Carol’s Ramblings (Blog)

Learning Dutch

A Loving, Satirical Look at Learning to Speak Dutch

  You’ve decided to learn Dutch. Congrats and good luck! If I can do it, anyone can. But… Unless you are gifted in languages (definitely not me!), you’ll need a lot of time for studying and a whole bunch of tenacity. After two years of study, I feel I should be further along on my language journey, so I’m going to the Netherlands for a month of intensive immersion in Bart de Pau’s Dutch Summer…

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Book Signings

I’ll be back at the Tucson Festival of Books!

Stop by the Tucson Festival of Books and say hello! The March 4-5, 2023 Tucson Festival of Books in Tucson, Arizona is a GO!! I will be in the Young Adult Indie Pavilion on Sunday March 5 from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30p.m (subject to change). If you are one of the first 8 people to buy the entire “Skye Van Bloem Trilogy” at the special festival price of $30, you will receive a FREE beautiful,…

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Traveling

An Arizonan Reacts to the London Heat Wave

How Bad Was the London Heat Wave? As my daughter and I were ending our hike in the beautifully cool Scottish Highlands, several people cautioned us about the heat wave soon to hit London. We laughed. I live in southeast Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert, and my daughter lives in central Florida. Not only have we lived with hot weather, but we actually prefer it. It was supposed to be 100 deg F soon after…

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Traveling

Hiking the Loch Ness 360 With Cryptozoologist Dr. Daisy

                She said it would be a relaxing stroll around Loch Ness Lake. “Easy-peasy,” she said. “No poles necessary.” There would be an impressive 24-mile-long lake with spectacular views, cute B&B’s, hearty Scottish food, quaint villages, fields of highland cows, and cool weather. She was right about everything but one. The journey around Loch Ness Lake is no beginner hike. I’ve done a fourteener in the Colorado Rocky…

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COVID-19

Traveling Abroad During the COVID Pandemic

It was, perhaps, a bit reckless to travel abroad during a COVID pandemic.  Cases across Europe have been climbing and yet, off we went on our adventure. Allow me to start by saying that if you are an anti-vaxxer or believe COVID is a hoax or you think masks don’t work, this blog is not for you. All right then, I’m assuming my readers are science-based folks who are genuinely interested in my experience traveling…

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test pilot Eric E. Fiore

Former NATO 32TFS “Wolfhound” F-15 fighter pilot Eric Fiore is going home

More specifically, the treasured flying items of my late husband, test pilot/former F-15 NATO 32 TFS “Wolfhound” Eric Fiore, are going home to the Netherlands, where he was stationed with NATO forces during the Cold War. In Dutch: De F-15 vliegende dingen van Eric Fiore gaan naar huis. What Happened? Eric died 36 days after a plane crash, and I donated his flight suit, G-suit, helmet, and logbook to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas where…

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Companies Acting Badly

Part III of the Terrible Tauck Debacle

Should You Travel With Tauck?   No, I recommend against giving them your business. This is the final chapter of the debacle because none of the agencies I’ve contacted for help are interested in doing more than shuffling messages between me and Tauck. That is not really helpful. To read about the beginning of the mess, please click here. Part II outlines the remediation I have pursued. Click here for that story.   An Abbreviated…

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Companies Acting Badly

Part II of Terrible Travel Company Tauck

Tauck — A travel company acting badly, Part II   This is a follow-up to an earlier blog about travel company Tauck. You may want to read it first, so you know what’s going on: read Part I. Complaints I have filed several complaints about Tauck. The BBB is not useful as they just bounce letters back and forth between the two parties involved in the dispute. It may take a bit of time for…

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Grief

Goodbye, KL, My Brave Friend

  “I’m sorry but she’s gone.” The woman who said it was holding a single piece of paper. She turned it toward me. “I have just certified the time of death at 10:18.” It was Saturday January 29, 2022. Shala, the Siamese cat sitting guard, hissed at the woman. I had known my dear friend Kathryn Lance (KL to all who knew her) did not have long to live. She hadn’t eaten in over a…

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