"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

FOTD – Periwinkle – Haiku

Cee’s FOTD Challenge

Periwinkle pink
Shines brightly in the sunlight
Velvet petals smile.

Ode to Peanuts #4/6 – A poem by Goff James

The bird lover in me had to share. Hope you visit Gogg James blog. Each of these poems is quite endearing.

Art, Photography and Poetry

This poem was inspired by and dedicated to a lovable parrot named Peanuts. Peanuts is a true and faithful buddy to B a dear friend.

Poem Attribution © goffjamesart/photography/poetry

Click here to read more poetry by Goff James.


Image Attribution © Andrew Gwozdziewycz, A Yellow-naped Amazon at the Roatan Tropical Butterfly Garden, Honduras, (Date Unstated)

Source Attributionhttps://cy.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amason_gwarfelyn#/media/Delwedd:Amazona_auropalliata_-Roatan_Tropical_Butterfly_Garden-8a.jpg

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"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, 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!

Nov. 10 – BOTD – Meadowlark

Here is my entry for Granny Shot It’s  Bird of the Day (BOTD) challenge.

Male Western Meadowlark – Bird on a Wire – Justin, Texas

Both the Western Meadowlark and Eastern Meadowlark are about the size of the American Robin. It can be a difficult task for birders to identify the species in areas where they can both congregate. The images below are compliments of the All About Birds website & are the perfect illustration of the similarities & differences of the breeding males. The maps below each bird demonstrate their territories. In the crossover states, it is almost impossible to 100% identify which bird you are looking at unless you can get a photo or you are an expert. Both species like to forage in open fields or pasture land. In Texas, I’ve seen them foraging at the edge of lakes during the winter months.

Western Meadowlarks eat grain seed in the winter & spring but will forage for weed seed in the fall. They also eat beetles, ants, cutworms, crickets and grasshoppers. The Eastern Meadowlark eats mainly insects such as grasshoppers, crickets & grubs.

Both meadowlark females build their nest on the ground, but they differ in the number of eggs they lay. The western will lay 5-6 eggs, while the eastern will lay 2-7 eggs. The eggs are similar with spots, but the western eggs are little more prominent with their brown, rust & lavender spots. Incubation times are the same.

Both meadowlarks are vibrant song birds with different calls. This is one of the best ways to distinguish the two birds. Listen to the Western here and the Eastern here.

Hope you get to see both of these species & are able to identify them correctly when in the crossover areas in North America. Happy Birding!

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