• Books,  Life

    2019 Reading Report, Part 2: Murder, Historical Fiction, Alaska & a Reading Rut

    I’m so good at reading books in the winter. Then, spring turns into summer and it gets too hot to sit outside and read in the evenings, social obligations pop up, my work hours lengthen and flex and books that should take a few days to devour take longer and longer, full weeks, even. So, I’ve been in a reading rut. I’ve read some lovely things, especially lately, but this second reading report includes a lot of books I didn’t love or even like, a few I slogged through just so I could mark them as finished and at least one I loved until the end when nothing was settled…

  • Favorites,  Life

    Five Friday Favorites: Beer Stuff, Face Stuff & Other Stuff

    This week, y’all. It has not been kind. Here’s a few things that have made this miserable week survivable: TABOL BREWING. Earlier this year, a brewery opened less than a mile from my house and I was instantly enamored. It’s my new favorite place and I’m there almost every weekend, sometimes alone and sometimes with friends, but always with a book. Their beer is funky and wild, and their small batch offerings are ever-changing.

  • Adventures,  Maine,  National Parks,  U.S.A.

    How I Spent 3.5 Days Scampering around Acadia National Park

    Upon receiving my cousin’s wedding invitation, I turned into a cartoon villain. Fingers and brows tented, I smirked. “Excellent,” I said. With that invitation, I had reason to go to Maine, the only state east of the Mississippi River I’d never set foot in and home to Acadia National Park, an almost 50,000-acre wonderland of rugged and rocky Atlantic coastline, woodlands, lakes and ponds. Excellent, indeed. Acadia National Park sits mostly on Mount Desert Island, near Bar Harbor, Maine. It was first designated as Sieur de Monts National Monument by President Wilson in 1916 with around 6,000 acres, and then, in 1919, Congress redesignated it as Lafayette National Park and…

  • Adventures,  U.S.A.,  Virginia

    The Camp, the Creek & the Devil’s Marble Yard

    I had no choice but to move my windshield wiper selector switch to rampage level. The rain was coming down in king-sized sheets and as much as I hate the crazed swish of wiper blades moving at top speed, I was driving on unfamiliar back roads and needed all the help I could get. I was going camping and as my phone pinged with increasingly dramatic weather alerts, I cursed, felt the whisper of anxiety catch in my chest and started laughing. It was going to rain for as long as it was going to rain and no amount of angsty nail-biting was going to change that. Maybe it’ll stop,…

  • Adventures,  Maine,  U.S.A.

    A Five Lighthouse Scamper in & around Portland, Maine

    There’s a lot I find appealing about lighthouses. I like that they exist to guide us through troubled waters, the way they serve as bright beacons of assurance in the midst of a mess. I like their history, the stories of harrowing rescues and narrow escapes from catastrophe, stories of vanished lighthouse-keepers or vivid tales of bravery and independent existences. I like how they all have their own identities, their own stories. They’re all different, all built for some specific sea obstacle in varying sizes, shapes and shades. Gifted with a free morning in Portland, Maine, and a strong desire to do some outdoor scampering, I decided to check out…