Tuesday, August 29, 2017

New Pound Coin/ Egret Regrets

I'm not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change.

This was voted as the best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival recently. This made me smile so I am sharing it with you here! If the USA ever changes any coins, you will be able to recycle this one!
Now...this begs the question...WHAT new pound coin?  I remember when they did away with the one pound note in the UK and replaced it with the dear little gold coin. (Around about 1985, I think.)  Could I love the new coin as much?  I looked it up.  It is gold colored and silver colored and has 12 sides and...oh look, let me see if I can find it for you...

Image result for new pound coin in the ukImage result for new pound coin in the uk

"The most secure coin in the world" is how the Royal Mint describes it.  It has quite a few security features...here is a video for you!  Richard had already told me that it was like the old "thripenny bit" but we noticed that the announcer pronounced it "three penny".  So, my friends in the UK...tell me, how would you say this word? The way Richard says it, it sounds like "thrip-nee".   

Sometimes when I visit England, I will have some coins in my coin purse from past visits, and when I count out the change at a shop, the cashier will hand one of the coins back to me and tell me that that particular coin is no longer accepted! Well, honey, you should come to America! We hardly ever change our coins! However, my fellow Americans, if we ever do, I have the joke for you above.

Richard and I have enjoyed seeing the egrets at our walks at Panola Mountain but now, we think they have moved on.  We will miss them.  Hopefully, we will see them there again one day!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

USS Indianapolis

Did you see on the news this week that the USS Indianapolis was recovered? Led by the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen and his company found the ship by using information that was given to them by a Navy historian who discovered records of the last recorded sighting of the Indianapolis.

  I have written about this ship before...here,   here, and also here!  It is an amazing story.

Like many others, I first heard of it when watching the movie "Jaws".  You know when Shaw is relating the story of the sharks attacking the men who are in the water after their ship has been torpedoed? One young boy watching the movie in 1997 asked his father if that story was true.  His Dad told him that it was. Even though he was only 12 years old, he wrote to the surviving members of the Indianapolis and received startling letters from them with gruesome details of what they had witnessed.  Hunter Scott was the lad's name and he interviewed nearly 150 survivors.  The survivors were most insistent that their Captain had been unfairly treated and blamed for the ship's sinking. (Yes, the ship was sunk by a Japanese torpedo but you will just have to read more details about it...it will astound you. Captain Charles B. McVay III was court martialed.) 
The survivors of the Indianapolis never forgot their Captain, and when Hunter Scott contacted them in 1997, they eagerly shared their memories and opinions with him.  All of this resulted in Captain McVay being exonerated by Congressional Resolution in 2000.   Captain McVay had committed suicide in 1968 but his men never forgot him or gave up fighting for his honor.
In 2001, the Secretary of the Navy ordered that Captain McVay's record be purged of any wrongdoing.

I can't stop thinking of the men from the Indianapolis and what the survivors had to endure.  I urge you to read more about them.  The fact that the Indianapolis has now been found should bring more attention to this true story from World War II.

For anyone who might happen upon this post who could be related to one of the survivors, please pass along my most sincere best wishes.  You are all heroes and have my utmost respect.

   Photo of the Royal Sovereign Lighthouse near Eastbourne, England.  Nothing to do with the USS Indianapolis, just the best photo I have of open water. The Royal Sovereign is 7 miles out to sea, in the English Channel.  

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 21...My Blog Anniversary - "A World Of Peace"- All Souls

"May the shadow of the moon fall upon a world of peace".

Besides being the day of the eclipse today, it is also the anniversary of my blog!  Six years ago today, I began my blog.  Have I ever told any of you that I am working on a post and then, you have never seen the post that I have told you about? Looking at my stats, I have published 940 posts but I have 67 drafts.  So, I have written 1007 posts...that somehow seems like a lucky number to me.  I will have to work on those 67 and get them finished...

I have told you before that my most visited post is about the Monastery which is only a few miles from my home.  It now has almost 75,000 views.  It is a place of great peacefulness and serenity and that will be the place that my husband and I have chosen to visit today and view the eclipse. You may see the post that I wrote years ago just here.  There is much hoopla about the eclipse on television.  In 1979, the last time that there was a total eclipse in the USA, the TV announcer told the country that the next one would be in 38 years and he ended the broadcast with those words that I gave you at the beginning of this post... "May the shadow of the moon fall upon a world of peace".   If only it could be so.

I would like to thank all of you who read and comment on this blog. I appreciate you all more than you could ever know.  A special thanks goes out to Meike in Germany, who will always have a special place in my heart for convincing me to start my blog! Here are a few of my followers: The Liverpool lads and their special friend on the Isle of Lewis, Nan from Maine, Mimi-my cat-loving friend in Louisiana, Sue-Mrs. M.-Crochets AND bikes, not at the same time!, Debra and Martha from Canada, Lee and Red Cardinal from Australia, Louise from Colorado, Diana from Green Bay, Emma, MA-always looking on the Bright Side!, Susie, YaYa, and Kristi from Ohio, Mike (A Bit About Britain) and Mark from England, Jenny Woolf and Blue Sky Scotland and now, I have a new follower from...wait for it...Eastbourne! Thanks, Hilary! How nice it is to see photos of such a beloved spot! Not forgetting Mac & Janet, Lynn and also Silke, who are right here in Georgia! Dennis Evans...a preacher who publishes his sermons is also a follower of mine.  Hard to believe that these gifted people take the time to read my words.  How wonderful it is to come to know these friends from my blog.  Wish I could meet every one of you!  (I only jotted down a few of my friends here...but I honestly appreciate every single person who has ever read my blog and took the time to comment. THANK YOU.)  I am also thinking of those who no longer blog...I miss them.

Now, a thank you to my blog:  If not for you, I would never have known what a wonderful photographer I have in my husband.  There are some photos that I have taken for my blog...but for the most part, they are Richard's, so it has been a source of pleasure for him (and for me!) to share his talent with the camera here with you.
Someone contacted us from England when they saw the photos that he had taken of their church and they asked if they could use them on their website! You know he said yes! It is a wonderful church and one that we like to visit when we are in Eastbourne....it is All Souls Church and you may find their website just here. "Loving the Lord Jesus and Making Him Known."  (Click on "Our Building" to see the photos.)

Hoping that the clouds will stay away for all those who wish to view the eclipse!

                   "Light and life and peace."

Friday, August 18, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse (or ALMOST Total) and Little Shop of Horrors

Total Solar Eclipse

USA map with eclipse path

On Monday, we will have a total eclipse of the sun in the very far northeast corner of Georgia.  It will be at about 97% here in the metro Atlanta area.  This is being called the Great American Eclipse since the eclipse cuts right across the country like a banner across Miss America!  Everyone must have the special glasses to look at the eclipse and they MUST have this code on them: ISO 12312-2.

You may read a lot online about the eclipse...and I have a link at the beginning of this post for you, but I since I am always about the music, I am thinking of "Little Shop of Horrors" and Seymour buying the strange little plant that appeared after "the total eclipse of the sun".  If you have never seen this film, you should search it out.  If you are lucky, you might find a high school that will have this as one of their musicals.  It is always a hit!  The songs are by Howard Ashman (lyrics) and Alan Menken (music).  They also wrote the songs for The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast.  Songwriters ECLIPSE all others for me! (Yes, I said that.)  Sadly, Howard Ashman died just after Beauty and The Beast was completed. When you watch the film, you will see that there is a dedication to him at the beginning..."To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful. Howard Ashman 1950–1991".

Little Shop of Horrors is described as a "horror comedy rock musical".  It is a bit hard to put something like this into a box, isn't it?   I very much appreciate something that is well written, don't you?
Also, in the film the voice of the plant "Audrey" is none other than Levi Stubbs.  What? You don't know Levi Stubbs? Well, you should! He was the lead singer for the Four Tops. What a voice!

Here is photo of the rising sun through a heavy cloud cover. (Richard took this one morning recently.) We are hoping for clear skies so that we will see the eclipse. The weather forecasters seem to think that it won't rain.  We will see!

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article164563302.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, August 14, 2017

See Rock City

"See Rock City"

 Does that phrase above look familiar to you? It would if you grew up in the South as I did!  Rock City is in Georgia and has been a tourist destination since 1932 and was developed by Garnet Carter and his wife, Frieda.  Giant rock formations are on the very top of Lookout Mountain and the park was built to showcase the natural beauty. (It is only 6 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee and as the park is on the Georgia side of Lookout Mountain, I can claim it for Georgia!)   Since advertising was a bit difficult in those days, Mr. Carter asked a young sign painter by the name of Clark Byers to travel the highways and offer to paint a farmer's barn and in exchange the farmer would agree to having the barn's roof painted with these three words: SEE ROCK CITY.  
Now, I only knew that I had seen them growing up in Georgia but reading about it, I have learned that they were painted as far north as Michigan and as far west as Texas! He painted over 900 roofs in 19 states from 1935 to 1969.
The signs were a great success and people flocked to Rock City!

Where did Mr. Carter get the money to develop this park? You would never guess! In 1927, he was the first to patent a game that he called "Tom Thumb Golf", he is considered to be one of the fathers of miniature golf! He sold the rights to the patent and used this to fund the Rock City Gardens.

Originally, there was to be a residential neighborhood on the top of Lookout Mountain and because his wife Frieda was from Germany, she wished for it to be called "Fairyland".  Luckily, the development for houses fell through but the idea of Fairyland was not! Frieda decided to develop it into a rock garden.  She took a string and carefully laid out a trail around the giant rock formations, ending at the giant outcropping known as Lover's Leap.
She planted wildflowers and other plants along the trail. Frieda imported statues of gnomes and fairytale characters from Germany and positioned them inside a tunnel in one of the giant rocks. How much I loved this! Fairyland Caverns, I think it was called and along with Mother Goose Village,  it is one of my favorite memories of my childhood, seeing these fairy tale figures! It seems that I remember Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and that the dwarfs were on a little bridge. (Just looked it up, and I remember it correctly!)  "Rainbow Hall" was another area I liked, looking through colored gels apparently, I didn't know what it was as a kid, for me it was magic!

Now, the trail itself...my love of walking among rock and flowers must have started at a very young age at Rock City. (There are 400 native plant species on the trail...thank you Frieda Carter!) I well remember the Fat Man's Squeeze (like the name implies, a stretch where the rocky mountain sides are close together and you have to squeeze through!)  Also, that there were two bridges across a very deep gorge...one was a beautiful sturdy stone bridge and the other one was a ...wait for it, a swinging bridge, that was very scary to me! The views from the top were amazing...and you could see why it was called Lookout Mountain!

I wish I could proclaim from the rooftops...see nature and enjoy it wherever you are!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

An Algorithm For Natural Beauty?

For anyone who reads my blog, you should know that I like to read the BBC online. Recently, I was surprised to read a story about beauty... you may read it yourself just here.  Now, for those of you who can't be bothered to click on that link, I will tell you anyway! (Also, I have a thing to say about the electronic music used on it...it is dreadful!) Researchers at the University of Warwick have developed an algorithm to rate images from one to 10 for natural beauty. This will supposedly be helpful in the preservation of places of beauty.   Okay, that is fair enough...but all of that work and bother when honestly, there is a much SIMPLER way to know...they should have called me!  You know I would tell them, right?

Years ago, I read that the most successful blogs have a "theme" and for those that are lacking a central focus, they are doomed to failure.   Oh dear, I thought, my little blog will be a dud.   I asked my son what would he say my blog was all about.  His reply was prompt: "That's easy, Mom.  You search for beauty."  

Who needs an algorithm for determining scenic beauty?
Not me!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Glen Campbell "Skippin Over The Ocean Like A Stone"

So sad to hear that Glen Campbell died today. I have written some posts about him before.  Even though he is no longer with us, we still have his music and that is forever!  His last album was released earlier this year, "Adios".  I am glad that he liked the Harry Nilsson song "Everybody's Talkin' At Me" too.

Everybody's talkin' at me
I don't hear a word their sayin'
Only the echos of my mind
People stop and stare
I can't see their faces
Only the shadows of their eyes
I'm goin' where the sun keeps shinin'
Through the pourin' rain
Goin' where the weather suits my clothes
Bankin' off of the northeast winds
Sailin' on summer breeze
And skippin' over the ocean like a stone
I'm goin' where the sun keeps shinin'
Through the pourin' rain
Goin' where the weather suits my clothes
Bankin' off of the northeast winds
Sailin' on summer breeze
And skippin' over the ocean like a stone
Everybody's talkin' at me
Can't hear a word their sayin'
Only the echos of my mind
I won't let you leave my love behind
No I won't let you leave
I won't let you leave my love behind

 "Everybody's Talkin" by Harry Nilsson was a big hit in 1969.  It was in the Dustin Hoffman/Jon Voight movie, "Midnight Cowboy".  I always loved the song even though I was too young to see the film. 

"Skipping over the ocean like a stone"... I couldn't understand  that last word but came to know that must be the lyric when I was in England and was taught how to throw stones across the water.
The photos above are from the beach in England in 1985. Can you recognize us?  That would be Richard and myself with his parents, who have always looked like models! 

Let me know if you remember the posts that I did about Glen Campbell.  Take the time to find the videos of him playing "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes. What an incredibly gifted man. There is an obituary from a newspaper from England, "The Guardian" that is well worth reading.  You may find it just here.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Fractured Fairy Tales/Talky Tina/ Cindy Lou Who-June Foray

Last week, June Foray died at the age of 99.  She was known as the "Cartoon Queen" as she voiced so many characters over several decades.  I knew that she had been the voice of "Rocky" from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" and also the voice of "Granny" from Sylvester and Tweety.  I now know that she was also the voice behind the wonderful Cindy Lou Who on "How The Grinch Stole Christmas"!  Not only did June Foray use her voice on cartoons but she was ...wait for it...the voice of the doll "Chatty Cathy"!  (This was hugely popular when I was a young girl. I didn't have one and I can't remember wanting one...but you can guess that I was glad my name wasn't Cathy growing up, I was CALLED Chatty Cathy sometimes. Hmm...I wonder why?  HA!)
Anyway, when Rod Serling wanted to write a story on his "Twilight Zone" show with a talking doll ...who do you think he called? Why, that would be June Foray, of course! (Remember the episode of the scary doll with Telly Savalas?  I sure do, it scared me so!)

June Foray was the voice of "Rocky", as I told you above. It made me think...one of my very favorite things on that show was "Fractured Fairy Tales" and I wondered if she might have done some of the voices on those marvelous clever stories, where they took a well known fairy tale but put a twist upon them. Sure enough, she was!  They were wonderful and very funny.  You are able to watch them on YouTube, that is fantastic! Look some up and see what I mean!
Hey! I found the episode of "The Twilight Zone" with "Talky Tina" (I didn't remember the doll's name.)  Watch it if you dare!
June Foray was a very talented woman.    What a lot of work she did in her long life.  You may read her wonderful obituary just here.
                          This photo looks like something from a fairy tale, but not a fractured one!  Richard can get some of the best shots on our walks! I love the light just around the corner...

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Spicebush Swallowtail On A Button Bush (And On Our Impatiens)- My Butterfly

Let's look at butterflies, shall we?  Take some time and take a good look.   The pattern is just stunning and so detailed that it is a marvel to behold.  On the Spicebush Swallowtail above, notice the white dots on the wings and then, the pattern changes into light blue half moon kind of shapes.  The blue on this butterfly? That should mean that it is female whereas the male has a more greenish blue color there.  Notice that the head and rest of the body is black and completely covered in those white dots.   You can see that in the first photo that I have shown you here.  THIS description is just on the top side of this butterfly...

On the underside of this butterfly on the hindwing you can see the most beautiful orange pattern!   This photo was taken through our glass window but the others were taken beside a lake on the wonderful native bush, the  buttonbush!

Did you know in the USA many of the states have an official butterfly?  In Georgia, it is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. ( I took the photo of the one above when I was at home during my lunchtime.  It is a female also...once again because of the blue. )  Want to see the list of all the state butterflies? Sure you do!  You may see the list AND their photos right here!)

Have you ever noticed what people type into a search engine to get to your blog?  Once someone typed this for mine:  "Does it get hot in Georgia?"  The answer to that is: YES, it gets very hot, especially chasing after butterflies!
I have more butterflies to show you but that will have to wait until next time!  Let's have a bit of music now, what do you say? 

These are two videos of the same song but the first one has better photos of butterflies but the second one has the lyrics listed in French and in English, so you know me...I gave you both of them!
Look at the butterflies and enjoy their beauty!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Miranda Hart- Such Fun!

Let's be honest, you like to laugh, don't you? You like the people who make you laugh, right?  Then, you should like Miranda!
"Miranda" is a fantastic comedy from England starring Miranda Hart. She is not only the star but also the creator and writer!
(You might remember Miranda Hart from some episodes of "Call The Midwife". The very tall one, I think her character's name was "Chummy".) 

 This show is so funny!  Very often, I will chuckle over it and giggle,  but sometimes it makes me howl with laughter! The writing is very clever and Miranda with the other actors make up such a great ensemble. It is a pleasure to watch and listen to witty dialogue.  And Miranda...well, what can I say...for someone to go on a job interview and then to begin SINGING...why no, I have never done that myself, but if you know me, you know I have wanted to!

Another thing about the music...sometimes at the end of the show, they will have a song that all the actors will somehow join in...either singing or dancing, and it just makes the perfect ending.

"Miranda" ran from 2009 until 2015..so we haven't seen all the episodes here in the USA!  Why, I just read that Miranda MARRIED her gorgeous Gary (played by Tom Ellis) at the end of the last season! What! We missed that one!
Also, I have been reading that maybe, just maybe, the series will be renewed and new episodes will be made.    Such fun!

Wait...here is a word that I must say..."plinth".  It just sounds good doesn't it?   (This is the sort of thing that Miranda will say, and it might not seem that funny but it is the WAY that she says it, it makes it very giggle worthy.)

I don't wish to put anyone on a pedestal or plinth. (Yes, I had to say it.) I just wanted to let you know that this is one British comedy that is most certainly my cup of tea.  

Let me know if you like Miranda Hart as much as I do! Not only witty and intelligent, she is also very involved with charities and that is the kind of person that I most admire- a nice one. You may read more about her just here.  It sounds as if she comes from a wealthy background but hey, I won't hold that against her! Laughing out loud! (When is the last time anyone typed that out, I wonder?)

"Thank you and kind regards".