Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Book Report: Her Fearless Run, Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Chaffee

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Her Fearless Run, Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon

Written by Kim Chaffee

Illustrated by Ellen Rooney

Page Street Kids, 2019

 

Blurb from the book:

“Girls weren’t supposed to sweat. Girls weren’t supposed to compete. They were too weak, too fragile, to run distances like the Boston Marathon. That’s what most people thought.

Kathrine Switzer changed their minds.”

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Thanks to Writers’ Rumpus, I received a gift copy of Kim Chaffee’s Her Fearless Run, just born this year! Thank you so much, Kim, Ellen, Carol, and Writers’ Rumpus!

 

I’ve always envied women who have the desire, drive, and determination to run long distances. I do not have those qualities, and would rather hike or walk long distances.

“I didn’t set out to make history; I was just a girl who wanted to run.” – Kathrine Switzer

Her Fearless Run is the fascinating story of Kathrine Switzer, a woman committed to opening the doors for women to run long distances during a time when it was frowned upon and not allowed. At all.

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What I love about Her Fearless Run:

~ I love how skillfully Kim Chaffee wove together real life information with the story of Kathrine standing up to the expectations of a male-dominated sport. I love that Kathrine kept plodding along, facing each obstacle with grit, just as she would in marathons and long distance running.

~ I love the vibrant and informative illustrations and how they lend the air of the past to the story.

~ I love the messages of Her Fearless Run. Girls can do anything! Hard work and perseverance pays off. Individuals can make a difference and impact others. You can do things you enjoy.

~ I love the ease of reading and interesting story that kept me glued to the pages of Her Fearless Run.

~ I love that I can share this book with other young readers and inspire them to go after their dreams and passions.

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Amazon Blurb:

Kathrine Switzer changed the world of running. This narrative biography follows Kathrine from running laps as a girl in her backyard to becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with official race numbers in 1967. Her inspirational true story is for anyone willing to challenge the rules.

The compelling collage art adds to the kinetic action of the story. With tension and heart, this biography has the influential power to get readers into running. An excellent choice for sports fans, New Englanders, young dreamers, and competitive girls and boys alike.

 

KID KANDY:

Go for a Run!

Materials: chalk, running journal, drawing supplies (crayons, pencils, markers), snack

1. Read Her Fearless Run. How did Kathrine start out as a runner? Can you follow the steps she took?

2. Invite someone to run with you. Use chalk marks to count your laps.

3. Relax after your run by searching online for information about Kathrine Switzer and the Boston Marathon. Are there any marathons hosted near your home? Perhaps you could go and watch one. Our city has a race with adults and younger age groups.

4. Eat a healthy snack, drink cool water, and record your laps in a running journal. Draw a picture of yourself running.

5. Repeat!

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Spring Cleaning

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This past (YAY) winter has left this bod in serious cabin fever shape.

It’s true. Being cooped up inside with record snowfalls does nothing for a hiking physique. I did spend quite a bit of time shoveling, but that exercise was offset by hiding inside away from frigid temps.

Take my walk today, for instance. Huffing and puffing, sweating and trudging at a snail’s pace, the summer hiking season seemed far from my grasp. After all, actual hiking is done up and down, over hill and dale.

That’s when I realized my self needed spring cleaning. Some sprucing up, working out, and trimming off the fat.

Spring cleaning is coming to this future outdoors woman.

Walking around the yard, I noticed several casualties of the heavy snow and resulting compact ice. Funny smiling face? Busted. Sage in clay pot? Needs repotting to an undamaged pot. Siberian irises in a similarly disintegrating pot? Same treatment. Gravel strewn every which way due to shoveling of snow.

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Spring cleaning extends to the garden and surrounding yard.

It also includes the cat, Monet, who is sporting more of a tummy due to forced lack of exercise, and her favorite pastime-hunting. It’s hard to hunt or pursue any fun activities when snow accumulations are higher than your head! The one time she tried, well, it was hysterical and a very fast trip. Monet is in much need of a tune up.

Spring cleaning has arrived for the cat.

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Monet on her way up the pasture to the irrigation ditch (and future snacks)

The good news is she caught her ‘second’ first mouse of the season today. We thought spring was on the way in late January and early February. That was when she ate her first mouse of the year. And then Snowmageddon. There was much lying around, racing through the RV, climbing the walls, and sleeping on fuzzy blankets.

Inside the RV, blankets and rugs have been washed. Carpets love their new vacuumed look and floors appear a shade lighter after being mopped. Excess items are disappearing from cluttered sight. Spring cleaning is happening all over the place.

Let’s chat just a bit about the honey. In his jammies. And plastic shoes. Right now. Out smashing down mole hills all over the pasture. This mole has been a busy beaver, leaving a winding lane of black dirt mountains across the field. Soooo, honey does his spring cleaning by paying attention to signs of the season.

Spring cleaning comes to the Yakima Valley.

How about you? Have you enjoyed spring cleaning? What’s your favorite spring cleaning task?


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Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: again

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commence shoveling!

again, or still; nearly spring-

snow falls quietly

 

again by Angie Quantrell

Like Groundhog’s Day (the movie), this winter clutches our neck of the woods with the setting of repeat. Some movies have that choice, did you know? Especially for the younger crowd. I didn’t know winter had the same option.

But I LOVE snow! Even as green-starved as I am, gasping for fresh air and spring flowers, I feel giddy with joy when snowflakes dump steadily the whole day and into the  night. Despite the need for shoveling, I gleefully glance out the window to make sure it’s still coming down in white blankets.

It is! Sheets, comforters, pillowcases, and blankets of the white stuff. Doomed I fear, according to weather reports.

But today. I shovel. Again.

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Snow Play in a Writer’s Life

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After a writing day of sitting at the table, this person had to get some moves on! Writing is great for the mind, but deadly for the backside.

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After a bout of shoveling slush, I fixed the snowman’s melted face. He’d lost his ability to see, smell, and smile, poor fellow.

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I walked to the top of the hill to see what I could see. But all I could see was the other side of the hill

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I made my own rectangular snow walk, smartly going round and round, turning sharp corners and attempting straight paths. Apparently I can’t walk a straight line.

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But still, the designs in the snow are intriguing, and shadows cast by the melting sun throw footprints into blue relief.

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If only I were a raven, my bird’s eye view would snatch hidden gems from the mystery that is snow and sun, freezing and melting, white and blue.

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Did you play outside today?


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National Take a Hike Day

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November 17 was National Take a Hike Day. In our neck of the woods (quick quiz: who is famous for using that phrase?), the weather was clear, blue skies sparkled, and the temps were brisk but not frigid. It was a perfect day for a near-winter hike.

Er, walk. I did something to my back and have been experiencing excruciating pain for most of the day. I suspect an odd twist, weird picking up of a grand, or hauling heavy laundry through tight RV doors. So we walked, not hiked.

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Any-who, my honey and I went to the Cowiche Canyon near Yakima, Washington. It’s been on our list and ‘something else’ has consistently popped up and blocked us from this destination. There are so many more options for hiking the canyon now than when we first starting hiking at this location. One can scramble up rock cliffs, stroll along cliff edges, amble above canyon level through sage brush hillsides, or take the path through the base of the canyon. Fantastic!

Who knew, but wildlife is abundant in this practically in town outdoor area. Warning signs hint at cougars and bears. It goes without saying that rattlesnakes will be present (just keep walking). This is central Washington after all. Due to the cold temperature, I wasn’t too concerned about snakes. For our walk, we heard quail and various bird calls. Rustling in the bushes made us wonder, but they were tiny rustles. And with the other humans and their dogs, wildlife was probably running for dear life.

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Due to my back woes, we took the slow path from the east canyon entrance. No trails up and down the cliffs, highlands, or even to the end of the canyon. There was even a sign pointing towards wineries, which we did not take, but still! In the middle of a nature hike, an adult venture. LOL We took the easy jaunt on a nice path through the canyon, skirting the Cowiche Creek, checking out beaver dams, listening to the burbling water. It was a lovely day to take a hike.

There are so many outdoor options around Cowiche Canyon. This destination hike is definitely on our list for future outings. Read more about Cowiche Canyon here.

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How about you? Did you “take a hike”?


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Hiking: Selah Cliffs Natural Area Preserves

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We ‘hiked’ the trail at Selah Cliffs Natural Area Preserves on Saturday.

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Where: Seven miles north of Selah, just south of mile post 3 on SR 821, or as locals know it, the Yakima Canyon Road (slightly northeast of Selah)

Distance: RT about 2.5 miles, if you go all the way to the cattle guard and fence that signals the Military Firing Center boundaries

Discovery Pass Required: Yes, though many parked beyond the nature preserve lot on the old canyon road

Tips: No toilet facilities and not much shade; Bring binoculars, bug spray, water, and hat

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This is a local, easy hike with the hardest parts being concern for ticks, rattlesnakes, and heat. The views of the Selah Cliffs are gorgeous. As per signed instructions, we didn’t traipse off the path, which means we also didn’t see the basalt daisies for which the area is known. Judging by the trails leading up to the basalt cliffs, I’m sure some disregard rules. OR they could be game trails. Yes, I’ll go with that.

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The hike/walk leads along a gravelled path for most of the distance. Towards the far end (headed east), hikers must go through a barbed-wire gate. After that, the gravel disappears and more clambering is required. During the entire hike east, we watched the Fred G. Redmon bridge loom ever larger and closer. Soon enough, we stood beneath the massive structure and listened to vehicles boom overhead. It was fascinating to look, listen, and call aloud. If you stand in just the right spot, your voice will echo back. I tried recording the echo, but there was too much interference.

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We saw and heard a waterfall, but couldn’t get through the underbrush to get close. Plentiful birds, spiders, insects, lizards, and evidence of other wildlife kept us searching and entertained. The scenery was gorgeous, the basalt columns beautiful, and amazingly, the traffic overhead was negligible.

Two thumbs up!

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The Plank – 10 Steps to Success

My idea of a perfectly-formed plank.

By Angie Quantrell

No. Not that kind. The exercise kind. Planks are hard to do.

I don’t like them.

Does anyone really like them? This is what it looks like when I try to do a plank.

1. Gear up. Avoid doing planks following a recent meal.

2. Collapse to floor level.

3. Set timer. Otherwise, I will be positive that 15 seconds is a full complete minute.

4. Start timer.

5. Assume position. Elbows and forearms on floor. Toes on floor. Nothing else on floor.

6. Tighten stomach, back, and buttock muscles.

7. Immediately begin to breathe harder. At 5 seconds in, notice trembling limbs.

8. Sweat.

9. Fight the feeling of giving up or falling on my face.

10. At 30 seconds, convince self to keep going. Or pause for a rest (I like that one better).

1 minute? DONE.

What a workout!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences these physical manifestations of pain when doing a plank. I mean really, shouldn’t a 53 year-old be able to handle this?

True, I haven’t even done a sit-up since, well, I don’t know when. Maybe shortly after my last baby was born. She’s 25. Years-old. Wanna know an embarassing fact? When I started this new build-core-strength-workout-program I could NOT do one sit-up. Not one, folks.

But I digress.

Planks are not fun, easy, or pleasant. But I have to admit to a certain joy in knowing that I can hang in there and do a minute. On most days.

Care to join me? On to sit-ups.

What is your most hated, feared, or dreaded exercise? Let’s commiserate.

Planks AND flowers.