Author: Danuta Pfeiffer
Narrator: Danuta Pfeiffer
Length: 13 hours and 22 minutes
Publisher: Danuta Pfeiffer
Released: May 22, 2018
In this gripping memoir, Danuta Pfeiffer grew up with parents as extraordinary as they were flawed. John and Patricia Rylko and their three children lived a nomadic life following the seasons to accommodate John’s work as a gifted sculptor during the summers and as a philandering ski instructor in the winters. They lived in a circus tent, built their first cabin, and lost it for a dollar.
John Rylko flaunted his charm as a story teller, entrancing all who listened of his wartime glories as a Polish soldier and his silver medals in the 1936 Winter Olympics, while Patricia, a nurse, pulled double shifts at hospitals, hitchhiking to work and feeding her family off the land with roadkill deer and blackberry pies.
Those times of resiliency would have to sustain Danuta when she was raped and secretly gave birth to a baby. She escapes her enraged father on a daring journey to Alaska during the storm of the century.
Through betrayals and loss and her search for redemption, she becomes the unlikely co-host to a television evangelist bent on becoming the president of the US. When her past catches up to her, she is caught in the crosshairs of politics and religion. In a gutsy move, she abandons Christianity during a bicycle ride from Canada to Mexico and unravels her father’s hidden life in the Carpathian Mountains of Poland, only to discover her own life hidden in the folds of resiliency, tenacity, and grit.
Danuta Pfeiffer now lives in a vineyard in Oregon, making fine wine with her husband Robin Pfeiffer.
Danuta (Soderman) Pfeiffer was a national radio and television broadcast journalist, columnist, and talk show host for 35 years. She is the author of 4 books; her first book, Watersafe Your Baby in Six Days, was the first book on teaching water survival skills to infants, and the first to be endorsed by the American Red Cross.
Danuta has been a Water Safety Instructor, a ski instructor, scuba diver, and long-distance bicycle rider, and once called the “most visible woman in modern Christianity today.” She was known as the popular co-host of The 700 Club with Pat Robertson. (Her new book, Chiseled, can explain that.) But Danuta returned to her liberal roots expressing her Progressive views as a radio talk show host on radio stations affiliated with Air America.
She was the inspiration behind the Men of the Long Tom Grange Calendar, America’s first international nude spoof calendar that raised over $650,000 for the Junction City School District.
She was the founder of the Oregon Country Trails, Oregon’s first branded, agri-tourism system, representing businesses and attractions in rural Oregon. She served two years on the Oregon Travel Experience Board, appointed by Governor John Kitzhaber, and for over 20 years has chaired or volunteered at the annual Long Tom Grange Daffodil Drive Festival.
Danuta and her husband Robin own and manage Pfeiffer Winery and Vineyards in Junction City, Oregon–one of most reputable vineyards in the state, and one of the first wineries to be solar-powered. Their wine isn’t bad, either. Their 2007 Blue Dot Reserve Pinot noir was served during a private presidential dinner.
Today, she and Robin can often be found sharing their love of wine with friends and family at their winery, swimming in their country pond with their yellow labs, or sipping wine and watching for the first bats to fly at sunset at the top of their vineyard.
I loved this author’s memoir! I don’t always love memoirs/non-fiction, but this author did a fantastic job with writing her own encounters in life. It felt at times like a fiction novel which is excellent for me, because I love the way it flowed. I felt many emotions while reading Pfeiffer’s life story, many of which made me want to scream at the audiobook while I was driving. I’m glad she found her way and was able to become so successful! I’m always in awe of individuals who eventually find themselves and their life purpose. I’m hoping I can come to that sooner rather than later myself 🙂 I give it a 5/5 stars.
The narration was also done by Pfeiffer, which felt like an excellent choice since this is her life story. She does well with each voice, making them distinct, and probably this is how they sounded to her while she experienced these events. I didn’t find anything wrong with studio production or pacing of the narration. I give it a 5/5 stars as well!
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Danuta Pfeiffer. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Everyone is Chiseled. We emerge as the people we are by the sharp-edged tools of a sculpted life –the close calls, the sharp pains, the tricks and cheats that make life unfair, the highs and lows–we become formed by these inevitable forces. But that does not mean we are doomed to live at the mercy of those pressures.
If you are living a life that is unsatisfying, unhappy, unfulfilling or just feeling stuck–you have the ability to redefine your life and to reinvent it.
You can be the sculptor of your own Chiseled life!
If you’ve read my book, Chiseled, you saw me rise from the child of a dysfunctional immigrant family, to an unwed mother, to an idealistic journalist who gets caught up in the world of a television evangelist who is running for president, to a woman seeking her identity in the deep pockets of the Carpathian Mountains, eventually, finding my way to Oregon as a wife, a mother and a winemaker. If I can surf through these identities, so can you.
You don’t have to be stuck!
Here are 10 ways to reinvent and redefine your life beginning today:
1.) Change your relationships. You are defined by your relationships to people, places and behaviors. If you love gambling, but you’ve lost everything to it, change your relationship to that risky behavior. If you love painting landscapes, but you work in a concrete factory on the overnight shift, change your relationship to your job. If you are surrounded by nay-sayers and negative people, change your friends. Take control of your relationships and you control the definitions of who you are.
2.) Don’t be afraid to lose. Sometimes losing something makes way for gaining everything. It is impossible to fill a cup with new wine if it is overflowing with vinegar. If your possessions are holding you down, let them go. If you find yourself to clinging to old ideas, free yourself of them. Make room for the new you by shedding the old you.
3.) Lose your expectations. You don’t always have to know what’s going to happen next. Freeing yourself of expectations allows spontaneity and opportunity to bloom, offering pathways you could never have imagined.
4.) Clear the clutter. Have a garage sale. Letting go of “stuff” you don’t need lends physical support to an emotional and psychological need for uncluttered thinking, You’ll be surprised how you feel things “lighten up” as you clear the way for your new life.
5.) Start an exercise routine. Sure, it’s good for your health, but it rushes blood to the brain, releases the “good feelings” of endorphins and allows for creative thinking. You will begin not only to see you life differently, but you will actually feel the change coming on.
6.) Don’t get rattled by emotions. Fear, anxiety, lust, grief, uncertainty, hatred, loneliness, whatever has you in its grip, remember that those emotions come from a bunch of neurons and hormones in your body. Do not give your emotions permission to rule your life. Push them aside and clear your head for change with a cool, calm attitude. Breathing, meditation and physical exercise helps!
7.) Have a goal. You may not know how to get there yet, but have a general picture of what it is you want in your life. Do you want to lose wieght? Do you want to move to some place warm? Do you want a new job? Notice, I didn’t say, “Do you want to move to Hawaii,” or, “Do you want to lose 50 pounds.” Keep your goal in general terms–in front of you. Pin a picture of your goal on your morning mirror or your refrigerator. Make it real–in your head. The details will come to you unexpectedly. (We’ll discuss how that happens in a subsequent blog,)
8.) Don’t make detailed plans. Plans get messy. If you plan too much, you may fill your map with paths that may not be the most direct way to your goal. Keep your heart and mind open to opportunity. Spontaneity will bring you to your dream without effort. It takes a little faith, but those opportunities arise almost magically when you can picture your goal.
9.) Say your goal out loud. Sounds a bit hairy-fairy, but there is something about verbalizing what you want. You create energy with words. Words have vibration and make connections. Words build the goal from the world of your head to the pragamatic world of actuality. Think of them as the foundations building your goal.
10.) Get moving! Don’t just wait–but put your life in motion. It is difficult to drive a dream without an engine. Take a trip. Join a gym. Have that garage sale. Move to another city. Get a new job. Take golf lessons. Take a class at your community college. Learn a new language. But begin changing little things and be ready to jump when opportunity appears. And it will!
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