Thursday, September 15, 2022

Hearts A Busting/"The Lord's My Shepherd" -Jessie Irvine


Recently, I felt so "homesick" for London that I wrote down the names of the bridges that I know that cross the Thames....

Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Hungerford, Westminster, Lambeth, Vauxhall.  There, I think those are in the correct order.... I am walking across them in my mind.

 I find myself looking at that list as I see the lines (queues) alongside the Thames of all the people making their way to pay their last respects to the Queen.  So many! And it is heartwarming to hear how a great many of them have made friends with each other. At the same time here in Georgia, in the USA, our native plant, Euonymus americanus, has gone to seed.  It is most perfectly called "Hearts a busting" and I am happy to say that we now have several in our own garden.   So, "hearts a busting"...that seems appropriate to think of how many might be feeling regarding the passing of Queen Elizabeth.  Sad but also very thankful for her life, with full hearts that feel as though they could burst.  

At the Memorial service for the Queen in Edinburgh they played the hymn "The Lord's My Shepherd" with the tune of "Crimond" being used.  I wondered about that tune and so I looked it up.  (The same hymn with that same tune was performed at the wedding of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip by the way.) Crimond is a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland and the tune was written by the teenaged daughter of the vicar from the church in that town in 1871.  Her name was Jessie Seymour Irvine.  You might see the hymn in some places with the composer of the melody listed as David Grant.  It seems that Jessie Irvine had asked him to work on a portion of the tune (to reharmonize it for her) and somehow, his name was listed as the sole composer.  Jessie Seymour Irvine died in 1887.  It wasn't until the 1940's that letters emerged showing that she had indeed written the tune and David Grant had only provided the harmony. There is still some controversy regarding this.  I am in the Jessie Seymour Irvine camp!

Also, if you look up any info about the church in Crimond, you may see they have a clock that has an extra minute with the inscription, "The hour's coming". Oh! And they also have a fish shaped weather vane!

Now, I am sure that this same hymn, "The Lord's My Shepherd" will be played for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth on Monday.  When you hear it, you will remember that the tune was written by a young Scottish woman, Jessie Seymour Irvine.  (David Grant did the harmony!)

Hopefully, you can hear the video that I have here for you!

NOTE:  There is a hymn at the beginning of the TV show "The Vicar of Dibley".  That is also the 23rd Psalm but it is sung to a different tune.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Time Enough for Tomatoes and Butterflies


Black strawberry tomatoes! "A cross between Bosque Blue with Strawberry Tiger, it is one of the most striking cherry tomatoes you can grow"- that is how it is described in the seed catalogs.  We bought these seeds this year for the first time and how happy it made me see them grow! I am not an artist but I wanted to put these on canvas! Honestly, the way that I exclaimed over them, you would think I had discovered gold in my garden!  How did they taste? Once again, I go to the seed catalog for you..." The flavor is very good. Sweet and perfectly balanced."  And also, "Fantastic, sugar sweet flavor with a hint of grape and plum". Well, I don't know about that but they taste wonderful and look so pretty beside slices of cucumber on a hot summer day! Once again, it was just viewing them on the vines that made me so happy! "A bowlful resembles a luminous and luxurious bunch of gems" is how Baker Creek seeds describes them. See? I'm not lying! 

 As I was looking at photos of our flowers from a few years ago, I came across this picture. Richard liked the Mexican sunflower reflected in the face of this old clock on our wall.  Reflections of a summer past! We didn't have any Mexican sunflowers seeds planted this year...our butterflies have had to make do with the lantana, cosmos and butterfly bush. Next year, Mexican sunflowers will hopefully be planted early enough so that we will have these tall beauties!  They are like butterfly magnets.

  I hope that time is treating you well, my friends! 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Mind Games (Let's Play Wordle)


"It is the brain, the little grey cells on which one must rely."

The quote above is from Hercule Poirot, the Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie.  It is true, of course... we must keep our brains ticking!  Do you like to do word puzzles? I do! I have often enjoyed crossword puzzles and also, making words out of just a few, when Richard got us a weekend subscription to the New York Times, I was pleased to learn that it also gave us access to the Crossword puzzle, the Mini Crossword puzzle and the Spelling Bee! (To be honest, I never have time to do the long crossword, but I am very good at the Mini Crossword and the Spelling Bee. Oh, and the Boxed Letters, I am BRILLIANT!)  A software engineer by the name of Josh Wardle (remember that name!) liked the Spelling Bee game very much also.  (You are given 7 letters to make words. They are in a shape of a hive, the middle letter being in yellow, and that letter must be in each word.)  Josh Wardle and his partner enjoyed playing it together, just as Richard and I do!  In fact, they liked it so very much that he came up with a different game and in a play on his name, he called it "WORDLE"! It is a game where you must guess a five-letter word in six guesses. This game was just released in October of 2021 and yet, it is now enjoyed by millions, and it is still free for everyone. (As I type this post that is true, I am not sure for how long that will be so.)  The interesting thing for me is that Josh Wardle is a Brit (born in Wales) and some of the words might be more familiar to British/English speakers! Having said that, all the words seem to be quite easy.   Here is one word that was used - "M-I-D-G-E". 

How that amused me! I didn't think of that myself (Richard got that one) but of course, I well remember Graham and his friend Pat talking of the midges that drive them crazy on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides in the summer! (I am not familiar with midges myself. We might have them in Georgia, but it would be the MOSQUITOES that you have to watch out for, the blood sucking little MONSTERS.) 

Oh dear, let me get back to the gentle subject of word games and not think of dangerous insects.... So, do any of you play Wordle? I'm sure you do! If not and I get you "hooked" on it, you will thank me, if you like these kinds of games! I first heard of the game back in February.  There was a story of a woman who lived in Chicago who was being held hostage in her own basement.  The woman lived alone, yet the police had been called to check on her. Why? It was because her daughter (who lived on the West Coast!) had not received a text from her mom letting her know her mom's daily Wordle score. The woman was rescued! 

So... maybe that daily Wordle habit is not a bad one to have and if it helps to keep our brains in fine fettle, I am a fan.

Here is a shout out to our friends in England, Henry and Sarah! We love that you also enjoy Wordle! Who knows, by the time we see each other again you might be able to have the Wordle game in a board game! Oh yes, you know HASBRO had to get in on the fun.  You may read about it  here!

One more thing...and I know I drive y'all crazy about films but Josh Wardle has a brother, Tim Wardle who is a film director! "Three Identical Strangers" is his 2018 documentary about identical triplet brothers adopted at birth by different families. They discovered each other at the age of 19, just by chance in 1980. I really liked this movie! And to find out that the director is related to the man who invented "Wordle"...isn't that interesting? 

Here's a five letter word for you...


Keep on playing those mind games forever....

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Eric Ravilious Film!

Doesn't that photo of Richard's above look dreamy?  It is of the South Downs near Eastbourne in England.   There is a British artist that might not be known to you who painted this same landscape in beautiful watercolors, his name is Eric Ravilious. Born in London in 1903, his family moved to Eastbourne where his parents owned an antiques shop.  Eric Ravilious attended school at Eastbourne School of Art and also attended the Royal College of Art. Besides being an artist, he was also a teacher. In 1930, he married one of his art students, Tirzah Garwood. They had three children. (Just reading about them, the entire family seem such talented, interesting people! You may read more about his wife just  here!) Sadly, Eric died on September 2, 1942 during active service when his plane was lost near Iceland and was therefore the first British war artist to die in WW2.   He was only 39 years old.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone made a film about him?  Someone has! It is called "Eric Ravilious: Drawn To War" and I just learned that it has been nominated for a BAFTA!  It is my understanding that the movie will be released in the USA but not until Autumn of this year so...keep an eye out for it! Not sure how many theatres will have the film but I would drive many miles to see it!

The Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne has a permanent collection of his paintings.  I have the link for you here. 

Before you look at some of his paintings, let me leave you with quote from The Sunday Times from 1939....

"He managed to make every subject he painted to appear as something magic, almost mystic, distilled out of the ordinary everyday".

Just because this is such a lovely, dreamy song (I have been humming it all week), "Only The Lonely" by Chris Isaac. It was a huge hit for Roy Orbison who was also the songwriter.)


Hope you are all doing well, my friends!  Seems like it is boiling hot all over the world! Y'all need to go back and read my post about air conditioning. Thank you, Mr. Carrier!

Friday, July 15, 2022

First Song (And I Still Love You)


If any of you are lucky enough to be around someone who knows how to play the guitar, I suggest you ask them to learn some songs by Ralph McTell!  Richard loves to play a song by him called "First Song".  Now, here's the is a beautiful song but it is very hard to sing along as you play it!  Go ahead, try it.... see what I mean? I have the video of the song with Ralph McTell and I do hope you enjoy this as much as I do! (You MUST listen until the very end...but in case you can't, I have given you the ending in the title to this post. AND I found the lyrics too!)

As you are listening to it, I hope you like a few photos that Richard has taken over the past weeks.  Let's see, Richard is a gardener, a musician, and a photographer...what do I do?

Well, SOMEONE has to just sit around and enjoy those around them who are super talented! At least, I am honest and appreciative!

Super zoomed in view of Stone Mountain from Panola Mountain! 

The lovely Fire Pink that I look for every single year.  (It's always there! At Panola Mountain.) And it is hard to photograph- the flowers are delicate and on very slender stalks. The least amount of wind moves them.

This is one of the trails at Panola Mountain State Park.

The Monastery in Rockdale County

"Consider the lilies of the field"

 PLEASE LISTEN TO THE VIDEO ABOVE!!  You will thank me! Music and lyrics by Ralph McTell.


I've written words that say I'm leaving
Words express the pain
Old songs lose young meanings
But new ones they gain
from changes that I've been through
And new ones I'm coming to
And you were my first song and I still....

Sure I still get feelings to get back on the road
And I still get leanings to forget the things I know
About myself and changes gone through and coming to
And you were my first song and I still ....

Do words express true meanings,
I mean the words are still the same
And old loves lose young feelings
But new ones they gain
From changes that I've been through
And new ones I'm coming to
And you were my first song and I still... 

love you.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Memories of June and ELVIS


July is almost here, ready for the sunflowers?
I am showing you a photo of the very small sunflowers from July of 2016 when we had a severe drought here in Georgia. Funny thing, this photo caught my eye because I went for a walk just this morning and I wore this exact same t-shirt! (As long as my clothes don't fall apart, I wear them forever.)  You can't see it but on front of the shirt there is a map of the United States with each state being spelled out.  (I think they had to cram in Massachusetts and Mississippi a bit! LOL.)
I am a cartophile.  Are you one too?  Cartophile is a person with an interest in maps!
My son is the a child he asked about getting a world map.  At the time that I looked into it, all the ones that I found were a bit expensive so what did I do? Found a plastic shower curtain with the world map upon it!  Whenever he asked about a place in the world, I told him to go and "look it up on the shower curtain!".  (This was in the days before the internet. Now you can look up anything.) I know y'all must be terribly impressed by my parenting skills!  Okay, fast forward a few years...after he had grown up and moved out, his old room is still the same for when he visits but it has a nice world map upon on the wall!  Hey, better late than never!

Now, this photo was from April of 2017, and it is from Stone Mountain.  Isn't it nice to see the sparkling blue lake and the spring green of the leaves?  Richard's photos are always so good, don't you think?

The green tree frog photo is from this year, he was in our irises on our front porch. I hope he was trying to get some of the mosquitoes that like to hang out there! Isn't he just the cutest thing?  

As I told you in my last post, we did have some incredible heat in Georgia in June (it was the same in many parts of the country) but thankfully, we had a few spells of rain which cooled things down a wee bit. THANK goodness!  I really was saying "bring me shade".
It's funny to try to park your car in the parking lots...everyone tries to get their car under some kind of shade tree, they are the first spaces to go!
I was able to see the Elvis film! Even with the woman behind me with the LOUDEST cough on Earth and the man beside me who used the smelliest cologne in the Universe, I managed to enjoy the movie.  I have some criticisms about it, of course. Still, it is well worth seeing just for the performance of Austin Butler playing Elvis. It truly is extraordinary. I truly love Tom Hanks but for him to play Col. Parker.... Best for me to not truly say what I think sometimes.  I wonder what one of my favorite directors could have done with it...and that would be Michael Apted! Sadly, we will never know, since Mr. Apted is no longer with us. (If you remember he did the wonderful film , "Coal Miner's Daughter".) He totally understood Loretta Lynn being from the South, I suspect that he might have "gotten" Elvis too! Still, I am glad that this film was made. For one thing, it might make people see Elvis as a real person and not just an "icon" which if I hear that word just ONE more time....!!!!    I can't think the last time I went to a theatre to see a film...okay, just got my husband to help me remember and it was February in 2020!  

Hope the summer is going well for you all!
  And thank you, thank you very much! OH! And I forgot to say...I couldn't help but be thankful that when they portrayed the '68 TV special, I didn't have to be told about it, I already saw it- in 1968! And I LOVED it!

Sunday, June 12, 2022

"Bring Me Sunshine"


If you know the British comedy duo of Morecombe & Wise, then you should recognize their theme song of "Bring Me Sunshine".  My English in-laws had a very nice couple who were their friends and neighbors who actually knew Eric Morecombe and Ernie Wise and they told us that were just as marvelous a pair as you could possibly imagine.  (I've mentioned before to you that I truly don't care how famous a person might be, it is the character that matters the most to me.) Now, I have found a video of them dancing to "Bring Me Sunshine" and I do hope that you will watch it and please, watch it all the way to the end!  (They remind me a bit of Laurel and Hardy, you all must know that I am big fan of them!)


The song was written in 1966 but it was adopted as the theme tune for "Morecombe & Wise" in 1969.  Willie Nelson did a version of it in late 1968 and it reached #16 in the Country Charts in 1969. (Imagine this passing for country music these days!) Of course, Willie Nelson has always been a songwriter, singer and musician who goes his own way. "Great music is great music" is his quote from his famous "Stardust" album from 1978.  (I might tell you more about that album on another post!)

For now, here is Willie singing the song....

There, you MUST be singing or humming or whistling it by now!

These days, I might be changing the lyrics a bit for Georgia and saying, "bring me SHADE"!  It is expected to be in the 90's this week and with humidity, it will feel like 107 degrees...and of course, that's measured in the shade! Still, we have had some very pretty days with temps in the low 80's and a cool breeze.  It has been very nice weather and most enjoyable for our flowers.  And the high temps mean that our birds will very much like their bird baths to be clean and ready for them. You know they will be!

A very wet Towhee!  And by the way, this bird is called a towhee, because that is the call that it makes...Tow-WHEEE".  And I am also happy to say that it also says..."Rich...ARD".  That is what it sounds like to us anyway!  It took years for us to learn that this particular bird had that call. We saw it on a branch of a tree at Panola Mountain State Park and it looked right at us and called Richard's name. It was like discovering gold!

On the topic of not knowing things...we have enjoyed this particular flower at Panola State Park (it blooms along one of the trails there) and we really are not sure of its name. (We think it is some type of native sunflower but other than that.... we love it all the same.)