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  !

Monday, April 06, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Illinois

Illinois is known for its wide variety of weather. Major winter storms, deadly tornadoes and spectacular heat and cold waves. Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery in 1865.  Metropolis, the home of Superman, really exists in Southern Illinois. Chicago has always been one of my favorite cities to layover in, even in the winter!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Books I read in March 2015

When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning (library) this was a wonderful book. It tells the story of how the ASE books of WWII came into being (Armed Services Editions) and really it was the beginning of the popularity of Paperback books. I have a couple of ASE books in my collection.
Trading Up by Candace Bushnell (audiobook) Yuck, listened to while driving around the AT, would not recommend
Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly (audiobook) liked this one okay, Ryan is getting me to read the Michael Connelly books, so there will be several of his on my lists throughout the rest of the year.
The Life of Objects by Susanna Moore (library) I really liked this one. WWII sort of upstairs/downstairs (Downton Abbey-esque) a young irish girl goes with a countess to be her maid in Germany during the time leading up to WWII and experiences all the changes that the war brings to the social order.
Agents of Treachery ed. by Otto Penzler (library) Short stories about spies
The Vacationers by Emma Straub (library) a dysfunctional NYC family goes on vacation in Majorca
 The Last Coyote by Michael Connelly (audiobook) I liked this one better than Concrete Blonde.
The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg (library) YA book about a Quiz Team of kids who come together to form a winning team. I had never read it when I was a kid and it was recommended to me. Very good and I will be picking up more books by Konigsburg.
The Real Photo Postcard Guide by Robert Bogdan and Todd Weseloh I had asked for this one for my birthday and it is really interesting....if you are a postcard collector
Over-Dressed The shockingly high cost of cheap fashion by Elizabeth Cline (library) Learned a lot about the over consumption of clothes. And I feel good about buying at consignment and thrift. AND getting things repaired when they break. So glad that I don't fall into the trap of needing the latest trendy thing OR getting a dozen shirts in every color just cause they are $3 at Old Navy.
The Dark End of the Street ed. by Jonathan Santlofer and S. J. Rozan (library) Short Stories by Crime authors
Black Echo by Michael Connelly moving on through these...this one was good, I think it was the first one and I really ought to be reading these in order, but that has been problematic.
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien I read about this book when it first came out years ago and I thought it was non-fiction. It is actually a fictional account of the Vietnam War
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg I told ya I would be reading more of her stuff.
Trunk Music by Michael Connelly I got a lot of reading done during my jury duty stint
Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Hikes in the Southern Appalachians by Doris Gove I really enjoyed this detailed guide to the AT. Ryan has some "bare bones" hiker guides (light weight, so the detail is not as extensive) and I really liked her descriptions of the areas including natural history and social history.
Just after Sunset by Stephen King (audiobook) short stories on an audiobook that I listened to while driving Ryan to and from the AT. There will be a lot of audiobooks these next few months.
The Camino by Shirley Maclaine just watched The Way again on DVD and saw this book about the camino in a used bookstore.
Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, Elizabeth by E. L.Konigsburg (library) I was delighted to figure out that I HAD read this one as a kid. I totally remembered the storyline once I got into it.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Idaho

Idaho is a mountainous state with an area larger than that of all of New England. It borders the  Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, Montana to the northeast, Wyoming to the east,  Nevada and Utah to the south, and Washington and Oregon to the west. The network of dams and locks on the Columbia River and Snake River make the city of Lewiston  the farthest inland seaport on the Pacific coast of the contiguous United States.  Idaho's nickname is the "Gem State", because nearly every known type of gemstone  has been found there. In addition, Idaho is one of only two places in the world where star garnets  can be found in any significant quantities, the other being India. Idaho is sometimes called the "Potato State" owing to its popular and widely distributed crop. The state motto is Esto Perpetua (Latin for "Let it be forever").
Since I moved to Washington State in the early 90's I have been able to visit Idaho a lot. Wonderful state!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Hawaii

Hawaii is the 50th and most recent U.S. state to join the United States. It joined the Union on August 21, 1959. It is the only U.S. state located in Oceania and the only one made up entirely of islands. 
Hawaii is one of four states, besides the original thirteen, that were independent prior to becoming part of the United States, along with the Vermont Republic, the Republic of Texas and the California Republic. The Kingdom of Hawai'i was sovereign from 1810 until 1893 when the monarchy was overthrown by resident American (and some European) businessmen. It was an independent republic from 1894 until 1898, when it was annexed by the United States as a territory, becoming a state in 1959. And I gotta say, one of my favorite vacation destinations. I don't think I could live there, but I do enjoy visiting!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Georgia

I lived in Georgia from 1987 to 1989, just after graduating from college. It was established in 1732, the last of the original thirteen colonies and is named after King George II of Great Britain.  In early 1861, Georgia joined the Confederacy and became a major theater of the Civil War.  Major battles took place at Chickamauga,  Kennesaw Mountain and Atlanta. In December 1864, a large swath of the state from Atlanta to Savannah was destroyed during General Sherman's March to the Sea. Ryan and I will be spending time here for my birthday when he starts hiking the Appalachian Trail this month! Springer Mountain here we come!!!