Monthly Archives: February 2012

Morning Meanderings…. SNOWMAGGEDON!!!

Good snowy morning to you! 😀

Brainerd Minnesota is under a winter storm warning as I type until 6 pm tonight.  It is coming down pretty hard right now and due to continue to 6 pm tonight.  Here is what it currently looks like:

My back deck... was snow free last night...


Back yard


Front deck...


Its snowing and blowing and some may be able to call this a snow day but here is the good and the bad about where I live.  I live right off a main highway that takes me directly to work which is about 3 miles away – straight stretch.  Of all people, I am the one that can get to work.

Being from Minnesota, of course both my vehicles have 4 – wheel drive….

So – while I was hoping it would be a complete white out and I could stay at home… I dont think that is the case so I am off to get ready for work…

IF this had been my dreamed of an actual snow emergency my day would have been:

  • writing my book reviews that are due
  • Making Soup

and part of that reading would have been what arrived in the mail at my house yesterday:


Ok… seriously – I have to get ready for work…. my three mile drive and my snow filled driveway might be interesting 😀






Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

Myron Bolitar is a Sports Agent heading for the big time.  So is Christian Steele, a rookie Quarterback and Myron’s prized client.  When Christian gets a phone call from a girl he had given his heart too and had disappeared over a year ago, things get a little odd.  This missing girl is Kathy Culver and she has been believed to be dead.  She also is Myron’s true love Jessica’s sister.

Trying to figure out the truth behind Kathy’s disappearance, keep Christian on the straight and narrow, and once again find himself immersed in Jessica’s presence in his life… Myron finds himself up against the dark side of his business.  Secrets and lies woven into a family, where image and talent can make you rich – but the truth can make you dead.

Other Myron Bolitar Books

This is the first of the Myron Bolitar series, where Myron began to be developed from the witty brain that is Harlan Coben.  On audio, narrated by Johnathon Marosz, the book is true wit and mystery and at times “snort worthy”  (snort worthy:  that embarrassing sound when you laugh and it comes out a short noise that comes through your nose instead of your mouth).

This being my second dip into the Bolitar books I have come to appreciate the surrounding players…. his best friend Winston Horne Lockwood III (or “Win” to his friends) and his assistant Esperanza Diaz. 

The constant twist and turns – unraveling of a mystery and funny FUNNY wit moments, so hard to explain, but if you have experienced this world of Myron’s, and I hope that you do…. you will know what I mean.  Yes, a book can at once be a mystery and funny.  Think the Stephanie Plum stories, but an ex basketball player instead of a New Jersey girl, and Myron is not ditsy… he is smart and gets his man….errr…. woman…. errr…. well – you know.

It was fun to listen to this first book of the birth of a great character.  While I do not plan to listen to all the Bolitar books one after another…. I would not be disappointed if our paths did cross again.

Who would like this book?  If you like smart and witty humor, two good-looking guys solving a crime, and funny scenarios as they do so…. this book would be for you.

*Note:  This particular book has a character with a huge fowl mouth….  frequent language is used the last fourth of the book, something I did not notice when I listened to One False Move last week.


Morning Meanderings… I’d Like To Thank The Leg err… Academy

Good morning!  😀

Did anyone else watch the Oscars on Sunday night?  I admit… I first was watching Amazing Race with the hubby… BUT as soon as that was over I tuned into the Oscars.  While not a die-hard fan, I do like to look at what people are wearing and this year in particular – I was interested as so many movies from books were up for awards…

Highlights for me were of course the supporting actress award going to Octavia Spencer for The Help. 

If you did not see her acceptance speech grab a tissue and watch it.  If you have yet to see The Help, I highly suggest you do and do it soon.  Octavia is a hoot (yes I said hoot!) throughout the movie and in case you did not know… she is also the voice of Minny on the audio version of the book.  Nice pic all the way around and standing ovation on her best supporting actress award.

As always the Oscars in surrounded with wonderful announcers and one stands out to me…. Angelina Jolie parades out to the stage front and center and immediately takes a stance that I was sure was going to be the topic of today:

So at first umm…. glance, you (I) would think well… she is in very good shape why not show off a little…. er, a lot of leg….. although this was when she was presenting an award… prior to that moment there was…

Brad and Angelina earlier in the evening

and on the red carpet, Angelina with her leg

and yet again.... another pose with her leg

Ok … I am picking…. I mean if I had legs like that I may have a tendency to show them off a bit too…. what surprises me is that Angelina has a history of awkward Oscar moments (oh if only I could forget the year of her acceptance speech about her brother….), but again… I pick.  Honestly I think this whole thing went down something like this:

(Scene: The Pitt/Jolie home.   Afternoon, pre- Oscar arrival, Brad and Angelina meet in the foyer after each getting dressed in their separate rooms)

Brad takes a look at Angelina…

Brad:  That dress shows off quite a bit of leg

Angelina:  So?  I have quite a bit of leg.

Brad:  Well its going to be hard to not draw attention to yourself my dear.

Angelina:  Jealous much my much shorter darling?

Brad (smugly):  Ok, fine, we don’t have time for this.  I DARE you to bare your leg….. ALL of your leg at least ten times during the Oscars.  Oh and it must be caught on camera!

Angelina:  Fine, you are on.  If I win you owe me a green bean.  I am famished!



Ok enough of Angelina…

In other Oscar moments I realized I have missed out on a few movies that I did not think I would enjoy but after seeing highlights now I have added them to my “must see” list…

and my nominees are….



Iron Lady

and of course, I need to own The Help.

Did you watch the Oscars?  Have you seen any of these movies or want to see any of these movies?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading?  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme.  I offer a weekly contest for those who visit 10 or more of the Monday Meme participants and leave a comment telling me how many you visited.  **You do not have to have a blog to participate! You receive one entry for every 10 comments, just come back here and tell me how many in the comment area.

This past weeks winner:


WOO HOO!!!!  Please choose an item out of the Reading Cafe Grab Shelves  and email me your choice with your mailing address as well!

Well.. it was another week around here.  If you read my morning post today you know just how crazy it was.  With hardly a free hour all week between work and evening commitments, books fell again to the wayside and believe me…. that does not make me happy.  I am person who needs down time to re energize, and books in my life.  When things are out of whack…

I am out of whack.

LOL…. couldn’t resist.  Anyway – here is what did happen here last week:


What’s Your Number?  Movie review


Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani ( a re – read but this time with my book club and oh…. the food!!!)


The Making Of A Book Club (I was asked to talk about my book club and what we do and how we do it… and as I love talking about my book club…. this is that post 🙂 )


One False Move by Harlan Coben (audio book and Coben lOVE!!!)


Fun Facts!!!  (Have you played yet?  If not, please do – it is so much fun!!!)


The Eyre Report #2 (week two and my journey with Jane Eyre…)



The books on my radar did not for the most part get read last week so I am sticking with them and only adding…

Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he’s obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis–all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac. With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory every day. One morning, she opens it and sees that she’s written three unexpected and terrifying words: “Don’t trust Ben.” Suddenly everything her husband has told her falls under suspicion. What kind of accident caused her condition? Who can she trust? Why is Ben lying to her? And, for the reader: Can Christine’s story be trusted? At the heart of S. J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep is the petrifying question: How can anyone function when they can’t even trust themselves?


Doesn’t that sound good?  Cant wait to start it?




Best friends Sydney, Kelly, Alexia and Raven have seen each other through everything…until three of the girls are dumped by their respective boyfriends…on the same night! Reeling from this, the girls decide to create a list of rules to help them avoid future heartache. But soon they find out that while breaking up is hard to do, sometimes staying broken up is even harder!

I mentioned I have been desperate to find audio…. this is from the library – it is a cute listen, I am about half way through.



Think about life and God. These goofy ideas and beliefs are assumed by millions to be rock-solid truth . . . until life proves they’re not. The sad result is often a spiritual disaster–confusion, feelings of betrayal, a distrust of Scripture, loss of faith, anger toward both the church and God.

But it doesn’t have to be so. In this delightfully personal and practical book, respected Bible teacher Larry Osborne confronts ten widely held beliefs that are both dumb and dangerous. Beliefs like these:

• Faith can fix anything
• God brings good luck
• Forgiving means forgetting
• Everything happens for a reason
• A godly home guarantees good kids

…and more.

We are reading this for my weekly small group study and I am interested in cracking into this one and discussing with the group.



I think that is all I am going to add right now.  I have several audio books requested from my library but no telling which will come in first or when… hopefully soon.  I have sever audio on my IPOD but none coming up for my kitchen CD player or the car…

I am curious what you are reading and listening to!  Please add you link below where it says click here! 

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…


If you read mostly MG (middle Grade), Childrens, or YA, then also add your link here:

The Eyre Report #2

Week two of my heir to the Eyre challenge (I am really tired today – please just ignore the ramblings… ).  My goal was to average 10 pages a day and today, 14 days in I have just closed the book at page 140.  AND in all honesty, I read the majority of my commitment for this week this afternoon.

So where am I?

Jane is now in Thornfield Hall and in these last 70 pages has met her charge, explored the lands, met Mr. Rochester, and now I have just finished several pages of his (Rochester’s) interrogation of Jane…ie.    where do you come from?  How did you get this job?  Where is your family?  Do you find me handsome?(yeah… I thought that was random and awkward too).

Thornfield Hall

Yet Jane is…. growing on me.  Yes it is too early to say yet if we will be BFF’s…. but I am finding it a bit ironic that I have recently praised Harlan Coben this week for creating witty characters that I love… and now here is Charlotte Bronte bringing to life this witty 18-year-old Jane who is quick to respond and not afraid to add some zip to her responses, even in the presence of her employer.  And I am sorry to say Harlan Coben but I have to give extra snaps to Charlotte Bronte for being witty and brilliant about a hundred plus years before you were born. 

So here we are… I am not really sure what Mr. Rochester is getting at by being mostly closed off and grumpy and then occasionally chatty (is booze involved?  I don’t know..) but currently he reminds me a bit of Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) dark and broody and I did not like Heathcliff EVER so am wondering if I will ever like Rochester… and then because I am tired and rambling I wonder why the brilliant Bronte sisters write of such dark unpleasant men, and I wonder where they found such a man appealing and I wonder what their dad was like?

Both Rochester (left) and Heathcliff (right) look angry.... or perhaps hungry.... (and in my sleep deprived state Heathcliff also looks a bit like young Snape....)

As of now… here is my current rating:

This concludes this weeks Eyre report.  To see back reports of how each week is going – they are linked below:

The Eyre Report Week #1

Anyone else reading along?  What are your thoughts at this point?

Morning Meanderings… Sunday Salon


Good morning!  Happy Sunday!  This has been an extreme week and I am so thrilled to be able to see the finish line to the over committing for a little while at least 😀

Last Sunday after a busy afternoon I played Floor Hockey.

Monday I worked, came home-made a desert and then went to our Monday evening small group study.  We are starting a book called Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe by Larry Osborne.  I cam e home at 8:30 pm.

Tuesday I worked all day, ran to pick up a few things at the grocery store, came home with dinner for Al, and cooked my pasta for book club – then went to book club.  We had an awesome time and I came home at 9:30 pm.

Wednesday – worked all day (seeing a pattern here?) Rushed home to change and went back to help with the students activities like I do every Wednesday evening.  Home at 8 pm.

Thursday – worked all day, prepped for an event in Aitkin (40 miles from where I live), picked up a pizza for Al, changed, drove to Aitkin by 5 pm and helped with event… home at 8:45 pm

Friday – worked until noon… met my husband for a quick-lunch so I could see what he looks like (seems like these days I only see him when he is sleeping… :razz:.  Went and got a hair cut, ran home to pack, met 8 friends at Applebees at 4:30 pm, had dinner then drove an hour to Crosslake Minnesota for the women’s retreat at Trout Lake Camp. As soon as we were there we had a two-hour session, bed around midnight.

Saturday sessions and a chance to catch up with ladies I never seem to have enough time to talk to, which was nice… really nice.  Busy all day – short break in the afternoon, then in the evening a Purse auction, which was fun.

Which brings me to today.  😀  I have a dull headache from lack of sleep and am assured that a nap is in my near future.  Tonight I have floor hockey again, work and group meeting tomorrow evening and then a quieter week…  I think… nothing Tuesday, (YAY!!!), Wednesday students but I am going to request a pass this week, Thursday dinner with friends and then the blissful weekend of no commitment!  😀  That is my goal!

Now… I just want to relax and read…. that’s it.

How is your week ending?  Hopefully it was a wonderful one!  😀



Come Play Along…. Fun Facts!

Hi everyone.  I am at a women’s retreat this weekend and have eked out a little time to get on line and catch up a bit as well as post this!

This is a fun ice breaker type post which I have always enjoyed and thought I would bring it to you all!  😀  All you do is leave a comment with a fun little known fact about yourself.  That being something that doesn’t necessarily come up in your every day conversations…. such as a funny happening, or a hidden, unique (or embarrassing) talent, instrument you play, or whatever.

I will start by giving you a few examples of my own (and yes they are all true…):

1.  in 1980 I fell off a horse and on a highway by my home and hit my head.  I was airlifted to Minneapolis and my mother was told I had a 10% chance of living and if I did live, I would be severely handicapped.  (ok not funny then, but now my friends and relatives say that is when I picked up my sense of humor.  😀 ) 

2.  I have been to Honduras 9 times.

3.  I have lived through a house fire and a tornado – on the same property.  (Seriously. I could not make this stuff up.)

4.  On a dare, I once went into a Dairy Queen and asked for a banana split, hold the ice cream, whip cream, and cherries.  I walked out with… a banana.  😛

Ok… your turn… make me smile, make me laugh… amaze me! 

One False Move by Harlan Coben

Myron Bolitar stands at 6 foot 4 inches and is a renowned Basketball Player and owner of MB Sports Reps.The MB standing for Myron Bolitar, and yes, he hates to brag, but he did think of the name himself.  Women find him handsome.

Brenda Slaughter plays women’s basketball.  She is smart and she is beautiful and she is no damsel in distress.  And that’s good, because Myron is no bodyguard.  Yet Myron has agreed to keep an eye out for Brenda and by doing so finds himself entangled in the tragic web of deceit that is her life.

Twenty years earlier Brenda’s mom had abandoned her.  And just as Brenda’s career is taking off, her father disappears too, much in the same way her mother did.  As Myron tries to dig through the deceit and the lies that people are dying to keep, and others are killing to protect…

Harlan Coben and I, BEA 2011, New York

Harlan Coben.  A long long time ago I was first a Stephen King fan.  As I grew out of my teen years and into my early twenties I moved on to Dean Koontz, not as over the top creepy as King could be, but still spooktacular (my word) writing.  Then after I had devoured everything I could get my hands on by Koontz, Harlan Coben hit my radar.  Coben wrote a good mystery but had something that King had little of, Koontz dabbled in it, but Coben hit a home run with it…. quick wit.  I do love good funny not, stupid funny and not unnecessary funny but a smart comment placed in the right spot is golden in my eyes. 

I remember one of the earlier books I read of Coben’s.  I can not recall the book but I do recall the story line.  The protagonist is in his kitchen eating a cereal bar when someone busts into the kitchen and shoots him.  In this tense moment, as the protagonist is falling to the floor before he loses consciousness, he tried to recall if the cereal bar was blueberry or cherry….  maybe it’s just me, but I think that is when I knew Harlan Coben and I would be friends forever. 😛

Now – while I have read most of Harlan Coben’s books, I have avoided this series of books surrounding his character Myron Bolitar.  Why?  Because 1.  I could see the books went way back and I did not want to back track to older titles and 2.  I was not sure if I would like Myron.

I am getting to a point here… really I am.  I listened to this book on audio mainly due to the fact that I was out of audio in-house, and my library supply has been thoroughly picked over by me and now I am reviewing titles I have previously passed on.  Enter Myron Bolitar into my life.

This is where I grovel.  It did not take long to be listening to this audio until I was once again smiling over Harlan’s great sense of humor and amazing story telling.  Myron is at once funny, witty, and interesting and I wanted to know what happened to Brenda’s family and why was her life such a big cover up.

If you like smart, fun, and engaging reading, I suggest you spend some time with Harlan Coben AND while I don’t think I will listen to the entire Myron Bolitar books, this one was fun and I admit I am listening to a second one with Myron right now. 

Borrowed from my library

Morning Meanderings… Morning Is Not Always Pretty



Ok picture this (since a real picture would be frightening and I know some of you have kids who would have nightmares…)

Hair in my eyes and well… everywhere.  (Haircut scheduled for this afternoon…. Thankfully!)

Sleep pants and t shirt

flip flops

Coffee cup… not full enough… not hot enough… not enough.

Cheeto stuck to the side of my face.

(Ok, not really about the Cheeto but I thought that was a funny visual.)  😛


I have had a crazy week and that is why the Morning Meanderings have been missing as of late.  No time to meander… my days are work, my evenings are commitments… I run from one thing to the next.

Today I plan to work a short day, 8 – 11:30… then I am hitting the gym 12:15 – 1:15, then I have a hair cut at 1:30… then I need to come home and pack for the womens retreat that starts at hmmm….. 4:30 meeting at Applebees.  (Dont you hate it when even the fun stuff feels like a commitment?)  😯

I will be at the retreat until Sunday late morning… then home, floor hockey at 4 pm then HOME for the night.  YAY!!! 

I know I will have a good time once I get there… I am just tired and I have a ‘tude.  Laptop is coming with so I will be checking in and I do have posts for the weekend too…. no idea when I had time to write them – but they are there 🙂 

I am off… I have 32 minutes to shower, dress, stop at the store and get to work.  Oddly… that is enough time for me… I am probably the fastest get ready woman in the world…. LOL

The Making Of A Book Club

Stick around here long and you will hear about my book club the Bookies.  If you have been visiting me for any amount of time already, feel free to insert your eye roll here.  😛

This time you can blame Shirley at My Bookshelf who asked me, “Would you do a post about keeping book clubs energized and enthusiastic with some tips, please?

You don’t have to twist my arm to get me to talk about book club!  Any time you can bring books and people together… I am in.  😀

To start with let me give you my credentials.  I am pretty much just like you.  I am a book lover who loves to read and loves to talk books.  The Bookies started in fall of 2001, of course at the time… I did not know when I placed a note by the time clock at Wal-Mart that I was starting a book club and anyone could join, that it would turn into The Bookies. 

That first book I posted as a “read this and meet me here on blah blah day at blah blah time” was Dance Upon The Air by Nora Roberts.

I posted the note three weeks in advance and then I waited.  No one approached me.  No one asked me about the book group I was going to start.  The evening of the event, I told my husband I was going to see if anyone showed up but had an idea I would just be sitting alone in a pizza shop having a diet Pepsi with my book.  I would be home probably in thirty minutes chalking this one up as a fail.

Turns out…

I was not alone.

That evening Angie (my friend who runs the blog By Book Or By Crook) and Sandy joined me to discuss out book.  That day was August 14th, 2001.  We had a blast, we picked a second book, Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard was that book.

That second meeting was scheduled at the same place, same time, for September 11th, 2001.  Yes.  9-1-1.  That fateful day in history and I went to the meeting just in case someone showed up and as it turned out, all three of us came.  We shared in our sorrow over the days horrifying events and we reviewed our book.

Through the early years we grew to 8 members and remained that way until about year 5.  Around then we had a growth spurt that took us to 14 members and by year 8 we had 18 members.  During those growth spurts was when I started worrying about how to manage such a large group keeping us all on the book topic and keeping it interesting… that’s when we got creative.

Being such a large group it was hard to find restaurants to accommodate us and if we did find one, I worried that our laughter or our discussion might be disturbing the other patrons of the restaurant.  When we took turns opening out homes we decided to potluck food around the theme of the book.  Not only did this stretch our creative thinking, it bonded us through the food to the books.

Another element we added was visual props surrounding the book discussion.  A few of the ladies in the group would bring pictures or their laptops to show articles that had to do with the books topics.  For instance in a book we read once dealt with a lot of Victorian themed items.  Pictures were brought of what these items were and what they looked like.  More recently we had a power point of shoes, Italian foods and scenes of Italy played during our book review (Thank you Adraina Triginiani!)

In 2006 we added the July Queen Event where we do not choose a book to read for the month of July however we meet and grill on the lake either at a members home or at a park and we all dress in formal wear and try for Queen of the Bookies.  (The Queen breaks all book choice ties and chooses a place to meet if we are undecided during her rein).  This idea came from a book club read called Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King.

Bookies Queen Event 2011

Bookies Queen Event 2010

Bookies Queen Event 2009

Bookies Queen Event 2008

Yearly in December we have a Christmas party, do a gift exchange and read a Christmas related book. If a book we read turns into a movie we try to attend as  a group.  We even have a Bookies Bucket List – things we would like to do as a book club.

We made a Facebook page to communicate the book, the food, where we are meeting, etc…

We have few rules.   We realize that life is busy and I would much rather have someone come and hang out with us even if they did not have time to read the book. As of July 2013 we added the rule that you needed to attend at least 6 meetings a year to hold your Bookie spot as currently we have a wait list of people wanting to get into our group.  We also implemented that we will not (in the future) go over the count of 16 Bookies.  It just gets too hard to find places big enough for us to meet, especially during the winter when we have to be inside.

Keep it fun, keep it interesting.  We grew together.  Start out with books, with food, with great conversation.  See which way your group grows.  Every book group is different but they can all be unique and fun. 

Currently Bookies is at 18 members.  We dont always all make every meeting, but we are really good at communicating our thoughts on the book and rating through emails, texting, and facebook.  I think the fact that we connect so well helps keep us a strong group.  We care about one another.  We celebrate birthdays and babies.  We hang together when someone if going through something rough.

Through our 11 years of existence we have had our growing pains and made it through.  It is not always easy to organize – but it is always fun 😀  A group of motley crew people brought together…

by a book.  😀

I would love to hear about your book groups!  Or if you have questions I did not answer, leave them in the comments and I will respond.