When I was younger, I did a lot of hiking that was a bit beyond my comfort zone. There was Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park. Parts of the trail involve ascending via metal ladder rungs pounded into rock, and the drop (if one looks down) can be frightening. There were other hikes on moderately difficult trails to mountain tops. And then there was Mount Washington in the White Mountains. Even though I was a somewhat experienced hiker, that one took 8 hours up and back. These days (many years later) I stick to easy to moderately easy hikes. My mountain hiking isn't over, but I always take the less challenging routes.
Suffice it to say that even in my younger years I never contemplated thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. But because I know people who would like to, I've been looking at books on the topic. And of course, I ate up Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods many years ago (haven't seen the movie yet. I worry that I'll be disappointed). While I'll never hike the AT, I like reading about people who take to the trail.
So I'm currently enjoying a book (volume 1 of 2) called Stumbling Thru: Hike Your Own Hike by A. Digger Stolz. Although the author has thru-hiked the trail, these books are fiction. With an entertaining cast of characters, the book is proving to be a fast and enjoyable read.
I love reading fictional works (non-fiction, too) about topics where I have limited or no knowledge. This one fits the bill perfectly. I highly recommend it.
It's been hot lately, and I confess that I've become rather fascinated with hand fans. We do have air conditioning and we use it, but growing up, my family didn't buy an air conditioner until I was in college, so I looked for other ways to move the air and at least pretend that my efforts were making me cooler.
Here are some of my favorites I've looked at online along with where they can be purchased if anyone is interested.
The other day I was on Facebook, and someone had a link to an article on creating wall art using fabric and embroidery hoops. At least I think that was what it was about. I was just looking at the images.
That took me back. When my first child was born, my mother took some cute fabric featuring images of teddy bears and placed each image in an embroidery hoop. These lightweight wall hangings were perfect for a child's room, because if they fell or got knocked off, they were (again) light and there was no glass to break. But it's an idea that could work anywhere. It's not a new idea, but sometimes, especially when saving money is important, it can be just the thing to brighten a room. You just need fabric that appeals to you (remnants? fabric from used clothing?), and a few embroidery hoops. Quick, simple and pretty! (I don't have an image of the hoops my mother made at my fingertips, but if I run across one, I'll scan it and post it here).
One crafter found a bag of embroidery hoops at a thrift store. Another found a bunch of doilies and placed them in hoops on a jewel-toned background. One person arranged red and green fabric in hoops, placed them in a circle and called it a wreath. So many good ideas! I'm feeling inspired.
So...I posted about this on Facebook the other day, but I know that not everyone sees those posts, and besides, I'm still trying to convince myself that while I want one of these, I don't necessarily need one (and yes, we don't always get to have something just because we want it).
At any rate, I was at Ikea looking at office desk chairs (not for me) and came across their Sit/Stand desks. I've been reading about those online for a long time, but I didn't know that Ikea had them. They are so awesome, and the new ones are electric and very quiet!
Here's one version (you can buy the bases with various table tops separately if you like in order to customize things a bit, but this complete desk comes in about 8 different color combinations, and there's also one with a more irregularly shaped top:
Here's one with a left corner (which also comes in a right corner):
The controls on the electric ones can be placed on whichever side is most convenient:
Here's one of their sales pitch videos that demonstrates the different heights. There's also a hand crank model that is less money, but I couldn't find a video and didn't see it in action, so I can't speak to that one. This one, however, has me wishing I could justify the price of a new desk (and getting rid of my old one). I'll have to think about that. I'm not sure I can bring myself to do it no matter how much I love this desk. I may just be too frugal.
I hope all is well with all of you and that you're enjoying whatever season you happen to be in (depending on where you live. We're moving into late summer here, and it's hot, but I can already tell that autumn is on the way. The days are getting shorter, and my tomatoes, dealing with less light, are taking longer to ripen than they were a few weeks ago).
I haven't posted one of these wedding videos for a long time, but this one is a bit different. The groom and many of the groomsmen (as well as the bride) are professional dancers. The reception and the stage are where the bride and groom performed together for the Richmond ballet in Richmond, Virginia.
I'm on a library kick of late (and by that, I mean a "let's all cheer for libraries" kick). Years ago I thought I might become a librarian, but instead became a teacher and later...well, you know...a writer. All of those are, of course, related, and I still love libraries. What's more, they've changed so much. In fact, I'd like to point out that libraries have adapted to the changing needs of patrons faster than lots of for-profit companies have.
Libraries now offer not only books and magazines, but music and movies and computer access. A person can borrow an ereader or visit the media studio some libraries offer to record music or movies or play musical instruments (or borrow those instruments). Video recorders can be checked out. As noted in an earlier post, many libraries now offer access to 3D printers. Harold Washington Library in Chicago has a Maker lab with access to laser cutters and other tools (other libraries also have Maker spaces).
I'm sure that I've barely touched on all the services that libraries today offer, but here's a fun video parody of Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" titled "Check It Out" that mentions some of the library's benefits.
And for something a bit more soothing, a look at some of the most beautiful libraries (I love the music):
Have you used any of the more unusual services libraries offer?