Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Letters from America 1985-1987 – August 1985 – Hawaiian Luau and Trash Can Punch by Sally Cronin


Welcome to the next post in the series Letters from America 1985 -1987 that I wrote home to my parents in the UK. My father kept them all in a folder and on his death they came back to me with a note to publish them.

It is now the first week in August 1985 and we now had gathered a group of like-minded friends (tequila and shrimp) around us. The long awaited Hawaiian Luau arrived.

Dear M & D.

Just recovering from our Hawaiian Luau on Saturday. We spent last week making garlands and decorations, and after a dreadful thunderstorm on Friday night, Saturday dawned hot and clear. We started putting up the decorations at 10 am. and it looked fantastic. The party started at 3pm and we had all sorts of silly games. (I was in charge!)

I had hard-boiled 30 eggs, and marked one with a red spot before throwing them all in the pool. It was called pearl diving! The person who found the egg with the red spot won a prize. We also had a raft race with three to a lilo. As I mentioned last week we have been practicing for weeks and it was clearly a waste of time! However, that was hilarious and got us into the party spirit.

Talking of spirits, David and I were introduced to Trash Can Punch which certainly helped the party get started. We all had cold beers and soft drinks, but a large black plastic waste bin was bought (and scrubbed, thankfully not used for waste before) and filled with ice and chopped fruit. We were all invited to bring our favourite spirit and empty the bottle into the can.

As you can imagine, this meant that there was at least 20 bottles of neat vodka (clearly popular) Tequila, Whisky and a couple of unmarked bottles that we think were moonshine! It was then topped up with fresh fruit juice and some water (not much). We then helped ourselves throughout the day.

It is a surprise we all survived. I stopped after a couple as did David and moved onto Coors Light beer since we definitely did not have the head or stomach for it. I did however make a tactical error when I helped myself to a couple of pieces of orange from the fruit that was left at the end of the afternoon. After a few hours soaking in all that booze, in the hot sun, it was very intoxicating indeed.

We did keep active and by 6pm the water volley ball net was up and we played for the next four hours straight.. I am called ‘Sledgehammer’ as I play at the net and being tall can thump the ball over. All that netball paying off. At 10pm we retired to our place and ended up playing poker until 2am. Don’t worry we will dial things back a bit when you come to see us and be in bed by midnight!

Last night our friends from Argentina, Bill and Silvia came over for supper, lovely couple and you will enjoy meeting them.

Our trip to Hawaii has been confirmed for September 3rd so I am aiming to lose a few pounds to that I can put it all back again! By the time we get back it will only be about 6 weeks to your visit.

David is off to Kansas tomorrow until Thursday morning. It is almost his second home and I think our holiday will do him good as he will be in one place for 14 days.

The apartment owners are building security gates and a fence around the property. I hope it won’t be too like Colditz. Also they are building a hot tub in front of our apartment. They seat about four people and I have heard quite a few tales about the goings on to be expected. I shall be able to sell tickets to people who want to use my balcony for front row seats!

Looking forward to seeing you soon.. all our love Sally and David X

©Sally Cronin 2020

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you enjoyed our latest escapade. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 19th -26th July -Josh Groban, Naan Bread, Fairy Tales, Waterford, Poetry, Reviews and Funnies


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

Like most of you focus on being creative has been a little hit and miss during the last few months, and I am thankful for the blog to keep me busy and in contact with you all. I have been working on my next book in my head and finally have got my thoughts together and have picked up where I left off in March. Hopefully you will see something coherent in the autumn! It is another collection of syllabic poetry and a collection of 24 + short stories based on two central themes… I plan to really get the writing finished in August (unless summer decides to return and I spend too much time in the garden!)

It is our 40th anniversary in November and we cancelled our planned trip with my two sisters in September to Malta.. old stomping grounds for both of them who were 16 and 17 when we lived there and it was going to be a step back in time for us all. November is the start of the usual flu season and I have an inkling that the 14 day quarantines for visitors is likely to be in place again. So are planned trip to the UK to see my sisters is also at risk. It will make it two years since we have had a family get together but it is better to be safe than sorry.

This now has presented us with an opportunity to get creative with our own celebrations as the occasion deserves to be marked in style…as long as the two of us are there…it will be special.

Just a reminder of the opportunities to promote your books…

  1. If you have a new book due out in August then please let me know when available for pre-order or released so I can do a new book on the shelves promotion.
  2. If you are not already in the Cafe and Bookstore you can find out how to join the other 150 authors: Free book marketing in the Cafe and Bookstore.
  3. The new series of Posts from Your Archives open to all bloggers where I pop in to your blog and select two posts to share along with your books and links: #NewSeries August 2020- Pot Luck and Do You Trust Me??
  4. If you are a children’s author you will find a new feature from Monday where your books will not only be on the shelves of the main Cafe and Bookstore but any books for ages up to 12 years old, will also be in the new Children’s Cafe and Bookstore.. A post is going out on Monday that gives the details to existing authors in the Cafe and to new ones.
  5. The new author spotlight series for September has a theme that I hope you will find interesting – Life Changing Moments.. and the promotional post is on July 30th.

As always I am very grateful to the contributors who share their expertise and creativity each week and also to you for all the support that you offer…you have no idea how that has helped me stay positive during the last few months. 💐 😍

Here are this week’s posts…..

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban Part Three

‘N’ is for Nicoise, Nori, Nuts, Noodles, Nettles and Naan Bread.

#Spain – Tales from The Garden -Chapter Eleven – The Last Summer Ball and the Winter Fairy – Part Two

The Colour of Life -Cattle Dealing and The Ferguson Tractor 1948 by Geoff Cronin

#Courtown, Wexford – Sea Birds Seek Shelter and Photos

July 4th 1985 Celebrations, Mechanical Bulls and Tennis

Welcome to a new series where I will be sharing book reviews I have posted in the last few years. I would like to take the opportunity to showcase books that I have enjoyed and their authors and if you have not read the books, I hope it will encourage you to check them out.

#Afghanistan Mary Smith, #Historical Andrew Joyce

Chesebro’s weekly Tanka Challenge -#Butterfly Cinquain – Washed Up

The importance of a healthy gut (part three) #Candida by Sally Cronin

Herbal Medicine – Peppermint – fresh breath, digestion and anti-bacterial

#History – The Story of the Huguenots: A Unique Legacy by Joyce Hampton

The Places We Haunt: Short Story Collection by Cecilia Kennedy

#Mystery – Walking Into Trouble by Geoff Le Pard

#Pre-Order -Children’s – A Beechworth Bakery Bears e-Book (The Beechworth Bakery Bears 1) by Frank Prem

#Mystery Noelle Granger, ##DystopianSciFi Terry Tyler, #Mystery Anne R. Allen

#Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #FamilySaga Judith Barrow, #Fantasy, #Paranormal C.S. Boyack

#Childrens Victoria Zigler, #Fantasy D.Wallace Peach, #Fantasy Fiona Tarr, #Contemporary M.C.V. Egan

#Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Children’s Toni Pike, #Humour J. E. Pinto

#Memoir Joy Lennick, #WWII Paulette Mahurin, #Mystery J.A. Newman

#Thriller Richard W. Wise, #Fantasy Sue Vincent and Stuart France, #Lemons Valentina Cirasola

#Writing Jane Sturgeon, #Poetry Leon Stevens, #Coming of age Bette A. Stevens

Hugh W. Roberts

#Shortstories Hugh W. Roberts, #Thriller Gwen M. Plano, #FamilyDrama Margaret Lindsay Holton

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 21st 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 23rd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Possible Book Titles and some Grammar funnies Host Sally Cronin

Thank you again for dropping in today and for all your support.. it is much appreciated..

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – 12th – 18th July 2020 – Children’s Book Store, Relationships, Italian Cookery, Book Reviews, Health, Humour and Music


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

I hope you are all doing well and that your families are safe and well. There are mixed messages as always about what we can and cannot do and clearly there are still some hot spots around our countries and the world where life continues to be very difficult.

I thought I would give you a hint of the new promotions that are coming up in the next couple of months and to remind you of those running at the moment.

I am creating a spin off Cafe and Bookstore for Children’s books and Early Teens… As Robbie Cheadle pointed out in a comment this week, it is very difficult to market children’s books, especially at the moment with virtual launches. Also because many children’s books tend to be print only. The authors with books suitable up to 12 years old will have separate entries for their children’s books in this new Cafe but will still retain their entries in the main bookstore with other books they may have.

There will be new author and book promotions, separate children’s cafe updates and special promotions at certain times of the year such as Christmas.

I really would like your help once it is set up to spread the word to children’s authors who might like to have a promotion for their books and be showcased in the new cafe.  I have a post going out about it on the 27th of July.

I am putting the entries together in the next week and will share the link in the promotional post. If I have missed any books of yours that are suitable for children up to 12 years old you can let me know at that point.

I have had a great response to the post and August is now fully booked but if you would like to participate in September then just let me know. An ideal opportunity to promote your blog posts and I will also top and tail with any book details, author bio and links. Full details are in the post.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries August 2020- Pot Luck and Do You Trust Me??

Coming in September – the return of the Sunday Author Interview… with a new theme and questions… promotional post on July 30th.

As always I am very grateful for the time and effort that the contributors to the blog put in to produce such amazing posts, and to you for dropping in. If you have time to leave a comment it is always appreciated and it also is a way to connect to others who pass through the blog. This community has never been more important as it is today, and the stronger it is, the stronger we are as individuals.

Calling All Fixers

Are you that person who has a dire need to fix the people you care about? Are you that person who thinks nobody can fix things like you can? Let me tell you, I was one of those people, and I learned that there are definite limitations when it comes to thinking we can repair others—despite how much our hearts truly wish we could.

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – July 2020 – Calling All Fixers!

Smorgasbord Summer Music Festival with hosts William Price King and Sally Cronin – Headliners Aretha Franklin, Bruce Springsteen and Chris de Burgh

#Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Milanesa style thin cut beef (Cotoletta alla milanese)

Tales from the Garden – Chapter Ten – The Last Summer Ball and the Winter Fairy – Part One

The Colour of Life – The Nuns At The Glue Pot 1946 by Geoff Cronin

#Haiku #Wexford #Ireland -Rescued from the Deep

Letters from America 1985-1987 – July 1985 – A new baby arrives and I meet Debbie around the pool

#Anthology – This is Lockdown – Covid 19 Diaries – Flash Fiction – Poetry M.J. Mallon and Other Authors

Colleen Chesebro’s weekly Tanka Challenge -#Butterfly Cinquain – Wise Women

Project 101 – Resilience – The importance of a healthy gut (part two) #Candida

thyme

Herbal Medicine – Make Thyme in your life for this versatile herb for health and cooking.

There is little doubt that this last three months of lock down has impacted all our lives. Marjorie Mallon has compiled an anthology that shares her own diary of events over that period about the pandemic and life as a family in lock down.. and the thoughts and poetry of others within the blogging community including myself.

Special Feature – #Anthology – This is Lockdown – Covid 19 Diaries – Flash Fiction – Poetry M.J. Mallon and Other Authors

#Historical #Fantasy – Reign of Retribution (The Eternal Realm Book 3) by Fiona Tarr

#Fantasy – Sea Dragons: Wisp II by Adele Marie Park

#Thriller John W. Howell, #Murder Mystery Barbara Silkstone, #Mystery Stevie Turner

#Familydrama James J. Cudney, #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray, #Children’s Toni Pike

#Poetry M.J. Mallon, #Contemporary Olga Nunez Miret, #Dystopian Teri Polen

#Thriller Allan Hudson, #Poetry Joyce Murphy, #Paranormal #Romance Marcia Meara

#History Barbara Ann Mojica, #Children’s Paul Noel, #Mystery Judy Penz Sheluk

#Romance Ritu Bhathal, #YAMystery Karen Demers Dowdall, #Paranormal S.A. Harris,

#Childrens Deanie Humphrys Dunne, #Dystopian Sandra J. Jackson #NewAdult #Romance Abbie Johnson Taylor

#Writing Denise O’Hagan, #Children Wanda Luthman, #RomanticComedy Jack Lindsey

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 14th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 16th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

The Senior Team pass the Courtroom funnies along.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and during the week… it is much appreciated and I hope you will join me again next week.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – July 5th -11th 2020 – Josh Groban, Mango, Pigeons, Dublin 1944, Books, Health and Laughter


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

It has been a very mixed week as far as the weather is concerned. However, I was in and out more times than a cat, grabbing the odd ten minutes of sunshine here and there. It can change in a second with rain in the back garden and sunshine still in the front. There are a lot worse places to live, particularly during a pandemic as it is easier to avoid 5 million people than it is 65 million. Especially when there is more rural space.

Apart from my daily ins and outs, I also had my first hair appointment this week. I go to a family owned hairdresser and they certainly have gone to a lot of trouble and expense to prepare the salon for clients. I was wearing my own mask, but had my temperature checked once I was allowed in. A young assistant was kept busy disinfecting chairs, basins and stations between customers, and we all wore disposable gowns and the same with the towels. Thank goodness that despite the rule about no tea or coffee, and no magazines, we could still chat and it was great to catch up with my stylist Sam and her experiences over the last four months.

It feels great to have some shape back into my hair and if I can bring myself to put on some makeup on the next sunny day, I might get a new profile photo done… don’t hold your breath on either event …!

Now to the week….

I am very aware that I don’t get around to as many blogs as I would like on a daily basis and as I plan to get down to finishing the new book I am writing in August.. I thought it would be a good time to get the new Posts from Your Archives up and running. With the added bonus that I get to browse your blog archives from the last six months and catch up on all your great posts.

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 900 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history and the most recent series was on any aspect about family.

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

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts.

So what is different about this series?

  • This time, rather than you send me two links to posts from your blog archives, all I need you to do is give me permission to dive in myself and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord.
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2020.
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually.. thank you.

To show how your post will look when featured… please head over to the post with an example from the Friends and Family archive posts earlier in the year. Jacquie Biggar with the story of her grandson and his brave approach to his Type I diabetes.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives -#NewSeries August 2020- Pot Luck and Do You Trust Me??

William Price King is on his summer break which is a very busy time and his is offline, but I will be sharing some previous artists and every other week a Summer Music Festival… no mud, or portaloos…just good music. Some from William’s column and some from my own playlists. William sends his best wishes and apologises for not being able to respond to your comments.

This week Carol Taylor cooks up a storm as she showcases the letter ‘M’ in food and culinary terms…and there are plenty of books on show to overload your TBR’s

I am in the last three weeks of the series Meet the Authors in the Cafe and Bookstore and hopefully all your details will then be up to date… if you are in the cafe and have not yet been featured.. don’t worry everyone will be included..

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban – Part Two

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘M’ is for Mayonnaise, Mango, Mousse, Morels, Khao Neow Manuang and Marengo

Chapter Nine – The Boy, his Dog and a Fairy Princess

Geoff leaves Waterford for the bright lights of Dublin and the adventures of being a boarder with other lads of the infamous Mrs Keller….

The Colour of Life The Digs In Dublin 1944

A Haiku and some examples of my late father-in-law’s wonderful wood carving.

#Ireland Tree Stumps by Sally Cronin

Letters from America 1985-1987 – June 1985 – Photos from Disney Adventure, Alone in America, Television Fitness Classes

Project 101 – Resilience – The importance of a healthy gut (part one)

dandelion

The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – Herbal Medicine -Dandelion

A Year in the Life of Leah Brand: A #Psychological Thriller by Lucinda E. Clarke

Colleen Chesebro’s weekly Tanka Challenge -#DoubleEtheree – The Visitor

#Fantasy – Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer (Book 1) by Paul Andruss

#DarkHumour Someday Everything Will All Make Sense by Carol LaHines

#Dystopian – Acts of Convenience by Alex Craigie

#Fantasy – Soul Swallowers (The Shattered Sea Book 1) by D.Wallace Peach

#YAParanormalFantasy, Heather Kindt, #HistoricalMystery Amy M. Reade, #Children’s Janice Spina

#Contemporary Olga Nunez Miret, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Poetry Balroop Singh

#Romance Linda Bradley, #Fantasy Audrey Driscoll, #YAAdventure Darlene Foster.

#Shortstories Cathy Cade, #Historical Noelle Granger, #SouthernSaga Claire Fullerton

#YAFantasy Kevin Cooper, #Mystery Mary Anne Edwards, #Historical Apple Gidley

#Memoir Chuck Jackson, #Memoir Brigid Gallagher, #ShortStories Anne Goodwin

#1920s Elizabeth Gauffreau, #History Paul Edmondson, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 7th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 9th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Irish Weather The Musical with International guests presented by I.V.E Mildew… AKA Herself.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – June 28th – July 4th 2020 – Music Festival, Book Covers, Fairy Stories, Poetry, Book Reviews and Author Promotions


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

Thanks very much for joining me today and I hope that everyone is still staying safe as the world emerges in a more unrestrained way… Today in the UK is going to be interesting, as though the British to do not officially celebrate July 4th, it is a great excuse to have a party. With the pubs opening along with hairdressers and unessential shops, it is going to make for an opportunity for much mingling, however many social distancing measures are in place.

The infection is still in the community and even here in Ireland people are still wearing masks when shopping and in close proximity to others. Despite my love of adventure… I will be taking things slowly for the next few weeks.

In the meantime life goes on and the weeks seem to fly by as they always have. The Irish weather this week has been at its variable best with autumnal high and cold winds and plenty of rain.  Apparently sunny tomorrow, so if you don’t see me around the usually haunts you will know where to find me….in the garden.

The Meet the Authors series is still running for another two weeks at least as I feature the last 30 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore with their bios and links. When that is completed I will be looking at other options to help promote the books and will let you know about them in due course.

Just a some reminders about the promotions for the Cafe and Bookstore

Their purpose is to provide a consistent and free book marketing service for all authors in the Cafe, to my readers on the blog and to my social media networks.

They work better if the authors featured share on one or more of their own social media, particularly when they are multi-author promotions. I do this because I love to promote the hard work that goes into not just writing a book but the editing, cover design and creativity. However, it does make it easier and more worthwhile to be honest, if authors participate.

The one critical action that I ask is that comments are responded to individually as it does help to encourage readers to buy books. To that end I have made things as simple as possible. I only approve the first comment made by a visitor to the blog and after that there are no filters.

Later in the week a post about the new series of Posts from your Archives starting in August. So far in the last two and a half years there have been 1100 posts featured in this ongoing series…all with an opportunity to showcase books and other creative work. Looking forward to taking that figure up to 1500 in the rest of the year… details on Friday.

On with the shows from the week…

William Price King is off for the summer but we have decided to put on a Summer Music Festival with a mixture of music from William’s previous series and some tracks from my own playlists..

Smorgasbord Summer Music Festival with hosts William Price King and Sally Cronin – Headliners Johnny Mathis, Led Zeppelin and the Beach Boys

The importance of a book cover by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Tales from the Garden Chapter Eight -The Goose and the Lost Boy

#Memoir #Waterford #Ireland #History – The Colour of Life – Work on a Timber Gang – 1942 by Geoff Cronin

#Eagles – Regal Hunter by Sally Cronin – Image by Tofino Photography

Letters from America 1985-1987 – June 1985 – Thunderstorms Texas style, Pool Antics and Birth Coach on Standby

© 2020 Frank J. Tassone

Chesebro’s weekly Tanka Challenge – #Haibun – The Long Drop by Sally Cronin

#Poetry – Rescue and Redemption Poetry inspired by the T. S. Eliot poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ (A Love Poetry Trilogy Book 3) by Frank Prem

Food Therapy – Watercress – More Iron than Spinach

Vitamin D Deficiency Part One

Vitamin D Deficiency Part Two – Getting Sufficient

#Fantasy The Blessing of Krozem: A Tale of Ziraf’s World by Lorinda J. Taylor

-#Horses Jan Sikes, #Comingofage Bette A. Stevens, #Romance Ritu Bhathal

#Historical Noelle Granger, #Shortstories Karen Ingalls, #Thriller Daniel Kemp

#Memoir Pete Springer, #History Paul Edmondson #Thriller Mary Anne Edwards

#Mystery #Romance Alex Craigie, #Children Dawn Doig, #Humour Linda G. Hill

#Fantasy Deborah Jay, #ParanormalRomance A.J. Alexander, #Historical Ruth Larrea

#Humour Andrew Joyce, #Horror #Fantasy Julia Benally, #Thriller Iain Kelly

#Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman, #Crime Sue Coletta, #Humour Geoff Le Pard

#Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Thriller Jacquie Biggar, #YARomance Angie Dokos

#Familysaga – The Memory by Judith Barrow

#1920s – Telling Sonny by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – June 30th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – July 2nd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – July 3rd 2020- Another Open Mic Night with author Daniel Kemp

Thank you for dropping in today and during the week to leave comments and to share.. it really is much appreciated.. I hope you will join me again next week..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up 21st -27th June 2020 – Josh Groban, Lemon Meringue Pie, #Ireland, Book Reviews, Authors and Humour


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

I hope you are all well as we peel back the layers of re-entry into the world again. Some are getting on better than others, and I can understand why the younger generation wants to dive back into the deep end of the pool.. but I think I will potter around in the shallows for a little while longer.

I am delighted that my hairdresser has finished the re-opening preparations, and they rang without prompting to ask if I needed an appointment.. David has done a great job with his clippers at the back, but the front that I have attended to, looks a little ragged around the edges. You can’t do it when wearing glasses very easily so took those off… not a good move… so it was a bit hit and miss with the scissors and I think I might have accidentally removed half an eyebrow too!.

Anyway…July 7th I will have it all cut back and aim for a quick visit every six weeks… with no magazines, a cup of coffee and no chit chat behind our masks it will not be quite the relaxing treat it used to be. It will be a while before the longer appointments for colour, highlights and extensions are reinstated but thankfully I use a silver rinse once a week at home and I am done…

The weather has been a mixture of very hot days, thundery nights, and now rain for the next five days. At least the lawn and the pot plants appreciate it. I have loved sitting outside with books and music and I am hoping that after this few days summer will return… one can only hope.

In the last couple of weeks I have been a guest on some friend’s blogs and if you have time to pop over and read and share that would be amazing.

Last week I was the guest of Marjorie Mallon as part of her series on poetry and thoughts of writers in isolation. She kindly share a recent poem of mine and my views on our lives going forward, particularly those of the younger children, those waiting for treatment for life threatening diseases and the elderly. Marje will be releasing an anthology of her own stories and poetry as well as her guests thoughts on the pandemic soon.

Photo by Jordan Benton from Pexels

Sally Cronin: Lockdown #Poetry #Thoughts #Isolation #Writers

This week I was the guest of author Darlene Foster whose successful Amanda travel series has introduced children around the world to the joys of discovering new countries and cultures. I shared my experience as a ten year old, of travelling to South Africa and some of the adventures during our two year stay in Cape Town.

Special Guest, Sally Cronin: Travels as a Child

Time to get on with the posts from the week and my thanks to William Price King, Carol Taylor and Debby Gies for their contributions which are always a delight to share and clearly enjoyed. Also thanks to you for dropping by, commenting and sharing; it is much appreciated.

The Music Column with William Price King – Josh Groban – Part One

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘L’ is for Lamb, Lavender, Lemon/ Lime Meringue Pie, Liquorice and Liver…

James the Landlord 1939

#Thriller – Five Stars – The Reckoning Squad by S. Burke

#Eagles – The Daredevil by Sally Cronin – Image Tofino Photography

Tales from the Garden Chapter Seven – Little Girl Lost

Chesebro’s weekly Tanka Challenge – #Butterfly Cinquain – Our Legacy

Letters from America 1985-1987 – #Texas weather, Suntans and Trivia Pursuit

#Acidity/Alkalinity pH Balance for Health Part Three and Music Therapy –

Food Therapy – Make the most of Summer – Homemade Fruit Salad and Smoothies

New Author on the Shelves – #RomanticComedy – Cogrill’s Mill by Jack Lindsey

#History – Great Spirit of Yosemite: The Story of Chief Tenaya by Paul Edmondson

#Murder #Mystery – Redlined: A Novel of Boston by Richard W. Wise

#Thriller Mark Bierman, #Mystery #Romance Lizzie Chantree, #Thriller John W. Howell

#Poetry Miriam Hurdle, #Memoir #Humour Andrew Joyce, #Memoir Marian Longenecker Beaman

#Memoir – Twenty Years After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye

#Poetry Frank Prem, #Fantasy Teagan Geneviene, #Humour #Mystery Mae Clair

Meet the Authors – #Mystery Barbara Silkstone, #Mystery Janet Gogerty, #Thriller Eloise De Sousa

#BritishHistory Mike Biles, #Thriller Suzanne Burke, #Doglovers Patty Fletcher

#PsychologicalThriller Lucinda E. Clarke, #Thriller John L. DeBoer, #War #Dogs Patricia Furstenberg

#Scifi #YA Heather Kindt, #Mystery Lizzie Chantree, #Scifi Jack Eason

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – June 23rd 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – June 25th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines Extra – TGI Friday – host Sally Cronin

Thank you so much for dropping by and I hope you have enjoyed your visit..look forward to seeing you again next week…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Letters from America 1985-1987 – #Texas weather, Suntans and Trivia Pursuit by Sally Cronin


Welcome to the next post in the series Letters from America 1985 -1987 that I wrote home to my parents in the UK. My father kept them all in a folder and on his death they came back to me with a note to publish them.

We had returned from our trip to Las Vegas and Los Angeles and were taking things easier in June…

My parents were also doing some gadding about whilst we were in the States.. including a trip to Paris with my sister and her husband. Here they are at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

4th June 1985

Dearest M &D,

Lovely talking to your on Sunday, glad all is well and that your trip was so much fun Mollie. We spent a quiet weekend after our adventures away and we had a few friends over on Sunday night for supper and to play Trivia Pursuit.  It is not a game that was available in the UK but it is great fun to play, if a little competitive. We bought it a couple of weeks ago after we played it at a friend’s apartment and we will you to it when you come over.

As you both enjoy crosswords it should be right up your alley. It has big board divided into 6 segments so looks like a giant pie. Each segment has a pie shape of a different colour representing one of the categories. Science and Nature, Geography, History, Entertainment, Art and Literature and Sports and Leisure. You then throw the dice and move around and over the board depending on how many you throw. If you land on a piece of pie you have to answer a question related to that category.. If you answer correctly you get a small piece of plastic pie of the corresponding colour. If you land on a square on your way to that main segment you have to answer a question identified by the colour of the square to continue.

When you have filled your pie with all the six different pieces you win!  There are a few other wrinkles but the real problem is the categories, as they are nearly all North American in context. Not so bad for Geography, Science and Nature and Art and Literature, but for us Brits the real problems lie in the Sports and Leisure, History and Entertainment. Fine if it is a film question but it is usually about television shows and their stars. We have a basic knowledge of American History, but not the nitty gritty, and don’t get me started on Sports and Leisure as I know diddly squat about baseball, basketball, American football and bowling!

Thankfully there are sufficient British related questions to help us get to the winning post, but unfortunately quite a bit behind our friends, who wait patiently whilst we circle the board a few times trying to get that elusive last piece of pie. I do find that margaritas… (with tequila) do help the mind delve deep into the recesses to unearth long forgotten bits of trivia or come up with inspired guesses. Just something for you to look forward to when you come out later this year.. the Trivia Pursuit.. not the tequila.. unless you would like to try!

David is home this week but away from Monday next week. He is dashing through three states for business meetings and by the time he is finished he will have visited most of the country.

The weather has been hot (95-98 degrees) for the past few days with no sign of rain. There have been some terrible tornadoes in the north, but we have been very lucky here. There has been the occasional hurricane warning with storm systems sweeping up the gulf, but nothing so far. Now we are into June there is a lot more activity by the pool and we are meeting more people. I am still about the only one out there during the day, and although I wear quite a bit of sun cream and a hat, I still get people shouting from the balconies ‘Mad dogs and English Women, go out in the mid-day sun’.  However, I do enjoy my healthy tan again since it is nearly 25 years since we enjoyed so much sunshine in Cape Town. You will notice that I have grown my hair longer… and it is getting gingerised by the Texas sun….

I am glad that you have your visas and anytime between September to end of November and February to May are good months for weather, avoiding the high temperatures and heat or the sharp cold spells. I am starting a scrapbook of all our postcards and photos taken since we arrived, which should keep me out of mischief and provide you with a pictorial guide to our stay. I hope you will hang on to these letters too just in case I forget anything.

We are not planning another trip until July and we are thinking of either going to the Caribbean or Hawaii (exotic ain’t we). We will never be close enough to either destination in the future to visit, and you can get some very good deals, especially using David’s air miles that he has accumulated with all his flights. You can put them towards flights and also certain hotel chains such as Marriott. I am angling for Hawaii as I would love to bump into Magnum P.I. but don’t tell David!

Our love to everyone and swat up on baseball, basketball and American football in the next few months so you can impress our friends at Trivia Pursuit.

love Sally and David.

©Sally Cronin Images 2018

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will join me next week for another of our American adventures.  Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 14th -20th June 2020 – Outsmarting the Crows, D.G. Kaye and Relationships, USA 1985, Books, Authors, Music and Funnies.


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

I thought this week I would share some of the work we have been doing in the garden to brighten up the place. With the garden centres shut until a couple of weeks ago, I was reliant on the local Tesco for early spring plants to bring a little colour into the front of the house. I waited until this week to visit the local garden centre as I knew they would be swamped initially and I went this last Monday and had the place almost to myself. I piled my trolley high and spent two days in glorious sunshine getting all the pots out of storage and planted. The pansies from March and April are still going strong and I feel the place is looking much brighter.  Here is a small snippet.

 

We have also had an ongoing challenge with rooks from the surrounding woods who believe that the seed we put out for the birds are for them alone. They have destroyed seed holders, knocked over the bird feeder tree and mobbed the garden. I don’t begrudge any bird food at this time of year when they all have young but the sparrows, tits and other smaller birds were being scared off. So I handed the problem over to David, who has spent the last couple of weeks in the planning and development stage.  He has not adapted his design so only the smaller birds up to blackbird and starling size can get to the feed and the rooks have taken to sitting on the telephone wire opposite cackling amonst themselves and plotting their next point of attack.

It is quite entertaining to see them come down to walk around the perimeter, testing the coat hanger wire for any weakness, and doing balletic movements to reach in as far as they can. They get the odd bit of seed but their days of gorging are over. (She says with a fair bit of confidence) There is also a metre square bird bath which is in full use by all the birds and it is a wonderful place to sit and watch the entertainment.

Empaths and Spiritual Communication through Energy

The Colour of Life – The Shop and Bakery – Family 1840s -1940s by Geoff Cronin

Tales from the Garden Chapter Six – Trouble in Paradise – Part Two

Letters from America 1985-1987 – May 1985 – Las Vegas, Hoover Dam and Los Angeles

The Cruel Romance: A Novel of Love and War by Marina Osipova

Songs from the Movies – The Windmills of Your Mind, The Thomas Crown Affair

Project 101 – Resilience – Acidity/Alkalinity pH Balance for Health Part Two and Music Therapy –

#Children’s Snowlilie’s Brother by Victoria Zigler

#Childrens Franky the Fearless Flamingo: A ‘Using Your Strength for Good’ Hero Story (Franky the Flamingo Book 4) by Wanda Luthman

#Crime Virtually Gone: A Mended Souls Novel (High-Tech Crime Solvers Book 6) by Jacquie Biggar

#FamilySaga Judith Barrow, #History Mike Biles, #PsychologicalThriller Lucinda E. Clarke

#Family James J. Cudney, #Thriller Sue Coletta, #Prehistoric Jacqui Murray

#Psychologicalthriller S. Burke, #Paranormal S.A. Harris, #ParanormalRomance Linda G. Hill

Share an Extract from a Previous Book – #Memoir – No One Comes Close by J. A. Newman

#Children’s – Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action by Darlene Foster

#Crime #Mystery – Secrets of the Galapagos by Sharon Marchisello

#Children’s Annika Perry, #Mystery Amy M. Reade, #Afghanistan Mary Smith

#Fantasy Jemima Pett, #Children’s Janice Spina, #Fantasy Charles E. Yallowitz

#Fantasy C.S. Boyack, #Romance Christine Campbell, #Sci-Fi A.C. Flory

#Memoir #Africa Ann Patras, #Romance P.C. Zick, #Fantasy Lorinda J. Taylor

Poetry Balroop Singh, #Family Christa Polkinhorn, #Poetry Colleen M. Chesebro

Food Therapy – Walnuts – Not just any nut…

Laughter Lines – June 16th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Laughter Lines – June 18th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

More Humour from the Senior Team

Thank you for dropping in today and for all your support during the week… I hope you have enjoyed.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Letters from America 1985-1987 – May 1985 – Las Vegas, Hoover Dam and Los Angeles by Sally Cronin


Welcome to the next post in the series Letters from America 1985 -1987 that I wrote home to my parents in the UK. My father kept them all in a folder and on his death they came back to me with a note to publish them.

Last week I shared our adventures on our arrival in Los Angeles for our first visit

We decided to spend another couple of days after the convention to do some exploring but of course it was on our dime..

24th May 1985

Dear M & D,

I really don’t think that I have woken up properly yet! Last night was showtime. We booked for dinner and a show here in the Hilton as it looked very spectacular. We were all seated by 6.30pm. (1,200 of us) and it felt a bit of a squeeze as we were crammed onto the end of a table for ten people, right out in the aisle. The most spectacular thing I felt was the occasional backhander from the waiters and they whizzed by and my neighbour’s elbow in my ribs. After about five minutes of maintaining an attitude of ‘Oh well, we are lucky to be here at all!!’ David did a wonderful Mollie move (if you will pardon the expression) . He upped and walked over to the Maitre D’, and within minutes we were esconced in a private booth, with an excellent view of the stage, all to ourselves. The power of a small piece of paper slipped into an open palm.

The majority of the people at the show were on a package tour and virtually eating off each other’s plates, which to be fair seemed to be part of the fun. However, after an excellent dinner, the show began and it had everything including elephants, horses, dancing, beautiful costumes and topless dancers. It really was very colourful and another experience to be stored away in the memory banks.

We finished up the evening in the casino lounge, listening to a very talented Japanese rock band, all girls and another late night or early morning as it was well after 2 a.m before we got to bed.

25th May..

David is now officially off duty and so we have spent the day exploring the strip. We have now visited all the major casinos, and have been very strong willed, the temptation to throw a few more dimes into the slot machines is tough to ignore. Especially when you see hundreds of people with buckets of coins wandering around checking out the slot machines to see where the next jackpot might erupt. You do get free drinks while you are gambling even if you are only playing the nickle slots! If you lose $4 it is only the same as buying a Gin and Tonic so we feel we have not really lost anything.

We also moved to our motel today. What a contrast from our gaming suite, but I have to say the king size bed is actually more comfortable than the pull out sofa we had at the Hilton.

26th May.

We went to the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead today. It is a holiday weekend and the place was crawling with people. We did however manage to get a good look at the dam, which is very impressive. The temperature was around 95 degrees and you have to keep plenty of fluids in the car, particularly since some of the roads cross the desert. We spent all day driving around Lake Mead and found a place that hired houseboats and they look amazing. We might think about coming back and booking one for a week later in the year.

Our overall impression of Las Vegas is that it is a wonderful escape from reality for two or three days. Neither of us is used to being in such a people packed environment and whilst fascinating to be part of, we are looking forward to going to Los Angeles tomorrow.

27th May

We arrived in L.A at about 11 in the morning and decided to drive down to Long Beach and visit Marine World where the famous dolphin flipper resides. It was certainly good value. We had a voucher giving us $3 off and so for $8 each we spent the whole day there. They have a steady stream of shows in the pools including shark, dolphin, killer whale and seals. You can also get up quite close to some of the tanks and I actually chatted to friendly killer whale (young one).

They also had a human diving team that did a spectacular display for nearly 30 minutes from a series of high boards. Must have taken some stamina and I expect there were some Olympic hopefuls amongst them.

The highlight was buying some fish and feeding a dolphin… so gentle

It must be very difficult to train them and whilst we appreciated the exhibitions, and even the soaking we got when the adult killer wales were in action, it was quite sad to see such beautiful creatures trapped in such small and unnatural enclosures.

We continued down the coast seeing as much as possible before checking in to our motel around 8.30pm. It was more of a luxury hotel and really comfortable and had a Chinese restaurant attached where we ate dinner.

On Monday we went to Disneyland. You really need two day to visit all the attractions. It is basically an amusement park and by midday all the rides have a queue a mile long. We went on half a dozen and frightened ourselves half to death.. A couple I was hoping I would be too short to be allowed on…. some were so scary they had a poster saying that those with heart conditions should not do the ride… if you didn’t have one before you screamed around the circuit.. you probably did afterwards!

We were very impressed by the stage productions and the creation of various worlds around the park including Fantasyland, Tomorrowland etc. Once you have paid your entrance all the attractions are free, but by the time you buy lunch, ice-creams and cold drinks it mounts up, especially if you are a family with several children.  We were worn out by mid-afternoon and again so many people. However, the whole trip has added up to an unforgettable week.

We are now back home again and our own bed has never looked so inviting and I think we might be in a state of recovery for some time, bearing in mind the late nights and the traipsing about we have done. I hope that I have managed to get some of the atmosphere across, but it really needs to be seen to be believed!

David is off to Dallas tomorrow so will sign off for now.. we will probably talk on the phone before you get this.. love from us both Sally and David x

©Sally Cronin Images 2018

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will join me next week for another of our American adventures.  Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 7th – 13th June 2020 – FREE Book Marketing -ABBA – Kippers – Tomato Salad and a feast of authors, books and laughter


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up with posts that you might have missed during the week.

I hope everyone is doing well and is looking forward to a more lifting of restrictions in the coming week. Still some confusion about where, with whom, why and when you can do things but hopefully that will be clarified! First, something that can do something about…..

Ongoing book marketing opportunities.

Delighted to say that the Meet the Authors series every weekend is going well, and I will have featured every author in the Cafe and Bookstore by the end of July. As an author in the cafe, you don’t need to do a thing although it would be great if you could share the post to boost for your own books and the other two authors featured with you.

Share an Extract from your most recent book.

Stop me if you are currently selling too many books or are receiving too many reviews…

I wish I was in that position. But, in case like me you could always use a little more visibility, and you are an author in the Cafe and Bookstore, then why not spend five minutes of your time and send me 500 words from your most recent release, or if you are poet… a poem… so that I can put together a promotion for you, such as the one I have featured for today: Extract from Silent Heroes by Patricial Furstenberg

Here is the post that tells you how you can participate with an example of how it looks with one of my books… it is FREE Book promotion… don’t miss out: Share an Extract from your latest book

If you need any more convincing.. the average views of posts in the previous series was over 100… hopefully resulting in one or two sales and more reviews.

Anyway.. I will be waiting to hear from you.. and you are very welcome, even if you have been recently featured. The list is growing daily so please get in touch soon.

Time to move onto the posts from the week you might have missed.

Thanks as always to the contributors and guests who bring such amazing posts to the blog, and to you for all your support.

William Price King ABBA Part Five – The Finale

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘K’ for Kale, Ketchup, Kippers and Kanom Moo Krob (Crispy Pork and Kale)

#Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – Simply Delicious Tomato and Basil Salad

 

Wake Robin Ridge Book One by Marcia Meara

May 1985 – Las Vegas Razzle Dazzle Part One Sally Cronin

The Colour of Life – The Price Of A Habit – 1937

Tales from the Garden Chapter Five – Trouble in Paradise – Part one

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie – Powerscourt Ireland

Chesebro’s Poetry Challenge – #SynonymsOnly -#GarlandCinquain – Garden Birds

Acidity/Alkalinity pH Balance for Health Part One and Music Therapy

New Book on the Shelves – #Sci-fi Promise Me (Dave Travise Book 3) by Richard Dee

#Contemporary -You’re Never Too Old to be A Prom Queen by Olga Nunez Miret

#Historical -The Last Pilgrim by Noelle Granger

#GraphicNovel Sue Vincent and Stuart France, #Historical #1950s Bette A. Stevens, #Poetry Balroop Singh

#Memoir Ann Patras, #Poetry Frank Prem, #Mystery Barbara Silkstone

#Memoir D.G. Kaye, #Childrens Pamela S. Wight, #Memoir Pete Springer

#Childrens Nicholas C. Rossis, #Fantasy Vashti Quiroz Vega, #Writing Harmony Kent

#Blogging Anne R. Allen, #Thriller Mark Bierman, #Childrens #YA Robbie and Michael Cheadle

#Thriller Carol Balawyder, #Flashfiction Sarah Brentyn, #SciFi Richard Dee

#Thriller Jaye Marie, #Thriller J.P. McClean, #Contemporary Jessica Norrie

Food Therapy – #Honey -#Propolis – Thousands of Years of History and Health

Laughter Lines – June 9th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

Laughter Lines – June 11th 2020 – Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin

More Humour from the Senior Team

Thank you very much for dropping and for your generous support, I hope that you will join me again next week..thanks Sally.