Wayback Wednesday


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This is my great-grandmother, Laura Boucher. I haven’t a clue who the other dude is. A distant cousin maybe? My great grandma lived to be in her nineties. She was well loved and had the most beautiful spirit. This guy probably came from far away to see her. I love how, in the photo below, she seems so happy to see him and his wife. And they seem happy to see her, too.

I have mentioned her briefly on this blog in the past. I would really like to write more about her. I would like to learn more about her! One of the things that I want to do with these Wayback Wednesday posts is write more about those that came before me. I would love to learn, and tell, their stories. My great grandma has a really intersting one that is worth persuing.

One thing I learned about her recently: She knew how to speak French fluently. I had no idea! She liked to visit a French woman down the street so that they could converse together in French. I find little details like this about my relatives fascinating.

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The Grotto


Red Church among the green trees
Raf and I had a fun adventure this past weekend. We visited The Grotto. I am not sure how to begin describing this place. It is very Catholic. Full of very stern, and sometimes disturbing, statues of Saints and angels. You could even buy a statue, if you are so inclined. Did you know that you can BUY holy water? I had no idea (Incidentally, when I Instagrammed this photo of the holy water my upload FAILED three times before I was successful. The Lord didn’t like me making fun of the gift shop selling His holy water.)
The Grotto

The highlight of the visit was the labyrinth. I’d always wanted to walk one and it proved to be as meditative as I’d always heard.
The Grotto

Actually, the whole place was beautiful. And, indeed, very meditative. I lost myself on the winding path that lead through the gardens and found it very relaxing. As I wandered through I felt a very calm, peaceful presence. Was it the Holy Spirit? Maybe it was.

I was reminded, again, of my connection to Catholicism. I was raised Catholic and though I don’t call myself Catholic anymore I do still feel a connection to it. Being around the symbolism makes me feel a little bit at home. I was reminded of the similarities between the ritual in Zen Buddhism and the ritual of Catholicism. A few weeks ago I visited Portland’s Japanese Gardens, which is rife with Zen symbolism. In fact, the two places were so similar that it reminds me that we are all striving for the same thing, essentially. We are all rowing the same boat.

This past week I have been thinking a lot about Buddhism’s first noble truth:  Life is suffering. Could Christians and Catholics realize this truth through the death of Christ on the cross? I wonder.

It’s my Blog’s Birthday and I have a gift for YOU!


On this day ten years ago I wrote my first blog post. It was about how much I loved driving up the California Coast and I debated about whether I should move away or stay. So very much has happened in the ten years that have passed. I stayed in California for 2 more years and then I moved to Spokane,bought a house, and lived through two terrible winters. Now I live in Oregon and I love it. I love living in the foothills of Mt. Hood and I love Portland. I couldn’t be happier. Well, maybe if I lived in Paris I would be happier. One can dream! Who knows, maybe in ten years I will be writing about how much I love living in France.

But enough of this reminiscing! To celebrate my ten-year blogiversary I have a gift for YOU, my readers! This blog has been a joy to me for the past decade. I have met so many great friends though this little corner of the internet and I am so grateful for that. I am grateful for you. You have made my life better these past ten years.

I am making completely handmade booklets to give away. 25 of them. I have chosen a few of my favorite blog posts and typed them out on my typewriter. There also some of my favorite photos included, as well. Everything has been hand assembled and lovingly put together. The covers are hand painted, each one different. The binding is even hand-stitched! But most of all, my heart and soul is in there too.

If you would like one let me know by filling out the form below! I will make one and get it to you as soon as I can.

Thank you for reading my blog and thank you for the friendship!

All 25 books have been spoken for! Thanks again so much for reading! I had so much fun doing this that I will probably do it again sometime. 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Love


This week we are supposed to share a photo that represents what love means to us. This is perfect for today! I just got an email from my husband that made me laugh so hard and also reminded me of why I love him so much. There are so many things about him that I love but one thing that I really love is that he knows how to make me laugh, probably more so than anyone else.

He helped me out on a photography project today. I took some photos for a website for that leadership project I am working on (more about that soon). The composition was pretty good but there were things in the photo that made it less than perfect. The Mr is a master at Photoshop (I suck at it and hate it) so he fixed it all up for me. When he sent me the file he also sent me a little joke along with it. If you are familiar with the “Hey Girl” meme, you might get a laugh out of it too.