Two weeks ago, we set off for a vacation in Florida. For the purposes of this post we’ll pretend it was all that simple and didn’t involve many changes in plans and travel dates before we got to that point.

A few years ago, I would have definitely said I was not a beach person. Too hot. Too many people (wearing not enough clothes…). Sunburn. Sharks. Jellyfish. 100 foot tidal waves. You know, all the things sensible people are concerned about.

Then we discovered that you can go to the beach during a magical time of year called ‘off season’. The weather ranges from pleasant to tolerable and the people are few. Technically the risk of giant tidal waves is probably the same, but it turns out I can live with the sunburn, etc part of the list as long as I’m not sweating or socializing excessively.

It also turns out that my chronic health problems usually fade a bit when exposed to ocean air, plenty of natural vitamin D, and near constant ‘grounding’ as I go barefoot on the sand. Somehow, I have turned into a fan of the beach.

There’s not a whole lot to say about most of this trip specifically. We saw a couple of amazing sunsets, a double rainbow (though I think only one ever showed up in the picture), some cool looking skies, and a couple of shrimp boats (which look rather like pirate ships in my opinion). Not pictured, we also found a lot of nice seashells, and I read the next book in a favorite series while sitting on the beach.


This was one of the few times the beach umbrella stayed anchored in the sand without blowing away…

I tried to paint one of the shrimp boats we saw, and especially play off that resemblance to a pirate ship, but I was really unhappy with how my first attempt played out. Not only was I too rushed in mixing my colors, but the wind blew my paper around so much that I got accidental splotches of color in the wrong places from my paintbrush.IMG_3084

I repainted the picture later (on a screened in porch with a lot less wind) and was much happier with how it turned out. I’ve almost never tried to repaint the exact same picture (and probably don’t have the patience for it often) but in this case I loved getting the chance to make it a little more like what I saw in my head, and refine the idea based on what I did and didn’t like about the first one. The funny thing is, I was frustrated after my first attempt, but I think in the end I liked it better than if my first one had turned out well enough to leave it at that.



It’s the first day of November, which means those of us who run in creative/writer circles have been thinking or hearing about NaNoWriMo for a couple of weeks at least. (A quick explanation for the rest of you, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and is pronounced NA-no-RYE-mo.) Every year I think that I love the idea of participating in this group effort to churn out works of creative writing, and every year I decide that it’s a bad time to put in that much effort, since the official goal is 50 thousand words in the course of the month.

I’ve sometimes participated in the past by setting by own writing goal, and this year I’m stretching the concept even further by turning it into National Blog Writing Month. My goal is to write a post on one of my three blogs every weekday (and possibly some Saturdays) in the month of November. For those of you who’d like to fully follow along on this blog writing adventure, here are the links to my other two blogs:

Food blog:


Book review blog:



I’ve really been cutting back (nearly eliminating) my social media use in the past couple of months, and I’m hoping this blogging challenge will give my friends and family more chance at getting my life updates outside of Facebook and such, as well as replacing some of that previous scrolling time with an actual creative outlet for me.

I hope to post about our recent vacation soon (including a few beach pictures), but since I’m currently still recovering from travel and needing to catch up on laundry and dishes, I’ll keep this post short. If all goes according to plan, you’ll get a longer life update here within a couple of days!