• books

    Book review: The River Wife

    The River Wife(Total disclaimer here: I put this book down about halfway through, but I’m leaving my thoughts for the part I did read.)

    The River Wife is one of those books that I both enjoyed, and didn’t. Beginning with the New Madrid earthquake of 1811 in Missouri and ranging through to the bootlegging days of the 1930s, it’s an interwoven story of the fates of multiple women linked together by a shared family history full of hope, sorrow, secrets, and violence. If you’re a fan of historical family sagas or American Gothic meets frontier adventure, then this novel sounds like the perfect pick for a long afternoon curled up in your favorite reading spot.

    So, what is it that made me DNF?

    Basically, I would blame a simple mismatch of book and reader at this time. The River Wife moves like the river in its pages, slow and steady, lazy and meandering in many parts, with occasional hidden bursts of speed. Agee’s lines unfold in a slow, dreamy fashion that’s perfect if you’re in the mood to savor a slower-paced drama, but I found my attention wandering. I put this aside for now and may return later, but in the meantime I’m going to pick up something with a faster pace and see if that better suits me.

    The River Wife, by Jonis Agee (393 pages). 2007. Historical fiction. Three out of five stars.

  • animals,  travel

    Two days in Newport, Oregon: where to stay, explore, and more

    If you follow me on Instagram then you know I recently spent a week road-tripping with my partner through Oregon, with a focus near Newport on the coast. I’ll be putting up more posts over the next week with tons of pictures as well as in-depth details from our explorations. Today I’m starting out with a quick round-up of where we camped and hiked, along with links so you can plan your own trip in the area.

    Oregon Dunes near Florence, Oregon

    We started in Coos Bay, which is about two hours south of Newport; at Coos Bay, we turned north on highway 101 and spent a full day driving up to our campsite so we would have plenty of time to stop and take in the sights. We spent a second day taking in sights north of Newport. I definitely recommend giving yourself two to three days to fully take in all this area has to offer! Keep in mind that our trip was by car, but the area is also very accessible to those traveling by motorcycle, RV, bicycle, or on foot. Also be aware that park and camping fees vary widely based on your mode of transportation.

    At the end of this post I’ve included several different options for traveling to Newport from a variety of major PNW cities, whether you’re heading south, north, or west.

  • lifestyle,  travel

    Perspective

    Perspective

    Our road trip to the Oregon coast was amazing in so many ways (and I’m excited to tell you all about it, in a series of posts starting later this week!), but it didn’t go very smoothly. Less than twenty-four hours in we were stranded on the side of the highway south of Portland. We had left late in the evening after work the day prior, had a rough night in a less than stellar motel, and discovered we’d given the wrong house key to the petsitter; breaking down seemed like the final insult when we’d only just begun our trip. After having the car towed to a local shop my partner and I decided to walk the dog to a local park to blow off some steam.

    I’ll willingly admit I wasn’t in good form that day. I was tired and grouchy, and grumbled to my partner, “I wish we’d never come on this trip.”

  • self care

    World Mental Health Day 2018

    World Mental Health Day

    Today  I jumped online to post a selfie for World Mental Health Day. It’s a decent snapshot, and it shows me on one of my good days. I’m camping on the beach in Oregon with my partner and my dog, enjoying the sunshine, taking hundreds of photos, and enjoying life.

    But this picture doesn’t tell the whole story.