book review

irons in the fire . . .

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Without giving it much thought I’ve always had a number of creative and/or personal projects on the go; attending to what grabs my interest in what spare time I have. In the past week quite a few flagged their presence.

As I read Ardys’ post do your work, then step back… vis-à-vis the genealogy scrapbook she created for her daughter, I thought of the wedding photo book I’d started, and decided to employ similar parameters.

Photo Book
Nothing exceeds like excess…

I’d gotten as far as importing the photos and placing about two-thirds. I placed the rest of the photos. It looked stark. I decided to flagrantly abandon the parameters. Forsaking restraint, I downloaded wedding theme embellishments, and an eclectic mix of others, splashing them across the pages. My inner Oscar Wilde “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess” was pleased.

We’ve purchased an elegant formal album for the 40 printed photos taken by Loving Images Photography. That project, affixing the photos and congratulatory cards within the album belongs to the oh-so-neat-and-patient G.O. Not a task for slapdash EllaDee.

There’s method, rather than madness, behind my pick-it-up-put-it-put-it-down style. If I work continually on a project, I stop seeing detail and perspective. I put it aside, park it in the back of my mind and while it’s in hiatus jot down ideas, then return to it afresh.

That method also camouflages procrastination… as in the case of our “if you’re reading this, we’re no longer with you” letters. Upon marriage legal wills are revoked, so the day before our nuptials we signed new wills but the accompanying personal wishes + useful information missives could do with refreshing to make them current. Sigh.

Love Who You Are
Love Who You Are

Late in the week I stumbled across a tangible prompt: a Love Who You Are  banner, which complements a project along those lines I’ve been nurturing for too-many-years. My Saturday morning meditation affirmed it should be on my radar and provided insights of how I could develop it further.

The same meditation also yielded a suggestion to compile EllaDee’s Photo Library. I use only my own photos in my creative work. I’m pretty good at backing up (more so after the smartphone debacle resulting in the loss of photos of the G.O.’s grandmother’s old house…) particularly now I’m linked to OneDrive, and Google Photos is set to automatically back up my phone. Much like my email and tax filing, it’s all there but there is no order and I regularly search extensively the various repositories. Sigh.

Amongst Indie and book club reading and reviews, I read and reviewed Letters for my Little Sister.

“… I thought I would read it fast, eager to know all the information and experience it conveys. However, I’m savouring it; enjoying each essay and the personality of the woman who wrote it. When I’m weary or stressed, whether it’s due to peri-menopause or just life… reading it lifts me up, makes me smile and connects me with wonderful real, thoughtful community.”

Elements of Love Who You Are  also feed into Celi’s Second Fellowship Book: Letters for my Baby Girl, which I’ve signed up for, and begun composing a letter to contribute. Of course I’ve mislaid my writing- do’s-and-don’ts checklist. Sigh.

And there’s the family history, mine or anyone else’s, I explore. I’ve lost count of the strands I’m following. It’s difficult not to get side-tracked. I lose endless time clicking on sources leading to various snippets of information, saving links and excerpts within the labyrinth of my electronic filing for sometime-in-the-future reference. Sigh.

However, last weekend we lunched with the G.O.’s visiting aunt & uncle plus family I hadn’t met before who live on the far side of Sydney. We got to chatting about family stories and history, the G.O. enthusiastically sharing the information of their mutual convict ancestry. In a generous weak moment I offered to email the info I’d amassed. Which means locating and sorting it. Sigh.

Looking through the files reminded me of a blog post on the third convict ancestor I’d not finished, and old family photos I’d agreed to send to a newly discovered distant cousin from Dad’s mum’s Button family. As she is a prodigious online sharer, I want to watermark them first. Sigh.

Blog posts… Sigh. What on earth was I thinking in December 2011 when I created not a single but THREE WordPress blogs? Since sanity prevailed via my April 2014 blog consolidation exercise I’ve barely managed to keep up with one.

As well as Pinterest and Instagram, you can also find me on Goodreads and Etsy.

“The old proverb about having too many irons in the fire is an abominable old lie.
Have all in, shovel, tongs, and poker.”
―Adam Clarke


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Letters for my Little Sister by Cecilia M. Buyswheeler Gunther & The Fellowship

Sage… is how I would describe the wise, warm words of the contributions comprising the recently published anthology Letters for my Little Sister by Cecilia M. Buyswheeler Gunther & The Fellowship “a book of letters written by sixty-eight women about their experiences with Menopause. Yes! The forbidden M word.” You can purchase it in glorious hardcopy via Amazon.

There’s another M word: Motherless. There are certain lonely times when you are motherless. No matter the good intentions they’re shoes nigh impossible for someone or something else to fill… when I recently married although we eloped with no guests, wanting some accompanying presence I wore my mother’s watch, her mother’s brooch and donned a wedding ring made from both their bands.

People mean well. In my mid 30’s, my father’s youngest and only sister (whose own mother – my beloved Nanna – died more than a quarter century before) having entered that stage in her life handed on to me with only the words “you might need this” an unprepossessing Coping with Menopause booklet. Several years later with polite thanks to my aunt I returned it unopened.

We first heard of Letters for my Little Sister when Celi aka Miss C of The Kitchens Garden (who is Cecilia M. Buyswheeler Gunther) wrote “my mother died when I was a young Mum…” and about “Change of Life. The Big Secret. The Witching time. The aging. The Menopause” asked of The Fellowship “But what am I to tell my little sister? What shall I tell her? How shall I draw the pathway that she will follow. I am the oldest. I want to write a letter for my sisters“. It seems many of The Fellowship are similarly motherless but not necessarily. However, it’s this that made a difference to me; a group I felt I belonged and could make a contribution to.

Sage… as in the plant that has “one of the longest histories of use of any culinary or medicinal herb”, on that same subject; menopause, is what I’ve had success using to halt hot flashes which began not long after I sent to Celi my own Letters for my Little Sister essay about my journey through peri-menopause.

After reviewing the plethora of remedies offered both online and in pharmacy, being astonished at the cost of proprietary products & the multiplicity of natural remedies, sage struck me as easy and available. Not having regular access to garden and sage plant to make a fresh infusion I thought I would begin the trial simply & cheaply, so purchased from the supermarket for a couple of dollars a packet of dried sage as you would use for cooking. There are contraindications and precautions to the use of sage which I heeded, proceeding cautiously. For my morning cups of tea several times a week I steep a pinch of the dried herb with boiled water in a small teapot, drink half and refill. Within a month the hot flashes disappeared and haven’t returned.

The following links provide information and precautions regarding the use of sage:

Can Sage Help Night Sweats?

Sage Benefits

Sage Risks

Important Disclaimer

The writer is conveying information from her own experience and is not a health care professional.

The information contained in this topic is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for informational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. Always seek the advice of a  health care professional before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with a health care professional about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

a breath of yesteryear

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Once again nose to the scent of a family history trail, I was looking for names, dates and places but what I found was so much better: the opportunity to spend some time, in a fashion, with the G.O.’s Pop Mac.

Apparently there’s been family history research done on the G.O.’s mother’s paternal family side but I’ve never seen the fruits of it. Possibly I haven’t asked the right questions of the right person at the right time. Regardless, I like doing my own snooping research. Curious, I Googled the G.O.’s grandfather’s name and got not what I was looking for but more than I’d bargained.

The G.O. and I were pleased, and a little surprised, to come across a published version of his grandfather Roy Mackaway’s (1912-1994) work “Nulla Nulla”. The G.O. tells me he sat with his Pop for many hours as he one-finger-typed poems and stories. Roy always wanted them to be formally published. We have a copy of an early version of this work, and now a hardcopy for the G.O. and e-book for me of Jan Hawkins’ “Around the Campfire” 2013 published version.

I could give Nulla Nulla nothing less than 5 stars in my Goodreads review. “A time capsule of entertaining, amusing… sometimes poignant and hilarious… stories and poems. The author has a lively turn of phrase and is a talented storyteller and poet.” Lively turn of phrase may be understating it. I made the mistake of reading “The Pickle Bottle Poultice” on a crowded train. It describes Roy’s wife treating a boil on his “goat”  in the manner prescribed by his Grandpa. “The [dreaded] pickle poultice is short for pickle poultice murder…”

“… My Grandpa, he’s dead and gone now,
may the angels bless his soul.
For he’s the only man this side of hell,
that’s got a Grandson with two bum holes”

Wikipedia describes a nulla nulla (aka waddy) as “an Australian Aboriginal war club… A waddy is a heavy club constructed of carved timber. Waddies have been used in hand to hand combat, and were capable of splitting a shield, and killing or stunning prey. In addition to this they could be employed as a projectile as well as used to make fire and make ochre.”

Pop Mac adopted this name for his writing. In his words “Nulla Nulla is a stick, with a great knob on one end. One of its uses is when a young aboriginal lad was beginning to feel a bit lonely and he reckoned he needed a wife, he would wait until the middle of the day when it was a bit hot and he would sneak up to the water hole where all the young girls from other tribes would be having a swim. He would pick the best and spring on her like a greyhound with a bull-ant under his tail and if she gave any trouble he gave her a slight tap on the noggin’ with his nulla, throw her over his shoulder and head back to his tribe. In this way they were married.”

As well as being published, Nulla Nulla : a collection of Australian prose & poems by Cecil Roy Mackaway is held in the National Library of Australia and State Library of Queensland collection.

I’ve been distracted from my intended family history research but I will get back to it. There’s a wealth of clues in the book.

Often dipping into Goodreads quotes looking for tried & true words in the form of quotes to supplement my own literary efforts, I was thrilled and a little bemused to read the following of Roy’s recorded by Goodreads for posterity.

“Just Fat and Cuddly
There’s Aunty, just out of bed, looking a little glum and gloomy,
but I tell you mate, she’s put on weight as her frocks ain’t nice and roomy.
I’ll send her west where there ain’t no pests, where frogs all croak for water,
and I tell you mate she’ll loose the weight and once again she’ll be a corker.
I’m now heading back to my mountain shack, this only if I get the time,
for things won’t go well, she’ll give me hell, when she reads this little rhyme.”
― Cecil Roy Mackaway, Nulla Nulla (Around the Campfire Book 7) Cecil R Mackaway (Author), Eric S Hawkins (Illustrator), Jan Hawkins (Photographer)

The G.O. has long memorialized his Pop with the words "Nulla Nulla" signwritten on his ute. He is currently driving Nulla Nulla 2.
The G.O. has long memorialized his Pop with the words “Nulla Nulla” signwritten on his ute. He is currently driving Nulla Nulla 2.

A glimpse into the book is available via Amazon, one of the options for purchasing it.

Nulla Nulla

a collection of Australian Prose and Poems

by Cecil Roy Mackaway

published by Jan Hawkins

As noted by the publisher, Jan Hawkins:

“Cecil Roy Mackaway grew up in the Hunter Valley* north of Sydney, touched by a time now passed. Fresh from the influenced of a family with a convict colonial history he witnessed a world, seen from a unique view. His stories and poems bring to life the Australian colonial era and life lived from the Bushman’s perspective. Not always politically correct in today’s society, he none the less brings a richness and variety to our history and the tale of life as it was lived in the bush in a era now gone.”

“The Author gave the copyright to this collection of prose and poems into my care some years ago, to be published in time. I found the writing so delightful and entertaining that I have published it now for the general public. I invite you to step back into colonial Australia, into a time now passed and see the world through the eyes of someone who enjoyed the adventure of life and the living of it.

These works have been presented as originally written with minimal editing, preserving the vernacular and prose of the era passed where possible, which may be seen in the use of italics. The terms used in the past may not be appropriate if used in the discourse of the present day. If these terms are likely to offend please so not read this book. Neither the Author or Publisher intends to offend.

In publishing these works I would like to introduce Cecil Roy Mackaway, a friend, a relative and an inspiring writer and poet.”

The anthology begins…

“A Breath of Yesteryear

From the Memoirs of

Cecil Roy Mackaway

I was born in 1912 and reared at Dyers Crossing on the Wallamba River in New South Wales, Australia. My Grandmother was the daughter of a young Englishman, he was sent out to the colonies by his family for colonial experience like so many young men from England. It is believed however that he was murdered on the gold field at Bendigo…”

And includes…

“Old Cobbers

I sit alone in my mountain home with a pencil in my hand,

tryin’ to think of a line or two, for my cobbers down on the Strand.

They’re rushing here and rushing there as life is just one way,

and they forget their mates up bush, that they knew in another day.

So life goes on and years pass by, where’s it getting you in the end?

A cripple from rush and strife, or slightly ’round the bend. So I’ll sit up here and write good cheer for them mates down in the Strand,

and tell them about the fish I caught and latest about the brand.

Perhaps they will think of me whilst strolling in the Strand.”

* Dyers Crossing is correctly located in the Wallamba Valley near Nabiac on the Mid North Coast.

Cash is king

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been spending a lot of time with another man. The G.O. doesn’t mind, he’s a fan too… of The Man in Black: Johnny Cash.

It started with a book – Johnny Cash: The Life by Robert Hilburn, my book club’s selection earlier this year I purchased despite being a weighty paperback tome knowing the G.O. would enjoy it also, but the size of which was practically daunting to lug for daily commute reading time on the train.

“In this, the definitive biography of an American legend, Robert Hilburn conveys the unvarnished truth about a musical superstar. Johnny Cash’s extraordinary career stretched from his days at Sun Records with Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis to the remarkable creative last hurrah, at age 69, that resulted in the brave, moving “Hurt” video.

As music critic for the Los Angeles Times, Hilburn knew Cash throughout his life: he was the only music journalist at the legendary Folsom Prison concert in 1968, and he interviewed both Cash and his wife June Carter just months before their deaths. Drawing upon a trove of never-before-seen material from the singer’s inner circle, Hilburn creates an utterly compelling, deeply human portrait of a towering figure in country music, a seminal influence in rock, and an icon of American popular culture. Hilburn’s reporting shows the astonishing highs and deep lows that marked the journey of a man of great faith and humbling addiction who throughout his life strove to use his music to lift people’s spirits.”

The heft of the book was soon immaterial as engrossed I read it every spare minute I had. At the end, sad to put it down, I gave it 5 stars: “Wonderfully absorbing. I had no idea I would become so captivated by Johnny Cash as his story is told by Robert Hilburn. This book doesn’t simply convey details, it makes you care and takes you along for the incredible ride. To enhance the experience listen to some Johnny Cash as you go through the book; the later Rick Rubin albums beginning with American Recordings as well as Johnny Cash’s earlier music.”

We already had a few Johnny Cash albums in our collection including the more recent American IV – The Man comes Around; American V – A Hundred Highways; and American VI Ain’t No Grave, which I have to confess at first I didn’t appreciate and languished in a cupboard. But, reading Robert Hilburn’s biography set me off on a shopping mission for classic recordings such as Folsom Prison and The Essential Johnny Cash plus the earlier of the Rick Rubin produced albums: American Recordings; Unchained (American II); and American III – Solitary Man.

Just after the book went back on the shelf awaiting the opportunity for the G.O. to read it I noticed a promo for The Man in Black – The Johnny Cash Story, a show at the Sydney Opera House for which I had tried unsuccessfully to get tickets during its previous tours.

“The Helpmann Award winning The Man in Black… Starring Tex Perkins, this is two hours of Johnny Cash’s magnificent music interwoven with the story of his rise to stardom, his fight for survival and his eventual redemption.

IMG_20140720_160739With his driving freight-train chords, steel-eyed intensity and a voice as dark as the night, the legendary Johnny Cash revolutionised music. The show explores his relationships – with hardened prisoners to the beautiful June Carter and lots in between. Johnny Cash was dealt a very tough hand, early in life, but through his music and dedication, he became a legend throughout the world.

Tex Perkins, one of the most electrifying front men of Australian rock ‘n’ roll, brings the hard-living country legend to life, and is joined on stage by Rachael Tidd and The Tennessee Four.

Enjoy Ring of Fire, I Walk the Line, Folsom Prison Blues, Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down, Get Rhythm, A Boy Named Sue, Hey Porter and over a dozen more hits.”

The weather was chilly last Friday night when we went but the show was brilliant, Tex Perkins doing an amazing account of The Man in Black, and the wintry late evening trip home well worth braving for the experience. I couldn’t really say a favourite song but “Hurt” originally recorded by the Nine Inch Nails and later covered by Johnny Cash was powerful. Over the weekend the G.O. and I both were still humming the tunes.

He was an extraordinary man.

“The Master of Life’s been good to me. He has given me strength to face past illnesses, and victory in the face of defeat. He has given me life and joy where others saw oblivion. He has given new purposes to live for. New services to render and old wounds to heal. Life and love go on. Let the music play.” Johnny Cash


a Claytons life

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From time to time I catch myself humming Dolly Parton’s theme song from the movie Nine to Five.

Workin’ 9 to 5  [and then some], what a way to make a livin’…

There’s a better life and you think about it, don’t you?…

For his last birthday I gave the G.O. a card that featured a photo of the Banksy ‘Out of Stock’ street art –
Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock. A year later it is still on back-order.

Luckily the lifestyle we have will get us through another year or so. But sometimes it’s tricky. We live in the city primarily to work, as a means to end our being in the city. Mostly we’re busy but in the lulls we catch up on the rest of our life. Occasionally we take some time out for ourselves.

My annual leave balance generally hovers around zero as I use the days when the G.O. gets mandatory no-work long weekends & holidays, and we head to our house at Taylors Arm to take care of business there. Conversely the G.O. has accrued about 400 hours annual leave and 60 untaken rostered-day-off hours.

In late August we’re taking a whole week of holidays for a road trip to visit far-flung family and friends outside our city-Taylors Arm orbit, an exciting but exhausting prospect we are anticipating. Starting with a 3 night pit stop at T.A. then 5 nights away it will be 2500+ kms and est. 30 hours driving.

In the meantime, an appealing aspect of my life is my blogging-virtual neighbours who share their neighbourhoods, lives and travels. They take us on tours of their gardens and invite us into their kitchens for a cup of tea and a chat about what’s cooking or new. Lately, I’ve been enjoying Dianne‘s renovation of the RUC and her upcycled pantry, Kate‘s & Anne‘s teapots & cosies, and Francesca‘s love of old plates, and want to invite you into my kitchen to share my own.

TA Old dishes etc
From the kitchen at Taylors Arm

In real life I’ve been aiming at combining virtual and real for a meet up with fellow Sydney blogger Celia of Fig Jam & Lime Cordial. However, akin to the storage space I’m without that prevents me from acquiring the tempting array of kitchenalia many of her posts showcase, coordinating available time I’m inevitably without (as happens with existing family and friends) isn’t simple.

I’d also like to share my review of Dianne Gray’s novel The Everything Theory which I finished recently, the culmination of reading all her novels.

I would love to see this novel made into an Australian film. The characters, dialogue and story line are so comprehensive and 3 dimensional that in your mind while reading it, you are there witnessing it unfold. The story is contemporary and intriguing. The detail locationally is amazing but what really impressed was the minutiae that made up the premise of the narrative. Read this novel and take another look at those conspiracy theories, ancient history, myths and so-called mysteries – the way you look at things will never be the same again.

Note: Claytons is the brand name of a non-alcoholic, non-carbonated beverage coloured and packaged to resemble bottled whisky. It was the subject of a major marketing campaign in Australia and New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s, promoting it as “the drink you have when you’re not having a drink”… the name has entered into Australian and New Zealand vernacular where it represents a “poor substitute” or “an ineffective solution to a problem”. It can also be used to describe something that is effectively in existence but does not take the appropriate name, e.g. a common-law couple might be described as having a “Claytons marriage”.

It takes courage to grow up…

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Sandra Danby emailed me and asked if I would like to review The Milk of Female Kindness: An Anthology of Honest Motherhood by Kasia James (Contributing Editor).

“I’ve just had two of my short stories published in an anthology and wondered if you would review the book on your blog? It’s called ‘The Milk of Female Kindness’ and includes short fiction, poetry, art, memoir and medical writing on the theme of honest motherhood. Some of the writers have recently given birth, others are grandmothers. Some, like me, are childless; my writing is inspired by memories of my own mother. Some of the pieces will make you smile, others are heartbreaking.”

I responded “… be happy to… given the theme which is close to my heart also”. Of course. I have been around mothers my whole life. Many of my family, friends and colleagues are mothers.

But my reactive assumption of familiarity with the subject was way off. It amounted to: I’m a woman; a Sagittarian, ergo I value honesty above all else; and my mother gave birth to me.

Reading the The Milk of Female Kindness contributions was eye-opening. It was like reading science fiction – women but another life-form, inhabiting a planet unfamiliar to me.

A colleague years ago shared the details of her entire pregnancy with our little office clan but that’s far different to what comes later. She resigned to take on a new role of full-time mum. She may as well have left the country as far as those of us who remained were concerned. Read the rest of this entry »

nifty thrifty

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I didn’t realise until October was half gone that it’s Thriftober. Also, Buy Nothing New Month, which I’ve been on-board with in the past. Doing, or not doing it, isn’t a stretch given my lack of enthusiasm for Retail. The theme culminates in the Garage Sale Trail on 26 October, which attracts much interest but suggests to me… don’t buy new junk you’ll never use, buy someone else’s. Far too much temptation for impulse buying… look, a banana hanger-hammock for only $5!

Curious, I did quick internet research and could find bare mention of these October initiatives globally. Are there similar campaigns worldwide?

In my defence, I was busy in September refining my foodie habits and assumptions, and a side project involving reusable plastic and glass containers rather than disposable packaging. Liberating the contents of our freezer put a significant number of plastic containers back into circulation.

Read the rest of this entry »

diamonds and pearls

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On the back of the Super Sweet Blogging Award Lord David Prosser generously also nominated elladee_words for the Blogger Award* with the proviso “just so she doesn’t get off too easily she’ll have to do the following”:

1. Thank the person who nominated her and add a link back to the blog. Thank you David.

2. Answer these 5 easy questions.

a) Romance or Humour in books? Both. I recently read Laurie Boris’ The Joke’s on Me. IMG_20130531_070756_edited

b) Favourite meal? Anything the G.O. bbqs for me.

c) Monarchy or Republic for the rest of Europe? No preference but there’s a new royal baby, which is nice.

d) Following Ancestry or looking to the future only? I’m something of a dorrie ancestry-genealogy-family history (anyone’s) tragic, and I’m sure more than one disinterested person has considered running away screaming while I’ve waxed lyrical.

e) Favourite music? At the moment I’m listening to Seasick Steve, courtesy of Buried Words & Bushwa.

Read the rest of this entry »

Life is one grand, sweet song…

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I am honoured to be included in Lord David Prosser’s Super Sweet Blogging Award nominations. Lord David’s blog is barsetshirediaries, and amongst books of his authorship are the similarly titled: My Barsetshire Diary: The Daily Events of the Gentry Recorded for Posterity; More Barsetshire Diary; and The Queen’s Envoy. I’ve now read each, and reviewed the first My Barsetshire Diary isn’t my usual style of read so that I really enjoyed it is high praise indeed. I came to welcome my forays into Lord David & Lady Julia’s world as a welcome diversion from my own… Being immersed in their happenings put a smile on my face and bestowed a lightness upon my being. Of course, Oscar stole the show. I wonder if I can copy and paste the same review for the other 2… I digress…

Thank you Lord David. In the words of Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything except temptation and the temptation of this award is as sweet as its bestower, so here goes…

Nice, simple rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated me.
2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
3. Include the Super Sweet Blogger Award in my blog post.
4. Nominate a baker’s dozen of deserving bloggers.
5. Notify my nominees on their blogs. (I invoke the pingback clause) 

Snap Biscuits1. Cookies or Cake?  It never ceases to be a wonder to me how just with eggs, butter, flour, sugar and vanilla I can make either. For the G.O. I add a pinch of ginger and he has Snap Biscuits to take for smoko. Sometimes at Taylors Arm I bake a simple cake with the addition of milk and either cocoa, shredded coconut, lemon, a layer of jam or fruit, which we eat still warm with a dollop of good cream, accompanied by a short black, or pot of tea.

Yalla2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Workdays I sometimes indulge in an afternoon treat, from the supermarket conveniently located downstairs in the building, that delivers both. Yalla Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Bean Yoghurt… silky rich chocolate mousse base with a tart fragrant yoghurt top layer which you lightly blend together as you take each mouthful.

3. Favourite Sweet Treat? See No.2.

4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? See No.2

5. Sweet Nick Name? Occasionally, possibly when he forgets my name 😉  the G.O. calls me Hon.

Super Sweet Blogger Award
Super Sweet Blogger Award

With the disclaimers that some of them don’t do awards posts, none should feel obliged, they are in no particular order, and it is by no means a conclusive list. This is simply my way of saying, in this instance, these are my Super Sweet Blogger nominees.

  1. Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge
  2. Vic of Pic a colour for me
  3. Meeka’s Mind
  4. Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
  5. ardysez
  6. dadirridreaming
  7. Kourtney Heintz’s Journal
  8. Buried Words and Bushwa
  9. Rumpydog
  10. Leanne Cole – Photography
  11. thekitchensgarden
  12. Pete Denton – writer
  13. from the Bartolini kitchens

 Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music. ~ Ronald Reagan

Believe. Guest Blogger – Kourtney Heintz, author The Six Train to Wisconsin

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“Happy” is my favourite word. “Believe” comes next. In Kourtney’s own words this is how it happens when you believe in what you do, and put in the work to give it legs.
I ran into Kourtney via her blog Kourtney Heintz’s Journal early in my foray into blogging, almost a year ago. From memory Wine Tasting in Connecticut? was where we really got acquainted, and we’ve been exchanging comments ever since. Kourtney’s Grandma H Moments posts are gold but it’s her Believing In The Unbelievables: My Life As An Aspiring Author journey that has engaged and inspired me. Kourtney took her professional business sense & skills, resourcefulness & dedication, and applied them to the process of Indie publishing her novel
The Six Train to Wisconsin. I’m so pleased to have been along for this ride. EllaDee

Guest Blog – The Power of Persistence,
Kourtney Heintz, author The Six Train to Wisconsin
The Six Train to Wisconsin

100 thank yous to the lovely EllaDee for letting me take over her blog for the day! I’m an avid follower of her blog so it’s an honor to be here. 

It’s funny how much my previous career in auditing trained me for this new one as an author. In auditing, you are always the most hated person in any room. Getting people to talk to you and answer your questions is a constant game of rejection. I learned to take “No” as an opening bid in an auction for information.

As a writer, when several agents rejected my query with a form letter, it hurt. I doubted myself. I questioned why I was doing this. Eventually, I accepted it as an indicator that the query needed work. When agents requested a partial and rejected it, I cried. Yes, cried. Rejection of something you put your heart and soul into hurts. It is a book to them; it’s so much more to the creator. But my logical side reared her head and said there were issues in the beginning.

When I got rejections on the full with personalized comments, it was bittersweet. I’d advanced another level, but I wasn’t there yet. It took me weeks to accept that this was a “No for now” and use their feedback to revise. By the time I was done, I’d rekindled the excitement. This new version would get a yes. It had to. I thought that every time I started submitting. Read the rest of this entry »