Smorgasbord Christmas Blogger Weekly – December 21st 2022 – Jennie Fitzkee, Traci Kenworth, Cheryl Oreglia, Robbie Cheadle, Hugh Roberts, Richard Dee, Staci Troilo, Judith Barrow


There have been many wonderful posts this last couple of weeks by those in our writing community and I would like to share with you a very small selecton I have enjoyed.

Jennie Fitzkee shares the second part of her Teaching Lightbulb Moment and it is so inspiring to read about the teaching blocks that she created from art exhibitions to the circus..wonderful post

Head over to read this inspiring post: Jennie Fitzkee – My Light Bulb Moment part two

Traci Kenworth accompanies her blog posts with a selection of links to other posts from the writing community. Always a wonderful selection and here is just one of her pre-Christmas posts about eye lashes.

Head over to enjoy the post and follow the links to other blogger’s posts: Beauty it’s all in the lash

Cheryl Oreglia explores Advent and wonders how we should best use this time of year, from a spiritual perspective and as an opportunity to refine the type of person we are or choose to be.

Head over to read Cheryl’s thoughts on Advent and enjoy her take on life: What are we waiting for?

Robbie Cheadle writing on Writing to be Read with a moving tribute to author and poet Sue Vincent who sadly died in 2021. Still very much missed within the writing community.

Head over to enjoy Robbie’s moving post: Tribute to Sue Vincent author and poet.

Even if you are not taking a blogging break it is always a good idea to spend time on housekeeping your blog and archive files. As always Hugh Roberts offers some great tips on how to do this effectively.

Head over to make a note on the steps to take to tidy up your blog over the holidays: Help your blogging during December

A festive story from outer space from Richard Dockett a must read for Father Christmas sceptics…..

Head over to read this fantastic short story:Festive Flash Fiction – Maybe you were right.

Staci Troilo has a wonderful virtual cookie exchange with participants from around the world sharing their Christmas Cookie recipes… you can find links to these recipes in her post.. something to save for future holidays.

Head over to follow links to amazing cookie recipes whatever your dietary requirementsStaci’s Virtual Cookie Exchange

Judith Barrow has a new book out in January ‘Sisters’ that I am really looking forward to reading, and in this post Judith tells the story of two sisters who both in their way became famous in the 18th and 19th century writer  Ann Hatton and actress Sarah Siddon.

Head over to read this fascinating story: Ann Hatton ( Ann of Swansea) and Sarah Siddon #FamousSisters

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read these posts in full. Have an amazing holidays.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! – Guest Round Up – Part Three – Jacquie Biggar, Harmony Kent, Jan Sikes, Gwen M. Plano, Darlene Foster, William Price King, Toni Pike, The Story Reading Ape, Jennie Fitzkee


Over the last three months, I have been privileged to share the thoughts and wisdom of friends within the writing community in response to the prompt ‘I Wish I Knew Now What I Knew Then!’. In case you have missed any of these guest posts I will be sharing their links in this catch up series.

Romance author Jacquie Biggar shares a short story based on the prompt, that reaches out to those who are trapped in addiction and scared to reach out for help.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Shortstory by Jacquie Biggar

Author and poet Harmony Kent shares what wisdom she would impart to her younger self as she struggled to find her own way in the world.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Harmony Kent

Author Jan Sikes shares how her experiences in life may have benefitted her as a teenager in tenth grade.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Jan Sikes

Author Gwen Plano shares her appreciation of the love and strength she received from her father throughout her life and the lessons she absorbed.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Gwen M. Plano

Author Darlene Foster admits to coming from a long line of worriers and wishes she could pop back and tell her younger self that it is largely a futile exercise.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Darlene Foster

Jazz singer and composer, and permanent contributor to Smorgasbord, William Price King, explores dancing and its benefits, in particular tap dancing which he wishes his younger self would have taken more advantage of.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! #Tapdancing by Jazz singer and composer William Price King

Author Toni Pike shares a number of areas that she feels have impacted her life and would have benefited from her experience gained over the years.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Toni Pike

Chris Graham is more frequently referred to as The Story Reading Ape. Chris has been a huge supporter of my blog since the early days and this support extends out across the writing community. Chris shares his thoughts on the prompt in the form of a delightfully thought provoking piece of poetry.

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Christopher Graham – The Story Reading Ape

Pre-school teacher Jennie Fitzkee shares her thoughts about the narrow views we tend to hold as children and young adults, and how life and experience teaches valuable lessons…

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Jennie Fitzkee

 

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have caught up with any posts you might have missed.. The final recap will be next week.. I hope you will join me and my guests again.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022 – ‘Potluck’ – #Family #Storytelling by Jennie Fitzkee


Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 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, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the half of 2022

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 50,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. You can find out how to participate at the end of the post.

Today Jennie Fitzkee celebrates a very special woman in her life, her grandmother and her hero.

Rose, My Nan, the Log House, and Stories

My grandmother Nan was born in 1886, the same year Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter was born. They both have the same name, too – Rose! What a connection. There’s more.

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Nan as I remember her.

Nan when she was 14.
Just think- I not only spent time in her childhood home as a child,
I visited there when I was 14.
My granddaughter just turned 14.

Nan in 1909 when she was married.
Look at that hat and muffler!

My grandmother, Nan, has been my hero since I was a little girl. I spent Sunday afternoons with her, and it was delightful. No, it was more than that. Nan filled me with stories, taffy pulls, and dressing-up. She drove me and my sister in to Kresge’s, the five-and-dime, to spend a whole nickel on anything we wanted. Sundays with Nan were the best.

She was born and raised in a log house in West Virginia. Every time I read “Little House in the Big Woods” to my children at school, I think of Nan.

She told me all about that house. I spent time there as a child. I love that house.

That’s me, visiting the house in 2016.

Nan was a storyteller. Oh, those wonderful stories and memories! I remember her stories well, and my own childhood events have become the foundation for ‘Jennie Stories’. Perhaps that is why I enjoy Pa’s stories in “Little House in the Big Woods.”

My first childhood memory is the sound of a train. I was sleeping in this family log house, which by the way is in Lowell, WV. The house today is known as the Graham House, named after a family member who built it, and is on the National Historic Register. But, back then in the 50’s, my family still owned the house. The history is thrilling; it is the oldest two-story log house west of the Appalachian mountains, built in the early 1770’s. My grandmother, Nan, lived in the house until she was married. She told me many times the story of Indian raids. On one occasion the children were in the summer kitchen and ran to the house. The boy did not survive and the girl was kidnapped. It took the father eight years to get his daughter back, trading horses with the Indians – hooray for family stories! They are the glue that keeps us together.

As a child, listening to this story is much like my preschoolers listening to my childhood stories. I know how that feels, and I, too, made those pictures in my head. That’s what children do when they hear a Jennie Story or chapter reading, like “Little House in the Big Woods.”

The sound of the old steam engine train whistling by as I slept at the old log house is one of my fondest memories. When I recently visited the house with my husband, my first visit since 1964, I immediately recognized everything. I ran up the stairs and felt along the wall beside my bed, as there had been holes for rifles to go through when fending off an Indian raid. The holes were still there, just as I remembered, and just as Nan had told me.

Is it the sound of the train that makes my memories crystal clear? I think so. On the playground at school the far away sound of a train goes by in the morning. Often I have the children listen carefully, and then I tell them about sleeping in a log house and listening to a train. Stories are the keepers of words and memories.

Jennie

©Jennie Fitzkee 2022

My thanks to Jennie for sharing this wonderful post in celebration of her grandmother who sounds amazing and clearly passed along her love of stories. I know Jennie would love to hear from you.

About Jennie Fitzikee

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: Jennie Fitzkee – Facebook: Jennie Fitzkee – @jlfatgc

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (sally.cronin@moyhill.com)
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2022. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • 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.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • 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.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post especially if you are using the block editor
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 23rd September 2021 – D.Wallace Peach, Valentina Cirasola and Robbie Cheadle, Olga Nunez Miret, Colleen Chesebro, Jennie Fitzkee


A small selection of posts I have enjoyed over the last few days and I hope you will head over to enjoy in full. Thanks Sally.

A few weeks ago Diana Wallace Peach shared her trial period using Vella to publish a serial once a month with Amazon… this is here update on the experiment.

Why I deleted my Kindle Vella story


I tried, I really did try.

Kindle Vella is an Amazon beta program in the US which allows authors to post serial stories in episodes. The mechanics of setting up a Vella story, posting episodes, and editing them is easy. There aren’t any deadlines, and there isn’t much of a risk since stories can be deleted and republished later as a book.

I was undecided about whether Vella and I were a good fit, but committed myself to giving it a try…

Until yesterday.

I sent Amazon an email, and they deleted the story for me.

Why did I give up?

 

Head over to read the post in full and find out why Diana gave up, especially if you are considering using Vella to publish: Why I deleted my Kindle Vella Story by D.Wallace Peach

Valentina Cirasola interviews Robbie Cheadle as part of her series Autumn With An Author.. Robbie shares the background to reading and writing from a young age, her books so far and her WIPs which are all very interesting..

Autumn With An Author : Robbie Cheadle 

I would like to introduce a multi-talented Author Robbie Cheadle from South Africa. She often writes with her son and participates to anthologies. Her talents show up in various expressions of life, I will let her telling the rest.

Books by Roberta Cheadle

Words have power. When did you realize you could use the power of words in your own book to tell people your opinion, feelings, ideas or fantasy?

Head over to discover the answer to that question and the rest this lovely interview with Robbie Cheadle by Valentina Cirasola: Autumn with an Author – Robbie Cheadle.

The next post is from Olga Nunez Miret who hosted a leg of the book launch for The Sound of Violet by Allen Wolf.. Now a major motion picture..

Hi all, as you can see, I’m participating in a Virtual Blog Tour today. This one is a bit special, as you’ll soon realise:
Desperate to find a soulmate, Shawn goes on one awkward date after another until he encounters the alluring Violet. He starts dating her, but his autism keeps him from realizing that she’s actually a prostitute. Shawn thinks he’s found a potential wife while Violet thinks she’s found her ticket to a brand new life. This hilarious and dramatic award-winning story has been adapted into a major motion picture.

Head over to find out more about the book and read Olga’s review: Olga Nunez Miret – Review The Sound of Violet

This week Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge is a photoprompt.. courtesy of Merril D. Smith and it is an intriguing lithograph..head over to find out more about the Ekphrastic nature of this prompt.

Details of how to participate, cheat sheet, poetic forms and the larger image of the photoprompt are here: Colleen Chesebro Challenge 244 – Ekphrastic Photoprompt

This post by Jennie Fitzkee shares some wise words by Robert Fulghum about what real life lessons children should learn in kindergarten.. and with over 30 years experience of teaching children of this age group, Jennie concurs 100%… the life lessons could well be applied to adults with a little tweaking.

The Most Important Things in Life

Bottom line = times have changed, but children have not. What they need and want is the same as it has always been. Academics are one thing, but in order to get there, children have to be grounded in the most important things in life.

I have taught preschool for over thirty years, and I know children and what they need. It’s all the little things that mean the most, as they become the big things in life.

A few years after I got my feet wet teaching, I read Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten. That had a profound influence on my career. His opening essay seemed to take all the stars in the sky and bring them to earth in a simple package; for me it validated what I was learning, and how I was teaching children. 

Head over to discover these important life lessons and enjoy the post: The Most Important Things in Life with Jennie Fitzkee

 

Thanks for droppin in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday 4th January 2020 – Carol Taylor, Jennie Fitzkee, Judith Barrow


Welcome to the first of the blogger daily posts this week with some links to articles I am sure you will enjoy..

The first post today is from food writer Carol Taylor with her packed Saturday Snippets, today with interesting events on this day in the past, bars of soap making a come back,music, dancing and some great warming soup recipes.. head over to enjoy…

Good morning and it is a cold one here…I have sox on for the first time in 8 years, leggings, a t/shirt and a sloppy jumper…My hands were cold but between typing and kneading the bread they have warmed up somewhat…

I am seeing beautiful images of newly laid snow and I know for many of you it is much colder but I am used to warmth and 11 degrees is cold for me…hence the sox…

Show business and the music industry is well known for being fickle…such is life you could say…it was back on the 1st January 1962 and the Fab Four aka The Beatles travelled all the way from Liverpool to the Decca Studios in London for a recording audition.

Being nervous, the audition didn’t go too well and a few weeks later their manager Brian Epstein was told ” they didn’t have a future in the show business”

As it is debatable who made that decision I am sure they lived to regret that error of judgement or maybe it spurred the band members to step it up a notch…The rest is history…

Subsequent signings, among others, included the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Moody Blues, the Small Faces and Tom Jones all who all had/have long careers in the industry…

Did you know?  To find out about a person born on January 3rd and to enjoy the post: Carol Taylor’s Saturday Snippets 2nd January 2021

For most of us this year has been one of uncertainty and feeling of isolation, but as always Jennie Fitzkee raises our spirits with her lovely post about hope..

Light and Hope – Children and a New Year

Like everyone, I was hoping to see the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. I was disappointed when it was not visible, as it was a cloudy night. The next day a talented local photographer, Kevin Ting, captured it.

But of course, that is where this story begins.


The photo not only captures the sky and planets, it is centered on a town, my town. I keep looking at this photo. I am drawn in, because the lights of the town are as lovely as the lights of the planets.

Far and near, from the universe to a small town, they both come come together. The common denominator is light. And light gives us hope.

To read more about this lovely message of Light and Hope head over to read the post in full: Jennie Fitzkee Light and Hope Children and a New Year

And finally today a lovely interview courtesy of Judith Barrow who asks Silvia Broady about her romantic saga books.

A Few Moments with #RNA #FamilySaga writer Sylvia Broady

Sometimes you find a niche where you know you just fit. That’s how I felt when I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association and then the RNA Saga Writers group on Facebook. I was made very welcome and, in fact, was interviewed:on the Write Minds Blog, run by two of the members:Francesca Capaldi Burgess and Elaine Roberts.

I wanted to discover how and why, like me, they wrote family sagas, with a little romance thrown in. So I asked if any of them would be interested in discussing that. I certainly received some fascinating answers.

This is the fifth of my interviews with a Romantic Saga Author, and today I’m delighted to be talking to Sylvia Broady.

Welcome, Sylvia, lovely to see you here today.

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Judith.

Let me start by asking, When you started writing your book, did you intend to write a family saga – or series of stories rather than one story?

Yes, I always did intend to write my sagas as stand-alone books, though reading your question, Judith, made me consider, what if?

DAUGHTER OF THE SEA, my latest book is set in the 1930s to 1940s, stems from a novella I wrote many years ago. That story was set in the 19th century, and the main male character, Christian Hansen, is the grandfather of the present day Christian Hansen. A wealth of historic and social information for the deep sea fishing community, most written about men, very little written about women. And I write about strong women.

Head over to find out more about Silvia Broady and her books and enjoy the post in full: Judith Barrow interviews family saga author Sylvia Broady

 

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to enjoy the posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Children’s Cafe and Bookstore – Share your Children’s book reviews – #PictureBooks with Jennie Fitzkee Part Two


Welcome to the new series where you can share your reviews for any children’s books you have read recently and posted on your blog, Amazon, Goodreads or any other online bookstore. If you would like more details here is the post that explains how it works: Showcasing Children’s books

Recently Jennie Fitzkee shared part two of her recommended books from the summer and I am sharing some of the books that she featured along with her reviews.

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My Summer of Books – Part 2 – picture books, and bridges to older children’s books by Jennie Fitzkee

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Pigs in the Mud in the Middle of the Rud, by Lynn Plourde

Buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

A Model T Ford is ‘stopped in the rud by some pigs in the mud’. Grandma is in charge. The rhyming is classic and draws in the reader. “Oh no. Won’t do. Gotta shoo. But who?” The story goes from pigs to hens to sheep to bulls – and the descriptive words have a wide range from squealed, rutted, reeled, tussled, rustled and many more. These aren’t typical vocabulary words for children, making the story all the better. We see farming life in the early 20th century, with a classic sequence of events. From the rhyming to what happens next, the book is delightful.

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Fireboat, the Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey, by Maira Kalman

Buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

I reviewed this as part of an Eric Carle Museum post. It was a favorite summer read.

Are you familiar with the John J. Harvey fireboat? I wasn’t either. It was launched in New York City in 1931, the same year Babe Ruth hit his 611th home run, and Snickers hit the candy stores. The popular word Hot-Cha was invented.

The book opens with events and structures in New York City, such as the George Washington Bridge suspended over the Hudson River.

All the illustrations are beautiful. The reader becomes part of the city in years gone by. Time passes. We learn about the working parts of the fireboat and the crew. The John J. Harvey helps to fight the fire on the ocean liner NORMANDIE. Sometimes it goes out in the water just to celebrate, shoot water, and have fun.

By 1995 there were many fireboats, and the Harvey was set to be retired and sold for scrap. Of course the people who loved her rallied to save and buy the boat. She was repaired and spent her days on the water, visiting other boats. Did you know that four toots means hello?

Then something terrible happened at 8:45 AM on September 11, 2001.

The John J. Harvey wanted to help and get back to work. We learn what each crew member was doing at the time, before they rushed to the fireboat. No, she was too old to fight the fires, but she could help rescue people… and then at last she got “the call”, she was needed to supply water to the firefighters. She was once again a real fireboat.

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Love You When…, by Linda Kranz

Buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

The past school year began with reading Only One You, and ended with reading You Be You, both by Kranz. This summer I scored a hat trick by discovering her third ‘rock’ book, Love You When… The trilogy is a warm and delightful collection of stories about being yourself, finding your way, bravery, family, and love. Children at school loved the first two, and this new discovery will be all the more meaningful with school reopening during the pandemic. Why? It is these affirmations of being okay and feeling grounded, which children desperately need to hear right now.

The book opens with, “Do you think of me during the day?” you ask. “Yes,” I say as I close my eyes for a moment and smile. In a voice as soft as a whisper you say, “Tell me when.” Each page has a beautiful photograph of rocks and the “when” words – “When a gentle breeze rustles through our backyard wind chime.” Every page, every photo, every “when” moment is beautiful and comforting for children.

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Prairie Days, by Patricia MacLachlan

Buy the book: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK

The glorious illustrations by Micha Archer bring an abundance of life to Patricia MacLachlan’s intentional and soft words. The story takes place over a summer day on the farm. The opening sentence is, “Where I was born, the earth smelled of cattle and bluegrass and hyssop.” Dogs, hay wagons, the farm pond, trains, sheep, and the wooden porch swing are woven into a childhood story. The reader is left feeling the slow pace and happiness of years gone by.

The author won the Newbery Award for Sarah, Plain and Tall. She wrote my favorite book, The Poet’s Dog, and many others. Patricia MacLachlan has a way with words. Just when I thought there couldn’t possibly be a book as good as The Poet’s Dog… there is, and MacLachlan wrote it – My Father’s Words.

Stay tuned for Part 3 as I review this outstanding book for older children and the other upper grade books I read this summer. Jennie.

Some wonderful books for you to choose from and I will share part  three in a few weeks time.. My thanks to Jennie for her lovely reviews.

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: Jennie Fitzkee – Facebook: Jennie Fitzkee – Twitter: @jlfatgcs

 

My thanks to Jennie for permitting me to share her children’s reviews and I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday November 15th 2019 -#Xmas Carol Taylor #Maths Jennie Fitzkee – #Interview Colleen M. Chesebro with Darlene Foster


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first author today is our food expert Carol Taylor who shares some Christmas trivia, tips and some awful jumpers!!! and news that her own farm bred turkey will be gracing their table this year. Guaranteed free range, highest welfare standards and organic. Not all of us can say that when we buy a supermarket frozen or fresh chicken!  Anyway here is a snippet and I recommend that you head over and read the rest.

Christmas…In my house…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Good afternoon…A lovely here though the morning was a tad chilly…Picked up some lovely fennel and some beautiful eggplants from the Kings Project Farmers market also some beautiful peppercorns and some other fresh vegetables…Next Friday will be the start of my sample Christmas menus…I will be featuring more plant-based menus as I know many people are changing and cooking with more vegetables, lentil/beans all of which I love but the menfolk here not so much…so there will also be some recipes with fish or chicken…

Today I am reposting a post from last November which I hope you enjoy…x

Christmas stockings gingerbread houses

Please head over to enjoy, especially those jumpers: Carol Taylor – Christmas Traditions, Treats and Trivia

You can find all of Carol’s posts: Carol Taylor’s Food and Cookery Column 2019

The next post that caught my attention is from Jennie Fitzkee who has been teaching pre-school children for well over thirty years, and once you read Jennie’s posts, you realise how very lucky those children are.

Hands-on Maths for Children

Often, in the flow of our day, there are unplanned learning opportunities. Typically, this is when some of the best learning and the most fun happens. Recently we were playing with Squigz, a toy with multiple sized rubber pieces of various colors that have suction cups for building and attaching. When it was time to clean up, we collected all the pieces, fifty to be exact. In order to make sure we had all fifty, we began lining up and counting the pieces by color.

Head over to read the rest of this wonderful post: Jennie Fitzkee – Hands-on Maths for Children

And two of my favourite people on one page with Conversations with Colleen Chesebro and her guest YA author Darlene Foster talking about the well loved Amanda Travel series and other aspects of Darlene’s life.

Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you one of my favorite award-winning children’s authors, Darlene Foster. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. This is Darlene’s second visit to my blog. We had so much fun last time, she couldn’t wait to stop around again!

Darlene Foster writes the kind of children’s books that I would have loved to read as a child. Pull up a seat and stay awhile. Let’s talk writing!

What kind of research do you do for a children’s book, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Find out the answer to that question and enjoy the rest of the interview: Colleen Chesebro meets Darlene Foster

Thank you very much for dropping in and I hope you will head over to read these posts in full.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily -Thursday October 3rd 2019 – Amy M. Reade, Jennie Fitzkee and Mary Smith


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post today is from author Amy Reade with some great autumn recipes including cheesy Brussel sprouts.. that I must try..

First Tuesday Recipes for October

It’s officially fall and despite what the thermometer says, I know cooler weather is coming. (It’s supposed to be almost 90F here tomorrow…ugh.)

Fall is my favorite season for lots of reasons, but food is one of them. I love using apples and apple cider, pears, Brussels sprouts, squash, parsnips, and broccoli when I cook, and this is the best time of year to enjoy them at their finest.

The recipes I’m going to share this month are a simple side dish, a pasta dish, and a quick bread. Let’s cook!

***

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts

This recipe is one I made up, so the measurements are approximations. It’s easy, though, so you can tweak it to your tastes.

  • 1 c. Brussels sprouts (I use frozen because they’re smaller than fresh), thawed if frozen
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 palmful grated Parmesan cheese

If you use frozen Brussels sprouts, pat them dry with paper towels once they’re thawed. If using fresh, just wash them.

Halve the Brussels sprouts.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add Brussels sprouts to the pan, cut-side down. Sprinkle with salt. Cook for about 4 minutes, without flipping the sprouts, until the cut sides are beginning to brown. You’ll have to check them, since cooking times vary depending upon the size of your sprouts.

Flip the sprouts and continue cooking until they are browned all over. Add the Parmesan cheese to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the cheese starts to melt and stick to the sprouts. The cheese should start to become golden. Serve immediately.

***

Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce and Apple bread can be found here: https://amreade.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/first-tuesday-recipes-for-october-2

Amy M. Reade, Buy:  http://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2
Blog: www.amreade.wordpress.com – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade

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The first post is  by Jennie Fitzkee, who shares the wisdom gained from over 30 years as a teacher of the youngest school children, preparing them for life and infusing their absorbent minds with a love of learning. In this post, a much loved friend returns to the classroom.

Gloria.

Gloria joined the classroom today, and oh what a homecoming it was. It’s doubtful Santa Claus would receive such a welcome. After all these years we are still amazed at the difference Gloria makes and how children are drawn to her. It started many years ago…

You see, Gloria is different. She is very shy and loves to wear black. She’s not pretty on the outside, but she’s beautiful on the inside. In order for children to learn about the world, they needed to learn about the people in the world. And that meant introducing them to diversity… to Gloria.

Children don’t even see that she’s a puppet. The word witch is never spoken. It isn’t even a thought in their heads. They see her ‘insides’; that she needs help singing the ABC’s, that she loves Maine, and likes to be read to. That’s what children really see.

When Gloria arrived today, we introduced her at Morning Meeting. She was shy and did not speak. She looked all around, and we realized she didn’t recognize the classroom, as we have moved. That took some explaining! Then, Gloria looked at the children. She knew her Aqua Room friends from last year. One by one, they came up to hug Gloria. The hugs were more like the jaws of life… it had been a long time since they had seen her. McKinley cried. We did, too. Delaney buried her head into Gloria. On and on.

Please head over an enjoy this wonderful post about the love that someone called Gloria can bring to the classroom: https://jenniefitzkee.com/2019/10/02/gloria-3/

Connect to Jennie – Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/ –  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee – Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

And last but certainly not least… a post from Mary Smith, sharing her experiences working in Afghanistan…the setting for her wonderful book No More Mulberries (highly recommended).

Travels in Afghanistan (2).

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Cocooned in my black nylon, slithery, stifling burqa I retreated into a review – it was certainly not planning – of what had brought me here. Adult life had begun in a dull, but safe job as a junior bank clerk in South West Scotland. Numerically dyslexic, it was highly improbable that I would have ever fulfilled my mother’s ambition to have a daughter become one of the first women bank managers and after a boring year I left to hitch hike around France and Italy with a boyfriend.

Back in Britain we settled in Blackburn, Lancashire where I tried a succession of jobs from being a nanny to making car components before landing a job with Oxfam. It was a job I loved and would probably never have left had not the mini-bus driver taking our pool team to a match in Blackpool not been going to Pakistan. Somehow during the course of the evening it was decided I should accompany the wife and sister of a friend of the mini-bus driver when they returned to Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, to see their family.

While there, I visited the Marie Adelaide Leprosy centre and was deeply impressed by the work I saw being done there. In conversation with Dr Pfau, the dynamic German sister who had worked for over 25 years on the leprosy programme she suggested I stay on for three years to set up a health education department. ‘But,’ I pointed out, ‘I don’t have any medical qualifications.’

Head over to find out why that was not an impediment to Mary starting her new life and three years later a hair raising drive in to Afghanistan: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/2019/09/28/marysmithsplace-travels-in-afghanistan-2/

Mary Smith, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0
Website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

Please visit Amazon or Mary’s website to view all her books.

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Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you would head over to read these posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – September 4th, 2019 – Jennie Fitzkee, Sue Vincent, Robbie Cheadle, James J. Cudney


A return of the Blogger Daily at least once a week.

It is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is very timely as children and teachers return to school, and it is by Jennie Fitzkee, who shares the wisdom gained from over 30 years as a teacher of the youngest school children, preparing them for life and infusing their absorbent minds with a love of learning.

Finding Joy – A Letter to Teachers by Jennie Fitzkee

This is a re-post of a letter I wrote to teachers on Joy.
Joy is the magic word!

Dear Teachers,

As you start your new school year there is one word that will get you through the uncertainty and the worry. It’s the same word that is the heart of educating. That word is ‘joy’. No, it’s not the happiness that children bring. It’s the happiness that you bring because it inspires and ignites the mind and the heart of children. Yes, that’s how it works.

Children come to you with big eyes, looking at you to teach them. They don’t know what to think. They want to learn, yet what they really want is to be inspired to learn. That is where you can make a difference.

What do you like? Because whatever it is, from math to music, that ‘like’ will become your best buddy, your guiding star, and the foundation to teach all the things that you like. It will also become a portal to help you teach the things you may not enjoy. If you know that every day you have some window of time to teach what you love, then you become an educator. You go beyond teaching curriculum; you teach the child.

Do you like reading? Does Because of Winn-Dixie or Charlotte’s Web make your heart jump? Well, carry that book around and read it aloud on the playground, in the lunchroom, or at the bus stop. If this is your passion, children will know, and they will listen. They will learn.

Please head over and read the rest of this wonderful and inspiring post: https://jenniefitzkee.com/2019/09/02/finding-joy-a-letter-to-teachers/

Connect to Jennie – Blog: https://jenniefitzkee.com/ –  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennie.fitzkee – Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlfatgcs

The next blog post is from Robbie Cheadle as a guest on the blog of Sue Vincent who incidentally loves guests and if you would like a fantastic place to showcase your blog and books then head over and find out more…

Robbie has recently been on tour of England and Scotland with some wonderful tales to share on her return.. This post is about the legendary Highwayman Dick Turpin.. but was he really that legendary… A snippet to whet your appetite and then click on the link to find out the truth.

The myth of Dick Turpin by Robbie Cheadle

Fiction writer, Harrison Ainsworth, glamourised thief and highway man, Dick Turpin, in his 1834 novel, Rookwood. The novel is set in England in 1737 at a manor house called Rookwood Place and the plot revolves around the mysterious death of the owner, Piers Rookwood, and the subsequent rivalry for inheritance of the property between his two sons.

During the course of the story, Dick Turpin, a highway man, is introduced at the manor under the pseudonym Palmer. During his stay, Palmer makes a bet with one of the other house guests that he can capture Dick Turpin. He is eventually forced to escape upon his horse, Black Bess. The horse, although fast enough to stay ahead of all the other horses, eventually collapses and dies from the stress of the escape.

In the novel, Ainsworth describes Turpin as galloping north in the dark: “His blood spins through his veins; winds round his heart; mounts to his brain. Away! Away! He is wind with joy.” Ainsworth’s depiction of Turpin, together with the local narratives, poems and ballads that resulted from it, gave Turpin a notorious posthumous status.

Head over to read the truth about Dick Turpin and don’t forget to check out the opportunity to guest post with Sue Vincent: https://scvincent.com/2019/09/02/guest-author-robbie-cheadle-dick-turpin/

A small selection of books by RobbieCheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/Goodreads: Robbie Goodreads

A small selection of books by Sue Vincent, Buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sue-Vincent/e/B00F2L730W – Blog: http://scvincent.com/  – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551588.Sue_Vincent

Finally today author James J. Cudney with a post on the subject of authors reviewing each other’s work… and also a request for your views on the subject.  I have read two of James’s books and have the rest on my TBR.. he had reviewed several of mine and I appreciate the perspective that another author brings to a review. I can recommend that you take him up on his author for this reciprocal support.

AUTHORS: Have You Read and Reviewed One of My Books?, by James J. Cudney

I ask this question specifically to authors because I want to be sure I’ve acknowledged and thanked any author who has taken the time to read and review one or more of my books. As a writer, part of my job is to see what other people think of my books. I check Goodreads, Amazon, BookBub, blogs, and social media daily to see any new reviews from any type of reader. If I’ve received a positive review, I always “like” it on the tool where the review was published. I rarely comment unless it’s on a blog post, as that’s more interactive to me. If I’ve received a bad review, I will cry. Okay, that’s not true… but it will make my day a bit worse. And I won’t like it. I’d rather the negative reviewer have an open mind and message me to discuss what they didn’t like.

ACTION ITEM: If there is an author who has reviewed my work, I would like to return the kind gesture. I generally use Goodreads to find reviews from authors, then pick one of his or her books to read and review within the next month. I can’t search every site or tool, so that’s what I use as my starting point to check for them. As of August 31st, I believe I’ve located all the reviews (not just those with a rating) and reciprocated by reading some of that author’s books too. If you’re an author, and you’ve reviewed my book, and I haven’t acknowledged it or reviewed one of yours, please let me know by responding to this post or privately. It’s accidental, and I want to be sure we’re supporting one another. Let me know, and I’ll correct it.

Head over and chat to James about reviewing each other’s work and also if you have reviewed one of James’s books, he would like to return the favour.. so opportunites for everyone.: https://thisismytruthnow.com/2019/09/03/authors-reviewing-each-others-books-have-you-read-my-work-yet

A small selection of James’s books  Buy: https://www.amazon.com/James-J.-Cudney/e/B076B6PB3M Website/Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com/Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17128817.James_J_Cudney

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope that you will head over to read the posts in full – Until next time.. Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – “Starry Night” II by Jennie Fitzkee


This week Jennie Fitzkee shares with us one of the teaching experiences which resulted in a wonderful suprise. A small child who noticed something in a masterpiece that Jennie has not noticed before….

“Starry Night” II by Jennie Fitzkee

I will never underestimate children and art. This story is why.

I have been introducing a variety of styles of art to children as we prepare our annual Art Show for the community. Currently we are learning about France, and that’s a perfect opportunity to highlight art. We are creating ‘masterpieces’, allowing each child to work on his or her piece multiple times until they feel it is just right.

Each piece in itself holds a story, because the end result is often far more than what the child imagined, or what I expected. Sometimes a story is so remarkable, or so startling, that it needs to be told. This is one such story:

“It happened like this…” I use a record player to play record albums, thus bringing music to life in a tangible way for children. I wrote about this in a March, 2015 post. It is the best thing I do to introduce music, all types. Music inspires art, as music in itself fills the soul and the mind. At Morning Meeting I played Mozart (who inspired Einstein, by the way). Then we were ready to paint.

This day our art style was Early Renaissance. I stained wood panels and supplied plenty of gold acrylic paint, plus other colors, and sequins. This was the ‘real deal’. Liam carefully watched the first two children paint. He was anxious to paint, yet he was looking rather serious. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the plate, much like a ball player who had an important job to do. He asked for black paint. “Liam, I don’t have black paint. Here are the dark colors.” He looked carefully and picked navy blue. Hmm… Then he asked for ‘regular blue’ and a little gold. I asked him if he wanted any sequins. He said “No” in a firm voice, then looked directly at me as he pointed to the loft and said, “I’m painting THAT.”

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“THAT” is Starry Night, our poster above the loft. No wonder he needed dark colors and ‘regular blue’ and some gold. Liam wanted to paint Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, not Early Renaissance art. Liam went to work, and I had the pleasure of watching him create with determination. I never said a word, except to offer more paint. He knew the colors he needed, and he wanted to make the brush strokes; the swirls, circles, and the serpentine strokes. Combining the right colors with the right brush strokes was his mission. Yes, Liam was determined in the best of ways. After his initial round, I knew this was destined to be a masterpiece.

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Those eyes said, “I like what I’m doing, but I’m not finished.” And, he was not finished. Later, I took the poster off the wall and put it directly in front of Liam. As he studied the poster he asked for red paint. Red? Liam said, “There’s a red house at the bottom. I have to paint that.” In my decades of looking at Starry Night I never noticed the tiny red house at the bottom. Liam did. I gave him red paint, and he painted it.

Two children walked by Liam independently as he was finishing his masterpiece. They both remarked in a matter-of-fact way, “Hey, that’s Starry Night”. And, it is! I held the painting at a distance for Liam, as if people were looking at it in a museum. In Liam’s words, “Perfect. It’s finished.”

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This is the pinnacle; listening, learning, wanting, trying, and achieving.

Jennie

©Jennie Fitzkee 2016

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

If you are interested in joining Jennie and the other writers who are sharing posts from their archives….. here is the link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-and-the-start-of-the-2018-series-of-smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives/