Thursday, November 30, 2017

Love London? Look At These Buildings Yet To Come!

If you have been to London recently, you will be familiar with the buildings that are known as The Gherkin, The Cheese Grater, The Shard and the Walkie Talkie.  Next year, there will be more tall buildings to add to this list!  Want to see some photos of what is to come?  You may see them just here!  The piece is entitled "The skyscrapers that will change London's skyline."  What do you think? Amazing, aren't they?    Can't wait to see The Scalpel!

Cheese Grater Building on the left and the Walkie Talkie on the right.  (Of course, their real names are The Leadenhall Building and 20 Fenchurch Street.)  Those Brits, you have to love the simple but oh so perfect words to describe the buildings. When you hear those nicknames you know exactly which building they mean! 

Richard took that photo the last time we were in London, September of 2016.  I think it is very good, don't you?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Squanto, Pocahantas, Sacagawea and The Navajo Code Talkers- Indian Givers

Happy that I recorded "This Is America, Charlie Brown".  It is a animated show about the first Thanksgiving and they must show it every year but this was the first year that I noticed it.   It made me do some research...there is a great article just here.   You should always be ready to learn from anything even it if it is something that is intended for children!

Squanto- All American children should know his name as the Native American who helped the Pilgrims from the Mayflower.  He was able to act as an interpreter for them as he spoke perfect English.  Why was this so? He had been kidnapped and taken to Spain. While there, the monks helped him to escape to England, and he spent two years in London.  Upon his return to America, he found that his entire tribe had died from disease.  Why did Squanto help the Pilgrims?  I would like to think that he took pity on them, he saw that they were totally out of their depth and that he helped them out of kindness.

Pocahantas-  The Native American woman who helped the settlers at Jamestown, Virginia, she married the Englishman John Rolfe and sailed to England with him and died there at the age of 21.

  Statue of Pocahantas at Gravesend, Kent in England (Believed to be near her grave.)

Sacagawea- The Native American woman who assisted the Lewis and Clark Expedition. She traveled thousands of miles with them from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean, much of it while she was pregnant with her first child.  (A good book for you- "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose.)

America has a beautiful one dollar coin with the likeness of Sacagawea with her infant on her back. It is so beautiful that hardly anyone uses it!

Sacagawea dollar obverse.png

The Navajo Code Talkers- You might have seen a mention of the Navajo Code Talkers this week, some of the surviving veterans from World War II  met with Trump this week and unfortunately, much of their story was lost in the uncouth remarks from President Trump.  This was a shame as their story needs to be better known. I hope that it made more people look up their story. Their unbreakable code from their language enabled American military victories in the South Pacific.  You may read more just here.  (They were forced to keep their story secret until the 1960's!)
If you notice from the photo on that link, Trump met with these Native Americans in the Oval Office of the White House and there is a portrait of Andrew Jackson behind them.  Insensitive to say the least...Andrew Jackson was the President of the United States during the time when tribes were forced to leave their lands and to stay on reservations.   (Anybody thinking at the White House? Anybody?)

Years ago, I read a book by Jack Weatherford..."Indian Givers: How Native Americans Transformed The World".  It is a fascinating read!  Of course, he uses the expression "Indian Giver" in the true sense of the word!
Another one for you, "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown, is a book about Native Americans in the American West in the 19th century.

Both of these books are very well written and very much worth reading.

"Indian giver" is an American pejorative expression, used to describe a person who gives a "gift" and later wants it back, or who expects something of equivalent worth in return for the item.   

When the settlers first came to America, I can see why they called it "FALL".  The leaves from all those trees must have been spectacular and a true sight to see.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Keep Your Hands To Yourself

You might think that the title of this post could somehow be related to all the recent news of sexual harassment cases.  It is true that almost anything will remind me of a song but in this case it is because I saw a film and I heard a song during the final credits. The song was by The Yayhoos.  Turns out that Dan Baird has sometimes performed with The Yayhoos. Who is Dan Baird? Why, he was with the Georgia Satellites and their big hit was "Keep Your Hands To Yourself! 

Oh, I thought to myself, I wonder what he is up to these days...I looked him up and just this past year, he was performing with his band in England but became very ill.  His bandmates insisted on him going to hospital. (In England, you go to the USA you go to THE hospital.  Don't ask me why this is said this way.)
Anyway, I was sad to learn that Dan Baird is now battling leukemia.   Interesting article about him just here.
Dan is quoted at the end of it by saying about his music, "Just go out there swinging as yourself."  I admire people who don't look at current trends or fads but just honestly perform their music as they want to do it, not how others think that they should.

(I still am working on my post about music, my friends.  Look out for it, prize winning stuff, I am sure!)

In the meantime, Keep Your Hands To Yourself!

Dan Baird, if you should somehow read this post, I am thinking about you.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all my American friends!  And happy Thursday to the rest of the world!

Sad news, I see that David Cassidy has died.  One of the main things I remember about him- he was devastated when a young woman died at one of his concerts as a result of trampling. Seems to me that the press can be very cruel.  I found a piece from a newspaper just here. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have had that wild fame that he had in the 1970's and what it must have been like for someone like him to have to live up to his name for the rest of his life.  May he rest in peace.


                                                A u t u m n   C o l o r s !

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Mystery of Lucy And The Dark Woods (A Book Review)

I read a book of fiction...and I liked it!

If you have been a reader of my blog for any time, you will know that the main books that I read are non-fiction, so when I read fiction, I must tell you about it... 

"The Mystery of Lucy And The Dark Woods" is by Diana Kosmoski, one of my blogging friends!  The story is about Lucy, but I honestly think it is a thinly veiled story about Diana herself.  Lucy is born with a "sixth sense" about things in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania (just like Diana).  Lucy, like Diana, did not have a very good relationship with her mother. As Lucy grows up, life brings joys but sometimes heartaches with various romances (as I must imagine must be the same for our gorgeous blonde, Diana!)  Throughout the book, there are many references to the music from the 1960's and the 1970's. Y'all know how crazy I am about music!
So, you see how this book could appeal to me...even though it is fiction, I was delighted to read the book and then to connect the stories in the book to the posts that I have read on Diana's blog! 

One of my favorite stories in the book-Lucy discovers that her granddaughter has inherited her "sixth sense" about life and wonders how this precious child will handle the gift that has been bestowed upon her.  (I know exactly which granddaughter she is talking about, since Diana has told us many stories about her!)

"With resolve and determination", that is the way that the book describes Lucy's way of handling the world around her.  I think that Diana must be the same. 

Now, I have given you a very personal book review but even if you do not know Diana from her blog, I think that you would enjoy reading this book!  Diana has her book for purchase on her Etsy shop and you may find it just here!

(Just realized that I forgot to tell you- Diana's blog is Nana Diana Takes a Break and you may find it just here!)

Will I leave you a video of one of the songs mentioned in the book?
You know I will!
The fact that I chose a song from one of the British bands...another personal thing about me, I have that English heart, you know!


Monday, November 13, 2017

Dawn French

Hello! You all might remember the actress/comedienne Dawn French from the TV show "The Vicar of Dibley". (It was very funny!)  In England, she was well known before that from her work with Jennifer Saunders. (Just read that they will reunite for a show at Christmas! They have such special TV shows at Christmas in England, we never get to see them in the USA, I only read about them!)
Anyway, she is very funny and what I really wanted to tell you is that Dawn French just celebrated her 60th birthday in September.
I loved what she had to say about turning 60 and I wanted to share it here with you!   Click on her name at the beginning of the post. Hope you can see and hear it!

Don't you wish you could be walking on this pier in Eastbourne in England?
You know I do!
(The owner of the pier has this lion painted in bright gold.  I preferred it like this, don't you?)

My friends, I hope you are all doing well and finding something to make you laugh or smile! Just recently, one of my blogging friends said in a comment to me that I always make him smile.
Thank YOU, Graham! You always make MY Day!
As do you all who read my blog and leave me comments. Thank you, one and all.  Y'all are just the best.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Armenians Love Strangers (Roll Out the Pomegranates!)

Hello, my friends!  Does anyone remember me telling you that my son's girlfriend is from Armenia? 

When he first told us this, I was pleased that I had some vague idea of where it was in the world...but not much else, I fear. Now, I found a great piece on the BBC about the fact that Armenians are very welcoming to those who visit them.  You may read the article just here.

Christopher and Shoghik (pronounced "Show-Heek", that is as close as I can get to it) came to see us at the end of September. I might not roll out the red carpet but I did my best, I gave her some gorgeous Yellow Daisies to admire!  Also, I gave her my very best cooking... I made JELLO!  I am not kidding!  I have told you all this before but there might have been some who have missed my wonderful recipe so...I will give it to you again. (We had more food than just Jello, of course, but doggone if I can even remember what I prepared! LOL!)


1 big box of Strawberry Jello

Follow directions on box!  It will say to mix Jello with boiling water and dissolve and then, to mix in cold water.  Instead of the cold water, use 100% FRUIT JUICE, not water!  That's it!  EASY!

Now, the juice that I used was 100% Fruit Juice-Cranberry/Pomegranate.  Why did I choose this one?
I did my research on Armenia!  The Pomegranate is ... oh look- this is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

The pomegranate is one of the main fruits in Armenian culture (the others being apricot and grapes). Its juice is famous with Armenians in food and heritage. The pomegranate is the symbol of Armenia and represents fertility, abundance and marriage.

Fertility, abundance and marriage! Oops, please note those are not MY words, Shoghik and Christopher!  I am just quoting here!

"When you encounter hospitality in Armenia, you are unlikely to forget it".  That was the last sentence in the BBC article.

Where in the world have you experienced the best hospitality?
Tell me!

(I have a friend who spent some time in Australia once.  When he was asked what would he like in his coffee, he replied that he liked cream and sugar.  His hosts looked at each other but said nothing. The husband left the room and was gone for the longest time.  He found out later that the host had left and driven for miles to buy the cream! Note to the rest of the world, we Americans say "cream and sugar" but we just mean milk and sugar, or Coffee Mate and sugar, we are not fussy!  Love those Aussies!)

Love to you all! 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Our Son, The Writer

Hey! You know you all want to read about the Atlanta Hawks! Our son is writing for "Soaring Down South", the blog about the basketball team here in Atlanta.  You may read his piece just here!
What? You don't care much for sports? You might like it anyway.  I always say if something is well written, it is always worth reading.

Perhaps beer drinking is more of your style? If so, I have you covered on that one too.  C. has also written for The Beer Connoisseur Magazine.  You may read the article that he wrote about The String Cheese Band and their brewery just here.  

Christopher will have a birthday at the end of this month so for me, November is a time of not just Thanksgiving and the beautiful autumn leaves but for celebration of a very special loved one.  His birthday is sometimes on Thanksgiving day or very close to it. 

Read this post from Dennis- Let's All Be Thanksgiving Babies.

                                 C. With His Papa- Christmas 2008 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Tallulah Gorge? Tallulah Gorgeous!

Hello my friends! I have no shame, I totally stole the title of this post from a billboard on the way to Tallulah Gorge which is right here in Georgia!( It is only just in Georgia, just drive some miles north and you will be in North Carolina, drive to the east and you will be in South Carolina.) Nevertheless, it is in Georgia and we can claim it!
Now, it is not that far from Toccoa which if you notice from my profile,  is the place of my birth and where I spent my early childhood. (I have ancestors from this area too which makes it special to me.)  One of my earliest memories is looking down into the gorge and seeing the beautiful colors of the autumnal leaves.  Richard and I went recently and while the colors were just beginning to turn, it was still beautiful...

It was very warm this day and sunny so the photos might not be as clear as they could be but hey, Richard took them so they are still good and I think it gives you a good idea of this beautiful area.

Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and almost 1000 feet deep. There are several rim trails and you know that Richard and I enjoyed those! As I mentioned in a precious post, we walked 321 steps to the suspension bridge which is 80 feet above the gorge...then, you have a similar set of steps to climb up on the other side! We did it though and it was worth it! (The bridge is 80 feet above the gorge.)

I bought a post card of this view but guess what, this photo that Richard took is really a much better photo even if I am in the middle of it!

There is a series of six falls that cascade through the gorge and the town next to the gorge is named after them- Tallulah Falls.  Let's  not hear any banjo music but...the canoe scenes in the movie "Deliverance" were filmed in the waters of Tallulah Gorge.   That is NOT my favorite movie, folks! Let's not have any negative vibes from that film influence the way we think of this place of natural beauty, okay?

You can still see the remains of a tower that Karl Wallenda used to attach a wire in order for him to walk over the gorge.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Not only did he walk across on the wire but he stopped and did two headstands! By the way, he was 65 years old when he did this. (This would have been in 1970.)

Tallulah Gorge must have been magnificent in the days before the power company built a dam to contain the powerful waters. (The sound of the water could be heard for miles.)  It was a popular tourist destination with many coming by train. Some local people fought against the building of the dam (which was completed in 1913.)  One of them was Helen Dortch Longstreet.  Also known as "Fighting Lady" she was a newspaper reporter, editor, publisher, postmistress  and business manager. She earned her nickname from championing causes such as preservation of the environment and civil rights.  She was much younger than her husband, Confederate Gen. James Longstreet, and she spent a large part of her widowhood to ensure that he was "accurately portrayed by history".  They married in 1897 when she was 34 and he was 76.  He died in 1904. 

Even though she was unable to stop the dam, her hard work paid off in the sense that this area is now a state park.  One of the trails is named after her- the Helen Dortch Longstreet Trail.

 So, what do you think about Tallulah Gorge?  Gorgeous, right?