Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stayin' Alive-Take A CPR Class!


If you click on the link above, you can read the story of a 72 year old man from Newton County, Georgia named Ernest Smith . (Newton County is right next to Rockdale County, where I live.) You may also see a video of him and the three people who came to his aid after a heart attack.  Let's call them Good Samaritans, shall we?  That's what they are! 

One police officer, a county sheriff's deputy and a nurse performed  CPR on the man after his heart attack and luckily, one of the men had a defibrillator which he had never used before!  I hope you will find this story as moving as I did.  When Ernest Smith speaks, it brings tears to my eyes!


Now, if you are ever in a position that you might need to perform CPR on someone, it might be helpful to remember that you need to push HARD and that your pushes need to be to a strong quick beat.  If you ever have a chance to take a course in CPR, I would recommend it to you. Very often, people do not push down hard enough, I know this from taking a class myself!  At one time, music was thought to be a help...in the USA, "Stayin" Alive" was recommended.  It seems that they do not recommend this any longer according to this article on the BBC. ("Nellie The Elephant" was the song for the UK!)


  However, if you can keep a person's heart going until the expert help arrives, it seems to me that it might be useful to remember the beat to "Stayin' Alive"...
PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a doctor or any kind of medical expert, just a suggestion that taking a CPR  class could save a life!

Ending this post with roses from England.  Taking time to smell the roses is also good medical advice, I think it is anyway!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Elvis- Aloha From Hawaii

Last week, Richard and I enjoyed our son and his band, The Sevens, so very much! It made me hunger for more live music and it also  made me think of all the concerts that I have seen in my life.   During the 70's, my sister and I saw quite a few concerts... Elton John, The Eagles, Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt,  and  most wonderful of all...Paul McCartney And Wings!!!  (When Paul  did "Yesterday", just himself singing with his guitar, it was the most magical moment, I can't tell you how beautiful it was!)
My husband and I have seen The Moody Blues in concert SEVEN times! (And we hope to see them again!) 

Now, I also had a very fond memory of a concert by Elvis.  I never saw him in  concert but I remember a concert that he did that was on TV in 1973.  I remember it very well and I thought  it was great.  (With a start, I realized that it was 40 years ago.  Gulp. That went quickly!!)
Anyway, I remember it even being on TV near my birthday in April.  When I looked it up, I see that it was broadcast in January, and it was a big deal since it was on Satellite, the first time a concert
had been broadcast in that manner.  But YAY, I looked further and NBC broadcast it in April of 1973 so my memory did not fail me!   I must tell you that I looked it up on Youtube and I have found the whole concert on there!  I have listened to this concert all week, I just minimize it and continue working on the computer  and although I can't see it, I can hear it, and I am amazed at how much I love EVERY ONE OF THE SONGS!

I told Richard that I wish they would show this concert by Elvis on TV.  Guess what? I just found out that in the Atlanta area, it will be shown on one of our public stations: CHANNEL 30, AT 8PM  ON SATURDAY, THE 3RD OF AUGUST!  That is next Saturday, please make a note of it!  I would think that they will show this in the rest of the country at some time.  If you are reading this from another country, I hope you will able to see it on TV too, but for now, enjoy it on Youtube!

I love Elvis Presley.  I think he was a great singer and as I grew up in the South, I always felt so proud of him.  He was SOUTHERN, don't you know, and if you don't know why that makes him special to me, then you just don't understand this Georgia Girl!
OH! And if anyone has anything negative to say, and I don't often say this, but go somewhere else. I will hear nothing against him. Full stop.

Now, tell me, what was your favorite concert?

 As much as I loved seeing  Paul McCartney and Elvis Presley on TV,  I must tell you that my favorite is now, The Sevens on July 18th, 2013!!

I hope so much to get some of their music on here, but until then, I think Elvis will be nice.

If you click on his name below, that should get you to the concert that I have been listening to.


Thank you.  Thank you very much.  You're beautiful.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stone Mountain-Stay On The Trails

My husband and I love to visit Stone Mountain and walk on the trails there.  The walk-up trail is very popular and there are signs that tell you to stay on the trail.  This week, some teenagers ventured off the trail and had to be rescued.  One of them is in critical condition.  I hope that this young man will recover from his injuries.  For anyone who wishes to visit Stone Mountain, let me just say to you that it is a beautiful spot, and it is called a "mountain" but it is, strictly speaking, a MONADNOCK and although there will be trees and grass and wildflowers growing upon it where soil has collected, it is really made of ROCK.  Therefore, when you walk over the rock, water and even sand can make the rock very slippery.    At the top of the walk-up trail, there is a fence and a few years ago, a man climbed over the fence and his body was found at the base of the mountain the following morning. 
You might think that this could not happen to you, that you would be careful and would know when you might be in trouble.  The problem with that kind of thinking is that our vision is not just based on our eyesight but our perception.  In other words, you might be on the mountain, and walking on a slope just as you normally would and your eyes will tell you that what you are seeing is safe to walk upon...as the mountain becomes steeper, your eyes will begin to perceive the danger but by this time it is too late. 
 In England, my in-laws live near an area that is beautiful but also extremely dangerous.  It is  Beachy Head and there have been many deaths there, one slip off that chalky cliff and the sea is 531 feet below. 
So, be careful when you are walking or hiking and stay on the trails!  Pay attention to the signs that are posted!  They truly are there for a reason.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sign This Petition!

I am sure that you have seen the cover of the Rolling Stone Magazine for the month of August.  It has the face of the Boston Marathon bomber on the cover. (To be strictly legal, we can call him the bombing suspect.)  There is a petition that you may sign which is being sent to Rolling Stone asking them to donate all the money made off that particular issue to go to the VICTIMS of the Boston Marathon bombings.  I have the link for you here.  Please sign it, I hope that they get MILLIONS on that petition.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

The 7's At Smith's Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA.


Our son's concert at Smith's Olde Bar this past Thursday night was fantastic!  The name of the band is The 7's and they were so polished and professional that you would never have guessed this was their first performance EVER!  They only had about 45 minutes on stage and yet, even in that time, Christopher managed to give a shout out to his cheering (and sometimes crying) Mom and photographer Dad in the audience. What a guy!
Why did I cry? I couldn't help but wipe away a few tears...after all, C. played a great guitar, and sang some wonderful songs...all that he had written!  Two of the songs were completely his own, the rest were co-written with the young man with the blue guitar, Tim.  They sounded so good singing together, their harmonies were just a joy to listen to... it was as if the Beatles and the Beach Boys had gotten together to jam.  I am not kidding!  Wes on the bass guitar and Jim on drums brought the sound all together into a masterful performance.

One thing, it was so dark that it was a bit difficult to get a good photo, even for Richard, but I have some on here for you to get an idea of what it was like.   The band only played two cover songs and one of those was "There She Goes" which is a song by a band from the late 80's called The La's.  Believe it or not, the 7's sounded just as good as this video clip I have here for you!  This video is NOT the 7's but I hope that C. will be able to supply me with a link or video for you soon!  Smith's Olde Bar really liked the band, they have been invited back for another gig in September!  Yay!




Thursday, July 18, 2013

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

Christopher will be playing tonight in his band, The 7's!  At first the band was scheduled for June but the date that was finally settled upon was July 18, 2013.  When he gave me that date, it made me smile.  Twenty years ago, on July 18, 1993, Christopher was baptized!  Upon being told of this, Christopher paused and said, "Well, that's appropriate".

(Any Beatles fan should also recognize my title post name...it is the opening line from Sgt. Pepper!) 

We attend St. Simon's Episcopal Church in Conyers, Georgia.  The picture above is of Christopher from last year on Mother's Day.  It is a small church with a tiny choir but the singing and the music is wonderful!  C. was asked to join the choir but since he was very often an acolyte, he never did, but that did not stop him from learning a great deal about music from church.  Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, Aled Jones and Justin Hayward are all wonderful singers who first began singing in church, pretty good company! (I know there are many others, these are the first that came to mind.)
 Own your talents and use them!  That is the advice that I remember reading once and I believe that is our business to find our God-Given gifts and to use them to our fullest ability.  Do you remember the movie, "Chariots of Fire"? Eric Liddell was the famous runner from Scotland and this line from the movie is one I will never forget: "God made me and he made me FAST and when I run, I feel his pleasure".  Now, I know it was a movie and he might not have said those exact words but the movie is based upon his true life and following what God has intended for you to do reminds me of this very much!
If anyone would like to read an excellent sermon which I am also reminded of, you may find it just here!

Hey!  I am very excited about tonight, can you possibly tell?  I hope to be able to have a link to his music very soon so that you might be able to hear him too.  Remember, own your talents and use them!  Peace of God be with you all!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pineapples/ Jelly/Over The Rainbow

Photo: “I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” 
― W.C. Fields

Not only is our son talented at music but somehow, even with his mother's bad influence, he has become a good cook!  The photo above is of a meal that he made a few months ago.  Do you notice that the sauce on the fries is in the shape of a heart?  And he must be my son, I love the big portion of fries (chips) that he has given himself!  In our house, we say "chips' instead of "fries", it can sometimes cause confusion, but welcome to my world!

Hey! Did you know that you can grow a pineapple yourself?  Just cut the top of a fresh pineapple and put it into water and once the roots have grown out, you may plant it into a pot!  Bring it inside during the winter.  My brother has a greenhouse but we just keep ours in our garage.  We think our winters have been just a bit too cold, so we have had this nice spiky plant but no pineapples.   This year, for the first time, we have a pineapple.  It is small, but it is a real pineapple and we are very excited!  The photo below is my brother's pineapple, the one that we have is much smaller!  Kay from Hawaii just had a post recently about the best way to cut a fresh pineapple.  I love it when I see something on a blog that is such useful information. Thanks, Kay!  

Our summer hasn't been too hot this year but it is still nice to have cool dessert, don't you think?
I made something this week that Richard and I both really liked.  It was so simple and easy you won't believe it.   One large strawberry jello- follow the package directions but instead of mixing it with 2 cups cold water, use 2 cups Just Juice 100% cranberry juice!  Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Delicious!  By the way, did you know they say "jelly" instead of gelatin or Jello in England?
This dessert would be strawberry Jelly in England.  I told you things can get confusing at my house!

I spoke with Christopher this evening and he is getting very excited about his band playing at Smith's Olde Bar on Thursday night.  He said that I should be able to have a link to his band's Facebook page very soon and all of you will be able to hear him and his band!  Oh dear, can you tell I am getting excited.  Think I'll go have some strawberry "jelly" with some ice cream to calm my nerves!

Pineapple, music...it reminds me of Iz from Hawaii . Sadly, he is no longer with us but we still have his music...enjoy!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Crashing Through by Robert Kurzon


View From The Steps of The Monastery Church- July 14, 2013

Imagine this scene:  A blind man takes his wife to the eye doctor and as she is having her check-up, the doctor asks if the man would like to have his eyes checked out also.  "I think you will find I am blind", the man playfully says, but allows the doctor to examine him.  Upon completion of the exam, the doctor pauses and said, "I think I can make you see".


There are certain books that you read in your life that you instantly forget, others that will never leave you.  The book, "Crashing Through: The Extraordinary True Story of Risk, Adventure, And the Man Who Dared To See" by Robert Kurzon is in the latter category. It is the true story of  Mike May who was blinded in a childhood accident at three years of age.  His mother was an incredible woman and insisted that he become used to his loss of sight and that it should not hamper him in any way. Mike May "crashed through" his childhood enduring many bumps and bruises.  To say that he became an overachiever is an understatement. Amazingly, he rode motorcycles, broke world records in downhill speed skiing,  joined the CIA, became an inventor and successful businessman.  He was also quite popular with the ladies! He married and had two sons.  In 1999, when the doctor explained that with the new stem cell surgery available to him, it was possible that his vision could be restored, you might think that Mike May would jump at this chance.   Actually, it was a big decision for him, since he felt that he could already "see". 

This book is a fascinating story about Mike May but it is also interesting since it raises so many questions about how we truly see.  Our vision is not just our eyesight but it is also very much about our perception.  There are some chapters in this book that go into some detail about how our vision is shaped by what we expect to see, rather than what we are actually seeing.  You must have seen the picture above...is it an old woman or a young woman? It depends on how you are looking at it.  Our brain is wired in such a way...oh, I am beginning to sound like  I know what I am talking about, you will just have to read the book!

Once his vision was restored, Mike May felt there were a couple of things he truly wanted to see - a beautiful panoramic view and...wait for it...beautiful women!  I had to laugh since, after all, he is a man! Also, I remember that once his sight was restored he knew, for the first time, the meaning of the word "sparkle".  (How would you explain "sparkle" to a blind person?)


The panoramic views at Arabia Mountain and Stone Mountain are breathtaking, and the sight from the top of Beachy Head in England is something I wish everyone could see.  At the same time, a very small wildflower growing in a crack in the sidewalk can be just as appreciated.  If you read this book, please let me know what you think about it.  I did have a copy of it but I gave it away to a friend and I hope they passed it along for someone else to read! Some of the reviews of the book mention that there is a bit too much written about Mike May's personal life, and I can see that point, but I think the author was trying to be true to the life story of Mike May and felt those intimate details needed to be included. 

This book made me wonder...what are some of the most beautiful sights that you have seen in your life? And the first sight of your newborn child does not count, that is a GIVEN!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Civil Wars

C. At Stone Mountain, Georgia.
One week from tonight, Richard and I will be seeing our son, Christopher perform with his band, The 7's at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta!   I just spoke with him tonight and he is full of confidence and looking forward to it with great anticipation. What about me? I am the one who is nervous! Go figure!
Hey, anybody remember the post where I told you that I went to see Dusty at Eddie's Attic in Decatur? The band whose video was on that post was "The Civil Wars" and I just read that they have  released a new album.  That is good news. The bad news is that they have split up and are not even speaking to each other! Also, the second time they ever performed together, they released that as a free album to download, and it was "LIVE FROM EDDIE'S ATTIC".    In other words, I could have seen them at Eddie's Attic!  Oh well.  Also, they did the National Anthem at a Braves Game in April of last year and then sang songs at Turner Field before the game.  I could have seen them in Atlanta!  This song that I found by them, "20 Years", is one that I keep humming.  I really like it.
 Hopefully, the name of our son's band will bring him luck, "The 7's".  (It is meant to mean a 7th chord,  if you know anything about music.  Don't ask me, I only know this is what is meant by the name.)

C. at Beachy Head in Eastbourne, England!
The name of a band might not seem that important but maybe it is.  I am thinking that a band name of  "The Civil Wars" was bound to end up in division and hard feelings.  Such a shame, I love the blend of the two voices together...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sunflower Festival- Rutledge, Georgia


The Sunflower Festival was this past weekend in Rutledge, Georgia.  Since my Dad only lives a few miles from the festival, I always like to go to the festival with him.  My camera lens steamed over as I snapped a quick photo of one of my Dad's sunflowers.  (My header photo right now is from almost the same spot last year.)  From the photo, it looks foggy, it wasn't but it was very cloudy and looked as if it might rain all day.  Guess what, it didn't!  After a while, the clouds blew away and it was a beautiful day.  Don't believe me?  See for yourself!
Every sunflower festival should begin with a tractor parade!   I love the American flag.  George M. Cohan has nothing on me!  (He's the one who wrote "You're A Grand Old Flag".  Please make sure you see the movie "Yankee Doodle Dandy".  Thank you.)
There are artists and other creative people displaying and selling their crafts under the tall oak trees.  Last year, the temperature was over 100, this year...it was the low 80's.  Much more comfortable to enjoy the sunflowers and the atmosphere!
 If you paid $8.00, you could cut as many sunflowers as you could carry.  Many people took them up on this offer.  I always love to see the people walking away with their arms full of sunflowers.
With all this rain, the leaves on the sunflowers made it look like a jungle! And they were tall, very tall, some of these were ten feet high.
There, in the last photo, do you see the oak trees that the people are walking towards?  That is the blessed shade, that once the sun came out, everyone wanted to be underneath it!  All the artists' booths, the entertainment and the food and drink are under the shade trees!
 The sharecropper's house built in 1891 is a focal point with beautiful flowers planted all around it.   Let's get closer, shall we?
Is this a watering trough for cows?   It makes a nice spot for hydrangeas too.
I always take a shot of the pasture and the sky from the window of the sharecropper's house...I love that view!
The family that owns the property now allow weddings in this garden.  You should have seen and heard the hummingbirds here! The Georgia Hummingbird Society had a booth right next to this and they spent the early morning, banding the hummingbirds.  I hope to get there early enough next year and I might be able to hold a hummingbird in my hand, here's hoping. 
The Rocky Creek Band!  I really enjoyed this band, I thought they were fantastic!  When we first sat down to listen to them, they played "Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress" which was a song by the Hollies, an English band! AND the very next song, they announced, was by a fellow Georgian, Otis Redding, and the song was "These Arms of Mine".  Boy oh boy, what a great band!  When they played a song by Elvis Presley, you must know that this was my kind of band!
Hey! If you don't know this song by Otis Redding, you really should! I have it here for you. Enjoy.
Kids had a great time at the Sunflower Festival.  Don't believe me?  Have a look at this!
Yes! That is my Dad who is 86 now but I think he might have been the biggest kid there. He is so funny, you can't believe he would get on this kiddie tractor toy. Nothing like being young at heart.  Can you tell he is having fun?
I told you it turned into a pretty day!  Y'all come back with me next year, same time, okay?  (This was so tall, I just held the camera up as high as I could and snapped the picture! Meike, you know I thought of you, with that yellow against that blue sky!)

Monday, July 8, 2013


For the past few months, I had a link on the side of my blog to Sue's blog with  "Bike MS 2013". Do you remember seeing it?  That was a bike ride for the fight against MS that Sue just completed in Colorado and you may read about it here!    People can do amazing things to help other people...

Did you hear about the bravery of the flight attendant who was one of those on the Asiana flight that just crashed on Saturday in San Francisco?  She is a very petite woman and yet, I saw the photo of her carrying passengers on her back to get them off the plane.  One of the survivors said, "She was so composed, I thought she had come from the terminal".  It was later found that the flight attendant (Lee Yoon-hye) was actually injured herself having broken a bone, but she was the last one off the plane after making sure that no one else needed any help...

In June, 43 year old Mike Patterson dove into a creek in Rome, Georgia  to rescue a drowning 4 year old girl.  Mike saved the little girl but was left paralyzed from the dive.  His nine year old son, Cole, witnessed his father saving the little girl and the aftermath of his father's severe injuries.  On June 28th, Mike Patterson died.
 Please say a prayer for Cole and for the family and friends of Mike Patterson.   Mike Patterson had just started a new job and did not have any health insurance.  (Friends of Mike Patterson set up a Facebook account and asked for donations, and they came pouring in....the account has now been closed.  My thanks to those who responded to this post asking where you could send money.)

I very much admire people, ordinary people, who do extraordinary things when they are called upon do so. 

Mike Patterson, the hero that saved a drowning girl and sacrificed his ...  This is a picture of Mike Patterson.  This is a picture of a hero.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Eddie's Attic - Decatur, Georgia

What fun!  My friend Mary took me to Eddie's Attic in Decatur to see a special performance by someone we have both known for years.  Eddie's Attic is a venue for acoustic music and quite famous for the people who have made a name for themselves in the music business.  I think that John Mayer is one of the most well known.  For years, Dusty Gillham has been playing with a band (Assembly Required) but he is also an award-winning songwriter and for this show, he sang his songs and played the guitar and harmonica.   I worked with Dusty at the travel agency in Conyers for many years and he is such a funny, talented guy.  (The stories I could tell you from the agency! You would be rolling with laughter!)   Great show, Dusty, I enjoyed it immensely!
Also, on the billing was a singer/guitarist by the name of Hunter Callanhan.  Even at the young age of twenty, he reminds me very much of John Mayer!  If  WHEN he becomes famous, you can say you read about him here for the first time!
I really enjoyed two songs that he did as a duo with a young lady named April Hardin. They did the Leonard Cohen song "Hallelujah" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean".  They were both very good but the "Billie Jean" song was just amazing, I had never heard that arrangement before.  I looked it up and found it sung the same way by a duo called "Civil Wars".  (Apparently, "Civil Wars" won a Grammy in 2012.  I had never heard of them until I just found them on Youtube!)  So, I have the video of them singing "Billie Jean" and I hope you like it as much as I do.  Imagine hearing this live and in a very intimate setting, it was incredible.  (I must tell you, I thought Hunter and April were even BETTER than "Civil Wars".  Honestly, I truly think they were!)
It was great to see Dusty Gillham perform his own songs and to see his ease in front of a live audience.  He is hoping to come and see Christopher (my son) when he plays on July 18th at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta.  I am hoping that Christopher will be as comfortable on stage as Dusty was at Eddie's Attic!  (C's band is called GIMME 7's, there will be three bands performing that night and his will be the middle band.  He told me that that they might change the name of the band to simply "The Sevens", but for now," Gimme 7's"  is how it is billed on the calendar for Smith's Olde Bar).
Now, after Hunter Callahan finished his set, he reminded everyone to come and see him later in the month at Smith's Olde Bar! And Mary and I cheered and perhaps his friends around us wondered why, but we were excited since we knew that is where my son will be playing one week after Hunter is there!


Decatur is a lovely place with pubs and cafes and a nice wide plaza in the heart of the downtown.  There are hardly any people here just before the concert because it looked as if it was about to pour with rain.  


Hey! That's me on the far right, Dusty in the middle and my very good friend, Mary!  Notice the sign, it says that on the door that it is a LISTENING Room and if there is any talking, it needs to be done by the PERFORMERS.
(I think I am going to instruct all photographers to take only one half of me from now on!)
Okay now, please let me know if you love this "Billie Jean" as much as I do.  April Hardin, the young woman who sang with Hunter Callahan said before they sang, "You might not recognize this song at first, and if you don't know who wrote it... WE did!"    (She was just kidding, of course.) Great respect to Michael Jackson, a true genius, I think he would have approved of it myself. I am certain of it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Panola Mountain Outcrop Trail/Arabia Mountain

We are growing very fond of the outcrop trail at Panola Mountain.  The trail goes through some pines and then opens up onto hardwoods and then, you get to the rocky outcrop, where you can see lots of wildflowers.  There are a couple of decks with some benches and it is nice to sit and look up at the clouds and listen out for birds, sometimes being rewarded by the sight of a bird you have never seen before!  (Birdwatching tip: LISTEN for birds, chances are you will hear one before you see it, follow the sound, and then, you MIGHT see the bird!)



Butterfly Pea  (Love the name of this little beauty)
Okay, we decided we just had to see Arabia Mountain too!  Can you see the green plants coming up through this moss? They are the Yellow Daisies! We can't wait to see them bloom!
Arabia Mountain!
When I come out from under the pines and see this rock against the sky, it makes my heart sing!
These were in bloom all over the mountain.  They are...oh dear, I forgot, someone can tell me I am sure.  Poly-something curtissi, that is all I remember!  The bees and butterflies loved them!
This last photo is our son from Arabia Mountain from the end of June of last year.   It might look as if he is waving but he is reaching up to touch that tree.  Christopher will be actually performing in a few weeks at a club in Atlanta.  I hope to do a post about it, so look out for it!  Isn't that exciting?