Thursday, October 10, 2019

Forest Giants in a Giant Forest at Bernheim

Approximately 20 minutes south of Louisville, KY is Bernheim Forest, a 16,000 acre arboretum that is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.  To celebrate, Bernheim collaborated with Danish artist, Thomas Dambo, to construct three giant sculptures throughout the arboretum using recycled wood from the region.  The sculptures depict three giants: Mama Loumari, Little Nis, and Little Elina.  

Mama Loumari

Mama Loumari, who is pregnant with her third child, is seen relaxing and enjoying nature while her two children are out and about exploring the forest.

Little Nis

Little Nis is the youngest and smallest of the Forest Giants.  He likes to explore and is excited by his newest discovery - his reflection!

Little Elina

Little Elina is the older sister of Little Nis.  She loves rocks and is building the outline of a feather with them.

The family arrived at Bernheim in March of 2019 and they are expected to reside in the arboretum for at least 3 years.

If you go:
  • Bernheim Forest is located approximately 20 minutes south of Louisville in Clermont, KY, which is also home to the Jim Beam distillery.  
  • Bernheim is open daily, 7am - 7pm, but is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
  • The admission to Bernheim is a $10 per car donation.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Currently... (Vol. 44)

Anxiously awaiting...  autumn's arrival.  Autumn technically started about a week and a half ago, but here in KY we're still experiencing the summer that just won't quit!  Seriously - 90s in October?!?

Ready...  and I mean, REALLY READY for crisp, chilly mornings; cool walks in the park; and the AC not running all day long.  I'm ready for summer to exit stage right.

Craving...  a caramel apple and a funnel cake!  Don't ask me why...

Missing...  my weekday morning walks in the park.  This working thing is really cramping my style and my workouts!  LOL!

Watching...  The Masked Singer on Wednesday nights. 

Realizing...  how ignorant I am about current popular culture.  Last week I got lucky and correctly guessed who The Egg was on The Masked Singer (Johnny Weir).  I had absolutely no idea who the The Ice Cream was, even after he took off his mask (Ninja...  some famous gamer).

Reading Listening...  to the audiobook Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag.

Receiving...  acupuncture and dry needling treatments to treat tennis elbow.

Thinking...  that it's kind of funny that I have tennis elbow and I haven't played tennis since 1983 when I took a week's worth of lessons and lost five cans of tennis balls, at which point my mom said that tennis was too expensive of a sport for me to play.

Looking...  forward to seeing Phil Collins next week!  Seeing him has been on my bucket list for a while.

Laughing...  at this:

Agreeing...  with this:

September in a Snapshot:

1 & 2) Me watching an exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum of Art, 3) my 20th first day of school as a public school SLP.
4) Pennywise on the freeway - YIKES, 5) Giants at Bernheim Forest, 6) giant turkey buzzard in my backyard!
7) making a therapy schedule...  ugh, 8) sunrise from my parking spot, 9) 100F on September 30!!!

What have you been up to lately?

Linking up with:

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books with the Numbers 1-10 in the Title

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Three Shirt Deal by Stephen J. Cannell

Four to Score by Janet Evanovich

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

BONUS:  11/22/63 by Stephen King

I will admit that I was very tempted to use the first ten titles of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series for this prompt, but where would be the fun in that?  LOL! I have read or listened to all of these books, with the exception of the bonus book,11/23/1963, which has been on my TBR forever.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. 

Monday, September 30, 2019

My Happy List - What I Enjoyed in July, August, and September (Vol. 10)

In keeping with my plan to periodically "check-in" and share some of the things that have brought me enjoyment, (ENJOY is my word of the year, after all), please allow me to share a sampling of the things that I enjoyed in July,  August, and this month.

I enjoyed...

July 3...  celebrating my anniversary with R at a new (to us) restaurant.

4...  being back home in WV and enjoying my family's annual Independence Day cookout.

8...   spending the evening with my best friend, C, while watching her daughter play in a state softball tournament.

9...  exploring a new hiking trail with my aunt.

13...  having dinner out with R and two of our friends.

21...  binge watching Stranger Things because I was stuck inside due to it being way too hot outside.

23...  the much welcomed, cooler temperatures (high 70s, low 80s) after several days of a yucky heatwave.

24...  eating lunch with one of my former work roommates. We spent 5 hours at Panera laughing and catching up.  It was nice.

25...  a long overdue phone date with my best friend.  Yes, we were able to see each other earlier this month, but we weren't able to talk freely and at length.

August 6...  spending the day with my uncle and 87-year old grandfather.

8...  spending the day with my mom at the WV State Fair.

10...  the breakfast that my 86-year old grandmother prepared.  It's been years since I've had "Granny Biscuits."

14...  listening to Bruce Springsteen's autobiography, Born to  Run, while walking in the park.

17...  the Salted Caramel Blondie ice cream from Ben and Jerry's in Freeport, ME.

19...  my authentic Maine breakfast - pancakes with Maine blueberries (which were on the underside of the pancakes) and Maine maple syrup.

20...  watching the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

23...  a long overdue lunch date with one of my closest friends from college.  We live in the same city, but only get to properly catch up in person about once or twice a year.

30...  completing the 175 Mile Summer Challenge.  (I walked 175 miles between June 9 and September 2.)

31...  playing in the mud (Rugged Maniac obstacle course race) with one of my speech path buddies.

September 2...  seeing the "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man" exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

8...  exploring the Forest Giants at Bernheim Forest.

12...  having dinner with Ci and Jo, two former coworkers and teammates who have become longtime friends.

14...  attending my friend's gender reveal party.  It's a boy!

21...  binge watching season 1 of Mayans MC on Hulu.

24...  sitting out on my deck enjoying the break from the unseasonably hot weather.

27...  the unplanned, but blissful nap I took during my acupuncture session (more on this soon).

Happy Monday and have a great week!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Recently Read Vol. 35

It's been a LONG time since I have participated in the Show Us Your Books linkup.  Blame it the crazy second semester I had at work, my half marathon training in the spring, the death of my stepson and the adjustment to what my husband and I are calling our new normal, my overall disinterest in blogging, and my all-consuming Stranger Things and all things WWII TV binge watching obsession in July.  There have been numerous times in which I've sat down to review the books that I've completed, but...  Well, something always presented itself that kept me from it.  Such is life, right?

Between February and June, I read and/or listened to these books:

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (My rating: 4/5)
Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Short story; My rating: 4/5)
In Movement There is Peace: Stumbling 500 Miles Along The Way to the Spirit by Elaine Orabona Foster and Joseph Wilbred Foster (My rating: 4/5)
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (My rating: 4/5)
Master of the Mountain by Cherise Sinclair (Re-read; My rating: 3/5)
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus (My rating: 4/5)
Master of the Abyss by Cherise Sinclair (Re-read; My rating: 4/5)
Master of the Dark Side by Cherise Sinclair (My rating: 3/5)
Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen (My rating: 3/5)

Of these, the most notable standout for me was Daisy Jones and The Six.  I loved the unique setup of the novel (it felt like a "Behind the Music" rock-doc but in book audiobook form).  I also genuinely loved the characters and by the book's end, I felt as if I had taken their extraordinary journey with them.


Here are the books I read/listened to in July and August:

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
My Rating: 4/5

Us Against You is the continuation of Beartown and chronicles the lives of Beartown's townspeople after the unthinkable happens and tears their small town apart.

Final Verdict:  If you liked Beartown, I'd recommend Us Against You.  

My Rating:  4/5

This is a WWII story, specifically about a concentration camp, as told by a young boy who is the son of the camp's Nazi commander.  It is a super quick read, but despite this, it still drew me in and left me dealing with many raw emotions. It offers a unique perspective in WWII historical fiction.

Final Verdict:  Recommend

Darker by E. L. James
My Rating: 2.5/5

This story follows the plot line of Fifty Shades Darker, the second book in the original trilogy, but is told from Christian's point of view.  I'm really over this story at this point, even though I enjoyed Christian's POV and found him less annoying than Anastatia. 

Final Verdict:  Meh...

The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke
My Rating: 3/5

This is the story of a police detective in New Orleans and is the first in a long running series.  It was ok.  It held my attention for the first 75% of the book, but then it started to unravel and it just fell apart.  The main character was likable enough but rather unforgettable in the long term.  He made no impression on me.  I doubt I'll continue the series.

Final Verdict:  Meh...

Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My Rating: 3/5

Forever, Interrupted was the last of TJR's book that I needed to read. It's the story of a young woman whose husband of a few weeks dies unexpectedly and how she copes in the aftermath.  

Final Verdict:  Although it's not my favorite, I still think it is worth reading - especially if you like TJR.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
My rating: 5/5

I love audiobook autobiographies that are read by the author. Although Bruce’s slower speaking rate and intonation made this audiobook longer, those same factors added so much character and depth to this piece of work. Listening to this book felt like Bruce came over to my house one afternoon and regaled me with stories of his life. Springsteen did a wonderful job of sharing not only the aspects of his career, but also intimate aspects of his personal life which I feel took much courage. I now have a deeply renewed sense of admiration for The Boss.

Final Verdict:  Recommend

My rating:  4/5

Sci-fy and fantasy aren't typically my jam, but I found this book to be enjoyable enough.  It has a unique storyline that's simply too complex to summarize here (Goodreads does a great job though.)

Final Verdict:  Coin toss

Well, there you have it - what I've read since January.  Have you read any of them?  If so, what are your thoughts?  What have you read lately?

Linking up with Steph and Jana

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