The Tin Can Tourists

On Friday, the Tin Can Tourists rolled into town, with their kitschy quirky vintage charm and reminders of how good life can be. I guess that is a debatable statement depending on who you are – at least for me, it would be a very good life, to tool around in my awesome vintage camper!

It’s the 100 year anniversary of the Tin Can Tourists, a vagabond group of campers that started, well, in 1919, in Florida. This group has a strict code of guiding principles, that begins with clean camps and includes friendliness, decent behavior, and just plain good wholesome fun- a set of principles I can get behind!

These fun, candy colored campers came in all shapes and sizes, and the owners were on hand to answer any questions and allowed entry into their homes away from home. It had rained buckets just an hour before, so you could only stand on the rugs just inside the doorway, understandably, which was more than enough to be able to take in the whole glorious picture. They were all outfitted with the coolest of decor, all old vintage woods, antiques, but also outfitted with the latest appliances like microwaves and some of them even had bathrooms – with tubs! I can definitely see my little family touring the National Parks in one of these babies!

That last one was designed by an airline designer – I can totally see it!

I loved hearing all the stories. One woman, in her senior years, told us of how she found her adorable camper while on a walk with her dog. It was parked on the street with a for sale sign in the window, and she poked around, looking underneath and even through the windows. She liked what she saw, knocked on the door, and told them it was sold, and that she would be right back with the money and a truck to tow it away. She said when she told her son, he was like “oh mom, what did you do now” with a laugh. She was a pretty cool lady and she was so friendly and open. I meant to get a photo of her vest, which was turquoise and covered in National Park patches. She told us that she and her cousin have been bopping out exploring for the past few years – what a great time they must have, and stories they must have.

This one was our favorite. Not as eye catching on the outside as some, but the front window made all the difference. It felt so big and open and airy, so much light. If I were buying right now, this is the kind I would want. The owner was also very friendly and told us this is the way to travel – and agreed the window is amazing. She talked to us while the wind whipped around us, eating her dinner out of an aluminum container, her dogs contentedly hanging out in their pen. Plus, how cute is that gnome! I love gnomes…

We could have stayed all night, talking to some of the owners. They were all so welcoming and I am sure have some amazing stories to share. They are having a rally in Camp Dearborn soon, and then beginning a caravan (like in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape!) through Michigan before heading out to other parts of the U.S. this summer. It’s been 100 years for the club, and also 100 years for Michigan State Parks, so double celebration! Check out their website for more upcoming events, if you are interested, perhaps they will be showing up in your town soon! They also have a ton of information about vintage campers, campgrounds, and their own history, plus some amazing photos.

Like I said, we could have stayed all night talking, but our stomachs were rumbling so we headed across the street to the Little Crepe and Pierogi place and pigged out on pierogis. Well, some of us did. One of us just looked out the window, maybe dreaming of the open road and some good, clean fun.

My Sunday-Monday Post!

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz 

We had such a fun filled week last week! We took a midweek break, and headed out for a walk in the marsh, which we followed up with bakery fresh pepperoni rolls as big as Wyatt’s head. Seriously. Lol. We also planted a cherry tree for Arbor Day, and while walking around the garden center, impulsively bought two blueberry bushes! An impulse buy I can totally live with. I can’t wait for this stuff to grow up and begin to bear fruit. I am not sure how long for the blueberry bushes but I am sure our tree will take a year or two, if it is anything like our apple tree. We also did a few other really cool things, including checking out the Tin Can Tourists that rolled into town with their vintage campers. I took so many photos that I am turning it into a blog post! Anyone else in love with old vintage campers?

Read Last Week:

I stuck to my plan! I finished my book club book Bohemian, which I loved although it’s been a long while since I read a romance novel like this one. Lol. I am a total setting junkie and this book, set in Big Sur at an old bookstore named The Mad Ones for all the Beat poets and authors that used to hang out there was like a setting dream come true. Plus all the literary name dropping! And I am part way through Bonavere Howl, another book I chose for the setting – if a book says New Orleans, I usually at least pick it up and give it a whirl.

Reading This Week:

It’s time for my annual reread of my favorite book Watership Down!! I am also finishing up Bonavere Howl, and reading Bohemian reminded me of how much I love Mary Oliver, so I am paging through some of her poetry again this week.

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Book review: Only Ever Her

How about you all? What is going on in your world?

Book Review: Only Ever Her

Goodreads Summary:

It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts?

Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

As the days pass, the list of suspects in her disappearance grows. Could it be the recently released man a young Annie misidentified as her mother’s killer? Could it be someone even closer to her?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

My Thoughts:

I really could not put this book down! I read it in two days, which in the past was no big deal, but these days is a sign that I am hooked, since that means I squeezed reading in whenever possible, possibly even at the expense of laundry or grocery shopping…

Anywhoo, I wanted to know what the heck happened to Annie! Did she just take off, like a runaway bride, or did something more sinister happen? Told from multiple points of view, we got to know the people closest to Annie well. Their good points, their flaws..but we never really got to know Annie. And I think that was purposeful, as I don’t think the people in Annie’s life knew her all that well either. She was that sort of character, you know? Where you think you know someone, but then maybe yo don’t, not deep down? That is Annie. And this book was full of secrets – secrets by the bucketful. Every time you turned a page there was a revelation it seemed by one character or another. I loved learning all these hidden secrets as they were revealed. It was like going to coffee with a good friend and getting all the dirt on something crazy!

The ending gave me mixed feelings, honestly. A few things happened, and while one was pretty much like holy moly I didn’t see that coming, another one was a bit disappointing.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a bit slow to unwind itself, but once it did get going, everything really started to become undone. Not as good as When We Were Worthy, but still a good read.

I received an advance copy from Little Bird Publicity and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Hi all!! Happy belated Easter if you celebrate and Happy Earth Day! I hope you all had a great weekend! Friday we had dinner at my brother’s house where we had a blast, hanging out and chatting while our kids were just being kids around us, the way it should be. Then yesterday we took a family hike by the lake, spotted lots of water birds, and then went for Easter dinner at my cousin’s house. She went out of her way to make a fun Easter for my son and niece. Her kids are grown, but my cousin put Easter Eggs all over the yard for the kids to find, and Wyatt loved it! My niece wasn’t able to make it, so Wyatt got all the treasures! It was a great weekend!

I am finally feeling myself. All last week I was a bit a run down and gross, my allergies were acting up like crazy, and I just wasn’t me. I had no get up and go, and to top it off, I was in a bit of a reading slump. I finally settled in with the perfect book though, and it is one one of my favorite reads so far this year. So from the slump I emerged with a new book to rave over!

Read Last Week:

In my slump, I picked this book up off of my bedside pile, and was immediately drawn into this micro world. This little books is a calm, gentle, beautiful read, one that speaks of perseverance and appreciating life. I completely loved it. Look for post hopefully this week!

Reading This Week:

I have been horrible about following my reading plans this month. Things just aren’t sticking. This week I am going to read my book club book Bohemian for sure, and then I’m going to read Bonavere Howl. Here’s to hoping I can stick to my plan!

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Earth Day Reads

A Poem for Everyone

How about you guys? Did you have a nice weekend? What’s going on in your neighborhood? Any plans for Earth Day?

Earth Day Reads

We are all about nature at our house. We love to be in it, we love to celebrate it, we love to read about it. It is very important to me that Wyatt loves the earth and the outdoors as much as we do, and by exposing him to it through being outside, cherishing all our creatures great and small, and learning by reading as well, we can nourish that ingrained sense of love toward our world and all of its inhabitants. I have a few books that I have put aside just for Earth Day next week – some are old favorites, some are new to us. And here they are, one for each day next week and then a bonus one for fun!

The Earth Book – This one has been in rotation here for a while! Wyatt loves it, so do I. It’s a quick easy read, and has great colorful illustrations.

Me… Jane– This is a great read for kids, to introduce them to Jane Goodall- and to show them that a dream you have as a kid can become reality! We read this one together surrounded by every monkey toy that Wyatt has.

Blackout – This one is a favorite of mine. It is about a citywide blackout that causes families to leave their technology behind and venture out into the community. I love it to pieces and is a good book to use to talk about energy conservation and time without tech.

Fancy Nancy Every Day is Earth Day – It is important to me to make Wyatt aware that our choices for a better planet are an every day thing, not just on earth day!

Biscuit’s Earth Day Celebration – I thought this was a cute look at a few things kids can do to participate in keeping our planet alive and healthy.

It’s Earth Day! – I love Mercer Mayer! Little Critter was a favorite of mine as a kid and I can’t wait to read this one with Wyatt. This is a new one to both of us!

The Lorax – No list about Earth Day books would be complete without the Lorax…I think we might make some truffula trees even!

Bug Hotel – My son loves bugs. We bought a bug house last year but this year I want to really expand on it and do a few other things as well.

And a few books for you!

Two books that I love, and one that is on my list! Meadowland and John Lewis Stempel started a whole new way of how I look at the world around me. The Nature Fix took that a few more steps. I highly recommend them both. And Common Ground just intrigues me! I have it on hold at the library and it’s a waiting game.. (If you like nature narratives I read about one a month, check back for more!)

What about you? Do you have any good earth day/environmental reading suggestions? I would love to hear them!

A Poem for Everyone

I fell in love with poetry on the laps of my mom and dad, snuggled up close, as they sang nursery rhymes to me, and then later on, Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky and yes, Dr. Seuss too. Poems like Ickle Me Pickle Me Tickle Me Too tripped across the room, enchanting me with their rhythms and of course humor; my dad read The Owl and the Pussycat to me every single night before bed. And who, old or young, doesn’t love Listen to the Musn’ts. Even after my parents stopped reading Silverstein to me, my cousin and I used to spend family holidays curled up in a corner, reading Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic together, and we still talk about these poems sometimes.

As I got older, I didn’t read as much poetry anymore. Then my senior year of high school I took an Advanced English class where we spent a whole semester on poetry, and I fell in love all over again. I was introduced to Emily Dickinson, Edward Arlington Robinson, T.S. Eliot, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Dorothy Parker, who I discovered on my own that year. I wanted to be Dorothy Parker, with her sharp. clever wit. I wanted to be a big time journalist, and sit at the Algonquin Round Table. (Ok, I still want to do that) I started smoking – yeah, I started smoking not due to peer pressure or anything, but because all my favorite writers and authors did it- and she even influences me a bit now. A craft cocktail bar opened up in Detroit about 8 or so years ago, and what did I order? A whiskey sour, like my old idol Dorothy Parker. I no longer smoke, but I do still enjoy a whiskey sour every now and again.

Last Friday my husband, Wyatt, and I stumbled into an art show celebrating the beauty of the spoken and written word, titled Pose and Poetry. For the entire month of April, works of art inspired by poems are on display, as well as a night of open mic spoken word. We had attended a Free Spirit Fair in the same building, and saw the exhibit going on, and decided to check it out too. I am so glad that we did. I loved it. There was this beautiful, delicate piece of artwork, a sculpture of glass shaped into a little nest, with strips of Dickinson poems tucked throughout. It was exquisite and lovely and I adored it. I can’t stop thinking about it really. Dickinson is a favorite of mine, and this piece was really a gorgeous tribute to her work.

Patrons were encouraged to participate as well, by writing a line from a favorite poem and sticking it to the window. I of course had to do this too. The problem was, which of my favorites would I leave a line from? Degrees of Grey in Phillipsburg flitted through my mind, and I considered Hope is the thing with feathers by Dickinson but she was already so beautifully represented. But in the end there was no other poem I could have chosen besides The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, my very favorite of them all.

These days I read a lot of Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry; different poets affect us at different points in our lives, and right now, Oliver and Berry hit me where I am. I think there is a poet or two out there for all of us, even in some of us. Or maybe just a singular poem that calls to us, even just a line that sings to our soul. What do you think? Is there a poet or poem that you love? Feel free to drop a line in the comments! I would love to read who or what speaks to you.

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz 

 

Hi everyone!! My week was a bit hectic, playing catch up from spring break plus some family things going on as well. This weekend though we took a walk in the woods and saw so many signs of spring, including a little frog we spotted that was peeping out at us. We also celebrated my niece’s birthday today. She is such a little glamour girl already at two, walking around with her toy phone and toy lipstick, adorned in her sparkly shiny necklace and bracelet. Plus, there was cannoli cake!

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Read:

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I still didn’t end up reading Finale! I am not as great at reading on my Kindle although I am trying to be better about it, for many reasons. However, I did read this review book and I couldn’t stop reading it! I picked it up one afternoon and had it finished by the next day, which four years ago wasn’t a big deal, but now is a huge sign I loved a book. Review coming soon!

Reading This Week:

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I will probably be reading from these three over this week. I can’t quite land on a book fully it seems lately!

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Spring Break Staycation

Hello April!

Watching:

Not too much. We spent the week running about and by the time evening rolled around we were wiped out! When we did have a second to take a break and watch tv, we just watched whatever was on HGTV.

So what about you guys? What all is going on in your neighborhood?