Image credit: picsfive / 123RF Stock Photo
Book Review, Everything Miz Meliz

Book Review: Watershed Adventures of a Water Bottle by Jennifer Chambers @hikingalongkids

I loved the story of Scout, the little water bottle who takes an accidental adventure through the waterways of Washington D.C.

Image credit: picsfive / 123RF Stock Photo
Image credit: picsfive / 123RF Stock Photo

Author, Jennifer Chambers, takes us on a journey through the waterways and habitats of all the creatures Scout encountered along the community creeks and urban rivers in Washington D.C. all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of England. In a simple yet well told story, we are shown a new perspective about the ways in which animal life is threatened by the act of throwing away a non-biodegradable object in the “wrong” place. Readers are introduced to wildlife indigenous to the East Coast of the United States who personify the need for thoughtful respect of nature.

book cover high resolution

The protective Blue Heron mamma warns, “The Earth is not an ashtray,” as she explains how cigarette butts and other garbage humans throw away can be hazardous and potentially lethal to her young.  Watershed Adventures of a Water Bottle serves as an educational accompaniment to Earth Day lesson plans and other presentations about protecting the environment. Jennifer Chambers adeptly brings the lesson to life for her middle school science classes with this story. The book subtly offers suggestions and tips on recycling and cleaning up the environment while gracefully explaining the reasons behind them. These are lessons everyone can learn and should be applied to our own lives to preserve the environment and protect the wildlife that live in our own waterways.

Jennifer Chamber’s book Watershed Adventures of a Water Bottle brings the animals and their individual stories to life in a way that even younger children can understand. Endearing and adventurous, Scout is swept up in the mouth of danger, yet is saved by a little girl. We can all do our part to be watershed heroes in our home towns, saving the “Scouts” in our life, just by making sure they go to the right place.

Buy the book HERE

Read Jennifer Chambers’ Blog

Learn more about Jennifer Chambers

Win a copy of the book from the author.  How to win:  List in the comments three items that can be placed in your recycling cart that will help to save our environment. Each answer will qualify for one entry in a traditional drawing.  All entries will be placed in a hat and a winner will be drawn by an innocent fun-loving child.  I will notify the winner and they will get an email from the author with instructions on how to receive a free copy of the book.  An additional entry will be added to the drawing if you can tell me the name of a river or creek in your local watershed area.

Useful Resources:

Recycling Instructions

The River Project

Watersheds

Disclaimers:  I received a copy of the book for free and I liked it.  This review is unpaid and entirely my opinion of the book after reading it. I will conduct a random drawing around May 31st and the winner will be notified by email.  

Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz

Meet Evan Sanders, Author of The Better Man Project

Evan Sanders’ book, The Better Man Project like his blog, successfully enlightens the reader and shares the scope of a brilliant ‘man in progress’ as he discovers himself and learns the valuable lessons of life. What better way to document one’s process of becoming a man than through journal writing and blogging? Devote yourself to becoming a better one! Sanders unlocks the door of each aspect of a man’s world as he breaks through the boundaries of life’s disappointments, anguish, pain, and hostility. He uncovers the mysteries of love, honesty, integrity and respect. His acute sense of understanding the world around him and his ability to relate to all people enables him to share his philosophies and he gifts his inspiration to us in this book. It is not his story. It is not the answer. It is the beginning and the now of a great man and his unique insights to how we can all become better every day.

I learned so much about what it takes for one to proclaim himself a “better man” when I had the opportunity to meet Evan Sanders in person and interview him. He is a delightful young man, wise beyond his years, and I am grateful to have had the chance to get to know him in real life after over a year of “reading into it” on his blog and on Facebook.

photo by Susan Cooper Copyright 2013 http://mizmeliz.com
Meeting Evan Sanders, Author of The Better Man Project

Evan is a quote hound. He quotes Churchill and Gandhi with the same admiration as he quotes Will Smith and JayZ! He not only uses quotes, as many of us bloggers do on our posts, he speaks and lives the quotes he knows. He knows them by heart and he breathes their meaning from his soul.

Reading Evan’s book is like getting a series of pep talks for the soul. His purpose is to inspire others to live a bold and powerful life. He believes in protecting women and living a life of passion and purpose. He stands for honesty, loyalty, integrity and respect. He strikes me as a social butterfly on fire, like a sweet fire breathing dragon whose heart shines, ready to conquer the world and help mankind. He is a prophetic poet and writer. He practices acceptance and perseverance.

Will Evan Sanders be the next Tony Robbins? We shall see as he develops himself as a motivational speaker and life coach. Evan is a wonderful and engaging speaker. He is an amazing story teller. When he started answering questions everyone in the room listened intently to the stories and quotes. Sometimes it seemed like he would never get to the point! I was waiting to hear evidence, details of his experience, proof of his understanding and how he came to own his beliefs. I felt this way as I was reading his book. But soon I realized that it doesn’t matter what the details are that brought him to the conclusion, but the fact remains he does understand and has a brilliant gift that brings the reader (or the listener) to a point of confidence.

Evan is careful not to name people and go in to personal descriptions about his life when writing about his experiences in his blog, as most bloggers do. He told me that when he writes about the way he feels about a situation he is going through he believes it might actually change the way things are in his life. If he names the instances and gives details, it most likely won’t change for him. Not having the details makes it more relatable to everyone who reads it. One can use their own life’s experiences or their imagination to fill in the details. Once I opened my mind to the fact that this book wasn’t telling a single story, it was not going to have a beginning, middle and end; I realized how enlightening it is.

photo by Susan Cooper Copyright 2013
“Better Man”

This book is a beginning of a journey. It is what is happening right now in a man’s life. You can pick it up and read it from any point and be uplifted and inspired. It will never end because our journey never ends. I have already started re-reading it and enjoying it even more!

It was so enjoyable talking to Evan that I wanted to hear what he had to say on any topic. As he elaborated eloquently on each subject I imagined myself to be a follower of a modern day prophet. He has barely lived yet he has a very deep understanding of life, love, relationships, and hope. As in the book The Prophet by Khalil Gibran when the man who’s ship had come in was about to embark on his great journey he turned to speak to the people and gift them with his lasting impressions. Rather than asking specific questions, I found myself entranced asking Evan to “speak to us about never quitting, speak to us about love, speak to us about passion.” I loved listening to his stories as I do many of the men I admire in my own life. He is bright and energetic, smart and hopeful, deep in his understanding of life and the importance of love. He cares about other people and wants to make a difference in the world.

I believe a man isn’t a man unless he has a good fish story. Evan puts life into perspective through all of his tales but his tale of his deep sea fishing experience is what made me believe he has become a better man. He had me in tears as I was reminiscing about my father, my brother, husband and sons telling their tales as I read his. I remember being with my dad when I saw him catch a rainbow trout with his bare hands over the side of a boat in Chama, New Mexico. A man can relate so much about the achievements and anguish of his life through a fish story. All the men I admire in my life have the ability to relate that message at the very base of who they are. If you value life and appreciate love as much as you do with all the effort it takes to catch a big fish then you have learned what it takes to be a real man. Especially if you can appreciate the value of the lesson learned when one gets away. Evan is such a man. He uses fishing as an example of never quitting.

“Keep fishing for the big one and don’t mind if it hurts or takes a long time. Take risks and keep on fishing.”

It’s not a book about fishing, body building, working out or baseball – but Sanders translates what he has learned about perseverance in the gym and on the field into relevant terms to motivate you in all areas of life’s struggles. I encourage you to read The Better Man Project. Get to know Evan Sanders and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. We should all be so lucky as to have a friend like Evan. We should all strive to be a friend like him.
“I will keep my focus on turning darkness into light and then encouraging others to do the same. Love. Passion. Never quit.” – Evan Sanders

What do you stand for?
Here is some of what I believe makes life sing: https://mizmeliz.com/2013/01/29/what-makes-you-happy-mizmeliz/

30 Health Blog Posts in 30 Days, Everything Miz Meliz

Coming Suddenly Upon Happiness: A Book Review Relating to Health #NHBPM Day 13

Book Review:  Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

Ethan Frome was originally published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1911.

“A tragic story of wasted lives, set against a bleak New England background. A poverty-stricken New England farmer, his ailing wife and a youthful housekeeper are drawn relentlessly into a deep-rooted domestic struggle in this hauntingly grim tale of thwarted love. Considered by many to be Wharton’s masterpiece.” – Amazon Book Description

This is crazy! I did not ever think I would write a review for this book! But when WEGO Health‘s National Health Blog Post Month prompt was to write about a recent book that I read and relate it to my health, I got to thinking.

Saturday, I read a book that I had not read yet by an author that I love, Edith Wharton. The name of the book is Ethan Frome. The more commonly known book by Edith Wharton is The Age of Innocence. I read Ethan Frome because I was intrigued by a quote that someone posted on Twitter.

“They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods.”

I looked up the quote on Google and found out where it came from, then I looked up the book on Good Reads and there was an instant free download. (I love it when that happens!) I read it hoping to find a love story filled with more beautiful metaphors and similes to devour.

What I found was a dark, dreary, cold, and very long description of the life and times of a Mr. Ethan Frome whose happiness lasted no longer than the length of this sentence. A lot of Ethan’s misery came from being a care giver for his parents and then his wife.

“Sickness and trouble: that’s what Ethan’s had his plate full up with, ever since the very first helping.”

The need for a care giver to help his wife in their home was a prominent theme throughout the book. Ethan’s wife had many ailments. Nothing was given a name except it was said that she had “troubles” and then, worse, she was experiencing, “complications.” Zeena Frome was weak and in pain for most of her adult life, however, when she first came to Ethan’s home it was to help care for his mother.

I wonder if what Zeena had was depression? It was never alluded to why they did not have children or why Zeena had no other interests, but it was very clear that she had lost the zest for life. Living on a farm and running a mill in New England in the early 1900’s was a tough life and required a lot of hard work in extreme conditions. She did not have it in her. Or, did she? She was physically able to do the work when others depended on her. I can relate to that!

Sometimes, I have bad days and all I want to do is stay in bed. I know that rest is good for me, but if I let it happen, I can begin to feel like that is where I belong all the time. The longer I let myself rest, the longer I feel sick. The longer I feel sick, the more pain I feel. It is a vicious cycle. I do not have someone to care for me. My husband and sons do what they can and help me by taking care of themselves, but I do not have someone who is there just to help me. And sometimes, I secretly wish I did.

Truth is, I am glad that I don’t have a care giver, a house keeper, a cook, or a nanny. Although, it would be great if I could afford to have some help with the housework! It is a good thing that I do not have someone who takes over whenever I get sick, because I need to be there for my family. They depend on me. And, you know what? Being needed and being able to help someone else gives me so much pleasure that it improves my life and gives me something to live for.

Help someone else, no matter how sick you are. No matter what pain you are in, find something, some way that you can bring joy to someone else. Even if it is something as simple as praying for them, if that is what you can do, it is needed.