Thursday, March 15, 2018

O Sole Mio / It's Now Or Never

Hello, my friends!  Do you ever look at your blog and notice what people type to get to your blog?  Today, mine said, "Georgia guys sing 'O Sole Mio' ".  Now, I don't know who they could be but it made me type that in, and I found these young men from a 2011 episode of American Idol.  Il Volo (the flight in Italian) is a trio of male singers: Piero Barone, Ignazio Boshetto and Gianluca Ginoble.
 Since then, they have become quite famous and their albums have gone platinum!  Good thing someone typed that into a search engine, otherwise I might never have heard of them!

(Can't help but think of Joan, my mother-in-law who just passed away. She would have loved this young men, calling them "gorgeous", I am sure.)

For anyone who is a regular reader of my blog and you have paid extra careful attention...I have mentioned the song "O Sole Mio" before... it is the very same tune as the Elvis Presley song, "It's Now or Never"!  It is, I promise!


Sunday, March 11, 2018

In Honor of Joan On Mothering Sunday-From A Favorite Yankee Doodle Dandy

Richard's mother died last week.  I have written about my mother-in-law before.  Joan just had her 90th birthday in December, if you remember that post.  In England today, it is their Mother's Day but it is called Mothering Sunday there.   In memory of Joan, I have some photos...

                                                          With her sister, Doreen
With her son, Richard 
With a "cheeky" gnome from her friend and neighbor which she LOVED to pose with!

                                        With her GORGEOUS Christopher, her grandson.

Joan on a bluebell walk, look at that crown of lovely white hair lit by the sun!
Joan with her "rock" Peter on their 40th Wedding Anniversary

In memory of my mother-in-law, an English rose if there ever was one!

Of course, I must have a song on here for Joan's memory.  I was thinking of Vera Lynn singing "White Cliffs of Dover" or "We'll Meet Again" but they make me cry so instead, I am thinking more of Jimmy Cagney.
I am hoping that I was Joan's favorite YANKEE DOODLE DANDY! (Along with her gorgeous grandson, of course!)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Doubt- Art For Lent At Southwark Cathedral

There is an amazing work of art on display at Southwark Cathedral just now in London.  It is called "Doubt" and you may see it just here.  The British artist, Susie MacMurray, was inspired to do this piece after a conversation that she had with a soldier who had served in Afghanistan. He told her that the whole time he was in the war zone, he felt as if there was a dark weight hovering behind his neck. It made the artist think of the 40 days and 40 nights of Lent.  

If you are able to view it, I think that you will be like me and will  want to blow away that giant, hovering black cloud.

Of course, it reminds me of one of the many songs that I have shared with you recently... "strong winds of promise that will blow away the doubt and fear".  That is one of the lyrics from the Elvis Presley song that I gave you, "If I Can Dream". 

When I saw this piece on the Southwark Cathedral website, they had a prayer to go with it.  I am sharing it with you here.
  God of mystery, when the cloud descends, when you seem unknown, when doubts assail me and darkness surrounds me, lift the mist, break into the darkness and let your light shine in me and through 
me. Amen

Photo of Southwark Cathedral by Richard from October 2014.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Make A Difference

Did you see on the news of the thousands of starfish and other sea creatures that washed up on the shores of England after the recent cold weather this past weekend?  You may read about it just here.
If you noticed, the woman is quoted as saying, "We tried to help as many as we could, picking them up one by one and tossing them into the sea."  This so much reminded me of a story that I have told you before...

Thousands of starfish wash up on a beach and a woman is seen to be picking each one up and tossing it back into the water.  A man comes along and says, "What are you doing? There are thousands here, what difference do you think you can make?"
She picked one up and threw it into the sea and said, " Made a difference to that one!"

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

My Thoughts Are Scattered (Smothered and Covered)

My head has been all over the place lately.  So, I have a few quotes and thoughts  for you...these are just bits that I have written down, that I liked and wanted to share.

"No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever."   Francois Mauriac

"There are times when encouragement means such a lot. And a word is enough to convey it."   Grace Stricker Dawson

"Fix your thoughts on what is true and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others."  Phil: 4:8 TLB

  Now, here are some bits of news that I found interesting....

Did any of you see the story about the hamburger flipping robot?  It made me think...I wondered if anyone thought to make a sign to go on the robot's back that would say, "Don't hate me 'cause I'm not human!"  Hey, just wondering!

Okay, what about the story of the couple who found a bottle washed up on the beach in Australia and there was a message in the bottle and it was from...wait for it...1886!  It is believed to be the world's oldest message in a bottle.  (Are any of you singing the song by Sting?  Quick, let's get out of here before Sting brings out his lute!  Ha, ha...I think I stole that from Ab FAB!)

Let's other news, there was a cheese festival in Brighton in England, and they ran out of cheese! Oh please, Louise, no cheese!
I am not making this stuff is all on the BBC!

In case anyone is wondering about the title of this post...when you order hash browns at The Waffle House, if you ask for them to be scattered, smothered and just means that the potatoes are spread on the grill, smothered in onions and covered in cheese.  Because, I mean...why not?

It won't be long until we see blooms like this again. This was from a few years ago.  Presto! I am two years younger!   I love it!

Take care everyone! And if you find that your thoughts are scattered, just smother them with onions and cover them with cheese!

And for the music for today...I think ELVIS and again, why not?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Funny How Time Slips Away

Hello, my friends! Hope you are all doing well. So glad that March is here now. I was sick for the whole month of February! Honestly, the entire month.  I have never been to a doctor twice in the same month but that was Feb. for you. I dislike it so much I intend to abbreviate it from now on, it does not deserve to be spelled out! 

Did you see the snow in the UK just now? I hope my friends in Scotland are okay. It looks so cold...

Our spring is coming on quickly, our cherry trees don't look yet like the photo below but it won't be long now! (Those aren't in MY yard, I wish they were! We have exactly three cherry trees but they are quite large and the blossoms are gorgeous.)

In my illness...I might have had "flu brain". I hope that you will forgive me for any strange comments that I might have left on your are thinking, why they are just as odd as they have ever been!

The Academy of Country Music Awards were announced today. 
"Funny How Time Slips Away" by Glen Campbell and Willie Nelson is nominated for "Vocal Event of the Year".

Sadly, Glen Campbell died last year but his last album was "Adios" and this song with Willie Nelson was on that album.  (The songs were recorded in 2012 and 2013 but the album release date was June 2017, just two months before Glen Campbell's death.

I have always loved Glen Campbell's voice and his superb guitar playing, and to have Willie singing with him...a song that Willie wrote himself!  I think it is truly special.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Willie Nelson "And Then I Wrote"

Thinking and praying for many just now.  One of them is Willie Nelson who I understand is in ill health.  I hope that you all know that he is a Songwriter.  (Not supposed to be a capital letter, I know, but I think it should be.  There should be some mark of respect for someone who gives us melody and/or lyrics.   Willie does both.)  His first album was released in 1962 and it was entitled: Willie Nelson "And Then I Wrote".  
He wrote his first song when he was only seven years old.  Willie has had a fascinating life, you may read more about him just here.

Also, I have always been amazed by Willie Nelson's talent as a singer.  If you listen to him in this recording that I have for you here when he was much younger, you can tell that his timing is perfect and his voice!  So unique, you instantly know it is Willie Nelson singing.

"Blue Skies" was written by the great songwriter, Irving Berlin in 1926 but Willie Nelson knows a good song and he had this on his 1978 album of standards "Stardust".  I always think of him singing it.  I have it here for you. 

Hoping for blue skies for you all.  

P.S.  The photo above is from the Monastery here in Conyers, GA.
The monks lived in the barn when they first came from their monastery in Kentucky in the 1940's.  (Yes, along with the cows!) This would have been w-a-y  out in the country at that time!
I have shown you photos of the church at the Monastery but this is the barn, that has now been re-purposed as a Monastic Heritage Center, they give you the history of not just this monastery but for all monasteries.  Thanks to the monks, they restored civilization in the Middle Ages. Look it up, if you don't believe me! Now, this is mentioned in this exhibit at the Monastic Heritage Center because after all they are monks and they only quietly go about telling their story in a very modest way...but hey, the truth of it is there for anyone who cares to read about it.

Willie Nelson could write a good song about this, I am sure.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Ester Ledecka Wins Gold! (And Her Father Is Well Known Singer/Musician!)

Underdog wins at the Winter Olympics!  Did anyone see this on the news this morning?  (Many of you must have seen it last night but I only saw it today.)  Ester Ledecka from the Czech Republic won the Gold Medal in the alpine women's Super G, only just beating the 2nd place finisher by one one-hundredth of a second!   There, I do hope I have all that right, I do so get mixed up on numbers and I congratulate Ester Ledecka on her victory and am very happy for her.  I LOVE it when someone just comes out of nowhere and is totally unexpected to win and then, they DO win and all the "experts" are flabbergasted about it!  The American, Lindsey Vonn, had great expectations for victory but had a bad finish at the end of her run, and came in 6th, I believe.  (That is the big headline here...however, she was most impressed by Ester Ledecka and said so...I am so glad.  I like Lindsey Vonn myself and I like her even more really for having lost and being gracious about it.) is what I MUST tell you.  Ester Ledecka's mother is a figure skater (which you could expect) but her father is a....wait for it... a SINGER!  He has been producing albums for the past 30 years! Why, you know I had to look him up!  His name is JANEK LEDECKY.  Of course, I had to watch several music videos and I found one that I really liked and wanted to share with you!   

(Some of the older ones remind me very much of Nigel from "This Is Spinal Tap"!)  "Turn it up to 11"!!

I love the video! Why, you can even see that Janek Ledecky can  juggle!  I am most impressed!

If you follow the Olympics closely, you might recognize the name "Ledecky"...Katie Ledecky is an American and is a 5 time Gold Medalist swimmer!  Since her paternal grandfather is from the Czech Republic...well, look- read all about this just  here!  

No snowy mountain to show you...just a bit of snow from my yard in January!

Do you also like to root for the underdog?  There is just something about someone coming ahead to win when no one expects it. That is what I love about sports..."it ain't over, till it's over"!

P.S. Not sure why it is Ester Ledecka not "Ledecky".  Perhaps someone can tell me why this is so?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Orange and Pink

Very nice to have a live-in gardener who happens to be my husband too!  We have a Christmas cactus that blooms in February and it has light pink blossoms and pale orange ones.  

Orange and pink, how can that be? It is a mystery to me but one that I enjoy with all my heart.  Orange and pink, what else is orange and pink?

A sunrise over the pier in Eastbourne...

and the sunset reflected onto a train, which had just taken us from Bexhill back to Eastbourne.  (Lovely to visit with you that year, Joy & Henry!)

Wild azalea- orange and pink...

Cherry blossoms, a very pale pink...

Oh! And Joan's lovely flowers from her 90th birthday celebration!
(Love you Joan and thinking of you!  xxx)

What else is orange and pink?  Your turn! (Or just do any other colors you like!)

We live in a colorful world, let's share it!

It is just so incredibly sad to see the news of ANOTHER school shooting in this country.  It is all just so Dad said that he watched the news all afternoon yesterday and they just kept showing them putting those young teens into waiting ambulances.  "America's Gun Culture in 10 Charts" is a piece that I read on the BBC,  you may read it here.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Everything's Gonna Be Alright-Peace

Everything's going to be alright...

those are good words to hear from someone, don't you agree?
I have been worried about a close family member who has some serious health problems.  My clock radio clicked on this morning and I heard the last part of the song by David Lee Murphy "Everything's Going To Be Alright" on a country radio station. (He also wrote the song.)   
Just in case you are thinking of other songs with that same title, you know I have them for you here!

And hey, don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing gonna be alright!

Guess what, that close family member I mentioned? MUCH better I am happy to say!  I am singing all these songs!

A few years back, I had a serious health issue myself...I had a very good friend who called me and said, "Hey, Kay, you know what...I have a peace about you."  Now, notice she didn't say that I would get well, she just said she felt a peace about it.  I instantly felt my body relax and my stress just evaporated..and all from those few words from a dear friend!  You never know how important your words can be, choose them wisely. 

Peace to you all!              

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Adele and Sam Smith

Have you heard about this?  Apparently, if you listen to a song by Adele and slow it down, it sounds very much like Sam Smith!

Could they be the same person?  Have you ever seen them in the same room together?  Well, have you?   HA!  

Listen, I just wanted to share this here.  I think these conspiracy  theories are giggle-worthy.  I love Adele, I think she has the most gorgeous voice AND she is a songwriter and you know that puts her in a category that I truly admire.

I didn't care for the James Bond film where she did the theme song but I thought her song was wonderful... "Skyfall".  Best thing about the film to me!  (Funnily enough, Sam Smith did the next theme song for James Bond and sorry, but it was not as good as Adele's!)

Wishing I was at Covent Garden in London right now...even if it is nighttime!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Statue of A Fool/Ain't Too Proud To Beg

Remembering the butterflies visiting the Mexican sunflower I had grown from seed!

Dear me, the time I take researching songs for you!  I "watched" a TV show with my Dad. (I call my Dad on the phone and he tells me to quickly switch on my TV so I can hear one of his favorite songs on one of the country music shows.)  The singer was Jack Greene, and the song was "Statue of A Fool".   Who wrote it, I wondered...turns out, the authorship is disputed.   Some say that David Ruffin (you will remember him as one of the lead singers of The Temptations") wrote it when he was only 17 or 18 years old!   Others say that it was written by Jan Crutchfield.  I do wonder if the true ownership will ever be proved.  Whoever wrote it, my Dad is correct, it IS a good song.

Sad to say that all of these men are no longer with us...David Ruffin, Jack Greene, Jan Crutchfield...but songs live on forever.
Just in case you don't remember the incredible voice of David Ruffin, I have a video of "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" for you.
By the way, just this past week, we lost another one of the Temptations, Dennis would remember him singing lead on the song "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". 

So much music and so much to learn about the songwriters!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Mary, Queen of Scots (November 2018 Release Date)

You will never guess...I just did a lot of reading about Mary, Queen of Scots (as one does!) and as I was pondering this woman's life and death, I happened to notice that a new film will be released at the end of this year..."Mary, Queen of Scots"!   The film will star Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I. (These two stars were just competing against each other at the Golden Globes...and Saoirse Ronan won.)  One thing I remember about Mary was that she was very tall, especially for that time period, she towered over her first husband as she was about 5 foot, 11 inches. 
Saoirse Ronan is 5 foot, 6 inches.  It is all in the portrayal, I know, but of course it is something I had to mention to you.

So...what do you think about these two? (Not the actresses, the real people!)  Should Mary have been declared the Queen of England?  Did Elizabeth truly have a legitimate claim?   Elizabeth must have thought so, she had her....
No, I will NOT tell you, you will have to look this up or wait for the movie!  (You will be able to guess, I am sure, Elizabeth after all, was the daughter of Henry VIII!)  

I tend to side with Queen Mary and think the best of her, but then, I also try to do the same with Elizabeth and think, what would I have done if I had been in her shoes?  You see, that is what we forget when we are reading about these "historical figures".  They were people, albeit in this case, royalty, but they were still unsure of the outcome of what the future could bring.  (And when your very life depends upon your decisions, I can appreciate how carefully one would have had to consider.)

Would love to tell you that this is a "loch" in Scotland! Alas, it is not, it is just a small lake in Georgia which has a thin layer of ice upon it.
Just had to have a photo to go along with my post!
Stay warm and let's get through February!

Monday, January 29, 2018

A Good Impression/ Peace and Good Health

Hello, my friends!   Went to the doctor today and when I was asked what was the problem, I said I either had the flu or it was a very good impression of one.  "No fever" the nurse said to me in an accusatory tone.  My reply, "I can be very sick without running a fever".  I smiled and asked after the health of the nurse and the doctor (after all, I AM still breathing!) advice to you is do NOT be your normal cheerful self when you at the doctor's office, instead moan and carry on so they will know you are sick! 
On enough medication to knock out a horse, so this post might be a bit unevenly written. (What else is new, right?) HA! The doctor got a flu swab from me but I think she thought it was a waste of time.
I felt like saying, "I told you I was sick!"

Note: in England if you say you are sick, folks kind of step away from you, they think you are going to throw up! Instead, they use the word "ill". We know the word, of course, but still, don't you think most Americans say "sick"?

A good impression- I found this for you!
I have read that Elvis Presley thought this was THE best impression of him that anyone had ever done- Andy Kaufman on "The Tonight Show" in 1977, I think.  Elvis died in August of the year...when I heard of his death on the radio, I pulled over on the side of the road. I was that shocked.

Pax is "Peace" in Latin.   Wishing you all good health and peace. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

I'm For The Birds/Dream A Little Dream of Me


See the cardinal pictured below?  You know what he is saying? 

You can package that suet any way you want...but I like Kay's homemade suet the BEST!

There are all kinds of suet recipes for birds on the internet!  I melted some peanut butter with some Crisco and then, mixed it with some oatmeal and bird seed and froze it in one of the same plastic containers that I had saved from the store- bought suet.
The birds really did like it.  (Oh, also...I saved a wee bit of bacon fat and poured that over the very top of the suet before I froze it.)

A wren flew into our house yesterday.  We worked for  over 30 minutes to capture it and release it!  Birds can fly, you know!
We would get close to it and ...up it would go!   I know that others have had to resort to throwing a towel over the little winged creatures but we were afraid that we would hurt it.  I got the window open, Richard cradled it gently in his hands, walked to the window and the bird flew away...FREEDOM!

Remember my post about the film "I'll See You In My Dreams"?
It was about the amazing lyricist Gus Khan! He wrote so many songs and another one that was just as DREAMY was this one:
"Dream A Little Dream of Me".  It was a huge hit for the Mamas and Papas with Mama Cass singing the lead in 1968.  The song was written in 1931 with the music by Fabrian Andre and Wilbur Schwant. (The lyrics by Gus Khan, as I just told you!)
Now, why would the Mamas and Papas in the swinging hippy days of the 1960's record this song from the 1930's? Turns out that the group used to sing it for fun!  One of the members of the Mamas and Papas, Michelle Phillips, had lived in Mexico City as a child and her family were friends with Fabrian Andre, one of the writers who wrote the music for this song.  
Interesting to me, Mama Cass had this to say about it...
"I tried to sing it like it was 1943 and somebody had just come in and said 'Here's a new song', I tried to sing it like it as if it were the first time".

I found a video of Doris Day's recording of it.  Hope you like it too.
By the way, Doris Day will be 96 in March.  Look out for a future post about her.  You know I think she is the bee's knees!

Okay, found another video of Mama Cass singing this song!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

More Movie Talk


Remember me telling you all how much I loved this film? It is nominated for 8 Academy Awards!  I especially hope that Christopher Nolan will win for Best Director.  (Best Picture would be nice too.)   

Pay no attention to the empty box below, I can't get rid of it!

Richard and I also saw "Paddington 2"!  We liked it, of course! Hugh Grant was amazing in this! (Stay through the credits, you must not miss the ending in the prison!) And also, Mrs. Brown who was portrayed by Sally Hawkins, is nominated for Best Actress for her role in "The Shape of Water"! 
(Do you remember me telling you that her parents are Jacqui and Colin Hawkins and they are well known authors of children's books? Well, I am telling you again!)

Do you like orange marmalade? You know it always figures a lot in the Paddington movies! 

Almost a month since Christmas I know but I read a wonderful piece on the BBC website about Charles Dickens and "A Christmas Carol". 
You may read it just here.    I never saw the movie "The Man Who Invented Christmas"...but I will be sure to see it when it comes out on DVD!  

So, how are you all doing?  Seen any of the films nominated for Oscars?  What do you think? Do tell me!