Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

#SoCS – Psst — November 18, 2017

#SoCS – Psst

This week Linda has given us psst or another word that grabs reader’s attention, to use for our Stream of Consciousness posts. I will stick with good old psst as I like the sound of it.

Psst….you know that Christmas is just around the corner? Well, if you are stuck for ideas for ideas and want to give a little bit of sunshine as a stocking filler, then why not consider my book? It is a book of poems, rhymes and limericks that find humour or beauty in everyday life.

Here is the blurb:

Are you one of those people who barge through life, trying to get through it as best as you can, swimming against the everyday worries and stresses of life? Well, I have found a way to make it much more enjoyable.
Don’t you think everything sounds better when it rhymes? I certainly do. In fact, I have found that everything from doing the housework to growing older, can sound more positive and less daunting when made into a little ditty.
This book is about finding the humour, or raising a smile from the everyday things that we can all relate to in life, and looking at them from a different perspective. Nothing escapes versification; there is even a subject on sex! After all, that is one subject where there is plenty of room for laughter, even if it may not be the right moment!

 

and here is the link that will take you to Amazon where you can purchase it.  Author.to/RhymesoftheTimes

 

 

SoCS Pssst

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Perfect 10 with Ritu Bhathal | Author Don Massenzio — November 14, 2017
Need cheering up, then read on! — May 16, 2016

Need cheering up, then read on!

There are times when we could all do with a laugh or two. Life can be pretty tough-going at times, with all of the expectations that we (and others) put upon ourselves. Health, financial or relationship problems don’t help either, and can really drag us down.

Sometimes, a few minutes away from all the worry can do the world of good, especially if those few minutes are spent with a smile on your face. Well, this is where I (hopefully) come in!

My book ‘Rhymes of the Times’ is filled with lots of poems in mostly verse and rhyme format.  I feel that this is a much more upbeat and fun form of poetry, and can be read quickly and easily. The book’s cover is a bright and cheery, sunny yellow colour to lighten the mood (thank you Chris), and is filled with all sorts of fun and nonsense, to transport you out of the gloom for a while and take you to somewhere where you can feel all warm and fuzzy!

My book has so far received nine 5 star reviews on Amazon (UK&US combined), and has been referred to as ‘poetically perfect,’ ‘lighthearted and lovely’ and ‘quirky British humour.’

Why not give it a try, you’ll be glad you did!

Welcome to my brand new website. — May 14, 2016

Welcome to my brand new website.

Hello everyone and welcome to my brand spanking  new website!

I decided that I needed another website that is separate from my blog Edwina’s Episodes where I can talk more about my book and poems. As you can see, I have kept the look of this website very close to my blog, just so that you know you are in the right place! Plus I love the colours and vibrancy of this theme and I feel it suits me very well.

If anyone who has read my book would like to leave me a review or testimonial, I have a page where you can do so here

I hope you will enjoy your visit and as always, I love to hear from you.

Well Here it is! — March 5, 2016

Well Here it is!

 

I am very thrilled and delighted to show you my beautiful, shiny new book! Chris at The Story Reading Ape has done an absolutely brilliant job of designing the perfect cover for it too.  He was so helpful and accommodating to me, despite my inexperience in these matters and problems with my e-mail!

At the moment, it is available at CreateSpace, and is now available on Kindle and Amazon.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I had been encouraged to publish a collection of my poems, and now I have finally done it! I do love to rhyme things and this book is pretty much a compilation of some of my favourites! I have even included some of the raunchier ones to add a little extra spice!

 

 

 

 

#Stream of Consciousness -This and That —

#Stream of Consciousness -This and That

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For Linda’s Stream of Consciousness post this week, the prompt words are ‘this’ and ‘that.’ We gain bonus points for starting and finishing with one or the other of these words too.

This is quite an exciting time for me at the moment. It has been suggested by several fellow bloggers and some of my family that I really ought to collect some of my poems together and publish them. Well, I don’t really have the foggiest idea of publishing and even less about self-publishing, but I decided that I would look into it. After all, when I finished NaNoWriMo I had an account on Createspace just to see what the process was, should I decide to publish the book I wrote at a later date.

Anyway, to cut a long story short (I am going on a bit), it is almost finished. In fact, I just made an alteration when I proofread it, and as soon as it comes back I am ready to go!  I have got a fabulous cover (more about that when the book is ready) and have finally sorted out the formatting. My dear blogging friend Erika was talking about this just a couple of days ago for her new book and I was itching to say something then about mine but wanted to keep it secret until it was ready.

Of course, I am so excited and have blabbed now! My own poetry book (well rhymes), does that mean I am going to be an author now?! It is going to take a bit of time to get my head around that!

A Little Peek. — November 21, 2015

A Little Peek.

******** PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS BAD LANGUAGE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN THIS POST********

Now that I have mostly written the bulk of my story for NaNoWriMo, I thought I would give you a small snippet so you get the feel of what it is about. It is not in my usual style, as you will see.

I am thrilled to show off my book cover too that was designed by the lovely Jo Robinson that fits perfectly.

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Craaaaack!  Jackie reeled sideways as the force of the blow struck the side of her face. “You fucking bitch, you slept with him didn’t you?”

“Aslan, stop it, for God’s sake!  Of course I didn’t sleep with him. I don’t even know him. He is a friend of Kat’s and came to see her, not me. Please, you know I would never do anything like that.

Aslan’s hands gripped the steering wheel tighter, and  he turned his face, contorted with rage, to Jackie once more, disgust evident as he spat out, “you are nothing;  just a slag, a whore, and I would be better off without you.”

The car jerked as he swung it onto the hard shoulder, and then slammed on the brakes. “Go on, fuck off. Get out of the car!”

“What? What are you talking about? Why do you want me to get out? It is pitch black, and we’re in the middle of nowhere!”

“I said, get the fuck out of my car you useless piece of shit.”  I don’t want you anymore. See if your boyfriend can help you now!

Petrified, Jackie opened the door. Maybe he was just testing her, as he had done so many times in an effort to control her. The forceful shove sending her stumbling out the door told her that this time it was real. He was actually throwing her out of the car, nearly two hours away from home, on a motorway, in the dark, by herself. How the hell did she ever get to this point?

Little did Jackie know, there was more heartache, hurt and humiliation to come….

‘Fourth Generation Farmgirl’ Tonya Pops In For A Chat. — October 1, 2015

‘Fourth Generation Farmgirl’ Tonya Pops In For A Chat.

Today I am so excited as I will be conducting my first ever blog interview. as part of the Writing 101 course. I will be chatting with the lovely Tonya, or Fourth Generation Farmgirl, as many of you know her, and am thrilled that she has agreed to take part.

Ever since I first came across this blog, I have been impressed with the genuine love for the animals, the farm and traditions that make up Tonya and husband Scott’s lives. Tonya is one of those people who seem to excel in whatever they put their mind to.

That is not to say she had her share of trials and tribulations, not least the almost rebuilding of her home, and losing her beloved chickens last year to a fox. She gets on with it though, picks herself up and keeps going. I admire her spirit and determination.

I am very nosy by nature, so fired off a few questions for Tonya in order that we can all get to know her and Green Hill Farm a little better.

  1. I would like to know how you manage to find time to work on the farm, make such beautiful recipes, and carry out your work as a speech and language therapist.

I write this blog mainly from my perspective as it is called Fourth Generation Farmgirl; however, let me just say, there certainly wouldn’t be a Green Hill Farm or a Fourth Generation Farmgirl without my husband Scott, a.k.a. Farmguy.  We are truly partners in all things.  I’ve encouraged, supported, and helped him in his career as much as he’s stood by me in my endeavours, the biggest endeavour–saving, restoring, and loving Green Hill Farm and all of its inhabitants.  I’d like to take a moment to express how fortunate I am to have Scott by my side.  First, he’s one of the smartest, hardest working, and most decent people I know.  He advocates for and loves animals as much as I do and enjoys caring for our menagerie of critters.  Days on the farm can be described as a marathon or a sprint, depending on everything going on in our lives; and, because the needs of the animals are constant, there is never a “free day.”  That’s why we are also fortunate that my parents live next door and help out occasionally.  There is ALWAYS something to maintain, repair, feed, clean, nurture, and love around here, but together, we seem to find a balance.

For me, the key to finding balance in daily life includes embracing simplicity, and this includes mealtime.  One aspect of Fourth Generation Farmgirl is sharing recipes; some of these recipes are heirloom and have been in my family for many years.  I’m not a gourmet cook by any means, but I do enjoy the creative process of cooking.  My favourite thing to do is to invent as I go.  Most times this turns out well, and on occasion, it doesn’t; however, the key for me is keeping it simple.  I love straight-forward recipes that don’t take a lot of time to prepare but are easy and delicious.  I hope the recipes I share on my blog meet this criteria.  I understand that people are busy like us and are more likely to try a recipe, especially if it’s uncomplicated and calls for ingredients they already have on hand. This is even truer after a long day of work.

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These days, I’m fortunate to have a little more control over my work schedule.  For 18 years, I worked as a speech and language pathologist in a hospital, private practices, and public schools, providing therapy to both adults and children.  During my tenure as a speech and language therapist, I mainly worked with children who have special needs–particularly, children who have autism spectrum disorders.  I worked full-time, part-time, and recently as an independent contractor, coordinating my own schedule.  I’m enjoying my position as an independent contractor as it allows more flexibility for my role on Green Hill Farm as well as Marketing and Client Event Coordinator for my husband’s business.  I also appreciate having additional time to pursue civic and personal projects.

  1. You have also written a book. Please tell us more about it.

Thanks so much for asking, Judy.  Clementine: The Communi-CAT, A Guide for Teaching Social Communication Skills is my first children’s book.  It’s a story, a communication lesson, and a social communication activity book all in one.  It features a tricolor cat as well as two young children who demonstrate different facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice through photographs and descriptions.  The descriptive text and humorous, colourful photographs of Clementine engage children between the ages of 4-8 in a manner that creates interest, joint attention, and an increased understanding of social language skills.

This book provides a basic lesson in social language skill development that would be helpful to all children; however, it also addresses a need in a growing population of children who have autism spectrum disorders and significant difficulty with interpersonal communication skills.  The CDC reports that autism spectrum disorders are the fastest growing developmental childhood disability:  a research study from 2000 indicated that 1/150 children were diagnosed with autism, and more recently, a study from 2015 showed 1/50 children were identified with this developmental disorder.  The concept of this book is based in research indicating that “animals encourage social interaction.“  According to a recent study by researcher Marguerite E. O’Haire and colleagues from the University of Queensland, Australia, “the presence of animals appears to encourage social interaction among children with autism.  Including an animal in children’s playtime or home activities may be an effective way to encourage socialization with other children as well as adults.”

While Clementine: The Communi-CAT is an educational tool that could be used to  advocate for and support children who have special needs, it is also a basic lesson in social communication with follow-up activities that would benefit all children.  It’s my hope that this book will empower parents to advocate for their children by encouraging them to have better interpersonal communication skills; important skills that would help a child to make a friend or participate in group activities more confidently.  Strong interpersonal communication skills are fundamental for building relationships and are directly related to a child’s success in school, both academically and socially.

My book is on sale locally at Little Dickens Bookstore in Lynchburg, Virginia and very soon will be available on-line with Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

Clementine: The Communi-CAT is currently available through the following website:   www.clementinethecommunicat.com

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  1. Blogging, writing books, or acrostic poems? Tell me your favorite.

I love the creative process of all three.  I wrote my first children’s book/ therapy guide last year and enjoyed seeing it come together:  from the initial spark of an idea, development of a concept, photographing the story sequence, and finally, the finished product.  It was all very exciting!  While writing the text and photographing the subjects of the book was a lengthy process, writing acrostic poetry is a little less time-consuming.  I learned to write acrostic poems years ago in 10th grade English class, and one or two of my poems ended up in the high school literary magazine, Collage.  I really like writing this kind of poetry— figuring out how to make it come together; and, for some reason, it comes easily for me.  Last winter, after spending most of the morning shovelling snow, I composed a poem about a shovel on the way to the grocery store.  It’s fun to create a poem in a short amount of time compared to working on a project, like a book, that takes a lot longer.  I guess instant gratification is at play.  But, of all three, blogging is probably my favourite.  Fourth Generation Farmgirl is fairly eclectic as I address the following areas in my posts:  farm life, recipes, family stories, photography, personal reflections, poetry, crafts, wine, etc.  I also find the variety of subject matter and the potential for creativity very gratifying.  I’m always enthusiastic about choosing a subject for my next post.

  1. What is your favourite time of year on the farm?

I enjoy observing all of the seasons on Green Hill Farm as each one showcases the beauty of the landscape as well as the animals in it–both wild and domestic.  I love looking outside in the winter and watching the bright, red Cardinals flit about against the backdrop of snow, or seeing the woolly sheep resting on a carpet of newly green pasture in the spring.  Summer is lush with everything in bloom and a bounty of bunny rabbits, nibbling on clover and rolling around in the raised beds of my kitchen garden.  And, of course, there’s the glowing warmth of fall:  temperate days and foliage the colour of fire–perfect weather for taking Maud and Dash for a walk.

Although, if I had to choose my favourite time of year on the farm, I’d probably choose spring.  Spring is my choice for two reasons.  First, winter on the farm, while beautiful, is brutal.  We actually refer to the farm as “The Tundra” in winter:  it’s cold, the wind howls, and it’s grey and dark most days.  This isn’t bad if you can stay inside where it’s warm and cosy, but we’re constantly outside caring for our animals.  By the time spring rolls around, I’m incredibly thankful for warmer days and greener pastures.  Second, spring is simply a glorious time of year on the farm—a treat for the senses:  pastures take on a greener hue; the sky is blue with big, fluffy clouds; trees begin budding out and flowering; birds are singing, daffodils are blooming, and a sweet fragrance from Grandma’s lilacs, irises, and sweet shrub fill the air.

Most importantly, gone are the days of being accosted by strong, cold winds that whip about as I step onto the porch; but instead, warm, gentle breezes greet me as I go about my farm chores.  And, for this, I am always happy to see spring.

  1. What is your favorite heirloom recipe?

My great-grandmother’s recipe for tomato soup is definitely my favorite.  It’s very simple and unassuming, but delicious.  It only requires three ingredients:  homemade tomato juice, milk, and baking soda (to keep milk from curdling).  It can be served casually, in a mug with some oyster crackers, or served more formally as a first course, using nice China along with a garnish of basil leaf.  Either way, it’s wonderful on a cold day.  I have many fond memories of Grandma Rieley and Dad making this family favorite.  http://fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com/2014/11/09/heirloom-recipe-tomato-soup/

  1. You seem a perfectionist.  I love the way when you showcase a recipe, it is not just the food that looks beautiful, but also the presentation, the linens used or the crockery.  Would you agree?

First, thank you for the compliment, Judy.  Your observation is accurate.  🙂  I am a perfectionist.  Sometimes, I drive myself and Farmguy up a wall with my pursuit of perfection, but I’ve tried to tone it down over the years.  It’s important to me to do a good job and present things in the best possible way.  I really love creating something beautiful and knowing that others will get enjoyment from it.  When I photograph my recipe sequences for a post, I definitely put a lot of thought into making it look attractive.  You mentioned the crockery and linens earlier; very often, I use my grandmother’s antique plates and vintage linens in photographs as a way to remember and pay tribute to her.  Grandma Rieley was a wonderful cook and loved antiques, and I think she would have liked that I use her special belongings in this way.

Judy, thank you for the opportunity to share Fourth Generation Farmgirl with your readers.  I so enjoyed answering your questions.

Thank you Tonya for taking time out of your hectic life and sharing life on Green Hill Farm with us. I have enjoyed it immensely.

If you want to find out more about Green Hill Farm, Tonya’s mouth-watering recipes, wines, the animals and much more, then please visit her blog  Fourth Generation Farm girl. 

Please note: All photos are property of Fourth Generation Farm Girl and have been used with permission. 

Episode 362: My Take on A Book Review! — June 7, 2015

Episode 362: My Take on A Book Review!

You know when you have read something really good and you just want to share it with everyone?  Well I have written a little review in a poem for ‘Laughter Lines, Life From The Tail End’ by Sue Vincent, which I downloaded from Amazon here.

I thought I would try something different

Not something I usually do

But I have just read a fabulous book

And I wanted to write a review!

If you enjoy a great poem

And love to have a good laugh

Then you will love Ani’s antics

To get out of having a bath!

If legends are more to your fancy

St George and the dragon – the truth

To slay it takes one feisty princess

Not some weak, callow youth!

Do you have a sense of adventure?

To do what very few dare

Stand out from the crowd and be noticed

With vibrant red pillar box hair!

These stories are just a selection

In the book there are tales of all kinds

So I urge you to read it

Sue’s brilliant book, Laughter Lines!

Episode 172: Don’t You Just Hate It When…. — February 20, 2015

Episode 172: Don’t You Just Hate It When….

We all have those moments in life. You know, the little irritations that serve no purpose other than to make your day just that little bit duller. Here are some of the things that really wind me up……

  • You have taken ages styling and straightening your hair (or have just been to the hairdressers) then get caught in a rainstorm (with no brolly)!
  • You get an unexpected cash windfall – then your car breaks down and is going to cost a fortune to repair. Those shoes will have to wait.
  • It’s taken ages to get off to sleep, but just as you feel yourself slipping off, you have a desperate urge to go to the loo.
  • You have spent ages cleaning the bathroom, and someone wants to have a bath.
  • You’re excited with the perfect gift you have bought for someone’s birthday – and someone else has bought it as well.
  • You save up for ages to buy something expensive, only to find it is in the sale a few days later!
  • You are invited to a friend’s house, and knock coffee all over her pristine carpet.
  • Your other half has mixed the loads in the washing machine again. Grey bras are not attractive!
  • You are desperate to go to the loo when you get to work, then realise there is no loo roll AFTER you have already been!
  • You realise you can’t walk in those gorgeous high heels that you just bought.
  • You go to use your best mascara only to find your daughter has been ‘practicing her make-up skills’ with it, and there is none left,
  • You go to read an old favourite book, only to remember you loaned it to someone ages ago!
  • You start to write a blog post and run out of ideas half-way through!!

What little niggles wind you up?

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