Sunday Stills: Revenge of the #Fifth and More

I think our liquor cabinet needs pruning.

I have said this before that when I create Sunday Stills photo challenge themes, they are meant to challenge me, too.

This is definitely true today, May 5th, as I use “fifth” as this week’s theme.

As you read today’s post, I am finishing my weekend in Lake Tahoe with our Women’s Retreat. Our retreats have met every two years in May since 2015.

My biennual May view of Lake Tahoe from our retreat center.

Pine trees surround beautiful Lake Tahoe.

Today (and all this weekend) many people celebrate Cinco De Mayo (5th of May) to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over France in 1862, although most people just use it as an excuse to enjoy margaritas.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a fifth of spirits contains 750 ml or around 3.2 cups. The hard liquor typically sold in fifths is 40 percent alcohol by volume or 80 proof.


The NIAA states that a fifth of hard liquor is equivalent to 17 shots.

In a previous photo challenge, I submitted an interior look at our (my husband’s) liquor cabinet. A lot of fifths hiding in there!

Bottles of alcohol
I think our liquor cabinet needs pruning.

Don’t be a fifth wheel if you go out and celebrate. Unless you are pulling a fifth wheel camper with your truck. Please don’t drive after that shot!

As I continued to unpack fifth using Google, I found a LOT of references to fifth relating to pop culture.

Entertainment of the Fifth Kind

“Revenge of the Fifth,” you ask with raised brow? If you are a Star Wars Geek Fan, you might know that May 4th is known as “May the 4th be with you” (read May the Force be with you) a play on words to the popular Star Wars movie slogan.

Star Wars fans grieve the loss of actor Peter Mayhew, who played the beloved 7’3″ Wookie Chewbacca, who recently passed away at age 74. May the Force be with you.

Continuing with this line of thinking, “Revenge of the Fifth” is the play on words to the Star Wars movie Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, which was coincidentally released in May 2005.

And….another reason to celebrate this weekend.

Have you seen the now old movie The Fifth Element? A fun sci-fi romp starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich.

In the music industry, we are familiar with the opening “da-da-da DUM” of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and the golden voice of The Fifth Dimension’s Marilyn McCoo singing The Age of Aquarius.

Speaking of broadcast entertainment, are you familiar with this quote?

“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”

Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone season 1 introduction

Serling’s quote is imaginative. My daughter, an aerospace engineer, says there are 11 dimensions and only theoretical physicists know what this all means.

I hope this has sparked a few (maybe five?) ideas for your Sunday Stills photo ideas!

While you ponder, I will leave you with more images of fifth:

Blowing bubbles on the bridge, university students partake in this impromptu lesson in spontaneous play. What is the fifth student from the left thinking, I wonder? Perhaps she is thinking “will this be on the final exam in May?”

Students lined up to blow bubbles
University students get a lesson in spontaneous play.

A May day at the Sacramento River delta. Sunny and warm one day, storms rising the next.

Variety of textures in the delta

Welcome two bloggers to the Sunday Stills Challenge who shared their posts in April. Jaspa’s Journal and Susan’s Place.

I can’t wait to see what creative ideas you come up with for this week’s Sunday Stills Challenge fifth!

Cabin Doors of Lake Tahoe

Colorful Cabin Door

Colorful Cabin Door

What is a blogger to do when there is no Weekly Photo Challenge scheduled this week? Why, post for Thursday Doors, of course!

Back in July (seems so long ago now), we stayed with friends in their cabin near the west shore of Lake Tahoe. It was another endlessly hot weekend in the Sacramento Valley, so a 2-hour drive to the Sierra Nevadas seemed like the best place to go.

After playing on the lake with the dogs and enjoying the mountain air, I took a walk with one of my dogs around the neighborhood and discovered LOTS of wonderful cabin doors!

The above photo shows the creativity and color this person added to his cabin door. Even though the sign says “Xx’s Roost” I doubt the roosters hang out there much since there are very active bears that lurk around in the forest day and night. Look closely on the door and you can see the electric gizmo attached to keep the bears away while the residents are gone.

Our friend’s cabin had an electric doorstep as a bear deterrent, and even knowing it was turned off during the day, you can bet I cautiously stepped over it each time!

A frame gives way to reflections

Love the red door of this cute A-Frame and how the trees are reflected in the windows. Must be a stunning view from the inside.

Door to leisure

Some lucky child is going to have some fun as she parks her bike in front of their cabin garage door.

A nice walk is all anyone needs to enjoy the beautiful surroundings in these unique Lake Tahoe neighborhoods.

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” Flora Whittemore

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Note: Addresses and names muted for privacy.

Join me on the weekly photo challenge next week, but in the meantime, stop by Norm’s weekly feature Thursday Doors!

My signature

One Word Photo Challenge: Winter

Cold December in Lake Tahoe

Although winter seems like a distant season away, Winter is the theme for the One Word Photo Challenge. November is here and brought some rain to Northern California and we can look forward to cooler days and (finally!) cold nights.

In this photo taken in South Lake Tahoe in early December 2009 near the Heavenly Ski Resort gondola area, it was so cold, even the water in the fountain froze. There was no snow on the ground (yet), but the temperature was 17 degrees Fahrenheit with a pretty good wind chill factor.

Cold December in Lake Tahoe

Are you ready for winter yet? I’m happy Fall has finally arrived!

Please check out Jennifer Nichole Wells’ One Word Photo Challenge.

Turquoise Waters and Sky


Turquoise is the theme for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. While the photos themselves are full of turquoise and other hues of blue, the fun they exude is in the eye of the beholder.

I love how the kites from the nearby kite boarders are juxtaposed over the area where the windsurfers enter the water.


Of course, no photo essay to describe turquoise would be complete without a shot of the beautiful blues found within Lake Tahoe.


What activities would you take part in if you found yourself next to Lake Tahoe?

These photos were submitted for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Teal or Turquoise.

Circles of Friends


Lake Tahoe’s paddleboat Tahoe Queen makes a circuitous route from Zephyr Cove to Emerald Bay

While at our retreat in Lake Tahoe, I captured this photo of the paddle-boat Tahoe Queen on one of its daily tours and I am submitting it for Ed’s Sunday Stills weekly photography feature. Since “circles” is the theme, you will see the circle of the paddle wheel as well as the circular wood structures on the pier in the foreground.

Not an especially amazing photo, but the theme of “circles” brought to mind something I wanted to share from my retreat experience.

I spent a beautiful weekend in Lake Tahoe at a ladies retreat sponsored by our church. In yesterday’s post I introduced the concept of Sobremesa, which was the theme of our retreat.

Spanish culture embraces sobremesa, the time where people gather for dinner, then spend up to two hours just talking and enjoying each other’s company. It is a concept mostly lost to us in today’s busy world, especially in the U.S.

After experiencing some wonderful quality time with the women of my church, I want to find ways to experience a little sobremesa! Family time is so precious, and having recently witnessed my youngest daughter’s college graduation, my time with her is limited before she leaves for her internship. After that, she will move on to her own adult life.

I want to encourage you to dedicate some family time at your main meal to simply talk about the day’s events and draw closer to each other. Believe me, finding time to sit down for 5 minutes, much less two hours, is nearly impossible. When the kids were young, we were always on the go and ate a few fast-food meals in the car on the way to somewhere.

No wonder so many of us are overweight and stressed out!

If you fall into this category, try committing to one family meal a week where you can all spend a few extra minutes talking about the day’s events. Gradually add a few extra minutes each week and make it something the entire family can look forward to. If you are someone who lives alone, think about other ways you can eat a meal with a colleague, friend or family member.

Our friendships may also suffer in our “hurry-up” world. Because we barely have time for our own family members, how can we possibly find time to meet with friends on a regular basis?

Re-connecting with my friends at the retreat and simply having conversations really fed my soul. Conversations connect us together and create new circles of friendships, or re-create former ones. I also made new friends at this retreat and would like to get to know them better.

While it may be unrealistic to have a two-hour lunch with a friend every week, make a little time to meet face-to-face.

I need to practice what I preach. I have a wonderful friend whom I have known since 1980. I consider her one of my closest and best friends and we get together for lunch and shopping every three or four months. We both have retired and have more time, so we need to meet more often. MC, if you are reading this, we need to meet for lunch again, SOON!

One of the songs we sang at the retreat was “Circle of Friends” by Point of Grace. I love the lyrics in this excerpt.

If you weep, I will weep with you
If you sing for joy, the rest of us will lift our voices, too.
But no matter what you feel inside there’s no need to pretend
That’s the way it is in this circle of friends.

During our weekends at the delta, our friends in our windsurf campground often gather spontaneously during the evening meal. They are likely drawn to my hubby’s wonderful BBQ and just bring over their meal to our large communal table. After a great sailing session, dinner can come late, and many of us eat quickly but linger long afterwards just talking about the day.

A wonderful circle of friends, indeed.

Who is in your circle of friends? Do you get the chance to connect on a regular basis?

Embrace the idea of sobremesa and see how it can enhance your time with family and friends.

Rewards of Waiting, Wind, Wings, and Wicked

Windsurf Lesson


The weekly photo challenge for February 27 asks, “What is your reward?” Here are mine.

 In Lake Tahoe, after waiting to dock after a two-hour cruise on Emerald Bay, we were greeted by this incredible view.

Success after lesson with a pro

After taking a windsurf lesson with a pro (bottom left, teaching a child), I headed out for some practice in this posterized version.

 Hummingbird feeders

When visiting the quaint town of Julian near San Diego, we watched hummingbirds wing their way to the feeders.

Wicked Women after Wicked

 An opportunity to see the Broadway musical Wicked, at the Orpheum theater in San Francisco with my daughters.

All photos touched up with PicMonkey