Curiosity leads to reading

Curiosity leads to reading

“Dr. Livingstone, I presume.”
Where did it come from? There are so many phrases we have heard a million times over the course of decades. They fascinate me and I usually end up watching or reading what the phrase originated from. This is how I came to read “Into Africa” by Martin Dugard. Somehow the local B&N had a copy, probably over looked by the sales people, and I couldn’t wait to start reading it. It is the remarkable intertwining story of two men, wholly unrelated: Livingstone’s last expedition into Africa in search of the source of Nile and Stanley, dogged New York reporter set with the impossible task of finding Livingstone. It is also, probably, a very brief account of the travels of each man. Livingstone probably has volumes written about him and surely Stanley has his own. As an introduction to these two legendary figures, “Into Africa” will not disappoint.
Despite the historic nature of the book, Dugard is able to keep the narrative lively and engaging. “The differences in manner and background were many, and best heard in their accents…” My favorite line has to be: “Lincoln’s assassination had been staggering, a bare knuckled punch to the windpipe.” Dugard also does a good job in briefly summing up national context throughout the book and stories as the two men start their journeys.  He doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of traveling through Africa: the sickness the explorers experienced and the horrific conditions of the slave trader are briefly described but constant throughout the adventures of Livingstone and Stanley. The book showed me how and why that famous phrase was uttered and I was thoroughly entertained by Dugard’s writing style along the way.
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                                          (image via here)
I also was caught day dreaming about whether I could have been a victorian explorer. Wander lust has kicked in and I need to plan a new adventure! Iceland and the northern lights perhaps…
Here’s looking at you, kid.
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Pinterest made me do it

I occasionally try out things from pinterest. Usually its a recipe or some small project, at least if it fails I can throw it out without too much pain. However, on this ill begotten move up to Oregon, I found I needed a dresser. My last apartment had a built in dresser which was amazing and I think more apartments should do that to save space. And if they do have it, advertise it because to be that would sway me one way or the other about which apartment to pick. Sorry, I digress. Searching for a dresser is hard. I didn’t want another piece of ikea pressed board furniture. On pinterest there are quite a few pictures of the pine dresser from ikea, which looked really nice. However, no tutorials on it and i’m sorry, but I need step by step instructions.
First question I had was, how did they get those corners so clean? In the process of painting mine, I didn’t figure out a full proof way to do it. Basically I just folded the corners of the painting tape until it was corner like. I don’t really like the color green I chose, so I if I do decide to repaint it and I find a way, I’ll update here. Secondly, stain first. The paint will cover the stain and the stain will just bleed on top of the paint. The stain will bleed anyways, but at least the paint will cover it up. And yes I taped up the portion I wanted to stain to minimize the places the pain would need to cover. I think it turn out all right. The knobs are from home depot.
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Hot tea to iced tea….

Hot tea to iced tea….

It is with dismay that I realize that the time for hot tea is passed. Looking ahead, they’re reporting 100 degree days up here and I will not be turning on my kettle or stove or oven anytime soon. The microwave will heat up my food in the “safety” of its box.
I have tons of tea, realistically more like 10 varieties. I usually stick with sencha green or black tea that is sweetened with honey and either hot or cold (always add the honey while hot 😉 ). However, I do have some dessert teas that will have to be put aside until the cool nights return or autumn arrives, which ever comes first. My favorite dessert tea is Raspberry cream pie. Its so good, light and sweet. Its wonderful after a night out with friends or an after work treat. I’ve even made it at work, because I don’t want to wait to treat myself (and yes my job is that bad). Maybe I’ll take it to work, at 3 am its usually cool enough that I could enjoy it.
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                                    (image via David’s Tea)
David’s Tea is based in Canada and I have no idea why I like them so much, it has to be the cute mugs. The fox mug is also from David’s. Currently, I’m lusting after this one….
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                             (image via David’s Tea Tropical Leaves Glass)
More reading to do…

More reading to do…

By the end of May, I have finished reading Three Dark Crowns and finally slogged through the last fifty pages of The Magical Art of Tidying Up. I really don’t have to say very much about MATU. It is a book on organization and I didn’t take anything away from it.

Now the Three Dark Crowns….

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(image via Amazon)

They were not all “fair to be seen,” her descriptions kind of led me to imagine one as sickly looking. This book is about three sisters who all have certain magical affinities, one to control the elements, one controls nature and one can withstand poison. The people have turned against two of the queens, seeing them as weak and very unlikely to win against the strongest queen, who controls the elements. I enjoyed this book very much. The story had a good pace to it, skipping between the three separate lives the sisters lead, and the writing flowed very smoothly (and note to self, I need to start giving examples because why should anyone take my word on it? ah well next time). There is also a twist, which is hard to see coming, but it takes the book to another level of entertaining. The next book is coming out in the Fall, which I am looking forward to.

Currently, I’m reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Very bad choice. It’s a good story line, but the depth of detail given to the architecture is exhausting to get through. Only a hundred more pages to get through.

Traveling

Traveling

Another thing I make an effort to do is to visit a new place once a month. More if I can, but at least once a month. I almost booked a trip to Iceland the other night to see the northern lights in December, but I’m suppose to be planning a honeymoon to Puerto Rico next year. Living in a new state, I’m afforded a lot of opportunity to see new places and I want to take advantage of that.

I was finally able to visit the coast. Oregon weather being what it is, trying to find a good day to drive to the coast (60ish miles) through forests and farm land is difficult. I’m assured by my coworkers that the summer will get better. And perhaps for the first time, I’m actually living through what spring was meant to be. A little more sun couldn’t hurt!!!  Normally on my weekends I like to do something challenging (hiking 10 or more miles), but this weekend I took it easy. The stops I made were just that, stops. Something that wouldn’t require more than an hour or two at a time. I went during low tide, since I wanted to see the tide pools and beaches. Make sure you check the tide, otherwise you could be missing out on things you wanted to see.
First I drove South through Lincoln City to see the Devil’s Punchbowl. I spent a good hour here even though the Punchbowl was only 10 minutes of it. It was formed when a sea cave collapsed, and you have to view it from the top of the cliff. There’s no way down to it. There is a stairway down to Beverly beach, which seems to be popular with surfers and families. Lots of driftwood here too. If you follow Avenue C north, you will find a dirt path down to tide pools and you can see the arch of the Punchbowl. At low tide, you can almost make it to the arch. I had to ignore some obnoxious teenagers that kept making seagulls fly at me until I shouted “What is wrong with you?” God damn. Other than that, the beach was pretty empty.

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Next, still heading South, I ended up at the Yaquina lighthouse. There were a lot more trails to follow then I thought. You can park in one central lot next to the gift shop and walk everywhere on the headland. I climbed to the top of Silal Hill, which isn’t too bad of a hike, short but mostly up hill. Great views of the entire coastline, and exceptionally windy. From there I drove (I know, I’m sorry! I wasn’t wearing the right shoes!) to the lot nearer to Quarry Cove. Technically man made, they have turned this quarry site into a wild life harbor. Honestly, it felt very odd since it was so quiet there. Seals are suppose to visit at high tide, but they must have been busy else where. It was just me and the water. Black volcanic rocks tumbled about the water line. I was sad to leave, but the wind was making me cold and I finally hit my chilled to the bone point.

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Finding myself stuck

Finding myself stuck

That title says it all, explains why I am where I am and why I feel the way I feel. I’ve read a lot and most literature tends to agree that happiness comes from within, and really if that’s the case you should be able to be happy anywhere. To a point that is true. And after three years of trying to be happy with where I was, I moved to Oregon. I thought the changes would do me good. Lower cost of living, transfer to a new institution for work. Well that hasn’t work out quite how I thought it would. Cost of living in negligibly lower, and its my job, I can’t stand it, doesn’t matter where it is. My husband is still stuck in Los Angeles, he never made it through the hiring freeze. We’ve only been married for three months.

Right now I find myself again having to make life changing decisions only six months after the other ones. Did you know that the federal government is going to decrease overall employment by twenty percent? I work for the federal government as a correctional officer, something you’d think they would want to fund, but they don’t. I hate the job any way, but it is a pay check. So do I quit my job and return to LA where my husband is? Do I stay and go back to school so I have options when I do quit this job? I could try to transfer back to LA, but chances are the same my husband will get transferred to where I am. Questions, questions, questions…annoying little gnats!

But how can I find happiness if I go back? Going back isn’t an option. Going forward isn’t possible without my husband. I suppose all I can do is read good books and get more tea to ease the frustration. It’s the anxiety that hurts the worst and I’m not even sure why. The loneliness I can deal with, but anxiety can turn this into a nightmare.

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(image via Elizabeth Gadd flickr )

Bookish Thursday

The first thing you should probably know about me is that I love to read. These days I’m finding it hard to find time to read and focus on reading. Oh! I should put a link to my good reads, and friend me on there because I doubt that I’ll post about all the books I have read, will read or am reading, and despite the 199 books on my “to read” list, I always like to add to it.

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I just finished Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire. It’s a part of the October Daye series, which focuses on the life and cases of October Daye, a private investigator to the fairy realm, who is also a changeling. This series digs up all the grit and twisted limbs of the fairy tales where faeries are not all sweet, gossamer beings that grant wishes. Instead faeries are deliberately deceiving and cannot lie. You never want to find yourself in debt to a fairy and they won’t be indebted to you. Artificial Night is the third book in the series, and it didn’t disappoint. This time October tracked down Blind Michael, the leader of the wild hunt.  Honestly, I had never heard him referred to as Blind Michael and I’m not sure how October won, which adds to the mystery of October’s parentage.  I picked up this series after reading the Dresden Files, because they were similar and different enough to keep me reading.

I’m also trying to read the Magical Art of Tidying Up and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Yeah….More on those later, when I’ve decided to give up or am closer to finishing.

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(image via bookspaperscissors)