About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. . I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. Free Book Marketing, Music, Health, Book Reviews, Short Stories, Poetry and Humour. Find out more at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-me/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday March 2nd 2021 – #Interview Liz Gauffreau, #Texaspower John Howell, #CreativeSpark D.L. Finn


A small selection of posts I have enjoyed in the last few days…I hope you will head over to enjoy in full.. thanks Sally.

The first post is from Elizabeth Gauffreau and shares a link to a wonderful interview in Envie a literary magazine, and also an excerpt from a short story inspired by her time teaching Latin in a private academy..

#Interview: ENVIE! A Magazine for the Literary Curious

Two Teachers Xeroxing Too Damn Much

Last fall, the editor of ENVIE! A Magazine for the Literary Curious reached out to me on Twitter for an interview because she had read the home page of my author’s website, and she was curious about the role that teaching Latin had played in my writing. 

Head over to enjoy the interview and the short excerpt from Liz’s short story: #Interview: ENVIE! A Magazine for the Literary Curious

The next post is from John Howell with a haiku courtesy of his two girls…and a caution about interfering in other people’s business..in particular following the power outages in Texas during the recent freeze..

“Where you going Little One?”
“Gonna find someone who will ruckus with me. It’s Friday.”
“I will.”
“You have to move to ruckus.”
“Good point.”

It is Friday, and what a difference in the neighborhood. Now that the power is back and the temperatures have gone from below freezing into the high 70s, I have to say I’m a happy camper.

The investigations into the cause of so many homes without power are underway. Six board members of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, the industry nonprofit that operates the grid that supplies power to 90 percent of the state, have resigned. The governor has stated that those resignations do not represent the end of the issue. He has asked the Stare legislature to conduct a full investigation of the root cause of the problem and develop solutions to prevent it from occurring again. He has also called upon the Travis County District Attorney to investigate any basis for criminal charges. This situation needs to be rectified, and it will. 

Head over to read John’s forthright caution to those who meddle: Friday JohnKu – AKA – TGIF

And the final post today is by D.L. Finn writing from Story Empire about the spark that ignites our creativity as writers..

The Writing Spark

Hi SEers! Denise here, and I’m going to talk about that spark that started me writing. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it ignited in me, but I remember my exhilaration when I wrote a short story in my first year of high school. It received an A because of the story told. My teacher overlooked the grammar.

It was during this period in high school that I fell in love with creating stories. The fresh glow that came with my first love kindled that spark. Anything became possible as the world opened up and that writing flame grew stronger. I could create any realm and characters, then live there with them, just like reading. 

Head over to read the rest of Denise’s post and share the spark that ignites your creativityStory Empire – D.L. Finn The Writing Spark

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy the posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – March 2nd 2021 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Woodpeckers and Fish Heads


Welcome to laughter lines with some fun from around the web from Debby Gies and a joke or two to make you smile from Sally.

If you have not discovered the non-fiction books by D.G. Kaye: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK Blog: D.G. WritesGoodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads – Twitter: @pokercubster

Check out Debby’s column here on Smorgasbord D.G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships 2020

Now something from Sally.

A learning curve.

A customer at Morris’ Gourmet Grocery marveled at the proprietor’s quick wit and intelligence. “Tell me, Morris, what makes you so smart?”

“I wouldn’t share my secret with just anyone,” Morris replies, lowering his voice so the other shoppers won’t hear. “But since you’re a good and faithful customer, I’ll let you in on it. Fish heads. You eat enough of them, you’ll be positively brilliant.”

“You sell them here?” the customer asks.

“Only $4 apiece,” says Morris.

The customer buys three. A week later, he’s back in the store complaining that the fish heads were disgusting and he isn’t any smarter.

“You didn’t eat enough,” says Morris.

The customer goes home with 20 more fish heads. Two weeks later, he’s back and this time he’s really angry.

“Hey, Morris,” he says, “You’re selling me fish heads for $4 apiece, when I just found out I can buy the whole fish for $2…You’re ripping me off!”

“You see?” says Morris. “You’re smarter already.”

 

Thanks for joining us today and we hope you are leaving with a smile on your face…Debby and Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Pot Luck – Tragically Unaware: The Internal World of the #Narcissist by LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the first post from LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW of Pespective on Trauma and looks at narcissism and its potential impact on our lives.

Tragically Unaware: The Internal World of the Narcissist

When we think of narcissism, we often think of someone with an over developed sense of self-importance. Someone who is superficially charming, aggressive, arrogant, lacks empathy and who is willing to manipulate to meet his or her end goals. While this (at its core) is true it is important to recognize narcissism exists along a continuum (traits to disorder) and does not always manifest in the classic way we conjure up.

Often when I think of Narcissism; I think of many of the characters whose stories unfolded in the novel The Great Gatsby (written in 1925 by F. Scott Fitzgerald). There are many glaring examples of narcissism in the novel, but for the purpose of this writing Jay Gatsby (the novels main character) and the Buchannan’s (Tom and Daisy-supporting characters) are offered in exploration of narcissism and its existence across a continuum of characterological manifestations. All three characters were afflicted with the sense of entitlement, willingness to deceive, and carelessness toward others that make-up core components of narcissism. As noted, several of the characters from the novel could exist along this continuum. Characters so self-possessed that they did not value (or even truly recognize) the experiences, needs, or lives of others. Only taking, for themselves, to fulfill their perceived needs.

And, while this writing is not an analysis of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s cast of characters, it is a worthwhile and (in this writer’s opinion) interesting framework to better understand the many ways in which narcissism manifest. In reality, narcissism can present as overt and grandiose with its impaired host engaging in exhibitionism and exploitative acts to gain something or someone that supports (serves to mirror) their needed self-ideology. It can also present as a more covert approval seeking (seemingly vulnerable) individual who is slightly more aware of their fear of rejection. And, because it does exist on a continuum it may present in many ways including these two extremes. At its core it is powered by an intense and distorted need to feel loved (which is felt through admiration and feels valuing to the individual).

There are many reasons one would grow into developing narcissistic traits or in developing narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). These reasons (as many do) lay within the once developing child this person was. While it is true that unspeakable abuse can form this core, it can also be formed by over indulgent caregivers, caregivers who focused on performance rather than connection, and/or caregivers who unwittingly (due to their own pain) insisted their child mirror them-never allowing a separate mind (in a sense) to take shape. At its core narcissism does not allow its unaware recipient to tolerate (or lovingly acknowledge) anyone who feels threatening (rejecting) through difference or non-agreement. Along, with not tolerating difference the individual needs a consistent supply of admiration and approval. This person has a difficult time hearing they have done anything wrong (in any arena). Their fragile sense of self is deeply threatened at this seeming rejection.

What an intensely empty experience this would be. Always seeking approval in some form but never really feeling it is enough. In reality, never feeling they are enough. This is an internal feeling that the individual works mightily to never feel. In fact, the overt narcissist may be so well defended (psychologically speaking) that he or she is oblivious to this experience. Their focus is generally on another who, in their view, caused them to feel something they equate with undesirable or bad. It is this other’s (whether this is an individual or larger entity) fault. They work hard to stay away from these bad feelings (that resonate with not being enough) and can (on some level) accomplish this by minimizing, dismissing, or placing blame elsewhere. The covert (or more vulnerable seeming) narcissist will still deflect and place blame but will be less overtly aggressive in their counterattacks. They may more consciously feel self-doubt but will not truly own this. They are also working to stay away from that internal sense that exist under layers of defense.

Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchannan (from the novel) are solid embodiments of the overt narcissist. Dangerous in different ways. Jay Gatsby is presented as charming and mysterious. He has built his life and maintained his livelihood by engaging in illegal behavior. He uses his neighbor (Nick the story’s narrator) to lure Daisy (his long time love interest or obsession who can mirror or bring validity to his self-image) to his home in which he has consistently thrown lavish parties to entice her. He engages in a plot to have Daisy at seemingly any cost. If he has any feelings regarding his moral shortcomings, they are not overly present in the novel. Tom Buchannan is a more brash character. He bullies, brags, lies, has affairs and, is an over inflated personality. Further, when he learns his wife Daisy has been unfaithful (with Gatsby) he is seemingly singularly focused on having his possession back.

Daisy in some ways fits the characteristics of the covert (or vulnerable) narcissist. Her self -focus and need for approval, and importance is initially hidden behind what seems her pain around her husband’s betrayal and her love for Gatsby. This façade is shattered as the story came to an end.

The ending of the story is tragic as are many ill-fated relationships with well defended narcissists. In short summary, the final scenes of the novel include Daisy agreeing to tell Tom that she is in love with Gatsby and is leaving the marriage. Several characters are witness to this conversation. Daisy does not truly want to leave her marriage and makes a dramatic exit by running from the room where the characters are gathered. She frantically jumps into Gatsby’s car intending to drive away (not dealing with the reality of her own behaviors or even recognizing its impact on others). Gatsby follows and is in the car with her when she accidentally runs over Tom’s lover Myrtle. (A supporting character who could also easily fit onto this continuum, but that is a writing for another time). Gatsby, due to his seeming love for Daisy and her seemingly fragile nature, takes responsibility for Myrtle’s death. Myrtle’s distraught husband (George) then breaks into Gatsby’s home and shoots him as he lays floating in his pool. He (Myrtle’s husband) then kills himself.

Tom and Daisy continue, surrounded by their fine things and upcoming holiday. Careless, unaware, highly defended, self-involved people causing (in this fictitious tale) irreversible harm to others.

In reality, true narcissists (those suffering from narcissistic personality Disorder) are self -focused and do not have the relational skills necessary for genuine reciprocity. (A necessary ingredient in connected relationship). They do not feel deep wells of empathy and do not generally have the self-reflective capacity required to maintain emotionally safe (and sometimes physically safe) relationships. This said, with well skilled and intensive treatment (with a therapist trained in the challenges of treating narcissism) changes can be made. This is generally a long and difficult journey, laden with disruptions in relationship, for the individual and those who love him or her. To be very clear, while a fictional novel was utilized to provide a framework for exploration, there is very real harm that can come from relationship with a person who is suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder or is on the continuum. Often, emotional abuse (which is highly impactful to its victim) is a controlling component in relationships across the narcissistic continuum. In addition, it is highly important to recognize, danger to the physical self may exist in some circumstances. (There are many variables to this, and this is not to say that all who engage in violence toward others are narcissists, or that all who possess traits along the continuum will cross physical boundaries. This can, however, present as a variable).

For the individual involved in the relationship with the narcissist, and dependent on many nuanced factors, the journey to recovery can be lengthy. Much harm can be done to one’s self concept and they will need to work to make sense of the experiences they have had. Support is necessary as one navigates this painful process. Over time, and through reflective self-work, a stronger self-concept can grow.

Overall, it is important to note that the topic of narcissism is broad and multifaceted. This article explores minimal aspects of a vast and nuanced topic. It is intended to highlight the existence of the above noted continuum, bring understanding to the internal experience of the individual on the continuum, and its potential (and often substantial) impact on those involved. It is also worth noting that narcissism (while explored in the context of the novel The Great Gatsby whose characters’ lived lives of privilege) can exist across socioeconomic classes and individual circumstances. As always, it is important to note that this writing is not intended as treatment advice or guidance. It is offered in exploration of this subject matter.

Lastly, I do want to offer potential resources for those who may wonder if they are in a relationship with someone who is on the narcissistic continuum, or who has made the (generally highly complicated) decision to leave the relationship. As noted, this can be a long journey and gaining a better understanding, informed support, and resources in the event of escalated crisis are important pieces of this process.

1) Narcissist Abuse Support Organization

2) Thrive After Abuse on-line Group

3) The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Copyright Protected :© 2020 LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW. All rights reserved.

Professional Disclaimer: It is important to recognize that all information contained in the Perspective on Trauma Blog is informational, and is not intended as a substitute for clinical care. It is not possible to provide informed care through web content, as an informed treatment relationship cannot be formed. If you or a loved one is in need of care, it is important that you access this care from your own care provider.

Agreement of Use: In consideration for your use of and access to the Perspective on Trauma Blog, you agree that LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW is not liable to you for any action or non-action you may take in reliance upon information from the blog. As noted, it is not possible to provide informed (personalized care) through blog content. It is your responsibility to seek individual clinical care from your own provider, who will know or learn your specific circumstances, should care be needed.

Blog Image: WordPress Media Library

About LaDonna Remy MSW, LICSW

This Weblog (blog) is dedicated to providing information, insight, and informed thought into the difficulties inherent in navigating traumatic event, loss, familial pain, and unexpected life circumstances. I have worked as a trauma therapist for the last 21 years and have met many courageous individuals who have worked to navigate these exceedingly difficult areas. It is this experience that leads me to want to share, not only about the impact of trauma, loss, and familial pain, but the very real-life changes and forward movement that can and do occur.

The strength and courage of the individuals, I have had the fortune of working with, lends validity to the healing process. It is my hope that the writing shared here will provide information, insight, and provide or reinforce, belief in the healing process.

Connect to LaDonna: Blog Perspective on Trauma – Facebook: LaDonna Remy MSW – Instagram: LaDonna Remy MSW

 

Thanks for visiting and I hope you will head over to LaDonna’s blog to read other posts in her archives.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #YA #Fantasy – Bounty Hunter: Book 4 in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series by A.J. Alexander


Delighted to share the news of the latest release by A.J. Alexander, Bounty Hunter: Book 4 in ‘The Council of Twelve’ series on Pre-Order until March 13th.

About the book

When Centriel roams the Earth in a dark mood and atypical despair, in a mountain clearing, far from humankind, he unexpectedly discovers a runner, followed by a petite hunter. The way the woman treats the giant fugitive amuses the Archangel, but he quickly learns that neither of them are what they seem to be.

Simin Arnatt is an extraordinary woman. Her occupation as a Bounty Hunter takes her all over the world, as she follows her prey to the most unusual places. She would have never expected to meet the famous Centriel while on a hunt. When he offers to help her, she feels the enormous attraction, but she knows, with the secret she holds, she could never dare to hope for love.

Neither of them could guess that with her next assignment, Hell is breaking loose…

Head over to buy at the pre-order price: Amazon US –  And: Amazon UK

Also  by A.J. Alexander

One of the recent reviews for Sundance

Jasmin 5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining and fascinating sequel  Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2020

Following ‘Soul Taker’, ‘Sundance’ is the second book in the Council of Twelve Series.
The book is less a simple sequel than a parallel story to the first part, which first surprised me, but then I was enthusiastic about that fact. I found it fascinating to read the story from a different point of view and to find the skillfully orchestrated connections to the first book.

One of the things I love about this book is to see Sundance grow up into a strong woman. Also interesting is her education. Even though the book shows many known characters and places, the book still allows the reader to re-explore the world, AJ Alexander created masterfully.

I look forward to read book number three in the series.

A.J. Alexander, Buy: Amazon US – And : Amazon UK – Website: Aurora Jean Alexander – Twitter: @AuroraJean_A

AboutAurora Jean Alexander

I’m a fantasy author working on a paranormal romance series. The first book of ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series, ‘Soul Taker’ was published December 15, 2018.

I have written short stories and poetry in the past. Some of my poems can be read on my blog ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.

My rare free time I’m spending in extreme reading, excessive pool swimming and playing monster-monopoly. My strongest support system are my sister, most of my family, my friends and my three cats.

 

Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the news of Aurora Jean’s new book.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show with William Price King and Sally Cronin – Chart Hits 1964 Part One


Each week William and I will select two top hits from the charts starting with 1960 for two weeks followed by 1961 etc..through to 1985. We will also include some of the notable events in those years for the up and coming stars who were centre stage at the time.

Every four weeks at the weekend there will be a spin-off show where we will feature four guests sharing their memories of the music of a particular decade we are working on. An opportunity to share your work and your can find the details: The Breakfast Show 2021

Welcome to our show and we are excited to share decades of music with you in 2021. Here is my first selection of  top 1964 hits which I hope you will enjoy.  William.

News Event: February 11th Beatles 1st live appearance in US; Washington, D.C. Coliseum

The Beatles  –  It’s been a hard day’s night

‘It’s been a hard day’s night’ topped the charts in both the US and the UK. Rolling Stone ranked it #307 on the magazine’s list of the ‘500 Greatest Albums of All Time’.  Q  magazine placed it at #5 on its list ‘The 100 Greatest British Albums Ever’ and it made it to #22 in Colin Larkin’s book ‘All Time Top 1000 Albums’.

News Event: March 21st 9th Eurovision Song Contest: Gigliola Cinquetti for Italy wins singing “Non ho l’eta” in Copenhagen

Mary Wells  –  My Guy

‘My guy’ was Mary Wells’ biggest hit. It peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, #1 on the Cashbox Hot 100, #5 on the UK Top Singles chart, #9 in Ireland, and #3 in Australia. It was also featured in the film ‘More American Graffiti’ (1979).

News EventJune 3rd Rolling Stones begin 1st US tour (with Bobby Goldsboro & Bobby Vee)

Now time for my first picks from 1964 and these are tracks that were playing everywhere this year.

Roy Orbison – Oh Pretty Woman

“Oh, Pretty Woman” or “Pretty Woman” is a song recorded by Roy Orbison, written by Orbison and Bill Dees. It was released as a single in on August 29th, 1964 on Monument Records and spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 from September 26, 1964, the second single by Orbison to top the US charts. It was also Orbison’s third single to top the UK Singles Chart (for a total of three weeks).

“Oh, Pretty Woman” was later used for the title of the 1990 film Pretty Woman starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and the 2018 Broadway musical Pretty Woman: The Musical. Roy Orbison 

News Event: June 5th Davie Jones & King Bees debut “I Can’t Help Thinking About Me”; group disbands but Davie Jones goes on to success as David Bowie

Cilla Black – Anyone Who Had A Heart

“Anyone Who Had a Heart” is a song written by Burt Bacharach (music) and Hal David (lyrics) for Dionne Warwick in 1963. In January 1964, Warwick’s original recording hit the Top Ten in the United States, Canada, Spain, Netherlands, South Africa, Belgium and Australia.

In the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand, Warwick’s recording lost out to a cover version by Cilla Black. Black’s version was a UK number-one hit for three weeks in February/March 1964 and was also the fourth best-selling single of 1964 in the UK cillablackofficial

News Event: July 4th Beachboys’ “I Get Around” reaches #1

Additional sources: On This Day – Music – Hits of the 60s: Sixties City – Wikipedia

Your Hosts for The Breakfast Show

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular VenueCave Wilson

Sally Cronin is an author, blogger and broadcaster who enjoyed four years as part of the team on Onda Cero International’s English speaking morning show in Marbella and then for two years as a presenter on Expressfm the local radio station in Portsmouth. She co-presented two ‘Drive Time’ shows a week with Adrian Knight, hosted the live Thursday Afternoon Show and The Sunday Morning Show guests including musicians and authors. Following this she became Station Director for a local internet television station for two years, producing and presenting the daily news segment, outside broadcasts and co-presenting the Adrian and Sally chat show live on Friday evenings.

She and her husband David have now returned to Ireland where they live on the Wexford Coast where she blogs and continues to write books.

Books :Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – More reviews: Goodreads – blog: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

Thank you very much for joining us today and we would love you to join us in the spin off shows where we share your memories of the 1960s and your favourite music.. please read how you can take part: The Breakfast Show 2021

 

Next week 1964 PartTwo.. we hope you will tune in.. as always we love to hear from you.. thanks William and Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 1st March 2021- #Methane Carol Taylor, #SeaOtters Cindy Knoke, #Emptynest Alethea Kehas


A small selection of posts I have enjoyed in the last few days.  I hope you will head over to read in full.. thanks Sally.

Carol Taylor had a packed Saturday Snippets this week with some very interesting and weird and wonderful features.. for example do you know what a kangaroo word is? In common language but they hold a secret…some music from McCartney and Stevie Wonder, methane producing seaweed, a plant that can be eaten and used to scrub your back and an interesting piece on homelessness. head over to enjoy.

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything…I am still waiting for my Easter Egg moulds…shipped yesterday so they said…

There are many people with many different thoughts on homelessness…Homelessness is a huge problem in the world…I say ” There but for the grace of God go I “…These sleep pods are one such good idea… 

Head over to enjoy the rest of the post: Saturday Snippets with Carol Taylor

The next post will warm your heart and features the sweetest creatures ever, captured in the lens of Cindy Knoke who has wildlife photography down to a fine art..

Sea Koalas

Wild California Sea Otters,

Head over to enjoy all the amazing images: Sea Koalas with Cindy Knoke

The final post today is from author Alethea Kehas with a dilemma that millions of stay at home mums face as their children begin the process of leaving the nest. What comes next for me? A thought provoking post.

Image by Chris Chow from Pixabay

I had been dreaming about being at school. That is not unusual for me. Last night I was back at Bowdoin College, but it really wasn’t anything like the Bowdoin I attended nearly 25 yrs ago. Instead, it felt foreign and strange. I was enrolled in four classes, yet hardly even attended the lectures. I couldn’t seem to remember where my classrooms were, let alone the room number of my dorm room. The dream was filled with angst, reflecting the, well, let’s just call it a semi-existential crisis I’ve been battling these days: What the heck am I doing here and where the heck am I going with my life?

Yep, I know that sounds extreme and dramatic. And, quite frankly it’s something I circle back to from time-to-time. I’m now at the stage of life when my kids are nearly ready to head off to college. As they get ready to embark upon life outside of their childhood home, I can’t help but think about what that means for me.

Head over to read the rest of the post and to leave your thoughts for Alethea: I wake to a cardinal singing at my window after a semi-existential crisis dream #cardinal #parenting #midlife

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2021 – #Pot Luck – Authors, They’re Only Human : Morning Musings from the Journal by Patty L.Fletcher


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.

In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021

This is the first post from Patty Fletcher and is one of her journal posts from the summer last year in which she reflects on where she is today.

Authors, They’re Only Human : Morning Musings from the Campbell Kingdom Journal – Moon Phase- Waxing Crescent

I’m always amazed at how quickly the moon cycles happen. 14 days between them appear to go by so fast.

I used to literally count minutes, hours, and days until this or that thing happened, so lost in my head was I. Now, I’m a new person, and I’ve no time for such trivial things as worrying about how slowly or quickly the days are moving along.

Something happened to me during the spring and summer of 2017. I was transformed. I still don’t quite understand it all.

Some of the changes which took place in my life back then were horrific. Thanks to that sickness at times I have serious short-term memory loss, but I’ve found some pretty neat coping mechanisms. If I get extremely tired, I have a bit of problem with balance, but I’ve learned to compensate when that happens.

What brought this to the forefront of my thinking this morning? I’ve no idea. Maybe it was the fact that when I woke I couldn’t quite remember what day it was without looking, or maybe it was that when I stood without first allowing my body to come fully back to itself from sleep I nearly toppled to the floor. Who knows? But sometimes I think about days gone by when I was sharp as a tack and could remember every phone number to all the referral services in our ‘most recently used referral list’ on the referral board at Contact Concern.

Then I sit, and I think how much more well I am mentally. How much more successful I am in my endeavors and I’m glad that all that has befallen me has come to be. For if it had not, I’d still be swimming around in that same old fishbowl of unhappiness, loop thinking and would indeed be a miserable middle-aged lady with no hope of a bright day ahead.

So, here I sit with my first cup of coffee to hand, having already done a 15 minute stent of a workout I learned while in physical therapy, a load of laundry spinning in the washer, and I’m ready to begin the workday in earnest.

No, I don’t make huge amounts of money doing what I do. Yes, I’m always on that financial cliff ready to fall into the abyss of poverty never to be seen again. Still, my life is so much better than before that I’d not go back to what was before.

My regrets aren’t for lost wages from no longer having a job which pays each two weeks. No. My losses are worse than that.

I regret the length of time it took me to learn all I have about myself and the loss of the relationship I had with family and dear friends. For those things have such value as to be unknowable.

I’ve always said, “If you always do what you’ve done, you’ll always do what you did.”

To me this means that if you’re not willing to see the changes needing made in your life you’ll never progress forward. Never will you grow and realize your full potential, and if you’re not careful you’ll find you’ve lost what is important to you along your repetitive way.

To do this day…

Look within yourself, find one mistake you keep making and take steps to stop that once and for all.

For now, this is Patty who is grateful for all she’s learned and how far she’s come, and King Campbell A.K.A. Bubba Dog who has just bumbled into the living room to continue his early morning snooze saying…(Sadly Patty lost Kind Campbell later in the year)

May harmony find you, and blessed be.

© Patty Fletcher 2020

Books by Patty Fletcher

About Patty Fletcher

I’m a single mother with a beautiful daughter, of whom I am enormously proud. I have a great son-in-law and six beautiful grandchildren. From April, 2011 through September, 2020 I owned and handled a black Labrador from The Seeing Eye® named King Campbell Lee Fletcher A.K.A. Bubba. Sadly, after a long battle with illness on September 24, 2020 King Campbell went to the Rainbow Bridge where all is peace and love. It is my hope to one day return to The Seeing Eye® for a successor guide.

About my blindness

I was born one and a half months premature. My blindness was caused by my being given too much oxygen in the incubator. I was partially sighted until 1991, at which time I lost my sight due to an infection after cataract surgery and high eye pressure. I used a cane for 31 years before making the change to a guide dog. Discover more on Patty’s World

Read the reviews and buy the books:  Amazon USAnd : Amazon UK – blog: Patty’s WorldTwitter: @Bubbalee04

 

Thanks for visiting today and I hope you will head over to read more posts on Patty’s blog.. Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Recipes that Pack a Punch – Breakfast and Dessert – Smoothies and Fresh Fruit Salad by Sally Cronin


In this series I have shared recipes that pack a punch of nutrition and still taste delicious. By now you know that I believe in a ‘cook from scratch’ approach to preparing meals and I have followed that philosophy for over forty years. In my mid-20s I was cooking food for 110 growing children three times a day, and the focus had to be on the nutrition as well as the taste. As a nutritional therapist for the last 25 years, I have shared these recipes with my clients to ensure that they never went hungry or deficient in the essential nutrients their bodies needed to be healthy.

For the final post in this series… something for breakfasts and dessert that might also be the perfect anti-aging recipe and so much cheaper than all those expensive face creams! This is a repeat of one of the Food therapy posts in 2020 so I hope you don’t mind the reminder.

Smoothies and Fresh Fruit Salad

Our local berry shop hopefully will open again when this current lockdown ends on March 5th and will be offering early fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. About this time of year I find myself craving fruit and I end up substituting on of my lighter meals each day with a bowl with some yogurt.

You can mix and match your favourite fruits, but I have selected a few to share with you to illustrate the amount of health benefits they can bring to your body and brighten your day.

First a word about Fruit Smoothies

It is unfortunate that the food industry has latched onto fruit smoothies and labelled them healthy. The industrial process of producing a smoothie removes much of the goodness of the fruit, pumps sugar into the body and does not do much for your teeth either. When the fibre is pureed in the process in the factory or at home, it reduces the body’s ability to process the fructose slowly; giving you one big sugar hit. Squeezing fruit and removing all the fibre is actually worse as there is not even the pureed fibre to slow the absorption down.

Commercially produced smoothies also have a number of industrially produced elements that sort of takes away from the wholesome image and so sometimes… going back to basics is best. Carol Taylor has some great recipes for home-made smoothies that are much healthier along with some amazing ‘Cook from Scratch’ recipes for all the family.

Vegetable smoothies

I do drink vegetable smoothies, especially dark green leafy vegetables, with a carrot to add some sweetness. I usually make mine with cold Green Tea to add its health benefits and you can add other herbal teas too, such as peppermint or ginger which are great for the digestion.

I believe in having at least 8 portions of vegetables and fruit a day.. People often say that they could not possibly eat that much, but in fact it is easier than you think.

  • A chopped banana on your cereal for breakfast.
  • Some nuts and chopped apple for snack,
  • A salad with a large tomato, new potatoes, dark green lettuce and spinach mix and chopped red pepper for lunch with protein.
  • Broccoli, mushrooms and grilled onions with a chicken breast and a large spoon of brown rice for evening meal.

If you add that up you have consumed 7 different types of vegetable with a serving of nuts and three of fruit.

I tend to eat my fruit in the form of a fruit salad that I make and eat, either as a snack in the morning, or take with me when on the go. If I am not having a particularly active day, I will have as my supper. I vary the fruits according to the season and also sneak in a couple of tropical additions from time to time.

Make sure that any fruit that you buy is fresh and high quality and I usually try to find a local grocer if possible who is sourcing the fruit from the area. Try to make the fruit salad fresh every day as cut fruit, like vegetables loses its nutrients once it is prepared.

All of the fruits are alkaline-forming, which will help maintain the necessary pH -Acidity/Alkalinity balance for health and healthy amounts of the anti-oxidants necessary for protection against free radicals, and they all boost the immune system. Individually they add their own specific properties that make them ‘super fruits’ and provide a delicious way to protect your health and repair your body from the inside.

You can use any fresh, unprocessed and sugar free juice as a base but don’t drown the fruit, just use enough to moisten the fruit and help it slip down. I usually use coconut water, which is good source of potassium and is alkaline boosting… I also use blueberry, cranberry or apple juice for a fruit salad I am making for visitors, and usually buy fresh pressed that still has bits of fibre in.

fruit and veg bannerTHE APPLE really can help keep the doctor away as long as you eat the skin as well. Fibre helps reduce unhealthy cholesterol therefore helping reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Pectin in apples will also help your body eliminate heavy metals such as mercury and lead. Like onions, this fruit contains high levels of a flavanoid called Quercitin, which is a very powerful anti-oxidant that has been shown to protect against heart attacks. Apple peel contains certain anti-oxidants called phenols that appear to offer us some protection from harmful UV- B rays. You can find out more about this powerful fruit Project 101 – An Apple a Day

THE KIWI is one of the more alkaline forming foods that adds not only the usual healthy fruit benefits to a fruit salad but has some of its own unique benefits. Kiwi fruit has been the subject of research because of its seeming ability to protect the DNA in the nucleus of the human cell from oxygen related damage. Although the Kiwi has an extremely high Vitamin C content, researchers believe that it is the combination of all its anti-oxidants that gives it this unique ability. One particular health area that really benefits is respiratory disease such as asthma.

THE PAPAYA is not just a taste of the tropics; it has some very powerful healing qualities that make its taste secondary. Papayas are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients, the B vitamins and the minerals, potassium and magnesium; and very importantly, fibre. Together, these nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascular system and may also provide protection against colon cancer. In addition, papaya contains the digestive enzyme, Papain, which is used to treat inflammatory diseases, injuries and allergies.

THE APRICOT has nutrients that can help protect the heart and eyes, as well as providing an excellent source of fibre. Eating Apricots has been shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL, which is the unhealthy cholesterol, this prevents plaques forming and lining the arteries. The apricot is also an alkaline forming food, which is great for helping the body maintain the correct acid/alkaline balance.

Apricots contain nutrients, such as the anti-oxidant Vitamin A, that promote healthy eyesight by destroying the free radicals that can damage the eyes’ lenses.

 

THE PINEAPPLE is rich in Bromelain which is an enzyme that helps digest proteins. It obviously aids digestion but it can also reduce inflammation and swelling. It is used for sore throats, more degenerative diseases such as arthritis and gout and can also to help patients to recover from operations.

Pineapple should always be eaten either alone or with non- protein foods otherwise the Bromelain’s effect will be reduced as it adopts its digestive role.

Pineapple of course contain the usual high quantities of Vitamin C to boost the Immune system but it also contains an excellent amount of manganese, which is a trace mineral essential for energy production and building the anti-oxidant line of defence. It provides a fantastic support for the body to fight off colds, flu and other bacterial and viral infections.

THE BLUEBERRY may be less available here in Europe and is more expensive than other fruits, but just adding one small basket of this very powerful fruit to your fruit salad will have some tremendous benefits. It is considered to be the most powerful anti-oxidant fruit and has been shown to benefit a diverse range of conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, heart disease and cancers. Some of its properties actually enhance the work that other anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C are involved in. It strengthens the vascular system throughout the body, which degenerates as we get older.

You can add other fruits in season or for tasteRaspberries, Strawberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, mango, pears etc, all of which have wonderful nutritional benefits.

If you are having a dinner party then you can add a small amount of liqueur into the fruit salad such as cointreau.. and serve with a dollop of cream or ice-cream.. I won’t tell anyone if you don’t!!

I hope that you have enjoyed this series and will experiment with the recipes to suit your own taste… thanks Sally.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2021

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-three years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: My books and reviews 2021

 

Thanks for joining me for this series and as always delighted to receive your feedback… keep young at heart… thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – #Author Updates – #Reviews – #Romance Jacquie Biggar, #WWII Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Hancy Eaton, #YAFantasy Colleen M. Chesebro


Welcome to the first edition of the Cafe updates this week and for March, with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

Welcome to the first of the Cafe and Bookstore updates for the week with news and updates for authors on the shelves.

The first author today is USA Today Bestselling author Jacquie Biggar with a recent review for Perfectly Imperfect.

About the book

What happens when Miss Perfection clashes with Mr. Casual?
Chaos!

Georgina’s in trouble. The startup money she borrowed from her parents’ retirement fund is long gone and her dream of owning the next big thing in market-to-table cuisine disappeared with it.
Her only choice? Merge her company into the corporate giant, CLO, and hope she isn’t making a huge mistake.

Rhys Turner is his father’s progeny, born and raised to take over the empire when his dad deems him ready. Rhys doesn’t mind the fast-paced lifestyle, though he detests the coldblooded mantra of the corporation- Buy from the weak and sell at a profit.
It’s made his family millions. But now, just when CLO’s reins are within reach, he’s run into the one woman who could change everything.

A delightful mixture of women’s fiction, chick-lit, romantic comedy, and New adult, Perfectly Imperfect has something for every reader.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mae Clair 5.0 out of 5 stars A Feel Good Romance!  Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2021

If you enjoy breezy romantic reads, you’ll fall in love with this novella worthy of the Hallmark Channel. Georgina life’s dream revolves around her small start-up company, but financial setbacks force her to partner with CLO for backing. Little does she know CLO’s representative, Rhys Turner, arrives with the intent of selling her company out from under her at the insistence of his father.

From Georgina’s and Rhys first disastrous meeting—she spills coffee over his expensive suit—sparks fly between these two. This is a boy-meets-girl romance with all the squabbling and tug-of-wars you’d expect before the HEA at the end, but as always, what sets Biggar’s books apart is her gift for witty banter, clever POV, deft writing, and spot-on characterizations. Toss in an adorable puppy and some son/father issues between Rhys and his dad, and you’ve got a feel-good story guaranteed to leave you with a smile. A pleasure to read by an author who is a master at her craft!

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A small selection of Jacquie’s books

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Jacquie : Goodreads – website: Jacquie Biggar – Twitter: @jacqbiggar

The next recent review today is for While the Bombs Fell which is written by Robbie Cheadle and her mother Elsie Hancy Eaton.

About While the Bombs Fell

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?

Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes

A recent review for the book

Isaac Michaan 5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read, especially during lockdown  Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2021

While The Bombs fell by Robbie Cheadle is not really a novel with fictionalized characters that you can judge according to their merit, it is a memoir with great personalization that pulls the reader into the life of a girl living around the time of WWII. It could easily bring a tear to your eyes, and in the same time makes you want to run away from the hardships experienced by the protagonist. The only misgiving I had about this book, was that I could only relate to Elsie, but none of the other characters. A very good read, especially during lockdown.  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US  And : Amazon UK

A selection of other books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle and as Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

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Read the reviews and Buy :Amazon US And:Amazon UK – Robbie on : Goodreads – blog: Robbie’s Inspiration- Twitter: @bakeandwrite

The final book with a recent review is for the young adults (of any age) in the family…A YA/Fantasy by Colleen M. Chesebro with The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy

About the book

Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.

But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.

As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, Blake, and Cash, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

One of the recent reviews for the book

“The Heart Stone Chronicles” is a magical read for upper middle grade and the young at heart. Fourteen-year-old Abby is in the Chicago foster system after her drug-addicted father abandons her. She is sent to her only living relative, her father’s sister, who lived in rural Florida. The story began for me when she set foot in her new town. I fell in love with the area, wondering if I’d like to live there. I was glad her aunt turned out to be nice, and Abby made a friend right away. Then Abby finds out she’s inherited swamp land from her mother, who had died a few years before, and someone has put in an offer to buy it.

The relationship between Abby and her aunt was heartwarming, and I liked her new best friend, Savannah. The local bullies seemed realistic, and Mr. Cobb, who had to have Abby’s swamp, no matter what it took. That was a bit terrifying how far he’d go. My favorite part of the story was Abby’s gift to communicate with animals. Never ridden a horse, Abby’s ability allowed her and the horse to bond, so she could easily ride him. I could almost feel the wind blowing my hair as Abby rode across the field on her horse. Meeting the swamp fairies was beautifully illustrated and captivating. This story was well-paced, with a gentle reminder about the importance of nature that I appreciated. I recommend this to all who love fairies, which I do. I’m hoping there will be another book to continue exploring with Abby and the fairies.  

Also by Colleen M. Chesebro

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US And:Amazon UKGoodreads: Colleen at Goodreads – Website Wordcraft poetryTwitter: @ColleenChesebro

 

Thanks for visiting to day and I hope you will be leaving with some books..thanks Sally.