Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: Burnt or Blood #Orange

Smiling orange teapot

Beware! This post has something for everyone today, including cute dogs, pumpkins, and lots of orange!

I don’t know what it is about October that it seems to represent the various shades of orange. Perhaps it’s the variety of the fall leaves, pumpkins and Halloween jack o’ lanterns. Hence our color challenge this month, focusing on burnt orange or blood orange. Those names just sound like October!

Burnt or Blood Orange Pallet
Orange Color Palette

Any shade of orange will do! I’m easy. I read somewhere that orange is the color of joy and creativity. I definitely agree.

Orange is the happiest color.

Frank Sinatra

Sinatra was right, especially when this image of my orange kettle smiled at me!

Smiling orange teapot
Do you see its smiling face?

That Hometown Feeling

We were ecstatic to learn that there is a local nursery/farm down the street from our house, about a quarter of a mile away—easily within walking distance. The owners sell trees, plants, shrubs, etc, and we have purchased a few items from them. When I discovered the farm puts on a harvest festival every year, four weekends in October, I almost died from excitement. The manager asked us to volunteer which gets us a deep discount on the trees we want to buy and plant! Just the small town feel we had hoped for when we moved here.

A few miles away in North Spokane, GreenBluff Growers Association boasts over 60 farms, wineries, breweries and event venues. When we visited there two weeks ago, stepping into the various farms felt like we were right at home during the harvest.

As much as I enjoyed what Greenbluff had to offer, our neighborhood Fall Festival is on par with any of those farms with vendors, entertainment, kids activities, pumpkins and food. Did I mention their homemade pumpkin donuts? Amazing!

Dogs Love Orange Too!

My liver brown dogs look darling in their orange attire. Aero seems to love his orange harness…because he know it means a walk is imminent…

Aero ready for walkies

I’m not sure Brodie is too thrilled pictured here 4 years ago in his life vest. Now he swims without it. He loves the water.

Brodie, Boykin Spaniel in life vest
Brodie not too sure about his life vest

Needing More “Orange”-spiration?

Smoky Suns

Smoke during the summer from nearby and distant fires in the west gave us unhealthy air quality but strangely beautiful orange sunrises and sunsets. Our firefighters worked overtime and we are grateful for their efforts.

Fabulous Flora

The trees and wildflowers are showcasing their orange right now. My neighbor’s maple tree is orange now but will turn bright red in a matter of days.

Even the Rocks Cry Out in Orange

While we visited Sedona, Arizona, in August, the “red” rocks for which Sedona is famous, showed their joyous orange hues in certain lights.

A Past Look at Orange

October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.

Nova Bair

Photography Challenges this Week!

As always, I appreciate the inspiration and dedication necessary by bloggers who host their weekly and seasonal photo challenges. This week I’m inspired by the following challenges:

More Fun

A shout-out to successful blogger (and friend) Janice Wald at Mostly Blogging in her article Blogging for Fun . Last week I posted about leisure, sports and hobbies and most of us who blog fall into the category of hobby blogger. We do this for fun and a variety of other reasons. And its nice to get validation from Janice. Her blog started out as a hobby blog but moved on to helping bloggers with her experience and words of wisdom.

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 if you share on social media.

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

Busy Bloggers’ Who Love Their Hobbies

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 photos of their hobbies, sports, and leisure pastimes.

Bushboy’s World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Deb’s World

Equipoise Life Image shared in comments

Graham’s Island

Geriatrix Fotogallery

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Jacquie Biggar Author

Kamerapromenader

Loving Life

Now At Home

Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

Picture Retirement

Stevie Turner

This is Another Story

NEW Toortsie.com

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

A Young Retirement

I can’t wait to see all your joyful orange colors this week! Remember you can link to Sunday Stills all week and feel free to link to other challenges in the same post. Next week we’ll be “in the pink” as I make my annual nod to Breast Cancer Awareness Month with current and past pink images. Pink works for Becky B’s Past Squares challenge, too. Have a wonderful week!

Autumn SIGNature

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Sunday Stills: Are You Ready for the Great #Outdoors?

Walking dogs on a trail

As you read last week, the northern hemisphere experienced the summer solstice and people are heading for the great outdoors. According to the US National Park Service and National Today, June is Great Outdoors Month. There are still 4 days left in June to get outdoors and of course, that door is still open next month and all year long!

I wanted to title this post: “Can you handle the great outdoors after a pandemic?” But no, enough about it! While some countries still struggle with vaccinating its populace, here in the US, most of us are out and about with few restrictions. Make no mistake, Covid is still floating around, so stay safe if you find yourself around a crowd of people.

“During Great Outdoors Month, I encourage all Americans to explore our Nation’s beautiful outdoor spaces. As we enjoy the great outdoors — from national parks to our own backyards — let us rededicate ourselves to conserving our Nation’s natural spaces for our own well-being, and for the health, safety, prosperity, and fulfillment of generations to come.”

US President Joseph Biden

Ways to Celebrate “Great Outdoors” Month and Beyond

Take a Vacation!

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere is prime vacation time. Join Marsha at Always Write for her weekly feature Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing Challenge, where “vacation” is the theme. I commented back with now that I am retired, every day feels like a vacation. Hard to get used to but I’m managing!

“A vacation helps to relieve stress and boredom, gives us a change of scenery, provides us with adventure, and helps to bring us closer to the people in our lives.”

E. S. Woods

“Life’s short. Eat dessert first, work less and vacation MORE!!”

Lea Mishell
Breakfast in Waikiki

I enjoyed my first Hawaiian breakfast outdoors on the lanai of our beach-front hotel in Waikiki (Oahu) in January 2006.

Enjoy Backyard Birding!

Join a birding or photography group. I follow Spokane Birders on Facebook but I hope to find some fellow local birders to learn more about birds in the area.

Backyard Birdwatching
Anna Hummingbird

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

Bernd Brunner

Hike a Trail!

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

John Muir

Over Memorial Day weekend, we got to take my daughter and boyfriend on an easy hike to a local area along the Spokane River called the Bowl and Pitcher, in Riverside State Park, just minutes from our new home. Large blocks of basaltic rock lie in and above the Spokane River in the formation of the bowl (right) and pitcher (left).

Walk the dogs. Another trail, just 100 yards from our house, is a great place to walk the dogs. With this heat wave, we get up early to accomplish this!

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

Henry David Thoreau
Walking dogs on a trail
This tree-lined path is a prequel to Becky B’s July Squares

Stop to smell a flower. Remember the earlier quote about gardening being the number one outdoor activity? Plant a garden or simply admire flowers and plants. Sharing for Cees’ Flower of the Day.

More Ways to Celebrate Great Outdoors Month and Beyond

In your backyard or neighborhood
Throw a block party. Grill in your backyard. Start or join a walking club. Relax and read a book on your porch.

In public lands...go camping. Plan a picnic. Swim, kayak, or boat on an ocean, lake, or river. Go fishing.

Visit a National Park!

Painnted Half Dome
View of Yosemite’s Half Dome from Glacier Point

In case you REALLY need ideas, visit 125 Ways to Celebrate Nature!

Hot Blogger 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 bloggers who shared their favorite sunrise and sunset photos as we celebrated the solstice. Please visit a few when you get the chance and welcome three bloggers as they share their posts for the first time at Sunday Stills!

Be sure to visit my Sunday Stills page for July’s themes. There is no challenge for July 4 as I celebrate Independence Day. But I will see you for Lisa’s Bird Weekly challenge on July 2. Get outdoors and be safe!

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Sunday Stills: Celebrating #Pets and #Kids

Aero in sweater

Monday, April 26 is National Kids and Pets Day, so let’s share our favorite images of kids and pets. Last week I hinted at some ideas to get you thinking:

No kids or pets? Improvise! Images of other’s kids or grandkids will work, as well as any kinds of images of animal, bird, reptile, fish or critter. Anything goes, so have fun with this theme.

My kids are all grown up, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t celebrate them. Now that we live two states away, I miss my daughters, but we talk regularly.

For my only photo of little kids, I captured my grand niece and nephew last fall playing joyfully in the garden in grandma’s front yard. They gleefully unearthed roly-polies and made little leaf houses for them, at least the ones that didn’t flee. I used to love playing in the dirt, how about you?

My “kids” nowadays happen to be our sweet dogs Aero and Brodie. They love carousing around their new half-acre backyard chasing balls and sticks.

Aero prefers his sweater when visiting our nearby relatives.

Brodie on alert in this image taken in Bend, Oregon, where we got the good idea to eventually build a rural or pine-pole fence around our place. Five to six feet high fences are designed to keep the dogs in and the deer, coyotes and moose out!

Aero sort of photobombed this shot of our new welcome mat sent from my brother.

A “painted” version of Aero enjoying a warm RV a couple of months ago.

Brodie remembering the good times playing in the river at the Sacramento delta.

Wind blowing dog's ear

Are Backyard Birds Pets?

For years, while living in Sacramento, I enjoyed a wide variety of birds that regularly visited my backyard. I enjoyed several generations of kites, members the hawk family, for more than 20 years. The kites nested in the huge pine trees in our yard.

Bird of Prey Kite

Every once in a while I would get an unusual bird like this black-headed grosbeak, a “fake finch,” which surprisingly belongs to the cardinal family. Sharing for Lisa’s Bird Weekly, Birds with letter F.

Black headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

By far, I enjoyed generations of Anna’s hummingbirds that fed and nested in my backyard. They got quite tame and “let” me take their pictures! I put out some bird feeders in our new backyard, but no hummers yet! I miss these little guys!

The Lens-Artists challenge invites us to explore the relationship with those things that are dear to us and how they affect us. As you have read, my dogs are an integral part of our lives. The birds I have photographed over the years are beloved to me as well and I thank God for nature and this beautiful world in which we live.

House Happenings

Since I’m still struggling along without wi-fi in the house, my photography has slowed down. I managed to upload these two images of our home using the WordPress Mobile app then edited on the laptop using the hotspot. This process works for now. I have 100s of images that need to be uploaded and edited and I need to hang out at a neighbor’s house to use their wi-fi. Soon.

Today I share two quick pics of our finished dining room and a view from our back deck into the house.

Aero managed to photobomb yet another picture. All about pets, right?

View from dining room, and living room from back deck

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. I sure enjoyed catching up with everyone last week! I was so thrilled to see so many purple/violet/lavender images shared by you all.

“No Shrinking Violets” from Last Week’s Links

May themes are listed on my Sunday Stills page. May 2nd’s theme is water. If you followed my blog long enough, you might remember that May is Water Safety Month, and my former identity as an aquatics director rears its head as I still enjoy promoting water safety. Water in any form, from droplets to oceans will be welcomed.

Sharing for Becky B’s Bright Squares

Looking forward to seeing your images of kids and pets! Have a great week!

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© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Who’s Your Top #Dog?

SUPping with Aero

Today is National Pet Parents Day, but you don’t have to own a pet or even a dog to participate in this week’s Sunday Stills Photo Challenge.

Our pets give us comfort with their unconditional love in times of need and uncertainty.

If you have followed my blog very long, you know I have been a happy pet parent since my teen years. Like children, our pets need to be fed and nurtured, loved and bathed (depending on your pet), and involved in our daily lives. We are pet parents to two wonderful Spaniels, Aero and Brodie. Below is my top dog, Aero, who will be 10 years old this July. I think he likes me!

Me and My Aero

Over the years I have had a lovebird, a parakeet, two goldfish, three cats, two horses, and three other dogs. I even found some tadpoles when I was five years old that quickly grew into frogs. They didn’t really need a pet parent.

Being a pet parent is a big responsibility. I think dogs are needier than most, with cats running a close second. However, as a teen, I remember my parakeet needing a lot of attention.

As a pet parent, I take my parenting responsibilities seriously. Enjoy my photo essay!

I clothe them and make sure toys are close by,

Dressed up dogs ready to play

I provide a safe shelter for sleeping or travel.

Aero doesn't like his kennel
You can see by Aero’s expression that he does NOT like his kennel!

I encourage daily quiet time and contemplation.

Brodie lounging in the backyard

They are the subjects of endless photography and art experiments.

Artistic Brodie
Artistic Brodie
Aero Birthday

Our dogs are lucky to go with us wherever we go! We are pretty lucky, too! They love road trips in the car. We go to the delta on weekends…

Brodie watching a windsurfer.

Of course they must play while we exercise.

SUPping with Aero
Hans & Brodie on SUP

They even went on a trip to the Grand Canyon! Lucky dogs!

Dogs at the South Rim of Grand Canyon

All that fun makes us tired, Mom and Dad!

Time to kiss Brodie good night!

Daddy loves Brodie

I am linking this post to this week’s photo challenges–Becky B’s Square Tops and new challenge (to me) Jude’s Travel Words Being Creative with Lines.

Not a pet parent? Are you a grand-pet-parent or temporarily looking after a pet during the pandemic? Perhaps the birds in your backyard feel like your pets, or you have a favorite animal you love to photograph? Be creative! I’m looking forward to what you will share as we celebrate National Pet Parents Day!

Visit my Sunday Stills page for May themes.

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: The Light in #Yin-Yang

Winter Yin-Yang

I am pleased to be back to hosting the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge and appreciate everyone who took part in Hugh’s themes over the last two weeks!

We are back with what I thought was a difficult theme: Yin-Yang.

So difficult, I had to google it for definitions and hunt up some example images! I have had this on my theme list for over two years and I’m happy to finally use it.

yin yang symbol

“The yin, the dark swirl, is associated with shadows, femininity, and the trough of a wave; the yang, the light swirl, represents brightness, passion and growth.”

Above is the symbol commonly associated with Yin-Yang. Image from Pixabay.

In ancient Chinese philosophy, yin-yang is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

Dog brothers Aero and Gideon happened to flop down into this position after a busy day running on the beach. Gideon, the blonde one, is 6 months older than Aero, but belongs to my daughter and now lives with her in San Diego. Both dogs have the same parents, believe it or not.

Blonde and brown dog yin and yang
A Long Day on the Beach

Yin-Yang is also the balance between two opposites. Gideon is mellow and sweet, while Aero is a guardian personality, whose sharp, staccato warning bark can curl your hair.

Blonde and Brown dogs
Brothers Gideon & Aero

But they love each other and I know they miss being together.

While visiting the Grand Canyon earlier this month, I swept my lens over the South Rim. I thought this photo had a yin-yang quality to it showing the lights and darks in nature.

Grand Canyon View
Long Lens View


My Lumix FZ300 has a 600-zoom travel lens and I captured what appears to be twins posing above a rocky outcrop over the canyon. Upon closer inspection, they wore opposite colors. Hint: these girls can barely be seen in the upper left quadrant of the above image. Love that zoom!

Tourists at Grand Canyon
Tourist Twins

I shared these images a couple of years ago and thought they each have that yin-yang feeling.

Winter Yin-Yang
Winter Yin-Yang Reflection
Flowers twinned
Yellow Gray Duality

The images in this post are inspired in part by BeckyB’s January Light Squares Challenge.

Special shout-out to three bloggers who posted for Sunday Stills in December and those who joined Hugh in January. Life is Great, Locating Frankenstein’s Brain, and Just Muddling Through Life. Hope to see you all again!

I am excited to see how creative you will be with Yin-Yang this week! Don’t forget you can post anytime during the week.

Sources: The Hidden Meaning of Yin-Yang and Wikipedia

Camera graphic

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Your #Favorite Photo

Lonely Fisherman

With the holidays upon us, I thought I would make it easy for all of us at Sunday Stills this week to share a few of our favorite photos or some oldie-but-goodies. If you have a new favorite to share, well, go right ahead!

I went to Instagram and looked at past posts from 2019 to see which ones seemed to generate more likes than others.

Lonely Fisherman

I loved capturing this shot our first day back on the Big Island of Hawaii. The waves were big and the light was amazing. My cousin remarked that it reminded her of an old pic of our grandfather fishing off the rocks on the Northern California coast years ago. No wonder it caught my attention!

Lonely Fisherman
Lonely fisherman casts his net on Hilo Bay

Dog and Butterfly

This is one of the first captures of my dog Brodie using my camera, Panasonic Lumix FZ300. The picture was taken from afar but I was able to crop it enough for a quality close-up. I was very pleased with the crispness of the water droplets suspended in time.

Brodie's First Water Experience

This pink lady’s image was captured on the side of the road in the Sierra Nevada foothills. I hadn’t yet played a lot with the macro setting on my camera and it didn’t disappoint. All this while still hopping around in my cast last July!

Pink Lady Butterfly

The heading “Dog and Butterfly” is in reference to one of my favorite songs by Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson.

Wild Road Trip

A rare sight to see snow covering the red rocks of Sedona. This amount of snow had not fallen in several years, (impeccable timing?) and the experience changed the trajectory of my entire trip earlier this year.

Snow on Red Rock of Sedona
Snow on Red Rock of Sedona

Because of the necessary detour, I was able to visit Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas, and still get my slot canyon experience as we walked through the “Narrows.”

Entrance to the Valley of Fire slot canyon, the Narrows

I am happy to share a couple of my favorites, from my “Bucket-List Photos” in 2018. Whenever a photographer captures “the one” (or more) iconic image, it is worth crowing about!

Moon captured with the camera in the manual setting.

Moon shot

My best live-action sports picture taken at full zoom in 40mph winds.

Windsurfer
Local windsurfer gets a lot of air in Sherman Island

After our winter road trip last January, driving home from dropping off the trailer, we stopped for a few minutes in Walnut Grove, a small, quaint Sacramento River Delta town. With the fog and still water, the dock appears to float in space!

FLoating Dock Reflections
“Floating” dock on Sacramento River

All images in this post were taken with the Lumix camera instead of my trusty Samsung cell phone. It is probably why these are among my favorites, because of the high quality only a “real” camera can provide.

Show us your favorite photos from 2019 or before. Share your other creative ideas in the form of your favorite poem, song, or story, too.

I’m traveling in the Pacific Northwest as you read this post, so please be patient as I may be a little slow to read, share and comment on your posts.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating this week!

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Sunday Stills: All About #Pets

Brodie pretty in pink

While selecting November’s Sunday Stills themes, I discovered that the entire month is “Adopt a Senior Pet Month.” Awww.

The first week in November is National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week, so why not make this challenge All About Pets?

We had a similar photo challenge in April (It’s a Dog’s Life) which was a very popular post and a testament to your love for your pets!

My public service announcement about National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week includes this plea for donations. Any time of year, most animal shelters need donations of food, old linens, and your volunteer time. Materials are tax-deductible and provide a good excuse to clean out your closet!

Shopping cart for donations

In California, as wildfires rage across the state, many animal shelters are filling up with lost, surrendered and injured pets. Now, more than ever, donations are needed.

Sadly, many families that become displaced from their homes cannot keep their pets and reluctantly surrender them to the nearest shelter. This is a wonderful opportunity to adopt a rescued animal. The need is such that often, the shelters will reduce their adoption fees or charge nothing in order to place as many pets into new homes as possible.

I have many friends who have adopted older dogs and cats over the years and the animals were happy to have a new forever home. My brother and his daughters occasionally walk dogs at the local animal shelter and have adopted one or two dogs as a result. Sure, puppies are fun, new and wiggly, but a LOT of work. An older dog is already housebroken and brings with it the wisdom of its life.

Fellow blogger and friend, Liesbet, of Roaming About describes her and her husband’s heartwarming adoption of Maya.

The Benefits of Adopting an Older Dog

  • Older dogs usually come leash-trained and understand basic commands.
  • Older dogs are calmer and less energetic than younger dogs and have an established demeanor and temperament, which will give you an idea of how it will fit into your household.
  • Older dogs make instant loyal companions and are ready to accompany you on a long walk. Source

Remembering my sweet old dog Oreo as he neared the end of his life in 2011.

Black Dog Oreo

All pet lovers will appreciate the unconditional love our beloved pets give us. Pets that are in the incarnation of a parrot, fish, reptile, or (gasp!) tarantula instinctively know and love the hands that feed and care for them, even if they don’t always demonstrate it with snuggles and open affection.

Woman and parrot

As I age, I appreciate each day I spend with my sweet dogs, Aero (9 yrs) and Brodie (almost 3 yrs). I can count on one hand the number of years Aero has left with me on this earth. He is a fun dog and we make the most of it! But as you can see, like many seniors, a nap is imminent!

collage of Sleepy Aero

Brodie, who is close to three years old, destroyed shoes, underwear, furniture, ate (and pooped) socks, drove us crazy at 12 months when he was neutered, well…you get the idea. Aero took his teeth-cleaning in stride at age 7 and was mellow!

Dogs resting
Brodie and Aero enjoying a morning at the dog park.
Brodie pretty in pink

I expect this one to be around for another 12 years!

November is Adopt a Senior Pet month and although I cannot take part in this now, I can hope that others will. Hubby and I are retiring to Washington state within the next two years and plan to buy a larger property with room for more than two dogs to run. Until that time, I will imagine the love and forever home I can give to an older dog.

Please visit these bloggers who were new to the Sunday Stills photo challenge in October! Reflections of an Untidy Mind and Photo Poeme

This week, share your photos, stories, poems, and other creative ideas as we celebrate pets of all ages and the important roles animal shelters play in our communities!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Your Favorite #Sport or #Hobby

SUP session at the delta

This week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge is all about showcasing your favorite sports and/or hobbies. Your images of sports might show others participating or yourself engaged in one. The same is true for your hobbies. Please share any image depicting doing what you love and engaging in leisure!

I will start you off with some of my examples.

Hobby 1: Gardening

Last teddy sunflower of the summer

Most of my summer was confined to my backyard due to foot surgery and lack of mobility afterward. Many of my photos featured my new-ish hobby of gardening, with great success in growing (yes, and bragging about) my two favorite flowers: plumeria and sunflowers.

I was so excited to grow the Tall Sungold or Teddy Bear from seeds this season, shown in the above image.

My sunflowers are just about done, but even as they go to seed there is still beauty and hope for the next season!

sunflower seed harvest

My hearty little plumeria plant is still blooming and I hope by next season that the other three plants will reveal their blooms.

Unexpected Plumeria blooms

Hobby 2: Photography

I take at least 200 photos a week and perhaps like you, I share a few on my blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

Since I am not yet interested in trying to sell my photos, freely sharing through these creative outlets simply makes me happy. I have enjoyed much positive feedback and encouragement about my photography (and I am sure you have, too)!

One day, I may print images on canvases and sell them in local craft fairs. But for now, these are a fun and creative outlets to help me enjoy my hobby.

I enjoy seeing the astounding photographic talents on Instagram and on WordPress from the fellow bloggers who link with Sunday Stills Photo Challenge each week.

Hobby 3: Writing

I have mostly finished the first draft of my next book, No Excuses Fitness. My daughter, an aerospace engineer and CrossFit enthusiast, is reading it with a critical eye and has already made some excellent suggestions and edits!

Cycling-for-Exercise

I would have never thought about self-publishing if it not been for my blog. I have met many self-published authors through blogging and am now a fan of their published works.

Hobby 4: Caring for my Dogs

Brodie swims for the stick

I don’t know if caring for my fur-babies counts as a hobby since I consider Aero and Brodie part of the family, but they do provide us with endless shenanigans and smiles!

At the Sacramento River Delta a few weekends ago, I enjoyed photographing Aero chasing a ball on the beach, while making sure Brodie chased sticks in the river. They know the word “delta” and stop in their tracks when I utter the word.

Aero the dog chases the ball on the beach

Sport 1 & 2: SUP and Windsurfing

When I met my husband 10 years ago, I had no idea my life would have ever been this exciting! His passion for windsurfing has opened unexpected doors to leisure pastimes I had never considered. He remembered I was athletic in high school, so it was natural for me to jump into windsurfing and stand-up paddling.

SUP session at the delta

I have not windsurfed at all this summer and I’m told there were many non-windy days. I prefer SUPing anyway!

The next evolution of board sports is foiling, giving board sports enthusiasts another way to enjoy these sports. Riding on this foil lifts the board out of the water and creates a smooth ride even on a light-wind day.

Windsurf foiling

Here, you can get an idea of the special board and the size of the foil.

Brodie keeps a watchful eye as his “dad” prepares to launch!

Brodie watching a windsurfer.

Hobby 5: Weekend Camping and Beyond

Truck and Trailer

We have had our travel trailer since spring 2018 and have made excellent use of it, by camping two summers in the delta at our windsurf club’s campground. Alas, the season ends this month and we move our trailer back to storage. However, we hope to camp with the trailer a couple of weekends this fall, perhaps driving north to Lake Siskiyou or to Lake Tahoe before it gets too cold.

We are repeating our winter road trip in late December into January as we head south to San Diego and into Arizona and Nevada. If you are new to my blog, you can read more about our travel travails from earlier this year!

Need some hobby inspiration? Check out Kaiser Permanente’s article on the benefits of having a hobby and enjoying leisure time.

I’m betting you will find a selection of images of sports and hobbies to share and I can’t wait to see what you come up with this week!

Go forth and enjoy your leisure time!

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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: The Lonely #Playground

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge The Lonely Playground

In my world, a lonely playground is just wrong! Together, we can fix this serious problem.

Lonely Swing Set

Kids, you work hard every day. It’s time to show your parents just how hard you work. After all, your primary job is to play, and the third Sunday in May is “National Take Your Parents to the Playground Day!”

National Day Calendar
children at play in the park
Over 1000 public parks in Sacramento County

Today is the day! If you don’t have a kid to take you to a playground, you can certainly find a great playground in which to play!

Even the dogs have a safe place to play when the swimming pool shuts down for the summer.

Public Pool Dog Playground
End of Season Event, Doggy Dip Day

Where do you like to play? Your playground can be anywhere or anything.

Retreat ladies enjoy a mountain hike at 7000 feet in South Lake Tahoe.

Hikers navigate a snow field in May
Hikers navigate a Sierra snow field in May

Hubby juggles while waiting for the wind to come up for windsurfing.

Juggling while waiting for wind
Juggling while waiting for wind

Windsurf gear patiently waits for the kids camp participants.

Windsurf Playground
Windsurf gear waiting for kids’ camp

Now, don’t they all look happy?

Kids Windsurf Day Camp
Kids Windsurf Day Camp

It is time we opened the gates to more leisure places!

Chain link fence may stand in the way of a leisurely swim
A fence is safe but the pool is happier with people swimming in it!

My spring semester ended this week and summer vacation is nigh. I’m off to play!

Mother's Day Kayaking
A happy Mother’s Day for me kayaking!

I hope you can get out and play today. Take yourself, your dog, your kid or your grandchild to the playground this week!

Show us your version of your favorite playground for Sunday Stills!

Sunday Stills: It’s a #Dog’s Life

Brodie's home and missed his orange pillow.

Did you know the last Sunday of April is National Pet Parents Day? Hooray, because I am one and I bet you are, too…or maybe so in the pawst!

For this week’s Sunday Stills photography challenge, let’s celebrate the pets that make our lives so much richer!

We make a lot of sacrifices for our pets!

In this photo, I had just brought Brodie home from three days of isolation in July 2017, when he was infected by canine parvo-virus. Between the vet bill and worry, I was a hot mess, but relieved when he came home!

Brodie's home and missed his orange pillow.
Brodie’s home and missed his orange pillow.

“There is a very special connection, a unique bond, between a pet and its owner. This unique relationship, which can often last for many years, is often a vital part of the ‘pet parents’ life. Their loved pets are a member of the family.”

National Day Calendar
Aero at 2 months old
Me and my Aero at 2 months old

We love our pets. Between myself and my family, growing up, I have owned a parakeet and lovebird; horses Cookie and Star; cats Streaker, Stormy, and Leon; dogs Buddy, Shotsie, Oreo, and currently, Aero and Brodie. I’m also a grand-pet-parent to my daughter’s cat Nova and my younger daughter’s dog Gideon, who lived with us for many years.

Dog Brodie
A Painnt-edited version of Brodie

All but Aero and Brodie are at the Rainbow Bridge waiting for their pet parents to reunite with them in eternity.

My mother’s hobby was raising collies (Lassie) for show and obedience competitions. At one point my mom and dad had 12 collies on our 4 acres near Portland, Oregon back in 1969-70! As kids, my middle brother and I went to a LOT of dog shows all over the Pacific Northwest and then in San Diego when we moved back. I got familiar with most breeds of dogs and appreciated having dogs around.

No wonder I became a pet parent! And see how much our lives are richer for playing with them.

Aero with me on SUP
Aero with me on SUP
Hans & Brodie on SUP
Good pet parents take turns with dogs on the stand-up paddleboards
Han with Brodie

As proud pet parents, we also share images of our beloved fur-babies on social media. Every day I read or see photos of people’s pets doing something adorable or silly, or when someone has said a tearful goodbye.

They are part of our families.

But as much as we all love our pets, they only give us a few short years. We rescue them, feed them, doctor them, grieve them and love them…forever.

I posted this on Facebook last July when I lost my 13-year old cat Leon, one of the hardest decisions I had to make. He loved to sit on the edge of the chair and rested mostly on my shoulder during his last two days.

“Yesterday I made the almost impossible decision to humanely end my 13-year-old cat’s life. Leon gave us 13 years of fun and frolic. He used up his last life, probably in a fight with another animal which ultimately resulted in an untreatable, massive infection. God has a better plan for the spirits of His lovely creatures and only gives us a few years with them until He takes them back home. RIP my sweet Leon.”

Me and Leon the cat
My last days with Leon.
Leon in happy times
Leon rolling around on the porch in healthier times

Perhaps many of us bloggers have written recent and past stories about our pets, so feel free to include the link in your comments to this post and I will happily read them.

For a WordPress Writing 101 challenge in 2015, I wrote three stories about the life and times of my spaniel/Australian shepherd mix, Oreo. My Oreo Lives Forever summed up the series. To reduce spam, comments are closed on that post but feel free to add a comment to this post if you wish.

And of course, share the link for your current Sunday Stills post by using this hashtag #NationalPetParentsDay to post on social media.

Enjoy this Dogoscope: Your Pet’s Zodiac Sign, courtesy of Nationwide

Provided by Nationwide pet insurance

May’s themes are now available to view on my Sunday Stills page.

Are you a pet parent? Show us and tell us more about your relationship with your pet!

Sunday Stills: #Festive!

Festive Graphic

Nothing is more festive than the decorations and lights people use for their holiday celebrations!

That is our theme for this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge!

Last week we looked at traditions as we explored Christmas light displays in some of the neighborhoods with my darling Japanese exchange student! Here are some images.

Festive Purple Lights

Quick selfie with Ayaka! There were a lot of people enjoying the lights!

Seeing the Lights

A festive wreath adorns Pacific Beach’s Crystal Pier at Christmas time, even as surfers hit the waves.

Wreath on Pier

A festive pic of Aero from a couple of years ago! He thinks he is a gift (and he is!).

Aero thinks he is a gift...he is!

What puts you in a festive mood?

 

treesignatureholidays

Quote

2018 Christmas Charity Appeal – Help Me Raise £250 For The Dogs Trust By Leaving Me Links To Your Blogs And Books

SPCA Jingle Bells Walk

SPCA Jingle Bells Walk

We all love our dogs and take good care of them! Sadly, too many dogs are neglected, abandoned or worse! Many dogs get lost around the holidays for a variety of reasons and end up spending their time in shelters or on the streets.

Here in the US, we rely on the SPCA  (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), like the Dogs Trust, to help our canine friends find good homes.

Founded in 1891, Dogs Trust is the largest dog welfare charity in the UK.

Comments are closed here. Please visit Hugh’s blog for more information.

via 2018 Christmas Charity Appeal – Help Me Raise £250 For The Dogs Trust By Leaving Me Links To Your Blogs And Books

Sunday Stills: #Furry and #Feathered Friends

Sunday Stills Fur and Feathers Graphic

Today’s Sunday Stills theme is “fur and feathers” but feel free to add photos of your scaled and slithering friends as well.

Aero loves going to the delta
Aero loves going to the delta

Boykin Spaniel Brodie loves the water
Boykin Spaniel Brodie loves the water

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.

Bewildered swallow looking for its nest
Bewildered swallow looking for its nest

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.

Sunday Stills Fur and Feathers Graphic

Link up here:

A hearty shout-out to May Sunday Stills Photo Challenge participants!

A Day In the Life
Adventures in Weseland
CactusCatz
Cee’s Photography
Debbie Scott Photography Digital Art
Field Notes From Over The Hill
Feel Purple
Heaven’s Sunshine
Hugh’s Views and News
Idaho Bluebird
IScribler
Light Words
Living with My Ancestors
Misty Roads Blog
Mucho Spanish
NorCal Zen
Now at Home
Proscenium
Retirementally Challenged
Terry’s Desk
This, That and the Other Thing
YasminKhanBlog
zestnzealblog

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