Saturday, June 16, 2018

American Animals (Movie)- Love For Birds

A new film that is showing in limited release just now  is "American Animals".  It is based on a true story of four college students who attempted to steal valuable books from the library of Transylvania University in Kentucky in 2004.  What books could be so valuable?  It might give you a hint if I tell you that I discovered this movie info from visiting the Audubon Society website.

(Note- just looked it up and the film is being shown at one theatre in Metro Atlanta, the Regal Tara on Cheshire Bridge Road.)

"Birds of America" by John James Audubon... while on their freshman tour orientation at Transylvania University, they were informed by the librarian that this book in the rare books room at the library was worth millions. (A book so large that we are actually speaking of several folios of the book.)  When they learned that this one sole librarian was the only security for these books, they decided to try to steal them. 

This film is an attempt to get at the truth of this crime and the reasons behind it.  Should I tell you what happens?  Did they get away with it?  No, I will let you either look it up yourself or wait for the film.  I will tell you this- at the time of the crime, the men had no feeling whatsoever for birds, the books themselves were valuable and that was all that they knew.  Since that time (and having served seven years in prison) one of them fell in love with birds and after his release from prison is now an artist specializing in paintings of birds.  (Anybody remember the film "The Birdman of Alcatraz"?  That one is also based on a true story of the inmate  Robert Stroud who became an expert on birds.)

The director of "American Animals" is British,  his name is Bart Layton.  It looks as if he has made quite a few documentaries.  So, I am thinking that his style of film making is one that likes to stick closer to the truth.  (One of my very favorite directors is also British, Michael Apted.  He is the one who did "Coal Miner's Daughter"!   This is one of my Dad's favorite movies! Mine too.)

Having looked a bit further, I found an interview with the librarian from the university library who was a victim in this crime and she has very positive things to say about this film. It is my hope that no one will see this film and think that crime would in any way make someone "special"!  Perhaps as an American living through very troubling times, I am just a bit sensitive on violent criminal activities. 

But hey, what do I know? I have not seen it yet! If I do, I will come back and edit this post! Besides, it is rated "R" and I must admit to you that I rarely like "R" rated movies.  Sometimes I have watched them when they have been edited for TV and I find that what has been cut out was simply not needed and did not add or enhance the story in any way.  
(In my humble but correct opinion, as a writer in our local newspaper likes to say!)

Richard and I sat outside this morning and had our coffee listening to the birds.  We heard one behind our house on a very high tree and in the early morning light, the bird looked to be bright yellow.
Richard ran inside and grabbed the camera and with his ever so steady hand took a picture of it.  To our surprise, it was a Brown Thrasher!  The yellow light upon it really tricked us.  (The front of the Brown Thrasher is white with brown streaks.)
If you observe birds and enjoy them, you will understand the pleasure of this.  If you have yet to discover the thrill of the outside world, then get out there and explore this miracle of our planet!
               Brown Thrasher (Photo by Richard- at 64x zoom and from about 150 feet away!) 
                        This bird is the state bird of Georgia. Singing a song from atop a tree, like the mockingbird, the Brown Thrasher mimics the songs of other birds but typically, each phrase will be sung TWICE.  (If you hear the same song THREE times, then you are hearing the mockingbird!) 

By the way, the students dressed themselves as old men and if you look at the video above, don't you think that one of them looks as if he is Brad Pitt trying to disguise himself?  Is that funny to you or is it just me?  

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Do You Re-use Your Wrapping Paper? Drive Yourself Crazy Finding Bows? Anyone?

My friends, I think that if we truly enjoy something then we want to share that joy with others, don't you think?  Am I the only one that notices beautifully wrapped presents?  I think that a lot of people simply toss the paper away in the bin or if they are good stewards of the planet, they will at least recycle the paper!
Me?  Why, I am like some MAD woman and store away some of the prettiest paper and re- use it again to wrap presents for friends and family! Just look at was a present from Germany, can you see the German words on the paper? (Thanks, Meike!) And since my Dad was in Germany just after World War II, you know I had to wrap his birthday present in this paper!  I happened to have this green ribbon... so even with the pink hearts, I still thought it was just right for my Dad! (After all, it is mostly the green ones that you notice!)

The TIME I have spent looking for just the right color ribbon or bow to go on a present...honestly, you have no idea, I think I must be quite mad...  

And if I can't find one...I will crochet one!  Of course, all of this takes ages...AGES, I tell you!

Since there have been so many weddings and anniversaries lately... I think I will have a nice song for you here.  It is "Romance" and Richard can play this really beautifully but he says he has not been playing enough lately...maybe one day he will allow me to have him playing the guitar for you here! In the meantime, listen to this lovely song.  Interestingly, no one knows who wrote the song but we can still enjoy it!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Bryan Adams At The O2- London 2018

This past Thursday, Bryan Adams was in concert in London at the O2 Arena. Wish I could have been there!  Don't you just love a concert where the audience knows all the words and sings along with great joy and enthusiasm? 

We were saddened to learn of a death in our family.  The husband of Richard's cousin died today.  Just one week ago today, he had attended this concert at the O2 Arena.  I am certain that one of the voices that you hear singing would have been his.   Yes, I am positive of this.

May that great rock and roll band in heaven welcome you with open arms, Graham!  I know I should say rest in peace but if you would have known him, you would know that the rock and roll band would be more like him.

How I wish I could discuss with Graham everything I just learned about Bryan Adams!  Born in Canada to English parents, he is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, photographer, philanthropist and activist.  In other words, an all around good guy! 
Did you know that one of the postage stamps in Canada in 2012 had a fantastic photo of Queen Elizabeth with a wonderful, natural smile? That photo was taken by Bryan Adams!  Isn't that something?
(I can't show you the stamp here but if you just type in "Canadian postage stamp from Bryan Adams" into a search engine you will see it!)

Sorry if  my thoughts are more scattered than usual...this has been really sad news from England today.

                 The Anchor Pub in London -Graham would have loved this, I am sure. (Can you see me in the window?)   Cheers!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

When Someone Says It Wrong...

I hope you will think this is as funny as I do!  My son and I saw this on TV and thought it was hilarious.

By the way, it seems that they have the Snickers bars with words on them in this country now but I showed them to you on my blog first! Richard brought the chocolate bars back from England. See the important things I let you all know about?
Stay tuned! (Just make sure you pronounce your words correctly.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Alice In Wonderland Party- "Off With Her Head!"

Life has been just work, work, work lately but...Richard and I were invited to a garden party recently.  The theme was "Alice In Wonderland" and it felt like Wonderland to me!  The garden was beautiful-peaceful and serene.  Such a pleasant spot!

One of the guests MADE these cookies.  Aren't they exquisite?

Another guest made this centerpiece for the table!  It was so large that it was decided to display it outside.  Look at the detail!

                     Take time to smell the roses. You know I did!

What did we bring to the party?  Richard wanted to take a bottle of Pimm's but they were sold out!  Never mind, he found the most amazing bottle of  french wine with the bottom of the bottle shaped like a rose. I am not kidding! Cote des Roses    (Check it out...see if you love the bottle as much as I do!)  Oh! And just to make sure we had something from England, we also brought along a bottle of Stone's Ginger Wine.  Cheers! 
 (Neither one of us had a drink while we were there, I think we only drank water.  We are such a fun couple! HA! No, you can't drink and drive and it's not fair to drink when your husband can't, so...)

Now, you can see from this tea towel that Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Dodgson) was born in Daresbury in Cheshire but as you know, he lived most of his life in Oxford. However, he spent  the last twenty summers of his life in Eastbourne in East Sussex! (I might have mentioned Eastbourne to you in my past posts!)
There is the most wonderful book by Jenny Woolf entitled "The Mystery Of Lewis Carroll".  I highly recommend it!  
  Jenny Woolf is also a blogging friend and she told me that he loved the walk up to Beachy Head and that he treasured the view.
I love that she shared that with me!

No one said "off with her head" at this party but I decided to pose behind the beautiful centerpiece with my giant basketball head floating behind it.  I keep telling y'all I am funny!

Take care, everyone!  I have about one million things I want to post about, so I hope I can keep all of it on my mind until I have time to do so.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Christopher Robin- (Trailer)

A new movie about Winnie the Pooh!  It will be out on August 3rd!
Isn't that wonderful news?  Entitled "Christopher Robin", the story will be of Christopher Robin as an adult who has lost his imagination and Winnie the Pooh along with the the other friends from the Hundred Acre Wood must help him to find it again.  (I am sure that they will, don't you? Wink, wink!)

This looks absolutely adorable, doesn't it?  And you know that I want to watch this movie with my very own Christopher! 

On a serious note...

We will have our Memorial Day on Monday here in America.
It is in honor of those who have died while serving in the Armed Forces.  I remember them.
My mother's first husband died in Korea.  His name was Roy Lee Hollifield.  He was only 24 years old.  One of my earliest memories is seeing the carefully folded American flag along with his Purple Heart.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

To The Hearts For Whom It Was Written

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!”

Lamentations 3:22-24

Thomas Obadiah Chisholm wrote over 1200 poems in his lifetime.  Many of them were set to music and became hymns.  One of the most well known is "Great Is Thy Faithfulness".   Reading a bit about Mr. Chisholm, I found the following quote:

"I have sought to be true to the Word and to avoid flippant and catchy titles and treatment. I have greatly desired that each hymn and poem might have some definite message to the hearts for whom it was written."

Now, I found a video for you from the British TV Show, "Songs of Praise".  Please note that the singing in this church is from the congregation! They are magnificent singers! Also, the words are here for you to read (and even sing along with, if you like.)  This is a beautiful hymn and I think you will agree that this video is well worth a listen.  

As an added bonus, the church should remind you somewhat of the church that we just saw on Saturday from Windsor! I know that it is not the same one, it just reminds me of it.  (Looking at this today, I am thinking that it is Southwark Cathedral!  I should have recognized it right away, I love it so much.  If you are ever in London, you must promise me that you will visit Southwark Cathedral, it is on the South Bank. Anybody remember that I have been researching my family tree ? We had ancestors who were married at Southwark Cathedral! I was so pleased to learn that.)

If you are ever in England, I would very much recommend that you see as many churches as you can.  You know I do!

                       All Souls Church, Eastbourne, East Sussex