Monday, December 17, 2018

Snow Sculptures in Berthoud

 Had a nice walk through Fickel park on Sunday. Thank you Kathy and Steve. The weather has been unusually warm which made it hard for the sculptors, and their creations won't last long.
     Scuba diver and friends. 

Mr. Potato Head
                                                Modern Art
 Hearts Intertwined 

Template for "The Night Before Christmas"
The finished project. Book on top, mouse on front of shoe and if you look through the window, a nice big wedge of cheese. One of the best. 

                                                My  favorite, 
the huggy bears


 Other large permanent sculptures in the park

the horse has wings!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Meet Mary Morgan: author of breathtaking Celtic Romance

                     Will their love destroy a kingdom 
                   or unite a fractured realm?

   Today please welcome Mary Morgan, a sister Rose at The Wild Rose Press. We are celebrating her new release TRIAL OF A WARRIOR, Legends of the Fenian Warriors, Book 3

   Thank you, Mary, for joining me at the farm today.  To indulge your love for all things Scottish we have scones, cranachan and clootie dumplings! How do you take your tea?

  MM: Oh, my, Gini! Everything looks delicious! I’ll take two lumps of sugar in my tea, please.  

  GR: Readers and writers alike want to know, does writing come easily for you, the words just flying from mind to fingertips, or is it more a process of determination? Do you have daily goals?

  MM: I’m more of a plotter, Gini, so this makes it easy for me to write. If I’m struggling with a scene, I’ll go for a walk or listen to music. Yet, there are times when the characters take control, and I’m scrambling to keep up with them. I try to keep to a daily word count, but it does not control me. If I write 500, or 5,000 words a day, I’m happy. 

   GR: If travel to outer space was more common and affordable, would you go?

   MM: Yes! My first love (at a very young age) was airplanes and space flight. I wanted to be the first woman astronaut in space and/or on the moon. Whenever I travel by plane, I become giddy. 

  GR: Oh Mary, you sound as brave and adventurous as the characters about whom you write! What would you like to be for 48 hours—a rock star, butterfly, a tree, a Scottish princess….

   MM: I’d like to be a dolphin and swim the depths of the ocean. 

    GR: I've always had a special love of dolphins too! What inspired your new release, and what are you working on now?

    MM: I have always been fascinated with Celtic mythology, so it only made sense that I would develop and expand the world of the Fenian Fae Warriors. Theirs was a world rich in legends, colors, and senses. I’ve based my own fictional account on the legend of the Tuatha Dé Danann—one of the invasions of Ireland. They were known as the Shining Ones or the Fae. From there, I created my own fictional Fae heroes and heroines. 

  Currently, I’m working on the fourth and final book in the Legends of the Fenian Warriors, called, Destiny of a Warrior. This is the story of Aidan Kerrigan, one of the mightiest warriors of the Fae realm, and his exile from his own kingdom after falling in love with a mortal woman. 

   GR: What type of books do you prefer to read in you “spare” time?

   MM: I’m an eclectic reader, and it depends on my mood. During the spring, it’s regency romances. Summer is a mixture of fantasy, contemporary, and non-fiction reads. Autumn is mostly paranormal (I love a good vampire romance). And during the holidays and winter, it’s mostly short holiday/winter romances, in particular the Harlequin seasonal historical stories. They’re short and a perfect way to keep me in the spirit of the season. It’s a ritual I started when I worked for Borders Books.  

    GR: I agree, it's fun to dip into several genre depending on one's mood. I’m so glad you could come for a visit.

     MM: Thanks, Gini, for having me on your blog today! Loved spending time with you and your readers. 

     GR: You are so welcome. While everybody takes a moment to peruse your excerpt, we can go play with the animals. They like cookies too (especially the goats).
Their greatest adventure lies within their hearts.
 Available now at :
Barnes and Noble
The Wild Rose Press

Blurb ~                   
"You met them in the Order of the Dragon Knights. Now, journey to the realm of the Fae and witness their legends!”
                 A warrior sentenced to die.
  On trial for breaking a supreme Fae law, Fenian Warrior, Liam MacGregor has no regrets. He is prepared to accept his sentence—even if it means his death. However, freedom comes in an unexpected manner, and brings with it certain dangers as he travels through the Veil of Ages. 
      A princess honor-bound to remain hidden.
    Princess Abela might be a priestess and the daughter of royalty, but that doesn’t prevent her from doing the unimaginable. She sacrifices duty and honor to set free the man who captured her heart so many years ago. No matter the severity of his crimes, she cannot let Liam die.
            A rescue that will bring about a war 
                      and divide a kingdom!   
   In their quest to secure a treaty to forestall Liam’s death sentence, they must fight their desires for one another, as well as the Fenian Warriors sent to capture them. 


Taking the end of her braid, Liam wove the soft hair around his finger. Black as ebony, the lock glistened in the soft glow of the fire. She’d tempted him beyond reason. Once, he thought there might have been a destiny, but her words of rejection slammed the door on any possibility. If she had no desire to claim him, why did Abela come to his initiation? 

“Why witness my ceremony?” He let out a frustrated breath and brought the braid to his lips. 

“Because I never said goodbye,” she uttered softly. Lifting her head, her eyes sought his and her cheeks colored from the heat of his gaze. 

Liam was unable to look away from her beauty. “No. I recall harsh words and tears.” 

“We were young—naïve.”

“Stubborn and set on a path of adventure,” he added. 

“But our roads have led us to this fork, so to speak.” 

Liam cupped her chin. “Was it destined?” He felt her tremble from his touch. 

“I am not a seer,” she replied, darting her tongue out along her bottom lip.  

His mind screamed at him to move away. She was a princess—a priestess. But the temptation to taste her lips once more seeped into his being. Liam bent his head and placed a feather-like kiss on the corner of her mouth. 

A small breathless whisper escaped her lips, “More.”

Her invitation sparked a desire that had remained sealed. Cupping the back of her head, he continued to kiss her tenderly on the eyes, nose, and forehead. As he shifted his position, Liam brought his arms around her and dared to feast on something that was forbidden. If death was his future, he wanted one more kiss to take with him. 

Meet Mary: 

Award-winning Celtic paranormal and fantasy romance author, Mary Morgan,
resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.

Mary's passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn't until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling--writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books.

Follow Mary at:
Amazon Author Page

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Poinsettia Paradise, a visit to The Flower Bin

      During the Christmas Season, my sister and I love to visit The Flower Bin for a blast of Holiday cheer. Warm and inviting it even smells wonderful. Located in Longmont, Colorado, they have been around for 47 years, wowing us with botanical marvels.
 A metal sculpture donkey, one of my favorite things, greeted us at the door. 
 Inside, there is something for everyone from the traditional.... 

to the whimsical... 

But the real showstopper, is the poinsettia display. Row after row of hundreds and hundreds of poinsettia of nearly every color and form. 

    According to Kim, the manager, each plant is grown onsite from a cutting.

And after many months of being lovingly cared for, they are ready to meet the world. Thank you Kim for your time and all the great information. You made us feel so welcome. 


      If succulents are your thing, you won't be disappointed either. 
Some of these cacti were HUGE. 
Or if you are planning ahead for next summer, you might need one of these. 
             The koy pond was very relaxing,                      and after browsing to our heart's content,
      we spotted two more sweet donkeys  
                We really enjoy this family tradition. 
         Take a few minutes, regardless of the season, 
                to visit this unique place to shop.
The Flower Bin's trademark goose bids us adieu. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Colorado woman donates blond Hair for Norden Bombsights WWII ..

Mary Brown was a Coloradan; the children of Slovenian immigrants. She left elementary school at the age of 12, to help support her family as a servant 
for $5/week. When she was 13, she lied about her age so that she could work at National Broom Factory for 75 cents a day, a job she held for 42 years. Her younger siblings pitched in by picking up chunks of coal that had fallen onto the railroad tracks. Brown's lone prized possession was her knee-length fine blonde hair.

In 1943, Brown saw an advertisement in a newspaper, searching for women with blonde hair of at least 22" length, that had never been treated with chemicals or hot irons. The military was offering to purchase such hair, to be used for meteorological instruments in the war effort.

The "meteorological instruments" were actually crosshairs for Norden bombsights. The Army Air Forces (the predecessor to today's US Air Force) had tried various materials for the Norden bombsight, including black widow spider
webbing, but nothing could withstand the temperature variations like fine blonde human hair that had never been treated with chemicals or heat.

Brown sent off a sample of her 34" blonde hair to the government for analysis. After analyzing her hair, they agreed to purchase it, offering to pay her in war savings stamps. But Brown wouldn't accept payment for her hair. She saw it as her patriotic duty to help the war effort. She later recalled that she cried for months after cutting her hair.

It was decades before Brown learned the true use of her hair, and the effect of her
sacrifice. In 1987, on her 80th birthday, she received a personal thank-you letter from President Ronald Reagan:

Brown's hometown of Pueblo, Colorado declared an official Mary Babnik Brown day, and she also received an award from the Colorado Aviation Historical Society.
      Said Brown: "Here I am, an old lady of 83, and I'm still flying high".


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Gini Rifkin Author books now available at Walmart

                  Just in time for the Holidays!  
                           and Black Friday.
                    Image result for Image of walmart ebook logo                        
              From Medieval, to the Old West
            to Contemporary Sci/fi Fantasy.  
             Something for everyone on your list. 
                           Just click on the title...
                                IRON HEART

                          SPECIAL DELIVERY

                           A COWBOY'S FATE 

               THE FAE WARRIORS TRILOGY                    SOLACE: BOOK 1 
                     BLISS: BOOK 2 
                                     PORTENCE: BOOK 3

           Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping.

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