CEE’S BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE – BIRDS II

Here is the link to this week’s Black & White Photo Challenge. Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Birds

Here are a few more birds that I captured in the past few years. I didn’t realize what a photo hoarder I really am. I guess I was just waiting for the right time to share. Hope you enjoy these.

Rock Pigeon

Rock Pigeon

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

Great Blue Herons building a nest at the Viera Wetlands, Viera, Florida.

Great Blue Herons

Eastern Bluebird caught taking flight off and electrical wire.

Eastern Bluebird

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Birds

Here is the link to this week’s Black & White Photo Challenge. Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Birds

Well this is going to be my favorite challenge and I might just blog every day about birds. I have added a few of my favorite shots over the last few years.

Ruddy Turnstone at Ft. Clinch State Park in Fernandina, Florida.

Ruddy Turnstone

American White Pelican flying overhead at Viera Wetlands, Viera, Florida.

American White Pelican

Seagull wading in the surf at Little Talbot State Park, Jacksonville, Florida

Seagull

Double-crested cormorant fishing in one of the many ponds at Viera Wetlands in Viera, Florida.

Double-Crested Cormorant

LIVING IN THE MOMENT – YNP – OLD FAITHFUL

DISCLAIMER….This post documents our vacation from September, 2019, We continue to write while being at home more than normal because of social distancing due to the coronavirus. We are about 1/2 way through our adventure and hope everyone is enjoying the posts. I encourage you and yours to visit all the beautiful places that the USA has to offer once our great nation overcomes this terrible obstacle in front of us. Stay safe and God bless, we will get through this!

Gibbon Falls was a great unplanned stop, but now we were back on the Grand Loop Hwy getting ready to turn left at Madison Junction and head South toward Old Faithful. It was getting later in the afternoon and as we drove closer to our final destination for the day, the traffic and geyser activity were both on the rise. Looking at the time and considering the crowds at each of the geyser basins, we decided to forgo any further stops and spend more time at Old Faithful. We had to be in Jackson Hole that night and knew time would only permit one more extended stop that day.

Geyser basin on the grounds of Old Faithful looking towards the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park.

The scenery along Grand Loop Hwy from Madison Junction to Old Faithful is full of volcanic energy. When you visit Yellowstone, and see all the different areas where geothermal activity occurs, it’s readily apparent how large the caldera below the park really is. The road we were on has the highest concentration of geysers and geothermal activity in the entire park and the weather was perfect to highlight their features. The colder temperatures and the high humidity in the air meant steam was easily visible from the smallest of fissures to the largest of geysers. It seemed like the ground was smoking everywhere we looked. All this did was broaden our smiles and get us ready for the big show at Old Faithful.

We followed the signs and got off on the interchange for Old Faithful. That’s not a misprint, interchange like highway interchange. We knew this area would be large because of its popularity, but the infrastructure of the visitor area was even bigger than we imagined. You have the incredible and historic Old Faithful Inn, the Old Faithful Lodge (complete with an indoor recreation area, with a full size basketball court, known as Geyser Hall), the visitor center, other visitor centric spots and a HUGE parking area that was packed.

We parked and got out into a drizzle of tiny ice crystals and headed over to the Lodge to check it out first. We weren’t stressed about getting over to Old Faithful right away because we had just missed an eruption and knew there wouldn’t be another one for about 50 minutes to an hour. Yellowstone’s most famous geyser doesn’t erupt at an exact time but, it’s “faithful” enough that, the Park Service gives out approximate times for the next eruption. We grabbed an ice cream cone at the Lodge, went into Geyser Hall and shot some baskets. After killing a little time in the warmth the gym had to offer, we headed over for the big show.

Standing around Old Faithful with all the other tourists was kind of an out of body experience for us. We had seen and heard about “Her” our entire lives and now, we were finally going to see and feel something we had dreamed about since we were kids. All this anticipation boiled down to one moment and then it happened. Just like her namesake, she erupted right on time. Her outburst lasted 4 minutes this time, which seemed a lot shorter than it was. While we were watching, we wanted Her to keep going and going but, as with all good things, the eruption came to an end. There’s no way to adequately capture in words or video what it’s like to see Old Faithful and the geyser basin. The sites, the sounds, the smells, the feeling and the overall atmosphere are incredible. As beautiful as the pictures and videos are, it’s so much more of everything when you’re there.

With the eruption over until the next one in an hour or so, it was time to walk the geyser basin with easy boardwalk access right in the middle of the action. The variety of geysers and other geothermal features around the basin are incredible. The smell of sulphur in the air, the welcoming heat coming off the thermal features and the sounds of bubbling liquid were transfixing. On this day, we welcomed the heat as it was chilly and windy. The clouds were producing ice crystals that pelted our skin and I could have used windshield wipers for my glasses. What an experience! We could have spent an entire day just walking between geysers in the basin!

Lions Geyser, on the grounds of Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Once we had explored the basin until our time limit expired, we decided to seek out some hot chocolate and head over to “The Inn”. This is a must see even if you are not staying in one of their 327 rooms. It is as impressive from the outside as it is when you walk through into the lobby. The first thing you see is the massive clock/four sided fireplace. The warmth coming from this stone masterpiece was very welcoming. If my photo had been taken, you all would have seen my eyes and mouth open wide like a child on Christmas morning.

The log pillars with ambient lighting inside the historic Old Faithful Inn.

The glow from the lighting of the Old Faithful Inn provided tones of warmth and welcoming vibrato. With the violins playing, it was as if we had stepped into the history books and were visiting the Titanic on land.

Once we got our bearings, Frank noticed a lady to the right of the entrance in front of the gift shop who was selling books. It just so happened that she was Elizabeth Watry, an author from my own publisher, who had co-written Images of America, Yellowstone National Park. Of course, I went over to talk to her and after an extended conversation, I went into the gift shop and Frank bought me her book for my birthday which was the following day. I took it out to Elizabeth and she signed it. It is always great meeting other published authors who have endured the same writing experiences as you have.

Meeting fellow author, Elizabeth Watry was one highlight of our trip to Old Faithful.

We walked out of the Inn and into the first sun we had seen since early morning. Old Faithful was starting to erupt, right on time, and it was time for us to hit the highway and head toward Grand Teton. We watched this amazing natural phenomenon for the last time and walked slowly to the parking lot. Our emotional state was kind of a happy and excited melancholy. Happy and excited to have experienced such an amazing place and sad to be leaving. We suggest that you plan a day or two to walk the grounds and geyser basin for a “full on” Old Faithful experience. We took as much time as we could and it wasn’t enough. I suppose, we will just have to plan another trip.

Back on the road our adventure continued. The days and nights in and around Yellowstone were magical and we looked forward to what was to come.

Selfie in front of the geyser basin, Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake, Lunch at Otter Creek, Mount Washburn, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Paddling the Yellowstone River, The Tiny House, Old Yellowstone Trail, Gibbon Falls – Drive to Old Faithful. Please look forward to our next post as the adventure continues.

Quotes of the day – Texas

…we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas – Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) (2010)

This was quite the controversy and I was appalled by it when it happened, however I try to appreciate the opinions of others. America is a free country and she had a right to say what she said. I just didn’t agree with it. I didn’t think President George Bush was doing a bad job, I just didn’t agree with all of his decisions. Still I was proud to be born and raised in the great State of Texas.

State of Texas

I have never been ashamed to call myself a Texan, and I’ve been proud to tell people I’m from the great state of Texas. The comments from Lt. Governor Dan Patrick regarding human safety vs. the economy, just pissed me off. Many seniors are forced into retirement either by their employers to bring in the new talent or because they have underlying medical conditions that will not allow them to continue. The fortunate ones who retire after working hard their entire lives, get to do the things they dreamed of like travelling, fishing, golfing or spending time with the grandchildren. Now, those folks who have sacrificed their entire lives to contribute to the economy need to get to work and sacrifice themselves for the future of big business???

Here is my own personal Quote of the Day!

If I could divorce my birth certificate I would!

Lisa Coleman (2020)

Senior Citizen lambs being led to slaughter
Senior Citizens Ready for Sacrifice

To be fair, Mr. Patrick is entitled to his opinion. As I stated, it’s a free country. The truth is, he’s not even a Texan. So maybe, I should give Texas a break. That being said, to speak irresponsibly and put millions of American civilians health and finances at risk is crossing the line. They didn’t sign up for this. They didn’t read a contract knowing what may happen to them in battle or on the front lines. This is a fight against an invisible enemy.

I have served my country my entire life. I started working when I was 15 to help support my family. I proudly served as a United States Marine for twelve years. I owned a successful small business and I still work full time (from home right now). I’m close to being a senior citizen. I’m married to a senior citizen and I have a granddaughter with chronic lung issues. Now, I’m supposed to put myself and my family at risk based on what a politician says.

Here’s a novel idea. Let’s listen to what the medical experts tell us is the best way to combat coronavirus so that we can get back to business once everyone is safe! Doing what Mr. Patrick suggest, according to the medical experts, would completely overwhelm our entire healthcare system, cause many unnecessary deaths, take much longer to get through and cause catastrophic financial losses.

On a personal and spiritual note, NO amount of money is worth sacrificing human lifes. We’re going to get through this America. Let’s do it the right way. Let’s love each other, even if it’s from a distance. Let’s support each other and have confidence in this great country that we will get through this. Let’s lace up our boots and tighten our belts. And as the Marine Corps Motto states, Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)! Let’s just do it from a distance!

Speaking of sacrifice Mr. Patrick, what branch of the service did you serve in?

LONG LIVE THE DIXIE CHICKS! I’m glad they are back!

Living In the Moment – YNP – Drive to Old Faithful

DISCLAIMER….This post documents our vacation from September, 2019 which I am able to write a little more with social distancing and being at home more than normal due to the coronavirus. I am only about 1/2 way through the adventure and I hope that I can encourage you to visit these beautiful areas that the USA has to offer once this nightmare is over.

After several days of nice weather with blue skies, illuminated sunrises and sunsets, our final drive into Yellowstone was a different story. Turning south from the Old Yellowstone Trail onto Hwy 89, we could see what was in front of us, clouds with multiple shades of grey and purple. We were about to see our last sunshine until late in the day and that was ok. Old Faithful here we come. We talked about what we were going to see that day and, with the looming cloudy weather that was developing before our eyes, our conversation turned to snow. We had seen Yellowstone’s sunny splendor and now we might see her with a little bit of white frosting.

Ice crystals were beginning to form as this Bison mosied across the highway, stopping traffic.
Entering the park from Gardner, MT.

By the time we got to the park it was completely overcast and a cold Yellowstone wind was a blowing. Time for a quick picture with the sign, and we were ready to rumble. We took the same route into the heart of the park we’d taken on previous days due to road closures. As you’ve read on previous posts, delays because of construction are a common occurrence. Please check with the rangers when you enter Yellowstone National Park to see how you’ll be affected. Even though we didn’t get a chance to take a more direct route, we got a chance to see a part of the park we’d already seen in a completely different light. The difference was amazing. Though this part of Yellowstone proved to be cold, wet and a bit dreary….except for us Floridians who never see snow, it was quite invigorating! As we approached Mt. Washburn, the snow had begun and was starting to accumulate on our climb through the pass.

The snow, rain, slush, tiny ice crystals and a combination of all four continued through most of our drive. It was awesome to experience this cold diverse weather, while our home in FL had just missed a close call with Hurricane Dorian…what a difference. Today was the first day of our trip we were glad we had stocked up on some winter gear at REI before leaving Jacksonville. If you’re ever taking a vacation where there’s a chance you’ll experience winter conditions, we recommend you always pick up some base layers. Call them long underwear or long johns if you like, but base layers will add to your comfort level more than almost anything else you can bring when the conditions turn chilly.

We knew we were getting closer to Old Faithful for two reasons. First, there was geothermal activity almost everywhere we looked, and second, there was an increase in traffic on the road. We didn’t mind the additional vehicles. We were in no hurry and we were experiencing an area more like a distant planet than the home we were used to. At this moment, we did something that became the theme of our vacation. We took the time to make an unplanned stop at a really cool attraction along the way. These little side trips always made our days longer than we expected, but they were so worth it. I give you Gibbon Falls

Gibbon Falls

We stopped at Gibbon Falls Trail to just take a peak and ended up staying and enjoying this natural wonder for a bit longer. And a really cool attraction it turned out to be. Cool as in high 30’s F and a gusty wind you can hear in the video below. We loved it! A little slice of winter in the middle of September in the middle of an American icon.

From the Parking Lot of Gibbon Falls.

When I look at a beautiful natural feature like a waterfall, I think of how I’m seeing a living breathing part of nature that’s connected with everything around it and how it changes from day to day and season to season. We were so glad that we took the extra time to take in the beauty this trail had to offer. Another “Living in the Moment” decision that didn’t disappoint.

From the top of the lookout – Gibbon Falls

Back on the road, tiny ice crystals were falling off and on as we headed to Old Faithful excited to see the Geyser Basin and walk through one of America’s most storied lodges, Old Faithful Inn.

Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake, Lunch at Otter Creek, Mount Washburn, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Paddling the Yellowstone River, The Tiny House, Old Yellowstone Trail. Please look forward to our next post as the adventure continues.

CEE’S BLACK & WHITE PHOTO CHALLENGE – Fences & Gates

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge

Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
Fence around the tennis courts in Christmas, Florida
Casa Coquina del Mar in Titusville, Florida (our favorite B&B)
Gardens, Painted Gate and Fence, Casa Coquina del Mar, Titusville, Florida
Sparrows on the fence in gardens at Paradise Gateway B&B in Montana.

SLS – “When I Say I Do” by Clint Black

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with Promise/Vow/Oath for this weeks Song Lyric Sunday. The first song that came to mind was the beautiful duet by Clint Black and his wife, actress and singer, Lisa Hartman Black, “When I Say I Do”.

For much of the early 2000’s, “When I Say I Do” became the new wedding march for many people, no matter what their favorite genre of music was at the time which made this song a huge crossover hit. Released in August, 1999 and written by Clint Black, “When I Say I Do” was the first single from his album, “D’lectrified”. I remember how electrifying this song was when it hit the radio and the harmonies of these two talents was so romantic. It reached #1 on the US Hot Country Songs Billboard and Canada Country Tracks (RPM). It crossed over and reached #31 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Both Clint and Lisa grew up in Houston and met on New Year’s Eve, 1990 when Lisa attended Clint’s show. They married 10 months after they met. This article from Country Living Magazine was written in 2016 when the couple were celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss. For many couples in showbiz, staying married is a difficult feat, but there are several power couples in country music that have found a balance for family and stardom. The lyrics of this song speak volumes of the promise, the vow and the oath to love until the end of all time.

When I Say I Do

These times are troubled and these times are good
And they're always gonna be, they rise and they fall
We take 'em all the way that we should
Together you and me forsaking them all
Deep in the night and by the light of day
It always looks the same, true love always does
And here by your side, or a million miles away
Nothin's ever gonna change the way that i feel,
The way it is, is the way that it was

When i said i do, i meant that i will 'til the end of all time
Be faithful and true, devoted to you
That's what i had in mind when i said i do

Well this old world keeps changin', and the world stays the same
For all who came before, and it goes hand and hand
Only you and i can undo all that we became
That makes us so much more, than a woman and a man
And after everything that comes and goes around
Has only passed us by, here alone in our dreams
I know there's a lonely heart in every lost and found
But forever you and i will be the ones
Who found out what forever means

When i said i do, i meant that i will 'til the end of all time
Be faithful and true, devoted to you
That's what i had in mind when i said i do
Truer than true, you know that i'll always be there for you
That's what i had in mind, that's what i had in mind,
When i said i do

Songwriter:  Clint Black

Coronavirus Map

Hello my fellow bloggers! I wanted to provide you with the link that the president of our company sent out to all employees this past week allowing us to follow the data coming in on the COVID-19 cases being reported to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. This link gives you a perspective of what is happening across the globe as more people are being tested and results are coming back. You can zoom into the map and click on your area to get more in-depth information. I know this data is not time accurate as it has not updated the current numbers in Florida as of the time that of this posting. Still, they are doing a great job at inputting the data as quickly as they can.

Florida cases reported at the time of this screenshot, 659 confirmed cases.
Actual cases reported in Florida at the same time, 763 confirmed cases.

I found that I would rather look at this map than listen to the same dreary news on the national and international news outlets. It gives me a sense of calm and allows me to be informed at the same time. If I want to to know more than what this map offers, then I will go turn on my television and watch CNN. The images were screenshot at the same time so there is a small lag with what may be reported locally. I have bookmarked both of these sites to my favorites.

I hope you find this informative and it helps you understand the seriousness of what our world faces in the weeks and months to come. There is an outpouring of goodwill all over the planet. Let’s stay positive in this time of crisis and remember to love and as Ellen Degeneres says after every show, “be kind to one another” no matter what happens. It’s just a matter of time before we know someone close to us who is dealing with this terrible virus. If you or someone you know has been confirmed positive, my prayers go out to you and your loved ones that you survive this and are able to make a full recovery. Take care people! Lots of love!

FOTD – Hibiscus – Haiku

Cee’s FOTD Challenge

One bloom all over

Warmth, tropical in nature

Closing at day’s end

International Day of Happiness: Tips for Staying Positive at Work and Home — Simply Stamps How-To

Hello fellow bloggers! I had a blog post published at work yesterday that I wrote for one of our brands, Simply Stamps. I have been employed by the same company for 11 1/2 years and worked in most departments. I was taught how to make stamps when I started in 2008 and quickly moved into customer service for Simply Stamps after 3 months. Since that time, I have worked in some capacity in almost every department within our working family, HCBrands.

My assignment this month was to write about the International Day of Happiness which is tomorrow, March 20th. I wrote it, edited it and as the daily news changed over the past few days, rewrote it again. I hope you enjoy the article, be happy today with a little extra “happy” for tomorrow as we face many challenging days ahead with this nasty monster lurking about. I’m working from home, already stir-crazy, but you can bet that I’m spreading my own smiles to you wherever you are. Positive Happy Vibes!

International Day of Happiness will take on a whole new meaning in 2020 with the amount of coronavirus cases increasing each day. As many Americans are sheltered in place, working from home or have been told to stay indoors, our wellness, both mentally and physically will be challenged. There are many ways that you can…

International Day of Happiness: Tips for Staying Positive at Work and Home — Simply Stamps How-To

Song Lyric Sunday – “You Send Me” SAm Cooke

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with Give/Get/Receive/Take/Send for this weeks Song Lyric Sunday. Today I have chosen an oldie but goodie performed on American Bandstand, 61 years ago on March 14, 1959.

Written and performed by Sam Cooke, “You Send Me” was released by Keen Records as a single in 1957 and was Cooke’s debut single. His career took off after Specialty Records (a gospel label) released him from his contract because they thought Cooke would alienate their fans with his songs. After the release, “You Send Me” sold over 2 million copies. It became #1 on both Billboard’s  Rhythm & Blues Records chart and the Billboard Hot 100. “You Send Me” stayed on the Hot 100 charts for 26 weeks. In April, 2010, it was ranked #115 in Rolling Stone magazine’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

Sam Cooke was only 33 years old when he was shot at the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California on December 11, 1964 only months after the above interview with Dick Clark. Another legend who died too soon! Can you imagine what else he would have done even with the 30 Top 40 hits and some of the most popular songs of all time?

You Send Me
Darling, you send me
I know you send me
Darling, you send me
Honest, you do, honest, you do
Honest, you do, whoa
You thrill me
I know you, you, you thrill me
Darling, you, you, you, you thrill me
Honest, you do
At first I thought it was infatuation
But, woo, it's lasted so long
Now I find myself wanting
To marry you and take you home, whoa
You, you, you, you send me
I know you send me
I know you send me
Honest you do
Whoa-oh-oh, whenever I'm with you
I know, I know, I know when I'm near you
Mm hmm, mmm hmm, honest, you do, honest, you do
Whoa-oh-oh, I know-oh-oh-oh
I know, I know, I know, when you hold me
Whoa, whenever you kiss me
Mm hmm, mm hmm, honest you do
At first I thought it was infatuation
But, woo, it's lasted so long
Now I find myself wanting
To marry you and take you home
I know, I know, I know you send me
I know you send me
Whoa, you, you, you, you send me
Honest you do
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Sam Cooke
You Send Me lyrics © Abkco Music, Inc

SLS – North to alaska – johnny horton

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with North/South/East/West for this weeks Song Lyric Sunday. The first tune that came to mind for me was Johnny Horton’s “North to Alaska”.

Alaska was admitted into the Union as the 49th state in 1959 and the relevance of this song was historically perfect for the time that it was released. At the end of the 19th Century, the Klondike Gold Rush, AKA Yukon Gold Rush was booming in Alaska and “North to Alaska” was released 63 years after the onslaught of stampeders (20,000-30,000) began their travels from Seattle to find their own fortune in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Unfortunately, the terrain was more than the mass groups of people could handle. This lead to murders, suicides, disease, malnutrition, avalanches, hypothermia and the death of many pack animals. Many of those who survived, were broke financially and heartbroken.

Nome Gold Rush
Compliments of the Alaska Historical Society.
Photo by Wilfred McDaniel from the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum Archives

In 1898, a rich discovery of gold was discovered on Anvil Creek in Nome, Alaska and by 1899, thousands of men came into the area. Just a short time after this discovery, gold was found in the beach sands along the Bering Sea and that began the Nome Alaska Gold Rush. 20,000 people were living in Nome at the peak, with nearly one-third of all white men in Alaska living there. Miners used pans, rockers and sluices to recover the fine gold from the beach and they later had a makeshift operation that included hoses and pumps to help with production. One of the major issues happened when claim jumping started happening and crooked politicians/judges allowed it to continue for their own personal gain. The Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals eventually stopped the process of claim jumping. Mining companies came in at the beginning of the 20th century and mining continued until the gold deposits ran dry. The 1909 census showed the population in Nome, Alaska was 2,600, down from the 20,000 just a few years prior. Nome remains isolated with no roads into the city. It is only accessible by boat or airplane. Nome depends on tourism to keep their economy stable today.

Johnny Horton with Elvis Presley

Johnny Horton was an American country music and rockabilly singer and musician during the 1950’s and early 1960’s who crossed country, honkytonk and rockabilly genres of music while on the Louisiana Hayride after being influenced by Elvis Presley.

North to Alaska (the song)

Horton found success with his folk ballads based on American historic themes and legends. “North to Alaska” (written by Mike Phillips) is one of those songs that tells a story of a man heading to Alaska from Seattle in search of gold to build a homestead in Alaska for is favorite gal, Jenny. Horton recorded “North to Alaska” in 1960 which went to #1 on the US Country Music Charts and peaked at #4 on the Hot 100 Billboard Charts. It also charted in six other countries, reaching #1 in Canada and #2 in Australia.

North to Alaska (the movie)

“North to Alaska” was a Comedy/Western/Northern movie starring John Wayne in 1960. The song lyrics provided a backstory in the beginning credits of the film to set the scene for the starting point of the film during the Nome gold rush. The movie, set in 1901 is about two brothers, George and Billy Pratt with their partner Sam McCord (played by Wayne) who finds gold while panning in Nome, Alaska. The story has several subplots one being that George sends Sam to Seattle to retrieve his love only to find she has married another man. Sam brings back a substitute in her place. In early 1959, 20th Century Fox announced they would make “The Alaskans” starring John Wayne. After changing directors and a lot of time in pre-production while the movie was labeled “Go North” during that time, plus the writer’s strike, shooting for “North to Alaska” didn’t begin until May, 1960. The movie finished filming in August, edited in September, and released in November of the same year.

Johnny Horton had a premonition that he would be killed by a drunk.

At the peak of his career, Johnny Horton died in an automobile accident in Milam County, Texas on November 5, 1960 at the tender age of 35 in a head-on collision with a truck driven by James Evan Davis who was charged with intoxication manslaughter. He was drunk at the time of the accident. This happened just a few months after Horton recorded “North to Alaska” and eight days before the movie was released. Horton was buried in Shreveport, Louisiana and Johnny Cash did a reading at Horton’s funeral.

I read a story entitled “Remembering the Creepy Death of Johnny Horton 58 Year Ago” and decided to include the link so you be the judge. Link

Horton married second wife, Billie Jean Jones, the widow of country-music singer Hank Williams one year after Williams’ death.

The night that Horton was killed, he had just finished his set at the Skyline Club in Austin, Texas where he kissed his wife, Billie Jean goodbye. The night/morning that Hank Williams died, he played his last set at the Skyline Club, kissing his wife, Billie Jean before he left for his next gig, dying in the back of his Cadillac enroute to his next performance. De ju vue for Billie Jean who was also a Country Music singer/songwriter!

“North to Alaska

Big Sam left Seattle in the year of ninety-two
With George Pratt his partner and brother Billy too
They crossed the Yukon river and they found the bonanza gold
Below that old white mountain
Just a little south-east of Nome
Sam crossed the Majestic mountains to the valleys far below
He talked to his team of huskies
As he mushed on through the snow
With the northen lights a-runnin' wild
In the land of the midnight sun
Yes Sam McCord was a mighty man
In the year of nineteen-one
Where the river is windin' big nuggets they're findin'
North to Alaska go north the rush is on
North to Alaska go north the rush is on
George turns to Sam with his gold in his hand
Said Sam you're lookin' at a lonely lonely man
I'd trade all the gold that's buried in this land
For one small band of gold to place on sweet little Jenny's hand
'Cause a man needs a woman to love him all the time
Remember Sam a true love is so hard to find
I'd build for my Jenny a honeymoon home
Below that old white mountain
Just a little south-east of Nome
Where the river is windin' big nuggets they're findin'
North to Alaska go north the rush is on
North to Alaska go north the rush is on
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Mike Phillips
North to Alaska lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

SLS – I’ll Make Love To You – Boys II Men

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with Listen/Hear/Talk/Speak for this weeks Song Lyric Sunday. I chose a very commercially successful song from 1994 that seems to fit the prompt. Seeing how, this is a provocative conversation between a woman and a man. What a sexy tune!

Boys II Men are a R&B & Hip Hop Group from Philadelphia, PA who are well known for their harmonies. They were originally a quartet who was successful under the Motown label in the 1990’s. Michael McCary left the group in 2003 due to multiple sclerosis. The three remaining group members are Nathan Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman.

Over their 25 year career, they have 4 Grammys, 9 American Music Awards, 9 Soul Train Awards, 3 Billboard Awards, 2011 MOBO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. They have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and have won a Casino Entertainment Award for their residency at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas where they have performed since 2013.

Me with BoysIIMen promoting their wine "Harmony".

February 29th is a special day since it only happens once every four years. Yesterday was no exception. It is a day that being at the “right place at the right time” matters! What a surprise it was!

I went on an unplanned road trip with my friend Nicole to Tallahassee, FL to meet up with her husband and daughter who were attending the Florida Regional Wrestling Championships. When we got off the interstate, we stopped for pizza and then ran some of my errands. Once we were finished, we were heading to Lawton Chiles High School.

While stopped at a light in Thomasville, FL, Nicole said, “Meet Boys II Men today from 1pm-2:30pm”. I said, “What?”. Then I saw what she was reading and I read the message on the digital sign in front of the ABC Liquor store across from the light. I thought I was misreading it or something. We made a U-turn and went to check it out. We got our hand stamped, I bought a bottle of Harmony Rose’ and we got in line. It was 12:50. At 1:04, they announced they wouldn’t be there for 15 more minutes. Nicole was not feeling well, so we got out line to leave. One of the security guys encouraged me to come back and he would get me back in line so I wouldn’t have to go to the end.

After I dropped Nicole off at the high school, I went back to ABC Liquors and, sure enough, there they were promoting their new wine, “Harmony”. Brilliant name for their label!

I found the guy who I had talked to earlier and he took me straight to the front of the line. Talk about VIP status! I apologized to the people that I cut in front of explaining how we had been there before. They were very nice and understood. Then I got my photo taken, shook hands, left the building and got on the road back to Jacksonville.

This is in the top 10 coolest things that has ever happened to me.

Fun Facts about the Song:

  • Written by Kenneth Edmonds AKA as Babyface.
  • Held the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 14 weeks in 1994 which at the time, tied a record for the most weeks at #1 that had been set by Whitney Houston singing Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”.
  • Topped the US R&B chart for nine weeks in 1994.
  • Sat at #1 for three weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart the same year.
  • It reached #1 on the Canada charts where it remained for 2 weeks in September, 1994.
  • In New Zealand, it reached #1 and stayed there for 4 weeks, in Australia, it sat at #1 for 3 weeks.
  • “I’ll Make Love to You” won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
  • Peaked at #5 on the UK Singles Chart
  • Won two American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Singe and Favorite Soul/R&B Single.
  • Ranks #19 on Billboard’s All-Time Top 100 Songs.

I’ll Make Love To You

Close your eyes, make a wish
And blow out the candlelight
For tonight is just your night
We're gonna celebrate,
All through the night
Pour the wine, light the fire
Girl your wish is my command
I submit to your demands
I will do anything,
Girl you need only ask
I'll make love to you
Like you want me to
And I'll hold you tight
Baby all through the night
I'll make love to you
When you want me to
And I will not let go
Till you tell me to
Girl relax, let's go slow
I ain't got nowhere to go
I'm just gonna concentrate on you
Girl are you ready?
It's gonna be a long night
Throw your clothes on the floor
I'm gonna take my clothes off too
I made plans to be with you
Girl whatever you ask me you know I can do
I'll make love to you
Like you want me to
And I'll hold you tight
Baby all through the night
I'll make love to you
When you want me to
And I will not let go
Till you tell me to
Baby tonight is your night
And I will do you right
Just make a wish on your night
Anything that you ask
I will give you the love of your life
I'll make love to you
Like you want me to
And I'll hold you tight
Baby all through the night
I'll make love to you
When you want me to
And I will not let go
Till you tell me to
I'll make love to you
Like you want me to
And I'll hold you tight
Baby all through the night
I'll make love to you
When you want me to
And I will not let go
Till you tell me to
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Kenneth Edmonds / Kenneth B Edmonds
I'll Make Love To You lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Song Lyric Sunday – Toes – Zac Brown Band

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with Ankles/Hands/Feet/Fingers/Toes/Wrists for this weeks Song Lyric Sunday. I chose a fun beachy song called “Toes” by the Zac Brown Band which was a commercial cross-over hit.

“Toes” is a song co-written by Zac Brown Bands lead singer Zac Brown, bass guitarist John Driskell Hopkins and songwriters Shawn Mullins and Wyatt Durrette. According to Brown, Durette called him at six o’clock in the morning during his 30th birthday vacation while in Key West with the idea for the song. This is such a great drinking song at the beach where a Georgia man is describing his trip to Mexico.

The video was directed by Darren Doane and was released on July 7, 2009 (my son’s 23rd birthday). The music video was shot in at Daniel’s Grocery off of Pilgrim Mill Road in Forsyth, George and Lake Lanier northeast of Atlanta. Far from Mexico, but isn’t that what filmmakers do?

“It’s epic. It’ll definitely be memorable – land, air and sea vehicles of all kinds, and the introduction of a character named Floaty Boatwood. He’s kind of a lovable, dirty Georgia kind of guy. He’s the main character in the video, but there’s some great cameos, too.” Zac Brown

“Toes” Fun Facts

  • Third consecutive single to reach the Top 5 on U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart
  • Second song to reach #1 for Zac Brown Band
  • Third consecutive single to peak in the Top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • Certified platinum by the RIAA on February 22, 2010.
  • Currently has 3x Platinum certifications
  • Lyrics were controversial and most radio stations replaced the lines “ass in the sand” to toes in the sand…”roll a big fat one” wasn’t very accepting at the time either. Sirius don’t play that game. You get the original lyrics. However, so much has changed in the last 10 years that you sometimes you will hear the original lyrics on FM.
I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today, life is good today
Well, the plane touched down just about three o'clock
And the city's still on my mind
Bikinis and palm trees danced in my head
I was still in the baggage line
Concrete and cars are there own prison bars like this shit I'm living in
But the plane brought me farther
I'm surrounded by water
And I'm not going back again
Got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today, life is good today
Adiós and vaya con Dios
Yeah I'm leaving GA
And if it weren't for Tequila and pretty senoritas
I'd have no reason to stay
Adiós and vaya con Dios
Yeah I'm leaving GA
Gonna lay in the hot sun and roll a big fat one
And grab my guitar and play
Four days flew by like a drunk Friday night
As the summer drew to an end
They can't believe that I just couldn't leave
And I bid adieu to my friends
'Cause my bartender she's from the islands
Her body's been kissed by the sun
And coconut replaces the smell of the bar
And I don't know if it's her or the Rum
I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today, life is good today
Adiós and vaya con Dios
A long way from GA
Yes and all the muchachas they call me Big Poppa
When I throw pesos their way
Adiós and vaya con Dios
A long way from GA
Someone do me a favor and pause for the Jaeger
I'll grab my guitar and play
Adiós and vaya con Dios
Going home now to stay
The senoritas don't care-o when there's no dinero
Yeah, I got no money to stay
Adiós and vaya con Dios
Going home now to stay
(Come on prop it up by the lake)
With my ass in a lawn chair
Toes in the clay
Not a worry in the world a PBR on the way
Life is good today
Life is good today
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Zachry Alexander Brown / Wyatt Durrette / John Hopkins / Shawn Eric Mullins
Toes lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Reach Music Publishing, Blackstone Entertainment

Florida Birds in Winter – #Sunday Stills

Please find my contribution for this weeks #SundayStills photography challenge, ‘For the Birds‘ hosted by Terri Webster Schrandt.

As an avid birder, I could have gone on for days and flooded this blog with bird photos. I decided I had other things needing my attention today. I did include photos that were taken in January or February of their perspective years. The Brown Thrasher is usually a spring/summer bird, but we had one in our backyard last week.

Brown Thrasher at the University of North Florida Feeder station
Woodstork at Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa, Florida
Black-Crowned Night Heron at Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa, Florida

These woodpecker photos were taken in my yard.

Cardinal looking into my soul from our feeders!

White Pelicans in the Viera Wetlands area in Viera Florida.

Ruddy Turnstone at Fort Clinch, Fernandina Beach, Florida
Limpkin feeding at LuChua Trail, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Gainesville, FL

Living in the Moment – Old Yellowstone Trail, The Road Less Traveled

See ya on the next trip to Montana!

Our stay at Paradise Gateway B&B had come to an end. We finished our delicious breakfast (check out the pics on our previous post), hopped in the van and slowly rolled out of this beautiful property. As we pulled past the main house, there was Pete. With a big smile and friendly wave, he called goodbye from the second story deck. Pete and Carol had been wonderful hosts and as we drove down the gravel drive toward the highway, we talked about how we couldn’t wait to visit them again.

It was a beautiful chilly morning, sunshine and temperatures in the low forties. A perfect start to a late summer day in Southern Montana. But, the weather was predicted to change as we headed south. Our trip through Yellowstone to Old Faithful and then into Grand Teton was to be filled with a mix of sun, rain, snow and a combination of all three.

But first, we must take our daily detour. One we had taken everyday and twice one day, during our stay at Paradise B&B, the Old Yellowstone Trail (O.Y.T.). If you’re ever visiting this beautiful part of the U.S., and especially if you’re staying with Pete and Carol, please take this quick diversion when you’re heading south towards Gardiner & into Yellowstone. You won’t regret it and you’ll be following in the tire tracks of earlier explorers that travelled this road over 100 years ago.

Yellowstone River as it winds along the Old Yellowstone Trail.

The word trail is kind of a misnomer, in the name Old Yellowstone Trail, with today’s vernacular. Today, when we think of trail, we think of hiking or biking like The Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail. When we think of trails in the past, we think of routes and famous wagon trails, such as The Oregon Trail or Santa Fe Trail. The Old Yellowstone Trail was never either of these.

The O.Y.T. was an ambitious idea that came from a group of small town businessmen in South Dakota. The year was 1912, the automobile was in its infancy and roads were not what they are today. The idea was to establish a cross country automobile route. Bold thinking at the time, and the O.Y.T. was born. “In the 1910’s and 1920’s “Trail” was used to mean a long distance auto road” as quoted from yellowstonetrail.org. Check out their site and get the whole story.

We turned south out of the driveway of Paradise Gateway B&B onto Hwy 89. The turn off to the O.Y.T. was just up the road to our right. If you’re on Hwy 89 South heading to the park, you’ll know your turnoff is very close when you see the Absaroka Beartooth Historical Landmark on the left hand side of the road. Turn right when you see the street sign for the trail and you’re on your way back in history. The road is not paved, but is a well maintained gravel road.

We learned about this little treasure from Pete, the first night we checked into the B&B and, it became a daily pleasure. If you ever get the opportunity to stay with Pete and Carol, please take advantage of Pete’s knowledge, stories and friendly banter about Yellowstone and the surrounding area. Pete told us that, not only was this historic route scenic, there was very little or no traffic with great close up views of wildlife. One of the animals he said we’d see was pronghorn antelope. And, as you can see from the pics, he was dead on.

Another gift from the O.Y.T. which turned into a theme through our entire vacation, lots of birds. If you’re blowing down Hwy 89 at 65mph (yes that’s the speed limit), you’ll see birds but, you’ll miss more than you see. With each drive down this little section of the O.Y.T., we saw lots of birds as we drove slow on every trip. Not a great number of species but, lots of birds. We saw American Kestrels, Mountain Bluebirds, Sparrows along with other small songbirds and various hawks we couldn’t identify. So if you’re a birder, bird watcher or just want a great slow ride off the beaten path, take advantage of this little treasure.

(Female) Mountain Bluebird on the fence
(Male) Mountain Bluebird on the Fence

As we turned right off the highway onto this dirt and gravel road, our thoughts and conversation turned to what we had experienced the last four days. We drove through the fields bordered by mountains we’d seen everyday and past the put in point for our amazing paddle on the Yellowstone River. We couldn’t help but smile and at the same time feel a little tinge of sadness. We had become familiar with the sites and sounds of this beautiful area and would miss it.

Crossing the bridge at the end of the trail and turning right, we were back on Hwy 89 and headed toward Yellowstone. We had a big day ahead, full of new adventures and we were ready.

Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake, Lunch at Otter Creek, Mount Washburn, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Paddling the Yellowstone River, The Tiny House. Please look forward to our next post as the adventure continues.

SLS – Stay – by Sugarland

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with Come/Go/Leave/Stay for this weeks Song Lyric Sunday. Well, there is a crap ton of songs in the Country Music genre to cover these headliners, but I went with my first thought when I saw this prompt.

Kristian Bush & Jennifer Nettles at the Grammys
Image compliments of Mike Coppola/Getty Images (not for monetary use)
Sugarland at the Grammys

Sugarland is a powerful Country Music duo created in Atlanta, Georgia and is made up of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. Kristen Hall was a third original members, but left the band after only one album. The duo as “Sugarland” signed with Mercury Nashville Records in 2004. In 2008, Hall filed a lawsuit for $14 million against Bush and Nettles stating that she was excluded from sharing profits as had been agreed upon after her departure. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2010 and the details of that settlement were not disclosed.

“Stay” by Sugarland is a tear jerker and the first song of Sugarland solely written by Jennifer Nettles, their lead singer. Nettles wrote this song in 2003 after being inspired by Reba McEntire’s song “Whoever’s in New England” which was from the perspective of the wife being cheated on. “Stay” is about betrayal written in the “other woman’s” perspective.

Quote from Nettles regarding the song:  “Even though the person who is cheating might think he or she is getting away with something, they know they aren’t living their highest truth, and they wouldn’t be in the situation if they were just happy-go-lucky in the first place. Nobody is happy in this situation.”

There are always at least three people involved in a cheating situation, but human nature often shuns the non-committed cheater (husband or wife). In this case it was the other woman feeling hurt and afraid of being left alone when the affair ended in a non-commitment.

Nettles told CMT in 2007 that once she decided to write this song from the other woman’s perspective, the song pretty much wrote itself.

The first time Kristian Bush heard this song, he was blown away by the lyrics. When Sugarland started playing this in front of fans, they received odd looks as the fans thought the song was between Jennifer and Kristian. They both set everyone straight that their relationship was and had always been a “brother-sister” relationship.

FUN FACTS:

  • Song was released in September 2007 as the fourth single from their “Enjoy the Ride” album.
  • Most watched video on CMT.com in 2007
  • Video is ranked #10 on CMT’s 100 Greatest Videos.
  • Video was voted 4th greatest videos of the decade on CMT.com.
  • Peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart as the group’s eighth single to reach the chart.
  • Certified Gold by the RIAA on February 21, 2008
  • Became Sugarland’s first single to become certified Platinum on March 24, 2009.
  • “Stay” won “Song of the Year” and “Single of the Year” at the 2008 ACM Awards.
  • “Stay” won “Duo Video of the Year” at the 2008 CMT Music Awards.
  • In 2009 at the 51st Grammy Awards, “Stay” won a grammy for “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” and “Best Country Song”

Stay

I've been sittin' here, starin' at the clock on the wall
And I've been layin' here, prayin'
Prayin' she won't call
It's just another call from home, and you'll get it
And be gone, and I'll be cryin'
And I'll be beggin' you, baby
Beg you not to leave
But I'll be left here waitin'
My heart on my sleeve
Oh, for the next time we'll be here
Seems like a million years, and I think I'm dyin'
What do I have to do to make you see
She can't love you like me?
Why don't you stay?
I'm down on my knees
I'm so tired of bein' lonely
Don't I give you what you need?
When she calls you to go
There is one thing you should know
We don't have to live this way
Baby, why don't you stay?
You keep tellin' me, baby
There will come a time
When you will leave her arms
And forever be in mine
But I don't think that's the truth
And I don't like bein' used, and I'm tired of waitin'
It's too much pain to have to bear
To love a man you have to share
I can't take it any longer, but my will is gettin' stronger
And I think I know just what I have to do
I can't waste another minute
After all that I've put in it
I've given you my best
Why does she get the best of you?
So next time you find you wanna leave her bed for mine
Why don't you stay?
I'm up off my knees
I'm so tired of bein' lonely
You can't give me what I need
When she begs you not to go
There is one thing you should know
I don't have to live this way
Baby, why don't you stay?
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jennifer Nettles
Stay lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Living in the Moment – Day 4 – Tiny House

After our very exciting and invigorating 6 plus hour kayak trip down the Yellowstone River, we were able to take out on the property of the Paradise Gateway Bed & Breakfast. We had been staying in the main house for the first 3 nights and on our 4th and final night, we were staying in the Tiny House.

One of the great things about this wonderful B&B, are your accommodation options. The main house is comfortable and cozy plus you get Carol’s delicious breakfast. For alternative options there are two cabins and an awesome Tiny House. Carol stocks these with delicious organic breakfast fare for you to prepare yourself. I’m sure the cabins are very special too and, we might choose that option on our next visit, but the Tiny House was perfect for us. The Tiny House is a modern home with a full kitchen, love seat, television, very comfortable queen size bed, full shower, toilet and vanity. It’s just the spot for a young couple like ourselves. Well, young at heart anyway.

The Tiny House can be seen in the background of the photo above. It is right on the Yellowstone River. As we left the last post “Paddling the Yellowstone River”, we had just gotten all the gear out of the water and up to the Tiny House before the skies emptied and Mother Nature gave us a nice downpour. Separate from the house, it has a nice little screened-in porch where you can enjoy the river in the middle of a downpour or enjoy the night with no bugs to interfere with the serenity of the river. I was cozy inside and Frank was enjoying the storm on the porch. You can see the porch out the windows in one of the pictures below.

Fire Pit and swing by the Yellowstone River near the Tiny House

Staying in the Tiny House is much different than staying in the main house. Even though you have your own private room and bathroom in the main house, staying in the Tiny House gives you a sense of independence that you don’t feel in the main house. The Tiny House was quaint and very comfortable. When the rain became more of a shower than a downpour, we were able to open the windows and breathe in the fresh mountain air. The sound of the light rain was mesmerizing and romantic. I was tired and sore and found myself in bed early. Frank stayed up and enjoyed the stars of the big sky.

The next morning, sore from the paddle the day before, I felt rested and ready for the next leg of our trip with so many more adventures to go. Oh, and did I mention, I was hungry.

When staying in the Tiny House, Carol provided us with wonderful food. We had organic eggs, cream, butter, fresh baked bread, and homemade jam. All we could say was yum, yum.

While Frank was packing up the kayak and loading our luggage into the minivan, I prepared breakfast. French toast was on the menu on our 5th day of vacation. I set the table and finished cooking with the ingredients provided by Carol. With the ambience of our setting in this beautiful little home along the river, the food tasted even better than it looks.

French toast with fresh organic strawberries, blueberries and real organic Maple syrup

It was time to hit the road and we left this wonderful place with mixed feelings. We were very excited for the next phase of our incredible adventure but, we enjoyed our stay at Paradise Gateway so much we could have spent weeks there. We couldn’t have chosen a better place to visit and we look forward to seeing Pete and Carol again on future stays.

Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake, Lunch at Otter Creek, Mount Washburn, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Paddling the Yellowstone River. Please look forward to our next post as the adventure continues.

SLS – “Did I Shave My Legs for This” by Deana Carter

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with I, Me, Them, Us, You, We for this weeks Song Lyric Sunday. I chose to feature some songs from the album “Did I Shave My Legs for This” by country music singer-songwriter Deana Carter.

“Did I Shave My Legs for This” is the debut album from Deana Carter which was released by Patriot Records in the UK in 1995, but the label went under shortly after the release. Capitol Records had Carter record new material for the North American release of the album in 1996. The album was certified 5x Multi-Platinum in the US with sales of over 5 million copies and debuted at #2 on the US Top Country Albums chart.

Carter’s big break came when one of her demo tapes landed in the hands of Willie Nelson. He invited her to perform in the 1994 Farm Aid VII concert as the shows only female soloist. The same demo tape led to her contract with Capitol Records the next year.

“Strawberry Wine” was the debut single from her newly released album and went to #1 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. The song also won her a Country Music Association Award (CMA) in 1997 for Single of the Year. Carter was nominated for a Grammy that same year for Best Country Female Vocal Performance for “Strawberry Wine”.

“We Danced Anyway” and “How Do I Get There” reached #1 on the Country Charts . “Did I Shave My Legs For This” only made it to #25 and the same chart.

Strawberry Wine

He was working through college on my grandpa's farm
I was thirsting for knowledge and he had a car
I was caught somewhere between a woman and a child
When one restless summer we found love growing wild
On the banks of the river on a well beaten path
It's funny how those memories they last
Like strawberry wine and seventeen
The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love oh bittersweet
Green on the vine
Like strawberry wine
I still remember when thirty was old
And my biggest fear was September when he had to go
A few cards and letters and one long distance call
We drifted away like the leaves in the fall
But year after year I come back to this place
Just to remember the taste
Of strawberry wine and seventeen
The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love oh bittersweet
Green on the vine
Like strawberry wine
The fields have grown over now
Years since they've seen the plow
There's nothing time hasn't touched
Is it really him or the loss of my innocence
I've been missing so much
Like strawberry wine and seventeen
The hot July moon saw everything
My first taste of love oh bittersweet
Green on the vine
Like strawberry wine
Strawberry wine
Strawberry wine
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Gary Harrison / Matraca Berg
Strawberry Wine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

We Danced Anyway

The summer air was heavy and sweet
You and I on a crowded street
There was music everywhere, I can see us there
In a happy little foreign town
Where the stars hung upside down
A half a world away, far far away
I remember you were laughing
We were so in love, we were so in love
And the band played songs we'd never heard
But we danced anyway
We never understood the words
We just sang oh la la la la la la la oh
And we danced anyway
They say you can't go back, baby I don't believe that
Come along with me, come on and dance with me
Maybe if I hold you close
Baby we could just let go
Of these things that tie us down, we'll come back around
Do you remember we were laughing
We were so in love, we were so in love
And the band played songs we'd never heard
But we danced anyway
We never understood the words
We just sang oh la la la la la la la la la oh
And we danced anyway
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Matraca Maria Berg / Randy Scruggs
We Danced Anyway lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

How Do I Get There

We've always been the best of friends
No secrets and no demands
But suddenly from somewhere out of the blue
I see a different light around you
One thing I haven't told you, I just want to hold you
And never let you go, but I need to know
How do I get there from here
How do I make you see
How do I tell you what my heart's been tellin' me
Lost in your lovin' arms that's where I want to be
You know I love you
How do I get there
You probably think I've lost my mind
Takin' this chance and crossin' that line
I promise to be truer than true
Dreamin' every night with these arms around you
I can't wait any longer it's only getting stronger
So help me find a way
How do I get there from here
How do I make you see
How do I tell you what my heart's been tellin' me
Lost in your lovin' arms that's where I want to be
You know I love you
How do I get there
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line
But I'll climb any mountain that you want me to climb
The perfect combination is your heart and mine
Baby, give me a sign
How do I get there from here
How do I make you see
How do I tell you what my heart's been tellin' me
Lost in your lovin' arms that's where I want to be
You know I love you
How do I get there
How do I get there from here
How do I make you see
How do I tell you what my heart's been tellin' me
Lost in your lovin' arms that's where I want to be
You know I love you
How do I get there
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Chris Farren / Deana Kay Carter
How Do I Get There lyrics © BMG Rights Management US, LLC, EMI Music Publishing

Did I Shave My Legs for This?

Flowers and wine is what I thought I would find
When I came home from working tonight
Well now here I stand, over this frying pan
And you want a cold one again
I bought these new heels, did my nails
Had my hair done just right
I thought this new dress was a sure bet
For romance tonight
Well it's perfectly clear, between the TV and beer
I won't get so much as a kiss
As I head for the door I turn around to be sure
Did I shave my legs for this?
Now when we first met you promised you'd get
A house on a hill with a pool
Well this trailer stays wet and were swimmin' in debt
And you want me to go back to school
I bought these new heels, did my nails
Had my hair done just right
I thought this new dress was a sure bet
For romance tonight
Well it's perfectly clear, between the TV and beer
I won't get so much as a kiss
As I head for the door I turn around to be sure
Did I shave my legs for this?
Darlin' did I shave my legs for this?
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Deana Kay Carter / Rhonda Hart
Did I Shave My Legs For This? lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Music Sales Corporation

Bee Love Award

Bee Love Award - It's All About Love

I want to thank Prajjidna Daliman at The Alkana for nominating me for this award. This was his first nomination of an award, as it is my first nomination for an award. I’ve only been blogging since July, 2019 and have found it to be a much more rewarding experience than I imagined. The love that is shared from so many cultures is awesome! The differences and similarities of those from our area and around the world is so amazing to me. You know Ellen Degeneres says it best when she ends her show every day with “Be Kind to One Another”. Love is the kind of passion that I find within the WordPress community. I want to thank each and everyone who reads what I have to say and comments whether they agree or not. I welcome the positive and the negative because we can only truly grow with both perspectives. Love to all!

Love to me is family, friends, living our best life and surrounding ourselves with those elements that create a positive outlook on life ahead. Being able to do this through writing and photography fills my life to full. Being able to do these things with my soul mate, Frank makes me burst at the seams.

GUIDELINES:

  1.    Attach the BEE LOVE AWARD LOGO on top of your post.
  2.    Ping back to my site Our Eyes Open.
  3.    Thank your fellow blogger who nominated you.
  4.    Share your Definition of LOVE and How You Live Out LOVE.
  5.    Nominate your  fellow bloggers who live out love and inspiration on WP.  (Love knows no limits, so nominate as many fellow bloggers you’d like to shine your light on!)
  1. Laura Denise https://lauradenise.home.blog/ Teacher and writer who believes love is the answer and inspires others through her poetry and photography. Laura has a passion for storytelling and is passionate about life, her career and how she impacts others.  She gives those qualities back to her students so they can feel their own joy and accomplishments.
  2. Diane https://indianeskitchen.com/  Diane’s passion for food is contagious.  She has great recipes and tips from easy to expert cooking.  Diane also enjoys trying out new kitchen gadgets from time to time.
  3. Donna  https://bayphotosbydonna.com/  Donna has similar passions to mine.  Birds and nature. She is an experienced photographer and her blog is all about nature with birds and their behavior in the forefront.
  4. Jim Adams   https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/  Jim is the moderator for “Sunday Song Lyric” in which I participate every week.  Jim is passionate about music and provides a new theme for each Sunday. He gives them weeks in advance so it helps other bloggers either write as they go or plan and schedule these themed blogs ahead of time. Jim is quite knowledgeable about singers, bands, writers and the backstory to songs.  He invites his participants to research their songs, the artist and writers each week so that the other followers may learn something or ignite a memory that was long forgotten.
  5. Lesley  https://nananoyz5forme.com/  Similar to me, Lesley is a Texan turned Floridian and makes no bones about her uniqueness.  Her blogs are heartfelt and funny. She is a great inspiration to me and I enjoy her quirkiness towards life.  She loves her family and her friends. Her blogs are very relatable. Lesley writes what most of us are thinking and don’t have the courage to write.
  6. Mel  https://crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/  Carmel has overcome adversity and bad times in her life.  She has a great deal of love to give and you will see this throughout her blog. She is soon to be a published author with her novel available on Amazon soon. Because she calls herself (Learner of Love), who better to receive this award?  We can learn a few things from her.
  7. Jill  J-Dubs Grin and Bear Its is Jill just hit 1000 followers. She blogs every day with a lot of humor and wit.  You never know what you are going to get with her brilliant mind. She has a very organized home page and I hope you love her antics as much as I do.

I hope that you will all go check out their blogs and show them some love. Because, isn’t “for the love of writing and sharing” the reason for why we continue down our blogging path?

Photo of the Day – 2.3.20 – Empty

The microwave is empty, but more importantly the slime in no longer in it’s empty container.

Photo of the Day is hosted by Maria at citysonnet. The rules to play along and create your very own fun photo of the day are below.

Fun photo challenge

Daily inspiration
Create a post with picture of your interpretation of the prompt.
Create a pingback (link to this post) or add a link in the comment section below.
Join us and post daily, weekly, whenever you like.
Visit some of the Photo a Day challenge posts shared by others.
Let’s see how creative you can be on this challenge.

Living in the Moment – Day 4 – Paddling the Yellowstone River

Paddling the Yellowstone River in our Sea Eagle inflatable kayak.

We woke elated on our 4th day of vacation. Actually that was true about every morning but this morning was special, very special. Today was the day of our biggest adventure on a vacation full of adventures.

Today we were going to paddle the untamed Yellowstone River in our Sea Eagle white water kayak. Untamed is an accurate statement. This amazing national treasure is the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states. It flows 692 miles through 3 states; Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. A 64 year old man (Frank) and soon to be 54 year old woman (Me) was going to paddle one of America’s most powerful and beautiful rivers by themselves, no guide and no companion kayaks or rafts. Not only that, it’s a white water river! It’s like the Dierks Bentley song says “I know what I was feelin’ but what was I thinkin’.”

Now, if you’ve been following our post, I know what your thinkin’. If they flew out west, how did they bring a two person whitewater kayak with them? The answer is, in the biggest suitcase the airlines allow without paying an oversize penalty. It took several attempts but after a concerted effort, we shoehorned the kayak in one bag and put the seats, the floor, 2 four piece Werner paddles, 2 personal flotation devices, pump and the rest of our paddling gear in another bag. The picture below really tells the story.

Packing the Sea Eagle kayak before the trip.
Frank getting the suitcases packed with the kayak and gear.

When we originally planned our trip, we knew we were going to bring the kayak, but we weren’t sure exactly where we were going to paddle. Paradise Gateway Bed & Breakfast in Montana, where we were staying the first 4 days of our trip, is home to some beautiful big sky country and sits on the Yellowstone River. The river runs right along the property of this beautiful rustic B&B and the location was one of the reasons we wanted to stay there. The hospitality of the owners was more than we could have ever expected. Frank had called and talked to Pete about access to the river before we left Jacksonville and Pete said, “I can drive you up the road 5 or 10 miles and you can paddle back and take out right here at the property”.

That morning, Carol cooked us one of her famous 3 course breakfasts providing plenty of fuel for our upcoming day on the Yellowstone River. We packed all our gear and Pete dropped us off at the boat ramp about 10 highway miles away.

3 minutes to inflate the boat

The sun was warm to the skin, but the wind was blowing 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. We were really doing this! Around noon, Frank got the boat inflated, and in the water we went. My excitement was infectious as Frank and I began our new adventure. Frank is a skilled paddler and I’m still a beginner to intermediate. I’ve been paddling with him for the past 15 years, but no rapids as there are none really to speak of in Florida. This is my first time to experience real rushing water.

One of the things about a white water kayak is that it is designed with holes in the bottom. That’s right holes. If it doesn’t have holes when the water comes in the boat (believe me in white water it comes in the boat) the boat will fill up and you can’t paddle. The holes allow the water to flow in and out of the boat. On the Yellowstone River that means COLD water. I had on my gortex pants, so even though I was sitting in water, I was a dry happy girl.

Shortly after launching, it became apparent we were in for a difficult and very physical paddle. The wind was blowing straight up the river and controlling the boat was a real issue. This was going to be a multiple hour paddle on a very powerful river and we needed to make some adjustments to ensure a safe and comfortable trip. On a river like this, you can’t just pull over and get out. You have to wait for the right spot. On the Yellowstone there are small rock washed and vegetated islands and the perfect one for a stop was just ahead. After beaching the boat, we adjusted the seats, stowed some gear and repositioned the dry bag.

With the dry bag in the foreground and the mountains on either side of us paddling the Yellowstone River.

We had dry clothes, camera equipment, our lunch and other items packed in our big yellow dry bag mounted to the bow of the boat. A dry bag is an essential item to have on any boat to protect your survival gear & expensive electronics. Once all the adjustments were made, we got back in the boat and paddled on.

The boat handled much better, the seats were more comfortable and our attitude about our upcoming challenge was more focused, allowing us to really begin enjoying the trip. The view of mountains as the sun and clouds created shadows throughout this 12 mile river journey was breathtaking. We saw Osprey, Green-Winged Teals, Bald Eagles and Cormorants. We saw 6 humans fishing from shore in over six hours on the river. Besides those six people and the raft that launched before we did, we were alone, woohoo and yeehaw!

Clouds cast shadows on the Yellowstone River with the mountains in the background.

Moments of serenity as we were able to float without the wind blowing was rare, but provided us with images of the mountainside like the photo above.

September is a great time to paddle the river. The daytime temperatures are usually comfortable and the river isn’t raging out of control like the Spring. We had never been on the river before and did a pretty good job of reading the conditions. Still, several times we got very close to the bottom and ran aground twice. One of those times, Frank had to get out into the frigid water and push us off the rocks. We hit quite a few 1’s some class 2’s and one almost class 3 rapid along the way. Frank said I did well through them. Remember, this is my first experience of paddling rapids. Maybe I have good instincts or maybe I watch a lot of TV. Regardless, it felt natural!

Sun rays provide a moonlight reflection on the Yellowstone River as a storm approaches.

We still had a little ways when we looked behind us and saw a storm heading in our direction. The rays of the sun were magically shining through the clouds reflecting off the river as if it were moonlight. We started paddling quickly as we still had no idea how much further it was to our take out. It began to sprinkle on us, but we persevered, paddling with all we had. My muscles were screaming at me, but I just had to keep going.

A moment to survey the approaching storm while paddling the Yellowstone River.

After 6 hours of paddling the Yellowstone River, we began approaching Paradise Gateway Bed & Breakfast just ahead of the storm. We were tired, elated, empowered and thankful for a magical trip. We got the boat and gear out of the water and while Frank cleaned things up, I went inside for a wonderful shower and to put my jammies on.

We live in a society and a social climate where we are constantly inundated with advertisements on how to make our entertainment experiences more real. There’s 4k TV, blue ray, surround sound, cable this and satellite that. Car stereos so loud they shake your car from the vehicle along side you. The movies feature 3D, IMAX and Dolby sound to go with their stale popcorn. All these things are great if that’s what you’re into. But, if you really want to feel alive, spend some time in nature on an adventure like the Yellowstone River. Your senses will be firing on all cylinders. The sites, the sounds and the feel are unforgettable and will live in your memory forever.

What a day!!! Would we do it again? ABSOLUTELY!

Frank & Lisa selfie on the Yellowstone River with the mountains in the background.

Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake, Lunch at Otter Creek, Mount Washburn, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Please look forward to our next post as the adventure continues.

Photo of the Day – 2.2.20 – Fog/Mist

Fog descending off the Grand Teton mountains on the back side of the range in Targhee, Idaho. It enveloped the valley between where we took this and facing this mountainside.

Photo of the Day is hosted by Maria at citysonnet. The rules to play along and create your very own fun photo of the day are below.

Fun photo challenge

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Create a post with picture of your interpretation of the prompt.
Create a pingback (link to this post) or add a link in the comment section below.
Join us and post daily, weekly, whenever you like.
Visit some of the Photo a Day challenge posts shared by others.
Let’s see how creative you can be on this challenge.

SLS – Honey Bee by Blake Shelton

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs pertaining to Babe, Cutie, Doll, Honey, Sweetie. Boy, there’s a lot out there for us to gather for this one.

I chose “Honey Bee” by Blake Shelton. I’ve loved Blake Shelton since he made his debut in 2001 with his hit single “Austin”.

SONG FUN FACTS

  • Released in April 2011
  • 1st single on Shelton’s Red River Blue album
  • Shelton debut the song at the Academy of Country Music awards (ACM’s) on April 3, 2011.
  • Video was filmed in California and was directed by Trey Fanjoy. It premiered on NBC.com on May 10, 2011.
  • Reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs in July 2011
  • Billboard Magazine names “Honey Bee” the 8th top song for 2011 in the 50 most popular country songs based on radio airplay.
  • Song received a Grammy Award nomination on November 30 for Best Country Solo Performance, lost to Taylor Swift’s “Mean”
  • Written by Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip
  • Song sold 138,000 digital downloads in its first week, setting a new record of the most first-week downloads by a male country singer.
  • It became Shelton’s fourth consecutive and ninth #1 single on the country charts.
Girl, I been thinkin' 'bout us
And you know I ain't good at this stuff
These feelings pilin' up won't give me no rest
This might come out a little crazy
A little sideways, yeah maybe
I don't know how long it'll take me
But I'll do my best
You'll be my soft and sweet
I'll be your strong and steady
You'll be my glass of wine
I'll be your shot of whiskey
You'll be my sunny day
I'll be your shade tree
You'll be my honeysuckle
I'll be your honey bee
Yeah, that came out a little country
But every word was right on the money
And I got you smilin' honey right back at me
Now hold on 'cause I ain't done
There's more where that came from
Well you know I'm just havin' fun, but seriously
If you'll be my Louisiana
I'll be your Mississippi
You'll be my Little Loretta
I'll be your Conway Twitty
You'll be my sugar, baby
I'll be your sweet iced tea
You'll be my honeysuckle
I'll be your honey bee
Your kiss just said it all
I'm glad we had this talk
Nothing left to do
But fall in each others arms
I coulda said I love you
Coulda wrote you a line or two
Baby, all I know to do
Speak right from the heart
If you'll be my soft and sweet
I'll be your strong and steady
You'll be my glass of wine
I'll be your shot of whiskey
You'll be my sunny day
I'll be your shade tree
You'll be my honeysuckle
I'll be your honey bee
You'll be my Louisiana
I'll be your Mississippi
You'll be my Little Loretta
I'll be your Conway Twitty
You'll be my sugar baby
I'll be your sweet iced tea
You'll be my honeysuckle
And I'll be your honey bee
I'll be your honey bee
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Rhett Akins / Ben Hayslip
Honey Bee lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Ozzie & Harriet – The perfect couple

Sandhill Cranes digging for critters just before sunset in Vierra, Florida.

Back in the 80’s, I saw my first pair of sandhill cranes when I came to Florida the first time. I married another Marine (now divorced) and he was from Florida, so this is where we came and how I came to be a transplanted Floridian.

I always name the cranes Ozzie and Harriet. If I was lucky, David and Ricky would be with them. If you are old enough to know who I’m talking about, great! If you are not, I’m referring to the Nelson’s. They had a sitcom called The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet that ran from 1952-1966. The Nelson family was the Kardashian’s of their time, but with less drama. The episodes on YouTube come with the original advertising prior to the beginning of the show which is quite amusing. They were the All-American family who could sell anything and were loaded with talented.

The Nelson family in 1960 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
  • Ozzie, born Oswald George Nelson in 1906, was an American band leader, actor, director and producer.
  • Harriet, born Peggy Lou Snyder in 1909, was an American singer and actress. She married Ozzie in 1935, had 2 sons. David – 1936 and Eric (known as Ricky) in 1940.
  • David, born David Oswald Nelson was an American actor, director and producer.
  • Ricky was born Eric Hilliard Nelson but was professionally known as Ricky. He was an American pop star, musician and singer-songwriter.

None of the original family members are living today, but their legacy is to never be forgotten. For whatever reason, the sandhill cranes remind me of who they were everytime I see them.

Ozzie passed away at the age of 69 in 1975 from liver cancer. Harriet passed away from congestive heart failure at the young age of 85 in 1994. David succumbed to complications of colon cancer at the age of 74 in 2011. Ricky’s life ended tragically on December 31, 1985 after his plane crashed on the way to Dallas, Texas with him and his band on board. He was just 45 years old.

Episode #213 – “Stealing Rick’s Girl” – 10/29/1958

I know you thought this post was going to be about birds. Hope I didn’t disappoint.

SLS – Duets – No One Picks Like a Nashville Picker Picks

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs involving Duets. So many came to mind and I had a hard time choosing. In country music history alone, there is Conway & Loretta, Dolly & Porter, George & Tammy, John & June,Waylon & Willie and so many others.

I didn’t choose any of them. This is a little unconventional for SLS, but again, I had to be inspired. I went with a performance that I hope gives you a laugh for the day, because it brought back such great memories for me!

In 1977, Dolly Parton and Carol Burnett got together at a packed Grand Ol’ Opry to perform this skit. Keep watching to see a surprise from a little boy named Louis. There just isn’t anything on TV like this today. Enjoy!

Living in the Moment – Day 3 – Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone with Yellowstone River flowing with the rapids.

FUN FACTS of the Grand Canyon of YNP

  • Spans 20 miles (32 km)
  • Depth is over 1000 ft (305 m)
  • Width is 1500-4000 ft (450-1200 m)
  • Height of the Upper Falls is 109 ft (33 m)
  • Height of the Lower Falls is 308 ft (93 m)
  • Primary rock type is rhyolite/altered rhyolite/tuff
  • Canyon Lava Flow happened 484,000 years ago

We had just finished an amazing lunch at Otter Creek and could have stayed there by the Yellowstone River all day. But, it was time to move on and see two of Yellowstone’s most iconic and popular attractions. It feels funny calling Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone attractions. However, in lieu of their popularity and the crowds, we knew what we would experience would overpower the most ideal description of these two natures from God.

Our first stop was Artist Point where you can see the Lower Falls. There were plenty of people when we arrived. The parking lot was full. This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned the crowds in the park and probably won’t be the last. We do that for two reasons. First, it’s true and second, if you’re mentally prepared for them, it’s easier to be in the moment and live in the experience of these amazing places without the crowds affecting your attitude. Believe this, many of the most famous places in Yellowstone are so dramatic, awesome and other worldly, even the most amazing pictures and videos don’t do them justice. You have to see them in person! Yellowstone Falls and The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone are in that special group. Forget about the crowds and experience the wonder of Yellowstone.

When you arrive at the Artist Point parking lot, you can faintly hear the rush of water. As you get closer to the platforms, the sound becomes louder. Looking down into the canyon, seeing the colors of golds, pinks, oranges, browns and greens, you can’t help but think a talented painter had painted every detail with the shadows accentuating all that you see. The power of the rushing water as it tumbles over the fall line takes you to a place of euphoria, or at least it did for us. From the top of the platform, you can see the Lower Falls, the river and the canyon.

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone embankment.
Sign of the Brink of the Lower Falls, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

When you enter Yellowstone for the first time, we recommend you ask the Park Ranger at the entrance gate which areas and roads are closed. On the day we were there, The Upper Falls was closed for construction so we were not able to visit that area of the park. We made the best of the disappointing situation. After visiting from the South Rim where Artist Point is, we drove over to the North Rim on the other side of the falls where The Brink of the Lower Falls, Inspiration Point, Grandview Point and Lookout Point are located.

The Lower Falls trail is a .8 mile switch back trail with 252 ft (76 m) of elevation. Going down is pretty easy, but coming back up can be difficult if you have any medical issues or are totally out of shape. It’s not a marathon, so you can take your time and stop often. It is worth taking this jaunt to the lower falls where the mist envelopes the Yellowstone River below the falls. See the photos below.

Mist forms as the water drops from the fall line at the Lower Falls in Yellowstone National Park in the Grand Canyon.
Yellowstone River rushing over the fall line at Lower Falls.  The mix of greens and blue water against the rock formations was surreal.   The sound of the water was very loud.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Yellowstone Falls did not disappoint and as the sun began to set, we were able to capture some extraordinary coloring in the rocks and water. We hope you get to visit this park and make sure and see these two wonders when you do. We look forward to our next visit and hiking some of the trails we didn’t get a chance to visit on this trip.

Frank and Lisa posing at the bottom of the Lower Falls of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park.

Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake, Lunch at Otter Creek, Mount Washburn. Please look forward to our next post as the adventure continues.

Photo of the Day – 1.25.20 – Looking Down

Yellow-crowned night heron and Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa Florida
Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

This photo was taken at Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa, Florida on January 1, 2020. We were on the main boardwalk near the tower along the Hillsborough River, looked down and there sat this Yellow-Crowned Night Heron just chillin’ right below us. I had to get on my hands and knees to get a somewhat level shot between the horizontal boards of the railing. Happy New Year to us!

Photo of the Day is hosted by Maria at citysonnet. The rules to play along and create your very own fun photo of the day are below.

Fun photo challenge

Daily inspiration
Create a post with picture of your interpretation of the prompt.
Create a pingback (link to this post) or add a link in the comment section below.
Join us and post daily, weekly, whenever you like.
Visit some of the Photo a Day challenge posts shared by others.
Let’s see how creative you can be on this challenge.

Photo of the Day – 1.20.20 – Panoramic

Trout Lake, Yellowstone National Park
View of Grand Tetons

Photo of the Day is hosted by Maria at citysonnet. The rules to play along and create your very own fun photo of the day are below.

Fun photo challenge

Daily inspiration
Create a post with picture of your interpretation of the prompt.
Create a pingback (link to this post) or add a link in the comment section below.
Join us and post daily, weekly, whenever you like.
Visit some of the Photo a Day challenge posts shared by others.
Let’s see how creative you can be on this challenge.

Tom T. Hall – The Storyteller

Tom T Hall, photo courtesy of Country Music Hall of Fame.
Photo courtesy of Country Music Hall of Fame (countrymusichalloffame.org)

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs written or sung by Tom/Dick/Harry or including one of these names in the lyrics. I’m going to tell you about a country songwriter named Tom T. Hall. Jim opened the floodgates on this topic for me. You are getting a small sampling of Hall’s songs. Otherwise, I’d need to publish an entire novel.

Tom T. Hall is one of the greatest songwriters of all time. He could tell a story and bring it to life on stage and is known to fans as “The Storyteller”. When he would be introduced on stage, the MC would put that title in front of his name.

Little History

Tom T. Hall was born in Olive Hill, Kentucky and was given a guitar by his bricklaying minister father at the age of 8. Hall was already writing poetry and this seemed to be a perfect fit for him to turn that poetry into music. He began learning music and techniques from Clayton Delaney, a local musician. His mother died when he was 11 and his father was shot in a hunting accident just four years later preventing him from working. Hall quit school, took a job in a local garment factory and organized a band called the Kentucky Travelers who would perform before movies for a traveling theater. They played bluegrass and gigged at a radio station in Morehead, Kentucky. Hall wrote a jingle for the radio sponsor, Polar Bear Flour Company. Hall became a DJ at the radio station when the Kentucky Travelers broke up.

Hall enlisted in the Army in 1957 where he was stationed in Germany. He performed at local NCO clubs on the Armed Forces Radio Network. He sang mostly his own original material that had a comic relief to it. Hall was discharged in 1961.

Once back to the states, Hall enrolled in Roanoke College as a journalism student while he DJ’d at a Salem, Virginia radio station. His songs were heard by a Nashville songwriter who was visiting the radio station one day and the songwriter sent the songs to a publisher named Jimmy Key who ran New Key Publishing. Key signed Hall as a songwriter getting those songs in front of a variety of recording artists. The first Tom T Hall hit was “DJ for a Day” sang by Jimmy Newman and got to #1 on the country charts in 1963. In early 1964, “Mad” sang by Dave Dudley got into the top ten. Hall moved to Nashville to continue his career as a songwriter.

1968 – Crossing Over

A song that most of you will recognize that was written by Hall and sang by Texas native Jeannie C. Riley is “Harper Valley PTA” which was an international pop crossover hit in 1968. The song was originally recorded by Margie Singleton, but it was Riley’s record that sold over six million copies as a single. “Harper Valley PTA” was Riley’s debut hit and only chart topper, making her the first woman to top both the Billboard Hot 100 and the US Hot Country Singles charts with the same song. She held that title until 1981 when Dolly Parton recorded “9 to 5”. “Harper Valley PTA” won both a Grammy and CMA Award. It inspired a movie and television program of the same name. I’ve always loved the song for what is stands for. Telling the bigots to shove it up their ass in such a nice way.

Performed on Hee Haw
Harper Valley PTA
I wanna tell you all the story 'bout
A Harper Valley widowed wife
Who had a teenage daughter
Who attended Harper Valley Junior High
Well, her daughter came home one afternoon
And didn't even stop to play
And she said, "mom, I got a note here from the Harper Valley PTA"
Well, the note said, "Mrs. Johnson
You're wearin' your dresses way too high
It's reported you've been drinking
And a-running round with men and goin' wild
And we don't believe you oughta be a-bringin' up
Your little girl this way"
And it was signed by the Secretary
Harper Valley PTA
Well, it happened that the PTA was gonna meet
That very afternoon
And they were sure surprised
When Mrs. Johnson wore her miniskirt into the room
And as she walked up to the blackboard
I can still recall the words she had to say
She said, "I'd like to address this meeting of the Harper Valley PTA
Well, there's Bobby Taylor sittin' there
And seven times he's asked me for a date
And Mrs. Taylor sure seems to use a lotta ice
Whenever he's away
And Mr. Baker can you tell us why
Your secretary had to leave this town?
And shouldn't widow Jones be told to keep
Her window shades all pulled completely down
Well, Mr. Harper couldn't be here
'Cause he stayed too long at Kelly's Bar again
And if you smell Shirley Thompson's breath
You'll find she's had a little nip of gin
And then you have the nerve to tell me
You think that as a mother I'm not fit
Well, this is just a little Peyton Place
And you're all Harper Valley hypocrites"
No, I wouldn't put you on because it really did
It happened just this way
The day my mama socked it to the Harper Valley PTA
The day my mama socked it to the Harper Valley PTA
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Tom T. Hall
Harper Valley PTA lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

His Accomplishments

Over the years, Hall continued to write hit after hit. Hall has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1971. He was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Country Music Hall of Fame on February 12, 2008. In November, 2018, Hall and his late wife Dixie Hall were inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. This came 3 years after her death. On June 13, 2019, Hall was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Children’s Songs

Three of my other favorite tunes that Hall wrote and performed are “I Care”, “Sneaky Snake” and “Old Dogs and Children”. Brings back fond memories of my childhood so I wanted to share that bit of my history with you today.

“Old Dogs and Children” was recorded in 1972 and was the last single from the album “The Storyteller”. It was Hall’s third #1 on the US country singles chart and earned him his second nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Country Song. It spent 1 week at the top and 13 weeks on the chart. On June 1, 2014, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it as #93 on their list of the 100 greatest country songs.

“I Care” was released in December 1974 and was the only single (Side A) released from the album “Songs of Fox Hollow”. The backside (Side B) of this 45 was Sneaky Snake. “I Care” hit #1 on the country charts in 1975 and was Hall’s sixth #1. “Sneaky Snake” charted as a tag-along flip side. “Sneaky Snake” is a fun novelty song about a snake who sneaks up on people and steals their root beer. It is a child’s imagination.

I Care
When the TV won't work and your toys fall apart
And you have a sad feeling deep in your heart
You want to go out but it's rainin' out there I want you to know I care
I care I do there's no one like you
When they take you some place and you sit in a chair I want you to know I care
When you tell a big lie and your parents're mean
When being grownup is a faraway dream
When you're fillin' your teeth and cuttin' your hair I want you to know I care
I care I do there's no one like you
I mention your name when I'm sayin' my prayers I want you to know I care
When you have a bad cough and you can't go out
When you sit for a week with that thing in your mouth
When you sleep in the dark and there's something out there I want you to know I care
I care I do there's no one like you and sometimes I act like a grouchy old bear
I want you to know I care I love you too much
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters:  Tom T. Hall
I Care lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
Sneaky Snake
Boys and girls take warning
If you go near the lake
Keep your eyes wide open
And look for sneaky snake
Now, maybe you won't see him
And maybe you won't hear
But he'll sneak up behind you
And drink all your root beer
And then sneak snake goes dancing
Wiggling and a-hissing
Sneaky snake goes dancing
A-giggling and a-kissing
I don't like old sneaky snake
He laughs too much you see
When he goes wiggling through the grass
It tickles his underneath
Well sneaky snake drinks root beer
And he just makes me sick
When he is not dancing
He looks just like stick
Now he doesn't have any arms or legs
You cannot see his ears
And while we are not looking
He's stealing all of our beer
And then sneak snake goes dancing
Wiggling and a-hissing
Sneaky snake goes dancing
A-giggling and a-kissing
I don't like old sneaky snake
He laughs too much you see
When he goes wiggling through the grass
It tickles his underneath
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Tom Hall
Sneaky Snake lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Old Dogs and Children
"How old do you think I am?" he said.
I said, well, I didn't know.
He said, "I turned 65 about 11 months ago."
I was sittin' in miami pourin' blended whiskey down
When this old gray black gentleman was cleanin' up the lounge
There wasn't anyone around 'cept this old man and me
The guy who ran the bar was watchin' "ironsides" on tv
Uninvited, he sat down and opened up his mind
On old dogs and children and watermelon wine
"Ever had a drink of watermelon wine?" he asked
He told me all about it, though I didn't answer back
"Ain't but three things in this world that's worth a solitary dime,
But old dogs and children and watermelon wine."
He said, "women think about they-selves, when menfolk ain't around.
And friends are hard to find when they discover that you're down."
He said, "I tried it all when I was young and in my natural prime;
Now it's old dogs and children and watermelon wine."
"Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes;
God bless little children while they're still too young to hate."
When he moved away I found my pen and copied down that line
'Bout old dogs and children and watermelon wine.
I had to catch a plane up to atlanta that next day
As I left for my room I saw him pickin' up my change
That night I dreamed in peaceful sleep of shady summertime
Of old dogs and children and watermelon wine.
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Tom T. Hall
(Old Dogs Children and) Watermelon Wine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Photo of the Day – 1.19.20 – Delicate

My grandkids many many years ago.

I had a hard time with “Delicate”. I started going through photos and I found this picture of 2 of my granddaughters. The big sister is 14 and the little sister is 8 now. I remember how delicately the big sister held on to the little sister.

Photo of the Day is hosted by Maria at citysonnet. The rules to play along and create your very own fun photo of the day are below.

Fun photo challenge

Daily inspiration
Create a post with picture of your interpretation of the prompt.
Create a pingback (link to this post) or add a link in the comment section below.
Join us and post daily, weekly, whenever you like.
Visit some of the Photo a Day challenge posts shared by others.
Let’s see how creative you can be on this challenge.

Moving Water – Photo Challenges

This is a double challenge for Cee’s Black & White Moving Water Challenge and Photo of the Day hosted by Maria at citysonnet.

Hillsborough River Rapids at Hillsborough River State Park, Tampa, Florida
Hillsborough River Rapids, Hillsborough River State Park in Tampa, Florida
Gibbon Falls, Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park – Gibbon Falls
Hightower Falls in Cedartown, GA
Hightower Falls, Cedartown, Georgia

Photo of the Day – 1.17.20 – Winter Landscape

Fort Desoto in Tierra Verde, FL.  Image of the inset at the Arrowhead Picnic Area.
Fort Desoto Inlet, Tierra Verde, Florida

NO SNOW HERE! This photo was taken on January 2, 2020. This is winter in Florida. We have had record highs in Jacksonville all week. Paradise or Climate Change?…you be the judge.

Photo of the Day is hosted by Maria at citysonnet. The rules to play along and create your very own fun photo of the day are below.

Fun photo challenge

Daily inspiration
Create a post with picture of your interpretation of the prompt.
Create a pingback (link to this post) or add a link in the comment section below.
Join us and post daily, weekly, whenever you like.
Visit some of the Photo a Day challenge posts shared by others.
Let’s see how creative you can be on this challenge.

Thanks for joining the fun! 🙂

Living in the Moment – Day 3 – Mt. Washburn – YNP

Planning out your visits to majestic National Parks like Yellowstone and Grand Teton help ensure you get a chance to see the highlights of the parks and make the best use of the limited amount of time you have. That being said, always be prepared to be spontaneous and follow your gut when it calls to you. Like we’ve said on these posts, “living in the moment”.

That’s what happened to me on Day 3. We were really excited driving into the park that morning. Today was the day we were headed to Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. A full day exploring two of Yellowstone’s most iconic features was ahead of us and the smiles on our faces were so big my cheeks were hurting. We turned and headed south on the Grand Loop Road and headed toward Dunraven Pass and Canyon Village Visitor Center. On the way up toward the pass, I saw the sign, Mt Washburn. “I want to go there” I said. Frank said “I do too; I wish we had time.” I said ” no I want to go there.” “Now?!” he said. “I really want to go there” I said. His response was “let’s go.”

When we got to the turn off, we headed up the unpaved road toward the parking area. Our plans for the day hadn’t been changed, just expanded. We would be getting back to the B&B later that evening with less rest, but it meant more exploring. That’s what vacations are for.

Mount Washburn is located in the north central part of Yellowstone National Park with a peak elevation of 10,243 feet (3,107 m). The photo at the top of the page was standing at the top of the Chittenden Road parking area (8,752 feet) where you have close to a full 360 degree panoramic view. You can see 20-50 miles (32-80 km) from where you stand overlooking the peaks and valleys of Yellowstone. From the parking area, you can hike or mountain bike the north trail to the summit.

The wind was howling, 25 mph sustained with gusts approaching 50. There’s some tree cover from the parking area up toward the peek but not a great amount. So unless you were under a ridge line or behind some structure, you were in the wind. I looked down at my phone and noticed I had the best cell signal I’d had since we’d gotten to Wyoming. “I’ve got to call the kids” I told Frank as he turned to me and said, “I’m going to take a hike. I won’t go all the way to the summit but I’ll do a half hour up and a half hour back”.

North Trail - Mount Washburn
North Trail – Mount Washburn

That was a great compromise. He got a chance to stretch his legs and get some solitude time in a pristine mountain setting. I got a chance to facetime my kids and show them a place that felt a little bit like sitting on top of the world or at least the top of Yellowstone. I wish I’d taken more pictures and the video Frank shot from the ridgeline was shaky and noisy from the wind, so we chose to not post it.

We really enjoyed our short detour to Mt Washburn and want to return. On our next trip to Yellowstone, we will plan to hike the south trail up to the summit. The south trail is a little longer with more tree cover and about the same elevation gain. In other words, another brand new experience awaits us next time.

As we drove down the winding dirt road from the parking lot, we were both elated that we had added to our day 3 agenda.  Now it was on to the two places we had literally dreamed about months earlier while planning the trip, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Yellowstone Falls.  See you there!

Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake, Lunch at Otter Creek

Living in the Moment – Day 3 – Lunch by the Yellowstone River – Sept. 15, 2019

One of our favorite things about travelling is having our own food when playing outside. When we arrived in Bozeman, MT and left the airport, we drove straight to Walmart, picked up a cooler and proceeded to The Co-op (an organic grocery store). We had already planned out our 10 day menu before leaving Florida. Armed with our detailed grocery list, we made great time in the store. What we couldn’t find at The Co-op, we were able to pick up at Albertsons. It’s great to see how many of the large grocery chains are adding more organic and whole food options for their customers.

Photo compliments from The Co-op website

Pete, our fantastic tour guide from Paradise Gateway B&B, had told us about the best spot for lunch near Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The Otter Creek Picnic Area is located between the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Hayden Valley. It’s right on the Yellowstone river and you couldn’t find a more picturesque spot. There is a large pull out with plenty of parking for a short picnic like we had or for a longer stay to try your hand at fishing along the banks. Like almost all of the designated picnic areas in the park there are no restrooms or cooking grills and you always have to be on the look out for bears. Way to go Pete another bullseye!

There are 7 picnic tables at this wonderful spot and we had the best one. It was right on the river and so scenic we could have stayed there all day. On the menu today were local grass fed organic beef hot dogs we bought at the co-op with a fresh salad. Frank sauteed the organic weenies in butter using our MSR Pocket Rocket burner, while I set the table and got out the condiments. They were absolutely delicious. Frank cooked an extra hot dog that we shared with a biker sitting at another table alone. He had been eating freeze dried food on his journey and said “This is the best hot dog I’ve ever had”. We agreed! Of course, the beauty and wonder of our amazing atmosphere didn’t hurt the tasting experience.

Preparing for a picnic at the Otter Creek Picnic area along the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

The view of the Yellowstone River at the Otter Creek Picnic Area was breathtaking. With the sun shining brightly and a light wind, there were no flying insects to partake in our picnic while we enjoyed the scenery.

Tree lined bank of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park at Otter Creek Picnic Area.

The Yellowstone River was flowing nicely here and as the wind changed direction, the river almost became glassy at one point with the trees and mountain side reflecting in the water. As we were enjoying this wonderful moment, 2 common mergansers fished for their lunch. I guess we weren’t the only ones that thought this was a perfect spot.

A male and female Red Crossbill stop to  on the river rock on the edge of the Yellowstone River to take a drink of the brink water.

As we were finishing up our delicious lunch, a small bird flew down onto the riverbed for a drink. I freaked out as I looked into the binoculars because this was a red bird I had never seen before. I grabbed my camera and started clicking at what I wasn’t sure, but knew it was a life bird for us. As I was shooting, another flew down next to the first one that was drinking from the cool water. Because of the shadows, I still didn’t know what I was looking at. It wasn’t until I got back to the B&B that night that I realized I had photographed a male (red) and a female (yellow) Red Crossbill. They must have been a pair.

Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” by George Strait

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs prompting us to use the following: Bottom/End/Middle/Side/Top

“Where the Sidewalk Ends” was the 10th song added to George Strait’s soundtrack album “Pure Country” in 1992 for the movie of the same title. It was Strait’s 13th studio album. It was the first soundtrack of Strait’s career and was his most commercially successful album that sold over six million copies. Written by Jim Lauderdale & John Leventhal. Great article from Taste of Country on this song and the songwriters here.

George Strait stars as a fictional country music singer named Dusty Chandler who finds himself fed up with the big production pushed on him by his manager rather than concentrating on the music. In the movie, Dusty realizes how unhappy he was while singing “Where the Sidewalk Ends” as he walks off the stage and disappears from the tour. His manager panics and puts in a replacement to perform to an unknowingly audience while trying to find him. While this movie was a commercial failure, the fact that you have one of the greatest country music singers at the helm, I have enjoyed it over and over and over again. The clip is from the movie at the moment Dusty chooses to seek what is in his heart.

Where the sidewalk ends and the road begins
We said good bye on a cold dark night
I'm not afraid to go you bet I'm not
Where the sidewalk ends you left a lot
Some people leave and never come back
Some stay in touch, some loose track
Your mind kept sayin' come on let's go
You started learnin' what you don't need to know
Where the sidewalk ends and the road begins
I'll wait for you in the cold dark night
You might come back, you had to go
Where the sidewalk ends I'll never know
Hide from the future run from the past
I guess I'll stay here as long as I can last
Whistle still blowin' but the train is gone
Ain't no wheels gonna take me from my home
Where the sidewalk ends and the road begins
We said good bye on a cold dark night
I'm not afraid to go you bet I'm not
Where the sidewalk ends you left a lot
I'm not afraid to go you bet I'm not
Where the sidewalk ends you left a lot
Where the sidewalk ends and the road begins
We said good bye on a cold dark night
I'm not afraid to go you bet I'm not
Where the sidewalk ends you left a lot
Where the sidewalk ends you left a lot
Where the sidewalk ends you left a lot
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jim Lauderdale / John Leventhal
Where the Sidewalk Ends lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing 

Today is for the Birds – Jan. 5, 2020

Since there is a “national day” for almost everything, I am happy to write about one of my favorite subjects: The birds! In honor of today, National Bird Day, I would like to share my top 5 birding posts of 2019.

#5:Northern Flicker: 39 likes

#4:Great Horned Owl: 41 likes

#3:Red Headed Woodpecker: 43 likes

#2:Meadowlark: 47 likes

#1:Mountain Bluebird on Fence: 55 likes

I would also like to introduce you to the Jacksonville Business Connection where my first blog “Unlock the Bird Lover in You for 2020” was published a few days ago as a member of the Holmes Content Team.

Just since January 1, 2020, Frank & I have logged 71 new species to our log and counting for the new year. Can’t wait to see what is in store for 2020!

Let’s go birding!

“La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with “La” in the title or lyrics. I found this difficult as there are so many obvious songs. I wanted to go off the beaten path, but couldn’t. I had to go with what I know and love.

  • Ritchie Valens became the first Latino Rock n’ Roll superstar, hailing from LA (Los Angeles, California).
  • “La Bamba” is a Mexican folk song, originally from Veracruz that combines Spanish, Indigenous and African musical.
  • In 1958, “La Bamba” was produced on the 45 record, Side B, as a fluff piece to Valen’s soon to be hit, Side A “Donna”, a hit Valen’s wrote for his girlfriend.
  • Producer, Bob Keane added “La Bamba” to the record because he didn’t think anyone would listen to a song with spanish lyrics, putting “Donna” in the spotlight. It backfired.
  • Los Lobos performed “La Bamba” for the 1987 movie “La Bamba” starring Lou Diamond Phillips.
  • In 1987, “La Bamba” reached number 1 on the US and UK singles charts for Los Lobos.
  • Ritchie Valens died at the age of 17 in a plane crash with 2 other greats, Buddy Holly & J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson heading to Fargo, North Dakota.
  • Valens was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
"La Bamba"
Para bailar La Bamba
Para bailar La Bamba se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia
Pa' mi, pa' ti, y arriba, y arriba
Y arriba y arriba
Por ti seré, por ti seré, por ti seré

Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero, soy capitán
Soy capitán, soy capitán
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba, bam

Para bailar La Bamba
Para bailar La Bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia
Para mi, para ti, ay arriba, ay arriba

Para bailar La Bamba
Para bailar La Bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia
Pa' mi, pa' ti, ay arriba, ay arriba
Y arriba y arriba
Por ti seré, por ti seré, por ti seré 

“Crazy” by Patsy Cline

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs with the word Crazy in the title or in the song.

I chose “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. Willie Nelson wrote this epic tune in 1961 with the help of a friend named Oliver English. It was originally titled “Stupid” and Nelson changed it after performing the song at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and getting a “not so nice” reaction by the fans. Nelson would put his version of the song on the jukebox at Tootsie’s. According to an interview by Nelson, Cline’s husband, Charlie Dick heard it and wanted Patsy to hear it. Charlie convinced Willie (both stumbling drunk), to take it to Patsy. Patsy said she “couldn’t sing that” when hearing it the first time. Her producer, Owen Bradley, loved the song and changed the arrangement into a ballad which she recorded. This song was originally written for country music artist Billy Walker who turned it down. Patsy Cline almost turned it down too.

“Crazy” was such a crossover hit and many artists have covered it throughout the years. Patsy Cline’s version is the most iconic reaching #2 on the Country Charts in 1962. “Crazy” was a follow-up song after her hit “I Fall to Pieces”. Patsy Cline was killed in an airplane crash on March 5, 1963.

Crazy
I'm crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy
Crazy for feeling so blue
I knew
You'd love me as long as you wanted
And then some day
You'd leave me for somebody new
Worry
Why do I let myself worry?
Wondering
What in the world did I do...
Oh, crazy
For thinking that my love could hold you...
I'm crazy for trying
And crazy for crying
And I'm crazy for loving you
Crazy
For thinking that my love could hold you...
I'm crazy for trying
And crazy for crying
And I'm crazy for loving
You...
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Willie Nelson / Willie Nelson
Crazy lyrics © Sony/ATV Tree Publishing, Blue Mountain Music Ltd., Hoochie Coochie Music, Sony Atv Tree Publishing, Sony Atv Music Publishing France, Hill & Range Songs, Bug Music O/B/o Hoochie Coochie Music, WB Music Corp. O/B/o Caledonia Soul Music, WB MUSIC CORP, CHRYSALIS MUSIC OBO CHRYSALIS MUSIC LTD UK, CAYMAN MUSIC OBO BSI ENTERPRISES 

Photo a Day Challenge: Dec 29 – Santa Claus

Photo A Day Prompt by CitySonnet

Me with Santa at Freddy’s Frozen Custard

Greensleeves vs. What Child is This – The Tale of 2 Songs – SLS

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs dealing with Christmas/Holiday/Snowman in the title or in the song.

Bet you thought I was going to give you more Elvis. I have to admit, I thought about it.

Frank & I picked up my brother-in-law from the airport yesterday and one of the topics that came up was “Greensleeves” and how I loved playing it in band my freshman year in High School. I sat first chair in the French Horn Section. I loved the tone & power it gave me to play such a beautiful song. My brother-in-law is a master pianist and music teacher. Once we got home from all our errands, I turned on the TV and Faith Hill was belting out “What Child is This“. The conversation from earlier with my brother-in-law and hubby, plus being blessed with Faith Hill seemed like a sign and became my inspiration for today.

Yesterday was the birthday of my granddaughter, Aniya who would have been 11. Aniya passed away 34 days after she was born, and I think my angels of Aniya, my mom and my grandmother were channelling me to do this particular pair of songs. More on the Christmas carol than the original, of course.

For many years, I only knew the tune to be Greensleeves. As I got older and heard versions of “What Child is This”, I quickly recognized the tune and thought someone got it wrong. The words were not the same, but the melody certainly was. Back then, we didn’t have the internet to get answers quickly and for me to read a history book just wasn’t going to happen.

“Greensleeves”

“Greensleeves” is a traditional English folk song that was registered by Richard Jones at the London Stationer’s Company in September 1580. It was registered as “A Newe Northen Dittye of ye Ladye Green Sleeves”. Wow, that’s a mouthful. It was composed anonymously, but one of the claims is that Henry VIII wrote it for Anne Boleyn. Allegedly, Lady Greensleeves was a loose woman and the song came from Irish origins. She supposedly rejected the King when he began pursuing her in 1526. She caved at some point since she became the Queen of England and Henry VIII’s second wife in 1533. She was beheaded on May 19, 1536.

Alas my love you do me wrong
To cast me off discourteously;
And I have loved you oh so long
Delighting in your company.
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves my heart of gold
Greensleeves was my heart of joy
And who but my lady Greensleeves.
I have been ready at your hand
To grant whatever thou would'st crave;
I have waged both life and land
Your love and goodwill for to have.
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves my heart of gold
Greensleeves was my heart of joy
And who but my lady Greensleeves.
Thy petticoat of slender white
With gold embroidered gorgeously;
Thy petticoat of silk and white
And these I bought gladly.
Greensleeves was my delight,
Greensleeves my heart of gold
Greensleeves was my heart of joy
And who but my lady Greensleeves.

“What Child is This”

“What Child is This” is a Christmas ballad written to the melody of “Greensleeves”. Complete different connotation. The lyrics were written by William Chatterton Dix in 1865 in Great Britain. The lyrics were taken from a poem written by Dix called “The Manger Throne”. The song was not published until 1871. It is not known when the 3 stanzas of the poem were put to the music of “Greensleeves”. Below is an awesome rendition by Andrea Bocelli & Mary J. Blige.

What Child is this
Who laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come Peasant, King to own Him
The King of Kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Oh, raise, raise a song on high,
His mother sings her lullaby.
Joy, oh joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe,
The Son,
Of Mary.
What Child
Is this
Who laid
To rest
On Mary's lap
On Mary's lap
He is sleeping
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe,
The Son,
Of Mary
The Babe, the Son of Mary
The Son of Mary

Rock-a-hula baby by Elvis Presley

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs with Baby in the title or in the song.

I once again turn to Elvis Presley, the King of Rock n’ Roll. You will probably be getting a lot of Elvis from me. I listen to SiriusXM Radio Channel 19 every day while in my car and sometimes on my I-Pad with my Bluetooth Bose speaker blaring at home or on my computer at work. I listen to other channels, but Elvis dominates the airwaves. Any of my co-workers that go to lunch with me can expect to hear Elvis’ silky voice coming through my speakers upon the moment I start the car. It’s a THING!

“Rock-a-hula baby” is a mix of Hawaiian folk and rock and roll genres that was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1961 and performed in the movie “Blue Hawaii” which starred Elvis, Joan Blackman, Angela Lansbury, Howard McNear, Roland Winters, among others. It reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart in February 1962 and spent four weeks there. It was re-release in March, 2005 and reach #23 in the US, #1 in Australia, #4 in Canada and #3 in the UK on the Billboard pop charts.

The song was written by Ben Weisman, Fred Wise and Dolores Fuller. It was recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, California on March 23, 1961. RCA Victor released the 45 single on October 1, 1961 with The Jorndanaires providing backup vocals. The backside of the 45 was “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. First published by Fuller, who would eventually write a dozen songs for Elvis, it was then published by Gladys Music, Inc., Elvis’ publishing company named in honor of his mother.

Of all the Elvis Presley movies, “Blue Hawaii” is still #1 on my list of favs! I have it recorded on my DVR and when I’ve had a stressful day at work, I put it on & all my tension washes away. As a kid, I dreamed of going to Hawaii because of this movie. Anytime an Elvis movie was on, the tube was tuned in. Every year, “Blue Hawaii” was in the line-up for Elvis movie week and we set down as a family to watch it. Partly because my mom was a huge Elvis fan. I played her records from the 50’s & 60’s and not what was ideally popular in the 70’s. Back then, we only had 8 channels on TV, if we were lucky.

My first airplane flight was when I turned 18 in 1984, just after high school graduation and a month before I went to boot camp. The trip was to the Big Island of Hawaii. Flying into Oahu, then taking a propelled steel rattle trap to The Big Island. Great experience for my first time flying! The trip was magical! The music, the beaches, the culture…all of it. All because of a 1961 movie starring Elvis Presley.

Rock-a-hula, rock-rock-a-hula
Rock-a-hula, rock-rock-a-hula
Rock-a-hula, rock-rock-a-hula
Rock-a-hula, rock-rock-a-hula
Rock-a-hula, rock-rock-a-hula
Rock-a-hula, rock
Rock-a-hula, rock
A-hula, rock
A-hula, rock, a-hula, rock
The way she moves her hips to her fingertips
I feel I'm heaven bound
And when she starts to sway, I've gotta say
She really move the grass around
Rock-a-hula baby
Rock-a-hula baby
Got a hula lulu from Honolulu
That rock-a-hula baby of mine
Rock-a-hula, rock-rock-a-hula
Rock-a-hula, rock
Although I love to kiss my little hula miss
I never get the chance
I want to hold her tight all through the night
But all she wants to do is dance
Rock-a-hula baby
Rock-a-hula baby
Got a hula lulu from Honolulu
That rock-a-hula baby of mine
Rock-a-hula baby
Rock-a-hula baby
Rock-a-hula baby
Rock, rock, rock, rock
Rock-a-hula baby
Rock-a-hula baby
Rock-a-hula baby
Rock, rock, rock, rock
Rock-a-hula baby
Rock-a-hula baby
Got a hula lulu from Honolulu
That rock-a-hula baby of mine
Oh well, that rock-a-hula baby of mine
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Benjamin Weisman / Dolores Fuller / Fred Wise
Rock-A-Hula Baby lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Carlin America Inc 

Living in the Moment – Day 2 – Trout Lake

Beautiful Trout Lake with the mountains in the picturesque backdrop on a sunny afternoon in September.  Yellowstone National Park.

After our awesome late lunch at Lamar Valley, we headed for Trout Lake which we travelled east on Northeast Entrance Road. Trout Lake is a short lolipop hiking trail with a fairly steep uphill climb. Once you have hiked up to the lake, the walk around the trail will take you completely around the lake blessing you with a picturesque view showcasing the mountains behind it.

Map of hiking trail for Trout Lake, Yellowstone National Park
Wooded area of Douglas Fir trees along the trail of Trout Lake, Yellowstone National Park.

The trail takes you up through a forest of Douglas Firs. This trail is open year round. Pets are not allowed on the trail. For safety reason, it is recommended by the park services that you carry bear spray with you at all times and stay on the trails.

Lazuli Bunting
Photo Credit: Alix d’Entremont – Macaulay Library

On our ascent to reach the lake, we only encountered 10 people in the 2 hours we spent on this adventure. At several points, I had to stop and catch my breath, as I’m not used to the elevation. On one of those rest moments, I reach a flat area deep in the woods when out of nowhere, this little bird with a blue head ran across my shoe. I was so stunned, I couldn’t move for a couple of seconds. I looked in the direction that it took cover which was some bright green grass. I got one glimpse of it moving & then it disappeared. I turned to Frank as he was below me, and told him that I had a bird that looked like a parakeet run across my shoe. Of course, he thought the altitude had done me in! I was beside myself! Thinking about that bird the whole rest of the time we were up there. Spoiler alert!!! Near the end of this trip several days later, I found out that what I saw was not a parakeet (didn’t think so anyway), but a Lazuli Bunting. I had to go back into my bird log on ebird.org and add it to my list, making it a life bird for me! IT RAN ACROSS MY SHOE & DISAPPEARED IN THE THE TALL GREEN GRASS! Still can’t believe it!

Once we reached the top and exited the trail where the lake opened up, we were in awe at the vision before us. We decided to go to the right. With a light breeze coming off the lake, the smell of smoke wafted the air. It wasn’t a fire or someone cooking. It was the all too familiar smell of marijuana. Somebody was tokin’ on the hill. We moved on around the lake, meeting a nice couple from Canada. We enjoyed their company as we trekked down the path around the lake stopping to take a photo here and there. The only wildlife we saw besides the unidentifiable Lazuli Bunting were 3 Cinnamon Teals, some Common Mergansers and a Pied-Billed Grebe. No elk, no moose, no bears!

On the other side of the lake, we approached some guys fishing, suspecting they were the pot heads. We said our hellos & well wishes on catching their trout and came across a wooden bridge. Frank is standing on it in the photo below. Trout Lake empties out here flowing down the mountainside. With next to no noise, it was another zen moment for listening to the water leave the pool where it vacated.

Wooden footbridge where Trout Lake empties down the mountainside with Trout Lake and the mountain in the background.

The entire hike up the mountain side and around the lake is 1.2 miles. The hike around the lake is easy. The ascent is strenuous if you are not in shape or not used to changes in elevation. I thought I was in pretty good shape for a 54 year old Marine, but I was mistaken. I took more breaks than I wanted, but it was necessary. As I climbed, my trained mind was telling me “No Pain, No Gain”. My heart was screaming, “to hell with that”. Since this was our first real hike and it was Day 2 of our vacation (first day in Yellowstone), I can tell you after the tranquility of one’s self and living in the moment, I felt invigorated going down the trail towards the trailhead.

Selfie of Lisa and Frank with Trout Lake and Mountains in the beautiful backdrop.

Trout Lake was worth the 150 feet of elevation that we had to climb to get to this peaceful clear lake. Hope you get to visit the beauty of Yellowstone National Park if you have never been there. If you missed any of our “Living in the Moment” posts, check them out here: Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek.

“Open Arms” by Journey – SLS

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs pertaining to Arms/Elbows/Knees/Legs.

I’ve never been a big concert goer. First of all, we were poor when I was a kid so there was no money. Second of all, I wasn’t into partying, didn’t indulge in alcohol or drugs so I didn’t see the point. I channeled my music in my bedroom on my record player. As the years went by, I yearned to see Journey in concert. Never got the opportunity.

I started working at age 15 to help my mom pay the bills. It just so happened I was 15 in 1981. That is the year Journey released the “Escape” album with “Open Arms” on it. Jonathan Cain began writing “Open Arms” while still with the band “The Babys”. John Waite, “The Babys” vocalist didn’t like the song and said it was “sentimental rubbish”. Cain & Journey’s lead singer Steve Perry finished the song in the writing sessions of the “Escape” album. They changed the key from A to D & reworked the melody. Cain would collaborate on many other Journey albums throughout the years.

“Open Arms” was almost left off the “Escape” album because the band didn’t want ballads on their albums. They were a rock band, after all. The song was referred to as sounding kinda like Mary Poppins by guitarist Neal Schon. The song was so far outside the box and against everything the band had produced before. It could shatter their image. Well, it didn’t and just added to their popularity.

“Open Arms” is one of Journey’s most recognizable songs, however. It never reached #1 which I was shocked when I looked it up, because it was #1 in my heart. The week of February 27, 1982, it reached #2, jumping 2 spots from #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 where it stayed for 6 weeks, never reaching #1. “Centerfold” by The J. Geils Band & “I Love Rock n’ Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts kept it from the #1 spot. Click on the Billboard link to see all the songs from that week in 1982.

Journey was my favorite rock band in high school and “Open Arms” got me through a troubled time of abuse at the hand of my step-dad. Afterall, it was my formidable years and I had mental & physical scars! I listened to all types of music, fantasizing for a different life than the one that I was living.

In July, 2017, I was minding my own business at work when an “Evil Eye” popped up on my monitor. Evil Eye is the way our company communicates on a grand scale to get a message to the entire company in real time. This Evil Eye was not like any others before it, nor those that appear on the norm. It stated that there were 4 tickets available for the Journey concert in 2 days. “First 2 people see me in production if you want to go”. This was from the President of the company. OMG! I’m going to see Journey. I didn’t buy tickets because they were $350 each. Now, I’m going & for FREE!

I shot out of my chair and ran to production. I got there at the same time another employee got there. Her name is Dottie and that is her & her husband in the photo below with me & Frank.

Journey concert 2017 - Daily's Place Amphitheatre in Jacksonville, Florida
Journey concert at Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, FL – 2017

I was so emotional that night. When the lights shut off, the darkness fell over Daily’s Place Amphitheatre, the waterworks began. Tears flowed freely down my face. All the emotion pent up since the 80’s came out of me. The excitement was real! Bucket List – CHECK! Pathetic really! None-the-less, it was the best time ever. To share it with my husband & 2 good friends, it was unforgettable. The video below was taken from my phone. Sorry for the late start, but I was Living in the Moment. I was shaky until I got my emotions in check. I could have easily been a girl in 1957 when Elvis came out on stage. That must have been how those girls felt.

Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the class of 2017 (same year as the concert, definitely fate). Inductees included lead singer Steve Perry, guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardists Jonathan Cain and Gregg Rolie, bassist Ross Valory and drummers Aynsley Dunbar and Steve Smith. Steve Perry and Neal Schon left the band in 1987 to pursue solo careers. After years of reforming the band and many trial runs, the band hired YouTuber and Filipino singer Arnel Pineda from the cover band “The Zoo”. Arnel became Journey’s new frontman in 2007 and is seen belting out “Open Arms” in the video above in 2017.

Open Arms

Lying beside you
Here in the dark
Feeling your heartbeat with mine
Softly you whisper
You're so sincere
How could our love be so blind
We sailed on together
We drifted apart
And here you are
By my side

So now I come to you
With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you'll see
What your love means to me
Open arms

Living without you
Living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you
Wanting you near
How much I wanted you home

But now that you've come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay

So now I come to you
With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you'll see
What your love means to me
Open arms

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Keith Whitley – SLS

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs pertaining to Chin/Ears/Eyes/Face/Mouth/Nose .

There were so many songs to choose from this week. Mostly about eyes & lips. After turning down “Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who, which I figured someone else would do today, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” by Willie Nelson and “Cotton-Eyed Joe”, I chose a song close to my heart.

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” was written by Bob McDill & recorded by American music artist Keith Whitley. “Don’t Close Your Eyes” was the song that put Whitley on the map & was a huge commercial success. Whitley was an up & coming country music star. This song was recorded in 1987 and released in March 1988. It was Whitley’s 3rd single released from his album of the same name. The week of August 13th, “Don’t Close Your Eyes” reached #1 in America and peaked at #2 in Canada. It was Billboard’s #1 country single of the year in 1988. The song has been covered by Country Music greats such as Alan Jackson for Keith Whitley’s 1995 tribute album and Garth Brooks performed this song at the 50th CMA Awards while Whitley’s widow, country music star, Lorrie Morgan was in the audience.

Keith Whitley only recorded 2 albums before his untimely death on May 9, 1989 at the age of 33. Regardless of this tragedy, he had 12 singles chart on the Billboard country music charts and an additional 7 more after his death from alcoholism. He and Lorrie Morgan had been married for 3 short years at the time. Every country fan in America was heartbroken & I remember feeling the same sadness when I heard the news as when I learned of the death of Elvis. My heart sank into my belly & the tears flowed effortlessly. “Don’t Close Your Eyes” has a deep connection to my past that I don’t want to share here. Suffice it to say, it was a crushing heartbreak that took me many years to get over. The lyrics will tell you all you want to know.

I know you loved him, a long time ago
Even now in my arms, you still want him I know
But darling this time, your memories die
When you hold me tonight, don't close your eyes
Don't close your eyes, let it be me
Don't pretend it's him, in some fantasy
Darling just once, let yesterday go
And you'll find more love than you'll ever know
Just hold me tight, when you love me tonight
And don't close your eyes
Maybe I've, been a fool, holding on all this time
Lying here in your arms, knowing he's in your mind
But I keep hoping someday, that you'll see the light
Let it be tonight and don't close your eyes
Don't close your eyes, let it be me
Don't pretend it's him, in some fantasy
Darling just once, let yesterday go
And you'll find more love than you'll ever know
Just hold me tight, when you love me tonight
And don't close your eyes
Don't close your eyes, let it be me
Don't pretend it's him, in some fantasy
Darling just once, let yesterday go
And you'll find more love than you'll ever know
Just hold me tight, when you love me tonight
And don't close your eyes
Just hold me tight, when you love me tonight,
And don't close your eyes
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob McDill
Don't Close Your Eyes lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

“The Thanksgiving Song” by Adam Sandler

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs pertaining to Bounty/Dessert/Eat/Feast/Food/Hungry/Turkey.

On November 21, 1992, Kevin Nealon played the news anchor for Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live (SNL). The segment was meant to be the beginning of SNL cast members to write & perform a song each Thanksgiving holiday, however, the next year Adam Sandler performed a different version of the song in a Bruce Springsteen style with the help of Nealon. On July 25, 1993, Sandler performed this song at The Strand in Redondo Beach, California. This performance was recorded & was featured on Sandler’s debut album “They’re All Gonna Laugh At You”. Sandler has gone on to have a huge career in film & his comedic following isn’t too shabby either. Both versions revolve around nothing but TURKEY! Happy Thanksgiving all!

"They wanna hear the thanksgiving song! All right.."
"This is uhh, This is the Thanksgiving Song"
"I hope you enjoy it."

[Starts playing]
Love to eat turkey
Love to eat turkey

[Shout from Crowd:] "I love you Adam!"
[Adam Sandler:] "Ohhh, I love you!"
Love to eat turkey
'Cause it's good
Love to eat turkey
Like a good boy should
'Cause it's turkey to eat
So good

[Adam Sandler:] "That clappin's messing my head up man. I appreciate it.
But I was trying to think of the next line and all I hear is clapping.
Here we go... Thanks anyways"

Turkey for me
Turkey for you
Let's eat the turkey
In my big brown shoe
Love to eat the turkey
At the table
I once saw a movie
With Betty Grable
Eat that turkey
All night long
Fifty million Elvis fans
Can't be wrong
Turkey lurkey dee and
Turkey lurkey dap
I eat that turkey
Then I take a nap

Thanksgiving is a special night
Jimmy Walker used to say Dynomite
That's right
Turkey with gravy and cranberry
Can't believe the Mets traded Darryl Strawberry
Turkey for you and
Turkey for me
Can't believe Tyson
Gave that girl V.D.

White meat, dark meat
You just can't lose
I fell off my moped
And I got a bruise
Turkey in the oven
And the buns in the toaster
I'll never take down
My Cheryl Tiegs poster
Wrap the turkey up
In aluminum foil
My brother likes to masturbate
With baby oil
Turkey and sweet potato pie
Sammy Davis Jr.
Only had one eye

Turkey for the girls and
Turkey for the boys
My favorite kind of pants
Are corduroys
Gobble gobble gee and
Gobble gobble gickel
I wish turkey
Only cost a nickel
Oh I love turkey on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
Song Writers: Adam Sandler, Ian Maxtone-Graham & Robert Smigel

Living in the Moment – Day 2 – Lamar Valley – Slough Creek

Lamar Valley - Slough Creek - Yellowstone National Park

As we continued on our journey through Yellowstone National Park on Day 2 of our trip, it was early afternoon and we were starving. We had planned to stop earlier but, with so much to see and the bison traffic jam we encountered, we were behind schedule. If you missed any of our “Living in the Moment” posts, check them out here: Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek.

Finding good food and a great place to eat is a real challenge in most National Parks. Yellowstone is no exception. The park is huge and the number of places available for food are small. In addition, the menu options are limited. The solution sounds like a pain in the rear end but it’s not. All it takes is a little planning, a couple of stops for supplies after picking up the rental vehicle and you’re set for the entire vacation. More on that in a later post.

It was sunny and the temperature was in the 60’s with the wind blowing 5-10 mph and gusts up to 15 mph. In other words, the weather was perfect for a picnic. It was close to 2 pm and we hadn’t eaten since 8 am that morning. Now the challenge was finding the perfect spot. The search continued for such a place where we could get some shelter from the wind to be able to use our MSR Pocket Rocket. It’s an awesome little stove, that when compacted, fits in the palm of your hand. We stopped at every turnout but nothing was just right. At one of the turnouts we saw this beautiful Pronghorn Antelope. Hunger pangs aside, we had to stop and get some photos since he posed up for us.

Pronghorn Antelope taken in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park.

Finally, we came to an intersection with a dirt gravel road that said Slough Creek Campground, BINGO. Driving down the campground road, we found a perfect spot with a view above Slough Creek.

Entrance to Slough Creek from the NE Entrance Road in Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park.

We pulled over, adjusted the van so that we blocked the wind on the passenger’s side and set up to cook lunch. The view of the valley and creek were absolutely beautiful. This was our spot!

We unloaded the van with the gear & food that was going to be prepared. Grilled cheese, fresh corn on the cob and an apple was on the menu. Frank began preparing the stove while I prepped the food. This menu would have tasted great at home but, food tastes so much better outside where you’re surrounded by mountains, a lake, the ocean or any place that makes you forget about all the troubles of the world. We took our time and savored every bite, view and moment. Our first lunch in Yellowstone National Park couldn’t have been more magical!

Temporary Mini-Camp Site
Slough Creek – Lamar Valley

More to come next stop Trout Lake! We are still on Day 2! What???

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Starting with Letters K or L

Lighthouse – St. Augustine, FL

At the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, FL
Me with my Nikon taking photos overlooking the salt-marsh.

Lamar Valley – Yellowstone National Park

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Lights near the ceiling of the Yellowstone Inn – Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Inn log pylon with lights near the ceiling.

Limpkin, Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa, FL

Limpkin foraging for food in Lettuce Lake Park, Tampa, FL

“Don’t” & “Don’t be Cruel” by Elvis Presley

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has prompted us with songs pertaining to Did/Didn’t/Do/Don’t/Does/Doesn’t . I’ve got a twofer for you today & I might not be the only one who does these songs.

I was not born when either of these songs came out, but I grew up to Elvis music, along with country music because my mom was a huge fan of both. I sometimes feel I was born and grew up in the wrong decade. While I love country music & usually present country music for Song Lyric Sunday, I simply couldn’t or is that I didn’t? Did you know that in Elvis’ early days, Elvis would change the lines of some of the songs written by others and was given co-writing credit for songs like “Don’t Be Cruel”.

“Don’t” was written by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller. These two gentlemen wrote many hit songs for Elvis and other artist. Their resume is long.

“Don’t” was released in 1958 and became Elvis’ eleventh hit & was ranked #3 on the Billboard charts for 1958. It also reached #4 on the R&B charts. “Don’t” was used in the movie “Dave” starring Kevin Kline as he played the President of the United States and had a heart attack while making love to his mistress inside the White House.

Don't
Don't, don't, that's what you say
Each time that I hold you this way
When I feel like this and I want to kiss you
Baby, don't say don't
Don't, don't leave my embrace
For here in my arms is your place
When the night grows cold and I want to hold you
Baby, don't say don't
If you think that this is just a game
I'm playing
If you think that I don't mean
Every word I'm saying
Don't, don't, don't, don't
Don't feel that way
I'm your love and yours I will stay
This you can believe
I will never leave you
Heaven knows I won't
Baby, don't say don't
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller
Dont lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust Ave

——————————————————————————————————————–

“Don’t be Cruel” was written by Otis Blackwell and recorded by Elvis Presley in 1956. It was released on July 13, 1956 as a single backed with “Hound Dog” and became #1 on the Pop, Country & R&B charts. After a few weeks, “Hound Dog” overtook “Don’t be Cruel” (ironic), had gotten to #2 on the Pop Charts and hit sales of over one million. Between the A & B sides of this 45, they were in the #1 slot on the Pop charts for 11 weeks. In 1961, “Don’t Be Cruel” became Presley’s biggest selling single recorded in 1956 with over 6 million records sold. “Don’t Be Cruel” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.

Don't Be Cruel
You know I can be found,
sitting home all alone,
If you can't come around,
at least please telephone.
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true.
Baby, if I made you mad
for something I might have said,
Please, let's forget the past,
the future looks bright ahead,
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true.
I don't want no other love,
Baby it's just you I'm thinking of.
Don't stop thinking of me,
don't make me feel this way,
Come on over here and love me,
you know what I want you to say.
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true.
Why should we be apart?
I really love you baby, cross my heart.
Let's walk up to the preacher
and let us say I do,
Then you'll know you'll have me,
and I'll know that I'll have you,
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true.
I don't want no other love,
Baby it's just you I'm thinking of.
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true.
Don't be cruel to a heart that's true.
I don't want no other love,
Baby it's just you I'm thinking of

Written by Otis Blackwell

Living in the Moment – Day 2 – Undine Falls and Lava Creek

Undine Falls in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

When and where to stop in Yellowstone National Park is a challenge to everyone who visits the park. We suggest taking advantage of the many natural wonders close to the highway as you’re traveling between major destinations. It breaks up the drive, gets you out of the car, doesn’t take up too much time, let’s you see some amazing natural wonders and makes you feel like you’ve seen a lot more of the park. Undine Falls, pronounced (Un-deen) and Lava Creek are two of those places.

Undine Falls is a beautiful 3 tiered fall that drops 60 feet into a stark canyon and is just off the highway. Heading east on the Grand Loop Road outside of Mammoth Hot Springs, it’s a convenient stop for anyone heading towards the Lamar Valley or Tower Junction. The photo and video above were taken on Day 2 of our vacation in September. There was plenty of water flowing and the site and sounds were mesmerizing. There is a 1.8 mile trail system that is visited by hikers, birders, fishermen and nature lovers of all skill levels. Undine Falls is just one of many beautiful waterfalls in Yellowstone.

Selfie taken in front of Undine Falls in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

As you continue travelling East towards Lamar Valley, there is another stop that is a must and right down from the falls. Lava Creek is a small stream of water that flows under the highway. There are picnic tables and a nice shaded area where serenity can be found right off the road. The stream is crystal clear and when you sit on the creek bed, close your eyes and listen to the movement of the water, you can find a peace that exists in your mind’s eye. The below images will give you an idea of what to expect. Watch the video at the bottom & you can listen for yourself. Close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting on a fallen tree next to the rock bed. May this give you some inner peace to start your day.

Lava Creek

If you missed the first Living in the Moment Series, check them out here: Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam. More to come!

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