Sunday, March 30, 2014

Happy Mothering Sunday

Happy Mothering Sunday to my dear mother-in-law in England.  Hope you have a lovely day, Joan! And hope you have lots to laugh about, or maybe something to make you pull one of your funny faces!

Thought you might like to see some of your son's wonderful photos.  Oh wait, I think I took this one!
I love this view, you just might recognize it!  :-)  I wish we had that blue bush in Georgia, the color is astonishing!

Hope you enjoy some lovely clouds!  Richard is constantly taking photos of the clouds just like you!

The first miracle that Jesus performed was at the wedding at Cana changing water into wine.

John 2

New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

The Wedding at Cana

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.
His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

Here are some violas for you, Joan!  These are in our own front yard and their little faces are so dear and they smell very sweet.
  Mothering Sunday falls on the 4th Sunday in Lent. And since I am American, Joan also has a Mother's Day in May!
 Happy Mothering Sunday to my blogging friends in England (that means you, Julie!) and any other country who celebrates it today!)
(Happy Mothering Sunday, JOY in Bexhill...hope you have a lovely day!)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Jeremiah Denton and Ben Purcell

Jeremiah Denton, a hero from the Vietnam War, died today. He was 89.
He was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for seven and a half years  You may read more about him here.
When he was shown on TV in 1966 from Vietnam, he blinked the word "torture" with his eyes, in Morse Code.

I have written about Col. Ben Purcell before and you may read that post just here.  Ben and his wife, Anne, wrote a book entitled "Love And Duty".  Col Ben Purcell was held as a POW in Vietnam for five years while his wife was left in Georgia raising their five children,  and tried to make the US government understand the plight of the POW's.   Their book is one of  great love and great faith, and is one that I can highly recommend to you.

Col. Ben Purcell passed away in April of 2013.  I think we should remember and honor these men.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Best Designs

I found a very interesting video on the BBC.  It is titled "Best Things Ever" and if you take the time to watch it, I think you will find it interesting.  You may see it just here.   It is a video of some of the best designs of the year, among them... the fa├žade for Paul Smith in London, a pyramid floating school in Nigeria, United Nations Delegate's chair with 2 wheels on the front, a wristwatch for the blind, an easily read font from the UK,  a beautiful housing scheme in England,  a children's chemo house in Japan and a wheelchair that adapts for children as they grow.  You really must watch the video!

For me, when something is perfectly designed and it is also extremely useful and practical, then it becomes a thing of beauty.
If you have time to watch the video, let me know what you think and which one of these designs made you say "wow".  I love the museums in London and this video makes me see that I need to see one more:  The Design Museum!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stone Mountain- Monadnock Number Three!!!

Mission Accomplished!  I can happily tell you that even with a threatening sky that looked very much like rain, Richard and I hiked up Stone Mountain this weekend.  Because of the weatherman's prediction of 80 percent chance of rain, the park was fairly deserted...this is almost unheard of for a is usually packed with people.  It was delightful!  On our walk up the mountain, it was so quiet, so dear (deer!)

This is the sign that they had posted at Stone Mountain for Monadnock Madness. Do you see how they seem to emphasize the 3 mountains in 1 day?  I think it would be fun to do all three in one day, and I think I could do it, but I also did the three within the month of March,  I am glad to tell you that I received the special gift at the base of Stone Mountain, from the nice lady at the beautiful Confederate Hall building. She informed me that there will be a Wildflower Hike at Stone Mountain Park on May 10th.  You know I signed up for it!  I was pleased to see that the man who will be leading the hike, Larry Winslett is one of those who has done much of the great work at Stone Mountain in preserving the natural areas of the park.  It is his photos that are displayed so prominently around Stone Mountain Park.  I am looking forward to meeting him!
Richard took almost all these photos, but I took this next one!  That's a photo of Richard going up the mountain.  I told you it was quiet.
Here I am on top of Stone Mountain!  Richard, don't take this picture if my hair is blowing straight up...Richard, it's not doing that, promise me?
Wow, after we climbed down the mountain, the wind blew the clouds away and it was the prettiest blue sky day you could ever imagine, it turned into a lovely day!
The next time the weatherman predicts a rainy day, take a chance and go where you want to go, he might be wrong, he was this time!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Panola Mountain State Park- TAKE A HIKE

Today, I climbed Panola Mountain, the second monadnock on my list for Monadnock Madness!

It was a wonderfully warm Spring day, perfect for a hike through the woods to the mountain and our trek up the mountain.  Panola Mountain can only be climbed as part of a group, with a guide to take you up the mountain. It is a protected area.  Our guide today was Jeff Nix and we had a nice large group for our hike. Thanks, Jeff for leading us today! (AND  I hope I didn't talk your ear off, but I really do love the monadnoacks and all that grow on them!)  Our hike took us three hours! Glad I
could make it! Want to see some photos?  Sure you do!

My husband didn't come on this hike but my son did! That's Christopher holding up the tree on the left!

There's a pretty lake at the base of the mountain, with the plutons (boulders) right at the water's edge.
Christopher is wearing a great shirt here that I bought for him at the gift shop at Panola Mountain.  It says "Take A Hike", and the photo behind the word "hike" was actually taken at sunset from the top of Panola Mountain and you can see the setting sun lighting up the buildings of downtown Atlanta on the horizon..  That is so cool! It was taken during one of the Moonlight hikes, I hope to go on one of those! AND I hope they get more of those shirts, I love the thought of telling someone to TAKE A HIKE! (And I mean it sincerely, but I also like to think of it in a funny way know, like GET LOST!  HA!)
Resurrection ferns growing on one of those plutons beside the lake, I couldn't believe how thick they were on this rock!
Okay, we have been walking on Panola Mountain for a bit here and there are so many trees that Jeff forgot to tell us to look on the horizon for Stone Mountain...
but look, here is Arabia Mountain!  I zoomed in just so you could see it, it was a bit hazy today, but that is our amazing Arabia Mountain!
That's Tracey on the far left, she hugged me at the end of our walk. She reads my blog! She told me she is a friend of mine on Instagram, very nice to meet you, Tracey! And also the nice guy who told me he worked for BT which stands for BRITISH TELECOM!  (Hey, I am Georgia Girl With An English Heart, you know!)   Guys, leave me a comment, if you see this post!
Very little foot traffic is allowed on Panola Mountain.  It is thickly covered in lichen and mosses and the different shades and textures are very pleasing to the eye.
Yucca!  These will have the most beautiful creamy flowers in the month of April, hope I get to see them!
Yellow jasmine are blooming on the mountain, a beautiful shade of yellow!
Here we are coming down the mountain!  It is much steeper than it looks.  This is called the "butt slide" as some find it easier to come down it, in a crab-like fashion, but Jeff told us he thought all of us could make it down on two feet and all of us did so.  Thanks, Jeff!
The trout lilies were very much in abundance.  I not only love that bright yellow but I love the trout-like leaves too, and look at it against that bright it moss?  I might not know the names of everything but I appreciate the beauty of what I am observing!
Hey, who left this rock in my way?  Anybody want to kick it off the path?  I DON"T THINK SO!
Today, Panola Mountain...tomorrow, Stone Mountain!
Wish us luck, it's supposed to rain!  And Richard will be with me on that hike.  He takes better photos than I do, but I didn't think these were too bad.  It's hard to take bad photos when you are surrounded by natural beauty such as this.
 Hope you enjoyed this hike as much as I did!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gospel Music-Dove Brothers Band

I have written about Gospel Music before in my post about Wendy Bagwell and The Sunliters, you may find that post just  here.      My Aunt Jean sang gospel music and she was featured on their record, "When The Wagon Was New".  We had the 45 record and it said, "Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters featuring Jean Hodges".  I LOVED that song, we played it endlessly, just like we did all of our 45's.  Somehow, it got lost over the years, so if anyone ever finds that record in a yard sale or something, let me know, would you?



This past Friday night, I went to a gospel singing with my Dad.  It was wonderful!  The group was  The Dove Brothers Band and I am happy to say that I found a video for you! You may find other videos of the Dove Brothers Band, but this video was from last month, and shows all the current singers.  I especially liked the lead singer, McCray Dove, but all the singers singing in harmony were just really, really good. This song, "Didn't I Walk On The Water" was sung with such feeling that it brought tears to my eyes.
I wish I could have written those lyrics.  The songwriter is Linda Gibson Johnson. I looked her up. She was an incredible singer also, you can find videos of her.  She sounds very bluesy in many of the videos.  What a voice!  It looks as if she died a few years ago, but I haven't been able to find very much about her.  If anyone knows of her, please let me know.

I looked at quite a few videos of the Dove Brothers after I saw them on Friday night and one thing I noticed, there were some nasty comments about Gospel Music.  That's a shame to me because I really love Gospel Music when it is done with sincerity and heart.  You know, if you listen carefully, you will see the influence that Gospel Music had on Elvis Presley.  I love this kind of music and so did Elvis.  (Elvis also loved Bill Kenny and the Inkspots too, but I will have to save that for another post.)

May beautiful blossoms always line the road that you are travelling! Our Bradford pear trees have been incredible this year, I have never seen them this full...the photo above was taken at a local park.

 Doesn't this look inviting?  If you look carefully, you will see a horse looking at you! (I took this photo from a moving car!)

As I kneel in the darkness in the middle of the night
I’m praying for assurance everything’s gonna be alright
Lord I see another battle out in front of me
I’m afraid I won’t be able and I’ll go down in defeat

And He said, I walked on the water and I calmed the raging sea
I spoke to the wind, it hushed and I gave you peace
Didn’t I run to your rescue didn’t I hear you when you called
I walked right beside you just so you wouldn’t fall
Didn’t I leave all of Heaven just to die for your sin
I searched until I found you and I’d do it all again
He said, do you remember where I brought you from
Just take a look behind you at how far you’ve come
And everytime you asked me, didn’t I deliver you
So why would you be thinking that I wouldn’t see you through

Now she’s talking to her father in a house that was once a home
She said my bills are coming due Lord and six days is not that long
She hears a voice so still and low
It says I’ve moved like that before
And I’ll do this little thing and I’ll give you so much more
Tomorrow is the first day of Spring. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Arabia Mountain, First On List For Monadnock Madness!


The diamorpha (the red stuff, as people here call it) is lovely just now on Arabia Mountain.  Soon there will be tiny white flowers at the top of this red succulent plant.

Look at the photo that Richard got for you, can you see the tiny white flowers just beginning to bud?  There are some other flowers mixed in, with seedpods that look like small crosses to me.  Like this...+ + +

Can you see Panola Mountain just there on the horizon?  Look at the very middle and then, look just to the right...that's Panola Mountain.  I am hoping to also hike to the top of Panola Mountain and then, to climb to the top of Stone Mountain during the month of March. (I better hurry up, it is flying by!)  They call this Monadnock Madness, and there are special days that you can sign up to do all three in one day!  You can also do the three monadnocks at different times of the month, and you get a special passport which they stamp for you, and once the three have been climbed, you receive a special prize!  What a neat idea, hats off to whoever thought of this to promote the magnificent monadnocks in this area. (This is the second year that they have done this, so I am hoping I am able to complete all three, like I did last year!)
Look what I found! Trout lilies they are called, see the mottled leaves? That is why they are called that, supposed to remind you of trout!  The yellow flowers are a beautiful shade of bright yellow, and their little faces are face down, that is just how they bloom, they were very healthy looking, lots of rain, don't you know!

I also got to see RANGER ROBBY!  I caught him just as he was trying to get away from me   leaving!  What a nice guy, he made sure that I got my passport stamped. (At Arabia, they have a kind of post box just beside the door with the stamps inside.) We chatted for a bit and spoke of our love for Arabia Mountain and I enjoyed seeing him so much that I asked if he would pose with me for a photo and he said yes! (I had the photo on here, but since it was not my best picture and I only like beauty on my blog, it has now been edited!)
They reckon that Arabia Mountain is 400 MILLION years old.  I believe that it is very special and should be lovingly cared for and protected.  It was heavily quarried and at one time, was a dumping ground for rubbish and old refrigerators!  Hopefully, with more folks becoming aware of these special monadnocks , they will win more champions for the mountains.
This past Saturday the weather was nice, a very nice day for Arabia Mountain, and for the other magnificent monadnocks too...Panola Mountain and Stone Mountain: I love them all.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Beloved Invader/Treachery At Sharpnose Point

Meike, my blogging friend from Germany wrote a very interesting post which you may read just here.  Meike lives in Ludwigsburg  and while walking through a local graveyard, she noticed the gravestone of an English woman . Being the curious, intelligent woman that she is (once a Librarian, always a Librarian she tells us!) she researched the name and dates that she observed and gave us as many details as she could find! She also showed us clothes and a hairstyle that the woman, Dolly Dick might have worn during the time that she lived.  Now, when I read this post it reminded me very much of TWO books that I want to tell you about, one set in England and the other in Georgia (USA) but both were inspired by visits to graveyards...


Eugenia Price wrote "The Beloved Invader" after she saw the gravestone of  Anson Dodge at Christ Church on St. Simon's Island, Georgia.  It is based upon an Episcopal priest who was sent to Georgia  after the Civil War. Even though he was a Northerner and was at first distrusted, he came to love the Georgia people, Anson Dodge was also very much loved by the islanders, hence the name, "The Beloved Invader".   Even though this is a work of fiction, you imagine that Eugenia Price researched the life of Anson Dodge so thoroughly that the whole book reads like non-fiction.  (For me, that is the highest praise!) I read this book many years ago, as a teenager, and I have never forgotten it.  If you are ever in St. Simon's Island, Georgia, you may visit the church and the graveyard.  Now, Eugenia Price is buried in the same graveyard, as she also was a devout Episcopalian and a beloved citizen of the island as well.

Jeremy Seal wrote the book, "Treachery At Sharpnose Point:Unravelling The Mystery of the Caledonia's Final Voyage". When he was walking through a graveyard at a church in Morwenstow, Cornwall...he saw what he considered a strange looking angel but realized that it was instead a wooden figurehead from a ship!  From that unlikely sighting, he researched the sinking of the ship, the Caledonia, which went down in 1842.  I have very mixed feelings about this book.  At first, I really enjoyed the research that he did and the story of the Caledonia, but I felt that too much of it is conjecture on his part and not based on any facts.  Perhaps there were some villains who tried to make ships wreck just so as to strip them, but somehow, the way that the author presented this just did not ring true to me.  In particular, making an Anglican priest such as Robert Stephen Hawker, the bad guy is a bit of a stretch to me.

So, two books that I know of that were inspired by trips to the graveyard. One that I truly think is excellent, the other...not so much.  Now, what books can YOU think of that fit this category?  And make sure you read Meike's post and encourage her to write her own book!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!  It is almost Spring! All the Bradford Pear trees that are blooming now look like brides dressed in their bridal gowns, so full and beautiful this year!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

By The Dawn's Early Light


Our time changed this past weekend, which means I have been driving to work in the dark.  Today, I saw a beautiful sight...a very large American flag which with our high winds made it very visible. You can picture it, can't you, a large flag fully extended against the black sky with just the beginning orange outline on the horizon?  It was still so dark, that I could not make it out  yet, I could only see that it was a flag.  My heart lifted when I got closer and I could see the familiar Stars and Stripes!  I thought of the story of Francis Scott Key and the writing of "The Star Spangled Banner", which he wrote originally as a poem "The Defence of Fort McHenry". 

 Francis Scott Key,  click on his name there and you can read the wonderful story behind the writing of what is now the National Anthem for the USA.  It's a great story and great song..  And before anyone tells me this, I already know that the tune was really a drinking song in England, but hey, so what, it sounds better to these stirring words...
Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I am reading a wonderful book just now, and it is a true story from World War II.  The ship, the SS Leopoldville carrying troops across the English Channel was torpedoed on Dec. 24, 1944.  At first, the soldiers were glad  to see the crew manning the lifeboats, but when they realized that the crew were only preparing the boats for THEMSELVES and that they were leaving the soldiers on a sinking ship, the men began to sing "The Star Spangled Banner", and those who survived it, recalled how very moved they were to hear them sing this song.  I will tell you more about this book, I promise you that.
 Quite a few examples of "The Star Spangled Banner" on YouTube, I hope you like the one I have here for you. 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More On Wild Bill and Babe

Wild Bill and his friend, Babe...I found a really good post by Marcus Brotherton and it is here.
He titled it "To Know Bill Guarnere was to love him" you might guess that it is something that I wish that I had written.  (I never even met Wild Bill but I feel as if I know him!)

I also found two videos which were on Black Sky Radio of both men, Wild Bill Guarnere and Babe Heffron. (They had been asked of their memories of Major Dick Winters.)   I cannot tell you how moving it was to listen to them on these radio interviews, and how sad I feel that we have lost them.   I listened to both of these videos, but if you only have a few minutes, listen to the beginning of each one, they are so funny! YOWSA! That is apparently how Wild Bill would always answer the phone!  And when Babe says "Shoot"...well, it just made me laugh!  It must be of comfort to their families and friends to think of them together again.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Bill Guarnere "Wild Bill", Rest in PEACE

Bill with his lifelong friend Babe Heffron. While this photo appears to be set in the snowy Ardennes forest, it was actually taken in front of the Valor Studios office in central Pennsylvania when Bill and Babe came to visit for a print signing.

 “Wild Bill” Guarnere just passed away at the age of 90. He was one of the Band of Brothers, the 101st Airborne who trained in Toccoa, Georgia, and as a paratrooper, was one of the first ones in Europe just before the D-Day landings.  (That's Wild Bill on the left in the photo above). If you are not able to view the video below, let me just say that this was from 2008 and he and some of his "brothers" from his army days were going over to see the troops in Iraq. He also talks about a book...and it is "Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends" and it is written by Bill Guarnere and Babe Heffron.  Mr. Heffron died in December of 2013 and now, Wild Bill is gone.

  CURRAHEE!  That was the motto that the men used, it is an Indian word which means "Stand Alone", which is just what the paratroopers did, as they parachuted into enemy lines just before the men stormed the beaches in Normandy...the army camp where they trained in Toccoa was in the shadow of a mountain and it is the lone high spot in that region, thus its name, "Mt. Currahee".

All respect and honor to Wild Bill, his very good friend, Babe Heffron and to all the Band of Brothers.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Jekyll And Hyde/ Herschel Walker

Two books that I read recently and they have a bit of a common theme..

."Breaking Free: My Life With Dissociative Disorder" by Herschel  Walker


 "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson. 

You know the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, don't you? If you get the chance, you should re-read it.  It is only sixty-five pages long and as I was reading I tried to imagine that I didn't know the story, as if I didn't know that the two men were actually just the one. Imagine the people reading this when it was first published! Now, the story is so well known that the expression "he's gone all Jekyll and Hyde", is instantly understood.

Herschel Walker...he is a University of Georgia football LEGEND, a former professional football player AND an Olympian!  He is now a owner of several businesses and he likes to call himself a renaissance man.  I agree with him! . "Breaking Free",  my one criticism of it is that sometimes it seems to become bogged down in the business side of things ( there were co-writers involved), but when it sounds as if Herschel is doing the talking, that is when it comes to life for me.

Herschel Walker was on one of those TV food shows recently, and I wanted to make sure to watch it since I have always liked and admired Herschel Walker, he is quite simply the BEST Georgia Bulldog who ever lived! (Sorry, my football loving self came forward just now.)  And Herschel being Herschel, he WON the cooking contest!  When I just looked at Wikipedia just now, it said at the top, "This article might be written from a fan's point of view"... You might think so, but if you read the facts of his life, it is hard not to be a fan and also, you might think that the accomplishments in his life have been overstated.  On the contrary, I don't think they have been celebrated enough!

Multiple personalities or "dissociative disorders", what do you know about them?  You might remember the movie "Sybil" that was made by Sally Field, or even earlier,  "The Three Faces of Eve" with Joanne Woodward.  Herschel Walker has come to terms with the fact that he suffers from this mental illness.  He has a really positive attitude about it and he attributes that to his strong faith in God.  When you see Herschel Walker, you might be surprised to know that he was overweight as a child and was terribly bullied.  "Coping with life, and with life's problems" is why Herschel says that he feels that he developed these "alters" as he calls the different personalities.  I found a video of him speaking of the book and if have the time, you might also want to see the video of him as a Georgia Bulldog...or as we say in Georgia...BULLDAWG.

 Go DAWGS...woof, woof, woof..  Sorry, couldn't help myself. 

From Eastbourne England.  Those Brits are so funny.
I don't know what photo to show you to go with this post but how about Batman and Robin?  I remember reading a crime report once where the man arrested said that he was Batman living in a Bruce Wayne world, so maybe this might go along with it after all.  And if anyone thinks that might seem a bit disrespectful, I think that Herschel Walker would laugh at it!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Eastern Redbud Tree- Cercis Canadensis

The redbud trees are in bloom!

My jacket is the same color of the trees! It's like cammo!

Never understood why this tree is called a redbud tree, since the blossoms are a purple or pink shade!  It is always the very first one to bloom and for me, this year, these blooms have been a very welcome sight!  This has been the strangest winter I have ever known in Georgia...this past weekend, we had temperatures in the 70's, but today it was in the 40's with a very cold wind and rain.  However, it will be sunny and 70 degrees again by Saturday!  I am not complaining, mind you, I heard that this past Monday, there was snow on the ground in the whole country except for FIVE states, and am happy to say that Georgia was one of five WITHOUT snow!  I have truly felt for all my blogging friends in the rest of the country with all the snow this year!  I am ready for the end of winter!

"A breath of fresh air after a long winter".

   "One of the most beautiful native trees".

Above are a few of the things that I read about the redbud tree...and I agree!

(Both of these photos were taken at Stone Mountain can't see Stone Mountain, but it's there, I promise! And notice the stone wall, and the large rocks placed near the trees, all from Stone Mountain, which was quarried heavily.)

Don't be shy little  redbud, we can see you behind that tall pine tree!

Hey, remember when I had a giveaway recently of my little "all hearts are joined" heart bunting?
I was THRILLED that the winner of the giveaway, Sue from Mr. Micawber's Recipe for Happiness
did a post about receiving her little package! (I mailed it on Saturday and she got it on MONDAY!  How can that be??!)  Please, click on that link and read her post!  Sue has been dealing with health issues regarding her Father, so I am thankful that such a tiny little package could bring a small bit of joy into her life.

Wishing all of you joy and pretty blossoms!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Arunachalam Muruganantham, Great Inventor

I really admire people who look at life's problems and try to find solutions.  There is a great story about a man from India who decided that the women in India deserved better health by making sanitary pads more readily available. He invented his own machine for making them   It truly is an astounding story.  And if you know me, you know I found a video about it.  I read about him on BBC and you can read every word of the article just here.

Isn't this an amazingly inspring story? This man worked on this for YEARS and was ridiculed and shunned for it, but he was persistent since he knew it was just the right thing to do. 

I've never been to India, but this large flower from the Sunflower Festival this past year looks as if it could grow in India, so that is the photo that I have here in honor of the Indian inventor.