Friday, March 27, 2015

Strong Women/ "Fear" by Jettie Parrish/"We Have Your Husband" by Jayne Valseca



Recently, I was sent the book "Fear" by Jettie Parrish, which I won in a giveaway from Diana from her blog, Nana Diana Takes A Break.  The book arrived in excellent condition and because it came to me during a very hectic week, it made me even happier to receive it.  Since Jettie Parrish signed it for me, the book is that much more special to me.  I have a real fondness for books signed by their authors.

"Fear" is the story of Donna, a woman in an abusive relationship.  Her husband, Hawk, is a real jerk and not only abuses his wife physically but mentally as well.  Because it reads somewhat like a screenplay, I can just picture it as a movie! I really am the worst person to do a book review, I don't want to tell you what happens!  I will say that everything works out in a way that is pleasing to me and the ending reminds me  of a book of fiction that I really enjoyed: "Shell Seekers" by Rosamunde Pilcher!   So, I think that if Angelina Jolie comes knocking at your door, Jettie Parrish...just say YES!

 After I read this book, I also watched a fascinating episode of Dateline on TV.   It was about an American woman, Jayne Valseca,  who married a man from Mexico and they lived in Mexico along with their three children. They were very happy there, starting a creative school for children.  Their lives were forever changed when her husband was kidnapped,  kept as a prisoner and tortured for several months.  He was finally returned after the ransom was paid but he had lost half of his body weight. (He had also been shot twice and had been kept in a small box with very little food and water.)  The woman, Jayne Valseca, was such a beautiful, strong woman that I was just amazed at her courage and resilience.  Sadly, at the end of the episode, it was revealed that she had died of cancer since the show had been filmed.  There is a very nice piece written by one of the show's producers and you may read it at the following: remembering Jayne.

It might seem strange to link these two stories together: a small book of fiction and a true story of a courageous woman who survived the kidnapping of her husband, but to me, they both show examples of strong women.  Jayne Valseca wrote a book about her experiences, and that is a book that is now on my list to read.  
"We Have Your Husband" is the title and I have the link for you here.

I had a prayer written by Phillips Brooks on my blog recently.   I think I can have it here again.



O God:
Give me strength to live another day;
Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties;
Let me not lose faith in other people;
Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness;
Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them;
Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity;
Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things;
Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth;
Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness;
and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls;
in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.



Hey! If you are a woman reading this, you want to know another example of a strong woman?
Go look in a mirror!  Stay strong, everyone.  That goes for all you MEN too!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cherry Blossom Time!


Hey! It's time for the cherry blossoms in Rockdale County!  I wrote about them two years ago.  You may read that post just here.  If you don't have time to go and read that very L-O-N-G post, I will tell you that in the early 1980's, we had the Japanese company, Maxell here in this county, and the President of the company, Hideo Ogino, planted Yoshino cherry trees in front of the Maxell plant. (The property now is owned by the county and is a park with walking trails.)  In honor of this, we have had a Cherry Blossom Festival here since that time, and they have always sold cherry trees at a low cost. Because of that, there are cherry trees all over the county and this week, THEY ARE IN FULL BLOOM!  Sorry, but that deserves capitals...truly, it does.  My husband and I are thrilled with them every year but this year, for the first time, we have seen lots of people taking photos in front of the cherry tree blossoms.  Just wondering, could they all be reading my blog?  Hope so!

 
From a distance, you might think that the blooms are white, but they are a very pale pink.  Just gorgeous against a blue sky!

 
And in case you are wondering, I took the last two photos! I like to wait until Richard closes his eyes, he looks more relaxed that way! Have a relaxing, blue-sky, cherry blossoming day! (If it is not Spring for you yet, just hang in there.)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Foreverly- Billy Joe Armstrong & Norah Jones


Billy Joe Armstrong is the lead singer for the rock band, Green Day.  Do you remember the song "American Idiot"?  Norah Jones is ...well, what is she not? She is a fantastic singer/songwriter AND musician!   The fact that they got together in 2013 and made an album is surprising but I was pleased to find that they did so!

The album, "Foreverly", is a re -interpretation of an album from The Everly Brothers that was released in 1958 entitled "Songs Our Father Taught Us".  They are old songs from their childhood that they sang simply for the harmonies, they didn't really pay that much attention to the lyrics.  While they are some of the saddest songs that you will ever hear, they are sung with such gentle voices and genuine respect that they are very meaningful to me.   I found a very good interview about this from the New York Times, you may read it just here.  An unlikely duo...that is what it calls them.  Perhaps so, but I love it when the love of music brings people together!

And don't you just love The Everly Brothers?   I love how their voices blended together in their songs.  (Phil Everly died in January 2014.)  Billy Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones must feel the same, the songs that they have given us in this album reminds me very much of The Everly Brothers.  The song "Long Time Gone" is the single that they released from the album.  The lyrics are here too, so you can sing along.  Enjoy!
Stonehenge it is NOT but folks try their best!  Arabia Mountain, March 2015.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

One Way Or Another/Teenage Kicks




The band, One Direction, did a charity single two years ago for Comic Relief.  "One Way or Another" was a huge hit in the 80's for the American group,  Blondie. (Please note the song was also written by Debbie Harry and Nigel Harrison.)   The song "Teenage Kicks" is by the Undertones.  (I had never heard of that song before but you can learn about it here if you like.)

The video was filmed in Ghana, London, Tokyo, and New York.  I think this is a fun video and I think that it's great to think of how much it raised for the charity.  Enjoy!

 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Red Nose Day In The USA!

Someone must be reading my blog!
 I have said for a long time that I hoped that America could copy the idea of the Red Nose Day from England and today I read that there will be a Red Nose Day in the USA on May 21st of this year!  The first Red Nose Day was in 1988 (although the charity COMIC RELIEF was founded 30 years ago, in 1985.)  It was started by Richard Curtis and Lenny Henry.  Lenny Henry you might know as an actor and very funny comedian.  Richard Curtis...you should know his name too if you like British comedies!  He is the writing talent behind the movies, "Four Weddings and a Funeral", "Love Actually", "Bridget Jones' Diary", "Notting Hill" and the TV comedies, 'Black Adder", "Mr. Bean" and" The Vicar of Dibley".   So funny!
  
You may read more about Red Nose Day at this link just here.  Apparently, they will have more on that link in early April so that you may download a fundraising kit.  Remember it!

I love it when the world listens to me even if it takes years!  HA! I'm such a comedian!


Not a red nose but red diamorpha at Arabia Mountain from March 2014.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Invaders


"The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination: the EARTH. Their purpose: to make it THEIR world".

Anybody else remember this opening narration from the TV show from the late 60's, "The Invaders"?  There have been times recently when  I have said the following..."What in the world...what planet are they on?"  It seems to me, dear reader of my blog, that it could be possible that rude, thoughtless and downright mean people might be trying to take over the world.  BEWARE!  These aliens are everywhere...and they look just like us! 






The diamorpha (the red stuff) on Arabia Mountain, not as much as usual. Weather or aliens?


Trout Lilies at Arabia Mountain. The leaves are mottled like trout, that is where they get their name. They are small but that yellow is such a clear bright color!

     Please note that the trout lilies are NOT aliens yet we have lots of plants that ARE alien invaders. That will be a subject for another post!  In the meantime, watch out for the ALIENS. You have been warned.

P.S.  I know that "What planet are they on" may not be grammatically correct but hey, it makes the point!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Live Honestly And Fearlessly/Happy Mothering Sunday

O God:
Give me strength to live another day;
Let me not turn coward before its difficulties or prove recreant to its duties;
Let me not lose faith in other people;
Keep me sweet and sound of heart, in spite of ingratitude, treachery, or meanness;
Preserve me from minding little stings or giving them;
Help me to keep my heart clean, and to live so honestly and fearlessly that no outward failure can dishearten me or take away the joy of conscious integrity;
Open wide the eyes of my soul that I may see good in all things;
Grant me this day some new vision of thy truth;
Inspire me with the spirit of joy and gladness;
and make me the cup of strength to suffering souls;
in the name of the strong Deliverer, our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

(Prayer by Phillips Brooks.)




You know, if you click on my link to this hymn, the words are here too.  If you sing along with the choir and the church congregation, I won't tell anyone!  I promise! 


Happy Mothering Sunday to my dear mother-in-law in England. Wish we could have had tea at the Hydro Hotel today!  Wishing the best to all the MUMS in England and any other countries celebrating their Mother's Day today!





 



 

 

 

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