Our Belated Christmas Home Tour

Christmas day has just passed, the busy craziness of getting ready for the season is hopefully done for most of us, and now is a time of respite…

Here at The Manor, our door is still quietly surrounded with colorful twinkling fairy lights as well as a pretty lit wreath…

Hubby brought a bunch of poinsettias from a big box store’s Black Friday sales and some have gone to new homes as Christmas gifts. Such a nice way to say hello and I love you to friends so dear!!!

Come inside and enjoy our living room! Even not quite finished and late on a school night, it was fun to snap a few photographs as the Christmas decorations were brought out and the regular decor put away…

A tree skirt was fashioned from an old double bed bedskirt. An antique English child’s school chair pulled out for our soon-to-visit grandson… He did touch it but didn’t climb on it this time.

I love that now two generations of Chapmans have enjoyed this little chair!

He did sit in a very old one, though! Originally a handmade rocking chair from the 1870’s, I bought it in Carlsbad, California on one of my first antiquing expeditions when I had a day off from apartment managing, when we first moved to Southern California with the US Marine Corps. I think I bought this chair in 1989 and I immediately knew I’d weave a seat for it!

I found a spool of calico trim, which has some padding inside the length of it. I used the whole spool running the trim first one direction then back across perpendicularly. I made all kinds of home furnishings back then as a newlywed!

This year’s decor all began with the mantel… Quiet decor with just woodland animals and little Christmas trees, it was perfect with simple greenery tucked in and around each little figure!

Setting the tone for the rest of the room’s decorations:

  • the aforementioned woodland animals up on the fireplace mantel and soft sculpture animals I’ve collected since high school sitting along the hearth and around the Christmas tree
  • the little children’s chairs
  • coloring books and story books for gifts
  • a very simply decorated tree with lights and just a very few non-breakable ornaments
Mr. Ethereal enjoyed our early family Christmas, too! New stockings
welcomed everyone home!

My original plan to bring down all the boxes of family ornaments went awry… Hubby has travelled since late September almost every week to California on business, so… I didn’t have anyone to help me bring down the boxes. Our son and I talked about his helping me the week before they drove down. But when it came down to it, the tree was pretty just with the very few paper houses and churches, a Nordic Christmas star with a little straw reindeer inside it, and one snowflake garland placed casually across the tree’s midsection.

Sometimes simple is best. 🙂

And what do you think of my husband’s creative gift wrapping?? That’s my Christmas surprise inside that red throw and two belts…

More about that another day. ;)’

But for now…

The Chapman family ~ Amy, Peter, Justine and Milo, me and Charles

From our family to yours,

Happiest of Christmases and a Happy New Year!

Barb 🙂


Two Small Gardens in Northern California

Welcome back, dear friends! While I was in California with my husband for my father-in-law’s funeral, we were blessed to visit some of the sweetest gardens I walked by on my morning walks where my mother-in-law lives and also a visit to her neighbors’ gorgeous backyard.

The Tiki Bar garden

This fun garden has been in the works for many years and is the backyard and side garden of neighbors and friends, Gordon and Liz. The family likes to entertain here and just come outside in the evenings for a cold beverage.

The Tiki Bar

I love that Gordon used all kinds of recycled materials in this build!

Their backyard is a fun place to visit and Mr. Ethereal and I enjoyed a family dinner here this evening. Thankfully the sun was going down at 6:00pm and breezes were beginning to blow in from San Francisco Bay over the mountains… It was 97 degrees this day! A perfect time to come sit out back and enjoy the evening.

I would be totally remiss if I didn’t share the family’s cutest and friendliest dog ~ a Havanese mix named Teddy!!

Teddy is the sweetest dog and is just so happy to have visitors come over. He absolutely loves our nephew Corey! Just a love!!!

My favorite part of this garden includes the pond and the plants which surround it… Set into the pond itself is this pretty hibiscus. The small gates help keep Teddy and a relative safe.

This gorgeous kniphofia, or hot poker, is stunning with its ombré flowers…

Definition of kniphofia

1capitalizeda genus of showy African herbs (family Liliaceae) having clumps of long radical leaves and tall scapes of red or yellow drooping flowers with reflexed perianths.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary online

Love the tropical vibe!

And of course some sweet geraniums… Geraniums and pelargoniums grow really, really well in California with its Mediterranean climate. Gordon and Liz keep most of their plants in containers so they can easily move them around when the sun gets too hot in an area.

My Mother-in-law’s front garden

Of all the cleaning we did, taking tons of metal scrap over to the recycler (Mr. E and our son drove it over) and power-washing the house, and sweeping up tons of sharp scrub and coastal live oak leaves…

I took NO photographs of the side yard either before or after. I was just busy getting leaves picked up for my MIL and clearing out old, broken clay pots, scraps and worn out plastic pots for her. She is seriously thinking of selling the house, which is one of the big reasons why I decided to fly home after-all. I knew I could really help her clean.

The big geranium garden out front of her home. Some of these were transplants from my garden at our Big House in Murrieta, California. Geraniums when broken off root easily!

My big gift was to repot some plants for her small hanging garden out front. 🙂 We had driven over to Lowe’s and I picked up a couple of small bags of potting soil, two 14″ core fiber basket liners, and some Espoma fertilizers for her. I’ve been learning a lot from Garden Answer on organic fertilizers in general so it was nice to introduce these to Gini. 🙂

Then I went-to-town that afternoon soaking the plants really well, recycling the current fiber basket liners to make two good ones, and potting up the four baskets. I meant to take a photograph of the front porch when it was all done, but must have got sidetracked…

Here’s how this little geranium looked beforehand. Hanging on (because geraniums are really drought tolerant) but could use a little TLC. 😉 You can see the redwood tree which Hubby’s grandfather planted when we was young. It is about 50 years old now.

Entertaining at its best!

And there we are! Just a special time out in the garden… And a big thank you to Liz and Gordon for having us all over for dinner and for their hospitality!

Happy Sunday, everyone,

Barb 🙂


Setting a Beautiful Summer Table with Dolly Madison China…

Happy Tuesday, friends! It’s time for another Pinterest Challenge hosted by my friend Cindy of County Road 407, thank you Cindy!! If you are just coming over from Laura at Everyday Edits and/or are new to French Ethereal, welcome! I am so glad you all came today as this month our theme is Summer Tablescapes, something dear to my heart…

Our inspiration photo from Sanctuary Home Decor

My takeaway

I love Karen’s table set out on her back patio for a summertime meal! It is so pretty with all the whitewashed wood of her table and chairs, and the pretty soft cream and soft pink peonies.

The flowers look like they are floating above the table set in their clear glass bottles ~ really ethereal!

Her table looks like it is set for a light meal featuring soup and sourdough bread ~ perfect when it it hot outside and we often don’t feel much like eating a big meal.

Blue mophead hydrangeas from my garden

My table

I began my table with spreading out this small summertime quilt given to me by my mother a long time ago, if I remember correctly. She found it at a local church bazaar in Connecticut.

I love all the yellows, greens and pops of red and pink and roses and it is a perfect complement to all of the rose-covered china.

All of the tableware with the exception of the Crown Dorset teapot (right, covered in dark and lighter pink roses, green leaves and smaller yellow roses), was a new gift from my mother-in-law Gini, who is out here visiting with my sister-in-law Jodi and nephew Corey from California.

My husband and mother-in-law at our wedding in 1987.

I have a patio outback but we’ve been cooking outdoors and there is no beautiful grass out there, just dirt, so I chose to stay indoors with my tablescape this time. 🙂

I set the table then realized I hadn’t brought out any clear glassware so I reshot some photos and they will be intermixed.

Collecting vintage china

This vintage china is called Dolly Madison by Castleton and there are enough placesettings for 9 guests. I love the simple centered dark pink rose set into each plate and on each side of the teacups. Next to their IOOF lodge in Sacramento, California, they open a thriftshop on the weekends once a month, I think, and she found these pretty pieces there.

The chocolate pot my mother-in-law also found at the same thriftshop and it is stunning! I have always wanted one and this one is unmarked except for KW 5634. It appears to be an antique French piece and is bone china with gilding around the teapots upper and lower scalloped edges.

Love all of these pieces!!!

Here is our table all set and with several of the remaining hydrangea blooms in small glass containers surrounding the main teapot vase…

We had a loaf of French bread so it is in here, too, helping recreate the look of our inspiration piece.

A sweet table set for sweet thoughtful family!…

I’ve used my older and almost vintage Simply Shabby Chic handkerchief napkins underneath my silverware. These are no longer available but you might find them online or at your local estate sales and thrift stores. 🙂

New plants are settling in nicely outdoors. I’ll share a summer update on the garden soon.

And that’s my recreation of today’s lovely tablescape!

Thank you so much for visiting today! Continuing the tour, we head back up top to visit Cindy at County Road 407. And, here is the list with everyone participating today if you like to jump around, too… 😉

Enjoy all these incredible tablescapes,

Barb 🙂

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


A Bit O’ Silliness for St. Paddy’s Day!

“Top of the morning to ya! Will ye be having corned beef and cabbage for supper, deary? And how about a green shake to go with it from the Golden Arches place??”

“My goat friend and I are enjoying a ramble about yer roses and Old Ophelia bleats her pleasure of your fields of grass, we thank ye!”

Hello there! Just A little bit of decorating fun here for St. Paddy’s Day. 😉 I found this happy little leprechaun ornament at Hobby Lobby (I think) at Christmas time. He jumped right into my cart, he did! (Bless your heart for putting up with my Tom Foolery.)

I thought I’d pull out a few of my decorations and make us a little St. Paddy’s Day vignette. The Valentine’s napkin I made while we were living in the RV was still on the table has fun hearts on it, which seem just right since this little wee gentleman sends his love! So it is our base then I added the tall birdhouse (part of another vignette beginning), a sparkly candle in a favorite Limoge berry bowl for somewhere for Mr. L to sit upon.

The shamrock sign in back is something I found at a dollar store while on a school field walking-trip along with another similar one out in California, the last year we were in our Big House. It is perfect as a mini backdrop! The pewter creamer is part of a small set of creamer, sugar, and oval tray my mother gave us for a wedding present back 34 years ago. It is from Woodbury Pewter in Woodbury, Connecticut, where my parents lived, in their last home into retirement.

And here’s a poem I found for the occasion…

The Faeries by William Allingham

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watchdogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and grey
He’s nigh lost his wits.

With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with the music
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of fig-leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hillside,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
For my pleasure, here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite,
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather!

Nana’s Corner had a fun list of Leprechaun poems, too!

Okay, technically The Faeries is a Scottish poem by William Allingham, but the “wee folks” part seemed apropos for our little leprechaun. ;)’

A Wee Bit of the Irish…

Well, how many of us have Irish ancestry?? I just looked mine up again on Ancestry.com and I am at 34% roughly (32-39% range) and another 53% Scots, and the rest (13%) is from the “Anglish” with some Swiss and Brittany/French showing up on the map nowadays! How about you?

I have a silly story to tell about when my Grandmother Helen came out to visit us in our last family home in Shingle Springs, California back in 1975 or so. Grammy and my mom would do this schtick, as if they were at a family member’s wake…

“Oh, look at him lyin’ there, so peaceful like,” said Grammy.

“Yes, don’t he just?” Mom responded.

I would just totally laugh at them! I can’t remember anymore than that, but they were funny together. I wish I could remember more of what they said but it’s just been too many years. They were rolling that day!

I do wish I could have known my grandmother more. She was funny! She was 5′ 2″ tall.

Not the best photograph, but not too bad considering I shot it off the refrigerator! Grammy and me riding the swan boats at Easter time, 1973-74, before we moved to Hawaii.

During the same visit, Mom and Grammy were staring up our fireplace mantel and making jokes when Grammy said “Just put me up on the mantel and talk to me sometimes,” still in her Irish brogue.

Our family has strange humor…

Oh! Back then, do you remember when we all said, when something was yucky, “Oooh, gross!” Grammy didn’t like that because her maiden name was Gross (like floss). That was a favorite phrase of mine then. 🙂

Well, while researching, I found out that Helen’s maiden name of Gross leads back to a couple named Le Gross, so they must have changed their name as they emigrated to something less French. Maybe they were hiding?? Who knows!…

Maybe that’s where the Brittany comes in… Lesser royals?? They did emigrate just after the American Revolutionary and into the French Revolutionary time periods (I knew it!!!) Okay, now I’m dreaming!!!

Must be the faery dust… (Silly Leprechaun!!!)

Well, enough silliness for the day! 😉



Gramma Kate’s Vintage Tricycle…

Going home  is always a little bittersweet, isn’t it… We love to revisit memories of family times together and places we have lived. We enjoy seeing how places have stayed the same and how they have been updated, how neighborhoods have changed. Coming home this time involved a lot of remembrances of times with my father-in-love, a whole bunch of cleaning and organizing, as well as trashing out things which needed to go. 

One of my favorite things from this trip, after spending my first morning there sweeping cobwebs off the house and its eves ~ here in the Sacramento area ~ was playing with Great-Gramma Kate’s vintage tricycle…

Overblown lighting but still fun!
Will have to pull into Lightroom and edit… 😉

Mr. Ethereal was busy cutting back several oleander bushes hanging over from the neighbors’ yard. Vintage wood ready for projects, cut out pattern pieces for a rocking horse and two donkey carts, antique woodworking tools and steamer trunks were part of the detritus dragged out from the large backyard shed. Many of the tools in that shed ~ the wood staves for shaving logs and different size hand-drills and planers ~ were over 100 years old and belonged originally to Raymond Fudge, Pete’s father-in-law.

The oleander cuttings had been dragged out onto the lawn to prep for the garden recycle bins and that’s where I found them… 

And this amazing vintage tricycle was among those treasures

found near that big metal shed! 

Thinking of other friends who have photographed bicycles
popped into my mind and the fun began! 

I love the sweetness of this old tricycle and I remember Kate and how kind she was. She was a track runner in her high school days and the girls on her track team competed against other local school girls during a short season of track and field during the 1920’s.  There were no state meets during those days.
Kate was a long-jumper and triple-jumper and I think she also played basketball. She had long legs and was tall at 5’10”. I am sorry I can’t download a photograph of Kate but my computer is being finicky. 

Gramma Gini’s roses bloom in the background and the old cherry tree stands to the left.
I can imagine Kate tooling around town with this tricycle along Rancho Cordova’s city sidewalks heading to the library or the grocery store or out to rides with friends along the American River back in the 1980’s. Kate could get there by the old tressle bridge which spans the river in Fair Oaks, which she lived right near. 

A favorite!
I think she would have enjoyed seeing her bicycle basket 
filled with bright pink and white flowers!!!

A bit of silliness made all the cleaning worthwhile…

All edited… Hope this post was fun for you, too! 💝

Thanks for visiting today,


For My Father-in-Law Pete…

I haven’t  been online for a week now. We made it home from South Dakota a week ago Wednesday around 6:00p.m., picked up Yoda from boarding at the veterinary, and came home to begin laundry… A typical coming home. The next morning we received the call that my father-in-love had passed away… 

Pete Chapman at our Texas house in July 2019. 

Pete about age 5 with his sister-in-law Dorrace Wilson Chapman ~ 
about 1945. Photo courtesy of Mary Ellen Hockensmith.

So we finished the laundry, Charles packed the car, we made plans for Yoda to go back into boarding, and began the 1700+ mile drive on Friday to Northern California.

photograph courtesy Mary Ellen (Shull) Hockensmith ~ 
Pete is the baby right in front.

Charles R. “Pete” Chapman, Sr. was born on June 2nd, 1940. While we were home, my mother-in-love Gini wanted to have a birthday party for him. My SIL Jodi had planned a surprise 80th birthday party for him but with the pandemic she had to cancel that plan. He would have enjoyed the surprise!

Neighbors towards the rear, friend Debbie Carriker, nephew Corey on BBQ detail, and Gini Chapman visiting with neighbors and friends who came. We all social distanced but at this point everyone has been staying home so no one is sick.

Pete was five days short of turning 80 years… Here he is as a baby around 1941. So cute!

photo courtesy Mary Ellen Hockensmith ~ I see
our grandson Milo in Pete’s baby picture.

Pete was one of five children born into a farming family in Berryville, Virginia. He loved the car scene of the 1950’s and worked on cars himself for family and friends. He has a famous nephew Edd Shull who was head of the Republican party back in the 1970’s. Edd’s mother, Nellie, is Pete’s older sister by 20 years. Pete was born 15 years after his next oldest brother. He and Edd grew up together.

Clarke County High School – 1959 graduate

He played football in high school and his team went onto win their conference league, what we would now consider as winning the state meet. 

He looks sooo young in his high school portrait!

He was recruited by the Washington Redskins as a running back, but after talking with his father about the offer, his father convinced him that it wasn’t a solid career idea. Pete once told me that he would have earned $7000 playing for the Redskins. He went into the United States Air Force as a fireman shortly thereafter serving during the Korean War in Alaska and at Stead AFB, Reno, Nevada. He made $700 then, 1/10th what he would have made playing football. I forget if that was per month or per year. Hindsight… (Always the way, huh?) 

He never regretted it, though, because…

photo courtesy Gini Chapman

Pete met Gini at a USO dance in Reno as she had gone to high school in Truckee, California. She came with someone else but Pete stole her heart! They married 56 days later… 


My father-in-law finished up his 3 years with the USAF, my husband was born while they were in Reno. Then Pete and Gini moved back to Virginia where he had once worked as a gravedigger for  his older brother (Chapman Construction) in high school. Jodi was born two years later.

Gini told me a funny story that Pete once ran over a box of dynamite and a box of blasting caps with one of the company trucks! Somebody had left them in the wrong spot and luckily they weren’t attached to each other. He also had the brakes go out on a company dump truck and his brother blamed him for that though it was just faulty brakes.  

He worked for over 30 years as a manager for Morgan Tire Company when they moved to California. Gini’s family was from California and Pete’s brother worked at Mather AFB. Morgan Tire was in downtown Sacramento and my husband worked there for 6 years while in high school and college. 

When I met Pete, he and Gini owned their own coffeeshop in Rancho Cordova, California, called “The Back Burner.” They have lived in RC for 53 years now and were married 58 years.

Pete was a natural-born salesman and worked in his later years for Sam’s Club serving pizza and other product samples to customers before that all went private (their loss!). He then worked as an installer for a start-up coffee business putting machines and product in local AM/PM and gas stations ~ “Cappuccinos To Go.” Always willing to help a friend, he built fences, took older friends grocery shopping or out to eat. 

Bill Brown ~ Pete’s best friend

He was best friends with his neighbor of 56 years, Bill Brown, and his wife Mary before she passed from Alzheimer’s. Bill’s death last year while they were out visiting us hit Pete really hard. I think this was a deciding factor in Pete’s passing.

He and Gini cooked many meals for church members over the years, for the Odd Fellows and Rebekah pancake breakfasts which benefited local youth, and volunteered singing and playing guitar for Sunday worship services. Pete was always serving.

Something goofy like Pete would say…

He’d fix your washer or dryer (like mine) and always call and check up on you. I’ll miss him terribly…

Thank you for being my father-in-law,

Remembering on Memorial Day…

Memorial Day… A time of reflection for those military members who have lost their lives during times of war. Poppies are placed on graves and given out by veterans at grocery stores to anyone who wishes one, a symbol of love and remembrance…

We watch our nation’s president lay a wreath every year at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and I love honoring our fallen this way! I miss that this year there are few if any parades with older veterans walking the streets of their communities and in downtown Washington, DC, being applauded for their service. Biker veterans did ride to our nation’s capitol and I am glad that they visited there this week with President Trump. I think our nation will come out in droves as we are allowed to host parades again!

Reddish-pink bougainvillea with a sky-blue Pacific Ocean in the background.

Often I feel that our countries’ citizens have forgotten to honor our president and the leaders over our country. They are constantly bashed on most media channels. Pray for your leaders and all who are in authority. They need our prayers and honor. It is a great and terrible responsibility to head a nation and, yes, they will blunder. They are human, after all. I do think we should show respect for the president, no matter if we like his or her politics.

 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Hebrews 13:17, Berean Study Bible

Red poppies and red roses…

We are celebrating Memorial Day over in the Mt. Rushmore area this weekend. Even with the pandemic still going on in small pockets here and there, we shouldn’t be afraid to live life… 
I learned this long ago, on this very date, the day my first fiancé died when two farm workers turned their small pickup truck into his path as he rode his bicycle down a long hill on his way to work…
Keep celebrating LIFE friends. Our service men and women died trying to protect our lives, our freedoms. Celebrate their sacrifice and honor them with living…

People will continue getting sick throughout this pandemic, but 98-99% are recovering, and I read somewhere that a virus has to affect 50% of a population in order for it to then die off. The 50% “rule” (for lack of a better word) means that the virus then will keep coming into contact with people who already have or have had the virus thereby not finding new hosts, so it dies off. 

I am happy to keep honoring our military members who fell in wartime and because of acts of war or terrorism. My friend Rob, was a very important friend (and coworker) while I was dealing with the loss of my first fiancé. We took a vacation over to Hawaii in the fall meeting up with friends who were competing in the Ironman Triathlon. While we were on Oahu visiting places I had lived in and had visited as a young girl, when my father and family were stationed there, we rode our bicycles up to Punch Bowl Cemetery and found Rob’s uncle’s gravesite. 

His uncle died during the bombing at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. It was an honor to be there with Rob visiting for his whole family.

*The lead photograph of my father, then a captain with the United States Air Force, was taken in 1966 while my father was home between two tours in Vietnam. We moved Concord, Mass. after he returned and then to Hawaii in 1970.

A couple of years ago I helped lay a wreath for fallen military members at the courthouse in Denton, Texas, with my friends from the IOOF Rebekahs. This is a small vacation but also a time of remembrance.

Cooking at our Prairie Home.

So on this Memorial Day, Mr. Ethereal and I will celebrate watching memorial services on t.v. as we often do. We walked up last evening to two places: the second was to a fun place ~ Dinosaur Park in Rapid City, opened in 1936. It was quite a hike going up the pink sandstone steps but the 270 degree views of the city from west, north to east were beautiful! (As were the small mixed herd of dinos! 😉 )

We are also going up to see the Crazy Horse Memorial later on today and walked among Rapid City, South Dakota’s Presidents Walk last evening (the first thing we did after dinner)… Very few people are out and about, which made social distancing easy.

The Presidents Walk is a neat walking tour of bronze statues located on Downtown Rapid City’s street corners, donated by family and friends to the city. (I will do a post featuring many of these statues soon!)

Thanks for taking the time to read my post here today. If you enjoy Memorial Day posts you may enjoy these also…

Enjoy your Memorial Day, friends, and enjoy being with your family members! I am looking forward to reading your Memorial Day memories throughout this next week… 💝

Love and hugs,

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day  friends! For this Mother’s Day I thought I’d share a few photographs of my mother (and her family) with you of when she was young…

In 2010 when my youngest brother Tom, his wife Kim and my other sister-in-law Linnea cleaned out my mother and father’s last home, Kim asked if I’d like this photograph of my mother. She was 3 years old here when this portrait was taken.  I remember Mom saying that the photographer was trying to get her to do something, and that’s why she has this funny look on her face. 

We have a lot of Scottish ancestry in our background and I love seeing Mom’s big wide-set hazel eyes here! 

Whenever we all smile, our eyes crinkle and look slanted. That’s the Scots thing I was referring to here. 💖

“You know Moms are without a doubt a mix of sugar and magic.”

Joyce Olsen, At Home With Jemma.com 

Flash forward to 1962 and Mom is 23 years old and I am just born. It looks like springtime (no snow, short sleeve shirt) so maybe I was 3 mos. old here??

I find this photograph so apropos since our little grandson Milo was just born. He is a cutie patootie and I wonder who he will look like as he grows older. He will be 5 weeks old this week! I love the sense of wonder on his little face as he “sees someone inside that box (phone) talking and waving at him!”

Peter and his little M, 3 weeks old

I was just looking at Milo’s photo I screenshot from a FaceTime call a couple of weeks ago and he has the sweetest widow’s peak!!! He’s so cute!!!  I just want to chomp his chubby cheeks! (Guess this must be a grandmother thing… Lol!)

I didn’t have much hair back then… Looks like I have a mohawk! 😉
My brother Frank is named for my Grampa Frank, my mother’s father. Here we are in Centerville, Ohio at my parents first home, probably back in summer of 1963. Frank was about 6 months old at this time and I would have been 18 mos. old. 

Here is Gramma Helen, my mother’s mother, and me on the swan boat in Boston (Charleston Harbor?), around Easter 1970 before we moved to Hawaii that summer.

The past couple of years I shared Mom’s letters and her watch that Grampa Frank gave her.  She wore it for many, many years. I also shared a post when it would have been her birthday.

And a couple of years ago I shared my mother-in-law Gini and her family. Have I ever shared with you that both my mother and mother-in-law are Ginny and Gini?? My mother was Virginia Mary and Charles’ mother is Mary Virginia. It’s a God thing… 


Gene and Gini, New York City 1986

Here is one of the last formal photos of both of my parents together. Usually one or the other was behind the camera so it is nice to have this one of Mom and Dad. 

Missing you, Mama Bear!
Sharing with

Enjoy this special post,

Introducing Little Milo!!!

Introducing Milo DonovanChapman, our first grandson, who was born a week ago Monday. He is 20″ tall and weighed a good 7 lbs. 3 oz. then. Justine and Peter are very happy parents, although quite tired, as we all remember those days! They are having fun beginning this new journey adjusting to having a baby at home, and their two dogs are getting to know little Milo, too. Peter keeps posting pics every few days, which keeps this grandma very happy!

It wasn’t that long ago that they were announcing their pregnancy and this coming summer marks just four quick years since their 2016 wedding.

Then two years ago they drove down to visit us at the trailer…

We flew up to visit them later that fall and I shared a post about visiting an apple orchard and their fun transitional style!

Now we get to enjoy this little guy as he learns about his world!
Although Gramma and Grampa Ethereal can’t drive up and visit yet, we get to enjoy little Milo via FaceTime and a photograph here and there. 

Gramma’s little family screenshot…

Love this little guy so much already! I am grateful they all are healthy and that Justine was allowed to have Peter there with her as Milo was born.

Bandit checking out his new playmate and less furry brother. 

Funny story ~ Peter was born when our Golden Retriever Skeeter was four years old and as Peter grew he learned about playing fetch with his Golden buddy. Peter’s first words weren’t the usual Mama or Dada, they were Dog and Ball. I wonder what Milo’s will be??

My favorite picture so far!
Welcome Sweet One!
Gramma C.

*If you haven’t seen Milo’s little Sloth Quilt you can find out how to make one for your little ones here. Thanks for stopping by! 💖


Joyeax 32ème Anniversaire de Mariage!

Once again another wedding anniversary has come around as Mr. Ethereal and I celebrate our 32nd. This has been a good year for us with moving into our new home, visiting with our daughter in June, beginning a new job (me) and some exciting news I have yet to share!

Our fair maiden wearing my wedding veil…
I never got a post out for my parents’ wedding anniversary this year but on 9-19-19 they would have celebrated their 60th. I often wish that they could have lived long enough to see their grandchildren grow up. They never knew about my youngest brother and his wife’s adopted daughter. But, then again, she wouldn’t be a part of the family if our mother hadn’t passed. Bittersweet reality…

I’ve shared Mom and Dad’s wedding portrait before but it is always a favorite!
Here they are 37 years later. Most likely this is Christmas time of 1996. Bayer-AGFA held a company Christmas party in New York City with other divisions of Bayer Corporation (Miles, Mobay and Cutter Laboratories ~ the latter where my father began working for the company in 1979 in the Bay Area, California). 

Just a week ago Hubby and I went car shopping and were offered a great deal on a new Audi Q5 so I guess that is our anniversary and Christmas present for this and several years! I haven’t driven it much but it does have good pep. The car Charles had been driving these past nine years was beginning to nickel and dime us, so it was time to replace it.  🙂

This is us two years ago.
From the IOOF Downton Abbey-Roaring 1920’s dinner.
Just a few physical changes since then…  Like where the heck did this neck thing come from?? But other than that we are happy and enjoying this stage in our lives.
Back to more post pics…
The living room library table is freshly polished and shares some family photographs from when my brothers, parents and I were young. The only other of my parents’ wedding photographs that I have is featured here. 
A first photograph of my younger brother Gene and his then girlfriend Linnea is here, too (lower left). They have been married just three months less than we have and have three grown children.
Love this vignette of family photographs plus two favorite postcards! I have had these cards for as long as we have been married ~ and they have always been in these two frames.
Here’s to many more anniversaires! Oh… and that exciting news I wanted to share with you?
Justine is about 8 weeks along as of three weeks ago.
Our son Peter and daughter-in-love Justine are expecting!!!
If you haven’t seen a few photos from their wedding those can be found here.
A new and first grand-baby is on its way! We are very excited for this sweet baby’s announcement!!! A wonderful anniversary present indeed especially for Mr. Ethereal’s parents, who will now be great-grandparents.
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