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
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  \|”/

A Quick Coffee Table for the 4th of July ~ 10 on the 10th

Welcome to  this month’s 10 on the 10th where 10+ bloggers share their finds and projects with you costing $10 or less! Our host today is Benita of Chasing Quaintness and I know you’ll love the totally awesome paddle board she created! Thank you, Benita for all your hard work putting this hop together!! 

If you are coming over from Katie at Let’s Add Sprinkles and are here for the first time, welcome! Our theme this month is 4th of July and we all have so many great ideas to share with you for the our nation’s birthday. Let’s get going, shall we?

For my 10 on the 10th  I decided to go with a softer 4th of July look in creating an easy-to-copy coffee table vignette which basically cost nothing as I used everything I already own. 

I like scrounging through items I already have and since we just moved in and our household goods arrived mid-March, everything is new to me again! 

 Putting this 4th of July table together

I brought out a blue striped napkin/placemat I bought last year at Magnolia Market in Waco. On top of it I placed a tobacco basket and played around with the basket and napkin’s placement a bit.

From there, I knew I wanted to add in this vintage Johnson Bros. red transferware serving dish to bring in the red and the angel statue I have had outside since the movers brought it to Texas from our California storage.  

A couple of weeks ago I was on another blog hop and this angel statue was in this still soft but definitely bolder 4th of July vignette and you can check out more of that post here

I do like patriotic decor but decided this time around to go with even softer colors and sans flags as my mantel is very patriotic with its red reds, bright whites and navy blues and is located in this same room.

Our mantel and how it looked for Memorial Day and the story behind it.

Here is a full look at our coffee table

Set simply with softer deep pinks and lavender blues is a bowl of freshly cut hydrangeas from my front yard. Placed on top of the red transferware  platter with faux lavender wands set alongside, these add just an extra bit of blue to balance the reds and pinks. Tucking those in next to the angel completed this easy-to-create-look.

This has been a beautiful month remembering our military service members and looking forward to our nation’s birthday… 🙂

Right outside our living room windows sits our garden… And our patriotic miss who is dressed as our Lady Liberty. She didn’t make the previous patriotic posts but she happily graces this post for you today.

Lastly for this soft 4th of July coffee table vignette, I added a little more patriotic flare by bringing in the Waverly pillows from their usual spot over in our family room.

The French pillow and the Waverly ones are the same ones that we brought with us from  our Prairie Home of the past two years. If you haven’t glamped or camped for an extended period but are thinking about it ~ try it! There’s a big learning curve but there’s an amazing simplicity… Plus you meet so many great people.


Our  41′ Heartland Charleston Landmark fifth-wheel was a wonderful place to live and the RV parks and campgrounds we lived in were a wonderful living and life experience.

After almost four years total, though, having a large living room is almost too much. I do love the comfort of these sofas and easy chairs…

And this is how this quick-and-easy coffee table with its soft 4th of July theme came to be! I believe in keeping things simple and my decor has simplified over the years. Maybe that comes with time and age (or from living in a trailer), who knows, but it is fun to be able to share my curated mélange of home décor with you.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll think about subscribing plus share my post and/or a picture or two, thank you.

Susan of Homeroad is next up on today’s tour. I just know her post is going to inspire you in your 4th of July decorating and the fun découpage project she is sharing!! 

Today’s 10 on the 10th tour list I encourage you to pull up this post as many times as you need in order to visit everyone. Enjoy the tour!!!

Happy decorating,

Share Your Style #210

Welcome to week #210 of Share Your Style and I am
Barbara Chapman your host. I hope your long Memorial Day weekend was fun and filled with cookouts, friends and family!

Since the summer season has officially started we have a bunch of featured posts for you today! 

Here’s what I shared and will be sharing

this week…

My back patio and the beginnings of a garden. 🙂
This month’s Pinterest Challenge revolved around a 4th of July and Patriotic theme. I’d love it if you’d stop by, share a pic or two and leave me a comment! I had a lot of fun putting this patio look together and I know you’ll love all the ideas shared by my friends (yours, too, I’m sure!) as part of this monthly blog hop. 

Thank you! 

Mr. Ethereal and I have been working on rebuilding part of our backyard fence and making a new gate as the old sections were blowing down (and open) with the slightest wind. 

The thing I ordered which will make this gate special arrived via UPS today!!! More on this soon…

The rock wall is DONE but I am waiting on a friend to bring over some free rocks for drainage before I put in the plants, so… This is all I have to share for now.

Here are this week’s wonderful features!

Lit tea lights, How to make a Nautical Lantern from a Grill - Int'l Bloggers Club Challenge theboondocksblog.com
Mary from The Boondocks Blog shared a pretty nautical lantern she made from a really unlikely object ~ check out her post to find out just what she used. Love this soft blue and white look!

Sandra at Dinner at Eight linked her Patriotic table with it’s eye-popping firecrackers and tableware. Stop by and hear a little history of how Memorial Day began! Do sign up to receive her posts, too, as she has great style. 

Here’s Roxy smiling because he loves his home!

Awwww, isn’t this whumper the cutest??! You simply must visit Pat’s garden at Bringing French Country Home! Pat’s garden last year was just incredible and I love how she’s changed it up a bit this year. I think Roxy likes it, don’t you?

I’d like you to meet my friend Jeanie of The Marmelade Gypsy. If you’ve never been over to her blog she writes from her home and vacation home near a lake in Michigan. Recently Jeanie went with friends to the gardens at Southern Exposure for a hanging garden workshop and lunch

Isn’t this gazebo stunning??!

DIY Floating Curtain Panels | DIY Outdoor Curtains | How to Make Outdoor Curtains | Outdoor Curtains for Porch or Patio | DIY Outdoor Decor

Jenna at Rain on a Tin Roof shared her while-at-Home -Depot-idea-inspired DIY Floating Curtain Panels and they are perfect shading her family’s patio! (You’ll have to check out her current video, too… Her little daughter is so cute in it!)

Just four ingredients are all you need to make this incredible frozen peach bellini! Slushy, fruity, and perfect anytime you're in the mood for sipping a fantastic champagne cocktail.

Erin of Delightful~E~Made shared her recipe for this summer cold drink of Frozen Raspberry Peach Bellini. I am thirsty just looking at it, aren’t you?

Teen using a Swiffer Sweeper on the kitchen floor.

Since dogs and summer just seem to go together, here is another sweet dog Oreo. He lives with Jenn’s of Clean and Scentsible and together they share some easy cleaning tips for anyone with pets!

Ann at Apple Street Cottage brought out her super creativity with these awesome Macrame Garden Lights!
Do check these out ~ I am totally going to make these…

Three French Country Trellis Tuteurs in a Narrow Flower Garden
And Judith at Botanic Bleu shared her gorgeous French Tuteur Trellis(es)! Ils sont trés magnifique pour le jardin!!!

If you’ve ever been featured here at Share Your Style
I’ve created a button for you to share (don’t know why I didn’t do this before, Lol!). Please feel free to copy it to your site and your featured posts, thank you!

Be sure to follow the Share Your Style board on Pinterest
(under French Ethereal)

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and congratulations to everyone who is featured this week! Please stop by and let them know how you like their posts, thank you. And if you’d subscribe to my blog and share the party it would be greatly appreciated. A backlink would be lovely, too. Thank you!

Now onto today’s party!

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Easy Patriotic Decorating Ideas ~ Pinterest Challenge

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge and this month is all about getting ready for summer celebrations  with a red, white and blue-themed challenge ~ perfect for all our patriotic holidays and the 4th of July!

Star-spangled banners and cookouts, beach parties and camping, swimming and maybe even a sunburn or two and fireworks exploding overhead in velvety-dark nighttime skies ~ that’s what summer living is all about!

Our host Cindy of County Road 407 has found a fun vignette for us to use as our decorating jump-off point with all that in mind.  This month’s Pinterest Challenge was to create a Patriotic Patio Scene inspired by one created by Mary from Home Is Where the Boat Is.

If you are just coming over from Amber at Follow the Yellow Brick Home and it’s your first time here at French Ethereal I am happy you are here! For everyone who’s a regular already I am always glad you are here.

Our Inspiration Piece

Mary lives on a houseboat down in Charleston, South Carolina and shares her beautiful tablescapes, her gardens and garden shed plus the funny antics of her sweet white pups from her fun blog called ~ Home Is Where the Boat Is.

Mary’s patriotic patio vignette 

I love how Mary has used so many American flags in her decorating! Simple and easy to find, American flags are something which are readily available this time of year and inexpensive to pick up from the local dollar store, grocery market or hobby store.

A Better Look at What Mary Used

*  Mary set up her porch using lots of weathered woods in her beach style decor ~ she does actually live on a houseboat parked along a beautiful shoreline!

*  American flags in several sizes plus a sweet vintage flag fashioned into a comfy pillow for resting against on the bench. Two other pillows add extra comfort, too. 

*  Little pinwheels sporting the red, white and blue of our nation’s flag. 

*  Tea towels in the July 4th theme. 

*  Two weathered wicker baskets and an awesome tin watering can. 

*  One basket holds flowers perfect for a summer party also in our theme’s colors!

Let’s roundup all our red, white and blue! 

Back in California I had this cute flag hanging out front of our last home. It’s whimsical and cheerful ~ perfect for this season of ground blooming flower celebrating! I was looking around for it to turn it into a pillow cover to mimic the inspiration flag pillow, however… 

I think I must have pitched it when we were moving out of our two California storage units in March… There was a lot to throw out and donate, friends… And many of my flags were falling apart.


I kept looking around the house and out in the garage and spied
Mr. Ethereal’s three large wooden trunks (he stores his childhood and track + field treasures in them).  It occurred to me that I would need a coffee table… Hmm???
So the first thing I did was move this trunk outside! It is exactly the soft shade of French blue that I love and it brings in a bit of my personal style. The two benches were already in their spots and naturally create a wonderful seating area on their own..

Hubby’s trunk came from his Uncle Booty from his time in the US Air Force. They are at least 50 years old now and adding this trunk to our patio scene brings that wonderful weathered wood element in from our inspiration photo along with the white iron bench’s weathered slats.

Next I scoured my Craft Room boxes for the American flags I knew I had (still unpacking!). I didn’t have any bunting or pinwheel-type flags but I think the essence of our inspiration scene is captured here and that’s what it’s all about.

Love this as a wonderful place to read and sip a cup of tea!

Back to the flag pillow

I have a very large outdoor flag which I tried draping along the bench back but it didn’t look right. So I went searching some more around the house. In the living room sofa I spied the two pillows I had sewn from a Waverly fabric with their lovely soft red roses on a linen background.

This pattern is Waverly’s Norfolk Rose, which goes in and out of style, but I have loved it for 30+ years as Ralph Lauren (or another of the big designers) used to use it in his decorating years ago. One added to our patriotic patio decor was perfect!

I didn’t find this fabric currently available on Joann’s online shop but I did find two similar here and here with red and blue backgrounds.

I am a Joann affiliate and may earn a small commission if you purchase through my links here but there is no extra cost to you ~ thank you. You’ll find my full disclosure here.
A good stiff spring breeze was blowing when I shot these photographs so the two tall oaks blowing branches and leaves created light and dark shots ~ sorry!

Setting up the scene

The inspiration photo had three pillows bringing in the red, white and blue so I also brought out my blue-on-linen French lunch-eatery pillow.  Layering in those two pillows atop our old family quilt added even more sentiment and richness to this porch scene.

I’ve continued my patriotic garden theme here with layering several potted plants and this little statue in place of Mary’s watering can. I did purchase a few red flowering plants and added them in with the lavender and white mini petunias in the large pot. More small lavenders yet to be planted in the yard are hiding just behind the angel statue on the ground.

I moved the little statue around a bit as I was working ~ part of the fun of decorating is moving things around until it “feels right.” Decorating fun is all about getting the balance right ~ objects and scale, colors and heights, the number of objects in a scene

It always takes a bit, doesn’t it? To get things “just so.” Adding in a natural rattan basket filled with the angel statue, a leftover red vinca set into a French pot and adding a patriotic tea towel completed this patio look. Essence of Mary’s sweet patriotic patio ~ trés bien! Non? 😉

If you missed my earlier posts for Memorial Day you can find them here and here. And past Pinterest Challenges ~

January MarchApril

Thank you for pinning!

Our blog hop continues now with Terrie of Decorate and More with Tip. Stop on over to see how she has styled her sitting area for the 4th of July! 

And I know you’ll love all the inspiration from everyone on today’s Patriotic Pinterest Challenge tour!

County Road 407 | StoneGable | Décor to Adore

Our Southern Home |Follow the Yellow Brick Home

French Ethereal | Decorate and More with Tip

Sweet Pea | Let’s Add Sprinkles | Chasing Quaintness

Art and Sand | Bluesky at Home | Lora Bloomquist

My Wee Abode | First Day of Home | A Heart Filled Home

Sharing this post with
Style Showcase 83 ~ Shabbyfufu
Summer Picnic Essentials + Outdoor Fun Blog Hop ~ Busy Being Jennifer
Waste Not Wednesday ~ Faeries and Fauna

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Share Your Style #209

Welcome to week #209 of Share Your Style and I am
Barbara Chapman your host. Lots of fun features to share this week with a bit of summer fun and patriotic themes, too!

Here’s what I shared this week at French Ethereal…

One of my “quick posts” which is easy to copy for any of America’s patriotic celebrations like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July ~

The follow up post as to why every piece was chosen for this mantel scene ~ The Story Behind This Patriotic Mantel.

*Finished up the rock wall late last week so will be sharing it in a tutorial soon. Do stop back by and leave me a comment and please share as I appreciate it, thank you.

So let’s get to this week’s wonderful features
shall we?!

It’s all about roses over at Penny‘s place, Penny’s Treasures, with two potted Iceberg roses given to her for Mother’s Day. Come see what changes she’s made for summer and her lovely home.

Debbie at Debbie Dabble shared her sweet Fairy Garden ~ so much fun packed into a small space! Wouldn’t this be fun to create with your children and grands??

New over here at Share Your Style is Linda of Paper Seedlings who created this ethereal card with its sweet chirping birdies sharing what’s new in the Stamping Up catalog just coming out for 2019.

Fun for everyone who loves to use their great products!

Jennifer at Mommy Evolution shared this White Bean Dip recipe plus how to make your own pita chips in this delicious post. My Yummy for this week.

Over at Celebrating Everyday Life, Jennifer shares her free printables featuring wonderful Scripture quotesLovely!

Beautiful summer tablescape with blues, yellows, and greens.

Jenn at Clean and Scentsible brought a beautiful summer tablescape to share with us all. Love the little yellow and green pops among the restful blue… 

Honorable Mention ~ I want to share a sewing tutorial video from Stephanie at Sewing with Stephanie which is part of what I learned in several sewing classes way back when. Copying a sewing pattern you love into a permanent pattern you can use again and again ~ great tips!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and shared their posts last week! Please share everyone’s here and let these ladies know you appreciate their hard work.

If you’ve ever been featured here at Share Your Style
I just created a button for you to share. Please feel free to copy it to your site and your featured posts, thank you!

It’s my first attempt so will keep working on it over time!

Now let’s get this party started!

Happy Memorial Day to you
your family!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


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,

A Quick Post ~ An American Patriotic Mantel Vignette

Patriotic decor is easy to recreate here in America taking our cues from our flag’s deep red and white stripes and the navy blues in the background field behind our stars.  With that I thought I’d create a quick patriotic mantel styling post for you with those
same rich American colors…

America’s colors  look beautiful in the evening light here on our mantel and I had fun putting this vignette together from my own “Capt. America,” Mr. Ethereal, and his collection of military books. From the books to the plates and several brightly burning white candles everything quietly says, “I am an American.”

I chose these particular things with great care and I’ll share more of why I chose what I did for this mantel in a post later this month.

 For now though I thought I’d just share this little vignette with you.
A precursor of more to come!

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.” 

                                                                         ~ Lady Bird Johnson

Sharing with
Friday at the Fire Station ~ A Fireman’s Wife

Blessings to you,

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!

10 Minute Tussy Mussy Gift Bags for Mother’s Day + More ~ 10 on the 10th

Welcome to this month’s 10 on the 10th where 10 bloggers (and sometimes more!) get together and share ideas with you on the 10th of the month for under $10. 

Thank you to our host Katie of Let’s Add Sprinkles for putting this party together, and if you are stopping by for the first time from Cindy at County Road 407 welcome to French Ethereal!

This month’s theme is something for Mother’s Day, Graduation and Teacher Appreciation gifts.

With all of these events happening in the months of May and June, it is often nice to create a gift holder which can be made in batches to give out to all your recipients for not much money.  

Like making fresh plumeria leis picked then strung by the bags-full for my elementary school teachers in Hawaii when I was growing up, making a Tussy Mussy to fill with gifts is a welcome change from the usual wrapped or bagged gift! Homemade gifts are often the best and most appreciated (in my book, anyways!).

Easy to make in just a few minutes, Tussy Mussies can be filled with small candies, a special note, a small gift box containing a thoughtfully purchased necklace or earrings you’ve just picked out… The ideas for filling Tussy Mussies are endless and easy to coordinate with your theme.

Here’s how to make a Tussy Mussy

*Start by laying out your sheet of printed paper, printed-side down.

*Begin rolling the paper with holding the left side tight to create the bottom, pointed end. (or right side, if you are left-handed!)

This tussy mussy went to a little girl and the sweets theme was perfect for her!

Keep the left side tight/small as you roll the upper-end looser creating the cone shape.

*Put a bead of hot glue along the edge lengthwise to hold the edge in shape. I also glued a bit along the upper edge, next to the vertical long edge, just glued-down to keep it from unraveling.

*Make a slit 2″ down (or however long you like) 
to create a way to cut off and even up the top edge.

*Glue down the inside loose piece around the inside top.


*Pull out all of your laces, cheesecloth, buttons, whatever you have and have fun loosely wrap these around your cone.

*Hot glue in hidden spots to create the effect of bent lace/ribbon pieces and to keep in place. Working the laces around the upper-edge first seemed to work better for me.

Create the hanger

*Use more lace and form a loose knot on one end. Hot glue to the inside edge to hide some of the edge-glueing.

*Once the first part is glue on, then twist or layer your hanger piece, create the second, opposite knot and glue that in place.

An ethereal beauty ~ Two types of lace created this
tussy mussy’s hanger.


Each paper I picked up at one of my local craft stores from anywhere from 10 cents to $1.00 each. I think the sparkle papers were a bit more but these were in my stash so they cost me nothing this time.

A pack of hot glue sticks costs about $1.99 and lace costs a couple dollars a roll if you buy at Christmas time ~ well under $10 to make several!

And that’s all there is to creating a Tussy Mussy ~ perfect for putting that special gift for your mother, grandmother and all the moms in your life. 

If you missed any of this year’s 10 on the 10th posts
they can be found here:

January 2019 | February 2019|March 2019
April 2019

Thank you for visiting and if you enjoyed this post, please
consider following along ~ I appreciate you! 🙂  Please visit all of today’s 10 on the 10th participants ~ I know you’ll love what everyone has to share!

Terry at Decorate and More With Tip  begins our blog hop at
the top of the list as you begin with my post ~ Enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day, 

Share Your Style #205

Welcome once again to Share Your Style and to week #205… I am Barb Chapman and I am so glad you are
here today. This week I am sharing a look at a tea and tablescape I held for two friends who came to visit
last week on
Maundy Thursday.

Here are friends Laura of Decor to Adore and Cindy of

It’s sooo nice to have blogging friends who live close by!
Hope you have a good group living near you, too.

This tea included a first look at our home in the mostly put together living room as it looks out towards the backyard.

A second post I shared was a spring basket door hanger as
part of this month’s Pinterest Challenge. I’d love for you to
stop by and check out both of these posts. So much great
door decor has been created all this month’s participants and
by our host Cindy of County Road 407! 

Great ideas for you to copy and adapt!

So let’s get to this week’s wonderful features
shall we?!

With Easter and Passion week just last week I believe another look is so appropriate… Therefore a few more Easter and bunny posts will feature this week.

Notre Dame Window by Jeanne Selep

Jeanne at her blog of the same name JeanneSelep.blogspot.com
shared the beautiful rosette window pre-fire which was saved during the fire at Notre Dame this past week.


Please pray for all those who have loved and are affected by the terrible fire which happened in this very old and beautiful cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France, won’t you?

Many of you have toured this 850 year old church with its flying buttresses holding up its walls and though I have not, the faith we have, not in those relics and this church (and so many other houses of worship) but the comfort those pieces and places give us…

Notre Dame and the significance it has and has had on our fallen world remind us to continue “looking for the good” and to what the Son of Man went through to save this world from itself.

Fabiana who lives in Ecuador and writes Fabby’s Living shared this beautiful table set for Easter for all the family and company she had coming over. Simple beauty with sweet rabbits surrounding a gilded goblet and eggs nestled into sherbet glasses.
Simple and stunning!

I am on a bit of a tablescape kick lately as I love creating beautiful table settings for you all and for my family. Here is a stunning table from Sandra over at Dinner at Eight ~ love her Fitz and Floyd Easter rabbit in it’s Easter garden! And look at that tablecloth!!!
Love the Easter grass placemats…

Sew up a storm this Easter with these adorable Easter Sewing Projects!

Michele from the Scrap Shoppe Blog shares a round-up of Easter projects that we all can make now for next year and/or put on our Pinterest save boards for next year ~ adorable!!! 
And since this is French Ethereal here in an Honorable Mention for the week ~ from Stephanie at The Style Safari who is planning a trip to France in May and is making some clothes for her trip. Check out her blog for her creative clothing creations!

That’s it for this week, folks! Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and be sure to visit a few partiers while you are here and if you’ll pin my Share Your Style links as well, I send you bunny hugs through the airwaves!

 We all appreciate the love!

And just a quick reminder of the party rules:

This link party is geared towards home decor, recipes, gardening and related. I know many of you have so much to say about many other things, but here it’s always going to be a party towards life in the home. 

I would appreciate a link back to your blog, too.
Thank you!  🙂

Now let’s party!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter