Sunday Mornings at Home

Sunday mornings at home

Happy blessed Sunday, everyone.  Welcome to my lifestyle post called Sunday Mornings at Home.

These posts are meant to share with you what is on my mind from the past to the week ahead.

Recently, I have had two moments on the top-of-my-mind from our cruise, and I would like to share those with you.

So, get cozy…a morning cup of joy…and let’s discuss what is on my mind for Sunday Mornings at Home.


Sunday mornings at home

Some of you may think…well, of course, a castle is on your mind…it is a castle after all!

Well, the reason Craigdarroch Castle has been on my mind is pondering…why didn’t I like it??  Typically, I love things like this.

But, here is what I came up with….

Sunday Mornings at Home

First of all, we had to leave the amazing, gorgeous, colorful, bright Butchart Gardens to go to the castle…and I didn’t want to leave.

While we were there, the castle was musty with strong odors.  It was dark, of course, and did not compare to the beauty we left before we arrived.

But, it was honestly difficult to breath in a few of the rooms.

Sunday mornings at home

The displays were not curated well.  I had difficulty getting into the story…and, really, I typically love history like this.

That is why we signed up to go.

But, even vintage items need some refreshing and to tell the story in a compelling way.

Also, I really wanted to see their kitchen…and it was just a blank space with a promise to one day be renovated.

It was the only regret I had on the trip.

But, it also has me thinking of how refreshing vintage pieces correctly and how their story is shared matters.

I think I would have preferred to see one of their re-enactments.

Would anyone like to share a different experience you had with this castle?  I am open to looking at it differently.



Sunday mornings at home

I have actually heard women over 60 refer to themselves as “vintage.”  I submit to you that we are not there yet.

Another moment on the cruise I have thought about often happened in the waiting area of the spa.

The room was full of ladies waiting to be pampered, and on this day, the spa hosted an event with hairstylists where you could come talk to them about your hair and get their recommendations.

I was not there for that, but it was fun to listen in on the conversations…until this one that happened near me.

I have no idea the age of the woman talking.  But, she did appear to be in her 60s or 70s.

She was well dressed in a casual outfit and very small.  She caught my eye originally because she looked so sad.

Sunday Mornings at Home

She came to ask the hair stylist if the professional liked her very short, pixie style…which the stylist said looked great with a smile and she wouldn’t touch a thing.

The woman responded, “Oh, I just hate looking at myself in the mirror.”

It took every piece of self control I had to keep from jumping into the conversation to encourage her and tell her how beautiful she was.

To make matters worse, the stylist began to pitch facial injections to her.  She said, “All you need to do is deal with your wrinkles and tighten things up a bit.”

Again, I almost screamed and I hoped the stylist would leave the room first.  But, she didn’t and after saying she wasn’t interested, the woman fled.

I did not see her the remainder of the trip, but have thought about her so often.

I shared with you that we were on the cruise with one of our favorite musicians, Stephen Curtis Chapman.

He has a song he wrote for his daughter, and the lyrics go like this:  THE ONE AND ONLY YOU.  (LISTEN HERE)

“I caught you looking in the window at your reflection and
I could see you were unimpressed
I watch you whither like a willow at what you think are imperfections
When you compare you to all the rest
And I wish I could find a way to make you see you the way I do
So I wrote this song for you

You’re better than a Beethoven symphony
And Mona Lisa wishes she could be a masterpiece like you
More than any Michelangelo
When I look at you I know
There’s no other masterpiece like you
You are the only one and only you

There is music in your laughter the world has never heard before
You came and brought a melody
The way you say it the way you see it
When you’re sad and glad and so much more
All these gifts only you can bring
Still I know that right now everything that you feel says it’s just not true
So I’ll keep reminding you that

You’re better than a Beethoven symphony
And Mona Lisa wishes she could be a masterpiece like you
More than any Michelangelo
When I look at you I know there’s no other masterpiece like you
You are the only one and only you

Wonderfully, carefully woven together by God’s own hand
And you’re better than a Beethoven symphony
And Mona Lisa wishes she could be a masterpiece like you
More than any Michelangelo
When I look at you I know there’s no other masterpiece like you
You are the only one and only you
You are the only one and only you”

Reflections…whether in windows or mirrors…can be our enemy if we give them permission to be.

I try each day when I wash my face and get ready for the day to say THANK YOU, LORD for creating me and allowing me to be here today.

He created each one of us to be a masterpiece…uniquely you.

If you look in the mirror and begin to think negatively, just say out loud…STOP IT!

You are experienced and wise…not old.

You are invincible.…not invisible.

You are needed…not done.

You are vibrant…not vintage.

You are alive…not forgotten. 

Then go out and see what the new day holds. 

I sensed no life In the castle…but there is life in all of you.   Thank you for joining me for Sunday Mornings at Home!  See you tomorrow with a review of the new Macy’s collection.


By Pamela Lutrell

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Sunday mornings at home


  1. What an interesting story this morning , Pam. I appreciate your insight. Your words at the summary when WE look into the mirror are going straight into my journal, credited to you, of course. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Thank you for the reminder that we are invincible-not invisible, and other good things. People tend to treat us as such as we age. I did not see the castle on my cruise several years ago, but as a volunteer in a local museum, we try very hard to keep mustiness down and to make history come alive. Thank you for your words. I especially enjoy “Sunday Mornings at Home” before I get ready for church.

  3. You are welcome, Deborah. I know we can be our worst enemies when in front of a mirror…but life is short…let’s live it with joy and confidence.

  4. I am also getting ready for church this morning, Cheryll. We are all masterpieces created by God!

  5. The part of your post about the lady asking the stylist about her hair and looking in the mirror. I can understand her statement. I have always felt like I was an old soul from a very small town. I graduated at 16 starting working full-time in an accounting atmosphere. Didn’t date very much but then got married at 20 and had a baby at 23 another one at 27. I divorced after 23 year of marriage, I was always the one taking care of everyone including money/working, this is the reason for the divorce. Married again after 2 years of not dating very much because of working so much. Finally found someone, married and lost him within 9 months. I am still single, look in the mirror everyday and all I see is a 72 year old woman that has wrinkles, hair has gotten very straight, dry and wirey. I have no friends because of working so much and I am just a homebody. I just put on clothes, the same ones every week, even though I do have others. I’m just have no get up and go to make myself look good. In the past few years I feel invisible, not alive, and I guess I feel inside like I don’t care. I pray everyday for God to help me with confidence. Sorry for such a long post but I wanted you and others to understand that there are people, such as myself, out there that feels like that woman with the stylist. Thank you for the post and listening to my rumbling of words.

  6. Good museum curators are difficult to find; not an area of expertise many go into. My background as well as my daughter’s is in this field. Kudos to you for keeping an open mind and visiting the castle. It reminded me of a trip to Stuttgart, Germany many years ago and much younger friends were recommending the Mercedes museum. Looking at cars is the most boring activity to me but that visit certainly changed my opinion! Told in the most interesting way, spanning decades, the story came alive. Even after 3 hours I didn’t want to leave! Monticello and the Mercer Williams house also are wonderfully curated historical homes. At 72 I know many women like the lady in the spa. We may not be able to change our appearances much but as useful humans there is so much where we are needed. As we slide into fall I’m trying to decide where to put a few hours; reading tutoring? Zoo volunteer? Church? Be happy with what you have and help others! My Sunday sermon is done 😘😘

  7. Invisibility is real. For many women, sadly, speaking into the mirror is enough. They are alone and don’t know how to, or cannot easily, change their situation. May I suggest that we volunteer or help in any way we can. Participate in Meals on Wheels, local senior centers, etc. Take an older friend or relative out to lunch or visit them at the assisted living facility. But when someone treats you as invisible, do NOT let them get away with it.

  8. Oh, goodness . . .I am sad for anyone who feels alone, unseen, in any way diminished by life’s circumstances. For the lady on the cruise, for Dianne who wrote above, . . . please do not despair. Choose one action each day that might help propel you forward, bring you among others who might become friends or who are themselves even more in need of the positive connection you are missing. Children need reading partners in schools once a week, pantries need organized at community centers and churches, and many senior citizens in care homes desperately long for someone to visit with and share a story or two. There are countless causes because there is loneliness, need, and longing everywhere. I urge you to take one small step. Sending you so much love and hope from Oregon.

  9. 1. I loved that castle. Love that era. I saw a time travel Hallmark movie filmed there and that was fun.
    2. I learned that many seminars on cruise ships are really events to upsell. Annoying.
    3. Your glass half full outlook is always fun to read. The level in my own glass is always changing. I’ve always been overweight and homely looking. The mirror is not my friend.
    4. I won’t be going out today. My new day holds a hurricane.
    5. But…I have brighter hopes for tomorrow.

  10. I found your comments about the castle interesting. We visited it last year and I came away feeling much like you did, but for different reasons. At approximately the same time that the Dunsmuir family was living there in obvious opulence, my grandmother and her two little girls (my mother and my aunt) were living just a few miles away in a single room in a boarding house. The contrast between the two families was stark and reminded me that even today, there are those of us with more than we need and others with nothing. As I read the Dunsmuir story, it was clear that their wealth didn’t bring them happiness and I walked away feeling sad.

    I’m also saddened by stories like that of the woman at the spa and Dianne who commented above. I yearn to give them a hug and tell them that they are beloved daughters of the Most High God and that they are beautiful in His sight.

  11. Hi sweet Dianne, I read your comment before I went to church and prayed for you and about my response while I was there. You might be surprised to hear that I spend less time with friends than ever before. Choosing to work for myself has led to some isolation, and most of my friends are busy with continuing to do work, and with family. I commented recently about how busy this time of life is. But, it is up to me and to you to make changes when that isolation sets in. Please know that God wants to bring healing to your situation. He created you as a masterpiece with a purpose in this life. Ask, Him daily to show you that purpose and to bring healing to your emotional life. He promises…”ask and you will receive.” I would join with others here and encourage you to select a place you can volunteer…a nonprofit, church, home….a male friend of mine recently retired and immediately took a route with Meals on Wheels and he loves doing it. I have a large volunteer project through my church ahead of me which I will share more about later. But, not only will God use me to help, but He will use it to give me new purpose and new friends. God isn’t going to zap you with confidence, but he will help you to find a place to plug in with purpose. I would like to challenge you this week…to get up every day, get dressed in casual nice clothing, comb your hair, and touch up your complexion. Then look in the mirror, and say out loud…Lord, what do you want me to do today. Then listen with intention…knowing He will show you what to do. Life is short…you are here for a reason…get excited about that and look to find it. Leave the past in the past and focus completely on the day…one day at a time. You have so much to offer others. I will be praying for you that God will show you where you are needed most in your community. Please keep sharing here or send me an email. I am praying over you, Dianne.

  12. Good advice, Linda. I just told Dianne that I am about to begin a big volunteer project with church and I am excited about it…our joy is not complete until we give it away.

  13. I agree, Maeve! I worked for a man who showed me age discrimination and treated me as an invisible member of the staff. Never again!

  14. There are so many ways we we are needed and really must find where we are needed the most. Giving back will help us as well as others.

  15. I am going to look for the Hallmark movie. Thanks Linlee. I honestly think I was affected by the stark difference in the two places they took us in one day. My heart was longing to be back at the gardens. I have never seen you…but I know that my God does not make mistakes and does not create homely people. You are a masterpiece and I pray that you will see it. He has a purpose for you right now right where you are. I will pray for safety during the hurricane.

  16. I so yearn to hug readers here and wanted to hug the woman on the cruise. I wish I had seen her again and regret I allowed the employee to hold me back, figuratively not physically. Thank you for sharing your castle story. I could not connect with the past residents in any way. That is why I said it needed better story telling. But, your observation about your family really hit me.

  17. We visited Butchart Gardens on a cruise a few years ago and, like you, I loved it. It’s absolutely incredible and I could have stayed all day! On our most recent Alaska cruise, the port stops were so short that we didn’t have time to visit – it wasn’t even a shore excursion option – but I will definitely visit the gardens next time. I had felt like I’d missed out not visiting Craigdarroch Castle, too, but I guess I didn’t miss much. Sorry that it was a bummer for you. We love to cruise but I’ve stopped going to the spa because I grew tired of the constant upsell. So sad about that poor woman because, yes, everyone is beautiful in their own unique way!

  18. Love hearing from a fellow garden lover. This cruise spa visit was actually a very significant one for me and I plan to share the story sometime soon. There was heavy selling going on, but I am thankful for several reasons that I was there. Will fill in the gaps soon.

  19. When I hear a woman tell me, “oh I hate my hands, belly, butt”, etc. I think these beautiful hands have held babies, cooked meals, sewn childrens clothing, nurtured sick ones, made cards for the lonely. I love my imperfect self.

  20. Sunday morning with you is always so refreshing and uplifting. I’m 78, disabled for about 10 years and refuse to be invisible or irrelevant. I would wish to hug your lady in the spa also. I have only been to a spa once as a gift and have not been interested since. Beauty comes from within and shines out through bright smiling eyes. Smile at the mirror and confidence will follow.

  21. Hi Pam, Thank you for this different and thought provoking post. I really enjoyed reading all the comments and how different everyone feels in their own lives. This feels like a community of women our age all supporting each other. I appreciate those who are struggling and sharing their unique life challenges here. There’s no one answer, but I feel like knowing who we are and acting in accordance with that (without guilt!) is everything, and something I’m finally learning at 63. Finding something to do, to love and get up for is my answer. Even if it’s just walking outside or reading a book. I know it’s not easy, at all! After dealing with major health issues these past 19 months (non-blockage heart attack, cancer and post surgery blood clots, the loss of my brother to Parkinson’s at age 71, and much more) it can be simply exhausting, isolating and quite depressing, but also makes me realize what’s really important, and it’s not in the mirror. Lately and more than ever I’m grateful for friends and family. I’m finding that pushing myself to reach out and being open and honest is so rewarding and fuels itself in positive ways that come back to you. I still struggle with my weight and aging body, but I’m very glad to be here.
    p.s. that castle museum certainly looks musty and dull, though I also love that sort of thing normally. Your photos did capture the mood you shared.

  22. Thank you, Pam for your thoughts and support for us ladies that are constantly being hounded about our fading looks and how to “right” them. You are very inspirational and I appreciate your thoughtfulness .

  23. What a wonderful and inspiring and thought provoking post. Thank you, Pam. To anyone who is feeling the effects of isolation and just general malaise, I think it is also important to speak to a health professional. You may be experiencing metabolic and chemical imbalances that are making the days more challenging. I also second the advice to find a way to give back. Making (and continuing) in friendships is a wonderful thing, but once we are out of the seasons of life when we mix with many people, it can be more challenging. This is why serving others can help. It gets us back in the mix. Regarding the musty castle, I would have noticed that mustiness too. Historical preservation is complicated and expensive, I guess. Too bad the castle could not have come first and then the gardens! Loved the song you shared. We need to cherish one another and accept and love each other the way a little child does.

  24. I felt the same way when I visited The Burrell Collection in Glasgow. A tour guide told us how priceless ancient tapestries and relics were stuffed in every nook and cranny of Sir William Burrell’s home during his lifetime, enough to fill a museum and then some. Earlier, I had visited The Tenement House in the Gorbals. What a contrary between extreme hoarding of international treasures and abject poverty.

    In Victoria, there is the contrast between the Butcharts and the Dunsmuirs.

  25. Wow. One of your most-powerful blogs ever. Every quote, random thought, and every reader comment resonates. Things said are on the minds of many…and undercurrent of feeling alone and unmotivated despite being surrounded by life. Hugs, prayers, and encouragement to all. No easy answers other than one small step each day.

  26. Thank you for today’s beautiful message. I need it. You write with such tenderness that after one of your posts I feel I can conquer all my self-doubt!
    On your castle and spa experiences tied to the cruise, here’s what I might do. I might write to the cruise line about how I felt. I’m not sure it would change things but it just might! If you tell it just the way you told us,
    The castle visit might be replaced with another attraction?

  27. Thank you for today’s beautiful message. I need it. You write with such tenderness that after one of your posts I feel I can conquer all my self-doubt!
    On your castle and spa experiences tied to the cruise, here’s what I might do. I might write to the cruise line about how I felt. I’m not sure it would change things but it just might! If you tell it just the way you told us,
    The castle visit might be replaced with another attraction?

  28. Thank you for the reminder that we are not vintage! As one of the older ones at work, I’m often made to feel like I’m old school and invisible. Although I know better, it’s easy for me to allow my negative voice to take over and start wondering if it’s time for me to retire. There are some days when the actions of others really get me down.

  29. I recognized myself in Dianne’s post and many of the others.. different story but the same feelings.

  30. My last professional job was in the communications department of a four year university and I was treated this exact way by the department boss. I even filed a complaint with HR, but what I did was focus on his behavior. He had the problem not me. He was a disservice to the university…not me. It is easy to allow those voices to take control, but resist that with all you have. It is their issue…not you. The pandemic layoffs made the decision for me, but I am so thankful to be able to work for myself. Do not give them control to cause you negative feelings. Be confident and hang in there as long as you want to. But perhaps it is time to think of other options if you need to generate income…and that can be fun if you let it be. Just do not give them power over how you feel about you.

  31. Hi Janet, I encourage you to make a CHOICE this week to do something different. You are a gift to the world…how can you use your gifts to bless others and enjoy your life more?

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