never regretted. Connecticut gets little snow, normally.  😉

My brother Frank out in the front garden, 2010. The barn was to the right
off-camera down about 50 feet.

They purchased a house which had been built in the late 1960’s on almost 12 acres backing up to the Connecticut forest and G and O quarry complete with a gorgeous 1/2 acre pond. Early on, Mom found the local dog training groups back there and quickly joined the fun. Her retirement money from Sacramento USD went into building a large barn so mom could hold classes inside.


She started up her own dog training and agility classes there, eventually traveling all over the midwest and east coast and up into Canada to compete in agility. She won many trophies and silver plates with her American, Canadian and British Grand Champion Golden Retrievers and one Dalmatian and would occasionally do some judging, too. But her big passion, besides competing herself and teaching other people and their dogs basic dog training and agility, was writing “how to do it.”

Some of Mom’s emails to me ~ I loved her
script handwriting ~ so pretty!
Here is an email she shared with me about winning an agility trial.
She was so excited!

I am so grateful that I was able to print these emails before this email server went out of business. This was my first email account as a newbie computer kid!
Just a little about my mom today… Her family emigrated from Scotland, England and Ireland back in the 1600-1700’s coming to Maine and Massachusetts and some moving up to Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia during the time of the American Revolution ~ so we have ancestors on both sides!
🙂

My grandfather Frank left Nova Scotia in the 1920’s to come down and marry my grandmother and they raised their three daughters in Massachusetts. My mother had fond memories growing up in Winthrop and Revere, heading to the beach often throughout the years and seasons. She also told many stories about her family and wrote poems about several family members including one about her Great Aunt Jennie who wore a turban all her life. Guess she picked that up during the early 1900’s and kept the style!


Love this sweet photograph of my father and mother, Frank and myself from 1966! Dad was home between two tours to Vietnam and they thought they’d have a family portrait taken while he was home.

I was four years old and Frankie was three. Mom was 27 years old here and my father Gene was 34 years young. The watch?… There it is on my mother’s arm!

Here is a previous posts I shared last year about my grown children coming to visit for Mother’s Day and about my mother-in-love also named Gini, though her name is the reverse of my mother’s and is Mary Virginia. 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post about my mother and don’t forget to check out my Mother’s Day craft post as part of this month’s 10 on the 10th here. Have a blessed Mother’s Day with your family and your mothers!!!

Happy Mother’s Day to you!

A Quick Peek ~ Our New Home

After touring over 30 homes with our realtor and many open houses on weekends and also through one which is an open door construction/realty company, we have finally found a beautiful place to call our own…


Our second offer  on a home was accepted and we are happy with this sweet home! All week long we have been signing e-documents, picking up a check at the bank, scheduling the home inspection and contractors for things which will need fixing, etc.
And making plans and dreams…
😉


And for some crazy reason this will be our third home with white carpeting! Crazy, I know… 

How this happens I’ll never know but I know that we are both attracted to basically white interiors as it always looks so clean and fresh ~ a clean slate, a new beginning.


I am especially in love with the kitchen! The countertops are already a beautiful whiter granite with purple flecks in it ~ I will have to find out what this type of granite is called, sooo pretty!

There are several work triangles in here which we will have to get used to since the kitchen is laid out in a square and we are already looking at adding gas lines to have a gas cooktop, if possible and for a gas dryer hook-up.  Part of this 7 day option period as part of buying a home here in Texas.

Our new master bathroom ~ lovely as is.

The master bathroom vanity does not have the granite the rest of the house has but is still very pretty as is. 

We will be doing a small remodel in the near future as the shower needs repairs due to someone falling in it ~ and should be part of the sellers’ concessions and included on our inspection later today.
🙂

The guest bathroom ~ equally lovely!

Here is the second bathroom/guest bathroom and it is lovely as is!  After all these years and going from whitewashed red oak cabinets in our first home, then to golden oak and painted white kitchen cabinets in our second home. I am liking these pretty cherry style cabinets here for our third home.

Our current bed ~ a California king ~ has no headboard… yet. 😉


Our queen sized bed frame was cherry and our daughter has it now since we moved up to a king, and oddly enough if she ever decided to move up this way, that bed would be a nice compliment here.

I think our current bed will fit nicely in our new master bedroom, as long as everything continues to move along in the home buying process.

Love love love these floral curtains in Laura’s kitchen!!!

I am already dreaming of curtains and bedding updates and getting inspiration from friends’ homes.
This is Laura’s home which is only an hour away.


Dusty but still intact ~ our 1880’s reproduction Louis XV armoire and my
French handcarved buffet, which I use as my bedroom dresser.


I am already space planning where our furniture will go once we get it shipped from California and out of our two storage units there.  

We will have to sell a lot or keep some in another storage facility for the next house ~ our retirement plan is to have a place where Hubby can get back to coaching pole vault to young athletes again.  Complete with pole vault pit and runway.

Yes, we looked at places to have that now but found nothing over this way.  It’s a 10 year plan for now.
😉

Sharing with






Always keep dreaming, friends,

Elements of Design ~ Transitional Style Decor and How to Get the Look

Transitional decor is one of if not the hottest decorating style these days and though it may be hard to define ~ you’ll know it when you see it.  

By that I mean you know how when you walk into a home and instantly you feel welcomed and at home?  Transitional decor may be the key so today we are talking how to get that look…

So what is transitional decor?

Transitional decor is the blending of traditional style decorating and architecture with its use of woods in furniture and neutral colors with the more modern glass and chrome interiors and minimalism we often associate with the Atomic era of decorating.

I looked up a definition for you and found this post by a builder which says:

“The transitional style uses a mix of textured materials such as wood, lacquer, fabric, metal, or steel to add depth, appeal to the senses, and help balance the overall aesthetic. Stealing from modern-contemporary architecture, most transitional homes use clean lines and minimalism in their design.”                May 20, 2017   Sandy Spring Builders blog.com

With that definition you can see in the photograph above the classic traditional style of this chair and bench set surrounding a traditional style painted wood table. The lighting fixture overhead is metal with frosted glass shades and the soft fabric element is brought in by the addition of neutral curtains at the sliding door and the bolder geometric placemats.  We get the metallic chrome look of modern style with the “Give Thanks” on the dining room wall.






I love this table with its classic style but it has a little secret to share.  

The top has a wood grain look but is really a lightly grooved laminate sheet ~ perfect for a young family!  This edgy top makes for easy clean up for spills and is also perfect for playing cars and Legos on its surface.  No scratches like with a traditional wood tabletop and it is self healing!  🙂



Texture and metals

Bringing up our lead photo again, this setting is also transitional as you see the play of texture in the sofa, the carpet and the throw on the sofa with its darker neutral colors.  Metals are introduced with the modern metal base side table, the shadow box frames and the tree branch wall decor.  The nubby texture of the carpet with its giant diamond pattern adds another layer to the mix.  

This is my son and daughter-in-love’s home and they are still newly married (just two years) so they are still adding pieces to their home as they find the right look.

  

To keep this in the transitional style, a coffee table with a chrome base and oval glass top would give keep this area light and airy.  Adding in an oval or round table would bring in another transitional element with the addition of something curved.



If they decided to add a wood coffee table this would give this room more of a traditional feel.  Simply changing the style of furniture can make a room lean one way or another ~ part of the fun in decorating!  

When I was at High Point Market last fall I saw some great tables which would compliment this room’s decor.  Although this is an entryway or sofa table the furnishings at Eloquence have a light look to them that carries over to the transitional style beautifully.

I found a chunky metal base coffee table with an oval wood top one online at Pottery Barn.  Another fun rectangular table on their site has sleek gold legs and gold metal top surrounding its glass top ~ very contemporary!



Mixing the old and new ~ contemporary sandblasted green glass bottles with antique pharmacy bottles turned lavender from sitting in the sunlight.


Glass and wood

Any of these coffee tables linked above check the box for transitional decor with their light and airy glass tops and metal bases.  Adding in a metal base gives them that edgy modern industrial look.  Not sure if either of the linked photographs will appear ~ fingers crossed.  🙂

My daughter-in-law loves contemporary stenciled sayings on wood and has several scattered throughout their home.  Here she has mixed burlap and a wood sign with those glass bottles, and metals in the black chicken wire garden trug and the tin flower vase on the bottom shelf.

Texture plays a big part in the vignette Justine created in this bookcase secretary created for her by her father.

I love how the new side table and the clean lines of the sofa and barrel chair mix comfortably with this antique Singer sewing machine ~ a gift to Justine from a coworker.

Traditional heart with contemporary soul ~ keeping those family heirlooms and traditional pieces but creating that transitional style with that mix of modern and vintage.  

So if you are feeling the need to freshen up your own decor try bringing in a couple of new pieces with a little metal and glass to change your room or home to today’s transitional style.

And as the sign on the wall says, they are truly blessed and you will be too.
🙂


Here’s a pin for you ~ I appreciate the share,
thank you.
🙂

Sharing with
Totally Terrific Tuesday ~ The Savvy Apron
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home


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Happy decorating,

It’s Our Anniversary Today!

Happy Anniversary!  I found a few old photos this summer while doing computer backups and I just happened to come across this lovely one from just a while ago…

I thought you might like to see a few wedding photos of my husband and myself and our wedding party from good old 1987!
Here in this photograph is my sister-in-law Jodi, my longest known best friend Janet, then myself of course, our little bridesmaid and I cannot remember her name sadly, and sister-in-law Linnea.

If you are stopping by from the Fall In Love With Texas blog tour I’m glad you are here!  


Still love this photo of my mother-in-law Gini and my husband Charles who was just going into the US Marine Corps at the time as a regular Marine, in a few months (1988) ~ partly why we married in October when we did.  Being married, one was paid more ~ made sense to us!


Out geocaching on a nice fall afternoon the day after Thanksgiving.
This is Janet a few years ago with her daughter when we were out hiking around Auburn, California ~ about a year before we moved to Texas.  Her daughter had her 29th birthday this week; where does time go??
😉

Hubby and I on a trip over to Arizona for a collegiate invitational track meet where our son and the USD team flew in.
We may go up and down in weight, up and down with everything else, too, but there sure are a lot of fond memories, fun and love.
🙂

I’ve shared this one of Mr. Ethereal’s family from the 1970’s before
but it’s always a good one to share ~ three generations of love.
They were dressed up for an Odd Fellows and Rebekahs 1776 Bicentennial celebration and photograph session.  I think they made the Sacramento Bee newspaper, too!

Silly me with blogging friend Courtney of French Country Cottage
at Design Bloggers Conference (now Design Influencers Conference).
This is me a couple of years ago when I won a trip to go to the
Design Bloggers Conference for the first time.  I posted about visiting Buckhead Atlanta itself here.

And of course here are our three lovely children ~ our sweet Amy on the very left in lavender, and our Peter and Justine his bride of two years now!
We will be seeing P and J later today as we head north for a visit.

Another fun post created the year they were married.
Don’t you just love weddings and all that goes with them?
So many ways to decorate ~ so ethereal, really!


My mom wore her sister’s wedding dress and both looked lovely in it!
Of course my parents were at our wedding then.
Love this photograph of my mom and dad in 1959!
They had a fall wedding, too.

And what would a wedding anniversary be without a little…
LOVE.
😉

Thanks  for sharing our special day with us today.  If you’ve enjoyed this post or have been over in the past, I hope you’ll consider following my little old blog if you’ve been enjoying reading my ramblings.  I love sharing my home with you and
I appreciate you!!!
🙂

 Fall In Love With Texas blog tour

Here are the links for today’s hosts on this 3rd day of the
Fall In Love With Texas blog tour {see below}.
Also for Day 4 ~ since I didn’t have a post up for that day.

If you haven’t been over to previous two days my post about My Little Texas Home was part of Monday’s tour along w/ Katie at Let’s Add Sprinkles  who we thank for creating the party. 🙂

There have already been some wonderful fall table settings shared, a fun garden she-shed decorated with the cutest scarecrows on Day 2 + much, much more! If you haven’t been over to the previous two days yet, here are the links below.

Stop back by tomorrow to see what’s up next…
The links will be live then.
🙂

Monday 


Tuesday

Wednesday 

Thursday 
Sharing with
A demain {until tomorrow},

Merry Merry Month of June…

June is  typically a lovely month with it being the birthday month of my mother Ginny, my daughter Amy and my
mother’s mother ~ Grammy Helen.
And those days were filled with happiness and good
memories for me this year…



Here is  a lovely self-portrait my daughter Amy
created when she was still in high school, I believe.
It is a favorite and I’m so glad we photographed it!!!

Doesn’t it look just like her?



This month or the end of last month also saw the graduation
of my sister-in-law Jodi receiving her
Master’s in Special Education.
Woo hoo Jodi!!!
🙂


Pete and Gini Chapman, Jodi Chapman and Corey R. Chapman at their twin graduation ceremony.
Photo taken by a friend with my mother-in-law’s early digital camera.
My nephew and Jodi’s son Corey received his
Bachelor of Arts degree in Languages I believe.
Corey is interested in theology and will work
on a Master’s in that field.


For them all I am very happy!
For the rest of June ~ I’d be
happy to forget it.

We have been battling bugs of various kinds but
it’s mostly come down to mites of which apparently
I am most reactive…

After three trips to the local regional med center and
a most recent trip to my dermatologist for an annual
skin check {which was timely} I am on some
internal medicine to control the itching and creams
to use to eradicate these mites.


I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy!



Anyway  the fifth-wheel is sparkling clean and getting
cleaner each day as I get into each cabinet wiping doors
hardware and insides and washing in the washer
anything that is cloth and boxing up said items
to make it easier to deal with this super bug.

Laundry is being rewashed and dried on hot to kill any
lingering beasts and I’ve enjoyed a few days of respite
at the local Fairfield Inn in Denton.
{Thank heaven for hotel points!}


Even the French toile tablecloth has to go over to storage
at least for a while…
😦



So that’s why it has been a quiet month with
just a few posts…


our old front doors… 🙂





Here’s to a great July!

Remembering… Memorial Day

Memorial Day  is a lovely way to remember our
fallen military members.
Recently I was driving home from Denton, Texas which
is the next big city just south of us here in Denton County
and as I was driving along the frontage road
a number of cars were stopped…


Last year’s garden with our American flags ~ long live our beautiful country. 🙂
Veterans  in Veterans of Foreign Wars jackets and hats
and members of other local Veterans groups
were parked here and there along the side of the road.
They had come early to set up posters and large flags to
honor a young soldier who
had died in service of this his beloved country.

His flag draped coffin would be passing this way soon
followed by his family members and friends who would be
burying him later that day.

He would be taking one last trip north on I-35
in a beautifully shined hearse.




I hope he saw these men and women

They came to be here for him ~ but mostly for his family
and friends ~ perhaps his parents and siblings
a young wife and maybe his young children
or maybe his fiancée or girlfriend.
I don’t know.
But, I do know that these Veterans were there to honor
a fallen military man who died in Afghanistan.

And he was a local.

Honor them

So today we honor him and the many, many other
service men and women and remember their sacrifice
with resolve in our hearts.
 To never falter when
terror comes to our doorstep.
To never give up when life gets tough because out there
someone has it tougher.
To make the most of our lives and really live.


Sharing with
Dishing It and Digging It ~ Rustic and Refined
Over the Moon ~ Marilyn’s Treats
Make It Pretty Monday ~ The Dedicated House
*Best of the Weekend ~ Pender and Peony
A new link party to me and maybe to you, too!
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage

Previous Memorial Day posts can be found at:
Happy Memorial Day ~ Remembering the Fallen, 2017
Happy Memorial Day! ~ 2015


Blessings to you,

Summer Weather and a Sick Dog…

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This week  has been a catch up week for me with computer
issues then hubby coming back from a business trip to California with a nasty cold.
Now our sweet Yoda is sick and I am not sure why but his
tummy is upset but I may need to take him in
to see the vet.



He got into a ton of round stickers this week which
Mr. Ethereal didn’t see out in the little greenbelt outfront
so…
I’ve been cutting and brushing Yoda like crazy trying to get them
all off {usually Yoda has a fit if I try cutting his fur so he must
really want them off!}.

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Yoda  has been a part of our family since 2005 and was a rescue dog coming to us via a Boy Scouts silent auction
and the Animal Friends of the Valley animal shelter in
Lake Elsinore, California.

He was somewhere between 9 months and 18 months old
at the time of his adoption that October.
He is a Pekingese mix and possibly part Lhasa Apso
being the same height and length as his friend Rusty
who is a full Lhasa.
:)’

Mr. Rusty with his mom’s toes in the pic ~ lol!

Here’s Rusty!  He’s a cutie and it’s funny how similar
their personalities are ~ both only like certain dogs.
They get grumpy in the evenings and sometimes
with each other.


Yoda is a cream colored Pekingese but Rusty is really a pretty cream color.


Peke’s get grumpy too as I’ve heard from many
Pekingese owners over the years so it’s not surprising
that Yoda can be a handful sometimes.
😉


Yoda with Charles at our Big House in California ~ photo taken with my iPad, about 2012.
His behavior has really improved since we first adopted him
all those years ago as he was really food aggressive then
and really protective of me.
He doesn’t have the almost weekly outbursts now and finally realizes that we are trying to help him
instead of hurt him.

He still likes to stay in his dog bed if either of us is still sleeping
of a morning to be there to protect us while we sleep.
If either of us is sick ~ like Mr. Ethereal has been this week with long work hours, lots of travel, and not much rest ~
Yoda tends to stay right with you.
He is a true protector and very loyal to his family.


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But my walking buddy of all these years is about 13 years old now and the humidity here in Texas really took its toll
last summer…
We are only going outside in the early mornings and around
5:00pm to potty, then around dusk now for his evening walk
 as temps 85 degrees and above are just too much
for this Old Pup.
Pekingese dogs live between 13 and 15 years of age
on average… and he is right there.
😦

*He did finally just eat for me this evening ~ first time since last evening when he then tossed most of it back up.
Thankfully he has been drinking lots of water so
hopefully Yoda is on the mend.
I know dogs can get a type of dog flu but he may have
picked up ant poison or something on his paws.
It’s so hard to know.

I did call the vet and I’ll continue keeping an eye on him
and if he continues appearing to be ill
{there hasn’t been any vomiting or diarrhea since yesterday}
then I’ll take him in to be seen.


A favorite photograph of Mr. Yoda in the sycamore tree leaves at our Big House.
However long  we have with Mr. Yoda
it has been an adventure.
Just thought I’d share my heart and some photos
new and old with you for today’s post.

Here’s the first post I ever wrote about Yoda ~ Yoda in the Leaves.
:)’


Sharing with
Wow ~ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday
Thursday Favorite Things






Hugs,

French Ethereal Memories ~ Happy 3rd Birthday to Us!

Google reminded me this week that 
little old
French Ethereal
is celebrating a 3rd birthday today ~ July 11th!!!


The beginnings of a sofa slipcover made out of giant painter’s dropcloths.


Three years ago today my son Peter sat down with me
and helped me begin a blog ~ just a little place where
I could share some sewing tips, share tea parties
and my garden.
I had no idea how to write a blog though
I loved reading several others online
that I’d stumbled upon
quite by accident, really.
Some blogs I’d found because they were
mentioned in decorating magazines, like
French Country Cottage and ShabbyFufu.
Two favorites, Schwannennest and 
My Shabby Streamside Studio are 
no longer written.


A beautiful tablecloth found over in England but probably Irish-made.


Schwannennest {“Swan’s Nest” in German} was a lovely
blog with an all-white Nordic look
set in Bavaria, I believe.
I would stay up late at night reading on my iPad
and dream of an all-white home and 
how ethereal it was!
The author had hung four large doors with
windows as a big screen separating her
living room from her dining/kitchen area
and I always found that really unique.

Our mantel at the Big House decorated for summer… still a favorite way to decorate!


My Shabby Streamside Studio was a blog
also mostly done in whites with pops of
pink on dishes and fabrics.
It became a huge sensation and was written up
in home magazines and even was
featured on television.
Sandy, whose lovely hunting-cabin-turned-cottage
had such an ethereal quality to it
that I just wanted to go up into her
reading loft and while away
an afternoon!
You can still find Sandy’s postings
online.
They are worth the time to go back and read.
Just lovely!
Really, these were where I got
my inspiration…

Another one of my Girls draped with the usual array of necklaces plus a
photo of my children when they were small. 
I realized then just how much I really liked 
decorating in whites
and even though my home had lots of color
on our walls
we also had some walls and lots of furniture
painted or purchased which were
painted white.
My daughter’s bedroom had all-white furniture
in it which I totally loved.
For Amy, though, she grew to 
love stained wood.
{Though funny enough, she has a white car now! The pendulum
swings back…}
😉


That first blog was hosted over on Weebly.
Soon after, I found out that a lot of bloggers
were on another site called Blogger.
So, for the rest of that first year,
I double-blogged.
I’d write in Weebly and copy/paste
over here to Blogger.
It was crazy!
😉



That first year I worked on writing whatever
popped into my head, but I did share
lots of tea-related posts since I had hosted
many a tea for about 15 years leading up to then.
I also wrote up lengthy, very detailed posts about 
making those sofa slipcovers in the photo
up at this post’s beginning!
You can find those here:
Post #1
Post #2
Post #3
Post #4
😀


We had a lot of dry rot, so replacing posts and cross beams was a necessity.  Afterall, we planned on living here
a lot long, though that wasn’t meant to be. 😦


The First Anniversary 
came and went and I don’t remember 
why I didn’t mention it
but I didn’t.
Oh!  I know why ~ I was too busy building
and painting the patio cover out back!

My son and a friend Jim rebuilt the patio cover
then I decided I wanted to totally cover the patio
to provide more shade.
It turned out well, but then a month
after it was finished…

My husband lost his job.

There wasn’t much to celebrate after that, 
let me tell you…



The accent wall in our living/dining room painted a lovely blue-green {color-matched from a pair of pants}.
But we muddled on through that first year
he wasn’t working.
And I kept blogging.
It was a good way to step away from
our troubles
and
focus on something ethereal and happy.

God was working through all this planning 
what was to come, though I didn’t see it
at the time.

A fall tablesetting ~ one of my favorites!
Christmas was tough that year and I think
we gave the kids one or two small presents
and Peter stayed in South Dakota
at school.
He went home with his girlfriend, Justine, to her
family’s home over Christmas
since we couldn’t afford to bring him home.


That year I made mini Christmas trees to give to the
ladies I worked with at school
and to friends.
I sent a couple to Peter and Justine.
It killed me not to bring our son home for Christmas
and it was his first Christmas away from home.

We all soldiered on.

Our warm barn red front doors decorated with twin wreaths festooned with new ribbons!  Before, the ribbons
were a 1990’s pink rose pattern.
On Valentine’s Day, I drove down to a book signing at Vignettes in San Diego and met author Fifi O’Neill. 
The Second Anniversary
saw us preparing to move out of our beloved house
and move into a 27′ travel trailer
with no slides, no extra room.

July came and went as we were busy showing
the house and trying to finish up packing
enough belongings from
28 years of marriage,
a four bedroom plus den 
and
complete with three car garage.
We were beyond busy!

A Valentine’s mantel ~ another favorite!
Moving to our Tiny Home
was a new challenge but we loved it for
the new life it provided
and we got our own private lake
after the summer and fall campers left
on Sunday afternoons!

The roses bloomed beautifully that last spring on Spinning Wheel!
Yoda loved going for two-mile walks each weekend.
The bird calls were peaceful ~ something we really needed.
Lake Skinner was the best thing that could
have happened to us during that awful time
Charles was out of work for two years.

We had a home with new scenery.
The lake was serene and when the campers
were gone from Sunday through Thursdays
that fall into spring
it was the best place we could have been
to console us.
It reminded me of my parents’ last home.
Lots of tears were shed but God
wasn’t done.
He knew we needed a break-away
from Murrieta
but a slow breaking away…

Our Coleman travel trailer over at Campground C, site 372 with a view of the moon rising over the mountains every night…
My birthday going into January 2016 and the new year.
I didn’t write for several months; I just couldn’t.
My heart was broken.
But, I realized pretty quickly that I had
a new opportunity to pull up my bootstraps
and get on with life
and that I still loved decorating
and sewing
and making crafts.
So, I did.

Second Impressions Antique Mall
Visiting Magnolia Market at the Silos
A Bridal Shower Tea
Then last summer, there was a wedding…
Peter and Justine with our daughter Amy on the far left in lavender.
And we were doing alright!
🙂
Hubby was still coaching and the school district
gave him an emergency credential to teach.
He made as much as I did, which was HUGE.
And, we had a lot less stress without the house
payment and all the utility bills.
And it was good.

Another photo from Magnolia Market at the Silos.

Fall came around again and it looked like 
we were going to be spending a second year
at The Lake.
We were looking forward to it
actually.
But God had other plans.

A whirlwind of internet phone interviews
and Hubby now had work in his usual line
of employment ~ and we were moving!
Out of state!
To Texas!
Longhorns, prairies, horses, wildflowers
and here we are.
🙂

Celebrating the end of Year Three
My life has kinda followed those scenes in
the movie Forrest Gump ~ where the feather
kinda floats through life.
Do you know it?
Exactly!  My life has been a lot like that.
Who knows what this fourth year will bring
but I know where I will be.
Right here, bringing you my best photographs,
and gardens, and some tea parties
and places to visit.

Blessings to you, always,
Sharing with
Welcome Home Wednesdays ~ Five Kids a Dog and a Blog
Create Link Inspire ~ Life Sew Savory
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Vintage Charm ~ Blue Willow House
Share Your Style ~ The Red Painted Cottage
Friday at the Firestation ~ A Fireman’s Wife
Wow Us Wednesday ~ Savvy Southern Style
Gathering Place #8 ~ Gratefully Vintage