Was Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, duped?

By Lya Badgley / July 11, 2024 /

Empress Catherine the Great’s crown, created in 1762 for her coronation, features an impressive 4,936 diamonds, 75 pearls, and a large, crimson spinel – sitting like a massive cherry atop a priceless sundae. This jewel was the inspiration for the ruby in my book – The Worth of a Ruby. Historically, rubies and spinel were…

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What Do Farmer’s Markets And Monsoons Have In Common?

By Lya Badgley / June 15, 2024 /

They both run from May to October! Most Thursday afternoons, you’ll find me at my local Snohomish Farmer’s Market, not just shopping, but engaging in a vibrant community. Here, I connect with farmers, artisans, and fellow food enthusiasts, all united by our shared love for fresh, local produce. Local markets are not just a way…

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April Showers Bring Independent Bookstore Days!

By Lya Badgley / April 11, 2024 /

April 27th – National Independent Bookstore Day! Here in Snohomish County, we really love our local bookstores and celebrate for a week! April 20th – 27th. Five participating shops will be hosting special events and promotions. I’m excited to be signing books at two different locations. Please stop by and say hello! Main Street Books…

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How To Travel Without Leaving Your Couch

By Lya Badgley / February 21, 2024 /

It’s the season for snowdrops peeking up from winter soil – harbingers of warmer weather to come. My family loves to pin down the year’s travel plans around now – purchasing plane tickets and making hotel bookings. In April, my husband and daughter will visit family in Belgrade, Serbia while I stay home for a…

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The Worth of a Ruby Book Launch Celebration

By Lya Badgley / January 18, 2024 /

Last November, I experienced one of the finest moments of my life! Launching a book is like birthing a child. The story grows within one’s private heart and then is out in the world for all to see. Hello! My dear friend, artist Karen Guzak, offered her fantastic studio, a historic former church, and videographer AJ…

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Eight Birth Days of Burmese Astrology

By Lya Badgley / November 17, 2023 /

Myanmar Zodiac Painting from Ancient Bagan   Unlike Western astrology, the Myanmar astrology system has only eight signs. Known as Mahabote, this zodiac employs eight signs in a seven-day week, with each sign representing its own day, cardinal direction, planet (celestial body) and animal. Ancient Buddhist monks created the system using observations of the skies…

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Trains and Viaducts

By Lya Badgley / October 25, 2023 /

Shan State is a beautiful part of Myanmar with deep red earth and forested mountain tops receding in the distance into various shades of indigo blue. I had a picturesque, yet occasionally terrifying, experience traveling by rail from Pwin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw, crossing the deep gorge on a narrow, teetering wooden bridge that seemed…

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