Saturday, April 30, 2016

Who Reads Your Blog? (France MUST Love Me!)


Hello, my friends! What have y'all been up to lately? I have been busy and a bit under the weather ...but hey, I can't complain!

For those who have a blog,  if you look at "Stats" - at the very bottom, you can see the word "Audience"...if you click on there you can see the countries that visit your blog! (I only say this to you because I mentioned this to another blogger and she had never noticed it.)
You can guess that the USA would be the country that visits my blog the most, but what do you think is the second country that is listed?  England? No, that is very often third or fourth on the list....the country that visits me after America is...wait for it...FRANCE!  Ah, c'est vrai!  Can anyone tell me why that is?
Very often, the French visitors to my blog outnumber the American visitors by 2 to 1!  Okay, France, if you love me so much, how about someone from there leaving a comment?  Pretty please?  
Merci!  ( I really need to do my post about my love for France.) 

Okay, fellow bloggers, now look at your "Audience" and let me know.  And may I just say, even if I only have a few visitors from a country, I truly appreciate each and every one!  You know I do! (One certain blogger from Germany CONVINCED me to start this blog!)

Today is the last day of April, so I decided to turn it up to eleven!
I usually do ten posts a month but by doing this one, it makes it eleven.  (And if you know about the movie, "This Is Spinal Tap", you will know why I am saying "turn it up to 11"!) NOTE- just noticed it is really 12 posts for me. never mind, I can't count, I guess! HA HA!
Hope all of you are turning it up to eleven these days and enjoying 
life wherever you are...USA, France, United States, Poland, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, Ukraine, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Israel, Africa, India...anywhere!  (This is a list of the countries who visited me this week, in order of the most to the least!)

I have never been to France but when I am on the southeast coast of England, I am close! In the photo below, you can see the French flag displayed on the seafront, this is an International Market that they have there on the weekends with foods from different countries.

BONJOUR!




Thursday, April 28, 2016

You're Just In Love by Irving Berlin





Yesterday, Ted Cruz announced that his running mate would be Carly Fiorina.  (This is like me announcing what dress I will wear when I accept the Nobel Peace Prize but never mind!) Anyway, on TV I heard her warbling a bit of a song and was startled to realize that her off key rendition was her own lyrics  to "I Wonder Why-You're Just In Love" by Irving Berlin. (It was written for "Call Me Madam" and I have a clip for you from YouTube.)  Oh dear, this song deserves to be sung but the tune should not be butchered!   (Note-I have for you is not Carly Fiorina but a woman celebrating her 80th birthday. She sings and plays the piano at the same time and I thought she was good at it!)











Oh well perhaps it made people go to their computer and look up this song by one of America's best songwriters!  Irving Berlin....if you want to know the story of this great songwriter, you may read about him here!  It is believed that he wrote 1,250 songs. (Yes, that is correct, over twelve hundred songs. Many of his songs were in the seventeen scores that he wrote for Broadway musicals.)
  
Here is a quote of his that I love: "It's the lyric that makes a song a hit...the tune is what makes it last."  He also had a lot to say about melody which seems to be lost these days...






I love songwriters but then, if you have read this blog for any time at all you will already know that.  Irving Berlin is great but my son is my favorite songwriter.  I think Irving Berlin would understand!





By the way, I think I would like   LESTER HOLT to be the next president of the USA! (Click on his name if you don't know him!) If he should ever decide to run, we need someone like him...besides being very well spoken and obviously intelligent, he also plays bass guitar. Good enough for me!




2012 Lester Holt by US Army (cropped) 2.jpg
image from Wikpedia

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pawpaw at Stone Mountain/Chestnut Oak Too!







Richard and I saw this pawpaw tree on a nature walk at Stone Mountain. The flower was very unique as it was completely upside down.  The photo that I have here for you was taken with me looking straight up at the tree! 

zebra swallowtail...image from wikipedia
The zebra swallowtail is a butterfly that I have seen at Stone Mountain and I know now that the host plant is the pawpaw. 

It amuses me that in my very last post, I told you that my Dad is called "Papa" by his grandchildren but it is pronounced "Paw paw" and it is pronounced just like this fruit tree!  As a kid, we used to sing a song, do you know it?

Where oh where is dear little Nellie?
Where oh where is dear little Nellie?
Where oh where is dear little Nellie?
Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch.

Picking up pawpaws, put em in your pocket.
Picking up pawpaws, put em in your pocket.
Picking up pawpaws, put em in your pocket.
Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch.

"Way down yonder", I have read that this makes sense as the tree grows in rich bottom land rather than a higher, drier area.
(I love the word "yonder".  I try to use it as often as I can.... it irritates all the snooty people!)

I remember seeing the pawpaw fruit on a walk at Panola Mountain, so there must be zebra swallowtail butterflies there also! I will have to look out for them!

If you want to know more about the pawpaw, there is a very well writen article that I found and you may read it just here!

Interesting to me, George Washington liked the taste of the pawpaw fruit.  If it was good enough for the first president, the father of our country, it is good enough for me! I will have to let you know in a future post if I am able to get a photo of the fruit on this same tree! 
AND if I am able to eat the fruit and what it tastes like. Stay tuned!  


Hey! They replaced the water wheel at the Grist Mill at Stone Mountain!  I am grateful that this is being well cared for.
We love this spot.

The chestnut oak tree is one that we appreciate at Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain and Panola Mountain...the tree with the green leaves (the one that is just in front of the roof of the Grist Mill above, that is the chestnut oak...it provides wonderful shade.)

When we went on this walk, Richard was able to see wild azalea, pink lady slipper, and mountain laurel...all the flowers that I saw on my birthday walk that he didn't get to see with me! There, you know that made me happy! 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Happy Birthday To Dad/Papa!





Time to feed the cows at my Dad's! When the calves are small, the cows edge them out of the food so my Dad has a ...I guess it is called a "calf-feeder". (I am a farmer's daughter, NOT a farmer myself!)
Look at the photo below of the calves eating...do you notice anything about it?  The calves have gotten just a bit too big to go into it, so my Dad has taken a concrete block and a stone and put them under the front legs of it so the calves are able to eat! (He did have TWO concrete blocks but ding dang if he could find the other one, so he had to MAKE DO with the rock! By the way, that is my Dad's way...he very often can't find what he is looking for and just WINGS it!)


The same man who cares for these cows is also gifted with the knowledge of plants.  He had the most gorgeous Camellia bush beside his house and he thought it had died after a very cold spell last year, but he didn't replace it...just in case...and sure enough, it came back and he was rewarded with the most beautiful white blossoms!

Happy to say that Daddy now enjoys feeding the birds on his deck and I hope I influenced him in that regard! Recently, he had a flock of goldfinches on his deck, right outside his window! What joy!
Male American Goldfinch in Lodi CA.JPG
image from Wikipedia...ding, dang if I can find my photo of one!



There is quite a bit of "front porch sitting" at my Dad's house and sometimes, we enjoy it even when it is raining!
Today is my Dad's birthday! He is 89 years old and he is not just MY Dad, he is Daddy to my brothers and sisters and he is PAPA (pronounced PAW-PAW) to his grandchildren! 
Happy Birthday, Daddy/PAPA!  You are well known to those who follow this blog!  Here is photo of him in his overalls and scruffy baseball cap, but you saw him in my last post all spruced up!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nice Day For A White Wedding/In The Mood

You ask yourself, "What will get Kay out on a dance floor?"  Admit it, you KNOW you have wondered that in your heart!  "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller, that will do it for me!  It is from my Dad's generation but I truly love that song and when I was at my niece's wedding on Saturday and the band began to play this song, I was instantly on my feet enjoying the music.  My sister danced with our Dad and together, they were really "cutting a rug"! (I took the photo below and I am very pleased with it since they were really moving!  Look at my Dad's face, you can just see how JOYFUL this was for him!)  By the way, our Dad will celebrate his birthday this weekend, he will be 89 years old!





Does anyone else remember that they used this same song in the remake of "The Parent Trap", the one what was made with Lindsay Lohan? And please tell me that you have seen "The Glenn Miller Story" with Jimmy Stewart!  If you haven't, then do so...immediately!  You will thank me. 




                  The brass section of this band was very good!


As the wedding ceremony was to beside a lake, there was a concern about rain and the recent cool weather we have had.  Luckily, the weather cleared that morning and the rest of the day was gorgeous!  (If you look closely at the photo above, you can see a tall heater just beside one of the white columns...they were not needed, it was very warm, just right for an outdoor wedding.)

Richard snapped this photo from a good distance away, just as the wedding photographer took a photo of the lovely bride with her grandfather.  (It was a beautiful dress!)


Homemade jellies made by our Dad (Plum And Blackberry) were the wedding favors.  And even though it was not a typical wedding tradition, Katy and Steve had a birthday cake for Daddy and the band played "Happy Birthday to You" and we all sang to him!  I loved that she thought of this for her grandfather, it was just right.






Best wishes to Katy and Steve, the lovely wedding couple!  




Oh! And where are the photos of ME dancing? You won't see any of those, I have paid off all the blackmailers! HA!





Monday, April 18, 2016

Arabia Mountain Nature Walk (My Birthday Present To Myself)



This past Friday was my birthday.  I decided to take the day off from work! I am glad that I did...they do a guided hike every Friday at 8AM at Arabia Mountain.   Very much hoping that Ranger Robby would be the guide, I arrived at the Nature Center with hope in my heart. YES!  There was a smiling Ranger Robby! When I told him that it was my birthday, he told me that he had something special to show me on the hike, for my birthday! 
 Ready?  Lace up those boots and let's go!
 The above photo was taken at about halfway through the hike. We walked down this trail and then, turned back around. We walked for just over 2 hours!  Can you see that the tree over the trail has somehow been blown over but it continued to live and the branches are growing up?  They named the trail just beside this tree "Boomerang Trail" since the tree looks very much like a boomerang, of course!  (Do kids even know what those are anymore?)


 Very early in our walk, Robby stopped and said "Happy Birthday".
I looked all around, I looked up at the beautiful trees and wondered what it was!!   He said, "look down".  And there on the forest floor, were these exquisite little beauties...they are Pink Lady Slippers!
My photo is not very good, I am sorry, they were beautiful, trust me!   (I have read that this flower is unusual in Georgia...it reminds me of myself! The UNUSUAL part anyway! HA!)

Look at this pink flower beside the lake!  It is a native azalea, and there were several of these bushes blooming there.  (Robby posed beside this one for me!)  


This gorgeous stream is just beside the trail!  And just beside it and just coming into bloom...



Mountain Laurel!  If you live in the Atlanta area, you might know this from the North Georgia mountains, but I promise you that this was blooming at Arabia Mountain! (It also blooms at Stone Mountain, someone will have to tell me if they have seen it at Panola Mountain, I bet it is there too!)
In the photo above, that is what the mountain laurel looks like when it is in tight buds but when it blooms, it is a very pale pink, almost white...and the flower petals look like delicate parasols.  Just lovely.

Again, when we were beside this stream, Robby said, "Happy Birthday".  And once again, it took a while for me to see the blooms!  Thank you, Robby!  I am most certainly "in the pink" after this wonderful hike!



Look! We are on our way back to the Nature Center now and Ranger Robby is walking beside the red diamorpha which has tiny white flowers on the very top-the red and white combined makes it look pinkish, doesn't it?  It's gorgeous, I love it.

Hope you enjoyed this hike with me! (Richard didn't go, he was doing necessary errands but by doing so, it allowed me to go on this hike! Thanks to my sweet husband for this treat!)


Friday, April 15, 2016

Who Was Born On Your Birthday? (Sorry If DaVinci Wasn't Born on YOURS!)



If you were born on April 15th, you share a birthday with...wait for it...Leonardo da Vinci!  Now, I am sure that there are many who have this day as their date of birth also but they are not as gifted as the great da Vinci.   Still, it is nice to know if today is your birthday. 
So, who shares your birthday?  Tell me, I want to know!


Astonishing Drawings & Paintings By Leonardo da Vinci - 15

By the way, my birthday is today and it is a lovely time of year in Georgia. (My sister lives in Colorado and she just got two feet of snow!)


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bad News BRAVES



Baseball Season!  The Atlanta Braves have played nine games now...and have lost every single one! We really should remember that we had many years that we enjoyed watching them win.  I hope you enjoyed it, because they are losing now! Here is something that would be funny...the players should put on long, blonde wigs, wear dresses and sing this song...



That would be amusing, don't you think?  It is a bit sad, the commentators are having to do a bit of stretch in trying to find anything positive to say.  My Dad, who absolutely loves baseball AND the Braves is very disappointed.  On the opening day, I called him...he had a bowl of collard greens to eat and a baseball game about to start.  "It don't get any better than this", is what he said to me!  Shame on you, Braves!  GET with it and PLAY Ball!  That is an order!   Sorry, my friends, if there is a small chance that any of the players could read this post, then I couldn't resist typing that for them!


Here is a photo of Christopher posing with a photo of two GREATS, Hank Aaron and Chipper Jones.  Perhaps this will somehow inspire the Atlanta Braves and maybe they will win a game. After all, they can't lose them all...or CAN they?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Jungle Book

Batemans 002.jpg  Bateman's (image from Wikipedia)

"The Jungle Book" movie will be released this Friday, April 15th.   So, Rudyard Kipling, born in India to British parents wrote these stories based in India...but he wrote them in America!  Say what?  Yes, it's true.  Rudyard Kipling married an American, you see, and he was living in Vermont at the time.  Sad to say, he had a falling out with his brother-in-law so the Kiplings returned to England.   He lived in Sussex along the coast but this proved to be difficult for him as his popularity increased so did the crowds who clamored to meet him.  Happily, he found a house further inland, in the Sussex countryside- Bateman's in Burwash and lived there for the rest of his life.

Bateman's is well worth a visit, as is the village of Burwash.  The views of the Downs are lovely and the food at The Bear Inn is very good also!



(Not suggesting that they eat cats in Burwash...this cat plopped himself in front of us as Richard was taking this photo!)




I hope that the new film will be good, the trailer looks very promising.  I can't help but think of the Disney version though, I always did like that song...you know the one..."I wanna be like you-who...I wanna walk like you, talk like you..."  you know, the one!
Hey, in case you don't know it,  I have it here for you!
Songwriters! You know how much I admire them! This song was written by the Sherman brothers, Robert and Richard.  I was pleased to see Richard Sherman in the audience this week on the TV show, "Dancing With The Stars".   (They were dancing to his song from Mary Poppins, "Just A Spoon Full of Sugar".) Hats off to all the songwriters who have brought such joy to my life! 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Music and Words Award!



Blame Canada!  Debra, one of my Canadian blogging friends, has given me an award.  It is the "Music and Words" Award and I am asked to answer a few questions.   (Debra's blog is "She Who Seeks" and you may find her scintillating blog just here!) Thanks for the award, Debra.   Are you ready for my fascinating answers? Okay, here goes...

What does music mean to you?
Music! Look it up in the dictionary! It says it is "The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre." 
 Melody and harmony, those are the key words for me! 
What passes for music these days...it should be called something else, not music.  (If you don't agree, then the words should be changed in the dictionary!)


What is your first related music memory?
I cut my teeth on music! When I was a baby we had a record player...I really don't know what it was made of but the sides were a brown, softish material. For some reason, my parents allowed me to BITE on the sides of it! Honestly, it looked as if a small dog had chewed on it!  Oh well, I guess I did that while I was listening to music!  One of the records that I remember taking to my Mom to put on the record player had a white label on it and I would love to dance to it...  "Lucky Ladybug"!  I must have really gone a bit overboard on anything with a saxophone in those days because now, I can hardly stand to hear a sax!



What was the first album you purchased?
This is a bit tricky. I have an older sister, so I didn't really buy an album, until I was about 13...and I think it was "American Pie" by Don McLean. (In other words, I could listen to the albums that she would buy!)  Now, as a child, I would buy SINGLES by the Beatles! We would borrow some of the Beatles albums but we only had a few of their albums since we had most of their hits on the small 45's.  (For young people, 33's were the albums and 45's were the singles.  By the way, did you know that in England, the singles had the same small hole that the albums did?  You had to have a special round insert for the singles in the USA!)
image from Wikipedia

What is the latest album you purchased?
Jeff Lynne's ELO, "Alone In The Universe".  Remember I mentioned how much I liked the song, "When I Was A Boy"?


What was the last song you listened to? (Be honest!)
"Waltzes, featuring  the London Symphony Orchestra".
When I am cleaning my house, this is what I have on my stereo. Man, I can waltz AND mop all over the place!

Now, Music and Words....I also want to tell you that I believe that songwriters deserve the highest praise! Some write music and others write lyrics...does anyone remember my post about Oscar Hammerstein, where I found the memorial to him at Southwark Cathedral in London?  I was thrilled to find it as I admire him so very much, as I admire the beautiful music by Richard Rodgers.
("You'll Never Walk Alone", that song is by them, although many think of it as a hymn or an old traditional song...it is by Rodgers and Hammerstein!)

Of course, there are some who write the music AND words...my husband and son are in that category!

Goodness, I hope all of this makes some kind of sense! I love music, all different kinds! If I feel a bit down, I like to sing the theme song from "Gilligan's Island". It cheers me up every time!
And I always notice the music from movies and TV shows! I am surprised that many do not! I even know a lot of the songs from Vaudeville and the English music halls because of Chas & Dave, they were the background to my son's childhood! 


NOW...if you are reading this and would like to have this award yourself...then, be my guest!  Answer the questions yourself, I would love to hear your answers!  Go on, you know you want to!
Let me know if you do, okay?  And keep your ear tuned to the music!

Wait...how can I have a post about music without mentioning ELVIS!  I admire great singers too and Elvis was just one of the best.










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Nothing to do with music but today (April 10, 2016)- Danny Willett from Sheffield, England won the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia! He is only the second Englishman to have done so. Since I am Georgia Girl With An English Heart, I need to at least mention it here! (And Danny Willett's story is amazing, look him up if you don't follow anything about golf!)


 





Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dog Biscuits

"Will that woman EVER stop talking?"




Yes, you read my title post correctly, this is a post about dog biscuits! If you have read my blog, you know that I  am curious about just about everything and looks like that includes treats for dogs!
Okay, my friends...this is what I learned just this week...

In 1860, an American electrician by the name of James Spratt went to England to sell lightning rods.
While he was there, he noticed that the dogs at the docks of Liverpool were eating the hardtack, the dry biscuit that was a major food for sailors while at sea.  This gave him the idea of creating the treats for dogs!
Spratt's Patent Meat Fibrine Dog Cakes were a mix of grains, vegetables and the dried unsalted gelatinous parts of beef. They were expensive but that was fine by Mr. Spratt, he marketed them to England's country gentlemen. (Think Downton's Abbey type wealthy.)   The dog cakes were a success! (Spratt's-the first company to have a billboard in London!)
Spratts-dog.jpg

It was the great inventor, Carleton Ellis who had the idea of making the dog biscuits into the shape of a bone.  (He had 753 patents in his name, the most famous being margarine.)  In 1907, he came up with the recipe for a milk based dog biscuit.  His dog was not that interested until he baked it into the bone shape that we know today.  Here is his quote about this...and if you know dogs, you might find this as amusing as I do... "I cannot tell whether my dog is interested in the bone-shaped biscuit because it fools him...or if he feels duty bound to fool his master by simulating an interest in it."  In 1908, the bone shaped biscuits  were marketed as Milk Bones.
In England, they are called Milky Bones.  Are they more difficult to find there? My in-laws are finding it so just now.  This was the reason that I researched dog biscuits this week!  Hey, you never know what you will learn from me, right? HA!





"Stop typing and give me a dog biscuit already!"



Anybody else remember the dog who loved his treats from the cartoon "Quick Draw McGraw"? (I LOVED that cartoon show!)   His name was Snuffles and at the sight of a dog biscuit, he would hug himself, go straight up into the air and float gently down to the ground in supreme JOY!



NOTE:  The first dog pictured in this post is PeTE from England (pronounced Petey but he INSISTS on spelling it that way, he OWNS my in-laws.  The second dog is Bandy from here in Georgia, he OWNS my Dad and step-mother.  Both dogs gave me permission to use their photos here, I only had to give them a few dog biscuits!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Patrice Parker "Sweet Beulah Land"

I have been as busy as a ...well, you know what!


Today was just gorgeous, no other word for it!  We have some days in the Spring in Georgia that are just....uh, never mind, it's not that great, really...we can't have everyone in the rest of the country flock here!  Wink, wink!


You all know how much I admire good singers and that I adore songwriters, right?  Anyone remember my post from a few years ago where I went to a gospel singing with my Dad and I mentioned that I really liked the song "Didn't I Walk On The Water" by Linda Gibson Johnson?  Patrice Parker sent me a comment asking me if I had found out any other information about her, as she would be singing this same song in concert today.  (I looked her up and Patrice Parker is not only a great singer but she also writes songs and plays guitar, piano and she taught herself harmonica too! And she is funny, you should see the videos she and her husband made with their dog!)  Now, I hope that I am remembering all this correctly, I fear that I stayed up way past my bedtime looking at videos of Patrice Parker!  She reminds me so much of my Aunt Jean! They have similar strong singing voices and they even look like each other.  (Obviously, when my Aunt Jean was younger, but she still looked very much like this lady!) 

Here she is singing " Sweet Beulah Land".  (This is a hymn written by Squire Parsons but it shows her voice off very well. You may find the information behind the songwriter of "Sweet Beulah Land" just here.)



To hear this singer sing these words, a gospel singer who not only sounds like Aunt Jean but looks a great deal like her too, it was exactly the right thing.


I'm kind of homesick for a country
To which I've never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won't matter anymore.

Beulah Land (Beulah Land) I'm longing for you (I'm longing for you)
And some day (And some day) on thee I'll stand (Someday we will stand)
There my home (There my home) shall be eternal (Eternal)
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land

I'm looking now, just across the river
To where my faith, shall end in sight (Shall end in sight)
There's just a few more days to labor.
Then I will take my heavenly flight.

Beulah Land (Beulah Land) I'm longing for you (I'm longing for you)
And some day (And some day) on thee I'll stand (Someday we will stand)
There my home (There my home) shall be eternal
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land
Beulah Land, oh it's Beulah Land
Oh Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land













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