Monday, June 30, 2014

Booking It June

Check out what everyone is reading over at Life as Mom.

Some of my reads this month had an art twist. I had requested both of these books months ago through library.  It figures they both show up within weeks of each other.

I read it at last The Monuments Men.  I enjoyed it immensely.  The book started a little bit on the slow side but picked up considerably.  I have a small personal connection as my husband's grandfather still living was in World War II and landed at Normandy on the second day and met his wife in France.  Also my grandfather was in World War II too with the engineers and made it all the way to Berchesgarten.  I served in the Army in Germany specifically in Darmstadt and my husband served in Berlin.

 I found Rose Valland, French woman who spied on the Nazi's in France at the museum, was probably one of the most understated hero's of all because she was the key essentially in finding where all the art went. I find it fascinating how much art was looted by Nazi's.  The immense amount of art looted boggles the mind. I found my admiration of the Monument Men grew as the story progressed.  They showed incredible grit and courage.

I haven't watched the movie yet but it is on my to do list.

Finally after a long wait list at the library, I got The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.  What an interesting twisted story. It was so not what I expected.  At the 400th or so page, I just wanted the story to wind down.  Somewhere I read, they thought the book was written by two different authors.  The first half was so different from the second half. 

"Isn't everything worthwhile a gamble? Can't good come around sometimes through some back doors." - The Goldfinch

Lastly I read Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day - One Man, Eight Countries, One vintage Travel Guide by Doug Mack.  I really enjoyed this book.  Doug Mack took a 1960's version of Frommer's Europe on $5 a Day and basically followed it and his mother's letter's from her grand tour of Europe in her twenties.  Doug talks a lot of staying on the beaten path and exactly what it means to be a tourist.  He discusses how  many of these well known tourist sights are still awe inspiring.  We modern day tourists are constantly looking for places off the beaten path but might be better served following the beaten path.  I especially like this quote:

....I think, is the most important legacy of Europe on 5 dollars a day: it's not about where you travel- on the beaten path, along a frontage road, or where no tourist has been before - but about what you make of it. Find your own way.

Doug follows Frommer's suggestions for eating and sight seeing.  His observations were interesting.  Pick this one up if you like a travel read.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


This week I have been volunteering at aVBS, vacation bible school.  They do their bible school in the evenings. I am a wee bit exhausted. Both Charlie and I were in charge of a crew.  It was fun. 

They were doing Group's Weird Animals- Where Jesus' Love is One-of-a-Kind. Every year this church does a fabulous job of hosting VBS but also the d├ęcor is over the top.  This year was no exception.  There was a massive tree in their sanctuary.
The canopy is actual tarps.  The tree even had a fog machine.  There was also this awesome waterfall.

All in all this was a wonderfully put together bible school.  I loved all the adult enthusiasm and they really had a lot of adult volunteers and teen volunteers. That was awesome. The kids were excited and crazy which is to be expected.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Bucket List 2014

Do we have a summer list this year? Well our list is more like a rough draft of our summer.  Here is the low down of our summer plans:

Hiking (?)
Birch Bay
Learn Some Computer Coding -Intro to Computer Science- Cody
Help at VBS
Bellingham Parks and Rec Class
Go to Bob's Burgers (Contributed by Charlie)

Need some ideas for free or low cost ideas
Regal Cinema Summer Cheap Movies
Whatcom County Library Reading Program - Summer Reading
Geocaching 101

Summer Enrichment
Khan Academy Math Missions
Hour of Code
Intro to Computer Science  K-8th

These are the least fleshed out plans we have ever had.  That is ok.  We will go with the flow.  WE WILL EMBRACE SUMMER

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throw Back Thursday - Squires Lake (2009)

Squires Lake 2009
Back in 2009 we went on adventure with some friends in the Adventure Van.  The van is no more but the adventures live on. It was our standard operating procedure during the summer of 2009 to do these adventures .  One adventure was Squires Lake.  The most notable thing about this adventure was I dropped and broke my camera AND we thought we saw cougar scat.  We worked ourselves up pretty good about the cougar scat, too.  I promised to post pictures but I never did so without further ado 5 long years later here are the photos from Squires Lake including the now famous picture of cougar scat. I since have decided that Mrs Epi is an expert scat identifier.

Princess of Quite A Lot


Bones aka Cheezer with Charlie
Scat picture but I don't really see any identifiable scat. OH WELL

I am linking up with The Mom Creative Throwback Thursday Stories.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pennies add up!

One of Coin Jars
We used Coinstar the other day to cash in some coins.  I felt a little bit gangster hauling in my coins.

I was astounded by our change amount.  Yes you are reading that right - $126.71.  Did you know if you select a e-certificate/gift card they don't charge you the 10.9% to count your coins at Coinstar?  I thought that was cool.  We turned ours into a Home Depot certificate to help in our purchase of a new barbeque grill.  Our old grill died a horrible death.  So we are the proud new owners of a barbeque grill. We used it grill some hot dogs for Father's Day.

***This post is totally my own opinions.  I received nothing in return from Coinstar which is a shame. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

School is Almost Out/Father's Day Edition Linky Love

Our long school year FINALLY ends next week.  Happy Father's Day too. Here is some linky love.

High School Field Trip to Pawn Shops

33 Parents Whose Sense of Humor I Admire - These are really priceless - You got to click on the link.

Your Life Isn't Making You Happy - this writer is a full time RVer but there a lot of food for thought here for the rest of us.

5 minutes in a Mom's Head - This is totally it!  Someone finally put into words what is on my mind.

The Real Reason Why Children Fidget - So much truth in this and perhaps some food for thought.

Summer Sanity Savers - Enough said if you are a stay at home parent

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mystery House aka Clock Tower Update

I have been following the saga of our local quirky house.  This weekend the owner painted the stars and stripes on what he calls the  clock tower.

I guess he thinks cloaking the tower in the stars and stripes will save him from the city sanctions.  Here is the link to my previous post. I don't know if the stars and stripes improved his overall look or not.  Pretty impressive that he got it completed in a weekend and that is definitely more than I can say for the rest of the project.

Sunday, June 8, 2014



Hey get outside!  You don't need screens.  Enjoy Nature!  Explore!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Celebrating a Year

Photo by KGR
Photo by LDSMACS
Our cache is a year old TODAY!  It has been an amazing and humbling experience.  We placed our cache in Peace Arch State Park as part of Celebration of a 100 years of Washington State Parks. It was the first cache we had ever placed.

 A hundred caches were placed in a 100 Washington State Parks.  There are actually more than 100 state parks.  We had a chance to visit 50 state parks and complete the 50 state park challenge.
Me behind Giant Rhubarb Leaf

So here are some stats

Cache Found: 368 times
Favorite Points: 40
placed 6/7/13
1st find 6/8/13

Details about the Washington State GeoTour
Our first post about placing it.

We read ever single finder note.  We laughed at some of the responses Like Holy Rhubarb Batman and we loved when cachers noted they waved to the guys in green.  We say it again, "Cachers are the best people."  We look forward to having our cache found again and again.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Uninvited House Guest

On Monday, my parents had an uninvited house guest in their yard - A black bear.  My Dad was even quoted in the local paper. The bear came in their yard and ate the bird seed and drank the hummingbird food.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ferndale Mystery Mansion aka THE CLOCK TOWER

What it looked like in 2011
It now has scaffolding etc
I wrote about this infamous landmark in our town back in 2011(post here).  It is once again in the news. They are being fined and their building permit revoked.

The couple who are building this landmark have even been featured in the Re-Store Newsletter for their remarkable use of salvaged, recycled, and reclaimed materials. They even have a YouTube video.

As you well imagine, this place has become quite polarizing.  Either you believe they are building their dream home or you see it as eyesore.  I personally think that if it was complete the building would be less of an eyesore.  I think people would see it as the quirky house.I don't think revoking their permit is going to improve the outside of the building anytime soon.