Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Davy Jones and Elvis

Just saw on the news that Davy Jones from the Monkees died today.  Now, I always liked the Monkees but I'll be honest with you, it was Davy Jones that I loved!  My cousin and I used to imitate our aunts (whe were not that much older than we were) and pretend that we were going out on dates.  My cousin, Glenda, always had Elvis as her date.  My date was Davy Jones, always, every time!  When Glenda came to my wedding shower, just before I married my husband from England, she hugged me and said, "You finally got your Davy Jones!"

"Oh, I could hide neath the wings of the bluebird as she sings"

Now, this is not to say that I don't love Elvis.  I do, but I always felt as if Elvis was like a relative to me, he reminded me very much of one of my favorite uncles, Jake.  I grew up watching the really silly movies Elvis made, but I loved them.  Hey, he was Elvis!  When he did that special that they now call the "Comeback Special" in 1968,  I can still remember how really special that TV show of the songs that he did on that show was especially written for his show and I thought of it today because one of the lines from the song is "there must be birds flying higher in a sky more blue". (I suppose I was thinking of my blue sky photos from Stone Mountain.)  After Elvis was given this song to sing...he said he was never going to sing another song he didn't believe in, or make a movie he didn't believe in.  If you watch him sing this song, there is such emotion in his voice and in his movements.  I wish the singers of today had just half as much heart and soul...
 Davy Jones and Elvis Presley, I love them both.  They may now both be gone, but I will always love them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stone Mountain Sunday And Giveaway Winners!

 Hey! We just bought a new camera which was a floor model so we got a great deal on it.  It has a 12x zoom lens which is three times better than the one we had!  Richard is the photographer.  Let's see what it can do on Stone Mountain!   The photo above is at the beginning of the walk up trail and the sun looks and feels so nice coming through those pine trees... 

 And the sunlight falling upon those rocks...just such a lovely sight!
 Up ahead there, is just about the steepest part... you might recognize it from some of my earlier posts on Stone Mountain. 
 This little cedar tree was at the top of the mountain and I took Richard's photo beside it... Richard said to say that this was really some tramp on top of the mountain, but you know it's him, right? ( That just reminded Richard of an example of bad grammar from his old school textbook: the gist of it was that the police were searching for a vagrant in the forest but the student had supposedly written that the "police had gone for a tramp in the woods." )
 Okay, I've given the camera back to Richard now and that's me in the pink jacket with the Atlanta skyline in the distance.  Atlanta is about eighteen miles away....
 The blue of the sky and the blue of the water... I really loved this shot!
 Guess what?  We stopped and spoke for about ten minutes with this man who likes to walk up the mountain and play his guitar and sing.  His name is Tony Taylor and he told us he saw the filming of a movie just that week.   They actually filmed it on the walk-up trail at Stone Mountain and the movie is called "The Killing Season" and stars Robert DeNiro and John Travolta.  So, watch out for the movie when it is released and let me know if you recognize Stone Mountain!
 This is the Confederate Memorial Carving on the face of Stone Mountain. It is really very large but since the mountain is so big, it's a bit hard to imagine how big it is until you see some close up photos of it.
 This is an erythronium or "trout lily"...called "trout" due to the mottling of the leaves.  These were just beginning to bloom.   This is on the Cherokee Trail which skirts around Stone Mountain and goes in front of the Confederate Memorial Carving.  Most of these plants were just pushing themselves up through the rich earth and thick layer of leaves.
 There, can you see me in my pink jacket?  Look how small I look next to the trees and the mountain.  The book that we have on Stone Mountain says the trees have the nutrient-rich  minerals which wash off the mountain, and therefore that is why they are so healthy.  This explains why everything that is on this trail is so magificently beautiful...  We took photos on this same trail in the autumn, if you go back and look at the early November posts from last year, this walk when the leaves are turning color are just a stunning sight.  Even the winter has a charm all its own.  It was still very sunny, we are just in the shadow of the mountain...
 We would like to know the name of this tree which has a very smooth bark and holds its leaves through the was so pleasant to walk and hear these leaves rustling as we passed...
 Now, we have made it to  the Grist Mill, back in the sunshine!  Richard and I had our coffee here and he gave me the camera and I took a few shots! 
 The lake beside the Grist Mill is just so blue and looks so pretty with that blue sky!
 There are lots of trees and bushes that are quite old near the Grist Mill.   A camellia is a welcome sight, especially in February! This flower was above my head (it must be old since it is so tall) and I used the zoom lens on it!

Richard has the camera back now, and he has taken a photo of the mountain as we are going back to our car to go home.  This is the Crossroads Area which has the shops and the stores and activities for the young and the young at heart!

Now, for the giveaway!  I had 14 commenters and have just written all the names on slips of paper and asked my son to draw a name from the hat and it is... 
Scriptor Senex! (  Congratulations! I hope you will like the book on Stone Mountain! Look at my profile and please email me your address!

  Oh wait, couldn't we just have something that I have crocheted as a second little giveaway? Sure, I can, it's my blog!  Another name has been drawn and it  is ...Audrey! (  Audrey, would you please send me an email and I will get this in the mail ASAP!
 That was fun... I'll have to think of another giveaway soon!  Thank you all for reading my blog and commenting!  I really appreciate it more than you can know.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award And Giveaway!

On February 15th, a great gal named Tracey Steele from was kind enough to give the Versatile Blogger award to me.  And then, the author and blogger Jenny Woolf from was sweet enough to do the same!  Therefore, I have concluded that I am truly versatile and I really need to think of some things about myself pretty quickly!  Thank you to both of these wonderful writers and I shall accept this award and will post the nice green sign somewhere on my blog, as soon as I figure out how to do it.

You are supposed to list seven facts about yourself but Jenny had a great idea and she posted some photos that really told a lot about her.   This is a great idea and I hope she won't mind if I copy that idea!  (After posting seven things, you then bestow the versatile blogger award to seven others, letting them know, of course.)

This is a sweet potato that my Daddy saved for me because he knew that I would think it was hilarious.    He really knows his daughter, doesn't he?

I really love to take photos of flowers and trees but this really caught my eye. I loved the contrast in the two greens here.   This was taken in Madison, Georgia. (Nearby town where my Dad lives.)

I am not a good cook or baker but I have made Christmas cookies for years and SOMETIMES they come out really well.  The cookie cooker in the shape of a bird?  That came FREE in a magazine, English, of course!

At Christmas, I always have one special card that I must have close to me...this is one that I tacked up in my work area and  I kept it there long after Christmas!
The Monastery which is right here in Rockdale County is an oasis of great peace and beauty.

We were able to go on a bluebell walk in England in May of 2010.     This was just so beautiful to me. Thank you, Joan and Peter, this meant more to me than you can possibly imagine!

This is a photo of my dear husband and sweet son just before we went on our last walk at Panola Mountain.
Hopefully, you can tell a bit about me from these photos that I have just posted!

Now, for the bloggers that I have nominated for The Versatile Blogger award!  They are (in no particular order):

All of these bloggers write about many different things so I think that should qualify each and every one as being a versatile blogger!

Wait, didn't I say in my title something about a giveaway? It's only something small  but my husband and I were very happy to find a slim book about Stone Mountain that was packed with lots of information.  I have chosen this book as a giveaway since this is....drum roll 100th post! 

If you leave a comment on here, I will put all the comments into one of my son's hats and one day during the coming week, I will draw a name and mail this book to the name chosen!

This is me waving BYE BYE and I just want to say thank you so much for visiting my blog!
GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED:  THANK YOU FOR READING MY BLOG AND I HOPE TO HAVE ANOTHER GIVEAWAY. Scriptor Senex and Audrey Goes Local were the winners...I pulled TWO names from the hat, just for fun.  And it was fun, joyful even. Wishing you joy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Panola Mountain/Walking Gorilla

 A different trail for us! Panola Mountain is just a few miles from Arabia Mountain.   There was a golf course beside this lake and it has now been turned into a nature trail which circles around Lake Alexander and then continues down to the South River which is at the base of Panola Mountain.  You can't really see Panola Mountain from this side, since it is heavily covered with trees.  We walked this trail on Thursday afternoon as soon as I got off work.  If you notice the fish on the sign above, you will notice the same "fishy" sign at the end of our warm afternoon walk.  Let's go!

"Happy Trails to you, until we meet again". I love that this sign is at the beginning of the trail!
We sat  here and had our coffee  overlooking the South River, this was an important waterway for the Native Americans in this area.  Once again, if there is a place in this country that the Indians liked, then there is a a very good chance that is a place that I want to visit.  I would like to see this in the Spring.  On this walk, we saw two deer, a bluebird, a downy woodpecker, several squirrels and sad to say, two dead creatures... a possum and a hawk...that is nature, I suppose.
There were so many different trees on this walk.  I would like to have a book about trees and come back on this walk and try to identify as many as I can...
It really was a beautiful day, this was a field which just looked so tempting that I had to take a photo through the fencing... it reminded me of "The Wizard of Oz", the grass was so green, it didn't look real!  Normally, the grass in the winter just goes brown... and look at that blue sky!

Panola Mountain also has all the passenger jets flying over to the Atlanta airport!

We thought we had enough time to get around this lake but the lake was bigger than we thought...are we going to make it back to our car before dark?

You can always count on Richard to take a good photo of the sun setting.

"Son, look at this tree, go over there and let Richard take  a funny elbow picture of you".  I love it when people do what I tell them to do!

There!  We made it!   The lake was pretty and I can see that the trail will  be really nice in the Spring and Summer...but I really love the walks over Arabia, so we think we will leave this trail for others to enjoy!
So thankful that we were able to get this walk in, we think that we walked for almost four miles! It was about 75 degrees on Thursday afternoon, but after the rain we had is expected to be 33 degrees tomorrow morning!  That is what our weather is like in Georgia, you never know what to attention to the forecast but hope for the best.  Kind of like life itself, isn't it?

And hey, I don't know what made me think of this gorilla walking upright but have you seen it?   It's a really amazing sight for me... we have a very nice area for gorillas at Zoo Atlanta, but I never once in all the years of observing them saw any of them stand up and walk like this one.  Fascinating to me...

And I wrote about Willie B., our famous gorilla who was born free but lived most of his life at the zoo in Atlanta, back on Nov. 2, 2011, if you would like to read it, here is the link to do so:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chariots of Fire and Eric Liddell

In the Episcopal church, we have a calendar of Saints.  Today's feast day is the day to remember Eric Liddell.  You might remember his name from the movie, "Chariots of Fire".   Many movies are just meant for entertainment and they seem to portray people in a more favorable light, but in this case,  they must have been hard pressed to make the moviemakers even believe how good he really was...

Eric Liddell (and it is pronounced as it it rhymes with middle) was actually born in China of Scottish missionaries.  He excelled in athletics and was not only good at track but was also very good at rugby and had to make a choice between the two since he didn't have time for both.
As depicted in the movie, "Chariots of Fire", he won a gold medal at the 1924 Summer Olympics in the men's 400 metres...which really was not his best race.  He was predicted to win in the 100 metres, but refused to do so since it was scheduled for a Sunday.  (He knew this beforehand but in the movie, they depict it as if he only found out about it just the day before.  To me, it makes it even more startling, since he had even more pressure upon him to make this race ...and he still refused.)
Eric Liddell returned to China to work as a Christian missionary and also worked with his brother, who was a doctor.  He married a Canadian woman who was also there with her missionary parents but he had her leave (with their two young daughters and she was pregnant with a third)  when  World War II broke out.  He was imprisoned in an internment camp and was an inspiration to all who knew him. It was discovered only recently that he could have been released but he gave up that place to another person, a pregnant woman.   Eric Liddell died on Feb. 21, 1945.   Langdon Gilkey, one of those in the camp with him, had this to say about him: " He was overflowing with good humour and love for life and with enthusiasm and charm.  It is rare indeed that a person has the good fortune to meet a saint, but he came as close to it as anyone I have ever known."   It pleases me that my church honors him on the Calendar of Saints.

If you have never seen the movie "Chariots of Fire", please watch it.  You can also watch actual scenes of Eric Liddell on Youtube and you will be amazed at how perfectly the actor portrayed him, with his head thrown back and arms flailing at his sides.  I tried very hard to get a clip on here from Youtube and it is "Chariots of Fire - Where Does the Power Come From?"  Just type that in on Youtube and please watch it...I really have worked to get that on here but I've not been able to do so!   I have heard that there is a movie in the works about what happened after "Chariots of Fire", if anyone hears anything else about it, please let me know!    Oh, can you tell that this movie is one of my absolute FAVORITES?  It is!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Alan Rickman

Today is the birthday of one of my favorite actors, Alan Rickman.  Most people  recognize him from the Harry Potter movies as Severus Snape.  He is also well known as the villian from Robin Hood, the one with Kevin Costner from the early 90's.  We loved him in the movie, Galaxy Quest,  PLEASE  watch that movie if you can, it is so funny!  I have found a short clip of Alan Rickman from Galaxy Quest.  Also, I hope you like the clip of Severus Snape with the music playing quietly. It is almost like a silent movie, you can see the expressiveness of his face.   Of course, you really want to make sure you see Alan Rickman in a speaking role because of that voice!  It is magnificent! 

When the Harry Potter books would come out at midnight here, the bookstores would have a party and people would sometimes dress up as characters from the book.  Our son loved all the Harry Potter books...he really is almost the same age as Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who portrayed Harry Potter.  We always made sure we took him to those book parties! (A party to celebrate a book, you know I had to be there too, right?)  Richard decided that if he put on a Halloween wig and sewed some extra buttons on his old black jacket, how close would he look to Severus Snape?   What do you think?  And hey, guess what, Richard has a magnificent voice too!

Happy Birthday, Alan Rickman, I wish you many happy returns of the day!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Arabia, Waking Up For Spring

 On top of the world!  That's what it feels like!  The flowers are just beginning to bloom and we can hardly believe how much we see every time we visit Arabia Mountain. The diamorpha (the red stuff) is growing more and more.  The chance for rain was 100% for Saturday...did that stop us from our mountain?  NO WAY!
 Can you see those delicate white flowers just beginning to bloom? They remind me of snow-in-summer, the flowers that I love so much when I am in England!
 This was at the base of the second mountain over, the one I call the "Quarried Mountain"... we stopped here to have our coffee.  We had a bluebird singing for us as the turkey vultures circled overhead and rode the thermals...

 Can you imagine how nice that shade feels on a sunny day after a brisk walk?  The green of the moss was just...oh so lovely, I wanted to lie down in it!
 As we were sitting on the rock, this moth (I think it is a moth) fluttered down right in front of me!  Can you tell that the wings underneath have not come completely out yet?  Also, the right wing is still curled up...  Do you think that I started singing "Spread your tiny wings and fly away"?  You know that I did!   Can anyone tell me if this is a moth and the name of it?  Those orange spots were lovely and the antennae and legs were the color of wheat...
 Okay, now I really got down on my knees to photograph these flowers...I love this color!
 This is at the top of the mountain next to Arabia.  At first, all I could see was the rocks but now I see how life is coming back to it...
This is on an Eastern Red Cedar tree, the tree right next to didn't have these blue berries but instead had  brownish sort of seeds...after reading about it, the blue is the female and the brown is the male.  Not a true cedar, according to my sources, but really a juniper tree.  Apparently, birds like to eat those berries and so we need to give our thanks to birds for all these Eastern Red Cedars that we see which are called cedars but are not really cedars.  Understand all that?  Good, now explain it to me!

Oh, and that rain?  It held off until the late afternoon, so we were able to spend hours on the mountain! 100 % GRATEFUL!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Mystery Of Lewis Carroll

After finishing this book, The Mystery of Lewis Carroll by Jenny Woolf, I asked myself,  Why did the author choose this title? Why not just call it Lewis Carroll and be done with it?  I think that it may be because even with as much knowledge as the author has uncovered about him, I still think that Lewis Carroll is a mystery to her even now...

 His real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. We all know that he wrote "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland" and he is quite famous for having done so.  He never married and had no children. He  did not become the anglican vicar that he was expected to be.  Seemingly got on better with children than with adults and suffered with what some may call a stammer or a hesitation when speaking.  He  particularly liked being around little girls and photographed many of them, but still maintained these friendships even as they were adults.  Lived and taught Mathematics in Oxford and enjoyed spending many of his summers in Eastbourne, on the southeast coast of England. Lewis Carroll became quite  particular in his very structured and orderly life.  The bare facts of his life are there for anyone to read  but when you go deeper into his life story, many things are simply mystifying.

One of the earlier biographies of Lewis Carroll is by Florence Becker Lennon, an American.  Many of the misconceptions of the life of Lewis Carroll have come from this book.  May I share a quote about her from Jenny Woolf?  "She was also American, and did not fully understand British social attitudes of Carroll's day".   You might think that I would be offended by that but I agree with her and I understand exactly what she means.
Jenny Woolf was able to view his bank accounts from 1856 to 1900. (And her account of being able to do this is extraordinary!)  I remember reading once, " show me what a man spends his money on, and I can tell you what kind of man he is".  I loved the quote from Lewis Carroll that he wished to put his money towards "him that hath no helper".  So, it appeared that he gave to different charities that perhaps were not as well known as others.
I think that it might be possible that his life may be understood better if it might be considered that he  might have been on the Autism Spectrum.  The symptoms vary but in general, they fall into three areas:
1.  Social impairment
2. Communication difficulties
3. Repetitive behaviors

I made so many notes as I read this book, and after looking over all that I had written and then going back to re-read the passages that I had noted to read again. ( I never mark in any book!) , I kept coming to the same conclusion that Lewis Carroll was a very high functioning autistic person and I just wish that someone could have understood and explained all of this to him at the time.  Of course, I could just be totally wrong and be completely off the mark, but read this book and keep these observations in mind and see if you don't agree.    After reading this book,  I quite liked and admired Lewis Carroll but I couldn't help but feel that he had a sad and lonely life and that people didn't really understand him.  I really just wanted to go back in time and shake his hand and say "sorry" and to wish him well.  In a sense, I feel that Jenny Woolf with this book, did that for me...

Oh, and that first photo is of the pier at Eastbourne.  I love the idea of Lewis Carroll walking along the seafront and then up to Beachy Head.  It is a beautiful spot and it pleases me that he enjoyed the walks during his summers there.