Thursday, February 26, 2015

That ONE Sister

'#BossLady Leanne here... Apparently it's "Cat Week" for me ;o)

Do you have "that" sister?......Is it 'you'? ;)  LOL!

Win the Boss Lady's Night Out & join me for a @[243337979012433:274:South Beach Casino & Resort] getaway!!! Details and how to enter here:'

I am one of three sisters.  That's me on the left!  How do you fit in your family?  The studious one, the pretty one, or the goofy one?  (Oh, let's not call it "goofy", let's say "funny",  yes, let's do!)

Dreaming of fresh air by the Eastbourne, in England Sept. 2014...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Music And Beer-MmmHops!

Music and never occurred to me how many musicians might have something to do with the craft beer industry.  My son has written a great article on the subject in the Beer Connoisseur Magazine, "Best Beer and Music Collaborations".  You may read it here!  (If there is one thing I know, I simply cannot spell "connoisseur". I have to look it up every time!)

  Well done, Christopher, keep up the good work!

Remember the Hanson Brothers?  Eventually, they just called themselves "Hanson".  They were a boy band from the late 90's from Tulsa,  Oklahoma and their big hit was "MmmBop".   In 2013, not only did they release a new album, but they also launched their IPA beer, "MmmHops".  (IPA means India Pale Ale...I didn't know what it meant either, I had to look it up!)   10 percent of the sales from their beer goes towards building water wells in Africa. I don't know about you, but I really like that a lot. 

And I see that one of the brothers, Taylor, married Natalie Bryant from Georgia in 2002. They were married at one of my favorite spots in Georgia- Callaway Gardens in the Ida Cason Chapel. You know me, I will find either a Georgia connection or an English one!

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Sound of Music-Music by Richard Rodgers/Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein

There were some real low moments in the Oscars but there were some magical moments as well.
There was a stunning performance by Lady Gaga in tribute to the 50th anniversary of the movie, "The Sound of Music".  And best of all, at the end of it, Julie Andrews herself came to the stage! My goodness, I love Julie Andrews.  No one can sing those songs like Julie Andrews and Lady Gaga must know that too, as I felt that her style of singing was almost a direct imitation of Julie Andrews. And I find nothing wrong with that whatsoever!  Thank you, Lady Gaga! Wonderful to have someone to sing these songs that I adore with such an obvious respect. 
One thing though, and maybe I missed it...but was there any mention of the songwriters?   It seems strange to me that Julie Andrews was there to present an award for songwriting, and there was the beautiful tribute from Lady Gaga and not one word about the songwriting duo of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein!   Is there some legal reason for this?  I am only asking since I have such great respect for songwriters. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It Happened One Night/Oscar Night

The Oscars will be on TV tonight. There have only been three films that have won in what is called the Big Five Academy Award categories.  The Big Five are: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.  The three films are: "It Happened One Night" (1934), "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).  (I know people like that last one but it gave me the creeps, but hey, that's just me!)  I love you Anthony Hopkins, please don't be mad with me!
Recently, the movie, "It Happened One Night" was shown on one of our PBS channels.  Richard had never seen it, so we watched it together.  Clark Gable was really good in that movie, and I think he  deserved his Oscar.  Funny thing, in one of the scenes, he is munching on a carrot and is such a wisecracking kind of a fellow that it really put me in mind of Bugs Bunny.  I looked it up and was surprised to see that Tex Avery, who created the great cartoon character WAS influenced by Clark Gable in "It Happened One Night"!  Now, this might not be earth shaking news to anyone, but it tickled me that it made me think of Bugs...and I was right!( Click here  and scroll down to the catchphrases.)  Hey, other people can make great intellectual connections, but me, I can recognize Bugs Bunny when I see him!

  What's up, Doc?!

I have the hitchhiking scene in the YouTube clip above and the actress, Claudette Colbert, did not want to do this scene showing so much leg but when she saw the actress who was going to stand in for her, she decided to do the scene herself!  "That's not my leg!" is what she was reported to have said.

For the Oscars tonight, I really like Eddie Redmayne.  I have not seen him in the movie, "The Theory of Everything" but just from the trailers, you can see that it is an extraordinary portrayal.  I really liked him in a mini series on TV called "Pillars of the Earth".  I thought he was very good too in the movie, "My Week With Marilyn".  Richard just reminded me that we also saw him in "Birdsong", a World War I drama.  He puts me in mind of another British actor that I have written about before....David Niven.  Charming and talented, and they both seem to be cut from the same cloth...witty and appreciative of all that comes their way.

David Niven won an Oscar for the movie, "Separate Tables" in 1959.  On his way to the podium, he tripped and fell on the steps.  When he accepted his award, he said the only reason that he had fallen was because he was loaded...and then, he paused and the audience roared with laughter, thinking he was drunk! He later said that he was going to say that he was loaded down with good luck charms but when he got such a laugh, he decided to leave it at that,
But hey, this is America and there is no time for the Brits to have their little pauses.   (David Niven always did tell the funniest stories and he was very quick witted...some of his stories were true but I am sure that he embellished a great many of them to get the most laughs!)  How do I know so much about David Niven?  I have read his books!  "The Moon Is A Balloon" and "Bring On The Empty Horses", are really funny books.  I wish that someone would make a movie about David Niven.  When this happens, and I can just see it can say you read it here first!

   I found a clip on YouTube for you. One year, David Niven was presenting at the Oscars and a streaker went passed him while he was on stage.  So quick and funny, not too many could think of such a perfect response. 
Some British humour for you and no, spell check. I meant to spell it that way for the Brits, if you don't mind!  This was in front of one of the hotels along the seafront in looks like it says FREE BEER!  But it doesn't, it says Free Wi-Fi and Great beer!  So Funny. Well, I thought so anyway, but then, I don't get out much.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

When The Cold Makes You Blue

When the cold winter makes you blue (and that can mean blue in color and blue in mood) then... make blueberry muffins!  That is what I did!  I made them this morning and took them into work for my co-workers.  Happy to tell you that they were a hit!  They were only from a blueberry muffin mix, but instead of using the blueberries that came with the mix, I used my Dad's blueberries that I had in my freezer! (We picked them together this past June.)  I think I remember reading somewhere that if you add blueberries straight from the freezer that they work out perfectly in blueberry muffins.  I also added a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of milk.   Making these muffins was just a small thing but we have all been stressed out a bit at work so even this small thing was much appreciated.  It was very cold today, our high was only about 23 degrees.  It was pleasing to offer freshly make blueberry muffins hot from the oven, on such a cold day!
  I didn't have time to take a photo of the muffins, but you know what muffins look like, right?  How about some "blue" photos, instead? 




Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Always Time For A Cuppa Tea

Thankfully, the snow and ice passed us by.  It was a fine line, just north of Atlanta, it was a different story today.  (This photo is from Feb. 13th of last year).
Wish us luck in Georgia!  I am hoping to get through this winter with just cold rain.  I am not complaining!  The photos of the people in Boston almost buried in snow makes me feel very grateful that I live in the South. 
LEFT IN THE LURCH!  That is the expression I immediately thought of when a co-worker unexpectedly quit this week without any notice.   I wonder...where does that phrase come from?  I looked at several different explanations...possibly something to do with a lychgate at the front of an English church, might have something to do with some kind of French game...several other possibilities...does anyone know for sure?

Scriptor, hope you like my post box mug! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Blue Sky Bird Walk!

Today our weather is rainy and quite cold but this weekend was beautiful!  The high on Saturday was in the mid 50's.   There was a bird walk at Hard Labor Creek State Park on that day and since it is close to my Dad's, I decided to go by myself since Richard had to work.  Our walk was from 1:30 to 4PM and it was wonderful to be outside in the fresh air. It was quite windy and we might not have seen as many birds as usual because of this but the birds at the lake made up for it.

Our guide told us that the collective name for a group of water birds is a we saw a raft of double crested cormorants, he estimated about 130 of them!  Since Phil brought a powerful scope for our bird watching, we could see them in great detail.  Amazing sight!  The cormorants were mixed in with a group of ring billed gulls.  The sun shining upon the white gulls was dazzling!     Hey!  You want to know the other birds we saw on our walk?  You can see the list just here!
This weekend was The Great Backyard Bird Count and you find more info about it here. 

Before this walk, I went to my Dad's for a wonderful lunch.  Let's see, we had turnip greens, collard greens, cabbage from his garden,  roast beef with potatoes, carrots & onions,  macaroni & cheese, biscuits and onion cornbread, and a big pot of pinto beans and great Northern beans.  I needed a long bird walk after that meal! 

Best thing of all, after I finished the walk, I came back to my Dad's and was pleased to find him on his lawnmower and he was wearing the cap that I crocheted for him!  If only Richard could have been with me, he would have been thrilled to have seen all those cormorants!  And you know that I took Richard some left overs!  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Our Son, The Writer!

Exciting news! Our son is now an editorial assistant with The Beer Connoisseur Magazine!  He has written an online article, "The World's Top 20 Beer Festivals" and you may read it  here!  Let me know if you are able to read it and what you think.  Cheers!    (In the part about the beer festival in London, he wrote, "milling about and swilling stouts", you gotta love that line!)

In Christopher's last year at college, he received an acknowledgement of his writing talent in his journalism class, "It Was A Dark And Stormy Night" award.  Even though it is intended as a tongue in cheek type of prize, little did they know that C. had written those very lines in his first grade handwriting which I displayed proudly on the fridge for years! (C. always loved Madeleine L'Engle AND Snoopy!)   Other students might not have thought one thing about this, but for my son, even the award using those same words somehow seemed just right.

I am  sorry for the quality of these photos.  You will never know how long I have tried to get them on here for you. They are really good photos of C. and his award!

Very soon, he will have more articles in the print version of the magazine and his name will be on the masthead.  I have written about Christopher can see a photo of him on the side of my blog, with my husband, Richard on top of Arabia Mountain.

Just last Saturday, Christopher visited us.  Although Richard had to work, C. and I went to Arabia Mountain.  It was heavenly.
I left my heart on Arabia Mountain!
C. even stands like his Dad! (Ever notice how father and son have similar mannerisms?)

Notice that in the photo above, Christopher has taken off his jacket.  It was pleasantly warm in the sun, a lovely day.

Good bye to all my sweet blogging friends!  Hope you all have a great week ahead and stay warm!
(And for my friends in Australia and New Zealand, stay cool!)

Oh! And not forgetting that Christopher is a writer of songs (lyrics AND music) and not only that, but a great singer and guitarist too.    Just to remind you....  "Like A Twig".   Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Save The Monarch!

The monarch butterfly...I have written about this incredible butterfly before.  Richard and I had hundreds of them fly over us one weekend in October at Arabia Mountain as they were flying on their long journey to Mexico.  This week, it has been announced that as many as one BILLION of them have died! I have read that the decline is so severe that there is a petition to ask the Department of the Interior to list the Monarch as "threatened". In response to this, the National Wildlife Federation and The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation  have promised millions of dollars in grant money to help the Monarch butterfly to re-bound. 

What has caused this great decline?  Loss of habitat and the rampant use of herbicides are the two most likely causes.   You may read more about it just here.

In the 1970's, there was a grass roots effort by a few historic preservation groups to save a beautiful theatre in Atlanta, The Fox Theatre.  It was slated to be demolished by BellSouth, a local telephone company.   For every concert ticket sold during that time, a small fee was added which went towards this effort.  "SAVE THE FOX"  was seen on bumper stickers and it became the rallying cry for the efforts of the preservation.  I am happy to tell you that this was successful and the Fox Theatre is one of Atlanta's most cherished entertainment venues.
Hopefully, there will be this same kind of enthusiasm for the monarch butterfly.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Chocolate Wars And A Brownie Recipe!

I don't ask for much.   Just let me have a bit of chocolate now and then.  That's it!  I don't know if you have heard this news but Hershey's (American company) is suing Cadbury's (English company).  It appears that Americans have tasted English chocolate and have fallen in love!  Hershey (being the big corporate bully that it is) will stop the sale of Cadbury's Chocolates in the USA. You can read all the ins and outs of it just here. Oh, SHAME on you Hershey's!  

I wondered  if you noticed that I used Nestle Cocoa in my brownies?  Makes me glad now!  There will be NO kisses for YOU, Hershey's! 

Please, don't let anyone get up on their high horse and start telling me the joys of Hershey's Chocolate and that I am being UNAMERICAN by telling you this.  Hey, I don't mind a bit of a sugary chocolate taste, I even like Tootsie Rolls!  It's just that if I want to buy Cadbury's Chocolates, I think that the Hershey Company shouldn't stop them from being sold here.  And hey, did you know that we say "candy bars" here in the USA, but in the UK, they are called chocolate bars?  I think even our very own language tells us which is the better chocolate!

Oh well.  Looks like I will just have to make my brownies.  And you can bet I will make them with NESTLE's Cocoa!  I am boycotting Hershey's!


Melt 10 tablespoons butter (I have used a combo of 6 T. Butter and 4 T. vegetable oil)
Combine 6 Tablespoons NESTLE cocoa with butter.
Add 2 eggs.
Add 1 cup sugar.  (Mixing well after each addition, by the way.)
Then, add 3/4 cup flour, but not all at once, just a bit at a time and mix it in. (I have to use gluten free flour for Richard, you may use regular flour.)  I might use a bit less flour to be honest, maybe 1/2 cup and then, a bit more?... see what a precise baker I am?

You may add 1 teaspoon vanilla. 

Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans... (And I say Peh-CAHNS.  NOT PEE-cans...what do YOU say?)

Pour evenly into greased brownie pan.  (About 8 x 10 inches, I think. I can never remember the size of pans! You can tell I am big baker! HA!)

Bake for about 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.  DO NOT OVERBAKE!  Ovens vary, so check your brownies!  Take out and let cool for at least 30 minutes.  Cut with a cute purple plastic knife so as to not mess up your brownie pan.  Oh wait, that is just what I can cut them with anything you like!   Let me know if you make these.  I have seen this same recipe on several places on the internet, some recipes say 1/2 cup cocoa, but I measure it and 6 tablespoons seems equal to 1/2 cup cocoa, so measure it as you like.  This is a simple recipe but it is good.

Valentine's Day will be this Saturday...don't give me any roses, unless they are Cadbury's Roses, they are wonderful!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Wake, Awake For Night Is Flying



 Wake, awake, for night is flying,
The watchmen on the heights are crying;
Awake, Jerusalem, at last!
Midnight hears the welcome voices,
And at the thrilling cry rejoices:
Come forth, ye virgins, night is past!
The Bridegroom comes, awake,
Your lamps with gladness take;
And for His marriage-feast prepare,
For ye must go to meet Him there.
 Zion hears the watchmen singing,
And all her heart with joy is springing,
She wakes, she rises from her gloom;
For her Lord comes down all-glorious,
The strong in grace, in truth victorious,
Her Star is risen, her Light is come!
Ah come, Thou blessed Lord,
O Jesus, Son of God,
We follow till the halls we see
Where Thou hast bid us sup with Thee!

 Now let all the heavens adore Thee,
And men and angels sing before Thee,
With harp and cymbal's clearest tone;
Of one pearl each shining portal,
Where we are with the choir immortal
Of angels round Thy dazzling throne;
Nor eye hath seen, nor ear
Hath yet attain'd to hear
What there is ours,
But we rejoice, and sing to Thee
Our hymn of joy eternally.
When I learned of the title for the Harper Lee book to be released this summer, I also thought it reminded me of a hymn.  I thought of it!  It is "Awake, Awake, For Night Is Flying".  A lovely hymn, I think it sounds best on the organ.
 It was written in the late 1500's by a Lutheran pastor by the name of  Phillip Nicolai in Germany.  This was during the time of the plague and in his small village, 1300 died.  He wrote a book of meditations (The Mirror of Joy) to comfort his parishioners and added this hymn to it.
Although he wrote both the words and music, the arrangement and harmony is by J. S. Bach,  and by his association with it, brought attention to the song. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Go Set A Watchman - New Book from Harper Lee!

If you love the book "To Kill A Mockingbird", you might be pleased to know that on July 14, 2015, the new book, "Go Set A Watchman" will be released by Harper Lee! It will be called a new book but it isn't really. Apparently, this will be the original book that Harper Lee wrote!  In 1960, the editor wanted to only publish the portions of her book that dealt with the experiences of Scout as a young child in Alabama.  Her original book has Scout as an adult in New York City, twenty years after the events depicted in "To Kill A Mockingbird".  (Harper Lee said as this was her first book she did as she was told.)  She really thought that the full manuscript was lost, but her lawyer found a copy and Harper Lee decided to publish it. (Did she want to or was she gently persuaded?  I don't know, but I am glad that she will do so!)

Go Set A sounds like that could be something from the Bible, doesn't it?
It has to be, I found this in the Book of Isaiah, Isaiah 21:6 to be precise...

For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.

The FIRST printing will be two million copies! YAY!

Happy to share this piece of good news with you!

Mockingbirds will often go to the highest places and sing. (They will often sing at night during the summer.) This one was at the highest point on top of St. Simon's Church.  He was singing his heart out!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl!   So happy that I watched it this year!  Very often, I will miss it...they can sometimes be very one sided and not very exciting to watch. I called my Dad and told him I didn't think I would see it and he paused and said, "Well...hardly anyone is saying for sure who will win, so chances are, it will be a good game.".   One thing you should know about me...if my Dad even HINTS at something I should do, I am THERE, if you see what I mean!  The New England Patriots won 28-24 in a great come from behind victory.  The win was sealed by an interception at the goal line with just 20 seconds left in the game!  You have GOT to love that! (Unless you were cheering for the Seattle Seahawks, that is.)

I also called my Dad during the half-time and just muted the sound, so even though I didn't HEAR it, I still saw the Golden Idol...I mean big gold Tiger and the strange dancing sharks.  I know that the whole world loves that kind of thing but I feel like the young boy from the story "The Emperor's New Clothes"...I just DON'T see it!

One thing I really did like..."America" sung by John Legend at the very beginning.  I loved that they showed a photo of The Grand Canyon (the Super Bowl was played in Arizona) and then, when they got to this line from the song..."From Sea to Shining Sea"...they showed the two cities of Boston and Seattle...Boston on the East Coast and Seattle on the West Coast.   It was a subtle thing but one that was just right for me.

Oh! And I just went back and watched the video and at the word "brotherhood", you are shown Number 24 on the Patriots...and that is the player who made the interception at the goal line that I told you about...his name is Malcolm Butler and many called him the hero of the game!


You know if you are celebrating, then make brownies! (Boston)  And if you are sad, then make more brownies! (Seattle)  It works for me.  Brownies from sea to shining sea.  Sweet!

 I have found the easiest Brownie recipe that uses cocoa!  Anybody want the recipe?

Okay, now you all know that I am a bit of a sports nut!  And that I think brownies are perfect for any occasion!