Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up -Herbie Hancock, Gems from Your Archives and Talkative Parrots.


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

We currently have a digger in the back garden, a cement filled trench awaiting blocks for a retaining wall and mounds of earth, that I am sure will be turned into a wonderfully landscaped vista by the end of the week.. that’s the plan anyway.

I had to do a complete replant of my pots this week as the ones I bought from a supermarket as good value, turned out to be duds.. I did think when I put them in that they were too dry and watered them and gave them some feed but after two weeks of TLC… most had died. Anyway… I went to my usual garden centre and paid a bit more and they are all thriving. Just goes to show sometimes bargains do not work out. It is the first year out of about 50.. that it has happened so I should count myself lucky.. All the pots are round the side of the house at the moment with equipment coming in and out and I will have fun putting them back later in the week.

We have old friends arriving Tuesday for two days. They are currently touring south and west Ireland finishing in Dublin over the weekend before coming down to us.. we are only an hour from their return ferry so handy… This is their first time in Ireland and I am looking forward to hearing how they got on..

The Posts from Your Archives is going well. I am so enjoying browsing and reading everyone’s posts to select the four I am going to publish… I feel I am getting to know people a little better and I am discovering some hidden gems to share as you will see later in the post. If you are on the list and have not heard from me… I am just about to begin scheduling the June spots and will get in touch with dates shortly.. It looks like this series is going to run into July which is terrific.

Time to get on with the round up and as always I am very grateful for all the contributions, shares, likes and comments..

William Price King shares the music of American Jazz Pianist, Keyboardist, Composer, Band Leader and Actor Herbie Hancock.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-american-jazz-pianist-keyboardist-composer-band-leader-and-actor-herbie-hancock/

Another two part series from Paul Andruss on Poetry… with some iconic examples from the masters.. According to the Muse….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-according-to-the-muse-a-dialogue-in-2-halves-part-1-what-is-poetry-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-according-to-the-muse-a-monologue-in-2-parts-part-two-born-to-die-by-paul-andruss/

This week I reviewed Devil in the Wind: Voices from the 2009 Black Saturday Bush Fires by Frank Prem.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/smorgasbord-book-reviews-devil-in-the-wind-voices-from-the-2009-black-saturday-bushfires-by-frank-prem/

This week in early June 1986 we drove the 7 hours to reach South Padre Island on the Gulf of Mexico.. fabulous place (those shrimp were to die for) and also I up my exercise routine (makes my knees ache just reading about it!)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-june-1986-south-padre-island-and-getting-fit-sally-cronin/

Delighted to welcome guest writer, singer/songwriter guitarist Michelle Monet to the blog today who explores the concept of fame and the inclusion of ‘big names’ in memoirs to catch the public’s eye.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-michelle-monet-memoirs-i-was-told-that-my-memoir-could-be-a-huge-bestseller-if-i-do-more-celebrity-name-dropping-huh/

Robbie Cheadle with a short story in response to one of Sue Vincent’s Photo Prompt Challenges  Memorandum left by Dr Thompson

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-short-story-memorandum-left-by-dr-thompson-by-robbie-cheadle/

Jacquie Biggar with a delicious recipe for soup that can be adapted for everyone’s tastes and would make a great starter or main course.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-sunday-potatosoup-cooking-up-memories-by-jacquie-biggar/

This week D.Wallace Peach back to nature, and if you think you have bats in your belfry… you might not be crazy.

photo by John Pearce via Flickr

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bats-in-the-writers-belfry-by-d-wallace-peach/

Finance expert Sharon Marchisello shares some of the ways you can pay off your mortgage early.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-finance-paying-off-your-mortgage-by-sharon-marchisello/

Our resident foodie, Carol Taylor, shares the stray dog and welfare issues in Thailand and how one mum and her pups enters their lives

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-properly-trained-man-can-be-a-dogs-best-friend-by-carol-taylor/

Miriam Hurdle takes us on a trip to Yellowstone National Park and Alaska with some amazing photography.

alaska-1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-a-trip-to-yellowstone-park-and-alaska-by-miriam-hurdle/

Pete Johnson, Beetley Pete, takes us on a ride in his time machine to ancient Rome.. where would you like to travel to.. the past or the future..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-my-time-machine-by-beetley-pete/

D. G. Kaye – Debby Gies has a wonderful book review feature every Sunday and here is an example where she reviews Midlife Cabernet by Elaine Ambrose.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/smorgasbord-post-from-your-arcives-potluck-d-g-kaye-sunday-book-review-midlife-cabernet-by-elaine-ambrose/

This week I am sharing a guest post by author A.C. Flory from the archives of Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-story-reading-and-his-guest-author-a-c-flory/

A heartwarming and poignant short story from Darlene Foster…The Special Date.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-shortstory-the-special-date-by-darlene-foster/

Author Christine Campbell shares the first part of a tour of Scotland when she and family drove whilst her husband cycled from John O’Groats to Embo..

surf 1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-cycling-days-1-to-3john-ogroats-to-embo-by-christine-campbell/

Another wonderful episode in the linked flash fiction family saga.. The Fold by D. Avery

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-arcives-potluck-the-fold-part-three-by-d-avery/

Charles Yallowitz takes a look at the art of ‘Banter’ the exchange between two people… usually comedic. The Art of Bantering: Not as Easy as You Think

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-art-of-bantering-not-as-easy-as-you-think-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

This is the third post from author Jane Risdon and since you enjoyed the audition posts last week.. here is part two…The Auditions Part Two: Let’s Play Rock ‘n’ Roll by Zeppelin

Red Corvette rear end

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-auditions-part-two-lets-play-rock-n-roll-by-zeppelin-by-jane-risdon/

This post by Mary Smith, illustrates that sometimes the hardest part of caring for a person who has dementia can be leaving them to have some much needed respite… even when they are never far from your thoughts.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-my-dads-a-goldfish-downhill-slide-by-mary-smith/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-undercover-crime-shorts-by-jane-risdon/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-mystery-fire-in-the-vineyard-by-christa-polkinhorn/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-children-davey-derek-junior-detectives-series-the-case-of-the-mystery-of-the-bells-by-janice-spina/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-ghost-horror-haverscroft-by-s-a-harris/

Author update #reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-hugh-w-roberts-don-massenzio-and-nicholas-c-rossis/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-victoria-zigler-sue-coletta-and-amy-reade/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-jokes-from-sallys-archives-episode-10/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-some-snippets-from-sallys-archives-episode-11/

 

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Smorgasbord Letters from America – June 1986.. South Padre Island and Getting Fit.. Sally Cronin


It is now June 1986 and the summer was hot… we decide to go down to South Padre on the gulf coast for a weekend and to test it out ahead of my 15 year old nieces trip later in the summer.. As usual I kept my parents up to date with my weekly letter home. I do have some photos of that trip somewhere but with 12 moves since then.. don’t ask me which box they are in!!  Here is a modern day one from Pixabay.com…

Dear M & D..

We got home from South Padre…to find a letter from you and from Diana… thank you for catching up with all your news.

We had a wonderful weekend and were very pleasantly surprised by our beach house. I must admit I was expecting a shack on the beach but in fact it was a two storey, double garage, two bed and bath private house. The living room was as big as our appartment, and a balcony with a great view of the sea. We had sunshine the whole time and we spent most of in on the beach and in the water, surfing on rafts…

The seafood was amazing in the two restaurants that we ate in and the prawns (shrimp here as you know) were as big as lobsters.. The only draw back was the 7 hour drive there and back, but I took along our trivia pursuit box of questions and we swapped driving every couple of hours and became quiz master.. David won of course.. I never was much good at science but entertainment is usually mine!  We love living in the complex but we did notice the difference being in a detached house 50 yards from the nearest neighbour… very quiet….

The weather was very hot up to the last week or so but we are getting into hurricane season in the next few weeks and there has been a some very heavy rain and flooding already. None have touched down in Houston for the last couple of years but there are warnings out at the moment. There are lines at the supermarket for the basics although I tend to keep a stock in the larder just in case with bottled water etc.  I would be quite happy not to experience one and hopefully we will get away with it again this year.

I am back down to a size sixteen again which is pleasing.. it takes effort… and have upped my aerobics to two classes a week and I can usually make it through the hour without keeling over. I am also playing water volley ball twice a week and tennis at least once with Debby. Swimming an hour a day is a good way to ease the muscles and I love having the pool to myself most of the afternoon as everyone is usually at work.. Except for my flight attendant friends who regale me with tales of life in the sky… they don’t get paid enough.

The latest group activity is line dancing and we have found a great country and western dance bar where we have been a couple of times.. David is not keen but I go with the gang when he is away. I am not allowed to dance with strangers.. and if a cowboy should approach me and ask me, two or three of my guardians step forward and tell them ‘She’s married’..I will never get the Texas two step mastered at this rate!

We are moving ahead with plans for Emma’s visit. Debby’s students are around the same age so she is organising some of them to accompany us on days out. They are all looking forward to meeting her and have been restrained from coming to the airport with us to meet her. Our friends here in the appartments have also started issuing invitations and about 20 of us will be going to Pappasitos to introduce her to fajitas…I promise to take lots of photographs to send to you.

We have so many air miles racked up that we need to spend before we come back to the UK, so I am going to come home in October if that is okay with you for a week to see everyone, just in case our contract is extended into the middle of next year.. We are also going to us them up in conjunction with loyalty points we have with Marriott and having never been to Barbados that is our next port of call in September.

It is time for the fortnightly phone call this Sunday so will catch you up on everything else then.

love from us both.

S & D.

©Sally Cronin 2019.

Thanks for dropping in and if you are interested in reading the other letters from 1985 they are here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Constantine the Great, a horde of talented authors, canine petty thiefs and some jokes


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

After the glorious Easter weather the storm fronts came racing in and I am very grateful that the small plants that went into the pots last weekend have survived and thrived. I am amazed as they had such shallow roots and yet most have managed to also flower despite the high winds and torrential rain. Miracles really.

I was in Gorey today to get some food shopping done and on the way into town is a large roundabout which has recently be revamped by its sponsor. They had planted about five mature conifers about 5 foot tall in a circle and whilst my little petunias weathered the storm and bloomed… three of these conifers are now on their sides. Obviously not planted deep enough but a lesson on how the mighty fall and the meek might just inherit the earth.

I am waxing lyrical now so had better get on with business. 

The first thing I want to share is the new series of Posts from Your Archives and if you missed the post this morning here are the details.

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 400 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history and the most recent series was on any aspect about family.

Many of the posts were written at the start of a blogger’s experience and perhaps there were not as many followers at the time. Such a shame not to re-share all the hard work that went into the post in the first place.

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 40,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts.

So what is different about this series?

This time, rather than you send me four links to posts from your archives, all I need you to do is give me permission to dive in myself and find four posts to share here on Smorgasbord.

Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random across a number of subjects from the time you began blogging up to the present day.

If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.

Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.

Here are a few examples so you can see how a post will appear.

Darlene Foster shares the devastation caused by wildfires that destroyed old family homesteads in Canada.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-what-was-lost-in-the-fire-by-darlene-foster/

Robbie Cheadle shares a wonderful post about her wedding.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-contrasting-colours-a-poem-for-my-wedding-anniversary-by-robbie-cheadle/

Sue Vincent shares the wonderful dogs who have been part of her life since childhood and today.

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

So do you trust me enough to delve into your archives and select some posts to share here on Smorgasbord?

All I need is your name in the comments here or in the original post and I will do the rest.

Time to share the posts from the week…slightly fewer than usual as I posted last week’s round up on Monday.

I thought over the weekend I would share a two part series from Paul Andruss posted originally in November 2017…As with any legend, there is usually some variations on the origins and plenty of embellishments by later historians, that need to be resolved. Paul takes on the task and unravels the stories to reveal the probable truth behind Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor.. and his mother Helena.

Part  One

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-thirteenth-apostle-and-his-mum-by-paul-andruss/

Part Two

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-thirteenth-apostle-constantine-the-great-part-two-by-paul-andruss/

They were not really the good old days, especially for women and children, particularly the babies. Robbie Cheadle shares the truly terrible tale of Amelia Dyer…

Amelia Dyer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-baby-farming-in-the-late-victorian-era-britain-and-amelia-dyer-by-robbie-cheadle/

Susanne Swanson turned her blog over to her cat Benji who shared an experience with a mouse…

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-mouse-had-no-chance-by-susanne-swanson/

Personal Stuff

This week on The R’s of Life… Reason.. have we lost all of us, or does our education system let millions down by not providing them with the tools to make informed decisions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-the-modern-world-reason-by-sally-cronin/

This week our friend’s cat goes missing and I grow tomatoes…Houston 1986

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-houston-april-1986-lost-cats-and-tomatoes/

My response to This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills is about ‘exhaustion‘… Tramp’s Heartbreak…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-tramps-heartbreak-by-sally-cronin/

Special Feature – the final contributors to Understanding An Anthology of True and Significant life events.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/smorgasbord-special-feature-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-contributors-clive-pilcher-abbie-johnson-taylor-stevie-turner-and-beem-weeks/

New Book on the Shelves.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-devil-in-the-wind-voices-from-the-2009-black-saturday-bushfires-poetry-anthology-book-2by-frank-prem/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-crime-thriller-irmas-endgame-by-paulette-mahurin/

Author Update #Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-jack-eason-jack-eason-m-j-mallon-bette-a-stevens-and-olga-nunez-miret/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-hugh-w-roberts-judith-barrow-and-linda-g-hill/

The truth is you cannot have your cake and eat it and lose weight.  If you want to enjoy a varied and healthy weight loss you need to get moving.. even if it is a walk around the block each day… and flexibility is key.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-getting-moving-and-shifting-the-pounds-by-sally-cronin/

There are a great many myths about food and one of those foods is salt. The fact is we are taking in far too much sodium in industrially produced foods, 75%… and not enough of the natural salt that we need.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-health-column-food-myths-do-you-have-enough-salt-in-your-diet-overweight-sugar-cravings/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-8/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-9/

Thank you very much for dropping by and your support…have a great week. Hope to see you here again soon…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Letters from America – #Houston April 1986 – Lost Cats and Tomatoes


Another letter that I wrote home to my parents when we lived in Houston Texas from 1985 to 1987. It is now April 1986 and I wrote this particular letter on April 27th, so almost 33 years ago to the day.

Dear M & D,

Another letter from the far flung corners of the globe and unusually for me I am full of cold… must have been drinking out of damp glasses again!

It has been an unsettled week. As you know we look after Walter’s cat Sutherland when he is on a long shift or away and we are very attached to him. He is sometimes allowed out in the exercise yard and always comes home, but he went missing a few nights ago and we have been out searching for him several times a day. He was spotted in the company of another cat yesterday and he may be co-habiting somewhere with a lady friend. I hope he is okay we miss him.. he is such a character.

David did very well in his race on the Saturday before he left for the UK.. he came 363rd out of 2000 runners so is very pleased. He will carry on with his training and I expect he will be in a full marathon one day soon.

He is currently luxuriating in his tiny hotel room in Manchester and he should have phoned you by now. He has been very busy with meetings and having discussions with his boss on the subject of his return to the UK or an extended stay here. Once he gets back we will have a definite answer and we can make our plans. I think it is likely that they will offer him a position back in Prescott, and we will have to discuss whether we want to return to that part of the UK. We know it well and we do enjoy having access to the Welsh mountains and coast for the weekends. It will be tough adjusting back to the weather though, I have got very used to being in the sun and swimming 8 months of the year.

My friends here have rallied around whilst David is away with Walter and Anna for supper on Monday, Debbie came over last night to watch a movie and tonight Pamela and I are off to the cinema.

I am also thrilled to say that the first tomatoes have emerged on the four plants on the balcony.. I now have five that are beginning to ripen and David will enjoy those in his sandwiches he has every day at work.

He has some leave due and we thought we might take a few days break. A road trip as he has had enough flying for a while. We might go down to Florida for a bit of Miami Vice!! We have passed through the north of the State but never explored fully.. Having watched some of the nature programs on the television I am not too sure about the everglades… snakes, alligators and such!  You know me and snakes.

Once David returns and we have firm news I can let Sonia know and she can book Emma’s ticket. I have lots of ideas for the three weeks that she is here and everyone is very excited to meet her. She won’t have time to draw breath and hopefully we can keep a 15 year old entertained as there are no other teenagers of her age here in the complex. Our friends who have lived here all their lives have come up with a list of ‘top attractions’ and we will take their guidance very happily.

I am off now to sit in the sun and watch my tomatoes grow.. hopefully my cold will have run its course by tomorrow and I can go back to my daily swim. At least my tan makes me look healthy…….

love and hugs as always… S & D.

Thanks for dropping in today and if you would like to read more of the letters from January 1985.. you will find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Cathaoireacha, Cats, More Cats, Irises and Beans!


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts you might have missed this week. As always my thanks to those who are regular contributors and guest writers. Some wonderful posts on family, music, food and life in general.

Guest writers.

I began this blog magazine to share content with as wide a range of interest as possible. That includes showcasing other writers and if you would like a guest writing spot you can share posts that you have already written and would like to showcase again to a new audience here on Smorgasbord. It can be on any topic but I do have some younger readership so it does need to be family friendly.. Get in touch on Sally.cronin@moyhill.com with four links to your posts and I will come back to you with any further information that I need to create your post.

If you would like to see previous posts then just type in Guest Writer in the search box to the right of the blog title at the top of the page and it will bring them all up for you.

Posts from Your Archives

There will be details on a new series of Posts from Your Archives with a different theme after Easter. The family posts have been wonderful and thanks to all those who have shared their posts. These posts are different from the guest posts as they have a specific theme.

Both of these series offer you the chance to showcase your writing but also your books with any recent reviews..

Tribute to a writing companion…my office chair and Cathaoireacha…

I have been using the same chair that we bought in Carrefour supermarket in Spain for 15 years. It is leather with stainless steel arms and trim and was the most comfortable chair I have ever used for writing. I would swivel it around to watch television as well in our office and when we first arrived in Ireland three years ago, I was parted from it for six months. I noticed the difference.

Last week as I swivelled to pick up a file at the end of my desk, the chair tossed me unceremoniously onto the floor where I lay in a bemused heap. The handyman (in house) inspected the chair from every angle and we realised that one of the five stainless steel feet on the pedestal was being held up in pain and was an inch above the floor. Further investigations revealed a stress fracture and it was not reparable.

Going online to look for a similar style of chair, in leather was  a bit of a shocker. Looked like it was going to be 400 Euro which is good value if I could get another 15 years out of it but still worth checking around.

When we first moved here David had bought some second hand office furniture from a warehouse in Wicklow and following a phone call we headed up there yesterday to inspect the stock. What a great guy… and it was a treasure trove in his warehouse with furniture stacked to the rafters including leather office swivel chairs. We spend 15 minutes moving things about and of course I spotted just the chair I wanted right at the back under a bunch of other ones.. David dug it out and I sat in it.. more fancy than my old one with more padding and leather arms, deep seat and back and perfect. Easily a 500 euro chair..

We called the owner over and prepared to negotiate..especially when he said it was from a bank office clearance and was the CEO’s chair…..you can imagine our surprise when he offered it to us for 70 Euro… wow.. no negotiating needed.

And as a bonus. We mentioned the demise of my stalwart writing companion… and lo and behold he had a five leg pedestal that fits all the models and he gave that to us for free.

David has now repaired the old chair and he is going to use from now on to replace the wooden one currently doing the job. I love my new chair as it has a bit more padding which is a bonus for my butt… and very happy that an old friend is not going to end up on the scrap heap. Here they are together… family.

I am married to a man who thankfully believes in buying second hand… I was too…. and whilst it is lovely to have shiny new stuff….at the end of the day a little bit of wear and tear and a fantastic bargain is as satisfying as spending six time more on a new item.

Recycling is so important and as the landfills continue to grow into mountains of household goods that have been usurped by new items, it is well worth donating them to charity shops or passed on to people like this guy who provides a wonderful service. Thanks to Pat Harvey who also sells a multitude of other products for the home.. Wicklow Hygiene Products Ltd..so if you live in the area.. he’s your man!

On the subject of family and cathaoireacha…chairs

When David and I came over to Ireland in early November 1980 to meet his family (we met and married in 6 weeks) I was given a warm welcome. When presented with a glass of wine.. which was often.. I would wish everyone ‘cheers’. Eventually I asked what the Irish was for ‘cheers’ as as one they announced that it was ‘Kaheeraka’ (phonetically). For many years afterwards when in Ireland or in the company of Irish acquaintances, I would raise my glass and say ‘Kaheeraka’..  only discover that I had been hazed.. and what I was really saying was Cathaoireacha..’Chairs’. Gotta love family…. all in good fun….No wonder himself is laughing in this photograph taken that weekend…..

On with the posts from the week…

This week the beautiful Iris..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-taste-the-rainbow-with-irises/

Recipes for beans to include in your family’s menus.. full of energy and nutrients. Homemade without all the additives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/smorgasbord-health-column-rewind-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-beans-a-staple-food-for-12000-years/

Annette Rochelle Aben shares the universal energy of April and how it might impact us as individuals.. bring it on..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-your-universal-energy-for-april-2019-by-annette-rochelle-aben/

My guest today, Julia Benally shares what she did grab when she had two minutes to get out of her house, why it would be wise not to cross her freshly mopped floors, a very disconcerting Christmas holiday, her favourite children’s song and a rather bouncy mis-purchase…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-julia-benally/

One of life’s certainties is that at some point you are going to be rejected personally or professionally. It can happen at any age and because it is a certainty, it does pay to prepare for it, or if unexpected have some strategies to cope with it.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-live-survival-in-a-modern-world-rejection-a-fact-of-life-by-sally-cronin/

Trash can punch by the pool and a trip to San Diego and Sea World in April 1986

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1986-trash-can-punch-and-sea-world-april-1986/

With any project plan you need to have a start point and and end point…measurement is the key to identify progress and also to create significant events that warrant celebration.

How much do you weigh now?

And how much should you weigh to be healthy?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-weightloss-how-much-should-you-weigh/

This week for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills The prompt is the word ‘Eminence’ in all its glory…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-your-eminence-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 129

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-haibun-i-wander-down-memory-lane-by-sally-cronin/

This week a one hit wonder… Rockin’ Robin by Bobby Day.. that was his only major chart hit, but led to a career as a successful songwriter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-one-hit-wonders-rockin-robin-bobby-day/

 

My review of More Glimpses by Hugh W. Roberts – short stories across several genres with something for everyone.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/29/smorgasbord-book-reviews-shortstories-more-glimpses-by-hugh-w-roberts/

Delighted to welcome Donna W. Hill to the blog with a series of posts from her archives. A wonderful story of a rescue cat.

Goofus, a male, Strawberry-blonde tabby, hangs upside-down in the family room: photo by Rich Hill

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-stray-cat-working-dog-abandonment-rescue-redemption-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-by-donna-w-hill/

Please welcome Jen Moore who has been blogging about life with chickens, cats and children for five years.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-the-futility-of-a-feline-rooftop-protest-by-jen-moore/

This is the second post from the archives of  educator and storyteller Norah Colvin and this week Norah shares her own experiences of telling real stories about family to young children, not just their immediate family but passing on living history about those relatives we have met but the younger generation may not have.

Nor and Bec reading

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-whose-story-is-it-anyway-by-norah-colvin/

Miriam Hurdle shares two post in one with a letter that she wrote to her daughter and then she shares a very special post where Mercy shares the words that she associates with her mother, and the strengths she has inherited from her.

20160910_150915

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-letters-between-a-mother-and-daughter-by-miriam-hurdle/

Welcome to the third of the guest posts from author L.T. Garvin and this week a short story of the difficult transitional years between child and adulthood, commonly called the ‘Teens’. The story is infused with its author’s personal experiences.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-l-t-garvin-the-dairy-treat-princess/

New on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-braxton-campus-mysteries-book-3-flower-power-trip-by-james-j-cudney/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-words-of-life-by-ann-chiappetta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-the-man-who-found-birds-among-the-stars-part-five-phenix-rises-a-biographical-fiction-by-lorinda-j-taylor/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-a-mountain-of-memories-by-christine-campbell/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-book-on-the-shelves-survival-of-the-fittest-book-1-of-the-crossroads-trilogy-by-jacqui-murray/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-childrens-sir-chocolate-and-the-fondant-five-story-and-cookbook-by-robbie-and-michael-cheadle/

Author Updates Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updates-reviews-janice-spina-robbie-and-michael-cheadle-and-hl-carpenter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-vashti-quiroz-vega-jim-webster-and-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-next-time-you-complain-about-your-job-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-a-little-heaven-hell-humour/

Thank you for dropping in today and for your support throughout the week. If you would like to be part of Smorgasbord Blog Magazine as a guest then please get in touch… either with posts from your archives on the subject of family… or as a guest writer on a variety of subjects. Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord Letters from America – 1985 – 1986 – Trash Can Punch and Sea World April 1986


My letters home from Houston Texas to my parents in the UK began to be a little more sporadic now as we got into the habit of weekly phone calls home. In this letter I share the pool party and our introduction to trash can punch.. and our trip to San Diego.

April 10th 1986

Dear M & D.

I hope you had a pleasant Easter and great to talk to you on the phone. Sorry it was so damp. I am not sure that I am looking forward to returning to wet winters and lukewarm summers. I do love the sunshine here.

The pool party was a huge success and there was an introduction to Trash Can Punch. A couple of us chopped up pounds of oranges, apples and pineapple and it was emptied into a black trash can (well scrubbed) and then half filled with fruit juice and ice. Then as people arrived at the pool they were invited to add a bottle of spirits or wine. As you can imagine this became very potent quickly in the heat, and it did not take long for the party to really kick off. People also bought food and a BBQ was on the go in the recreation area and just as well. I stuck to water after the first large cup full, but made the mistake of sucking a couple of pieces of orange when we got to the end of the mix at the end of the afternoon. They were well soused in booze! We all had a great time but Sunday was suspiciously quiet by the pool!

David left for Las Vegas on the Monday and then went on to San Francisco, getting to San Diego on Thursday. I flew out on Saturday morning very early arriving mid-morning and I must say I fell in love with the City right away. Sunshine of course, but also palm trees and it reminded me of Hawaii, but without the long flight.

I think San Diego makes a wonderful holiday destination as there was certainly plenty to see and do. The beaches are great for swimming and the scenery is breathtaking with rolling hills and lush plant life. As we were only there for three days we were selective about our sight-seeing and a complete day was needed for Sea World and San Diego Zoo, both of which were impressive, despite my dislike of seeing animals in cages.

I petted and fed a dolphin with some fish, and got really close to a killer whale and we watched one of the shows where the trainers were in the pool with them. A lot of water was splashed over the audience sat in the front rows, so quite pleased to be a lot further back. I would rather the dolphins and the other sea mammals were in the ocean but many of them were rescued or raised in captivity and would not survive in wild. But I have to say that from an educational perspective it was fascinating to be so close to these incredible animals.

We ate out at a couple of restaurants that were amazing including the Reuben E. Lee which is a replica paddle steamer which served seafood and steaks and then the Bali Hi which had wonderful Chinese food. Both restaurants are located on the islands in the bay with views of San Diego skyline and it made a fabulous backdrop to our meal.

One thing that is noticeable is the military and naval activity which is also reminiscent of Hawaii and we were given some pretty impressive aerial displays by naval jets on an exercise.

When I got back I took the next step in our plan to remain in the US after David’s contract is up in January, and opened a bank account of my own. The one drawback of being here is that you have to show your ID… which is my driving licence when you use cheques and the photo is appalling…. and I am stuck with it for another three years!

And a little bit of fun…I wrote a letter to the local paper as their movie critic had been very scathing about ‘Out of Africa’ and the fact that it had won so many Oscars. It is one of my favourite films so I gave him my opinion  and how disappointed I was in his review. I also mentioned that his photograph made him look very grumpy.. Lo and behold… they published the letter and his reply to it he agreed about the photo and they have changed it..

David is now in the final stages of training for his big race next Saturday and he has certainly worked very hard for it. I am sure he will do well. I am just off to play tennis with Debbie and with a run of good weather I should be able to get my hour swim each day for the next week.

Catch up with you on the phone over the weekend.

love from us both S & D…..

Thanks for dropping in today and if you would like to read more of the letters from January 1985.. you will find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Social Media, Jazz, Tulips, Cookery, Guests, short stories, poetry and guests.


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

The social media shenanigans continued this week with Facebook failing to respond and telling those kind enough to share or tag me in comments that I had been reported for abusive content. I had received no response after four weeks of appeals and emails so decided to pull the plug on my account completely late last week. I cannot have other people being embroiled in this, and also I felt that my reputation as an individual and an author was under attack and was potentially damaging. Without recourse to prove my innocence, I feel that it is becoming an issue for Facebook in general. I know that I am not the only person to have been treated in this manner, and I doubt the situation will improve.

I was on Facebook for ten years and had made many friends who have been incredibly supportive. If I was reported for alleged abuse, it would seem that 4000 other contacts did not feel the same way, as they would I am sure simply unfriended me.

Thankfully I can connected to most of those on other platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and now the developing MeWe. Because of that there has been no impact on the traffic to the blog, which I am pleased about because of the author promotions that run each week. The plus side is that I notice considerably less junk in my email spam folders which is interesting…..

If you are not already connected to me on those platforms then here are the links to my main sites.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1/ (a growing number of authors who after all are in business for themselves)
MeWe Personal: mewe.com/i/sallycronin   (no ads, similar interface to Facebook, guarantee that they will not sell data)
MeWe – Authors Group with Debby Gies, Colleen Chesebro and other familiar names: https://mewe.com/join/theliterarydivashangout
MeWe – Authors/Bloggers Circle: https://mewe.com/join/authorsbloggerscircleabcgroup
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ie/cronin1423/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Anyway.. onwards and upwards and here are the posts on Smorgasbord this last week. Enjoy….thanks Sally.

Yusef Abdul Lateef (born William Emanuel Huddleston; October 9, 1920 – December 23, 2013) was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist, composer, and prominent figure among the Ahmadiyya Community in America.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-yusef-lateef-jazz-multi-instrumentalist-and-composer/

Paul Andruss wanted to make sure that tulips in all their glory, received a showcase and so has written an extra column this month to do just that.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-tulipmania/

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

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-l-t-garvin-november-dallas-texas-l-t-garvin/

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

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-joy-lennick-and-sweet-pea-lodge/

In this week’s R’s of Life, I explore our right to Freedom of Speech and Religion and our obligations with regard to them.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-a-modern-world-our-right-to-freedom-of-speech-and-religion-by-sally-cronin/

This week getting a project plan in place with some easy to follow rules to keep you on the straight and narrow as you embark on this healthy weight loss programme.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-weightloss-the-project-plan-for-success/

Last Sunday I was the guest of educator and storyteller Norah Colvin as part of her new series School Day Reminiscences Norah asked me about my education and schooling and I had to delve back over 60 years to access those memories…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-reblog-from-norah-colvin-school-days-reminiscences-of-sally-cronin/

My response to the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills offers us the prompt of a ‘bucket of water’. Following Elephants.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-following-elephants-by-sally-cronin/

It is the time of the week when I attempt to get my syllables in a row to participate in Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 128

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-haibun-the-footsteps-of-my-ancestors-by-sally-cronin/

This week we find a lost puppy… and decided to swap are rented furniture for second hand at a great price.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/21/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1986-march-1986-pool-parties-lost-puppies-new-furniture/

This week we share the possible symptoms resulting from a vitamin B2 deficiency, the best food sources and Carol Taylor shares some amazing recipes with those food as ingredients.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-to-prevent-nutrient-deficiency-vitamin-b2-riboflavin/

My guest today is American poet and author Lynda Lambert who shares what is in her briefcase and purse, her fashion sense, a book close to her heart and dreams.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-lynda-mckinney-lambert/

Balroop Singh shares her experiences and views on the traditional Indian Wedding and the enormous burden of the expense of the lead up and event.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-of-traditions-conservatism-and-giving-by-balroop-singh/

This week Darlene Foster shares the sad loss of a family farm due to wildfires in 2017. Buildings that had weathered many a storm, and sadly the fires also brought tragedy to the community.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-what-was-lost-in-the-fire-by-darlene-foster/

In her first post from 2015, Norah Colvin who is a dedicated participant in the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction challenge, was reminded about a family mystery. And she shares a way to share family relationships with young children.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-understanding-family-relationships-by-norah-colvin/

This week Robbie Cheadle share a heartwarming poem about her son Michael.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-poetry-my-michael-by-robbie-cheadle/

Welcome to the last of the posts from Sharon Marchisello’s archives.This week the very important issue of keeping our elderly relatives safe with regard to their money should they become forgetful or worse develop dementia.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-protecting-memory-impaired-loved-ones-by-sharon-marchisello/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-short-and-not-always-sweet-by-dorinda-duclos/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-more-glimpses-by-hugh-w-roberts/

Author Update #Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-annika-perry-miriam-hurdle-anita-dawes-and-jaye-marie/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-colleen-m-chesebro-billy-ray-chitwood-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-its-all-in-the-headlines/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/21/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-the-benefits-of-getting-older-hang-on-a-minute-im-still-looking/

Thank you again for dropping by and your amazing support.. Have a wonderful week.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Letters from America 1985 – 1986 – March 1986 – Pool Parties, lost puppies, New Furniture.


It is March 1986 and we are still exploring the options for us to stay in the United States when our contract ends in January 1987. The letters are now more or less in sync with the same dates 33 years ago.

March 18th 1986

Dear M & D.

Another St. Patrick’s Day over, we must have been the only two in Houston who didn’t attend the parade and celebrate it!  I hear they even turned the river flowing through San Antonio that we walked along with you last year, green. One of our friends who comes from New York said that around 40 million Americans have Irish ancestry…for a small country Ireland has managed to do what greater nations have failed to… infiltrate every continent. There were a contingent of Irish at the Alamo on both sides as there are some Mexican families with Irish surnames..

We are still looking at options should be stay here after David’s contract finishes in January 1987. The sticking point is still for me to get a visa because we would both have to work if we are to afford a house etc. David is still in talks with agencies and we have had an idea of what I might do…With my previous job with Savills in Norfolk, I am looking at what is needed to take the Real Estate exams here. Once we have an idea of which state we would like to live in, I will check that out. I would be interested to go through the course anyway to keep my brain active.

On the subject of houses, we have come up with a plan to save quite a bit of money. We currently pay rental for all the furniture in the apartment. We get a certain allowance from the company but that does not cover all the rental or the furniture. So I have been to a rental company that also sells used furniture to complexes who offer fully-furnished. We pay 200 dollars a month for the furniture and I have paid 500 dollars for everything needed to replace it. With 9 months left this means a saving of 1300 dollars that we can put towards our new home.. here or back in the UK. David’s company has confirmed that it will bring back all our belongings including my car and any furniture so either way we will get good use from it. We sold our house in Tring with a lot of the furniture included because we didn’t want to pay a lot of storage whilst we were away. So it will be useful. It is all high quality stuff and a fraction of the cost of buying brand new.

Sonia rang me so we could talk about Emma’s visit in the summer and we are looking at June for three weeks. We just need to confirm our whereabouts but she doesn’t have to book the flight until 21 days before. It will be lovely to see her and cannot believe she is now 15… Debby and I have some trips up our sleeves including a girl’s weekend to San Padre Island which is fabulous. We will rent a beach house for three days.

David has a lot of travel planned for the next three weeks with trips to Las Vegas and San Diego in the first week in April. I will send him off with ten dollars to put in the poker slot machines for me… but don’t expect to see any winnings back! And I will fly out to meet him in San Diego for the weekend as we have some air miles to redeem and I can get a bonus ticket for 50 dollars extra. I do love that west coast and we are looking forward to exploring the southern end of the highway.

Walter has a bunch of friends coming in next week for a few days and I am cleaning his carpet for him with a rented machine from the store. I don’t mind as he is very good about making sure we are okay. We are having two of his friends stay with us, there is a big party planned for their first night around the pool with a BBQ and water volleyball and another on the Sunday at his place. I don’t think there will be much time for sleep.

I am now playing water volley ball for the boys team… I am tall and having played netball am quite useful by the net. We sometimes play other apartment complex and I am not sure if I am the mascot or the ace up their sleeves…

We nearly got a dog…..yesterday I found a small puppy wandering around Kroger’s car park and I saw it nearly go under the wheels of a truck. I managed to coax it towards me and picked her up and brought her home. I rang the SPCA but they couldn’t take her last night so we decided to keep her or at least find her a good home.  I took her for a walk around the outside of the apartment complex which has some grass, and as we passed the family section some children ran up and called her name. Seems like she had got out of the window left open for her in the truck when they were shopping at Kroger’s so it had a happy ending. But both of us were a bit disappointed.

Anyway.. time to head over and clean a carpet… and get the guest bedroom ready for the visitors. Write again next week..

love from us both S&D…

You can read the previous letters from America dating back to January 1985 in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

Thanks for dropping in and hope you enjoy our reasonably quiet week….Sally

Smorgasbord Letters from America 1985-1987 – Road Trip Atlanta-Houston and BBQ Cookout 1986


When I was given the folder of my letters to my parents when my father died in 1996, I was amazed that he had kept them for ten years. But so pleased that he did. We tend to remember the major events, and we had plenty of amazing experiences in those two years of living in the United States, but it is easy to forget the everyday…

By the pool Monday 10th March 1986

Dear M & D

It is a cloudy day but 65 degrees so I decided to write you letter by the pool instead of in the apartment. Sorry to hear you have had the flu Mollie, and hope it is much better by the time you read this.

We set off from Atlanta at 11 a.m last Monday and were intending to stop at Pensacola in Florida that night and then again in Mississippi on Tuesday night. However, you know what it is like!!! We felt quite fresh, and decided to push on and stop when we got tired, and at 3.30a.m we arrived back in Houston! 780 miles which is not bad. We took it in turns driving, 2 hours on and 2 hours off and stopped each time for a break and either a coffee or something to eat and it worked well.

We have spent the rest of the week recovering and getting sorted after nearly ten days away, and thankfully David has not had to travel.

Thanks Pixabay.com

This weekend was spent at our first BBQ cookout. We went up to Debbie on Friday night to Conroe where 80 teams were competing with their sides of beef and secret recipes.The smell was amazing and all thoughts of being good flew out the window. Impossible to try everyone’s BBQ but we learnt from our friends that the pits with the longest queues where well known for the quality of their meat.. and some of those sauces were hot, hot….

We met some really great people including some real cowboys who were fascinated by our accents. Eventually I was forced to give a rendition of Molly Malone to the owners of one of the BBQ stands, although I think they lost a few people out of their queue!

Thanks Pixabay.com

That evening.. with very full stomachs, we sat around a campfire and drank wine, comparing notes and enjoying the music.. In good country style, guitars were dug out of the campers and there were some great musicians and we enjoyed a good singalong. I have discovered I like country music since we arrived here and hearing it in an authentic setting does make a difference.

Yesterday we went back at midday and sat in the sun, but it was very windy  with dust blowing around all the time and I spent most of the day sneezing. When we got back to Houston late afternoon, Debbie and I had our first tennis match of the season and I was in bed by 9.00pm. When she finishes work today we are off to play again… the exercise is working..

I am so happy with my new car, it is great and it is so good to be able to go out shopping during the day rather than wait for David to come home from work. I don’t want to leave it behind if we move back to the UK at the end of the year and we are looking into how I can import it.

Walter sends his love and he has done something very constructive. He has given up his weekends to work in the apartment office which means he lives rent free. We are delighted for him and he seems to be very settled with his latest girlfriend.

Hopefully in the next week or two we will hear from the attorney about changing my status so that I can work too. Although he is not hopeful.. Until David has a firm job offer they are unlikely to change by Visa, but always we know things will work out for the best.

Time to get back inside and prepare chilli for some of the guys who are coming over to catch up on our trip and the BBQ weekend.

Love from us both…. S & D

©Sally Cronin

The images are from Pixabay as mine are packed away in the attic…..

You can catch up with the other letters from America: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Estate Agent Code, Gardening, Roast Dinners, Numerology, Italian Cookery, Editing, music and Books galore..


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

It has been a varied week weather wise as we had a false spring for two days and then were plunged back into frosts and rain. I sat out for an hour in the garden those two days and it was wonderful. I was tempted to come out of hibernation but I am now back in the cave waiting for the real deal.

We need good weather for the next phase of the garden renovation at the back of the house which will have the current tarmac extended and the creation of an outside eating area to take advantage of the summer late evenings. With the addition of some benches in various places and some more tubs of flowers the garden will be complete.

We have a few jobs left inside and the plan is to put the house on the market, probably spring of 2020 and then downsize. We have been here for three years in June and it was always intended as a ‘doerupper’ as far too big for just two of us. It has gone from a wreck to a lovely family home and deserves to have children running around it to bring it to life.

We have no idea where we will go next, but at least with the Internet, google maps and satellite views, you can explore everywhere these days and see every detail of a property in relation to towns and facilities to the neighbours. Estate agents rarely (never) provide any downsides to a property, using a creative approach to descriptions, as you will see from this info graphic courtesy of House Simple

As always my thanks to the contributors who create some amazing posts to share here. And to everyone who has visited this week and like, commented and shared the posts.

This week Paul shares the beauty of primulas..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-primulas-2/

How to get fluffy Yorkshire puddings crisp on the outside, and produce the perfect pork crackling…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-how-to-cook-the-perfect-sunday-roast/

Annette Rochelle Aben shares the universal energy for the month of March and what it means for us as individuals.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-with-annette-rochelle-aben-your-monthly-universal-energy-march-2019/

Sarah Calfee is an editor who specializes in romance, and all the sub-genres. In this first post, she shares the various roles involved in editing.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-demystifying-the-levels-of-fiction-editing-a-bit-by-sarah-calfee/

This week’s guest is childrens/YA author Audrey Driscoll. Sharing her love of Tofino, dislike of swimming and the contents of her purse.

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

A new guest writer Silvia Todesco, and her first post is an appetizer and in the coming weeks she will be sharing a full Italian menu for us to enjoy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-silvia-todesco-white-onion-bacon-and-blue-cheese-savory-pie-the-utimate-recipe-for-a-magnificent-appetizer/

sunshine-blogger

I was very honoured to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger award by Mary Smith of Mary Smith’s Place to whom I am most grateful….if you want to find out about my first attempts at forgery at age 7……

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunshine-blogger-award-and-personal-questions/

I was the guest of Sue Vincent this week with a story about Sam, our Shaggy Dog and Henry the feral cat… Henry shares his story

Guest author: Sally Cronin ~ Henry’s Story from Sam, a Shaggy Dog Story

Another post in the series The R’s of Life, and this week part one of a look at the basic human rights as laid out by the United Nations.. and our obligations to respect and protect those rights.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-a-modern-world-our-rights-part-one-sally-cronin/

The second part of the romantic ballad requests from Valentines day by Brigid Gallagher, Mary Smith, Jennie Fitzkee, Darlene Foster and a special performance by William Price King..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/smorgasbord-music-column-romantic-ballads-part-two-brigid-p-gallagher-mary-smith-jennie-fitzkee-darlene-foster-and-william-price-king/

Our first trip to Atlanta in 1986, Gone with the Wind and home of Coco-Cola

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-atlanta-gone-with-the-wind/

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 125. From Cave to Stars – Double Etheree

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-double-etheree-from-cave-to-the-stars/

In this post, I share how to starve the overgrowth of Candida Albicans, at the same time as nourishing the body.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-candida-candida-starving-the-fungus-and-feeding-the-body/

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge -‘Buried in the Snow.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-buried-in-the-snow-by-sally-cronin/

Poet Balroop Singh shares memories of her family home and how we become attached to them throughout our lives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/smorgasbord-blog-posts-from-your-archives-family-walls-do-respond-to-emotional-attachments-home-is-where-the-heart-is-by-balroop-singh/

Children’s author Darlene Foster shares some of her family’s history and their arrival in Canada from southern Russia.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-is-everything-by-childrens-author-darlene-foster/

Jennie Fitzkee shares her memories of living in her log house and listening to the trains at night.

A lovely tribute to Robbie Cheadle’s mother

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-poetry-our-mother-by-robbie-cheadle/

Sharon Marchisello shares her mother’s very wise advice when it comes to money.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/smorgasbord-blogs-from-your-archives-family-financial-lessons-from-my-mother-by-sharon-marchisello/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-paperclip-by-dan-woll-and-walter-rhein/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-special-pre-order-price-partners-in-time-by-stevie-turner/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-childrens-the-first-star-by-janice-spina-illustrator-john-spina/

Author Updates and Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-m-j-mallon-sue-vincent-and-stuart-france-bette-a-stevens-and-charles-e-yallowitz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-judy-penz-sheluk-amy-reade-and-terry-tyler/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-4/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-its-all-about-food-and-other-edibles/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope to see you again next week.. thanks Sally