Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Gardening, Farm antics, #Numerology and Apricots…guests, music and humour


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week and it whilst snow causes havoc in the UK we have enjoyed cold but sunny days…. perhaps I shouldn’t talk too soon.

As always my thanks to those who have contributed their time and writing talent this week and also to you for popping in and keep the posts circulating.. It is much appreciated.

A repeat of Paul Andruss’s popular gardening column from last year.. this week an introduction and next week early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-rewind-introduction-by-paul-andruss/

This week I look at the health benefits of eating apricots and Carol Taylor includes them in recipes for all the family.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-healthy-apricots-and-recipes/

This week a look at the impact of constant change on the way we eat and how a child can suffer from chronic stress.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/02/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-obesity-change-and-stress-reaction-by-sally-cronin/

Down on the farm you need grit to cope with the guts… and poor Billy more than most..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-farm-life-gotta-have-guts-by-linda-bethea/

Annette Rochelle Aben sets us on the right path with our universal energies for February

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-with-annette-rochelle-aben-your-monthly-universal-energy-february-2019/

This week my guest is author Anne Goodwin sharing her swimming challenges, singing prowess and her preference for town or country…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-anne-goodwin/

The R’s of Life – Relations – the importance of the herd

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relations-survival-in-a-modern-society-by-sally-cronin/

It is 1999 Sam gets kittens, another job move for David and I start to work with an agent with music from Ricky Martin.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1999-literary-agents-sam-and-is-babies-and-david-goes-to-madrid/

My response to or Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 121 and my prompt this week was this video…..

It is early February 1986 and I go with David up to Dallas for a couple of days and we visit South Fork ranch of the TV drama fame.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-trip-to-dallas-southfork-ranch-and-tornedoes/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-news-audrey-driscoll-brigid-p-gallagher-christoph-fischer-and-shehanne-moore/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-cynthia-reyes-frank-prem-and-annika-perry/

The health benefits of rocking… not just for babies but as an aid to a good night’s sleep too. And I also take a close look at the stages of sleep, and why watching a horror movie last thing at night is not the best thing.. for anyone!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/28/smorgasbord-health-column-rocking-motion-is-not-just-soothing-for-babies-and-benefits-of-sleep/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-facts-of-life-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/31/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-or-two-from-the-archives/

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Farm Life: Gotta Have Guts by Linda Bethea


Farm Life: Gotta Have Guts

Daddy loved home remedies and dosed us and the livestock readily. Mother ran interference on cow chip tea and coal oil and sugar, but did let him load us with sulphur and molasses for summer sores. We never got summer sores, probably because we reeked so badly we were rejected by mosquitoes. I do appreciate Mother for putting her foot down when his more toxic ideas. No telling what kind of chromosome damage she saved the gene pool.

The livestock weren’t so lucky. They got coal oil for pneumonia, distemper, to bring on labor, and as a tonic, should they be so foolish as to look puny. Daddy hung ropes with black oil soaked bags for cows and horses to rub against as protection against insects, which they gladly did. When an unfortunate cow bloated from green hay, he inserted an ice pick in her distended belly to release gas. She ceased her moaning and resumed cow business as usual, grateful for the relief.

Farm kids grow up with a lot of responsibility. In addition to our daily chores, Daddy left us other jobs to do before he got home from work and started on his farm day, expecting us to figure things out without explanation, not always the best plan. When my brother Billy was around eleven, Daddy remarked that the old hound dog nursing eight puppies was off her food. He told Billy to pour some syrup over her feed (country for dog food) so she would eat better. Bill got a jug of syrup and headed out the back door. After a while, he came back in, smeared in dog poop, shirt torn, scratched and bitten from head to foot. “Boy, what in the world happened to you?” Daddy asked, incredulous at the sight.

“Oh, I was putting syrup on that old dog’s feet and she tore me up. She dragged me through the dog yard fence and all over the dog yard, but I did finally get syrup on all four feet.”

As I said, Daddy frequently set us to tasks with inadequate instructions. On one occasion a sick duck foolishly allowed Daddy to spot him. The specific instructions to my brother were, “Go out there and get that green-headed duck staggering around out back, and knock her in the head. No wait, first pour a couple of drops of kerosene down her throat.” Billy picked up the kerosene and was gone a few minutes. When he returned in a few minutes, my dad inquired, “How’s the duck?” He was obviously surprised Daddy would even ask, knowing he’d sent him out to knock it in the head. Daddy didn’t mean to tell us to do anything twice.

Bill replied, “It’s dead.”

Daddy said, “You didn’t give it the kerosene?”

“Sure I did,”said Bill, “and then I knocked it in the head, just like you told me to.” Even Daddy had to admit, clearer instructions would have been better.

We butchered a beef late one Saturday evening after Daddy got home from work, finishing really late. Our place was the last house next door to a huge nature preserve. To Daddy, this meant, “not private property,” a perfect place to dump off guts. He told my brother to load the mess into the ancient farm truck and dump it near Peter Spring Branch, a couple of miles back in the woods. (Yes, Billy was underage for driving, but did drive the farm truck on the farm and in the woods. It was the sixties in the South.) It was way too late to haul it off that night. Then Daddy remembered the truck was broken down (as it often was) and left the nasty mess in a tarpaulin-covered wheelbarrow telling Billy to dump it first thing in the morning, not amending his earlier instructions, assuming Billy would understand he didn’t expect him to push a barrow of guts a couple of miles. Wrong!!

We got up early the next morning. Billy and the wheelbarrow of guts were gone. An hour passed…no Billy. My mother was furious when he was gone past time to get ready to church. She was trying to raise us right. We went on without him, much to my envy. Still not home when we got home after noon, Mother knew something was obviously wrong. He would never have voluntarily missed Sunday dinner. Mother was really worried now.

Finally, after two o’clock he came into view pushing the empty wheelbarrow, circled by flies and trailed by all the hounds in the country covered in congealed blood, guts, mud, and vomit. He had wheeled the guts the entire two miles over muddy roads, through deep ditches, and rough terrain, pestered by flies and dogs to the original site Daddy indicated. The trail was so rough and muddy, his load dumped several times, making a horrible job even worse. He didn’t dare not follow his orders, so he scooped the stinking guts up every time they dumped, fighting dogs and flies for possession of the prize, vomiting as he wrestled them back in the barrow.

He was sick the rest of the day, not even able to eat Sunday dinner. If he did fake misunderstanding as I suspected, just to miss church, he was welcome to all the gut-hauling he wanted.

©Linda Bethea

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

Now that I’m done with the bothersome business of workday world, I am free to pursue my passion, capturing the stories I’ve loved all my life. The ones you’ll read on my blog are good old Southern stories, a real pleasure to relay. Here in the South, we are proud of our wacky folks. I’ve preyed shamelessly on my family, living and dead, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, often changing the names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.

My mother illustrates my blog. I come from a rollicking family of nuts, hence the name of the blog Nutsrok Enjoy.

51qb8fm4dql-_uy250_About Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad by Linda Swain Bethea (Author) with Kathleen Holdaway Swain (Collaborator & Illustrator)

Born to a struggling farm family in the deepest of The Great Depression, Kathleen enjoys a colorful childhood, enhanced by her imagination, love of life, and the encouragement of her family.

She’s determined to build a better life for herself, getting herself into hilarious situations all along the way. Distinguishing herself in school and the community, she never takes her eyes off her goal.

Just as she’s about to get started, she meets Bill, the man who is going to help her on her way. Everything changes. And then changes again. The true story of a remarkable woman who will inspire you, make you laugh, and see life from a new perspective.

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ/

Also by Linda Bethea

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

In this collection of six serials, Linda Swain Bethea weaves narratives of women through several centuries. The stories span from 1643 to 1957. Beginning in England in 1643, a young couple travels to Jamestown, Virginia, to begin a new life in the American frontier. The rest of the stories travel from West Texas to North Louisiana to the Texas Panhandle to East Texas.

Disease, death, starvation, and prison are faced with stoicism and common sense, and always, with a sense of humor.

The women in each tale stand tall and possess the wisdom and tenacity to hold families together under the worst conditions. Through it all, they persevere, and Linda Swain Bethea’s storytelling is a testament to the legacy they left.

Conversational and homey, you’ll fall in love with the women of Just Women Getting By – Leaving a Legacy of Strength, which celebrates the courage of those women who had no choice but to survive.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

Connect to Linda

Blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nutsrok1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.bethea.50

My thanks to Linda for another wonderful story of family life and I do feel for dear dedicated Billy –  and as always we appreciate your feedback.

You can catch up with all of Linda’s guests posts in her Directory

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Good intentions by Grandmas, Bird Watching and Halley’s Comet


Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun. Well I am anyway and I hope you are too… It has been a busy week offline with various projects and also taking advantage of the cold but sunny weather. It is hard to believe that it is January 20th already but it is great that the evenings are growing lighter by a few minutes each day.

My thanks as always to you for dropping in so often and keeping me motivated and here are some of the posts you might have missed..

This week Linda shares the delightful!! coat that her Grandmother managed to find at the charity shop for her..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-grandma-and-the-coat-from-hell/

Getting to know you – Sunday Interview with author Denzil Walton.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-childrens-wildlife-author-denzil-walton/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-music-column-belgium-ireland-1997-and-barbra-streisand-and-celine-dion/

The first part of our trip from Houston to Carlsbad Caverns and to see Halley’s Comet on its once in a lifetime visit.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-new-mexico-carlsbad-caverns-and-halleys-comet/

The title of this series came about as I dipped into a Thesaurus to find some words for a poem I was writing. I noticed that a great many words that reflected (see what I mean) key elements in our lives began with the letter ‘R’. In this first post quite a bit about what I think about RESPECT

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-respect-in-our-modern-world-by-sally-cronin/

Chapter one of the sequel to my first book written 20 years ago which followed my 18 month challenge to lose 150lbs. I am told at 42 that I am unlikely to make 45!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-chapter-one-life-or-death-by-sally-cronin/

This week I look at the nutritional elements of Asparagus and Carol Taylor turns this very healthy vegetable into some delicious meals.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/16/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-asparagus-nutrient-packed-and-delicious-recipes/

Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge.

I have chosen ‘Secret and Draw’ for my key words this week and I am also trying my hand at a Haibun… here is the link  where you will find a description of this form which is a combination of prose and poetry.

Rejuvenation

I have discovered the secret to eternal youth. I stand before the mirror. With eyes almost closed the image blurs. Wrinkles disappear. Hair regains its colour. The extra pounds fall away. I am tall and strong. A reflection of how I used to be. I draw the image towards me absorbing its essence.

Do not be deceived
Challenge the silver backed mirror
Remain young at heart.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-poetry-challenge-haibun-rejuvenation/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-how-to-craft-a-kickass-protagonist-10-steps-to-hero-by-sacha-black/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-fancy-meeting-you-here-by-jim-webster/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-non-fiction-the-universal-mind-by-peter-weisz-dip-psych-hnd-bacp/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-paranormal-end-of-day-a-hodes-hill-novel-book-2-by-mae-clair/

Author Update -Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-judith-barrow-jacquie-biggar-and-daniel-kemp/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-tony-riches-iain-kelly-and-lizzie-chantree/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-another-a-joke-from-my-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/17/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-jokes-from-the-archives-2/

Thanks for dropping by and hope to see you again next week… Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Die Hard, Detox, Resolutions, Food, Music, Humour


Another quietish week for us after a very peaceful New Year’s Eve which we spent watching the final Die Hard movie of our binge session. Seeing them back to back over five days was great, and brought back memories of where we were in the years we saw them the first time around, starting in 1988. It is amazing how you remember the overall plot but forget detail. We are making a start on Mission Impossible and then The Bourne series next. Keep us out of trouble for a bit anyway.

Over the next few weeks there will be some new series beginning that I hope you will find interesting… in the meantime…here are the posts from the week in case you missed any.

A look back at 2018 and a thank you to the regular contributors who write such amazing posts for the blog. Also a look at what is to come in 2019.

Thomas the Rhymer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/31/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-happy-new-year/

Paul Andruss gave us a New Year’s Gift of a four part story The Legend of the Golden Flower, set in ancient Japan and filled with wonderfully researched detail. You can read the complete story and also follow the link to a follow up post on the background to the tale.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/the-legend-of-the-golden-flower-by-paul-andruss/

I was delighted to welcome Annette Rochelle Aben to the team with the first of her monthly Numerology posts. The first looking at our universal energy for 2019 and the month of January.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-with-annette-rochelle-aben-your-monthly-universal-energy-january-2019/

Linda Bethea with more tales of her extended family – life in Houston has its ups and downs. The Pink Cupcake, the Hussy and the Promise..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-the-pink-cupcake-the-hussy-and-the-promise/

The new season of the Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You.

Delighted to welcome new interviewees to the interview series, and if you have participated before.. no worries, just pick a different five questions to answer..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-2019/

I want to share this post again for any authors who are new to the blog – The Cafe and Bookstore is a FREE promotional opportunity to showcase your work on a regular basis here on the blog and across my social media. 

The first step is a ‘New Book on the Shelves‘ promotion, followed by regular updates in the twice weekly posts. Any new releases will also have their own individual post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-2019-free-book-promotion/

I did a tongue-in-cheek look at New Year’s Resolutions… with some suggestions how you might get them achieved!!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/something-to-think-about-so-how-are-those-new-year-resolutions-going-for-you/

Another trip down memory lane to 1995 – mechanical bull riding (or destruction) and Annie Lennox.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1995-east-anglia-and-annie-lennox/

To get the New Year off to a good start (for your body anyway) I began a short series – The Gentle Detox.

I don’t approve of starving a body into submission, especially after a period of indulgence. I especially do not recommend ‘crash diets’ as this can cause a great deal of stress physically and mentally.  Here are the posts so far….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-introduction-and-phase-one-before-you-begin-your-weight-loss-programme/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-part-two-eat-food-your-body-recognises-and-can-work-with/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-part-three-willpower/

A series that is worth repeating for the benefit of those who missed the first time around – Cook from Scratch.

In this post I share an alternative breakfast that I ate several time a week in the 17 years I lived in Madrid… Spanish style tomato cocktail on toast..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/02/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-tomatoes-for-breakfast-spanish-style/

I try my hand at a new format that Colleen Chesebro has introduced us to in the first of her Tuesday Poetry challenge No. 117 – Poets choice.   A Shadorma… if you have not participated in this challenge, I do recommend as it stretches both our poetic muscles and your creativity.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-poetry-challenge-117-poets-choice/

The first of the Cafe updates for 2019 – a place to share recent reviews and new releases.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-mary-adler-rachele-baker-dvm-marina-osipova-and-terry-tyler/

D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies shares some of the funnies from around the web… and I find a joke from my archives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-new-material-the-cornier-the-better/

Thank you for starting the New Year with me and I hope that you have enjoyed the show so far. Look forward to seeing you again soon.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer Linda Bethea – The Pink Cupcake, the Hussy and the Promise


The Pink Cupcake, the Hussy and the Promise

The Houston sun baked the wide sidewalk before me as I sat spread-eagled in the shade of second floor balcony. I’d yet to recover from the injustice of being denied access to that wonderland where the gentian-haired old lady and her purple poodle lived in the apartment above Grandma. I liked the lady’s purple hair and poodle and practically salivated over the pink cupcake she offered from her bottom step. Grandma refused it on my behalf, declaring, “She don’t need to ruin her dinner.”

I wanted nothing more than to follow her up stairs and devote the rest of the day to ruining my dinner and breakfast the next morning, if possible, but no. Grandma busted that up, dragging me by the hand into her back door. “That hussy needs to tend to her own rat-killing,” Grandma told Mother. “I don’t like the looks of her company. No telling what you catch from her.”

“But I’m hungry!” I wailed. “I want a cupcake.”

“Here, eat this bacon-biscuit left from breakfast.” Grandma snapped. “Supper’s in ‘bout an hour. Go back and play on the steps.”

Grudgingly, I took my lousy biscuit and returned to my toys on the front walk. I quickly tired of them and left to wander a bit. I figured I had a minute before Grandma missed me. Out of the blue, I was soaked with water from above just as Grandma rounded the corner. I rather enjoyed the refreshing bath, but Grandma, who’d taken it all in , was infuriated. Apparently, Miss Purple Hair, the upstairs tenant had chosen just that moment to dash her mop water off the balcony as I strolled below. I was delighted at the cool surprise. Miss Purple hair was horrifically embarrassed, and Grandma was enraged!

“You heifer! You threw that on her on purpose! That nasty mop water’s got Clorox in it! You might’ve blinded her!” Grandma was hot! Fortunately for the hussy, Grandma’s concern outweighed her need for vengeance, and she rushed me in for a bath. The hussy soon came down to apologize. Mother beat Grandma to the door, so the whole thing blew over,. I never did get my pink cupcake.

I wasn’t surprised at all when the murder Grandma had been promising finally materialized.

My only experience of death, up to that point, was of people being shot on television. It happened regularly on “Gunsmoke.” No big deal. The next day, a huge crowd gathered at a stately building directly across the street. Despite Mother’s best efforts to prevent it, I was able to eavesdrop and overhear the gory details of a suicide murder in the neighborhood.

Mother was devastated and feared I’d be too upset to ever sleep again. She could have saved her worry. Of course there was a murder! It held no more interest for me than a television drama and was exactly what Grandma had been promising ever since we got to Houston.

©Linda Bethea 2019

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

Now that I’m done with the bothersome business of workday world, I am free to pursue my passion, capturing the stories I’ve loved all my life. The ones you’ll read on my blog are good old Southern stories, a real pleasure to relay. Here in the South, we are proud of our wacky folks. I’ve preyed shamelessly on my family, living and dead, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, often changing the names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.

My mother illustrates my blog. I come from a rollicking family of nuts, hence the name of the blog Nutsrok Enjoy.

51qb8fm4dql-_uy250_About Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad by Linda Swain Bethea (Author) with Kathleen Holdaway Swain (Collaborator & Illustrator)

Born to a struggling farm family in the deepest of The Great Depression, Kathleen enjoys a colorful childhood, enhanced by her imagination, love of life, and the encouragement of her family.

She’s determined to build a better life for herself, getting herself into hilarious situations all along the way. Distinguishing herself in school and the community, she never takes her eyes off her goal.

Just as she’s about to get started, she meets Bill, the man who is going to help her on her way. Everything changes. And then changes again. The true story of a remarkable woman who will inspire you, make you laugh, and see life from a new perspective.

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

Read the reviews and BUY the book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ/

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

In this collection of six serials, Linda Swain Bethea weaves narratives of women through several centuries. The stories span from 1643 to 1957. Beginning in England in 1643, a young couple travels to Jamestown, Virginia, to begin a new life in the American frontier. The rest of the stories travel from West Texas to North Louisiana to the Texas Panhandle to East Texas.

Disease, death, starvation, and prison are faced with stoicism and common sense, and always, with a sense of humor.

The women in each tale stand tall and possess the wisdom and tenacity to hold families together under the worst conditions. Through it all, they persevere, and Linda Swain Bethea’s storytelling is a testament to the legacy they left.

Conversational and homey, you’ll fall in love with the women of Just Women Getting By – Leaving a Legacy of Strength, which celebrates the courage of those women who had no choice but to survive.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

Connect to Linda

Blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nutsrok1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.bethea.50

My thanks to Linda for another wonderful story of family life and as always we appreciate your feedback.

You can catch up with all of Linda’s guests posts in her Directory

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas Celebrations – The Weekly Round Up – More parties, books, stories and music..


We are almost there with the last of the Christmas book promotions and just one more Christmas party to go tomorrow. I have had so much fun over the last few weeks and I hope you have too.

We have had a family dinner this week, and apart from one or two other visits, we shall be spending Christmas quietly. There will be a few packages left for you to open including a very welcome short story over four days from Paul Andruss. Paul has been working on a number of projects that will continue into 2019, but he has kindly sent a wonderful Japanese themed story for us all to enjoy. There will also be a special post on New Year’s Eve to round this series off. Hopefully we will see Paul from time to time in the coming year.

I will be spending time offline working on the new promotional series for 2019 and also one or two of my own writing projects. I do like having something humming away in the background.

As always my thanks to contributors and guests this week who you will be meeting shortly, and if you are around tomorrow between making last minute arrangements, the Twelfth Day of Christmas will be paying a tribute to some of those not already featured.

My husband has told me he has done finished his shopping for Christmas and sent me a photo of our tree to prove it! Me thinks he is telling fibs….either that or Father Christmas is using our lounge as a sorting office!

Anyway.. on with the posts from the week and you have just 2 days left of my Free book offer as it ends at midnight on Christmas Eve wherever you live….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-the-last-author-to-be-self-promoted-and-free-giveaway-sally-cronin/

A short series of classical hits for Christmas shared by William Price King..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-william-price-king-music-for-christmas-and-new-year-sleigh-ride/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-music-for-christmas-and-new-year-part-two-ill-be-home-for-christmas/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-william-price-king-music-for-christmas-and-new-year/

The Most Dependable Fight of the Year.

Daddy took his hunting very seriously. This was a man’s sport, an entitlement. Real men hunted and fished. A man’s outdoor gear was a reflection of his manhood. Daddy would have sooner worn lace panties than not follow the unwritten rules. His hunting gear was a necessity, not an extravagance like a dependable car, bills paid on time, and clothes for the family. Daddy always had money held out of his paycheck weekly for the Christmas Club, but Mother never could remember that deer season came around the same time as the Christmas Club checks were issued’  Read on….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-the-most-dependable-fight-of-the-year-by-linda-bethea/

Three Mince Pies

The little girl lay in bed asleep, blonde hair spread over her pillow. From her restless movements it was obvious that she was in the grip of a disturbing dream, and dark rings beneath her eyes gave her small face a pinched and unhappy look.

Downstairs, Jenny looked at the Christmas decorations and cards around the room. In the corner, the tree lights sparkled and flashed through the tinsel, and presents for Sophie were piled beneath its green spiky branches in a colourful heap. Family and friends had rallied round, determined Sophie would have everything her father would have bought her this Christmas. Read on....

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/smorgasbord-short-stories-for-christmas-three-mince-pies-by-sally-cronin/

You are never too old for love

He was getting on a bit in years, his eyesight was very dodgy, and his hip was definitely causing him gyp. His teeth were still okay; he still enjoyed his meat slightly chewy, instead of that pap that they gave the real oldies in this residence. And if truth be told, despite his advanced years there was still a little fizz left when it came to the ladies. In fact there was a rather saucy looking old gal in the residence four down from him, who despite the silver threads through her glorious mane of hair, still had a twinkle in her eye. Read on

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/smorgasbord-short-stories-for-christmas-youre-never-too-old-for-love-by-sally-cronin/comment-page-1/#comment-175893

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-dystopian-thriller-a-justified-state-by-iain-kelly/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-historical-brandon-tudor-knight-by-tony-riches/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-the-widows-son-by-daniel-kemp/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-soul-taker-the-council-of-twelve-book-1-by-a-j-alexander/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-wealth-relationships-humour-sharon-marchisello-lisa-thomson-barb-taub-and-molly-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-fifth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-d-g-kaye-lizzie-chantree-and-joy-lennick/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-sixth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-william-price-king-annette-rochelle-aben-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-seventh-day-of-christmas-with-guests-jessica-norrie-and-marjorie-mallon/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-eighth-day-of-christmas-with-guest-donata-zawakzka-and-robbie-cheadle/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-the-ninth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-linda-bethea-and-sandra-j-jackson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-celebrations-the-tenth-day-of-christmas-with-guests-alison-williams-and-patty-fletcher/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-the-eleventh-day-of-christmas-with-guests-colleen-chesebro-and-anne-goodwin/

As we get fully engaged with the festive season there is one particular organ in the body which deserves some consideration. When you are offered your fifth mince pie or another glass of eggnog – it is not usual for you to think…….

“OMG NO my poor liver cannot take another drop”!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/smorgasbord-health-column-buy-your-liver-a-gift-for-christmas-moderation-and-milk-thistle-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-more-christmas-funnies/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-with-more-christmas-funnies-and-a-joke-or-two-from-the-archives/

I hope you have enjoyed the week’s posts and one more party to go tomorrow, a Letter from America special and another classical Christmas hit from William Price King.

From 27th of December there will be a four part story from Paul Andruss with a beautiful Japanese theme. And more treats on New Year’s Eve.  On Christmas Day and the 26th there will be some funnies and videos should you need a rest from the festivities.

Thank you for being here during the week, the blog would not be the same without you.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Guest Post – The Most Dependable Fight of the Year by Linda Bethea


The Most Dependable Fight of the Year

Daddy took his hunting very seriously. This was a man’s sport, an entitlement. Real men hunted and fished. A man’s outdoor gear was a reflection of his manhood. Daddy would have sooner worn lace panties than not follow the unwritten rules. His hunting gear was a necessity, not an extravagance like a dependable car, bills paid on time, and clothes for the family. Daddy always had money held out of his paycheck weekly for the Christmas Club, but Mother never could remember that deer season came around the same time as the Christmas Club checks were issued. By early December, both had long unwritten lists in their heads. A day or so before the check was to be issued, Daddy would be in an unaccustomed jovial mood, sitting at the table with one of his buddies drinking coffee, and casually mention his plan to purchase a Manchester #1108 Rifle with a scope. Nearby at the stove, steam rose from Mother’s ears. The Manchester #1108 Rifle cost about the same as her Christmas list.

The Annual Christmas Fight was on. Daddy’s manhood was at stake. He couldn’t emasculate himself by backing down on his purchase after bragging in front of his hunting buddies. Mother completely misunderstood a man’s needs and considered him selfish, hurting his feelings. “When I was a kid was I only got an orange for Christmas, and was proud of that. Besides, you should be able to get everything you need for about $12.00. You just need to go through the store, pick out what you wanted, take it up to the register, and haggle with the manager. That’s the only sensible way to shop. That’s what I’d do if I had to handle the shopping! Do I have to manage the house and make the living? And besides, where are the clothes and toys I bought the kids and those three nice dresses I just bought you? You just didn’t take of stuff right or you’d still have them! Blah, blah, blah. You must think I am Santa Claus!”

Mother snidely pointed out, “well, you’re supposed to be. It was over ten years ago you bought that stuff you’re talking about. Besides, how would you know how much things cost now? You haven’t put a toe in a store, paid a bill, been to a bank, or handled any business since we got married. Don’t you think anybody besides YOU might want a nice Christmas!” Suggesting he might be selfish was the final insult! It was on!

Eventually, they would both develop battle fatigue and go about their business. Daddy would go off in a huff and buy his rifle, but tone his pride down a bit, and make do with a cheaper model. Deeply offended at Mother’s demands, he would hand over $30 or $35 dollars left from the Christmas Check. Once she recovered from her rage at his everlasting selfishness, she would shuffle bills, frantically put us all to gluing in trading stamps, put us kids to selling coke bottles, feed us more meals of beans, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, and canned vegetables, less with meat and fruit. She would make some homemade gifts and check Goodwill out. Grandma always sent a huge box of Christmas gifts, her sister Annie would send money, and Mother would manage to pull together a wonderful Christmas.

On Christmas morning we would wake up to find gifts piled all around the Christmas tree. Mother would be relieved to have manufactured a miracle once again. Once it was all laid out on Christmas morning, Daddy enjoyed seeing his children enjoying a bounteous Christmas and was reassured Mother could do well with a little money when she half tried. Maybe next year he could save back enough to get that……….

I think he sincerely believed in Santa Claus.

©Linda Bethea

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

Now that I’m done with the bothersome business of workday world, I am free to pursue my passion, capturing the stories I’ve loved all my life. The ones you’ll read on my blog are good old Southern stories, a real pleasure to relay. Here in the South, we are proud of our wacky folks. I’ve preyed shamelessly on my family, living and dead, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, often changing the names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.

My mother illustrates my blog. I come from a rollicking family of nuts, hence the name of the blog Nutsrok Enjoy.

51qb8fm4dql-_uy250_About Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad by Linda Swain Bethea (Author) with Kathleen Holdaway Swain (Collaborator & Illustrator)

Born to a struggling farm family in the deepest of The Great Depression, Kathleen enjoys a colorful childhood, enhanced by her imagination, love of life, and the encouragement of her family.

She’s determined to build a better life for herself, getting herself into hilarious situations all along the way. Distinguishing herself in school and the community, she never takes her eyes off her goal.

Just as she’s about to get started, she meets Bill, the man who is going to help her on her way. Everything changes. And then changes again. The true story of a remarkable woman who will inspire you, make you laugh, and see life from a new perspective.

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

Read the reviews and BUY the book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ/

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

In this collection of six serials, Linda Swain Bethea weaves narratives of women through several centuries. The stories span from 1643 to 1957. Beginning in England in 1643, a young couple travels to Jamestown, Virginia, to begin a new life in the American frontier. The rest of the stories travel from West Texas to North Louisiana to the Texas Panhandle to East Texas.

Disease, death, starvation, and prison are faced with stoicism and common sense, and always, with a sense of humor.

The women in each tale stand tall and possess the wisdom and tenacity to hold families together under the worst conditions. Through it all, they persevere, and Linda Swain Bethea’s storytelling is a testament to the legacy they left.

Conversational and homey, you’ll fall in love with the women of Just Women Getting By – Leaving a Legacy of Strength, which celebrates the courage of those women who had no choice but to survive.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

Connect to Linda

Blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nutsrok1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.bethea.50

My thanks to Linda for another wonderful story of family life… and we would love to hear from you about any memories you have of Christmas as a child.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Christmas book promotions, music, humour and guests.


This week has certainly flown by with a few Mary Poppins moments with umbrellas in the rain and high winds. Just as well I have not got rid of that excess stone I was planning on misplacing before Christmas!

Do not take this as a free pass to do what you like eating wise over the festive season (well okay then . eat what you like)..but I am re-releasing my first book Size Matters in 2019 updated and revised to reflect new research and also my experience in the last 20 years as a nutritional therapist – I am going to do this via the blog by editing and updating each chapter on the blog in the first three months of the year. If you are thinking about getting fitter and eating healthier then you might like to take it one step at a time.

The first part of the book was my journal about how I got to the weight of 330lbs and the second part of the book is the programme that I designed to lose 150lbs. That is the bit that I will be revising and updating.

I have been featuring all the active authors in the Cafe and Bookstore since the middle of November with recent updates or first books in series. I have just scheduled the last one on 17th December… and there will be one more on 18th of December but that one will be my books and I have a couple of e-book giveaways on the day.

I did have an outing this week as the guest of Colleen Chesebro… and we had a lovely conversation about writing from the male perspective and inspirations.. if you have not been a guest of Colleen before.. it is well worth putting yourself forward. A great place to showcase your work and meet new people.

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Sally Cronin

On Thursday the Christmas party season starts with the First Day of Christmas.. If you are still interesting in being a guest there are four spaces left for the 11th and 12th days of Christmas.. Want another chance to promote your books and take part.. here are the details.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/smorgasbord-christmas-promotions-the-twelve-days-of-christmas-party-guests-food-and-music-promotional-opportunity/

I am heading out today with a stand at the local Christmas Fair.. and the first sight of Santa Claus who will be arriving at 4pm. to day courtesy of the Coast Guard and RNLI.. ……….

Time to get on with the posts from the week that you might have missed and as always thank you for popping in and lending your support.  It keeps me motivated.

Paul Andruss has popped in to kick off party week… sharing his emotionally charged story of his most favourite Christmas gift ever….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-my-favourite-christmas-gift-ever-by-paul-andruss/

D.G. Kaye took us to the stunning island of Curacao and shares its history and the best places to stay, eat and swim.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-welcome-to-curacao-lesser-antilles/

Carol Taylor came back to the food column with a wonderful post this week. A full Vegetarian menu – with starters, mains, sides and desserts.. delicious.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/smorgasbord-blog-christmas-celebrations-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-a-christmas-vegetarian-menu/

Linda Bethea shares the tale of Willie Tharpe, who invited himself for Christmas, bringing his dogs and thousands of unwanted visitors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-flease-dont-come-home-for-christmas-willie-tharpe-by-linda-bethea/

Geoff Le Pard with a special rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…if this does not get you in the mood for the festive season…. then repeat several times.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-guest-post-poetry-twas-the-night-before-christmas-by-geoff-le-pard/

It is my 40th and I feel the need for speed…..and the music of M People, guest Annette Rochelle Aben and Elton John.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1993-toyota-mr2-mk1-m-people-and-elton-john/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-shortstories-becoming-someone-by-anne-goodwin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-mystery-murder-on-the-books-by-hl-carpenter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-deadly-quotes-escaping-psychiatry-series-by-olga-nunez-miret/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-book-1-the-gift-legacy-secret-sky-re-release-by-j-p-mclean/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-mo-the-spotlight-tales-by-s-pearce/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-childrens-myrtles-game-by-cynthia-reyes-and-lauren-reyes-grange-illustrated-by-jo-robinson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-mystery-thriller-series-n-a-granger-john-w-howell-don-massenzio/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-social-injustice-thriller-fantasy-with-yecheilyah-ysrayl-stevie-turner-and-fiona-tarr/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-fantasty-scifi-paranormal-elle-boca-deborah-a-bowman-richard-dee-and-audrey-driscoll/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-linda-bradley-christine-campbell-billy-ray-chitwood-and-angie-dokos/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-african-adventure-crime-history-scifi-with-lucinda-e-clarke-sue-coletta-jack-eason-and-david-r-grigg/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-mary-anne-edwards-diana-j-febry-judy-penz-sheluk-and-toni-pike/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-family-drama-historical-survival-claire-fullerton-william-luvaas-jacqui-murray-and-terry-tyler/

It is the time of year when coughs are quite common.. but it is important to know the difference between one associated with a common cold and one that has become chronic bronchitis.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-bronchitis-by-sally-cronin/

It is that time of week when we get our syllables in a row or more in a format requested by Colleen Chesebro Poetry Challenge no. 113 – being the first week of the month we get to choose our own prompts… Frost and Laughter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-tanka-poetry-challenge-etheree-december-and-laughter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-another-joke-from-sallys-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Guest Post – Flease Don’t Come Home for Christmas, Willie Tharpe by Linda Bethea


Flease Don’t Come Home for Christmas, Willie Tharpe

Daddy wasn’t just a magnet for strange characters. He beat the bushes to flush them out. If that hadn’t worked, I believe he’d have up tacked up posters. Mother had no way of anticipating who he might drag in for supper, overnight, or until further notice. I never did understand why she didn’t murder Daddy. He must have slept sometime! Willie Tharpe was a holdover from Daddy’s childhood.

Daddy came in late from work one evening a few days before Christmas about eight-thirty, after one of his rambles, as he so often did. Though he worked shift work, Mother could never anticipate his arrival. As the “Man of the House” his time was his own. Making the living was his only responsibility. It was up to Mother to handle the rest. That evening, Willie Tharpe creaked up behind him in an ancient truck with a shack on the back; not a camper, a shack.

About fourteen dogs piled out of the truck windows and shack as he coasted to a stop in a place of honor, right in front of our house. Eventually, Willie emerged, swatting dogs with his hat and cursing inarticulately, in the style favored by the toothless. Mother was appalled, knowing anyone Daddy dragged in this late, especially anyone from such an interesting position on the social scale, was likely to be a houseguest. This was especially concerning a day or two before Christmas, when we’d be having company. In an expansive mood, Daddy ushered in Willie Tharpe and as many of the dogs as could squeeze in before the door slammed on them. The dogs, unused to houses, ran around jumping on us, knocking over end tables, and peeing on the Christmas tree, till Daddy had us shoo them out. Daddy was clearly thrilled to be able to show off his home and family to Willie, an old and valued family friend.

The house had looked pretty good till Willie’s dogs ransacked it, but it was a wreck now. Mother had “waited supper” for Daddy, since Daddy insisted we all eat as a family. We’d been starving for hours. We scurried to the table as Mother served up the reheated beans, potatoes, and gravy, just serving the fried chicken and biscuits cold. Though Willie’s toothless mumbling was impossible to understand, Daddy interpreted for us as Willie loaded his plate time after time, after first reaching for the liver and gizzard with his hand. The liver and gizzard were such favorites that we took turns at getting them, a matter of such import that Mother managed it herself. He ate with his knife, wiped his mouth on his sleeve, and spewed food as he mumbled. We stared in fascination. Mother never even noticed his terrible manners.

After supper, he poured his coffee in his saucer, blew on it noisily, and drank from the saucer, smacking loudly after each slurp. It was repulsive. He burped without covering his mouth. When all the chicken was gone, he reached for the platter and scraped all the “scrambles” onto his plate. The “scrambles” were the crunchy bits left on the platter at the end of the meal, the prize Mother divided among us children. My mouth flew open to protest, only to catch Mother’s dirty look to “mind my manners.”

A meal with Willie did more to reinforce the importance of manners than a hundred hours of instruction. Mother should have thanked him. When it came time for bed, Daddy explained Willie would be sleeping in Billy’s room. Billy could bunk in with Phyllis and me. Mother looked fierce, but didn’t say a word. She pursed her lips and left the room. In a minute she was back with Billy’s night clothes. “Where are the dogs going to sleep?” She spat at Daddy. Daddy had always prided himself on never allowing dogs in the house until the mishap earlier that evening. “Oh, the dogs will sleep in Willie’s truck.” He was jovial, obviously not unaware of Mother’s malevolent mood and his longstanding rule on no dogs in the house. Willie looked surprised and pained. It was late December 22 and really cold. Willie muttered the first thing I’d understood that night. “I allus’ sleeps with them dawrgs. Thas’ the onliest thing that keeps an old man like me from freezing. We all pile in together. We sleeps good thataway.”

Daddy was clearly torn between his principles and his old friend. “Willie, I ain’t never had dogs in the house and I can’t start now. The dogs can’t sleep in the house.” He was saved. Willie didn’t argue, just mumbled and went off to the back bedroom. Mother was still furious. While Daddy was at work the next day, Willie hung around by the kitchen heater, smoking his smelly hand-rolled cigarettes. He was in Mother’s way all day, as she sputtered around baking and making her Christmas preparations. He smelled like his dogs, becoming more rancid smelling by the hour. The odor became more nauseating combined with the scent of cinnamon, candied fruit, orange slices, and vanilla. Mother periodically opened the doors and windows to air the kitchen.

Her mood was black by the time Daddy came rolling in at three thirty. Uncharacteristically, he’d come straight home from work, probably concerned for Willie’s safety. He took Willie off gallivanting. For once, we didn’t have to wait supper. Mother’s mood improved with Willie out of the way. We made popcorn and sang Christmas Carols. Tomorrow was Christmas Eve! Santa would be coming! Mother sent us on to bed.

The next thing I knew, Daddy was yelling, “Get some water! Get the kids out of the bedroom!”

As we flew out of our bedroom, a wet, naked old man made his rickety way into the kitchen, followed by a swirling pack of panicky dogs. Meanwhile, Daddy dragged smoking quilts out to the back yard. As the story unfolded, it seems Willie had been smoking his hand-rolled cigarettes in the comfort of the nest of hounds he’d slipped in after the house was abed and drifted off to sleep. Alerted of the burning covers by one of the dogs, he’d called out for help, getting Daddy in on the action.

Not surprisingly, Willie moved on the next day. Wisely, Daddy didn’t protest. We enjoyed a lovely Christmas. It was a few days before Willie’s Christmas gift to us became apparent.

The house was infested with fleas. Deprived of their host, they attacked us with abandon.

Happy Christmas…..

©Linda Bethea

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

Now that I’m done with the bothersome business of workday world, I am free to pursue my passion, capturing the stories I’ve loved all my life. The ones you’ll read on my blog are good old Southern stories, a real pleasure to relay. Here in the South, we are proud of our wacky folks. I’ve preyed shamelessly on my family, living and dead, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, often changing the names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.

My mother illustrates my blog. I come from a rollicking family of nuts, hence the name of the blog Nutsrok Enjoy.

51qb8fm4dql-_uy250_About Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad by Linda Swain Bethea (Author) with Kathleen Holdaway Swain (Collaborator & Illustrator)

Born to a struggling farm family in the deepest of The Great Depression, Kathleen enjoys a colorful childhood, enhanced by her imagination, love of life, and the encouragement of her family.

She’s determined to build a better life for herself, getting herself into hilarious situations all along the way. Distinguishing herself in school and the community, she never takes her eyes off her goal.

Just as she’s about to get started, she meets Bill, the man who is going to help her on her way. Everything changes. And then changes again. The true story of a remarkable woman who will inspire you, make you laugh, and see life from a new perspective.

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

Read the reviews and BUY the book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ/

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

In this collection of six serials, Linda Swain Bethea weaves narratives of women through several centuries. The stories span from 1643 to 1957. Beginning in England in 1643, a young couple travels to Jamestown, Virginia, to begin a new life in the American frontier. The rest of the stories travel from West Texas to North Louisiana to the Texas Panhandle to East Texas.

Disease, death, starvation, and prison are faced with stoicism and common sense, and always, with a sense of humor.

The women in each tale stand tall and possess the wisdom and tenacity to hold families together under the worst conditions. Through it all, they persevere, and Linda Swain Bethea’s storytelling is a testament to the legacy they left.

Conversational and homey, you’ll fall in love with the women of Just Women Getting By – Leaving a Legacy of Strength, which celebrates the courage of those women who had no choice but to survive.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

Connect to Linda

Blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nutsrok1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.bethea.50

Another wondeful story from Linda Bethea and we would both love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Brussel Sprouts, Fire Ants, music, books, health, humour and a full guest list


Welcome to a round up of the posts from the week that you might have missed. And also a reminder of some of the Christmas Promotions coming up later in December.

The main one is a 12 Day party beginning on 13th of December until 24th December. I have some special guests appearing each day, in the form of contributors to the blog, and I am delighted that many of you are already signed up for one of the days. Out of the original 40 spots I just have 15 left. This is an opportunity to showcase your blog or books, even if you have already or will be featured in the other Christmas promotions. All I am looking for is 100 words (approx) about your favourite Christmas Gift ever… full details are here Twelve days of Christmas Party

I am also working my way through the Cafe and Bookstore and will be featuring every author on the shelves either with a New book on the shelves for Christmas or in a Buy a Book for Christmas feature.

The only thing that I need from you if you are in the bookstore is the link to any new releases between now and Christmas.

If you are a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore then email on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and I will let you know what I need. (it is FREE)

 

And here are the Christmas promotion posts so far…they will now go in a directory in the menu until the New Year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-special-preorder-price-mistletoe-inn-by-jacquie-biggar/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-sci-fi-ya-tarkentower-by-daniel-scott-white/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-thriller-desperation-rules-the-day-by-colin-guest/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-the-worst-noel-a-juniper-junction-mystery-by-amy-reade/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-love-at-first-swipe-by-gareth-fosberry-onlinedating/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-broken-heart-attack-braxton-campus-mysteries-book-2-pre-order-99c-99p-until-november-25th-james-j-cudney/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-shortstories-after-ever-little-stories-for-grown-children-by-d-avery/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-victoria-zigler-jann-weeratunga-janice-spina-bette-a-stevens-and-gigi-sedlmayer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-andrea-balsara-robbie-and-michael-cheadle-annabelle-franklin-and-jemima-pett/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-teens-ya-paul-andruss-m-j-mallon-hl-carpenter-darlene-foster-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-rachele-baker-dvm-judith-barrow-c-s-boyack-and-pamela-s-wight/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/sally-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-fantasy-science-fiction-tina-frisco-d-wallace-peach-lorinda-j-taylor-and-teri-polen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-poetry-ritu-bhathal-christy-birmingham-colleen-m-chesebro-natalie-ducey-and-dorinda-duclos/

The Story Reading Ape

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-poetry-agnes-mae-graham-annette-rochelle-aben-and-balroop-singh/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-short-stories-linda-bethea-sarah-brentyn-eric-halpenny-and-gregg-savage/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-short-stories-mary-smith-annika-perry-and-hugh-w-roberts/

My review for Legacy; Book Four Project Renova by Terry Tyler

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-book-review-for-legacy-project-renova-book-four-by-terry-tyler/

Other posts in the week.

This week we take that ‘marmite’ of the vegetable kingdom, Brussel Sprouts and I showcase their many health benefits and Carol Taylor cooks them in several ways to delight your family.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-brusselsprouts-bitterly-healthy/

This week Linda Bethea gets up close and personal with feisty Houston residents.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-family-houston-fire-ants-and-murderers-by-linda-bethea/

Smorgasbord Short Stories from Volume 2- What’s in a Name

Walter is a scruffy customer, along with his dog at the local pub. Nobody seems to know his story…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-walter-lost-and-alone-by-sally-cronin/

Xenia… two special family members never to be forgotten.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-volume-two-xenia-beloved/

This week our lives in 1991 and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and Bohemian Rhapsody

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1991-always-look-on-the-bright-side-of-life-and-bohemian-rhapsody/

Smorgasbord Poetry – #Etheree in response to Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-111-celebrate-and-number-etheree/

This week a look at the difference between and allergy and an intolerance..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-allergies-and-intolerances-christmas-can-be-a-challenge/

Guest comedian D.G. Kaye Debby Gies with more finds on the Internet and a joke from the archives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke/

Guest standup comedian.. D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies gets us in the mood for Thanksgiving

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-how-to-turk-the-carvey-and-quickies/

Thank you for dropping in today.. and don’t forget that there are a few places left for the Twelve Days of Christmas parties… and if you have a new book release between now and Christmas, please let me know – sally.cronin@moyhill.com