Sunday Stills: It’s a #Wild(Life) World

White-tailed Deer family

I’ve been very global-oriented lately in my perspectives as I consider what I share for Sunday Stills. Last week my world felt confined to the inside of a snowglobe, in a good way. This week, wildlife is the theme as I share wildlife in my current world of Eastern Washington and beyond.

Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.

A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

This little rabbit has made a home under my studio (or she-shed). He frequently pops up to eat the random weeds that grow above the snow. Neighbors have warned us not to let critters live under the main house as they can destroy the insulation by trying to make a nest. Luckily our manufactured home is “pit-set,” meaning there are no entries for small animals like field mice, raccoons, and squirrels…and wascally wabbits!

Resident Rabbit
Wesident Wabbit

The daily deer parade never gets boring. The neighbors’ five-acre property across from ours is home to the daily feeding. My neighbor sets out hay and corn cobs for the white-tailed or mule deer and at last count, over 16 came to dinner! Can you see the bonus goat in the first image?

And the young buck watches them all!

Just south of the neighbors’ home is another residence that boasts the orange and brown outbuilding that beautifully frames the images. I love the young buck’s “lookout stance” as he contemplates gracefully hopping the 4-foot-tall fence and enjoying dinner.

Sometimes the young deer get curious at seeing my two brown dogs, Brodie and Aero, and come closer to check them out. I’m so glad there is a sturdy fence between the properties as I fear Brodie (on the left) might annoy a deer for the first and last time. Their hooves can kill! Bonus points if you can see this doe’s tongue as she licks her chops.

Deer and dogs
Who’s watching who?

Animals exist with us and communicate with us in many ways. If we allow ourselves to become still enough to notice, and if we live in a sacred way, we shall realize that communication with them is natural.

Reverend Misa Hopkins

No photo collection featuring wildlife of the Pacific Inland Northwest is complete without the requisite shot of the magnificent American bald eagle!

Bald Eagle on the hunt
Intense Bald Eagle

Of course, bald eagles and other raptors are common here (aren’t I lucky?). Quail and wild turkey live here year ’round but the purple-green swallow is seen mostly in spring.

Wildlife is abundant here in rural Stevens County. We are near Lake Spokane/Long Lake which is part of the Spokane River that also includes the Little Spokane River—a popular waterway for kayaking and fishing. These waterways eventually flow into the Columbia River to the South and West.

Still Waiting to See…

  • A moose. I did see one last August while kayaking on the Little Spokane River but couldn’t get the shot.
  • I heard the mating bugle call of a bull elk in the hills around my nrighborhood, but still haven’t laid eyes on any yet.
  • Big Foot? Hmmm…

For those of you who prefer indoors in the winter, you may like my wildlife pattern on our new-ish chair we bought at the Wild West furniture store in Idaho.

Wild Sofa pattern
Careful where you sit on this wild chair

Staying Fit with Photography

All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.

Friedrich Nietzsche

I love walking and when I’m smart enough to take my real camera with me, I’m rarely disappointed. Saturday, we took the two-hour drive to the Grand Coulee Dam in central Washington. No pics of the dam at the moment, BUT, as we walked the trail around the dam, a white-tailed deer family caught my eye. Despite two humans and two noisy dogs tromping around in the snow, the deer didn’t move too much and I got within 30 feet of the deer and caught this adorable close-up you see here.

White-tailed Deer family
Well, hello!

I would edit Nietzche’s quote to read: All truly great photographs are conceived by walking! I logged 6000 steps walking around shooting (ha!) deer in 25F degree weather!

And One More Very Wild Animal

Little 13-pound Aero loves his half-acre on which to run and play, but all this cold white stuff is NOT for him. After he does his duty, he comes tearing into the house!

dog running lickity split
Aero’s on the run back into the house!

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes, when possible.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post. Feel free to “double-dip” with other photo challenges!

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who shared their wildlife (or wild?) photos.

Special Request

I always share your Sunday Stills post when possible, mostly using my Facebook page and Twitter. If you are on Facebook and haven’t visited my Second Wind Leisure PAGE, please do and like the page. This way I can share your posts on that page, and your name will appear. Also, I recommend that you select your featured image on your posts because that is what is shared on social media. Not every blogger is concerned about sharing posts on social media, so no pressure.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

I’m excited to see your posts of wildlife this week, or perhaps your wild life?? Please feel free to be creative! Have a great week!

paws signature

© 2022-2025 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Fitness Friday: Forget These Four New Year’s Resolutions

Fitness Activity

Over the years, I have seen too often how New Year’s resolutions are abandoned. Raise your hand if you have resolved to change something in 2022 and have already broken it…c’mon raise your hand higher. I know mine is raised!

We make New Year’s resolutions out of good intentions motivated in part by guilt, media hype, and eek! the mirror. I challenge you to forget these popular four resolutions and be kinder to yourself in 2022. Who’s with me?

Do Not Join a Gym

What, you ask? Instead of gathering during tourist season and fighting for parking spaces this month, take more walks outside. If you have a dog, walk him—he needs exercise too.

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Henry David Thoreau

For those living in cold wintery regions where walking outside is challenging, here are some ideas: dig through your old VHS (what?) or DVD collections and pull out a Pilates, yoga, or jazzercise workout. If you have cable or satellite TV, surf through stations to find a workout channel. Yoga is a great fitness activity because you can stretch, relax, and minimize tension.

Snow shoveling is a wonderful workout for killing two birds with one shovel. Take care to use your legs and not twist your upper body.

Fitness Activity

If you like surfing the net, check out workouts on Youtube. When the pandemic closed the world in early 2020, I found countless workouts from beginner to advanced, with durations ranging from 10 to 60 minutes. You can also access and download free and paid apps to your mobile devices. TRX suspension training also has a download for those of you who have TRX paraphernalia at home collecting dust (like me).

Speaking of dust, rescue that lonely stationary bike or cardio machine sitting in your garage and start using it. If you feel that belonging to a gym is what you need, I encourage you to join or upgrade your membership. The New Years’ deals will be around for a few more weeks. If your gym is too crowded, consider going at times/days that are not in the traditional prime time. Early morning workouts are a great option because you can get it out of the way, shower, and head to work. But make sure you commit to going.

Do Not Start a Diet

“Remember you are the one who can make the change.”

Oprah Winfrey for WW (Weight Watchers)

One of the common mistakes we make when starting diets is that we approach food as something NOT to eat or enjoy. Of course, most of us need to eat more nutritious foods and cut down on calories. Rather than sink our money into diets that will stop working once we stop buying/eating the food, make a list of foods YOU do enjoy.

Diets that restrict calories or food groups are designed to fail. I don’t like Paleo because I enjoy grains like oatmeal and English muffins. I picked all the foods I love and simply eat less of them. No, it is not simple. I have struggled with 15-25 pounds for several years. Tricks like using a smaller plate, measuring out portions, eating smaller meals per day more often, or sitting down at the table and eating slowly can help you begin new eating habits.

Also, do not give up your favorite treats. Allow yourself a treat now and then so you do not feel deprived. If you are dieting and have a relapse, where you lost the battle with the dish of ice cream or the bag of chips, DO NOT give up! Start over at the next meal or the next day.

Scoop of vanilla ice cream
Scoop of vanilla

And weigh yourself only ONCE a WEEK, preferably at the same time of day. Many of these diet tricks can be found online at Weight Watchers (now WW), Nutrisystem, Noom, etc., without having to join, or by simply reading a trusted source.

Do Not Quit Smoking or Drinking

Macro view of green Margarita

Why not? There IS a caveat to this. If your health is at risk TODAY, and you smoke or overindulge in alcohol or other addictive substances, then seek immediate help. Deep inside, you know what is best for you. Continuing these behaviors puts not just you and your health at risk, but the health of your family, friends, and loved ones. Addiction is nothing to mess with.

Do seek outside help to quit smoking. If you are ready to quit, use the tools available, whether it is trying nicotine gum or a patch to slowly and safely quit, or by contacting your medical professional. The idea is to quit slowly. Too many people resolve to quit an addictive behavior and try to do so, either on their own or by attempting to quit cold turkey. Again, using tools and quitting on your own is a good start, but most people cannot sustain it for very long. Sure, we’ve all heard how Mr. Smith abruptly quit smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day and was successful. Not everyone can do that. Most of us need help and guidance to stop addictive behaviors and substance use or abuse.

Do Not Start a New Hobby

Here again, is where we feel compelled to learn something new to feel more productive with our leisure time. How many of us added 50 books to a book reading challenge? During our lives, our interests change and evolve. Instead of learning a whole new skill like sewing or cooking, attempting to play the guitar, or learning a foreign language, make a list of skills and hobbies you already have tried.

Perhaps you started knitting 5 years ago and dumped the needles and yarn into your craft box (with other abandoned projects, umm, again like me). Go shop your closet or garage to see what toys, hobbies, crafts, etc., may be lurking, ready to be used again! I found a rug-hooking project that I started 40 years ago (to my shame). Yes, I had to access Youtube to remind myself how to hook the rug, but I finished it and felt pretty good about it. If you find an old project that you can re-try, many craft retail stores offer free classes where you can hone your skills and expand into new ones.

Hobbies

Speaking of classes, your local recreation and park departments and YMCAs offer a variety of classes for all ages, in fitness, crafts, performing arts, martial arts, swim lessons, lap swimming, well…the list is endless! Most classes are inexpensive. By taking a class, you can be introduced to a new skill or hobby without putting too much money or effort into it. If you decide you do not want to continue, you can move on. Community colleges and libraries can also be good sources for free and inexpensive classes and programs.

Moving Forward

So, yes, I tricked you. Start out your New Year with resolve, not resolutions. If you want to change behavior or habits, do so slowly and with purpose. Ask for help. You do not have to walk this path alone. And do NOT try to set too many goals or make too many resolutions. Focus on one big item you want to change and set another smaller goal for something else. And you do not have to wait until January to begin these goals.

We all have barriers that prevent us from making small changes to our fitness routine. Most of these barriers are of our choosing and can be psychological or physical. If the top four resolutions don’t exist in your world, there are other things you can do to jazz up your routine.

At work, try adjusting your work schedule or the hours you work, if possible. Now is the time to ask about doing some work from home, especially now that the pandemic changed our work culture to options for working remotely. If that isn’t allowed, make some small changes, like rearranging items on your desk or in your office. Drive a new way to work, to school, to church. Better yet, take public transportation or ride your bike.

Change your perspective in some way. Choose a small, new step to making your New Year better.

“The road to success is always under construction.”

Special thanks to Marsha of Always Write who inspired my motivation to revisit this old post from 2015 and refresh it as I assess my own fitness and wellness. Although my fitness book is still a work in progress, I plan to post once a month for Fitness Fridays.

© 2022-2025 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge #White: Life Inside a Snow Globe

New Year New Hope

Welcome to the first monthly color challenge of 2022. With only so many colors from which to choose, there will always be repeats. We looked at the color white last February 2021.

Without resorting to black and white photography, show us the color white.

White grass white snow

Renoir said once that nothing was so difficult, and at the same time so exciting to paint, as white on white.

Ambroise Vollard, French Contemporary artist, 1866-1939

Like my post title suggests, I feel like I’m living inside a snow globe. (image provided by pexels)

Inside I’ve changed my Christmas decor to the theme of winter white. Not too much, lest it gets a tad boring readers!

Looking out, looking in; an icicle’s perspective

The world outside my window is white as it is full-on winter here in the Pacific-Inland Northwest. La Nina has gifted many of us with a lot more severe weather than we bargained for this year. Without boring you with a weather report, I’ll let the images do the talking in the shape of a snowglobe.

White sentinel pine trees
Winter Sentinels overlook our area
Life in a Washington Winter
Just outside our neighborhood

Within the snow globe are the concentric rings of my life—my household, my neighbors, and recently people I see at the schools when I sub as a teacher—which are all connected by perhaps being trapped in the winter snow globe, but at the same time, we can connect physically and manage to socialize.

As Marsha suggests in her WQW post, socializing and communicating within the educational system is the lifeblood of learning.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

Currently, I can connect with the school kids and personnel face-to-face which really gives me the sense of community and a slight shattering of the glass globe that temporarily binds us. It’s amazing to watch the kids get ready to go to lunch or recess as they are given 5 minutes to grab their snow boots and snow clothes and bustle out the door as if nothing is different in their winter white world. Hard for this former California girl to reckon with.

Our school district is in a rural county and there are no plans yet (fingers crossed) to close and go back to remote learning. Other nearby districts have paused sports due to lack of covid tests and many are suggesting temporary remote learning. Please, God, no. And that’s all I will say about that now.

Some Warmer Whites

Enjoy this gallery of white that is NOT about winter. Just in case you’re too cold to go on…

Special shout out to my new favorite bird photographer Donna at Bay Photos By Donna, who shared this post of HER life in a snow-globe filled with snow geese last week!

A couple of interesting white objects to satisfy Lens-Artists: Interesting Objects. It’s not often you see a stand-up paddleboard in the bedroom. The white gate welcomes visitors to San Diego’s Del Mar Fair exhibit hall.

This was a rare, pink sunset to punctuate all the white and ended up being “last on the card” last week, as well as an entry to showcase a “weekend sky.”

pink sunset on white winter's day

Photo Challenges this Week

A compelling image on a white winter’s day. Hope springs (almost) eternal.

New Year New Hope
Evergreen finds the sunlight in 2 feet of fresh snow

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post. Feel free to “double-dip” with other photo challenges!

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who shared photos that display the color white.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Themes for the rest of January are ready to view on my Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Page. This page is updated monthly and I am open to YOUR theme ideas, too!

I can’t wait to see how you interpret the color white this week! Then, please join me next week as we explore WILDLIFE.

© 2022-2025 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: The #Future Is Ours

Teaching a Kinder Class

Last week I hinted at the future as I looked back to 2021 and shared images of my events and life. Please join me as I look back again to the future to see where the journey might lead and how I might like to spend 2022.

But first, while researching this topic, I had to ask myself how does one take a photograph of the future? I admit to borrowing the idea for this challenge from the WordPress weekly photo challenge, April 2016, which many of you participated in back then including myself! I bet you didn’t know that you can go back and look at the thumbnails of the participants for additional inspiration (though many have stopped blogging).

Jen Hooks of WordPress, writes “One of the glorious things about photography is that it enables us to take a moment of our present, and make it available to look on in meticulous detail in the future.” This week, share an image that represents the potential of things to come.

The Future Begins

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Peter F Drucker

Shortly before he died in 2005, Peter Drucker was celebrated by BusinessWeek magazine as “the man who invented management.”

In an interesting twist, university curricula often included Drucker’s writings in management courses, including those that I had the pleasure to teach. I taught a total of 10 full years at the university level, teaching and creating curricula for parks and recreation management students.

Thinking of the future for this week, I found several older posts that support this theme.

The Future Begins with Steps to Education (2016)

Steps to Education lead to the future.

Walking from my classroom on campus a few months ago, I was intrigued by the way the stairs looked on this overcast day. These stairs lead from the east edge of the university campus to the bike trail and onto the bridge that crosses the river. Every semester, I have the pleasure of seeing the eager faces of young adults nearing the completion of their university education.

The future is theirs.

Bloganuary Challenge

Many bloggers are being inspired by January’s daily prompts. I’d hoped to hop into this WordPress event more often, but I’ve been busy shoveling snow and dealing with things on the home front. I have enjoyed many folks’ posts on the daily prompts. I attempt to answer the prompts briefly with an image and simply include these in my Sunday Stills posts. Hope you don’t mind!

I responded to two that seem to fit the theme of future.

January 1 What advice would you give your teenage self?

Take heart, your braces will come off and all that teasing you endured for sporting the braces AND having curly red hair will leave you with resilience and amazing coping skills. And, an excellent idea to take four years of Mrs. Lee’s classes in high school. See below.

January 6 Who is someone that inspires you and why?

Excerpts from a previous post: Reconnecting with My High School Teacher (2017)

Who was your favorite high school teacher? Mine was Mrs. Myrra Lee, of Helix High School in La Mesa, California, a suburb of San Diego. I discovered Mrs. Lee was celebrating her 90th birthday in San Diego in July 2016, and her family posted an open invitation on Facebook to former students.

Initially, I declined the invitation due to distance, but we ended up in San Diego during that very week to assist my ailing mother. Mrs. Lee’s family asked for thoughts to be emailed and I had written a blog post with this thought:

“Now that I am an educator, I wish she knew how much her teaching influenced my life, personally and professionally.” I never believed that I would ever get the chance to tell her face to face after 38 years.

Meeting my high school teacher 38 years later

The day of Mrs. Lee’s luncheon brought me so much joy! I was told by the family that she had suffered a mild stroke a few months before. When I entered the restaurant, I walked up to where she sat and introduced myself. She noticed my name tag and smiled. I asked if she remembered me and she replied very softly that she did. I was elated and honored to get this photo with her.

During the luncheon, we had the opportunity to share the perspectives and experiences we had with her as our teacher.

Nervously I stood and thanked her for being such an inspiration to me. I’m sure I stumbled over a few more words, eloquent and otherwise, but more specifically, these: “I ended up becoming an educator, too, Mrs. Lee, and this has been the joy of my life.”

She smiled and applauded, along with the rest of the room. I sat down with tears shining in my eyes.

As I listened to more of my high school classmates share their stories of this 1977 National Teacher of Year, I watched Mrs. Lee and still saw that razor-sharp glint in her eye, as her educator mind drank in the memories and praise. Even her recent stroke at age 90 had not stopped those gears from turning. She went into eternity just two years later and I will be forever grateful that I got to see her again and for her “take-no-prisoners” educational style and her ability to challenge everything we understood within our teenage selves in the mid-1970s.

Mrs. Lee taught us the value of an education and challenged students to reach for the stars and to not take no for an answer.

Terri Webster Schrandt, Reconnecting with My High School Teacher

A Continuing Educator

Sad as I was to end my 10-year career as a university faculty lecturer, our move to Washington State provided an unexpected and welcomed opportunity. Last week I mentioned I am employed as a substitute teacher for Nine Mile Falls School District. My first day as a sub was for a kindergarten class. I snapped this pic during an UNUSUALLY quiet moment as the kiddos got down to business (for a few minutes, and I’m talking FEW!!). A big difference from teaching university students, although crying happens in both age groups!

Teaching a Kinder Class
A rare moment when the kinders were ALL engaged!

The future indeed!

Need More “Future” Inspiration?

In no particular order, I’ve chosen images that represent past and future trips. Mexico may be a far-future return excursion, but Hawaii, San Diego in Southern CA, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona are very doable in 2022. Fingers crossed!

SUPing the waves
Wave Paddling, Hilo

A few more images that depict the “future” from my perspective.

Two years ago this was our future.

Boulder Home Compound
Our Boulder Way Compound in Eastern Washington

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post.

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are this week’s links from bloggers who share photos that might represent the future.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Themes for the rest of January are ready to view on my Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Page. This page is updated monthly and I am open to YOUR theme ideas, too!

I hope you enjoyed my look back to the future. What does the future hold for you? Tell us in any creative way you would like! Join me next week for the monthly color challenge: white.

A future me this summer 2022!

© 2022-2025 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: 2021 In the #Rear-View Mirror, Nothing Like the Present, The Future is Ours

Winter Wonderland neighborhood view

What a year 2021 has been! When we anticipated 2021, most of us thought we would be done with Covid and our hopes for a healthier and stress-free new year were, well, … dashed? Postponed? Maybe never existed?

2021 was a truly eventful year for my family as we spent our first full winter living in Spokane, WA, having moved mid-December, 2020 from Sacramento, CA. In a nutshell—huge changes as we moved twice between January and March, from a family member’s home to our RV, then to our brand-new home in Nine Mile Falls, 20 miles north of Spokane.

As I share my thoughts and photos that made the most impact on my year, I’ve selected a few of my favorite images for each month of 2021. You can create your own narrative to describe how you lived a year full of change, surprise, or … you fill in those blanks!

“This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.”

Taylor Swift

Justifiable January

Did you know January is the best month in which to purchase furniture if you want to save money? Anticipating a 6-8 week waiting period for delivery, we spent several days shopping for new furniture and some appliances. Lots of money changed hands but it was justified in order to furnish our larger home. We expected our home to be ready by March, so the timing was right.

After a loo-oo-ng month living with my hubby’s twin brother and weird roommate, we gritted our teeth and pulled our 30-foot RV through the snowy roads to an RV campground where we lived until almost the end of March.

Freaky February

RV Campground home

February was a COLD month with temps dropping to 9 degrees Fahrenheit for several days. Always fun, when the propane tank runs out at 4 am when you have to get up to use the facilities! February 14, a traditional day of love, marked the day that my dear mother-in-law, Hella Blumenbach Schrandt, peacefully stepped into eternity.

Another March Madness

Similar to March 2020, 2021’s March was a MONTH! Compared to life in 2020, while we were locked down and dealing with the uncertainty of a pandemic, I also lost my mom in early March, 2020 just before everything shut down.

Not only did we get the keys to the house on March 22nd in 2021, and begin the torturous, but super exciting move-in process, we also attended the wake and celebration of life for my mother-in-law who passed in February at the age of 89.

An Abundant April

If finally belonging to a local church and getting a “new-to-me” car doesn’t define abundance, I’m not sure what does. Getting the first of two Moderna vaccination shots gave me the feeling of good health again, if not as abundant as in prior years.

May’s Momentous Moments

With a Pacific Northwest spring in full swing, May was a busy hub of beautiful views, hikes, whirlwind construction, and family visits to our new home.

  • When I discovered I could enjoy sunflowers again, and wild ones at that, which grew on the property, I was in heaven.
  • We finally got all of our vehicles registered in Washington and corresponding plates were handed out at the Department of Licensing. Same-day service…incredible!
  • My daughter and fiance traveled on Memorial Day weekend to spend a few days with us. We took them to the Bowl and Pitcher State Park and to downtown Spokane’s Riverfront Park.
  • In the same month, the contractor began construction on our pole barn/shop/shed/garage.
  • My first stand-up paddle on Lake Spokane!

June’s Journeys

Hmmm, June. An emotional roller coaster of life events and road trips. In May we learned the sad news that my cousin’s beloved husband died of cardiac arrest.

Miraculously, the entire set of families were all vaccinated and we could gather safely in Portland, Oregon, to celebrate his incredible life in early June.

During June’s long days, I witnessed a fantastic lunar eclipse just as the sun rose.

Pink moon in eclipse

“All great beginnings start in the dark, when the moon greets you to a new day at midnight.”

Shannon L. Alder

With one road trip (Bloganuary theme for Jan 2) to Portland under our belt, hubby got ready to take a trip to Sacramento to pick up the rest of our belonging from the storage unit. As he departed from the extreme heat here in the PNW, he headed south to equally hot temps, coupled with crippling smoke from west coast wildfires. How does the Spokane area get to 109 degrees Fahrenheit??

A Truly Emotional “Journey”

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Bluebell Court Eagles contemplating their nest in February (image by Diana Gigler, used with permission)

Many of you followed along as I grew emotionally attached to “Journey,” the local celebrity eaglet whose eagle family resided in their nest in a neighbor’s backyard. Diana created a Facebook group “BlueBell Court Eagles,” chronicling the magnificent eagle family with her incredible photography. Thousands of folks followed along daily watching Journey grow into a stunning juvenile eaglet. She graciously allowed me to use her photos.

With June’s unexpected and oppressive heat, Journey fledged too soon and leapt out of the nest, and was rescued with a call from a neighbor to the Birds of Prey Northwest who promptly took Journey to the center for 6-weeks of rehydration and recovery.

Jaw-Dropping July

Expecting cooler summers in the Pacific Northwest, I never dreamed we would experience such devastating heat. The excessive heat that engulfed the west coast sparked hundreds of wildfires that not only devasted hundred of thousands of acres of land and burned homes and structures, but created enough smoke that could be seen from space!

Smokey orb over pine trees
Smoky sunrises were the norm in Summer 2021

In 2021, Spokane also saw the most days with 90-degree temperatures and tied the most days with 100-degree temperatures. Keep in mind that most homes don’t have air conditioning because it is usually not necessary. When we finalized the orders for our manufactured home in September 2020, we added the heat pump/AC at the last minute. I’d spent enough years in hot, smoky Sacramento to know that I didn’t want to endure that again. Thank goodness!

A Little More Journey

Journey was released back into the wild, healthy and strong. During this process, I learned so much about eagles and other raptors and the Birds of Prey Northwest’s efforts of its volunteers. During the unprecedented heat, over 20 bald eagles were rescued in three weeks’ time, compared to other years when the volunteers rescued 1-3 per year. Jaw-dropping indeed! Images by Diana Gigler and used with her permission.

Although Journey did not fly back to his nest, we believe that his parents cared for him out on the lake and continued to teach him how to hunt and fish. We eagerly await the new nesting season and hope that the Bald Eagle pair will return to the nest and lay a new clutch of eggs this spring.

Exhausting August

August was a dizzying month for a variety of reasons. The weather was still very hot and smoky, making me pinch myself to check that we didn’t dream about moving here and were still living in Northern California where heat and smoke were the norms in summer and fall. We stayed mostly local during the first part of the month as the construction on our outbuildings was near completion. I enjoyed driving around and stopping for photo ops.

But then… with upcoming air travel to San Diego, CA, and Phoenix, AZ, I needed a blog break to survive the rest of the month. Many thanks to Natalie for guest hosting Sunday Stills for three weeks!

August highlights included:

  • Kayaking on the Little Spokane River with friends where I saw two moose!
  • A fun stay-over with Marsha in Prescott to see their lovely new home and area, which coincided nicely with our 8th wedding anniversary.
  • My step-daughter’s wedding in Sedona.
  • A visit by a dear friend from Sacramento.
  • Shop doors were FINALLY installed!

Sanguine September

Where August was the whirlwind, September was downright sluggish but sweet and serene! After the Labor Day holiday, summer ends, kids head back to school and normal weather returns. Signs of Autumn showed themselves early here in the PNW. As the pace really slowed down, and I had time for local hikes and more photo ops. Toward the end of the month, another good friend came up for a visit!

We also finalized and converted our construction loan to a mortgage loan at a nice, low percentage rate, which had been another source of stress and uncertainty.

Overjoyed October

I checked a bucket list item off this month. I got to witness the Northern Lights from my front porch! To the naked eye, the lights looked gray and misty, but the camera picked up the green bandwidth of color.

Aurora Borealis from my porch
Aurora Borealis from my porch

As Autumn progressed, we had the opportunity to volunteer for the local nursery each weekend in October and gain 8 free trees in the process! Hubby turned 62, a milestone birthday, which usually marks retirement…what’s that supposed to look like?

A Northwest November

With Autumn still hanging in there, November found us beginning work as substitutes for the local school district; Hans, as a substitute for custodial/facility maintenance, and me as a substitute teacher. Below is a rare moment in between classes in the library resource room.

I also discovered the yellow pine tree, known as Western Larch to add to my collection of amazing things to see in the PNW.

Golden rural street
Western Larch on left in its yellow splendor

In late November, we drove back to Lake Coeur D’ Alene at Higgens Point to hopefully observe the Bald Eagles fishing and hunting for Kokanee salmon that spawn there. Many of you saw these beauties already on social media. These were captured with the Lumix FZ-300. The image on the right is currently being printed onto a large canvas!

December Defined

December Highlights:

  • December 2021 was our first December in our home.
  • Winter Mule Deer Buck
  • A Winter Moon
  • Old-fashioned Christmas tree lighting living in a winter wonderland
  • Thirty-five family members gathered for Christmas Eve at another relative’s home. My sis-in-law is a spectacular decorator and chef!
Christmas Eve Table Decor

Redefining traditions, spending time with extended family, and discovering the jewels of the Pacific Northwest, where every day feels like a new adventure, are some of the reasons we left Northern California. I get a thrill seeing wildlife daily just walking in my own neighborhood or a few miles away.

In this last image, you can see our compound off to the left. This angle was taken from the street looking toward our neighbor’s front yard.

Winter Wonderland neighborhood view
My winter wonderland (last on the card)

“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

L. Frank Baum

I leave you with these thoughts for 2022.

Dare to dream. Take the road less traveled. Just do it. There is no try–just do! Life IS short.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” This motto/meme graces most of my social media images.

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”

William E. Vaughan, journalist and author

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

If you have already published a 2021 “retrospective” post, please feel free to link it to this post so we can see how the year went for all of us. I will be adding your links to each, current Sunday Stills post while it is still live, rather than waiting until the following week. Doing it this way is actually easier and a bit more efficient!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly photo challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post.

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title YOUR blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.

My humble and sincere thanks to all who participated in 2021! Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Have a great week and I wish you:

2022 signature

© 2022-2025 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: #Light the Night

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”

Ann Frank

Depending on where you live geographically, the holidays invoke a variety of emotions and feelings. Some of us enjoy a white Christmas or festive winter holiday while others are celebrating the holidays in the warmth of full summer. Not only are the holidays a source of wonder and joy as we look forward to the celebrations with family and friends, but also a source of anxiety and even depression for some folks.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

Desmond Tutu

A Little SAD

I am known to suffer from mild Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, a temporary condition caused by lack of sunlight. I know…I purposely moved north from sunnier northern California, but I still had bouts of SAD while living there. But now that I recognize the symptoms of depression, I’m better prepared and can feel it coming on. I wrote about my experiences with SAD in this post.

Luckily, during the daylight hours, we see the sun peeking out and that is when I try to get outside for a few moments and let that light flood my eyes which stimulates the pituitary gland to change the brain’s chemicals linked to mood.

All that said, in the northern hemisphere, as days continue to shorten and nights lengthen, most of us look for ways to light up the night.

This is a close-up of my outdoor trees all lit up, backdropped against the actual trees in the distance, and the two trees in the snow.

As this is my second Christmas/winter here in the Spokane, Washington area, I have plenty to look forward to which helps keep things interesting and fun! But I will have to be ready when the February doldrums strike!

Lighting with Holiday and Winter Decor

Another way I can ward off the effects of seasonal affective disorder is to decorate the interior of my home. Once Christmas decor is put away, I will have various winter scenes and white florals around my home. Decorating is a fun leisure activity and brings me joy. In our new home, we have four transom windows (typically found above entry doors). Three are situated in our main bedroom and bring in more light. These areas make a surprisingly interesting way to display decor. Here is my current holiday decor over our front door.

transom light decor

I had random decorations to use and these stained glass tealight candle holders allow the light to come through.

Just this Thursday, it snowed most of the day, snarling traffic and closing some outdoor events in Spokane. I stayed home and took pictures! This is how I light the night in the front yard. I’m still amazed at how much light my camera lens grabs, especially with the snow reflecting the light. There is something quite serene in seeing winter snow lit up at night.

Lighting the night from within and outdoors

Many of you asked more about my holiday decorations. I managed to take a video from my phone and save it to YouTube (thanks, Hugh, for the suggestion)! Welcome to Christmas at my house!

Lighting the Night

The winter solstice is December 21, marking the northern hemisphere’s shortest day of the year. The good news is now we will gain one minute a day of sunlight until June! Meanwhile, the moon lights the night!

“It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.”

Richard Evans

A few more ways to light the night:

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesday: Candles or Lights
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Jude’s Life in Color: Kaleidoscope
Lens-Artists: Serene

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have until December 23 to share and link your post to this one.

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.

Please share your links by Dec 23 if you can as I am going on a break until January 9th. I would like to include your links in the current post while people are still reading rather than waiting for the January 9th post. However, I will include any in that post that miss the deadline. I might hop in for the January “Bloganuary” Challenge for a few days, too.

This is the last post of 2021 as I take a short break for the holidays. Please join me on January 9th with a look back on your photography highlights and your 2021 year in review. Meanwhile, follow me on my social media pages:

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

image from Color Planet

Wishing you all the most magical season filled with love and laughter! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to yours. “See” you on January 9th!

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© 2021-2022 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: #Metallic Taste

Christmas tree ornaments

This is our last color challenge for 2021 and we’re going out with a bang—metallic! Just in time for holiday decorating. Nothing says festive like silver bells, gold stars, and coppery tree ornaments. If you decorate a Christmas tree, I imagine you’ll find a few metallic objects readily available to photograph.

Christmas tree ornaments

As for “metallic taste” in my title, I hope you get the reference to decorating, although this challenge does not have to include décor in any way! I always leave the theme to your clever imaginations. There is something metallic in each image shared today.

My Festive Bon-Bons

Marsha’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesday challenge is “festive,” and I’m keeping it so with all this metallic “color!”

Festive Bon-Bon Banner

Today, I am also participating in a seasonal link-up challenge “Festive Bon-Bons,” co-hosted by Deb’s World, Retirement Reflections, and Women Living Well After 50.

Following are a series of questions and answers describing my bon-bon preferences.

“I love Christmas, because I can point and scream, ‘HO! HO! HO!’ and claim I was just being festive.”

Unknown

Christmas Favorites

Christmas Tree – do you have one, when does it go up, who decorates it, is there a theme or is it miss-matched? This year, our tree was finally put up after 12 years of languishing in its box. I started putting each branch together on this 9-foot tree before Thanksgiving at the end of November. It was up and decorated by Dec 1st! With a larger home, I have a second, smaller tree in our family room.

2021 Christmas Tree

“Colored lights blink on and off, racing across the green boughs. Their reflections dance across exquisite glass globes and splinter into shards against tinsel thread and garlands of metallic filaments that disappear underneath the other ornaments and finery.”

Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

I also love to decorate for any holiday. Here are some metallic Christmas decorations in the house…

metal Christmas decor
faux holly

Swirls of antique stained glass, blazes of brass, forests of carved wood and waterfalls of crystal combine to make up the city’s most fabulously festive interior.

Mimi Sheraton

Christmas traditions? If I’ve learned anything about holiday traditions is that they are not always “traditional” in the sense of the word. When my girls were young and went to their Dad’s home on Christmas Day, we celebrated on Christmas Eve with my family who would travel from San Diego to Sacramento each year. On Christmas Day we went to the movies! When I met Hans in 2009, we traveled each year to San Diego where both sets of families resided, until 2020, when we moved to Washington.

patiently waiting for Christmas in San Diego
Christmas in San Diego, CA means a trip to the beach

This year, new traditions are being made.

Last Sunday a local bar sponsored a Christmas Tree Lighting event in our town square area. Vendors sold holiday goodies including hot cider. We needed it while we strolled in the 24F temps before the tree was lighted.

Tree lighting selfie
Christmas Tree Lighting Selfie

We hope this is an annual event and the beginning of new holiday traditions. Now that we are connected to the school district with our part-time substitute jobs (me teaching and Hans maintaining facilities ), we learned of a special concert performed by the high school band/orchestra this week. A free concert featuring Christmas music on a public school campus? Yes, please! Other local events are coming up as well as family events. A definite festive start to December, with snow on the ground for seasoning!

Christmas memories? Keeping things in the present, December 14th marks the day we landed in Spokane, WA in 2020 and started a whole new life. How has it been a year already? We spent a quiet Christmas with my brother-in-law while we stayed in his home for a few weeks. We enjoyed a nice meal and listened to German Polka music and other Christmas songs. With just the four of us (covid restrictions were still in full swing, preventing families from gathering comfortably) it was mostly quiet. On Christmas night it snowed, and I was amazed how much light reflected off the snow.

Bright Snowy Night
Late Christmas Night 2020

Christmas Entertainment

Christmas carols – yes or no, faves? Traditional or modern. YES! My love for music is in my DNA. I enjoy just about every Christmas carol and hymns. My Spotify playlists featuring Christmas songs are quite extensive and include traditional pop, quiet instrumental, and music associated with movie themes. As many of you may have read, I hosted the Holiday song lyric photo challenge last week and learned a few new songs from other Sunday Stills participants! Of course, I love “Silver Bells” and Lindsey Stirling’s violin version of “Celtic Carol,” but I also love Josh Groban’s theme song to Polar Express.

Christmas books – any faves you want to tell us about? My reading preferences are extensive but for Christmas, I enjoy a good Debbie Macomber novel, and Mrs. Miracle novels come to mind.

Charlie Brown Christmas

Christmas movies – any you watch year after year? We are Hallmark Channel Christmas movie watchers and are thankful we can enjoy these through our satellite TV, since our internet is too inconsistent to stream video for now. I enjoy the Jim Carrey version of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but the original TV show version of The Grinch never fails to make me weep as the townspeople of Whoville gather and sing, even without their presents and feast. And it’s not Christmas if I miss A Charlie Brown Christmas or Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (TV shows).

Holiday Food

Expanding on new traditions, I got a stand mixer for my birthday. I have witnesses now that I made my first pumpkin pie in it!

Stand mixer

Christmas cake – yes or no? Nope, just in case you mean fruitcake.
Chocolate, nuts or fruit? Chocolate. Any. Time. Of. Year
What’s on the table? We are heading to a huge family Christmas Eve feast!

Metallic Holiday Decor
My sister-in-law’s festive table with metallic candlesticks

At the End of the day…All I want for Christmas is… normalcy. We are getting there.

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes. In addition to Festive Bon-Bon Challenge and Marsha’s WQW challenges, I want to share my sincere thank-you to Dawn at The Day After for her many weeks of hosting 2021 Festival of Leaves. She shares a great wrap-up.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

The Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post.

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.

Musical Earworms Left By Last Week’s Bloggers

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite holiday song lyrics with photos.

Always Write

Beach Walk Reflections

Bushboys World

Calling All Rush Babes

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

The Day After

Deb’s World

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Equipoise Life

Graham’s Island

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Light Write Life

Loving Life

Musin’ With Susan

Natalie the Explorer

Priorhouse Blog

Retirement Reflections Image shared in comments

Stevie Turner

The Southwest Rambler

Travel With Me

Travels and Trifles

Wind Kisses

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Next Sunday, Dec 19th will be the last post of 2021 as I take a short break for the holidays. Please join me as we “light the night!” Sunday Stills will be back on January 9th with a look back on your photography highlights and your 2021 year in review.

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© 2021-2022 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: Christmas #Song Lyric Photo Challenge

Silver Bells on the Christmas Tree

Welcome to the holiday version of the Sunday Stills Song Lyric Photo Challenge!

The idea of this challenge is to match images related to your favorite song lyrics. If this is unclear, it might be best to think of your favorite song(s) and highlight some lyrics with your new or existing photos that help tell the story.

Also, to avoid copyright infringements of published lyrics, only post a few lines rather than the entire song. If you write poetry or your own songs, you can certainly use your work for this theme!

To see how the challenge works, here are examples from Always Write and my example from this summer’s song lyric challenge post.

Celebrating the Holidays!

Now that we are celebrating the winter holidays, think of your favorite holiday music or poem. I am choosing the song Silver Bells.

“Silver Bells” is a popular Christmas song composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. It was sung in the generally known version by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the motion picture The Lemon Drop Kid, which was filmed in July and August 1950 and released in March 1951. Since then, artists like Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, and the Judds, to name a few. Source

My favorite is Anne Murray’s version. I feel a real sense of nostalgia as I listen to the joyful lyrics that describe people preparing for Christmas.

Silver Bells

Winter streets of Coeur D'Alene
Snow falls in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style

Holiday Christmas Lights

In the air, there’s a feeling
Of Christmas.

Festive Porch lights

Children laughing, people passing
Meeting smile after smile…

Seeing the Lights
Japanese Exchange student and I enjoyed the Christmas lights in 2018

…And on every street corner, you’ll hear
Silver bells…

Christmas tree ornaments

It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling
Hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas Day.

Strings of streetlights, even stoplights
Blink of bright red and green

Red and Green Holiday Decor

Hear the snow crunch
See the kids bunch

This is Santa’s big scene…

Silver bells
Silver bells
It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring
Soon it will be Christmas Day!

Silver Bells on the Christmas Tree
Silver Bells on the Christmas Tree

Silver Bells © 1950 Copyright Writers Ray Evans, Jay Livingston; Sung by Anne Murray 1987

A Wordless Celtic Carol

Lindsey Stirling in Concert
Lindsey Stirling in Concert

Even though there are no lyrics to this, who needs them when you watch this performance by Lindsey Stirling! So impressed was I with her electric violin, when the opportunity came to see her perform in concert in Sacramento during Thanksgiving weekend in 2018, we jumped on it, got great seats, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! Below is the YouTube version from CMT Country Christmas.

‘Tis the Season

“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

― Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express

Part of this wonderfully and sometimes chaotic season includes birthdays–mine! I turned the Big 6-2 on Saturday, Dec 4th. For many in the US, age 62 traditionally marks the first year one can receive social security benefits and/or retire from full-time employment. Both my 62-year-old hubby and I are waiting until at least 67 to draw on the benefits. Meanwhile, we still know how to play!

celebrating a birthday
60th Birthday Celebration in 2019

Don’t forget to make time for yourselves this holiday season, and “play” as Marsha suggests in this week’s Writers’ Quotes Wednesdays challenge. Listening to holiday music, walking outdoors, stopping to sip hot cocoa, or even playing with your children/grandchildren is good medicine for our holiday-weary (or covid-weary) souls!

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

George Bernard Shaw
Tree Lighting poster

Tonight, hubby and I are going to an old-fashioned Christmas Tree Lighting a few miles away in the main town of Nine Mile Falls.

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes, when possible. As I attempt to connect my images to other challenges this week, I fell short. No flowers or leaves, unless my faux tree and the scene in Balboa Park qualify! In any case, please visit me fellow challangers and play along this week!

Alway’s Write Writers Quotes Wednesday: Toys or Play
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Dawn’s Festival of Leaves
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Jude’s Life in Color: Kaleidoscope

Lens-Artists Challenge: Celebrate

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their coziest photos.

Beach Walk Reflections

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Frost on the Moose Dung

Graham’s Island

Green Dreams

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Kamerapromenader

A Birthday Post for Me! Light Words

Loving Life

NEW Manny’s Adventures

Musin’ With Susan

Picture Retirement

Philosophy Through Photography

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

Robert’s Snap Spot

Stevie Turner

This is Another Story

Travel With Me

Une photo, un poème

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

Sunday Stills weekly photo challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post. I look forward to your favorite holiday songs highlighted with some of your new or favorite photos. Have a wonderful week!

treesignatureholidays

© 2021-2022 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: Getting #Cozy

In our rushed world, now filled with fears of viruses, etc, many of us have forgotten what it’s like to be cozy. The last two years have hopefully taught us that being safe in our own homes and neighborhoods provides contentment and that feeling of coziness if we can’t be close to our loved ones.

I felt cozy in my former home. I started a family there in 1988 and lived in the house with both daughters. In 2009, I met Hans whom I married a few years later. He helped make that house cozier with his carpentry and building talents, and of course, his humor and love! Seems once we got her looking gorgeous, we said goodbye!

We scratched the itch to move and we began a new life in a larger home and property. It is surprisingly easy to keep it cozy and warm, which is a great idea when you live in the Pacific Northwest.

Cozy house in first snow
First snow of late Autumn

As I prepare to spend my second full winter here, I am still shocked at how soon the sun sets. Not only is the sun low in the sky all day, but according to this source,

“The sun will set before 4 p.m. every day after that until the Winter Solstice. Then, the days will slowly start getting longer again. The next time the sun will set at 5 p.m. is Feb. 7, 2022.”

I guess I’ll be getting cozy for a few months yet. Not hard to do with this guy!

Cozy at Home
A cozy selfie on Thanksgiving morning

When I’m home, I like a cozy, comfortable, calming space.

Stacy Keibler

How would you define cozy?

Oxford Dictionary defines COZY as “giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation:
“a cozy cabin tucked away in the trees.”

Everyone can identify with a fragrant garden, with beauty of sunset, with the quiet of nature, with a warm and cozy cottage.

Thomas Kinkade

“Cozy” can be found in the warmth of a kitchen or an inviting mountainside setting.

The Danish have a word to describe the idea of “cozy,” known as Hygge (pronounced hue-ga). Hygge is a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being, according to Oxford Dictionaries. Snuggling with pets and blankets suggests coziness and is good for your mental health.

Cozy or Hygge Hobbies

There are hobbies that are considered “cozy” or “hygge.” In this era of self-care, cultivating a hobby that brings you joy and contentment is a must-do. Depending on your interests, you can go for hobbies where you create coziness, like knitting, quilting, and crochet. Other home arts include soap-making, candle-making, and baking. I enjoy holiday decorating to make my home look cozier.

Cozy German Christmas Decor
Close-up German Christmas Village Scene

If you’re outdoorsy or fitness-oriented, hiking or walking and filling your eyes with beautiful scenery is always a win. While you’re out and about, try your hand at taking pictures and cultivating a love for photography. Our mobile devices make it impossible NOT to capture a fine photograph.

There are hundreds of wonderful hobbies available to explore.

Speaking of photography, it is up there in my top two favorite hobbies of all time (hiking is the other). I have not forgotten about Writers’ Quotes Wednesdays Writers’ Choice prompt (forgotten) this week. I think this quote works wonderfully for the idea!

Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.

Aaron Siskind

Even Bald Eagles Get Cozy

Last weekend, we drove 60 miles to Higgens Point on Lake Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, to see bald eagles congregate as they hunt for spawning kokanee salmon. We picked a great day with clear blue skies. More seagulls than eagles, but oh my, I finally got some of my own fab photos of eagles! This eagle pair hung out together and I can’t believe I caught this image of them looking “fondly” at each other and cozy together in the same tree.

Cozy Eagles
Bald Eagle Pair

Here is a close-up of one of the pair. The eagle photos were taken with my Lumix FZ300 at full 600 zoom in aperture mode.

American Bald Eagle
A cozy branch

As we walked back to our car, I looked back and caught the eagle couple in another cozy pose. Aww.

A cozy pair

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes when possible.

December’s themes are ready for your viewing pleasure on my Sunday Stills Photography Page.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite ruby-wine color challenge photos.

Always Write

Beach Walk Reflections

Bushboys World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

The Day After

Deb’s World

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Geriatrix Fotogallerie

Graham’s Island

Hugh’s Views and News Image shared in comments

Jacquie Biggar, Author

Kamerapromenader

Light Words

Light Write Life

Loving Life

My Camera and I

Now At Home

Philosophy Through Photography

Photos By Jez

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

Robert’s Snap Spot

NEW TBL

This is Another Story

Travels and Trifles

Travel With Me

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

Sunday Stills weekly challenge is easy to join. You have all week to share and link your post. I appreciate so many loyal participants each week and am blown away by your talents!

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

I’m looking forward to your posts featuring “cozy!” Next week, December 5th is the Christmas Song Lyric Photo Challenge, where you try to match your images to selected lyrics of your favorite Christmas song. We had fun this summer, click here to see how we all did it–easier than you think.

Wishing you a COZY week!

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: Drinking in the Ruby #Wine

Fresh snow on branch

Welcome to the November monthly color challenge! This month’s color is “ruby wine.” Think rich burgundies, deep red fall leaves and loads of florals, food, maroon automobiles, animals… well the list is endless. This image shows the color that heads toward the brownish-red part of the spectrum but any color that is close will do!

Color palette burgandy
Ruby Wine palette

I have included in my images the last of the autumn leaves as well as other ruby-wine images to inspire you.

“Mother nature colors the season of dying with such beauty; I think she was very wise.”

D. Wallace Peach, Blogger & Author

About that quote from Diana…she left that comment on my post from last week (trees and leaves) and her words inspired me to use them as a quote (with her permission).

Here are a few more images of Autumn’s blush. I have quite a few images of my Japanese Maple that stayed behind in my former house in Sacramento.

There is Silence in Late Autumn

Last week I commented on Marsha’s WQWWC/Sunday Stills post about the experience of “listening” to the silence of falling leaves. In that same silence, I love hearing the crisp leaves skittering across the street with a whiff of wind, knowing that fall was either near or at its end.

“I saw old Autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like Silence, listening to Silence.”

Thomas Hood

Early this week, we had some morning frost that lasted until noon. The young manager of the nursery/farm down the street offered to get our trees and plant them as a thank you for all the volunteering we did at the Fall Festival in October. He planted two maples, 3 quaking aspen, and one ash. The willow and dogwood are on their way. Trees were planted Tuesday; frost on Wednesday and snow on Thursday! He assures me that the trees are well-insulated and will thrive and grow in their dormant state. The last maple leaves put on a show!

And THIS happened Thursday, overnight! There is something so quiet and silent about a snow-covered earth.

Textures of Ruby Wine

This time last year we were packing and saying goodbye to my former home in Sacramento. For the real estate photographer, I dressed her up for the prom, with this image of the main bedroom.

Main bedroom
image by Rich Baum Photography

Some more colors to inspire you, here in linens and decoration.

Actual Wine

Do you drink wine? I do so occasionally but prefer white or rosé. I poured this glass pictured just for this challenge, for photograph purposes of course.

Glass of Cabernet


I thought this quote fit the bill…

Burgundy makes you think of silly things; Bordeaux makes you talk about them, and Champagne makes you do them.

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by my fellow bloggers’ photo challenges. I find it fun to try to incorporate these into my Sunday Stills weekly themes.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite leaves and trees! Welcome three new folks to the Sunday Stills family!

Always Write

Bend Branches

Between the Lines

The Bloggler

NEW Calling All Rush Babes

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

The Day After

Deb’s World

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Equipoise Life

Frost on the Moose Dung

Graham’s Island

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

NEW Just Blue Dutch

Kamerapromenader

Life Lessons

Loving Life

Musin’ With Susan

NEW My Camera and I

Natalie the Explorer

Now At Home

Philosophy Through Photography

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

NEW Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Stevie Turner

This is Another Story

Travel With Me

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

I hope you enjoyed drinking in these rich rubywine colors today. Join me next week when we get “cozy,” then the first Sunday of December is Christmas song lyric photo challenge. I may be a little slow on approving your linked posts on Sunday…please bear with me as I am chasing eagles at Lake Couer D’Alene in Idaho this morning! If you celebrate Thanksgiving in the US, I wish you a wonderful time gathering with friends and family.

Have a beautiful week!

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: #Leaves have Fallen from the #Trees

Welp, it’s happened. Fall fell, at least here in Eastern Washington. Despite a lengthy Autumn due to warmer than normal temps in September and October, we experienced weeks of unprecedented Autumn color. Now comes November with the first frost and the leaves have danced to the ground into piles of color. Thankfully, no leaves in our yard. Yet.

“Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than daffodils.”

Cyril Connolly

The Sunday Stills theme this week is leaves and trees. No matter which hemisphere you live in, you have these!

Before the first frost and a few random snowflakes, our overnight temperatures were in the upper 30s to low 40F (3-5C), which kept the leaves on the trees a few more days. The bright yellow trees in their Autumn glory seem to be illuminated with sunshine on this late October gray day. I saw this view as I drove home from town and literally turned around and parked on this street, hopped out of the car, and took several photos.

Aside from amazing trees in our area like red-leafed maple and golden aspen, all juxtaposed onto deep green evergreens, a new (to me) tree has captured my imagination. (Hint: in the above image, you can see it to the left).

Arrowleaf Balsamroot wild sunflower

Why is it special? Before I share, just let me say that you already know my love for sunflowers and pine trees. Of course, here in Eastern Washington, evergreens are everywhere (they don’t call Washington the “Evergreen State” for nothing). I posted a few months ago about my surprise at discovering wild sunflowers growing amidst the pine forests.

So…drumroll please…imagine my joy at discovering a conifer (notice I didn’t say evergreen), that turns golden yellow in the Autumn and drops its needles just like a deciduous tree!

Whaaattt? A Golden Pine Tree?

The Western Larch (sometimes called Tamarack) is a majestic conifer found at higher elevations in the Pacific Northwest and into Canada.

This photo started it all when my brother-in-law showed me his pics from his weekly drives to Montana. I thought “how beautiful, look at the sunlight on those pine trees!” He said the trees were actually yellow! Swoon. This image shows the mountainside covered in larches shrouded in gray fog.

Without trees, mountains, fogs or rains, the Sun cannot create its own magic in the morning!

Mehmet Murat Ildan
Western Larch in Montana
Original image by E. Schrandt

In a foggy morning, sunshine coming through the trees looks so divine that we seriously think it is the hand of the very divinity itself!

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Western larch (Larix occidentalis) and subalpine larch (Larix lyalli) grow in the interior Pacific Northwest (Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) of the U.S. and British Columbia, Canada. They are conifer trees like pines because they have needles instead of leaves, and their seeds grow in cones. Unlike pines they are not evergreen; they are deciduous. In the autumn, the needles of larches turn golden and then drop off the branches. Western larch is used for the production of Venice turpentine. The wood is highly prized as firewood in the Pacific Northwest where it is often called “tamarack.” The wood burns with a sweet fragrance and a distinctive popping noise.

Source

I’m obsessed!

We see two species here in Eastern Washington: The Western Larch (above) and the European Larch. Below is the European Larch, most likely planted, and distinguished by its long, willowy branches. Whereas the Western Larch grows wild on rocky ridges and has shorter needle clusters. Of course, both trees turn yellow and their needles fall to the Earth.

Golden European Larch

Willowy European Larch and its needle clusters.

And just like when you see that same car everywhere when thinking about buying a new one, yep, these stately yellow tamaracks are everywhere!

Autumn Splendor
Autumn splendor featuring golden Western Larch in center

My Festival of Leaves

Earlier I mentioned the leaves have mostly fallen and have now imbued the Earth with magical carpets.

“Listen …
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break free from the trees
And fall.”

Adelaide Crapsey

Below are a few images of fallen leaves enjoying laying around within their magic carpets. From this…

October Maples

To this…

Rosy fallen leaves

And more!

“I wonder if leaves feel lonely when they see their neighbors falling?”

John Muir

More Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by the following bloggers’ images and photo challenges.

Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesday Writer’s Choice (Writer’s Choice or Fog–I have a little of both)
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Dawn’s Festival of Leaves
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Jude’s Life in Color: Black or Gray

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Shapes and Design

I’m also adding this post with my walk through the Autumn leaves and trees to Jo’s Monday Walk!

Who doesn’t love seeing images of our furry friends, wild or domestic, and all kinds of birds as we saw last week? A fabulous variety as shown by the number of links this week!

Always Write

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Bend Branches

Between the Lines

The Bloggler

Bushboys World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Geriatrix Fotogallerie

Graham’s Island

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Kamerapromenader

Light Words

Life Lessons

Loving Life

Mama Cormier

Musin’ With Susan

Now At Home

Philosophy Through Photography

Photos By Jez

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

Robert’s Snap Spot

Soul N Spirit

Stevie Turner

Travel With Me

NEW Wolf’s Birding and Bonsai Blog

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

I can’t wait to see what your trees and leaves look like this time of year! Next week, the Sunday Stills challenge is all about the color ruby wine or burgundy, just in time for the Thanksgiving celebrations in the US. Have a wonderful week!

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: Fur-tastic Paws and Birds of a Feather

BW warm dogs

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge is all about fur and feathers. Or how about plumage and paws?

Although I draw inspiration from a variety of sources, this week, I’m extra-inspired by Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Feet or Paws and Marsha’s WQWWC: Cold. Images of my fur-babies will demonstrate this week’s theme, while my feathered friends will tell the rest of the story.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

November 7 marks the end of daylight savings time in the US (not that we were saving much this time of year in the cold north). At least it will be lighter in the morning instead of being dark until 7:30am here in Northeastern Washington. Less daylight means the feeling of cold is much more acute. Most of the fall leaves have fallen and are making beautiful messes carpets in people’s yards. The weather this week is predicted to be a rain-snow mix in the mountain areas.

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Aero and Brodie love keeping warm in their cold climate. Like Marsha’s Puppy Girl, Aero needs his sweaters for indoors and out!

BW warm dogs

In 2017, Brodie was still working on his nose scratching or paw-fives at 6 months old.

Dog high five

The American Kennel Club recommends:

Cuddling up with a dog is nothing new; think of the phrase “three dog night,” which describes a night so cold that one needs to sleep with three dogs to keep warm. Cuddling with another human, a dog, or both, not only keeps us warm, it releases oxytocin, also known as the “trust hormone” and the “cuddle chemical.”

AKC
It's Cold outside, for pets

And just for fun, how about some wool fleece “fur” as a liner for my snow boots? Keeps my feet warm!

Sorel Boots

Our pets know we love them and in return give us countless moments of pleasure along with their unconditional love.

Fur-Babes We Miss

Gone but not forgotten, we wish we could still cuddle our previous pets. It’s been 10 years since I lost my Oreo (shown in the gallery above). I will always remember my sweet orange Leon who loved to lay on top of the car, still warm from the engine.

Leon the Cat
Leon's Memorial

“The years may seem to slowly pass,
Memories may begin to wane,
The time we long for will come at last,
When we shall be together again.”

Gary Kurz, Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates

Fantastic Feathers

As much as we LOVE our furry babes, and they are fur-ever mine, let’s pay tribute to our fabulous feathered friends. I miss seeing my Anna hummingbirds. Hopefully, I will get some visitors this spring! Enjoy my feathered friends’ gallery below.

Happy Hummingbird

Magnificent bald eagle, not a magnificent photo…yet…

Bald Eagle circle Lake Couer D'Alene

…Which Bring Me to…An Amazing Journey

Last spring and summer, I had the delightful opportunity to follow a Facebook group called Blue Bell Court Eagles that featured a family of eagles that had built a nest in the photographer’s backyard. Diana posted daily her incredible images of Mom and Pop Eagle and their juvenile eaglet, Journey.

Disclaimer: Once again, Diana has graciously given me permission to share her photos on my blog today.

Bluebell Court Eagles c DianaGigler
Baby Eaglet Journey and Mom

I became emotionally attached knowing this bald eagle family lives within 5 miles of my house while marveling at Journey’s growth, through Diana’s stunning photography. Incidentally, some of her eagle images are on display at the local firehouse.

Bluebell Court Eagles c DianaGigler
Eaglet Journey keeps parents busy!

In June, due to oppressive and unprecedented heat in our area, Journey fledged early from the nest. He was rescued within the day and taken to Eastern Idaho’s Birds of Prey Northwest, where he spent weeks being nursed back to health and strong enough to be released back into the wild.

Bluebell Court Eagles c DianaGigler
Juvenile Journey Before the Fledge

Although his flight was strong and sure upon his release, he did not return to his nest, we were assured that he is still being cared for and trained to hunt and fish by his stalwart parents. Diana and I met in person at her home a few weeks ago where she showed me the nest. Although mostly empty now, save for a few curious local birds and occasional visits from Mom and Pop Eagle, Diana explained to me that they will be soon busy prepping the nest for a late winter hatching. I’m excited to be invited back in early spring for coffee and photography from her deck! My own eagle pics! I can’t wait!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

More Photo Challenges this Week

Cee’s Flower of the Day
Dawn’s Festival of Leaves
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Jude’s Life in Color: Black or Gray

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

This week I am looking forward to your creative ideas for fur and feathers! Go ahead, be “Paw-ssionate” and remain “Paws-itive” because I know you are each quite the amazing “photograph-fur.”

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite EERIE photos.

Always Write

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

The Day After

NEW ThreeSixFiveSnap

Geriatrix Fotogallerie

Graham’s Island

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Kamerapromenader

Kanlaon

Light Words

Loving Life

Musin’ With Susan

Now At Home

Photos By Jez

Priorhouse Blog

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

Stevie Turner

Travel With Me

Une photo, un poème

Wind Kisses

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Next week, our theme is all about leaves and trees! Enjoy your week!

paws signature

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: #Eerie Sights and Sounds

Spooky Sunrise

Now that my children are grown and gone, I really don’t celebrate the day much except for a few mild decorations, which I shared last week.

Since Sunday Stills landed on Halloween today, I was inspired for this week’s theme, “Eerie,” by the Google Chrome theme “Eerie Autumn” which cycles wallpaper images to my desktop. Creepy spiderwebs, misty moons, and decrepit graveyards adorn my desktop as a reminder that Halloween is in the eye of the beholder.

Eerie Full Moon
Eerie full moon viewed through pine trees

The definition of Eerie is: “Uncanny, so as to inspire superstitious fear; weird: an eerie midnight howl. (esp of places, an atmosphere, etc) mysteriously or uncannily frightening or disturbing; weird; ghostly”

Merriam Webster Dictionary

As I was capturing decor images last week, I got this eerie one on my porch.

Halloween decor and dog
Doesn’t Brodie’s photobomb make this image look creepy?

Do you get many trick-or-treaters where you live? In my former Sacramento neighborhood, despite being around the corner from the elementary school, we rarely got visitors on Halloween. This coincided with 9-11 in 2001, and it’s been crickets ever since. As I write this I’m wondering if we will get any on our new street, which still does not show up on some folks’ google maps! There are only two occupied homes, and unless parents drive their kids (golf carts and ATVs are a popular way to zip around here), I doubt we will see many kids out on our street. Oh well, more candy for me!

Eerie Editing

Back to our theme, what makes an image “eerie?” With our sunny days and cold nights, we’ve had lots of ground fog which makes for an eerie photo.

Spooky Sunrise
Eerie Sunrise in black and white

“At night the fog was thick and full of light, and sometimes voices.”

Erin Bow, Plain Kate

Another way to invoke “eerie” is to shoot or edit in black and white. I took the original image, then edited it to black and white, and added some other effects.

Suburban pocket forestEerie Edited Forest
A beautiful forest transforms into an eerie sight on Halloween

A visit to Apple Hill near Sacramento in 2019 on the actual Halloween day gave us inspiration for some wine-tasting using this creepy gargoyle aerator!

Gargoyle Wine Stopper

If you use your imagination, perhaps with a twist of the screen, you’ll find mythical beasts in the reflections.

Autumn Lake ReflectionsDragon Faces at an angle

Eerie Sounds

Speaking of eerie. Recently, in our backyard with my dog Aero about 1:30am, I heard what I thought was a coyote howling. I’m terrified my little 13-pound dog will be attacked by coyotes (it has happened to neighbors’ dogs!). So I am vigilant when we go out to do his business. I waited for the yip-yip to accompany the spine-chilling “howl” but heard nothing except another howl, this time with undertones of a whistle and roar. Sufficiently nervous, we went in quickly and I thought no more about it until I read another blogger’s post (Donna from Wind Kisses) which described the mating call of the bull elk during the Autumn mating season as a “bugle.” It was then I realized I had heard an elk’s mating call. That close to my backyard?? As the video suggests, I imagined Tolkein’s ringwraiths calling to me! Eerriieee!

Eerie Aurora

I’ve been dying to share this image on my blog. Many of you might have already seen it on Instagram and Facebook. I follow a Facebook group called Nine Mile Aurora Chasers and I read a post that mentioned weather conditions were perfect for the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, to be seen in Spokane, Washington area. Yes, please.

To my naked eye, the aurora looked merely like a grey, misty cloud on the horizon. Had I not been tipped off by Google and the Facebook group, I would have missed it. When I imagine the northern lights, I expect to see eerie green and blue ripples of light dancing above my head. I’ve since learned you must be much further north to see them in that fashion.

The northern lights usually occur between 60 and 75 degrees of latitude, which covers northern parts of Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Alaska and Russia as well as all of Iceland.

Discover the World

I used my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ to photograph the horizon to the northeast from my house using night mode. When I saw what my lens saw, I jumped for joy. Using a little ambient light from the neighbors’ lights helped more than hindered.

Aurora Borealis from my porch
Aurora Borealis from my porch

The Aurora is created when the energy from a solar flare emitted by our sun hits earth. One such flare hit earth Monday night, creating a rare spectacle that could be seen across much of the norther tier of the United States. The aurora was visible across the Inland Northwest thanks to clear skies overhead and relatively early nightfall this time of year.

KREM 2 News

A rare and joyful, if slightly eerie experience, indeed.

“Sharp winds ruffled his coat and caused bare tree limbs to bend and rustle, throwing eerie shadows on the ground.”

Mateo’s Law

Do you know what else is eerie? According to WordPress:

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 10 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Photo Challenges this Week

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their favorite seasonal decoration photos. If at any point I have accidentally left anyone off the list, please let me know!

Always Write

Bushboys World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Deb’s World

Easin’ Along (Image shared in comments)

Equipoise Life (Image shared in comments)

Geriatrix Fotogallerie

Graham’s Island

Hugh’s Views and News (Image shared in Comments)

Loving Life

Musin With Susan

Priorhouse Blog

Retirementally Challenged

Retirement Reflections (Image posted on Instagram)

Shutters on the World

Soul N Spirit

Stevie Turner

Wind Kisses

Woolly Muses

Women Living Well After 50

Working on Exploring

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

November’s themes are ready for your viewing pleasure on my Sunday Stills Photography Page. Next Sunday the theme is “Fur and Feathers.”

I look forward to your eerie posts all week!

Halloween Signature

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: Indoor/Outdoor #Décor

Wood block Haloween decor

This might seem like a strange theme this week, but between Halloween and Autumn (or Spring) decorations, I thought it would be fun to see what everyone else sees. I like to surround myself with the colors and signs of the season. As the holidays approach, seems like indoor and outdoor décor is all around us in some form or another.

Porch Decor
Welcome to my festive front porch

In the first image you see, I bought these decorations from the Fall Festival local vendors and picked up a few pumpkins. I need a bigger porch! On the back of the Harvest sign is a Christmas-inspired theme. Double-duty–I like it!

Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesdays Writers Choice theme this week is resilience or fortitude. What has this got to do with decorating? Glad you asked!

“Resilience is the capacity of a system, enterprise, or person to maintain its core purpose and integrity in the face of dramatically changed circumstances.”

Andrew Zolli

If you’ve followed my blog for the last year, you know about our move to the Pacific Northwest (Spokane, Washington) from Northern California. When you stage a home, you sadly put away any decorations, so we packed 99% of it and moved three-quarters of our stuff to Spokane and placed it in storage. (Yes, we are still unpacking).

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” – Fred Rogers

My fabulous re-decorated fireplace ala Joanna Gaines style

I used to be limited to décor in my former house, choosing to decorate around the fireplace mantel. I still have each and every piece shown in the picture (and more)!

One year ago this week, I tested positive for covid while feverishly putting the final touches on our home to ready it for sale.

Luckily my bout with covid was mild and we were back on our feet making final arrangements for the move. 2020 was crazy in many respects, proving resilience and fortitude are needed when buying and selling real estate and moving during a pandemic.

“Facing the pandemic, it’s not what happened (that) matters, it is how we respond.”
― Napz Cherub Pellazo

Indoor Décor

You will see that with a larger home, more time on my hands, and not being able to decorate last Autumn and Winter, I have made up the difference.

Autumn-Inspired

I found this vintage wall sconce at a thrift store in GreenBluff Farms area. A little DIY by adding no-flame candles and Autumn festivity. After Thanksgiving, to make it a seasonal decoration, I will add green and red garland.

This bowl of bird-like gourds seemed to fit well on my living room coffee table.

Autumn Gourds
Bird-like gourds grace my living room table

“Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.” —Charles M. Schulz

Halloween-Inspired

The skull in the first image was a specialty bottle of tequila. I picked up this adorable wood block trio from a local vendor while volunteering at the Fall Festival.

Décor Out and About

I frequently get inspired by indoor décor from others: restaurants, family and neighbors. The toy image is a Painnt-filtered version of my SIL’s Christmas village from two years ago.

Nature’s Decorations

No matter the season, nature does a fabulous job of decorating our outdoor spaces. Autumn is at its peak here in Northeastern Washington. Storm winds and rain are expected all weekend to inevitably blow the leaves from the trees. Good thing I did my leaf-seeking all this week and can post those images for a few more weeks!

On my former university campus in Sacramento, groundskeepers use fallen ginkgo tree leaves to decorate.

Campus Decor For Fall

Some neighbors don’t have to rely on store-bought decorations with nature providing most of the them.

I wonder if these folks know how gorgeous their home looks from across the lake?

Autumn Lake Reflections

Do you decorate your homes or work spaces for each season?

“An empty room is a story waiting to happen, and you’re the author.” Charlotte Moss

Photo Challenges This Week

This week, I am linking with the challenges of these talented bloggers and photographers:

Marsha’s WQWWC Fortitude or Resilience
Dawn’s Festival of Leaves
Jude’s Life in Color: Orange
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Becky B’s Past Squares

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

BLOGGERS’ IN THE PINK LINKS

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from 34(!) bloggers who shared their favorite photos in pink that honor breast cancer awareness month.

Always Write

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Blog of Hammad Rais

Bushboy’s World

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

The Day After

Deb’s World Image shared on Instagram

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Equipoise Life

Geriatrix Foto Gallery

Graham’s Island

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Jacquie Biggar Author

Kamerapromenader

Life Lessons

Loving Life

Musin’ with Susan

Natalie the Explorer

Now At Home

Philosophy Through Photography

Photos By Jez

Picture This

Retirementally Challenged

Retirement Reflections image on Instagram

Stevie Turner

Shutters on the World

NEW Soul N Spirit

This is Another Story

Travel With Me

Women Living Well After 50

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Every week I look forward to reading your Sunday Stills posts and enjoying your fabulous photos and other creative ideas! Next week, we’ll celebrate Halloween and the theme of “eerie.”

Autumn Bitmoji

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: The #Pink Side of October

Pink Dawn

I know, I know, another color challenge, well, kinda…

I enjoyed all of your fabulous oranges last week for the monthly color challenge. But Elle Woods would argue…

“Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed.”

Elle Woods, Legally Blonde

These “pretty in pink” adorable twins enjoyed riding the harvest train and frolicking all morning at the Stone Lodge Farms Fall Festival.

farm girls love pink
Farm girls love pink!

While we read a little about Breast Cancer Awareness, please think of ways to honor the month with your favorite pink images.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink Coffee

It has been a while since I posted something to acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month which is typically recognized in October. With the focus on Covid, many of our wellness campaigns for illnesses and diseases we still encounter every day have taken a backseat to the pandemic.

Sadly, they don’t go away just because Covid so rudely took center stage for almost 2 years.

At the height of the pandemic, routine cancer screenings declined by 90%. Screenings have resumed and doctors are diagnosing later-stage cancers — things that might have been caught earlier, according to NPR Radio.

The familiar pink ribbon stands for prevention, detection, treatment, and increased breast cancer awareness and is recognized as the traditional trademark of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

(image by Pexels)

Way Too Many

Do you know someone, a friend, colleague, or family member who has been diagnosed with breast cancer? I have.

Way too many.

Do you know someone, a friend, colleague, or family member who has died as a result of breast cancer? I have.

Way too many.

In the popular media, we are surrounded by images of pink ribbons promoting the fight against breast cancer. From the National Football League where players sport pink towels, shoe laces, socks, and other uniform accessories, to people wearing pink clothing, or sporting pink ribbons on their cars (and windsurf sails).

“In 2020, there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer and 685,000 deaths globally. As of the end of 2020, there were 7.8 million women alive who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 5 years, making it the world’s most prevalent cancer.

World Health Organization

No matter who you are or where you live, understanding breast cancer is important. But the most important thing to know is this: a diagnosis is not a death sentence. Breast cancer can be treated.

Men can also contract breast cancer, too.

The Susan G. Komen organization is instrumental worldwide in fundraising efforts for the research and prevention of breast cancer, as well as the advocacy and support for those afflicted.

I hope you have given some thought to the victims and survivors of breast cancer. I personally know (and knew) over a dozen women who battled breast cancer…some won, some lost. A best friend and work colleague, both just over 50 at the time of diagnosis…survived. My daughters’ step-mom, 41, and another work colleague, 63…both lost their battles.

I traditionally get a mammogram during the month of October. If you are a woman over 40, please get one. If your health provider balks at 40-year-olds asking for mammograms, argue with them.

A young woman who worked for me a few years ago was diagnosed at age 31. The cancer was aggressive and resulted in chemo, radiation, and a double mastectomy. She is a cancer survivor at 38.

Years ago, when my daughter, Lauren, lost her step-mother to breast cancer, she wanted to honor her step-mother and help raise funds for research and prevention by doing a walk for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event traditionally held in April, in Sacramento. She asked me to join her. I did.

And the 10,000 breast cancer survivors and their families?

Happily, that day, I walked alongside way too many.

The Pink Side of October

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – L.M. Montgomery

Pink and red Maple Leves
I blush pink and red!

Although we are focusing on pink, October is a prime month for some of the best Autumn colors as many leaves reach their color peak in the Northern Hemisphere. This took some getting used to as I recall my almost 40 years of Autumns in Northern California when the peak was typically between mid- to end of November.

Here in Northeastern Washington, we seem to be at the normal peak of colors now that maple trees have blushed their way into Fall. Hey, it’s almost pink, and I am saving the dark reds for November’s color challenge “ruby wine.”

Speaking of color, I’d like to share Sue’s 100-day project, Bringing More Color into My Life. Her blog Women Living Well After 50, talks about active aging for women over 50 and beyond.

Enjoy my pink images inspired by the pink ribbon that represents hope for the cure.

“Pink is a beautiful color, because it is one of the colors that the sun makes at twilight and in the dawns.”

C. JoyBell C

A pink dawn to inspire yet another day for breast cancer survivors.

Pink Dawn
Very little editing…cropped and adjusted contrast

Other Ways to Acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month

  • Friday, October 22, 2021: Real Kids Wear Pink Day
  • Wear pink the rest of the month.
  • Share your pink images on social media and in the blogosphere.
  • Donate to your local Breast canceer awareness campaign.
liquid amber leaves
A mix of orange and pink leaves

So while we celebrate those who have survived breast cancer and remember fondly those who succumbed to it, think of something special in the color pink that holds a memory for you.

Photo Challenges This Week

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

“Orange” You Glad These Bloggers Linked Last Week?

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Below are the last week’s links from 27 bloggers who shared their favorite orange photos. I always appreciate those who visit other Sunday Stills participants and support our blogging efforts!

Always Write

The Bloggler

Blog of Hammad Rais

Bushboy’s World

Cath’s Camera

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Dandelion Fuzz

Deb’s World

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Geriatrix Foto Gallery

Graham’s Island

Hugh’s Views and News Image shared in comments

Kamerapromenader

Loving Life

Mama Cormier

Musin’ with Susan

Natalie the Explorer

Now At Home

Philosophy through Photography

Picture This

Retirement Reflections image on Instagram

This is Another Story

Travel With Me

Wandering Dawgs

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

I look forward to you all filling up the pages of WordPress with your pink images!

Camera graphic

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