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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Extraordinary Women ~ Mother Joseph Pariseau

Mother Joseph was born as Esther Pariseau on April 16th, 1823 in Saint-Elzéar, Quebec, Canada to parents Joseph and Françoise Rousseau. Her father, a skilled carriage maker, passed on his carpentry skills to his daughter. At the age of 20 Esther made the decision to devote her life to religious work and entered the newly founded Sisters of Charity of Providence (now Sisters of Providence) convent in Montreal.


It was said upon her entry on December 26, 1843 that her father informed the Mother Superior "I bring you my daughter, Esther, who wishes to dedicate herself to the religious life. She can read, write, figure accurately, sew, cook, spin and do all manner of housework. She can even do carpentering, handling a hammer and saw as well as her father. She can also plan for others and she succeeds in anything she undertakes. I assure you, Madame that she will make a good Superior someday." His words would prove to be correct.

In December of 1856 Mother Joseph and four missionary companions traveled to Vancouver, Washington with a mandate and desire to educate the children as well as care for the poor and the sick.


Upon their arrival they found no adequate accommodations and wasted no time in getting to work. A few months later a wooden house had been built to serve as their convent and school. In June of 1857, the Sisters of Providence opened the Hôpital Saint-Joseph. By the early 1860’s the nuns were also caring for orphans, the elderly and mentally ill.


Providence Academy, established by Mother Joseph in 1856 at Fort Vancouver

Courtesy of Sister of Providence Archives, Seattle, Washington

Mother Joseph was responsible for the completion of numerous hospitals, schools, orphanages and missions throughout the area of what today encompasses Washington, northern Oregon, Idaho, Montana and British Columbia.

She herself designed many of the buildings and raised the funds necessary for the building costs. The fund raising consisted of Mother Joseph, well into her sixties and beyond, accompanied by a few other sisters riding horseback into rough and tumble mining camps and soliciting funds from the miners.

Each begging tour lasted several months and the nuns often slept outdoors, braving the elements. The tours were considered a great success as they generally rose between $2,000 and $5,000 toward the realization of their building fund goals.


Mother Joseph also supervised the construction of each building. She was noted as being a perfectionist and it was not uncommon to see her inspecting rafters and bouncing on planks to ensure their support~ all while dressed in a full habit.


Mother Joseph passed away, at the age of 79, on January 19, 1902, after battling cancer for a number of years. She left a true legacy of humanitarian service. Her extraordinary contributions to the areas of education, health care, and the social services are still recognized and many remain in place over a century after her death.

She was honored by the West Coast Lumberman's Association for her beautiful carvings and work with wood.

Mother Joseph is recognized as one of the first architects of the Northwest.

The state of Washington recognized her many talents and contributions and named her as one of the state's two representatives to the National Statuary Hall. A bronze statue was presented in May of 1980 in Washington, D.C.


She was also inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum Hall of Fame for her many contributions in 1981.

A horseback riding, plank bouncing nun, I’m inspired, are you?


“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” ~ 1 Peter 4:10

Friday, April 21, 2017

What’s Brightening My Day Vol. 6

Has spring arrived in your corner of the world?

I recently saw this charming pink gingham blazer and thought it would make a nice addition to my wardrobe. It was on sale for half price and I had one remaining gift card left over from Christmas. It arrived early this week and I am truly pleased.

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A bit of spring has arrived in our backyard as well. Two years ago I planted a half dead climbing rose found in the clearance section of our local gardening store.  It’s a lovely reminder that with a bit of love and care we all can bloom beautifully.

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The cutest model ever! Dear Nicola sent me a lovely photo of herself wearing her new apron. There are still a few left in my Etsy Shoppe.

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Not having cable I missed the Emmy Award winning mini series “John Adams” when it debuted on HBO a few years ago. My local library offered the 7 part series on DVD. It is indeed thoughtfully written and an amazing testament of the men and their families who founded our great country.

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I have a newfound respect for Abigail Adams. She was a tower of strength in a difficult time.

The costume and set design is also nothing short of spectacular.

John Adams (2008 TV Mini-Series) Photos with Laura Linney:

With warmer temperatures I enjoy recipes and treats of a cooler temperature. A recent decadent find is Graeters French Pot Ice Cream. My favorite flavor is Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.

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What’s brightening your days?


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

My Favorite New Teacup

My favorite new teacup arrived from new friend Jo from Australia.

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For the past few years I had seen postings from dear blogging friends about a teacup exchange hosted by the delightful Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose.

This was the first time I joined and it was such fun!

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You send a package to one person which should include tea and a teacup. You are also welcome to add in sweet little extras. You then also receive a package from another participant so it is like gaining two new friends  at one party.

Joanne Roberts wrapped each lovely item so beautifully it was like the happiest of birthdays and the most magical of Christmases in one pretty package.

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Jo herself does not have a blog but she should! When reading her sweet handwritten note I found myself wanting to know more about Jo, her family, and their home in New South Wales.

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The teacup pattern Jo chose for me is absolute perfection! It is “Lady Carlyle” by Royal Albert.

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I so adore the delicate pink floral design. It was truly a sweet treat!

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Thank you so very much Jo for your sweet gift and thank you Stephanie for arranging the exchange.

If you would like to participate in the next teacup exchange please visit The Enchanting Rose.

Do you have a favorite teacup or mug?


Monday, April 17, 2017

Delicious Holiday Snapshots

Hello dear friends! I hope you had a wonderful Easter holiday.


Saturday the Fashionista and I went to go see “Beauty and the Beast” which we happily sang along to and swooned over the costume and set designs.

We also created a strawberry cream cheese cake topped with organic edible flowers.


This was also our 28th year of dying eggs together.


Which our girl always turns into the most delicious deviled eggs. Her secret is German mustard.

(The pressed glass plate is part of a set that belonged to my Grandma Mary.)


For our Easter luncheon the eggs accompanied a host of other side dishes to include strawberry tea sandwiches and cucumber peach sandwiches. The recipe for the later can be found on page 82….


…of the March/April 2017 edition of “Southern Lady”. The strawberry cake recipe can be found on page 98 as well as the Raspberry Lemonade recipe on page 70. The image at the very top of this post features the lemonade with the addition of some sparkling rosé wine. It paired beautifully with the baked ham and potato salad with dill we had for dinner.


May you enjoy a beautiful spring week!


Friday, April 14, 2017

An Unfinished Easter Dress

I was planning to wear such a cute dress on Easter.

I had found three yards of a sweet pink and blue vintage fabric at an estate sale for $3. I bought it thinking I was going to make a midi skirt.

Then I went to the fabric store and they had the most darling pattern ever on display…

It was on sale for $2.

Option “B” was my favorite. It needed just three yards for the main part of the dress and half a yard for the collar and belt tabs. I just KNEW I had 1/2 a yard of vintage fabric at home that would match.

There were unicorn visions of creating the world’s cutest dress for under $10 (since I had to buy a zipper).

The sewing of the front bodice required three attempts before I got it right.

It was also my first time doing an inset cap sleeve. Let’s just say the seam ripper and I became best friends even though I hate the seam ripper.

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Still I persevered because the cuteness potential was KILLING me!

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But then it was midterms…

I still had to work at my internship…

Sweet Guy’s Eagle project was approved so now it’s full steam ahead with that…

My family also had the audacity to want clean clothes and full bellies.

So, there has been no time to finish one dress.

It joins the ever growing pile of other unfinished, hot mess of projects on the “to do” list like:

1. Ripping out and replacing the kitchen flooring.

2. Slipcovering the front room chairs.

3. Responding to all the lovely people who have left such nice BLOG COMMENTS.

4. I also had grand dreams of decorating the house for Easter and creating an amazing tablescape.

Reality check: My table still looks like this… from 4 weeks ago.


But guess what? The unfinished reality of it all….

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None of it matters.

So just go ahead & let it play like the perfect little number in your head today: "He makes me more than enough for this, gives me more than enough for this, & we already know how this race works out, it's already done, finished, there was more. than. enough. & it's *WON*" You can count on it as sure & gentle as your own heartbeat today: Jesus doesn't yell at you like a Life Sergeant: "Come on, Get it done." Jesus comes beside you like a Life Savior & whispers: "Come to Me, It Is Finished.":

So don’t stress if your unimportant Easter preparations aren’t done.

Because what IS important…

A truly Good Friday indeed.