Gazing balls originated in Venice, Italy, in the 13th century, where the famous Italian glass blowers would blow glass of all sizes and colors. Most of these gazing balls were created for the affluent homes of kings and queens.
Because gazing balls were thought to attract fairies and magical beings, King Ludwig II of Bavaria insisted that gazing balls be hung from trees, floated on the surrounding ponds, and placed on stands in the garden. Considered wildly eccentric, he longed to rule over a fairytale kingdom and built fairytale castles that today rate among Germany’s leading tourist attractions..
Gazing balls were also used to spy on couples as they walked around the garden (you could watch them unseen). They were also used in dining rooms of wealthy homes, so the maids and butlers could watch unobserved to see who needed their tea refilled.
Do you have a gazing ball in your home, yard, or garden?
On one of our many hikes along the Boise River, Len and I came across this rock. What caught our attention is the perfectly round hole in it:
After continuing on our merry way, we tried to one-up each other on the different types of holes there are. Our list includes:
Loophole, donut hole, drainage hole, keyhole, watering hole, black hole, gopher hole, post hole, sinkhole, pothole, a hidey-hole, bullet hole, and then, of course, there’s the a$$hole—which made us both laugh like dorky junior high kids.
Today is the 5th of May—Cinco de Mayo. It brings to mind our favorite Mexican restaurant—Old Town Mexican Cafe and Cantina—in the Old Town section of San Diego. It’s the “Home of the original Handmade Tortilla Makers.” Authentic and delicious!
While waiting for your meal you can watch tortillas being made—by hand. You can also admire the festive, colorful bar stools.
“Belly up to the bar” means to move near something. However, when looking up the etymology, I found all sorts of interesting information. I especially enjoyed this improbable meaning that was said to be given by a tour guide at an old Lexington tavern:
“The origin of ‘belly up to the bar’ goes back to Colonial times. If your belly could reach the bar, you were old enough to drink.”
I usually take three two-mile walks each day. Each walk is on a different route, but they’re all in or near the Warm Springs historic district of Boise, Idaho (established in the mid-to-late 1800s), which means I get to see some cool stuff, including relics of days gone by.
Back in the day, it was customary for a horse-drawn carriage to pull up parallel to a perfectly spaced hitching post and set of steps. Once the reins were secured in the iron loop on the hitching post, the driver would open the carriage door, and the occupants would descend the steps.
“Hitch your wagon to a star”—the famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson—means to aim sky-high and follow your dreams, with the implication that you can achieve anything!
Our daily walks with Willa, our dog, include a long stretch of sidewalk in the Warm Springs historic district of Boise. In front of several of the old mansions, the sidewalk is scattered with multiple leaf imprints.
Due to the COVID-19 shelter-at-home mandate, I’ve had the opportunity to experience more than the usual number of phone and Zoom connections. Regardless, at the end of each conversation, I stop and reflect on the exchange of words, tone, and delivery style—and I find myself wondering:
– What kind of impression did I make—was it positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing? – What’s it like to be on the receiving end of me?
Two weeks ago, I dangled a carrot to entice readers over to my author website for a sneak peek at the cover of my new book, Indelible. The analytics show that 2,200 people visited lauriebuchanan.com in the week following that post—many of you asked for more details.
I got the idea for the suspense/thriller series while staying in one of the cabins at Hedgebrook, a writing retreat—where women author change—on Whidbey Island, just off the coast from Seattle, Washington.
Indelible takes place takes place at Pines & Quill (a writing retreat that’s a figment of my imagination) in Fairhaven/Bellingham, Washington (a real location). I took these photographs to give you a sense of location:
If you wrote a suspense/thriller, where would the location be?