The sunset before the moon…Sleeping Lady (Mt. Susitna)
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! 🙂
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.
I know, I know, I have a million books to review and I am so very far behind. I hope to get to more while I’m visiting my folks here in Alaska.
Once in awhile the bug hits and I have more than a caption-worth of words for some of my photos. These were taken in the last day or so. Their more like snippets of stories, rather than full blown stories. Hence, the weird title
I am not a sun worshiper. This umbrella used to block the sun, in addition to the huge one over the table. The chickadees kept flitting past it, so I thought I’d try to snap a photo of their shadows going past. No such luck. However, I did capture a large moth’s shadow.
Speaking of moth’s, this one came for a visit at my table. I took some photos, then it simply disappeared! I sat my camera down and as the lens closed the moth jumped off…he had hopped from the table to my camera lens.
Another visitor, a chickadee, I believe. They come each evening, between 7:30 and 8:00 to gather seeds from the feeder. My folks put all the feeders away when the bears wake up, so as not to attract them to their yard. I risk it all and have one clandestine feeder and one suet tray. Please don’t tell my dad…or the bears.
When mom and I took Sophie back to my brother’s house, I learned something new. I learned about Larch trees. My brother has a row of them at the front of his property and I went to explore what mushrooms might be growing beneath them (none). The tree is a deciduous conifer, meaning that it sheds its leaves (needles) in the fall. It has hard, waterproof wood and is often used in building boats. It smells wonderful, but the best thing was the feel of the needles. They are very very soft!
Here is Sophie…watching the birds, begging me to get off the deck, and trying out all the seats in mom’s car. She really really wanted to come back with us. It took all three of us to get her out and get Cee Cee in.
On the way home from Michael’s house, I pulled in to take photos of these awesome weeds. That’s when mom told me that her and dad had rented the house we were parked behind, when they moved back to Alaska in the mid-80’s. Weird, I never knew that and we’ve driven by it a million times. Anyway, cool weeds, huh? Fireweed.
Last, but not least, a fresh bouquet of mom’s sweet peas for my sister, Michaela (1964-2012). She gets store-bought flowers from dad in the winter and fresh flowers out of the garden from mom in the summer.
I originally posted this just after I started my blog, and again in 2013, but I wanted re-post it in honor of Paul’s birth date this year. Paul loved celebration, surprises and family. I remember this last birthday before he was diagnosed with leukemia. We lined our merged five grand daughters up on the couch and took pictures. We so loved our little girlies :>)
Paul is/was a Leo and loved being in the lime light on his special day, okay, on any day. He was very quiet about his pride of place, but if you knew him well, loved him, you could see the glow of it in his bright blue eyes and that smile…
I gave him this 3-D NASCAR card that he kept next to his chair for months; he’d never seen anything like it and I think he loved it better than his actual gift. He loved getting gifts, but that was nothing compared to how he loved finding the perfect thing for someone special. He was very into the drama of giving gifts.
We went out to eat with friends 3 times a week and one of the places was at the local casino. While waiting in line, you pass the gift shop. We’d often have our friends hold our place in line, while we looked in the display cases. I’d oooh and ah over the pretty, shiny things, then we’d move back into the line waiting to get in for dinner.
That Christmas, I had a lot of gifts in all sorts of shapes and sizes. By the time all the gifts were opened, I saw what he had done. He used his casino points and bought me every piece of jewelry I had made noise about at the gift shop during the past year! Crazy guy. Thankfully, he also bought me a jewelry armoir to put it all in.
This is a piece of our story; the man I knew. This was written for his birthday, 11 months before cancer entered our lives.
20 Aug 2007
Paul teased me about writing a book for him, instead I wrote this poem for his 60th birthday.
He is everything wonderful that I ever needed,
handsomely wrapped up in one big tender man.
His rolling laughter leads to coughing fits;
spitting up water and vitamins,
and then falling off the bed!
A prankster to his core,
full of special surprises for all.
A memory-maker, his camera always within reach,
he records the Kodak moments of our lives.
His cards & gifts & little notes come from the heart,
and always meet their target.
He loves easily and deeply…
his children, grandchildren, his friends & me!
He would love to be a millionaire,
but he lives well, and is generous with what he has.
His tastes and beliefs are “traditional”,
yet he has an open mind and can embrace the non-traditional,
except food, of course!
He loves Taco Time, NASCAR, animal shows,
Funniest Videos, Cops and bad sci-fi movies.
Every day he says and does funny or special things for me,
he can calm me with only a look, or a touch.
He wants us together, no matter what,
and turns every errand into a “date”.
He acts crabby sometimes,
but just below the surface is a joke or a prank or a smile.
He notices the little things,
and always says “thank you”.
For a T-shirt and jeans guy,
he sure is a clothes horse!
He gives hugs and touches often,
he sings seriously and dances with a laugh.
Happy Birthday… With All My Love,
Sorry about the quality of this photo. I snapped it on my way out the door. This is Paul’s part of a little alter I have in my beach cave, for all those we’ve lost the last few years.
We took a break from framing and painting. Our mission was to enjoy some time in the woods with Cee Cee, a Brussels Griffon (possibly part Ewok) and Sophie, a Rottweiler /Pit bull (mostly creampuff). Sophie lives with my brother most of the time, so we picked her up from there and went on our merry way.
Peters Creek in August is a mushroom haven! I found one of my coolest specimens here. I am certainly no expert, but am learning fast! The info I found says this Coral Fungus, Hericium is very edible and tastes like crab, of all things. And no, I don’t eat wild mushrooms…yet!
Will check in with more Alaska news soon,
Patti, the ‘shroom hunter
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A Blog for the stewardship of green spaces and the people who love them!