Tag Archives: Into the Vines

Aviation Advances Into the Special Forces

23 Aug

ah64-apache-18Who doesn’t know that Orville and Wilbur Wright are known as the father’s of the 1st airplane, whereupon they took the first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina? Early in the 1900’s these two brothers from Dayton, Ohio were inventors and believers in their own vision. And they had quite the vision as others dismissed what they would later accomplish.

main_1200One can hardly believe it was only a hundred years ago. Have we who lived in those years seen the greatest inventions of all times? Certainly it must be noted as the century of invention.

1910_Model_AB_launchCharles Lindbergh who flew The Spirit of Saint Louis across the ocean, the Atlantic to be exact, became known as the first soloist to do this in 1927 with no stops. It took almost 2,000 years since the kite was invented in China for man to fly himself up in the sky and conquer the ocean without getting wet. Fantastically, five years later a woman did the same thing. You see we are only a handful of  years behind men in aviation or so it seems.

earhartAmelia Earhart became the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic in May of 1932, landing in Northern Ireland, where a small memorial museum remains after the fourteen hour flight.

amelia-earhart-in_glendaleShe was born July twenty-fourth in 1897 and later presumed dead after a tragic flight over the Pacific on July 2nd, 1937. Amelia was only thirty nine years old.

Certainly advancements were made before, during and after WWII as far as aviation is concerned. Recently, women have made another leap in their abilities to coexist, be like men or participate in the same opportunities. The US Army Rangers announced on August 21st, 2015 that two females had passed the school for Rangers. What is a Ranger?

85f4a3f8170f86ea25ab27d603b94be9d9c840fbThe 75th Ranger Regiment is a volunteer group of elite individuals who pass a rigorous two month program at specified training sites. They follow five principles that guide their philosophies for hands on combat. The five principles are: marksmanship, physical training, medical training, small unit tactics, and mobility. Ranger school is tough! Soldiers volunteer for this with training being two months long. They use close combat as a primary mission with training inclusive of mountains, oceans, and rivers with physical and mental toughness assessed right from the get-go. Early on they assisted in wars and special operations; presently the global war on terror is a fixture. Maybe you’ve seen the tan beret, it stands for ‘proven warrior.’

0430-Women-Ranger-School_1Two women and 94 men accomplished the goal of making it through Ranger school this August. All of them went through the same rigorous mental and physical tests. This is not about men being better than women or letting women off the hook. Neither is it about women besting men, rather it is about catching up and giving opportunities to those who might qualify. Yes, the army is on top of the gender situation. Ranger school opened in 1950 and 77,000 have earned the title of a US Ranger. Wow. What an accomplishment! 2014 saw 4,057 soldiers who tried to make it with 1609 achieving the title to help the United States of America in its Ranger endeavors. One out of three make it, that’s elite.

u-s-army1st Lt. Shaye L. Haver was one of the women to graduate this August as a Ranger and Capt. Kristen M. Griest was the other. Both are West Point Graduates and now Ranger school graduates from Fort Benning, Georgia.

apache_3Haver is an AH-64 Apache pilot and has wanted this training so she can lead a platoon. She wants to lead and knows this elite schooling can help her accomplish that goal. Haver wants to use her aviation “and go as far as she can!” Griest is interested in something like civil affairs and/or Special Forces.

imrs.phpBoth women are now leaders and role models for doing what no other female had yet done. Congratulations to them both. May they keep setting goals and furthering women along on their pathway.

aviation-airplane-civil-aircraft-2362061My novel Into the Vines is on Amazon for purchase. In September and October it will be FREE on selected dates (every Friday). Aviation is one of the special themes presented in this novel of fiction. My heroes come in all genders and ages, because we should all have opportunities in this global world called Earth. And, of course, I have more than one pilot because I think flying is one of those brave acts not everybody can do. They are the elite.

Into the Vines

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An excerpt from ‘Into the Vines’ …

“What’s up, Daniela?” Brie asked upon seeing her puzzled expression.
“There are children playing outside. I know Marie has twins, but I’m counting about seven or eight now. I wonder if they’re all Marie’s.”
“I have no idea,” Brie said, after taking a peek out the window. “Come, let’s wear sundresses today! I’m feeling Parisian.” Brie pulled out her dresses, which she had purchased from some of the finest shops in Savannah. She, of course, had the shoes to match, as well as the handbags.
“Fabulous! Milady!” Daniela pulled out a floral sundress of her own and a pair of golden leather sandals but then looked up at Brie. “But how will I cook in this?” Daniela laughed at the idea but then decided she didn’t really care.
When they were dressed, Daniela and Brie walked to the main house, and along the way they noticed the children again. This time, she saw they were pointing up to the sky, where she saw a small airplane performing flying maneuvers, a loop de loop, overhead. She knew a little about flying from reading and talking with her uncle about her parents. “Maybe the kids know the pilot,” Daniela shouted over the sound of the airplane.
“They are certainly excited!” Brie added. “Goodness, we are late, let’s hurry up, Daniela!” When they were finished with their morning class, Marie informed her students that they would be having lunch outside on the patio with a special guest who’d just arrived. The patio itself was covered with a pergola that was wisteria entrenched, though it had already bloomed. Daniela noticed lights were strung up all around the outside, under the trees, and across the dance floor, which was situated off to the corner.
Lunch consisted of a starter with prosciutto ham and farmer’s cheese on homemade croissants, followed by a simple salad of greens from the garden and a quiche using the eggs from the hen house, all of which had been made or collected by the class. Brie had made the drink today which was a favorite of hers from the South, consisting of half lemonade and half sweet tea. “Oh, Daniela, what will we do when we have to leave and go back to meals at home?” Brie said with a laugh.
Before Daniela could respond, seven or eight little ones came out the back door with plates in their hands to join the class. Three of them called Marie, Aunt Marie, while the rest gave a nod or half smile.
“Here he comes!” shouted a little boy. He pointed to the sky, where a plane was descending down below a few trees in the opposite direction of the river.
“Momma, can we go see him before lunch? Please! Please!” The twins asked of Marie.

raytheon-beechcraft-baron-04Olivier is a pilot who performs rescue operations around the globe, privately, through the assistance of the special forces on a global scale titled, “ANGIE.” Angie refers to all nations global initiative endeavor, a fictitious organization from my novel “Into the Vines.”

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By Kim Troike

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A Wonderful Decision

27 May

Teens“Did you talk to Dad about getting my belly button pierced?” she asked. My raised eyebrows and stunned look didn’t tell her a thing. She smiled back at me and said, “After all, I passed Math.”

Yes, it’s absolutely true the issues of parenting get larger with increased age, but take a deep breath as you can handle anything you tell yourself. You will have had years of tests, read hundreds of articles, and called your mother a few times to get the age old wisdom no book can deliver as well as her. Let’s go back to the beginning where it all starts.

As a mother of three adopted children I’m experienced but no expert on parenting just like most of the world . When I look back it was a daunting process which didn’t go smoothly, kind of like the infertility issues my husband and I were treated for.  Many people, mostly couples, give up right then and there, and don’t go any further. They decide they’ve had enough. You are on your own to decipher which advice you will take. Will you take your friends advice who heard it through the grapevine of other friends who did this or that? When you finally trust someone, or an agency, will they deliver? Will you be super lucky and get twins?

twinsIf you went through infertility treatments and they worked, well, you are blessed! But if it didn’t work, you are left again to figure it all out if you have the energy, time and money leftover. At this point you wish someone would take your hand and lead you through the maze. This happened for myself after my husband and I stood in our kitchen and he said, “I just can’t do anymore.” He had stood beside me all those years of trying, and I had truly felt his encouragement and desire for kids. If we didn’t go any further I would not be a mom. For some reason I felt destined to be a mother all my life. I could not figure out why God would keep this from me. I said the prayers and asked the question “why” over and over?

Friends and one fellow co-worker responded back with “When God closes a door, he opens a window.” So, I held onto the window theory for quite awhile. Then one day while working in a post-anesthesia care unit at my local hospital my patient woke up. She was a young girl from India and she stared into my eyes. I hadn’t even spoken yet when she said, “Are you a mother?”

I replied, “No. Why do you ask?”

She looked and smiled at me. She said, “Because you should be one.”

Of course I said, “Yes, I know.” This was not the time or place to express the longings of becoming a mother and God forbid the unanswered whys.

Very happily she said, “I’m adopted and it’s the best thing. I love it. I have the best parents in the world.” She went on and on and on. That was my first angel I met.

Tres AngelsAnd the second one came when I called an agency, run by two ladies who had been there done that. The fee was 500 bucks and it became the best money I’d ever spent on our trials and tribulations of becoming parents. They met with you and together came up with five or so agencies that fit your budget and criteria. Details like did you want a newborn, a toddler, siblings, health concerns, maternal drug use, etc., etc.? It’s a scary world out there and you have to come up with your comfort zone. You have to figure out what you can do. Can you take care of special needs? This is realism to the core, honesty and a test, yet again. You get to know yourself very well through this process.

Honestly, I thought maybe it was over for me as I approached the big 4-0. One of my angels I had just met on the phone asked me when that birthday was and I replied, “November.”

I heard her on the other end counting out the months from March. Then she said, “We can do this. It’s possible!” These words gave me hope and my earthly angels were going to look out for me. They understood the pain, the anguish of a basic need … the need to nurture and love. There are no words to describe the feeling when someone believes in you, and wants to help you after everything you’ve endured. This agency called Adoption Information Services did set us up with another wonderful agency called Gift of Life. Both can be found online thanks to the wonderful internet.

Before Gift of Life was able to provide to us our lovely twin daughters, another gift came our way. Our son arrived via what I call the domino effect. Someone who knew someone, who knew another someone who knew our friend, that had told them about us, became our adoption reality. It really does work like that, as they tell you to tell friends and family you want adoption in your life. We were able to be in the delivery room with the birth-mother after only meeting her two weeks before. By the way I turned forty two days later. What a blessing!

twinsWhy do I write about something so personal, so revealing? Because now is the time in my life I am prepared to write these human interest stories, stories of love and brave acts. It’s time we treat these birth mother’s with the respect and dignity they deserve. They are carrying the life and love of a family for which they are brave enough to sacrifice themselves. This is not rejection but the  unconditional love we all long for in life. If we can respect these women that decide this fate, then maybe the children who already love their new families can rest their minds knowing society is behind them and the woman who sacrifices. These are good women who give birth to life and a soul the future.

baby Adoption was a wonderful decision I made back in 1997. My husband thanked me (when our son was born) for continuing the process when he had had enough turbulence with infertility.

Kim Troike is a writer, mother and nurse from Atlanta, Georgia. Her latest novel is “Into the Vines” and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She blogs about themes like this one(adoption) present in her contemporary novel of fiction onto theivorytide.com. See her Amazon page here.

By Kim Troike

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Congratulation Graduates

20 May

Congratualtions Graduates Graduations of all sorts are upon the United States and beyond. From high school diplomas to baccalaureate degrees and, of course, all the undergraduate milestone achievements. In Georgia we even celebrate graduation from Pre-K, albeit its the wee ones on stage in all their cuteness with a big decorated cake to follow. Smiles from parents are the prequel to the dream that begins!

What if though the dream never began? What does one look forward to or aspire? I’m no economics major, just an older and wiser individual (forget I said that), well, sometimes we all doubt our intelligence when kids challenge us. But let’s give them aspirations, not just dreams of money and glamor. There are other more worthy attributes with which to cling to.

Driving the teens to school this morning the talk in the car was about the future, the immediate with finals looming in math and chemistry, and the foreseeable future as signs around the neighborhoods boast of who’s who, and where they are headed for the next segment in their lives.

GraduatesOur own neighborhood has two graduates with one headed to the United States Air Force Academy. Wow. This gave me the opportunity to tell my child about this important achievement and what a prestigious direction to be headed in for them. This aspiration or goal may not be my daughters but its good that she knows others want to also achieve. I believe this helps to set them on a good path. I could be wrong, but for now as a parent, I’m believing in the idea that I have some influence over their possible futures. Maybe, maybe not. Some kids will do their own thing, or maybe just take more time getting there. I’ll be waiting with a smile and a kind heart to help them, too.

I am reminded of that old saying, not sure where it comes from, “What ever you do in life, do it well!”

Congratulations GraduatesThis brings me to the cities trying to help their poor, those living in poverty. Los Angeles has endorsed an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. This is double the wage now. Will this offer more people the incentive to work and provide for their families? Seattle and San Francisco recently did the same with Chicago to reach $13 an hour. The Mayor of New York City hopes to do the same with $15 an hour being the lowest wage of a city worker. Certainly the recent-past recession, poverty, immigration and our economics in the global arena are all factors for success or not.

They call this the living wage and when we read about wages or incomes from around the world we get mortified. How do people live on such low wages? How do they eat? Maybe they don’t. It makes us glad to live in America, the place so many have come to live and love.

Will raising the minimum wage cause employers to cut hours and offer less benefits to cover those costs and still maintain profits? We definitely need all types of workers as fast food lines are jammed. I have read that ‘experiment’ is the word used about this new wage increase. They are not sure it will work, but we all know that no one should work full time and live in poverty. Depressing.

Florence Nightingale writing lettersNow back to education, graduation and my trip to school this morning. I graduated with a diploma in nursing back in 1979 (took the same test as BSN’s), worked 20 plus years as a Registered Nurse. Now, that’s not good enough. I can’t seem to find employment in a field that has a shortage with the need expected to grow. This is tremendously disappointing, especially for women who stay home for a period of years to take care of children. Then when they return they are told to take an RN re-entry course which costs thousands of dollars. I did that. My recent employment ended in February and now the prospects are slim. I have decided to get the necessary letters behind my name, namely a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, which may make it easier to get hired. I always thought experience was the big deal. We nurses gave our heart and soul to this profession as we sacrificed lunch breaks, worked long hours, weekends, nights, holidays and were called the hand maidens of doctors. Seriously, I lived through this. That’s another article.

Times have changed. It’s still a worthy and necessary profession but I’ve been encouraging my daughter to be more, look at a better title in the medical profession with more respect and pay. Obviously, I didn’t want her to work so hard and sacrifice. She told me she might like to work hospice and I melted right there in the car. My angel wants to work with people who are dying. Immediately, I refracted and corrected myself. I told her that some of us older nurses are a bit weathered, and please understand that hopefully things have changed. After all, I want the best for her.

Hospice NursesAnd then it hit me just like that … If I lay dying in hospice, I would absolutely, unequivocally love to listen to the the soft voice of an angel comforting me; then I would look into those sweet eyes from heaven before I died and leave this world with a smile.

This would be important work, not done for the money, but fulfilling to the heart and soul which calls those special people, men or women in life to comfort our being.

Whatever choices your graduate has made best wishes to them. They made the best choice by seeking out a better life through education or completion from our encouragements through the years. Cheers to the contributions they’ll make to this world. Congratulations to all the graduates the world over! Let’s encourage their futures from Pre-K to Young Adults.

My novel Into the Vines has a character named Daniela who is a young nurse with dreams. Currently I am writing novels of fiction with relative experiences I’ve encountered. Available on Amazon and other sites. Into the Vines by Kim Troike.

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Vineyards in Georgia

13 May

Monteluce VineyardYou can explore North Georgia wineries and vineyards after a short drive from Atlanta. Among some of the well known vineyards, there are also places to get away and stay overnight.

Tiger Mountain Vineyards has Cabernet Franc and Malbec (my favorite as of late) wines from Rabun County, while Crane Creek is near Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia. Habersham is popular due to its vicinity near Helen, the alpine village reminiscent of a European Swiss town. Tours and tasting are available at most vineyards.

Wolf Mountain Vineyard and Winery in Dahlonega has a delicious Sunday brunch, served buffet style and lunches too on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. For the Italian meal visit Monteluce winery and Estates, which I did a while back with friends. Next on my list are Chateau Elan and Three Sisters, which I’ve been to before I wrote my novel “Into the Vines.”

20130609-223133.jpgI’m thinking of checking with them on doing a book signing. Maybe they will let me sell my books and they serve lunch! A couple of the vineyards are mentioned in my book so this sounds like a win-win situation. Surreal. I’ll be sure to bring you pictures and stories of these vineyards as I visit them this summer or early fall. Can’t wait!

~~~

Monteluce Winery and Estates

This winery is located ten minutes from Dahlonega at 946 Via Monteluce, Dahlonega, Georgia 30533. Phone number is 706-867-4060.

The property consists of 400 acres and from the Tuscan Villa setting atop the endless vistas can be seen from every direction, including the mountains to the north. The 25,000 square foot winery and restaurant serves award wining wines from 10 different grape varieties. There is a tasting room and the Le Vigne Restaurant offers food grown locally and organically.

BLUEBrunch, Lunch and Dinner are served, indoors or outdoors, with venues for weddings and honeymoons, too, as they have villas available for rent. All this is close to 400, the main highway out of Atlanta.

I shared a special lunch with friends after a quick drive from the suburbs. We caught up via chatter then enjoyed the delicious lunch and wine tasting, of course, while surrounded by the lavish vine filled hillsides. I believe its time for another trip to Monteluce!

http://www.amazon.com/Into-Vines-Kim-Troike-ebook/dp/B00SU31LW0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431533095&sr=1-1&keywords=kim+troike

Click below on ExploreGeorgia.org for all the finite details of these wineries mentioned. Purchase my novel Into the Vines by clicking on the above cover, and join us for lunch and a book signing at one of these vineyards. More to come!

By Kim Troike

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photography by Kim Troike

pictures at Monteluce Vineyards & Estates

Novel Excerpt

26 Apr

Into the Vines by Kim Troike

Kim TroikeAn Excerpt from part one, French Bleu:

Waving goodbye, she knew she was ready for this. Daniela did not like flying. She blamed the stomach twisting, chest tightening, and anxious thoughts on her parents long ago plane crash, but she bounded for the gate with her bag full of new clothes, nonetheless, showing no hesitation. She was going to Paris! I wish I had taken a French class or listened to audio books or something. I know nothing! Oh, well, I’ll just have to wing it, she mused, as she boarded the plane. The flight attendant, a pretty French woman with dark hair and red lips, set her up for a movie with ear buds and took her drink order.

“Mademoiselle Daniela, champagne for you. Please enjoy!” said the flight attendant with a light, gorgeous accent. She handed her the small bottle and a glass filled with bubbly.

Bleu MoonOoh la la, thought Daniela, thinking like a French gal, as she giggled. She sipped her champagne as she leaned back to watch the in-flight film in French, wanting to immerse herself in the culture as soon as possible. The male protagonist was very smooth talking and extremely handsome, and so far the plot seemed to involve him taking some beauty on a moped to the seashore. Daniela was at two glasses of champagne by the time the plane was mid Atlantic, and she didn’t have a care in the world. So much for being worried. Daniela drifted off and dreamt she was in a cabin, looking out the window towards the sea.

The Aegean Sea was a bright turquoise blue, and sparkling white caps were crashing against the sandy grey shore. The sky was washed denim, and she took it all in as her lover came up behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders, pulling her into his chest. She shivered with anticipation and desire as his breath tickled her neck and his tongue traveled the outer shell of her ear. Daniela’s chest heaved, and his hands traveled down and moved lightly across her stomach. This sensation felt electric and radiated across her body. His right hand traveled up searching until he pushed her shoulder into him, causing her to gasp in pleasure. Turning her head, she met his mouth and they kissed luxuriously.

Daniela took a deep breath, startled, and tasted her lips, expecting something besides champagne. She had fallen asleep and had been awakened by a dreamy kiss. She straightened herself in her seat, embarrassed, before getting up to go to the bathroom. Champagne . . . Flying . . . Crazy dreams. Good dreams. When she was done, she returned to her seat. “You okay?” asked the lady next to her.

by Kim TroikeToday begins my promo for Into the Vines! The novel was released in January 2015 with a mellow celebration of sorts, similar to a coaster ride ending its journey after a thrill and then glides back into the station. Now, I’m ready to rock n roll and shake things up a bit! Up above in this excerpt you read the beginning, the opening of wonderful things to happen for a young nurse making a transatlantic flight. You can purchase this contemporary novel of fiction for teens, YA, or adults on Amazon and Barnes & Noble under my name Kim Troike or go here.

Once a week I’ll be posting full length articles, newsworthy or pertaining to the novel and definitely global at times. Please join me over the next nine months in my creative  and journalistic endeavor. Thanks for stopping by!

Kim Troike

photo credit Amazon.com & Thinkstock

Book Store Appearance

25 Mar

Welcome new followers to my blog here on WordPress! I’m happy to announce that I’ve been invited to appear at the FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock on Friday, April 3rd @6:30pm.

Here’s the Facebook post for the Shoppe: FoxTale Book Shoppe

by Kim TroikeIt’s located off the town center in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Recently, I had lunch there with Laura Lippman for the presentation of her new novel Hush Hush. Mary Kay Andrews was present and gave the introduction.

It was wonderful to speak with other authors and meet readers in a casual atmosphere. Another writer I met was from Sweden and she lives in Decatur temporarily. This was a wonderful and new experience for me.

Love to see you there!

Kim Troike

Thank you to FoxTale Book Shoppe for the event held on April 3rd.

See Facebook post for all the authors in attendance: Facebook

Hawa

12 Mar

 

Hawa

Hawa dreams of flying a plane someday, while Francis possesses natural talents of the musical kind. Together they keep a secret for fear of retribution.

The above words are from the back cover of my novel “Into the Vines” parlaying thoughts about one of my young characters, the protagonist named Hawa. There’s a whole story behind my story as I followed newsworthy events, tragedies and people from all over the world. As a nurse we care about people, we take an oath toward healing. It just comes natural after you do it for so long. It feels good and right.

Hawa came to me easily and she developed before my eyes and pen as I wrote about someone I’d never met. But, you see I have, through all the countless patients and families I’ve met over my lifetime. I was also a little girl a long time ago.

I invite you to come and read about her and others in this contemporary story of realism set amongst global ideals.

The island of Dorado fuels the explorer in those that are privileged to set foot there. A small island with a volcano set amongst the islands in the south seas of the Pacific Ocean holds mysteries and adventures one only dreams about. This is where the Ceremonial Cliffs face the west and can be reached by foot, if so inclined, or helicopter. Those who reach the Cliffs, reach it together through teamwork.

Map to DoradoHawa has faced hardship through no fault of her own and comes to friendly arms by way of grace from another. In turn, she faces situations foreign to her, and the unknown begets a willingness to be strong and fearless, yet her heart beats on. There’s a softness she seeks. What is this?

Excerpt ... Silently, she watched as a man opened the door and went around to the other side to let his passenger out. When he did this, she saw and her eyes grew wide; it was her hero, her Olivier.

Just as fast as a snake can strike, a crocodile can flip over, she opened the door and leapt like a lion, not parting from her gaze as she ran to see her favorite person in the entire world.

“Olivier,” she whispered as she realized her lack of breath. The couple turned and looked in surprise to see Hawa running toward them. Olivier and Hawa exchanged hugs and more hugs.

Olivier picked up Hawa and gave her a big squeeze and asked, “How’s my favorite fishing lady? Or is it now garden lady?” He teased her and they laughed.

By Kim Troike

Into the Vines

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