Monday, May 8, 2017

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: Reflections of 2017 #AtoZChallenge

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: Reflections of 2017 #AtoZChallenge

#A to Z Reflection

This was my first experience with the A to Z Challenge. I decided to participate the day before the challenge began. I'd heard about it from a March challenge that I had just completed (Two Writng Teachers Slice of Life Challenge). That didn't give me time to plan posts ahead of their due dates. I read that you needed a theme so I thought photography might be the simplest for me and that is what I did. It worked for me, but I might try to be more focused if I participate again.

From participating in the challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers blog, I knew how to add a link to my daily post. In the A to Z Challenge I learned how to create a link to my post instead of simply leaving the url. I liked doing that because it's a cleaner look. However, I had to go through several steps to copy and paste every day. I noticed several participants had difficulty with this too.

I didn't use Facebook to promote my blog because I don't use FB. Another participant demonstrated how to put the post on Twitter, but I didn't think to do that even thought I have a Twitter account.

I really enjoyed reading the various blogs written by so many participants. I've even started following some. The ones I visited  & commented on made the effort to read my posts and comment too. Their comments encouraged me. I found the participants to be an eclectic group that offered a variety of themes. I especially liked the blogs about ancestors, quilts, history, a short story of Hawaii and positive quotes. I Usually follow posts written by teachers, so this was a bit different. The themes were interesting and unique. I have a better idea of how to select a theme now. I found myself drawn to visit the same blogs throughout the challenge. I tried to visit different blogs, but there wasn't time to visit all. The challenge was a great experience.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Z is for Zora Arkus-Duntof, champion of the Corvette

Zora was born Christmas Day in Belgium. He grew up driving a street car and racing motorcycles. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering and was the first to hold the degree as Chief Engineer for the Corvette. This job came to him because he attended the auto show in New York in 1953, when the first Corvette was introduced. He was so impressed that he wrote a letter to the Chief Engineer at Chevrolet to compliment him and make suggestions to improve future production models. The engineers at Chevrolet were so impressed with him, they offered him a job opportunity. He changed the Corvette to have more horsepower using a V-8 in 1955 and fuel injection in 1957. And as they say, the rest is history.

I have a few pictures of Covettes below. We have owned two of these pictured the 1958 and the 1965. We have a 1966 convertible that needs restoration.


1958 
Restored 
2015
My rendering of the 65
Modern motor
Our 65 Coupe

Friday, April 28, 2017

Y is for Yolo, you only live once

I recently read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It was a retirement gift. The story tells of a shepard's journey to find his personal legend, a story of self-discovery. It's one of those books that causes you to evaluate your life. I read the cliff notes too. I'm reminded that you only get one life on this earth, so you should make it your best. Seek out your dreams, do not let fear control your actions, be intentionally grateful, and live in the present. I've tried to live my life in this way. Instead of writing my essay to explain, I've Included a few of my favorite nature pictures for your viewing pleasure.
Barn near President James & Dolly Madison's home
Blossom from the Tulip Poplar in my yard

Sunny day on the Mingo River

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

X is for Xavier Mission

I researched the letter x, I wanted ideas to connect a picture with this letter. First I need to let you know that I love old books, I collect them because they contain so much that is lost in the world today. So I have a few old books to peruse.

In New Universities Webster Dictionary from 1940 the letter Xx has 107 entries. It's a very thorough book.

In 1974, I purchased a Webster's New World Dictionary @1971 just before I started college. I used it to spell words, to find out if I should use an adverb or an adjective, to learn how to correctly pronounce the word, to uncover the meanings and to find synonyms for writing. Xx has 30 entries in it.

The World Book Encyclopedia of 1994, Xx has 17 entries. This is the most current hard bound resource I have. I used to have an app to help me, now I mostly use Wikipedia, or the dictionary from 1971.

Anyway, I think we have slowed use of the letter x. Maybe thats because it has 6 different sounds. No wonder English is a difficult language to learn. Many words beginning with Xx in the oldest book no longer appear in newer dictionaries. Xerox was not in the old book, but X-ray was. Xebec appeared in all three books. It is a 3-masted ship used in the Mediterranean. X-chromosone was only in the 1994 book.

Also appearing in all three books was St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit missionary. That sounded familiar to me so I dug a little more, went to Wikipedia and hit the jackpot. I've been there and have pictures of the St. Francis Xavier Mission south of Tucson,  Arizona. It was established in 1692! It is beautiful! My photos aren't great because I was using a new camera, with settings unfamiliar to me.




W is for waterfalls

Waterfalls can be soothing to the weary traveler. There is something comforting about the sound of water falling that lulls us into a peaceful state. I have a few pictures of waterfalls. 

They can also be dangerous. Our desire to get up close can put us in danger of getting too close and losing our footing. Once while hiking near Steamboat Springs, CO, to see a waterfall up close, my husband heard our friend's feet scrambling in the gravel to stay on the trail. My husband was close enough that he grabbed the friend and prevented him from falling in the crevice. 

I believe the grandest waterfalls are in Yosemite CA. The park is awe inspiring. I suggest you go in the winter, when there will be fewer people. 

Yosemite CA
Yosemite CA

Rocky Creek Falls in in the Ozark portion of mid-Missouri. This one isn't tall, but it's beautiful.
Rocky Creek Falls, MO
Man made waterfall in Phoenix AZ

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for vantage point

V is for vantage point, it often influences the success of your pictures. You can vary the vantage point to get an unusual shot. Find below a few examples of using variations of vantage point.


Here is a picture of the Ebony Damselfly up close.


Cruise Ship Level 1


This view was once my vantage point for 7 days. Mostly water was all I saw, this time it was land ahoy!
















Here is a picture of some good-natured teachers. Their vantage point was drastically reduced during this activity and they had to rely on other senses.



This picture offers a dramatic view of Maghonay Bay, Roatan, framed by palm fronds and tree leaves.








Belize River

This picture shows the view of the Belize River from a vantage point of a boat on the river.

Here is a view from the bottom looking upward.