Monday, December 11, 2017

The Great Southeastern Snow Storm (From 1973 in Macon, Georgia)

What is the most snow you have ever seen? I was talking with my Dad about the snowfall totals in Georgia that fell on Friday.  When I wondered what was the deepest snow that he had seen in his lifetime, he reminded me of the snow that we had driven through in February of 1973.  We lived in St. Mary's, Georgia at the time and we were returning to Conyers, Georgia for a visit. (Of course, there was no mention of a major snow storm expected in middle Georgia!)  My Dad was driving the whole family and as we drove up I-75, it started to snow.   It snowed and snowed and snowed!
There was two lanes, but since the snow covered everything, we could only follow in the path of the big trucks that were still driving. Most people pulled over and tried to stay in hotels but not my Dad! We had to pull off one time to buy gas and my Dad realized that he would not be able to get back onto the highway, as the entrance ramp was uphill. What to do?  He BACKED UP the exit ramp.  Now, this was not easy...he would start to reverse, and then, see someone trying to exit off the highway. He would have to drive the car forward again, wait for the car to pass us, and then, reverse again, watching carefully.  Finally, we got back on the highway.  Now, I didn't tell you...but while we were at the gas station, we were only able to walk around a bit in amazement at the amount of snow. It was up to my knees! My siblings and I couldn't wait to get to Conyers so we could build a snowman.  As we drove closer to the Atlanta area, we kept seeing less and less the time we got to Conyers...the ground was completely dry.  It was cold but no snow.

You should have seen our car!  It was completely covered in snow. It looked like it had been dropped from the North Pole. No kidding.
Looking it up now, I see that this storm was called The Great Southeastern Snowstorm and from the statistics, I see that Macon had 16. 5 inches of snow! So, if someone asks me what is the largest amount of snow that you have experienced? My answer...16 and one half inches!  No one expected this in middle Georgia in 1973...there were a lot of people stranded but my Dad was determined to make it through.  You know he did!

Image result for the great southeastern snowfall 1973

Friday, December 8, 2017

Snow Mountain/No Mountain!

Due to the snowy conditions in the Atlanta area today, Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain closed today at 2PM.  Oh, lovely irony!  (Snow is produced from the water from Stone Mountain lake and they make 350 tons a day. It is projected onto this giant hill just in front of Stone is very popular.)

You should see the map of Georgia today on the TV weather radar.
The snow fell north of Atlanta but there is a line just east of Atlanta, and beyond that line, it was only rain with a mixture of snow.  So, no snow on the ground for me! Not YET anyway!  We will have to wait and see what happens!
  If it does snow tomorrow, as long as I have my Yorkshire tea, I will be OKAY!
(Note, this photo is from a few years ago!)

The snow fell from as far south as Louisiana all  the way up to Maine! That means from Mimi to Nan! (Mimi- my blogging friend in LA and Nan is my friend in ME.)   Those letters are the state abbreviations for the postal service!

What is the weather like where you are?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Is For Sharing

The Christmas advert for the British grocery Sainsbury's from 2014.  I wonder if my fellow Americans have ever seen any of the TV ads from England.  Now you have! Hope you will like this as much as I do.  It was made in cooperation with the Royal British Legion and was based on an actual event during World War I.   If you have time, there is an another video about the making of this "1914" ad and the Christmas truce. 

It would take a lot for me to give up my English chocolate! (Watch the video and you will know what I am talking about!)

"Leaning On The Everlasting Arms, that is the last song playing at the end of the video, I have written about this song before... it is a song that I really like.
Of course, you know the song that the soldiers are singing, "Silent Night" and it is "Stille Nacht" in German. (Original song was in German, as you know.)  As songs go, not just hymns, but of all songs, it is one of my favorites.

Hope you are all doing well these days, my friends!
Or are just doggone tired like me?
Take care!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Love London? Look At These Buildings Yet To Come!

If you have been to London recently, you will be familiar with the buildings that are known as The Gherkin, The Cheese Grater, The Shard and the Walkie Talkie.  Next year, there will be more tall buildings to add to this list!  Want to see some photos of what is to come?  You may see them just here!  The piece is entitled "The skyscrapers that will change London's skyline."  What do you think? Amazing, aren't they?    Can't wait to see The Scalpel!

Cheese Grater Building on the left and the Walkie Talkie on the right.  (Of course, their real names are The Leadenhall Building and 20 Fenchurch Street.)  Those Brits, you have to love the simple but oh so perfect words to describe the buildings. When you hear those nicknames you know exactly which building they mean! 

Richard took that photo the last time we were in London, September of 2016.  I think it is very good, don't you?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Squanto, Pocahantas, Sacagawea and The Navajo Code Talkers- Indian Givers

Happy that I recorded "This Is America, Charlie Brown".  It is a animated show about the first Thanksgiving and they must show it every year but this was the first year that I noticed it.   It made me do some research...there is a great article just here.   You should always be ready to learn from anything even it if it is something that is intended for children!

Squanto- All American children should know his name as the Native American who helped the Pilgrims from the Mayflower.  He was able to act as an interpreter for them as he spoke perfect English.  Why was this so? He had been kidnapped and taken to Spain. While there, the monks helped him to escape to England, and he spent two years in London.  Upon his return to America, he found that his entire tribe had died from disease.  Why did Squanto help the Pilgrims?  I would like to think that he took pity on them, he saw that they were totally out of their depth and that he helped them out of kindness.

Pocahantas-  The Native American woman who helped the settlers at Jamestown, Virginia, she married the Englishman John Rolfe and sailed to England with him and died there at the age of 21.

  Statue of Pocahantas at Gravesend, Kent in England (Believed to be near her grave.)

Sacagawea- The Native American woman who assisted the Lewis and Clark Expedition. She traveled thousands of miles with them from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean, much of it while she was pregnant with her first child.  (A good book for you- "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose.)

America has a beautiful one dollar coin with the likeness of Sacagawea with her infant on her back. It is so beautiful that hardly anyone uses it!

Sacagawea dollar obverse.png

The Navajo Code Talkers- You might have seen a mention of the Navajo Code Talkers this week, some of the surviving veterans from World War II  met with Trump this week and unfortunately, much of their story was lost in the uncouth remarks from President Trump.  This was a shame as their story needs to be better known. I hope that it made more people look up their story. Their unbreakable code from their language enabled American military victories in the South Pacific.  You may read more just here.  (They were forced to keep their story secret until the 1960's!)
If you notice from the photo on that link, Trump met with these Native Americans in the Oval Office of the White House and there is a portrait of Andrew Jackson behind them.  Insensitive to say the least...Andrew Jackson was the President of the United States during the time when tribes were forced to leave their lands and to stay on reservations.   (Anybody thinking at the White House? Anybody?)

Years ago, I read a book by Jack Weatherford..."Indian Givers: How Native Americans Transformed The World".  It is a fascinating read!  Of course, he uses the expression "Indian Giver" in the true sense of the word!
Another one for you, "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown, is a book about Native Americans in the American West in the 19th century.

Both of these books are very well written and very much worth reading.

"Indian giver" is an American pejorative expression, used to describe a person who gives a "gift" and later wants it back, or who expects something of equivalent worth in return for the item.   

When the settlers first came to America, I can see why they called it "FALL".  The leaves from all those trees must have been spectacular and a true sight to see.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Keep Your Hands To Yourself

You might think that the title of this post could somehow be related to all the recent news of sexual harassment cases.  It is true that almost anything will remind me of a song but in this case it is because I saw a film and I heard a song during the final credits. The song was by The Yayhoos.  Turns out that Dan Baird has sometimes performed with The Yayhoos. Who is Dan Baird? Why, he was with the Georgia Satellites and their big hit was "Keep Your Hands To Yourself! 

Oh, I thought to myself, I wonder what he is up to these days...I looked him up and just this past year, he was performing with his band in England but became very ill.  His bandmates insisted on him going to hospital. (In England, you go to the USA you go to THE hospital.  Don't ask me why this is said this way.)
Anyway, I was sad to learn that Dan Baird is now battling leukemia.   Interesting article about him just here.
Dan is quoted at the end of it by saying about his music, "Just go out there swinging as yourself."  I admire people who don't look at current trends or fads but just honestly perform their music as they want to do it, not how others think that they should.

(I still am working on my post about music, my friends.  Look out for it, prize winning stuff, I am sure!)

In the meantime, Keep Your Hands To Yourself!

Dan Baird, if you should somehow read this post, I am thinking about you.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all my American friends!  And happy Thursday to the rest of the world!

Sad news, I see that David Cassidy has died.  One of the main things I remember about him- he was devastated when a young woman died at one of his concerts as a result of trampling. Seems to me that the press can be very cruel.  I found a piece from a newspaper just here. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have had that wild fame that he had in the 1970's and what it must have been like for someone like him to have to live up to his name for the rest of his life.  May he rest in peace.


                                                A u t u m n   C o l o r s !

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Mystery of Lucy And The Dark Woods (A Book Review)

I read a book of fiction...and I liked it!

If you have been a reader of my blog for any time, you will know that the main books that I read are non-fiction, so when I read fiction, I must tell you about it... 

"The Mystery of Lucy And The Dark Woods" is by Diana Kosmoski, one of my blogging friends!  The story is about Lucy, but I honestly think it is a thinly veiled story about Diana herself.  Lucy is born with a "sixth sense" about things in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania (just like Diana).  Lucy, like Diana, did not have a very good relationship with her mother. As Lucy grows up, life brings joys but sometimes heartaches with various romances (as I must imagine must be the same for our gorgeous blonde, Diana!)  Throughout the book, there are many references to the music from the 1960's and the 1970's. Y'all know how crazy I am about music!
So, you see how this book could appeal to me...even though it is fiction, I was delighted to read the book and then to connect the stories in the book to the posts that I have read on Diana's blog! 

One of my favorite stories in the book-Lucy discovers that her granddaughter has inherited her "sixth sense" about life and wonders how this precious child will handle the gift that has been bestowed upon her.  (I know exactly which granddaughter she is talking about, since Diana has told us many stories about her!)

"With resolve and determination", that is the way that the book describes Lucy's way of handling the world around her.  I think that Diana must be the same. 

Now, I have given you a very personal book review but even if you do not know Diana from her blog, I think that you would enjoy reading this book!  Diana has her book for purchase on her Etsy shop and you may find it just here!

(Just realized that I forgot to tell you- Diana's blog is Nana Diana Takes a Break and you may find it just here!)

Will I leave you a video of one of the songs mentioned in the book?
You know I will!
The fact that I chose a song from one of the British bands...another personal thing about me, I have that English heart, you know!


Monday, November 13, 2017

Dawn French

Hello! You all might remember the actress/comedienne Dawn French from the TV show "The Vicar of Dibley". (It was very funny!)  In England, she was well known before that from her work with Jennifer Saunders. (Just read that they will reunite for a show at Christmas! They have such special TV shows at Christmas in England, we never get to see them in the USA, I only read about them!)
Anyway, she is very funny and what I really wanted to tell you is that Dawn French just celebrated her 60th birthday in September.
I loved what she had to say about turning 60 and I wanted to share it here with you!   Click on her name at the beginning of the post. Hope you can see and hear it!

Don't you wish you could be walking on this pier in Eastbourne in England?
You know I do!
(The owner of the pier has this lion painted in bright gold.  I preferred it like this, don't you?)

My friends, I hope you are all doing well and finding something to make you laugh or smile! Just recently, one of my blogging friends said in a comment to me that I always make him smile.
Thank YOU, Graham! You always make MY Day!
As do you all who read my blog and leave me comments. Thank you, one and all.  Y'all are just the best.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Armenians Love Strangers (Roll Out the Pomegranates!)

Hello, my friends!  Does anyone remember me telling you that my son's girlfriend is from Armenia? 

When he first told us this, I was pleased that I had some vague idea of where it was in the world...but not much else, I fear. Now, I found a great piece on the BBC about the fact that Armenians are very welcoming to those who visit them.  You may read the article just here.

Christopher and Shoghik (pronounced "Show-Heek", that is as close as I can get to it) came to see us at the end of September. I might not roll out the red carpet but I did my best, I gave her some gorgeous Yellow Daisies to admire!  Also, I gave her my very best cooking... I made JELLO!  I am not kidding!  I have told you all this before but there might have been some who have missed my wonderful recipe so...I will give it to you again. (We had more food than just Jello, of course, but doggone if I can even remember what I prepared! LOL!)


1 big box of Strawberry Jello

Follow directions on box!  It will say to mix Jello with boiling water and dissolve and then, to mix in cold water.  Instead of the cold water, use 100% FRUIT JUICE, not water!  That's it!  EASY!

Now, the juice that I used was 100% Fruit Juice-Cranberry/Pomegranate.  Why did I choose this one?
I did my research on Armenia!  The Pomegranate is ... oh look- this is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

The pomegranate is one of the main fruits in Armenian culture (the others being apricot and grapes). Its juice is famous with Armenians in food and heritage. The pomegranate is the symbol of Armenia and represents fertility, abundance and marriage.

Fertility, abundance and marriage! Oops, please note those are not MY words, Shoghik and Christopher!  I am just quoting here!

"When you encounter hospitality in Armenia, you are unlikely to forget it".  That was the last sentence in the BBC article.

Where in the world have you experienced the best hospitality?
Tell me!

(I have a friend who spent some time in Australia once.  When he was asked what would he like in his coffee, he replied that he liked cream and sugar.  His hosts looked at each other but said nothing. The husband left the room and was gone for the longest time.  He found out later that the host had left and driven for miles to buy the cream! Note to the rest of the world, we Americans say "cream and sugar" but we just mean milk and sugar, or Coffee Mate and sugar, we are not fussy!  Love those Aussies!)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Our Son, The Writer

Hey! You know you all want to read about the Atlanta Hawks! Our son is writing for "Soaring Down South", the blog about the basketball team here in Atlanta.  You may read his piece just here!
What? You don't care much for sports? You might like it anyway.  I always say if something is well written, it is always worth reading.

Perhaps beer drinking is more of your style? If so, I have you covered on that one too.  C. has also written for The Beer Connoisseur Magazine.  You may read the article that he wrote about The String Cheese Band and their brewery just here.  

Christopher will have a birthday at the end of this month so for me, November is a time of not just Thanksgiving and the beautiful autumn leaves but for celebration of a very special loved one.  His birthday is sometimes on Thanksgiving day or very close to it. 

Read this post from Dennis- Let's All Be Thanksgiving Babies.

                                 C. With His Papa- Christmas 2008 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Tallulah Gorge? Tallulah Gorgeous!

Hello my friends! I have no shame, I totally stole the title of this post from a billboard on the way to Tallulah Gorge which is right here in Georgia!( It is only just in Georgia, just drive some miles north and you will be in North Carolina, drive to the east and you will be in South Carolina.) Nevertheless, it is in Georgia and we can claim it!
Now, it is not that far from Toccoa which if you notice from my profile,  is the place of my birth and where I spent my early childhood. (I have ancestors from this area too which makes it special to me.)  One of my earliest memories is looking down into the gorge and seeing the beautiful colors of the autumnal leaves.  Richard and I went recently and while the colors were just beginning to turn, it was still beautiful...

It was very warm this day and sunny so the photos might not be as clear as they could be but hey, Richard took them so they are still good and I think it gives you a good idea of this beautiful area.

Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and almost 1000 feet deep. There are several rim trails and you know that Richard and I enjoyed those! As I mentioned in a precious post, we walked 321 steps to the suspension bridge which is 80 feet above the gorge...then, you have a similar set of steps to climb up on the other side! We did it though and it was worth it! (The bridge is 80 feet above the gorge.)

I bought a post card of this view but guess what, this photo that Richard took is really a much better photo even if I am in the middle of it!

There is a series of six falls that cascade through the gorge and the town next to the gorge is named after them- Tallulah Falls.  Let's  not hear any banjo music but...the canoe scenes in the movie "Deliverance" were filmed in the waters of Tallulah Gorge.   That is NOT my favorite movie, folks! Let's not have any negative vibes from that film influence the way we think of this place of natural beauty, okay?

You can still see the remains of a tower that Karl Wallenda used to attach a wire in order for him to walk over the gorge.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Not only did he walk across on the wire but he stopped and did two headstands! By the way, he was 65 years old when he did this. (This would have been in 1970.)

Tallulah Gorge must have been magnificent in the days before the power company built a dam to contain the powerful waters. (The sound of the water could be heard for miles.)  It was a popular tourist destination with many coming by train. Some local people fought against the building of the dam (which was completed in 1913.)  One of them was Helen Dortch Longstreet.  Also known as "Fighting Lady" she was a newspaper reporter, editor, publisher, postmistress  and business manager. She earned her nickname from championing causes such as preservation of the environment and civil rights.  She was much younger than her husband, Confederate Gen. James Longstreet, and she spent a large part of her widowhood to ensure that he was "accurately portrayed by history".  They married in 1897 when she was 34 and he was 76.  He died in 1904. 

Even though she was unable to stop the dam, her hard work paid off in the sense that this area is now a state park.  One of the trails is named after her- the Helen Dortch Longstreet Trail.

 So, what do you think about Tallulah Gorge?  Gorgeous, right?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Concrete Evidence (Stunning Buildings In China AND In Conyers, GA.)


Concrete gymnasium in ....was it Japan, Singapore, China?
I can't find it, I saw it on a website and it was exquisite! Has anyone else seen this? Tell me! (Do you also love beautifully designed buildings as much as I do?)

Happy to say, I found what I was looking for!  It was from the BBC and the piece was entitled "Stunning Buildings" and you may see them just here!  You have no idea how much time I spent looking for this but I finally found it!  Specifically, there are two photos of this gym, one view shows the building with people playing volleyball and the other view shows the inside swimming pool. The light! 
The building is made of concrete and I very much agree, it is stunning. Look at that link and tell me if you think so too. (It is from Tijinian University and I want to write the architect a note of thanks for creating such beauty!)

I have written before about a very beautiful building  that is only a few miles from my home.  Here is a photo of it...

The Monastery! All of that is concrete (except the dark wood at the very top of the ceiling between the rafters) and the monks built it all.

Concrete evidence!
Friends, what is the weather like for you all in your part of the world? For Georgia, we had a warm Saturday but it rained late in the day. A cold front moved in, and the high today was only about 42 degrees! With the wind, it make if feel like it was in the 30's!
This made it a 24 degree difference from the day before.
Not to worry, after a cold start in the morning, the temp will climb to 60 as a high tomorrow and we are told that it will be a high of 76 by the end of the week! 
Pay attention to the weather forecast so you know how to dress. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is the best selling novelist of all time. (Take that, John Grisham!)   I love her books and I urge you to search them out and read them.  You might have seen a good many of her mysteries portrayed on the TV screen with the wise Miss Marple  and those with her Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot  (using his little grey cells!)
In November, there will be a new film based upon one of her most popular stories, "Murder On The Orient Express".  I hope that they have done a good job with it!  I have a trailer of it if you would like to see it...

Agatha Christie was English, born on September 15, 1890 in Torquay in Devon.  Sadly her father died when she was only eleven years old. (He was an American, by the way.) Her entire life is fascinating, I urge you to read it in greater detail and you may do so just here.    

Remember I told you about another movie coming out in November?  That will also be about someone who had an American parent, in this case his mother was American and his father was you know who that would be?
Winston Churchill! The film will be "Darkest Hour" and stars Gary Oldman as Churchill.

Now, why doesn't someone make a movie about the life of Agatha Christie?  There may have been one made in the past but hey, I want to see one right now! Maybe some famous screenwriter will read this blog and be inspired.  (Mention me when you win an Oscar, would you? Thank you!)
My friends, I will have to tell you about our trip this past weekend in my next post. It involved a lot of walking up and down steps!

                              Yes, I lived through these stairs! 
                              Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vote! (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)

Now is the time for all music lovers to vote for the nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!

You have until Dec. 5th  and you can vote EVERY DAY
until then but you can only vote once a day. Oh, and also you can vote for up to 5 artists. Got that? Okay, go here and vote!
Want to know my vote?  I wonder if you could guess? You don't have to, I will tell you!

The Moody Blues, Dire Straits, Kate Bush, The Zombies and Sister Rosetta Tharpe-  these are my choices!

The Zombies

                                                 Sister Rosetta Tharpe

                                                    The Moody Blues

My heart is a bustin' with my love for music! (Sorry, I only just found  the heart's a bustin' bush this year.  It is not quite as colorful since the seeds were almost gone but it made me happy to see it.)

Monarch butterfly visiting our Mexican sunflowers on Oct. 17th!

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Last Detective (Sean Hughes, Rest In Peace)

I watch every single British TV show that I can.  "The Last Detective" starred Peter Davison as "Dangerous" Davies  and  his sidekick, Mod Lewis was played by Sean Hughes, a former stand- up comedian.
Sean Hughes died today.  He was only 51 years old.

The show was very funny but also low key and subtle.  Keep an  eye out for it, if they repeat it here or you could buy the DVD set of the episodes.  You will see how funny those two men are together on The Last Detective.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

New Film About Louis Zamperini! (It Is No Secret-Stuart Hamblen)

If you have been reading my blog for any time, you will know of my admiration for Louis Zamperini.  Most people know of him from the movie "Unbroken".  I read his book  "Devil At My Heels" in 2004 and wrote to him.  He must have received thousands of letters like mine but he personally answered my note to him just as he did to anyone who wrote to him.  While I was pleased that the film was made about him, the main focus was on his childhood, Olympic track experiences and horrific imprisonment in WWII Japanese camps and said very little about his long life. (Mr. Zamperini died in 2014 at the age of 97.)  There will be a new movie released in 2018 and this will tell you the story of his life AFTER World War II in which he attended one of the Billy Graham's crusades in California and completely turned his life around.  After the war and his return to the USA, he suffered for several years with what we now know as PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Drinking heavily and having terrible nightmares, you can imagine how hard this was not only for himself but also for his loved ones.  His wife Cynthia was able to persuade him to attend a tent revival and to listen to a young preacher from North Carolina in 1949.  (The young preacher was Billy Graham.)  At the same night, other men came forward...there is an article that I found for you which has a photograph of Billy Graham with may read it and see the photo just here.

The man pictured beside Mr. Zamperini is Stuart Hamblen, who was quite well known at the time as a singer, actor, radio show host and SONGWRITER.  (You all must know how much I admire songwriters.)  If you look up him up, it says that he is most well known for the song "This Old House.".  Reading more, you might also see that he wrote the song, "It Is No Secret".   Stuart Hamblen had a friend in the actor John Wayne.  After Stuart Hamblen gave up drinking, John Wayne said to him, "How did you give it up, what is your secret?".  His reply was "It is no secret what God can do".  At that, John Wayne said to him. "Well, that sounds like a song".     From what I have researched on this, this is a true story. It does sound just like John Wayne, does it not? (I love John Wayne, I thought he was a great guy.)

(I also have this being sung by Bill Kenny of The Inkspots. I love this.)

In this new film, the role of Billy Graham will be played by Will Graham, Billy Graham's grandson.  Even though he is not an actor (it will be his first role) I find it interesting to know that he will be in this movie. That makes it a special thing for me. (Seems like I remember that the grandson of Mr. Zamperini was in "Unbroken".  Also, I think that was a nice touch.)

I hope that this new movie will give Mr. Zamperini the proper respect to him and to his Christian faith.  Here is the thing that you might not know, Mr. Zamperini did not like religion to be forced upon anyone.  He was not heavy handed about anything really, rather he seemed to want to have people to be influenced by his example and his life's work.
It is my great hope that this new movie will honor him.  Mr. Louis Zamperini was a man of great faith and joy...I wish everyone could know this.  Why, he went back to Japan and met with his former captors, they were shocked to see him running to them with open arms!  
Once again, the film will be released sometime in 2018.  It will be called "Unbroken: Path To Redemption".  Look out for it.
Wishing for some Fall color right now...this was from a few years ago!  We still have our Mexican sunflowers blooming and our butterflies to enjoy, it will be 80 today! In a few weeks, I will have the autumnal colors and be wishing for butterflies! Laughing at myself!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Butterflies On Radar AND on Mexican Sunflowers

                                           Painted Lady Butterfly

The Painted Lady Butterfly is one of the most widespread butterflies on Earth, it is on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. They sometimes migrate and when they do, they travel in large numbers. 

Last month the weather forecasters in Denver, Colorado saw something on radar that they assumed was a flock of birds and asked for the ornithologists to identify the species.  Instead, it was determined to be thousands of butterflies, a flight of Painted Ladies! (Most birds migrate at night anyway, the bird experts told them.)  You may read about the story here.
Now, that link I gave you shows a photo of a Painted Lady butterfly and says that it is often mistaken for a Monarch butterfly.  Say what?  Never!  Just look at them!
They are both beautiful butterflies but one is a Painted Lady and one is a Monarch.  Got it? Of course you do and you would never mistake them!  My mind will rest easy now...
Monarch Butterfly

We have really enjoyed our butterflies this summer...and since it was in the 80's today, we are still enjoying them.

Butterflies are always on MY radar! (Yes, I said it!)

Very grateful that the Mexican sunflowers that I planted from seed have done so well this year. The butterflies really love them. I can't blame them...I came home from work and looked up at the flower as I walked past and the orange petals against that blue sky...well, you know I had to go and take a picture so you could share in this joyful moment.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Rescue/ I Forgive It All-Tom Petty

(Not a photo of the turtle in the road but the same kind of turtle, an Eastern Box turtle.)

Coming home from work one day recently, I saw a turtle crossing the road in front of my car.  Behind me, a large garbage truck had stopped to pick up the trash at a house.  I had to be quick!  Instantly, I pulled over and got out of my car. I gently picked up the turtle and walked with it (in the same direction that the turtle had been traveling) and placed him down on the grass.  By this time, the garbage truck was barreling down the road, and passed me.   The truck would have run right over that turtle, I am sure of it.
Can't seem to be much help in this world today but I did save that turtle...

Have you heard this song by Tom Petty?  It was on his last album.  It is worth a listen and I have the lyrics for you too. (That is Anthony Hopkins in the video, if you are wondering.) This song makes me cry.  

Take my horse down to the water
Let him graze awhile
Take my horse down to the water
Let him graze awhile
I have not been down these roads since I was a child
I ain't broke and I ain't hungry but I'm close enough to care
I ain't broke and I ain't hungry but I'm close enough to care
Send my things to my niece Laura
She'll keep 'em over there
I forgive it all, I forgive it all
With her, I forgive it all
There ain't no money in this deal, I just tag along
There ain't no money in this deal, I just tag along
Some things I feel right, somebody else thinks wrong
I forgive it all, I forgive it all
With her, I forgive it all
People are what people make em' that ain't gonna change
People are what people make 'em, that ain't gonna change
There ain't nothing you can do, nothing you could rearrange
But I forgive it all, I forgive it all
With her, I forgive it all

Friday, October 6, 2017

Crying In The Chapel -Written by Artie Glenn/Sung by Darrell Glenn

For some reason, I began singing the song, "Crying In The Chapel" today. (Note to self: find out that if you burst into song if it is a sign of insanity.) Of course, it would be the one by Elvis Presley that  comes to mind, but I wondered, who could have written it?

"Crying In The Chapel" was written by Artie Glenn.  His son, Darrell Glenn recorded it in 1953 while he was still in high school. He was only 17 years old! I read from a Texas newspaper that Artie Glenn had had spinal surgery and stopped into a small church near Ft. Worth and began to pray and he really did begin crying, and then, that inspired him to write this song.  I wish I could find more about him!  Darrell Glenn also went on to write music and had a successful music career. He even wrote a hit for Elvis Presley, "Indescribably Blue". 

Here are the lyrics for "Crying In The Chapel":

You saw me crying in the chapel
The tears I shed were tears of joy
I know the meaning of contentment
I am happy with the Lord

Just a plain and simple chapel
Where humble people go to pray
I prayed the Lord that I'll grow stronger
As I live from day to day

I searched and I searched but I couldn't find
No way on earth to find peace of mind

Now I'm happy in the chapel
Where people are of one accord
Yes, we gather in the chapel
Just to sing and praise the Lord

You'll search and you'll search but you'll never find
No way on earth to find peace of mind

Take your troubles to the chapel
Get down on your knees and pray
Then your burdens will be lighter
And you'll surely find a way

Sonny Til and The Orioles recorded it also in 1953.

Elvis Presley's recording was a hit in 1965.    

There have been many others who have recorded this song too, but hey, I have given you three.

I love them all.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

I Won't Back Down

I looked it up...I did a post in 2015 about Tom Petty's song "I Won't Back Down".  You may find it just here.

Reading a bit more about it, I have learned that the song was written in 1987 after Tom Petty's house had burned and he was told that the fire was due to arson.  It was very difficult for him to grasp that someone had done this deliberately. (No one was ever arrested for this crime.)    Defiantly, he rebuilt a bigger house on the same property and he wanted to show the unknown arsonist that he would not back down.  (The song was co written with Jeff Lynne, a friend and fellow composer/ musician/singer.  I hope you know ELO!)

  The song was in heavy play after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  That is what music does, it will sometimes take on a life of its own, in ways that are comforting and just right for the times.

Big sky over Arabia Mountain.   

Monday, October 2, 2017

Running Down A Dream/Sad Day For America/Don Malarkey- Rest In Peace

On this sad day, I have also learned that Tom Petty is on life support after a heart attack. (It is now confirmed that he has died.)
Our son called us and reminded me that the song "Running Down A Dream" was the first song that he was able to pick out on the guitar by himself.
It is a good song.  Hope you like it
Also, I have a few photos here from Eastbourne,  which is in England, as many of my regular readers should already know.
Take care, my friends.

Don Malarkey died today.  One of the "Band of Brothers", he was 96.  He wrote a book "Easy Company Soldier", which I can highly recommend.  Also, I know that "Band of Brothers" was an expertly filmed TV mini series, but if you can, please read the book by Stephen Ambrose.  The men of Easy Company deserve to have their story known.  Thank you.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

This Is A Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Bright orange butterfly on a bright orange flower is a lovely sight!
Panola Mountain State Park posted a photo of a butterfly today on Instagram and asked for someone to identify it.  You know I had to tell them!  The first photo I have given you here is of the Gulf Fritillary showing the front wings.  The next photo is of the back wings...sometimes, depending on how the light hits it, the back wings look silver, like looking into a mirror but get the light just right and you see all those lovely spots with an "eye" looking at you. Can you see it? Once you see this and recognize it, you will always know that it is a Gulf Fritillary butterfly.   (The "eye" is a defense mechanism. If a predator tries to grab it by the "eye", it might be able to get away! And that eye should intimidate them, it looks pretty big, doesn't it?)

Also, butterflies love this is a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) and we grew them from seed.  They are very easy to grow, just need to water them and care for them daily, that is all!
Worth it though, to get the butterflies to come to us! (The stalk of the flower can be very tall...think of Jack and the Beanstalk and you will get the idea...but the flower is rather small, like the size of a zinnia.)

Bright orange butterfly on a bright orange flower! Wonderful color!
Hope Panola Mountain State Park will see this post!

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Lovers Concerto (Bach's Minuet...or PETZOLD'S Minuet)

Same tune, different song!

Bach's minuet in D (or G) is the same tune for the hit song for The Toys in 1965, "A Lovers Concerto".  I found a video from a singer in England that does a really good cover of this song. 

Now, Bach's Minuet...   reading a bit more about it, it appears that a man by the name of Christian Petzold is the one who actually composed this tune! Well, the things I learn when I am researching things for my blog! You can read all about Petzold and Bach just   here.
Hope you know and love Bach already!

Hello raggedy butterfly, even with some of your wing missing, you are still beautiful and going strong.  Let this creature be a lesson for us!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Yellow Daisy Time!

Want to go on a nature hike?  Sure you do!

  If you have read my blog before, you know that this is the time of year to see the lovely Yellow Daisies!  Just look at them all, aren't they something? Keep in mind,  these are native wildflowers, they were not planted and tended and fussed over, they have come up from seed from the year before...isn't that wonderful?  We have observed these for many years on Stone Mountain, Arabia Mountain and Panola Mountain...and we have never seen so many, and not just in the small amounts of soil on the rock but also under the trees and on the forest edge. I found some great info on the Yellow Daisy for you, you may read it just here.
All conditions must have been just right for the Yellow Daisies this year, an early spring with lots of rain is my guess!  But hey, enough of my wonderment and amazement over these beauties, you want to see more of them, right?  
Many of the trees and bushes have died on the mountain from the drought last year...I wonder if this is what happens every decade or so and there is a cycle of death and renewal.  The trees die and then, other plants thrive but then the trees take root and grow again.  There is something comforting to me about that thought, that life works itself out in the best way and everyone benefits.
Yes, that is me talking again and I wanted to show you photos...

Richard, stand over there and let me get a photo of you slightly out of focus! Good man!  (Wait, close your eyes, I won't notice! I only have eyes for DAISIES!)
Richard has been informed that he may only take photos of me from a good distance away...he is a good man and a good photographer!

Look at the close up of this eight- petaled beauty! (Some of them might have only seven petals, but I won't hold that against them, aren't they gorgeous?) And the fragrance is lovely too, if you just take the time to notice.

Not only do the Yellow Daisies bloom at our local mountains and rocky outcrops...but did you know that you may also see them on some of the roadsides? (They only grow within a 60 mile radius of Stone Mountain, Georgia.)  I wonder, do you think it is possible that some might grow in my yard?  What do you think?

These are Yellow Daisies In Our Front Yard!
Please note, no seeds were taken from any of our local mountains for the flowers that you see in the photo above!  It is most important that all the flowers are left to drop their seeds so that we may enjoy this lovely floral display next year and the year after that and so on and so on.  You get the picture!

(There was a sale this past weekend at Stone Mountain Park from the Georgia Native Plant Society. I wasn't able to go but I know they had some Yellow Daisy Seeds for sale!  I would love it if we could fill the Metro Atlanta area with these native wildflowers.)

More photos to come of the Yellow Daisies. Hope you love them as much as we do!

Stay straight in life and if possible, have the beauty of wildflowers beside you!