Archive for September, 2013

image courtesy of Amazon

image courtesy of Amazon

I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals is to read 50 books.  The latest book I finished is my favorite so far:  Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis.

This book is about Pharr Davis’s first, solo thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.  I loved hiking vicariously along with Pharr Davis as she traverses the 2,175-mile trail.  There’s the bugs, the inclement weather, the feet issues, the rocky terrain, the weird and/or scary people, the traumatic situation she witnessed.  There’s also the beauty of the mountains and valleys, the sunsets and rivers.  There’s the friends and trail angels she met along the way.  There’s the characteristics she discovered about herself.

I loved this book.  I loved this book.  I loved this book.

Did I say I LOVED this book?   Granted, I’m a fan of walkabouts, having recently finished a much less challenging one myself.  I think they are great ways to figure things out (even things you didn’t plan on figuring out) and connecting with the Divine.  So of course I was going to love this book.

What surprised me, though, is that I now want to do a thru-hike myself.  But then I remember there’s the bugs, the inclement weather, the feet issues, the rocky terrain, the weird and/or scary people… For me, there’s also the time and money issue, along with the idea of having to carry more supplies than I did on my recent Camino.

But regardless of whether I personally experience a thru-hike on the AT, I’ve enjoyed reading about Pharr Davis’s experiences, and I’m once again motivated to plan another walkabout.


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image courtesy of Amazon

image courtesy of Amazon

I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals is to read 50 books.  The latest book I finished is No! I Don’t Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a 60th Year by Virginia Ironside.

The last book I read was about older women reclaiming their life and passions.  This book is the diary of a woman who, upon turning 60, has decided to slow down and enjoy growing old.  She doesn’t want to take classes, participate in adventure sports, or travel to exotic locations. She has also decided to give up on pursuing a romantic relationship.

Instead, she revels in the idea of becoming a grandma, taking it easy, and having a “Freedom Pass,” which gives her free access to things like public transportation and museums.

I chose to read this book based on the title alone.   Most everyone I know, myself included, wants to keep active and learning as we grow older.  So I wanted to read a funny book about someone who didn’t particularly care to have any more adventures.  Of course, life doesn’t always turn out the way we planned, does it?

A nice, light read.



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image courtesy of Destination America

image courtesy of Destination America

About 15 years ago, I visited Alaska and fell in love with the landscape. The trees! The mountains! The water! The bears!

Oh wait … the bears. While I like the “idea” of bears, I’m a tad bit scared of them.  And let’s face it, I would not be able to function during those long winters with little sunshine. So maybe Alaska isn’t the ideal place for me to move full time.

But a gal can still daydream, can’t she?  And that dreaming just got a little easier, thanks to “Buying Alaska,” a television series on Destination America.

I discovered this show quite by accident, since the channel is way up the dial, near the pay-per-view channels, and I don’t subscribe to those.  But once I learned of this show, I quickly added it to my DVR.  Now I won’t miss the opportunity to watch people way more adventurous than me shop for cabins and homes in the great outdoors.

The series is in its second season.  What I saw of the first season featured mostly weekend/vacation cabins.   The current season features mostly full-time homes.  Here’s what I’ve noticed so far:   Many of the homes highlighted on this show have no indoor plumbing.  While I might not mind living without running water in a vacation home, I am a bit spoiled and could not imagine living without running water all the time.  Who knows what’s lurking around the outhouse in the middle of the night?  Did I mention my fear of bears?

Obviously, the allure of these houses is that they are located in remote areas, often only accessible by planes or snowshoes (in the winter).  One of the houses in a recent episode was an hour’s drive to the nearest grocery store.  That particular situation reminded me of a guest house where I stayed on my Alaska trip.  The proprietor, who also lived an hour away from civilization, would go to Costco and load her Suburban with all she’d need for the next month. I’m currently not that organized, so if I were to live in such an area, I’d have to change my ways or else I’d spend lots of time (and gasoline) going back and forth to purchase supplies. Did I mention I hate driving?

Some of the houses are quite fancy, while others are bare bones.  I could see the allure of a small, compact area, especially when trying to heat said area in the cold winters.   Some houses have hangars for the planes that owners use to access the property.  Others have greenhouses so owners can grow their own food.  I would definitely want a property with a greenhouse.

Of course all the houses featured have beautiful views of the mountains, and/or nearby lakes or streams.  I can only imagine the joy of waking up each morning to see those majestic mountains out my window!

If I ever win the lottery, I might consider buying a vacation home in Alaska, where I could visit in the summers.  I’d take some strong friends to help haul water, and some loud friends to make noise and keep the bears away.    Until then, I’ll just enjoy the views on “Buying Alaska.”

How about you?  Where do you daydream about moving?

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image courtesy of Amazon

image courtesy of Amazon


I turned 50 years old this year and one of my goals is to read 50 new books.  A book I recently read is The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love by Joan Medlicott.

This book is about three women who became friends while living in a group home for elderly people.  One of the women, Amelia, inherits an old farmhouse in the mountains of North Carolina.  The three drive down to see the place, envisioning a beautiful, comfortable house.  What they find is a building in disrepair.  Rather than move back into their group home, they decide to make the repairs, using the money Amelia also inherited, and move in the farmhouse together.   During this process, each woman faces unresolved situations in her past, and either finds or rediscovers her passion.

I liked this book for several reasons.  The first is the idea of remodeling an old house, though the price on Amelia’s remodel seemed mighty cheap to me!

The second is the idea of a group of people moving in together to help each other out.  I’ve had conversations with several friends about a similar idea.  How can we help each other out when we are older?  Probably the best version we came up with was to buy land together and everyone have little cabins of their own, with some common space for events.  But the ladies in this book figured out a way that worked for them.

The third reason is the setting:  I love the mountains!

A nice summer read.


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