“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.
The Greek word “delta” is symbolized by a triangle.
Triangles made by human hands are also everywhere you look. School children crafted these fabric flags hanging on fences in the schoolyard.
This draw-bridge in Walnut Grove spanning the Sacramento River is full of triangular shapes manifested in negative spaces.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The theme “warmth” for this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge conjures a variety of ideas.
For many, it has been a cold, harsh winter. I spent last weekend in South Lake Tahoe for our Ladies Retreat. The Sierra Nevada mountains in May can be warm, cold or both! This time, although the nights and early mornings were close to freezing, the daytime temps pushed the mid-70s in the sun.
Seeking both warmth and solitude, many found these chairs to provide both.
Warmth does not have to include sunshine. In a previous post I submitted for the WordPress Photography 101, the challenge was “warmth” and this updated photo shows the warmth of my sister-in-law’s gorgeous kitchen.
Today is Mother’s Day in the US. Although I am unable to see my own mother, I am spending the weekend in the delta with my daughters who both live out of town. The photo below is one of us enjoying fun times in the delta from a couple of years ago.
My youngest daughter gave me this beautiful card last year. It’s one of those hand-made 3-D types with glitter and the works. I can see myself in that photo seeking warmth, solitude and some “me” time. She’s even a redhead! The card is definitely a keeper!
I hope you were inspired by this short post today as I finish my rare weekend with both daughters!
Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers and daughters!
Journaling a sentence each day for a month makes for a reflective blog post. I joined this challenge in 2017 and have sincerely enjoyed keeping track of my daily adventures. I had time to participate for the month of August so far this year.
August 1st! Half of 2018 whizzed by! Today I cleaned and straightened up the house to prepare for family driving from Spokane, Washington. They’ll spend one night here on their way to Southern California for a memorial service. Sure was great to see them and their two grown daughters!
8/2 I went to a new Pilates class at the gym today and twisted my lower back which left me in a LOT of pain for the rest of the day! I overdid it the day before cleaning, so where is the incentive in that chore?
8/3 Morning walk with my friend. We plan to meet every Wednesday morning and walk for an hour! My back felt a lot better today, thank goodness!
8/4 Saturday, woke up at 6:30am, had coffee and took the dogs for an early walk due to the continuing heat in Northern Cal. I had good intentions to write some in my book. Nope! I ordered a new inflatable SUP from Costco instead.
Came up with a fun Instagram hashtag event for August #monthofsunflowers
8/5 Sunday at the delta. Got here just in time to get out on my regular SUP. Had I waited much longer, the wind would have blown me off the water, along with the lingering smoke from local wildfires. This is hubby’s day off so he was excited to get some windsurfing in later.
8/6 Monday morning at the delta, hoping for another SUP session, but rode my mountain bike instead. Packed up and headed home to finish sharing Sunday Stills participants’ posts and some other blogging duties.
8/7 Good workout at the gym this morning, plus walked the dogs before the heat settled in. Spent most of the day on class prep.
8/8 Day at home waiting for our water company to reset our broken meter and for a package to arrive. I managed to walk the dogs and work on more school prep. What did I get? My inflatable SUP! You can read more about my paddleboard escapades!
8/9 Went to a Weight Watchers meeting. Weigh-in not good…I’m a two pounds over my lifetime weight and have gained 6 pounds over all since last December. You’d think with all the physical activity I do that I could keep my weight down! Got distracted and opened my new SUP and familiarized myself with all the goodies. Once inflated, it ended up on the bedroom floor with Brodie keeping a careful eye.
8/10 Woohoo! After 7 years, I paid off my car today!
8/11-12 Back at the delta—hot day here, not much wind. Several of us got together and created a SUP/Kayak flotilla and crossed the river (a mile across) and picked scads of blackberries. There is an art to balancing a small dog and a Ziploc bag of blackberries on slightly choppy water without falling in!
8/14 I was a featured guest on Hugh’s blog today for his weekly feature “49 Days in 1988.”
8/15 Took an hour-long walk with a gal pal today. Logged over 7200 steps with just the walk. She was gracious enough to take one of my dogs for the walk. Came home worked on school stuff then went out for sushi with hubby!
8/16 Early gym workout. I’ve been listening to a great audio-book (what I listen to on the hour-long drive back and forth to the delta every weekend). I borrow these from our library system in an app called Overdrive. I can borrow e-books to read on Kindle or listen to audio-books, which are converted to MP4 format that download right to the phone.
8/18 No delta this weekend. Off to Lake Natoma to try out my new inflatable SUP. I tried it at the delta last weekend, but it does best on really flat water. So interesting to see so many others with their inflatable SUPs.
8/19 My hubby’s work schedule changed to accommodate his boss’ vacation, so he only gets Sunday off this week. I managed a morning walk with the dogs before it got hot. Hubby and I shopped for some gardening items then enjoyed a late lunch at a restaurant.
8/20 Put stakes in my sunflower garden. I think the sunflowers are happier!
8/21 Great morning walk. Got a haircut, then treated myself to a pedicure! All in time for our…
8/22 ….Happy 5th Anniversary to my hubby!
8/24 Faculty workdays officially began this week. Our annual meeting was cancelled, so I spent the day enjoying one of my last long weekends in the delta.
8/25 Saturday at the delta, did a SUP session with a friend, called a “downwinder.” In other words, we paddled with the river’s tide all the way to the local windsurf/paddlesports shop. Took 45 minutes but it was lovely and quite fun!
8/26 Back home today. Finishing touches and prepping for an early morning start for my first day of teaching tomorrow.
8/27 Fall classes officially start at Sacrament State University today. Got there bright and early at 7:30 to make sure I can park. First week of school traffic is always exciting.
8/28 Still energized from the first day of classes. Our secretary changed the locations of both my classrooms which helps tremendously with the space issue for the Wednesday evening class.
8/29 First night of my Wednesday night class. I have an online class that uses the same curriculum. Looking forward to technology!
8/30-31 Official start to Labor Day weekend.Celebrating a couple of friends’ birthdays, too.
Interested in being part of A Sentence A Day? It is fun to jot your daily ideas down, even the seemingly mundane. Please visit Leslie at her blog Once Upon A Time & Happily Ever After. I have met some new bloggers and have enjoyed this challenge. Please visit the link-up for more Sentence a Day posts.
If you are looking for a fun photography challenge, give my weekly feature Sunday Stills a try!
We are almost at the midpoint of August which means for many, summer is nearly over. Sure the weather will still be warm in the northern hemisphere, and maybe too hot on the West Coast (the wildfires aren’t helping matters), but school starts for many youth, teens and young adults in mid- and late-August!
The featured image above shows a strong leisure ethic in a college student the very first day of classes a couple of years ago.
Educators like myself are undoubtedly putting the finishing touches on course and classroom preparations, marking a clear end to the “lazy days” of summer which happens to be our theme this week for Sunday Stills. I know several students who are already back to school!
I remember as a kid growing up in San Diego, that we did not go back to school until the second week of September, well after the traditional Labor Day holiday. We did not get out for the year until mid-June, but my definition of summer always seemed like June through August to me.
Did you have time for some laziness this summer? I think I had more than my share after experiencing a crazy-busy spring. I took the whole month of June off where I didn’t do any course prep. I managed to write a few thousand words into my No Excuses Fitness book project, but I indeed felt lazy overall.
It didn’t help that we opened a Netflix account in May. Now both my hubby and I see the Millennials’ appeal of binge watching new and old movies or new-to-us Netflix series a couple of hours a night. However, that practice will need to be reigned in by early September!
Luckily my new Fitbit Charge 2 (not an ad) nags me every hour to get some steps in, so the appearance of laziness will stay in my own head!
I still have two more weeks before I step foot onto the college campus, so until that day arrives, I plan to experience a few more lazy days, now counted in just a few hours.
Here are my photo interpretations of “Lazy Days.”
I’ve been a little lazy capturing delta sunsets this summer. How perfect on a hot summer evening that the sun seems to rest a while among the wind turbines.
Still obsessed transfixed with my backyard sunflowers, I captured the lazy opening of these petals on a newly-bloomed sunflower.
Opposite of lazy? This bee on the same sunflower is heavily laden with sunflower pollen, giving “busy bee” a whole new meaning!
All the photos in today’s post were captured by my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
How do you like to spend your lazy days?
If you are on Instagram and have some sunflower shots to share, please join me for the rest of August using hashtag #monthofsunflowers
For the Sunday Stills challenge to celebrate the first week in July, share your favorite thing about summer. You can simply share one photo of your favorite summer experience or wow us with a gallery of what summer means to you.
And it’s not just about photos…perhaps you are inspired by a song, poem, artwork, short story or something else. It would be nice to have a photo of your idea, but please be creative!
What does “summer” mean to you? Is it the warm (or hot) weather? Or…
Witnessing a refreshing summer storm?
Planting and enjoying your backyard garden?
Enjoying a water sport?
Enrolling the kids in some swim lessons?
A beautiful hike in the mountains?
Calm sunrise at a Mexican resort?
Chasing your dog on the beach?
Stopping to smell the flowers?
Visiting a national park?
Whatever it is, please share your idea of SUMMER this week!
Since we are on the subject of summer, feel free to join us on Instagram for the Summer Instagram Photo Challengethat starts today. You can join anytime!
Today’s Sunday Stills theme is “fur and feathers” but feel free to add photos of your scaled and slithering friends as well.
Did you know today is National Animal Rights Day? Many organizations dedicate themselves to the betterment and loving treatment of ALL animals.
According to Christian author Gary Kurtz, who wrote Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates: A Book of Hope for Those Who have Lost a Pet, he writes that “pets are God’s creatures…merely on loan to us.”
With Biblical support, Kurtz suggests that all animals have eternal spirits. As a Christian myself, I believe this to be true, which gives me great comfort knowing that my past, present and future dogs, cats, birds and even fish have a place in God’s eternity. On some spiritual level, I shall see them all again.
Almost every day, I read online from friends and family who grieve a pet who has died. I often recommend this book and have been surprised at the positive responses from those who have read it.
Regardless of your own beliefs in an eternal afterlife, or not, we must treat all creatures on Planet Earth with care and respect.
Of course, I will swat a mosquito or kill a tick that crawls on my skin. Believe it or not, even pesky bugs have a place on Earth.
To illustrate my point, while camping with family two years ago, I almost fell over as I watched my little nephew stomp on an unsuspecting beetle while hiking in a national park. I asked him why he did that, and he replied, “because he was going to bite me.”
I told him that all critters and animals are protected in a national park and he could go to jail for killing bugs and animals (yes, a teeny white lie, but bear with me here). I then asked him, “What if you were just walking along one day and a giant walked up and stepped on you?” His eyes widened with the realization that his eight-year-old imagination allowed.
A little leisure education hurts no one.
This swallow and her mate decided to build their nest in our neighbor’s windsurf sail shed. One of the other fellows who keeps his sails in the shed noticed the partially built nest and knocked it down with a stick, complaining about bird droppings (my word, not his). Luckily it was still under construction, so no eggs or birds were harmed.
It was an abrupt decision, one that I both disagreed with and supported.
On one hand, these swallows build their nests here on Sherman Island in the delta and there are plenty of safe areas in which to build them. On the other, these skittish birds would not have succeeded trying to hatch eggs in a noisy area with us walking in and out of the shed.
In the long run, I guess there is no right way to move a bird nest. They can quickly rebuild one in a safer location.
But these incidents beg the question, how much have humans encroached on natural habitats in the name of progress, lifestyle and leisure?
To what extent do we continue to banish native animals from their own environments due to urbanization?
It is a little sad to think we need organizations to protect Earth’s creatures from harm and violence, mistreatment and misuse.
So, let’s support our fellow creatures today by posting a favorite photo of yours for Sunday Stills!
Please help me promote Sunday Stills so that we can have more talented bloggers participate in this photo challenge, now that the long-time WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge posted its final theme this week.
Link up here:
A hearty shout-out to May Sunday Stills Photo Challenge participants!
There is nothing like a new year to inspire us to reflect on personal growth.
Whatever makes you uncomfortable is your biggest opportunity for growth. Bryant McGill
I haven’t posted anything about my windsurf journey in a while, so this seemed like a great time to demonstrate my growth in the sport of windsurfing. I have to push myself a little as I write this because this is one area of my leisure choices that is lacking.
In the above image of me in Baja, Mexico in January 2016, you can see the hesitation and uncertainty in my body language as I get set to tackle shore break waves slightly over my head. Sailing in the ocean is a scary proposition and I have used this same image with the Eleanor Roosevelt quote on several of my social media accounts.
Because this does scare me even now!
But not willing to cringe from a challenge, I was photographed last summer on one of the windier days at the delta, sailing on a very small sail! The wind clocked at 25 mph!
I had convinced myself that in these kinds of windy conditions, that I would get injured sailing this fast. Any experienced windsurfer will tell you that “water-time” is the only remedy for overcoming your fears, and when hubby set up a 3.7 meter sail (I normally sail on a 4.7 or 5.0 meter sail), I took the challenge and faced my fear.
And yes, I had a blast!
I was able to save the image above from a video taken by one of my windsurfer friends. Check it out:
Just the day before the video was taken of me, I used my new camera to take hundreds of photos of my fellow windsurfers as they braved the high winds.
Many of the ladies couldn’t use their own smaller sails because their husbands were using them! You can read more about this in this post: How the Delta Changed My Life
Using that camera in high winds and being able to capture some amazing footage in full zoom showed my growth as a photographer.
Often times, I get more pleasure out of photographing my windsurf colleagues than I do sailing.
I always seem to approach windsurfing with anxiousness and trepidation, even after eight seasons. But that day I went out in the high wind really challenged me and forced me to grow in the sport.
The rest of the summer, not so much, as the wind died on many summer weekends, then I had to deal with a sick dog, then a broken hand.
The best thing about reflecting at the beginning of the year is all that negativity is behind me and I really do look forward to the upcoming windsurf season!
Here’s to a summer of growth!
This is the first post of 2018 submitted for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge Growth
A late spring storm paints beautiful textures in the sky, the water and the land.
“A subtle amount of texture attracts the eye.” Clyde Aspevig
As the weekly photo challenge suggests, Texturesin photography feed our tactile perceptions.
A delta sunset captures textures in the sky and water.
The textures of this splint on my wrist and hand right now are hiding the textures of a huge bruise and fractured metacarpal on my right hand. I tripped and fell while walking my dogs, Brodie and Aero.
No more windsurfing or stand-up paddling for the rest of the season. Maybe now I can get some writing done–I can still use my fingers to type.
I find this photo challenge interesting in that the word “delta” is used to signify change or transition.
Delta is a five-letter word that has been a huge part of my vocabulary since I met my hubby over 8 years ago. Much of my leisure time involves the Sacramento River Delta in Northern California where two rivers converge near the San Francisco Bay area.
If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you probably know I took up windsurfing at age 49. All of my windsurfing experience was gained here in the delta. Eight years later I’m still struggling to just master the basics. I mention this because the delta, specifically Sherman Island in Sacramento County, is home to the second most popular windsurfing spot on the West Coast, indeed a word-wide destination for sailors looking for an intermediate to advanced area for wind sports.
If you had asked me in 2008 if I was interested in windsurfing, I would have looked at you with a quizzical look. This sport or leisure pastime was the last thing on my mind or at least at the bottom of my bucket list.
Hubby with a Big Jump!
Kids Windsurf Day Camp
Women Sailors have their water time
Just a year later, on my first date with my (now) hubby, after dinner out, we sat and watched windsurfing videos at his friend’s house where he was temporarily staying. After watching, I stated, “Maybe you can teach me how to windsurf.” As he fell out of his chair, I think that might have been the moment he fell in love with me.
I have always been athletic and easily learned new sports skills. I have excelled at figure skating, archery, horseback riding, tennis, swimming, softball, and cycling. In fact, because of my exposure to windsurfing I discovered the “new-old” sport of SUPing, or stand-up paddle-boarding, as it’s called. After a quick lesson, I learned quickly and consider it one of my top pastimes.
Not so much with windsurfing. Ridiculously frustrating! I vowed to quit and sell my quiver of used sails, boards and all its paraphernalia more times than I can count.
What does all have to do with the theme, besides the obvious? The weekly photo challenge used a photo of a delta to symbolize what we believe are transitions and/or change.
With all my threats to throw my hands up and admit defeat, somehow, windsurfing has changed me. The very act of balancing on a shifting board while grasping the boom of the sail, then adjusting my body to the wind to catch the sail and set the whole rig in motion is quite amazing.
Sidebar of interest: In the Greek alphabet, delta is the triangle shape pictured. Funny how it resembles a windsurf sail. Visually, the sailor, board and sail also create this delta triad figure.
If you don’t believe me please take a look at this very short video our good friend filmed of me last weekend. That’s really me!
Learning this at age 49 and into my 50s has indeed changed me. Spontaneity and fun crept back into my life. A taste for adventure and travel is now ever-present, along with my amazing husband of 4 years. I mean, who flies solo to Mexico for the first time to meet their partner for a two-week windsurfing vacation? Me!
The culture of windsurfing, from our delta campground with its circle of friends, to the fresh air and summer days spent on the beach, is something my life needed, even more than I realized.
And it’s only a one hour drive from where we live in Sacramento!
While we are on the subject of change, it must be noted that the Central Valley, where Sacramento is located, receives that glorious “delta breeze” all summer long. The Bay Area, known for its cool, foggy conditions, is positioned on the other end of this delta triangle. As the central valley basks in its summer heat, with average temps at 90 degrees, it pulls in that marine layer creating a strong wind current that eventually cools down the Sacramento area and surrounding areas. Our summer temperatures average 60 degrees in the morning hours, then heat up into the 90s, then by sundown, back into the 70s.
This delta and its fragile environment is the gateway to some of the richest agricultural land in the world. Wine grapes love the climate. In almost the entire state of California, wine grapes for some of the world’s best wines are grown, from the famed Napa and Sonoma valleys, to Lodi and Clarksburg in the delta, and onto Southern California in the Temecula valley.
Change indeed. My husband would agree with this, while happily sipping on his favorite Merlot after a ripping windsurf session.
And since this IS a photography challenge, I must say that all these photos were taken recently. I got some awesome action shots that I will share on Instagram.
And me? I’m grateful for this wonderful transition into midlife. Even with all these bruises and sore muscles.
There is nothing like a photography challenge to make you look for photo ops in unusual places. Um, yes, my hubby’s liquor cabinet is full. Actually Dense! Two shelves are full! You will notice quite an array of choices here.
Oh, this must be MY shelf–I see the makings of vodka margaritas. Where is the skinny margarita mix?
Some of these are empty bottles (really!) that we refill and take to our windsurf camp with us. The smaller bottles fit better in our trailer.
There is a lot of landscaping on the property to handle this first weekend day of April, like mowing the two acres of pasture land that becomes our weekend home for 5 months of weekend leisure time.
Hubby and his friends may end up raiding the liquor cabinet after all that mowing and weed eating.
He tends to prefer his beer after a day of working in the “yard.”
He has a small, densely displayed stein collection on a shelf. These steins and goblets are from Germany and Hungary.
Well, whatever you do this weekend, don’t be dense and drive drunk!
My dogs, both six years old now, are inseparable partners. Gideon, the blonde terrier mix who loves to chase the ball, makes a soft headrest for his younger brother from another litter, Aero. Aero ended up with the Cocker genes.
Although Gideon belongs to my daughter, these two pals go everywhere we go, including the Sacramento delta where we windsurf. In this photo, they lay on the beach, apparently wiped out after a day of hanging out with the windsurfers.
These next photos depict their pooch partnership!
Feel free to join the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge any time. This week’s theme is Partners
…the theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge! So many interpretations! This was taken in August 2013 a week before my wedding. My windsurf buddies threw me a surprise wedding shower at the delta and it felt like a victory for not only having my valued friendships, but the victory of a wonderful relationship culminating in marriage.
My friends and I stand-up paddled to this location where the champagne awaited. That in itself was a victory.