Wednesday, September 30, 2015


There are 160 species of butterflies in Georgia.  And they must be the fastest butterflies in the world because as soon as I have a camera trained on one, they are flying away quicker than I can say,
Oh pooh, MISSED it!"

 Have I shared the butterfly video with you before?  Phil Deletrez was one of the Rangers who used to guide hikes over Panola Mountain.  He is at another park now and I miss him.  (Phil is very knowledgeable about birds, butterflies and well, just about anything in nature!  I love the butterfly video that he made...hope you like it too!)

Richard has taken some great photos recently of the butterflies in our own back yard.  He also has captured some very good shots of the butterflies at Panola Mountain and Arabia Mountain.  Once, when we were walking over the boardwalk at Alexander lake, we saw a butterfly that he thought reminded him of a butterfly that he knew from England...the Red Admiral.  We looked it up after we got home and you will never believe it...that is exactly what it was! Same butterfly in England as in the USA!    (Named by Moses Harris in 1766...he called it "the Admirable".)

So happy that the Mexican sunflower that I planted from seed in May is now over 6 feet tall! (Okay, it is in a pot, but still...that's big!)  AND the butterflies LOVE it!  A nice woman who owns a nursery gave the seed away for FREE at the Monastery Fall Festival last year.  There will another festival at the Monastery this weekend, so I hope to tell the kind lady how much I enjoy the Mexican sunflower!
(We are not sure of this pretty yellow it a cloudless sulphur or an orange sulphur?  Not sure, but speaking of orange, that Mexican sunflower is the deepest orange, just lovely!)

 You see, I have been very busy lately but all I really want to do is gaze at flowers and marvel at butterflies.

Monday, September 28, 2015

When The Going Gets Tough/ (Go And Get Stuffed)

If you having a tough time, then I suggest fresh vegetables!
What can be better than peppers from your own garden? Ours have turned out very well this year.  Before I cooked them for our dinner (stuffed peppers) I thought I would take a photo of them for you...

The top two were the ones that were stuffed, the red one and the two banana peppers went into a salad! (None of the peppers are hot, I don't do HOT!) 
 Now, the reason for the title of this post?
As I was preparing this meal, it reminded me of something funny from "Top of the Pops" from 1985.  (Note...Top of the Pops was a British TV show about the top musical pop hits, it's not around any more, more's the pity!)  There was a hit song from a popular movie, "The Jewel In The Nile" and the title of the song was "When The Going Gets Tough".  Funny because when you say that song with an English accent, it SOUNDS like "Go and Get Stuffed"!  I have always loved word play, don't you? I find it very amusing!  (The song was sung by Billy Ocean.)


(Favorite Christmas cracker joke:  Where does Queen Victoria keep her armies?....answer below....)

You know those people who say that they have nothing to say? Not me! I tell you, I have TONS of things I want to write about...but I am so tired, I just asked Richard to tell me where the exclamation mark is located on the typewriter!  You can see, I found it!! HA!

Okay then, where does Queen Victoria keep her armies?
Up her SLEEVIES, of course!

Oh! And thinking of Billy Ocean reminded me of Billie Piper from Dr. Who, from the episode where she kept trying to get Queen Victoria to say "We are NOT amused". 

Sorry, I am might see how my brain goes around in its tiny little circle!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Let There Be Peace On Earth (And Let It Begin With Me)

Unless you have been under a rock this week, then you will know the POPE has been visiting the USA!  (Even the small Catholic church in our town has a sign that says "Welcome To America, His Holiness Pope Francis".)  New York City was so welcoming, the newspaper The New York Post, changed their header line to "The New York POPE"!  You gotta love New York City, you know I do!
 This morning at the service at Ground Zero, a youth choir sang "Let There Be Peace On Earth".  I find it extraordinarily beautiful.

Next time, Pope Francis, why not swing by the Monastery in Rockdale County, Georgia?  It's not far from the Atlanta airport!




Thursday, September 24, 2015

Michael J. Fox and Parkinson's Disease

Just learned today that one of my customers has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.  Michael J. Fox has this same illness and has worked for many years in drawing attention to it and raising money for research.  (Muhammad Ali also has it. You might remember the  poignant moment when Muhammad Ali lit the Olympic torch in Atlanta in 1996.) 
There, I have the link to his foundation above.   Not only is there a great deal about Parkinson's disease itself  but there is a lot of practical advice for those who have it.  (Also there is a link to a blog!)

"Back To The Future", that is one of my favorite movies!  I just saw that it was listed as one of the Top 100 American Movies of all time!  (I think it was  at #55.)  I must have read this on the BBC, that is where I get a great deal of my information these days!   If you watch that clip, let me know if you remember it and love that movie as much as I do! have never seen it?  Well, doggone, what are you WAITING for?   The film is perfectly cast and the script is very cleverly written and just so FUNNY!   (You are my DENSITY!) 

I know what you are thinking...Kay, does EVERYTHING remind you of a song or a movie? Yes, and sometimes, BOTH! 

For all who are going through any kind of challenges just now, hang in there and be good to yourself!
Doctor's orders!  And look at flowers, the beauty is good for you!  Don't have any?  Okay then, look at these...



Monday, September 21, 2015

TWO Films To Look Out For...In 2016!


"Risen" will be released in 2016 and if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks to be a very good film.   And the most extraordinary thing, the same English actor (Joseph Fiennes) will also be in another movie that I would like to see, "The Last Race" which is about Eric Liddell.  (Remember the runner from "Chariots of Fire" the man from Scotland who refused to run a race in the Olympics on the Sabbath?  I wrote about him before from a few years may read that post just here.) 

I am very much looking forward to both of these films! Let me know what you think of the trailer. I think it looks very interesting indeed!
The family reunion this weekend was great!  My mother in law has an expression, "every time a lamb baahs, it loses a bite"... and I fear that applied to me at this family get-together, I did quite a bit of talking!  Best Dad enjoying everyone and thrilled that everyone loved his food so much!  Also, an eight year old boy tapped me on the arm and said those most magical words to me, "I like your brownies".   All the diamonds in the world could not make me as happy as those sweet words!  JOY!
American beautyberry, so beautiful it does not look real!

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Family reunion time on Sunday! I go with my Dad to a family reunion this time every year. None of my siblings will go, only me! You might notice that I was born in Toccoa, Georgia...well, so was my father! 

Our reunion is just south of there, at a small meeting hall in Martin.
It's a bit sad to see less and less of those who usually attend, many of the older ones will have passed away.  My father's side of the family is quite good looking and I find it interesting to notice certain features among them all that look the same.   And sometimes, when I am trying to figure out how someone might be related to me, I just shrug and say, "Oh well, it doesn't matter, we're KIN".

My Dad will be taking a lot of food, so I am just making a batch of brownies, with a little help from Betty Crocker!  HA! 
Some of my Dad's potatoes- grown in his own garden that he canned himself!
Okra and tomatoes, also canned by my Daddy!

I have been ridiculously busy lately.  Hope to get back into the swing of things soon!  I know I keep saying that but I do have hope for it!
The Yellow Daisies are gorgeous just now and it is a bit hard to make myself get in a car and drive for hours! I am sure my kinfolk will appreciate it!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Same Day-Across The Atlantic!


On  the same day that my husband took the photos above at Panola Mountain State Park, our son took photos in Eastbourne, England...

I am always telling you to look for beauty every day.  My husband and son are doing just that!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

London Photos (Like Father/Like Son)

Anybody remember that I wished a Waterloo Sunset for someone close to us who was visiting England?  I can tell you now that it was our son!  He is back home now and he had a wonderful time in London! Who would not, I ask you?  If you are tired of London, you are tired of life! (No, I wasn't the first one to say it, but I mean it!)

At Kensington Palace, he took a photo of one of the grand carriages...but I was just as impressed by this photo of the horse in the royal horse stable.



These could be post cards, in my humble opinion! (IMHO, as they say in text speak these days!) 


Hey! Would you like to hear our son's beautiful speaking voice?
I found a video that he made (remembering that he works for The Beer Connoisseur Magazine!) but the best thing about it-hearing Christopher's voice!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stone Mountain Carillon Americana

Walking up Stone Mountain!  Sometimes, if you are there at the right times, you will be able to hear the music from the Carillon drift over to you and it is beautiful to hear. (A 732 bell Carillon, it was donated to the park by Coca-Cola after it was exhibited at The World's Fair in New York City in 1964. I found a great descriptive post about it and you may read it here.)  The music is played during the week from a recording but on the weekends it is played live by Mabel Sharp, a woman in her 90's!  She has been playing here for over 30 years!

You may drive closer to the lake and then walk to the building that houses the Carillon OR you may walk.  You know we walked! In my photo above, a gentleman has knocked on the door, asking if he could take a photo with her.  I could have done the same but I didn't want to bother her, so I just took this photo!  (She has someone with her, quietly knitting.)  Just after this, as I was waiting for her to begin playing, Miss Mabel Sharp came up to me and asked if it was my first visit there and I told her that we had been coming for years and that I loved her music.  I am happy that I was able to tell her that!  One of the past visits that we were there, I was overjoyed to hear three songs in succession that were just perfect for me:


(I didn't think I would remember them for you but Richard said: Just remember OJJ...and then, the titles will come back to you. And he was right!)

Mabel Sharp also told me that they have installed bigger amplifiers now and that the music will be heard over a greater area! Look out for one of Richard's videos in the future!
The Yellow Daisies are blooming now and if you go early in the morning, not only will you see them in the morning light but you will enjoy their sweet fragrance!
So, remember to listen out for the Carillon, it's lovely.
And if you can't get to where I am in this world, listen for music wherever you are!

I looked at several videos of Mabel Sharp playing the carillon but decided on the one above, that is the way I usually hear it as we are walking, from a short distance and combined with birdsong.

And you know those three songs that I heard? You might not know that last one, so I have it here for you, sung by Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson!

Friday, September 11, 2015


On the Today Show this morning, I watched a video that I want you to watch may find it just  here.    You might remember the men who stopped the attack on the train from Amsterdam to Paris last month, this video is an interview of two of the men.  It is well worth five minutes of your time, I promise!

Mark Moogalian and Spencer Stone discuss their heroic efforts to stop a gunman on a Paris-bound train, and how Stone was able to save Mooligan’s life.

This time last year, Richard and I were in London.  We spent quite some time in Southwark Cathedral.  I lit a candle there in memory of all those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.  I remember today also.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

It Moves My Heart

"Just as I wonder
whether it's going to die,
the orchid blossoms
and I can't explain why it
moves my heart,

why such pleasure
comes from one small bud
on a long spindly stem, one
blood red gold flower
opening at mid-summer,
tiny, perfect in its hour."
- Sam Hamill, The Orchid Flower

Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy 60th Birthday to Richard! (With Words of Love)

Nice if you manage to have your birthday on a major holiday and even better if you make sure you have the day off from work!

HAPPY Birthday to my dear Richard, my most wonderful better half! 

 If you have only just started to read my blog you might not know this, but the vast majority of the photos on this blog are made by the very gifted photographer, my husband! And he is so very interested in the natural world that he should be in the company of Sir David Attenborough!
Richard in London, St. Paul's in the background and Victorian lamp post behind him.

Poor Richard, when you see him in a photo on my blog that means it was taken by me! (I still manage to get his sweet smile though!)  And very often, he has a tree or a lighting fixture growing from the top of his head, I don't notice this until I see it later. After all, I only have eyes for my dear Richard!

On the Eastbourne seafront, posing with the Carpet Gardens and the crosswalk lights behind his head.


Richard going down a gigantic slide as a baby with his Dad. Look at that smile!
Taken this past Saturday at Stone Mountain! Somehow managed to make him look as if he has a big rock on his back!

Hope you all have a good day and for all in the USA, Happy Labor Day!  And if you want to see a list of all who are celebrating birthdays today, pop over to Mimi's blog from may find it just  here!  I am most impressed by those born on this day, go and have a look! (The artist Jacob Lawrence AND Queen Elizabeth I, the first one in 1533!)  And she also lists that it is "Turn A Cartwheel In Public Day" know I can do that, right?
I should turn cartwheels every day in celebration of my husband!

HAPPY Birthday, Richard!
60 years of sweet smiles!


"Words of Love" a song by Buddy Holly (who was also born on Sept. 7th) and covered by the Beatles is a favorite of Richard's.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Waterloo Sunset

We have someone close to us just now visiting London.  A Waterloo Sunset would be nice!  And fish & chips is also wished for him!  Please note, most of the fish that you have at a fish and chip shop has a wonderful breading on the fish, but we found a nice fish & chip shop that made this cod WITHOUT any breading and therefore is gluten free. This photo is from a visit from about five years ago...I was just trying to get a nice photo for you!
 Look at those chips! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy

"Do you want to know a secret?  Do you promise not to tell?"

I write notes to myself and sometimes when I look at my notes later, I wonder what my words mean.  Does that ever happen to you?  I looked at some of my notes from this time last year (when I was visiting England) and I saw three names on the right side of the page that I think everyone should recognize:


 What could this mean?
I have no idea but it is most certainly my handwriting. (And for anyone who has had the JOY of trying to read my AHEM distinctive handwriting, you know what I mean!)

So, any guesses as to why I would write those names? Perhaps that is how I felt after jet lag? 

Also,  in May I found an envelope with these words..."Mystery seeds" once again in my own handwriting.  I planted the seeds and the plant is now blooming with small purple blooms and Richard and I have just found out that the plant is a globe amaranth!  Where did I get these seeds?  I have no idea!

Starr 020304-9001 Gomphrena globosa.jpg
Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy are three of The Seven Dwarfs (from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs).  I am sure you can name the other four, can't you?  Now, don't cheat,  just think in your head if you can come up with them.
That first line in my post..."Do You Want To Know A you promise not to tell?"-Snow White had that as the first line in the song "Wishing Well" in the Walt Disney movie from 1937.  John Lennon must have liked it too, since he used the same words in the song he wrote..."Do You Want To Know A Secret". (It is George Harrison as the lead singer.)
Hey! You know I have both songs for you!
And you know I have the rest of the Dwarfs for you:
Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Doc, Bashful, Sneezy and...
HAPPY!   Doggone it, I am tired, and could not think of the 7th one, so Richard had to help me with that one! (Of course, I could have looked it up, but why should I when I have such a genius of a husband!)
I have so many things I want to write about and look at what I am sharing with you today!  Hope to get back into the swing of things soon, my friends!  Hope you have a great weekend,  (It is a long weekend in the USA...our Labor Day holiday is Monday.) 
Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy...
Sleepy, Dopey, know, if you say it over and over again, it does seem to have a calming effect, like a mantra. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Increase Your Dose of NATURE!

You MUST watch this video I have for you!  It is brilliant!
If you read my blog at all you will know how much my husband and I try to get out into nature as much as possible. We walk on as many trails and over our mountains as often as work allows.  We honestly TRY to combat the work induced catatonia!  It is a very funny video because it is so true (and also as Americans, we are VERY tired of all the drug adverts on TV!!)

Increase your dose of nature wherever you are in the world!

(In my header photo that was taken this time last year near the top of Stone Mountain, those are the lovely Yellow Daisies in full bloom...but do you notice at the edge of the photo on the right side...see a pair of shoes? Guess who?)