Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Cherry Blossoms and Moonlight (Happy Spring!)

Look at what I see when I step outside my front door...

Cherry tree blossoms!  I know I show you these every year but they really are pretty.  Let's go in closer, shall we?

Tomorrow, I plan on going on two hikes! Great way to start the first day of Spring!  At mid-day I will be walking with a co-worker during our lunch hour at a local park where there will be more blooming cherry trees. I have a photo of myself there from several years ago...
AND the second hike will be a MOONLIGHT hike! Isn't that wonderful?  I will tell you all about it and hopefully will even have some photos!  Tomorrow is March 20th and it is one month exactly after my Dad's funeral service and burial.  I think that he would like that I will do these walks. "Guess where I am, Daddy!"  I used to call and ask him.  He would say, "On top of Old Smokey?" and laugh in his unique, wonderful way, "Hee, hee, hee".  (I know I told you this before but that is most certainly what he would say and how he would laugh!)  And the fact that I will see a full moon on my hike...my Dad used to call me and say, "Look outside!"...that is the BIGGEST moon!"  Loved his enthusiasm and glad that I could share it with all of you. 

Happy Spring to you all!

(I have had this song by The Inkspots on my blog before but since I like it so much, I have it here again!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Jack Lyon, "The Great Escape" and Bexhill-On-Sea

Saw this on the BBC...Jack Lyon, the last veteran of World War II's Great Escape has died at the age of 101. (He was a look-out and when he heard a gunshot, knew that he could not enter the tunnel...this most likely saved his life. 76 men escaped but 73 were recaptured and of those, 50 were executed.)  You must know the story of the Great Escape, if not you can read about it here.  It is an extraordinary story...600 men working at night for a year to dig tunnels at a prisoner of war camp, right under the noses of the guards.  "The Great Escape" is a book written by Paul Bricknell, an Australian who was also an inmate there.  Although he wrote this as a novel, the basic story is true.  If you only know the film "The Great Escape " with Steve McQueen... Well, let me just tell you what Jack Lyon had to say about it!   He called it, "absolute rubbish" and "not one American took part in it and as for the motorbike, it never existed."!

Of course, we all know how Hollywood likes to change things, so I always say, try to read as much as you can about something to get to the truth of it.

Jack Lyon died at his home in Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex this past Friday.  Glad to know that he liked to spend time at the RAF branch in Bexhill and that he was given much honor and respect. They had a 100th birthday party for him in 2017.  You may read about it just here!  The photo of the sunset is from 2015 when we visited Bexhill and I do believe that the RAF branch that I am telling you about is just behind that white building! The Albatross Club, I think it is called. (I am so thrilled when I read about something and it is somewhere that I visited in England!)  Richard and I have some very dear friends who live very close to Bexhill...Henry and Joy! (Here I am posing with them, in my best Darth Vader haircut.)

If you were able to go to that link that I gave you...I was also very pleased to learn that Jack Lyon was friends with Doug Bader!
"Reach For The Sky" is another book that you must know.
If not, then please look it up! (Another film was made from that  book too!)

 I found a clip from YouTube of Jack Lyon reading the emotional letter that he sent home when he knew the war was finally over.

All respect and honor to you, sir. Thank you for your service.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Spring Blossoms and "I Hope It's Chips!"

The pink blossoms on this tree against a bright blue sky caught my eye recently.  Love the colors!
Richard was watching a film and I wasn't really paying attention to it but someone started singing this song, so I looked it up...it was from a TV ad in the 1980's and they have changed the words from "Que Sera, Sera" to "We Hope It's Chips". 
(Now, you all know that "chips" are what we call "french fries" here in America.  And potato chips are "crisps" in England.)
Anyone can do this you know, if you have a well known tune, then just put your own words to it.  Of course, you can't "steal" a tune, this would be just for your own enjoyment! You are all writing your own song lyrics all the time, right? You know I am!

Saturday, March 2, 2019


The Atlanta Hawks lost to the Chicago Bulls last night. The final score was 168-161.  That score does not tell the whole story though...the game went on for 4, yes that is f-o-u-r overtimes!

Here is a link to Soaring Down South...which was written by our son, Christopher.  You may read it just here.  What a game! Truly, unforgettable.

Speaking of unforgettable...I was thinking of a song lately...I am sure you must know it.  Nat King Cole (on a recording) singing one of his biggest hits with his daughter, Natalie Cole singing along with him. If you don't know it, then I am glad to tell you about it. Hope you like it too. (Sorry about the saxophone in the middle, I had to fast forward through that!) 

Just came across this photo from several years ago...this is okra that my Dad had grown in his garden and had given me.  Okra fresh from the garden?   Unforgettable!  Thanks, Dad.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Ever Been Stuck In A Lift?

Have you ever been stuck in an elevator? I have! Since this happened in England, I have to tell you that I was trapped in a "lift" since that is what it is called there! I was the only American with five other women, all of them English. There was a phone in the lift...but it didn't work. So...when I suggested that we yell for help, the others said, "Oh no, we can just wait. Help will come.".
"The heck with that" is what I wanted to say...what I did say was, "Well, I am going to yell anyway!"  So, I did and not too long after that...we heard the lift beginning to move. Maybe this help would have come to us anyway, but I didn't want to take any chances! What would you have done?

I just read a story on the BBC about the artist, David Hockney who was trapped in a lift with the editor of the Daily Mail (a British newspaper) and a journalist from the BBC.  That almost sounds like the beginning of a joke but this really happened this past week in Amsterdam. (All of them were there due to the exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum which opened today:  "Hockney-Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature".) David Hockney is now 81 years old and was only trapped for about 30 minutes until he and the others were rescued by firefighters.  Thirty minutes might not seem that long but minutes go by slowly when you are trapped and don't know when you will be rescued! After he was released, he asked for a cigarette and ...wait for it...Yorkshire tea!  

David Hockney is from Yorkshire, England! Now, I have to tell you, I have never been to Yorkshire but I dearly love Yorkshire tea!

Here is a quote from David Hockney...

"I've always found the world quite beautiful, looking at it, just looking. And that's an important thing I share with Vincent Van Gogh. We both really, really enjoy looking at the world." 

By the way, there is a painting by David Hockney that is called "Mr and Mrs. Clark and Percy".  It is extraordinary to me since the Mr. Clark in the painting looks so very much like my husband, Richard from the 1970's with his long hair.  His head is even tilted in the same way like Richard! Look up the painting and I think you will see what I mean.  Our son bought a fridge magnet of this painting and gave it to his Dad, since he sees this strong resemblance too. (Thanks, son. You have your father's artistic eye with your mother's frugal ways!)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Do You Want To Know A Secret? (Do you Promise Not To Tell?)


As a child, John Lennon remembered his mother singing a song to him from the Walt Disney film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."  The song was "I'm Wishing" and it begins with those words:  "Do you want to know a secret, do you promise not to tell?"

Years later, he used those words in the Beatles hit song" Do You Want To Know A Secret".  Songwriters! I never tire of thinking of how they get their ideas!  (I don't know what made me think of this today. I might have told you this before but I still find it interesting.)

Thank you for all of your kind comments on my Dad's passing.  I will miss him so much.  My Dad really loved to talk on his cell phone and I really enjoyed talking with him.  He knew he could call me anytime and it was always a good conversation. Always.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

To Our Daddy: We Want To Stroll Over Heaven With You

Daddy loved country music.  I have told you before that with money from his very first job he bought a radio.  MUSIC! Thank you, Daddy, for giving me a love of music too! 

"I Want To Stroll Over Heaven With You" was sung at my grandmother's funeral. (My Dad's mother). So, it is fitting that it will be sung at our Dad's funeral.  I have written of "my" Dad but of course, I have brothers and sisters. Please pray for us all to be strong during this time. Not only that, but I have received love from all of his extended family...the relatives from my mother's side and also from his many friends.

On New Year's Day, my Dad made a beautiful pan of biscuits and carefully wrapped them up for our son, Christopher.  Just look at them.  I wish I could make every one of you this pan of biscuits.  Light and fluffy, I cannot describe the taste of them.  Perfection, that is how our son describes them.

I made the observation yesterday that I think I will just take a giant box of tissues and make it into a necklace and wear it around my neck.  See, Daddy, even in grief, I can try to make people laugh! I got that from you.  Thanks for all the laughter. Thank you for everything. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Big Rock Candy Mountains from "O Brother Where Art Thou"

My Daddy passed away peacefully yesterday.  Looking at this blog, I hadn't realized how many times I have shared stories of him and pictures of him also.  If you type "Daddy" into the search engine at the side of my blog, you will see what I mean.  Reading those posts, I think that my great love shows for him.  I hope he knew it too.    

He really loved the film, "O Brother, Where Art Thou".   I have a song for you here. Hope you like it.

That is a photo of my Dad on the left with his nephew, Edward.  In one of my posts, I wrote of my Dad's love of life or "joie de vivre.".   A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Daffodils and Cedar Waxwings (And A Song)

For my header photo just now, I have a bright yellow sunflower from a summer from years ago...isn't it nice to see that sunny color?  If you want more yellow, I got you covered!

Daffodils!  These are blooming at the Monastery now, this photo was from yesterday, Feb. 3rd. Now, I have told you this before, but it does bear repeating...daffodils are not native to the USA.  They were planted by the early English settlers and we have had them in this country since that time. This is confusing because you will see them sometimes in the woods here...but that means that the bulbs were planted once around an old home. (The settlers must have been homesick a bit, they also called the bird with a bit of an orange breast, a "robin" and it looks nothing like the robin in England! That is why we have the "American" robin and the "European" robin, two very different birds.)

   Speaking of birds, we also saw a flock of cedar waxwings on the tall tulip poplars in front of the Monastery. (Looking very yellow in the sun!) They were fluttering in and out of the treetops, eating the seeds. Hardly anyone else looked up and admired them. Of course, we did! Cedar waxwings are only winter visitors to Georgia.  You know that birds fly south for the winter in this country but some don't fly very far to the south.  The cedar waxwing, for instance, must think that Georgia is far enough! How nice that we get to see this handsome bird!  If you want to see a great picture, you may see it just here!  There, if you popped over to look at that, didn't I tell you?  That is SUCH a gorgeous bird! Guess what, you almost always see these birds in a flock and they are very sociable.  They will line up on a branch and pass berries along to each other. Nice to think of that, isn't it?

(If you want to know more about the history of daffodils, I have a link for you here.  Even though the daffodil has been on the British Isles for centuries, it was originally brought there by the Roman army from Southern Europe. It was naturalized in Northern and western Europe.  We are told in this article that "Daffodil" comes from affo dyle which means "that which comes early".  That sounds interesting but reading further I wonder if that is true about that translation.  Look here.  Regardless, the original daffodil came from Southern Europe.  )

Oh dear, I always have so much I want to post about and very little time!  Here, I have a song for you..it was at the very end of the "Dickensian" show that I liked so much.  Did you see it? It was shown in December here, I think.  Richard recorded it for me.  I really liked it.  "I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls" is the name of the song.  Enya did this song on a record but her version is so sad.  I thought the actress, the one who played "Nancy" did a great job of singing this, not like a professional singer, but you know, like a real person, if you see what I mean. It is sung with such hope. And all those characters from the books by Charles Dickens, such an interesting idea to have their lives all intermingle...I loved watching this show, it was very well done.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Arctic- New Film!

  Cold enough for you? (Not if you live in Australia, you are too hot!) This might not be a good time to tell you about this new film coming out if you are living through the Polar Vortex in the USA! Did you see that they were setting fire to the train tracks in Chicago in order to warm them up? There have been at least 6 deaths linked to this extreme cold. This is an extremely dangerous thing.
And forget about that politician saying that Americans are "soft" because many schools and businesses were closed. I would like to see him standing in sub-zero weather waiting for a school bus before sunrise!  Okay...back to telling you about this movie...

"Arctic" will be released on Feb. 1st in theaters and it is being called one of the best survival movies of all time.  Now, I do enjoy these kind of films, as you know, although, I prefer that they be based on a true story and as far as I can tell, this is fictional. Still, it looks good, don't you think?  I admire the people who can take stock of their situation and survive no matter what.  How do you think you would fare in a survival kind of situation? I hope I never have to find out but I suspect that I would be a blubbering mess.

  I only watched a bit of that trailer...you may watch it all, of course, but sometimes, I think it might spoil it a bit if TOO much is revealed.   By the way, "Arctic" received a 10 minute standing ovation at the premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

In Georgia, we have NOT had any snow. (The photo above is from January of last year.)   To be honest, I think that I am old enough to like snow only in pictures or on Christmas cards...you can HAVE it!  

Hope you are all doing well, my friends!  Take care.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)

I've been thinking of this song lately...I am sure you must know it too.  "Turn! Turn! Turn!" is a song that was written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950's but was a big hit for the Byrds in 1965.  Interesting to note that the words to this song are almost word for word from the Bible (King James) from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.   At the end of the song, after it says "a time for peace", it then says, "I swear it's not too late".  So, that last line and the "turn, turn, turn" line...they are the only words from Pete Seeger, all the rest is from the book of Ecclesiastes! (Of course, the words are re-arranged a bit, but all are from the Bible.)

I am sure you all must know this but as I say, this song has been in my mind this week, so I wanted to share it here.

Hope you are all doing well and getting through this winter.  Take care, my blogging buddies!  I keep hoping to get back to my blogging which I enjoy so very much.  Thank you for being my friends out there in this world, you know who you are!

A rock outcrop at Panola Mountain State Park on a rare day that we were able to walk there.

Monday, January 14, 2019

"Star Trek" and "The Gallant Hours" (With Respect To Gene Roddenberry)

Did you ever have one of those days where you just want to say "Beam me up, Scottie. No intelligent life here!"   Maybe you watch the news and feel as if you want to respond (in a deep voice, of course) "That is not logical."  If so, you might be a Star Trek fan! 

Star Trek was first shown on TV in 1966 and was only on for three seasons but became quite popular when it was shown in syndication. Gene Roddenberry was the creator behind the series and I have read that he was inspired by "Horation Hornblower", Gulliver's Travels" and the TV Western "Wagon Train."   Might I suggest that he also might have been influenced by a film called "The Gallant Hours"?  Have you ever seen it?  It is a film with James Cagney playing the part of Admiral William Frederick Halsey, Jr.  (He is most well known as Admiral "Bull" Halsey, ) As I watched this film, with the magnificent Jimmy Cagney playing the Admiral interacting with his crew...I had a strong sense of deja vu.  It was very much like Captain Kirk on the Starship Enterprise!  Wait...wasn't Gene Roddenberry in World War II?  And wasn't he in the South Pacific?  I looked it up and yes, he served there in the war...
I do wonder if it could be possible that he also liked "The Gallant Hours" as much as I did and maybe, this film might have given the idea to the characters that he created.   When I say to you that it is an unusual war movie, not really any big war scenes to speak of...rather it is the people that you remember. (And the music, the soundtrack is unusual but most effective.)   Oh dear, I hope I am explaining this to you properly!   You see, Star Trek is that way...the old TV series had the funniest old fake rocks and laughable special effects but it was the characters and the stories that you remembered. It was so wonderful to think of the crew from different countries (and even different planets!) and all still getting along.  (Well, most of the time anyway!)

Did you know that the actress who played the communications officer, Lt. Uhura, felt that she was thinking about leaving the show in order to concentrate on her singing career?  She didn't because Martin Luther King, Jr. contacted her and told her to to stay right where she was...it was that important for the American public to see a character like hers, a person of color, in one of the few non-stereotypical roles on TV at that time.

                 English joke (you must say this in an English accent):
How many ears does Captain Kirk have?  
He has 3...the left ear, the right ear...and the final front ear! (Frontier)    

I am sure that you are wondering what song will I choose to go with this post...and you might think that I will give you the "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" song by Paul McCartney but NO! That would be too obvious!  By coincidence, I was singing a song this weekend...it just popped into my head and a jolly good song it is too.  "Only You" by the Platters. (Please click on the link and listen to it! It is marvelous!)  The lead singer is Tony Williams and I looked him up...it just so happens that he was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  When I was looking up the background on Admiral Halsey, can you believe it...he was also born in Elizabeth, New Jersey!  Doesn't make a bit a difference really, but if you look for them, you can always find connections, lives interwoven with other lives in the smallest of ways.

Oh! And just thought of telling you this...so funny to me...the actor who played the doctor on Star Trek, DeForrest Kelley? HE was born in Toccoa, GA and lived in Conyers, GA! (Just like me, if you notice.) See, we are all connected, I tell ya...if you don't think so, give me a minute and I will find it for you, you know I will.

Now, I hope that you will search out "The Gallant Hours" and then, that you will ponder my great wisdom from my years of watching TV! For the wonderful fans of Star Trek (I am thinking of you, Meike!) I wish that I could have written a bit more eloquently about a TV show that is near and dear to your heart. 

Hope you are all doing well.   I have a sunflower just now as my header photo.  Not sure about you but I felt the need for it!
LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!  (Can you do the Vulcan salute? You know I can.)

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)- Roger Miller

Songwriting!  By now, you must know how much I admire those who write songs, whether it be music or lyrics or both! One of the many songwriters that I admire is a man by the name of Roger Miller. Remember him? He had big hits with "King of the Road" and "England Swings" in the 1960's. I loved the songs that he wrote and sang in the 1973 Disney film "Robin Hood"! And if you remember, he also did the narration for that movie! Many of his songs were humorous "You Can't Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd" but if you search carefully, you will find that he truly was a genius at songwriting and I think should be honored for this.  (Sadly, he died in 1992.)
 Roger Miller was a great friend of Glen Campbell. On Glen's last album, "Adios", one of the tracks is "Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)" and it was written by Mr. Roger Miller.  (In fact, his wife had a cassette recording of Glen and Roger singing this song together, and it is included on this CD!)  It is a very good song but I must say, until I got this CD by Glen Campbell, I had never heard of it. (Can't find the song to put on this post, but if you search for it, I think you will like it.)

Looking a bit further, I see that there was an album released this past August in tribute to Roger Miller! Those featured on the album include Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Ringo Starr, Brenda Lee, Kris Kristofferson and many others!  How could this happen and I knew nothing about it?  Do you sometimes feel like you are the last one to know about something? (Am I All Alone...Or Is It Only Me?)  You know I had to say it!

Instead of giving you a clip from the tribute album, I found his son,  Dean Miller, singing "King of the Road" from one of my Dad's favorite TV shows, "Country's Family Reunion"! I love how he speaks of his father before the song...that his father left behind  "a legacy of JOY".  

This is my first post for 2019.  Gee, I hope I get myself a bit more organized so that I can spend more time on my blog!  Y'all know I have a lot to tell you about!  

 Yes, I have been known to take photos of packages if I find them amusing.  Richard does too! One must find amusement where one can!