Summer 2019 Blog Hop: What This Boomer is Up To

Summer is just around the corner! As visions of sailing, road trips, and time at the beach dance around this baby boomer’s head, my writerly pals and I are sharing our summer dreams and inspiration in the C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y – Summer Blog Hop. (For more summertime fun, click over to meet the awesome #Gr8Blogs bloggers listed at the end of this post.)

What have I been up to lately? What have I been writing? What books am I reading? What’s making me proud? What am I anticipating?

And…will I go shark cage diving on our trip to Africa this fall?

Read on to find out…

* What I’m Loving

My family, of course, on an early summer road trip! We went camping on Pismo Beach – a drive-on beach in Central California where the cold wind blew, my daughter-in-law got her car stuck in the sand, and we took an exciting bumpy ride on the sand dunes. But a fun time was had by all! Next summer family trip – Catalina Island!

* What I’m Writing

After promoting my latest book, I’m happy to get back to writing again. Next up, a book to help those over 50 who are struggling to lose weight.

Confession time. After caring for my mother for a few years, I had gained a lot of weight stress-eating. Since I had neglected my health during that time, a check-up was in order. The doctor bluntly informed me that I had gained 10 pounds since my last visit. Okay, I already knew that, but it was still painful to hear!

So began my quest to drop the weight. The pics below show me before and after my weight loss.












Let me tell you, losing weight is a whole new ballgame as you age. This was a a learning experience as I mastered what worked – and found out what didn’t work anymore now that I’m older.

I’m ready to share my secrets. No dangerous surgeries, expensive weight loss programs, or crazy fad diets involved. I’ll discuss why it’s so hard to lose weight as you age and what you can do about it. I’ll share with you my personal struggles, tips so you never feel hungry, how to stop stress-eating, some of my favorite recipes, and how to keep the weight off. ​I hope to have it finished and ready to publish by the end of the year just in time for 2020 resolutions.

By the way, I’m so grateful that my book, I’m Your Daughter, Julie: Caring for a Parent with Dementia, published a few months ago, has been well-received with several five-star reviews including this one from Readers’ Favorite:

“…It is a caring, heart-filled story of a daughter’s journey with her mother, as they both face the monster of an illness that steals so much.”

The book, as well as other reviews, are available on Amazon.


* What I’m Anticipating

This fall, I will fulfill a lifelong dream and visit South Africa with my husband, Scott. I mentioned in one of my previous blogs that he was trying to talk me into going shark cage diving with the great whites in Cape Town.

One of the reasons I think our marriage works so well – even after 40 years – is because we support each other’s dreams and Scott was super excited about this idea. Oh dear! Although I consider myself an adventurer, visions of the scene of a shark attacking the cage in Jaws kept dancing around in my head.

Now, for the big question. Will I do it?

Drum-roll please….yes, we have booked this adventure.

Mind you, this decision was not made lightly. I did plenty of research and watched several videos so I’d know what to expect. I discovered that the companies in South Africa do not chum the waters or feed the sharks and closely follow safety regulations. I couldn’t find any reports of fatalities, but I did see a viral video of a cage dive gone wrong on Guadalupe Island in Mexico when safety precautions were ignored. Horrifically, the shark ended up thrashing around violently inside the cage with a man – who miraculously was unharmed. By the way, even though I am scuba certified, I would never go shark diving without a cage or try to feed the sharks. I have my limits and that just seems dumb and dangerous.

Now, if I could only stop hearing “duun-dun, dun-dun, duun-duun, dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun” every time I think about the cage dive.

Stay tuned, I’ll be blogging all about my experience.

* What I’m Reading

Ready to hit the beach or sit by the lakeside with a good book this summer? Here are a few books I’ve read lately that you may want to check out:

I was impressed with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. The protagonist is a 30-year-old isolated, socially-awkward woman. Her unrequited crush on a musician, the way her workmates make fun of her, and her first experiences getting a manicure and a bikini wax – made me want to laugh and cry. Mostly cry. Despite Eleanor’s initial resistance, a man she works with befriends her. The book eventually reveals the mysterious event that left her so physically and emotionally scarred. This character touched my heart and reminds everyone that a bit of kindness and empathy goes a long way.

If you’re looking for a good thriller, a book that I couldn’t put down is The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn. Sort of a combination of Rear Window, Wait Until Dark, and Gaslight. I don’t want to give anything away, so that’s all I’ll say. But take my word, this is a gripping story that will keep you guessing.

I just finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and have mixed feelings about it. I was impressed with the lyrical, hauntingly beautiful writing as the author describes the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coastline. The murder mystery combined with a coming-of-age story drew me in. But some of the book didn’t make sense and although some people loved the controversial ending, without any spoiler alerts, let’s just say I didn’t.

* What’s Making Me Burst with Pride

So proud of my oldest son, Jonathan, who graduated last month with high honors. He earned his degree while working full-time and with three kids – who were delighted to decorate his graduation cap with their names!








* What’s In My Camera Lens

I don’t claim to be a photographer (sadly, writing is my one and only creative talent), but with the “super bloom” we had this year, how could I resist snapping lots of pics? They say it never rains in Southern California – but this year, it did in a big way with record-setting rainfall. The result? An eye-popping explosion of flowers on hillsides.

These first photos were taken at Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore where a poppy paradise drew massive crowds. Tourists from around the world could be seen on the trails enjoying the spectacular sight. The last two were taken near Hemet where I grew up – and yes, that’s my adorable youngest granddaughter posing in the flowers.
















What else this summer will bring remains to be seen. Hope you enjoyed sharing my life and a big thanks for stopping by! For more Summer 2019 C*U*R*R*E*N*T*L*Y moments, please visit the #Gr8blogs below:

Cat Michaels on Cat’s Corner

Rebecca Lyndsey

KidLit Blog by Rosie

James Milson “Writing & Things”

Sandra Bennett

Carmela Dutra

Auden Johnson

Mackenzie Flohr



Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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21 Responses

  1. Carmela Dutra says:

    You are already having a fantastic start to a memorable family summer. So nice to have the grandkids near by and spend those family days together. I wish we had memories like these with my parents, especially living in the same town. Oh well, life keeps them busy. I am excited to read your second book, it will be so refreshing in this world of quick results and fads hear your experiences and how really, anyone can benefit from these helpful tips. Which btw, I think you look great in both pictures.

    • juliegorges says:

      Thanks Carmela! Although I didn’t look awful before, as you age, keeping your weight under control becomes more of a health issue – which is what inspired me to get with the program. I feel much better and more energetic losing the extra weight. And yes, I love spending time with my family and grandkids. It’s the best!

  2. James Milson says:

    Sounds like a full summer and grand adventure to South Africa! What an amazing trip and what wonderful story inspirations may await along the way!

  3. Tamara Cole says:

    This is one of my favorite blogs! I can’t wait hear more about your up coming adventures!

  4. Your book is on my summer reading list! I hope I can get to it, but I have to work and possibly do a lot of running for my Grammy who just broke a part of her femur and is heading for another trip to a nursing home.

  5. Hi Julie!
    Loved hearing about what you have in store. Wow, Shark Cage Diving! I know you research well, so all will go as planned. I cannot wait to hear more about your trip.

    Your new book is one I will read for sure, and recommend to others. You are so right when you say how it is to keep the pounds down as we get older.

    I started reading, ” Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine,” but sadly it was one of those that I had to return before finishing. I’ll add it back to my list. I too, thought it was written with lots of humor.

    Congratulations to your son! What an honor and I know you are very proud of his accomplishments, as you should be. Completing a degree, working full time, and with three kids. Wow! Loved the decorations on his graduation cap.

    Your photos are amazing of Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore. I’ve talked about them a lot as we know that was a rare occasion. Beautiful!

    Enjoy your summer Julie.

  6. Cat Michaels says:

    Whoa! A shark tank in Africa? You go, Girlfriend! I wanna see that photo -:D And now that you’re 20 pounds lighter, will we be seeing you dive in a bikini (wink)?

    Love seeing your family times on the beach, graduation, and that darling grand in a field of poppies.

    Congrats on the good reviews on your non-fiction book. It is excellent! Speaking of books, I agree with you about Finn’s book…kinda creepy fun.. Being from North Carolina, I loved the author’s description of her NC setting but the book was too gauzy and eye-rolling for me to believe some of its elements.

    Enjoy your summer!

    • juliegorges says:

      I’m brave enough to cage dive with the sharks – but not to get into a bikini! Lol. Sounds like we share similar tastes in books. Hope you have a great summer as well!

  7. Hi Julie, Congrats on winning the battle of the middle age weight loss, it is so tricky. I find myself constantly struggling these days, I don’t even dare look at carbs! I will be reading your next book with enthusiasm. Good luck with the shark dive, you are being very brave but I am sure it will be done professionally and safely. Wow, those fields are amazing! Gorgeous photos through your lens and one adorable granddaugher. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

  8. Mackenzie Flohr says:

    Congratulations to Jonathan!!!

    Your book about weight loss and people over 50 sounds very interesting. I’m also working on a non-fiction book, except mine is focusing on how to overcome depression and discover your passion. I wish you the best of luck and look forward to reading it.

    And swimming with sharks sounds scary, yet very fascinating.

  9. Rebecca Lyndsey says:

    Okay can I say your summer is already starting out awesome but I am so jealous of you booking your cage diving experience!!!! My dream is to see a great white in the wild!!! Make sure you take some pictures for me please!

  10. Cindy Sancinito says:

    Can’t wait to hear what’s new in in your up coming blog

  1. June 17, 2019

    […] summer-themed post.Cat Michaels on Cat’s Corner KidLit Blog by RosieRebecca Lyndsey Julie Gorges on Baby Boomer BlissJames Milson “Writing & Things”Sandra Bennett  Carmela Dutra Auden […]

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