Sunday, September 26, 2021

Rain Coming...I'll Follow The Sun

 Hello everyone!

We had some very rainy weather last week.  For several days, when I was able to get my old computer up and running, there was a phrase that popped up in the corner that said "Rain Coming".  Now my first thought was "That sounds ominous" but my very next thought and it came so quickly into my head was the song "I'll Follow the Sun" by the Beatles.  Did you know that Paul McCartney wrote that song before the Beatles even existed when he was only 16 years old?

(He also wrote "When I'm 64" as a teenager also and the Beatles used to play it between sets when they were on stage in their early days!)

Now back to "I'll Follow the Sun"...Paul McCartney wrote that song after he had recovered from - wait for it...the FLU!  Now, in these times of Covid, I think that is something that we should know and tell everyone.  You don't have to look on the bright side but I honestly think that it is more helpful to yourself and to others.



Thank you, Sir Paul!

And speaking of looking on the bright side, the Yellow Daisies have been amazingly beautiful this year!  I just wish you could see how plentiful they are and the fragrance! I've said it before but if I could only bottle it! So, you see, we might have had a lot of rain this year but if it brings flowers like this, it is well worth it.  Take care and remember, follow the sun but appreciate the rain and be grateful for everything.




Sunday, September 12, 2021

September Beauty/ I Will/ Song From A Secret Garden

 

September! Time for beautyberries and yellow daisies, both native to this area.  Both so incredibly beautiful that they can stop you in your tracks!




Happy to share with you a cover song of  the Beatles song "I Will"...it is by a very talented young man named Alexander Rybak.
Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!





Believe it or not, that is a violin that he is playing in that song!

Don't believe me? I found another video of him playing his violin..."Song From A Secret Garden".






Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Otis Redding Day in Georgia- Sept. 9, 2021!

 

Songwriter, singer, great guy...that is what should come to your mind when you think of Otis Redding.  He left us much too soon at the age of 26. Tomorrow would have been his 80th birthday.  To honor him, the state of Georgia has declared Sept. 9th to be "Otis Redding Day".  Remember, Otis Redding wrote the song that the marvelous Aretha Franklin made so famous, "Respect".  

"Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" was recorded just three days before his tragic death in a plane crash in 1967.  (He not only sang this great song but he wrote it as well with his good friend and guitarist, Steve Cropper.)

All respect to a fellow Georgian, Otis Redding.  Otis Redding Foundation- I have a link just here!  There, go and read more about this great man.












  

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Summer Lightning

 We had a thunderstorm here in our area last night.  The very first thunderclap was so loud, it really startled me.  Of course, it doesn't take much for me to jump! (There, you don't really have to know all my nervous habits but I tell you anyway! LOL!)  There is a wonderful song by Ralph McTell called "Summer Lightning".  My husband can play this on the guitar himself and it sounds so good! I love the music and the lyrics.  One day I might be able to get Richard on a video playing it for you but I found one that is almost as good as a Richard performance.  Hope you like it too....


Goodness me, I had to search a while to find this video for you!

ENJOY!

 I love to look at clouds in the sky.  Don't you?  Take care, everyone! Look for beauty always!




Saturday, August 21, 2021

Hanging In There! 10 Years Today!

 Can you believe it? Ten years ago today, I started writing this blog!

Yes, you can look back at my Aug. 21, 2011 post and if you do, you will see that I managed to delete that first post and then, had to just jot a few things down that I had written. So, I have a second post on that same day saying "STILL Aug. 21st!".   That was a foreshadowing of what was to come, I am always just a jumble of mistakes waiting to happen.  Still, one has to keep a sense of humor about these things, don't you think?

You don't have to laugh at life but I find that it is truly a help. It is for me anyway. And thinking of that, I am looking forward to a film that will be coming out soon..."Being The Ricardos" which is a movie about Lucille Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz.  Did you watch "I Love Lucy" as you were growing up? I certainly did! Of course, the shows that I watched were not really from the 1960's but from the decade before.  I've read that the show has been syndicated in dozens of languages and is shown around the world. Isn't that something? Recently, we had the remains of a hurricane which was downgraded to a tropical storm but it still brought lots of rain. The storm was named "Fred".  I do wonder if anyone else looked at all that rain and said, "FRED, FRED, FRED, FRED, FRED!"  (From the "I Love Lucy" episode where little Ricky was learning the drums and was driving everyone crazy by beating the drum exactly five times and Ethel called out her husband's name in exact time with the beating of the drum!)  There...anybody else think of that? No, only me? What a nutcase I am!  The shows were quite brilliant and Lucille Ball had such perfect timing and all the actors worked as such a perfect ensemble, it was a pleasure to watch.  I do hope that they do a good job with the film about them! (Also, Nicole Kidman will be Lucille Ball in the film and I just know she will do a great job.  I can honestly say that I have loved in her in every film that I have seen of hers! And she really has made a great many!)

Two films, "Five Came Back" and "Beauty for the Asking" were from 1939 and both featured Lucille Ball. (1939, what a year for movies! If you are a film buff, you know what I mean!)  I watched both of these movies for the first time this year and I was very much impressed by the young Lucille Ball. Beautiful and so very good!

"Beauty for the Asking" is about Jean Russell (played by Lucille Ball) who invents a facial cream and...oh, I don't want to tell you anything else, just try to find it and watch it! Her character was not only beautiful but intelligent and kind.  I really enjoyed this!

"Five Came Back" is a film that is about a plane that crashes in a jungle and the repaired plane can only carry five passengers out. Once again, I thought Lucille Ball was wonderful in her role in this film too! (SPOILER: Lucille is one of those who make it out! Sorry, you knew she would, right?)

Both of these films were made by RKO Studios (and Lucille Ball had made many other movies at the same studio) and later, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz bought the studio! 

Okay, I think I found the episode where Little Ricky was learning to play the drums!



And hey!  I know I don't post that much on my blog anymore but I keep hanging in there!  So, 10 years today!  Thanks for hanging with me!









A song for you?  You know I have one!  (And please tell me that you can instantly tell that is Lou Rauls singing in the background!)






Saturday, August 7, 2021

Praise My Soul The King of Heaven/Take Your Shoes Off, Moses

 Hey! Remember me? I am Georgia Girl With An English Heart! (Yes, I am really Georgia Old Woman but hey, sue me! LOL!!)

To prove to you that I have a foot in both worlds, so to speak, I have two examples of songs for you.  I truly like them both.  Hope you will too...


"Praise My Soul, The King of Heaven" is a beautiful hymn with lyrics by Henry Frances Lyte. (1793-1847). Born in Scotland but brought up in Ireland, he became an Anglican vicar in Devon, England.  Also a poet, he wrote the lyrics for the famous hymn,  "Abide With Me".  I have read that just before he died, he exclaimed, "Peace, Joy!".   I am thinking that those two words would make a fine hymn, don't you?


Gospel music! Combined with Blue Grass, it just can't get any better for me! (There is a guitar solo that my guitar playing son says is very, very good!)





"Take Your Shoes Off Moses". 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

End of July in 2020...

 Hello, friends!

July 2021 will soon be over.  Not much time lately to get out so I thought I would show you some photos from this time last year...

 We were at  Alexander Lake at Panola Mountain State Park and there was still a mist over the lake.

The sun was rising quickly and you might not recognize this bird in the bright light but it is a  Great Blue Heron. It is a beauty. 
The Great Egret.  Richard took this photo from some distance away, so it looks smaller than it really is.  If you read about this bird, it says that it lives along the Georgia coast.  How lucky that it also lives on some Georgia lakes too!
You have seen photos of the sun streaming upon the trail at Panola Mountain State Park...but you don't mind seeing it again, do you?


The Purple Passionflower is a native flower here in Georgia.  We were so happy to see this blooming right beside the trail as we walked. It is the host plant for the Zebra butterfly and the Gulf Fritillary butterfly.   Hey! Speaking of the Gulf Fritillary....





Gulf Fritillary!  You can recognize it very easily by that fake "eye" on the wing! See it?  Also, the other side of the wings look almost silvery in bright light, like a mirror.  
Sad to say, we will not have those bright orange flowers this year- the Mexican sunflowers.  We just had too much rain and I was not able to get them to grow like they normally do. I will miss them.
They would grow over 6 feet tall. How I loved going out and taking a photo from below with sky behind them! AND seeing all the butterflies enjoying them!







Monday, July 12, 2021

"Nothing Could Be Finer"

 












































Hey there, July! Nothing could be finer!
Thought you might like to see some nature in my own yard!
The yellow flowers are wildflowers and are called "whorled sunflowers".  As far as we know that is what they are, they just came up and Richard encourages wild things around him...after all, he married me! HA!  
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Hey! I just learned something that I want to share with you. And this might come in handy if you should be in a quiz with your friends sometime! Which world sporting event trophy was stolen in 1966 and later recovered by a dog named "Pickles"? The year 1966 should give you a very good clue as that was the year that England won the World Cup!  So, of course the answer is "The World Cup.  The owner of the dog, David Corbett was given 5000 pounds and with this money, he bought a house in Surrey. (Let me just pause here and think of buying a house in Surrey, England for 5000 pounds.)  The dog, Pickles died in 1967, just one year after the great attention he received. Does everybody in England know of this? I only just learned of it.  Hey, I am American, I can't know EVERYTHING about great British history! HA!

Of course, I wanted England to win yesterday in the Euro final but it was not meant to be.  Looking forward to the World Cup next year!
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"Nothing Could Be Finer"!  Of course, you know that song, don't you? It was written by Gus Khan (lyrics) and Walter Donaldson (music).  Please say you remember me telling you about that great film about Gus Khan where he was portrayed by Danny Thomas? And Doris Day played the wife? The film was "I'll See You In My Dreams".)   Now, the song was written in 1922 AND it made its debut on Broadway and was first performed by William Frawley! Yes, William Frawley who was "Fred" from "I Love Lucy"!  I read that he sang it on "I Love Lucy" also and do you know, I even remember it! (Oh yes, I do believe I know every single episode of "I Love Lucy"!)  Oh I do have more I want to say about Lucille Ball but that will have to wait for another post, another time... I need my beauty sleep!  



"It Had To Be You"... Go to just after the 2 minute mark for the song. Lyrics by Gus Khan! Genius lyrics, "with all your faults, I love you still". Gotta love that!




Sorry, my friends, I cannot find a good enough version of "Nothing Could Be Finer" for you! Go and see that film "I'll See You In My Dreams"! The actress who sings "Nothing Could Be Finer" does a great job!






















Sunday, June 27, 2021

Far From The Shores of England

 



Hello, everyone! I am waving here to you from a photo from Eastbourne in England! Of course, it is from years ago...2015, to be exact.   We are not able to visit the UK at this time, sad to say. So, I hope you don't mind me sharing a few photos with you. 

We also visited Lewes (it is pronounced "Lewis") and there is a castle there! Of course, we wanted to see it even if it was a very cloudy day. (That's Richard you see!) Near to the castle, we also saw the Southover Grange Gardens.  Even in October the gardens were still lovely. Who is that mysterious woman loitering around that doorway? Ha, that is me! I bought that purple raincoat that week because I needed it! (You know I still have it. I keep clothes for as long as I can! LOL.)


We remember being very pleased to see these bright orange flowers blooming in Lewes.  They are Mexican sunflowers! The very same kind that we grow in pots here in Georgia for our butterflies!  I know I am showing you photos of England but here...look at this photo from our yard from one of our summers...
                                                        See? Same flower!

Sometimes when we are in England, we even get to see London! Richard snapped this photo from the taxi. I hope you recognize it! It is now called "Elizabeth Tower" and even though I know it is really the bells that are "Big Ben", I still think of it by that name, don't you? I adore the Houses of Parliament. When I first saw them in 1981, they just took my breath away, just stunning. (And they were very dirty then, they are golden and sparkling now.) "My London Lights", I hope to see them again soon!
St. Paul's Cathedral.










Wish I could be walking on this beach.  I can just smell the salty air and hear the cry of the gulls...








A song for you?  You know I will always have one! Take care, my friends, both in America and the UK and to my blogging friends around the whole world! 



Sunday, June 6, 2021

I Just Can't Help Believing (Brasstown Bald)

 


This is not a photo of an old lady hailing a taxi, this is me with my tag showing that I have paid admission for Brasstown Bald. (Highest point in Georgia at elevation of 4,784 feet.) My husband and I hiked to the top on a nice paved trail that is only 1/6 of a mile but it is quite steep! We BELIEVE that we can still do it! (There is a shuttle that runs from the parking lot if you can't make the short hike.) Can you see that tower at the top of the mountain? That's where we're headed!

The trail can be quite busy but the day we were there, it was very quiet, just leaves rustling and birds singing...


 






Look, we've almost made it!

Once you climb that short distance to the flag, there are steps up to different levels. It is really like being on a ship at sea, but instead of water, it is trees as far as the eye can see...










There is the tower that I showed you! You can't climb up that,  I would if permitted to do so.


Not only are the mountains gorgeous but the clouds on the day that we were there were very nice too.


We were up there with the birds, I am telling you! (See how it looks like a ship?)  That's me with my hiking bag trying to ruin the shot! (We're not certain what kind of bird this is, we will have to do more research.)






Look! We can see our car from the top! There are only 3 vehicles in the parking lot. Told you it was quiet! (Our car is the one near the white van.)  Richard is very good with a zoom, don't you think?

Interesting for us, the leaves on the trees were a light green, as in early Spring. In our area, the leaves have been out for some time and full and dark green now.  It is that much of a difference between the Atlanta area and the North Georgia mountains!




Brasstown Bald is near the town of Hiawassee. It is on Lake Chatuge and there is a botanical garden there called Hamilton Gardens. You know we had go there!


We just saw the last of the rhododendrons in bloom. There are 1200 rhododendrons in the gardens! (Their peak is from the last two weeks of April through mid May.)  Even though we missed the mass of the blooms, we were very well pleased to see the lovely TREES along the trails there.  A truly lovely spot.





The Lakeside Trail was very nice in the trace of a misty morning.




If you can remember the beginning of my post, the tag that I have around my wrist says "Let's Go FIND Outdoors".  Let's do that, people!
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Found a great video for you.  B J Thomas with Vince Gill.

Hope you like this as much as I do! (I keep humming this to myself.)



Sunday, May 30, 2021

B J Thomas (1942-2021)

 As many of you know, I appreciate and write about songwriters but what you might not know is that I also greatly admire talented singers. We just lost a very good one- B J Thomas.  He died of lung cancer which was just diagnosed at the end of March of this year.  If you look at his website, it states that he didn't write "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" but he defined it.   His official website is just here.  I urge you to visit it!  Not only was he a great singer but a really nice guy. I loved how he would call so many of his friends, his "brothers". We need more people like B J Thomas in the world, spreading love and music with a positive message.  

B J Thomas went through a rough patch at one point in his life but he credited his wife for getting him back on the right track.  It is his wife and daughters and family that I am thinking of at this moment, along with his many friends around the world. 

Enough of my words, let's hear B J Thomas singing "In The Garden".



 "Most of All"





"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"


"Rock and Roll Lullaby"



"Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head"  (From the film, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid")

The lyrics to this song were very helpful for me in 2020.  The positive message will be for all time.  (Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. It is the B J Thomas vocal that stays with you.)





Billy Joe Thomas (BJ) was a big admirer of Elvis.  It seems that I remember reading that BJ took over the rest of Elvis Presley's concert tour in 1977 after Elvis died.  Writing this post, I tried to research this and can't find that anywhere, perhaps someone could tell me if this is so?  I read a great interview where he talked about driving from Texas to Graceland in Memphis in the 1960's and when he got there, he simply told them, "I'm here to see Elvis".  (Elvis wasn't there, he was in California at the time filming movies but nevertheless, B J was invited inside for sandwiches made by Minnie Mae, Elvis' grandmother.  A different time, the 1960's.) 

 

B J Thomas, rest in peace, my brother.







Sunday, May 16, 2021

Remember That ONE Time (Runnin' Down A Dream)

 



The Eastern fence lizard is a very common lizard but when you happen upon it as you hike, it seems a very extraordinary creature, indeed.  This photo was in very bright sun but the bronze coloring was quite beautiful. They can also be called pine lizard for their preference for pine trees which is what you see here. Notice the long legs, it is believed that this is an adaption within the last 70 years to the introduction of the imported fire ant, which can kill the lizard within one minute.  ("Take that FIRE ANT, I will just grow longer legs and get away from you!"  There, you didn't know I can read the minds of lizards, did you?)



These photos were taken at Panola Mountain State Park, which is not too far away from us, luckily. I think the hikes up the mountain have started again, so I hope to be able to go on one of those soon. If you remember, Panola Mountain is a guided hike only, and you can only climb it with a group and an employee of Panola Mountain. (Of course, there are great trails in the park that do not require a guide and are open from dawn to dusk. We take advantage of them! So many trees!)

Anybody remember that I did a moonlight hike climbing Panola Mountain once? It was magical! The moonlight lit up the granite of the mountain and it felt like I was walking on diamonds....ah, am I too old to walk that in the dark now? Oh well, at least I did it that one time!

Just that one time...can you think of something that you have done once or seen once that you will never forget? I am thinking of a place too...Lake Tahoe. Just once in my life, I saw it and I will never forget it, the color of that lake, such a gorgeous color. I was in a group and I asked if we could drive over the California state line just so I could say I had been to California! (Lake Tahoe is partly in Nevada and partly in California.) Lately, Richard and I have enjoyed watching some TV shows that were filmed in Spain and we have had fun looking up the locations and learning about them. We have never been to Spain but in my mind...that's another thing! 
















Of course, we have our own window on the world into our back yard! Richard took these photos of the female cardinal feeding one of her young. The male cardinal (the bright red one) will also feed the babies! We see this scene every year, the little birds fluttering their wings for food, we never tire of it. The cardinal itself, very common but just like the lizard, quite extraordinary.


Runnin' Down A Dream by Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. 
Enjoy.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Interruptions (Porlock) - Happy Trails!

 


There are things that seem to disrupt my inspired creativity these days...


Do you all know the poem "Kubla Klan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge? I bet you do.  The one that talks about "a stately pleasure dome" and "the river Alph" and "Xanadu"?  The full title of the poem is "Kubla Khan: or A Vision In A Dream". You see, the poem came to him after a drug induced dream in the year 1797.  The next morning when he set about to write it all down, he was interrupted by a visitor from the neighboring village of Porlock. Sad to say, he just could not get back into the rhythm of it and was not able to fully complete it as he wanted. He wrote down what he could and was unhappy about it, as it was not as he originally envisioned and only showed it to friends. Coleridge left it unpublished until his friend, Lord Byron persuaded him to publish it in the year 1816.  Therefore, if one has a "visitor from Porlock" or just "Porlock" it means that someone or something has interrupted one's inspired creativity!

Now, I have TWO things that make me think of the word "interrupt"...one is quite lovely and the other is quite silly.

I know you are all dying to know my examples!

Okay, here is the beautiful one..."Interrupted fern".

Ferns are so beautiful! I have spent quite some time trying to identify ferns recently. You might think that this would be a simple thing, but that is not the case. Georgia has a great number of native ferns and they are just as difficult to identify as oak trees! The interrupted fern is not one that I would see here in Georgia but the sound of it pleases me, I can't say why that is so. (The interrupted fern is called that because there is an "interruption" of fronds in the middle.) 

Now, for the silly one... it is a knock knock joke!

"Knock knock".

"Who's there"

"The interrupting cow".

"The interrupting cow, wh...."

"MOO".


HA HA! Silly but funny.  And not a bad joke for children, you can teach them some manners at the same time.


Happy trails, my friends!






Sunday, April 25, 2021

April - Amaryllis/Asyndeton



April is amazing.  My last blog post was two weeks ago today and since that time, our trees are almost in their full summer splendor of green leaves.  On our front porch, the amaryllis flowers are blooming nicely.  Can you spot a little character that Richard has placed between the blooms? My husband is quite a character himself!



In case you can't see...I have another photo for you!


There, that should make you smile!



Asyndeton is a literary device that omits conjunctions. (From the Greek meaning "unconnected", it is used to shorten a sentence and to focus on its meaning. I can't tell you how much I loved learning this and reading different examples! Here's a famous one:

Julius Caesar..."I came. I saw. I conquered." 

 This really drives home the point, no time to clog up the meaning with "ands" in between!  I have read that using asyndeton gives writing a nice rhythm and pace. This somehow reminds me of how much I would like to edit both books and films...there is so much that just isn't necessary.  I do wonder...did any of you ever read the Reader's Digest Condensed Books as a child? I did and I enjoyed them immensely. I did have several teachers who told me that they disapproved of me reading them. They said that the authors would not like their books "condensed" for readers, that was not how they were written. I found that the books that were in the Reader's Digest Condensed Book series were very often so good that it really didn't matter if I didn't get the "whole" picture so to speak, if the writing was good, it was good. Period.  And I have always appreciated something that gets to the point.  (In Britain, they say "full stop" instead of "period.") 


We were able to see our son recently and as always, I asked him to play his guitar and sing us a song. One of the songs that he did...oh, how I wish I could have it on this blog post for you all to hear...was "Everybody Wants To Rule The World", a song from the 1980's by the English group, "Tears For Fears".  Now, no offense to those men in the group, but honestly, Christopher's vocal is better. No lie.

It's a good song!  You should listen to this and march around the room for exercise. You know that I do.  (And I loved the 1980's! So, it makes me happy to hear this music!)

P.S.  April, Amaryllis, Asyndeton.  Awesome alliteration! 


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Lilies, Butterflies and Lilibet (Queen Elizabeth's Nickname)

 

Atamasco lilies!  These were from last year on April 11th but I am sure they are either blooming now or about to do so. They are wildflowers.  Aren't they lovely?  They do remind you of the Easter lily, don't they?









The Easter lily is not a native flower, it was originally from Taiwan. It is a very tricky thing to get them to bloom in time for Easter since Easter is on a different day every year, it is always on the first Sunday following the first full moon of the vernal equinox. Keep in mind that the Easter lily is poisonous to cats! Do not give these plants to anyone who owns a cat. (Uh, I might have forgotten this and done this very thing, so...learn from my mistakes, won't you?)

The photo here is from a local church.  I really liked the painting... 







MUD PUDDLING! That is what the butterflies are doing here...they are getting nutrients from the wet soil.  There were six butterflies here, all Eastern tiger swallowtails. They flew off just as Richard snapped the photo! (The Eastern tiger swallowtail is the state butterfly of Georgia, we think it might be the largest butterfly that we see.)



The mud might be good for nutrients but you can't beat a colorful flower for a great photo!


Of course, you have all heard of the passing of Prince Phillip.  Do you know that the Queen sends a telegram to British citizens when they turn 100? So, Prince Phillip was just two months shy of getting that telegram. (And from what I have read, he would have gotten one. The Queen Mother did when she turned 100!) Queen Elizabeth also sends a telegram to those celebrating wedding anniversaries, at number 60, 65 and 70.  Don't know about you but I think that is blooming marvelous!  You all must have seen so many photos the past few days of Prince Phillip but I think one of my favorites is from a postage stamp that I saved from one of my packages from England...


Richard says that no matter what you think of the idea of royalty in 2021, no one can deny that Prince Phillip and the Queen have done everything that has been expected of them and have done so with grace and dignity for a lifetime.


65th Wedding Anniversary Card and Telegram. This was to Richard's aunt and uncle in 2015. (Delivered by courier in livery- which means a fancy uniform to me!) Update: I have been informed that they once were telegrams but now it is cards that the Queen sends out and they are delivered by mail, although from what I have read they are stamped "Special Delivery"! 
 
Now, what song for this post? There can be only one!