Friday, March 24, 2017

Tolmie & Nisqually #Hikes Revisited - #SaturdaySnapshots

In March of last year I went on my first hike with the senior center group. We visited Tolmie State Park and nearby Billy Frank, Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, and rain poured down on our heads. Last week, I joined the group in exploring both places again ... and again we had rain! But the weather didn't dampen anyone's enjoyment. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we don't let a little wet weather stop us.

[Click on photos to enlarge]

Because the Nisqually hike is so different from others I've been on, I'm just posting photos from that area, rather than include Tolmie too.

This whole area used to be farmland, protected from the encroachment of salt water from Puget Sound by a series of dikes. Those have been removed and the land is slowly returning to its natural state. However, the creators of the wildlife refuge decided to leave the barns as a reminder of the area's history.

This boardwalk stretches out into the estuary. After tromping through mud puddles at Tolmie State Park, the wet at Nisqually didn't bother us at all. The tide was out, and we saw quite a few birds - mostly ducks. Perfect weather for them!

According to the Washington Trails Association website, the walk from the visitor center to the end of the boardwalk and back is about five miles. At least it was flat! 

Here's the link to last year's blog post about both Tolmie and Nisqually:
2016 Tolmie/Nisqually Hike
Here are links to more info, if you're interested:
Tolmie State Park
Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world, 
click HERE or on the box below.  

West Metro Mommy Reads
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) 
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Pecan Man - #BookBeginnings on Friday and The #Friday56

If you enjoyed Driving Miss Daisy, The Help, or the Miss Julia series, then you'll definitely like The Pecan Man. Told in the voice of an 82-year-old woman, the author paints a vivid portrait of life in small-town Florida and the realities of race relations in parts of the South. The story is told with warmth and humor, and the author doesn't preach. 

The Pecan Man is beautifully written and free of grammatical and other errors, which I always appreciate. I'm delighted to feature Cassie Dandridge Selleck and other indie authors on my blog.

Book Beginning:
In the summer of 1976, the year of our Bicentennial, preparations for the Fourth of July were in full force. Flags hung from the eaves of every house along this stretch of Main Street. The neighborhood women were even busier than usual. I watched them come and go from a rocking chair on my own front porch.

Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
The inside walls were covered with wood paneling. A large brown gas heater burned noisily at one end of the room and a picture of The Last Supper hung wearily over a deep red couch at the other end.

Genre: Literary Fiction
Book Length: 146 Pages
Amazon Link: The Pecan Man 
Author Website/Blog:  Cassie Dandridge Selleck

Read Chapter One from Selleck's latest book What Matters in Mayhew HERE. 

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Pecan Man is a work of Southern fiction whose first chapter was the First Place winner of the 2006 CNW/FFWA Florida State Writing Competition in the Unpublished Novel category. In the summer of 1976, recently widowed and childless, Ora Lee Beckworth hires a homeless old black man to mow her lawn. The neighborhood children call him the Pee-can Man; their mothers call them inside whenever he appears. When the police chief's son is found stabbed to death near his camp, the man Ora knows as Eddie is arrested and charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, Ora sets out to tell the truth about the Pecan Man. In narrating her story, Ora discovers more truth about herself than she could ever have imagined. This novel has been described as To Kill a Mockingbird meets The Help.


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) 
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Boys in the Boat - #TeaserTuesday and First Chapter / First Paragraph / Tuesday Intros

Anyone who enjoys stories of triumph over adversity will be enthralled by The Boys in the Boat. The author shows the incredibly hard work that goes into being part of a crew team and taught me more than I expected about events during the 1930s, leading up to World War II. I don't read much nonfiction, but this book kept me turning pages as if I were reading a thriller. I'd already seen the PBS special about this amazing team of rowers, but as is usually the case, the book went into much greater detail than the documentary and focused on the life of rower Joe Rantz. As a resident of the Seattle area, I was fascinated by the setting too.

I highly recommend reading this uplifting book.

Genre: Nonfiction
Book Length: 370 Pages (Trade Paperback from the library)
Amazon Link: The Boys in The Boat
Author Website: Daniel James Brown

Each chapter begins with a photo from the 1930s, as well as a quote from George Yeoman Pocock, the man who built the boats for the Washington team and most other teams, as well. 

First Paragraphs from Chapter One (instead of from the Prologue):
    Monday, October 9, 1933, began as a gray day in Seattle. A gray day in a gray time.
     Along the waterfront, seaplanes from the Gorst Air Transport company rose slowly from the surface of Puget Sound and droned westward, flying low under the cloud cover, beginning their short hops over to the naval shipyard at Bremerton. Ferries crawled away from Colman Dock on water as flat and dull as old pewter. Downtown, the Smith Tower pointed, like an upraised finger, toward somber skies. On the streets below the tower, men in fraying suit coats, worn-out shoes, and battered felt fedoras wheeled wooden carts toward the street corners where they would spend the day selling applies and oranges and packages of gum for a few pennies apiece. Around the corner, on the steep incline of Yesler Way, Seattle's old, original Skid Road, more men stood in long lines, heads bent, regarding the wet sidewalks and talking softly among themselves as they waited for the soup kitchens to open. Trucks from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer rattled along cobblestone streets, dropping off bundles of newspapers. Newsboys in woolen caps lugged the bundles to busy intersections, to trolley stops, and to hotel entrances, where they held the paper aloft, hawking them for two cents a copy, shouting out the day's headline: "15,000,000 to Get U.S. Relief."

Teaser (from Page 84):
    It rained, and they rowed. They rowed through cutting wind, bitter sleet, and occasional snow, well into the dark of night every evening. They rowed with cold rainwater running down their backs, pooling in the bottom of the boat, and sloshing back and forth under their sliding seats.

Synopsis (from Amazon):
    For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.
    It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.

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 Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.

Twitter: @SandyNachlinger
Facebook: sandy.nachlinger

Friday, March 10, 2017

Poverty Bay #Wine Festival - #SaturdaySnapshots

My husband and I support Rotary Clubs and we like wine so, of course, we go to the DesMoines, Washington, Rotary Club's wine festival every year! Each attendee is given ten tokens to spend for tastes of a variety of wonderful Washington State wines. Here's the selection of wines available for tasting (and purchase) at their recent event. [Click on photos to enlarge.]

I especially liked Twisted Knickers (from Page Cellars) and Nauti Buoy and Land Ho! (from Hard Row to Hoe). I didn't taste Siegerrebe this year (from Whidbey Island Winery) because I've had it before and already know I like it. Don't you love the names of the wines?

The event had just started when we arrived so the tasting tables weren't crowded. By the time we left, the place was packed!

The caramel-flavored liqueurs from Zzaphoria Spirits were delicious! 

Snacks were offered, too. I had a small bowl of Ivar's clam chowder.

Between noon and 2:30 (when we left) quite a bit of money 
had already been raised for the Rotary Club's programs. 
The event lasted until 9:00 p.m.

FYI: Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support peace efforts and end polio forever. They are:
Promoting peace
Fighting disease
Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
Saving mothers and children
Supporting education
Growing local economics

More info on Rotary's website HERE.

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.
To enjoy a variety of beautiful pictures from around the world, 
click HERE or on the box below.  

West Metro Mommy Reads
To participate in Saturday Snapshots: 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 the host blogsite.