Sunday, September 14, 2014

Where Were You On 9-11-2001?


Twin Towers
On 9-11-2001, I was listening to CNN news at home when the breaking news came on about the first tower being hit.  I was stunned and sat in shock watching the plane hit the tower.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  It seemed so unreal, and I just sat there and stared at the television.  I felt like I was in a stupor. Finally, I ran into the bedroom where my husband was watching television and told him to watch the news. 

I went back to my television on the big screen and kept watching; still shocked. Then, a short time later, I saw the second tower hit.  It finally hit me when the towers came down; this is really happening.  A short while later, there was news of the pentagon being hit, and then a plane in rural Pennsylvania was prevented from reaching its' destination by heroic passengers and crew members.

Pentagon

Flight 93 in rural Pennsylvania
As I sat and watched these events I was so sad and full of disbelief.  How could anyone hate so much?  What is wrong?  We try to help so many and look what it gets us.  I couldn't take my eyes off the television all and for several days after.


By the third day, I was becoming angry.  I paced up and down in front of the TV ranting and marched into the bedroom to rant some more to my husband.  I was so pissed that this had happened in our country.  I wanted to reciprocate what they did to us even though it doesn't make sense to lower ourselves to their level.  Yes, I was that mad. 

Today, I'm still angry, especially, as I see Americans being beheaded by these fanatics.  Religious wars go thousands of years back, and they have always been barbaric.  I hope we can get through this period in history and still retain our humanity.

Here are a couple of sites to visit if you want to know more about 9/11.  http://time.com/3304315/september-11-articles/ and http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-attacks

Leave me a comment about how you heard the news of 9/11 and how it made you feel.  Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday. 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@Eirelander Publishing
http://www.skaymarshall.com
http://www.google.com/+SandraKMarshall
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98
http://www.amazon.com/author/sandramarshall
Twitter - @AuthSKMarshall 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stand Up 2 Cancer

Hello Everyone,

How many of you watched Stand Up 2 Cancer on television Friday night?  I bet many of you saw it because it was on nearly every channel.  Some of you missed it because of all the sports activities revving up for the fall season.

 
Stand Up 2 Cancer is an organization raising money for research to eradicate all kinds of cancer.  Their research does not just take place in this country, but around the world.  The countries involved in Stand Up 2 Cancer Friday night were the United States, Canada, Great Britain and The Netherlands. 

Anyone who would like to donate to research can go to https://www.standup2cancer.org/ and for Canada residents go to https//www.standup2cancer.ca/. 

All of us have been touched by cancer in some way by either family or friends.  My mother died of ovarian cancer April 4, 1998.  It was a day I'll never forget.  Other members of my family have died of other types of cancer as well.  This month is ovarian cancer month, so lets figure out how to stop cancer.

To learn more about cancer go to the American Cancer Society website at http://www.cancer.org/.

Have a great week everyone, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
http://www.skaymarshall.com
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98
http://www.amazon.com/author/sandramarshall

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Redeeming The Billionaire by Christina Tetreault

Hello Everyone,

Welcome my friend and author, Christina Tetreault today.   She has a new release coming up in September.
 

Author Bio:

I started writing at the age of 10 on my grandmother's manual typewriter and never stopped. When I am not driving my 3 daughters (ages 7, 5, and 5) around to their various activities or chasing around our two dogs, I am working on a story or reading a romance novel. I just finished Redeeming The Billionaire book 5 in the Sherbrookes of Newport series, and I have started book 2 in my new series Love On The North Shore. You can visit my website www.christinatetreault.com or follow me on Facebook to learn more about my characters and to track my progress on my current writing projects.

 
Author Links:



Twitter: @cgricci

 
Sexy!

Blurb:

Billionaire Trent Sherbrooke works hard and plays harder. He’s never once cared what the media or society says about him, until now.  Intent on making his way into the United States Senate, Trent hires campaign advisor Marty Phillips. A ruthless force in politics he’ll stop at nothing to get his candidate elected.

After a chance encounter throws local small business owner Addison Raimono in Trent’s path, Marty believes he’s found Trent’s ticket into Washington.

Ignoring his conscience that insists he leave Addison alone, Trent sets out to win her over. Soon what he assumed would be a relationship to salvage his reputation turns into so much more. But can a relationship started on a lie ever survive?

Link to book trailer:



Available everywhere in September

Excerpt:

Marty folded up the sleeves of his shirt. “It’s all a matter of importance. The who doesn’t matter. The wonderful opportunity it presents does. Now, I need to know everything. How did you meet her? How long have you known her? Have you slept with her yet?”

Trent pinched the bridge of his nose. Christ, couldn’t he have a cup of coffee with a woman without someone assuming he’d slept with her? “I met her just before we met last week. I bumped into her on the sidewalk and spilled coffee on her. When this picture was taken I had stopped in the bakery and when I saw her again I said hello. We talked for a few minutes before she left.”

As Marty chewed he jotted notes down on a legal pad. “That’s it? You didn’t ask her out to dinner? Get her phone number?”

Did the man think he asked out every attractive female he met? “More or less.”

Marty looked up at him. “More or less, I need to know everything. And when I say everything, I mean it.”

“I told her I wanted this office redecorated and asked if she might be interested. Shirley called and set up an appointment with her.” After giving Shirley the instructions, he hadn’t thought anymore about it.

“Excellent. When?”

“I’ll have to check my calendar.”

Marty tapped his pen against his pad several times before he spoke. “We might have to change our time table a little, but I’d like to keep to it if possible. A wedding at the end of next summer is ideal. That would give you a solid year of marriage before the actual election.”

Caution flags jumped up as he listened to Marty. The advisor’s original plan had been acceptable. A marriage to a wealthy socialite who viewed their relationship as a way to achieve her own goals was one thing. What Marty proposed now was entirely something else.

“Perhaps we should stick with what we originally discussed. Why don’t I go through these and pick a candidate.” Trent reached for the binders Marty had put together. “Then they’ll be no need to adjust our timeline.”

“You hired me because you want to win.” Marty pointed his pen at the picture of Addison. “She’s your ticket to the Senate.”

Trent’s eyes focused on the picture. What had she just said to him when the picture was taken? It must have been funny because he had a huge smile on his face. Come to think of it, he’d smiled through much of their conversation. She’d had an easygoing nature with a great sense of humor. There had been no awkward moments or long gaps of silence. Under different circumstances he wouldn’t mind getting to know her better.

“The women in here may help repair your reputation.” Marty pointed to the binders he’d put together of potential wife candidates. “This one though will win the hearts of voters.” He nodded toward the newspaper on the table. “I don’t understand the problem. She’s beautiful and well-educated.”

Marty had him there. Addison was attractive and, from all he could tell, intelligent. Even with that knowledge, a corner of his conscience prickled at the idea.

Across the table Marty popped a pickle in his mouth and chewed as he waited. “If it helps look at it this way. Her involvement with you will put her business on the fast track. The whole thing will still more or less be a business agreement.”

Trent nodded. Marty had a point. If he and Addison became romantically involved it would do more for her business than an ad during the Super Bowl.

“If you’re going to make it in politics you need to learn to do what’s right for your career, everything else comes second. Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to know that few politicians make it with their conscience intact.” Marty pushed the paper closer to him. “So what’s it going to be?”

Addison’s face beamed up at him. “We’ll try it your way, but if it’s not working we will fall back to our original plan.” Sure, they’d had an enjoyable conversation over coffee but he was not prepared to wager the rest of his life on that. He picked up his untouched sandwich. “I’m assuming you made sure she’s not involved with anyone.”

The look Marty gave him said it all. “Unless she’s got a secret lover tucked in her closet, she’s single and has been for over a year.”

“Okay, I’ll let you know how things go. But in the meantime, keep working on who leaked this picture.”

Be sure to visit, Christina's website at www.christinatetreault.com

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Special Ed Teachers and Police Officers

I know you are already wondering what these two groups have in common.  Let's start with the fact that both teachers and police officers are required to take so many classes every year to keep updated. 

Did you know all law enforcement across the country are being required to take classes how to handle a person with autism spectrum disorders?  They are taught to recognize the symptoms and how the officer should act with an autistic person. 

Special ed teachers work daily with special needs kids, but it's only been in the last few years when officers started coming in contact with young adults with these symptoms.  Most officers didn't recognize what was going on unless they knew someone who had these kind of stressors. 

Even so teachers are the first line for working with special needs kids, and they deserve a lot of credit for working with these kids and still remaining sane.  A family may have one child like this and work with them 24/7, but a teacher may have many kids like this in her class room for eight hours. 

Working with a special education child takes a family, teachers and a community in order to help them live normal lives.   

Thank you for reading.  Have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you next Sunday.

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
https://www.facebook.com/sandra.marshall.98
Twitter @AuthSKMarshall 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quakers, Amish, and Pennsylvania Dutch Are Often Confused


As a child, I lived in a small farming community, and all my life, I was told our family was Quaker and Pennsylvania Dutch, so I decided to do some research on this subject.  I have totally confused myself because it doesn't match up with what I've been told.  I do remember attending a Friends church in this area and the women wore little white hats tied on their head with long skirts or dresses.

My great-great-grandparents on my grandfather's side were from England and were Amish, and on my grandmother's side they were Quaker, and she referred to herself as Pennsylvania Dutch because her family migrated from Germany near the Dutch border.  Of course, I'm still confused.  lol

Let’s get one thing straight: Quakers are not Amish, Amish are not Quaker, Amish are usually Pennsylvania Dutch, and Pennsylvania Dutch are sometimes Amish.  Got it?  Nothing irritates a member of one of these groups more than when the three terms are used interchangeably.  So who are all these people, and what are the differences between them?
Amish not Quaker

The term Pennsylvania Dutch refers to descendants of German settlers of Pennsylvania (the German word for German is Deutsche, which is probably why others picked up the word Dutch).  The Pennsylvania Dutch do have their own language — a derivation of German — but that language is virtually extinct at this point, and modern Pennsylvania Dutch are indistinguishable from other modern Americans.  Pennsylvania Dutch are a variety of religions, including Lutheran, Mennonite, Baptist, Amish (yes, that’s a religion — more on that in a minute).  The Pennsylvania Dutch are similar to any other ethnic group whose relatives came in the 18th century…They may have some lasting cultural traditions (certain foods, for instance), but they are in other ways much like any other Americans.
 
The Amish (at least the Old Order ones, which is who most people think of when they think of the Amish) do very much stand out from other ethnic and religious groups in the U.S.  Amish is a Protestant religion (a particular denomination of Mennonite, actually), and most Amish are actually Pennsylvania Dutch — meaning (as you now know) they are descended from Pennsylvania Germans and spoke that particular dialect of German.  What makes the Amish stand out is that the rules of their church prohibit many modern conveniences, including electricity and more modern technologies.  They still drive horses and buggies (they will get in a car if necessary, but only if somebody else is driving); they wear old-fashioned dresses and overalls with bonnets and black hats; they value farm labor and de-emphasize education.  They are very much an insular community, as marriage outside of the church is forbidden.  Your child’s college roommate will most likely not be Amish, though there’s a chance he or she will be Pennsylvania Dutch — or Quaker, for that matter.  Oh, and the Amish don’t like to have their pictures taken, so please don’t run up to them, mouth agape, snapping photos.
 
Quakers have nothing to do with either of these two other groups.  Well, okay, Quakerism is a religion, and Quakers came to North America in the 18th century (and earlier), but that’s where the similarities end.  Quakers are Protestant; they are one of the many religious sects that emigrated from England searching for religious freedom.  Quakers are unusual among Christians in that they worship without any form of priest or pastor.  They believe that anyone can communicate with God or be in touch with “that of God within himself,” hence Meeting for Worship consists of sitting in silence together, with individuals speaking when they feel moved to.  Quakers are pacifists and believe in simplicity and humility, so their places of worship are quite plain.  While Quakers did once dress in simple, old-fashioned clothing, they long ago abandoned those outfits.   In short, much like the Pennsylvania Dutch, Quakers are indistinguishable (on the outside) from other Americans.  You might be sitting next to one right now.
 
How did these three different terms come to be confused?  You’ve got me.  It’s probably because they all live in eastern Pennsylvania.  Lancaster has enclaves of Amish, and the Pennsylvania Dutch stretch across much of eastern and central Pennsylvania.  Quakers were Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers (William Penn converted to Quakerism, much to his father’s dismay), and Quaker schools offer some of the best educations in Philadelphia.  But beyond their geographical proximity, these three groups are quite different, and one of the best ways to seem like a real Philadelphian is to not get them confused.
 
1. Amish is a belief based on simplicity and strict living, unlike the Quakers who typically are liberals.
2. The Amish religion has priests, while Quakers believe that as everyone has a connection with God they don’t need a priest to preside over any ceremony.
3. The Amish believe in maintaining the ways of the past and don’t consider using modern amenities.
4. Though their beliefs lead to different lifestyles, both believe in God and in peace.
 
What do Quakers believe?
They believe that every person is loved and guided by God.  Broadly speaking, we affirm that "there is that of God in everyone." Everyone is known by God and can know God in a direct relationship.  They are called to attend to this relationship and to be guided by it. Quakers use many words to describe the Divine.  Some of them include: God, the Light Within, Christ, Spirit, Seed, and Inward Teacher.
 
Are Quakers Christian?
The Quaker way has deep Christian roots that form our understanding of God, our faith, and our practices. Many Quakers consider themselves Christian, and some do not.  Many Quakers today draw spiritual nourishment from our Christian roots and strive to follow the example of Jesus.  Many other Quakers draw spiritual sustenance from various religious traditions, such as Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and the nature religions.
 
It sounds like Quakers can believe anything they like―is that so?
Quakers invite the word of God to be written in our hearts, rather than as words on paper—they have no creed.  But they also believe that if they are sincerely open to the Divine Will, they will be guided by a Wisdom that is more compelling than our own more superficial thoughts and feelings.  This can mean that they will find themselves led in directions or receiving understandings that they may not have chosen just from personal preference. Following such guidance is not always easy.  This is why community is important to Quakers, why they turn to each other for worshipful help in making important choices, and why they read the reflections of other Quakers who have lived faithful lives.
 
Can I attend Quaker meeting?
Yes!  You are welcome to attend Quaker worship.  There are Quakers of all ages, religious backgrounds, races and ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and classes.  All are welcome. You can find meetings in your area at http://www.quakerfinder.org
Below are sources you can go to learn more about these religions.
 
Okay, people, I hope I have shed some light on this topic and not confused you as much as I am.  lol 
Sandra K. Marshall, Author

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Postage Stamps


Hi Everyone,

 

Okay, you might think I'm a little weird to write about postage stamps, but I'm a card sender and letter writer (short ones these days), so I have to buy stamps when I run out of them.  Yesterday, I bought more stamps, and I ran into a real beauty (my opinion), so it made me think of all the others beginning with the first ones.  lol

I bought two books of Farmer's Market stamps (the beauties I mentioned above).  The postal employee said they just came out.  What do you think?  There are more coming this month, too.

Stamps as we know them date back to the 1830s, with Sir Rowland Hill's proposals to reform the British postal system in 1837. Prior to that it was normal for the recipient to pay postage on delivery and the system was difficult, expensive and open to fraud.

The idea of adhesive stamps as a form of pre-payment marked a landmark in communications around the world, with stamp-making picked up in every country on the face of the Earth. But some picked things up quicker than others. Here's a look at the first five issues of postage stamps.

The Penny Black and Two Penny Blue

Initially a competition was launched by the Treasury to find a design suitable for the new stamps, but no winner was declared as it was concluded that none were suitable.

Instead they made use of a design suggested by Hill himself, based on a profile of Queen Victoria, the image being of her when she was just 15 years old. All British stamps continue a tradition of presenting the monarch's head somewhere on the stamp.

 The Penny Black and Two Penny Blue were released together (or at least within days of each other - there is some dispute over whether the Blue was fractionally later) at the start of May 1840. Roughly 68,808,000 Penny Blacks alone were released.

 

The New York Dispatch

Surprisingly, perhaps it was nearly two years before stamps were picked up in another country. That was the United States of America, but the stamps issued were not by any means for use all round the country.

Instead it was created by one Alexander M Greig of New York City, who issued stamps, bearing a portrait of Washington, printed from line engraved plates, and charged 2c only to carry letters anywhere in the city - or at least as far as 23rd street. The government charged 3c.

Greig established his postage stamp in February 1842. By August it had been sold into the government and became the United States City Dispatch Post. Greig was made a government officer, apparently as part of removing his annoying undercutting of the authorities.

On July 1, 1847, Congress authorized the Postmaster General to release the first United States postage stamps. Two imperforate stamps were issued, the 5 cent Benjamin Franklin which paid the domestic letter rate of 5 cents per half-ounce for up to 300 miles, and the 10 cent George Washington which paid the domestic letter rate of 10 cents per half-ounce for distances greater than 300 miles.
 
 
The Zurich 4 and 6

Within days of Greig's postage stamp being absorbed by the government, a report was published in Switzerland - or rather the Swiss canton of Zurich - recommending a simplification of the postage system, which was as cumbersome as Britain's had been.

In March the following year, Zurich became continental Europe's first postal authority to issue postage stamps based on a design produced by a lithographer called Esslinger of Zurich.

The two stamps were valued at four and six rappen to cover postage rates within the city and outside it respectively. The design made things as clear as possible with large numeral appearing right in the centre of the stamp.

 The Brazilian Bull's Eye

South America's first stamp issue was the fourth in the world, but in fact could have been its second with a law passed back in November 1841 allowing the Brazilian government to create stamps - some time before Alex Greig started annoying the authorities in New York.

 In fact, the Brazilian Bull's Eyes were released on 1 August 1843, having face values of 30, 60, and 90 réis. Brazil was nevertheless the second country in the world, after Great Britain, to issue postage stamps valid within the entire country.

The name derives from the ornamental value figures inside the oval settings such that pairs of them could resemble a pair of bull's eyes.

In mint condition a 30 reis Bull's Eye stamp is worth around $5,000.

 
The Double Geneva

The second stamp issued in continental Europe was again in Switzerland. But interestingly the early proposal by Alphonse de Candolle makes no reference to events in Zurich if he had any knowledge of them.

 
Instead he had simply been examining the effects of stamp use by Britain, which he did not refer to in his report by name, but merely refers to it as the 'most mercantile nation in the world which knew best the value of time'.

The Double Geneva followed on Brazil's production closely with the first issuing taking place on September 30 1843. However only a few were successfully created and survive. Indeed, at one point it was thought the stamp was never issued and examples were forgeries.

A Double Geneva in good condition is now worth around 55,000 Swiss Francs (US$50,000).


Thank you for visiting my blog today, and please come back next Sunday to read more. 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Does Technology Drive You A Bit Crazy?

Hi Everyone,

Most writers just want to write, but they have to do many other things as well.  One thing I hate to take the time to do is learn new technology.  Geez!  Can't they just leave things like they are and stop trying to improve stuff. 

Some of you may know my computer crashed a few weeks ago due to a storm in our area.  I had to buy a new computer, of course, my husband had been telling me for two years I needed a new one. I'm digressing (blame it on Kari, I read her blogs), so to get back on track my new computer required me to learn Microsoft 8.1.  My question is what was wrong with Microsoft 7?  I loved Microsoft 7.  Wah!

Okay, I'm going to be honest and say it's not as difficult as I'm making it out, but it is irritating to have your computer crash and buy a new one to find out everything you are familiar with isn't on the new one.  I'm irritated because I have spent too much time learning new technology instead of writing.  If Microsoft is going to change everything; why don't they provide a manual, so I don't have to learn by experimenting.  All right, if I had a smart phone, or at least knew how to use one I would have figured some of this stuff out faster. 

One of the big things that irritated me is copying stuff and trying to paste into my old word processor, which I love (2003).  I finally figured I have to copy and paste into notepad, and then I can paste into my Word.  However, that isn't exactly easy either because wherever I'm copying from I have to right click to copy and then go to notepad and right click to paste.  I right click again in notepad, go to Word and go to edit to paste.  Simple, right?  Yes it is, if you knew that was how it's done in the first place.  Okay, I will admit after many tries Microsoft finally popped up and gave me the solution.  Why didn't they give it to me the first time?

Another thing I don't like that Microsoft has done is they have changed Windows Mail, but I'm sure some people like it even better, but I'm not one of them.  Microsoft wants you to have a password for every app you use.  I have three pages of passwords already, please give me a break.  Oh, I know it is for my own safety.  Grrr!  It just doesn't make me like it.  Frankly, I could have done without most of those apps, but everything has an app these days. 

Not only have I learned Microsoft 8.1, but I have returned to Twitter after a 5 year absence when I got hacked there.  I still don't know what I'm doing on that site, but if you would like follow me there just look for #AuthSKMarshall. 

There is one technical little site that I'm loving.  It's called Hootsuite, and the reason I like it so much is because I can use it to send message to all my social media sites at the same time without going to those sites.  Yay, I don't have to go to Facebook, Twitter, Ning, Yahoo Groups, LinkedIn and Google+ to promo or post anything because I can do it on Hootsuite.  Is that wonderful?  Yes!

Learning anything takes time, but I'm doing it.  I just need more time in a day.  One more thing, don't get too comfortable with 8.1 because I hear 9 is coming.  Grin!  Doesn't that just make your day?

Moving on to some promo.  Something else, I don't like to do, but has to be done.  My short story, All Bets Are Off, came out in audio during this mess.  Here is the link for it if you prefer to listen to your stories rather than read them. 


BLURB:

Can a recovering gambling addict bet on a second chance at love?

Ana Torres has dug her self out of her gambling debts and started a business to help others with the same problem.  Now, she wants to show her soul mate she has changed and win him back. 

Jason Gibbs meets his wife at a party and realizes he still loves her even after all she cost him with her gambling addiction.  He wants to find out if she has changed, and if she has, he will woo her back. 
 


I hope you like my new blog template, and if you go to my website it's in chaos right now, as I'm going to change it, too.  Thank you for listening to me today, and if you have any helpful suggestions, or if you have a rant of your own I'm willing to listen.  Smile!

Have a great week, and I'll see you next Sunday! 

Sandra K. Marshall, Author
@ Eirelander Publishing,
http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com
http://www.skaymarshall.com