Posted in Guest Post, nonfiction, Spotlight on September 4, 2015

caviar banner


Non Fiction
Date Published: April 29, 2015

Caviar Living is a hand guide of home-spun lessons from a life well lived. Marilyn Whelan shares her wisdom from how to connect with your community to how to play your mortgage like a game.

With short snappy chapters Whelan gives us tips and tidbits on:

·         Fun ways to teach your kids and grandkids about money

·         How to keep a clutter-free house – and why!

·         Creative ways to get a tax break

·         How to stretch a dollar on everything from real estate to creative vacations

Part budget guide, part spiritual manual, and a whole lotta charm, Caviar Living is a lifetime of lessons wrapped up in this 98-pages of fun.

amazon buy



“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine


Travel is and always will be my passion. My vacations are planned around volunteering, family, adventure, learning and fun. As long as I can be warm, I am willing to go anywhere at any time. I have had the good luck to experience many different types of getaways.

Volunteer Travel

Because my husband was retired military, this allowed us to travel on military cargo planes. We often would sign up for five destinations and take the first one offered. Our main objective was to cross the ocean. We traveled often to Spain, Italy, Germany and England and branched out from there. We served a tour of duty in the United States Peace Corps. We served in the Philippines, and I still keep up with good friends we made there. Many people do not realize Peace Corps volunteers are drawn mostly from two groups: people fresh out of college and retirees.

There are many wonderful opportunities for volunteer-oriented vacations. Perhaps you’d like to try an archeological dig, or pulling weeds on a mountain trail, or counting turtles on a distant island.

One of my favorite adventures was a month I spent volunteering for the National Park Service at Andersonville, GA. Andersonville was the site of the largest prisoner of war camp in the South for Union soldiers during the Civil War. It is now a national park that includes a museum devoted to POWs from all of America’s wars. I was a greeter in the museum, helping visitors look up their ancestors, and I sometimes helped in the gift shop. My two days off per week were spent touring the area. While I was there, I stayed in a small cottage in the cemetery. I was the only one on the grounds at night. It gave me lots of time to reflect, and I took several projects with me to work on. There was no television reception in the area, nor did I have Internet access.

My second-favorite volunteer location was with Pueblo Ingles. This is a for-profit agency that helps Spanish executives perfect their English.

For the Spaniards, it is a very expensive program paid for by their employers. The program does not accept participants who speak only Spanish, because the goal is for them to totally immerse themselves in English. Once you are accepted into the program as a volunteer, you work with program personnel to select a date. If you’re coming with friends, they work with you to offer a week to your party as a group.

We paid only for airfare. We were met in Madrid the evening before departure for the resort and taken to a banquet and flamenco show with our fellow Anglos. Anglos come from all English-speaking countries, such as the U.S., England, Ireland, Wales and South Africa.

The next day we were taken by bus about 2 1/2 hours from Madrid into the mountains near the Portugal border. The resort was beautiful.

Each of us was assigned with a Spaniard to a casita with a bedroom and bath for the Spaniard upstairs and a bedroom and bath downstairs for the volunteer. We shared a small living room and kitchen area. A chef prepared three meals a day, with wine accompanying lunch and dinner. It truly was an unforgettable week for a lifetime of memories. You can learn about this program at

Vacations are for fun, excitement and trying something new. Consider participating on a cattle drive. Dryhead Ranch in Montana is a working cattle and guest ranch. One of the most popular activities there is driving the cattle 50 miles on Bad Pass Trail. This is a three-hour drive that gives you to chance to get acquainted with the beautiful Montana country. For more information, go to

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

About the Author

marilyn whelanMarilyn Whelan has worked as a reporter, a district supervisor in a first time youthful offenders program, and President of Shoppers Critique International.  Her want is to die with something remaining on her bucket list, because when something is crossed off, something else is added.

Marilyn currently lives in Clearwater, Florida, where she is Granny to seven, and Great Granny to three. She loves to travel and plays Mah Jongg twice a week.