Bookworm Gardens – Enjoy the DRIVE – ETHANProject

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I am SO excited to tell you about this week’s ETHANProject – Enjoy the DRIVE. We drove out to the wonderful Bookworm Gardens in Sheboygan and you guys, it was so wonderful. I can not express how wonderful it was but I am definitely going to try. We went with our friend J and we just had an absolute blast.

Bookworm Gardens is this magical placed tucked on the campus of UW-Sheboygan. The garden is completely based on children’s literature – the plants have all been selected with care and there are different stories represented in so many ways. There are so many interactive elements to the garden and so many educational opportunities. And the whole garden is connected to books and they actually have copies of the books you can read there. The garden incorporates reading, science, nature, and most importantly fun! Admission is free, though donations are appreciated and when you see all the time and effort and care they put into this garden, you will definitely want to donate. The staff is also really great – we saw them planting pineberries while we were there and they were happy to answer our questions about what they were planting (apparently, they are strawberries that taste like pineapples – who knew?!)

I could go on and on, but let me just show you some pictures from our time there as an example.

Bookworm Gardens

They had a bus with wings and legs – that was the Magic School Bus – and Dominic absolutely loved pretending to drive it and opening and shutting the door. They had a little Winnie the Pooh house. They had a typewriter the kids could try out in a barn, like in the book Click Clack Moo. They had picture frames you could stand in. They had three chairs of varying sizes for Goldilocks and the Three Bears complete with bears made of sticks (my friend J took that picture). Not picture is Charlotte’s Web (it said some pig!) and a host of other amazing storybook connections. That Keep Calm and Read On is a towel I bought in the gift store

They also had sensitive plants, which are these plants that respond to touch. They were amazing and super cool – I took a short video.

It’s about an hour from Milwaukee and it is 100 percent worth the drive. On our drive we also saw some fun stuff, like a giant pig and a huge flag. On the way back, the kids slept, which is also always really nice haha. Not only does this fulfill this week’s ETHANProject, but it also can be crossed off my 101 in 1001 list!

We loved visiting the Bookworm Gardens so much that I am going to make this an annual trip every summer. If you love books even the tiniest bit, Bookworm Gardens is an amazing place to take your kids.

Short Story: This Is My Mountain

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Here’s another short story – I hope you enjoyed! It’s rough and could use some tweaking, but I hope you get the idea that I’m going for.

This Is My Mountain

Occasionally, I’d call my mother. We’d exchange the usual pleasantries and she’d catch me up on the small hometown I cared nothing about. I’d pretend to listen and keep the details about myself short.

But at the end of every call, she’d always ask the same question. “Aren’t you lonely up there, Suzy?”

I’d laugh and say, “I’m not lonely, besides here I’m safe.”

“I wish you’d come home,” she’d say. “You could be safe here, too.”

I’d pause, “You know I can’t do that, mom.”

“I know,” she’d say. “I love you, Suzy, I always will, and there will always be a place for you here.”

“I love you too, mom.” And then just a click and a dial tone.

Aren’t you lonely up there, Suzy? The question would linger with me as I hiked the three days back to the home I had built, stocked up with supplies from town on my monthly trips during the warmer months.

But how could I be lonely? I had everything here that I needed. I could live off the land, make what I needed, and best of all, I would be safe. An EMP couldn’t destroy me nor could robots take over and run my life, for there was no electricity to speak of. In all the years I’d lived here, only a handful of people had ever stumbled across my cabin because I wasn’t listed on any map or accessible by any roads. I wasn’t reliant on any fossil fuels and I wouldn’t get cancer because of the GMOs in the food. If there was some disease outbreak somewhere, how would I ever get it without human contact? And terrorists aren’t going to bomb or release anthrax into some place they don’t know exists. Who would even know if I died? If a bomb falls in an empty forest, does it make a noise? Not very effective for terrorists. After all, many Americans don’t even know about the Fu-Go balloons launched by the Japanese during WWII. But I do because you have to be prepared for everything.

Yes, I am prepared, here on my mountain. My big, safe mountain.

Who would even know if I died?

A beautiful mountain in Corsica. Not the mountain she lives on, but it could be like thisP.S. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! Ends on Friday! You could win an awesome custom t-shirt!

In the Middle Reading Challenge Update!

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which will generate me a small amount of money if you click on them and then buy them. This post may also contain advertising links.

So you may remember a while back that I took the In the Middle Reading Challenge. Today I am going to check my second book off the list! If you remember, the In the Middle Reading Challenge was for books 300-400 pages and I selected the Cruising Through the Pages level which means I need to read a minimum of 5 of these books. It only goes to the end of 2013, so I don’t have a lot of time left to read these books, but I’m determined to finish, even if I’m a little tardy in doing so.

1. Cassie (Sunfire No. 14) by Vivian Schurfranz – 2.5 stars – 331 pages

2. Urban Gardening For Dummies by Paul Simon, Charlie Nardozzi, and the Editors of the National Gardening Association – 4 stars – 330 pages

This book I actually enjoyed quite a bit, despite it not being a page turner like a novel might be. I started my first garden this year and that resulted in mixed success. I think I just sort of planted and then mostly left it be, except for the occasional (read: not often enough) weed pulling. I also knew very little about some of the plants I was trying to grow. But after reading this book, I feel more confident in gardening next summer. The content was solid for the most part, I just would have enjoyed colored pictures occasionally of some of the plants they were talking about, that’s why I gave it a 4 instead of a 5.

2 books down, at least three to go!

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The In the Middle Reading Challenge!

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So I’ve decided to do a reading challenge, just for kicks and giggles basically. This is my first time attempting one and who knows? Maybe I’ll do more in the future if I like this one.

Anyways, the challenge I picked for my first challenge is the In the Middle Reading Challenge.


The goal of this challenge is to read books that are “middle length” or between 300 and 400 pages. It will be interesting, because in general unless the book is really long, I’m not aware of how many pages it has. Books read between January 1st 2013 and December 31st 2013 count towards this challenge. There are four different levels depending on how many books you want to read. I picked Cruising through the pages, which is 5-10 books. Since this is my first challenge, I didn’t want to go overboard, but I did want to challenge myself to have to read more than 1 book.

So I’m officially starting this challenge. We’ll see how it goes! I will keep you updated on my progress!

I completed this challenge and you can find the final update with a list of all the books I read during this challenge here.

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