I’m Going To Be Loretta Lynn

I am taking the Blogging 101 course from WordPress.

Today’s Assignment: publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read, and include a new-to-you element in it.

I tried to think of some famous person to be my ideal audience, but couldn’t think of a soul. The assignment said thinking of a specific person helps focus your thoughts and goals for the blog. When I write my blog, I do have a specific composite person in mind. The people who have been reading my logs and blogs since 2001 form that composite person. Family members, old neighbors and co-workers and new friends we’ve made along the way: you are my ideal audience. It feels like writing to the folks back home.  You care a whole lot more than some famous person ever would.

My new element is to embed is a YouTube video. Fortunately, the WordPress folks provided instructions.

It is easy to pick one out; I’ve been singing along with Loretta Lynn for months now.  We are having a Grand Ole Opry party at the yacht club this Saturday night and I am going to be Loretta Lynn.  I have a fancy dress similar to the one in the video, but with a straight skirt. I have a long black wig and even bought a dark eyebrow pencil to color my invisible blonde eyebrows. I don’t watch the whole video.  I just slide the little slider along until she goes to the microphone and starts singing.

Here goes:

That was easy.  All I had to do was copy and paste the URL from the Loretta YouTube page to my post. Now I can preview my post to see if it worked.

Nope.  All I got was a link to the YouTube page. Perhaps I should read more of the instructions. Yes! To get a preview of the video embedded, I had to put brackets around the URL like this:  youtube the URL here. I can’t put the brackets on it to show you; it doesn’t show up in the post.  [but you know what brackets look like]

If somebody take a video on Saturday night, I’ll post one with me singing instead of Loretta.  Yeah, I’ve sung along with her on YouTube so much that we are on a first-name basis now.

December 20, 2015 – Year in Review

I was inspired by oy30’s drawing Summary of the Year on oy30’s Blog – A Mexican Boy’s Site

I can’t draw that well, so I went to the pictures folder and picked one out for each month.  It was really hard to do! There are so many to choose from and just one does not represent a whole month. Then, there are eleven more days in December.  What if something earth shaking happens and is left out of the Review?  Oh well, here goes:

We were here in Marathon, Florida for the month of January. This is our view of the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the road in our RV park. Those yellow things floating on the water are designed to keep sea grass from floating into the canal.  There are bubblers under the water to make little waves to keep the grass from floating in the smaller entrance. It works well.

2015 01
Atlantic Ocean from Key RV, Marathon, Florida

This was my favorite picture in the February folder.  It is of red mangrove blossoms. Red mangroves are the ones that grow in the water and have those gnarly prop roots that make a mangrove forest impassable. The blossoms are small and not usually noticeable.

2015 02
Red Mangrove Blossoms

One memorable thing that represents March 2015 was inviting a number of friends to the Marathon Yacht Club to eat French dip sandwiches for lunch about once a week. We called ourselves The French Dippers and it was always a good time.

2015 03

We hit the road for our summer trip in April.  Here is Sao, our motorhome, parked for the night in a vineyard in Fort Pierce, Florida.  That was our first night out.

2015 04
Endless Summer Vineyard, Fort Pierce, Florida

May was our first month in Big Creek in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is the swimming hole in the picnic area.  We walked out onto that pedestrian bridge several times a day to look at the creek and to watch picnickers, campers, and hikers cooling off in Big Creek. We also regularly saw fish in the pool under the bridge.

2015 05
Big Creek Picnic Area Swimming Hole

We were in Big Creek for June as well. This view is up the creek from the pedestrian bridge.

2015 06
Big Creek

We moved on to Maryland in July and parked in my sister Barbara’s driveway.  I only got one picture of the three grandchildren, but their beautiful faces are not showing.  I still like the picture. We took them for a hike on Sugarloaf Mountain, about an hour northwest of Washington, DC

2015 07
Andrew, Elizabeth, and George Misovec on Sugarloaf Mountain

In July, we moved on to Mequon, Wisconsin, just north of Milwaukee. That’s grandma heaven.  Owen and Cam have just turned four and two in November and December. They would come out to the motorhome every morning to wake me up and push me out of bed. I took so many pictures of them, it was tough to choose. They call me Baba Yaga because my house moves, though not on chicken feet.

2015 08
Owen and Cam with Baba Yaga

September was full of sights with visits to seven national parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase Escalante, Bryce Canyon, Zion.  It could be overwhelming to pick a picture from there, but this one is of me with my son Christopher on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

2015 09
Dinata and Christopher at the Grand Canyon North Rim

We headed back home in October, stopping to visit friends Paul and Sheri Brindle in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. We visited the beautiful beaches of the Florida panhandle. We also visited friends: Cissy Betz in Palm Harbor, Bill and Pam in The Villages, and Joe and Linda Coffey in Port Charlotte, Florida. I can’t leave out our stop at Alliance Coach, the RV repair shop in Wildwood, Florida. We seem to spend a lot of time there.

2015 10
Andy on beach in Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

We were back on our RV site in Key RV in Marathon in November. We set up our screen room and I planted my garden.  Then I got to work on my book about Big Creek.

2015 11
Sao in Key RV, Marathon, Florida

Andy has been busy straightening up the space behind our storage shed in December.  We had “stuff” piled up back there.  He put the kayaks up against the shed, got a bike rack for the bikes (in the lower right corner) and set up a table and two chairs overlooking our little mangrove forest.  We like to sit out there with our coffee and gaze into the swamp when the no-see-ums are not biting.

20150 12
Behind the Shed

November 18, 2015 – Odds n Ends

I said I was going to hunker down and get busy writing THE BOOK.  Well, I have. This past week (or more) I have been attempting to spend at least eight hours per day at the computer.  It’s a job. For the most part, I have been successful, but there are always little distractions.

I’ve been struggling with the approach.  Patricia, the editor, had encouraged me to write it as a series of essays.  She said to think about the themes in my logs and make each one a separate essay.  Many days I have sat down to do just that, but in the end I get frustrated because my stories gets fractured. I think I should stay chronological and let the themes intertwine and overlap as they do in life. The hard part about that is reducing or condensing my material into a modern (meaning short) book length. I’ve gone back and forth and not settled on either approach yet. What do you think?

We had three or four days of heavy rain and high wind, accompanied by thunder and lightning.  That was helpful for keeping me indoors. So, I’ve been reading my logs, rewriting, and augmenting so much that I wake up in the night and think I am in Big Creek.

Andy had done a good job of getting me to take breaks.  I took my camera with me when I went out to stretch my legs. Andy has started taking early morning walks and once or twice this week, I got out of bed to join him.

b Sunrise

We went to the yacht club for karaoke night.  Now, I admit that I’m a karaoke singing fool of the first order. Friend Chrissy took this picture of me singing with Dave Scott.  I guess I didn’t know the words too well; I was clearly focusing on the screen.  I did have a good time and, when I wasn’t up there singing, I was singing along with whoever else was up there.  My throat was raw the next day.

b Dinata Singing w Dave Scott

Here is the view out the front window in the RV park during one of the rainy days.

b View Out Front Window

The garden has been doing well with all the rain.  So far, everything so growing nicely. The basil is ready for some light harvesting and all the tomato plants have blossoms on them. I did pull the rotting coconut out of the square pot and plant some Hawaiian papaya seeds in there.  No sign of papaya trees yet.

b Garden is Growing

One of the reasons we bought a lot in this RV park is that we are about half a mile from the grocery store.  That gives us a good excuse to walk over a mile there and back. I took these pictures here in the RV park as we took a walk. I don’t know what kind of tree this is.  All the long skinny leaves hang straight down making a great background for a butterfly picture.

b Butterfly on Tree

Many of the palm trees have produced clusters of red fruit. Some people call them Christmas palms for the red color, but it could be an African Oil Palm.  I dunno. I do know that it is not a good idea to bite one.  Trust me.

b Palm Tree Fruit

I took the afternoon off work today and we went to Bahia Honda State Park for our walk. It was very windy, which made for surf on the beach.  That is unusual here with the reef a few miles off the islands. Our timing was impeccable and we got there a high tide, which means there was not much beach left to walk on. The high winds and high tide made it an exhilarating walk.

We always see these cone-shaped sponges on that beach, but today there were plenty of new fresh ones washed up.  If I didn’t live in a motorhome, I would figure out how to clean and dry one to turn it into a bowl, or maybe a lamp shade.

b Cone Sponges on Beach

The high winds had blown mounds of sea grass up onto the beach. A sign next to the beach entrance said not to move it because it is important to the beach ecosystem: protects the beach from erosion, has little shrimp-like critters to feed the birds, and fertilizes the shore plants.

b Grass on Beach

b Bird

This little group was hunkered down behind a mound of grass apparently trying to hide from the wind.

b Birds Hunkered Down Behind Beach Grass

An egret was fishing at the water’s edge.

b Egret on Shoal

I’m not sure why I was attracted to this dead tree.

b Log on Grass

I regularly take pictures of these two.

b Dead Trees on Beach

We went to the club again this evening for trivia night.  Our team did win one round, but with no help from me.  I surely don’t know my trivia, especially sports trivia. Tonight, the themes were sports, Thanksgiving, and veterans.  I could not even hazard a guess for most of the questions.

November 8, 2015 – Marathon, FL

We’ve been back in Marathon for a week now and are just about settled into our winter home. Here is Sao snugged into our small RV site in Key RV. It was late afternoon so I took the picture right into the sun.

b Sao in Marathon

I was pleased to see that our neighbor’s trailer had been painted during the summer.  It had been looking a bit shabby.  I love the tropical  colors.

b Neighbor's Trailer

The first morning here, we went to the Home Depot and bought three huge bags of potting soil and plants for my garden.  I like to call it my farm. I got three large tomato plants, in the largest pots, and three cherry tomato plants, in the medium sized pots next to the street, and basil, cilantro, and mint, in the smaller pots in front of Sao.  The square pot is a coconut I planted two years ago.  There are no signs of life yet so I probably need to find another coconut to grow.

 

b Garden

The ugly orange Home Depot buckets are Andy’s method to keep people from using our small space as a place to turn their cars and trucks around.  I bought some spray paint to turn the buckets tan. And, I planted a plum tomato plant in the one in  the far corner.

The Marathon Yacht Club, where we lived on our boat for five years, added a swimming pool while we were gone. I loved the garden that was in the space before and was not too sure I would like a small pool, but it looks a bit bigger in real life than it did in the drawings we saw last winter. That is the Gulf of Mexico in the background.

b Yacht Club Pool

We did not go swimming that day, but plan to make use of the pool on a regular basis. Andy said he is going to swim while I work on that book.

b Yacht Club w Pool

After a sweaty day of setting up the screen room and patio furniture, we walked to the water front here in Key RV.  This is where we sit a watch the ocean. You’ll see more of that little lighthouse, I take pictures of it just about every time we sit there.

b Key RV Waterfront

I noticed a large iguana in the mangroves on the far side of the canal.

b Iguana in Mangroves

Here is a closer look. I love my zoom!

b Iguana Close Up

Iguanas are cool in a prehistoric kind of way, but it doesn’t take long to get tired of them and learn to dislike them.  They eat the shrubbery.  AND I have already chased one away from my garden.  Didn’t even stop to take a picture of it.

I zoomed in on the coconuts across the canal too. It is interesting to me that they don’t all ripen at the same time like an apple tree.  New clusters emerge on some regular interval.  I have seen a tree with green, yellow, and brown coconut clusters on it. These two clusters were on neighboring trees

 

b Green Coconuts

b Yellow Coconuts

 

French Dippers at Marathon Yacht Club

Months ago, we stopped in the yacht club for lunch and were delighted to get French Dip sandwiches for the special.  The manager, Tony, told us Prime Rib Night had been on Saturday. The sandwiches were delicious so we watched the club calendar and went for Tuesday lunch after the next Prime Rib night.  The next month we invited some friends.  The month after that, we invited a few more friends.  Now it is a tradition.  Yesterday, I remembered to take my camera and get a picture.

French Dippers

 

Want to join us?  Let me know:  dinata@gmail.com