Hike with Pride this month!

June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month as well as Great Outdoors Month and so this blog will be about both! LGBTQIA+ is an acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and the plus is for gender fluid people - people whose gender identity changes over time or per situation. Queer is a … Continue reading Hike with Pride this month!

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I made my first trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1975 when I was in graduate school at UTK in Knoxville.  Three years later, forty years ago, our family made our first hiking trip, when we participated in a church sponsored outing, which included a walk up Mount LeConte.   Since then, we've … Continue reading Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Number 18 in ‘18

This blog is my eighteenth.  It’s also my last one for Shelf Life in the Mountains. (Long story short: moving out of state) I did my first one almost exactly 2 years ago, so I’ve done about nine a year since then. Rather than tout some favorite books or videos or music, as I’m wont … Continue reading Number 18 in ‘18

Libraries Rock this summer!

This summer the Summer Learning Program theme for children and teens is "Libraries Rock!" What a great way to think about libraries. They do rock, especially today, when the era of the silent library and the Shushing Librarian is firmly in the past. Mind you, most libraries offer quiet spaces for those who want or … Continue reading Libraries Rock this summer!

Let’s clear the air: a Vulture is not a Buzzard

  Today’s blog focuses on the Turkey Vulture, another one of the most commonly seen birds here in the Southeast. Before we talk about identifying characteristics though, I thought we could dive into the semantics of the terms vulture and buzzard, because it can be pretty confusing. Before researching this topic, whenever I heard the … Continue reading Let’s clear the air: a Vulture is not a Buzzard

Murder in Strange Places

When I am not reading non-fiction, I tend to relax with two or three good mysteries.  The past few months I've reading Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mysteries  set in Australia in the 1920s, and watching the show on PBS.   Deborah Crombie writes a series of books starring a couple of London detective inspectors and their … Continue reading Murder in Strange Places

The Rise of the Verse Novel: Celebrating National Poetry Month

I loved poetry as a child. I read a lot of it, memorized some favorite poems, and tried to write my own (very badly, I must say). As I grew up, I wandered away from poetry for the most part, with a few notable exceptions -- John Donne and W. B. Yeats in particular. In … Continue reading The Rise of the Verse Novel: Celebrating National Poetry Month

Libraries Lead

This past week, April 8th to 14th, was National Library Week! Hooray! We hope everyone celebrated appropriately with books and movies borrowed from your library. If not, don’t worry, Governor Cooper has declared this month as Library Appreciation Month!  National Library Week was first officially sponsored in 1958, making this the 60th anniversary! This week … Continue reading Libraries Lead

Rollicking Reads of 2017

While it might be a bit late for a “last year recap” (it is already spring by the calendar, even if the snow last week belied that), I thought I might as well do one for those folks hoping to get some recommendations for good reading.  I did find some “gems” out of the 94 … Continue reading Rollicking Reads of 2017

Women’s Rights: from A Vindication of the Women’s Rights, to the Women’s March and #metoo Movement

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex. “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”   19th Amendment to the Constitution, passed on May 21st, 1919 and ratified on August 18th, 1920. … Continue reading Women’s Rights: from A Vindication of the Women’s Rights, to the Women’s March and #metoo Movement