Sunday, August 20, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What I Read August

I feel like I am having an odd summer.  I am having serious Wanderlust.  So this is what my reading selections are mainly reflecting. I am linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy's Quick Lit.  Check out what everyone else is reading.

Dear Bob and Sue - One Couple's Journey through the National Parks. This took me a bit to get into. This is written as a series of letters/emails to Bob and Sue friends of Matt and Karen Smith.  They visited all 59 National Parks.  They even visited American Samoa.  I think their journey is amazing.

At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider

" Choosing stability over volatility means staying put when life throws a curveball. It mean digging in your heels when the economy sends your housing price crashing, or when community crime rates skyrocket. Possibly harder, stability means staying put when life gets boring."

That spoke to me in my right now, right now.  I have a serious case of wanderlust.  My summer has been grounded for various reasons and quite frankly it is boring to me.  The closest thing to going anywhere is reading about it.

This book has been reviewed a lot so I am not going to do that and just say READ THIS.  It is interesting, thought provoking, and enjoyable.

Unearthed by Alexandra Risen

What is it with gardeners and uneasy relationships with their parents.  Alexander and her husband busy a house with a huge overgrown garden.  As they unearth the garden, Alexander has to confront her growing up in an immigrant household where people don't talk about the past. Similar in some ways to Orchard House which by the way I LOVED. I loved the map of the garden at the front of book.  I would of loved bigger pictures other than the one's on the inside of book cover. Overall I thought this was interesting book

Traveling Light by Lynee Branard

I really liked this light read.  Al (Alissa)  buys a storage locker and finds the ashes of Roger Hart.  She decides to get Rogers ashes back to his family in New Mexico.  Her adventure takes her across the country and along the way she picks up some other passengers including 17 year old Blossom.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Linky Love

Sometimes It Doesn't Get Any Easier  Lately, Modern Mrs Darcy has had some excellent posts.  This one is good.

NASA Responds To 9 Year Who Applied to Be a Guardian of the Galaxy

Here's Why You Need To Stop Cleaning Your Kitchen Sponges RIGHT NOW - Oye, I have been putting mine in dishwasher. I am a little bit grossed out.

Our Best Advice for College Students - this is most excellent though Emily Henderson is mainly a designer blogger.  I thought this was awesome advice.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cut Flower Garden

Daisies from my Garden

I was so inspired by Floret Flowers I decided to have my own cut flower bed. What do I have in my cut flower garden bed?
Daisies ** I already grow these in another part of yard
Calendula** I already grow these in another part of yard

I have been a long time fan of zinnia's but have only had minimal success from seeds.  I decided to start indoors this time. I also transplanted them into my pallet garden where I am growing dahlia's. It wasn't an overwhelming success but there a few in there.

A pallet garden is simply a pallet that has ground cloth stapled to one side and filled with dirt.  This pallet is pretty large.

As of June 6th
as of July 23

Friday, August 11, 2017

Trek for the Treasure Hike #5 - Lime Kiln

We started out fairly early last Saturday with a large crew.  We even had Stan the dog.  Lime Kiln trail is located outside of Granite Falls.  The trail was cool with lots of little bridges and different terrain. The total mileage is 6.8 miles out and back.
Layout made with Digital Project Life
There are quite a few artifacts near the trail including the kiln.

We found the treasure after the kiln.  It was located by the river.  It was a great chance to give Stan a swim.
Photo by CRR
We only had one minor trail incident involving nettle.  Someone ended up being called, "Nettle Girl". Still no sight of Sasquatch. On the drive to the trail head, we heard a news story which involved a naked man who believed he was Sasquatch and attacked a hunter.

***Saw slug coitus on the trail.  It was a first.  I know TMI for most of my readers but it was pointed out to me.  Sharing is caring.

More details about trek for treasure - beginning, hike 1, hike 2, hike 3, hike 4

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

What I Learned July

Calendulas come in different colors from orange.  I had no idea.  No I am on a mission to get a different color.

Tomato Basil Rice Cakes

I saw this on Becky Higgins Instagram. Pair this with laughing cow cheese and this is really delish.

Plastic Trumpets

Yes, there is such a thing as Plastic Trumpets.  This type is called a ptrumpet. I have a trumpet player at home.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Trek for Treasure Hike #4- Mt Erie

For those of you following, my team, Fluffy Squirrel, on our hiking adventures for Trek for the Treasure.  Hike 4 is in the books and no spotting of Big Foot aka Sasquatch yet. For more details - Beginning, Hike 1, Hike 2, Hike 3

Mt Erie was our 4th hike for Trek for the Treasure in Anacortes, Washington.  The round trip mileage was 5.2 miles. I think anything with mount should be outlawed. The last bit was rocky and filled with tree roots.  My partners Ms Epi and Princess of Quite A Lot  made it to the summit.
Photo by TT

I decided making it to the treasure box was definitely good enough.   I wish I did but I wanted to make it back to the car. I did make it to the treasure box and I guess that is what counts. We signed the logbook at #96.

All layouts done with digital project life.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weed Patch Flowers


I have been working on a cut flower garden.  It is more like a weed patch but I thought I would show you some flower arrangements from flowers from my garden. This is amateur hour by the way.

Daisies and 1 Calendula

Daisies, Butterfly Bush Flowers, Weeds

Daisies, Butterfly Bush Flowers, Calendula

I am not a floral arranger but I like having flowers around. I heard these called hillbilly bouquets as well.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

There Are No Jobs in Those Canyons

I was listening to a radio program where the host was having people call in with the best advice they had received.  Years and years ago, my husband had a colleague who told him this when he was about to do something foolish beyond his level expertise, " There are no jobs in those canyons."  He meant it literally about the geography.  My husband worked outdoors in a treacherous area. If you injure yourself by going down that canyon, you won't have a job.

However, I think it applies to a lot of things just not physical activities. The quote applies to risk. Do I say something about someone's job performance if that is just going to make my life harder?  Do I physically push myself at my job if it is destroying my body? What is a good risk? Is this a wrong, I meant to right? Just something I am ruminating on.

What is the best advice you ever received?  Leave me a note in the comments

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What I Read July

I am linking up to Modern Mrs Darcy's Quick Lit.  If you haven't taken her reading personality quiz YOU SHOULD. My reading personality is escapist.  I thought the book test was spot on. 

The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless

If you read Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer about Chris McCandless his escape into the wilds of Alaska and ultimate death this book explores more of the McCandless family dynamics.  Carine, his sister, gives us the back story of their turbulent home life and just how that might of contributed to her brother's escape into the wild.

Voyager by Diane Gabaldon

I have continued on in the Outlander Series.  I think I am ready to take a break from Jamie and Claire.

The Other Einstein

This book is about Einstein's first wife Mileva who was a physicists and mathematician in her own right. There is much speculation that she was more than a supporter and rather a contributor to Einstein's theories. I honestly don't think Einstein would of come up with many of his theories without Mileva. This book also addresses the fact that in that day and age to be an educated woman was tough and even harder to be a scientist. I found the book interesting. This book is part of the Big Library Read

I don't know if anybody else has been watching the National Geographical Channel program, "Genius", on Albert Einstein.  I think this would be a great companion to watch while reading this book.

The House by the Lake by Thomas Harding

This book is about a house in Germany first owned by the Alexander's by the lake in Grob Glienicke. Thomas Harding sets off to find the house with his Grandmother in 1993 who remembers it as a safe haven during the rise of Hilter.  20 years later when Thomas returns to visit the house, the house is about to be demolish.  The story is of 5 families and the history of Germany and how they lived in the house.  This is also a story about how Thomas set off to save the lake house. I found the book fascinating.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Trek for the Treasure - Hike 3

Me and My Best Friend have been having a summer adventure.  We have been participating in Trek for the Treasure.  Check out my other posts the beginning, Hike#1, Hike #2.

The Fluffy Squirrels were at it again.  This time we hiked the Fragrance Lake Trail in Whatcom County along Chuckanut Drive.
Fragrance Lake
The last time I hike this particular trail was in 2013 Easter. Blogs are great for looking back.  I believe I said I wasn't built for this type of hike.  Fragrance Lake is a 2 mile hike uphill. It is basically switchback after switchback for 2 miles. This an EXTREMELY popular trail.  Stan the Dog had lots of training opportunities to heal and pull off the trail for dogs and human alike.

Stan the Puppy - 5 months

I was glad he was along so I could take a breather. On the way down he was so trained to get off the trail, he just pulled off the trail and healed and waited for others to pass.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Autism Linky

This is where I share all the links I found interesting about Autism.  These are all articles and podcasts that I found helpful or thought provoking.

Sensory Therapy for Autism: How much sense do they make?  - very interesting

Autism Breakthrough: 18 genes have been linked to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Day in he Life of a 7th Grade with Executive Function Challenges

Differentiating with An Adult With Autism - Oh this resonated me. I have started to walk that fuzzy line. Love this quote - "He will be independent of me, even if he's not independent of help."

Different - Art of Simple Podcast - interview with Sally Clarkson who has a son who is different.This is really great

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hike #2 - Trek for the Treasure

My courageous friend and I are participating in Trek for Treasure.  It is a hiking program through a local hospital to get people out hiking. There is a total of 6 hikes each in increasing difficulty. Our team name is the Fluffy Squirrels. Click to see details for Beginning and Hike #1

Our 2nd hike was at Pass Lake/Ginnett Trail in Deception Pass State Park.  The Fluffy Squirrels had to unleash our inner billy goat.  I was extremely glad to have my hiking pole.

The trail took us to the Ginnett Homestead.  This was a giant cement slab where the house stood. The view was incredible.
view from up top
peek a boo view of  lake

This trail is part of the Pacific Northwest Trail. The Pacific Northwest Trail is a long distance trail that starts in Glacier National Park and runs all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Once we had our clue in hand, we headed back on the trail.  We signed in the log as team number 12. We decided to take the optional Big Cedar Trail back as it said it was only slightly more steep.  It was incredibly steep.  We were basically following a creek up a ravine. It was beautiful with huge old growth cedars.  I was a wimp.  There was a lot of stopping on my part.

Photo by TT
Proof it was steep
Me assuming the Pause Pose
Mrs Epi was rocking it.  Thank goodness, she is willing to do this adventure with me.

We did it!  We met another team in the parking lot so I gave them my sweaty map.  The map was soaked. We had decided my band name was crinkle pants. I had been storing the map in the front of my pants.  I don't know why I didn't give them my good map in my pack. The other team said if they didn't find anyone in the parking lot to borrow a map they were heading to the bar.  (Ha, Ha)

We haven't found Big Foot but we are on the hunt!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Wahoo! Last Day of School

Last Day of 8th Grade

Today is the last day of school for my eighth grader.  It has been a long year with 11 snow days.  YES, 11 snow day of which we had to make up 8.  Now summer lounging can begin.  We do have a few things on the summer agenda - Jazz Camp and Band Camp.

It shall be a very musical summer.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Smashed Penny Collection

I found these glass trays at a garage sale for a local charity.  Yep, I paid 25 cents a piece. I like to use them in my bathroom vanity. However, I have a collection of smashed pennies and they look great in this glass tray instead of having them stashed in some drawer.  My family has enjoyed looking through them.  I have about 70 of them.  I keep finding them as I clean out various places now I have place to keep them all together. People know I like these smashed pennies them so they bring them back to me.  I love these cheap tokens.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hike #1 - Trek for Treasure

Mrs Epi and I and Stanley, the puppy, went on our first hike in Rockport State Park on Friday June 9th with Trek for the Treasure.   Check out my first post on Trek for the Treasure for all the details about our this hiking adventure. Rockport State Park is an old growth forest that is a 632 acre day use park.  The park is approximately 1.5 hours from us so we had to find a day that worked in the 2 week window. We hiked the day after a rain storm so it was a bit on the muddy side. Glad I took Mrs Epi's suggestion of extra shoes.

It was a beautiful hike on the Evergreen Trail with lots of mossy large growth trees, banana slugs, and mushrooms growing on trees. Both of us thought it was a bit more up and down than we expected for a first hike. It was a 3 mile hike.

Of course, I used Digital Project Life to document. We found the clue box which was a skeleton in the woods. Stanley the dog wanted nothing to do with the skeleton.  He barked and barked. Hopefully, we didn't traumatize him for life. We were team #133 to sign the logbook out of approximately 200 teams.

The only hike were team placement counts is the last hike as the first 100 get a special prize.  Looking forward to the next hike.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What I Read June

I am linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy.  Check out what everyone else is reading this month. I managed to read quite a lot of books this month. I was on a roll.

Trespassing Across America By Ken Ilgunas

When I picked this up, I thought that this was perhaps too liberal of book for me.  The cover intrigued me.  I didn't really want to read about the Alaskan Pipeline. I can say why Ken is not for the pipeline but he got me to think about the pipeline as he walked what would be the route of the pipeline.  I thought it was thoughtful and there is something there for both liberals and conservatives. This was an incredibly interesting book about the many sides of the pipeline and where it runs through the US and the people along it.

What is the solution? How will we get there? If we could travel five hundred years into the future and see things turned out okay, how did we make it okay, and how can we now, as individuals  and as a country, make real this future of okayness.- Ken Ilgunas

A pipeline is built to send a resource form a place that has a lot of resources to a place that doesn't. But civilization won't collapse without new oil pipelines, it'll will collapse without clean water, healthy soil, and a stable climate. What we ultimately  need, it seems , cannot be delivered by a pipe.- Ken Ilgunas

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel

I had a hard time putting this down.  It was intriguing read about Empress Wu and what happens behind palace doors. Of course, there is back stabbing, romance, political intrigue. There is a sequel to this book but I haven't read it yet.

Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott

This was OK for me. Set in the early start of the industrial age and talks about the girls who work in the cotton mill in Lowell. There was mystery and romance.  This is a good summer read.

Sisi by Allison Pataki

Married to Emperor Franz Joseph, Elisabeth—fondly known as Sisi—captures the hearts of her people as their “fairy queen,” but beneath that dazzling persona lives a far more complex figure. In mid-nineteenth-century Vienna, the halls of the Hofburg Palace buzz not only with imperial waltzes and champagne but with temptations, rivals, and cutthroat intrigue. Feeling stifled by strict protocols and a turbulent marriage, Sisi grows restless. A free-spirited wanderer, she finds solace at her estate outside Budapest. There she rides her beloved horses and enjoys visits from the Hungarian statesman Count Andrássy, the man with whom she’s unwittingly fallen in love. But tragic news brings Sisi out of her fragile seclusion, forcing her to return to her capital and a world of gossip, envy, and sorrow where a dangerous fate lurks in the shadows.- Amazon review

This was an interesting read. I am a sucker for this type of historical fiction.

Life in Motion by Misty Copeland

This was a Modern Mrs Darcy recommendation for a memoir.  I have been a fan of Misty for a while. I find her back story on how she became a ballerina fascinating. You can't but help but admire Misty's drive. Misty is a remarkable woman and dancer.

The Last Season by Eric Blehm

The story of a missing back country ranger, Randy Morgenson,  and the resulting search in the Sierra Nevada's.  The mystery why he disappeared . Wow, this book was hard to put down true story.  Some parts of this reminded me of Ranger Confidential. I am in awe of the jobs our Rangers do in National Parks.