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Alaska Travels; Downtown, Up On Mountain, Botanical Garden

Although my cold lingers and we both feel worn out, mom and I are still getting around to see the sights.

Downtown Anchorage:

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On a mountain above Eagle River:

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At the Alaska Botanical Garden in Anchorage:

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Alaska Travels: Accidental Mushroom Hunter

 

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As with my writing, my photography takes me where it will. As soon as I set out for the back woods at my parents home on my arrival in August, there they were; mushrooms of every shape, color and size. Mom and I and the dogs took a walk in Peters Creek Park, and there they were, not only at the edge of the woods and deep inside the understory of birch, cottonwood and fir trees, but we could hardly walk the paths without tripping over mushrooms. Our visit to Homer was the same. I found mushrooms, not only in and around Homer, but in the lush green, moss-covered land around the cabin, and even on the beach-side cliffs.

I’m a researcher at heart. I like to KNOW about things, from every angle possible. I strongly dislike posting photos of plants, weeds and other discoveries, without naming them. That extends to mushrooms, but on this topic, I found myself lost in a sea of too much information. I did spend hours attempting to identify my fungus finds, but finally gave up, leaving the naming to the professionals.

Here are a few favorites and I’ll get over to post the rest on my photo blog soon.

 

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Alaska Travels: Revving Up and Winding Down

Sunset last night, from my parent's deck, Eagle River, Alaska.  Phall Photos 2014

Sunset last night, from my parent’s deck. Eagle River, Alaska.
Phall Photos 2014

A week from today I’ll be catching a ride home on another big metal bird. Yes, I’m 55 and still amazed that those things can carry us through the sky. Of course, the miracle of electricity still boggles my simple mind too. No, no, don’t try to explain them! I NEED every little miracle I can claim 🙂

Up and Down

So, I’m revving up to wind this visit down. It has been one of my best trips home (I always say this, because the present one IS always the best one!). The lists that mom and I make just grow longer, as my days here grow shorter. Sure, we got a lot done the last 2 months, but man, there’s still so much to do!

And Up and Down Once More

One way or another, I’m heading home on the 29th and am very excited to see my Centralia family; 2 adult children, 5 little grands, cousins, aunt and uncle. There are some special friends I’ve been missing too. And then there is my beach gypsy cave and secret garden awaiting my return to Westport. From social to solitary again. At last. The solitude lures me more every day, no matter the love and joy I receive in the presence of family and friends…

A Traveling Clan

Dad will be flying “home” to Kentucky to see his ailing sisters and brother for a few weeks, on October 1st. Four days after he returns to Alaska, mom will leave to spend the winter in Arizona with my youngest sister and her family. We should own Alaska Airlines by now. The sister that I have had the longest (not allowed to say “oldest sister”) and her husband spend the coldest winter months at their condo in Costa Rica. Some how, some way, I have plans on making it over there this year. A girl can dream 🙂

Swing over to http://phallphotos.wordpress.com/homer-alaska/ to see some slide shows from our trip to Homer, if you have a few minutes. No metal bird needed for this tour!

Traveling On,

Patti


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About My Book Reviews and Watchdogs: A Novel

I think I need to say something about my book reviews. There are many ways to write a book review and I choose to write a simply review that tells what I liked about a book. I don’t list every character or give a detailed summary of the book; that information is available on all the book sites. I try to give enough information to (hopefully) entice readers to read the book for themselves. So far, I haven’t reviewed books that I don’t like and can’t recommend. I rarely give 5 stars anymore. I decided to save 5 stars for books that are exceptionally well written, with few, if any typos. If my coffee goes cold and I can’t tear myself away to take a bathroom break; that’s 5 stars! 🙂

Watchdogs by Patricia Watts
Watchdogs: A Novel
by Patricia Watts

Read in September, 2014


Several things drew me to this novel and the author didn’t let me down on any of them. The main character, Julia, lives in Seattle and is on a sabbatical in Fairbanks, Alaska. I live in Washington and frequently visit my family in Alaska. The author captured Fairbanks perfectly and gave us a true taste of the beauty of rural Alaska.

Another talent the author has is the ability to juggle plots, sub-plots and hold the tension just tight enough to keep the reader turning the page. There is murder, suicide, and attempts on Julia’s life all the way to the end of the book.

I love Julia’s honesty, with herself and others. As a professor, she sets her students to the tough task of deciding where to draw the line with truth and journalism.

The romance was done well also, and didn’t overpower the rest of the story. I always enjoy characters who wrestle with real life moral and ethical questions, as Julia does. Truth, justice, and how they are balanced with topics of journalism and the media, make this book a winner for me.