Friday, May 30, 2014

What I Learned in May

Avon Calendar I can see from my Desk
1. I like to look ahead.  I like to have a little plan for summer. This picture on the calendar has been staring at me. It has been mocking me. Summer List from 2012 and 2013 is a good example of what I try to plan.  Last year we had a very ambitious list/project.  We were part of the celebration for 100 years of Washington State Parks and participated in State wide project to place a geocache in a 100 different State Parks.  Our cache is in Peace Arch State Park. We managed to visit 50 different Washington state parks by the late fall of 2013. I don't have any of that planned this year. I am panicking a little.  The good news is school doesn't get out for several weeks.
2. This thought about Long Runways has actually started percolating last month.  The blog post "When you have a Long Runway" at Mrs Darcy got me to thinking. I thought it was an interesting post about people who take longer to process things who also may be introverts. Hey, that is ME! Does that mean I too have a long runway since I waited until May to post this?

3. I walked a total of 500 miles since Dec 25, 2013 so says my fitbit.  Wahoo to me!

4. The Essence of a Life worth Living by Teacher Tom has been ruminating in me.  I find myself more in the rocky margin of my life.  I often joke I want things noted on my permanent record.  I fail far more than I succeed.  Where success happens it is often way off the beaten path after I have fallen down a number times. I keep reminding myself that I am very much a work in progress. Even deeper than that was Life as Mom's Post,"Do They Know You Love Your Life."  Along the same wavelength - 10 Things that People Who Love Their Lives Are Doing Differently. These all really hit home with me. I love my lovely messy sloppy complicated life.  I don't know if I am showing my kids that I am loving my life. That bothers me.

I am linking up with "What I learned in May" with Chatting at the Sky.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Throw Back Thursday - The Adventuress

June 1986 - The Adventuress
This was actually taken from another boat
passing by when we were under sail. 

Me at the Helm

Us pulling up the Main Sail
I am the one in the very back in the Green Slicker
I was lucky to sail on the ship the Adventuress with Girl Scouts back in 1986.  It was a once in a life time opportunity.  The opportunity was earned by selling lots and lots of girl scout cookies and filling trailers with recycled newspapers.  We did lots of fund raising. It was the first time I traveled with people other than my parents.  It was also my first time to the Pacific Northwest.  Our troop was from Loveland, Colorado so for most of us it was our first time sailing. Now that I am a parent I am in awe of our leaders.  This was an enormous undertaking for our troop and the adults really went all out to help this be possible. I have really great memories from this trip which also included a side trip to Expo 86 in Vancouver, BC.

Little did I know that I would live in the Pacific Northwest in adulthood.  On Monday, I heard that the Adventuress would be in port at Bellingham, WA, a nearby city. 
In Port in Bellingham, WA
So we loaded up and took my kids to see this ship I sailed on with a bunch of girls.  Very little has changed on the ship.  They had replaced the hull and the crew quarters had new woodwork.  This boat is still involved in educating teens about sailing. It is now owned by Sound Experience.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sculptures at Peace Arch

Seeing in the Dark
Need a little side trip in Whatcom County, go check out the sculptures at Peace Arch in their sculpture exhibition. Washington State Peace Arch Park is located on the U.S. Canada border. Every summer Peace Arch hosts different sculptures.  This year doesn't disappoint.  Here is a few we saw up at the park. There are many more up in the park.  It is well worth a short side trip.
Sun Flight


Sunday, May 25, 2014

May Booking It

I am linking up with Life as Mom. Please check out what everyone else is reading.  This is my go to place to discover new reads.

The first two books I read were suggestions I found on a Two Peas in a Bucket NSBR thread on their message board. Coincidently these are also novels written by first time authors as well.

Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell.  It is hard to believe this is Shandi's first novel.  This was a gripping story.  I like many others found myself worried about the characters. This novel is set on the Canadian prairie and involves Ukrainian immigrants.

An immigrant Ukrainian family suffers unrelenting hardship on the tundra of late 1930s western Canada in this grim frontier tale. Thrown in prison for two years for helping himself to some of his own grain after defaulting on a homesteading contract, Ukrainian immigrant Theo Mykolayenko must deal with his nearly destitute wife and children. His oldest son helps to plow and plant fields owned by Theo's sister, Anna, who is married to Stefan, a wayward and violent military man. Theo's long-suffering wife, Maria, is tireless in caring for her family, nurturing the garden that feeds them and mending every stitch of clothing they wear. Meanwhile, unhappy Anna, pregnant with a child she does not want, is beguiled by the howling coyotes that surround the homestead at night. The extended family survives fire, dust storms, cold and hunger, only to face a nastier enemy much closer to home. (Amazon)

If you liked The Orchardist, I think you perhaps would like Under the Unbroken Sky too.  These two books in some ways feel very similar in time period and writing style.

Half-Bad by Sally Green.  This had been recommended as a grown up version of Harry Potter.  This book is considered a young adult read. It follows a teen who is 1/2 white witch and 1/2 black witch and his coming of age.  The main drawback to this book is this the first book in a 3 part series so now the long wait for the next book in the series.  I enjoyed this a lot but not as developed as Harry Potter but good read overall. Of course, I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

I like reading Young Adult Books. So of course I loved John Green's view on YA Fiction - Can You Get Too Old For YA Novels?

Lastly, I read The Last Letter from your Lover by Jo Jo Moyes.  This book does mention infidelity and affairs if that is not your cup of tea this book won't appeal to you.  This was a great book and I thought a quick read. This would make a great beach/summer read.

In 1960, Jennifer Stirling wakes in the hospital and remembers nothing—not the car accident that put her there, not her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues, she finds an impassioned letter, signed simply "B," from a man for whom she seemed willing to risk everything. In 2003, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles upon the letter and becomes obsessed with learning the unknown lovers’ fate—hoping it will inspire her own happy ending. (Amazon)

Definitely check out Jo Jo Moyes other books.  I did a review On the Girl You Left Behind.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Donut Love

I love donuts.  I got another donut pan at Christmas.  Now I can really amp up my donut making. I tried Alisa Burke's version of Donuts - YUM. I just sprinkled these donuts with cinnamon and sugar. I actually don't think making donuts is any more labor intensive than cookies.  These are baked so they are a bit healthier and contained Greek yogurt. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lucky Number 12

Charlie as a baby
Still has the long lashes
 I can't believe my youngest is 12 today.  Where does the time go?
Happy Happy 12th Birthday CHUCK-O!!!
Photo by Nonna

Sunday, May 18, 2014

link love - Squirrel Style

Photo by the Polyester Princess
She literally chased down this Squirrel to take it's
Sunday got you down.  Click away on these links.  Just some stuff that I found interesting. Why squirrels? Just because. I got nothing.

Interesting article on Raising Moral Children

What Nutty thing happened when a Teen took a Selfie with a Squirrel - You can't make these things up. This would be a real squirrel moment.

Outrunning the Storm had a good post on Practicing Autism Acceptance.

29 Thing You Only Understand if You Are a Geocacher- I loved #21. If you started young, you're a bon fide expert. #12 was good too. If there's a cache you DNF(Did not find), you won't stop thinking about it until it's in your hands, no matter how many attempts it requires.

Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics - this one is from Money Saving Mom

Friday, May 16, 2014

2 New Trails and 1 Trail Revamped in Whatcom County

There are some new trails to explore in Whatcom County and some that need to be rediscovered. I haven't had to check these out but they look like great beginner trails though rock trail has stairs/ladders.

StoryWalk Trail in Lynden starts at Million Smiles Playground Park.  This is a favorite park of my children. The StoryWalk Trail is a trail that existed before in the park but now has a laminated story, Totem Tale, that folks can read as they walk the trail.  It has a grand opening so to speak on Saturday the 17th. 

Nooksack Loop Trail portion is now open in Ferndale. This is the  first segment of the Nooksack Loop Trail that is open. You can now walk the Hovander River Walk through Hovander Park and see the official trail markers.  It also officially opens on May 17th also. Here are some more details.

Rock Trail is the newest addition to Larrabee State park.  It can be accessed from the Cyprus Gate Overlook.  Rock trail is a connector trail to Lost Lake. There is quite a lot of interesting geology to look at on this trail read more about that at NW Geology Field Trips. A trip report can be found here by Todd Elsworth from the Be in Bellingham blog.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

500 Miles

Well since starting to wear my Fitbit , I made it 500 miles.  I started wearing it Dec 25, 2013.  So as a reward to myself yesterday, I decided to walk the length of Birch Bay Park. I ditched my walking partner, Tigger the wonder dog and did this one alone.
Bald Eagle I saw on my Walk at Birch Bay
Lately, it just has been me and my dog walking.  I prefer to walk with a partner and I prefer to vary the route.  I get bored easily. It is something I feel I have to do.  I try every day to reach my 10,000 step goal.  I guess I am evolving in that I don't need another person to walk with or push me to reach my fitness goal. So, I am hoping to reach 1,000 miles before my birthday in November.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

African Violets and Water

I have been having trouble getting my African Violets to bloom.  I had one that in the recent past was a prolific bloomer but lately hasn't has any blooms.  I have usually watered my violets with tap water.  But I noticed that when the city changed from getting our water from the river to well water that my plants stopped blooming.  So, I decided to do something different when watering. I switched to distilled water. My Grandma always kept African Violets and only used distilled water to water and had beautiful blooming violets. So for the past few weeks, I switched to watering with distilled water.  Now, I have blooms. The violet pictured still has a way to go to full health but it has blooms.  I still have one violet that still hasn't bloomed at all.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Traveling Stache

We got little mustache stickers on our fancy coffee's the other day.  Well, Charlie has had loads of fun placing the little mustache in various places. So, the traveling stashe was born.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dollar Store Origami Kits

At my local dollar store they had origami kits.  This past week was teacher appreciation day and on one of the days students were encouraged to bring flowers.  So I thought Charlie and I would do some origami flowers.  These flowers were challenging.  My husband made the morning glory.

Charlie and I attempted lotus flowers. Charlie crafted a lily pad (instructions not included).  Below is the results.

The kits came in paper airplanes, animals, and flowers.  I also bought the airplane origami kit. I think origami is a great craft for grades 3rd and up. 

Here are some links to other origami projects we have done
Origami Yoda

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Holy Rhubarb Batman

My Rhubarb plant is out of control.  I found out last year how much I love Rhubarb. Rhubarb is the plant that just keeps on giving. I discovered this Orange-Rhubarb Breakfast Bread from Taste of Home.  This has become my kids favorite. The only draw back is it only makes one loaf so I doubled the recipe in that I made it twice. Here is a link to my post about regular Rhubarb Quick Bread.
Before Baking
No pictures actually exist of final
product because they didn't last
long enough for that - That good!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco de Mayo

My youngest styled this picture on a taco Monday a couple of weeks back.  It just so happens that Cinco de Mayo lands on a Monday too. Just had to share.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Time to ......

Time to break out the old Blazer's T-shirt.  Pappy is a die hard blazers fan even at 93 listens and watches the games.  I can't believe they won their series with the Rockets.  On Friday, you probably could hear the screaming at our house and at Pappy's.  Way to Go Blazers!

Friday, May 2, 2014

20 cent gardening gamble

I think that sunflowers are happy flowers.  I just love them and I don't believe my garden is complete without them.

I found these Lemon Queen Sunflower seeds in the 20 cent seed selection at Walmart. The Great Sunflower Project suggests the Lemon Queen Sunflower to grow.  I decided to gamble and buy the cheap seeds.  I have had varying luck on growing sunflowers but "try and try again" is my motto.
Couldn't resist posting this pic of my oldest
at the San Diego Zoo
 Need step by step directions head on over to One Hundred Dollars a Month and Mavis will give you the low down.