Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sailing Alone Around The World

Somewhere beyond the sea
Somewhere waiting for me
My lover stands on golden sands
And watches the ships that go sailing.

Doubtful that you will ever find me in a sailboat but for some reason, I have a strange fascination with the sea.  I have written of my love for a book about sailing called "Sailing Alone Around The World" by Joshua Slocum.    You would never guess...Les from Prairie Horizons sent me a copy of her husband's book... it is an annotated copy of this book!

THANK YOU to Les and Rod!  (And also thanks to  Nan who I believe told Les of my love for this book!)

There, I think I have a link on Amazon for you, but please feel free to buy it from any bookstore
or book shop in England!  The wonderful thing, Rod Scher (husband of Les, if you are still following me!) has great knowledge of the history of sailing and therefore gives you lots of facts alongside the story itself.  Not bragging, but I surprised myself at how much I already knew of this nautical and historical information! I learned a lot but still, I didn't think I would know ANYTHING! This is just from my reading, but then, I am getting on in years, so doggone it, I should be remembering something! 

The song "Somewhere Beyond The Sea" was a big hit for Bobby Darin in the late 50's...I just bet that Rod and all other sailors would know this song too! (And wanna-be sailors like me!

This is just a quick post since, as I told you, not much time for a while, hope to be back with you soon...until then, keep an even keel!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Singletree/Swingletree From White Oak Tree

I was talking to my Dad recently about trees.  (Of course, I talk about trees, doesn't everyone?)
One of the trees that I really notice on our walks is a White Oak and I asked my Dad if he was familiar with it.
There are lots of White Oaks on this walk...Stone Mountain Park, Georgia.

It is a beautiful tree. You can tell it is a White Oak from the trunk.  As your eyes travel upwards, the trunk becomes more whitish and the bark almost looks as if it is peeling somewhat...that is the best way I know how to describe it.  Of course, as an oak, it has acorns and they are quite small and these small acorns are one of THE most prized food for white-tailed deer.   My Dad said that it is a good hard wood and that in farming, they used White Oak to make tool handles, posts and a singletree.... "A what?" , I asked him.  I had never heard that word before.  I looked it up...
(it amused my Dad because I didn't know what it was!)

The definition of a singletree is a bar between the pulling animal and the wagon or plow that balances the weight being pulled.

As Americans, we got this word from Britain, but somehow it was changed.  It is called "swingletree" there!  I find words very interesting.  It's easier to say singletree, isn't it?  When I told my Dad that this word really came from England, and that somehow we Americans changed it, he was tickled!  "Is that right! Well, I'll be!"

If any of you know anything about the origin of the word "swingletree/singletree", then let me know!
I only know how much I love the White Oak tree and I was happy to find out on a recent hike that it is one of the favorites of Ranger Robby Astrove from Arabia Mountain too!  So, YAY!  Park Rangers are my heroes!
I will be quite busy for the next two weeks or so and will have limited time to visit all the blogs that I like to visit.  I KNOW, I can just hear all of you sobbing.... and wondering how you will be able to make it without my wise and oh so insightful comments.  Well, just hang in there, I'll be back in two shakes of a lamb's tail!  Yee-HAH!   Sorry, I was channeling a Wild West cowgirl there...take care! Love y'all from Georgia Girl With An English Heart! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Worcestershire Sauce

Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce...you have some, don't you?  Ever wondered about the story behind it?  And by the way, how do you say it?  I just try to say it really fast so no one knows that I don't know how to say it! (I completely stole that joke from "King of Queens"!)  My husband is from England and he shortens it and calls it "Worcester" Sauce.  And that is pronounced "Worster" but with an English accent...more like "WOO-ster".  Oh heck, you folks from England know what I mean!

The Original Worcestershire Sauce    
Dear me, but I truly love learning about the history behind EVERYTHING! Who knew that a bottle of Worcestershire Sauce could be so interesting!  From the county of Worcester in England, in 1835, chemists John Lea and William Perrins made up the first batch and didn't like the taste of it.  They left it for almost two YEARS in a cellar and when they tasted it, knew that they had a product that was out of this world.  The aging process is what made the difference. Just goes to show, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER!  Did you know that it was the first commercially bottled condiment in the USA and was first imported in 1839?  Americans loved it!  If you would like to know more, you may read about it here.

Just so you know, Lea & Perrins does not know me from a hole  in the wall, okay?  But if Lea & Perrins reads this, I would not be averse to receiving a case full of it!  And that is the truth!  My husband has Celiac disease and Worcestershire Sauce is gluten free.  YAY!
And now since Corn and Rice Chex cereals are gluten free, I can make him CHEX MIX!  What? You don't have a recipe for CHEX MIX?  That will have to be for another post.  At least, I can pronounce that.  And General Mills (the makers of Chex Cereal) I wouldn't mind a case of your cereal either! HA!

Arabia Mountain is beautiful to us in all kinds of weather...this photo was taken this weekend, one early morning! Hope you all have a great week but watch out for the fog!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Sunflower Blogger Award

Thank you very much, Abigail and Daisy!

Sunflowers!  I love them!  My Dad grows them and just down the road from him they have had a Sunflower Festival for years but THIS year, they didn't have it and I really missed it...so how about a Sunflower Blogger Award? 
Everybody needs a Sunflower Blogger award!  I think that each one of you deserve this.  I  stole  got mine from dear sweet Kathy at her blog- Whispering Pines. (AND Kathy and Jack celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary today! Isn't that great! Congratulations to Kathy & Jack!)  She didn't EXACTLY give me this award, she very nicely just said that anyone could take this and so...I did!  And now, I will answer the questions and you may also capture this sweet floral image above for your blog and answer the questions too!  Okay?  Here are the questions and MY answers!

AND if you don't think the Sunflower Award should be given to you since TECHNICALLY it was not given to me...there is no reason why you couldn't answer the questions anyway! Why not give it a go?

1.  WHY DO YOU BLOG?   I think I drove several bloggers crazy with some of my long comments before I started my own blog!   Mieke from Germany suggested that I have my own blog and I am very thankful that I listened to her!  Thanks, Meike!  (You may find her blog just here!)
I blog because I enjoy it!  I love to write about the things that I find interesting and I am thankful that there are so many nice folks who read my blog and leave comments.  I can't tell you how much I enjoy this!!  And it makes my day when I get a new follower! Thank you to all the nice people who read this blog, I really appreciate it. You guys are the best!

2)  ARE YOU AN EARLY RISER OR A NIGHT OWL?  Uh, sorry, I don't even know what my little town looks like at night!  I am most certainly an early riser! (But even so, please don't ask me anything until I have had a cup of coffee!)

3) FAVORITE SMELL?   It would have to be from a flower and it might seem strange to say this because I only smelled it just ONE time! It was from a lilac bush, it was growing over a wall next to the pavement (sidewalk) when we were walking in Eastbourne, in England.  If you have ever smelled lilacs, then you will know what I mean.  Oh! And of course, the fragrance from my Yellow Daisies would have to be a favorite too!
OH! And also, I really love the smell of the sheets after they have been hanging out on the line in the sun...also, another fragrance from England!  Sorry...that's three....so sue me!  HA!

4) IF FEELING SAD, WHAT ONE SONG WOULD YOU PLAY OR SING TO MAKE YOU HAPPY?   Oh, so many songs!  My goodness, I LOVE music, almost any song could do it for me but here's one that came to mind... "I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover"!  (It was written in the year of my Daddy's birth, 1927!)     OH, and anything by Chas & Dave...I love them!

5) WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR, WHAT DO YOU SEE?  I see a very sophisticated lady with a great deal of panache...NOT!

6) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?  Funny, that made me think of a teacher that I had in the 8th grade, and she told me that I had a scintillating personality, and I had no idea what that meant and had to look it up! I was hoping it was nice! But honestly, goofy is the first thing I thought of!  

7) NAME SOMETHING IN YOUR LIFE YOU ACCOMPLISHED THOUGH SHEER DETERMINATION.     I must be a real dud because I can't think of anything like that!

8) WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST IMPORTANT WORLD OR NATIONAL EVENT THAT HAS TAKEN PLACE IN YOUR LIFETIME?  For me, the first thing that I thought of was this: The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989...this happened just one month before I gave birth.
The birth of my only child was pretty important to me, so perhaps that is why I thought of it!

9) IF YOU COULD SPEND YOUR LIFE IN A DIFFERENT CENTURY, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?  Oh dear, I couldn't live in the past or the future, I will stay in my own time period, thank you!

WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?  That's an easy one!  I would talk about the magnificent monadnocks in this area and all the beautiful wildflowers and trees that surround them! I don't look at them in a scientific kind of way, I look at them as a great gift from God and I am grateful to live so near to them.

And the next time you take a photo of a sunflower, try to get one with not one, not two but THREE bees on it, will you?  I took this photo one year down at my Daddy's and you know he gave me an armful of sunflowers to take home with me, but he made sure they didn't have any bees clinging to them!
UPDATE:  After posting this, I couldn't get the Sunflower Award photo on here anyway, so perhaps that is all for the best, since I really didn't get the award, TECHNICALLY!  You know, I always think that things work out for the best. And if they don't, I MAKE them!  Keep on the sunny side of life!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stone Mountain-Aug. 23, 2014-Yellow Daisies In Bloom!

Happy to tell you that Richard and I can still climb Stone Mountain!  It was hot last Saturday so we made sure we got there early in the morning, the sun was just rising over the mountain and it wasn't too blazing hot, not just yet anyway...and at the top we were rewarded with a cool breeze and flowers!


The Yellow Daisies were blooming on the last 1/3 of the climb up the mountain and also, on the very top.  Such a welcome sight!  We very much look forward to seeing them bloom every year.  They are very special flowers, they only grow on or next to this type of rock and only within a 60 mile radius. (40 mile? I have read both figures.)   Yellow Daisy or Confederate Daisy -there, click on that name if you would like to know more about it!
Of all the people that were on the mountain, we only saw, I think, about three other couples taking photos of these beautiful flowers. 
Here I am, at one of my favorite places, on top of Stone Mountain and I am waving to you!
(And Pat, in the Outer Hebrides...I think I am looking in your direction!)
The skies were hazy, it was hot and humid but you could still see the Atlanta skyline. In the Autumn, it will be much clearer.
The Yellow Daisies also have a wonderful fragrance, especially so in the early morning, and it was nice to sit near them and smell the flowers and hear all the bees with their soft buzzing.  And the sight of all that yellow against the rock with the blue sky above...just gorgeous.
You might not see our faces very well but Richard and I both are very happy in these photos, just drinking our coffee and enjoying the flowers and the view.
Lots of people come up by cable car instead of hiking up like we did, but still, you would think that more would have commented on the beauty of these Yellow Daisies! They are magnificent!
 We are looking back as we are leaving, already looking forward to our next visit to our beloved Stone Mountain!  Hope you are finding great beauty in your part of the world. 
Love to you all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Talking to My Daddy!

Even when my Dad is wearing glasses, I think you can still see that twinkle in his eyes!  (And when he was a young man, he didn't wear glasses, he thinks he wore them in that  photo above just to be funny.  Yep, that sounds like him.)
When we were at the Sunflower Festival last year, he waited a while to get on this toy tractor just so I could take this photo!
This is what my Dad looks like on his real tractor! "Nothing runs like a Deere".  Daddy is plowing his field to plant peas!  (Not what we call English peas...no, they are called field peas and there is nothing better than to eat them with a big piece of Daddy's onion cornbread!)  I took this photo just a few weeks ago.   (And if you are wondering, my Dad is 87 years old!)
I took the photo of my Dad's garden sometime in early summer.  See the buckets with the sticks in them?  That is to deter the deer from his vegetables.  The deer have been hunted for so many centuries now, that it must be ingrained in them to look out for anything that looks like a gun!  And also,  Daddy just told me that he likes to splash some men's cologne around the edges of the fields.  Once again, that will deter the deer since they know from that smell that a hunter could be after them....  Why does my Dad do this?  The deer can come in and just eat so much.  He has also set up some electric fencing too but he says that he really likes to use the sticks and the men's cologne.

OKRA!  It is so wonderful when it is freshly cut from that stalk.  Before it turns into that pod of okra, it is such a pretty flower, especially against a Georgia sky!
Now, I love talking to my Dad and learning his wisdom in the garden.  I just wish you could hear him speak!  He has a North Georgia mountain dialect, and I have it too when I am speaking with him...I had to lose it when we moved to the Atlanta area as a kid, lose it or get ridiculed or beat up!  As my grandmother used to say, "I hope YOU'UNS are being good!"  
I found a video of Wendy Bagwell telling a funny story and he sounds a bit like my Dad, so much that it is why it is here and also, I think it's funny!  (I have written of Wendy Bagwell before, he was a gospel singer...Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters!  And my Aunt Jean cut a record with him once, "When The Wagon Was New".  If anyone ever finds that record, let me know!)  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Blood Swept Lands And Seas of Red" - The Tower of London

When we read of deaths during wars, it might seem difficult to think of the great numbers of those who have died.  World War I began in 1914 and to commemorate the one hundred year since the start of the war there is an amazing display at the Tower of London which is still being completed.  The artist, Paul Cummins, has made ceramic poppies and the idea is that by November 11th (the date of the end of World War I in 1918)  there will be 888,246 poppies filling the moat around the Tower of London, one for each of the British and British Commonwealth soldiers killed in the war. He has entitled this: "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red".

If you would like to see some amazing photos of this display, then I urge you to look at the post by Chel at Sweetbriar Dreams from England.  You may find her post just here.   Chel kindly gave me permission for this link. Thank you, Chel!

In case you might wonder why the poppy is used for remembrance for veterans, it is due to the poem written by Canadian John McCrae in World War I.  He was struck by how quickly the poppies grew around the newly dug graves at Ypres in the Flanders region of Belgium.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,

   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.