Skip to content

Archive for

Super Busy

We are just so busy these days that I haven’t had time to write. Since the kids go to private schools there are interviews for the children, and for parents. Since the kids have gone back to school since the holidays there has not been a break.

Meetings, meetings, meetings. Trying to keep up with my own life, and no time to document it.

Since we have been to the ranch to walk around, we always see something interesting. This last time we saw a paw print of a mountain lion. There have been sightings of a mountain lion with her cubs. Boy, I will tell you we have seen some incredible sights. A hawk taking off with a snake in it’s beak. The snake was wiggling to free itself. An Elk was running by my son as we were on our way to the gate. A rattlesnake was by the gate, and I took a photo of it. We have seen a snowy white owl, and I have some of the feathers it left behind at the barn.

So, hopefully soon, I will get back to writing and reading blogs visitors that visit mine. I just have to find a way to get more than 24 hours out of a day. IMG_0845

Eugene Schmidt

IMG_1906The Missions of California are steeped in such rich history. Something about  each of them is just touch the core of my being. I did not grow up Catholic, and did not become Catholic until I was 21. My father was not supportive in my decision to become Catholic. I am not even sure if he knew why he did not want that for me. While researching my family I found that our family was involved in the Hugeonaught movement. Is it that my dad had some subconscious awareness of this fact? I don’t know…I do know he told us to researcha variety of religions before making a choice. I listened to that advice, and I loved learning about various religions, and spiritual movements.

The painting below is a painting of San Juan Capistrano. It is the only Mission in Orange County, and founded in 1776. There are 21 Missions in California, and they are where each of the cities started. Some of the most beautiful places to visit in California.

The cloister, or inner gardens of the Missions served many different functions. Many of the garden veggies and herbs were grown in this area. The arches also served as a way for people to get out of the sun. The temperature is usually ten degrees cooler than the sunny area.

Eugene Schmidt was an artist from Santa Barbara, and pasted away in 2007. He was often out painting plein air, and has some other pretty remarkable paintings.


So, a few years ago I asked my husband to take us down a road. We were really lost, but the road was so nice. I just wanted to see what was down the road. Then we saw this sign. Hmmm, time to turn around. Not before I took a photo of the sign. LOL!IMG_3182

Opaline Esther Doyle Spink

A photo of my grandmother when she was young. If I did not know this was my grandmother, I would think it was my aunt. My aunt Jo looks so much like her mother. I am amazed. I have heard a commercial that our ancestors are a reflection of us. This photograph really could be a mirror reflection of my aunt.

Opaline was born in 1904 on May 31st. Her mother was Amber Alice Cook, and her father was Joseph Doyle. She was an only child. Joseph left the house, and Amber Alice Cook remarried. By the time Opaline was 16 she is listed as married, but living in the same home with her mother and step father Mr. Harrington. Opaline at the time worked in a candy factory. I could not find the name of the candy factory where she worked, but it could not have been far from downtown Indianapolis since she lived in Haughville. Since it was in the 1920’s I am guessing she may have walked to work. Horses were still in service for milkmen to deliver milk to the customers that ordered it. I doubt that the they had a car in the 1920’s.



Opaline would go on to marry three times. She had 14 children. Many of us grandchildren would often speculate over the number. Why so many children? My conclussion was she was lonely. Since she was an only child, and her father left when she was young maybe she felt abandoned. Having a full house helped her feel needed.

In 1930 she has two daughters, and is married to Otto Watson. Otto worked as a laborer. By 1940 she has four daughters, and is a widower. She is renting a home at 518 N. Miley.

By 1945 Opaline is married to Russell Spink, and they will have Mary Jo, Jim, Henry, Henrietta, and Frank. I am not sure what happened to 5 of the children. Maybe it was that she counted every pregnancy.

I know all the Watson girls went to live with another relative. I am sure this was really hard on the the youngest girls. I am not judging, people have their own reasons for doing what they do. People also have different expectations when entering a relationship. Opaline had no career of her own, it was the 1940’s. As much as this may have been seen as a clean slate, it must have caused some animosity, and hindered relationships between the Spink and Watson children. Just as Opaline felt abandoned, some of her girls would have the same feelings.

It is never easy being a mom! No mater what day and age we live in we have to make hard choices that we have to live with for our lives. As we talk to our parents and grandparents we have to remember that the choices they made were more than likely very hard ones. We have no idea how many tears they hid from us to make our lives a little easier.


Blogging Tips!

On the first round of Bloggy Boot Camp going around the United States I attended the one that came to San Francisco. It was so much fun. At the time I had more than 400+ followers, and then I learned that I may be infringing on the name of a town. I changed my name twice since then, so now I am starting from scratch. I also moved from Blog spot to WordPress.

Now, I have even learned that I have to get back out there in the blog world. Comment to others, but try not to go overboard with comments. As much as I would like to comment on 100 of the links that should not be my goal. Just commenting on a few is a better than going mad. Really, I have to fight it!

Summation…choose a name that is not taken by anyone else.

If you are going to switch from blogger to WordPress tell your followers over and over in case they are infrequent followers.

Network, but don’t go crazy. You have a life, and this is not a race.

A Beautiful View


Marcella Bennett

Marcella was a neighbor of ours. I had mentioned that I love art, later she invited me to her house for tea. I toured her home, and enjoyed viewing the work she did. I purchased several pieces from her that day, and even commissioned two Mission paintings from her.

The one below is in Carmel. I have a collection of Mission paintings from various artists. The bell tower is so special, not only to the church goers but also the community. The community depended on the bells to tell them the time day, and the activity.  It is told the town there was a death that occured. The bells also rang out an emergency, like fires.

Sure, one could argue that time was not of importance to the Native people until the Europeans imposed it on the Natives. The bells were a part of the structure of the European life. The sound of bells shudders within my soul. I really feel overwhelmed with emotion when I hear the bells. It reminds me so much of growing up near a Catholic Church. Do you have a connection with bells?IMG_1908

A Foggy Morning


Nolan Gray

Uncle Nolan was one of those people that died too young. He was only 26 when he drowned in the river. I don’t remember much about him, but I do remember the heartbreak my dad felt when he talked about his older brother. It really chokes me up to think about it.

He was a handsome guy. Sandy brown hair, very tall and athletic. In one of favorite photos of him he is lying with a little dog Cleo. The two of them are lying on the couch, and Uncle Nolan doesn’t fit on the couch. Cleo looks very comfy as Uncle Nolan scratches his tummy.  Cleo, was my grandmothers chihuahua.

Uncle Nolan and my dad used to play baseball until the sun went down. Swim in the river all summer long, and get into all kinds of mischief. Tell secrets to each other as they walked miles up hills everyday to get to school. When one of them would lose their gloves they would share the gloves for the long walks home.

Uncle Nolan worked at Quantico, Virginia for the Marine Corps. He worked as a game warden, and ranked as a sergeant. He in a boat with one other game warden. The boat capsized and Uncle Nolan could not make it to shore, but the other man survived.

We have to live everyday to the fullest. Forgive the people you feel anger toward, anger isn’t good for anyone. Remember the good, forgive the bad, and move forward with purpose!


How I Was Saved By A Friend

Working long days as a lifeguard may sound glamorous, but not after the summer when everyone is back at school. There was a longing in my heart for something bigger, something better. Water Safety Instructor classes were on my agenda, but college was not. My apartment was becoming like an isolation chamber.

As I was out walking around the lake one day I happened to meet a friend  I knew in High School. He invited me to his apartment, and we talked for so long. We had rich conversations about politics without insulting each other. We talked about history, and books we couldn’t live without and why.

Once after reading a book and discussing the book he asked me “Why aren’t you in college?”  I told him “I don’t know, after high school I was working.” He told me to apply, but I just didn’t know where to start. I got into school, and I just loved it!

To this day David knows he was my guardian angel! We have been friends for so long, and I couldn’t imagine what my life would have been like if we did not meet again like we did. Thanks David!!!