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These are the photos Randy Batista took out on Kanapaha prairie yesterday.  One or two of these will be used for printing – for newspaper articles and promotional photos.

We would love your opinion.  If you have the time, please let us know which one you think we should use. We will publish the results at the end of the week.

We had such a blast working with Randy.  He’s sweet, funny and has a big heart.   Randy has a gallery in downtown Gainesville and you can check out his photos online at http://randybatistaphotography.com

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We just uploaded a new song for your listening pleasure. This Light Becomes You was recorded in Rob Rothschild’s studio in Gainesville last week. Cathy DeWitt  graced our song with her smooth harmony vocals. Rob is a wonderful guy to work with…so supportive, great ears and big heart. Rob gave Kiki Grand Marnier to sip while she was recording.  Kiki thinks all recording studios should do that.

We love hearing what you think.  Should This Light Becomes You be on the new CD??

Here’s a link to the tunepak  http://www.reverbnation.com/tunepak/1303135  If you click on this link, a player should open and “this Light becomes you ” should play first.  If you look at the top of the player, near the photo of dancing Light, you’ll see a  LYRICS link.  Click LYRICS to see the words to any song you’re listening to.  There are 21 songs loaded on the player.  This Light Becomes You is not yet available on iTunes, but you can listen to our songs for free on the RN player any time you’d like.

By the way…hands down winner on the photo contest (see previous blog “Peg’s photos“) was #7 the “glam” shot. In second place was #14. Third was a three-way tie between #9 # 10 and #13.  Thanks for your e-mails, calls and comments!

We’re doing a photo session with Randy Batista out on the prairie on Thursday night.  More about that soon!

 If you would like to join our producers team and help support the recording and production of our new CD, you can make a contribution by clicking here. http://dancinglight.us/newcd.html

 

PHOTO WINNERS

 

 

 

Bill describes what he wants from the shot

Greg (in the striped shirt) produced the show. Bill was the executive producer.

(by Kiki)

Bill Suchy and I first met when he was a film major at the University of Florida and I was  a music major. A mutual friend introduced us during the shooting of Prelude, a student film project about a pianist who gets murdered.  I still remember lying on asphalt in a parking lot across from the music building gasping my last breaths as  red food coloring and corn syrup erupted from my chest, soaking my clothes.   I met Bill’s wife, Joyce, years later before we were married to our current husbands. Joyce and I stayed up many a night hanging out, puzzling over our relationships with our “boyfriends.”

 

I was thrilled to get a chance to visit with them both again. We reminisced over a chinese lunch and again later that day at Bill and Joyce’s home in Orlando after the shoot.

Joyce and Bill Suchy at their home in Orlando

Joyce and Bill Suchy at their home in Orlando

Bill and his Emmys :)

Bill and his Emmys 🙂

 

Bill has accomplished so much since we were in school together… I pulled this info about Bill from another site…

“Bill Suchy’s television and educational programs have earned numerous national awards including the Emmy winning PBS program Earl Cunningham: The Dragon of St. George Street, the WNET PBS NATURE Special Cats, the Academy Award nominated feature documentary Building Bombs, and the acclaimed PBS programs In Praise of Wild Florida, For the Love of Manatees, A Citrus LegacyFuture Vision and Nature’s LandlordsHe is presently completing the PBS HD documentary Jerry Uelsmann: Visual Poetry. He executive produced, wrote and directed the Emmy nominated syndicated children’s series Secrets of the Animal Kingdom and created the youth sports television series Sports Zone which was nominated for a 2008 Emmy. Bill is also the General Manager and Executive Producer for the local central Florida cable channels, Orange TV and Vision TV. ”

Kiki, Bill and Greg on one of the sets of Orange TV

Kiki, Bill and Greg on one of the sets of Orange TV

Priscilla came down to help out. Here we're putting on makeup before the shoot.

Priscilla came down to help out. Here we're putting on makeup before the shoot. Cilla also shot most of the blog photos.

On the set. We recorded 7 songs for Bill's station and the DVD

On the set. We recorded 7 songs for Bill's station and the DVD

Bill checks the shot

Bill checks the shot

Greg tuning up

Greg tuning up

We recorded seven songs:  Welcome the Change, A Place Beyond, Jingle Dancer, Broken Wing, This Light Becomes You, Rice Cakes from the Moon and Yes It Does.

We recorded seven songs: Welcome the Change, A Place Beyond, Jingle Dancer, Broken Wing, This Light Becomes You, Rice Cakes from the Moon and Yes It Does.

Cilla got up close and personal with Luke Skywalker on a set across the studio.

Cilla got up close and personal with Luke Skywalker on a set across the studio.

watching the taped show in the monitor

watching the taped show in the monitor

Cilla in the driver's seat

Cilla in the driver's seat

Our stand-ins for the interview.

Kiki, Greg and Bill's "stunt doubles" 🙂

Bill at the helm (you can see Cilla in the glass taking the photo.)

Bill at the helm (you can see Cilla in the glass taking the photo.)

Back in the day the Devil’s Millhopper was a big sink outside of Hogtown (Gainesville.)  The sink is so deep the climate mimics that of Appalachia when you get to the bottom.  During the summer rains little rivulets  find their way into the depths of the sink, creating waterfalls along the way.  There were no stairs in those days and as kids we would scamper down the sides of the sink, holding on to tree roots and rocks when the way got steep.  On a hot summer day we’d get covered in sticky sweat as we made our way to the bottom.  A stop at a favorite waterfall halfway down would refresh and renew us.

 

A day at the Millhopper was rivaled only by a float down the Ichetucknee.

 

These photos were taken in late February.  If you go to the Devil’s Millhopper, try to see it in the summer when it’s lush and green.  Since I was a young girl they’ve turned it into a state park and built stairs to help you down to the bottom. 210 steps to the bottom have attracted many an exercise enthusiast.

 

How the Devil's Millhopper got its name

How the Devil's Millhopper got its name

 

img_0045-interpretive-center-w-greg1

Greg at the Devil's Millhopper visitor center

 

 

 

 

img_0046-please-take-nothing

 

Here we go...

Here we go...

 

descending into the Millhopper

descending into the Millhopper

 

more stairs

more stairs

 

 

I wasn't kidding!

I wasn't kidding!

Basht makes it to the bottom (the red dot at the end there)

Basht makes it to the bottom (the red dot at the end there)

The bottom of the sink is often much wetter than this

The bottom of the sink is often much wetter than this

 

I remember folks exploring a cave down here at the bottom. It appears to be filled in now.

 

Basht headed back up

Basht headed back up

[scroll down for photos]

 

Geocaching is a fun little hobby we picked up about five years ago.  There are around 3/4  million caches around the world for treasure hunters everywhere.  A cache can be a physical container with “treasures” inside, or it can be a virtual cache, intended to take you to an interesting location.  You use a GPS to find the cache. You can take whatever item you like from the cache. Usually when you take something from a cache, you leave something in trade. We carry a bag full of trinkets with us. Small toys, puzzles and games delight children who come to the cache. Sometimes we put in an autographed CD. When you find a cache, there is a log book inside for you to log your “find.”  You also write down whatever you’ve taken and whatever you leave.

 

Each cache’s location is marked with GPS coordinates and logged in at the geocaching website at geocaching.com.  To search for caches in your area, or in an area that you’re visiting, you create a user name and password at geocaching.com (it’s free) and then enter the zip code of the area you’re interested in.  They’ll provide you with a list of caches in that area. To find a cache you plug in the GPS coordinates for the cache you’ve chosen. Drive to the nearest parking area and off you go, usually on foot,  following your GPS unit. When we get within 10 or 20 feet of the cache we start thinking about the area as if we were hiding a cache ourselves.  “If we were hiding a cache here…where would we hide it?” Often there are obvious places and if we get really stuck, there are sometimes clues in the cache’s online listing that will help us find it. 

We joined geocaching.com in May of 2004 as the “Triforce Team” and started seeking caches.  We also created a cache using an old army ammo box that we picked up from a surplus store.  We chose a picturesque location on Stony Point near our home in northern Minnesota. Click to go to our Stony End Cache listing.

We love geocaching because the sport often takes us to new and beautiful places we would never see otherwise. We’ve explored new forests, climbed sand dunes, checked out interesting urban areas and gotten some exercise in the process.  Sometimes caches are close to the parking area and sometimes they’re several miles away. It’s always a nice break from a road trip to jump out of the car and start exploring.

 

Mom and Gordon also like to geocache, so we set out together to find two caches here in Gainesville on the afternoon of Feb 24th. These caches were both “micro”caches, so there was no room to leave anything.  Greg, Basht and I took up geocaching about the same time as Mom and Gordon.  We live in northern Minnesota and they live in Florida.  This was the first time we were able to go together.

 

Gordon and Greg discuss the first geocache

Gordon and Greg discuss the first geocache

 

Kiki gets distracted by a young magnolia tree

Kiki gets distracted by a young magnolia tree

 

Can't decide which magnolia photo to post. Which appeals to you more?

Can't decide which magnolia photo to post. Posting both.

Greg, Priscilla (Kiki's Mom) and Gordon are close to the hiding place of the first cache

Greg, Priscilla (Kiki's Mom) and Gordon are close to the hiding place of the first cache

 

Greg is the finder of the first cache. Gordon and Greg examine the contents of this microcache.

Greg is the finder of the first cache. Gordon and Greg examine the contents of this microcache.

 

Priscilla and Greg at the site of the second cache

Priscilla and Greg at the site of the second cache

 

Kiki gets distracted by a retention pond

Kiki gets distracted by a retention pond

 

Greg finds the second cache as well.

Greg finds the second cache as well.

Ring Park is a magical little park tucked away between the Forest Ridge subdivision and the Elks lodge. Greg and I went there with my sister Priscilla on Feb 23rd.  

 

Branches were birthing electric green shoots. This stretch of Hogtown creek is much like the backyard of my childhood.  I spent many a lazy summer afternoon splashing in the creek, looking for shark’s teeth, watching for snakes and shimmying out to the end of an oak branch.

 

as children we'd often walk for miles through the woods by following the creek

as children we'd often walk for miles through the woods by following the creek

 

Kiki in her native habitat :)

Kiki in her native habitat 🙂

 

playmates

playmates

 

Cilla and Greg on the bank of Hogtown Creek

Cilla and Greg on the bank of Hogtown Creek

 

Greg made it all the way across this log, Cilla and Kiki chickened out (both with excellent excuses btw)

Greg made it all the way across this log, Cilla and Kiki chickened out (both with excellent excuses btw)

 

Priscilla enjoying the afternoon

Priscilla enjoying the afternoon

 

Hogtown Creek

Hogtown Creek

 

When Greg and I were first dating we started on opposite ends of this trail one night

When Greg and Kiki were first dating they started on opposite ends of this trail one night

 

(by Greg)

We decided to start at opposite ends of the park after dark one night.  It was a new moon and very hard to see. Almost no light.  No one else was in the park. We planned to meet up at a bridge that was about halfway between the north and south end of the path.  Kiki started on the 16th Avenue end of the park and I started just off Glen Springs road near the elks lodge.

 

Kiki arrived first.  I arrived shortly after.  We sat on the bridge together in the dark, listening to the night sounds. We talked about the growing connection between us.  Ring Park became one of the special places in nature that we share together. We had a rehearsal picnic at Ring park the day before we were married.

(2/22) The dream image of a dark wild horse was calling me to Paynes Prairie as I woke up on Sunday morning. It was our anniversary and I was hoping Greg would be up for an early morning trip to Bolen’s Bluff trail.  It’s one of our favorite trails to the prairie.

 

We headed out as the day was dawning. We parked just off 441 south of Gainesville and headed down the familiar path through the woods. As we reached the first fork in the path the beautiful dark horse from my dream was waiting for us there as if to say, “Glad you got my invitation and were able to come.”  I smiled, remembering the dream.

Bolen's bluff trail

Bolen's bluff trail

 

 

Bolen's Bluff

the dark horse from my dream was waiting here just on the other side of this fence

 

 

Greg and I remembered once walking this trail late at night under the moonlight

Greg and I remembered once walking this trail late at night under the moonlight

 

Path to the prairie

Path to the prairie

 

Out on the prairie again

Out on the prairie again

 

 

We saw a male and female cardinal and deer on our way out to the tower

We saw a male and female cardinal and deer on our way out to the tower

 

sandhills were gathering, getting ready for the trip north

sandhills were gathering, getting ready for the trip northWe've made many trips to this tower. One October the entire prairie was blanketed with yellow flowers. Looked like the poppy scene from Oz...in yellow.

 

While we were up in the tower a bald eagle flew right over our heads ... a sweet anniversary blessing

While we were up in the tower a bald eagle flew right over our heads ... a sweet anniversary blessing

 

from the tower

from the tower

(by Kiki)

We woke up dark and early on February 11th,  relocating our sleeping son to the back seat of the car. The two hour trip to Disney  was aided by Mom and Gordon’s GPS.  Disney was an unusual birthday choice for Greg, but Basht was highly motivated to see the mouse kingdom and we obliged.

When I was in college, my boyfriend Dave worked in Frontierland and I was afforded free access to the magic Kindom anytime I had the inclination go.  As a seventeen-year -old, I cruised Disney solo having the time of my life. By the end of the summer, I knew Disney like the freckles on my skin.

During the day at Disney with Greg and Basht, I found myself mentally preoccupied with conflicting feelings. Basht was having a blast.  Every Disney cast member who crossed Greg’s path was wishing him a happy birthday. They were obviously having a great time.  On the other hand I was continually distracted by the astronomical amount of trash being generated in the park at any given moment.  My home state of Florida no doubt is feeling the environmental stress of the mouse kingdom.

Disney has some of the more creative minds working for them. Surely if they can figure out how to hurl me through a starfield, make ghosts dance in a ballroom and fly a human Tinkerbell across the park from the top spire of Cinderella’s castle , they can figure out ways to reduce the amount of trash generated in the form of cups, plates, forks, straws and napkins.  Piles and piles of disposable goods were neatly stacked in snack stands, cafes and restaurants. They patiently waited their turn to make the trip to a nearby garbage can, stopping briefly in transit to hold a drink, balance a burger, slurp up a milkshake or wipe a mouth.

While Basht was racing down Thunder Mountain for the second time I was contemplating the fuel burned to transport the disposables into the park and then back out in the form of garbage. And where is all this garbage going? Are they incinerating it? Dumping it in a landfill? There really has to be a creative way to reduce the load.

I kept my thoughts and opinions to myself as we trotted through the Magic Kingdom enjoying a day-long whirlwhind tour of our favorite rides. Disney goes out of their way to make sure everyone has a great time. 

 

Here are the pix…

 

Greg's birthday breakfast was an apple charlotte from the main street bakery

Greg's birthday breakfast was an apple charlotte from the main street bakery

Cinderella Castle - Basht says they use an optical illusion to make the castle look taller

Cinderella Castle - Basht says they use an optical illusion to make the castle look taller

Birthday Boy waiting in line for Thunder Mountain

Birthday Boy waiting in line for Thunder Mountain

big-thunder

thunder_mountain

tombstone

Entrance to the Haunted Mansion

 

The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion

Basht and Greg checking out the swords on Main Street

Basht and Greg checking out the swords on Main Street

 

disney-main-street

Main Street Gears Up for a Parade

Greg on Main Street

Greg on Main Street

Main Street is photogenic from most every vantage point

Main Street is photogenic from most every vantage point

Tony's on Main Street was inspired by the spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp. Greg was able to find a vegetarian entree for his birthday dinner.

Tony's on Main Street was inspired by the spaghetti scene in Lady and the Tramp. Greg was able to find a vegetarian entree for his birthday dinner.

We spent the evening in tomorrowland. This was from a Buzz Lightyear ride where Eatern's "If You Had Wings" used to be.

We spent the evening in tomorrowland. This was from a Buzz Lightyear ride where Eastern Airline's "If You Had Wings" used to be.

 

Waiting on the fireworks

Waiting on the fireworks

Cinderella's castle changed colors many times during the fireworks display

Cinderella's castle changed colors many times during the fireworks display

 

THe fireworks display was expertly choreographed to music

The fireworks display was expertly choreographed to music

 

The day ended with a bang - multiple bangs. The trip back to Gainesville ended as it started...with a happy sleeping boy in the back seat.

The day at the park ended with a bang - multiple bangs. The trip back in the car was much the same as the trip down...with a happy sleeping boy in the back seat.

We played in Jacksonville at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church with our good friend Kathleen Olive on February 7th for the contemporary service.  Afterwards Kathleen prepared a amazing dinner for us and we thoroughly enjoyed a chance to reconnect with Kathleen and Joseph. 
Some of you may remember the story of our adventure to Naples to see Kathleen and “Jo Jo” two years ago.  We were on our way to their home for dinner and stopped to pick up a bottle of wine at an Albertson’s liquor store north of Naples.
While perusing the shop we came upon a sweet little carrying case, intended to transport a bottle of wine.

wine transport for musicians
wine transport for musicians

 

 

 

 

 

 

At $38 we thought, “cute, but we don’t really have $38 to invest in a novelty case.”  We left the case in the store. Back at the van we kept mulling it over.  Neither of us felt right leaving the case behind.  Kiki had a flash of inspiration.  We’d been looking for a custom case for Kiki’s jingle stick and we wondered…
38 dollars was a great price for a custom jingle stick case!
We took the jingle stick back into the store and left with our purchase and big happy smiles.
So back to 2009.  After dinner, we spent a most comfortable night in Joseph and Kathleen’s home.  We got up the next morning and headed out for Jax beach. We took a nice long walk in the sand and surf, then headed south on A1A.
Greg was hoping to find a stretch of beach in it’s natural state. We came upon a long stretch of A1A that ran out of buildings. We whipped into a parking lot, parked the car and headed east on foot.  The coastal waters of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve are calving grounds for the endangered Right Whale.  Manatees, Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Bald Eagles and Peregrine Falcons also find refuge there.
We found an undisturbed stretch of shoreline, south of Ponte Vedra

We found an undisturbed (except for the boardwalk) stretch of shoreline, south of Ponte Vedra

 

 

from the boardwalk looking back toward the parking lot

from the boardwalk looking back toward the parking lot

 

North Atlantic Right Whales (are there wrong whales?) calve in this area.

North Atlantic Right Whales (are there Left whales?) calve in this area.

 

happy to see the Atlantic again

happy to see the Atlantic again

Greg gathering seashells

Greg gathering seashells

Greg found a living starfish

Greg found a living starfish

  

Kiki returned it to the sea

Kiki returned it to the sea

 

cool shade on the way back to the car

cool shade on the way back to the car

 After two long walks on Florida’s east coast we were hungry. We went to a favorite restaurant in St. Augustine, the Gypsy Cab Company, where they made Greg some scrumptious tofu enchiladas. They always go above and beyond at Gypsy Cab and we left with warm hearts and full bellies.