A huge shout-out to the multi-talented Sarah Spencer, also known as Whisper Romance and lovesmk (YouTube) for making my new wallpapers for my SMK fan fiction pages. Please take the opportunity to pursue the pages to look at her designs. You can also visit the SMK Avatars and Wallpaper pages (sorry Sarah, I haven't updated this page in a while) for more examples of her amazing work under the drop-down window "Scarecrow and Mrs King?"
I’ve always been a backstage kind of person; I prefer directing, stage managing, writing. I have performed onstage, and although, I enjoyed my experience, I soon realized I really rather be behind the scenes, and then one day two years ago, I performed some impromptu “dying” on the world stage. The “actors”, I have no doubt, wouldn’t for a moment consider themselves heroes. But what is a hero? In the television series Smallville, Clark Kent says, "The suit doesn't make the hero. A hero's made in the moment by the choices that he makes and the reasons that he makes them. A hero brings out the best in people." I just didn’t know what more to say to my heroes who were willing, ready, and able to help a stranger in distress. It’s not like Hallmark makes “thanks for saving my life” cards. (Trust me, I have looked). Nonetheless, thank you – Jesse, Pete, Mary and the rest of the Point Bonita YMCA staff, and thanks Ranger Eddy and Ranger Gibbs and the Golden Gate National Recreational Park Area for keeping me around a bit longer and not letting that morning be my final curtain call. You truly are MY heroes.
And now, I’m going to slink back to my little area “backstage”. But first, everyone reading this, please consider becoming CPR certified!!
I remember when Netflix first made it to the scene. I liked the idea of just walking down to the mailbox and grabbing a DVD to watch without the hassle of driving to a store and picking out a movie and then worrying about returning the movie on time, lest having to pay the dreaded late fees. However, in the same breath, I didn't like to have to wait to see a movie or television series. I mean when I was ready to watch something, I wanted to watch it then and there. Therefore, you would think I would have been open to streaming when it first became available. However, that was not the case. I'm honestly not sure what was my issue. Maybe, technology changing scared me a little. Heck, I was super late getting onto the smart phone bandwagon. It wasn't until Netflix changed their policy and raised rates, that we decided it was time to "experiment" with streaming and we bought our first streaming player. Now, I can't image nights where we aren't streaming Netflix. Trust me when I say you don't want to know how much broadband width we use month after month. And don't you just love the little Netflix warning box that appears on your television scene after you have marathoned through five episodes of Bones and the message goats you, by asking if you are still watching Netflix. Like I have somehow magically gotten a life in the last four and a half hours. I don't think so!
Yes, there are days when it really has been that bad. Hey, I can blame it on my craft. After all, aren't we writers told to watch and read other genres? To get a feel for other writers styles and to "see" what the audience likes. huh? I have to admit, I really am behind on what most people watch on television. I find very little I like and find little or no emotional connection to characters or situations. I am not a prude, but have been thoroughly disappointed on the incredibly low morals television executives think most of society has. Case in point, sorry I don't remember the television series, but I vaguely remember seeing a preview for a new series and thinking it might be something I was interested in because it revolved around paramedics. And heck, I grew up on loving Emergency! However, not even five minutes into the episode, two paramedics are getting it on it the back of the ambulance, and I thinking first, gross, and second wondering who are these characters? I have no emotional connection with them. Why must I watch them having sex in the back of an ambulance without having a least a little backstory? And this is exactly why I love Scarecrow and Mrs. King so much, because we, as the audience, got to watch them slowly fall in love, and not fall into bed five minutes after he handed her a package (which could take a whole new meaning in today's society) at a train station. Needless to say, I turned off the television and read a book instead.
I am also super frustrated that Hollywood has not had an original idea since the 1980's. Why they are remaking all the 80 classic movies? Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Point Break, and don't even get me started on Ghostbusters! In addition, when an original idea is presented Hollywood executives are quick to cut the cord, without giving the television series a chance to find their audience or the show is constantly on the bubble, so writers plan for a 12 or 13 episode arc and then when it is picked up for other 10 or so episodes, some of the magic is gone, or certain writers have moved on, or they are scrambling for a new arc and the series becomes basically a hot mess; i.e. Chuck. To this day, I believe NBC ruined this great series. It has massive amounts of potential to be one of a kind dramedy, a mix of comedy and drama mixed with espionage and intrigue, and romance (sound a little familiar?) But so much uncertainty let us fans down. And by season five, it was just a shell of its original self. I see it too often, a new series airs and less then six episodes later it as been cancelled. I am just not interested in becoming invested in a television series only for it be be yanked when I was just getting to like the characters and developing an emotional connection. Case in point, CBS released a television series titled Chaos, about a group of rogue CIA agents. I have to admit, I thought the pilot was a bit weak-- it tried too hard; however, by week two the writing and characters began to gel, and I started getting a kick out of watching it and looked forward to viewing every week. However, not even three weeks into the series, CBS pulled the plug. Come on! Give it a chance. I mean even Cheers and M*A*S*H did not draw in their audiences until season two. This held true for another series I liked, GCB. I know it wasn't just ABC that killed the series, but a bunch of Christian mothers who never watched the series complained to sponsors. Yes, I did just earlier complain about the over sexualization of Hollywood. However, GCB was funny as hell! And this series didn't take itself seriously. In addition, those of us that are Christian know the types that are the "Ms. Betty Sue whose better that you". Wonderful casting and great writing flushed right down the toilet. And this is why I don't watch Network television anymore. Plus, there is just too much Reality TV, and I have zero interest in watching weekly crap.
Rewind to a conversation I had with a friend a few days ago, who had asked if I was upset Castle had been cancelled. I had to confess, I had not seen the series. Yes, I know all about Caskett. Yes, I love Nathan Fillion. However, I don't think I heard about Castle until at least season two or three. And I don't like to start watching a series in the middle, so have been looking forward to it being on Netflix so I can watch, just as I finally was able to sit down and watch Bones, NCIS, and Burn Notice. Hey, what do they say; better late than never, right?
I noticed I am two years behind on posting about comic cons I have attended. . . well, not much to report. I only attended Emerald City Comicon these past two years and nothing else. In addition, not much to report for ECCC 2015. The con was sold out and had about 80,000 in attendance. Again, I attended as a Minion, volunteering for the con. I really do enjoy being behind the scenes, but admit I never ended up on either the autographs, photo ops, or panels so that year was a bit disappointing in the sense of being where I would have liked to have been, but understand I was needed in other areas of the con. ECCC is a multi-media event with media guests, gaming, pop culture, and of course, comics. My first day, I spent it in the children's area and watched kids young and old build Legos. They then had a choice to turn they Lego characters into an animated short film. The second day, I spent most of it helping out at Peace-Bonding, where weapons are checked and "tagged" as safe and inspected. Fun group to work with and saw lots of amazing cosplay. I was excited about meeting Brandon Routh (Chuck; Superman Returns), but unfortunately he canceled his appearance last minute, but I was able to finally meet Amanda Tapping (Stargate: SG1) and got her autograph.
Lots of changes came about for Emerald City Comicon 2016, as ReedPOP acquired ECCC and added a fourth day of convention activities. Four-day passes sold out in a matter of hours and three-day passes sold out in less than a day, and since I did not know whether or not I was going to be invited back as a Minion again this year, and in addition, since the first media guest announced was Nathan Fillion (Castle; Firefly), I decided to do the fangirl thing instead, as I absolutely needed to see Nathan Fillion (Mr. Captain Tightpants himself!). Not sorry I did, but hope I do not miss out on ever being invited back as a Minion again. I still think it's fun being behind the scenes and love the energy of fellow Minions. (In addition, from what I understand Minions are now paid. . . nice!) My review of the convention is kind of a mixed bag. First, I was disappointed how tickets sold out so quickly before more comic and media guests were announced and to be quite honest, the line-up as a whole was a huge let down. There was 35 media guests in 2015 and only 24 in 2016, and three of them were last minute cancellations and too late to add new guests. I was also super frustrated by the way they handled the panels for several of the actors, especially when they overlapped panels for Sasha Roiz and Nathan Fillion and Sean Astin and Dante Basco. Why make us choose, when there was longer convention hours and the panels could have been more spread out throughout the day especially in the main hall? Still super disappointed I missed Sasha Roiz's panel. This reminded me of the first ECCC con I attended and how my son and I stood in a queued line for hours waiting to see Leonard Nimoy, and we were not allowed into the room until about ten minutes after his panel had started, only to discover we could have just gone into the room at anytime as ECCC does not clear out the room between panels. Grrrrr!
Nonetheless, I did have a great time at ECCC this year. I believe it's because this year I went with friends and always more fun when you hang out with like-minded fangirls. We geeked out attending panels all day Saturday and Sunday, getting autographs and photo-ops, and spending hours in artist alley and on the show floor. I stood in line with my friend Dava when she went to meet Sean McQuire (Once Upon a Time) and then stood in line with Elaine when she went to meet Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings; Goonies). I still can not believe how Sean Astin attended the con only a week after his mother passed away. Major props to him. We also spent some time visiting with Trevor Crafts and Matthew Daley, the creators of Lantern City (too bad Bruce Boxleitner was not in attendance). My guilty expenditures was a photo-op with Nathan Fillion and an autograph and selfie with Sasha Roiz (Grimm). We sat through panels for Oliver and James Phelps (Harry Potter), Sean McQuire, Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time), Nathan Fillion, Sean Astin, and Flash panel (Danielle Panabaker, Robbie Amell, and Keiynan Lonsdale). I admit, I've only seen Flash a few times (my husband Ed is more of a fan then I am) and I have never seen Once Upon a Time. However, after attending these panels I think I might just have to watch them now. I have also not seen Castle. I know, I know! Too many times I have become vested in a television series only for it to be cancelled; i.e. Chaos, GCB, Firefly that I don't want to get involved in a series only for it to be canceled after a few episodes and then once a series has been picked up for several seasons, I usually wait until it's available on Netflix to caught up. However, I am hesitant to get started on Castle after seeing how disappointed fans are with the direction the show is going. I really don't need another television series with no closure like Scarecrow and Mrs King or Chuck.
Finally, I have to give a shout out to the Clare Kramer (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer). She was fantastic as the interviewer at the celebrity panels. I liked her almost as much as Garret Wang (who is also fantastic as an interviewer). She was prepared with good questions and seemed to be well informed about both movies and television shows the celebrities were involved in. I also thoroughly enjoyed the bumper music between the panels and how the D.J. and the M.C. Reuben kept the audience engaged, dancing, clapping, and being entertained. I have to admit, I think this was one of the most fun cons I have attended in a long time.
In addition, Seattle did not disappoint. The weather all weekend for early April was gorgeous. This was the first time my friend Dava had visited Seattle, so it was fun for Elaine and I to show her around. We visited Seattle Center and Westlake Center, rode the monorail, shopped at Pike Place Market, and rode to the top of the Space Needle. We took her to the Old Time Spaghetti Factory and walked along the waterfront and Olympic Sculpture Park. It was a nice change of pace of all the rain we had in February and March; next year ECCC will be the weekend of March 2-5, and I am sure the weather will not be as cooperative. I'm hoping to be back next year as a Minion at Emerald City Comicon, but also kicking around the idea of attending Salt Lake Comic Con or possibly Rose City Comic Con in September. Joseph has been begging me to take him to another con. Time and money shall tell.
No, I am not a spy, nor do I have a secret marriage; however, I have noticed some similarities between myself and Mrs. King.
Well, I'm a mother. . . of three boys (not two)
. . . and a den mother. Go, Bears!
I enjoy camping. . . two of my boys are Eagle Scouts.
I have a live-in mother. . . and father, too.
I used to have fantasizes about secret agents. . . especially a certain hazel-eyed spy sporting a tux!!
I almost died while on vacation in California.
I can type 90 words a minute, not counting typos. . . actually, that's not true. Never timed myself, but I would guess closer to 60 wpm.
Actually, I do a lot of things. . . however, I believe I would make a lousy spy; I can never place names with faces. Nor can I remember obscure names of recipes. :-)
It's time for another German culture credit for Joseph's German class and yesterday we made German Pancakes. They were so good, I think we might make more tonight for the family to eat this time.
Heat oven to 400 degrees, whisk together eggs, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl; mix well. Then melt butter in an ovenproof skillet (we used a cast iron skillet) over medium heat. Pour batter into the hot skillet, carefully place in oven, and bake for 20 minutes or until the pancake is golden and puffed.
Sprinkle with powered sugar or fruit topping. (We made a cinnamon apple topping). You can also serve with your favorite syrup.
The best news is our middle son, Steffen, has been accepted to the University of Washington for 2016-2017. Go Dawgs! His plans are majoring in Computer Science, but he also has interest in Environmental Science, and wants to minor in music. He's excited about being out on the field with the Husky Marching Band in the fall. He will be graduating from high school in a few weeks with Honors and two days after high school graduation, he will be graduating from community college with an Associate of Arts degree, and the following day begins working at a YMCA summer camp. His dad and I are incredibly proud of the brilliant and caring young man he has become.
Michael finally was able to find employment working part-time as a cashier at Walmart after being unemployed for nearly nine months. He has also been officially accepted to community college next year. We are hoping he can keep his anxiety under control as he seeks balance between working part-time and going to school part-time. His ultimate goal is to become an elementary school teacher. We are also proud of him for being involved in Pathway (a distance-learning program from BYU-Idaho) and Institute of Religion this year, and each semester he has maintained straight A's.
It only took two years of appeals and us changing our medical insurance three times before we finally found an insurance company (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) that would cover Joseph's facial and oral surgery. Sometime later this year (most likely during Winter break), Joseph will have a mandibular advancement. The oral surgeon will break his upper jaw and move it back and break the lower jaw and move it forward. The same surgery I had when I was fifteen years old, although when I had the surgery my mouth was wired shut for six weeks, but I understand that is no longer the case. First step, wisdom teeth extraction for a child who was blessed with six wisdom teeth. Yes, you read that correctly. . . six!
Lots of changes and opportunities for the Riener family ahead, and if anyone knows where we can locate a money tree, please let us know.
This school year, son number three is taking German at the high school. He's struggling because of his learning disabilities; however, he is trying. Yesterday was the day of Fasching - kind of a cousin to Mardi Gras, so we made mutzen for his class.
And Oil for flying
Pour all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Heat inch oil in a heavy duty saucepan. (We used a deep flyer instead). Take a spoon full of dough and slide into the hot oil. Fry only a few at a time to prevent crowding. Fry them golden brown until the swim to the top of the oil. Remove them with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with powder sugar.
Note: I found a recipe online that recommended coconut oil and thought I would try it. This was the first time I had used coconut oil and I liked the smell and taste and the fact it's much healthier then vegetable oil, I think I will use more often, although it is on the spendy side. I also found this recipe to be very runny, so instead of round doughnut holes, the doughnuts came out looking more like fried drizzle, but still very edible,
I really love the genre of science fiction especially television series and movies, but when it comes to books I am a lot more picky about what I like and what I don’t. I often find the plot in science fiction books to be too cerebral for my taste and find it difficult to connect with the characters and/or the environment. Therefore, I don’t often put science fiction books as one of my favorite categories. Hence, I have to admit I was a little hesitant when a friend approached me about beta reading her novel, The Gypsy Pearl, especially with the setting taking place on not only a space station, but three different planetary worlds. However, my hesitation was unwarranted, as the story literary grabbed me from the very first page, just like the fanep who changes everything for the young heroine in the story. Lia London wrote a very gripping and exciting adventure. The character of Caz Artemus is a strong, likable young lady who grew up on a city space station all her life. After getting in trouble, she is sent to a reform school on the planet down below which she is happy about (much to her father and sister’s protest and disbelief), because she will finally have a chance to explore something other than the stale environment of the space station. Through Ms. London’s writing the reader can feel Caz’s need to go forth and grow, which she does, as she meets new friends along the way and cycles the gypsy pearl, thus sealing her fate in the world. The story is fast paced, and the imagery very descriptive placing the reader smack dab in the middle of the believable fantasy world Ms. London created. The characters are well developed and engaging, and I especially like how smart the heroine is, as often female characters are dumbed down, but Caz is not only smart, but strong and brave too. I am glad I had the opportunity to take this incredible journey and I highly recommend it to others as this story is suitable for all ages.
The Gypsy Pearl by Lia London is available to purchase on Amazon.
Blogger's note: Sadly, I am very behind on blog posts, as well as, writing stories as I have capsulitis (frozen shoulder) and find it very painful to sit in front of the computer for more then a few minutes. However, a cortisone shot and physical therapy is slowly giving me back some range of motion.
There is just something about the mountains; perhaps it's the cool, crisp mountain air or the majestic snowcapped peaks that draws me to them. Every summer we try to take the boys on a weeklong camping trip, this summer was no exception as we went camping at Mt. Rainier National Park. We have visited the park several times, but this was the first time we ever visited the east side of the mountain. Unlike the west side (Nisqually entrance) that is open year round, the east side is open only for a few short weeks in the summer based on weather and road conditions. Therefore, we make the trek in late August between the time both Michael and Steffen had finished working scout and YMCA camps for the summer and right before school was to begin.
We borrowed a tent trailer from a friend, mostly because I did not want to crawl in and out of a tent (sucks getting older). We had a little excitement heading up to the mountain as the trailer's left tire blew. We found some humor in the situation as the exact same thing happened the last time we had borrowed this same trailer (except the other tire). This was beginning to turn into our own family tradition. Ed put on the spare and we were lucky enough to find a tire store just outside of Randall. A new tire on the trailer and we were on the road again.
We spent several nights camping in Ohanapecosh. This campground almost immediately became my favorite place to camp at in Mt. Rainier National Park. I enjoyed that several hiking trails started right from the parking lot and that the campground was convenient to both Paradise and Sunrise. During the day there were ranger-guided hikes (although my boys thought they were too old to participate) and in the evenings, ranger-led programs at the amphitheater. Ohanapecosh even has a visitor's center; however, it is open very limited hours. The biggest downside is there are no showers at any of the campgrounds in Mt. Rainier, so I wore a sloppy ponytail most of the week, and was so happy when I was finally able to wash my hair.
We camped along side the Ohanapecosh River and was surrounded by towering Douglas fir tress. I was surprised with a statewide burn ban park rangers were allowing campfires. However, it just does not feel like camping if we can't roast marshmallows. The days we were in the park we spent exploring and hiking. We hiked the trails to Silver Falls, Hot Springs Nature Trail, and the Grove of the Patriarchs. These hikes were fairly easy (however, the Silver Falls hike can be a bit strenuous as several steps are carved from tree roots), but I highly recommended these hikes. I especially liked walking over the suspension bridge over the Ohanapecosh River to an island of strands of old growth trees. We also drove to Box Canyon and Nickel Creek and took a short two-mile hike. This gentle trail offers amazing views of the gorge.
Another day at Mt. Rainier National Park, we drove up to Sunrise. Sunrise is the highest point that can be reached by vehicle. We explored the visitor's center and even went on a Ranger-lead hike to Emmons Vista Overlooks (overlooking the Emmons glacier). Again, this was the first time we had visited this side of the mountain and the mountain put on a show for us with beautiful subalpine wildflowers and lenticular clouds that appeared to hover just over the peak. Even the weather cooperated with us, as we were surrounded by wildfires throughout the state but the winds held the smoke from settling around the mountain, although a bit hazy at times. We waited until dusk to watch the sun set, and it was beautiful with brilliant reds and oranges, but I really want to come back someday and watch the sunrise.
The following day, we drove up to Crystal Mountain Resort. Again, the weather was picture perfect as we took a gondola ride to the top of the mountain and was awarded with breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade mountains, although Mt. Adams was covered in a thick haze of smoke. We explored and hiked some trails that in the winter are ski trails. Even though, I do not ski, I hope to visit Crystal Mountain Resort again sometime in the winter. I am sure I will be awe with this winter wonderland. I also hope to come back when we can afford some time to explore Chinook Pass and Cayuse Pass and camp at the White River Campground.
The next day, we left Mt. Rainier National Park and headed south towards Mt. St. Helens. Again, we had visited Mt. St. Helens several times over the years, but this was the first time we had even seen the mountain from the east side (the side of the mountain that experienced the most catastrophic damage during the violent eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980). We explored several overlooks that lined the road leading up to Windy Ridge. The road is very windy (silly English language) but worth the views of the crater and dome of the mountain and the rebirth of Spirit Lake. Once we reached the end of the road at Windy Ridge, we took a hike to the observatory, which is a series of steps carved into the hillside that switch back and forth. Took me a while, but even I made it all the way to the top. Finishing our visit to Mt. St. Helens, we then took the boys to Ape Cave, which is a large lava tube located in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. There are two hikes available to explore the lava tube; however, because of the time of day we had arrived the boys had to settle for the shorter hike, although I know they were disappointed as they had hoped to take the longer one. Those who do visit Ape Cave need to make sure they have a coat and two light sources for each hiker as it is very, very dark and cool down there.
And this is why I continue to love living in Washington state, so much to do and see without having to take all day to get there.
I am incredibly proud of my oldest and youngest sons this past month. Both of them exhibited bravely and willingness to help those in distress.
I will start with Joseph. Again, this is a perfect example of a chance encounter, because originally we had decided not to attend our church's annual Christmas potluck dinner. However, as Friday evening rolled on, and not having anything prepared for dinner (and who can pass up free food), we drove to the church building. Both Joseph and Steffen did not want to stay long as they both had school finals to study for, so I promised we would only stay for dinner and then leave.
We had finished our meals and was milling around talking to friends, while Joseph had left the cultural hall and walked into the main lobby to wait for us. A moment later, a frantic woman walked into the lobby with another lady who had been at the party and was having difficulty breathing. The older woman was on the phone with 9-1-1 dispatchers and asked Joseph to sit with the woman who was going into anaphylactic shock, while she went to find someone to verify the address of the church building. She also handed Joseph an epipen and was asked to give the lady in distress a shot of epinephrine. With trembling hands and slight hesitation, but remembering what he had seen on television, he injected the drug into her thigh.
A moment later, EMT's arrived on the scene, gave her benadryl, and then transported her to the hospital for observation. We were later told by witnesses how brave and calm Joseph had been in this crisis situation. He did not think he was calm at all, but knew what he had to do. I admit, I wept, with humble pride. I was so glad we had taken the boys to the fire station last December for first aid and CPR training, because you never know when we will be called to help another fellow human being. I also thought back to when two complete strangers stepped up to the plate and help someone they did not know, thus saving my life.
Then about a week later, Michael was driving home for a dentist appointment and came across a head-on car crash. He had not witnessed the accident, but it was apparent it had only recently occurred. A county police officer was behind him only seconds later and asked Michael to help the victims of the first car. The accident victim was obviously in shock, as she leaned over her damaged SUV and vomited. She took Michael's hand and asked him not to leave her. He assured her he was not going anywhere and stayed with her until paramedics arrived on the scene. Unfortunately, the gentleman in the second SUV died at the scene. I am proud of Michael for I know a lot of people who would not want to be involved, and would drive around the scene and choose not to help. I also know it was not easy on him learning the one accident victim had not survived, because Michael has a big, soft heart.
As I stated before, I am tremendously proud of both my boys. Way to go, Michael and Joseph!
It's funny how the mind works. I could give specific details of things I did on this day twenty-one years ago, but couldn't tell you what I had for dinner last night. . . which was, ummm, yes, now I remember. . . lasagna.
Twenty-one years ago, the evening before, Ed, myself, and our ten month old son, Michael, strolled down the aisles of Safeway putting baby formula and a stacking ring toy into our cart, then later that evening after dinner and putting Michael in his crib for the night, Ed and I went to bed. I don't remember anything else until I woke in the University of Washington Medical Center a few days later dazed and confused. Picking up a phone on a nightstand, I dialed home, and told Ed, "I'm having an out of body experience." I glanced around the room once more. "I am here at the hospital and I don't remember how I got here."
I continued to struggle with short term memory loss for several days. The doctors assured Ed and my parents that it was perfectly normal as I repeated questions I had already asked. Nonetheless, I would not be here today if Ed had not realized that during the early morning hours on November 16, I had stopped breathing and had gone into sudden cardiac arrest. He called 9-1-1 and quickly began CPR before Seattle EMT's arrived to our little house in south Seattle. Paramedics were able to revive me and transported me to Harborview before being transferred to University of Washington Medical Center. Again, I can not stress enough of the importance of CPR training.
And Ed. . . well, he is now and forever will be my guardian angel and that I will never forget.
There are times I really do wish I was paid to go on vacations. How I love to travel, sightsee, and explore. This past summer we took a couple family camping trips around Washington state and that got me thinking about favorite campgrounds in the "evergreen" state. Washington state offers a wide variety of camping experiences from sea to mountains and everything in between. Therefore, I made a list of my favorite places to pitch a tent or park a trailer (I would love to hear what readers of this blog favorite campgrounds are).
10. Fort Flagler State Park
Location: near Port Townsend, Olympic Peninsula
SItes: 116 (2 campgrounds)
Description: Fort Flagler is a former United States Army fort at the northern end of Marrowstone Island. Overlooks the Puget Sound with views of the Cascades and Olympic Mountains. Offers boating, fishing, swimming, hiking and biking trails, military museum, and guided tours.
9. Potlatch State Park
Location: Potlatch (12 miles from Shelton)
Description: Camp along the saltwater shoreline of the Hood Canal (fjord). Activities including boating, fishing, scuba diving, shellfish harvesting, bike riding, and kayaking.
8. Sun Lakes- Dry Falls
Location: Coulee City
Description: 4,027-acre park includes a visitor center, hiking trails, boating, fishing, biking, golf, and more. Close to Grand Coulee Dam which is open for public tours.
7. Colonial Creek Campground
Location: North Cascades National Park
Description: Just a short walk from Diablo Lake, Colonial Creek is the gateway to everything the North Cascades has to offer. Hiking and biking trails, boating, fishing, evening ranger programs, and more, Also an interpretive staff is available to learn about nature, glaciers, and the abundant wildlife.
6. Salt Beach Recreation Area, Crescent Bay
Location: Near Port Angeles; Olympic Peninsula
Description: Fantastic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, explore tide pools at low tide, hiking, biking, and swimming, too.
5. Cougar Rock Campground
Location: Mount Rainier National Park
Description: The campground is adjacent to the Nisqually River and just down the road from one of my favorite places in the world. . . Paradise. Activities include hiking, stargazing, sightseeing, and rock climbing.
4. Fairholme Campground, Crescent Lake
Location: Olympic National Park
Description: Pristine glacial-carved lake offers boating, kayaking (rental), and fishing. Tons of hiking trails from towering trees, waterfalls, and surrounding mountains. Also close to Sol Duc Hot Springs and Hurricane Ridge. Campground first come, first served.
3. Cape Disappointment
Location: Near Long Beach; Washington coast (mouth of the Columbia River)
Sites: 250 (2 campgrounds)
Description: Miles of beaches, clamming, boat launch, fishing, and two lighthouses. In addition, there is a Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center to explore. Reservations available and highly suggested for the main campground, while a secondary campground along Lake O'Neil is first come-first serve. Cabins and yurts also available to rent. Cape Disappointment does not disappoint.
Location: Olympic National Park (coast)
Description: Open year-round, close to both the Hoh Rain Forest and Forks (for those Twilight fans). On a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean with staircases descending to the beach below.
1. Ohanapecosh Campground
Location: Mount Rainier National Park
Description: A river runs through it! Fantastic campground in the middle of an old growth forest. Offers a visitor center (limited operating hours), ranger lead hikes, lots of hiking trails including a fairly easy 3 mile round trip hike to Silver Falls. Also just down the road from the famous Grove the the Patriarchs trail (even I was able to do both hikes on the same day with relative ease), and all Mt. Rainier has to offer.
A few years ago, I posted a blog post on my memories of Plush Pippin pies, and the response has been overwhelming. It appears "everyone's flipping for Plush Pip-pin pies." Therefore, if anyone knows of any Plush Pippin pie recipes could you please either post them here or send me a message (Contact Me) so I can share. I would really love to find the marionberry pie recipe. I have tried other marionberry pies and they just aren't the same. Mmmm, the sweet berries and the crust so light and flakey. . .
Not sure how close this recipe is to Plush Pippin, but I did find a Sour Cream Lemon Pie recipe on "Taste of Home" website.
"New teacher Nikki Fallon is trying to ward off unwanted advances from the hunky football coach. She should. . .
a) slap him silly.
b) report him for harassment.
c) invent an imaginary husband."
I don't know what it is about romantic-comedy that draws me in, but the newest novel by Lia London, Her Imaginary Husband, sure did not disappoint. Ms. London has an incredible grasp on writing dialogue (All those years in the theatre department at WOSC together I am sure. Go Wolves!) and while I was reading I visualized the whole story as a movie in my mind. (Hint-hint Hallmark!!) It's a clean, lighthearted romance that entertains and educates. The characters were fantastic, from the likable heroine Nikki, to her bossy mother, to the two men who rival for her attention. to the secondary characters of the students Nikki instructs her rookie year as a English/American Lit teacher at a local high school. The dialogue is snappy, clever, and witty. The comic moments are funny without being over-the-top, There are several laugh out loud moments, but also a real sense of discovery as Nikki discovers herself and her place in her new world. I was crying happy tears at the end.
I highly recommend. 4 Stars.
"Hey. . . it's me."
I live in the shadows of the Olympic Mountains, in the State of Washington, and love camping, boating, hiking, and hanging out with my husband, our three boys, and two Bernese Mountain dogs.