Friday, January 29, 2016

English Sparrow/"His Eye Is On The Sparrow"

We have English sparrows in the USA but do you know why we call them that?  It is because they truly are sparrows that are here from England.  Some misguided soul who dearly loved Shakespeare thought that it would be a good idea to release all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare into Central Park in New York City. (I think this was done sometime in the late 19th century...I would look this up for you, but my dear computer is slow to work, so if this is incorrect, let me know and I will edit this!)  The starling and the English sparrow were the most prolific. It is interesting to see the same bird in both America and England.  (Please do not think I am advocating this, We know now the problems created by introduced species.)

There is a beautiful hymn called "His Eye Is On The Sparrow".  You know it, don't you?  Many think of it as a Negro spritual, I think because it was sung by many great African Americans and also, it was the title of the autobiography of Ethel Waters.  (Trying to link something here, but unable to do so!)  Anyway, there are many who are going through rough times just now and I was reminded of this hymn.  I personally know seven people who have died the past two months.  Winter seems to be a tough time for a lot of people.

Today, when I came home from work, I had the most wonderful package in the mail.  A painting by Silke Powers, of a woman with an owl on her shoulder and the dark brown branches are arching behind both of reminds me of the branches in the photo above! (And the eye of the sparrow is very much like the owl!)  The painting is exquisitely beautiful and the fact that this came to me today...well, I just can;t tell you how much I appreciate it.  It is a heaven sent from an angel, I tell you!  If you would like to see more of the art by Silke Powers, you may  just here!  (That is a link to her blog, but you may click on the side for her art!)

  1. Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
    Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
    When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bird or Squirrel?

W.E. Hill in Puck magazine

You have seen this photo before, I am sure, I have even had it on a post myself.  Do you see an old woman or do you see a young woman?  It just depends on how you look at it, doesn't it?

We just had a light dusting of snow this weekend in Georgia. (Other parts of the east had some heavy snowfall.  In New York City, they only needed one tenth of an inch to break the record for the heaviest amount of snow ever!)  When we went for a long walk at Panola Mountain, Richard took a photo of some of the snow.   If you look at the snow in the middle of the photo, do you see a bird with wings outstretched?  Or is it a squirrel holding a nut with his tail up behind his body? 

So, bird or squirrel?  What do you say?  (I must admit, I saw the bird first, but all know I don't care for squirrels now!)

By the way, the last time I had the old woman/young woman drawing on a post I told you about a book, it was "Crashing Through: The Extraordinary True Story of the Man Who Dared To See" by Robert Kurzon. You really should make a note of this book and read it when you can!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Plaid or Tartan?

 When we visited England in October, we walked up to Beachy Head from the town of Eastbourne.  Once we reached the top, we went into the Beachy Head Pub to have a pot of tea.  (We should have had a stronger drink to celebrate that we can still make that walk up there!)  Anyway, looking over at the bar, I noticed that they had bottles of Scotch displayed upon a plaid cloth or paper. And when I pointed this out to my husband, he looked over at it and said,  'Oh, yes, you mean "tartan".  Hmm....really, I have always called that pattern "plaid".   When we got back to his parents' house, I asked my in-laws...and sure enough, they also say "tartan".  Well, ding-dang, I just get every word wrong, either English OR Scottish!  Things like this just tickle me but it makes me wonder why we Americans have to be different.  Do they say "plaid" or "tartan" in Australia, I wonder?

Nice view even on a hazy day. (The Beachy Head Pub)

The beach in Eastbourne

Walking towards Beachy Head.

This is the steep climb to Beachy Head. Can you see the pier in the distance?

The views are stunning!


Wait, I was talking about plaid/tartan before I began reliving our walk up to Beachy Head!  See the photo above?  That is the first color photograph that was ever made and it is of a tartan ribbon! (Made by the Scottish scientist, James Clerk Maxwell in 1861.)

 Tartan is often called plaid in North America, but in Scotland, a plaid is a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder as a kilt accessory, or a plain ordinary blanket such as one would have on a bed.

The explanation above is from I hope that is correct!
What have we learned today, my friends? That's easy, when you see the pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors, call it "plaid" if you speaking to an American but call it "tartan" if you are speaking to a Brit!  If you are talking to anyone from any other part of the are on your own!   

The bag I am carrying does not identify my clan, just means I shop at Target! Spot the American! HA!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Baby Animals by Garth Williams

Do you remember your very first book?  I do! It was "Baby Animals".  I looked the book up on a search engine a few years ago and the illustrator was Garth Williams. I knew his drawings also from "Charlotte's Web" and the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.   Imagine my surprise when I found out that although he was born in America, his parents were both English and he and his family moved to England when he was ten years old.  (I find his life story interesting, you may read more about him here.)

So, you see, I come by my English influence from a very early age! 

 Recently, I spent a good amount of time trying to help my Dad in choosing a present for a shower gift, he had been asked to buy a book for a baby shower, and then, to write a personal note in the book for the child.  After our discussion, he settled on "The Uncle Remus Stories".  That is the main book that he remembers from his childhood, although, he didn't have the book, he only knew the stories that were told to him. 

So, what was your very first book?  I hope you remember it with great fondness.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Glenn Frey of The Eagles

   Glenn Frey of The Eagles died today.   I am very sorry to learn of this.  The Eagles performed at the Omni in Atlanta in the late 70's and it was one of the best concerts I have ever attended.   I found a video from 1973 from the BBC.
Not only was he a singer/guitarist but he also wrote or co-wrote many of their hit songs.  "Desperado" was written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey.  I really admire musicians/singers/songwriters!
Camellia blooming in my Dad's garden.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

"Mothers Call At the Worst Time"

You MUST see this video! It hits so close to home for me...I have called my son and told him to read this post and watch the video!  It is a TV commercial for GEICO Insurance.  They always have funny ads these days although I must admit I do miss the gecko with the great English accent! (And I even know the actor behind the voice, he is Max from "Eastenders"!)

Here is the I say, this could have been modeled after us! (And by "us" I mean MY family, not ALL mothers!)  Geico calls the ad, "Moms Call At The Worst Time".

I have a great talent for calling my son when he is trying to record something! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

"Eye In The Sky", Movie Coming Out March 2016.

Alan Rickman died today, another beautiful London voice stilled.  We can still see him and hear him in the films that he made.  His last movie, "Eye In The Sky" is a thriller that will be released in the USA in March.  (Technically, his very last movie will be released later this year, but it will be his voice only, in the  Alice In Wonderland movie sequel by Tim Burton.)

I have written of my admiration for Alan Rickman before. If you have not seen him in any films, I urge you to search them out!  One of the funniest is "Galaxy Quest".  If you have not seen it, then do so, immediately!

On our winter walks just now, we see beauty in the fallen leaves, the bare trees and the rocks.
"Yea, and furred moss besides when flowers are none".


Monday, January 11, 2016

I Was Born Talking Back

Even though I was very busy yesterday, I managed to see most of the broadcast of the entertainment awards show, "The Golden Globes".  I know that I am not with the times but the host of the show, Ricky Gervais needs to go.  He isn't funny! Comedy is a strange thing, sometimes a comedian might go somewhere that I wouldn't go, but I don't necessarily feel offended.   Think of Robin Williams or  Joan Rivers, I really liked them and miss them both. There is a meanness about Mr. Gervais that I think is very negative. One of the winners of the award was a young man who won for a movie called "Son of Saul", which he said hoped to put a face to the Holocaust.  What did the host say after such a moving statement? Nothing at all regarding that, but with drink in hand, say the awards were going on too long! I wish Mr. Gervais no harm, I just looked it up and he is worth 90 million dollars! With money like that,  he could buy a private island somewhere. And then, he could go there and STAY there!   Get off my TV, so I don't have to see or hear of you again!

By the way, I do talk back all the time!  I might not let my dear readers of my blog know this, but I do, honestly, I do!  I hope that I do it in a kind way. (See, R. G. doesn't deserve a happy life on a private island, but I am letting him live there in my imagination, aren't I?)

Very surprised of the death of David Bowie today.  For me, even though I can't say that I have any of his albums,  I still liked him and admired his talent. Certain songs of his have memories for me and music is such a great part of life!  I first thought of the song "Young Americans" from 1975, anybody else remember that one?.

And if you are wondering where the title of my post came from, it is from a great song by Lieber and Stoller, made famous by Elvis Presley, I have had it on my blog before, I am sure, but I will happily have it again!

                                                Thanks for letting me spout off!  Richard and I both have been a bit sickly but we think we are getting better.  I must be anyway, back to my old sassy self!

Friday, January 8, 2016


Wait, you think I have gone a little off the deep end with that title post, don't you?  No, that is just what I scored on the Quiz of the week's news on BBC!!   WHAT! You don't look at the BBC and you don't know the Quiz of the week's news?!!  I look at it every Friday.  I am usually RUBBISH at it (as they say in England) but I find it amusing.  And in the scoring, they usually tie it in with one of the questions.  This week, there was a question about the new elements added to the PeriodicTable.

It's the Magazine's weekly news quiz - a chance to prove to yourself and others that you have been paying attention to what's been going on over the past seven days.

There you see, that is what the quiz says before you take the test.  It USED to say something like this...

"a chance to prove to yourself and others that you have better things to do than SWOT UP on what has been going on over the past week."(There, does anybody else remember this wording...I miss it!!)

Anyway, I have a link for you because you KNOW you want to take the quiz, right?  The link to the quiz is just here!

Now, I just know you will love seeing the giant puddle which went viral! And wait until you learn of the new healthy food for 2016!  If you only score 0-3, you will be UNUNREMARKABILIUM, which is my score!

The elements are not named just yet but for now the tempoary names - ununtriuum, ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctium are based on the atomic number of each - 113, 115, 117 and 118.
(There are strict rules about the proper naming of elements- they may only be named after a mythological concept, a mineral, a place or country, a property or a scientist.)

If you get all seven questions on this quiz, you are UNUNIMPROVABLIUM.

If you get 4-6 correct, you are UNUNKNOCKABLIUM.

And remember my score, I only had two correct, so I am UNUNREMARKABLIUM!  That's okay, I have been called worse!

Hey, I have been under the weather this week, so I am dong very well to do all I have done this week, let alone getting any answers correctly on this quiz! Hope to be back soon and able to visit all your lovely blogs!

Just looked at my photos from January of last year and this is the stack of my Daddy's firewood! I hope you are impressed at how perfectly he has this stacked! And he has the same this year too.  Stay warm! You know my Dad will!

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Royal Night Out

When you are on a long plane journey and you watch one of the movies on the tiny screen on the seat in front of you, it needs to be a good film.  One that I watched that I really enjoyed was "A Royal Night Out".  It is based on a true story about the two Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret on the night of VE day when they were allowed to go out into the crowds in London celebrating the end of World War II.  Now, even though it is based on a true story, you will of course, laugh at how...ahem, they have taken some liberties with the facts!  Still, it is a movie, after all, and you know what that means! Very often, I had to laugh at some of the things in this movie but the charm of the American soldier? Hey, they got that one JUST right!  Don't believe me? You should read the post from Meike's Mum! You may find it just here- First kiss on Christmas Eve!

I hope you will watch this movie and enjoy it as much as I did. I wonder if Queen Elizabeth saw it?
If she did, I wonder if she might have said the quote that one always associates with Queen Victoria: "WE are NOT amused!"    HA!

 Oh, and of course, I loved the music in this film AND the dancing!