Tuesday, March 31, 2015


It was a beautiful weekend.
  The lilacs and the Lady Banks roses
 are brightly
 gracing the garden and...

...we drove down to Santa Cruz
 and the kids took us out
 to a delicious dinner 
and treated us to a basketball game,
 all in honor of
 the Captain's birthday.

Santa Cruz is home 
to the D league of 
the San Francisco Warriors. 
 They have erected a structure which,
 from the outside, 
looks like a huge tent,
 but on the inside
 has the appearance of a big league stadium
 with all the amenities
 that you would expect 
associated with the NBA.

  Most people are season ticket holders
 so it is like a community of friends
 that come together with each game. 
 Even the dog 
pictured above
 is a big fan.

Our new sofa was delivered
 and it is everything 
I had hoped it would be. 
 The color is perfect
 and it is very comfortable...

...are you old enough to remember
 that comfortable object 
that you and your family sat on
 in the living room
 when you were young? 
 It wasn't a couch...
it wasn't a sofa...
sometimes it was a divan...
but usually it was known as
 a chesterfield. 
 This new sofa of ours
 brings back those memories.

I borrowed the Captain's lamp 
from his library 
(or as he would say, "Like I had a choice?")
 and we both like it in here,
 so now I have to come up with
 a replacement for him.

I have had these two lamps
 on the master bath vanity
 and really never turn them on anymore so,
 I brought one into
 the new space...

...and fancied up a shade for it. 
 I really like the feel
 of it here.

I was so happily surprised yesterday
 to receive this beautiful package
 in the mail 
from my good and dear friend,
 Kerin, of Mill Hill Meadows.

  She had wrapped up this bag
 of the best smelling chunks
 of Blueberry Pound Cake
 for use in a tea-light warmer
 and two of the
 sweetest little birdies...

...to add to my collection. 
 They seem to feel right at home
 as they parade across
 the mantle piece...

...all of these thoughtful gifts
 were accompanied by a beautiful
 "dream" card 
that I appropriately tucked 
into a corner of the guest room
 along with other
 special momentoes.

Thank you so much, Kerin. 
 I so appreciate 
your kindness and
 your friendship.

We found this chest
 in a shop in Lodi. 
 We loved the lines of it 
and its usage
 and knew that it would be perfect 
in a special spot. 
 The colors are not in tune
 with what is planned for the room 
so there will be a drastic change coming
 and then the whole room 
will be revealed.

Hope you all had 
some wonderful weekend wanderings
 as well.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015


West Main Street
Grass Valley, California

Grass Valley was originally known as Boston Ravine,
 later officially named Centerville 
and when the post office was established in 1851, 
it was renamed Grass Valley,
 for unknown reasons.

Pelton Wheel

Many of the first settlers
 were tin miners from Cornwall, England.
  They were attracted to the California gold fields
 because the same skills needed for deep tin mining
 were needed for hardrock (deep) gold mining. 
 Many of them specialized in pumping water out of very deep mining shafts.

Holbrooke Hotel
Grass Valley, California

Grass Valley has eight designated historical landmarks,
 one of which is the Holbrooke Hotel.
  The Holbrooke is the oldest hotel
 that has been in continuous operation
 in California's Mother Lode 
and the Golden Gate Saloon 
is the oldest continuously operating saloon west of the Mississippi.

The original building was constructed in 1852
 by Stephen and Clara Smith 
as a saloon called The Golden Gate Saloon.
  The following year,
 a single story annex, 
The Exchange Hotel,
 was added at the back of the saloon.

  A fire in 1855
 burned down the saloon
 but it was rebuilt with fieldstone and bricks.

 The Exchange Hotel
 also caught fire in 1862,
 after which it was renovated into a two story structure
 and in 1879, 
it was named the Holbrooke Hotel
 after the owner, D. P. Holbrooke.

  Currently the hotel has 27 rooms 
and is 19,400 square feet in size,
 which includes a restaurant along with the Golden Gate Saloon.
 The bar in the saloon
 was shipped around Cape Horn.

Several notable people have stayed at the hotel including
 Black Bart, "Gentleman Jim" Corbett, Lotta Crabtree, Bret Harte, Jack London, Lola Montez and Mark Twain,
 and five US presidents:
  Grover Cleveland, James Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Harrison
 and Herbert Hoover.

The reception area of the Holbrooke

 Throughout the hotel's history
 many reports of otherworldly spirits
 have surfaced.

 According to the hotel manager 
when she goes downstairs by herself,
 she never feels alone
 and many visitors to the hotel
 have reported a presence in their rooms.

  Hotel staff have reported signs of ghosts
 in the hallways and in the rooms of the establishment,
 tugging on the feet of guests
 and unplugging electrical sockets.

 One such staff member reports 
her hair being pulled in Room 10,
 and a guest recently complained
 about a ghost sitting on top of them
 as they slept.

 A pet was reported to have problems
 in one of the rooms,
 the dog was uneasy all night. 
 It wouldn't rest or lay down 
and the owner said 
he felt a cool breeze
 all night.

The card room

This past week
 the Travel Channel has been investigating the hotel 
for their show, "The Dead Files". 
 They will try to substantiate
 whether these paranormal claims 
are true or not
 and if they are,
 whether the spirits are

The Golden Gate Saloon backbar

The hosts of the show,
 psychic medium Amy Allen
 and former NYPD homicide detective, 
Steve DiSchiavi,
 will explore and then meet
 with the owners
 to discuss their findings.

 Amy Allen sees ghosts 
and she will come at night
 to walk the whole hotel
 and nobody can be in the building
 except for her
 and her cameraman.

From left to right:
Susan, Sandy, Judy (me) and Cheryl

These ladies
 are members of the
 C..ute - S..ocial - S..ecurity - J..unkies.

We are all retirees
 from the Grass Valley School District
 and we've formed our club,
 using the initials of each of our first names.
  We meet for lunch, once a month,
 at different establishments around town.
  Here, we are pictured, in the dining room 
of the Holbrooke Hotel.

  We were hoping a rich ghost
 would show up that day
 and pay for our lunches,

The front entrance to the hotel

As of yet,
 no air date has been set for the show,
 but I will let you know
 when that happens.
  Just be aware
of a little tap
 on your shoulder!


The stairway leading up to the rooms.

You never know 
who you will meet
 on your way
 up to bed.

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Friday, March 20, 2015


"It's cherry pink and apple blossom white
When your true lover comes your way..
It's cherry pink and apple blossom white
The poets say... ".

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White
Written in 1951 by Mack David and Louigay
Performed by Prez Prado

...but it's finally here...

Happy First
 Day of Spring


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Tuesday, March 17, 2015


"Every time I decide to repaint a room,
 I obsess over barely perceptible subtleties
 to select the perfect color. 
 The moment the first brushstroke 
of the new shade hits the wall,
 I panic - my heart stops 
and I'm sure I've made a horrible mistake.
  A week later, I love it!"

 So said Peggy Kennedy,
 one time editor of Victoria magazine, 
in her March, 2001 editorial,
 but those thoughts and choices
 could have, just as easily,
 been mine.

I was so ready for a change in this room,
 but change can be very unsettling.
  Decisions needed to be made but,
 because of what the final outcome 
of those decisions might be, 
I did not feel up to the challenge.
  I so wanted to 
get it right.

The paint store that we do business with
 has a decorator on staff 
so I decided to ask for help
 with my color choice.

 We already had our new sofa on order
 and knew that we were painting 
all the trim work bright white.
  The existing carpet color is burgundy
 and that would have to stay
 and we also wanted the room to tie in
 with the parlor.
   With all those elements decided, 
I needed help with the right wall color.

My first gut reaction
 was a shade of blue. 
 I am very fond of blue
 as it is a very soothing color to me. 
 I took a pillow in with me 
that had the exact match that I thought I wanted,
 plus a piece of the parlor wallpaper.

  The decorator was very convincing
 that the color would be too dark
 and suggested to match the gold flower in the wallpaper. 
 Since decorators know best, right?
 I thought that would be the perfect choice.  Once we held the swatch up to the walls,
 it was apparent 
that the room would look very washed out
 because of the amount of light 
the room receives.

I went with my original gut feeling
 and picked out three different shades of blue. 
 We came home with a pint of each color
 and painted patches on the walls.
  Because of all the burgundy
 surrounding those patches,
 the colors all looked very different
 than I thought they would,
 and I became even more confused.
  I then went back to the store
 and chose the darker shade
 that I had first been drawn to
 and invested in two gallons of paint. 
 I say 'invested' 
because paint
 is not cheap now-a-days!

Benjamin Moore's Bedford Blue
Because of the lighting and time of day I took the photo the color looks a little more green than it really is. 

So, in Peggy Kennedy's words,
 I love it
 and it didn't even take me a week
 to find that out!

Here is a picture of the new sofa 
as it sits in the furniture display room. 
 It was a leap of faith
 to pick this out also! 
I think hope 
that it is a little more to the brown side
 than the gold it shows in the picture.
 I thought it was when we first saw it.

 We are having the carpet cleaned tomorrow and then the sofa will be delivered
and I only hope that
 I will love it 
in one day also!

I also changed up the parlor mantle
 to reflect Friday's beautiful beginning
 of spring.

As we were having coffee 
in the parlor this morning,
 I thought that maybe my display was a bit much,
 as I just can't seem to get
 the "less is more" concept down,
 but when I voiced my feelings
 to the Captain,
 he just rolled his eyes, and said,
 "Yeah, you probably have
 one too many daffodils 
in the pitcher"!

 I guess 
if he is happy with me,
 and with what I do,
 maybe I should not 
 so much!



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