Sunday, May 31, 2015

Arabia Mountain/ Monastery


View from Arabia would never guess we are just a few miles from a MAJOR interstate highway!
The coreopsis is blooming!  The nicest thing about this beautiful yellow flower, it not only grows on our local "mountains", it also grows on the roadsides...I wonder how many notice it?  We have seen it all over the county here, you just have to pay attention! this lance leaf coreopsis or is it mouse ear coreopsis?  I am not sure, could someone let me know?  (You say it like this...CORY OP SIS and it sounds good in Richard's English accent!)

The month of May has been sad for me, but here I am on Mother's day with my son at one of our favorite spots, Arabia Mountain!  The red diamorpha was still red then.

The Monastery is also a perfect spot for us to visit.  And if you time it just right, you may attend a service at the church.
Happy to say that we were able to do so on Mother's Day. 2015!
Mary, with her son, Jesus.  The hand near her shoulder- the Father, the dove- the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee,
Blessed art thou amongst women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God,
Pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Denzil Pugh, WRITER


View of the South River from was very sunny!

"On My Own"   that is the title of the post by Denzil Pugh where he wrote about walking on the north side of the Rockdale River Trail for the first time.  I urge you to click on that link and read his post! His description of the sun dappled trail beside the South River, where you can hear the plop of frogs and turtles...he got it just right!
Denzil died on May 12th and his memorial service will be tomorrow.  You may read his obituary here.   I wasn't sure of his age but I see from his obituary that he was only 37.
I hope that someone will mention that Denzil Pugh had a blog and that he considered it an important creative endeavor of his life.  Do you know why most people have blogs? It is because they are writers!  It is not something that you do for money or fame, it is something that you ARE.   Denzil wrote of many things...his love of music and books and his funny but perfectly accurate observations of working in a book store.  The posts where he wrote of his strong faith are especially meaningful to me.  I think that the trails of Rockdale County must have been very special to him, he wrote of them most lovingly.  His brother has requested that in his honor, that one may give to the Path Foundation, (the organization which is responsible for the trails here.)   

Sun dappled trail beside the South River!

"Bridge Over Troubled Water"  is one of the songs that Denzil mentioned quite often on his blog, and he really liked Simon & that is the song that I have here in his honour.
And because I am Georgia Girl With An English Heart...I  have flowers from England for him...


Thursday, May 28, 2015

In The Mood by Glenn Miller- Great Song AND Movie


Today was the day that they held the memorial service for Richard's uncle in England.   He loved the song "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller and so, it was played at his service.  (If you haven't seen "The Glenn Miller Story" starring Jimmy Stewart...stop what you are doing and go find it and watch it!)
Here's to you, Derrick.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Thoughts On "The Imitation Game"

My husband and I watched the film "The Imitation Game" this past weekend.  It is the amazing story of Alan Turing and the work done by Mr. Turing and the codebreakers at Bletchley Park during World War II.   The movie is very well done but it is also very sad.  After viewing it, I wanted to know more about the Bletchley Park codebreakers.    I found an article in The Telegraph.  You may read it here.  

I found it interesting to read about each of the characters in the movie.  I especially wanted to know more about Joan Clarke (the role played by Keira Knightly).  Amazingly, this woman was a part of the team and if you think of the sexism during the 1940's, it is incredible that she was allowed to participate at all.

As was typical for girls at Bletchley, (and they were referred to as girls, not women) Clarke was initially assigned clerical work, and paid just £2 a week , significantly less than her male counterparts.

Hey!  Guess what!  I just saw...and this is just one of those little coincidences of life that tickle me...Keira Knightly just had a baby today! 
 "It's always a happy time when babies come"....  Anybody know what movie that comes from?   I am from GEORGIA, if that gives you a hint.

One of the men at Bletchley once spent a sleepless night and came up with a long and amusing palindrome:


(Remember, a palindrome is a word or sentence that reads the same forward and backwards.)

Ha!  I love that!  I will never eat fish & chips in England without thinking of that!

This is photo of the Fish & chips that Richard had in England, the owners of the Fish & Chip shop made this without any breading...but it is still cod and it was very good!


Here is a small photo of Bletchley Park from Wikipedia.  It has become a popular tourist spot, about one hour north of London.  I am not likely to see it, for all the visits I have made to England, the furthest north I have been is...London! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Land That I Love

Timothy Miller sings "God Bless America" at the Braves home games when they play on Sunday.  (Other times, they play a recorded version of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame".)
Now, I have heard others sing this song but for me, there is no one who can touch the rendition by Mr. Miller.    At the end, when he sings, "My home... sweet ...HOME".. That last note will send chills up your spine, it's wonderful!

"God Bless America" was written by the songwriter, Irving Berlin  who also wrote "Always" and "White Christmas". (It is estimated that he wrote over 1500 songs!) He was a first generation American who appreciated this country and found a way to say it in a song.  I found this quote from his daughter... .

 “I came to understand that it wasn’t ‘God Bless America, land that we love.’ It was ‘God bless America, land that I love.’ It was an incredibly personal statement that my father was making, that anybody singing that song makes as they sing it. And I understood that that song was his ‘thank you’ to the country that had taken him in. It was the song of the immigrant boy who made good.”

In memory of all those who have served under the Stars and Stripes.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Making The BEST of WHATEVER!

We all know the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade", right?

This past weekend I thought it would be a nice thing to make bread for my husband. ( He has celiac disease and he can only have gluten free bread.)  I have a good recipe but for some reason, the bread never rises very much.  When I began to get all the ingredients together for the bread, I realized that I was out of yeast.  So....a run to the store just for yeast.  Everything was coming along nicely,  but when I put the bread in the oven and took a peek at it...OH NO, the dough was rising WAY too much and was beginning to spill over!!  AHHH!!!
Quickly, I put a pan on the second oven rack and let the dough drip onto it.  Then, I had to get that loaf pan out (getting dough all over the oven, the floor and ME!).  I scooped some of the dough out into a bowl, grabbed a cake pan, greased it and scooped most of the bread dough into the cake pan.
Put the cake pan back into the oven.  I had a look at the bits of dough that that spilled out onto the pan that was on that second rack. Hmm, that looks like bread sticks!   I took them out and turned them over and let them finish baking!  And the dough that I had scooped into the bowl?  I placed teaspoons of it onto a greased cooky sheet and then, sprinkled garlic powder onto them and they became PIZZA BITES1 HA!  I just made it up!  All of it came out beautifully, even the bread!  You would never have known what a disaster it was!

So...."When life gives you overflowing bread dough....make breadsticks and pizza bites!"  (Forgot to say, I also put a bit of cheese on the pizza bites when they had  almost cooked.)  All of this smelled heavenly when my husband came home from work!

And if life knocks you up against the curb, make sure it is lined with cherry blossoms!
Okay, so what is YOUR take on "When life give you lemons, make lemonade?"     Go on, you know you want to tell me!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Denzil Pugh

"Climb Every Large Rock"     If you click on that link, you will read the most wonderful post by Denzil Pugh about Arabia Mountain.   Denzil lived and worked here in Rockdale County for many years but he moved to Dallas, Texas last year after his mother passed away last June.  I received the sad news that Denzil Pugh died quite unexpectedly on May 12th.  (I am not certain of his age, perhaps early 40's? In any case, far too young.)

I think it was John Edwards (Scriptor Senex) who said on his blog that he no longer will say "blogging" friends when he speaks of his fellow bloggers but will simply call them "friends".  I didn't understand the truth of this until I heard this news of Denzil's death. 

I can't tell you how happy it made me when Denzil finally made it to Arabia Mountain. He loved the trails around this area but he had never been to Arabia Mountain. When he finally DID visit there,  you can tell how he was amazed and thrilled by the experience.  Denzil was such a wonderful writer.  Now that I have given you that link, you may read his other posts, all such masterpieces of writing.   He wrote about his mother's death last June and I just went back and read it again and it is just as I remembered it, just incredible that he could write something so perfectly after suffering such a loss. 

He also wrote in the most eloquent way about his Christian faith.  Not preachy about it, just honestly and openly and with perfect sincerity. 

  The last words to the "The Three Bells" are...

  "May his soul find the salvation
Of thy great eternal love".

Happy Trails, Densil, happy trails.

Sometimes, people will arrange the rocks on Arabia Mountain and I always ask Richard to take a photo of them. (They are never left that way for long, someone will always come along and destroy the beauty of it.)   I can't help but think that Denzil Pugh would have stopped and admired this too. 
The flowers that you can see on our local monadnocks (Stone Mountain, Panola Mountain and Arabia Mountain) are truly spectacular.  Somehow, to see them against the background of the rock just sets them off perfectly.   For example, the flowers on the prickly pear cactus are very beautiful...these must be blooming for Denzil.    
Isaiah 35:1King James Version (KJV)
 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Lanchester

In loving memory to Derrick, Richard's uncle who died yesterday in England.   May he rest in peace. 
Derrick loved cars and he had a special place in his heart for the   Lanchester . It is a British car that you might not have heard about.   Did you see the movie "The King's Speech"?   Apparently, great care was taken in the filming so as to be true to the real story but they used the Rolls Royce for King George when in reality, he really used Lanchesters as his personal vehicles!

I will miss Derrick's great booming laugh and the way that he called everything "lovely".  I might not have agreed with some of his viewpoints but he was so doggone charming and funny, I didn't care...I could forgive him anything! 

Here's to you, Derrick.  YOU are lovely. I will remember you always.  xx        Cheers!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


London! We were in London in September and I have such fond memories of this exciting city. I really loved walking beside the Thames and over it!  We walked across FOUR bridges and even though it was an overcast day, that really worked in my favor since it made it easier to see things a bit clearer.  One thing, and this was startling to me was the way that the water looked as if it went one way and then, quite the other way.  This is very much the way that Monet painted it.  Perhaps all deep water looks that way, I don't know...I only know that the tide was very high the day that we saw it, and Monet got it JUST RIGHT. 



You can really see the Thames better in a you know Richard has one here for you!  Where were you on Sept. 11, 2014 at 10AM, London time?  Now you know where we were!


Monday, May 11, 2015

We Have Met The Enemy But There Is Hope

Pogo - Earth Day 1971 poster.jpg

Sometimes the truth of life is perfectly expressed in cartoons.
I have been reminded of this famous "Pogo" cartoon lately due to the amount of garbage that I have seen on our local nature trails. (Pogo is meant to be a possum who lives in the Okeefeenokee Swamp which is in Georgia. The cartoonist is Walt Kelly.)
You would think that the exquisitely beautiful Arabia Mountain would garner enough respect that those who climb to the top would be satisfied with the natural beauty of it...but no, we have seen evidence of fires being built in the pits (which CAN support rare plants given the chance) and bits of burnt out firework papers.  Frankly, this disgusts me.  It is believed that Arabia Mountain is ...wait for it...400 MILLION years old.  Let's see, what would man do if presented with something so rare and unique as to defy description?  Yes, let's build a fire on it and roast MARSHMALLOWS! 

Still...there is hope!  Recently, I went on a nature hike with a small group of adults and four children.  I must tell you...the children were wonderful.  They were respectful of the solution pits on the mountain and gingerly stepped around them.   The joy that they experienced when they discovered tadpoles in the pools on top of the mountain was delightful! And when they found a fish that was trapped in one of the tiny pools near the edge of the lake, they were thrilled when they rescued it and returned it to Arabia Lake!
Kids finding fish in small pool at edge of Arabia Lake/they rescued it!


The guided hike was on one of the rainy, cool days in April and I am showing you these photos so that you can see that Arabia Mountain is lovely in every weather and in every season.  Let's keep America beautiful, people!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

"The Three Bells"/ "Les Trois Cloches"

At the end of March, Richard and I went to the North Georgia mountains for the weekend.  As we drove through Clarkesville, I recognized the area where my Dad used to buy records for us when we were kids from his friend, Ralph Raper.  As we turned onto the road that would take us to Black Rock Mountain State Park, this small church in the valley made me think of one of those songs, "The Three Bells".
I did a little research and was surprised to learn the story behind it.

"The Three Bells" (or "Little Jimmy Brown") is a song that was a number one hit for The Browns in 1959.  It was based on the   song, "Les Trois Cloches" by   Jean Villard Gilles and Marc Herrand and is a Swiss song written in French. (The English lyrics were written by Bert Reisfeld.)
The song was also a big hit for  Edith Piaf in 1945  The song documents the life of a man: his birth, his marriage and his death.
The lyrics to the song were inspired by a visit to a small church cemetery.  The author was struck by the dates of the birth and death dates on a headstone and he began to wonder of the life the man had lived, all tied to the small church from his christening,  his marriage and to his passing. 
This autumn, The Browns will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.  This is a great honor for them and I was pleased to learn of this for them.  I have a link to Maxine Brown, one of the Brown sisters, she has written in detail about this song and you may find it here.  (What a great lady, wish I could meet her!)
All of the names that I have mentioned above are quite many people to read about, so little time!
And, of course, you know I have BOTH songs here for you!

There's a village hidden deep in the valley
Among the pine trees half forlorn
And there on a sunny morning
Little Jimmy Brown was born
All the chapel bells were ringing
In the little valley town
And the songs that they were singing
Were for baby Jimmy Brown
Then the little congregation
Prayed for guidance from above
Lead us not into temptation,
Bless this hour of meditation
Guide him with eternal love
There's a village hidden deep in the valley
Beneath the mountains high above
And there, twenty years thereafter
Jimmy was to meet his love
All the chapel bells were ringing,
Was a great day in his life
Cause the songs that they were singing
Were for Jimmy and his wife
Then the little congregation
Prayed for guidance from above
Lead us not into temptation,
Bless oh Lord this celebration
May their lives be filled with love
From the village hidden deep in the valley
One rainy morning dark and gray
A soul winged its way to heaven
Jimmy Brown had passed away
Just a lonely bell was ringing
In the little valley town
Twas farewell that it was singing
To our good old Jimmy Brown
And the little congregation
Prayed for guidance from above
Lead us not into temptation,
May his soul find the salvation
Of thy great eternal love"

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

They Bring The Flowers That Bloom In May

Gaillardia (Indian paintbrush) in my own back yard!
In late April, we "skyped" with our in-laws in England.  I MAY or MAY NOT have sung a song to them. 
What do YOU think? 
Evening primrose- Arabia Mountain

Though April showers may come your way,
They bring the flowers that bloom in May,
So if it's raining , have no regrets,
Because it isn't raining rain, you know. (it's raining violets.)

Is it really possible that someone would sing this to their oh-so-elegant and refined in-laws?
Well, yes...I would!

Happy 45th Wedding Anniversary to Joan & Peter, my sweet in-laws!  Another reason to celebrate May! (The new princess was born on their anniversary!)


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Tuliptree / Liriodendron


 The tulip tree is in bloom now.  (Liriodendron)  Richard took this photo on the outcrop trail at Panola Mountain. There is a small sign posted there and this is what it says:
Though widely known a tulip poplar, it is more closely related to magnolias than true poplars.  One of the tallest trees in the eastern forests, it can reach heights of over 100 feet.
Interesting thing, the tree can be very tall and straight as they are here.  Planted in more open spaces, they can be more spreading. 
You cannot mistake the flower!  It's lovely.
Also, the leaf is very distinctive...let's go back to that sign, shall we?
The simple leaves are 4-6 inches long with 4 lobes and a deeply notched tip.
It's true that the top is notched but sometimes, the leaf at the top is almost flatish.  I am happy to say that I am now able to recognize  tulip tree saplings just by their leaves! This does not matter one iota in this world, I know, but it tickles me no end.
Flower on the tulip tree!

So many blooms in May!  I took the photo above of the spiderwort on Arabia Mountain.  Richard and I like to call it "tradescantia" which is the botanical name, named after an English botanist, Joseph Tradescant, the Younger.  Why should I mention this in this post about the tulip tree?  Apparently, this is one of the trees that he took back to England in the 1600's!  Anybody in England recognize this tree?  Let me know!