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

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Happy and Glorious!

Goodness me, I thought the Royal Wedding was lovely, didn't you? 
In case you missed it or want to relive a few moments of it, I have the link below for you!

Highlights of Royal Wedding.

The weather was spectacular!  It so much could have been a different story!  Anyone remember the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012?
It poured with rain!  

Anyway, I enjoyed every minute of this wedding today!  If anyone wants to "bash" the Royals or anything pertaining to this wedding, please would you just go away and leave me to this tiny moment of joy? Thank you!

Queen Elizabeth married Prince Phillip on Nov. 20, 1947.  I remember reading a quote from Winston Churchill about their wedding.  I can't find his exact words but I think he said that their Royal Wedding was like a bright light along this weary road of life.  The wedding today made me think of this. 

Stand By Me!  I just bet that that song has never been sung inside the walls of St. George's Chapel!  Amazing, I loved it! (Look up Psalm 46, you will see that Ben E. King was influenced by those words, so the church setting is just right, I think.)  In fact, I loved all the music, didn't you?  (Ave Maria on that cello? Beautiful!)

Ox eye daisies!  There is a beautiful simplicity to daisies that I love.  And guess what, they are not native to America but were introduced here from Europe in the 1800's.  Just thought this might be a nice flower for this post. 

  Best wishes to Harry and Meghan, another English/American couple.  God bless them!

And our very best wishes also for our friends in England who also just got married, Henry and Sarah!    Sending our love to you across the pond!   Jolly Good!  (Give our love to Joy & Henry, we know they enjoyed the Royal Wedding immensely!)  xx

Joy and Henry are Henry's parents...and I have a photo of them from 2015.    Happy and glorious!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018



Want to hear about something amazing?  There is an elephant sanctuary in Africa, specifically in Kenya.  It is the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary and it is owned and operated by the Namunyak Conservancy.  (The first community owned elephant orphanage in all of Africa!) 
 Now, do you know this name- Ami Vitale?  She is an amazing photographer, writer and film maker and I urge you to read a piece that she wrote about the sanctuary in the National Geographic Magazine.   Singing wells in Africa? Learn all about them, the    article is just...

Do any of you have an Instagram account?  Is that what you call it? Oh dear, I have one and I am not even sure! LOL!
My son set me up on one and he chose the kind of things he thought I would like.  I have learned so much about elephants from this one Instagram account...the one from R.E.S.C.U.E., the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary.  The photos and videos of the baby elephants are just ...I am telling you, they are amazing!  
Okay, I have used amazing too much in this post but "causing great wonder" and "startlingly impressive" fits just right!  Let me know what you think!  Who does not love baby elephants?  I ask you who could not?


  1. causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing.

    • informal
      startlingly impressive.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Once, I Saw Bluebells

The photo of myself at the right of this blog shows me amongst the bluebells.  It was taken in May of 2010.  That is the one and only time that I ever saw the bluebells blooming in England.  They were a bit late that year for which I am grateful  The other times that we visited, we would have JUST missed them.
On the BBC recently, they had a list of some of the most beautiful places to visit, and one of those listed was a Bluebell Wood in Hampshire.  Now, these photos are not from Hampshire but are in Sussex.  I can say to you that ANY of the bluebell walks would be a place that anyone should enjoy.  I wondered if there might be a song about bluebells. (You know I would think about music, right?) And sure enough, there is!

Since tomorrow is Mother's Day, I want to say a happy Mother's day to all the mothers out there.  I have a special remembrance for Joan, Richard's Mum, who died in March.  In England, their Mother's day (or Mothering Sunday) was on March 11th, and that day was the Sunday just after his Mum had died.  It is a hard time for many, Mother's Day, when they have lost their mothers.
One of my co-workers lost his mother this week and then, this weekend, we have our Mother's Day.  I am thinking of him too.

Years ago, my brother gave us some Dutch Iris bulbs and this is a gift that keeps on giving.  I might have seen the bluebells only once but this blue comes up every May and it is in my own front yard!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Islay Memorial To American Soldiers from 1918

Just read today of an amazing story that happened one hundred years ago.  (If you didn't see this on the news, please read this!) I saw this on the BBC website and you may read the story
just here.

Towards the end of World War I, an island off the west coast of Scotland named Islay experienced two separate disasters involving  American troop ships.  The Tuscania was torpedoed by a German U- boat on Feb. 5, 1918 and sank.   That same year in October, the ship Otrano was involved in a collision with another ship in stormy seas and it also sank.
Over 700 American soldiers died from the sinkings of these ships.  The small island of Islay (pronounced EYE-la) had most of their own men in World War I, so it was up to those left on the island to care for those who survived the shipwrecks and also to identify those who had been washed ashore.  It was a gruesome task but from all accounts they did this with great honor and reverence.

It is quite impossible to say too much of the humanity of all these people, of their readiness to accept any hardship in the name of mercy, of the gentle, steadfast nursing they gave the soldiers, virtually bringing them back to life.

 As they began preparations to bury the American soldiers, they wished to have an American flag on display in their honor.   They didn't have one so...they MADE one.  Four women and two men working through the night, completing the flag at 2AM, just before the first funeral.
  This beautiful handmade flag is now in the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.  You may read about the story behind it (and see the photo of the flag!) just here.   

Today, there was a memorial service to honor these men on the island of Islay.  That American flag I told you about?  The Smithsonian sent it on loan to Islay and it was used in the Memorial Service for today.

(Photo of my Dad taken 10 years ago at a Veterans Service, posing in front of a big American flag.)

I have read of a memorial in the state of Wisconsin that will honor the 21 men from Baraboo, Wisconsin who survived the sinking of the Tuscania.  You may read about that memorial here.  

Now, I hope that you will find this story just as fascinating and interesting as I do.  I had never heard of this until today so if I have gotten any of my facts wrong, I will be happy to correct any mistakes I have made.  I wanted you all to know about this! 

Our walking iris is blooming!  (I like to call it Apostle Plant.) The fragrance is divine!   Neomarica gracilis

Sunday, April 29, 2018

What's In A Name? (Fearnot and Faintnot)

What's in a name?  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...    William Shakespeare

"Me" -  a name, I call myself!    Oscar Hammerstein  

This past week a new Royal Baby was born.  As always, you have to wait a few days before you know the name of the baby, so...I had first names on my mind, if you will.  At the same time, I was researching the family history of Richard's mother who passed away a few months ago.  Joan's family is firmly rooted in Sussex in England.  I have traced them back for 12 generations.  Two of the first names were so unusual that I have to tell you about them...one is "Fearnot" and the other one is "Faintnot".   Obviously, these words are taken from the Bible and turning them into names at one time was not that unusual.  I found the most wonderful post about these kind of Puritan names, you may read it just here.   (The writer has a list of these names and Fearnot is on the list!)

The most extraordinary thing about the man Fearnot...he named HIS son Fearnot and the second Fearnot named his son the very same.  I noticed it stopped after that 3rd generation! Still, it is amazing to notice these kind of things as you are looking over the long list of names of people who have lived in the past.  And there is a long army of people who went into your being here! It is truly an astounding number when you research it... (My sister and niece have spent a good amount of time looking up our family history, I seem to have an English heart for a good reason, a great number of names are from England.)

Also...looking a bit further, Faintnot also named his son Faintnot and the 2nd Faintnot named HIS son the same! It seemed that the first Fearnot's grandson and the first Faintnot's granddaughter married. Do you wonder if they told each other their grandfather's first names not long after they met and if they had a good laugh?
Note: Faintnot (the first one) born in 1594 and Faintnot (also the first one) was born in 1591.  I hope they met!

Now, although Fearnot and Faintnot are not on my family tree, they are on my husband's and I hope that it is proper that even though these men are not related to me directly, I will take comfort from those strong names...

  Fear NOT and Faint NOT...I will try my best to remember that.

 It just occurred to me that these wonderful names ARE related to my son so I hope he will read this post!

Do you have any names like this on your family tree?  Do tell!

Speaking of names, we could easily call this chocolate bar a
"Stroppy" instead of a "Snickers" but would it still taste as sweet?

strop·py. adjective. The definition of stroppy is a British slang term used to describe someone who is hard to deal with, or who is easily offended.

P.S.   Another name that I found... Performthyevows.  (Perform thy vows.)  Had to tell you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

I'm For The Birds! (And Elephants and Other Creatures)

If you have been reading my blog for anytime, you  might know of my love of the birds.  I recently told you how much I enjoyed the book by David McCullough, "The Wright Brothers".    The brothers were not college educated.  Extremely intelligent, they made careful observation of birds in flight and were able to simulate this with their man-made flying machines (airplanes.)  Other men had made similar machines, the Wright brothers were able to keep their airplanes aloft longer than others and they were able to land them!

"Why Do Birds Matter" is a marvelous piece written by Jonathan Franzen for National Geographic and I have it for you to read just here.    Please read it if you can, he is a wonderful writer and I very much agree with what he has written!

Wait, you are saying to yourself....Jonathan Franzen, isn't he a writer of FICTION? Yes, of course, he most certainly is!    I remember when his book "The Corrections" was chosen as a choice for "Oprah's Book Club" and he somehow expressed discomfort at that decision and Oprah withdrew her selection.  Not to worry, the publicity made the book sell all the more.   I just looked this up and it was back in 2001. (They have since made up!)   So, you might not remember this, or maybe you are like me and you DO remember it and wonder why facts like this are lodged into your brain but you can't remember any of your passwords or the phone number of your only child.

Now, before I got sidetracked there about Jonathan Franzen and my memory-full brain stuffed with facts that I don't need...I was trying to tell you how much I love birds and other creatures.  I do!  I am working on a post about...elephants!  Honest!

Mockingbirds!  Richard was able to get a photo of  this pair on our suet feeder.   They look like they are posing, don't you think?
Birds! They are wild creatures that you can admire for free! (Well, the cost of seeds and suet is helpful!)  And our little dishes of water for them are very much appreciated

Now, please tell me you have observed the birds and admire them!
Do NOT tell me that you are scared of birds because of the film by Alfred Hitchcock!  That was FICTION, don't forget that!  Scary film and very well done but don't dislike birds because of it.