Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Maine

Maine is the only state that shares its border with only one other state. Maine produces 99% of all the blueberries in the country making it the single largest producer of blueberries in the United States. Acadia National Park is the second most visited national park in the United States. I'm looking forward to visiting Maine this year when Ryan completes his Appalachian Trail hike!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Louisiana

The world famous "Mardi Gras" is celebrated in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is an ancient custom that originated in southern Europe. It celebrates food and fun just before the 40 days of Lent: a Catholic time of prayer and sacrifice. Louisiana is the only state in the union that does not have counties. Its political subdivisions are called parishes. The Saint Charles streetcar line in New Orleans and the San Francisco, California cable cars are the nation's only mobile national monuments

Monday, May 04, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Kentucky

The Bluegrass Country around Lexington is home to some of the world's finest racehorses. The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville on the first Saturday in May. Thunder Over Louisville is the opening ceremony for the Kentucky Derby Festival and is the world's largest fireworks display.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Books I read in April 2015

The Diplomat and the Gold Piano
by Margaret Scherf  Margaret wrote a Nancy Drew book as Carolyn Keene (The Secret of the Wooden Lady, 1950) and this was one of her own books featuring adult sleuths, Emily and Henry Bryce who are decorators and provide the Gold Piano in the title. It was a fun read obviously written in 1964 and you get a very "Mad Men" feel from it.
The Stranger by Harlan Coben (library) great thriller, one of his best. lots of twists and turns
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon (audiobook) listened to while driving around Appalachia
A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg well this was an excellent way to learn about some English History. The life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I still have a bunch of books by Konigsburg to read, but I have been enjoying them all.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (library) inspired me to get rid of several boxes and bags of stuff, but I still need to weed through my clothing again!!
The Clue in the Crumbling Wall by Carolyn Keene reading this to prep for my Nancy Drew convention in Iowa at the end of the month.
Something Rich and Strange by Ron Rash (library) loved this collection of short stories mainly set in Appalachia this author wrote Serena which I enjoyed.
Never Turn Your Back by Margaret Scherf This one was written in 1959 and Reverend Martin Buell, an Episcopalian minister in Montana is the sleuth. 
The Black Box by Michael Connelly (audiobook) listened to this one while driving from Asheville, NC to Damascus, VA and all around the AT in Virginia while doing Trail Magic for Ryan
The Bankers Bones by Margaret Scherf This book features Dr. Grace Severance as the sleuth and is set in Arizona. Dr. Severance is a retired pathologist. This was my favorite of the Scherf books I read this month.
Father's Arcane Daughter by E. L Konigsburg Yuck, my least favorite of Konigsburg's books so far and it seems this one was made into a Hallmark movie called Caroline. It was okay, but I would not rave about it.
What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George (audiobook) such a depressing story, but I loved the idea of this book. It takes what happened in George's previous book With No One as Witness and sees it from another angle. Really fascinating. Reminds me of exercises we would do in creative writing class. (like write about a car crash from the driver's point of write the same crash from the point of view of a woman walking her dog along the road)
Scarlett Slept Here: A Book Lover's Guide to the South by Joy Dickinson Bought while I was tooling around the VA mountains. And there was not much about Virginia in it unfortunately.
Nameless Night by G. M. Ford Ford's version of Bourne Identity
The Secret of the Spotted Shell by Phyllis A. Whitney a childhood favorite that I liberated from a thrift shop in the mountains of Virginia.
The Goodbye Body by Joan Hess I really like her Maggody series, which I think is more fun than this series.  This one is a "Claire Malloy Mystery" and Claire is a bookstore owner.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Kansas

Kansas was really the WILD WEST!! Wyatt Earp, James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok and William B. "Bat" Masterson were three of the legendary lawmen who kept the peace in rowdy frontier towns like Abilene, Dodge City, Ellsworth, Hays, and Wichita. Amelia Earhart, first woman granted a pilot's license by the National Aeronautics Associate and first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean was from Atchison, KS.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Iowa

Iowa is the only state name that starts with two vowels.
The name Iowa is derived from the Ioway Indians who lived in the area.
The Iowa State Fair features over 600 exhibitors and more than 50 foods on-a-stick. 
Tourist attractions include the Herbert Hoover birthplace and library near West Branch; the Amana Colonies; Fort Dodge Historical Museum, Fort, and Stockade; the Iowa State Fair at Des Moines in August; and the Effigy Mounds National Monument, a prehistoric Indian burial site at Marquette.

I am attending a Nancy Drew convention in Iowa at the end of the month. Nancy Drew author, Mildred Wirt (the original Carolyn Keene) lived here and attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Indiana

Indiana literally means “land of the Indians,” as it was once promised to be reserved for Native American use. This was not to be, however, and the area was eventually appropriated by other groups.

The first long-distance auto race in the U. S. was held May 30, 1911, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The winner averaged 75 miles an hour and won a 1st place prize of $14,000. Today the average speed is over 167 miles an hour and the prize is more than $1.2 million. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the site of the greatest spectacle in sports, the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis 500 is held every Memorial Day weekend in the Hoosier capital city. The race is 200 laps or 500 miles long.

Both Ryan and I have family roots in Indiana. My Dad's family is from Fort Wayne and Ryan's Dad's family is from Terre Haute  !