Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Auld Lang Syne

Another "copy cat" blog post, but I was very happy to find this to share.

Listen up!

This was put up on YouTube on Nov 13, 2013.

Here's all the information describing it which is quite a lot and including many facts I did not know.

No copyright is claimed in [the music].
Arista/Legacy's 2012 compilation The Classic Christmas Album is not the first collection of Kenny G's holiday recordings -- he's had two prior, both compiling highlights from three albums -- but this set whittles down his seasonal tunes to a compact 16 tracks. As expected, most of the big Christmas carols and seasonal standards are here: "Winter Wonderland," "White Christmas," and "Silver Bells" sit alongside "Silent Night," "Do You Hear What I Hear," and "The First Noel." Perhaps there are no surprises, but any listener looking for a consistent collection of Kenny G's Christmas songs will find this quite enjoyable. (Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine for Allmusic)
"Auld Lang Syne" is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world, its traditional use being to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, it is also sung at funerals, graduations and as a farewell or ending to other occasions. The international Boy Scout youth movement, in many countries, uses it as a close to jamborees and other functions.
The song's Scots title may be translated into English literally as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago", "days gone by" or "old times". Consequently "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as "for (the sake of) old times".
The phrase "Auld Lang Syne" is also used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570--1638), Allan Ramsay (1686--1757), and James Watson (1711) as well as older folk songs predating Burns. Matthew Fitt uses the phrase "In the days of auld lang syne" as the equivalent of "Once upon a time..." in his retelling of fairy tales in the Scots language.
The song begins by posing a rhetorical question as to whether it is right that old times be forgotten, and is generally interpreted as a call to remember long-standing friendships. Thomson's Select Songs of Scotland was published in 1799 in which the second verse about greeting and toasting was moved to its present position at the end.
The confusion over the song is arguably almost as much of a tradition as the song itself. As revelers stumble and mumble through the verses--singing the "auld lang syne" part much louder than the rest of the song because it's really the only part people know--someone always asks what the words mean.
The title of the Scottish tune translates to "times gone by" and is about remembering friends from the past and not letting them be forgotten.
Despite its strong association with New Year's Eve, "Auld Lang Syne," written by Robert Burns in the 1700s, was never intended to be a holiday song. Guy Lombardo is credited with popularizing the song when his band used it as a segue between two radio programs during a live performance at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York in 1929. By coincidence, they played "Auld Lang Syne" just after the clock hit midnight, and a New Year's tradition was born.
The song, and the confusion that comes with it, has been immortalized in countless movies and TV shows.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you'll buy your pint cup !
and surely I'll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we've wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.


And there's a hand my trusty friend !
And give me a hand o' thine !
And we'll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.


sound recording administered by SME
(thanks for allowing this to remain)
"The AUDIO content does not belong to me. I do not profit from these Videos and/or Slideshows. I do not own copyrights of the images, which are from free websites. This is strictly for Educational use and Commentary purposes."
Copyright Disclaimer--"Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use."

Auld Lang Syne

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Small But Blessed Christmas in the Memphis TN Area

Our trip included staying in a motel in Pearl, Mississippi, and even included visiting with a few people at Tom's and The Room.  We have a habit of getting up with the chickens and going to bed with them also.  This does not work very well with younger adults and even some people who just have established a different schedule they like instead.

When we first moved to Alabama, our next door neighbor, Dave Wesp, told me his typical schedule called for him staying up until 2 A.M. watching TV and then arising around 10 A.M.  Rarely will you find people who have the "chickens schedule" unless they have to because of employment.  So, we realize that we are two odd birds and prefer staying in motels.

On the second day of our Christmas trip, we made it to Olive Branch, MS, and stayed at a Super 8 motel that had the perk of being a short walking distance from a bar.  In other words, we did not get out in the traffic once we settled into our room.

On the last two days of our trip, we stayed in Comfort Inn also in Olive Branch.

On Christmas Eve, we shared a meal that our oldest daughter, Angie Smith, had prepared.  For the first time ever, we dined with all three grown grandchildren.  The conversation included, among other subjects, the fact that parts of Mississippi had much damage from tornados.  I should add here that the weather was not at all seasonal with temps climbing into the 80s. Neal Thomas is a storm chaser and described what the area around Holly Springs was like.  Many buildings were destroyed.  People were injured and some deaths occurred as a result also.

The next day as we traveled all the way back to our Sweet Home Alabama, it rained off and on and visibility was even bad at times.

The saying still holds true for us after living in Coastal Alabama for eight-plus years.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Best Thanksgiving Ever!

Our family has had many gatherings for Thanksgiving.  If I (mds) were a good creative writer, I would probably not give you the gist of this blog post in the title or the beginning, but that's me in looking back on our visit to Memphis for Thanksgiving. 

As I write this, I have just taken off all the photos taken by two cameras for over a month, and today is December 1, 2015.  You know what that means: The holiday rush has been kicked off in all its emphasis on commercialism.  Fortunately, it is pretty hard to celebrate Thanksgiving in a commercial way, but Macy's Thanksgiving Parade does a pretty good job of doing just that, and I still enjoyed watching parts of it as well as a Dog Show which took place in Philadelphia on TV on Thanksgiving Day.  BTW, our oldest daughter's TV gives us a feeling of being in a movie theater, but we are still happy with our smaller TV at home.

Prior to Thanksgiving Day we visited the Bass Pro Shop now located in The Pyramid of Memphis.  We first read a negative article about this place but then found one on the positive side, which we are sharing here with you: Article about Bass Pro Shop In Memphis Pyramid 
The real highlight of the trip was the Thanksgiving meal where several photos were taken by several people.  The Smith's gatherings for Thanksgiving have always been memories to remember with the food being delicious plus visiting with family. 
Here's some photos we'll share:
Now the rush is on that some retailers even began before Thanksgiving Day was over.  

Sunday, November 1, 2015


May be 1st photo of trip as we are approaching Mississippi River Bridge ~
 This 2-lane bridge leaves the Mississippi Delta on the eastern side and arrives in Helena, Arkansas.
This was a trip to see some fall foliage and a different landscape than our Lower Alabama home
where it is mostly flat and has very little of the colors of autumn.
The trip was hampered by gloomy weather and even rain at times making the visibility poor.
We had our Canon and Sony cameras with us but only took a few photos.
We arrived in Bentonville, Arkansas, on Sunday, October 25, 2015,
Afterwards we enjoyed lunch in Rogers, Arkansas, where we had a wonderful meal of Red Beans and Rice at Copeland's of New Orleans since 1983 while enjoying the live music of a jazz combo.
This day included the HIGHS and the LOWS of the trip.
As we were traveling down the interstate, traffic in front of us came to a complete stop.
We slammed on our brakes and avoided hitting the vehicle in front of us.
A second or two later, we were rear-ended by the vehicle behind us.
After going through all the necessities required after such an accident,
two Springdale policemen took us to the local airport,
which was the only place to rent a car.
From that point own, we just headed back toward home as speedily as possible.
Silver Lining:  Neither of us were injured nor the people who hit us.
Photos from the trip (such as they are):

Sunday, October 18, 2015

China as seen from a Drone

This is a Drone Video, one step further than Drone Photo. And it is in 4K  UHD.  Note the 3D effect.

Very clear and interesting views...never would have seen these on a ground tour.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Mozart ~ Visit to Europe

Anyone who knows us well will know we have not been out of the continental United States.  Yes, this is a "copy-cat" "Let's pretend" blog post on our travel blog.  The only foreign country we have both been to is SOUTH OF THE BORDER, DOWN MEXICO WAY.  Wendell ever so briefly was on the Canadian side of the border between Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, where North Dakato, U.S.A. is south of Estevan.   He had a job one summer picking up Ferry Morse seed racks and was so close to Canada that he went across the U.S.-Canadian border so he could say he had been in Canada.

One of Mae Dean's email buddies shared this video.  I'm hoping anyone who sees it will like it because of the music and the photos from the European countries in it's slide show.

Classical music is one of many kinds of music Mae Dean enjoys.  If you've viewed much of this blog, you know that's the case.  Wendell pretty much sticks with Classic Country and Blue Grass music, but we both like music so much that both of our vehicles have satellite radios to enjoy while traveling.

The video we are sharing begins with a slide of red tulips, so we're sharing a photo of red tulips at this point because we also are pretty crazy about photos. This photo comes from the place we lived the longest, Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.A.

The YouTube video we are sharing was uploaded on Jan 20, 2008.
Instrumental music: Mozart with pictures from all around Europe

Pictures from 28 European Countries (3 countries are shown twice) plus No. 1 of Tulips and No. 33 of Sunset.  Click on the link below and enjoy:

Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major plus European Photographs

European Countries
2) Hungary
3) Portugal
4) Norway
5) Bulgaria
6) Iceland
7) Russia
8) Italy
9) United Kingdom
10) Germany
11) Spain
12) France
13) Vatican City
14) Ukraine
15) Switzerland
16) Serbia
17) Denmark
18) Poland
19) Russia
20) Austria
21) Germany
22) Sweden
23) Malta
24) Greece
25) Italy
26) Iceland
27) United Kingdom
28) Netherlands
29) San Marino
30) Ireland
31) Czech Republic
32) Spain

Music: "Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467, "Elvira Madigan": II. Andante" by Christina Bjorkoe (eMusiciTunes)
 License: Standard YouTube License
To close this blog post, here is a photo taken close to where we live now.  Louis Mapp took this photo on March 16 of 1999, in Point Clear, Alabama, U.S.A.

It is a very good example of the Art of God because it is actually a wonderful photograph but looks like it is a painting instead.

 See what we mean?

Monday, August 3, 2015


We're not complaining about the heat because we know what real heat is from the times we've lived in Texas.

I will say this: It is hot enough now with the high humidity added, it cannot be comfortable to sit on the screened porch even with three fans blowing their warm air. So, I think that's what would qualify as the Dog Days of Summer.

Thank God for air-conditioning!

Gordon checked in with one of his recent blog posts. He and his wife have been on the road fulltime RVing ever since 2006. Also, I'm quite sure they are younger than we are, and I say good for them!

All I really wanted to show you was this gorgeous photo achieved with multiple exposures taken by Gordon Pierce in Oregon, where they are at this time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

No Big Deal, But Wait!...


We are so glad we considered it a big enough deal to show up for our youngest granddaughter's graduation from Baptist College of Health Sciences.

This graduation was a big deal beyond our expectations. It had been a long time since we had been to a college/university commencement ceremony, and we were so proud to see Sarah receive her diploma after four years of studies. She is now a Radiation Therapist. Having said that, we've told you pretty much all we know. When I saw her with a book entitled Anatomy when she was in her first year, I knew she was going to learn all kinds of "stuff" I did not know and didn't want to know. Did I say we are proud of her? It's more than that, but hard to express our feelings. It would have been such a shame to have missed her graduation after her studying for four long years to attain her diploma.

The above photos are of the interior and exterior of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee, where the commencement ceremony took place. To say it is a large church does not describe what this church is like. I have to use the term "mega church" to attempt to explain what it was like. So many people attended this celebration that not even enough programs were printed for the occasion. The prelude, procession, and the awarding of the diplomas and honor awards were all so very impressive. The commencement speech was the best I'd ever heard. Special music was "You Lift Me Up" by a violinist and soprano, that did exact what it's title says.

Some photos from our trip >>>>>>>
Trip for Graduation

Definitely was a BIG DEAL!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Warming up in time for St. Pat's

Just for general information, we've completed another year of residence in Alabama, which totals seven.

We just about "wore ourselves out" celebrating Saint Patrick's day on March 17.

Slowed down a whole lot on taking photos. Here they are:
March of 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Whirlwind Trip To Texas

Just to grab your attention, we're putting a pleasant photo in this blog now.

Putting this post on our travel blog is really a duplication of our Flickr photo album -- almost. Let us just tell you that we (with Jerry and Ella Jane) crammed in just about as much as oldsters can in three days in the Arlington, Texas, area. It usually takes us the better part of two days to make a trip from Foley, Alabama, to Arlington, Texas. So, that's what we did.

The Hatfield's kept apologizing for the fact that some time was spent showing their house and other real estate sales activities so that they could finalize a contract for the sale of their current home. That's really why we made the trip because it had been quite some time since we had visited with them. It was pretty much now or never unless we visited them later in the year in California.

We really did have a good visit -- so much so that the weight scales will likely reveal a sizable increase from all the delicious food we consumed while in Texas and on the way to and from there. After all, isn't that a good part of what enjoyment is? Trying to get you (any readers we may have) to agree with us.

We'll just close with the photos we took because they speak for themselves.

2015 Texas Trip

P.S.: Hope you can comprehend how interesting the tour of the Money Factory was without any photos. A picture from the parking lot showed what a beautiful Texas sky with puffy Texas clouds occurred on that day. Mae Dean added to her T-shirt collection that day with "the buck starts here"

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall Trip of 2014

On Tuesday, September 23, 2014, we left Foley, AL, in a rental car, a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Our first destination on this trip was to make it to the Savannah and Fort Pulaski area in Georgia. This took two days of driving. When we did get to that area, we wound up going to the fort first. This is when we realized we were not really fit enough to do the walking and stair-climbing involved. It is an understatement to say we wore out ourselves once we had finished touring the fort.

Before we headed back toward Savannah, we went to Tybee Island, which seemed to be in the mode of gradually shutting down most of the summer activities there. While there, we discovered where Atlantis is and stopped for a photo.

These two sites were in Georgia Low Country. Most of the roads we were driving on were going through lands that reminded us of some of the other low lands we are familiar with that have important ecological reasons for existing and protection, but, in many cases look like they are waste lands, not suitable for habitation by people but places where much wildlife and the lower part of the food chain get their start. It was very obvious that fishing boats were part of the income in some of the areas.

Until this trip, I'd never thought about why the state is named Georgia. We did learn history as we toured and learned Georgia is named after King George II, an English King who granted the state its original charter.

Later, as we toured both Savannah and Charleston, we found that many very old buildings have been preserved. These two cities are probably older than many of the cities where we have traveled and lived.

The Savannah trolley tour had drivers/guides who narrated the points of interest along the route with interesting historical information. The only stop we made was at The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. By that I mean, many stops existed on the tour and the passengers could make their own decisions about where they wanted to get off for awhile and then get back on the trolley to continue the tour. Almost during the entire trip the skies were overcast, which does not make for good photos. That's why the photos we are sharing include a couple up on Google Images that were professional and VERY GOOD.
We have Spanish Moss growing where we live now, but not as much as we saw there with streets lined by Live Oaks with lots of Spanish Moss hanging from them.

More photos from Savannah...

We've been very close to the Cradle of Forestry on previous trips but have not stopped. Glad we finally did on this trip. The Cradle of Forestry is located in Pisgah National Forest.
Several years ago we might have taken all the trails they have to offer, but, alas, our lack of fitness prevented our seeing it all in person. Our volunteer guide told us we should be happy we did not come until the day before because the place had a huge turnout of visitors because there was no entrance fee to get in and many children were there on field trips.

We are glad we toured it because we did get to take a ride with firefighters aboard a helicopter on their way to a roaring fire in the wilds of Idaho in the Forest Discovery Center Exhibit Hall. (Shown below)

We took part of the shortest trail, which is described fully on the cradle of forestry website at
Virtual Biltmore Forest Trail . This is one of the sights along this trail:
Our walk on the trail was all by ourselves and very peaceful.

It was about this time that we tired of being on the road and made a fast exit by way of the various routes that led us back to Sweet Home Alabama.

P.S.: November 21, 2014 -- Just came to my attention that a pretty important part of the trip was left out. Just as we were leaving the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we saw a bear along side of the road just as unconcerned as he or she could be. We didn't turn around and go back to take a photo like some people did because we have seen live black bears before in park and know how bad "Bear Jams" can be in traffic. Besides, we were really in the mood to "get on down the road."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Kenny Chesney @ Flora Bama

We both remember our first visit to the Flora-Bama. BUT, we had different reactions to it.


Guess who won out ...

It is so good to see this video of Kenny's concert in August of 2014.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Have traveled 2 of the 20 scenic roads

After reading about and seeing photos of the 20 scenic roads, we find the information interesting, but we are pretty satisfied not to travel quite a few because of the dangers they present to the traveler. However, we really thought the article and photos were so interesting that we are sharing with you.

Our blog itself has one of those roads, which is Scenic Byway 163 in the United States,and the other we have traveled is the Blue Ridge Parkway -- also in the U.S.

To enjoy the article about these scenic roads, go to:
Twenty Roads You Should
Drive In Your Lifetime

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Out of Africa

If you like animals,
If you like music,
If you like photos,
If you like travel,

it's possible you will enjoy this.

It would probably help if you have seen the movie, "Out of Africa."

Anyway, I consider this sorta in the category of "Let's pretend" and "armchair travel" and offer the link to you for a YouTube video that is about 8 minutes long.

Out of Africa Tribute

Friday, March 28, 2014

Interview With God

We consider this our travel blog. I'm choosing to place this here because a number of the photos in this video are places we have visited in our travels.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty and the wisdom.

Interview With God

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Yosemite ~ Never Been There

Several of my Flickr contacts have been there. The above photo is by Hazboy. Also there's an almost endless supply of Yosemite photos by Liquid Moonlight.

Today, National Geographic sent this time-lapse photography which lasts a little over 5 minutes. This is an experience you can only have this way.

Yosemite HD II

Friday, March 14, 2014

Haven't Been There and Haven't Done That

Above is a beautiful view we snapped after we left the Cumberland Gap Visitor Center and drove the winding, four-mile-long Skyland Road up the mountain to Pinnacle Overlook, which treated us to this spectacular view of the point where the Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia state borders meet.

We have seen some other beautiful mountains, all in the USA, but now through "Let's Pretend" we are going to give you a chance of a life time.

Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco, both meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union. It rises 4,810 m above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence.

Didler Lafond has placed this on Vimeo. For an experience you will never have in person, just sit back and enjoy a thrill, the likes of which Disney may not have invented YET...

Speed Riding Mount-Blanc

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Southwestern Trip

Walt Grayson took a trip out west in 2012 that I found very interesting.

Our own Southwestern trip covered some of the same area in 2005, and we were very aware there was much more to see that we just could not cram into a month. For instance, we bypassed Monument Valley because we were in such a hurry to get to the Grand Canyon.

Since our trip included parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas Hill Country, and Utah, there is really no way to share those photos because they are so numerous.

The main result of that month-long trip RVing in our Dutchman Travel Trailer is it caused us to decide we could live that way fulltime if we just had a bigger RV. So, we traded in our TT for a vintage Airstream motor home and hit the road in 2007.

We'd still like to be on the road from time to time RVing, but we're very happy living in Sweet Home Alabama.

Here's Walt's trip of Arches, Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon as well as some other points of interest in 10 days:
Arches,Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyon

Be sure to watch the video to the end to see the head-in-the-hole photo op!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Alberta, Canada

Here's an "armchair travel" post I'm sharing because I think you'll enjoy it as I did. Actually, travel posts have gone up on both our blogs today.

This video was produced by Travel Alberta and brought to you on YouTube by Travelindex and the Travel & Tourism Foundation. For more information on Alberta please visit

With its vast blue skies, magnificent Canadian Rockies, rolling fields of wheat, boreal forests and the Canadian Badlands, there is something for every visitor. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy everything from, kayaking, hiking, rafting, skiing and rock climbing to picnics in an alpine meadow or camping. Nature buffs will marvel at the wonderful wildlife. Anglers can find a lake, river or stream nearby that offers great fishing. For those of you who harbor an inner cowboy, take in the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth" - the Calgary Stampede.

Remember to Breath – Alberta, Canada

Monday, November 4, 2013

Another Double Barrel Post

WHEN? Sunday • November 3

WHERE? Flora-Bama @ Alabama-Florida State Line

We've been attending this worship service since April of this year. It has been going on for about two and a half years. The music is loud and lifts you up or possibly wakes you up if you're sleepy. It's like no other worship service we've ever attended.

Someone suggested we try it, and we have to say we do like it enough to drive 30 miles each way to attend it.

Yesterday, the message was brought by John McInnis using The Prodigal Son Parable as the scripture as well as 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Thirty-five year old McInnis told his story, giving his background and describing his life. He said he had been richly blessed but had various health problems in his life, which included working hard and playing hard.

I say this is a double barrel post because he mentioned three books he recommended for reading that helped change his life and discover the approach that worked for him for a personal relationship with God who sent His Son, Jesus, who provides all people with salvation through His death on the cross and His resurrection. He also mentioned his genuine concern for our nation to return to God.

Those books are:

EAT TO LIVE by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

THE TRUE MEASURE OF A MAN by Richard E. Simmons, III

THE HARBINGER by Jonathan Cahn

Now we have approximately 700 pages of reading we are looking forward to