Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family and #Friends – The Gift of a Wonderful Mother by Darlene Foster


Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

Author Darlene Foster shares memories of her mother, a tribute on Mother’s Day 2015, which despite being celebrated on different dates around the world, is a very important day of celebration.

The Gift of a Wonderful Mother by Darlene Foster

Mother´s day is a special day in many parts of the world although is not celebrated on the same day. Today it is Mother´s Day in Canada and the US and it was Mother´s Day in Spain last Sunday. In the UK, Mothering Sunday, sometimes known as Mother’s Day, is held on the fourth Sunday of Lent, exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday. This year it was on March 15. Mother´s day in France is usually the last Sunday in May.

Mother´s Day has always been a special day for me as I was blessed with the gift of a wonderful mother. I am grateful for her everyday and especially on this day.

mom and baby me

Mom and baby me

She taught me so much. Not just how to cook tasty economical meals, sew my own clothes and keep a clean house, but how to be kind to everyone and to value friends and family. She worked hard on the farm when we were growing up; milking the cows, feeding the chickens, collecting eggs, growing a large garden, canning fruits and vegetables for the winter, cooking for large harvesting crews and branding parties, and so much more. She was an amazing cook and won prizes for her baking. Her German fruit kuchen was the best! There was always extra food for welcomed drop in guests. She never left the house without looking well put together when she went to town for church, meetings or shopping. Because she is such a perfect role modal, I think I turned out to be a pretty decent mom myself. At least my kids tell me I am.

She always made us feel loved and still does. Her love wasn´t limited to her own children but to her many nieces and nephews as well. Our house was often full of visiting relatives. She never forgot a birthday and sent hand written notes to those she didn´t see often. Now her love is extended to her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. That love is returned tenfold.

Mom and a great great granddaughterMom and a great great granddaughter

I found a note she sent to me at age seven, when she had my second brother. You can feel the love.

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In 2009, I took my daughter and mother to meet my aunt in Sedona, Arizona for a holiday. We made dream catchers. Look how proud she is of hers.

Mom in Sedona with her sister, granddaughter and me

Mom with me and my brothers November 2013, her 85th Birthday pary

Mom with her kids, November 2013, her 85th Birthday party

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With Mom, April 2015

Whatever date you celebrate this holiday, Happy Mother´s Day to everyone who is a mother, step mother, special aunt or good friend to a younger person. It is an important job!

©Darlene Foster 2015.

About Darlene Foster

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

A selection of books by Darlene Foster

One of the recent reviews for Amanda in Holland

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed and filled with interesting titbits of information  Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2020

Amanda in Holland is the latest addition to the exciting Amanda series of books written by Canadian author, Darlene Foster. Each book in the Amanda series is set in a different country and details some of the amazing cultural and historical sites as well as dishes, drinks and clothes that are specific to that country. This aspect of the series makes it unusual and appealing to young and older readers.

Amanda, who lives in Canada, travels to Holland to meet up with her best friend, Leah Anderson and her father, who live in England. Mr Anderson is in Holland for business purposes and the two teenage girls are free to enjoy themselves seeing all the wonderful historical and cultural sites Holland has to offer. The story starts with a bang when Amanda is nearly ridden over by a woman on a bicycle on her first morning in Amsterdam. The woman’s behaviour is a bit odd and this event is followed by Amanda and Leah discovering a young puppy which has been abandoned in a box next to a rubbish bin around the corner from a cheese shop they are visiting.

Mr Anderson agrees for the girls to keep the dog until it can be taken to an animal shelter and this decision sets in motion a series of occurrences that draw Amanda and Leah into an exciting adventure involving selling animals from puppy farms and stealing rare tulip bulbs. While the two girls investigate the mysterious circumstances of the abandonment of the puppy and the strange behaviour of various individuals who keep turning up, like the woman who nearly ran Amanda over, they also visit a number of interesting places such as the hide out of Anne Frank of The Diary of Anne Frank fame, the Keukenhof Botanical Gardens and a Canadian war-memorial cemetery. Amanda has the picture of her great uncle Harold who disappeared in Holland during the war and whose grave she is hoping she might find. The two girls meet a number of interesting people and get to spend time with a number of Dutch people who introduce them to some delicious Dutch treats.

The book is action packed and filled with interesting titbits of information about life in Holland, WWII and perseverance and determination in unraveling a mystery.

Amanda is a clever and kind girl who will appeal to middle school and young teenagers who will admire her pluck

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Darlene: Goodreads

Connect to Darlene

Website: Darlene Foster
Blog: Darlene Foster WordPress
Facebook: Darlene Foster Facebook
Twitter: @supermegawoman

My thanks to Darlene for sharing this post with us and as always your feedback is very welcome. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family and #Friends – #History The Great Influenza Pandemic and Christmas 1919 by Joy Neal Kidney


Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

Author Joy Neal Kidney with a post that is particular relevant at the moment as we face a global pandemic. Joy shares her grandmother’s story of the Christmas of 1919 and her own brush with death from this virulent epidemic. Eerily this was written in December of 2019, and as you read the posts, and the advice that was given to the population about avoidance, has changed little in 100 years…

The Great Influenza Pandemic and Christmas 1919

If she had not had two small sons and a baby daughter, she would have been glad to die.

Leora Wilson, age 29, had the flu. Just the flu.

We think of the flu as a nuisance. But Leora Wilson of Stuart, Iowa, had survived the great influenza pandemic, called the deadliest plague in history by writer and researcher John M. Barry. Before finally fading away in 1920, it had prowled around the globe and killed over 20 million people.

flu

It killed even more than the bubonic plague.

Fever was among the first symptoms, then a wracking cough. Victims experienced dizziness, vomiting, sweating, achy joints, trouble breathing. Often pneumonia set in, overwhelming the sufferer’s ears, sinus, and lungs. Death usually came quickly.

More than 500,000 Americans died–6500 in Iowa–dropping our life expectancy a whopping ten years because young adults seemed especially susceptible to complications.

Children would recover, but their young, strong parents would not.

Leora was the oldest in a large gregarious Goff family of Guthrie County, Iowa. She was the first to marry, her babies the first Goff grandchildren. In 1918, three of her brothers were drafted into the army and sent to Camp Dodge, where over 700 soldiers would die there of the flu before that winter.

The first wave of influenza had probably begun right here in the United States, according to many experts. The second wave spread over Europe. News about the illness was censored in England because of the war, but because Spain reported millions of deaths from the flu, it was known as the Spanish flu. It eventually spread worldwide.

The Goff brothers escaped the flu at Camp Dodge. They were sent on to Long Island, New York–where there had been deaths from the hottest days on record–to embark for France. By the time they arrived in France, a soldier had died of the flu in Long Island. They had escaped it again.

Americans were advised to stay warm, avoid crowds, keep the feet dry and the bowels open. Avoid needless crowding, the Surgeon General advised. Avoid tight clothes, tight shoes, tight gloves. When the air is pure, breath all of it you can–deeply.

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The first week in October, flu killed 100 soldiers at Camp Dodge. By mid-month, 450 were dead. Over 10,000 Camp Dodge soldiers caught influenza, and over 700 eventually died.

Leora’s husband Clabe came down with the flu in late 1918, during an ice storm. Leora remembered that he still managed to do the chores, feeding livestock, with ropes tied around his boots for traction in the barnyard. “It’s a wonder he survived,” she said. Some of Leora’s teen-aged and young adult siblings at home in Guthrie Center caught the flu, too, but their parents evidently were immune.

Leora’s Doughboy brothers returned safely from France in May 1919, as veterans of the war to end all wars. One of them came down with mumps over there, but they avoided the influenza.

When Clabe and Leora moved to the three-story stucco house east of Stuart, she probably thought she’d escaped getting the flu.

But that December she looked forward to having Christmas in the parental Goff home in Guthrie Center, with a big dinner, her brothers talking about France and the war, and always vigorous discussions about politics. Leora and Clabe would bundle up their three little ones and board the Liza Jane train that would huff and puff north up the Raccoon River Valley and through Windy Gap to Guthrie Center. Nothing short of a disaster would keep them from that wonderful day. But that’s exactly what happened the Christmas of 1919.

Leora was down with influenza.

Wilsons didn’t have a phone. On Christmas Eve, Leora’s brother, age 17, hiked down to the Guthrie Center train station when they heard Liza’s whistle. Their mother wrote her daughter a postcard: “Willis met the train last night and this morn when Liza whistled, thought sure she was bringing 5 of our very nearest relatives, but we had to give it up. Me, Pa, Willis, Wayne only ones here for dinner, rest working at the cafe.”

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Decades later Leora wrote: “We had flu the winter of 1919 and 1920–Delbert and Doris didn’t have it so bad, but Donald was a sick little boy. . . . I was much sicker than when [Clabe] had the flu in 1918. I got able to write and wrote the folks at Guthrie Center. We were getting over the flu but I was still in bed, doctor’s orders, and in a day or so my mother came down to Stuart from Guthrie Center on the Liza Jane train.

“It was after dark, icy, and she had crawled part way, pushing her suitcase along. When I saw her, I couldn’t believe my eyes, it seemed so impossible, she came to take care of my and my family. Bless her. She had taken care of my sister and brothers who had flu. She and Pa didn’t take flu, a God’s blessing.”

flu1920 (2)

Her mother stayed several weeks, but Leora did not regain her strength until late summer. Even a year later, those who had survived the flu would say they still didn’t feel right or have their normal energy.

Young adults have the strongest, most effective immune systems. But according to John M. Barry, especially at the beginning of the pandemic, the virus was often so efficient at invading the lungs that what had killed young adults, and orphaned so many children, was not the virus itself but the massive response of their healthy immune systems.

Barry wrote that the later the virus struck in an area, people did not become as sick, and were not as likely to die.

The Guthrian reported April 1, 1920, that “Mrs. Wilson is just convalescing from a severe attack of flu.” She remembered being ready to die, except that she had three small children to care for. And perhaps another on the way.

Leora may have also experienced a flu-related miscarriage. Barry said that pregnant women were more likely to die from the flu. And that about a quarter of them who survived lost the baby.

A clue to a July miscarriage comes from a postcard to Leora from her mother: “Sorry you were sick. Take good care of yourself.” Another from her sister: “You’ll just have to quit working too hard.” And Leora said that after both times she miscarried, her next pregnancy was twins.

Indeed, Dale and Darlene were born in Stuart in May of 1921.

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Doris Wilson, Grandmother Goff (Leora’s mother) holding twins Dale and Darlene Wilson, Delbert and Donald Wilson

Leora lived to bear five more children, including another set of twins. She was a healthy, sturdy woman, still living on her own when she died at the age of 97–even after having lost three sons during WWII and her husband shortly after. It was said at her own funeral that she had had true grit.

She needed true grit to get through the deadliest pandemic in history.
© Joy Neal Kidney 2019

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About Joy

I am the author of Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II.

It tells the story of the five Wilson brothers who are featured on the Dallas County Freedom Rock at Minburn, Iowa. Leora was their mother–my grandmother.

All five enlisted. Only two came home.

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About the book

The day the second atomic bomb was dropped, Clabe and Leora Wilson’s postman brought a telegram to their acreage near Perry, Iowa. One son was already in the U.S. Navy before Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Four more sons worked with their father, tenant farmers near Minburn until, one by one, all five sons were serving their country in the military. The oldest son re-enlisted in the Navy. The younger three became U.S. Army Air Force pilots. As the family optimist, Leora wrote hundreds of letters, among all her regular chores, dispensing news and keeping up the morale of the whole family, which included the brothers’ two sisters. Her fondest wishes were to have a home of her own and family nearby. Leora’s Letters is the compelling true account of a woman whose most tender hopes were disrupted by great losses. Yet she lived out four more decades with hope and resilience.

“Joy lets us see her grandmother’s personal family correspondence through letters. It is heart-tugging. Be ready to be moved by this true story.” –Van Harden, WHO-Radio Personality

Joy Neal Kidney, the oldest granddaughter of the book’s heroine, is the keeper of family stories, letters, photos, combat records, casualty reports, and telegrams. Active on her own website, she is also a writer and local historian. Married to a Vietnam Air Force veteran, Joy lives in central Iowa. Her nonfiction has been published in The Des Moines Register, other media, and broadcast over “Our American Stories.” She’s a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, and her essays have been collected by the Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I always stick to reads that are of a true nature or are derived from true events. I have always read WW2 books based on these facts, as a whole or individuals, but I have never read a book based on true events derived from hand written letters to and from. This book and the heartfelt letters invites you in as part of their family. One of the particulars I loved about the book is how people wrote in those days, the slang if you want to call it that. This book reminds me of my mom who was raised during WW2 as a small child. The book is wonderful and heartbreaking as if you had actually received the letters yourself.

I was so saddened as I read through the book, as family members stopped receiving letters from one of ( and eventually three boys) sons, my heart sank as I read the telegrams from the war office. I felt so saddened by the effects of these letters and what could have been (and were) going through the minds of Clabe and Leora. I feel stuck in time wondering what might have been if those three sons might have made it home, what might have been going through their minds moments before their demise. I really loved this book and recommend to anyone who might enjoy history & WW2. Thank you so much Joy Neal Kidney & Robin Grunder, you have shared something that will never be forgotten.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Connect to Joy

Website: Joy Neal Kidney
Facebook: Joy Neal Kidney Author
Twitter: @JoyNealKidney

My thanks to Joy for sharing this 100 year old story about her family that reminds us of this pandemic that rocked the world and devastated families. A time when there was not the medical knowledge or equipment we have today to save lives. Your feedback is always welcome.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family and #Friends – Financial Lessons from my Father by Sharon Marchisello


Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

This week author Sharon Marchisello remembers her father’s lessons about financial well-being as she grew up.

My father is long gone, but the financial lessons he bestowed have never left me. As Fathers Day approaches, I reflect on those principles:

Get a good education so you can take care of yourself, just in case.

When I was growing up, the assumption was that if a girl even went to college, the purpose was to find a good husband to support her. But my father expected me to learn how to do something that would pay me enough money to live on. My father’s parents were divorced when he was young, and he watched his own mother struggle to make ends meet. Going to college was out of the question for him, so he joined the Air Force and went later, on the G.I. bill. Both my parents insisted that their children would go to college, and they saved all their married lives to make that happen.

Hang onto your silver dollars.

I took up coin collecting as a child, but coins took a backseat to boys when I became a teenager. In my collection, there were 22 silver dollars from the early twentieth century. My father told me these belonged in the bank for safekeeping. Next thing I knew, my silver coins disappeared, and my father deposited $22.00 into my savings account. Soon afterward, he took over the rest of my neglected coin collection. I often ridiculed my father for depositing my silver dollars in the bank, receiving only face value. However, when he died, I inherited my coin collection back from him, and every one of my silver dollars was still there. And by then, they were worth much more than $22.00. I guess he was afraid I was going to spend them, so he hid them away.

No matter how much you have, give something back. Share.

There is always someone worse off than you. There are countless charities doing good work with not enough resources. My father was active in Kiwanis and Boy Scouts, especially after retirement. I’ve always had a soft spot for animals, so I support many animal charities. Now that I’m retired, I devote much of my time to the Fayette Humane Society, where I serve on the all-volunteer Board of Directors. And charitable donations, as well as expenses incurred doing volunteer work for a qualified charity, are tax deductible!

How did your father shape your attitudes toward money? I would love to hear your comments.
 

© Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello recently released her new crime mystery novel Secrets of the Galapagos…

About the book

Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.

At least that’s what her grandmother thinks. Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he’s done, and she has a tip he’s headed for the Galapagos.

While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.

When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She’s anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she’s a person of interest.

Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she’s the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn’t stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Robbie Cheadle 4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and entertaining  Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2020

This is an entertaining murder mystery with a large dollop of romance. The story is set on a cruise ship which is travelling around the idyllic islands of the Galapogos. The author weaves some lovely and interesting information about these island, the conservation programmes they have in place as well as the amazing wildlife that is found there, into the story which I really enjoyed.

Giovanna has recently had some bad experiences. She lost all the money raised from investors to build her dream non-profit veterinary clinic to a clever con artist and, as a result, her fiancee and business partner, Tim, has broken off their engagement. To make matters even worse, her best friend, Connie, is married to the conman, and helped entice her into his trap. Giovanna’s youthful looking grandmother, Michelle, talks her into going on a cruise to help her recover from these losses and move on with her life. Giavanna decides on the Galapagos as a destination because she has learned, via Facebook, that this is where Connie and the conman have gone and she hopes to somehow get an opportunity to confront him and get the stolen money back.

Giovanna is in for some more hard knocks. While snorkeling with her new friend, Laurel, the pair get separated from the group and Giovanna is nearly left behind by the boat. Laurel disappears and no-one will acknowledge it except for Michelle and a few other guests who notice she is missing. Other unusual things are also happening on board the ship: Michelle gets hit over the head in the ship’s library, a memory stick with photographs of animals on it belonging to Laurel goes missing and one of the guides turns up dead in the swimming pool. Giavanna is determined to get to the bottom of it all and also to confront the conman if the opportunity presents itself.

Into this whole mix enters a gorgeous local policeman, Victor, who is investigating the murder, the disappearance of Laurel and who is interested in Giavanna.

This is a fast paced book with lots of action and some romance. I found it a bit hard to follow in a few parts because there was just so much happening and so many different sub-plots but on the whole this is an entertaining and interesting read.

Buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Other books by Sharon Marchisello

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read other reviews and follow Sharon: Goodreads

About Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.

She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.

She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.

Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.

Connect to Sharon

Blogspot: Sharon Blogspot
Blog WordPress: Sharon Marchisello
Facebook: S.L Marchisello
Facebook: Live Cheaply Be Happy
Twitter: @SLMarchisello

My thanks to Sharon for sharing this post and I hope you will head over to browse her archives where you will find some excellent posts on finances. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family and #Friends – My Cowboy Dad – Cowboy Wisdom by Darlene Foster


Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

Author Darlene Foster shares a lovely post about her dad, who was a real life cattle man, and also shares some of his down to earth wisdom. This was first posted in 2014

Cowboy Wisdom

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My Dad was a cowboy. Not the Hollywood type, but a real cowboy – a man who tended cattle. A hard-working man of integrity, loyalty and determination, he almost always wore his signature cowboy hat and boots, jeans and western shirt. He lived the code of the cowboy where a man’s word was a man’s word and you never broke a promise once made. He believed you should do what has to be done without complaint, take pride in your work and always finish what you start. He was a man of principle; tough but fair. I learned so much from him.

His education included grade seven. Responsibilities on his father’s farm in the spring and fall took him out of school, which put him behind. By the time he turned fifteen he didn’t bother going back to school being so much older than the rest of the class. In spite of his limited schooling, he was the smartest man I have ever known. A curious man, Dad believed in continuous learning. His gift of the gab enabled him to start a conversation with almost anyone and he always came away wiser. “You can learn at least one thing from everyone you meet,” became a lesson I never forgot.

Dad read the newspapers and kept up to date on current events, but his busy schedule didn’t permit him to read much else. At age seventy-five, he finally retired and moved into the city. His love of the outdoors and fresh air, took him on walks to the local library on a regular basis. Once there, he chose about half a dozen books on a subject he had always wanted to learn more about. He took the books home, read them front to back and returned with a new subject in mind. At seventy-five he educated himself and expanded his world. I found this to be most admirable.

There wasn’t much I couldn’t discuss with him. He taught me the art of conversation, negotiation and debate; valuable lessons that have served me well over the years. He served as my confidant, financial advisor, political guru, mentor, and he was my hero. He always had time to listen to my woes and to provide encouraging words. I didn’t make many major decisions without discussing with him first. But he wouldn’t tell me what to do; he just helped me look at all sides of the situation. He encouraged me to be an independent thinker, creative problem solver and not to always look for the easy way. He claimed, “You make your own luck in this world.” I believe that to be true for the most part, but I sure was lucky to get him for a Dad. His confidence in me and my abilities enabled me to reach higher and not give up on my dreams.

Always a perfect gentleman, he could also swear a blue streak if the occasion called for it. Like the time he hit his thumb with a hammer while fixing a piece of farm machinery. He forgot I was in hearing distance.

Life wasn’t always easy for a cowboy but Dad’s amazing sense of humour and positive attitude got him through the tough times. He loved a good practical joke and April Fool’s was his favourite day. I can still see the twinkle in his eyes when he knew he got one over on us. He didn’t mind laughing at himself as well. There were many times he would tell a story and have everyone in stitches. From him, I learned the value of a good laugh and how to look on the bright side. He often said, “It could always be worse.”

A tough cowboy on the surface, he was really a big softy. Dad always found the best in everyone, was a helpful neighbour and a good friend to many. His love for his animals was evident as was his unfailing devotion to his family. A generous, loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather, he made an impact on everyone. When I see traits of him in my children and grandchildren, I am comforted knowing his legacy lives on.

Dad and his family 1995

Dad and his family 1995

It’s been seven years since we lost Dad. There isn’t a day I don’t think of him, quote him or seek his advice. He was a true cowboy to the last.

Mom & Dad a few years ago

Mom and Dad

©Darlene Foster 2014

About Darlene Foster

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

A selection of books by Darlene Foster

One of the recent reviews for Amanda in Holland

Robbie Cheadle 5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed and filled with interesting titbits of information  Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2020

Amanda in Holland is the latest addition to the exciting Amanda series of books written by Canadian author, Darlene Foster. Each book in the Amanda series is set in a different country and details some of the amazing cultural and historical sites as well as dishes, drinks and clothes that are specific to that country. This aspect of the series makes it unusual and appealing to young and older readers.

Amanda, who lives in Canada, travels to Holland to meet up with her best friend, Leah Anderson and her father, who live in England. Mr Anderson is in Holland for business purposes and the two teenage girls are free to enjoy themselves seeing all the wonderful historical and cultural sites Holland has to offer. The story starts with a bang when Amanda is nearly ridden over by a woman on a bicycle on her first morning in Amsterdam. The woman’s behaviour is a bit odd and this event is followed by Amanda and Leah discovering a young puppy which has been abandoned in a box next to a rubbish bin around the corner from a cheese shop they are visiting.

Mr Anderson agrees for the girls to keep the dog until it can be taken to an animal shelter and this decision sets in motion a series of occurrences that draw Amanda and Leah into an exciting adventure involving selling animals from puppy farms and stealing rare tulip bulbs. While the two girls investigate the mysterious circumstances of the abandonment of the puppy and the strange behaviour of various individuals who keep turning up, like the woman who nearly ran Amanda over, they also visit a number of interesting places such as the hide out of Anne Frank of The Diary of Anne Frank fame, the Keukenhof Botanical Gardens and a Canadian war-memorial cemetery. Amanda has the picture of her great uncle Harold who disappeared in Holland during the war and whose grave she is hoping she might find. The two girls meet a number of interesting people and get to spend time with a number of Dutch people who introduce them to some delicious Dutch treats.

The book is action packed and filled with interesting titbits of information about life in Holland, WWII and perseverance and determination in unraveling a mystery.

Amanda is a clever and kind girl who will appeal to middle school and young teenagers who will admire her pluck

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Darlene: Goodreads

Connect to Darlene

Website: Darlene Foster
Blog: Darlene Foster WordPress
Facebook: Darlene Foster Facebook
Twitter: @supermegawoman

My thanks to Darlene for sharing this post with us and as always your feedback is very welcome. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 #Family and #Friends – Meeting People for Reasons and Seasons by D.G. Kaye


Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

In this post D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies explores why we meet people – some who stay in our lives and some that fade.

Reasons and seasons

Meeting People for Reasons and Seasons

Ever wonder why some of the friendships and relationships we once may have considered important in our lives at one time suddenly disappear from our lives?

Often, times we reflect back on our life relationships and catch ourselves wondering ‘whatever happened to so and so?’. Sometimes we remember why those people have exited our lives, and other times we can go back and analyze these relationships, looking back on what the significance was that person played in our lives. I refer to these short-term relationships as seasonal relationships for reasons – blessings and lessons.

These people who come into our lives for brief stints appear for reasons, and because they don’t remain in our lives indefinitely, they are classified as seasonal.

The universe has a way of knowing what we need in our lives at different times. There’s a popular phrase – What we focus on, we attract. For example, if we are focusing our attentions on something we wish for, we will eventually meet people who may possibly introduce us to avenues that we are focusing our attentions on. Similarly, if we focus on negative things, we may also be introduced to people who come into our lives who can teach us lessons.

We don’t meet people by accident, rather we encounter those who are meant to cross our paths. We either have something to be learned from everyone who comes into our lives or something to teach them. We may not realize initially, that some people we befriend are only meant to come into our lives for a specific amount of time before they fade out of our lives or are evicted from our lives. Those relationships weren’t meant to exist for a lifetime, but merely for a designated amount of time to teach us something. Everything in life is pre-destined so the time limits spent with these messengers who come into our lives depends on the needs we’ve met.

Even people we’ve met who we don’t desire to have in our lives have something to teach us. Perhaps we may meet someone who constantly tests our patience or maybe we’ve had some unfinished business from a past life and the universe sends us someone who has something to learn from us. These people we meet may come into our lives to enlighten, encourage, motivate or remind us at a time we’re in need and although they may not stay long, their invaluable lessons will remain.

In other instances, some people come into our lives to ‘hold space’ so to speak. An example of this could be if we’re pining to meet someone to have a fulfilling relationship with and we end up in a short-term and failed relationship with a ‘fill-in’ until the right person comes along. We may feel deflated from such a relationship because they ‘wasted’ our precious time. But never feel like the time has been wasted. Instead, look for things you learned from the time in that relationship. Perhaps you chose to enter that relationship because you were so happy to finally get in a relationship. Was that person dishonest, were they abusive, did they add any value to our life? Even if the answers to those questions were negative, we learned what we don’t want in a relationship, and that will better prepare us for the next one and the one that’s meant to be.

We can meet people anywhere – a store, a party, a bus stop, online or by introduction from a common friend. We might get lucky and make a lifelong friendship, or perhaps enter a new romantic relationship with that person. But whatever the ‘reason’ we met and regardless if they are short or long-term relationships, there is always something of value to learn from them.

We attract what we allow and focus on, even in our sub-conscience. So next time we find ourselves questioning why someone entered our life for a short time, look deeper into what we learned from that experience.

The following video I found elaborates on the points I’ve mentioned above.

©D.G. Kaye

You can find out more about friendship in Debby’s Column here each month: D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

About Debby Gies

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

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

More reviews and follow Debby: Goodreads

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – MeWe: Debby Gies
Twitter: @pokercubsterLinkedin: D.G. Kaye
Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

My thanks to Debby for sharing this post with us and I hope that if you do not already follow her you will head over and to do so now…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family and #Friends – One Day a Year Set Aside for Those Who Paid With Their Very Lives by Joy Neal Kidney


Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

Author Joy Neal Kidney shares the tragic and poignant story of her grandmother Leora Wilson, who lost three of five sons to war.

One Day a Year Set Aside for Those Who Paid With Their Very Lives

Grandma Leora Wilson wore a red crepe paper poppy as she stooped beside a headstone in Violet Hill Cemetery in Perry to arrange flowers from her garden for this Memorial Day ritual.

A small silver bell dangled from her watch–a souvenir from Capri which had been returned from Italy with the other property of her son Danny, who was Killed in Action in World War II.

perry

All five of Grandma’s sons left the farm at Minburn, where they lived during the war, to serve in the navy or army air force.

Only two came home.

Every year for Decoration Day, as she still called it, Grandma–a member of the women’s American Legion Auxiliary for decades–handed out red poppies where she lived in Guthrie Center after World War II. The paper blossoms are actually distributed in exchange for donations to benefit disabled veterans.

During World War I, American soldiers were buried in the pastures and on the battlefields of Europe, where bright red poppies grew wild among the fresh graves.

While caring for the wounded near one of the battlefields, Canadian doctor, Lt. Col. John McCrae, jotted down the lines “In Flanders fields the poppies blow/ Between the crosses, row on row. . .” This poignant poem was the inspiration for patriotic groups who raise money for disabled veterans and their families by distributing the crepe paper poppies–which are made by disabled and hospitalized veterans.

When Grandma Leora was a girl, Decoration Day was observed with a solemn ceremony on May 30, attended by the whole town of Guthrie Center. At age nine, she was one of about twenty young girls who were part of the ritual.

Veterans of the Civil and Spanish American Wars decorated a hay rack wagon, she remembered, for that Decoration Day procession in 1900. A team of Palomino horses pulled the wagon to the cemetery. Wearing white dresses, the girls rode on the wagon, while the veterans marched behind. At the cemetery, each girl–with a red, white, and blue sash over her shoulder–accompanied a veteran in uniform to lay flowers on soldiers’ graves.

When Leora’s daughter Doris was about thirteen, she was part of a similar ceremony in the town of Dexter in the 1930s. The band marched from town to the cemetery, followed by uniformed World War I veterans, then the girls–two by two, wearing white dresses with red and blue sashes. Each girl carried two bouquets of mostly pale blue iris, one in each arm.

As a Legionnaire called out a name, one girl laid a bouquet on his grave. Another name, her other bouquet. Her partner was next. The crowd of townspeople followed through the rows of stones.

A trumpet sounded Taps.

As a young girl, I too was part of a Memorial Day ritual–not as dramatic and memorable, but more personal and poignant for family members.

Every year, my sister and I went with Mom, Aunt Darlene, and Grandma to decorate the Wilson stones in Violet Hill Cemetery with home-grown bouquets. Only Junior Wilson, age 20, is buried there. One stone commemorates Dale, age 22 when lost, and Danny, age 21. Danny Wilson is buried in France.
popp (2)Dale, Danny, and Junior Wilson

Dale’s twin sister, Darlene, died just before her 98th birthday earlier this month. Only God knows where Dale’s remains lie.

We’d also leave a bouquet for their father Clabe Wilson who died in 1946 of a stroke–and a broken heart.

Memorial Day is the one day a year set aside those who paid for our freedoms with their very lives.

The older poignant Decoration Day traditions are no longer common in America. But those fragile red poppy blossoms are the perfect remembrance of the ones–such as the three Wilson brothers of Dallas County–who never came home.

FrRockJuly25(3 (3)

Navymen Donald and Delbert Wilson. Pilots Dale, Danny, and Junior Wilson.

© Joy Neal Kidney 2019

July2019 (3)

About Joy

I am the author of Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II.

It tells the story of the five Wilson brothers who are featured on the Dallas County Freedom Rock at Minburn, Iowa. Leora was their mother–my grandmother.

All five enlisted. Only two came home.

CoverNelly

About the book

The day the second atomic bomb was dropped, Clabe and Leora Wilson’s postman brought a telegram to their acreage near Perry, Iowa. One son was already in the U.S. Navy before Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Four more sons worked with their father, tenant farmers near Minburn until, one by one, all five sons were serving their country in the military. The oldest son re-enlisted in the Navy. The younger three became U.S. Army Air Force pilots. As the family optimist, Leora wrote hundreds of letters, among all her regular chores, dispensing news and keeping up the morale of the whole family, which included the brothers’ two sisters. Her fondest wishes were to have a home of her own and family nearby. Leora’s Letters is the compelling true account of a woman whose most tender hopes were disrupted by great losses. Yet she lived out four more decades with hope and resilience.

“Joy lets us see her grandmother’s personal family correspondence through letters. It is heart-tugging. Be ready to be moved by this true story.” –Van Harden, WHO-Radio Personality

Joy Neal Kidney, the oldest granddaughter of the book’s heroine, is the keeper of family stories, letters, photos, combat records, casualty reports, and telegrams. Active on her own website, she is also a writer and local historian. Married to a Vietnam Air Force veteran, Joy lives in central Iowa. Her nonfiction has been published in The Des Moines Register, other media, and broadcast over “Our American Stories.” She’s a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, and her essays have been collected by the Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I always stick to reads that are of a true nature or are derived from true events. I have always read WW2 books based on these facts, as a whole or individuals, but I have never read a book based on true events derived from hand written letters to and from. This book and the heartfelt letters invites you in as part of their family. One of the particulars I loved about the book is how people wrote in those days, the slang if you want to call it that. This book reminds me of my mom who was raised during WW2 as a small child. The book is wonderful and heartbreaking as if you had actually received the letters yourself.

I was so saddened as I read through the book, as family members stopped receiving letters from one of ( and eventually three boys) sons, my heart sank as I read the telegrams from the war office. I felt so saddened by the effects of these letters and what could have been (and were) going through the minds of Clabe and Leora. I feel stuck in time wondering what might have been if those three sons might have made it home, what might have been going through their minds moments before their demise. I really loved this book and recommend to anyone who might enjoy history & WW2. Thank you so much Joy Neal Kidney & Robin Grunder, you have shared something that will never be forgotten.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Connect to Joy

Website: Joy Neal Kidney
Facebook: Joy Neal Kidney Author
Twitter: @JoyNealKidney

My thanks to Joy for sharing this story of her family and a time of tragic loss experienced by so many families during conflict and remembered on days of remembrance all around the world. Your feedback is always welcome. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family and #Friends – Remembering my Frugal Mother by Sharon Marchisello


Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

This week author Sharon Marchisello remembers her mother and her management of finances throughout her life.

Remembering my Frugal Mother

My mother liked to be acknowledged on Mother’s Day, but she bristled at the thought of money being spent on her. No gifts, a card was fine.

Flowers (unless picked from one’s garden) were too extravagant. When I got a job and became self-sufficient, I sent her flowers on Mother’s Day and her birthday. “They’re beautiful, honey, but you shouldn’t have.” And she meant it. I don’t think she was ever able to enjoy them, she was so worried about how much the flowers–and the delivery–had cost me. After a while, I stopped sending her flowers, because they made her so uncomfortable.

My mother died before unlimited domestic calling was a common feature of most cell and landline plans. Back then, long-distance phone calls, with the charges escalating by the minute, made her nervous. As soon as she heard my voice on the line, she’d squeal, “Oh Sharon, how nice to talk to you. Thanks for calling.” And sometimes she’d hang up before I had a chance to tell her the reason for my call.

Only the direst of emergencies warranted a long-distance telephone call. When my grandmother died, my mother wrote a letter to give me the news. (To her credit, she splurged on a special-edition, handwritten letter and thus an extra stamp; she didn’t save that piece of information for the monthly family newsletter.) Still, I almost missed the funeral. My brother did miss the funeral, because he had a less-flexible work schedule than I and he didn’t work for an airline that gave him free flight benefits.

When I moved to Los Angeles from Houston and drove with a friend across the desert in my semi-reliable 1976 Subaru, my parents wanted reassurance that I had arrived safely. “But don’t waste money on a long-distance call,” Mom instructed. “Tell the operator you want to make a person-to-person collect call to Sharon. When I answer and the operator asks for Sharon, I’ll tell her Sharon isn’t here. That will be our code. We’ll know you arrived safely, and you won’t have to pay for a long-distance call.”

I inherited frugality from my mother, but I hope mine is less extreme.

My mother’s attitude about long-distance calls changed a little when my brother got a job at Bell Labs. One of his employment perks was reduced-rate long-distance service; I think the company gave him an allotment of free minutes. Gradually, he convinced our mother that it wasn’t breaking the bank for him to have a relaxed long-distance phone conversation with her.

I often wonder what my mother would do now that most cell phone plans offer unlimited domestic calling. Would she ever get used to it? Unfortunately, I’ll never get to find out.

What endearing quirks does/did your mother have to save money? I’d love to hear your comments.

© Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello recently released her new crime mystery novel Secrets of the Galapagos…

About the book

Shattered by a broken engagement and a business venture derailed by Jerome Haddad, her unscrupulous partner, Giovanna Rogers goes on a luxury Galapagos cruise with her grandmother to decompress.

At least that’s what her grandmother thinks. Giovanna is determined to make Jerome pay for what he’s done, and she has a tip he’s headed for the Galapagos.

While snorkeling in Gardner Bay off the coast of Española Island, Giovanna and another cruise passenger, tortoise researcher Laurel Pardo, both become separated from the group and Laurel is left behind. No one on the ship will acknowledge Laurel is missing, and Giovanna suspects a cover-up.

When the police come on board to investigate a death, Giovanna is sure the victim is Laurel. She’s anxious to give her testimony to the attractive local detective assigned to the case. Instead, she learns someone else is dead, and she’s a person of interest.

Resolved to keep searching for Laurel and make sense of her disappearance, Giovanna finds that several people on board the cruise ship have reasons to want Laurel gone. One is a scam involving Tio Armando, the famous Galapagos giant tortoise and a major tourist attraction in the archipelago. And Jerome Haddad has a hand in it. Thinking she’s the cat in this game, Giovanna gets too involved and becomes the mouse, putting her life in jeopardy. But if she doesn’t stop him, Jerome will go on to ruin others.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Robbie Cheadle 4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and entertaining  Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2020

This is an entertaining murder mystery with a large dollop of romance. The story is set on a cruise ship which is travelling around the idyllic islands of the Galapogos. The author weaves some lovely and interesting information about these island, the conservation programmes they have in place as well as the amazing wildlife that is found there, into the story which I really enjoyed.

Giovanna has recently had some bad experiences. She lost all the money raised from investors to build her dream non-profit veterinary clinic to a clever con artist and, as a result, her fiancee and business partner, Tim, has broken off their engagement. To make matters even worse, her best friend, Connie, is married to the conman, and helped entice her into his trap. Giovanna’s youthful looking grandmother, Michelle, talks her into going on a cruise to help her recover from these losses and move on with her life. Giavanna decides on the Galapagos as a destination because she has learned, via Facebook, that this is where Connie and the conman have gone and she hopes to somehow get an opportunity to confront him and get the stolen money back.

Giovanna is in for some more hard knocks. While snorkeling with her new friend, Laurel, the pair get separated from the group and Giovanna is nearly left behind by the boat. Laurel disappears and no-one will acknowledge it except for Michelle and a few other guests who notice she is missing. Other unusual things are also happening on board the ship: Michelle gets hit over the head in the ship’s library, a memory stick with photographs of animals on it belonging to Laurel goes missing and one of the guides turns up dead in the swimming pool. Giavanna is determined to get to the bottom of it all and also to confront the conman if the opportunity presents itself.

Into this whole mix enters a gorgeous local policeman, Victor, who is investigating the murder, the disappearance of Laurel and who is interested in Giavanna.

This is a fast paced book with lots of action and some romance. I found it a bit hard to follow in a few parts because there was just so much happening and so many different sub-plots but on the whole this is an entertaining and interesting read.

Buy the book: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Other books by Sharon Marchisello

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

Read other reviews and follow Sharon: Goodreads

About Sharon Marchisello

Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.

She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.

She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.

Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.

Connect to Sharon

Blogspot: Sharon Blogspot
Blog WordPress: Sharon Marchisello
Facebook: S.L Marchisello
Facebook: Live Cheaply Be Happy
Twitter: @SLMarchisello

My thanks to Sharon for sharing this post and I hope you will head over to browse her archives where you will find some excellent posts on finances.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family and #Friends – Adding Real Life Issues In Our Novels #DiabetesSucks by Jacquie Biggar


Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar shares a post from 2015 along with an update on the diagnosis of her grandson with Type 1 diabetes at age seven, five years ago. Her research and experience with the disease enabled her to use diabetes in the plot of one of her novels, The Rebel’s Redemption. Millions of children around the world are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and I know someone who recognised the symptoms in her own son after reading a novel. Fiction can be a great way to inform and educate.

Adding Real Life Issues In Our Novels #DiabetesSucks

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of FromSandToGlass

Sometimes real life issues can leave us feeling as though we’re drowning. Whether it’s health related, monetary concerns, trouble with family, or work, it sometimes seems more than we can handle.

This year my seven year old grandson was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, type 1 Diabetes.

Life-threatening.

Think that over for a moment.

Our happy, healthy little boy suddenly ended up in hospital for a week of testing, poking, and learning the routine surrounding his treatment. Blood checks every two hours, twenty-four-seven, all done to his poor little finger tips. Learning how to count carbs, fifteen for snacks, sixty for a meal, and believe me, that’s as tough to maintain as it sounds.

On top of that we had to learn to give him insulin shots before every meal and at bedtime. If you’re picturing a human pincushion about now, you’re getting close to understanding how we feel.

Strawberry_pincushion

This is from the American Diabetes Association:

Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5% of people with diabetes have this form of the disease.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

And this, from the Canadian Diabetes Association:

Type 1 diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce any insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body to control the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Without insulin, glucose builds up in your blood instead of being used for energy.

Your body produces glucose and also gets glucose from foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk and fruit.

The cause of type 1 diabetes remains unknown. It is not caused by eating too much sugar, and is not preventable. The current thought is that type 1 diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system destroys the cells that make insulin.

See more at: Living with type-1 diabetes

This will be a lifelong learning process for our family and it’s taught me to let the little stuff go, because compared to your loved one’s health- the rest just doesn’t matter.

IMG_0399

Update:

Since writing this post we received some great news. Our grandson was approved for the Omnipod Pump. The omnipod is a cordless pod that attaches by adhesive to the body wherever you would normally give an injection. A remote reads his blood glucose and sends a wireless message to the pod which then feeds the insulin into his body. The pod gets replaced every three days so instead of four injections a day = twelve in those three days he’s down to one!!

THE PARTS

The small, discreet Pod holds and delivers your insulin while the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) wirelessly manages your insulin delivery.
The Pod

The PodTHE POD

A small, lightweight and discreet Pod you’ll hardly know is there.

  • Tubing-free design that doesn’t tie you down
  • Adheres securely to most places you’d give an injection
  • Precise insulin delivery that’s easy to manage
  • Internal reservoir, insertion components and pumping mechanism are right in the Pod
  • Inserts automatically at the push of a button, with no injection needles in sight
  • Waterproof so there’s no need to disconnect for bathing or swimming*
  • Now smaller, slimmer and lighter, but still holds up to 200 units of insulin
  • Stores personalized basal settings — so PDM can be out of range
  • Pink slide insert provides added confidence that the cannula has deployed

* The Pod is waterproof to 7.6 m for up to 60 minutes (IPX8 rating). Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) is not waterproof. It should not be placed in or near water.

The PDM

THE PDM

A wireless Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM) that helps put you in control.

  • Insulin on board (IOB) is calculated based on correction and meal boluses
  • Wireless PDM works up to 1.5 m away from the Pod
  • Simple, intuitive sentences guide your use of the OmniPod® System from automatic priming and insertion to bolusing
  • Large, colour screen for the information you need at a glance
  • Integrated FreeStyle® blood glucose meter automatically incorporates your glucose levels into suggested bolus calculations and history records
  • Can be stored in your pocket, purse or backpack
  • Conveniently downloads data into easily understandable reports and charts
  • Customizable ID screen helps you easily identify your PDM

To find out more: My Omnipod

This will give him so much more freedom and is a huge relief to his family.

Type 1 Diabetes has no cure at this time, but with breakthroughs such as the Omnipod parents can breathe a little bit easier. 🙂

©Jacquie Biggar.

A selection of books by Jacquie Biggar

One of the recent reviews for Sunset Beach

Rebecca J. Claxon VINE VOICE  5.0 out of 5 stars Second Chance  Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2020

Trace and Mona were so in love in high school until Trace got drunk at prom and spoiled Sally moved in on him. I was so glad to hear that Trace and Sally were no longer married. But I did feel bad for his daughter Bailey whose mother didn’t want her. Now Trace is trying to raise a teenager by himself and work as mayor. Mona still lives on the island with her teenager daughter Amber. The funny thing is that Amber and Bailey are best friends even though Amber is a couple of years older. I loved how Amber is so mature and does so much to help Bailey. I felt bad for Trace and Mona as I could tell they both had feelings for the other. Mona hasn’t let go of her pain of what Trace did to her at prom. I loved how Trace and Mona get thrown together a lot. There are secrets that come out too. I really enjoyed the book and strongly encourage you to read the book.

Read all the reviews and buy the books : Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Jacquie : Goodreads

About Jacquie Biggar

Jacquie Biggar is a USA TODAY bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males who know what they want. That is until they’re gob-smacked by heroines who are strong, contemporary women willing to show them what they really need is love. She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has also contributed to several successful anthologies.

She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters.

Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can’t function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. 🙂

Free reads, excerpts, author news, and contests can be found on her web site: Jac Biggar

Connect to Jacquie Biggar

Website: Jacquie Biggar
FacebookJacquie Biggar
Twitter: @jacqbiggar
Bookbub: Jacquie Biggar

My thanks to Jacquie for sharing this post and I do suggest that you head over to browse her archives. Thank you for joining us today…Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 #Family and #Friends – Friendships – Online and Otherwise by D.G. Kaye


Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

In this post D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies, speaks about the spirit of friendship and how neither time nor distance can break that bond.

Friendships – Online and Otherwise

I’m wondering if the old stigma is still attached to the concept of online friends. Do you ever find yourself feeling as though you have to explain some of your online friendships when talking to the people in your ‘real’ world? Have you ever been told that ‘those people’ aren’t real friends because they’re online?

Some people think that our online friendships are just that – online only, and when we’re offline, those friendships are out of mind. But that couldn’t be further from the truth for me with the many friendships I have made online. There, I said it again, I hate that term ‘online friend’. It’s that term that gives the friendship that feel that we’re only friends when we find each other online. That’s like saying, our real-life friendships are only friendships when we’re actually spending time together with those friends and when we don’t see them, there’s no friendship, now that’s just ridiculous thinking.

Many people physically go to their jobs where they interact with co-workers on a daily basis. Others, work from home on their computers where their daily working life is spent online, like mine. As writers and bloggers, we live in two worlds, both the physical world and online. We engage with others in writing groups, social media, on blogs, and with other creatives in our field. So just as people make friends with co-workers in the live world, it would only make sense we also form friendships in the online world.

Writers in particular, work in solitude creating, and I couldn’t imagine my world where I spend most of my waking hours, without friends. Only other writers understand our world. And after spending so much time with those we interact with daily, it only makes sense that we also form friendships with many people, and more intimate friendships with some. The beauty about the friendships we make online is that we become friends with like-minded people. And just as in our real worlds, we eventually gravitate to certain people that we have things in common with, and thus, friendship bonds are formed.

In actuality we probably spend more time with our “online” friends than we do with our real-time friends. We take some of those friendships to a higher level by communicating about more personal things that friends share through emails, instant messaging, phone calls, Facetime, Skype and various other methods of chatting live. Heck, I do that more with my friends across the miles than I spend time visiting with friends in my actual world. We share thoughts and opinions, help each other out with dilemmas on our work, promote each other’s work, laugh and sometimes even cry together. We even send virtual hugs after conversing, just as we’d do when we’re parting with a friend in our real world. That’s what friendship is all about.

Some of my best friends now were made online. Those friendships are no different than the ones I have with some of my old real-world friends, which some of them too just happen to live across the miles. How do we communicate with our loved ones who live far away in a different country? Exactly, through the same means we communicate with our friends in our online community.

So yes, I don’t care much for the term ‘online friend’. I don’t like to justify to someone in my actual world when I’m talking to them about a friend I have online. Those friendships I’ve made with people I met ‘online’ are just that – friends – who I happened to have met online. I ‘met’ them online, they aren’t just my ‘online’ friends. The geography between us has nothing to do with the value of our friendship. See the difference?

I am blessed to have a large and wonderful circle of friends I just happened to meet online. I don’t refer to them as ‘my online friends’. And when I’m chatting to my husband or a friend in my actual world about one of those friends who happens to live in another country, but I have the luxury of being able to communicate with them at the stroke of a keyboard, they are simply referred to as my friend.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on friendships made online.

©D.G. Kaye

You can find out more about friendship in Debby’s Column here each month: D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

About Debby Gies

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

Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

and: Amazon UK

More reviews and follow Debby: Goodreads

Connect to Debby Gies

Blog: D.G. Kaye Writer – About me: D.G. Kaye – MeWe: Debby Gies
Twitter: @pokercubsterLinkedin: D.G. Kaye
Facebook: D.G. Kaye – Instagram: D.G. Kaye – Pinterest: D.G. Kaye

My thanks to Debby for sharing this post with us and I hope that if you do not already follow her you will head over and to do so now…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family and #Friends – How a novel is born: “Love of a Stonemason” by Christa Polkinhorn


Welcome to the new posts from your archives with a theme of family and friends. Very important as our support system at the moment as many of us are isolated and out of physical touch. If you would like details on how to participate here is the link: Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends

Today Christa Polkinhorn shares a post that explores how family can inspire us as writers, providing characters, locations and plots for our stories.

How a novel is born: “Love of a Stonemason”

I want to give my prospective and current readers some background to the creative process behind my novel. I think it’s always interesting to hear “the story behind the story.”

In my case, it was a series of deaths in my family and among my friends a few years ago. Within three months, I lost my mother, my brother-in-law, and one of my closest friends. The death of my mother left me as the last survivor of our immediate family, my father and my only sister having passed on years before. After the funeral, I began the difficult task of cleaning out our family home in Switzerland, getting it ready for renovations. I shuffled through old documents, read letters my parents, my sister, and I exchanged, while I lived abroad. I even found a love letter my father had written to my mother while he served in the Swiss Army during the Second World War. I took down my father’s paintings in the home–he was an artist as a young man–and wrapped them, so they wouldn’t get damaged during the renovation. I met with a stonemason to talk about the tombstone on my parent’s grave.

One evening, I was sitting in front of the fireplace in the only room in our house that wasn’t full of boxes and bags, staring into the flames. It was a cold January night. Thick snowflakes were floating to the ground. I finally had time to reflect and to mourn and I did what I always do when I am in an intense period of my life. I began to write. I wrote about a young painter, who struggled with loss and loneliness, about a stonemason, who carved tombstones and who, interestingly enough, became the harbinger of new life for the young woman.

The novel is pure fiction, all the characters are made up, but the building blocks of the story can be found somewhere in my own life. Over the following few years and with the help and support of some very dear friends, the book took on shape. What began as a time of death and loss was transformed into something new, life-affirming, and uplifting.

© Christa Polkinhorn

About Christa Polkinhorn

Born and raised in Switzerland, I have always had the desire to explore the world outside of my beautiful but tiny country. I traveled in Europe, China, Japan as well as South America. Now, I live and work as writer and translator in southern California. My interest in foreign cultures informs my work and my novels take place in several countries. I published a volume of poetry (The Path of Fire). Now, I write and publish contemporary fiction with a focus on family drama/love stories (The Family Portrait trilogy) and family drama/suspense (The Wine Lover’s Daughter series). Aside from writing and traveling, I am an avid reader and a lover of the arts, dark chocolate, and red wine.

A Selection of  books by Christa Polkinhorn

One of the reviews for The Stonemason

Reviewed in the United Kingdom

`She saw the car just as she stepped into the crosswalk. An old beat-up Fiat screeched to a stop within a few inches away from her. Karla jumped back and dropped her portfolio, spilling its content onto the pavement. Her heart thudded and she took deep breaths, trying to calm the queasy feeling in her stomach. That smell. Burnt rubber. A young man got out of the car and stared at her, stunned. “Are you all right?” Karla still dazed, nodded. She bent down and began to pick up her drawings. A few pedestrians stopped but when they realized that nothing major had happened they walked on. The driver’s dark voice rose to an angry pitch. “Jesus Christ. What’s the matter with you? You practically threw yourself in front of my car. I could’ve killed you. Are you suicidal or something?” “I’m sorry, I wasn’t watching.” Karla slid the papers back into her portfolio. “Yeah, well, that’s obvious. Wake up, for heaven’s sake.”

Meet the characters:

Karla Bocelli is an artist whose first exhibition opens the following Friday. The gallery belongs to a friend of hers who devotes time and money to help fledging artists showcase their work. Karla’s mother and grandmother were both killed in a car accident when she was still a child, leaving her to be raised by an aunt. Her father Arturo and her mother had never married and there was never a real father/daughter relationship between he and Karla. He now lived in Peru with his wife and family. The few times they had seen each other, the feelings were strained. Then Karla finds not just one but two men of extreme importance stepping into her life. Andreas O’Reilly and her art instructor Jean Philippe.

Andreas O’Reilly is a stonemason. He not only makes head stones for the cemeteries but he also does sculptures. His childhood, in ways, was like Karla’s. His mother Emilia had married his father Robert but at an early age in his life they had divorced, he and his mother moved in with her brother and his father moved back to the United States. His relationship with his mother is also strained. He blames her for the nightmares he lived through as a child. His chance meeting with Karla has brought life back into his existence. But not without problems that must be dealt with for both of them.

Through Love of a Stonemason I have traveled to Peru, Florence, Switzerland and many other countries in-between. I’ve experienced not just the beauty of these places but also took a history lesson in the arts. Through the author’s description, I feel as if I’ve just returned from a journey that I’ll never be able to take in person.

As for the story, it’s been a long time since I’ve read a love story as beautiful as Love of a Stonemason. When you combine the mistakes, the forgiveness and the love filling the pages of this book you can’t help but have a truly inspiring book. It makes you realize that there are always two sides to each story and unless you listen to both, you’ll never be able to expel the resentment you might be feeling. Great book!

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US

And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Christa : Goodreads

Connect to Christa

Website: Christ Polkinhorn
Blog: Christa Polkinhorn
Facebook Author Page: Author Christa Polkinhorn
Facebook: Christa Polkinhorn
Twitter: @cpolkinhorn
Instagram: C. Polkinhorn

 

 

Thanks to Christa for sharing her post with us, and if you would like to share stories about your own family or friends, I would love to post them. Posts from Your Archives April 2020 Family and Friends