Sunday Sentiments: A Quiet Wintertime Mantel Vignette…

I like wintertime just after Christmas when we still have vacation time away from work and we can sit back and truly relax. This wintertime mantel vignette reflects this special quiet time…

I have wanted to do a layering vignette for a while with different picture frames. Our mantel top is fairly narrow so I can’t put too many pieces up there but I am pretty pleased with this arrangement. I channeled my inner Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home for this mantel who is always decorating with empty picture frames and mirrors!

Here is one of her recent layerings:

Collecting and Decorating: Antique and Vintage Frames

Since I pulled out a bunch of white ironstone and creamware pieces paired with blue and white china in the hutch in the dining room for winter, I thought I’d go the other way with pink and white vintage Haviland Limoges pieces up here.

This chalk-painted frame came from a local thriftshop here in Denton, TX with this lovely print of a vintage colorized photograph. I love the older French-European style clothing of this mother and child and their sweet cuddles. Were they immigrants coming to a New World? Were they still living in their native European land?

To me, everything on this mantel speaks of another time when life was simpler and loveliness and beautiful items were things one wished to share with others when friends and family came to call…

Winter whites with just small florals and a bit of greenery in the little moss topiaries is all that is needed…

A bit of Grace and Peace to you this Sunday evening!

Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship falls. A mother’s secret love outlives them all.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Simplicity, a slower pace, vintage peacefulness…

Thanks for stopping by today,



Sunday Sentiments ~ Leaves

Sunday Sentiments this week shares more of what’s going on here at our little French Ethereal home… First off I’d like to share that Leaves is a metaphor for life and I am really feeling it with the loss of my first cousin Joanne Pimentel Garlock early on the morning of October 31st, this year. Even though we haven’t lived close-by since our family moved from Hanscom Field, Concord, Massachusetts to Oahu, Hawaii back in 1970, Joanne and her brothers and sisters have always been a huge part of my life. 

Always there to visit with through cards and letters, phone calls to their mom (when they all lived at home) at Christmas, and these past 10 years or so with the many photographs and stories shared with the genius invention of Facebook. We have become closer and I got to join their childhood memories whenever one of the six kids (plus my other two cousins) would share favorite stories of their growing-up.

photograph courtesy the Pimentel and Garlock families
Joanne lived a happy life traveling the world during her 20 career with the United States Air Force but these past few years she missed her husband Paul very much, who pre-deceased her. Now she can be home with him… My cousin Bill (her second youngest brother) wrote in a lovely tribute saying how much Joanne loved fall and its leaves ~ hence the title of this post ~ and their brother Mark sent her a box stuffed with New Hampshire’s fall foliage finest in mid-October, just in time for one last present to Joanne and her home in North Carolina! 

God says that “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” in 2 Corinthians 5:8 (my paraphrase) was taken from this lovely passage and I feel confident that Joanne is happily “Home.” She was a Christian and believer.

6Therefore we are always confident, although we know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord. 7For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So we aspire to please Him, whether we are here in this body or away from it.        

                 Paul to the people of Corinth ~ 2 Cor. 5, Berean Study Bible

Time keeps passing and I know I feel it in my stiff joints, muscles that ache now working with kids from tough home situations. Some days I am ready to go Home, too. How about you?

If you haven’t talked to God in a while, He is always there ready to listen, ready for you to be another friend in His wonderful kingdom. I would ask you not to put off accepting Christ as time keeps ticking onward and none of us are getting any younger. 

Loving the beginnings of this next flowerbed!

Out in the garden

The garden is coming along and I posted a little about it this past week. I drove back up to BandB Stone again on Friday and picked up more chop stone to finish this bed and I’ll share more of that this coming week.

Anyway, I hope you are all well and enjoying a little rest this fall! I’ve been keeping up with blogging but I feel like I am not managing it all very well. The kids at school are really combative and it is taking its toll on my body and mind. Did you know that people with mental health distress don’t get dizzy when they are spun around??? I didn’t either but when on a particularly bad day I came home so frazzled, I tried it. 

I didn’t get dizzy! Weird, huh?

It’s because when your head is “already spinning.” the mind doesn’t feel the affects of spinning. Just one of the cool things about motor learning function…

And that’s where we will leave this Sunday Sentiments for today. I am happy as our daughter will be driving up to stay a few days with us!  

Happy Sunday to y’all!!!

Love and hugs,

Sunday Sentiments ~ A Special Cross-Stitch Bible Cover

Cross-stitch, needlepoint, knitting and handsewing projects were what I used to do every evening while watching a movie or television from my mid-teens into my 30’s. As I was putting small boxes of craft supplies away this past week, I looked in the bamboo sewing basket my husband shipped back to me for Christmas in 1991 and I found a lost treasure. 

Here is its story…


Oh that my words were written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! ~ Job 19:23

Worked on  14-count Aida cloth over a summer and probably into fall and winter in my late 30’s, this Bible cover was one of the last projects I made in cross-stitch. My children were very young then as this was the later 1990’s ~ a time when I was off-work for eight years where I just enjoyed being with the kids.

Amy, baby Peter and cousin Corey circa 1995.
I wasn’t volunteering yet in their classrooms as they weren’t yet elementary school-age. Our daughter was in pre-school three days a week and eventually our son went twice a week as he turned three.
A photo of a photo (hence the wonky edges!) ~ Breakfast at our first home,
about 1996.
I attended a weekly Bible study at our church in California on Tuesday mornings and the kids went to fun daycare there or to their preschool. During a few summers we helped run a weeklong children’s summer Bible camp at the church and one summer at our house for local children to attend. 
Those were fun days!
My love of soft pastels haven’t changed over the years… and roses!
I remember I didn’t size this Bible cover then to fit my Bible because I had found this angel zip cover one instead. It had a pocket to hold papers given out at weekly services plus it zipped closed. The beautiful cover stayed preserved in my sewing box all these years until coming out this week. 
Perhaps with a pretty French toile print inside that I have had stored away as well, this cover would look lovely as more of a display piece instead of for an everyday working Bible. We have an older Bible which is falling apart and this cover would be perfect to cover it! 
Bringing beauty to something now shabby making it lovely again…
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Happy Sunday!


Sunday Sentiments ~ Fill My Cup, Lord

Sunday Sentiments  this month is about giving our best. I was invited to a friend’s birthday party and last minute I realized I hadn’t picked up a present. What is one to do? Look for a treasure of one’s own to pass on… 🙂

My friend Carrie is the same friend whom I shared a post about organizing her trailer when we lived at Wagon Master RV Park. I helped to re-organize her kitchen and her trailer’s closets over a couple of weeks and this little bit of kindness really helped my friend!

July is her birthday month and as I previously mentioned I did not have a gift for her, so… I shopped my home! In my corner-round display hutch I have probably 50+ teacups and saucers. Mr. Ethereal and I are seriously looking at all the items we had shipped back to Texas from our two storage units. What should stay and what should go? More and more is heading into the garage for a future garage sale, and rightly these things should pass on to new homes.  😉

I do love this teacup set with its expression of faith but I thought my friend would enjoy it more. Carefully I wrapped up this green, tan and pink set placing it inside a pretty gift bag. I found a perfectly new journal already tied with a bow that I had never used and placed that inside the bag, too.

Time came for the birthday party and Carrie was thrilled with all the lovely gifts she received from her friends! She now lives in a group home so these sweet gifts from friends will be happy mementos for her.

“Like the woman at the well, I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy.
And then I heard my Savior speaking—
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.” 

Fill my cup, Lord; I lift it up Lord;
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.

There are millions in this world who are seeking
For pleasures earthly goods afford.
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

So my brother if the things that this world gives you
Leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you
If you kneel to Him and humbly pray—”

hymn by Richard Blanchard, 1925 – 2004

I am happy to give Carrie a special memory of the teas we shared at the park after our walks on cold and rainy days. We both miss those sweet and precious times.

God always finds the right gifts… 🙂

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Happy tea,

Sunday Sentiments ~ Getting Back to the Heart…

Welcome and Happy Sunday!  When I began blogging almost five years ago now I started a Sunday post called Sunday Sentiments… Then Mr. Ethereal lost his job just as my blog was barely getting going and I was devastated. I felt God had pulled the rug out from under me but probably it was more that He propped me up during that time. And it was You Know Who up to his usual worldly tricks…

As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take it, for this is my body.” — Mark 14:22 NLT

God has always been there for Charles and myself through the four times Charles has been laid off (economic turndowns in warehouse management; not for the faint of heart) and the couple of times that I lost mine over these past 33 years. 

I accepted Christ at 11 years old when my parents stopped attending the Catholic church ~ my deaf brother Frank and I found our way along with the Presbyterians then. And we are ever glad that we did!

This summer as a renewed section to my blog, I thought I’d start up Sunday Sentiments again. Not to help heal everyone’s wounds, because in myself I can’t, but to help lead you to the One who can…

God brings great joy after terrible sorrow… 

If an abused dog adopted from a shelter, one who bit and hurt his owners because he (the dog) thought they were competing for his food, or for love, care and comfort, can learn to love and feel secure ~ so can you.

We all hurt. Life IS hurt, and trials. Being a Christian ~ no one said it would be easy. Just looking at the lives of the Apostles they all died for Christ but the rewards were great. They knew where they were going and what they stood for.  🙂

God gives comfort and strength to face those challenges and then…

The Son comes out and we are happy and whole again!

                                                   Jesus Reinstates Peter
15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon   son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”            

                                                  John 21:15-19, New International Version (NIV)

If you have never asked Jesus into your heart, this is a simple prayer taken from one of my favorite authors. I am sure that she, Jan Karon, wouldn’t mind me sharing it with you. 

Spoken by the main character of her Mitford series of books, Father Timothy Kavanagh ~ from Bathed in Prayer: Father Tim’s Prayers, Sermons, and Reflections from the Mitford Series.

‘Have you asked Him to forgive the things you’ve done?’

‘I assure you that God would not want to do that.’

‘Believe it or not, I can promise that He would. In fact, He promises that He will. Would you like to ask Him into your life?’

The stranger stared into the darkened sanctuary. ‘I can’t do it,
I’ve tried.’

It isn’t a test you have to pass. It doesn’t require discipline and intelligence… nor even strength and perseverance. It only requires faith.’

‘I don’t think I’ve got that.’ There was a long silence. ‘But I’d be willing to try… one more time.’

‘Will you pray a simple prayer with me? On faith?’
‘What do I have to lose?’

‘Nothing to lose, everything to gain.’ Father Tim rose from the kneeler and took the short step across the aisle, where he laid his hands on the man’s head.

‘If you could repeat this,’ he said. ‘Thank you, God, for loving me, and for sending your Son to die for my sins. I sincerely repent of my sins, and receive Christ as my personal savior. Now, as your child, I turn my entire life over to you. Amen.’*

The man repeated the prayer, and they were silent.
‘Is that all?’ he asked the rector.

‘That’s all.’

‘I don’t know what I am supposed to feel.’

‘Whatever you feel is exactly what you’re supposed to feel.’

chapter 11, A White Thanksgiving, At Home in Mitford
*Italics are added for emphasis, by me.

It isn’t Christmas today but if you just accepted Christ into your heart, you may feel like it is! For any of us renewing our faith, or just feeling happy being a sister or brother in Christ, it’s always Christmas!

Let’s look at those numbers again, shall we?

We are married 33 years this year ~ the same number of years Jesus was when he died on a cross to be our propitiation ~ to take our wages for sin upon himself. He went in our place; that’s grace.

Today is the 16th of June and my grandmother Helen’s birthdate. She would have been 110 years old, had she lived this long. This week also marks the week my father died, on the 12th of June 1997. The 12th is the date I sat down and began this Sunday Sentiments with the Holy Spirit for you. 

Just some extra cool “coincidences” for you. 😉  Welcome to Sunday Sentiments… 
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Blessings to you,

Sunday Sentiments… Grace

Grace ~
I like the fact that God gives us grace
instead of giving us forever
without Him!

For all the little things we do wrong,
it’s nice to know that we can be forgiven.
Just like a parent who has to
discipline his or her child,
God will discipline us
…but only for a time.

Jesus got us the invitation to the table…
We just have to accept it.
Today’s message at church was from
Hebrews 13:17-25.
The emphasis was on
obeying your church leaders and praying for them
so that their work can be a joy
it comes back to you.

The last scripture in verse 25, the author
(it is thought to be Paul, the apostle)
“Grace be with you all.”
(which is Paul’s signature trademark ending to his writings, usually
saying, “Grace and Peace to you all.”)

So, it stuck with me…
Grace is an ethereal word,
hard to describe…
just like when we see a beautiful painting,
a glowing sunrise or fiery sunset,
sweeping landscapes with blowing grasses
as far as the eye can see,
the sweet look and smile of a child as the parent enters the room,
a happy couple holding hands while walking
along a beach, then sharing a kiss…

It makes us joyful and happy!

last spring’s garden

What things are you thankful for today?
I hope that grace is always a part of your home.

Grace and peace to you,
my friends!

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