Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Tis The Season (For Music!)

 Just in case you missed my last post, I told you that our friends had treated us to "A Christmas Cabaret" here in our small town which was put on by The New Depot Players.  Lots of songs!  One of them was sung by a petite young woman but like Brenda Lee, she really belted it out! (She sang and then, went around the little theater imploring the gentlemen to "please come home". After all, they are actors!)   This song is being played a lot and by many singers but listen...the one we heard right here in Conyers, GA was wonderful! Can you guess which song it is? If I say I "love" it, can you guess?  "Baby, Please Come Home for Christmas"! (Big hit for the wonderful Darlene Love!)  

Another song that I keep singing/humming (and I really might be driving even myself nuts with it) is a song by someone from....England!  Oh yes, it has been covered by many artists now but the original was a great vocal and I am happy to say that he is also the songwriter! Sadly, George Michael is no longer with us but this song will remain, "Last Christmas".   In the show that we saw, the young women singers combined their voices to sing this song and it was most effective. 

As much as I love Christmas songs, I also love the anticipation of Christmas, the quiet season of Advent.  The two CD's that I listen to leading up to Christmas are the ones that I have shown you above! The music from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "The Nutcracker Suite" by the London Philharmonic Orchestra are my favorites! (It is interesting to read about Charles Schulz and how he had to not only work on letting the network agree to this music from a jazz artist but also to allow him to quote from the King James Bible.)


Let's see, I have given you four videos here! Now, go wrap some presents as you listen to these tunes!  Take care, everyone! And remember music is for all! Tis the season! 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Please Come Home for Christmas


Just a few photos here from Conyers, Georgia! In that last photo, I am on a bench with Santa in front of the old train depot which is now used as a welcome center.  (Can you see the train tracks behind the fence? No passenger trains now, but freight trains rumble through on a regular basis!)  At one time, the depot was in danger of being torn down, but a group of citizens banded together, and it was saved. (It has been used in quite a few films. I was pleased to recognize it in a movie with Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman. It was "Identity Thief". Watch it when you can! It is very funny!) Also, the theater group here used to have plays in the depot. When a train came through, the actors would freeze in place until the train has passed! That always got a round of applause! Now, the actors have their own little theater in town, and I am pleased to tell you that our friends gave us tickets to see a performance- A Christmas Cabaret! (By the New Depot Players.)

I have been driving everyone crazy humming the songs ever since the show. Want to know some of the songs? 

A group of the men were grouped around a bar, and they started singing a great song that was a big hit for the Eagles!  I found a video for you which I think you will really like! (Please bear with me on this video, there is some talking at first but it's well worth the wait for the song!) "Please Come Home for Christmas".

Don Henley mentions the songwriter's name is Charles Brown. I found ANOTHER video that has Charles Brown himself singing his song!  I find it interesting that not very much was changed when the Eagles did it.  I don't blame them. It is a great song!

So, I have only told you just ONE of the songs from the concert! I have more! To be continued....  Happy Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (Break It To Me Gently)

 December 5, 2023- Brenda Lee is at the top of the Billboard Top 100 with "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"! It is 65 years since it was first released.  Just last month, Brenda did her first music video ever, lip syncing the song with her friends Tanya Tucker and another Georgia Girl, Trish Yearwood. (Yes, Trish Yearwood is from just down the road from me, Monticello, Georgia!)   I saw the clip on TV where Brenda Lee was given the news that her song was at number one!  Of course, that reminds me of a song....

Recently, when our son visited us at Thanksgiving, I asked him if he knew a certain song. The answer was in the negative, so I was happy to share it with him.  After hearing it, he looked at me and said, "That was perfect".  Now, instead of good news, think of being given bad news. You would want it broken gently, wouldn't you?

The lyrics to "Break It To Me Gently" were written by a woman, Diane Lambert. (Of course, they were!) I think that Brenda Lee is not only a great singer but a great actress as well to portray the kind of heartache in this song. She married at the age of 18 and is still married to the same man.

 "Little Miss Dynamite" indeed!

Just in case you haven't seen the music video that she did of "Rockin", here it is!  (It was the first one she had ever done.) Brenda Lee has also spoken recently about the SONGWRITER of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", Johnny Marks! Brenda is a woman after my heart reminding us of songwriters!) Johnny Marks deserves a post of his own, stay tuned!

Happy December, everyone!

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Georgia Girl With a Heart for The World


The memorial service for Rosalynn Carter, former First Lady was shown on live TV here in Georgia, her home state. Did you see it too? I found it to be very moving. I loved the hymns (''Blessed Assurance", "Great Is Thy Faithfulness", "What Wondrous Love" and one that we had when Richard and I married -"Morning Has Broken".)  I loved it when the grandson welcomed all the First Ladies who attended the service and especially the two of them with "their lovely husbands"! (This was referring to Bill Clinton and President Biden who were also there.)  I noticed that Bill Clinton didn't hear that remark at first and had to ask Hillary to repeat it but then he chuckled wholeheartedly! 

  When I was thinking of a title for this post, I couldn't help but think that Rosalynn was a woman from a small town in South Georgia but that she truly did have a heart for the whole world. I am also thinking of another "Georgia Girl" with a heart for the world who also died this month of November- Jimi Bowen Forward.  You may read her obituary just here.   

I worked for Jimi for almost twenty years at Bowen's Travel, the travel agency owned by Jimi. (At a time when not too many companies were women-owned).   I have so many memories! Back in the 1980's, you could just jump on a plane and Jimi certainly did that.  She liked to take groups to New York City from Atlanta, just for one day! We would leave on the first flight of the day and then come back on the very last flight returning. She would do this on the first week of December and we would be able to see the Christmas lights and do a bit of shopping. Very exciting for Conyers folks! She met up with me when I was in London and we had tea at the Ritz. (She insisted on paying, you know she did, that was Jimi.) When our son was almost 4 years old, she made sure that we were able to go on a Disney cruise! (Wish you could have seen Christopher's face when he first saw Mickey Mouse round the corner! He ran into his arms!)  Jimi was once married to a man from Wales, so that is something that we had in common, both married to Brits! Jimi remarried and the gentleman was one of those who always asked for Jimi to book his trips.  Sadly, he died a few years ago and I think it is recognized how much that can affect the health of the remaining spouse.

I am in awe of those who can write so well and give such a great tribute to someone who has died.  I find it very difficult. Jimi's daughter, Allie might read this blog and if she does, I hope she knows that I am sincere in comparing her to Rosalynn Carter.  I think it is fitting.

Both of them such strong, kind, beautiful, intelligent women! May they both rest in peace. They make me proud to be from Georgia.


Statue from The Monastery here in Rockdale County with 
Fothergilla bush -In the spring, it has lovely white flowers but, in the autumn, lovely colorful leaves.


Not sure if this will stay on my blog for long, but I have the part of the service where her grandson spoke....

Monday, November 13, 2023

The Dimpker Brothers/Amazing Autumn


Since I wrote my last post about "Now and Then" by the Beatles- I might as well write some more about it! Did you know that it is now number ONE in the charts in the UK? Not only that it is the fastest selling single of this year in the UK. It has broken a record for being the longest gap between the first and last number one single for any musical artist/group.  Isn't that wonderful? Even better for me is the thought of young people hearing it and liking it too. The Beatles are for all generations!

I hope you can hear the cover version by The Dimpker Brothers. They are actual brothers from Sweden, and I think they are really good. Just them singing and playing on their guitars, nothing fancy just a beautiful melody with amazing vocals. Have you heard of any other covers of this song that you like? Let me know!

November has been amazing with our autumn colors! The hickory trees are golden, the sourwoods are a lovely red or peach color, and the red maples are the brightest red you can imagine! (I don't blame you Canada, I would put that on my flag if I could!)

Aren't Richard's photos just gorgeous? You know I love them too! I must admit that I do ask him to take several shots, including this last one from the Kroger parking lot....

Hope you are all doing well and finding joy in nature and wherever you can!

Saturday, November 4, 2023

"Now And Then"- (I Miss You)


You all must have now heard the song that is called "the last song of the Beatles".  The official music video is above.  John's vocals at the beginning of this song just really tears at your heart. (What a beautiful voice he had besides his amazing songwriting skills!)  I have to say it right here- I love the Beatles and always will! Seeing them on The Ed Sullivan Show as a child in 1964 was like the world coming into color. It is as simple as that. 

If it is sad for us to watch this video, you also have to think what this must have been like for the remaining two to have produced this- Paul and Ringo. George did his guitar part back in the 1990's when Yoko gave them the tape. (Love you for always, George.) At that time, they could not isolate John's voice but with the technology available now, they did a great job. I, for one, am very glad to hear it.

                  "Tangerine trees and marmalade skies".

We didn't need this song to remind us how much we miss John and George, but it truly brings it home to us.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Stephen Sanchez (and Sourwood Trees)



Just found this young American singer, his name is Stephen Sanchez! Hope you like this song, " I Would Never Fall In Love Again".  He is young (his birthday is in just a couple of days- Nov. 4th and he will turn 21.) I read just a bit about him and besides liking Elvis, he also admires the vocals of The Ink Spots! (Who Elvis also really liked.)  He played at Glastonbury Festival in June 2023 performing this same song with Elton John. The above video is from the BBC from one month ago. (You know I have that English connection!)

Anyway, it is November, and I am hoping that you are all doing well and enjoying the autumn.  October had its ups and downs but hey, it's a new month now, right?  Gotta stay positive-you don't have to but it really does help in life! Oh, and laugh a lot and listen to music! (Did y'all see that comedian I told you about- Nate Bargatze was on Saturday Night Live this past weekend? So funny!)

Sourwood trees- if you don't know them, you should! 

Stephen Sanchez- if you don't know HIM, you should! LOL! 


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

"This Too Shall Pass" -Listen to This Song!

  I have told you about our son's musical talent on this blog.  Now, for the first time on YouTube, "This Too Shall Pass", written and performed by Christopher!

This Too Shall Pass - YouTube

There!  Oh, I do hope you will be able to click on that link above and hear his song! He wrote the song, played the instruments, is doing all the singing (including harmonies) and also arranged the song himself.   When we were in Nashville before we went to see Ringo Starr in concert, we went to a local bar where a young man was singing and playing his guitar.  After he finished one of his songs, he looked over at Christopher and said, "I was trying not to sing too loudly, since I wanted to hear your harmonies". (C. was singing right along with him, of course!)   See? I am not the only one who appreciates Christopher's great voice! 

All these photos are from a local park here in Rockdale County, where we live.  All made by my husband, Richard!  He is also a great musician too.  Where do you think our son gets his talent? From me? HA! No way!  

Thursday, October 12, 2023



Color me happy! You can see me smiling amongst the Yellow Daisies at Arabia Mountain.  They bloom every September and we are always glad to see them. (They are called daisies, but they are in the sunflower family: Helianthus porteri.)

We also have Yellow Daisies in our own backyard!  Here is a photo of what they looked like....

Look carefully at those petals above...do you see the petals are rather rounded? And the plants themselves are not that tall. These are the Yellow Daisies that have re-seeded themselves from last year! 

  There is another yellow flower that blooms in October rather than September and it is the Swamp sunflower (or narrow leaved sunflower) and for the first time this year...we have it in our own yard!

Ta-DAH!!  It is also in the sunflower family:  Helianthus angustifolious! 

In Greek, "helios" means "sun" and "anthos" means "flower". Therefore, anytime you see the word "Helianthus" you know it is in the sunflower family!

Isn't it a beauty? We have it in a pot.  Back in the Spring, we were walking down Main Street in our town of Conyers and there was a woman selling plants from her front yard. She had a sign saying "Swamp sunflowers" but when I asked her about it.... she said she was sold out.  She must have seen the disappointment on my face because she THEN said, "Oh, but let me go and dig some up for you!". Well, you can bet that made me smile! For $2.00, I have this lovely flower blooming just now! It can grow very tall; we just saw some today that must have been 10 feet high! 

Both of these sunflowers that I have shown you are NATIVE to this area!  We have seen all of them growing wild, either near the trails where we walk or just growing beside the roads.
"Yellow Submarine"!

 Richard and I were treated to a wonderful gift from our son and daughter-in-law.  They gave us tickets to see Ringo Starr!  Oh my goodness, it was most enjoyable! We saw Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium at the end of September.  As lifelong fans of the Beatles, I can't tell you how special this was for both of us!  You know I waved at Ringo, and he waved back at me! HA! My son will tell you that is the truth!

 So wonderful to hear a big crowd sing along to "Give Peace A Chance", although it made me feel a bit sad thinking of the two Beatles that are no longer with us, John and George.  

My friends, I do hope that you are all doing well.  October is flying by now and the colors of the leaves are just beginning to change and today I even had to wear a jacket while we walked! And if you ever get a chance to see Ringo, wave to him and say I told you go!

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Let's Give Them Pumpkin To Talk About


September has flown by so quickly that October is upon us and pumpkins are everywhere!  Why just today at the local grocery store, we saw bags and bags of Halloween chocolate and treats. One bag had 405 pieces inside! (Four hundred and FIVE, in case you think I typed that number incorrectly!)  Oh goodness, I am remembering going to "Trick or Treat" with my siblings. We walked around in our neighborhood in our homemade costumes carrying paper grocery bags. Sometimes we would encounter older couples who didn't have any candy and they would apologize and say "Please, don't play a trick on us!".  Oh my, that made me feel so bad. ("No, no... we would never do that, it's just an expression!" I remember saying that to them!) At the end of the evening, it was so much fun to pour out all the "treats" and look at what we had been given!

I haven't gotten my "tiger stripe" little pumpkin yet, but I will!
This is a photo of a past pumpkin! I love it!

When our son was in the first grade, I read out to him something from the newspaper about a couple from the state of New York who had grown the largest pumpkin on record for that year. When I told him the weight and dimensions, he wondered how big would that make the pumpkin? We got some (very large) pieces of paper together and sketched the size upon it.  Thinking that was the end of it, I kept reading my newspaper and then, started on housework.  Noticing that Christopher was very quiet, I went to check on him.... he had gotten those pieces of paper that we had taped together of the huge pumpkin and had colored all of it in orange! Wow, that was so much work! I told him to take it to school on Monday and to show his teacher.  He did so and she had him put it up in the hallway on a bulletin board. (It overlapped the bulletin board!)  The class then wrote to the couple who had grown the pumpkin, and they wrote a very sweet letter back to the class! 

 There, that is my pumpkin story! 

September photos for you....

Our cereus cactus bloomed! We have had this cactus since 1994! It is a night bloomer, so we have to really watch it, or we sometimes miss it!

We have roses AND a swimming pool in our backyard....

Okay, it is a swimming pool for birds but still, we get a lot of enjoyment watching our little feathered friends! Our yellow daisies are blooming in our backyard also and we do love them! (If you remember, I had them in pots and they have just re-seeded themselves and we have now enjoyed them for years,) They are natives, and belong to the sunflower family. (Helianthus porteri).

Here they are at Arabia Mountain!  They are like this every year!

How are you y'all doing?  Please let me know....

"I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends". 


Thursday, September 7, 2023

Can You Feel That? (Happy Birthday, Richard!)


Sometimes, I wake up from a dream and there will be a few words that are somehow lodged into my brain... "Straight up with no irony" is a phrase that I woke up to recently. The day before I had liked a TV advertisement so much that I paused the TV so that Richard could see it when he came back inside from his gardening.  

Here, let me show it to you....

There, were you able to see it?  It is called "A Beautiful Silence", It was filmed in Yosemite National Park and while it uses actors, the young actor is actually deaf, his name is Keivonn Woodard.  

 "Share the special feeling that nature brings forth".

And I might not ever make it to Yosemite myself, so I am grateful to see it in this commercial.  (I am reading "Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir" by Linnie Marsh Wolfe.)

Toccoa Falls, Georgia 

The expression "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" is a good one. Look how great our son is with plants! Just like his Dad. (The two photos above are from 2020 just before the lockdown.)

Hey! Today is Richard's birthday!  I must have a song for you with this post.  It is most likely a song that Richard sings every day....
"Ain't No Pleasing You"!  LOL!

Take care, everyone!

Wednesday, August 30, 2023



Sometimes you just want to go somewhere that's pretty! I have photos here for you from a small restaurant that is only a few miles from our house, but it feels like you are in a faraway place. It is attached to a bookstore which makes it all the nicer for us. This is in a very old house that was once a fair size restaurant. Back when they filmed "Dukes of Hazzard" in the next county over, Carroll O'Connor was here almost every evening to dine. It was called "Michaelangelo's" then and he had good taste because they had very good food. (Once, he was behind me at a stop light. When I recognized him in my rear-view mirror, I mouthed the words, "I love you!"  He did a deep bow even while seated in his car! That's a nice memory.  Probably told you this story before but I don't see stars every day of the week!)

Abracadabra!  Did you instantly think of a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat?  I just learned that the word has been around for many centuries. It somehow means the equivalent of "I will create as I speak" or "I create like the word". It all seems a bit misty to me as the exact origin of it, but it seems that people felt a certain power to it and would write the word in a triangular shape (like I have shown you above) and have it above their doorways so as to ward off diseases.   They did this during the Great Plague of London which was in 1665.  Daniel Defoe (the same author who wrote "Robinson Crusoe") wrote dismissively of them doing so.  If you get the chance, I wish you could read a bit about Daniel Defoe, I think his life story would make a very good film!  One of his books, "The Storm" was about a hurricane that hit Britain in 1704.  It is considered one of the first works of modern journalism as he gave first-hand accounts of those who had survived the storm.  Florida has just now had another hurricane and I have been watching the news thinking of all those affected. Here is what Daniel Defoe had to say about the hurricane in 1704...

"No pen could describe it, nor tongue express it, nor thought conceive it unless by one in the extremity of it".

There, doesn't that sound exactly true?  And perfectly expressed?

There has been such bad news recently but one piece of good news.... did you see the story of the children that were rescued from the cable car in Pakistan? It took them a while to figure out how to attempt the rescue, but they were successful, and all were saved! They showed a photo of the cable car itself and I remarked that it reminded me of a tin of Spam, it was very small, and it only had a metal gate at either end. (I am not criticizing in any way, just observing how small and open it would have been for them, dangling like that above those mountains!)  

I have had this video on here before, but I really like it, I hope you do as well! Such a peaceful tune. It is the theme song from the movie "Up"....it is called "Married Life". (Thinking of our dear son and darling daughter in law who just married in the Spring.) xx

Hope you are all doing well, my friends.  So many people are getting Covid! I bet we will have to start wearing masks again, you know I still have some!

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Flipping Caterpillars!


The above butterfly is a Red Spotted Purple. (I didn't name it, folks! Just telling you that is what it is! Limenitis arthemis.) Butterflies are so amazing, their whole life cycle! Now, I must tell you about something (and you might have a clue from my post title)....

Yesterday, I was astonished to witness something on the small sassafras tree beside our walkway.  It was a spicebush swallowtail caterpillar.  As I was watching it, it began moving on the leaf. It would appear that something was moving out of its mouth...but I have told you before that the false "eyes" are really at the BACK END of the caterpillar....so what I was seeing was the caterpillar sending out the sticky substance to enclose itself inside the leaf. Now, here is the thing...the caterpillar completely turned itself around in a blink of an eye! Truly, it was just like that! One micro-second it was turned with the fake eyes on the top and then, the fake eyes were at the bottom! Flipping caterpillars, Batman!  (Sorry, watched too much TV as a kid.) 

If you came across a children's play area beside a hiking trail and there were no children around, would you play?  You know I did! I left this table with the blocks neatly stacked this way.  It looked much better than seeing it with the blocks all scattered!

"Summer Lightning" by Ralph McTell. 

Hope you like this song as much as I do! Richard can play this on the guitar and he is just as good as Ralph McTell! I promise he is!

Take care, everyone!  August has been a crazy month! (I just typed "moth" instead of "month", but for me and my research on moths and butterflies, maybe I got that right the first time!)

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Nate Bargatze and A Donkey's Head in Fairyland


Don't know about anyone else, but I could surely do with something to make me laugh! What about you?  I watched a comedian on TV last night and I am hoping I can find a video for you....

There, hope you can see him!  The show we watched was called "The Tennessee Kid" because the comedian is Nate Bargatze and he is from Nashville, TN.  In his show, he talks about various things from his life and one of the things that he mentioned is that his father is a clown who later became a magician! (How could he NOT get into comedy, he asks us! LOL!)  I just looked up that special "The Tennessee Kid" and it was filmed in Duluth, Georgia in 2019. Gee, if only I had known about it, I could have been at that filming!  I don't know why I am just now hearing about him, ya'll probably know all about this comedian, but hey, I don't get out much! If you are able to see this special, I thought it was very funny.... I tried to find the bit where he talked about the film "The Sixth Sense" but couldn't find a clip, so now, you all will JUST have to see it!  The clip that I did give you above is about the airport, and I think is pretty funny also.

Before my computer completely freezes on me, I wanted to tell you that I saw the film "A Midsummer Night's Dream" from 1935! I am sure you all have heard of it, written by William Shakespeare, of course but have you read it? I haven't and neither have I seen a movie about it but now that I have.... just wondering, had Shakespeare been eating mushrooms when he wrote that? Oh dear, showing my uneducated self here but see that film and you will get what I mean. (Olivia De Havilland was the best acting done in that film, in my opinion.)  It also reminded me of a poem that had this line:  "Who but our friend Will would put a donkey's head in Fairyland?".  There, I am paraphrasing that since I can't find the exact quote, but I think you see how the poet came up with that!

The photo that I have above was taken in London back in 2019, so maybe that is why I missed that comedian when he was near me! Notice Shakespeare holding the skull, so that should remind you of Hamlet. Did you know that Shakespeare lost a son who was named "Hamnet"?  His son was only eleven years old, and a few years later, Shakespeare wrote "Hamlet".  (You might think that I wrote the son's name as a typo, but his son is "HAMNET", and the play is "HAMLET".)

Hope something here has made you laugh or brought a smile to you!
Richard took the above photo in a men's room and thought it was amusing. I mean, why would you wash your shoes in the sink? This was at the Botanical Gardens that we went to back in June. (This sign was NOT in the Ladies' room, only the Men's!) Anyway, if something makes you laugh, it's all good, I say! As long as it's not offensive or mean that is, and I meant to tell you that Nate Bargatze is considered a really nice guy and very funny without resorting to insults or bad language. So, YAY!

Take care, my friends and keep laughing!


Tuesday, July 25, 2023

The Color Pink


Hey! Are we living in a Barbie world right now or what? Wow, the hype over the two movies that were released this past Friday "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" was really something, wasn't it?  Did anybody see those movies? Some folks saw both films on the same day! What did you think?  I know I told y'all before about the color pink but just in case anybody missed it....

The color pink takes its name from the flowers called "pinks". Now this doesn't mean they are all pink in color, got that? Pinks are members of the genus DIANTHUS.  The dianthus flowers have a "snipped" look on their petals. You know, like someone has been at them with pinking shears! Pink as a color only came about in the late 17th century.  I have fond memories of the "pinks" in my mother-law's garden in England.  I have photos of pink flowers for you here but only the last flower is an actual "pink", it is a wildflower that I have shown you before, it is called a "fire pink" and it is the most beautiful shade of bright red.  (Sorry it is out of focus, but you can still see the "snipped" petals, can't you?)

Hope all of you are in the pink, my friends! Across the Universe! Take care!

Hope you are able to hear the video that I have for you above!