The Bugs of Summer

The Bugs of Summer WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

(Not to be confused with the “Boys of Summer” for you baseball fans)

I have this collection of macro photos of insects and spiders (hey, they make great subjects!) This post was “planned” (lurking on my editorial calendar), waiting for the right moment in which to create the post.

The WordPress weekly photo challenge theme was Details, highlighting the fun of macro photography, and lo and behold, my collection of bugs now sees the light of day!

Scared of bugs, you say? Naaah, not of these guys! While not cute or cuddly, they each have a certain character.

Please let me introduce each of them to you.

The first image is of the praying mantis I discovered languishing on my windsurf board. He was very patient while I photographed him.

Mantis praying for wind, as it sits on my windsurf board

Mantises are distributed worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. They have triangular heads with bulging eyes supported on flexible necks. All mantis’ have forelegs that are greatly enlarged and adapted for catching and gripping prey.

Crazy fact: sometimes the females decapitate the males just before or during mating.

Here is a large, (at least ½ inch long) Sierra Nevada Carpenter ant. He kept trying to crawl onto my shoe, and while shooting him, I nearly stepped on him!

Sierra Carpenter Ant

They scuttle over the granite rocks and live in nests made in old logs and stumps. Ants are beneficial and eat destructive forest beetles.

Crazy fact: The queens have been known to have lived as many as 27 years. Simple worker ants can live for several years.

caterpillar stage of Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly

We all know why caterpillars cross the road like this one in the photo…to go become a Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly! The dark, blue-black butterflies can be seen along the American River Bike Trail, IF their caterpillar selves were lucky enough to cross without being squished by cyclists’ tires.

pipevine swallowtail butterfly

image courtesy of National Fish & Wildlife Service

Crazy fact: Pipevine Swallowtails can have a wingspan to up to three and a half inches.

Summer is just not the same without a friendly spider or two.

Orbweaver spider

This 2-inch, cross orb-weaver spider’s legs are specialized for spinning orb webs. The webs are built by the larger females who hang head down in the center of the web or remain hidden in nearby foliage, with one claw hooked to a signal line connected to the main orb waiting for a disturbance to signal the arrival of prey. (Wikipedia)

This little gem was found hanging right outside our trailer front window. Doesn’t she look irritated? (Tell me if you see a face here).

Crazy fact: They are known to recycle their webs by disassembling and eating them.

Unless you live in the sub-tropics, you may not have seen this exciting specimen. He was found hiding in my husband’s rolled up sail last winter in Baja, Mexico

whip spider

Whip spiders are quite unusual looking arachnids, with their first pair of legs very thin and elongated to several times the length of their body, resembling whips. These long appendages are used like feelers and resemble antennae. They are nocturnal and fairly large; this guy was about 4 inches wide and scuttled sideways, making both my hubby and I jump!

Crazy fact(s): whip spiders do not possess silk glands or venom glands. They subdue their prey by means of raptorial pincers. Eeek!

For more information on unusual spiders, check out this website.

Since we are still in Baja, Mexico, where winter has summer-like temperatures, I would like to introduce you to this feller, a desert scorpion. They like to hide in woodpiles, so be careful if you are preparing to build a fire.

desert scorpion

Most scorpions’ venom is NOT lethal to humans. Its function is primarily to subdue prey.

Crazy fact: Scorpions glow a vibrant blue-green, lighting up like beacons against the darkness under ultraviolet (UV) light. No one knows why scorpions glow. Some have suggested that it’s accidental – the two chemicals responsible for the glow could be by-products of normal chemical reactions.
The Green Shield Bug is a cute little critter that also was very patient as I took his picture.

green beetle

Beetles are among largest family of the insect kingdom. These beetles have a hard shell that, in this case, looks like a bright green leaf. He was right at home on the white rug of our friend’s Baja home.

Crazy fact: This beetle is close cousin to the stink bug, so be careful how you handle it!

If you haven’t had enough of bug close-ups yet, please check out a fellow blogger at ChosenPerspectives!


I took these photos with my Samsung Galaxy phone and edited them with PicMonkey. If you are interested in more photo tips for blogging, please check out my affordable e-book, Better Blogging with Photography.

I hope you enjoyed meeting the bugs of summer. What are your favorite bugs? Thanks for reading!

 


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The Art of Bow-Ties: A Gallery Re-Brands

The Art of Bow-Ties: a Gallery Rebrands

Carey Reddick II, CEO of Above-Time, Inc., makes friends easily. This attribute is a very good thing when one is launching a new and emerging retail business.

Alexander Salazar

Enter Alexander Salazar, art gallery owner, who is having a busy day. While Reddick sets up a store front display of bow-ties, Salazar is multi-tasking. As I interviewed him for this article, he was answering the phone, directing employees as they moved gallery equipment, checking e-mails and commenting on Reddick’s display—all while deftly answering my questions about how he got his start.

His passion is evident in his ability to successfully have multiple conversations at once.

That passion had all but disappeared a few years ago as he operated seven other art galleries, opening his first one in 2009. Recently he opted to close them all down to refocus and re-brand his newest gallery, igniting his creativity once more.

Friends with Reddick, Alexander Salazar Fine Art, became a sponsored brand rep for Above-Time.

Just what is “re-branding” anyway?
Re-branding is the process of giving a product or an organization a new name, image, symbol or design, in order to make it more attractive or successful, using a variety of marketing strategies. Re-branding can be a marketing strategy unto itself.

Re-branding can be a marketing strategy unto itself. Click To Tweet

In this case, for Salazar, it may have been a healing strategy.

What is Salazar’s motive behind the re-brand? Everyone has a backstory. In 1991, an 18-year old Salazar watched his father get shot by young gang members in Houston, Texas. The shooters served time in prison, but Salazar felt lingering guilt and remorse as he went off to college to study art.

An Artist’s Education
Salazar hold a Master’s degree in Theology and Art from Harvard University, and a second Master’s in Sociology and Art from Boston College. While studying at Colorado College as an undergraduate, he lived in London to study modern and contemporary art then moved to Florence, Italy to further his studies.

His college experience taught him something: forgiveness. Later he heard the shooter was doing well in prison and exploring art as a hobby. Years later, spurred on by his father’s passing in 2013, Salazar began collecting prison art.

Thus was born his gallery show “Art Exonerated” in April 2016, where he showed art made by prisoners and from his own collection. All proceeds went to groups helping crime victims.

“The show was Salazar’s hope to expand his own emotional journey and reach out to artists in prison that have passion.”

Community Building
This show is one example of how Salazar has given back to the local San Diego community. Above-Time is also one of those young companies who donates a share of proceeds to better the local community.

Supporting and incorporating Above-Time’s bow-ties and accessories as a retail outlet in his gallery, sits right there in Salazar’s wheelhouse. BowTies on display

“It makes sense to support Above-Time, since some proceeds go to an anti-bullying organization,” says Salazar. “Bullying and crime are connected.”

Salazar included a variety of his art pieces at the Premier Show last August. With the foot traffic into the gallery, Salazar and Reddick worked out an agreement to show and sell Reddick’s bow-ties and accessories right in the gallery itself.

Darn good idea!

The day after Reddick set up the display, Salazar called to tell him that he just sold 4 bow-ties! Not bad, considering Reddick had not even put price tags on the merchandise!

Salazar also shared his idea of using artists’ paintings as patterns for bow-ties, creating a limited edition tie sporting the artists’ work.

Located in the residential area of San Diego’s Marina District at Front and Market Streets, his gallery sees daily visitors. In his first week, he sold over $20K worth of his own paintings and those of other consigned artists.

Sporting one of Above-Time’s bow-ties, he shared that bow-ties offer him a level of comfort and cannot visualize himself wearing anything else.

“Bullying and crime are connected.” Click To Tweet

Salazar’s new lease on life, in the wake of forgiveness and healing, has awakened a new purpose and ignited that creativity that was bound up in knots that needed to be unwound.

Alexander Salazar Art logoHis re-branded gallery shows his love of the European style as art hangs everywhere interspersed with vignettes of competing, yet complimentary styles.

“My new brand is eclectic and contemporary with a little bit of everything.” Salazar admits.

Some of his former clients, with whom relationships fizzled, of course, have contacted him recently, as Salazar rides his new wave of success.

“This gallery is about a new space and new attitude; I’m starting fresh,” Salazar confides.

 

If you are visiting or live in the San Diego area, please stop by the gallery at 225 West Market Street at the corner of Front Street, in the Marina District.


Although this is a sponsored post, the intent of this article is not to sell a product, but to focus attention and awareness on the growth and evolution of the Above-Time brand. Opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading,


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Things are Looking Up: Weekly Photo Challenge

Look up! Weekly Photo Challenge. Seagulls ride the thermals in Baja

For the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, the theme is Look Up. When we take photos, we likely hone in on subjects near or far. This challenge asks us to look up and see what is above our heads.

While we stayed in Baja Mexico, there were multiple opportunities to look up and see what was flying above my head besides kites from kite boarders. Seabirds love the warm thermals and float on them all day long.

Closer to home, near Sacramento State University, is the Guy West Bridge, built to connect the college campus over the American River with Campus Commons and other neighborhoods. Why yes, it does resemble San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. This was my perspective one early morning from the bike trail.

Looking up at the Guy West Bridge near Sacramento State

While eating in a restaurant, have you ever looked up at the ceilings? While many modern restaurants seem to have the contemporary look of exposed A/C ducts, my favorite Dim-Sum restaurant in Little Vietnam loves to decorate their ceilings with elaborate chandeliers and other decor.

looking up into a chandelier

While we were there one Saturday morning, the staff was setting up for a large wedding. I guess the bride really liked pink! These bright streamers covered the entire ceiling.

Look up at this ceiling decor

Next time you have your camera or smart phone, look up and shoot what’s there!

Feel free to join the WordPress Weekly photo challenge every Friday!

 


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I Am a Self-Published Author!

Cover Better Blogging with Photography

After several weeks of cobbling together a couple of blog posts and a whole lot more information, I can proudly share that my first self-published e-book, Better Blogging with Photography: Maximize Your Blog Using Your Own Images, hit the Amazon Kindle store!

I want to thank the Academy…woops, wrong dream!

Seriously, I want to acknowledge and thank fellow blogger Jo Robinson,  a self-published author in her own right, for her services, support and encouragement. Check our her page for the launch of her newest book, Writer’s Publishing Workbook!

Let me just say to you, my fellow bloggers and writers, that if I can do this, so can you.

Once you publish on Amazon, you can create an Author’s Central page. And here is the link to Amazon for the book. I would not mind one little bit if you decide to buy my book!

I will share a post in the near future about my self-publishing journey. Now, onto my next book!

 


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Summer Editorial Calendar Round-Up: Choosing the Right Calendar/Planner

Summer editorial calendar round-up. Choosing the right calendar/planner

The doldrums of Summer are here and your blog is feeling the effects. I don’t know about you, but my blogging experience has proven that summer can be a slow season for bloggers. Recently I have read a few posts on how bloggers can enjoy their summers while still maintaining a minimum blogging presence.

One way to accomplish this without losing all your hard-earned followers and readers, is to take this time to critically examine your current editorial calendar.

And what if you do not have one? At the bottom of this post, I will leave a few links to resources you can use now.

Choosing the Right Calendar for your Blogging (or Writing) Needs

While creating this post, I googled “editorial calendars.” Yes, the hits are huge! I wrote a post last summer “What’s On my Editorial Calendar” and in re-reading it, I realized how much my blog has changed just since then. So what do I use? I have a hard-copy notebook-style planner with weekly and monthly calendars, with room for notes.

Features in a calendar that bloggers seem to prefer include:

  • Room to write notes
  • Week-at-a-glance, with spaces on which to write
  • Monthly calendar, with room for notes
  • Access to a yearly calendar
  • Spiral binding for lying flat
  • Dates with holidays or other special days

Why Use a Planner or Editorial Calendar at All?
Blogging is a choice that provides much satisfaction, but bloggers who have been at it a while know how much work it takes to think of, create, write and prepare a fabulous blog post. While some bloggers can write every single day (more power to ya!), many choose to post just once a week. If you are in somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, you are not alone.

The Need for Pre-Planning
For the past several months, due to the demands of lecturing in new courses at a university, I chose to cut my blog posts down to twice a week, with one post dedicated to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. Even with my summers off from teaching, I made a commitment to write daily as I prepare my e-books, which has taken time away my blog.

Recently, a family emergency caught me off guard and an unexpected week-long trip south hampered my ability to spend time on the blog, much less write content for my e-books. This event and another post I read got me thinking about how much pre-planning needs to go into my blog.

Rather than let my blog go completely dark, I tried to read and comment on some others’ posts, but just didn’t have the time given the circumstances. By the end of the week I managed to post for the weekly photo challenge, but emotionally I was drained. And quite honestly, spending face-time with my loved ones was more important than worrying about my blog.

Having an editorial calendar with planned posts would certainly have eliminated the guesswork and emotional turmoil I was experiencing which led to not writing.

Having an editorial calendar with planned posts would certainly have eliminated the guesswork… Click To Tweet

The Kinesthetics of Writing
While down south, I spent a lot of time visiting my mom in her nursing home and away from a computer. I brought a small planner with me that allowed me to write notes and capture ideas. It’s the right size to fit into my small handbag, with plenty of room for notes. I also carry a journal-style notebook for writing down the big ideas and storing loose pages. I just cannot jot notes onto a mobile device, even with the best of One Note or Ever-note at my disposal.

While waiting in the hospital, I had the opportunity to write with pen and paper which was the therapy I needed to get me through the week. As writers, we never know when inspiration will strike, and I know my midlife brain under stress would not remember a thing.

As writers, we never know when inspiration will strike, and I know my midlife brain under… Click To Tweet

I used this time to plan my next two months of blog posts.

Editorial Calendar Round-Up
The moment you’ve been waiting for…drum roll please! If you are shopping around for a notebook-style planner, please consider visiting these bloggers for ideas.

When you subscribe to my blogging pal Elena at Blog Share Learn, you get access to printable journal pages. Here is her direct subscription link.

Another blogger gal pal, Kimberly at Fifty Jewels created The Choices Notebook. Here is my review of the Choices Notebook.

Jennifer Nichole Wells, a talented blogger who offers photography challenges, recently created a Blogging Challenge Planner & Editorial Calendar. I love my photo challenges and became intrigued that this planner lists each one. Online resources are available, too. Check out her post about how to use the planner.

While Elena’s journal is free to new subscribers, these others can be purchased through their websites for a reasonable cost.

WordPress has a great post explaining the value of using editorial calendars.

Debbie Rodrigues of Debbie In Shape also had tips for handling summer down time.

What is your action plan for summer blog posts? Do you use an editorial calendar or planner? I would love to read your ideas in the comments. Leave a link (in the comments) to your blog so I can come visit!


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Opposites on Display

Old meets new in Salazar Fine Arts Gallery

What comes to mind when you hear the word “opposite?” For today’s weekly photo challenge, Opposites is the theme.

In San Diego this week for a family emergency, once things settled down and improved, I tagged along with my brother-in-law to visit an art gallery in downtown’s Marina District. Carey Reddick II, is owner and CEO of Above-Time, Inc, the new business that creates and sells handmade bow-ties and accessories.

Alexander Salazar Fine Arts Gallery is the new storefront home to Reddick’s creations. The art gallery is one of Above-Time’s sponsored brand reps (stay tuned later this month for an official post) that is committed to the San Diego community by promoting and cultivating an appreciation for fine arts.

While there, Reddick began setting up his corner in the gallery for display. The gallery is home to a variety of eclectic pieces, including Italian Renaissance-style busts. Reddick artfully combined his new bow-ties with this old-style bust, which now sports his own bow-tie!

Above-Time's CEO prepares the bow-tie display

Watching the creative process at work never ceases to amaze me. Using the gallery’s existing art pieces to integrate the bow-tie retail line was a pleasure to behold. Creating three-dimensional displays is an art form unto itself.

Feel free to join WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge any time!

 

 


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Inseparable Partners

 

Gideon and Aero, brothers from a separate litter, are still unseparableMy dogs, both six years old now, are inseparable partners. Gideon, the blonde terrier mix who loves to chase the ball, makes a soft headrest for his younger brother from another litter, Aero. Aero ended up with the Cocker genes.

Although Gideon belongs to my daughter, these two pals go everywhere we go, including the Sacramento delta where we windsurf. In this photo, they lay on the beach, apparently wiped out after a day of hanging out with the windsurfers.

Wiped Out after a long day hanging out with the windsurfers

These next photos depict their pooch partnership!

 

Feel free to join the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge any time. This week’s theme is Partners

Thanks for reading,


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Weekly Photo Challenges: The Calm…After The Rain

 

Lenticular clouds curve over the delta after a summer storm.As a blogger and amateur photographer, I love it when the planets align and I can submit one photo for two photo challenges.

This week, Hugh Roberts of Hugh’s Views and News, challenges bloggers to depict “after” in a photograph.

If that wasn’t hard enough, trying to find an appropriate photo for WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge theme Curve was much more difficult than I had imagined. So much for a quick post!

I was pleased to find this photo from last year showing the curving levee road near our windsurf camp in the Sacramento Delta. Since this is a windy location, the lenticular clouds form after stormy weather, further shaped by the wind into these curvy, disk-like shapes.

Thanks for reading!


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Between the Lines: Why I Waited Until Midlife to Start a Blog

 

between the lines logo final sidebarKate from Katherine’s Corner is shining the light on bloggers age 50 plus and I am excited to be part of her blog series, “Between The Lines.” There are over 80 midlife bloggers who have shared posts in this series. Stop by and visit when you can.

At midlife, many women (and men!) I know, including myself, take a good long look at themselves, and ask, “What motivates us to embark on new adventures?” For many, blogging can be the adventure of a lifetime!

Why did I wait until midlife to start a blog?

After divorcing at age 35 and raising two daughters alone, with no monetary help, and often with a side hustle thrown on top of a demanding career, it took 12 years for everything to fall into place in my 47th year.

I went back to school and started a master’s program. Click To Tweet

Welcome to My Side Hustles

Other than some multi-level marketing scams and some seasonal retail, my best side hustle was my freelance proofreading and copy-editing business “In Other Words Editorial Services.” I worked this part-time for several years and enjoyed the old school method of marking up paper copy. I also got referrals for other proofreading and copy-editing gigs during that time.

However, all good things must come to an end. The editor sold her business and technology advanced with something called spell check (although I’m here to tell you I am better than ANY spell checker out there). The need for proofreaders drastically diminished and it still shows to this day!

Tired of working random side hustles, I needed a part-time gig that paid well but took less time.

Tired of working random side hustles, I needed a part-time gig that paid well but took less… Click To Tweet

In my career field of Parks and Recreation (yes, Leslie Knope and I are kindred spirits), I knew several colleagues that lectured part-time at a nearby university. The Recreation, Parks and Tourism department always needed lecturers to teach night classes. Intrigued, I began researching what it would take to go for a master’s degree. Two hurdles stared me in the face: time and money, so I did not pursue this right away.

In late 2006, the light bulb went on. By this time, my oldest daughter was out of college and my youngest was nearing the end of high school. I had been successfully training my recreation and lifeguard staff for several years and enjoyed teaching high school and college-aged young people.

Pursuing a Master’s Degree

My work provided tuition reimbursement. That’s all I needed to know. With my boss’ blessing, I went back to school in January 2007.

Students studying for exams

free image from Hubspot

I told the professors that I was there so I could eventually teach part-time. They supported the idea and encouraged me stating that having long-time practitioners teaching the craft and best practices were needed in this profession. Taking two classes per semester was painless, but challenging. The master’s program at the state university wasn’t expensive (yet) and I funded school with that tuition reimbursement, a new credit card and two scholarships.

I chose to write a master’s thesis instead of taking the easy route with a project. I finished my coursework in 2009 and published my thesis in December 2010. At age 51, walking at the graduation ceremony (with honors) in front of my grown daughters and boyfriend (now my hubby), was truly an incredible experience.

I had opportunities with several national organizations and businesses to present training on the subject of the Four Generations. I became somewhat of an expert and still present to this day, also teaching elements of this subject in my university classes.

Starting a Blog

One day, while concluding a presentation, someone asked me if I wrote a blog about this subject. Intrigued, I took stock of my extensive arsenal of research, gathered it up and signed up with WordPress in October, 2011 and started blogging about the Four Generations. Click here for a post about Baby Boomers.

Why I Waited Until Midlife to Start a BlogSadly, I became bored with the extensive writing and research I felt compelled to include for each post and stopped. Plus, I only had two followers.

I gradually changed the blog to cover general, professional development subjects, including temperament assessments and some re-blogged articles about women in leadership.

Bored again, and too busy at work, I wrote my last post in May 2014. In September of that year, for some unknown reason, I logged into WordPress and saw an opportunity to join Blogging University 101.

A New Blog is Born

That’s when I changed the blog to Perspectives On…Life, Work and Leisure. To this day, after connecting with bloggers from that September 2014 blogging course, I am still following several who started at the same time. What is notable about the start of my blog, is that it coincided with my decision to retire shortly after.

With the decision to self-host and one more blog title change to Second Wind Leisure Perspectives, I am happily blogging.

With the decision to self-host and one more blog title change to Second Wind Leisure… Click To Tweet

Meeting and connecting with uncountable midlife women on this journey has been richly rewarding. After meeting many of my blogging heroes in Las Vegas at BAM2016 and other face-to-face meetings, I have continued my calling as a blogger and writer.

If you are a midlife blogger, I would love to know how you started blogging!


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The Purity of Growing Your Own Veggies

Pure is the theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge. I racked my brain and looked through older photos trying to find images that depicted “pure.”

Purity of growing tomatos

Then I walked into my own backyard garden today and saw the baby veggies growing in the garden. Nothing says purity than planting your own veggies, watching them sprout and grow into mature, robust, healthy vegetables.

growing grape tomato ready for its close-up

We planted two tomatoes, one grape tomato, a yellow squash and a zucchini squash. These plants love the warm Sacramento nights and many hot days.

pure gladness comes to me from my garden

Bonus One: I get to eat my own fresh, organic veggies.

Bonus Two: According to Weight Watchers (lost 23 lbs so far) most veggies have zero points.

Bonus Three?: Watch out…if you live close, you may find a bounty of these on your doorstep!

Photos taken with my Samsung Galaxy 5 phone.

What’s in your garden?


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Paddling for Bow-Ties: How Community Shapes the Above Time Brand

Above Time web photo

Image from Above Time, Used by permission

How does community shape a business brand? As a close family friend of CEO Carey Reddick, I have watched Above Time evolve and grow into the amazing brand that it is.

Last August (2015), Reddick officially launched Above Time, Inc., his upscale bow-tie and fashion accessories line, which appeals to people who wish to live the “well-garnished life.”

Above Time is based in San Diego, California, and helps support the community through employment and manufacturing. Reddick explains that Above Time’s San Diego roots are important because everything about the company is local to San Diego and Southern California lifestyle.

As Above Time has gained a successful following with online sales, Reddick is carefully crafting his new vision for the company to reflect this lifestyle, transforming the company into a “Lifestyle Brand.”

Reddick adds, “Within this brand, Above-Time will feature accessories, travel, food, and gift boxes, which will attract people who want to enjoy a particular lifestyle that includes healthy living.”

An Idea is Formed
A recent opportunity presented itself as Reddick attended a masters’ swim meet one weekend to watch his partner, a nationally-ranked masters’ swimmer, compete. Reddick was introduced to Jasmine Stiles, a middle-school PE teacher and masters’ swimmer, who is also a prone paddle-board competitor. Prone Paddle Womens Champ

After some discussion and idea sharing, Jasmine became Above Time’s newest sponsored brand rep. When Jasmine competes in her next race in San Diego, she will be sporting a rash guard with Above Time’s logo.

Says Reddick, “Sponsoring an award-winning prone paddler who competes on the San Diego beaches and beyond, helps showcase Above Time as a lifestyle brand.”

Introducing Jasmine Stiles
What makes Jasmine an exciting brand rep for Above Time is her outdoor lifestyle. Now 50, Stiles has competed at the masters swimming level since 2008, a member of San Diego Swim Masters. In April, she placed first in five individual swimming events.

Stiles began prone paddling in September of 2014. Two masters’ swimmers convinced her to try it, since she herself was a swimmer. “I decided to try it out the day before my first race. I loved it so much and felt so comfortable on the board that I ended up winning the (Del Mar Powerhouse) race the next day.” Jasmine Stiles Prone paddlerPaddle race flyerShe recently competed in the 10k Sunday Sunday Sunday series in San Diego’s Mission Bay and garnered the women’s overall championship and placed third overall behind two other male pros. She competes again in the series on August 7th.
Not to be confused with stand-up paddling (SUP), prone paddling emerged from the surfing world. Stiles races on a 12-foot prone paddleboard, paddling on her stomach or knees. “It is much harder than SUP!” she admits.

Through participation in swimming and paddling, Stiles sets an example of healthy living to her middle-school students.

Through participation in swimming and paddling, Stiles sets an example of healthy living to her… Click To Tweet

What prevents someone from wearing their bow tie or hair bow or other accessories while stand-up or prone paddling? There is nothing wrong with setting a fashion statement for yourself while you’re enjoying your favorite leisure activities.

Will we be seeing bow ties and other accessories being made out of waterproof neoprene one of these days? Knowing Reddick, I wouldn’t be surprised.

As part of the community-building process, some proceeds continue to benefit Interactions for Peace, a bullying prevention program. Now when you purchase a bow-tie, you buy into the power of peacemaking and a leisure lifestyle.

Now when you purchase a bow-tie, you buy into the power of peacemaking and a leisure lifestyle. Click To Tweet

Don’t let Dad Go Out Looking Bad
If you are still looking for that perfect gift for Father’s Day, why not celebrate Dad in style with a Fathers’ Day Box Collection? Each set will include bow-tie, tie, handkerchief, socks and cigar, all for the price of $49.99.
Click here or on the logo on my sidebar for a direct link to the website.

Another sponsored brand rep is Alexander Salazar Art Galleries, a San Diego artist who will be featured in my next Above Time post.


This is a sponsored post of Above Time and its bow-ties and products. I am being compensated to write this article, but I wholeheartedly endorse and support these products. My opinions would be the same.

Thanks for reading,


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Guest Post: Find a Swing and Release Your Inner Child

don't forget to play

I am beyond excited today to feature Sue Loncaric, an amazing blogger from Australia! Author of Sizzling Towards Sixty, not only is she a marvelous woman of midlife and a dedicated runner, she is also a strong proponent of health and wellness. As she begins her latest blog series Midlife Matters, she takes a critical look at this concept of age and states, “midlife should be celebrated!

Sue and I are kindred spirits. We both retired at 55 and started blogging. She loves fitness and competes in fun runs. I love fitness and enjoy windsurfing and stand-up paddling. We both blog about leisure and a healthy lifestyle. With each post I read of hers, I nod my head, and agree with everything she writes.

Not long ago I read the post she wrote that I am about to share. It resonated with me in an extreme way, that play is not just for children, but also for adults.

Take it away, Sue…

Find a Swing and Release Your Inner Child

somewhere out there a swing is missing you

One of the options for this week’s Friday Reflections was to write about a chosen image. I look at this image of the swing and it brings back so many happy memories of my childhood. Countless afternoons spent playing on my swing, singing at the top of my lungs (my poor neighbours). Each afternoon after school I would come home, Mum would make afternoon tea and then it was out to the backyard to my swing until dinner time.

I would close my eyes and swing as I high as I could – it almost felt like flying. I also loved that feeling of ‘losing your tummy’ as you went higher and higher – like being on a roller coaster.

I am now older, but the inner child still emerges whenever I see a swing set. It is something synonymous with the carefree days of childhood, whiling away the hours with not a care in the world.

We live across from a park and a children’s playground and whenever our grand children visit there is always an outing to the park for a swing. They love being pushed higher although you can see the apprehension sometimes in their smiling faces.

I came across this quotation by Doe Zantamata when I was writing this post:

“Somewhere a swing is missing you”

One unfortunate aspect of growing older is that most people feel they need to “grow up” and they lose the ability to have simple fun. They become inhibited in their feelings, emotions and their behaviour, because they fear they will appear foolish to others.

This fear of what others might think of us holds us back from enjoying our life and enjoying moments where we can just have fun, be silly and carefree.

This fear of what others might think of us holds us back from enjoying our life and enjoying… Click To Tweet

As children we have no inhibitions – we aren’t born with inhibitions. We are free with our emotions and enjoy life. Unfortunately, society places conditions on us as we grow up and somewhere along the line fun and games are just not acceptable or so we are told.

Can you be brave enough to enjoy your life regardless of what others may think? We have but one short life – let’s not waste it by leaving our inner child buried deep within. Take life, enjoy, laugh, sing, dance and just be in the moment.

Do you have a swing that is missing you? Why not go to the park today and take time for a swing and reflection.

What a sad world it would be if there were no swings, dancing, singing or laughter. Click To Tweet

I’ve written often about releasing your inner child and you might also like to read my post, Isn’t it time you embraced your inner child?

First published May 13, 2016 by Sue Loncaric.


Say Hello to Sue!Sue Loncaric

Since taking early retirement, Sue found she needed more in her life and Sizzling Towards Sixty was born.  Sue invites you to join her to “Ride the Wave of Midlife with Positivity, Fun and Laughter.”

She shares her journey through midlife to encourage others to join with her in her quest to live a fit, active and fun life. Sue loves connecting with people and helping them realize their full potential to be the best they can be!

Her e-book From Couch Potato to Fabulously Fit in Less Time than You Think has evolved into a Facebook Group #couchpotatotofabfit and encourages others to Get Healthier Together. Plans for online self-development courses are on the way.

Read more about Sue here and follow her on these Social Media sites

Website:  www.sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/sizzlingtowards60

Facebook Group:  www.facebook.com/groups/couchpotatotofabfit/

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/sizzling60

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/loncaric2047/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sizzlingtowards60

As Sue says: Let’s Keep Sizzling!

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Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Glorious

Glorious… “having a striking beauty or splendor that evokes feelings of delighted admiration.”

Glory comes in the form of a Baja sunrise over the Sea of Cortez.

After every dark night comes a glorious morning of a new day

 

“After every dark night comes a glorious morning of a new day”― Sunday Adelaja

Glory also comes with admiring a view of lower Yosemite Falls in the spring time.

Lower Yosemite Falls

 

“Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where.” – John Muir

 

Glorious is the theme for Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

Thanks for stopping by and admiring the glorious views!

Images and content ©2016 Terri Webster Schrandt. All Rights Reserved.

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It’s All a Numbers Game

numbers on a temperature clock

Can you live without numbers? No matter where we look, numbers and numerals are everywhere. The Weekly Photo Challenge focuses on Numbers this week.

This week we are experiencing temperatures in the low 100s. Today will top out at 104! Welcome to June in Northern California.

My wall temperature gauge has never worked right and insists that it is only a little over 70 degrees. I think it is just decoration now.

This is also submitted for Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Close-Ups.

Even if you are not a great photographer, consider joining these fun photography challenges. We all need photos for our blogs and websites, why not practice with yours and link to new readers at the same time?

Thanks for reading!


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Can You Spare 500 Moments?

What is your leisure time like? Do you even have any? So many of us are struggling to find some spare moments in our busy, hectic lives. In the above photo, a small fishing boat floats serenely beneath the huge wind turbines.

This quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson sums up this idea…

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life. 

guard well your spare moments

Please consider joining the ever growing community of participants in the weekly photo challenge. This week’s theme is Spare.


500 posts writtenSpeaking of moments, as I prepped my post for this photo challenge, I saw a wee notification telling me this is my 500th post! WordPress didn’t send me the badge of honor so I “made” my own!

Since I became a “serious” blogger almost two years ago, finding those spare moments of leisure has been an adventure. Blogging done right takes time and commitment, frequently using up our precious spare time.

Blogging done right takes time and commitment, frequently using up our precious spare time. Click To Tweet

Thank you to all who take the time to read my posts!

Take some time for yourself today and remember to guard your leisure time and spare moments wisely!

 


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