Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Guest Writer – Linda Bethea – It was a wonder to see my two Grandmas in combat.


I am delighted that Linda Bethea is going to be joining us on a more regular basis, sharing posts of family, humour and words of wisdom….

It was a wonder to see my two grandmas in combat.

Mettie Knight Swain – Mamaw

It was a wonder to see my two grandmas in combat. Daddy always dreaded seeing Grandma Holdaway, my maternal grandmother, from the start. In his defense, she was inquisitive, intent on getting all the latest on his folks as soon as the pleasantries were done. By way of explanation, I have to admit, Daddy’s family gave her plenty to be nosy about. “How is your mama? Is she still living with Ola Bea?”

Mamaw moved house more than anyone else I’ve ever seen, rarely living in a place long enough to even have to dust the furniture. It was not uncommon for her sons to move her into a place, then get the news she wanted to move again before the rent was due. I was always impressed with the little places she’d find: little duplexes, rooms in houses she’d share with a friend, garage apartments, and tiny cottages. It’s hard to imagine how someone who didn’t drive nor have a telephone could find places so readily. In the event she didn’t move out on her own, she’d move in with one of her daughters or Uncle Parnell, whose wife Julie was like a daughter to her. Uncle Parnell even built a house for her on two places where he lived. She’d eagerly anticipate moving into her new house, then get discontented after a short time and decide to move elsewhere. If he was frustrated, he never complained and moved her back in her little house as often as asked.

  My maternal grandparents Mary Elizabeth Perkins Holdaway and children. The little blonde girl is Kathleen Holdaway Swain, my mother

When the two old ladies got together, they moved in for a hug, but held each other at a distance. After a few brief pleasantries, they got to the veiled insults. They took turns with insults recycled from their last visit.

“Miz Holdaway, you’re looking mighty healthy. Looks like you might’a put on a few pounds.” Mamaw might remark, slyly.

“Lord, no. I’ve taken off weight. I was gonna bring you my nice navy church dress but I run off and left it. It just about falls off me now. I know you could use it.” Grandma retorted. “You’ll probably need if Jenny’s girl gets married. Sure looks like she could use a husband.”

Mamaw changed the subject. “I brought Willie a fresh apple cake. He does love a good cake. I guess Kathleen tries, but she just ain’t much on making cakes. I raised my girls up in the kitchen from the time they was knee-babies. Every one of ‘ems a fine cook, yes, ma’am.”

Kathleen is a fine cook. Bill don’t look like he’s missed any meals. Did Ella May and her husband ever get back together? He seems like a good man. She needs to try to get along with him.”

Me with a gaggle of my first cousins. I am the messy girl in back row standing next to woman holding baby. This was taken on Christmas. That was a new outfit Mother made me for Christmas. It didn’t survive the cousin football game. I got home missing three buttons and most of my skirt hem. Mother was not pleased.

Daddy’s family gathered together most weekends, either at our house or one of theirs. It was a madhouse of raucous adults and screaming, door-banging children, since I had more than forty first cousins. Mamaw was very casual in her affection for the herd of banshees, most concerned about getting trampled or knocked in the head by flying objects. I can’t say that I ever saw her cuddle a baby or hug a child. Please understand, I don’t mean this as a criticism, there were just too many of the little heathens to keep up with. At least she didn’t smack us when we ran by, which probably required a bit of restraint. On the other hand, Grandma only had six grandchildren that she doted on. She showered us with beautifully handmade clothes and whatever inexpensive gifts she could afford on her meager old-age pension, seventy-seven dollars a month. Though Mamaw also got by on her Old-Age Pension, Grandma’s life was probably financially easier since she and my grandpa, who had his own pension, had always lived with family, avoiding the expense of running a house.

However, Grandma did earn her way by keeping house, cooking, doing laundry, and caring for a grandchild. Though Grandma did not get a free ride at all, Mamaw was envious of what she perceived as her “easier life.” I suspect most of Mamaw’s money went toward her frequent moves. According to Grandma, Mamaw wasted a good deal of money buying Cheerios and tiny cans of Green Giant Niblet Corn. I always got the lowdown after Mamaw left. Grandma said it made a whole lot more sense to buy oatmeal and family-sized cans of corn, preferably store-brand. I was with Mamaw on that. Had I had any purchasing power, I would have gone for the Cheerios, assuming I couldn’t get Sugar Smacks. I definitely admired those tiny cans of corn. By the way, I never got a taste of either. Mamaw had way too many grandchildren to be passing out food.

©Linda Bethea 2018

About Linda Bethea.

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

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

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

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

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

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Linda

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.

 

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Book Launch, Birch Maidens, Sausages and Spies by the Sea..


Welcome to the weekly round up and for me it has been an exciting week with the launch of my latest book. And also from a renovation perspective…the weather stayed dry enough for David to paint the outside wall of our garden facing the road. The lawn goes down this week and work will begin on the back patio… it has been two and a half years, so you can see why this is a watershed moment.

I know we are only just into October but I have been making plans for the Christmas promotions starting November 12th.. Primarily to make sure that every author in the Cafe and Bookstore is included, and to that end if you are not in the Cafe and Bookstore yet… here is a post to get you started.  Also if you are in the Cafe already, please let me know if you have a book out in the next few weeks so I can set up your New on the Shelves promotion.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-free-book-promotion-have-you-a-new-book-available-before-christmas/

As always I am very grateful for the amazing contributions of talented writers who spend time and a great deal of effort to put together posts for us.

Paul Andruss is on a sabbatical at the moment so I am sharing some of his earlier posts from 2017 for you to enjoy. The Birch Maiden is a wonderful legend, and in this post she is brought alive by the illustration by Donata Zawadzka who is the illustrator for my latest book.

picture1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-rewind-writer-in-residence-the-birch-maiden-by-paul-andruss/

Last week Carol Taylor identified some of the unexpected ingredients to be found in some brands off hotdogs. So that you don’t go off the delights of sausages totally, this week she gives us the recipe and spices to make our own.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-homemade-sausages-and-spice-mixes/

Delighted that Jessica Norrie is back with us after the summer break with a post on novels from 1903 to the present day, which feature spies and criminals in a coastal setting. Some classics from authors such as Agatha Christie, Erskine Childers, Graham Greene and in a modern vein…Ian McQuire.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-literary-column-with-jessica-norrie-coasting-with-spies-and-criminals-1903-2018/

Linda Bethea shares the last of her Mixed Nuts family stories… and the good news is that we will see Linda here on a more regular basis as a guest writer.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mixed-nuts-part-3-by-linda-bethea/

Esme gave us her predictions for the coming month….

Hi everyone and I hope you are looking forward to the month ahead. One of the main events, is that Venus is retrograde from this week until mid-November. People assume this means that love is going to fly out of the window… but in fact, what it does, is highlight areas of your relationships that could use some TLC.

October for me is an interesting month, in that I find it a ‘buffer’ month, between late summer, early autumn and winter in the Northern Hemisphere and spring and early summer for the heat of high Summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-esmes-predictions-for-october-2018/

This week – what I was up to in 1985, music from Foreigner... and a request from Darlene Foster. This week 1986 and more requests.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-the-charts-1985-and-darlene-fosters-request/

A highlight for me….

This week was very special for me and my latest book was launched with some beautiful illustrations from Donata Zawadzka. I am very grateful to everyone for liking, reblogging and sharing across their social media. It was amazing and I cannot tell you how delighted I am by the response. I was also thrilled to find my first review for the book and that was wonderful. My thanks to Paul Andruss for creating a gif with the new cover and a selection of my other books which I share with you here and it includes some of the illustrations.

And the book’s first review

Appreciative reader 4.0 out of 5 stars Escape from the real world 6 October 2018

Fairy Queen Filigree moves her court from the dry Spanish plains to the Emerald Isle, where she and her courtiers soon need warm tweed clothing and fortifying amber nectar. But romance is on the cards to warm things up too. If you want a gently paced read full of enchanting detail, soothe yourself in the author’s carefully imagined world of fairy feasts, storytellers and ever so slightly petulant princesses. Like going back to childhood… This isn’t my usual thing but made a welcome change from real life – and there are some beautiful illustrations too.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/booklaunch-tales-from-the-irish-garden-by-sally-cronin/

Other personal ‘stuff’

I responded to Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge with a haiku.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/smorgasbord-poetry-haiku-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-poetry-challenge-rose-hips/

This weekend’s short stories from What’s in a Name – meet Jane and Jack.

Jane – The Surprise

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-jane-the-surprise-by-sally-cronin/

Jack – A VIP Visitor

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-jack-a-vip-visitor-by-sally-cronin/

I am catching up with my reviews on the books that I have read over the summer… slowly but surely

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/06/smorgasbord-book-reviews-psychological-thriller-lies-by-t-m-logan/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/smorgasbord-book-reviews-the-glowing-pigs-snort-stories-of-atonement-tennessee-by-teagan-riordain-geneviene/

Part two of my interview with author Leslie Tate… childhood memories of jungles and monkey poop…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/smorgasbord-magazine-reblog-part-two-of-my-interview-with-leslie-tate/

New books on the shelves this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-offer-son-of-the-serpent-fantasy-angels-series-by-vashti-quiroz-vega/

Cafe Update – Reviews and News.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-colleen-chesebro-jacqui-murray-and-sacha-black/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-covers-and-reviews-shehanne-moore-janet-gogerty-and-c-s-boyack/

If you are a regular visitor you will know that I consider Vitamin D to be one of the most essential nutrients for our health. More and more research is identifying new health conditions that improve with an increase in Vitamin D through absorption of our skin (Sunshine Vitamin) or in diet in combination with supplementation.

This article appeared last week which would suggest that migraine sufferers could decrease the number of attacks by supplementing with the vitamin.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrient-in-the-news-vitamin-d-could-reduce-number-of-migraine-attacks/

Starting to appear in the headlines across the media is news that following last year’s high death rates from the flu, and the ineffectiveness of the 2017 vaccine, a new maxi-strain format is going to be available this year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/smorgasbord-health-health-in-the-news-flu-season-vaccination-alert-new-mega-vaccine-available-in-uk-and-boost-your-immune-system/

Humour and afternoon Videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-a-few-funnies-and-a-joke-or-two-its-a-dogs-life/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-its-a-dogs-life-funnies-and-a-joke/

A selection of blog posts each day that I have read and enjoyed. Sorry not to mention all that I have visited but I hope I have shared most on social media.

Debby Gies, Leslie Tate, Carol Taylor and Teagan Geneviene

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-monday-october-1st-2018-d-g-kaye-reviews-leslie-tate-carol-taylor-exposes-hot-dogs-and-teagan-geneviene-illuminates-the-1920s/

The Story Reading Ape, Claire Fullerton, Christy Birmingham and Jennie Fitzkee

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-october-2nd-2018-the-story-reading-ape-with-claire-fullerton-christy-birmingham-40shealth-and-jennie-fitzkee-reading-preschool/

Sue Vincent, D.G. Kaye and Annette Rochelle Aben

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-october-3rd-2018-sue-vincent-d-g-kaye-and-annette-rochelle-aben/

Charles E. Yallowitz, John W.Howell, Teri Polen, Mae Clair and Beaton Mabaso.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-september-4th-2018-charles-e-yallowitz-with-john-w-howell-teri-polen-with-mae-clair-and-beaton-mabaso-on-websites/

Jenny in Neverland, Pamela Wight and Noelle Granger.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/10/05/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-meet-the-reviewers-friday-october-5th-2018-jenny-in-neverland-onlinefriends-pamela-wight-shortstory-and-n-a-granger-review/

Thank you again for dropping in and your ongoing support… it is much appreciated.. Sally.

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


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

image

Mixed Nuts Part 3 by Linda Bethea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Linda Bethea.

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

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

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

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

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

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

image

Mixed Nuts Part 2 by Linda Bethea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Linda Bethea.

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

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

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

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

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

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Mixed Nuts Part 1 by Linda Bethea

image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Well, you know she’s a 5.”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.” Or…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(to be continued)
©Linda Bethea 2015

About Linda Bethea.

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

win_20160620_13_24_45_proHere is Linda with a little bit about herself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the many excellent reviews for the book.

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

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

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

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

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

Also by Linda Bethea

About the book

WOMEN OF STRENGTH, FORTITUDE, AND BRAVERY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 17th July 2018 – The Story Reading Ape, Linda Bethea and Christy D. Birmingham


Welcome to a small selection of blog posts I have enjoyed in the last couple of days.

The first post is from The Story Reading Ape and his guest author Jaq D. Hawkins with her thoughts on writer’s block and some strategies to over come that inability to get the words onto a page.

What makes me a writer is the need to write. It’s an incessant driving force characterised by a series of scenes from stories constantly animating through my mind. Not just one, I always have several stories playing out in my head. So when articles come out talking about what to do when you get writer’s block, I wonder how that can work with a host of characters continually clamouring for attention in a creative mind.

We’ve all faced the blank page. There are times when words flow quickly and other times when they take a little more plumbing, but once an idea has manifested, the words to express it fully exist somewhere in the aether, we just have to access them. Sometimes they can be elusive and the person who panics will hit a block.

Take an article like this for example. What could a person who doesn’t suffer from writer’s block possibly have to say about it? Well, the answer is in the question. As soon as you ask a question, it creates a void that must be filled with an answer, or at least another question. In this case, WHYdon’t I suffer from writer’s block?

Having given that question some thought, my analysis is that:

Head over and read and check out what Jaq’s analysis is: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2018/07/14/what-is-this-thing-called-writers-block-guest-post-by-jaq-d-hawkins/

Next it is time to catch up with A Hog Day Part 19 by Linda Bethea… a wonderfully irreverent look at the downside of getting your own way and thwarting your father…

Between the two of us, Billy and I complained bitterly about having to march in like a row of ducks to line the pew every Sunday. No other kids our age sat with their parents. We looked like real doofuses. It was a social disaster. Finally, I decided I’d have to work up the nerve to ask permission to sit somewhere else. After the super ball incident, there was no way Billy would ever bring up that topic again. I knew I had to approach the subject delicately or there would be big trouble. At our house, a question could reap consequences as serious as an actual sin. It showed intent. I suppose it followed the same principle as “having lust in your heart.” Not only that, but whenever Daddy got news that a neighborhood kid had done something horrible, We got a preemptive lecture, just because. “Your FRIEND, Eddie, was smoking and burned down the preacher’s barn last night. THAT’s why I don’t let you …….”. It didn’t matter that I’d never spoken two words to Eddie and despised smoking, only Daddy’s total dedication to lecturing and haranguing kept me on the straight and narrow. But for his rigid control, I’d have been smoking, drinking, and fornicating on the back pew every Sunday.

Head over and read the rest of this entertaining post: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/a-hog-day-part-19/

Linda Bethea is an author in the bookstore.

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

Linda bethea two51qb8fm4dqL._AC_US240_QL65_

And my third selection today is a post from Christy Birmingham on the subject of improving your relationships. I have been married for 38 years and am only too aware of how easily habit and familiarity can sometimes make you complacent. We still have surprises in our relationship.. good ones. And we laugh a lot which is great. We also know when something is wrong. Apparently I stop talking! Anyway we could all use a refresh from time to time, and Christy has five empowering suggestions.

5 Empowering Ways To Improve Your Relationship

To achieve a successful relationship, it is essential that you are willing to put the work in. If you are going to avoid getting set in your ways, you will need to have an open mind about what the future holds. Rather than putting up with the negative aspects of your pairing, you should be striving for more. There are so many empowering ways for you to improve your relationship, so there is no need to hold back. Working together, you and your partner can create a wonderful union that is positive, fulfilling, and enjoyable. It will require a substantial amount of time and effort, but eventually, you will get there. Below are 5 tips to help improve your relationship.

Boost your confidence and encourage your partner to do the same

The first tip is to boost your confidence, whilst encouraging your partner to do the same. This is an excellent way for you to strengthen your relationship. Instead of relying on your loved one for an endless amount of support and praise, you will find it easier to know your own worth. Of course, it will still be nice to receive compliments from your other half, but you will no longer be dependent on this kind of attention. That is why you should endeavor to overcome your insecurities until you have successfully enhanced your self-esteem.

Help your loved one to work through their own insecurities too. Perhaps they feel terrible about their weight. Why not assist them in getting fit and active? Or, maybe they are troubled by hair loss. Why not go online to review options that could be suitable?

Head over and read the rest of the post and find out more strategies to give your relationship a boost in an empowering way: https://whenwomeninspire.com/2018/07/13/ways-improve-relationship/

Christy is an author in the bookstore.

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and explore these posts further.

Smorgasbord Laughter Lines – Guest Comedian and Egyptian Mummies, Vaseline and Engineers!


Guest Comedian.

Delighted that Linda Bethea responded to my invitation to share some of her favourite jokes with us and she has kindly contributed the first two.. If you have some you would like to contribute with a credit… then please email sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Linda is an author in the bookstore

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

Linda bethea two51qb8fm4dqL._AC_US240_QL65_

The crowds had been packing the traveling tent revival every night that week, grateful offerings filling the pockets of the evangelist. Cure after cure was enacted in the sweltering heat of those July evenings. Emotions were at an all time high on the last night as the last two afflicted souls reached the evangelist at the front of the tent.

Struggling up the steps on her crutches poor Mrs. Smith hobbled up to the evangelist. “Heal me! I haven’t been able to walk without crutches in twenty years.”

“Yes, Sister! You will be healed! Go behind that curtain and wait with the others waiting for healing.” Mrs. Smith slowly and painfully made her way behind the curtain.

Johnny Jones was the last in line. “I have a lifth. It hath made my life awful. Pleath heal me of my lifth!”

“Yes, Brother! You will be healed! Go behind the curtain with all the others and you will all be healed at once.”

The evangelist offered up a long, heartfelt prayer for healing. Weeping could be heard all over the tent. Finally, he concluded, calling out dramatically. “Mrs. Smith, you haven’t been able to walk without crutches for twenty years, have you?”

“No, Lord!” she replied from behind the curtain.

“You are healed! Throw your right crutch over the curtain.” Her right crutch flew over the curtain and clattered on the floor. “Now throw your left crutch over the curtain.” The left crutch followed.

Thunderous “Amens!” echoed all over the tent.

“Johnny Jones, you are healed of your lisp. Call out to us in a loud, clear voice so all can hear!” demanded the evangelist!

“Mithuth Thmith just fell on her ath!”

And Linda hubby’s favorite:

Two Englishmen met in the pub one evening.
“I’m sorry to hear you buried your wife,” said the first.

“Had to,” answered the other. “Dead, you know.”

Thanks Linda…and you will find a great deal more humour over on her website: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/

Now from the resident comedian!

 

An archaeologist was digging in the Negev Desert and came upon a casket containing a mummy. After examining it, he called the curator of a prestigious museum.

“I’ve just found a 3,000 year old mummy,” said the archaeologist. “It’s a man who died of heart failure.”

“Bring it in,” said the curator. “We’ll check it out.”

A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. “You were exactly right about the mummy’s age and cause of death,” he said. “How in the world did you know?”

“Easy,” the archaeologist replied. “He was holding a piece of papyrus that said ‘10,000 shekels on Goliath.’”

A man doing market research knocked on a door. He was greeted by a young woman with three small children running around at her feet.

He says, “I’m doing some research for Vaseline. Have you ever used the product?”

She says, “Yes. My husband and I use it all the time.”

“And if you don’t mind me asking, what do you use it for?”

“We use it when make love.”

The researcher was a little taken back. He replied with candor, “Usually people lie to me and say that they use it on a child’s bicycle chain or to help with a gate hinge. But, in fact, I know that most people do use it for sex. I admire you for your honesty. Since you’ve been frank so far, can you tell me exactly how you use it for sex?”

The woman says, “I don’t mind telling you at all. My husband and I put it on the door knob to keep the kids out.”

During a ride in a taxicab, the rider touched the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question.
Upon the touch, the cab driver flinched, screamed, then went into a panic and almost wrecked the cab. Finally the driver got control and pulled to side of road.

Still shaking, he turned to his rider and apologized. He said, “Sorry about that. This is my first day as a cab driver. For the past 20 years I have driven a hearse”

Help yourself to a pupcake on your way out.. take two if you hit a share button…..thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Monday June 25th 2018 – Linda Bethea, Tess Karlinski, Becky from Baker with a Hammer and James J. Cudney


It has been  a while since the last series of Smorgasbord Blogger Daily in September last year, and I realise that the number of my reblogs is creeping up again. I love sharing other people’s work, but I am aware that it tends to create a lot of traffic into your mail boxes.. So I thought for the summer months I would go back to sharing five or six of the blogs I have enjoyed each day in one post.  I will of course be sharing other blog posts along the way as well.

The first writer today to be in the spotlight is Linda Bethea… I have gone back to 21st of June when she posted the first in one of always entertaining, life affirming stories about life in the time of the recession in America.

Here is a snippet and you will find the links to the four episodes so far so that you can catch up. If you don’t follow Linda… you have been missing out.

A Hog a Day by Linda Bethea

Photo from Library of Congress. Notice images of mother and child, fashionable young woman and Santa Claus, and other papers papers on wall.

“I had to kill a hog a day to feed them boys of mine.” I was impressed. Mr. Rose’s boys were grown and gone, but I couldn’t get that image out of my mine as I looked around at the house the old man shared with Miss Bessie. Kids have the luxury of not having the responsibility of conversation, so I could enjoy the whole experience of listening, hospitality, and looking at everything as much as I liked, as long as I didn’t touch anything. Believe me, I was not tempted to touch with both my parents vigilantly looking on. The room was fascinating, but I did wish I could see those boys who could eat a hog a day.

No rug covered the white pine floor. Old newspapers and magazine pages were tacked on the exterior walls of the room with no regard for their orientation served as wallpaper. The loveliest was a beautiful young woman with blonde curls piled high on her head. She wore a blue gingham dress with ruffled sleeves and carried an equally beautiful ham on a large platter. That gorgeous ham was crisscrossed with slashes and garnished with pineapple slices, maraschino cherries, and cloves. I practically salivated at its loveliness. Its charm was enhanced by the fact that the image had been tacked upside down. Somehow, seeing it upside down made it more memorable. Though I have tried many times, I have never prepared a ham so lovely.

Please follow the link to part one : https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/a-hog-a-day/

Part Two: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/a-hog-a-day-part-2/
Part Three https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2018/06/23/a-hog-a-day-part-3/
Part Four: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2018/06/24/a-hog-a-day-part-4/
Part Five: https://nutsrok.wordpress.com/2018/06/25/a-hog-a-day-part-5/

Linda Bethea is an author in the Cafe and Bookstore

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

Linda bethea two51qb8fm4dqL._AC_US240_QL65_

I know that I sometimes bombard you with nutritional posts but I hope you also know that I love food. One of the reasons that I don’t bake much is that the end results would be barely cooled before evaporating….. I do appreciate the efforts of others and for all of you who are lovers of chocolate (one or two I suspect) here is a recipe for Chocolate Chunk Cookies that definitely will not be made in my kitchen… but would be delighted if you could pass just one over.

Here is a recipe from Becky Baker with a Hammer….. and trust me there are lots more where this one came from. About Becky

Chocolate Chip CookiesImage Baker with A Hammer

Is being a chocoholic a thing? If so, I think I am one. In fact, I’m pretty sure I am. I always reach for a bite of chocolate after lunch or dinner, and can’t stop thinking about it until I get one. My latest chocolate-y favorite is a chocolate chip cookie. They are a classic for a reason. Everyone has their go-to recipe and this one is mine. The cookies are soft on the inside with a slight crunch on the outside. And with chocolate chips in every bite…perfection. This recipe yields nice and thick cookies. I like to use an electric mixer to make these, but you could certainly mix the dough by hand. It is a thicker dough, so you’d likely need to put some muscle into it. But it’s totally doable. Happy Baking
 

Head over and grab the recipe.. and remember to send one to me when you bake.. I might end up with a baker’s dozen after all..: https://bakerwithahammer.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/chocolate-chunk-cookies/

One of the blogs that I visit weekly is Tess Karlinski’s travelogue. We have been to China and Newfoundland together and now we are off to Alaska aboard a cruise ship.

This week time to gather the luggage, fill in the forms and pay the bill… and attend an art auction.

Tess Karlinski

North to Alaska: Art Auction Confusion

I woke at 6:45, anxious to start our day. A dry deck faced us; the ship rocked beneath our feet.

After breakfast, I intended to get the rigmarole of going ashore the next day out of the way. I sorted through the forms and luggage tags. We had a couple options: independent or expedited and chose the latter as we fit all the criteria, the times fit better, and I’d rather pull our own luggage off the ship than leave it outside the door before midnight and have to wait to collect it upon arrival in Vancouver. Mary stopped by the front desk to collect printouts of our accounts. I spent more than I’d anticipated. How easy it is to spend money when all you have is a credit card. I should have disregarded an internet connection as a necessity, considering we had so much downtime.

Mary signed us up to attend an art auction. Not up my alley but the promise of a glass of champagne was a good incentive. Upon registration, a nice woman handed everyone a number and three stickers, which we were to affix to paintings we favoured.

When the fellow responsible to display the next painting for auction, he snapped off the stickers and mashed them. I saw no point in the stickers unless the ones with the most were brought out first or was the exercise to engage would-be buyers?

The champagne must have been a special purchase. Only one glass per customer. My mouth puckered with the first sip, but I managed to work at it until the glass was empty. Swirling the glass gave me something to do while I slid lower in my chair, bored. The auction did not heat up; a few painting sold, but the bidding was low and unexciting. 

Head over and read the rest of this week’s post: https://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/2018/06/22/north-to-alaska-art-auction-confusion/

Now time for a book review from James Cudney and here is an excerpt and I recommend that you head over and read the whole post. James J. Cudney – about and books

4.5 stars for making me cry through the last few chapters of Will You Remember Me? by my new Queen, Amanda Prowse— and it was even sweeter knowing this was a signed copy that my friend Claire secured for me. I make no pretense here: I waffle back and forth between Amanda Prowse and Kate Morton as my favorite contemporary fiction female storyteller but it always comes down to who makes me tear up the most… Wow, this was quite a story and I can’t wait to devour another one of her books next month.

21570571Although part of a series, it can definitely be read standalone as the series seems to jump around from character to character. I didn’t read the first book, Poppy Day, which focuses on the same lead but I have a feeling it’s okay to go out of order. Poppy is 32, married to the love of her life, has two wonderful children and a great sense of happiness for the future — until she finds a small lump in her breast, and nothing is ever the same again. Prowse takes us thru the journey as Poppy begins to realize everything she will lose. From telling her husband to searching for her unknown father, finding a new family member and saying goodbye to people for the final time… this tale will have you holding your breath, tearing up, and gritting your teeth with anger and disappointment. Things don’t always work out. Sometimes they do but on a different level. What fine balance in this beautiful and heartwarming piece of brilliance.

Head over and read the rest of the review: https://thisismytruthnow.com/2018/06/23/book-review-will-you-remember-me-by-amanda-prowse/

Thanks for dropping in and please feel free to leave the link for your latest blog post in the comments. I will be featuring more blog posts tomorrow.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – 15th -21st February 2018 – “I Don’t Have the Money Right Now” by Linda Bethea


Time for one of the wonderfully amusing posts from author Linda Bethea about her fabulous mother Kathleen Holdaway Swain. Linda’s stories about her mother have always entertained and enlightened me and this story has changed by shopping trips for the better!

“I Don’t Have the Money Right Now” by Linda Bethea

Mother prides herself on being frugal, but loves nice things. Should she win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes today and be guaranteed five-thousand dollars every week for life, it wouldn’t change anything. She’d live in the same house and drive the same car because, “I don’t have the money right now.” She’s been the same size and worn the same styles since she married, so she never has to buy anything that’s not on clearance. In fact, when shopping, she’s not above placing the size eight she has her eye on among the size eighteens and then coming back to see if it’s marked down a few weeks later. You’d think God was looking out for her. “Would you look at this? They’ve marked it down. I don’t mind paying fifteen dollars, but there’s no way it’s worth eighty-five to me.’

The one great exception is her pursuit of the perfect shoe. Domestic abuse early in her marriage messed up Mother’s ability to easily find shoes on the bargain rack. Just so you know, she’s the one who committed the abuse, though Daddy never even noticed. As a young man, Daddy worked shift work and put off going to bed as long as possible. He felt sleeping was a waste of time when there were better things to do. As a result, when he finally hit the bed, he slept like the dead. One night, he rolled over on Mother’s long hair and she couldn’t wake him. She poked, elbowed, and yelled, to no effect. In desperation, she kicked him till he finally roused enough for her to get her hair loose. In agony, she got up and soaked the toe till it calmed enough for her to sleep. The next morning, it was bruised and so swollen she couldn’t even get her shoe on. This was back when doctors made house calls. Daddy fetched Dr. Pike who diagnosed the big toe broken, pushed the battered toe back in place, and wrapped it to her second toe to act as a splint. She hobbled around in just a sock till the swelling went down enough to endure a shoe. Afterwards, she required a half size larger and needed more supportive shoes, which are of course, more expensive.

As a result, Mother fixated on good shoes. Should she find her heart’s desire, particularly at a marked-down price, a terrible dilemma ensues. Torn between her desire, for that particular pair of shoes, the battle of shoe desire versus frugality begins. It’s a trial to witness. “Do I really need these shoes? I don’t have any nice (brown, blue, white, green, yellow) ones. I won’t ever find any more this color, style, price, etc. again. You know I have a hard time finding shoes that feel good after I hurt my toe.”

She always makes it sound like the toe incident was an Act of God, not an attack of my poor, innocent father, so I feel obligated to remind her. “You know, you wouldn’t have all this trouble if you hadn’t kicked my poor daddy.” Just as I hoped it would, this remark always catches the attention of store clerks and nearby shoppers, who no doubt envision her kicking a poor, incapacitated invalid, not the snoring behemoth she kicked seventy years ago. They do seem a bit disappointed when they turn to stare and see only a tiny eighty-nine-year-old lady standing there, clutching a pair of red shoes.

After they’ve all had a good look, I remind her. “Those do look good. You’d probably enjoy them. If you change your mind, we can bring them back.”

“You don’t think it would be foolish of me to get these? I don’t really have the money right now, but I have a hard time finding good shoes. These were originally $169 and they’re marked down to $59. That’s more than I want to spend, but I’m not going to find them any cheaper? What do you think?”

“I think you won’t get a better deal unless you throw a brick through a window, so get them if you want them. Besides, if they were just a dollar, they’d be more than you want to spend.” She is just warming up. We both know she’s getting the shoes, but there’s still work to do.

“I know. I have a couple of new pairs I haven’t worn yet, but blah, blah, blah. Do you really think I should get them? I still have two-hundred dollars left from the money I got for Christmas.” This was in April. She’d rake in a fresh bankroll for her birthday in May, but this discussion is going to go on a while, anyway. I was almost, but not quite, ready to kick in on the shoes to get out of the store. She asked two customers and a clerk for opinions. They were divided. That didn’t help a bit!

“Mother, if you want them, get them. You don’t have to consider anyone but yourself. I’m going to look around while you make up your mind.” I head for the hills, returning with the hope she’s reached a decision. When I came back, she was in line with two shoeboxes, three customers behind her. She wasn’t budging.

“Look, I found the same shoe in yellow. Yellow is my favorite color. Which ones do you think I should get?” At least she’s made the decision to purchase something. There’s no way she was leaving that store without shoes.

I took a huge gamble. “I think you should get the red. You can wear them with more.”
Clearly offended, she made for the counter. “I’m getting the yellow! I might never find yellow shoes again.” She still looked torn about the red ones.

At this point things could still go horribly wrong. I know Mother wants me to recommend one over the other, but I don’t know which. It’s very important that I validate her reasoning on this matter. My psychic abilities failed me. Impulsively, I tossed caution to the wind, knowing the wrong answer could put us back at square one. “Get them both. You wear lots of red AND yellow. You may never find any more just that color and you do need shoes! When we get through here, let’s go to the Chinese Buffet for lunch. My treat!”

Thank Goodness, it worked. “I think I will.” She happily pulled out her money and made her purchase. Everyone in the store clapped. Mother hadn’t been that happy since her last shoe purchase.

Though we had eaten at a Chinese Buffet, she charmed the staff into a carry-out container and free coffee. “I have all this left on my plate and just hate to waste it.” Her shoe-high lasted all the way home all through the time I helped her in with her two shoeboxes, fanny pack, (which she usually wears instead of strapping on) and carry-out from lunch. Just as I started my car, she ran out to get her cell-phone she’d tucked in the glove box. I hadn’t been home ten minutes when my phone rang. “I’m so glad I got these shoes. I looked in my closet and I don’t have a single pair either color. I do have some tomato red ones and a yellow-greenish pair, but I didn’t have any in exactly these colors. I really needed these.”

©Linda Bethea 2018

My thanks to Linda for sharing the delight that is Kathleen Holdaway Swain

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 published last year which has received thirty reviews so far.

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.

I just finished rereading Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. I was surprised that I enjoyed Everything Smells Just Like Poke Salad just as much as Cold Sassy Tree. Characters are my favorite part of any book, and these did not disappoint me. With their strength despite trials, their life-saving humor, their ability to face life squarely, I enjoyed these people. When I was a small child, my grandmother, an incredible storyteller, told my of mad dogs, panthers, living with little but “making it”-tales I will never forget. This book put me right back in her feather bed. Thank you, Linda.

Read all 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.

A recent review for the book

Irene Skov Hansen 5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about strong women  January 21st 2018

Linda is a great storyteller and I will recommend this book, if you also like to read about strong women’s stories through centuries. I felt it difficult to lay down this book, I just wanted to read and read. I learned a lot of history by this book and while I compared these women’s life with our times, I got lots of respect for such strong women.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Specials – The Menu and Contributors February 15th – 20th.


Here is the menu for posts while I am away for a few days in Portsmouth to visit my sisters for a girls long weekend. I will be offline but I am leaving you in the very capable hands of my blog sitters.

I am here as usual until Wednesday and then handing over the reins on Thursday 15th until Tuesday 20th.  I have scheduled some of my regular posts such as Letters from America, Laughter Lines, Cafe Updates, Sally’s Drive Time Playlist etc in their regular slots.

I will respond to comments on my return, but as always your likes, shares and comments will be much appreciated.

Thursday 15th February.

A warm welcome to a new contributor Cage Dunn, an Australian author who shares his thoughts on the life and commitment of a storyteller. 10.30 am.

Vicki Steward will be sharing her home town of Glastonbury where she has lived more or less permanently since 1993. Glastonbury is renowned for his music festival but it is a town that attracts not just musicians but those who wish to sample a life that is rich in diversity. 13.30

Friday 16th February

In the usual Friday Spot just after midnight.. writer in residence Paul Andruss explores some of the more complex and sometimes chemically enhanced writing styles of the rich and famous.

Very pleased to hand over the blog to the very capable hands of author Lillian Csernica who asks the question… Where will your writing take you? And what will learn about on the way? 13.30

Today a post from Rowena Newton of Beyond the Flow, who has faced some life threatening and changing challenges but clearly faces the long-term issues with positivity and a love of life. 15.30

Saturday 17th February.

Just after Midnight – Welcome to a treat straight from the Kosher Kitchen of Dolly Aizenman along with the history behind the recipe. As we anticipate a royal wedding in the UK in the spring perhaps I should forward this to the parties concerned. The wedding feast for the Tudor Court.

The entertaining John W. Howell is going to share what not to do if you suddenly come into a windfall.. such as the mega-millions from a lottery win… I am off to spend my fiver! 10.30am

Very pleased to hand you over to another blog sitter this afternoon. Author M.J. Mallon. (Marjorie). An adventure in Scotland when Marjorie and her mother visited the famous Kelpies on their trip to Edinburgh. 15.30

Sunday 18th February

Just after Midnight – Most of you will be familiar with Carol Taylor and her cooking and food posts and her new weekly food column. Today as part of the blog sitting series, Carol shares a life changing and emotive experience from a few years ago. This post might give you a different perspective about those who live on the streets.

This week my lovely friend Debby, D.G. Kaye is taking over the hot seat in the Open House Interview and will sharing the background to why she rights non-fiction and memoirs, her publishing adventures, favourite music and the one big adventure she would like to experience. 10.30am

I have another treat for you with the next blog sitting post. Jennie Fitzkee has a wonderful blog where she shares stories of her life as a pre-school teacher. But in this post Jennie shares a hidden talent… well hidden from us up to now! The Wedding Dancer. 15.30

Monday 19th February

Just after Midnight -Today in the blog-sitting special, you get two authors and two editors. Author and Freelance Editor, Judy Penz Sheluk interviews fellow editor and author Lourdes Venard. This is great, since editors are always busy, and it is useful to make new contacts. It is also helpful to find blogs, such as Judy’s, where you can be interviewed.

A welcome to Jacqui Murray to the blog sitting series with her first post for Smorgasbord. Most of us are on a learning curve when it comes to blogging, however long we might have been at the task. Jacqui shares some very important elements that are important to remember when posting. 10.30am

Time for one of the wonderfully amusing posts from author Linda Bethea about her fabulous mother Kathleen Holdaway Swain. Linda’s stories about her mother have always entertained and enlightened me and this story has changed by shopping trips for the better! 13.30

Tuesday 20th February

Just after Midnight – A welcome back to to Debby Gies with one of the posts from her archives to share with us today.  When this post appeared last year it was met with rave reviews and for weeks on Facebook we were all announcing to the world our new status.. A Perennial Woman..

Blog sitting today is children’s author Jemima Pett with a science fiction short story.  Xanadu is stranded on an alien planet having crash landed…10.30am

I hope you will stop by and I am sure that you will enjoy these posts from my blog sitting team.. they are amazing and I am sure would be delighted to help you out next time you are away too.. They come highly recommended.  Thanks Sally