Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Little Shop of Horrors-Dentist Song/Cheerful Flowers

I mentioned the movie "Little Shop of Horrors" in my last post.
Since I had a visit to the dentist today, it reminded me of one of the songs from that movie.   For me, it is not just the dentist but the dental hygienist...I am telling you, she can be the one who inflicts the pain! 

Never mind, I will just surround myself with camellias! They are blooming quite beautifully just now.  What natural beauty are you enjoying these days?  And let me know if you think the dentist song is funny too!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Just A Little About Hollywood...

Goodness me, I am sure everyone has seen the mistake at the Oscars, when "La La Land" was announced as Best Picture when it should have been "Moonlight".   Of course, Warren Beatty saw on the envelope, "Emma Stone, La La Land" and was understandably puzzled but what did he do?  Why, he simply HANDS it over to the woman beside him! Typical!   Faye Dunaway, poor woman, just glances at it and sees "La La Land" and announces the movie as the winner of "Best Picture"!   Did you see this on TV?  I didn't, it was too late at night for me, but dang, that was the main item of news today, so I didn't have to stay awake, did I?

Academy, here is my suggestion:
Just have ONE briefcase with ONE set of envelopes naming the winners, by the time you get to the end of the show and you have ONE award left to hand out, there will be only ONE envelope left.
Sometimes, simple solutions really are the best.

It was mentioned that Bill Paxton had died on the same day as the Oscars.  Jennifer Anniston was obviously upset as she announced this. Reading of him it seems that he was a kind friend to many. Today, Tom Hanks said of him, "He was simply a wonderful man". 

Bill Paxton was in two of my favorite movies:
"Aliens" and "Apollo 13".  If you have not seen these films, you should! Another film that he did that sounds interesting to me is "Frailty"...he not only starred in this but also directed it.
If you have seen this film, please let me know what you thought of it, would you?
Also, it seems that Bill Paxton worked in the art department for Roger Corman in the 1970's.  Who is Roger Corman?  Please tell me that you know "Little Shop of Horrors"! (This is one of many that Roger Corman directed and produced.)

I am a big fan of the movies, have you noticed? Also, you should never underestimate my knowledge about Hollywood, my brain is STUFFED with this and has room for little else. It does me NO good in life but you will want me on your trivia team, if the subject is anything to do with films.
As my signed photo of Kevin Costner says, "See you at the movies!"
(Actually, I rarely go to the movies...I just wait to see them on TV, in the comfort of my own home.  How about you?)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

"42" A Film for Everyone Not Just Baseball Fans!

Even if you don't know one single thing about baseball, you should watch the film "42".  Now, if you happen to love baseball (like me!)  then you MUST see it!  Promise me, you will!
What's that? You HAVE seen it?  Oh good...let's talk a bit about it then!

  "42" is based on the true story of Jackie Robinson , the first African American to play in Major League baseball. One of the quotes from the movie: "One day, we will all wear number 42"  has come true. On April 15th every year, every player in major league baseball wears Jackie Robinson's number 42 in his honor.  (April 15, 1947 was the first day that Jackie Robinson played in the major leagues, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.)
Why should we honor him as the first black man to play in Major League baseball? It is because it had to take a great deal of strength and courage for him to overcome all the racial prejudices of the time.  The film does a great job in giving us just a bit of what he must have gone through.  I noticed that Hank Aaron was listed as an advisor to the film. Henry "Hank" Aaron played for the Atlanta Braves in the 1970's and was the player who broke Babe Ruth's homerun record.  Hank Aaron, also being an African American, received death threats leading up to his homerun record.
(Would love to have someone make a movie about Hank Aaron too, come on filmmakers!)

In the film, one of his fellow players came over to Jackie Robinson before the game began, and put his arm around his shoulder.  This was a strong show of support which meant a lot. Reading about it further, it seems that Pee Wee Reese actually just went and stood beside him.  (Pee Wee Reese, being a white man from Kentucky, the American South.)  It might not seem a big deal to us now, so perhaps that is why it was depicted as an arm around his shoulder, just to make it more obvious. You may read more about this story of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese just here.

There is a wonderful review from IMDB on this movie.  You may find it just here!  I am in complete agreement with the reviewer.   I only wish I could write reviews myself!  (I just want to say: watch it, it's good!)  It's great that after watching this movie, you can look up the all the players and coaches and read their life stories.

From the beginning of the film, which showed us a bit of the Abbot and Costello gag "Who's On First" to the closing songs played during the end credits, it was an very well made movie.  And for a baseball fan, it was a real treat.

Two songs played at the end of the film:

The Ball Game
Written and performed by Sister Wynona Carr
Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?
Written by Buddy Johnson
Performed by Count Basie

By the way, the Atlanta Braves played their first game today during Spring Training in Florida and they won!  They beat the Toronto Blue Jays, the score was 7-4.   Play Ball!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Life Is Hard/ Lean On Me

The above sign is now posted at the end of a boardwalk at Panola Mountain State Park.  It is meant to make people understand the fragile plants in the area.  Seems to me that there is a lesson here that could be applied to life in general.

Life is hard: Be gentle and don't stomp all over the place, okay?   Respect, please.

Bill Withers had a big hit with "Lean On Me" in 1972.  I think that  this song goes along with my thinking for this post.

If you don't have time to click on the link to Bill Withers, let me just give you a quote about songwriting from him. 
"I write and sing about whatever I am able to understand and feel... healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you."

Saturday, February 18, 2017

I Don't Repeat Gossip/Cactus and Stones

It's true...I don't repeat gossip, so you better listen closely the FIRST time!
HA!  I totally stole that from the old TV show "HEE HAW".

(Hee Haw is one of my Dad's favorite shows. I bet he knows them all by heart!)

There are a lot of movies that are filmed here in Georgia.  Would you like to hear about some of the big names from Hollywood and what they are really like? Sure you would!

I have told you in a post several years ago that Hugh Jackman filmed a movie just down the road from me!  The crew had all their equipment at a local church and my friend worked at the church nursery at the time.  I will forever and always love Hugh Jackman because he went into the church building and spoke with the women who worked there and took pictures with them all.
It only took a few minutes from his day but it was a very kind thing to do.

Dwayne Johnson ( you might not recognize the name, he is usually called "The Rock") made a film here and I talked with someone recently who was an extra in the movie.  Now, I have read that some criticize his acting ability and his political views but for me, I think he is a great guy for this one thing alone:  when he filmed this movie in Conyers, Georgia he asked the extras if he could sit and eat lunch with them!  He did this every day of the filming. That might not seem like a big deal to you but the big stars usually have their own trailers and do not associate with the low lifes like extras! Once again, very kind.
(Another actor in the movie was NOT very nice to the extras...I won't tell you his name but...his first name is only three letters and his last name is the same name as a type of fuel. There, you can figure it out!)

Carroll O'Connor was Archie Bunker in "All In The Family".  He also starred in the show "In The Heat of the Night" which was filmed in Conyers and Covington, Georgia.  Once, I was stopped at a light and I looked in my rear view mirror.  To my surprise, there was Carroll O'Connor looking right at me! What did I do?
I mouthed the words "I love you".  He smiled, put his hand over his heart and lowered his head, as if he were taking a bow! Wonderful guy! (And he was NOT a bigot, like his character from "All In The Family, he was just a good actor!)
Hope you are able to go on long walks and enjoy the beauty of the natural world! Our cactus bloomed and one bloom was bright pink and one was a very pale pink, and it was on the same plant! (The color looks orange in the photo but it was really a bright pink.) It is supposed to be a Christmas cactus but no one told the plant this, it sometimes blooms in time for Valentine's Day!

  When I see stones positioned like this at Arabia Mountain, I think of the time and effort that someone took to do this.  It reminds me of the stones at Stonehenge and Avebury in England, on a smaller scale, of course.  When you see the sun hit the rock, it makes you wonder, if the stones were placed there, not for any special purpose but just for the sheer beauty and balance as they have been done here. 
(You can also see shapes emerge if you look carefully, Richard noticed that the last photo looks like a man holding a big stick, can you make that out too?)
Look! I am waving to you wherever you are in the world! (Yes, I do have a head the size of a basketball.  I think everyone should!)  Take care!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Adele and Sam Cooke With Flowers

Adele won five grammys on Sunday night. She deserves them! I think she's great and here's the thing...I rarely listen to women singers but I really like her!   I found a video of her singing a Sam Cooke song from years ago.  Her voice is amazing but I think that she sings with more confidence now. Hope you like this too. (February 14, 1961 was the release date for Sam Cooke's song, "That's It, I'm Moving On.". Wow, 56 years ago now.) 

Many are celebrating Valentine's Day so you may think I would have Sam Cooke's "Cupid" song on here!  Okay then let's have that one too! 

Giving all of you some flowers to view, hope you like them...

Fuchsias from England, the colors look very much like the colors used for hearts in February!
This makes me GLAD when I see a gladiolus blooming in my own yard!
Music and flowers, what could be better?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Peace In The Valley/Take My Hand Precious Lord- Thomas A. Dorsey

               Stone Mountain from the air, amazing to see this from the airplane, I recognize all the roads and parking lots too!

At Christmas, I told you that the best selling Christmas album in the USA is the one by Elvis Presley from 1957.  On that album, he had several gospel songs, two of them were "Peace In The Valley" and "Take My Hand Precious Lord".  (Elvis must have really liked these songs: they were both on his first gospel album that he had released earlier in 1957.)  Wanting to know who might have written these songs, I looked it up.  I was surprised to find that one man is the writer of both songs: Thomas A. Dorsey.

Thomas A. Dorsey was born in Villa Rica, Georgia in 1899, the son of a minister.   He left for Chicago as part of the Great Migration. Playing piano in the blues clubs in Chicago, he returned to his roots and wrote and performed gospel music. He is considered the "father of black Gospel music".  Combining elements of the blues along with traditional Christian praise was such an unusual pairing that his songs became known as "dorseys".
The story behind the song, "Take My Hand Precious Lord" is heartbreaking. Thomas Dorsey's wife died in childbirth. Two days later, the baby, a son, also died.  Thomas Dorsey was performing in St. Louis at the time and received a telegram. Expecting to receive happy news of a birth, he had the devastating  news of two deaths.  He sat down at a piano and began playing a tune, a tune that just came to him, and the words came easily too,  "like drops from heaven", as he described it.

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I'm tired, I'm weak, I'm worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
When my light is almost gone

Hear my cry, hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When the darkness appears and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I'm tired, I'm weak, I'm lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
(Lead me home)

Songwriter: THOMAS A. DORSEY

If you would like to read more about Thomas A. Dorsey, I have a link for you just here and also here. 
Thomas Dorsey lived a long, full life, remarrying and raising a family. He wrote over 3000 songs.  He called himself blessed.

NOTE:  If you ask people if they know this name, they might think of the name of the big band leader, Tommy Dorsey. Similar names but not the same!  Please let us remember the name - Thomas Andrew Dorsey.
(Meaning to write of this since December, I have recently met two different men with the surname of Dorsey at my job. Something was telling me I needed to write this post. Has that ever happened to you?)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Thin Places

Richard and I walked at the Monastery this weekend  The daffodils were in bloom, as were the pink flowers of the tulip trees. When we walked to the lake there, we saw a great heron flying.  With its large wings outstretched over the water, gliding gracefully and ever so quietly, it was a breathtaking sight.  

Inside the church, the light was streaming through the purple and blue stained glass.  You are asked to maintain silence. Since the walls are built of solid concrete, the sound is hard to describe.  It is a quiet that is most unusual....and very welcome to a weary visitor.

Look! This was the sunrise that greeted us as we stepped outside our front door this morning!  "Thin places", that is how the Celts described the places where the distance between heaven and earth are so close that they almost touch.   Mairead from Irish American Mom had a fascinating post about thin places and you may find her post just here.

How is your February going?  What are your "thin places"?

Thursday, February 2, 2017


Hello, Humans!  How are y'all doing these days?  Today is Groundhog Day, as you know, and I hope you have all seen the movie by the same name?  Did you know that Harold Ramis wrote the screenplay for both "Groundhog Day" AND the original "Ghostbusters" movies?  (Not only a writer but a comedian, director and actor, he played one of the original ghostbusters, the one with the glasses, remember that one?)  Sadly, he died in 2014.  This past weekend, Richard and I watched the recent Ghostbusters movie that was made with women having the leading roles.  I thought it was hilarious!  Almost all of the original actors from the first Ghostbusters movie had cameo roles in the new film, and that was a very nice touch!  And I might have mentioned this to you before, and I promise I don't ALWAYS find a link to England but it does just seem to happen, but Harold Ramis won the BAFTA award for Best Original Screenplay for "Groundhog Day"! (BAFTA is like the British Academy Award.)

Funny thing, but I had a problem today at work and after spending quite some time on the phone with a help desk, I was told to call back TOMORROW and the problem should be sorted out by then (that is me paraphrasing since I use the word "sorted" because of my English husband!)   Of course, you know I just had to say, "Wait a minute, today is Groundhog Day, does this mean I am going to call back tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day, etc, etc, etc.?)  Now, you know I heard some laughter on the other end of the line! 

I have been very busy at work just lately so I have not had much time for blogging.  Sometimes I just want to be with flowers, even if I have to go back in time to September and pretend I am in Eastbourne!  (Please note, I didn't stay at this lovely hotel, just walked up the steps and had Richard take my photo.  I have no shame!) 
Happy Groundhog Day to you all!  (And by the way, the little groundhog doesn't matter that much to people in Georgia, we know we will have an early Spring!) 

Oh! And guess what, you might not know this....there is a little thing called the SUPER BOWL on Sunday and it will be between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots.  
Go FALCONS!  Even my friends in Wisconsin MIGHT be cheering for them! :-)