Friday, August 16, 2019

Alex Wong and Harry Dacre



Hello, my friends!  Hope you are all well.  Me?  I had to have a crown replaced and the temporary one FELL OUT! Yes, I could write on this dang blog more often if my body wasn't falling apart! 

Okay then, while I was holding the side of my face that was swollen from the intensive attention from the dentist, I watched a show on PBS which was about BICYCLES.  (I don't even like to ride a bike anymore but the show looked interesting so...watch it I did!)
An artist by the name of Alex Wong sang the song "Daisy Bell" or "A Bicycle Built for Two". (One song but it is known by both titles.)  You know that song don't you? It was written by a Brit! His name was Harry Dacre. (I didn't know that until they showed that in subtitles!)  Another songwriter for me to learn about! I find his story fascinating, you may read more about him just here. He also wrote the song "I'll Be Your Sweetheart".  I know that song from Chas & Dave!  Those are not the only two songs he wrote, it states that he sold over 600 songs in the first two years of his songwriting career!

Back to Alex Wong...he is a singer/guitarist AND a songwriter too!
By writing this post and linking those two names together in my title post, that is like waving my magical fairy wand and granting Mr. Wong success in his musical career! The clip that I have here for you is "Show Yourself" and he says that it is about the years that he wanted to perform but felt that the world would not accept him as an Asian performer. (Please don't anybody yell at me, that is what the artist has said!)   Wish I could find that clip of him singing the song that I heard on the PBS show, the "Daisy Bell" song.  It was on a show called "Reconnecting Roots" and forgive me, but it was a bit silly at times (even for me) but there were moments that were like diamonds.  The performance by Alex Wong was one of them! 

Shall I speak of music forever? I could, you know.

Here I am from 2013 with a fantastic songwriter/singer and guitarist! You all know my son, Christopher!  Presto, I have just made myself six years younger! Notice my Yellow Daisy Shirt...I hope you remember my photos of those wildflowers. Love wildflowers as much as I love music.


Monday, August 12, 2019

It Doesn't Matter Anymore (Paul Anka, Buddy Holly, Linda Ronstadt and ME!)






In 1958, Paul Anka wrote the song "It Doesn't Matter Anymore".  Buddy Holly recorded it shortly before his tragic death in 1959. (Paul Anka wrote it especially for Buddy Holly and he donated the royalties from the song to Holly's widow.) 

In 1974, Linda Ronstadt recorded "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" and she also wrote the guitar arrangement for the song.  It is always amazing to me how differently a song can sound with a different arrangement!  I have written about Linda Ronstadt before and I have told you that she is no longer able to sing due to Parkinson's disease.  There is a documentary that will be coming out in September, it is called "Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice".  I think it looks great!  

Paul Anka, Buddy Holly, Linda Ronstadt and ME?  What do I mean by that?  Where I work, there is an upper building with a high railing on the side of that building. If I happen to pass by the railing, I often think it would be the perfect place to have a concert...and you know I have to sing a bit of a song as I walk along that certain spot. Recently, I was thinking of this song, so... There was only one co worker nearby and he smiled and gave me a fist bump! (He has heard me sing before, so I don't think this was surprising to him.)  Of course, I am at a place of business so I can't belt it out like the great Linda Ronstadt fan that I am!



Anybody remember me telling y'all about the lakes that were drained at Panola Mountain State Park? We are still waiting for them to be refilled.  The dam looks as if it is almost finished. I took a photo of these white egrets and they seem to be saying...okay then, if you are going to build this great big dam, then we will just WALK across it!  

Let me know if you are able to see the trailer for the film and also if you think that Linda Ronstadt singing that song "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" makes you want to sing along...you might even get a fist bump!



Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Home Grown Tomatoes




Remember my post from June when I went to Tallulah Falls and visited the shop at the top of the gorge?  There was a man there selling boiled peanuts and he also had some tomatoes growing behind his small building.  When my sister and I admired them, he told us that there were two things that money couldn't buy...true love and home grown tomatoes.   Richard and I are able to grow small cherry tomatoes but those big tomatoes in my photo above are from a friend's garden.  I am wishing you all home grown tomatoes!
They are wonderful! Nothing better than a simple tomato sandwich...you can keep your true love! HA!

Recipe:  2 slices bread
               2 tomato slices (if tomato large enough, one slice)
                mayonnaise
                 salt and pepper         

                    That's it!

Next recipe:  Banana Sandwich!   Bread, mayo, and banana. WHAT? You have never had a banana sandwich?  Okay, go make one and eat it....I'll wait. There, see how good I am in the kitchen?

P.S.  If you don't have banana, you can use pineapple!

My friends, I hope you are all doing well.  I have just received some sad news. I found out that one of my former co-workers died in July.  She worked at our company for a year and I saw her every day while she was there. Although she was not in my department, she was close enough to me that I heard her voice every working day and was able to stop and make jokes with her now and then.  I can still hear her booming laugh.  So grateful that we shared that deep laughter together.  












                                                     

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Now, Now, Now.





When I wrote my last post, I didn't notice until the next day that I written the word "now" several times. (I had a bit of trouble sleeping that night so I finished that post about 3:30 AM.) The next day I meant to go back and try to delete some of them but I got to thinking about that word..."now"....

Do you remember this... or am I the only one...but when you were a kid and your train of thought was going to a more cynical view that an adult would say, "now, now, now". They would not say anymore  but just leave it at that, just those three words?

Do you notice that folks will say "at the present time"?  The first time I heard that at work, I wanted to say..."Do you mean 'now'?"
(I didn't  but trust me, I had to bite my tongue not to do so.)

When I first learned to type, we had to type this one sentence, over and over.  "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country."  Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, they might have added women to that sentence later, but this is what we typed back in the day, when we only had typewriters and we had no idea about keyboards on computers!

There is a beautiful hymn that is called "Now The Silence, Now The Peace" by Jaroslav Vajda.  I thought of this too.  The hymnwriter wrote the word "now", sixteen times in that song.  The hymn is about taking holy Communion and he wanted to emphasize that this was not something that had only happened long ago but was happening NOW.  (I found the hymn for you on YouTube. I hope you like it as much as I do.)

I meant to tell you in my last post that Neil Armstrong and the Wright Brothers were all from Ohio.  Looking up this hymnwriter, even though you might not think so from his name, Jaroslav Vajda is also from the state of Ohio. (His father was a Lutheran pastor of Slavic descent.)  He didn't write his first hymn until the age of 49 but then he wrote over 200 original and translated hymns that are in 65 hymnals around the world.  Jaroslav Vajda died at the age of 89 in 2008.

I wonder what he thought when he heard that Buzz Aldrin had taken bread and wine on the Apollo 11 mission for a communion service.  (No one knew about this at the time...you may read more about that just  here. )


I am wishing you all peace and beauty...now.







Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Sweetest Thing...To The Moon And Back




In honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, one of my husband's co-workers brought tiny moon pies to work with small American flags taped to them.  Now I ask you, isn't that just the sweetest thing? (Moon Pies...you may read about them just here. They really are a "southern" thing!)

Now, the 50th anniversary of the moon landing... there was a very good documentary on our local PBS station.  It combined real videos and audio tapes of the Apollo 11 mission along with new film of actors portraying the men who went to the moon- Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.   This was very well done and I really liked it.  It was called "8 Days To The Moon and Back".  (I missed the first 30 minutes or so, but I find that I often still enjoy a show and don't mind missing the first part. I am an editor!)



Remember the film "Apollo 13"? I really like that film a great deal. You should keep that in mind as you are watching the footage of what went on in Apollo 11.  Good book alert: "Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13" by Jim Lovell.  After you read it, you will be filled with admiration for Jim Lovell (who is now 91 years old).   Also, I might add that Tom Hanks did such a great job in his portrayal of Jim Lovell.   If you read that book, you will see what I mean!

As I was watching the documentary on the moon landing, it reminded me of another book that I told you about last year...a book that I sent to my father-in-law and he thinks it is one of the best books he has ever read...  "The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough.  (Just think, men were sent to the moon in 1969 and the first successful airplane was invented in 1903.  Pretty incredible, that 20th century, wasn't it?) 

When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, he carried with him in tribute to the brothers,  a small piece of the muslin from the wing of the first airplane flown by Orville and Wilbur Wright. Now that was a very nice touch, don't you think? 



                    We Came In Peace For All Mankind.


Never will forget watching Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon and saying those words, "One small step for man...One giant leap for mankind".  (Yes, I know supposedly he said "A Man" but really, it sounds better the way we know it, so if that somehow was not transmitted properly, perhaps it was for the best.  I really am an editor at heart!)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Summer 2019-Georgia Peaches/Dansby Swanson








Georgia is known as the Peach state.  And yes, I know that California and South Carolina both grow more peaches but we are still called that! Now because of that, there are quite a few signs with companies that have "Peach" in their names so they will have drawings of a peach. Unfortunately, they sometimes look more like giant "bums" as they say in England! ("Behinds" as we had to say in the South as we were growing up.) Why, sometimes our car tags will have a peach as a background...and I do wonder if anyone ever looks carefully at these things. Am I the only one who sees this resemblance?  I find this amusing!

Those peaches, by the way, were delicious and yes, they were grown in Georgia! 

I tried my best to get a photo of Dansby Swanson flying around the bases...very often he will lose his batting helmet!  I treasure the memory of my Dad calling me in England while I was there in 2016 and telling me that I had missed Dansby Swanson hit his inside the park homerun!  And if you don't know what that means...a batter hits the ball and he RACES around the bases so quickly that he makes it home before anyone can throw the ball to homeplate! It very rarely happens and my Dad just couldn't believe that they didn't mention it on the TV in England!

I found it for you.  Dansby Swanson! Isn't he a cutie? By the way, very often a player can be from anywhere in the country (or Canada or Australia even!) but in this case, Dansby Swanson is a Georgia boy, through and through! 


I simply have dozens of things that I want to post about...so I am sorry that I can't think well enough to get my thoughts together.  
Hope you are all having a nice summer.  Stay cool!


Monday, July 15, 2019

Sally Goodin Song for Uncle Joe




One of my earliest memories is going to the little store overlooking Tallulah Gorge.  I went there recently and went back to this same shop. (I took a photo of the gorge looking down from this point and if you remember my earlier post,  we hiked further into the gorge which is on the other side.) 

We went a few days ago close to this same area for a memorial service for my uncle.  He very often would have nicknames for his nieces and nephews and most likely for any other children that he knew!  He was very funny and had a very gentle, teasing manner about him. One of the names that he liked to use was "Sally Goodin.".  Can you believe it, I just thought to put that into a search engine and I had no idea that it was a song! And then, to think that John Denver even mentions it in his "Thank God, I'm A Country Boy Song"!  (Remember this line..."I'd play Sally Goodin all day if I could but the Lord and my wife wouldn't take it very good.) 


 Looky here, I managed to find a version that you can sing along with!















Seeing this wooden box where you could return your empty glass coke bottles brings back memories. (And never mind it says "Pepsi", we always called any dark soda drink a "coke". We just did!)   

Now, just give me some boiled peanuts and I will be happy!
What, you have never had boiled peanuts!  That will have to be for another post!  My uncle deserves a better tribute than Sally Goodin and boiled peanuts but knowing him, this might not be too far off the mark. He did love to laugh.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Charlie "Clutch" Culberson






Charlie Culberson plays professional baseball for the Atlanta Braves. Not only is he a Georgia native, but he is also just the nicest guy! This was even commented on yesterday after a game saving play by Charlie...that even though he is appreciated for his baseball skills but that he has been instrumental in building team spirit with his positive attitude!   He is what is known as a "utility" player that is, a player who can play several different positions.  Charlie has been a pinch hitter, an outfielder, and even a pitcher! And this past Sunday, in a very close game, in the 9th inning, he made a spectacular throw to home plate...afterwards, some of the announcers said it was one of the best plays they had seen all year. (If he had not gotten that man out at homeplate...well, we don't even have to think about that, he got him OUT!) 

Even if you don't know one thing about baseball, you should still appreciate this...









"Coming through in a clutch", don't you love that expression?  It means "to do something when things have become very difficult".  In basketball, they have just shortened it to "clutch", and it means the same thing...to perform well under high pressure situations".
(If you know how to drive a manual car, you will know how to operate the clutch.  If you do it the right way, you move forward...do it wrong and you stall. I have no idea if this is where the expression comes from, but this is what came to my mind.)

Tonight, the HOMERUN Derby is going on...and one of the Atlanta Braves, Ronald Acuna, Jr. is participating...and he is only 21 years old! Isn't that great?  

Tomorrow is the All Star Game and we will have three Atlanta Braves on the National League team!

And you all thought I wouldn't have any more sports news for you. How wrong can you be?  

And remember, keep your eye on the ball!

P.S. My son is a sportswriter.  I wonder where he got that from?


Friday, July 5, 2019

Coco Gauff On To The Next Round At Wimbledon!



Remember me telling y'all I like Wimbledon?  I so much wanted to see the match today with the 15 year old Coco Gauff  and Polona Hercog!  At work today, I would look at my phone from time to time and check the live scores at the Wimbledon website.  Oh dear, she was not doing well at the beginning but... I was cheering her on by phone, you know I was!  Come on, you can do it...don't be discouraged. Keep calm and keep playing!  What a comeback! (I only know this from the numbers that I saw on the Wimbledon website, but I know enough about tennis to understand what an effort it would have been to regroup and to make that comeback.)  Coco Gauff won her match and will advance to the next round!  I am home now watching the match on TV. (You know I recorded it.) I just paused it, so I can type this for you!

It is quite funny to know the outcome and listen to what the announcers are saying...they didn't have much hope for Coco Gauff to win.  Let me just say, THAT is what is so great about sports. You NEVER know!  And I am so doggone pleased that Coco won, you would think I knew her personally or else won a great deal of money on a sports bet! (Neither one is true, I just felt like she could do it and she did.) 
Cori "Coco" Gauff was born in Atlanta, Georgia! I bet she knows this view at Stone Mountain! Her father played basketball at Georgia State University.  (She lives in Florida now but I am sure she visits Georgia.)  

What do y'all think?  Isn't she amazing?  I am cheering for her, even if I have to do it by looking at my phone!

Update:  I have now watched that long match!  So happy I recorded it! At the end, Coco stayed and signed autographs. Did anyone notice the Chelsea pensioners that she spoke with and signed autographs for? That made me very happy to see that! And her parents posed for photos long after the match was over! My kind of people!

Also, in the match...it is my belief that the bird that landed on the court brought her luck.  You can believe it or not, but y'all know I love birds and I think that it is so.
It was a black and white bird and I wonder if any of my British friends can tell me what it was? Looking at photos, I think it might be a pied wagtail. It was a sweet little thing.



Update: Coco lost today (July 8th) but she did so incredibly well! Look forward to seeing her play at Wimbledon next year!



Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Girl Who Wore Freedom



When our American World War II veterans visit Normandy, do you know that they are treated like rock stars? It's true, even young people rush up to them and embrace them. However, this is something that not too many Americans know or appreciate.  On the recent anniversary of the D-Day landing (which was the 75th.) There were lots of photos on TV,  Facebook and Instagram of the vets with the French people, big smiles all around.  (Sadly, our WWII vets are fewer and fewer. Why have WE as Americans not shown our appreciation?  Don't mean to grumble too much but it took a very long time to get that memorial in Washington D.C. for World War II vets. It opened in 2004 and many of the World War II vets that I know had already passed away.)  There is a documentary that has been filmed that I would very much like to see, it is called "The Girl Who Wore Freedom", it tells the story of the Normandy Invasion from the perspective of the French.  It expresses the gratitude to the Americans who liberated them.   I found a wonderful video... it is in French but if you enlarge it, you will be able to read the subtitles in English! 




During the month of June in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the movie channel TCM (Turner Classic Movies) showed 75 films relating to World War II.  I recorded several of them and will watch them later. (Of course, I have seen them before but they are worth watching again.  One of them, I have written about before, "The Gallant Hours" with Jimmy Cagney. An excellent movie!)  


Jimmy Cagney...he played George M. Cohan in the wonderful film "Yankee Doodle Dandy".  If you have never seen that movie, please promise that you will! It is one of my favorites!
George M. Cohan wrote many songs, one of them..."You're A Grand Old Flag".  You must know I know every single word, right?
("Where there's never a boast or a brag"...insert rueful smile here.)

Happy 4th of July to everyone!  It is Independence day in America!















Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Blue Bayou





For some reason, I started singing the song "Blue Bayou" this week.  I must need a vacation.  The song was written by the great songwriter/singer Roy Orbison.   He had it on his 1963 album "In Dreams".  It was an even bigger hit for Linda Rondstadt in 1977. You know I can sing along with her and sound just like her! (In MY Dreams!) 

Sadly, Roy Orbison died in 1988 and Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson's disease and is now unable to sing. We still have Roy Orbison's songs to enjoy and we also have recordings of Linda Ronstadt's amazing voice.  Hope you like this song too. Will you keep singing it like me? Let me know!











I was able to get away in June for a few nights and really enjoyed the hike into this gorge.  Wish I could write a song about it!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sir Andy Murray


Tennis, anyone? Did y'all know that I love tennis? Love watching it that is! (Although I did once hit a tennis ball so hard that it made a hole in the net.  I am one strong woman!) It won't be long until I will get to see Wimbledon on TV.  (And it is Wimbledon...not WimbleTON, as I hear it pronounced sometimes on American television.) Anyway, I am trying to tell you about Andy Murray...he is now Sir Andy Murray, as of this year!  He has a matter of factness about him that I find very refreshing.  I have a video here for you...







There, isn't that wonderful? Does anyone else remember it? I saw that afterwards his mother sent him an email, "That's my boy!".  I love that!   (Maybe it was a text or tweet...I can't remember, I just look at the big picture, I try not to get bogged down in details, just like to get the gist of the idea.)

After his hip surgery recently, he came back and won the Queen's Cup in a  doubles match...and perhaps will play in singles matches again. (Although not at Wimbledon, that will be doubles.) 




In other sports news, the Atlanta Braves have been playing very well! They are first in their division. I sure do miss watching these games with my Dad. He knew every player by their name AND number and he would notice and comment on each player's "stance" at the plate. He even had nicknames for his favorites. (Remember me telling you that he noticed the player with the ax handled bat? I wonder how many people saw that...it is not easy to see the end of a bat when the player is at the plate.) 

Gee, I hope Sir Andy Murray will not be too upset with me talking of baseball like this when this post was supposed to be about him. Something tells me that I don't have to worry...I doubt he will ever know of this post! Ha, ha. Sir Andy, you have a fan in me!

Okay then, WimbleDON should be on TV soon! Who will be in the finals? Who would you like to see win this year?  Do tell me! 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Thunderstorms? Make Sure You Have A Flashlight or Torch!

Last week, there was a terrific thunderstorm in Eastbourne in England. (That is where my father-in-law lives, if you remember.) If you want to see some photos of the lightning, you may see them just  here.  There were 1000 lightning strikes in one hour! Yes, I typed that correctly, that was one thousand! Even my oh-so-proper British father-in-law made sure to tell me about it. He said he had never seen the sky light up like that! (He even came close to speaking as if he could possibly use an exclamation point!) The electricity went out briefly. Of course, you know I told him to make sure that he kept a flashlight by his bed.  "A torch", he said, "yes, that would be a good idea". (I totally forgot that it is called a torch by the Brits!)

Me, being me, that got me wondering...

When was the flashlight invented?

Who invented it?

Why is it called a flashlight here, but a torch in England?

What song will I use to go with this post?

Ready for the answers? Okay, here we go...

The flashlight was invented in 1899 by Robert Mizzell, who was an Englishman living in New York City! I have not been able to find much information about Robert Mizzell except that he sold his patents to Conrad Hubert. Mr. Mizzell was working in Mr. Hubert's shop at the time. (Mr. Hubert had a novelty shop in New York City, with the best selling item being a battery powered light- up tie clasp!)  Conrad Hubert made improvements to the flashlight and became a millionaire.  He never married and when he died in 1928, he left the bulk of his fortune to thirty four different charities. (Leaving instructions that the money be dispensed jointly by a Protestant, a Catholic, and a Jew.  This was done by former President Calvin Coolidge (Protestant), former governor of New York, Alfred E. Smith (Catholic) and Julius Rosenwald, former Sears/Roebuck executive (Jew). I find it interesting that he did that and I want to know more about him.  Don't you?

Flashlight or torch?  Reading a bit more about this, it is called "flashlight" in America and Canada but in other English speaking countries it is a "torch".  Why? I don't know, it just is.

It was called flashlight at the beginning because the battery was not reliable and it would only work in "flashes".  Now, I have read quite a bit more about batteries than I want to tell you about here. If any of you are blinded by science, I am sorry...my curiosity only goes so far. Ask any science teacher I ever had!





Stayed in a cabin in North Georgia recently. Had to have a step -stool to get into my bed! AND I had a flashlight on the bedside table!



A claw foot bath tub!  (Loved the towels too, the geometric pattern on them made them look like hearts, don't you think?



You thought I was going to forget to give you a song, didn't you?
HA! Never!





"Summer Lightning" by Ralph McTell!  I hope you all learn this on the guitar. You know my Richard can play it! 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

As I Stumble Through This Life...Let Me Make People Laugh




Stan Laurel (Arthur Stanley Jefferson) was born on June 16, 1890 in Ulverston, England. Coming from a theatrical family, he had his first professional performance at the age of 16 in Glasgow, Scotland.  I hope anyone reading this will know him from the amazing comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy!  


I have given you this video of them dancing to "At The Ball" in a previous post.  It is worth showing it to you again.

Stan Laurel died in 1965.  He had become good friends with Dick Van Dyke, who gave the eulogy at his funeral. Dick Van Dyke read "A Clown's Prayer" which must be read often at funerals for comedians. (The comedian, Chris Farley carried this in his wallet.)  I hope you will understand if I tell you that it also reminds me of my Dad, who died in February.  My father was not a clown or comedian but he truly enjoyed making other people laugh.  


No one knows who wrote this, so I think it is okay to share it with you...

As I stumble through this life,
help me to create more laughter than tears,
dispense more happiness than gloom,
spread more cheer than despair.

Never let me become so indifferent,
that I will fail to see the wonders in the eyes of a child,
or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged.

Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people,
make them happy, and forget momentarily,
all the unpleasantness in their lives.

And in my final moment,
may I hear You whisper:
"When you made My people smile,
you made Me smile."




The words on his tombstone:  STAN LAUREL
                                                 (1890- 1965)
                                                A Master Of Comedy

                                              His Genius In The Art of 
                                            Humor Brought Gladness
                                             To The World He Loved

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Alice Tait...Illustrates!



Don't you just love an unexpected surprise? From Amazon, the UK website,  I ordered a book and some ginger biscuits for my father-in-law in England. Since this was really the same thing I got for him last year...wouldn't it be nice to send him something else, something unexpected?  I sent a message on my Instagram account to the British illustrator Alice Tait and told her that I was pleased to see that she had a website where I could order some of her pieces.  She sent me a message BACK.  A real artist!  Yes, my friends, it made my day...I am telling you!    (You see, I had explained that although I am American and live in the States, I would want the gift to be mailed to England.)

My father-in-law received his package from Amazon and while he was pleased with the book and ginger biscuits,  I think it was the package from Alice Tait that really made him happy!  I truly love her drawings!  I found a short video for you. 





Her website is just here.   


If you are able to look at her site, I ordered the set of coasters for Peter, one says "Shall we soldier on" and "Is That The Time" and "Royal Treatment Please". (And I am so bad, I ordered the canvas London tote bag for myself! I already have one, I bought it in London the last time we were there but I am wanting a new one!) 

                      Front of London Bag (See the badges on upper right?
                 They came free with the bag!)

                                   (Back of the bag). 
                           I cut my head off for you.  You're welcome.





Don't you just love her prints?  If you notice, it says that she will sign the print, and not only that but will personalize them with a unique message of your choice. Isn't that just the nicest thing?  (It says that the world map is very popular for birthdays and christenings.)

I just had to tell y'all about this!  What will be the next thing that I will order? She has written a children's book, "No, Nancy, No". I simply must have it!  (Nan, in Maine...I hope you are reading this!)
The hydrangeas are blooming now...I wonder if I could draw them? Alice Tait might just make me pick up a pencil and have a go! 

For anyone on Instagram...her account is alice_tait_illustrates

Alice Tait, if you ever see this post, thank you!  I really love that you included a personal note in with the package, an unexpected surprise for my dear father-in-law, Peter. Very much appreciated.



  

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Rainy Night In Georgia (It's A Great Song Too!)



Let's talk about the weather. How is it where you are? We have had very hot, dry weather.  Some days lately I would get in my car and it would say 100 degrees! And it was so dry, our grass was getting brown and crunchy.  Today, it rained.  And rained.  And rained!
It has rained so much, my phone keeps going off with alarms that tell me that there is a flash flood warning until 3:00 PM. NO...make that 5:30 PM.  Now, it is 9:30 PM!  When it rains, it pours!



So, what is it like for you?  And do you have any SONGS that you would pertain to your part of the world?  You know I do!

"Lord, I feel like it's raining all over the world."






It won't be too long until we see blue sky again!  Hopefully.





Wednesday, June 5, 2019

10 Things You Might Not Know About The Normandy Invasion




The BBC has a piece on their website, "10 Things You Might Not Know About the Normandy Invasion".  You gotta love the Brits.  In America, this would say "10 Things You Don't Know About The Normandy Invasion" but the Brits say "You Might Not Know".  So like the British, don't you think?
Forgive my amusement over that wording, now let's be serious.

  Have any of you seen the film "Band of Brothers"? (The book is by Stephen Ambrose and is one that I recommend.)  Those men were trained in Toccoa, Georgia and I grew up hearing about them and knowing that anyone in that small town had great respect for those young men who trained to be paratroopers. They took their motto from the one tall mountain in Toccoa,  "Currahee", which means "we stand alone".  They used that motto, because they were truly alone, parachuting into Europe before the landings on Normandy. 




The 10 things that you might not know of the Normandy Invasion? You may read it just
 here.

I knew most of the facts that they gave you but I did not know these...
1)  As early as 1942, the BBC asked for photos and post cards from the coast of Europe.  Millions of photos were sent in!  It was a way of gathering intelligence to ascertain the most suitable spots for landing beaches.

2) Rommel's shoes... The German commander did not believe that there would be an invasion.  He went home to give his wife a pair of shoes for her birthday.

3) Smashed toilets...The vibration of HMS Belfast's guns firing was so powerful, it cracked the toilets in the crew's cabins.

4)Pub Test....Terence Otway was given the top secret mission to attack the Merville Battery.  He had to be sure his men would not tell a soul.  He sent 30 women from the Women's Auxillary Air Force dressed in civilian clothes into village pubs in the area where the men were in training. The women were asked to do all they they could do to get the men to talk.  None of the men gave the secret away.

I had the honor of speaking with many veterans of World War II when I worked as a travel agent in the 1980's and 1990's. Many of them have passed away now.  75 years now since 1944.  We should never forget them.








Monday, June 3, 2019

Long Lost Lewis Chessman FOUND!




One of my favorite places in London is the British Museum. Besides being able to view the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles, you can also see the Lewis Chessmen (along with about 8 million other objects!).  I have told you about the Lewis Chessman before on a previous post! The Lewis Chessmen or Uig Chessmen (named after the bay where they were found) are 12th century chess pieces found in 1831 on the shores of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. (I will wait while you look that up on a map...here, don't bother, I will tell you...think of Scotland, go all the way to the top...and just to the west, that would be the Outer Hebrides, and the Isle of Lewis is the largest. There, how did I do, my readers from the Isle of Lewis?)
Okay, before I got bogged down in giving my little geography lesson, I was telling you about the Lewis Chessmen!
There were five missing pieces of the set but it has just been confirmed to us that they now have one of the missing pieces!
It was owned by a family in Edinburgh. The family's grandfather had been an antiques dealer and had no idea of value of the piece and passed it down to the family. The owner paid 5 pounds for it in 1964.  The family had always felt it to "magical".  Sotheby's (the famous auction house)  kept the discovery secret until it was absolutely confirmed to be genuine and in what I think of as a typical understated British manner had this to say about it: "We can safely say that a million pounds will transform the sellers life".

Magical indeed!

We have an advertisement here that uses the phrase, "What's in your wallet?".  Borrowing from that, I say to you (those in the British Isles especially), "what's in your wardrobe or drawers?" 
There are still four pieces that are missing!

Search until you find them, I say!

By the way I am sorry to tell you that the show that I was so very excited to tell you about...the Song Stories? I was quite disappointed in the sound quality! Honestly, the video that I gave you of Bobbie Gentry singing her hit song was 100 times better than the one that they showed us on the show. I am not kidding!
Of course, it was the BBC. Just saying!  (Sorry, I love PBS and please don't get mad with me but I am very particular about music and how it is presented.)








Sunday, June 2, 2019

Story Songs- (On PBS in America-Don't Miss it!)










My friends, if you don't know one thing about me, know this: I love music! That is why I am so excited to tell you about a show on TV tonight in Atlanta on PBS. Channel 8 at 9:30PM.  (Check your local listings in the rest of the country and see when it will be shown where you live. And if you miss it tonight, I am sure they will repeat it).  "Story Songs" will be hosted by...wait for it...B. J. Thomas!  Remember when I told you that I was working on a post about him? What a voice!  The post about him will still be written but I just have to make sure you know about this TV show! If you go to the PBS site, you will see that this episode will have songs by Kenny Rogers, Jim Croce, Bobbie Gentry, Don McLean, Glen Campbell, and Gordon Lightfoot and they are just the ones that I saw in the 30 second trailer! Of course, I hope that B.J. Thomas will also have some of his songs on there too!

Did y'all know that I also have an Instagram account?  Uh...I am not that good on it yet, but I do have some followers and guess what...oh, I know you won't believe it...but B. J. Thomas is one of my followers! Yes, I know, and not only that but he LIKED some of my photos! When I asked my son if it truly was possible that B. J. himself followed me and liked my photos...he said that yes, of course, it was possible or it could be that someone in his entourage really handled his account and maybe that individual might show him photos and say, "Hey, B.J. what about this, do you like this?" And maybe, indirectly he follows me.  You know what? I'll take it! Insert huge smiley face here! 

"There's one thing I know...the blues they send to meet me, Won't defeat me. It won't be long til happiness steps up to greet me."

If you don't know any other B.J. Thomas hit song, I hope you know "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" and you really should know all the words!  Look them up!  I gave you some of them above!

All of those singers that will be highlighted on this show are the kind of singers that I really admire and it is my kind of TV show.
I wonder if they might this make this into a regular series about music? I hope so!


By the way, I wish raindrops would fall on my head...we are needing rain badly in the Atlanta area! Take care everyone and let me know if you were able to see this TV show!

For my followers in other countries, look up those artists I gave you and check out their music.  You will thank me,

(Y'all know I can sing JUST like Bobbie Gentry!)


 I am NOT about to jump off Tallahatchie bridge in this photo. I am thrilled to see a sunset from Waterloo bridge in London! Love that view. So many expensive things to do in London, this was free.

And so funny to think of this...if you read this tomorrow, it will be the 3rd of June...which is the opening line of the song "Ode To Billie Jo" by Bobbie Gentry. (She not only sang that song but she also WROTE it.!)  What a voice! I hope you will listen to the video that I found for you...I really enjoyed it, looks like it is from the BBC!







Wednesday, May 29, 2019

National Biscuit Day In the UK!



Before this day is over, I must tell you that it is National Biscuit Day in the UK!   (Wait, it is now the next day over there...oh well!)
Of course, I have told you before that a biscuit in America is a soft breakfast bread but in England, it is a cookie!

(My Dad made the BEST and softest biscuits that you can imagine. Everyone said so, they were the best.)

One of my good friends went to England a few months ago and brought me back some...oh, they make me happy just to think of them...she brought me some HOBNOBS!  They are so good!
I still have two left...can you tell that I have tried to keep them as long as I can? I just looked it up and Hobnobs are the third most popular biscuit over there! Let's see, I think I read that Jammie Dodgers and Custard Creams are the top two but some say that the Rich Tea and the Ginger Nut are tops. Me? I love them ALL! I don't have favorites when it comes to English biscuits.  (Jaffa cakes, Kay? Yes, please!)

When we come back from England, we are loaded down with teabags, chocolate and biscuits!



We would not have been able to bring these back in the heat we are having these days...we have had many days with our temps over 90 degrees! 

What is your favorite cookie/biscuit? Do tell me, you know I want to know!  

P.S.  No cookie/biscuit companies are sending me anything for this post.  HOWEVER, if a company happens to read this and they WISH to send me boxes and boxes, I will happily accept them, even if they are half melted when they get here!
It was cooler this time last year when the magnolias were blooming...







Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle "You Are Wonderful"





Will try my best to write this post tonight...now I am on some medication that says it can cause drowsiness, so for me, it might as well as say...this drug will knock you out! 

Do I have a lot of things to write about? You bet! My purse is stuffed with all the notes that I have jotted down about people, places and things that I want to tell you about.  For today, I will tell you that it is the anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who gave us the character, Sherlock Holmes!  (Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 22, 1859.)  There is the most wonderful site devoted to him, you may find it just   here!   Be sure to read his biography while you are there.  What a fascinating man!

One thing that I learned, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when he was only 25 years old, wrote a short story, a fictionalized account about the ship, the Mary Celeste, called "Habakuk Jephson's Statement", but it was written in the form of a first person testimony by a survivor.  He called the ship, the MARIE Celeste in his story.  Perhaps because of his influence, you can often hear people discuss this ship using his name for it.

(I do hope you know the true story...the Mary Celeste is famous for the mysterious disappearance of all those who were aboard.  On Dec. 5, 1872, the ship was found deserted in the Atlantic ocean, off the Azores islands, completely abandoned.  Once again, I have a link for you here.  And of course, there is a non fiction book that I can tell you about...
"Ghost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing Crew" by Brian Hicks.)


Okay, now back to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle... 

Did you know that he never once said, "Elementary, my dear Watson" in any of his stories?  He might have come close to those words but he never actually said them.  One thing that he DID say, and I only found this out today, but his last words were directed to his wife and he said to her..."You are wonderful."

I also read that every spring he gave to his wife Jean, the very first snowdrop flower that bloomed in their garden. And she kept every one of them! There, isn't that just the sweetest thing to know?  ( A few years back, I think that one of those snowdrops were auctioned off...)  

Also, I read that there will be a new 50 pence coin that will come out this year in Britain. You may see it just here.  The coin will have a likeness of Sherlock Holmes in his famous deerstalker cap, along with titles of some of his most famous stories.  The words are so tiny, you will need a ...wait for it...a magnifying glass! Isn't that just the perfect touch? 

Sidney Paget is the man who illustrated the Sherlock Holmes stories that were published in the Strand Magazine.  He did 356 published drawings!

Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated


There, my friends, I think I did very well writing this considering I am just about to nod off... I hope you find Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as fascinating as I do!






Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Poison Ivy? Oatmeal Bath!

Poison ivy has URUSHIOL. It is an oil that is secreted from the leaves, vines, stems and roots. Should it contact your skin, it forms a bond which causes a severe allergic reaction. The itch is nearly unbearable.  Ask me how I know! 
(I think I read that poison ivy is in every state except Alaska and Hawaii.)

There are a few little rhymes that might be helpful to remember.

"Leaves of three, let it be".

"Longer middle stem, don't touch them".
(The top leaf tends to stick up a bit from the other two.) 


"Hairy Vine, no friend of mine".
(The plant will also be like a vine and the vines are "hairy". Even if the vine looks dead...do not touch it! And don't burn it either, the fumes will send you to the emergency room.)


Sometimes if you are very sensitive, poison ivy can last up to a month.  Since I am about at three weeks myself, perhaps I might be in that category.  
I ended up going to the doctor and have been on steroids. Unfortunately, I have had a bit of a time with these drugs and sometimes feel shaky, dizzy, woozy, and that is the best of it! Mostly, I feel as if someone has taken me and knocked me against a brick wall. Hey, but at least I am not itching! (Gotta look on the bright side!)

Okay, now if you you ever get something like this...try something that I used, an oatmeal bath! 

I think it would be nice for you even if you don't have horrible itchy spots all over you!  This is what I did...I took a brown coffee filter bag, filled it with about a third cup of OATMEAL.  I tied it at the top tightly with a rubber band and then placed it gently into a very hot bath. (I actually used two of these bags!)  Let it "steep" just like a teabag.  Let the water cool enough for you to immerse your body into the oatmeal water.  (I took the oatmeal bag and rubbed it gently on my poison ivy spots.) 

There, it left my skin very soft!  Wouldn't it be funny if all the fancy spas did the same exact thing and then quickly remove all traces of their oatmeal/coffee filter bags and place the small candles into the water and then charge you the big bucks? That could be!

Here is one plant that cannot hurt you!  It is the coreopsis! We love it.

Hope I can get back into the swing of things soon!  I think I need some music...