Cruising Tip

Hey, you cruise, you rock, and wish you were back on dry land.
Just returned from a five-day cruise out of Miami to the Bahamas
and the very stabilized Majesty of the Seas did a bit of rocking.

Said the eight-year veteran staff member aboard the Royal Caribbean. “I’ve sailed during Kristina and recently during Sandy, for example. The only thing which worked for me was eating one of the green apples offered in the buffet.”

Sea sick pills were available from Guest Relations front desk if you asked.

As for food, one of the best items were the crepes which were made clear up at the back of the 12th floor of the ship. The Savory Crepes were: Asian with crispy vegetables and shrimps,
Bolognese, with Bechamel (don’t ask) and Parmesan; Forest Mushroom with spinach mornay and Gruyere Cheese; and grilled vegetables with semi-dried tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese.

Sweet crepes were my favorite:
Banana custard with whipped cream and butter scotch sauce.
Cherry and Kirsch with marinated cherries and Kirsch cream (had these twice they were so yummy); and chocolate ice cream, with pie crumbles and whipped chocolate mousse.

I’ll be back with more on my next Cruising Post.

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Resurgence of Vintage Little RV’s and Tiny Houses

It’s happening. People are buying up old recreation vehicles and refurbishing their insides and appliances. If looking for a new home, they may be seeking one of the little tiny houses.

In this “forgotten Corner” of Eastern Washington State, there are two older and shorter RV’s being remodeled and two local carpenters who are planning to build a few of these tiny houses.

Not many years ago, we, too, bought an old l976 Scout, 19′. and in it we had many adventures. Many of my adventures end up in books.

The Scout, or Our Girl or Angel, became a story of a several-month trip. It’s entitled “Snowbirds” and is yet to be published. It even had a Florida agent.

Now that tiny homes, and the older and shorter RV’s are coming into vogue, we seem to be following that same flight plan.

Our Girl led to a 23′ Winnebago; on a trip South one winter, the rain came through the walls so hard that we agreed to turn her in when we found sunshine and an rv lot. But that new RV was parked one Sunday up in Greenwood, B.C. Canada on Highway 3 which goes through the town when a drunk driver ran into it and sent it rolling down the hill into a building. It was totaled.

Then, our journeys,looking for lost Spanish gold in Arizona, started to be in a 34′ Southwind until we gave up that dream and leaned more toward recreational trips to nearby lakes and camp ground and needed something smaller that could pull a boat.

We’re following the pattern of smaller! We go to town now in Sally, a converted van, we named after Grandpa Charley’s young, red headed girlfriend. She’s 20′ long, a Pleasureway made in Canada. It’s easier to drive, more fuel efficient, and takes less cleaning effort.

Share My Excitement

One month ago, Lebensborn received a stipend grant from ACX to become an audio book.

Done! What could be more precious words today than hearing that it will be ready for retail purchases in two to three weeks?

Done. Those were the words the narrator sent just a few days ago. Matt Weight wrote: I finished the last of the chapters and returned to fix all your corrections for the previous chapters.

“I’m of the opinion that I like the epilogue the way it is since it pivots back to that dreadful night and the loss of innocence. It entails (my cat was actually sitting on my lap at the time which was making it very, VERY difficult to do the scene!)

“I like the way the story returns to that single moment of sacrifice. I actually like the fact that many of the particulars are left open to interpretation, like what happens to Jacques, etc.

“I had a girlfriend who was obsessed with WW2 and she told me all about the Lebensborn facilities, also the fates of many of the children who had been born to German soldiers in occupied lands such as Poland, France and the Netherlands, being castigated by all members of society for no fault of their own.

“I hope you enjoy the last few chapters. It was a privilege to read them.”

It was amazing for me to learn that Matt had heard about the Lebensborn homes. Of course, now he knows in depth what
one must have been like. Although some was fact, much was also fiction.

I leave soon for Miami to receive a gold medal for Lebensborn in action fiction from ReadersFavorite.

Soon I will be able to download the five-minute segment from the new audio book here on this blog. If you do buy the audio book from Audible.com, Amazon or ITunes, please write a review. I would be so honored.

Lebensborn’s Audio Book Almost Complete

It is snowing. No internet in the mountains so I’m writing from a community center fifteen miles away.

My journey with Matt Weight has been a wonderous experience. He can put a listener smack dab in the action. You’re in the kitchen with Antoinette and her father. Or, you’re in terror right along with Francois and Leon and they blow up the train. The scene with Nurse Judda and the SS doktor are downright nasty. Scenes at the SS party house will soon be recorded. The one where Ellen, the Major’s fiance, arrives at the SS house shows off her classy Berlin wardrobe, her chaufeur and her values.

Five minutes will be selected soon for the listener preview. Oh, what to choose? Pick me, pick me, says each chapter.

Six hours have been recorded and they are perfect in all ways. Narrator Matt Weight has such talent for voices, young, old, men, women, as well as the ability to speak German and French so well.

The CD will be available soon on ITunes, Amazon, Audible.

WWII Fraudulent Claims in U.S. for War Victims

A woman from Brooklyn, New York, has been sentenced to 18 months in Federal prison and ordered to repay 1/2 million dollars for recruiting ineligible applicants for German WWII repayments to Nazi victims.

According to a recent story in the Jerusalem Post, she was an employee of the Conference on Jewish material Claims against Germany. Her role in the scheme lasted almost a decade and involves another thirty persons, eighteen who have pleaded guilty.

At least 12 million went through 3,839 apparently fraudulent applications submitted for people who were not eligible for a “Hardship Fund.” Many were born after WWII.

The fund makes a one-time payment of $3,500 to those who evacuated their homes and were forced to become refugees.

Conference employees are supposed to confirm that applicants qualified. The fraud included doctored documents. Another 1,112 cases processed for a program in the Article 2 Funds were fraudulent, resulting in the loss of another 45 million.

That fund pays $400 per month to survivors who earn under $16,000 a year and either lived in hiding or under a false identity for 18 months, lived in a Jewish ghetto for l8 months, or were held for six months in a concentration camp or forced labor camp.

The Post’s story did not say how the fraud was uncovered or if similar things have occurred and been uncovered in other countries.

Bad Behavior Exposed

Is meanness becoming more acceptable in real life and on the Internet?

Norbert Elias took a look at etiquette books over hundreds of years and found as time has gone by much kindness has disappeared.

Are more and more people blowing off steam and saying and acting mean and inconsiderate, either because they can’t see that their behavior is outrageous or it doesn’t matter?

On line, social cues which say “You’ve gone too far,” can’t be seen and the concern is that this leads to similar actions in real life situations.

Such looks which protect and help a person tone down disappear because there is no way to tell a person to stop without making a further confrontation.

There can be a special feeling of wonder, joy and peace when engaging in a polite conversation, or overhearing people who are using sensitive, kind words.

What Is Success?

“Success may be attained once by accident, but permanent results are found only attendant upon a practice based upon correct theory,” so said Profitable Farming in the Southern States, l890.

There are many paths and definitions. Here are a few:

When you wake up in the morning and feel like a ten-year-old. The child in you is energetic, alive, zestful, curious, happy.

When you like who you are and what you are. These can include your achievements, choosing and deciding your activities, enjoying intimate relationships and loving what you do.

Doing something you said you would do. Honoring your promise or contract.

Helping others. Leaving a positive legacy.

As Las Tzu, father of Taoism says, “the wise man puts himself last and finds himself first.”

Craig Ballantyne says, “Be passionate and add value to the world. There are amazing opportunities out there for you because the world is full of problems which need solving.”

My philosophy is: Jump. . . and the net may be there to catch you.