Friday, March 30, 2018

Painting building murals not a new idea.

     During the Great Depression, part of Roosevelt's New Deal included the Public Works of Art Project (1933-1934). The idea was to give artist workers jobs and assure the public better times were coming. Under the direction of the new agency, they oversaw the production of 15,660 works of art by 3,750 artists. These included 700 murals on public display.
 The New Deal also allowed for the formation of the CCC (the Civilian Conservation Corp) which my Father was a part of, and the construction of federal buildings, such as courthouses, schools, libraries, post offices and other public structures, nationwide.
               Post Office in Moline, Illinois

    Starting in 1938, now called the Section of Fine Arts under the U.S. Treasury Department, more than 1,400 murals were commissioned for federal post office buildings in more than 1,300 cities across America.

Moline, the town where I grew up had one of those post office murals. To a child's eyes it seemed especially huge and intriguing. I remember staring up at it at in fascination every time we went to the P.O. 

    It wasn't too surprising our mural depicted the manufacturing of plowshares. Moline is the home of John Deere, we even had an antique looking plow on our class ring, and growing up we had an International Harvester refrigerator!

 The paintings were to depict ordinary citizens in a realistic manner. Abstract and modern art styles were discouraged. Artists were also encouraged to produce works that would be appropriate to the communities where they were to be located and to avoid controversial subjects.

Is there a mural in a Post Office near you? Go here to find out......
List of Post Office Murals

More Pictures here...

“Located at the Moline post office is a mural entitled “Ploughshare Manufacturing” by Edward Millman. Created in 1937, this mural is an “egg tempera on gesso” …

Born in Chicago in 1907, Edward Millman attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and later became the chief illustrator for the Chicago Evening American. He is regarded as one the most productive Depression-era muralists in Illinois, creating post office murals in Decatur, Moline, and Chicago. The mural located in Moline–“Ploughshare Manufacturing”—has been described as “depict[ing] laborers…in a dramatic and dynamic scene where workers and machines almost struggle with each other”

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

FREE Audio Download

            Historical Western Romance yours free 
            in exchange for review at Audible.com. 
              Just leave e-mail and Audible page                                        info in the comments
                       or @ gini@ginirifkin.com 
                      She believes in the Tarot cards. 
                   Four-of-a-kind is more his style.
                            Go here for sample
                                     5 Stars from Netgalley 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Beware the Ides of March?

     Did the death of Caesar curse the day, or was it just Shakespeare’s mastery of language that forever darkened an otherwise normal box on the calendar? If you look through history, you can certainly find enough horrible things that happened on March 15, but is it a case of life imitating art? Or art imitating life?

   The Ides of March actually has a non-threatening origin story. Kalends, Nones and Ides were ancient markers used to reference dates in relation to lunar phases. Ides simply referred to the first full moon of a given month, which usually fell between the 13th and 15th. In fact, the Ides of March once signified the new year, which meant celebrations and rejoicing.

Drawing from history, the quote from Shakespeare's tragedy Julius Caesar (1599) is a warning uttered by a soothsayer who is letting Roman leader Julius Caesar know that his life is in danger, and he should probably stay home and be careful when March 15th, the Ides of March, rolls around. 

   In 44 BC, March 15th did become notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar which made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history. Talk about a rough day in politics....Ceaser is stabbed to death in the Roman Senate house by 60 conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus (here we also get the term et tu Brute from Shakespeare meaning "even you Brutus")

                        So beware or be square, 
                   or just don't care, it's up to you!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fae Warriors' cover makes top 6 !

                         March Magic Cover Contest 

                     Portence makes the cut. 
      Please vote for #6 (only one vote per person) 
 Two easier ways to vote. Just leave a comment on Facebook Still Moments face book or send an email from Still Moments Blog. Those two are the easiest.                                      

Portence Fae Warriors Book 3
In the final battle to save the Earth, Fae Warrior, Portence Goodeve, stands ready to serve Mother Nature. But as she fights for the future of the planet, she’s haunted by her past. One near-death experience and a betrayal that goes deep become weapons that could get her killed.

Malachi, a cross/breed, half-sorcerer and half-Fae, is back to help fight the Reptile invaders. Once upon a time, his sexy Fae-half stole Portence's heart, breath, and good sense.  Then he abandoned her—what if it happens again? Should she surrender to desire, giving both Malachi and love another chance? Or seek retribution, and be done with him forever?

Portence and her sisters as well as their Earth partners, are in a fight for their lives. When Malachi's magic is stolen and his life is in danger, will she discover the path to her future is bound by both love and duty? 

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Goblin Bat

Perhaps this is a post more suited for Halloween (Samhain), but I couldn't wait!

The little goblin bat (Mormopterus minutus) is a species of bat in the family of the free-tailed bats.
                             Little Goblin bat habitat showing day roost trees, the palm Copernicia gigas

                                 Roosting trees.
They are endemic to Cuba and are vulnerable due to habitat loss. During the day they can be found roosting in the palm tree, and in human-made structures. Using echolocation in a variable pattern of calls, the diet of this bat is entirely composed of insects.
   Although  many bats use echolocation, this species has the ability to change its style based on the environment it is in.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The White Temple of Thailand

    It snowed last night, and when I got up it was 5 degrees. Chores were not as much fun that morning...but it was beautiful...like living in a Christmas Card. The trees and fences were frosted in stark white, the sky so blue it hurt your eyes. 

     I heard that special scrunchy sound made only by walking on snow. Then the peacefulness was broken by a flock of noisy Canada geese flying low overhead. 

         While feeding my rambunctious, hungry "herd",
thought how fortunate I was to be enjoying such magical moment. And gazing at a world dipped in snow I remembered an article about the White Temple of Thailand.                               Wat Rong Khun, stands outside the town of Chiang Rai. Contemporary, unconventional, and privately owned, the white color and the use of pieces of glass in the plaster, sparkling in the sun, make it unique among temples. 
Built in 1997, by Thai visual artist, Chalermachai Kositpipat to date the temple is not finished. 
Eventually there will be nine buildings including a holy prayer room, a hall to enshrine Buddhist relics, a meditation hall, the monks living quarters and an art gallery.
 The main building, is reached by crossing a bridge over a small lake. In front of the bridge are hundreds of outreaching hands that symbolize unrestrained desire. 

The bridge proclaims that the way to happiness is by foregoing temptation, greed, and desire. 

Next to the lake stand two very elegant Kinnaree, half-human, half-bird creatures from Buddhist mythology.

The interior houses a gallery of great visual contrast. Lots of reds and oranges with murals of flame interspersed with modern day and ancient people and characters. It is said to be quite unsettling.

(Although they can be found on-line, photo's of the interior are forbidden.) 
        Image result for pictures the white temple thailand
There is something both very romantic and
very macabre about this place!
Image result for pictures the white temple thailand

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Solace Reviewer's Choice award PLEASE vote.

           Voting starts today 2/8/18 though 2/18/18

                        Please go here to vote for SOLACE

 Solace Goodeve, one of Mother Nature’s favorite Fae Warriors, is assigned to Earth to help save the planet. Reptile invaders, disguising themselves as humans,
are waging a takeover—and Mother is mad enough to eat asteroids. Solace is ready to prove herself as a warrior, but having a human for a partner is not in her battle plan—even if the man is rugged, ripped, and ready for action.

Ex-Army Ranger, Tanner Jackson, has seen his share of black op missions. The last one took a toll on both body and soul. Tanner isn’t looking for love, even though his new partner is six-foot-tall and drop dead gorgeous. However, after Solace shows him a new meaning to working undercover, he may have to reconsider that possibility.

As the Reps plan to sabotage NOAA, Tanner and Solace must learn to trust one another. But as they're trying to save the world, Solace and Tanner might just lose their hearts—and that takes the most courage of all.

   “I mean it Solace. What’s going on? Who do you really work for?”
   She opened her mouth then closed it, and those lips he coveted flatten in to a line of determination barring words she seemed to be fighting to hold back.
    “If you have to ask, I can’t tell you,” she finally said, her gaze searching his face as if she sought some grand truth, her expression almost one of pain. “I really do need to see everything.”     
  Tanner balled his hands into fists, trying to keep his cool. Accustomed to giving orders, blindly take them went against the grain. It went against his instincts. It went against his training. What if she were lying? The stuff she was about to see was beyond top secret. It was experimental, and in the wrong hands, it could bring down an entire country.
   “Please,” she said.
   Although unspoken, the words trust me seemed to fill the space between them.
  “It truly is important,” she added.
   Tanner stepped in front of her. She didn’t blink or flinch, but rather she calmly returned his malevolent glare, the one he’d perfected to scare his worst combat enemies. Her show of toughness turned him on. And friend or enemy, he wanted her—right here, right now. He eased closer, his body pressing hers back up against the wall. Recollections of being with her at the party, and stolen kisses on her balcony, flooded his mind. “Are you remembering what we shared that night?” he asked.
    In answer to his question, a hint of a smile curved those luscious lips. “Business first,” she whispered, against his cheek. “I promise it will be worth the wait.”
   “I intend to see you keep that promise,” he said, bumping his hips up against hers.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Special Delivery goes AUDIO!

       What a thrill to hear my story come to life. 
     Thank you Wild Rose Press 
         and narrator Richard L. Walton
          Five stars 
           From Fall Into Reading
                and Still Moments Magazine

Buy at Audible.com
Buy at The Wild Rose Press
 Sample at Amazon 

         Where do you listen to your audio books?
                         Relaxing in the bath?
Out for your daily walk?
  Bound for adventure in faraway places?

                           Special Delivery  
                    Buy at The Wild Rose Press                                       Buy at Amazon with Audible

Back Cover blurb
Clover City, Colorado—1888

A mysterious letter and the drop-dead handsome town marshal, are the last things Mariah expects to find making rounds as a midwife.

Mariah McAllister plans to be married before her next birthday. Too bad Marshal Virgil Kincaid barely knows she’s alive. Not one to give up easily, she’s determined to show him she has an abiding passion for more than her work.

Virgil Kincaid loved a woman once—after she broke his heart, he spent three years in prison. Women can’t be trusted, no matter how good they look. He’s sworn off relationships in favor of Saturday night poker games. Life is simple—the way he wants it…until a stranger turns up dead in the road.

Forced to work side by side with Mariah, Virgil begins to wonder if she might be his second chance at love. As they trade kisses and oh so much more, he’s willing to take the gamble. But when a killer threatens their once peaceful town, all bets are off. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Price reduced/only $2.99 to warm your heart on a cold Winter's night.

                    The Dragon and The Rose
England 1100 A.D.
A Norman warrior—seeking land not love.
A Saxon good-faith hostage—seeking only freedom.

Only $2.99--384 pages! 

     Sir Branoc Valtaigne, ordered to Northumbria By King William II, fights to keep peace along the Scottish border. A formidable battle-tested warrior, he honors his vows to God, king, and country, but a young woman’s smile may prove to be his undoing.

     Martanzia Verheire, tricked into standing as good faith hostage for Flanders, seeks freedom from castle Bamburgh and love from Sir Branoc. As she clings to the Celtic dragon statue given to her by her mother, she leads them all to the brink of an era where true magic will be gone forever but where dreams can still come true.

A masterful job of plot and character development /Between the Lines

This is an ENCHANTING story!/The Long and Short Review

Rifkin is immensely knowledgeable about the story’s time period/ Romantic Times Book Reviews 

                           Amazon only $2.99

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hiawatha, Kansas home of famous tourist attraction: a 1930's tomb

Can you imagine visiting here in the dead of night, 
with a full moon of course.

    This grave is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is visited by 20,000-30,000 people annually. It has been featured in "Life", "Newsweek", and "People" magazines, and as well as on the "Ripley's Believe It or Not" television show.

Davis Memorial

Mount Hope Cemetery Hiawatha, Kansas
Davis MemorialJohn Milburn Davis erected this memorial to "the sacred memory" of his wife, Sarah. After she died in 1930, he almost immediately commissioned the work to begin.
davismemorial03.jpgThe life-sized Italian marble statues of the Davises were striking in their detail and accuracy. The cost of the memorial was staggering in a small town during The Great Depression. The stubbornness of Davis toward his project in the face of public criticism was prelude to a legend.
davismemorial04.jpgThe story began when Kentucky-born John Davis followed some other Kentuckians to Brown County in 1878. He met and married Sarah and they settled on 260 acres north of Hiawatha. They were hard-working, frugal and childless. They moved to Hiawatha in 1915 and lived ordinary lives of quiet routine.
davismemorial06.jpgWhen Sarah died, the script changed. John Davis suddenly became a big spender. He removed a simple "Davis" headstone from his wife's grave in Mt. Hope Cemetery, and began to erect a massive memorial.
davismemorial08.jpgIn a few years, 11 marble or granite statues were positioned beneath the canopy or surrounding it. These included an empty overstuffed chair, a winged angel-version of Sara in prayer and figures of Davis without his left hand, which he lost to infection.
As the memorial grew, so did the dismay of townspeople. Hiawatha was without a hospital and swimming pool. Community leaders wanted Davis to underwrite these projects -- and they told him so. He ignored their requests.
davismemorial09.jpgRoving American reporter Ernie Pyle, who later won a Pulitzer Prize for his work, interviewed Davis in the late 1930s. Davis told Pyle he was unmoved by the community's appeals. "They hate me," Davis said. "...But it's my money and I spent it the way I pleased."
The eccentric Davis continued to watch over his memorial into the 1940s. He had a marble and granite wall erected to discourage visitors from walking among the statues. He visited the memorial weekly and sometimes personally greeted tourists.
Through it all, Davis never wavered in voicing devotion to his Sarah, though others were skeptical. Nor did he and townspeople ever come to terms about his decision to sink money into the memorial instead of investing in the town. What is not as widely known is that he secretly gave away tens or thousands of dollars to the needy, a few hundred dollars at a time.
Davis died in 1947 and was buried next to his wife under the marble canopy. The funeral was poorly attended and the Baptist minister conducting the service gently scolded Davis' fellow citizens for not accepting the memorial-builder as he was. Said the pastor in defense of John Davis: "All of us have peculiarities."
Today an air of mystery hangs over the memorial, sort of a second canopy of skepticism and resentment.
Some of his peers insist that Davis never treated his wife as royally in life as he did in death. They suspect his generous gift was intended more as a slap in the face to his wife's heirs than it was a tribute to Sarah. And resentment lingers over Davis' refusal to be a benefactor to Hiawatha in its hour of need.
Yet the irony is that the Davis Memorial has benefited the community. Every year tens of thousands of visitors come to Mt. Hope Cemetery to view the marble statuary and to hear the story of the memorial's eccentric creator. Built in memory of Sarah, the imposing work has become an enduring public attraction.
The Davis Memorial is today a piece of history -- and of mystery. Hiawatha knows whodunit: John Milburn Davis. The question remains...why?
The above posted by the City of Hiawatha

Davis Memorial, Hiawatha Kansas
Davis Memorial
John Davis
Vacant Chair
Young John Davis
Young Sarah Davis
Sarah & John Davis statues - Davis Memorial, Hiawatha Kansas

Davis Memorial tombs

Sarah Davis Angel
Angel with Sarah's face at foot of John's grave. The head
was stollen from the satatue at the foot of Sarah's grave.

"Kindly keep off the Memorial"
Davis Memorial guest register
Davis Memorial guest register

Davis Memorial Map - Mount Hope Cemetery
Mount Hope Cemetery Map
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