Wings At Dawn

Now available at a bookstore near you in the USA, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Germany from Dorrance Publshing Company Inc. : The first novel of Marie Balustrade dealing with controversial social issues that span the globe. The stories are not meant for the reader to swoon over and fall in love momentarily for a shallow romance. Marie Balustrade intends for the audience to cry with her, to be enraged, be disgusted, and after turning the last page, to be more vigilant.  All Balustrade´s books are supported by extensive travel and research, in addition to having been a development worker in Asia for over 15 years…

Celebrate, not Define!

celebrate instead of define. One phrase stood out this morning during mass: We tend to waste far too much valuable time defining our roles, relationships, personalities, failures, achievements, goals instead of celebrating them. I stared at the Dominican priest as if he suddenly sprouted three purple dragon heads. Those three words hit me right where it needed to, as I have been in an emotional slump these past few days, battling some unwanted demons of my past. He was absolutely right – I have spent the last five decades listening to roles being defined for me, my life being defined…

Ripe For Change

If anyone is ripe for change that would be me. Not that my life has been boring in the last 50++ years, but I could definitely use a holiday and a change of pace. My soul needs re-charging, the kind that doesn’t come from sleeping or shutting the world out. In spite of the fact that I cut back on work (for health reasons), the extended weekends seem to be designated to catching up on everything else I neglected to do during the week. Bills and all sorts of obligations pile up on my desk, and this is the time…

FrogDiva Digital Changes

It has been a very busy but productive week here at FrogDiva Headquarters. I believe in making the necessary changes when the time is right, no matter how painful or work-intensive they may be, and that moment has come. As I develop all the paths before me, the long-term visions that have emerged will hopefully lead to fruition. So for all the faithful followers of FrogDiva Thoughts, this is what has changed thus far: TravelCat Diva: Champagne Trails – the cats, especially Champagne, now have their own sassy blog. Starting this week, the new entries are written from the feline…

It was another dark and stormy night…

I absolutely despise that opening line, but I kid you not this time. Last night, a massive thunderstorm ravaged Berlin and brought the airports to a standstill this morning. The weather service warned of another storm this evening, and in spite of the warning, everyone I commuted with on the underground and the bus this morning wore the lightest of clothes. I, on the other hand, looked like the overdressed duck showing up among the flock of flamingos with my rain jacket and umbrella. The old Girl Scout leader in me still follows the motto be prepared! So here I…

When Ironing Becomes Zen

Of all the house chores that I procrastinate the most, ironing tops the list. I have never liked it and was always happy to pass it on to someone else, like the dobhi in India. Oh how I miss the concept of dobhis here. It’s the one thing that spoils you rotten when you live in India – the luxury of handing over the clothes to the dobhi for the most pristine and impeccable ironing. Try as I might, my ironing will never come close to that of a dobhi’s, all the more reason to miss them.  Ironing is probably the one moment when all love for…

Champagne Trails Blog Live!

After trying out facebook with a following of 7000++ and an Instagram account of 12000 followers, both of which are inactive now, Champagne Trails has found a new home on WordPress. Visit the new site, TravelCat Diva: Champagne Trails Before you ask, yes of course the Lolita Bonita and Cherry Pie series have moved along with it.

The Seven Gifts of The Holy Spirit

Spirit of life Fill our emptiness with your fullnessSpirit of power Stir our hearts afreshSpirit of love Touch us, and through us, our neighbourSpirit of Creativity Enable and empower the gifts you have givenSpirit of Eternity Draw us ever deeper into your Kingdom(source: Faith and Worship) Pentecost is a Christian holiday that few understand, even fewer can explain, and difficult, if not impossible, to accept for non-believers. Although I am a woman of great faith and draw my inner strength from it, I have always struggled with Pentecost. This is where I envied my parents’ faith and their devotion to…