Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Bloggers Bash Nominations, Winter Warmers, Arizona, Spring Bulbs and all that Jazz


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

We are actually enjoying some sunshine despite very cold temperatures and we are hoping it is a sign spring is on its way. I know for many of you in the UK and USA, this has been a very tough couple of weeks with snow and storms, so hopefully you too will have a more settled week ahead.

It is hard to ignore the turmoil going on in the world, especially as the press is having a field day with fake news, assumptions, predictions, fear-mongering, pot-stirring and allegations. There may be a reason that we as yet have not been invaded by an alien species. I suggest that they have popped in from time to time, to the excitement of the UFO buffs, and exited rapidly when they see what they might be getting into.

The actions of those in power are completely at odds with the promises made in their wonderful election speeches, and at the very least they should be prosecuted for false advertising and misrepresentation.

Meanwhile, in the real world, all we can do is keep doing what we are doing and try to stay as positive as possible.

If all else fails………..

My thanks to my regular contributors who continue to spread a positive message and to your for dropping in and liking, commenting and sharing..

And on that note……

I was very honoured to be nominated for the Best Book Blog award, and my thanks to those who put my name forward. Voting begins at the end of March and you still have time to nominate your favourite bloggers in the new categories. The links are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-nomination-best-book-blog/

This week William Price King shares the life and music of legend Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-charlie-bird-parker-saxaphone/

Paul Andruss with some suggestions to bring colour to your garden with early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-rewind-light-up-your-life-with-brilliant-bulbs-part-1-early-spring-bulbs/

Carol Taylor shares some recipes that are easy to prepare and that will warm the cockles of your heart…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers-stews-and-casseroles/

Debby Gies is still on vacation in Mexico and busily creating future travel posts about this fantastic vacation spot, but in the meantime, she gives us a guided tour of Jerome, Arizona which is a preserved copper mining town that generated billions for investors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-jerome-arizona-mining-town-with-d-g-kaye/

Joy Lennick shares two poems that bridge the end of winter and the start of spring.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-poetry-spring-by-joy-lennick/

Welcome to the blog for the first time to romance author Laura M. Baird who shares her love of country, music and tattoos, as well as one of the craziest and most detailed dream

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-romance-author-laura-m-baird/

I am now participating in is Diana Peach’s monthly speculative fiction challenges and this month she had a delightful photo prompt. My story is called ‘The 1812 Overture”

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-februarys-speculative-fiction-prompt-the-1812-overture-by-sally-cronin/

Another of my weekly challenges is the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-sea-mist-by-sally-cronin/

It is that time of the week when I get my syllables in lines in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 122.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-poetry-colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-122-poets-choice-etheree-metamorphosis-by-sally-cronin/

It is February 1986 and we are preparing for my birthday and I get a new car.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-birthday-party-and-new-car/

Relationships – So far I have covered respect, recognition, relations in Previous Chapters, which leads me very conveniently into relationships. In this first part, I am looking at the socialisation of children before and during school that form the basis of their relationship skills in the wider world.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-one-childhood-by-sally-cronin/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-fiona-tarr-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-miriam-hurdle-linda-g-hill-and-mark-d-giglio/

Every year, 4.2million people die worldwide within 30 days of surgery. This is a staggering 1.23million more deaths than HIV, TB and malaria combined makes up 7.7% of all fatalities – with only heart disease and stroke killing more. You can make a difference to this statistic by preparing for elective surgeries in the weeks before the operation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-health-column-new-statistics-on-surgery-recovery-that-are-shocking-and-preparing-for-an-operation/

The next chapter in my rollercoaster weight gain and loss history, with a pattern emerging that linked a number of physical events in my life, antibiotics, candida albicans and stress together.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-morbid-obesity-a-physical-rollercoaster-anti-biotics-candida-hormones-yo-yo-dieting/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-funnies-and-things-kids-say/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-3/

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing week……

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column – Jerome, Arizona – #Mining town with D.G. Kaye


Welcome to this edition of the Travel Blog. As I am still on vacation but didn’t want leave anyone without a travel post in my absence, today Sally is reblogging one of my older posts I wrote about visiting Jerome, Arizona. I visited Jerome 2 winters ago and found it was like walking into an old story book town. I hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for my March post when I’ll be writing about my current vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! Originally posted D. G. Kaye February 2016

JEROME, ARIZONA with D.G. Kaye

Jerome, Arizona is an old mining town, population of a meager 450 people, but it wasn’t always so lightly populated. It’s approximately a 2 hour drive northwest of Scottsdale in the Verde Valley. The tourist map recommends it as a must-see place to visit.

My husband and brother-in-law are fascinated with anything cowboy, so we decided to take a little road trip up there, one warm, but mostly overcast, cloudy day.

Jerome sits up on a cliff known as Cleopatra Hill. The elevation is 5300 feet. It was a lot colder up there than where we’d come from in Scottsdale. I can tell you that the one lane up and one down the mountain was a pretty narrow ride with barely a guard rail or lights. I remarked how I’d be scared to drive in or out of Jerome at night or in the rain, or worse, the snow.

A Brief History:

In the 1880s, Jerome was a billion dollar mining town full of ore. For 70 years, the two copper mines made hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. The town was named after a New York Lawyer, Eugene Jerome who formed the United Verde Copper Company.

By 1920 the population began to rise to 15,000. It hosted saloons, hotels and the town brothel, and of course a county jail. Through the years, many buildings had burned down from the two fires of 1894 and 1899, but were rebuilt.

The mines yielded millions of tons of copper, silver and gold. In 1938, an underground blast rocked Jerome’s foundation and much of the business district slid down the hillside 225 feet – most notably, the county jail. This event was the beginning of the downfall of Jerome, resulting in its becoming a ghost town.

With the depression and the advent of World War II, and fluctuating copper prices, the mines finally closed in 1953. By then, the remainder of the townspeople left, leaving a mere 50 people residing in Jerome.

Through the later decades, Jerome was rediscovered by artists who moved there for its magnificent views and cheap real estate. Now there are galleries, a few restaurants and gift shops and a few bed and breakfasts which are said to be haunted.

My Observations:

The town is quite small and doesn’t appear that much has been updated in decades.

There are a few updated bar/restaurants, and now ‘family’ saloons. The town brothel had been turned first into a restaurant, and has since become a store named ‘House of Joy’, carrying nostalgic items from the days of its original ill repute, full of girlie photos, flapper hats, pins and badges from earlier wars, and some old signs.

But what I found most interesting in there was a table with small cardboard boxes, each filled with coins representing various states’ brothels in the mid and southwest.

These coins were what gentlemen would purchase when entering a brothel that gave them access to a lady for the evening. Each coin had engraved the brothel name and state where it was from, and every one of them had engraved on the flipside, “Good for one night.” One could purchase these coins of choice as a souvenir for $3.00. I couldn’t help but wonder how much they paid for the service when purchasing these coins back in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

I wandered into some other gift shops and found items from natural stones to old signs to Tshirts, and found them all rather expensive compared to any other tourist place I’d been to in Arizona. I couldn’t believe that this tiny town with nothing more than a beautiful view and a bit of history charged such high prices for souvenirs. I didn’t see anyone walking around with bags.

I realize it’s now a small tourist town and everyone has to make a living, but it’s not like there’s a waiting list to get there. To me, these sky high prices were like ‘shooting yourself in the foot’ (a fitting phrase), by being a little more competitive, price-wise, I think that tourists like myself would have liked to pick up some souvenirs.

All in all it was an experience to go to Jerome and see a bit of this history. It felt strange being in that little store that was once a brothel and looking at some of the old hotels and remnants of burnt out buildings from the fires.

On the way back, I managed to capture some gorgeous sunset photos:

©D.G. Kaye

About D.G. Kaye

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for Words We Carry.

Once in a while you come across a book that really speaks to you. Reading ‘Words We Carry’ by D. G. Kaye was like having friends over for coffee and revealing our innermost secrets or speaking to your mentor about life and how to make it better. The author, who has natural psychology opened my eyes and made me ponder why I react the way I do to certain things or certain people. I enjoyed author, D.G. Kaye’s writing style––so friendly and warm. This book is well written and is easily one that can change someone’s life. I recommend this book to anyone who ever felt insecure, self-conscious or inadequate. An easy 5 star read.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

My thanks to Debby for sharing this historical and fascinating part of Arizona.. more from the intrepid traveller next month.. Please feel free to share your experiences, we would love to hear about them and your feedback. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Who is referring others to your blog? Guests, music and laughter


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts you might have missed.

This week I got back into the swing of things and began the 2019 book promotions and the first of the Sunday Interviews. It was a terrific break but very happy being back to normal.

As always a huge thank you to my regular contributors and guests as well as the support on social media. Whilst managing the various platforms is time consuming and sometimes distracting, it was interesting to see, when I looked at the year’s analytic data, where the most referrals were generated from.

At the top end of the list and accounting for approximately 50% of the referrals out of 221,000 views:

  1. WordPress Reader.
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Yahoo.com
  5. Other search engines.

The other 50% were referrals from individual bloggers.

This confirms a few things to me:

  1. That WordPress Reader is a very powerful promotional tool for promoting not just our own posts but also when we reblog and ‘press’ posts we enjoy by other bloggers. Since people browse the Reader looking for posts that are interesting, it is well worth making sure you titles and the short summary at the top of your post catch their eye.
  2. That my time spent on Twitter and Facebook is not wasted!
  3. That using key words and tags on blog posts gets results from search engines. (but need to do better)
  4. That connecting and becoming part of a supportive community is essential to the success of a blog.

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to share the posts this year directly to their own blogs which resulted in referrals and to all of you who took the time to like, share on social media and comment.

This week William Price King shared the life and music of the legendary Duke Ellington.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-duke-ellington/

This week Carol Taylor shares her favourite recipes of 2018… and they look delicious.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-favourite-dishes-of-2018/

D. G. Kaye – Debby Gies shares a recap of her 2018 travel column with a reminder of the places you might like to visit on vacation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-recap-take-a-look-before-you-book-your-summer-holiday-with-d-g-kaye/

Welcome to the first of a new season of Getting to Know You and my first guest for 2019 is Australian author Frank Prem who has recently released a collection of poems and short stories about his childhood – Small Town Kid.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-author-frank-prem/

I was delighted to review Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration by Colleen M. Chesebro.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/smorgasbord-book-reviews-fairies-myths-and-magic-a-summer-celebration-by-colleen-m-chesebro/

I wrote the original Size Matters in 1998 about my 150lb weight loss… I did update when the book went digital but that was several years ago. After working as a nutritional therapist for the last 20 years, and having continued to research and study food and its role in our health, I decided that it was time to write the sequel. 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-after-20-years-by-sally-cronin-introduction/

It is 1996 and it is a year of change with a move to Brussels and Anthony Robbins Life Mastery.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1996-a-year-of-change-and-celine-dion/

I am had fun with Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 118 with the synonyms this week of ‘Begin’ and ‘Fresh’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-poetry-challenge-week-118-etheree-initiate-and-crisp/

It is now 1986 and both David and my father have their birthdays back to back. We are also making plans for a day trip and a much longer road trip over to New Mexico.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-houston-1986-birthdays-and-plans/

New on the shelves this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-sciencefiction-fantasty-voyage-of-the-lanternfish-by-c-s-boyack/

Author update with recent reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-don-massenzio-marcia-meara-and-teri-polen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-jane-risdon-and-christina-jones-sally-cronin/

The Gentle Detox

As part of a gentle detox it is useful to employ the power of nature as a cleanser for your liver and kidneys. Dandelion is powerful and has many health benefits.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-tool-box-water-retention-dandelion-by-sally-cronin/

It is a good idea to complete a gentle detox to find out what food triggers or environmental contaminants might be causing you to suffer from allergies or health issues.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-food-intolerances-nightshade-family-and-environmental-toxins-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-snitching-cheating-failing-and-a-change-of-career/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and for your continued support. It keeps me motivated to keep writing.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column Recap – Take a look before you book your Summer holiday… with D. G. Kaye.


Debby Gies – D.G. Kaye is currently enjoying her annual vacation to Mexico where she will be sunning herself on the beach and sampling the local cuisine… We can expect a full report on her return in March. She has left us a travel column for February, in another of her favourite overwintering spots in Arizona.

In the meantime, since this is the time of year when our thoughts turn to summer vacations, here is a recap of the travel column posts so far.

Cruising the High Seas – Part One – What Cruise Line, Cabin and where is the least choppy!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-debby-gies-cruising-reports-and-tips-part-one/

Cruising the High Seas – Part Two – Dining, Tips and Shopping.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-cruises-part-two-ship-tips/

Preparing for a Safe Trip – money, valuables, insurance

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-part-three-preparing-for-a-safe-trip/

Traveling to Mexico – Safe places to visit, currency, eating and drinking, health.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kayetraveling-to-mexico/

St. Marten, Two Countries, one island.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-welcome-to-st-martin-two-countries-one-island/

Welcome to St. Kitts – Caribbean.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-welcome-to-saint-kitts-caribbean/

St. Thomas – Virgin Islands.

Courtesy of Paradise-Islands.org

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-st-thomas-virginislands-by-d-g-kaye/

Welcome to Curacao – Lesser Antilles

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-welcome-to-curacao-lesser-antilles/

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Debby has written a book about her travel adventures – Have Bags Will Travel

About the book

D.G. Kaye is back, and as she reflects on some of her more memorable vacations and travel snags, she finds herself constantly struggling to keep one step ahead of the ever-changing guidelines of the airlines–with her overweight luggage in tow. Her stories alert us to some of the pitfalls of being an obsessive shopper, especially when it comes time for D.G. to bring her treasures home, and remind us of the simpler days when traveling was a breeze.

In her quest to keep from tipping the scales, D.G. strives to devise new tricks to fit everything in her suitcases on each trip. Why is she consistently a target for Canada customs on her return journeys?

D.G.’s witty tales take us from airports, to travel escapades with best friends, to reflections on how time can change the places we hold dear in our hearts. Her memories will entertain and have you reminiscing about some of your own most treasured journeys–and perhaps make you contemplate revamping your packing strategies.

A recent review for Have Bags Will Travel

Super fun travel reading on April 20, 2018

“Have Bags, Will Travel” is a delightful read on the experiences of travel, fashion, the art of packing suitcases with the emphasis on having a good time. Author, D.G. Kaye details her days on board planes to many popular destinations and her vivacious antics with friends. She also relates her solo travels to exotic destinations with steep cliffs and too much baggage. I particularly enjoyed the details of the by-gone, romantic days aboard Wardair, and the exquisite details of vintage Las Vegas.

A consummate shopper, D.G. Kaye relates her rather humorous run-ins with customs officials. How does it feel to be singled out routinely by airline officials? A read through this humorous pages will give you the insight to these first-hand conflicts.

I would say this might be required reading for shoe connoisseurs and fashion mavens especially if they have a plane ticket in hand. Germ avoidance theory is also discussed, and it may never be possible to look at airplane bathrooms the same.

D.G. Kaye brings back the memories of best friends and blazing trips through the desert. Many readers will identify with the struggles of this stylish lady attempting to blend in to avoid a custom’s mishap. A short and super fun read, “Have Bags, Will Travel” is perfect for your next airplane ride.

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Bags-Will-Travel-Over-Packer-ebook/dp/B015HP1R6S

Other books by D.G. Kaye

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Debby will be back in February with her article on the wonderful wintering hot spot in Arizona.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Christmas book promotions, music, humour and guests.


This week has certainly flown by with a few Mary Poppins moments with umbrellas in the rain and high winds. Just as well I have not got rid of that excess stone I was planning on misplacing before Christmas!

Do not take this as a free pass to do what you like eating wise over the festive season (well okay then . eat what you like)..but I am re-releasing my first book Size Matters in 2019 updated and revised to reflect new research and also my experience in the last 20 years as a nutritional therapist – I am going to do this via the blog by editing and updating each chapter on the blog in the first three months of the year. If you are thinking about getting fitter and eating healthier then you might like to take it one step at a time.

The first part of the book was my journal about how I got to the weight of 330lbs and the second part of the book is the programme that I designed to lose 150lbs. That is the bit that I will be revising and updating.

I have been featuring all the active authors in the Cafe and Bookstore since the middle of November with recent updates or first books in series. I have just scheduled the last one on 17th December… and there will be one more on 18th of December but that one will be my books and I have a couple of e-book giveaways on the day.

I did have an outing this week as the guest of Colleen Chesebro… and we had a lovely conversation about writing from the male perspective and inspirations.. if you have not been a guest of Colleen before.. it is well worth putting yourself forward. A great place to showcase your work and meet new people.

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Sally Cronin

On Thursday the Christmas party season starts with the First Day of Christmas.. If you are still interesting in being a guest there are four spaces left for the 11th and 12th days of Christmas.. Want another chance to promote your books and take part.. here are the details.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/smorgasbord-christmas-promotions-the-twelve-days-of-christmas-party-guests-food-and-music-promotional-opportunity/

I am heading out today with a stand at the local Christmas Fair.. and the first sight of Santa Claus who will be arriving at 4pm. to day courtesy of the Coast Guard and RNLI.. ……….

Time to get on with the posts from the week that you might have missed and as always thank you for popping in and lending your support.  It keeps me motivated.

Paul Andruss has popped in to kick off party week… sharing his emotionally charged story of his most favourite Christmas gift ever….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-my-favourite-christmas-gift-ever-by-paul-andruss/

D.G. Kaye took us to the stunning island of Curacao and shares its history and the best places to stay, eat and swim.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-welcome-to-curacao-lesser-antilles/

Carol Taylor came back to the food column with a wonderful post this week. A full Vegetarian menu – with starters, mains, sides and desserts.. delicious.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/smorgasbord-blog-christmas-celebrations-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-a-christmas-vegetarian-menu/

Linda Bethea shares the tale of Willie Tharpe, who invited himself for Christmas, bringing his dogs and thousands of unwanted visitors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-flease-dont-come-home-for-christmas-willie-tharpe-by-linda-bethea/

Geoff Le Pard with a special rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…if this does not get you in the mood for the festive season…. then repeat several times.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-poetry-twas-the-night-before-christmas-by-geoff-le-pard/

It is my 40th and I feel the need for speed…..and the music of M People, guest Annette Rochelle Aben and Elton John.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1993-toyota-mr2-mk1-m-people-and-elton-john/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-shortstories-becoming-someone-by-anne-goodwin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-mystery-murder-on-the-books-by-hl-carpenter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-deadly-quotes-escaping-psychiatry-series-by-olga-nunez-miret/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-book-1-the-gift-legacy-secret-sky-re-release-by-j-p-mclean/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-mo-the-spotlight-tales-by-s-pearce/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-childrens-myrtles-game-by-cynthia-reyes-and-lauren-reyes-grange-illustrated-by-jo-robinson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-mystery-thriller-series-n-a-granger-john-w-howell-don-massenzio/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-social-injustice-thriller-fantasy-with-yecheilyah-ysrayl-stevie-turner-and-fiona-tarr/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-fantasty-scifi-paranormal-elle-boca-deborah-a-bowman-richard-dee-and-audrey-driscoll/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-linda-bradley-christine-campbell-billy-ray-chitwood-and-angie-dokos/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-african-adventure-crime-history-scifi-with-lucinda-e-clarke-sue-coletta-jack-eason-and-david-r-grigg/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-mary-anne-edwards-diana-j-febry-judy-penz-sheluk-and-toni-pike/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-family-drama-historical-survival-claire-fullerton-william-luvaas-jacqui-murray-and-terry-tyler/

It is the time of year when coughs are quite common.. but it is important to know the difference between one associated with a common cold and one that has become chronic bronchitis.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-bronchitis-by-sally-cronin/

It is that time of week when we get our syllables in a row or more in a format requested by Colleen Chesebro Poetry Challenge no. 113 – being the first week of the month we get to choose our own prompts… Frost and Laughter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-tanka-poetry-challenge-etheree-december-and-laughter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-another-joke-from-sallys-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D. G. Kaye – Welcome to #Curacao #Lesser Antilles


As we all freeze and huddle around our computer screens to keep warm, D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies continues to bring sunshine into our lives… This month it is Curacao…not just blue seas but also a wonderful blue liqueur.

Welcome to this month’s edition of the Travel Column. Today we’re going to Curacao.

Curacao is classified as part of a group of the ABC islands – Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. These islands are part of the  Lesser Antilles. Curacao lies approximately 40 miles north of the tip of Venezuela, and is considered a Caribbean island along with Bonaire and Aruba. They are part of North America, despite them lying on South America’s geographic plate.

History

Formerly part of the Curacao and Dependencies (1815 to 1954), Curacao is now formally called the country of Curacao, along with its 1.7 kilometres long, uninhabited sister island – Klein Curacao. The capital of Curacao is Willemstad.

The first inhabitants of the island were the  Arawak People, migrating from South America centuries before the Spanish came in with the Spanish expedition of 1499, using the Arawack people for slave labor.

In 1634 Netherlands became independent from Spain and began colonizing the island. Curacao had previously been ignored by colonists because it lacked gold deposits, but proved valuable for trade. The natural harbor of Willemstad was the perfect location for trade.

In 1662, the Dutch West India Company made Curacao a center of Atlantic Slave Trade, selling slaves to other islands and South American mainland. Although a few plantations existed, the main source of trade came from their salt mines. Many Dutch colonists grew rich from slave trade and the city grew with impressive colonial buildings. A wide range of historic buildings had deemed Curacao a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, ownership of the island had changed hands several times between British, French and the Dutch. In 1815, after the Napoleonic wars, the island was incorporated into the colony of Curacao and Dependencies. During that time, the language spoken on the island was predominantly Spanish. In 1863 slavery was abolished.

In October of 2010, Curacao became a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The first language of the island spoken today is Dutch, followed by Papiemento (creole), English, and Spanish.

Fun Fact:

Legend has it there are two stories to how Curacao got its name. The first tell us that back in the 16th and 17th centuries, sailors on long voyages became ill with scurvy because of lack of Vitamin C. According to old accounts, sick Portuguese sailors were dropped off to the island, and when their ship returned, these sailors had miraculously recovered from the abundance of availability of fruit. The Portuguese referred to the island as ‘Island of Healing’ – Ilha da Curacao. A different belief is that the island’s name derived from the Portuguese word for heart ‘coracao’. With the Portuguese pronunciation, the first ‘o’ is pronounced as a ‘u’ sound, making the word for heart pronounced as ‘kuresaw’. The Spanish kept the name as did the Dutch.

Willemstad

This capital of Curacao is Willemstad, and its downtown core is a World Unesco Heritage site boasting an array of pastel and primary colored buildings that line the waterfront market (Handelskade – merchant’s wharf). In 1918, then governor Albert Kickert wasn’t happy with the whitewashed looking paled out buildings and ordered up some color be painted on those buildings. As it turns out, the governor coincidentally owned a paint company, and consequently, not long after this discovery it prompted Curacao to put in a new law that politicians are not allowed to have private economic interests. But these colorful Dutch colonial buildings give off a feeling of old-world European charm.

Willemstad has a kind of artsy feel to it with the colorful buildings and the numerous galleries, outdoor cafes, and interesting stores lining the wharf and surrounding streets. At night the citylife lights up with plenty of bars and jazz clubs, and don’t forget to have a ‘blue’ drink and buy a bottle of Curacao’s own liqueur – Blue Curacao.

Curacao is ranked one of the best and affordable islands in the Caribbean. You can actually drive around the whole island in just under two hours. Of course, your best deals to visit this island for vacation will be found April through September in their low-season. And another good point is that Curacao is located away from the hurricane belt so it’s predominantly unaffected by vicious storms.

Transportation

Taxis and buses and cars are all available on the island. But it’s interesting to note that most people walk or get around by bicycles.

Climate

The climate in Curacao is semi-arid with January through September being mostly dry. The wet season is typically October through December. Average temps range between 80 – 85 degrees year-round.

Sightseeing

When Curacao was taken over by the Dutch in 1634, they built a fortress which still stands today, Fort Amsterdam, to protect the island from pirates and other invaders. You can walk to this fort conveniently located past the local town shopping core before approaching the pedestrian bridge, Queen Emma Bridge to get across the water (St. Anna Bay) to the Merchant’s Wharf, connecting both the  Punda and Otrobanda. This bridge opens to allow ships to pass. And don’t worry if you miss the bridge opened when you’re ready to cross as there is a ferry boat awaiting to take passengers to and fro across in between bridge openings. There are also 5 additional forts still standing in Curacao.

Christoffel National Park is Curacao’s largest national park, a favorite for hikers, boasting eight trails of varying difficulty. You can hire a guide or take a pickup safari for a mini tour. Or you can visit Shete Boka National Park, named for the picturesque coves carved out of limestone along the coastline meaning ‘Seven inlets’. Powerful surf crashes into a cave in the cliffs. Walk or drive north along this coast and you will find smaller inlets with many turtle nesting grounds.

For more things to see and do in Curacao click HERE

Below you will see the pedestrian/bicycle bridge connecting the two sides of the island. When the bridge closes, it sweeps to the side and stays against the open cement edge.

Cuisine

The local food is called Krioyo, pronounced ‘criollo’ – the Spanish word for Creole. These flavors usually consist of Caribbean and Latin. You will find plenty of fried plantains, soups and fish dishes. A traditional breakfast food is called ‘pastechi’, which is fried pastry with various fillings from cheese to tuna, to ham or ground meat. There are also many Chinese restaurants serving Indonesian foods. And there is always plenty of American food to be had in the various cafes and pubs.

Some recommended places to eat can be found HERE

Fun Fact

Prostitution is illegal for residents, but legal for foreign women who obtain a temporary work permit for the large brothel called ‘Le Mirage’ that has been in operation since the 1940s. Curacao regulates this industry by giving them a safe environment and access to medical professionals.

Shopping!

We can’t forget about shopping! There are many interesting shops and markets in Willemstad. The island is not considered ‘duty-free’, but still, ‘duty-relaxed’ as the island pays low import taxes and passes it on to consumers. There is plenty of jewelry to be had as well as some interesting stores with handcrafted wares and artisan goods.

Other items of interest you will find in the stores: A wonderful selection of European clothing, French perfumes, Japanese electronics, Irish crystal, English china, fine Italian leathers, Chinese embroidered linen tablecloths, Indonesian batik clothing and accessories, just to name a few. My prized souvenir is a Fendi watch I’d been eyeing for awhile which held a hefty price tag of $3000 US dollars in the States, but my husband bargained vigorously for it and we purchased for $1600 US, a real bargain!

For a good list of shopping and stores, visit this LINK

Beaches

Curacao is home to over 35 beaches! Two popular beaches are Playa Knip – with its white sand and azure water, and not many rental activity places, but a less known and less busy beach than more of the popular beaches offering a slice of paradise. And Playa Lagun offers a perfect spot for snorkeling. You can find a list of the many beaches and what they have to offer HERE and HERE

Where to Stay?

I’ve visited Curacao a few times, but I’ve yet to spend a staycation there. You can find a nice selection of hotels and what they have to offer HERE

Have you ever been to Curacao?

Please let us know if you have experiences of the island that you would like to share, and as always a huge thank you to Debby for sharing her own travel expertise.

About D.G. Kaye

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for Words We Carry.

Once in a while you come across a book that really speaks to you. Reading ‘Words We Carry’ by D. G. Kaye was like having friends over for coffee and revealing our innermost secrets or speaking to your mentor about life and how to make it better. The author, who has natural psychology opened my eyes and made me ponder why I react the way I do to certain things or certain people. I enjoyed author, D.G. Kaye’s writing style––so friendly and warm. This book is well written and is easily one that can change someone’s life. I recommend this book to anyone who ever felt insecure, self-conscious or inadequate. An easy 5 star read.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s travel column and we look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally and Debby

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column – St. Thomas #VirginIslands by D.G. Kaye


This month D. G. Kaye takes us to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. A beautiful island with crystal blue seas.. as you will discover from our travel correspondent.

Welcome to this month’s edition of my Travel Column at Smorgasbord Travel Magazine. This month we’re visiting the beautiful island of St. Thomas – one of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

History

St. Thomas is one of the trio of islands that make up the U.S Virgin Islands along with St. Croix and St. John. The capital city of St. Thomas is Charlotte Amalie, boasting a population on that island of over 52,000 people and a land mass of approximately 32 square miles. St. Thomas has almost 50% more population than the other two islands.

Christopher Columbus discovered the island back in 1493, and the Ciboney people were the first to inhabit the island. In 1666 Denmark and Norway conquered the island and by 1672 the island was run by the Dano-Norwegian chartered company, taking over the island and dividing the land into sugar cane plantations, resulting in the importing of slaves to tend the plantations. Some of the largest slave auctions in the world were held in St. Thomas.

In 1691 the primary settlement on the island was renamed after King Christian V’s wife, Charlotte Amalie. The island was later declared a free post by Fredrick V, son of Christian VI of Denmark. The term, ‘free post’ was used to determine light taxation, and often no taxes at all were placed on companies and their goods to stimulate economic activity.

In March of 1801, the British invaded the Danish West Indies and took over the island, until returning the islands back to Denmark-Norway in 1802. A second invasion by the British again in 1807, lasting till 1815 when once again, the island was returned to Denmark-Norway.

Sugar trading had made the island prosperous until the 19th century when too much damage from hurricanes past and drought had brought lots of competition from American sugar traders. By the time the Danish revolution began in 1848, slavery was abolished which left the island with escalating labor costs, diminishing sugar production. By 1917 the islands were poorly managed, and the U.S. eventually purchased St. Thomas and it’s two sister islands for a cool 25 million dollars in gold in efforts to keep control of the Caribbean and the Panama Canal during World War I. By 1927, the U.S. had begun granting citizenship to the island’s residents.

Courtesy of Paradise-Islands.org

Climate

As with most islands, the beautiful Caribbean climate in St. Thomas runs steady throughout the year with average highs anywhere from the mid-eighties to low nineties. Average lows typically hover around the mid-seventies. Lowest precipitation levels run February through June. And of course, as all islands’ danger, hurricane season. Where Irma devasted this island in 2017.

Beaches

St. Thomas has many natural bays and harbors and is known for some of its beautiful beaches. Magens Bay, a heart-shaped protected bay, is one of the most popular white sandy beach beaches with a mile long of gorgeous public parkland offering an array of water sport rental equipment, food stands and beach chairs. Other beaches are located on Great Bay, Jersey Bay, Long Bay, Fortuna Bay, and Hendrik Bay. All beaches are gorgeous with their turquoise, calm waters where one can scuba dive, snorkel, sea trek at Coral World or swim with the sea turtles, sea lions and sharks!

A look at beautiful St.Thomas where the cruise ships dock. As you can see, once off the ship pier and through the gates you will see the shopping terminals at Havensight Mall – the rows of buildings with red rooves.

Land Attractions

Plenty of land activities are available on the island too. From fly fishing, to tropical botanical gardens, helicopter rides, skydiving, distilleries, hiking, biking, golfing and museums – not to mention shopping, there is plenty to see and do on the island.

Cruise ships dock in Long Bay at Havensight Pier, a short cab ride away from Charlotte Amalie.

Island Transportation

There are plenty of taxis and covered safari-like trucks that offer rides around the island.
Ferry services are available to transport people from the island to neighboring islands as well. There is also a ferry which will transport people with their cars.
Inherited from Danish practice, the U.S. Virgin Islands kept the driving laws of driving on the left side of the road, the only American places where driving on the left is practiced. This may seem a bit awkward to some, but many of the cars driven on the island are imported from America where the steering wheels are also on the left side.

Carnival

Virgin Island Carnival is celebrated from mid-April through beginning of May. This became an annual event since 1952. With music and dancing and savory cuisine, V.I. Carnival is the second most popularly celebrated carnival in the Caribbean.

Cuisine

You will find a plethora of restaurants and exotic cuisine available on the island. There is something for everyone from American food to West Indian food, Chinese, Italian. Vegetarian, Caribbean, Asian. Cajun, Latin, Mexican, and more!

Shopping!
St. Thomas is a duty-free island, and barely a person escapes leaving the island without purchasing something to take home with them. Particular items of interest with 30 – 60% off retail prices, plus, no tax are: liquor, perfume, jewelry, tobacco, cameras, crystal, china and electronics – oh, did I mention jewelry?

The best places to shop for these deals are right in the Havensight Mall terminals, a massive outdoor mall lined with rows of store after store – many of them selling jewelry! Havensight Mall is conveniently located as you step off your cruise ship! You will also find fun shopping in downtown Charlotte Amalie, Crown Bay, and Yacht Haven Grande on main street.
*St. Martin and St. Thomas are two of the best islands to shop on – in my opinion!

Accommodations

There are plenty of beautiful hotels, beach resorts, all inclusives and time-share rentals where one can stay when visiting St. Thomas. For more information and recommendations for accommodations and more, please visit THIS LINK to explore what this beautiful island has to offer.

I found this fabulous short video which captures the beauty of St. Thomas and her sister islands and all they have to offer. And yes, the color of the water looks exactly like pictured – sort of a tri-colored turquoise. Spectacular!

Funny Story

I’ve been to St. Thomas several times by cruise ship. And I’m not afraid to say I look forward to visiting there every time, if only just for the shopping.

The beauty of shopping there for anything your heart desires is that if you don’t feel like going into town after exiting the cruise ship, the Havensight Mall is right where the ships dock.
We usually travel on cruises with another couple, Lynn and Gary. Lynn is an even more compulsive shopper than I am. On our last visit to St. Thomas just over a year ago now, Lynn and I were excited to exit the ship and get our shopping on. We knew we could get our shopping done by lunchtime if we got off as soon as the ship docked around 8:00 am. We never even bothered wearing real clothes, we had our bathing suits on and threw on a coverup and flip flops and planned to power shop for about 4 hours and return to ship for lunch and sunbathing.

There is a huge wrought iron gate that passengers must walk through once off ship to enter the outdoor mall, and basically, the country. In order to pass through the gate, we have to walk past customs agents who man the gates, but only have to present our passports to them upon returning back to ship.

When Lynn and I were done shopping and walked up to the gate, Lynn discovered she’d left her passport in her cabin. Of course I had mine, I never exited the ship without it. We tried to joke around and cajole the customs officer manning the gate to allow Lynn to come back to ship with me, but he wasn’t having any of it! So Lynn had to wait on the other side of the gate while I boarded the ship and went up to the pool to find my husband and Gary sucking back beers in the sizzling sun, and informed Gary he had to go bail out his wife with her passport. He was not impressed, but I’d done my job and I wasn’t wasting another 20 minutes of glorious pool time by getting off the ship again and rescuing Lynn.

When she came back we laughed our heads off at what had transpired, ate some lunch, went for a swim, and since the ship wasn’t leaving port till early evening, decided we should go back to the mall in case there was something else we could find to spend money on. Husband’s were not impressed, and Lynn didn’t forget her passport again.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Travel Column. Have any of you ever been to St. Thomas?

Sally here:  I have been to the island for one of the segments of the Anthony Robbins Mastery University course that David and I completed from 1996 to 1998. I had managed to lose 80lbs of my 150lb target and to celebrate climbed a telegraph pole, perched on the top and then jumped off to catch a trapeze. In reality most of us missed and plummeted to earth (or so it seemed). I insisted that there were two men on the end of the safety line.. thank goodness, I still managed to lift them off their feet.  A beautiful island with crystal blue seas.. as you will discover from our travel correspondent.

©D.G. Kaye 2018

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

One of the recent reviews for Words We Carry.

Once in a while you come across a book that really speaks to you. Reading ‘Words We Carry’ by D. G. Kaye was like having friends over for coffee and revealing our innermost secrets or speaking to your mentor about life and how to make it better. The author, who has natural psychology opened my eyes and made me ponder why I react the way I do to certain things or certain people. I enjoyed author, D.G. Kaye’s writing style––so friendly and warm. This book is well written and is easily one that can change someone’s life. I recommend this book to anyone who ever felt insecure, self-conscious or inadequate. An easy 5 star read.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s travel column and we look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally and Debby

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Welcome to Saint Kitts #Caribbean


Welcome to my October edition of my Travel Column at the Smorgasbord Invitation. Today we’re going to another small, beautiful and still developing Caribbean island – Saint Kitts.

Welcome to Saint Kitts

Saint Kitts is the more popular name the island goes by, shortened from its formal name Saint Christopher Island with Basseterre being its capital. Located in the West Indies, bordered to the left by the Caribbean Sea, and to the right, the Atlantic Ocean, St. Kitts is located approximately 1300 miles southeast of Miami. This island is considered another of the gems of the Caribbean.

Saint Kitts and its close neighboring island – Nevis are considered one country – The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The two mountainous islands are of volcanic origin, causing many beaches in St. Kitts to consist of black volcanic sand.

Unlike St. Martin where two countries exist together on one island, Saint Kitts and Nevis are narrowly separated by shallow waters, by a mere two-mile channel aptly named ‘The Narrows’. The natives refer to themselves as Kittitians.

The island is home to over 53,000 people as of 2016, mostly of African descent. The language spoken is primarily English as well as St. Kitts Creole.

A Bit of History

Saint Kitts is formerly a member of the British West Indies when it first became the home of the British and French colonies in the mid 1620’s along with its sister island Nevis. It wasn’t until September 19th of 1983 that it became an independent country. Along with several Caribbean islands back in the 17th and 18th centuries, islands were conquered and taken over and changed hands and ownership a few times between military take-overs and treaties. French and British colonists fought over St. Kitts in the early 1620’s. Ultimately, in 1783 it became affiliated with the Kingdom of Great Britain , which became the United Kingdom and in 1967 became an associated state of Britain.

Slavery – The island originally produced tobacco back in the 1600’s then switched to sugar and importing of African slaves to look after the fields. The importing of slaves became outlawed and abolished on August 1, 1834. The slaves already there were apprenticed to look after the sugar cane fields to protect the planters from losing their labor force. August 1st is now celebrated as Emancipation Day. The Great Depression helped to collapse sugar prices precipitating the birth of the organized labor movement in St Kitts and Nevis. After 365 years, the government shut down the production of sugar cane again in 2005 due to huge losses in the industry and the lowered price cuts of sugar called by the European Union. St. Kitts/Nevis really has a fascinating history of hostile takeovers which you can read more about HERE

Currency – The currency used on the island is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar with one U.S. dollar roughly equaling 2.70 in EC dollars. But as in most countries and islands, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted.

Climate – Typical Caribbean tropical weather year – round with June through November notorious for rainy and hurricane season.

Tourism – Like most islands, St. Kitts heavily relies on tourism to grow its economy. On 21 September 1998, the islands were severely crippled by Hurricane Georges  resulting in nearly $500 million of damage to property. Georges was the worst hurricane to hit the region in the 20th century. In 2009 the number of visitors to the island almost doubled since 1978. I have seen a lot of this growth of the island with my own eyes. This island is also a duty-free island where tobacco and liquor are exceedingly cheap to purchase. And of course, jewelry is also duty-free but nowhere near as plentiful in selection as in St. Martin!

When I first visited St. Kitts on a cruise ship stop about 10 years ago I didn’t tour the whole island, and in my opinion, there wasn’t much happening on that island to entice tourists, there wasn’t even a welcoming port set up for visiting cruise ship tourists. On my next return about 3 years ago, I could see how much the island had become developed.

My brother and his wife spend a month there every year visiting their children and grandchildren every January. Their daughter-in-law is studying at the  Ross University of Veterinary Medicine, which is a popular and well-known university for many Americans and Canadians to receive their education to become a veterinarian.

On my last visit 3 years ago, while on a cruise, we stopped in St. Kitts for the day and pre-planned to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law. When we got off the ship I was amazed at the beautiful port that was built, lined with stores and duty-free outlets and plenty of tour guides and taxis vying for passenger’s attention, offering tours and rides.

St. Kitts still doesn’t have many resort properties, but construction is booming there as the tourist industry is growing everywhere. And as the tourism grows so does the demand for vacation properties.

My brother had rented a car and met us at port and took us on tour of the island and to a beautiful lookout point at the southern tip of the island where we stood on a cliff and could see Nevis with the naked eye.

We then spent the afternoon at a most paradise-like resort atop of a beach where the swimming pool’s edge ran over with water like a fountain and our lounge chairs rested inside the pool. It was a spectacular day.

Because I haven’t spent a lot of time in St. Kitts I can’t personally recommend a beach or hotel, but I’m listing some helpful links below where you can learn about best beaches, places to stay and eat, and attractions to visit. I will add here that as much as my brother and sister-in-law enjoy the island, they don’t choose to spend the whole winter there because the island imports most of its food, making it often more expensive than in America, and rarely have they been tempted to eat some of the meat available in grocery stores, and so being carnivore lovers, a month is more than enough time there for them. But for fish lovers and vegans island food is ideal.

Opportunity to Live in St. Kitts and Become a Citizen!

If you’re perhaps considering relocating to a desert island, largely still unspoiled, you may want to consider investing in St. Kitts!

With the intent to grow the island and its population, St. Kitts and Nevis have opened a unique ‘citizenship by investment program.’ If you pass a government strict background check and make an approved real estate deal of $400,000 or more in U.S. currency, you are entitled to apply for citizenship of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. You can check out more information about this and all detailed requirements at the Henley Estates market overview.

Links to Check Out to Learn More About St. Kitts

Top Ten Beaches to visit on St. Kitts
Top ten attractions to visit on St. Kitts
Best Places to stay on St. Kitts
Where to dine

I hope you enjoyed this edition of my travel column. Next month I’ll be introducing you to one of the U.S. Virgin Islands – St. Thomas!

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

A recent review for Twenty Years After “I Do”

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Twenty Years: After “I Do”. It was a heartfelt journey through the author’s life with her devoted and loving husband who is much older than she. I laughed along with her and shed tears of sorrow when she did.

D.G. Kaye expressed herself in endearing terms when she spoke of her husband and their wonderful life together. She wrote with deep expressions of angst over serious health issues they both experienced and then joy over happy times with much shared laughter.

Marriage is a difficult union as anyone who has been married knows. This book takes the reader down this path to discover the true meaning of soul mates and undying love from one another. D.G. shares the beauty of each day that she and her husband, Gordon, have had together and continue to have even in adversity. She displays a remarkable wit in tough times and a brilliant resilience to go on no matter what she must face.

This book is a must read for all who have been married whether for a short time or a longer time. All couples face similar situations and must make tough decisions in their lives together. The author has shown how she has had to deal with serious health issues and come out stronger and more persistent to make the best of every day she and her husband have left together. For isn’t that part of our marriage vows – to love each other in sickness and health till death do us part?

Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s travel column and we look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally and Debby

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Travel Column with D.G. Kaye – Welcome to St. Martin – Two Countries – One Island


Welcome to St. Martin – Two Countries – One Island by D.G.Kaye

Welcome to this month’s edition of my travel column here at Sally’s Smorgasbord. Today I’ve chosen to share some interesting facts about the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Martin, affectionately named ‘The Friendly Island’.

The island of St. Martin is shared between two countries – French and Dutch. The island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Caribbean to the west in the northeast of the Caribbean Sea, approximately 190 miles east of Puerto Rico. The whole island is approximately 34 sq. miles with the ownership of each side is usually said to be a 60/40 split, with the French owning approximately 20 sq. miles and the Dutch 13 sq. miles. Although smaller, the Dutch side boasts a heavier populated side than the French side.

History and Legends

The French call their island Saint Martin and the Dutch call it Sint Maarten, and no matter what you choose to call it, it’s one of my favorite islands in the Caribbean.

The island was divided back in 1648 after being taken over several times by various conquerors. The capital of the French side is Marigot and the capital of the Dutch side is Philipsburg. Legend says Christopher Columbus first discovered the island back in 1493.

After several take overs the Dutch built a fort to assert their claim and control access to the island. In the 18th century, a massive influx of African slaves, were imported to the island to develop the sugar cane plantations. On March 23, 1648, the kingdom of France and the Dutch republic agreed to divide the land and created what is still known today as The Treaty of Concordia

There’s an old legend that speaks about how the land was decided to be divided.

Apparently, the natives of each side were asked to choose a ‘walker’. The two walkers began standing back to back and were instructed to walk in opposite directions – no running! At the point where the two met up again was to be declared the dividing line for each one’s country. According to legend, the Frenchman walked faster because he drank wine before the race and the Dutchman drank gin, supposedly the gin was more tiring than the wine. But ultimately, the Dutch accused the Frenchman of running, which apparently didn’t seem to matter because the new perimeters were set with each country officially being deemed with their respective land official.

About the Island

Climate – The dry season with sporadic rain runs from December through May, and the hurricane season typically runs anywhere from June through November where one can also expect tropical storms, particularly in September. Daily annual temperatures typically range anywhere from mid 60s to high 80s throughout the year. Visitor guides will state that mid-November and December, and May and June are the best times climate-wise to visit the island. While November through May will cost more money to visit there, the price for hotels goes down considerably May and June and likewise for the summer/early fall months because of the unpredictable weather. Many hotels on the Atlantic side, in particular, close down during hurricane season.

St. Martin has been hit by several hurricanes through the years, namely, Maria in 2017, which was reported to damage approximately 95% of the French side and 75% of the Dutch side. I was stunned to hear that the island was re-opened for tourists shortly before Christmas of 2017, although it was still in need of major repairs.

Tourism – The main industry for the island relies on tourism. The Dutch side is best known for its beaches, duty-free jewelry, native guava berry liquors, casinos and nightlife. The French side is known more for its nude beaches, clothing, outdoor markets and French and Indian Caribbean cuisine.

Languages – The two official languages spoken on the island are French and Dutch. But there are also French based, Creole and Spanish languages spoken from the emigration of natives from surrounding islands. Many other immigrants from the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, living there, speak their traditional Papiemento.

Shopping – You will find some of the world’s best prices on this duty-free island, especially for fine jewelry – gold, diamonds, watches, and just about every piece of jewelry you could possibly imagine for less than half of what you’d pay at home. Many of the jewelers are wholesalers and distributors, so as consumers, we bypass the middlemen retailers and resellers, and of course the import and export taxes.

Other items of note to be found on the island for some great discounts are liquor, tobacco, leather goods and many designer goods. To give you a rough idea of deep discounts, you can still pick up a carton of cigarettes there for $15 – $20! Liquor is ridiculously cheap. Before my husband was informed he can no longer drink alcohol due to his health issues, he enjoyed the odd glass of Johnny Walker Blue Scotch – the highest grade of that brand’s label. Here in Canada, that bottle would run close to $350 – I kid you not. But every time we’d visit the island he would pick up a bottle for approximately $115 US. A ring my husband once bought me for $2200, came in at $5500 dollar upon the appraisal I obtained once at home.

The main street – Front St. in Philipsburg, is located directly in front of Great Bay beach where the cruise ships dock. It’s a long street lined with jewelry store after jewelry store so it’s good to have a recommendation from someone where to shop for best value because it can become very overwhelming going into every store with all those sparkly trinkets beckoning your attention.

Currency – Although the Euro is used on the French side and the Dutch Netherland Antillean guilder used on the Dutch side, the whole island also operates with U.S. dollars.

Airport – Princess Julianna International serves the entire island, and people can pass freely with no border checks between the two countries. The airport hosts many major airlines and St. Martin’s short main runway is known for its specific location between a large hill and the beach, attracting many tourists to watch some spectacular landings and takeoffs flying just above sunbathers on Maho Beach. There is also a paid tour offered complete with cocktail on the beach to watch the low flying planes and listen live between the aircraft and control tower.

Beaches – St. Martin is known to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, and there are many of them. For an island of only 34 sq. miles, the island has 37 gorgeous beaches to sunbathe, swim, snorkel, parasail, you name it- your choice of watersport is there. On the French side, you will also find the famed nude beach- Orient Beach located on Orient Bay, known as the St. Tropez of the Caribbean, also known for its nude beach.

My first visit to St. Martin was over twenty years ago. I wasn’t quite adept at investigative research as the computer era had yet to hit. We were hoping to book an all-inclusive property, which back then was rare for that island, and we chose a hotel situated on Orient Beach. Little did we know after our first morning of walking that beach, that hub and I would feel a little out of place as we strolled with our shorts and bathing suits on while passing many sunburned bottoms and breasts taking in more sun. We ultimately decided that we’d still go for our morning walks on the beach but decided to sunbathe at the pool during the day with our swimsuits on.

Dining – St. Martin is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean with a variety of cuisine choices available. Besides the many delicious French restaurants in Grande Case on the French side, you will find many other popular restaurants and ocean side dining offering Dutch, Creole, Italian, Jamaican, Indian, Vietnamese. Japanese and American food. A true culinary experience to suit an array of palettes.

Sightseeing – There’s plenty to do in St. Martin if you’re feeling energetic and ambitious to get up off your beach chairs. This small island packs a punch of fun things to do besides visiting beaches and shopping. You will find tours to Rhum distilleries, ATV adventures, evening cruise sails with dinner, drinks and dancing, a wide array of water sports, jet ski rentals, swim with the dolphins, wine tasting, the double-decker bus tour. and even smaller group tours that will take you by boat to close-by neighboring islands – St. Barth’s and Anguilla.

This island also holds its annual Carnival celebrations complete with feathered costumes, reggae music and local bands performing on the streets. The French side celebrates during Lent and the Dutch side celebrates for 17 days and nights when the island comes to a standstill for over 17 days and nights. Locals prepare for this festive event by sewing costumes and preparing to party hardy. If you aren’t able to attend one of these fabulous celebrations, make sure to visit the Jump Up Casino in Philipsburg to see a display of photos and items from previous parades.

I love St. Martin for its beautiful beaches, the best shopping deals, their beautiful island temps, great food and one of the friendliest islands in the Caribbean. I’ve been there many times as I’ve been on many Caribbean cruises and never choose an itinerary that doesn’t include visiting that island. If I were to take a solo island vacation again, I would definitely consider going back to St. Martin for a winter vacation instead of just a day or two stop-over on a cruise ship.

Have any of you ever been to St. Martin?

©D.G. Kaye 2018

Another amazing article from Debby for the travel column and I know that she would love your feedback and questions on St. Martin or any other travel related subject.. I am sure she will have the answer for you.

About D.G. Kaye

Debby Gies is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues.

D.G. writes to inspire others. Her writing encompasses stories taken from events she encountered in her own life, and she shares the lessons taken from them. Her sunny outlook on life developed from learning to overcome challenges in her life, and finding the upside from those situations, while practicing gratitude for all the positives.

When Kaye isn’t writing intimate memoirs, she brings her natural sense of humor into her other works. She loves to laugh and self- medicate with a daily dose of humor.
I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

Quotes:
“Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                 “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

Books by D.G. Kaye

About Twenty Years: After “I Do”.

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Canadian author, D. G. Kaye has written a heartwarming memoir in “Twenty Years After I Do,” detailing the ups and downs of marriage to an older man. I was eager to read this book because I am married to a man who is older than me by a decade. I wasn’t sure what I’d find, but having read other books by this author, I knew I was in for a treat.

Kaye shares how she met her husband, Gordon, chronicling how he swept her off her feet with his captivating personality, and how he made her laugh. With a sense of intimacy, the writing draws you in, as if you are listening to a good friend. Their connection, a true love story, (so rare these days) was a joy to experience through her words.

This book is a memoir in the real sense of the word, where the author details her relationship with her husband based on her knowledge of his battle with prostate cancer. As time trudges along, and more health issues crop up, this couple finds themselves confronting their mortality head-on. Most people would crumble under the stress of these burdens, but not Kaye. Because of the love that she and Gordon share they discover that they can overcome whatever life throws at them.

What I enjoyed was Kaye’s willingness to share the innermost details of her life experiences so others could learn from her example. There was no glossing over here, and she does tell it like it is. Ultimately, she leads the reader to the conclusion that love and humor conquer all. I’ve taken many of her insights and tucked them away for future reference.

A quick read, “Twenty Years After I Do,” will touch you with warmth and sincerity, as the phrase “…till death do us part…” takes on new meaning.

MY RATING: Character Believability: 5  Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5 Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Stars

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077V386TL

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B077V386TL

Other books by D.G. Kaye

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Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

More reviews and follow Debby on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

Connect to Debby Gies

Come and visit me at our Literary Diva’s Library group on Facebook

Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com
About me: http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye
Google: http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Thank you for dropping in today and please help spread the news of Debby’s travel column and we look forward to your questions and comments. Thanks Sally and Debby