Saturday, December 15, 2018

First Ski of the year -- on the beach!

With temperatures in the upper 30s and a brilliant sunshine, I just had to get outside yesterday.  I headed down to the boardwalk to check how much snow there is on the beach.  There is not a lot, but by staying closer to the bottom of the bluff, I was able to ski.  I had a great time.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

First Draft of New Book is Done!

I am happy to report the first draft of my new book is done!  Thanks to my sister, Diana, for submitting the winning book title.

This book is intended for beginning rock hounds who want to learn more about geology and rocks.  General information about Earth science is included as are innovative graphics which explain concepts in as simplest terms possible.  

The book features seventeen learning activities and exercises to help readers test their knowledge and understanding.  The pages are laminated in a material compatible with dry erase markers so the exercises can be done over and over again.

The Table of Contents for the book is below.

Table of Contents
Earth and its Layers
   Earth Layer Exercise I
   Earth Layer Exercise II
Earth’s Geologic Time Scale
   Geologic Time Scale Exercise
   Key Event Exercise
Plate Tectonics
   Plate Tectonics Exercise
   Continental Drift Exercise
   Earthquake Drawing Exercise
   Richter Scale Exercise
   Mountain Information Quiz
From Atoms to Rocks
   Levels of Matter Exercise
   Rock Categories Exercise
Igneous Rocks
   Igneous Rock Mineral Grain Identification Exercise
   Igneous Rock True or False Exercise
Sedimentary Rocks
   Sedimentary Rock Examples Exercise
   Grain Size Exercise
Metamorphic Rocks
   Metamorphic Rock Examples Exercise
The Rock Cycle
Activity and Exercise Answer Key  

Thanks to everyone who have been supportive of this project!

Hike around my property

Yesterday I decided to check out how much snow is in the woods.  Thanks to friend, Renee, for going on a hike around my property!   We have had warm temperatures as of late, so the snow has condensed down to around eight inches.  All the tree branches are covered in snow, so it is beautiful in the woods!

There is not a lot of snow around my house yet, but we have a longer winter in front of us.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Sable Lake area hike and update on new book

First, I will give an update on my latest project.  I was planning on writing and publishing the third book in my Rocks through Time series.  Although I may still do a third book in the future, I decided I want to do something different this winter.  So instead, I am writing a kids' rockhound activity book.  Yesterday I finished creating the last main page.  I still have to design a page on the rock cycle as well as the covers and introduction page, but the hardest part of the project is now done.  Since I don't want the activity book to be a "single use" resource, I have located a printer that specializes in producing laminated books.  I have a choice between different types of lamination, but I've selected the one that is compatible with dry erase markers.  The book will be spiral bound.

As usual, I am struggling a bit with the title.  Although my target audience is middle school aged kids, the activity book will be useful for anyone who wants to learn basic geology and rock/mineral concepts.  The working title is Kids' Rockhound Activity Book, I am not sure this is the title I want to use.  First of all, "rockhound" is not an official word.  Secondly, I don't think the working title is all that appealing.  If you have any suggestions, please comment on this blog post or send me an email to  I will give a free copy of the printed book to anyone who suggests the final title. A low resolution example of two of the draft pages is below.

On Wednesdays a group of us Grand Marais women are getting together for outside adventures.  Yesterday we hiked from the Sable Visitors' Center to the overlook on Sable Lake and back.  Ice is just starting to form on the lake.  It was a chilly walk into the wind heading west, but then again -- we are not yet acclimated to winter.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Winter scenes and big buck

Today I'll post a few photos I took yesterday.  The buck was feeding behind my house.  I'm not sure how to officially count points, but I think he is an eight pointer.  The ice was coating bushes at the end of Coast Guard Point along the channel.  The apple trees in my yard are all coated with snow!