Crazy Dumplings by Amanda Roberts — Author Interview

crazy dumplings cover

Cookbook / Non-Fiction
Date Published: November 3, 2014
 
 

Dumplings. Wontons. Jiaozi. This remarkably simple food is found throughout Asia and in Chinese restaurants and kitchens around the world, but have you ever filled a dumpling wrapper with chicken? Lobster? North American Plains Bison? Hardly anyone has! The Crazy Dumplings Cookbook features over 100 recipes with some of the craziest and most delicious dumpling filling recipes you will ever see. From Chicken Taquito Dumplings to Timey-Wimey Dumplings to a dumpling for your dog, Crazy Dumplings will show you all the crazy things you can stuff into a dumpling wrapper for an easy meal or snack.

Tell us about this story.

Well, since this is a cookbook, there isn’t exactly a story. But in the introduction, I do talk about adapting to living in a new country when it comes to food, which wasn’t easy. 

In 2010, my husband and I moved from Orlando, Florida to the middle of nowhere Hunan, China. Even though we had spent 10 months preparing for the move and I spoke some Chinese, we probably experienced every kind of culture shock possible, and food was one of our biggest issues. 

“Crazy Dumplings” shows one of the fun ways we combined Western and Chinese food and bridge our home culture with our adopted one. 

What is your most prized possession?

A stuffed Little Foot that I have had since “The Land Before Time” premiered when I was 7 years old. He has always been with me and lives with me now in China. I still sleep with him every night. My husband doesn’t mind [Symbol]

Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I could do art. It would be awesome to be able to write and draw. Some of my upcoming projects are very art-heavy (a graphic novel and a children’s book), so it would be much easier if I could do the art myself. However, I do enjoy the collaborative aspect of working with an art partner, so not being an artist also has its benefits. 

Who’s the favorite character that you created?

In a novel I have coming out next year – The Vampire’s Daughter – I wrote a fictionalized version of Dom Augustin Calmet, the first person who wrote a treatise on vampires. I reimagined him as a scarred, drunk vampire hunter. He’s hardened but is able to embrace life. He’s a great character. 

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

If I changed, then I wouldn’t be me. But I think I am always improving. 

***

crazy dumplings authorAmanda Roberts is an American writer, editor, and teacher who has lived in China since 2010. She has an MA in English and has published books, short stories, articles, poems, and essays in publications all over the world. She blogs about her life in China at TwoAmericansinChina.com and also heads the Women Writers of Shenzhen writers circle. She can be found all over the internet.

Contact Information

Website: http://www.twoamericansinchina.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TwoAmericansinChina

Twitter: https://twitter.com/2americanschina

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/amandachina/crazy-dumplings/

 

Purchase Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Dumplings-Amanda-Roberts-ebook/dp/B00OVTRWKC

Advertisements

Travel Bites by The Hungry Traveller: Excerpt

BookCover_TravelBites

GENRE: Non-fiction travel literature

Travel Bites is a collection of anecdotal travel stories that crisscross the globe. It is the first work by The Hungry Traveller who has combined his two great life passions: travelling and eating! The Hungry Traveller has been travelling for the last fifteen years and, along the way, has experienced many different sights, tastes, and cultures. Central to his travel experiences has been the role of food. Through his unique and very personal style of storytelling, you too can share in the highs and the lows of his stories from around the world. At the end of each story is a recipe for a dish inspired by his adventure. Travel Bites will capture your imagination and curiosity; and will leave you yearning to plan your next holiday, adventure or escape!

****

Another World

Location: Sapa, Vietnam

I had been in Vietnam for around three weeks when I boarded the train at Hanoi station for the overnight trip to Lao Cai, a town in the north west of Vietnam on the border with China. Although my tourist visa was about to run out, I had been told by a couple of backpackers whom I had met in Hanoi that trekking out to the hill tribe areas near Sapa in the remote north-west mountains of Vietnam was a must do experience.

****

The Hungry Traveller will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

****

The Hungry Traveller is a travelling enthusiast who loves to eat! When travelling, he enjoys meeting new people andAuthorPhoto_TravelBites engaging with locals to learn about their culture, history and the food that they eat.

Excerpt: http://travelbitesbythehungrytraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Travel-Bites-excerpt-americanized-text2012.pdf

Any links you want to include (website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc)

Twitter: @Travel_Bites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHungryTraveller

Website: http://www.travelbitesbythehungrytraveller.com

Please link to Publisher Twitter: @wattlepub

Publisher Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WattlePublishing?sk=app_190322544333196

Publisher website: http://www.wattlepublishing.com

Buy Links:

Kindle Edition:

US http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007D92F0Y/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwwattlepubl-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B007D92F0Y

UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007COBA74/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=wattlpubli-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B007COBA74

iBooks:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/travel-bites/id508894628?mt=11

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/travel-bites/id508891669?mt=11

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/travel-bites-americanized-text

Paperback Edition:

US http://www.amazon.com/Travel-Bites-The-Hungry-Traveller/dp/1908959134/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412162248&sr=8-1&keywords=9781908959133

UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Travel-Bites-The-Hungry-Traveller/dp/1908959134/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368378279&sr=8-1&keywords=Travel+Bites+by+the+Hungry+Traveller

Wordery: https://wordery.com/travel-bites-the-hungry-traveller-9781908959133

//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Gotcha! by Eldon Taylor: Book Blitz

Non-Fiction
Date Published: September 22, 2015

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

For more than a century, a silent battle has been raging for the territory of your mind. The weapons are so covert that the masses have remained unaware of their use. So effective are these tactics that even when the victims are told what is happening, and they make some show of being outraged, they nevertheless allow it to continue. Like a virulent virus, the effects are spreading, exerting a stronger control over a greater number of people on a daily basis—and we can only wish this was all just fiction!
In Gotcha! Eldon Taylor explores the 24/7 bombardment of information designed to win the hearts and minds of the public. He demonstrates how new sound-bytes are championed into personal awareness, becoming memes of the culture. All of this results in framing and reframing classical positions thereby causing adjustments to personal values and history itself. Your very decision process is being managed and manipulated, and the quest for discovering your real self becomes exponentially more difficult, if not impossible as a result.
Gotcha! exposes the arrival of the Orwellian age in full-blown technicolor. In laying bare the current uses of the many sophisticated techniques, Eldon reveals what it is we need to do in order to avoid allowing others to puppet our thoughts—“What was your last original thought?” Take back your power, take back your hearts and minds, and learn what it means to be truly free!
Eldon Taylor’s philosophy can best be encompassed by this quote from his New York Times best seller, Choices and Illusions:
“Many believe that self-help and self improvement is about rags to riches, failure to success, and so forth, when indeed it is the beginning of a journey into self- discovery . . . Inside every human being is an eternal truth and a life purpose. Using our mind power is simply starting the engine on that journey of self-discovery and highest self actualization.”
About the Author

Eldon Taylor, Ph.D., is considered to be an expert in the area of preconscious information processing and has served as an expert witness with regards to both subliminal communication and hypnosis. With a background in criminalistics and lie detection, Eldon’s approach has always been very down-to-earth, science based and pragmatic. He is the New York Times best-selling author of Choices and Illusions, the host of the popular radio show, Provocative Enlightenment, and a fellow in the American Psychotherapy Association. The subject of
Eldon’s books range from exposing the darker sides of mind programming and brainwashing to the spiritual search for life’s meaning.
Contact Links
Purchase Link
Giveaway
$5 Amazon Gift Card
 photo readingaddictionbutton_zps58fd99d6.png

Perspectives on Type 2 Diabetes by Zeena Nackerdien: Guest Post

Perspectives on Type 2 Diabetes by Zeena Nackerdien:

Zeena Nackerdien

Publisher: Create Space (April 20,  2015)
CategoryNon-Fiction,  Health, Type 2 Diabetes, HIV, TB, Patient Empowerment
Tour Dates: October/November, 2015
ISBN: 978-1511734837
ASIN: B00WGR90VK
Available in: Print & ebook,  41 Pages

The rising socioeconomic toll of diabetes, in particular the Type 2 form of the disease, is reverberating around the world. A disease that has sporadically plagued mankind for centuries seems to have increased in prevalence in tandem with rapid economic transitions, notably in countries with the highest number of diabetics such as China and the USA.

This resource guide is comprised of information about diabetes in those countries as well as in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Africa. In addition, the latest antidiabetic therapies and infectious comorbidities associated with the disease are discussed in separate chapters. Scattered throughout the guide are fictional scenarios about challenges diabetics and their doctors might face in individualizing recommended management algorithms.



 

Diabetes and Pernicious Anemia 

Pernicious Anaemia society members (a UK-based non-profit organization) will already be familiar with Martyn Hooper’s book,”Pernicious Anaemia: the Forgotten Disease -the causes and consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency”(1). Briefly, a complicated immune orchestra destroys cells in the stomach lining, increasing gastric pH, thereby allowing bacteria (normally suppressed by low pH) to thrive, and possibly interfere with absorption of indispensable micronutrients, including vitamin B12 (2). The net result of progressive inflammation is vitamin B12 deficiency, otherwise known as pernicious anemia (PA).

What happens when this misguided attack on the stomach lining is accompanied by a second autoimmune/comorbid disease attacking a different organ in the body? This prospect is increasingly likely, given the rise in chronic diseases in aging populations. Stomach problems that may occur

concurrently with the insidious progression from autoimmune gastritis to PA, can sometimes be a clinical signal of damage to another organ tucked behind the stomach, i.e. the pancreas. The pancreas secretes insulin, a critical hormone that assists the body in absorbing glucose and other nutrients from food. Insulin and its precursors are also targets for autoimmune attack, leading to Type 1 or “juvenile” diabetes, a condition affecting 5-10% (3) of all diabetics. Adult-onset or type 2 diabetes (more information can be found in the Diabetes Portfolio [4]), that accounts for 90% (5) of all diabetic cases, occurs as a consequence of insufficient insulin production or resistance of the body’s tissues to normal or higher amounts of this hormone.

While PA is thought of as an under- or misdiagnosed disease (present in up to 2% of the general population) (6), for a variety of reasons (2) the number of known diabetics total more than 371 million across the globe (7). Autoimmune gastritis and PA are increased up to 5-fold in Type 1 diabetics (6). Moreover, metformin, a popular, oral antidiabetic medication, may contribute to vitamin B12 deficiency (8). These points underscore the need for a holistic approach in the management of PA and co-occurring illnesses.

References

 

  1. Hooper M. Pernicious Anaemia: the Forgotten Disease – the causes and consequences

of vitamin B12 deficiency London: Hammersmith Health Books; 2012.

 

  1. Neumann WL, Coss E, Rugge M, Genta RM. Autoimmune atrophic gastritis-pathogenesis,

pathology and management. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013.

 

  1. Apple J, Aviad Mea. ASweetLife-Diabetes. 2013; http://asweetlife.org/diabetes/. Accessed July, 2013.
  2. Nackerdien Z. Diabetes Portfolio. 2013; http://znacke1.wix.com/diabetesportfolio. Accessed July, 2013.

 

  1. International Diabetes Federation. Types of Diabetes. 2013; http://www.idf.org/types-diabetes. Accessed July, 2013.

 

  1. De Block CE, De Leeuw IH, Van Gaal LF. Autoimmune gastritis in type 1 diabetes: a

clinically oriented review. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008;93(2):363-371.

 

  1. International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas.

2012; http://www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/5e/Update2012. Accessed July, 2013.

 

  1. Warner J. Peripheral Neuropathy Patients Who Take Diabetes Drug May Have Vitamin B12

Deficiency. 2009; http://diabetes.webmd.com/news/20090608/metformin-linked-to-b12-deficiency. Accessed July, 2013.

 

 



 

Praise for Perspectives on Type 2 Diabetes by Zeena Nackerdien:

Type 2 diabetes, characterized by the body’s progressive inability to utilize insulin, is rapidly approaching a prevalence of one in ten (9.3% in 2014) in both the U.S. and China. This silent epidemic manifests itself initally as a rise in blood sugar.
Dr. Nackerdien found herself challenged by signs of the early stages of this condition, and has produced an excellent summary of early intervention goals and guidelines. This “translation” of technical information to an understandable guideline format is a must-have for real people who find themselves on the cusp of this debilitating condition.”- Curt, Amazon Reviewer

Zeena NackerdienHIV/TB/Diabetes Resource Kit by Zeena Nackerdien:

Publisher: Create Space (April 23,  2015)
CategoryNon-Fiction,  Health, Type 2 Diabetes, HIV, TB, Patient Empowerment
Tour Dates: October/November, 2015
ISBN: 978-1511864060
ASIN:  B00WMNRDWG
Available in: ebook,  35 Pages

Who are the groups likely to be in the frontlines of either administering or receiving anti-HIV/AIDS-containing treatments for this disease and any associated comorbidities? The answer is frontline healthcare professionals, lay educators, and patients, especially in high-disease burden countries such as South Africa. While the reinvigorated national response to HIV/AIDS underscores the country’s commitment to the health crisis, the socioeconomic costs are likely to have a lasting impact on its citizens.

I have compiled a resource kit outlining some of the challenges faced in the treatment of patients with HIV, TB, and diabetes. In addition, the kit contains disease management and prevention tips suited for discussions with healthcare professionals, particularly in resource-poor settings.

About Zeena Nackerdien:Zeena Nackerdien

Zeena Nackerdien is a dual US and South African citizen. She obtained a PhD degree in Biochemistry from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Zeena has been a research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland and a senior research associate at The Rockefeller University in New York.

She is the author of several publications in scientific journals and two poetry collections, “Mist Over Peace” and “Scatterlings.” As a scientist turned patient advocate and writer, she is intensely interested in building relationships with people from different cultures through story-telling and education. Zeena currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Website: http://www.heroinenextdoor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zeenasbooks
Google+: https://plus.google.com/105525451604342478576/posts
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/zeena-nackerdien/9/175/b6a
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/zulu2/zeena-nackerdien/

Buy Perspectives on Type 2 Diabetes by Zeena Nackerdien:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Buy HIV/TB/Diabetes Resource Kit by Zeena Nackerdien:

Amazon

Follow the Perspectives on Type 2 Diabetes & HIV/TB/Diabetes Resource Kit by Zeena Nackerdien:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews  Oct 2 Interview & Giveaways

What U Talking Bout Willis? Oct 8 Guest Post & Excerpt

Avenue Books Oct 9 Guest Post & Excerpt

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Oct 16 Reviews

From Isi Oct 19 Reviews

Lady of Books Oct 20 Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaways

Cassandra M’s Place Oct 22 Reviews & Giveaways

Celticlady’s Reviews Oct 26 Excerpt

Zeena Nackerdien

Book Excerpt: Caviar Living on Fish Stick Money by Marilyn Whelan

caviarlivingfishstick-cover
Non Fiction
Date Published: April 29, 2015
 
 

“Life must be a mixture of frugality and luxury.” — Marilyn Whelan

 

Caviar Living is a hand guide of home-spun lessons from a life well lived. Marilyn Whelan shares her wisdom from how to connect with your community to how to play your mortgage like a game.

 

With short snappy chapters Whelan gives us tips and tidbits on:

 

·         Fun ways to teach your kids and grandkids about money

·         How to keep a clutter-free house – and why!

·         Creative ways to get a tax break

·         How to stretch a dollar on everything from real estate to creative vacations

 

Part budget guide, part spiritual manual, and a whole lotta charm, Caviar Living is a lifetime of lessons wrapped up in this 98-pages of fun.

***

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”

– Saint Augustine

Travel

75

Travel is and always will be my passion. My

vacations are planned around volunteering,

family, adventure, learning and fun. As long as

I can be warm, I am willing to go anywhere at

any time. I have had the good luck to experience

many different types of getaways.

Volunteer Travel

Because my husband was retired military,

this allowed us to travel on military cargo

planes. We often would sign up for five destinations

and take the first one offered. Our main

objective was to cross the ocean. We traveled

76

often to Spain, Italy, Germany and England and

branched out from there.

We served a tour of duty in the United States

Peace Corps. We served in the Philippines, and

I still keep up with good friends we made there.

Many people do not realize Peace Corps volunteers

are drawn mostly from two groups: people

fresh out of college and retirees.

There are many wonderful opportunities for

volunteer-oriented vacations. Perhaps you’d like

to try an archeological dig, or pulling weeds on

a mountain trail, or counting turtles on a distant

island.

One of my favorite adventures was a month

I spent volunteering for the National Park Service

at Andersonville, GA. Andersonville was

the site of the largest prisoner of war camp in

the South for Union soldiers during the Civil

War. It is now a national park that includes a

museum devoted to POWs from all of America’s

wars. I was a greeter in the museum, helping

visitors look up their ancestors, and I sometimes

helped in the gift shop. My two days off

per week were spent touring the area. While

I was there, I stayed in a small cottage in the

77

cemetery. I was the only one on the grounds

at night. It gave me lots of time to reflect, and I

took several projects with me to work on. There

was no television reception in the area, nor did

I have Internet access.

My second-favorite volunteer location was

with Pueblo Ingles. This is a for-profit agency

that helps Spanish executives perfect their English.

For the Spaniards, it is a very expensive

program paid for by their employers. The program

does not accept participants who speak

only Spanish, because the goal is for them to

totally immerse themselves in English. Once

you are accepted into the program as a volunteer,

you work with program personnel to select

a date. If you’re coming with friends, they

work with you to offer a week to your party as

a group.

We paid only for airfare. We were met in

Madrid the evening before departure for the resort

and taken to a banquet and flamenco show

with our fellow Anglos. Anglos come from all

English-speaking countries, such as the U.S.,

England, Ireland, Wales and South Africa.

78

The next day we were taken by bus about 2

1/2 hours from Madrid into the mountains near

the Portugal border. The resort was beautiful.

Each of us was assigned with a Spaniard to a

casita with a bedroom and bath for the Spaniard

upstairs and a bedroom and bath downstairs

for the volunteer. We shared a small living

room and kitchen area. A chef prepared three

meals a day, with wine accompanying lunch

and dinner. It truly was an unforgettable week

for a lifetime of memories. You can learn about

this program at http://www.diverbo.com/en/jobs.

Vacations are for fun, excitement and trying

something new. Consider participating on

a cattle drive. Dryhead Ranch in Montana is

a working cattle and guest ranch. One of the

most popular activities there is driving the cattle

50 miles on Bad Pass Trail. This is a three-hour

drive that gives you to chance to get acquainted

with the beautiful Montana country. For more

information, go to http://www.dryheadranch.com.

Packing

Getting a trip off to a great start can be as

simple as packing correctly. A list is essential.

79

It helps to have a master list to start from. On

this list are the items you are most likely to

need wherever you go, such as an alarm clock,

camera, cell phone charger, medication, small

flashlight or night light. Give thought to what

your days and nights will entail. Think of the

things that will bring you comfort and ease.

When planning clothes, select only three

colors that will go with each other. Make sure

you have both solid and patterned bottoms and

tops. Choose items that go with more than one

other item. My rule is that each top must go

with three things. Roll your clothes. They will

take less room and are less likely to wrinkle.

Consider the mood of the vacation when you

pack. Will it be an exciting adventure, casual

down time, family event? Choose your clothes

accordingly. Have a plan. Your trip plan doesn’t

have to be written in stone; it can be changed

along the way. But have a plan for the things

you think you want to do or see. That said, be

open to changes in the plan. Be flexible.

80

Souvenirs

When shopping for souvenirs, consider

adding a special piece to your wardrobe or buy

something for your home you can incorporate

into your decorating scheme. Make it authentic

– something a craftsman made or a work of

art. Let it remind you of the wonderful trip you

took. You want to look at it for years and smile. I

often carry my purchases on the plane with me.

I feel like I can replace my clothes if lost, but

not my special remembrances.

Travel Deals

Vacations do not have to be costly. Thanks

to technology, you have more tools than ever

to nab the best price for a great getaway. These

tips will help you save time and money, both

when searching for deals and while you’re actually

traveling:

  • When purchasing airfare, try to be flexible

about your travel days for a lower

fare.

  • Consider buying early. If you must travel

during peak travel times, such as when

school is out or over Christmas or Easter

81

vacation, buy as early as possible. Airline

ticket prices typically go up in the

last two weeks before flying.

  • Consider buying late. This is major risk,

but sometimes airlines have open seats

at the last minute and offer them in

newsletters to their loyal flyers. A simple

online search will help you find the

cheapest days to fly.

  • Shop around. Always, always check

as many prices as time permits. Never

book the first price you see. A small

sampling of sites to check includes

http://www.priceline.com, http://www.orbitz.com,

http://www.travelzoo.com, http://www.kayak.com/

flights, http://www.expedia.com, and www.

farecompare.com. These sites will help

you figure out which airlines fly to your

destination. Next, you can go to the

website of the airline with the lowest

fare and check it directly. Maybe that

airline will offer a special sale or promotion,

or maybe you can just hit the

site at the right time.

  • Be flexible. If you live near more than

82

one airport, check out fares from all the

airports near you. Many online faresearching

engines will ask you if you are

willing to depart from or arrive in alternative

cities.

  • You’ll usually find the lowest fares for

travel if you look on Tuesdays, Wednesdays

and Saturdays. Also try to fly midweek,

which is less costly. Prices on the

Internet are lower for car rentals, hotels

and flights. You can compare prices

among Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz.

  • Peak seasons are tricky. Often flying the

week before or the week after a peak

season can make a huge difference.

I remember once taking a cruise to

Alaska the last week of the peak season.

It turned out to be the warmest week of

that season.

com can tell you when a good deal

comes along. Check for coupons and

specials. This site will track your reservation

and alert you when a special deal

is offered.

83

  • When buying travel insurance, try a

multi-insurance site such as www.

insuremytrip.com. Don’t buy insurance

from a tour operator, travel agency or

cruise line. They work with only one

agency and may use the one that offers

them the highest commission rather

than the one that best meets your needs.

  • For booking a hotel room last-minute,

download an app called Hotel Tonight.

It not only gives you up to 70 percent

off, but you can check availability a

week in advance.

  • Have an RV? For a $35 annual fee,

you can park free overnight at one of

351 farms or wineries. Find out more

at http://www.harvesthosts.com. For free or

nearly free RV campgrounds, try www.

freecampgrounds.com.

  • Satisfied with only a place to lay your

head? Consider a Pod Hotel. Arabella

Bowen, executive director for Fodor’s

travel likens the pods to cruise cabins.

After all, most travelers do not spend a

lot of time in their rooms, but consider

84

the hotel a place to be comfortable at

night. Pod Hotels can be found in many

foreign countries and also airports such

as Atlanta and Heathrow. One example

is Tubo Hotel in Tepoztlan, Mexico,

where you sleep in a recycled drainage

pipe. All rooms have a queen-size bed,

light, fan and Wi-Fi. There is a swimming

pool on the grounds. A package

plan is offered for cooking lessons with

fabulous celebrity chef, Ana Garcia, the

Mexican Rachel Ray. Check it out at

http://www.Tubohotel.com.

  • Italy’s newest high-speed trains, Italo,

advertise larger windows, wider seats,

more elbow room, smoke-free and air

conditioned cars, and Wi-Fi. Find out

more at http://www.raileurope.com.

  • When planning a trip, check online for

free activities. Many regions and cities

offer free concerts in the park, lectures

in the library and ranger-led walks, just

to name a few. While online, check for

discounted tickets and special deals.

Look on http://www.restaurant.com for dis85

counts on meals.

  • Military families, both active duty and

retired, can fly “space available” to

foreign countries. They can stay on

bases in short-term housing in the U.S.

and abroad. Most bases have a ticket

and tour office where discounted tickets

are available. I recently went with

several friends to the Naval Base in Key

West where we had a reservation for a

three-bedroom house for four days. It

was wonderful, complete with a fully

equipped kitchen and all linens.

Tax Advantages

While my goal is not to give tax advice, you

can often take advantage of having Uncle Sam

pay for part of your trip. Suppose you want to

buy a boat and “sail the ocean blue.” In addition

to your home mortgage taxes and interest, you

may be able to deduct a second home mortgage

taxes and interest. If the boat of your dreams has

sleeping and cooking quarters and a bathroom,

it could qualify as a second home. This also

holds true for a travel trailer or motor home.

86

If you are traveling to an exotic location for

a volunteer experience with an accredited organization,

you may be able to deduct the cost

of your travel expenses, as long as the volunteer

work is the primary reason for your expense.

One such trip I found recently is offered by

the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

It could be considered both a service and a

learning vacation. The committee is partnering

with BorderLinks. BorderLinks is a binational,

nonprofit educational organization at the U.S.-

Mexico border. The organization focuses on

cross-border relationship-building opportunities,

immigration issues, community formation

and development, and social justice in the borderlands

between Mexico, the United States,

and beyond.

BorderLinks has extensive experience designing

programs, and nearly 1,000 individuals

participate annually in BorderLinks learning

opportunities. Volunteers have the opportunity

to meet with Immigration and Customs Enforcement,

go on a desert walk, and participate in a

discussion with a public defender.

Other ideas are provided below. Many of

87

these organizations charge a fee, but others are

free:

  • Want to learn to speak a foreign language?

Your course may be offset by the

lifetime learning tax credit worth up to

$2,000.

  • One-day cooking classes in Europe can

be found at http://www.theinternationalkitchen.

com.

  • Many foreign countries have Englishspeaking

volunteer greeters who belong

to the Global Greeter Network. Find it

at http://www.globalgreeternetwork.com. The

greeters are not trained guides, but will

spend a few hours with you introducing

you to native haunts.

  • Dublin is known as the City of a Thousand

Welcomes. It matches first-time

visitors with volunteers for a cup of tea

or a pint. Find information at www.

cityofathousandwelcomes.com.

organize dinners in private homes in

Paris.

  • Find Couchserfing.com which takes you

to a facebook application whereby you

88

can join and stay with locals instead of

at hotels.

Flexibility and Resourcefulness

You don’t always get everything you desire

in accommodations. When I scheduled three

weeks in the Berkshires with a friend, we had

a great timeshare with two bedrooms and two

baths. The operators obviously did not want

visitors to do a lot of cooking, because the kitchen

had only a small refrigerator, a very small

microwave and a sink. It was a bit of a shock,

since we had not counted on eating three meals

a day in restaurants for three weeks. We went

to a local Kmart and purchased an electric hot

plate and a set of three pans. We shopped local

farmers’ markets for produce. By being flexible

and resourceful, we ended up preparing meals

that were gourmet quality.

89

“Travel is fatal to

prejudice, bigotry, and

narrow mindedness, and

many of our people need

it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome,

charitable views of men

and things cannot be

acquired by vegetating in one littlecorner of the earth

all one’s lifetime.”

– Mark Twain

Marilyn Whelan has worked as a reporter, a district supervisor in a first time youthful offenders program, and President of caviar-authorShoppers Critique International.  Her want is to die with something remaining on her bucket list, because when something is crossed off, something else is added.  

Marilyn currently lives in Clearwater, Florida, where she is Granny to seven, and Great Granny to three. She loves to travel and plays Mah Jongg twice a week.

Guest Post: Fiona Havlish, author of In Full Voice

in full voice

Non Fiction – Memoir

Date Published: August 25, 2015

Fiona Havlish is an engaging inspirational speaker and success coach whose stories entertain and inspire those going through drastic life transitions. You would never guess that she stuttered as a child and spent the better part of her life trying to remain invisible while navigating her own journey in silence, hiding behind her roles as wife, mother, and nurse.

On September 11th 2001, after dropping her daughter off at childcare, she answered her cell phone oblivious to the fact that she was about to be shaken out of her hiding place and awakened to her own gifts of intuition, clairaudience, and healing.

In Full Voice is a story about one woman’s triumphant journey through trauma, loss, grief, illness (and even a flood) that led her to find her own voice so that she can help others uncover and share their own gifts with the world.

De-Cluttering Life

Today is the day to make some life changes. I am ready to write my next book but no words come. I wonder why and then I look around my office, the one I wrote my first book in. I realize I can no longer breathe because my chest is so tight. It feels as though an elephant is sitting on it and no, it’s not a heart attack! It’s clutter! All the books are neatly on the shelves and then there are the fillers. You all know what fillers look like, right?
I have papers stuck between the books, essential oils in containers on top of the books and amazing amounts of information from all the seminars I have taken on personal development. There are headphones, knick-knacks, (only the important ones that inspire me of course), decoys and pictures of the World Trade Center, before the fall. I can still see my floor, so I guess that says something about my ability to maintain some sense of order and yet I still cannot breathe.
Clutter does not inspire me. It depresses me, sucking the life right out of me. My head feels like it’s filled with a ball of yarn the cat just played with and I have no idea what I am to do because my calendar, the guide to my life, is buried under mountains of papers. I am now putting out fires in my attempt to be organized and the stress is beginning to build!
My solution is to sit back, take a few deep breaths, release them and acknowledge what my feeling and emotions are in this moment and ask myself a few questions;

  1. Do I really need everything on my shelves?
  2. Do they make me happy? If not then they must go.
  3. Do the knick-knacks still have meaning for me or have they fulfilled their role in my life?
  4. What stops me from breathing the most and if it were gone would lighten up my life?

Once I have answered these questions I know what to do:

  1. Let go! Sometimes it is very difficult for me to let go of papers because I never know when I will need them and yet I’ve never once looked at them since I took the seminar. I throw them all out after thanking them for helping me. I am beginning to feel a deep breath coming on even as I write this.
  2. Create a space I LOVE and can breathe in. I remove everything that does not create a feeling of joy.

As I write this I can feel how freeing it will be when I de-clutter my office. I know one of the results will be the removal of the chaos in my head so I can think, create and imagine clearly and take the next step into life.

Does this happen to you? What do you do about this issue of clutter? How does clutter affect your life?

About the Author

Fiona Havlish is an intuitive healer through the use of life’s transformational wake up calls.  She has fhavlish_full voicea BSN degree, is a reiki master and success coach who works through the energetic spiritual realm. She currently lives in Boulder Colorado with her daughter, Michaela, where she enjoys sharing her newest energy practice, Raindrop Technique, and singing duets with her Boston Terrier, Molly, who is an amazing singer herself.

Contact Information

Website