Photo by Angie Quantrell
Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC
Can you tell I am ready for flowers, green, and hiking in the mountains? This will come, after the snow melts, the fog dissipates, the mud dries, and the earth springs forth with life.
Photo by Angie Quantrell
Cascade Mountains, Washington
Last month we took advantage of a sunny fall day and drove the 4×4 pickup to the top of a ridge just south of Cle Elum, Washington.
Peoh Point is a rocky outcropping overlooking Cle Elum and Roslyn, both of which are nestled near I-90 in Washington state. The drive to Cle Elum along the freeway is fast. But the fast ends once you get off the paved road.
The drive to the parking area of Peoh Point is definitely for high clearance vehicles. We did not need 4×4 at all, but the potholes and rocks would have caused trouble for my car.
We found the Peoh Point hike through the Washington Trails Association site: http://wta.org . You can visit to read my report for our day of hiking here: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report-2020-10-17-0055288474
Despite the slow ascent and very bumpy road, it was a beautifully crisp fall day with leaves full of color and drifting to the ground. Everything was damp due to recent rain, but snow was absent.
The “trail” begins about 10 miles up the unpaved road. Once you find the 5-way intersection of dirt roads, that is the place to park if you want a longer “hike” (or walk). Look closely, as I couldn’t count 5 roads so we missed this place. There is a sign which tells you to go left. We did. And parked just down the road.
The Peoh Point trail is really a cell tower access road, so the hiking was easy. Other than fallen branches, rocks, potholes, and puddles, it was a pretty relaxing hike. I’m glad we parked where we did though, to get a decent walk in. You can continue on the road to Peoh Point and get very close, about one mile, from the point. We wanted a longer walk.
The point. Wow. We had views! The cell tower is ON the point, but there is plenty of space to wander around and look at the views. We could see (and hear) the traffic of I-90 and even a train. We used binoculars to find landmarks in Cle Elum and Roslyn. We could see Ronald, the lake, and more. We could tell eastbound traffic was backed up on the freeway. It was fun to play “bird” and see from a bird’s viewpoint.
BEWARE: Peoh Point is a cliff! Steep drop-offs are all along the north side of the cliff. There is a fence around the cell tower, but even with that fence, it would be easy for a pet or child to wander through. Most of the area does not have a fence, so take care around the edges.
Fun fact: At the 5-way intersection, there was a sign pointing to a different dirt road, one that said Ellensburg, 23 miles (or so). We want to go back some day and take that back road home. We just didn’t have enough time for 23 more miles of potholes. 🙂
This hike is gorgeous. Plenty of evergreens, deciduous trees, wildflowers, chipmunks, and birds. We mostly had the place to ourselves, other than one other couple and a few passing motorcycles and vehicles. We did not see any facilities.
Backpacks and Baguettes, Coloring the World through Young Eyes
Written by Sam Morrison and Angus Morrison
Illustrated by Marco Primo
Mascot Books; October 6, 2020
Happy book birthday to Backpacks and Baguettes, Coloring the World through Young Eyes by Sam Morrison and Angus Morrison! Coming out on October 6, this interesting travel and coloring book is filled with fun tales, adventures, and coloring pages.
I was sent a copy of this book by Mascot Books in exchange for a review. Thank you, Mascot Books and Sam, Angus, and Marco, for the many adventures! Read more about Mascot Books at http://mascotbooks.com.
Why I Like This Book:
~ This chapter book is written by a boy who has been lucky enough to grow up in Paris and Washington D.C.! How cool is that?
~ Sharing his own experiences, Sam tells of travel adventures he has enjoyed with his father.
~ I love how Sam tells of friends he met along the way. Making friends as one travels is definitely a perk of being an adventurer.
~ Sam gives interesting factoids about the different locations he has visited.
~ How many locations are included? 16 chapters, though at least one features more than one place. I wish my passport had that many stamps!
~ Coloring pages! And extra blank spaces for readers to draw their own pictures.
~ Great voice! I enjoyed getting to meet Sam through his travels and stories.
~ Well written, engaging, and a page turner. Each chapter is not too long, which kept me reading on to see what came next.
~ The title is perfect! When I first searched for this book on Amazon, I put in Backpacks and Baguettes. And what showed up? Backpacks and baguettes. I didn’t know you could order baguettes on Amazon.
~ Great read!
Check out Sam’s adventures at @samrmorrison on Instagram. He wants to hear about your adventures!
You’re only a child once. Capturing the world through young eyes is difficult. Backpacks and Baguettes attempts to better understand what children think, see, feel, and smell when they are traveling. Everything is new, and everyone is a possible friend.
Your guide is Sam, a half-American/half British boy who so far in his young life has been lucky to grow up in Paris and Washington, D.C.. Sam loves soccer and food and is curious about how people in other countries lead their lives. He thinks graffiti and street art are better than postcards to truly understand a place. He’s even included some authentic global graffiti in the book for you to color. He’s also left space on the back of each image for you to draw your own graffiti or take notes.
Backpacks & Baguettes is a reminder of what it was like to be in the world before the pandemic hit – the sound of mopeds in Rome, the smell of chicken turning on a spit at a French market, a water fight in Bangkok, mushroom hunting in the hills of Tuscany, the feel of fog on your face in San Francisco bay–human contact.
Sam’s stories are ultimately about asking questions until you’re exhausted. They’re about not caring what people think. They’re about smiling and laughing until it hurts and playing until you scrape your knees. They’re about letting your imagination run wild. They’re about realizing in one breath that children are different, but ultimately the same all around the world. They’re about being a kid once.
Check out this cute guy. Turns out he was giving me a ride in a shiny green ’74 Chevy.
The curls, the swagger, the adorable guy hauling around his honey. The guy would be my honey, Kevin. The girl would be me.
Back in the early days of our relationship, we traveled far and wide. Most of that was back and forth to college, Seattle, Tacoma, the mountains, the beach. This trip was over Chinook Pass where we stopped near an overlook featuring Mt. Rainier. Beautiful mountain and cute guy. My mom used to roll her eyes. Yes! She did. Because all I would say was, “He’s so cute!” I think she got tired of hearing those words.
The green truck has been in and around our family since it was brand new. My then future father–in-law bought it when it was about 6 months old, a dealer model. Love that avocado green! It’s been a favorite color for me since, well, forever. Kevin’s family took it to Ocean Shores each summer, hauling along the Prowler camper. I was so excited when they invited me to go along. Believe it or not, all 4 of us (Kevin, both of his parents, and me) road around Ocean Shores sitting on the long bench seat. Clam digging, crabbing, eating out, beach runs, yard sales, hot fudge sundaes. I have such wonderful memories of the old green ’74.
Let’s not forget one of our first dates. Kevin had just barely received his drivers’ license and asked dear old dad to borrow the lovely green pickup. So we were dragging the ave. Yakima Avenue. We stopped at a stop light, my honey. He was driving so careful. But the drunk lady behind us was not. On our first outing, we got rear-ended! Her car was pretty smashed up. But good old greeny had a tiny dent and bent bumper. The fear of telling dad what had happened was worse than the actual accident. But we all lived to tell the tale.
After we were married, Kevin and I had it for several years. We also toted along the Prowler when we took our family to the beach. This truck went wood cutting, Christmas tree hunting, and moving people to and fro.
Later, my dad had the ’74 for quite a few years. He loved to tinker with it and keep it running. He managed to fix it up quite nice. After a certain number of years, one had to always carry a quart or two of oil behind the front seat and commit to regularly checking the dip stick during long trips.
Eventually, my dad gave the ’74 to Bub, as he liked to call our son. Because old green ’74 was showing her age. Bub, a talented and gifted mechanic, a man after dad’s own heart, was nearly the only one besides dad who could keep the old gal running and on the road. And he didn’t mind constantly repairing this and that. Dad and Bub spent many happy hours puttering and repairing not just the ’74, but an entire fleet of old Chevy trucks and vehicles.
Today? The ’74 is still going strong. My honey recently remade the original wood racks that had graced the back for decades. (Literally.) Rust has worn holes in several sections of the fender. Green spray paint has been added to protect and keep additional rust from making holes. There is nearly a hole beneath the drivers’ side feet-rust, water, salt water, sand, dirt, many years of use.
It’s alive and kicking. And we are all the more fonder because of the special memories each of us have surrounding this approaching classic truck. Chevy. Like a rock. The heartbeat of America.
What stories can you tell about your favorite Chevy? (I’m not allowed to name any other brands.)
The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie
Written by Saureen Naik Desai
Illustrated by Marco Mazzarello
Mascot Books, February 2020
Doesn’t the name Princess Pudding Pie make you want to read about her adventures? I know it grabbed my attention. Thanks to Mascot Books for sending a review copy.
The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie, written by Saureen Naik Desai, is the story of Princess Pudding Pie, a young girl who loves to travel, taste delicacies, and enjoy the different places she visits. With passport in hand, Princess Pudding Pie heads out to explore a variety of international locations.
What I Liked About This Book:
~ Princess Pudding Pie (I love that name)
~ Princess Pudding Pie has a pie (complete with pan, which frames her face) for her head. It’s not weird, but pretty cute.
~ Princess Pudding Pie tells how to say hello in the language of each place she visits (I was wishing for pronunciation on a few of them, but still loads of fun)
~ I love how Princess Pudding Pie wears a themed outfit for each country
~ Each spread for every country shows a famous landmark for that country
~ Told in rhyme, this book shares about delicious treats from international countries, but readers are encouraged to eat healthy foods first and then sample sweet desserts
Young readers will enjoy traveling with Princess Pudding Pie. I think it would be fun to choose a favorite treat and make that for the family. Yummy! Or, let’s dream big, travel to a favorite international location and taste the treats there!
Princess Pudding Pie is a smart, sassy, free spirited globetrotter! She loves visiting new countries and learning all about different cultures, traditions, and delicious delicacies. Princess Pudding Pie is excited to take you on an adventure around the world tasting new and interesting desserts, all while visiting symbolic landmarks, collecting neat souvenirs, and learning about traditional dress. She ll even teach you how to say hello in each country s native tongue. Join Princess Pudding Pie as she shows us how much beauty and elegance our world has to offer.
Saving the Countryside, The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit
Written by Linda Elovitz Marshall
Pictures by Ilaria Urbinati
Little Bee Books; January 28, 2020
Happy Book Birthday to Saving the Countryside, The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit by Linda Elovitz Marshall!
Thanks to Little Bee Books for sending me a review copy.
Friends, this book is gorgeous! Being a bit of a Beatrix Potter fan, England fan, and general nature and caring for the planet fan, this book hits the trifecta for matching all three interests.
Well written, beautifully illustrated, and chock full of Beatrix Potter, I recommend grabbing yourself a copy.
Why I Love This Book:
~ Well written and interesting
~ Gorgeous and colorful illustrations
~ I learned so much about Beatrix and England and Peter Rabbit-perfect!
~ The backmatter fills in additional information
~ The setting, the history, and the tone of the times were spot on
~ Great read! This is a book I will reread over and over. It’s like a little trip to England without leaving my RV.
~ Gardens. I adore gardens. English gardens. Just ask my husband and son, who were in trouble more often than not when they tried to “tidy up” the edges of my flower beds.
Congratulations to Linda Elovitz Marshall, Ilaria Urbinati, and Little Bee Books for a job well done!
“Fans of Beatrix Potter will delight in this tribute to her dedication and talent, encapsulating a legacy that reaches far beyond the pages of her beloved books.”-Foreword Reviews in a STARRED REVIEW
“Empowering and fresh.”-School Library Journal
“The life of the British picture-book author and illustrator makes a serendipitous subject for an engaging and attractive picture book…A well-told tale that makes the life story of the renowned author accessible to children.”-Kirkus Reviews
“Perhaps Peter Rabbit needs no introduction, but even children who know Beatrix Potter’s name probably know little about her. This appealing picture book fills that gap…. Recommended for young Beatrix Potter fans.”-Booklist
“In forthright language, this picture book biography recounts her boundary-breaking life as she grows from a nature-loving child with a menagerie of pets…into a successful artist and canny entrepreneur. An attractive introduction to an iconic creator.”-Publisher’s Weekly
“An exceptionally accurate portrait of Beatrix Potter told with humor and surprise. Beautifully done.” Linda Lear, author of Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature
Through she’s universally known as the creator of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter did so much more. This is the true story about how she helped save the English countryside!
Growing up in London, Beatrix Potter felt the restraints of Victorian times. Girls didn’t go to school and weren’t expected to work. But she longed to do something important, something that truly mattered. As Beatrix spent her summers in the country and found inspiration in nature, it was through this passion that her creativity flourished.
There, she crafted The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She would eventually move to the countryside full-time, but developers sought to change the land. To save it, Beatrix used the money from the success of her books and bought acres and acres of land and farms to prevent the development of the countryside that both she and Peter Rabbit so cherished. Because of her efforts, it’s been preserved just as she left it.
This beautiful picture book shines a light on Beatrix Potter’s lesser-known history and her desire to do something for the greater good.
Not THE ROCK, Jesus. Or the Rock, Dwayne superstar Johnson. Not even the diamond rock.
Just the rock. As in, “the rock that bounced into my car.”
It was HUGE. Grapefruit-sized. Did I mention it was bouncing?
The time: Tuesday morning, between 8:05-8:10 am. I know this because the Nana bus had just dropped off Khloe at her before school study group.
The location: west Wide Hollow Road, near Gromore Market
The perp: FedEx truck (AND the rock)
The victims: white Mazda Nana bus, shocked Nana and 4-year-old Gage riding in backseat; also the fog light grill, bumper, and inner shroud
How it all played out: The Nana bus was headed east for home. After making the sharp corner around the market, we were barely going 30 mph. Nana spied a FedEx truck who was stopped road side up ahead with a driver who had just completed a delivery.
Said driver headed back onto road and took off headed west for more deliveries.
We were headed east, he was going west, when a huge clod of mud came bouncing out of his rear tires. It was odd, how round and bouncy that mud was. The first big bounce was easily over a yard high. It came bouncing directly into our lane and front bumper, but there were no shoulders on the road for avoidance and the distance was too close to slam on brakes. Crash! We hit the mud clod. Smash, crunch, crumble.
Whew. We were over it. Both Gage and I felt the driver side tires grind over the bits and pieces. But also, whew! The tires were not flat and the car was still driving.
The results: At home, Gage and I searched the car for damage. I noticed the smashed in grill. Gage found peeling paint on the rear license plate cover. 🙂 It was not a part of the rock incident, but good eyes, Gage!
The fog light grill, a very small opening in the front bumper, was smashed clean through and torn loose. Later examination led me to discover that the shroud right behind the grill plate had a huge hole smashed through it as well. Even later, when Papa came home, more pulling apart of the bumper and grill area led to the discovery of the rock still resting inside the shroud amidst shattered portions of thick plastic.
Evidence! That was why the “mud clod” was bouncing so high. It was a ROCK. A very large rock, which if it had bounced one more time, would have come through the windshield into my head.
I am very thankful. God gave me my own little (BIG) miracle as I traveled my daily route in caring for my grands. Just one more blessing for which I can give Him credit.
Perfect timing, don’t you think? Thanksgiving is right around the corner. In just a few more sleeps, we will wake to excited taste buds ready for the feast that will be prepared. But this year I want to remember to give thanks for all the blessings, protections, and miracles the LORD has provided.
I pray you have a happy and blessed Thanks-for-giving. Look for the miracles.