Anytime I am able support any of our troops and veterans, I'm there. When I can do so and also patronize an amazing company that happens to sell fabulous wines, EVEN BETTER!
It is an absolute privilege to introduce this month's featured friend with all of you.
Who is Tim Cruickshank?
Tim Cruickshank is the founder and CEO of Bonefrog Cellars, a Veteran-Owned and Operated, premium boutique winery located in the Pacific Northwest.
Tim enlisted in the United States Navy in 1990, graduated Boot Camp in Orlando, Florida, attended Hospitalman A School in Great Lakes, Illinois, and graduated from Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training, BUD/S class (182) in Coronado, CA, July 1992. He served 25 years in the US Navy, rising up the ranks from an E-3 to O-4 at retirement in 2016. He was assigned to various Naval Special Warfare Teams, Groups and Units, serving as a SEAL platoon Corpsman with several EUCOM/CENTCOM with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terrorism, as well as other tours that spanned 5 continents. Tim is highly regarded as an expert in Special Operations and Undersea medicine holding notable positions as the Maritime/Undersea Medical liaison Officer to NATOSOF Head Quarters (NSHQ) Brussels, Belgium for Hyperbaric and Undersea Medicine. “Plank Owner” Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) CampLejeune, NC, and Navy Dean (NSOMI) at the Joint Special Operations Medical Training Center (18D) Fort Bragg, NC.
His personal awards include the Bronze Star with Valor, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Navy and Marine Corps Commendations Medal (5), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2) and various campaign medals and unit citations and he is designated as a SEAL, Fleet Marine Force Officer (FMF), and Diving Medical Officer (DMO).
I am truly honored that Roberta wanted to feature me and the business that I have created. Thank you for reading and for letting me share with you my personal journey. Upon my retirement from the Navy, I stood at the podium giving my retirement speech and looked out over the crowd of people gathered in the auditorium. Each individual with a different story, and many close bonds that were forged throughout many years of war. It was at that moment I realized I wanted to create a company that highlighted the selfless acts and sacrifices of the brave men I served with. The products we created are meant to tell a story about the heroic acts of these men who work behind enemy lines in the cover of darkness, their missions shrouded in secrecy. Their stories are often times overlooked and lost forever having never been told. There is a saying that we die twice, once when we take our last breath and then again when someone says our name for the last time. I want to make sure that never happens.
Thus, an inspiration was born. I put a tremendous amount of thought into entering the wine industry. I wanted something that we could use to tell our stories properly and wine fit the billperfectly. As everyone knows, wine is……well, truly amazing. It is loved by millions of people and its steeped in tradition, science, artistry and intrigue. Great wine,by its nature, is sometimes mysterious and unpredictable and for as much as we know and understand about it, there is still so much we have yet to learn. For these very reasons, we believe that it is the perfect vehicle to use to tell our stories. It’s really no different today than it was thousands of years ago when warriors would sit around a camp fire and share tales of epic battles or acts of heroism from their comrades. We wanted something that reflected the old traditions of friends gathering and sharing stories over a great bottle of wine and a meal. We’re still astounded when we put a bottle of Bonefrog down in the middle of the table at a dinner party and the reaction we get. The bottle has a very eye catching image and most definitely gets everyone’s attention. The questions will start almost immediately and we’ll just smile because we have once again fulfilled the whole reason for our existence and why we started the company in the first place.
I believe that what we are doing with our wine is quite literally, challenging the industry standard. We are deeply invested in producing some of the world’s finest, premium wines from Washington State. We are always forward looking and with a purpose to inspire a grateful nation and work tirelessly to highlight the selfless acts of others through the unparalleled power of storytelling. We will continue to keep their memories alive and preserve their honor, sacrifice, and the legacy of those that heeded the call of duty in the preservation of our freedom. We believe that courage, determination, and selfless acts are part of the American DNA. Perhaps, by doing things just a little differently, we can change how you viewyour wine in the future.
This company and these stories are a personal tribute to the men I served with. I hope that you will walk down this path with us and enjoy each bottle of wine with the same depth and passion that we put in to crafting each bottle for you.
Part of the proceeds of each sale is given back to foundations that support the Naval Special Warfare Community and their families.
Please visit our website for more information at www.BonefrogCellars.com
LCDR, USN (Ret)
I am always completely humbled and eternally grateful to God for the incredible people He has placed in my life. I am truly beyond blessed!
My featured friend this month is one of those extraordinary people. She is inexpressibly talented and brilliant and so graciously, without hesitation, allowed me to introduce you all to her.
I am thrilled to call her friend and delighted for you to get to know this accomplished, dazzling and gifted woman.
Author, Ava Armstrong
After two decades in corporate America working for a four-billion dollar corporation, Ava Armstrong decided to give it all up and focus on her true love: writing thrillers, romance, and children’s books as an independent author.
Who are Armstrong's heroes? Everyday men and women who do extraordinary things: veterans, police officers, farmers, hard-working middle-class folks, all striving and struggling to make the world a better place. From homeless vets to women living quiet lives of desperation, Armstrong transports readers to small town America, writing complex characters and stories that often stir deep emotion. Her hallmark, as an author, is writing interesting female characters into thrillers—creating a plot line that becomes a love story wrapped in a tale of espionage.
Armstrong has also written two children's series and two books of prose. All of her books are exclusive with Amazon—both e-book and print available. She does her own proofreading and has a mysterious handful of beta readers who help her through the process of crafting the perfect novel. Armstrong does her own marketing on social media and you can find her media links below.
Ava often describes her writing as 50 shades of red, white, and blue! She is a Constitutional Conservative, a patriot, and a lover of the 2nd amendment.
She confesses great fondness for her first firearm—a Smith and Wesson revolver. Besides being a wife and mother, and avid dog-lover—Armstrong frequents rod and gun clubs and indoor ranges on a regular basis. She has a special affinity for Glocks and tactical shotguns. Her favorite things are the smell of molten metal at the shooting range, motor oil that drips from vintage 1940's Indian motorcycles, and the aroma of sandalwood soap – you’d have to read her novels to truly understand that.
Hold the applause. Ava Armstrong cares nothing about fame, she just loves the process of creating characters and stories to stir readers’ imaginations and possibly tap into their hopes and dreams. It is the process of creating that drives her, and it’s those five-star reviews that makes her smile.
Ava is also a political commentator on America Out Loud. She co-hosted Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Pleasure (Season 1) and has been a producer for America Out Loud’s Sunday news show, ViewPoint.
links to books on Amazon
I have been very blessed in this life to have met many wonderful and talented people. Doubly blessed when I can call these people friends. There have been many times, as a Christian, I happen upon another Christian and just know they are, not because they tell me, but from the unexplainable light that shines from within them that can only come from God.
My ‘featured friend’ for the month of October is no exception. A chance meeting on Twitter, our witty banter back and forth and our regular “good mornings” over virtual coffee and donuts, has led to a friendship that I am very thankful for. An incredibly talented writer and author of numerous books, (available on Amazon!) and… he’s just a really great person!
I am so honored and excited for you all to get to know this this extraordinary God loving man.
Please, meet my friend, Del…
Del Duduit is an award-winning freelance writer, blogger and author from Lucasville, OH. He is represented by Cyle Young, Hartline Literary Agency.
He is the author of Buckeye Believer: 40 Days of Devotions for the Ohio State Faithful (2018, BY Books) Bengal Believer: 40 Who-Dey-Votions for the Cincinnati Faithful (2019 BY Books) Dugout Devotions: Inspirational Hits from MLB’s Best, (2019, New Hope Publishers) and First Down Devotions; Inspirations from NFL’s Best (2019, New Hope Publishers.)
As a former sports writer, he won both Associated Press and Ohio Prep Sports writing awards.
Del’s articles have appeared in Athletes in Action, Clubhouse Magazine, http://OhioStatehousenews.com, Sports Spectrum, The Portsmouth Daily Times, The Sports Column, One Christian Voice, The Christian View Online Magazine, and Portsmouth Metro Magazine. His blogs have appeared on One Christian Voice and its national affiliates across the country, on http://ToddStarnes.com and on Almost an Author and The Write Conversation.
In 2020, Del and his agent released Michigan Motivations (IUP), and Bama Believer: 40 Days of Devotions for the Roll Tide Faithful, and Auburn Believer: 40 Days of Devotions for the Tiger Faithful, from New Hope Publishers. And in 2021, he will release three more books.
In November 2017, he was named Outstanding Author, 1st Place in Short Non-Fiction, and 1st Place in Inspirational at the Ohio Christian Writers Conference. He also won a 1st Place Blue Seal Award in non-fiction at the 2018 Ohio Christian Writers Conference. In 2019, Buckeye Believer: 40 Days of Devotions for the Ohio State Faithful, won second place in the Selah Awards for Best Devotional at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. His book, First Down Devotions: Inspirations from NFL’s Best was nominated as a finalist in the devotional category for the Selah Awards.
He is a junior literary agent with C.Y.L.E. and a member of the Serious Writer, Inc. team.
He and his wife Angie live in Lucasville, Ohio and attend Rubyville Community Church.
Del loves to cook, deep sea fish and spend a ton of time with his grandchildren.
Follow Del on twitter @delduduit or on Instagram @delduduit or on his website http://delduduit.com
It is a thrill and honor to introduce September's Featured Friend, Kate Taylor.
An extraordinary woman and mother who is strong, intelligent, accomplished, talented, kind, and beautiful on the inside and out. I feel so blessed to call Kate my friend!
I have seen her outstanding videos and articles and I am in awe of the depth of her courageous and raw depiction of today's realities. Her works are real, thought provoking and sometimes spine tingling.
I hope that you will take the time to get to know my friend, Kate, and discover this amazing woman that I am so fortunate to call my good friend.
My friend, Kate...(Kitty Kat)...
I am the CEO of Taylor TriMedia, which includes companies like OnAir Media, OnAir Radio, and the Republic Post Informer news blog with over two million regular readers. I am also Director of the Screenwriting Division and Marketing Department for her husband’s company VineHill Entertainment.
Before film school and my move into media, I studied Interior design and have a background in Psychology with a concentration on early childhood development. I was a panelist on Fox11’s “Trending Now” segment and host of popular shows on HTLA Radio One New York.
I currently reside in North Carolina where I write, am the Mom of two bipeds plus a dog and a cat.
I love to cook, entertain, scrapbook, play video games, and play outdoors.
Follow Kate on Twitter: : @TheRealFKQ
I am so excited to have my friend, Aunt Cinnamon, as my 'Featured Friend' here on my corner. She is not only a friend, but an amazingly talented artist whose work is unique and breathtaking. I know, I am fortunate to own one of her beautiful designs.
I hope that you will enjoy getting to know her and that you will take the time to visit her site and check out her work. It’s like visiting an art gallery.
My friend, Aunt Cinnamon…
I’m honored that Roberta has asked to feature my website here, she is by far the kindest, most caring and genuine person I’ve had the pleasure of calling a friend.
Many things have led me to where I am with my art today but it was my mother, whom I’ve just recently lost, who always inspired me to work with my hands to create beauty wherever I could.
I have loved jewelry, glass, rocks and crystals since I can remember and have worked in fine jewelry stores from coast to coast since the age of 18 in various positions and facets of the industry.
15 years ago I was introduced to glass fusing, which accidentally led me to lamp working, when I purchased a kiln from a woman who was no longer able to do her beloved Lampwork. I left her with my car loaded with not just the kiln but a torch, glass rods and some basic tools to get me started. I had always wanted to blow glass so the thought of working with glass and fire was incredibly exciting!
I began scouring the internet for videos and information about Lampwork then once I felt comfortable with what I had learned I lit the torch and I never looked back.
There was just one problem, I found myself with a large supply of beads and fused cabochons, I needed a way to offer those designs to a larger audience than just fellow jewelry designers.
One day I saw some copper weaved pendants that intrigued me and set about learning some weaving techniques. I found weaving came easily to me and began making pieces here and there for friends who pushed me to keep at it and so Aunt Cinnamon Designs was born.
Each of my creations are truly a part of me, I don’t sketch my designs I simply cut lengths of wire and let each piece take me along on whatever path it chooses.
I really hope you’ll enjoy the journey along with me by visiting my website now and then or commissioning me to create a custom one of a kind piece for yourself or a loved one.
❤️ Aunt Cinnamon
We all have cookbooks stacked up with recipes that are a mile long, with ingredients we have never heard of, and bulky machinery we don’t have and probably never will.
Cooking can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! I am here to take food journeys with you. We will cook a lot of mostly healthy, great tasting meals that don’t keep you spending your whole day in the kitchen. They will be approachable and fun to make without big, bulky machines, and herbs that you have to go to the rainforest to find. Everything from appetizers, to comfort food, to meals that would likely impress your favorite celebrity Chef.
Soon you will be saying, "Hey! I Can Cook That"!
The real bottom line is that I want people to have fun in the kitchen. I help make it easy and tasty with a lot of tips and tricks along the way.
My website will be up soon – in the next few weeks…its getting a makeover.