Views of the Neighborhood – Thanksgiving Feast

Wonderful altruistic human spirit stories still coming in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey! Thanks for sharing this heart-warming event, John! 😀

Fiction Favorites

A group of volunteers from Kyle, Texas decided they would come down to Port Aransas and set up a Thanksgiving dinner as a way to help.  The reason for doing so, as explained by Deborah the organizer, “Our hearts are with Port Aransas.” So she began to organize a Thanksgiving dinner for all Port Aransas residents. She made a point in telling me that she never asked for volunteers. All her help came from those who wanted to be a part of something beautiful. All the volunteers live in the greater Austin area which is a three and one half hour drive to Port Aransas.

Port Aransas Feast

As you enter the cafeteria there is a place to fill out a name tag. This one idea had everyone feeling that they knew everyone else.

Here are some folks beginning to arrive.

More arrivals

There was ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes…

View original post 184 more words

Wren, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Something a little different today, from the Lisa Burton Radio Show. I generally don’t go for Middle grade children’s books, but this one has a lot to say for itself, and to youngsters! 😀

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton

Hello all you diva’s and superstars. Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that interviews the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today we’re going to try something a little bit different.

I receive mail, and sometimes we read them on the air as kind of an advice column. This one sparked my interest. We have someone calling herself Aunt Char, and she’s worried about her niece, Wren.

I heard a show recently where the radio host called someone up, and that’s just what we’re going to do. Just bear with me while I dial the number.

“Good morning, Char speaking.”

“Hello, this is Lisa Burton, and you’re on the air right now. Is this Aunt Char?”

“I just told you my name is Char. I was hoping that you would call. I have waited all week. I…

View original post 1,131 more words

One day a year ~ lest we forget…

The eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, is marked by nations around the globe, usually as part of Remembrance/Armistice/Veterans memorial day, but in particular to mark the end of fighting on the Western Front of The Great War on the time and date that the peace accords were signed in a railway carriage at Compiègne, France. I’m deliberately referring to WW1 as ‘The Great War’ in this context, because its Armistice marked the end of devastating fighting and massive mortality amongst the military and civilians that literally changed the world, politically, socially, economically and, most of all, psychologically.

Although WW2 exceeded the total number of global fatalities in The Great War, in Europe it was rightly seen as ‘the war to end all wars’ because 60 of the 70 million of the military personnel killed were Europeans. It literally wiped out a generation of young men in continental Europe and Great Britain, where even the surviving military suffered from the effects of biological weapons and debilitating, often fatal diseases in the trenches and by ‘battle fatigue’ and ‘shell shock’ before they were recategorised as PTSD in recent times.

For civilians where the fighting was fiercest, there was also starvation and, just after the fighting stopped, pandemic influenza to contend with. The latter caused nearly as many deaths as the war itself worldwide.

At 11 o’clock today, I had a medical appointment. I had my two minutes silence in the car, so arrived slightly late. We do owe a debt of gratitude and remembrance to those who died defending the freedoms of their nations down the years from that first cataclysmic conflict in 1912-1918. In the UK and other parts of the Commonwealth, our Remembrance Days are times when we honour the dead of all the wars since then. One of the most popular charitable fund-raisers in the run-up to the actual day is the Poppy Appeal. In the UK it’s run by The British Legion and in recent years has had mixed popularity, because of complaints from anti-war and human rights campaigns. However, since the centennial of the outbreak of The Great War in 2012 and the widespread media coverage of significant battles, such as Ypres and Paschendale, and their impact at home and in the war theatres, seems to have re-established the popularity of the poppy as never before.

The poppy was adopted as the symbol of Remembrance Day because of the poem ‘In Flanders Field’ by Canadian war poet, John McCrae. This year, in my hometown of Plymouth, they have had a special display of ceramic poppies to mark the end of The Great War at the war memorial on the Hoe. I’ve quoted the poem below and some of the photos that have been taken of this stunning memorial display.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
  That mark our place; and in the sky
  The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.   Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
  Loved and were loved, and now we lie
      In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
  The torch; be yours to hold it high.
  If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

John McCrae
November 30, 1872 – January 28, 1918
A Canadian surgeon, poet and artist who died of pneumonia in Boulogne, France

There can be few backdrops like this for the memorial – looking out over Plymouth Sound.

The front of the memorial with the wave of poppies spilling over, but not obscuring, the lists of the fallen servicemen of Plymouth during the 2 World Wars

Here you can see the full effect of the wave design

Ground level view through the wave – as you see, you can walk right through the display (top right of image)

I haven’t visited the memorial myself and it’s going to be taken down in a few days time, so I thought I’d share some images taken by various people who did make the effort and posted online. It’s a wonderful tribute and I’m sure will be remembered for a long time to come. 😀

Thursday – A little Personal – Daylight Savings Time

We went through this last week in UK – it makes transatlantic time zones go completely goofy as they ‘spring forward & fall back’ on different dates! Those time changes are never worth the extra hour in bed though… Last Sunday seemed so looooooooooong!

Fiction Favorites

Lucy

“Hey, Boss.”

“Well, hello Lucy. You look like you have a problem.”

“Well, I certainly do. What time is it anyway?”

“It is ten minutes after four.”

“You aren’t serious? It has to be after five. My stomach is telling me it’s after five.”

Stella

“OMG. Best tell her about Daylight Savings Time, John.”

“Thanks, Stella. I think you’re right. ”

“Okay, Bos, so you and Stella have some kind of secret. How about letting me in on it?”

“We changed our clocks so that we will save daylight in the winter. Todays four o’clock was yesterday’s five o’clock.”

“Wait. I didn’t change my stomach. I’m hungry now.”

Stella

“I think you are in trouble now, John.”

“Thank you, Stella. I can handle this. Do you understand, Bailey?”

Bailey

“Sure do, Pops. You humans can’t see well in the dark so you alter every nonhuman’s dinner time so that you won’t hit anything when you go…

View original post 59 more words

Befouled 7 ~ the last taster and some praise…

The last of the Befouled promo posts – another tasty morsel and an editorial review, no less! 😀

Siân Glírdan

also available on Kindle

Today’s the last day of the paperback launch promo, so it’s time for an excerpt from the Epilogue and a full editorial review. With the latter I’ve been trying all day to fathom out how to get it onto the Amazon.com listing – no success at all! I managed it somehow with Freebooter’s but for the life of me I can’t see how I did it! It’s a strange quirk of Amazon, that only the US site will list an editorial review on the main catalogue page…
Anyhoo – here’s the bit from the Epilogue where a rehabilitated Eiralann has graduated into the care of the Ainghal, Arathorr, the Huntsman and learns more about how she will redeem her soul and honour in future struggles with Drogdurr and Garliath…

“My Lord? I am curious…” her question faded away as his silvery eyes looked keenly at her…

View original post 1,062 more words