Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up 18th – 24th October 2020 – Streisand, Seasonal Affective Disorder, War Poets, Authors, Books, Reviews and Funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

Ireland is back in level 5 lockdown until December 1st, and then depending on progress, we might be let out again for Christmas, although not entirely sure that allowing more interaction will not result in another upsurge in January. I wonder if they will extend the restrictions until the New Year and have just chosen the 1st December to keep us hopeful?

I do feel very sorry for the small businesses who have spent time and money putting in social distancing measures and were only just gaining ground after the last lockdown. At this time of year especially, most will be relying on the seasonal trade and I just hope that they will come through it. Some are offering their products on Amazon for example and it would be great to think that people will choose to buy local.

We have not really come out of lockdown as I go out just once a week for  fresh produce and since June I have been for a trim to the hairdressers twice. I was just working myself up to making a new appointment for this week when the restrictions were announced. So I trimmed the front and David trimmed the back in the garden.  I did tip him of course.

Last week I shared some good news stories and this week I thought you might like this photograph that demonstrates not just the connection we have with wild animals but that some have a sense of fun. This whale enjoys playing with the tourist boats by pushing them around his patch of the ocean. I would love to have been a passenger.

Gray Whale Plays Pushing Tourists’ by Joseph Cheires – Baja California, Mexico

My thanks to William Price King and D.G. Kaye this week for their musical and humorous contributions.. and to you for dropping by and liking, commenting and sharing..

Life and Music of Barbra Streisand Part Four 1980s/1990s and films

For the next few Sundays I am sharing some of the interviews with regular visitors to the blog dating back to 2015 onwards.

Guest Interviews 2015 – A Funny Thing Happened, #Relationships D.G. Kaye

My Parent’s visit – Part Three – The Alamo and Natural Bridge Caverns

– Chapter Twelve – Car Rides and move to Spain

Milestones Along the Way – #Ireland #Waterford 1950s – The Sea Angler’s Club by Geoff Cronin

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Fashion Department and Shoplifters

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Cut Glass Crystal and a Smashing start

#Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – Telesales and Helping Farmers pick the right Bull

#Mystery #Paranormal – Harbinger (Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3) by Marcia Meara

Past Book Reviews 2018 – #Thriller – Lies by T. M. Logan

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In Remembrance – The War Poets – Vera Brittain

UnSeasonal Affective Disorder #Lockdown #Elderly – Part One

UnSeasonal Affective Disorder – The Missing Link – Vitamin D

Chamomile Essential Oil

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Share your review – Darlene Foster reviews The Jigsaw Puzzle King by Gina McMurchy-Barber

 

Author updates – #Wartime D.L. Finn, #History Barbara Ann Mojica

#Mythology – King of the Asphodels by David Jordan

-#Vaudeville Elizabeth Gauffreau, #DieselPunk Teagan Riordain Geneviene, #Pilgrims Noelle Granger

New #Poetry Balroop Singh, Reviews #Mystery Lizzie Chantree, #SouthernContemporary Claire Fullerton

#Family James J. Cudney, #WWII Robbie Cheadle and Elsie Haney Eaton, #Fantasy D. Wallace Peach

October 20th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Fatbits and Ducks.

October 22nd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Rabbits and Replacement Windows

Some old favourites and a joke or two host Sally Cronin

Thank you so much for visiting today and I hope you have a great weekend.. Stay safe…Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – October 4th – 10th 2020 – Streisand, Narcissism, Dog Sitting, Mending Fences, books, reviews and funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

So here we are all again and how quickly time flies when you are enjoying yourself…I say that without a trace of sarcasm honestly… if it were not for the blog and for the daily visits from all of you I think I would have found the last 8 months very difficult.

Not that there are not things that need to be done! – I have not got anymore housework done that I do normally (which is not a great deal). There is the matter of the short story collection due out in November to finish, two novels, a large tapestry of an elephant and her baby, the summer clothes as yet unworn to be put away back in their winter quarters, and winter clothes to be ironed and put back on hangers. I will leave the sequin jacket and dancing shoes where they are as we won’t be doing any partying anytime soon…although a quick shuffle around the dining room is not out of the question to the right music.

I do have 35 books awaiting reading and reviewing and I am trying to do that in a timely fashion. I know that at the end of the month I will be heading off to Amazon again to buy another ten or twelve that have been recommended by others here or I have spotted on others’ blogs. One of the downsides of promoting authors and reading through their reviews to showcase but I am not complaining, just my TBR like most of yours.

I have also been doing some updated research on a number of health conditions and despite the Covid – 19 focus on getting a vaccine and treatments, there are still some interesting advances in other areas of medical research.. I will be putting together a new Health in the News in November.

The author spotlight ends tomorrow, but I went through my files and unearthed some author interviews from 2015 onwards for authors who are very much a part of my community and I will be repeating those on Sundays up to the end of the year. I have updated with their current books and reviews and I hope you will enjoy again after all this time.

I hope you have enjoyed the week as much as I have and my thanks as always to the contributors who take time and a great deal of thought to put together interesting and entertaining posts.. this week William Price King shares part three of the Barbra Streisand story and you can find William’s own posts and also very kindly a selection of Smorgasbord’s on his  Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr

Also this week D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies shares her wisdom on narcissism in the family and some of the reasons behind this insidious and damaging mental issue. Also thanks to my guest Jane Sturgeon for her entertaining life changing moment…

And a special thank you to author Judith Barrow who has kindly set up a directory on her blog to share posts from Smorgasbord.. a huge honour thanks Judith Judith Barrow Blog

Thank you for supporting all of us and it is much appreciated.

Life and Music of Barbra Streisand Part Three -collaborations in the 1970s and 1980s

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships -October 2020 -Envy, Jealousy, Bullying – A Path to Narcissism?

Life Changing Moments – Dog Sitting with a twist or two by Jane Sturgeon

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Ten – Sleepovers with new friends

Shakespeare and Traditional Fencing Methods

20th Anniversary #Free Book and Some of my Very Odd Jobs – The Steak House Part Two by Sally Cronin

Pub landlady Cowes Isle of Wight

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Poetry – In Remembrance – The War Poets – Edmund Blunden

-My parents arrive – Part One – Stetsons, Yellow Roses, Pappasito’s and Chi Chis

Western #Horror #Thriller – Guns of Perdition – The Armageddon Showdown Book 1 by Jessica Bakkers

Past Book Reviews – #IrishHistory Andrew Joyce, #Shortstories Mary Smith

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The endocrine system and hormones Part One

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – Oils, origins, uses and Safety – Part Two

Summer 2020- Pot Luck- Book Reviews by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

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Share your Children’s book reviews – #PictureBooks with Jennie Fitzkee Part Two

Sam the Speedy Sloth by Matthew Ralph reviewed by Barbara Ann Mojica

#Fantasy D. Wallace Peach Reviews #YAFantasy Heather Kindt, #Contemporary Carol LaHines, #ShortStories Elizabeth Merry

#Poetry Geoff Le Pard, Reviews -#Dystopian Harmony Kent, #WWII Marina Osipova

#Poetry Frank Prem, Reviews #Crime Jane Risdon, #Thriller Gwen Plano

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Oct 6th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

October 8th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Protests and Clean Plates

Host Sally Cronin – What do you mean I can’t park here?

 

Thanks again for dropping by and as always your feedback is much appreciated… Sally.

#Dogs – Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Ten – Sleepovers with new friends by Sally Cronin


By special request I am sharing Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story and I hope those of you who have not read his adventures will enjoy…

51uI0kWA+ML._UY250_Last time  Sam shared some of his growing group of friends and encounters with pack members and older family members of the two and four-legged variety.

Chapter Ten – Sleepovers with new friends

When David went to Madrid to work, Sally set about finding someone who would love and care for me every six weeks when she went to Spain to visit him.

She had never put me in boarding kennels, knowing that I love company and would find it very lonely stuck in a box on my own for most of the day. I have to say that apart from a couple of special dogs I have never really been bothered about my own breed as I much prefer the interaction I have with humans.

There are two other humans who joined our pack and I came to love them very much. One was the wife of someone who worked with David and her name was Aunty Kay.

She was a soft spoken Irish woman who had a very gentle touch. At one of the final work parties that Sally and David attended before he moved to Spain, they had got into conversation with Kay and mentioned that Sally was going to try and go over to Spain to see David every six weeks but that they were trying to find someone to look after me in her absence.

I think that I have already conveyed how very important I was within the pack and how much I was loved. As I mentioned, Sally had never felt comfortable with the notion of putting me behind bars for twenty two hours of the day so that she could go off and have fun and so she wanted to find someone who had a garden and loved dogs as much as she did.

Aunty Kay immediately said that she would love to look after me and delightedly Sally arranged for Kay to come out to the house for lunch and to meet me.

The first time I smelled Kay I knew that she was kind and gentle and would love me very much. I sat by her all through lunch and when she seemed to understand that cheese was my favourite and gave me some, I also knew that we would get along just fine.

For the next two years I spent long weekends at Kay’s home in Ballinteer and enjoyed expanding my territory to include large park lands and tree lined streets which as you know is every dog’s kind of heaven. I met Kay’s cats who after a little induction training left the house to me and retreated to the garden shed where they glared balefully at me whenever I was in the small back garden.

I also met Kay’s pack members during my visits including her sister and family who lived abroad and came to visit.

On one of her sister’s visits she went out one morning and did not return until the next day. When she did she had a very young and smelly human with her. I knew instinctively that it was a new puppy and that when it was being fed both it and its mother needed to be protected. I would lie across the mother’s feet while she nursed the baby and would allow no one else near her at all. When the baby was asleep in its carrier I also guarded it to ensure that it was safe. That was my job in my pack, head of security and even in young adulthood I was very aware of my responsibilities.

Kay also had a pack member who smelt of old age and warm musky smells. She wore a very long black dress and a black cloth on her head. When she first came I was a little scared as all I could see was a face peering out from under the black cloth. However, her voice was gentle and fragile and with any old pack member you must be gentle as they do not like to play games as we youngsters do.

As part of my duties to my own pack elders such as Grand Mollie, it was important to keep them warm and safe when they move around the house and gardens. I extended this courtesy to Aunty Kay’s pack members as well and at 96 years old, her aunt who had been a nun since she was twelve years old, certainly qualified. I rarely left her side and sat with my head on her lap as her hand gently stroked my fur.

They were happy days but Sally felt that Kay who refused any kind of payment for looking after me should not be put upon all the time and that perhaps we needed to find me another loving and caring foster mum to join the pack. We advertised in the local paper.

We were inundated with offers to look after me and after Sally had checked through them all she decided that we should both go to people’s homes and meet the applicants for an interview.

We conducted two and after smelling the inside of the living room of the first one we both decided that perhaps being only a young dog I might be a little too frisky for the elderly couple. Also I have to admit there were one or two strange smells that I found rather overpowering including one came from a rather full ashtray and one from a basket containing clothes in the kitchen.

The second house was close by at a place called Bettystown and was the home of Aunty Katie. Like Kay she immediately realised how important I was and as I sat with my head on her lap she got the message straight away that a drink and a treat was required.

Sally liked her and her husband too and they lived very close to the beach where I walked twice a day. Katie not only loved dogs but was passionate about owls and the house was dedicated to them in all shapes and sizes.

I was truly pampered at Aunty Katy’s house and was offered both the bedroom and a comfortable sofa to sleep on. I quickly communicated with my body and linguistic skills my needs and these were met with pleasing rapidity.

I loved both my foster mistresses and looked forward to my visits to them, leaping in the car and rushing into their homes to be greeted exuberantly which is the only way for a pack to greet each other.

I went to Katie’s every other trip and so I had two wonderful foster homes where I was pampered and spoilt.

David came home to Ireland every six weeks and we had wonderful games in the garden while he was home. Sally and I lived on our own in the meantime and this is why I have such an ability to understand the spoken word. Some people may have thought her quite mad to hold conversations with a dog, but I am a very good listener and she managed to avoid talking to me in public so it was our little secret.

©sallycronin Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story  2009

About the authors

Sally Cronin waited until she began working for herself, and had the time to commit to the welfare of a dog. before she fulfilled a dream of having another Lassie Collie. From the moment that Sam came home at 8 weeks old they were inseparable, and travelled thousands of miles together and with her husband David, exploring Ireland, Wales, England and Europe. Finally they all ended up in a large house up a mountain to the north of Madrid.

Sam could charm the birds out of the trees and assumed that every human that he met was more interested in him than his humans that were tagging along. He developed a vocabulary and non-verbal clues as to his needs, cheese and sausages being the main ones.

They collaborated on this book, with Sam dictating his recollections and Sally correcting some of his more flamboyant claims pertaining to his adventures.

You can find out more about Sally’s books and their reviews: Sally’s Books and Recent Reviews

I hope you have enjoyed this chapter and will join us again next Sunday.. thanks Sally.

#Dogs – Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Nine – Other Pack Members and Respect your Elders by Sally Cronin


By special request I am sharing Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story and I hope those of you who have not read his adventures will enjoy…

51uI0kWA+ML._UY250_ Last time we discovered Sam’s attempts at the Human language with varying success dependent on the food involved.

Chapters Nine and Ten – Other Pack Members and Respect your Elders

I considered Henry to be part of our pack despite being a cat. I also included the dog next door Danny, despite Sally trying to keep us apart.

Danny came to his new home and was allowed a level of freedom that is common in rural areas. He did not go for organised walks but was allowed to roam his two acres and the lane from a very early age.

These made him far more street wise than I was and also gave him access to the other gardens in the lane which did not necessarily make him very popular with the neighbours.
He would sneak in under the fence into our garden despite Sally spending vast sums of money “Danny proofing” our territory. She was afraid he would lead me astray and take me on one of his road trips. Whereas Danny was streetwise I was not and being a sheep dog, Sally worried that I might get too interested in the flock at the end of the lane and get shot by the farmer. One night I did actually crawl under the fence at his invitation and found myself in the dark, on the wrong side of the hedge.

I think Danny was having a laugh at my expense and was trying to teach me a lesson for my previous cowardice in not following him on one of his escapades. He disappeared into the darkness and through the back door of his house leaving me stranded.

Sally who had only turned her back for a minute while she fetched a flashlight was frantically calling for me on our side of the hedge and I barked to let her know where I was and that I was scared.

She came up our long drive and marched down the neighbour’s waving her torch and calling me. I had never experienced any form of mistreatment at her hands but I knew when she was not happy, and that this was one of those occasions. I hid behind the dustbins and heard her ring the doorbell.

When it was answered by the next door neighbour I heard a number of words that I did not understand only catching a few.

“Your damn dog has been over into our garden again and this time he has brought Sam back with him and now I can’t find him. Put your outside lights on so that I can find Sam and in future keep that dog of yours under control.”

It was more the tone that alerted me to the fact that Sally was angry and that I needed to please her immediately. I slunk out of cover and up to her where she attached me to my lead and walked firmly and quickly up the neighbour’s drive and into our own garden.

As we walked she only said two words repeatedly. “Bad Boy.” And although I could not see it I knew that she was wagging her finger at me. Tail between my legs I walked beside her and into our own house. I was upset that she was upset and sat down and offered my paw in penance. With that she leant down and hugged me tight.

“Sam don’t ever do that again, I was frantic with worry. I love you so much and couldn’t bear to lose you.”

Of course I did not understand all the words but I did appreciate the feelings that poured from her.

To this day I have never done anything like that again. I always know where both she and David are, and even though I may not be on a lead, I stay close enough at all times so that I can see them. Luckily my lead is 26 feet in length which means that I get the best of both worlds, room to roam on our walks but still in touch with them both. We were very lucky to have such a beautiful sandy beach and dunes on our doorstep in Ireland that provided plenty of safe walking and playing adventures.

I have to say though that Danny still used to come through the fence and we would play together in the long grass of the meadow behind our house. I reckoned as long as I stayed on my side of the fence within sight of the house I could still enjoy the friendship of this freedom loving dog. He told me of his adventures but after a while I realised that the lane and his garden was his entire world where as I travelled many miles in the car with my pack and visited many different places.

Eventually he got bored and frustrated hearing my tales of the world beyond the lane and stopped coming to play.

David and Sally had broken away from their own packs to form their own many years ago. However, unlike in my case, older former pack members retain a high status in their offspring’s circle and often visit. Siblings are also welcomed, although I have to say that when all the packs come together for an annual reunion, some of the younger members appear not to have learnt as much about pack protocol as I have.

Sorry, just an old dog talking and when I was younger I did enjoy the additional attention that I was given by small humans. I am afraid I have grown rather intolerant lately, and tend to find one of my favourite sleeping places hidden around the house when we have younger visitors.

Apart from immediate pack members there were also visitors from other packs that became very important in my life during the time David was in Madrid.

Sally’s mother was called Grand Mollie and I first met her when I was about six months old. At that time I was really only interested in my immediate needs but I stored away her smell and knew that she was part of Sally’s pack and therefore part of mine.

The next time she came to visit was when I was a year old at Christmas and this time I took my new job as head of security very seriously and guarded her at all times. I usually slept on the landing outside Sally and David’s room, but during Grand Mollie’s visit I camped outside her door, and escorted her to the bathroom during the night and always preceded her down the stairs etc.

Sally had given me strict instructions that I was to look after her and as her feet used to get very cold sometimes I took it upon myself to lie over them whenever she sat down.

She was very appreciative and of course whilst it had no bearing on my devotion to her, the odd sneaked snippet of cheese and sausage that she slipped me, only confirmed that she was a worthy member of the pack.

David’s father lived in Dublin and he would visit us out in the country. I went to his house once when I was still very young but unfortunately his head of security “Tuffy” was not going to allow some ‘wet behind the ears’ new pack member have the run of her territory inside the house or outside in the garden. She very quickly showed me who was the boss.

She backed me into a corner, sat and glared at me, daring me to move. Even though I was only a few months old, I was considerably bigger than she was, but I felt little inclination to cross teeth with her and I never visited again. I know that she was just doing her job and in her way she taught me that you have to respect other peoples territory and that you must be prepared to drop the ‘nice doggy’ persona for a slightly more resolute stance from time to time.

I have never bitten anyone although I have to say I have been tempted from time to time particularly at the vets. As I have got older I have become slightly less tolerant but have discovered that turning away and going and weeing as high up in a bush as possible is quite effective, particularly if confronted with one of the smaller breeds on a lead. If it is a larger dog, and he is off the lead, then I have determined that a dignified retreat to live and fight another day is by far the best approach.

®sallycronin Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story  2009

About the authors

Sally Cronin waited until she began working for herself, and had the time to commit to the welfare of a dog. before she fulfilled a dream of having another Lassie Collie. From the moment that Sam came home at 8 weeks old they were inseparable, and travelled thousands of miles together and with her husband David, exploring Ireland, Wales, England and Europe. Finally they all ended up in a large house up a mountain to the north of Madrid.

Sam could charm the birds out of the trees and assumed that every human that he met was more interested in him than his humans that were tagging along. He developed a vocabulary and non-verbal clues as to his needs, cheese and sausages being the main ones.

They collaborated on this book, with Sam dictating his recollections and Sally correcting some of his more flamboyant claims pertaining to his adventures.

You can find out more about Sally’s books and their reviews: Sally’s Books and Recent Reviews

I hope you have enjoyed this chapter and will join us again next Sunday.. thanks Sally.

#Dogs – Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Chapter Eight – Human Language Lessons by Sally Cronin


By special request I am sharing Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story and I hope those of you who have not read his adventures will enjoy…

51uI0kWA+ML._UY250_Last time  we discovered Sam’s love of sausages, ice cream, snow, Christmas and the ‘love in’….in this chapter he shares his efforts to learn ‘Human talk’

Chapter Eight – Human Language Lessons

My pack was made up of the alpha pair, Sally and David. As I have already mentioned both of them talked to me all the time.  As well as words designed to let me know my role in the pack and behaviour expected from me, I began to understand the tone and meaning of many other words as well.

It is a common theory that animals do not understand human speech except for specific and relevant words such as sit, wait, down etc. This is a misconception because if you have been talked to continuously over a period of time you do begin to attach meaning and actions to certain words and sentences.

For example, it is no secret that dogs, and I have to include myself, are quite self-centred and are only really interested in what is in it for them or this case me.

At only a few months old I was beginning to isolate certain words that applied to my well-being, specifically the well-being of my stomach. For example, my favourite treats in the world cheese and cooked sausages. The latter was an occasional addition to my training sessions and they were, Sally assured me low fat and healthy enough for me to eat from time to time. Personally I could have eaten them every day but she assured me that I would soon grow tired of them. This was one of those rare times when I felt that she perhaps did not understand my needs quite as much as I wanted her to.

Anyway, I would begin to listen to conversations between humans carefully to determine when I might be able to partake of my favourite foods. Even if I was in semi-sleep mode, which for the uninitiated is flat out with eyes open but in a dream state, I could recognise the key words.

Let me demonstrate. “I thought that we might have chicken tonight with cauliflower and cheese sauce.” Or perhaps; “I went for a walk at lunchtime and I saw that the butcher has begun making home-made sausages.

I think that you get the idea. Now, as I got older I learnt more vocabulary and I certainly knew more that the sixteen words the vet had predicted I would know eventually.

I knew the names of all my toys. When I was six months old Sally had bought me a football but it only took half an hour to puncture it. Although we now live thousands of miles away from my home in Ireland I still have that ball and some of the other toys I was given. Apart from Ball there is “Santy” (a rather portly plastic Santa Claus), Squeaky and Precious. The latter got its name after we all sat through the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and you have to lisp on the middle of the word.

At ten I now have a very extensive vocabulary including not only my favourite things that are important to me such as Car, Walk, Play, Football, and Chase, but words that also get me wound up like Flies, Magpies, Gaston (my next door neighbour here in Madrid, who is a large and stupid Pyrenean Mountain dog), and Cats (not the wild kind, but domestic variety who are very arrogant and self-satisfied and ask to be chased).

I was only a few months old when I began to string words together and although I sometimes would get wildly excited over nothing in the last ten years, I have really got into the whole conversational thing.

Sally often whispers to David in an effort to avoid ‘a certain somebody’, as she refers to me, getting any ideas but she still does not have enough respect for my hearing as she should do.

Apart from things in my life, I also know the names of all the people too. The other day Sally mentioned Henry to David and I could tell from her voice that she still missed that smelly old boy. I immediately went up to her and looked up to see if there was something else that she might say about my friend. She just looked at me, stroked my ears and said. “Where do the years go Sam?”  Good question.

But understanding of human words and emotions is only part of my ability because after a year of being bombarded with vocabulary an event occurred which ensured that I would be even more immersed in the human language.

David was offered a job in Madrid, Spain and it became too good an offer to turn down. Sally and David had often worked and lived abroad for their careers and had always moved homes and countries together. In seventeen years they had lived in England, America, Belgium and Ireland but this time there were other considerations to be taken into account.

They had only owned the house for a couple of years and would barely break even if they sold up now and Sally had only just bought a business in the local town and was in the process of building up a successful dietary practice. It was decided eventually that David would go to Madrid and that they would alternate visits every three weeks at the company’s expense and Sally would find someone to look after me for these few days at a time.

It was a wrench for them both but at least Sally had me. Apart from when she was working in the mornings, she and I spent all our time together and apart from an occasional night out with her girlfriends, I was her friend and confidante.  It was my job to look after her and make sure that she was happy.  Without David to talk to she talked to me all the time, and although I already had an extensive word base this immersion therapy gave me a great many more.

This is the time that I wanted to improve my ability to communicate back and the result was my first spoken word.

The three of us had already established a very effective method of communication using body language, eyes and tongue. Well I had, they continued to use the spoken word. For example, if you want a drink or some ice (perfect for cooling a dog down on the one scorching day in an Irish summer), you lick your lips and hold your mouth slightly open indicating extreme thirst.

If you particularly like a morsel of food, and you want more, then you lick up as far as you can to your eyebrows once or twice to demonstrate that this is delicious, and further examples would be appreciated.

If you are desperate for a wee or other business you put your paws up onto the sofa between a person’s legs and hold your face up close to theirs and stare them out. If this does not result in the desired affect then you whine deeply in your throat with a rising pitch at the end to indicate a question. “Do you think that I can hang on to this for ever and are you getting the message?”

If I was in the garden and wanted a game of chase, which was let’s face it is most days, then a sharp but restrained nip on the back of the calf usually resulted in a thoroughly satisfying gallop through the bushes.

They enjoyed the game as well and knew that the more arm waving and barking they did the more I liked it. It was standard pack practice and I was delighted that my instincts were so closely aligned to theirs.

However, as I grew older and was no longer a growing puppy, some of the goodies that I had come to enjoy seemed to be reduced to the occasional treat. I have to admit to playing on the common collie predilection for pickiness when it comes to eating and I am one of the few breeds that can affect disdain when a perfectly good bowl of food is presented.

Give them their due they were fast learners and discovered that if I knew that I would be offered a small morsel of cheddar, I would eat all my dinner. All was well and good but the scarcity of the offerings made me contemplate another strategy.

As I have already mentioned I do not have a voice box and it is virtually impossible for me to annunciate human language but I learnt to give a very good impression.

The first word I learnt to say that was understood was ‘more’ needless to say. I really had to concentrate and it usually involved several parts of my body. I would crease my forehead, lick my lips, wag my tail and from deep in my chest produce the sound of ‘mawgh’. As you can imagine this became one of my party pieces when David and Sally had friends over for dinner on his visits home.  I managed to obtain several pieces of after dinner cheese from all the guests who felt very honoured that I spoke to them personally.

I have to say that eight years on and I have had to modify this particular word, as with any middle aged dog my waistline has expanded somewhat. This is also due to having my teeth cleaned by the vet three years ago but more about dentistry later.

Back to ‘more’. About a year ago I was particularly intent of achieving a further portion of my favourite after dinner treat and I had been told three times to go away and find my bone. Usually I did this as I am well aware of pack etiquette, and one does not want to push the alpha female too far, as she is very good at the ‘hot tongue and cold shoulder routine’ that reminds you of where you are in the pack.

On this occasion she was involved in a television programme and her directives to move away were slightly more offhand than usual so I pushed my luck.

The result was a frosty look to encourage me to mind my manners and a gentle sweep of her arm that indicated that I should move away. I do wish she had not watched so many episodes of the Dog Whisperer, that woman has a lot to answer for. Anyway, I ignored the instructions and she turned to me and looked my right in the eyes.

“You are beginning to sound like Oliver Twist and if you don’t stop pestering me I will call you Oliver in future.”

She obviously considered this Oliver chap to be quite something if she was willing to call me his name.

I scrunched up my forehead and really concentrated. I licked my eyebrows and wagged my tail vigorously.

“Oh,Ee,Va”

“Pardon.” I had certainly got her attention now.

“ORH,EE,VA.” I emphasised.

David who had been trying to watch the programme throughout this exchange turned the volume down on the remote control.

“Did he just say Oliver?”

Right on brother and they were so impressed it resulted in an extra treat, my favourite next to cheese, a hard-boiled egg.

I now no longer bother with the short but ineffective ‘more’ and get right to the point with ‘Oliver’ after my dinner.

I also developed another word that stemmed for an everyday activity. I have already told you about the ‘greeting rug’ which is used to have a pack greeting when we have been apart.

David and Sally would always use a word over and over when we hugged and stroked each other and it was ‘hello’.

One day when I was about six years old, I felt the need to reciprocate and began responding with my own version which sounds somewhat like ‘hayyo’. Sometimes it comes out better than others depending on my level of concentration, and I do get a real charge from uttering this word when we meet people on our travels.

There was one particular occasion when we were staying in our apartment on the Costa’s, where you find a lot of people who talk like David and Sally, unlike here in Madrid where I cannot understand a word people are saying.

We were out for their morning walk which they insist on taking rain or shine and this couple were coming towards us arm in arm. As they reached us the woman stopped and greeted us.

“Hello, what a beautiful dog.”

“Heyoo.” I greeted her back wagging my tail.

Just as well she was hanging onto her husband’s arm, to say that she jumped two feet off the ground is a bit of an exaggeration but you get my drift.

“Did he just say what I think he did.” She looked at me awestruck.

“Sam, say hello nicely to the lady,” Sally prompted.

“Heyoo.” I uttered again and was rewarded with much petting and admiration.

This has inspired me to try and use other words, not all are successful but it is a work in progress and combined with my other effective methods of communication, I feel that I probably do better than most dogs in achieving the right balance of food and comfort.

©sallycronin Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story 2009

About the authors

Sally Cronin waited until she began working for herself, and had the time to commit to the welfare of a dog. before she fulfilled a dream of having another Lassie Collie. From the moment that Sam came home at 8 weeks old they were inseparable, and travelled thousands of miles together and with her husband David, exploring Ireland, Wales, England and Europe. Finally they all ended up in a large house up a mountain to the north of Madrid.

Sam could charm the birds out of the trees and assumed that every human that he met was more interested in him than his humans that were tagging along. He developed a vocabulary and non-verbal clues as to his needs, cheese and sausages being the main ones.

They collaborated on this book, with Sam dictating his recollections and Sally correcting some of his more flamboyant claims pertaining to his adventures.

You can find out more about Sally’s books and their reviews: Sally’s Books and Recent Reviews

I hope you have enjoyed this chapter and will join us again next Sunday.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – September 13th – 19th 2020 – Jazz, Ricotta Cheese, Risotto, Collies, books, reviews and funnies


Welcome to the weekly round up with posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord.

I hope that you are all well and thanks for dropping in today. I am taking full advantage of the sunshine this weekend as the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are already dropping. Still grateful for the quick blast and a good book.

As in most places our infections are on the rise which in not unexpected after the restrictions were lifted. Although here in Ireland the government has been very cautious about moving through the various stages. There are still clusters in the major cities such as Dublin and Cork. We are grateful for our rural location and without the influx of visitors this summer (despite the devastating effect on small businesses) we have been relatively free of infections.  All we can do is continue to be careful and stay positive.

I hope the posts this week will have kept your spirits up and this week William Price King, Carol Taylor and Silvia Todesco provided us with great jazz entertainment and wonderful recipes to ensure we don’t waste away in isolation.

Colin Guest joined us last Sunday to share his life changing moment which resulted in him meeting his lovely wife and finding great happiness.

My thanks to you for all your support during the week….

William Price King with #Jazz Saxophonist and Composer Michael Brecker

R’ for Rice, Ras el Hanout, Rhubarb, Ricotta Cheese and Rice Noodles

#Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Butternut Squash and Porcini #risotto

A complete lifesaver by Colin Guest

Chapter Seven- Snow and Favourite Things

Newly wed Geoff gets some unwanted advice about how to cultivate his back garden of the house…neighbours and cabbabe plants.

#Waterford – 1940s – The Hundred Plants by Geoff Cronin

September 1985 – Curry Parties and Booze buys

Thriller – Acts Beyond Redemption (Unintended Consequences Book 1) by Suzanne Burke

#Fantasy – Liars and Thieves (Unraveling the Veil Book 1) by D. Wallace Peach

Past Book Reviews – #Children Cynthia S. Reyes, #Shortstories Hugh W. Roberts

The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Herbal Medicine – A little health insurance with Echinacea

Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid Guidelines in 2020 ...

Cholesterol and Fat Myths Part Three, Vitamin K2 and Healthy Fats

New Author on the Shelves – 5 to 9 years – 6 Six Minute Bedtime Stories by Doug Parker

#Reviews #Travel #Adventure Darlene Foster, #Monarch #Butterfly Bette A. Stevens

Share your Children’s book reviews – #Nature #Humour The Earthkeepers by Shawn Underhill reviewed by Jemima Pett

#Adventure Audrey Driscoll, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Mystery Sharon Marchisello

#Psychological Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke #Reviews #FamilySaga Judith Barrow, #Italy Valentina Cirasola

#Photography – Lens-Artists Photo Challenge#99: Old and New by Miriam Hurdle

#BookReview – A Snowflake in July by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Friday Flash Fiction 575 – Bonfire by Janet Gogerty

September 15th 2020 Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Speed Limits, Yoga and the last Bad Dad Jokes

September 17th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Stress relief and Heaven and Hell.

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September 18th 2020 – Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp

 

Thank you for visiting and please stay safe…. hope to see you again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord – Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story Chapter Seven- Snow and Favourite Things by Sally Cronin


By special request I am sharing Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story and I hope those of you who have not read his adventures will enjoy…

51uI0kWA+ML._UY250_Last time  we had the sadness of new kittens who were not with us very long and it is now time to share some happiness with Sam’s favourite things…

Chapter Seven  – Snow and Favourite Things

Enough depressing talk, time to introduce you to some of my favourite things.The first of course is sausages. A delicacy that was not as forthcoming as frequently as I would have liked, but I would have to say that over my lifetime, this juicy addition to my diet ranked number one on my favourites list.

After sausages comes cheese and the smellier the better. In later years, cheese would feature heavily as part of my repertoire of party tricks; many guests would vie for the opportunity to see me in action.

The next two of these on the list are very cold. The first is ice cream and I got a taste of this when I was about five months old towards the end of my first summer. Sally and David were sitting in the car down at the beach and we had just had a great run and games on the sand. There was an colourful van parked next to the beach and a man was handing things out to a long line of people queuing up. David went off and came back after about ten minutes holding unusually smelling items in each hand. One went to Sally and they both started licking the object and making appreciative noises.

I am normally a very polite person and even back then had very good manners but it did not take long for the smell in my nostrils to send a message to my tongue that if this was very good for them to lick that perhaps I might join in on the experience. I indicated that this was the case by sticking my face as close to Sally’s as I dare and licking my eyebrows. Thankfully she got the message and she took some of the white stuff on the tip of her finger and held it out to me.

I sniffed carefully, for whilst it might have been good enough for them to eat, I still like to illustrate the fact that I have ultimate control over what I deign to put in my mouth.

Demonstration of willpower over, I wrapped my tongue around her finger and was first shocked at the ice coldness, but then my taste buds went into overload as the creamy sweetness filled my mouth. This began a life long love affair with ice-cream, and whilst only indulged infrequently, remains one of my very favourite treats, right behind sausages.

The second cold experience was in my second winter, which had been as wet as ever. Sally used to despair sometimes as she placed yet another pile of wet towels into the washing machine and dryer. It was not only the towels that were needed when I returned from a walk in the rain, but the towels from the back of the car, and those that had to be placed on the sofa to accommodate my damp fur for the rest of the day.

However, one morning was particularly dark and threatening and was also very chilly. I of course had my own fur coat and was largely indifferent to cold weather but even I thought it a bit rash to tackle the beach this particular morning.

Suddenly when we were half way through our usual walk, large white pieces of fluff began falling from the sky. They landed on my nose and made me sneeze and when I used my tongue to remove them, they were cold and reminded my of the feel, if not the taste of ice-cream. Since I had accomplished my essential business of the “fragrant packagel”, it was decided we would return home as more and more of the white stuff was falling and beginning to settle on the sand.

We got back to the car and drove home much slower than normal as even I could tell that the road in front was a completely different colour to normal.

Apart from a quick trip outside into the garden before bed, we all stayed tucked up in the house for the rest of the day. Sally and David did not seem concerned about the strange white stuff falling on our house and garden so I was curious but not frightened by the new experience.

But oh boy, the next day was amazing. The sun was shining and when we opened the front door I was greeted by a thick carpet of white ice-cream with both cars covered from top to bottom with at least six inches of the stuff.

Sally had her rubber boots on and a thick coat and suddenly she and David were laughing and running around in the carpet of white. As usual I had to check this out cautiously and leaving two back legs inside on the mat I stretched out and tested the white stuff first with my nose and then with my tongue. Cold but not immediately dangerous, and if it was safe enough for Sally and David to be running around and throwing lumps of it at each other then it was good enough for me.

I charged out the door and found myself up to my belly in the stuff – I joined in the shrieking and shouting going on and ran around my two owners barking and snapping at the white stuff. I stuck my nose down and ploughed up the long lawn leaving a furrow, then back again before rolling around on my back. Sally and David started piling the snow on top of me until just my head was showing and then ran away – I shook all the snow off me and raced after them and for the next half hour we played like young puppies getting soaked and exhausted in the process.

As the cars were buried we had to walk the lane that day and for me it was as if we had entered a strange wonderland where nothing looked familiar – it was exciting and one of those days that stays in your memory all your life.

While we are on the subject of snow, it brings to mind another favourite, but this is a time not an object, Christmas. Now I suspect that you are probably thinking that this time of year was my favourite because of all the food that was on offer as part of the seasonal celebrations. Not so. Actually, I loved the cards and the presents best.

Our mail in Ireland was left at the end of the drive in a post box attached to the gate so I never had the luxury of attacking a postman or grabbing the mail as it came through the front door. I would wait until Sally or David arrived home from work and emptied the box as they opened the gate. Even as a puppy I had developed a little party trick that involved ripping apart any paper that happened to fall or be lying on the floor. To be clear this did not always go down well with my owners, particularly if the paper was on the floor of the office and had only temporarily been situated on the carpet for storage purposes. There were a number of occasions when I heard Sally and David using words that were not part of my normal vocabulary when finding a particular pile of paper in shreds.

However, once I learnt that there were certain no go areas, they both indulged my little foible by allowing me to gently remove the envelope from a piece of mail when they brought it into the house and provide the highly valuable security measure of shredding it to pieces therefore removing all traces of the address. As head of security this of course fell into my role specification and it also helped if there was a little advance on payment at the end of the job in hand.

Anyway, at Christmas the amount of post escalated and not only did this provide countless minutes of my time involved in the security aspect but it also gave me some wonderful sniffing experiences. Sally and David had lived all over the World and some of the hands and places the cards had been through gave them a very exotic aroma.

The excitement did not stop with the Christmas cards because there was the tree. A large one that was placed in the bow window and decorated with all sorts of sparkling bits and pieces. The biggest draw for me however, was that over the two or three weeks leading up to the special day, parcels, some of which were also very aromatic, appeared beneath the tree covered in lovely coloured paper, just ripe for ripping.

For security reasons my owners’ many gifts to me were not put under the tree until the morning of Christmas Day as they felt the tantalising smell of a dried pig’s ear or smoked ham bone might have been far too much for me to resist.

I can smell them from here – pig’s ears in the blue wrapping paper.

Bliss, not only did I get to rip the paper off my own presents but my owners very graciously let me rip the paper of theirs. I would lie, in heaven, as I became surrounded by a mound of shredded, brightly coloured paper and my job done I could then place my new bone between my front paws and begin my own celebrations.

This leads me onto some very special male bonding with David. Bones are very special to dogs and are very rarely shared with anyone else, even special pack members. But there is a slight problem however that occurs when you are halfway through eating said bone. It is difficult to hold between one’s own paws and still get a good grip with one’s teeth.

When I was still a young dog, David lay down one day beside me and held the bone for me, between my front paws, upright and exposed for further chewing. I took advantage of the kind offer and this simple action became one of those pleasures that no day would be complete without. I have spent many happy hours lying on the floor with David and occasionally if I was desperate with Sally beside me holding my bone for me to enjoy to the full.

I sometimes needed to remind them of their duty by standing in front of them, half eaten bone in mouth and an encouraging look in my eye but usually they volunteered and took pleasure from it too.

There were many things in my life that made my favourites list but it would be a very long book if I told you about them all. However, there is one favourite thing that I embraced from the moment I entered my new home until today. Where I bonded with David during the bone ceremony, I bonded with Sally in a different way.

That is the “love”. When I was very small, Sally would lie on the floor with me and I would curl up into her like a spoon with my head on her arm and go to sleep much as I had with my own mother before we were parted. I think that Sally instinctively knew that I would miss many things about my life with my mother and sisters and one of those would be the feeling of safety and warmth that comes when you have a full tummy and are sleepy.

At first she would lie down and pull me gently into her and stroke me until I dropped off to sleep but after a few weeks it became a daily ritual to have a “love in” as she called it. Even though I am now a very large and old dog and Sally’s knees are not as good as they used to be, there are still times that she will lie on the floor and lay down beside her with her arm around me and it takes me back to those early days. It is those times when I feel the most contented, safe and loved and if I get a massage down my back and shoulders at the same time I am in heaven.

Of course boys have a different way of expressing the love and David and I spent many happy hours rolling around on the floor in play fights and sharing my marrow bones but we also had our quiet times and I like nothing better when David would rest his head on my back while I napped contentedly.

Thank you for joining our ‘love in’ today and hope you will join us next time.

 

©sallycronin Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story 2009

About the authors

Sally Cronin waited until she began working for herself, and had the time to commit to the welfare of a dog. before she fulfilled a dream of having another Lassie Collie. From the moment that Sam came home at 8 weeks old they were inseparable, and travelled thousands of miles together and with her husband David, exploring Ireland, Wales, England and Europe. Finally they all ended up in a large house up a mountain to the north of Madrid.

Sam could charm the birds out of the trees and assumed that every human that he met was more interested in him than his humans that were tagging along. He developed a vocabulary and non-verbal clues as to his needs, cheese and sausages being the main ones.

They collaborated on this book, with Sam dictating his recollections and Sally correcting some of his more flamboyant claims pertaining to his adventures.

You can find out more about Sally’s books and their reviews: Sally’s Books and Recent Reviews

I hope you have enjoyed this chapter and will join us again next Sunday.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine- Weekly Round Up – September 6th – 12th 2020 – Classic WordPress editor – Music, Books, Reviews, Health, Stories and Funnies


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

I hope all of you are well despite the increase of infections in many of our countries. With two more countries in Europe being removed from the air bridge scheme it is becoming a gamble taking that long awaited holiday.

This week we should have been basking in the sunshine by the pool of our selected villa in Malta. Back in June we decided to lose our deposit and cancel the trip, thankfully no flights booked, as my two older sisters were not keen on the travel aspect and even then there was the threat of 14 day quarantine there and also back in Ireland and the UK.

As it turns out, whilst in June there were relatively few cases in Malta, with the arrival of their summer visitors this is not the case now.

Yesterday I shared a brilliant funny from Biff Sock Pow which resulted in quite a few comments on the subject. Another ‘fan’ of the block editor  Beetley Pete (Johnson) had shared it and started this particular chain of events….

WordPress Block Editor and the Classic Editor

Like many I was under the impression that the Classic Editor would be fully supported at least until the end of 2022. And Carol Balawyder sent a link through that confirms that and it was only updated a month ago: WordPress.Org – Plugins – Classic Editor

For the last couple of months I have been accessing the classic editor via the WPAdmin and as of today still able to do that. However, I have lost one of the functions that I used nearly everyday for my 6pm. post which was to ‘Press’ a post from another blogger. Being able to schedule a reblog for a specific time was great and it meant it was much easier to share the work of others. Now when I try to ‘press’ a post it forces the block editor and there is no other option. So I will set my alarm to remind me to reblog posts I want to share.

Anyway, hopefully the ability to access the original classic editor by clicking on WPAdmin will continue as promised until the end of 2022 when I will be nearly 70 and probably after 10 years of blogging might consider my options.

I am not against progress but when it impacts the time spent preparing blog posts, loss of functionality I do feel the need to question the point of it. I know that the commercial bloggers who are in it to make money want to create adverts and blocks suit their copy writing abbreviated style of writing. But for longer articles and stories it is not useful. I certainly don’t have the time to spend additional hours putting together an author or book promotion which is the most frequent post on the blog.

I have a couple of links to share that I think you might find interesting.. and also a great Youtube tutorial which shows you how to access the classic block editor when you are forced across to the new editor.. It also shows you how to create a post from scratch.. Very useful and will be referring it to myself when I need it.

My thanks to regular visitor and wonderful supporter of my blog and others Michael of Bizmarc for sourcing this useful post from Fraggles Other Place where you can find a post on the Classic Editor and the New Block Editor with links to Youtube tutorials.. One of which I am sharing here which shows you how to access the Classic Editor currently and also when forced into the block editor. Useful to see it virtually with an explanation.

I am currently accessing the Classic Editor via the WPAdmin button and have been doing so for the last few weeks, but very pleased to have this guide for when the inevitable happens. More on that after the video.

I was interested to find out more about the Origins of WordPress and how it makes its money as a non-profit and found a blog post from 2016 that has some interesting elements. I suggest that you read the full post but here are a couple of snippets to get you started.

Before we can answer the question about the ownership of WordPress, it’s important that you understand which WordPress you are talking about.

The #1 root cause for confusion is that often people don’t know that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two fundamentally different products with different owners.

WordPress.org is the popular content management system (CMS) that you always hear about. This is the real WordPress, and it is 100% free. It is often referred as self-hosted WordPress. When you hear things like you can create any type of website in WordPress with plugins and custom themes, this is the WordPress people are talking about.

WordPress.com is a web hosting service that offers a stripped down version of WordPress to make it easy for you to blog. You don’t get all the WordPress goodies like plugins, custom themes, etc.”

“Who owns WordPress.com

WordPress.com is owned by a privately held company called Automattic.

You have to understand a little bit of history of the open-source WordPress project to understand Automattic’s contributions and the reasons why they get favorable treatment such as the ability to use the WordPress trademark and the coveted WordPress.com domain as part of their paid product.

Automattic was started by the co-founding developer of the open source WordPress software, Matt Mullenweg.

Matt created Automattic in 2005, almost two years after WordPress, with the primary purpose to make WordPress hosting easier and allow people with little technical knowledge to start a blog with WordPress.

I do recommend that you read the full post as it is quite illuminating to see how things have moved on in four years. Origins of WordPress and how it makes its money as a non-profit

Now time for the posts that you might have missed during the week and my thanks to William Price King and special guest this week on the Author Spotlight D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies.

And of course to you for dropping in and commenting and sharing the posts.. I am very grateful..

William Price King – Life and Music of Barbra Streisand Part One – The Early Years

Life Changing Moments – Creating my own Future by D.G. Kaye

Milestones Along the Way – #Waterford #1930s #Tobacco – Smoke Signals by Geoff Cronin

Chapter Six – Sam’s new Babies

Letters from America 1985-1987 – September 1985 – Hawaii Part Two – Molakai Mules, Hanauma Bay, Knitted bathing suits and Tom Selleck?

#Historical – The Last Pilgrim by Noelle Granger.

Past Book Reviews – #Poetry Frank Prem, #Memoir D.G. Kaye

Wedding Anniversary September 11th 1940 and a day of Remembrance

The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Herbal Medicine – Liver Health and Milk Thistle

Why we need Cholesterol in our bodies

#Family New Granddaughter by Miriam Hurdle

TMI Tuesday February 25th, 2020 by Abbie Johnson Taylor

#Travel – Au Revoir or Adieu? by Janet Gogerty

A Reluctant Little Prince by [Jean M Cogdell]

Share your Children’s book reviews – A Reluctant Little Prince by Jean M. Cogdell reviewed by Annabelle Franklin

New #Release and #Reviews #Fishing Dawn Doig, #Tractor Deanie Humphrys Dunne, #Bears Frank Prem

New #Release and #Reviews #Wolves Elizabeth Jade, #Dragons Janice Spina, #Pirates Jann Weeratunga

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Share your Children’s book reviews – #PictureBooks with Jennie Fitzkee

Poetry – Patrice Wilkerson

#Releases #Reviews – #Supernatural #Adventure John W. Howell, #Dystopian Teri Polen, #SciFi Jack Eason

#Paranormal Marcia Meara #Reviews -#Shortstories Jude Lennon, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #WWII Paulette Mahurin

#NewRelease Allan Hudson – #Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #YA Angie Dokos, #Westernhorror Jessica Bakkers

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – September 8th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin Source of Stress and Passionate

September 10th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin -Walking the Dog and Don’t mess with us blondes

 

Thank you for dropping in today and have a lovely weekend.. I hope you will join me again next week.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up -August 30th – September 5th 2020 – #Jazz Geri Allen, Quince and Quesadillas, Life Changing Moments, books, reviews and funnies.


Welcome to the weekly round up with posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord.

Thanks for taking time to drop by and I hope you are having a good weekend. Things are much the same here so nothing new to report. I am however in full writing mode so spending a little less time on social media except for topping and tailing the day.

A warm welcome back to William Price King after his summer break and I am sure you will enjoy his first post in the new season.

Carol Taylor was also here with her A- Z  and this week she has some amazing foods, methods and recipes beginning with the letter ‘Q’.

The first guest in the new Author Spotlight last Sunday was Harmony Kent who shared her remarkable and challenging journey to being the person she is today.

Coming up tomorrow – D.G. Kaye shares how her ingenuity and perseverance landed her a fabulous job that was career and life changing.

I hope that you enjoy the posts from the week and as always thank you for your support that keeps me motivated.. Sally.

William Price King with #Jazz Pianist and Composer Geri Allen

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘Q’ for Quince, Quail, Quenelles and Quesadillas

Author Spotlight – Life Changing Moments – Do or Die by Harmony Kent

Milestones Along the Way – #Waterford 1940s – The Rural Electrification by Geoff Cronin

Chapter Five – Henry’s New Family

Letters from America 1985-1987 – September 1985 – Hawaii Bound – Inflight Entertainment and Mai Tais

#Mystery #Paranormal A Boy Named Rabbit (Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2) by Marcia Meara

#Historical #Mystery #Chicago – A Child Lost by Michelle Cox

Past Book Reviews – #Autobiography Wilbur Smith – #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray

#Poetschoice – #ButterflyCinquain – The Circle of Life by Sally Cronin

Nutrients that work better with others (Part Two) – Iron and Vitamin C and B2

Cholesterol plays a vital role in a number of key functions within the body yet it has been demonized and come under attack for the last twenty years. For the majority of the population, heart disease and coronary heart disease is lifestyle related and can be reversed by making changes to diet and lifestyle.

The Cholesterol Myth – Part One – Statins, Heart Disease, Statistics by Sally Cronin

Herbal Medicine – Hawthorn – Heart Health and Circulation

#Releases #Detectives Janice Spina,#Reviews #Cheetahs Patricia Furstenberg, #Seashore Jude Lennon, #Bees Paul Noel

New Releases, Offers, Reviews – #Mystery Amy M. Reade, #Romance Linda Bradley, #Thriller Iain Kelly

Angela’s Journey #Fundraiser#ServiceDog by Patty Fletcher

#Nostalgia – Shortnin’ Bread Meander by Elizabeth Gauffreau

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Give Credit to the Tulips, the Woods, the Words by Erica/Erika

Pot Luck – Everything stops for #tea by Joy Lennick

Z-Day UK and COVID-19 by Pranav Lal

How #Facebook Changes Work Better for Managing #Groups by Marsha Ingrao

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – September 2nd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin If it seems to good to be true and last wish

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines –September 3rd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – Host Sally Cronin – A Gynecologist quits medicine and old age!

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed catching up with the posts.. and that you will join me again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 16th -22nd August – Getting Reviews, Music, Food, Health, Books, and Humour


Welcome to the round up of posts on Smorgasbord that you might have missed this week.

I hope all is well with you, I am sure that many of you in the UK and Ireland have been experiencing the benefits of Storm Ellen who seems like a very bad tempered individual. The wind has dropped marginally compared to the last four days and one benefit of our unpredictable weather for the last three weeks is that I have not had to water the pots once..

There are worst things however than too much water and I hope that the current California bush fires are soon brought under control. It is devastating the area and over 770,000 acres have already been destroyed. With everything else happening on top of Covid 19, it is another blow to the health and safety of millions.

Book reviews and other marketing observations.

I continue to make some tweaks to both the main Cafe and Bookstore and the new Children’s Cafe and one of the prime objectives is to increase reviews for the books on the shelves.

I spend a lot of hours a week checking the main sites of Amazon US and UK and Goodreads to find recent reviews for books.. and this usually includes a visit to the author’s Twitter account to check if they have shared news of a new review. I have a few observations to share with you.

I will start with Twitter

A great many authors who are on Twitter are not taking advantage of their Pinned Tweet to promote their books along with an Amazon link to buy them. The pinned tweet allows you to expand your profile and market either your books or blog, and it offers anyone visiting your Twitter account to check you out, something to retweet.

For example, if you have just 10 visitors to your account per day and they have an average of 10,000 followers, your book or books when retweeted is reaching 100,000 people. Of course not everyone of those 100,000 is going to pay attention to the tweet but 100 might and be interested enough to follow you and to head over to Amazon to check your books out.

Also is someone shares your pinned tweet it is a good idea to reciprocate, and usually they are good people to follow.

Amazon Author Pages

Amazon will create an author account on alternate country sites but they don’t fill in all the details. New authors particularly need to make sure they are adding their bios and photos to the account. Also new books need to be captured and added to the author pages as that is not always automatic either.

Goodreads

Although owned by Amazon, Goodreads does offer a place where all your reviews globally can be added by readers irrespective of how they came by the book… bought, a gift, borrowed from a library. I notice that a number of author’s have their books listed but do not have an author page, or do not have all their books listed.

Writing reviews

One of the very interesting observations is that those who review other people’s books receive more reviews themselves. One of the reasons for that is the writing community we belong to across blogging and social media. It is not just tit for tat reviewing, but an appreciation that an author takes the time to support and promote other authors within the community and encourages people to explore their own books and reviews. A review is also an opportunity to showcase your writing skills, even if it is short and to the point.

In the new series for the Children’s Cafe that you will find below, I am asking you to send me the link for any children’s book you have reviewed on your blog or posted to Amazon or Goodreads.. I will promote both the author of the book and also you in the post. I hope this will encourage more reviews for these books that are so important in igniting the imagination of children.

Using a blog to share excerpts from past books.

Whilst there are some restrictions on sharing all of a book, there is no issue usually with sharing a decent size excerpt of books on your blog with one of the top reviews. This is particularly relevant for older books and the first books in a series. Not only does it give a reader an opportunity to see you in action but promotes the later books in the series too.

Even though I serialise all my older books I still find that readers buy the books if they don’t want to wait 16 weeks or so to read it all, and they also very kindly review on Goodreads which is not dependent on the book being bought.

It is important to share on your social media of course so that people can head over to read it.

Responding to comments.

I know I am banging that drum again, but there are some very good reasons why interacting with someone who has taken the time and trouble to comment on a book promotion does result in sales and in reviews.

  1. People buy people first…if they have made a connection with you they are more likely to head over to look at your other books.
  2. It has an accumulative effect and over a number of promotions I see the level of comments increasing. This does not just apply to the single author promotions but to the multiple author updates or special features. And it does help the other authors in the promotion when it is shared as it reaches a much wider audience.

I have created a Pdf of my Book Marketing series which covers all of the above and also a step by step guide to setting up your blog to make it easier for readers to buy your books and review them.. just email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com if you would like a copy.

Back to the week in hand.Here are some posts from the contributors to the blog that you I can recommend you reading.

D.G Kaye shares the life, love and work of Mexican artist Frido Kahlo who was born before her time. A tumultuous life and marriage and an extraordinary talent..Love and Life of Mexican Artist Frido Kahlo

Carol Taylor looks at food labelling and also contaminants that have resulted in mass recalls in recent months. Food Labelling and Contaminants by Carol Taylor

Now time for posts on Smorgasbord this week.

William Price King – Josh Groban Part Five

A – Z of Food ‘P’ for Pancakes, Paella, Pomelo, Pate, Pease Pudding and A Poke Bowl.

Chapter Three – My First Read Friend

The Colour of Life – The Rosary 1955 by Geoff Cronin

August 1985 100 degrees, Key Lime Pie and Adverts

Herbal Medicine – Horse Chestnut (Aesculus) -Circulatory System

#Western #Romance – Silverhills by Sandra Cox

#1920s #Familysaga – Telling Sonny by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Book Reviews – #FamilySaga Claire Fullerton, #Fantasy Teagan Riordain Geneviene.

Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Tanka Challenge #Photoprompt– #HaikuSequence – Tracks

Who's That in the Cat Pajamas? (The Dolcey Series Book 1) by [Sojourner McConnell, Ellie Barrett]

An opportunity to showcase Children’s book reviews that you have written for other authors

New Author on the Shelves -Age Group 8-10 – Saving Hascal’s Horrors by Laura Smith –

#Reviews -#Bears #Poetry Frank Prem, #Dogs #South Africa Patricia Furstenberg

#Epicfantasy HMS Lanternfish (The Lanternfish Series Book 2) by C.S. Boyack

#Westernhorror – Guns of Perdition – The Armageddon Showdown Book 1 by Jessica Bakkers

#Paranormal Roberta Eaton Cheadle, #Thriller Suzanne Burke, #Contemporary #Southern Claire Fullerton

#Fantasy #Thriller C.S. Boyack, #1920s Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, #Dystopian Teri Polen

#Humour Mae Clair, #Adventure Audrey Driscoll, #Historical Apple Gidley

My Favourite Cookbooks by Darlene Foster

Twelve Questions #Blogshare by D.G. Kaye

-Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SOCS – John W. Howell

Come Join Us at the All-New Rave Reviews Book Club—#RRBC Best Book Club on the Planet by Bette A. Stevens

Meet Margie and Tony by Pete Springer

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines –August 18th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin If it seems to good to be true and last wish

August 20th 2020 – Archive Special – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – An Old Rancher’s Advice and Wayward Parrots

Host Sally Cronin – Funeral wishes, 2 second dogs and Benny’s dilemma

Thank you very much for dropping in today and also for the great support you give. I hope you will join me again next week.. thanks Sally.