Friday, March 30, 2018

Going Viral (Just Breathe, Kay, Just Breathe!)

The title of this post is not as it seems. That is just my way of telling you that I have been sick/ill/unwell this week from a dreadful virus and at the same time, have had breathing problems from my asthma.  Now, you don't have to think about breathing, it is an involuntary act, you breathe in, you breathe out, etc, etc. etc. (At least, we hope we do!) 

"Asthma is a disease characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing. They may occur from hour to hour and day to day.

This condition is due to inflammation of the air passages in the lungs and affects the nerve endings so they become easily irritated. (Something I have in common with nerve endings, ha ha.) In an asthma attack, the lining of the passages swell causing the airways to narrow and reducing the flow of air in and out of the lungs."

My asthma is under control as long as I avoid my "triggers". Bad thing, I never know what chemical might set me off...and by chemical, that could be someone's perfume, aftershave, cleaning get the idea! Cigarette smoke is one of the worst for me. I often have to hold my breath as I walk into a building if I see someone outside smoking.  Thank God, one can no longer smoke inside buildings. That was a wonderful thing to come about for someone like me.  (We have friends who smoke but they know this bothers me, so they are considerate! Yes, talking to you in England, Henry and Sarah!)

"Aging Disgracefully", that could describe me, but it is the name of a blog from Canada!  I have a link for you and Sandy aka Doris the Great will explain the problems of scented products around people like us and you may read her post just here.   She is so doggone funny and positive but I think you can sense the seriousness of this subject from her post.  I mean, come on, folks, breathing is really a nice thing to do, am I right?  

You don't want to know all my problems but the phone company cut a cable and we didn't have our internet/TV or phone for a while.
After all was restored, I had difficulty in looking at our emails. 
So...not much time for blogging this past week and with the weather, not even time for my walks...

And yet, the cherry trees are at the end of their blooming and the blossoms are falling and the high winds have blown them all over my walkway.  I am like a princess with the petals beneath my feet when I trudge up my steps from a long day at work!

                                  Diamorpha with their white blossoms too!

A Happy Easter to you all!  And a happy Spring to you as well!
I feel a sermon comin' on here!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

UnBroken: Path To Redemption (Release Date- Sept. 14, 2018)

I have written of my admiration for Louis Zamperini before.  When I read his book, "Devil At My Heels" in 2004, I wrote a letter to the publisher and asked if they could let him know how much I admired him. His story of survival, imprisonment and then, forgiveness is one that I think everyone should know.  To my surprise, I received a personal letter from Mr. Zamperini! (If you read anything about him, you will know that he personally answered every single letter that he received, until his ill health in his later years forced him to stop. And even then, he had one of his fellow Olympic buddies to answer those letters. What an extraordinary guy!)  When Laura Hillenbrand wrote her book about him which she entitled "Unbroken", I was thrilled that so many more would know his story.  When the movie was made from that book, I was pleased to hear it.  Only...the movie didn't have anything to say at all about Louis Zamperini's life AFTER World War II and there was so much more!   So, I am pleased to tell you that there will be a new film that will be released in September of this year, so please look out for it!  Will Graham, the grandson of the  preacher, Billy Graham who just died recently, will play the part of his grandfather in this film.
(If you remember, Louis Zamperini went to see Billy Graham, at the urging of his wife Cynthia, in Los Angeles, in the very early days of Billy Graham's revivals, when he held his meetings in a small tent.  Mr. Zamperini turned his life around and spent the rest of his long life speaking of forgiveness through the love of Christ.)  

Now, from the trailer of this film, I am very much surprised at how much the actors remind me of Louis and Cynthia.  Listen at me, you would think that I knew them but honestly, there are photos of them both in "Devil At My Heels" and I have a thing for faces me, they do look like them! (Not exactly, of course, but I would be interested to see if Mr. Zamperini's family agrees with me.)

Hope you all are doing well these days, my friends! For me, it has been an unusually busy time in my life but hey, as long as I have some blue sky and blossoms, I am okay.
Take care!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

And More Music News...Music For Posterity!

Thank you, BBC! If not for you I would not know that some of my favorite songs will now be preserved in the US National Recording Registry!  They are being preserved because they have been deemed "records of great cultural significance." (They must be at least ten years old and must be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important.")  At last! Someone appreciates my tastes in music!  Now, I will have a link to all of those that will be added this year but I wanted to tell you about some of them...
"If I Didn't Care" by The Ink Spots (1939)

I hope you know The Ink Spots and Bill Kenny from my blog! If not, let me know, I will do about 12 more posts to make sure that you all know their music!
Soundtrack from "The Sound of Music"  (1965)
Rogers and Hammerstein.    

What wonderful music and lyrics!  You do know I know every song by heart, right?  Doesn't everyone?
"My Girl"   The Temptations  (1964) 

 "My Girl" was written by the great Smokey Robinson.  He said that when he performs this song in concert, no matter what country that he is in, the crowds will sing along. They know every word.
Folk Songs of The Hills  -  Merle Travis  (1946)

You might know the other songs that I have mentioned here but you might not know this record.  One of the songs on this album was a big hit for "Tennesee" Ernie Ford,  "Sixteen Tons".   (I have read that "Sixteen Tons" was a big hit for Frankie Laine in the UK.)

Okay then, do you know all these records?  You may read more of those that were selected by reading about them here.

Hope you are all doing well, my friends.
As for me, I am "another day older and deeper in debt!"

Oh! And let's not forget the other big music news this week!
Ringo Starr was knighted!  He is Sir Richard Starkey! (You do all know that is his name, right?)  Peace!

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.