Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – A Summer Party, Music, Myths, Food, Great Books and Laughter…You are invited.


I never thought that I would say that I was grateful for some rain this last week.. but I am. Hopefully not too little, too late for farmers whose crops have stalled. It is a lovely afternoon and have been enjoying some sunshine.. so have my feather family who bring me constant amusement.

My best buy this summer was a metre square three inch seed tray that has become the swimming pool for a wide variety of birds. The bird bath and seed tree we bought last Christmas has also been inundated and preparing meals has never been so much fun. Sally’s Cafe and Bird Spa….

At times there are at least 50 or more birds on the feeder and in the baths with everyone joining in together. The starlings are very keen and spend ages in there splashing around, but until recently I had only seen the sparrows taking dust baths. Until this week when they have clearly picked up a few tricks from the starlings, and today there were little birds having a high old time since early morning and they are still at it now.

Normally when the crows come down the other birds scatter. The crows are not acrobatic enough to use the seeders as intended, so they have worked out another method. One stands on the metal ring and bangs his head on the seeders so that they scatter the seed on the ground below for his mates. However, like elegant pole dancers they can be found hanging upside down on the fat ball holder rocking back and forth as they try to get a morsel. They usually come in a group of rowdy teenagers, but we have got a crow who is rather bedraggled and skinny who started coming down on his own. Much to our surprise the starlings, sparrows and tits ignore him and hang around, and I even saw him in the pool with three starlings this morning.

The only bird who is not welcome is the sparrow hawk who sits on branches in the hedge and pounces on my babies… They are protected in Ireland, but there is nothing to say that I cannot come out and shout at him and wave my arms around like a mad woman. It seems to have discouraged him but my neighbour tells me it spends a lot of time in her garden.. ah well…

The Smorgasbord End of Summer Party Weekend 25th – 26th August

Thank you for such an amazing response.  There are four posts over the weekend with the themes Brunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner on the Saturday and Sunday Lunch. I am delighted to say that 3 spaces left for Brunch, 1 space in the afternoon tea,  and 2 for Sunday Lunch. The details are in the post and if you would like to be promoted then please do so quickly…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/smorgasbord-end-of-summer-party-weekend-august-25th-26th-2018-invitation/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – update and new promotional opportunities.

I have updated the directory with the blogger daily and other opportunities to promote authors in the cafe so please take a read.  Also in the second post.. how to put your books on the shelves for the first time.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-updated-free-book-promotion/

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

Anyway on with the posts that you might have missed this week and as always a huge thank you for William Price King and Carol Taylor for supplying the music and the food this week, and to you for dropping by.

The Music Column with William Price King – Summer Jazz with Diana Krall

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-william-price-king-summer-jazz-diana-krall-part-three/

Writer in Residence rewind – Ionia by Paul Andruss.

I thought you might enjoy revisiting some of Paul’s ealier posts from the beginning of 2017 as he is on his extended break.. This week Ionia – Gods and Myths.

picture4

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/posts-from-the-archives-gods-and-legends-ionia-by-paul-andruss/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor.

This week Carol makes good use of the spices she mixed last week to create some show stopping meals for the family.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-family-favourites-and-spices-in-action-part-two/

Getting to Know You.

Delighted to welcome children’s author, poet and master confectioner Robbie Cheadle as guest on the Getting to Know You interview. A very busy mum who works full-time but still finds time to write, blog, and support so many of us here.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-robbie-cheadle/

Personal Stuff

Beatrix is about to end her very long and successful theatre career but what lies beneath the mask?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/11/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-beatrix-behind-the-mask-by-sally-cronin/

From early man through to the current day, the birthright of one particular family is carried from generation to generation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-brian-the-birthright-by-sally-cronin/

Letters from America – 1985-1987 – My parent’s visit – Anniversary party and nearly lights out.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-my-parents-visit-rennaisance-festival-and-anniversary-party-and-nearly-lights-out/

Sally’s Drive Time Playlist – 1982 – Dionne Warwick and Survivor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-your-weekend-started-1982blizzards-dionne-warwick-and-survivor/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-childrens-book-wheres-noodles-by-victoria-zigler/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-hammers-holy-grail-by-b-r-chitwood/

Author Updates #reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-ali-whitelock-jim-webster-d-wallace-peach-and-terry-tyler/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-news-diana-j-febry-lorinda-j-taylor-and-john-w-howell/

Blogger Daily

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-reviewers-monday-august-4th-2018-robbie-cheadle-d-g-kaye-and-colleen-chesebro/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-and-reviewers-tuesday-7th-august-2018pirates-with-mary-tod-writing-with-deborah-jay-and-historical-review-with-olga-nunez-miret/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-august-8th-2018-interviews-and-guest-posts-janice-spina-the-story-reading-ape-and-the-sisters-of-the-fey/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-9th-august-2018-ani-zoe-lucy-bailey-and-twiggy/

Health Column

The components of our blood and Anaemia.

Picture1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/smorgasbord-health-column-the-cardiovascular-system-and-the-components-of-blood-anaemia/

There has been a dramatic increase in cases of measles in some of the countries in Europe and there is a spike in the UK too. The most at risk are those with compromised immune systems and mothers-to-be and infants who have not been vaccinated.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/smorgasbord-health-column-measles-alert-for-mothers-to-be-infants-outbreak-europe-by-sally-cronin/

Nutrients the body needs – Phosphorus and bone health

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-the-body-needs-phosphorus-and-bone-health/

Humour and Afternoon Videos

More weird facts and trivia

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-or-in-this-case-how-to-be-a-know-it-all-weird-facts-and-statistics-part-five/

The last part of the weird facts and trivia

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-or-in-the-this-case-be-a-know-it-all-part-six-the-finale/

Thank you very much for spending time here today and for your support.. enjoy the week .. thanks Sally.

 

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Smorgasbord Letters from America 1985- 1987 – My Parent’s visit – Rennaisance Festival, Anniversary Party and nearly lights out!


Last week I shared the arrival and welcome party for my parents when they visited in the November of 1986…Yellow Roses and Stetsons

After the welcome party we had a day of relaxing before taking my parents to one of the spectacular events held every year in Texas. The Rennaisance Festival was started in the mid 1970s, on an abandoned strip mining site at Todd Mission about 50 miles Northwest of Houston. By the time we visited in 1985 with my parents, the festival had grown considerably, and was packed with great stalls selling crafts and food, as well as parades of street performers dressed in medieval costumes. Thankfully not an overly hot day and we did take plenty of opportunities to sample iced tea and delicious BBQ.

My father loved his food, and he made a beeline for the turkey drumsticks on one of the stalls, and despite evidence to the contrary… he is not being greedy, just holding David’s drumstick so he could take this candid shot. He does however look like the cat who got the cream, whilst my mother was trying to retain her ladylike demeanour whilst chomping down on this outsize snack!

It was quite a long day, and as I look at this photo, I realise that my parents at the time were only three and four years older than I am today! We enjoyed our time there, but unfortunately the rest of the photographs from the day, including the parade are somewhere safely packed away in the attic.

The rest of the week saw us pottering locally as David was away, but it gave Mollie and Eric a chance to relax, enjoy the pool and for my father to experiment with making his own Chi Chis…

We also were invited out to dinner at our friends Bill and Sylvia and my father definitely approved of Sylvia’s cooking.

It also gave me time to prepare for our 5th anniversary party on the Friday night. Most of our friends were coming with assorted courses organised between them. We had got into the habit of sharing the menu between us so that no one person was landed with either the cost or the labour, and it worked really well. It also offered us the opportunity to sample different dishes we might not cook ourselves. David arrived back on the Thursday and after a last shop for the starters we were providing, beer and wine we were ready to go.

I managed to get a quick shot of David and my parents before the guests arrived.

Because of the number of guests we had a menu that either involved a fork or a spoon and as you can see the place was packed with seats at a premium.

The complex was keen that people were not disturbed after 11pm, but after most of the guests had left and my parents had gone to bed, David and one of our friends decided to go for a run to clear their heads, whilst three of us opted to sweat it out in the hot tub in the recreation area just outside our block. Although November was a little nippy at night, it was pleasant enough sitting chatting on the side of the hot tub with our legs dangling in the water, whilst we waited for the others to return from their run.

Suddenly I felt movement over my thighs and up my back. I immediately reacted by jumping into the middle of the very hot water up to my waist which resulted in the most agonising stinging across my upper body. The reason for my panic was a severe allergic reaction to wasp and bees stings as a result of a childhood encounter with jellyfish.

When I was seven, and living in Malta, we kids used to swim at the naval station lido, jumping and diving off a wooden raft, attached to four oil drums for buoyancy. We could also dive under the raft and come up under the decking into an air gap between the drums.

Great fun until a swarm of jellyfish had the same idea. I got very badly stung and diving back and out into the clear water, I started swimming to shore screaming my head off. There was a hessian covered plank that was used to haul yourself out of the water and onto the rocky shoreline. Unfortunately, as I swung under the plank before hauling myself out, I met up with the rest of the jelly fish who were clinging underneath. My screams had alerted one of the naval fitness instructors who doubled as lido attendants. He came running with a first aid kit luckily, along with my mother, wondering what mischief I had got myself into this time.

This was long before the epi-pen(epinephrine) but I seem to remember being given an injection of adrenaline fairly quickly, which my mother told me saved my life.

Back to 1985, and within a few minutes, it was clear that I was going into anaphylactic shock and my friends with me recognised my attackers as fire ants and got me out of the tub and onto the path. My husband and other friend arrived back thankfully at that point. Nobody had mobile phones in those days and a rush up to an apartment to call an ambulance would take too long. We had also all been drinking, were dressed in either bathing costumes or running gear. Except for our friend Monty, who could not drink and despite being in his bathing costume, had his house and car keys on the side of the hot tub. His car was parked close by next to our block, and with David and the others holding me up, we piled into the car and we raced out of the complex onto the main road. Monty knew that there was an emergency centre about a mile away in one of the strip malls that was open 24 hours, but by the time we got there two minutes later, I was in a critical condition.

David tells me that one of our friends dashed in and returned with a gurney and doctors who raced me into resuscitation. This is where it gets a little weird, because I do clearly remember watching the activity from above, as they pumped me full of epinephrine and tried to keep me breathing.

Once I was in the clear, they wanted to keep me for a few hours to make sure that I would not have more problems. Our friends went home, and David stayed with me until I was discharged about 7.00 in the morning. Although not having any means of identification or credit cards they had treated me anyway, which I am eternally grateful for, and David returned later that day with details of our company health insurance.

My lower legs and back were not a pretty sight as the bites developed, and I felt incredibly sore and tired. We went home, and I went to bed and left David to explain to my parents what had happened,downplaying the details.

I had anti-histamines to take for a period of time, and it was recommended that I rest for several days. However, we were booked into the Marriott in San Antonio from Sunday to the Tuesday on a very special surprise for my father, which was to visit The Alamo. My parents knew that we had planned time away, but not where, and were all for cancelling the trip, but I was determined that a few fire ants were not going to ruin things. By Sunday morning I was still groggy, but I covered myself in calamine lotion, and took some pain killers and we headed off. I slept the entire 200 miles, except when we made a short stop for coffee, and then went straight to bed on arrival at the hotel. Thankfully by the next morning I was much improved, and eager to take my father on his adventure.

P.S. The exterminators were called in to deal with the large fire ant nest that they found under the decking of the hot tub on the Sunday morning, and there was an upside to my attack that night. That day, a children’s party was going to be held in the recreational area, and the kids would have been in and out of the tub for several hours and things could have got very much worse.

Next week – San Antonio, the Alamo and the Natural Bridge Caverns.

You can find the other posts in this series here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

Thank you for visiting today and as always I look forward to your feedback.. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Tahini, August predictions and all that Jazz


Welcome to the round up of posts from the week you might have missed. The weather has been a little more variable over the last few days with a couple of days of decent rain which will please the farmers. Still not enough however to prevent a potential feed crisis as with the lack of growth in the fields, animals are having to be given feed that has been stored for next winter.  A very unusual situation for Ireland to be in.

I read today that the met office in the UK expects this level of heat to continue through to October. Whilst lovely for those who love bright sunny days, it does cause difficulties for not just farmer’s but the very young and elderly. There has been a spike in deaths in the last two months that is being blamed on the hot weather and so if you have an elderly relative or neighbour do check that they are staying hydrated. Unfortunately, they do tend to get into the habit of having their cups of tea and glasses of water at regular times irrespective of the weather. Under normal circumstances that can leave some of them with less fluid than they should be taking in, but in this kind of heat it can be dangerous.

August is a time when most summer holidays are enjoyed, so if you are heading out have an amazing time and look forward to hearing about your adventures in posts when you get back. We are staying put and to be honest, with the weather as it is, we are very happy to do so. The traveling to and fro to destinations seems to be more stressful than ever with airline pilot and air traffic control strikes, power outages and computer glitches due to the heat and traffic jams. Keep safe and take water and snacks!

My thanks of course to William Price King and Carol Taylor for their columns this week and to all of you who have been over and liked, commented and shared. It is always appreciated.

Here are the posts from the week.

The Music Column with William Price King – Part Two of the Diana Krall story

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-william-price-king-summer-jazz-diana-krall-part-two/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-fajita-spice-tahini-peanut-butter-hummus/

Posts from Your Archives

Carol Taylor shares more fascinating insights into life in Thailand and this week the art of making charcoal which is a primary cooking fuel.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-thailand-down-on-the-farm-making-charcoal-by-carol-taylor/

Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with author Janet Gogerty

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-getting-to-know-you-sunday-interview-author-janet-gogerty/

Esme’s August Forecast for your zodiac sign.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-esmes-august-forecast-after-the-eclipse/

Personal Stuff

Letters from America.. My parents arrive in Houston to great fanfare.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-my-parents-arrive-part-one-stetsons-yellow-roses-pappasitos-and-chi-chis/

I decided to participate in the Blue Sky Tag for a little light relief on Friday… and tag some more victims…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/blue-sky-tag-time-for-a-little-fun-and-distraction-tgif/

Sally’s Drive Time #Music – 1981 – we settle into a chilly Welsh holiday cottage.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-your-weekend-started-1981-shakin-stevens-and-diana-ross/

What’s in a Name Volume One Short Stories

Anne – Favour and Grace

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-anne-favour-and-grace-by-sally-cronin/

Alexander – Defender of Men

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-alexander-defender-of-men-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-book-on-the-shelves-kentucky-kernels-by-b-r-chitwood/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-daniel-kemp-toni-pike-marcia-meara-and-gigi-sedlmayer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-m-j-mallon-linda-g-hill-and-hl-carpenter/

Blogger Daily

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-30th-july-2018-margot-kinberg-hugh-roberts-and-reviewer-linda-hill-book-bag/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-31st-july-2018-sherri-matthews-review-by-alison-williams-and-changes-to-wordpress-facebook-automatic-linkage/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-august-1st-2018travel-with-jacqui-murray-publishing-with-anne-r-allen-and-free-books-with-stevie-turner/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-august-2nd-2018-stress-busters-interview-opportunities-and-korean-movies/

Health Column

If you have a teenager going to college in September it is important that you check their meningitis vaccinations are up to date.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/smorgasbord-health-column-meningitis-alert-uk-and-us-university-and-college-students-this-autumn/

How your digestive system deals with a chicken sandwich to boost your immune system.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/smorgasbord-health-column-the-immune-system-and-a-chicken-sandwich/

If you are thinking of becoming Vegan or perhaps someone in your family, it is important to ensure that you are still obtaining all the nutrients you need to be healthy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/smorgasbord-health-column-a-vegan-approach-to-nutrition-an-informed-choice-by-sally-cronin/

Nutrients the body needs – Potassium – High Blood Pressure and Adrenal Glands

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-the-body-needs-potassium-high-blood-pressure-adrenal-glands/

Eating Bacon and Cancer – two sides to the story.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/smorgasbord-health-column-eating-bacon-and-cancer-both-sides-to-the-story/

Humour and Afternoon Video

50 more weird facts

 

  • Polar bears are left-handed
  • Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
  • Mark Twain didn’t graduate from elementary school.
  • Proportional to their weight, men are stronger than horses.
  • Pilgrims ate popcorn at the first Thanksgiving dinner

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-or-in-this-case-how-to-be-a-know-it-all-weird-facts-part-three/

50 more weird facts

 

  • Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.
  • Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.
  • The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.
  • Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-or-in-this-case-be-a-know-it-all-trivia-part-four/

Smorgasbord Letters from America – 1985 – 1987 – My parents arrive – Part One – Stetsons, Yellow Roses, Pappasito’s and Chi Chis


It is now early November 1985 and we had not seen my parents since Christmas when they stayed with us in our home in Tring, Hertfordshire. Those of you who have been following my weekly letters home to them, will know that we had been planning for their trip for months, and on Thursday 7th November they landed in Houston.

I was waiting for them as planned as they came out of immigration and customs, and there was quite a bit of kissing and hugging before I gave them their welcoming gifts. For my mother a bunch of yellow roses, which whilst not the state flower of Texas (The Bluebonnet) have historical significance in this part of the world. The real story behind the song The Yellow Rose of Texas is a fascinating tale of subterfuge and the exploitation of a powerful man’s weaknesses. There have been many efforts to debunk the story that circulated about the part a certain Miss West played in the defeat of Santa Ana. However, I prefer the romantic and daring version to the ‘historical’ account. The first words out of my mother’s mouth when receiving the bouquet, was to announce that she was now officially a Yellow Rose of Texas. This resulted in a little history lesson in the car back to our apartment, about the inadvisability of announcing that to any Texans that she might meet.

To my father, who had been bald as long as I could remember, I presented a straw stetson to protect his pate from the still hot Texan sunshine and he wore it everywhere. It returned to the UK at the end of his holiday and over the years, at any sign of sunshine he would wear his stetson. He was a life-long Western film lover and was one of the reasons I bought that style of hat instead of a baseball cap. Just one of the cowboy themed surprises for their visit.

Here is a picture of them both by the swimming pool, and if you look at my mother, you will see that she had liberated by own red straw stetson that I am wearing in the header photo.. Somehow I managed to hang on to that when she returned home.

I was well aware of how tiring that transatlantic flight could be, combined with the usual stress of travel. However, both my parents were used to long haul flights and sea journeys, as we had lived abroad all through my childhood in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) Malta and South Africa.  I also knew that both of them enjoyed a party, and after a day to recover, on the Friday night we invited some of our friends over to meet them.

Over the next couple of days we stayed close to home with with lunches out, including to our favourite Mexican Cantina; Pappasito’s on I-45 about ten minutes from the house. We were regulars there by this time and were able to point my parents in the direction of the tastiest dishes on the menu.

Whilst we certainly enjoyed indulging in shared appetizers when we visited the cantina with our friends, we were not sure how my parents would find their first experience of Mexican cuisine. We need not have worried as both tucked in and declared the Quesadillas and the Fajitas to be fabulous. In fact my father took home a cookery book with him so that he could recreate the dishes for friends.

The Margaritas were not so popular, but my father who was not much of a drinker, discovered the joys of American beer whilst my mother settled for some white wine. We experimented with cocktails for them both over the next week or so, discovering my father’s achilles heel…Chi Chis…made with vodka, coconut cream and pineapple juice, which played straight to his sweet tooth. After David had mixed a batch and given my father a glass, he emptied quite quickly and eagerly accepted a second. David told him that it had vodka in it, but my father shrugged that off and consumed enthusiastically. It was the first time I can remember my father being slightly tiddly, and for the rest of his visit he would enjoy at least one chi chi before dinner or ordered when we were out. It was lovely to see his face as he took that first sip through the straw as the sweetness hit his taste buds, and it is one of those memories you cherish.

I inherited the shopping gene from my mother, and whilst my father relaxed with a book and David was at work, I would pop out for a couple of hours with her to one of the big malls. Thankfully my father had the good sense to leave some luggage space for the expected purchases, and my mother went home with a several skirts, tops and dresses and pairs of shoes, none of which she really needed!. To be fair they came from the discount mall where you could buy top of the range fashion at a fraction of the price.

Our friends were very kind and invited us out to lunch that first week, or over for drinks in the evening. By the end of the first week my mother and father felt quite at home and ready for more ambitious adventures.

David was going to take the second week of their visit off from work so that we could go further afield. We also planned to have everyone over for our wedding anniversary party on the Friday night 15th November, before heading out to San Antonio for a two day visit on the Sunday. Apart from wanting to show my parents this lovely city, it was an opportunity to give my father a chance to fulfill one of his boyhood dreams, to visit The Alamo.

Little did we know that events on the night of the party would nearly scupper that plan!

I hope you have enjoyed this first part of Mollie and Eric in Houston… and will tune in again next week. Thanks Sally

You can find the other posts in this series here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Summer Jazz, Noodles, Great Books and Mamma Mia!


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts you might have missed. After 9 weeks of glorious sunshine we have had two days of rain and for once it was welcome. The reservoirs will be receiving a top up and although we will have a few partly sunny days next week, there will be more to come.

This week of course there was the blood moon and there were some interesting facts around this particular eclipse that made it all the more disappointing to have thick cloud cover and not to be able to see it. However, the photos online were stunning.

Esme our resident astral forecaster, is going to be talking about it on Thursday when she gives her views on the upcoming month’s events.

The highlight of the week for me has to be going to the movies and my review for Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is under my personal stuff…. fantastic. Yesterday David and I went to see Mission Impossible: Fallout and that too was well worth going to see. Non-stop action and a danger of choking on your popcorn with some of the stunts. I will review next Saturday in full.

I am busy working on my next writing project having handed off Tales from the Irish Garden for some spit and polish. I will only be on social media from time to time although I have salted the blog with some of the usual posts and some humour.

Also now we have come to the end of Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story, I will be sharing Volume One of What’s in a Name? from next weekend. I hope you will enjoy.

As always a huge thank you for your continued support, it really is very much appreciated.

Here are the posts from the week and I hope you enjoy.

William Price King and the Music Column – Summer Jazz

William is on his usual summer break but we are sharing a previous series and this week part one of the Diana Krall story.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-william-price-king-summer-jazz-diana-krall-part-one/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor outdid herself this week with some wonderful recipes that include noodles.. We tend to think of rice and Italian pasta to accompany our meals but noodles are wonderful and well worth exploring the various kinds available.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-thai-noodles/

Posts from Your Archives – Travel

And Carol Taylor also shares some of her travel experiences around her home of Thailand.. this week Heaven or Hell?

SAM_8924

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-thailand-wat-baan-waeng-or-heaven-and-hell-by-carol-taylor/

Getting to Know You – The Sunday Interview with award-winning children’s author Janice Spina.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-janice-spina/

Personal Stuff

Something to Think About – Wills and Probate

This week I saw a newspaper article which follows on from this previous post, regarding the opportunity for banks and solicitors to benefit from your will and from those of your loved ones, leaving you possibly out of pocket for thousands of pounds.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-wills-and-probate-read-the-small-print/

Letters from America – Our first trip to New York

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-have-a-nice-day-in-the-big-apple-by-sally-cronin/

Odd Jobs and Characters – Some of the jobs I left out of the blog tour. – Funeral director’s receptionist.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/smorgasbord-odd-jobs-and-characters-funeral-directors-receptionist-by-sally-cronin/

Drive Time Playlist – Music to get the weekend started – 1980 – ABBA and Dr. Hook

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-1980-divorce-whirlwind-romance-abba-and-dr-hook/

Film Review – Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/28/smorgasbord-film-reviews-mamma-mia-here-we-go-again-as-cheesy-as-you-like-but-brilliant/

The final part of Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story – Teeth Cleaning and Reflections on My Life.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/28/sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-fifteen-teeth-cleaning-and-reflections-on-my-life/

As Sam’s story has come to an end, here is a short story that I wrote for Annette Rochelle Aben and her family back in 2015 to celebrate Tales from the Garden being released.  The Time Capsule

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-short-stories-fantasy-the-time-capsule-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-free-until-26th-july-the-desolate-garden-by-daniel-kemp/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-romance-sweetheart-cove-blue-haven-book-1-by-jacquie-biggar/

Author Update – Reviews – Three this week to catch up after the Summer Sale.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-diana-j-febry-mae-clair-and-linda-bradley/

Pure Trash Bette Stevens

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-kristina-stanley-bette-a-stevens-and-d-g-kaye/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-annette-rochelle-aben-janice-spina-n-a-granger-and-claire-fullerton/

Blogger Daily – a small selection of blog posts and book reviews I enjoyed during the week.

International Food and travel to Australia and Hong Kong.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-23rd-july-2018-irene-arita-one-spoiled-cat-and-jill-dennison-international-food-and-travel/

History posts from Tony Riches, Sue Vincent and Brain Lageose.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-24th-july-2018-history-tony-riches-sue-vincent-and-brian-lageose/

Christmas in July in South Africa, 8 Top adventures to experience in South Africa, and Fish and Chips in Australia.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-25th-july-2018victoria-zigler-and-robbie-and-michael-cheadle-best-regards-from-far-and-rowena-of-beyond-the-flow/

Travel posts from Sri Lanka with the best experiences to be had and Iceland.. land of the Norsemen

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-26th-july-2018-sri-lanka-and-iceland-two-amazing-places-to-visit/

Health Column

Whilst our immune system is on high alert for dangers to our bodies, we need to meet it halfway at least and give it the right tools to do the job effectively. Eating a rubbish diet is not the way to go…nor is taking a handful of supplements!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/smorgasbord-health-column-the-immune-system-your-role-in-protecting-the-body-from-a-virus/

However many ‘fad’ diets there are littering the Internet, you cannot get away from the fact that if you eat more than you expend in energy…. you put weight on.  I have compiled a fat accumulation table that demonstrates how little treats can add up over a year… and by halving the number you have can have a dramatic effect on your weight.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/smorgasbord-health-column-health-in-the-new-obesity-research-fat-accumulation-table-by-sally-cronin/

Some food hacks including Pineapple for bruises and dates and cheese to spice up your love life!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/smorgasbord-health-column-pineapple-for-bruises-and-prunes-as-a-fat-substitute/

Humour and Afternoon Video

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-line-dancing-horse/

A re-run of some of the weird facts and statistics that almost seem unbelievable!!! But they might help you win that pub quiz.

  1. Mosquitoes are attracted to the color blue twice as much as to any other color.
  2. If one places a tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will instantly go mad and sting itself to death.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-or-in-this-case-be-a-know-it-all-part-one/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-there-he-was-sitting-on-a-bench-minding-his-own-business/

Part two of the Know it All series….

  1. No NFL team which plays its home games in a domed stadium has ever won a Super bowl.
  2. The only two days of the year in which there are no professional sports games (MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL) are the day before and the day after the Major League all-stars Game.
  3. What occurs more often in December than any other month? A. Conception.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-or-in-this-case-how-to-be-a-know-it-all-part-two/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-one-does-not-wish-to-be-touched-thank-you/

My thanks again for dropping in and for all your support.. see you again I hope.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Letters from America – 1985 – 1987 – Have a Nice Day… In the Big Apple by Sally Cronin


This week one of my articles that I wrote and sent to the family about our first trip to New York.  I hope you enjoy the trip and the photographs I have managed to dig out.

Have a Nice Day… In the Big Apple

As with any flight the best part is reaching your destination. The final ten minutes of my flight from Houston was definitely spectacular, passing over the city of New York with its millions of lights that reminded me of a lady’s sequined evening dress. It was a slight anti-climax, to then have to wait for three hours in LaGuardia airport, for David who was flying in from Kansas, but I spent the time people watching, one of my favourite pastimes, and drinking airport coffee, which is not.

However, by 11p.m. we were on our way by taxi, through the city that never sleeps. It was a rather rapid transit, and slightly hair-raising experience, as I am sure our driver was a moonlighting kamikazi pilot. We arrived at the brand new Marriott Marquis on Broadway with a flourish and a sigh of relief. In my teenage years, I did have aspirations to one day be a musical star and headline on Broadway… I fear this is the nearest I am going to get! We registered and retired to the bar for a much needed sedative.

The hotel is certainly impressive, from the outside it really looks like any other skyscraper in New York, but once inside your are greeted by the amazing sight of a forty-five storey atrium. A central column dominated the view, carrying brightly lit glass elevators; a ride to the top was not for those suffering from vertigo.

The revolving piano bar, which took you out over Broadway once an hour, was certainly the ideal place to start our first visit to the Big Apple…

Of course, like any good New York tourists, we set out after breakfast the next morning, intent on seeing as much as possible of the city. Street life was quite a shock at first, and the traffic was horrendous. We were very pleased that we had decided not to hire a car for our stay, but our decision to use the Yellow Cabs was probably equally as hazardous! We walked to the Empire State Building and were duly impressed by both the building and the fantastic view over Manhattan. From ground level, the aspect is very much one of a concrete Grand Canyon, but from the top of the Empire State Building, you get the impression that you are looking down into Lilliput.

If you want to buy a camera, New York is certainly the place to buy one. There are camera shops on every block, but watch out for the salesmen. They are on commission only, and we saw several who dealt with time-wasters in a very abrupt way. Service with a smile was obviously not part of the deal, more service with a snarl. I have to say it rather took us by surprise as our experience so far had always been very different. We have had a fair amount of practice now at negotiating when buying expensive items and I don’t think we got rooked too badly, and we did try to do it in good humour!

Of course I did persuade David that I needed to visit the famous Macy’s, just to look you understand!

Saturday night is show night on Broadway, and after 3 p.m., half price tickets can be bought for the evening performances from a makeshift ticket office right in front of the Marriott. Unfortunately, the shows we were interested in, 42nd Street and Cats, were sold out. After consulting our guide books over a great coffee and salt beef sandwich, we decided on the French Revue and dinner at the Cafe Versailles. With its small stage and ornate decoration, it certainly gave you the impression of being in a Paris nightclub and the show was certainly entertaining. The showgirls of course were beautiful but the best part for me was a rather aged female impersonator who mimed to Madame Butterfly, while fortifying herself with every drug and drink under the sun, unusual but very funny. A quick revolve around the piano bar on our return to the hotel, ended a very tiring but fascinating day.

With out time being limited, we deposited our bags at the hotel and took a cab to the pier, where we embarked on a three hour river tour all around Manhattan. It was very good value for $12 each and I kept my new camera busy recording the truly impressive sights of the Statue of Liberty and the famous skyline. After the trip we treated ourselves to lunch in a small Italian cafe before returning to collect our luggage.

One thing to remember if you are leaving by air from New York on a Sunday afternoon, is that everybody else is leaving by air from New York on a Sunday Afternoon! The road to LaGuardia was packed and the trip took over an hour, so leave plenty of time.

I am sorry that we didn’t have more time in New York, but I don’t think I could live there all the time. Stamina and nerves of steel are essential, and you know what? All those and films and cop stories you see on television about the Big Apple, they’re all true!

©images Sally Cronin 2018

I hope that you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane… some photographs have got lost in the moves or packed away in the attic, but I was delighted to find this handful. Thanks Sally.

You can find all our other adventures in the two years we lived in America in this file: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Summer Book #Sale, One of my books FREE,A Writer’s Life,Travel, Music, Cookery, and Guests


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

There has been some rain this week, nothing to get too excited about, especially as it missed the St. Swithin’s Day curse. For those not familiar, if it rains on St. Swithin’s Day it will rain for 40 days following. That is usually quite difficult to measure here in Ireland as it is extremely rare to go forty days without any rain.

This latest heatwave and dry spell is the longest I think in recorded history for many countries in Northern Europe and certainly whilst most of us take advantage the farmers are being hard hit. http://www.euronews.com/2018/07/19/the-record-breaking-heatwave-that-is-gripping-northern-europe

Anyway it has put a halt to our plans to lay a new lawn as there is not point in putting down turf with a hose-pipe ban and no serious rain for another week or so. At least the sparrows are enjoying their dust baths on the wide expanse of dry soil in front of the house. It does mean that David has been able to get the ladders out and start the task of painting the back of the house and all the garden walls. The end is in sight of our two year renovation project and it is only when we look at the before photos that we fully appreciate the difference.. I will do a post when all is complete as a celebration.

Just in case you missed. What’s in a Name Volume 1 is still FREE until officially midnight tonight UK time but if you email me in the next couple of days I am more than happy to send you a digital copy. I am not part of Kindle Publishing so it is the easiest way for me to offer my books free.

If I already have your email address just put your preference in the comments section.

About What’s in a Name? Volume One.

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What’s in a Name? – Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel’s secret?

One of the reviews for the collection

This was a beautiful collection of short stories with an intriguing premise: each story is titled by the name of its main character, and there is one story with a male name and one with a female name for each letter of the alphabet (through J–Vol. II completes the alphabet).

The way I describe it is far less simple than Sally Cronin makes it. The stories vary widely. Some are funny, some poignant, some teach a lesson. A couple of them made me cry, which is why I recommend that you have a box of tissues nearby when you read the collection.

The one thing that each story does have is a surprising twist at the end–something the reader doesn’t see coming. I thoroughly enjoyed the collection and look forward eagerly to reading Volume II.

To obtain your FREE copy of the collection in either Mobi, Epub or pdf email me or leave your preference in the comments: sally.cronin@moyhil.com

In the meantime thank you for dropping in so regularly and for all the wonderful comments and shares. It keeps me motivated.

This week we must say a temporary goodbye to Paul Andruss as he has some offline projects he is pursuing. Hopefully he will be back from time to time and for those of you who have only been following the blog for the last year or so, I will be repeating some of his early posts in his usual monthly slot. I am sure that you join me in thanking him for his amazing posts on legends and myths and the gardening column which has given so much information and pleasure.

Here is his most recent post on Friday with some thoughts on putting a value, not just on our writing but also on the time spent reading.

Three minutes Forty Nine by Paul Andruss.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-writer-in-residence-three-minutes-forty-nine-by-paul-andruss/

Also whilst William Price King has been on his summer break I have been sharing the Roberta Flack series with some of her most iconic hits. This coming week it is the start of the Diana Krall repeats, another fabulous artist with a wonderful voice.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-william-price-king-summer-jazz-roberta-flack-the-finale/

This week Carol Taylor shares some colourful recipes for rice. Rice is one of the staples in our home and I am sure in yours, and it is great to get some new ideas on how to prepare.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-carol-cooks-rice-savoury-and-sweet/

This week too.. Carol shared one of her travel posts in Thailand to the Red Lotus Sea Lake.

077

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-the-red-lotus-sea-lake-thailand-by-carol-taylor/

D.G. Kaye shared another very informative and entertaining post for her travel column this week, with a great many tips on how to prepare for any holiday. Security for your luggage and credit cards, valuables and tips for getting the best value for money when booking.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-part-three-preparing-for-a-safe-trip/

The Getting to Know You Sunday Interview with author Chuck Jackson.

It is my pleasure to welcome author Chuck Jackson to Getting to Know You. Chuck is the author of three memoirs including his latest Guilt: My Companion. On his blog you will find posts on writing, book marketing and also mental health and social issues such as this recent article: https://chuckjacksonknowme.com/2018/06/13/did-someones-suicide-influence-you/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-chuck-jackson/

My Personal Stuff

The summer holidays where people are away for a couple of weeks at a time is the busiest time of the year for criminals. Especially when so many of us kindly leave the door open in the virtual world, by announcing our departure and then posting photographs of our fun in the sun!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-summer-holidays-who-is-watching-your-house/

Letters from America – Seattle and Washington State Park

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-trip-to-seattle-mountains-and-state-park/

Odd Jobs and Characters – some I missed out – Advertising Sales and Artificial insemination marketing!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/smorgasbord-odd-jobs-and-characters-some-jobs-that-were-left-out-advertising-sales-and-aritificial-insemination-marketing/

Sally’s Drive time Playlist – 1979 Queen and Dr. Hook

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/sallys-drive-time-play-list-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-1979-queen-and-dr-hook/

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story Chapters 12 and 13 – Car Rides and Move to Spain

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/smorgasbord-sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-twelve-and-thirteen-car-rides-and-move-to-spain/

Chapter Fourteen – Our new home and friends.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/smorgasbord-sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-fourteen-our-new-home-and-friends-by-sally-cronin/

My review for The Contract by John W. Howell and Gwen Plano

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-book-review-the-contract-by-john-w-howell-and-gwen-plano/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Summer Sale.

This last couple of weeks there has been a sale in the Cafe and Bookstore, with books that have been reduced in price or even FREE. Some of those discounts will still apply so please check the posts. In these current posts you will also find links to last week’s sale offers as well.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-childrens-books-thrillers-fantasy-charles-e-yallowitz-john-w-howell-jemima-pett-m-j-mallon-and-diana-j-febry/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-free-books-olga-nunez-miret-paul-andruss-and-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-d-g-kaye-stevie-turner-d-wallace-peach-and-colleen-chesebro/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-free-books-by-d-g-kaye-and-steve-boseley/

The Blogger Daily – A small selection of the many blog posts that I enjoyed this week.

Cathy Ryan

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-16th-july-2018-reviews-blogging-tips-cathy-ryan-linda-hill-and-fantac-cisse/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-17th-july-2018the-story-reading-ape-linda-bethea-and-christy-d-birmingham/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-18th-july-2018-frank-parker-alexis-ryder-and-kristina-stanley/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-19th-july-2018-jan-sikes-jan-sikes-becky-ross-michael-and-julie-de-rohan/

Health and Healthy Eating

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/smorgasbord-health-column-summer-eating-stuffed-peppers-and-fajitas/

The Immune System and how it works

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/smorgasbord-health-column-the-immune-system-how-it-works/

Nutrients the body needs – Manganese and the link to Asthma.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-we-need-manganese-and-the-link-to-asthma/

Prescribed medication – opioid statistics and our responsibility as a patient

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/smorgasbord-health-column-prescribed-medication-opioids-statistics-and-our-responsibility-as-a-patient/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-the-difference-between-dogs-and-cats-motherhood/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-images-to-make-you-smile-that-certain-look/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-cats-vs-dogs-the-skill-set-guide/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/19/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-images-to-make-you-smile-and-memory-games/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-no-alarm-clock-no-worries-warm-breath-does-the-trick/

Smorgasbord Letters from America – 1985-1987 – Trip to Seattle – Mountains and State Park


This week are first trip to Seattle, long before the long-running series Grey’s Anatomy and certainly after the still clammy warmth of Texas, it was a shock to the system to feel the autumnal chill and all the rain. As I type this up it is hard to believe that my mother at the time had just turned 68 years old, just three years older than I am now.

9th of October 1985 – Marriott Seattle

Dear M and D,

I hope my birthday card arrived safely Mollie and that you had a wonderful birthday. I am sure that you enjoyed your dinner dance and weekend away. A great way to celebrate and we have organised a welcome combined with birthday party with all our friends when you arrive. We have scheduled for a couple of days later so that you are over your jet lag.

As you will see this is written from the Marriott hotel in Seattle. As usual we managed to have a few hiccups getting here, with delays at the airport and then waiting to get our hire car. We arrived eventually at midday rather than 10.00 a.m, but we drove to the hotel and dumped our bags before heading for the mountains. David’s first meeting is not until tomorrow morning and we want to take full advantage of our short time here.

Whilst San Francisco is my favourite city so far, this has to be the most beautiful state we have seen next to Hawaii. Of course it is the right time of year being autumn, the trees are magnificent and the scenery breathtaking. Back in Houston the weather is still quite warm and muggy and I am still swimming every day. Here is it cold with snow on the upper slopes and I had thankfully dug out my winter clothes that have not seen the light of day since we arrived in Texas in January.

We drove about 150 miles and ended up in a state park. It was amazing to watch salmon and trout cleverly evading the solitary fly fisherman up to his waist in the freezing water. They did say that we might see bears but thankfully we were the only spectators. We also found a shop selling the most beautiful semi-precious stones that you can scoop out of a barrel and buy by weight. A natural reminder of this amazing place rather than some of the souvenirs also on display.

David’s meeting is over by lunchtime hopefully leaving us another four hours to explore Seattle before heading to the airport. Certainly a place that I would like to return to at some point and spend more time in the wilds.

Your visit is getting closer and perhaps in your next letter you could confirm your flight number and arrival time. It can be a little confusing on arrival as there are a number of stages to go through – Immigration, collect baggage, go through customs, deposit luggage again and then go downstairs to pick it up again.

I will be waiting for you when you have been through customs. We can then go down together to reclaim your luggage.

In my next letter I will enclose David’s business card and our home address as you have to fill in a form on the plane. The immigration people will ask you the length of your stay, whether it is business or pleasure and where you will be staying. They will also ask to see your return ticket. I will enclose some dollar bills for the luggage cart from immigration to customs. I will send several as they are notorious for not accepting some bills that might be torn or damaged.

It is all very straightforward really but less stressful if you are prepared. Get that over with and we can get on with enjoying ourselves. All our excursions are planned and booked and one of the treats that I am looking forward to is going to the Renaissance Festival which I have heard is spectacular. Also Daddy… hopefully we will fulfil one of your boyhood dreams…

A week on Friday I am flying to New York to meet up with David and his boss in the middle of their grand tour touching base with their potential customers. Another iconic city to add to the wish list and I am excited by the prospect of seeing the Empire State Building etc.

Well that’s about it for now, under four weeks to go and we are looking forward to seeing you both very much.

Take care and all our love Sally and David. X

©Sally Cronin 2018

Thanks for dropping in and hope you have enjoyed our Hawaiian adventure…All the letters are in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – #Summer Foods, Reading and Book Sale


The Music Column with William Price King – Roberta Flack part three

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-william-price-king-summer-jazz-roberta-flack-part-three/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Salads, Coleslaw and Potato cakes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-coleslaw-potato-salad-and-potato-cakes/

The Literary Column with Jessica Norrie – Summer Reads – Books for Beach and Garden

https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1441087673l/2807199.jpg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-literary-column-too-darn-hot-books-for-beach-and-garden-by-jessica-norrie/

Posts from Your Archives – Travel – The Old City Dubrovnik, Croatia by Sherri Matthews

The Pearl of the Adriatic - Old City Dubrovnik taken as we approach from the road above. Look at that sea! (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-the-streets-of-old-city-dubrovnik-by-sherri-matthews/

Getting to Know You – Sunday Interview with Traci Kenworth.

This week my guest is Traci Kenworth who is incredibly supportive of the blogging community and has regularly shared posts from here in her comprehensive blog post promotions. If you head over to her blog you will find several shared posts a day leading to some of our most interesting bloggers. She also has her own posts on blogging and writing tips.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-traci-kenworth/

Personal Stuff

Letters from America – Curry parties and booze buys

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-houston-1985-1987-curry-parties-and-booze-buys/

Odd Jobs and Characters – Some more of my career adventures – This week crystal glasses, car crash and meeting Sherlock Holmes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/smorgasbord-odd-jobs-and-characters-car-crash-and-crystal-and-meeting-sherlock-holmes-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Drive Time Play list – 1978 – Gloria Gaynor and Bee Gees

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/sallys-drive-time-playlist-music-to-get-the-weekend-started-1978-gloria-gaynor-and-bee-gees/

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story –

Sam, shares his thoughts on meeting other members of the family including my mother!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/smorgasbord-sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-nine-and-ten-other-pack-members-and-respect-your-elders/

Sam shares his favourite walks in Ireland…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/15/smorgasbord-sam-a-shaggy-dog-story-chapter-eleven-favourite-walks-in-ireland-by-sally-cronin/

 

Cafe and Bookstore New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-quest-of-the-brokenhearted-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelvesabby-holly-school-dance-by-janice-spina/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-dead-dry-heart-psychological-thriller-by-toni-pike/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-victor-the-eden-east-ya-fantasy-novels-by-sacha-de-black/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-twisted-truth-a-peter-hatherall-mystery-by-diana-j-febry/

Cafe and Bookstore Summer Sale

Welcome toSummer Sale posts with discounted books by authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with links to Amazon and Smashwords. There are two more sale posts scheduled for the  16th and 20th of July. As well as another FREE book post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-brigid-p-gallagher-hugh-w-roberts-jacquie-biggar-and-victoria-zigler/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-summer-sale-99p-99c-children-ya-poetry-african-adventure-lucinda-e-clarke-darlene-foster-natalie-ducey-and-annette-rochelle-aben/

Blogger Daily and meet the Reviewers.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-july-9th-2018jean-lee-marjorie-mallon-and-barb-taub/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-10th-july-2018-sharon-marchisello-robbie-cheadle-and-billy-ray-chitwood/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-11th-july-2018-don-massenzio-jacquie-biggar-and-dolly-aizenman/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-july-12th-2018-d-wallace-peach-sue-vincent-and-wendy-of-my-plaid-heart-scotland/

Health

Eating plan for the kidneys and the urinary tract

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/smorgasbord-health-column-eating-plan-for-healthy-kidneys-and-urinary-tract/

Summer eating snacks, dips, guacamole and salsa

tomatoes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/smorgasbord-health-column-summer-eating-snacks-and-dips-guacamole-and-salsa/

Nutrients the body needs Manganese – asthma, diabetes, heart disease

cannelinni beans

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-the-body-needs-manganese-asthma-diabetes-heart-disease-osteoporosis-mental-health/

Recall of frozen mixed vegetables containing sweetcorn – Home brands – due to Listeria contamination

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/smorgasbord-health-column-recall-for-over-50-brands-of-frozen-sweetcorn-over-listeria-contamination-check-your-freezer/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-the-squirrel-baffler/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-images-to-make-you-smile-and-a-joke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-dogs-making-us-laugh/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-images-to-make-you-smile-and-a-joke-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-chickens-with-a-sense-of-humour-and-entitlement/

I hope you have enjoyed the week and thank you so much for all the support you have offered. Always enjoy receiving your comments.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Letters from America – Houston 1985-1987 – Curry Parties and Booze buys.


Over the last couple of weeks I shared our trip to Hawaii.. and two weeks later we are back in Houston.

29th September 1987

Dear M & D,

I hope you are well and my long missive about our trip to Hawaii has arrived safely.  We are more or less back to normal, although it has taken a little while to come down from the high of our holiday. We have had a lot of visitors since we came back all wanting to find out how we got on, and most of our friends have never visited the Islands but I think they will go now. We brought back a fabulous post of Hanauma Bay and have just had it framed. It is in pride of place in our dining area. We have collected a number of these posters to add colour to the apartment and will bring them home as a reminder of the places we have been.

There are hardly any Indian restaurants here in our part of Texas, and to be honest we have not found many on our travels except in Las Vegas. However, David has got out his famous curry recipe and it has become a hit. We are off to a party tonight with a giant pot full and a large container of rice for about 20 people. I have spent all afternoon chopping tomatoes, onion, and hard boiling egg to go with the other bits as garnish. It was almost impossible to find mango chutney so have had to substitute with some pickle. Dessicated coconut is available and I will chop the bananas and sprinkle with lemon juice last thing.  Some of the guest have not tried curry before, but if they have eaten spicy Mexican food they should be fine.. if not… then tomorrow will be interesting.

To dampen the fires, we are also taking along a gallon bucket of Mai Tai. Rum, Rum and more Rum with a sniff of pineapple juice! We may end up sleeping on their floor rather than driving home.

I start French, Spanish and shorthand revision on Monday so that should we come back in the New Year, I am employable. I love the leisure time and the chance to travel around the States, swim and play tennis but I don’t want to get too mentally lazy. I am writing short stories and articles about our trips and that is keeping me occupied.

David’s proposed trip last week was cancelled, but next week he is going to Seattle and I am going with him. Due to all the mileage he has clocked up with one of the airlines, he has been awarded a companion ticket. Seattle is the furthest north point in the USA and it is $500 dollars return so we would not afford for me to go normally. We leave on the 7 a.m. flight which will give us most of the day sight seeing before David’s meeting the next morning. The temperature in Washington State is already 40 degrees, so it will mean getting out my tights and winter clothes for the first time in 7 months.

Yesterday we went and bought all the booze for your stay.  I am not implying that you drink a great deal, but we are planning on several parties while you are with us. The prices go us here by 15% from Tuesday so a good time to buy. We bought the fixings for all kinds of exotic cocktails including margaritas and Chi Chis… more about those when you arrive. I hope you enjoy Canadian whisky Mollie since they don’t have much Scotch in the store, and we did get 3 litres!

Today we are going to the cinema with one of our friends and his girlfriend and then tomorrow we have a water volleyball game. However, it has been raining and it is only 75 degrees….brrrrrrr.

It is only five weeks until you arrive and getting very excited.. some road trips are booked and our friends are really looking forward to seeing you.

lots of love Sally and David.

Thanks for dropping in and hope you have enjoyed our Hawaiian adventure…All the letters are in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/