Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – New Magazine, Dionne Warwick, Glastonbury and Watermelon


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you may have missed. After a stormy start to the week we are ending in the same way with heavy winds and lots of rain the last two days. But not as bad as Ophelia, but for those who have not still had power or water for the week it is hampering the repairs.  Interestingly people here were saying that following the last hurricane in Ireland in 1961 there was a ferocious winter of snow and very cold temperatures, and the weather forecasters are saying the same thing now for the UK and Ireland.

I have been catching up this week and also putting in place some of the new features for the new look blog. As you will see if you read the post below, I am aiming for a more magazine theme, with contributions from other bloggers to provide a wider spread of content. Posts from Your Archives has been a wonderful start to this with posts on travel to La Palma and Kyoto, relationship issues such as rejection, education, mental health and food. I am scheduling posts for November and there are some slots still available. Please read the post and see if you have some posts gathering dust from your first days of blogging that might like to be given some TLC over here.

As always my thanks to my regular contributors, William Price King, Paul Andruss and Carol Taylor.. their hard work and talent brings a great deal to the blog and I am very grateful for their efforts.

And thank you too, for all your support with likes, shares and comments. I really do appreciate it.

Time to get on with the round up… I hope you enjoy.

The new look Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

With even more opportunities to promote blogs and books. With more to come in the New Year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/smorgasbord-invitation-blog-magazine-a-new-concept-and-more-opportunities-to-be-promoted/

Weekly contributors

William Price King with part two of the Dionne Warwick story.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/william-price-king-meets-some-legends-dionne-warwick-a-hit-filled-1960s/

Paul Andruss explores the Zodiac map made from landscape features close to the legendary Glastonbury Tor.

Thomas the Rhymer Paul Andruss

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/smorgasbord-writer-in-residence-the-glastonbury-zodiac-by-paul-andruss/

Carol Taylor turns the very healthy watermelon into delicious recipes that make it easy to include in your diet.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-wonderful-watermelon/

The Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List

This week it is the turn of Paul Andruss to express his wishes for the top two items on his Ultimate Bucket List… I think you will love his response.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/smorgasbord-sunday-interview-the-ultimate-bucket-list-something-close-to-my-heart-by-paul-andruss/

Posts from Your Archives

These are some of the contributors to this new series with posts on food, life, relationships, education, mental health, Personal challenges and travel.. Check you archives since you began blogging to see if you have any posts that would benefit from being shared to a new audience. Mine. Details are in the posts.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/posts-from-your-archives-life-is-like-a-carousel-by-carol-taylor/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/posts-from-your-archives-barcelonas-magical-beauty-lizards-cathedrals-casa-mila-tapas-spains-brilliant-imagery-by-john-rieber/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/posts-from-your-archives-a-good-education-by-pete-johnson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/posts-from-your-archives-screen-time-compromise-by-deana-metzke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/posts-from-your-archives-are-you-cleaning-up-your-amazon-links-be-careful-sharing-book-links-by-d-g-kaye/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/smorgasbord-reblog-spiral-effect-volcanic-ambition-by-urban-liaisons/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-on-listening-to-schizophrenia-by-robert-wertzler/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/smorgasbord-reblog-posts-from-your-archives-and-now-kyoto-japan-by-lillian-csernica/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-rejection-the-ultimate-teacher-by-tina-frisco/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-art-music-and-technology-by-jennie-fitzkee/

Odd Jobs and Characters series – Shoplifters in Liverpool hosted by Jane Sturgeon

My thanks to Jane Sturgeon for featuring the most recent episode of Odd Jobs and Characters.

https://janesturgeon.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/odd-jobs-and-characters-fashion-department-manager-and-shop-lifters-by-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-boomer-on-the-edge-by-molly-stevens/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-sacha-black-marcia-meara-and-m-j-mallon/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-paul-cude-d-g-kaye-and-alethea-kehas/

Air Your Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-colleen-chesebro-lucinda-e-clarke-and-sue-coletta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-annette-rochelle-aben-gigi-sedlmayer-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Cook from Scratch

Robbie Cheadle has shared a very simple but delicious recipe for brown yoghurt bread.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-delicious-and-easy-brown-yoghurt-bread-by-robbie-cheadle/

Smorgasbord Health

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/smorgasbord-health-2017-winterise-your-body-a-little-herbal-health-insurance-echinacea/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/smorgasbord-health-2017-two-ways-to-look-at-your-shopping-list-by-food-and-by-nutrient/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/smorgasbord-health-in-the-news-aspirin-can-trigger-teeth-to-self-repair/

Humour

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-graveyard-humour-laugh-while-you-can/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/laughter-the-best-medicine-hippies-beethoven-and-natural-born-citizens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-parrot-accompanies-pavarotti-and-pavarottis-most-ardent-fan-by-geoff-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/afternoon-video-three-bears-and-a-hammock-and-one-joins-the-fishing-party/

Thanks very much for dropping in this week and your support.

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Smorgasbord – Posts from Your Archives – “Art, Music and Technology by Jennie Fitzkee


I recently invited you to share some of your posts from your archives. It is a way of giving your earlier or favourite posts a chance to be read by a different audience. Mine.  Details of how you can participate is at the end of the post.

Jennie Fitzkee has been a pre-school teacher for over thirty years, I have reblogged several of her posts because they demonstrate how a dedicated and passionate teacher can ignite imagination and a passion for books and music in the very young.

In this last post in Jennie’s current series, ( I am sure that there will be more from her in the future), she describes the wonder for both children and teachers to be found in the magic of music especially when combined with creating art.

Art, Music and Technology by Jennie Fitzkee

We’re learning about France in the classroom and also studying the art of the old masters, like Monet, Picasso and van Gogh. Describing styles of art to young children with pictures and techniques is always exciting; using real watercolor paints from tubes squeezed onto a palette, painting at an easel, demonstrating brush strokes, and finding geometric shapes in abstract art. As they begin to actually use real tools and techniques, they feel proud. We encourage children to come back to their piece of art, over and over again. After all, a masterpiece is not created in a day. Music is also art, and when the two come together, magic and creativity seem to explode. That’s exactly what happened this week.

Click image to buy on Amazon

We used the book Can You Hear It? from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which matches a famous work of art with a classical piece of music. Fabulous book! The first pages, before the art and music, show different instruments. The children were so interested that we had to slow down and really go through each instrument. Of course! How simple, and how perfect to begin the process of listening to music. I was so eager to get to the ‘real part’, the pictures of art and the accompanying music, that I nearly overlooked the most important and fundamental part; the musical instruments. if you don’t know the instruments and the sounds they produce, how can you listen to music, especially when it can identify with art? For example, the violins in “Flight of the Bumblebee” matched with the art piece Chrysanthemums can’t be fully understood or appreciated if a child has not heard or seen a violin.

The cello captivated the children. It looked big and interesting in the book. Technology to the rescue. My co-teacher had her iPad at school, and she found a cello solo for the children to watch and listen. It was “Bach Cello Suite No.1 in G”, played by Mischa Maisky.

The sounds that flowed from his cello had thirteen preschool children listening to and loving every single note. Everyone was breathless, including teachers. The only words that were spoken were, “I love this music”, “Olivia isn’t here, she would love this”, and “That was awesome.” The only movements were children trying to copy playing the cello. The next day we continued with the book, and again used the iPad, this time with a classical guitar solo. We played “Cannon in D” by Johann Pachelbel. As you can imagine, children were equally captivated. The only words spoken were by one child, “This sounds like bedtime music”.

We then combined listening to music and creating our own art. So far, the results are astounding. Really! When young children are given the tools and encouragement, they have so much to give. In this case, the tools were books, music and technology. The results are the artwork that is shaping up to be well beyond the developmental skills of preschool children. That’s just wonderful.

©JennieFitzkee 2014

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie

Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee

My thanks to Jennie for sharing this lovely post with us today and for those she contributed over the last four weeks. In the meantime I hope you will head over to her blog and catch up on her current posts.

If you would like to give some of your posts from the past a little TLC then dust them off and send four links to me at sally.cronin@moyhill.com. If this is your first time on Smorgasbord then please include your links to social media. If you like the experience then we can always look at sharing more.

This is for posts of general interest rather then book promotion, although your work will feature. If you would like to promote your work here then please contact me at the email address above.

Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord – Posts from Your Archives – Rejection: the Ultimate Teacher by Tina Frisco


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Today Tina Frisco puts a different spin on rejection. It is rare for anyone to go through their lives without some form of this hurtful action from others. Tina however looks at this as an opportunity to grow and evolve as a person.

Rejection: the Ultimate Teacher by Tina Frisco

Image is courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

Rejection comes in many forms, from many places, and is very painful. What makes rejection so devastating? What causes us to react in a particular way? How can we use rejection to our advantage?

On a purely instinctual level, rejection threatens to extinguish our life force by depriving us of vital nourishment. No being can truly thrive without some measure of love and acceptance.

Rejection devastates when we attach our personal worth to someone or something outside of ourselves. Feeling worthy only when liked and accepted by those with whom we engage sets the stage for rejection.

When feeling disliked or ignored by another, it is wise to step back and view that person’s behavior as a mirror of our own subconscious mind. Often the things we do not like in ourselves are reflected back to us by others, giving us an opportunity to examine what prompts us to react and how we might change. This not only buffers the impact, but also opens the door to personal growth. Becoming the witness rather than the victim allows us to determine if our behavior rather than our essence is being rejected, or if the other person’s bias is in play, and/or if we simply are misreading all the cues.

Behavior learned throughout childhood is largely determined within the context of the example set by the adults in our lives. When we incarnate, we become blank slates to be imprinted upon by everyone and everything around us. We react to external stimuli positively or negatively, based on whether our basic needs are met or neglected. As we mature, we learn we have choices. Those choices include how we feel and whether we react to or act on those feelings.

The key to using rejection to our advantage lies in remaining objective. However, behaving as an unattached witness can be difficult when our impulse is either to strike or withdraw. If we recognize impulse as being instinctual – a reflex action rather than a thought process – then we are taking a first step toward understanding our feelings and turning rejection into a positive learning experience.

When observing animals in the wild, it becomes clear that instinct is, in part, a survival mechanism. Although we humans do not live in the wild, we find it impossible at times not to react. Generally speaking, however, our survival does not depend on ‘fight or flee.’ Most often we have the advantage of time and space within which to consider our options and teach ourselves to behave differently. We are capable of changing our behavior and, quite possibly, our feelings. With a little practice, we can move ourselves to the threshold of choice: act or react. Success in achieving this pivots on focusing our intention.

Change occurs in three stages: (1) we witness our behavior after we have reacted; (2) we take note while we are reacting; (3) we stop ourselves before we react. When we reach the final stage, our behavior reflects choice (act on) rather than reflex (react to). Since most change occurs over time, perseverance becomes vital to success. Yet once we are rooted in firm resolve, observing ourselves can be fascinating.

In order to use rejection to our advantage – in order to grow from what would otherwise be a devastating experience – it is imperative that we detach the measure of our self-worth from anything external and instead focus our attention inward. We start by witnessing, acknowledging, and owning our behavior; then we commit to changing the behavior and persist until we reach the level of choice; and finally, we consciously manifest the change.

Deciding not to change is also a valid choice. Either way, the key element lies in remaining objective and being our own best witness.

Emotions are raw and capable of consuming us. It is important to recognize what we feel and what we do as mutually exclusive. Feeling rejected is arguably an instinctual response, while wallowing in rejection is a choice that wastes precious time and vital energy.

The line between feeling and wallowing is of the utmost importance. It is on this line where we acknowledge, examine, and own all of who we are and how we behave. It is where we give voice to what we feel and allow that voice to be heard by our body, mind, and spirit. It is where we accept ourselves in totality and recognize self-acceptance as a vital element in the process of change. Without recognition, negative emotions infest our subconscious and compel us to wear a false face in the world, for we are controlled by that which we refuse to acknowledge.

Gratitude is equally as important as recognition and acknowledgement. Just as food sustains the body, raw emotions serve in sustaining our life force. Thanking them before letting go and moving on will put the subconscious at ease, discourage it from seeking a detrimental substitute, and encourage it to welcome and accept the changes we have worked so hard to achieve.

Even if we are unable to change our raw emotions, we can change how we act on them. Owning all of our behavior and accepting ourselves completely makes it easier to view another’s behavior toward us as a mirror of our own subconscious mind.

What we think, we become. Raw emotions can become a force for positive change. Rejection can be experienced as a welcomed teacher. Energy follows thought.

Until the next time, my friends,

Namaste  

© Tina Frisco 2017

About Tina Frisco

Tina Frisco is an author, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, and student of shamanism. Born in Pennsylvania USA, she attended nursing school in New York and lives in California. She began writing as a young child and received her first guitar at age 14, which launched her passion for music and songwriting. She has performed publicly in many different venues. Her publishing history includes book reviews; essays; articles in the field of medicine; her début novel, PLATEAU; her children’s book, GABBY AND THE QUADS; and her latest novel, VAMPYRIE. She enjoys writing, reading, music, dancing, arts and crafts, exploring nature, and frequently getting lost in working crossword puzzles.

Books by Tina Frisco

One of the most recent reviews for Plateau

Spiritually Moving and Uplifting on September 14, 2017

FIRST I must say that I loved this gentle little book. I devoured it in a single evening, so entranced by the story that I didn’t want to stop to read the inspiring quotes from Lynn V. Andrew’s Power Deck that began each chapter. Once I reached the end of the book I had to go back for the quotes, skimming each following chapter a second time.

NOW I must say that I have struggled with how I could possibly write a review — I’ve never read another book quite like it.

Other reviewers here have given you as much as you need to become familiar with the book’s “environment” – if I can call it that, introducing you to a few of the characters – so I won’t repeat similar content. But they can’t convey the deeply spiritual, uplifting essence of the book that, to me, is what makes it remarkable. Plateau never pontificates, but rather seduces the reader to come to his or her own spiritual realizations as the story unfolds.

I suppose the most impactful thing I can say is that I was infused with a sense of well-being when I finally put down my Kindle and turned off the light. I was in such a calm and totally relaxed positive state of mind that I transitioned easily and almost immediately into a deep sleep – a rare experience in my life.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Tina-Frisco/e/B009NMOFNY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tina-Frisco/e/B009NMOFNY

Read more reviews and follow Tina on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6497599.Tina_Frisco

Here is how you can connect to Tina on her website and social media.

Website ~ http://tinafrisco.com
Amazon ~ http://hyperurl.co/3vme2a
Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/TinaFrisco.Author
Twitter ~ http://bit.ly/14VXY49
LinkedIn ~ http://linkd.in/1aAGwXl
Google+ ~ http://bit.ly/1Fc1Uzn
Goodreads ~ http://bit.ly/165vmVp

My thanks to Tina for sharing this post with us on rejection. She will be in this slot on Saturdays for the next two weeks. I hope you will head over to her blog and read her more current posts too.

If you have up to four blog posts in your archives that you would like to share with my audience, then send the links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Thanks for dropping by.. Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – On Listening to Schizophrenia by Robert Wertzler


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options.  Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Welcome back to Robert Wertzler with the second of his posts in his series of four. Today the subject is Shizophrenia and the need by anyone suffering from any mental illness to be listened to and understood. It is fair to say that many of us shy away from both the subject and those that we know or assume are suffering from mental illness. However, most of us will encounter it in one form or another in our family and close friends. This post will definitely give you a different perspective that will guide your approach to disease of the mind going forward.

On Listening to Schizophrenia by Robert Wertzler

I have written elsewhere on the subject of listening to those afflicted with mental illness, especially to those diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder without the assumption that they do not or cannot make sense. In his own account of his psychosis, treatment, and recovery, John Perceval, an English gentleman who became psychotic in 1830 puts the case more clearly than I can:

That need to be understood, or at least for someone to be willing to listen and to try to understand is universal. Someone in the throes of psychosis, or depression, or anxiety, or flashback of PTSD, or mania is no different. Another thing which Mr. Perceval makes clear in his account in his very detailed telling of his hallucinations and delusions, and how he was dealt with by others, is that he remembered all of it. I think that too often when someone is seen as not making sense, it is assumed they will not remember when they are in some less disturbed frame of mind. He shows us that it ain’t necessarily so.
He has little good to say about the “lunatic doctors” who tried to treat him. From his pen that term seems to carry more than one meaning.

I have found among the various blogs and posts only a few writers from the lands of schizophrenia and schizo-affective. From knowing those I worked with who had these labels, I can see how that would be very difficult for many. But, I hope that more of those who can, even with help, even poorly will try. We, who have been fortunate enough not to have experienced such states of mind can only do no more than guess (often badly) what it is if the stories are not told. If a first draft comes out like what is popularly called a “psychotogram,” that’s ok. You can edit and rework it if need be. If it comes as poetry, or with drawings (like a graphic novel, perhaps), or a vlog, that’s great. There are eyes ready to read and ears ready to hear.

And to those who know such folk as family, friends, peers, and care givers, listen. If you don’t understand, still do not dismiss. However strange the story, see the person before the “disease.” They really are there.

Since first writing this I’ve realized that the end of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is also significant in this context:

So, he who has heard the Mariner’s tale is also changed. We are not told what he has learned or what he makes of it, but changed he is. We are told only that he is wiser. In the end, this is why such tales as Percival’s need to be told and heard, that both the teller and the hearer may find wisdom and, in the Mariner’s words, “loveth well.”

©Robert Wertzler 2017

About Robert Wertzler

Currently I am retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times I like the title, “Recovering Therapist”, but that does seem a bit excessive. In 2006 I retired to move here in Western North Carolina at my father’s request, and found him in the early stages of Dementia. I took care (with some help in the late stages) of him in that worsening condition until he died in late 2013 at the age of 98. Before all that, I worked at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things.

I cannot look down on what anyone finds they can and must do to make their way in the world that is not intended to do harm. An undocumented migrant farm laborer, for example, deserves as much respect as the CEO of a major corporation, perhaps, in some cases, more. Politicians are often a different category.

But, there is a life beyond work and keeping myself fed, clothed, and sheltered, and for me that has been much involved with reading, writing, and listening. I leaned to read and love books from my father reading to me at bedtime and gradually transitioning to me doing the reading. It was not generally those things called “children’s books” that I remember, although there must have been some.

My sharpest memories are of the works of Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson (What 6 year old boy wouldn’t want to meet a real pirate like Long John Silver?), Robert Heinlein, Louis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway (age 7 – “The Old Man And The Sea”), and others. Nothing the school presented could hold a candle to those story tellers. I credit whatever skill I have as a writer to that experience, and those examples absorbed as if by osmosis. Parents, whatever else you may do about your children’s education, read to them. Read the great writers and classic stories.

Connect to Robert on his blog and social media.

Blog: https://cabbagesandkings524.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009494928086
Google+ :https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RobertWertzler
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-wertzler-548b97b7/

My thanks to Robert for sharing his post with us and he will be back again next week same time.

If you have up to four blog posts in your archives that you would like to share with my audience, then send the links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Thanks for dropping by.. Sally

Posts From Your Archives – Screen Time Compromise by Deana Metzke


Welcome to more posts from YOUR archives rather than mine. An opportunity to share blog posts from your early days of blogging or that you feel you would like to share with a new audience.. Mine. You can find details at the end of the post.

Another post from Deana Metzke of Raising Readers blog, where she demonstrates how savvy young children like her six year old son are with modern technology. Apart from suitable sites for that age group, Deana was delighted when he discovered one of her online pleasures.

Screen time compromise by Deana Metzke

My son loves a screen. It kinda bugs me, but its true.

I try to make sure he does it in moderation, but he has gotten to the point that he is almost constantly asking for time on the computer, TV, his LeapPad, or any other device that he can think of at the time. Now before, it bugged me, but not quite as much, because I still controlled it all. You wanna watch TV? Fine, Wild Kratts it is.

You want to play on the computer? I will gladly type in pbskids.org.

6:30 am on a Saturday? Sure, you can play on your LeapPad in your room, while I continue to sleep, everything on there is educational.

However, now that he’s a little older, learned how to work the remote and the keyboard, he’s got some different interests. Now, I’ve got to figure out if Teen Titans Go is ok for a 6 year old to watch and be somewhat aware of what he’s doing on nick.com. And on top of all of that, make sure that he’s not staring at any screen all day.

So, one recent weekend we were doing our normal back and forth–“Mom can I watch/play insert screen item here?” “Not right now honey”–when he stumbled upon my Nook. Now he’s read books on my Nook before, even recorded himself reading Where’s Spot?, so he’s familiar with it and how to find books that he enjoys. And even though I had it out because I was reading it, I was not going to interrupt this opportunity to let him read. So, he spent the next 30 minutes or so listening to various books on my Nook bookshelf, and then he found his way over to the Epic app and we learned how to find books there too.

So, even though he still got what he wanted from the lure of a screen, I’m not mad ’cause I also got what I wanted, which was him spending some time with books. Finally, a win-win!

#RaisingReaders

©D.Metzke 2017

About Deana Metzke

I am a 30-something wife, mom of two, and book lover who is trying her best to raise children who will enjoy reading long after I’m gone. During the day, I am also a Literacy Coach at an elementary school, which strengthens my drive (or adds to my stress) to have my own children be book lovers.

Connect to Deana on her blog and social media.

Blog: https://raisingreaderssite.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DMetzke

My thanks to Deana for sharing her blog post from her archives and there will be more to follow in the next week. I hope that you will head over and follow her blog. Thanks Sally

I am so delighted that so many bloggers are sharing posts from their archives that deserve another audience.. MINE.. if you are interested in participating just send four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com. I am looking for human interest, informative, entertaining and humour…if you would like to promote your books.. then still email but we will look at doing a FREE promotion instead.

If you would like to share some of your archive posts from when you began blogging, then please send up to four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

 

Posts from Your Archives – A Good Education by Pete Johnson


I recently invited you to share some of your posts from your archives. It is a way of giving your earlier or favourite posts a chance to be read by a different audience. Mine. Details of how you can participate is at the end of the post.

Every Tuesday for the last few weeks I have been sharing some posts from the archives of Pete Johnson.. also known as Beetley Pete. Today Pete looks at his education in a Secondary Modern school which was a new concept in the mid to late 1960s.  Apart from the formal education of an O’level syllabus, Pete also recalls the other lessons that he absorbed which he carried forward when he left school.

A Good Education by Pete Johnson

I confess that I know little of the school system today. I am aware that many teachers are unhappy, that exam results are possibly being manipulated, and Department of Education targets seem to be the driving force behind teaching. I also see that standards of spelling, literacy, numeracy, and general knowledge have fallen, and students rely heavily on the Internet for information that they might once have learned. University degrees have lost their status and potential graduates now have to face the prospect of years of debt ahead of them.

Things have changed, of that there can be little doubt. There is a distinct lack of Historical knowledge, and little regard for the relevance of the subject. Geography, and geographical awareness, has reached a low, to the extent that many young people could not place themselves on a World map. I do not have statistics to support these claims, but I have to look no further than conversations with people in their teens, and up to their twenties, and with teachers, to confirm my worst fears. I have no answers, and no solutions to offer either. However, I can reflect on my own, comparatively simple education, and consider myself fortunate.

I came from a working-class district of London, and went to a conventional primary school from the age of 5, in 1957. By the time I left that school, aged 11, I could read well, spell quite complex words, and recite my times table up to the number 13. Much of this learning was by rote, a form of repetition, and copying; but it worked well, and stood me in good stead for the rest of my life. This was before even a ballpoint pen was commonplace, and we wrote with nib pens, using open inkwells, built into the school desks. Calculators were unknown, and audio-visual aids were limited to charts, maps, and occasional slide shows. We were also expected to behave properly, and to show respect to our teachers, and fellow pupils. By the time we left to go to secondary school, we were mostly well-grounded in all the basics necessary to continue our further education. There were a few exceptions. The odd, feral boy, refusing to be taught, or even to regularly attend school, and some unpleasant characters, mostly bullies, who had made a very early choice of the wrong path in life. For most of us, we moved on, looking forward to the challenge of new surroundings, new people, and different subjects.

At that time, the most common choices for secondary education were the Secondary Modern School, or the Grammar School. The latter was only accessible to those who had passed the 11 Plus exam, and had a good report from junior school. It was considered the destination of choice for the keener and brighter students, or for those wanting to go on to Higher Education later. The prospect of going to a University would never really have occurred to me, or my contemporaries at that time. People like us just did not do that, and we did not know anyone, friend or family, who had ever been to one. I did not relish either of these options. Despite passing the 11 Plus, and doing fairly well, I had no interest in Grammar Schools, or Secondary Modern Schools for that matter. This was for the simple reason that all the available options were single-sex schools only, and I felt that going to an all boys school was limiting. Despite having little or no experience of girls, something told me that a mixed school would provide a better educational environment, as well as giving me the opportunity to find out more about the opposite sex!

This left me with one option, at least the only one within reasonable travelling distance; Walworth School, which was a Comprehensive School, a relatively new concept at that time. Formed in 1946, it was one of the first five schools to launch the Comprehensive Education System in London. It was a mixed school, on two sites, both of which were conveniently within walking distance of my home, which was just south of the Old Kent Road. I discovered that almost none of my former classmates in junior school were considering going there, opting for the nearby Secondary Modern in most cases. I would have to face the new school alone, and try to make new friends.

The most immediate difference in my new school was the teachers. It was evident from the first day, that these were a different breed from the ones that I had known before. There was also homework, of course, which still came as a shock, even though I was aware that it would be expected of me. Then there was the confusion of being in such a large institution, with more than a thousand pupils on the two sites, and of being aware that I was completely at sea, with timetables, different classrooms, and a maze of stairwells and corridors to navigate. By this time, the inkwells had gone, and I had a nice fountain pen, as well as a ruler, protractor, a set of compasses, and a shiny new satchel to keep it all in. I also had a uniform. It was a distinctive burgundy blazer, with tie, cap, grey trousers, and a raincoat too. I was well and truly all set.

In case you are wondering, I do not intend to give a day-to day account of my schooling from 1963-1969. Besides taking too long, my memory is no longer reliable enough. I have called this post ‘A good education’, and I will try to explain why I believe that I had one. It was all about the teachers. At Walworth at that time, they fell into two distinct categories. There were the older ones, the sort you expected to get. Big on discipline, somewhat jaded, mostly unmarried, not great communicators. Then there were the younger ones, some of whom were only 10 years older than us. They wore relatively fashionable clothes, they were interested in music and films, they talked to you as if you were a person in your own right, and they gave you personal responsibility, not just a list of rules. They genuinely made you feel valued, far from just being a face in a crowd. Perhaps more importantly, for children from a working-class background, they had expectations of you, and a hope that you would do well.

To this end, they made the lessons more interesting, with vibrant discussion, and allowance of opinions. There were School Journeys, not just to the Home Counties, but to France, and other places we considered exotic at the time. We had film shows during lessons, slide shows, science labs, and metal and wood workshops. Sport could not be catered for in the inner-city location, so we were sent to Dulwich playing fields on coaches, and later to the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace, for ‘fancy’ sports, like Badminton, or Swimming in the Olympic class pool. As I was useless at Football and Cricket, I was allowed to play Hockey, a sport formerly reserved for women and girls only. Music was encouraged, and we were able to choose instruments outside of the conventional, with tutors brought in to teach us. There was drama, visits to theatres and cinemas, French films for those studying the language, and ‘Assistants’ employed, to help with foreign language vocabulary. This may not seem much to the modern reader, but it was heaven to me at the age of 13. When we studied History, as well as the necessary, somewhat dry learning of dates, people, and places, we also discussed the politics of the period, and the relevant affects on our lives at that time.

This was amazing stuff. Nobody had ever cared before. What people like us thought had never mattered. After all, we were destined to be the Dock-Workers, Printers, Tradesmen, and Manual Labourers of Society, so the rest was of little consequence. Suddenly, all that had changed. We had a purpose, our future was important, we could do anything we wanted, be the best that we could be, and this new breed of teacher was there to make it happen. Of course, there was still the GCE O Level syllabus to contend with, as well as all the homework, and the lessons you were not that good at. (In my case, Maths). But all that did not seem to matter anymore, as someone finally believed in you, treated you as an equal in most respects, and encouraged you to improve your lot in life. I cannot stress how important this was, and you may have to put it into a historical context to really appreciate it, but you must believe me when I say that this was life changing. I would certainly not be writing this blog, or reflecting on a relatively successful life, were it not for those few teachers. I owe them a great deal, more than they will ever know.

Some aspects of school were hugely different then. There were few pupils from a different ethnic, or religious background. With perhaps five exceptions during my time at Walworth, all of the students were from white, Anglo-Saxon families, and predominantly from the immediate area around the school buildings. I don’t recall any of the teachers being from London. Most were from middle-class, comfortable backgrounds, and from all over the UK. They were from Yorkshire, Wales, Scotland, The Midlands, and from the better parts of the counties in the south. Perhaps they had a vocation, to come to a poor area of London, and teach the working classes. Maybe they just couldn’t get a job where they came from, or they just wanted to escape to the Capital, in the heyday of the swinging sixties. It doesn’t matter, it is unimportant. I choose to believe that most of them had the best intentions. Whether this is the case or not, I benefited from their choice by reaping the rewards of their wisdom, their attitudes, and their sincerity. I am pleased to call some of them friends to this day, and still have great affection and respect for those that I lost touch with, or have since died.

I did not really do a great deal academically, as a result of all this. In fact, it could be said that I was a disappointment to some. I left school at the age of 17, in 1969, after taking my O levels, and did not go on to take the A levels that I was studying for, or achieve a place at University. I had reasons at the time, that are irrelevant now. What I was left with was an inquiring mind, a love of books and reading, and an interest in politics, history, and current affairs. I had a respect for my fellow man and woman, a sense of justice and fairness, and a lifelong desire to do the right thing.

That’s what I call a good education.
©Pete Johnson 2017

About Pete Johnson

I retired in 2012, then aged 60, and moved from a busy life and work in Central London, to Beetley, in rural Norfolk. I thought I would start this blog to share my thoughts about life in general, and my new life in Norfolk in particular. My wife Julie is still working in a local bank, so I am at home most of the day, accompanied by my four year old Shar-Pei dog, Ollie.

My interests include local and global history, politics, and cinema and film. I also enjoy music; Motown, Soul, Jazz, along with many modern singers and styles.

After 22 years as an Emergency Medical Technician in the London Ambulance Service, followed by 11 years working for the Metropolitan Police in Control Rooms, it took some adjustment to being retired, and not working shifts.

I am updating this info on the 6th of July, 2017.

Ollie is now five years old, and is still a great dog to own. The blog has continued to grow, and I have now posted over 1330 articles. I currently write a bit about films and cinema, mostly short reviews and suggestions; and I did write a lot of anecdotes about my years in the Ambulance Service. I have written a lot about past travel and holidays, and also about architecture. I also post a lot about music and songs, those that have a significance in my life for one reason or another. The core of the blog remains the same though; my experiences of my new life in Norfolk, walking my dog, and living in a rural setting.

During the past year, I have been adding a lot of photos, and they are always popular.

I have had my blogging ups and downs; attracted some followers, both loyal and fickle, and gained a great deal from the whole process. I have written articles that were published on other blogs and websites, as well as trying my hand at more than 60 fictional stories. I am pleased to report that I have had two of these published in a magazine.

If you are considering starting a blog, I would suggest you give it a try. I really would. It may not change your life; but then again, it just might.

Get in touch with Pete

Blog: https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/beetleypete

I am sure you have enjoyed this post as much as I have and I hope you will consider commenting and sharing… and heading over to Pete’s blog where you will find even more of his entertaining posts. thanks Sally

If you would like to participate in this series of Posts from your Archives here are the details.

All of us have posts that sit idle in our archive with perhaps a handful of visits from readers who are browsing on our blog. But I would like to offer you the opportunity to share some of your posts that you feel would be enjoyed by a different audience.. Mine.

Apart from sharing your post, I will of course share your bio, any book links, social media and of course your blog so that readers can head over and enjoy your more recent hard work.

If you are interested all I need is the links to those posts you are interested in sharing (three or four) and then I will take it from there. Most of you have already sent me your links but if we have just met I may come back to you. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Look forward to hearing from you and thanks for dropping in .. Sally

Posts from Your Archives – Life is like a Carousel by Carol Taylor


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

The monday midnight spot is for Carol Taylor until Christmas. Carol has a wealth of posts about Thailand, food and live in general which she is sharing from her archives.. along with of course her wonderful recipes on Wednesday’s Cook from Scratch with Carol and Sally.

This was actually Carol’s very first post and of course there was food.. some of it still hopping about… (not fair really as it was released safely back into the wild)

Where to start…help…

The watery sun was just rising. Already warm, time to water my seedlings. The tomatoes are about 2 inches high and the lettuces have just broken through the sandy soil. Collecting my can I wandered into the kitchen half in a dream wondering what the day would bring. Turning on the tap the water came out with a stop start, stop, start….. immediately something flew out of the watering can, you can imagine I screamed, dropped the can..hubby come running probably imagining that I had chopped off a limb.

Looking up I spied a little tree frog clinging for dear life on my utensil rack..well a pair of tongs is more accurate and that little frog was probably more scared than me. Hubby giving me the look that said it’s only a frog…. gently removed the tongs from the rack and carried it gently outside and over to a tree…poor frog was probably sooo petrified that it didn’t move a muscle.

“Carol come here I think there is frog spawn on the tree.”

I thought frogs laid eggs in water ..but it was a tree frog. Looking I spied mummy frog with her baby clinging for dear life to her back and daddy frog slightly apart but watching warily – Camera quick….

Wow.. first camera shoot of the day over, my thoughts turned to those boxes.
Yes… boxes, the kind you pack when you move and then when you unpack you wonder why on earth you packed some of it. A productive morning spent unpacking, repacking for

A productive morning spent unpacking, repacking for storage, some to go into the bin and some put out by the bin. We have a little man who comes by every day to see what we have for recycling. Most days he just gets bottles but today he got a treat, bags, a job lot of colourful unwanted Xmas hats…from when we had our bar. Handbags.”don’t know why you have so many bags “that was him indoors. So for once……I listened and I acted..well threw two out.

Time to eat…..A first for me winged beans otherwise known as (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus), also known as the Goa bean, asparagus pea, four-angled bean, four-cornered bean, Manila bean, Mauritius bean, and winged pea.

This is one of the most unusual beans; it produces delicious pods with four winged edges. Sliced and cooked with garlic, oyster sauce and a little maggi they were delicious.

Winged bean is nutrient rich, and all parts of the plant are edible. Leaves can be eaten like spinach, flowers can be used in salads, tubers can be eaten raw or cooked, seeds can be used in similar ways as the soybean.
Well, that’s it for my first blog.

Cos it’s back to the drawing board.

I am still trying to wrestle with this super, easy to do web site/blog but I think super easy means if you are a bright young thing who was born with their fingers attached to a keypad then it may be, but for me …well good job I don’t need any more grey hairs cos mmmmmm…it sure ain’t.

©Carol Taylor 2014


About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Please feel free to share thanks Sally

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

If you would like to share some of your archive posts from when you began blogging, then please send up to four links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com..Thanks Sally

Posts from Your Archives – The Power of Singing. It’s Far More Than Music by Jennie Fitzkee

Status


I recently invited you to share some of your posts from your archives. It is a way of giving your earlier or favourite posts a chance to be read by a different audience. Mine.  Details of how you can participate is at the end of the post.

Jennie Fitzkee has been a pre-school teacher for over thirty years, I have reblogged several of her posts because they demonstrate how a dedicated and passionate teacher can ignite imagination and a passion for books and music in the very young. Today Jennie tells the story of how singing brought comfort and connection to a child who was distressed and how singing and music can bring all of us, whatever our age, a feeling of belonging to others.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Yesterday a child in my class had a very difficult drop-off. All the words in the world from Mom, and all her hugs and reassurances just didn’t make a dent. I was equally unsuccessful in helping Mom to say goodbye and leave. Eventually she just had to leave. And, there was her child, crying and not wanting to be consoled at all. We headed outside to the playground, and this child simply sat down on the walkway, three steps beyond the door, full of tears. I sat down right beside her, and then I started to sing. The first song was, “Oh Mr. Sun”. I sang that song so many times, yet each time I would change phrases like, “please shine down on me” to substitute the name of that child. Then, I changed phrases to name other children, the ones that she could see close by. At this point she was not crying, but certainly was not ready to play.

So, I sang again. Actually, it was non-stop singing, making up words to any tune that came into my head. I just kept singing about the children, the playground, the birds; anything that popped into my head. When I did this, I made sure the words were rhyming words. If I started a phrase, I often stopped at the rhyming word. Eventually, she chimed in to fill in that word. Then we moved to the big swing. I made the swinging match the beats of the music. This is where things changed. The swing added natural rhythm to the song. That rhythm is the core of music; it’s what brings all feelings to the surface. It is soothing, whether it makes you cry or feel good. It is the heart of passion in music. We sang, swinging in the swing, over and over again.

I kept on singing, and she sang along. She laughed when I grasped for rhyming words, or when I made up a tune that was fast or slow, high or low. Now she was part of this. Together, we sang our hearts out. Singing works! In the simplest of ways, it makes you feel good, and it is pleasurable. In a deeper way, it is very connective, bonding you to a person, a time or a place. Music does this too, but singing brings music full circle. Pretty powerful stuff.

I frequently do my singing in the children’s bathroom at school. I’ll sit on the bench while they do their business and wash their hands, and just make up something; often about our current chapter reading book, or about a math game. It’s easy and fun to sing words, any words at all. We’ll sing adding numbers, sing about the characters in books, sing about each other. A song seems to ‘cement’ words and concepts, make them more powerful. It reinforces what we have learned in a fun way. A song can be a mini lesson, much more than rhyming and syllables.

Most importantly, singing is the heart and soul of connecting with each other. There were no words to help this child when she came to school. Even a hug was rebuffed. Yet, singing brought her comfort, and that comfort allowed her to participate in so many things. I didn’t need my autoharp; the singing alone did the job. It was a wonderful morning.

©JennieFitzkee 2014

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie

Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee

My thanks to Jennie for sharing this lovely post with us today and look out for more next Sunday. In the meantime I hope you will head over to her blog and catch up on her current posts.

If you would like to give some of your posts from the past a little TLC then dust them off and send four links to me at sally.cronin@moyhill.com. If this is your first time on Smorgasbord then please include your links to social media. If you like the experience then we can always look at sharing more.

This is for posts of general interest rather then book promotion, although your work will feature. If you would like to promote your work here then please contact me at the email address above.

Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks Sally.

Posts from Your Archives – Problem, Lesson or Opportunity by Tina Frisco


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options. Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

Today I am delighted to welcome Tina Frisco to the series with the first of her four blog posts. We would not be human if we did not face problems in our lives. Not just the minor daily issues that we deal with as routine, but the kind of problems that are possibly life changing, life threatening or impact more than just ourselves. It is easy to get into a tail spin especially if others are depending on us to find a solution. Tina offers stratagies to change the narrative and take control of any such situation.

Problem, Lesson or Opportunity by Tina Frisco

Image is courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

When faced with an inexorable problem where emotions run high, knowing what to do can be a challenge. Rational thinking becomes obfuscated, forcing us into a holding pattern of circular thought.

Anger wants to place blame on others. Obsession with fine points masks the big picture. Abject frustration insists we bury our heads in the sand. Emotions churn and become ill-defined. Focus obscures. Common sense derails. Indigestion, insomnia, or worse take up residence.

None of these gets us anywhere. All of them threaten our sanity and plunge us into a maelstrom of inimical emotion. What to do?

Taking in a few deep breaths is a good first step toward relaxing. Listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking a comforting bath are a few ways to ease the constriction felt in the midsection. Relaxing the body helps mitigate mental and emotional distress. We all know this. But remembering to do it while in the heat of muddled emotion can be an ambitious undertaking.

After relaxing, and to ensure continued clearing, it is often wise to table problem-solving for a few hours or even a few days. Temporary distraction can be a lifesaver. Go to the movies. Visit with friends. Write. Do arts and crafts. All of these activities are superior to spinning our wheels and ultimately losing traction. Diverting attention away from obsessing helps clear chaotic debris and make way for rational thought.

An optimist by nature, I usually see the glass as half full. Is there a lesson being offered that I might benefit from learning? Is this an opportunity to expand and foster equilibrium?

When asking myself these questions, I sometimes find raw emotions rearing their heads and doing their damnedest to pull my thoughts back toward the negative. But the hiatus I’d taken from the problem usually pays off, affording me the clarity needed to focus my intention on finding a positive solution.

So what is it that hinders our accepting a problem as a life lesson and opportunity for growth? What’s the trade-off for wallowing in chaos?

Might it be the need for validation? Seeking validation from others can become an addiction if we consistently deny our own power. Might it be fear of the unknown? Dwelling within the familiar can become an addiction if we repeatedly refuse to break new ground. Might it be the need for love and nurturing? Searching for love by drawing attention to our suffering can become an addiction if we fail to see our connection to all around us.

When we look outside of ourselves to meet our needs, we are seeking validation for our very existence; we are failing to recognize life itself as validation enough.

How do we get off this self-destructive, self-denying merry-go-round? When stymied or utterly distraught, I fall back on my mantra:

The way out is the way in.

Image is courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

Am I willing to confront fear and tackle the challenge facing me? Am I willing to stand in my power, ready to own what is mine and shed what is not? Am I willing to break the cycle of codependence and let go of behavior that does not serve?

Therein lies the rub. Releasing can be much more difficult than acquiring. Indulging old habits and behavior reserves our place in familiar territory. If we walk away, where will we go? If we give up addiction, what will fill the void?

For most of us, fear of the unknown thwarts the best intentions; yet it can be a valuable adversary.

Seldom can we control how a new experience will play out. Truth be told, we often feel we are merely along for the ride! But the ride itself is the opportunity. It is a crack in the cement of a self-serving belief system that keeps us addicted to fear and chaos. It is a gift from the Universe, daring us to tread beyond our comfort zone.

What we can control are the choices we make. And these choices are determined by attitude. Will we continue to curse the problem and kick up the dust of fear and chaos, or will we meet the challenge and see it as a lesson offering us a chance to expand and become greater than we ever thought possible?

The question boils down to this: What attitude am I sporting? Attitude defines intention. It determines willingness, or lack thereof, to shed our old skin and reveal the tender beauty beneath.

Our spirits deserve the opportunity to experience all the Universe has to offer. That’s why we incarnated in the first place – to grow ever wiser and share our light with the world.

If we are willing to brazen out fear and dive into living, an inexplicable and troubling problem can serve as a vehicle for growth.

The Earth is a schoolhouse. We chose to incarnate here in order to become enlightened. Aspiring to enlightenment necessitates leaving familiar territory. Abandoning the familiar can be frightening. By recognizing fear as the root of a problem, we are able to face the problem as a lesson, and then turn that lesson into an opportunity for spiritual growth.

The way out of fear is the way in to gratitude. When our hearts are open, our bodies relax, our minds expand, our emotions lighten, and our spirits radiate joy. When seated in gratitude, we become pure love. Viewed through the eyes of love, everything is seen as an opportunity, and nothing is seen as impossible…

Until the next time, my friends,
Namaste ❤

© Tina Frisco 2017

About Tina Frisco

Tina Frisco is an author, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, and student of shamanism. Born in Pennsylvania USA, she attended nursing school in New York and lives in California. She began writing as a young child and received her first guitar at age 14, which launched her passion for music and songwriting. She has performed publicly in many different venues. Her publishing history includes book reviews; essays; articles in the field of medicine; her début novel, PLATEAU; her children’s book, GABBY AND THE QUADS; and her latest novel, VAMPYRIE. She enjoys writing, reading, music, dancing, arts and crafts, exploring nature, and frequently getting lost in working crossword puzzles.

Books by Tina Frisco

One of the most recent reviews for Plateau

Spiritually Moving and Uplifting on September 14, 2017

FIRST I must say that I loved this gentle little book. I devoured it in a single evening, so entranced by the story that I didn’t want to stop to read the inspiring quotes from Lynn V. Andrew’s Power Deck that began each chapter. Once I reached the end of the book I had to go back for the quotes, skimming each following chapter a second time.

NOW I must say that I have struggled with how I could possibly write a review — I’ve never read another book quite like it.

Other reviewers here have given you as much as you need to become familiar with the book’s “environment” – if I can call it that, introducing you to a few of the characters – so I won’t repeat similar content. But they can’t convey the deeply spiritual, uplifting essence of the book that, to me, is what makes it remarkable. Plateau never pontificates, but rather seduces the reader to come to his or her own spiritual realizations as the story unfolds.

I suppose the most impactful thing I can say is that I was infused with a sense of well-being when I finally put down my Kindle and turned off the light. I was in such a calm and totally relaxed positive state of mind that I transitioned easily and almost immediately into a deep sleep – a rare experience in my life.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Tina-Frisco/e/B009NMOFNY

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tina-Frisco/e/B009NMOFNY

Read more reviews and follow Tina on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6497599.Tina_Frisco

Here is how you can connect to Tina on her website and social media.

Website ~ http://tinafrisco.com
Amazon ~ http://hyperurl.co/3vme2a
Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/TinaFrisco.Author
Twitter ~ http://bit.ly/14VXY49
LinkedIn ~ http://linkd.in/1aAGwXl
Google+ ~ http://bit.ly/1Fc1Uzn
Goodreads ~ http://bit.ly/165vmVp

My thanks to Tina for sharing this thought provoking post with us and she will be in this slot on Saturdays for the next three weeks. I hope you will head over to her blog and read her more current posts too.

If you have up to four blog posts in your archives that you would like to share with my audience, then send the links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Thanks for dropping by.. Sally

Posts from Your Archives – We Are Stories by Robert Wertzler of Cabbage and Kings


Welcome to the series where you can share four of your links from your archives here on my blog to a new audience. Perhaps posts that you wrote at the beginning of your blogging experience that deserve another showcase. If you have book promotion posts then please contact me separately for other options.  Details of how to get in touch with me at the end of the post.

A new blogger to the series  is Robert Wertzler of Cabbages and Kings and his first post is about how we as humans create stories, almost with an instinctive need to communicate with each other and sometimes with pets and inanimate objects.. I had a pet rock!  I am sure you will enjoy.

We Are Stories by Robert Wertzler

It has been said the man is the story making animal. We are really quite compulsive about it. From gossip and tweets to tomes of history and scripture to novels to sweet nothings in the night, we make stories. We fill libraries and cable channels and theaters and bar stools with them. We have painted them on the walls of caves and tombs and every other possible surface, carved them in stone, inscribed them on clay tablets, sculpted them in clay and stone and bronze, and told them in dance and mime and music. When we wake from sleep, somehow we know that today is a continuation of the story of yesterday, that the “I” of the morning is the same “I” that went to sleep. I have seen too that peculiar form of devastation we call dementia in which a person looses their stories until the time line of their life is only the last few minutes. There is a thing that humans do which, when I think on it, looks to be made of stories. We call it mental illness.

What are the voices and visions of schizophrenia doing but telling stories? Is not much of OCD built on stories of what could or will happen if a certain act is not done just so or avoided at all cost? And the dark whisperings of grief, guilt, unworthiness, and disaster of depression, are these not stories? So are the fantasies of invincibility and ecstasy in mania. The implacable worries of anxiety are woven of stories. Even when they torment us or lead us into folly, we cannot resist the story making instinct. Of course, over the centuries we have made many different stories of how those conditions happen.

At an even more basic, deeper level we are another story. From the first strands of DNA that intertwined into the double helix and leaned to separate and copy themselves, and then how to combine with others into new pattens, we each and every other living thing on Earth are the latest telling of a story. That tale of leaning, adapting, survival, and of ancestors beyond counting has been told in every one of us, our shape and structure down to our most basic chemical details. Now, we learn that even our personal stories of pain, joy, trauma, success, stress, and excitement is noted in our epigenetic inheritance and passed on.

We go to stories for so many reasons. In what those of the theater call The Scottish Play we find a cautionary tale of ambition. In Othello, among others, the price of listening to the counsel of jealousy. We go to hear of tragedies that make any of ours seem bearable, for romance, for adventure, for laughter. We go across seas with Odysseus sharing his hope of returning home to the land and woman he loves. In The Mahabharata, the great Vedic epic, on the eve of battle the hero Arjuna is assailed by doubts and the god Krishna sits him down to explain the nature of life, Karma, and reality while the world holds its breath, and gives us the teaching recorded as the Gita. We go to stories for inspiration and wisdom too. We have made stories of creation, seeking explanation of how the world came out of nothingness or primal chaos, how life and consciousness arose, that greatest of all mysteries. We go to our books to borrow, like Mr. Poe, surcease of sorrow. We go too to learn what love is in all its variety.

Our stories matter. We live in them and through them. They shape how we see the world and our place in it. The story is told of the wise man who sat by a road. Travelers would stop and ask him what the people were like in the city ahead. He would ask what the people were like in the city they had come from. They would say whatever they said about that, and he would answer that they would find the same sort ahead. Our stories matter, those we choose, and those that choose us. Each one we invent or encounter becomes part of us and we of it. The ones we create together are our relationships, our cultures, our histories. They always matter. We live them. They live in us. Feed the best of them.

©RobertWertzler 2017

About Robert Wertzler

Currently I am retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times I like the title, “Recovering Therapist”, but that does seem a bit excessive. In 2006 I retired to move here in Western North Carolina at my father’s request, and found him in the early stages of Dementia. I took care (with some help in the late stages) of him in that worsening condition until he died in late 2013 at the age of 98. Before all that, I worked at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things.

I cannot look down on what anyone finds they can and must do to make their way in the world that is not intended to do harm. An undocumented migrant farm laborer, for example, deserves as much respect as the CEO of a major corporation, perhaps, in some cases, more. Politicians are often a different category.

But, there is a life beyond work and keeping myself fed, clothed, and sheltered, and for me that has been much involved with reading, writing, and listening. I leaned to read and love books from my father reading to me at bedtime and gradually transitioning to me doing the reading. It was not generally those things called “children’s books” that I remember, although there must have been some.

My sharpest memories are of the works of Jules Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson (What 6 year old boy wouldn’t want to meet a real pirate like Long John Silver?), Robert Heinlein, Louis Carroll, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway (age 7 – “The Old Man And The Sea”), and others. Nothing the school presented could hold a candle to those story tellers. I credit whatever skill I have as a writer to that experience, and those examples absorbed as if by osmosis. Parents, whatever else you may do about your children’s education, read to them. Read the great writers and classic stories.

Connect to Robert on his blog and social media.

Blog: https://cabbagesandkings524.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009494928086
Google+ :https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RobertWertzler
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-wertzler-548b97b7/

My thanks to Robert for sharing his post with us and he will be back again next week same time.

If you have up to four blog posts in your archives that you would like to share with my audience, then send the links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Thanks for dropping by.. Sally