Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – AWOL – Benny Goodman – Magnesium – The Magic Carpet – Television Interviews and all that Jazz…


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

On the news front I will be offline from this Thursday to Monday 28th October and for a few days in the first week in November. I have however left some posts for you… the regular book promotions and also some surprises.

Delighted to share the news of the start of a series by guest writer Mike Biles, author of A Bit About Britain’s History who will be joining us every Saturday until Christmas. His first post next Saturday is about the visit he made to author Rudyard Kipling’s home.

As Just an Odd Job Girl has now finished, I am starting a new serialisation, this time of my first short story collection from 2009, which has just received a lovely review. The first two stories from Flights of Fancy air next weekend.

And I would be grateful if you could pop in on Sunday when Eloise De Sousa will be my guest on the Sunday author Interview

I will be online again by Monday and will respond to any comments then… I will also catch up with any retweets etc on social media.

On with this week’s posts.

As always my thanks to the contributors and guest writers for the time and work that goes into preparing the posts for the blog and to you for keep coming back to read them.

William Price King shared the life and music of the renowned King of Swing, Benny Goodman.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-the-king-of-swing-benny-goodman/

Magnesium – Calcium’s BFF and a deficiency alert One of the minerals that most people focus on is calcium (the last column) but it is in fact magnesium or the lack of this mineral in our diet that may be the contributory factor in many of the diseases that we suffer from, particularly as we get older.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-minerals-magnesium/

If you are a regular visitor to the blog you will be familiar with Jessica Norrie and her Literary Column which ran in 2018 and has enjoyed a revival this year too. We also get to enjoy an extract from Jessica’s latest release – The Magic Carpet

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-sunday-interview-jessica-norrie-with-an-extract-from-the-magic-carpet/

 Last week I covered the basics of the preparation needed before a radio and podcast interview  This week preparing for an interview on camera.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-book-marketing-for-authors-preparing-for-an-interview-on-camera-sally-cronin/

This week in the Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 145 we are being asked to write in response to the photo prompt selected by last month’s winner of the challenge, Diana Wallace Peach.. I have composed a double Etheree – The Moonlight Concerto

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-tanka-challenge-photoprompt-the-moonlight-concerto-by-sally-cronin/

This weekend the last two chapters of my novel Just an Odd Job Girl. A surprise visitor changes Imogen’s future.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/19/just-an-odd-job-girl-serialisation-chapter-nineteen-full-circle-by-sally-cronin/

The final chapter…a new life

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/19/just-an-odd-job-girl-serialisation-final-chapter-a-new-life-by-sally-cronin/

In the UK according to overall cancer statistics from Cancer Research UK there were 363,484 new cases in 2016, and 164,900 deaths in 2017. There is now a 50% survival rate over 10 years but, 38% of cancers are preventable.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-female-reproductive-system-breast-cancer-by-sally-cronin/

This week I am share the the impact on a child’s body of a high sugar diet and lack of nutrition in relation to their brain development and hormone production as they head into puberty.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/smorgasbord-health-column-the-obesity-epidemic-part-four-finding-a-point-to-intervene-in-the-life-cycle-7-14-healthy-diet-for-brain-function-and-hormon/

In her final post Linda Thompson shares the sadness of loss. In this case when a relationship dies and we have to leave elements of our previous life behind. Thankfully most of us find another safe haven.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-bloggers-on-the-scene-dreamcatcher-on-loss-divorce-by-linda-thompson/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-non-fiction-creative-solutions-for-the-modern-writer-by-harmony-kent/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-non-fiction-writing-on-water-self-awareness-by-jane-sturgeon/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-the-last-will-of-sven-anderson-the-harry-spittle-saga-book-2-by-geoff-le-pard-and-free-book-offer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-children-molly-finds-her-purr-by-pamela-s-wight/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-ya-fantasy-through-the-nethergate-by-roberta-eaton-cheadle/

Author Update #reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-teagan-riordain-geneviene-balroop-singh-bette-a-stevens-and-julia-benally/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jacqui-murray-vandana-bhasin-and-smitha-vishwanath-anne-goodwin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-14th-october-nicholas-rossis-bookblurb-charles-f-french-with-robbie-cheadle-1984-and-susannah-leonard-hill-halloween-childrens-story-competition/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-october-15th-d-g-kaye-astralplaning-alex-forshaw-click-training-babies-andrew-petcher-instagram-and-tourist-attractions/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-october-16th-beetley-pete-bookreview-mary-smith-afghanistan-janet-gogerty-essentials/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-17th-october-c-s-boyack-with-roberta-eaton-cheadle-carol-taylor-pumpkins-and-jack-eason-politicians/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-18th-october-annika-perry-bookreview-bienvenue-press-flash-with-sharon-marchisello-and-joelle-legendre-insomnia-humour/

 

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-13/

 

 

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-or-two-from-sally/

 

Thank you very much for dropping in and all your support this week. I hope you will pop in next week thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #New Bloggers on the Scene – Dreamcatcher (On loss/divorce) by Linda Thompson


This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/new-series-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-blogger-promotionand-setting-up-your-blog-for-accessibility-readability-and-sharing/

Delighted to showcase another new blogger on the scene… meet Linda Thompson who blogs about Life lessons. Through anecdotes, memories or stories (some funny, others serious), several posts are about lessons learned because of something that happened in her life.

In her final post Linda shares the sadness of loss. In this case when a relationship dies and we have to leave elements of our previous life behind. Thankfully most of us find another safe haven.

Dreamcatcher

As I made one last round of the empty rooms in the house, I felt like someone else. Someone who’d never lived here. Someone who hadn’t watched her marriage crumble here. Someone who had never seen this house as her dream-filled future.

We’d been so excited when the real estate agent first showed us the house 18 months earlier. As we climbed the staircase to the second floor, my husband had turned to me and mouthed “What more could we ask for?” Grinning from ear-to-ear, I’d mouthed back “Nothing!” We were trying to hide our excitement about the house from the agent, but I’m sure our efforts were futile. We’d known this was house was ours from the moment we’d driven up and seen its white, stucco walls, green-trimmed windows and big, beautiful front porch.

I had imagined us sitting on that wooden porch in the distant future, contentedly reflecting on our children, grandchildren and the full lives we lived. I’d pictured holidays filled with family gathered around the dining room table. I had imagined the back yard echoing with the shouts of kids playing soccer in summer and hockey in winter. The house had been so much more than a composition of walls, ceilings and floors. It had been a dream catcher filled with dreams for a happy future with my husband, our three-year old son and the children still to come.

Yet there I was 18 months later, slowly walking through the empty house alone for the last time before it passed into the hands of new owners. I still thought it was beautiful. I still loved the way the sun turned its hardwood floors into what looked like shimmering gold ice. I especially still loved the porch. But I wasn’t the same person I’d been 18 months ago. Now I could see this house for what it was: a good, solid, lovely house but not a structure that could make dreams come true.

I did feel a small sense of loss for the people I was leaving behind. That naïve young couple we’d been had somehow believed that a house was all it took to make a home. Who could really blame them? Everyone wants to believe that perfect families exist in perfect homes. After all, we’d watched the Keatons and the Huxtables work out any problems they had within the walls of their neat houses in half-hour episodes. Even the Bunkers and Conners, television families with visible cracks in their foundations, managed to make their house a home. How could we have let things fall apart in 18 months while living in the house of our dreams?

But in the end, I knew it was best to leave that impressionable couple behind. We’d grown up and grown apart and along the way we’d learned that home, as they say, is where the heart is. And now our hearts lay in different places. My husband had opted for a duplex in the city. My heart belonged to a small, red-brick, doll-like house in the suburbs that my son, Erik, and I would soon call home.

That was more than 20 years ago and my son is now a grown man looking for a home of his own. Over the years, we lived in a few different houses – none of them perfect. My son is looking for different things in his house hunting. He’s looking for a good deal and a real estate investment that will pay off in the future. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but I can’t help hoping that he also finds a soft place to land and a safe haven at the end of each day.

©Linda Thompson 2019

About Linda

Writer, fundraiser, mother, wife, owner of one stubborn Canadian mare and one orange tabby and bona fide introvert who finds it easier to express herself in ink than out loud. For extroverts and Type A personalities, expressing themselves is a natural part of their charm and we mostly love them for it. It’s hard to know what goes on in the head of an introvert or how he/she perceives the world. Follow me to see the world through the eyes of this introvert and share your thoughts with me. Extroverts welcome too!

Connect to Linda

Blog: https://lindathompsonsite.wordpress.co
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkplume

My thanks to Linda for allowing me to share her posts and I hope that you will head over to her blog to follow and enjoy her archives.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #NewBloggers – Why Govanhill is just like the south of France – Cheers, Govanhill


This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/new-series-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-blogger-promotionand-setting-up-your-blog-for-accessibility-readability-and-sharing/

This is the final  post from Peter Mohan who blogs at Cheers, Govanhill as his alter ego .. Boy David. We have these South of France moment here in Ireland too, all to rarely it seems but even with the sound of traffic on the road in front of us, it feels like a bit of paradise..

Why Govanhill is just like the south of France

a deckchair pictured below the M74 motorway extension in Govanhill

Open space in Govanhill, like a midwestern prairie or the vast Russian steppes.

A wee acre of green grass below the motorway flyover. The most expensive stretch of road in Europe at the time. Half a billion for five miles, ten thousand per inch. I know, because I counted it.

With a deckchair and sun cream and a book I’m not reading it’s a good place to sit in peace.

Faint clatter, muffled rumble, a hundred and fifty thousand vehicles a day overhead.

It could be a tomato field in the south of France. All that’s missing is a genial farmer with overalls and mutton chops and a stalk of grass in his mouth. A few cows in the pastures, free range geese in the meadow.

The flyover slices through the south side on forty-foot stilts but is somehow discreet, almost unobtrusive.

Reminds me of the city growing up, motorway roundabouts and slip roads, pedestrian tunnels and off ramps, non place dead spaces under concrete bridges.

Dry miles of road with signs and directions and people in control of their own destiny.

Don’t know if I am. In control of my own destiny, that is.

Doesn’t look like it from down here.

Cheers, Govanhill.

©Peter Mohan 2019

About Peter Mohan

My name’s Peter Mohan, I live and work in Glasgow, Scotland.

Cheers, Govanhill is a semi-fictional blog from Glasgow’s most cosmopolitan and endlessly-fascinating neighbourhood.

It’s a humorous, sometimes dark, account of inner-city life by fictional narrator, Boy David.
He casts an affectionate, surreal eye on the area from his tenement, with stories of gentrification, brontosaurus cutlets, the filthy habits of west of Scotland dead man and how New York stole all its ideas from Govanhill.

It’s all true, although I might have made a lot of it up.

Connect to Peter

Blog: https://cheersgovanhill.home.blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/petemohan1

My thanks to Peter for allowing me to share some of his posts.. please head over and check out his archive.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #New Bloggers on the Scene -The Case of the Missing Sock (Humour on the craft of writing) by Linda Thompson


This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/new-series-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-blogger-promotionand-setting-up-your-blog-for-accessibility-readability-and-sharing/

Delighted to showcase another new blogger on the scene… meet Linda Thompson who blogs about Life lessons. Through anecdotes, memories or stories (some funny, others serious), several posts are about lessons learned because of something that happened in her life.

In Linda’s third post, she explores the phenomenon that is the mystery of the missing sock.. it is rampant in our household too and I suspect from all the mentions online that it is now an epidemic…

The Case of the Missing Sock

Every aspiring writer has heard the phrase “Write what you know.” That’s all well and fine but I often feel like I don’t “know” anything that’s interesting enough to share in writing. Then I realized that some of the most entertaining pieces I’ve read were about everyday things that we can all relate to. Take my routine this morning as I was getting ready for work.

At 7:30 am I was feeling quite proud of myself. One of my resolutions this year is to get things organized the night before a workday so I am not chasing my tail. Today, my lunch was made and waiting for me in the fridge, my clothes had been ironed the night before and I was having a perfectly pleasant morning. All I had left to do was brush my teeth, put on my socks and shoes and I was good to go. And then it happened. I could only find one of the socks that went with the outfit I planned to wear.

Socks go into the washing machine in perfect pairs, like the animals on Noah’s Ark. But how often does only one come out? I’d be willing to bet it’s happened to all of us, which means it happens a lot. Where does the other one go? And what are we supposed to do with one sock?

Always an optimist, I save them in a “sock” drawer, hoping the partners will find their way home. The drawer is like a global village of socks living together in perfect harmony. Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder would be so proud. There is a black one with bold pink stripes; a light gray one; many different styles of white sport socks; a plain black one and even a Christmas sock. We humans could learn a thing or two about tolerance and acceptance from our sock drawers.

Some socks are happily reunited with their partners when they show up in the next load of clean laundry. There’s a certain satisfaction in delving into the sock drawer, plucking out a sock whose partner has turned up, folding them together and putting them in the drawer of matched socks, happily shared with underwear. Others turn up weeks later in my husband’s or children’s drawers. (Now why do they hang onto one sock they know isn’t theirs?) Others, sadly, never make it back.

But none of that was any help to me this morning. After a quick, frantic search through all my drawers, I waved the white flag. I quickly pulled on two different socks and replaced the shoes I had planned to wear with knee-high boots.

So there are two morals to this story: 1) Write what you know. The advice is sound and what you know could resonate with others, even if it seems trivial; 2) Don’t underestimate the power of a missing sock to mess up your morning.

©Linda Thompson 2019

About Linda

Writer, fundraiser, mother, wife, owner of one stubborn Canadian mare and one orange tabby and bona fide introvert who finds it easier to express herself in ink than out loud. For extroverts and Type A personalities, expressing themselves is a natural part of their charm and we mostly love them for it. It’s hard to know what goes on in the head of an introvert or how he/she perceives the world. Follow me to see the world through the eyes of this introvert and share your thoughts with me. Extroverts welcome too!

Connect to Linda

Blog: https://lindathompsonsite.wordpress.co
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkplume

My thanks to Linda for allowing me to share her posts and I hope that you will head over to her blog to follow and enjoy her archives.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #NewBloggers – I’m not going to Polmadie at this time of night – Cheers, Govanhill


This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/new-series-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-blogger-promotionand-setting-up-your-blog-for-accessibility-readability-and-sharing/

This is the third  post from Peter Mohan who blogs at Cheers, Govanhill as his alter ego .. Boy David.  In this post witty observations on the absurdity of modern life.

I’m not going to Polmadie at this time of night

A statue of Oor Wullie dressed as Jimi Hendrix, one of many across Glasgow

Was going to try mindfulness, but I forgot.

Thought about going on a retreat, realised it would be a step backwards.

Sorry. Can’t help the stupid jokes, trying to be popular, make the other kids laugh so they won’t beat me up.

I shower once a week, whether I need to or not.

There I go again, boom boom. I’m out of control.

My wife asked me to cut the grass, said it’s almost at the windowsill. I said can’t the guy downstairs do it?

Enough now, please. In God’s name, stop.

That long grass is a worry, though. Sure there are foxes in there, urban foxes, gentlemen thieves, trendy wee buggers wearing spats, cravats and a cheeky grin, robbing my bins of fag ends, empty cans and dead rodents.

Anyway. Think I need more jokes, better jokes, one-liners, funny tales. Witty observations on the absurdity of modern life.

How all men seem to have beards these days. I mean, what’s that all about, yeah?

And coffee, it’s everywhere, isn’t it, and with all these weird names. Skinny flat white, long black. They sound like porn movies, ha ha ha ha ha.

And airport security, that’s weird, and why is everyone always staring at their phone these days too? It’s so funny, isn’t it.

Like staring into the ever-expanding abyss of pain and desolation inside. And how it’s like that on Twitter too.

That’s all I’ve got time for ladies and gentlemen. I’ve been dreary Dave, you’ve been a great audience, thank you and good night.

©Peter Mohan 2019

About Peter Mohan

My name’s Peter Mohan, I live and work in Glasgow, Scotland.

Cheers, Govanhill is a semi-fictional blog from Glasgow’s most cosmopolitan and endlessly-fascinating neighbourhood.

It’s a humorous, sometimes dark, account of inner-city life by fictional narrator, Boy David.
He casts an affectionate, surreal eye on the area from his tenement, with stories of gentrification, brontosaurus cutlets, the filthy habits of west of Scotland dead man and how New York stole all its ideas from Govanhill.

It’s all true, although I might have made a lot of it up.

Connect to Peter

Blog: https://cheersgovanhill.home.blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/petemohan1

My thanks to Peter for allowing me to share some of his posts.. please head over and check out his archive.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – New Bloggers on the Scene – Melanie M. Stewart – Saying Goodbye, a Story of a Friendship (2019)


This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/new-series-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-blogger-promotionand-setting-up-your-blog-for-accessibility-readability-and-sharing/

This is the third post of Melanie Stewart who blogs at Leaving the Door Open: A Daughter’s stories about an aging parent. Sharing Tips and facts learned along the way. In this post, Melanie’s mother faces the loss of a friend who had become like a sister to her.

Saying Goodbye, a Story of a Friendship

This is going to be a tough one. We’ve just heard that my mother Ginny’s best friend Ann passed away yesterday. She was 90.

Ann and Ginny’s friendship began 65 years ago when their future husbands met at college. They raised their families in the same suburb for many years. When my dad died at age 50, Ann was the rock for mom. When mom moved from our house into a condominium, Ann and Uncle Ted graciously agreed to take “my” piano (an inheritance from my grandmother) and place it in their living room for more than ten years until I had a home of my own. Uncle Ted walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. Ann and Ginny talked just about every Wednesday for 19 years once mom moved away to Florida and they shared countless, endless laughs together. They shared life together.

Ginny is 88. The family had called my sister Hailey to share the news with mom. When she was told, she was very quiet. She asked about a service, but nothing at that point had been determined.

I checked in with Ginny that same afternoon. She did share that she had called another friend who would look for the obituary in the local paper and mail it to her, but she immediately shifted the conversation to asking if we were ready for our upcoming trip to Boston.

“We’re ready, but that’s not why I called Mom, how are you doing?” I reiterated.

“Well, I think the news is disturbing. So I started reading. It’s a good book about the 1930’s…”

It dawns on me that she doesn’t want to talk about it. It IS depressing, disturbing news. My mother was basically raised as an only child because her “half” sister was 18 years old when Ginny was born. I know that she considered Ann her sister. And then there is the fact that she allows VERY few people into her world to begin with; Ann was at the top of the list. Her already small world was shrinking even more.

Hailey chose to check on her a day or two later to get a feel for her emotional state over lunch.

“I don’t have service plans yet, but when I get them, would you want to go to Minnesota?” she gently asked.

“That would just about kill me” was her exact reply and they are words that have let us in, if just for a moment, on the enormity of the loss she is facing.

Three Weeks Later

Hailey and I decide that we want to fly from Florida to Minnesota to attend the service. Representing mom feels like the right thing to do. And I try to hold onto everything related to that weekend so I can share it with her.

The service was held in an ancient, tiny stone chapel located right on the cemetery grounds. The program included “Reflections on Faith”, “Musings on Mom” and an original piano piece titled “Morning Lily” played by her grandson. And because they wanted to focus on the word “celebration”, they encouraged everyone in attendance to stand at the end and move to the aisle to dance. Yes, dance. That’s how Ann would have wanted it.

Parts of the day were tremendously moving. I have vivid images of standing at her grave while we each placed a flower on her already-lowered casket. I see the image of her husband standing in front of her, talking to her, sharing lyrics from a song. I do not see a dry eye around me.

And for me, there was that camaraderie spending time with my “second” family. I hadn’t seen some of them for at least 20 years, but their stories made me feel like I walked right through a screen into our collective past, watching and listening to everyone as they were 40-50 years ago.

“Did you know your mom took me out for ice cream on my birthday because mom was out of town?” asked one family member at the dinner we had that first evening.

“Did you know your mom once drove mom to the hospital because dad was out of town?” asked another.

“Did you know your mom threw me a wedding shower?”

I did not know. And honestly? I don’t remember that Ginny. The Ginny memories I have are of someone who doesn’t cope well with doing favors or taking charge. In my mind, she would not be the person to be a second mom to someone and go out for a birthday ice cream. But I am grateful to hear memories from a different angle. It’s kind of cool, in fact. It makes me wonder about how deeply the loss of my dad changed her. How being alone for so many years turned her inward; less confident. But that thought can be examined at a later time.

I go to the second floor of the restaurant where we all met for lunch (where Ann and Uncle Ted went on a date) to watch a slideshow presentation of Ann and her family. It included photos from every phase of her life. When she was young, when she’s holding her babies, then photos of her four children holding their own. There were photos of grandchildren, cousins goofing around, posed shots with Ann and Uncle Ted, family beach vacations, holidays. Life. Love. I saw a few photos of my mom and dad from so long ago.

I realized that in a way, I was watching Ginny’s life too since there were so many overlaps and shared events and memories along the same timeline of life. That was a powerful thought. Ginny had lost a significant portion of her own self with the death of Ann. Maybe she was thinking of that when she had said being there “would just about kill her.”

Although there’s really no way that I can turn the loss around, I do want to share all these details with Ginny in a way that highlights how she was able to connect with and be a friend to this smart, kind and funny woman for sixty-five years. And maybe one day, in the privacy of her home, and just for a moment, she may dance for her friend too.

Thanks to Melanie for sharing this love tribute to Ann and also to her mum Ginny. I am sure that any of you with elderly parents will connect with story as we watched them cope with friends from their youth that have been there through all the ups and downs of life.

@Melanie M. Stewart 2019

About Melanie M. Stewart.

Many years ago, I worked as a freelance writer for a local paper in suburban Chicago. I covered everything from cloning & measuring the risk of heart disease to my “Day in the Life” series where I spent the day with a veterinarian or watching “behind the scenes” at a popular restaurant.

Then I went to work for Legacy.com (online obituaries). I stayed there for almost nine years. I enjoyed helping customers navigate the site and at times, offer support during a highly emotional time.

This blog combines these two experiences. They are non-fiction stories pulled from my own experiences navigating the aging parent years. I also provide informational links and tips as well as the opportunity for you to share your story.

I have no professional background in psychology or senior healthcare. I’m just in it day-to-day. I’m married and a mom who enjoys a good laugh, a good mystery/thriller and watching the Chicago Cubs.

Connect to Melanie

Blog: https://leavingthedooropen.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/storiesonaging

It would be great if you would head over to Melanie’s blog and follow her there and on Twitter.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #New Bloggers on the Scene – Thank you, Donna C., Wherever You Are (Humour on body image/adolescence) by Linda Thompson


This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/new-series-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-blogger-promotionand-setting-up-your-blog-for-accessibility-readability-and-sharing/

Delighted to showcase another new blogger on the scene… meet Linda Thompson who blogs about Life lessons. Through anecdotes, memories or stories (some funny, others serious), several posts are about lessons learned because of something that happened in her life.

In her second post, Linda shares her encounter with Donna C… who matured faster than her fellow schoolmates and had two elder sisters to give her a head start. I did too and can remember helping myself to their wardrobe rather than mine!  Linda also has some wisdom to share on body image..

Thank you, Donna C., Wherever You Are (Humour on body image/adolescence)

Hippy girl clip art

There’s one in almost every woman’s memory. You know who I mean. The girl who came back to school after summer vacation one year with curves and hips while you were still in that awkward stage. For me, it was Donna C. I sometimes wonder about her. Is she still pretty? Is she a good person? I have no idea, but it once felt like she’d been put on my path for the sole purpose of making me feel inadequate.

In grade school Donna and I were in the same circle of friends and everything was fine – until seventh grade. When we returned to school that September, I’d grown a few inches and gone from pudgy to beanpole. Donna, though, was almost unrecognizable.

Somehow that girl got herself a shapely derrière that she showed off in hip hugger jeans so tight that I wondered how she got into them. (This was before jeans had any stretch fabric in them.) She later explained the technique learned from her two older sisters. 1) Lie down with jeans still wet from washing; 2) Wiggle into them while lying on your back; 3) Suck stomach in; 4) Zip and wear.

Donna also suddenly had funky belts, ribbed turtleneck sweaters that showed off her new curves and neat jewellery – all courtesy of her sisters’ closets. I envied her those “cool” older sisters because when it came to clothes and music, they gave her an edge. I had two younger brothers and, really, what good are they?

But the worst insult of all was the swell in just the right place under those great new sweaters she wore. “Don’t worry,” my mother told me. “You’ll be glad you’re tall, slim and small-chested when you get older. Women put on weight as they age and girls like you carry it much better.” Really? When you’re 12, who cares? I wanted boobs and I wanted them now!

I’m pretty sure Donna’s sisters were single-handedly responsible for ruining Wendy K.’s 14th birthday party for the girls who were there. The party was in Wendy’s basement on a Saturday afternoon in January. Chips and pop were laid out, the lights were dim, and “Hey Jude” was in the line-up of tunes to be played. Because it was seven+ minutes long, every girl hoped the boy she liked would ask her to dance when it came on. There we were in our party dresses and feeling pretty good about ourselves until Donna made her entrance.

The doorbell rang and we heard Wendy’s parents greet the newcomer. A few minutes later, Donna came down the basement stairs and instantly became every boy’s fantasy. She wore a tight-fitting black mini-dress, nylons and heels. She had rouge on her cheekbones, a thin line of expertly applied black eyeliner around her eyes and shiny pink gloss on her lips. This had to be the work of her sisters!

I went from feeling exhilarated about the party and my pastel dress to being completely miserable. What was I thinking? I looked like a kid, for God’s sakes! A look at the other girls told me they felt the same way. A glance at the boys’ faces told me that no matter who asked me to dance to “Hey Jude”, I’d be second-choice.

The following year Donna changed schools and we lost touch. I didn’t harbor any hard feelings; it wasn’t her fault the way she looked made the rest of us feel less than worthy. On the contrary, I should thank her for starting me on the road to accepting something that most girls, even Donna, have to. There’s always someone slimmer, prettier, better-looking or with better clothes out there and so what? Beauty’s only skin deep and first impressions are fleeting. The lasting impressions are the ones that count.

Even now, as a “mature” woman, there are times when I walk into a room, see someone who looks dazzling and feel momentarily off-balance. But then it passes. For the most part, I’m grateful for the healthy body that’s gotten me through life so far and hopefully has a lot more good years left.

©Linda Thompson 2019

About Linda

Writer, fundraiser, mother, wife, owner of one stubborn Canadian mare and one orange tabby and bona fide introvert who finds it easier to express herself in ink than out loud. For extroverts and Type A personalities, expressing themselves is a natural part of their charm and we mostly love them for it. It’s hard to know what goes on in the head of an introvert or how he/she perceives the world. Follow me to see the world through the eyes of this introvert and share your thoughts with me. Extroverts welcome too!

Connect to Linda

Blog: https://lindathompsonsite.wordpress.co
Twitter: https://twitter.com/inkplume

My thanks to Linda for allowing me to share her posts and I hope that you will head over to her blog to follow and enjoy her archives.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #NewBloggers – Footprints in the butter – Cheers, Govanhill


This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/new-series-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-blogger-promotionand-setting-up-your-blog-for-accessibility-readability-and-sharing/

This is the second  post from Peter Mohan who blogs at Cheers, Govanhill as his alter ego .. Boy David. I selected this post as we head into the late autumn and we get visitors both of the garden variety and field..Despite meticulous blocking of the smallest entry holes they persist in heading upward into the airing cupboard and leaping out at me when I am collecting the bed linen…

Footprints in the Butter – Cheers Govanhill.

a collage of mice, all over the flat

Mice. Twice. Wee bastards.

Mice keep happening, in the kitchen, on the surfaces, on the floor, terrorising me.

I feel invaded, violated, also a bit bloated because I’m still carrying a little holiday weight right now.

Did they come through the ceiling? They’re like uninvited guests who drink all your bevvy and empty your fridge and just won’t leave.

Wee sleekit bastards.

What’s next, eating my porridge, sleeping in my bed, wearing my clothes, turning up at work pretending to be me, doing a better job than me, getting a pay rise ahead of me?

Wee cowerin bastards.

So I asked Saint Google what to do. Old-fashioned traps with peanut butter are best. Nae luck, vegans.

Also read about a plug-in device which emits an excruciating noise for mice, a bit like listening to the Proclaimers at top volume. Or the Beatles.

Whoah, steady on. Only joking there. Not slagging off the Beatles. Course not. No way. Macca, John and that. Great bunch of lads. Really good at what they do.

Sorry, what was I talking about again?

Aye, mice. Wee bastards.

At least they’re not cockroaches.

Er…

©Peter Mohan 2019

About Peter Mohan

My name’s Peter Mohan, I live and work in Glasgow, Scotland.

Cheers, Govanhill is a semi-fictional blog from Glasgow’s most cosmopolitan and endlessly-fascinating neighbourhood.

It’s a humorous, sometimes dark, account of inner-city life by fictional narrator, Boy David.
He casts an affectionate, surreal eye on the area from his tenement, with stories of gentrification, brontosaurus cutlets, the filthy habits of west of Scotland dead man and how New York stole all its ideas from Govanhill.

It’s all true, although I might have made a lot of it up.

Connect to Peter

Blog: https://cheersgovanhill.home.blog/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/petemohan1

My thanks to Peter for allowing me to share some of his posts.. please head over and check out his archive.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – New Bloggers on the Scene – Melanie M. Stewart -The Cable Debacle (2019)


This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/new-series-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-blogger-promotionand-setting-up-your-blog-for-accessibility-readability-and-sharing/

This is the second post of Melanie Stewart who blogs at Leaving the Door Open: A Daughter’s stories about an aging parent. Sharing Tips and facts learned along the way. In this post Melanie is faced with a logistical nightmare to get on the road for a trip and deal with a sudden change to her 87 year old mother, Ginny’s cable set up.

The Cable Debacle.

Dennis and I are just completing a 3-day visit with Ginny when she receives a notice from the cable company. They will be converting their signal to digital for all Florida customers and her zip code is next. Apparently, she will need different converter boxes to pick up that new signal.

Although they are giving her a month’s notice, we know that we will not be back before the switch. As much as I am longing to hit the I-4 traffic before it gets ugly on a Friday, we have to tackle this exchange first. (You may remember that in order to save money, I had handled the switch from one carrier to another. Ginny’s account is under my phone number, so I need to be the one to get the boxes.)

And just to throw in a cruel twist of fate, they’ve moved their offices this week. It’s complete chaos. Dennis and I get to their office by 9:30 am. Too late. There are so many people, there is a woman with a clipboard by the door taking names. I give her my name. They have chairs lined up outside and a big tub of cold water bottles. It’s Florida. Luckily, there’s a fast outside rotation and we get to grab the last two of thirty seats inside.

We watch as numerous people go up to the counter, then leave with their digital prizes. Finally, it’s our turn. The woman is pleasant. I provide my phone number.

“Ok, your number does pull up Ginny XYZ. Is she here?” she asked.

“No”, I reply “she’s 87 and hard of hearing. I’m taking care of this for her.”

“Well, unfortunately, it looks like you are not authorized on the account” she informs me. “You mother would have to be here to receive the converter boxes.”

“How can this be?” I ask.

“It’s my phone number on the account. I stood in this spot a year ago with my mother and we opened the account” I shared, getting frustrated. “She can’t deal with this” and I wave my arm around the chaotic room.

“I completely understand” she responds sympathetically. And then, she surprised me.

She slid a small piece of paper towards me and lowered her voice.

“Here, call this number. It’s customer service. Say that you are your mother and you are authorizing to have your daughter on the account” she explained, looking at me. “And when you’re done, come back here.”

I get it and nod. I am hardly someone who enjoys perpetrating a fraud, but there are times in life when you have to use common sense to cut through the BS. This will expedite the process enormously.

I sheepishly walk into a corner of the room, make the call and return to her counter.

“Oh, good, I see you’re listed on the account” and we both share a laugh. “How can I help you?”

We return to Ginny’s apartment and I realize I have made a fatal mistake. I thought Ginny’s bedroom television was a flat screen, but it’s a much older model. The box I got will not work.

We have run out of time on this project and I accept that I will have to have a service call to complete her bedroom set-up. But for now, the old signal will continue to work in that room. We are able to get her living room television hooked up and the new remote control is programmed and activated.

“Is that a new remote?” my mother asks with concern.

“Yes. We have to use it for your television to work mom.”

I sit next to her and explain that the button marked TV is her on-off button. Aside from the channels or volume, she doesn’t have to touch any other button. I do not share any information about the cable button turning on and off the box. My plan is to keep the box on at all times to make it easier for her.

We practice using the remote. She enters the numbers of the channels she likes and everything is working well.

When we get into the car, Dennis asks “How long before we get a phone call about that remote?” I burst out laughing.

It actually takes several hours. About 6:00 pm, mom calls. Apparently she hit the “cable” on-off button and turned the box off. I walk her through turning the box back on and then the television.

Getting creative with tape

Concerned, however, I check up on her the next day and she is watching television in her bedroom.

“It’s not working, but I’ll just stay in the bedroom” she said.

“No, mom, that’s not right. You have to be able to spend time in your living room. Go out there now while I’m on the phone and let’s try again.”

We go through the steps again, but this time there is a moment of understanding.

“Oh, the pretty green lights are back” she shares.

“Yes!” I explain that the lights are part of the cable box and you have to see the lights to know the box is on.

“Well, you didn’t say that before” she replies.

In truth, this was an ongoing issue despite the lights. As you can see, we tried tape too, but to no avail. We eventually learned that patience was the primary culprit. It takes about 10 seconds for the t.v. screen to light up and she was giving it 3 before hitting other buttons.

TIP: This can be helpful if you are not a fast drive over to your parent(s).

  • Take photos of the:
  • Television remote
  • Dishwasher panel
  • Thermostat
  • Microwave panel
  • CD Player (front and back for plugs)

When a confused parent calls about a device, you can refer to the photos to better troubleshoot over the phone.

Thanks to Melanie for these tips.. going back a few years with my own mother in her 90s, we had plenty of shenanigans with multiple devices..Television with too many channels, CD player and a cable box with additional remote.. buying a combined remote did help somewhat, and we found one with extra large letters and numbers..If you have any stories please share in the comments.

@Melanie M. Stewart 2019

About Melanie M. Stewart.

Many years ago, I worked as a freelance writer for a local paper in suburban Chicago. I covered everything from cloning & measuring the risk of heart disease to my “Day in the Life” series where I spent the day with a veterinarian or watching “behind the scenes” at a popular restaurant.

Then I went to work for Legacy.com (online obituaries). I stayed there for almost nine years. I enjoyed helping customers navigate the site and at times, offer support during a highly emotional time.

This blog combines these two experiences. They are non-fiction stories pulled from my own experiences navigating the aging parent years. I also provide informational links and tips as well as the opportunity for you to share your story.

I have no professional background in psychology or senior healthcare. I’m just in it day-to-day. I’m married and a mom who enjoys a good laugh, a good mystery/thriller and watching the Chicago Cubs.

Connect to Melanie

Blog: https://leavingthedooropen.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/storiesonaging

It would be great if you would head over to Melanie’s blog and follow her there and on Twitter.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #NewBloggers – What I Miss Most About Being a Teacher by Pete Springer


This series of Posts from Your Archives is exclusively for blogs that are under a year old. It is an opportunity to meet new readers and to show off your writing skills.. All the details are in this post along with some tips on how to make your blog more reader friendly.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/08/28/new-series-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-new-blogger-promotionand-setting-up-your-blog-for-accessibility-readability-and-sharing/

This is the final post from educator and author Pete Springer who began blogging in April this year. I am sure you will agree that he has made a fantastic start to his new project. I think most of us who have finished our careers allegedly to retire, find there are elements of our jobs that are missed, and in this post, Pete shares the ones that he misses the most about teaching.

What I Miss Most About Being a Teacher by Pete Springer

I often describe teaching as the hardest and most rewarding job I ever had. While I’ve been happily retired for three years, there are certain parts of the job that I miss. It is hard to let go of something that was such a large part of my life for thirty-one years.

The Students

The thing that I miss the most about teaching is an absolute no-brainer. It is and always will be the students. It’s hard to put into words how special my students were to me. Teachers often refer to their students as “their kids”, and most of us mean that literally. Even though many of my former students are now adults, I still picture them as “my kids”.

I still get the occasional unexpected letter from a former student thanking me for being a good teacher or because they want to tell you about some exciting moment in their life. The fact that they want to share significant life events reinforces how important the teacher/student relationship is.

I’ve been to birthdays, graduations, weddings, and housewarming parties of prior students. I’ll never forget the second-grade boy who brought in an invitation for me to attend his sleepover. Of course, I didn’t attend, but what a precious memory.

I’ve always maintained that the student/teacher is mutually beneficial. While I was trying to be a good teacher and role model to my students, I wasn’t aware (when I first started) how much I would get back from them. When you demonstrate through your actions that you care about your students, they pay you back many times over.

Children can also be the best teachers. One of the most beautiful qualities of elementary students is their ability to forgive each other when they have a conflict. You seldom see children hold a grudge because most want to be friends with everyone. Nearly all of the children I taught were respectful and tolerant of individual differences. My experience was that kids were far less prejudicial or judgmental than many adults I know.

My Colleagues

A wonderful part of being a teacher was the opportunity to work with other dedicated professionals. I had so many different jobs in my life, but educators develop a special kinship in a way I never felt in any other position. It is the type of camaraderie one shares with any close team. I imagine it is the same feeling that people in a military platoon or college sports team form. Not only were so many of my colleagues outstanding educators, but they were also good people.

I once made a list of the twenty most influential people in my life, and over half of them were former teachers or people I worked with in education. A good teacher can influence a person for the rest of his/her life.

I was blessed to work with so many outstanding people during my educational career, and some are still role models to me in retirement. One of the people in my writing critique group, Nancy, was one of my master teachers during my student teacher year, and she later became my colleague and principal. She has been a lifetime mentor to me, and her passion for education and children is infectious. It’s been wonderful to spend time with her each week. Many of her writing pieces are about former students that she taught.

My educational family is so important to me that each month we gather for a retirement lunch. While much of the talk centers around travel and grandchildren, I can always count on the conversation turning back to former students at some point. We laugh and share memories and take pride when we learn about accomplishments that our former students have made in their lives.

The Families

When you teach long enough, especially at the same school, you form lasting relationships with many of your students’ families. Part of a teacher’s responsibility is to keep your students’ families informed. You should be working in conjunction as a team. Sometimes it wasn’t easy—not all parents are going to be active and supportive. On the other hand, when parents see how much you care, the chances of garnering their support becomes far more likely.

Since I live in the same community that I taught in, I have the frequent pleasure of running into old students and their families. It is always great to hear what my former students are doing now. One of the things I take special pride in is that some of my prior students have become teachers—one in the elementary school where I taught.

I taught long enough that by the end of my career, I was teaching many second-generation students. What a pleasure it was to have a parent tell me that he/she wanted to have their child in my class because of the positive experience they had when they were my student.

The Privilege of Teaching

I miss the responsibility of being a teacher. It is not a job that any educator should take lightly. I had several teachers who were role models and guided me when I went through school, and I welcomed this challenge as a teacher. How many people get the opportunity to help change lives?

You see some heartbreaking things when you are in education. I taught students who lost a parent or sibling the year they were in my class. Some of my children had to endure the breakup of their parents’ marriage or watch a loved one go to prison. Not every story has a happy ending. Life is not always fair, and the innocent victims in situations such as these were often the kids.

In spite of this, every school year had moments of joy. One of the regular things that made me the happiest was watching students feeling proud of themselves from their accomplishments. Sometimes the rewards don’t come the year a child is in your class but manifest themselves years later when you see that your students have grown into responsible young adults.

Perhaps you could share the things you miss the most from your previous life before becoming a writer and blogger?

©Pete Springer 2019

About They Call Me Mom

Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff. Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)

One of the reviews for the book

Bradley Livingston 5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Story! February 2, 2019

I personally love this book. Peter Springer was my second grade teacher in my elementary school days and I have to say he was one of my favorites no doubt. You could tell that he truly valued the significance of early education. I can’t think of a single one of my friends that were not excited about going to Mr. Springers class everyday!

When I was informed that Mr. Springer was finishing his lifelong dream of developing a book to pass down his experiences, I knew I had to get a copy of the book. It was no surprise that the book was absolutely inspiring. Reading his book brought back some of those wonderful memories of growing up and being excited to go to school everyday. Peter Springer really has a way with kids and the story of how he found his passion for helping kids reach there dreams is a story that everyone must hear!

It is crucial to provide a foundation for kids to dream, learn, and grow. In this book, Peter Springer emphasizes how important it is to give kids this type of environment to ensure that they reach their dreams and goals in the future.

Peter Springer inspired me as well as many other students throughout the years. If you read his book and learn his story, I’m sure you will be inspired as well!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/They-Call-Mom-Difference-Elementary/dp/1977200052

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/They-Call-Mom-Difference-Elementary/dp/1977200052

Other buy links: https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com/buy/

About Pete Springer

My name is Pete Springer. I taught elementary school for thirty-one years (grades 2-6) at Pine Hill School in Eureka, CA. Even though I retired over two years ago, my passion will always lie with supporting education, kids, and teachers.

When I came out of the teaching program many years ago, I realized how unprepared I was for what was in store for me in the classroom. My college education focused mostly on learning theory rather than the practical day-to-day challenges that all teachers face. Thankfully, I had some great mentors to lean on to help support me in the early part of my career.

I have made it my mission to pay it forward to the next generation of teachers. I was a master teacher to four student teachers, and I have several former students who are now teachers, including one who teaches at my former elementary school. That is pretty cool!

Connect to Pete

Website: https://petespringerauthor.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.springer.5876

My thanks to Pete for allowing me to access his archives posts and share them with you.. Please head over and explore Pete’s blog further.. thanks Sally.