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. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. 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. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/about-me/

Smorgasbord Laughter Academy – A Chicken, A Parrot and an Ostrich walk into a bar!

A couple go for a meal at a Chinese restaurant and order the “Chicken Surprise”. The waiter brings the meal, served in a lidded cast iron pot.Just as the wife is about to serve herself, the lid of the pot rises slightly and she briefly sees two beady little eyes looking around before the lid slams back down.Good grief, did you see that?” she asks her husband.He hasn’t, so she asks him to look in the pot. He reaches for it and again the lid rises, and he sees two little eyes looking around before it slams down.

Source: Smorgasbord Laughter Academy – A Chicken, A Parrot and an Ostrich walk into a bar!

Smorgasbord Laughter Academy – A Chicken, A Parrot and an Ostrich walk into a bar!

A couple go for a meal at a Chinese restaurant and order the “Chicken Surprise”. The waiter brings the meal, served in a lidded cast iron pot.

Just as the wife is about to serve herself, the lid of the pot rises slightly and she briefly sees two beady little eyes looking around before the lid slams back down.

Good grief, did you see that?” she asks her husband.

He hasn’t, so she asks him to look in the pot. He reaches for it and again the lid rises, and he sees two little eyes looking around before it slams down.

Rather perturbed, he calls the waiter over, explains what is happening,and demands an explanation.

“Please sir,” says the waiter, “what you order?” The husband replies, “Chicken Surprise.”

“Ah… so sorry,” says the waiter, “I bring you Peeking Duck.”

One day a man went to an auction. While there, he bid on a parrot. He really wanted this bird, so he got caught up in the bidding. He kept on bidding, but kept getting outbid, so he bid higher and higher and higher.

Finally, after he bid way more than he intended, he won the bid – the parrot was his at last!

As he was paying for the parrot, he said to the Auctioneer, “I sure hope this parrot can talk. I would hate to have paid this much for it, only to find out that he can’t talk!”

“Don’t worry.” said the Auctioneer, “He can talk. Who do you think kept bidding against you?”

Here is that ostrich….

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks for their orders. The man says, “A hamburger, fries, and a coke,” and turns to the ostrich, “What’s yours?”

“I’ll have the same,” says the ostrich.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order.

“That will be $9.40 please,” and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.

The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, “A hamburger, fries, and a coke.”

The ostrich says, “I’ll have the same.”

Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change. This becomes routine until, the two enter again.

“The usual?” asks the waitress.

“No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato, and salad, says he man

“Same,” says the ostrich.

Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, “That will be $32.62.”

Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table. The waitress can’t hold back her curiosity any longer.

“Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change out of your pocket every time?”

“Well,” says the man, “several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.”

“That’s brilliant!” says the waitress… “Most people would wish for a million dollars or something, but you’ll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!”

“That’s right. Whether it’s a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there,” says the man.

The waitress asks, “But, sir, what’s with the ostrich?”

The man sighs, pauses, and answers, “My second wish was for a tall chick with long legs who agrees with everything I say.”

If you smiled.. pass it on … thanks for dropping by..Sally

Smorgasbord Guest Writer – Part 6: How we know what we know by Horatio Grin

Part 6: How we know what we know by Horatio Grin

Take a moment to think the unthinkable. All the ancient tales you learned from your favourite childhood storybooks, from simple fairy tales to King Arthur, are not the hoary old legends you thought they were. They are merely modern retellings; sanitised by the Victorians.

At the beginning of the Victorian Era there existed a large prosperous and literate middle class in Britain with time to read and the money to buy mass-produced books. Educated and socially conscious, they longed for a fairer and simpler world. Much like the one existing before the Industrial Revolution that paradoxically created their wealth and leisure. For inspiration they turned to the folktales gathered by the previous generation.

By the end of Victoria’s reign, industrialisation had transformed Britain. The railways changed the country even more fundamentally than mobile phones, computers and the internet have today. Although life remained hard for the working class, on whom all wealth depended, they were better educated, had better food, and disposable income. They believed social and industrial progress gave them the opportunity to better their lives through hard work and education.

As with the middle class before them, education encouraged the working classes to buy into a national system of values; a large part of which consisted of taking a fierce pride in your motherland. During this period, the idea of a nation’s unique identity and cultural heritage grew throughout Europe and the United States.

National identity was promoted by the accessibility of cheap reading matter presenting agreed-upon populist histories of heroic stories and legends. There were King Arthur and Queen Elizabeth in Britain; Charlemagne and Roland in France; El Cid in Spain; the Germanic Teutonic Knights; and Paul Bunyan and the Revolutionary Fathers of America.

By the 1800s, at the very start of the Industrial Revolution, the middling sort had already begun to feel Britain was losing its identity and cultural heritage. Craftsmen, put out of work by machinery, turned to sabotage. According to some explanations, saboteurs were originally French hand weavers who, in the attempt to preserve their livelihood, threw their wooden clogs into the new-fangled machines to break them. In French, clogs were called sabots.

By 1850 the cities were swelling as young people moved to work in the new manufactories. With a national railway system and overseas competition, smallholdings catering to local markets were left behind as agriculture changed to the large-scale national production necessary to feed a growing industrial nation. The country estates of the landed gentry, once the major employer, were now efficiently run by a small workforce increasingly helped by steam powered machines. Across the countryside, villages were dying and with them a way of life dating back to the early Middle Ages.

More leisure led to new amusements. Gone were evenings spent with a local storyteller; who had learned his trade from his forefathers, back through the generations. There was now no one to listen to his tales; only the old and the very young, soon be in school learning readin’, writin’ an’ ‘rithmetic, and to respect their betters.

As when anything is dying, people realised, almost too late, what they were about to lose. There was a flurry of interest in the past. Intrepid schoolteachers, clergymen and solicitors set off for the unimaginable wilds of the Scottish Highlands, the misty mountains of Wales and the fog swept moors of Cornwall to find and record the last of the storytellers before they disappeared forever.

They painstakingly transcribed tale after tale in almost incomprehensible dialect. Translated the best into the King’s English and published them in modest folios. The slim volumes proved immensely popular with the rising industrial rich, who were desperate to ingratiate themselves with the aristocracy where land was wealth and tradition, was everything.

As the collections of folktales gained popularity, it was quickly realised the old men’s tales may have been corrupted over the long years of retelling. The search was on to find more authentic versions. Ancient books, treasured by antiquarians more for their age than what they contained, were examined and translated.

The Black Book of Carmarthen, the White Book of Rhytherch, the Red Book of Hergest, and a myriad of unnamed manuscripts containing the Histories, the Triads and the Annals of the British were examined. Unfortunately for Victorian sensibilities, the authentic tales were not as morally edifying as they hoped and so had to be improved – a bitter pill sweetened with lavish illustrations from the best talent the Arts and Craft movement had to offer.

All these ancient books came from Wales. It seems odd that Wales preserved British history, until we consider the Welsh are the original British, and England is an entirely different thing.

After almost 400 years of occupation, the Roman Legions started to withdraw from Britain to defend the heartland of the empire. Magnus Maximus or Big Max, remembered in the ancient Welsh stories as Macsen Wledig, hastened the process by stripping Britain of its remaining fighting forces in his bid to become Emperor of Rome, which he did in 383.

His troops never came back and Britain never recovered from the loss. It lay wide open to pirate raids and settlement by Germanic tribes from across the North Sea. As if this was not enough, the island was also hit by a series of devastating plagues, poor harvests and famines – a period remembered in Arthurian legend as the time of the Fisher King and the Wasteland.

Towards the end of this dark period, after again being refused military help from Rome, the Romano-Celtic nobility threw out the last of the Roman governors and declared independence.

Germanic legionary veterans, called foederati, had been settled in farms and towns on Britain’s east coast for at least a hundred years. It was Roman policy to give ex-soldiers farmland in vulnerable places. They knew veterans would have both the ability and the motive to defend their homes. Given the unstable times, it made sense for the veterans, turned farmers, to seek help from kin and old comrades back in Jutland and Saxony; tempting them with the good British farmland left empty by plague.

Conflicts probably arose between veterans and native warlords, styling themselves Kings, or perhaps Dukes and Counts after the prestigious Roman military titles of the Duke, and Count, of Britain and the Count of the Saxon Shore. Local warlords wanted the old German veterans to fight all over the country; wherever they were trying to annex territory from weaker fellow rulers. The foederati did not mind fighting locally, but they were certainly not going to leave their own families and farms undefended.

This traumatic period of conflict between the British and the Germanic ancestors of the English is remembered in Arthurian legend as the time of King Vortigern (an Ancient British word for High King) who invited the Angles and Saxons mercenaries over.

According to legend, when Picts from the North and Irish in the West besieged Vortigern, he invited the Saxon brothers, Hengist and Horsa, as foederati in exchange for the Isle of Thanet at the mouth of the Thames. Then, in exchange for the hand of Rowena, Hengist’s beautiful young daughter, he ceded the Kingdom of Kent.

When discussing this period, the fact the surviving ancient documents actually refer to the Anglo-Saxons as foederati – auxiliary legionary troops employed by Rome to defend the German frontier – is often overlooked.

Earlier in the story, Vortigern had attempted to build an impregnable fortress in Snowdonia, North Wales, to escape his enemies. When the fortress kept falling down, his druids told him to seek a boy with no father. In some versions the boy is the young Merlin. In a prophecy, ripe with meaning, the boy said the High King’s fortress was collapsing because a red and white dragon fought under the foundations. He said the red dragon (still the symbol of Wales) represented the British and the white, the Saxons.

The fact both sides are dragons signifies both are Roman legionary warriors. The dragon was the Roman Emperor’s Imperial battle standard. Contemporary sources describe it as a sort of a long wind-sock, painted up as a dragon with musical pipes fitted inside. Any breeze made it dance and roar over the Emperor and his companions ‘causing terror in the hearts of his enemies’.

By inviting German ex-legionaries – probably related to those already settled in eastern Britain – Vortigern was merely following a Roman Imperial policy that had stood the empire in good stead for centuries. His mercenaries were in fact comrades who had fought side-by-side with the British contingent in many continental battles. Rather than wild barbarians, they were in fact trusted allies.

When order was restored, the British nobility began to resent Vortigern’s Saxons. Their attitude created a far bigger menace than their old enemies had ever presented. Soon both sides were at war. As legend explains it, a feast was given to make peace between them and everyone agreed not to bring weapons. But once inside the banqueting hall, the Saxons treacherously slaughtered the British, keeping Vortigern alive as a puppet ruler.

It was after this Arthur’s uncle Ambrosius Aurelianus, then his father Uther Pendragon (‘fearsome chief-dragon’) and finally, Arthur (The Bear?) himself began the long campaign to wrest Britain back from the Saxon marauders.

Ancient sources do not call Arthur a king. They refer to him as ‘Dux Bellorum’ or Duke of War. A fictitious military title based on the traditional Roman commands of the Count of Britain; Duke of Britain and Count of the Saxon Shore. The title Count comes from the Latin word ‘Comes’ meaning companion; specifically… to the emperor. Duke is from another Latin word ‘Dux’ meaning… to lead.

While highlighting the meaning of words, the name Saxon is said to come from the stabbing dagger they used. The Scottish word for a foreigner is ‘Sassenach’, which means Saxon in Gaelic. ‘Welsh’ is the Saxon word for foreigner. England comes from Angle Land – the name of an invading Germanic tribe. While the Welsh call themselves the ‘Cyrmy’ – from the ancient British word for ‘comrades’.

Conflict escalated between the Romano-Celtic British and the Germanic tribes of the Saxon Shore; the east coast of England facing the European frontier – nowadays modern Germany, Denmark and Sweden. For a few decades after the Battle of Baddon, the great British victory that probably took place around Bath – in ancient British ‘dd’ is pronounced ‘th’ – the victorious British kept the Anglo Saxons confined to their old East coast territories.

According to the monk Gildas, who wrote ‘The Ruin and Conquest of Britain’, the British kings were a pretty poor bunch in the generations after Baddon. By squabbling with each other, they left the way open for the Anglo-Saxons to break loose and eventually drive their defeated armies into Wales, the Scottish borders, Cornwall and Brittany.

The Welsh continued to resist the English, and then the Norman invasion, for almost another 1,000 years. As a way of treasuring the past glories of their cultural heritage, British and Celtic stories were written down by monks and preserved in their monasteries.

As old British triumphs, such as the victories of Arthur were not something the Anglo-Saxon conquerors cared to remember, Arthur and his contemporaries were never mentioned by the English. Because of this, Arthur is forgotten by history and only remembered in legend.

©HoratioGrin 2017

Previous posts

You can find out more about the author here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/smorgasbord-guest-writer-19th-june-to-27th-june-author-horatio-grin-biography/

Part one – Lost Beginnings of the Fairy Races


Part Two – Tales of the Old Gods


Part 3: Twilight of the Gods by Horatio Grin


Part 4: The problem with Erlkings by Horatio Grin


Part 5: A Question of Immortality by Horatio Grin


Thank you for dropping and Horatio would love to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Helen Jones, Janice Spina and Judith Barrow

We have a wonderful bumper crop of great reviews for you today.. starting with the review for A Thousand Rooms by Helen Jones

About the book

Katie is thirty-two, single, and used to work in advertising. She’s also dead. A lost soul hitching rides with the dying, trying to find her way to… wherever she’s supposed to be.

And whoever she’s supposed to be with.

Heaven, it seems, has a thousand rooms. What will it take to find hers?

The latest review for the book

Keep a box of tissues at your elbow for this one! A Thousand Rooms had me red-eyed and snuffling. This is a character-driven book with a simple plot: Katie, newly dead and unfortunately overlooked in her transition from life, goes on a quest to find “her heaven” and travels through a series of manifestations (rooms) before she finds her own.

Jones draws on a variety of mystical traditions and beliefs to design the experience of being dead and the concepts of heaven, soul mates, and reincarnation. These were interesting, but what I loved, loved, loved about his book was the incredibly touching and heartfelt expressions of human emotions, particularly grief and sorrow and, ultimately, of pure love.

Jones writes beautifully. Descriptions are rich, and the characters, even those on the periphery, are wonderfully developed. As the main character, Katie is thoroughly relatable with a wide range of emotions including some delightful sarcasm. I found her personal evolution compelling as her earthly concerns slip away and she discovers the essence of who she is and the point of her journey. Katie’s realization of what it means to live a blessed life is uplifting and full of hope. Highly recommended for readers who love character-driven books and want to feel inspired.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Rooms-Helen-Jones-ebook/dp/B01MDP0TX9

Also by Helen Jones

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Helen-Jones/e/B00VG6SWN4

Read more reviews and follow Helen Jones on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13910923.Helen_Jones

Connect to Helen Jones via her blog: https://journeytoambeth.com/

The next author is Janice Spina… her latest children’s book, Jeffrey The Jittery Giraffe is delighting her readers.

About the book

Jeffrey is a nervous giraffe due to a terrible storm on the day of his birth. He remembers that day and is frightened of any kind of noise or unexpected things happening to him. His mother tells him that he is stronger than he thinks. One day Jeffrey meets another giraffe who needs his help. Read this story in rhyme and find out what important lesson Jeffrey learns when he thinks of others before himself.

The latest review for the book

Ms. Janice Spina, a prolific writer of children’s books as well as books for young adults and adults, does it again. In “Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe”, she created a lovely character, through whom she imparts a wonderful message to young kids and teaches them how to overcome self-limiting jitters and reminds them of the reward inherent in being kind to others. Lovely illustrations by John Spina. Great husband and wife teamwork!

A small selection of other books by Janice Spina

Discover all of Janice Spina’s books, read the reviews and buy:https://www.amazon.com/Janice-Spina/e/B00HNET4HG

Read more reviews and follow Janice Spina on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7222888.Janice_Spina

Connect to Janice via her website: https://jemsbooks.wordpress.com

The final review today is for the short story collection Secrets by Judith Barrow which was released last month.

About Secrets

Ashford, home of the Howarth family,is a gritty northern mill town, a community of no-nonsense Lancashire folk, who speak their minds and are quick to judge. But how many of them are hiding secrets that wouldn’t stand up to the scrutiny of others?
Judith Barrow’s Howarth Family trilogy, Pattern of Shadows, Changing Patterns and Living in the Shadows, along with the prequel, A Hundred Tiny Threads, published by Honno Press, is peopled with just such characters. Here are some of their secret stories – the girl who had to relinquish her baby, the boy who went to war too young, the wife who couldn’t take any more…

The latest review for the collection

A really enjoyable collection  By Terry Tyler TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Jun. 2017

I read this whole collection this afternoon, and really enjoyed them. Each story deals with a character who has a secret; the first few are quite short, the longer, more involved ones nearer the end. I recognised some of the names from the series, but to be honest it’s a while since I read them and some of them were only just familiar. It didn’t matter, though; they’re all terrific stories. The best ones are, I think, Alun Thomas and Stan Green’s secrets, both of which are excellent and take place during the First World War; I imagine I will meet these two when I read the prequel to the trilogy, which is out this summer. I wished they’d all had the date at the start, but it becomes fairly clear approximately when they take place.

What the characters have in common is their social class, and the book is a great illustration of how some situations caused great trauma for the subject, yet wouldn’t matter at all today, or even occur; a boy of fourteen lies about his age and signs up to fight in the war, a girl survives a mother and baby home where the children are taken away for adoption, a battered wife has no choice but to stay with her husband.

Judith Barrow has done a great job of ending some stories with dangling threads, leaving you dying to know what happens next ~ thus, the outtake short story collection for a series. It certainly worked for me! But they stand up perfectly well on their own. I definitely recommend them for a great couple of hour’s reading.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-shadows-truth-Judith-Barrow-ebook/dp/B072M7Q78V

Also by Judith Barrow

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Judith-Barrow/e/B0043RZJV6

Read more reviews and follow Judith on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3295663.Judith_Barrow

Connect to Judith via her blog: judithbarrowblog.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have a great new review you would like to share then just let me know. sally.cronin@moyhill.com


Rock has been saved, again.

If you love Rock then you will enjoy The Indian Indie Head blog.. Rock comes in many guises from soft to hard, alternative to mainstream.. the one thing that you can be sure is that it is always there… here is a guide to find some new bands who are carrying on the tradition thankfully.


Rock music has been proclaimed to be “dead” for the longest time. While this expression has never been close to the truth as so-called rock bands have never existed in such big numbers before and neither has rock sounded this diverse. But, to be fair rock does not have that manic stranglehold on the music world today how rap and pop music does. Judging by worldwide popularity, Nirvana seems to be last great “rock” band with respect to the alternative movement they represented, their iconic heavy to soothing noise coupled with Cobain’s naturally gifted vocals. How they became one of the most glorified rock groups in history by releasing only three albums is a matter of debate. Whether it was the romanticised suicide of Kurt Cobain by the media and the internet, much later that catapulted the popularity of their music or was the collective of Dave Grohl, Krist Noveselic…

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Smorgasbord Health 2017 -Who is sharing your bed? – Don’t let the bed bugs bite…….

I must admit to being paranoid about sleeping in beds other than my own. Before everybody becomes hot under the collar I do mean this in in terms of hygiene…..Unfortunately, many of us are sharing our bed with more than the partner of our choice and these invisible bedfellows are very much more difficult to get rid of…Bed bugs have been part of our human life cycle for hundreds of years if not thousands. They love warm blood and will infest areas close to that source of nourishment including in seams and cracks in the mattress, in furniture and soft furnishings close to a bed and in seams of duvets and bed-linen.I am paranoid about staying hotels when travelling and part of my luggage is my first defence…this video should not be watched before you eat… or before going to bed!!!

Source: Smorgasbord Health 2017 -Who is sharing your bed? – Don’t let the bed bugs bite…….

Smorgasbord Health 2017 -Who is sharing your bed? – Don’t let the bed bugs bite…….

Smorgasbord Health 2017

I must admit to being paranoid about sleeping in beds other than my own. Before everybody becomes hot under the collar I do mean this in in terms of hygiene…..

Unfortunately, many of us are sharing our bed with more than the partner of our choice and these invisible bedfellows are very much more difficult to get rid of…

Bed bugs have been part of our human life cycle for hundreds of years if not thousands. They love warm blood and will infest areas close to that source of nourishment including in seams and cracks in the mattress, in furniture and soft furnishings close to a bed and in seams of duvets and bed-linen.

I am paranoid about staying hotels when travelling and part of my luggage is my first defence…this video should not be watched before you eat… or before going to bed!!!

The infestations are on the increase, and even the swankiest of hotels are not guaranteed to be without these freeloading guests. Our modern travel habits ensure that suit cases and clothing, travelling with us between continents, can carry the bugs without detection from one bed to another. We now travel to more and more destinations, some of which have extremely high incidences of bed bug infestations particularly at the lower end of the accommodation price range such as hostels. Whilst the cost may be attractive you may be taking away more than the complimentary soap and shampoo.

Most of the pesticides from the early 50’s that were used against these pests were banned, quite rightly, because of their effect on humans. Although more modern extermination methods have been developed, in the intervening years the bugs have had time to develop resistance to certain chemicals.

If you have unexplained rashes particularly that you cannot identify it might be worth checking some of the sites for photographs of bedbug bites. Usually uniform in size and rather random they will have a conformity to the groupings.

There is no evidence that the bites themselves have any long term health implications but they are very itchy and after several nights of disrupted sleep you will be putting yourself at risk of general health problems such as minor infections.

Bed bugs  live in the rest of the house too – particularly where you might sit all the time to watch television or eat meals etc. The expression spring clean, where the whole house was turned upside down once a year, is still a great idea but I do suggest that you also do an autumn clean, because with the colder weather other bugs will find your house an attractive and warm hideout for the winter months.

What can we do to prevent bed bugs in the home?
It is a good idea to keep your bedroom as clutter free as possible. Get the vacuum out regularly even with wood floors and move the bed so that you can suck up all the dust and bugs that might be living in cracks. Make sure that you include soft furnishings such as curtains.

When you wash bed linens do so in a hot wash with a good quality detergent but insure you have an adequate rinse cycle.Then dry on very high heat in the tumble dryer for 40 to 45 minutes.

I try to time the linen change with sunshine and spread out both bottom sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases over the backs of metal chairs (without soft cushioning) in the direct sunlight for an hour.

Before replacing linen I suggest vacuuming the mattress taking care around the seams. It is also good for the life of a mattress to turn over from time to time.

Make sure that you do all the beds in the house at the same time so that you decrease the risk of them travelling throughout the house from one bedroom to the other.

It is at this point that I should mention that those of us who adore our animals and allow them to get on the bed with us from time to time or to sleep on the bed at night are at risk of also inviting their particular companions into bed too. Fleas and mites love a little human snack from time to time and keeping your pet free of them is important for their health and yours. This makes the laundering of bed linen even more important and I also find that the following natural product that I use helps with both bed bugs and other parasites.


I am not keen on chemical based household products unless absolutely necessary. For the last 20 years I have been using Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) an oil made from the crushed seeds of the grapefruit. I use all the time and recommend to others as it has anti-bacterial, and microbe properties and is great for fungal infections internally and externally. Its household uses are as varied including as a water purifier and a natural vegetable and fruit wash.

For a bug spray you need to use a garden spray bottle with a fine nozzle. Mix 20 to 25 drops with water to fill the bottle. Spray the mattress including the seams, soft furnishings including curtains every couple of months – let it dry and remake the bed with the clean linen.

Here are a couple of links to sites with further information both on bedbugs and GSE.
https://www.highernature.co.uk/Products/Citricidal-liquid I am not on commission!! But this is my supplier and a bottle which is used daily for one reason or another lasts me about six months so very good value.


Letter from a farm kid

A note from The Bluebird of Bitterness that will make you weep…. in a good way..

bluebird of bitterness

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. I hope you are too.

Tell Walt and Elmer that the U.S. Army beats working for old man Doggett by a mile. They oughta join up quick before all of the places are taken.

I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but I am getting so I like to sleep late. All you got to do before breakfast is straighten up your bunk and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay … practically nothing.

We go on “route marches,” which the sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A route march is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city boys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

I keep getting medals…

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Lake Vrana & Zadar~

I have just popped in to see how things are going and to browse through some of my friend’s blogs.. Never disappointed to visit Cindy Knoke’s photography posts. I have never been to Croatia but Cindy’s Grandfather came from this particular area of stunning coastline.. Looks like a wonderful place to visit. #recommended

These first five photos were taken atop Mt. Kamenjak in the Vrana Lake Nature Park in Croatia. The amazing view you are seeing looks down over Lake Vrana towards the Kornati Islands in the Adriatic Sea.

Lake Vrana, the greenish body of water in the forefront, lies on the Dalmatian coast, and is the largest lake in Croatia. It is separated from the sea by a mere 2 km strip of land which you can clearly see in this photo.

The view from the opposite side of Mt. Kamenjak is also incredible, and looks into the interior of Croatia. It was quite special for me to visit this area of the world, because my grandfather, who emigrated to the US through Ellis Island in the early 1900’s, was from this area.

The spectacular Mt. Kamenjak viewpoint is off the beaten track and less traveled.

There is a charming old chapel…

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