Archive for June, 2016

The Joy Of Having Pets

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Over the years I have had a variety of wonderful pets: various breeds of dogs and mixed breeds of rescued cats…some I even rescued myself from outdoors. Those of you who are privileged to raise a pet know how joyful it can be!

Cats are amazing entertainers! My gorgeous white cat, Snowie, with a black stripe under his chin, loved to twirl around like a little ballet dancer. He looked as though he knew how cute he was as he was doing this! He ran all around the house for exercise and then landed in my lap to purr while we cuddled.

My cat, Schuyler James, was so brave and smart that he waited until my Doberman pinschers were soundly asleep before jumping into my lap each night after dinner.

I had one strawberry blond cat who would come inside only when he felt like it. He was definitely an outdoor cat! I named him Rutherford after President Rutherford B. Hayes. When he did come in, he would eat his meal, drink a bowl of water and go to sleep, purring all the while as he sat on my lap .

Another loving kitten was s sweet outdoor cat, Priscilla, who was friendly outside, but didn’t want to come in. I loved to play with her and feed her every night when I came home from work. I felt devastated when the little angel was one day run over by a car!

We were able to get her brother, Tommy, to come into the house eventually, after he miraculously survived also being run over by a car. But not for long! He would howl if he had to stay in for more than a few weeks. Very reluctantly, we let him out for the day, and he would come home at night and stay indoors. But one day he didn’t return. We heard howling one night and saw from the window that some wild stray dogs were attacking Tommy. My husband ran out to rescue him, but it was too late. Tommy died in Nick’s arms!

All of these stories are true and were written up in my nonfiction book, “A Legacy of Love.” Available on Amazon…but make sure you have a box of tissues when you sit down to read!

Another Aspect of Joy: Love

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Probably, the most wonderful aspect of joy is love. There are various beautiful aspects of love, such as love for God and love for His Son, (if you are of the Christian faith); romantic love, which may be described as the love for one’s spouse or significant other, (who may become one’s spouse one day); love of one’s parents and other relatives; love for friends and neighbors (agape love); love for pets and other animals; love for one’s profession or vocation; love for recreation, the love of fine food and yes, even a love for entertainment. Yet, even with all these interesting and quite extraordinary aspects of love, I probably have forgotten some. Please excuse me if I have!

Today I am going to concentrate on romantic love: love of one’s intended or spouse. To me there is nothing more joyful than knowing that someone you care for and enjoy being with returns the same feelings. I especially like feeling safe and comfortable with the man I love. And, of course, that magnetism and spark, when they are truly intense, make me feel really alive!

Many people are intimidated by intimacy, but, I believe that, when you are with the person who is right for you, getting close to that special person, that “yang” for your “ying,” so to speak, can be the sweetest and most satisfying feeling anyone can have.

When you are truly in love, there is always something to talk about. That incredible communication makes each partner feel accepted and understood. Never does that need to connect go away or get weaker!

Being in love means wanting to do something special for the beloved. It could be baking a special pie, cake or cookies…or a dish that the loved one especially enjoys, like lasagna, manicotti, meatballs and spaghetti or even filet mignon! A man might want to get tickets for his wife’s favorite movie, go to an elegant restaurant or a Broadway show. An impromptu weekend vacation or a beautifully planned day trip makes the wife feel special, too! You can see that the psychological, mental and emotional aspects of the marriage or courtship are just as important as the physical.

There are so few people who have a truly rich and satisfying marriage. More than half end in divorce, but when you know that you are loved, cherished, respected and protected, not just by words (which often don’t mean anything), but by action and deeds, there is no better feeling! And when all of these lovely qualities are returned, there is no greater joy on earth.

Moments of Joy

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

What are the moments of your life that give you the most joy? When you really think about it, there are many. Our God is happy, the Bible says in I Timothy 1:11. Therefore, he wants us to be happy, too. That is why, I believe, we human beings have a huge capacity to feel joy. The question is “What makes us happy?”

When I was a little girl, very simple things often filled me with joy. I remember skipping down the street, playing jump rope, running up and down the steps and even jumping downstairs two or three steps at a time with my friends when my parents weren’t around. I enjoyed eating my favorite flavors of ice cream: vanilla, chocolate and cherry vanilla. Watching my favorite television shows and going to the movies was fun for me as well! Finally, visiting an amusement park and going on the rides was my idea then of a perfect day!

Those were most childhood joys. Only one is not included, and that may not be much of a joy to others, but it was to me. It is something as simple as going to the bagel store early in the morning on a summer’s day with the ocean breeze refreshing me with every step. I would have the money for our family’s order in my pocket as the aroma of all kinds of fresh, just-out-of-the-oven bagels and bialys reached my nose, my favorite being the garlic and onion variety. Purchasing my family’s order and then being enticed by the aroma of the delicious bagels all the way back to my grandparents’ summer rooming house made me euphoric! As good as the bagels would taste, the aroma was even better!

There are so many joyful moments to describe that I will write about only one more tonight.
That moment of joy will be doing what I am right now…and that is writing!

When the right combinations of words create an image that is exactly what I want to express, then I feel that I have succeeded! It is a fulfilling moment to know that I am actually communicating what is in my heart and mind. It is very satisfying to know that I have reached my goal at that moment or even that day!

There are so many joyful moments that I want to save some for another post. That will allow me more time for reflection! So until the next time,

Cheryl

When Is It Time To Watch A Hallmark Movie?

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

ANYTIME! And, honestly, l don’t work for them either!
It’s just that, for more reasons than I can include in this brief blog, Hallmark movies take the edge off a challenging day and relax me more than a little.

The movies have
Just the right amount of romance without being maudlin or silly. The plots are realistic to a great extent. Yes, what happens to the characters is credible! Real situations with fantastic settings!

The characters are people with whom you and I could relate. For example, the characters in the movie that I am now watching, “The Convenient Groom,” are real to me. At the eleventh hour there are men like the original groom in the movie, who think nothing of calling off the wedding at the last minute, regardless of the effect it has on their fiancé.

The groom at the beginning of this movie calls the marriage off just days before the wedding,which is, not only a blow to the intended’s ego, but an embarrassment because the woman is a blogger with a doctorate , who is in the public eye. And who tries to save the day but an old boyfriend of the discarded fiancé, who has never been able to forget her?

To me this could happen. In fact it does happen! When one door closes in life, another one opens! That’s a great part of life! Our creator must see what we need since, even in seemingly impossible situations, things somehow work out! Hope looms eternal!

In this movie the couple get together and find that they are a good fit. It is pleasant to watch them fall in love again after a misunderstanding many years before that was responsible for their separation. And while the movie unfolds, I begin to relax!

To me the greatest compliment to my writing would be to have one of my novels made into a Hallmark movie. I have made it a priority to make the plots exciting and the characters real! Writing the books was such a joy to me, and to share them in the form of a movie would be the fulfillment of my greatest career goal! Who knows? Dreams do come true, especially when you work hard for them and never give up! And so I persevere as I watch these enchanting Hallmark movies!

That being said, I hope you enjoy tonight’s movie! I won’t tell you anything specific, but from the coming attractions, it has perfect balance of credible characters and exciting plot! Enjoy!

A Recipe For Boredom

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Although most of us are thankful every day for our countless blessings, there are still moments when we experience boredom. What can we do at those times!

When I was a little girl, I found myself feeling bored if I weren’t busy every waking moment. I was the opposite of my sister, who was happy to sit and read a good book whenever she had free time. If I couldn’t change activities frequently, I would become frustrated and enter into a period of what my mother called complaining and whining. Such behavior was not appreciated by my mom. So for my own good, I learned quickly to develop hobbies even then.

Even as a little one, I began to write as best I could. Of course, at that time, like my older sister, I preferred telling stories. For her it might have been easier because she read so much and had a huge reserve of information from which to draw. I had to use my imagination, and what a treasure trove of imagery and ideas that turned out to be!

I also loved to illustrate, but my talents along that line were not as strong. Yet, rich colors and combinations of shades and textures brought me joy, and they have continued to do so until the present time.

But being physically active is crucial, too. Walking, participating in sports and even running around doing errands are all good for us if we don’t do these things with stress and anxiety.

And, yes, I learned that sometimes, it is good to sit, even for hours and read a good book! If you like to write, you had better love to read, too!

WHAT SUMMER MEANS TO ME!

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

I just created a heartfelt blog on what summer means to me and lost it all! So now with a really sore shoulder, I am going to start again.

When I think of summer, I reflect upon all the years that my family and I spent at my grandparents’ rooming house in the Rockaways. My cousins and my aunt and uncle were there with us, which meant great family fun for all of us. I spent time with two of my cousins, almost from the time I got up to the time I went to bed.

There were wonderful Fourth of July festivities and a great party for Labor Day, as well. On rainy days we played all kinds of games from Monopoly, Mah Jongg , Canasta, Old Maid, etc. We also made up our own games. Telling stories was fun, too, especially for a little girl who aspired to be an author.

On most days we went to the beach. We rode the magnificent waves, ate lovely picnic lunches, enjoyed ice cream from the Good Humor man who sold ice cream treats along the beaches. We made sand castles and got into trouble when we were mischievous, which was most of the time. We all had such a love for adventure.

We loved exploring the old rooming house, which had three floors, beautiful carpeting, as I remember, and a front and back stairway. It was fun to sneak into the attic and basement, where we really were not supposed to go. When we heard something creaking in the basement, we ran as though a bear were chasing us. I don’t believe anyone ever knew of our secret exploits.

Yes, summer is full of beautiful memories. I was carefree then. I truly left all problems to God and my parents. After all, it was summertime. There was no school, no strict teachers, no anxieties of any kind, only one day after another of fun.

I especially enjoyed Wednesday nights when there were fireworks on the boardwalk. I usually wore a little shrug, which one of the elderly ladies crocheted for me because sometimes, the evenings were nice and cool as a result of the lovely ocean breeze. My friends and I were delighted with the gorgeous colors and shapes of the fireworks that we saw above us. Also, the treats were amazing! The custard, sold at one of the many boardwalk concessions, was delicious, as were the fresh doughnuts. There was even a fantastic kosher deli that had the best cold cuts and french fries! I ate so much but was still a skinny little thing.

There was no air conditioning in the rooming house, but I slept like a log most of the time anyway. One time I was so sound asleep that I couldn’t wake up when my parents and sister knocked on the door, having forgotten their keys. They had to throw some water over the transom to wake me up. How I wish I could sleep like that now!

So summertime is here. I have to plan my days much more carefully than I did then because grown-up responsibilities have long ago claimed a good deal of my time. Life isn’t always exactly how you wanted it to be, but as mature adults, we make the best of our lives and are grateful for all of our blessings!

Yet, it is really good to reflect upon exhilarating memories of long ago as summer, 2016, makes her debut!

There is more about my exciting summers in the Rockaways in my novel, “The Wacky World of Winnie and Willie,” which, although not entirely autobiographical, contains many events that I actually experienced growing up. The novel is available on Amazon.

TWO DALETSKY BABIES ARE BORN

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

In my historical novel, “Escape From the Maelstrom,” Caterina, the granddaughter-in-law of Aleksandra, aka Karina, gives birth to little Alek at the beginning of July, 1914.

He is an amazingly good baby with an affable disposition and adaptable to going to sleep, getting up, eating and relieving his little self, all at reasonable times. He hardly ever cried and seemed to be born with a smile on his face.

On the other hand, Aleksandra gave birth to little Carrie on July 30th. She cried as soon as she was born and never seemed to stop! No one in the apartment house got much sleep until one day the crying stopped, and Carrie’s personality improved amazingly! (I consciously or subconsciously modeled little Carrie after me because my father told me innumerable times that I came home from the hospital crying and didn’t stop for months. I hope he was exaggerating!) Here are some excerpts from the novel to illustrate this:

“David made sure that she was checked for colic, allergies, etc., but all the tests proved to be negative. It seemed as though Carrie
cried for the sake of crying and getting attention, but I insisted that there must be a medical reason. Until someone found one,
however, I showered my baby with love, hoping that my constant show of affection would soothe my little girl.

“Thank God, after a few months Carrie decided that she liked to eat, drink her mother’s milk, and most of all, sleep. My three
granddaughters, my little great-grandson (through marriage to the baby’s sixty-one year-old great-grandpa) and I, along with just
about everybody else in the building thanked God for His mercy and compassion! If Carrie could sleep, now the rest of us could, too.”

Yes, it was really exciting when the babies in my novel were born! As an author, I feel so close to my characters!

More from “Escape From the Maelstrom” very soon! The next time it will be excerpts from Feodor’s journey to St. Petersburg to bring home his daughter, Galina, an army nurse who is breaking down from overwork and disappointment in her marriage to Grigori, an army officer who is rising in rank among the communists ands considers his communist ideals more important than anything else in his life.

Until the next time,

Cheryl

Two Characters Discover They Are Pregnant at About the Same Time!

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Isn’t that a large helping of irony in “Escape From the Maelstrom” when Caterina and Aleksandra (aka Karina) find out that they are pregnant around the same time? Yes, I suppose it is, but we nevertheless have to remember that both women had been married about the same time, too, and it is possible to become pregnant on the first sexual encounter. Therefore, it is entirely possible, although perhaps improbable.

During my research, I discovered that there was a female gynecologist, Dr. Eliza Taylor, who had made strides in patient care in her hospital in Boston at just that time. She was known to have developed new practices, which were being used by doctors and midwives alike in childbirth in New York and probably many other cities, even at this early time in our history.

One example was obstetric anesthesia, a kind of twilight sleep, used during childbirth by Dr. Taylor and others, who followed her strategies. Dr. Goodman, a gynecologist in the novel, who practiced in a hospital in New York, near where Aleksandra and her granddaughters resided, used this new strategy of Dr. Taylor.

So when Caterina had been pale and sickly for a while, Dr. David Eisen, the physician who had fled Odessa earlier and was asked by Feodor and Uri to care for his wife and three granddaughters, took Caterina to the hospital to get a definitive opinion on whether or not she was pregnant. After it was confirmed that she was, all of a sudden, Aleksandra fainted. When she came to, she was also examined by Dr. Goodman. We can see now what was the outcome of the exam.

“‘No, it couldn’t be,’ ” I said. “‘Feodor and I were together in that sense only twice. How could I get pregnant that soon?'”

“Dr. Goodman smiled. “‘Don’t be no naïve, Mrs. Daletsky. Sometimes, just one encounter is all it takes.'”

“When my examination was completed, the results were the same as Caterina’s. Two little Daletsky babies were going to be born the summer of 1914.”

Let me just add that, on a personal note, I empathized with my character. Like her, I have always wanted to be a mother, but, unfortunately, my first husband died before we were able to have a child, and when I married again, it was no longer possible for me to conceive. So when Aleksandra became pregnant, it was a triumph for me, too, since the character was so much a part of me. Later, I will tell you how happy I was as the author and one who empathized so much with the pregnant Aleksandra, aka Karina, when she ultimately gives birth.

Until that next post,

Cheryl

Reviews on my Community Pages

Monday, June 13th, 2016

I have three community pages, on which I write brief summaries, include thematic material about my books and write important and entertaining excerpts. What Are the names of the three community pages? They are:

Cheryl Lodico
Cheryl Madeleine Lodico and

“Just A kiss” and “Escape from the Maelstrom.”

Come visit and browse!

Until the next time,

Cheryl

A NOVEL OFTEN MIRRORS REAL LIFE….

Sunday, June 12th, 2016

My novels are just that…fiction. Yet, sometimes, they cannot help copying aspects of my life…even appearing to be close to actual events, although camouflaged by the fiction in which they are clothed. So it was with my novel, “33’s Theo.”

An actual friend of mine, who was the real-life model for my character, Teddy, had a ham radio code similar to 33’s Theo, which I won’t divulge. His actual name was George ( no last names, of course, ) and I met him while at Harvard during the summer of my junior year at college ( Cortland State).

George was 34 at that time and a bachelor, but his fictitious counterpart, Teddy, was a widower,( although he doesn’t tell the female character for whom I am the model, Shelly.) He also has a twelve year-old son, Ben, whom he also does not mention to Shelly. This point is a very important difference between the reality of the actual summer that I spent at Harvard and the fictitious deviation of the novel.

The real George and I became friends, but I admit that I thought I was falling in love with him. We had one of those long-distance relationships for a couple of years. Then we broke up, and I met the wonderful man who was to become my husband, Nicky. For years I didn’t even think about George.

But the author in me took over a few years ago, and I decided to write a novel in which my fictitious counterpart, Shelly, puts in Teddy’s old ham radio code when she and a friend, Susan, are vacationing on the Cape while also house-sitting for a friend of Susan. Years have passed. Shelly’s husband has died, and to relieve her depression, she has agreed to go on this trip to the Cape with Susan.

Well, you can imagine. Teddy has died, and the man who answers is his son, Ben, almost as old as Shelly because, remember she was just a college junior when she met Teddy, whose son was twelve at the time. Do the math. There’s only about eight years difference, and today attractive “cougars” are considered very sexy. So the story really begins here…

It is a very exciting and warmly written novel. Ben’s daughter has three adorable children, strangely much like my own grandchildren. Ben loves boats of all types, and they take a kayak out on the Charles River, just as I did in real life with George. They tour the famous Walden Pond, again as I did with George so many years ago. So when I wrote “33’s Theo” I remembered some wonderful events in my own life! Life mirrored fiction, if only a little!

I add a very eccentric but sweet British gentleman and his mother, a feisty lady with an English title and plenty of attitude. You will have to read the novel to see how they fit in, however. But I will tell you they add a great deal of humor to the novel in addition to being important to the plot.

“33’s Theo” is a great summer read. It is available on Amazon, but there are only a few copies left. I know you will enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it and indulging in many hours of nostalgia.

Until the next time,
Cheryl