Sunday Sentiments ~ Grace and Peace, with a Sneak Peak Table Styling

For today’s Sunday Sentiments
I thought I’d share
a few words the apostle Paul wrote at
the beginning of his letters 
to the different Christian church plants,
words of encouragement.
He always began his letters with
“To all the saints in Christ Jesus at _________, …
Grace and peace to you from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The above was taken from Philippians 1:1-2 but all the
other letters he wrote to the people in Corinth, Colosse
Ephesus, Thessalonica and to Timothy
began with similar words ~ Grace and Peace.

Feathered friends visiting for seeds during the small snow storms
on Friday.

I photographed this from the insert put out by all the local churches before Christmas
from the local Sanger newspaper.  I thought it was cool!
Grace and peace
two beautiful words ~ grace being the act of
receiving a gift or a reward when we should 
have received
a punishment instead.
Peace ~ hoping that peace
would come over someone.

I was reading in Philippians but I kept coming back to those two words. Paul was still telling others about Jesus even while in chains in prison.  He knew he’d really been given grace as before he knew Christ, he had been Saul of Tarsus who had been going after Christians.  After Jesus rose from the grave, He appeared before many people, at different times for forty days, and one of those times was before Saul on the road to Damascus.  Jesus asked why Saul was persecuting him.  Saul fell to his knees before Jesus.  
For three days, Saul was blind, but after that he could see.  He was converted and spent the rest of his days telling everyone about Christ Jesus, that Jesus was real and that Jesus was the Savior everyone had been looking for.  Jesus had given Saul his new name, Paul, to reflect who he was now with a new beginning.  Paul had peace from then on knowing who he was and where he was going.  So, no matter where he was at the time, he felt peace about the situation.  Even in prison, in chains.

Thinking too about how God took care of 
the Jews after they left Egypt by giving them 
manna to eat as they were going into 
the Promised Land Exodus 16:4
thinking about Jesus saying,

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more… Fear him who… has power to throw you into hell…. Indeed, the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”  Luke 12: 4-12 

We shouldn’t worry about where our food 
comes from or where we are going as 
or being scared to talk with others
about Jesus.
God will help us when it’s time.

Paul was sold-out for Christ.
We can do it too. 
He believed and trusted 
in God the Father and 
God the Son
The Holy Spirit
would come upon him.
The Jews of old believed in God and 
knew to look for the Savior and the signs
of his coming.
Grace and Peace.

Come to the table of the Lord
and eat.
Grace and peace be with you,
Sharing with ~
Inspiration Monday ~ Refresh/Restyle
Inspire Me Monday ~ Create With Joy

Snow Day ~ An Early Happy Birthday Present!

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
Okay, maybe it was just a dusting of 
sugar sprinkled snow
but it was 
best day before my birthday
birthday present!

Clear and cold and waiting for cozy blanket 
of warmth 
with big tanks of propane arriving,
I stepped outside to find tiny flakes of snow 
drifting gently down and soon 
beginning to stick!

With a whole shopping list of errands to run
and some of those goodies needed for
the day’s shoot
I had to go and it was fun driving
around the area
watching the snow dust snaking
across the freeway lanes.

After finding all the things on my list at Winco
and a lovely lunch with a welcoming 
hot cup of tea at Starbucks,
it was nice to come home and go for a
walk out in the newfallen snow!

Yoda has never seen snow nor walked in it.
You can see his reaction here!
{I think he is a little indignant about it all!}
Yoda did warm up to the idea once we
strode out
embracing the crunch
as he raced along his long lead
then racing to catch up to Mom
who was race walking
to keep warm!

I knew this might be a long post
as I only took 147 photographs
that made it into my folder…

{Perhaps a cup of coffee or tea
or a mug of hot cocoa
might be just the ticket as you 
enjoy these pictures!}

Our driveways and the roads in front of them
are hard packed crushed limestone ~
really pretty sugar~kissed with 
their dusting of snow!

“The Girls” were visited by many 
feathered friends!
In one photograph, I counted no less than
46 fluffed up feathered birds!!!
I even tossed out seeds twice today ~
black oiled sunflowers in their shells
the standard bird feeder seed
which everybody was gobbling up
just as fast they could.

I enjoyed watching them scratch through the snow dust
to reach the seeds!

The program isn’t letting me post up any more
photographs for you
so I guess I’ll end this here for today!

Tomorrow I’ll share some of the
table styling photos I took as
kind of my little birthday party
and tie it together with a 
Sunday Sentiments
that I haven’t had 
in a while.

Hope you are snug and warm
in your happy home!
Enjoy the rest of your cuppa.
Blessings to you,
Barb 🙂

Sharing with
Wonderful Wednesday ~ Oh My Heartsie Girl
Friday Favorites ~ Creatively Homemade


Flowers of the Midwest and West

Sweet garden outside our hotel in Kyle, Texas

Today’s post is

about all the sweet gardens found
all over on our trip!

First stop:
After our first stop overnight, we ended up driving from just
on the edge of California into Arizona.
Getting gas in a little town
I found a store selling tamales and this was their storefront.
Loved this little pot of geraniums just 
massively blooming 
and not bothered by the heat of the day!
Carlsbad Caverns, NM
I found these gorgeous pink tulip~type plants
(notice how technical I am… 😉 )
The leaves and branches remind me of a type of heather
we have that can take the heat and lives quite nicely
in Southern California.
This plant is commonly called Kangaroo Paws for the little “paws” that bloom all along the branches.

 Rest stops along the freeways in New Mexico and Texas had gorgeously manicured gardens and nice picnic shelters in which to take a good rest before travelling onward.  The rest stop to the left was found when we were out of Austin somewhere and heading north towards Oklahoma.
The crepe myrtle trees (above right) were found in Fredericksburg, Texas and don’t they look incredible next to the brick walls of that building? Love those green shutters!!!

These birds were singing away as I walked by 
after visiting one such rest area.
Their next is just to the right in the tree.
Literally, I just looked up and there they were!

More gorgeousness!
Found these roses in Texas and remembered 
there is a group of folks
who call themselves Rose Rustlers…
I seriously thought about cutting off a small cutting
to take home and try to regrow
but I didn’t… 

We spent the most time 
in Texas 
when we were getting our daughter settled
before heading north to South Dakota for our son’s wedding.
I found these bright sunflowers strewn in a 
drainage ditch area one morning when 
I was out walking with Yoda.
Aren’t they lovely?

This banana tree was completely surprising!
Banana trees live all over 
Southern California
but I haven’t seen any actually producing bananas…
It was cool to see this one with its baby bunches
soon to be sweet fruit beginning to ripen!
This other flowering plant…
I’ve never seen one like it.
Well, that’s all for now.
If you happen 
to know 
the names of any of these plants are
that I haven’t named, please let me know 
and I’ll add that information to this post.  

As always, feel free to share this or any other of
my little “ramblings.”
I’d love it if you’d become a
French Ethereal Friend!
I’ve been trying to make the website’s email
work correctly.
And, I’m still trying to get the
Featured Post(s)
buttons to behave.
One pops up but I’d like more to do so. 
Always something…

Thanks again for 
stopping by!
Have a great weekend,

White and Silver Daydreams…

Tea, cake and scones ~ a study in whites and creams… {sigh!} 

White and Silver…
Some of my most favorite colors…

Today’s post sharing some past
lovelies with you!!!

A few of the ecru and white lace napkins, a table runner and an
Irish tablecloth {far right, bottom} picked up in England. Shot when
I was still learning how to use the aperature on our camera to let in light. 😉

Do you ever feel the need to

just daydream?
Bringing out my favorite pieces of china and 
those lacy linens
and just the act of decorating our tables
{whether they are big or small},
set me off daydreaming…
Great for decompressing from life’s trials and also
just because it’s a lot of fun to decorate
with all that china!
I feel that need a lot.
Do you??

A few of my favorite pieces… found at various thrift stores, flea markets, and
antique shops.  Most of my silver-plate pieces are
1847 Rogers Bros. ~ Remembrance pattern ~ above, far right
We usually have a few get-togethers
over the summer with family and friends.
Our daughter’s birthday starts the summer parties
here in June and in the past
we always had her school friends over
for a cookout and to swim
then to eat cupcakes or cake
depending upon the birthday girl’s wishes 
each particular year.
Our son’s birthday is just on Labor Day weekend,
so his birthdays were always a little quieter
with just a couple of friends over
for a sleepover and swimming,
movies all night, and more cake and ice cream.
It was always rather nice having their birthdays
as bookends to the summer season!

For this summer, I’m making plans
 to invite a few of my friends over for tea…
Okay, it’s always 
my favorite thing to do I admit
but even with the tea craze 
having come and gone
I feel there is always a place
for a good tea and fellowship with friends.

A favorite photo of a tea at friend Kathy’s former home with all of us from our tea group.
This was taken nine years ago now! My how time flies!

I haven’t really had anyone 
over to our new place as last fall was simply too crazy 
moving every couple of weeks to new locations among the campsites as we took on our camp host positions, 
then, winter was windy and freezing 
{no outdoor entertaining for us!},
and we have just been too busy
this spring with track season.
now summer is here!!!
the weather is balmy, 
the afternoon coastal breezes soft and cooling,
and lovely trees providing the 
necessary afternoon shade ~
just perfect to invite some guests over 
to see our new digs and experience 
all that this area has to offer!

One tea I have planned is for the friends 
I’ve known for many years now and met 
through the 
Victorian Tea Society
The second is a party for my new friends
met while working here at The Lake!

The photograph just above 
was taken after a tea when all the 
silverware was sparkling 
in the late afternoon light.
A favorite time of day to daydream is when 
I’m making
all that china and silver 
with a good cleaning!

Our powder room downstairs at our Big House. ~ dressed for company!

Did you know that one of my favorite things 
to do after giving a tea for friends 
is to wash up all of the 
tea luncheon’s dishes and all of the silverplate 
while listening to music and 
watching birds 
peck seeds at the bird feeders outside?

I still do that here at our Tiny House, 
now I just have to turn around and 
sip a cup of tea while peering out the 
sitting area window.
Is birdwatching a favorite for you, too??

A favorite setting with the rose plates and bowls brought back from England along with my
great~grandmother’s crystal bowl passed down to the daughters. My daughter will be the
fifth generation to have it grace her tables! 

The lake here attracts so many species of birds
than we ever had at our bird feeders back in Murrieta!
Juncos, towhees (really large brown birds with barrel tummies!), 
field and Nevada sparrows, blackbirds, 
crows, ravens (so enormous and they love sunflower seeds!).

I’m sorry I don’t have any good photographs 
of the towhees for you today.
They are rather shy birds and I’ll just 
have to be sneaky this summer and 
set up the camera the evening before
so I can nab pics early in the mornings
through our sitting area window!

What kinds of birds are attracted 
to your backyard?
Let me know as I love hearing
about everyone’s feathered friends!
I hope you enjoy having them visit you.
(I know you do!)

Pieces of a cake we had at the “Snowman Tea” I gave for friends a few years back.
I Love birds on china, too! 
This is a set of dessert plates I bring out each winter
to celebrate special occasions with
and also “just because days.”
You may have seen this set at the big stores like
which is where I believe I bought a few of these 
at an after-Christmas sale.
Some came years later from
I would stack them in our cupboard and use them
myself for tea and muffins in the mornings
and for special dinners
with the family.
So pretty and fun for every occasion!
My daughter also likes to use them
for her breakfasts.
A cement piece I’ve had for many years ~ still looking to create something with it!
Anyway, Just a look back at some
“pretties” dressed in whites and silver  
from Our Home to Yours!

Please “Share”, “Like” and sign~up as a 
“French Ethereal Friend” if you’d like to receive more of my ramblings.
Thank you ever so much! 
Let me know what things interest you and
 things I could talk about or 
help you learn to do.

Blessings to you, always,
Sharing with ~
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage

Boxing Day Boating Adventure

ethereal egret!
“Hello, when you get done with your shift, 
would you like to go out for a boat ride?”
“Of course!!!”

Saturday morning,
the day after
I was working up in the kiosk helping 
check in 
brave enough to weather the 30 degrees 
in hopes of catching 
“The Big One”
striped bass, trout and other freshwater fish
in the clear, cold waters of 
Lake Skinner…
When a call came in…
It was for me!

{Sorry Ladies, he’s taken!!!}

One of our rangers called to ask if I’d like to go out on the lake
for a boat ride!!!
I had just brought my camera up that morning to shoot some shots
out front of the kiosk
when there would be a lull in folks
coming to the lake
with the lovely “white light” that I like.

Rangers here go out on the lake
to check on fishermen
to look for any problems.
Today, tho?
It was just pure magic!

telephoto shot
water treatment plant along the northeastern shore

interesting angles

the first shot of our cormorant…
a cormorant in flight ~ so ethereal!

When I was done with my shift, 
I met Ranger Tyler
down at the boating ramp
and off we headed out on the water in a sweet T-style motorized boat.
(see how technical I am… huh?)

These are the highlights 
the day’s photo shoot…

May this little montage
photos bring you a little peace
in the beginning of this
New Year!