Friday, June 16, 2017

Joy is a choice

Charles R Swindoll, in his "Laugh Again" says joy is choice and paraphrased the poet;



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

So, now you're 92, when do you plan to settle down, somebody asked...

My answer was:  "I am to busy!" But it did make me stop and think back a bit...To last November 1st. when I had the stroke.I could have taken it easy and quit gadding around, but decided I wanted to reach the finish line the way my life has been going from the time I remember, one exciting trip after another!

I had researched my Icelandic roots and found it goes straight back to Hrólfur 'Rauðskeggur' (Red-beard)  A.D. 860. It is not hard for me to believe that my line goes even further back, like, all the way back to the Biblical tribe of Gad because of my "Gadding about" :-)...

 Four days after aforementioned  stroke I jumped my rope to make sure I could still get around. In December I flew to Minnesota to visit  a daughter and her family (I have 7 daughters and 3 boys). Flew back to Illinois and changed suitcases and flew to Florida, visited a son, daughter-in-law and my 90-year- chronologically gifted sister (I had visited my 94-year-gifted sister in Nov.). Flew back to Illinois and grabbed another ready-packed suitcase and flew to Reno, Nevada in January for some RnR. After fun-filled days with my youngest daughter, Heidi, we flew back home to Illinois and got the van packed for wintertime in Arizona.

Flew back to Illinois in March for drivers license renewal and re-enactment film of the stroke for St. Francis hospital. Returned to Arizona three days later. In April I headed up to Salt Lake City, Utah, visiting another daughter, family and a grand-daughter's birthday party (there I got to try my hand at shooting a gun, at a gun range, not Maddy's party!). Picked up from there - beginning to know how a UPS package feels! - by Heidi to drive through some of the most gorgeous parts of the U.S. in Wyoming on our way to S. Dakota. Next we were in Grand Forks, N.D. at the Icelandic North America - INLNA - convention. Then onto Minnesota where I had book signings, "GROWING UP VIKING"  in Winona and Minneapolis celebrating my 92nd birthday on May 21st.

Drove back to Illinois to prepare for going to Nebraska in June to an Alpaca farm. There we visited a daughter - she and her husband live in Chicago, they help with the shearing - and a grand-daughter who has the Alpaca ranch there. Check out Butterfield Alpaca Ranch, the yarn she makes from the Alpaca is wonderful.  My son and daughter in-law drove up from Colorado, I had been invited to speak at a Freedom Rally as a WWII War-Bride ..They came to cheer me on with the rest of the family.

Back home now in Illinois working to finish my next book, The Inner Space Aliens.

You agree with me that I am way to busy to settle down?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Live Life To The Fullest

My aim is to live life every day to the best of my 92-year-old let the finish line be as eventful as the starting line.


Some years back, my husband and I were driving down to St.Louis Illinois, headed to Lambert Airport. It was a crisp beautiful Autumn day and the sun was shining. We were only about halfway there, when it started to rain. Along with the rain came sleet. The nasty weather stayed with us all the way to the airport. As we parked and got ready to dash inside, the wind picked up. The clouds turned leaden grey. We left the safety of the car and made a dash across the parking lot. Our umbrellas turned inside out as we ran.

We toweled off as best we could an hoped we would dry out quickly. We proceeded through the standard process of checking baggage, going through security, and waiting at the gate for our flight. Still damp and a little cold and clammy, we finally boarded our flight.

We began to taxi and as the plane picked up speed, the rain hit the window with sand-blasting fury.  I had a window seat, but couldn't see anything but rivulets of water streaming down.

As I tried to fluff up my disastrous hair, the plane suddenly lifted and was airborn. That moment of being released from the confines of gravity is one of my favorite feelings. I quit messing with my hair to just enjoy the ride.

Suddenly the plane shot through the billowing black clouds into glorious sunshine! Below us was all black turmoil of threatening clouds but we were above them all!

The sun was there all the time :-)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Want a Free Book?

I am very excited about my newest book, Viking Kids Don't Cry.

There are so many ways to get your copy! It is available now in paperback from online retailers Amazon, Kobe, and Barnes & Noble. Autographed copies are available through the publisher. You can pre-order a kindle version for delivery on June 1st or get other free eBook versions for a limited time at Smashwords. And now, you can enter the free give away below from Goodreads. The links to all are at the bottom of this page.

During a recent radio interview, we discussed how unique this book is. As you may know, I published a memoir of growing up in Iceland several years ago. This new book is really a children's version of the original memoir. The new book contains all the stories of my adventures in Iceland around 1935 - from traveling on a fishing trawler, to collecting bird's eggs from the cliff nests, and yes, even my attempt to fly by jumping from the cowshed roof! I have added a few, embellished a bit and made it an easier read for 9-11 year old readers.

I thought it would be fun to have the original memoir, which I have re-titled "Growing Up Viking: Fond Memories of Iceland" and the new book, "Viking Kids Don't Cry". Both books contain the same stories, but are each written from a different perspective. There are historical reference exclusively in the memoir, as well as  WWII memories, like meeting my husband at a USO dance in Iceland and my journey to America, which are not included in the children's version. I hope you enjoy this new version and share it with the next generation of readers.

And may I ask a favor? Reviews help out so much and it would mean a lot to me if you would take a moment to review the book on the site where you purchase - or on Goodreads if you win a free copy there. I would love to hear from you and would so appreciate you sharing your thoughts about this story with other people who might read the book.

I'll be making a lot of appearances this summer so be sure to follow my schedule on my website and sign up for my email list.

Thank you for all the support and warm wishes!

Here are the links:

Order a personalized autographed copy direct from the publisher:

Promotion to win a free paperback copy starts May 30th on Goodreads:

To get a free eBook copy now (epub/mobi/pdf/lrf pdb/html) use coupon code ZG45Z at:

Pre-order a kindle copy available June 1st for just $2.99 at:

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


Stopping at a Mormon museum in Wyoming I was struck by a huge display of how a Mormon family traveled across the nation, going west in the 1800's. Many started in foreign countries and had journeyed far just to reach the United States. Once their ocean voyage was done, they would travel to meet up with the group they would be completing the toughest part of the trip. An entire family's belonging in one pushcart with the entire family walking and pushng the load.  Each family member was allowed only 11 pounds of personal belongings. The rest of the weight was reserved for food and other critical supplies.  Eleven pounds is approximately one change of clothes and a few minimal personal keepsakes. 
They had to walk and be at Independence Rock in Wyoming by fourth of July in order to escape the winter snows in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. 

The display shows a family; Father and Mother pushing a cart loaded with the family belongings with three kids pushing behind it. Two girls pushing, and a boy - he looks about twelve - evidently not doing his part, seemed to me he'd rather be exploring the other side of the huge rock. To keep him from wandering off, he has a rope tied around his waist at one end and the other end fastened to the wagon. 

As I contemplated the images I thought the boy perhaps just wants to be free to explore his amazing country. 

I can so relate…Thinking back of my growing up in Iceland and wondered how often my Grandpa was tempted to tie me up like that to keep me working and raking the grass instead of constantly wandering off looking for trolls, elves and Hidden Folks. Just curious, you know? 😊

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Getting away with Bear Bones

Making a decision to “get away from it all” isn’t always easy… Having a bucket list is just the start of “one of these days…” Don’t put off exploring your particular interest, life has an expiration date.

Recently, my daughter, Heidi, and I drove through the not-so-far-away wild and wonderful country of the West…Where miles of prairie meet the endless horizon of mountains…Jaw-dropping, stunning-colored granite cliffs pop up amidst gently rolling pasture with great hordes of cattle grazing…Graceful antelopes leaping in total abandon.

It was magical, I was in awe at the stunning surroundings as I gorged up the scenery. l listened to waterfalls, “somewhere way back there in the canyon,” hearing birds sing and cute prairie dogs chirp and squeal. Heidi and I have memories that will last a lifetime…

We were traveling in Wyoming in April. A ninety-mile stretch took six hours! There was so much to see and experience. We took our time to explore an interesting canyon – are there any not-interesting canyons in that State? 

As we hiked about, Heidi skipping in a gurgling creek, she spotted a huge “foot” print. Yikes, looked like a bear’s! 

In the Spring, they are sometime seen at lower elevations, searching for food, and moving about after a long winter’s sleep. With these mountains, there could be a lot of bears. I didn't give it any thought because we had stopped in an RV campground that had a picnic area. Who would have thought bears would be in there?  

But, by the size of a bear’s fresh footprint that Heidi spotted, that was evidence enough for me not to tangle with him!  The footprint, along with a leg of a deer I found right next, that was enough for us to hightail it out of the canyon away from the
buffet table of the bears!

I don’t have a thing about bears –well, maybe polar bears – but I was impressed carnivorous behemoth!

 I didn’t know about “bear spray” hmm, or to be particularly cautious of a bear with a carcass, as they will be very protective (reminded me of Heidi’s puppy,Thor, with a bone in his mouth!).  

These are quite huge creatures with remarkably small eyes. I was told not to be fooled, they can see quite well to attack in a heartbeat if they are protecting a young, or their catch. Speaking of protecting their young, I can't forget something else I saw along this needs a blog all of its own but it was something I saw in the pushcart memorial museum. I'll share that story soon - You won't believe it!