Monday, December 31, 2018

Out My Backdoor (And Front Door!) Happy New Year!

Now, I am not saying that I am looking rough these days but look at what I saw looking down at me from a tall tree in my backyard!
(Some people would call this a buzzard but since you all know that I know my birds, it is a turkey vulture.) One does not always look one's best after an illness...I keep telling myself that! (I don't really speak that way, I have been watching too many British TV shows! HA!)

What are you seeing out your door or window these days? Do tell!

Our house faces east, so we sometimes have some gorgeous sunrises.  This is the view from our front door!

2019...TWO OH ONE NINE...Hope it is mighty fine!
Let's have a song...

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas, Don't Be Late by Ross Bagdasarian (David Seville)

"Christmas, Don't Be Late  (The Chipmunk Song)" was written by Ross Bagdasarian. His cousin was the famous novelist William Saroyan.  Rostom "Ross" Bagdasarian is better known by his stage name of David Seville. Both of these men were Armenian-Americans and this means a lot to me since my son's girlfriend is from Armenia. Now, the song is most known as being sung by the cartoon Chipmunks-Simon, Theodore, and ALVIN, which were created by the aforementioned Mr. Bagdasarian!
 (Funny fact, Ross Bagdasarian named them after the executives from the record company that produced his records.)

Now, this Christmas my son let me know that he realized the song in 3/4 time and is therefore a WALTZ! Also, he realized that it was a very pretty tune.  There, you see...I always knew I loved this song!  I ADORE waltzes!  Christopher found a piano version of this I have it for you here.  Enjoy!

Hope you are all having lovely times with your family and friends. Blessings to you all!   (And I am still wanting that hula-hoop!)

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Lyrics by Charles Wesley)

One of my favorite songs at Christmas (and you do know I love so many of them, don't you?) is "Hark The Herald Angels Sing".  The lyrics were written by Charles Wesley.  The Wesley brothers, John and Charles, I am sure that you know who they are!  They were both born in Epworth, England -  John in 1703 and Charles in 1707. John Wesley is considered the father of Methodism and you should know the name of Charles Wesley as the author of thousands of poems that were set to music. (Yes, you read that correctly, thousands of them. I have read 5000 or 6000. Regardless of the number, the quality of his writing is what truly impresses me.)

They were Anglicans of course, but they were called Methodists by their fellow students at Oxford due to their methodical approach to Bible study and daily prayer. (They never left the Anglican church but they were not allowed to preach in Anglican churches due to their evangelical ways. Instead, they preached in barns, private homes and outside, under the trees.)

John and Charles Wesley both traveled to Georgia in 1735 as missionaries! (John in Savannah and Charles at St. Simon's Island.) Things didn't go so well for them though and they returned to England.  I wish I could make a film about the Wesley brothers.  Then, I would have to do a follow up film about their mother, Susanna!  What an amazing woman.  It was their mother who educated her children, their father...well, their upbringing mainly fell to Susanna.  She had 19 children with nine of them dying as infants.  

The son of Charles Wesley is Samuel Wesley and he is known as the English Mozart! He was a child prodigy in music and from what I have read, we owe a lot to him since he was an early fan of Johann Sebastian Bach.  (He named his son Samuel Sebastian.)
Oh dear, that will have to be my THIRD movie that I make about the Wesleys!

Now, my friends, I have dozens of things to do before Christmas...and I am sorry if all of these facts might be a bit jumbled in my head!( My advice to you: don't be sick for a whole month before Christmas, it makes things very tough!) Please know that I wish all of you a most joyous Christmas and I am sending you all my best!
Leaving you with one of the verses from "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"...   LIGHT AND LIFE!

  1. Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
    Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
    Light and life to all He brings,
    Ris’n with healing in His wings.
    Mild He lays His glory by,
    Born that man no more may die;
    Born to raise the sons of earth,
    Born to give them second birth.

                   Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Where Did You Meet? (At A Bus Stop, Under An Umbrella?)

Recently, I said this to a couple  - "How did y'all meet?"
Smiling, they told us that they first met at a bus stop while it was raining and they had shared an umbrella.  This couple is from Armenia and they didn't know the song that instantly sprang to my mind. (I hope they will see it here now!) If you don't know the song, "Bus Stop" by the Hollies, which was a big hit in 1966, then I hope you will listen to it now! 

The lead singer on that song was Allan Clarke and I just found the most wonderful interview with him!  It has so much background information about the songs from the Hollies. If you are interested, you may click on his name that I have below and you can read it too.

Allan Clarke 

I knew that Graham Nash (you know, from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young?) was with the Hollies in the early days but what I did not know was that Graham Nash had been good friends with Allan Clarke since they were school kids, when they were only six years old!  Oh goodness me, things like that just tickle me no end!

Richard was in England in December of last year and he took some photos from the pier in Eastbourne.  Isn't this beautiful? Richard and I actually met for the first time when I visited London in May of 1981.  I told him to meet me in the lobby of the hotel where my sister and I were staying.  Why didn't I think of some romantic spot, like on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral or beside the Thames near the Houses of Parliament? I am just not the romantic type, I guess!  So, if you are married or have a romantic partner, how did you meet?  Do tell!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Apple Ad With Elvis Impersonators (There's Always Me)

Elvis Lives!  At least as long as we have his music and men who like to impersonate him!  I really like this latest ad from Apple with Elvis impersonators from around the globe communicating with each other on Group Facetime on their IPhones. The ad is called "A Little Company.".  Instead of making fun of those who imitate Elvis (which usually happens) this ad presents them in a very respectful manner.  Anybody else enjoy this ad as much as I do?

You will never guess...I looked this up and the ad is from Dougal Wilson, a director of commercials and music videos and he is from England! (Always goes back to England for me, somehow.) His bio says that he was born in Heswall, England. I had no idea where that could be so I looked that up is a town on the Wirral, near Liverpool!  One of my blogging friends lives in Wirral, so that tickled me to discover this!  (John and brother Graham, I hope y'all see this post!)   Dougal Wilson   There, if you click on his name, it will take you to his site "Furlined" and once there, you will see this Elvis ad along with an ad with children singing "Bohemian Rhapsody."  Make SURE you go to see it, you will thank me! It is amazing too!  There are other ads there also and they are all simply little masterpieces of film.  I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.  (The Ikea funny!)

In case anyone wants to hear the real Elvis sing this song, I have it for you too.  "There's Always Me".  It was originally recorded on June  17, 1961 on his album, "Something for Everybody". 

P.S.  I have been known for singing "Happy Birthday" like Elvis, so Elvis impersonators are dear to me! If no one ever wants to imitate you, Elvis...there's always me!  

Elvis lives!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Don't Let The Old Man In

When Clint Eastwood was playing in a golf tournament this past May, he had a conversation with one of his fellow golfers, a singer/songwriter by the name of Toby Keith.  Clint Eastwood is 88 years old and Toby Keith expressed his admiration for the fact that Clint Eastwood is still working at such an age. Clint said to him, "I get up every day and don't let the old man in."  Well, of course, that is just the best thing to say to a songwriter!  The song, "Don't Let The Old Man In" is featured in the new film "The Mule", which will be out this Friday. (Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Clint Eastwood!)

I really have no idea if I will like the film or not but the music video with the song is quite good, I think.

Of course, this makes me think that I shouldn't "let the old woman in" but I just went past a mirror so... too late! HA!

We have had lots of rain lately, so hardly any nice sunrises or sunsets but last week, Richard got this of the sun coming up and you know I asked him to take a photo for you.

Now, I am getting better...I keep telling myself that! Hope you are all well.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Lions At Trafalgar Square (And The Monastery)...and Leaves!

The sculptures of the four bronze lions in Trafalgar Square in London are very memorable. If you have never been there, I am sure you recognize them from photos of London.  They are called "Landseer's lions" because they were designed and made by Sir Edwin Landseer, a painter and sculptor from the Victorian era.  Until Feb. 3, you may see one of his most famous paintings, "The Monarch of the Glen" at the National Gallery in London. (Also in Trafalgar Square.)  And please tell me if you get to see it, I won't be able to do so but I'd love to know that I told someone else to view it. (This is the first time the painting has been at the National Gallery since 1851, so a pretty special thing to see, if you ask me.)

Interesting to me, Sir Edwin Lanseer had only seen lions at the London Zoo, and he based the sculptural design upon the drawings that he made from his observations of them.  I like his paintings very much.  You may see more of them just here.  Do you have a favorite?  I keep going back to the one of the falcon.  After all, I have observed birds myself for many years and I know for a fact how perfectly he has painted those feathers...
(He is very famous for his paintings of dogs, there is a breed of a Newfoundland dog which is called the Landseer Newfoundland.)

The gingko tree at the monastery here in Conyers just lost its beautiful yellow leaves recently and Richard took some photos, of course!  Can you see the face of the lion in the photo above?  I saw it right away, it is only just the face, almost a smiling face, just in the you see it?  There, I hope that makes you smile!
Does anyone remember me writing about our friends, Joy & Henry in England?   Henry fell and broke his hip recently, so I hope that you will leave your get well wishes here for him! Henry, I was going to tell a funny story here to cheer you up but how about I show you some photos of our leaves instead?

At the Monastery, the monks have the great, good sense not to blow or rake these away...they let them fall where they may.  Lovely to see and to walk through.

The monks also sell bonsai trees at the monastery and they are showing their true colors also!

These last two photos were taken this week, on Dec. 3rd!

There, Henry, does the light shining upon these leaves cheer you up? I hope so!  Just know that we are thinking about you and wishing you the best.

To all my blogging friends, I have not been very well and not able to visit many blogs but I hope I am getting better now.  Hope you are all doing well!  Take care.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What A Wonderful World-Happy Birthday!

Here's a story for you...a couple goes on at camping trip to   Cumberland Island, Georgia.  They return to their home in the Atlanta area and find a small tree frog in their camping gear. (A squirrel tree frog.)  Concerned for the welfare of the little creature, they contacted AWARE (Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue) and through this great organization, it was arranged for the frog to be driven to St. Mary's, Georgia and with special permission to be boarded on the ferry to Cumberland Island where the frog was happily released. Now, this was done on the Friday after Thanksgiving, so I can only guess at the traffic on that drive.  Well done, volunteers!  There, isn't that a great story?  All of that for that tiny frog? YES! And I am happy to tell you this story.  (The frog that I have pictured is a native frog in the Atlanta is a tree frog on my front porch.)

(By the way, I lived on Point Peter Road in St. Mary's when I was a teenager.  Looking it up on Google maps, I am amazed at how closely we lived to Cumberland Island!  If only my family had owned a boat!)

Also, did you see that the creator of Spongebob Square Pants died? His name was Stephen Hillenberg, he died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease, I always think of it) and he was only 57.  So sad but how wonderful that he created such well known and beloved characters that will live forever.  I really liked the Spongebob Squarepants movie...and I LOVED the part where Spongebob says that he has a bubble of optimism that always rises to the surface.  ALWAYS. 

Saving a frog and a bubble of optimism, this reminds me of our son who hopefully had a wonderful birthday today!  Go Hawks!  (C. writes about Atlanta Hawks... HE is a great writer!)  The Hawks are going for three wins in a row! Will they make it? Christopher wrote about it just here!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sassafras Tree! (Native Tree With Mittens)

How wonderful it is to learn the names of the native trees that I see on our walks!  Years ago (and please don't ask me how many, they skip along merrily these days!) I was on a walk with the ranger at Arabia Mountain (Ranger Robbie, I have mentioned him before!)  He showed us the leaves of a small tree beside the trail.  It had THREE different leaves and he identified it as a sassafras tree!  Now, on our walks I am pleased to tell you that I am able to identify it.  (Although I never trust myself though, I am constantly looking it up to make sure I am correct.)  Many years ago, people would make tea from the bark of the tree but it is now known that it causes cancer, so no matter what you may read otherwise, please do NOT make tea from the sassafras tree!  Just enjoy the beauty of it, the autumnal colors can be red, yellow and orange...all on the same tree.  I found the most wonderful article written about it -click on the link that I have given you below:

The Tree With Red Mittens   

Yes, my friend, it has a leaf that looks like a mitten! Isn't that marvelous? It will also have a leaf that is just a single leaf and perhaps another another leaf with three bits...oh, I am wording this in a strange way.   ( Sassafras trees have ovate lobe-less leaves, two-lobed leaves, and three-lobedleaves) 

Look, I will show you some photos...

  This was taken on the trail at the Monastery, just before you get to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over busy Hwy. 212 in Rockdale county.

Oh dear, I only have one leaf that is like a mitten! Oh well, most of them were still on the tree for me to enjoy. SASSAFRAS!  I even like the word itself.  Love the colors of this season.  I have more tree photos that we have taken on our walks. More trees for you to see!
It has almost been a whole week since I have written a post.  I do so hope that I will have more energy for my blog.  Wish me luck with that!  

Monday, November 19, 2018

Red Admiral Butterfly/Welcome South

"The natural world is something that gives us all hope.  The migration of butterflies is a wonderful natural history happening that is exciting- life giving."   

(When I was reading about butterfly migrations recently, I copied and pasted this but I must have been interrupted because I didn't write down who said it! We are in need of hope and things that are life giving. I think so anyway.) 

Richard and I saw the Red Admiral butterfly when we went for a walk this past Saturday on Nov. 17th!  I was surprised to see a butterfly but reading about it, it seems that the Red Admiral butterfly actually migrates to the southern states in late autumn and early winter. Isn't that wonderful? The one that we saw actually landed on my sleeve but Richard wasn't able to get his camera out quickly enough but when it landed on the trunk of the tree...well, you can see the photo above!

We have seen the Red Admiral butterfly before and Richard recognized it but he felt he must be wrong since he thought he was confusing it with his British butterflies.  Of course, he was  correct.  The Red Admiral is also in the British Isles! (Is it on the continent of Europe also? Yes! I just looked it up...the Red Admiral is "in temperate regions of North Africa, North and Central America, Europe, Asia, Hawaii, and the Caribbean."  Yes, my friends, I do know that Hawaii is a part of the USA but that does not mean that Hawaii has the same butterflies! In this case, they do.)

La, dee, dah- sounds like I have nothing to do except looking around for butterflies, doesn't it? I have been so busy lately and I find it very hard to get all the necessary things to do in my life, let alone to write on my blog or to read all the blogs that I like to read! I have had some distressing things happen to me recently but guess what...last week, a man walked up to me at the grocery store and asked me if I liked Southern gospel music. What do you think I said?  "Yes, I like it very much!".   He promptly handed me a CD of his own music, songs that he had written! He told us his name was Bud Atkinson and he lived right here in Conyers, Ga.  When we asked him how much should we give him, he said that he didn't want any money, that it was a gift, a part of his ministry.  Well.  
Thank you, God, I needed that.

(I couldn't find a song on YouTube by Bud Atkinson but how about "I'll Fly Away" ? Goes right along with my butterfly story too, don't you think?) 

How about you?  Have you ever had something nice happen to you and it meant a great deal because you had just gone through some rough times?  We need to always show kindness whenever we can, you never know what a difference it can make.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Roy Clark, A Great Talent, A Great Guy

Roy Clark died today at the age of 85.  I first knew of him from "The Beverly Hillbillies"  TV show.  And of course from "Hee-Haw"! That show is still shown in syndication (it was on the air from 1969 until 1997). Very often when I call my Dad and ask what he is doing, he will say, "watching Hee-Haw!". (He must have seen them all but he still enjoys them.)

Roy Clark was not only an entertainer, but a very talented guitarist and even the most famous guitarists would list him as one of the best! I found a video of a British guitarist who is speaking of his admiration for Roy and he shows a clip from a episode of "The Odd Couple".  It is true what he says, by the end of the performance, the actors are not acting but they are just truly enjoying the moment.

I once saw Roy Clark when I was in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was just as you expect him, with that big smile on his face! (I just read that Mickey Mantle, the great baseball player, asked that Roy would sing "Yesterday, When I Was Young" at Mickey Mantle's passing. Of course, Roy did so at his funeral, as requested. They were great friends.)

I will always think of Roy Clark, "picking and grinning".

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Armistice Day/Remembrance Day-"Maginot Waltz"

November 11, 2018.  100th anniversary of the end of World War I.  The memorial ceremony was shown from London on the BBC today.  70 world leaders attended the memorial ceremony in Paris. Both were extremely emotional and moving.

Ralph McTell, the singer/songwriter I have mentioned to you before, has always had a fascination with World War I.  He wrote a song, "Maginot Waltz" which was from his album "Easy" from 1974. I have the song for you here along with the lyrics.  (By the way, a "charabanc" is a type of bus.) 

Ralph McTell was honored to speak recently at the evening memorial ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, France. (Traffic is closed every evening through this gate at 7:00 PM for this memorial.)  You may read about this just here. 

May we always remember those who gave their lives in the Great War,  "the war to end war."

All off to Brighton in a charabanc
Albert played his banjo and how we sang.
The beer was expensive but the laughter was free
Oh how we do love to all be beside the sea.
Albert had a cousin named Marjorie
And I had been noticing that she had noticed me.
I quickly decided if she didn't mind it
I would spend the day in her gay company.
We shared a plate of whelks strolling side by side.
I said she weren't too old to take a donkey ride
But I didn't mind when she laughed and said no
So we paused for a while and listened to the minstrel show.
There was a notice at the Palace Pier
It said there was to be a dance that night and it wasn't dear.
I explained of course that I could only waltz
And so we waltzed to every tune and air.
Nine o'clock come round we had to take the charabanc
And Albert was too drunk to play the banjo but still we sang
All except Marjorie, I could tell at a glance
Because me and Albert was leaving for France.
I said we'll both be home in a week or two
Me and Albert and Lord Kitchener will teach the Hun a thing or two.
I'm sure to return, after me do not yearn
And we will waltz together all our lives through.
Ralph McTell on his Facebook singing this song and also "The Unknown Soldier".  You MUST click on this link and listen, it is incredibly moving. You will thank me.  The link is here.    You're welcome.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Silver Threads and Golden Needles

    Do you know how to sew? Perhaps you don't make your own clothes but at least do you sew on buttons or crochet or knit? I read recently on the BBC that it has been found that surgeons who have gone through their medical training are having trouble sewing up their patients because they never learned to sew! (Of course, I am paraphrasing this but you understand the point I am trying to make.) Could this be from years of playing computer games? Maybe so.  (Manual dexterity- the ability to use your hands in a skillful, coordinated way to grasp and manipulate objects and demonstrate small, precise movements.)  I don't know about you but this makes me want to teach children to thread a needle and to sew on a button! Also, I learned to crochet as a teenager and while I have always enjoyed it, I have never been...well, an expert at it, but that doesn't stop me! (I knitted a scarf in 1985 and...let's just say, that was enough knitting for me. It is crochet I love. It is such a wonderful feeling to create something out of a skein of yarn!) 

Our time changed this past weekend.  I spent the extra hour...sewing on buttons!   Years ago, my mother-in-law gave me a pack of sewing needles from England.  Such a good design! They are silver but the top of them are gold and since that is a different color, it makes it easier to thread.  I love something well designed, don't you?  Now, of course, that reminded me of a song! "Silver Thread and Golden Needles".  

How about you?  Are you a fine example of a person with great manual dexterity?  Work on it! You might be asked to perform surgery one day if our surgeons aren't able to do so! (Just kidding, doctors, I promise.)

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Tom Hanks As Mr. Rogers

 Tom Hanks will play Mr. Rogers in the new movie which will be released in October 2019.  If you are reading this quickly, you might think I am talking about the documentary about him which was out this year. ("Won't You Be My Neighbor"). 

 Apparently, that was a marvelous film!  This will be a NEW film and it is not a documentary but rather it is based upon a friendship between Mr. Rogers and a journalist from Esquire Magazine, Tom Junod.  I have a wonderful link about it for you just here!  

("The climate of the times" is mentioned in that article...we are certainly needing Mr. Rogers in the climate of the times that we are having just now in America.  The last of the eleven who were killed in the shootings at the synagogue in Pittsburgh was buried yesterday, the oldest was a 97 year old woman.) 

If you are reading this from another country, you might have never heard of Mr. Rogers.  Fred Rogers, also from Pittsburgh,  had his own TV show for children from 1968 to 2001, called "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood".  You may read more about him here.  Sadly, we lost him to cancer in 2003. We often see his words quoted after tragedies...when he was a child and was scared by bad news on TV, his mother told him to "look for the helpers, you will always find people who are helping." 

(Speaking of his mother, did you know that she knitted all those sweaters that he wore on his show?  You always think of how thin he was but did you know that he was chubby as a child and was teased and called "Fatty Freddy"? He was befriended by a football player and I think must have credited that with helping him to fit into school. I could be wrong but this is what I think I remember reading. Not to discount the great influence from his mother, of course. And Mr. Rogers was also a Presbyterian minister...a true man of God, I believe.) 

Now, back to Tom Hanks.  I think he is the perfect actor to play Mr. Rogers.  I loved him as Walt Disney in the movie that he made with Emma Thompson.  Did anyone else see that one? ("Saving Mr. Banks". )We need more people like Mr. Rogers and Walt Disney.  Who do we have for our children to look up to these days? Who is represented on our TV screens? If we have anyone that is a positive influence, we should try to make sure that our children know about them.  Adults too, for that matter.

This mushroom in my yard has been a welcome sight.  The days are shorter, so my drive to work in the morning is in the dark. It seems to glow in the predawn hour, having pushed itself up from the mess and the muck of my side yard, like a candle in the darkness.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Suddenly, Autumn-October Glory

We have had a very hot October in Georgia.  The leaves have finally started to change the last few days of the month.  This tree behind my house was lit up by the sun and it startled me with its beautiful color.  It happened so quickly! (Photo taken on Oct. 30th.)

At work, there is a maple tree and I always look forward to seeing the autumnal colors- it is the brightest red!  One of my co-workers saw me taking a photo and he told me that it is called "October Glory".  I looked it up and one of my favorite gardening writers, the "Grumpy Gardener", who writes in "Southern Living" magazine said that it is one of the best maples to plant in the South.
Actually, this is what he said...

"Grumpy's recommendation---if you live in the South, plant 'October Glory'. If you live in the Midwest or North, go with 'Red Sunset'.  If you live on the West Coast, do whatever the heck you want.

Oh, he is so funny!  I so appreciate someone who makes me laugh.

Okay now, I took my camera to work...carefully, balanced my purse and aimed my camera up at the gorgeous red leaves.  I took ONE photo and battery died! Still, here is the shot that I got...

Today is the last day of October.  Come on, November! That is when we really have our prettiest leaves!

  Remember I told you that I had mentioned Ralph McTell in a post before?  I know that I told you that he did a children's album that our son really loved. It was called "Alphabet Zoo" and he did songs about animals, a song for each letter of the alphabet.  One of my favorites on that album was "Impala".  I have it for you again, just in case you missed it the last time!  

Monday, October 29, 2018

Streets of London (Ralph McTell With Crisis Choir and Annie Lennox)

Ralph McTell, do you know him? If you play the guitar, it is most likely that you are familiar with him. He is an amazing guitarist but also a great singer and songwriter. ( I have mentioned him before.)
Now, I just found out that he had a single at Christmas of last was a remake of one of his big hits, "Streets of London". 
(It was to mark the 50th anniversary of both the song and for "Crisis", the homeless charity.)  If you listen to the words of the song, you will know that it is about the homeless in the London...

"And how can you tell me that you're lonely and say for you that the sun don't shine.  Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London, I'll show you something to make you change your mind." 

Richard and I once visited a church in London, St James Piccadilly, and we observed quite a few men peacefully sleeping on the pews.  There was a sign at the front and Richard took a photo of it. I have it for you here and if you can't read it, it says, " Dear Guests, Please be aware that you may only sleep on this side of the church in the front 13 pews."

I hope you are able to see the video. I found it very moving. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody Movie

  If you have seen the trailer for the eagerly anticipated film "Bohemian Rhapsody", you will see Brian May having the other band members of Queen, to clap on the 3rd beat of "We Will Rock You".  If you want to read more about the background of that song, I have a link for you just here.  I found this fascinating!

There, if you have read the article, you will know why I long to attend a concert in England, so that I could sing along with the crowd. I would love to do that.  

Also, from the trailer...I recognized two of the faces.

Roger Taylor is played by Ben Hardy (he used to be Peter Beale from "Eastenders", a TV Show that I used to watch from England.)

John Deacon is played by Joseph Mazzello (Tim from Jurassic Park! You know, the young boy who loved the dino-SOWERS. Tickled me the way that the announcer said that in the background.)  

I  already knew the actor playing Freddie Mercury, I really liked him in the "Night At The Museum" movies.

I am very good at faces but please do not ask me to remember names! I had to look up their real names, of course.

Wish I could show you a photo of Carnaby Street in London just now... oh wait, of course, you could see it on YouTube!  "Is this the real life, is this just fantasy?" with other song lyrics by Queen, in neon lights.

Not forgetting that there is a full moon tonight! (Not to confuse you but this past weekend when we were supposed to look at the moon as a global event, it wasn't full then but it is now.)

Stay tuned for more movie trivia AND moon gazing, my friends!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Observe...The Moon

Quick, before the night is over I have to tell you that tonight is International Observe the Moon Night.  Yes, here is some info for you...

International Observe the Moon Night is a worldwide celebration of lunar science and exploration held annually since 2010. One day each year, everyone on Earth is invited to observe and learn about the Moon together, and to celebrate the cultural and personal connections we all have with our nearest neighbor.

Our nearest neighbor, have you ever thought of the moon that way? I think that is lovely.  I have been thinking of the moon recently.  The film "First Man" about Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, is in theaters now.  On BBC , I read that a new book will be released on Oct. 25th about the space landing in 1968 -  "Mission Moon 3D: A New Perspective on the Space Race. It is a 3D book written by David Eicher and Brian May and will have 3D glasses included with it.  Now, you are thinking...Brian May, isn't that the name of the guitarist from Queen? Yes, one and the same.  Brian May is also an astrophysicist and has had a great fascination with the moon landing since he was a boy. (He even met Neil Armstrong once.) You may read the same article from the BBC  just  here.   I urge you to read it, it is fascinating.

(Researching a bit more, I see that Brian May will have a 3D book about Queen which will come out in November.  Perfect timing, of course, since the film about "Bohemian Rhapsody" will premiere the same month.)

May I just say, if you happen to read this post AFTER the official "International Observe The Moon Night", do not despair!  Look up at the night sky and observe the moon all year long.  Once you notice the beauty of it, you will always see it. You don't have to have a special night for it.

Must have a moon song for you.  "Shine On Harvest Moon", you say?  Good choice.

Forgot to mention, looking at children's books recently, I saw one that I fell in love with just from the title..."If You Decide To Go To The Moon" by Faith McNulty and Steven Kellogg.  I really do judge books by the cover. So sue me!

Monday, October 15, 2018


Over the weekend, I saw an episode of "Graham Norton" on BBC America.  One of the guests was Gary Barlow.  He seemed to be such a nice guy but I had never heard of him.  Our son was visiting us and I think he was surprised that I didn't know him.  He promptly produced a CD for me and played one of his favorite songs from that particular CD, "Patience".   I have it for you here...

You may read more about Gary Barlow just here.  And I hope you WILL read about him if you don't know him! He is one of Britain's most successful songwriters and you all know how I love songwriters! Not only that, but he is a such an inspiring person. If you look at that link that I gave you and scroll down to his charity work, you will see what I mean.

My friends, I see that I have only written two posts for the month of October.  Is it because I have nothing to say? No! I have loads of things to tell will just have to have...wait for it...PATIENCE!  Ha, you knew I would say it, didn't you?

So, am I the only one in the world who didn't know Gary Barlow? Tell me! 

Wishing I was in England just now! When you walk along the seafront in Eastbourne, the air is clean and fresh and you hear the surf pounding the pebbles onto the beach.  It is beautiful. I will get back there, but you know, I must have...patience!

Hope you are all well, my friends.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Rockdale Art Farm- Approved!

  Remember me telling you about the Rockdale Art Farm? Happy to say that it has now been approved.   Full steam ahead!  Richard and I are pleased over this and very happy for Joe Eifrid, the gentleman who is behind this great venture.  Way to go, Joe!

Wonderful article written about the Rockdale Art Farm, you may read it just here.  Please read it if you can, it is very well written and it explains the very personal reasons behind Joe's determination in making this park a reality.  

I think I told you that they plan to have a pollinator garden at the Rockdale Art Farm.  Wonderful!  Just now, before I began typing this post, I read that hundreds of Monarch butterflies were spotted in the gardens in Asheville, North they are headed to Georgia! By this time next year, there should be flowers at RAF for them.  Love the thought of that...

A few years back, we were lucky enough to be at Arabia Mountain when we had hundreds of Monarch butterflies fly over us as we walked up the mountain. What a lovely thing to witness. I will never forget it.

We still have butterflies in our garden today but it is expected to cool down this weekend.  The last day I saw my hummingbirds was Oct. 6th.  See you next year, little hummers...maybe at the new Rockdale Art Farm, expected to open in the Spring of 2019.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Appalachian Trail- Emma Gatewood

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail more commonly known as the Appalachian Trail or the AT is a trail that runs from Maine to Georgia (or from Georgia to Maine, depending on where you start and finish.) It is about 2200 miles long.  I have only hiked very short sections of it in Georgia. And when I say short sections, I mean just a few hundred yards from where it crosses over a road! I would love to hike more of it but I suspect I am getting too old to hike it for any great length ...but wait, you will never guess what I just learned!  Let me tell you about Emma Gatewood!
What, you have never heard of her? Neither had I!  (She is more commonly known as "Grandma" Gatewood but I prefer to call her by her given name.)  In 1955, she hiked the entire Appalachian Trail all by herself when she was 67 years old.  What is more, two years later, she did it again.  (She also hiked it for a third time, although she allowed herself to do that last one in sections.)  Emma Gatewood died in 1973 at the age of 85. This year,  the New York Times published an obituary for her as part of its "Overlooked" series about remarkable people whose deaths went unreported in the Times.

  You may read the NY Times obituary just here. You will read that she suffered terrible abuse from her husband and she said later that the nature on the trail was healing to her. Nature is a balm to the soul, I believe.

Happy to think that I have walked in the steps of Emma Gatewood!

On her first hike on the AT, she sang "America, The Beautiful" when she completed her journey in Maine at the top of Mt. Katahdin. (highest mountain in Maine at 5,270 feet.)  Isn't that wonderful to know?  

Sunday, September 30, 2018

3 Things To Stop Me In My Tracks At Arabia Mountain

In my last post I told you that three things stopped me in my tracks at the end of our walk at Arabia Mountain.  It is possible that I might be the only one that would be excited over these things, there were lots of other people on the trail and I didn't see anyone else stop to look at them.  Beauty is right THERE and most folks just pass it right by...

On the trail, there are some bridges.  Beside one of the bridges there was a persimmon tree with the ripe fruit dropping onto the wooden bridge rail.  As we walked past, I looked over and...

the apricot color of this fruit was a very good match to the spots on this butterfly.  Sometimes colors that are similar really catch my eye.  I think this is a Spicebush swallowtail but as always, I could be wrong!  Whatever it is, I loved seeing it.

I have done a post before when I told you about seeing a bush with the very colorful seeds.  It is a bush that is wonderfully named  "hearts a busting".  When I spotted it beside the trail, I let out a whoop of excitement.  I promise you that I did.  Yes, I know they are just seeds but wow, they are beautiful.

Oh dear, mine are out of focus.  You know Richard can get closer and has a steadier hand...

These colors are beautiful.  This is a native bush, by the way. It can also be called strawberry bush but I prefer "hearts a busting". 

Okay then, that leaves me one more thing. Now, this is not a native but I always like to see it blooming at this time of year.  I spy with my little eye something red...

Surprise! They are surprise lilies! (Some call them "bare naked ladies" but I prefer surprise lilies myself.)  Someone would have planted these here long ago and I am grateful for this spot of color.

So, you are thinking...these three things: a butterfly, some seeds and a red flower on a spindly stalk made you stop in your tracks. Well, yes.  I only wish others could have noticed them too!

So much to see in nature! Get out there and enjoy it. Tell me what you see, something that makes you happy and gives you joy.

Friday, September 28, 2018

A Walk At Arabia Mountain

If you look at these photos, you might think we are in the North Georgia mountains.  We are not, this is actually just a few miles from a shopping mall which is just next to a very busy interstate highway.  This is on one of the trails at Arabia Mountain! You see, we don't just walk UP the mountain, we walk on as many trails as we can. (Once again, I will tell you that Arabia Mountain is really a monadnock, but hey, it is easier to call it a mountain!)

September has been so very hot.  This one morning that we hiked was a bit cooler due to it being overcast and it was such a welcome relief to have a nice long hike on the trails.  We walked for three hours that day.  Then, it began to heat up, so we headed home. What did we see that day?

                                Yellow Daisies!

                         Eastern Boxed Turtle

An old grave with the headstone of granite. I am guessing it would have been locally quarried from Arabia Mountain.  Also, I love the red leaf hanging on the fence. See it, just there at the back? I am thinking it is a sassafras leaf. Can't tell you how happy I am to identify it! I hope I am right! Do you see it? The Sassafras has THREE different leaves, that is the baseball mitt shaped one   three lobed one.  (Sorry, I said baseball mitt shaped one but as you can see it is the three lobed one!)
See the back of the headstone?  Notice that the bottom has been left a bit unfinished. Do you see the pattern of the rock? That is why this rock was quarried in this area, it is in buildings all over the country.

The lake that you come upon as you walk this trail is a special treat!  

At the very end of the walk, we saw not one, not two but THREE things that stopped me in my tracks!  I will have to tell you all about that in a future post, my friends!
Hope you are all doing well.  I have been a bit under the weather this week, but things are looking up!  

And just to make myself feel better, this a photo of me from England.  This should make you giggle!