Thursday, January 31, 2013

Arabia Mountain, Clearly Beautiful


Arabia Mountain after the rain... The pools of water are just so crystal clear and so beautiful to see with everything reflected in them so clearly.  Maybe in your part of the world, water looks like this but in Georgia, our lakes and rivers are just not this clear...the pools at Arabia Mountain however, that is a different story.


This moss is called Resurrection Moss as it is very dark until it gets wet and then, it turns a very bright green. It is a startling difference.
I wish you could hear the sound that this water made cascading over this rock!

Clear and beautiful, don't you agree?




The water was running into this lovely lake and with the sun sparkling on the surface...there was simply a lot of beauty to behold. 

"Running Water" is a beautiful song by the Moody Blues, I hope you like it too.



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stone Mountain



Stone Mountain was beautiful on January 21st...would you like to see?

These flags are at the base of the walk-up trail at Stone Mountain, the American flag you should recognize and the others are all of the State flags that have flown over Georgia.  It was a sunny but windy day!  Glorious day to be outside, the wind fresh and strong...come on... let's climb the mountain!
I



 Oh look, it must be one of the movie stars filming at Stone Mountain! 

No, that's my son with his Dad !










In the shadow of the mountain, it seems very dark.  The mountain in a lovely silvery gray and the bare trees in silhouette makes for a stunning photograph, especially when taken by Richard.  All of these photos are by Richard, come to think of it, except for the ones that I took of our son and the one of my son and husband.

Jan. 21st was the holiday in honor of  Martin Luther King, Jr.  He gave a speech which mentioned Stone Mountain, do you know it? It is what is called his "I Have A Dream" speech and he said "from the Stone Mountain of Georgia...let Freedom ring"! Mairead from Irish American Mom did a very nice post that you can read here.

"May you always be blessed with Love and Freedom".  
(Inscription in my book by the author, Ben Purcell.  The book is "Love And Duty")  The words are his but my wish is the same.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Louie Zamperini





Lucky Louie, that is his nickname.  Louie Zamperini had his 96th birthday yesterday, Jan. 26, 2013.  What a guy, what a story...I would walk past the most famous movie stars that you could name to shake this man's hand.  The organist from my church told me this morning that Mr. Zamperini was in Atlanta this weekend, he was the featured speaker at a Presbyterian church today.  I would have loved to have seen him! Never mind, I will try to tell as many people about him that I can. See the quote from James Bradley from the cover of the book above? A touching tale of the triumph of love indeed..
 Laura Hillenbrand calls his story one of  "survival, resilience and redemption."  Very true.

I wrote a post last year in January about Mr. Zamperini and you may go to that post just
here.   I first read "Devil At My Heels" in 2004 and have told anyone would listen to me that his is one of the most extraordinary stories I have ever read.  Laura Hillenbrand's book "Unbroken" has become a huge bestseller since it was published in November 2010. Since then, I saw a bit of this TV documentary about Mr. Zamperini when he and the other two survivors had crashed into the South Pacific and were adrift for 47 days.  Yes, that is correct, for 47 days.  If you are ever in a life and death situation such as this, my wish for you would be that you would have in your lifeboat someone like Louie Zamperini.  Being adrift at sea was not even the worst for him. He spent two years in POW camps where he suffered terribly.  After the war, he could not get over the demons of memory until he, at his wife's urging, attended a Billy Graham revival and completely turned his life around and went to Japan and FORGAVE his captors. Please, if you don't know anything else about me, know that Louis Zamperini has my utmost regard and respect.

There is a movie based upon Louie's story that will be made by Universal Studios and I have read that it is expected to be released in 2015.  Of course, I will be very pleased when that movie comes out.  I won't be able to shake Mr. Zamperini's hand today, but if someone happens to type his name into a search engine and lands on my blog, I hope they will read what I have to say about him and will be as inspired by him as I was and still am.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Glen Campbell-Amazing Grace With Bagpipes


Glen Campbell had a TV show that I really enjoyed when I was a kid.  It was called the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and it was exactly that, a Good Time!  He not only sang and played the guitar but he also took such joy in his guests that it was wonderful to behold.  Before that, Glen Campbell was in "The Wrecking Crew" in the 60's which was a group of musicians who played back-up in many of the hits of the 60's and 70's. They have been called the most famous band you've never heard of.  Glen Campbell can not only sing and play a most wicked guitar but also plays several other musical instruments including the bagpipes.  I truly love this clip of him singing Amazing Grace AND playing the bagpipes. The clip finishes with Classical Gas which is such a joy to hear!  Glen Campbell came out with a CD in 2011 and you may go to a wonderful website here and listen to many of the songs.
Glen Campbell has Alzheimer's and has been on what he calls his "Goodbye Tour", with his children.
Such a terrible disease this is, my heart goes out to him and to his family.  Yet, rather than regret, it is a humble gratefulness that I feel from this man.   Praying for him and for those with this disease and their families.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery-Conyers, Ga.

Notice the Wise Men are not here...this photo was taken before Epiphany!
After Epiphany, here are the Wise Men, notice they are carefully positioned in adoration.


This is the balcony of the church. Concrete walls, stained glass, wooden benches-all made by the monks..

I wonder if any of the movie stars filming in Rockdale County right now have any idea how close they are to a Trappist Monastery? You may find the monastery website here.  When the Monastery was being built in the 1940's, this area really was out in the middle of nowhere.  I love the story of the monks sending a sample of the soil to the monastery up in Kentucky (where they came from) and asking them what could the soil be good for...the one word answer that came back to them...bricks!


One of the monks writes for our local paper, and when Amy Winehouse died, he wrote an article at how surprised he was by the cruelty of the writing on the Internet after her death.  I found it for you and you may read it here.

The following prayer is attributed to St. Francis and has always been a favorite of mine, and I hope of yours too.






Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I wish more would join the Monastery.  John from his blog, Reflections, just did a post recently wishing that more would join a monastery.  It is a funny post but also very accurate.  You may see his post here.   
Thanks to all who have become my new followers.  The winter is always a bit of a challenge for me. Hopefully, I will have more time to read all your lovely blogs and leave my words of wisdom with you.  Take care, Spring will come soon!  "Now The Green Blade Riseth" is one of my favorite songs...



Monday, January 21, 2013

My Favorite Music/Found Poem



Thanks to Sara for letting me know the name of the poem I was searching for.  You may go to Sara's lovely blog here.  I appreciate your help so much, Sara, and all of you who took the time to look for this poem for me.  I knew I had this poem in a book which a dear friend gave me in the late 70's.  Richard just found it for me...the book is "Realms of Light, A Collection of Poetry Through The Ages" with photographs by Ernst Haas.  The poetry accompanied by the photographs makes for a very beautiful book.

THE AGE OF SHEEN

I never see the colored boats of night
Jewelling the dull river, breaking their light
Upon it, without thinking of the age
Of sheen when the long poems are written,
The oblique books read until the exotic midges
Of the deep hours caper upon the page.
When there is time for the unlikely love,
And the mind, luxuriant in its sheath,
Wears the time shiningly, having no thought
Of the river and the irony underneath.  

Dorothy Hughes


Now, to go with this poem, I took a photo of my favorite CD. I LOVE waltzes so very much.  That is my favorite music on Earth!  (The painting is by Vincent Van Gogh, of course, it is his painting of "Starry Night Over The Rhone" and I LOVE it, don't you?) This CD would go with me with to a desert island. (Provided I had a CD player and electricity, that is!)  How about you?  What would be your number- one pick for a music CD that is your absolute favorite? 
 Do tell, I want to know!





Saturday, January 19, 2013

Movie Stars In Conyers, Georgia!

What?  Movie stars?  Can you believe it?  And not just in Conyers, but they are filming right in my neighborhood.  The title of the film will be "Prisoners".  They have set up their trailers in the Methodist church just before the entrance to our subdivision and they are filming in some houses just a few neighborhoods away, just down the road.  I have read that they also did some filming at Stone Mountain!  Another place that is well known to me and to any of my readers.

The stars are Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Viola Davis, and Paul Dano. These are very well known actors!  (Hugh Jackman just won a Golden Globe for Les Miserables.  I love him as Wolverine!)  The director of the movie is a Canadian by the name of Denis Villeneuve and I just looked up his movies and I found the trailer for one of his movies, it is called "Incendies" and it looks like one that I would like to see.  Don't worry, I won't be stalking any of these people.  I would be tickled to see one of them though. If I do, I will let you know!
Hey! I saw Carroll O'Connor once.  Remember him? He was Archie Bunker! Also, he was in "In The Heat of the Night", the TV show which was filmed in Covington, the town just 10 miles from Conyers. He was behind me at a red light and when I saw him in my rear view mirror,  I have to tell you that I mouthed these words to him, "I LOVE YOU".   He put his hand over his heart, bowed his head and smiled at me! Oh, how sweet!  He could have just looked away and pretended not to see me. That's a nice memory.

  Did you know that Dakota Fanning and Holly Hunter are both from Conyers?  Dakota Fanning doesn't know me, but my sister knew her father from high school and Holly Hunter's brother was in my class.   Too bad they couldn't get Dakota and Holly in this movie too, then they would be able to stay with their relatives while they were filming.  Oh well, that's show biz!  Keep an eye out for "Prisoners", probably by 2014, I should think.   Still can't find that poem about the "jewelled boats of night" but never give up, never surrender, that's my motto...well me and the Captain from one of my favorite movies, "Galaxy Quest"!
Oh, I LOVE movies, I really do!
Same view of the sunrise that the movie stars will see!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Tower of Babel

When I was asked to teach another Bible School lesson at church this past Sunday (and I said yes!) I was told it was to be about the Tower of Babel.  Everyone knows that story, don't they?  It is from Genesis and the people built a gigantic tower reaching to heaven. After destroying the Tower, God made all the people speak in different languages. It is a story of man's arrogance and I was surprised to know that the middle school aged children (grades 6-8) did not know the meaning of the word "arrogance"! They do now.

St. Simon's Church with granite rock (see the face?)
As I was telling Richard about the lesson I was preparing he surprised me by telling me that it is pronounced  "BAY-bul" in England, whereas we say "babble" in the USA.   I looked it up and he is correct. (No surprise there!)   I worked that into my lesson and told the kids that not only do we have different languages but even within the same language (American English and British English) there are such differences as to make meanings unclear.  I went on to say that each generation has words all their own which also makes it difficult to communicate. And I didn't even get into how differently women and men can speak at odds with each other!  There is a poem that I am reminded of, and it has the lines  "jewelled boats of night and the irony that runs beneath"...but I can't find it for you.  I should just save this as a draft and keep looking for it, but perhaps I can ask you, my dear reader, if you know this poem, then to please leave this in a comment and then I will add it to my post. Do you feel as if you are being used? Please, let's not call it that, let's just say you are helping someone who really appreciates your help!

As we climb Stone Mountain sometimes, I can't help but be reminded of the Tower of Babel (the word "babel" is from a Hebrew word which means to confuse) when you hear so many languages spoken all around you.  The nice thing, a smile means the same in any language, and on the way up that beautiful mountain, there are smiles all around.  :-) 


Monday, January 14, 2013

American Nightingale:Frances Slanger





The following is a letter written by Frances Slanger, a nurse from World War II, on the 21st of October, 1944.   Frances Slanger was one of the nurses who had waded ashore on the Normandy D-Day landings.  Within hours after writing this, she was killed.  The letter was posted in the Stars and Stripes military magazine and the US GI's were overwhelmed by the beauty of this writing and the simple heartfelt message behind it.  Many of them wrote to her, not knowing that she had been killed...

It is 0200, and I have been lying awake for an hour listening to the steady even breathing of the other three nurses in the tent, thinking about some of the things we had discussed during the day.
The fire was burning low, and just a few live coals are on the bottom. With the slow feeding of wood and finally coal, a roaring fire is started. I couldn't help thinking how similar to a human being a fire is. If it is not allowed to run down too low, and if there is a spark of life left in it, it can be nursed back. So can a human being. It is slow. It is gradual. It is done all the time in these field hospitals and other hospitals in the ETO.
We had read several articles in different magazines and papers sent in by grateful GIs praising the work of the nurses around the combat zones. Praising us - for what?
We wade ankle-deep in mud - you have to lie in it. We are restricted to our immediate area, a cow pasture or a hay field, but then who is not restricted?
We have a stove and coal. We even have a laundry line in the tent.
The wind is howling, the tent waving precariously, the rain beating down, the guns firing, and me with a flashlight writing. It all adds up to a feeling of unrealness. Sure we rough it, but in comparison to the way you men are taking it, we can't complain nor do we feel that bouquets are due us. But you - the men behind the guns, the men driving our tanks, flying our planes, sailing our ships, building bridges - it is to you we doff our helmets. To every GI wearing the American uniform, for you we have the greatest admiration and respect.
Yes, this time we are handing out the bouquets - but after taking care of some of your buddies, comforting them when they are brought in, bloody, dirty with the earth, mud and grime, and most of them so tired. Somebody's brothers, somebody's fathers, somebody's sons, seeing them gradually brought back to life, to consciousness, and their lips separate into a grin when they first welcome you. Usually they say, "Hiya babe, Holy Mackerel, an American woman" - or more indiscreetly "How about a kiss?"
These soldiers stay with us but a short time, from ten days to possibly two weeks. We have learned a great deal about our American boy and the stuff he is made of. The wounded do not cry. Their buddies come first. The patience and determination they show, the courage and fortitude they have is sometimes awesome to behold. It is we who are proud of you, a great distinction to see you open your eyes and with that swell American grin, say "Hiya, Babe."

This letter perfectly captures the nature of the soldiers that she encountered...the brotherhood they felt with their buddies, their gentle teasing ways, and their courage.  The book, "American Nightingale: Frances Slanger, The Forgotten Heroine of Normandy" is by Bob Welch and is one that I highly recommend.  It goes into such great detail about not only the life of Frances Slanger, but also gives you insights about the war in France.  I promise it is a book that you will not forget. You may go to the website of Bob Welch.here. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Birds of Prey




This hawk landed on our neighbor's mailbox and Richard tried his best to get the bird to turn a little so as to take a better photo, but we were pleased to see it this close...now this is a hawk but I am going to have to tell you about the falcons, the Atlanta Falcons, that is!!!

The Falcons just won the divisional play- off game against the Seattle Seahawks.  The Falcons were ahead 20 to 0 at halftime, but THEN, the Seahawks came back in the 4th quarter and then the score was 28-27 with less than 1 minute remaining... oh, it was so exciting, truly it was!!   The Atlanta Falcons kicked a field goal which made the score 30-28.   The Seahawks had a chance to score another touchdown with just seconds left in the game, with a Hail Mary pass but it was intercepted.  The Atlanta Falcons will play the San Francisco 49ers next Sunday.  Go Falcons!!!
(I am able to get this photo on here by using Chrome, and I want to thank all of you who have left your comments on getting my photos on here. I appreciate your help! )
 Now, just be hoping that this Atlanta team wins next Sunday, I don't ask for much in life, honestly, I don't, I just want my sports teams to win.  That's not too much to ask, is it?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The USS Indianapolis Survivors


One of the survivors of the USS Indianapolis, James O'Donnell, just passed away yesterday, at the age of 92.  He and his wife just had their 70th wedding anniversary on New Year's Eve.   There is a wonderful inspiring story about the survivors of the Indianapolis and the very hard battle that they fought to clear the name of the commander of the Indianapolis.  May I be so bold as to ask you to read this post.  It is about the Indianapolis , something that I wrote at the very beginning of my blog, from September of 2011.  I hope that we will always remember and honor those who served on the USS Indianapolis.

 You may also go to the website for the Indianapolis survivors by clicking here.

My thanks to Susie from www.shejunks.blogspot.com who has a post about James O'Donnell for today, Jan.10th.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Higher Call- An Inspiring True Story from WWII



 You never know what you will see in England. A duck sitting on a brick wall - talk about keeping calm! This was taken in Eastbourne, England in June of 2012.  I loved all the different color greens of the trees and the bushes and the bright green of the feathers on the mallard's head.  And look at the bright blue under the wing, I love the color of this bird!  (Mall-ARD, you must pronounce it there, not Mall-erd, the way we say it in the USA!)  And isn't this a sweet walk, don't you just want to keep walking along this path? 

If you have been reading my blog for a time, you might know that I love to read any books written by veterans of World War II.  I spoke with many of the veterans when I worked for many years as a travel agent arranging their army/navy reunions.  I have written about Louis Zamperini and how, when I read "Devil At My Heels" in 2004, I wrote a letter to the publisher and Mr. Zamperini actually wrote me back! He even told me when Laura Hillenbrand was writing a book about him. ("Unbroken") It was finally released in November 2010, and it is now in development for a movie! I can't wait to see who will play Louis Zamperini and I can't wait for the movie!  I also told you about W.S. Connor who was an Army veteran from World War II and was a survivor of the Leopoldville which was kept top-secret for 50 years. After being rescued from the freezing waters of the English Channel, he then went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge. I was able to get him to speak at my boss's Rotary Club Meeting, and I am glad that I was able to convince him to do so...

Now,  I must tell you about a book that just came out a few weeks ago, and the name of the book is "A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat And Chivalry In The War Torn Skies Of World War II" and it is written by Adam Makos and Larry Alexander.   You may look this book up on any of the book websites but you may order the book at Valor Studios and you may find it here.
I really can't tell you that much about the book since I have only read just a bit about it, but it sounds as if it is an extraordinary tale...  A young American pilot, Charlie Brown being escorted to safety by a German pilot, Franz Stigler. From the sound of it, they were forced to remain silent about it for many years.  If you click on the link above to Valor Studios and order a book from there, it looks as if it includes a bookplate with not only the author's signature, Adam Makos, but also an American pilot and a German pilot who were advisors to the author in the writing of this book.  

Now, before anyone asks me, no I don't get anything for telling you about this book. Are you kidding me? I am the worst book reviewer ever!  And Adam Makos and Valor Studios doesn't know me from a sack of potatoes.  I just found out about this book today and am sharing this with you.  When it is made into a movie, you can say that you read it here first!  (Maybe everyone else knows this book, and I am the last to know!)

Thanks everyone, who took the time to leave me comments on how I might be able to get new  photos to go onto my posts.  It is still not working but I live in hope!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Victorians/The Common Love Of Good

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.           
Alfred, Lord Tennyson  



On our drive to Arabia Mountain, we go past a big Baptist church. (Not surprising, we have a lot of Baptists church in Georgia!)  I always look to see what they have posted on their church sign.  This time it was this: "RING OUT THE FALSE, RING IN THE TRUE", a quote from a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.   If you would like to read about this Victorian poet, you may read about him here.

  I think I know why it is taking Jenny Woolf so long to write her book about the Victorians...they all did so much!  My Christmas book from last year was the book by Jenny Woolf entitled "The Mystery of Lewis Carroll", which I loved!  You may see Jenny's website about her book just here.
Of course, she also has a wonderful blog too at http://www.jennywoolftravel.blogspot.com/
Hoping that Jenny's book about the Victorians will come out in 2013!  (And I do know that there were some things that were not so wonderful about the Victorians, and I am sure that Jenny's book will address those things too.)

Still not able to post pictures on my blog yet.  Thank you to all those who left comments on my last post!  I hope that it will sort itself out, my husband takes the BEST photos and I am having photo withdrawal!  (This photo was already on my blog and I am able to get this one here, but I can't turn it around so you can see it better! Tilt your head to the left, get that crick out of your neck...there, you can thank me now!)


 
 

 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

No PICTURES!

Help! I am not able to get photos on my posts and I don't know the reason.  There is still plenty of space left on it. (I asked my son to check and see if I was correct.)  When I click on the IMAGES button, the button that usually pops up is not there...has anyone else had this problem?

This is very frustrating to me!  Help me, I am on pins and needles waiting for your answer.  I can get to Youtube, so here is "Needles And Pins", if you get the connection! 
 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The People Look At The Sea

The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.

As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull

The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be--
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.

They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?    


            Robert Frost     




I love this poem by Robert Frost.   If you click here you may see some lovely beach photos from Audrey's blog. This post is her re-cap of 2012. Please read it when you get the chance.  It is a beautiful post that she has written, full of love and hope. With her great love of nature, it is a great pleasure to read her keen observations.

Let me know if you like this poem as much as I do.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Color from November!

Our son's birthday is in November! What a lucky guy...a beautiful time for a birthday!
 Missing my autumnal color...you don't mind if I go back to November do you? Wow, that is just so last year!
 
Sun going down on buildings in Atlanta. Taken from top of Arabia Mountain.

 

Setting sun on trees at Arabia Mountain.




Sweetgum in my front yard. English ivy hanging basket on right, it might take over the world!

 

 
 
 
Standing on a rock to make myself as tall as my husband! I'm so tricky!
Rock outcrop trail at Panola Mountain.

Vaughn Botanical Garden in Old Town Conyers. The upper right corner is now an ice skating rink.
 

 


 
 
The water tower behind me in this photo was THE water tower for Conyers in the early 1900's.  Not too many people here then!
(It looks like the tower for Rapunzel, don't you think?)
Hope you enjoyed my photos from November!  Of course, Richard took most of them! And the ones that are of the two of us, Richard figured out how to do the timer, but he barely made it back in time for the photo, which made us laugh, of course! Hope you all are finding something to laugh about these days!