Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Farm Life: Gotta Have Guts by Linda Bethea


Farm Life: Gotta Have Guts

Daddy loved home remedies and dosed us and the livestock readily. Mother ran interference on cow chip tea and coal oil and sugar, but did let him load us with sulphur and molasses for summer sores. We never got summer sores, probably because we reeked so badly we were rejected by mosquitoes. I do appreciate Mother for putting her foot down when his more toxic ideas. No telling what kind of chromosome damage she saved the gene pool.

The livestock weren’t so lucky. They got coal oil for pneumonia, distemper, to bring on labor, and as a tonic, should they be so foolish as to look puny. Daddy hung ropes with black oil soaked bags for cows and horses to rub against as protection against insects, which they gladly did. When an unfortunate cow bloated from green hay, he inserted an ice pick in her distended belly to release gas. She ceased her moaning and resumed cow business as usual, grateful for the relief.

Farm kids grow up with a lot of responsibility. In addition to our daily chores, Daddy left us other jobs to do before he got home from work and started on his farm day, expecting us to figure things out without explanation, not always the best plan. When my brother Billy was around eleven, Daddy remarked that the old hound dog nursing eight puppies was off her food. He told Billy to pour some syrup over her feed (country for dog food) so she would eat better. Bill got a jug of syrup and headed out the back door. After a while, he came back in, smeared in dog poop, shirt torn, scratched and bitten from head to foot. “Boy, what in the world happened to you?” Daddy asked, incredulous at the sight.

“Oh, I was putting syrup on that old dog’s feet and she tore me up. She dragged me through the dog yard fence and all over the dog yard, but I did finally get syrup on all four feet.”

As I said, Daddy frequently set us to tasks with inadequate instructions. On one occasion a sick duck foolishly allowed Daddy to spot him. The specific instructions to my brother were, “Go out there and get that green-headed duck staggering around out back, and knock her in the head. No wait, first pour a couple of drops of kerosene down her throat.” Billy picked up the kerosene and was gone a few minutes. When he returned in a few minutes, my dad inquired, “How’s the duck?” He was obviously surprised Daddy would even ask, knowing he’d sent him out to knock it in the head. Daddy didn’t mean to tell us to do anything twice.

Bill replied, “It’s dead.”

Daddy said, “You didn’t give it the kerosene?”

“Sure I did,”said Bill, “and then I knocked it in the head, just like you told me to.” Even Daddy had to admit, clearer instructions would have been better.

We butchered a beef late one Saturday evening after Daddy got home from work, finishing really late. Our place was the last house next door to a huge nature preserve. To Daddy, this meant, “not private property,” a perfect place to dump off guts. He told my brother to load the mess into the ancient farm truck and dump it near Peter Spring Branch, a couple of miles back in the woods. (Yes, Billy was underage for driving, but did drive the farm truck on the farm and in the woods. It was the sixties in the South.) It was way too late to haul it off that night. Then Daddy remembered the truck was broken down (as it often was) and left the nasty mess in a tarpaulin-covered wheelbarrow telling Billy to dump it first thing in the morning, not amending his earlier instructions, assuming Billy would understand he didn’t expect him to push a barrow of guts a couple of miles. Wrong!!

We got up early the next morning. Billy and the wheelbarrow of guts were gone. An hour passed…no Billy. My mother was furious when he was gone past time to get ready to church. She was trying to raise us right. We went on without him, much to my envy. Still not home when we got home after noon, Mother knew something was obviously wrong. He would never have voluntarily missed Sunday dinner. Mother was really worried now.

Finally, after two o’clock he came into view pushing the empty wheelbarrow, circled by flies and trailed by all the hounds in the country covered in congealed blood, guts, mud, and vomit. He had wheeled the guts the entire two miles over muddy roads, through deep ditches, and rough terrain, pestered by flies and dogs to the original site Daddy indicated. The trail was so rough and muddy, his load dumped several times, making a horrible job even worse. He didn’t dare not follow his orders, so he scooped the stinking guts up every time they dumped, fighting dogs and flies for possession of the prize, vomiting as he wrestled them back in the barrow.

He was sick the rest of the day, not even able to eat Sunday dinner. If he did fake misunderstanding as I suspected, just to miss church, he was welcome to all the gut-hauling he wanted.

©Linda Bethea

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Linda

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

My thanks to Linda for another wonderful story of family life and I do feel for dear dedicated Billy –  and as always we appreciate your feedback.

You can catch up with all of Linda’s guests posts in her Directory

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Linda Bethea – Grandma and the Coat from Hell


It is time to catch up with Linda Bethea and her extended family…and this week her well-meaning Grandma and her sometimes unwelcome gifts.

Grandma and the Coat from Hell by Linda Bethea.

Since there were five kids in our family, Grandma did her best to help out when she could.

Sometimes I still hate her for it. Once she went to the Goodwill Store and bought me the ugliest coat in the world. I didn’t have a problem with Goodwill. It was ugly that bothered me. It was a knee-length brown hounds-tooth wool dress coat of the style not seen since movies from the 1940’s, trimmed with brown velvet cuffs and collar and huge brown buttons with big rhinestones in the middle. I had hoped for a parka with fake-fur collar like the high society girls in my class. I turned to Mother, hoping for salvation. Mother was ecstatic, probably because she’d wanted that very coat when she was little back in the 1930’s. She made me try it on then and there. Mother’s joy was boundless when she noticed it had plenty of growing room!

Mother wasn’t faking her ecstasy. As soon as we were out of earshot, I whined that I despised that ugly coat and wasn’t going to wear it. She shut me down before I got too far and told me it was a beautiful coat which I’d wear as long as it fit. Truer words were never spoken. I was stuck with it. I slipped out without it whenever possible, and if caught, I took it off as soon as I got out of sight of the house. I sat down and flipped it over the back of my desk and a kid pointed out a large rip in the lining. This coat humiliated me even when I wasn’t wearing it!! I tried to lose it, but Mother was ahead of me. There was no hope for the ungrateful. I drug that abomination around for two years, until the cuffs were far above my wrists.

Finally, finally, it was time for a new coat. I was heartsick when Mother read us Grandma’s letter saying that she’d been back to Goodwill and gotten me a another “beautiful coat.” “I believe it’s prettier that the last one.” were her exact words. It would be hard to be uglier. I managed to put it out of my mind.

We loved getting boxes from Grandma. They were always full of wonderful things: animal shaped erasers, pencils with our names on them, wind-up toys, cars driven by cartoon characters, jumping beans, sticker books. She sewed well and always included something made especially for each of us. Grandma always packed the best at the bottom to build suspense.

This box was no different. Mother unpacked it dramatically, examining each article fully before passing it around to be admired. I knew she had to be at the bottom when she held her breath and said, “Oh, this is just gorgeous!” When she finally pulled it out, it took my breath, too. Grandma had somehow managed to find the exact replica of the nightmare I had abhorred for two years, but if anything, it was worse, in green hound’s tooth, “with plenty of room to grow!” That was when I realized that even though Grandma looked and acted like a sweet little old lady, she was the devil incarnate.

That wasn’t the worst of Grandma’s Goodwill gifts. When I was in the eighth grade and anxious to fit in, she hit the mother lode and stopped by Goodwill just after Shirley Temple cleaned out her closet. Grandma sent me several party dresses. Mother was overjoyed. They were exquisite and probably just what she had wanted twenty years earlier. Mother held up the worst of the worst, and reminded me, just in case I had gone into a coma and forgotten that I had a band concert coming up and needed a new dress.

I had been praying for a miracle, a box-pleated wool skirt with a pullover sweater like the popular girls wore. Hope died. She held up a disaster in sheer lavender with a wide satin cummerbund. Mother made me try it on right then. It was so sheer, my ugly cotton slip (which Grandma had thoughtfully provided earlier (all the other girls had lacy nylon ones) was perfectly showcased. It looked like a horrible joke. Better yet, its low cut back that showed off my pimply back perfectly. However, as sheer as it was, a high back wouldn’t have hidden anything. It fell a good three inches below my knees.. Mother explained it was tea-length, just what I needed in a fancy dress, and cut me off when I suggested hemming it. It would ruin all that beautiful embroidery around the tail of the skirt. I was heartsick. “Mother, I can’t wear this. It’s embarrassing. Nobody wears stuff like this!”

Mother went straight for the big guns…guilt. “Well, I’d wear it if I could. I’ve never had anything this nice. I haven’t even had a new dress since…” She got teary-eyed, suffering the dual pain of an ungrateful brat of a daughter and not having a new dress since the forties. I knew when I was whipped and slunk off to ponder my upcoming humiliation.

I decided the best plan was to be sick. On Thursday before the concert on Friday, the band director shot me down. Anybody missing the concert without a doctor’s excuse would fail band that grading period. Fat chance of getting a doctor’s excuse. We only went to the doctor for resuscitation. I prayed for a miracle. I got a nightmare. I tried to getting out in another dress, but Mother caught me and sent me back to put the lavender nightmare on. “It was so beautiful.” As I turned for her inspection, my ugly cotton slip looked especially stunning under sheer lavender. Every pimple on my back pulsed with excitement at its chance to shine. Mother was enchanted.

“Oh, don’t worry about your slip. Those little bumps aren’t that bad. Let’s just put a band aid on this big one.” I realized she didn’t lack fashion sense. She was just insane.

I don’t know why I didn’t have the good sense to sneak out another dress and change after I left the house.

Ignoring the fact that it was a hot May night, I grabbed a heavy pink sweater, need taking precedence over temperature. When I got to school, I rushed to the bathroom and tied a string around my waist, pulling the long skirt up and bunching it under the cummerbund. It might have looked a little better. My pink sweater hid the sheer bodice, ugly, old cotton slip, and my pimply back. I buttoned the sweater from neck to the waist, so it looked like I had bad taste in skirts as well confusion over the season. It was still an improvement over that lavender humiliation. I sweltered through the concert in embarrassment and moderate anxiety, instead of total the social annihilation I had dreaded.

As we filed out after the concert, I could feel the fabric bunched up under the cummerbund in back slipping free of the string, but I got to the bathroom before the entire skirt attained tea length. Only the back of the skirt trailed unevenly below my knees. All in all, the evening was a success. No one saw my ugly, old slip or pimply back. They only laughed as I walked off. I accustomed to snide remarks from mean kids, so two out of three wasn’t that bad.

Grandma, I hope God forgave you for getting me that awful stuff. I’m still working on it.

©Linda Bethea 2019

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Linda

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

My thanks to Linda for another wonderful story of family life and as always we appreciate your feedback.

You can catch up with all of Linda’s guests posts in her Directory

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer Linda Bethea – The Pink Cupcake, the Hussy and the Promise


The Pink Cupcake, the Hussy and the Promise

The Houston sun baked the wide sidewalk before me as I sat spread-eagled in the shade of second floor balcony. I’d yet to recover from the injustice of being denied access to that wonderland where the gentian-haired old lady and her purple poodle lived in the apartment above Grandma. I liked the lady’s purple hair and poodle and practically salivated over the pink cupcake she offered from her bottom step. Grandma refused it on my behalf, declaring, “She don’t need to ruin her dinner.”

I wanted nothing more than to follow her up stairs and devote the rest of the day to ruining my dinner and breakfast the next morning, if possible, but no. Grandma busted that up, dragging me by the hand into her back door. “That hussy needs to tend to her own rat-killing,” Grandma told Mother. “I don’t like the looks of her company. No telling what you catch from her.”

“But I’m hungry!” I wailed. “I want a cupcake.”

“Here, eat this bacon-biscuit left from breakfast.” Grandma snapped. “Supper’s in ‘bout an hour. Go back and play on the steps.”

Grudgingly, I took my lousy biscuit and returned to my toys on the front walk. I quickly tired of them and left to wander a bit. I figured I had a minute before Grandma missed me. Out of the blue, I was soaked with water from above just as Grandma rounded the corner. I rather enjoyed the refreshing bath, but Grandma, who’d taken it all in , was infuriated. Apparently, Miss Purple Hair, the upstairs tenant had chosen just that moment to dash her mop water off the balcony as I strolled below. I was delighted at the cool surprise. Miss Purple hair was horrifically embarrassed, and Grandma was enraged!

“You heifer! You threw that on her on purpose! That nasty mop water’s got Clorox in it! You might’ve blinded her!” Grandma was hot! Fortunately for the hussy, Grandma’s concern outweighed her need for vengeance, and she rushed me in for a bath. The hussy soon came down to apologize. Mother beat Grandma to the door, so the whole thing blew over,. I never did get my pink cupcake.

I wasn’t surprised at all when the murder Grandma had been promising finally materialized.

My only experience of death, up to that point, was of people being shot on television. It happened regularly on “Gunsmoke.” No big deal. The next day, a huge crowd gathered at a stately building directly across the street. Despite Mother’s best efforts to prevent it, I was able to eavesdrop and overhear the gory details of a suicide murder in the neighborhood.

Mother was devastated and feared I’d be too upset to ever sleep again. She could have saved her worry. Of course there was a murder! It held no more interest for me than a television drama and was exactly what Grandma had been promising ever since we got to Houston.

©Linda Bethea 2019

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Linda

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

My thanks to Linda for another wonderful story of family life and as always we appreciate your feedback.

You can catch up with all of Linda’s guests posts in her Directory

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas Celebrations the Ninth Day of Christmas with guests Linda Bethea and Sandra J. Jackson


So pleased that the Twelve Days of Christmas are bringing some pre-festive enjoyment and thank you to all of those who have reblogged and commented. My special guest today is Linda Bethea who recently joined the blog as a regular guest, with her entertaining family dramas. She is joined by author #Fantasy Sandra J. Jackson who will be sharing her most favourite Christmas gift.

Sally’s Christmas Past.

On this ninth day of my own memories of Christmas I have moved on from 1977 when I was not sure what the future would hold for me to the Christmas of 1979.

I had left the school in Sussex where I had been Housekeeper/cook for 18 months and moved in the April 1979 to Wales to be Assistant Manager at a hotel between Dolgellau and Barmouth on the Mawddach Estuary in the stunning Snowdonia National Park.

I was by this time in a really good place personally and had regained by physical and emotional health. I loved my time at the hotel and when it closed in the October until Easter 1980 I stayed on in my flat in the nearby Chapel House and took on inbetween season decorating and essential repairs. I was on half pay but I had a snug roof over my head and although I did not drive at that time I would catch the bus to either Dolgellau or Barmouth once a week to buy my food and catch up with the rest of the world.

I did however go home to Portsmouth for Christmas and as I was going to be there for about six weeks I decided to earn some extra cash by signing up for a temp agency and utilising my rusty secretarial skills. I spent a couple of weeks in a large insurance office typing cheques for claimants and that was pretty mind-numbing. In those days of course it was not automated and you were given a roll of blank cheques and then you typed in the recipient and the amount in words and the figures.. They were carbon backed so there was a second sheet which served as the record. If you made a mistake you had to call the supervisor over who would void that cheque and out of a roll of 100 if you had more than 5 voided you were returned to the temp agency as defective.

There was a rush on at the time to get cheques out to claimants so that they could bank before Christmas and to that end there were 10 of us temps working in the typing pool. You arrived to start work dead on the dot of 9.00am and there was one hour for lunch, a quick nip to the loo watched like a hawk by the supervisor sat at her desk at the front of the room, and you did not leave until the clock struck 5pm.

You took your completed roll of cheques up to the supervisor who would then check again before submitting to another typing pool where an accompanying letter and envelope would be prepared and then sent over to the post room to be franked.

After a couple of days I got into the swing of things and was typing the whole roll of 100 cheques and presenting them for inspection at 5p.m. To be honest I just kept my head down and apart from exchanging pleasantries with some of the other temps I just wanted to get the job down and out of there. On the fourth day I was taking a bathroom break in the afternoon when three other temps came in and stood with arms crossed behind me.

Their spokesperson then informed me that I had committed a cardinal sin. I was producing twice the amount of completed cheques as the rest of them who were only typing 50 per day. The supervisor had told them that they were not being productive enough and expected to see an increase in this number immediately. This was not a welcome adjustment to the daily quota as you can imagine.

Apparently the temps had arranged the go slow so that the job would extend out to Christmas Eve therefore preventing any need to move onto another assignment before taking that week off. I had come in and upset the apple cart and if they all typed 100 cheques a day as well we would all be out of there with two weeks left before the holidays.

I am not very good about being coerced especially when I am being paid to do a job and suffice to say that we were all done and dusted by December 12th and moving onto other projects.

There was one assignment that nobody else would take in that run up to Christmas and the agency asked if I would consider taking it on. It was a receptionist/secretary in a large local funeral directors and I will tell you about my adventures there tomorrow.

One of the hits of 1979 was Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney Amazon

I went to school in Malta when my father was posted there for two years and I have been back since to enjoy the crystal blue waters and fabulous welcome from the residents of this small island. Right now as a chill wind sweeps across the house, I would not mind being on a balcony in a t-shirt and shorts….

Being mainly Catholic, Christmas is a very important festival on Malta and the Island of Gozo and most will attend Midnight Mass. As customary there are nativity scenes outside the churches and in Malta and apart from the traditional figures some of the cribs are mechanical and the figures move. On Christmas Eve a figure representing the baby Jesus is put on the altar and on the 13th day after Christmas Eve (Epiphany)  the Wise Men are added to the scene.

The cribs have a long history including one that goes back to the 17th century and resides with Benetictine nuns. Many houses also have cribs on display and also a plaster statue of the baby Jesus in their windows.

Maltese people have a wide range of food at Christmas. Traditionally, the Maltese house-wife kept the fattest capon/rooster, ‘hasi’, especially for Christmas Lunch, which was roasted at the local bakery in a casserole full of potatoes and vegetables. The traditional desert served at Christmas was the Treacle Ring, ‘Qaghqa tal-Ghasel’, and to finish it off, a hot Chestnut and Cocoa Soup, ‘Imbuljuta tal-Qastan’, which was and is served as a cosy night cap during the cold December days in Malta. Thanks as always to Why Christmas where you can find out more about Christmas traditions around the world.

My first guest is author Linda Bethea, who has been a constant visitor to the blog over the last four years, has contributed several of her amusing family anecdotes and has been entertaining us for the last few months with a regular Guest Spot

Her recent post Flease don’t come home for Christmas Willie Tharpe certainly gave me some interesting options for a Christmas gift for her. Her mother Kathleen is a gem who illustrates Linda’s posts and books whilst sharing her childhood in the depression years.

I am delighted to have her as a friend and contributor..

Here is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

I ferreted around on Youtube to find a Christmas gift for Linda…..

As you will read if you head over to the link above featuring Willie Tharpe…Linda’s family came up close and personal with fleas… but perhaps they were missing an opportunity!!! Courtesy of UKTV

You can read the reviews and buy Linda Bethea’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Swain-Bethea/e/B01N5HA5C1
Blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

Linda bethea two51qb8fm4dqL._AC_US240_QL65_

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

The Ninth Day of Christmas (2nd of January) is a celebration of the life and times of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen who with Gregory of Nyssa are referred to as the Cappadocian Fathers. Also known as Basil of Caesarea he was a Greek bishop in around 330AD in what is now modern day Turkey.

As well as being a leading theologian of his time bringing together different factions within the Christian Church he is also revered for his work with the poor and underprivileged. He also set the guidelines for those entering the monastic life including community, work and prayer requirements. He is regarded as a saint in both Eastern and Western Christian philosophies.

The Cappadocian Fathers as a group advanced the development of early Christian theology, for example the doctrine of the Trinity and are highly respected as saints in both Western and Eastern churches.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Nine Ladies Dancing allegedly is part of the covert message contained in the original song that allowed Catholics to celebrate their faith in the face of the appalling persecution all done in the name of Christianity. Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

However, since between the Catholic and Anglican faiths millions have been persecuted and put to death for their faiths I do not believe they have any place in a song associated with Christmas and the love and unity that it is supposed to represent – so for the purposes of our celebration – it is nine love ladies dancing and enjoying the festive season!

Today’s carol is Adeste Fideles sung at the annual concert from Vienna. clipandspotfan

My next guest is #Romance #Fantasy author Sandra J. Jackson who I was delighted to be the guest of in November. 

Sandra J. Jackson was born in Montreal, Quebec but has lived in Ontario for close to 34 years. The last 31 in a rural setting in Eastern Ontario with her husband and children.

An avid reader of many genres, Sandra’s writing does not fall into any specific category. However, her goal is to create stories that pull readers into the book and make them feel as though they are a part of the story.

Sandra shares her most treasured Christmas gift.

I have had a lot of great Christmas presents over the years; downhill ski equipment and a guitar stand out from when I was younger. As an adult there are two others that come to mind. One was a family ring with my husband’s, children’s and my birthstone. The other I received just last Christmas and it made me cry. A beautiful silver necklace with a peridot pendant was the reason for the tears. Why? Because peridot was the birthstone of the infant daughter my husband and I lost in December 1995. I’d always wanted something with just her birthstone and that gift was a complete and beautiful surprise.

White doves are a symbol of peace and also babies who have left us too early…for all parents and their families who hold them in their hearts.

You can read the reviews and buy Sandra J. Jackson’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY
Website: www.sandrajjackson.com

A recent review for Promised Soul

The book for review is “Promised Soul” by Sandra J. Jackson. This novel falls in the genre of romance fantasy and fiction.

Meet our main character Krista who has decided to take a chance and made summer plans to go away on a vacation on her own. Something her mother most definitely doesn’t approve of.

While she is entertaining her friends prior to leaving she starts getting strange dreams that feel so very real to her. Not knowing what to make out of them she visits someone a friend knows to help dive into the mystery of what is going on.

It however does not stop her from traveling or interrupting her summer plans to England. There the travel agent Aaron, who has arranged every detail, Krista is ready to embark on her adventure.

Between Aaron and his friend who has been very helpful Krista learns and loves the surrounding area as the landscape and people make her feel so welcomed.

But the dreams won’t stop. In fact they are getting stronger as the days go by. The couple in her dreams are vivid and won’t stop until Krista figures out what they mean and how it will impact her immediate future.

Will she figure it out before she loses her mind?

I enjoyed this book. The pace and characters were really nice. It’s a good romance novel that doesn’t get all gooey eye which is how I like it. A good pickup and a quick read. 

I expect many of you fellow chocoholics were beginning to wonder when I was going to get around to the good stuff!

Well here we are on day nine and I think I have shown considerable restraint…For the odd one or two of you who have not been initiated into the wonders of this health bringing delight here is a master class.

The origins of the word chocolate hark back to the Aztecs and “Xocoatl” which was a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans – and the latin name for the cacao tree is very apt – Theobroma cacao which means ‘food of the gods.’ Recent research has revealed that cacao may well have been drunk as long ago as 1400BC. Anthropologists from the University of Pennsylvania discovered cacao residue on pottery in Honduras. It was fermented rendering it alcoholic and therefore may well have been the first ‘Baileys’ so beloved by most of us at all times of the year….

The cacao beans in the intervening 3,000 years or so have always had an important role to play as a currency with one cacao bean valued at a tamale (food wrap) or 100 beans which would have bought you a Christmas Turkey. At 16th century prices that was quite expensive.

The Mayans and the Aztecs, like most of us, believed that the bean had magical and divine qualities and used in the most sacred of rituals. Since many of these involved human sacrifice it is not surprising that to calm the nerves of those about to jump into the fiery volcanic depths or face the chop would be offered a cup of cocao sweetened with the blood of previous victims!

In fact there is a good reason why this ‘nourishment of the gods’ cheers us all up even if we are not facing certain doom.. The chemicals in chocolate stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain that produce a feel good effect. It also stimulates the production of theobromine, which is related to caffeine and apparently produces its renowned aphrodisiac qualities.

The original drink was very bitter like most things that do you good. The Aztecs mistakenly welcomed Spanish invaders into their cultures on the assumption that they were the gods they had been sacrificing victims to for the last millenium.. They offered their most prized possessions in the form of gold and of course their cocao drink which was apparently met with less than glowing reviews. Allegedly one food critic of the time described it as ‘a bitter drink for pigs’. However, like many natural flavoured drinks such as tea and coffee a spoonful of sugar or honey changed the history of cocao for ever.

By the 17th century chocolate was drunk throughout Europe and was given nutritional, medicinal and aphrodisiac star ratings. In around 1828 a Dutch chemist managed to convert the popular drink into its now more familiar form of solid chocolate. By 1850 Fry’s chocolate was on the shelves swiftly followed by Cadburys in England.

It is highly unlikely that an Aztec high priest would recognise any of the many types and flavours of chocolate that are now available but I am sure that he would appreciate that it still maintains its mythical status as ‘nectar of the gods’.

One of the traditional drinks at Christmas and New Year is a punch, usually served in a silver or glass punch bowl.

Punch can refer to both alcoholic or non-alcoholic concoctions that include fruit juice and the concept was brought to England in the 17th century from India. The word ‘punch’ derives from the Sanskrit for ‘Five’ and was traditionally made with 5 ingredients. After plantation owners in the West Indies discovered the delights of rum in a punch, this spirit began to replace the more traditional brandy.

It is very useful to have two bowls of punch on the go if you are having a larger gathering as guests can serve themselves. I make one for those who enjoy spirits and ones who are teetotal. You can use the same main ingredients and I have used red grape juice as a substitute for red wine and the spirits.

Here is a wonderfully cheerful punch concocter… an expert with rum..

Thank you very much for joining us today and I hope you have enjoyed. Thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Guest Post – The Most Dependable Fight of the Year by Linda Bethea


The Most Dependable Fight of the Year

Daddy took his hunting very seriously. This was a man’s sport, an entitlement. Real men hunted and fished. A man’s outdoor gear was a reflection of his manhood. Daddy would have sooner worn lace panties than not follow the unwritten rules. His hunting gear was a necessity, not an extravagance like a dependable car, bills paid on time, and clothes for the family. Daddy always had money held out of his paycheck weekly for the Christmas Club, but Mother never could remember that deer season came around the same time as the Christmas Club checks were issued. By early December, both had long unwritten lists in their heads. A day or so before the check was to be issued, Daddy would be in an unaccustomed jovial mood, sitting at the table with one of his buddies drinking coffee, and casually mention his plan to purchase a Manchester #1108 Rifle with a scope. Nearby at the stove, steam rose from Mother’s ears. The Manchester #1108 Rifle cost about the same as her Christmas list.

The Annual Christmas Fight was on. Daddy’s manhood was at stake. He couldn’t emasculate himself by backing down on his purchase after bragging in front of his hunting buddies. Mother completely misunderstood a man’s needs and considered him selfish, hurting his feelings. “When I was a kid was I only got an orange for Christmas, and was proud of that. Besides, you should be able to get everything you need for about $12.00. You just need to go through the store, pick out what you wanted, take it up to the register, and haggle with the manager. That’s the only sensible way to shop. That’s what I’d do if I had to handle the shopping! Do I have to manage the house and make the living? And besides, where are the clothes and toys I bought the kids and those three nice dresses I just bought you? You just didn’t take of stuff right or you’d still have them! Blah, blah, blah. You must think I am Santa Claus!”

Mother snidely pointed out, “well, you’re supposed to be. It was over ten years ago you bought that stuff you’re talking about. Besides, how would you know how much things cost now? You haven’t put a toe in a store, paid a bill, been to a bank, or handled any business since we got married. Don’t you think anybody besides YOU might want a nice Christmas!” Suggesting he might be selfish was the final insult! It was on!

Eventually, they would both develop battle fatigue and go about their business. Daddy would go off in a huff and buy his rifle, but tone his pride down a bit, and make do with a cheaper model. Deeply offended at Mother’s demands, he would hand over $30 or $35 dollars left from the Christmas Check. Once she recovered from her rage at his everlasting selfishness, she would shuffle bills, frantically put us all to gluing in trading stamps, put us kids to selling coke bottles, feed us more meals of beans, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, and canned vegetables, less with meat and fruit. She would make some homemade gifts and check Goodwill out. Grandma always sent a huge box of Christmas gifts, her sister Annie would send money, and Mother would manage to pull together a wonderful Christmas.

On Christmas morning we would wake up to find gifts piled all around the Christmas tree. Mother would be relieved to have manufactured a miracle once again. Once it was all laid out on Christmas morning, Daddy enjoyed seeing his children enjoying a bounteous Christmas and was reassured Mother could do well with a little money when she half tried. Maybe next year he could save back enough to get that……….

I think he sincerely believed in Santa Claus.

©Linda Bethea

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Linda

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

My thanks to Linda for another wonderful story of family life… and we would love to hear from you about any memories you have of Christmas as a child.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Guest Post – Flease Don’t Come Home for Christmas, Willie Tharpe by Linda Bethea


Flease Don’t Come Home for Christmas, Willie Tharpe

Daddy wasn’t just a magnet for strange characters. He beat the bushes to flush them out. If that hadn’t worked, I believe he’d have up tacked up posters. Mother had no way of anticipating who he might drag in for supper, overnight, or until further notice. I never did understand why she didn’t murder Daddy. He must have slept sometime! Willie Tharpe was a holdover from Daddy’s childhood.

Daddy came in late from work one evening a few days before Christmas about eight-thirty, after one of his rambles, as he so often did. Though he worked shift work, Mother could never anticipate his arrival. As the “Man of the House” his time was his own. Making the living was his only responsibility. It was up to Mother to handle the rest. That evening, Willie Tharpe creaked up behind him in an ancient truck with a shack on the back; not a camper, a shack.

About fourteen dogs piled out of the truck windows and shack as he coasted to a stop in a place of honor, right in front of our house. Eventually, Willie emerged, swatting dogs with his hat and cursing inarticulately, in the style favored by the toothless. Mother was appalled, knowing anyone Daddy dragged in this late, especially anyone from such an interesting position on the social scale, was likely to be a houseguest. This was especially concerning a day or two before Christmas, when we’d be having company. In an expansive mood, Daddy ushered in Willie Tharpe and as many of the dogs as could squeeze in before the door slammed on them. The dogs, unused to houses, ran around jumping on us, knocking over end tables, and peeing on the Christmas tree, till Daddy had us shoo them out. Daddy was clearly thrilled to be able to show off his home and family to Willie, an old and valued family friend.

The house had looked pretty good till Willie’s dogs ransacked it, but it was a wreck now. Mother had “waited supper” for Daddy, since Daddy insisted we all eat as a family. We’d been starving for hours. We scurried to the table as Mother served up the reheated beans, potatoes, and gravy, just serving the fried chicken and biscuits cold. Though Willie’s toothless mumbling was impossible to understand, Daddy interpreted for us as Willie loaded his plate time after time, after first reaching for the liver and gizzard with his hand. The liver and gizzard were such favorites that we took turns at getting them, a matter of such import that Mother managed it herself. He ate with his knife, wiped his mouth on his sleeve, and spewed food as he mumbled. We stared in fascination. Mother never even noticed his terrible manners.

After supper, he poured his coffee in his saucer, blew on it noisily, and drank from the saucer, smacking loudly after each slurp. It was repulsive. He burped without covering his mouth. When all the chicken was gone, he reached for the platter and scraped all the “scrambles” onto his plate. The “scrambles” were the crunchy bits left on the platter at the end of the meal, the prize Mother divided among us children. My mouth flew open to protest, only to catch Mother’s dirty look to “mind my manners.”

A meal with Willie did more to reinforce the importance of manners than a hundred hours of instruction. Mother should have thanked him. When it came time for bed, Daddy explained Willie would be sleeping in Billy’s room. Billy could bunk in with Phyllis and me. Mother looked fierce, but didn’t say a word. She pursed her lips and left the room. In a minute she was back with Billy’s night clothes. “Where are the dogs going to sleep?” She spat at Daddy. Daddy had always prided himself on never allowing dogs in the house until the mishap earlier that evening. “Oh, the dogs will sleep in Willie’s truck.” He was jovial, obviously not unaware of Mother’s malevolent mood and his longstanding rule on no dogs in the house. Willie looked surprised and pained. It was late December 22 and really cold. Willie muttered the first thing I’d understood that night. “I allus’ sleeps with them dawrgs. Thas’ the onliest thing that keeps an old man like me from freezing. We all pile in together. We sleeps good thataway.”

Daddy was clearly torn between his principles and his old friend. “Willie, I ain’t never had dogs in the house and I can’t start now. The dogs can’t sleep in the house.” He was saved. Willie didn’t argue, just mumbled and went off to the back bedroom. Mother was still furious. While Daddy was at work the next day, Willie hung around by the kitchen heater, smoking his smelly hand-rolled cigarettes. He was in Mother’s way all day, as she sputtered around baking and making her Christmas preparations. He smelled like his dogs, becoming more rancid smelling by the hour. The odor became more nauseating combined with the scent of cinnamon, candied fruit, orange slices, and vanilla. Mother periodically opened the doors and windows to air the kitchen.

Her mood was black by the time Daddy came rolling in at three thirty. Uncharacteristically, he’d come straight home from work, probably concerned for Willie’s safety. He took Willie off gallivanting. For once, we didn’t have to wait supper. Mother’s mood improved with Willie out of the way. We made popcorn and sang Christmas Carols. Tomorrow was Christmas Eve! Santa would be coming! Mother sent us on to bed.

The next thing I knew, Daddy was yelling, “Get some water! Get the kids out of the bedroom!”

As we flew out of our bedroom, a wet, naked old man made his rickety way into the kitchen, followed by a swirling pack of panicky dogs. Meanwhile, Daddy dragged smoking quilts out to the back yard. As the story unfolded, it seems Willie had been smoking his hand-rolled cigarettes in the comfort of the nest of hounds he’d slipped in after the house was abed and drifted off to sleep. Alerted of the burning covers by one of the dogs, he’d called out for help, getting Daddy in on the action.

Not surprisingly, Willie moved on the next day. Wisely, Daddy didn’t protest. We enjoyed a lovely Christmas. It was a few days before Willie’s Christmas gift to us became apparent.

The house was infested with fleas. Deprived of their host, they attacked us with abandon.

Happy Christmas…..

©Linda Bethea

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Linda

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

Another wondeful story from Linda Bethea and we would both love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #Short Stories Linda Bethea, Sarah Brentyn, Eric Halpenny and Gregg Savage


I love reading and writing short stories, so in the next couple of Christmas book promotions I am going to share some of the collections on the shelves of the bookstore.

The first author I would like to feature is also one of the regular contributors to the blog. Linda Bethea has been entertaining us on her blog with stories of her extended family and their adventures going back to her mother Kathleen’s childhood in the 1930s.  You can find examples of her stories on her blog Nutsrok and follow her on Twitter @nutsrok1Now 

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

One of the reviews for the collection

I Loved it! I just finished reading this book and didn’t want it to end…then I realized it hadn’t. The characters in Bethea’s book are so real, so captivating, so powerful, that their stories will stay with me even though the last page has been read. If you are looking for great humor, stories of perseverance and triumph, wisdom, and above all, love, this is the book for you!

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next author is Sarah Brentyn with a great review for her collection of short fiction Hinting at Shadows. You can connect with Sarah via her Blog and also on Twitter – @SarahBrentyn

About Hinting at Shadows

No One Escapes Life Unscathed

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.A girl haunted by her sister’s drowning. A boy desperate for his father’s affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

One of the recent reviews for the book

A real treat!  on October 31, 2018
An explanation on good micro-fiction written by Stephen Hastings-King, begins as follows (this is only a section of the quote): “There is a flat white fog. It is everywhere. There are birds. You can hear them. There are binoculars. You pick them up. You cannot see what you are looking at. You look at another thing to see what you are looking at…” Many of the pieces in Ms. Brentyn’s collection echo the above words. A real treat!

Read the rest of the reviews and buy the Collection: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hinting-at-Shadows-Sarah-Brentyn-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

Also by Sarah Brentyn

Read the reviews and buy the Collections: https://www.amazon.com/Hinting-Shadows-Collection-Short-Fiction-ebook/dp/B01N0DVWKO

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarah-Brentyn/e/B01N410987

Read other reviews and follow Sarah on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32998449-hinting-at-shadows

Connect to Sarah via her blog: https://sarahbrentyn.wordpress.com/

Now time for a short story collection of mixed genres by Eric Halpenny –  Thread and Other Stories. You can find out more about Eric on his Blog and also follow him on @dragonswordbook

About Thread and Other Stories

Thread and Other Stories is a multi-genre collection of short stories (single author) that includes science fiction, fantasy, urban fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, and espionage. There are seven stories in the collection.

Prudence and her older brother Yannick face extreme poverty and hardship in Thread. They live day to day on the wages they earn at low paying, difficult jobs. They face hardships that seem insurmountable for two young children. Isidore, an impoverished boy trying to survive on his own, enters their lives with even greater needs than Prudence and Yannick. They integrate him into their family life even as their world begins to crumble around them. But, there is an ominous backdrop to these events as strange entities take a keen interest in the lives of the three children.

A military psychologist evaluates a Vietnam war veteran who has experienced psychological damage in Shrink. The veteran’s fellow soldiers and friends must support him as the psychologist attempts to uncover the reasons behind his trauma.

Emil, Annie, and their three children—Zona, Owen, and Abner—struggle to stay safe in a steampunk-inspired fantasy world in Chance. Abner finds himself in trouble as a powerful magical being terrorizes the family farm. Only Zona’s quick thinking along with her parents’ knowledge of magic will give them a chance against the dark sorcery of the enemy.

John and Greg, bound by friendship, embark on a journey of trial and tragedy in Conflict, a 20th Century historical fiction. They must deal with death, loss, and grief as compatriots fall in battle during this poignant snapshot of the Canadian military in World War I. John and Greg show a contrast in the ways that these soldiers adapted to the psychological effects of war.

Veera, an astrophysicist, begins to experience recurring déjà vu, the source of which she cannot determine in Oversight, a science fiction adventure. She is unknowingly set on a collision course with Misha, who challenges Veera’s perception of the world as she struggles to determine what is real and what isn’t. Misha must deal with his own psychological demons as he tries to salvage a failing mission that will either end in glory or in his own death.

Dmitry is a hardened spy in the Cold War who has no mercy for his adversary Olyesa in the espionage thriller Deception. Olyesa and Dmitry navigate their way through the murky waters of agents and double agents while simultaneously struggling against each other for survival. When their divergent plans collide, it threatens to destroy them both.

Explore a metaphysical debate in the literary short story Conversation, which is woven between each of the short stories in this collection. An unnamed protagonist and an unidentified and secretive entity discuss the metaphysical and spiritual meaning behind science and what it means to gain knowledge.

One of the reviews for the collection

Thread and Other Stories” is a short story collection that ranges from historical to science fiction. There are seven stories that I’d have a hard time picking my favorite from because they are so different, but they are all well-written. I was involved in each story with the characters and outcome for different reasons. “Conflict” the tale of two friends in World War 1 was the one that touched me the most with their friendship and the horror of war. In “Thread” I was immediately drawn into the story of two poor orphans and their struggled to survive—I was rooting for them. The most interesting though was the story “Conversation” that was weaved around the other stories in six parts. I thoroughly enjoyed the different genres and the mystery of “Conversation” in this creative collection. I look forward to reading more from this author!

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072KDWLZS

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thread-Other-Stories-Eric-Halpenny-ebook/dp/B072KDWLZS/

Three of the stories in Thread are also available separately.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Eric-Halpenny/e/B072NKQTMN/

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eric-Halpenny/e/B072NKQTMN/

Read more reviews and follow Eric on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16951705.Eric_Halpenny

Connect to Eric via his Blog: https://www.erichalpenny.com/myblog/

Now time for a short story collection for children by Gregg Savage. Gregg committed to sharing a story a day on his Daily Tales and is now up to 236… He also has published ten of the stories in a collection which would make an amazing gift this Christmas.. for an adult to read to a child.. .of for slightly older children to read for themselves. You can also follow Gregg on Twitter @greggsavage

About the collection.

First Everything, Now This is a collection of the 10 most popular short stories taken from The Daily Children’s Tales of Gregg Savage. Combining humour, philosophy and imagination, the tales are designed to entertain you while encouraging a fresh perspective on your daily experiences. Each story takes place in a world where things may not work out for the best and where the mundane can become the extraordinary in a matter of minutes.

A new tale is written daily and posted on greggsavage.net to allow the audience to interact with a story that was written only moments ago. Immerse yourself in the world every day by visiting the website and joining in the conversation.

One of the reviews for the collection

Chris Graham 5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for kids of all ages (no upper age limit applies). 9 June 2018

I have been following the progress of this author’s quest to write a short story on his blog, each day, for one year since 22nd October 2017, and was delighted when he decided to publish some of them.

This book is only a very small sample of the range and variety of tales he has told, so I sincerely hope he publishes more (preferably all) of them, for the wider world to enjoy.
If you (and your little ones) have enjoyed these ten tales as much as I have, I recommend you visit his blog to read the other tales posted to date.

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/First-Everything-Now-This-October-ebook/dp/B078GTXZX9

and at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Everything-Now-This-October-ebook/dp/B078GTXZX9/

Connect to Gregg via his website: dailytales.com.au

Thank you very much for visiting and I hope you will find one or more of these books perfect for Christmas gifts… or for yourself. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer #Family – #Houston Fire Ants and Murderers by Linda Bethea


Time to catch up with Linda’s family adventures… and having arrived safely in Houston on the back of a flat bed truck… time to get settled in. Also an opportunity to meet the neighbours… not all as welcoming as would be hoped.

Houston Fire Ants and Murderers by Linda Bethea

Grandma slipped out the back door with a laundry basket as I awoke. Naturally, I followed. Though I was only five, I already knew she was short It took her several tries to heave yesterday’s dusty quilts over the clothesline.

She sputtered with frustration as she whacked them with a broom. Red dust flew “I didn’t put all this work in my quilts just to have ‘em pitched up on the back of that beat up old truck!”

I left her to her business to investigate a large conical mound just outside the back door. It looked so appealing, I couldn’t resist kicking it. As I stood in the ruins admiring my work, I was introduced to the world of fire ants.

My blood-curling screams interrupted Grandma’s quilt-beating. She whirled to find the evil beasts pinched on to my legs. As she tried vainly to brush them off, Mother rushed out to see who was being murdered. They rushed me in to the sink to wash them off, they both got numerous fiery bites, reinforcing Grandma’s prediction that Houston was a bad move. I did learn a valuable lesson about kicking anthills, though.

Once the fire in my legs cooled down, I investigated the house. They’d rented the first floor of a huge, old home. Its high ceilings and tall windows cooled the room. Its polished hardwood floors gleamed. Best of all, it boasted two stairways to nowhere. The first descended straight into the plaster of the ceiling that blocked it off.

I only got to slide down the bannister once before Grandma put a stop to my fun. She must have thought there was a murderer at the bottom. It was a couple of hours later before we discovered the second enclosed in a closet. Having no bannisters, Grandma didn’t offer objections. It was great fun to play on those steps in the dark closet.

The house had once been part of a gracious neighborhood, though now Houston streets had
gobbled its yard, leaving it just feet from busy streets in the front and on the left side. A large
lawn stretched between it and the house to its right. A deep porch wrapped the house on
three sides. Before Mother even had a chance to broach the subject, Grandma kicked in.

“Do not step off this porch! Houston is full of murderers who will snatch you right out of the yard. Don’t talk to anybody! See how close that street is! A drunk driver could run right up on the sidewalk and kill you! Even the ants here are crazy! Maybe you’d just better come back in the house.”

She must have been serious if she was ready to be shut in with an eight, five, and a couple of toddlers as she unpacked and settled in. I had to agree with her about the ants, though!

The kids got busy investigating the house as the men set up beds and Grandma and Mother
cooked breakfast and sorted out the kitchen. Cookie’s nerves were shot after her terrifying drive so we had to play quietly while she slept off a headache. Back to breakfast. One thing I always admired about Grandma. She had a proper appreciation for bacon. She didn’t cook one or two measly pieces apiece like Mother did. She cooked a platter full. There was always bacon left after breakfast. Now, that’s a fine cook!

After breakfast, Phyllis and I ran wild on the front porch, banging into the rails at the end of each lap. We were desperate to get further out. Double width sidewalks stretched temptingly to the busy street.

Country kids admire sidewalks, accustomed to bumpy grass and dirt surfaces. I was sure that those grass-covered yards were all that stood between me and speed-skating or smooth bicycling. Never-mind that I’d never owned a bike or skates. Even though Barbie was only two, she had a fine tricycle and skates. Like I said, she had it made.

©Linda Bethea 2018

Thank you Linda for entertaining us again…I got fire anted when I was an adult and it was nearly the end of me… so I do sympathise… good thing Grandma was around.

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Entertaining  on November 5, 2018

Linda Bethea is a truly gifted story teller! I genuinely enjoyed reading the stories of her mother, Kathleen, growing up. My grandparents never told me stories of the Great Depression, so these stories provided me with much needed insight. The stories are told in a colorful, humorous tone that was a joy to read.

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Linda

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

My thanks to Linda for sharing her story and she would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Guest Comedians D.G. Kaye and Linda Bethea


More funnies from the eagle-eyed D.G. Kaye Writer Blog 

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com – Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Thanks very much Debby and here is a joke to finish you off from the blog of the ever entertaining Linda Bethea

Farmer Brown had dozens of hens, but no rooster, so he goes down the road to the next farmer and asks if he has a rooster for sale. The other farmer says, “Yeah, I’ve this great rooster, named Rudy. He’ll service every chicken you got, no problem.” Well, Rudy the rooster costs a lot of money, but, farmer decides he’d be worth it. So, he buys him and takes the rooster home. He then sets him down in the barnyard and gives the rooster a pep talk, “Rudy, I want you to pace yourself now. You’ve got a lot of chickens to service here, and you cost me a lot of money. Consequently, I’ll need you to do a good job. “So, take your time and have some fun,” the farmer ended with a chuckle.

Rudy seemed to understand, so the farmer points toward the hen house, and Rudy took off like a shot. WHAM! He nails every hen in the hen house three or four times, and the farmer is really shocked. After that the farmer hears a commotion in the duck pen, sure enough, Rudy is in there. Later, the farmer sees Him after the flock of geese down by the lake. Once again, WHAM! He gets all the geese.

By sunset he sees Rudy out in the fields chasing quail and pheasants. The farmer is distraught — worried that his expensive rooster won’t even last 24 hours. Sure enough, the farmer goes to bed and wakes up the next day to find Rudy dead as a doorknob — stone cold in the middle of the yard and buzzards are circling overhead. The farmer, saddened by the loss of such a colorful and expensive animal, shakes his head and says, “Oh, Rudy, I told you to pace yourself. I tried to get you to slow down, now look what you’ve done to yourself.” Rudy opens one eye, nods toward the buzzards circling in the sky and says, “SHHHH, they’re getting closer…”

Linda Bethea, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Swain-Bethea/e/B01N5HA5C1
Blog: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

Linda bethea two51qb8fm4dqL._AC_US240_QL65_

My thanks to Debby Gies and Linda Bethea.. and I am always looking for new material.. so please send you favourite jokes to sally.cronin@moyhill.com and get your blog and books a mention too.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Linda Bethea – The Letter #Family #Humour


Time for another of Linda Bethea’s humour filled and heartfelt posts about family life. This week having a mother-in-law stay can be an adventure…. You can find Linda’s other posts Here

The Letter

Illustration by Kathleen Holdaway Swain

Grandma Holdaway came from Texas to spend a couple of weeks two or three times a year.

On arrival, Grandma was always in high spirits, delighted to see her youngest daughter and grandchildren after a long absence. She arrived, laden with gifts for us all, even including a pair of socks, ashtray, or coffee cup for Daddy. It was always clear she and Daddy were trying to get along for Mother’s sake, a woman they both loved. Their efforts wore thin as the days wore on, particularly on his days off when he couldn’t escape her questions about his personal business and his extended family. None of this endeared her to Daddy, an impatient man. Had he been an animal, he’d have made a fine bear. The grouchier he got, the moodier Grandma got. It must have been wonderful for Mother, being caught between them.

To start with, Grandma was clannish. She had no real use for those outside her own family. Accustomed to running her own family’s activities, she suffered in a situation she couldn’t tightly control. So did everyone else. Any or all of Daddy’s six fertile siblings were ever present on weekends. Visits were bedlam, with kids running wild, screaming, banging doors, and knocking little ones about, should a Mother be so careless as not to keep them in a defensible distance. Daddy’s Mother, Mamaw, was usually there, too, unless she lost her nerve and needed a sanity break. For some reason, if Grandma was there, Mamaw almost always came. In theory, they were friends, though sometimes they could have passed for sparring partners.

Grandma loved to go to town. She was always the first to the car, despite having mobility problems after a stroke in her sixties. She balanced her gait by carrying a huge black purse on her affected side. She said it kept her straight. Grandma got through a hellish Sunday with family by looking forward to a trip to town on Monday. All she had to do was somehow keep her sanity.

Late, Sunday evening, Grandma got the news she wouldn’t be going to town with Mother on Monday. Mother had to take a neighbor and wouldn’t have room for her. Not only that, Grandma had already been visiting two weeks and was descending into gloom by the time she got a call from her son. She had expected him to pick her up in a day or so, but he post-poned his trip for another two weeks. It didn’t make her or my dad happy to know they had another two weeks to spend together. My dad was on strike at the time, throwing them together, even more. His family’s visit that weekend enhanced an already perfect storm. I expected them to kill each other!

I will transcribe for you.

Dear BL, Just time for word. Hope all are getting along all right. Sure hope your daddys neck is feeling better I don’t feel too good Such a crowd here last night Bonnie, Edward, their 3 kids & Geneva came Ester, Junie, and their 5 hienas. Cat Young & her bunch of Angel then 2 bunches of neighbors & their familys & it was so quiet it hurts my ears til yet. running & slamming doors. I thought they would never leave. Kack(my mother)is fixing to take Cat Young to Springhill she has to go to the bank on business & Arnold had to go help Edward finish his filling station today & use his car& he ask her to take her to the bank. I intended to go & found out Kack was going to take all her kids. I better close. O I talked to John yest he ask me if I’de mind staying here two weeks longer til schools out that he hated to come one day & go back the next.so I told him I’de wait they are beginning to make a little progress in their talks about settling the strike they are all hoping the mill will open after July the 4th Bill got to work 2 days for another construction job, he had to walk the picket line last night for an hour for two must close Kacks ready to start tell your daddy Bill is wanting to give away their big collie does he want him to go with Blue. Must stop now. Please write soon. Love to all Grandma

I had forgotten until I reread this letter that Grandma didn’t bother with punctuation, though she had been a teacher.

©Linda Bethea 2018

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

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

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

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

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

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Linda

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

My thanks to Linda for sharing her story and she would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.