Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer At Arabia Mountain

Arabia Mountain is a place that my husband and I love to visit.  There are beautiful trails there but we especially love to walk over the mountain and see the views from the top.  We haven't been there in a while, ready to go on a late afternoon hike?  Get a bottle of water, it's hot today!

No one knows for sure why this is called ARABIA Mountain, it was possibly named this by the men who quarried the mountain and that they were comparing it to Saudi Arabia because the rock gets so hot in the sun.  And I am here to tell you, it is hot.  The rock retains the heat, you could feel the heat coming off of it and with the sun still on you, it is hot, very hot.  Everything has gone to seed and is in waiting...we have to get through the summer and then this mountain will be covered in yellow daisies!

It has not rained for weeks, so we only saw two small brackish pools of water.  But wait, what is  In this heat?  It looked so much like ice, I had to reach down and touch this just to see why it had the appearance of ice.   I think it might have been the minerals or salt left behind when the water evaporated.  I don't know, of course, it is only a guess.

Richard took a photo of our son who was able to go with us on this day.  This reminds me so much of my post about Willie B, the gorilla from Zoo Atlanta.  I wrote about him on Nov. 2nd of last year if you would like to read about him.  I asked my son if it was okay to compare him with Willie B, and he said it would be an honor.  That's my boy!

Two good-looking guys on top of Arabia Mountain!

The sun is setting behind HOT LANTA!  Can you just see the tall buildings?  It will be hot in Atlanta this weekend, it is expected to be over 100 degrees and may set a rccord for this time of year.

The photo of Atlanta in the sun reminded of this song from the summer of 1966.  I remember that summer very well since my little sister was born that summer and this always reminds me of that hot summer.  "Hotter than a matchhead", yep, that's pretty hot.    Hope you stay cool, wherever you are!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Aimee Copeland Smiling/Sunflower Festival

Aimee Copeland, from Snellville, Georgia, has been in the news for the past two months.  It is wonderful to know how many people must be praying for her all over the world. There is something in this story that should take us all aback and make us humble in the face of it.

If you click on the link above for CNN, you will see a photo of Aimee Copeland being outside of her hospital room for the first time in 49 days!  Nature therapy is what she was working on for her Master's Degree and she still plans on pursuing this.   Her condition has now been upgraded from "serious" to "good" and it is possible that she might be released from the hospital by next week. 

In order to survive the flesh-eating bacteria which invaded her body through a wound from a ziplining accident, the doctors had to amputate her leg, then her foot, and then, both hands.  It was truly touch and go whether or not she would even live.  To see her outside and with such a big smile on her face it something that I just find astounding.  Her father, Andy Copeland, writes in a very honest and moving manner of what Aimee and the family have experienced.   This is not just a story of a tragic accident and the aftermath, this is a story of a family with a great and powerful faith in God.  If you click on the following link this should take you directly to Andy's blog.

There was a fund-raising concert in Snellville, Georgia for Aimee a few weeks ago.  In Rutledge, Georgia this weekend there will be a Sunflower Festival which will sell sunflowers for $1.00.  They will make a chain from these sunflowers and the proceeds from the sunflower-chain will go to Aimie.   Since they expect thousands there, it is hopeful that this will raise a good amount of money to go towards some of her medical bills.  As this Sunflower Festival is very close to my Daddy's house, I plan to attend and I will try to take some photos of it and let you know how the sunflower-chain turns out!
And there is the link for the Sunflower Festival if you would like to read about it! (And this is a black eyed susan from my garden, this is the closest I have to a sunflower!)    I hope you have time to read about Aimee and be amazed and inspired and even humbled.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Men Who Raised The Flag At Iwo Jima

Of the six men photographed raising the flag at Iwo Jima, three of them died shortly afterward in combat. (Franklin Sousley, Michael Strank, and Harlon Block.)  The other three ( Ira Hayes, John Bradley and Rene Gagnon) not only had war memories to try to come to terms with but they were also ordered to make appearances in order to make money for the War Bond Drives.   John Bradley never talked about any of this and it was only after his death that his children discovered that he was one of the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima.  "Flags Of Our Fathers" is the book written by his son,  James Bradley, co-authored by Ron Powers that I would highly recommend that you read.   Ira Hayes, was a quiet soft-spoken Pima Native American from Arizona.  He suffered horribly from all the attention directed at him and became an alcoholic and died at the very young age of 32. (Some famous actress tried to help him and I have searched the internet to find to find who this was, but have been unable to find this information.  It was either an actress or the mother of an actor... I read this somewhere but now, I can't find it...perhaps someone reading this could let me know.) The third young man, Rene Gaynon, who at first seemed the most comfortable with all the scrutiny, also became bitter and in the end, had his own problems with alcohol.

Joe Rosenthal, the man who photographed this second flag raising (there was an earlier flag that was raised but this flag was bigger so as to be seen from a greater distance) won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography for 1945 with this photograph.  It is possible that it might be the most reproduced photograph of all time.  We are so familiar with this image from World War II, we should be just as familiar with the story of the men behind it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Be Gentle With Me/Bloom/Squash

You never know what you will find when you are looking at some of your favorite blogs.  Years ago I was reading one of my crochet blogs and somehow stumbled onto a group called "The Boy Least Likely To", a band from England who use some unusual musical instruments.   I came home and told my son about them and he was very pleased to order their CD.   If I am remembering correctly, in the very early days of this group, if you got their CD, one of the mothers of one of the young men in the band would actually knit or crochet a copy of the CD cover for you.  Now, I may have this totally wrong and may have it mixed up with something else so if there are any other fans out there, perhaps you can let me know if this is right? 
Since this video was shot, I have recognized the opening tinkling type notes on a Coca-cola commercial...And the pretty girl in this video is Rashida Jones, who is quite a popular actress now, I believe.  (Her father is Quincy Jones, the famous record producer, and her mother is Peggy Lipton,  if you are my age, you will remember her from The Mod Squad!)  

There is another song that I just heard about and it is getting a lot of play on You Tube.   It is from a band from Australia called The Paper Kites and the song is called "Bloom".    Let me know if you get a chance to hear these songs and what you think of them.  

Squash! I love it in England or in America.  These yellow squash are from my Dad's garden.   I love the way that these two grew together...and the two shall become one.    Squash in England is a drink! And I always like my orange squash when I am there, but I noticed that Coca-Cola is getting much more popular now.  Please, England, don't get rid of your orange squash, I really love it!  Just like I love the squash from my Dad's garden!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wren's Nest and Osprey-Cam

 When we got back from our trip to England, our son had taken care of the plants inside and outside.  As he was watering one of the hanging baskets of red impatients, he was surprised to see a small brown eye warily looking up at him.  It was a Carolina wren.  These birds will nest in some of the funniest places...sometimes, they will build a nest in a mailbox, a bag of nails, or in a hanging basket of flowers!  Instead of throwing away an old chair, I placed one hanging basket in the broken seat of the chair and the other one hanging off the back of the chair, and placed it outside our kitchen window. Therefore, this nest is just outside our window!  (Wren kitchen-cam)
  There, can you see the nest?  Of course not, it is perfectly camouflaged!  It is just in the middle of this pot just underneath the flowers.  Now, this is tricky...we have to water it just enough to keep this plant alive, but not so much that we want to make it too wet for the eggs!  It was really hot today, and when I came home from work, it was in a serious wilt so I had to water it...hopefully, the eggs will be okay.  I have read that the eggs are supposed to hatch in 14 days after they have been laid, so that must mean that it will be any day now...

 Richard took these photos of the Carolina wren before we went to England.   It is an incredibly sweet little bird, it has a squarish sort of tail that flicks up and down and eats insects as it quickly flits about in the garden. The song of this bird is so very loud for its size!  I remember reading somewhere (and this might not be true but it should be) that the native American name for it meant "little bird with a big voice"...

Richard and I love our birds and we like to support the Audubon Society.  We received an email from them telling us that that they have a web-cam set up on an osprey nest at Hog Island, Maine.  We have spent some time this afternoon watching the osprey feeding fish to their nestlings!  If you would like to see this, go to their website at   and once you are there, you should see where to click on for the live osprey-cam.   It says that the best viewing is from 7AM-8PM Eastern standard time for the USA.   We saw an osprey at Arabia Lake earlier this year and were amazed by the size of this bird and the large wingspan which was obvious even from a good distance away.  From this live web-cam you can really see how big the wings and beak and claws really are...and you can see this also on the baby ospreys!  Please let me know if you are able to see these magnificent creatures and what you think about them. 

Hopefully, we will have baby wrens soon...I will let you know!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beside A Georgia Lake

A good bit of my childhood was spent beside lakes in Georgia.  Just the smell of the water brings back a lot of memories...
These photos were taken on Father's Day and we had a wonderful lunch under the trees beside the was a beautiful day.   My Dad cooked a lot of food: his famous Macaroni & cheese, biscuits, squash casserole, green beans and peach cobbler! (That peach cobbler could have won a food was that good.) 


What a magnificent bird!  This is a great blue heron and it stayed here for the longest time.  What a sight when it flew away!  And what a pleasure it was for it to be right beside us at the lake!

Why do English people say "a load of old cobblers", like it is a bad thing?  And why do we call this wonderful sweet fruit mixture covered in this great dough, a cobbler?
Speaking of which, would you like seconds?  Hope you enjoyed this trip to a Georgia lake, ya'll come back now!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The JOY of Friends!

One of my husband's friends from school is Henry (and I like to think that he is my friend too!)  and you might see his comments here on my blog sometimes.   Henry and Sarah are vegetarians and they invited us to the most delicious lunch ever. Each and every single food item here had such a wonderful taste!  Tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers, lettuce, radishes and those boiled potatoes!  Richard couldn't have the bread and butter, but you know that I did.  Wonderful meal and so nice to enjoy this with them and also with Dave who was not only able to come for this meal, but he also brought Richard some gluten free sausages.  Brave man to bring meat to the home of vegetarians! Thanks, Dave, we were able to take them with us and they were delicious. (You know I had mine with some HP sauce!)

Another longstanding friend from school, Dave, let us know that the coach of the England Football team is from Croydon and went to John Ruskin School.  All three of these guys also are from Croydon and went to John Ruskin!
That is Henry on the left, Dave in the middle and of course, Richard on the right! This photo was taken at the pub at Beachy Head and the very next day we went to Henry's home and had that great lunch that I talked about above. 

 The above photos are of Sarah and Henry and their lovely home.  Not only does the house look like it has a face, but the door does too!   They have a beautiful garden, but it was raining very hard the day that we were there.  It was a pity since we would have loved to have been outside in it.  The sun came out just as we were leaving...typical!  (I was very impressed by the topiary...thought I was in Disneyworld!) Thanks, Henry and Sarah! And Poppy and Bear!
Now, what a great day so far...but it's not over yet.  Sarah and Henry then drive us to Henry's parents for tea.   Joy and Henry had a beautiful table prepared for us with the most beautiful china.  They celebrated their Diamond Anniversary two years ago and did you know that the Queen sends a letter to those celebrating their Diamond, and she PERSONALLY signs the card herself!   Sends it by a special messenger all dressed up in a uniform?  I love the Queen for doing this!  She also does this for those celebrating their 100th birthday!
There is the link if anyone reading this in England is interested.  You must download a form and send it in at least 21 days prior to the date.  I wonder how many people think that she automatically does this? Apparently in 2000, she sent a 100th birthday greeting to her mother, The Queen Mother...I wonder if someone had to send in the on-line form for her?  (Ha, ha, Queen, just kidding, you know I love you, besides, I am American, I can get away with this.) 

   And I took a photo of Joy and Henry's wedding photo, but there was such a reflection from the glass, but you can see that it is them, can't you?  (The church is St. Mary Magdalene in Addiscombe, which is part of Croydon, and it is the church where Richard's parents were married and where Richard was christened.)  What a delightful time we enjoyed with them, they were just sorry we didn't have our son with us.  Laughing and talking and enjoying the company...Thanks, Joy and Henry for the wonderful tea that we enjoyed with you. Those strawberries were to die for!

Joy and Henry have a lovely home with a beautiful garden.  You know that I had to have my photo made in front of this green door.  (That color! Wow!) Can you tell from our smiles what a great time we were having?  JOY!  What a wonderful word and how nice to know someone with that name.  Thanks Joy and Henry, you are diamonds to us!

Happy Father's Day

Wishing a happy Father's Day to all the Dads.  And I wish the very best to my Dad, my father-in-law and to my husband!   I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

A very special Happy Father's Day to two new Daddies, one in England and one in Georgia!  J.J.  with his baby boy, Olly (that I got to see when we were in England!) and Chris in Georgia with his baby girl, Esme. (who I hope to see soon!)    Happy Father's Day to these guys for the first time!  Hope you have a great day.

Friday, June 15, 2012

4th of June, 2012

We were pleased to have this smoked salmon luncheon prepared for us...with champagne for our anniversary!  Joan and her good friend, Betty made this for us.  It was a wonderful and delicious surprise!  Thanks to you both!
And these creamy roses were to die for in this flower bouquet that Richard's parents had for our anniversary.  Thank you, Joan and Peter!

June 4th was also  the night of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert in London and also the night that beacons were lit all over the United Kingdom in honor of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.    There was to be a beacon lighting in Eastbourne and I had no idea what to expect...we saw where the beacon would was near the Wish Tower in Eastbourne, and it had a little fence around it.  When the time drew near, we heard drummers coming, so we hurried to the sound... I found this clip from You-tube and would you believe it, I am just behind that last torch-bearer.  Wow, that was some fire, let me tell you!
 This was the big screen that had the concert next to the beacon!

We left the crowds in front of the TV screen and walked along the seafront.  The sun was setting and the light was golden upon the clouds and the water.  Very peaceful and quiet... we could just hear the concert in the distance... 

Did Queen Victoria really ever say "We are not amused"?  I hope that she did...somehow, I wished that Prince Charles would have said that too...instead, he thanked the comedians for their "jolly good jokes" and I think he was being politely sarcastic because maybe I missed something, but listening to the concert in a big crowd, I didn't hear one funny thing from any of them.   Oh well, as long as Paul McCartney sings in a concert, that's all it takes for me to remember it forever!
I did sing "God Save The Queen" along with the crowd but I only know the first verse.  The funny thing, the crowd only knew the first verse too!  When I mentioned this to my father-in-law, it amused him to read this same observation in The Daily Mail the next day!