Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Pad Thai, Book Marketing new series, Big Band Sounds and all that Jazz


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

New series – Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Marketing.

As part of my career I have been responsible for both sales and marketing departments in Advertising and telecommunications. I took my experience across to publishing in the 1999 when selling the services of a self-publishing company in Canada and then with our own authors from 2004 for our publishing company and with regard to my own books.  The principals of selling a product are the same whatever the industry and one of the key elements is to find your buyer first.

I will cover that in part three of the series as I felt that I should address an issue that has cropped up several times in the years and certainly more so in the last few weeks that I have been promoting authors here on Smorgasbord, and being a key selling element for books, I wanted to address first.

This week I featured the Amazon Author Page and is importance in selling books. Far too often I am asked to add an author to the Cafe and Bookstore and I find that they either have no Author Page or there are books missing, no biography or photo.   Also that even when those elements are included there are missing books.

I am missing books because of a very frustrating anomaly. As an author in Ireland, and independent, not through KDP, Amazon has interpreted the rules on VAT and have demanded that we register for VAT even though print books are not subject to that Tax here. And even if it was, most of us do not reach the 37,500 Euro threshold for registration (only wish I did!). So we took my print books down and I sell them locally through bookshops and at events. So you will only see my Ebooks available which is the majority.  For me that is fine as that still allows me to sell my books to a global market, and to be honest most international sales prefer Ebooks as they are less expensive and don’t incur post and packaging charges.

However, for an author not faced with that issue it is important to have a central selling point for your books…and a link that you can give out on your blog, social media, email signature, business cards etc.

I have been asked why it is necessary to have an Author’s Page on Amazon if authors already have a presence  on book promotion sites where their covers, blurb, reviews and a link to Amazon are featured.

The answer is that like my Cafe and Bookstore  and Goodreads, they are book marketing sites not selling sites, so the reader still has to go through a two step process.

That is not to say that they do not provide a valuable service in identifying your books to potential reader (be careful of how much you are paying for the privilege) Goodreads are free as is the Cafe and Bookstore but others will charge.

When the potential readers click on the buy link to Amazon, it is a good idea if they go to a central selling point for several reasons, the most important being is that they don’t just see one book, they see all of them. And they may well decide to buy more than one book, especially if the book they clicked on is one of a series with two or three books before it.

Also, having an established author page with all your books, bio, photograph, rss link to your blog establishes enhances your credibility as an author.

I hope you will read the post and I have taken screen shots of the various steps to give you a guide to the process. If you do not feel confident enough to create the page yourself, then ask someone you are happy to share your Amazon password with and who is computer savvy to follow the directions.

Also I am happy to pop in and take a look at your Amazon Author Page and offer some suggestions as to how you might create a stronger selling message.

New series. Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Book Marketing – Part one – a step by step guide to setting up an Amazon Author Page – an essential selling tool.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-book-marketing-setting-up-your-amazon-author-page-by-sally-cronin/

Just a reminder of the new Sunday Interview series beginning Sunday 8th September exclusively for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore. If you are not already in the bookstore there is a link in the post that gives you the details..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-series-sunday-author-interview-coming-soon/

My thanks as always to the wonderful contributors to the blog and you will be delighted to hear that William Price King will be back from his summer in the Alps above his home in Nice, to share more musicians who have impacted the industry in the last 50 years.

Let me see if I can whet your appetite…Chicken and parmesan meatballs with a creamy lime and caper sauce…an iconic dish in Thailand called Pad Thai…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-east-meets-west/

This week the music that filled the house when I was growing up, and my parents were still dancing to it well into their 70s. The Big Band Sound.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/20/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-the-big-band-sound/

A lot of feedback on this post on the benefits of volunteering for all ages and for both volunteer and those they are helping.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/19/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-volunteer-work-getting-the-most-out-of-life-sally-cronin/

Two more chapters from my novel Just an Odd Job Gird.. and Chapter Three is all about the interview with the employment agency and some fun and games in Imogen’s first job.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/24/just-an-odd-job-girl-serialisation-chapter-three-the-interview-sally-cronin/

In Chapter four, adventures in the dental practice with fainting fits, toupees and x-ray disasters.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/25/just-an-odd-job-girl-serialisation-chapter-four-the-dental-practice-sally-cronin/

The final letter home in August 1986 as I would be going to the UK for two weeks and then we began extending our Sunday telephone calls. This post covers are trip to Barbados, and you don’t want to know where that sand went!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-barbados-and-the-last-letter-home-1986-sally-cronin/

This week on Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 141 we have a photo prompt… and I decided to respond with a Butterfly Cinquain..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-tanka-challenge-butterfly-cinquain-message-in-a-bottle-by-sally-cronin/

This is the final post of Debbie the DogLady who lives in Toronto, Canada and posts about travel, music, life and of course dogs. I have chosen four of her dog sitting adventures to share with you and in this post we meet Muskoka a labrador with a taste of cigarette butts and socks…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-dogsitting-chapter-four-muskova-by-debbie-the-dog-lady/

This is the final post from Marsi, who with her husband Robert, embarked on a four month journey west.This post only has one photograph, but I thought it would make an amazing prompt for a bit of fiction…..35mm Film Photography – One Hit Wonders: Tumbleweeds in Thompson Springs, Utah by Marsi

35mm film photography Tumbleweeds inside the Thompson Springs Motel, Utah

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-35mm-film-photography-one-hit-wonders-tumbleweeds-in-thompson-springs-utah-by-marsi/

In the final post from L.T. Garvin for this series, I have selected  this on some of the excuses given and also predicaments some crazy criminals get themselves into. Crazy Criminals (2015)  by L.T. Garvin

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-humour-crazy-criminals-by-l-t-garvin/

For the last post in this series from the archives of author Claire Fullerton, I have selected one of her book reviews. Claire is prolific reviewer and always brings out the best in both book and author…The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey reviewed (2017) by Claire Fullerton

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookreview-the-stolen-child-by-lisa-carey-reviewed-2017-by-claire-fullerton/

This is the final post from the archives of Smitha Vishwanath who shares poetry, wonderful travel posts and life experiences on her blog. I have chosen this poem for the last post in Smitha’s series, not just because it is beautiful, but also because it won the Certificate of Outstanding Performance from Asian Literary Society. Dewdrop- The Love of the Wind (2018) by Smitha Vishwanath

dewdrop

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-dewdrop-the-love-of-the-wind-2018-by-smitha-vishwanath/

This is the final post from author K.D.(Karen DeMers) Dowdall’s archives and she also has some news, with The Captain’s Witch, her latest book being released on September 1st. I have chosen one of Karen’s book reviews as her last post as I thought the cover was very striking. A Review of The Starling by Kathy Lauren Miller (2017) by Karen DeMers Dowdall

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-a-review-of-the-starling-by-kathy-lauren-miller-by-karen-demers-dowdall/

This is the first post from the archives of the eclectic blog of writer Marilyn Armstrong. I selected it as it gives some background to the title of both her blog and her book. As writers we are inspired by experiences, images, people, emotions and the list goes on. I thought this was very special. The 12-Foot Teepee (2012) by Marilyn Armstrong

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-12-foot-teepee-2012-by-marilyn-armstrong/

This is the first post of author Antoinette Truglio Martin who began blogging in 2018.. I am going to share four posts from her archives that were part of her A-Z challenge last year.  Since my downfall is and has always been food….I enjoyed browsing Antoinette’s challenge. A is for Artichoke.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-blogging-a-z-challenge-2018-antoinette-truglio-martin-a-is-for-artichoke/

This is the first post from the archives of Anne Copeland, writer of nonfiction articles, books, and poetry, as well as a mixed media and fiber artist. I have selected this post as I found it profoundly moving and inspiring. The Day in the Life of a Child (2018) Anne Copeland

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Image courtesy of Pixels

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-day-in-the-life-of-a-child-2018-anne-copeland/

This is the first post from author and designer, Valentina Cirasola who has three blogs all under the same roof to enjoy.Friday Fashion Blog   Home Designs Master Blog and The Good Life Blog. I have chosen this post to start Valentina’s series as I found this ritual fascinating and will be trying the technique with our next bottle of cheap red plonk… plus I do like fennel to eat. Is There A Trick in Fennel And Wine? (2011) -Valentina Cirasola

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-italy-is-there-a-trick-in-fennel-and-wine-2011-valentina-cirasola-author-and-designer/

This is the first post of author Ellen Hawley who has enjoyed a wonderfully varied career before leaving the United States to settle in Cornwall. Weather – The Beast from the East (2018) by Ellen Hawley

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-weather-the-beast-from-the-east-2018-by-ellen-hawley/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-daddy-wont-let-mom-drive-the-car-by-j-e-pinto/

Author Updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-dorinda-duclos-lucinda-e-clarke-sue-coletta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jessica-norrie-jack-eason-d-g-kaye-and-diana-j-febry/

We have now worked our way down to the liver and in the surrounding area you will also find some other vital organs, the pancreas, gallbladder and the intestines.

Image

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/21/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-digestive-system-part-five-pancreas-gallbladder-and-intestines-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-resident-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-some-more-one-liners-from-sallys-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-headline-news-and-the-cake-bake-sale/

Thank you for dropping in today and for all your support.. I hope you will join me again next week.

Smorgasbord Letters from America – Barbados and the last letter home 1986. Sally Cronin


 

This letter at the end of August was to be my last letter home from America in 1986. Two weeks later I went home for two weeks and when we returned from the UK we knew that we would be returning there on January 1st 1987. We also got into the habit of ringing my parents every week until we left.

In the meantime we fitted in a trip to Barbados using up some of the air miles and Marriott Hotel points we had accumulated. All we had to do was pay for our car hire (mini-moke) and food and drink.

August 24th 1986.

Dear M & D.

So excited to see you in three weeks and cannot believe it is a year since your visit to us. After my week with you in Portsmouth, I am catching a train up to Manchester to join David at his conference and to discover our fate. They have offered him the job of Chief Engineer back in Liverpool, and it is obviously something that he has worked for over the last five years with the company.

Anyway in the meantime I thought you might like to hear about our Barbados adventure.

The flight time is not too bad just under six hours, and we arrived mid-afternoon to find a humid day but bright sunshine. We took a taxi to our Marriott hotel which was on the windy side of the Island…which meant the sea was not as calm as we expected but more about swimming later.

The resort was set in some lovely grounds and there was everything you could possibly need in the main building.

Our room was on the ground floor of an annex with a small patio with two recliners and a view of the grounds and sea in the distance, which was perfect for sipping a rum cocktail before dinner (duty free). Wonderful seafood and great service and after our early start we were in bed by 10pm and ready to start the adventure the next day.

We were on the patio enjoying our first cup of coffee of the day, when we got the fright of our lives as a furry creature ambled passed us, stopping to give us a look as to say, ‘not another tourist’ and then headed off about is business. We checked with the front desk later to discover it was a mongoose. Apparently it was brought in from India in the late 1800s to take care of the rats in the sugar cane. Only they had not done their homework, as rats are nocturnal and the mongoose is a day time predator. However, they decimated the snake population instead, much to my relief as you know how much I dislike snakes. Still it was an interesting snippet to find out.

Before we hit the beach we had to get dressed for our interview with the local police. No, I had not got into trouble… but to drive a rental vehicle, you need a temporary Barbadian driving licence. We decided I would be driving, so was the one to go through the formalities and had to show my licence and passport before being issued with a two week permit. We had arranged to have our vehicle delivered by the hire people and as is customary on the island, it was a mini-moke.

I don’t have a picture of our actual mini-moke but here is an image from Wikipedia.

The formalities out of the way, we changed into our swimmers and headed off to the beach.

We had  bought a belly board from from the hotel shop very cheaply, which if you remember I was quite proficient at when we lived in South Africa. I headed into the surf and emerged an hour later having recovered my expertise.. Only to find David in hysterics. I had been wiped out a couple of times and been thrown around in the surf quite a bit. Turns out I had acquired rather a lot of sand in the crotch of my swimsuit that was very noticeable when I walked out of the water. We had gathered a small crowd of young locals who were clearly envious of my boarding skills but were equally hysterical by the sight before them. More about our new friends later.

After getting changed, and removing a pound of sand…we thought we would try out our mini-moke and we headed off to Bridgetown in search of lunch.

A historic town and very busy, packed with tourists and there was a cruise ship in port which added to the crowds. We had some delicious seafood and checked out some of the guided tours, but decided in the end to follow our noses and get some ideas from the leaflets at the hotel. Our intention was to relax after a very busy summer and David wanted to do some snorkeling.. We did a little bit of souvenir shopping then as we did not have any intention of returning to the town again. Far too busy and we wanted something more relaxing.

We pottered around the hotel and its beach for a couple of days and then headed across to the other side of the island for the day, which is the wind free side and of course the water is calm and placid. There were all sorts of activities for tourists, including a pirate ship that you could spend the day on, but David was intent on teaching me to snorkel. So looking incredibly elegant in flippers, mask and snorkel, I followed him into the water, much to the amusement of the local fishermen casting their lines into the lagoon. Being wary of what is under the water after my escapades with jelly fish, I was a mite terrified.

However, I soon got the hang of it and we headed out to the reef area, and I must say it was amazingly clear water with wonderfully coloured fish and coral. We spent about half an hour and then David dived down towards the sand and gestured for me to come down for a closer look. He was clearly excited by his find, and imagining hidden pirate treasure I headed down to discover more. It was a very long, wriggling creature that looked like a snake to me…and I was not hanging around to find out more. I propelled myself upwards to the surface and headed for shore and shot out of the water between two startled fishermen. David said when he surfaced, the furrow I had created in the water looked like a torpedo had been fired, and that he had never seen me swim so fast. It did turn out to be an eel but I wasn’t taking any chances.

We spent several days exploring the island and popping into some of the other resorts for meals and usually ended up back at our own beach for an hour of surfing. The young lads would congregate after school, and from time to time, after wrecking myself in the surf, I would let them use my board. On our last afternoon we took down a bunch of cold cokes and said our farewells, and I donated my board to the boys who were thrilled. No point in taking it back to Houston and the swimming pool.

We flew home feeling rested, and after all my surfing, and despite eating very well for two weeks, I was 7lbs lighter.. perfect end to a holiday.

Anyway look forward to seeing you very soon and will bring the photographs with me.

love from us both S&D.

Sally Cronin 2019.

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed our two years in Houston and our travels as much as we did. Thankfully my father kept all my letters and in transcribing them for this series, it brought back many of the memories that had been filed away over the last 34 years.

For a limited time you will be able to read the previous posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up


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

Short and sweet this week.. well my introduction to the post anyway.. I know for many of you the school holidays have just begun and you may be already on your way to a vacation and just hope your transition by road, rail and air is smoother than it has been for those leaving the UK in the last few days.

My thanks to all those who have contributed this week.. and every week… also to everyone who has liked a post.  I still have that button and when people are busy and cannot comment on all the post that they read, it is a sign of appreciation. Please don’t get rid of the like button on your blog.. it is there for a reason.

Reblogging has become a two step process since the last upgrade, so thank you to those who have gone the extra mile… if you find you cannot reblog a post here or on anybody else’s blog.. refresh the page. I have a sneak suspicion that WordPress are trying to cut down on traffic, and hoping that most people will give up when the reblog button does not work.

Press This.. is a very useful way to share a post. You can add your own introduction and cut and paste an extract from the post as well as schedule for a time ahead.  This is a great way to schedule content for overnight to reach an audience in other time zones, without having to write a post yourself. This is useful if you are too busy that day or week and also promotes another blogger at the same time.

Time to get on with the posts you might have missed this week….

More wonderful recipes from Carol Taylor.. including Chinese Chicken or Pork with Water Chestnuts.. and if you have a glut of cucumbers.. get pickling..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-chinese-chicken-pork-with-water-chestnuts-quick-pickling-and-bread-rolls/

Patty Fletcher shares her experience of the bond between her Seeing Eye Dog Campbell and herself, including when there is something wrong that he cannot communicate.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/28/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-ignoring-vs-acknowledging-and-obeying-my-6th-sense-by-patty-fletcher/

A miller and his family repay the kindness shown to them in dark days by mice.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-sixteen-autumn-the-kindness-of-mice-by-sally-cronin/

Part One of a Halloween Tale about special residents of the Magic Garden….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/28/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-seventeen-autumn-all-hallows-eve-part-one-by-sally-cronin/

My fifteen year old niece comes to spend three weeks with us from the UK and we get up to a lot of mischief.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-a-nieces-visit-astroworld-rafting-south-padre-and-a-royal-wedding/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-a-little-bit-country-dolly-parton-kenny-rogers-john-denver-anne-murray-and-crystal-gayle/

Time of the week to respond to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 137 and this week the prompt words were Kind and Shift‘ and I have selected the synonyms ‘Genial and Change’

Etheree – To Better Understand by Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-poetry-challenge-etheree-to-better-understand-by-sally-cronin/

Another wonderful prompt and post from Charli Mills for this week’s carrot ranch flash fiction challenge And I do suggest you head over to read about a loon chick who lost its way and the kindness of human strangers determined that it should have a chance to survive. The prompt this week was For One Day’

Retail Therapy by Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-challenge-retail-therapy-by-sally-cronin/

This week I have chosen a post by Sherrey Meyer, that I am sure all of us who miss their fathers will relate to.. This was for Father’s Day June 16th 2013 so I am not too far out date wise. Memoir – Remembering Dad 2013 by Sherrey Meyer

Clockwise L-R: Dad sitting at a linotype machine, Dad at 16, and Dad showing me how to use my new tricycle

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-remembering-dad-2013-by-sherrey-meyer/

This is the final post that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty. In the last few weeks Europe and the UK has been hit by the very hot weather courtesy of North African prevailing winds, and this was last year. Australia Some Like It Hot 2018 by Janet Gogerty

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-australia-some-like-it-hot-by-janet-gogerty/

This is the final post from the archives of author Stevie Turner who has an extensive and eclectic archives and it is easy to get yourself lost in there for an hour or so. I have selected this post as it is that time again….school summer holidays…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-school-summer-holidays-2017-by-stevie-turner/

This is the final post from the archives of Laura M. Bailey who blogs on a number of subjects including history, family, horses, Southern lifestyle and cookery. With the tinder dry grass that these long hot summers are producing, there is always a risk of a bush or wildfire. Laura shares the terrifying moment she saw a wall of fire heading for their homestead and livestock.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-ranching-my-life-in-mud-boots-2016-wildfire-by-laura-m-bailey/

This is the final post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher..or should I say Millie and Pearl do….Millie has sadly passed away now but lives on in the hearts and minds of her pack. Millie goes to Uni 2017 by Annabelle Franklin

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-therapydog-millie-goes-to-uni-2017-by-annabelle-franklin/

This is the final post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them. I use a lot of herbs in my cooking and I love animals and the people who rescue and keep them safe….  Saving Animals and Herbs by Dolly Aizenman

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-animalwelfare-herbs-saving-animals-and-herbs-by-dolly-aizenman/

Ritu Bhathal has an eclectic range of subjects on her blog, and I am going to share a poem that I think will resonate with anyone with teenage children. Of Teen and Tweenage Angst 2018 by Ritu Bhathal

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-of-teen-and-tweenage-angst-poem-2018-by-ritu-bhathal/

This is the first post from the archives of author Elizabeth Gauffreau who has some wonderful posts, including an interesting look at her genealogy journey, seeking out her family history. This post will strike a chord with many who have, like me got a drawer where previous creative ideas lie waiting for rejuvenation… 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-failed-novel-anyone-2017-by-elizabeth-gauffreau/

This is the first post from retired librarian and author Cathy Cade, who has been blogging since early 2018. She shares posts on a variety of topics, including some excellent grammar tutorials, but  this week I have selected an early post about her writing journey. We often seek other’s opinions on our writing but it can be very daunting putting it out there on a site and invite criticism.  Swimming with Sharks by Cathy Cade

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-newwriters-swimming-with-sharks-by-cathy-cade/

This is the first post for author Chuck Jackson and I have selected a post from last year that I enjoyed very much at the time… Working in a funeral home… A True Story From my Past by Chuck Jackson

Sandra West – Photo – San Antonio Express-News

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-a-true-story-from-my-past-funeral-home-by-chuck-jackson/

This is the first of the posts from the archives of author and poet Joy Lennick, although certainly not the first post that we have enjoyed here on Smorgasbord from this entertaining writer. This week Joy shares the wonderful moment she met her husband Eric, who sounds, in her recent posts, not to have lost an ounce of his charm or humour. Thumbnail sketches of the past – 1949 (2014) by Joy Lennick

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-thumbnail-sketches-of-the-past-1949-2014-by-joy-lennick/

Linda Bethea is a regular contributor here on Smorgasbord, but this time I get to select the posts from her archives to share with you… I am sure you will enjoy her stories as always. For her post I am going back to 2014 and Linda’s recollections of bringing her new baby home and the ensuing mayhem.. I am sure that many of you can relate! Baby Blues

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-baby-blues/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-what-about-love-the-rivera-sisters-series-book-two-by-jeanine-lunsford/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-tallis-steelyard-a-guide-for-writers-and-other-stories-by-jim-webster/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-silent-heroes-by-patricia-furstenberg/

Author Updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-mary-smith-and-bette-a-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-upate-reviews-sally-harris-angie-dokos-and-andrew-joyce/

The start of a series on the digestive system.. beginning in the mouth… a very important place to start.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-digestive-system-part-one-the-mouth-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-lets-hear-it-for-the-dogs-shaggy-and-otherwise/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-or-two-from-sallys-archives-4/

Smorgasbord Letters from America – A nieces visit, Astroworld, rafting, South Padre and a Royal Wedding.


It is August 1986 to almost 33 years to the week. My niece Emma aged 15, has been with us for three weeks, and I am writing to my parents with all the things we got up to.. well almost all of them.. I would send the photos on to them at a later date, but will share them in the post.

Dear M & D..

Thankfully all went according to plan and I met Emma along with her escort from the place at the airport and whisked her off to Parramatta Lane. Since you know the layout of the apartment you will recognise this favourite photograph spot for newcomers! Of course being fifteen, Emma was raring to go despite jet lag and the last three weeks have not stopped since.

We of course have introduced her to Walter… and David took this photo a couple of days after she arrived. We had lots of invitations to meals at people’s houses but we spent a couple of days by the pool to get used to the heat and we also of course had to go shopping for more clothes for all the social engagements!

Then Anna took Emma and I to Pappasitos for dinner, and our friendly guitarist who you will remember well Mollie for serenading you, found out Emma was your granddaughter and invited her stand up in front of the whole restaurant to sing to her. Two songs later we managed to drag her back to the table to eat her fajitas!

On the next Monday, Debbie, Walter, Emma and I set off at the crack of dawn and went rafting on the Guadaloupe again. We had a hilarious day and as the water level was down, were out there for six hours. We stayed in a motel in New Braunfels, Debbie had a bed to herself, Emma and I shared and Walter slept in a sleeping bag. Emma and I got up early and went to Mcdonalds and brought back breakfast. After much needed energy boost we went to a park nearby where they have a great water chute. We spent two hours going down it in inner tubes before driving the 200 miles home. We were all exhausted and Emma and I had fajitas and a movie before an early night.

It was needed as we had to be up early at 4.30 to catch the royal wedding… we watched the whole thing armed with supplies including some orange juice and champagne to toast the bride and groom. (Emma’s was 95% orange juice I promise). I have told her that now Prince Andrew is taken, she will have to make do with Prince Edward! We loved all the pageantry and certainly a fairy tale dress.

David was in Kansas all week but arrived back on Friday night ready to take us out over the weekend. We went to the movies on Saturday night and a Chinese at our favourite restaurant. He left again Monday morning and on Tuesday the gang got together and we headed to Astroworld which is a themed amusement park and had a great day on rides and having photographs taken ….including gate crashing the photo with Bugs Bunny and two small strangers.

We went to a concert at the park in the evening and headed home very tired but happy.

We had the weekend with David and then Debbie, Emma and I headed down to South Padre for four days to a rented house on the beach. We had a great girls only visit, with plenty of sun, swimming and lobster dinners, which got very messy. Some of the best seafood ever. Emma still looks skinny whilst Debbie and I put in at least 5lbs.

To finish off her holiday everyone piled into Pappasitos, having started at our apartment and the restaurant cordoned off the back of the room to keep us from disturbing the other customers!

I think Emma’s face says it all…..

And then it was time to say goodbye. I have to say it was a wonderful time and we cannot believe how fast it has gone. Everyone fell in love with her and we certainly enjoyed having her with us. Sending her home very tanned and hopefully with some great memories.

Then to fill the suddenly empty week I went out to Debbie’s parents ranch about 50 miles north of here. They have a man made lake on the property and they have stocked it with Bass. We spent some time on a wind surfer without any wind, and did some fishing. I also got in touch with my inner cowgirl and have proof of both my fishing and my trick riding abilities!!

As you know I have a pathological phobia about snakes (it must have been my early training around cobras in Ceylon)… and Debbie neglected to tell me until after swimming and larking about in the water, that there were also a fair few water moccasins in the lake too. Thankfully it was also after I had dismounted otherwise it might have been less than graceful.

David and I are off on 21st for a week to Barbados. We are pretty certain we will be leaving here in January and we have so many air and hotel miles to use up, it will be virtually free. I will call you next week on Sunday before we go and tell you all about it in a letter when we get back.

Then it will only be six weeks until we are home for David’s conference and my stay with you at home for a week.  Really looking forward to seeing everyone and cannot believe it is nearly a year since you were with us.

Love from us both Sally and David..XX

©Sally Cronin

If you would like to read any of the other letters from the two years we lived in Texas and our travels you can find them in this folder: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

Thanks for dropping in and your feedback is always welcome.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Music, Numerology, Vitamin C, Guest Posts and funnies.


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

It has been a good week for works in the garden with two days in a row of dry weather to do the final cement pour. This coincided with a visit from an old friend from Hampshire for a couple of nights, ending with a lovely dinner out last night.

There is still work to be done over the next few weeks but we will see about getting the house on the market earlier than anticipated whilst the paint is still fresh.

Today is the first of the Human in every Sense of the Word and my first guest is author Paulette Mahurin who shares a poignant and thought provoking memory that involved the senses…I hope you will join us.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-with-paulette-mahurin/

William Price King is taking his usual summer break and will be spending time with his grandchildren in the mountains, hopefully a bit cooler than the rest of France and Europe is at the moment. Since this is the season of music festivals, I will be taking the opportunity to share some of the music William has posted over the last four years in a summer music festival.. In William’s last post before his break he shares the music of Arturo O’Farrill

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-arturo-ofarrill-jazz-musician-pianist-and-composer/

Thank you for all the support this week and you lovely comments. Always love waking up in the morning and logging in to read and respond to them. Summer tends to be a little quieter as children go on holiday and vacations are taken, but always grateful to see you when you drop in.

Better get on with more posts from the week…..

Vitamin C is necessary for so many functions of the body that it is one of the key nutrients, along with Vitamin D that should be made a priority in food and sometimes in supplemental form. Vitamin C is not stored in the body, so if you do not eat regularly in your diet you can become deficient. Carol Taylor and I share the benefits, key food sources and recipes to ensure you are getting sufficient.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid-and-l-ascorbic-acid/

This week, not only do we find out what our universal energy is going to be gifting us in July, but also I am showcasing Annette Rochelle Aben’s latest poetry collection, hot off the press this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-your-universal-energy-for-july-by-annette-rochelle-aben/

Two more chapters from Tales from the Irish Garden.. the first Spring: Chapter Eight. The royal banquet with a magnificent menu created by Chef Marcel and wine and champagne contributed by the Storyteller.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-spring-chapter-eight-the-royal-banquet-by-sally-cronin/

In Chapter Nine – Prince Ronan gives Queen Filigree a wonderful betrothal gift that all of us girls would love to have in our gardens!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-spring-chaper-nine-the-betrothal-gift-by-sally-cronin/

 

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 133 and this week the prompt words were ‘Plan and Spend’ and I have chosen ‘Intent and Squander’ as my synonyms. The Magpie’s Prize.. a double Etheree.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tanka-poetry-challenge-133-double-etheree-a-magpies-prize-by-sally-cronin/

My response to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills This week, Charli has asked us for 99 words, no more no less… on the subject of painting

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-white-washing-by-sally-cronin/

In this week’s letter to my parents in July 1986, I share our weekend away with our friends from the complex to San Antonio, river rafting and battling Mariachi bands..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-july-1986-rafting-on-the-guadaloupe-and-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-by-sally-cronin/

Author Linda Bradley takes us to Montana and share the research for her series Montana bound..saddle up… and there is also a FREE book offer for Maggie’s Way until July 2nd on Bookbub..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-m-bradley-bookpromotion-montana-bound/

Authors Helen and Lorri Carpenter explore the ability of the birds in their garden to predict weather.. we have sparrows who will feed differently when bad weather is coming in.. as if they know to stock up before the storm hits.. have you noticed this in your garden?

Image Source: HL Carpenter

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-essay-summer-weather-forecasting-is-for-the-birds-by-hl-carpenter/

John Rieber loves books and this is one of his very first blog posts from 2011… I am sure having looked as his recommendations that these are as valid now as they were then.. 7 Great Books For Gifts!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookrecommendations-7-great-books-for-gifts-by-john-rieber/

This is the final post from the archives of Frank Prem for this series. In this poem he lays bare the wonderful wood that lies beneath layers of paint..

Clean Board

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-stripping-by-frank-prem/

A lovely tribute to motherhood.. from Marian Wood..

Our roots are deep just like my thoughts

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-the-love-of-a-mother-by-marian-wood/

Lorinda J. Taylor shares a recipe for a deliciously moist fruit cake.. for Christmas or any time of year.. Bishop’s Cake.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-recipe-bishops-cake-lorinda-j-taylor/

Tasker Dunham with his last post in this series. I have selected a post about an eccentric but forgiving neighbour (when there are three young boys either side of your garden) who became an adopted grandmother.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-mrs-quackworth-by-tasker-dunham/

Dorinda Duclos with a poem about camping that has got everyone chiming in with their camping stories.. no wonder hotels do such good business!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-camping-by-dorinda-duclos/

This is the first post from author Christa Polkinhorn and she shares her thoughts on book reviews.. great for novice reviewers and those of us who may need a refresher..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-some-thoughts-on-book-reviews-by-christa-polkinhorn/

The first of the posts from fantasy author Marjorie Mallon who shares her experience of her gallbladder operation, which I am sure will be very reassuring to anyone facing this procedure.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-health-my-gallbladder-operation-by-m-j-mallon-2014/

The first post from the extensive archives of Sue Vincent....a lovely trip to the west… Wild Things from 2016.

Wales 297

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-going-west-wild-things-2016-by-sue-vincent/

A new contributor to the series with his first post, Bill Hayes.. I know the Wembury and Plymouth area reasonably well and this post caught my attention.

mewstone1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mewstone-and-starfish-2013-bill-hayes/

The first of the posts from the archives of Donna W. Hill…her review of a wonderful book for dog lovers..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookreview-the-big-new-yorker-book-of-dogs-by-the-new-yorker-by-donna-w-hill/

New to the series, artist and writer Amanda Reilly Sayer, with her submission for Diana Wallace Peach’s speculative fiction a couple of months ago…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-shortstory-empty-promises-by-amanda-reilly-sayer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-book-reviews-psychological-thriller-hope-by-terry-tyler/

 

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-pre-order-for-august-7th-racked-grafton-county-series-4-by-sue-coletta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-j-p-mclean-sally-harris-marcia-meara-and-barbara-ann-mojica/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-james-j-cudney-james-j-cudney-teagan-riordain-geneviene-jane-risdon-lynda-mckinney-lambert/

The second part of the heart health series… and some of the more common symptoms to keep a look out for.

Plaque build up in arteries

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-heart-part-two-angina-arrythmia-and-valve-disorders-by-sally-cronin/

Toxoplasma Gondii – Pets are a joy but they also harbour unwanted visitors

Handling food safely is of vital importance to our health. As children it is instilled in us that we must wash our hands after going to the toilet, and also before eating, but it is one of those rules that every generation learns, but is seldom explained in detail.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-health-column-food-safety-toxoplasma-gondii-pets-are-a-joy-but-they-also-harbour-unwanted-visitors-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-life-lessons-from-the-archives-and-a-joke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives/

Thank you very much for dropping in this week and for your ongoing support.. It is much appreciated.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Letters from America – July 1986 – Rafting on the Guadaloupe and between a rock and a hard place by Sally Cronin


It is now July 1986 and we manage to get a weekend away with our friends before my niece Emma arrives from England for three weeks. We head off to San Antonio and plan to raft down the Guadalupe.. and no doubt drink margaritas. This is my letter home to my parents in the UK after our trip.

July 12th 1986

Dear M & D,

We are just about recovering from our weekend away, although some injuries may take a little longer to heal! It was action paced and a lot of fun and accommodations were interesting to say the least.

The condo only had two bedrooms and a sleeper sofa between the 8 of us. Paul and Kyle shared one bed, Debby and Anna another, Walter and Alison, David and I shared the living room with two in the sofa bed and the two of us on cushions on the floor. Debbie and I were up at 7.00 cooking breakfast for everyone which got their attention as bacon aromas drifted through the condo.

We set off for the river at 8.30, laden down with coolers of beer and wine with sandwiches for lunch, plastic bags and elastic bands (reasons later) and two rubber tubes (for the coolers). We arrived at the rafting centre and rented two, one for the four boys and one for us four girls. We attached the rubber tubes to the backs of the rafts and placed the coolers of liquid refreshment inside them to keep everything cool. Once we were under way the plastic bags were filled with river water and sealed until each boat had 20 or so each, and then the war began. We all ended up in the water at one time or another but quickly dried in the sun.

We got to the rapids and rocks where we disembarked whilst the rafting company crew got us prepared for the next section.. We we poised between two rocky sections and were told to get in the boat as quickly as possible and they would push us down the small cascade to the next river section. I was last one in and had one leg in the raft and the other by side of the chute when the guy pushed the raft. But my leg was trapped between two rocks and I was jerked off my feet and back into the water. Luckily the raft was not too far down the chute and they caught it so I could get in. Unfortunately I now have a very painful and bruised shin bone. I had it looked at by a medic at the centre at the end of the ride, and luckily it was not broken but I still have to use a stick. They say should be fine in a few days!  I seem to be accident prone. I am sure that the three beers I had in the first couple of hours had nothing to do with it!

It took six hours in total to navigate the river and a bus took us back to the centre where we had left our cars. A quick change and with me hobbling, we descended on a fantastic Mexican restaurant along the river walk in San Antonio that had a large outside area. The meal was amazing, almost as good as Pappasitos… and we had a great time. It ended up with two mariachi bands having a contest at each end of the table for nearly an hour and they ended up playing “Felice Navidad” as they had run out of things to play. We all sang along and soon all the other customers joined in for several choruses.. I can only assume that passersby thought we were all nuts in the middle of summer.

When we got back we headed down to the river that ran alongside the condo, and it was shallow enough to sit in the cold water for half and hour and it did my leg a lot of good. We then all slept like logs and then headed home in the morning. We were in bed by 10pm and I still needed a siesta yesterday to catch up.

Today I have done a big shop ready for Emma’s arrival, shampooed the carpet and been for a couple of swims to try and ease my leg, which as predicted, is feeling a bit better today.

And we have made plans for our trip home in September.  David is running an exhibition in Manchester from the 10th, so I will come home to see you for the first week and then go up and join him before we go to Prescott together to see what his company has planned for him next year. It will be lovely to be back for your anniversary on the 11th having missed last year and looking forward to seeing everyone at the party.

Better get an early night before the great day tomorrow… so looking forward to seeing Emma, and the gang will all be here on Saturday for a curry lunch to meet her, and we will ring you on Sunday to tell you all about it.

 

Please find enclosed a photo taken by the pool a few weeks ago… we have some new members to the group…..

love from us both.. S&D.

©Sally Cronin

If you would like to read any of the other letters from the two years we lived in Texas and our travels you can find them in this folder: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

Thanks for dropping in and your feedback is always welcome.. Sally.

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Books, Music, Health, Short Stories, Great Guests and Laughter


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

I know that at the moment the round ups are slightly longer than usual (that is saying something for me!) due to the number of posts from your archives. Right now I am reading through over 55 bloggers archives, and that is an perfect antidote to the weather.. Two days of sunshine (not necessarily in the same week), and rainy days. We are hopeful that July will be better, but as yet, I have not put any of my winter clothes away, and I have not got my sandals out either.

Anyway.. I can tell from the comments that you are enjoying the posts from other blogger’s archives and I am learning more about the people who support me here and also getting a great insight into all kinds of topics. I have enough posts to take us through to September and more coming in every day. The aim was to get as many people chatting to each other and following new blogs, and so pleased with the outcome. Thank you for keeping it all going with your likes, comments and shares.

Next Sunday the new Sunday Interview begins and I am now booking for mid-August onwards. I know that some of you are planning to participate and may be waiting until you see the first couple and their format… don’t wait too long will you.

Author Paulette Mahurin is kicking off the series on June 30th, and if you are still not sure what it is all about…. here is the original post:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-new-sunday-interview-series-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-starting-sunday-june-30th-2019/

Without further ado….here are the posts that you might have missed this week.

Another post from the archives of Paul Andruss here on Smorgasbord… and this week he leaves us with some questions… about the financial aspects of our writing, professional and peer group opinions of our writing, and where our efforts place us in terms of writer vs. author status. Something to think about………Three Minutes Forty-nine

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-three-minutes-forty-nine-our-value-as-writers-by-paul-andruss/

Although the band Free were only together a few years they left a legacy behind and influenced many artists. Only one number hit.. but one that I still play today.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/smorgasbord-music-column-one-hit-wonders-all-right-now-by-free-sally-cronin/

Chapter Six – Spring Comes to the Magic Garden.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-spring-chapter-six-the-magic-garden-comes-to-life-by-sally-cronin/

Chapter Seven – Jeremy the Donkey

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/23/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-spring-chapter-seven-jeremy-the-donkey-by-sally-cronin/

The last post of the week is in response to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills and the prompt this week is ‘Waiting’. This week in her post Charli Mills talks about the challenges they face with completing on their house with VA loans dependent on certain work being carried out and an inspection to check compliance. Added into the mix is a starling intent on building a nest in the most inconvenient place. Waiting for the Bus

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/23/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-waiting-for-the-bus-by-sally-cronin/

We baby sit a new kitten, I am made to do 300 half sit ups and I get a black eye playing water volley ball with the boys.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/20/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-june-1986-kittens-sit-ups-and-water-volley-ball/

My response to this week’s Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 132  and the prompt words ‘Influence and Perception’ and I have chosen ‘ Mould and Sense’ for my Haibun and I have had a little fun with this one….Life’s Lessons #Haibun

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-tanka-poerty-challenge-haibun-life-lessons-by-sally-cronin/

Sherri Matthews takes us on a holiday to the Norfolk Broads, a fabulous boating holiday, and an introduction to the more ghostly side of this idyllic part of the country. Holiday Reading, Ghosts And The Norfolk Broads

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-sherri-matthews-memoir-holiday-reading-ghosts-and-the-norfolk-broads/

This is the third post from  mother and daughter writing team HL Carpenter (Helen and Lorri). This post is a an interesting look at Blog Hops for book marketing and some key elements that I agree with wholeheartedly. Top Drawer News — Blog Hops and Movie Stars

Image source: D'vorah Lansky, BuildABusinesWithYourBook.com

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-top-drawer-news-blog-hops-and-movie-stars-by-hl-carpenter/

John Rieber shares the most expensive burger in the world in 2012.. it was for charity… certainly comes with some interesting accessories. Burger (2012) $295 – The World’s Most Expensive Burger Unveiled!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-burger-2012-295-the-worlds-most-expensive-burger-unveiled-by-john-rieber/

In June 2017, Frank Prem posted a poem a day.. and so I have chosen the poems he posted on this day and then the subsequent poems that correspond to his posts here…

Moon 1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-long-night-moon-by-frank-prem/

Marian Wood with a short story….. We have all had one of those days…..

One of those days where what could go wrong does go wrong?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archive-potluck-short-story-just-one-of-those-days-by-marian-wood/

I have selected this post, because I am sure that if you are around the same vintage (66) you to will have memories of before and after the Internet. Research Before The Internet by Tasker Dunham

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-research-before-the-internet-by-tasker-dunham/

Lorinda J. Taylor with some of the libraries that Lorinda values…The original Coburn Library became the Tutt Library in 1962. Reminiscences about Old Libraries from an Old Librarian, Part 1 by Lorinda J. Taylor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-reminiscences-about-old-libraries-from-an-old-librarian-part-1-by-lorinda-j-taylor/

Jennie Fitzkee shares her analogy for teaching…Teaching: it’s The Cake and the Frosting

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-teaching-its-the-cake-and-the-frosting-by-jennie-fitzkee/

This week I selected one of the hundreds of book reviews that Olga Nunez Miret shares with her.. all very thoughtfully crafted. This review was for an author that I enjoy reading too. Terry Tyler for her book Legacy, Project Renova 4.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookreview-legacy-project-renova-4-by-terry-tyler-terrytyler4-by-olga-nunez-miret/

This is the final post in the series from Fraggle Photography…in this  post I am sharing another day out with Fraggle’s grandson Cal to the Zoo…and it seems there is another photographer in the family. Cal & Frag’s Excellent Adventure – Fraggle Photography 2015

close-up

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-cal-frags-excellent-adventure-fraggle-photography/

This is Elizabeth Slaughter’s final post from the archives and Elizabeth looks at some of the exercise equipment that has been trendy over the years.. “Jumping for Joy”

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-exercise-jumping-for-joy-by-elizabeth-slaughter/

This is the final post from Kim from By Hook or by Book  and whilst browsing through her archives, I spotted that she had reviewed one of the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore… . Broken Heart Attack (Braxton Campus Mysteries #2), by James J. Cudney ~ 5.0 Stars

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-broken-heart-attack-braxton-campus-mysteries-2-by-james-j-cudney-5-0-stars-by-kim-of-by-hook-or-by-book/

The final post from Gibson Square The Cabbie Blog and this week a post from the Urban View series which looks at buildings or locations in London that have a hidden history..and as I have worked with a lot of herbal therapies over the years, this one caught my eye…Down Your Alley- Herbal Hill

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-down-your-alley-herbal-hill-by-gibson-square-the-cabbie-blog/

This is the fourth post from the archives of Susanne Swanson that I have chosen.. you will find plenty to browse if you head over.  Cats in particular are the muses in her household and they have some wonderful adventures. And today finally.. we have her lovely cats….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-cats-seeking-shelter-in-the-rainy-northwest-and-baseball-by-susanne-swanson/

Poet and author Balroop Singh is always a welcome guest here on Smorgasbord and has shared many posts in the past. This time I get to choose the posts from Balroop’s archives and for her final post in this series, I have chosen another poem which brought to mind some I have known…… A Social Butterfly by Balroop Singh

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-a-social-butterfly-by-balroop-singh/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-dead-white-and-blue-the-juniper-junction-holiday-mystery-series-by-amy-m-reade/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-a-braxton-campus-mysteries-book-4-mistaken-identity-crisis-by-james-j-cudney/

Author Update #Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-frank-prem-c-s-boyack-stevie-turner-and-judith-barrow/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-j-e-pinto-charles-e-yallowitz-pamela-wight-fiona-tarr/

Last week I covered the dangers of salmonella, despite the government and food safety experts telling us that it is now safe to eat under cooked eggs: Preparing Eggs Safely Food Safety – #Lysteria – You cannot see it but it sees you..the perfect host!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/17/smorgasbord-health-column-food-safety-lysteria-you-cannot-see-it-but-it-sees-you-the-perfect-host-sally-cronin/

The heart is obviously an essential organ of the body, but it can be a case of out of sight out of mind.. Understanding how it works can bring it back into focus.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-heart-and-how-it-works-sally-cronin/

 A new series on our cravings and why they are not always as they seem.. but first one of the prime suspects is dehydration...

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/smorgasbord-health-column-new-series-what-causes-your-cravings-part-one-dehydration/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-8/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-9/

Smorgasbord Letters from America 1985 – 1987 – June 1986 – Kittens, sit ups and water volley ball!


By this time in our time in America, I was speaking to my parents much more frequently by telephone each week, but I was still writing two or three letters a month.

19th June 1986.

Hi M & D,

Thank you for your letter which arrived this morning and so pleased you are happy with the new arrangement to the flat.. it sounds great and looking forward to seeing them on my trip home in September.

This has been a busy week with one thing and another including an upping of my training. If I am going to keep up with a 15 year old for three weeks next month, I need to get in shape. I mentioned that I would like a six pack to my trainer at the gym and she promptly had me on the floor doing 300 half sit ups.. I actually meant a pack of beer!  I also make the mistake of saying I would love a 36 – 26 – 37 figure but I reckon I will have to steal one.. In any case I have hit my latest target and here I am with a little way to go yet.

Earlier in the week David had some business visitors and we took them to Pappasitos of course, and they were intrigued when the guitarist came over and asked after Mollie! You made a lasting impression there.

As you know Sutherland went missing several weeks ago and despite some sightings he has not returned. Walter was obviously devastated but he has gone out and got a kitten. Very sweet and its name is Farley, after the author Farley Mowat. He is coming over to us regularly when Walt is on a long shift and we have been training him to a cat carrier so that we can take him back and forth safely.. He loves it but I am missing one table mat and two clothes hangers.

David seems to be coping with his cat allergy which is just as well as Farley follows him everywhere and is on his lap at the first chance. When David is at work, I find myself fighting for the pen when writing, and oops here it goes again. Farley will not be able to roam as Sutherland did, as we don’t want to lose another.

Sonia and I have been in touch with instructions for Emma on arrival at Houston, but she will also have an escort from the plane through customs and immigration. I am sure that Emma is more than capable to handling it herself but want to make it as stress free as possible. I have booked the beach house in South Padre for four days and Debbie and I will enjoy the break too. We get back the day before she travels home so she should be lovely and tanned.

We also have tickets for a James Taylor concert

Last Sunday there was a match with another apartment complex water volley ball team and I was playing for the boys.. this week at least the injuries were fairly minor, one bloody nose, 1 mild concussion, and one black eye (mine). One of the members of the opposing team spiked the ball across the net onto my face, it bounced off and one of my teammates hit it back and we won the point. Some justice after all. We played for four hours and I was wiped out but I do enjoy and it is great exercise. A little make-up around the eye should conceal the bruise. David was not impressed and suggested I might play for the girls team instead… I pointed out that they can be even more vicious!

Tomorrow Debbie is intelligence testing me at Sam Houston University in front of her professor. She is taking a summer class towards her private counselling licence, and it should be enlightening. I am not sure that I want her to tell  me the results. She is a great friend and I shall miss her very much if we have to leave here next January.

A week on Saturday we are going to New Braunfels near San Antonio and are renting rafts to float down the Guadalupe River (including the rapids). We have two condos with eight in each and as David is in Austin until Friday, he will drive to meet us. Apparently it is another of those experiences we need to get in before we leave Texas. I am sure that they make half of this up just to see us (me) petrified.

I will give you a full report if I survive…

I hope this has been more legible than usual, having been typed on the word processor on David’s new computer. Much as I have loved being here in Texas and taking full advantage of the freedom to travel around America and enjoy days in the sun, I am ready to go back to work. I have not been out of work since I began that part time job at weekends and holidays when I was 14. I intend to get as familiar as possible with David’s machine so that I can be up to date with new technology if we come home next year. If we do stay it will be on a different basis and I will have a visa that enables me to work, and being able to understand computers will be great.

Anyway.. before that more fun to come and I intend to take full advantage of the opportunity….take care and love from us both.

S & D.

©Sally Cronin

If you would like to read any of the other letters from the two years we lived in Texas and our travels you can find them in this folder: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

Thanks for dropping in and your feedback is always welcome.. Sally.

 

 

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.

outback-steakhouse-2490458_640

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.

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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.

October 2014 028-800

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/

 

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/