Thursday, December 14, 2017

Happy 90th Birthday to Joan! Young At Heart!

This time last week, Richard was still not home from his trip.  He was flying home from England (and boy, were his arms tired! HA!) He believes that the whole trip from door to door, that is from his parents' home in Eastbourne to our home, took about 18 hours.  Thinking about it through, it was a good thing he didn't book his return flight for the Friday (Dec. 8th) as that was the big snow day and the Atlanta airport was a mess with tons of delays and cancellations.

Now, why in the world would I let him go to England without me?
It was his mother's 90th birthday celebration! I wasn't able to go and Richard couldn't get too much time off, but we were both glad that he could go!  Want to see some photos? Wait until you see her cake! Wow!

I asked Richard to take a few birthday decorations over from America. I sent the "Happy Birthday" banner along with some polka dot balloons. They were most likely all made in China, but hey, it 's the thought that counts, right?  Don't you love their solarium overlooking their pretty English garden? (They don't say "yard" in England, it is always the back "garden"!)

Joan got such pretty flowers...

The ones on the left are from her grandson, Christopher! And the ones on the right from her husband, Peter! (Richard got her orchids, he didn't get a photo of them, but they are lovely.)

Yay, there is one of my polka dot balloons! 
Of course, I had more that I wanted to send but Richard only took a few things.  I didn't want it to be too much over the top, not like Buddy decorated in "Elf"... but almost!  :-)

THE CAKE!  Isn't it exquisite?  It was made by a local bakery, The Cavendish Bakery, I think Richard told me.  What do you think, is it as gorgeous as I think it is?
Now, notice the color of the candles and the piping on the cake, do you think that Joan's dress will match?

Of course, it will!  Doesn't Joan look fantastic! That lace dress! It is lovely, isn't it?  And it looks so good on her! Look carefully at her necklace...that is one of the gifts that Richard and I gave her and I picked it out. Those are Mickey Mouse ears, in sparkly crystals! (Wish they could be diamonds, Joan!)  And guess what...Dec. 5th was Joan's birthday and she shares her birthday with Walt Disney! So, if any of you know how my mind will see that this makes it more special!
Joan had on a different necklace but she wished she had something a bit brighter and then....Richard gave her the Mickey Mouse necklace!  I think it looks really pretty with the dress! 

Richard with his Mum and Dad...(I call them Joan and Peter.)  That is PeTe, the dog, looking on!

Richard is so sweet, he took another photo of the "Happy Birthday" banner that I sent over!  I hope it felt like a big hug when they looked at it!  
If you would like to leave belated birthday wishes for Joan, please do! I hope she will see this and know how good she looks! Joan is in good company, my Dad is 90 and hey, so is Queen Elizabeth!

Look! Here are my sweet in-laws posing with my giant hug that I sent to them.  They look like models! Pure elegance.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Great Southeastern Snow Storm (From 1973 in Macon, Georgia)

What is the most snow you have ever seen? I was talking with my Dad about the snowfall totals in Georgia that fell on Friday.  When I wondered what was the deepest snow that he had seen in his lifetime, he reminded me of the snow that we had driven through in February of 1973.  We lived in St. Mary's, Georgia at the time and we were returning to Conyers, Georgia for a visit. (Of course, there was no mention of a major snow storm expected in middle Georgia!)  My Dad was driving the whole family and as we drove up I-75, it started to snow.   It snowed and snowed and snowed!
There was two lanes, but since the snow covered everything, we could only follow in the path of the big trucks that were still driving. Most people pulled over and tried to stay in hotels but not my Dad! We had to pull off one time to buy gas and my Dad realized that he would not be able to get back onto the highway, as the entrance ramp was uphill. What to do?  He BACKED UP the exit ramp.  Now, this was not easy...he would start to reverse, and then, see someone trying to exit off the highway. He would have to drive the car forward again, wait for the car to pass us, and then, reverse again, watching carefully.  Finally, we got back on the highway.  Now, I didn't tell you...but while we were at the gas station, we were only able to walk around a bit in amazement at the amount of snow. It was up to my knees! My siblings and I couldn't wait to get to Conyers so we could build a snowman.  As we drove closer to the Atlanta area, we kept seeing less and less the time we got to Conyers...the ground was completely dry.  It was cold but no snow.

You should have seen our car!  It was completely covered in snow. It looked like it had been dropped from the North Pole. No kidding.
Looking it up now, I see that this storm was called The Great Southeastern Snowstorm and from the statistics, I see that Macon had 16. 5 inches of snow! So, if someone asks me what is the largest amount of snow that you have experienced? My answer...16 and one half inches!  No one expected this in middle Georgia in 1973...there were a lot of people stranded but my Dad was determined to make it through.  You know he did!

Image result for the great southeastern snowfall 1973

Friday, December 8, 2017

Snow Mountain/No Mountain!

Due to the snowy conditions in the Atlanta area today, Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain closed today at 2PM.  Oh, lovely irony!  (Snow is produced from the water from Stone Mountain lake and they make 350 tons a day. It is projected onto this giant hill just in front of Stone is very popular.)

You should see the map of Georgia today on the TV weather radar.
The snow fell north of Atlanta but there is a line just east of Atlanta, and beyond that line, it was only rain with a mixture of snow.  So, no snow on the ground for me! Not YET anyway!  We will have to wait and see what happens!
  If it does snow tomorrow, as long as I have my Yorkshire tea, I will be OKAY!
(Note, this photo is from a few years ago!)

The snow fell from as far south as Louisiana all  the way up to Maine! That means from Mimi to Nan! (Mimi- my blogging friend in LA and Nan is my friend in ME.)   Those letters are the state abbreviations for the postal service!

What is the weather like where you are?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Is For Sharing

The Christmas advert for the British grocery Sainsbury's from 2014.  I wonder if my fellow Americans have ever seen any of the TV ads from England.  Now you have! Hope you will like this as much as I do.  It was made in cooperation with the Royal British Legion and was based on an actual event during World War I.   If you have time, there is an another video about the making of this "1914" ad and the Christmas truce. 

It would take a lot for me to give up my English chocolate! (Watch the video and you will know what I am talking about!)

"Leaning On The Everlasting Arms, that is the last song playing at the end of the video, I have written about this song before... it is a song that I really like.
Of course, you know the song that the soldiers are singing, "Silent Night" and it is "Stille Nacht" in German. (Original song was in German, as you know.)  As songs go, not just hymns, but of all songs, it is one of my favorites.

Hope you are all doing well these days, my friends!
Or are just doggone tired like me?
Take care!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Love London? Look At These Buildings Yet To Come!

If you have been to London recently, you will be familiar with the buildings that are known as The Gherkin, The Cheese Grater, The Shard and the Walkie Talkie.  Next year, there will be more tall buildings to add to this list!  Want to see some photos of what is to come?  You may see them just here!  The piece is entitled "The skyscrapers that will change London's skyline."  What do you think? Amazing, aren't they?    Can't wait to see The Scalpel!

Cheese Grater Building on the left and the Walkie Talkie on the right.  (Of course, their real names are The Leadenhall Building and 20 Fenchurch Street.)  Those Brits, you have to love the simple but oh so perfect words to describe the buildings. When you hear those nicknames you know exactly which building they mean! 

Richard took that photo the last time we were in London, September of 2016.  I think it is very good, don't you?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Squanto, Pocahantas, Sacagawea and The Navajo Code Talkers- Indian Givers

Happy that I recorded "This Is America, Charlie Brown".  It is a animated show about the first Thanksgiving and they must show it every year but this was the first year that I noticed it.   It made me do some research...there is a great article just here.   You should always be ready to learn from anything even it if it is something that is intended for children!

Squanto- All American children should know his name as the Native American who helped the Pilgrims from the Mayflower.  He was able to act as an interpreter for them as he spoke perfect English.  Why was this so? He had been kidnapped and taken to Spain. While there, the monks helped him to escape to England, and he spent two years in London.  Upon his return to America, he found that his entire tribe had died from disease.  Why did Squanto help the Pilgrims?  I would like to think that he took pity on them, he saw that they were totally out of their depth and that he helped them out of kindness.

Pocahantas-  The Native American woman who helped the settlers at Jamestown, Virginia, she married the Englishman John Rolfe and sailed to England with him and died there at the age of 21.

  Statue of Pocahantas at Gravesend, Kent in England (Believed to be near her grave.)

Sacagawea- The Native American woman who assisted the Lewis and Clark Expedition. She traveled thousands of miles with them from North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean, much of it while she was pregnant with her first child.  (A good book for you- "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose.)

America has a beautiful one dollar coin with the likeness of Sacagawea with her infant on her back. It is so beautiful that hardly anyone uses it!

Sacagawea dollar obverse.png

The Navajo Code Talkers- You might have seen a mention of the Navajo Code Talkers this week, some of the surviving veterans from World War II  met with Trump this week and unfortunately, much of their story was lost in the uncouth remarks from President Trump.  This was a shame as their story needs to be better known. I hope that it made more people look up their story. Their unbreakable code from their language enabled American military victories in the South Pacific.  You may read more just here.  (They were forced to keep their story secret until the 1960's!)
If you notice from the photo on that link, Trump met with these Native Americans in the Oval Office of the White House and there is a portrait of Andrew Jackson behind them.  Insensitive to say the least...Andrew Jackson was the President of the United States during the time when tribes were forced to leave their lands and to stay on reservations.   (Anybody thinking at the White House? Anybody?)

Years ago, I read a book by Jack Weatherford..."Indian Givers: How Native Americans Transformed The World".  It is a fascinating read!  Of course, he uses the expression "Indian Giver" in the true sense of the word!
Another one for you, "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown, is a book about Native Americans in the American West in the 19th century.

Both of these books are very well written and very much worth reading.

"Indian giver" is an American pejorative expression, used to describe a person who gives a "gift" and later wants it back, or who expects something of equivalent worth in return for the item.   

When the settlers first came to America, I can see why they called it "FALL".  The leaves from all those trees must have been spectacular and a true sight to see.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Keep Your Hands To Yourself

You might think that the title of this post could somehow be related to all the recent news of sexual harassment cases.  It is true that almost anything will remind me of a song but in this case it is because I saw a film and I heard a song during the final credits. The song was by The Yayhoos.  Turns out that Dan Baird has sometimes performed with The Yayhoos. Who is Dan Baird? Why, he was with the Georgia Satellites and their big hit was "Keep Your Hands To Yourself! 

Oh, I thought to myself, I wonder what he is up to these days...I looked him up and just this past year, he was performing with his band in England but became very ill.  His bandmates insisted on him going to hospital. (In England, you go to the USA you go to THE hospital.  Don't ask me why this is said this way.)
Anyway, I was sad to learn that Dan Baird is now battling leukemia.   Interesting article about him just here.
Dan is quoted at the end of it by saying about his music, "Just go out there swinging as yourself."  I admire people who don't look at current trends or fads but just honestly perform their music as they want to do it, not how others think that they should.

(I still am working on my post about music, my friends.  Look out for it, prize winning stuff, I am sure!)

In the meantime, Keep Your Hands To Yourself!

Dan Baird, if you should somehow read this post, I am thinking about you.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all my American friends!  And happy Thursday to the rest of the world!

Sad news, I see that David Cassidy has died.  One of the main things I remember about him- he was devastated when a young woman died at one of his concerts as a result of trampling. Seems to me that the press can be very cruel.  I found a piece from a newspaper just here. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to have had that wild fame that he had in the 1970's and what it must have been like for someone like him to have to live up to his name for the rest of his life.  May he rest in peace.


                                                A u t u m n   C o l o r s !