Smorgasbord – Letters from America 1985 -1987 – Birthday, New Car, Galverston and Houston Zoo


Welcome to the next post in the series Letters from America 1985 -1987. Last week we went on a road trip to Dallas and an encounter with a creepy crawler common in Texas… and another post on our Driving Test.

You can find previous posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/letters-from-america-1985-1987/

My first birthday in Houston was my 32nd on February 13th and a lot of things came together around that time as we found both our new home for the next two years in the Chancellor apartments, Parramatta Lane. Here is my letter to my parents announcing the good news and sharing a photo of our new car on February 23rd 1985.

Dear M and D,

Just dropped David off at the airport on his way to Kansas, We now have a new car, a Mercury Marquis which is a 3.8 litre version of the Granada and is pretty swish. Very easy to drive and has all the bells and whistles including the cruise control that I told you about in one of my earlier letters. I wondered why you could see drivers on the freeway with their bare feet hanging out the window.. now I know!

As you can see from the above address we have found an apartment. We move in on Saturday. It has two bedrooms with bathrooms en-suite and a large living come dining area. It also has a balcony overlooking a wooded exercise area with the pool opposite. It is on the second floor and quiet.. Having been in this temporary apartment for the last month right next to the children’s pool and play area, it made us realise that it might be a better position away from the public parts of the complex.

This place sounds quite swinging (in the nicest possible way). They are having a Hawaiian Evening soon which made David’s eyes light up!!! However, he is fairly resigned to the prospect, as it will give us a chance to meet our new neighbours. (I will have to go out and buy him a brightly patterned cotton shirt to wear.. that will really make his eyes light up!)

With George Washington’s birthday yesterday, we had a nice long weekend. On Saturday we went exploring up to Lake Conroe, north of Houston. We discovered a wealthy resort on the lake with enormous houses and a marina. We would have given our eye teeth to rent one. They are about 3,000 a month or more but fabulous.

Sunday we went to Galverston, south of the city, on the coast. We walked miles along the promenade, full of machos on rollerskates! It is obviously the pick up place…. We had lunch in a hotel on a pier over the Gulf of Mexico, I had a shrimp platter which turned out to be huge king prawns. Nothing like the tiny things we call shrimp in England.

Yesterday we went to Houston Zoo, the sun shone and it was about 75 degrees and beautiful. It is free to go in and we spent three hours walking around the park and were very impressed with it all. We followed this with a belated birthday dinner and after a very hectic weekend I was in bed by 10.30. No stamina at 32.

 

David is away now until Friday but has left me the new car as I need to buy things for the apartment. It is unfurnished, but when we walked around their show flat, I mentioned that I would like identical set up for our apartment. They are being very obliging and transferring it all across to our new place. Normally it would cost 180 dollars a month to rent the furniture but I managed to negotiate it to 105 dollars. I am obviously getting the hang of things!

Thank you for the photographs and everyone looks in good spirits (whisky and water no doubt) Once we are moved in I will invest in some photo frames.

Will write again in a week. Love from us both as always.

©sallycronin 2018

I hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane…….I would love your feedback as always. Thanks Sally

 

 

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Smorgasbord Health Column – Pre-diabetes, Blood Sugar Control – Chromium


Last week I posted about the epidemic levels of Pre-diabetes and today I am following up with a mineral that is contained in sufficient foods to include on a daily basis in your diet that helps to control blood sugar levels. And in my experience help to curb sugar cravings.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/smorgasbord-health-column-pre-diabetes-the-epidemic-that-goes-unreported/

Chromium.

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. A deficiency of the mineral can lead to diabetes and this is where the primary research into this mineral has been directed.

Chromium first and foremost is a component of the ‘glucose tolerance factor’ which is required for maintaining a normal blood glucose balance. Chromium works with insulin to ease the absorption of blood glucose into the cells and it may also play a part in other activities that involve insulin such as the metabolism of fats and proteins.

This last activity has opened a line of research in the effect of chromium on weight loss, building muscle and decreasing body fat and has led to a lot of chromium based products being put on the market in recent years. There is no definite proof that it works although some studies do claim that in a study that people on chromium lost more body fat over three months than those who did not take it.

It is more important to look at the role of chromium as we age, as there is an increasing numbers of patients who are diagnosed with late onset diabetes. This is nearly always related to dietary deficiency and the concern is that with our current trend towards eating processed foods and excess weight are responsible as we are automatically taking in less chromium in raw and unprocessed foods.

Chromium is very easy to lose from the body in urine, sweat and if we engage in excessive physical activity without the appropriate diet. However, chromium is very easy to include in any healthy diet and should not be needed in supplement form.

Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Levels.

There are still a number of studies looking at the effect of Chromium Picolinate on high blood pressure and the reasoning is that increased blood sugar does increase blood pressure. Additionally high levels of LDL or low density lipoprotein, which has small particles and when oxidised clumps and blocks the arteries, resulting in high blood pressure, may also be reduced by taking Chromium Picolinate. Hence the use of it in this form in supplements especially as it is more easily absorbed by our digestive tracts.

We do not manufacture or store chromium in the body so it is necessary to eat foods regularly that contain it. One concern however, is that the foods that we eat that contain chromium, might not be as rich in the mineral as they used to be. It depends on the levels of the mineral in the soil they are grown in which is variable, dependent on the area and farming methods in use.

Foods rich in dietary chromium.

vegetablesBroccoli has the highest levels of chromium followed by other dark green leafy vegetables, romaine lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Wholegrains, potatoes, oysters and other seafood, liver, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef and lamb also contain. As you can see there is plenty of foods that are usually included daily in our diet but only if we are cooking from scratch. If your diet is primarily industrially produced in a packet you may not be getting the chromium you need.

Just taking a supplement is not the answer and if you are pre-diabetic. The body is used to processing foods to obtain the nutrients that it needs and the first place to start is a review of your diet.

If you have a severe sugar craving then you might then look at taking a chromium supplement to work alongside your diet. Do buy a high quality supplement as they are not all as good for you as you might think.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/absorbing-the-nutrients-and-avoiding-the-additives/

If you are a diabetic then you must make sure that you work with your medical advisor before taking any chromium supplement, as it will affect the dosage of any insulin you may be taking.

If you have any questions then please put in the comments section or if you wish to ask me something privately then please email me. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update – C.S. Boyack, Robbie and Michael Cheadle, Sally Cronin, Lucinda E. Clarke and Sandra J. Jackson


Welcome to the first of the Author updates this week and the first author with news is C.S. Boyack with a novella, The Hat released on January 11th.

About The Hat

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.

She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.

Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.

Lizzie gives up everything to rescue the babies. She loses her jobs, and may wind up in jail before it’s over. Along the way, she and the hat may have a new way of making ends meet.

Humorous and fun, The Hat is novella length. Wonderful escapism for an afternoon.

One of the early reviews for The Hat

Kindle Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Story with Intriguing Characters! January 13, 2018

This new book by C. S. Boyack is very creative in approach. His characters are highly engaging as the story unfolds. There are several twists along the way Lizzie discovers her hat is more than it appears and she’s then drawn into an adventure with her new companion. Boyack, holds your attention and keeps you turning pages with this entertaining story and intriguing characters. This book won’t disappoint readers.

Head over the buy The Hat: https://www.amazon.com/Hat-C-S-Boyack-ebook/dp/B078YYCNSF

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hat-C-S-Boyack-ebook/dp/B078YYCNSF

A selection of books by C.S. Boyack

 Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY

Read more reviews and follow C.S. Boyack on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack

Connect with Craig via his blog: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

The next authors with a new review are Robbie and Michael Cheadle with the Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees story and cookbook.

About Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Deborah A. Bowman, author 5.0 out of 5 stars A Work of Art; Sweet Treats of Magical Creatures; Recipes; and a Darling Story in Verse! January 11, 2018

This is the most creative children’s and bakers’ heavenly book I’ve ever experienced! This is definitely a one-of-a-kind treat!

There are no illustrations, just incredible photographs of “… visions of sugarplums that dance in their heads …”; made of chocolate with vivid colors and totally edible.

What an amazing collection of literature with uniqueness I’ve never encountered before, and I’m a collector of classic and unusual books as well as an avid reader and reviewer!

This little book is a treasure of mixed art for all ages. This BOOK is for families and generations to come. An incredible, delectable keepsake.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Sugar-Dough-Story-Cookbook/dp/1911070649

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chocolate-Sugar-Dough-Story-Cookbook/dp/191107064

Other books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Connect to Robbie and Michael via their blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Now time to blow my own trumpet.. well Sam’s trumpet really since this book is his autobiography. Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story.

About Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

The true story of Sam, a rough collie, written from his perspective. A tribute to a true friend and a genuine family member. Millions of families around the World believe that their pet, dog or cat is the most intelligent, beautiful and loyal friend that anyone could have. And they are absolutely right. From the first moment that I met Sam, when he was just three weeks old, his personality and charm shone from his button eyes. Like many pet owners, we were convinced he understood every word we spoke and he actually could say one or two himself. Rather than tell his story from our perspective I have given him a voice and let him tell his own. I can only imagine what he really thought about his two and four-legged friends but I do hope he loved us as much as we adored him and the time he spent with us shining brightly in our lives. If only our pets could talk how much richer the world would be, and funnier.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Since reading Barca’s Rufus and Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain (click to see the reviews)–both told through a dog’s voice–I am always on the hunt for stories told from the dog’s perspective. I’ve read many and found most without the empathy and confidence that makes we humans so love our dogs as companions, not as mastered creatures. Sally Cronin’s Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story (Moyhill Publishing 2013) is one of those books. Sam is a sheepdog, considered one of the smartest of the dog breeds, and Sam doesn’t let us down. I’m honored that through Sally, Sam shares his life with me, takes the time to tell me his dreams, his mistakes and victories. Sam is wise, loving, understanding, and most important, as good a friend as any human could ever have. In this book, readers see how Sam separates from his pack and adapts to his two-legged replacements. We see how he trains his humans and models a life filled with companionship, respect, trust, and loyalty. In the end, all I wanted (besides a sequel) was to be more like Sam.

Enjoy the pictures the author included. Sam is gorgeous!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Shaggy-Story-Sally-Cronin/dp/190559741X

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sam-Shaggy-Story-Sally-Cronin/dp/190559741X

A selection of other books by Sally Cronin

 

To read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

The next author with a recent review to share is Lucinda E. Clarke for her latest book Amie: Cut for Life

About the book

They told Amie it was a simple look, listen and report back mission, but from the beginning everything went wrong. She is stalked across borders, the aid workers act suspiciously, she’s assaulted, and abandoned in a rural African hut miles from anywhere. What has happened to her partner Simon and can she trust the charismatic Frenchman who befriends her? The discovery of an ancient tribal tradition and a group of young children to rescue, test her skills to the limit. For the first time, she is prepared to kill to protect the innocent caught up in an international sex trade with an extra horrifying twist.

One of the recent reviews for the book

I’ve read others in the Amie thriller series and this one must be one of the best. As with each of the books, the author creates a great feeling of the presence of primal Africa and its exotic beauty. This episode reflects on an old but brutal tribal tradition of FGM and the sex-trafficking danger facing vulnerable young women. A fascinating story unfolds that twists and turns to produce surprise after surprise especially when it’s not clear who is trustworthy and who is not. Well-plotted suspense, fast-paced, with engaging characters who are brought to life by disarming and vivid writing. The main character, Amie, has developed in so many ways over the series and even more so in this episode in which she crosses a significant line, which would have been unthinkable for Amie in the first book. Highly recommended.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Amie-LIFE-Lucinda-E-Clarke-ebook/dp/B07545M9DB

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amie-CUT-LIFE-Lucinda-Clarke-ebook/dp/B07545M9DB

Also by Lucinda E. Clarke

Read the reviews and buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lucinda-E-Clarke/e/B00FDWB914

Read more reviews and follow Lucinda on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7996778.Lucinda_E_Clarke

Connect to Lucinda via her website: http://lucindaeclarkeauthor.com

Now time to catch up with Sandra J. Jackson and her book released late last year, Playing in the Rain ( Escape Series Book 1).

About Playing in the Rain

There’s nothing harder than pretending to be unaware, robotic even, but that’s exactly what A2 has to do once the drug starts wearing off. Constantly being followed by the camera’s red eye, A2 is mindful of her every move as she tries to understand where she is and why. Things get more complicated for her when she is introduced to another robotic girl.

Who is she and how did they both get there?

A recent review for the book

The Indomitability of the Human Spirit
Playing in the Rain by Sandra Jackson features a protagonist, CECIL, with political nihilist leanings who seems to be advocating for destruction of the current social system as a condition for future advance of the species. Well intentioned or not, there is no free will in the contrived colony of his creation. Instead social advancement, in his “Utopia” is to be gained by subjecting the young and intelligent to mind bending, identity suppression and reprogramming and even death. It is in the very artificial world where this aging protagonist makes aliens of real people that he ironically mutates into a sinister alien. However as he becomes trapped in the destructive inescapable reality of his own making, the remaining survivors hear the rain and develop a new determination to free themselves.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Playing-Rain-Escape-Book-1-ebook/dp/B075NN3HQ4

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075NN3HQ4

Also by Sandra J. Jackson

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sandra-J-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY

Read many more reviews and follow Sandra on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13681910.Sandra_J_Jackson

Connect to Sandra via her website: http://www.sandrajjackson.com

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will explore these authors and their books further. You will find over nearly 150 authors in the cafe and bookstore with books across most genres.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore/

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair Extra… I nearly forgot to promote my own books!!!


Here are my some of my current books that I would like to share today.  I have also included some of the reviews for the books on Amazon and by bloggers.  The icing on the cake..

All except for Just Food for Health are available in E-versions for most readers. You can buy all my books from my own bookstore at the links beneath the titles below but also on

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

My latest book was published on July 27th 2017 – What’s in Name – Volume Two – Stories of life and romance. The print version of combined volumes one and two is available in the UK and Ireland

About What’s in a Name Volume Two

Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.

Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.

Meet Queenie and Rosemary who have both lost their husbands and must face a very different future. One that will take courage and the use of new technology.

Sonia is an entitled princess whose father has reached the end of his tether and Theresa has to deal with a bully in the checkout. Usher is an arrogant narcissist with a docile wife and is used to getting his own way and Vanessa worries about the future of her relationship with her teenage son.

Walter is a loner and is happy with just his dog for company, Xenia is the long awaited first baby of a young couple. Yves is a dashing romeo who has the tables turned on him unexpectedly and Zoe… Well she can see into the future.

In one way or another all these characters will be remembered by those whose lives they have touched.

The most recent reviews.

What’s in a Name? Book 2 is a wonderful collection of short stories that will touch your heart. You will find romance, tragedy and heartache. Each story is titled with a male or female name which continues alphabetically from Book 1.

Sally Cronin is a consummate storyteller who has the innate ability to weave a fascinating tale that grips the reader from the first sentence. This reader felt lifted when the characters were exuberant and crushed when they had heartache. If an author can enable a reader to feel the joy and angst along with the characters she has created, she is an exceptional writer!

My favorite was the first story about Kenneth. This story touched me deeply as Kenneth watches the love of his life dancing on New Year’s Eve. I don’t want to give anything away by saying too much. Each story tells an unforgettable tale with a twist at the end. Surprises and twists abound in these fabulous stories. I couldn’t put the book down.

Sally Cronin has many other entertaining books to offer. Several of them I have read and highly recommend them all.

 You can buy What’s in Name- Volume Two: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0748MLZ1W/

and: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Name-Stories-Life-Romance-ebook/dp/B0748MLZ1W

What’s in a Name – Volume One – Short Story Collection.

Twenty colourful stories of people who have been given the names of the great and legendary and find it a challenge sometimes to live up to them.

The latest review for the collection

What’s in a Name by Sally Cronin is an absolute gem of a book. Cronin is a gifted storyteller, and readers are sure to be moved and intrigued by this collection that was inspired by real-life occurrences. These are stories that will move you and stay with you long after you finish. I read through this collection in one day and have revisited it many times since. A book so enticing is a true testament to the skill of an author. To keep a book near, allowing one to relish in the many emotions it is sure to evoke, ultimately speaks to the treasures held within.

The characters come to life, and it’s impossible not to think of similar people we have met along our own journeys. I laughed and cried, found solace in heartfelt reflection.
A highly recommended read. This is a gift for the soul.

 You can read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Name-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B01N6Y8BK1

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Name-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B01N6Y8BK1

Also now in print available in the UK and Ireland only.

Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Name-Volumes-1-2/dp/1905597797

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Sam – A Shaggy Dog Story – for dog lovers

Millions of families around the World believe that their pet, dog or cat is the most intelligent, beautiful and loyal friend that anyone could have. And they are absolutely right.

If only our pets could talk how much richer the world would be, and funnier.

One of the recent reviews for Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

Brigid Gallagher rated it 5 stars on Goodreads.

Sally Cronin fell in love at first sight with Sam, a collie puppy. I must admit I too fell in love with Sam from the moment I saw his photograph on the cover of Sally’s book!

“Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story” is a delight from start to finish. Sam recounts meeting Sally and her husband David for the first time, finding his forever home with them, and settling into life as an “only child”.

He meets Henry a feral cat, who fathers three fine kittens with his lovely partner, and Sam tells us many tales of their friendship in his own doggy style. He enjoys long beach walks where he befriends Abby a white terrier, plays in deep snow on his second winter ” like young puppies getting soaked and exhausted in the process,” and enjoys road trips with Sally in her sporty car.

Sam eventually moves to Spain, where he enjoys chasing water hoses and amusing guests with his party piece of asking for more or “mawgh.” One day Sally is busy with work and tells Sam “You are beginning to sound like Oliver Twist, and if you don’t stop pestering me I will call you Oliver in future.” Sam replies! “Oh, Ee, Va” which becomes more emphasised as “ORH,EE,VA.” He earns a favourite food reward.

Sally’s writing style is gentle, warm and full of humour. Sam’s photographs will delight you, and his words will leave you feeling blessed that you bought Sally’s book

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Size Matters – Especially when you weigh 330lbs

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If I could communicate just a single message to you it is that
obesity, and the misery attached to it, need not be for life.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Tina rated it 5 stars

Size Matters is Sally Georgina Cronin’s no-holds-barred, true-life story of her journey from near-death obesity to vibrant health.

I first was struck by the author’s willingness to share so many personal things most of us would hold to dearly as private; things that would humiliate; things we’d be hard-pressed to look in the mirror and admit even to ourselves. I knew anyone willing to bridge this gap must be someone with integrity and a deep concern for her fellow human beings.

I wasn’t far into the book before finding the encouragement I needed. The last paragraph of chapter one said it all: “What began as a painful journey into my past became an exciting adventure in the present with expectations of a much brighter future.” Above all else, I wanted a bright future. And Ms. Cronin’s approach proffered that hope.

I’m not going to detail the specifics of this book, because a peek inside on Amazon will show you the table of contents and highlight the details of the program she developed. What I want to shine a light on is the inspiration she exemplifies and offers to all those battling a weight problem.

She knew almost any help given by the medical/scientific/etc. communities would offer template approaches to weight reduction, approaches she and many others have tried and failed at miserably. Because her health was in such jeopardy, she needed not only to urgently change her eating habits, but also to have the results be permanent. Thus began her journey within and her search for a sustainable healthy future.

It’s difficult enough to put one foot in front of the other on a daily basis in this fast-paced technological age. Everyone is multi-tasking and running fast to stand still. So when we find ourselves faced with a life-threatening condition, fear leads us to seek a quick fix. But quick fixes are almost never permanent and almost always detrimental. The author recognized this and strove instead to find her own way back home to herself.

Although despairing and contemplating suicide, she reached deep inside and found a way to kindle her common sense, which provided the ladder needed to climb out of the pit into which she’d dug herself. Admitting her weaknesses and acknowledging her strengths, she put the totality of herself into turning her life around. Plying patience and dogged determination, she climbed out of the suffocating abyss and surfaced into the fresh air of a promising and vibrant life.

I have never been obese, but I have carried extra weight at different times throughout my life. Taking off 10 or 15 pounds is hard enough. I can only imagine the devastation one must feel when facing the necessity of a 150-pound weight reduction. And I use the word “reduction” rather than “loss,” because I think the mind always seeks to find that which has been lost.

In my opinion, this book is not only a comprehensive text for permanent weight reduction, but also a “how to” guide for breaking the shackles of destructive behavior and tenaciously moving forward.

When asked in grade school to name five people who inspire us, most children look to either their families or noted figures in the world. And yet there are so many working humbly behind the global scenes who seek neither notoriety nor acclaim. I believe they’re referred to as unsung heroes.

This review is as much an acknowledgement of the author’s positive contribution to the world as it is of her all-inclusive approach to weight reduction in this outstanding book, which I highly recommend. Shed an ounce of weight, gain a pound of self-confidence. Sally Cronin is an inspirational example for all

 Turning back the clockAn anti-aging programme.
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Living forever is not an option!

However, feeling younger and looking younger is an option available to all!

The maximum lifespan a human being can currently expect today is around 120 years. However, not many of us really want to be even 90 or 100 years old, if it means that we are going to end up filled with medication and tucked away in a corner in some nursing home, unaware of our surroundings.

Making healthy diet and lifestyle choices as early as possible will help you get as near as possible to your maximum age whilst enjoying good physical and mental vitality. In my latest book I not only take a look at the physical aspects of aging but also the mental and emotional issues that we should address earlier rather than later.

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Flights of Fancy – Short Story Collection

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A few years ago I produced an audio CD of 6 short stories and today these stories and another five stories plus my novella The Sewing Circle are published in Flights of Fancy.

Ghosts hint at a chance of coming back to say goodbye, exact a little payback, or simply to help someone else carry on living. Romance is not just for the young and nor are second chances. As for revenge, well … never underestimate a group of elderly ladies with contacts from the past!

One of the reviews for the collection

Sally’s lovely little collection of short stories and even a novella offers a variety of everyday life situations and then some. From romance to insecurities (body issues, anyone else?) and even a psychic bird, Cronin’s writing is sharp and edited to perfection. Perfect for a quick read or a great way to pass a few afternoons. This is the first I’ve read of hers, it won’t be the last.

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Just an Odd Job Girl

 Imogen was fifty!

 

Life is unpredictable and will often throw you a curve ball that knocks you out of the park.

For Imogen this curve ball knocked her out of a twenty five year marriage and a lovingly renovated home into a single life at age 50. She had been a very contented wife and mother of two children, who for every one of those 25 years had thought her husband had been equally as happy. It was a shock to find out that she had been delusional and replaced so easily.

Her confidence was non-existent. She had forgotten any skills she possessed and was totally unprepared to enter the modern job market. Or so she thought.

One of the recent reviews for the book

on 11 October 2017

Her husband of over twenty-five years announces he has found himself a new and younger woman; a fast-tracker, as Imogen dubs her. This is a girl who is out to get man who has already established himself and made money, rather than marry someone of her own age and have to struggle their way to the top together.

Not only does Imogen lose her husband, she is left with no choice but to move from the family home and re-jig her life completely. It’s a daunting task; the children have flown the nest and she hasn’t worked in years.
Alone in her new little home on the edge of Epping Forest Imogen browses the local newspaper and comes across an ad from an employment agency. She telephones, makes an appointment, cobbles together something to wear and, for the first time in a very long time, compiles a CV.
The adventure begins.
From here the story takes Imogen to her interview, where Mr Jenkins ( call me Andrew) invites her to talk him through all the jobs, and there are quite a few, that she has previously undertaken.
Each chapter then describes unlikely and varied forms of employment. There is a lot of humour in the writing, but also some pathos too.
I won’t reveal the ending but, though it came as no surprise, it was just what was needed for this story, with a little comeuppance for the dastardly husband thrown in.

Reading a book like Just an Odd Job Girl by Sally Cronin reminds me that I should do this more often -I love thrillers and dark stories but a little lightheartedness, occasionally, goes a very long way.

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Forget the Viagra – Pass me a Carrot… Men’s Health Manual –

51X6tXcHZRL._UY250_The latest headlines in the Media recently are constantly highlighting the fact that men are at risk as they ignore early symptoms of life threatening disease. Cardiovascular and Prostate disease if caught in the early stages can be treated and managed but surveys indicate that men do not know what symptoms they should be looking for.

Despite the title, Forget the Viagra, Pass me a Carrot! is not just about the physical causes of sexual dysfunction and the dangers of taking a drug that is bought without medical consultation, but about men’s health in general. A workshop manual takes the working parts, describes how they function, what can go wrong and how to prevent problems in the future. This men’s health manual – does just that – takes all the major organs, illustrates how they work, the symptoms to look for and also how to avoid the problems in the first place.

It is never too late to make changes that can give your body a great chance at a long and vital life.

Review – J.E. Spina September 2016.

This book was chock full of information on the workings and processing of the human body. Sally Cronin, the author, has produced an incredible resource for all. Everything you ever needed to know about diet, exercise, super foods, vitamins, what’s good and bad for your body and even how to breathe more effectively to keep your body working better.

There is a lot to take in but I felt that I gained an enormous amount of essential information that I always wanted to know.

Sally is a wonderful nutritionist who takes her profession seriously and is always available to answer questions or lend a hand to her clients. She also has a fabulous blog which I follow religiously. I love her books and look forward to more from this talented and articulate author.

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

 Tales from the Garden

Newsflash: Tales from the Garden will be available in Spanish in the next few days!

tales-from-the-garden-cover

Fairy Stories for children of all ages, from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden, forever.

With over 80 photos/illustrations, “Tales from the Garden” by Sally Cronin,reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees.

You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories.

The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.

One of the reviews

Magical!  on April 1, 2017

Author Sally Cronin mixes imagination, whimsy and magic to create this charming collection of short stories. Each tale takes place in the garden and lovely photos contribute to the enchantment.

First, we meet the Head Guardians of the Magic Garden. These powerful stone creatures introduce us to the fairy kingdom that lies under the old magnolia tree. According to the Guardians, which look like magnificent Lions to me, once every 500 years some very special people are allowed a glimpse into the magical world of fairies.

The Guardians let us peak at the inhabitants and learn more about their lives, which are quite entertaining. We meet the Dwarves Stoned Band, the King and Queen of the Fairies, the one-eyed pig, and other friendly creatures, and we watch them all cavort and celebrate birthdays and hold summer balls.

My favorite fairy tale story told how the garden folk fought against the Winter Fairy, thanks to the help of the Dragon, who has his own internal combustion system. But, the story that I loved the most is about Mollie (The Duchess) Coleman. Author Cronin’s mother tells about her favorite gardens through the years. Mrs. Coleman liked pink flowers, and believed in being dressed and ready for her say by 9:00 each morning. She closes her recap by saying, “If you catch sight of me perhaps you could do me a great favour and pop a large cut-glass tumbler of whisky and water, no ice thank you, on the table beside me.”

My pleasure, Mrs. Coleman. I would have loved to chat with you and savor a whisky in your lovely garden.

Sally Cronin writes with a warm, friendly voice and creates fairy tales with a modern feel to them. I highly recommend this delightful collection. Readers will enjoy relaxing in their own gardens, as they read these pleasant tales and gaze at the photos. This would also be a wonderful book to read to the youngsters in your life.

My mother read fairy tales to me and I believed in the wee folk. I did look for them under flowers and under the forsythia branches. Tales from the Garden continues the delight!

Amazon US Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Thank you for dropping and if you have any questions about the books please do not hesitate to contact me..If you live outside of Ireland and the UK and would like a copy of the print edition of What’s In a Name with both volumes then we can make arrangements.. sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Merry Christmas.

Smorgasbord Posts from MY archives – Short Story and FREE Ebook – Three Mince Pies by Sally Cronin


Here is one of the stories from my first short story collection released in 2003. Flights of Fancy and if you like this story you are most welcome to have a FREE ebook.. either Mobi for Kindle or Epub for other devices.

All you have to do is email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and ask for the format of your choice.

Three Mince Pies by Sally Cronin

mince piesThe little girl lay in bed asleep, long blonde hair spread over her pillow. From her restless movements it was obvious that she was in the grip of a disturbing dream; dark rings beneath her eyes gave her small face a pinched and unhappy look.

Downstairs, Jenny looked at the Christmas decorations and cards around the room. In the corner, the tree lights sparkled and flashed through the tinsel; presents for Sophie were piled beneath its green spiky branches in a colourful heap. Family and friends had rallied round, determined Sophie would have everything her father would have bought her this Christmas.

Jenny rested her hands on the mantelpiece and stared at the photograph in front of her. It was the last that was taken of them all together. They smiled out of the picture, brown and happy on their holiday in the south of Spain at the end of October. It had been their first family holiday in three years; business had been tough and there had been no extra money for vacations or other luxuries. Ironically, she now had more money than she knew what to do with, but she would give it all back in a heartbeat.

Jack had inherited his father’s building business and although initially work had been plentiful, there had been more and more competition for fewer contracts. He had worked seven days a week and she could see from his face that this was taking its toll. Just after their holiday in Spain, Jack began to experience chest pains that he dismissed as indigestion after eating and drinking too much while they were away. Jenny had grown more and more concerned, begging him to go and get checked out. To keep the peace, Jack had begrudgingly taken a couple of hours off one evening and gone to the surgery. The next day he was in hospital undergoing tests, and that afternoon he was taken to theatre for an emergency operation.

It had all happened so fast they had barely time to talk about the situation. Jenny had been unable to take Sophie in to to see her father before he was rushed away from them by concerned medical staff. She had called out to him as he was wheeled away; but she had no way of knowing if he had heard her soft “I love you.”

She and Sophie had sat in the family room, playing with coloured bricks and a jigsaw to pass the long hours into the night. There had been other families in the room; all looking nervously at the clock until doctors or nurses entered to reassure them that their loved ones were safely recovering from their operations.

They were alone when finally a tall man in a green scrub suit entered the waiting room, loosening the mask from around his face. Jenny took one look at his eyes and knew from their bleak directness that there would be no visit to the recovery room for them.

She allowed the tears to fall; here in private where she could grieve. Away from the eyes of her small daughter who could not understand why Daddy was not coming home from work every night. She tried to be strong for Sophie’s sake, but she had watched her normally lively child lose weight, become silent and withdrawn. Tomorrow was Christmas Day how could they face it without him?

She heard a noise from upstairs. Sophie would be having one of her nightmares, crying for her daddy, tossing and turning, and reaching out into the dark. Wiping the tears from her face, Jenny walked upstairs to her daughter’s bedroom. She opened the door quietly and was startled to see Sophie sitting up in bed, clutching her teddy bear and staring across the room.

Jenny followed the direction of her daughter’s eyes, to the toy cupboard with a plate of mince pies and a glass of sherry on the top. As she stared across the room, she felt warm air flow over her. She blinked and stared at a glowing light that grew brighter and brighter. Clamping a hand over her mouth, she darted a glance over at Sophie and was amazed to see her daughter smiling and holding out her hand to the light. Jenny’s eyes were drawn back to the other side of the bedroom and she gasped, as in the incandescent glow, she saw her husband’s body materialise.

Riveted to the spot she watched Jack reach out a hand, take a mince pie from the plate and raise it to his lips. Taking a bite he grinned across at her. She felt the warmth of his gaze as it rested on her eyes and her mouth and an overwhelming sense of peace passed through her. Jack nodded once and then walked across to his daughter’s bedside where he reached out and touched Sophie’s outstretched hand. A radiant glow spread across the child’s face and laying back against the pillow her breathing settled into a gentle rhythm; she was peacefully asleep.

Her father left Sophie’s bedside and walked to the door where Jenny stood absolutely still as his body passed in front of her. He stopped and she looked into his eyes and felt a gentle touch on her shoulders. He smiled at her and all the love that they had shared was in that too brief moment between them; she knew that he was saying goodbye. He moved out into the hall and turned for one last glance over his shoulder. Gradually the light faded and the figure disappeared, but the warmth of his presence remained wrapped around her like an invisible cloak.

She stood for a few minutes with head bowed, absorbing and taking strength from that feeling before crossing to her daughter’s bedside. She kissed her forehead gently and moved over to the toy cupboard where she stared at the plate with its two mince pies. She always put three of the treats out for Father Christmas. This year he really had come to visit.

©sallycronin Flights of Fancy 2009

I hope you have enjoyed the story and if you would like a copy of one of my earlier books FREE then please email me and let me know if you need mobi for Kindle or Ebub for other devices.. Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

If you feel so inclined.. my other books are available in print and in Ebook. My latest What’s In a Name volume 1&2 is in print for the UK only at the current time.

My books and Reviews 2017

Here are my current books available on Amazon and  Smashwords. 

All except for Just Food for Health are available in E-versions for most readers. You can buy all my books from my own bookstore at the links beneath the titles below but also on

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

My latest book was published on July 27th 2017 – What’s in Name – Volume Two – Stories of life and romance. The print version of combined volumes one and two is available in the UK and Ireland

This is one of the reviews for What’s in a Name Volume Two.

One of my most FAVORITE reads of 2017 September 5, 2017 by

Carmen Stefanescu

It is the first fiction book written by Sally Cronin that I’ve had the opportunity to read. I was drawn into What’s in a Name collection and went on reading until the last story was done. I would call most of them ” tales with a twist.” I really did enjoy this book…you may need some tissue at times. You will love the unexpected and won’t think to put the book down. I found it hard to put down

The motives and emotions of the characters in all of the stories were well defined and expressed. I really liked the fact that each story came to a satisfying ending and the next story quickly engaged me with the new people and place. It’s undoubtedly one of my most FAVORITE reads of 2017, in my TOP 5. Sally Cronin creates stories that will keep you flipping pages and loving it!

I won’t tell you what they are about because being short stories I would reveal important details and I want other readers to live themselves the emotions I experienced. What I can tell you is that each story is as touching and compelling as the next one. The thread that links them all stories or characters is sacrifice and romance. Children, parents, lovers, life being lived.

These stories are for me like a fragrant flowers bouquet, each flower having its own special color and scent.

If you are short on time, What’s in a Name allows you to read something start to finish, which I love. Great for airplanes or a one hour mental break, beside being just great for personal “escape from the world.”

Thank you for dropping in today.. Sally

Please connect to me on

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

 

Smorgasbord Pet Health – Christmas dinner for four legged Family and a FREE book from Sam, A Shaggy Dog


My usual Christmas post with some recipes for the fur family but this time Sam would like to share his story with you. If you would like a FREE Ebook of Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story, then please email me and let me know if you would like a Mobi for Kindle or Epub for all other devices.

If you have already read Sam’s autobiography then perhaps you might like to send a gift to another member of your family who might love dogs.  Offer is available from today through to midnight December 24th. Please email sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Here is one of the recent reviews for the book.

Do You Speak Dog? on October 2, 2017

Sam: A Shaggy Dog Story is one of the most delightful books I have ever read. Sally Cronin gives her Rough Collie a voice, allowing him to narrate his own tale.

A few of the things Sam tells us about are his friends (cat, dog, and human alike), his favorite things (sausages, cheese, ice cream, snow), his job as security consultant, car rides while singing along with Sally, and walks along the beach.

Sam is very observant and intelligent. He learns to understand both cat and human vocal sounds. He also learns to speak a few human words! Mawgh is more; heyoo is hello; and Orh, Ee, Va is Oliver. ‘More’ and ‘Oliver’ are interchangeable, as they both indicate he would like ‘mawgh’ of a delicious treat he had just enjoyed.

Sam’s introduction to cats is very positive. When he is still a puppy, Sally and her husband David – the alpha humans in Sam’s pack – adopt a feral cat whom they dub ‘Henry.’ Henry teaches Sam many worthy things about life, and they become great friends. Also, a feral mama cat has kittens on Sam’s property, and he dubs himself their guardian. These experiences prepare Sam for when Sally brings home two kittens. He readily steps up to the plate, nurturing and protecting them.

Sam’s story is heartwarming and humorous, sure to amuse and delight adults as well as children. I read this book in one sitting and was disappointed when it ended. I wanted more, and so will you.

What I appreciated most about Sam’s story is that it leaves the reader with a heightened respect for nonhuman animals. They think and feel as we do; and anyone who thinks otherwise will be hard-pressed to hold on to that opinion after meeting Sam. I would like to see this book offered for sale through animal rights and humane organizations around the world. And for me, that is the highest praise…

You can read more reviews by clicking the cover.

I thought that we could not talk about Christmas without preparing something for the pets in the family. In the old days, and that was in fact only about 30 years ago, pets were fed on scraps as they had been for the thousands of years as our companions.  I appreciate that most of the animal foods available today may be rich in nutrients and full of vitality but I am afraid that I steer clear of dried food and prefer to go the natural route.

Sam our Collie established as soon as he came through the front door at 8 weeks old that the pellets that had been supplied by his breeder were inferior and he was now prepared for the good stuff.

He was not motivated by food in general, just specifically.  Mature cheddar (only the best), chicken giblets (crunchy and with a hint of corn) Ham (unsalted but roasted) and of course sausages (any variety, any temperature, any time)  I still find the occasional desiccated remains of a sausage tucked down deep in a sofa which probably says more about my housekeeping than his food storage habits.  He also in his last couple of years developed a taste for warm, peeled hard boiled eggs and would stand for minutes holding it in his mouth, whining lightly. He would make for the door to the hall in preparation for stashing for later but then he would return and sit with the egg between his paws.  He would nibble off the top of the egg and then suck the yolk out.  The look of bliss on his face remains in my mind today and I miss the old codger.

He never did take to dried food – he would deign to eat the very best of it in a small bowl beside his water.  He finally settled on Basmati rice (any other variety of rice that did not have that distinctive aroma was rejected) chopped cooked chicken and giblets, some carrots and green veg with a little salt free juice from the chicken.  I know some may say he was spoilt rotten but he was bright, intelligent and healthy his entire life and he always politely waited until we had started our meals before beginning his.  A perfect dinner guest.
Here are a couple of favourites that we prepared for Christmas – we fostered some cats in our time and had a small feral family in our garden in Ireland that also partook during the festivities as payment for the rats caught and left on my doorstep!

It is tempting to give pets the same treats that we enjoy but I am afraid that at Christmas treats like human chocolate are extremely dangerous. Chocolate is poison to dogs and can cause them to fit.  You can buy pet friendly chocolate treats at the pet store although I have never found cats too interested in it.

Too many high fat and sugary tit bits can also have a detrimental effect on a dog and cat’s digestion – and their first instinct is to vomit before producing rather evil smelling poop. To be on the safe side, only give your dog different foods infrequently. Having said that, most dogs and cats are used to turkey and chicken so the following recipes should be fine.

Spread the food over a couple of days, as you can store cooked turkey for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Give your pets a small amount on day one; say Christmas Eve, a little more on Christmas day and Boxing Day.  This is particularly important if your dog is only used to dried food as their digestion may not be able to cope with too much of this richer dish.

These days there are a number of ways to buy turkey all year round, not just at Christmas. You will need minced turkey for your dog’s treat and turkey breast for the cat (nothing but the best). In case you are wondering about the addition of a little seasoning to taste, both these recipes are perfectly good for humans with a little tarting up!

sam-and-babies

Christmas Turkey Loaf for the Dog (and his guests)
Enough for 6 servings for a small dog and 4 servings for a large dog.
2 lbs. of minced turkey.
4 oz. of cooked and minced mixed vegetables (left-overs)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder (anti- worms and fleas – and good for humans too)
1 egg
8 oz. of oats
3 oz. of cooked rice
Mix the turkey, vegetables, garlic powder, egg, rice and oats together thoroughly. Put into a greased pan (use a little butter) and pat down the mixture until level. Stand in a roasting dish of water in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook for around 1 to 1½ hours and then cool. Cut into portions and serve with a little salt free gravy. You will probably be asked for second helpings and third with a small piece of cheese to finish off!

three cats
Turkey Surprise – For the Cat  (The cat is likely to be very surprised if it is not out of a tin!)  This is my Irish lot queuing up for lunch……

Should provide 4 servings if you can hide from the cat. If not it will probably disappear very quickly.
1 turkey breast cooked and finely chopped.
3 oz. of cooked carrots finely diced.
2 oz. of finely chopped cooked spinach
3 oz. of finely chopped green beans
3 oz. cooked rice
Unsalted chicken broth.
Mix everything together with enough chicken broth to bind the ingredients. Serve when lukewarm and watch your fingers.

sam photographs 239

Happy Christmas to all my furry blogging friends out there.. look forward to you dropping in to see me in 2018

Smorgasbord Laughter Academy – Parrots, Hamsters and Polo Mints.


What’s in a name?
Late one night, a burglar broke into a house that he thought was empty. He tiptoed through the living room but suddenly froze in his tracks when a loud cried out:

“Jesus is watching you.”

Silence returned to the house, so the burglar crept forward again.

“Jesus is watching you,” the voice boomed again.

The burglar stopped dead in his tracks. He looked around frantically. In a dark corner, he spotted a bird cage and in the cage was a parrot.

“Was that you who said Jesus is watching me?” he asked.

“Yes”, said the parrot.

The burglar breathed a sigh of relief, then he asked the parrot: “What’s your name?”

“Clarence,” said the bird.

“That’s a dumb name for a parrot,” sneered the burglar. “What idiot named you Clarence?”

“The same idiot who named the Rottweiler Jesus,” the parrot replied.

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Opera for peanuts
A man went into a bar and said to the bartender, “If you give me free drinks all night, I will entertain your customers so much they will stay all night and drink lots and lots.”

“Oh yes,” says the bartender. “How are you going to do that?” The man gets a hamster out of his pocket and puts it on the piano. The hamster runs up and down the keyboard playing the greatest piano music anyone had ever heard.

“That’s incredible!” says the bartender. “Have you got anything else?”

The man gets a parrot out of his other pocket and puts it on the bar. The hamster begins to play the piano again and the parrot sings along – sounding just like Pavarotti. Everyone in the bar is amazed and stayed all night drinking and listening to the hamster and parrot.

The bartender is delighted.“I must have these animals. Will you sell them to me?” he asks.

The man shook his head no. “Will you sell just one then?” asks the bartender.

“OK, I’ll sell you the parrot for $100” the man says.

The bartender is delighted and hands over the money.

Another man standing next to the man who owned the hamster said, “You’re a bit stupid selling that clever parrot for only $100”. “No I’m not,” the man replied. “The hamster is a ventriloquist”!!!

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In court
A prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman, to the stand. He approached her and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?”

She responded, “Why, yes, I do know you Mr. Williams. I’ve known you
since you were a young boy. And frankly, you’ve been a big
disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot
when you haven’t the brains to realize you never will amount to
anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.”

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do he pointed across
the room and asked, “Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?”
She again replied, “Why, yes I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he
was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. And he,
too, has been a real disappointment to me. He’s lazy, bigoted,
he has a drinking problem. The man can’t build a normal relationship with anyone
and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes,
I know him.”

At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called
both counsellors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace,
“If either of you asks her if she knows me, you’ll be jailed for
contempt!”

10858001_10152908615806740_9051095730437155016_nMile High Club
The aircraft was on its final approach and after making his announcement to the passengers, the captain forgot to switch off the PA system.

‘As soon as we land I am going to have a cold beer and then make passionate love to that red-headed flight attendant.’

The flight attendant in question was shocked and began a hurried dash to the cockpit before anything else incriminating was revealed.

She was in such a hurry that she tripped over a suitcase sticking out into the aisle and fell in a heap. A little old lady leant over to her. ‘No need to rush dear,’ she said, ‘he said he was going to have a cold beer first.’

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Never underestimate the power of polo mints.
The trainer was giving last minute instructions to the jockey and appeared to slip something in the horse’s mouth just as a steward passed by.

‘What was that?’ inquired the steward.

‘Oh, nothing,’ said the trainer, ‘just a polo mint.’ He offered one to the steward. ‘Here, have one. And I’ll have one myself.’

After the suspicious steward had left the scene the trainer continued with his riding instructions. ‘Just keep the horse on the rails. You are on a certainty. The only thing that could possibly pass you down the straight is either the steward or me.’

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 I am offline for a couple of days but please leave your comments for my return.. Please feel free to spread the smiles around.  Sally

 

Smorgasbord Laughter Academy – Navy, Marines and Hypnotised Seniors – Oops.


Some of the favourite jokes from early 2016 revisited.

A sailor, an airman, several marines, a genie and a hypnotist walked into a blog!

Overseas posting

A newly married sailor was informed by the Navy that he was going to be stationed a long way from home on a remote island in the Pacific for a year. A few weeks after he got there he began to miss his new wife, so he wrote her a letter.

“My love,” he wrote, “we are going to be apart for a very long time. Already I’m starting to miss you and there’s really not much to do here in the evenings. Besides that, we’re constantly surrounded by young attractive native girls. Do you think if I had a hobby of some kind I would not be tempted? ”

So his wife sent him back a harmonica saying, “Why don’t you learn to play this?”

Eventually his tour of duty came to an end and he rushed back to his wife. “Darling” he said, “I can’t wait to get you into bed so that we make passionate love!”

She kissed him and said, “First let’s see you play that harmonica.”

Tell it to the Marines.

An airman in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says, “Wanna hear a MARINE joke?”

The guy next to him replies, “Well, before you tell that joke, you should know something. I’m 6′ tall, 200 lbs, and I’m a MARINE. The guy sitting next to me is 6’2″ tall, weighs 225, and he’s a MARINE. The fella next to him is 6’5″ tall, weighs 250, and he’s also a MARINE. Now, you still wanna tell that joke?”

The Airman says, “Nah, I don’t want to have to explain it three times.”

Many a word spoken in jest!Killer Food

A   nutritionist was addressing a large audience. “The food that we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago.

“Red meat is awful. Soft drinks erode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. Vegetables can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water.

“But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have, or will, eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?”

A 75-year-old man in the front row stood up and said, “Wedding cake”

Second Opinion should always be sought.

Judy rushed in to see her doctor, looking very much worried and all strung out. She rattles off, “Doctor, take a look at me. When I woke up this morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw my hair all wiry and frazzled up, my skin was all wrinkled and pasty, my eyes were bloodshot and bugging out, and I had this corpse-like look on my face! What’s wrong with me, Doctor?”

The doctor looks her over for a couple of moments, and then calmly says, “Well, I can tell you that there ain’t nothing wrong with your eyesight.”

 

When faced with a Genie.. think before opening mouth!

A fellow was cleaning out his attic one morning when he came across an old brass lamp. He gave it a rub and a genie appeared in a puff of smoke.

‘I am the genie of the lamp,’ said the apparition. ‘For releasing me, I will answer any three questions you care to ask.’

‘Who? Me?’ said the young man.

‘Yes, You,’ replied the genie. ‘Now, what’s your third question?’

A quick way to tell your age

‘How old are you Grandma?’ asked little Rebecca.

‘Oh, I don’t know dear,’ said Grandma with a smile. ‘I’ve had so many birthdays, I’ve lost count!’

‘Well, why don’t you look in your knickers,’ said Rebecca. ‘Mine say three to four years old.’

And now that I have you mesmerised!!

It was entertainment night at the senior citizens’ centre.

After the community sing-song led by Alice at the piano, It was time for the Star of the Show – Claude the Hypnotist.

Claude explained that he was going to put the whole audience into a trance.

“Yes, each and every one of you and all at the same time.” said Claude.

The excited chatter dropped to silence as Claude carefully withdrew from his waistcoat pocket a beautiful antique gold pocket watch and chain.

“I want you to keep your eyes on this watch” said Claude, holding the watch high for all to see.

“It is a very special and valuable watch that has been in my family for six generations” Said Claude.

He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting “Watch the watch — Watch the watch —-Watch the watch”

The audience became mesmerised as the watch swayed back and forth.

The lights twinkling as they were reflected from its gleaming surfaces.

A hundred and fifty pairs of eyes followed the movements of the gently swaying watch.

And then, suddenly, the chain broke.

The beautiful watch fell to the stage and burst apart on impact

“S**T” said Claude.

It took them three days to clean the Senior Citizens’ Centre

And Claude was never invited to entertain again.

The discerning cat.

I hope that has left you with a smile on your face.. Thanks for stopping by.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Annette Rochelle Aben, Gigi Sedlmayer, Sally Cronin


Welcome to the second of the review posts this week and the first author with a brand new review is Annette Rochelle Aben for her book Angel Messages: A Wing and a Prayer.

About the book

This book is a terrific way to share some Angel love with someone who needs a lift, a hug, a smile or that person who loves Angels. It is filled with pictures, prayers and poems that bring the Angel Messages to you.

From the Author…

Angels are real! Some say Angels have saved their lives, comforted them in their darkest moments and even appeared before them in physical form. I am one of those who believes in Angels. My personal testimony is here in Angel Messages, along with prayers that I have used to thank, summon and to send Angels to others when asked. The beautiful photographs of Angels inside, are designed to evoke deep personal connections.

Allow yourself to be inspired with a wing and a prayer by the love of the Angels. Share this book with others. Keep a copy close to you so you will always have an Angel at the ready. Let it refresh your body, mind and spirit Believe that Angels and Spirit guides are always there for you whenever you call, and so they shall. Love and Angelic blessings, I am Annette Rochelle Aben, a.k.a. Sister Angel.

One of the recent reviews for the book

You Are Not Alone on October 16, 2017

I have always believed in Angels and have read several books about them. What strikes me most about Annette Rochelle Aben’s book, Angel Messages: A Wing and a Prayer, is the open heart from which she writes.

Ms. Aben shares her personal experiences by sprinkling the Angel messages she has received, between passages of her own lovely poetry.

Two of my favorite messages are: 1. Be in love with the gift of your life. Your joy colors your world; 2. Choosing love will always bless you. The answers are in your heart.

Ms. Aben states that Angels may materialize in the guise of ‘just plain folks.’ I think we all experience this yet often overlook, for example, the woman who gives us the extra change we need to make a purchase, or the man who extends a hand to help us onto the bus.

Whether you believe in Angels as heavenly beings, visitors from the cosmos, or just plain folks, this book will touch that place in you that searches for comfort, assurance, and a positive outlook on life.

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Messages-Annette-Rochelle-Aben-ebook/dp/B01CT5KT4A

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angel-Messages-Annette-Rochelle-Aben-ebook/dp/B01CT5KT4A

Also by Annette Rochelle Aben

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annette-Rochelle-Aben/e/B00MSQTGUY

Find more reviews at Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8262554.Annette_Rochelle_Aben

Connect to Annette via her blog: https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Time to check out the children’s books in the bookstore and an author who gets consistently excellent reviews for her Talon Series is Gigi Sedlmayer. And here is recent feedback for book five in the series

About the book

The poachers are back – and they are looking for Talon! They are doing everything in their power to capture him, and if they can’t get him alive, will kill him. Determined to get him at all costs the poachers run up against the might and will of Tamo, Tima and Talon.
It is war. The poachers against the condors, Matica and the Indians – with the poachers even taking hostages to win the war.

With the help of Tamo and Tima, Talon and Matica do the impossible knowing they have to capture and stop the poachers or they will be back.

Between the poachers shooting at the condors, the crows playing their part, and Tamo being shot and injured, Matica goes above and beyond to help her beloved condors.

Action-packed from beginning to end, Talon Encounter will keep you on the edge of your seat.

One of the recent reviews

Encounter is the fifth and final book in the Talon series. Talon, Tima, and Tamo are in danger as the poachers, Zed and Pete want to capture these birds and kill them. Matica is distraught and seeks the help of the Indian village leader. Things have changed from the first book. Matica used to be an outcast and now that she can fly with Talon, the Indians find her interesting and have accepted her.

Pete and Zed dominate the story with their vicious plot and agenda towards these birds. The story is filled with action and drama as Matica sets her heart in, once again, protecting these birds.

I found the novel to have a faster pace and more suspenseful feel to it, compared to the first book. I enjoyed the love spent for these animals and the way Matica had grown and matured. I admired the fact that even though she was psychically restricted, her determination was stronger than ever. The story had a small hidden reveal to it and the ending made you feel satisfied with the outcome.

I believe the author has great potential in writing about similar genre stories. I recommend this book to bird lovers and anyone that enjoys a well-written story.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Talon-Encounter-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B018FNCA6

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Talon-Encounter-Gigi-Sedlmayer-ebook/dp/B018FNCA6K

Also by Gigi Sedlmayer

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gigi-Sedlmayer/e/B003U8G4WC

And read more reviews and follow Gigi on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4405791.Gigi_Sedlmayer

I am so delighted to have received some great reviews in the last few weeks and would like to share a recent one for Just an Odd Job Girl.

About the book

At 50 Imogen had been married for over 20 years, and was living in a big house, with money to spare. Suddenly she is traded-in for a younger model, a Fast-Tracker.
Devastated, she hides away and indulges in binge eating. But then, when hope is almost gone, she meets a new friend and makes a journey to her past that helps her move on to her future.

The most recent review for the book

Imogen is fifty when her husband of over twenty-five years announces he has found himself a new and younger woman; a fast-tracker, as Imogen dubs her. This is a girl who is out to get man who has already established himself and made money, rather than marry someone of her own age and have to struggle their way to the top together.

Not only does Imogen lose her husband, she is left with no choice but to move from the family home and re-jig her life completely. It’s a daunting task; the children have flown the nest and she hasn’t worked in years.

Alone in her new little home on the edge of Epping Forest Imogen browses the local newspaper and comes across an ad from an employment agency. She telephones, makes an appointment, cobbles together something to wear and, for the first time in a very long time, compiles a CV.

The adventure begins.

From here the story takes Imogen to her interview, where Mr Jenkins ( call me Andrew) invites her to talk him through all the jobs, and there are quite a few, that she has previously undertaken.

Each chapter then describes unlikely and varied forms of employment. There is a lot of humour in the writing, but also some pathos too.

I won’t reveal the ending but, though it came as no surprise, it was just what was needed for this story, with a little comeuppance for the dastardly husband thrown in.

Reading a book like Just an Odd Job Girl by Sally Cronin reminds me that I should do this more often -I love thrillers and dark stories but a little lightheartedness, occasionally, goes a very long way.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Odd-Girl-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00M10F4O4

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Odd-Girl-Sally-Cronin-ebook/dp/B00M10F4O4

A selection of other books by Sally Cronin

To read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2/

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Read more reviews and follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you explore these books and their authors further. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Summer Jazz 2017 – William Price King meets Tony Bennett – Happy 90th Birthday


Welcome to the finale at least of this part of Tony Bennett’s life. There seems to be no reason to believe that we will not be celebrating the next ten years of this extraordinary artist’s life. His lifetime of dedication to his technique ensures that his voice remains as true as ever and to look at the last 15 years of Tony’s performances, chart successes and collaborations I will now hand you over to William Price King. You will find all the other parts to this series in this directory https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

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Tony Bennett believes in giving back to his local community as well as those around the world which are in need. As well as performing at charity benefits and supporting international aid efforts he is committed to promoting the creative arts for the young. In 1999 he and his wife Susan Benedetto founded Exploring the Arts (ETA) to promote the role of the arts in public school education. ETA connects private donors, individual artists and cultural institutions to Partner Schools with the aim of reducing the impact of budgetary cuts, and sustaining a culture of opportunity for students through various programmes. The first of these was the establishment of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in 2001 in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. ETA currently partners with 17 public high schools, 14 in the boroughs of New York City and 3 in Los Angeles

Tony Bennett’s music since 2000 has been a combination of solo performances and collaborations with some of the top contemporary artist such as Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga. The first album in 2000, The Ultimate Tony Bennett reached #2 in the Jazz chart at home and set the scene for the next ten years.

His second album of the new millennium was in the company of some incredible musicians and singers. Playin’ With My Friends: Bennett Sings The Blues entertains with well-loved tracks such as Let The Good Times Roll with B.B. King, New York State of Mind with Billy Joel and the 1933 song by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler, Stormy Weather with Natalie Cole. The album achieved gold status and reached #2 in the US Jazz chart. Uploaded by Diogo Brito e Faro

This was followed up later in the year with a live album Christmas in Vienna VII with Charlotte Church, Placido Domingo and Vanessa Williams. This powerhouse combination took the album into the charts in Europe.

The next album that took the charts by storm was the collaboration with k.d. Lang in 2002. A Wonderful World hit Gold and Platinum status and was #41 in the US Chart, #2 in the Jazz chart and in the top 50 in several international charts. Tracks included La Vie en Rose by Mack David, David Louiguy and Edith Piaf; Dream A Little Dream Of Me by Fabian Andre, Gus Khan and Wilbur Schwandt and What A Wonderful World by Robert Thiele and George David Weiss. Uploaded by IvanRQ8

A reminder of just some of the accolades that Tony Bennett had received during his long career to this point.

  • Star on the Hollywood of Fame
  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Society of Composers, Author and Publishers in 2002.
  • In 2005, Tony was recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor.
  • Inducted into the Long Island Hall of Fame.

In August 2006 it was Tony Bennett’s 80th birthday and celebrations took place throughout the year with performances and accolades pouring in from around the world. Apart from Tony’s birthday there was another cause for celebration as his album Duets: An American Classic reached the highest ever in the album charts and received two Grammy Awards. It went gold and platinum as it hit the International charts at #1 in the US and in the top 20 across the main music charts in the world. The songs that Tony chose for this birthday album represented the best of the American Song Book and included Lullaby Of Broadway with Dixie Chicks, Put On A Happy Face with James Taylor, Smile with Barbra Streisand, The Good Life with Billy Joel, Just in Time with Michael Buble, If I Ruled The World with Celine Dion and most appropriately, The Best Is Yet To Come by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh performed with Diana Krall. tonybennettVEVO

During that year of celebration Rob Marshall directed a television special Tony Bennett: An American Classic that aired at Thanksgiving and received multiple Emmy Awards and the Billboard Century Award. Tony also appeared on the sixth season of American Idol as a guest mentor, passing on his great experience and knowledge to the lucky contestants.

He received further recognition from the International community and received the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Humanitarian Award for his charity work. In 2006 he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award which is the highest honor that the United States bestows on jazz musicians.

In 2008 Tony teamed up with the Count Basie Big Band for a Christmas special and appeared with Billy Joel at the final concerts of New York State of Mind at Shea Stadium.

Despite heading towards his 85th birthday Tony Bennett was not slowing down and in a follow up to his first highly successful collaboration album, he released Duets II. The seventeen tracks with artists from across the broad spectrum of music techniques included Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Queen Latifah, Josh Groban, Carrie Underwood and Lady Gaga. Again this album did extremely well in the charts both in America and around the world nearly all in the top ten.

His duet with Amy Winehouse, one of the last recordings made before her untimely death, charted in the Billboard Hot 100 making Tony Bennett the oldest living artist to appear there as well as the performer with the greatest span of appearances in the chart. The album also debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, the first time Tony had reached that spot and making him the oldest living artist to do so.

Later that year Columbia released Tony Bennett – The Complete Collection which is a 73 CD plus 3-DVD set and whilst not quite representative of all his work brought many of his original vinyl onto CD with some previously unreleased material.

Buy the set: Complete Collection Amazon

On the performance side, Tony Bennett appeared at the Royal Variety Performance in the presence of HRH Princess Anne in December 2011 and in October 2012 he performed his signature song I Left My Heart in San Francisco in front of more than 100,000 fans at a City Hall ceremony commemorating the 2012 World Series victory by the San Francisco Giants. He also published another memoir, Life is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett alongside a documentary produced by his son Danny of the same title.

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An area that we have not touched on is Tony Bennett’s other creative success as an artist. He paints under the name of Anthony Benedetto or just Benedetto. He followed on from his childhood interest with professional training and had spent a lifetime exploring the best art museums of the world. He sketches or paints every day, often the views out of hotel windows when on tour. He has exhibited in galleries around the world and was commissioned by the United Nations to do two paintings, including one for its 50th Anniversary. You can find out more about his artwork https://tonybennett.com/benedetto_arts.php

2014 brought a stunning new collaboration that would delight Tony’s fans. The album Cheek to Cheek with Lady Gaga debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts and swept through the top ten in the major international charts. At the end of 2014 these two unique and iconic artists kicked off their Cheek to Cheek tour.

On September 25, 2015, he released an album composed by Jerome Kern, featuring Bill Charlap on piano, called The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern. Tracks include Pick Yourself Up, They Didn’t Believe Me and Look For The Silver Lining.

As we all celebrate the continued success and artistry that is Tony Bennett as he celebrates his 90th birthday here is a quote that illustrates his artistic stance from an interview in 2010.

I’m not staying contemporary for the big record companies, I don’t follow the latest fashions. I never sing a song that’s badly written. In the 1920s and ’30s, there was a renaissance in music that was the equivalent of the artistic Renaissance. Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer and others just created the best songs that had ever been written. These are classics, and finally they’re not being treated as light entertainment. This is classical music.”

To end this finale of the Tony Bennett story to this point in his career, here is a track from the album Cheek to Cheek with Lady Gaga.

Happy Birthday Tony.. Here is to the next ten years!

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King

Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

You can find the other artists in the previous series here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-classical-and-contemporary-legends/

We hope you have enjoyed the series and please let us know as well as share the post with your networks.. thanks Sally