Monthly Archives: February 2015

Book Review: At The Water’s Edge

At the Water's EdgeAt the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh how I loved this book! I wanted to read it because I’d read Water For Elephants and loved it.

This story is about Maddie, Ellis and Hank. Maddie and Ellis are married to each other and Hank is their best friend. They are wealthy and living the high life during World War II. Ellis gets himself declared color blind and Hugh gets himself declared flat footed so neither is able to serve in the military. Ellis’s father, a former Colonel, is disgusted with this fact and eventually cuts Ellis’s allowance off.

The men decide to go to Scotland to find the Loch Ness Monster, something Ellis’s dad did back in the day. They plan to get the monster on film thereby becoming famous in their own right and also redeeming the Colonel whom everyone thought manufactured photos of the monster.

They cross the sea on a supply transport. Right before they arrive, another ship is bombed and they go back to pull the sailors out of the burning sea. This spectacle changed the way Maddie looked at life in general.

While they are in Scotland, they stay at a guest house run by Angus, Meg and Anna and this is where the story actually begins.

I loved seeing Maddie’s character grow throughout the story. I loved that Ellis eventually got his and that Maddie got hers.

What a great book! I highly recommend it. 🙂

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Book Review: Swan Dive

Swan Dive (An Elliott Lisbon Mystery #3)Swan Dive by Kendel Lynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another wonderful book by Kendel Lynn. I read the book that came before Swan Dive and fell in love with the character of Elliott Lisbon. She’s smart and, while she works running the Ballantine Foundation, she’s also working towards her private investigator’s license.

When one of the dancers in the foundation’s production of the Nutcracker turns up dead, Elliot is right in the middle of the scene of the crime. She works to find out what happens because she feels the police are going in the wrong direction.

The relationships between Maddy and Ransom are sorted out in this book and I’m happy with how that turned out. Maddy seems like a really great guy but Ransom seems the one she should be with.

This book was fun to read and kept me guessing until the very end. I’m looking forward to the next book! 🙂

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Book Review: My Best Everything

My Best EverythingMy Best Everything by Sarah Tomp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent book! Lulu is headed to college in San Diego and all she wants is to get out of her small Virginia town where she feels she’s never fit.

Then her dad told her that, because of a bad business decision, there wasn’t any money for her to go to college so far away. Lulu figures she will find a way. She works at a junk yard with her best friend. They catalog items that come into the yard as part of their job. One day she realizes they haven’t logged in a still and she gets the idea that they can make moonshine to raise the money for her to go to college.

She makes plans to make the moonshine with her best friend, her boyfriend and his friend, Mason. Mason comes from a family of moonshiners and, if not for him, they might have gone wrong in so many different ways. Lulu falls in love with Mason, learns that he is a recovering alcoholic and in the end that she is bad for him.

The story of a summer of love, moonshine and dreams. This was a great book. 🙂

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Adult Presidential Physical Fitness Test

Do you remember having to do the Presidential Physical Fitness test in gym class in school? I went to school in Illinois which used to be (and may still be) the only state that required gym class all 12 years of school. So every year we had to do this test. (Except I did graduate after only 11 years so I didn’t have to do 12 of them. ;-))

I didn’t like it. There were parts of it that I just wasn’t good at. Like all of them. 🙂 I guess I’ve always been very competitive and I could never run as fast as my smaller friends, nor could I climb a rope (was that part of it?) or hang on a bar like those little monkeys could. My scores were probably fine but they weren’t the top of the class. i.e. I never got one of these:

And I want one. Badly. 😉

While I was in the Marine Corps, my goal was to run a First Class Physical Fitness Test and it didn’t take me too long to get to that level. I always maxed out the sit-ups, doing 80 in the minute (2 minutes?) and I ran fast enough that my run score combined with my sit-ups score wiped out the fact that I completely stunk at the flexed arm hang.

No, that’s not me.

The other day I stumbled across the Adult Presidential Physical Fitness Test and I knew I would have to take it. Make a baseline, retake it, get better, retake it. 🙂 I’m competitive, did I mention that?

I did my baseline this morning and I was pretty happy with the results. 


Interestingly, it was the half sit-ups that pulled my overall score down. I didn’t do them right I realized after I was finished. I had my legs straight and not bent. I’m not sure if it would’ve mattered but it’s to be noted. I also didn’t take my heart rate after my walk. I took it after my push-ups so that could also change things a bit. 

This is just a baseline, which I wanted, and I’m happy with it. So, who’s going to join me? How fit are you?