Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fire On Beautiful Victorian Eastbourne Pier!


If you have seen any of my photos from Eastbourne in England, you might remember the breathtakingly beautiful pier which was built in 1870.  Today, there was an electrical fire and the largest domed part of it, the part where they have the Arcade games, has burned.  You may see the photos from the BBC just here.  I am thankful that the firefighters worked so hard to save the pier itself. 

It is my hope that the Pier will be restored as closely as possible to what the Victorian builders were able to accomplish. 
Remember the Where's Waldo books? (Where's Wally In the UK). See if you can spot me in the above photo!

I love this photo that Richard took of the pier from 2012.  Isn't it beautiful?

The Pier had Eastbourne Blue during the 80's,/ the light blue- you can see the old paint at the top of this lovely railing. Then, it was painted a darker blue...I am hoping for the lighter blue once again!
This is me from two years ago, trying not to get blown away! You can see the large dome on the pier at the left of the photo, that is the area that burned.

This shows how large the domed area really was...
This photo is from the end of the Pier, which was not damaged.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fergus The Frog by Ralph McTell/Like A Twig By Christopher

Ralph McTell is a well known songwriter, singer and guitarist. Well, he is in England anyway!  I loved the children's album that he made in the 80's, and you know we played it a lot for our son.  The album was called "Alphabet Zoo" and it is so wonderfully written, the music and lyrics.  Don't you just love a song that calls a frog "very polite"?  How novel that is these days, to have a children's song with the word "polite" in it! (Oh, and C. would often say "Pardon?", when he was a little boy. My friends often noticed his manners!)  Richard and I wanted to find the Alphabet Zoo CD that we have, so that we could play it for the grandson of the friend of ours, but you might guess it...we can't find it anywhere!  Go ahead, ask me how many CD's we have looked through looking for it...well, I haven't really counted them, but it's a lot!  Why is that, when you are looking for one thing, that is the one thing that you just cannot find!

Nice Pool of Water for Frogs...Arabia Mountain, of course!
Our son was crazy about frogs, he loved all living creatures really. And you might also guess that he was wild about music too.  Richard always had his guitar to play for him at all hours of the day, so it was only natural that C. would learn to play it himself.  This time last year, Christopher's band played at a club in Atlanta.  All the members of the band have moved on to other things, and that is such a shame since they sounded so good together!  I have video here of The Sevens, with C. playing lead guitar and as the lead singer!  Sorry, there were so many blabbing in the background.  Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!  (And you might know that we use to play "Pooh Sticks" when we would cross a bridge. Hey, I named my boy "Christopher", you might guess I love Winnie the Pooh! I was just thinking that might be where he got the idea for "Like A Twig", he wrote the lyrics and music!)
Now, if he could only write a children's album or a Christmas album!  I will let you know!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Something is telling me that I need to be a beekeeper.  Besides looking good in white (especially with netting over MY face!) having bees would help to pollinate the lovely flowers and needed food crops!.  I was very happy to see that a teacher in DeKalb County has been given permission to put a hive at Panola Mountain State Park. You may read all about it here.   There was a meeting of the local beekeepers here in Rockdale County just this week and I was going to attend, but I wasn't able to make it.  I spoke with David Shipp who is in charge of the Rockdale Beekeeping Club.  I had bought some honey recently from his place of business and taken it to my Dad, who is a big believer in honey!  Daddy eats honey everyday but he has been searching for honey, "straight from the tree", as he calls it, or Raw honey as it is sold.  I was happy that the honey that I bought for him, is from hives that are placed near the cherry trees on Parker Road right here in Rockdale County.  You may read more about the Rockdale Beekeeping Club just here.  (Much of the honey that is sold in stores has been so filtered and heated that many believe that it should not even be sold as honey.)

Cherry Trees on Parker case you forgot what they look like, this was on March 30th.
Now, I really don't know if I will ever keep bees myself, but you might know that I could certainly pester enough people about it so they will get a beehive and bees just to shut me up 
encourage someone else to do so!
Have you ever heard of Manuka honey?  It is from New Zealand and is used for the healing of skin conditions!  Another reason for me to visit New Zealand! 
Oh, and one last thing about honey....I really miss people in the South calling folks, "Honey".  I will sometimes call one of my co-workers  "Hon", somehow, that doesn't seem as familiar as "honey", I don't know why!
So, Hon, why don't you become a beekeeper?  Go on, you know you want to!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Unbroken Movie Trailer

Richard and I just saw a movie last night and I was very excited to see the trailer for the movie, "Unbroken", which has a release date of Christmas Day of this year.  This is the official trailer that we saw, I have it here for you.  I did not hear one sound of anyone munching popcorn once this trailer started, I think that might give you an idea of how special I think this movie will be. A very respectful silence...
I have written about Louis Zamperini several times.  You may read my first post just here.
When I first read "Devil At My Heels" in 2004, I could just "see" in my mind that it would make a great movie.  Anyone would have thought so once they read his incredible story! "Devil At My Heels" was written by Louis Zamperini in the 50's and then was released in 2004 with David Rensin as a co-writer).   Laura Hillenbrand wrote the book, "Unbroken" after coming across the name of Louis Zamperini in her research for her book "Seabiscuit".  I have read some reviews of both books, and I see that many say that Laura Hillenbrand did not put as much emphasis on Mr. Zamperini's Christian faith as much as she should have.  I understand that point but I believe that there is a place on anyone's bookshelf for both of these books.  Since I had read and re-read "Devil At My Heels" so often, I was very grateful to learn much more detail about Louis Zamperini's life and his family and close friends, and what became of them all.  (Some of the book "Unbroken" is very difficult to read, if you have teenagers, I would say have them read "Devil At My Heels".  That is just my advice.  As adults, if those men could endure what happened to them, we should be able to read about it.)
I can't say why the story of Louis Zamperini affected me so deeply.  The fact that Mr. Zamperini wrote back to me after I sent a letter to the publisher is something that I truly treasure. (I think he must have written to many, many people over the years...all handwritten notes and all the postage paid by him!)  I am very grateful that Laura Hillenbrand wrote her book which was very popular, but once the movie will be released, I am hoping that this story will be known by millions the world over.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We Three- My Echo, My Shadow And Me

Photo of the Super Moon in Front of My House...I was all alone, just we echo, my shadow and me!

I only discovered The Ink Spots last year and I was so glad that I did! This video of "We Three" is great, you can listen to a wonderful song and see some fantastic photos of the moon.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Eastern Towhee/Moon

  You can observe and listen to birds for many years and yet, they still can surprise you.  Today, Richard and I went for a morning walk and we heard the bird that we have heard for years, the one that sounds as if it is calling Richard's name.  For a long time now, we were convinced that it was the tufted titmouse, but we NOW know that it is the Rufous sided towhee also called the Eastern towhee!
As we were walking on the trail, we went past a tree and we heard the familiar bird song: "Rich-ARD...tweet, tweet, tweet". If you listen to the video that I have here for you, you can hear it just at the beginning!  Let me know if you have ever heard this birdsong! I hope it won't take you years to figure out WHAT bird sings a song that you hear quite often!  (And you will see why this bird is called a "towhee", the next bird call after "Rich-ARD...tweet, tweet, tweet" "Tow-hee, tow-hee, tow-hee"!)
I was determined to see this bird, but it was not easy! The leaves on the tree were very thick and I walked around the tree and looked as high as I could.  I walked away a bit and there he was, almost at the very top, just singing away...the rufous sided towhee!  We see this bird quite a bit in our yard and after reading what the Cornell Lab of Ornithology says about them, now I know why!

Pipilo erythrophthalmus -Quabbin Reservoir, Massachusetts, USA -male-8.jpgEastern Towhees are likely to visit – or perhaps live in – your yard if you’ve got brushy, shrubby, or overgrown borders. If your feeders are near a vegetated edge, towhees may venture out to eat fallen seed.

Ha! See, it is best for birds if you have "brushy, shrubby or overgrown borders"!  Take that, you perfect lawn owner!

Oh! I have been outside for the past half hour just looking at that beautiful moon.  I wish that Richard could have been here to take some photos for you!  I was able to snap a few, and I will try to remember to share with them you.  The light of the moon was so bright, I was surprised that when I turned to walk back up my steps that I could see my shadow. I could have easily gone on a walk down my street without any kind of flashlight.  (There was a Moonlight hike at Panola Mountain tonight, you know I wish I had been there!)

I hope you all have a good rest of the weekend, restful and peaceful and full of all the good things that you enjoy.  Good night to you, lovely moon!  And sweet dreams to you, dear readers of this blog!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Elephant Rescued!

Raju is the name of the elephant in India that was just freed after 50 years in chains.  Did you read the story about him?  Click on his name and that will take you to the Wildlife SOS India site which is the organization that freed this animal.  It is well worth reading. (It's hard to see him in chains but remember, you will see him freed in the end!) Don't know about anyone else, but I am so grateful for the rescue!  It seems that the elephant is finding it hard to trust humans, and who could blame him?  I hope that with lots of tender, loving care the animal will recover and thrive. 

from Wikipedia

Raju is in India and so, of course, he is an Asian elephant.  The Asian elephant has smaller ears and a smaller trunk than the African elephant, besides having a different shaped head.
Once, years ago, when I was at Zoo Atlanta with my son, we were at a nature talk at the elephant exhibit and we were asked if any of us wanted to walk over and touch the side of the elephant. You know that I did!  The skin felt so wonderfully alive!  I thought of my close encounter when I read of Raju's rescue from 50 years of being in chains!
FREEDOM AND LIFE!   It is something to celebrate at all times!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What Have You Learned Lately?

Hey!  There was an interesting segment on a local radio station that I heard on my way to work this morning.  The DJ wanted their listeners to call in and share something that they had learned recently.  The DJ told us this...on the gas gauge inside your car, there is a little diamond/triangle on the Fuel is just at the bottom and is just beside the picture of a gas pump. and this symbol indicates which side of the car has the gas tank! So, if the symbol is on the left side, you fill up the gas on the left and the opposite would be true if it is on the right side. . When I asked some of my co-workers today, hardly any of them had noticed it either.  Some of them laughed and said, hey, can't you just look at the car?  HA!  That's true, but it just goes to show that there are things in place to help us along our way if only we knew how to recognize them! question for you would be this.: Have you learned something as an adult that you could share on this blog?  It would be great if it could be something really useful, something that folks could read and take away from this post and they will be very thankful for your great wisdom and knowledge!

For myself, the most startling thing that I have learned recently is this:   I am learning to COOK by watching  "Chopped" from the Food Network!  Now, I know you might think that might be strange but it is true.  It has really helped me to watch those professional chefs prepare the food that they are given, and to do so in a very short amount of time.   For me, when I watch someone cook with something like shrimp, raisins, chickpeas and cauliflower and STILL make a decent meal out of it, then surely I can take good ingredients and create a fantastic meal!  This is an on-going learning experience and you would think that I would be a great cook by now, but that is not the case, I promise you!

I have to say that I learn something new almost every day. Now, do I REMEMBER it? Ah, that is the question!   That is the best thing about the internet for me, if there is something that I am curious about then, I only have to type in a few words into a search engine and I am on my journey to the discovery of something new.

So....I Am (ahem) GETTING ON IN YEARS and I just learned that ____________________.  Fill in the blank, please!
And keep it clean, folks!

Sugar Cookies Made and Decorated by ME! (From two years ago, but still...)
From my newly found confidence, I made Richard some really good gluten free bread yesterday.  When he came home from work, he was greeted by the aroma of freshly baked bread.  AND it tasted good too!  Well, so he tells me anyway! 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Eastern Painted Turtle

We like to look out for the turtles at Alexander Lake at Panola Mountain State Park.  Richard took a photo of the one above on one of our recent walks there.  It is an Eastern Painted turtle and is the most common turtle in North America.  If you live anywhere near water, you might find one in your own front yard...look what Richard found in our yard when he was cutting the grass later on the very same day!
Isn't she a beauty?  I believe that she is a female because from what I have read about the Eastern Painted turtle, they pretty much stay near the water, unless they come up onto land to lay their eggs.  This one had to be removed for its own safety. 

You can see how big this turtle is by comparing it to Richard's carefully gloved hand!  Funny thing, I have seen other photos of this turtle and I can safely say that this creature was just amazing to see, the photos just don't compare to the real thing.  What about you?  Have you found something in your yard or garden recently that just stopped you in your tracks?  Don't just retreat into your shell, do tell me about it!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Louis Zamperini, A Hero Proved

Louis Zamperini died yesterday, "old and full of days", at the age of 97.

I have written about Mr. Zamperini before on my blog.  I call him Mr. Zamperini because of the great respect I have for him but I also call him "Louie" because I feel as if I know him.  I never met the man but I feel as if I have lost a treasured friend.  "Be Hardy", is what he wrote in my copy of "Devil At My Heels".

In 2004, I read the book, "Devil At My Heels".  I was so moved by it that I wrote a letter to the publisher and asked them to please let Louie Zamperini know how much I loved his story and to please convey that to him.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I received  a letter from Mr. Zamperini himself!  He actually sent me a note to tell me that Laura Hillenbrand was writing a book about him.  Due to her illness (she has chronic fatigue syndrome) it took seven years for her to finish it.   I would suggest reading "Devil At My Heels" first and then, read "Unbroken".  The second book goes into such detail about his Louie, his family, his very good friends and his war buddies, which you will already know from the first book.

Louie Zamperini completely changed his life after attending a Billy Graham Crusade in California in the early days of Billy Graham's ministry, in the late 1940's.  In his own words, Louie said he was "bubbling over with joy".  I don't know how much Angelina Jolie (the director of the movie, "Unbroken") will focus on Mr. Zamperini's Christian faith, but I am hoping that even when it is not mentioned that it will be there for all to see and witness, just as it was in his long life.

 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith    2 Timothy 4:7

"An old man and full of days", do you recognize that?  It is from the Bible, the last words from the Book of Job and it is the first thing I thought of when I heard that he had passed away. 
Happy 4th of July to all my American friends, and a happy 4th of July to all my other friends in the world too!!   (I know you might think we call it Independence Day, but we don't, we just call it the 4th of July!) 

Oh Beautiful for heroes proved...