Oregon Irish Famine Memorial Cross

Richard and I recently took a trip to Portland Oregon, we happened to be driving to an afternoon hike we had planned when I saw the incredible stone Celtic Cross rising out of the hillside, I was literally speechless simply saying oh oh oh over and over.As we drove closer, I realized that the cross was located at a cemetery; I believe at that point I found my voice to say, “It’s an old cemetery” to which my darling husband replied, “I know where we will be spending tomorrow afternoon”.I am blessed to have a husband who encourages me to embrace my love of old cemeteries.

***This post started out about our afternoon at that cemetery, but I quickly realized that the Irish immigrants buried at the memorial sight wanted to be recognized, so the post took on new life, a later post will cover the rest of the beautiful cemetery****
The Cemetery
The next day as promised we loaded up the rental car, made a coffee stop and headed back to wander around Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery.It turns out th…

Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise

Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise
I recently took my oldest granddaughter to Paris to celebrate her 13th birthday.Of course PèreLachaise cemetery was high on my list of places to visit, so one afternoon we boarded the metro and made our way to la cite des morts ( the City of the Dead).

This famous cemetery was named forPère François de La Chaise (1624 - 1709), who was confessor to King Louis XIV and who lived in the Jesuit house on the site of the chapel.Napoleon established the area as a cemetery in 1804 after cemeteries in the city had become so overcrowded that new ones had to be built outside the city limits. Napoleon having just announced that “every citizen had a right to be buried, regardless of race or religion” decided to create several new cemeteries.
On 21 May 1804 the first person was buried at Père-Lachaise; a five-year-old girl named Adélaïde Paillard de Villeneuve, although her gravesite no longer exists as her plot was a temporary concession. The cemetery had a slow start…

Vampires in New Orleans

On a recent trip to New Orleans I went on multiple “haunted tours”, all were fun and interesting but one made me want to do more research on my own. On an evening vampire tour, our tour guide was a young man from Transylvania (how perfect if that); he started our tour by telling us everything we had previously learned about Vampires is wrongJ.
Now I know that these tours are put together to entertain and that stories are embellished, but by the time we were done I had gone from a non-believer of vampires to being on the fence, perhaps there was some truth to the stories. I have not become a believer in night creatures who turn into bats, cannot stand in the sunlight or sparkle, but I wanted to learn more about these legends so I have spent almost a year researching the stories he told us.I was particularly interested in two instances, that of Jacques de St. Germain and that of the Carter brothers.
Comte de St. Germain
Comte de St. Germain is believed to have been born in 1712, but some i…

Eklutna Alaska Spirit Houses

Eklutna is a small Native Alaskan village about 20 minutes from my house in Palmer, it sits on the site where many Athabscan Indians lived as long as 800 years ago.This Dena’ina Athabascan village is the oldest continuously inhibited location in the Anchorage area; and the last of eight villages that existed before the Alaskan Railroad was built in 1915, bringing many new people and cultures to the area.
In 1840, Russian Orthodox missionaries began arriving in the area, the missionaries started to teach the native residents. With time most of the  of the Dena’ina people in the area converted to this new religion, and began to incorporate the Russian traditions with their own. Prior to the arrival of the Russian Missionaries, the Dena’ina people would cremate their dead and then place the ashes in a basket by the river or in a tree. After the missionaries arrived, they told the Dena’ina people they could no longer cremate their loved ones, instead they should be buried following the Rus…

Nessie the Loch Ness Monster

Loch Ness is the second largest loch in Scotland, located in the Highlands a short distance from Inverness, the loch is about 23 miles long, a mile wide and at its deepest point over 788 feet deep, Loch Ness is fed by multiple rivers and streams that bring fresh water and peat to the loch, the peat makes it so dark it appears to be black and in that blackness is said to hide a mysterious sea creature, Nessie the Loch Ness Monster. She is described as having a long neck and one or two humps on her back that protrude from the water as she swims.
The earliest sightings of Nessie come from carved stones found in the region, these stones date back to the Picts who occupied the Highlands in about 500 A.D. Stones with carvings of a strange aquatic creature have been found among the carvings of easily recognizable animals.  There is a Scottish legend that tells of a mysterious water horse that lures children onto its back for a ride, once on its back their hands stick and they are carried b…

Kennecott Mine


In 1901 newly graduated mining engineer student Stephen Birch traveled to Alaska through some of the harshest wilderness there was in search of mining opportunities. He has heard rumors that rich copper ore had been found in the Wrangell Mountains. Once he arrived armed with financial backing from the Guggenheim family and J.P. Morgan, Stephen Birch bought the mine claims from the original prospectors and work began to determine how to mine the copper and then transport it out of the remote Alaskan Mountains.

A town and railroad had to be built in one of the most secluded areas one could find. This is a place where in the winter the sun only shines a few hours and temperatures can easily reach 60 below 0. Equipment had to be brought in on dog sleds and in 1907; construction on the Copper River & Northwestern Railways began. The 196-mile railroad stretched from Cordova to Kennecott and included over 40 miles of bridges and trestles; it cost 25 million dollars to build. Const…

Edinburgh Castle part 2

The ghosts of Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is said to be home to many ghosts, they make themselves known in a variety of ways, perhaps by the sound of drumming or bagpipes, perhaps by a chill in the air or a whisper in your ear, perhaps they will tug on your shirt sleeve or maybe even appear in front of you when you least expect to see them.

The headless drummer boy made his first appearance at Edinburgh Castle in 1650 the same year that Oliver Cromwell marched into Edinburgh, executed Charles I, and sieged the castle. It is said that a phantom headless drummer boy was seen wandering around the castle grounds playing his drum, warning of an attack. Legend says this boy makes his appearance when the castle is going to be attacked; perhaps this is true since it has been many years since the boy has been seen or heard.

There are labyrinths of tunnels that lie beneath Edinburgh Castle and lead all the way down the Royal Mile to Holyroodhouse house. It is said that when the tunnels were …