Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: New Hampshire

The highest wind speed recorded at ground level is at Mt. Washington, on April 12, 1934. The winds were three times as fast as those in most hurricanes. The state of New Hampshire is nicknamed "The Granite State". The official motto is "Live free or die".   I just spent 10 days in New Hampshire in the White Mountains along the Appalachian Trail and it was FABULOUS! Saw Moose and Bear and Foxes! Hiked to mountain tops and waterfalls, shopped in antique stores and outlet malls. It was a wonderful vacation!!!

August is Hike-a-thon Month for me! Please donate a little something to help Washington Trails. Just copy and paste this link into your web browser:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hike-a-thon 2015 is coming up soon!!

It's that time of year again. Starting August 1st, I will be taking to the trails to raise money for the WTA. First of all, thanks to everyone who supported Ryan and me last year for the Washington Trails Association hike-a-thon.
This year, Ryan is finishing up the Appalachian Trail in Maine and then he will be flying to Europe to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc through Switzerland, Italy and France. I will be on a trip to Estonia, Finland and St. Petersburg, Russia and I don't know how much actual hiking I will get to do, but I will be walking for much of that trip and any time at home will be hiking trails around Seattle. 

Washington Trails Association is the state's most active group serving the hiking community. The WTA recruits over 2,000 volunteers annually to help repair and maintain our trails, they advocate on behalf of hikers for trail funding and protection, and they publish informative resources both in print and online that help hikers get out on trail more often. We are seeking pledges for hike-a-thon. You can pledge a flat donation or an amount per mile. All donations are tax deductible. And every little bit helps! Last year I had several pledges of $3 to $5, It all adds up. *For a contribution of $40 or more, sponsors are eligible for Washington Trails Association membership. We have blogs on the internet detailing our hiking adventures, and as well as a webpage on the WTA website

   If you don’t want to donate via credit card on the website, checks can be made out to WTA and sent to me at the address below. Thanks so much for any help you can provide! Amanda Arkebauer, PO Box 16131, Seattle, WA 98116

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Nevada

In 1931 the Pair-O-Dice Club was the first casino to open on Highway 91, the future Las Vegas Strip. Nevada has more mountain ranges than any other state, with its highest point at the 13,145 foot top of Boundary Peak near the west-central border.
 The ghost town of Rhyolite still pays homage to early pioneers and their dreams. Remains of the depot, glass house, bank and other buildings are on display.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Nebraska

Nebraska is the Great Plains State. The Great Plains is a large, mostly flat area of grassland prairie in the center of the continent.  The area, mistakenly called the "Great American Desert" by European Explorers, is one of the top farming areas in the world.
Elephant Hall, a museum in Lincoln, has the biggest collection of elephant skeletons in the world. The biggest mammoth fossils ever discovered were found in Lincoln County.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Montana

46 out of Montana's 56 counties are considered "frontier counties" with an average population of 6 or fewer people per square mile. The most visited place in Montana is Glacier National Park, known as the crown jewel of the continent. It lies along Montana's northern border and adjoins Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, forming the world's first International Peace Park.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Books I read in June 2015

The Poet by Michael Connelly (audiobook) not a Hieronymus Bosch story the protagonist was a reporter instead of a cop or detective. Pretty good story though.
Forever Liesl by Charmian Carr the story of the making of the Sound of Music, very nice
The Story of Sushi by Trevor Corson very interesting history and explanation of sushi I recommend if you are a fan
Bad Blood by Dana Stabenaw (audiobook) As I have said many times, I like to listen to books on audio tape that I have read before, because I usually listen to these in the car and I can pay more attention to my driving if I already have an idea of the story and I am not hanging on every word.
Family Honor by Robert B. Parker (library) A Sunny Randall mystery and I quite enjoyed it. Parker had been recommended to me, but I was not interested in the Spencer mysteries, and I have already read the Jesse Stone novels and I did enjoy them, so the Sunny Randall mysteries were a compromise, and I really like them!!
A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Amy Scheibe (library) I liked it....a love story set against the KKK in 1950's North Dakota --Beany Malone and Malt Shop fans, this is a more adult story, but very much reminded me of the social issues that are often found in those books
Still Alice by Lisa Genova (library) about Alzheimer's and has been made into a movie --very very good, I highly recommend
Gunman's Rhapsody by Robert B. Parker (library) The Wyatt Earp story. If you are a fan of the movie, it reads just like the movie Tombstone
The Beautiful Unseen by Kyle Boelte (library) depressing, was recommended by my sister. About fog and a guy dealing with the suicide of his brother. The descriptions of the San Francisco area are interesting, especially if you are familiar with the area.
Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran (library) The basis of the TV show Younger which I have enjoyed alot and I loved the book too.
Storm Front by John Sandford (audiobook) A Virgil Flowers mystery. Listening to it while driving around the Hudson River Valley in NY shuttling Ryan to and from the AT. It's a fun one.
Perish Twice by Robert B. Parker (library) another Sunny Randall Mystery, she investigates her sister's  husband and things get complicated, it was fun.
Fright by Cornell Woolrich (originally published under the name George Hopley). Cornell Woolrich is the most amazing noir writer that you have never heard of....I had never heard of him and more of his stories were made into films during the 40's and 50's heyday of film noir than any other writer!! I found out that he wrote the story that Rear Window was based on and now I have been trying to unearth as many of his works as I can to read.
Smokin' Seventeen by Janet Evanovich (audiobook) I thought this Stephanie Plum novel was more fun to listen to a second time than when I read it the first time! 
Shrink Rap by Robert B. Parker This is my least favorite of the Sunny Randall books I have read so far. I liked that she was a body guard for a successful author and I like to imagine that Robert B. Parker used his own experiences on book tours and in discussions with movie people about making movies from books. But the biggest thing that I thought was stupid was Sunny meets the bad guy, so he has seen her and then she shows up at his office in a disguise and we are supposed to believe that he doesn't recognize her again, just because she wears dark glasses and has on a wig. Stupid IMHO, and her protesting that she does not need her ex-husband's family's help and in the previous two books, she does go to them for help and she talks about it again in this book....this is getting old.
Dead Wake by Eric Larson (library) about the Lusitania, loved it! I wish we could see a movie about this tragedy. Maybe they'll make a movie from this book. Loved all the information about the ship and about the U-boats and the Captains of both. Just really enjoyed getting my history lesson this month.
You Are Here by Hiawatha Bray (library) From the Compass to GPS...about Maps and how they are made, very interesting following the evolution and how GPS and Google have changed things for us all.
Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton Fun Cozy Mystery in the Aunt Dimity series.
American Ghost by Hannah Nordhaus (library) This was a great book. A woman does research on a famous ancestor said to be a ghost. Her great great grandmother lived in Santa Fe, NM during the late 1800's early 1900's and was an immigrant from Germany. I recommend it!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Missouri

At the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, Richard Blechyden, served tea with ice and invented iced tea.  Also, at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, the ice cream cone was invented. An ice cream vendor ran out of cups and asked a waffle vendor to help by rolling up waffles to hold ice cream. 
Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis, Missouri is the largest beer producing plant in the nation. 

Fun Meter to MAX

 So my weekend was planned for months! I had purchased tickets to go see The Princess Bride Movie and Discussion with Cary Elwes who had recently written a book. (As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride) . So I left home on Friday Night and got on the Redeye to Philly. Got a seat and was happy as a clam, until I arrived in Philly at 6am the next morning and I remembered that my tickets to the event were still on my bulletin board in my kitchen, back in Seattle. 

 I was frantic and my blood pressure spiked for hours while I waited for the box office to open, so I could call them and explain my stupidity and hope that they would let me into the theater anyway. I mean, I did have emails from them confirming that I had paid for my tickets. Finally after 10am on Saturday, I got through to the venue confirming that I had purchased tickets and that they would just let me pick up some replacements at will call. Whew, how great was that??!! Now I could take a nap and be fresh for the movie that night!!

And at the theater I ran into some letterboxing friends!! How about that? Small world :-)

The Movie was fun and it was great to listen to the question and answer with Cary Elwes. I also got to get a signed book and shake hands with the man in black (Dread Pirate Roberts) himself!

The next day, my friend, Deirdre and I went to see the tall ships in Philadelphia. We took the water taxi over to the Camden, NJ side

 It was a great day to be out on the water, Saturday was rainy and gross, but today was absolutely GORGEOUS!

There was a whole herd of food trucks !

And we even stopped at the Camden Aquarium to check out the Sharks and the Penguins.

Then it was back to PHL airport and back to work for me.