Thursday, February 27, 2014


Come this Christmas, I will be curious to go and see the movie that Angelina Jolie is now producing. 
Admittedly, she is not a favorite of mine.  But, seeing her in an interview with Louis Zamperini has me thinking.  Hmmmm...
Not sure what the movie will be called, but I have read the book and it is called UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand.  It is an excellent read.  I highly recommend it.  Definitely not my normal genre read, but wow, it is a page turner. 
It is about a man (Louis Zamperini) who survives conflict after conflict.  True life events that are inconceivable. 
A plane crash, surviving in the ocean, POW camp.  Some parts are so hard to read.  It is unthinkable what man can do to another man.  Evil.  Such evil. 
While I was watching the interview, I am convinced that Angelina loves this man.  She stated that , "it is important to get it right."  I believe her. 
I also think this is personal for her.   She wants to get this story accurate.  I applaud her. 
There is a definite bond between these two souls. 
Very fascinating to hear that they lived near each other in California, and never knew it.  For ten years, they were neighbors.
Life is strange that way.  Full of twists and turns.   They have come together for "such a time as this" to do this film. 

Cameras followed her as she made her way into Louis' house for the interview.  She seemed to ignore the camera.  She was on a mission.  To sit by and speak eloquently of, and to, this special man.  This kind, frail, 97 year old man who stole her heart just by being him.  How I wish I could meet him.  He is the grandfather that every girl wants.  He was humble during the interview and full of life.  A fully alive man.  How blessed is she to produce a movie about such a wise soul. 

Have you read the book?  What did you think?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Is this Narnia?

Pretty sure I just stepped through the wardrobe and landed in Narnia. 
Lucy must have been awestruck as she made her way through the winter wonderland of Narnia.  It indeed took her breath away as it did mine. 
As I roamed, there it was...the lamp post!  Can you see it?
Walking farther along, I happened to look down at the snow covered forest floor.  Tracks abounded everywhere.  I wonder if the forest friends were playing tag with each other?  I looked at one set of tracks a little closer.  Could it be?  I am thinking....maybe Mr. Tumnus is near?  What do you think?
The excitement was mounting.  All was still in this magical place.   I could hear  the sound of snow relinquishing its grip on the very top branches of the evergreen tree next to me.  I tried to pass under the tree before it blasted me with snow.  I would say it was daring me to a snowball fight.  Or...maybe it was the white witch??    Brushing off the coat of snow, I moved on.  I came around a bend in the path and I do believe I stumbled upon Mr and Mrs Beaver's home! 
It was a beautiful walk.  One I shall not forget anytime soon.  The beauty of winter was everywhere.  I felt His presence all along the path. 
The ice is starting to melt.  I just know that "Aslan  is on the move." ---CS Lewis. 


Thursday, February 20, 2014


Picture standing next to a blank canvas.

"Don't ever rush creativity"

Monday, February 17, 2014

Marion Stroud

I am using my Monday England blog to praise an England author.  Her name is Marion Stroud. 

I "found" her awhile back  by way of another author whose book I had just acquired.

Opening to the endorsement page, there it was----Marion Stroud, author of Dear God It's Me and It's Urgent and Its Just You and Me Lord. 

Deciding to look her up, I found that she lives in Bedford, England. 
ENGLAND...I Was Hooked!

I bought her book and received it shortly thereafter. 
In "Dear God, its Me and its Urgent, the author quite poignantly and with much vulnerability, helps women see God is working even when we can't see it clearly. 
She uses her words, bible verses, and quotes from many such as:  Robert Frost, Elisabeth Elliot, Ruth Bell Graham, Alfred Lord Tennyson, CS Lewis... to help each devotion come alive for our day. 
There are subjects such as marriage, children, work, growing older...good stuff. 

I use this book as part of my devotion time every day.  It will bless you. 

To find this author...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentines Day

We all say it.
"Have a good day.  See you tonight."  Hopefully, we throw in a quick  "I love you" as we hurry out the door  naively thinking  we will do it all again the next day. 
I spent some time looking through some old memories from Valentine Days gone by.  It brought giggles and smiles and oohs and aaahs.  Plenty of "I remember that" as I unhurriedly looked through my treasure box of cards and other things I could never part with. 
Funny cards, emotional  ones, and homemade ones.  All with a story behind each one.  There was that one with the Hershey kisses that were hot glued to the paper.  Each "kiss" for each day in February.  Oh, and the one that was pretty sappy...."Now that I have kissed the ground you walk on....I will shower you with Flowers." --anonymous.  
My husband had generously put Hershey kisses everywhere I would walk in the house.  Then he proceeded to put flowers in the shower!!
 How good today my life is,  for tomorrow it could be different.         
I was reading the paper this week.  A woman about my age dressed in black.  That morning,  she was living her life, saying "Have a nice day" to her husband.  In an instant, her whole world changed.    How could she have known that day would be her last with him?  She didn't.  None of us do.       I don't even know her, but I can only imagine her pain.    Is she playing the last voicemail message he left on her phone over and over careful not to hit the delete button? 
Or sleeping on his side of the bed, wrapped in his clothes?    Life can be cruel. 
It also is full of lessons for all of us.  Live today. 
Say, "I love you."  What better day than Valentines Day?  Say it loud to those you love...a spouse, a friend, a child, a grandparent, the dog, the cat....Just say it.     

Monday, February 10, 2014

Basildon Park

If walls could talk.
Who wandered these halls?
What was it like to live here?
So Downton Abbey like.  Did they have a gardener?  Must have.  Imagine fresh flowers...daisies and roses and hyacinths.  The scents tickling the noses of all who enter this mansion.  
I look at this picture and think of the windows.  So many to wash!  It must have been a daunting task.
A beautiful view.  Quite breathtaking actually. 
An excellent place to play hide and seek.  There are many woods around the park.  Children most certainly must have entertained themselves exploring this vast land. 
Looks like my backyard...NOT!  So much open space. 
I was just reading about Basildon Park and an episode from Downton Abbey was filmed here! 
You can read about it by following this link

Are you a Downton Abbey watcher?  Who is your favorite character?  Least favorite?
I believe mine to be The Countess of Grantham.  She has such wit and can really pull off some zingers! 
The sign welcomes us to Basildon Park.  Here, one can gain entry to the house and there is a quaint gift shop to browse.  We strolled through a wooded area and then there it was , this tremendous residence waiting for us to tour. 


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Celebrating Life

Just celebrated my birthday. 
I was reminded of what I already knew. 
I have a great family, great friends, and a great life. 
This wasn't a BIG birthday...I remember those!

When I turned 30, my brother in law managed to put a huge sheet that stated GAIL IS 30 up in my trees...WAY up in my trees, with a light to boot!  That way everyone could see day or night that I hit the big 30.
When I turned 40, I told my husband that we needed to get away!  Away we did.  Charleston, South Carolina.  A great way to spend turning 40. 

I received birthday blessings from near and far.  A keepsake card from a dear friend in CA, and a letter from my dear Aunt.  We share the same birthday.  I love receiving mail from her.  With texts and email and facebook these days, I just cherish the handwritten words I receive. 

My accountant sent me some "News of the Past."
I found it intriguing. 

When I was born, Lyndon B. Johnson and Hubert H. Humphrey were the President/VP. 
The  first successful heart transplant was performed in the USA.
Peggy Fleming successfully defends her world figure skating title.  Timely information as the Winter Olympics start today.
The Green Bay Packers win Super Bowl II!  I didn't know that!!! 

In 1968, a gallon of milk was $1.21     NOW it is $3.52
               a new home  $40,000             NOW it is $199, 500.00

Did you do anything, OR, did someone else, for a BIG birthday that was out of the ordinary? 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Basildon Park

I just celebrated a birthday last Friday.  I spent some time looking through happy pictures!  I am going to park here for a few Mondays reminiscing about Basildon Park.  This is a house in England that the National Trust takes such great care of.  Also, parts of the movie Pride and Prejudice were filmed here.  I have pictures!!  Stay tuned. 

I was in a state of constant wonder while in England.  Sometimes I just needed to sit and take it all in.