Friday, April 20, 2018

Birthday Party at the Little #Gym - #SaturdaySnapshots

When a terrible cold struck my son and daughter-in-law several months ago, I was called in to take my granddaughter to a birthday party at The Little Gym in Covington, WA. Here's a photo of one of the party's activities.






Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. 
To participate: 
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on West Metro Mommy Read's website (link: HERE) Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Goodbye to the Blues - #TeaserTuesday / First Chapter / First Paragraph / Tuesday Intros

    I love a good series, and one of my favorites is the Karen Grace trilogy written by Lynne Morgan Spreen. The characters are mature - "older" but not "old" - and I can definitely relate to them. There's friendship, romance, drama, humor, and even a little danger in their stories. The relationships between the women ring true. Today I'm featuring excerpts from Book 3 - Goodbye to the Blues. FYI: I posted excerpts from Key Largo Blues, the second book in the series, HERE.
    ⭐By the way, when I contacted Lynne and told her I planned to feature Goodbye to the Blues on my blog, she offered a giveaway - an audio version of Key Largo Blues. If you'd like to enter, just include your email address in your comments on today's post. I've also invited Lynne to respond to comments and questions.

First Paragraph:
Chapter 1 - Fern and Belle
     My New Year's resolution - yes, only one - was to go through my mother's recipe cards and make every single dish. I'd tried a few - fleischkuecle and Round Steak Supreme and Walnut Walkaways, although the information wasn't always that clear. For example, one recipe for chicken stew started this way:
     "Take an old rooster. Wring neck early in morning so meat can cool..."
     I didn't plan to try that one.

Teaser (from 47% on my Kindle):
     When we were introduced, he stuck out a sweaty paw and grasped my hand all the way up to my wrist. I would have had to been wearing a whalebone corset for my breasts not to jiggle.
     I loathed him instantly.

Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
Book Length: 314 Pages (Trade Paperback)
Amazon link:  Goodbye to the Blues
Disclosure: I received an advance copy of Goodbye to the Blues as a beta reader. Then I bought a copy of the final version for my Kindle.

Synopsis (from Amazon):
     Every woman needs a friend like Karen Grace. In this third book in the series, Karen travels from Palm Springs to Newport Beach to Denver reuniting with friends, all of whom struggle with matters of the heart. In Palm Springs, longtime couple Fern and Belle are on the verge of breaking up, but everyone knows they were meant for each other. Now in their late seventies, will Fern accept the truth about their relationship before it’s too late? In Newport Beach, Rita, a fiercely independent trucker, must choose between the call of the open road and her devotion to Grady, who needs her now more than ever. In Denver, Jessie has managed to keep her troubled mother at arm’s length, but Sandy is desperate for reconciliation. While Jessie fights to protect her family, her marriage hangs in the balance.
     Caught up in the drama, Karen fears repeating her own mistakes. When she returns home to North Dakota, husband Curt drops a bombshell that threatens to tear them apart. Goodbye to the Blues is an upbeat testament to the power of love in all its forms.



Teaser Tuesday is hosted by The PurpleBooker. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please! List the author and book title too.
Link up HERE



First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by I'd Rather Be At The Beach. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Foothills Trail - South Prairie Trailhead - #SaturdaySnapshots

I've been on portions of the Foothills Trail before (blog post here), but this was my first time on the newly-opened section between the South Prairie and the Buckley Trailheads. We walked three miles along a paved surface, then turned around and retraced our steps on this easy hike. 

According to a Pierce County, Washington, website (here), the Foothills Trail sits atop an historic railroad bed. Another great rails-to-trails project.

This daunting sign greeted us as we set out on our hike. I asked myself: How fast can you run? (FYI: If you look closely, you'll see that someone corrected the sign to read "its" instead of "it's" by removing the apostrophe. That makes the grammar nerd inside me smile.)



An elevated portion of the trail overlooks farms and country roads...


... and crosses rivers and creeks.



When I saw the structure pictured below, the word "springhouse" came to mind. The stream ran right through it! After the hike I looked up that term and found this on Wikipedia: 
spring house, or springhouse, is a small building, usually of a single room, constructed over a spring. While the original purpose of a springhouse was to keep the spring water clean by excluding fallen leaves, animals, etc., the enclosing structure was also used for refrigeration before the advent of ice delivery and, later, electric refrigeration. The water of the spring maintains a constant cool temperature inside the spring house throughout the year. Food that would otherwise spoil, such as meat, fruit, or dairy products, could be kept there, safe from animal depredations as well. Springhouses thus often also served as pumphousesmilkhouses, and root cellars.
In settings where no natural spring is available, another source of natural running water, such as a small creek or diverted portion of a larger creek, might be used. In addition, some people put jars of milk in a bucket suspended by a rope in an "open-mouth" well during hot weather.

Could that be a springhouse?




FYI: Sasee Magazine published my personal essay "Happy When I'm Hiking" in its April edition. You'll find it HERE if you're curious about why I love hiking so much. 





Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. 
To participate: 
Post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky on West Metro Mommy Read's website (link: HERE) Photos can be old or new and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Mrs. Pollifax - Three Complete Mysteries - #BookBeginnings on Friday and The #Friday56


Hard to believe I'd never read a Mrs. Pollifax cozy mystery. Well, now I've read three. While recovering from the "crud" that's been going around my part of the country, all I did was read and recuperate. Mrs. Pollifax was good company and didn't seem to mind my coughing and sneezing. My only complaint is that this three-book, hard-backed tome was heavy!

The three books are: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, and The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax. My favorite was the "Unexpected" one, which is the first in the series.

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: 554 Pages (almost two inches thick)
Amazon Link: Mrs. Polifax X 3
I have had this book on my shelf for years--probably bought from a Friends of the Auburn Library sale.

Opening of "Unexpected":
     The nurse walked out of the room, closing the door behind her, and Mrs. Pollifax looked at the doctor and he in turn looked at her. He was a very nice young man, with black hair, very white teeth and horn-rimmed glasses that he removed now, placing the stem of the earpiece between his teeth. "Well, Mrs. Pollifax," he said pleasantly, "I don't know how you manage it, but for a woman of your age you're in fantastically good health. I congratulate you."
    "Oh," said Mrs. Pollifax flatly, and the doctor glanced at her with such a peculiar expression that she added brightly, for his benefit, "Oh!"

The Friday 56 (from page 56 of my hardback book):
Even the homes that showed briefly in the glare of the headlights looked inhospitable, their rooftops barely seen over the tops of high walls that surrounded them. The walls were guarded by huge gateways with iron-studded doors--clearly not a trusting neighborhood, thought Mrs. Pollifax--and then they had left the town behind.

Synopsis (from Amazon): Here in one volume are three Mrs. Pollifax novels by the incomparable Dorothy Gilman. So curl up on the couch or in your favorite chair and follow the world's most unlikely secret agent on three missions filled with intrigue, danger and fun.

              


Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reads) 
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Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
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