Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Huckleberry Friends- Johnny Mercer and Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn was a beautiful actress and philanthropist. She really had such grace, such a kind and gentle way about her.  You do know all about her, don't you?  If not, please read about her life story here.  She sung the song "Moon River" in the movie "Breakfast At Tiffany's".  This is really her singing voice which I think is very charming.  Of course, she did not sing the songs in "My Fair Lady", those songs were dubbed by Marnie Nixon, much to the dismay of Audrey Hepburn.
The lyrics to the song "Moon River" are by Johnny Mercer.  He was an incredible talent and such a nice gentleman that he and Audrey Hepburn are somehow linked together in my mind in a common bond of goodness.  He wrote over 1500 songs and was a co-founder of Capitol Records. (Yes, fifteen HUNDRED songs!)  You may read more about him just here. Johnny Mercer must have really liked the phrase in this song, "My huckleberry friend", since that is what he titled his last album of his songs, "My Huckleberry Friend-Johnny Mercer Sings The Songs of Johnny Mercer.  Now, I have read different meanings for "huckleberry" but I believe that his meaning is from Mark Twain's book, "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn".   If you have a huckleberry friend, that is a friend who will stand by you, no matter what.  If you don't understand how that can be from this book, then you need to re-read the book! ( Huck was prepared to turn in the runaway slave that had been caring for him all along the river, but he just couldn't do it. The chapter "You Can't Pray A Lie" is so memorable to me, I remember the name of the chapter!)
Johnny Mercer was from Savannah, Georgia so I hope you will forgive me if I admit that I feel a bit of a kinship with him!  I have been to Savannah, but I have never been to his house which is now also known as the house where "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil" was filmed.
Audrey Hepburn's image is now being used for a chocolate TV ad and it will use this song within the ad as well.  Oh dear, perhaps this will send folks to search engines to find out about Audrey Hepburn and Johnny Mercer, if they don't already know them.  The world could use some huckleberry friends just now!  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rutledge, Georgia



Small towns in Georgia often have a sweet charm all their own. Rutledge is one such town. Years ago, red cabooses were on the backs of trains. (Cabooses were used on all freight trains within the USA until the 1980's. You may read about them here.) This red caboose was transformed into an ice cream shop years ago, but they connected the caboose to the building next door and it is now a small cafe which serves sandwiches and salads.  Very nice place for lunch if you are in Rutledge, Georgia.  After your lunch, you could go to Rutledge Hardware store.  The owner, Paul, has lots of plants that you can grow in your garden and also lots of seeds inside too. In fact, the store is crammed full of so many things, you could spend hours just looking!  (I asked Paul to get some parsnip seeds in, I hope that he does!)
If you are lucky, you might be invited to one of the homes in the area, someone who raises cows and keeps a garden too.  Can you believe that the two calves in the photo above were just born Wednesday of this past week?   They grow so quickly! (Audrey, I thought of you when I took this photo!)
You should have heard all these blackbirds, some of them are red-winged blackbirds and you can see the red wings if you look closely.  There is just something really lovely about a cabbage growing in a field, but you know I asked if I could take it home with me, and now it is in my fridge, ready to be cooked! 
The pineapple is growing in a greenhouse but the plant was rooted by just placing the top of a pineapple in some water, and then it was re-planted in healthy soil.  Now, Kay in Hawaii, this pineapple might be an everyday thing for you to see, but it is a wondrous thing to see in February in Georgia! That cabbage and pineapple must be really good for you, anything that beautiful must be healthy for you.  Hope you are all keeping healthy and happy these days.  Keep an eye out for beauty!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ryan Ferguson - On 48 Hours

There is an old jail at Arabia Mountain which was in use in when the mountain was being quarried. Richard took this photo last Sunday. Of course, it made me think of Ryan Ferguson, who I have written about before.   You may read my post here.   It looks as if the TV show "48 Hours" on CBS will be about Ryan Ferguson tonight (Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013).  Please watch it if you get the chance.  If you are reading this from another country, I think you could possibly watch it after it is aired on TV on Youtube.  (And I think that anyone could see it, after this date also.)
We have had a lot of rain and the weatherman said that he had an official weather term for it:  he said it was "YUCKY".  Then, he reported on all the snow in the midwest and said we in Georgia officially had NOTHING to complain about!  Of course, that reminded me of a song, as almost everything does, if you know anything about me...
The song is "Good Life" by OneRepublic and it has been around for a few years now, but it is a positive kind of song and one that kind of stays on your mind a bit, if you let it.
Now, how does all of this tie in together?  Not sure, really myself, could someone explain it to me?  I just hope that Ryan Ferguson is freed one day and that he is able to build his good life without bitterness or hatred for everything that he has gone through.  And that we think that we might have a bad day and then remember what other people are going through...
Oh dear, this has reminded of another songwriter but that will have to wait for another post!
Let me know if you see "48 Hours" and what you think.

I watched "48 Hours"  and I am hopeful for Ryan Ferguson but I could not help but notice a real disappointment from both him and his lawyer. She stated that for the first time in her life she felt ashamed to be a lawyer, that is how strong she feels of the injustice done to this young man. It left me feeling very sad.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Somewhere Only We Know



Let's get through this winter by looking at some photos that we took in England in the summer of 2010.
 It is a green and pleasant land.
Why don't we go, somewhere only we know...I hope you like that song, it is by Keane, a band from East Sussex, where all of these photos were taken.  (All photos by Richard!)
Can you spot me in one of the photos?  I promise I am not as close to the cliff edge as it looks!
Take care, everyone, and hope you all are having a good week.

Monday, February 18, 2013

People Don't Know When They're Looking At Soul

Sometimes in your life, there might be a song that really speaks to you.  One that might not sell in the millions but one that speaks to you directly.  It is almost as if the singer is saying what you have tried to say for years. Such is the title song of the CD by Glen Campbell, "Ghost On The Canvas". 
I know that I am not nor ever will be an accomplished artist and yet, why do I have this sense of understanding perfectly what this song is about?  The reference to "crows in a wheat field" must be to the painting by Vincent Van Gogh.  "People don't know when they're looking at soul",  I wonder if anyone else hears those words in this song and feels such a strong sense of recognition. 

 If you like, you may read this review.  I agree very much with this writer.  One of the reviewers on Amazon said that after a while, most of the songs sound the same.  Yes, I agree, they are all good!  The incredible musical talent of Glen Campbell just blows me away and his singing voice is so incredibly strong! 
  I love all the songs on this album, not just this one, but this particular one really surprised one point in the video, when Glen Campbell looks at the camera and says "It takes one to know one", I almost jumped out of my chair, as if he was speaking just to me. 
The impression that I get from this music is one of a sincere and unapologetic appreciation of life. Even if that life might have had its ups and downs, the humble thankfulness is very apparent. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Good Vibrations/Clouds & Sunset-Arabia Mountain

Good Vibrations!  Don't you just LOVE that song by the Beach Boys! We need to keep the good vibrations from Valentine's Day, don't you think?   Thanks to Dorothy from the blog the frog and penguinn who thinks very much the same way that I do!  We both keep our cards up for as long as possible!
Did you know that Glen Campbell played on the Good Vibrations song with the Beach Boys? And did you know that one of the members of the Glenn Miller Band played on it too?  I only found that out this week, when this gentleman passed away at the age of 95. His name was Paul Tanner.
At the end of  a busy week, will there be time to walk over a mountain?  Sure, let's take the time!
The clouds were amazing and the sunset that followed was truly spectacular. 
This is me holding our coffee cups! NOT an alien creature! HA!


In that last photo, I loved how the cloud looked as if it was forming a little heart at the bottom, do you see it? For  anyone celebrating their Valentine's Day for this weekend, enjoy! And go and get yourself some of that 50% off chocolate, you know you want to! xx

Oh! And of course, Richard took all of these photos except for this last one...

Richard takes the best photos of anyone I know.  I think they are fantastic! (Of course, this is a good one, since Richard is in it!)

Richard got me the Glen Campbell CD  "Ghost On The Canvas" and I LOVE it!  I must tell you all about it but it will have to wait until another post!  In the meantime, take care and have a great weekend. 

(Why has this print gotten smaller as I am typing, what in the world, am I doing?)

Thursday, February 14, 2013



 Frances Langford, what a gal.  She was a Southerner, from Florida and not only could she sing and act but she also was devoted to her charitable causes.   You may read about her here. Do you remember her from some movies made in the 40's? She was in two of my favorites, she sang "Over There" with James Cagney in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and she sang "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" with Jimmy Stewart in "The Glenn Miller Story".
Frances Langford might be more well known for her performances with Bob Hope as they entertained the troops during World War II. 
I have never heard of this song, "Moonglow" until just recently, but I love it!  It is dreamy and romantic and I can just picture the couples from the 40's dancing to it.  So, since today is Valentine's Day, I wish a dreamy and romantic day for you!  (And this recording is on a vinyl record, and the sound is rich and warm.  I really miss records and albums!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Church on Sunday!
 I have photographed this big rock before, it is in front of St. Simon's Episcopal Church in Conyers, Georgia.  The other photograph was from the front, and I thought I saw a face.  From this angle, it reminds me of a sleepy lion. He looks serene but majestic. Can you see him?  Remind anyone else of "The Chronicles of Narnia"?  After all, C. S. Lewis was an Anglican, you know!

The daffodils had almost bloomed out but there were a few left!  I know that this past weekend in the northeast of the USA, they had three feet of snow in some places and many people were without power. That must have been pretty rough.  In Georgia, it really was a very nice weekend, with mild temperatures...

I hope my son will read this post and see this window which will be familiar to him.   In all the years of his childhood, we would sit near this stained glass window. He always liked the face of Jesus and the faces of the people listening with such attention.  It is supposed to be "The Sermon On The Mount".  The colors really are better than I can photograph them...

Later, on  Sunday, Richard and I enjoyed a nice walk over Arabia Mountain. Do you notice how the rock looks similar to the rock at my church?  It is the same type of granite! Usually, there are many planes flying over but this weekend, we hardly saw or heard any, since many of the flights from the northeast had been cancelled due to the weather.    Peaceful and quiet...

One of the hymns that we sang at church was one of my favorites, "Aleluia, Sing to Jesus".  The words are by William Chatterton Dix and the music is Hyfrydol by Rowland Prichard.    William C. Dix is the same one who wrote the words to the song "What Child Is This" which is set to the tune of "Greensleeves".

The music "Hyfrydol" is Welsh for "cheerful" or "good cheer", and was written by Rowland Hwn Prichard, a Welshman, in 1844 before he was 20 years old.  This same tune is used for several hymns: Love Divine-All Loves Excelling, I Will Sing The Wondrous Story, and Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.  I wish I could have our small but mighty choir from my little church for you here, but I found a beautiful video from Scarborough, in England and you may even sing along to the words!  This is beautiful to listen to but the scenes that are shown in this video are just as beautiful.

For anyone who has suffered a loss of a dear one in the past few weeks, please know that I am thinking for you and praying for you.  We have a part of our service where we have "The Peace".  We stand up and either shake a person's hand or give them a hug and say "Peace be with you", or "The Peace of God"... and so,  I say to you,  "Peace be with you"...always.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Peace Of Wild Things


The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.       

-Wendell Berry

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Richard III

KIng Richard III
Princes In The Tower

Of course, you heard the news that the skeleton discovered under the car park in England really did turn out to be Richard III, right?  Remember from Shakespeare, "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse"?  That would be the king!  Also, I hope it isn't true that he killed the young princes that were imprisoned in the Tower of London.  Let's say that they were allowed to live out their lives in some nice country estate somewhere, and their descendants are happily going about their lives not knowing that they are of royal blood. (Hmmm...I have always thought my Richard carries himself in a very regal manner, I wonder....)
 Speaking of which, did anyone else think about the woman in Canada that they had to contact about the DNA testing?  They did get in touch with her and she told them that her son was living in London, and it was he whose photo you have seen with his cheek being swabbed for the DNA which proved to be a match.  I exactly did they contact this woman in Canada?    Could it have been a short letter like the following?

Dear Mrs.  ____,
We have found some ancient bones in a car park in Leicester, England and we very much believe that they might be the remains of Richard III.  We think that you are the descendant and we wish to check your DNA.  Please contact us as soon as possible. 


    P.S.  This might sound something like a scam, but we are
                                                                        British, after all, and we are deadly serious.

 I suppose they had to be absolutely certain and check the DNA but why didn't they just ask me?  I could have told them, just look at that jaw-line, can't you tell that it is a perfect match!  Now, will he be reburied in a cathedral?  Is he a true king or a usurper of the realm?  I wonder...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Birds of America

Birds, I can't tell you how much I love them.  You might of heard of  John James Audubon and his book,  "The Birds Of North America".  There are only about 120 copies left of this book and one went on auction in London just a few months ago.   In 1820, at the age of 35, John James Audubon decided to record and draw every bird in North America.  Rather than using oils, which was popular for the day, he used water-colors and pastel crayons.  The 435 drawings that he did are all completely life sized.  It is true that he killed many of the birds in order to observe them and to sketch them. He tried to get the money for his project from New York and Philadelphia, but instead he had to go to the United Kingdom for help.  In London, he found Robert Havell as a publisher but it was his son, Robert Havell, Jr  who completed the work.  Today, the Audubon Society has this mission:  To conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity.

If you want to see some fantastic photos of birds, just click on the following...
audubon magazine photography award winners

Cardinal In My Back Yard!

Photo from Audubon Society Magazine

There is a pair of bald eagles nesting at Berry College in Rome, Georgia.  If you click on that link above, you can see the eagles with the new eaglets that just hatched in January! (Can't see them when it is dark though!)  Richard and I loved watching the live cam from the location in Maine this past June showing the opreys with their was fascinating to watch them tend to their young, how carefully they fed them, how the female would hold her wings over her babies to protect them from the sun, how the male would bring back big fish for them to eat.  We look forward to seeing if we are able to witness this with the Bald Eagles too!

On February 15-18,  there will be  a Great Backyard Birdcount and this year, for the first time, it is not just for the USA, it is for the whole world! Wherever you are in the world, you may participate.  You may read all about it here.

Birds...I love them!
Carolina Wren