Sunday, April 29, 2018

What's In A Name? (Fearnot and Faintnot)

What's in a name?  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...    William Shakespeare

"Me" -  a name, I call myself!    Oscar Hammerstein  

This past week a new Royal Baby was born.  As always, you have to wait a few days before you know the name of the baby, so...I had first names on my mind, if you will.  At the same time, I was researching the family history of Richard's mother who passed away a few months ago.  Joan's family is firmly rooted in Sussex in England.  I have traced them back for 12 generations.  Two of the first names were so unusual that I have to tell you about is "Fearnot" and the other one is "Faintnot".   Obviously, these words are taken from the Bible and turning them into names at one time was not that unusual.  I found the most wonderful post about these kind of Puritan names, you may read it just here.   (The writer has a list of these names and Fearnot is on the list!)

The most extraordinary thing about the man Fearnot...he named HIS son Fearnot and the second Fearnot named his son the very same.  I noticed it stopped after that 3rd generation! Still, it is amazing to notice these kind of things as you are looking over the long list of names of people who have lived in the past.  And there is a long army of people who went into your being here! It is truly an astounding number when you research it... (My sister and niece have spent a good amount of time looking up our family history, I seem to have an English heart for a good reason, a great number of names are from England.)

Also...looking a bit further, Faintnot also named his son Faintnot and the 2nd Faintnot named HIS son the same! It seemed that the first Fearnot's grandson and the first Faintnot's granddaughter married. Do you wonder if they told each other their grandfather's first names not long after they met and if they had a good laugh?
Note: Faintnot (the first one) born in 1594 and Faintnot (also the first one) was born in 1591.  I hope they met!

Now, although Fearnot and Faintnot are not on my family tree, they are on my husband's and I hope that it is proper that even though these men are not related to me directly, I will take comfort from those strong names...

  Fear NOT and Faint NOT...I will try my best to remember that.

 It just occurred to me that these wonderful names ARE related to my son so I hope he will read this post!

Do you have any names like this on your family tree?  Do tell!

Speaking of names, we could easily call this chocolate bar a
"Stroppy" instead of a "Snickers" but would it still taste as sweet?

strop·py. adjective. The definition of stroppy is a British slang term used to describe someone who is hard to deal with, or who is easily offended.

P.S.   Another name that I found... Performthyevows.  (Perform thy vows.)  Had to tell you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

I'm For The Birds! (And Elephants and Other Creatures)

If you have been reading my blog for anytime, you  might know of my love of the birds.  I recently told you how much I enjoyed the book by David McCullough, "The Wright Brothers".    The brothers were not college educated.  Extremely intelligent, they made careful observation of birds in flight and were able to simulate this with their man-made flying machines (airplanes.)  Other men had made similar machines, the Wright brothers were able to keep their airplanes aloft longer than others and they were able to land them!

"Why Do Birds Matter" is a marvelous piece written by Jonathan Franzen for National Geographic and I have it for you to read just here.    Please read it if you can, he is a wonderful writer and I very much agree with what he has written!

Wait, you are saying to yourself....Jonathan Franzen, isn't he a writer of FICTION? Yes, of course, he most certainly is!    I remember when his book "The Corrections" was chosen as a choice for "Oprah's Book Club" and he somehow expressed discomfort at that decision and Oprah withdrew her selection.  Not to worry, the publicity made the book sell all the more.   I just looked this up and it was back in 2001. (They have since made up!)   So, you might not remember this, or maybe you are like me and you DO remember it and wonder why facts like this are lodged into your brain but you can't remember any of your passwords or the phone number of your only child.

Now, before I got sidetracked there about Jonathan Franzen and my memory-full brain stuffed with facts that I don't need...I was trying to tell you how much I love birds and other creatures.  I do!  I am working on a post about...elephants!  Honest!

Mockingbirds!  Richard was able to get a photo of  this pair on our suet feeder.   They look like they are posing, don't you think?
Birds! They are wild creatures that you can admire for free! (Well, the cost of seeds and suet is helpful!)  And our little dishes of water for them are very much appreciated

Now, please tell me you have observed the birds and admire them!
Do NOT tell me that you are scared of birds because of the film by Alfred Hitchcock!  That was FICTION, don't forget that!  Scary film and very well done but don't dislike birds because of it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Whenever I make a cake that comes out the way that I want it to, I take a photo of it!  This is a pound cake that I made for Richard, it is made from rice flour and cornstarch so it is gluten-free.  The batter seemed a bit much for my little loaf pan so I made a small cake in a cake pan. (They call it a cake "tin" in England!) This was really good! The recipe didn't say to do this but I like to poke holes in the cake with a toothpick and then, I mix fresh lemon juice and confectioner's sugar together and pour it over the cake and it soaks into the cake.  Lemon Cake! Don't you love lemon?  I do!

Of course, you know the expression, "When life lives you lemons, make lemonade".  Guess what, I had a sweet teacher who wrote that on a note and gave that to me in high school and...I still have the note! (Just came across it recently.) Thanks, Ms. Ellington! Hope you all had nice teachers in school, I had some bad ones but I hey, I have dismissed THEM from my mind!  

I have been hearing Joe Cocker singing the Beatles song "I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends" on a TV advert.  It sounds so good to hear!
It was used as the theme music for the TV show "The Wonder Years".   Anybody remember that show?  I thought it was great!

Now remember, if life gives you lemons... squeeze them and then, mix with sugar and pour over a cake!  It will be wonderful!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Wonder of Eggs/ Hold On, I'm Coming

"I think if required on pain of death to name instantly the most perfect thing in the universe, I should risk my fate on a bird's egg".

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

The above quote was used by Sir David Attenborough in "The Wonder of Eggs" which was broadcast in England recently.  I hope they will show it here soon as it looks as if it is something I would really like to see!  (I read a review about it from the English newspaper "The Times".) Did anybody see this on TV in England?  Let me know what it was like, will you?  Now, the quote made me look up Thomas Wentworth may read about him here.  What a fascinating man!  We need more like him today.

"Hold On, I'm Coming"...I have had that song in my head.  I didn't know why but I just looked at some videos on YouTube and apparently, the Chicago Cubs play it at Wrigley Field every time the Cubs score a run.  The Braves played the Cubs on Saturday...the Braves were ahead 10  to 2.  However, the Cubs scored NINE runs in the 8th inning and they ended up beating the Braves with a score of 14 to 10!  I must have heard that song in the background without even realizing it! (You see in that 8th inning, I had plenty of time to hear it!)  

Oh well, you win some, you lose some ...and some get rained out! (By the way, there were several games postponed this past Sunday, due to rainy/cold weather!)  

Hope all of you are doing well these days!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Salt Water Cure With Sun Glitter

"The cure for anything is salt water-  sweat, tears or the sea."
Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)

Okay then, I will take...the sea!

Sun glitter!  When you see the sunlight sparkling on water, that is the correct word for it! Did you know? " Sun glitter is the summation of individual sun glints, each one an instantaneous flash of sunlight from a wave at just the right angle to reflect light."  (from "Color and Light In Nature" by Lynch and Livingston".

And all these years, I have just called it sun sparkling on water! I love it by the way.  From my reading, it says that you could damage your eyes by looking at it, so you must be careful. Yes, I would mother the world if I could!

Hey! I have shared this video with you before but since this goes with this post, here it is again!  Richard took the video from the pier at Eastbourne and it was a windy day, so you might want to turn down the volume! That is me at the beginning saying "wow"!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Red/ "Gone From My Sight"

All of these photos are from England except the two flower photos...the large flower is an amaryllis and the small red one is a fire pink which is a beautiful wildflower that grows here.  Why am I thinking of red?  My mother-in-law passed away recently and she left instructions for everyone to wear red at her Memorial service. So, this is just my way of showing this color in her honor.


Joan wanted the songs "Jerusalem" and "All Things Bright and Beautiful" at her service.   Should I have both songs on here for you? Of course, I will!

Thinking of those who have lost loved ones recently...there is a poem that I wonder if you know.   It is called "Gone From My Sight".  It was written by Henry Van Dyke in the 1860's...

Gone From My Sight

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.

And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

Why, you will never guess...the same man who wrote this poem also wrote the lyrics to "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" which is set to the music of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.  
You must know that song! If not, you will now!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Doris Day "Nothing Could Be Finer"

Join me in wishing a happy birthday to Doris Day today! 

Doris Day- kind, beautiful, funny, and oh so talented at singing and acting!  I only knew her from her films with Rock Hudson from the 1960's (and also her TV show from the same decade)  but thanks to the TCM network that shows classic movies, I have grown to appreciate her great talent. 

Often, people will think that someone who is bright and sunny, seemingly always cheerful has led a charmed life.  We all know that is not always the case, right?  The reason she had that TV show in the 1960's? When her husband, Marty Melcher died in 1968, she discovered that he had squandered all her savings and she was really forced to do it for the money. (That and also several TV specials which she really didn't want to do.)  What happened? Why, she soldiered on and the TV show and all her specials were big hits. 

Did I mention her kindness?  Doris Day has been an advocate for animals for many years.   You may read more about her great work just here.  If you click on that link, you may also donate towards the Doris Day Animal Fund. You know that would be the best present for Doris Day!

In honor of Doris Day, here is one of our native wildflowers-an azalea.   Just like her, it is naturally beautiful!

If you are wondering about my the title of my post...I hope you know that is from "Carolina In The Morning" and was written by Gus Khan (played by the wonderful Danny Thomas in that film that you MUST see, "I'll See You In My Dreams".)