Smorgasbord Posts From Your Archives – Mixed Nuts Part 3 by Linda Bethea


Linda Bethea’s family stories always has me in fits of laughter or shedding a tear. I hope you will also head over and buy the books that Linda has published. Here is the link to part one of her mini-series: Mixed Nuts part 2

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Mixed Nuts Part 3 by Linda Bethea

When you are dealing with family, it clarifies things to have a scale. You don’t have to waste time analyzing people when you have a ready reference. This one works pretty well for us.

1.Has a monogrammed straight jacket and standing reservation on mental ward.

2.Family is likely to move away without leaving forwarding address. Has jail time in the past or the future

3.People say, “Oh, crap. Here comes Johnny.”

4.Can go either way. Gets by on a good day. Never has been arrested. Can be lots of fun or a real mess. Relatives usually will invite in for coffee. Likely to have hormone-induced behavior.

5.Regular guy. Holds down a job. Mostly takes care of business. Probably not a serial marry-er. Attends church when he has to.

6.Good fellow. Almost everybody likes him or her. Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. Manages money well enough to retire early.

7.High achiever. Business is in order. Serves on city council.

8.Looks too good to be true. What’s really going on?

9.Over-achiever. Affairs are in order. Solid citizen. Dull, dull, dull. Could end up as a 1

We had plenty of other interesting relatives, too. Dogs were off limits inside our house. All we had were hunting dogs, dogs with a purpose. People with house dogs were considered silly and weak-minded. Cookie and Uncle Riley (#4 People say, “Oh, crap. Here comes Johnny.”)never came to visit without bringing a couple of fat, shiny, little house dogs. You can guess what category this put them in. Daddy grudgingly tolerated their dogs as long as the dogs didn’t bark or mess up the house. They chattered endlessly about their dogs. Uncle Riley frequently assured us his dog, Jackie, was, “just like a person.” Daddy agreed the dog was as smart as Uncle Riley.

Unfortunately, Jackie got some kind of skin infection. Cookie and Uncle Riley showed up for a visit with poor Jackie, bald as an egg, the skin on his entire body irritated and red. Uncle Riley had been too cheap to take him to a veterinarian and concocted his own home remedy. He would dip Jackie in a Lysol and pine-oil mixture, reasoning it would kill any bacteria. The best we could tell, Jackie was bacteria and hair-free, but itching miserably with blistered skin. Uncle Riley felt badly about his medicine gone bad, and lovingly coated Jackie with Calamine Lotion several times a day. While Uncle Riley told us of Jackie’s troubles, he was unaware of Jackie sitting at his feet, licking his wounds. Not surprisingly, the harsh home remedy inflicted the most damage on Jackie’s sensitive nether portions. As he licked his little doggy privates tenderly, Uncle Willie reminded us Jackie was “just like a person.” Three-year-old son, John, watched Jackie’s ablutions intently and remarked, “I never saw a person do that!”

Uncle Charlie , another #3, was a compulsive liar. It didn’t concern him that no one believed him. He just lied because he was so darn good at it. Uncle Charlie would climb up on the roof to tell a lie instead of stand on the ground and tell the truth. If Uncle Charlie told you it was raining, don’t bother with your umbrella. He worked at the paper mill with Daddy, and had such a reputation for lying, that anyone repeating one of Charlie’s stories had to buy coffee for the group. One afternoon on coffee break, Charlie came rushing by the fellows in a big hurry. “Charlie, stop and tell us a lie!” one of them called after him.

Charlie never looked back, “I can’t!” he called over his shoulder as he rushed on. “Ray Pierson fell in Smokestack #2 and I’m going to call an ambulance!” They all rushed to see about their buddy and found Ray Pierson in perfect health at his usual work station, Smokestack #2.

Cousin Vonia #5 and her husband Joe #4 (Oh, Crap! Here comes Johnny) came to visit a lot, bringing their three little kids. Joe was “disabled” and didn’t have to get up early, so he just wouldn’t go home. Mother sent us on to bed, but Joe wanted to sit till midnight, even on a school night. Their little kids would have been drooped over asleep for hours. Finally Daddy started telling Mother, “We’d better to go to bed so these good folks can go home.”

Joe would look disappointed, then get up and shuffle toward the door, saying, “Well, I guess I better get my sorry self on home.” Vonia would trail behind him, carrying two sleeping kids and guiding the other staggering kid to the car. Joe couldn’t carry kids. He had a “bad back.”

Joe had a few other quirks. He had been fortunate enough to hurt his back at work and land a nice settlement and a monthly disability check so invested in a few cows and took care of them from then on. For those who know nothing of cattle farming, it is extremely hard work. Joe and his disabled back spent many hours building fences, making hay, stacking hay in the barn, unstacking that same hay later and loading it on a trailer, then taking it off and feeding it to the cattle, herding cows, wrestling soon-to-be steers to the ground and helping them become steers. He spent hours on end driving a tractor. Hard, hard, hard work.

Joe had a strange quality for a farmer, eschewing all healthy foods and existing on a diet of peanut patties, banana pudding, and milk. He also smoked like a smokestack. This careful attention to diet paid off for him. He didn’t have a tooth in his head by the time he was thirty five. He refused to get dentures. He just dropped peanut patties from his diet. He said he didn’t need dentures for just milk and banana pudding. The smoking finally killed him when he was seventy-eight. He dropped a cigarette down the bib of his overalls and pulled out in front of a train.

Even though Great Uncle Albert was only a #4.5 – 5, he had given Daddy a place to stay and let him work for his keep during the terrible times of the 1930’s when Maw Maw was struggling to feed seven children alone. Daddy appreciated this and was loyal to Uncle Albert all his life. Old, grumpy, and hormone-depleted by the time I knew him in the mid 1950’s, it was hard for me to imagine him in his younger, randy days. He was dull, and full of good advice, a habit he’d developed since he’d gotten too old to set a bad example. Aunt Jewel wasn’t his first wife, and frankly, was on pretty shaky ground as a #2, but as far back as they lived in the sticks, there weren’t any airports, so she was hanging on. I heard whispers she had broken up his first marriage to Mary. Even more shocking, Uncle Albert was entertaining her when Mary tried to force her way in to the marital bedroom. Uncle Albert slammed the door, breaking his poor wife’s arm. Mary got the hint, took the baby, and left. Smart girl.

I had trouble envisioning this. I had never met Mary, but she had to look better than the Aunt Jewell I knew. I had heard Aunt Jewell used be really pretty, but she had gotten over it. By the time I knew her, she had smoked over forty years, had nicotine-stained fingers and teeth, wrinkles around her mouth from drawing on a cigarette, and her mouth pulled a little to one side. She had a thick middle, thin hair in a frizzy old-lady perm, and bird legs. She wore stockings rolled to her knees and cotton house dresses. She wheezed constantly and never spoke except to whine, “Albert, I’m ready to go now.” Or “Albert, give me a puff off your cigarette.” Oh yes. One time they came to visit after she’d fallen and broken a rib and she started crying and said, “Albert, I want a puff off your cigarette, but I’m too sore to cough. “ That was kind of interesting, but I couldn’t imagine a man choosing her over anyone else.

It was interesting to see my father treated as a kid. Uncle Albert felt free to give his opinion about whatever Daddy was up to. He arrived for a visit one day before Daddy got home from work and was inspecting the place. Daddy aspired to #8 or 9 (8. High achiever. Business in order.

9.Looks too good to be true.) despite struggling to maintain a #6 (Regular guy. Holds down job. Mostly takes care of business. Probably not serial marrier. Attends church when he has to.)

Uncle Albert kept all his stuff organized and in perfect repair. Daddy’s barn was a disorganized mess. He tossed things wherever he got through with them. Uncle Albert walked around, examining items and commenting. “This is a good old singletree. It just needs a new chain.” “This is a good rasp. It just needs to be cleaned up.” “This is a good axe-head. It just needs to be sharpened and have a new handle put in.” Before too long, Daddy came striding up, delighted to see his uncle. He was smiling broadly and thrust out his hand.

Uncle Albert looked at straight at him and pronounced, “Bill, you need to get the junk man out here and get all this #^%$ hauled off.”

I’m pretty sure I can pass for a #5 most days.

About Linda Bethea.

Linda Bethea brings humour to her stories that are usually set in what was a dire time in American history in the great depression. There is no doubt in my mind that Southerners are tough, resilient and have an amazing sense of fun.

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

Now that I’m done with the bothersome business of workday world, I am free to pursue my passion, capturing the stories I’ve loved all my life. The ones you’ll read on my blog are good old Southern stories, a real pleasure to relay. Here in the South, we are proud of our wacky folks. I’ve preyed shamelessly on my family, living and dead, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, often changing the names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.

My mother illustrates my blog. I come from a rollicking family of nuts, hence the name of the blog Nutsrok Enjoy.

Linda has captured the essence of her family history in her book Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad

51qb8fm4dql-_uy250_About Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad by Linda Swain Bethea (Author) with Kathleen Holdaway Swain (Collaborator & Illustrator)

Born to a struggling farm family in the deepest of The Great Depression, Kathleen enjoys a colorful childhood, enhanced by her imagination, love of life, and the encouragement of her family.

She’s determined to build a better life for herself, getting herself into hilarious situations all along the way. Distinguishing herself in school and the community, she never takes her eyes off her goal.

Just as she’s about to get started, she meets Bill, the man who is going to help her on her way. Everything changes. And then changes again. The true story of a remarkable woman who will inspire you, make you laugh, and see life from a new perspective.

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

………...as you fall in love with Kathleen’s family.

Bethea’s style of writing as she recounts her mother’s memories has made her one of my favorite authors, and I couldn’t put this book down once I started it.

Kathleen (Kitten) takes us through her childhood growing up during the Great Depression by sharing her memories, and we find ourselves cheering for the little girl and her family while we get to know them. Vivid descriptions about unwanted house-guest’s habits are hilarious, while stories of sacrifices made by the family for each other brings tears to the reader’s eyes. We find ourselves cherishing the favorite stories Kitten hears from her Mama and Daddy while she snuggles next to them much as she did at the time of their telling. As Kathleen recounts the difficulties she faced as a young adult, we too want to return home to her parents’ warm home, full pantry, and open arms.

Read the reviews and BUY the book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ/

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

In this collection of six serials, Linda Swain Bethea weaves narratives of women through several centuries. The stories span from 1643 to 1957. Beginning in England in 1643, a young couple travels to Jamestown, Virginia, to begin a new life in the American frontier. The rest of the stories travel from West Texas to North Louisiana to the Texas Panhandle to East Texas.

Disease, death, starvation, and prison are faced with stoicism and common sense, and always, with a sense of humor.

The women in each tale stand tall and possess the wisdom and tenacity to hold families together under the worst conditions. Through it all, they persevere, and Linda Swain Bethea’s storytelling is a testament to the legacy they left.

Conversational and homey, you’ll fall in love with the women of Just Women Getting By – Leaving a Legacy of Strength, which celebrates the courage of those women who had no choice but to survive.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

Connect to Linda via her blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nutsrok1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.bethea.50

My thanks to Linda for sharing her story and please share and leave your feedback. Thanks Sally

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – New Look – Amazon Shenanigans and Great Guest Writers and Authors


Welcome to the weekly round up as the blog moves into its new look and also autumn posts. It has been a busy week for me as my latest book went through its final phases and those little snags appeared out of the woodwork… just in time before the official release next week.

Amazon has decided to throw a curve ball to authors in Ireland with regard to their print books. There is no separate site for Southern Ireland and it comes under the UK. Despite only ebooks and not print books being liable for VAT, Amazon have blocked Irish authors from selling unless they register for VAT. And that stock must be held in the UK to satisfy their delivery requirements of 3-5 days promise to the customer. Obviously, if we post a book from Ireland to the UK there might be a slightly longer delay, although most of mine arrive within 3 days.

The VAT threshold (compulsory VAT registration)

“A business must register for VAT if its taxable turnover for any consecutive 12-month period exceeds the VAT registration threshold. The current VAT registration threshold (from 1 April 2017) is £85,000 but this tends to increase every year”  https://startups.co.uk/when-do-you-need-to-register-for-vat/

I wish I was eligible.

There are benefits to being registered in that you can claim back VAT on services and products you have bought to produce your own product or service, but in the case of an author like myself…. that is a moot point.

So our seller account for books was blocked for print sales until we registered for VAT by Amazon. eBooks are not impacted because they already have VAT added and it is deducted at source. Crazy!!!

To be honest with post and packaging and the preference for eBooks when selling internationally, it was not worth the hassle. I sell more print copies face to face and events and also by direct one  to one contact. I am set up for most books on our publishing site direct to Paypal as well.

So I have taken my print books off Amazon and will focus on eBooks and doing more book events to sell hard copies. 

It strikes me that this is yet another attempt to discourage the small traders and it is not just authors, it is also those who buy and sell other products and services on Amazon from countries such as Ireland.

I am sharing this so that anyone else who might be faced with the same issue is forewarned. We are not the only ones facing the problem as the forums are filled with others in the same position.

Getting to Know You Sunday Interview.

I have one or two posts scheduled between now and Christmas, but it would be lovely to have more of you participate, as it is a great way to get your blog or books noticed. I will be starting a new themed interview series in the New Year.. but in the meantime it will be soon prime selling season for books and other creative work. Here are the details and also those who have already taken part, to give you an idea of how they look and the response they get.

Look forward to hearing from you: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/getting-to-know-you-sunday-interview-2018/

Anyway time to get on with this week’s posts that you might have missed.

The Music Column

A few changes to the line up whilst William Price King is making some changes to his computer system and schedule. This week I pick up my playlist in 1984 with music from Phil Collins and Queen.. along with my adventures that year.. I am looking for requests to add to the post each week so bring on the music you love.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/smorgasbord-music-column-new-features-for-autumn-request-show-and-sallys-playlist/

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Christmas Cakes and Puddings.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-christmas-cakes-and-puddings/

Posts from Your Archives – Linda Bethea with Part Two of her Mixed Nuts family stories.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mixed-nuts-part-2-by-linda-bethea/

Guest Writer – Rationing in World War II by Robbie Cheadle

Author Robbie Cheadle shares some of the hardships endured by the British people during World War II. Food was rationed but in fairness it did produce a generation of very creative cooks.   You can find out more and enjoy some recipes from that era when you buy  While the Bombs Fell which is written by Robbie Cheadle and her mother Elsie Hancy Eaton.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-post-rationing-during-world-war-ii-by-robbie-cheadle/

Smorgasbord Health Column – Guest Writer

My guest this week writing for the health column is D.G. Kaye… Debby Gies. Debby has suffered from chronic intestinal disease for many years and has researched and devised a way to keep herself healthy without medication. It is all about the diet….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/smorgasbord-health-column-guest-d-g-kaye-dietary-restrictions-consequences-and-the-eye-rollers/

Smorgasbord Short Stories – What’s in a Name?

Villagers are preparing for Halloween, but some are devastated by the loss of their cats. One villager decided to investigate. Meet Isobel… Hiding in Plain Sight.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-isobel-hiding-in-plain-sight-by-sally-cronin/

A young boy is taught valuable life lessons by his grandmother.. meet Ifan and the Black Sheep.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-ifan-and-the-black-sheep-by-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Poetry – Haiku in response to Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Challenge

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/smorgasbord-poetry-haiku-in-response-to-this-weeks-colleen-chesebro-poetry-challenge/

Smorgasbord Reblog

Allan Hudson shares his pick of six authors and their books and was thrilled to find What’s in a Name on the list..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/smorgasbord-reblog-six-great-authors-six-great-books-by-allan-hudson/

And another post from Debby Gies who wrote a compelling article on the history and purpose behind the #MeToo movement.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/smorgasbord-reblog-metoo-the-right-to-be-heard-on-sexual-abuse-by-d-g-kaye/

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

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-dog-health-care-7-simple-ways-to-keep-your-dog-healthy-by-rachele-baker-dvm/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shadowed-by-death-an-oliver-wright-ww-ii-mystery-oliver-wright-ww-ii-mystery-book-2-by-mary-adler/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Updates.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-for-d-g-kaye-sally-cronin-and-don-massenzio/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-for-jacquie-biggar-paulette-mahurin-and-marina-osipova/

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily and Meet the #reviewers

Leslie Tate with me, Olga Nunez Miret, Sue Vincent with Sarah Brentyn

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-monday-24th-september-2018-leslie-tate-olga-nunez-miret-and-sue-vincent-with-sarah-brentyn/

Debby Gies, Robbie Cheadle and Frank Parker

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-tuesday-september-25th-2018-d-g-kaye-robbie-cheadle-and-frank-parker/

Geoff Le Pard, Chris Mullen and Cathy Ryan

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-september-26th-2018-geoff-le-pard-chris-mullen-and-cathy-ryan/

Jina Bazzar for D. Wallace Peach, Darlene Foster for Mary Smith and Publishing with Audrey Driscoll.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-thursday-september-27th-2018-jina-bazzar-for-d-wallace-peach-darlene-foster-for-mary-smith-and-publishing-with-audrey-driscoll/

Humour – Laughter Lines

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-random-funnies-and-a-joke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-pharmacy-funnies-and-a-joke-or-two-for-your-health/

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Mixed Nuts Part 2 by Linda Bethea


I am so pleased that Linda Bethea is going to share some of her heartwarming and entertaining posts from her archives over the coming weeks. Linda’s family stories always has me in fits of laughter or shedding a tear. I hope you will also head over and buy the books that Linda has published. Here is the link to part one of her mini-series: Mixed Nuts part 1

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Mixed Nuts Part 2 by Linda Bethea

When you are dealing with family, it clarifies things to have a scale. You don’t have to waste time analyzing people when you have a ready reference. This one works pretty well for us.

1.Has a monogrammed straight jacket and standing reservation on mental ward.

2.Family is likely to move away without leaving forwarding address. Has jail time in the past or the future

3.People say, “Oh, crap. Here comes Johnny.”

4.Can go either way. Gets by on a good day. Never has been arrested. Can be lots of fun or a real mess. Relatives usually will invite in for coffee. Likely to have hormone-induced behavior.

5.Regular guy. Holds down a job. Mostly takes care of business. Probably not a serial marry-er. Attends church when he has to.

6.Good fellow. Almost everybody likes him or her. Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. Manages money well enough to retire early.

7.High achiever. Business is in order. Serves on city council.

8.Looks too good to be true. What’s really going on?

9.Over-achiever. Affairs are in order. Solid citizen. Dull, dull, dull. Could end up as a 1

My family is as much a mixed bag of nuts as any. As a kid, I was most fascinated by the ones on the fringes. My favorite was Uncle Chester, not because he was friendly, funny, or even seemed to notice me, but because he was the first solid #3 of my acquaintance. (Family likely to move away without leaving forwarding address. Has jail time in past or future.) As a young man in the depression, he started out as a moonshiner and petty criminal, lounging a bit in local jails. He never really hit the big time and made the Federal Penitentiary till he got caught counterfeiting quarters. His technique was sloppy and his product unpolished. He was fortunate in getting caught red-handed passing his ugly quarters. In 1941 he was sent up to Fort Leavenworth for some higher education where he made good use of his time by apprenticing himself to a cellmate who was doing time for making twenty-dollar bills.

Aunt Jenny #5 (Can go either way. Gets by on a good day. Never been arrested. Can be lots of fun or a real mess. Relatives usually will invite in for coffee. Likely to have hormone-induced behavior.) was short-sighted about Uncle Chester’s situation and ditched him while he was imprisoned, but realized she still loved him when he came home with his enhanced earning capacity. They let bygones be bygones, got back together, and had three lovely children. Their eldest son Lynn and daughter Sue were solid #7s from the start. (Good fellows. Almost everybody likes him or her. Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. Manages money well enough to retire early.) Uncle Chester was perfectly willing to give Lynn a good start in business, but Lynn was ungrateful, distanced himself from his father’s dealings, joined the military, and avoided the family business altogether, even seeming to resent his father.

One Sunday dinner, when Uncle Chester was dropping names of the interesting people he had been in jail with at various times, Lynn rudely interrupted, “Daddy, you’ve been in jail with everybody at one time or another.” Uncle Chester did step up and keep Cousin Lynn from making a mistake. Lynn came home on leave from the military and met a girl he wanted to marry; love at first sight. She was a pretty as a spotted puppy and even she noticed how much she looked like his sister Sue. Uncle Chester got her off to the side and asked a few questions about her mama and daddy and where she was raised. He was waiting up for Lynn to get home. “Son, I sure hope things ain’t gone too far. I hate it, but you can’t marry that li’l old gal. She looks just like her Mama did when we was running around together. There’s a real good reason she looks just like yore sister Sue, a real good reason.”

By the fifties, Uncle Chester had branched out a little. He did a little research and decided lawsuits paid well and weren’t too much work. He captured some bees, applied them to his leg. When his leg was good and swollen, he got his buddy to drop him off downtown at a trolley stop. As the trolley approached, Uncle Chester carefully stumbled into the path of the trolley, suffering a knee injury in front of numerous witnesses. He collapsed to the ground, moaning and groaning. Suffering terribly, he was transported and treated at the hospital. Now Uncle Chester was set with a fifty-thousand dollar settlement, a tidy sum for that time.

Their daughter Susie turned out real well, became a teacher, and married a Baptist Preacher, lending Uncle Chester a much appreciated touch of respectability. Uncle Chester and Aunt Jenny were very generous toward her church, and the legitimacy of their donations was never questioned. Sadly, many years later Susie’s daughter a bona fide #3, embarrassed them all by stealing from her employer.

Ross, Uncle Chester’s youngest son, was also a gifted #3 (Family likely to move away without leaving forwarding address. Has jail time in past or future) followed in Uncle Chester’s footsteps. He dabbled in moonshine, petty crime, and scams but just never rose to Uncle Chester’s level. He initiated a few crooked lawsuits but lacked the brain power and organization to pull bigger things off. All went well till he got too big for his britches and tried setting up business in Texas. When he got caught moonshining in someone else’s territory, he called the old man for help. Uncle Chester had to admit, “I’m sorry son, but I can’t do a thing for you. I don’t have any influence with the law out there.” Uncle Chester felt bad about one of his boys getting in trouble till the day he died,” but sometimes you just have to let kids make their own mistakes.”

Aunt Jenny was stingy. You would think she got her money in the usual way. Or maybe she just got tired of hearing Uncle Chester complain how hard it was to make money. She even made her own mother pay for a ride to the grocery store. When Maw Maw won some groceries in a weekly contest, she had to share with Aunt Jenny since she hitched a ride to the grocery store every week. Aunt Jenny sold eggs and tomatoes and charged Maw Maw the same as everyone else.

When Aunt Jenny got older, she got dentures. She liked them so well she saved them for special occasions. She wore them when she had ladies over for coffee, church, and Sunday dinner. Being toothless didn’t hold her back a bit. She could take a bite off an apple as well as anyone and could have won a fried chicken eating contest hands down.

More from Linda next week…. if you have some mixed nuts in your family, please feel free to mention them in the comments…..

About Linda Bethea.

Linda Bethea brings humour to her stories that are usually set in what was a dire time in American history in the great depression. There is no doubt in my mind that Southerners are tough, resilient and have an amazing sense of fun.

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

Now that I’m done with the bothersome business of workday world, I am free to pursue my passion, capturing the stories I’ve loved all my life. The ones you’ll read on my blog are good old Southern stories, a real pleasure to relay. Here in the South, we are proud of our wacky folks. I’ve preyed shamelessly on my family, living and dead, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, often changing the names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.

My mother illustrates my blog. I come from a rollicking family of nuts, hence the name of the blog Nutsrok Enjoy.

Linda has captured the essence of her family history in her book Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad

51qb8fm4dql-_uy250_About Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad by Linda Swain Bethea (Author) with Kathleen Holdaway Swain (Collaborator & Illustrator)

Born to a struggling farm family in the deepest of The Great Depression, Kathleen enjoys a colorful childhood, enhanced by her imagination, love of life, and the encouragement of her family.

She’s determined to build a better life for herself, getting herself into hilarious situations all along the way. Distinguishing herself in school and the community, she never takes her eyes off her goal.

Just as she’s about to get started, she meets Bill, the man who is going to help her on her way. Everything changes. And then changes again. The true story of a remarkable woman who will inspire you, make you laugh, and see life from a new perspective.

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

………...as you fall in love with Kathleen’s family.

Bethea’s style of writing as she recounts her mother’s memories has made her one of my favorite authors, and I couldn’t put this book down once I started it.

Kathleen (Kitten) takes us through her childhood growing up during the Great Depression by sharing her memories, and we find ourselves cheering for the little girl and her family while we get to know them. Vivid descriptions about unwanted house-guest’s habits are hilarious, while stories of sacrifices made by the family for each other brings tears to the reader’s eyes. We find ourselves cherishing the favorite stories Kitten hears from her Mama and Daddy while she snuggles next to them much as she did at the time of their telling. As Kathleen recounts the difficulties she faced as a young adult, we too want to return home to her parents’ warm home, full pantry, and open arms.

Read the reviews and BUY the book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ/

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

In this collection of six serials, Linda Swain Bethea weaves narratives of women through several centuries. The stories span from 1643 to 1957. Beginning in England in 1643, a young couple travels to Jamestown, Virginia, to begin a new life in the American frontier. The rest of the stories travel from West Texas to North Louisiana to the Texas Panhandle to East Texas.

Disease, death, starvation, and prison are faced with stoicism and common sense, and always, with a sense of humor.

The women in each tale stand tall and possess the wisdom and tenacity to hold families together under the worst conditions. Through it all, they persevere, and Linda Swain Bethea’s storytelling is a testament to the legacy they left.

Conversational and homey, you’ll fall in love with the women of Just Women Getting By – Leaving a Legacy of Strength, which celebrates the courage of those women who had no choice but to survive.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

Connect to Linda via her blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nutsrok1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.bethea.50

My thanks to Linda for sharing her story and please share and leave your feedback. I will check on comments in a couple of days. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Music, Language, Honey, Books and Humour


We got back from the UK on Thursday night and it was a terrific two weeks away. The weather was wonderful until the last couple of days, but we had been keeping an eye on the four storm fronts coming up from the south. These days forecasts are very accurate and we saw that Tuesday when we were due to catch our ferry was going to have waves over 20ft high.. We had a flexible ticket so moved our booking to Thursday which looked like the calmest day of the week. As it happened we crossed in the only four hour window of calm which has to be the luck of the Irish.

It was great to be in the company of a dog again, and Miss Ellie is well used to us as a family. The break and spending a lot off time unplugged did us both good and we are now back with batteries fully charged and ready to go.

I tried to keep up with comments once a day, but apologies if I missed yours. I am very grateful for all the generous post sharing that went on in my absence and also your messages.

We had to stay in a hotel due to the change and if you are heading to South Wales we can recommend The Cliff Hotel… fantastic views and great walks. The Cliff Hotel Gwbert Wales

 

Here are the posts from this week…

In the last of the current series by William Price King, who will be moving to a different schedule, he interviews American composer Mark Bradley about his life, work and the future.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/the-music-column-with-william-price-king-interviewing-mark-bradley-composer-classicalmusic/

Writer in Residence Rewind – Proto-Indo Europeans and the origins of language – Paul Andruss.

In this post, Paul explores some of the assumptions made about the development of our individual languages from a common root many thousands of years ago. He also addresses the question of whether languages were spread by conquerors sweeping across continents or farmers gently moving across fertile plains and establishing communities that fed and watered the nomadic tribes who came after them. I am sure that Paul would love to hear your views and answer your questions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/writer-in-residence-rewind-proto-indo-europeans-by-paul-andruss/

Carol Taylor has been taking a break whilst I was away but will be back this week with a new post. In the meantime….. I have started to reshare our joint series last year with the health benefits of what I consider to be essential foods, and Carol turns them into delicious meals. This week – Honey – Nectar of the Gods.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/smorgasbord-health-column-rewind-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-honey-nectar-of-the-gods/

New series of Posts from your Archives from the amusing and talented Linda Bethea

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mixed-nuts-part-1-by-linda-bethea/

The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You – Poet and author Dorinda Duclos

If you had intended to participate in this series then can you get your answers to your questions to me soon as I will be starting to get a new series ready for Christmas…..

Here is the link to find out more about Getting to Know You : https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/the-new-series-of-the-smorgasbord-sunday-interview-geting-to-know-you-and-i-will-go-first/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-dorinda-duclos/

Short Stories – What’s in a Name.

Two stories about people with a name beginning with ‘H’. Both of which share the darker side of life.

Hannah – Finding a Way to Move On.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-hannah-finding-a-way-to-move-on-by-sally-cronin/

Hector – The Homecoming

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-hector-the-homecoming-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-fantasy-adventure-lost-war-of-nytefall-book-2-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-while-the-bombs-fell-by-robbie-cheadle-and-elsie-hancy-eaton/

Cafe and Bookstore Update and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-fiona-tarr-and-barb-taub/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-victoria-zigler-d-wallace-peach-and-terry-tyler/

Smorgasbord Health Column

An update on the erosion caused to our teeth by drinking mineral water that is too acidic.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/smorgasbord-health-column-acidity-in-mineral-water-and-tooth-enamel-erosion-update-by-sally-cronin/

An update on the research into the effect of curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and inflammation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/smorgasbord-health-column-food-in-the-news-turmeric-curcumin-cancer-alzheimers-inflammation-update/

Laughter Lines and Afternoon Video

We all love Lawyers… right?

judge

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-rewind-lawyer-jokes/

A shaggy pirate tale or two and a word from their parrots.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-a-shaggy-pirate-story-or-two-and-their-parrots/

Thank you once again for all you support and hope you will drop in next week for more of the same.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Mixed Nuts Part 1 by Linda Bethea


I am so pleased that Linda Bethea is going to share some of her heartwarming and entertaining posts from her archives over the coming weeks. Linda’s family stories always has me in fits of laughter or shedding a tear. I hope you will also head over and buy the books that Linda has published.

Mixed Nuts Part 1 by Linda Bethea

image

When you are dealing with family, it clarifies things to have a scale. You don’t have to waste time analyzing people when you have a ready reference. This one works pretty well for my family.

1. Has a monogrammed straight jacket and standing reservation on mental ward.

2.Family is likely to move away without leaving forwarding address. Has jail time in the past or the future

3.People say, “Oh, crap. Here comes Johnny.”

4.Person can go either way. Gets by on a good day. Never has been arrested. Can be lots of fun or a real mess. Relatives usually will invite in for coffee. Likely to have hormone-induced behavior.

5.Regular guy. Holds down a job. Mostly takes care of business. Probably not a serial marrier. Attends church when he has to.

6.Good fellow. Almost everybody likes him or her. Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. Manages money well enough to retire early.

7.High achiever. Business is in order. Serves on city council.

8.Looks too good to be true. What’s really going on?

9.Over-achiever. Affairs are in order. Solid citizen. Dull, dull, dull. Could end up as a 1

Instead of saying, “Uncle Henry’s a pretty good guy, but sometimes he goes off the deep end, you could say, ‘He’s a usually about a 6 but he was a little 4-ish after Aunt Lou took his new truck and ran off with his brother’.” Or…

“Why in the world did Betty marry him? He was a jerk to her when she was married to his daddy.”

“Well, you know she’s a 5.”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.” Or…

“You set the house on fire trying to dry your underwear in the oven?? What in the hell were you thinking?? And you call yourself a 6?”

“Look, you know darn well I’m a 6. It just seemed like a good idea. Appliances should be multifunctional. I’ve seen you pull a 2 lot of times and never threw it up to you. It could happen to anyone.” Or…

“You forgot and put the turnip greens through the spin cycle and now the washing machine drain is stopped up! I’m not even going to ask you what turnip greens were doing in the washing machine! You’re a 2 if I ever saw one. Your mama and sisters are 2′s, too!! Did you put the beans in the dishwasher, too, while you were at it?”

“No, I’m not an idiot. You cook beans on the stove. I put my rolls in the dishwasher to rise.”

Our family reunions are an eclectic mix of mostly 5′s who can tip into categories 4 and 6 when pressed. Most are fairly regular folks, seasoned with a picante’ dash of street-corner preachers, nude airport racers, and folks who are just interesting in general. We have a couple of 7′s thrown in, reminders of what we could do if we tried. A person’s position on the social ladder is likely to be greatly influenced by his company or partner. For instance, if a submissive #5 marries a dominant #7, it is likely he or she will benefit. If the lower number Is dominant, not so much.

I was comfortable growing up in this eccentric milieu in the 1950’s. While I gave lip service to my parents’ goal of strict respectability, I enjoyed a ringside seat to periodic lunacy. It also justified my lapses. It ran it the family! And no matter how disappointed my parents might be when I messed up, at least I hadn’t been caught naked in traffic yet.

When considering parenthood, most people entertain hormone-tinged delusions, imagining their children as cute, well-behaved, athletic, and smart. We gaze fondly at our partners imagining a baby with his blue eyes, her sweet smile when’s we should have looked a little closer at Grandpa’s buck teeth or Grandma’s frizzy hair. Even better, this baby is just as likely to inherit genes from a great-great grandpa, the horse thief, as from Grandpa John, the Pulitzer Prize Winner. The baby might look a lot more like Aunt Fanny, the lady wrestler, than its pretty mama. A better plan would probably be to put all babies in a lottery at birth, so parents could credit their lumps to bad luck and the joys to good parenting for the next twenty-one years. The kids would definitely appreciate it.

(to be continued)
©Linda Bethea 2015

About Linda Bethea.

Linda Bethea brings humour to her stories that are usually set in what was a dire time in American history in the great depression. There is no doubt in my mind that Southerners are tough, resilient and have an amazing sense of fun.

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

Now that I’m done with the bothersome business of workday world, I am free to pursue my passion, capturing the stories I’ve loved all my life. The ones you’ll read on my blog are good old Southern stories, a real pleasure to relay. Here in the South, we are proud of our wacky folks. I’ve preyed shamelessly on my family, living and dead, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, often changing the names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.

My mother illustrates my blog. I come from a rollicking family of nuts, hence the name of the blog Nutsrok Enjoy.

Linda has captured the essence of her family history in her book Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad

51qb8fm4dql-_uy250_About Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad by Linda Swain Bethea (Author) with Kathleen Holdaway Swain (Collaborator & Illustrator)

Born to a struggling farm family in the deepest of The Great Depression, Kathleen enjoys a colorful childhood, enhanced by her imagination, love of life, and the encouragement of her family.

She’s determined to build a better life for herself, getting herself into hilarious situations all along the way. Distinguishing herself in school and the community, she never takes her eyes off her goal.

Just as she’s about to get started, she meets Bill, the man who is going to help her on her way. Everything changes. And then changes again. The true story of a remarkable woman who will inspire you, make you laugh, and see life from a new perspective.

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

………...as you fall in love with Kathleen’s family.

Bethea’s style of writing as she recounts her mother’s memories has made her one of my favorite authors, and I couldn’t put this book down once I started it.

Kathleen (Kitten) takes us through her childhood growing up during the Great Depression by sharing her memories, and we find ourselves cheering for the little girl and her family while we get to know them. Vivid descriptions about unwanted house-guest’s habits are hilarious, while stories of sacrifices made by the family for each other brings tears to the reader’s eyes. We find ourselves cherishing the favorite stories Kitten hears from her Mama and Daddy while she snuggles next to them much as she did at the time of their telling. As Kathleen recounts the difficulties she faced as a young adult, we too want to return home to her parents’ warm home, full pantry, and open arms.

Read the reviews and BUY the book: https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Smells-Just-Like-Salad-ebook/dp/B01IVUXROQ/

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

In this collection of six serials, Linda Swain Bethea weaves narratives of women through several centuries. The stories span from 1643 to 1957. Beginning in England in 1643, a young couple travels to Jamestown, Virginia, to begin a new life in the American frontier. The rest of the stories travel from West Texas to North Louisiana to the Texas Panhandle to East Texas.

Disease, death, starvation, and prison are faced with stoicism and common sense, and always, with a sense of humor.

The women in each tale stand tall and possess the wisdom and tenacity to hold families together under the worst conditions. Through it all, they persevere, and Linda Swain Bethea’s storytelling is a testament to the legacy they left.

Conversational and homey, you’ll fall in love with the women of Just Women Getting By – Leaving a Legacy of Strength, which celebrates the courage of those women who had no choice but to survive.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Women-Getting-Leaving-Strength-ebook/dp/B072DZ5XTP

Connect to Linda via her blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nutsrok1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.bethea.50

My thanks to Linda for sharing her story and please share and leave your feedback. I will check on comments in a couple of days. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord – Posts from Your Archives – #Travel – #Thailand – Down on the farm making charcoal by Carol Taylor


Welcome to the last in the travel posts from the archive of Carol Taylor, our resident food expert. This week the process of producing charcoal, one of the primary cooking fuels in Thailand.

This is the mud charcoal house where the charcoal is made primarily for fuel to cook…no mod cons here at all. Well not yet pretty much everything is done how it has always been done through the generations. The skills passed down and that is what I like here so much tradition still and in the main so much happiness.

But the lifestyle is hard there are some concessions to this and progress is slowly coming but much is still done the old way and by getting your hands dirty.

Making charcoal is an art…me I just said do you just throw the wood in and light it?….The look this crazy English lady got was a look of I suppose bemusement.

Of course you don’t, for a start the charcoal house cannot be built on or close to the water table or where the drainage is poor.

The wood must be properly stacked so that when it burning the air can circulate correctly but the beauty of it being on your land is that you can stack over a period time as you come across the wood.The wood must of course be dry and the time needed to complete the burn does depend on the moisture content of the wood and also the evenness of the stacking of the wood so this is all very important.

SAM_8713

WOOD DRYING PRIOR TO BEING STACKED.

Once it is correctly stacked it must be stacked vertically into the charcoal house then a fire is started or burning coals are put through the air vent at the top of the charcoal house once this has taken then the door must be sealed effectively to ensure proper air circulation.

The initial smoke which comes out through the top air vent and the air holes around the base is dense white smoke which after a few days turns to a blueish colour finally it becomes practically clear smoke.

Once the burn is complete then the opening at the top of the charcoal house is sealed as are the bottom vents.

This then takes 2-3 days to cool down, when the earth kiln is cool it can be opened but there must be a supply of water available in case there are any red fires still burning as they need to be extinguished.

carbon-592598_1920 charcoal

Once the charcoal is completely cold then it is bagged or put in baskets for home use or sale.

A typical fire for cooking on.

SAM_8461

Cooking the steak

This is a time-consuming and back-breaking task no one has an easy life here as I am finding out but kudos to them I am often just amazed and it has made me realise what an easy life I have had. With my running water, gas, electric all the mod cons and it has changed me and I hope for the better. When the house is built here yes there will be some luxuries but you know what I am not so bothered anymore.

I won’t be cooking over a small charcoal fire unless it is a BBQ but lots of things I used to have no longer hold the same allure for me it is definitely an eye-opener and maybe not the life for everyone. Just for this crazy, whimsical English lady, it is the life I have adopted and I love it!

If you missed my previous posts on Down on the farm I have added the links below. I hope you enjoy these posts please let me have your thoughts. Down on the farm Jambulan Plum

Thank you for reading about my life in Thailand I do hope you enjoy it 🙂

©Images Carol Taylor.

You can find the posts in the Food and Cookery Column in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

Thank you for dropping in today and apart from this post and others on travel, you will find plenty of other topics covered on Carol’s informative and entertaining blog. Thanks Sally

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Price King and the Music Column – Summer Jazz

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

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

The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor

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

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

Posts from Your Archives – Travel

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

SAM_8924

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

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

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

Personal Stuff

Something to Think About – Wills and Probate

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

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

Letters from America – Our first trip to New York

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

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

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

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

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

Film Review – Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

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

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

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

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

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

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

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

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

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

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

Pure Trash Bette Stevens

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

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

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

International Food and travel to Australia and Hong Kong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health Column

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

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

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

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

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

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

Humour and Afternoon Video

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

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

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

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

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

Part two of the Know it All series….

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

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

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

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

Smorgasbord – Odd Jobs and Characters – Some Jobs that were left out – Funeral Directors Receptionist by Sally Cronin


When I posted my series last year, kindly hosted by friends in the community, I left out some of the jobs that I undertook to make ends meet.

During the winter months, the hotel where I was assistant manager in Wales, shut until Easter. I was on half pay from the end of the season through to the beginning of February when I would need to return to help do the usual pre-Easter maintenance and stock purchases. I returned home and stayed with my parents but decided to earn some extra money to pay my way and buy gifts for Christmas. I was also scheduled to take my driving test that summer and wanted extra cash to pay for lessons.

I had just finished a temporary job in an insurance company where I had typed 100 cheques a day. Whilst repetitive it was good pay and with still two weeks to Christmas I was keen to keep the money coming in. The temp agency contacted me and asked me if I would accept a two week contract that had been turned down by some of their regular temps due to the nature of the work.

It was for a receptionist/secretary at a large local funeral directors. Obviously many temps felt that at this festive time of year there might be little cheer to be had in such an establishment…. To be honest I was happy to have another two weeks work and on the Monday morning I turned up suitably attired in my most sombre outfit and rang the bell. A very nice lady showed me the ropes and gave me the guided tour of the public areas, explaining that only those involved in the actual process of preparing the deceased were allowed into certain areas. That was quite comforting I can tell you.

I had little contact with the public for the first couple of days as I settled into the routine but dealt with several enquiries by phone. The firm was an old established company and the two directors were brothers if I remember rightly. Eventually, after I had been properly versed on the etiquette involved, I was allowed to meet the general public. Of course the majority of these people were loved ones and family of those who had entered the building by the rear entrance.

This was my first real contact with the process of dying and I was heartened by the approach by all the members of staff publicly and privately behind the scenes. It was absolutely essential at all times to show respect for the deceased and their families, and I must say, I did find it hard at first to be natural but also sympathetic, with those that came to pay their last respects.

The other rule was to keep visiting families separate, and to this end there were two waiting rooms, and appointments made so that there were no log jams or queues. I would also escort the visitors out after the viewing and confirm final arrangements with them. This required a level of delicacy that was great training for me for jobs that I went onto in later years, and I actually enjoyed that part of the process where I felt I could help these grieving people.

At the end of the two weeks it was Christmas Eve, and since there would not be any funerals over the Christmas week, all the staff gathered in the office for sherry and mince pies. Everyone was very friendly and I had honestly enjoyed my time there. In fact they were happy too, and one of the directors asked if I would like to stay on full-time. I actually was considering this carefully during the party. I loved my job in Wales but Portsmouth was my home and I had missed my own family and friends. However, whilst pondering my future the doorbell rang and I offered to answer it.

I opened the door to find a tiny old man with a walking stick standing on the door step in the lightly falling snow. He had tears running down his face, and as I ushered him in he took my hand and simply said “Can you bury my dear wife for me love”. Luckily one of the directors had come through and stepped in to take the old man through to a waiting room. I was in bits and after composing myself in the ladies I gave my apologies and said that I would not be accepting their kind offer….

And if I had accepted their offer then I would have never have met my husband in Wales later in 1980!

But I remembered their kindness and over the years they took care of the funeral arrangements of my father first and then my mother in 2012. They will probably take care of me too when it is my time, as they have maintained their excellent level of respect and service to this day 35 years later. Which just goes to prove that good customer service is important to both the living and the dead.

You can find the other posts in the Odd Jobs and Characters in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-2018/

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you have enjoyed… thanks Sally

Smorgasbord – Posts from Your Archives – Travel – #Thailand – Wat Baan Waeng or Heaven and Hell by Carol Taylor


Welcome to the second in the posts from Carol Taylor’s travel archives and today she visits a statue park with a difference. Photographic evidence of the consequences of straying from the path of righteousness….

Wat Baan Waeng or Heaven and Hell

Fifty km’s north of Udon Thani where we now live is Wat Baan Waeng or Pho Chai Sri as it is also known.

It is home to larger than life statues and sculptures which depict the heaven and hell side of Buddhism. So in other words if you stray from the path of the five precepts of Buddhism then “Hell” is what awaits you.

It shows the fate or karma of these individuals and the gory fates that await them for their sins.

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Initially when we pulled into the temple we were met with the scene of monks sitting, children playing and stalls selling trinkets, spiritual items and a well. The water level of which is always very high so if you do want to peer down into the blackness then first remove your shoes before you step onto the plinth. The well according to local folktales just appeared!

Such tranquility that we thought we had chanced upon the wrong temple(wat).

But no, if you follow the path lined with Buddhas statues you will be led through beautiful gardens, music playing, good food and drink everything that heaven is meant to be.

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Happy smiles and music playing.

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Head over and enjoy the wonderful photographs and the description of this very special place and its gruesome reminder of the difference between the raptures of heaven and the tortures and torments of hell!! :https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/wat-baan-waeng-or-heaven-and-hell/

©Images Carol Taylor.

You can find the posts in the Food and Cookery Column in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

Thank you for dropping in today and apart from this post and others on travel, you will find plenty of other topics covered on Carol’s informative and entertaining blog. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord -Posts from Your Archives – Travel – The Red Lotus Sea Lake #Thailand by Carol Taylor


Delighted to welcome Carol Taylor for a double bill this week. As well as her regular Cookery and Food Column on Wednesdays, she is sharing some of her travel posts from her part of the world.

The Red Lotus Sea Lake – Thailand by Carol Taylor

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It was a lovely sunny morning and we decided to take a trip to The Red Lotus Lake( Sea) locally known as Talay Bua Daeng. It was the wrong time of year to see the Lotus in full bloom so will going back in December to see that sight.We still saw a few but not many but witnessed a lot of birds and Water Buffalo who didn’t look best pleased with being disturbed…look at that grumpy face. The Buffalo are brought over in the morning and taken back to terra firma in the evening.

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and also the boatman took us to a little temple on a tiny, tiny island.;

Head over and enjoy the rest of this photographic tour of this beautiful place and enjoy the visit to the temple: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/the-red-lotus-sea-lake/

©Images Carol Taylor.

You can find the posts in the Food and Cookery Column in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

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

Thank you for dropping in today and apart from this post and others on travel, you will find plenty of other topics covered on Carol’s informative and entertaining blog. Thanks Sally