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 (

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!