Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round-Up – 9th-15th September 2019 –


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

Things have been relatively quiet around here which I am grateful for. We have had some lovey sunny days and I have taken advantage of those. We both have some projects that are nearing completion so that has taken up a fair amount of time.

Coming up next week

  • Robbie Cheadle with the second part of The York Chocolate Story on Monday
  • Tuesday William Price King shares the life and music of Mary Lou Williams – American Jazz pianists, arranger and composer.
  • Carol Taylor’s food and cookery Column on Wednesday
  • The regulars will be here with book reviews and new releases for authors in the Cafe and Bookstore, The health column, funnies and afternoon video..
  • The health column continues with the major organs and systems in the body with the start of a series on the female reproductive system.
  • Some new bloggers who have been writing for under a year start their new series from the archives and some great posts to showcase.
  • The book marketing series on Saturday covers more of the online watering holes that are useful elements in promoting your work.
  • Just an Odd Job Girl with two more chapters Saturday and Sunday.
  • My guest next Sunday in the author interview is Darlene Foster.
  • And through the week the Blogger Daily will share some exceptional posts from the blogging community
  • And there will be some responses to poetry and flash challenges.

Just a reminder if you are in the Cafe and Bookstore and are planning to put any of your books on offer in coming weeks to let me know so that I can include in the updates. You can email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com or leave a message on Facebook.

On with the posts this week

As always a huge thanks to those who contribute with guest posts and columns…. as well as to you for dropping to read them.

My guest this week is author and proofreader Jo Elizabeth Pinto who has recently released her latest book Daddy Won’t Let Mom Drive the Car: True Tales of Parenting in the Dark. Jo Elizabeth shares the inspiration behind her love of books and her own writing and lets us peek into her latest book with a humour filled extract that definitely entices you to read more.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-sunday-author-interview-jo-elizabeth-pinto-with-an-extract-from-daddy-wont-let-mom-drive-the-car-true-tales-of-parenting-in-the-dark/

Jessica Norrie explores the legendary first lines of books we have read….Authors need a rocket, or at least a hook, right at the start. Dickens has the best opening line ever: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times” (A Tale of Two Cities). What scope he gives himself, with that, for anything at all to happen, in any possible way

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-literary-column-with-jessica-norrie-blast-off-opening-lines/

Delighted that over the next five weeks, author Robbie Cheadle will be sharing the The York Chocolate story with us, following her recent trip to the UK..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-robbie-cheadle-the-york-chocolate-storypart-one/

Chapter Nine – The Isle of Wight pub life and Skinheads prove to be both interesting and at times dangerous…Imogen recalls her adventures..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/14/just-an-odd-job-girl-serialisation-chapter-nine-the-isle-of-wight-pub-life-and-skinheads-by-sally-cronin/

Chapter Ten – Imogen and Peter’s relationship hits a bad patch and a cat burglar does not help matters.. and then there is the matter of the insurances cheques.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/just-an-odd-job-girl-serialisation-chapter-ten-cat-burglars-and-insurance-fraud-by-sally-cronin/

A new series of the top songs from the movies in my book at least…..and the first song is Shaft by Isaac Hayes.. a blast from the past.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/smorgasbord-music-column-my-favourite-songs-from-the-movies-shaft-by-isaac-haynes/

This week the importance your blog has as part of your book marketing strategy. And a checklist to make sure you have certain elements in place to be effective.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-book-marketing-online-watering-holes-for-authors-part-one-your-blog-sally-cronin/

I was born on Friday 13th (February) and it has always been lucky for me… there are a number of variations, including Tuesday 13th and Thursday 13th, on the theme around the world and for various reasons..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-paraskevidekatriaphobics-have-no-fear-friday-13th-is-lucky-for-some-sally-cronin/

This week, Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills was to create a story in 99 words not more, no less about the greatest gift of some kind… here is my response.. Life’s Greatest Gift….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/smorgasbord-short-stories-the-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-challenge-lifes-greatest-gift-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s prompt words for Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 144 were ‘Enchant and Fly and I have used the synonyms Charm and Soar for my double etheree

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-tanka-challenge-no-144-double-etheree-the-charm-of-fairies-by-sally-cronin/

This is the third post from the archives of author and poet, Patricia Furstenberg . I love medical conditions.. not necessarily when afflicting me personally, but the causes, symptoms and treatments.. I know I need to get a life. However, some conditions have a literary origin…. 5 Medical Symptoms Named After Literary Characters (2017) by Patricia Furstenberg

Sleeping Beauty painting by Victor Gabriel Gilbert

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-5-medical-symptoms-named-after-literary-characters-2017-by-patricia-furstenberg/

This is the third post from the archives of author, fitness advocate and photographer Terri Webster Schrandt. I could not share some of Terri’s posts without including a photograph…. so whilst short this is also sweet, particularly as that is the favourite taste sensation of the subjects of the photograph. Photography – Never Ending Quest for Food (2016) by Terri Webster Schrandt

Male hummer finding food

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-photography-never-ending-quest-for-food-2016-by-terri-webster-schrandt/

This is the third post from the archives of Jim Borden who blogs on ‘Borden’s Blather across a variety of topics. This post from Jim reminds us all of what there is to life we might be missing out on. The Benefits of Having a Purpose in Life (2017) by Jim Borden

(copyright World Economic Forum),

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-benefits-of-having-a-purpose-in-life-2017-by-jim-borden/

This is the final post from the archives of the eclectic blog of writer Marilyn Armstrong and I have selected this one from a series of posts in 2015 – Sharing my World..Hugging the Dogs: Sharing My World 2015- Week 2 by Marilyn Armstrong

Bishop

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-the-archives-potluck-hugging-the-dogs-sharing-my-world-2015-week-2-by-marilyn-armstrong/

This is the final post of author Antoinette Truglio Martin who began blogging in 2018.. I am going to share four posts from her archives that were part of her A-Z challenge last year.  Pasta is a favourite in our household.. and Antoinette has a story about Pastina…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-blogging-a-z-challenge-2018-antoinette-truglio-martin-p-is-for-pastina/

This is the final post from the archives of Anne Copeland, writer of nonfiction articles, books, and poetry, as well as a mixed media and fiber artist. This post is a poem that sums up how I feel about the world at times. Weltschmerz (2018)

pexels-Statue of Liberty

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-weltschmerz-by-anne-copeland/

This is the final post from author and designer, Valentina Cirasola I have chosen this post because my mother was a Libra born on October 5th and I am sure several of you will have your birthdays in the coming month. #Astrology Born A Libra Under Venus (2018)

(Photo: https://www.123rf.com/clipart – Artist: Kisslilly)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-astrology-born-a-libra-under-venus-valentina-cirasola-interior-designer/

This is the final post of author Ellen Hawley who has enjoyed a wonderfully varied career before leaving the United States to settle in Cornwall. The opioid crisis in the USA and increasingly in the UK and other countries is not the first time in history that an addictive substance has become concerning. In this post Ellen explores Tea and opium.. care of The East India Company. History – Tea, opium, and the East India Company (2018)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-history-tea-opium-and-the-east-india-company-2018-by-ellen-hawley/

This is the second post from educator and author Pete Springer who began blogging in April this year. I am sure you will agree that he has made a fantastic start to his new project. I know how many of you are dog lovers, and this one is for you… My Buddies by Pete Springer

Jake and Lulu

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newbloggers-doglovers-my-buddies-by-pete-springer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-11th-september-2019-m-j-mallon-with-frank-prem-bette-a-stevens-amy-reade-with-andi-cumbo-floyd/

New Books on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-childrens-space-dust-by-eloise-de-sousa/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-memoir-gardening-twigs-in-my-hair-by-cynthia-reyes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-abby-holly-series-book-3-secrets-of-the-trunk-by-janice-spina/

Author update – Reviews and books on offer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-m-j-mallon-mary-adler-jacquie-biggar-and-deborah-jay/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-darlene-foster-jan-sikes-teagan-riordian-geneviene-and-jack-eason/

I wanted to describe the passage of a very common and tasty snack that many of us enjoy. Usually with only one thing in mind. The taste.. However, perhaps after following this chicken sandwich through your digestive tract you might think about it in a different way.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-digestive-system-the-immune-system-and-a-chicken-sandwich/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-2-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/12/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-10/

Thank you for all your support this week and look forward to seeing you soon. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord – Something to Think About – Paraskevidekatriaphobics – Have no fear – Friday 13th is lucky for some….Sally Cronin


something to think about final

Paraskevidekatriaphobics – Have no fear – Friday 13th is lucky for some

I want to be careful here because I have yet to do the weekly shop which involves driving to the supermarket and home again.  However, I like to think that Friday 13th is not unlucky for me since I was born on Friday 13th (of February).  

Touching wood and searching for 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

Certainly it proved quite lucky for my mother as her first two births had been quite a bit longer than expected.  This time, my father was actually based ashore and was home at 4pm when my mother went into labour.

She was booked into a nursing home in Winchester so they piled into the car and started the 20 mile journey certain that they had several hours in hand.  The only hiccup was having to follow an army truck full of soldiers for several miles along windy country roads, but never one to miss an opportunity for a flirt, my heavily pregnant mother, by all accounts, spent the time waving to them as they blew kisses in her direction.

My father was quite pragmatic when it came to such harmless behaviour but was probably sweating and swearing by now, as he tried to find a safe place to overtake.

Eventually, they arrived at the nursing home and my mother was admitted only to find that, Sally Georgina was in a hurry and I popped out like a shelled pea (my mother’s words not mine) at 6pm.

There have been quite a few Friday 13ths in the last 66 years (106) according to my calculations….and thankfully to date I have found them to be causes for celebration not only of my day of birth but events and surprises. (The Euromillions numbers are already picked)

Anyway, because of my personal interest, I have over the years spent some time researching the reasons behind the fears that we have for Friday 13th.

Several cultures have feared both the day and the number.

  • Ancient Vikings were concerned that Loki the God of Mischief would make up the numbers around the dinner table
  • Hindus also did not like that number assembled for a meal.
  • The Last Supper had 13 guests
  • The crucifixion took place on a Friday.

Since no-one was actually there to verify, it is difficult to confirm that it was a Friday 13th that Eve tempted Adam with the apple, but I won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Today many people will not have 13 guests around the table, and in restaurants and hotels for example, there mayl not be a 13th floor, table, bedroom etc. Not necessarily because the organisations are superstitious but because their guests are.  Hard to sell a hotel room number 13 on the 13th floor!

However, some ancient cultures revered the number including the Chinese and Egyptians. 

They believed that 13 represented the afterlife, but in a good way, because that is where you would obtain your riches and reverence. (So much for my Euromillions win in this life then!)

Allegedly in more modern times, male dominated religious orders objected to the number 13 since it was revered in Goddess worship, prehistoric cultures – and was therefore heavily associated with female power.

Girl power is not a 20th century invention, we simply reclaimed it.

Whatever the reasons and stories behind this distrust of the date, there is no doubt that millions of people around the world, in many cultures have definite views and extreme fears concerning their activities today.

However, in Spain it is not Friday that bears the brunt of the fear.. as it is Tuesday 13th which needs to be avoided.

However you can make it work to your advantage.

My husband was happy that there were Paraskevidekatriaphobics.   He booked his driving test in 1979 and was given a date several weeks ahead, so he told them he would take any Friday 13th cancellations, and within a week he was driving away with a pass.

That is also a useful tip when trying to see a specialist in a more timely manner or scheduling an operation.. Friday 13th for some reason usually has free time slots!

I have no idea what today will bring.  But then when do we ever know, on any day of the week, on any date!

One of my tips for countering Paraskevidekatriaphobia – Get yourself a black cat.  The Pet Collective

If you don’t see me next week, then you might consider whether those lottery numbers were lucky.. on the other hand….

If you would like to know in advance the Friday 13th dates for the years to come to embrace or avoid…check it out: https://researchmaniacs.com/HolidayCalendar/FridayThe13thDates.html

Enjoy the day and the weekend… thanks for dropping…Sally   🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀

Something to think about – Dodgy Book Promotion sites – The only numbers that are accurate are their prices by Sally Cronin


Dodgy Book Promotion sites – The only numbers that are accurate are their prices.

First let me say that I am fully aware that there are established book marketing websites with testimonials as to their effectiveness. Prices will range depending on campaign and Amazon is probably one of the largest of the sites to offer a number of options.

But then there are the dodgy ones who have something phishy about their numbers.

But I am talking about the chancers who send you an email or approach you on social media stating that they can put your book in front of 200,000 potential readers and sell more of your books.

This happened to me the other day when and I was invited to connect with a company offering to promote my books. Before accepting I checked their listing and went to the website on their account. There were about 10 covers on books on their front page, a small menu icon on the left hand side (do dislike that.. give me a visible list so I don’t have to play games to find out what I want.) This offered a number of different categorie, but offered no information on services offered.

In the heading it stated the same promise that they could put my  books in front of 200,000 potential readers and for further information to email them directly.. In other words not giving any information about services offered or a breakdown of costs. (POV)… and getting your return email address into the bargain.

I am not planning to email to see how much those prices are because

a) I don’t want them to have my email

2) Whatever they are charging is too much.

3) The website was so poorly constructed that anything they did offer would have to be suspect.

I like to check on numbers for these people since 200,000 followers is impressive. I checked their LinkedIn and they had 136 followers there… not a good start but perhaps they had only just got started. No.. they had been on the site for over three years.

On their website were the icons to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn… guess what they all led to my accounts, not to theirs which were clearly not set up. I would need to do more sleuthing..since I was not going to find those 200,000 followers and readers they promised me that easily!  They did claim however to have thousands of visitors to their site each day…but no stats were visible to back up this claim…

I clicked on one of the Book Covers and it opened in another page with the just the cover and the blurb, no author information and a buy link which took you to Amazon…

If you wanted to comment you could leave your name, email address, website information (never miss an opportunity to collect personal information) no reviews, no author details just the cover and blurb… how easy is that.

Anyway by plugging in their website address they popped up on Twitter with another 406 of the 200,000 promised potential readers…wow now up to 542. I did notice however that their last tweet was July 2015.. .perhaps I was missing something?  Oh hang on a minute they had another twitter account that was current.. begun in August 2019.. with 457 followers. This indicates to me that they have been outed more than once and they have been at this for some time.

They had a couple of books in their feed that they had posted with one or two retweets. The rest were their own retweets of other authors doing their own promotion.

What concerned me when I clicked into their Twitter account was that 135 of those who follow me make up a quarter of their followers!  They had been into my followers and followed more than a few to end up with 135 who followed them back. Usually something I suggest to authors who are starting out.. but not to con artists.

So I plugged in their website address into Facebook and found their account their which seemed to be current with 797 followers…okay  now we are cooking 1390 followers.

I really did not know where else to look to be honest to find the remaining 198,610 promised followers.

They offer the following at a price.. I was not prepared to email them or question them online because I do not know who they really are behind their book promotion title since they are not open enough to give you a real name to deal with.

Your checklist

  1. Check out the marketing site offering their paid for services on their social media sites and verify any numbers they are promising to share you books to. If they look dodgy and you don’t want to share your details with them back away!
  2. Ask them for any authors you can contact to check how happy they are. Usually you will find that is confidential!!! Why if they have the author featured on their website! And if they won’t then go ahead and ask the question on Facebook, Twitter or any other author watering hole you frequent.
  3. Ask them how they come up with the numbers which they should be able to do. For example mine are visible on every site that I have a presence and they can be substantiated.
  4. Be very clear about what they are offering with regard to promoting your book – where, how frequently, for how long?
  5. If you decide to do a promotion even with one of the established marketing programmes, do a trial run and see how it goes.
  6. Before you go ahead with a paid promotion, look around for where you can get your book visibility to an established audience for FREE.
  7. If you do go ahead with a trial run, then monitor your sales activity for the following week before committing to any more.

But I hope this post will make you question any firm that is not recommended to you as producing sales for your book at a reasonable cost. And check out their promised numbers before committing your hard earned cash.

Update: Last Wednesday night I put a note on Twitter saying that I was looking into a book promotion site offering 200,000 followers and by Thursday morning they had disappeared there and on Facebook.. They still have a website and are on LinkedIn… I took screenshots and I will be following those up and seeing if I can discover who the real person is behind this scam

But be aware there are more out there and they are after your data and your links to others.

Thanks for dropping in and take care out there.. Sally.

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

puschel-476461_640

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

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

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

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

dewdrop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pexels-photo-346796

Image courtesy of Pixels

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

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

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

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

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

New book on the shelves

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

Author Updates

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

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

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

Image

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

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

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

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

Smorgasbord Something to think about – Volunteer Work – Getting the most out of life – Sally Cronin


Once we have completed this house and sold to move to what we are planning is our forever house (famous last words). I intend to get back to volunteer work. I am not sure in what capacity as yet but there are usually lots of local opportunities to explore.

Volunteer Work – Getting the most out of life – Sally Cronin

In most of our countries there are millions of family members caring for elderly parents or other family. They are unsung heroes and rarely get recompensed for the huge burden they carry and the time and money they save the state. It is something that we do for those we love and whilst voluntary is not the subject of today’s post.

It is difficult sometimes to imagine that we can find a few hours in our busy modern lives on and offline, to go out and work at a job, especially unpaid. But there are many physical, mental and emotional benefits from getting out and engaging with others in a different environment. It makes us fitter, more optimistic, gives us a sense of worth and helps others too.

There are over three quarters of a million volunteers in the UK who work unpaid for a number of enterprises including the largest, the Charity sector. There are also thousands here in Ireland you contribute their time on a regular basis. This does not include those who might give up a few hours or even days each week to help out neighbours, friends and family.

This might range from mums helping out at schools, teenagers working after school and weekends for charity shops, grandparents taking on the role of childcare, retired men and women continuing to use their work skills in mentoring roles, or even walking dogs for an animal sanctuary.

I have some links at the bottom of the post that will give you an idea of the enormous scope of the voluntary sector and its importance for non-profit organisations, and definitely for the volunteers themselves. They have all the information you need to get started and other links to check out.

Volunteering by its very nature means that payment does not come into the equation, but expenses may be met for travel or clothing. That has a huge impact on the bottom line of any organisation and can insure that more of the donated cash is available to help those supported by the charity. Many would not be able to function without a voluntary workforce and that is another reason to pay tribute to all those who give up their time to help.

It is not only non-profit organisations that can benefit from the expertise of the retired work force. Start-up businesses who have a tight budget can gain much by asking for guidance from those who have worked in their particular sector at all levels. It is sometimes more important to find someone who understands the front line service issues, as it is a senior executive to act in an advisory role.

The elderly sometimes need a helping hand, a friend to listen, someone who drops by each week, will take them to doctor visits or to church. Sharing a meal with someone elderly is an amazing thing to do as we all know what eating alone can be like. For the very young there are reading groups or perhaps a need for a surrogate grandparent.

With training you could also be the voice on the telephone, that a person at the end of their tether reaches out to, preventing an unnecessary tragedy.

For those who live alone, giving a few hours a week to their church, local school, charity or social club will also provide an opportunity to build new friendships and interests. Certainly it has been found that from a physical and mental perspective, volunteering can help prevent a number of age related diseases.

Both the links that I have given you have a huge amount of information, so if you have experience in any field that might be useful, including being a mum or dad, and are currently either unemployed or retired with time on your hands then you might consider it.

Over the last 40 years working in industry as well as a freelancer I have considered the volunteers as an essential part of my working team and I have also acted in the role of unpaid consultant. Here are just a few things to consider.

If you have been out of work for some time, perhaps because of family commitments or ill health, and are thinking of getting back into work, you might consider volunteering for a time, finances permitting. Not only will you learn new skills but also regain your confidence about entering today’s more modern workplace. For example, there are always jobs to be found in the retail sector and by working in a busy charity shop, handling cash, dealing with merchandise and customers you will find it is a great entry position to a full time job. You will certainly be able to offer a reference when applying for other positions.

Recently in the UK there has been a push by the NHS for more volunteers that carry out a number of roles within the emergency room and on the wards. Making sure an elderly patient is not afraid and alone, taking notes and transporting patients and equipment between department or helping at meal times. That makes a huge difference and frees up medical staff to do their jobs.

https://volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/volunteering-in-hospitals

If you love animals, becoming a dog walker would give you a schedule, exercise and a non-judgemental co-worker! Even carrying out some of the less fragrant jobs in an animal shelter that makes the environment of abandoned pets a happier place, has its merits.

For the younger generation a chance to improve future employment prospects.

There may be opportunities within a voluntary position to learn more advanced computer skills which will not only affect your employability, but also be very useful in your personal life.

When I have been interviewing for positions at all levels within an organisation, I have usually found that those who detail out their voluntary work on their resumes are candidates who will find themselves on the short list.

Yes qualifications and experience are important but so are a work ethic and a commitment to helping others. This is particularly important for young men and women starting out in employment. The same applies to those who worked after school and during their holidays to earn money. They took useful skills with them when finishing their education, most importantly in how to build effective relationships with co-workers and customers.

Those of us who are considered to be passed our sell by date.

If you have knowledge then don’t hang onto it – it took you years to develop this and your skills and by sharing both with those who are less experienced, you will be responsible for driving the next generation of successful businesses.

If you retire at 65 and live to 95 that is 30 years. Great if you want to travel, write, spend time with grandchildren and other family, but if you ever get to the point when you find you have a few more hours on your hands than expected, you are never too old to lend a hand to a good cause and benefit others.

You might even start by blogging and sharing your years of experience in that way. And if you are an experienced author and blogger, then helping those new to both can a rewarding project.

Here is a website for the UK and I am sure that in all of your countries there will be an equivalent: http://www.voluntaryworker.co.uk/

I couldn’t manage my schedule without my own team of volunteers..

Thanks for dropping in today and as always look forward to your feedback.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Something to Think About – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Statistics by Sally Cronin


Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Statistics by Sally Cronin

Each year thousands of people are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning and hundreds die. With a strategically placed, inexpensive carbon monoxide detector, those lives would have been saved.

According to Corg:

  • Four people are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in English hospitals every day
  • Of the 1,798 people who attended A&E departments with suspected CO poisoning, 1,563 (87 per cent) required treatment, with more than one in five (367) requiring hospitalisation
  • Of those who received treatment, 360 were children, 192 were aged over 60 and 174 were aged 18-25 year olds

And in the USA

Each year, approximately 20,000 people in the United States visit the emergency room because of carbon monoxide poisoning. While many of those people are treated and released, on average, 400 people will die from carbon monoxide poisoning in a given year.

Why is this gas so dangerous?

Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, which means it’s difficult to detect a leak until a person becomes sick. And even then, the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic those of the flu, making it difficult to identify.

My experience of carbon monoxide poisoning that could have been fatal.

In 2009 I was living with my mother full time and whilst I would spend time with her during the day for the odd hour of two when she was awake, I would spend most of my time in the kitchen diner working on my laptop and within earshot if there was a problem.

We had settled into a routine and most days followed the same pattern. Suddenly I began to experience mild headaches on a regular basis. I put it down to stress and would go out for a walk along the seafront and the headache would subside. Then we hit a spell of very wet weather, and I was confined to the house unless I was out doing the shopping or doing my radio shows.

The headaches got worse and after about four weeks I was in constant pain despite taking painkillers. I went to the walk-in medical centre and they said it was probably a migraine and related to stress. They suggested that I take ibruprofen and try to relax!

I then went to a chiropractor, to find out if perhaps I had somehow pinched a nerve in my neck that was causing the problem. He did some work on my neck and shoulders but could not find any knots. There was no improvement after the session and I was becoming desperate.

I was also becoming very tired as sleeping was virtually impossible and eventually one night about 10.pm, I felt my head was about to explode. The pain was excrutiating, and finally I telephoned my sister to come around and she called an ambulance. When the paramedics arrived they took my blood pressure and it was through the roof. and combined with head pain, they rushed me to hospital as they thought I was about to have a stroke.

When I arrived at A&E the doctor examined me and immediately put me on very strong painkillers and because my saturation levels were low he also gave me oxygen. As the meds and oxygen took effect my blood pressure dropped and after a few hours it was down to a bearable level. He too thought it might be migraines or cluster headaches or an underlying condition and told me to go to a doctor to be referred for further investigation.

I went home at about 5am and slept through to lunchtime. I sat in the lounge with my mother and had an early night still with the niggling pain hovering in my head.

The next day I was sitting in the dining area of the kitchen when the pain began again and Iooked over at my mother’s gas cooker and suddenly the penny dropped.

As it was an emergency, the gas board sent a technician immediately and he found that there were low to moderate concentrations of carbon monoxide in the kitchen and dining-room. A place that I used for several hours a day, but my mother rarely entered anymore. I used to close the door to the hall to shut out the noise of her television so effectively sealing me in with the gas.

Additionally, the previous owners of the house had built a sun-room across the back of the kitchen which meant there were no windows to the outside and therefore little ventilation. With the onset of winter the windows of the sun-room were not opened either, allowing a build up of carbon monoxide.

My mother’s gas oven was also an older model she had brought from her flat across the road, and although it had been serviced since her arrival at the house, it had not been checked for a number of years. It was the first thing to go. The gas board capped off the gas line and I bought an electric cooker.

It took several weeks before I felt normal, and after I investigated the often fatal effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, I was very thankful that I had identified the cause when I did and did not suffer long term health problems.

More about Carbon Monoxide.

  • The build up of carbon monoxide in the home is particularly dangerous for those who tend to be at home all day or housebound. This is particularly so for the elderly who might also not been able to afford proper maintenance for their aging appliances.
  • Carbon monoxide can accumulate to dangerous levels as a result of faulty or damaged heating appliances using gas, oil, kerosene or wood that have not been serviced regularly.
  • Poor ventilation in rooms where you have gas appliances for cooking or heating. Especially after home renovations that block internal windows. This is often the case with conservatories that are added to the back of houses.
  • Blocked flues and chimneys of heating appliances.
  • Garage or shed doors being shut when cars or petrol driven lawnmowers are operating without ventilation.
  • Sitting in idling cars in a garage even with the doors open.
  • Using cooking appliances with the doors open to the rest of the house as a form of heating. (As in the case of some elderly people without central heating in their homes)
  • Using cooking appliances such as BBQs inside the house or garage.
  • Because carbon monoxide is invisible, you cannot smell or taste it, over time it can build to dangerous levels.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • At the outset you may feel that you are coming down with a cold or the flu. This will usually include a headache that persists.
  • You might also experience chest pains, dizziness, stomach upset, vomiting and general fatigue.
  • Another key indicator is that other people that you live and work with are experiencing similar symptoms.
  • The effects are dependent on a number of factors. The age of the person, activity levels outside the home, daily rate of exposure and poor health.
  • More severe effects may result in confusion, seizures and unconsciousness

What causes carbon monoxide poisoning?

When you breathe in carbon monoxide it replaces the oxygen in your blood. This means that your cells throughout your body die and your organs fail.

Urgent steps to take.

  • If you have any appliances that burn fuel for heating or cooking then make sure they are switched off until you have had them checked by a qualified inspector.
  • Open all your windows and air the house.. Pockets of gas can find their way throughout the house if doors have been left open.
  • If your symptoms are severe get outside into the fresh air. Get checked out as quickly as possible either at your doctor or the emergency room.
  • Installing a carbon monoxide alarm could save your life.
  • Regular inspection and maintenance of appliances, vents, flues and chimneys are the best ways to protect you and your family from the hidden danger of carbon monoxide. For added protection install an audible carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Carbon Monoxide alarms are available from many hardware and DIY stores.

Here is an article with a video that gives instructions on where to place detectors and also points to remember such as the fact that detectors have a relatively short lifespan and need to be replaced regularly.

This post also has recall notices for certain makes of detector that have proven to have faults and it is worth double checking your own monitor in case it is one of these and replace. http://www.carbonmonoxide.ie/htm/co_alarms.htm

If your fuel burning appliances have not been checked recently or you do not have a carbon monoxide detector then please do so now.. I would hate for you to go through the same experience as I did. Thanks Sally

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up


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

A quiet week on the home front, with a couple of days of sunshine and more today, so I will be out in the garden for much of the day…not so much making hay as getting rid of the rust in my joints!  David has been working to level off the back garden which was left as a weedy slope, and once the workmen have completed the pathway and resurfaced the back patio, we shall have a lovely spot to eat out which gets the sun in the summer until 10.00pm.  Also another step to getting the house ready to go on the market next spring.

I have also managed to find dry enough days to finish by pot plants. We then had three days of torrential rain and I am afraid some of the younger plants drowned.. you have to be hardy around here!

As always thank you for your support during the week and to the contributors who continue to share such wonderful articles.

I am so thrilled by the amazing response to the new Posts from the Archives series with over 40 bloggers allowing me access to their archives, to select four posts to share with everyone. This means I will be doing a lot of reading of posts, which is wonderful and it means that we have about three months worth of posts. Apologies if you have just gone on the list, but I will respond to you and get in touch when I have selected your posts… The first of those later in the post..

Now for the posts from the week……

This week William Price King shares the life and some of the work of jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer Miles Davis

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-trumpeter-bandleader-and-composer-miles-davis/

Two posts this weekend from Paul Andruss on Glastonbury and King Arthur.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-dancing-floor-of-glastonbury-tor-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-arthur-king-or-pawn-by-paul-andruss-by-paul-andruss/

In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Carol Taylor takes the ingredients that contain good sources of the nutrient and creates dishes that the whole family will love..this week Vitamin B6.. and delicious Chicken and prune tagine, tofu and honey bites and spicy sweet potato balls.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/smorgasbord-health-column-are-you-getting-enough-vitamin-b6-chicken-and-prune-tagine-tofu-and-honey-bites-spicy-sweet-potato-balls-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor/

Annette Rochelle Aben with the Universal Energy for May and what that could mean for you as an individual…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-your-universal-energy-for-may-2019-by-annette-rochelle-aben/

I trot this post our once a year as a reminder that you are being watched… even when you are not in front of your computer screen. It is not only thieves and vagabonds you need to worry about who might have designs on your empty house, but also trying to claim on your health insurance for some unfortunate mishap that took place while you were having fun in the sun.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-reminder-going-on-holiday-with-your-bff-social-mediaby-sally-cronin/

My review of the anthology to raise funds for cancer research compiled by Stevie Turner : Understanding: An Anthology of true and significant life events

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/smorgasbord-book-reviews-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-compiled-by-stevie-turner/

I unearth one of my poems on the culinary delights of holidays

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-poetry-holidays-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s carrot ranch flash fiction challenge In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about sisu. It’s a Finnish concept of enduring strength, the ability to consistently overcome. Sisu – DNA.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/smorgasbord-short-stories-the-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-sisu-dna-by-sally-cronin/

The majority of us who are losing weight will hit a plateau some weeks into the diet.. In this post I explain why and how to work through it.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-weightloss-hitting-the-plateau-by-sally-cronin/

You can find details in this post…love to hear from you, and as I mentioned if on the list it could be a few weeks before you feature :https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Christopher Graham began the new series and I selected one of his guest posts from Emily Gmitter with a wonderful post that I recommend you read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-story-reading-ape-a-selection-of-guest-posts-emily-gmitter/

Here is the first of the posts I have selected from the archives of D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies. Every month on the last Friday, those who participate in a global We Are The World Blogfest, (#WATWB) share inspiring stories of random acts of kindness, or projects that are making a difference to people around the world.

Inspirational Rocks

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-d-g-kaye-kindness-rocks-project-watwb-how-it-began-how-to-participate/

Children’s author and travel writer Darlene Foster is a regular visitor to the blog and has shared some amazing posts. The first post that I selected was from 2013…about a wonderful organisation in Canada that raises funding for the Children’s Hospital.

Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-cwill-bc-group-rewards-by-darlene-foster/

Author Christine Campbell has given me permission to browse her extensive archives dating back to March 2013… and the first post I have selected is from May 2013… and is about crafting, and in particular those delicate handkerchiefs that have been usurped by the paper tissue in many of our homes…

image

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-crafting-memories-by-christine-campbell/

The next contributor to the series is fantasy author Charles E. Yallowitz who has a wonderful blog where you can find stories, thoughts on life, book related posts and poetry. This week a poem on the journey of an Indie author.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-path-of-the-indie-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

I am delighted to share the first post from the archives of D.Avery who is the author of three short story and poetry collections. I have selected a wonderful serial that I am going to share over the four posts from D’s archives

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-serial-the-fold-part-one-by-d-avery/

This is the first post of four from author Jane Risdon… Jane loves to go on a ‘jolly’ for those of you who are unfamiliar with the expression… It is taking a road trip and having fun.. basically. The first post from her archives of 2016 is an example of that.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-hardwick-hall-another-jolly-from-2016-part-one-bess-of-hardwick-a-force-to-be-reckoned-with-by-jane-risdon/

My next guest in the new series of Posts from Your Archives is author Mary Smith.. I have two blogs to select the four posts from and the first is from her blog My Dad’s A Goldfish, where Mary shares here experiences caring for her father as his dementia worsened. In this post however, she shares the tragedy of the dementia of a school friend who she has remained in contact with, who developed the disease at a much earlier age. Very poignant…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-my-dads-a-goldfish-for-john-m-by-mary-smith/

New books on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-sister-witch-the-life-of-moll-dyer-legends-of-the-family-dyer-book-1-by-david-thompson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-thriller-the-second-korean-war-by-ted-halstead/

Author Update – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-mary-adler-a-j-alexander-and-jacquie-biggar/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-vashti-quiroz-vega-tony-riches-iain-kelly-and-sacha-black/

I have often highlighted the inconsistencies of medical studies and the profound and sometimes downright dangerous statements made that vilify or extol the virtues of either a food or medication. This was the case in 2012 when a Professor, labeled one of the UK’s leading experts stated that everyone over the age of 50 should be prescribed statins to reduce their cholesterol levels.  In this post I look at the latest research into Statins and their long term impact on our health.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/smorgasbord-health-column-the-cholesterol-myth-part-one-and-statins-the-new-research-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-more-jokes-from-sallys-archives-3/

Thank you again for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed catching up with the posts. Take care and hope to see you next week too. Sally.

Smorgasbord – Something to Think About – #Reminder – Going on holiday with your BFF Social Media by Sally Cronin


I trot this post our once a year as a reminder that you are being watched… even when you are not in front of your computer screen. It is not only thieves and vagabonds you need to worry about who might have designs on your empty house, but also trying to claim on your health insurance for some unfortunate mishap that took place while you were having fun in the sun.

If your social media is plastered with you indulging in risky behaviour you may be hearing he words (non,no,nein,niet) from your insurance provider.

Depending where you go at home or abroad, it can be expensive, especially at peak times, but there are also other costs to take into account resulting from our online exposure.

We have all read the stories in the press of teenagers planning a get together whilst parents are away for the night and five thousand turn up on the doorstep and then trash the house.. Every parent’s nightmare.. Yet we adults also have to be careful about what we post on Facebook that might invite unwanted guests into our home. We also have to be savvy about what we post while we are away, as this too might end up costing you thousands.

Apart from swearing children to secrecy about their much anticipated two weeks away from August 1st to all their friends. (I am not suggesting for a minute that they might harbour criminal intent), we also need to guard against announcing our time away online to our ‘friends’ on Facebook and other media. I am always clear when I am going away that there is someone in the house, electrified fencing and a python loose in the garden!

As we head towards the summer holidays and millions of us board planes and ships to travel around the world, the first thing that we want to do is share our wonderful experiences. With the world-wide web you can post your images to Facebook and other sites every day as you relax on your tropical lanai and watch the sun go down. Clearly this is not Northampton……

First and foremost of course is the little matter of telling the world that you are on holiday and that your house is more than likely empty except for all your worldly possessions. Not only that, in your ‘farewell and be back in touch in two weeks’ final message to all your ‘friends’ on social media you have also given potential thieves the time scales so that they can schedule you in to their calendar.

These days you only have to pay a small amount to a site that provides addresses such as 192.com or even the online telephone directory to track your house down and then criminals have all they need to go on their own little spree.

Your home insurer will (say no ten times before finally giving in) check your social media, and if they discover that you have announced to everyone that you are going to be leaving your house vacant for the dates in question, they are likely to deny any claim you might make.

Secondly, travel and medical insurance is a large expense today and the natural inclination is to get the basic and hope for the best.  With ski holidays you have to be fairly specific about your risk factors which is understandable, but what about your lovely two weeks in the sun where you might lose your luggage or your wallet but not your health or even life.

We have all had that moment when that last cocktail has provided the courage to sky-dive, para-glide, wind surf, scuba dive, swim with dolphins or sharks, jump off the highboard or any other activity that we thought we would never attempt….After all we are only young once and life is for living!

 

And you can be sure that if you have a pre-existing condition that this will be taken into consideration when your claim is assessed. And if you have thrown yourself out of a plane and have a history of angina which results in an episode requiring medical treatment, you will find yourself paying the cost of it.

The insurance company will also be checking your Facebook and Instagram and those photographs of you enjoying a few cocktails by the pool with your family and friends and they may be used against you.

Recently in the headlines, couples and families who have claimed that they were unable to enjoy their holiday due to stomach upsets caused by the food in the hotel or the bar, have been caught out.. Photographs of them clearing the all you can eat buffet and enjoying para-gliding everyday on their holiday told the true story. This proves that your every move is being monitored and that parting an insurance company or holiday firm from their profits is not so easy these days. The minority who try to buck the system turn us all into perceived criminals unfortunately.

This does not just apply to family holiday but is particularly important if you have teenagers heading off on holiday with a bunch of friends. They are far more likely to post photographs of everything that they do on holiday and not just on Facebook but across the board. They are at greater risk of doing themselves harm and also of having problems with their insurance.

So, if you are going on holiday, do not tell the world on Facebook or on any other blog or social media site, unless it is absolutely clear that you have left people in charge in your absence.  Post your holiday photographs when you return safe and sound and no longer have need of your medical insurance and then you can share that amazing moment you threw yourself out of a plane at 15,000 feet.

 

Some signs that your house may be targeted

On the note of housebreaking. Apart from giving prior notice of your absence on social media for any reason,be careful of putting death and funeral notices in the paper.

If you live in the house you may find yourself getting late night or early morning calls that are hang-ups. Someone is trying to find out if after a bereavement the house is empty and vulnerable. Also check outside for anything out of place in the front garden or any strange marks on garden walls, gates or even on the walls of the house, probably in chalk.  These are signs left to indicate that the house is empty. My advice is to leave someone at the house during a funeral and after a bereavement for a couple of weeks at least. The same applies when you are on holiday.

When we had Sam we had a wonderful house/pet sitter and if we are both away at the same time she would come and live in looking after him and the house. You may find that a family member would love a bit of a break themselves and move in for your time away and it saves a fortune if you have pets rather than put them in kennels.

Here are a couple of sites you might find useful. Established sitters come with references and in some cases are bonded. Many are people who have retired and want to see the world will cover their travel expenses and in most cases do not charge as they are happy not to pay accommodation costs.

http://www.mindmyhouse.com/ and https://www.petsit.com/

The key is to be safe on holiday and make sure that all your activities are covered by your insurance.. Look at the small print and only post your party shots and sky dives when you get home safely!

 

Thanks for dropping in….

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Constantine the Great, a horde of talented authors, canine petty thiefs and some jokes


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

After the glorious Easter weather the storm fronts came racing in and I am very grateful that the small plants that went into the pots last weekend have survived and thrived. I am amazed as they had such shallow roots and yet most have managed to also flower despite the high winds and torrential rain. Miracles really.

I was in Gorey today to get some food shopping done and on the way into town is a large roundabout which has recently be revamped by its sponsor. They had planted about five mature conifers about 5 foot tall in a circle and whilst my little petunias weathered the storm and bloomed… three of these conifers are now on their sides. Obviously not planted deep enough but a lesson on how the mighty fall and the meek might just inherit the earth.

I am waxing lyrical now so had better get on with business. 

The first thing I want to share is the new series of Posts from Your Archives and if you missed the post this morning here are the details.

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 400 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history and the most recent series was on any aspect about family.

Many of the posts were written at the start of a blogger’s experience and perhaps there were not as many followers at the time. Such a shame not to re-share all the hard work that went into the post in the first place.

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 40,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts.

So what is different about this series?

This time, rather than you send me four links to posts from your archives, all I need you to do is give me permission to dive in myself and find four posts to share here on Smorgasbord.

Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random across a number of subjects from the time you began blogging up to the present day.

If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.

Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.

Here are a few examples so you can see how a post will appear.

Darlene Foster shares the devastation caused by wildfires that destroyed old family homesteads in Canada.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-what-was-lost-in-the-fire-by-darlene-foster/

Robbie Cheadle shares a wonderful post about her wedding.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-contrasting-colours-a-poem-for-my-wedding-anniversary-by-robbie-cheadle/

Sue Vincent shares the wonderful dogs who have been part of her life since childhood and today.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-a-family-of-dogs-by-sue-vincent/

So do you trust me enough to delve into your archives and select some posts to share here on Smorgasbord?

All I need is your name in the comments here or in the original post and I will do the rest.

Time to share the posts from the week…slightly fewer than usual as I posted last week’s round up on Monday.

I thought over the weekend I would share a two part series from Paul Andruss posted originally in November 2017…As with any legend, there is usually some variations on the origins and plenty of embellishments by later historians, that need to be resolved. Paul takes on the task and unravels the stories to reveal the probable truth behind Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor.. and his mother Helena.

Part  One

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-thirteenth-apostle-and-his-mum-by-paul-andruss/

Part Two

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-thirteenth-apostle-constantine-the-great-part-two-by-paul-andruss/

They were not really the good old days, especially for women and children, particularly the babies. Robbie Cheadle shares the truly terrible tale of Amelia Dyer…

Amelia Dyer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-baby-farming-in-the-late-victorian-era-britain-and-amelia-dyer-by-robbie-cheadle/

Susanne Swanson turned her blog over to her cat Benji who shared an experience with a mouse…

20161023_19371322

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-mouse-had-no-chance-by-susanne-swanson/

Personal Stuff

This week on The R’s of Life… Reason.. have we lost all of us, or does our education system let millions down by not providing them with the tools to make informed decisions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-the-modern-world-reason-by-sally-cronin/

This week our friend’s cat goes missing and I grow tomatoes…Houston 1986

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-houston-april-1986-lost-cats-and-tomatoes/

My response to This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills is about ‘exhaustion‘… Tramp’s Heartbreak…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-tramps-heartbreak-by-sally-cronin/

Special Feature – the final contributors to Understanding An Anthology of True and Significant life events.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/smorgasbord-special-feature-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-contributors-clive-pilcher-abbie-johnson-taylor-stevie-turner-and-beem-weeks/

New Book on the Shelves.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-devil-in-the-wind-voices-from-the-2009-black-saturday-bushfires-poetry-anthology-book-2by-frank-prem/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-crime-thriller-irmas-endgame-by-paulette-mahurin/

Author Update #Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-jack-eason-jack-eason-m-j-mallon-bette-a-stevens-and-olga-nunez-miret/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-hugh-w-roberts-judith-barrow-and-linda-g-hill/

The truth is you cannot have your cake and eat it and lose weight.  If you want to enjoy a varied and healthy weight loss you need to get moving.. even if it is a walk around the block each day… and flexibility is key.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-getting-moving-and-shifting-the-pounds-by-sally-cronin/

There are a great many myths about food and one of those foods is salt. The fact is we are taking in far too much sodium in industrially produced foods, 75%… and not enough of the natural salt that we need.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-health-column-food-myths-do-you-have-enough-salt-in-your-diet-overweight-sugar-cravings/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-8/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-9/

Thank you very much for dropping by and your support…have a great week. Hope to see you here again soon…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Easter Parades, Short Stories, books and guests.


Welcome to the posts you might have missed during the last 8 days… a little later than usual as I have been taking advantage of the wonderful weather over Easter and have been away from the screen for most of each day.

The two Easter parades have been great fun for me to put together and I am thrilled with the wonderful behatted guests who have participated. A little music, dancing, funnies and genuinely lovely people who are all very supportive of me and the blog.

It is not too late to pop in and add the link to your latest post and your Amazon Link.

How many of these guests or their representatives do you recognise?

Easter Parade Saturday.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/smorgasbord-easter-parade-blog-party-part-one-eggellent-time-to-add-your-links-music-dancing-food-and-behatted-guests/


https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/smorgasbord-easter-parade-blog-party-part-two-music-dancing-food-behatted-guests-and-time-to-drop-you-links/

And here are the other posts from the week.

William Price King shares the life and music of jazz pianist/electric keyboardist and composer Chick Corea.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-pianist-electric-keyboardist-and-composer-chick-corea/

The House by the Sea  by Paul Andruss – The final three episodes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/smorgasbord-blogs-from-my-archives-the-house-by-the-sea-part-three-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-house-by-the-sea-part-four-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-house-by-the-sea-final-part-by-paul-andruss/

This week Carol Taylor and I share the foods you need to include in your diet to ensure you do not become deficient in Vitamin B5.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-vitamin-b5-pantothenic-acid/

This month Silvia Todesco shares a recipe for a special sugar glazed pie that uses up your fruit that is going squishy…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-italian-cookery-with-silvia-todesco-fresh-fruit-pie-with-sugar-glaze-dessert/

My review for Survival of the Fittest (Book 1 of The Crossroads Trilogy) by Jacqui Murray

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/smorgasbord-book-reviews-survival-of-the-fittest-book-1-of-the-crossroads-trilogy-by-jacqui-murray/

A Haibun – The Circles of Life

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/smorgasbord-poetry-haibun-circles-of-life-by-sally-cronin/

This week in the R’s of Life I look at the billions of dollars spent in regulated and non-regulated cosmetic surgeries and procedures in an effort to look young.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-the-modern-world-rejuvenation/

Donna Hill shares the retirement process for guide dogs and how they can be absorbed into the family or extended family.

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.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-retiring-guide-dogs-no-one-size-fits-all-solution-by-donna-w-hill/

Miriam Hurdle shares the story of her brother-in-law and the challenge of waiting for a perfect match.

P1020092

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-kidney-transplant-a-good-match-by-miriam-hurdle/

This week Susanne Swanson introduces us to Benji – the runt of the litter who soars in his dreams.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-cats-in-my-dreams-i-soar-by-susanne-swanson/

Patty Fletcher shares a difficult time during her first experience of Seeing Eye Dog training school being away from home at Easter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-easter-bunny-came-after-all-by-patty-fletcher/

I share more of the contributors to this anthology of interviews with fellow authors who have experienced significant life events.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-special-feature-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-contributors-lucy-v-hay-miriam-hurdle-phil-huston/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/smorgasbord-special-feature-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-contributors-pamela-jessen-lynda-mckinney-lambert-and-jaye-marie/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-delilah-and-the-dark-god-the-eternal-realm-book-2-by-fiona-tarr/

Author Update – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-deborah-jay-julia-benally-robbie-cheadle-and-elsie-hancy-eaton/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-sue-coletta-james-j-cudney-and-lucinda-e-clarke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-what-were-they-thinking-part-one-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-what-were-they-thinking-part-two-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

 

Thank you very much for dropping in through the week and today, I hope that you had a peaceful Easter and that the tragic events in Sri Lanka did not touch your lives.  Sally