Friday, December 9, 2016

Remembering Pearl Harbor, 1941.

In 1939 Adolph Hitler was well on the way of conquering the European Continent. The superiority of the German army seemed unquestionable as they invaded country after country; Denmark, Sweden, Norway. Then France and the Netherlands were overtaken.
When the German's invaded Poland, an ally of Britain, the British entered the conflict and a full scale conflict raged in Europe. Iceland declared neutrality.
In 1941 a fierce fight broke out in the Denmark Straits - the ocean between Iceland and Greenland which became know as 'Torpedo Junction' - and the new German warship 'The Bismarck' sank the British battle cruiser 'HMS HOOD'  the pride of the British Royal Navy.. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, promptly issued an order "SINK THE BISMARCK" The British Royal Air Force chased down the notorious menace and sank it.
By now the United States had entered the war and  Churchill is said to have "slept the sleep of the saved and the thankful" because " there was now no doubt about the outcome of the conflict." It was no longer just a European war but had now become World War II and American service men and women were sent all over the globe. Among them was U.S. Navy man,Del Herman, who proposed at our second dance and I accepted even though he didn't speak Icelandic and I knew about handful of English, truly it was "love at first sight"...It lasted for 70 years. He passed away in February 2015.

I have been asked; "What was it like, to leave your family, your country and, even your language?" Frankly when you are in love nothing else really matters, at least that's the way I felt. As I reflect back I think having several children - ten total - kept me much  to busy to have any regrets or doubts. At age 28 my husband felt a call for the ministry and I became very busy with children's ministries and church in general. Building, and starting several small churches in central Illinois we traveled quite a bit.

Although I did get a few remarks and unpleasant looks of "OH, ONE OF THOSE WAR BRIDES" most folks at that time had zero clue as to where Iceland was located and I was just happy to talk about my surrealistic, beautiful little country.

Slowly my self-taught English improved, by the help of Readers Digest "It Pays To Increase Your Word Power. Also doing crossword puzzles, which, I admit I am addicted to even to this day :-)

Life wasn't always easy, but it was good.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

STROKE; Dreaded word

I am 91+ always have been very active; exercised, rock-wall climbing, paragliding rope jumping kind of person...

 I woke up aon the morning of Tuesday, Nov 1st. and Idid my routine: ten sit-ups  while in bed  then did a few stretches as I walked into the kitchen to start my coffee. Suddenly the whole kitchen spun with amazing velocity, for a moment I grabbed  my head - I never have headaches - the spinning stopped and I carefully walked back to the bedroom. I found my aspirin and as I swallowed one tablet the bedroom went totally out of control - I knew right away that this was the DREADED STROKE!.
 I live with my youngest child and called to her what was going on. She called 911 immediately. By the time I got to the hospital emergency, 20 minutes or so, my speech was very affected and my left leg paralyzed my blood pressure had shot up. After all kinds of procedures and innumerable hook-ups to machines, I.V stuck into my arms ICU Doctor verified the stroke. Needed my permission to do "clot-buster" procedure, with the usual "this could happen" warning. I told him to go ahead. Later the same day I was able to speak more clearly, lift my leg up and squeeze the Doctor's hand just a little firmer.
On the evening of the 2nd. I was moved out of ICU. My hospital bed had nice "grip-railing" on each side so I was able to do small sit-ups - as much all the paraphernalia hooked to my body would allow me to do.
November the 4th. I was dismissed. Feeling almost "myself" again I did my usual exercises; My Microwave Hop Prance and Dance - the Crane Stand and Wand.

November the 7th. Did rope jumping on the deck

Keep moving and exercising pays off big-time; Doctor follow-up; "You are doing very well, Ieda, keep doing what you're doing"...Stroke therapist; "You don't need therapy, Ieda, keep doing what you are doing"

I am determined, I've made up my mind I'll keep moving my body, it's the only one I'll ever have.

I choose to have Joy, I have confidence that God is in control

The Window, by G.W. Target...From Charles R. Swindoll's book, Laugh Again.

Two men, seriously ill, occupied the same small hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he wold pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside world
   The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man said. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head. Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything?
    As the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window - that thought now controlled his life.
    Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped. Now there was only silence - deathly silence.
    The following morning the day nurse found the lifeless body of the man by the window and called the attendants to take it away - no words, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
     Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. He strained to look out the window by the bed.
     It faced a blank wall.

    One ship drives east and another drives west
    With the selfsame winds that blow.
     'Tis the set of the sails and not the gales
     Which tells the way to go

    Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
   As we voyage along through life:
    It's the set of the soul, that decides it;s goal,
    And not the calm or the strife.

     The winds of Fate, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Saturday, November 5, 2016



After an eleven-day, arduous journey from my country, Iceland, I arrived in Normal, Illinois, USA
Mary's (my new mother-in -law) house was a small, one-story, white painted home in a row of other similar
homes in an older neighborhood. That evening I stood in the yard and looked around familiarizing  myself with my new surroundings.
Across the street from Mary's house was a church. I was looking at the building and thinking how strange it was - almost middle of June and very dark outside. I was used to seeing part of the sun all night at mid-summer. Then I saw these little sparks! The church must be on fire!
I ran inside and tugged at Mary's dress.
"Hey, you, kirkjan (church) fire, fire!" I stuttered. Still not used to saying Mary, or Mom, I often called her 'hey you'. I pulled her to the front door and pointed. The sparks were even thicker that before and coming dangerously close to us!
"Fire?" She stared out and then looked at me, puzzled."Where? I don't see any fire." She cocked her head at me, trying to understand my fear.
Frantically I pointed. "See there, there!" I was twenty and acting like a six-year-old.
Turned out this was my first encounter with fireflies.Bugs with their own lights! Startling, and scary, I thought as I watched these little sparks land in grass and bushes, and not starting any fire. Mary had quite a time in educating me.

2012...5:45 A/M

Suddenly I'm awake. I started to get up and glanced at the white sheers at the window where glimmer of sunlight was filtering through. I stared at the weird shape; PALM-OF-MY-HAND-SIZE, BLACK BLOB..Then frantically shook my husband, Del, and whispered "what is that thing clinging to the curtain?"
Both of us stared for a moment. "I can't make it out." Del said
"I'm scared." I eased my feet to the floor.
"Get a towel or something, and I'll grab it." Del bravely offered.
The THING hadn't moved so I crept closer o the window, IT didn't move. Frightened beyond belief I crept closer and peered at the creature.
"It has a face and pointy ears like a mouse, but THIS has wings!" I gasped in unbelief as I backed away.
"GET A TOWEL,I'LL GET THIS THING." Del started to get up
" I'm scared." I whined. "What if you miss, what if IT takes off? It looks hideous!" I was now frantic with all the awful possibilities racing through my head. "What if IT has a family in here? Surely IT didn't hatch all by itself, maybe there are bunch more and come to look for this one, THEN WHAT???!!!"
"JUST GET A TOWEL!!!" Del raised his voice.
I got the towel. Del grabbed, and wrapped the THING in the towel without any trouble. The THING didn't protest as I put IT into a plastic bag, towel and all, then tied a firm knot. Put it into another plastic bag and firmly tied a solid knot. There the bag awaited for us to take it somewhere for the CREATURE to be identified.

10:45 A/M

We were dressed and had breakfast then, with hands on my hips, I demanded of my hero. "Now what? We got a horrendous creature in the we call the fire department? The terminator? The firing squad?" I wanted this THING out of my house, like RIGHT NOW!!
Del held up his hand "Let me think... Okay, let's drive over to the zoo and see if there's someone who can identify it."
I fortified myself with six cups of coffee and gingerly picked up the bag, all was quiet inside. I felt remorse:God had created IT and I just couldn't let IT suffocate.I picked up a toothpick, holding my breath, thinking IT might just explode out of the bag. But everything was suspiciously quiet as I made few holes.

The Zoo was a madhouse, school buses and kids everywhere. No place to park. Del had to stay in the car while I went for help.
"You mean you have IT in that bag?" The guard exclaimed after I related the episode
"Yes."' I nodded.
 "I'll call someone from the animal house, please wait outside" She pointed to the door. I stepped out, bag firmly in hand, and sat down on a bench.Pretty soon a burly individual swaggered up to me and asked.
"So, what do you have in there?" I proceeded to explain.
"Hmm, sounds like a flying squirrel." I felt better, a squirrel doesn't sound so bad. The man pursed his lips.
"How did you get it in there?"
"My husband grabbed it with a towel, so it's all wrapped up in it, and then I put it all into the plastic bags"
"Wait here while I take this over to that tree." Taking the bag out of my hand he opened it up against the tree-trunk and shook the towel. He cocked his head and studied the THING for a moment then wadded up the towel in the bags.
"It's a bat, and still alive. I will throw all of  this away." Indicating to the towel and bags.
"Yikes! I sure don't want it! How in the world did a bat get into my house? Do I have to worry about more of them, a mom, a dad, a brother or a sister?" I must have looked a little nuts. I think my English went north for a minute.
The burly guy laughed."I don't think so, this one probably came through an open door and couldn't find its way back out." As I profusely thanked him, he continued. "It only eats insects!" He chuckled, reading my mind. Somewhere I've read that bats suck the blood out of humans!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Yikes! Troll Troubles Galore! Follow the Icelandic Yule Lads as Heidi writes of their escapades.

Follow Heidi Herman's Yule Lads story-fun funny troll troubles In Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland...Yikes, they all have troll troubles! Delightfully illustrated by Colleen Stiles...

Read from the beginning at

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Nazi’s Disappointment With Iceland

I came across this article recently when researching another topic.  Having lived in Iceland during WWII I found this humorous and interesting.  I am re-posting it in its entirety with the accompanying photo, the original article was from Reykjavik Grapevine.
Published March 6, 2014 in THE REYKJAVIK GRAPEVINE   
By  (click to link to original article)
In the early hours of May 10, 1940, British forces launched Operation Fork, invading Iceland. One of their first tasks, upon disembarking in Reykjavík, was to arrest the German consul, Dr. Werner Gerlach. He was a fanatical member of the Nazi Party and had tried, under orders from the highest level, to win Icelanders over to the German cause. The Nazi leadership had identified the Icelandic nation as a pure and brave “Aryan nation.” Dr. Gerlach became, however, extremely disappointed with Iceland and its inhabitants, which he deemed to be pathetic. “There is nothing left of the noble nation and its pride, but servility, lack of decency, toadying and humiliation,” he writes in his memorandum.
Iceland had been looked upon as a Germanic paradise of pure racial stock by the fanatical pseudo-intellectual circles inside the Nazi party in the 1930s. Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and a leading party member, was very interested in mysticism and idolised the Vikings, who he thought were symbolic of the alleged racial superiority of the Nordic race. Dr. Bernard Kummel, a scholar close to Himmler, wrote a book on the ™spiritual treasures∫ of the Icelandic people and encouraged Germans to seek these in Iceland.
Dr. Gerlach’s assignment was to encourage the mighty Icelanders to join the Nazis in the pursuit of racial purity and domination of inferior peoples. Gerlach, who was a respected physician and a long-term member of the Nazi Party, did not find any of the spiritual treasures promised by his commanders. Instead he only saw what he describes as a pathetic behaviour of savage and corrupted degenerates. We know this because his memos on Icelanders have survived and are stored at the National Archives of Iceland. Werner Gerlach was released as a prisoner of war in 1941 in an exchange of Allied diplomats. He died in 1963. The Allies maintained control over Iceland until the end of the Second World War, denying Germany a chance to seize this “racially” and strategically important island west of Europe.
Telling Quotes From His Memos:
“It’s nothing short of arrogance, that these 117.000 souls, one third of them degenerate weaklings, should desire to be an independent state. Add to that that the cultural level is as not high as they say.”
“Icelanders are a great disappointment. The upbringing of children is pathetic. Schools are beyond the pale. The only school considered remotely acceptable is the Catholic school. In the others, the children learn only to argue. Lack of discipline. The director of educational affairs is a communist. The youth has no longer any idea of the sagas or Iceland’s history, no sense of family or race.”
“We need to reconsider our position on Iceland completely. We need to have scientists do what can be done, but other than that, this grovelling, which meets no kindness, must stop. Modern Icelanders do not deserve us, neither for their temperament, nor their significance, with the exception of a few.”
“Earlier than ten in the morning, there is no possibility of waking anyone, and women not earlier than 12. Men work irregularly. Unemployment. Men do not use their energy for working, but rather to not go to the dogs. Everything, which for us is unimportant, becomes a goal for them (swimming, table tennis). All Germans, that have stayed here long, are not all there, or are apathetic and dumb.”
“Films are almost exclusively American spy films of the lowest sort. The theatre company performs Sherlock Holmes for a whole month. Here, the dramatic subjects from the sagas lie untouched in the gutter.”
“The theatre company performs a German farce by the Jewish pornographers Arnold and Bach. The police banned the play because of its corrupting influence. Then they stage another premiere in front a full house, where a committee of experts and members of parliament are given access and it’s sold out. The press goes mad. Overwhelming enthusiasm and applause.”
“Musical life is of a very low standard here. There are one or two quite good painters, but there is a lot of pretence and junk. Sculpture – Einar Jónsson is half-mad but very Icelandic. Then there’s Ásmundur Jónsson, who is called a cosmopolitan. Clearly Jewish degenerate art. A book has been published on him.”
“Views on Jews – completely uncomprehending. An Icelandic student was asked by his fellows, when discussing the Jewish matters: “Would you marry a Jewish woman?” And he answered: “Yes, why not?” Even the director of the national museum will hand an ashtray to a negro in a red coat.”
“The Icelandic press is more British than the Times. When the Times confesses that the English have been forced to retreat, Vísir publishes the tall tales of the United Press about Allied victories. And then there is the foreign minister’s english-minded rag. You cannot point out enough that the Icelandic newspapers are fifth-rate English country rags.”
“Constant inconvenience day and night from crazy or drunk men – or both. All night, eleven o’clock, twelve, two, drunken Icelanders call and demand to talk with me. Awful alcohol abuse. Black death. Spirits. Alcohol and taxis. Drunken men out in the street. Smuggling.”
“No car tires to be found. Most cars are old, purchased from abroad. Fewer visitors to the swimming pool. No external stimulation. Men lose all standards. No fruits. We were going to buy a bed, in Reykjavík there were only two available. We were going to buy a sink, sinks have been unavailable for three weeks.”
“One thing is certain and must be clearly stated – there is nothing left of the noble nation and its pride, but servility, lack of decency, toadying and humiliation.”

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My New Icelandic Cookbook

I am happy to share the news my new cookbook of Icelandic recipes is now available!  Homestyle Icelandic Cooking for American Kitchens can be purchased on  A joint effort between my daughter, Heidi, and myself, we have put together this great group of Icelandic recipes with easy-to-follow instructions.
Whether you’re looking to connect with your roots, try something new or already love Icelandic cooking, this book is a must.  This is a collection of traditional everyday Icelandic recipes, translated with step-by-step instructions.  We have gathered all the simple classic favorites that truly reflect the home-style Icelandic flavors and heritage.

Terta (Vínarterta), Kleinur, Black Bread (Rúgbrauð), Fishballs (Fiska Bollur), Browned Potatoes (Brúnar Kartöflur), Pastries (Vínarbrauð), Icelandic Pancakes (Pönnukökur), and much more!

Click here to buy one now: Homestyle Icelandic Cooking for American Kitchens

 We even included the recipe for the curry sauce!

Thursday, September 22, 2016


In 1944 in the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, I met my husband to be, Del, He was in the United States Navy. We were both nineteen-years-old. Two girlfriends of mine persuaded me to go downtown with them to a  USO dance, at a place called White Rose Hall. As we entered my two girlfriends deserted me to meet their boyfriends.
      All around me was loud chatter, mostly American accents, but mixed with few British and Scottish brogues. Feeling unexpectantly shy, knowing very little English, I turned to leave and almost collided with a young, good-looking, dark-haired, slim sailor, who had a huge smile on his face.
      "Dance?" He said something else that I didn't,t understand.
      I shook my head.
     "Please?" Something about that plea and the entreaty in his soft hazel eyes made my heart do a flip-flop. These were difficult times, no one knew who would come back when sent out on a mission; ships were torpedoed, airplanes shot down and many service men were losing their lives.
      "Okay." I knew that one word, it was as universal as "Coca-Cola". As we danced it was like we'd been hit by a bolt of lightening! No need for words just looks and - for me anyway - silly smiles.
      We met again at the dance hall the next evening, and as we danced he asked me to marry him. I looked at him, thinking I knew what he was asking, but not quite sure. Del asked again, taking my left hand and acting like he was putting a ring on my finger. Then I knew, and said "yes". We were serious. The next day we told Mother.
      "You want to do what."? My soft-spoken, easy going, Mother shouted! This was not good. Mother never raised her voice; not at us kids, not at my Father, no one. And now she really raised her voice.
      "Herman and I want to get married." I repeated. ( Later, in my family, Del was always called Herman, I guess it rolled easier of the tongue).
      Mother had her face buried in both hands, rocking from side to side. She was quiet for a moment then she looked up, wide-eyed shock still on her face.
       "Íedamín, will Herman live in Iceland? Or, heaven forbid, are  you going to move to Amerika? Do you realize how far it is? We know nothing about his family. We don't even know what part of the country he is from. It's a huge country. You could get lost, then what?" Mother nervously twisted her fingers, then dabbed at her eyes with a hankie.
      Del had been holding my hand and trying to follow a conversation he couldn't understand. He didn't speak Icelandic, and my Mother didn't speak English. My English was not a whole lot better; we got by with hugging, kissing and holding hands. Del squeezed my hand. He could see that this wasn't going as well as we had hoped.
      I said something like, "You home Amerika?" He looked at me a little puzzled. I tried again.
      "You Mamma, home, Amerika?
      Del smiled that great smile of his and said "Chicago"
      Mother about fell off of the sofa, gasping. "Chi-ka-ga?" Gangstar Chi-ka-ga?!?"
      It didn't come out 'gangster', but close enough. We had some explaining to do and it wasn't going to be easy.
     As usual - in Icelandic households - the coffeepot was steaming. I got up and placed three cups and saucers on the table to give Mother time to get over her shock. As I poured the coffee I grinned at Del, a little wickedly, I'm afraid. I knew he detested the drink but would pretend to like it for the sake of being polite. You haven't tasted coffee until you've tasted the way we used to make it, strong enough for the teaspoon to stick straight out of the cup! I put the sugar cube bowl out and sat down as a grateful Dul scooped up a handful of cubes.
      After awhile Mother sighed and gracefully accepted the situation.
      "Herman is nice enough, Íedamín." Mother acknowledged, and then shook her  head and smiled. "Well, I guess I'd better get to know this young man of yours!" And that's how she took the news.
      Father had been out to sea and when he came home we shared the news. He was quiet but also accepted our wishes.
      Now that my parents had agreed to our marriage, it was time for Del to tackle the "powers" that be. Wearing down layers of authorities by unwavering persistence he got the ban lifted and was the first U.S Service man to marry after that. On March 25th, 1945 we were married in the Dómkirjkan, in downtown Reykjavík. Mother gave me away. Father was out at sea and was spared the embarrassment of being present when a daughter of his was marrying an army man. My two sisters attended but not my brothers. Icelandic folks, especially the men, were upset when girls started dating the "foreigners".
      The church was full of various personnel; American, English and Scots...Most of them strangers to us. A virtual floodgate opened up as service men, later, rushed to tie the knot.
      As time went on I learned more English words and I tried to teach Del Icelandic, without much success. We took walks, hand-in-hand, around the lake in in the center of down-town Reykjavik. Del would point and say "water" I'd say "vatn" He would say "birds", I'd say "fuglar" Although he just couldn't get THOSE pronunciations he did quite well with the words "Elska mín" translated "My love."
      Coming from totally different worlds as we did, I had a fleeting doubt and then pushed it away.
      I was in love.

Monday, August 29, 2016

My Icelandic Linage on Grandpa´s Jónas Björnsson side.

                        Hrólfur '' Rauðskeggur'' (Red Beard)                                      860
                        Þórhildur Þórsteinsdóttir                                                         920
                        Þórkell    Þórhildarsson                                                          945
                        Ketill   Þórkelsson                                                                  965
                        Haukur Ketilsson                                                                  1020                                                               Ýngveldur Hauksdóttir                                                          1060
                        Snorri Húnbogasson                                                             1100 - 1170
                        Narfi Snorrasson                                                                  1135 - 1202
                        Narfi Snorrasson                                                                  1210 - 1284
                        Snorri Narfasson                                                                  1260 - 1334
                        Ormur Snorrasson                                                                1320 - 1401
                        Guðmundur Ormsson                                                            1360 - 1388
                        Þórbjörg Guðmundsdóttir                                                      1385 - 1431
                        Snælaug Guðnadóttir                                                             1415
                        Kristín Eyólfsdóttir                                                                  1450 - 1526
                        Jón ''Ríkur'' (the Rich)                                                            1480
                        Steinunn Jónsdóttir                                                                 1513 - 1593
                        Teitur Björnsson                                                                    1545 - 1619
                        Helga Teitsdóttir                                                                    1610 - 1663
                        Kristín Jónsdóttir                                                                    1648
                        Helga Magnúsdóttir                                                                1688 - 1762
                        Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir                                                            1726
                        Jón '' Eldri'' (senior) Jónsson                                                   1764 - 1802
                        Guðmundur Jónsson                                                               1802 - 1867
                        Jónas Guðmunsson                                                                 1828 - 1872
                        Björn Jónasson                                                                       1870 - 1960
                        Jónas Björnsson                                                                      1897 - 1981
                       Íeda Jónasdóttir/Herman                                                          1925

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Iceland is my Inspiration

Just got back from a fabulous trip to Iceland where I get my inspiration for writing, like my new book based in Snæfellsnes: THE SILVER ARROW, also a sequel to THE SILVER ARROW in the works, and, of course, my memoir of growing up in Iceland TROLLS - MONSTER WORM - HIDDEN PEOPLE! 

What a country of extremes: Fire and ice, modern and mysterious, awesome structures built on a surrealistic terrain.  Last year (2015), I had a fantastic experience paragliding with TRUE ADVENTURES off the coast of Vik.  From the time I was a little girl - over 70 years ago - I imagined what it was like to fly, and the reality was tremendous.  It was such a personal experience for me and it felt like the achievement of a life-long dream.  Imagine my surprise, when this year I walked into a small sandwich shop in Vik and saw a poster for the paragliding company, feature my photo from my flight.  I never thought my indulgent fun would motivate anyone else, but if it has, I am so happy to provide that motivation for others to bring such a great experience to their own lives.  

It's a kick to share the story and photos from True Adventures with all of you here:

Friday, July 29, 2016

WHOO, whoo!

Went to the Doctor and the Doctor said;
Add color to your diet, or you'll be dead

Got a big bag of colorful M&M's first.
Then to Mickey D's for coffee.To quench my thirst

Now I feel just great, energy to burst!
The Doctor was right-on; good and true

I'll see him again:When I'm ninety-two.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

From my recent book...The Silver Arrow

...Óðin picked up a small rock, tossing it against the wall. As the pebbles clattered own, the echo magnified the noise and reminded Erik of his unease over the odd sounds they´d heard.

"Maybe we'd better be super quiet until we know what was making that grinding, metal against metal sound." Nervously, Erik looked around in the dim cave.

"What did you say?" Óðin jumped to his feet, staring at Erik.

''Just before Finna fell, we saw the animals running, like running for their lives. Then this metal-against-metal screeching sounded and we got scared. That's when everything happened.'' Erik swallowed.

''I´ll be back.'' Óðin suddenly faded from their sight.

''Sure gives me the creeps to have him disappear before my eyes like that.'' Kalli shuddered. A twirling mist spun alongside Kalli, and Óðin re-appeared.

''I didn´t see anything nor could I sense a presence." Óðin said. ''But if it´s what I fear, I wouldn't be able to anyway. And if they´re not moving...''

´'What do you mean 'they'?'' The kids almost shouted before catching themselves.
In a hushed, scared  voice Finna asked. ´'Who, or what are you afraid of ?"

''The Inner Space Aliens,'' Óðin answered, his middle eye blinking rapidly.


The sequel to The Silver Arrow - The Inner Space Aliens -  will be available after I get back from Iceland.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Newest Book - Just Released!

My newest book is now available on Amazon! Set in the Icelandic peninsula of Snæfell, this adventure story is written for young adult but can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
Finna has lost her father in a horrible shipwreck and now her Great-grandfather is missing. Using clues from hidden papers written with a secret code, Finna and her twin brother Erik and their best friend Kalli set out to solve the mystery. They follow the trail from the Snæfell Mountain to a cavern under the Icelandic glacier and through a mysterious vortex. Along the way, they encounter strange and terrifying creatures, Nordic gods and an alien civilization.
After her brother and best friend are kidnapped, Finna finds she must use her archery expertise, an ancient artifact and all her courage to save them and an entire planet. The fate of the alien world and the future of Earth depend on her true aim!
Order your copy from Amazon today:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Stranded on a Glacier; Continued

In wide-eyed shock, they watched the other end of the rope slither out of sight.
"Don't move, Kalli." Erik shouted as Kalli tried to get up. Grabbing his ice-axe, Erik hammered a piton into the ice, then secured the severed rope with a figure eight knot. Slowly, Kalli pulled himself upright with the rope and stumbled away from the edge of the rift.
"Did you hear a shout, Kalli?" Erik leaned forward - then he disappeared with a blood-curdling scream!
Kalli was stunned. Then he again was yanked off his feet, but the piton held the rope tight. Heart hammering, frantically yelling for his friend he carefully crawled, following the rope. Easing closer to the edge he could see Erik, his feet dangling in the air over a dark, bottomless pit.
"Are you okay?" Kalli asked, with a trembling voice.
"Yeah, I'm alright." Planting his feet against the wall of ice Erik pulled himself up by the rope, hand over- hand, until he reached the top and to his ashen-faced friend.
"What a Troll-hole! That was my scariest moment ever. But Kalli, I think I saw how we can get across. And I'm sure I heard Max or Nonni cry for help. We've got to get to them in case there's another tremor."
Cautiously, Erik crept along the edge of the chasm, with Kalli following closely.
"That's what I saw." Kalli pointed at massive slabs of ice that had heaped up and formed a bridge of sort across the deep crevasse.
"That's crazy! I'm not going down there, Erik.No way, man." Kalli shuddered.
"We don't have a choice, Kalli. No one will look for us until Monday, and our phones don't work up here, besides they may be hurt, we have to do something." Erik looked at his white-faced friend. "I know what; let's hammer a piton into the ice here and retie the rope, that will get me enough to get down.You brace one foot on the piton and hold the rope tight, then play it out as I climb down." Erik crawled to the edge and eased himself over. "I'll yell when I reach the slab..."
"Okay, I'm down. Come on, I'm holding the rope taut. It's easier than it looks from above." Erik shouted, trying to ease his friends' obvious dread.
Although going across the icy 'bridge' was nerve-wracking it wasn't as difficult as they had feared. They were able to squeeze between large boulders until they reached the ice wall on the other side.
"Listen." Erik grabbed Kalli's arm.
"Help, help." Max and Nonni were both shouting in cracked, quavering voice that echoed eerily from the split.
"Hold on, we're coming." Erik and Kalli yelled as they quickly scrambled to the top. Hurrying to much they both started slipping, Erik hammered his last piton into the ice and uncoiled the rope from his shoulder. After securing the rope they crept carefully to the rim of the fissure and peered into the crack. Max and Nonni were hunched forward, rocking back and forth. Mr. Peterson was laying still, his right leg turned weirdly.
"Hello".Erik said softly.
Staring up, Max and Nonni stammered, "'re alive." Then yelled; "You're alive, hey Mr. Peterson, Erik and Kalli are alive." Their leader just groaned.
"I hope you have your rope, Erik, our gear disappeared. We're alright but Peterson is hurt." Nonni's voice trembled.
"Yeah, I have it. I'm going to throw it down to you, tie it under his arms, then as we pull you two lift."
After their semi-conscious leader was pulled up, the other two were pulled up to safety.
"We've got to figure out how to get him quickly off this glacier," Erik muttered.
"But how? Hey, we'd better move, that chunk of ice is inching our way." Max pointed.
"That's it! " Erik took his ice-axe and walked over to the slab. "Kalli, you have two pitons left, drive one in on each side of this ice-block, then fasten the rope to the rings, which will give us a loop for you Nonni, and Max, to hold and stop the slide." The boys watched in amazement as Erik feverously chopped away at the ice and a sled took shape.
"Wow, I didn't know you knew how to do that." Max exclaimed.
" I was taught in survival training in Boy Scouts. It's no beauty, but it'll do." Erik motioned for the boys to lift Mr. Peterson on top of the ice-sled. As Max and Nonni held the rope, Erik and Kalli pushed. Slowly the sled started gliding down the glacier.

Erik and Kalli turned at the sound and saw their ice-island tumble down like an avalanche and disappear. With grinding and screeching the fissure crashed shut.


VATNAJÖKULL...Glaciers of Waters...The largest glacier in Iceland, and Europe.

DUKW...Popularly pronounced ''Duck'' is a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck used during World War II to transport goods and troops over land and water.

PITON...(Pronounced Pee´ton) is a steel spike driven into ice, or rock to aid in climbing. Pitons are equipped with an eyehole or a ring, to which rope can be attached.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Wow, camping on Iceland's biggest glacier. Erik's camping gear thumped on his back as he loped down the lane where his three friends and their leader waited.

"Hi, Mr. Peterson. Hey Max, Nonni." Erik greeted them as he swung his backpack into the hydrogen-powered SUV. Sliding into a seat he jostled with his best friend, Kalli.

The two, fourteen-year-old boys, had been friends since they were six and shared many adventures exploring their remote country. Erik's fiery-red hair had earned him his nickname "Erik the Red." He didn't mind at all but proudly proclaimed that was was a descendant of the Viking, Erik The Red.

After two hours of bone-cracking, teeth-jarring drive over rough lava terrain, they reached the foothills of the glacier, Vatnajökull. Stark, barren and grey-black from blowing volcanic sand the glacier towered toward the sky. Anticipation and excitement surged through Erik. He turned and saw Kalli grinning at Max and Nonni who were gaping at enormous ice boulders stacked on top of each other.

Seeing the looks on the two boys' faces Mr. Peterson chuckled. "This isn't as bad as it looks. We'll be on a short hiking path, and then we'll be on the ice. We'll need to put crampons on now, grab our gear and get started."

"Yeah, let's go." The boys hollered. Puffing and panting the group reached a black, basalt boulder. Removing their backpacks the boys sank down groaning and rubbing their shoulders and necks.

"You guys did well. This was a long climb." Their leader complimented them. "We'll rest here a bit," he continued, "and then we'll hike to that ice-topped rock up ahead. Looks like there's an ice cave next to it. We'll check it out for a possible campsite."

"Camping in an ice cave, how cool is that." Nonni and Max shouted exuberantly.

"Speaking of cool." Kalli hopped up then rubbed his hands on the boulder where he'd been sitting. "It's ice-cold but this rock feels quite warm."

Mr. Peterson walked over. "Yes, the rock is warm, but I don't see any melting snow on the ground around it. I don't think we need to be concerned."

"Getting spooked by the Trolls?" Max and Nonni hooted. "Forgetting you're an Icelander? We have these hot-spots everywhere." But an eerie tingle oozed down Erik's spine as he glanced at Kalli.

"Okay boys, let's move." Mr. Peterson cheerfully called out.

As they reached the glacier their leader uncoiled a rope from his shoulder and tied the boys in line, behind himself, three feet apart, first Max, then Nonni, next Kalli with Erik last.

"Walk in, or close to, my footsteps while I check for any rifts or cracks that may be under this layer of snow." Mr. Peterson hacked the ice with his ice-axe then motioned for the boys to start following.

Far below, Erik saw the DUKW (duck), a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck, take tourists out on Lake Glacier. The lake was mirror-smooth, reflecting huge ice boulders. Thick, white, fluffy clouds floated lazily in the grey-blue sky. Perfect day.

Suddenly a crashing sound filled the air as an earthquake tremor rippled across the ice field. Frantically, Mr. Peterson hammered a piton into the ice. He had just fastened the rope when another jolt rumbled across the glacier. Erik and Kalli stared, terrified, as their leader, Max and Nonni disappeared into an opening in the ice, their frantic cries echoing in the air.

The rope yanked Kalli to his knees and he started to slide to the edge of a split that was slowly opening all around them. Desperately, Erik dug in his cleats  just as a saber-shaped chunk of ice careened down and severed the rope. They were stranded on a tall, chimney-shaped isle of ice! 

They stood frozen with fright as fear, like an icy blanket, covered them....

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A WWII Love Story.

Father's Day...Bittersweet memories of the father of my ten wonderful kids. Del and I had been married almost 70 years when he went to his heavenly home last February 26th. He had preached about that home for over 50 years, having been a Pastor/builder of  several churches in Central Illinois.

I started reminiscing about the war years and wondered about other "war brides." I would like to be able to get in touch with some of them and know their stories and how it was for them to adapt to a totally different environment.

We met in Iceland in 1944 during WWII, he was in the United States Navy. I had been asked my couple of girlfriends to go to a USO dance. This handsome Sailor, with a big smile, came up to me.
 "Dance?" He said something else that I didn't understand. I shook my head. He said "please"? Something about that plea and his soft hazel eyes made my  heart do a flip-flop. These were difficult times, no one knew who would come back when sent on a mission; ships were torpedoed, airplanes were shot down and many service men were losing their lives.
"Okay." I knew that word; it was as universal as "Coca-Cola." As we danced that evening it was like we'd been hit by a bolt of lightening! No need for words just looks and - for me anyway - silly smiles.
We met again at the dance hall the next evening, and as we danced he asked me to marry him. I looked at him, thinking I knew what he was asking, but not quite sure. Del asked again, taking my left hand and acting like he was putting a ring on my finger. Then I knew, and said "yes." We were serious! The next day we told Mother.
"YOU WANT TO DO WHAT" My soft-spoken, easy going, Mother shouted!This was not good. My Mother never raised her voice; not at us kids, not at my Father, no one. And now she had really raised her voice!
"Herman and I want to get married. " I repeated. (Later, in my family Del was always called Hermann.)
Mother had her face buried in both hands, rocking from side to side.She was quiet for a moment then she looked up, wide-eyed shock still on her face.
'' Íedamín, will Herman live in Iceland? Or, heaven forbid are you going to move to Amerika? Do you realize how far it is? We don´t know anything about is family. We don't even know what part of the country he is from. It´s a huge country. You could get lost, then what?´´ Mother nervously twisted her fingers, then dabbed at her eyes with a hankie.
Del had been holding my hand and trying to follow a conversation he couldn´t understand.He didn´t speak Icelandic and my Mother didn´t speak English.My English was not a whole lot better; we got by with hugging, kissing and holding hands! Del squeezed my hand. He could see that this wasn't going as well as we had hoped.
I said something like, "You home Amerika?" He looked at me a little puzzled. I tried again. "You Mamma, home, Amerika?"
Del smiled that great smile of his and said "Chicago."
Mother about fell off the sofa, gasping. "Chi-ka-ga? Gangstar Chi-ka-ga?!?"  It didn't come out "gangster" but close enough. We had some explaining to do and it wasn't going to be easy!
There had been a ban of marriages between U.S. Service men and Icelandic women but Del tackled the powers that be, wearing down layers of authorities by unwavering persistence got the ban lifted and was the first U.S. Serviceman to marry after.
Eventually, my parents accepted the situation and we were married March 25th. 1945 in the Dómkirkjan, Reykjavik
As time went on I learned more English words and tried to teach Del Icelandic, without much success. We took walks hand in hand around the lake in the center of downtown Reykjavik. Del would point and say "water" I´d say "vatn". He would say "birds" I´d say "fuglar". Although he couldn´t get THOSE pronunciations he did quite well with the words "Elska mín", translated "My love".
Coming from totally different worlds as we did, I did have fleeting doubt, and then pushed it away, I was in love.

From my Memoir GROWING UP VIKING, Fond Memories of Iceland..

Monday, June 6, 2016


Me and my daughters at Vestmannaeyar
Iceland is an island only 39,769 square miles (about the same size as the country of Portugal or the US State of Kentucky), but has about 30 active volcanoes. One of the  most recent ones erupted in '63, spewed right up from the ocean floor and became an island.  It was aptly named Surtsey - after the fire giant Surtur.  In  '73,  just  stone-throw away, on the island of Vestmannaeyar, the town of Heimaey got a rude awakening in the middle of the night.  Right in the middle of town, a volcano erupted and created the newest mountain on Earth. They named it Eldfell.
In the Spring of 2010 Eyjafjallajökull erupted and, due to plumes of volcanic ash, caused airplanes to be grounded in 18 countries and more than 100,000 travellers affected for over a week.
And I must mention Bárðabúnga that erupted in August just three weeks after we left Iceland last year and kept belching up lava for several months. Earthquakes and tremors were not uncommon.

So, in this kind of surrealistic surroundings was I brought up...

Growing up I was fascinated by the Seagulls flying in the sky as if floating on an unseen ocean. How did the country look from way up there? How far could they see?  Were they looking at me looking at them?

Following is from my memoir, Trolls - Monster Worm - Hidden People...

"Hey look, Lilla, if we put flower sack over our arms we could fly just like those gulls up there." I squinted  my eyes to watch one bird standing on a large lava rock. I stomped my foot to see how he'd take off; spreading his wings wide he glided up into the air, feet tucked under his body. Gracefully swooping in a curve, he came for a landing on another rock a stone-throw away. I could see his webbed, yellow feet come down straight and watched as he hopped a bit before settling down.
"Did you see that? We can do that!" I hollered. "See? When we get on top of that shed, we'll put the sacks on our arms, spread our them out like wings and when we jump, pull up our knees and fly from one roof to the other. Come on, Lilla. Grandpa and Sisi will be here later. Let;s show them how we do this!"
I was already climbing on top of one of the sheds.
"No, no, come on down. The roof is shaking!" Lilla shrieked as small rocks began to rain down the cliff at the back of the sheds. I could feel the shed swaying and hear the clattering noise as the rocks pelted the corrugated sides. Frantically,  I scrambled down yelling, "Run Lilla, run, it's an earthquake, the trölls will be coming!'' Then both of us were running oddly,  like we were on the deck of a ship in a stormy gale. Reeling and weaving, we screamed hysterically "The trölls are coming, the trölls are coming!''

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Kindle Format On Sale! Just 99¢ for a LIMITED TIME

I am very excited about my newest work in progress, The Silver Arrow.  This is a young adult adventure story based in Iceland with a science fiction twist.  My characters go on a quest that leads them into a surprising world that includes Odin and some other well-known Norse gods.  I'm expecting this new story to be available sometime later this Summer or Early Fall.  

In the meantime, am really looking forward to returning home to Iceland again this summer. I so enjoy re-living the memories of growing up in such a fantastic place.  I shared many recollections in my memoirs, but every year I find I remember more escapades of my childhood in this amazing and uniquely mysterious country, often called the Land of Fire and Ice. 

To celebrate another year of adventure, I am offering a special .99 price for the Kindle version of my memoirs, Trolls-Monster Worm-Hidden People: Fond Memories of Iceland.  I will only be able to offer this for a limited time, so please head to Amazon (click here) and download a copy today. 

I must rush off now - as you know I am "91 and on the run!"

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Dance I Shall

Recently I read an interview with Iceland's oldest resident, 106-year-old Georg Olafsson. When asked what his secret to longevity was he replied "I haven't the faintest clue," but suspected it could be a mixture of healthy diet, hard labor and positive thinking.

That sound about right to me, growing up on that island, also called "The Land of Fire and Ice", our diet was pretty much fresh fish, homegrown potatoes, rutabaga and carrots and, on special occasion, smoked mutton. At age 91, I have come to believe a positive outlook is one of the keys to a long and happy life. I'm not so sure about the hard labor - although some may argue that raising ten children could qualify as "hard labor" - but I am absolutely for an active lifestyle. I like to think that after working all day (or a lifetime), it's time to dance.

Life can be a dance. I try to add a little dance to any activity. I don't sit and wait for the coffee to brew or warm up, I take those few minutes for a "microwave dance." Hopping from one foot to the other and swinging my arms to whatever happy tune comes to mind. It gets the blood flowing, keeps my mind sharp and a smile on my face. It might be a brisk march, a flowing waltz vacuuming the floor, or a little Cha-Cha between the washing machine and dryer during laundry. The more movements I do the better I feel. I should have started this years ago, but it's never to late!

Awhile back I was dog-sitting and noticed that whenever the pups got up, the first thing they did was to stretch. I decided this instinct might be a good thing, so I added stretching to my daily routine: Stretching side to side - stretch the arms out front - reach up to the sky (or the highest-up kitchen cabinet).Someone told me "planks" were good for the core muscles and helped with posture, so I added that to my routine, ending with the "canine" stretches. If a wall space is not available I use the refrigerator-door for my back as I do the "squat-position." And always start the day with a few sit-ups before bouncing out of bed!

This has kept me limber enough to go paragliding - cave exploring - river rafting - rock-wall climbing, and keep me looking for more adventures! People ask me what MY secret is...I say - "Whatever there is to do, do that thing!"

I don't think of myself as old - I am occasionally caught unaware when the realization of my chronological age hits me. I am honestly far to busy enjoying life to be limited by "acting my age."
At my age, at any age it's time to dance.
And dance I shall.