Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 2016 Reading

Dog On It by Spencer Quinn  really fun mystery from the Investigator's Dog's Point of View. I have a bunch of these that I got at a Library sale this summer and I will be reading all of them.
The Harvey Girls by Juddi Morris (library) very interesting about the women who became waitresses at Harvey Restaurants along the Railroad in the late 1800, early 1900's. I did not know that this was a thing (like the orphan trains) and I am reading as much as I can about this history now.
Diary of a Waitress by Carolyn Meyer (library) a fictionalized account of a Harvey Girl. YA Historical Fiction. The author has other historical fiction and I will be looking for more by her.
Night School by Lee Childs (library) the latest Jack Reacher novel. This one goes back in time to an incident that Jack is involved in during his time in the Army. I really like how as the protagonists age, that these authors like Lee Childs and John Sandford, they know it is getting crazy to have your 60 year old hero running around kicking ass and taking names, so they do these "flashback" stories to times when they were younger. Very smart I think!! Nevada Barr also did this with her Anna Pigeon character.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (audiobook) Entertaining in the car. I had forgotten some of these stories!
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (library) a novella about the British Queen becoming addicted to reading. Entertaining (Alan Bennett wrote the Lady in the Van)
The Disappeared by M. R. Hall (library) Meh, this is a mystery type book with a Coroner as the main character. It was just okay. This is the second book in a series of them, so I think I might give one more a try (these were recommended to me)
Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill (library) while looking for a book on her overloaded shelves, the author discovers that she has loads of books that she purchased and never read, or kept meaning to read again and she challenges herself to a year of reading what she has in her house! I need to do this...but instead I got this book from the library while piles and stacks of books teeter throughout my house. Library books always shoot to the top of the TBR queue because they have to be returned and their life in my house is finite. The author is British and the books tend to skew to the British more than American authors, in fact I found many more title to put on my TBR list!!
Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta (library) I really enjoyed this one, It is about a woman who has been living under an assumed identity for most of her life.
Netflixed by Gina Keating a book about the rise of Netflix and how they have changed the way we watch movies and TV
Murder for Christmas ed. by Thomas Godfrey a bunch of short stories by famous mystery authors that are all set around Christmas time.
Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spencer Quinn (library) another of the dog mysteries, this is the second in the series and the only one that I did not get at a library sale this summer, so I had to get it from the library on loan!! ha ha
Washington Square by Henry James (library) This one had been under my radar during college when I read so many classic books. Was happy to find it and get it read.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Christmas

                                                  Norman Rockwell Christmas Postcards
I hope you have enjoyed my collection of postcards this past year. Postcards that could be found anywhere!  Next year, I am going back to posting cards from unique places. Happy Boxing Day!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Ornaments

My friend Pam made this Nancy Drew Ornament for me!

I bought these tatted ornaments in Virginia at a craft fair

My friend, Lea gave me this Sherlock Holmes Ornament. 
I bought this ornament at a Craft Show in Bothell, WA. It represents Ryan on my tree

This ornament is made from Grits! I got it in Georgia when Ryan was doing the AT in 2015

This little beauty came from Maine in 2015

Another state represented from Ryan's 2015 AT Thru Hike I got this covered bridge ornament in New Hampshire

This is a Lilliput Lane ornament. My mom collected these little houses and my sister and I got rid of the collection, but I kept this little ornament to put on my Christmas tree to remind me of my mom. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Quotes

Bookstores are always great places to find really great postcards. I love the photography and the quotes on these two.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Antique Floral

Some more postcards from the vintage area of my collection. Antique Malls are great places to find cards like these and many times they can be found blank, so you can mail them yourself!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Totoro

These postcards are from a Japanese cartoon, My Neighbor Totoro. or My Friend Totoro. If you have not seen the cartoon, it is worth checking out!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 2016 Reading

Under the Stars by Dan White (library) The History of Camping in America, I really enjoyed it, the author also wrote a book about his hike on the PCT called Cactus Eaters.
Here Comes The Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn (library) About a family in Jamaica, a woman works at a fancy resort to try to raise the money to send her sister to school so she can have an education and rise out of the poverty that they live in.
I'll Have What She's Having by Daniel Kimmel (library) the stories behind the best romantic comedies. I really enjoyed this one!! But then I love hearing about the movie business.
Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas loved it it is a quilting story, so my quilting friends, Kathy Woods, Diane Steele, Suzi Robertshaw might like this one.
Night Road by Kristin Hannah (library) Local PNW author and this book is set in the Seattle area. It concerns family drama and was a bit depressing. I read it during the whole election time, so I might have been a bit depressed and was not in the mood to enjoy this. I will try some more books by this author.
The Mysterious Mannequin by Carolyn Keene Nancy Drew travels to Turkey! George bullies Bess about her weight (getting a little tired of that)
Leaving Home by Jodi Picoult (audiobook)  3 short stories about leaving home.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (library) soon to be a movie. About the black female mathematicians that worked for NASA and contributed to the race for the moon.
Part of the Furniture by Mary Wesley (library) Set during WWII in England during the bombings in London, a young girl takes refuge in a house and it changes her life. I enjoyed it, but not the ending so much, it was a little abrupt. Nags at me still.
Knitting Pearls ed. by Ann Hood (library) I have read so much about quilting lately, This is a book of short stories that revolve around knitting. Some great authors in here, including Diana Gabaldon and Jodi Picoult.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (library) rereading this one because it is so funny, sometimes you just want a laugh
The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale (library) about a Victorian Child Murderer who murdered his mother. It was very interesting. The good stuff is the aftermath of the whole thing.
Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult (audiobook) I have read this one before, but really enjoy my audiobooks in the car
The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett (libarry) Really a big coffee table style picture book about the making of the Outlander TV series on Starz. Lots of great behind the scenes interviews and information and great photos too.
The Night Manager by John LeCarre (library). Spy thriller made into a great mini series on AMC.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Mary Engelbreit

I am a big fan of Mary Engelbreit's Bright and Happy Style, so I send and receive postcards like these all the time.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: My Dogs are Barking!

In Antique Malls, it is very easy to find comic military themed postcards. These touch on all the marching and what not that the new recruits would have to do. I emphasize after going hiking with my boyfriend, Ryan!!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Legends

You can find these Legend Postcards all over the country. Some are location specific. Spanish Moss is probably only going to be found in some Southern states, but I do enjoy learning stuff from postcards like these.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Flamingo

 Flamingo postcards sent to me from friends over the years

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

October 2016 Reading

Not so many books this month because I spent all my time walking from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. 

The Grizzly Maze by Nick Jans About Timothy Treadwell and his fatal obsession with the bears in Alaska. I liked it, it has a bit of a different slant than the movie The Grizzly Man and it talks about the movie too.
The Animal Lovers Book of Beastly Murder by Patricia Highsmith A book of short stories about animals that commit murder. Some of them are amusing. You are usually rooting for the animal to get it's revenge on evil humans.
The Secret of Sarah Revere by Ann Rinaldi Revolutionary War American from the point of view of the young daughter of Paul Revere. I did not like this one as much as the other book I read by Ann Rinaldi, I got sick of the teen crush angst in this one faster than I did in Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons
In Plain Sight by C J Box This latest Joe Pickett has an ex-con stalking Joe and his family for revenge and lots of job frustration for Joe. It was okay. Not my favorite of this series
The Phantom of the Temple by Robert van Gulik The detective Judge Dee gets 3 mysteries set up in the first chapter and of course solves all three by the end of the book. In contrast to the CJ Box books, I am enjoying each one of these....although I am reading them out of order. But I don't think it really matters.
An Imaginative Experience by Mary Wesley I picked up this book by a British author in a hostel in Portugal. And I enjoyed it! I am going to look for more by Mary Wesley. This one has a woman who lost her ex-husband and son in a car accident trying to get her life back together. She crosses paths with a man who is in the midst of a divorce and trying to get his life back together.
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen I am a huge fan of this "Royal Spyness" series. Always fun to see what the great granddaughter of the Queen is up to this time. And this time she is traveling to Hollywood, CA and mystery and drama follow.
White Trash: the 400-year untold history of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg (library) reads like a text book, but I found the subject matter really interesting and I learned some North Carolina history!
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tylaer ( library) a modern retelling of The taming of the Shrew. Part of The Hogarth Shakespeare Project, modern authors take on some of Shakespeare's great stories. If you are a fan of the Bard, I highly recommend putting these on your TBR list. Vinegar Girl was fun !
You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein (library) Ms. Klein is a comedy writer and has worked on SNL. This is a collection of stories and they were very funny. A fun read.
Sudden Prey by John Sandford ( audiobook ) I am addicted to having a book going when I ride in the car.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Halloween

                                                     Some Antique Halloween Postcards

Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Gorey

I could probably spend a whole year putting up Gorey Postcards! I have so many!! But these are two of my favorites.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Camino de Santiago: The Portuguese Route

I just recently got back from a Pilgrimage. Everyone who knows me, knows that my boyfriend is a hiker. He walks everywhere. He does not own a car. He enjoys walking hundreds of miles on the Appalachian Trail, on the Pacific Crest Trail and anywhere else. And if you know me, you know I like to read and I like to sleep in!! But I wanted to spend time with Ryan on his terms and experience what he does all the time.

So for me to commit to walk for 10 miles or more a day was huge. The Camino is a special walk. It is historical. People have been making the pilgrimage to Santiago from EVERYWHERE in Europe for hundreds of years. So when you walk the Camino, you have a lot of support. You walk through towns and they take care of you. There are special Pilgrim menus at restaurants and there are albergues that provide lodging only for Pilgrims. In Europe, they like to say that you start the Camino, when you walk out of your front door because all roads lead to Santiago.

When I walked through Portugal, I had little old ladies giving me blessings every day. They would see me walking along through their neighborhood and ask me if I was going to Santiago, "Si, si, Santiago" I would reply. And they would gush on in Portuguese and I really have no idea what they were really saying, but they would pat me on the shoulder with a "Go with God" type of attitude, so I am convinced that they wished me well.

We walked from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. We took the Coastal Route sticking close to the coast and walking boardwalks along beaches. I really enjoyed this part of the hike. I got to eat lots of great seafood along the way!

Everywhere you go, you get a stamp in your passport to prove that you were there, every restaurant, every hotel or hostel. Once you get to Santiago, they want to see that you really walked the distance. In order to get your Compostela, you must walk 100 kilometers. This is basically the distance from the border of Spain and Portugal to Santiago. Ryan started in Lisbon, I started in Porto, so we had a longer distance to walk. There were no worries about getting the Compostela. I would have more than enough miles logged to qualify. 

Every day was a new adventure. I had such a wonderful time and I loved seeing the small towns and parts of the country that I would not have seen otherwise. A few days were beyond my physical limitations and I did take a taxi ride or train ride to jump ahead to another town. But on the whole, I really enjoyed the journey. 

You might notice that in all these photos, I am wearing the same clothing. I had two shirts that I alternated every other day. I had the blue long sleeved shirt that I wore over for sun protection and warmth. I only did laundry once on this 14 day odyssey.  

 You might think that I was stinky, but by spending every night indoors , not camping out, I was able to have a shower every evening or morning and even though I might have been sweaty and stinky at the end of the day, every evening in the hostel or albergue I would have the opportunity to clean up.

Making it to Santiago de Compostela was a huge achievement and I am very proud that I had the opportunity and was able to complete my pilgrimage. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Surreal

These postcards actually creep me out a bit. Just goes to show what crazy things are considered art.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday's Postcard 2016: Sherlock Holmes

Like Shakespeare, it is also easy to find quotes and postcards depicting Sherlock Holmes from bookstores especially!