Thursday, May 31, 2012

In The Pink

I hope that everyone is enjoying the last days of Spring and being able to enjoy being outside!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

Stephen Ambrose in his book "Band Of Brothers" has a quote at the beginning of the book from Henry V by William Shakespeare:  "From this day to the ending of the World, ...we in it shall be remembered...we band of brothers".   This "Walk Of Heroes" is in North Rockdale County in Georgia and the quote that is on the stone wall here is from the Bible, it is John 15:13.  
Many of the veterans that I have talked to always told me that they were always looking out for their buddies, ... their brothers and that goes along very well with all that Stephen Ambrose wrote in this book and in many of the other books that I have read about the men who have gone through war together.    All of the veterans that I have spoken with have always told me the same thing: the true heroes are those who did not make it home.  On Memorial Day, we need to remember those heroes.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies-Gluten Free!

MMMMM....these smell so good! And they taste good too!  If you have an allergy to peanuts, DO NOT make these.  My husband has celiac disease and he cannot have wheat flour, oats, barley or rye.   He CAN have peanuts and he DOES have them!  This recipe was from a Southern Living cookbook from 1983 and they are called MIRACLE COOKIES, since there is not one bit of flour in them.   Here's the recipe, it's easy and I hope you will try it.  (Meike from  has already made them, and I think they were a hit in Germany!)

MIRACLE COOKIES (Peanut butter):

1 cup peanut butter  (I use the crunchy kind)
1 cup sugar   (I use 3/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar)
1 egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla   (If you have it, if not it's okay to omit)
1/2 cup chocolate chips  (You could leave this out too!)
(optional:  some nuts lightly pressed into each cookie, I used pecans, and these few pecans just made them extra special, in my humble opinion!)

That's it!  I just use a fork, I mix the peanut butter and sugar together well,  then I add the egg & vanilla, mixing, mixing, mixing with the fork.  Then, I just work my chocolate chips into the mixture.   I roll them into balls and put them on a cookie sheet (NO NEED TO OIL THE PAN!!)  Then, you take a fork and press down one side, and then again to make a criss-cross pattern on the top.  At this point, you may sprinkle some nuts on the top. Makes about 2 dozen.
Bake at 350 degrees  for about 11-16 minutes.  WATCH them though!  Now, take them out of the oven and DON'T touch them!  They need to sit at least 15 minutes or so, but hey, go and do something else and just enjoy that you have made your house smell so darn good!! (You need to get a spatula and gently lift them off the tray, put into a wax paper lined tin and they will keep for...I don't know, they don't last that long in my house!, but should be good for at least 5 or 6 days.)  These are GLUTEN FREE but honestly, I have made these for years and everyone seems to love them. But NOT IF YOU HAVE A PEANUT ALLERGY, very important to note this!

I have always thought that my friend, Meike's name was pronounced "MIKEY" and even though it is not pronounced that way, it reminded me of the old Life cereal TV ad which I had to find for you!  At the beginning it has the OSCAR MAYER kid for some reason.   Hope you enjoy the cookies and the cute boys from the 70's!  Thank you, MEIKE, for making these cookies!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Young Victoria

Look for some celebrations in Great Britain for the Queen's Diamond Jublilee, which means she will be 60 years on the throne. This will be over the first weekend in June and will extend through what they call the Bank Holiday Monday and then, will go a day further until the Tuesday of June 5th!  Normally, the Brits have a holiday on the last Monday of May, just like we do in America, but it was changed this year due to the Queen's Diamond Jublilee.  I find that extraordinary but quite wonderful!

Now, before those celebrations start, I would advise you to watch the movie, "Young Victoria" and make sure you watch the coronation scene and see if you recognize one of the ladies in waiting . This is such a wonderful movie and yes, they may have played with the facts a bit, but remember it is a film and sometimes that happens for dramatic effect and you shouldn't judge it too harshly.

 Queen Victoria is the longest reigning monarch in Great far!

This is a photo of me and it looks as if I am marching here!  This is from the Redoubt Fortress in Eastbourne (this was built to stop Napoleon and his armies from invading...never happened, but they were ready!)
Oh, and  that reminds me of my one of my favorite Christmas cracker jokes.....

"Where did Queen Victoria keep her armies?"

"Up her sleevies!"

Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend in the USA and
hope all in Great Britain have a wonderful time over the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the following week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

All Things

Canadian Geese with goslings at Lake Alexander
 "All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,
   All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all."

You might know these words from the beautiful hymn written by Cecil Frances Alexander, and you may find more about her at this link on wikipedia.
Of course, I hope you know that is where James Herriot got the idea for the names for his books, which I also love.

White-tailed deer in the field beside the Rockdale River Trail

One of many rabbits on the walking trail around Alexander Lake

Eastern Fence Lizard on Arabia Mountain (It is bright blue underneath, can you see?)


Spiderwort...such a pretty blue!

Pineweed on Arabia Mountain

Richard and I have enjoyed seeing all these living things on our walks at Arabia Mountain and Lake Alexander.   The pineweed is so beautiful and it will have tiny yellow flowers blooming on these in just a few weeks.  This plant looks as if it would be spiky and hard, but it's not, it is soft and delicate and it blows ever so gently in the breeze.  It deserves a name better than "pineweed" in my opinion!

All things bright and beautiful and I appreciate them all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Aimie Copeland

The story of Aimie Copeland from Snellville, Georgia has gone around the world. Have you heard about her?  She is a very beautiful twenty four year old working towards her Masters degree in psychology.  On May 1st, she was on a homemade zipline over a river in Georgia and fell and cut her leg, requiring 22 staples to close the wound.   Later in the week, she became quite ill and was taken to the emergency room and was diagnosed has having the flesh eating bacteria-aeromonas hydrophila.   Her leg was first amputated and then her foot.  Just over this past weekend, her doctors had to inform the family and they had to tell Aimie that her hands had to be amputated.

You may read the story about Aimie written by her father. Andy Copeland at

If you have a chance, please click on the link above and read about this incredible story of courage and faith by this extraordinary young woman.  I do not know Aimie Copeland personally but Snellville is so close to Conyers that a nice woman at my church DOES live in Snellville and she does know the family.  She has asked us at our church to pray for the Copeland family and I ask you to do the same.

Noah Window at St. Simon's Church, Conyers, Georgia

One of the songs that they played for her in the hospital was "Better Together" by Jack Johnson.  I found it for you on Youtube.  I hope you will listen to it and think of Aimie Copeland.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kindness And Courage

There has been a lot of talk recently about bullying.  I wrote a post about it myself, remembering bullies on the schoolbus from my childhood.  In the news yesterday, there was a woman who posted a letter on facebook and expressed how bullying had been a large part of her life in school.  So much so that she actually moved away from the town in California just to get away from it.  Her former classmates have expressed regret and have pooled together and are paying the way for this woman to return to California for a class reunion. (She now lives in the state of New York.) If you click on the link above, that should take you to the video..

 "Forgiveness is a virtue", that is what Louis Zamperini wrote to me in a note that I treasure. (Please go back to my blog and type in HIS name and read the post that I wrote about him... such an amazing man and story!)

"Life is mostly froth and bubble,
 Two things stand like stone,
 Kindness in another's trouble,
 Courage in your own." 
                          Adam Lindsay Gordon

You may read more about Adam Lindsay Gordon here...
This Australian poet, it seems to me, had a very interesting but difficult life and even though life became too much for him, that does not mean that we can't listen to his words and take something from them.
After reading about this poet, it reminded me of the song "Vincent" by Don McLean. I found it for you and I hope you like it.
Please understand that I have such a great pity for those who have suffered from bullying and abuse in their lives. And I hope that if anyone feels they are at the end of the rope, then I sincerely hope that they will seek the help that they need and which is available to them.  I felt so saddened to learn that the poet had committed suicide but since a young man in our small town had done the same thing recently, this also made me think of him.  May all the love from the community bring comfort and healing for his family.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Very Delicate Air

                                                     Photo from from Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

We went for a walk at the Panola Mountain Park on the Rockdale River Trail late yesterday afternoon.  The trail starts at Lake Alexander and then meanders down to the South River.  Just as we started on the trail, Richard had a sharp intake of breath...wouldn't you if you saw this bright blue bird?   It is an indigo bunting and even though it is considered  a fairly common bird , we had never seen one before.   In my reading on it, I understand that it migrates by night and uses the stars for navigation. (As many birds do, that is why light pollution is a problem for birds.)

At the beginning of our walk, it was all bright sunshine but by the time we got back to the lake, the sun was going down and it bathed the water in this lovely pink light.   There were several frogs that began calling, just we arrived at the water's edge.  One of them is the southern cricket frog and the call is very distinct, it sounds like two marbles knocking together..."CLICK-CLICK-CLICK".   These frogs have the ability to orient themselves using the moon's movements and stellar patterns.   Stars again!  Both of these creatures use them.   Fascinating.

So, picture us... we are back at the lake with the pink light all around us... it is quiet and peaceful and there are just a few people fishing.  It is pleasantly warm and still.  The frogs are calling and the birds - the martins and the swallows are swooping and darting over the lake.    Serene and lovely, a very delicate air.

  "This guest of summer, the temple-haunting martlet, ....
    where they most breed and haunt, I have observed, the air is delicate."
     William Shakespeare

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Prometheus- A Must See For Me! UPDATE: I DIDN'T LIKE IT!

Last year, I went to see only one film and it was "The Muppets."  I loved it!   There is a movie that will come out in England on June 1st but it will not be released in America until June 8th and it is a movie that Richard and I will most certainly see!   The name of the movie is "Prometheus", directed by Ridley Scott, who is an English director.   Are you familiar with the "Alien " movies with Sigourney Weaver?  (I really like her, she is half English/half American, did you know?)  This movie will explain what happened BEFORE those movies, that is is why it is called a PRE-quel!  Now, I know that there are naysayers who say that people just make movies like this just to make money, but I say "Tosh" to this.  That may be true, but they wouldn't make any money if people didn't want to see them!  I must admit I didn't care for all the extra Alien movies, but the first one and the second one, "Alien" and "Aliens" were very good  and I would recommend both of them.

This new movie, "Prometheus" has an actor that I really liked from a British TV show called "Luther" and the actor's name is Idris Elba.  He is really from London but if you watch the clip from Youtube you can tell that he is doing an American accent  in this movie, and it is a Southern accent at that, and he is very good at it!  It amazes me how British actors can do such a good American accent.  Many times, if you hadn't seem them in an English show, you would never know they were not American.
If you see this movie, I hope that it is a good one, since I have recommended it to you without even seeing it myself!  Let me know what you think of the trailer for this new movie.  It looks good to me!

UPDATE: I must tell you that I did not like this movie at all! Idris Elba was in it for only a short time, and I felt that the movie was very depressing. Not at all like Alien or Aliens with Sigourney Weaver.  There, perhaps you might like it, but as I say, I would never recommend it!

I can't leave you without some photos of Arabia Mountain.  It is so very different that it is like you are on an alien planet, but it is Earth, just a very beautiful part of it. Can you tell how the rock looks like a different color depending on how the sun is shining upon it? Breathtakingly beautiful.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Blues Brothers/Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn

Wait, did you think that I got that wrong?  I'm sure you think the Blues Brothers should be Dan Akroyd  and John Belushi, right?  Technically yes, but I think that my title of this post is closer to the truth.  Do you remember the movie "The Blues Brothers" from 1980?  The Blues Brothers began as a skit on Saturday Night Live with those two actors mentioned but then, Dan Akroyd was quite serious about the Blues and was able to get John Belushi just as interested.  The Blues Brothers Band was born...

The lead guitarist was Steve Cropper and the bassist was Donald "Duck" Dunn, both friends since their days in high school together in Memphis, Tennessee and when they were bandmates with Booker T. and the MG's. (Remember the song "Green Onions"?)    They were playing together just this past weekend and after a concert Saturday night in Tokyo, "Duck" Dunn died in his sleep.   Steve Cropper's quote was this: "Today I lost my best friend, the world has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live".   Do you wonder where you might have heard the bass guitar from "Duck" Dunn?  How about these songs, " In The Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett, "Sitting On The Dock of The Bay" by Otis Redding, and "Hold On, I'm Coming" by Sam & Dave.   If you watch the movie, "The Blues Brothers" you will see both Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn playing their guitars and being a part of the band...the Blues Brothers Band.  Yes, I think it is safe to say that the REAL Blues Brothers are Steve Cropper and "Duck" Dunn.   The Blues Brothers might have started as a comedy skit, but it became a band with real musicians and it created a respect for the music that I, for one, can really appreciate.

And if you haven't seen the movie, "The Blues Brothers", then what are you waiting for?   It is such a funny movie, and yes, there are some long car chases and a few things that might seem a bit dated now, in our 150-frames-a-second kind of films but so what?  Just watch it for the music!  There are so many people in this film with great musical performances, besides Steve Cropper and "Duck" Dunn, there is Matt Murphy, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Murphey Dunne, James Brown, and Cab Callaway!

Do you know that there is a place on a blog that shows what people have typed into a search engine to arrive at your blog?  Recently, someone typed in "Good Movies" and found this blog!  I hope if someone types that in again,they will see this post and decide to watch "The Blues Brothers" from 1980 and watch Jake and Elwood, the fictional Blues Brothers but then will notice the REAL Blues Brothers and see, Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn playing guitar together, side by side.

   I must thank my brother, Scott for first pointing out to me the seriousness of the Blues Brothers on the TV show, Saturday Night Live and making me stay up late to watch them all those years ago!   Thanks also, to my husband and son, who are the guitarists in my house, side by side!

  Watch this next video and see if it doesn't make you get up and dance along!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Library Baby

Today is Mother's Day and so I think it only right that I share my son with you.  At the risk of embarassing him since he is now all grown up, I must tell you that he is known as "the library baby".  We love our books, you see, and the library was very close to us, so naturally it was a place that we often visited.   The video that I found above shows him with his Dad and Bunny, a friend and neighbor.   He is only on there for just a few seconds at the beginning, but I was really pleased to find this and watch it! (He is wearing one of his "Bert" shirts from Sesame Street.  He loved Bert and Ernie, Richard could do such a great impression of those two!)  Thanks to David who was also a neighbor at the time, who filmed this and put this on Youtube.

 This last photo was taken on the Eastbourne seafront and we are posing in front of the flowers that they call "Snow In Summer" and I love them so very much.  Love you, Christopher... (Matey, Christoph)   Happy Mother's Day to everyone!
   Wait, there is one more video that David did at the library and it shows Christopher dancing!  He had already been dancing for about thirty minutes and David only ran and got the camera just for the last few minutes and little C. was the only one left! You can see me with my big hair in the background watching him.  The quality isn't wonderful but you are able to see his chestnut brown curls bouncing as he dances .  Goodness me, he has always been adorable! 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Coal Miner's Daughter

One of my favorite movies is Coal Miner's Daughter.  It is one of the few movies that my Dad has watched and he really likes it too.  One of the things that I like about it is that it portrays the life of Loretta Lynn without any hint of irony, just plays it like it is and shows her upbringing with a great honor and respect.   This movie was directed by the English director, Michael Apted and he is one of my favorite directors!  Has the documentary "56 Up" come out yet?  He filmed children at the age of seven and have visited them every seven years since that time. Have you ever seen these documentaries?  I find them fascinating.  Michael Apted has also directed some of my favorite movies, Gorillas In The Mist, Amazing Grace, and Voyage Of The Dawn Treader.
   One of my favorite quotes from this movie is, "I may be ignorant but I'm not stupid."  Sissy Spacek did such a wonderful job as Loretta Lynn and I thought Tommy Lee Jones really nailed the part of her husband, Doolittle.   If you watch the video above, I really like that Sissy Spacek got the pronunciation "Daddy" right,  she says it just the way that I do, it is more like "Deady" than "Daddy", but I had to watch how I said that around the Atlanta area growing up, the Atlanta kids would make fun of you!  I would say "boot" for trunk (which is the way it is said in England)  and I would say "Shirl" for the name of "Cheryl", so you can see I had my dual nature at a very early age!  I just read that Coal Miner's Daughter is being developed for  Broadway and will star Zoey Deshanel as Loretta  Lynn.  I like this young singer/actress but I just wonder how she will be at a Southern accent, Sissy Spacek is from Texas and so might have been a bit easier for her to come up with this great accent for this movie. 
Hey! I found the Seven -Up  documentary, so if you would like to see a snippit of it, it is here for you! 
Tomorrow is Mother's Day, so please celebrate and even if you don't have Mother's Day in your country, celebrate and honor your Mother anyway!  All this week I have done my posts in a way to honor my Dad.  Thank you, "Deady", for everything!  This Coal Miner's Daughter's post is for you.  (And that is my cousin, posing with my Dad, dadgum it, doesn't he look a bit like Tommy Lee Jones?)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Baseball Talk

Baseball! What a game!  Last week on May 2, the Atlanta Braves played against their dreaded arch-rival, the Philadelphia Phillies.  With the  score at 6-0 in favor of the Phillies, I was ready to call it a day...
I phoned my Dad (as I often do, we discuss baseball and sometimes "watch" it together on the phone) and he advised me  not to give up, the game wasn't over yet.  Sure enough, in the  5th inning, catcher Brian McCann hit a GRAND SLAM which put the Braves on top at a score of 8-6.  (Note: Grand Slam equals four runs. Bases are loaded and player hits a homerun, all four runners score.)  Both teams battled on and eventually the score was tied at 13-13.  The game went on for two extra innings until Chipper Jones, the unofficial  leader of the Atlanta Braves, who has been with them longer than any other player, and who will retire after this season, stepped to the plate.   Chipper swung the bat and it looked very good for a homerun...but it was not, it went just past the foul pole by a few feet.  By this time, my son was home from work and he said, "He's going to do it, I just know he's going to do it!"...Two pitches later, it happened.  The wonderful "crack' sound of that bat hitting the baseball and everyone watching holding a collective breath.  Yes!  Chipper had done it!  The ball sailed over the outfield wall.  HOMERUN!

Atlanta Braves.svgIt was a beautiful sight to see, the beloved Chipper Jones trotting around the bases, and all the Braves waiting for him in celebration at home plate.  The old lion at 40 years of age had done it.  I thought it was a wonderful thing to witness, the excitement of coming from behind like that was great fun for a baseball fan.  One of my favorite Yogi Berra quotes is "It ain't over til it's over", and it certainly applied to this game.  Since the game on May 2nd, the Braves have had more come from behind victories which reminds me of another one of Yogi's quotes.  "It's Deja Vu all over again".

The Atlanta Braves themselves seemed to channeling Yogi Berra in a  few of their quotes after this game ...

"That's the most psychotic game I've ever been a part of"   Chipper Jones

"As far as things that you never see, tonight was something you don't see."  Brian McCann

And remember my Dad?  The one who told me not to give up on watching the game?  How many times do you think I called him?  At least four times and the last phone call was very happy indeed!

Found a fun video for you!  It is from the Colorado Rockies game from several years ago, but I love that even way up in these cheap seats, everyone is singing along and having a good time.  My sister met and married her husband in Colorado, so this is also a nod to them.  Notice how the crowd lets out a cheer when they mention "From The Mountains" in the song...that is with good reason, those Rocky Mountains are beautiful! And my Dad when he visited my sister there, was able to go to Coors Field in Denver and see them play against the Atlanta Braves.  Baseball!   What a game!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wendy Bagwell And The Sunliters

My sister will be singing this Friday night with the Covington/Conyers Choral Guild.  She might get her singing talent from my mother's side of the family.   My Aunt Jean used to sing gospel music and she actually sang back-up on a record with Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters.  I wish I could find  it for you,  it was called "When The Wagon Was New".  I loved that song.  The song that I did find on YouTube is "Talk About The Good Times" and I really like it, if you listen to it and think about what it is like now, this song seems a bit prophetic to me.

"Ain't this old world taking hate and fear a little too far"....  yes, I think that this might be something we ought to think about.  Also, I wonder if you listen to this, you can see how Elvis Presley was so influenced by gospel music.  He really was a southern boy, you know, and loved his gospel roots.  Now, don't laugh at those hairdos of the girls in this video.  The hairspray companies must have made a fortune in those days, but that was the style!  Now neither of those two girl singers is my Aunt Jean, but if anyone can find "When The Wagon Was New" and you see a very pretty blonde, THAT would be my Aunt Jean!  And if you go the concert on Friday night in Conyers, Georgia, one of the pretty blondes will be my sister!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cornhole Game

"Hey Kay, look this up for me!"  That is what I love to hear my Dad say to me over the phone, and I never know what it is he is trying to find out about.  Tonight, he asked me to find where he could get a game that reminded him of horseshoes but it is played with a strong sturdy bean bag and you toss the bag into a hole in a slanted wooded box and the game is called "Cornhole." 

I have spent some time looking at these games and it looks to me as if they are anywhere from $80.00 and up.  When I told my Dad this, he said, that was too much and did they have any instructions on how to make one.  They do.   Watch and learn. 

Now, Daddy, you do know that Father's Day is coming up.    Would you like this as a present?  Or would you honestly have more fun making this game yourself?  Let me know!

Now, does this make anyone want to run out and make this for themselves?    Of course, you never know, someone might be looking for instructions on how to make this game and stumble upon this blog.  If so, I hope this helps you and I hope you have years of enjoyment from it.  As for me, I am hoping that my Dad will let his children buy it for him and we will have great fun with it on Father's Day!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wildflowers And Osprey/Arabia Mountain

Ready for another walk up Arabia Mountain?  Remember the stone cairns mark the way!
It was already getting hot but we had some rain two nights ago, so we were happy to see the pools full of water once again.  Will there be water draining off the mountain into the lake?  Wait and see...

The yellow flowers looked beautiful against the gray rock.

Yes!  We were happy to see the water cascading down the side of the mountain into the lake. Lovely sound, lovely sight.  I never tire of gazing into these crystal clear pools of water.

We don't know what this flower is... it has small, white flower bunches together at the very top.  This is new to us and we need to identify it! 
This is another one we have never seen, it had yellow and orange flowers on the same plant!  We took a more close-up view later.

The National Audubon Society calls this bird "a magnificent fish hawk" and I agree,  it is an osprey, and this is the first one that Richard and I have ever seen or heard.  Richard heard it before he saw it and knew it was making a noise like a hawk but unlike one we had ever heard before.  When it flew over the lake later, it was completely silent.   When the osprey sees a fish, it swoops down and grabs the fish with its powerful talons.  Then, it turns the fish facing headfirst, so as to make it more aerodynamic and flies with it in its talons and lands on a branch and eats it.
This was the view in front of us while we had our coffee.  The osprey is perched in one of those trees.

And this is the view behind us as we had our coffee!  Beauty all around.

Most of the flowers on this yucca were over six feet tall. The blooms are so massive and the creamy, white color is gorgeous.  The tall blue  flowers are called tradescantia.  And we were happily surprised to see them, we thought they had bloomed out.  (And they were very plentiful, all over the mountain.)  Richard thinks this might be a second blooming for them.   When you are in your fifties, it is nice to think of these flowers being so lovely, in their second bloom!

This is the plant that had a yellow bloom and an orange bloom on the same plant.  The orange hasn't bloomed out here yet, but it was on the same stalk as the yellow! 
There, we have climbed back up to the very top of Arabia Mountain, and we have to pause here, even though we are melting from the heat.  Just look at the view! Ready for some ice-cold water?  You bet!