It's about adventure! Life, Scouting, Family, writing what else is there?
UPDATED INTRO 4 JULY 2019:
Just a little about me. I've been married for 27 years and currently live in Southern California, but I grew up in New Hampshire.
I've got 2 kids, a 17 yrs old and a 12 yr old. Both are boys. Nuff said.
I work as a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. I enjoy my job a lot.
I love to write, but since I've been so involved with the Boy Scouts program since 2015 (now Scouts BSA since girls were invited to come on board) I haven't written much. I hope to get back to more writing soon, as I'm scaling back my BSA commitment.
I like to get out in nature, take walks around Castaic Lake, drink coffee and watch football.
Here's a little bi 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.
This is me. I am a Gemini. Pure, Raw, passionate.
The NEW focus of this blog is to share my adventures, scouting adventures, book reviews, thoughts, opinions, and writing adventures from actual writing, writing/editing tips, marketing, research. I'll get there.
Find me at:
YOU TUBE CHANNEL:
Previous GRATITIOUS Warning, that I decided to keep in case I post about something that might offend.
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" check out the "Gemini Rising..."
|It's been busy. Yesterday I worked. I work in a dispatcher center and I was the relief yesterday. I like being relief. You get to move around. I took a 1.40 mile walk on my lunch break. All is good. I got home, got chicken for dinner from the local store and packed snacks for our cub scout hike. I made dinner, organized, packed, and put the dishes away. I dropped my dry cleaning off and was at the nature center at 6 pm for our 3 mile webelos walkabout.
The boys were great. We had 5 boys, 8/9 years old do a 3 mile hike. Some boys scouts joined us from Andrew's patrol. it wasn't too hot or cool and we even saw a rattlesnake off the path. The boys picked up liter on the trail as part of a service project. I was very proud of them but we weren't able to take a snack break because the park closed at sunset. We barely made it back.
Anyway, that was my day. No time for nothing else. I've got a ton of laundry calling my name when I get home and I've got to stop by the store for 4th of July decorations and picnic stuff for our 4th.
The 4th will be busy. We're in the 4th of July parade with cub scout pack 40. That should get over around 10/10:30. Then we're off to Ventura so the boys can swim in the ocean. We'll do hot dogs and picnic then we'll go to the fireworks show at Ventura College. Busy day. Should be fun but busy.
Sigh... I'm getting busy now...
Watching Battlestar Galatica the new one from the 2000's with my son. I'll ramble off thoughts on that later. Anyone see it? Like it? Favorite character?
Frown and the whole world frowns with you.
PS I love Grumpy Cat.
|Okay, I'll be honest, it's been a while since I visited. I started at the beginning of the year with all good intentions to blog on a more consistent basis, but sadly, real life interfered and that fell by the wayside.
So what changed? Well, I've been judging the
I'm inspired. Mind you it doesn't take much to get inspired, but what it does take is finding time to follow through on the inspiration.
My challenges involve having a full time job and 2 boys ages 8 and 13 with schedules all their own. Then there's marketing my books. And reading! I used to be a write-a-holic and now it's a struggle for me to find time to write a haiku. Extra times goes to commitments like writing my Romance/Love NL and judging my contests. Sigh....
So what I am going to do about it?
Attempt to manage my time better. Cross my fingers.
I'm reading a children's book called "Astro's Adventures and the Haunted Circus." I got it for 99 cent on a book swap day for 99 cent back in May. It's okay. It's self published and my experiences with self published books are not good because most of the ones I've been exposed to lack grammar/editing and have numerous spelling/punctuation mistakes. There's character development - and most don't have good character development. This one has minimal issues, but it's not very engaging to me as a reader.
The last movie I saw was Jurassic World. I enjoyed it as did my boys. I rented Jurassic Park and Lost World for the boys so we could catch up on the Jurassic myth. The movies are enjoyable. 4.5 stars from me.
I want to see the terminator movie and Ant-man. I'd like to see the one about Brian Wilson. I saw "Spy" with Melissa McCarthy and totally LOVED it. That movie was hilarious! 5 Stars from me.
From the Headlines:
#1 Evangline Lily is expecting!
Good for her! She's absolutely glowing.
#2Sugary drink may cause 184K deaths a year.
Not a shocker here. The responsible thing to do is to watch your sugar intake. I'm a big fan of the paleo diet but I haven't to get better at it.
#3 Here are the top 3 WORST companies to work for:
Express Scripts, Dillards, Kmart
I've only heard of Kmart, but I usually don't go there to shop. I usually go to Target, then Walmart. They're closer to me. I prefer Target.
#4 Top Gun 2 is on the way!
Featuring Tom Cruise's character. Are we ready for Top Gun 2?
Inspiration comes in everyday things.
Have a good one!
|Girl Scout cookies rocks! There’s a great variety and every box sold supports a great cause – scouting. While I don’t have a girl scout, I buy way too many boxes each season. The boxes I don’t eat, I share with coworkers or donate to charity.
Every February the Girl Scouts sell cookies. It’s a great way to support the organization. Local troops receive 10-15 percent, the council receives approximately 50% and the rest goes to the manufacturer.
Trivia: What are the two most popular cookies?
The Girl Scouts of America contracts with 2 national commercial bakeries: Little Brownie Bakers which is owned by Kelloggs and ABC Bakers owned by George Weston Limited. ABC Bakers has been making Girl Scout cookies since 1936.
It wasn’t all so complicated. The Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma was the first troop to bake cookies in 1917 as a service project using the high school kitchen.
Did you know? All Girl Scout cookies are kosher.
Pretty quickly, the Girl Scouts realized baking cookies was a great way to fundraise. In the early days, they sold door-to-door. Prices were .25 to .35 a dozen! Selling cookies helped the girls develop their business and marketing skills. In 1936, they started using national commercial bakeries to bake their cookies. By the 1950’s 3 varieties were sold – thin mints, peanut butter sandwiches, and shortbread.
Trivia: When was the “Samoa” added to the cookie catalog?
In the 2000’s, the Girl Scouts began using a healthier cookie formula due to the trans fats uproar. Also, the cookie size became smaller due to higher production costs.
Trivia: What is the highest number of boxes sold in a season?
Question: What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie? How many boxes do you usually buy a season?
|Gotta' thank the French for bringing Mardi Gras to the states. They sure know how to party before Lent starts. Literally translated, "Mardi Gras" means Fat Tuesday in English. It's meant to be a celebration before the penitential season of Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, but the origins and traditions of Mardi Gras go all the way back to the heyday of Rome.
In ancient Rome, they celebrated a circus-type festival called "Lupercalia" which was very similar to Mardi Gras as we know it. Popular traditions and practices today include wearing masks, dancing, parades, and overturning social conventions along with a little general debauchery. I remember when I was stationed in Germany, one tradition would be when the women would go into a bar and cut off a guy's tie with scissors. The guy was hers for the night to do whatever she wanted. Wild, huh? The Germans call Mardi Gras "Fasching" and traditions vary from place-to-place, country-to-country.
When Rome embraced Christianity, the early church decided it would be wise to incorporate some aspects f pagan rituals into the new faith. In regards to Lent, the ritual of Lupercalia evolved into the 'debauchery' of Mardi Gras.
Most of Europe and Brazil call Mardi Gras "Carnival." In some places it starts in November, and in other places, it starts the day after Epiphany.
Mardi Gras made its way to America in the early 1700's when the French explorer, Sieur d'Iberville, settled the Louisiana/Alabama area; however the 1st recognized Mardi Gras in the States wasn't until 1827 in New Orleans. A group of students, who had recently been to Paris, put on costumes and danced through the streets.
WHAT ABOUT THOSE COLORS?
In 1872, Russian Grand Duke Alexi Romanov visited New Orleans. He was given the opportunity to pick the Mardi Gras colors. He choose purple, representing justice, green for faith, and gold meaning power.
Me, personally, I'm a believer in moderation. I generally don't do much for Mardi Gras except wear beads and smile. Lol!!
Question for you: Do you celebrate Mardi Gras? What do you to celebrate?
The USO turned 74 years old on 4 FEB 2015 and I thought I'd sharing some fun facts about this organization that has supported America's troops since World War II. I'm a veteran myself and I can tell you I really appreciated having the USO around, and I took advantage of their opportunities when I could. In 1990 and 1991 I was able to stay in Garmish and Berchesgarten. In 1997, I went on an USO organized tour of Budapest. If you have anything to add, please feel free to leave a comment.
**Founded on 4 FEB, by President Franklin Roosevelt. He asked several private organizations like the Salvation Army, YMCA, Catholic Community Service and others to come together and handled rec leave for the troops.
**USO stands for United Service Organization. It's slogan is: Until Everyone comes Home.
**It's not a government agency.
**Mission Statement of the USO: Lift the spirits of American troops and their families.
**Katy Perry and Idina Menzel are veteran USO performers. They also performed at the 2015 Superbowl.
**USO helps with transitioning troops, deployed troops, wounded ill and injured troops, and military families.
**Here are several well known performers who have supported the USO's mission: Bob Hope, Gary Sinse, Katy Perry, Mickey Rooney, Idina Menzel, Hattie McDaniel, Marilyn Monroe, Ann Margaret, and Jay Leno just to name a few.
Question: Has the USO touched your life? What else would you like to know/learn about the USO?
|2015 Groundhog Day Fun Facts
Just thought I’d share some fun facts about Groundhog Day. If you have any fun facts or anything you’d like to add, feel free to leave a comment.
**Groundhog day is celebrated on 2 FEB. If the groundhog sees its shadow and crawls back into its burrow, winter will last another six weeks.
**The largest groundhog celebration is in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
**The 1st documented mention of Groundhog Day in America was on 4 FEB 1841.
**Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are right 39% of the time.
**The average groundhog weights between 12-15 pounds and lives between 5-7 years.
**Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today. Another 6 weeks of winter weather. If you ask me, that’s a pretty accurate prediction considering there’s another snow storm on the way to the east coast. Stay warm out that way!
Question: Has anyone ever seen a groundhog?
|1st time the Superbowl was held in February was 3 FEB 2002. TV schedules were delayed a week because of 9/11. The Superbowl has been held in February ever since.
In 2016, Superbowl 50 will be held in San Francisco, CA.
The 1st Superbowl was on 15 JAN 1967. Green Bay beat the Kansas City Chiefs.
The word "Superbowl" wasn't printed on the tickets until 1970.
In 2012, a 30 second Superbowl ad cost 3.5 million dollars.
Tickets to the 1st Superbowl cost $6.00. In 2004, the face value of a Superbowl ticket was 400 dollars. In 2015, the face value was $6,459.21.
The NFL has a lottery that selects 500 names drawn out of a hat for a chance to buy Superbowl tickets at face value. This occurs between 1 FEB – 1 JUN. Check out the NFL website for more information.
MTV produced the 2004 superbowl halftime show with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake that had the "wardrobe malfunction." MTV was banned by the NFL to produce the Superbowl half time show in the future.
Russell Wilson went to the University of Wisconsin.
Tom Brady went to the University of Michigan. Tom Brady has been the Patriots quarterback since 2001. He's won 4 Superbowls and is a 3 time Superbowl MVP.
Just thought I'd share some fun facts about the Superbowl. I'm from NH so I was rooting for the Pats to win. Go Pats!! This is one happy Patriot fan right about now!
|Since I was little, I always enjoyed reading. Heck, I started off with comic books in the early 1980’s. I loved Chris Claremont’s X-Men and Marv Wolfman’s Teen Titans. Those were truly my favorites. I read other comics, Spiderman, Batman, Legion of Superheroes, Spawn, but nothing beat X-Men and Teen Titans. If anything, the 1990’s GLUT of X-Men titles, really drained me dry. For me, that was overkill. Nowaways, I might visit a comic store occasionally with my boys. They’re more into Wonder Woman. I can’t figure, but then… they’re boys. They LOVED the 1970’s Lynda Carter Wonder Woman. Maybe they look up to Wonder Woman like how I looked up to Wolverine. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that! Hehe
Anyhoo, my current TBR is ridiculous! I’m currently reading:
Rough Waters by Maggie Toussaint
The Scorch Trails by James Dashner
Storm of Swords by George RR Martin
I just finished reading “To The Nines” by Janet Evanovich. I love reading different authors, compelling stories, and a variety of genres. I try not to limit myself.
Romance is my favorite, followed by historical (anything), fantasy, steampunk, dystopian, and cozy mystery. My favorite authors include: Victoria Holt, Anne Rice, JK Rowling, early VC Andrews, Janet Evanovich, George RR Martin.
Reading expands my mind – and my vocabulary. Reading is an adventure. I get to visit different places and try different things.
Reading is knowledge – and learning. Currently, I’m looking for good Paleo recipes.
I think if you’re a writer, reading goes hand-in-hand. Reading offers inspiration, escape, and fun.
Let’s see – time to tackle some fun – my People magazine!
What are you reading today?
PS...check out my other blog, "Romance Under the Moonlight" for a snippet from my contemporary romance: Feast of Candles at: http://sgcardin.blogspot.com
|I wanted to get the word out on this since I just found out about it recently. Mind you, I’m not an economic genius. I know the basics. I have a job to earn money and pay the bills. I can balance a checkbook. Occasionally, I play the lotto hoping for a couple extra bucks. Saving is rough because I live paycheck-to-paycheck. I don’t have a strong economic background, but I know this basic fact:
To make money, you need to grow money.
I have two boys I need to help through college. Thankfully, one of my co-workers told me about a 529 savings plan. It’s a way to grow money to help your son or daughter attend college.
So what is it?
An investment tool designed for saving for future higher educational expenses.
Most plans are run though the state. You can find California’s at: scholarshare.com
T. Rowe Price is out of Alaska. That’s the plan I went with.
Overview: Most growth comes from investment in mutual funds. 529 plans are administered by states only, though record keeping can be through a mutual fund company.
Use it for: tuition, fees, books, supplies for college, room and board.
Advantages: principal grows tax deferred; distributions for beneficiary’s college cost tax free; depending on the state, provides state income tax deductions. Donor controls the account. Family members can make gifts to the account.
T. Rowe Price:
For me, it offered me “easy.” It was simple to understand the website. I didn’t feel overwhelmed. I felt confident my son could choose a college anywhere in the U.S. I felt confident picking his investment portfolio in that I felt it would grow the investment. I could afford the 250.00 initial investment and 50.00 a paycheck auto deposit. When I went to sign up, again, it was easy. Just a couple of screens and I was good. I’m happy I sighed up. It’s a good start to 2015.