Thursday, December 29, 2022

A New Christmas Song! (New To Me, That Is!)


Music! It is wonderful at any time of the year but isn't it very special to hear all the songs of Christmas? I think I have told you before that the song "Away In A Manger" is sung to a different tune in the UK than the one that is used in the USA.   As I was working on a crochet piece this year, I kept singing that song and I even sang it using the two different tunes! The one phrase that kept coming to mind was "his sweet head"...  If you see the following photo, you will know why!

My friends, I worked very hard on trying to make Baby Jesus! (You start at the head -and it took me a while to get it right- so you can see why I kept singing that song part!) It was an awesome project and I felt very happy to work on it. I completed the head and body and since that took me so long, I set it aside.  It got closer and closer to Christmas and even though I didn't have time to do any other figures, I was determined to make a manger for the Christ child.  Yes! I was able to make the manger and I had Baby Jesus resting there in time for Christmas. 

Now, for the rest of this story...

Richard recorded some things for me on TV that he knew we would enjoy watching together.  I was very pleased to hear "Away In A Manger" done beautifully from "Royal Carols: Together At Christmas" from Westminster Abbey! It was a lovely service.  If you can, you should watch it too!

The other service was from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. There was a song on there that I had never heard of before. THAT song is the one that I want to make sure you listen to the words, keeping in mind of me trying to work on Baby Jesus and then, his manger.  The song is "Jesus, Jesus Rest Your Head".  (I know, I know.... can you believe it?)   "Jesus, Jesus- rest your head, you have got a manger bed".

From what I understand, the song was a folk song from Kentucky. Had it not been for John Jacob Niles who was not only a composer and musician but also a collector of folk music, we might not have ever known this song. (I had never heard of it until I heard it this week on TV!)  I truly hope that you love this song as much as I do! It is so peaceful and lovely.

Wish me luck in making this Nativity Scene. Please note that the photos that I have shown you are from the crochet magazine.

We had a bit of snow the day after Christmas. You know I had to ask Richard to take this Christmas ornament (Max, The Grinch's Dog!) and pose the figure as if Max were going down Mt. Crumpet! Yes, my husband is a saint, if you are wondering.  LOL!  I am sure I have told you before but I will tell you again that I read the book "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" so much to my younger sister and brother that I know the book by heart. It was a joy to read!

Of course, it is warm today with high in the 60's with pretty blue skies.  The photo below is from the lift at Stone Mountain, which was taken in October but I promise today was just this sunny. I just thought this shot was interesting, don't you?

God bless you all and a safe and happy new year to you! Peace to you always.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Dear Friends- Merry Christmas!

"Our fireplace spells out this greeting

For dear friends like you to see,

We've also hung a New Year wish

For you on our Christmas tree!"

In case you can't see that Christmas greeting on the mantel, it says "Merry Christmas"!

That is a photo of a Christmas card that was sent in the 1940's from Oliver Hardy and his wife, Lucille!  Oliver Hardy, you must know from the great comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy.  (Another great pairing of a Brit and a Southerner from the USA!) They were such great friends also and that is a very nice thing to remember about them, I think.  There is a small but very nice museum in Harlem, Georgia dedicated to Laurel and Hardy. (Harlem is a small town where Oliver Hardy was born. If you are thinking that Harlem brings to mind the famous Harlem neighborhood in New York City, this small town in Georgia was renamed "Harlem" in honor of the famous one in NYC. I think the original name of the town was "Sawdust"!)

Richard and I just had to pose with these wooden cutouts of Laurel and Hardy!  Isn't it funny? This was the summer and we were just about melting here but hey, I have to give y'all a photo to laugh about sometime, don't I?

"Santa Claus Is Back In Town"!  If you want to watch a fun film, be sure and watch " The Christmas Chronicles" with Kurt Russell! (Just saying, I LOVE Kurt Russell! Richard knows this about me! LOL!) If you don't have time to see the film, I have the BEST song from the film! It was acutually performed by Kurt Russell. (It also made me think that had Elvis lived longer, he would have been great in this role of Santa Claus.) Kurt Russell portrayed Elvis in a TV film once. It was wonderful! Of course, Kurt Russell is a huge fan! If you ever watch the Elvis movie "It Happened At the World's Fair", Kurt Russell is the cute kid with the red shirt that kicks Elvis in the shin! (He paid him to do so, in order to get attention from the pretty nurse!)

Now, if you watched that video, I do hope you enjoyed it!

"Is there a piano in this joint?"   HA!!! (A special thank you to our musical son, Christopher for telling us to watch this film. He KNEW I would love this song!)

Stay warm, everyone!  It is so cold today here in Georgia that those lovely walks we like will have to wait. (Our high was at midnight last night, and this dang Polar blast came in blowing a gale and it will struggle to get to 20 degrees today and with the wind chill...let's don't even think about it!)) Never mind, the high will be 50 again by Wednesday! 

So, my dear friends, I do hope you all have a lovely Christmas and that the peace and joy of this time will remain with you all through the year. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

December Hope and LOVE

December 2022 has been decidedly different. It has been DREICH! (Dreich is a perfect Scottish word for a gloomy, grey day that seems that it will last FOREVER. Thanks to Adullamite in Scotland for this word. I totally get it now!)

Not today though!  I was so hopeful to see that big, beautiful sun I can't tell you how much nicer it is! I am looking out upon a beautiful sunny day with just a few puffy clouds here and there. Once it warms up just a wee bit, I will be out IN it!  This past week almost half the USA was covered in snow so I guess I should be thankful here in Georgia for rain and gloomy skies.  Why, it even snowed in London and in Eastbourne! Two places that I have written about in England! I have seen Eastbourne in the snow but not London. The snowy photos of London have been so pretty! (Please don't think I want it to snow here, the traffic is bad enough but with is even worse!) No, I like snow in photos and on Christmas cards and that's about it!

What has the weather been like for you all? Does it affect you as much as it does me?  My Daddy always made sure he had one of the weather almanacs to consult.  There are different ones in the USA. My Dad used Grier's Almanac which was a local one for the state of Georgia. (I just looked it up. It began publication in 1807 but due to the death of the owner it closed up in 2021. That is a bit sad to me.) Before we had 24/7 news with weather radars giving us up to the minute forecasts, people either looked at the sky or read one of the weather almanacs.  Most people here might have heard of the "Old Farmer's Almanac" which was started in 1792 in Boston, Massachusetts by Robert B. Thomas.  What a fascinating man! I have a quote from him here...

"We must strive always to be useful, with a pleasant degree of humor."

I wrote that quote above on the same slip of paper with another quote from an author that I have always admired: Robert Louis Stevenson. (Yes, another Scot!)  Here is the quote:

"Continuing to fail in good spirits".

There, those two sayings seem to go hand and hand, don't you think? 

We have had some Christmas cactus plants for a few years now and they were not doing well AT ALL. I wanted to just put them down on the curb and hope someone would take them away! My husband decided to put them outside for air and sunshine and when we noticed buds on them, we were happily surprised! I think I have read that one of the best traits of a gardener is hope. It works for us all!

                                                 Hang in there!

So, I am wishing you all the best.  Hope and Love!

Enjoy the video! Darlene Love!

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

November-Bring It On Home To Me


NOVEMBER! It has been a beautiful time here in Georgia! Remember I told you that our leaves in Metro Atlanta area peak in November? It's true! 

There was a small festival in Old Town Conyers this past Saturday. The trees were still gorgeous! The trees that you see above are in a small but beautiful botanical garden in this small town. 

Very often, Richard and I are struck by not only the color of the leaves but also, the beauty of a tree trunk. We are not certain of the name of this tree, but we know it is old and beautiful.

The above photo is of "Fothergilla" Mt Airy. (Ahem, we won't talk about how long it took me to ID this beauty. Let's just say I let out a big "YAY!" when I discovered the name!)

All those colorful leaves are on the SAME bush!

Of course, many trees have lost most of their leaves, but this very old sweetgum still had some colorful leaves fluttering in the breeze.

If you are ever behind me when I am walking, please don't walk too closely.  I might just bend over and pick up a leaf and ask my husband to photograph it. Honest! This would be some kind of oak but please don't ask me to ID it! I wish I knew them all!  (You always know it is an oak if it has acorns, of course!) Since the "lobes" of the leaf is pointy, it is in the Red Oak family. That is something that I have learned in my research! (If the lobes are more "rounded" it would be in the White Oak family.)

When we exit our neighborhood, this is our view! The trees are beautiful year-round but when the sun is shining on them during the Fall of the year, they are stunning.  (That is a school that you see behind the trees.)

After we walked recently, we had to stop in at the grocery store to buy a few things.
I wonder how many folks took photos in the PARKING LOT like we did?  Someone who knows native trees has been able to influence the owners of shopping centers to plant these natives. I am grateful!

(You can see me holding the bags. Hey, someone has to do so while someone takes pictures! LOL.)

November is always memorable for amazing autumnal colors, Thanksgiving with family and friends AND our son's birthday! Just a wonderful time of year! AND for 2022, the World Cup too! As I am writing this today, England has won AND the USA too! Yay!

 Hope that November has been nice for you, and you are looking forward to the next holiday season.  Peace to you all, my friends!

"Bring It On Home To Me"

Friday, November 18, 2022

Stone Mountain November/ "Palais de Danse"


Stone Mountain! Can you see it? This photo is from the island in Stone Mountain Lake, we have just walked over the covered bridge to get here.  I have told you about Stone Mountain before many times, if you remember!

From this spot, if you look left you see the covered bridge but if you look to the right, you see the view of Stone Mountain. You know Richard got a close up for you, showing the cable car about to go into the building to let the folks out to see the views! (There is also a walk up trail but the cable cars are very popular too.)

You know when I leave a comment on your blog and you see my photo of a walkway? That photo was taken in the spring on the trail in front of Stone Mountain which was from 2011.
The photo above is almost the same spot but now they have fencing around it. If you notice the yellow sign, it says you can't enter but as it is part of the Cherokee trail around the mountain, you also see there is a space to squeeze through the left of the sign! (There were two people who paused there just after Richard took this photo for me. I was pleased to tell them to ignore the sign and just go around it!  I am such a rebel but hey, I know what I know!)  If you are wondering why there is such heavy is because there is now a very expensive LASER show that they have and I guess they can't have folks sneaking in there and hiding before the show! Also, for the winter, they make snow from the lake and create "Snow Mountain" in that area.  Big hit with the kids!  Anyway, let me show you some more photos!

Isn't the outline of Stone Mountain just gorgeous behind the trees?

See the water wheel? This is an old grist mill beside Stone Mountain Lake. 

That last tree was in the parking lot at Stone Mountain!  These photos were from early November. The temps were in the 70's and for a few weeks there, it was wonderful to walk and enjoy the leaves! Suddenly, we got a cold front and it went from almost 80 degrees to our lows being in the 30's and it has struggled to get to 45 for a high temp! Happy I was able to get out and about while the sun was shining!

I learn something new every day!  For some reason, I thought of a song by the Kinks and I looked it up on YouTube. The one that I found had all the lyrics.  Let me see if I can get it here for you....

"Come Dancing"!

If you were able to read the lyrics, it is mentioned that his sister would go dancing at the local "palais".  From the context you can surmise that that would be a dance hall but it is from the words "palais de danse".  That would be a "dance palace" in French which is what dance halls were called in the 1950's and 1960's in England. I had never heard of that before, Richard had to tell me!  That song was from 1983, by the was a very good year, the same year that Richard and I got married!

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

October-Stranger Things/Dracula


Covered bridges! There is just something so appealing about them, don't you think?

The covered bridge pictured above is at Stone Mountain Park.  Cars are allowed to drive on it but they have a space for folks to walk over it too. (We always walk!)  Funny I just told you about walking over the bridge in Chattanooga on my last post and now I have this one in Georgia! (This one was built almost at the same time, it was built in 1891.)

Does the change of leaves make me happy? You bet it does! Let me show you some of the beautiful photos from October from Georgia...

The most wonderful thing? Our leaves in the Metro Atlanta area do not peak until the first week of November, so we still have lots of color to come. I think I will just sit on this bench and watch til then.... dang, I am so funny!

Hey! Y'all will never guess but my husband and I have finally watched the TV series "Stranger Things"! Yes, I know everyone else knows all about it but we have just been watching the shows and they are so good! The VERY best thing for me, the setting is supposed to be in Hawkins, Indiana but believe me, it was filmed in Georgia! I can't tell you how tickled I was to actually recognize places that are very familiar to me. I can't remember what season it was but there was a scene filmed at a 7/11 store and as soon as I saw it, I said, "That's in Conyers!".  Sure enough, I researched it and of course, I was correct! Very special to us though is that many of the scenes filmed in the woods were filmed at Stone Mountain! AND any of the scenes where the actors are walking on a train track were all filmed at the train track at Stone Mountain. (This was a very good thing too since the train there is only one that is run for tourists so therefore, the train rarely runs on the rails. So, very safe for the actors!)

The other thing I need to tell you- I read "Dracula" this month! Oh, I am sure you are saying that you know the story very well but admit it, have you ever read it?  If not, please do so!  It is such a wonderfully written book, I was that surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  I was dusting a bit at my home and since our son left a load of books at our house, my eye fell upon "Dracula" on his bookshelf.  I tried to read the paperback but my poor old eyes were not up to the fine print so I went to my local library and checked out such a beautiful copy that my dear husband has now ordered the very same book for me. It is a Penguin Classic. This book not only has the story of Dracula but it also has an interview that Bram Stoker did with Winston Churchill! It also has letters between Bram Stoker and Walt Whitman! And there is even a piece that was written by Bram Stoker's mother. Isn't that amazing? (You can guess that she also was a great writer.)

It seems to me that "Stranger Things" and "Dracula" have some parallels.  They both have characters that are interesting and that you really care about. They both have great friendships that try to overcome evil. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Just as "Stranger Things" would make me happy to see scenes from Georgia, "Dracula" also has placenames in London that are familiar to me. (I realize that last bit is a personal thing for me, but hey, I am "Georgia Girl With An English Heart!")

Just in case Dracula comes around here, I have my cross ready!

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Chattanooga (NOOGA)


Chattanooga, Tennessee!  Richard and I just visited in the month of September, and you know I have some photos to show you.  It is commonly called "Nooga" because honestly, that is a long word to type...C H A T T A N O O G A ! 

This was the view from our hotel room.  I loved this so much!

This very modern building is the Tennessee Aquarium and is well worth a visit! It is right beside the Tennessee River.  We took our son there when he was only 3 years old and the area around it has grown so much in those 30 years!

Several bridges cross the river in Chattanooga. The one pictured below is the Market Street bridge. Look at that lovely blue paint! There are cars crossing on that bridge along with pedestrians. 

The Walnut Street bridge is pictured above. Also called the John Ross bridge, it is a truss bridge and was built in 1890. It is now totally for pedestrians and bikes! No cars allowed! Isn't that great! I remember seeing it when we took our son there in the early 1990's and it was all rusty brown. Apparently, it was destined to be TORN DOWN! Can you believe it? A group of like-minded citizens got together and saved it. Along with the Aquarium, it is a jewel of the city. It is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the country. Did I walk across it? You know I did! Richard and I both did!  It is 2,375 feet across, and we totally enjoyed every step of the way.

These two photos show views from the bridge. Can you recognize the Tennessee Aquarium at the far left of photo? 

On the other side of the bridge there is a lovely park with beautiful fountains. The sculptured animals are made in such a way that children can actually climb upon them. The building behind the fountains has a beautiful carousel inside it.  Had it not been such a gorgeous day, I would have ridden on it, seemed a shame to go indoors even for just a bit!
Next time I am there, I think those pretty painted horses will be seeing me! LOL!

Crossing back across the bridge, this is the view of the Hunter Museum. It is a lovely building built upon a bluff overlooking the river. (We didn't have time to visit there but hopefully we will next time!)

The Chattanooga Riverwalk extends for 16.1 miles along the southern banks of the Tennessee river. (Yes, I typed that correctly! Over 16 miles!!) There are lovely spots to enjoy the sunsets.

I just heard that Loretta Lynn died today. She was 90 years old. I've told you before how much I loved the film based upon her autobiography, "Coal Miner's Daughter"! It was one of my Daddy's favorite films too.   Loretta Lynn wrote most of own songs but one that was a big hit for her was the song "One's On The Way". It was written by Shel Silverstein,  the same man who wrote "A Boy Named Sue" for Johnny Cash. 

Take care, my friends!  Enjoy "ever" single day! (That is how Lorretta Lynn said "every", just like my Daddy.)