Category: Authors

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Yep. I love Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar! I get the Badass Burger, and skip the fries … which is kind of a shame because the fries are awesome too!

Atelier Whootique

I had to steal the photo of the location from Google Maps because honestly, I didn’t even think to take a picture of the place while I was there. But afterward, it really hit me just how good the burgers were. I have been CRAVING a badass burger so much since we got home. They don’t have any locations near me otherwise I would totally go again soon.

There’s such an epic menu. I didn’t even try anything too heavy when we went for the first lunch. I got stuffed just on the Philly and the housemade chips! My SO had a salad and it was fantastic. I snuck a bite…

You can get pimento cheese as a dipper along with your homemade potato chips. I think you can get dipping sauce along with your fries and tater tots. Both of which really looked and smelt amazing too. I just…

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A Well-Balanced Seminar

American Self-Defense Federation

What a great seminar last weekend. The seminar was planned by Senseis Steve Gower, Chris Moulinier, and Bob Noel, and was held at Balance Martial Arts in Morrisville, North Carolina, which was a great location. I actually lived about two miles from there for about three years, and never stopped by. That was my loss!

We had eight instructors covering nine different martial arts. Attendees included both children and adults, and I must admit I was flabbergasted by the wonderful behavior, attentiveness, and serious practice of all of the younger attendees. What a great bunch of folks. Everyone trained hard, asked thoughtful questions, and I think, came away a better martial artist.

Saturday’s Line-up

Chito-ryu Karate

Sensei Manuel Byers demonstrates bunkai from a Chito-ryu Karate kata.

Sensei Manuel Byers opened the seminar with a great session on Chito-ryu Karate by teaching one of their basic katas. Chito-ryu is a style of karate founded in 1946 by Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose. Sensei…

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Jealousy is mental cancer

This intelligent 16-year-old young lady has a post here that a lot of Americans should read and then real spend some time thinking about.

Jealousy. I have touched on this topic before but feel an unsettling urge to dwell on it a little deeper. Recently, I have been jealous of someone at school, for reasons we can talk about later, but the point is: it turned me into a green-eyed monster!

I despise this feeling. Every bit of it. But I can’t help but envy her. As I analyze this emotion, there is one thing that becomes clear…

We live in the age of envy. Human beings have always felt what Aristotle defined in the fourth century BC as pain at the sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we ought to have”. It is true, I feel innately uncomfortable about this girl’s great accomplishments even though I don’t want to feel this way one bit.

However, I recently came across the Growth Mindset. When we have a…

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A Dog Can Literally Add Years To Your Life!

You should check out this truly delightful post by Eric over at The Petsitter Compendium

Well, let’s face it, life is just one kick in the pants after the next. I have noticed, however, that life is better with a dog (or three). Dogs are optimal companions, vigilant guardians, perpetual playmates, and even extemporaneous vacuum cleaners. Studies have demonstrated that these generators of joy actually reduce stress levels in their human companions.

The Petsitters Compendium

I hope you will check out the rest of this great post here! And if you like it, let him know!

Bear Tales and Other Things!

Five Surprising Things About Author D.C. Gilbert

Thank you, Joy, for the great post about Adirondack Bear Tales and a few “interesting” facts about me. Your friendship and support means a great deal. And yes, more memoirs are coming …

Author D.C. Gilbert

Did you know Darren Gilbert played guitar in a rock band while in high school?

Here is a short excerpt from her post:

This guitar-playing, ballroom-dance-winning hitchhiker was born in Ilion, NY, but grew up in North Adams, Massachusetts, nestled in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains. An avid reader, Darren Gilbert particularly enjoys military history, epic sagas, spy novels, and historical fiction.

Joy Neal Kidney

Please click here to read the rest of Joy’s great post!

Joy Neal Kidney is a fellow blogger and author. Her two works, Leora’s Letters and Leora’s Dexter Stories are great reads for anyone interested in American history and the sacrifices earlier generations made so we could have the country most of us are so proud of today.

Please visit Joy Neal Kidney’s Amazon Author Page. And if you haven’t read Adirondack Bear Tales, check it out here!

July 4th – It’s the Least I can do …

Growing up, my family used to spend several weeks every summer at Raquette Lake in upstate New York. We started out camping at Golden Beach Campground. I was 6 months old on my first camping trip. Later we purchased a lot in Burketown, essentially a marina and restaurant on the south bay of the lake. Lots had also been purchased by both sets of grandparents and a great uncle. Many of the other lots were bought up by other employees of Remington Arms Co. of Ilion, NY. So, on our sandy dirt road, almost every knew everyone. Summers at Raquette Lake were almost always a large friend and family get together.

We would typically go to the lake in late July or early August to avoid the black flies and the worst of the mosquito season. One year, for some reason, we had gone earlier, and we’re going to be at the lake for the fireworks on the Fourth of July. I was maybe twelve years old or so. We drove down to watch the fireworks at Old Forge, NY; about twenty minutes south of Raquette Lake on Route 28.

I’m not completely sure who was there. I know myself, my brother, and my Mom and Dad were there. And my Nanny and Grandpa Klippel were certainly there, because my Grandfather is the key figure in this tale. I do remember others being there and suspect my Aunt Carol and maybe my Uncle Ken were there. Grandma and Grandpa Gilbert may have been there, as well as various other cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.

We had found a spot to sit on the hill overlooking Old Forge Lake, or Fourth Lake (being the fourth lake in the Fulton Chain). It is not a particularly large lake; really more like a rather big pond. We were sitting there talking and waiting for the fireworks to begin when it began to cloud up and look like it was going to rain. I remember people trying to figure out if the fireworks would be canceled if it rained. The consensus was that it would depend on how hard it did rain, which seemed fair enough.

Once it got dark enough, the fireworks began. It was positively glorious. However, very shortly thereafter, the rain began as well. I remember being so disappointed as people began getting up to leave. My family, too, was getting ready to leave; everyone that is, except my Grandfather Klippel. He remained seated and simply took his handkerchief out and put it over his head. We had been hurrying to the car, but I had stopped and looked back. I watched as my Grandfather took the handkerchief, which by now had become soaked, and wring it out and place it back on his head. I was stunned, What was he doing? Even at that age, I knew my Grandfather was a bit of a character, but this was like nothing I had seen before. I walked back to where he was sitting.

“Grandpa, what are you doing? It’s raining.” It was actually raining quite hard by then.

“Well,” Grandpa replied, “if our ancestors could fight a war for this country and our freedom, the least I can do is sit through a little rain to thank them for doing so.”

That statement struck me, and I sat down next to my Grandfather. He asked me if I wanted the handkerchief, but I shook my head. It was too much fun watching him periodically wring it out and put it back on his head. We sat there together waiting for the rain to stop.

To be honest, I don’t remember if the rain ever did stop, or if the fireworks were canceled. I just remember sitting there in the rain, being proud as hell, and watching my grandfather once more wring the water out of his handkerchief, and place it back on his head.

Happy Fourth of July!

Roy Loveday: Navy SEAL and Karate Sensei

I first met Sensei Roy Loveday in 1983 at Wheeler’s School of Karate in Powell, TN. It was at the same time I first met Sensei Sherman Harrill. I remember Roy being present at a few amazing classes Sensei Harrill taught, and then both were gone. It wasn’t until much later that I learned the backstory to that, but it really doesn’t matter for this post. This post is about Roy Loveday, a former Navy SEAL, a Vietnam veteran, a solid karateka, and a friend.

I got reintroduced to Roy when I started bringing Sensei Sherman Harrill in for seminars in the mid-90s. Sensei asked if he could invite Roy as his guest, and I said, “No problem, Sensei. Please do.” After that first seminar, Sensei and I would often visit Roy whenever he came into Clinton, TN, for future seminars. Sometimes we would train, and sometimes they would reminisce, and I would just listen. Sensei Harrill and Roy Loveday were great friends, and it was fascinating to sit there and listen as they talked back and forth about Isshin-ryu Karate and their shared history. After we finished training at one of these sessions, Sensei surprised both Roy and me with new rank certificates.

Roy Loveday, Sherman Harrill, Darren Gilbert

After Sensei Harrill passed away on November 4, 2002, I started bringing in his senior student, Sensei John Kerker, for seminars. John had inherited Sensei’s dojo in Carson, IA. Although health issues were beginning to make it hard for him to train, Roy Loveday would still come and support us. I remember one comment Roy made to me as he watched me struggle to understand how to to make one of the techniques we were working on flow properly. He came over and stood there for a minute and watched. Then he commented.

“Darren, don’t forget your elbow principles.”
“Elbow principles?” I asked. “What the heck are those?” I hadn’t heard that phrase before.
“When a technique gives you a problem, give it to your elbow to solve,” Roy replied. Then he grinned and walked off.

It turned out that was a great pearl of wisdom, and applying the “Elbow Principle” has help me understand and solve a lot of difficulties in technique since.

Mark Radunz, John Kerker, Darren Gilbert, Mel Sims, and Roy Loveday

Roy passed away on February 11, 2021, at age 76. He was born on October 25, 1944, graduated from Central High School, and enlisted in the US Navy, where he became a SEAL. Roy served in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam during the war. After Vietnam, he retired from the Norfolk Railroad and served as a Free Mason. Sensei Loveday studied and taught Isshin-Ryu Karate for over 40 years and held a 7th Degree Blackbelt.

In addition to Isshin-ryu Karate, Roy also studied Shito-Ryu and Tai Chi. He wrote and published an Isshin-Ryu training manual. I was honored to help by being in some of the photographs demonstrating weapons techniques with Sensei Harrill. It was a real honor. The dojo patch (shown in the post banner) adopted by Sensei Sherman Harrill and proudly worn by his students was based on Roy’s design. The name would just change depending on the school.

For hobbies, Roy enjoyed rebuilding old ’55 Chevys, and I still remember one old Chevy truck he was in the process of painting on one of my visits over to his house. Roy was a master diver and loved SCUBA diving.

For anyone who knew Roy and would like to pay their respects, the Family will receive friends from 6:00 – 7:00 PM Saturday, February 20, 2021, at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel, with a service to follow at 7:00 PM. Rev. Mark Large, Rev. Danny Scates, and Daniel Beason will be officiating. Family and friends will meet at 12:15 PM for a 12:30 PM interment on Monday, February 22, 2021, at East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery on John Sevier Highway. Online condolences may be left by clicking here.

It saddens me, because I just moved back to Knoxville, Tennessee and was looking forward to reconnecting with Roy. He was a good man who served his country and had a lot to share. He will be missed.

Essential Oils Can Kill Your Dog!

Dog Poisoned by the Diffuser

This morning I am forgoing my typical Tunes for Tuesday post for a public service announcement. Tunes for Tuesday will be back next week,

Anyone who has followed my blog or Instagram knows I am a dog lover. While I lived in Cary, NC, I joined a very nice dog park and its Facebook group. While I sometimes get very angry with Facebook over their censorship, I must admit that not everything about Facebook is evil. Here is a case in point … and a good reminder. This was posted by a fellow member of the dog park Facebook page, and it is good information. It can save your best friend’s life.

Posted by Marianne White

Saturday night, I got home late, and my dog didn’t recognize me. Being a nanny, I thought I woke him up, and he was having a night terror. Sunday, he was still acting weird. I realized that I had been running my new diffuser and decided to turn it off. Sunday afternoon, he was feeling better.

Today at work, my dog sitter said that he wouldn’t come out from under the bed. It was very odd as he is a happy dog.

I came from work early and again, he was very confused about who I was.

So I took him to emergency vet.

It turns out that the tea tree oil I was using in the diffuser is toxic for dogs. Thankfully the test showed that his liver was ok, but we weren’t out of the woods yet. He was given fluids under his skin to get the toxins out.

The vet and the poison control are saying that they see these cases often now that the popularity of essential oil is growing

Please make sure that the essential oils you are burning are not toxic to your pets.

Here is a list of essential oils not to use if you have a dog at home:

Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
Birch (Betula)
Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis)
Boldo (Peumus boldus)
Calamus (Acorus calamus)
Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
Cassia (Cassia fistula)
Chenopodium (Chenopodium album)
Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Goosefoot (Chenopodium murale)
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)
Hyssop (Hyssopus sp. with the exception of Decumbens)
Juniper (Juniperus sp. with the exception of Juniper Berry)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Mustard (Brassica juncea)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
Red or White Thyme
Rue (Ruta graveolens)
Santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus)
Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
Savory (Satureja)
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Terebinth (Pistacia palaestina)
Thuja (Thuja occidentalis)
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Sophie says, “please share this story as it may save someone’s precious furry family member!”

Check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here, and be sure to check out my books on my Amazon Author’s Page! They do get great reviews!

Sign up for my monthly author’s newsletter …

Yes, I do, in fact, have an author’s newsletter! Would you like to keep up with new releases, writing tips, upcoming events, freebies, and bonus content? Then you can sign up by clicking here! And, I promise, no spam!

Tunes for Tuesday: Time for a little magic!

I remember when The Police exploded on the scene with their new wave, reggae rock, post-punk, pop sound, and all you could say was, WOW!

A British rock band, The Police formed in London in 1977. The best-remembered line-up included Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (Guitar), and Stewart Copeland (drums, percussion). Their debut album Outlandos D’Amour released in 1978, rose to #6 on the UK Albums Chart. The second album, Reggatta de Blanc, released in 1979, was the first of four consecutive #1 albums in the UK and Australia,

Their first number one hit in the UK was Message in a Bottle.

Message in a Bottle (Synchronicity Concert, 1983)

It just got better and better from there. I still will occasionally belt out a little bit of … ROX – anne … when nobody is in ear shot!

Roxanne (Live in 1979)

I really like this long version of the song that includes some interesting bass lines and vocal variations.

And Stewart Copeland is certainly no slouch as a percussionist. Check this video out.

Wrapped Around Your Finger (Tokyo Dome, 2008)

I always liked this song. I must admit I have been wrapped around a few female fingers in my life. I do try to keep it from happening again, unless of course, there is an equal and mutual wrapping.

Andy Summers is also quite a guitarist winning two Grammy Awards for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, one in 19979 for Regatta de Blanc and one in 1980 for Behind My Camel. He is also a member of the Guitar Player Magazine Hall of Fame

Every Breath You Take (Atlanta, 1983)

Unfortunately, as is so often the case when you put such great talent together in one group, there is friction. The Police were no different. According to an interview with Stewart Copeland, they fought a great deal.

We got along great as long as we didn’t talk about music, but we had to so we fought. And people say Andy was like some buffer for the two of us. Bullshit. Andy was his own little volcano. His own sharp point of the triangle. We all fought.

Copeland

But when they took a break in their fighting, it was certainly magic.

Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic (Live in Rio de Janeiro, 2007)

The Police were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2003.

Check out some of my other blog posts by clicking here, and be sure to check out my books by clicking here! They do get great reviews!

Sign up for my monthly author’s newsletter …

Yes, I do in fact have an author’s newsletter! Would you like to keep up with new releases, writing tips, upcoming events, freebies, and bonus content? Then you can sign up by clicking here! And, I promise, no spam!

POW/MIA Recognition Day

National POW/MIA Recognition Day was established in 1979 by a proclamation signed by President Jimmy Carter. Since then, each subsequent president has continued the tradition, commemorating the third Friday in September as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

A national ceremony is held on every National POW/MIA Recognition Day at the Pentagon featuring members of each branch of military service and the participation of high-ranking officials.

In addition to the national ceremony, many observances of National POW/MIA Recognition Day can be found across the country on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools, veterans’ facilities, homes, and private businesses.

No matter where they are held, these National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies share the common purpose of honoring those held captive and returned, and those who remain missing.

According to the Department of Defense, approximately 83,114 Americans are still missing today.

In past years, I have seen Missing Man Honors tables set up in restaurants I have visited on this day. It never fails to bring a lump to my throat.

Missing Man Honors

Let me take a moment to explain the significance of the Missing Man Honors to those who may not understand. This is how the table is typically set at military and veteran clubs, and private businesses and homes.

The tables I have seen are typically set for one, with the single empty chair representing all missing American servicemembers. It will sometimes be done with a setting for six, with each chair representing the missing Americans from each of the services, including the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and civilian.

There is great symbolism in how the table is set.

The table is round to symbolize our everlasting concern.

The table cloth is white and represents the purity of motive in answering the call to serve.

A single red rose is placed on the table to remind us of the lives of these Americans and their friends and loved ones who keep the faith.

The yellow ribbon represents our continued uncertainty, hope for their return, and determination to account for them.

A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate, captured or missing in a foreign land.

A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of the missing and their families.

The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return.

The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.

The glass is inverted, symbolizing their inability to share a toast.

The chair is empty … because these great Americans are missing.

Traditions such as these honor those who fought and sacrificed so Americans today can live in Freedom.

Freedom is such a precious gift, a gift paid for by blood during the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and other conflicts.

Politics is for politicians. The American fighting men and women put the politics aside and just do their job. All Americans should remember the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call and served in defense of freedom, and it is especially important to remember those who have not yet come home.