Monday, August 31, 2015

Coat of Many Colors (New Movie Being Filmed)

"Coat of Many Colors", a TV movie based on the hit song by Dolly Parton is being filmed in Newton county this week. (Newton is the next county over from the county where I live, Rockdale.)  Jennifer Nettles (singer from Sugarland, a Georgia native!) will play the part of Dolly's mother.  And the little girl that has been chosen to play Dolly looks very much like the childhood photo of Dolly that is on her album, Coat of Many Colors. (I think that is the title, I will correct this if it is wrong!)
UPDATE: The movie was shown on TV the first week of December 2015 and I must say that for me, it was disappointing.  This sweet remembrance from Dolly's youth was drawn out into a LONG two hour movie!
I made sure that my Dad knew this was on TV and he didn't like it either.  "Why, I kept waiting for her to grow up and go to the Grand Old Opry!", is what he told me when I asked him what he thought of it.  Yes, I know the story was only meant to be about this one thing from her childhood.  It's just that my Dad and I both loved the film about Loretta Lynn so very much (Coal Miner's Daughter) that we both think that someone else should think about doing a movie along the same vein as that one about Dolly Parton.  Are you listening, Michael Apted?  (The British director of "Coal Miner's Daughter).


 Do you know the song?  Dolly Parton wrote the song as a remembrance of her childhood.  She grew up poor in the hills of Tennessee and her mother made her a coat from scraps of different colored cloths.  Of course, the kids at school made fun of her.  Dolly Parton grew up and turned it into a hit song! And as I have just told you, they are now filming the story.  Dolly Parton has the actual coat on display in her museum and it is really quite beautiful.  Dolly has said that song is her favorite of all the songs that she has written. She remembers her mother telling her the biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors as she stitched this coat for Dolly... 
You might remember that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a musical of Joseph also.  It was titled "Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.".   I have mentioned in a post before how much I enjoyed the show on British might remember it, where the audience voted on the best "Joseph" by his singing voice, and the winner would be the one to play Joseph in the musical? At the end of it, the singer who was voted off would sing "Close Every Door"...I really liked that.  I found a video for you!


The story of Joseph is found in the Book of Genesis, beginning in Chapter 37.  If you have never read it or if you have not read it in a while, you should.  It is a story of great love and forgiveness.

North Georgia is not too far from Tennessee!

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Little Less Of Me by Glen Campbell

Let me be a little kinder. Let me be a little blinder.
To the faults of those about me, let me praise a little more.
Let me be, when I am weary, just a little bit more cheery.
Think a little more of others and a little less of me.
Let me be a little braver when temptation bids me waver.
Let me strive a little harder to be all that I should be.
Let me be a little meeker with the brother that is weaker.
Let me think more of my neighbor and a little less of me.
Let me be, when I am weary, just a little bit more cheery.
Let me serve a little better those that I am striving for.
Let me be a little meeker with the brother that is weaker
Think a little more of others and a little less of me.
Think a little more of others and a little less of me.

Written by Glen Campbell

I heard this song for the first time this week and it is a song that should be played on the radio for all to hear especially in this age of "selfies".  It was written by Glen Campbell and was a big hit for The Everly Brothers.  Do you remember it?  My son will be disappointed that I only just learned of it, but then, there was a lot going on in 1968, not just music.
I have written of Glen Campbell before.  He has Alzheimer's and from what I have read, is doing very poorly.  (It is truly a terrible, terrible disease and I know that everyone reading this knows of someone suffering from it.) I heard this song on a video from 2009, it was an interview with Chris Isaak.  Even then, I think you can see that Glen Campbell might be struggling a bit with his answers but Chris Isaak was so gracious that he was able to guide his answers in the right way. (If you watch the whole interview, you will see what I mean.)  I would link to it but I fear I am unable to locate it for you at the moment. 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend, full of as much beauty as possible!  And I am sure you all remember that the butterfly in the photo is an Eastern Swallowtail but remember, if there is blue on the bottom of the wings, it is a female!  This does not matter one smidgen to the universe, I know but it is a tiny little fact that I hug to myself with a very quiet satisfaction. But hey, a little less of me...what have YOU found out recently?  Do tell!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Green Heron At Alexander Lake AND Stunning Sunset

Richard and I saw a bird at Alexander Lake recently that we had never seen before and we were thrilled to see it! (Alexander Lake at Panola Mountain State Park.)  We had no idea what it was, it had a head like a heron but it was much smaller than any heron we had seen before. What was it?  When we came home, we researched it and discovered that it is a Green Heron! 
(I found the most interesting story of a couple of birdwatchers who also saw the green heron for the first time and they were so THRILLED to see it and it was just so perfectly well written and I wanted to link to it but alas, now I cannot find it!  So typical of me these days, sorry!)
Forgive me if I don't use the correct bird terminology, but the bird will move its neck up in order to look for prey, but the bird can retract it also and it makes it look much smaller. (Can you see the difference in these two photos?)

The Green heron was beside the lake when we first saw it.  It then flew under the boardwalk but then, flew up on the boardwalk where Richard took those few photos.  THEN, a noisy biker came along and the bird flew up into one of the trees.  Richard was able to get a clearer photo of it and it seemed to pose just for him! (The colors of the feathers!  This is a good photo but to SEE the colors...amazing!)
The Green Heron is considered a very intelligent bird.  It has learned to drop bits of food or twigs along the shoreline so as to attract fish for its dinner!
I found a video of one doing just that!
Clever bird, indeed!
If anyone remembers my post about Alexander Lake, this is the very same lake that will most likely be drained. I really hope that does not happen. So much beauty!
And the sunsets will take your breath away!



Monday, August 24, 2015

Courage And Honor/Legion d'Honneur
Americans, Briton who thwarted attack get France's top honor photo

I am sure you have all seen the story of the three Americans and one Brit who subdued the gunman on the train from Amsterdam to Paris.  Today, the French President, Francois Hollande pinned the Legion of Honor medal on U. S. Airman Spencer Stone, National Guardsman, Alek Skarlatos and their friend, a college student, Anthony Saller.  The medal was also given to a British businessman, Chris Norman, who jumped into the fray.

  "An example to the world", the French president  called them as he gave them their medals.

This is a most extraordinary story of bravery and I want to have this post on my blog so I may remember their names and have a record of it...
    Spencer Stone
     Alek Skarlatos
       Anthony Saller
        Chris Norman
          Mark Moogalian

There is another who also helped but that name has not been released just yet.  When it is, I will come back to this post and add the name. (I now know the name, his name is Mark Moogalian, an American college professor.)  Moogalian was the first to confront the gunman, and was shot in the back.
  I have no medals to give them, just writing their names here to salute them for their courage.

Speaking of which, I am thankful that France so quickly had these medals bestowed upon these men!  I don't know if you know this about me, but I love France.  Vive la France! 

The French National Motto

Southeast coast of England...not far from France, I hope to see it one day...

Friday, August 21, 2015

Butterfly And My Blog Anniversary!

Four years ago today, I published my first blog post!  I have now written a total of 720 posts.  When I started my blog, I really had no idea how much I would enjoy it and how much I would enjoy reading and commenting on other blogs.  (After reading so many talented writers, I should feel ashamed and stop writing my blog, but I have no shame and keep blogging along!)  Thanks to  Meike  in Germany who...CONVINCED me to have my own blog!

Recently, Richard and I had walked on the trails at Panola Mountain.  There was the most beautiful butterfly on one of the benches beside the trail and Richard was able to quickly take a photo before it quickly flew away. (And I LOVE Richard's photos, don't you?) Can you see the orange on the tops of the wings? There is also orange on the underside of the wing as well.

 It is a red spotted purple...and it is gorgeous!

image from Wikipedia...Richard couldn't get another shot of it, it was too quick!

We saw more wildlife on that that walk and I will tell you about that in another post.  TRY to make it until then, okay? I know the suspense is killing you!
Thanks to all who read my blog.  I appreciate you!

Also, happy birthday to my sister...she shares a birthday with my blog!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

High School Reunion

Hey!  I went to my 40th high school reunion on Saturday night! It was great to see old friends and familiar faces, some I have not seen since 1975! It was held at Burge Plantation which is popular as a wedding venue.
 Our reunion was at the hunting club lodge (it is such a huge place) and the main house with the beautiful white columns, which is listed on the register of National Historic Places? I never saw that, but maybe if I ever get back there, I will see it!  The history of this antebellum plantation is fascinating to me, you may read about it just here.  (You can click on the condensed version of the history, if you don't have much time!)

We were a bit surprised to see a statue of a hunter but after all, it was a hunting club!  The sunset was lovely and as the sun went down, the bats were flying over our heads as we were outside quietly chatting. (Bats eat insects and I am hoping they were eating the mosquitoes!)

Our meal was BBQ and hot dogs and hamburgers but the best thing...homemade ice cream and the strawberry was my favorite.

We were the Rockdale County BULLDOGS, and I love that someone made this bulldog cake! That could not have been an easy thing to make! Can you even see the little tail at the back?
Not easy to make a bulldog look like a friendly dog! Our colors were red and black and there was a very nice floral arrangement in red and black, but sorry, I was talking too much and didn't get a photo!  In fact, we didn't take hardly any photos, sorry!

These photo booths just seem so silly to me. You could never get me into one...UNLESS, I meet up with an old friend I haven't seen in 40 years!  And then, I plop a jester's hat on my head and pose with fake lips!  And how about if my friend wanders out to speak with someone and I have to go out and get her to finish the photos? Wouldn't that be funny?  You tell me! 


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail- Female

Butterflies are beautiful creatures, are they not?  Recently, I had to take a day off from work due to illness. On that morning, on a day that I am not usually home, I was very happy to see a female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail feeding on our hummingbird feeder in our back yard.

The Tiger Swallowtail..."tiger" because of the black and yellow colors and "swallowtail" has a tail like a swallow!

(In my photo above, the swallowtail might be hard to see. Hey, I had to hurry and take the photo!)

Now, how do I know that this was a female that visited me?  Look closely at the blue, the female has much more blue on the hind wing than the male.  Very often, the female will not be yellow but black. I was happy to see the yellow!

Yaya's blog -  If you click on that particular post, you will see a photo of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.  Yaya wondered if the butterfly was male or female...and now, Yaya, you will know what to look for! 

So, be sure to look for this blue coloring at the bottom part of this butterfly and you will know if it is male or female.  The world will be thrilled with your knowledge on this subject, it will make the top news item on TV that night! 
Oh okay, maybe not but hey, it is just a tiny bit of nature knowledge that you now have and isn't that a good thing?

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Papilio glaucus Linnaeus, 1758

Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Papilioninae
Identification: Male is yellow with dark tiger stripes. Female has 2 forms: one yellow like the male and the other black with shadows of dark stripes. Hindwing of both female forms has a row of striking blue chevrons and an iridescent blue wash over parts of the interior hindwing. The upperside hindwing has a prominent orange marginal spot that is generally larger than the row of pale marginal spots. On the underside of forewing of spring individuals the row of marginal spots may be merged into a continuous band, thus appearing similar to the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail.
Wing Span: 2 1/2 - 4 1/2 inches (6.2 - 11.4 cm).

There, now you can see the tail like a swallow!
Beautiful butterfly!  There is no telling what I miss out on nature when I am having to work all day long!

I have lots more nature news to share with you, so stay tuned.
Same BAT station! (Inside joke for any American who can remember TV shows from the 1960's).

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Walk of Life - Busking!

Very happy to hear the song "The Walk of Life" by Dire Straits from the movie trailer that was on my last post. (From "A Walk In The Woods".)   From the wonderful 1980's, much of that music just makes me happy.

Now, I watched a video of the song and the one that I saw had all these American sports in the background, and I thought to myself...hmm, that's interesting, I thought that the song was about busking.

Busking...that is what musicians and singers do in England.  They will be on the street or in the Underground and will sing or play an instrument (or both) and will have a case in front of them so that passersby may drop a coin or two. (They must do this all over Europe and the world, for all I know, but since I know only one small corner of England and my small towns of Georgia, I hope you will forgive me. I DO know it is called "busking" in Great Britain!

So....I looked it up and the music video in ENGLAND has the song with a busker in the Underground!  There, it warms my heart when I get the meaning of a song correctly.  Oh, and the very last part of the song, where the phrase "trouble and strife" is mentioned?  I hope that you all know that also is cockney rhyming slang for ....wait for it...."WIFE"!  HA!

Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
Be-Bop-A-Lula. Baby What I Say

Here comes Johnny singing I Gotta Woman
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay
He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah, the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

He do the song about the sweet lovin' woman

He do the song about the knife
He do the walk, he do the walk of life

Here comes Johnny and he'll tell you the story
Hand me down my walkin' shoes
Here come Johnny with the power and the glory
Backbeat the talkin' blues
He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah, the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

He do the song about the sweet lovin' woman
He do the song about the knife
He do the walk, he do the walk of life

Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say
Here comes Johnny singing I Gotta Woman
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay
He got the action, he got the motion

Yeah the boy can play
Decidation devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

And after all the violence and double talk
There's just a song in the trouble and the strife
You do the walk, you do the walk of life


Thanks to my newest follower,  Wendy from Australia! These violas bloom in the late winter, early Spring in Georgia...these are from March of last year.  For you, Wendy!
And I am always grateful to the regular readers of this blog. You guys are the best!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Walk In The Woods MOVIE!

Remember I was on the AT back in June?

Hey! I am so excited to tell you that a film has been made from the Bill Bryson book, "A Walk In The Woods"! (A book about two men on a thru hike on the Appalachian Trail.)  The film will star Robert Redford AND Emma Thompson!  Fantastic! They are TWO of my favorites!  I saw a trailer of the film and it looks great...just my kind of movie!  (I recognize Fontana Dam-where Richard and I spent our honeymoon!)

Robert Redford read the book back in 1998 (he said the picture of the bear on the cover made him notice the book!) and at that time, he knew he wanted  to make the movie and he really wanted to make it with Paul Newman. Sadly, Paul Newman died before the movie could be made, that would have been such a great touch to have had those two in a film again. (I loved them in "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" and "The Sting"!)

I have read that those who live around the AT are bracing themselves for an influx of visitors after the movie comes out. (It is to be released Sept. 1st in the USA.)  In response to this, they have tried to make sure that people know the "Leave No Trace" principles. I am sure that YOU know it, dear reader of my blog, but just in case someone stumbles onto this and wonders what it is...I have it here for you!

Let me know if you see movie and if you like it!  And did you read the book?  I liked it although there were some bits that made me squirm a little. I think I am a bit oversensitive because I am one of those from the area!  Hey, at least I didn't hear any BANJO music, if you know what I mean.

Plan Ahead and Prepare: Poorly prepared people, when presented with unexpected situations, often resort to high-impact solutions that degrade the outdoors or put themselves at risk. Proper planning leads to less impact.
  1. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: Damage to land occurs when surface vegetation or communities of organisms are trampled beyond repair. The resulting barren area leads to unusable trails, campsites and soil erosion.
  2. Dispose of Waste Properly: Though most trash and litter in the backcountry is not significant in terms of the long term ecological health of an area, it does rank high as a problem in the minds of many backcountry visitors. Trash and litter are primarily social impacts which can greatly detract from the naturalness of an area.[5] Further, backcountry users create body waste and waste water which requires proper disposal according to Leave No Trace.
  3. Leave What You Find: Leave No Trace directs people to minimize site alterations, such as digging tent trenches, hammering nails into trees, permanently clearing an area of rocks or twigs, and removing items.
  4. Minimize Campfire Impacts: Because the naturalness of many areas has been degraded by overuse of fires, Leave No Trace teaches to seek alternatives to fires or use low-impact fires.
  5. Respect Wildlife: Minimizing impact on wildlife and ecosystems.
  6. Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Following hiking etiquette and maintaining quiet allows visitors to go through the wilderness with minimal impact on other users.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Stone Mountain Confederate Carving

There is a very impressive carving on the west side of Stone Mountain in Stone Mountain, Georgia. 
The largest high relief sculpture in the world, the Confederate Memorial Carving, depicts three Confederate heroes of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. The entire carved surface measures three-acres, larger than a football field and Mount Rushmore. The carving of the three men towers 400 feet above the ground, measures 90 by 190 feet, and is recessed 42 feet into the mountain. The deepest point of the carving is at Lee's elbow, which is 12 feet to the mountain's surface.

 The plans for the carving were submitted in 1916 by the same sculptor who later carved the giant faces on Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, Gutzon Borglum.  For financial and political reasons, the plans and carving by him did not materialize for Stone Mountain.
I, for one, am glad this didn't happen...he wanted an army of figures carved into the mountain!

In May of 1928, Augustus Lukeman was hired to carve the figures of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee.  The owner of the mountain, Sam Venable was unhappy about this since he wanted Gutzon Borglum back in Georgia working on the carving.  He refused to renew the lease on the mountain and therefore, the carving remained unfinished for the next 30 years...

In 1958, the state of Georgia purchased Stone Mountain and the surrounding land.  (The most extraordinary thing- once the deal was done, the state condemned their own property!  This was done because the former owner, Sam Venable, had given the Ku Klux Klan the right to hold their meetings at Stone Mountain and condemnation was the only way to relieve the state of this burden.)
The Georgia General Assembly then created the Stone Mountain Memorial Association and the SMMA is still in charge of all the natural and historical areas of the park.   "To sustain, enhance, and protect Stone Mountain Park and to provide enriching historical, natural, cultural, and recreational resources for all who visit."

Now, back to the carving...the SMMA chose Walker Hancock to complete the Confederate Memorial.  It was determined that the best way to remove the rock was by using thermo jet blow torches.  Incredibly, a man by the name of Roy Faulkner, a former Marine who had no previous experience in this kind of work, had a special talent for this and he was able to remove tons of stone in just one day.  

The carving is actually much larger than it appears.  Workers could easily stand inside a horse's ear or inside a horse's mouth to escape a sudden rain shower.  A dedication ceremony for the Confederate Carving was held on May 9, 1970.

The carving on Stone Mountain is impressive, that is true but I just want to make sure that you know this fact:  the mountain itself and the land that surrounds it has such incredible natural beauty that it takes my breath away. 





Saturday, August 8, 2015

Grandpa, What's For Supper? (A Visit To My Dad's)

Hey! I have been very busy lately but never too busy to visit my Dad on a Saturday.  And you know he has a great meal waiting for me.  He has always liked the TV show "Hee Haw".  There is a character on there called "Grandpa Jones" where he is asked what there is for dinner.  So, I have the following for you...

Grandpa, what's for supper?

"Crusty onion cornbread and a big pot of pinto beans,

Peach cobbler and a plate of biscuits too!

Fried okra, corn on the cob and pinto beans,

Sliced tomatoes and cantaloupe...times two!"


Is your mouth watering yet?
My Dad grows sunflowers and gives them to me when they have gone to seed for my birds.
Okra is good to eat but the flower is also beautiful.  To think that this flower becomes a pod of okra! (And if you think that fried okra is greasy, well, you have never had my Dad's!)

Oh dear, looks like SOMEONE got into this cake of cornbread before dinner time...okay, I was ME!  It is just the best thing you can imagine, my Dad likes to put those sweet Vidalia onions in there and it is just right with the cornbread.
Peach cobbler.  In Daddy's own words..."GOOD".
And he didn't have it today but very often, he makes macaroni and cheese and it is just perfect.  (The secret is a MOUNTAIN of cheese, trust me, I have seen him make it!)
He has been very busy this summer canning many of the vegetables that he has grown.  From as near as I can count, it seems that he might be getting close to 500 jars...yes, that is a correct figure FIVE HUNDRED.  My wish is that you all have such joy in your life, or as my Dad puts it..."I have a little project I am working on just now..."
Hope you enjoyed the Saturday visit to Daddy's.  (Wish I had his energy!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Are You Easily Amused?

This is the drink that I like to have with my fish & chips when I am in England!
This is the handle of a fan that we have in our living room. Richard has been watching too much Science fiction!
Bumpy potato from my Dad's garden. My Dad makes sure to give me funny vegetables because...well, he knows what I am like!  We ate this, I promise you, it was wonderful! Oh, and Richard put that little bottle cap on there just cause he thought it needed it.
This one is a bit mean but I am sure it was meant in a good natured way! Right?
Even my handbag thinks I am funny!
(And I used to say "pocketbook" but I notice that no one says that now, it is considered very old fashioned.  Oh well!)
Hope you are finding something to smile about today!

Monday, August 3, 2015

The One and Only Cilla Black "Really Smashing"

If you heard that Cilla Black died this weekend, you might have wondered who she was if you are American.  I can tell you that she is a very well loved and respected singer/entertainer in Great Britain.  I always liked her myself and feel saddened at her passing.  I found two videos on YouTube for you, the first one is a celebration of her 50 years in show business from 2013 and tells a lot about this delightful woman, not just about her career.  If you don't have time to see it now, come back to it later! And at about the middle of it, at about minute 32...make sure you see Sir George Martin talk about the recording of the song "Alfie".  AND then, listen to the song sung on stage with just a guitar. Beautiful tribute!  (George Martin at Abbey Road Studios, I don't think we would have known the Beatles if not for him, he is someone I really admire.  And look at him in the 1960's, so tall and with his London accent, just gorgeous!)

The second one is of her wedding in 1969. (It is just over one MINUTE long!)  Look at the crowd if you don't believe that she is very popular! I love her short mini dress with the furry collar and sleeves, perfectly in style it was too! And I was 12 years old that year, but I had those same white go-go boots.  Anybody else remember them?  They were FAB!

When you listen to the videos I want you to pay special attention to the Liverpool accents...if you are a Beatles fan, you should recognize it anywhere!  (I don't claim to be an expert on accents but I know the Liverpool one, I really is a kind of sing song way of speaking and the voice goes up at the end of a sentence...okay, you have listened, you will always know it now, right?)

Once again, my friends, I have not been able to visit all the blogs I like to read.  I have been under the weather.  A visit to the doctor today and a day off work. Hope I will be able to get back into the swing of things soon-reading all your wonderful words and then...climbing my mountains, you all know that is what I truly love to do.  

My medical advice...try to get as much exercise as possible...the heat has made it very difficult for me lately to go on our long walks and my health has suffered for it. Take care! (And please don't worry about me, in the words of the lads from Liverpool... I am "getting better all the time".)  

Our cereus cactus only blooms at must get up early to see this bloom! (This cactus is now 21 years old and is over 6 feet tall!)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

I beg your pardon,
I never promiised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
there's got to be a little rain sometime...

Lynn Anderson, the singer who had a hit record with this song in 1970, died yesterday at the age of 67.  May she rest in peace.  "Rose Garden" was one of the most successful crossover country songs of all time.  I have a video of her performing the song on "Top of the Pops" on the BBC. 

 "Rose Garden" was written by Joe South and...oh, you all know how I love my songwriters, he deserves his own post, so look out for that soon. 

Take care everyone and have a nice weekend!

Smile for a while and let's be jolly,
Life shouldn't be so melancholy,
Come along and  share the good times
while we can!