Sunday, June 24, 2018

Koko and Willie B.

It saddened me last week to hear of the passing of the gorilla named Koko, who was well known for learning sign language.  This reminded me of another gorilla.  You may click on the following and read this:

2011 post about Willie B

Yes, I wrote that during my first year of blogging.  I wanted very much for you to know of my experience of observing the gorilla, Willie B. at the zoo in Atlanta.  I have not been to Africa or worked in a zoo or am any kind of animal expert, just someone who notices things and tries to write about them.

Have you ever had a similar encounter with an animal that was so moving that you felt that you had to write about it?

My friends, I hope you are all keeping well.  I have lots of posts in mind, so hang in there with me!  In the meantime, here is a magnolia from the Monastery.  Wishing you peace.  

Friday, June 22, 2018

Welcome To Our Garden-We're Gonna Need A Bigger Porch!

My sister gave us this rose in memory of Richard's Mom, who died in April.  It is a "Queen Elizabeth" rose.  Thank you, Pam.  It is the most beautiful color of pink and even when the rose is "going over" as my father-in-law calls it, it is still beautiful. 

See the giant cactus at the end of the porch?  That is our Cereus Peruvianus.  It has off-shoots that Richard has also potted. You can see those leaning against the railing (along with my broom, I am noticing!) My Aunt Leona gave us the giant cactus in 1994 and it is over 6 feet tall now.  It is a night blooming cactus and you must really watch out for it or you will miss the bloom.  Aunt Leona died in 1996 but this gift from her always makes me think of her and when it blooms, I feel as if she is smiling at me. (Leona was such a great, funny lady. She always spelled my name "Kaye" since she liked it that way! She really made me laugh.)

Could anyone identify this for me?  We know it is a begonia, of course! We have had it for years but we are not sure.  We think it is either an Angelwing Begonia or Dragonleaf Begonia...or could it be something else?  Whatever the name, we love it!  (It can be a bit messy when the flowers fall, so now you know the reason for that broom!)

Hope you enjoyed this little walk around our little garden.  Next time, I will take you into the back garden!  I know you can't wait!  I found the most wonderful video for you with one of my favorite hymns, "In The Garden" and it features some beautiful native wildflowers. (You might recognize some of them from my blog! Anybody remember my joy at finding the Fire Pink?)

So, my friends you can see that I have not been anywhere! Just in my own garden but after all, that is not such a bad place to be, is it? After all, we were created for the Garden.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

American Animals (Movie)- Love For Birds

A new film that is showing in limited release just now  is "American Animals".  It is based on a true story of four college students who attempted to steal valuable books from the library of Transylvania University in Kentucky in 2004.  What books could be so valuable?  It might give you a hint if I tell you that I discovered this movie info from visiting the Audubon Society website.

(Note- just looked it up and the film is being shown at one theatre in Metro Atlanta, the Regal Tara on Cheshire Bridge Road.)

"Birds of America" by John James Audubon... while on their freshman tour orientation at Transylvania University, they were informed by the librarian that this book in the rare books room at the library was worth millions. (A book so large that we are actually speaking of several folios of the book.)  When they learned that this one sole librarian was the only security for these books, they decided to try to steal them. 

This film is an attempt to get at the truth of this crime and the reasons behind it.  Should I tell you what happens?  Did they get away with it?  No, I will let you either look it up yourself or wait for the film.  I will tell you this- at the time of the crime, the men had no feeling whatsoever for birds, the books themselves were valuable and that was all that they knew.  Since that time (and having served seven years in prison) one of them fell in love with birds and after his release from prison is now an artist specializing in paintings of birds.  (Anybody remember the film "The Birdman of Alcatraz"?  That one is also based on a true story of the inmate  Robert Stroud who became an expert on birds.)

The director of "American Animals" is British,  his name is Bart Layton.  It looks as if he has made quite a few documentaries.  So, I am thinking that his style of film making is one that likes to stick closer to the truth.  (One of my very favorite directors is also British, Michael Apted.  He is the one who did "Coal Miner's Daughter"!   This is one of my Dad's favorite movies! Mine too.)

Having looked a bit further, I found an interview with the librarian from the university library who was a victim in this crime and she has very positive things to say about this film. It is my hope that no one will see this film and think that crime would in any way make someone "special"!  Perhaps as an American living through very troubling times, I am just a bit sensitive on violent criminal activities. 

But hey, what do I know? I have not seen it yet! If I do, I will come back and edit this post! Besides, it is rated "R" and I must admit to you that I rarely like "R" rated movies.  Sometimes I have watched them when they have been edited for TV and I find that what has been cut out was simply not needed and did not add or enhance the story in any way.  
(In my humble but correct opinion, as a writer in our local newspaper likes to say!)

Richard and I sat outside this morning and had our coffee listening to the birds.  We heard one behind our house on a very high tree and in the early morning light, the bird looked to be bright yellow.
Richard ran inside and grabbed the camera and with his ever so steady hand took a picture of it.  To our surprise, it was a Brown Thrasher!  The yellow light upon it really tricked us.  (The front of the Brown Thrasher is white with brown streaks.)
If you observe birds and enjoy them, you will understand the pleasure of this.  If you have yet to discover the thrill of the outside world, then get out there and explore this miracle of our planet!
               Brown Thrasher (Photo by Richard- at 64x zoom and from about 150 feet away!) 
                        This bird is the state bird of Georgia. Singing a song from atop a tree, like the mockingbird, the Brown Thrasher mimics the songs of other birds but typically, each phrase will be sung TWICE.  (If you hear the same song THREE times, then you are hearing the mockingbird!) 

By the way, the students dressed themselves as old men and if you look at the video above, don't you think that one of them looks as if he is Brad Pitt trying to disguise himself?  Is that funny to you or is it just me?  

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Do You Re-use Your Wrapping Paper? Drive Yourself Crazy Finding Bows? Anyone?

My friends, I think that if we truly enjoy something then we want to share that joy with others, don't you think?  Am I the only one that notices beautifully wrapped presents?  I think that a lot of people simply toss the paper away in the bin or if they are good stewards of the planet, they will at least recycle the paper!
Me?  Why, I am like some MAD woman and store away some of the prettiest paper and re- use it again to wrap presents for friends and family! Just look at was a present from Germany, can you see the German words on the paper? (Thanks, Meike!) And since my Dad was in Germany just after World War II, you know I had to wrap his birthday present in this paper!  I happened to have this green ribbon... so even with the pink hearts, I still thought it was just right for my Dad! (After all, it is mostly the green ones that you notice!)

The TIME I have spent looking for just the right color ribbon or bow to go on a present...honestly, you have no idea, I think I must be quite mad...  

And if I can't find one...I will crochet one!  Of course, all of this takes ages...AGES, I tell you!

Since there have been so many weddings and anniversaries lately... I think I will have a nice song for you here.  It is "Romance" and Richard can play this really beautifully but he says he has not been playing enough lately...maybe one day he will allow me to have him playing the guitar for you here! In the meantime, listen to this lovely song.  Interestingly, no one knows who wrote the song but we can still enjoy it!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Bryan Adams At The O2- London 2018

This past Thursday, Bryan Adams was in concert in London at the O2 Arena. Wish I could have been there!  Don't you just love a concert where the audience knows all the words and sings along with great joy and enthusiasm? 

We were saddened to learn of a death in our family.  The husband of Richard's cousin died today.  Just one week ago today, he had attended this concert at the O2 Arena.  I am certain that one of the voices that you hear singing would have been his.   Yes, I am positive of this.

May that great rock and roll band in heaven welcome you with open arms, Graham!  I know I should say rest in peace but if you would have known him, you would know that the rock and roll band would be more like him.

How I wish I could discuss with Graham everything I just learned about Bryan Adams!  Born in Canada to English parents, he is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer, photographer, philanthropist and activist.  In other words, an all around good guy! 
Did you know that one of the postage stamps in Canada in 2012 had a fantastic photo of Queen Elizabeth with a wonderful, natural smile? That photo was taken by Bryan Adams!  Isn't that something?
(I can't show you the stamp here but if you just type in "Canadian postage stamp from Bryan Adams" into a search engine you will see it!)

Sorry if  my thoughts are more scattered than usual...this has been really sad news from England today.

                 The Anchor Pub in London -Graham would have loved this, I am sure. (Can you see me in the window?)   Cheers!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

When Someone Says It Wrong...

I hope you will think this is as funny as I do!  My son and I saw this on TV and thought it was hilarious.

By the way, it seems that they have the Snickers bars with words on them in this country now but I showed them to you on my blog first! Richard brought the chocolate bars back from England. See the important things I let you all know about?
Stay tuned! (Just make sure you pronounce your words correctly.)