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/

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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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer #Family – #Houston Fire Ants and Murderers by Linda Bethea


Time to catch up with Linda’s family adventures… and having arrived safely in Houston on the back of a flat bed truck… time to get settled in. Also an opportunity to meet the neighbours… not all as welcoming as would be hoped.

Houston Fire Ants and Murderers by Linda Bethea

Grandma slipped out the back door with a laundry basket as I awoke. Naturally, I followed. Though I was only five, I already knew she was short It took her several tries to heave yesterday’s dusty quilts over the clothesline.

She sputtered with frustration as she whacked them with a broom. Red dust flew “I didn’t put all this work in my quilts just to have ‘em pitched up on the back of that beat up old truck!”

I left her to her business to investigate a large conical mound just outside the back door. It looked so appealing, I couldn’t resist kicking it. As I stood in the ruins admiring my work, I was introduced to the world of fire ants.

My blood-curling screams interrupted Grandma’s quilt-beating. She whirled to find the evil beasts pinched on to my legs. As she tried vainly to brush them off, Mother rushed out to see who was being murdered. They rushed me in to the sink to wash them off, they both got numerous fiery bites, reinforcing Grandma’s prediction that Houston was a bad move. I did learn a valuable lesson about kicking anthills, though.

Once the fire in my legs cooled down, I investigated the house. They’d rented the first floor of a huge, old home. Its high ceilings and tall windows cooled the room. Its polished hardwood floors gleamed. Best of all, it boasted two stairways to nowhere. The first descended straight into the plaster of the ceiling that blocked it off.

I only got to slide down the bannister once before Grandma put a stop to my fun. She must have thought there was a murderer at the bottom. It was a couple of hours later before we discovered the second enclosed in a closet. Having no bannisters, Grandma didn’t offer objections. It was great fun to play on those steps in the dark closet.

The house had once been part of a gracious neighborhood, though now Houston streets had
gobbled its yard, leaving it just feet from busy streets in the front and on the left side. A large
lawn stretched between it and the house to its right. A deep porch wrapped the house on
three sides. Before Mother even had a chance to broach the subject, Grandma kicked in.

“Do not step off this porch! Houston is full of murderers who will snatch you right out of the yard. Don’t talk to anybody! See how close that street is! A drunk driver could run right up on the sidewalk and kill you! Even the ants here are crazy! Maybe you’d just better come back in the house.”

She must have been serious if she was ready to be shut in with an eight, five, and a couple of toddlers as she unpacked and settled in. I had to agree with her about the ants, though!

The kids got busy investigating the house as the men set up beds and Grandma and Mother
cooked breakfast and sorted out the kitchen. Cookie’s nerves were shot after her terrifying drive so we had to play quietly while she slept off a headache. Back to breakfast. One thing I always admired about Grandma. She had a proper appreciation for bacon. She didn’t cook one or two measly pieces apiece like Mother did. She cooked a platter full. There was always bacon left after breakfast. Now, that’s a fine cook!

After breakfast, Phyllis and I ran wild on the front porch, banging into the rails at the end of each lap. We were desperate to get further out. Double width sidewalks stretched temptingly to the busy street.

Country kids admire sidewalks, accustomed to bumpy grass and dirt surfaces. I was sure that those grass-covered yards were all that stood between me and speed-skating or smooth bicycling. Never-mind that I’d never owned a bike or skates. Even though Barbie was only two, she had a fine tricycle and skates. Like I said, she had it made.

©Linda Bethea 2018

Thank you Linda for entertaining us again…I got fire anted when I was an adult and it was nearly the end of me… so I do sympathise… good thing Grandma was around.

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.

Linda has captured the essence of her family history in her book Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad

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 sharing her story and she would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up…Remembrance Poetry and Music St. Thomas, Stir Fries, Flatbed trucks and #Christmas #Promotions


Welcome to the weekly round up and we have had a lovely three days with friends from Madrid who we have not seen since April 2016. Of course the heavens opened to welcome them in true Irish style, but they still managed to see all the main sites in Dublin yesterday with my husband as their guide. The sun came out this morning long enough for a walk by the sea.. and now they are on their way to the airport. We never stopped talking and my rusty Spanish is now a little less rusty.

Christmas Promotions on Smorgasbord.

It is time to get the Christmas promotions started as there are 160 authors in the Cafe and Bookstore who I will be featuring as well as new books released before December 25th.. Then it would not be Christmas without a party, and I have one starting on December 13th… The Twelve Days of Christmas.. with special guests each day, music, humour, traditions and of course food..

If you are in the Cafe and Bookstore you will be automatically included but I do need to know if you have a new book coming out before Christmas. Also if you are not in the Cafe and Bookstore and would like to be including.

Head over and take a look and I already have some guests who have invited themselves.. you better get in touch sharpish..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-christmas-author-and-blog-promotions-2018-its-party-time-again/

My thanks as always to the contributors to the blog and this week D.G. Kaye kicked off the proceedings by taking us to the lovely island of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.. A  destination that I have been too as well.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-st-thomas-virginislands-by-d-g-kaye/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – delicious stir fries #Thai style

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-carol-cooks-stir-fries/

Time for another of Linda Bethea’s humour filled and heartfelt posts about family life. This week the hazards of travelling on a flat bed truck…. You can find Linda’s other posts Here

<a href=”https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-family-headed-for-hell-on-a-flatbed-by-linda-bethea/

World War I and II songs that entertained the troops and made life more bearable for those waiting for them at home.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-music-column-world-war-i-and-ii-songs-that-entertained-the-troops/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-songs-of-heartstrings-poems-of-gratitude-and-beatitude-by-miriam-hurdle/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-offer-son-of-the-serpent-fantasy-angels-series-by-vashti-quiroz-vega-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-the-fallen-sun-by-david-r-grigg/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-ben-an-amie-backstory-amie-backstories-book-2-by-lucinda-e-clarke/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Update #reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jacquie-biggar-sacha-black-and-charles-e-yallowitz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-sarah-brentyn-mae-clair-and-stevie-turner/

Robbie Cheadle, Stevier Turner, Don Massenzio and Miriam Hurdle.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-monday-november-5th-2018-robbie-cheadle-with-stevie-turner-don-massenzio-miriam-hurdle/

Sue Vincent, Amy Reade and Cathy Ryan.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-tuesday-november-6th-2018-sue-vincent-cleanwater-amy-reade-recipe-and-cathy-ryan-review/

My response to Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday #Poetry Challenge – #etheree follow the post link..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-poetry-challenge-109-november-etheree-foliage-and-spectacle/

The War Poets

Vera Brittain

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/smorgasbord-poetry-in-remembrance-the-war-poets-vera-brittain/

Rupert Brooke

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/smorgasbord-poetry-in-remembrance-the-war-poets-rupert-brooke-1897-1915/

Edmund Blunden

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/smorgasbord-poetry-remembrance-the-war-poets-edmund-blunden/

Siegfried Sassoon

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/smorgasbord-poetry-remembrance-the-war-poets-siegfried-loraine-sassoon-cbe-mc-8-september-1886-1-september-1967/

Isaac Rosenberg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/smorgasbord-poetry-in-remembrance-war-poets-isaac-rosenberg-1890-1918/

And my own tribute to my grandfather – 1987 – November 2nd 1918.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/smorgasbord-poetry-in-remembrance-herbert-james-francis-1887-1918-a-grandfather/

Two stories from What’s in a Name… Volume Two.

An entitled princess is not keen on marrying a prince she has not met before… Meet Sonia.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-sonia-in-search-of-prince-charming-by-sally-cronin/

And trouble at the checkout for Theresa.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-theresa-the-checkout-by-sally-cronin/

A closer look at Osteo-arthritis and Gout.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-arthritis-osteo-and-gout/

Humour and Afternoon Video

Guest comedians supplying the laughter this wee.. D.G. Kaye and Linda Bethea

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-linda-bethea/

More Humour from D.G. Kaye and Eric and Joy Lennick.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedians-d-g-kaye-and-eric-and-joy-lennick/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed the posts.. Please don’t forget to make a note of the Christmas promotions that are an opportunity to promote your blog and books.  thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – #Family – Headed for Hell on a Flatbed by Linda Bethea


Time for another of Linda Bethea’s humour filled and heartfelt posts about family life. This week the hazards of travelling on a flat bed truck…. You can find Linda’s other posts Here

Headed for Hell on a Flatbed by Linda Bethea

Grandma had a sweet deal living with her daughter, Cookie, son-in-law, Reilly, and little Barbie. What started as a mutually beneficial arrangement turned into a full-time housekeeping, cooking, and babysitting service. In return, Grandma and Grandpa got room and board. I never knew of Cookie to make a bed, run a load of wash, or cook a meal. She apparently felt Grandma lifted the homemaker role totally from her shoulders. She did continue the mother-role with Barbie when she was home, taking care that Barbie lived totally discipline-free. I so admired her methods and wished Mother had possessed her good attitude. That Barbie had it made! From time to time, Uncle Reilly got exasperated and spouted. ”Well, &$@8,& #5+=‘k, Barbara!” but never took action. Barbie never seemed to notice since he constantly sprinkled foul language through his normal conversation.

Should he appear about to become overwrought, Cookie reeled him in with a look and low, “Now, Reilly!” Shamed, he’d hush.

Cookie and Uncle Reilly were teachers and moved several times as they got better jobs. Naturally, my grandparents were along for the ride. One time, we arrived by train for our annual visit to find them hurriedly packing for a move to Houston, which Grandma considered a den of iniquity. She was not happy, knowing that we were all soon to be slaughtered in our beds. She primed Mother with the murders we could expect as she blew off steam.

I should probably preface this account by letting you know Cookie and Uncle Reilly were not overly concerned with convention, but that seems judgmental. After all, we were the folks hanging out with them. They were like 1950s hippies without the drugs, beads, or free love. For example, when Uncle Reilly out grew his jeans, he split the center back seam and spliced in a pie-shaped piece, then laced it with a shoestring. It wasn’t a classy look, but he said “I can’t throw out a perfectly good pair of jeans.” I kind of admired his work, but I was just a kid.

Uncle Reilly had gotten a great deal on a three-quarter ton flat bed Ford truck for the move. In preparation for the trip, Uncle Reilly had inflicted a few driving lessons on my terrified aunt since their 1938 Mercury also had to get to Houston. Even to my five-year-old eyes, this beat-up car was a clunker. Uncle Reilly took great pride in keeping his old automobile running with junk-yard parts and baling wire. He was cheap! Cookie’s driving skills were embryonic, so she didn’t complicate things by bothering to fail a driver’s test before embarking.. Since things worked out so well, she never bothered. Concerned about killing some of the family, she opted to drive solo. The other motorists were on their own.

This left four young children and four adults to ride in or on the truck. Uncle Reilly drove with my unhappy Grandma riding shotgun, juggling two toddlers in the front seat. This left Mother and my grandpa with me and my sister sitting on folded quilts on the flat bed against the cab. Uncle Reilly did thoughtfully stretch a rope across us as a nod to safety. We must have looked like refugees from Tobacco Road. I know Mother must have wished a hundred times we’d gotten on the train and gone back home, but our return was booked two weeks away. Not only that, she wouldn’t have wanted to explain the whole thing to Daddy. His family was a different kind of crazy, more of the raging hormone type.

It was past mid-day before we got off. Our progress was tedious since we had to keep Cookie in close range. She refused to drive faster than twenty miles an hour. If she seemed to be falling behind, Grandpa beat on the cab to slow Uncle Reilly down. This was probably a good deal anyway, since his brakes were going out. Every time Grandpa beat on the cab we heard a litany of curses. Of course, we bumped along on back roads for Cookie’s benefit. At first, Phyllis and I thought the ride was great fun, but as the dust fogged up and the day got hotter, it lost its charm. Periodically, we pulled off the road to rest Cookie’s nerves and let us stroll a bit, perhaps ducking into the trees to relieve ourselves. In the early afternoon, we stopped in a grove of trees for a picnic of fried chicken, boiled eggs, biscuits, tomatoes, and tea cakes. Grandma had brought a burlap-wrapped jar of iced-water, the most popular item on the menu.

After lunch, Uncle Reilly roped us back on the truck to finish the hundred-mile journey. Cookie was terrified of driving in the dark, so we picked up the pace as the day wore on. He drove faster and faster as she tried frantically to keep up. He probably hit forty-five a time or two. It was nearly dark before we pulled into their new place. While the women passed the food around and washed up wild kids, the men put mattresses down on the floor to make pallets for the night. Exhausted, the kids passed out.

We awoke the next morning in a new world.

©Linda Bethea.

Thank you Linda for entertaining us again…I think that beats any road trip of mine hands down… if you have experienced adventures on the road then do share them in the comments.

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.

Linda has captured the essence of her family history in her book Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad

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.

………...as you fall in love with Kathleen’s family.

Bethea’s style of writing as she recounts her mother’s memories has made her one of my favorite authors, and I couldn’t put this book down once I started it.

Kathleen (Kitten) takes us through her childhood growing up during the Great Depression by sharing her memories, and we find ourselves cheering for the little girl and her family while we get to know them. Vivid descriptions about unwanted house-guest’s habits are hilarious, while stories of sacrifices made by the family for each other brings tears to the reader’s eyes. We find ourselves cherishing the favorite stories Kitten hears from her Mama and Daddy while she snuggles next to them much as she did at the time of their telling. As Kathleen recounts the difficulties she faced as a young adult, we too want to return home to her parents’ warm home, full pantry, and open arms.

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 sharing her story and she would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Grassed up, Grandmas and Fried Rice.. served up with a bagful of talented writers.


Welcome to the weekly round up with posts that you might have missed the first time around. For us it was a milestone passed with the laying of our lawn yesterday. When we bought this house in June 2016 it came with an overgrown garden that had not been tended for several years. Trees to the front had grown so high their roots had spread both ways including under the garden wall to the front and cracked it badly. They were also too high for safety and had to come down. To the side of the house ivy and hedging had grown over the roof and it looked like a hobbit house.

The garden to the front was mostly carpeted (I kid you knot) there was a large play house with a bridge leading to a slide dominating the plot and they had laid lawn beneath and around for safety. However it had grown into the grass and we had to literally rip it out. Luckily David is an expert lumberjack (he was taught by his father as a young man) and had already taken down several dead trees in our Spanish garden. He took out all the dangerous trees last year and then spent three months over the spring and early summer, digging 6 foot deep trenches to dig out all the old roots by hand. He then leveled the area and raked it ready for the lawn man.

Then of course came the long hot summer and you can’t lay new lawn with a hosepipe in place. Finally after 9 months of preparation… it was laid yesterday and it rained overnight in celebration to make sure it flourishes.  Here are some photos showing what a difference a day makes…..

We are going to put some slabs over by the wall and have a bench and pot plants to create a spot to sit in the evenings as it gets the summer sunshine until 10 at night…

Anyway on with the week’s posts and as always very grateful for your support and generous sharing around the usual haunts….which is appropriate as we head into the Halloween celebrations. You are very welcome to drop in to the party here on Wednesday 31st.. I have 20 guests already who have shared their photos in costume or dressed up for a party, and really looking forward to showing them off.

If you drop in please bring your links with you for your latest blog post or your Amazon page.. Never waste an opportunity to showcase your work…

You still have time to get yours in to be shared… here is the party post with the details:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/smorgasbord-invites-you-to-a-halloween-fancy-dress-party-on-wednesday-31st-october/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

On Carol’s blog this week, she has been sharing her views on food waste and I could not agree more. In her post this week she shares the recipe to make perfect (non sticky) fried rice, using up your left overs where possible to create a tasty family dish.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-a-thai-cookery-lesson-friedrice/

Linda Bethea in her regular guest spot with more stories of her grandmas who sometimes overstayed their welcome… with humorous results.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-the-letter-family-humour/

Short Stories

In the first story, Owen meets his great grandmother for the first time face to face.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-owen-face-to-face-by-sally-cronin/

Patrick is a young spitfire pilot who falls in love but holds back..Love in a Time of War

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/28/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-volume-ii-patrick-love-in-a-time-of-war/

Guest Joy Lennick with a poem celebrating her Celtic heritage.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/smorgasbord-poetry-guest-poet-celtic-roots-by-joy-lennick/

My response to Colleen Chesebro’s weekly Tuesday poetry challenge.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/smorgasbord-poetry-colleens-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-107-etheree/

It is 1989 and David and I decide to go back to Houston to see our friends and then carry on to California to drive the Pacific Highway… fantastic reunion and managed to fly out the day before a hurricane hit.. only to be on the road when the San Francisco earthquake took place. The hit of the year for me was Bette MidlerWind Beneath My Wings.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-music-column-1989-america-trip-hurricane-jerry-and-san-francisco-earthquake/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-academic-curveball-by-james-j-cudney/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-abby-holly-series-book-two-unfortunate-circumtances-by-janice-spina/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-writers-mini-style-guide-by-editor-denise-ohagan/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-raimond-monsters-angels-by-anne-marie-andrus/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Update – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-brigid-p-gallagher-mary-anne-edwards-and-daniel-kemp/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jack-eason-claire-fullerton-and-mary-adler/

D.G. Kaye with Robbie Cheadle, Teri Polen with Jacquie Biggar and Cindy Knoke

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-october-22nd-2018-d-g-kaye-with-robbie-cheadle-teri-polen-with-jacquie-biggar-and-cindy-knoke/

Amy Reade, C.S. Boyack and Susan Nye

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-october-23rd-2018-amy-reade-c-s-boyack-and-susan-nye/

Sue Vincent with Robbie Cheadle, Teagan Geneviene and Hannah Sandoval

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-october-24th-2018-sue-vincent-with-robbie-cheadle-teagan-geneviene-and-hannah-sandoval/

Carol Taylor, Colleen Chesebro with Ritu Bhathal and Mary Smith.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-october-25th-2018-carol-taylor-foodwaste-colleen-chesebro-with-ritu-bhathal-and-mary-smith-poem/

Organic produce and reduction in Cancer rates.

In one of the largest studies of its kind in France, 70,000 men and women who stated that they only ate organic foods were followed and compared to the statistics for various cancers. The result after 7 years was revealing, as overall cancer rates were down significantly and the biggest impact was seen on non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk, which plummeted among those who only ate organic. This followed the recent law suit brought against the manufacturers of Round-Up by a cancer sufferer who was awarded $250 million.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/smorgasbord-health-column-food-in-the-news-organic-produce-and-reduction-in-cancer-rates/

A re-run of the series on common health issues updated with any new information or research – this week Acne and Skin Health.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/smorgasbord-health-column-rewind-a-to-z-common-health-issues-acne-skin/

Humour and Afternoon Videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-sock-therapy-decluttering-cought-linctus-and-a-joke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-clairvoyant-mothers-day-band-names-and-mesmerising-the-elderly/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-extra-politics-to-acupuncture-and-every-pressure-point-inbetween/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Linda Bethea – It was a wonder to see my two Grandmas in combat.


I am delighted that Linda Bethea is going to be joining us on a more regular basis, sharing posts of family, humour and words of wisdom….

It was a wonder to see my two grandmas in combat.

Mettie Knight Swain – Mamaw

It was a wonder to see my two grandmas in combat. Daddy always dreaded seeing Grandma Holdaway, my maternal grandmother, from the start. In his defense, she was inquisitive, intent on getting all the latest on his folks as soon as the pleasantries were done. By way of explanation, I have to admit, Daddy’s family gave her plenty to be nosy about. “How is your mama? Is she still living with Ola Bea?”

Mamaw moved house more than anyone else I’ve ever seen, rarely living in a place long enough to even have to dust the furniture. It was not uncommon for her sons to move her into a place, then get the news she wanted to move again before the rent was due. I was always impressed with the little places she’d find: little duplexes, rooms in houses she’d share with a friend, garage apartments, and tiny cottages. It’s hard to imagine how someone who didn’t drive nor have a telephone could find places so readily. In the event she didn’t move out on her own, she’d move in with one of her daughters or Uncle Parnell, whose wife Julie was like a daughter to her. Uncle Parnell even built a house for her on two places where he lived. She’d eagerly anticipate moving into her new house, then get discontented after a short time and decide to move elsewhere. If he was frustrated, he never complained and moved her back in her little house as often as asked.

  My maternal grandparents Mary Elizabeth Perkins Holdaway and children. The little blonde girl is Kathleen Holdaway Swain, my mother

When the two old ladies got together, they moved in for a hug, but held each other at a distance. After a few brief pleasantries, they got to the veiled insults. They took turns with insults recycled from their last visit.

“Miz Holdaway, you’re looking mighty healthy. Looks like you might’a put on a few pounds.” Mamaw might remark, slyly.

“Lord, no. I’ve taken off weight. I was gonna bring you my nice navy church dress but I run off and left it. It just about falls off me now. I know you could use it.” Grandma retorted. “You’ll probably need if Jenny’s girl gets married. Sure looks like she could use a husband.”

Mamaw changed the subject. “I brought Willie a fresh apple cake. He does love a good cake. I guess Kathleen tries, but she just ain’t much on making cakes. I raised my girls up in the kitchen from the time they was knee-babies. Every one of ‘ems a fine cook, yes, ma’am.”

Kathleen is a fine cook. Bill don’t look like he’s missed any meals. Did Ella May and her husband ever get back together? He seems like a good man. She needs to try to get along with him.”

Me with a gaggle of my first cousins. I am the messy girl in back row standing next to woman holding baby. This was taken on Christmas. That was a new outfit Mother made me for Christmas. It didn’t survive the cousin football game. I got home missing three buttons and most of my skirt hem. Mother was not pleased.

Daddy’s family gathered together most weekends, either at our house or one of theirs. It was a madhouse of raucous adults and screaming, door-banging children, since I had more than forty first cousins. Mamaw was very casual in her affection for the herd of banshees, most concerned about getting trampled or knocked in the head by flying objects. I can’t say that I ever saw her cuddle a baby or hug a child. Please understand, I don’t mean this as a criticism, there were just too many of the little heathens to keep up with. At least she didn’t smack us when we ran by, which probably required a bit of restraint. On the other hand, Grandma only had six grandchildren that she doted on. She showered us with beautifully handmade clothes and whatever inexpensive gifts she could afford on her meager old-age pension, seventy-seven dollars a month. Though Mamaw also got by on her Old-Age Pension, Grandma’s life was probably financially easier since she and my grandpa, who had his own pension, had always lived with family, avoiding the expense of running a house.

However, Grandma did earn her way by keeping house, cooking, doing laundry, and caring for a grandchild. Though Grandma did not get a free ride at all, Mamaw was envious of what she perceived as her “easier life.” I suspect most of Mamaw’s money went toward her frequent moves. According to Grandma, Mamaw wasted a good deal of money buying Cheerios and tiny cans of Green Giant Niblet Corn. I always got the lowdown after Mamaw left. Grandma said it made a whole lot more sense to buy oatmeal and family-sized cans of corn, preferably store-brand. I was with Mamaw on that. Had I had any purchasing power, I would have gone for the Cheerios, assuming I couldn’t get Sugar Smacks. I definitely admired those tiny cans of corn. By the way, I never got a taste of either. Mamaw had way too many grandchildren to be passing out food.

©Linda Bethea 2018

About Linda Bethea.

Linda Bethea brings humour to her stories that are usually set in what was a dire time in American history in the great depression. There is no doubt in my mind that Southerners are tough, resilient and have an amazing sense of fun.

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.

Linda has captured the essence of her family history in her book Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad

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.

………...as you fall in love with Kathleen’s family.

Bethea’s style of writing as she recounts her mother’s memories has made her one of my favorite authors, and I couldn’t put this book down once I started it.

Kathleen (Kitten) takes us through her childhood growing up during the Great Depression by sharing her memories, and we find ourselves cheering for the little girl and her family while we get to know them. Vivid descriptions about unwanted house-guest’s habits are hilarious, while stories of sacrifices made by the family for each other brings tears to the reader’s eyes. We find ourselves cherishing the favorite stories Kitten hears from her Mama and Daddy while she snuggles next to them much as she did at the time of their telling. As Kathleen recounts the difficulties she faced as a young adult, we too want to return home to her parents’ warm home, full pantry, and open arms.

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 sharing her story and she would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.