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It's about adventure! Life, Scouting, Family, writing what else is there?
WELCOME TO:

GEMINI RISING

Banner for my blog, "Gemini Rising"


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

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.

*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, scouting adventures, 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

TWITTER:
http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart

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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July 17, 2015 at 4:10pm
July 17, 2015 at 4:10pm
#854633
Okay, I let a few days go by before I wrote again so I allow for something to happen.
#1 - We got some interesting pictures of Pluto. As far as I'm concerned, Pluto is a planet. Period. Give the little guy some respect. Can't wait to see more awesome pics of the planet.

#2 Scott Walker through his hat in the ring for President. Me? I try not to discuss politics because it's such hotbed of dissention. I'll tell you this: I'm a Reagan Democrat. I lean left, I lean right. I'm not an easy fit into Republican or Democrat. Let's leave it at that. I think the upcoming presidential race will be very interesting.

#3 Chattanooga, TN. My heart goes out to the marines' families.

#4 I saw a headline on Yahoo News were a 20 yr old was given 90K trust for college from her grandparents and she blew right through it. Now she owes 20K and has no idea no to pay it. When it was suggested she get a job, she scoffed at the idea. She finally broke down and asked her parents for a loan. They said no and they further said that unless she got a job they wouldn't co sign for a loan either. Finally, after 4 days, she reluctantly admitted she would have to find a job. Amazing!! I knew at the tender age of 14 that I would need to get a job and that I wasn't entitled to anything but what I earned. I've held jobs since I was 15. I'm 47 now.

#5 My sensory son is doing good in swim lessons and enjoying himself.

#6 I'm reading "Queen of the Tearling." AWESOME book!! It's the best book I've read in a while. *Smile*


The Pelican, cont...

The kid laughed as the pelican gagged on some flaming hot Cheetos. I shook my head in disgust. The kid must have been about three or four. Glancing over, I spied his family sitting around the picnic table stuffing their faces with freshly grilled steaks and corn.

The pelican trashed his head, squawked, and spit the mass of Cheetos on the ground. The kid stomped his feet, thrust his hand into the bag and threw a handful of fresh, hot Cheetos at the pelican. The bird stared at the boy and flapped his wings.

The kid stomped his feet. Again. Then he pointed to the Cheetos. The Pelican took one step forward, bent over, then stood. He shook his head and squawked. Guess he didn't like them. Too hot? Or greasy? Or both?

The kid pointed to the pelican, then to himself, then dipped his hand in the bag and shoved a handful of Cheetos into his mouth. His cheeks puffed out like golf balls. He chomped and chewed and a little bit of spittle dribbled out of the corner of his mouth. When he finished, the boy smiled and pointed at the Cheetos at the ground. "Eat!"


I wrote something this week!! Check it out:
 Invisible   (ASR)
A conversation between a man and his mirror.
#2049070 by StephB Keeping Warm
July 12, 2015 at 1:02pm
July 12, 2015 at 1:02pm
#854147
I'm at work today and I might actually have time to catch up on a bunch of projects that have been sorely neglected, including my research for my Halloween/paranormal story.

After work I'll be busy with the kiddos. We'll be doing some research at Home Depot, Dinner at Pielogy, Church, then grocery shopping. Yesterday I smogged my 2005 4Runner and it passed. Thank goodness. The car has 248,000+ miles on it. I love it. It's Toyota and I love buying Toyota. I keep up the maintenance and the 4Runner just keeps on ticking. I also recently bought a 2015 Toyota Corolla to drive back and forth to work. I bought it with 4 miles and now it has 4900 miles. I'm a Toyota Girl for sure. What "brand" of car would you/do you swear by?


So I scanned the news for something news worthy but nothing really stood out. Djokovic won Wimbeldon. Good for him. I like playing tennis but haven't played in ages. Heck, I'm waiting til my 13 year old turns 14 so I can play racquetball at the gym with him.

Here's some more on my writing prompt:


The Pelican, cont...

The kid laughed as the pelican gagged on some flaming hot Cheetos. I shook my head in disgust. The kid must have been about three or four. Glancing over, I spied his family sitting around the picnic table stuffing their faces with freshly grilled steaks and corn.

The pelican trashed his head, squawked, and spit the mass of Cheetos on the ground. The kid stomped his feet, thrust his hand into the bag and threw a handful of fresh, hot Cheetos at the pelican. The bird stared at the boy and flapped his wings.

The kid stomped his feet. Again. Then he pointed to the Cheetos. The Pelican took one step forward, bent over, then stood. He shook his head and squawked. Guess he didn't like them. Too hot? Or greasy? Or both?

The kid pointed to the pelican, then to himself, then dipped his hand in the bag and shoved a handful of Cheetos into his mouth.

**********

July is National Ice Cream month. So what's your favorite flavor? *Bigsmile*
July 11, 2015 at 12:43pm
July 11, 2015 at 12:43pm
#854032
I picked up my son from day camp yesterday. He was the dirtiest I'd ever seen in my life. Kinda like Pig Pen. It was good to see him and in a way I'm sad there's no more camp. I think he enjoyed it very much.

Now what? I work this weekend and have to get caught up on a lot of stuff that I've neglected such as reading and writing. I need to research a story for Halloween I'm working on and I need to write a book review. Thinking about everything I need to do is depressing, quite honestly.

While at day camp, my lips got chapped so I started using chapstick. Stupid me. I forgot I'm allergic to chapstick. Now I have botox lips.

My hero is Grumpy Cat. She's so grumpy, she's cute.

Well, my little prompt about a boy feeding a pelican is progressing nicely. What do you think happens next?

The Pelican, cont...

The kid laughed as the pelican gagged on some flaming hot Cheetos. I shook my head in disgust. The kid must have been about three or four. Glancing over, I spied his family sitting around the picnic table stuffing their faces with freshly grilled steaks and corn.

The pelican trashed his head, squawked, and spit the mass of Cheetos on the ground. The kid stomped his feet, thrust his hand into the bag and threw a handful of fresh, hot Cheetos at the pelican. The bird stared at the boy and flapped his wings.


Today's Headlines:

Serena Wins Wimbledon
It's 7-11 Day. Happy 88th Birthday 7-11

Enjoy some Christmas in July with my book trailer for: The Faberge Secret:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nf5ujOoDRXs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
July 10, 2015 at 2:41pm
July 10, 2015 at 2:41pm
#853937
It's been a busy, wild week for me. I signed up my son for cub scout day camp. He's a Webelos 1 and quite honestly, I didn't feel comfortable him going to day camp without me due to his expressive language disorder and sensory processing disorder so I signed up to be a volunteer. I'm a den leader for his den so I'm comfortable being around him and kids.

The day camp was held at Verdugo Oaks Boy scout camp just north of Castaic off the Templin Hwy exit (on the 5 Fwy). It was about a 15 minute drive north of us. We had to be there at 8 with an ice chest to hold the lunches. The boys arrive by 830. Then we have opening ceremonies and starting at 0905 our 50 min rotations begin. There are a lot of rotations and a lot of activities!!

Field Sports
Cub Grubb
Archery
BB Guns
Slingshots
Pool
Flight School
Woodworking
Arts & Crafts
Scout Skills
had a presentation on the MARS rover.

Heck, I'm pooped!!
The day ended at 0430 pm each day and I was exhausted. I know my son was. We had to get to bed early each night.
He accomplished a bunch of things that were very challenging to him like making paper airplanes, hammering a nail, painting, marbles, slight shots, archery and bb guns.

It just warmed my heart to see him do things despite his fine motor issues. Oh he had a couple of meltdowns I had to talk him down from, and a couple of the boys in the den thought he was autistic, but it was nothing I couldn't manage. Because of his meltdowns and his sensory processing issues, it's easy to think he's autistic, but he's not. He will make eye contact with you, hug you, and when his engine is just right, he'll do everything a mainstream boy can. I've seen 2 doctors at two separate times in Joe's life and both say no autisim. That's good enough for me. I'll deal with the rest of his issues. He sees a speech therapist, an occupational therapist and I'm going to call the school sometime this summer to set up a 504 plan on him.

If you'd like to see a couple of silly videos and photos from the week visit my facebook page and go down past the 1st 3 posts. Overall, it's been a rewarding week. https://www.facebook.com/stephanie.burkhart.9


The Pelican

The kid laughed as the pelican gagged on some flaming hot Cheetos. I shook my head in disgust. The kid must have been about three or four. Glancing over I spied his family sitting around the picnic table stuffing their faces with freshly grilled steaks and corn.

To be continued....

From the Headlines:

Omar Sheriff died.
With California in a wicked bad drought, Tom Selleck stole water from a city fire hydrant.
South Carolina took down the Confederate Flag.

July 5, 2015 at 2:25pm
July 5, 2015 at 2:25pm
#853428
Well, I had plenty of weekend adventure!

Our AC went out and the AC man came by and recharged the Freon. Thank goodness. It gets stinking hot in So Cal. Nights early morning are bearable, but anything after 11 am to about 10 pm - hot and uncomfortable. After making sure the AC man was taken care I did some errands, got a new battery for my watch and got my son a watch to use at boy scout camp.

On a side note, I like Swatch watches. I suppose I'm holdover from the 90's, but I love the colorful bands and watch faces. They're expressive. I suppose being an expressive person, Swatch watches are a perfect fit for me. My son is 13. I got him a 20.00 Cashio with a simple face and a classic black band. He says he likes it, but we'll see if he wears it. I think it's more his speed than the G-Shock my husband gave him.

After my boys attended a pool party, we went home, had a bite to eat and helped to decorate the pack's float for the 4th's parade.

Another side note: I HATE cooking in the heat. I'll go broke on take out, but the heat has sucked the life out of me. I don't have an ounce of energy to cook.

The 4th was too busy. My younger son, Joe, and I were in the cub scout pack 40 float for the Newhall parade. I think the heat got him because while he was on the float he told me he lost his 4th of July spirit and I had to constantly remind him to wipe the frown off his face and wave and say "Happy 4th." Mind you my son is special needs. He has expressive language disorder and I've learned his mind doesn't work the same way as his peers. He's socially awkward and has no social skills. He has a sensory processing disorder. We've seen 2 doctors who both say no autism. He's mainstream but he's prone to meltdowns and tantrum, and while his behavior can be managed, he's not mature enough to recognize and manage on his own. I try a combo of tough love/honesty/positive reinforcement, but he's always trying to get over and I've caught him in 'little' lies. The "big" one - do you have your underwear on? Yes, he tell me. I do an undie check and BAM! No undies. I ask him, why did you lie? He says: "I didn't want you to get mad at me because I had no undies on." Sigh........

After that I watched the Germany/England FIFA game. I decided I wanted to root for England because those girls were scrappy little soccer players, even though I thought Germany was the better team.

There's something a little wrong rooting for England on the 4th of July. But, hey, 239 years have gone by and I'm over it. LOL!! England won. Good for them.

We went to the beach after that but it was a bit of a bust. The beach was cold, windy, and overcast and I didn't anticipate that so I didn't bring sweat jackets. The beach cold and windy in So Cal? Get out. True. My boys were fussy. After we managed to light the BBQ bag, we cooked hot dogs and packed up. We watched the fireworks at Ventura College and it was the best show we've seen in years. The Rotary club did a great job with it. I'd go back, but I'd definitely better prepare for it.

By the time we got home it was 1045 pm. I had to get up at 4 am to go to work. When I get home, I have to prepare for Cub Scout day camp next week.

Sigh...I have no time to write. It's driving me crazy!!

here's something that I think would make a great prompt. I saw a 3 year old feeding the pelicans flaming hot Cheetos.
Write a 500 word story that begins with:

The pelican gobbled the flaming hot Cheetos.

If I have time I'll add some more to it tomorrow. *Smile*

We'll see how exhausted I am after day camp. How was your 4th?
July 2, 2015 at 4:39pm
July 2, 2015 at 4:39pm
#853133
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.
Grumpy Cat.

PS I love Grumpy Cat.
June 30, 2015 at 3:12pm
June 30, 2015 at 3:12pm
#852891
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
FORUM
The Bard's Hall Contest  (13+)
The Bard's Hall January: "Reporting From the Roaring 20s"
#981150 by StephB Keeping Warm
this week and I've seen some GREAT blogs. It's been a lot of fun hanging out with the different bloggers and getting their thoughts from writing to every day things to one blogger's roadtrip!

I'm inspired. *Bigsmile* 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. *Wink* Cross my fingers.

Reading
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.

Movies
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! *Smile*
February 19, 2015 at 11:31am
February 19, 2015 at 11:31am
#841896
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?

A: 10,000

B: 18,000

C: 5,000

Question: What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie? How many boxes do you usually buy a season?
February 19, 2015 at 11:29am
February 19, 2015 at 11:29am
#841895
Haiku offering:

Heavy

Snow in New England.
heavy, crushing, dominates -
oppressive beauty.
February 17, 2015 at 11:29am
February 17, 2015 at 11:29am
#841699
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?

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