Posted: at 9:51 am by Geri Krotow · Comments Off on World War II Wednesday: Knitting
Did you know that knitting has been an important source of support for combat troops overseas? WWII was no exception, when Americans were urged to knit clothing for soldiers and sailors, to include socks, sweaters and hats. Recently there were drives to knit helmet liners for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Knitting has evolved as an art over the centuries, but the most notable development since WWII is probably the variety of fibers available to knit with. Still, the basics are often the best for a lot of my projects, like the “dorm socks” I knit up for my daughter (son’s are still on the needles). A basic sock pattern with worsted wool in a bright shade of purple did the trick.
For me, knitting is brain yoga. I get the best plot ideas in the middle of a purl. I hope you have your own way to chill your brain out, and that you make the time to enjoy it today.
Posted: at 11:04 am by Geri Krotow · Comments Off on WWII Wednesday: Krakow, Poland
Poland saw unspeakable hardship during WWII. My family traveled to Krakow several years ago and was delighted by the beautiful, historic town we discovered. Because my children were still too young, we didn’t tour the historic Jewish ghetto, and didn’t see Oskar Schindler’s factory. My heart still broke as I realized the horrific events that transpired to such a peaceful people, on such pristine ground, not only in the city but in further parts of Poland like Auschwitz. I will travel back there one day and pay my honor and respect to those who gave all during WWII.
Posted: at 10:53 am by Geri Krotow · Comments Off on WWII Wednesday: More on the Home Front
When I hear “Home Front” and “World War II” together I think of the U.S. and how American women rallied to fill in for the men who were sent overseas to the Pacific and Europe to fight. The home front existed in every nation at war.
Esmee, my heroine in A Rendezvous to Rememberworked with Belgian Resistance, but most home front jobs weren’t so glamorous. My hometown of Buffalo, New York, strengthened the war effort with many factories to include Curtiss Wright as I mentioned in last week’s blog. Regular, everyday Americans fought the good fight.
The photo was taken decades later, in the Westinghouse Factory in Buffalo. My grandmother was fashionable while being a great worker! I’m so proud of her, my family, and my hometown. We’ve all made a difference.
It’s hard to believe it’s November 1st. This was my grandfathers’s birthday, and is always a special day for me. All Saint’s Day is always November 1st, the day after Halloween.
When our family was stationed in Italy with the Navy we were able to see every single church and legal holiday celebrated as if it were the only holiday ever. I love November 1st because it heralds the beginning of the holiday season, and another chance for me to step back and plan so that I actually enjoy the holidays and not rush through them. My wish for you is that you, too, get a chance to catch your breathe and remember to slow down when you can throughout the next couple of months!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your overwhelming response to my first-ever published novel, A RENDEZVOUS TO REMEMBER. It’s back in print for a limited run and this new print edition is available only at my publishers website. It’s still available digitally at all the usual places, too, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
I am so grateful to the Harlequin Art Department for the beautiful new cover!
As a special treat I’m opening up the availability of my signed bookplates (sticker) to you if you live in North America (sorry internationals)! Write to me via my website, Facebook or Twitter (direct message) by November 15th and I’ll send you the address where you can send a stamped, self-addressed envelope in which I’ll send out a signed bookplate for you to put in your new “vintage cover” copy of A RENDEZVOUS TO REMEMBER. I know I love to have the complete collection of my favorite stories, and for all of you who’ve asked how you can get a copy of my previous novels, this is your chance for this first book! Please don’t delay–the print run is limited and once the books are sold out, there’s nothing I can do to get you more copies.
Since November is the month of Gratitude here in the U.S. with our Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for great writing friends like Linda Cardillo and Ann DeFee. Both are wonderful writers and I’m blessed to call them my friends. We’ve been with each other from the start of our paths to publication and I wouldn’t pick anyone else to take the roller coaster ride with. Yes, it’s a ride, indeed–often the kind with upside-down loops. At times, I’ve felt as though I’m not wearing a seatbelt! But Ann and Linda keep me buckled in and remind me of what’s important in our writing journey.
Speaking of gratitude, there is no greater sacrifice than to give one’s life in service to our nation. For this reason I’ve donated the name of one of my characters in NAVY CHRISTMAS (November 2014, Harlequin Superromance) to the winner of the POW-MIA Families Raffle. For only $1 you can purchase a chance to be a literary character! More details are at the POW-MIA Families website. Much thanks to POW-MIA families for the privilege of serving with them in this great cause.
You’ll see more and more World War II history tidbits on my site, especially on my WWII Wednesday blog. I’m in the midst of writing a WWII subplot for NAVY CHRISTMAS and with the re-release of RENDEZVOUS it’s always on my mind. We owe much to this great generation.
It wouldn’t be November without a Thanksgiving recipe–here’s my quickie Roasted Brussels Sprouts that my family always asks for (really!).
Geri’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts, olive oil, kosher or sea salt, fresh ground pepper. Toss all ingredients together after you’ve halved the sprouts. Use as much oil as needed to make the sprouts glisten with Thanksgiving gratitude. A sprinkle of salt, a dash of pepper. Sometimes I mix in Turkey bacon that I’ve cooked up ahead of time. Spread it on a jelly roll pan or even better, a stone pan or enameled bakeware. Roast it all at at 375 or 400–depends on how long until the gravy is done for the turkey (real or tofu, your choice). When the sprouts start to brown, pull the tray out!
Please note: I’m a decent baker, not quite as good a cook. Can you tell?
Much Gratitude and Love to you and yours as we step into the holidays for 2013. Please take a moment to remember those who can’t be with their families for whatever reasons, and spread your joy wherever you go.
We’re still close enough to WWII in years that I have memories of my grandparents talking about how they survived the war on the home front .
A memory that sticks with me is of my Great Uncle Hank, my grandmother’s brother, who was late to work on the day there was a horrible plane crash– a P-40 crashed into the Curtiss aircraft factory where my Uncle worked. Uncle Hank lived to tell the story, but many didn’t. There’s a good article on it here if you’re interested in the facts. I often mention how proud I am to be a Buffalo native, and this tangible tie to WWII, its heroes and heroines and the immeasurable sacrifice of the Home Front during WWII highlights why.
Do you have WWII memories passed down in your family? Please share them–we need to keep their stories alive.
Posted: at 8:11 am by Geri Krotow · Comments Off on WWII Wednesday: Craft, Hobby or Necessity?
When war hits, a nation learns to adapt and throw every resource possible into the fight. In WWII women knit socks, sweaters and more for their soldiers.
For the War in Afghanistan and Iraq, I know of several groups and friends who have knit helmet liners for our troops. I’m an avid knitter and it’s so easy to get caught up in the luxuries of my craft–beautiful hybrid fibers dyed in magnificent colors. Yet when a soldier’s life is on the line, it’s the simple, tried-and-true items that count. Socks, a cap, gloves.
Posted: at 10:37 am by Geri Krotow · Comments Off on WWII Wednesday: How Did They Carry On?
While living overseas our family took one Thanksgiving break to tour London. Since I’m married to a WWII expert and enthusiast, of course we had to visit where PM Churchill and his staff kept the country running while the German’s pummeled the city. The simple, Spartan lifestyle they maintained is at once sobering and inspiring. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that Churchill kept to his usual routine which include naps as much as possible. Great minds need their rest, too.