Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Eleventh Hour. The end of WWI

 On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the guns of Europe fell silent. After four years of bitter fighting, The Great War was finally over. 
The Armistice was signed at 5am in a railway carriage in the Forest of Compiegne, France on November 11, 1918. Six hours later, at 11am, the war ended. The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.
                   Image result for images signing treaty of versailles 
Trench warfare and hand to hand combat, World War I pitted Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire against Great Britain, the United States, France, Russia, Italy and Japan. Mustard gas was used and the "gas mask" was invented. 

                   THOUGH POPPIES GROW 

                           IN FLANDERS FIELDS" 
                            John McCrae

The poppies of Flanders Field have become a symbol of WWI and all Veterans. 

Per Karen Lowton
“A lovely military man selling poppies stopped me today and asked if he could reposition mine - while doing so he told me that women should wear their poppy on their right side: the red represents the blood of all those who gave their lives; the black represents the mourning of those who didn't have their loved ones return home; and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing, and future prosperity after the war destroyed so much.

“The leaf should be positioned at 11 o'clock to represent the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the time that World War One formally ended.

Veterans Day is observed in the United States on 11 November, and is both a federal and state holiday. In the United States, and some other allied nations, 11 November was formerly known as Armistice Day; in the United States it was given its new name in 1954 at the end of the Korean War to honor all veterans.

           Sadly, the War To End All Wars, didn't accomplish that goal. To see how and why it started, visit here....Who started WWI    5 top causes of WWI

CountryTotal mobilized forcesKilled or died
WoundedPrisoners or missingTotal casualties
Allied Powers:
British Empire**8, 904,467908,3712,090,212191,6523,190,235
United States4,734,991116,516204,002------320,518
Central Powers:
GRAND TOTALS65,038,8108,538,31521,219,4527,750,91937,508,686

Monday, November 5, 2018

Donkey skin trade goes global.

What started in China and Africa, is now spreading across the world as Brazil joins in the dirty business of torturing and butchering donkeys to satisfy the Red Chinese ravenous, greedy desire to market ejiao.
    Ejiao is also known as donkey hide glue, DHG, a gelatinous substance, made from boiling the hides of donkeys. 

  An old remedy in China, ejiao is now a new gotta-have-it craved by their general public for a myriad of undocumented cures. In addition to the absence or small presence of the medicinal properties, poor quality DHG is more likely to contain harmful substances such as chromium, lead, mercury, and arsenic. 
 Ejiao E Jiao Colla Corii Asini Donkey Hide Glue Ass Gelatin 阿胶 1box(250g)Ejiaogao E Jiao Gao Guyuangao Gu Yuan Gao Tao Hua Ji Ass Gelatin Cake Donkey Hide Glue Cake 桃花姬 阿胶糕 固元膏 1bag(40g)
                   Shan Dong E,  Ejiao E Jiao Colla Corii Asini     Every year in China, four million donkeys are slaughtered for making DHG. The word is out, the Chinese are scouring the world for the hides--legal or black market, and at irresistible prices. 
                        A donkey hide warehouse at Shandong Ziyangtang DHG Product Co., Ltd.     An ongoing investigation is being conducted by the National Donkey Taskforce, a partner to The Donkey Sanctuary UK. They found one compound (now shut down) was slaughtering 250 donkeys A DAY. At another, the driver was bringing in at least 50 donkeys a day. Many are wild donkeys, but in Kenya some are stolen from families who need their animal for farming, wood and water hauling....basic human needs. 
Donkeys awaiting slaughter at a holding compound in Itapetinga, Brazil in September 2018, which has since been closed down. (Picture credit: Frente Nacional de Defesa dos Jumentos)
    They are penned waiting for slaughter with no food or water after traveling miles in unspeakable van conditions. Australia’s role as the eighth largest importer of donkey-hide gelatin (ejiao) was revealed in a  new investigative report released today by Humane Society International Australia
All for our obsession for undying youth and miracle cures. And for the greed of the companies making the blood-money bottom-line profits. 

     Products and practices like these are chipping away another little piece of our humanity. Please spread the word. Help stop an underground black market horror story for one of the sweetest animals still running free. 

Newsweek Magazine 
DHG can poison people
Humane Society International
The New York Times
The Donkey Task Force 
The Donkey Sanctuary UK

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Did one of your characters pass by Independence Rock?

While researching information for my next book, I came across the interesting story of Independence Rock located 55 miles southwest of Casper, Wyoming on hwy 220. 
      It all began fifty million years ago, when the peaks of the Granite Range rose up to begin the long geologic processes of exfoliation. The mountains eventually sagged into the earth's crust, and about 15 million years ago, wind-blown sand smoothed and rounded their summits creating this great American landmark.
    When American fur hunters headed west in the 1820s, the Sweetwater Valley became the main trail to the heart of the continent. After that, came the pioneers.  
                       Image result for images oregon trail    
                                   painting by William Henry Jackson
   In 1824, M. K. Hugh carved the oldest recorded inscription (now weathered
away) into the ancient landmark. Some say legendary mountain man Thomas "Broken Hand" Fitzpatrick named it "Rock Independence" that year when he passed by on the Fourth of July
    Like a great stone turtle, Independence Rock sprawls over 27 acres next to the meandering Sweetwater River. More than a mile in circumference, the rock is 700 feet wide and 1,900 feet long. Its highest point, 136 feet above the rolling prairie, stands as tall as a twelve-story building.
                              Image result for images independence rock

The pioneer priest, Pierre-Jean De Smet, saw the rock in 1841, and dubbed it "the great register of the desert." Other sojourners called it the backbone of the universe.

     Over three decades, nearly half a million Americans passed Independence Rock on their way to new homes on the frontier. Located at the approximate mid-point between the Missouri River and the Pacific Coast, Independence Rock became a milestone for travelers on the Oregon Trail. 

                       Image result for images oregon trail

  Although much of the trail has disappeared beneath modern cities and highways, hundreds of miles of nearly pristine ruts and swales still mark its course over the plains and mountains of Wyoming. 
                   Image result for images oregon trail 
    I've been on the Santa Fe trail, but not the Oregon, the bucket is growing. 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Goat Coat Fashion Show

 Winter is coming! 
  Beanie Baby and Belle, my two Nigerian Dwarf goats, look so cute and "fashion forward" in their new coats. 
     These were made to order by 
              Diana at the goatcoatshop.com  
It wasn't easy to find coats to fit 
around their adorable big bellies. 
          I think the donkeys might be a little jealous. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Victorian Dream FREE KindleUnlimited--only $0.99 to buy.

                                                            print length 368 
         Will he find the murderer, but lose his heart?
   For a spicy romance with a bit of mystery, and some new twists on the old tropes, get comfy and curl up with a Victorian Dream.  Free at Amazon 

      1851 England & America.
          Trelayne St.Christopher, a cosseted young English woman, dreams of falling madly in love, just like the daring women in her purloined novels. Now faced with adult responsibilities for the first time in her life, she leaps at the opportunity to manage her father's shipping business. But when Trelayne ignores her prophetic nightmares in favor of passionate daydreams, her best laid plans go dangerously awry.
     Emotionally scarred by the death of his wife, Yankee sea captain Walker Garrison bans romance from his personal manifest, shipbuilding is his only passion. The transatlantic partnership between Walker and Trelayne's father seems a grand idea until her parents are critically injured and one of Walker's crew turns up dead. On the trail of the man responsible, Walker sets sail for England. But, after meeting his new partner's daughter, protecting Trelayne and not falling in love with her may prove impossible.

Excerpt: (at the Crystal Palace)
    To her surprise, Walker tightened his grip on her elbow and urged her off the
walkway and into the shadows. She felt light headed, and her cheeks grew warm with the unstoppable heat caused by his intense perusal. 
   “That’s some hat you’re sporting,” he said.
    His unexpected comment took her off guard, leaving her confused. “You don’t like my new hat?”
   “I didn’t say I didn’t like it, just that it was really something.”

  “That’s a bit vague. Something can mean good or bad.”
   He canted his head and studied her more thoroughly. “It’s unique, I’ll give you that.” He flicked a finger at the bright bow and scarlet ribbons cascading down one side of the creation. “And unexpected.”
  “Do you like surprises?” she ventured.
  “Not generally,” he admitted. “But I do like discovering new things, taking my time, savoring each revelation, wondering what will come next.
Capturing her left hand, he toyed with the buttons on her glove. Entranced, she waited restlessly, conjuring naughty images of what he might try to discover next. One by one, he slipped the buttons free, splaying open the soft leather. Cool air slipped beneath the material as he rolled down the top, exposing her skin.
   The pulse in her wrist jump beneath the pressure of his fingers. Raising her hand to his mouth, he whispered something, but she couldn’t catch the words, only the feel of his breath on her bare skin. He lowered her hand, and little by little peeled the kid leather away, turning it inside out, sliding the softness over her knuckles, down her fingers, off the tips. She wished he would undress the rest of her just as completely and slowly—oh so slowly, one little piece of clothing following another.
   “Your fingers are cold, Trelayne,” he said, cozying her bare hand between his strong warm ones. “But I’ll wager there’s fire in your heart.”
   Speechless, she strangled the moan threatening to escape her. There was fire in more than just her heart, and it was near to burning out of control. Was it proper for a woman to ravish a man? For that was exactly what she wished to do.
   A hint of smile lingered on his mouth, but his eyes darkened, and there was nothing humorous about the way his gaze made her feel.
   She wished to speak, but words escaped her. Rarely at a loss as to what to do or say, she tried to recall what she’d been taught in deportment about keeping up lively conversation and witty dialogue. Nothing came to mind to cover a situation in which her body ruled her mind. All she could think about was what it would be like to kiss this man, make love to this man, be naked beside this man. There was definitely a fire in her heart.
   “Fires can be dangerous,” she murmured.
   “Yes,” he agreed. “Especially the ones that burn long and slow and incredibly hot.”
   Illustrations from the books she read in secret seared across her mind—scandalous, wonderful imaginings.
   He leaned in closer. She swore he was about to kiss her, could feel his breath and the tiniest tickle of his mustache as his mouth hovered oh so near her lips. Then he straightened, his expression one of confusion, even consternation. He looked like a man delirious with fever, just come to his senses.
   “We should find the others,” he suggested, releasing her from the spell she was under. 
    It was the last thing she wanted. Couldn’t he tell, didn’t he know? 
   “Out of all the wonders here tonight,” he reassured, “spending time with you is what I shall remember most.”
            Readers who enjoyed Victorian Dream
                                  also enjoyed 
                                Lady Gallant  
                                             print length 368 pages, rated spicy    
   Disowned by her father and still mourning the death of her fiancĂ©, Josephine Posey joins Florence Nightingale’s brigade of nurses bound for the Black Sea. Thousands of British soldiers desperately await these angels of mercy and a new life awaits Josie. Amidst the chaos of death and despair, she finds a spark of hope, lighting the flame once more inside her soul.
    In search of the truth, Garrick Allen, one of Britain’s first war correspondents also journeys to the Crimean Peninsula. To him the soldiers seem all but abandoned by Queen and country, and as he smokes his cheroots and makes friends with a bottle, he writes his bold but honest dispatches for The Times.  Not wanting anything more than to finish his job and go home, Garrick is blind-sided by a nurse with attitude who offers him a new slant on life and a reason to love.

        Amazon kindle     The Wild Rose Press $2.99   
                    Barnes and Noble $2.99

Friday, September 28, 2018

NCAR National Center for Atmospheric Research

    NCAR The National Center for Atmospheric Research is a remarkable institution that monitors, investigates, and tracts the weather effecting our daily lives. It is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.
                 Image result for images of NCAR in boulder
Housed in a beautiful building designed by I. M. Pei,
 one of the greatest living member of the modernist generation of architects, the NCAR sits nestled in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado. 
       we got to play with a cloud and make microbursts.
     One of my favorite things was the ice core representation. By trapping gases, dust, and other materials, some ice core data from Antarctica provides information about climate more than 700,000 years in the past, a period which spans eight ice age cycles!
                      Image result for image of ice core at NCAR
    NCAR does research for NOAA. the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. 
        NOAA predicts changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, and works to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.
   One of my favorite things was the ice core representation. By trapping gases, dust, and other materials, some ice core data from Antarctica provides information about climate more than 700,000 years in the past, a period which spans eight ice age cycles!
    My other favorite things was this big blue globe filled with liquid. When spun around it showed current patterns. I really wanted one of those!
                    Image result for image of ncar 
     After our guided tour, we had a picnic lunch on the surrounding outdoor area which also includes a quarter mile trail for hiking. What a view, what a great afternoon. 
                    For more info visit NCAR

Monday, September 17, 2018

Mary Tharp cartographer and path finder.

 I find maps to be fascinating, and the older ones are such a wonderful time capsule of history. Mary Tharp  loved maps, and created them for a vast area she never saw. 

     A path-breaking American geologist and oceanographic cartographer Tharp's work revealed the presence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, leading scientist into accepting the apparently radical theories of plate tectonics and continental drift.
    "This is how they looked 250 million years ago. I had a blank canvas to fill with extraordinary possibilities, a fascinating jigsaw puzzle to piece together," Tharp said. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime — a once-in-the-history-of-the-world —opportunity for anyone, but especially for a woman in the 1940s." 

     Born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, her mother was an instructor in German and Latin; her father made soil classification maps for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She graduated from Ohio University, and later received a masters degree in petroleum geology at a time when women obtained fewer than 4% of all earth sciences doctorates.  

   She worked with Bruce Heezen for 18 years. Barred from working aboard the research ship Vema because she was a woman, Mary drew the maps based on Heezen's bathyemtric data. In 1965 she was able to join the crew on a data-collection expidition. 

         It took years for her contributions to be recognized. In 1998 she was honored by the Library of Congress' Geography and Map Division, and the following year, she was recognized by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 
      In 2001 she was honored by her home institution with the Lamont-Doherty Heritage Award. Today, a fellowship at Lamont-Doherty to promote women in science through the ADVANCE program bearing her name.

    Thank you Mary Tharp for following your dream, changing scientific beliefs, and going where few women had gone before.