Monday, July 28, 2014

Booking It July

Check out what the ladies are reading over at Life as Mom. Once again sucked in by the hot reads table at the library.  That just proves that displaying books prettily gets readers to pick them up. 

I read Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann. It is about a vintage clothing buyer and proprietor of a vintage clothing store that finds a journal sewn inside the coat.  The journal belonged to a young woman who wanted to become a clothing buyer for a department store during a time when woman faced some challenges in this field. It was a light enjoyable read. I wish it was a little more fleshed out especially at the end in regards to how Olive story ended.  It was a quick summer read.

I also read The Expats by Chris Pavone recommended by the Modern Mrs Darcy.

An international thriller, The Expats is the story of a seemingly ordinary working mom, Kate Moore, whose husband, Dexter, is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg—a move that will unravel everything they believed about each other. Kate and Dexter have struggled to make ends meet, so they jump at the chance to start a new life abroad with the promise of rich rewards. But Kate has been leading a double life, and leaving America forces her to abandon her dangerous but heroic job. She soon discovers that it will be harder than she thought to shed her past, especially while coping with the weight of an unbearable secret. Dexter seems to be keeping secrets of his own, working long hours for a banking client whose name he can’t reveal. When another American couple befriends them, Kate begins to peel back the layers of deception that surround her, revealing a heart-stopping con that threatens her family, her marriage, and her life. - Amazon

I really enjoyed how the story unfolded. It was a good compelling read. I also read The Accident by Chris Pavone as well. This one I enjoyed even more.  Chris Pavone slowly unfolds this story.

As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals with publication of The Accident, while always looking over his shoulder. -Amazon

I also read The Phantom of Fifth Avenue by Meryl Gordon. This is another book about the mysterious heiress Huguette Clark.  I once again came away from this book thinking that Huguette was not crazy but eccentric.  Huguette was wealthy beyond imagination and I don't think we can understand the burden and privilege that comes with that fully. This book also confirms to me once again that her personal nurse took advantage of her relationship with the heiress even if the heiress didn't feel that way.   There were also others in her personnel circle such as her accountant and lawyer who also took advantage of  her. This book delved more into the will contest and I found that fascinating. I did a previous review on the book Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman. Bill Dedman broke the story on Huguette Clark so his book was also quite interesting if you are fascinated with   the story of Huguette Clark.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Linky Love

Summer is here at last.  Lately, we have been in the HEAT! Here is some linky love.

38 road trip songs - Oh so good!  This is the ultimate round up

10,000 steps mystery Demystified - This was interesting.  Here is a little bit about my Fitbit Journey

Books to Teach Kids Math - This was written by a local homeschool blogger.  I have an reluctant math learner at my house so I will be checking these out.

Who is technology smarter - Preschoolers or College Students  -100 Dollars a Month take on it.

The Real List from a guest post on Confessions of an Asperger's Mom on school supply lists for Aspergers and ADD. This is a good funny read.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Journal Experimenting

I have been experimenting with different types of journal writing.  This past spring I tried keeping a bullet journal. 


It was a little to intense and I went back to my Handy Dandy Notebook.  I basically use a cheap spiral to schedule and keep notes in.  I have streamlined it a little based on some ideas I got from the bullet journal method. I am keeping my scribbles under my schedule for the week. This made it a bit easier to access my notes. I also liked the symbols for looking stuff up.

This past week I have been using Life as Mom's post it note to do list. I love that my too do list is on a post it notes.  If it doesn't fit on a post it, you don't do it.  I do a lot of scribbling of notes and this doesn't really accommodate this though I can put those on the backside of the paper.  I am finding myself accomplishing more.  That is always a good thing.

Journaling and to do lists are so personal.  I am constantly tweaking my journal/schedule/to do list.  I know that I am a jotter and I have to have a landing place/writing place for all my notes. The spiral solved that but it still isn't always easy to access my notes.  So I am working on that part.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Geocaching in Whatcom County with Kids

Here are some good beginner caches if you want to geocache in Whatcom County.  Don't know what geocaching is?


***Always check geocaching.com for availability. This simply means read the cache description and comments to see if the cache has been found recently.  Occasionally these caches are muggled  aka people take them. Make sure you sign up for a FREE geocaching.com account.

CACHES YOU GOT TO CHECK OUT (this is only a very small sampling of caches in Whatcom County)

Blaine
WAStatePks100: Peace Arch Cache -Print out a passport here and stamp it with the special stamp found in the cache. Read the cache description for the lock combo. Part of the Washington State Park Centennial GeoTour. Collect 50 stamps on the same passport and receive a special 50 park coin.

Birch Bay
WAStatePks100: Birch Bay -Print a passport here and stamp it with the special stamp found in the cache.  If you got Peace Arch stamp already just stamp Birch Bay in the appropriate spot. part of the Washington State Park Centennial GeoTour.

Mt Baker Council, Cache to Eagle #10 - This is a bit of a hike but doable for preschoolers. This takes you to a little know part of Birch Bay State Park. Park over on the camping side. It is part of the nature trail.

Custer
Jensen Family Forest Park - This is a little known park.  There is some GPS bounce but the cache is large. Little kids will like this path through the woods. This could be mosquito city in the summer so pack some bug spray

Ferndale
Return of the Slidepark - This is at a park with a slide.  It is a large cache.  This is the perfect first time find.  Remind kids about using stealth.

Griffentown Park - This has Ferndale's Veteran's Memorial.  Also it is a good place to train watch.

Swirley Revenge - This is near the river at Hovander Park.  This takes you to see something neat. It also along the new Nooksack River Trail

Your Towers are Weak, Old Man - This is a little tricky.  Yes it is in the tower.  I have found adults aren't so good at spotting it but kids will see it.  This is a great one for elementary kids. Read the notes. If you got little people take time to play on the playground and feed the farm animals (summer)

Tower of Flower - This is at Fragrance Lake in the tower.  The first time we looked for this we found a letter box outside of the tower.  This one will surprise you with it's cleverness.  This one is a bit on the harder side.

Bellingham
There are so many choices here so I will give you just a few but check geocaching.com for the endless selection.  If you are new cachers stick to terrain 1 difficulty 1 and look for bigger caches.  Nothing is more frustrating to kids then not to find the cache .

Telegraph Trail - Think small and magnetic

WAStatePks100: Larabee  We are lucky to have 3 State Park Caches in our county. This is a lovely drive go on a clear day for a wonderful view. Make sure you print a state park passport and stamp it with the special stamp.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Hovander Park (2004)

Charlie - 2004
Hovander
I love how my son's sweatshirt matches the tractor.  That was totally not planned. Hovander Homestead Park use to have two tractors kids could climb on.  It was a rite of passage for the kids to stick rocks into the gas tank on top.  The tractors are no more but now the park has a most excellent play structure.  We have spent many hours at Hovander Park during the summer feeding the animals and exploring the park.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Black Screen

Well, there has been an interruption to my blogging.  My computer hard drive crashed. I will be back with new content soon.  I am typing this on a borrowed laptop. I have A LOT to say and a few pics to post.  Hopefully this is just a pause to my blogging.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

4th of July Pictures

It was really really loud around here on the 4th.  We had a good time with a little bit of fireworks.  We sat in the driveway and watch everyone explode theirs.  There was a lot of money that burned up in a blaze of glory. These were huge displays too.