"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

A Quick Hello, A Couple pictures and Two Book Reviews

>> Sunday, August 10, 2008

We had a great weekend- thanks to all who asked. The girls really enjoyed our adventures, sleeping in the tent and cooking over fire. We stayed at Pammel Park near Winterset. If you're planning to camp before winter sets in I highly recommend it. (More on my travel blog soon- I promise!) Until then here are a couple of photos to tide you over...

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Camp Sweet Home

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Exhausted Caelan sleeps in her new sleeping bag

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Brenna perfects her marshmallow toasting technique


Since we were out in the wilderness with no internet access I got to read books! At home it can take me almost a week to finish a book (unless I ignore everything else and sit and read). I read two in the 2 days we were there. It was fabulous.

The first one I read was "Certain Girls" by Jennifer Weiner.

I picked this up for two reasons. One, I had seen it on no fewer than 5 "beach books" lists so I figured it would be an entertaining read. And two, I read it's predecessor, "Good In Bed" when it came out and really liked it.

Certain Girls was good; entertaining and an easy read. If you haven't read "Good in Bed" you'll find yourself confused by parts of the storyline. As I was reading this follow-up I found myself thinking a couple of things. First- wow, have I changed since I read the first book. There were parts that I didn't think twice about the first time around that disturbed me this time. Second, I wondered how far I would go to keep my past from haunting my daughters (the main character in the book is an author who penned a quite graphic semi-autobiographical novel). Not that I think my past will ever hunt them down but I imagine I'll have to fess up about what I did for a job before they were around. I'm hoping God will give me guidance when that time comes as I'm not sure there are perfect words to tell the daughters you raise in a Christian home that you used to be a stripper...

The second book I read is sticking with me. I had trouble putting it down and it's not the kind of book I usually pick up.

Hard Corps (as in Marine Corps,pronounced "core") was written by Marco Martinez, a young man, a self described "shithead" who went from gang banger to being awarded the Navy Cross for valor. The book is laced with profanity which, strangely, doesn't detract from the story but only emphasizes the life this young man led.

Martinez tells his story fully, looking back on his gang days with disgust and saying that he had no "victim" excuses. He is a straight-forward story teller, holding no punches; he tells it like he sees it. Parts of the book are quite graphic (portions of his time in Iraq make you wish the media would have shared more of the gruesome discoveries these boys found, maybe people wouldn't say Saddam Hussein was a great leader) and others make you wonder how the Marine Corps can train the way they do. But through it all Martinez reassures you that he was where he wanted to be and that he was ready to die to protect his country, his "brothers", and freedom.

This is a book that everyone who read Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles should read. To get another perspective before passing judgment, if nothing else.

This is a book that everyone who claims to love their country should read. It will make you more thankful for those who give their all to protect us.

And now I've a few things to do before I can retire for the evening...
  • Laundry (I'll be doing was for days)
  • Budget & bills
  • Grocery list (the cupboards are bare...)


Fantastagirl 9:46 PM  

Glad you had a great time!

green3 10:06 PM  

Awww...I love camping. Pool Boy H.A.T.E.S. it!

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