Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer Joy Lennick – A Tribute to my dear Mama/Mum


In this post from Joy Lennick, she shares the life and cherished memories of her mother.. born in Wales in 1906, who clearly passed on resoluteness, adaptability, love of hard work and creativity to her daughter. A wonderful tribute.

A tribute to my dear Mama/Mum by Joy Lennick

Until I went to school aged five, I called my mother: Lila – named after a Fairy Queen seen in a play! – Elizabeth – mama. It was my God-mother, Aunt Doris,’ suggestion as she had grandiose ideas as to my up-bringing and saw me as a little lady of breeding who would doubtless learn to play the piano beautifully, knit Fair-Isle sweaters, blind-folded… embroider as if to the manor born, and POSSIBLY end up marrying someone higher up the ladder (and I don’t mean a window-cleaner.) As it transpired, while I may have mastered Chopsticks, sewed a fairly neat hem, and even made a peg-bag, I’m afraid I disappointed in all other areas. And, because a strange, deranged little man with a moustache wanted to dominate the world and promote a “Master Race,” I didn’t attend the Convent School my aunt had mapped out for me. Meanwhile, I enrolled at the local, Dagenham village school, before being whisked away to live on a Welsh mountain when war was declared in the September of 1939. Then, realising I just belonged to the hoi poloi, I thereafter called my mother mum.

The Mansfields (my paternal relatives) thought they were a cut above: there was Royal Doulton china and crystal cut-glass in the display cabinet and a framed picture of Churchill on the wall to prove it!! The ladies of the family also bought glossy periodicals which “the toffs” purchased; and shopped in the very best West End stores whenever possible. Oh, and both Dad’s sisters owned FUR COATS. And wore Perfume by COTY…But I mustn’t give the wrong impression as, with the exception of, later (one of their number), they were consistently kind, caring, charitable and generous. But quickly back to Mum…

So, what was she like, my pretty, loving mum? Imagine a blue-skied and sunshiny day, with a soft breeze blowing and birds wheeling in the sky… That was my mum. She epitomized Spring and was blessed with a sunny, happy personality. (On later reading Laurie Lee’s book “Cider with Rosie,” mum sounded like his quirky mother as their sense of fun were similar!) She was a perfect foil for Dad’s no-nonsense, a spade is a spade, sterner make-up, although he had an earthy sense of humour and was as reliable as the clichéd Rock of Gibraltar. Around five feet two inches, with a slender figure, mum belied an inner strength which repeatedly revealed itself.

Born in 1906, she lived to experience the Great Depression in South Wales and helped look after her two younger sisters. Grandad said she had ‘Dark brown hair like fine-spun sugar…’ A brick-layer and later, shop-keeper, he may have been, but he was a gentleman and charmed the ladies. Mum had left school at fourteen and worked selling ribbons and cottons in the market and in her parents’ greengrocer’s shop/and on a pony and trap serving customers living in the mountains. Too soon, everything was ‘on the slate, please, mun’ because of The Great Depression, and money was fast running out. Aged seventeen, mum begged to go to London to work but Grandma was convinced it was worse than Gomorrah:*

‘Duw duw, you could be murdered or worse.’ she cried. But, when feeding her family became critical, Grandma relented. Mum pointed her “winkle-pickers” in the East End of London’s direction and worked as a Nanny for the two children of talented Jewish tailors in Stepney.

Soon Lila was not only a Nanny, but taught how to cook Jewish dishes and do intricate beading work. Linking up with her best friend, Edna, the pair went dancing on their one day off and, as she said ‘The streets weren’t really paved with gold,’ as promised…but the lights were brighter and you could have ‘six-penny-worth of fun’ and watch American pictures. too.

She saved hard and soon had the requisite ten pounds to add to her mother’s hard saved purse. Her family: Mam, Dad and three siblings, caught the train to Dagenham Dock station with packed suitcases and little else and were given a new Council house in Becontree, which her enamoured mother announced, was ‘Like a miniature Buckingham Palace!.’ Mum said that was pushing it a bit… But it had a new roof which didn’t leak and a bathroom.downstairs, three bedrooms up, and a proper garden at the back. ‘Not like that old slum in Dowlais,.’ Grandma was heard to say.

Leaving the Soloman’s employ with regret, Mum then became a cinema usherette, also working part-time in the building’s café with her sister Peggy. She found life fun as she loved to dance and, being pretty, caught the eye of many a would-be suitor. One in particular pursued her and they became engaged, but he spent too much time on his motor-bike and Mum wasn’t cut out to play second fiddle to a bike! The move couldn’t have been luckier for another dancer and natty dresser (first in his crowd to wear plus-fours. it is said… ) called Charles (Charlie) who quickly stepped into the breach. He and Lila won a few prizes for their prowess on the dance floor – including “The Black.Bottom’”- of the Cross Keys public house in old Dagenham and were soon seriously courting.

Eager to show off his new girl-friend to his family, Charles invited her to tea, much to the delight of his father, also Charles: a well-heeled Freemason, who had a penchant for pretty faces… The females in the family, however, on being introduced to an uneducated girl “from the Welsh valleys” almost had them reaching for their smelling salts… but Lila was polite, friendly and possessed a winning smile and they gradually accepted the inevitable. Charles was smitten, but found it difficult to ‘write my own life script’ as he later discovered. The happy pair were married in a – horror of horrors – Registry office, while the Mansfields were staunch Catholics, a fact the Father of the local church found difficult to comprehend and led to harsh words being exchanged. Although to keep the Mansfields’ happy, when I arrived on the scene, I was Christened by a Canon, no less. (Dad said ‘She should have been fired from one!’ when I decapitated his row of red: soldier erect tulips, aged two.) After the birth of my second brother, the Priest visited our house and tried to persuade Mum to marry “in the church,” but went beyond the pale when he suggested all three of us children were illegitimate, and was quickly shown the door.

Like most working-class women then, mum was familiar with the Monday-wash-boiler, the scrubbing board and the outside mangle. Although we had indoor plumbing, we had no central heating until the mid/late 50’s – and only had a gas-fire for warmth on in the bedroom if we were very ill (once with measles…) The stove in our tiny kitchen was much cosseted…as was the rare fire in the lounge fireplace. And the telephone, also installed in the 50’s, was almost revered, as was the “new-fangled” TV set.

Meanwhile, mum – by then a trained hairdresser – crimped and cut hair to help expenses go further, cooked delicious meals for the five of us and was everything a good mum should be. Then – wouldn’t you know – the .lunatic little man mentioned above, started strutting his stuff and war – an incomprehensible state to us children – was declared. When rationing was introduced, Mum made all sorts of filling dishes, using more potatoes and vegetables from our garden, bread puddings and ‘apples in blankets’ (pastry) to fill our corners…she also made sure we had concentrated orange juice, cod-liver oil (ugh!) and Virol to keep us healthy, as –in due course – did dear aunt Sal.

Dad, having been an Air Force Cadet at the end of World War 1, and in love with aeroplanes, re-joined the Air Force and was one of the first wave of airmen to be called up for duty. After hastily digging a huge hole in our pristine, green lawn, he erected an outdoor air-raid shelter, as instructed, and then accompanied us three children and mum to South Wales. We were to stay in the relative safety of her cousin Sarah Jones’– Aunt Sal to us – tall, thin house, set into the side of Mountain Hare, just above Merthyr Tydfil. It didn’t have all mod.cons. like ours, but I was enchanted with gaslight and candlelight…not so with the outside “lav,” with squares of the Merthyr Express on which to wipe ones bottom!

Mum stayed on awhile, but dad had to join his unit in France. Having entrusted brother Bryan to the loving care of another aunt in Ebbw Vale as Aunt Sal couldn’t cope with three children due to a badly ulcerated leg, mum left to stay with her mother and do “war work.” As mentioned above, Mum wasn’t very tall and quite slender, and we were surprised when next we saw her, as she had developed muscles…after working on a moving assembly belt of Army lorries at Ford’s Motors. She later moved to another company, where she was taught welding and became even stronger. Fortunately, during the first part of the war, it was fairly quiet, so we were transported back and forth a few times, especially as dad was given leave from France before things hotted up.

Thereafter, Dagenham, and more specifically: our house became a dangerous place to live in as it was near the River Thames, the Ford Motor works, churning out war machines, a huge drug factory and railway – all likely targets for the German planes. A land-mine fell at the end of our street and demolished many houses and killed several people, but our house was only marginally damaged. In all, we were evacuated three times: to Merthyr, Neath and – with my secondary school, to Derbyshire. Towards the end of the war, dad was stationed near enough to visit our home and mum gave birth to my third brother, Royce (despìte being warned about the aphrodisiac quality of eels to which he was partial). As mum was unwell, the doctor advised her to stay somewhere quieter, and the most generous family, who lived in Neath, Wales – and had two children of their own – took the five of us in, as aunt Sal was ill.

You can imagine our sheer joy when peace was declared and we were all able to return to our own home: shaken and stirred but still intact, and dad was, at last, demobbed.
During our absence, we soon discovered, Mum had re-decorated several rooms herself. There was a shortage of wallpaper, so she had “stippled” the walls with a design in a contrasting colour and I spent many odd times imagining all sorts of animals and magical “objects” floating up to the ceilings…It seemed, Mum was able to tackle most things, and a great advocate of “make do and mend.” She was always darning socks, turning shirt collars and bedsheets, and aware of the hard times, often said “That will do…” if an item of clothing had a vestige of life left.

A keen dancer herself, she encouraged me when I reached my teens and joined the youth club. Mum and her father both won prizes for dancing and she played a mean piano, I recall her pounding the ivories in our Welsh centre during her visits. “Amapola,” “The Seigfried Line” and various popular tunes and songs were requested during her time with us, and she urged me to take ballet and tap lessons, which I adored.

As far as “lessons subtly learned” while under my parents roof were concerned, Mum in particular emphasized that I should ‘show willing and be helpful to others’as she did…and, while sex was never actually discussed….whenever I went out with a boy, she always told me to ‘be good now!’which I interpreted as ‘keep your legs together,’ which I dutifully did, much to their annoyance.

Every week, Mum and I went to the local cinema to see the latest British or American film and lapped up all the glamour and fantasy and she loved reading “Nell’s Books on Wheels” delivered locally every week She was particularly fond of romances and favoured medical tales. Mum had a knack of bringing sunshine into the house with some of her embroidered tales of people she worked with and even when it rained for a few days, managed to lift our spirits. Fortunately, both my parents were able to enjoy several holidays abroad as we children grew older, and still managed to impress on the dance floor!

As time wore on, and after I married, mum took advanced cooking courses and learned “Silver Service Waitressing,”securing an excellent post in the directors’ canteen of a large company nearby: May & Bakers and worked there for several years. When she retired, she hated it, so arranged wedding functions and 2lst birthday celebrations and the like, with the able assistance of one of my sisters-in-law, Doreen; and made beautiful, iced celebration cakes. She also did flower arranging and made bridal bouquets, buttonholes and the like…(and even won prizes for her arrangements at the local Town Show.)

When my parents celebrated their Golden Wedding, as my husband and I were then running a hotel, we were able to entertain them with family and friends, for a fun weekend. It was so good to be able to make a fuss of them for a change! Sadly, as dad approached eighty, his lungs started letting him down – he was a heavy smoker when young and in the war, apart from working for so many years on the river. But he made it to eighty-three. Mum was, naturally, at first desolate at his passing, as were we. But we sold her house for her and bought her another, smaller one, just around the corner to ours.

Her hands were rarely still thereafter. She made delicious petit fours and boxed them up as gifts at Christmas time, still made large and small assorted cakes, and embroidered many pictures which my husband framed for her. She also knitted toys, covered coat-hangers and sewed lavender bags. We were able to take mum and a friend on two continental holidays – which she loved, and we spent many happy hours together. She so enjoyed being in the company of our three sons and her other grandchildren, was alert and keenly interested in them and what was happening in the outside world. She only went on one “Old people’s outings” as she termed them (aged eighty) but said: ‘I shan’t go with them again…Some of them clicked their teeth and talked about their operations all the time’

It was tragically ironic that mum – apart from a worn heart – and comparatively healthy for her age, was struck by an unlicensed car a few inches from a kerb, while out visiting a relative,
suffered a broken hip and lapsed into an unconscious state for six, long weeks before dying.

It was the most cruel blow of my life and I was bereft, but I still carry her treasured memory in my heart, as I will until I fall off my own perch. Mum loved all us four children unconditionally and, despite our faults, thought us “the bee’s knees…” and, as we thought she was too, you can’t ask for more than that. Can you?

*Gomorrah: A House of ill repute in the bible.

©Joy Lennick

What a fascinating story and my thanks to Joy as always for her entertaining storytelling…

About Joy Lennick

Having worn several hats in my life: wife, mum, secretary, shop-keeper, hotelier; my favourite is the multi-coloured author’s creation. I am an eclectic writer: diary, articles, poetry, short stories and five books. Two books were factual, the third as biographer: HURRICANE HALSEY (a true sea adventure), fourth my Memoir MY GENTLE WAR and my current fiction novel is THE CATALYST. Plenty more simmering…

A selection of books by Joy Lennick

One of the reviews for The Moon is Wearing a TuTu

This book comprises of a number of unusual poems that certainly force you to think deeply by Joy Lennick and a few poems, limericks and humorous one-liner jokes by Eric Lennick. There are also two, clever 50-word short stories by Jean Wilson.While the entire book was entertaining to read, I really enjoyed some of Joy’s wickedly humorous poems. She uses her words like little knives to cut into the body of a matter and expose its beating heart in a manner that is humorous but sharply to the point. The one that I related to the most was Think Outside the Box:

“I think out of the box
and why not?
(Are you wary your copybook you’ll blot?!)
I’m fed up with sheep
who seem half asleep
individuals they certainly are not.
To say “aab” not “baa”
is OK.
For a change why not try it today!
The fox you could fox –
confusing his “box,”
just say “aab” and get clean away.”

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY

Find all the books, read other reviews and follow Joy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3124773.Joy_Lennick

Connect to Joy

Blog: https://joylennick.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joy.lennick

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure that Joy would love to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

If you would like to become a regular contributor with new or posts that you have already published on your own blog then please contact me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com. It is an opportunity to promote your blog and books if you an author and to reach a different audience.

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Joy Lennick and Sweet Pea Lodge #Humour


This week Joy Lennick shares some shenanigans from her visits to an old people’s home where life was celebrated as much as possible, and sometimes romance overcame the sensibilities…

Sweet Pea Lodge by Joy Lennick

Having joined a ‘Help the Community’ scheme initiated by the local Branford Council, I had changed my usual visiting day to the present one to help celebrate resident Kitty’s birthday, and upon arrival at the ‘House,’ could hear raised voices and singing coming from the lounge….

“Father had a donkey;
stuck it in the yard.
One summer’s day it was snowing effing hard…”

sang Kitty in full throttle, before ‘Matron’ (as I privately nicknamed her) – in fact the head carer – intervened. Her name is Veronica, but I always think and refer to her as Matron as she has a ‘no-nonsense-take-no-prisoners’ persona which masks a kind heart.

“Really, Kitty!” she said, tutting, “ Control yourself…”

Kitty, aged 90 years old on that very day: a tiny, jolly lady with an earthy sense of humour which even Alzheimer’s – somehow or other – hadn’t completely destroyed, had no intention of controlling herself…. I gave her a birthday card and said two of the most over-worked words ever, while giving her a hug. She may have been 90, but Kitty had magically retained or refashioned ‘a little girl’ mentality, and swished the skirt of her favourite cotton dress like a ten-year-old. The effects of her illness were still evident, but her lively personality shone through.

“Is this for me?” she asked, tearing open the envelope. The card was a funny one intended to make her laugh. She duly obliged.

“Yes,” I answered, “What does it feel like to be ninety, Kit?”

“I’m not!” she refuted hotly, ‘I’m seventy!’ Well, whatever age she thought she was, she had worn well and had one of those soft pink and white complexions which now and then endure the ravages of time.

“By the way, I like your hair do!” I said to placate her. She didn’t answer, but patted her newly permed grey curls with a satisfied smirk.

“Tea and cake in the dining room soon, Kitty!” announced Matron. Another voice belonging to a friend piped up: “Goobedly dando!” she said and grinned. A newish visitor to these ladies, I hadn’t met Margaret before that day. Matron had just introduced us. “Bludog verly…” she replied. I had to stop the tears from spilling as she was such a sweet person, quite oblivious of her dysfunctional state. That could be me in the future, I thought…

Before I continue, I must tell you where this worthy ‘establishment’ is sited…

Starting with its name, ‘Sweet Pea Lodge’ is, on consideration, an unfortunate epithet for the sprawling, not unattractive, brick built building, as it houses a motley collection of mature folk of both sexes (mostly female), some of whom are – how can I put it? – well, slightly (and sometimes more so) incontinent.

Someone once wrote on a London wall ‘Harwich for the continent and Frinton for the incontinent,’ but I mustn’t labour the point… I am not being indelicate by pointing this out, as it is a fact of life for some of us unluckier souls. Cans of lavender spray, and bowls of carefully placed pot pourri are not uncommon sights in Sweet Pea Lodge. (The latter placed higher up in case they are eaten by the residents!)

This particular ‘Home for the Elderly & Infirm,’ is situated on the outskirts of Branford in Essex and squats on one corner of an average-sized park, generously planted with various trees and plants, providing a ‘child friendly’ area with swings, slides and so on. (The park, that is!) The building is well thought-out, with airy, private rooms containing a sink unit: bathrooms being separate. Both lounge and dining room have been carefully ‘colour co-ordinated’ and are bright and cheerful. Outside, there is a large patio area with tables and chairs, where the residents are encouraged to take the air, weather permitting. Architects periodically receive a lot of sometimes deserved flak, but whoever designed this place earned a thumbs up.

Branford has a fascinating history for, in the distant past, at least two Kings, with their Queens and retinue regularly visited nearby Havering-atte-Bower, situated a few miles east of the town, during the summer months to escape the steaming London streets, which literally stank to high heaven. Havering-atte-Bower and the surrounding countryside – still lush in parts – and now dotted with attractive, often detached houses and bungalows, was relished for its cleaner air; and trips to the perfumery (vital in those days among the rich); the milliners; glove and parasol-makers; dress.- making and leather-goods shops in Branford – all treats for the royal entourage.

The shopping centre then consisted of two rows of stores facing each other over a cobbled square. Now, of course, hundreds of years later, Branford presents a somewhat different face to the new visitor. Glass and steel edifices pronounce the ‘new religion” (according to some): shopping! Public houses – some of which have out-witted time – stand cheek to cheek with more modern large and small stores, most of which seem to do a fair trade, despite the sad economic situation which prevails today; although ‘Charity’ shops are growing apace. But I digress…Back to Sweet Pea Lodge.

“Come along Kitty! We have lit your candles. You have to blow them out.” (nine to represent the decades) said Matron. En masse, our group shuffled into the dining-room.

Kitty clapped her hands and dutifully blew on the candles: several times… The cake was then cut and tea poured. All very civilized until Maud Canter: a contrarily quiet and moody lady who wielded a walking stick one had to keep clear of… let out a very loud fart which convulsed Kitty (having a lavatorial sense of humour) into enthusiastic guffaws. Matron tried pretending that everything was quite normal, but Kitty said “Phew – that was a corker!” to Maud, who, fortunately, was hard of hearing as well as windy. I passed around the cups of tea and made as sensible conversation as could be understood.

With mouths busy, all became quiet in the pleasantly furnished and decorated dining room until Annie, a whey-faced lady who wore a continual frown – Kitty’s best friend – let out a cry.

“Oh dear,” she said, “I nearly forgot Albert’s dinner….” And she disappeared into her room nearby, reappearing a few moments later, wringing her hands (a constant action). “Someone’s stolen the gas stove!” and she started to weep until comforted by Sally, one of the carers. Poor Albert (who choked on a fishbone in 1990) was soon forgotten.

“Shall we go for a walk, Kit?” asked Annie, brightening. And so, off they set, strolling about twenty paces down the corridor, before returning and repeating the process about four times, until they tired. Kitty reopened the card I gave her – having tucked it back into the envelope – and exclaimed in great excitement.

“Oh, someone’s sent me a birthday card!” I was standing nearest to her.

“Yes, I did,” I said quietly. That innocuous card was opened, tucked away; walks taken and then the envelope re-opened and the card re-admired no less than four times during my time there.

On another visit, it was decided that we were to investigate the ‘Art’ world… The ladies seemed quite excited when given their ‘Gainsborough’ painting-by-numbers pictures and crayons. Water colours had been banned after Matron: oblivious of the art class then taking place – having just arrived back from a trip away – found Annie with her arm covered in blood-red paint, mistakenly thinking she had injured herself!

Kitty set to with vigour – completely ignoring her picture. The stainless steel table surround soon resembled a purple snake and she took great delight in criss-crossing the table legs with yellow crayon. Fearing the nearby wall would be a perfect victim for her busy arm, I suggested poetry reading. Annie completely ignored me, so wrapped up was she on completing her picture. Picasso who? I thought…Torn, and a quarter-painted efforts, were eventually gathered up and exclaimed over.

“Have you ever heard of Gainsborough?” I stupidly asked Margaret, mistaking her for someone else.

At least she shook her head, instead of confusing my ears. “Would you like me to read you one of my funny poems?” I then asked the five ladies: anxious and fidgeting before me. Three nodded; the others were who knew where. Oh well, here goes, I thought…

I enunciated my words slowly and loudly: THIS POEM IS CALLED ‘SOLE MATES’ – S O L E, I spelled out, pointing to my feet. At least Kitty nodded. I cleared my throat.
I MUST TELL YOU OF A ROMANCE
THAT’S SADLY ON THE ROCKS
NOT BETWEEN THE SEXES (Kitty giggled at the word sexes)
BUT BETWEEN SOME CLASSY SOCKS… (I quickly picked up on several frowns on several foreheads) but carried on…
IT STARTED UP LAST CHRISTMAS DAY (“Ah Christmas” said Annie with a smile, before retreating behind her invisible wall.) I continued, nervously…
WHEN AUNT LOUISE ARRIVED TO STAY.
SHE PUT A BOX BENEATH THE TREE
CONTAINING LOVERS, HE AND ME…

Well the last bit completely flummoxed them – I could imagine their poor, befuddled brain-boxes trying to work out who the two lovers were and what they were doing in a box. So I stopped and instead started reciting: I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD.

Amazingly, one of my audience, a lady called Ruby, recited the first line with me and I found that quite touching. She couldn’t remember any more and I only read one verse, deciding that it would be less of a strain on them and me… if we had a sing-song instead.

Carer Sally offered to play the piano, and the four ladies left – Margaret had wandered off – started singing with gusto. ‘Strangers in the Night… DA DA DA DA DA…’ was soon abandoned and we sang ‘The Lambeth Walk’ instead. Both Annie and Kitty knew nearly all the words to that one, with Kitty performing a lively “Oi!” at the end.

Easter arrived, and with it, an announcement that we were to have “An Easter bonnet decorating competition.” said Matron. Sally brought along several straw hats and lots of ribbons, flowers, feathers and fluffy chicks, etc., Four of the five ladies present – Maud Canter having refused to join in – became as engrossed as they could be in the job at hand. Sally, Matron and I assisted where necessary, but encouraged the ladies to do as much as they could themselves. Lots of tongues appeared between lots of lips, plus an expletive from Kitty’s corner “Bleedin’ ribbon..” she was heard to say, untangling it. After about an hour, Margaret’s hat – a veritable farm–yard, with different sized chicks in a nest perched precariously on the crown – was declared the winner. She was so delighted, she curtsied and danced around the room. Her memory may have completely disappeared, but she was the happiest woman present!

One week, an attractive, middle-aged male dancer/singer entertained the ladies and I was surprised to witness the difference in their behaviour. Most seemed to have lost their normal nervousness, and at ninety, Kitty became a sort of ‘mature coquette’ flirting, and – for a brief twirl – dancing, with the handsome stranger. Turning to me, she said “He’s a bit of all-right, isn’t he!” He was a real sport and quite charming. I mused on the fact that vestiges, while minute, of earlier engagements with the opposite sex, still remained!

The weeks and months rolled by, with the staff more than aware of the need to entertain their charges to keep up their morale. I’d be a liar if I said that it was easy…And then, just before Christmas, there were two more birthdays to celebrate. A certain ‘Marion’ – a comparative newcomer, about to have her sixtieth birthday – and a very gentle man, soon to be 79, whose name was Sam. His mind was intact but his physical needs were such that he could no longer live alone. My heart went out to him and we had lots of chats. Marion, on the other hand, while able to sustain a reasonable conversation, had a mental problem of sorts plus a disability. About twenty of us were gathered in the prettied lounge; resplendent with decorations and balloons (the lounge not us), and I was aware of another man they referred to as Stan, who had only arrived the day before. Like Marion, he was much younger than most of the other residents and I had yet to learn of his history. Little did I know what was destined to follow that innocent event…!

Having helped to see that everyone was suitably fed: (sausage rolls, dainty sandwiches and iced cakes) and watered (tea and fruit juice), I had a few words with an entertainer who was providing the music – this time a guitar! He played well and the atmosphere grew quite jolly, with Kitty out front prancing around as was her wont. However, she soon tired and plonked herself down next to Annie, who was looking lost, as she often was. I was humming in time to the music, when I noticed Kitty nudging Annie in the ribs, and moving her head in the direction of Marion and the newcomer Stan, who were seated opposite, next to each other. Seemingly oblivious of anyone else in the room, Marion was caressing Stan in a most suggestive way, while giggling like a school-girl.

He seemed to be lapping up the attention, until Matron noticed and intervened. Defusing the situation, she whisked Stan off to speak to someone else, leaving Marion looking crestfallen. I then checked my watch; the party wound down and it was time for me to go. I left Kitty and Annie still tutting over the amorous incident.

When I returned the following week, Sally took me to one side and told me what had happened after lights out on the party night…Shaking her head, she said:

“You’ll never guess what Veronica found when she checked on Marion last week!” I shrugged.

“Search me!”

“Stan and Marion ‘in flagrante’ on her bed, stark naked!”

“What! You’re joking!” I said, giggling, “Well at least some of them had an extra good time!”

When I approached Kitty and Annie to have a chat, they both said “Hello – are you new?” I didn’t feel particularly new; rather sad actually…and thought how they would have enjoyed the story of Marion and Stan. Both ladies were particularly quiet, when Kitty broke the silence and said:

“Did you hear about that bloke giving that new woman one last week?”

What an amazing organ is the brain!

I have fond memories of the ladies of Sweet Pea Lodge, and knowing how some gossip ‘leaks out,’ I bet many of the inhabitants of Branford had a good chuckle over the last, amorous, episode too!

©Joy Lennick

About Joy Lennick

Having worn several hats in my life: wife, mum, secretary, shop-keeper, hotelier; my favourite is the multi-coloured author’s creation. I am an eclectic writer: diary, articles, poetry, short stories and five books. Two books were factual, the third as biographer: HURRICANE HALSEY (a true sea adventure), fourth my Memoir MY GENTLE WAR and my current fiction novel is THE CATALYST. Plenty more simmering…

A selection of books by Joy Lennick

One of the reviews for The Moon is Wearing a TuTu

This book comprises of a number of unusual poems that certainly force you to think deeply by Joy Lennick and a few poems, limericks and humorous one-liner jokes by Eric Lennick. There are also two, clever 50-word short stories by Jean Wilson.While the entire book was entertaining to read, I really enjoyed some of Joy’s wickedly humorous poems. She uses her words like little knives to cut into the body of a matter and expose its beating heart in a manner that is humorous but sharply to the point. The one that I related to the most was Think Outside the Box:

“I think out of the box
and why not?
(Are you wary your copybook you’ll blot?!)
I’m fed up with sheep
who seem half asleep
individuals they certainly are not.
To say “aab” not “baa”
is OK.
For a change why not try it today!
The fox you could fox –
confusing his “box,”
just say “aab” and get clean away.”

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY

Find all the books, read other reviews and follow Joy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3124773.Joy_Lennick

Connect to Joy

Blog: https://joylennick.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joy.lennick

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure that Joy would love to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

I am joining a growing number of our blogging friends on MeWe and I invite you take a look… a different approach to users.  mewe.com/i/sallycronin

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family – Understanding family relationships by Norah Colvin


Delighted to welcome educator and storyteller Norah Colvin and some posts from her archives. In her first post from 2015, Norah who is a dedicated participant in the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction challenge, was reminded about a family mystery.

Understanding family relationships by Norah Colvin

At the Carrot Ranch this week Charli Mills is talking about cold cases and challenges writers to, In 99 words (no more, no less) write about an old mystery in the current time. Is it a discovery? Is it solved? Does it no longer matter, or does it impact innocent generations in between?

My thoughts immediately turned to a mystery that occurred in my family over one hundred years ago when the two-year old brother of my grandfather disappeared and was never seen again.

http://www.clker.com/clipart-10083.htmlhttp://www.clker.com/clipart-10083.html

Most families do have a skeleton or two in the closet. Not all families like it to be known. Many Australian families who can trace the arrival of ancestors back to before the end of convict transportation in 1868 can find a convict in their ancestry. I have two; one on each side of the family. Generally the reasons for transportation were rather minor so I am not too concerned about sharing that information. In fact, many Australians are delighted to find a convict in the past as it adds a little interest and colour to their family tree.

Children generally love to hear stories of their own lives and families. I have written about that before here. However young children probably have no need for or interest in delving as far back into family history as the three stories I have mentioned above. An interest in ancestors further back than living relatives (grandparents and great-grandparents) usually develops later, if at all.

A great place to start thinking about history in early childhood classrooms is sharing stories about the families of children in the class. Most classes in Australia are comprised of children from variety of backgrounds so sharing those stories helps to develop an appreciation for each other as well as knowledge of the world. I developed a unit called Getting to know you for use in early childhood classroom which aims to develop discussion about family histories.

But children can start learning about family relationships even earlier than that by discussions of who’s who in the family and explanations of the words and relationships; for example father/daughter; brother/sister; aunt/niece; grandmother/granddaughter.

Here is a picture of some pages of a book I made for Bec when she was just a little tot, just to give you the idea.

family book

Photo books of family members are much easier to make these days with digital photos and programs such as PowerPoint, as well as glossy books you can make and order online.

I am very proud of my two grandchildren, as any grandparent would be, and am pleased to say that they have a good understanding of who is in their family and their relationships to each other. It is a frequent topic of discussion. However I was very tickled when my three year old granddaughter proceeded to tell me, with some excitement, that her Daddy and her Aunty Bec were brother and sister in real life; in REAL life, she emphasized.

Regular readers of my blog may be familiar with a character I have been developing in response to Charli’s flash fiction challenges: Marnie. Her story is not real life but, sadly, aspects of it could be, for others. There was a period of about twenty years when, after escaping her dysfunctional family, Marnie was untraceable, living without any connection to her family and past, a mystery. It took authorities five years after both parents had passed to track her down with the ‘news’. This episode takes up there.

Found

The officers looked friendly enough but still she tried to hide the tremble in her soul and tremor in her voice behind the blankness of her stare.

She’d opened the door just a crack, as far as the chain would allow.

“Marnie Dobson?” they asked. She shook her head. She’d not . . . ; not since . . . ; no longer. She shook again.

They asked her to step outside. With no other option she reluctantly unlocked and emerged into the glare of daylight.

“Marnie Dobson,” one said, “We are here to inform you . . .”

©Norah Colvin

About Norah Colvin

I am an experienced and passionate educator. I teach. I write. I create.

I have spent almost all my life thinking and learning about thinking and learning.

I have been involved in many educational roles, both in and out of formal schooling situations, always combining my love of teaching and writing by creating original materials to support children’s learning.

Now as I step away from the classroom again, I embark upon my latest iteration: sharing my thoughts about education by challenging what exists while asking what could be; and inviting early childhood educators to support children’s learning through use of my original teaching materials which are now available on my website http://www.readilearn.com.au

Connect to Norah via her websites

Website: www.NorahColvin.com
Website: www.readilearn.com.au

And social media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NorahColvin
Twitter 2:  https://twitter.com/readilearn
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008724879054
Readilearn:  https://www.facebook.com/readilearnteachingresources/
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/norah-colvin-14578777

My thanks to Norah for sharing this post and I think the family picture book is an excellent idea.  I have done our family history but perhaps I can do that for the younger generation with the photographs that I have scanned and saved from the 1900s.

If you would like to share some posts from your archives that deserve to be read again and by a different audience, as well as promote your work.. then this is how…

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

Previous participants are more than welcome

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer L.T. Garvin -November – Dallas Texas – L. T. Garvin


In her second guest post, L.T. Garvin shares a poem about an event in history that is forever etched in the memories of people around the world… It is one of those events that people ask “Where were you when….?”

November by L. T. Garvin.

Dallas, Texas
1989
From the bank building,
south we go
trudging the city sidewalks
It’s lunchtime
high noon
the smell of barbecue
piques interest
of the business bunch
white shirts, ties
tweed skirts, navy slacks
we go
Willa May’s Rib Haus
where meat, sauce and all
the trimmings
are served on the line
served with a side of Blues
and there we find
mounds of potato salad
golden, creamy, tangy
southern cooked garlic green beans
black eyed peas
seasoned like grandma’s
“You ain’t seen my sorrow….”
the line server sings
Tragedy though,
wound down these streets
in 1963
The motorcade turned
and headed toward
Dealey Plaza…
these paths haunted
where they came in droves
to hammer out the truth
jack hammered bullet holes
from the curb
as the lies sunk into
the cement
“I say, you don’t know, don’t know, don’t know….”
The woman with her
smart tortoiseshell eyeglasses
well versed in Change Management
eyes the hot rolls with honey butter
considers the pinto beans
tinged with smithereens
of chopped tomatoes
decides on
pickles crisp, tart, dill
“We work til the sun go down….”
On the 6th floor of the
School Book Depository
Lee Harvey Oswald waited
And of the Father…
Sharp turn onto Elm Street
a turn that marks history
the death of a President
the sorrows of lost Camelot
The tabletops at Willa May’s
covered in bottle caps
I trace it with my fingers
it is rough
like rotten history
under the watchful tears
of the Trinity River
the sorrow that shadows downtown
spins furious heads faster
than the ball restaurant in the sky
And of the Son…
“Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone”
they told the teary public
gulping their grief
but rumors rampaged
along these winding streets
and chants of conspiracy
rose up screaming
like hot summer air
hitmen, mafia
tucked beneath
rail cars
the convertible raced
to Parkland Memorial
And of the Holy Ghost…
“All I need is to find my way home….”
The singer delves
into his music
uplifting in sorrow
defining another history
uprooting a troubled past
the essence of America
here among the pitchers of sweet tea
as the business interns eye
the caramel-colored delicacy
the nut-filled sugar confection
of pecan pie
And the Trinity River flows on
engulfed now
in a Vision Project
and a man with vision
slipped behind
earth’s barricade
away from these
scarred streets
a rendezvous with eternity
into blissful sleep
and the facts
concealed by men
who roam the dusk
are settled now
like dark sediment
at the bottom of
the Trinity River.

©L.T. Garvin

Sally: I was ten years old at the time, living in Cape Town, waking to hear my mother crying in my parent’s bedroom.. We were British but like millions of people around the world, this event shook us to the core. If you are old enough, I am sure that you remember that day in November too… Please share with Lana in the comments.

About L.T. Garvin

L.T. Garvin is a huge fiction fan and literature lover. She enjoys writing fiction, short stories, and attempts at poetry. L.T. has a particular fondness for Southern literature possibly because they have such good food and bigger than life stories in the South.

She currently has three books available, Confessions of a 4th Grade Athlete, a humorous children’s book about a boy named Nathan and his exuberant experiences in school and sports. Another children’s book, Animals Galore explores unique animals and their antics. A novel, Dancing with the Sandman, is suitable for all age groups and takes readers on time travel journey back to the 1960s. L.T. Garvin maintains a WordPress site where she shares fiction, poetry, and humorous essays

Books by L.T. Garvin

About Dancing with the Sandman

The Sandman cometh dancing to the beat of rock ‘n’ roll, blasting the turmoil of the Sixties. And where are you? West Texas, of course. Billie Jo Dunstan confronts her past, traveling back to the 1960s through a decade of turbulence and swirling color memories, contemplating life growing up in rural Texas. Tragedy and comedy come alive, preserving the past and a portion of small town life that will survive beyond super highways and the ratcheting progress of time.
***
Garvin’s (And They Came, 2017, etc.) latest novel offers a reflection of one girl’s coming-of-age in small-town Texas in the 1960s. … Garvin is at her best when offering these cheeky nods to the past, never getting bogged down in nostalgia.
A winning narrator enlivens a charming tale of a town facing modernity.–Kirkus Reviews

One of the reviews for the book

The story starts and ends in west Texas as Billie Jo revisits the small town she grew up in, a town left behind years ago when progress, in the form of a new highway, raced ahead. It’s a place that holds memories so tangible they feel like ghosts rising out of the sand, and they create the substance of the story.

Garvin calls the book a fictional journey, but it reads like a memoir. If you were a kid in the 60’s, this book will feel something like a trip into childhood, a time before helicopter parents and iphones, a time when kids had to create their own fun while learning the painful lessons of life.

Though the book takes place in Texas, there is so much about Billie Jo’s experiences that felt familiar to me, a child of rural Connecticut. In a way, the qualities that make up a childhood – the way adults are perceived, the family quirks, sibling teasing, unexpected kindnesses and losses, how kids think and fill their leisure time – seemed universal. This is a thoroughly relatable book.

And told as a “look back at the ghosts of the past,” the book has a nostalgic aura that lingered beyond the last page, calling forth my own ghosts and eliciting memories that I’d forgotten. Dancing with the Sandman is a lovely, poignant, rich read for all ages, but especially for those who enjoy memoirs and those who were children in the 60’s.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DP2VJ8S

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dancing-Sandman-L-T-Garvin-ebook/dp/B07DP2VJ8S

Also by L.T. Garvin

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/L.-T.-Garvin/e/B00HC0TRY6

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/L.-T.-Garvin/e/B00HC0TRY6

Read other reviews and follow L.T. Garvin on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7579153.L_T_Garvin

Connect to L.T. Garvin

Website: https://broussardlana.wordpress.com/welcome/
Books: https://broussardlana.wordpress.com/books/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LT-Garvin-791835704234435/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LanaBroussard

Thank you for dropping in today and please share your memories of that day in the comments and if you have any questions for Lana she would love to receive them.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Silvia Todesco #Italian Cookery – Ricotta and beef meatballs. An Italian classic!-


Last week Silvia Todesco created a delicious appetizer for us and you can find the recipe: White Onion, bacon and blue cheese savoury pie

This week we move on to the main courses with an Italian classic recipe – Ricotta and beef meatballs. 

IMG_2826

In the collective mind of Americans, spaghetti with meatballs is one of the most popular Italian dishes.

Actually, this is partly true, considering that in Southern Italy they do dress spaghetti with meatballs and sauce.

But since I come from Northern Italy, I grew up eating just the meatballs as a main dish, possibly accompanied by mashed potatoes. The meatball recipe I’m excited to be sharing with you this week is one of my grandmother’s “classics”!

She used to make a lot of meatballs all at one time, and then she cooked part of them immediately by simply frying them in olive oil. The rest were cooked in a tomato sauce, and eaten in the next few days. This is why I give you the quantities for a big pan of meatballs; they are just as delicious as left-overs, or you can freeze them, without loosing any of the taste.

Meatballs are a simply delicious meal, and like many other dishes that I’ve already described in my past posts, this one also finds its roots in the tradition of the Veneto Region.

Ingredients for the meatballs

  • 2 lbs. ground beef (1 kg. carne macinata)
  • 1 lb. plain Italian sausage- without fennel seeds (1/2 Kg. salsiccia)
  • 1 lb. ricotta (1/2 kg. ricotta)
  • 3 eggs (3 uova)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (1 pugno grana)
  • sea salt to taste, I suggest about 3 pinches (3 bei pizzichi di sale)
  • 2 pinches nutmeg (2 pizzichi noce moscata)
  • 1 pinch dry rosemary (1 pizzico rosmarino)
  • 1 tsp. fresh or dry parsley (1 cucchiaino di prezzemolo)
  • optional: a clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (1 pugno pan grattato)
  • all purpose flour for breading (farina per la panatura)
  • olive oil or vegetable oil for frying (olio d’oliva per friggere)

Ingredients for the Tomato Sauce

  • 5 tbs. olive oil (5 cucchiai d’olio d’oliva)
  • 30 oz. (2 cans) tomato sauce (2 barattoli di polpa di pomodoro)
  • 1/2 medium white onion, chopped (mezza cipolla tritata)
  • 1 clove of garlic (1 spicchio d’aglio)
  • salt and pepper to taste (sale e pepe qb)
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper (1 cucchiaino peperoncino)
  • 1 tsp. rosemary (1 cucchiaino rosmarino)
  • 1 tsp. basil (1 cucchiaino basilico)

Directions for the meatballs:

In a big bowl mix the ground beef, Italian sausage, ricotta, eggs, parmesan, and spices/herbs (all ingredients except breadcrumbs).

When all the ingredients look amalgamated, add the bread crumbs, and keep mixing.

IMG_2811

Put the mix in the refrigerator to chill, and meanwhile prepare the tomato sauce.

Directions for tomato sauce:

In a large pan, brown the chopped onion and the garlic clove in olive oil.

When the onion looks golden, add the tomato sauce and all the herbs/spices.

When the tomato sauce reaches boiling, turn the burner to low heat, and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes, covered.

If the tomato sauce becomes too dry before 15 minutes, add a couple tbs. of water.

IMG_2816

While the tomato sauce is cooking, take the meatball mix out of the refrigerator and start to make small balls.

Back to the Meatballs.

Each meatball should be made with about 1 tbs. of meat mixture (remember that the smaller your meatballs are, the taster they will result).

Then flour each meatball evenly.

IMG_2817

Into a large pan pour about 5 tbs. of olive, switch on the heat, and when the oil is hot, start to brown the meatballs all around.

Cook at medium heat for about 10 minutes. They have to become brown slowly, so they don’t stay raw inside.

Considering that you will obtain plenty of meatballs, you’ll probably run out of olive oil in your pan. So, I suggest to rinse and wipe out the pan when the oil in the pan begins to burn, and use new oil to brown the remaining meatballs.

You can eat the fried meatballs immediately, or mix them in the tomato sauce.

Once the tomato sauce is ready, take the garlic clove out of the pan, mix the browned meatballs in it, and let them cook together at medium heat for about 5 minutes, to allow the tomato to get the meatballs’ taste!

LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!

Tips:

– I’ve never made spaghetti and meatballs because to me meatballs are already rich enough, but if you want to make them to dress your pasta, you’ll get a really great entree!

– As I told you in the header, if you make the meatballs before dinner, you can just fry them and enjoy them without tomato sauce.

– As side dish, I suggest mashed potatoes or any other veggies. Of course with french fries the combination would be perfect… if you just don’t care about calories 🙂

– If you have meatballs leftover, freeze them only once they are cooked and mixed with the tomato sauce.

My thanks to Silvia for another wonderful dish and I am sure that it tastes as good as it looks.

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: https://italiangoodness.net/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/italiangoodness.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beautyandfourkids/
Mix: https://mix.com/silviatodesco81
Twitter: https://twitter.com/silviatodesco81
Pinterest: www.pinterest.it/silviatodesco/

Silvia would love to receive your comments and it would be great if you could share the post.. thanks Sally.

Next Sunday….tune in for oven baked, bacon wrapped cod….

I am joining a growing number of our blogging friends on MeWe and I invite you take a look… a different approach to users including no sale of data. Just click the image to find us.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Silvia Todesco – White onion, bacon and blue cheese savory pie: the ultimate recipe for a magnificent appetizer.


Delighted to welcome Silvia Todesco to Smorgasbord for a series of guest posts about Italian Cookery. Over the next four Sundays, Silvia will share a recipe for an appetizer, a meat dish and a fish course, and a dessert. I love all food, but Italian food is probably my favourite, from freshly made pasta dishes to handmade pizzas. I have no doubt that you will enjoy the experience.

White onion, bacon and blue cheese savory pie: the ultimate recipe for a magnificent appetizer.

I like using puff pastry very much (especially for an appetizer), because it is so versatile and it is very easy to use… This new recipe with puff pastry will for sure not leave you disappointed!

This savory pie is as simple as it is, but has a flavor so special that everyone (even for those who don’t like blue cheese) will love it! I’ve made it twice since I found the recipe on Pinterest few weeks ago and I couldn’t manage to get a picture of the pie once cut, because it just disappeared from the table in few minutes! It is so delicious!

I have to tell you that I was sceptical about using the balsamic vinegar and all that onion, but at the end, those two ingredients are just the perfect touch to this super tasty appetizer which is a cheesy heaven with a delicate vinegar and onion aftertaste. Although it is not a finger food, this pie it’s an appetizer I would absolutely suggest you to try because it is so delicious and appealing that your guests will be amazed!

Ingredients for 1 puff pastry sheet

  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet
  • 3 regular sized white onions peeled and finely cut
  • 7 oz. blue cheese (200 gr. formaggio verde) cut in small cubes
  • 3.5 oz little stripes of bacon (100 gr.)
  • 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • olive oil
  • 1 handful grated parmesan cheese
  • few tbs. crumbled bread
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 egg yolk to brush the pastry

Method

A few hour before arranging the pie, take out of the freezer the puff pastry sheet and let it thaw in the refrigerator until it is easy to roll out.

For the filling: pan fry (or saute’) the onions and bacon in a large pan with some olive oil for about 10-15 minutes stirring every now and then to avoid burning. Once cooked, adjust with sea salt and add the balsamic vinegar. Let cool off.

In a separate bowl combine the cheese, eggs and parmesan and mix very well. Add to the mix the cooled onion and bacon.

Preheat the oven at 420 F. In a clean surface, roll out the pastry, giving it a round or rectangular shape, according to the shape of your baking dish. Lay the pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, fill the pastry with the mix evenly, and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Be careful to close inward the sides of the pastry so the filling doesn’t run out while baking. Brush the edges of the pastry with some beaten egg yolk. (as you can see I’ve tried both options using the regular rectangular puff pastry sheet and both time it turned out great!).

Bake at 420 F for about 20 minutes or until the pie rises and starts getting colored.

Serve still warm… it is sooooooo scrumptious!

TIPS: – the Blue cheese I buy comes in packs of 150 gr. so I add to the filling 50 gr. of brie cheese and the result was wonderful;

– I’ve tried to add stripes of salami together with the bacon, and again, the result was absolutely amazing.

– Considering the two previous facts, I would definitely consider this recipe as a way to use up a few ingredients that sometimes are in our refrigerator for days and usually ends up going bad (I am talking of small pieces of cheese or few slices of bacon…).

My thanks to Silvia and this is a dish that I will be making very soon… looks delicious

About Silvia Todesco

I’m Silvia, I come from Veneto Region (from Bassano del Grappa precisely, one hour by car far from Venice), and I moved to Iowa in 2011, because of my husband’s job necessities.

I’ve grown up watching my great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother cooking for my family every day, searching carefully for ingredients and preparing fresh food. That was their way to show us how much they cared (and care) about us, and to carry on a tradition. I cannot recall a festivity without relatives everywhere and tons of delicious food to eat!

But my way was different I graduated with honors at the University of Law of Padua, and (obviously) I became a lawyer. As a professional, I used to work 14 hours a day, and, of course, the time I could dedicate to my family (and cooking) was almost none.

Then fate brought us here, and finally I’ve found myself. All my background came up, and I realized that taking care of my family is the most satisfying job I could do, especially because it entails cooking healthy and good food!

So I started to practice what I learned when I was young, and surprised myself in making all those meals that characterized my youth.

Integration in a new society is not easy, but it was nice for us to discover how much Italians are loved abroad! And since every new person we have met asked me if I was a good cook, and told me that they love Italian food, well, I decided to share my Italian cooking culture and recipes with you!

Of course, you won’t need to be an expert to follow my recipes! What I’m writing about is our daily menus- recipes made with simple and few ingredients, most of the time cheap and healthy (because the food is not processed).

Plus, considering my passion for cooking, I will also share with you new recipe I discovered in magazines, websites, or shared by friends, and in this case I will always describe you the origin of my posts objects.

In addition, I promise not only to write about Italian food, but especially to give suggestions related to where and how to find the right ingredients and tools you will need. I really hope that you will enjoy my tips!

Connect to Silvia

Website: https://italiangoodness.net/about/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/italiangoodness.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beautyandfourkids/
Mix: https://mix.com/silviatodesco81
Twitter: https://twitter.com/silviatodesco81
Pinterest: www.pinterest.it/silviatodesco/

I am sure that you are now as hungry as I am….. and Silvia would love to receive your comments. She will be back again next week with Ricotta and beef meatballs…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Jazz, Chicken Poop, Chopped liver, Old Age, Australia and Sheep farming!


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

Despite some grey and misty starts to the days, there has been a trending upward curve in the temperatures and the hedgerows and gardens locally are beginning to show signs of spring. For someone who does not do short days, devoid of sun, and usually wet, this is a great shift in the weather. All my years as a child and adult living in sunnier climates makes it a challenge. I must admit to becoming a bit of a hermit from October to March and guess in a previous life I must have been a bear!  I can be be grumpy enough at times, especially when I wake from a long sleep and am hungry and thirsty.

Thankfully there have been some offline activities this week that have been great fun and people and laughter make all the difference.

Apart from that…. it has been a great week here online with a new job for me, having been invited to be an administrator for The Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook, alongside Colleen Chesebro and D.G.Kaye… and Colleen has added me into the group banner and if you click that, it will take you to the page where you can share book reviews for yourself and crucially for others, and also author interviews and news. The more members we have the more effective the group will be in supporting authors.

If you are an author and would like to be part of a group that supports and promotes other authors then please head to Facebook by clicking the image.

As always I would like to thank the contributors to the blog who inform and entertain you. This includes those participating in the new Posts from Your Archives series which is all about the family.. If you click on one of the posts it will give you the details on how to share your posts to a new audience. You can also become a guest writer with any new material that you would like to share… you can email me for details if you are interested sally.cronin(at)moyhill.com

Welcome to the music column with William Price King and this week the featured artist is Ted Nash, Saxophonist and Composer  and his work Portrait in Seven Shades.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-ted-nash-with-portraits-in-seven-shades/

In this week’s re-run of Paul Andruss’s gardening column, he promotes the beneficial properties of chicken poop for the garden…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-the-best-thing-to-come-out-of-a-chicken-by-paul-andruss-3/

A new series of Cook from Scratch with myself and Carol Taylor. This time looking at nutrients and the symptoms that you might be deficient in them.. I share the signs and the foods to include to avoid becoming deficient, and Carol turns them into delicious meals for all the family. This week Vitamin A..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/new-series-smorgasbord-health-column-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency/

In this week’s chapter I look at the amount of sugar that is hidden in our diet and how Candida Albicans thrives on this food, fueling the overgrowth in our gut.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-eliminating-its-favourite-food-sugars-by-sally-cronin/

My guest today is author Sheila Williams who lives in France, but in the past has enjoyed several careers, including that of sheep farmer (more about that later!). Sheila shares a mortifying experience in a restaurant, her fashion sense, the contents of her handbag and a tussle with a persistent romeo ram (of the sheep variety!)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-sheila-williams/

This week Linda shares ‘Family Talk’ the expressions that become a code that every member of the family understands.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-family-talk/

Australian author Frank Prem shares his love of his hometown, and the inspiration behind his recently released collection of poems and stories.. Small Town Kid.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-frank-prem-welcome-to-beechworth-victoria-australia/

Joy shares a poem that expresses the joys of being young at heart at eighty-three years old…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-poetry-mistaken-identity-by-joy-lennick/

As a follow on from the Valentine’s Day post of romantic ballads, here are some of the requests with more to come on Tuesday.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/22/smorgasbord-music-column-the-romantic-ballad-request-show-part-one-becky-ross-michael-d-g-kaye-abbie-taylor-cindy-knoke-sue-vincent/

My guest today is poet Miriam Hurdle who wrote a post in 2017 at Thanksgiving. It was an eventful time with Miriam in recovery from an operation for cancer and her daughter about to give birth.

9

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-thanksgiving-2017-by-miriam-hurdle/

D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies, shares the signs that you are in an abusive relationship, and from personal experience, she inspires those who are trapped in a cycle of abuse to break free.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-memoir-bytes-the-10-red-flags-i-didnt-pay-attention-to-domestic-abuse-by-d-g-kaye/

Delighted that author Sue Vincent is sharing a post from her archives, particularly as it is all about dogs that have been a part of her family, going back generations.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-a-family-of-dogs-by-sue-vincent/

In respect of this series, where I explore some of the key elements of our modern lives, I take a light-hearted look at love and romance. Well partly light-hearted, as there are some elements of this universally sought after state of bliss that can be from the dark side. 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-romance-a-modern-fairy-story-by-sally-cronin/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-swimming-for-profit-and-pleasure-the-port-naain-intelligencer-by-jim-webster/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-wings-of-prey-book-6-the-gift-legacy-by-j-p-mclean/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-sci-fi-thriller-life-and-other-dreams-by-richard-dee/

Author updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-james-j-cudney-paulette-mahurin-and-jean-lee/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-deborah-a-bowman-olga-nunez-miret-and-vashti-quiroz-vega/

This week my etheree is on the Joys of Spring….in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 124

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-124-etheree-the-joys-of-spring-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-debby-gies-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-the-thrill-of-the-chase-and-senior-dating-ads/

Thank you for all you support and look forward to seeing you again next week.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – #Poetry – “Mistaken Identity” by Joy Lennick


Today Joy shares the joys of being young at heart at eighty-three years old…

MISTAKEN IDENTITY?

An ‘old’ lady?!
(My birth-paper states I’m eighty-three…)
Eighty-three? That can’t be me.
I don’t smell of moth-balls,
or click my teeth,
don’t have arthritis,
or bunioned feet.
A waft of perfume?
Chanel No. 5…
I’m eager and curious,
and glad I’m alive.
When music rings out
I’m there with a jive!
BUT, first thing in the morning
do I spring out of bed?
No, I regretfully admit
I sidle instead.
And how long takes my ‘toilette’?
I, umm…vaguely mumble…
“It takes quite a while
for me to assumble!”

©Joy Lennick 2019

About Joy Lennick

Having worn several hats in my life: wife, mum, secretary, shop-keeper, hotelier; my favourite is the multi-coloured author’s creation. I am an eclectic writer: diary, articles, poetry, short stories and five books. Two books were factual, the third as biographer: HURRICANE HALSEY (a true sea adventure), fourth my Memoir MY GENTLE WAR and my current fiction novel is THE CATALYST. Plenty more simmering…

A selection of books by Joy Lennick

One of the reviews for My Gentle War

I found this book totally enchanting, not just for the way it was written (which was completely original being unfettered by any rules on writing and therefore delivered with great feeling). It evoked some long lost memories from my childhood, of family forgotten or misplaced by faulty memory. I thought of my grandmother clasping a homemade loaf of bread under her arm, giving it a good buttering, then with a large bread knife, sawing it off and setting a ‘doorstep’ sized slice free for jam or honey to follow. I wasn’t born at the time of the war, which doesn’t spoil any of this account and although I know it from history books and oft heard tales, was not a good time to live through, yet I’m left thinking there was another side to these times, told here with great fondness. Sometimes I think we’ve lost a great deal for all our modern ways. This is a lovely book and worth a read. Pat McDonald British Crime Author.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY/

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Lennick/e/B00J05CJLY

Find all the books, read other reviews and follow Joy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3124773.Joy_Lennick

Connect to Joy

Blog: https://joylennick.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joy.lennick

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure that Joy would love to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

If you are an author and would like to be part of a group that supports and promotes other authors then please take a look at this group on Facebook by clicking the image.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Frank Prem – Welcome to Beechworth, Victoria, #Australia


Today Australian author Frank Prem shares his love of his hometown, and the inspiration behind his recently released collection of poems and stories.. Small Town Kid.

Hello and welcome to my hometown of Beechworth in north-east Victoria, where we nestle in the foothills of the Victorian Alps within easy reach of snow and skiing.

The north-east is awash with pretty and charming small towns and interesting villages, but Beechworth is a special place. It sits in the centre of an historical golden triangle of interest to visitors and tourists alike. The beauty of the scenery through the seasons has to be seen to be believed and won’t be easily forgotten (particularly the gorgeous foliage on display in the autumn), and immaculately preserved honey-granite-constructed buildings of historical significance occur all through the town.

Beechworth traces its roots to the late 1850’s, when it rapidly became one of the richest goldfields in Victoria, and was recognised as a centre of some influence in colonial Victoria. In total, some 212,500 ounces of gold were produced.

Relating directly to the gold rush period, you might like to look out for a few of the significant buildings, such as the original prison and telegraph office on Ford Street (where you can send an old-fashioned telegram), the post office located on the main intersection in town, and the old Gunpowder Magazine located in the bounds of the Gorge that looks across at the town and was the source of the granite hewn to make these buildings. Guided walking tours of Beechworth cover many of the points of interest mentioned so far.

A consequence of the early success of the town was the advent of bushrangers in the district, the most famous being the notorious Kelly Gang comprising Ned Kelly, Dan Kelly, Steve Hart and Joe Byrne, who pillaged in and around the district during the late 1800s. Kelly himself was held in a cell in Beechworth, while his mother, Ellen Kelly (née Quinn), was imprisoned at one time in the local gaol, and former friend turned police informer Aaron Sherritt was murdered by the gang member Byrne at the locality of Woolshed, just outside Beechworth.

I and all of my childhood mates were of course, at one time or another, the one and only ‘real’ Ned Kelly – marauders through the wild bush around the township, growers of voluminous amounts of imaginary facial hair, holders-up of tourist vehicle traffic trying to circumnavigate the Gorge on the tourist road.

More contemporary points of interest would have to include the Beechworth Bakery , which is now well-known in many parts of Australia, the Beechworth Brewery, a multi-award-winning local microbrewery, and the Beechworth Sweet Shop Company. These are particular favorites for me in my life around the town – the bakery for early morning coffee before I start work, the brewery for gourmet pizza lunch when my wife and I want an informal lunch out, and the sweet shop… well, whenever the yearning for hand-crafted dark chocolate calls.

The town holds more festivals and gatherings than I can recount in full, but a few of them come to mind. The The Golden Horseshoes Festival is perhaps the main draw card for visitors and takes place every Easter. The story goes that a horse was shod with golden horseshoes by an election candidate in 1855 and ridden through the town.

Goodness knows what that would have done to the horseshoes, but it suggests there was a lot of wealth about the place. This festival culminates on Easter Saturday morning with a massed parade of exhibits on floats that often seems to go on forever.

Other festivals include the Harvest Festival, the Celtic Festival, the Kelly Country Pick  and of course the Ned Kelly Festival. There are definitely plenty to choose from, and the town fairly bursts at the seams with tourists whenever a festival weekend arrives on the calendar.

But why am I living here? What does this town mean to me?

I grew up in Beechworth, the son of an immigrant family that settled here in the migration wave that took place in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. I have memories that curl around my mind rising from every street corner, particularly from the schools, the state and catholic primary schools as well as the local high school. But the wilderness calls me too, recalling my youthful solitary adventures whenever I glimpse the forested Gorge that surrounds the town.

And the old Mayday Hills Psychiatric Hospital reminds that it gave me my career as a psychiatric nurse, each time I step onto the grounds to wander the wooded parkland surrounding the old buildings. It amazes me to see the ‘For Sale’ signs on dilapidated wards where I and my family before me used to work. Privatisation is an amazing thing when places like an old lunatic asylum, as it once was, can be repurposed into hotels, accommodation and private housing. Who would have thought?

This is my home town, I wrote my first poems here, and I bid you….
…welcome to Beechworth.

About Frank Prem

I’ve been a storytelling poet for about forty years. Longer in fact, as I remember the first poem I wrote while at secondary school was about 150 – 200 words long and was accepted in lieu of a 500 word essay. I think that may have been the start.

I love to read my work to a live audience, and have audio recorded some recent recordings and popped them on my author page. I have also done some studio- recorded work under the direction and accompaniment of my wife Leanne Murphy that can be listened to there. These poems are on mythological themes and the accompaniment by Leanne makes them a little bit extraordinary.

By profession, I am a psychiatric nurse and have worked across most facets of public psychiatry and the mental health/mental illness spectrum. My experiences and reflections on what I have seen and done are the subject of a forthcoming memoir – scheduled for late 2019, or perhaps more likely, 2020.

I’ve been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, but for a long time I haven’t sought much publication. The whims of editors are a little too capricious and unknowable, so I have preferred to hone my craft and self-publish on my poetry blogs

Leanne and I reside in the beautiful township of Beechworth in the North-East of Victoria (Australia).

About Small Town Kid

Small Town Kid is the experience of regional life as a child, in an insular town during the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, remote from the more worldly places where life really happens, in a time before the internet and the online existence of social media.

It is a time when a small town boy can walk a mile to school and back every day, and hunt rabbits with his dog in the hours of freedom before sundown. He can hoard crackers for bonfire night and blow up the deputy school master’s mailbox in an act of joyous rebellion.

A time when a small town teenager will ride fourteen miles on a bicycle for his first experience of girls, and of love. A time when migrating from a foreign country to a small town means his family will always feel that they are strangers, while visitors to the town are treated like an invading host.

It is also the remembrance of tragedy for inexperienced friends driving on narrow country roads.

This collection of poems and stories shares the type of childhood that has mostly disappeared in contemporary times. Come and revisit it here, in the pages of a Small Town Kid.

An extract from one of the recent reviews for the book

This delightful book of poems by Frank Prem is packed with interesting poems about his childhood, growing up in a small town in Australia. I love history and also enjoy learning about people and how they live so this book appealed to both of these interests of mine.

There are poems about a small child being cared for by both of his grandparents while his own parents work and the little pleasures such as eating home made poppy cakes, and peeks into the lives of close relatives such as an aunt who had a very lively spirit that showed through at certain times in her live belying the prim and proper exterior she was expected to display as a married matron.

The author clearly grew up in an old fashioned society where people were careful with things and tried to stretch a penny:

“sixpence
for a couple of pounds of paper
and the news
becomes the wrapping
for another feed
of tender young chops.”

My favourite of all Frank’s poems, a tricky place (the annual fete) was a superb insight into small town life at the time. I am not going to give you a peep into that poem, you will have to purchase the book and read it for yourself.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Town-Frank-Prem-Memoir-ebook/dp/B07L6114KS

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Small-Town-Frank-Prem-Memoir-ebook/dp/B07L63WS2D

Find more reviews and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18679262.Frank_Prem

Connect to Frank

Website: www.frankprem.com
Website Audio: https://frankprem.com/audio-recordings-spoken-word/
Seventeen Syllable Poetry: https://seventeensyllablepoetry.wordpress.com/
Blog: https://frankprem.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Frank.Prem.Poet.Author

Thank you for dropping in today and I am sure you have enjoyed this lovely nostalgic post from Frank about his home town… he would love to receive your questions and feedback. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Bloggers Bash Nominations, Winter Warmers, Arizona, Spring Bulbs and all that Jazz


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

We are actually enjoying some sunshine despite very cold temperatures and we are hoping it is a sign spring is on its way. I know for many of you in the UK and USA, this has been a very tough couple of weeks with snow and storms, so hopefully you too will have a more settled week ahead.

It is hard to ignore the turmoil going on in the world, especially as the press is having a field day with fake news, assumptions, predictions, fear-mongering, pot-stirring and allegations. There may be a reason that we as yet have not been invaded by an alien species. I suggest that they have popped in from time to time, to the excitement of the UFO buffs, and exited rapidly when they see what they might be getting into.

The actions of those in power are completely at odds with the promises made in their wonderful election speeches, and at the very least they should be prosecuted for false advertising and misrepresentation.

Meanwhile, in the real world, all we can do is keep doing what we are doing and try to stay as positive as possible.

If all else fails………..

My thanks to my regular contributors who continue to spread a positive message and to your for dropping in and liking, commenting and sharing..

And on that note……

I was very honoured to be nominated for the Best Book Blog award, and my thanks to those who put my name forward. Voting begins at the end of March and you still have time to nominate your favourite bloggers in the new categories. The links are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-nomination-best-book-blog/

This week William Price King shares the life and music of legend Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-charlie-bird-parker-saxaphone/

Paul Andruss with some suggestions to bring colour to your garden with early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-rewind-light-up-your-life-with-brilliant-bulbs-part-1-early-spring-bulbs/

Carol Taylor shares some recipes that are easy to prepare and that will warm the cockles of your heart…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers-stews-and-casseroles/

Debby Gies is still on vacation in Mexico and busily creating future travel posts about this fantastic vacation spot, but in the meantime, she gives us a guided tour of Jerome, Arizona which is a preserved copper mining town that generated billions for investors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-jerome-arizona-mining-town-with-d-g-kaye/

Joy Lennick shares two poems that bridge the end of winter and the start of spring.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-poetry-spring-by-joy-lennick/

Welcome to the blog for the first time to romance author Laura M. Baird who shares her love of country, music and tattoos, as well as one of the craziest and most detailed dream

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-romance-author-laura-m-baird/

I am now participating in is Diana Peach’s monthly speculative fiction challenges and this month she had a delightful photo prompt. My story is called ‘The 1812 Overture”

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-februarys-speculative-fiction-prompt-the-1812-overture-by-sally-cronin/

Another of my weekly challenges is the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-sea-mist-by-sally-cronin/

It is that time of the week when I get my syllables in lines in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 122.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-poetry-colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-122-poets-choice-etheree-metamorphosis-by-sally-cronin/

It is February 1986 and we are preparing for my birthday and I get a new car.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-birthday-party-and-new-car/

Relationships – So far I have covered respect, recognition, relations in Previous Chapters, which leads me very conveniently into relationships. In this first part, I am looking at the socialisation of children before and during school that form the basis of their relationship skills in the wider world.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-one-childhood-by-sally-cronin/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-fiona-tarr-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-miriam-hurdle-linda-g-hill-and-mark-d-giglio/

Every year, 4.2million people die worldwide within 30 days of surgery. This is a staggering 1.23million more deaths than HIV, TB and malaria combined makes up 7.7% of all fatalities – with only heart disease and stroke killing more. You can make a difference to this statistic by preparing for elective surgeries in the weeks before the operation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-health-column-new-statistics-on-surgery-recovery-that-are-shocking-and-preparing-for-an-operation/

The next chapter in my rollercoaster weight gain and loss history, with a pattern emerging that linked a number of physical events in my life, antibiotics, candida albicans and stress together.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-morbid-obesity-a-physical-rollercoaster-anti-biotics-candida-hormones-yo-yo-dieting/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-funnies-and-things-kids-say/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-3/

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing week……