Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring is my favorite time of year! I absolutely love it when the grass starts turning green again and the trees have all their new leaves and little flowers budding out. It's just so beautiful! It's as though everything is waking up after a long, cold winter. The Boise area has received lots of snow this winter, and though the foothills always look so pretty covered with snow, it's been chilly for months. It's always exciting to me when signs of spring start appearing. This spring we've been spending a lot of time in the Sacramento area working on a move due to my husband's job--it's been very hard emotionally in a lot of ways--we both love Idaho so very much . . . but on a positive note, the weather in this part of California has been warm and very beautiful for the past couple of weeks--lots of clear, blue sky and lots of sunshine. I took a bunch of photos this weekend; here are a few.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My husband is so nice; he takes me out for breakfast nearly every Saturday. We try out new places all the time, and often, when we're visiting a new town with antique shops, he will gamely tag along while I "ooh and ahh" through several boutiques. (I doubt that I would be as generous if we were always stopping into golf shops, although I have grudgingly entered a few with him from time to time!) Anyway, we found a cute little shop in a tiny town yesterday after having breakfast, and my darling husband found this little postcard while we were inside, and pointed it out to me. He said it looked cute, and bought it for me. (Note the postage date stamp on the written side!) We had a very nice day together. He's such a sweetheart!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Vintage Places"

April, 1925
circa 1930s
recent photo

One of my favorite buildings is the old Boise Depot. It sits atop a hill overlooking the beautiful city of Boise, the capitol of Idaho, and is surrounded by lovely gardens, complete with koi ponds. If you go inside and ride up to the belltower on a clear day, you can see the entire city--it's a stunning view. The depot was originally named the Union Pacific Railroad Depot, and was built in 1925; stone that was incorporated into the design was quarried right in Boise, near the Old Penitentiary. The first transcontinental arrived at the station in April of 1925. Union Pacific's last passenger train left Boise in 1971, and it wasn't until 1977 that passenger service began again when Amtrak took over and made some repairs to the depot. In 1990, Union Pacific sold the depot to the Morrison Knudsen Corporation, and the depot, which had fallen into disrepair over the years, was carefully restored to its original condition. The City of Boise took possession of the building in 1996. Sadly, though, the last passenger train rolled out of Boise in 1997. Still, the building is well-loved and care for, and used for community and special events; it is often open to anyone wanting to see a little bit of history and experience the beautiful landscaping and views. With today's high gas prices and expensive airline fares, there has been renewed interest in train travel, and so there is always hope that maybe one day the old depot will again come alive with the exciting sounds of engine whistles blowing, the screeching of wheels on the tracks, and the hustle and bustle of passengers coming and going on fun and fantastic adventures.

Monday, March 24, 2008

"The Babies Are Here!"

Our little mourning dove parents have been faithfully taking turns sitting on their nest each day (see my post of March 19th) and I started wondering when those eggs were going to hatch. It seemed they should have hatched by now--so I decided to climb up on the stepladder and take a peek. I got a nice photo of the dad (I'm pretty sure it's a male because of the blue on his feathers), and then he flew away, so I held my camera up high so I wouldn't disturb what was in the nest when I took photos, and was surprised when I looked at the photos--there were 2 baby birds in the nest! I gently tipped the planter so I could look at them, and they had their eyes closed and weren't moving at all--I thought maybe the parents were sitting on birds that weren't alive, but then I saw the slightest movement, and noticed that the babies were breathing--but they were so quiet and still! Of course I didn't touch the nest or babies, as I didn't want my scent to be on them--and sure enough, the dad returned as soon as I climbed down. I imagine the babies are only a couple of days old, as I know they open their eyes after about 3 or 4 days. What a miracle life is! And what a cool way to begin my day!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

"He is Risen"

Attended Mass at the most beautiful church, St. Francis of Assissi, in downtown Sacramento, with my 2 daughters and several grandbabies; it was lovely, and the stained-glass windows are just unbelievable--they are so beautiful, they bring tears to the eyes. Had a lovely Easter dinner with family we hadn't spent this day with in years--missing my two sons and my mom and sisters, though. All in all, it was a gorgeous day, and weatherwise, just absolutely perfect for welcoming Our Risen Lord...

Image courtesy of karenswhimsy

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Good Mourning!

My daughter was doing some yard work the other day and had started to clean out some old plant material and debris from her hanging planters when she discovered the "debris" in one planter was actually a messy nest that contained a little white egg. . . she left that planter alone, and lo and behold, a mourning dove appeared later that afternoon and settled herself atop the nest, claiming the planter for her own. Of course, my obsessive need to find out everything I possibly can about any minute subject or situation that crosses my path, sent me right to the Internet to do some checking around. I found out that mourning doves usually lay one egg, then sometime later, maybe in a day or two, a second one. Sure enough, there was a second egg the next day. (I know because I carefully snooped when the bird had left the nest that afternoon.) It seemed as though the mother bird was on the nest most of the time after that, but I learned that both parents take turns sitting on the nest; the male taking the mid-morning until late-afternoon shift, and the female taking the night shift. They are monogamous birds and are very faithful about nurturing the eggs and taking care of their babies. They are certainly sweet, gentle birds. I remember hearing their soft, sad-sounding cooing outside my 2nd-story bedroom window every morning when I was growing up. I hear them every day now, as well. We are anxious to see this little couple welcoming their new "children" when the 14-day incubation period is over!

Monday, March 17, 2008

"May the Road Rise Up to Meet You"

My Great-great grandmother on my mother's (mother's) side came to America straight from Ireland when she was a young woman. Her name was Mary Ann Cavanaugh, and she is listed in the Ellis Island records. She was employed as a governess for my Great-great grandfather's children, and when his wife died in childbirth, Mary Ann eventually became his second wife. Was he just looking for someone to raise all of his children, as my mom has often wondered, or was he truly in love with her? I will never know, but their marriage lasted for many years; both of them lived well into their 80s. My mother always made corned-beef and cabbage on St. Paddy's Day when we were growing up. Although I haven't eaten beef for years, I can still remember the warm, rich smells of that Irish meal cooking in our house. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I've been struggling with some depression today, so rather than focus on that, I am going to think of some positive things that I can be thankful for. Today there was:
A beautiful, sunny, smog-free sky and the ability to see for miles,
Sharing hugs and a movie with my husband, daughter, and two grandchildren this morning,
A nice ride out in the country this afternoon,
Seeing Navy fighter jets in formation, doing fantastic maneuvers in the sky,
Enjoying a quiet evening meal with my hubby at a charming micro-brewery restaurant, and
Kisses tonight from my 3 year-old granddaughter who had dolled herself up in pink lipgloss!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Lately, many memories have been passing through my mind; it's been strange, like watching old movies. I don't know where they are all coming from, but a lot of them are from my childhood. I've often wished I had the ability to go back in time for just a short while to revisit people and places. For example, I'd love to have a day back with my children when they were small (a GOOD day, not one of the ones where the baby cried all night or when all of them had the chickenpox at the same time!) or I'd love to see my dad again for one more day when he was well and happy. Or wouldn't it be fun to just jump into an old photo and talk with the people in the picture for awhile? This is a cabinet card photo of my great grandmother. Her name was Rose. I only knew her as an old lady when I was young, but I'd love to know what she was like as a child. Was she quiet, and somber, as she looks in the picture, or was there a lively, fun-loving and mischievous side to her? Feel free to use the photo in your artwork-Please send me an email with a picture of what you created!

“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams.” (Jeremy Irons)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Endeavor

I decided to venture into the world of blogging after many months of reading and enjoying other people's blogs dedicated to art, cooking, home, family, and/or just celebrating life in general. I thought it might be a way to start writing a journal of sorts, since I'm not really good at putting pen to paper. I suppose it's one way to leave some small part of myself and my experiences for my children and grandchildren to read someday. Today is a beautiful day, full of blue sky and fluffy white clouds and gentle breezes that make one glad to be alive.
This is a practice post, since I don't know what I'm doing yet!