Sunday Stills: #Triangular Manifestation

Sunday Stills Triangles
Sunday Stills Triangles

“Triangles” is our theme this week for the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge.

This Sunday I had looked forward to being back at our campground in the Sacramento Delta. But this week’s weather is simply too HOT to be anywhere but in an air-conditioned house. The delta breeze should return by next weekend and hopefully, I can enjoy some time on the water.

When I am in windsurf country, I am surrounded by triangles. They seem to manifest in many ways.

Greek Delta symbol

The Greek word “delta” is symbolized by a triangle.

Windsurfer and sail
Hubby waiting for the wind in the sail

Even the windsurf boards are decorated with stylized graphic triangles. This my final submission for Becky B’s Blue Squares in July.

Graphic triangles

Three-sided geometric shapes are found everywhere, whether manmade or in nature.

In nature, triangular shapes can manifest in flowers, like this Coconut Orchid (photographed in the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens in March),

Orchid
Coconut Orchid

…Or in this blooming sunflower, with its triangular-shaped leaves and unfolding petals.

Black and White Sunflower Bud

These flowers are shared for Cee’s Flower of the Day photo challenge.

Triangles made by human hands are also everywhere you look. School children crafted these fabric flags hanging on fences in the schoolyard.

Fun with Flags

This draw-bridge in Walnut Grove spanning the Sacramento River is full of triangular shapes manifested in negative spaces.

Triangles on the Walnut Grove Bridge
Triangles on the Walnut Grove Bridge

In case you’re wondering, although the cast is OFF and I am mobile again, I’m wearing a removable walking boot which helps support my still stiff ankle and of course, the surgical site at the top of my foot. It is nice to walk around my own house again.

For Sunday Stills this week, show us something shaped like a triangle. Perhaps you can submit a short story or poem about a love triangle, or share your design preference for triangular geometric shapes. Have you had an experience in the Bermuda Triangle? The sky is the limit and I’m excited to see what kinds of triangles speak to you!

August themes can be found on my Sunday Stills Photography page.

have a good week
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Floral Friday Favorites

Withering sunflower

I’m busy getting my cast off today, so I’m taking this moment to share two of my floral favorites! I suppose it is like sending flowers to myself to celebrate!

This first image is a stylized version of Teddy, who is withering a little each day. I know flowers don’t last long, but Teddy was my first one of this variety. The plant has several buds, so I’m sure more Teddies will bloom soon!

Withering sunflower
Filtered light on a tired Teddy Bear

I haven’t shared a lot on the blog this year about my sunflower obsession, but I have been posting on Instagram almost daily. Here is an IG post of my Tall Sungold, aka Teddy Bear, in all his golden glory!

My other floral obsession is with plumerias. After our last visit to Hawaii in March, I was determined to plant my own and grow these amazing flowers. When a friend on Facebook who lives in my area shared that her potted plumerias are thriving, my quest to plant my own began.

I found a Hilo vendor on Amazon who sent a four-pack of cuttings. I did my research, prepped the proper soil in large pots using the recommended rooting powder. All four were planted in late April.

I continued to fertilize them and water as scheduled. My research suggested that it would likely take up to three years for the plants to bloom.

This week, when I looked out my bedroom window, I saw a pop of pink. Thinking it was one of Brodie’s ubiquitous rubber balls that had bounced into the pot (oh, the horror!), I grabbed the crutches and raced out (as if) to check it out.

Surprise!

My first plumeria
My first plumeria!

Here is the Instagram version. Once I watered them (having a very hot week here), I saw yet another photo op!

Sharing for Becky B’s Blue July Squares and Cee’s Flower of the Day challenges.

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No Excuses Fitness: Exercising with a Cast

using the knee scooter

As I continue to write my book No Excuses Fitness, I have included my experience with exercise and recovery from injury and surgery in this post.

Two years ago, while out walking my dogs, I fell and fractured my right hand. I was lucky only to have to wear a wrist brace so I could still use my fingers, but the pain and awkwardness of the brace hindered most of my activities and personal care.

Consistently engaging in leisure-time physical activity makes up part of my identity. The idea of not being able to walk, swim, go to the gym or ride my bike sets up high levels of anxiety within me. Not only do I want to maintain my fitness level, but I also want to keep weight off.

I admit I am a little addicted to exercise and its effects on weight loss, among other benefits. So of course, I went to the gym three days after I broke my hand. I figured I could still walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical since my legs were fine. I did not want to lose the progress I had made in my fitness journey.

After only 15 minutes on the elliptical, and not engaging my right hand, I was pouring sweat and feeling strange. I later shared this news with my daughter, an avid, 30-something Cross-Fitter, who admonished me for not resting. Our bodies use a LOT of energy to heal even a minor fracture. Feeling much better after a week, I went back to the gym and engaged in my usual workouts but in shorter durations. I was also able to carefully walk the dogs again, using my left hand to hold the leashes.

Two years later, my mindset toward physical activity hasn’t changed much. When I elected to have bunion surgery on my left foot in early June, I thought I went in with my eyes wide open. Having never experienced firsthand the mobility issues of using crutches or a knee scooter, I assumed I could gracefully and patiently handle the whole process of recovering from surgery.

It has been quite a journey. “Gracefully and patiently” are distant ideals.

As each day went by, I gradually got more energy. Most physical activities had to be done in the morning, as my foot would typically swell in mid-afternoon. This is the time when I would elevate my feet on my La-Z-Boy!

Here is a look at a week in my life post-surgery. Please note that light activity was approved by my doctor during my third week when the real cast was placed.

Walking the Dogs

With assistance, I found I could get my knee scooter outside, while someone wrangled the dogs. My small dog, Aero, walks well and I could attach his leash to the scooter handlebars, while someone walked alongside with Brodie. I went from walking 15 minutes to over 45 minutes, 2-3 days a week!

I keep my phone with me in case of photo ops!

sunflowers surrounded by blue
Sunflowers are seen on a walk around my neighborhood

Stationary Bike

I bought a used stationary bike I keep on the backyard deck, and 2-3 times a week I cycle for 15-20 minutes. The casted foot occasionally slips a little while pedaling, but most of the work is done with my right foot.

view from exercise bike
At least the view is nice!

Calisthenics, Strength Training, and Stretching

I keep a resistance band in my scooter basket. When the mood strikes, I do some simple resistance exercises for about 10 minutes. I also lie on the floor and gently work my abs and legs. Due to the cast and inactivity, my left thigh is now an inch smaller around than my right thigh! With my ankle immobilized within the cast, I know I have some work to do once it’s off.

Short Errands to the Store

Once the fourth week arrived, I was able to drive to nearby stores to run errands. Hubby showed me how to place the scooter in the back of my SUV, which takes some maneuvering. It’s lightweight, so it is easy to lift in and out of the car. Just doing this much and rolling around the grocery store takes energy and time. I discovered last week I can pull a cart with one hand while riding the scooter, but I save the big trips for hubby.

Backyard Gardening

Plumeria sprouting

To get into my backyard, I need to use the crutches. Our deck has three steps into the backyard, so the scooter does not work. My plumerias and sunflowers need water daily while the rest of the plants and flowers need water every other day in our Northern California 90+ degree heat. Some gardening projects will have to wait until I am back on both feet.

My two proudest achievements this summer! My first pink plumeria bloomed yesterday, a huge surprise since it can take up to three years for cuttings to bloom.

My first plumeria
First plumeria

Last year I planted sunflowers to photograph and enjoy. Once I saw this type, a Tall Sungold, aka Teddy Bear, I just had to have one. A blogger friend sent me some of his seeds from his harvest!

Close-up of TeddyBear, aka Tall Sungold

I take photos of the sunflowers and plumeria almost every day. Have you ever tried to hold a cell phone with two fingers while using crutches? I knew I should have bought one of those Velcro pouches made for crutches while I was at the medical supply store in San Diego!

Getting Back to Normal

Looking forward to when the cast comes off in a few days, I may end up wearing a walking boot for a while longer, which is OK since I can remove it. From this point, I plan to swim and do some aqua aerobics and water walking at the gym swimming pool, along with using the elliptical again. I’m also looking forward to my Friday or Saturday morning yoga classes too!

The key is to resume physical activity gradually. Complete recovery from bunion surgery can take up to one year, due to mild residual pain and swelling!

I’m excited about getting back to the delta for our summer weekends where I can kayak and ease into stand-up paddling’ but I think I will put off windsurfing until next season!

I know that my recovery will be slow, but I have an entire month before I’m back in the classroom.

Was it worth it? I’ll let you know in a few weeks! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the scooter ride with me today.

This post is inspired in part by Restless Jo’s Monday Walk, How to Exercise with A Cast and Becky B’s Blue July Squares.

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Sunday Stills: #Tastes of Summer

Graphic Taste of Summer
Sunday Stills Taste of Summer

This week we celebrate summer (some are celebrating winter) with this week’s Sunday Stills theme TASTE. The month of July is all about the food where many folks taste new foods while enjoying holidays and vacations. This year’s California State Fair, going on now here in Sacramento, added the new tagline “and Food Festival” to its brand.

Did you know July is National Ice Cream Month? July is also National Hot Dog and Picnic Month.

Your post does NOT have to show pictures of food! Show and tell us what “taste” means to YOU! Perhaps share your taste in books, music, fashion or media, or an image of your family enjoying a picnic.

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.

Eleanor Roosevelt

I am not much of a foodie, other than to eat and appreciate food, so I do not take a lot of photos of actual food. I thought it would be fun to style a few ice cream photos, so here they are.

Scoop of vanilla ice cream
Scoop of vanilla
Ice cream Sundae
Needed a little whip!

Looking through my photo archives, I was surprised at the number of images that worked for “taste.”

Last year, we tasted yummy macadamia nuts and goodies at the Mauna Loa factory in Hilo, Hawaii. We even shipped a few boxes of chocolate-covered mac nuts home for family and friends!

Visiting Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory

Summer means healthy eating of fresh produce found at Farmers’ Markets.

Macro view of tomatoes

I played with my phone app to capture a cartoon view of this green salad.

Summer salad
Cartoon image, real salad!

Need some lemons for lemonade or lemon meringue pie?

fresh lemons
Hubby is proud of his Meyer lemon tree.

Summer also means beer tasting in Lake Tahoe with friends.

Tasting good beer

These lovely and tasty concord grapes did not make it to the summer table but were found almost frozen in a Spokane neighborhood last November. Yes, they tasted just like grape jelly out of the jar!

Frozen concord grapes

Would you like a taste?

Ice cream scoop in cup

Food is all about balance; it is all about taste.

Michael Mina

The images of the ice cream scoops in the small Blue Willow cups are submitted for Becky B’s Blue July Squares.

graphic ice cream

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Wordy Wednesday: Summer Blues

Boats in San Diego Harbor

The middle of July finds me reflecting on the fact that half of my summer is gone! Most of you know, it has been a very different summer for me as I recover from foot surgery, spending almost two months in a cast.

Prior to the early June surgery date, I spent a few weekends at the Sacramento River Delta and a weekend in San Diego.

This late spring image of the Sacramento River at the spot where we camp, shows the calm early morning stillness that sets the mood for the day.

Quiet Delta Morning

The first weekend in June, I spent in San Diego for my brother’s 50th birthday. We enjoyed Sunday breakfast in this hotel and took a stroll next to the harbor.

Boats in San Diego Harbor

These images made me feel relaxed and centered as the anxiety of the anticipation of surgery took hold of me.

With only 10 days left to live in my cast, I have found myself feeling blue most of July, due to lack of activity and loneliness. Mostly, my energy levels are lower because of the healing process and because as I use assistive devices (knee scooter and crutches), I must think twice about every task and plan that anything I do will take longer to accomplish.

Mind you, I am not complaining, but it would be silly to ignore my feelings. I have been trying to keep up with journaling this month, prompted by fellow blogger, Sue’s Journaling in July.

Journaling in July Prompt: 7/16 My Family

When I’m feeling blue, one thing that perks me up is spending time with my family. While I was in San Diego, my youngest daughter and I spent some quality time together and visited my mom in the nursing home. My oldest daughter visited me at home last weekend to celebrate her dad’s birthday. Even hubby stayed close to home instead of windsurfing! My brother and his wife and their four adopted daughters drove up during the week before July 4th holidays to spend time with our dad who just turned 83 on July 15th. Being surrounded by my family lifted my spirits and swept those blues away!

This is an older photo of dad enjoying a short fishing break in Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite.

My 80-year old dad loves Tuolumne Meadows.
My now 83-year old dad loves Tuolumne Meadows.

Despite this temporary onset of the summer blues, I have managed to get a lot of writing done, so that is a bonus. I miss my daily physical activities, but I know I will be on both feet very soon.

This post inspired in part by Becky B’s Blue July Squares.

Before I know it, I’ll be back in the classroom at the end of August and back to normal routines.

have a good week
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Sunday Stills: Creatures and Critters with #Wings

Pink Lady Butterfly

This week’s Sunday Stills photography challenge is all about creatures and critters, big or small, insect or mammal, bird or reptile, ugly or beautiful.

I’m choosing to add creatures with wings to my selections today, well, just because. They need to tell their stories.

Pink Lady Butterfly

On a recent trip to the Sierra Nevada Gold Country to visit my dad (so happy to get a change of scenery!) I mistakenly thought this butterfly enjoying her sweet pea nectar was a monarch. A sharp-eyed Facebook friend said it was a pink lady, very similar to the monarch. I was just so thrilled to capture her in my lens close-up; I didn’t really care.

Birding in My Backyard

“Bird watching is now North America’s second most popular outdoor activity (second only to gardening).”

Bernd Brunner

In April, enjoying spring in the Sacramento Delta, I used the fabulous 25-600 zoom lens of my Lumix FZ300 to capture raven perched on the edge of a tree overlooking the Sacramento River. Framed within the blue sky, raven fills the bill for Becky B’s Blue Squares in July photo challenge.

Creatures and Critters

In my suburban neighborhood, (Sacramento is Tree City USA), I enjoy backyard birding observing the owls, kites, turkeys, and hummingbirds. Although I cannot boast about capturing owls with my lens, the others have put on shows over the years.

Bird of Prey Kite
White-Tailed Kite

For years, we’ve had large flocks of birds of prey that nest in the tall trees in our neighborhood. They hunt at twilight and fly all over the neighborhood. At first, I thought they were seagulls, then I pulled out the binoculars and saw their masked faces. I had always assumed they were ospreys, but a friend clarified that they were white-tailed kites, as he watched them one evening!

“In order to see birds, it is necessary to become a part of the silence.”

Robert Lynd
Kites Birds of Prey
Kite family loves our redwood

Sorry for the grainy images, but they fly at dusk and my camera was still set to auto!

One evening last October, I happened to look through the sliding door and saw several wild turkeys perched on the roof of the house behind our backyard! I counted at least 20 of them! These two flew up to the telephone pole to have a look around. These are the same ones that placidly stroll around the neighborhoods the day after Thanksgiving.

roosting turkeys

Of course, I had to include another pic of my resident hummingbirds who live here all year long.

Hummingbird feeding

“I don’t feed the birds because they need me; I feed the birds because I need them.”

Kathi Hutton

What sorts of creatures and critters can you share for Sunday Stills this week?

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Blue July #Squares: Surf’s Up in Hilo

Boogie Boarder

I caught these young surfers shredding waves on Hilo Bay last January. Three boys and one girl surf and boogie board on a warm winter’s day. It was a school holiday; the temps were warm and who wouldn’t surf if they could?

four surfers ride the waves

Even more amazing was how they managed to dodge the large lava rock formations found all around the Big Island of Hawaii.

Boogie Boarder

Inspired by Sue’s Journaling in July challenge, I’ve managed to journal some thoughts on this week’s prompts.

July 9 My Favorite Place

I have been blessed to travel to destination places like the Hawaiian Islands and to various areas of Yosemite National Park. Within the last 10 years, thanks to my adventurous, globe-trotting husband, I have also traveled to Mexico and countless places in the West. Plans for more road trips and abroad also include Europe and South America.

Although Yosemite’s high country, Tuolumne Meadows, feels like my own backyard after over 25 visits in my life, my emotional attachment to Hawaii developed in my teenage years, spurred future plans for travel to the islands.

I was obsessed with Hawaii for years.

It wasn’t until my mid-forties that I visited Honolulu and Waikiki on the island of Oahu, and this first visit was everything I thought it would be. The soft tradewinds, the colors of the sunsets, and the astounding varieties of blues of the ocean were sensations and sights I could only previously imagine.

Two trips to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018 and 2019 found me in love with the laid-back lifestyle, riots of tropical flowers, and the impossible greens and stunning blues, all within the shadow of the looming, active volcanoes Mauna Loa and Kilauea.

SUPing the waves

Surprisingly, I have not yet found the right spot to stand-up paddle on the Hilo side, due to the shore being made up of volcanic rock formations. But like the man SUP-ing in the photo, it’s just a matter of time.

I shared a post about this in 2018 after I spent my first week in Hilo. My New Favorite Place.

Join Becky B’s quarterly photography challenges with your own square photographs!

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Wordless Wednesday: Aero’s Square Birthday

Aero Birthday

I normally don’t post on a Wednesday, but I couldn’t resist sharing square images of my precious pup, Aero. Today is his 9th birthday,

Aero on the Beach

Why square images? I am submitting these for Becky B’s month-long July blue squares photo challenge.

In the photo above, Aero romps around San Diego’s Ocean Beach dog park. He also loves the Sacramento River Delta and poses handsomely on the launch.

Caramel Dog

Aero catching a nap surrounded by white and blue.

Aero Sleeping

I found this article on how to calculate dog years to human years.

Aero is a small dog, weighing in at 13 pounds, and according to the above link by the American Kennel Club, Aero would be 52 years old in human years and is considered a senior dog!

Aero Birthday

With their gray muzzles and wise expressions, senior dogs are especially lovable and poignant.

Erika Mansourian, American Kennel Club

Today is Aero’s birthday, but Brodie keeps him on his toes when he is not too tired from fetching the ball!

Brodie is tired after fetching!

Since Brodie is 50 pounds at 2 years old, he is 24 in human years, according to the article. No wonder Aero growls at Brodie’s antics!

I know this post is a little wordy for wordless Wednesday, but please enjoy the photos.

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Sunday Stills: In Your World of #Blue

I am on the catwalk

Sunday Stills this week is all about “Blue.” Why? Because I am helping Becky B promote her July Squares photography challenge, which is, you guessed it, BLUE.

I am also continuing with Journaling in July hosted by Sue of Sizzling Toward Sixty.

The journal prompt for today, July 7th is “My Favorite Quote and Why.”
I thought about this for a while. As a blogger, I get inspiration from my own images and many inspire a quotation. I love John Muir quotes as you know, but two quotes really stand out and have been anthems for my life.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

When I attempted to learn how to windsurf at age 49, I thought I would die trying. I wanted to be a part of my new husband’s (then boyfriend) life, so I took on the challenge at the expense of various body parts. Sailing in the delta is challenging enough, but in Baja, Mexico, the waves can crash over your head.

Windsurfing in Baja
Windsurfing in blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, Baja, Mexico

In this photo, you might not see my body language quaking in fear as I’m already in waist deep water navigating the shore break and kite surfers. But I got myself into a water-start position, as the wind pushed up the sail, which pulled me up and onto the board. I had a great time!

Do I do something every day that scares me? Probably not, but that quote is a great source of inspiration to get off my a$$ and learn something new.

This next quote resonates strongly with me as I get closer to 60. I have taught university classes in leisure and lifestyle development and love to see the lightbulbs go on when we talk about aging and leisure in class.

“Man does not cease to play because he grows old, he grows old because he ceases to play.”

George Bernard Shaw
I am on the catwalk

In this photo, I’m walking the catwalk on the campus challenge ropes course. This catwalk is 30 feet high, situated between two tall pine trees and anchored by telephone poles. I don’t know why the students are always so fascinated when their professors take part. I’m not afraid of heights and we are harnessed in. A trained Challenge Course staff person is below belaying the line, but it’s nerve-wracking for sure.

Facing our fears is healthy especially done in the context of play and leisure.

My last photograph simply shows me doing my photographer thing. Ironically, I took none of these photos for the challenge today and I ended up being the subject.

Photographer in Blue

Oh yeah, and they are all blue!

I’m making my photos square today to submit to Becky B’s Blue July Squares.

Say hello to our new bloggers who have joined Sunday Stills in June! PhotographyOCD and Savoring Sixty and Beyond. Big thank-yous to all the faithful bloggers who participate each week!

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme.
  • Title your 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 shared all week. Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Show us your world in blue this week!

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