Sunday Stills: Indoor/Outdoor #Décor

Wood block Haloween decor

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

Porch Decor
Welcome to my festive front porch

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

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

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

Andrew Zolli

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

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

My fabulous re-decorated fireplace ala Joanna Gaines style

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

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

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

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

Indoor Décor

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

Autumn-Inspired

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

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

Autumn Gourds
Bird-like gourds grace my living room table

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

Halloween-Inspired

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

Décor Out and About

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

Nature’s Decorations

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

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

Campus Decor For Fall

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

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

Autumn Lake Reflections

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

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

Photo Challenges This Week

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

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

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

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

BLOGGERS’ IN THE PINK LINKS

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

Always Write

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Blog of Hammad Rais

Bushboy’s World

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

The Day After

Deb’s World Image shared on Instagram

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Equipoise Life

Geriatrix Foto Gallery

Graham’s Island

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Jacquie Biggar Author

Kamerapromenader

Life Lessons

Loving Life

Musin’ with Susan

Natalie the Explorer

Now At Home

Philosophy Through Photography

Photos By Jez

Picture This

Retirementally Challenged

Retirement Reflections image on Instagram

Stevie Turner

Shutters on the World

NEW Soul N Spirit

This is Another Story

Travel With Me

Women Living Well After 50

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

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

Autumn Bitmoji

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: The #Pink Side of October

Pink Dawn

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

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

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

Elle Woods, Legally Blonde

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

farm girls love pink
Farm girls love pink!

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

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink Coffee

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

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

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

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

(image by Pexels)

Way Too Many

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

Way too many.

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

Way too many.

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

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

World Health Organization

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

Men can also contract breast cancer, too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pink Side of October

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

Pink and red Maple Leves
I blush pink and red!

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

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

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

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

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

C. JoyBell C

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

Pink Dawn
Very little editing…cropped and adjusted contrast

Other Ways to Acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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

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

Photo Challenges This Week

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

“Orange” You Glad These Bloggers Linked Last Week?

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

Always Write

The Bloggler

Blog of Hammad Rais

Bushboy’s World

Cath’s Camera

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Dandelion Fuzz

Deb’s World

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Geriatrix Foto Gallery

Graham’s Island

Hugh’s Views and News Image shared in comments

Kamerapromenader

Loving Life

Mama Cormier

Musin’ with Susan

Natalie the Explorer

Now At Home

Philosophy through Photography

Picture This

Retirement Reflections image on Instagram

This is Another Story

Travel With Me

Wandering Dawgs

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

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

Camera graphic

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

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

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills Monthly Color Challenge: All that is #Gold

Cup of gold

September’s Sunday Stills color challenge is harvest gold.

harvest gold graphic

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

JRR Tolkein, The Fellowship of the Ring

As I enjoy an Eastern Washington Autumn with all the golden colors so typical in September, I recall countless years spent in Sacramento enjoying Autumn’s much slower start. Late August boasts field of sunflowers a few miles from our new home in Washington.

In Sacramento, September was the month to experience that golden sunlight that warmed the land. Sadly, I believe that golden light was caused by smoke from wildfires, and late summer dry conditions.

leaf reflections
Harvest gold and citrine adorn the American River in Sacramento
wedding ring

Citrine is also another choice for this week’s color challenge. The color of Citrine can range from a pale pastel yellow to a strong orangey-yellow. My sapphire wedding ring is an example of the citrine color.

While you contemplate your harvest gold and citrine images to share, please enjoy this gallery of images to get you started.

In a few weeks, the northern hemisphere falls back into standard time and the nights will get Llooonnger! The first day of Autumn is September 22. Folks in the southern hemisphere–I’ll bet you are looking forward to your spring! For now enjoy this gallery of sunrises and sunsets showing off shades golds and citrines.

Golden Moments of a Sedona Wedding

Thank you so much for your thoughts and comments last week as I shared some preview wedding photos of my step-daughter’s wedding in Sedona, Arizona. As promised, I’m sharing more images from the wedding that took place on Monday, August 23.

The bride and groom shared their vows, then signed the wedding forms in front of the iconic, golden-hued peaks of Sedona.

Wedding vows in Sedona
Sharing their vows
Mr and Mrs Thompson
Mr and Mrs Thompson

Golden moments at dinner. The bride contemplates her array of special beverages.

Golden hues of the L’Auberge de Sedona Resort lobby. Citrine Sedona rocks and me!

Time for cake!

Cutting the wedding cake
Have some cake!

Today’s images are also shared and inspired for the following challenges: Cee’s Flower of the Day; Gold Life in Color; Johnbo’s Cellpic Sunday.

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link to a recent one.
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Include Sunday Stills tag in your post.
  • 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.

I look forward to your gold and citrine images for this month’s color challenge. Next week’s theme is “Signs of Autumn (or Spring). Dawn’s Festival of Leaves prompt begins September 23, another great place to share your Autumn posts!

Bloggers Who Dared to Go Back

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 “going back” photos.

A Day in the Life

Denyse Whelan Blogs

Graham’s Island

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views & News

Light Write Life

Loving Life

Natalie the Explorer

Stevie Turner

NEW This is Another Story

Travel with Me

NEW Wind Kisses

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

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

Have a great week!

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

Sunday Stills: Going #Back … ?

Sunday Stills Banner
Sunday Stills Banner

I’m back…as this week’s title might suggest. I can’t thank Natalie enough for hosting Sunday Stills in my absence and with her amazing themes, no less! Thank you to all my fellow bloggers who continued to participate in Sunday Stills and support Natalie while I was on my three-week break. That is if you can call two-out-of-three whirlwind weekends a break!

Subconsciously, I chose this theme a few weeks ago based on some random thought, but as we traveled the first week between August 20-24, I realized how perfect the theme is to highlight our whirlwind weekend.

Before I launch into my photos, “Going Back…” implies going back to something, whether a place you’ve visited before, going back “in time” as you view your photo archives, or how about going back “to the future?” Use any preposition to add to going back that suits you…going back …in, on, to, out, under, over, through, between, by, as far as, across, etc. I’m certain all you clever bloggers will come up with some spectacular ideas and images to match!

Why did I take a blogging break?

As summer progressed, I found myself getting way too busy at the end of August into early September. My gorgeous step-daughter decided on having her wedding sooner than later and she was gracious enough to ask us when we would be available. I mentioned that Hans had a high school football celebration on August 20 where he would be in San Diego for the event. Vanessa is a detail-oriented, highly organized, long-range planner like her step-mom (she refers to me as her “bonus mom”), so she did some checking for a wedding venue. She chose Sedona for a small parents-only wedding on Monday, August 23. I’m sure she and her groom saved scads of dollars by choosing a Monday in the low-season. Sedona is in the high desert of Arizona, two hours north of Phoenix, so yep, it’s hot there especially this time of year.

Between the football event, our wedding anniversary on August 22 (spent in Prescott and in Sedona), and the wedding, this was a crazy weekend that involved me planning three one-way flights and a rental car, securing five nights in the Pet Lodge for the pups and 15 other things that had to happen. Not to mention, I haven’t traveled by air for almost 2 years, which usually makes me a little anxious.

Since my buddy Marsha makes an appearance in this post today, I again was inspired by her Writers’ Quotes Wednesday challenge which is Writer’s Choice or Order. At first, I didn’t think I could combine “order” with “going back,” but, welp, I managed to (thanks, Google).

In order to move forward, you have to look back.

Matt Maher

So let’s go back and take a partial look at our whirlwind weekends.

Going Back out on the Field for…High School Sports

My husband and I met at our high school near San Diego as 14-year-olds in 1974. We did not date but we were friends. Both of us were prominent athletes in our respective sports, me in swimming and track-and-field, he in football and soccer. Helix High School began its football program in 1951, and several former players organized a 70-year celebration honoring players from 7 decades and the coaches who inspired them.

Encouraged by friends on Facebook, we decided to make the trip for this one-of-a kind event.

These “old guys” from the 70s decade enjoyed going back onto the field and eventually watching the varsity football game after the celebration. Hans is front and center!

Helix HS 70-year football celebration 2021
Going back to high school football

I’d love to go back to when we played as kids, but things change. And that’s the way it is.

Tupac Shakur

Not only were there over 200 players there to receive honors, but alumni Bill Walton, of NBA-fame (playing for Portland Trailblazers and Boston Celtics), was also there to support his fellow Helix athletes.

For you American football buffs, two famous Helix alumni, Alex Smith and Reggie Bush, played football at Helix High school in the early 2000s and went on to become stars in the NFL.

According to Wikipedia, “While at Helix, Reggie played with the 2004 Heisman Trophy finalist and first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft Alex Smith. During his prep career with the Helix Highlanders, he won the prestigious Silver Pigskin trophy awarded by KUSI’s Prep Pigskin Report. Smith and Bush were later finalists for the 2004 Heisman Trophy, making it the first time a high school had two finalists at the same ceremony.”

Due to their busy schedules they were unable to attend, but how cool, huh?

My lovely daughter housed us overnight at her place and we enjoyed a fun but brief visit with her before we headed out Saturday morning to fly to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

Going Back to… Celebrating Friendships

We arrived in Phoenix and drove two hours to Prescott, AZ to stay with Marsha and her husband in their lovely new home! They treated us to a nice dinner downtown, then we strolled through the quaint streets in the warm summer evening.

We spent Sunday morning checking out Watson Lake and folks enjoying their kayaks and paddleboards. Marsha and her husband decided to drive along with us to Sedona to eat lunch at Butterfly Grill for our wedding anniversary. Such a fun day!

Blogger Friends in Prescott, AZ
Photo credit, Marsha’s hubby

Speaking of friendships, long-time friend, Marcie, and her husband drove from Sacramento area to Coeur D’Alene, Idaho (one hour drive from our home), to attend a family wedding over the Labor Day holiday weekend. They joined us at our home for dinner and was the first time they had seen our new place! I miss this bestie—we have been friends since 1980, our kids are the same age and we played years of recreational softball together.

Best friends
Friends for 40+ years!

Going Back to a Place…Sedona, Arizona

After saying goodbye to Marsha and her husband, we headed for the L’Auberge de Sedona Spa and Resort, where the wedding would take place the next day, and where we would spend two nights. At 7pm, we met the wedding party to shuttle to Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill. A wonderful way to spend our 8th wedding anniversary!

We were quite excited to be able to go back and see Sedona again, after our snowy winter road trip in 2018-19. The Instagram post below gives you an idea of the spectacular views that awaited us this time around.

The road was new to me, as roads always are, going back.

Sarah Orne Jewett

In late December 2018, we pulled into the Rancho Sedona RV campground with high hopes of seeing the sights around Sedona for a couple of days. Little did we know how much snow would fall our second day, on December 31, with thousands of visitors driving into the area.

Our views went from this to this in less than 24 hours!

I was told that the rock formation was Snoopy Rock, but, scratching my head, I didn’t see it.

Because we were snowed in, we couldn’t even walk the main street through town that affords all the iconic views. Going back to Sedona, on the morning of the wedding, we strolled the street that boasted views and signage!

Sign showing mountains of Sedona
Helpful Street Signs

Turns out, from the campground, Snoopy Rock was hidden. Going back this time, I finally saw Snoopy from a higher vantage point, and boy was I excited! Do you see Snoopy as if he is laying on top of his doghouse?

Snoopy Rock Sedona
Sedona’s Snoopy

For more about that winter road trip, you can check it our here.

A Sedona Wedding, Part 1

Many of you saw my post on Instagram and Facebook where I shared many images of my step-daughter’s wedding. On the morning of the wedding we enjoyed breakfast by the creek with the bride and groom, then did some shopping and sightseeing. My step-dot Vanessa’s mom was also there and helped her get ready.

Some fun facts about the wedding:

  • Vanessa and her new hubby live in Tempe, AZ. Sedona was the perfect venue for the wedding.
  • The groom’s parents live near Toronto, Canada, and travel restrictions were lifted in the nick of time.
  • Vanessa’s dog, Nala, a Shiba-Inu, was the ring bearer.
  • There were only 8 guests at the wedding: 5 parents and 3 special friends of the groom. A reception will be held next year in San Diego where most of the family lives.
  • The bride’s dress was an extra small and did not have to be altered in any way.
  • And yes, I cried when she was escorted down the steps and the aisle with her handsome papa.

Today I will share just a few photos of the wedding.

I had the pleasure of taking a bunch of photos of the wedding with my Samsung Galaxy Note 10+. I shared dozens of them with Vanessa. Next week, I will share more that happily coincide with the monthly color challenge Harvest Gold!

The small reception went late into the night. Thankfully the wedding venue was close to our room. However, all good times must come to an end, as the next morning, we were out the door at 4:45am to drive 2 hours back to Phoenix, turn in the rental car, and shuttle to the gate to fly home.

Sharing photos (except Sedona Rocks–most taken with my Lumix) for Journeys with Johnbo’s Cell Pic Sundays.

This map shows our itinerary, flying from Spokane, WA on Friday to San Diego. Saturday, from San Diego we flew to Phoenix, then drove to Prescott and Sedona. Our return trip on Tuesday, was back to Spokane with a short stop in Seattle.

It’s always good to be back home.

Unknown

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

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

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Fellow blogger and Sunday Stills participant linked to my last post while on my break:

Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

Join me next week for Part 2 of this post which highlights the wedding, which in turn shows off the colors for next week’s monthly color challenge Harvest gold! I will share more about the rest of the two weeks. Quite a bit happened so please stay tuned.

© 2021 Copyright — secondwindleisure.com — All Rights Reserved

I’m a Guest on Denyse Whelan’s Blog in her “Women of Courage” Series

Denyse Whelan Graphic

I am pleased to be a guest on Denyse Whelan’s blog this week in her series, “Women of Courage.”

Denyse Whelan Graphic

Denyse and I “met online” through blogging when she discovered my Sunday Stills photo challenge that I have hosted for over three years. Denyse is a resident of Eastern Australia and survivor of head and neck cancer. Like me, Denyse is a retired fellow educator and we hit it off with our interests in blogging and photography.

The following is an excerpt from her post.

What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

I’ve never really been afraid of anything, being raised in nature and the outdoors. My temperament requires that I exist without uncertainty and a lot of structure, so you can imagine how 2020 has treated me (and the rest of us)!

SUP transportation

Before I begin, I want to acknowledge that everyone of us has shown immense courage and faith simply by existing in a world-wide pandemic, the likes none of us has ever seen.

But if I could define “courage,” I would describe that over the years, I have taken several life-changing leaps of faith, most recently:

Yellow Ginkgos
Days of campus bliss
  • At 55, having given 32 years of service to my long-term job, I retired with a decent pension while continuing to teach at the university and take on more classes. Have you ever retired? It takes a bit getting used to, even though I considered myself “semi-retired” at the time.
  • But more notably, my biggest act of courage was to buy property in another state, build a new home there and completely retire. Imagine leaving a successful teaching job after 10 years? Imagine packing up belongings in a house you’ve lived in for 32 years? And doing it all during a pandemic where uncertainty was the operative word of the year.
Mountain home
Street view of home

To read the rest, please visit Denyse here. Comments are closed on my post.

SUPSIG

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Sunday Stills: Circles, Triangles, #Squares, Oh My!

Sunday Stills Banner

It has been a couple of years since Sunday Stills focused on geometry! You know, circles, squares, triangles and rectangles? Geometry appears in nature and becomes a photographer’s dream when angles fit together to enhance an image. This week, look through your archives or search for new geometric angles either made by human hands or by Mother Nature’s.

Relaxing Between the Lines

Just steps from my home are wonderful backroads where I can walk my dogs and relax my mind. I hear the wind in the trees, notice the changing colors and shadows, and understand that no one is within 1000 yards of me. Most of the photos shared today are taken on some of my walks.

Marsha’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writer’s Challenge is all about relaxing this week.

Walking is my main method of relaxation. I don’t go over my lines or try to solve the world’s problems, I just enjoy the scenery and the wildlife.

Kevin Whately

Almost in the middle of this backroads trail stands this lone, tall tree, showing off its straight lines.

One tall Pine tree

It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these Western woods — trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra.

John Muir

Some more angular views on my walks:

Geometric Circles and Orbs

Angle Abstraction

We are very close to finishing the buildings here and to close out our loan, so I will soon be able to relax! Meanwhile, here are a two abstract angles of our pole barn/shop and patio. You can see a little more of the shop in the featured graphic.

Journey the Eagle Update

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practices while Mom look on (Image by Diana G)

The family has not been seen in or near the nest since Journey was released. He looked so strong when he was released, flying high.

According to Bluebell Court Eagles hostess on Facebook, Diana G explains: “I believe Journey is ok, following his parents and learning to hunt. Eagles don’t tend to gather at this part of the lake…although that could be due to Mom and Dad chasing all away.” Another commenter on Facebook said, “Lots of eagles at the far end of the lake…we have counted 16-20 depending on when we go. Good mix of young and adults…they are probably hanging out there.”

Nature gifted these eagles with powerful instincts that we can only imagine. Perhaps it’s time to let go and trust that nature always has its way.

Busy with Dad

My 80-year old dad loves Tuolumne Meadows.

I’m sorry I missed reading some of your posts this week! My dad and step-mom were here most of the week visiting from Northern California and we had to explore and relax a little. We celebrated his 85th birthday at a family dinner, visited the Bowl and Pitcher area of the Spokane River, then off to Idaho to Post Falls. I believe they really enjoyed the socialization and the visit was good for Dad to see our new lifestyle and engage with more people.

Below is the Post Falls dam in Post Falls, Idaho. Lots of angles here!

Angles at Post Falls Dam

Images are partially inspired and shared for the following challenges:

EVERGREEN LINKS

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

Always Write

Away We Go

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Deb’s World

Denyse Whelan Blogs

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Graham’s Island

Green Dreams

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments

Kamerapromenader

Loving Life

Musin’ with Susan

My Forever Blog

Natalie the Explorer

One Million Photographs

Photos By Jez

Tranature

Travel With Me

Whippet Wisdom

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Be sure to check out my Sunday Stills page for August themes.

I am looking forward to seeing your posts featuring geometric lines, circles, squares and angles!

signature

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Bird Weekly: “H” is for Hummingbird and Haliaeetus Lucocephalus

Color Planet Bald Eagle 4th of July

Catch your attention, did I?

Since I’m not posting for Sunday Stills this weekend as we are busy with a family gathering for the Independence Day holiday, I’m sharing for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Amazingly, to satisfy the prompt for Lisa’s Bird Weekly (birds starting with letter H), the scientific moniker of the American Bald Eagle is Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

Bald Eagle Soars over Lake Couer d' Aline

Terr’s actual image of Bald Eagle flying over Lake Couer D’Alene

I originally planned to only share my Anna’s Hummingbirds seen later in the post, but the story of a juvenile bald eagle is eager to be told.

Inspired By the “Journey” of an American Bald Eagle

When I moved to Nine Mile Falls, Washington (near Spokane), I expected to see a lot of Bald Eagles. I have seen a few in my own neighborhood and I’ve managed to capture some grainy photos of some. Jonesing for a way to find and photograph eagles with my own lens, I stumbled on a Facebook group, Spokane Birders, from which I am inspired daily by wonderful images of local birds and eagles.

A local woman, Diana G, who lives a short distance away, discovered a Bald Eagle’s nest visible from her backyard and has been taking incredible photographs of the adult pair and their newly hatched juvenile eagle, dubbed “Journey.” She shares her gorgeous photos of these eagles and other birds on Spokane Birders, but as her images of eagles grew in popularity due to a slew of newspaper articles and local newscasts, she created a Facebook group called Bluebell Court Eagles.

Diana has graciously given me permission to use some of her amazing photos to share more about the Bluebell Court Eagles and their “Journey!”

It starts with the Bluebell Court Eagles preparing their nest.

A Baby Eaglet is hatched in early April!

Journey Matures!

As Journey prepares to fledge, the heat is on right now in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures are as much as 30 degrees higher than normal for late June. Many juvenile birds are fledging early and bird parents are extra vigilant (we hope)!

Videos and images of him flapping his wings and hopping to higher branches of the nest to beat the heat had us cheering him on as he strengthens his wings for his first flight. Until…

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
Journey practices while Mom look on

…he disappeared from the nest! “He likely fledged,” reported Diana G. This poignant image shows mom in the nest looking in vain for Journey, and panting from the heat.

BlueBell Court Eagles Diana Gigler
Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler

On June 28, Journey indeed fledged too soon due to the extreme heat and safely fluttered to the ground. A nearby neighbor found Journey in her backyard and reported to someone who supplied her with the contact for Birds of Prey Northwest in St Maries, Idaho, near Coeur D’Alene.

Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
I’m safe in the loving hands of Birds of Prey NW

A volunteer reported they rescued Journey and successfully rehydrated him and intend to care for him until he can fly back to the nest next week.

Journey’s journey continues…please stay tuned.

More About Birds of Prey Northwest

This 28-year old non-profit is dedicated to rescuing and releasing birds of prey here in the Northwest. The organization received many donations as a result of following Journey’s story on Facebook. An even more incredible story is the how the talents of its staff rescued and rehabilitated Beauty, a bald eagle that was shot in Alaska and left for dead. The gunshot wound destroyed her upper beak. Not to be deterred, the talented staff used science and technology to create a 3-D printed beak used as a prosthesis to save Beauty from a senseless fate.

Here is Beauty’s story…better get a tissue handy! Read here HOW SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND A 3D-PRINTED BEAK RESCUED A BALD EAGLE.

I’m not kidding when I learned this organization is thee place for rescuing birds of prey!

Why the American Bald Eagle Symbolizes Freedom

Color Planet Bald Eagle 4th of July
Colored by me via ColorPlanet

The U.S. Bald eagle, (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), is the only eagle solely native to North America, and the national bird of the United States.

The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent. The eagle represents freedom.

source

“The power and autonomy of the eagle in the air makes it a symbol of unrestrained freedom.”

Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence, a professor of veterinary medicine and anthropology at Tufts University
Freedom quote Bluebell Court Eagles ©Diana Gigler
original image ©Diana Gigler

Freedom quotes are shared for Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesdays. I will be hosting WQW on July 7 while Marsha takes care of some business! Next week’s theme is Writers’ Choice or Culture.

Small But Also Mighty

Annas Hummingbirds are typically found in the Western US and migrate South in cold winter months. My hummer families lived in our former Sacramento home all year ’round.

These first two Annas Hummingbird pictures were taken at my Dad’s home in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.

FLoating hummingbird
Floating to the feeder
Annas Hummingbird
All mine!
Male Allen Hummingbird
This perched hummingbird nested in our California Redwood Trees in Sacramento. Sharing for Becky B’s July Squares: Trees

“H” is also for HERO, recognizing citizens and volunteers who care for our creatures during extreme weather conditions, injury and beyond. And as we celebrate US Independence Day, please remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. Thank you to those who are serving now.

Are you crazy about eagles? Visit Tofino Photography. His images of eagles are a sight to behold.

Remember, Sunday Stills takes a one week break on July 4th. Won’t you join me as I host Writers’ Quotes Wednesday on July 7th as I stand in for Marsha at Always Write? There I will share all the Sunday Stills links from The Great Outdoors! We’ll be back on July 11 with the Sunday Stills theme of “Under the Trees.”

Stay safe and cool!

Bitmoji Birding

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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: Your Favorite #Landscape

Water fall on the Feather River

We all love landscape photography. When you first began snapping photos, perhaps you naturally gravitated toward landscapes (or waterscapes—same thing), due to their ease of accessibility. Who doesn’t stand in awe of a wonderful vista and wish they had their phone or camera handy?

This is an easy challenge this week as you share your favorite land- or water-scapes, but the twist is to tell us why the image or images are your favorite, and something about the place. Since most of us are travel-restricted, let’s brag about our best or favorite landscapes as we all travel virtually along with each other!

Winter Wonders

For several years, my hubby and I traveled in December and January when we both could take extended time off from work. We enjoyed two winter road trips in our RV, both times visiting San Diego, Arizona, and Nevada.

We got snowed on in Sedona in 2019,

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

and visited the Grand Canyon in 2020. It took two attempts to get here!

South Rim of the Grand Canyon in snow
South Rim of the Grand Canyon

On our way home to drop off the RV, we enjoyed a misty morning along the Sacramento River. This is one of my favorites.

FLoating Dock Reflections
“Floating” dock on Sacramento River

How-waia?*

Moving now into warmer winter climates, our first visit to the Big Island of Hawaii was on the Hilo side where we watched surfers skirting around the volcanic reefs on Hilo Bay. This particular image was created as a 40-30 canvas print I hang in my house.

Hilo Surfers
Hilo Surfers

I had to throw in a Painnted (filter) version of this image as we drove UP the Hamakua coastline on the northern end of the Big Island.

Hawaii Big Island Hamakua Coastline
View of Hamakua Coastline

*My grandmother pronounced Hawaii “how-ah-ya,” for which I endlessly teased her, good-naturedly, of course. Though she was an English teacher, her Midwest roots shown through in her dialect.

Baja Bound

Staying with our warmer winter climates, I was fortunate to visit Baja California, Mexico three times in the last 10 years. On the Sea of Cortez side in La Ventana just south of La Paz, mornings saw calm waters and fabulous sunrises, perfect for a morning stand-up paddle session or enjoying a cuppa jo.

Baja Sunrise
Early Baja Sunrise

During afternoons, the wind came up and windsurfing was the only way to enjoy the water. Photo credit to my husband.

Windsurfing in Baja
My turn to sail

Spring Greens

Because I love the color green, I’ll stop for a landscape of cool greens like this one taken in the Sierra Nevada foothills in March, 2016. This area is near the town of Sutter Creek, originally populated during the California gold-rush era of the 1850s.

Mountain Greenery; Green Sierra foothills
Green Sierra foothills

In late March, 2017, we stayed a few days in Yosemite Valley and captured this iconic view of Half Dome with Bridalveil falls in the foreground.

Yosemite Valley with Bridalveil Falls
Yosemite Valley

Fall Foliage

This image got a lot of hits on Facebook and Instagram. This is the Dishman Hills area of Spokane and this particular area looks spectacular in any season.

Winter Scene Spokane

The above version was taken in mid November, while the one below shows early Fall splendor. I am sure to collect images of each season now that I live in the area!

Spokane's Urban Forest
Spokane suburban street

I had to include a favorite autumn landscape titled Quincy in Fall, an image of a waterfall in the Feather River in Northern California. This is another image I had made into a large Canvas print.

Water fall on the Feather River
Waterfall at Feather River

Taken in 2010 with my first digital camera, I’m told by many this was prize-worthy. 11 years ago those compliments gave me much needed confidence to enjoy and explore photography.

And so it goes….

Honestly, this week’s theme couldn’t have come at a better time since we had to move again and I found myself super busy. No, not exactly what you are thinking. Our home is not ready yet, but the good news is that the interior will be worked on this week. Sadly, staying with my BIL in his toxic home environment was too much after 6 full weeks and we were fed UP. We spent all last week looking for another temporary home and I hurriedly put this post together. We looked for a house to rent for 1-2 more months, but nothing was available.

Plan C? Our 27-foot travel trailer has been parked on our nephew’s property, so we braved snowy roads and moved it to an RV campground on Thursday. This was the last thing my hubby wanted to deal with after the drama at his brother’s. At this writing, we are happily sitting in our warm RV in North Spokane enjoying our own space! He looks pretty happy in this pic and we are relieved.

A warm welcome to blogger Frank at Beach Walk Reflections to Sunday Stills last week. He shared a lovely post in response to “clouds and fog” at the suggestion of good friend and fellow blogger Marsha of Always Write. I’m so pleased more people are contributing to the Sunday Stills photo challenge. During January, eight bloggers joined the Sunday Stills challenge for the first time!

This is my last post linking with Becky B’s Squared Up Challenge as hers comes to an end. Some landscape photos do not square-up since they are from my archives. Thanks, Becky, for hosting your delightful quarterly challenge!

I am also pleased to share this post as a “photography journey” of sorts with this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge hosted by Amy.

I certainly look forward to seeing your favorite landscapes (and water-scapes)!

Remember you have all week to create a post for each week’s theme. February themes can be found HERE!

Until next week, stay safe!

SUPSIG

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The Eagle Has Landed

Bald Eagle in the Tree

Last weekend, I’d read in a local Spokane publication that bald eagles winter in Idaho’s Lake Couer d’Alene in search of spawning Kokanee salmon. Sunday, we drove the short 30 minutes to the area and stopped at Higgins Point where the eagles are known to feed.

Armed with my Lumix camera, our dogs, and wearing warm winter coats on this cold, sunny day, we eagerly joined other eagle-watchers as we hiked along the trail, looking up and around for signs of the eagles.

After 45 minutes of seeing empty skies, we headed back to the main area. Suddenly some onlookers were cheering and clapping and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a gorgeous eagle soar just a few feet away, almost at eye-level.

Did I get the coveted close-up shot? Nope.

But I scurried and managed to capture him flying into the trees.

Bald Eagle in flight

Somewhat disappointed, I sat down with my hubby on a nearby park bench and I got the camera ready again. Looking down on the lake, I noticed other people looking up and my hubby said he could see one in the tree.

Sure enough, there he was, king of the lake.

Bald Eagle in the Tree

Looking up again, I saw another eagle soaring, this time the sun shining on his wings. Ever try to catch an eagle in flight with a 600-zoom lens? Dizzying to say the least. But I managed a few more shots.

Bald Eagle Soars over Lake Couer d' Aline

Did You Know?

The American bald eagle lives in North America including Canada, Alaska, and the contiguous U.S. In the wild, they can live up to 20 years! Their average weight ranges from 6-14 pounds with wingspans ranging from 6 to 7.5 feet.

A local said the kokanee salmon had already run their course for the winter, so our hope of seeing flocks of them feeding was dashed. Although we only saw a total of three eagles, it was three more than I have ever seen with my own eyes.

A good day for looking up!

Joining Lisa’s Bird Weekly (birds with long wingspans) and Becky B’s SquaresUp photo challenges.

Bitmoji Birding

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Sunday Stills: Your #Happy Place

If you have followed my blog for very long, you know that I write about the concepts of recreation and leisure and our ultimate pursuit of happiness.

The year 2020 has shown most of us that, like it or not, we are living in a new normal. Oh, how I resisted that notion! After all, isn’t “normal” being able to hike trails without wearing a mask or worrying if we are 6 feet apart from others?

Hiking in Valley of Fire State Park
More walking in the Valley of Fire

Isn’t “normal” having the ability to travel without fear of taking a flight to visit friends, family or traveling abroad? How about simply being able to use your local gym, campground, swimming pool or neighborhood park without fear of infection or the disappointment of closure?

Play-all-Day

The fundamental spaces and places we love and visit on a regular basis have been compromised due to the new normal of living within a pandemic.

For me, March 18 was the day California shut down, exactly 7 months ago.

Sacramento County has recently re-opened with some restrictions and I am so happy to be able to get back to my gym! I’ve been a member there since 2008 and have made many friends, and I get great workouts, too. One of my happy places. I will miss this gym once we move.

exercise equipment

As motivated as I am for physical activity, our hot smokey summer deterred me from being able to get outside. I tried my share of working out to youtube exercise videos, but I settled for walking the dogs a few days a week.

Walking two dogs

On my walks around my neighborhood, there is only one street in which I am fond. No, not mine, as you will read shortly, but a street a few short blocks away. This photo shows a morning walk in early Fall.

favorite neighborhood

There is something about this street with its well-kept yards, lack of chain-link fences, and fewer cars parked on the street. Really a gem in an otherwise deteriorating neighborhood. Autumn will show its lovely face on this street in November with elms, birch, and liquid amber trees that will look more like this photo taken two years ago.

liquid sunshine in liquid amber tree

As we kinda got used to our own backyards, many of us found them to be our new happy places. We longed for our vacations abroad, road trips in our RVs with abundant campground choices, open restaurants, and the like, but grudgingly stayed home to stay safe.

My backyard has been a happy place for me since June 2019 after my foot surgery, and then more so in late March, 2020. Here I planted sunflowers, plumeria, hydrangea and other garden flowers and enjoyed the hummingbird shows.

Sadly that summer, bound to my backyard by crutches and my knee scooter, I was exposed to one neighbors’ rantings and ravings as she loudly cursed her children and dropped the F-bomb all day. These were new renters behind us that shared our backyard fence, so there was no getting away from her. This behavior led us to begin our search for another place to live and inspired us to move to Washington to be closer to family and enjoy semi-rural living.

You will be happy to know that the renters were evicted after the owner discovered they destroyed the house! The new renters are quiet. The random shouts of happiness from their young children playing in their backyard is music to our ears! Their yard sounds like their happy place.

This Monday, we are on the road north with a moving truck full of boxes and furniture. Hubby is driving the U-Haul while I follow behind in his Ford truck. Our first stop is near Bend, OR, then we are back on the road Tuesday to Spokane. Wednesday we will unload into a storage unit and get that much closer to our new happy place.

We love this walk near where my in-laws live in Spokane Valley.

Spokane's Urban Forest

Even in the smoky air, there is beauty in nearby Washington’s Riverside State Park along the Spokane River. A short 15 minutes from our new home.

We won’t make the final move until mid-December.

Other happy places I’ve visited include Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, the delta and lakes, beaches, and rivers, near and far. But as 2021 approaches I am still open to find more happy places to discover and love!

Forgive me if what you’re reading sounds like my post “Happiest at Home,” published in early June. With our world turning the way it is, I predict we will continue to enjoy our happy places at home or close to it!

I am thrilled to link my happy places with this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge: My Hideaway!

Some images are inspired by Becky B’s Kinda Squares, Dawn’s Festival of Leaves, and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Is your happy place a state of mind or a place you can visit and enjoy? Share your interpretations through images, stories, poetry, and music!

Autumn SIGNature

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Sunday Stills: #Towering Turmoil

Sunset over wind turbines

Welcome back to Sunday Stills! I am pleased to be back to the blogosphere after my 6-week blogging break. Thank you to all who continued to share your photography with Cathy at Picture Retirement for the month of August and with Hugh at Hugh’s Views and News in September.

I’m sure you are dying to hear what I accomplished on my break. Aside from new inspiration for blogging and photos of new places, the month of August and the first weeks of September were a towering cluster of life events.

This week’s theme is “towering.” What towers over you, literally, like walls, mountains, or actual towers? Or is it figuratively, like huge goals or tasks set before you, that feel like mountains of stress, for example?

This week, I will share my journey over the last few weeks while on my blogging break. While I managed to sneak a peek at several blogs during this time, I was struck by just how busy I was.

Hang on while I summarize and tame the towering whirlwind.

A Tower of Boxes

Towering Boxes

From March to present, I have been packing…endlessly packing. In June-July-August, I packed at least one box a day. Our 10×10 storage unit is almost full of boxes and half of our furniture. This will be moved in mid-October.

In case you haven’t heard, we bought a property in Washington State north of Spokane, and are working on having a home built. The house should be ready by mid-December.

Towering Tufas and Mammoth Lakes

In late July, I took my second solo road trip to Mammoth Lakes, California, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. I hadn’t seen my family since March, so it was a welcome reunion, meeting up with my daughter and boyfriend, and my brothers. In Mammoth Lakes, one popular attraction is the Devil’s Postpile (from another visit) that towers over us.

Visiting Devil's Postpile Mammoth Lakes

While staying in Mammoth Lakes, we drove an hour north to Mono Lake, which marks the entrance to Hwy 120 leading to the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite.

View of Mono Lake

We visited the area of the tufa towers, made of limestone and calcium deposits fed by ancient underwater springs, some towering as high as 30 feet, show the lakebed of Mono Lake.

Standing beside Mono Lake

In this next view, you can see how tall these tufa towers are. Hard to believe we walked on the exposed ancient lakebed.

Mono Lake Tufa Towers Perspective

Before LA’s department of water and power began diverting water from the nearby tributaries from 1941-1990, the saline lake was full. Years of dropping lake levels nearly destroyed the lake and fragile surrounding ecosphere.

image of Mono Lake's Tufa Towers

Though nothing but brine shrimp live in the lake’s waters, it feeds the millions of migratory birds. Due to the tireless efforts of the Mono Lake Committee, Mono Lake and the surrounding area are now protected as a California State natural reserve.

We finished our last day enjoying a few hours at one of the Mammoth Lakes where we took turns on my inflatable SUP…

SUPPING Mammoth Lakes

…then a drive back to the Hwy 120 amidst the towering peaks to the Tioga Pass entrance of Yosemite.

Tioga Pass Entrance Masked

Due to COVID, the NPS restricted automobile entry with permits reserved two months in advance. Though few people spend time in nearby Tuolumne Meadows, most people visit the popular tourist destination in Yosemite Valley. We had originally intended to spread my mom’s ashes in this area with the family under ordinary circumstances. We were able to get out of the car and walk around the meadows for a bit.

Overpowering Obligations

While in Mammoth, hubby calls to tell me he is scheduled for eye-surgery on August 6 to correct a detaching retina. Although it was outpatient laser surgery, I needed to stay home with him and was unable to take my pending week-long trip to San Diego to attend my mother’s delayed memorial service.

Due to fears of COVID, only my daughter, her boyfriend, and my brothers attended the service. Even though they sent me pictures and some video, the overwhelming guilt of this choice was hard to bear, but my family understood. I stayed home and packed.

And cried.

Unparalled Stress

Needless to say, August was the month of stress. My brother and his partner decided in late June they wanted to buy a home in Scottsdale, Arizona. They have been living in our family home off and on for several years. Once Mom passed, we considered selling the house, later, not sooner.

While this is going on, my hubby and I restructured our property loan to include the construction and the home itself. Have you ever bought or sold real estate? Have you ever done both in one month? Buying OR selling is stressful enough, let alone doing both. Between signing disclosures online, understanding inspection reports for Mom’s older home and everything in between, I lost sleep!

Let me put it this way…we signed papers with the mobile notary for our Spokane construction loan on August 10th and received the wire transfer for the sale of the family home later that afternoon.

Adding to the mix were hot temps, orange sunlight from wildfires (see next) and unending stress brought out the worst in me. I continually worry about what still must be packed and moved. I have lived here 32 years, so you know I have a LOT of things to pack. Hubby comes home every day after working outside in the heat and smoke only to spend 2-4 more hours working inside and outside our house. He’s painted, fixed floors and ceilings, rebuilt the backyard deck, installed appliances, cleaned up the backyard, etc.

Well, I still had a meltdown. This happened after the week we closed on the properties and the weekend of my Mom’s service. Thinking I was OK with everything, poor hubby comes home from work and I started in about how we need to hire some help to get the house ready for pre-inspection, we are running out of time, yada yada…I ranted and raved while he said nothing. How do men do that?

Turned out that I was NOT OK with missing my mom’s service and saying goodbye to my family home. Once I recognized why I was so angry and stressed, I grieved again and let it go. How will I deal with saying goodbye to my current home of almost 33 years in a few months? Sigh…

Towering Billows of Smoke

Wind turbines and towers

To make matters worse, August was not only the hottest month here in Northern California, but as many as 320+ wildfires broke out statewide. We were quite far away from them, but we were surrounded by smoke and falling ash, leaving us with days of unhealthy and hazardous air (as in “don’t go outside”) and temperatures topping 110 degrees. Another reason to wear a mask!

Pool Closed

On a positive note, we finally made it to the delta to enjoy some fresher air at the end of August and celebrate our 7-year wedding anniversary!

Wedding

A Monumental Academic Task

In August I finalized my online university classes for Fall. The classes began the first week in September. The bridge across the river to campus is all but abandoned as students stay home this Fall.

Guy West Bridge at Sacramento State University

My course is easy to teach online because I have pre-recorded content from previous semesters. But what I love about teaching is engaging in the classroom, face-to-face. I don’t teach this class virtually using Zoom, but I could if needed. I recorded myself using a campus-approved video service…it is so weird to talk to a computer monitor staring at the corresponding slideshow. It’s confusing to know where to look!! I had some other trouble with some of the content and had to Zoom with IT to help me. As much as I enjoy and embrace technology, there are reasons I don’t utilize video.

The semester got off to a good start, however, and students seem enthusiastic so far.

Labor Day Weekend’s Overpowering Heat

Sunset over wind turbines

What was essentially our last weekend at the delta was some of the worst heat we have experienced. Try camping in your trailer with no hookups (read no electrical to power a fan) over night. This was necessary to be able to break down our structure which serves as a “garage” for our windsurf and paddle gear and equipment.

The AQI (air quality index) showed a ridiculous 200+, unhealthy for all. We endured, then gratefully drove home in our air-conditioned vehicles. The next week we pulled the trailer home under better circumstances.

Towering Travails on the Road Trip

I’m finishing this post as we take another road trip to pull the trailer to its new home in Spokane. Driving northbound on highway 5 through the Shasta and Dunsmuir mountain passes is an adventure in good weather. There would be no way to safely move the trailer in the winter.

However, driving the trailer home from our delta campground along the Hwy 5 proved to be a problem. We had noticed metal liner on the front of the trailer had pulled away slightly. Not worried too much we hooked up and headed the 60 miles home.

Hubby looked in the rear view mirror and noticed something odd so we pulled over to find the bottom half of the trailer exposed! That metal piece was hanging by a thread and would have torn off had he not stopped. He managed to manually screw in 5 screws to hold it together as vehicles flew by us at 80 mph shaking the trailer. It was beyond scary!

First thing Sunday morning, as hubby was hoisting the SUP and kayak onto the top of the truck, the darn kayak slipped and slid down the lumber rack and lopped off the side mirror of hubby’s truck! I held a flashlight while he (this time with his electric screw gun) cobbled the mirror housing back to the truck. Luckily the mirrors weren’t broken, and we were able to head out safely. We left the kayak home this time.

Several more deadly wildfires broke out in Oregon as we began our trip. There were no fires along the Hwy 97 through central Oregon, but the unbelievably smokey air from wildfires obscured the sun. The first leg to Bend, Oregon pulling the trailer took only 8 1/2 hours, instead of the usual 8. We camped in our other nephew’s driveway overnight and headed out early the next morning to Spokane to stay with hubby’s brother.

Aside from this, all seemed well until…

Our trailer got a flat tire! Another driver motioned us over frantically pointing to our trailer. We got out to see a shredded tire spinning uselessly next to the other tire. A trailer this size has dual tires, thankfully. Hubby fixed the flat and off we went looking for a tire store in which to buy another tire to use as a spare.

We finally made it to our destination in Spokane after another 8-hour drive. During the week, we dealt with a variety of items related to our home and property, including putting some things in storage and storing the trailer at our nephew’s home on his 10 acres in Spokane until we move there. He told my hubby that it would cost him a tri-tip a week!

Of note, both nephews are firefighters. Yes, they’ve been busy! My heartfelt thanks to those heroes who risk their lives every day under disastrous conditions.

It was fun to see the property although it was covered with towering weeds!

weeds

We met with our contractor and he outlined what he will be doing over the next two months. Despite all the towering troubles and uncertainty, these sure are exciting times!

For Sunday Stills this week, think about “towering” and its vast synonyms. For hints, I used a few in my headings. I am happy to be back to the blog and can’t wait to see what you do with this “towering” theme! Now you understand why I needed this break!

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Sunday Stills: #Perspectives on …

Pinnacle Peak

Don’t you love photo challenges? Even if you are not a photographer yourself, I’m sure you appreciate the lovely images your fellow bloggers share. Over the years, I’ve been inspired by the perspectives and stories of their images.

This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “perspective.” Yes, I borrowed the theme from Becky B’s Squares July photo challenge and enjoy promoting her challenge to others (not that she needs it)! Plus, I love to be challenged too! Remember your main photo needs to be square!

squares photo challenge

This post is chock full of images for some of my favorite photo challenges! See the end of each section for which photo challenges I’ve linked to and where you can find more inspiration.

Did you know that “Perspectives On Leisure” was the name of my blog when I first started in Fall 2014? I later changed it to Second Wind Leisure Perspectives for a variety of reasons. It doesn’t really matter. I guess that’s MY perspective (wink wink).

Floral and Summer Perspectives

“There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creation’s braggart Lords.”

John Muir

A summer mustard flower’s perspective of the Antioch Bridge in the Sacramento River Delta.

spring flower perspective

Spring is the time to plant sunflowers from seeds. But summer isn’t official until the sunnies burst into bloom. They bloom quickly in the warm sunshine, often in less than 48 hours.

Another floral perspective of Pinnacle Peak in Northern Arizona.

Pinnacle Peak
Pinnacle Peak

These perspectives are inspired by Amy’s summer theme for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Perspectives of Point of View and Geometry

A warm summer day at Lake Natoma where I often enjoy stand-up paddling. At 9:30 am there were already many families enjoying the water.

Late spring on Lake Natoma

Armed with the knowledge of the upcoming square perspectives challenge, I made sure to get several POV shots. This next one shows the same boys at play.

Boys at water play

At least their life vests are close-by.

While out for a walk, I caught lovely shadows and geometric perspectives on the sidewalk alongside the City park.

Street posts in shadow

Becky B’s July Squares Challenge has begun. Read how to join here.

Summer is here and many bloggers take a short break. Perhaps you are in a slump and need more inspiration for your blog? If you are looking for more photo challenges, take a look at Marsha’s page of challenges.

What’s Your Perspective?

I am looking forward to seeing your images depicting perspectives. Show us in your images, stories, poetry, and other creative ideas!

Camera graphic

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

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