Sunday, December 29, 2013

Memories of November

December has been such a contrast to November.  The leaves were a bit late in changing but when they did! Oh my, it was breathtaking.  I went to two Veterans' Services the weekend before Veteran's Day.  It's a bit difficult to describe how moving it was to me, to listen to all the memories of the World War 2 vets at the first service and then, the memories of the veterans from Korea and Vietnam the very next day.

This bridge is (was?) in Germany and was one the Americans gained control over and they fought very hard to do so.

 The middle soldier in the photo above is Bud Sosebee and believe it or not. he could still wear that same uniform! He was wearing it at the Veteran's Service. (Bud Sosebee is very active in raising funds for the Walk Of Heroes, which is a memorial right here in Rockdale County for the veterans.) The soldiers to the right are German officers and he said that they practically ran to the Americans in surrender, they did not want to give up to the Russians.  (My Dad, who was in Berlin in 1945, told me that the Russians had absolutely nothing, and that the Germans knew they would have better treatment under the Americans.)

Jack Simpson was another World War 2 veteran speaker who later worked for the FBI.  He was involved with the Martin Luther King, Jr. murder investigation and is one of those who investigated the car driven by James Earl Ray.  (And don't even think of mentioning any conspiracy theories to Jack Simpson, he very matter-of-factly dismisses them.)  Mr. Simpson also investigated the murder of Lemuel Penn,  which you may read about here.  As I said, a lot to absorb in such a brief time, but all very fascinating to me.
Just had to slip in this photo from Lenora Park, many of the trees had lost their leaves but I found this spot of color and I like this picture since it looks as if the tree is giving me a kiss...I'll take it! (I know, I really do love trees but there are worse things to be crazy about!)

At the second service, these young men reenacted the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima and held it for quite a while. Very moving.  (If you don't know that much about what happened during the South Pacific during World War 2, then I suggest you remedy that and read about it!)

November color! I can't tell you how much I love it! The above photo is the drive which is within Panola Mountain State Park.  Look at that yellow!

This last photo was taken on November 24th!  Still some beautiful color even at that late date! The late afternoon sun shining the last rays upon that fence and trees, lovely!  (This is also at Panola Mountain State Park, see the nice shelter with picnic tables underneath? What a spot for a get-together!)
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a happy 2014.
I have been a bit under the weather, but am hoping for better health in the new year. If only I could get out into some sunshine and color, that is all that I need!
(In fact, I might have said some of this before in an earlier post, but if so, please forgive me.  My mind is a bit foggy at the best of times but when I don't feel well, it's even worse!)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Santa Claus/ Christopher!

Our son always loved Santa Claus and he didn't mind going to see the Santa Claus at the Mall, but that was just someone helping out the REAL Santa who just happened to be at the Kroger right here in Conyers, Georgia!  In the photo above, can you see from Christopher's face how pleased and happy he is to be with the REAL Santa? And also, a little in awe of him I believe because that gentleman behind the fake beard is Bernie Bourdon, you may read about him from this post from two years ago! Christopher has always been smart, he knew he was in the presence of someone very special.
If you are ever asked to dress as Santa, you may want to remember to bring a ROUND cushion with you, just in case that the SQUARE ones are all they can find in the store!!  HA!!
Can you guess who this is behind the beard?  ;-)

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Onion Brunch Bread/ OK Recipe!

Anybody like to try a recipe?   I have to take a covered dish to work tomorrow for our Pot Luck Luncheon.  I have a recipe that came from Oklahoma.  (OH-----KLahoma,  where the wind comes sweeping down the plains!!!)   Oh sorry, I just had to break out into song just there!  (Love me my Rodgers & Hammerstein!)  And OK is the state code for Oklahoma, in case you were wondering about my title post!

I used to work for the Waffle House Office, for the accounting offices in 1980 and we used to get all the utility bills for all the WAffle Houses in the country.  When we would get the bills, there would sometimes be recipes enclosed with the bills, that is where this recipe came from, it was from a gas bill from one of the stores in Oklahoma.
 (Please note- this recipe is NOT gluten free. That Jiffy cornbread mix has flour in it. It is NOT gluten free. I must make all foods gluten free for Richard. We have just found a gluten free cornbread mix, so I will try to make this for Richard, since all the other ingredients that I use ARE gluten free. If you must cook and bake gluten free, make sure all ingredients used are free of gluten!)


1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 carton (8 oz.) sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dillweed
1 Tablespoon mustard
1 1/4 shredded Cheddar cheese
1 pkg. (8 1/2 oz.) corn muffin mix  (Jiffy)
(1/3 cup cornmeal...optional)
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk
1 can cream style corn 
1/4 tsp hot sauce  (note...the recipe calls for this, but I have never used it.)

Saute onion in butter until tender. Combine sour cream, salt, dillweed, mustard and 1/2 cup of the cheese, add to onion, stirring well. 
Combine corn muffin mix and remaining ingredients. Mix well.  (Note...I add about 1/3 cup cornmeal).
Spoon batter into greased pan. (I use my brownie pan!)
*Slather the sour cream/onion mixture over the top and then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes or until firm in the center.  Cut into squares to serve.

If you are reading this from another country and can't get the cornbread mix and cornmeal... well, gee whiz, I am sorry!  Perhaps you could just make the sour cream/onion mixture and put it over some other kind of bread dough and make it that way!  That topping is what makes this so good anyway!
If any of you make this recipe, please let me know how it turns out for you.  This is something that I have made and folks always ask me for the recipe. Now, you all have it!

*Slather...that is what I wrote out for the girls at the office in 1980 when I wrote the recipe for them.  They laughed at me for that word, but that is exactly the correct word! Just goes to show how little I trust myself!

In these busy times, I hope you are finding some time for some peace and quiet...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Officer Morgan Day In Covington, Georgia

Today in the neighboring town of Covington, they had a special day called "Officer Morgan Day".  It was in honor of a five year old little boy named Morgan who has muscular dystrophy and is in a wheelchair.  He idolizes those in law enforcement and wishes to be an officer himself one day.  The Covington Police Department has made it happen! There were lots of surprises for the lad, including a surprise visit from Shaquille O'Neal, a very famous basketball star. (You will be able to know which one he is...he is seven feet tall!)  See the sweet story here. 

If you get a chance to look at the photos on that link, you might recognize Covington. There have been several TV shows and movies filmed there.  Years ago, I was visiting New York City and when I turned on the TV in the hotel room, I was startled to see the courthouse in Covington! It was on the opening credits of "The Dukes Of Hazard".  Now, they film the TV show "The Vampire Diaries" in the square of Covington. 

I was glad to see this on TV.  Making a little boy's dream come true might not be a big news item on the national or international news but it should be.

Thank you, Officer Morgan for your service to Covington and watching out for us!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chas & Dave

Chas & Dave

Chas & Dave, I adore them! Richard's sweet parents gave us the Chas & Dave Jamboree Bag as a cassette tape when our son was very little and we ALWAYS listened to this in the car.  Our son might count them as one of his earliest musical influences!  There are some very old songs on here, some are classics and some you might not have ever heard of before, but they are all great songs.  This is a 25 minute video, listen to it and get up and move around! You don't have to dance, you could just jog in time to the music or lift weights, or just walk quickly around! 
There, don't you feel better?  Chas & Dave have a NEW album out, the first one in 20 years.  They recently performed for Prince Charles! And Richard and I laughed at one of the comments left by someone under the photo of them meeting said, "Proper royalty and Prince Charles"!  Funny! 

It was about this time last year that our son was singing Christmas songs at a local department store.  Hey!  You gotta start out somewhere!  Keep on singing/playing/writing, son.   You might get to play with Chas & Dave one day, here's hoping!
Hope everyone is enjoying the last days before Christmas! Don't let the crazy shoppers get you down.  Keep Christmas in your heart all year round!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Stone Mountain- A Special Place

You can take a cable car to the top of Stone Mountain or you can walk up.  We walk!
I have been asked to show some photos of Stone Mountain on my blog by a sweet friend that I have met through blogging.  And since I do what I am told (well, sometimes anyway!), here they are! Hope everyone else enjoys these too!  Pat, hope these photos will bring back some nice memories of your visit to Georgia!

This year, we had a very short autumn in Georgia.  The leaves took a long time to change colors, so we had a lovely but abbreviated Fall.  Don't believe me?  We went to Stone Mountain on Oct. 27th, and if you look closely at these photos, you will see that the leaves on the trees are still very green and it looks (and felt!) like summer.

We think this might be Panola Mountain in the's in the right direction.


Skyline of Atlanta, about 18 miles away.  See all the green trees!


Never too hot for a coffee! (Look at Stone Mountain Lake, isn't it beautiful!)

Tennis anyone? Finally found someone with a head as big as mine!

This photo shows just how green it still was. We have read that the trees receive minerals that wash off of Stone Mountain and that is why they are so beautifully healthy. 

If you know of anyone visiting in the Atlanta area, make sure and tell them to visit Stone Mountain.
It truly is special.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Morse/Lewis/Endeavour- Great TV Shows, Outstanding Music!

 "Inspector Morse".  That is one of the British shows that I enjoyed watching for years with John Thaw playing Morse.  We have also watched  "Inspector Lewis" ( with his sidekick, Lewis as the Chief Inspector now.)  We loved both of those shows.  A few months ago, I was really happy to watch "Endeavour", which is the prequel to "Morse".  It tells the story of Morse as a young man just starting out...if you get the chance, please do NOT miss any of these shows!

Now, besides the great acting and the beautiful background scenery in Oxford, I really appreciate the music of all of these shows!  Do you remember the music from Inspector Morse?  Can you recognize that the opening notes have a background of what sounds like MorseCode?  It's true! It spells out "MORSE" in Morse Code!   Isn't that incredibly clever? The composer, Barrington Pheloung is from Australia but studied music in England and now lives there.   I notice that he also did the music from a rather disturbing TV series called "Red Riding" which I have to tell you is so very intense that at times I simply could not watch it.  However, the music was excellent.

In my last post I gave you a name of a lyricist, Haven Gillespie, that I bet you have never thought, I have given you the name of a wonderful composer, Barrington Pheloung.  See the things you learn from me?  (Oh, and if you ever need to know this- if you are ever locked up somewhere in a room and you can't scream for help, you can use Morse Code and tap out S-O-S. You do this by three short taps, three long knocks, and then three short taps.  That should do the trick. I think that is right and my computer is so slow, I can't look it up right now. If that isn't right, well, I hope you are never in an emergency when you are with me, you would be OUT OF LUCK! HA!)
Hey! This time last year, Richard and I climbed Panola Mountain!  Not this weekend or today, we have had a lot of rain and a lot of gray, overcast days.  It could be worse, at least we don't have snow!
Stay warm and dry everybody!



Friday, December 6, 2013

Haven Gillespie

"You better watch out, better not cry, better not pout...I'm telling you why...Santa Claus is coming to town!"  Quick, who wrote the words to that song? You don't have to guess, I have already told you in the title of this post!  (Apparently, he didn't especially like it, and it is his most famous song!)

Just this week, I was thinking about one of my blogging friends, John from Rambles From My Chair
because he had a few posts where he mentioned that he had some problems sleeping through the night.  So, John I have another song by Haven Gillespie and this is for you!
 "You're In Kentucky As Sure As You're Born".   (You can see the lyrics that made me think of a sweet slumber.)

When you see a field where grass is blue
And everything looks good to you
You're in Kentucky, sure as you're born

When a million sunbeams, light your way
Says c'mon stranger won't you stay
You're in Kentucky, sure as you're born

When the shadows creep
You can go to sleep
On a carpet of moonbeams
You can dream your dreams
Neath the blanket of gleaming stars

If you wake at dawn amid glistening dew
Find old Dixie kissin' you
You're in Kentucky, sure as you're born

When the shadows creep
You can go to sleep
On a carpet of moonbeams
You can dream your dreams
Neath the blanket of gleaming stars

John and for anyone else who might need a bit of help nodding off, just think of those sweet words...and better yet, find a clip of Chas & Dave singing it! 

Haven Gillespie also wrote the lyrics to "That Lucky Old Sun".  It has been covered by Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones and many others.  Why is it that I only discovered this great song just this week? I love this song!  No wonder so many singers have performed it!   I found this video by Chris Isaak and I hope you like it as much as I do.  I wish that I could write lyrics like Haven Gillespie!  (And I wish I could sing like Chris Isaak!)

All the colorful leaves have gone now but oh, the memory lingers! I am not quite ready to change my header photo, not just yet!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jesse Owens And Friends!

Did you hear on the news that one of the four gold medals won by  Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin is up for auction?  Jesse Owens gave the medal to his friend, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson a few years after the Olympics.  Bojangles Robinson's widow is now selling the gold medal.


I also have a video for you which is from the 1936 Olympics...and tell me if you recognize who is pictured beside Jesse Owens for just a few seconds, at the 2:18 mark....

It is Mr. Louis Zamperini! I was so pleased to recognize him!  I have written about Mr. Zamperini before, he wrote the book "Devil At My Heels" and I sent a letter to Mr. Zamperini in 2004 and he wrote me back! (He is also the subject of Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book, "Unbroken".)  When I visited Alabama (which is where Jesse Owens was born), I purchased a post-card showing a beautiful statue of Jesse Owens from his hometown of Oakville Alabama, and that is the post-card that I sent to Mr. Zamperini!  I thought he would like the gesture since Mr. Zamperini and Jesse Owens were roommates at the Olympics and Mr. Zamperini had written very warmly of his memories of Jesse Owens. ( He called him "a prince of a fellow" and said that he had tried to look out for him, Mr. Zamperini being younger than Jesse Owens.)

Now, if you have watched the video, you will have heard of the German Olympian, Lutz Long who helped Jesse Owens make a change in the way that he set up for his long-jump, and thereby helped Jesse to win his first gold medal.  Lutz Long came in second, winning the silver, but he was the first one to congratulate Jesse on his gold medal win.
Here is the quote from Jesse Owens...

 "You can melt down all the medals and cups I have and they wouldn't be a plating on the twenty four karat friendship I felt for Lutz Long at that moment".

 You may read more about Lutz Long here.

I realize that I have spoken of these men...Jesse Owens, "Bojangles" Robinson, Louis Zamperini and Lutz Long without really saying too much about any of them, but I am hopeful that you already know about them and if not, you will follow the links and learn of them. I promise you it is very much worth your time.