Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Book Review - Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson



Publisher's blurb:
Sometimes you get a second chance at your first love
Kimberly Tucker's life hasn't turned out the way she thought it would. While her ex is living it up, she struggles to understand what went wrong. When her two sons end up spending five weeks of summer vacation with their father, Kim plans a respite at the family vacation home on tiny Cedar Key. As she revisits the long-forgotten past, she discovers that treasures in life are often buried, and sometimes you do get a second chance at love.
Let yourself get swept away to an island retreat of warm tropical breezes, sandy beaches, and the most glorious sunsets you can imagine.

My review: I enjoyed reading this book. It was really easy to get involved in the story. It had interesting believable characters. My only criticism is that it seemed to end abruptly. The last chapter eludes to a sequel, at least I hope so, otherwise it makes no sense.

I kind of like when a book ends that way and then they have a leader page saying something along the lines of "Find out more about Patsy's intriguing life in "Title of new book here" coming out in XXXX."

That at least lets me know that a) there is a 2nd book on the way and b) when to expect/look for it. Makes for a good sales tool as well.

Overall, I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Truth

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

Doug Larson

Thursday, 26 May 2011

New Weight Loss Method.


My son Jarrod is off school this week as the grade 8’s went on a trip to Montreal, which he didn’t want to go on.

Jarrod put his name on a list for a paper route years ago – we got a call Tues around noon, that there was one available if he was interested – only it isn’t extremely close.
 
So on Tues, he and I decided to walk down to the new paper route to see how far it was. It is 1.5km from our house, then a 63 house route, then 1.5km back home. For the couch potato that I am, that is quite the trek. Much soreness and painkillers were involved.

He decided he wanted to take the route because he can potentially make approx. $340 every 3 weeks (it is an optional payment of $6) Once he accepted, the job started on Wed (yesterday). He has to deliver Wed, Thurs & Fri.

Wed morning I was down a pound. Guess the walking helped.

So I again made the trek with him on Wed, this time with papers & Sears catologs – it first took us 45 mins to stuff and rubberband the papers, then 1.25 hours to walk and do the route as the route was new to us and not all houses get delivered to. 

Again I near died. Every part of me hurt. How does walking hurt your shoulder? My feet were throbbing all night long. Even my butt hurt!

This morning I was down 2 lbs!

Today is “flyer” day which means 2 large bunches of flyers to be stuffed into the paper and because of the chance of rain, we had to put the papers into plastic bags.

They wouldn’t all fit into the bundle buggy we bought, so we had to also borrow a wagon – trek the 1.5 km there with us both pushing/pulling papers.

I survived the walk much better today with only profuse sweating – started getting really tired much closer to home then previously.

So if you are keeping track – I have now walked at least 9km this week and still have tomorrow’s delivery to do.

Sounds like nothing, but seriously, I don’t walk much. I'm hoping for another pound or two tomorrow.

In the weeks to come, most of the stuffing of the papers will fall to me since J will be back to school (at least for the next month), and only gets home at 4pm and the papers have to be delivered by 6pm

Right now, J doesn’t want to get a friend to help him, because he would have to split his earnings with them, while with me he doesn’t.

It is good exercise, so I will continue to help until I either get work or it gets to hot for me to tolerate that long of a walk. Oh ya, and we are supposed to have thunder storms tomorrow - that should make for a fun walk :)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A Dose of Reality - The Green Thing


In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts - wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn't have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you.

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest
pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back then?

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.



Saturday, 14 May 2011

Book review - A Heart Divided by Kathleen Morgan



Publisher's blurb:
When fate brings them together, they must choose between family ties and love.
The Caldwells and Wainwrights have been feuding for decades. Still, Sarah Caldwell has misgivings when her father pressures her into distracting a ranch hand while he and her brothers rob the Wainwright place. When it becomes clear that hand is actually Cord Wainwright, heir of the Wainwright holdings, Sarah realizes things have gone too far.
As the feud boils over, Cord and Sarah make a most inconvenient discovery--they just might be falling in love. Can they betray their families to see where this attraction leads? Or will their families betray them?
Against the beautiful and wild backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in 1878 comes this sweeping saga of romance, betrayal, and forgiveness from beloved author Kathleen Morgan.

My Review: Sadly, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did the previous two I read this month. Somehow it was less believable. Some parts didn't even seem plausible. I found some of the characters were better defined than others. I enjoyed parts of the book, but not others. It was almost as if two different writers wrote different sections of the book and then just put them together. While I really wanted to like this book, it justed wasn't my up of tea. I would give it a 2.5 out of 5.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Update

I have been submitted for 4 different jobs, 3 are contracts, one is perm. I am hoping to be called in for an interview for the perm one. It is in a good location downtown, pay is good and it is just the type of job I have been looking for.

K bought me a Cash for life scratch ticket the other day - I won 4 times on one ticket. You woud think with that kind of luck, one of the prizes might have been above average, but sadly no, I won $4, then $6, then $4 and finally $6 again for a total of $20. I am going to buy 5 more tickets :)

I finally got around to planting my veggies seeds, a tad late but better than never I guess. Photos coming soon.

Today I bought a Bloomerang Twice Blooming Lilac bush from Loblaws. I have always wanted to get a Lilac tree/bush as it is one of my favourite fragrances. Last year I went too late and they were all sold out. I got the flyer on Thursday so made sure I bought one this weekend before they ran out. Will get it planted tomorrow if it ever stops raining.

I still have to weed the gardens, both front and back. If my darling sister D is reading, I would love for you to come play in my garden if you have the time :) I'll make you lunch *bribe* I actually dislike gardening - I just like the results.

The week after next, we have Monday off as a holiday for Victoria Day and then J's class and the rest of the grade eights are going to Montreal on Wednesday through the weekend. J decided not to go on the trip, so gets to take those days off school as there are only a few students not going. So that week he would only have to go to school on Tuesday - since it only the one day, we decided to let him stay home the entire week. So he has school next week, then the entire next week off.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Book Review - To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer



Publisher's blurb:
Do They Have a Fighting Chance at Love?
After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade he learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.
Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she's reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.
Eden believes she's finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi's prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?

My review: I cannot express how much I enjoyed this book. I sat down and read it in one go - over several hours. The characters were strong and well thought out. I liked the ones I was supposed to and disliked the ones I was supposed to. The storyline flowed well and held my attention. Not overly sweet or simplified, but realistic. I would recommend this book to others.



"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".  

Book Review - An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser


Publisher's blurb:
Spend a season in glamorous 1895 Newport in this compelling tale of friendship, devotion, and sacrificial love.
New York dressmaker Lucy Scarpelli befriends socialite Rowena Langdon as she's designing her 1895 summer wardrobe. Grateful for Lucy's skill in creating fashions that hide her physical injury, Rowena invites Lucy to the family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, encouraging the unusual friendship.
One day Lucy encounters an intriguing man on the Cliff Walk, and love begins to blossom. Yet Lucy resists, for what Newport man would want to marry an Italian dressmaker working to support her family?
Rowena faces an arranged marriage to a wealthy heir she doesn't love, but dare a crippled girl hope for anything better?
And Lucy's teenage sister, Sofia, falls for a man well above her social class--but is he willing to give up everything to marry a woman below his station?
As the lives of three young woman--and their unlikely suitors--become entangled in a web of secrets and sacrifice, will the season end with any of them finding true happiness?


My review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found the characters believable and interesting. I enjoy reading about good things happening to good people. This book had enough plot twists and excitment to keep me reading. I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the various dresses and finery the ladies were making and was surprised to find drawings of some of these same dresses shown in the appendix. I would recommend this book to others.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Book review - Unsinkable by Abby Sunderland & Lynn Vincent



Publisher's blurb:

Unsinkable: A Young Woman's Courageous Battle on the High Seas

The stirring narrative of Unsinkable tells sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland's remarkable true story of attempting to become the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world. More people have flown into outer space than have sailed solo around the globe. It is a challenge so immense that many have died trying, and all have been pushed beyond every physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual limit. In Unsinkable, readers follow Abby Sunderland into those depths. This biography delivers a gripping and evocative firsthand account that starts prior to her departure, travels through her daring (and sometimes near-death) encounters on the open sea, to her dramatic rescue in the remotest corner of the Indian Ocean, and the media explosion that happened upon her safe return to dry land. Along the way, readers discover what it means to boldly face any challenge, to strive after something great, and to plumb the depths of faith, fear, and desperation only to emerge changed, renewed, and emboldened. In this day and age, when the most productive thing a teenager may do is play videogames, Abby's ambition and tenacity is a real-life parable of what can happen when we choose to exceed our own limits, embrace faith, and strive after what all the naysayers say is impossible.

My review: This book wasn't bad. I liked the idea of reading it as I have a 14 yr old and the thought of him doing something like this is absurd :)

I have to say the beginning was capivating, the ending somewhat intense, but a large section of the middle I found boring. Unless you are an avid sailor or very interested in sailing and boats, much of what is discussing the the middle is just white noise.

If I hadn't been reviewing the book, I probably would have set it aside mid-way. I understand the purpose of all this middle-matter, they have to get across the point that the boat was as safe as possible and pretty much every possible scenario was covered, but I found it boring and tedious.

I would have liked to hear more about what Abby thought about out there all alone. I couldn't imagine sailing alone for any length of time as an adult, so I'd like to know how she coped. What she did in whatever free time she had, what a typical day looked like.

Overall, I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to others.

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson".