Sunday, December 21, 2014

From Hobbiton to Mt. Doom

In New Zealand time, it's still December 8. In one day, we followed Frodo from his home in Bag End all the way to the entrance to Mordor and Mt. Doom.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Zealand 2014: Hobbiton

On Monday December 8, we started the journey of Sam and Frodo from LOTR and traveled from Hobbiton to the toxic slopes of Mt. Doom. Here's my report of the former. 

For the Lord of the Rings films, Hobbiton was built as an extensive set on a picturesque sheep station in Matamata. It was however, just a set made for looking good in the films. Afterward, it was dismantled for the most part. However, then came the fans.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The North Island: Sunday December 7


Goodness, what a whirlwind. One thing about being on an organized tour is that your time is often not really your own. We did have some free time in Wellington, and that's when I wrote my last post, and tonight we have the evening, but have to get ready for a very early day of travel and activities tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

A First Attempt to Blog about New Zealand

Here in the travel world of New Zealand, internet access is doled out 30 minutes at a time. I've been posting photos via my NZ burner sim card, and it has been so much fun to share these adventures with my friends. I love you all! I am journalling and taking notes and writing off line, so it may be that I'll have to catch up retroactively at some point.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Review: Orphan Train

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Young Adult (FYI if you're going to share this with a young person--there is some strong language from Molly. It fits her character, but you may want to discuss it with your friend/student/child in accordance with your values about profanity.)
Story-within-a-story, historical fiction, contemporary
I listened to the Audible audiobook narrated by Jessica Almasy and Suzanne Toren
You might like this book if you are interested in the Orphan Trains that ran from large East Coast cities to the Midwest from the 1850s to the 1920s. You may also be interested if you enjoy stories of overcoming, redemption, the importance of family or are sympathetic to the realities faced by foster children and orphans.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Social Media Split

There's a song the children sing at church: 


I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

I know who I am.  

I know God's plan. 

I'll follow him in Faith. 

I believe in the Savior Jesus Christ. 

I'll honor his name. 

I'll do what is right; I'll follow His Light.  

His truth I will proclaim! 


I love that it is a series of simple declarations; nothing complicated. It perfectly encapsulates how I feel about my faith. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

On and Off the Road Again

I had a great week at my sister's house. I meant to post as soon as I got home so I wouldn't get behind YET again, but you know how that goes sometimes. I'm making a stab now at least. I am slow doing a lot of things because I can't do it the way I think I should, but as I get older and ostensibly wiser, I realize that the forward progress is usually the best option of all.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

This Is Not Becoming a Book Blog

Even though the last three posts were book reviews, I'm still writing here about everything. Well almost everything. I am trying to catch up on recording books I've read, though. I have a tendency to forget details or even that I've read a book, so it's feeling important to me to make my list more complete. There are so many books that have never made it into this blog and while I'm not going to try and catch up fully, I am going to try and fill in some of the blanks.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Book Review: The Happiness Project

The Happiness Project
Author: Gretchen Rubin
Genres: Non-Fiction, Self-Help, Lifestyle, Happiness Research
I listened to the audiobook read by the author.
You might like this book if you like self-help books, authors on quests, bloggers who write books, or are genuinely interested in the study of happiness and how to have more of it in your life.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Book Review: William Shakespeare's Star Wars, The Empire Striketh Back and The Jedi Doth Return

Author: Ian Doescher
Genre: Fantasy Reimagined
For: All ages who will take the time to understand Shakespeare-like language.
You might like these books if you loved the original Star Wars trilogy AND love Shakespeare, if you think there is room in this world for The Bard to have a little fun, or if you're just curious.
I listened to the audiobooks, which had a cast of voices playing the different characters.