Guest Blogger: Linda Bethea

My first guest blog was a 2015 post by Linda Bethea of Nutstrok.

Sally Cronin of Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life thought it
deserved a re-post, so here it is.

The original post begins below this drawing by Linda’s Mother, Kathleen Swain.

A hand colored drawing of a mother holding a little boy on her lap as he points to a bird in flight.
The Forever Mom by Kathleen Swain

My first test subject guest blogger is Linda Bethea from

When I read her blog I feel like I’m visiting with a friend.

Linda’s style is graceful and she writes with empathy and love.

“Forever Mom” is a drawing by Linda’s Mother, Kathleen

Linda wrote: I am so delighted my dear friend Robert Goldstein asked me to do a guest post for him. He was gracious enough to allow me to share a portion of Kathleen’s Memoirs of The Great Depression, my current work in progress.

Thanks so much Robert.

The Gentlest of Men

“Good to see you, Doc, but the baby didn’t wait for you. Lizzie was just cleaning up after breakfast when she told to send for you and Miz Smith. She barely had time to put a pot of beans on and shoo the kids out to work the tomatoes before Miz Smith made it here. I shore was proud to see Miz Smith by the time she got here.” Roscoe ushered him in to the front room where the only sign of a recent delivery was Lizzie nursing her newborn. Not wanting the doctor or the kids to find the place a mess, Mary Smith had hurriedly tidied up the mess from birthing and put it out to soak. Before heading back to her own family, she had bathed the baby, helped Lizzie into a clean gown and put the embroidered sheets back on the front room bed. Dr. Bohl knew those sheets were on display for his benefit and would be carefully folded away as soon as he left. The little girl howled at being examined, flushing and waving her fists, clearly preferring her mother to this indignity. Dr. Bohl allowed she’d be a fine baby, if she lived and did well. She had slipped up on them late in life, with Roscoe nearing fifty and Lizzie thirty-eight. Had anyone been dared ask the couple a year ago if they wanted another child, they’d have declared, “That’s the last thing we need in these hard times,” but she’d found a welcome home.

Roscoe called the kids in to the surprise of a new sister before making a pan of cornbread to go with Lizzie’s beans. Mystified that a headache could turn into a baby, Annie sliced fresh tomatoes and heated leftover stewed squash between peeks at the baby she’d been allowed the honor of naming, Kathleen Gordon Ree Holdaway. Kathleen, for a distant cousin the infant Kathleen wouldn’t meet for more than fifty years. Gordon was a traditional family name and Ree was for one of Roscoe’s domino playing buddies, a name Kathleen learned to heartily despise. Every time she looked at the man, she was disgusted Daddy had picked him to name her for. John set the table and brought in water and wood for the cook stove without being told. Roscoe took Lizzie a full plate and a mason jar of fresh milk before the rest of them got started. After their early supper, Roscoe and Dr. Bohl drank coffee in the front room and talked with Lizzie while the kids cleaned up and whispered in the kitchen. Doc’s cynical opinion altered when he found them both well-read, Lizzie having qualified as a teacher before her marriage. Roscoe kept him laughing with tales of his wild misdeeds as a young man. On a corner table, several books were stacked near the coal oil lamp, where a tattered copy of Robinson Crusoe lay bookmarked with a scrap of paper. Before they finished their coffee, the bawling of the hungry calf and cow’s lowing called Roscoe to evening chores.

Digging deep in his overalls pocket, Roscoe dug out a lone dollar he had managed to save since the disturbing day Lizzie had told him she’d need a doctor that spring. Dr. Bohl considered, needing cash as much as the next man, but in a rare moment of warmth, decided against taking it, knowing it was the only cash they had. “I missed most of the work. If it’s all the same to you, I’d sooner have my pay in garden stuff. I’d sure appreciate if you could throw in a ham.” Relieved, Roscoe filled a tow sack with potatoes, tomatoes, a smoked ham, two quarts of canned peaches, a couple of dozen eggs, and a pound of butter……..far more than a dollars’ worth. Miss Loney had been hounding him about his bill at the store.   Both men were pleased with their transaction and before Dr. Bohl left, they shared a nip from the bottle Roscoe kept tucked high on a kitchen shelf.

Hours later with the kids in bed and Lizzie at rest after her exhausting day, Roscoe smoked and read a western in the dim light of the coal oil lamp. Kathleen stirred and mewed quietly in her mother’s arms. Her gaunt father lifted her, and returned to his chair for a cuddle, “Well, Kitten. It’s just me and you. The rest of ‘em gave it up. You want to talk to your old daddy just a little. Well…..” The gentlest of men, Roscoe’s heart melted anew, for this unexpected child of his age. He loved his other children, but was never able to hide his special feelings for her. To him, she was never Kathleen. From that day on, it warmed her heart to hear him call her “Kitten,” signaling a fine mood. Kat was for ordinary days.

To see more of Linda’s fine work please visit Nutstrok

(c) Linda Bethea and Kathleen Swain all rights reserved.

First posted April 16, 2015




Guest Blog: How to Approach Chronic Pain at Home

Today I have a guest blog from Jackie Waters.

Jackie was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in her mid-20s. Afterwards, she began to make the lifestyle changes in order to
minimize the amount of medications I would need to take.

Below are her suggestions for managing chronic pain:

For people living with chronic pain, finding ways to minimize the pain isn’t easy. In working with your doctor, you may have tried various medications and therapies to get some relief. While they may work for awhile, these methods might not be the solution you have been seeking. There are other ways you can try to approach chronic pain at home to minimize pain and make life more manageable. We share tips for doing so below, to get you started.

Take a Mindful Approach

Photo of a young woman gazing out of a window
How to Approach Chronic Pain at Home

Sometimes people who live with chronic pain cause themselves more pain because they get angry and frustrated and just wish the pain would stop. Practicing mindfulness is one way to approach chronic pain that is highly effective. Clinical psychologist Dr. Elisha Goldstein explains that being mindful entails paying attention to something and giving it a fresh look.

If you are taking a mindful approach to chronic pain, therefore, you will avoid having negative thoughts and judging the pain, which makes it worse and causes anxiety and depression. By taking a mindful approach to pain, you will be curious about the intensity of your pain rather than judging it and being negative. You will stop setting goals and having expectations about how to minimize your pain and instead will create a learning mindset that promotes healing. You will be more aware of your pain and have an accurate perception of it rather than thinking your pain is constant all day. You will be less frustrated, anxious, and stressed, which will naturally lead to less inflammation and less pain overall.

Hire a Housekeeper to Alleviate Pain Caused by Chores

If you are trying to keep up with your laundry and house cleaning, there is a good chance that you are contributing to your pain by doing too much bending, stretching, and lifting. If you hire a housekeeper to care for your home, you will have a better chance of minimizing your pain. If you are concerned about the potential cost of hiring a housekeeper, consider having her deep clean once every other week rather than coming once a week or asking her to do the tasks that are too much for you instead of cleaning your entire home. For example, she may scrub your floors and clean your showers and bathtubs, and you may continue doing light dusting and vacuuming.

Some housekeepers charge less if you keep the home free of clutter and stay organized. When you interview applicants, make your needs known and negotiate a price that works for both of you, given the size of your home, the frequency of the cleaning, and the tasks that she will complete for you.

Create a Relaxing Home Environment

If you have a home that creates stress, you will exacerbate your pain. That’s why you should work to create a relaxing home environment that soothes your mind and your body. The first step is to organize your home and erase the clutter. Add plants and flowers to bring nature indoors. Remove dark, heavy drapes and install light-filtering sheers to allow in as much natural sunlight as possible. Paint your rooms in tranquil colors such as blue, green, and gray. Add accent pillows and decorations featuring your favorite color. Create a reading area that is comfortable and welcoming and include books that are inspiring and uplifting or that are written by your favorite author. It’s important to keep work-related materials out of this reading area so that it fosters relaxation.

Another way to create a relaxing home environment is to add scents that soothe you. Purchase an essential oil diffuser and scents that reduce anxiety and pain. Essential oils known for their relaxation-inducing capabilities include lavender, rose, vetiver, ylang ylang, bergamot, chamomile, and frankincense.

Taking a mindful, relaxed approach to chronic pain at home is one of the best ways to minimize your pain. Work on changing your thinking, hiring a housekeeper, and creating a stress-free home environment to find some relief.

Jackie Waters



Image via Pixabay by Unsplash

Please note: this blog post is not an endorsement of by Art by Rob Goldstein





Understanding Business Data Vulnerabilities and Protecting the Company’s Data and CCTV Systems

A couple of months ago a security expert in the UK asked about
writing an article for Art by Rob Goldstein.

Simon Parker is Director of the UK-Based Security Industry for Minerva Integrated Security Services Ltd, which specializes in designing and installing CCTV systems.

At first I thought the request odd because I think of Art by Rob Goldstein is
primarily a mental health blog, but after reviewing the material I decided  I might have readers for whom this material is relevant.

I also found it interesting.

The publication of this post on Art by Rob Goldstein is not an
endorsement of Minerva Integrated Security Services Ltd.


Image of a combination lock on a chain link fence around a map of the World
Image provided by Minerva Security
Understanding Business Data Vulnerabilities and Protecting the Company’s Data and CCTV Systems


Running any business operation in the midst of the latest technological releases and the growing cyber theft activities, is a challenge within itself. In fact, investing in the most innovative software products and hardware systems is not only expensive to a business organization, but also time consuming. This is because the cost of buying new updated hardware and software can easily add up, especially when trying to support both small and large businesses. Therefore, business owners and their representatives must have the resources available to provide their operations with the most advanced technology and the best data security protection in their industry.

That said, here is some information that business owners and the employees that support their organizations must be aware of in order to ensure their company’s systems are not unduly compromised by hackers.

Reasons hackers may want to steal a business’s data and Gain Access to CCTV Systems

First of all, everyone needs to know why hackers want to steal their data and gain access to their systems. This topic will help everyone involved to understand why this subject matter is so important. For instance, recently, there have been many different reports of large corporations being hacked by intruders. In fact, there are reports online that gives the names of the companies that have been affected as well as how much money that they have lost due to these intrusions. From Yahoo and AOL to Ebay and JP Morgan Chase, there appears to be no company that is safe from the hackers’ devices. While the amounts of money lost can vary, the reasons for hacking a system to gain access to data are relatively the same. Some of the top reasons have been noted below.

Vulnerability Scanning

One of the top reasons for gaining access to a company’s networks involve vulnerability scanning. In these cases, the person or organization that taps into these systems are simply opening up the doors to scan the company’s data when they want to. Meaning once the doors are opened, they have a gateway in for more attacks.

Server Disruption

Server disruption is a very malicious act that is usually done for specific purposes. Mainly, the motive for such attacks is to cause the site intentional disruption and lost in finances. Therefore, when someone targets a site, their primary reason is to shut the site’s server completely down.

Monetary Gain

Since no company or industry is exempt from these acts, cyber thieves can have a range of motives for gaining access into a system. Selling information is one reason that can make this kind of activity quite attractive, sifting money out of bank accounts on a continuous basis is another. So, monetary gain is high on the list as well. This is one of the main reasons why JP Morgan Chase and other banks are on the list. Ranging from brick and mortar banks that people visit on a daily basis to financial institutions that services their consumers online, the money in these databases and networks can be quite profitable over time or all in one bang.

CCTV System Hacks

In addition to vulnerability scanning, it is important for companies to know that all systems on site are fair game in the hacker’s world. This is one of the main reasons why companies that have simple to robust CCTV systems must be aware of the hackers devices. Though there are many reasons for a hacker to target a specific company, one of the primary reasons for gaining access to these systems is for unauthorized surveillance. Therefore, once a hacker gets into a business’ CCTV systems, they can also watch and monitor what is going on on site in their targets facilities. What they do with this power is up to the hacker since they can use these cameras to see what they are really looking for.

How Can Companies protect their business data

Today, companies all over the globe are collecting huge amounts of information in their databases. Some of this information may not be sensitive so there is nothing that an intruder can do with the data when they steal. On the other hand, there’s a lot of information that is sensitive and confidential that should not be leaked out or disclosed to anyone outside of that company’s structure. From social security numbers and birth dates of people who work at a specific company to how much money an employee makes on an annual basis, there is a vast amount of data that can cause a massive amount of harm to others. Therefore, with this mind, companies must be aware of these particular vulnerabilities so that they can protect their data. Some of the more notable are provided below.

New System Installations

In order for a company to properly protect their data, there are a number of
safety measures that they can take. Starting with the installation of a new business systems, which is one the first and most important opportunities to keep hacker invasions at bay. For instance, when new systems are installed, the developers must have code in their programs to address the possibilities of hacker. Meaning the code must involve security customization like the use of firewalls. In fact, many of the large companies have specific data protection rules that they implement, specifically to make sure all security risks within a new system is completely closed to external users.

Additional Preventive Measures to CCTV System and Other Networks

In addition to making sure new system installations have specific data security rules embedded in their code, it is also important for business owners to take various kinds of preventive measures to protect their data and their operation activities as a whole. Some of the best ways to make sure a company’s’ security meets these requirements involves the following:

Establish Set Guidelines for Employees

There are many different ways for employees in an organization to expose the company to certain risks. Some of which can disrupt entire operations. To minimize these situations from occurring, the business must have guidelines in place that restrict access to certain network systems. Meaning access to server databases must be confined to only a few approved authorized resources.

Monitor Server Networks and Keeping Intruders

It is not uncommon for some companies to have a specialized technical staff to monitor their networks. Thereby, providing an extra level of security to keep intrusions from happening inside their operations before they occur or cause irreversible damage to the company. For instance, in addition to incorporating anti-virus code in a CCTV systems, specific technical members of the staff will check their CCTV Systems regularly to make sure no one gains unauthorized surveillance of the company’s data or their property.


Running a successful business in the midst of growing technologies and cyber theft is not as easy as some may think. So, business owners and their employees must be made aware of what’s happening around them as well as what can be done to protect their business data systems and their CCTV systems at all times. Fortunately, there are a number of safety measures that can be put in place. Some of the most effective include educating everyone involved on cyber activities, developing new systems that have firewalls built into the code, and actively monitoring CCTV systems from hacker intrusions.

Simon Parker is Director of UK-Based Security Industry for Minerva Integrated Security Services Ltd., which provides a range of access control systems trusted by some of the biggest companies in industries including healthcare, finance and government. Learn more here:





“ever on drea street” by Harsubagh Khalsa

A few weeks ago I invited a friend and contact on Flickr to post one of his poems on my blog.

I invited him to post another one.

Today I present “ever on drea street” by Harsubagh Khalsa

Leaping spacester

flighting hobbits

brave station

i wait you

from some distant

pandered from the sun

ever on drea street

to see the mustard trails

dipping the tailed flagged on

the different hollar points

summing up the news briefs

Image and poem are the property of Harsubagh Khalsa.
(c) Harsubagh Khalsa All Rights Reserved


“the dooth pattern” by Harsubagh Khalsa