Friday, June 30, 2017

Hike #2 - Trek for the Treasure

My courageous friend and I are participating in Trek for Treasure.  It is a hiking program through a local hospital to get people out hiking. There is a total of 6 hikes each in increasing difficulty. Our team name is the Fluffy Squirrels. Click to see details for Beginning and Hike #1

Our 2nd hike was at Pass Lake/Ginnett Trail in Deception Pass State Park.  The Fluffy Squirrels had to unleash our inner billy goat.  I was extremely glad to have my hiking pole.

The trail took us to the Ginnett Homestead.  This was a giant cement slab where the house stood. The view was incredible.
view from up top
peek a boo view of  lake

This trail is part of the Pacific Northwest Trail. The Pacific Northwest Trail is a long distance trail that starts in Glacier National Park and runs all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Once we had our clue in hand, we headed back on the trail.  We signed in the log as team number 12. We decided to take the optional Big Cedar Trail back as it said it was only slightly more steep.  It was incredibly steep.  We were basically following a creek up a ravine. It was beautiful with huge old growth cedars.  I was a wimp.  There was a lot of stopping on my part.

Photo by TT
Proof it was steep
Me assuming the Pause Pose
Mrs Epi was rocking it.  Thank goodness, she is willing to do this adventure with me.

We did it!  We met another team in the parking lot so I gave them my sweaty map.  The map was soaked. We had decided my band name was crinkle pants. I had been storing the map in the front of my pants.  I don't know why I didn't give them my good map in my pack. The other team said if they didn't find anyone in the parking lot to borrow a map they were heading to the bar.  (Ha, Ha)

We haven't found Big Foot but we are on the hunt!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Wahoo! Last Day of School

Last Day of 8th Grade

Today is the last day of school for my eighth grader.  It has been a long year with 11 snow days.  YES, 11 snow day of which we had to make up 8.  Now summer lounging can begin.  We do have a few things on the summer agenda - Jazz Camp and Band Camp.

It shall be a very musical summer.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Smashed Penny Collection

I found these glass trays at a garage sale for a local charity.  Yep, I paid 25 cents a piece. I like to use them in my bathroom vanity. However, I have a collection of smashed pennies and they look great in this glass tray instead of having them stashed in some drawer.  My family has enjoyed looking through them.  I have about 70 of them.  I keep finding them as I clean out various places now I have place to keep them all together. People know I like these smashed pennies them so they bring them back to me.  I love these cheap tokens.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hike #1 - Trek for Treasure

Mrs Epi and I and Stanley, the puppy, went on our first hike in Rockport State Park on Friday June 9th with Trek for the Treasure.   Check out my first post on Trek for the Treasure for all the details about our this hiking adventure. Rockport State Park is an old growth forest that is a 632 acre day use park.  The park is approximately 1.5 hours from us so we had to find a day that worked in the 2 week window. We hiked the day after a rain storm so it was a bit on the muddy side. Glad I took Mrs Epi's suggestion of extra shoes.

It was a beautiful hike on the Evergreen Trail with lots of mossy large growth trees, banana slugs, and mushrooms growing on trees. Both of us thought it was a bit more up and down than we expected for a first hike. It was a 3 mile hike.

Of course, I used Digital Project Life to document. We found the clue box which was a skeleton in the woods. Stanley the dog wanted nothing to do with the skeleton.  He barked and barked. Hopefully, we didn't traumatize him for life. We were team #133 to sign the logbook out of approximately 200 teams.

The only hike were team placement counts is the last hike as the first 100 get a special prize.  Looking forward to the next hike.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What I Read June

I am linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy.  Check out what everyone else is reading this month. I managed to read quite a lot of books this month. I was on a roll.

Trespassing Across America By Ken Ilgunas

When I picked this up, I thought that this was perhaps too liberal of book for me.  The cover intrigued me.  I didn't really want to read about the Alaskan Pipeline. I can say why Ken is not for the pipeline but he got me to think about the pipeline as he walked what would be the route of the pipeline.  I thought it was thoughtful and there is something there for both liberals and conservatives. This was an incredibly interesting book about the many sides of the pipeline and where it runs through the US and the people along it.

What is the solution? How will we get there? If we could travel five hundred years into the future and see things turned out okay, how did we make it okay, and how can we now, as individuals  and as a country, make real this future of okayness.- Ken Ilgunas

A pipeline is built to send a resource form a place that has a lot of resources to a place that doesn't. But civilization won't collapse without new oil pipelines, it'll will collapse without clean water, healthy soil, and a stable climate. What we ultimately  need, it seems , cannot be delivered by a pipe.- Ken Ilgunas

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel

I had a hard time putting this down.  It was intriguing read about Empress Wu and what happens behind palace doors. Of course, there is back stabbing, romance, political intrigue. There is a sequel to this book but I haven't read it yet.

Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott

This was OK for me. Set in the early start of the industrial age and talks about the girls who work in the cotton mill in Lowell. There was mystery and romance.  This is a good summer read.

Sisi by Allison Pataki

Married to Emperor Franz Joseph, Elisabeth—fondly known as Sisi—captures the hearts of her people as their “fairy queen,” but beneath that dazzling persona lives a far more complex figure. In mid-nineteenth-century Vienna, the halls of the Hofburg Palace buzz not only with imperial waltzes and champagne but with temptations, rivals, and cutthroat intrigue. Feeling stifled by strict protocols and a turbulent marriage, Sisi grows restless. A free-spirited wanderer, she finds solace at her estate outside Budapest. There she rides her beloved horses and enjoys visits from the Hungarian statesman Count Andr├íssy, the man with whom she’s unwittingly fallen in love. But tragic news brings Sisi out of her fragile seclusion, forcing her to return to her capital and a world of gossip, envy, and sorrow where a dangerous fate lurks in the shadows.- Amazon review

This was an interesting read. I am a sucker for this type of historical fiction.

Life in Motion by Misty Copeland

This was a Modern Mrs Darcy recommendation for a memoir.  I have been a fan of Misty for a while. I find her back story on how she became a ballerina fascinating. You can't but help but admire Misty's drive. Misty is a remarkable woman and dancer.

The Last Season by Eric Blehm

The story of a missing back country ranger, Randy Morgenson,  and the resulting search in the Sierra Nevada's.  The mystery why he disappeared . Wow, this book was hard to put down true story.  Some parts of this reminded me of Ranger Confidential. I am in awe of the jobs our Rangers do in National Parks.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Summer Fun Linky/ Ideas

Many Many of you have children have kids out of school.  We have to go until June 27th.  I am not bitter.  Wait, I am.  Anyways, I thought I would give some links to easy summer fun ideas especially if you are going to have kids home all summer long.

I have done a variety of things with my kids during the summer from  making bucket lists, exploring a different park each week, and Adventure Crew experiences with my best friend and family. I think it is important to have a loose plan or an unplan as I call it. I want to give my kids downtime but I think a little structure helps. We always have a meeting to determine the summer rules with our kids and usually they are agreed on together. I found this extremely helpful because I am able to say you came up with this rule not me. I now have teenagers so it is a whole new ball game in some ways.

It seems like every blogger has a take on this.  So here is a linky to end all linky's.

24 Budget Friendly Summer Activities for Kids- 100 Dollars a Month - Mavis has some great ideas

Coolest Summer Activity Books for Kids

16 Frugal Activities for Summer - love that geocaching is included on this list

Summer Bucket List- 100 Things to do in Summer from The Idea Room

Summer Break Survival Guide - excellent advice

20 So Cool Crafts for Teens and Tweens - this seems more geared towards girls

50 Boredom Busters for Summer - from Skip to My Lou - a lot of variety here

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Trek for Treasure- The Beginning

Trek for Treasure is a unique hiking adventure that brings together people who care about their fitness, enjoy the outdoors, and embrace healthy competition. Join us this summer on six hikes throughout Skagit County and the surrounding area. Your team of two or more people have two weeks to complete each hike, at your own pace and convenience. Hidden at the end of each hike is a clue. Complete all six hikes, collect the clues, and locate the treasure! - From Trek for Treasure 

My friend, Mrs Epi,  and I were out walking in Bellingham last summer and we kept seeing all these people with Trek for the Treasure t-shirts.  This particular trail dead ends and we decided to eat our lunch there.  We actually caught some ladies finding the clue.  We asked them what they were doing and they enlisted us to take their picture with the clue. Right then and there, Mrs Epi and I decided we would be down to try that. 

Newspaper Article on the Trek

I hope to document our experience.  We are just regular Mom's that like to take walks.  We are calling our team Fluffy Squirrels.  (Will have to practice saying that with straight face)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Out of Control TBR list

TBR stands for TO BE READ.  So many great recommendations out there and so little time. My TBR list has taken over my grocery list.  (See Below) The LIST is epic.

On the list

Special Topics in Calamity Physics (maybe)

The Last Season by Eric Blehm (read in May)

Dear Bob and Sue by Matt Smith

The Echo of Twilight

The House by the Lake by Thomas Harding

Lilli de Jong

My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward by Mark Lukach

The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

The Keeper of Lost Things

At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider

We are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

Elanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

Talking as Fast as I can by Lauren Graham (audiobook)

Life in Motion by Misty Copeland (read in May)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Old People Riding Bikes with Youngsters

Last Monday, our friends invited us to bike in Birch Bay.  So we took our youngest and biked with them.  Notice there are no pictures of bikes.  That was because I was huffing and puffing the whole way. The first part was OK. We stopped at Birch Bay State Park to do some tide pooling. The beach was crowded with the Memorial Day Crowd but we managed to see a bunch of crabs and little starfish.
baby starfish

Giant Man Child with the kiddos. Princess of Quie A Lot
Giving him a lesson on crabs

It was all well and good until we started back. My son's bike broke and my will to pedal one more step was tested.  In all, we think we biked around 8 miles. My husband and I decided we are old. Parts of us really hurt. We also decided our companions were in a lot better shape.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June Linky Love

An English Article about The Artist that Hides Giant Wooden Giants around Copenhagen

Hostas - a good article on gardening expectations and enjoying life

The Hardest Part of Everything - Love me some Emily Freeman insight

What Happens When You Plant Bear Scat - I joke that my friend is a scat expert.  This is really interesting.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Birch Bay Tide Pooling

Saturday, I got the boys to go to the beach. My teen boys just don't hang out with their mom much. I understand but it is nice when they do. So on a busy memorial day weekend, we headed to Birch Bay State Park.  The tide was extremely low. We were able to explore various tide pools.  We saw lots of little crab and a few big crab. Charlie collected a few sand dollars.  We usually don't see starfish unless the tide is incredibly low so today was our lucky day. Most people were out clamming.
Charlie relocating a crab
Photo by CMR