Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – #Recipes – Grandma’s Cooking In The Kitchen! A Staten Island Restaurant Hires Unique Cooks – The World’s Nonnas! by John Rieber.


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Time to welcome another regular contributor to the Archive series John Rieber.. this time I am going to be selecting the posts from his extensive archive..This week a restaurant with a difference.. and if you remember your grandmother’s cooking.. you will want to eat at this restaurant.

Recipes – Grandma’s Cooking In The Kitchen! A Staten Island Restaurant Hires Unique Cooks – The World’s Nonnas! by John Rieber.

Nonna’s In The Kitchen!

As a foodie, I love this story: a great restaurant on Staten Island has hired Grandmas from all around the world to cook for him – and keep their family recipes alive for generations to come!

Bravo Jody Scarvella, Owner Of Enoteca Maria On Staten Island!

According to a great story from CBS New York:

A restaurant kitchen staffed by grandmas was the vision of Jody Scaravella, who opened Enoteca Maria in 2007. At first, he hired exclusively Italian nonnas, filling a personal void left by his own late grandmother.

The story goes on to add:

Over time, he began to invite additional grandmothers from around the world to take turns cooking the foods they grew up with. Today, countries from Japan to Algeria are represented in the kitchen on a rotating schedule.

“You have two grandmothers every day,” Scaravella explained. “You always have an Italian nonna, and every day, the featured kitchen changes.”

A “Nonnas of the World” calendar assigns each grandmother a monthly date in the kitchen. “Sometimes people call, and they want to know when the Greek nonna’s cooking,” he said. “But some people enjoy the surprise.”

And yes, you can get the cookbook with these classic family recipes!

Here is a link to the story, which includes a great video interview with one of the “Grandma Chefs”!: https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/01/30/enoteca-maria-the-dig/

I love this story – keeping family recipes alive and letting these Nonnas, who have raised their families with longtime family recipes, take over the kitchen…terrific – I would love to go to this restaurant!

Sounds like an amazing place to eat and you can find more about recipes and restaurants in this directory: John Rieber -Restaurants and Recipes

©John Rieber 2018

About John Rieber

I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, “everyone eats!”

Connect to John via his blog and social media

Blog: https://johnrieber.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnrieber
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/john.rieber.71
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-rieber-041430/

My thanks to John for permitting me to browse his archives to share with youplease head over to his website and enjoy all that they have to offer.

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Travel Thailand…Koh Samui…A Secret Garden by Carol Taylor


Welcome to the  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Carol Taylor does an amazing job each week with the food column and healthy eating posts here on Smorgasbord, and she deserves a break to get on with her own writing projects for a few weeks. So I am going to share four posts from Carol’s archives instead and she will be back with us on June 12th.  This week one of Carol’s posts on travelling in Thailand.

Travel Thailand…Koh Samui…A Secret Garden by Carol Taylor

Koh Samui The Secret Garden

On our very first visit to Thailand in 2002 many years ago now with our two young grandsons, we visited this lovely Island of Koh Samui. A beautiful island where I first fell in love with Thailand. At that time, never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would be living that dream.

Here I am in 2018 and living that dream…

Out exploring the island one day we saw a sign which said: ” Secret Garden” It piqued my curiosity as a few years ago while driving in England we saw a similar sign which said, ” Secret Bunker”… so seeing this made me smile at that memory as that also was a day to remember and not what we expected.

Would this ” Secret Garden” be the same?

An unexpected delight?…

At the sign, we took the turning and was it a steep hill…we slowly made our way upwards, the uneven road presented us with sheer drops either side and the road was barely one car wide…

Yikes if we meet anything coming the other way and thank goodness the only vehicle we did meet was a motorcycle and luckily it was able to edge its way past us and away it went.

My son was driving and does not like heights at the best of times and was a tad nervous. I think we were all relieved when we spied a restaurant and were able to pull into its small car park…we were presented with the most amazing views and then came the food which was awesome…just delicious.

Enquiring about the “Secret Garden” the restaurant staff pointed upwards with a big smile… Really?…at that point, it was unanimous to leave the truck and walk!

We walked and walked and all we saw was the occasional bike which passed us going the other way…Down!

The noises which we heard coming from the jungle as we walked up the steep track were quite magnified and sounded like a chainsaw…well that was the story I told my open-mouthed grandsons it did make them walk a little quicker though …haha. It was only later that I discovered they were Cicadas and due to the acoustics on the mountain when they rubbed their wings together in unison they did sound like a chainsaw.

Suddenly the road plateaued out…We were at the top…

A group of children thailand-471700_1280

Thirsty and worn out…Our first view was a small shop selling water and a group of bemused local children were watching us and laughing probably thinking ” mad Farangs” walking in this heat up the mountain. At that point, I was happy to agree with them…

Looking around we spied a lone kiosk…

No secret garden?…

I had this mental picture of pretty flowers…orchids and a statue or two… There was nothing like that in sight!

Walking over to the kiosk we paid for our tickets…well, we were here so we may as well have a look…

Where is this garden? The smiling woman pointed to some steps…from where I was standing they looked wooden and slightly rickety…Oh No! My legs could not take any more…

Down and down we went… That first glimpse of this “Secret Garden” was amazing..statues carved out of stone, a tiny house, little streams and miniature waterfalls trickling and running through the middle of this garden, a small amphitheatre, all among the trees which were growing on the mountainside…Not a flower in sight…

Did it matter? Not at all…This was magical and a memory which has stayed with me over the years…

My research since then has told me that an old Durian Fruit Farmer in 1976 at the grand old age of 77 started to fulfil his life’s ambition and carved all these wonderful statues which he had seen in his dreams and he created them to honour Buddha.

The statues depict a number of animals, deities and humans in various poses, including one of the man himself Khun Nim in a relaxed position sitting on a rock. Khun Nim continued to work developing his garden until his death at the age of 91.

The garden is now cared for by his relatives.

This also reinforces to me that…

“You can dare to dream” and that dreams do come true…albeit you have to work hard and you must have that will and determination to make it happen just like this old Durian farmer called Uncle(Khun) Nim did.

We visited this magical place which was way off the beaten track back in 2002 so a few years ago now and the road is no longer open to the public but only to experienced 4 x 4 drivers. But, local tour firms offer day trips up the mountain.

The new road lies directly opposite the temple Wat Khunaram near Lamai and the road leads you through some very steep hills to the Secret Garden. It is also now known locally as the Magic or Buddha garden and magical it certainly was for me.

A beautiful magical garden which I hope to revisit one day… I have never forgotten my visit to the Secret Garden and it has been the subject of a presentation I did for work. A short story I wrote in the Phuket Writers Anthology and a lovely memory for me which I am now sharing with you… If you ever get the chance to visit I am sure it will not disappoint. I hope you are left with that same magical feeling which I experienced.

©Carol Taylor 2018

Thanks to Carol for allowing me to dive into her archives and I am sure you enjoyed this post as much as I did.

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://carolcooks2.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

You can find Carol’s Food and Cookery column articles in this folder: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2019/

Thank you for dropping in today and we would love your feedback thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family – Retiring Guide Dogs: No One-Size-Fits-All Solution by Donna W. Hill


This is the last in the present series from the archives of Donna Hill and this week she shares her experience of the process of retiring her guide dogs.

Retiring Guide Dogs: No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

Weeks before Hunter's 13th birthday, he and Donna walk along Trail Loop; shows Greening Moss: photo by Rich Hill.

Weeks before Hunter’s 13th birthday on March 7, 2016, he and Donna walk along their favorite Trail; shows Greening Moss: photo by Rich Hill.

Despite the many wonderful things guide dogs can do for their blind handlers, they share a common flaw. Though they can find the post office, a seat on a train or deftly navigate a construction zone, they can’t live as long as we’d prefer

Hunter, Donna's black Lab guide dog, on Hill's Pond-Berm Trail with blooming yellow Birdsfoot Trefoil, Showing his Gray in Summer of 2013: photo by Rich Hill.

Hunter, Donna’s black Lab guide dog, on Hill’s Pond-Berm Trail with blooming yellow Birdsfoot Trefoil, Showing his Gray in Summer of 2013: photo by Rich Hill.

Hunter got sick a year and a half ago, and was ultimately diagnosed with Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic Enteritis (LPE, a form of canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Since then, people have been asking me when I would be getting a new guide dog. The issue comes up even more now that he’s thirteen.

Guide Dogs, Ownership & Retirement

Donna & Hunter rest by a lake in South Dakota several years ago: photo by Rich Hill.

Donna & Hunter rest by a lake in South Dakota several years ago: photo by Rich Hill.

The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind (Smithtown, NY), where I received all four of my furry helpers, is one of only a few schools which offer guide dog handlers full ownership of their dogs. Like many GDF students, I always opt in.

Despite having transferred all of the legal responsibility for the dogs to the blind owners, however, GDF is there with help and support throughout the life of the team. They, of course, help in the retirement process. The transition from one guide dog to the next is replete with many questions, unforeseen circumstances, and difficult decisions.

When Should a Guide Dog Retire?

Safety is the most important consideration. If a guide dog is, for any reason, no longer able to perform his duties, and it’s not a matter that veterinary care or further training can rectify, it’s time.

The dog’s health isn’t the only factor. Sometimes, the dog just slows down with age or shows signs that work is becoming too stressful. Since opportunities for independent living and employment for blind Americans are primarily in urban areas, many blind people live in cities, use public transportation and live in apartment complexes. This presents more and different challenges than living in a small town or — as we do — in the country.

Many handlers choose to retire their dogs in middle age. This is done for several reasons. Handlers need to take time off from work to train with a new guide dog. Having the flexibility to schedule something that works for the employer and GDF is preferable to being stuck in the city with no guide dog, waiting for a place on class and using alternate methods to go about one’s life. Furthermore, many people want their beloved canine friends to have a happy retirement while they are still healthy enough to enjoy it.

What Happens to Retired Guide Dogs?

Some guide dogs suddenly become ill and pass away. Most guide dogs, however, are retired in relatively good health. The blind person can keep the retired guide dog and get a new one at the same time. When we lived in Glenside, I knew a couple who each had a working guide dog. They also had a retired guide dog and a cat. They all slept together in a king-sized water bed.

3 Lazy Boys & 1 Lazy Girl: shows Donna, black Lab guide dog Hunter & rescued orange tabby Goofus in a Lazy Boy recliner: photo by Rich Hill.

3 Lazy Boys & 1 Lazy Girl: shows Donna, black Lab guide dog Hunter & rescued orange tabby Goofus in a Lazy Boy recliner: photo by Rich Hill.

Not everyone can, or wishes to, keep their retired dogs, however. Some people give them to their parents, other family members or friends that the dog already knows. Others prefer finding a country environment, where the dog has more freedom.

For those who need another option, GDF has a retirement program. The family who raised the dog as a puppy is usually given the option to take the dog back, and many do. If that doesn’t work, there is a long list of volunteer families ready to adopt retired guide dogs.

My Experience with Retiring My Guide Dogs: a Different Path

Donnna - with her black Lab guide dog, Hunter - donates The Heart of Applebutter Hill to Dir. Jesse Johnson of the Towanda Public Library: photo by Rich Hill.

Donnna – with her black Lab guide dog, Hunter – donates The Heart of Applebutter Hill to Dir. Jesse Johnson of the Towanda Public Library: photo by Rich Hill.

I’ve never gotten a new guide until after the one I was with passed away. None of my dogs have ever left our home or my care. I understand why people have to do this and consider myself profoundly blessed that I have not had to, though it comes with its own challenges. It was less of a well-thought-out decision on my part than just the way things happened that got me started down this path.

Simba

Donna Sitting with her first guide dog Simba (a black Lab) in Great Smokies National Park in '81: photo by Rich Hill

Donna Sitting with her first guide dog Simba (a black Lab) in Tennessee’s Great Smokies National Park in ’81: photo by Rich Hill.

My first guide, Simba, was 13 and working well when he was diagnosed with lympho-sarcoma. I was a street performer in Philadelphia’s center-city train terminal Suburban Station. At the time of Simba’s diagnosis, there was a system-wide strike by SEPTA (the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority). Even if I could have gotten to center city, no one else would have been there. It was very liberating, and I never had to think of Simba’s condition as interfering with my livelihood.

At the time, the treatment, which our local vet warned us had more side effects than the specialists would acknowledge, offered a fifty percent chance of a remission lasting up to six months. Without it, they estimated that he’d have six weeks.

He had about two. Our vet put him to sleep in our back yard with Rich and I comforting him and a tape of Segovia playing.

The best for the best,” as Rich said.

Curly Connor

Donna & Curly Connor in opening of stone wall at Grey Towers National Historical Site (Milford, PA), mid '90s: photo by Rich Hill.

Donna & Curly Connor in opening of stone wall at Grey Towers National Historical Site (Milford, PA), mid ’90s: photo by Rich Hill.

The real Curly Connor, the half black Lab and half Golden Retriever upon whom Abigail’s guide dog in The Heart of Applebutter Hill is based, had sudden back end paralysis from a vaccination reaction at age 12. The vet thought it was arthritis, but I asked him to humor me and do an x-ray. He stood there clicking his pen and finally said that Connor had the hips of a 6-year-old.

With the help of Dr. Jean Dodds, a veterinary epidemiologist referred to us by Emily Biegel, our GDF trainer, along with a local neurologist, we got him passed that so that he worked for 2 more years.

When I retired him, Curly Connor would still go for walks with me. I didn’t work him; I was using my white cane. We’d get rides to school-assembly presentations from Rich, who had been laid off by then. This allowed Curly Connor to dress up like a guide dog and walk around for the kids, which he loved.

We were in Glenside by then and no longer street singing. Curly Connor died in our Living room at the ripe old age of 15. The vet who put him to sleep said it had been an honor to know and treat him.

MoMo

I deeply regret not having a picture of my eighty-pound black Lab/Golden Retriever tough guy, MoMo. Rich hasn’t yet digitized that part of his photography archives.

MoMo died suddenly at age 9, and we were living here in the mountains. I hadn’t yet transferred my school assembly skills to this area and was using him primarily for long walks. We knew he was aging rapidly, but tests weren’t showing anything. One day we woke up to an emergency. We rushed him to the vet’s, and he died while they were examining him. Later we learned that he had angio-sarcoma.

Hunter

Hunter, Donna's black Lab guide dog, has found a new way to carry his red rubber Ring. It's in his mouth but flipped up over his face: photo by Rich Hill.

At 12.5, Hunter, Donna’s black Lab guide dog, found a new way to carry his red rubber Ring. It’s in his mouth but flipped up over his face: photo by Rich Hill.

Hunter has been essentially retired for a year and a half. He recovered from LPE, regained the twelve pounds he had lost and returned to what we called “modified assignment.” we took short walks on our trails here on the property, and Rich threw Hunter’s beloved red rubber ring to build up his strength. Until a couple of months ago, When we went out, he accompanied us and was still up to working in stores.

Recently, however, things have changed. Though he sees and hears as well as ever and his appetite remains as respectable as his breed demands, his strength is evaporating before our eyes. We have to lift him into our car, and when he plays with his red rubber ring, it’s more of a prance than a run.

Donna W. Hill, author of the educator-recommended novel The Heart of Applebutter Hill, & her guide dog Hunter walk along path in California Redwoods in Sept. 2009. There's a glowing mist: Photo by Rich Hill.

Donna & her guide dog Hunter walk along path in California Redwoods in September 2009. There’s a glowing mist: Photo by Rich Hill.

Yes, I miss our long walks. Nevertheless, I feel blessed that we are in a position to allow Hunter to spend his waning days or weeks or whatever it is with us, working when he’s up to it. Just as there will never be another Simba, another Curly Connor or another MoMo, I know that I can never replace Hunter either. I am, however, still blind. So, when Hunter is gone, I will get another guide dog, and we will give him all of our love.

Note: Hunter sadly passed away in 2016 and Donna now has a new guide dog called Mo.

Resources

Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind – providing guide dogs at no cost to qualified students: http://www.guidedog.org/

Dr. Jean Dodds Pet Health Resource Blog: Considered one of the foremost experts in pet healthcare, Dr. Dodds focuses on vaccination protocols, thyroid issues and nutrition: http://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/

More Information from Dr. Dodds: http://Hemopet.org http://Nutriscan.org

About The Heart of Applebutter Hill

Imagine you’re 14 and in a strange country with your camera, your best friend, her guitar and her dog. You uncover a secret and are instantly in danger. Join Baggy, Abigail and Curly Connor as they explore Elfin Pond, sneak around Bar Gundoom Castle and row across an underground lake. The powerful Heartstone of Arden-Goth is hidden nearby, and corporate giants unleash a spy to seize it. Compelled to unmask the spy and find the Heartstone, they can’t trust anyone.

As summer heats up, their troubled friend Christopher is viciously bullied and an armed stranger terrorizes Abigail and Baggy. The friends disagree about the spy’s identity, but are convinced it’s a teacher. When a desperate Christopher shows up one night with a terrified cat, the truth is revealed. Soon, police are involved.

One of the over 50 reviews for the book

This is a book about a blind girl without being a book about a blind girl….which is exactly the point. The main character, Abby, doesn’t trumpet her disability around the world as if it were her defining characteristic. She doesn’t have a sense of entitlement. The reader is never tempted to pity her, even for a moment. She is a driven, bright, gregarious yet measured girl who just happens to be blind.

Through her experiences we are exposed to a world that depends on the other senses, we find new ways to connect to the world around us. Mrs. Hill paints Abby’s thrill ride with her companion dog (Curly Connor) and best friend (Baggy Brichaz) in such a manner that the reader leaves the book better equipped to understand visual impairments without hitting them over the head with it. It took me a while to realize this because at first I was just writing this review on the merits of good vs. bad Young Adult fiction (and it is good, trust me). The feather in the cap of this book is that it stands as a great story that actually teaches you something, leaves you pondering your own disabilities vs. those of others.

I am a middle school reading teacher and I review and teach a lot of YA fiction. What separates the wheat from the chaff for me is well-developed characters that show humanness and overcome in spite of failures. You get the feeling that each of the characters in this book could very well survive on their own but the adventure is exponentially heightened because of the relationships they garner with each other. Mrs. Hill does a brilliant job of showing weaknesses, strengths and diversity as just a starting point to the basics of character interaction. By the end of this book, I felt like Abby, Baggy and Curly were my next-door neighbors and I still find myself looking out my window, waiting for the Cloud Scooper to swing by….

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Applebutter-Hill-Donna-W-ebook/dp/B00CNG6DDM

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Applebutter-Hill-Donna-W-ebook/dp/B00CNG6DDM

Read more reviews and follow Donna on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126655.Donna_W_Hill

About Donna Hill

Donna W. Hill is a writer, speaker, animal lover and avid knitter from Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains. Her first novel, The Heart of Applebutter Hill, is an adventure-mystery with excursions into fantasy for general audiences. Professionals in the fields of education and the arts have endorsed it as a diversity and anti-bullying resource for junior high through college.

A songwriter with three albums, Hill provided educational and motivational programs in the Greater Philadelphia area for fifteen years before moving to the mountains. Her essay, “Satori Green” appears in Richard Singer’s Now, Embracing the Present Moment (2010, O-Books), and her cancer-survivor story is in Dawn Colclasure’s On the Wings of Pink Angels (2012).

From 2009 through 2013, Hill was an online journalist for numerous publications, covering topics ranging from nature, health care and accessibility to music, knitting and chocolate. She is an experienced talk show guest and guest blogger and presents workshops about writing and her novel for school, university, community and business groups.

Connect to Donna.

Website:  https://donnawhill.com/about-the-author/
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Donna-W.-Hill/e/B00CNTTUK2
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dewhill
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dwh99
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/donna.w.hill
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7126655.Donna_W_Hill

My thanks to Donna for sharing this post and her wonderful companions from over the years. It is sad that our canine family have so much shorter lives that we do, which is why packing the years they do have with love and quality of life is one of the joys of family.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family – Whose story is it anyway by Norah Colvin


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

Whose story is it anyway by Norah Colvin

Nor and Bec reading
Children love stories. They love being read stories and beg for them to be read, over and over again.

Equally as much, if not more, they love being told stories, especially stories of their own lives. They beg for them to be told over and over, listening attentively and with wonder as their own stories (her story and his story) are being revealed. They commit these tales to memory so that eventually it is difficult to distinguish the genuine experiential memory from the telling. Even as adults they seem to not tire of hearing tales of the cute things they did when they were little, or of shared experiences.

They also love being told stories of their parents’ lives. These are the stories that help define them and their existence: how they came to be. The stories tell of times gone by, and of how things used to be. They marvel that their parents were once children and try to imagine how that might have been.

My daughter would often ask for stories about herself, her brother, myself or other family members. One day when she was about six, she asked again, ‘Tell me a story about when you were a little girl.’ Before I could respond she jumped in with, ‘What were the dinosaurs like?’ She was teasing, of course, and her comedic timing was perfect. A story was created, one that has been shared many times.

History is a story, though at school I never saw it as such. Had it been a story of lives, as its name implies, I may have been interested. But history at school was a list of wars and dates, and kings and queens to be memorised and regurgitated for a test at the end of the term. There was no story, no human emotion, no semblance to any narrative that may have lured me in.

I hope that today’s students of history are not required to commit sterile lists of facts to memory without the stories that would give them meaning and significance, some human element to help the information stick.

History, as a subject, had always been relegated to high school. It was not a discrete part of the primary school curriculum, though aspects were explored in other subject areas such as ‘Social Studies’ when I was at school, or more recently ‘Studies of Society and Environment’. With the introduction of the new Australian Curriculum,  History is now a stand-alone subject.

As an early childhood teacher I was a bit terrified that young children would be required to memorise lists of seemingly random facts and dates. I’m pleased to say that, for the early years anyway, this is not so. Children in the early years start by exploring their own history and the history of their family, considering similarities and differences between their lives, the lives of their parents, and of their friends.

I applaud this as an excellent starting point. I believe, when working with children, connections must always be made with their lives and what they know. What better starting point than investigating the traditions of their own family and culture.

In Australia, as I am sure it is in many other places, a great diversity of cultures is represented in each classroom. Encouraging children to share similarities and differences of traditions with their classmates helps to develop understanding of each other’s traditions and beliefs, which in turn fosters respect and empathy. For this purpose, I developed some materials to make it easy for children to share their traditions. These are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

 

 

Mem Fox has written a beautiful picture book Whoever you are that I love to share with children when discussing their cultures and traditions. It explains in a simple and beautiful way that although children around the world may live in different houses, wear different clothes, eat different foods, for example ‘inside, their hearts are just like yours.’ Mem Fox explains the story on her website.

I also like to sing I am Freedom’s Child by Bill Martin Jr.; and in Australia we have a great song that tells about our different beginnings, I am, you are, we are Australian by Bruce Woodley.

What got me thinking about history in particular for this post is the flash fiction prompt posted by Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Communications. Charli’s challenge is to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that considers history, near or far.

This is my contribution

washing 1949

Washing day

Her freckled, calloused hands were red and chaffed as they gripped the wooden stick and stirred Monday’s sheets in the large copper pot heating over burning blocks of wood.

The children played in the dirt nearby, scratching like chickens, hopeful of an interesting find.

The dirt embedded under her torn and splitting fingernails began to ease away in the warm sudsy water as she heaved the sodden sheets and plopped them onto the wooden mangles.

The children fought to turn the handle, smearing dirty handprints on the sheets.

She sighed, and hung them over the line. One chore done.
©Norah Colvin

About Norah Colvin

I am an experienced and passionate educator. I teach. I write. I create.

I have spent almost all my life thinking and learning about thinking and learning.

I have been involved in many educational roles, both in and out of formal schooling situations, always combining my love of teaching and writing by creating original materials to support children’s learning.

Now as I step away from the classroom again, I embark upon my latest iteration: sharing my thoughts about education by challenging what exists while asking what could be; and inviting early childhood educators to support children’s learning through use of my original teaching materials which are now available on my website http://www.readilearn.com.au

Connect to Norah via her websites

Website: www.NorahColvin.com
Website: www.readilearn.com.au

And social media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NorahColvin
Twitter 2:  https://twitter.com/readilearn
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008724879054
Readilearn:  https://www.facebook.com/readilearnteachingresources/
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/norah-colvin-14578777

My thanks to Norah for reminding us how important it is to pass on this living history from generation to generation. I know she would be delighted to hear your experiences about learning family history and comments. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family -#Cats – The Futility of a Feline Rooftop Protest by Jen Moore


Please welcome Jen Moore who has been blogging about life with chickens, cats and children for five years. After a recent break, she is back blogging again and is sharing two of her posts from her archives with us. She hopes you might head over and visit here and read more.

The first of her posts is about the original Chuffin Cat…Ethelbert, was was apparently quite the character.

The Futility of a Feline Rooftop Protest

The news of the chuffin cat’s rooftop protest was spread quicker than a flock of chickens in a drumstick factory. Whilst I am loathe to publicise and thereby condone this type of manipulative feline behaviour, I feel that some kind of explanation is needed.

The chuffin cat is well-known for her outspoken views on a variety of subjects, particularly concerning the inappropriate use of thermometers by veterinary surgeons (vets). As such, a trip to see the vet can be a very traumatic event: it takes me a long time to calm down on such occasions.

The appointment was booked for yesterday. Gauntlets, goggles and earplugs were gathered, along with the riot police on standby. The cat carrier had been left in the corner of the lounge: the elephant in the room (An elephant? With hindsight that might have been a good addition). All bedroom doors were closed, windows shut, cupboards blocked off.

Half an hour before the appointment time, I realised that the chuffin cat had disappeared. I also realised that I had neglected to lock the most important door of all – the chuffin cat’s personal security door (cat flap).

I ventured outside and stopped when I heard an indignant but distant miaow . Looking up, I spied the chuffin cat on the very top of the roof, a black cloud hovering above her head in contrast to the vivid blue sky beyond. I won’t demean myself by giving too much detail on what followed next; suffice to say lots of calling, begging and pleading could be heard. Expletives littered the air (mainly from the chuffin cat). A food bowl was fetched, along with a crackly food bag, biscuits, cat toys, cat nip spray, cat nip bubbles, a pot of cream, a banana (great for throwing), a bar of chocolate (I was really working up an appetite) but all to no avail. A small crowd began to gather on the other side of the path, adding to the pressure – who would win? The negotiator or the protester?

After 30 minutes, I felt it necessary to ring the vet. When he had stopped laughing, he told me to make my way to the surgery once the offender had been captured. By this time, the chuffin cat had made her way down to the porch roof. A much better position – high enough to stay out of reach but low enough to eyeball her negotiator in defiance.

I then had a sudden thought. I waved goodbye to the chuffin cat, came into the house, locked the front door behind me and hid. After 3 minutes there was an almighty explosion of scrabbling and wailing outside. As I opened the door in strutted the chuffin cat, nose in the air, tail rigid like a fluffy toilet brush, wondering why she was no longer the centre of attention. Quick as a flash, I grabbed the errant animal, stuffed her headfirst into the cat carrier (bit of a squash) and dashed off to see the vet, with a swirl of dust and a squeal of tyres. There was no need to play any music en route as the chuffin cat serenaded me for the entire journey.

Walking into the surgery was particularly awkward, especially as I felt obliged to announce, “I’ve got the rooftop protester here for you.”

Back home a little while later, I wondered what had caused such extreme behaviour from her naughty chuffness. As I glanced across at the calendar on the wall, it all became clear: when listing the appointment to see the vet, I had for some strange, unknown reason written ‘take cat to Sainsbury’s’ instead. She clearly hates shopping far more than she hates the vet. And I really should get tested for Alzheimers.

©Jen Moore

About Jennifer Moore

Jen is a Sword fighter, wrestler, referee & chef to 4 boys (big and small), staff for the infamous chuffin cat & perturbed chooks. Aspiring writer, compulsive giggler. Jen has been blogging about the funny side of life with cats, chickens and children for five years.

Connect to Jennifer

Blog: https://chuffincat.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chuffincat/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chuffintweet

My thanks to Jen for sharing this delightful story about the original Chuffin cat.. and I hope you will head over to her blog to find out more about her delightful menagerie.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family #Poetry – Thank you Mama by Bette A. Stevens.


Welcome the second of the posts from the archives of children’s author and poet Bette A. Stevens. Today she shares a poem in tribute to her mother…

Thank you Mama

Thank you dearest Mama
For the lane you’ve led me down
The light you shone before me
Still helps me traverse on
Climbing formidable summits
Or facing storming skies
I know that you’re still with me
Watching through the Father’s eyes
I can always feel the sunshine
As your smile lights the way
Love truly unconditional
I’m thankful every day

Mama left us, bound for her heavenly home, in April of 2008. Mama’s strength of character, poise and wit—and her unconditional love— live on within all those whose lives she touched.

Thank you, dearest Mama…

©Bette A. Stevens

About Bette A. Stevens

Inspired by nature and human nature, Bette A. Stevens is an author, retired teacher, wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, reading, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature.

She advocates for children and childhood literacy and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species. Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!, was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012. AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books.

Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH: The story, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England and prequel to DOG BONE SOUP, debut novel released January 2015.

Books by Bette

One of the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup

When I first heard about Dog Bone Soup, I was intrigued by the title. From the start, I was drawn into this captivating story about a family living in poverty. Stevens does an excellent job of depicting an era when so many struggled. I adored Shawn’s character and admired his strength as he filled the shoes of his alcoholic father. This is a fast read that kept me turning the pages well into the night as there were many similarities to my father’s upbringing. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette A. Stevens.

Website: https://4writersandreaders.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBetteAStevens
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteAStevens

If you would like to share your stories about family, including our fur babies.. then please take a look at the details.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

Previous participants are more than welcome

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Family – One Picture for a Thousand Words by Jennie Fitzkee


Welcome to another post from the archives of Jennie Fitzkee. Jennie has enjoyed a career as a pre-school teacher for over thirty years, and has some inspiring posts that reinforce that the ability to read and books, are two of the best gifts we can give our children.

In today’s post Jennie shares the connections that she was able to make between reading Little House on the Prairie and her own grandfather from a similar era and his experiences of mining. Living history is so important to record and to have a connection with someone born in the 1890s to learn first hand what life was like, especially if you can pass it on to a future generation… spanning the past and present…

One Picture for a Thousand Words by Jennie Fitzkee

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Our final chapter reading book this year at school was Little House on the Prairie.  The last chapter that we read was ‘Fresh Water to Drink’.  Pa and his neighbor, Mr. Scott, were digging a well.  Pa was careful to lower a candle each day into the deep hole to make sure the air was safe.  Bad gas lives deep under the earth.  Mr. Scott thought the candle was ‘foolishness’, and began digging without sending the candle down into the well.  The rest of the chapter was an edge-of-your-seat nail biter.

I love this chapter.  So did the children.  I realized I could connect what happened down in that well to something real; a portrait of my grandfather as a little boy wearing miner’s gear, including a candle on his helmet.  My grandfather and his father had mines in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  I grew up with their stories and photographs, including this portrait.

I brought it to school the next day to show the children.  “This is my grandfather”, I said.  “He went deep under the earth, just like Pa and Mr. Scott.  What is that on his head?”  Children couldn’t sit.  They jumped up, pressed against me and each other, all wanting a closer look.  “That’s fire!” someone said.  “No, it’s a candle” said Owen.  “A candle is fire.” said Miles.  “What did he do?”  Ah, those wonderful, spontaneous questions that spark the best learning.  This was ‘a moment’, fifteen children eager to hear more and learn.

I told them about mining, going underground, and about the candle.  I then showed them the Garth Williams illustrations in the chapter ‘Fresh Water to Drink’, with Ma and Pa turning the handle of the windlass to get Mr. Scott out of the well, and Pa digging the hole that is as deep as he is tall.  We talked about how hard that would be.  We imagined what it would be like inside the hole:  Dark or light?  Hot or cold?  Then someone asked, “How old is your grandfather?”

I was connecting generations and connecting learning.

I’m in mid-life, where I have a strong, real link with the past and also the present.  My one arm can reach and touch my parents from before 1920 and my grandparents from the 1880’s and 1890’s   They were just here ‘some years ago’.  My other arm can reach and touch my children and grandchildren, and all the preschoolers I teach.

I find this mind boggling; I’m equally part of the past, a long line of family history, and part of the present, teaching children and learning.  I want to connect all the lines.  I want people to know that I was there with Nan who was born in The 1880’s, and with Lulu who was born ten years later.  I want people to know that I understand life from that point forward.

More importantly, I want my preschoolers to have a firsthand piece of history.  It is a ‘real’ way to enhance learning.  That happened with my Grandfather’s portrait.

©Jennie Fitzkee

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
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

My thanks to Jennie for sharing this post from her archives and it would be great if you could share how far your personal connection to your family stretches in each direction.

My parents were born in 1916 and 1917 and I met my grandmother who was born in 1890 the youngest in my own family is 12 years old so that is span of 129 years of living history.

If you would like to share your stories about family, including our fur babies.. then please take a look at the details.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

Previous participants are more than welcome

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up – Social Media Woes, Jazz, Gardening, Italian Recipes, Nutritional cooking, Flash Fiction and Books Galore


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week… especially if you normally pick them up on Facebook!

I won’t go into detail as I covered it in a post early in the week, but suffice to say that I was in Facebook quarantine for two days with my posts removed as not meeting the community standards and I also received notification that someone has reported my posts as offensive.  I also got this message when I tried to share other blogger’s posts.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-removal-of-the-facebook-link-button/

Those clicking the Facebook share button were also getting a blocked message and rather than cause them upset, I removed the button until Friday after I had sent numerous appeals to the governing body and emails (still no response) and I was able to finally share from other blogs and those sharing from here got through.

I have not posted any links to the blog posts themselves until today.. and hopefully you are reading this because it has gone onto my timeline.

I am not the only person to be affected this week including Debby Gies who you know as a regular contributor here. It is allegedly down to the new policies on fake news and too many external URLS being posted.

Clearly though someone thought that book promotions and health posts were offensive and rather than hit the unfriend button, decided to report me.

That’s life… Going forward I am restricting my own links to other blogger’s posts and once week my round up and hopefully we can maintain the status quo.

In the meantime several of us have also joined MeWe with is a similar interface as Facebook but is more user friendly. They also guarantee that none of our data will be sold. It is early days, but if you are an author you might like to check it out, as Colleen Chesebro, Debby Gies and myself are part of a Literary Diva’s Library on the new site to help you promote your books, reviews and interviews. Just click the image and it will take you there.. my personal profile is mewe.com/i/sallycronin

Anyway.. no more drama…… and on with the week’s posts…

This week William Price King introduces us to the unique talents of jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-esperanza-spalding-jazz-bassist-and-singer/

This week Paul Andruss introduces us to the Hellebores… and some of the poisonous beauties much loved in ancient times as instruments of death…including deadly nightshade.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-heavenly-hellebores-3/

The next in the series to prevent nutritional deficiency by creating dishes containing the nutrient for the whole family… Carol Taylor has produced some wonderful recipes using ingredients rich in Vitamin B1.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/smorgasbord-health-column-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-vitamin-b1-thiamin/

In the second of this series, Silvia Todesco shares a traditional ricotta and beef meatballs in tomato sauce….

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-silvia-todesco-italian-cookery-ricotta-and-beef-meatballs-an-italian-classic/

My personal stuff – Short stories and poetry

My response to Diana Wallace Peach’s monthly speculative fiction photo prompt..a story titled A Moment of Alignment.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-marchs-speculative-fiction-a-moment-of-alignment-by-sally-cronin/

Colleen Chesbro’s weekly poetry challenge is an escape from my WIP that I look forward to…. this week my poem was an etheree… March Hares

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-weekly-poetry-challenge-march-hares-etheree-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction was to create a story about a mouse.. in 99 words, no more, no less….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-my-mouse-by-sally-cronin/

This week a look at how our childhood can influence both our willpower and how we regard the food that we eat. Understanding your relationship to food is important for health and also for weight loss.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-emotional-factor-willpower-and-childish-things/

This week a look at more of the official human rights as laid down by the United Nations, and our obligation to protect that right and to abide by the law… and when you look at the mortality rates of car accidents vs. murder rates and the high percentage of fatalities associated with texting and drink driving, you will find it hard to separate the two.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/something-to-think-about-survival-in-modern-world-our-rights-part-two-by-sally-cronin/

An unexpected gift of a turkey causes untold mayhem in the farmyard which as always creates an entertaining episode from the family archives of Linda Bethea

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-pass-the-chicken-please-or-fowl-friends/

There are a number of flash fiction challenges on WordPress that are really fun to take part in and certainly do hone our skill at brevity.. Here is a post from Joy Lennick’s archives on the subject and an example of her own flash fiction.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-on-the-subject-of-flash-fiction-and-minimilism-by-joy-lennick/

I am delighted to welcome author L.T. Garvin (Lana Broussard) to Smorgasbord with a series of guest posts, and her first is a heartrending poem about the past, her family and the devastating loss of a mother in wartime. Lana will be joining us every two weeks until April 8th.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-l-t-garvin-poetry-looking-homeward/

My guest this week is author Ann Barnes who shares the animal she would like to have a conversation with, her weirdest dream, what is in her handbag, and what she would have done differently.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-ann-barnes/

This series offers you a chance to share posts from your own archives that you would like seen by a new audience. Perhaps a post your wrote a year or so ago. If you are interested you can click on the link in any of the posts below to get the details. It is another opportunity to promote your books or other creative work as well.

Can you remember your first flight in a plane? Poet and author Balroop Singh shares hers which was a magical experience… she would love to hear about yours.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/smorgasbord-blogs-from-your-archives-family-my-first-flight-by-balroop-singh/

Childrens/YA author Darlene Foster, shares more of her extended family that emigrated to Canada in the 1900s… this time her father’s relatives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-the-other-side-of-the-family-by-darlene-foster/

Jennie Fitzkee who has over 30 years experience as a pre-school teacher, and loves sharing stories with her class, shares her childhood in relations to fairy stories and how many have an element of violence. She explores the need for a reality check for children from an early age about life in general, but there need to be guidelines on how they are introduced.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-my-mothers-fairy-tales-by-jennie-fitzkee/

Robbie Cheadle spends a great deal of time tempting us to eat scrumptious baked delights, and this is no exception as she shares the family recipe of Granny Una’s apple pie…bibs on…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-granny-unas-apple-pie-by-robbie-cheadle/

Sharon Marchisello learnt some valuable financial lessons from her parents, and this week the advice given to her by her father.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-financial-lessons-from-my-father-by-sharon-marchisello/

Children’s author Bette A. Stevens shares her poem in tribute to her grandmother.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-poetry-grandmas-legacy-by-bette-a-stevens/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-romance-skating-on-thin-ice-by-jacquie-biggar/New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shades-of-sepia-cover-model-book-2-by-laura-m-baird/

Author Updates – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updates-reviews-deborah-jay-andrew-joyce-and-jacqui-murray/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-rachele-baker-dvm-marina-osipova-and-d-wallace-peach/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-doctors-and-side-effects/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-5/

Thank you very much for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed the posts. Thank to those who have shared to Facebook, sometimes using alternative methods!  I appreciate the support.

Hopefully all is more or less back to normal!!!!!!

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Family is Everything by Children’s Author Darlene Foster.


Welcome to the start of the series of posts from the archives of children’s author Darlene Foster on the subject of family. Darlene take amazing photographs so here is an extract and the link for you to read the entire post.

Family is Everything by Darlene Foster.

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A couple of posts ago I showed this picture of my great grandparents, Henry and Katharina Hoffman taken when they arrived in Canada in 1909. They came from South Russia with three children, had one on the way to the homestead in Alberta (my grandmother) and had seven more once settled.

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This picture was taken much later with the surviving children. My grandmother is standing, third from the right.

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This picture of Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather Hoffman at their 50th Anniversary, in 1954, shows all the children and their spouses. My grandparents are the second couple on the right. The only one still with us is Great Uncle Tony, married to my grandmother´s sister Ann. (First couple on the left) The descendants of these brave, hardworking people have been meeting every five years for the past 30 years at The Hoffman Reunion. The reunions are organized by a different family group each time.

This year the reunion was organized by the Raymond Becker family, descendants of Great Aunt Lindina, one of the little girls on the original picture. It is a lot of work and they did a great job. I am so glad I crossed the Atlantic to attend.

Descendants of Henry and Katherine Hoffman at the 2015 reunion

Descendants of Henry and Katherine Hoffman at the 2015 reunion

It was so great to see all my many cousins, aunts and uncles. We ate fabulous German food, caught up on news, reminisced, played cards and board games, looked at old pictures, shared hugs and ate some more. Being together was all that mattered. Family pictures were taken and loved ones no longer with us fondly remembered. I brought my 14 year old grandson and my 8 year old great granddaughter, who had a fabulous time. I was able to take mom out of the nursing home for a couple of hours to attend. At 86 she was almost the oldest person there. 136 attended this reunion; out of over 250 descendants spread all over the world, that is a good turn out. The youngest was 11 days old, the oldest 91.

My great granddaughter with my cousin´s granddaughter. We think they are 5th cousins

My great granddaughter with my cousin´s granddaughter. We think they are 5th cousins

Please head over to Darlene’s post now to see the rest of her amazing family and find out more about their history: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/family-is-everything/

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

She was brought up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she dreamt of traveling the world and meeting interesting people. She currently divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca in Spain, with her husband Paul.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind”  to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

Amanda In New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind.

About the book

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Amanda and her sixth-grade class are on an educational field trip from their hometown of Calgary, Canada to visit, explore and document their experiences in New Mexico, USA. As the class tours Taos, New Mexico and the surrounding area, their trip is interrupted by ghosts present and past. In “Amanda in New Mexico—Ghost in the Wind,” Foster has written a contemporary fiction story through which middle grade students will not only learn about the region’s geography, architecture, and artifacts—they’ll learn invaluable life lessons along the way. Students and teachers are sure to want to follow Amanda through further adventures in this well-written series.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels-ebook/dp/B01MT8LXAR/

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels-ebook/dp/B01MT8LXAR/

A selection of other books by Darlene Foster

Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA

Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

Connect to Darlene via her website and social media.

Website: www.darlenefoster.ca
Blog: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

Posts from your Archives – All about the family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The only issue is the number of photographs and if there are more than five photographs in the post I will do a reblog rather than a separate post. (Media space)

Previous participants are more than welcome

Thanks to Darlene for sharing her amazing family.. what a legacy…

Smorgasbord Blog Posts from your Archives #Family – Walls Do Respond To Emotional Attachments – Home Is Where The Heart Is! by Balroop Singh


Delighted to welcome poet Balroop Singh back with more posts from her archives, and this series, on the subject of family.

Walls Do Respond To Emotional Attachments – Home Is Where The Heart Is! by Balroop Singh

It is quite natural to get attached to homes if we have invested our hearts into them. Even the walls of such homes become receptive.

Recently I happened to read an article, which stirred my emotions intensely and took me down the memory lane.

My dear friend  Lisa Thomson says, “A house has no feelings or attachments. It doesn’t love us back. Walls really don’t talk, and that’s probably a good thing.”

We convert a house into a home when we get emotionally attached to it.

HOME THAT NURTURED ME:

The home in which I grew up is still very much a part of my ardent memories as this was the place that nurtured me from the age that was most impressionable.

The excitement of an eight-year-old child is still very fresh in my mind. I can smell the fragrance of new paint and wood even now. Whenever I go down the memory lane, I can experience the friendship of all the nooks and crannies that I explored the very first day I stepped into this house our father got designed for us.

This house cherished my dreams, cushioned my lonely moments, provided solace to my disappointments, gave shape to my adventures and inspired me to aspire high.

Every wall was a supporting shelter, how much I could share my thoughts with them, silently!

The walls of my room empathized with me when I didn’t sleep well due to examination fever. They rejoiced with me when I turned up the volume of my radio, to celebrate my little moments of joy. They resounded with my giggles in the afternoons.

As I grew up, every brick seemed so precious, every tree of the little garden I loved seemed to cherish my thoughts and provide solace to my distressing hours.

Then came the time to leave my treasured surroundings, my home.

I can still feel the tears of poignant parting on my cheeks.

I hate this age-old tradition of some countries – to leave your maternal home after marriage. The one who created this tradition must be a man for according to this orthodox convention, he doesn’t leave his home; he has the choice to continue living in it or sell it.

I thought I would keep coming back to my home whenever I wanted and I did during the initial years of setting up my new home.

It remains the epicenter of my dreams even now. All family get-togethers are hosted in this home even now… but in dreams.

I can no longer visit it in real life because it was sold…and that is another story!

love for home

HOME THAT DEFINED ME:

Despite all those attachments I had with that home, which remains the backdrop of all my dreams, I was pleased to find a new one that anchored me and promised myself to make it more loving than the one that had raised me.

A home cannot be built in a day…it encompasses in itself the dreams and the aspirations we hold close to our heart, the hopes that we gather with each passing day, the goals that we achieve together.

A home lounges on the care and affection we shower on each other, the time we offer to understand the needs and desires of a family, to live through the difficult times together and to support each other despite minor differences.

This home I acquired became my treasure house, a nest, which was filled with the babble of my little children and the love of my hubby. It accumulated and absorbed all the memories, all the celebrations and the moments of intense joy, of raising my kids and exult at their little achievements.

I have no doubt that even the walls around me shared my elation.

Time just whizzed by and before I could realize its pace, my kids grew up into fine individuals, ready to soar!

Now I could grasp the truth of this statement and what my friend Lisa has articulated: “Home is people. Not a place. If you go back there after the people are gone, then all you can see is what is not there any more.” – Robin Hobb

THE VOID:

Though my work kept me very busy and the walls of my home as welcoming as ever but time stood still.

A part of me seemed to have walked away with my grown up children.

Now I just clung to my home and the loving memories that were attached to them. I tried to make it warmer with more pictures of my family.

I have been trying to understand the ironies of this life, which provides natural attachments.

I have been trying to  detach from all those people and homes, which hold us to ransom, extracting all our emotions.

I have moved once again from my home, into which I had put my heart and soul to be near my children.

Now I have double memories and none of my dearest homes – one got sold and the second lies locked with all those treasures I had amassed!

Do you have any such memories and attachments? Do they haunt you?

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

©Balroop Singh.

Here is Balroop’s  latest release Timeless Echoes, Poetry for young adults and teens.

About Timeless Echoes

Certain desires and thoughts remain within our heart, we can’t express them, we wait for the right time, which never comes till they make inroads out of our most guarded fortresses to spill on to the pages of our choice. This collection is an echo of that love, which remained obscure, those yearnings that were suppressed, the regrets that we refuse to acknowledge. Many poems seem personal because they are written in first person but they have been inspired from the people around me – friends and acquaintances who shared their stories with me.

Some secrets have to remain buried because they are ours
We do share them but only with the stars
The tears that guarded them were as precious as flowers
Soothing like balm on festering scars.

While there are no boxes for grief and joy, some persons in our life are more closely associated with these emotions. Their separation shatters us, their memories echo, we grieve but life does not stagnate for anyone…it is more like a river that flows despite the boulders. When imagination and inspiration try to offer solace, poetry that you are about to read springs forth.

One of the reviews for the collection

Bette A. Stevens 5.0 out of 5 stars Wise & Wistful October 14, 2018

In “Timeless Echoes,” the author searches within to share the trials and tribulations of life in unique poetic imagery that delves deeply into the human spirit echoing within each of us. Love of nature, love of family, grace and forgiveness are among the themes encompassed in Singh’s timeless collection.

Head over and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Timeless-Echoes-Balroop-Singh-ebook/dp/B07F1VVJK7/

Also by Balroop Singh

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U

Read more reviews and follow Balroop on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh

About Balroop Singh

Balroop Singh, a former teacher, an educationalist, a blogger, a poet and an author always had a passion for writing. The world of her imagination has a queer connection with realism. She could envision the images of her own poetry while teaching the poems. Her dreams saw the light of the day when she published her first book: ‘Sublime Shadows Of Life.’ She has always lived through her heart.

She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. She lives in Danville, California.

Connect to Balroop Singh.

Blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971
Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com/balroops/

My thanks to Balroop for sharing this love family post from her archives, please share your thoughts with us. Thanks Sally.

Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about family.

  1. Personal memories of childhood or teens that are still fresh in your mind.
  2. Family history, stories of your parents, grandparents and further back if you can.
  3. Fur family past and present.
  4. Favourite recipes.
  5. Memorable holidays.
  6. Places you have lived.
  7. Memorable homes you have lived in.
  8. Grandchildren tales.
  9. Any family related post – pets, education, health, teen years, elderly care, lifestyle.
  10. Please remember that there are some younger readers who visit.

I think you get the idea.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog from the day you started up to December 2018, and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been over 700 posts from 200 + bloggers that have reached a different audience and encouraged more readers for their own blogs and current posts.

The only issue is the number of photographs and if there are more than five photographs in the post I will do a reblog rather than a separate post. (Media space)

Previous participants are more than welcome