Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Oh, Say Can You SING? (National Anthem)


Last night was the Home Run Derby which is always at the beginning of the All-Star Break for Major League Baseball.  Of course, before it began there was a rendition of our National Anthem.  Now, it is a very difficult song to sing but this morning it was all on the news that it was a terrible rendition.  I could give you a link to it but honestly, you can look it up, if you like....it was by a country singer named Ingrid Andress.  (As I am typing this post, Richard just told me that the singer said she was drunk and has now admitted herself into a facility. Oh dear, let's hope she gets the help she needs.)

I quite enjoyed watching a lot of the Euros. (I spent loads of time looking up the history of each and every city in Germany where the games were played!)  Richard made sure to record the ten minutes or so before the games started just so I could hear the National Anthems. (I only know the words to two of them, "God Save the King" and "La Marseillaise"- the anthems for the United Kingdom and France. I sang along to them both!)

For all the countries, I liked seeing how many of the players and coaches sang along to their national anthems. Quite often, they sang with great gusto and that also included many of those in the audience. The National Anthem for the USA is "The Star-Spangled Banner" and I while I really like the song myself, it IS a truly challenging song to sing!

I am not the first one to say that we really should change it to "America the Beautiful".  There, I said it and I say it again..."America the Beautiful" for the National Anthem! 

Did you know that it used to be the custom for the National Anthem to be played at the end of the films in British theaters? Yes! Ray Bradbury wrote a story about this, "The Anthem Sprinters". He must have found it very amusing when he was spending time in Ireland and heard of men who tried to run out of the theatre before the National Anthem started. The guys would race out as fast as they could, the last man out would have to buy the drinks at the pub! 

I looked this up and it states that this practice stopped sometime in the 1970's but it seems to me that Richard and I went to a play in 1985 in Eastbourne, and I was surprised that "God Save the Queen" was played at the end. Maybe this was still done in certain places, or perhaps in live theater? 

Of course, it didn't bother me one bit - I sang right along!

Now, if you have a chance, do YOU sing along?  During baseball games, we are asked to sing along to "Take Me Out to the Ballgames".  People do sing but without a lot of enthusiasm.  Such a shame! 

There are a lot of videos of "America the Beautiful" but I am very fond of this version by Ray Charles.  He did this just after 9/11 and it was much needed. Hope you like it!

Okay now, I have to be practical. I doubt that the USA will ever change their National Anthem. In that case, it should be sung with a special consideration. Here, let's see if I can find one that we all will like.... Trish Yearwood!  Hey, guess what?  Both these artists, Ray Charles and Trish Yearwood are from Georgia. 

                                                     "God Save the King"

                              "La Marseillaise" 


In other news, our night blooming cereus bloomed!  This is very exciting!  Just as the name states, it only blooms at night, you have to get up very early to get a photo of it before it closes up.

Richard and I were invited to a garden party, and you know we attended! The gardens were lovely as was the home.

     Who is that crazy lady trying to hide behind the potted ferns?

Lots of videos on here for you but hey, I could have found more! HA! Take care!

Sunday, June 30, 2024

1969 Music/Funny Photos/ "The Long Charade"


If you are as old as I am, you will remember 1969.  Can you remember all the music from that year? Our son was NOT around in 1969, yet he must know more about that year's music than I do.  He recently wrote not one but two pieces regarding that year's music! The first one about the beautiful, beguiling folk music is just here.  The second piece is of the epic rock masterpieces from 1969- you may read it just here! 

10 beautiful, beguiling and bold folk albums from 1969 (audiophix.com)

15 epic and influential American rock albums from 1969 (audiophix.com)

Just in case, I have the links above also!  

Okay folks, seen anything funny or unusual lately? Sometimes, things will just catch my eye and I wonder if anyone else notices. Did Walmart just run out of display boxes that they had to use a pesticide one in order to store these green bean seeds? "Kills fast- Up to 12 months!". Maybe people did notice this, it doesn't look as if anyone wants to buy these seeds! (Or maybe they only saw the price, $3.74 for seeds!)

This minion was on the back of a truck. I had to take a photo! Can you see that it is made of all kinds of tools and truck parts? So clever!

The next two photos are from the Chattanooga Train Station! I loved the old telephone booth.  The entire train station has now been restored or else, is still in the process of being restored. Since this post began with music, I might as well end this with a music trivia question. What was the very first gold record?  (Hint: this train station should give you a clue!)  Yes! It was "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra from 1942 which sold 1.2 million copies. There, see the things you learn from me? 


Please do read the music articles that Christopher wrote about on Audio Phix!  The first one about folk music has had, thousands of views!  And the second one, even if you don't have time to read it all, make sure you go to the end where he gives you his review of what he considers the best album of 1969. He truly put so much passion into it, it's simply wonderful how much knowledge he has about music! (You will have to read it now, to know what he considers the top album!)

OH! And I almost forgot, here is a video for you.  Now, the sound quality is not the best but it is Christopher from about 10 years ago and he and his friend, Tim wrote this song and performed it. Both were on guitars and both are singing.  "The Long Charade". (Typical guys, I think I would have put the camera down with something showing other than a heater vent! LOL!) Hey, that goes along with my funny photos!

Take care everyone! Keep finding amusement in the world...and music!

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Disney/Derry Girls- "Don't Rock the Boat!"


How are you all doing? Listen, I only have about 7 minutes of energy these days, so I better type this very quickly....

In my last post, I told you what book you should read.  Now, I will tell you what you should watch on TV!  And in connection with that, I hope you will watch the following video I am sharing here!

There, wasn't that wonderful? Apparently, it is a something that folks in Ireland have been doing at weddings and birthdays for decades.  "Rock the Boat" was a hit for The Hues Corporation in 1973.   This was shown on one of the episodes of "Derry Girls", which is a TV series that I want you to see! It is SO funny, I laughed until I cried.

The video is from Derry from May of this year.  They broke a World record with 1,888 people all lined up like that while seated on the street. And it was done for charity!  It is called a dance, but it is more of a swaying with arm movements to me which is meant to be an imitation of rowing a boat. I was most impressed by not only the number of people involved but also how perfectly they are in sync with one another.

Isn't it a joyful thing?  Wouldn't it be great for other cities to do this same thing?  Our son and daughter-in-law live in Chattanooga, which is right next to the mighty Tennessee River, don't you think the organizers there should do this too? There is a massive Riverwalk there, so lots of space for it!  With money being raised for charity, it would truly be something good to imitate.

Okay, I told you to watch "Derry Girls". Now, I MUST tell you how much I enjoyed watching "How Disney Built America". (It was on the History Channel). It was a five-part series, and I loved every minute of it!  You might think you know Walt Disney, but I promise you will learn more about him! And also, about his brother, Roy who was the one to handle the "money" side of things. Walt was the one with the dreams and the big ideas! There is also another man that I found fascinating, the one behind much of the merchandising, Kay Kaymen. Have any of you seen this series? Did you love it as much as I did? I always loved "Uncle Walt" as a kid, I am pleased to learn that I had great taste even as a child. What a guy!

Here are some "watery" photos for you. One from Eastbourne, England and the other from Georgia, USA!

 Don't Rock the Boat!   

  This has taken me longer than 7 minutes to type so, if there are any mistakes, blame my lack of energy!  

The previous record for the most people dancing to "Rock the Boat" was in Galway. I have that video for you too!

Friday, May 31, 2024

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

 Imagine this:

It is the first day of January in 1916, and you are trapped on an island of ice in Antarctica.   It is cold and you are hungry.  Returning from a trip across the ice, you are on skis and are almost back to camp....

Suddenly, and without warning, a giant head pops up from the ice! You run as fast as you can and shout for help! The animal - a sea leopard- springs out of the water and comes straight after you! It almost reaches you when suddenly, it goes underwater again, in the slushy part of the ice. You have almost made it to the side of the ice floe when the sea leopard's head comes right up in front of you!  The animal has tracked your shadow across the ice. One of your mates has heard your screams and has a rifle.  The animal tries to bite HIM but he gets a shot off and kills the creature. When they bring the carcass of the sea leopard into camp, it measures 12 feet long and they estimate it to be about 1,100 pounds.  They give the jawbone to you as a souvenir, it is nearly 9 inches across.


The above story is a true one and it is one of the accounts in the extraordinary book : "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing.  Perhaps you have read many books about Ernest Shackleton or maybe you don't know one thing about him. Either way, you should read this book! Alfred Lansing's book was published in 1959 and he had been able to interview many of those who had been on this expedition and to also study their journals. (What wonderful writers they all were, and so very good to include so many of their own words in this book!)


  Led by Sir Ernest Shackelton, the polar expedition had set sail on August 1914 for Antarctica on the Endurance.  It became trapped in ice and finally sank on Nov. 21, 1915. You will be filled with admiration for Ernest Shackleton, I promise that you will! Here's the thing: you will like ALL these men on this trip, you will! It is a truly wonderful story of survival and of the power of being positive.  I don't think I am giving anything away by telling you that ALL SURVIVED! Did you know that many major corporations now have classes that follow the leadership techniques of Sir Ernest Shackleton? It's true! 

My friends, I have read a great many books of non-fiction in my life. THIS book might possibly be one of the best.  This should be an example of how to write, not just non fiction but how to write, period.

As I started to write this post, I recalled how much I loved giving book reports in school and how much my classmates enjoyed them. I always had to start my report in front of the class with a true "hook" for the guys who never read books unless they had to do so.   That is what made me think of opening with this account of the sea leopard! I hope you will understand my line of thought.

Of course, I could tell you a lot more about this book and what happened on this expedition to Antarctica, but I want you to read the book!

ENDURANCE: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing.



On the cover of this book, that is an actual photo of the ship stuck in the ice!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

C's Caverns Concert Critique!

 Last week, our son and daughter-in-law went to a concert. Not just any concert, it was in a cavern! Now, I was just a WEE bit worried about it since there was severe weather predicted for that area, including a tornado watch. (They live in Chattanooga, Tennessee and The Caverns are in Pelham, Tennessee.) The cave itself is perfectly safe. You are inside a cave! It was the journey back that had me worried.

 Even though it rained on them, the worst of the storm came after they were safely home. Thank Goodness!  (I once asked my Daddy when did parents stop worrying about their kids. His reply? "Never!").

They had gone to see a British band called "Slowdive". Christopher has written about it on the Audio Phix site! Now, this type of music is called "Shoegaze" and even though I can't say that it is my cup of tea, C. wrote about it in such a way that I....well, it just blows me away, truly it does! Please read it if you can!  I know you all think I am just a proud Mama, and of course, I am but I also really appreciate a piece of writing that shows true passion!   You may read it just here! 

He also tells you about the venue itself, which sounds so interesting! Richard and I haven't been there yet but hope to see it one day with Christopher and Sarah!

If you happen to look at this post and the link no longer works, if you type in Audio Phix and Slowdive into a search engine, you should find it! 


So, how are you all doing these days? Richard and I have been very busy, but we still try to get out on our walks! I was so pleased to find this blue-eyed grass beside a trail! That dear little blue flower pleases me no end! It really isn't a grass, but a tiny iris! Isn't that something? It is a native and if I had my way, it would be everywhere! 

The bright yellow flowers below are in a pot on our porch! We think we got them from the lady on Main Street in Conyers last Spring. I say "we think" because, honestly, we don't remember! However, when we walked past that same house recently, we saw these flowers blooming in her yard. We believe that it was a bonus plant for us when we bought the swamp sunflower from her!  These yellow flowers are evening primroses. We also see evening primroses at Panola Mountain, they are just a different variety.  I love them both!

 From Panola Mountain, you can see Stone Mountain on the horizon! It looks like we are in the mountains here, but I assure you we are not! This is Metro Atlanta and there is a busy, busy Interstate Highway between where we are here and Stone Mountain! AND tons of airplanes going overhead from THE busiest airport in the world. (Not kidding!)  Never mind, I only show you beauty on my blog! LOL!

Even though Richard and I don't get out much, I do love looking at places that others are able to visit! My friend in Germany has been visiting the Black Forest and you really must look at her posts! Oh my, how much I would love those hikes! OH! And where they stayed, in that comfy room! I could just sink into those lovely chairs! You may see them just here.

(I said "them", that links to just one, but look also at the ones before that one too, if that makes sense!)

Goodness me, I am advising you to link on some things here, but I promise you, it will be worth it! You will read about a well enjoyed concert in The Caverns in Tennessee and also, go on a hike in the Black Forest of Germany! 

You're welcome!  

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

James Bond Songs Ranked


Dutch irises in bloom in my garden.

James Bond. 007.

You must have fond memories of all the James Bond films!  How about the songs that would play at the beginning of the movies? Now, if you can remember them, perhaps you might ponder a moment and tell me which one is most memorable to you, the one that you might think is the very best?  If you are stretching your brain here to recall these songs, never fear!  I have a link to a piece written by our son!  He has ALL the songs listed and what is more, they are listed from #24 to #1, with #1 being the best, IN HIS HUMBLE OPINION. (As one might say these days.)  

Hope you might have time to click on this link and read this! Please do!

Nobody does it better: Ranking all James Bond theme songs (audiophix.com)

So, what do you think?  What is your favorite, or do you have one?

Now, I have given this some thought and I agree with Christopher!  "Nobody Does It Better" is the one for me! I wonder if I might think that way because it was so exciting in the film when we first heard it, when the Union Jack was displayed across the screen as a parachute! Also, Richard said that when he first saw that film at Leicester Square in London everyone let out a cheer!  Isn't it funny how our emotions can influence us in our opinion? 

Christopher, if you read this post - I really like the way you write. Keep up the good work.  And honestly, no one does it better.

 Baby, you're the best! 

Bandstand in Eastbourne, England

Audio Phix- James Bond Songs

Friday, April 26, 2024

April- Amazing in 2024


It pleases me to tell you that I consider the whole month of April as my birthday month. Think about it, why not?  If someone says to me, "Oh, I can't see you on that date or I will be out of town". Then, I say, "Oh, no worries- I celebrate it for the entire 30 days!  Isn't that sensible? I think the whole world should come around to my way of thinking!  

Here in Georgia at the beginning of April, buds are just coming out on the trees. Within two weeks, the leaves are almost fully out and by the end of April, it looks like summer! It astonishes me every year- EVERY SINGLE YEAR.  Flowers suddenly burst into bloom and honestly, is that not the very best thing one can have for a birthday?

I have some photos for you here, I hope you will like!

The pink azaleas in our yard must have really liked the rains we have had; this was about the best showing EVER.

I saw a tiny pot at the reduced section of a local nursery. Poppies! It's on my front steps now! How joyful to see the buds POP open! They really do, you know.

I was very excited to spot this!  It is coral honeysuckle, and it is native! It was beside one of our walking trails. In strong sunlight here, you can't really see how bright red it is! The hummingbirds love it.  So do I.

Hey! Can you spot me in the photo?  That is a rock outcrop, beside the same walking trail.  It is just like the granite rock that I have shown you from Arabia Mountain. That is why this county is called ROCKDALE County!  The red that you see are plants called "diamorpha". When people see them, they wonder about the "red stuff"!

Don't know about anyone else but there is so much going on these days, I feel the need for a peaceful kind of song. "Take Me On", the big hit by A-ha from 1985 might not be the first song that comes to mind, but I hope you can hear the video that I have here of someone singing and playing the very song.  How different it sounds when it is played slowly!  (Don't get me wrong, I love both versions.) I notice the young man doesn't even attempt the highest notes but hey, that's perfectly fine by me.  David Hayden is his name. I think he sings and plays with great heart and soul. I love it!   

"Heart and Soul". Do you know that is the only song that I can play on the piano? Am I the only one? Hey, it's a good one! Someone showed me how to play it when I was a very little girl. I have never forgotten it.  

Hope you are all doing well, my friends! April is almost over now, so I hope you are enjoying it wherever you are in this world of ours!


Friday, April 5, 2024

Glossolalia (Not Just Gibberish)

Guess what, our son has just written a piece about music on a site called "Audio Phix!  Yes!  Now, I'm I being terrible if I ask you to look at it and read it? Pretty please, will you?

Here is the link-  Revisiting Cocteau Twins' 'Heaven or Las Vegas' (audiophix.com)

"Glossolalia", you should know that word now if you read the article!

(I think of it as from the Bible, meaning "talking in tongues". Perhaps you do too?)

It would make me so happy if you clicked on that link! (It would also please Christopher very much also!)  Oh yes and share it with your friends! 

The following song is "Half Gifts" by the Cocteau Twins.  It is a live performance and very often, I love to share a video of something that has been performed in front of a live audience. I love her angelic voice and the beautiful instruments.

Can you think of a song that uses unusual sounds that somehow makes the song even better than just using words? You know what I am thinking of....

  "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"!  If you are not singing yet, what is stopping you? (Lots to say about the history of this song, perhaps that will be C's next article!)

Let me know if you were able to read Christopher's online article!

You guys are the BEST!  I thank you sincerely.

Maybe you can't buy
but you can listen to 
and that's almost the

Thursday, April 4, 2024



We had a tornado in the early hours of the morning yesterday here in Rockdale County, Georgia where we live!  Thankfully, there were no injuries or deaths but lots of property damage.  Here is a video for you....

Conyers tornado damage: 'Priceless' family photos rescued | 11alive.com

UPDATE:  After I posted this, I saw on the news that there were two injuries. I hope they are not too severe, and those two people will recover quickly. I am surprised there were not more injuries.

We have friends who live in this neighborhood.  Once again, we are thankful that they got through this storm with only limbs down in their yard. 

This county had one of the worst tornadoes in Georgia history.  It was back in 1973 and trust me, no weather radar or warnings in those days. Here is a link to that-  Rockdale marks 40 years since worst tornado in history | News | rockdalenewtoncitizen.com

You can bet that I pay strict attention to any weather warnings!

Take care, everyone!  Do any of you watch the TV coverage of the Masters Golf Tournament from Augusta and admire the azaleas and dogwood trees? Guess what, they are like that all over Georgia!  (My photos aren't that great, but they are so pretty.)

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Song Memory/Happy Anniversary Wishes


"In The Pines"!  Oh goodness, how this brings back memories for me.

I hope you are able to see the video that I have here for you of Dolly Parton singing this song along with her family.  "In The Pines" is one of the many songs that my Granddaddy used to sing.   The funny thing, he was a really good singer but when he had to sing around other people, he would become a bit shy and would sing very quietly, so that you could hardly hear him.  My grandmother would also become much quieter and would often put her hand over her mouth when she laughed. It surprised me to watch this video and see how Dolly's parents were like this too! Watching this was like going back in time. Isn't it funny how just one little song can bring back memories?  Has this happened to you, by hearing just one song?

Look, here I am getting in the way of Richard's photos again!

That is the diamorpha in the first photo (the red stuff) and that is coral honeysuckle in the second photo!  I was so pleased to identify the coral honeysuckle, I have never seen it before.  Both of these are native to this area.  It is a great interest of mine to walk and to search for wildflowers.


Before March is over, I wanted to say "Happy Anniversary" to my son and daughter-in-law!  Remember they got married last year in March?  If you didn't see the post about it, you can see it just here!

I titled it "Here Comes The Son".  Can you believe it, it says that this is my most viewed post!

There is a photo for you!  Did I take this or did Richard?  Let's say that I did! LOL!

I am certain that I took this one!  Don't they look so very happy? Besides loving Sarah's wedding dress, I love this photo because it shows off the color of Christopher's tie. 

If you are asked to make dough balls, make some heart shaped! You know I can!  (And I have to make mine gluten free too and they are still good!)  Oh, and Dolly Parton has come out with cake mixes now! Sigh, if only she would make some of them gluten free!

Take care, my friends!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

A Hopeful Spring

 Happy spring to you all!  The cherry trees are in full bloom just now, their frilly white blooms are very welcoming to this Red Cardinal. We have three cherry trees in our front yard, this is one of them. We have lots of cardinals in our yard, this is one of them! LOL!

Another photo of the cherry trees here. This used to be the property of Maxell Tapes which was a Japanese company.  Maxell has been out of business for years, but we still have these cherry trees! This is now a park and has a walking/biking trail. 

Hope all of you are doing well.  I have been quite busy lately, nothing at all that is exciting but busy, nevertheless. Hey! Remember that the new Ghostbusters film comes out this week!  I do hope I will be able to see it! It looks really good.

I have almost finished a book and it is so good, I think I might have read a great deal of it aloud to Richard.  Now, I can't quite tell you about this book just yet, but I PROMISE you, it is amazing!  Look out for me to tell you about it!  (And Meike in Germany, I promise that the cover of the book is great too!)

Spring is busting out all over!  Look at the fiddleheads on this Autumn fern!  Isn't it amazing how this brown circle will unfurl into a beautiful green leafy fern? It will! Gee, if it can do that, surely, I can keep myself going! Gives you hope, does it not?

Take care!

Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Last Time I Was in England...Soup!


The last time I was in England was in 2019.  The first three photos here are from Eastbourne. The rest are from London.

The last photo is from the Borough Market and if you are in London, it is well worth a visit!  And that reminds me of something I want you to watch on TV!

"The Food That Built America" is a series on the History Channel.

If you can, look at it and see if you can see the episode of "Soup of the Century".  It is fascinating!  Now you ask yourself, what would I possibly want to learn about soup and how can it be that fascinating?

Since I am Georgia Girl With An English Heart, I am someone who has a foot in two countries, so to speak, and therefore, I am curious about how American and English foods are different, for example: SOUP!  In America, it is Campbell's Soups that reign supreme. In the UK, it is Heinz! Now, why might that be? Watch this show and you will find out.  Which do I prefer?  Now, you all must know I try to be as impartial as I possibly can be.  I grew up eating Campbell's soups and I find them perfectly acceptable. However, once I had tasted Heinz Tomato Soup...it made me wonder why this wonderful soup was not available in the USA! 

Now even though I have never been to Scotland, I was able to buy Baxter's soup in Eastbourne. There should be a TV series made about the history of this soup now! I had a bit of a sore throat and bought a can of their soup, was it "Scotch Broth"?  I think that was it and it was delicious! (I want to visit Scotland, not just for the soup but hey, it is really good!) 

If any of you are wondering if I have been under the weather and wanting soup and warm blankets, you would be correct! Hoping to be on the mend now, thanks very much. 

Also, did anyone else hear that it is now considered proper to end a sentence with a preposition? Whoever came up with this, I am thankful that they know where they are coming from! 

 This last video is by Evan & James singing "Bad Moon Rising"!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Beatles and A Bluebird!


Wonderful news today! Sam Mendes, the British director will make four separate films about the Beatles, one for each band member. Each movie representing the point of view of John, Paul, George and Ringo. Isn't that something? Expected to be released in 2027, the films have the full support of the two surviving Beatles and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison.  I do hope that we will hear many Beatles songs during the films! And at a theatre! 


 (I was working on this post about Beatles covers when my son texted me the news about the Beatles films to come out in 2027!)

Oh yes, my friends, I have spent so much time listening to people from all over the world singing and playing Beatles songs.

It amazes me that so many of them making these videos are very young and have no memory of the Beatles as those of us who are of a certain age!  They are singing in English and you can tell that English is not their first language.  It made me think of doing a post called "I Speak BEATLES"!   I just looked at my blog and I did a post in February of 2014 where I mentioned the 50th anniversary of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Of course, it is now the 60th anniversary this month!  Want to see my post from 10 years ago? Here it is:  Georgia Girl With An English Heart: Winter Olympics 2014, Sochi AND Beatles 50th Anniversary


 There, I hope you are able to hear some of the songs!

 Hopefully, after these films are released, more and more will fall in love with their musical genius because honestly, all we need is LOVE!


Hope all of you are doing well. 

February. There, I said it.  That's enough about that, don't you think?

Take care, everyone. March (and warmer weather) is around the corner! Here is the bluebird that visits our suet feeder, we are always so happy to see him. 


Monday, January 29, 2024

What Makes the Muskrat Guard His Musk? (COURAGE)


You know that song lyric, don't you? It is from "The Wizard of Oz" and is sung (or spoken) by the Cowardly Lion.  Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion were searching for a home, a brain, a heart and the "noive" which is as close as I can type to that marvelous actor's accent! (The nerve or courage.) Now, if you think about it...we all have a home (hopefully), a heart, and a brain but it is the courage that we sometimes might have to find in life.  That brings me to the wonderful word- ENCOURAGEMENT, which means "the action of someone giving support, confidence or hope.  It seems quite simple, doesn't it? And yet, it can make all the difference in world!

From writing this blog over the years, I can promise you that had I not received such kindly encouragement, I would have stopped after my first post! My blogging friend in Germany talked me into starting my blog with wonderful encouragement. (Thanks, Librarian!) And it was John in England who gave me the great encouragement to continue it.  Now, John has passed away and I am very much saddened by this. You wouldn't believe how much he taught me about nature- trees, flowers, butterflies, beetles and mushrooms! I was also lucky enough to be included in the circle of lucky people who received his lovely post-cards, with the perfect stamp to go along with the photo on the card, along with his carefully chosen words. Today, I have several of his cards lined up on my mantel- one is of the famous gate at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool. Have you ever seen a photo of it? It shows these words "You'll Never Walk Alone", it is from the song that the fans sing.

There, I hope you can see that image above!  And of course, that brings me to the song that you must hear also!  (I have written about this before. Many think this is from the Bible, but the words are really by Oscar Hammerstein, one of my favorite lyricists!)

John's brother, Graham has written a post about his brother. You can read it just here.  Graham, I wish I could do a better job at honoring your brother! He has been not just a friend to me but also to my husband and son. We will miss him and his encouraging words.

Just one more song- it is by "America". The song has just this one line that always has stuck in my head- "Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn't already have". Even though that is a double negative, in songwriting terms, it makes perfect sense. (You all know my love and great respect for songwriters!)  The rest of the song, I'm not very sure of its meaning, but then, that is music for you, don't be so concerned about understanding every little thing, just enjoy it and if something encourages you or makes you smile or feel better about life, take it into your heart. You know you have one! And if someone needs courage, help to supply it.

 The beech trees hold on to their leaves all winter.  In the sun, they are a lovely shade of bronze and when the wind blows them, they make a lovely sound.  For years, I admired this tree and when I mentioned on my blog that I wondered what they were, John told me- beech trees. I will think of him whenever I see one. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Happy 2024/ Evan & James


Hello to all my friends out there! Happy 2024! Hope Santa was good to you all! 

Do I have anything musical to tell you? You know I do! Guess what I learned this Christmas? The man who wrote "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" was an Englishman! Yes, his name was Tommie Connor! I wish I had known that when I changed the lyrics to that song and sung it to my English in-laws! We had seen Hailey's Comet at Beachy Head and that is what MY song was about. Don't you change lyrics to tunes that you know for other people's entertainment/annoyance? You know I do!! LOL!

The other musical news that I have you is that I found a couple of young men who do fantastic covers of Beatles songs! Oh, they are very good singers and guitarists and to hear those wonderful harmonies just does my heart good.  Evan & James (evanandjames.com)

Christopher Evan and Andrew James!  I hope you were able to hear this video.  It is "I Should Have Known Better".   Remember John Lennon's playing his marvelous harmonica on this record? This young man plays that bit on his guitar! Listen to it and you will recognize that part, I'm sure. Hope you like them too!

So lovely!

Oh, deer!

We are often surprised by white tailed deer when we walk at the Monastery. Looks like we startled one ourselves! 

  The monastery is a place of great serenity.  I once suggested to a dear neighbor to visit it, someone who had heard of it but never seen it.  When he did visit it, he told me later, "I felt my spirits lift as soon as entered the gates, my worries just fell away from me. I felt real peace".  I am wishing that kind of peace to all of you this year.

Here's to 2024 and to all that sail in her! God bless you all!