Smorgasbord Short Stories – Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – Strawberry Jam by Sally Cronin


I hope you will enjoy my flash fiction in response to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills  This week the prompt was sweet jam… and here is my 99 words, no more no less.

Strawberry Jam by Sally Cronin

Margaret sat in the sitting room of the nursing home, in a chintz covered chair by the window. She couldn’t remember why she was there, but perhaps the family had brought her out for tea. She tried to think of her daughter’s name; a pretty girl in a blue overall who spoke gently with a lovely smile. Margaret looked at the plate on her lap, lifting the contents to her lips, it tasted delicious with something red and sweet that stirred distant and happy memories. Jam, strawberry jam, on scones, with butter and cream. How could she have forgotten?

©Sally Cronin 2019

If you would like to participate in this week’s challenge here is the link: https://carrotranch.com/2019/08/15/august-15-flash-fiction-challenge/

I have a number of short story collections and you can find my books and their reviews: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you have enjoyed my story….thanks Sally.

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Just an Odd Job Girl – Serialisation – Chapter One- Reflections on the Past – Sally Cronin


This was the first novel that I wrote back in 2001 when I first moved to Spain to live. I had written short stories before and non-fiction health books, but felt the need to bring a little romance and humour into my writing.. the result was Just an Odd Job Girl.

About Just an Odd Job Girl.

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

Chapter One – Reflections on the Past

‘Mirror, mirror on the wall,
who is the daftest of them all?
Imogen is!’

I’m nearly fifty years old and suddenly alone. I’d often sympathised with others, over the state of newly divorced forty and fifty-something’s, never really believing that it could ever happen to me. One never does. I was sideswiped by what I call a ‘Fast Tracker’ and never knew what hit me.

My husband Peter is a banker, that’s banker with a B! We had been married for just over twenty-five years when he suddenly announced that he had met someone else.

We had actually been together from the age of twenty and had shared so much over the years that I genuinely thought he was my best friend. We’d met when Peter was at college and we were broke for much of the first ten years. It didn’t seem to matter. We were in love and even when the children came along, Elizabeth, Andrew and Kate, we still managed to have fun with the little money we had to spare. Peter worked long hours to provide for us and I felt we were a team. He was now a highly successful merchant banker and we had been enjoying the good life for the last fifteen years.

Then one day, suddenly, out of the blue, it was over. I’ll spare you the hours, days, weeks of recriminations, crying, begging and generally demeaning behaviour that accompanies such an announcement since I’ve already been through the process and have no wish to repeat it. But I will share with you my definition of a Fast Tracker.

A Fast Tracker is a girl in her late twenties or early thirties, who is on the lookout for a middle-aged, successful, wealthy, powerful man. This girl has no interest in going through the early years of poverty, screaming babies, mortgages and doing without. She has no desire to train a man into being the perfect husband; she wants one that someone prepared earlier. My husband was ripe for the picking. He was all that a Fast Tracker could desire, and being of an age that is easily flattered by a younger, toned, available female, he fell – hook, line and sinker. Incidentally, something he swore would never happen to him.

He was most generous, as he kept reminding me. Although I hadn’t worked during our married life, he conceded graciously that I’d brought up the three children more or less single-handedly and had done a fair job of it. He also appreciated my efforts around the home and the fact that his shirts had always been ironed, his cleaning collected and his meals cooked.

The subject of sex was not mentioned, although I was tempted to point out that it was usually he who suffered the headaches after a long difficult day at the office. By the time he had outlined my leaving package, I felt like a redundant executive who, whilst applauded for past efforts, should really throw himself on his sword for the good of the company.

It all came as rather a surprise to me, which made me feel exceedingly stupid. How could I have missed the signs? Basically, there were none. He had been getting his cake and eating it too. Life at home had been no different including our Saturday night lovemaking. He’d been as ardent as ever. How could I have been married to someone for twenty-five years and not known him at all. Apparently, he had been seeing this girl for over a year. I suppose, in hindsight, that it could have gone on for years, except that she had got pregnant. Completely by accident, of course.

Would I be cynical in suggesting that it was all part of the grand design, and a determination to get her man won the day? She should have been a Mountie. She wanted the house, of course. It was beautiful and I had spent the fifteen years since we’d moved in, making it the house of my dreams. It became a nightmare instead. I had no independent means of support. Peter agreed to pay me a one-off sum to enable me to buy a home and still have an adequate income.

The children had left home, and were now independent, so it left just me. He said that if I were difficult that he would simply sell the house and give me half the proceeds, so I would lose it anyway. In the end, for a quiet life, I agreed. It broke my heart, but I did manage to negotiate for most of the furniture and household appliances, as the Fast Tracker had decided that she wanted all new accessories for her recently acquired home. She didn’t mind a used husband but she was not into second hand furniture.

I managed to find a very pleasant little house, backing onto Epping Forest, in a suburb of Northwest London. The central line station was only a few minutes walk away and I was half an hour from my old neighbourhood and friends.

For the first six months though, I filled my days with decorating and transforming my new home into a haven. I had no wish to see anyone from the past as it reminded me so much of what I’d lost, but gradually, I began to pick up the pieces and face life as a middle-aged single woman.

The children were angry, confused, bitter and then resentful in turn. Much of their negative feelings were directed at me. Why had I driven him away? What had I done to upset him? It must be my fault that he turned to another woman. After a few months of recriminations, I snapped and told them that they could think what they liked. This surprised them as I had followed a very conciliatory line of parenting with them. Always reasoning problems out and hopefully dealing with them fairly when they went through the inevitable stages of teens and early adulthood.

They were as shocked as I was, and after a few months of spending time with both their father and Stephanie (the Fast Tracker), and myself in my new home, I believe that they began to appreciate that there had been an external, unstoppable force at work that had simply cast aside the complacency that accompanies all those years together. This was combined with the fact that when they did visit their father he was usually busy changing nappies and feeding their new half-brother called Adam.

I must say that, not having received any help in that department during our own children’s infancy, I was very surprised to hear of his current involvement. Stephanie obviously possessed far stronger powers of persuasion than I did, and in more departments than I had thought. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the first nappy sessions; I sincerely hope that he did not come out of the experience unstained.

Thankfully, my children are sensible, bright individuals and have their own lives to lead. They rang me and visited me in my new home frequently, and I was thankful that our love survived. Peter tended to throw money at them, in an effort to overcome the guilt he felt, and being practical they took it, but with a knowing smile.

After six months of decorating and curtain making and now being well ensconced in my bright little haven, I started to get bored. With only myself to look after, there were long hours to fill. This is where the comfort eating comes in!

I had satellite television installed and sat in front of the movie channels for several, unhealthy hours a day. I worked my way through multi-packs of chocolate bars and the large tubs of rich ice cream that tasted sinful. As this was the nearest I was ever likely to get to sin again in my life I decided to take it to extremes, with devastating effects on my body and morale. The forest beckoned, offering long walks through its leafy paths but it was ignored. My hips spread and gravity began to pull my body down along with my spirits. Eventually when the last of my skirts failed to fasten, and not wanting to spend my limited capital on completely replenishing my wardrobe, I decided that action was required. I would get a job.

I had avoided the thought like the plague. The main reason that I had not worked for the past twenty-five years was because Peter felt that I should be at home with the children. A pity he had not been quite so conservative when it came to infidelity.

I had no idea where to start, so I rang my eldest daughter, Elizabeth, who was a legal secretary in the centre of London. She suggested that I go to the local temp agency and see if I could find something that did not require modern technology, just plain old-fashioned common sense – such as filing.

The whole prospect was terrifying, after all this time; I wasn’t even sure if I even had any common sense. It was certainly something Peter always assumed I was lacking. I went back to my daily movies and popcorn and put the whole subject ‘on the long finger’, as my Irish friend Mollie says.

A few weeks later and I was down to the last two items in my wardrobe. I was going to have to find some common sense from somewhere and pretty quick. Thankfully some arrived in the form of the local free newspaper, and instead of throwing it straight in the bin, and not having visited the video shop that afternoon, I sat down and read it from cover to cover.
There, in the appointments section, was a small advertisement:

JENKINS TEMPORARY AGENCY
Specialising in the mature applicant.
Call for an appointment today.
Free consultation and no fees.

I called the number listed and got a very nice woman who told me to put a C.V. together, and to come in on Thursday for an appointment with Mr. Jenkins himself.

The next day, I let out the waistband of my last remaining decent skirt, unearthed a jacket that only just met across my middle, and forced myself into a body shaping girdle – their words, not mine! Unfortunately, the body shape it achieved was not quite what was on the packet, it pushed most of the problem areas upward into the bra cups, and I had difficulty breathing.

However, it was the first time in my life that I actually had a cleavage. At least I could button my blouse without leaving gaps, and popping the buttons. With any luck, Mr. Jenkins would be so entranced with my new womanly shape that he would not notice the rest of the outfit.

Wednesday evening was spent writing out my record of previous work. I had never sat down and really thought about all the jobs that I had undertaken before the children came along, and I was honestly surprised to see how many different positions I had held. I included the weekend and holiday jobs that I had when at school, and college, because they were all experience. Right?

My parents had insisted that I go to secretarial college, so that I would always have something to fall back on. I obtained my typing and shorthand qualifications at the end of the year – although in those days we only had manual typewriters, so our speeds were not great.
After college, I really was not sure what I wanted to do. I had applied for a number of positions in offices, and remembering those early interviews made me smile for the first time in ages. I seemed to have had a new job every nine months or so. It might not look too good to a prospective employer, but I reasoned that the temp agency would want to know everything I had ever done, so that they could accurately assess where to place me. So, I wrote down everything, even the jobs I had been fired from. With any luck, if they did take up references, there would not be anyone there who remembered me.

Thursday morning arrived. I dressed, applied my make-up and practiced smiling in front of the mirror. I looked like a cornered rabbit, with a nervous tick, rather than the sophisticated mature woman looking to return to useful employment. I just hoped that Mr. Jenkins would see the raw potential underneath.

©Sally Georgina Cronin Just an Odd Job Girl

Tomorrow the appointment at the Temp agency and the Curriculum Vitae…

One of the reviews for the book

Feb 24, 2019 Colleen M. Chesebro rated it it was amazing

When fifty-year-old Imogen Smythe (Baxter) is replaced by another woman (a fast-tracker), the reality of her divorce to Peter sends her life into a tailspin. For the last twenty years or so, this middle-aged woman has dedicated her life to raising her family.

After the divorce, Imogen’s left with too much time on her hands. After all, how many cartons of ice cream can one woman wallow in? Don’t answer that question!

An industrious sort, the divorcee decides to get a job, even though her resume shows she hasn’t worked in years. She visits a temp agency and proceeds to fill out her resume which sends the reader on a hilarious romp into Imogene’s past employment history. I’m a night reader and a few times I laughed so hard I woke up my husband!

At the office, Andrew, a placement agent, is charmed by Imogene’s pleasant personality as she details the jobs, locations, her bosses, and many of the customers she took care of. This journey into her past causes her self-worth to skyrocket and her confidence blooms. Not only does Imogene find herself, but she also finds true happiness.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. The author is a consummate storyteller and her writing skills are evident. The premise was brilliant and from start, to finish, the story is told with enough pathos and humor to make Imogen a role model for all middle-aged women who find themselves starting over from scratch.

I did receive this story as a gift. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to share my thoughts.
MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5  Flow and Pace: 5 Reader Engagement: 5  Reader Enrichment: 5 Reader Enjoyment: 5 Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies

If you would like to browse my other books.. you can find their reviews https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Thanks for dropping in and as always your feedback is very welcome. Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Major Organs and Systems of the Body – The Digestive System Part Four -Liver Diseases


Last time I looked at the structure and basic function of the liver and in this post I want to cover some of the conditions that can effect this major organ.

Because the liver is such a complex organ there are over 100 diseases that can affect its health.

We tend to associate liver damage with conditions resulting from drinking to much, such as alcoholic hepatitis or the viral infections, Hepatitis A and the more dangerous serum Hepatitis B.

Hep A is transmitted from contaminated food and water, and Hep B from sexual contact, infected needles or contaminated blood products. Some diseases of the liver are hereditary and are usually diagnosed in a baby or young toddler. These include Alagille syndrome, Alpha 1-Antitrypsin deficiency, autoimmune hepatitis, the result of an abnormal immune system at birth, Galactosemia, Wilson’s disease – the abnormal storage of copper – and Haemochromatosis – the abnormal storage of iron.

There are also the dangers of long term medication. As with everything else we ingest, the medication also needs to go through the liver to be processed. This also applies to extensive exposure to chemicals in a home or work environment. Both are likely to overwork the liver and cause damage.

It is obvious that hereditary conditions and viral infections require treatment by medical experts. What we are concerned with is the general health of the liver to prevent damage and to improve function by making some adjustments to our lifestyles.

What is cirrhosis of the liver?

Cirrhosis occurs when scar tissue replaces dead or injured liver cells. It is caused by disease, or more commonly alcoholism and increasingly the ingestion of processed foods and drinks containing high levels of refined sugars. The scarring distorts the normal structure and re-growth of liver cells and the flow of blood through the liver, from the intestines, is blocked. This restricts the functions carried out by the liver, such as processing proteins or toxins.

This in turn can lead to other medical problems such as gallstones, toxicity and fluid retention in the legs and abdomen. Because the liver produces proteins that help clot the blood, damage can lead to excessive or prolonged bleeding – both internally and from cuts and injuries.

There is no cure for cirrhosis but the spread of the scarring can be stopped, and improvement in the health of the liver achieved in most cases, if the original cause of the damage is removed: – For example, by stopping drinking alcohol, reducing drastically the consumption of processed drinks and foods and eating a natural unprocessed diet of healthy fats, vegetables and fruits.

We also associate severe liver problems with older people who have spent a lifetime indulging across the board. However, more and more teenagers and young adults are presenting with liver damage. The cause is not excessive alcohol but excessive consumption of soft drinks containing sugars, acid and artificial sweeteners and a reliance on the ‘white diet’. White carbohydrates, unhealthy manufactured fats and refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup.

How do we help the liver cope with everyday pressures?

So whilst alcohol certainly plays a role in the development of cirrhosis you do not have to be a chronic alcoholic to get the disease. The good news is that alcoholic hepatitis does not necessarily lead to cirrhosis of the liver, and certainly not to the extent where a transplant is required. It can take many years of dedicated drinking to reach that stage, but that will depend on the person.

No one person is the same and I often quote the saying “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”. We are all unique and this applies to our internal operating systems as well. I am sure that we have been to parties and watched one person have two glasses of wine and be as drunk as a lord and someone else down drink after drink without any apparent affect. That is to say that from the outside they look okay but of course their liver may be telling a different story.

As we get older we understand that the aftermath of a drinking session is unpleasant in the extreme and the effects can last a couple of days – unfortunately some of the remedies add to the strain on the liver- especially frequent use of over the counter pain medication. Hopefully most of us adapt to a more moderate approach.

Unfortunately that is not at times with the young. Like the latest online drinking crazes such as Neknomination – which has already resulted in the death of several young people in the UK. Alcohol poisoning is not a game. Commonly, patients requiring treatment for liver disease were in their 50’s and 60’s. There are now people in their 20’s and 30’s being diagnosed with chronic liver damage and some are on the transplant list!

How can we help ourselves?

Like many internal organs, the liver has a primary purpose in life and that is for the host body to survive. It will struggle daily to cope with excessive stress and harmful contaminants and it is often only when it is in the final stages of disease that we see the external evidence for ourselves. The early symptoms can be hard to spot but generally there will be consistent nausea, intestinal upsets, fatigue and loss of appetite. If these symptoms are ignored then more dangerous symptoms will develop including signs of jaundice which results in yellowing of the whites of the eyes and a yellow tint to the skin.

Also bloated abdomen, confusion leading to coma and possible death. If you are experiencing any of the early signs then do go and get checked out by your doctor.

Generally speaking, drinking more than two or three drinks per day is going to affect your liver to some degree. Binge drinking at the weekend is something we are all guilty of from time to time. We do not have a drink all week and then on the weekend we go out for a meal or have friends around enjoying pre-dinner drinks and a few glasses of wine followed by a couple or more liqueurs. This is a binge as far as your liver is concerned, particularly if it is accompanied by a rich meal full of fats and proteins that require processing.

As I have already stated, soft drinks have their dangers – and certainly there has been a worrying increase in the number of teenagers from as early at 11 years old exhibiting signs of liver damage. In America where you have been able to buy 24oz fizzy drinks – or receive them free as part of a fast food meal – this trend is more than worrying. The main culprit is high fructose corn syrup the main component of soft drinks.

I am not going to go into detail as there is an interesting and thought provoking article that every parent should read and if not a parent then those of you who are consuming even moderate amounts of certain soft drinks and eating processed foods.

http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/05/13/5-reasons-high-fructose-corn-syrup-will-kill-you/

The liver, like the rest of the body, needs antioxidants to prevent oxidative damage. A diet high in processed foods is not only going to give the liver even more work to do, processing additives and excess chemicals such as phosphorus, but is also not going to give it the raw materials it requires for its own health.

I am afraid that we women are more likely to suffer liver damage, as we tend to have a higher concentration of alcohol in our blood. We have more body fat and less water than a man does so we handle booze differently. Even if we do not drink we can still cause damage to our liver by having a very high-fat diet. The liver again is overworked and whilst a moderate intake of fats is necessary for the nutrients it contains, it needs to be part of a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit and whole grains that all work with the fat in harmony.

I often caution against deleting a food group from our diet as we are programmed to take the essential nutrients from across the board.

Carbohydrates have their role in this, but white, high fat and sugary processed foods are not carbohydrates, they are cardboard.

Eat whole grains every day – if you have a gluten intolerance or find wheat hard to digest then brown rice, corn and organic oats may suit you.

So whilst many of us focus on our heart health – that organ is affected by the health of the liver, which removes toxins from our body to prevent the storage of these poisons in every cell including those in the heart.

You can keep up to date with news on liver health in the UK: https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/latest-news/

And in the US: https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/health_medicine/liver_disease/

The next stop on our journey through the digestive system is the intestines… I bet you can’t wait!!

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

My nutritional background

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

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction in ebooks you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in and please help spread the word by sharing..Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Health and Food in the News – Nutritional deficiency on the increase. Keto Diet, Industrially manufactured foods, Lack of Sunshine


Recently, Carol Taylor and I shared a series on how to include food in your diet to avoid nutritional deficiency .. In the autumn we will be moving on from vitamins to minerals.

You can find the posts with some wonderful recipes from Carol in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-to-avoid-nutritional-deficiency-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor/

There have been some studies that have identified that there is an increase in nutritional deficiency in the diet and here are three articles that are worth reading.

A physician’s warning on the keto diet – Doctor Shivam Joshi

The keto diet has recently garnered much fame for its apparent ability to improve diabetes and obesity – results so impressive the Journal of the American Medical Association recently highlighted the diet and thereby christened it as something more than a low-carb craze. However, not all the evidence supports such a positive outlook, leading the diet to straddle the increasingly blurred lines between faddist snake oil and sanctified medical therapy.

For starters, the keto diet is not new. Nearly a century ago, prior to the discovery of insulin by Frederick Banting and Charles Best, the keto, or ketogenic, diet was used as a crude way to stave off high blood sugar levels, which was then inevitably fatal. By foregoing carbohydrates, the body utilizes fat, either stored or consumed, as its main energy source without raising blood sugar levels. In the process, ketones are produced, and thus giving the diet its name.

By avoiding carbohydrates altogether, blood sugar levels do no spike, but the underlying glucose resistance may still be present. Although some small non-randomized studies show improvements with the diet, a larger meta-analysis of diabetic patients on either the ketogenic diet or a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet for more than one year showed no difference in hemoglobin A1cs or glycemic levels between the two diets. If the diet produces results no different than a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet, then what about its effects on weight loss?

Read the rest of the article: https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/07/a-physicians-warning-on-the-keto-diet.html

Fad diets and busy lifestyles sees the UK’s intake of key vitamins and minerals plummet over the last 20 years, major study finds

One in five girls aged 11 to 18 are deficient in levels of nine different nutrients
Junk food is taking over with 5,800 takeaways opening in three-and-a-half years
Experts say busy lifestyles and fad diets putting people at risk of serious disease

Britons’ changing diets have seen our intake of key vitamins and minerals fall sharply over the past 20 years, a major study has found.

Experts say busy lifestyles, junk food and fad diets are putting people at increased risk of serious disease.

The study assessed intake of key nutrients among Britons between 1996 and 2016. Vitamin A intake – which is vital for the eyes and for reproductive health – has fallen 21 per cent.
Vitamin D – crucial for the bones, brain and lungs – has fallen 22 per cent. Calcium has dropped by 10 per cent, iron by 5 per cent and potassium by 4 per cent.

Teenage girls are particularly vulnerable to nutrient shortfalls, with more than one in five aged 11 to 18 deficient in levels of nine different nutrients – magnesium, potassium, iodine, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B2, iron and calcium.

Overall, fat and calorie intake has fallen by 25 and 17 per cent respectively – although these still exceed recommended levels.

Read the rest of the article: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7316477/Fad-diets-busy-lifestyles-sees-UKs-intake-key-vitamins-minerals-plummet-study-finds.html?

 

Here is another article on rickets, which is caused by a deficiency in Vitamin D. Although in this article the changing weather patterns is held responsible, it is also down to children not having the same level of access to the outside as they did even 20 years ago. Even diluted sunshine reacts with bare skin to help boost stores of the vitamin for the winter months.. For those who might have missed the posts on Vitamin D.. a reminder after this link to the latest article on the subject.

Rickets CRISIS in UK as WEATHER change leads to 50 per cent increase in children diagnosed

In a dramatic increase, the number of children suffering from the condition, which can cause bowed legs due to soft bones, has almost doubled since 1997.

Haris Majeed, who published the report in Scientific Reports, claimed that the weather was responsible for the unexpected rise.

He wrote: “Climatologists knew that the UK receives lower summer sunshine than other parts of the world, but no one ever thought of the effect it had on specific health implications, such as rickets.”

Read the rest of the article: https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/899397/uk-weather-medical-news-rickets-children-increase-sea-surface-temperature-rise-vitamin-d

More about Vitamin D and its link to Rickets and other diseases

In my blogs on cholesterol – I mentioned that Vitamin D thinks its a hormone – and our bodies have a different process to obtain and utilise it that is partly digestive but primarily through our exposure to the sun.

Vitamin D is necessary for our bone health (aches and pains), immune system (frequent infections), arthritis (joint pain) hormonal fluctuations (SAD is more prevalent in women).

Most people think if they are taking in Calcium that they will be keeping their bones healthy but in fact Vitamin D is vital in this process.

To illustrate how important Vitamin D is to our skeleton here is a brief overview of how it works.

Our bones are living tissue that grows and regenerates throughout our lifetime. It is not static and old bone is removed and replaced with new bone continuously, a process that requires the essential elements of bone to be available from our diet and from chemical reactions in the body. There are four main components that are needed on a daily basis.

Minerals – calcium, magnesium and phosphorus – Matrix – collagen fibres (gristle) – Osteoclasts – bone removing cells and Osteoblasts– bone producing cells.

If you have ever made paper mache sculptures at school you will used a chicken wire framework first of all to establish the shape that you wanted and then overlaid your strips of wet paper and allowed them to harden. The bone making process is very similar.

A network of collagen fibres forms the base and it is then overlaid with the minerals. The strength of the finished bone is dependent on the amount of mineralisation that takes place. Osteoclasts will remove old bone when needed and this results in a need to produce new collagen matrix to attract new minerals for the repair process.

Vitamin D’s role is essential, to ensure that sufficient calcium and phosphorus is attracted to the new matrix and that the new bone is strong. If you are deficient in this vitamin more bone is discarded than replaced leading to soft and malformed bones.

There is a worrying increase in the numbers of children being diagnosed with this condition which is called rickets which is why recently the health service has suggested giving all children of 5 and upwards Vitamin D supplementation.

That is because most of our children are no longer exposed to sunlight which is the most efficient way for our bodies to produce the essential Vitamin D it needs. Consider these accumulative factors – less PE at school – increased traffic so no more playing in the streets, more apartment living without gardens, fear of child abuse and abductions so children are kept inside, more television, video games and computer time, both parents working so the children are kept after school or inside and finally when out in the rare holiday sun, children are covered in factor 40. Anything over factor 8 and our skin cannot absorb enough sunshine to produce vitamin D.

The last thing I am suggesting is that you go and lie in the midday sun for three hours and burn to a crisp but during the summer months getting 45 minutes of sunshine on your arms and chest and face with a light factor, either early to mid morning or late afternoon should be sufficient for most people.

There are also dietary sources of Vitamin D – We need at least 10ug per day and we can get this if we eat eggs and oily fish regularly during the week as part of a balanced diet. You can also take cod liver oil capsules and as I mentioned at the beginning of the post; Vitamin D is one of the few supplements that I will take through the winter months.

For the other components involved in bone health; make sure you are obtaining calcium from dairy products, oily fish such as sardines and salmon, including canned salmon, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and if vegetarian, tofu.

salmonMagnesium is found in dairy products, fish, meat, seafood, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, whole grain cereals and dark green vegetables.

wholegrainsPhosphorus can be found in the proteins in your diet such as poultry and whole grains.

vegetablesWe as adults have a responsibility to ensure the health of our children and however difficult that may be in this modern day and age giving them a safe environment to play and exercise in the sunshine has to be a priority for us all. Combined with a healthy, natural and unprocessed diet with far less sugars and these children will not run the risk of having bowed legs due to rickets.

I hope that you have found this useful and if you put ‘Health Column’ in the search bar you will find many posts on nutrients and diet.

©sallycronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

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

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up.. Travel Safe, Chicken Kiev, Classic Italian Rock Legends and all that Jazz


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you might have missed here on Smorgasbord.

I hope you are all well and thank you for dropping in to see me this week, and as always it is much appreciated. Nothing much to report on a personal level as the week has flown by and the weather has not been very conducive to being out in the garden.

There are however some upcoming events on the blog. Next Sunday 18th August I will be posting about the new Sunday author interview. This time it is specifically for the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore, as my intention over the next few months is to ramp up the book promotions. The Cafe and Bookstore has around 150 authors at any given time whose books are receiving reviews or they have a new release in the last six months.

I would like to give those authors another opportunity for promotion with an interview – answering five questions from a selection of twenty.. and excerpt from the book they wish to promote.  Please drop in next Sunday to find out all the details.

I am also putting together the next Archive post series. This time it will be for authors who have only been blogging in the last 12 months. An opportunity to give new bloggers a boost and to welcome them to our community. It can be tough going those first few months and I would love to share the amazing posts that should have a wider audience.

This week sees the end of the serialisation of Tales from the Irish Garden and I am delighted at the lovely comments it has received. Next week I am starting a new book that has not been shared since 2016. Just an Odd Job Girl.. I know that many of you read the first time around, but I am hoping that new readers of the blog will enjoy.

Time to get on with the posts from the week… and as always my thanks to the contributors who spend time and effort to write such interesting and informative post.

D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies reminds us that preparation is key if you want to have a safe and secure holiday.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/05/posts-from-my-archives-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-preparing-for-a-safe-trip/

If you enjoy chicken to delicious recipes for you.. and for dessert lovers.. apple and mulberry crumble.. Courtesy of Carol Taylor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-chicken-kiev-multi-coloured-chicken-breast-and-apple-and-mulberry-crumble/

A wonderfully simple but flavour packed Italian classic from Silvia Todesco.. Summer Fresh Tomoto Fettuccine…

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-italiancookery-with-silvia-todesco-summer-fresh-tomato-fettuccine-bring-on-the-tomato-bounty/

This week author Karen DeMers Dowdall shares her very special gift.. a sixth sense that is highly developed.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/smorgasbord-sunday-interview-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-my-sixth-sense-by-karen-demers-dowdall/

Those of us who have books available on Amazon and other online book sites, particularly ebooks are also vulnerable to pirates, and Debby Gies, D.G. Kaye, shares an interesting possible action we are taking to enable this. Felony or Flattery? #Copyright Infringement and Content Scraping by D.G. Kaye

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/smorgasbord-reblog-felony-or-flattery-copyright-infringement-and-content-scraping-by-d-g-kaye/

Some rock ‘n’ roll this week to get your feet tapping. Status Quo, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner and Eric Clapton and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-get-your-rock-n-roll-boots-on-with-my-top-five-picks/

This week in Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 139 being the first challenge of the month, is for the poet to choose their own words. I hope you will enjoy my double etheree…A Dog’s Life.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-tanka-challenge-double-etheree-a-dogs-life-by-sally-cronin/

The last two chapters for Tales from the Irish Garden this weekend… Queen Filigree is delighted to announce the betrothals of both her daughters and accept the gifts that are offered by their future husbands… Plus concerns about her health are getting the court into a bit of a lather.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-winter-chapter-betrothals-and-surprises-by-sally-cronin/

The final chapter of Tales from the Irish Garden… the court’s first Christmas in their new home and an announcement from Prince Ronan.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/tales-from-the-irish-garden-winter-chapter-twenty-one-the-first-christmas-by-sally-cronin/

Another wonderful tale of dog sitting from Debbie the Doglady.. This week meet a Dalmatian with a wonderful nature.. JJ.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-dogsitting-chapter-two-j-j-the-dalmation-by-debbie-the-dog-lady/

This is the second post from Marsi, who with her husband Robert, embarked on a four month journey west. I will be sharing posts from their trip in addition to other posts in their archives. Due to the number of photographs I suggest that you head over to the blog to view them all.. Olympic National Park

View of Lake Quinault from our campsite, Willa Campground Olympic National Forest

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-olympic-national-park-part-1-quinault-hoh-rainforests-by-marsi/

A little retro summer magic from 2016 for L.T. Garvin’s second post.. and a little rock music. Summertime, Gnomes and Rock Music (2016) by L.T. Garvin

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-pot-luck-summertime-gnomes-and-rock-music-2016-by-l-t-garvin/

This is the second post from the archives of Claire Fullerton, and this week a birthday celebration for renowned author Pat Conroy. An event over several days that clearly was a highlight for Claire. Notes on Pat Conroy’s 70th Birthday Celebration in Beaufort, South Carolina (2015)

Notes on Pat Conroy’s 70th Birthday Celebration in Beaufort, South Carolina

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-notes-on-pat-conroys-70th-birthday-celebration-in-beaufort-south-carolina-2015-by-claire-fullerton/

This is the second post from the archives of Smitha Vishwanath who shares poetry, wonderful travel posts and life experiences on her blog. I have selected this poem as it brought back memories of all the times I have stood behind a podium to give a presentation or speech…The Speaker’s Ordeal…by Smitha Vishwanath

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-the-speakers-ordealby-smitha-vishwanath/

This is the second post from author K.D.(Karen DeMers) Dowdall’s archives and she also has some news, with The Captain’s Witch, her latest book being released on September 1st…A short story, that might have its roots in truth… anyone’s worst nightmare when walking in the woods. Fire in the Sky or The Black Bear and Me (2017) by Karen DeMers Dowdall

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-short-story-fire-in-the-sky-or-the-black-bear-and-me-2017-by-karen-demers-dowdall/

This is the third post from the wonderfully varied archives of poet and author Ritu Bhathal. Today the joys of being a kindergarten teacher…. things I am sure they don’t share during the career advisory days at secondary school when you are faced with so many options! Kindergarten Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 2015 by Ritu Bhathal

weeeeee

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-kindergarten-weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-2015-by-ritu-bhathal/

This is the third post from the archives of author Elizabeth Gauffreau who has some wonderful posts, including an interesting look at her genealogy journey, seeking out her family history. This week a post by William Wordsworth, which reminds us of those moments when life or nature takes us by delightful surprise. Poetry – Surprised by Joy”

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-surprised-by-joy-2018-by-elizabeth-gauffreau/

This is the third post from retired librarian and author Cathy Cade, who has been blogging since early 2018. This week a poem about a much loved old friend. Fred’s Legacy by Cathy Cade.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-humour-freds-legacy-by-cathy-cade/

This is the third post for author Chuck Jackson and this week I have selected a post that Chuck wrote about editing software that I am sure you will find helpful if you are looking to buy a package. Do you use Editing Software

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-editin-do-you-use-editing-software-by-chuck-jackson/

This is the third of the posts from the archives of author and poet Joy Lennick, although certainly not the first post that we have enjoyed here on Smorgasbord from this entertaining writer. This week a post from 2017 on the subject of fascinating and mostly long forgotten words… some I must really work into both conversation and story..thanks Joy. The Phrontistery revisited (2017) by Joy Lennick

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-phrontistery-revisited-2017-by-joy-lennick/

Linda Bethea is a regular contributor here on Smorgasbord, but this time I get to select the posts from her archives to share with you… I am sure you will enjoy her stories as always. This is the third post and I have selected and it was one that Linda posted about a patient of hers, who inspired her as a nurse. Lessons from MIchael 2014

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-lessons-from-michael-2014-by-linda-bethea/

New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-cold-cream-murders-book-four-sun-scream-by-barbara-silkstone/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shortstory-jewel-by-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-roads-a-journey-with-verses-vandana-bhasin-and-smitha-vishwanath/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-d-wallace-peach-terry-tyler-and-fiona-tarr/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-linda-bradley-john-w-howell-and-gwen-plano-and-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

The liver is the largest waste organ inside the body (the skin being the largest overall). This week, a look at the role it plays in keeping us healthy and alive.

Liver

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/07/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-digestive-system-part-three-the-liver-largest-waste-organ-inside-the-body/

 

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-spiders-asthma-eyesight-and-chihuahuas-amongst-other-things/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-one-liners-interrupted-by-comedic-images/

Tales from the Irish Garden – Winter: Chapter Twenty-one – The First Christmas by Sally Cronin


Welcome to the final chapter of Tales from the Irish Garden. I hope you have enjoyed your visits to the magic garden to meet all the characters who live there.

Winter: Chapter Twenty-One – The First Christmas

On Christmas morning, the queen awoke and luxuriated in the warmth of her goose-feather mattress and cover. Beside her, she felt Prince Ronan begin to stir, and she reached out and touched his hand. He raised himself up on one elbow and smiled down into her beautiful face.

‘Are you sure that you have the strength for the long day ahead my love?’ He gently moved a stray lock of hair that covered her eyes.’

‘I will be fine my darling, my appetite is much improved and in fact I think that I could even manage a quail’s egg omelette and some oat cakes this morning.’

Ronan leant over and rang the bell on his bedside table, and within seconds there was a discreet knock on the door, before one of the ladies of the chamber entered with a fresh pot of chamomile tea and ginger nuts.

Half an hour later the couple relaxed with a last cup of tea before dressing in their red and blue finery for the Christmas celebrations. The Storyteller had invited the couple, and their courtiers, to a special service with his family at the chapel of the forest. Out of respect for their dearest friend and their new country’s customs, they accepted and were looking forward to the experience. They collected the old man and his family in their coach drawn by two pink and white rats and headed off deep into the woods with winter sun and crisp air invigorating the whole party.

The large clearing was surrounded by trees that were hundreds of years old and stretched to the sky with strong and gnarled branches. If they could talk, they would have astounded the congregation now staring up in awe, by tales of dark and golden days, kings and queens who scorched the earth and those that tended it. Suddenly there was a rustling in the undergrowth and slightly alarmed, the queen and prince turned to the Storyteller for reassurance.

‘Please do not worry your majesties,’ he smiled at them with a twinkle in his eye. ‘It is just the forest dwellers arriving to give thanks on this day for all that we have been gifted.’

He began to walk around the perimeter of the clearing and parted bushes and long grass to beckon out the inhabitants. Slowly, all varieties of creatures from furry foxes to slithering earth worms gathered in a circle around the humans. Once all were assembled, a gap appeared, and an old man with a long white beard and simple linen shift walked into the centre, holding high a long staff which he banged three times on the ground.

‘We gather today to give thanks for the protection of the forest, the warmth of the sun, the life giving rain and the bountiful food in the forest and magic garden.’ He paused and cast his eye at those surrounding him. ‘There is a season to all things, and this is a time of short days and long dark nights, but it heralds a time of rebirth and reflection. Give thanks for our bounty and vow to preserve the wondrous environment we have been blessed with to ensure that the circle of life is unbroken.’

As the gathering bowed their heads, the birds in the trees began to sing a joyful chorus that filled those listening with emotion and delight. Queen Filigree clasped the hands of both her husband and the Storyteller; filled with renewed hope for the future. She also knew that it was time to inform the court of the reason behind her recent ill health and face the future whatever it may hold.

Back at the palace the preparations for the Christmas lunch were in full swing. The princesses’ betrothed were coming to stay along with their parents, so the guest chambers had been touched up with paint and dusted thoroughly. Bedding was aired out in the winter sunlight on branches of the magnolia tree, and mattresses and pillows pummelled with paddles to ensure no unwelcome visitors had crawled into the feathers.

Chef Marcelle was beside himself with stress, and Doctor Doesugood had been dosing him with various calming and soothing potions for the last week. Thankfully there were excellent stores of dried fruits, grains, plant oils and nuts, and provided the quail’s egg and goat’s cheese soufflé, which was the main dish of the feast, rose to the occasion, there would be no problem.

Dessert was a deep and rich pudding made from fruit and nuts served with custard flavoured with vanilla. Traditionally little gold nuggets were placed in the pudding mix and were much sought after by the diners, however Doctor Doesugood was dreading the aftermath and two or three days of dentistry before him.

As always, the generous Storyteller had provided bottles from his stores. In honour of his host’s Spanish connections he had arranged for two bottles of the finest Jerez to be sent from a cousin who lived in the region. A warm amontillado, it was the perfect aperitif for a cold bright Christmas morning. There were three bottles of white wine which had been chilling overnight outside the Storyteller’s cottage, and three bottles of Rioja, decanted into small but perfectly blown cut glass crystal pitchers that would be placed on the table. There was plenty to go around the 200 guests that were expected, and there was always the Amber Nectar to fall back on.

In the last few weeks the seamstresses and the Dapperman had been working overtime to get all the outfits ready in time, and the royal party would all be in blue and red velvet whilst the staff would be wearing white and black with red tasselled hats. Then there was the small matter of the gifts! Being the first Christmas in their new country had made this quite a challenge, as their normal suppliers were thousands of miles away.

However, with a little ingenuity and some sneaking off to the local markets by the younger royals, parcels of all shapes and sizes had been carefully wrapped and placed beneath the pine tree that had been brought in from the forest. It was a first year sapling, and reached high up into the vaulted ceiling of the chamber. It sat in a large gold pot that was filled with the rich earth from the magic garden, as this tree would be planted back in the forest once its glorious decorations had been removed.

When the royal family arrived back from the ceremony in the forest, they gathered in the anteroom for a glass of sherry and the distribution of private gifts, as well as an opportunity to meet the parents of the two young men now joining the family. They seemed as delightful as their sons, and there was much laughter and chatter as they got to know each other.

The queen was feeling a little fatigued by the morning’s activities, but she was determined to make it through the day and not spoil the fun. She sipped on some cold ginger tea to invigorate and settle her stomach whilst prince Ronan stayed by her side, one arm protectively around her waist. The gong sounded for the main event to begin and the royal party filed into the dining room and took their places at the top table. The guests had already been seated and before the first course, the Storyteller was invited to say a few words.

‘It is with great honour that I invite you to join us today to eat and drink and be merry. We give thanks to the forest and to nature for this wonderful bounty. And to our gracious hosts, Queen Filigree and Prince Ronan.’

Two hundred guests picked up their knives and forks of silver and tucked into the first course of roasted mushrooms with fried courgette flowers stuffed with almonds and truffles.

The magnificent meal took two hours to enjoy, and there was much merriment around the table as voices got louder and louder. As the last spoonful of custard was scraped from the plates, Prince Ronan clinked his spoon against his crystal glass. It took a few shouts from various guests down the long tables to get the chatter to stop, but eventually they all looked to the top table expectantly.

The handsome prince stood and invited his wife to stand beside him. With a flushed face and look of love she took his hand and faced her court.

‘We have some news that we wish to share with you.’ The prince was clearly very emotional and took a moment to compose himself.

‘You will have shared our concerns about the health of our beloved queen in recent weeks.’

He looked out across the sea of faces, clearly anxious about what he was about to say next.

It is with great joy that we announce that her majesty is expecting a baby to arrive in the summer and we hope that you will join us in celebrating this greatest gift with us today.

Queen Filigree gazed up into her husband’s face and found it hard to believe that it was less than a year since she and her court had fled Spain to this suspiciously green island. Little had she known then, she would find love and such deep friendship. Her happiness at her daughters’ upcoming marriages and alliances with other fairy kingdoms were completed by the news that she, at her rather advanced age was to have another child.

She reached down and asked the Storyteller to stand beside her, and she kissed him gently on his cheek. If it was not for this kind, wonderful old man, none of them would be standing here today. She looked out across the room at the smiling and laughing faces, and felt deep joy, knowing that the future was bright with new dreams and possibilities.

The End.

©Sally Cronin Tales from the Irish Garden.

A recent review for Tales from the Irish Garden

Jul 31, 2019 James rated it  Five Stars

Tales from the Irish Garden is the third book I’ve read by Sally Cronin. There is a connection with this book to one of her earlier ones (that I haven’t read yet) but the author does an excellent job at covering what happened in the first publication so that you you’re not missing out on anything critical to the story. After enjoying this magical fantasy novella, I’ll be sure to check out the original Tales from the Garden in the future. Let’s chat more about this story…

There is an entire world beneath a beautiful magnolia tree where our characters have lived for a very long time. Unfortunately, the tree will be chopped down and the land will be re-purposed by its new owners. What will Queen Filigree and her fellow creatures do without a home? She and her many wonderful friends (and perhaps a few not so friendly) take us through the seasons on their journey to find a new home and re-build their lives. Among the travels are romance, friendship, and hilarity. We meet fantastic characters such as the Storyteller, royal pigeons, Jacamo the pigeon master, butterflies, the Dapper Man, the donkey, foxes, piglet, mice, and so many more.

Toss in various holidays and seemingly normal events for humans, and you’ll have have a grandiose (in a good way) tale about a new romance for the queen, a marriage, and a surprise. Each mini-story adds up to the larger world of all those who live in the magic land. What they experience might feel like a metaphor for what us humans go through in life. The imagery is beautiful, and the settings are stunning. I felt like I was in the fountain or traveling through the gardens… whether I was a tiny mouse, a bird in flight, or a furry animal gallivanting around. There is levity too, so the entire piece is well-balanced. It’s the kind of writing that easily reads itself– simple yet descriptive, immersive, and crafty. If you enjoy fantasies and the charming world of our animal, insect, and fairy friends, then you will love this one;

If you would like to browse my other ebooks.. you can find their reviews and Amazon links: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thank you for reading Tales from the Irish Garden and I hope you have enjoyed.. Sally.

The previous chapters of Tales from the Irish Garden can be found here : https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation/

Next week a new serialisation – Just an Odd Job Girl – a novel of rejuvenation and some laughter.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Major Organs and Systems of the body – The Digestive System Part Three – The Liver – Largest waste organ inside the body – Sally Cronin


Last week in our exploration of the digestive system we moved through the oesophogus into the stomach Part Two

In the last two posts, I have worked my way through the digestive system from the mouth, down the oesophagus and into the stomach, (not literally of course) but there are some important organs within that system that deserve some personal attention on the way. One of those is the Liver which carries out the important task of ridding our body of toxins and storing essential nutrients for our health.

I remember a teenage client who wondered what all the fuss was about – you could get a transplant couldn’t you? I set him the task of researching the actual operation, first hand accounts of those who had undergone this major operation and the long lasting implications and side effects. Hasten to say he was a lot less cocky about the process on his next appointment.

I have met people who believe that as long as you give up smoking and drinking before you are 40 you will be absolutely fine! Yes, there are individuals who drink like a fish and live to 95 and some of them even smoked too. They also did not have the benefit of our high sugar modern diet and lack of exercise! I also would be tempted to ask them to pick my lottery numbers each week because they are the fortunate ones.

For the rest of us, the earlier we put some thought into the long term care of our major organs the better. I will admit that I was in my late 30’s before I woke up to this fact when given some rather indigestible truths about my prognosis. But better late than never.

Part of that care comes from understanding the how, what and where an organ’s role is in our body and health.

Where is the liver?

Liver in Torso

Surprisingly the liver is the largest of our internal organs and in fact it is the size of a large melon. Mainly in the upper right side of your abdomen it lies beneath the diaphragm just above your stomach. Higher up in the chest than people imagine which is important when determining symptoms such as pain.

What does the liver do?

The liver is a multi-tasking organ, capable of around 500 functions. Before you put rubbish in your mouth, think about the liver as your best friend. Is it going to be happy when this jumbo hotdog, salad cream, on a white bread roll with margarine, onions cooked in lard and the reconstituted chips with lots of salt and large blueberry muffin with a 16oz diet soda hits the system!! Everything you consume including all the preservatives, toxins, lousy fats, drugs, excess sugar will pass through this portal…..

Liver

The liver has two essential roles – making or processing chemicals and eliminating toxins and waste. Without this portal system none of the nutrients that we have carefully processed and passed in the intestines could be carried in the blood, through the liver to nourish the body and give us energy.

The liver is the organ but the work horses are the millions and millions of cells it holds.

Specialist cells, hepatocytes deal with the raw materials our body runs on – proteins, carbohydrates and fats. We are made of protein and we need to consume high quality protein to renew our cells and create new ones – in its raw state some proteins are not accepted by the body and the role of the liver’s cells is to change the format so that it is usable. Any waste from the liver cell’s processes is not passed back into the blood stream but stored for elimination. Similarly with carbohydrates, the liver cells will convert the carbs into appropriate fuel that can be easily accessed by the body for energy.

Kuppfer cells

The waste disposal cells in the liver are called Kuppfer cells, after the man who discovered them – they are the Dysons of the cell fraternity, sucking up bacteria and toxins before handing over to the hepacytes for processing. This means that the liver is incredibly important for your immune system. The liver also stores iron as well as other vitamins and minerals you need such as B12 and the organ makes clotting factors that stop bleeding after injury.

One of the key roles of the liver in cholesterol management – In spite of an effort to demonise cholesterol it is very important to appreciate the vital roles that it performs in the body. Cholesterol is vital to our digestive system, in that it forms the base for bile acids that are used to emulsify fat in the small bowel so that fat and fat soluble vitamins like E and K can be absorbed…

I treat my liver as the guardian of my health and if you take care of this organ first you will find that will have a very beneficial effect on the optimum balance of LDL and HDL cholesterol in your blood.

Next time I will be looking at some of the major diseases of the liver.

©sallycronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

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

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you find useful.. Sally.

Tales from the Irish Garden – Serialisation – Winter: Chapter Nineteen – Winterising the Palace by Sally Cronin


Winter: Chapter Nineteen – Winterising the Palace

As the stores beneath the palace began to accumulate under the watchful eye of Chef Marcelle, other preparations needed to be made to ensure the palace remained dry and warm in the coming rainy season.

The Queen was not looking forward to her first winter in her new home. She was a fairy who had lived for hundreds of years in almost year-round sunshine, where she could sit in a branch of her magnolia tree, soaking up the rays.

Of course she appreciated that, to maintain her beauty, she needed to take care not to get burnt, but with the fountain of youth to hand she was secure in the knowledge that her face was unlikely to ever wrinkle. She did not like rain in the slightest, and during their first year they had experienced the vagaries of the Irish weather system; which seemed to be the reverse of her native home, with 300 days of rain and 60 days of sunshine.

However, do not imagine for one minute that Queen Filigree was not grateful for the safety of her new abode or the wonderful people she had met. She couldn’t imagine not having the dear Storyteller in her life, and she would have never have met her dashingly handsome new husband, Prince Ronan. Still, the coming months filled her with dread, and she summoned Doctor Doesugood to consult on a preventative diet to assist in maintaining her joie de vivre.

He prescribed a diet of a quail’s eggs, served on an oat and almond bread toast and a baby spinach leaf for breakfast, wild salmon fishcakes with marjoram and dill sauce for lunch – courtesy of the Storyteller’s recent poaching expedition. And for dinner Cremini mushrooms cooked in butter and strawberry yoghurt, especially fortified with sunshine from Michael’s dairy farm.

The doctor had an apothecary’s shop providing herbs and spices, and he gave the queen a large box of assorted teas to drink during the day, including ginger with raspberry, and frankincense with chamomile. He had also handmade a very special gift for his queen, which when revealed startled her majesty into admiring gasps. It was a firefly feeder with 20 vertical rows of tiny cells that were filled daily with amber nectar. In the evening the fireflies that the queen had brought with her from Spain, would now gather on the feeder and after one sip of their favourite beverage they would create a bright light for her to bask in the glow of. The doctor assured the queen that just twenty minutes each evening would maintain her healthy glow and she was thrilled.

He did however warn his patron that after the allotted time the fireflies would be rather tipsy, and would fall off into the padded tray conveniently placed. He told her not to worry as they would sleep it off and be ready for action the following night, since the amber nectar was addictive.

With her own health and that of her family now taken care of, it was time to make sure that the palace was water tight. To this end she requested the presence of Jacobi the old pigeon keeper who slept in the roof with his charges. The royal pigeons with their feathery legs were one of her joys, and she could often be found in the rafters, stroking their soft feathers and cooing in harmony with them.

Along with Jacobi, she also asked for the master web maker to be brought up from the dark recesses of the palace basement, along with the spit master. These three creatures were bred from special ancient stock, and whilst the pigeons had flown ahead of the main party when leaving Spain, the precious spider and the spitter frog were carefully placed in moss lined baskets and transported on the backs of the swans.

The web maker was reverently placed on the table in a wicker basket of the finest quality as befitted his standing in the court. The queen carefully lifted the lid and reached inside and scooped the creature into the palm of her hand. Two very large eyes opened and two spiny arms reached out to tenderly caress her wrist.

The giant spider sat happily as the queen explained her requirements. Occasionally there would be a nod of the giant head and a quick tickle with its forelegs on her delicate skin that made her giggle.

‘So we have that clear then Sir Arachnid?’ The queen paused to await acknowledgement.

‘You will encourage your team to spin 100 large webs which will be stacked ready for use between the oak leaves provided, and have them ready in the next five days.’ Two taps on her wrist, and a little wiggle of the spider’s back end confirmed the instructions. She placed her most revered servant back in his basket, and he was whisked away by a footman to his lair where his 200 troops awaited eagerly for the challenge.

The spitter frog master arrived in the throne room under his own steam. He enjoyed the run of the palace along with his team of expert fly catchers. This was especially important in the summer months when the bluebottles, fat and bloated from feeding on dead things, would push their way into any cracks and crevices in the magnolia tree’s defences. They would scoff anything they could find including the delicious honeycomb which was created in the rooftop hives. Two spitter frogs guarded the entrance to the apiaries and it was a much requested duty, as bluebottles make a stupendous treat for a frog.

‘Good morning Sir Spitface and I hope you are well today.’ The frog hopped up and down and gave an enthusiastic croak.

‘I need your team’s assistance on a special project,’ she gestured that she wanted him to hop onto the table in front of her.

She indicated a large piece of parchment in front of her, and explained that she had asked the drones from the hives to conduct a survey of the roof of the palace; identifying areas where rain might find its way in.

‘As you can see there many places, where the roof is aligned to branches of the tree and water might seep through. I have asked Sir Arachnid to provide a hundred web patches, and Jacobi to collect the fragrant parcels dropped by the royal pigeons, to provide the filler of the smaller cracks. I need you and your frog support team to use your saliva to seal them in place.’

The frog hopped around the parchment for several minutes, studying the various problem areas, and then gave a croak of assent. ‘Excellent,’ the queen gently tickled the amphibian’s knobbly head.

Over the next few days, the worker bees, fairy handymen and the frogs gathered around spots where the roof met the magnolia branches, placing the web patches, filling in small cracks and sealing all in place with frog spit. Jacobi and the Queen Bee inspected the repairs and announced their satisfaction to her majesty, who commented that the proof was in the pudding!

Sure enough, two days later there was a deluge as a front swept up from the south. Apart from one little spot that needed a little more spit, not one single drop made its way into the palace, and this of course provided a perfect excuse for a bit of a party. However, as her ladies in waiting slipped the pale pink silk dress over her head and patted it into place, Queen Filigree began to feel quite unwell. She wondered if she had overdone the ginger and raspberry tea earlier, but the next minute her ladies gasped as she slipped to the floor.

©Sally Cronin Tales from the Irish Garden.

Tune in next week to find out what ails the fairy queen…..

One of the reviews for the book

In the frequently confronting context of contemporary literature, how delightful to be lured into quite another territory and immerse yourself in a fully-fledged fairy story! With royal pigeons lovingly reared over centuries, minute messages written and rolled up on onion paper, the symphony of fairy gossamer wings as fairies dance around in a panic, and diets of quail’s eggs, served on oat and almond bread toast and more, this is indeed a magical feast.

Yet ‘Tales from the Irish Garden’ is far more than a fairy story …

In this stand-alone sequel to her introduction to the magical world of Magia, author Sally Cronin tells the story of Queen Filigree and her court who, obliged to flee their sunny Mediterranean home, seek refuge in the very different landscape of the ‘Emerald Island’. The characters they meet there, and the stories they in turn tell in their quest for personal and collective happiness, deftly hook us in from beginning to end.

Supernatural her characters may be, but they share some very ‘human’ traits – from minor squabbling to dealing with dressing for a cooler climate or the ramifications of property development and building like many of us! Seeing their struggles, their imperfections, and their all too human tendencies is a sobering experience, as we recognise ourselves in them. Thus, the tales function at one level as a myth about the human condition, leaving us that much more self-aware, as well as entertained. In lively and whimsical fashion, the author skilfully blends elements of traditional folklore with a sensitivity to contemporary issues; the result is an enchanting and enriching fictional journey.

The fanciful nature of the story and the sometimes capricious nature of its characters is perfectly complemented by the beautiful illustrations by talented artist Donata Zawadzka.

The author’s flair for story-telling and her innate sense of humour ensures that the book will delight anyone with an imagination, of any age and background.

If you would like to browse my other ebooks.. you can find their reviews and Amazon links: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you enjoy the rest of the book.. Chapter Twenty next Saturday Sally.

The previous chapters of Tales from the Irish Garden can be found here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation/

Tales from the Irish Garden – Serialisation – Autumn – Chapter Eighteen – All Hallow’s Eve Part Two – Freakish Village prepares for the Zombies by Sally Cronin


Last Sunday I introduced you to the alternative folk who lived at the edges of the Storyteller’s magic garden...Chapter Seventeen – Part One All Hallow’s Eve

Autumn – Chapter Eighteen – All Hallow’s Eve – Part Two – Freakish Village prepares for the Zombies

Down in the village of Freakish, the villagers had been preparing for this night for the last week or so. Mothers slaved over costumes for their children, often biting their lips to prevent a slip of the tongue when pricking their tender fingertips with a needle. Every year one of the residents of the community on the hill would act as consultant, and this year Zenia and Zoran had both volunteered.

With pegs on noses, the mothers had gathered for a meeting to discuss the best way to make the costumes, and as an outcome, all the rags and old unwanted garments were gathered together and picked over by the consultants and placed into piles. They explained that some of the clothes would need to have cuts placed in strategic places, such as over the knees and thigh parts of the trousers for the boys. They also suggested taking already tatty shirts and ripping the sleeves and collars off and perhaps a couple of buttons. For the girls, they suggested that the mothers sew together oddly assorted coloured rags into shift dresses with ragged hems.

With the main costume out of the way, the committee moved onto the decoration phase. Mrs Dumphries, who made the dyes from the local plants, said she would take care of the reds, greens and dark browns required. Mrs Stipple who was married to the local butcher promised to get thin strips of cow hide to dye and hang from arms and legs. The thing that made them all scratch their heads was how to find a way to copy the dollops of flesh that hung so decoratively from Zenia and Zoran’s faces. Miss Fortescue, who acted as backstage makeup artist for the local dramatic society, said that she would take care of that little problem on the night.

Well pleased with the progress of the Freakish village preparations, Zenia and Zoran assured their friends that the night was going to be one of the most successful in decades.

As the sun set and the moon rose high in the sky, the villagers dressed their children in their costumes; with some taking the extra precaution of placing garlic amulets around their necks. They knew that those who were different from them, meant no harm, but just in case one of them got a bit carried away, four strong men were provided with sprays of frankincense and marjoram, which whilst not fatal, was known to give 99% of all zombies and ghouls the heebie-jeebies.

If past Halloween nights were anything to go by, these precautions were unnecessary, and as the villagers laid out tables of pumpkin fritters, apple pie, goat’s cheesecake and fresh cream, they chatted and laughed excitedly. Around them the children of the village, hideous and foul smelling, raced around trying to pick bits of artificial skin from each other’s bodies. The odd squeal indicated where an unfortunate child had some of his own ripped off over enthusiastically.

The church bell began to toll and a figure was seen to flit in and out between the gravestones. The game was on, and suddenly screams and howls of terror filled the village square. Dressed in robes of white, with a flaming torch in one hand and a dismembered head in the other, a man raced towards the knot of families as they stood frozen outside the community hall.

With a fearful screech, the creature skidded to a halt in front of the terrified villagers and threw the head at their feet. In the light of the torch a diabolical face could be seen glowing gruesomely with green and red slime. With a cackle a disembodied voice lashed into them.
‘Gotcha, gotcha, gotcha….’

Mrs Dumphries, with her hands on her hips advanced towards the rotund prankster, noting in passing that the bodiless head was made of papier-mâché.

‘Father, you nearly frightened us all to death, whatever were you thinking, we weren’t ready yet!’ She wagged her finger in his face, and with a collective sigh of relief, everyone surrounded the priest and patted him on the back.

It was now time for the real fun to begin, and everyone piled back inside the large hall and sat cross-legged in a circle. Miss Fortescue and the committee blew out all the candles and joined their friends on the floor. You could have heard a pin drop, and even the children sat quietly in petrified silence. After what seemed like an hour, but was only really a few minutes, they all heard the creak of the main door as it was pushed open by an unseen hand. A window at the back of the centre banged shut, and a sudden rush of soot was heard as it settled with a thump into the grate. There was a sharp intake of breath as a cold slimy hand brushed against a man’s cheek, and Mrs Dumphries shrieked as she felt the gentlest of bites against her neck.

The children were of course completely delighted by the whole shebang, and the ghouls and pranksters paid particular attention to making their parents scream and cry out for mercy. Small packets of sweets were left in the laps of the youngsters along with little practical jokes for use during the rest of the year. If you have ever wondered where itching powder and whoopee cushions came from, now you know!

An hour later and every one of the villagers had been scared half to death, and Bethany decided that they would indeed be much more grateful for their lives in the year to come. She relit the candles, and with a massive sigh of relief, and nervous laughter, the villagers got to their feet, with one or two stalwart men required to get the fat little priest upright.

Cecil the black cat sat on the mantle above the fire yawning with boredom, having seen it all before many times. Bethany and her friends went from person to person shaking hands and hugging some of those they had known for decades; patting eager children on the head, complimenting them on their magnificent costumes.

It was time to hit the party food and whilst Zenia and Zoran did not usually partake, they gladly passed amongst the guests, topping up glasses with the amber nectar. The Storyteller had been hiding in the community centre kitchens for the main festivities to finish. To be honest he had a bit of a dicky heart, and was not sure he could take all the frivolity. However, he had brought a surprise for the gathered villagers and their visitors, and huge cheer went up as he appeared followed by his band of musicians.

He asked Bethany if she would join him for the first dance and with grace and much admiration they executed a Viennese Waltz perfectly. The Storyteller gestured to everyone to take to the floor and soon there was a heaving mass of men, women and children prancing and reeling, rockin’ ‘n’ rollin’ and twerking in time to the beat.

As the church clock struck midnight, the visitors shambled away to the hills where they would remain out of sight for another year. Bethany was cornered by one or two of the ladies, and with Cecil waiting impatiently by her broom; she dispensed some pre-prepared potions that she knew were always in demand. Miss Fortescue in particular was very keen to find a fragrance that she could wear behind her plump little ears to attract Jack Hammer the local blacksmith.

©Sally Cronin – Tales from the Irish Garden 2018

One of the reviews for the book

In the frequently confronting context of contemporary literature, how delightful to be lured into quite another territory and immerse yourself in a fully-fledged fairy story! With royal pigeons lovingly reared over centuries, minute messages written and rolled up on onion paper, the symphony of fairy gossamer wings as fairies dance around in a panic, and diets of quail’s eggs, served on oat and almond bread toast and more, this is indeed a magical feast.

Yet ‘Tales from the Irish Garden’ is far more than a fairy story …

In this stand-alone sequel to her introduction to the magical world of Magia, author Sally Cronin tells the story of Queen Filigree and her court who, obliged to flee their sunny Mediterranean home, seek refuge in the very different landscape of the ‘Emerald Island’. The characters they meet there, and the stories they in turn tell in their quest for personal and collective happiness, deftly hook us in from beginning to end.

Supernatural her characters may be, but they share some very ‘human’ traits – from minor squabbling to dealing with dressing for a cooler climate or the ramifications of property development and building like many of us! Seeing their struggles, their imperfections, and their all too human tendencies is a sobering experience, as we recognise ourselves in them. Thus, the tales function at one level as a myth about the human condition, leaving us that much more self-aware, as well as entertained. In lively and whimsical fashion, the author skilfully blends elements of traditional folklore with a sensitivity to contemporary issues; the result is an enchanting and enriching fictional journey.

The fanciful nature of the story and the sometimes capricious nature of its characters is perfectly complemented by the beautiful illustrations by talented artist Donata Zawadzka.

The author’s flair for story-telling and her innate sense of humour ensures that the book will delight anyone with an imagination, of any age and background.

If you would like to browse my other ebooks.. you can find their reviews and Amazon links: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you enjoy the rest of the book.. Chapter nineteen tomorrow. Sally.

The previous chapters of Tales from the Irish Garden can be found here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation/

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up


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

Short and sweet this week.. well my introduction to the post anyway.. I know for many of you the school holidays have just begun and you may be already on your way to a vacation and just hope your transition by road, rail and air is smoother than it has been for those leaving the UK in the last few days.

My thanks to all those who have contributed this week.. and every week… also to everyone who has liked a post.  I still have that button and when people are busy and cannot comment on all the post that they read, it is a sign of appreciation. Please don’t get rid of the like button on your blog.. it is there for a reason.

Reblogging has become a two step process since the last upgrade, so thank you to those who have gone the extra mile… if you find you cannot reblog a post here or on anybody else’s blog.. refresh the page. I have a sneak suspicion that WordPress are trying to cut down on traffic, and hoping that most people will give up when the reblog button does not work.

Press This.. is a very useful way to share a post. You can add your own introduction and cut and paste an extract from the post as well as schedule for a time ahead.  This is a great way to schedule content for overnight to reach an audience in other time zones, without having to write a post yourself. This is useful if you are too busy that day or week and also promotes another blogger at the same time.

Time to get on with the posts you might have missed this week….

More wonderful recipes from Carol Taylor.. including Chinese Chicken or Pork with Water Chestnuts.. and if you have a glut of cucumbers.. get pickling..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-chinese-chicken-pork-with-water-chestnuts-quick-pickling-and-bread-rolls/

Patty Fletcher shares her experience of the bond between her Seeing Eye Dog Campbell and herself, including when there is something wrong that he cannot communicate.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/28/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-ignoring-vs-acknowledging-and-obeying-my-6th-sense-by-patty-fletcher/

A miller and his family repay the kindness shown to them in dark days by mice.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-sixteen-autumn-the-kindness-of-mice-by-sally-cronin/

Part One of a Halloween Tale about special residents of the Magic Garden….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/28/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-seventeen-autumn-all-hallows-eve-part-one-by-sally-cronin/

My fifteen year old niece comes to spend three weeks with us from the UK and we get up to a lot of mischief.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-a-nieces-visit-astroworld-rafting-south-padre-and-a-royal-wedding/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-a-little-bit-country-dolly-parton-kenny-rogers-john-denver-anne-murray-and-crystal-gayle/

Time of the week to respond to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 137 and this week the prompt words were Kind and Shift‘ and I have selected the synonyms ‘Genial and Change’

Etheree – To Better Understand by Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-poetry-challenge-etheree-to-better-understand-by-sally-cronin/

Another wonderful prompt and post from Charli Mills for this week’s carrot ranch flash fiction challenge And I do suggest you head over to read about a loon chick who lost its way and the kindness of human strangers determined that it should have a chance to survive. The prompt this week was For One Day’

Retail Therapy by Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-challenge-retail-therapy-by-sally-cronin/

This week I have chosen a post by Sherrey Meyer, that I am sure all of us who miss their fathers will relate to.. This was for Father’s Day June 16th 2013 so I am not too far out date wise. Memoir – Remembering Dad 2013 by Sherrey Meyer

Clockwise L-R: Dad sitting at a linotype machine, Dad at 16, and Dad showing me how to use my new tricycle

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-remembering-dad-2013-by-sherrey-meyer/

This is the final post that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty. In the last few weeks Europe and the UK has been hit by the very hot weather courtesy of North African prevailing winds, and this was last year. Australia Some Like It Hot 2018 by Janet Gogerty

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-australia-some-like-it-hot-by-janet-gogerty/

This is the final post from the archives of author Stevie Turner who has an extensive and eclectic archives and it is easy to get yourself lost in there for an hour or so. I have selected this post as it is that time again….school summer holidays…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-school-summer-holidays-2017-by-stevie-turner/

This is the final post from the archives of Laura M. Bailey who blogs on a number of subjects including history, family, horses, Southern lifestyle and cookery. With the tinder dry grass that these long hot summers are producing, there is always a risk of a bush or wildfire. Laura shares the terrifying moment she saw a wall of fire heading for their homestead and livestock.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-ranching-my-life-in-mud-boots-2016-wildfire-by-laura-m-bailey/

This is the final post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher..or should I say Millie and Pearl do….Millie has sadly passed away now but lives on in the hearts and minds of her pack. Millie goes to Uni 2017 by Annabelle Franklin

CBSA 1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-therapydog-millie-goes-to-uni-2017-by-annabelle-franklin/

This is the final post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them. I use a lot of herbs in my cooking and I love animals and the people who rescue and keep them safe….  Saving Animals and Herbs by Dolly Aizenman

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-animalwelfare-herbs-saving-animals-and-herbs-by-dolly-aizenman/

Ritu Bhathal has an eclectic range of subjects on her blog, and I am going to share a poem that I think will resonate with anyone with teenage children. Of Teen and Tweenage Angst 2018 by Ritu Bhathal

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-of-teen-and-tweenage-angst-poem-2018-by-ritu-bhathal/

This is the first post from the archives of author Elizabeth Gauffreau who has some wonderful posts, including an interesting look at her genealogy journey, seeking out her family history. This post will strike a chord with many who have, like me got a drawer where previous creative ideas lie waiting for rejuvenation… 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-failed-novel-anyone-2017-by-elizabeth-gauffreau/

This is the first post from retired librarian and author Cathy Cade, who has been blogging since early 2018. She shares posts on a variety of topics, including some excellent grammar tutorials, but  this week I have selected an early post about her writing journey. We often seek other’s opinions on our writing but it can be very daunting putting it out there on a site and invite criticism.  Swimming with Sharks by Cathy Cade

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-newwriters-swimming-with-sharks-by-cathy-cade/

This is the first post for author Chuck Jackson and I have selected a post from last year that I enjoyed very much at the time… Working in a funeral home… A True Story From my Past by Chuck Jackson

Sandra West – Photo – San Antonio Express-News

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-a-true-story-from-my-past-funeral-home-by-chuck-jackson/

This is the first of the posts from the archives of author and poet Joy Lennick, although certainly not the first post that we have enjoyed here on Smorgasbord from this entertaining writer. This week Joy shares the wonderful moment she met her husband Eric, who sounds, in her recent posts, not to have lost an ounce of his charm or humour. Thumbnail sketches of the past – 1949 (2014) by Joy Lennick

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-thumbnail-sketches-of-the-past-1949-2014-by-joy-lennick/

Linda Bethea is a regular contributor here on Smorgasbord, but this time I get to select the posts from her archives to share with you… I am sure you will enjoy her stories as always. For her post I am going back to 2014 and Linda’s recollections of bringing her new baby home and the ensuing mayhem.. I am sure that many of you can relate! Baby Blues

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-baby-blues/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-what-about-love-the-rivera-sisters-series-book-two-by-jeanine-lunsford/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-tallis-steelyard-a-guide-for-writers-and-other-stories-by-jim-webster/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-silent-heroes-by-patricia-furstenberg/

Author Updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-mary-smith-and-bette-a-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-upate-reviews-sally-harris-angie-dokos-and-andrew-joyce/

The start of a series on the digestive system.. beginning in the mouth… a very important place to start.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-digestive-system-part-one-the-mouth-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-lets-hear-it-for-the-dogs-shaggy-and-otherwise/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-or-two-from-sallys-archives-4/