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Rated: GC · Book · Personal · #1051691
Life, Adventure, Family, Writing what else is there? Random thoughts.
WELCOME TO:

GEMINI RISING

Banner for my blog, "Gemini Rising"

*Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1*

UPDATED INTRO 28 MAY 2024:

Just a little about me. I've been married for 32 years this past NOV and currently live in Southern California, but I grew up in New Hampshire.

I've got 2 boys who are young adults.

I work as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. I enjoy my job a lot. Still. If you can believe that.

I love to write. Thankfully both of my boys achieved Eagle Scout. My Scouting days are over and I'm back to focusing on my writing.

I like to get out in nature, drink coffee and watch football.

Here's a little bio about my zodiac.

GEMINI: Gemini, the sign of the Twins, is dual-natured, elusive, complex and contradictory. On the one hand it produces the virtue of versatility, and on the other the vices of two-facedness and flightiness. The sign is linked with Mercury, the planet of childhood and youth, and its subjects tend to have the graces and faults of the young. When they are good, they are very attractive; when they are bad they are more the worse for being the charmers they are. Like children they are lively, and happy, if circumstances are right for them, or egocentric, imaginative and restless.

Their good qualities are attractive and come easily to them. They are affectionate, courteous, kind, generous, and thoughtful towards the poor and suffering - provided none of the activities resulting from expressing these traits interferes too greatly with their own lives and comforts.

Geminians can be successful in many walks of life though their general characteristics tend to make them unreliable. They are often skilled manipulators of language, in speech and writing, and may be: debaters, diplomats (though in politics they are more interested in theory than practice), orators, preachers (brilliant rather than profound), teachers, authors, poets, journalists, or lawyers.


*Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1* *Flower1*


This is me. I am a Gemini. Pure, Raw, passionate.

The NEW focus of this blog is to share my adventures, travels, random thoughts, book reviews, thoughts, opinions, and writing adventures from actual writing, writing/editing tips, marketing, research. I'll get there.

Another Signature

Find me at:

WEBSITE:
http://www.stephanieburkhart.com

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor

GOOD READS:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart

YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
http://www.youtube.com/user/botrina?feature=mhee

Previous GRATITIOUS Warning, that I decided to keep in case I post about something that might offend.

*Exclaim* WARNING *Exclaim*

I intend to be open, honest, and forthright. No topic is off limits from religion to you name it, I'm going there. If you think you might be offended...back up now - this blog isn't for you. For those who "dare" *Wink* check out the "Gemini Rising..."

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June 16, 2024 at 4:39pm
June 16, 2024 at 4:39pm
#1072752
In 1984 I was 16 years old. At the time, my life had its ups and downs. Typical teenage drama? Maybe a little more than that, but I some of the things I thought about was typical of what a teen goes through/thinks about – “Am I good enough?” “Am I smart enough?” “Am I pretty enough?” “Do I have enough courage to do the right thing?” “What is the right thing?” I think these are all questions we go through as we “Come of Age.” -- Mind you this hindsight.

2 of the most memorable movies that really framed those questions and perspectives at the time for me were “Pretty in Pink” and “The Breakfast Club.” Both were written by John Hughes, who I think captured the zeitgeist* of the times.

The young actors at the time, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, were very much demand and featured in movies that catered to young adults.

Then in June 1985, David Blum, writing for New York Magazine interview Emilio Estevez and called his article: “Hollywood’s Brat Pack.”

The Cover of NY Magazine, June 1985


That title, “The Brat Pack,” really soured those actors at the time and left a bad taste in their mouth. They were actors, young actors, whose careers were just taking off. And now, people in the industry looked at them in a different light. Or so they perceived at the time. Hard to work with? Not good enough as actors? Brats?

Why now, 40 years later? I’m just giving some background before I go over some of my musings after watching the documentary. Andrew McCarthy recently wrote a book, “Brats” which I haven’t tackled yet, but will soon, and put together a documentary, to look at the effect the words “Brat Pack” had on them, where those actors are today, and how they’ve handled that “negative” connotation.

In the 1980’s, I connected, deeply, with those actors and the message of the “coming of the age” films that were filmed. I think one commentor said, and I’m paraphrasing. “We all wanted to be Duckie, but not many of us had the courage to be Ducky.” I think that’s true. I remember as I got deeper into my 20’s, that I grew more comfortable with my convictions, but Ducky was there already.

It was great to see the actors again in the documentary, older, perhaps a tad wiser, some were still hurt by the label, but they had all moved on, made their careers, and were now living comfortably.

It was like catching up with old friends in a way.

Demi Moore said something profound that struck me. I wrote it on my Facebook page at the moment so I would remember it: “The event is the event. What gives it (the event) meaning is the value.” – Each of the actors in the “Brat Pack” gave the coining of that phrase their own meaning/value and then lived accordingly. We can apply that same philosophy to any situation in our lives.

Honestly, I was struck with how articulate and thoughtful Demi was.

It was pointed out in the documentary that John Hughes did not deal with race, but with class. While I do think that’s honest, I think dealing with “class” issues is something everyone can identify with. Certainty it was a struggle I had growing up in my teen years, but as I got older and deeper into my 20’s those concerns fell to the wayside.

Toward the end, Andrew talks to David Blum, the author of that famous quote, “The Brat Pack.” I think it’s a meaningful conversation, especially to Andrew, who hadn’t ever talked to Blum before then and I don’t think it’s a conversation Andrew could have before now. Time has buffered the resentment I think, and Andrew is able to look at that quote more objectively now.

Did a label ruin a generation of actors? Ruin might be a hard word, but certainly, I think their careers might have taken different directions without it. Emilio talked about how he gave up a movie because of it.

Ah, but the timeline we’re on, the label was given, the event happened, and the value it was given by the individuals involved, was unique to them, and as the 80’s moved on, so did we. We came of age our way. We answered our questions, our way.

Having lived through the 80’s, 90’s 00’s, 10’s and now the 20’s – the 80’s will always be memorable for me. The music. The movies. The actors. But perhaps, for me, it was how I tackled the challenges and the adversities I personally faced, and how it made me more inwardly courageous and firmer in my convictions. It taught me lessons that aren’t taught today.

While Molly and Judd are seen in documentary in retrospective, they didn’t give interviews for this documentary. I would have liked to have caught up with them, but I respect their privacy. After all, how we give the event meaning, is the value.

***
Zeitgeist
June 15, 2024 at 12:00am
June 15, 2024 at 12:00am
#1072663

The Rugged Outdoors



Skagway is a town near Glacier Bay. It’s in the southeast arm tucked in the Inside Passage. It has a Gold Rush history. Prior to 1887, Native Americans (Tlingit tribe) lived in the area and established the Chilkoot trail. This was a steep trail which began at sea level and climbed several thousand feet into British Columbia. They used it as a trading route to Yukon.

The Chilkoot trail was very steep and not recommended for animals. It was a 33 miles trail from Skagway, AK to Bennett, British Columbia. When Gold was discovered in the Yukon Territories, many a gold rusher would take this steep trail. You can still hike this trail today.

A less steep, trail, White’s Pass, was developed as thousands to gold rushers flooded the area seeking their fortune. Soon, in the early 1900’s the White Pass and Yukon Railroad was built, making passage that much easier but the route is a narrow gage rail and there are many tight curves. There’s no more gold rushers, but the railroad still takes tourists up the twisty and curvy route.

Who knew?

Well, I got up at 7 am and walked to my balcony and discovered the cruise ship was snuggled up against a granite cliff. We had the whole day in Skagway.

We got off the ship early and walked on over to Skagway proper. There was a lot to do in the middle of the town/tourist area and it was swamped from 3 or 4 cruise ships. There was no gang plank, so we had to take a shore boat to the docks.

The Klondike Gold Rush National Park was down there, but none of us realized it. We just followed the flow of the crowd. Soon we discovered the Red Onion Saloon. In 1897, it was brothel, but now it was just a place to eat and drink with a lot of ambience. We didn’t go in because the line was loooong. We continued to walk around town, and I found the Alaska Christmas store. I just had to go in. Who doesn’t love Christmas?

The Red Onion Saloon, in Skagway, AK

Sorry, no pictures inside but they had some awesome ornaments, and I must have bought at least 4!

After that, Andy and I found the Fry Dough place. Again, another line out to the door, but it went fast, and we really wanted to try to the Fry Dough! It was delicious. Brent had some coffee from the local place next door.

I got some sticker souvenirs, and we made our way back to the Train station. We must have waited for about 30 mins before it was time to get on the train. We were going to ride the White Pass train to the Canadian border and then come back. It was a 2.5 hour ride. We learned how the railroad was built alongside White’s pass. The train went from sea level to 3,000 feet and there were lots of twists and turns. It was a nice ride. The views were amazing and I’ll share a few here.

View from our train in Skagway Alaska

A view from our train ride on the White Pass train.

We finished around 5 pm and got back on the ship. We had dinner at the Italian specialty dining place which just blew me away with its selection. I had veal cutlets. Afterwards I went to the cabin and relaxed. The sunset around 10 pm which was wild to me.

I would definitely go back to Skagway again and spend a leisurely amount of time checking out the shops and the area . Believe it or not, when Sarah Palin was just a few months old, her family moved to Skagway and she spent a good amount of her childhood in Skagway before her family moved to Anchorage. After seeing the woods, the water, and the hills of Skagway, I can definitely see where Sarah Palin gets her “outdoorsyness” from. I didn’t find her in Skagway, but there was time…

Next: Glaciers.

*****************

I thought I'd share this You Tube Clip. In it, Sarah Palin, 42 yrs old, takes the oath of office for Governor of Alaska. She choose to be inaugurated in Fairbanks, Alaska, and not in the capital of Juneau. It's a 10 minute clip, but in it, she appears poised and ready to tackle the job in front of her. She's very endearing in this clip.



June 12, 2024 at 7:19pm
June 12, 2024 at 7:19pm
#1072575
Book Review for: Prairie Tale

B002ASFPQ4

Author: Melissa Gilbert
Published by: Gallery Books
Overall rating: 4 Stars



PLOT: (4 Stars)


This is an autobiography written by Melissa Gilbert. It was written in 2009. Melissa starts with her early life and talks a little about being on “Little House on the Prairie,” before moving on. She shares tidbits about dating Rob Lowe, her first marriage to Bo Brinkman, and then about her life with Bruce Boxleitner. She talks about what it was like to win the SAG presidency and about her struggles with alcohol.

CATAYLIST: (5 Stars)




Back in March 2024, I went to the 50th reunion festival of the “Little House on the Prairie” in Simi Valley. I watched the show when I was little, but it didn’t really stick with me. One of my dearest friends was a big “Little House” fan, so I said I would go and take pictures for her. I went by myself, but there was so much to see and do and honestly, I felt myself falling in love with the ambience. There were interior sets there, a bus ride out to the exterior sets, and there were panels with the surviving cast members. I sat in on 2 panels - Alison Arngrim and Melissa Gilbert. They shared their memories, and it inspired me to find out more about these actresses. When I went home, I discovered Melissa Gilbert had written more than one book, so I thought I’d start with the first one – Prairie Tale.

THOUGHTS: (4 Stars)


First, I enjoyed the conversational tone of the book. Melissa brought the reader right into her world and made them feel like an old friend. She talked candidly about being adopted and how those feeling haunted her without her really realizing it. She shared her ups and down and it’s a story that’s really relatable to the reader.

I learned a lot of things about Melissa that I hadn’t realized or thought about. She’s had to face adversity, which isn’t easy, but she does tackle the challenges in her life.

WHAT WORKS: (4 Stars)


Melissa Gilbert was very candid about her life, and it really leaves the reader with a good vibe.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME (WHAT WAS ‘OFF’):

Honestly, nothing was off for me. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

WHY 4 STARS:

The book was an easy, enjoyable read. There’s a nice blend of Melissa’s adventures as well as her musings about life. Readers will enjoy her reminiscences about “Little House,” as well as her TV movies. This is a Prairie Tale filled with smiles and struggles which readers will not want to put down.




June 11, 2024 at 12:44am
June 11, 2024 at 12:44am
#1072457
Now this topic isn't for everyone. I thought I'd tackle a health topic today: taking progesterone and estrogen after you've gone through menopause.

Mind you, my journey through menopause was pretty easy. I stayed on the pill until I was 52. I didn’t really notice any of your typical menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings or night sweats. My OB/GYM took me off the pill at 52. My last period ever was 3 months later in April that year. It’s really nice not having a period anymore. That said…

Things I’ve been struggling with: minor aches and pains, inflammation, and weight gain. Which I understand is fairly typical after you’ve gone through menopause. The biology of it: my hormones are low.

In my research so far, exercise is important. Even the little stuff. A walk helps your cardio vascular system. Doing light weights will help your muscles keep tone and keep your blood moving.

One struggle is with weight and inflammation. For inflammation, I use bromelain and quercetin, organic, natural based anti-inflammatories. Bromelain is usually found in pineapples and quercetin in plants like onions, green tea, apples, and berries. I do think they help. I can get pretty stiff if I’m inflamed and I can feel pretty bloated as well.

What I’ve found that works really well is natural based progesterone and estrogen. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s out there and it’s working wonders for me.

Progesterone plays a vital role in regulating female hormones. Its main job is to regulate a woman’s menstruation and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. It’s produced by the corpus luteum (which is formed when an egg starts to ovulate) It can help elevate post menopausal symptoms from aches and pains, to hot flashes. When you’re post menopausal, you don’t produce a corpus luteum and so the hormone level becomes low.

Here's a little more about progesterone:



Estrogen’s main function is the support of the female reproductive system, but it has other functions such as keeping cardiovascular tissue healthy, fights inflammation, prevents brain fog, boosts your mood, protects muscle mass and brain density. Estrogen is great.

To help keep the body less achy and inflamed, I started taking natural occurring progesterone and estrogen and it’s made a big difference. You can buy these over the counter and you don’t need a prescription.

Here’s my go-to progesterone:

https://www.iherb.com/pr/now-foods-solutions-progesterone-from-wild-yam-balancin...

and here’s my go-to estrogen:

ASIN: B07Y89JNCZ
Product Type: Health, Household & Baby
Amazon's Price: $ 27.89


Mind you, I’m just sharing what works for me. I’m not a doctor. Do your own research and if you think these might work for you, give them a try.


June 10, 2024 at 9:23pm
June 10, 2024 at 9:23pm
#1072452
I've been writing down ideas to tackle for my blog in a notebook I keep close by. I want to talk about that interests me and interests all you guys out there. That said I think I still struggle. Some of my ideas include:


Writing: Paper or Pen?
Self-publishing: ISBNs, Copyrights, Editing yourself, covers. blurbs, titles, marketing

Promo for my books

Highlighting Made in America products: Zippo, Party Lite, etc...

Foodie!! Just talking about food & coffee

Travel Adventures

Coke vs Pepsi

Shogun

Music: some of my favorites

Bowling is my life

Summer things I do

Reading: Ebooks vs Print

Health topics: water, zinc, the aches and pains of menopause

I put a blurb out on my Newsfeed about my day: "Note: It's my day off and I was a Busy Bee!! I ..." by StephBee Heck, it's not easy being spry at 56.

I had a visit to the eye doctor today. It's my annual check up. They do their tests and give you a puff in the eye which I hate. After that I did the optos and it took pictures of the back of my eye. Seems I have a freckle on the back of my left eye. It's cute in a way. How does one get a freckle on the back of their eye?

When I was in the Army I had 20/15 vision. My vision changed when I was 37. I was pregant with boy #2, Joey, about 4 months and things started to get blurry on me. I went to the eye doctor and she confirmed it. My prescription was 1.25. I asked if I would get my 20/20 vision back. The answer was maybe. Depends on your hormones. Well, I never got it back. My prescription ranges from 1.25 to 1.75.

I'm near sighted. Seeing distances is when it gets blurry. I started out wearing glasses but I don't care to wear them. Maybe I haven't found that pair that look awesome on me. I typically use contacts and I have this condition where I only have to put 1 contact in - which I put in my right eye. Hey, it works. I also use prescription sunglasses. My eyes are sensitive to the sun.

There's an actual condition called Photophobia but my sensitivity is not that bad. Still, I much prefer wearing sunglasses when outside. Well, I was in and out of the doctor's office in 35 minutes which was the quickest ever. Maybe they're used to me.

Smiles
Steph


June 8, 2024 at 6:15pm
June 8, 2024 at 6:15pm
#1072361
Expectations



Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect when I went to Alaska. Hubby and I talked about going on a cruise when the boys were older, and Alaska was a mutual destination.

We booked the cruise and waited. This was our first cruise in 19 years. The first one we took Andy was 3, and it’s hard being on a cruise with a 3-year-old, trust me.

We submitted our paperwork, and everything was good to go.

When the day came to go to Burbank and catch our flight to Seattle, wires got crossed and our ride went to Burbank instead of our house. We adjusted, hopped in the car and we were off. Burbank was only a 30-minute drive. Thankfully we found parking in short term parking. (It was gonna’ cost us $30 a day but what can you do?) With comfortable time to spare we checked in our bags and thanks to TSA pre check we got through in no time. Our plane was set to board in 20 minutes.

We had a layover in San Jose, about an hour, and then we were off to Seattle. Everything went smooth. We flew Southwest. When we got to Seattle, our driver was there and took us to the hotel. After staying a night, we were off to the cruise terminal on Pier 91.

Embarkation went smooth. There were a lot of people, but they kept the line moving. We had to show our Passport ID Cards and our medallions. (This Princess cruise used medallions).

The family waits in line to get on next to the Ship.

The size of the ship blew us away. We’d never seen a vessel so big before. We got snacks on Deck 16 then went to our cabins. Our travel agent left us some gifts – a cheese and wine tray for Brent and I, and a cake for the boys. The boys had a separate cabin, an interior one, across from us. At 3 pm, the ship pushed off and we were underway.

We dropped the pilot off at 730 pm and then we hit the open sea enroute to Alaska. The boat rocked a little, but no big deal. It was formal night, so we took our pictures. Everything we did was an adventure. We took in a comedy show, a show with a singer, sat at the bar and drank good booze, and ate gelato. I took in the presentation with the naturalist and learned a little about Alaska and what to expect. We went to the specialty dining room for dinner. Every experience was 5 sensation course! We loved the experience of being on a cruise!

Sunday we were at sea and at night we put the clock 1 hour behind as we transitioned into Alaska Daylight Time. Monday morning we were cruising in the Inside Passage. All the cities we visited were in the southeast “arm” of Alaska. Anchorage is more center in the state on the coast and Fairbanks is dead center in Alaska.

Alaska, as we cruised inside the Inside Passage.

As we traveled, land and mountains were all around us. The air was crisp. Clouds touched the tips of the mountains around us and danced. We saw the tail of a whale and his blow hole as we made our way into Juneau.

At noon, the ship docked in Juneau. Brent and Andy went on their kayaking adventure. Joey and I got off the ship and explored Juneau before going to our Salmon Bake. One of the things that I saw when I got off was a memorial to a ship – the USS Juneau. I paused and let the moment sink in. I was in Alaska.

The air was fresh. And everything was green. Visually, it was stunning.

There is a “tourist alley” with all kinds of shops that cater to tourists. There’s even a sky lift up to one of the local mountains. Joey and I avoided that and took a circular route around the city. We found the City Hall, the Arts and Cultural center, the Russian orthodox church, the Federal building and finally the State building. Sarah Palin probably worked here when she was governor.

And that’s when it hit me. I had a name for my blog that I was going to write when I got back – Looking for Sarah Palin.

Why Sarah Palin? I tried to make my posts on Instagram succinct. Who else do you know in Alaska?

I’ve always admired Sarah Palin. It takes some guts to put yourself out there. At the time she was selected as John McCain’s vice-presidential candidate, she had a young family, and she had been governor for two years.

I remember seeing a clip during that election cycle. A woman in Alaska said they loved Sarah and wanted Sarah to remain their governor.

This is I know without a doubt: Sarah Palin loves Alaska.

And as I walked around Juneau, off the beaten path, I fell in love with Alaska, too.

Joey and I finished our walk around Juneau by going down the tourist district. It was mobbed. I was glad we walked around Juneau and saw more than just the tourist area. We made our way back to the Salmon Bake bus and hopped on.

The bus took about 15 minutes to get to the Salmon Bake area. We got off and got in line. Honestly, it was a backyard BBQ with Salmon. There was salad, cornbread, ribs, beans, and salmon. The line was long, and I waited in it as Joey explored. When it came time to get my piece of Salmon Joey walked up to me and said he wanted to try it. He’s 17 and never ate Salmon before. So I told her to give me a piece without sauce so he could try it. As we sat down, Joey took his fork and started eating. He loved it! Honestly, it was a pretty tasty piece of fish. After, we walked around the back and discovered a clear stream of water. Further on up was a waterfalls and a blocked off mining shaft. Again, the forest was incredibly vibrant, the water was clear, the air was fresh – everything was amazing.

Welcome to the Salmon Bake!

I knew then I wanted to come back to Alaska, and I had only been to Juneau.

Joey and I got back to the bus which took us back to the boat. I learned that Juneau can’t be accessed by land. You can only get to Juneau via boat or by air – and by air, I mean an airplane that can land on water or a helicopter. There’s no airport in Juneau.

The water in Alaska is amazing!

Back on the ship Joey and I met up with Brent and Andy who absolutely lover their kayaking adventure, though they were very sore.

BTW – Sarah Palin still lives in Wasilla, AK. It’s a town near Anchorage.

Time to rest up. Tomorrow was Skagway.
June 7, 2024 at 4:09pm
June 7, 2024 at 4:09pm
#1072306
Book Review for: The Woman Beyond the Attic, The VC Andrews Story

B0984242H9

Author: Andrew Neiderman
Published by: Gallery Books
Overall rating: 3.5 Stars



PLOT: (3.5 Stars)

This is a biography of VC Andrews, a popular author in the 1980’s. After finding success in her 50’s-60’s, it was short lived as she passed away from cancer in 1986. She was born in 1923 to a middle-class family and lived a normal life until she had an accident in her teenage years on a staircase that would eventually making walking difficult. She was considered disabled, she used a wheelchair, and was dependent on family.

The book talks about her early years, her influences, her struggles, and her desires to be a painter and an author. The author takes you through her life, to her success with Flowers in the Attic, and how she responded to that success.

The end has a rough draft of a story she was working on when she died which is a real treat.


CATAYLIST: (5 Stars)

Growing up in the 1980’s, I was big fan of VC Andrews and her books. I loved Flowers in the Attic. Why? Because it dealt with topics that people just didn’t talk about. Her books were suspenseful, psychological, gothic, and blended all those elements equally. I heard she had died in the 1980’s and her stories were being ghost written, but didn’t know much else. When I heard this book was coming out, I wanted to read it to discover more about one of my favorite authors.

THOUGHTS: (3.5 Stars)

I loved learning about her background, what her influences were and about the accident that crippled her. There was a lot of referenced material which was shared, but the writing comes off a bit stilted, and not conversational. The writing style, while understandable, is lacking that familiar intimacy which Andrews’ books all shared. Yes, I learned about her life, but it felt mechanical.

I did enjoy the rough draft that was shared after the biographical story. It was reflective of all her work, how she could draw you into that novel’s world, ease you into her rooting for the main character, and unfold a story that is suspenseful and unnerving at the same time.


WHAT WORKS: (4 Stars)

I learned information about Andrews that I didn’t know before, and for me, that was a treat.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK FOR ME (WHAT WAS ‘OFF’): (2 Stars)

What was off for me was the writing style of the material. The biographical story lacked a certain intimacy that her books had.

WHY 3.5 STARS:

The book is put together and presented well. Just because the biographical chapters are dry, they do reveal a lot about VC Andrews. There are pictures which are shared, and I liked learning that Virginia did get a chance to enjoy her fame, even if it was for a little bit. She was determined to accomplish certain things, paint and write, and be successful, and that was certainly inspirational, especially knowing her limitations.


EXTRA: COVER SIDE NOTE:

The cover is VC Andrews in a pose with a cover that is reflective of her Dollanganger series. It’s the perfect cover for this style of biography.


June 6, 2024 at 5:27pm
June 6, 2024 at 5:27pm
#1072251
Well, today I've notched another Birthday in the book. I can't believe I hit 56. Where did the time go? haha.

I suppose my most memorable birthday was in my 20's. I turned 22 and was celebrating with friends in Berlin. We went up one side of the Kurfsterdam and down the other. The goal was to pop into a bar, have 1 drink and then head on out to the other bar. Heck, it was fun and I was young. I can't say I really remember any other birthdays like I remember that one.

When I was in my 40's, the hubby and boys would take an early June vacay and we'd go camping, so I had a couple of birthdays while camping. When the boys were real young, probably my late 30's I remember the hubby and I going up to the Solvang area and camping up there, just us. Los Olivos had an olive oil festival up there. I found the Olive Hill Farm which I like to buy olive oil from. I like their garlic olive oil and their cilantro olive oil.

Olive Hill Farm: https://olivehillfarm.com/

Honestly, if I can buy local, I will.

When I turned 40 I had a birthday at Gordon Bierch in Burbank which I loved. All my local friends showed up. Great beer and yummy garlic fries. When I turned 50, I had my birthday at Gordon Bierch, but it was just family.

Even though I'm a spring birthday, it feels like summer.

I've had to share my birthday with D-Day, but I don't mind. I think it's important to honor our military. My Uncle Harold was an Engineer and participated in D-Day. I wish I would have talked to him more about his experience. His experience is in a book called "The Fighting 30th Division." I'm reading it next.

You know who else also shares my birthday and I just recently found out? VC Andrews.

I discovered her in the 1980's. I loved Flowers in the Attic. It was a little of everything - secrets, suspenseful, children becoming young adults facing adult problems and yes, incest. Still, there was a pull, an allure to the writing - I couldn't put it down. I read all her original work and some by the ghost writer, but the ghost writer wasn't as good as VC. She could really paint a picture with works.

I'll have a full book review of her biography, "The Woman in the Attic: the VC Andrew's story" up on my "Romance Under the Moonlight" Blog tomorrow. You can find my Romance Under the Moonlight Blog here: https://sgcardin.blogspot.com


I did a Product Review which you can find here:

ASIN: B0984242H9
ID #115414
Product Type: Kindle Store
Reviewer: StephBee
Review Rated: E
  Setting:
  Story Plot:
  Length of :
  Usefulness:
  Overall Quality:
Amazon's Price: $ 13.99


Anyhoo... I'd leave you with this question: Do you buy local? What do you buy local?
June 4, 2024 at 12:20pm
June 4, 2024 at 12:20pm
#1072136
I've been meaning to pop in sooner and share more about my Alaska adventures, but I've been busy. -- Funny isn't it -- I remember when I was a kid, the days would just dragggg on. I usually went to spend the summers with my grandmother who we called "Bopshie" or "Bopie" for short, (it's Polish) and again, it was just a drag. The days were slow. Sometimes we'd play cards. Bopie would cook and knit. I usually went to the post office to pick up her mail. Aunt Mary lived in the house next door so she'd come over. I'd go outside and make up adventures, play in a busted old fort, climb trees and hunt for recycling in the woods. If Uncle Charlie brought over some used comics, I'd read them. Sometimes I'd dig into Uncle Bill's old stash and read those, too. The nextdoor neighbor, Guy, who was my age, taught me how to ride a bike. The highlight of the week was meeting up with Aunt Kathy and going shopping in Brattleboro, VT. That was exciting and Aunt Kathy was so nice.

Again, at the time, I thought the days just dragged on.

Looking back, they're good, wistful memories, when time was much simpler. There was no cell phones. No computers. Letters were hand written. No remotes for the TVs. Things were more personable. I suppose now, reflecting on those memories, perhaps I didn't have an appreciation of the experiences I had - at the time. It wasn't a perfect childhood or growing up period, but it built character.

***

Nowadays, I find my days flying by. There's just not enough hours. My boys went from being in Elementary School to being graduated and Eagle scouts. Where did the time go? -- Same for wanting to write. Where does the time go? Yesterday, I spent a good bulk of my online time updating the Bee Hive. Today I hope to review for the Bard's Hall and work on other projects, like my Romance Newsletter coming up. We'll see how much I can accomplish.

I'm stil on vacation this week. Tomorrow I go in to work, but it's a Special Detail day for me and I'll be doing Station Fund duties, which I enjoy. Then 3 more days of Vacay and I go back to work Saturday night for Sunday.

****

Anyhoo... hope you enjoyed my musings about time and how fast - or slow - it goes. I'll try to get some more Alaska adventures up soon.
May 29, 2024 at 2:45am
May 29, 2024 at 2:45am
#1071836

#1. Hunting for a Hiccup


Hi all ! This Busy Bee is off to Seattle! On Saturday we catch our cruise to Alaska! It's a 7 day cruise but I'll be in and out all week cos I wanna try and maintain some of my 7 day streaks. See you next to the glaciers!


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I have a couple of minutes here before it gets busy so I thought I'd check in. Aside from a small hiccup with our driver who was suppose to take us to Burbank, (he got his wires crossed and went to Burbank instead of picking us up at the house) everything went smoothly. No issues with the flights. Hotel in Seattle was nice. Transfer to the boat went smooth. We had all our paperwork in order so it was a smooth transition onto the ship. We're on the Discovery Princess.

Our stateroom is nice. We have a balcony view and it's roomy enough. The boys have an interior room and it's compact but it's good for them. -- Sat and Sun we were basically figuring out the boat. We bought the premier package so we get unlimited drinks, desserts, and lots of food. haha. We are now on Alaska Daylight Time which is an hour behind Pacific time.

It's kinda cloudy up here so I don't know if we will see any Auroras because you need a clear night. It's 40-50 degrees and a bit nippy but we packed warm.

We will be arriving in Juneau at 1 pm. We are in the inside passage right now. Hope to have Juneau pics soon.

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#2 Finding Juneau


Juneau was definitely low-key. And I mean that, Juneau, itself, as a city, surprised me as being low key. We arrived in Juneau at 1 pm and my husband and #1 son, (Brent and Andy) had an excursion right away. They were going kayaking near the Mendenhall Glacier. After a brief expectations and safety meeting in the theatre, they were off. After a drive up to the inlet, they donned on their kayaking gear and had a great time. They got wet and saw a lot of bald eagles.

Kayaking Juneau

Brent and Andrew kayaking
Brent and Andrew kayaking Brent and Andrew kayaking

(Note: while doable, there's no way I can post all my pictures of this adventure on WDC so I will select and post some of the BEST. lol. I will post more pictures on a future blog. My blog can be found here: http://sgcardin.blogspot.com. Currently, it hasn't be updated in a while, but I will be updating it soon.)

They went into the city after their kayaking, bought some souvenirs and enjoyed the scenery.

Son #2, Joey, and I went into Juneau about 3 pm and walked around. It was Memorial Day so a lot of places we wanted to see where closed. We shopped for souvenirs on the main tourist/cruise ship drag, and then walked around. We found the Juneau city hall, the Alaska Federal building and the State bldg. After that, we hopped on the "Salmon Bake" Bus and went out on our excursion.

It was a short drive. The area was in the woods and the woods were vibrant! Lush green, clean smell, clear water and lots of wood. The salmon was cooked over wood. It was delicious! Joey even tried a piece and liked it. (He's a very picky eater)

We went to back to the ship and relaxed. Today we're in Skagway. More adventures to come!







Sending good vibes to all
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