Sunday Stills: Make Mine #Pink

pink flower with bee

Most of us are aware that October is traditionally the month we acknowledge Breast Cancer Awareness by wearing and or displaying the color pink. Of course, we should acknowledge cancer awareness all year long.

In keeping with my overarching theme of inspiration this weekend (see Friday’s post), I’m hoping to inspire you to think pink, our theme for Sunday Stills this week.

pink sunflower with bee

Pink is a color in nature that most of us can hardly ignore, from the delicate pastels in shell pink to the bright fuchsias in a bougainvillea bush.

pink flower with bee

But pinks appear outside of nature, too.

Security dressed in pink!

Today, share a gallery of your favorite pinks. Here are some of my favorites:

More pink inspiration:

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month I wrote this post in 2015 of leisure’s role in breast cancer awareness month.

Becky B inspired us for the entire month of September with her Squares in September: Pink.

I have started an Instagram Challenge for the month of October. Please join me and use the hashtag #Octoberpink (see the actual hashtag in the post below–there is a bow between October and pink)

I was tickled pink that five new bloggers joined our Sunday Stills group in September. Please take a look at their posts!

The 59Club Blog

Sharing Thoughts

Lin’s Doodles 

Captain Jill’s Journeys

MegakaosDesigns

Thank you to my fellow bloggers who participate weekly in Sunday Stills!

Please link to this post and be sure to link up to share your pink confections with other bloggers!

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Sunday Stills: How Do You Get There?

Jet Shadow

Transportation is the theme for this week’s Sunday Stills challenge. “Commute” can also work, pun intended, which means to travel some distance regularly between one’s home and one’s place of work, school or vocation. Or, by definition, to travel as a commuter.

Even if we are not working a full-time job I think we all experience a commute. My work commute to the university is just under 5 miles, but if I hit the time wrong, a 10-minute drive can be a frustrating 30-minute commute.

For those lucky folks who are really retired, does driving a car in traffic bother you? For me, mostly having to drive one-two days a week, I have lost the tolerance for heavy traffic.

On our vacation to San Diego, we encountered the usual 5:00 traffic driving from the airport in downtown San Diego out to the East County.

San Diego Freeway traffic

Commuting aside, what modes of transportation do you use?

To get to where we are going, we drive, walk, bike, ride the train, take the bus, fly in a plane, ride in a boat, paddle on a lake…well, I’m sure you get the idea and can perhaps find a suitable image to share!

Jet Shadow

You can see in the featured  image the interesting shadow from our Southwest Airlines jet on the ground as we took off. Image post-edited with Painnt.

Do you think only people need transportation? I guess that depends, but smart, urban turkeys simply walk around our streets, sweet as you please. I’m sure there is a “chicken crossing the road” joke in there somewhere…but I’ll leave that up to you.

Urban Turkeys taking a walk

In August, conducting some business in a delta town, we saw this cute motorbike complete with sidecar parked in front of a restaurant. If you look closely, Penny the Pooch is waiting patiently for her driver to come back.

Transporting Penny the dog

September weather in Northern California still permits lots of outdoor activities. My hubby and I transported his bicycle and my inflatable SUP to a nearby lake and enjoyed some fabulous leisure time. He took this photo of me from the bike bridge that crossed a part of the lake. In 90 minutes, I SUPped to spots on the lake I hadn’t visited before.

SUP transportation

The photos of the pink motorbike and my pink SUP were partially inspired by Becky B’s Square in September challenge where “pink” is the theme. This is the last day for this theme and it was quite fun!

With folks all over the world now participating in Sunday Stills, this will be interesting to see how people move around to get to where they need to go.

October themes are available on the Sunday Stills page.

Link up if you wish, but please leave a pingback to this post so I can share your lovely posts!

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Hot #August Sunshine: A Sentence A Day

Graphic Sentence a Day

Journaling a sentence each day for a month makes for a reflective blog post. I joined this challenge in 2017 and have sincerely enjoyed keeping track of my daily adventures. I had time to participate for the month of August so far this year.

August 1st! Half of 2018 whizzed by! Today I cleaned and straightened up the house to prepare for family driving from Spokane, Washington. They’ll spend one night here on their way to Southern California for a memorial service. Sure was great to see them and their two grown daughters!

8/2 I went to a new Pilates class at the gym today and twisted my lower back which left me in a LOT of pain for the rest of the day! I overdid it the day before cleaning, so where is the incentive in that chore?

8/3 Morning walk with my friend. We plan to meet every Wednesday morning and walk for an hour! My back felt a lot better today, thank goodness!

8/4 Saturday, woke up at 6:30am, had coffee and took the dogs for an early walk due to the continuing heat in Northern Cal. I had good intentions to write some in my book. Nope! I ordered a new inflatable SUP from Costco instead.
Came up with a fun Instagram hashtag event for August #monthofsunflowers

8/5 Sunday at the delta. Got here just in time to get out on my regular SUP. Had I waited much longer, the wind would have blown me off the water, along with the lingering smoke from local wildfires. This is hubby’s day off so he was excited to get some windsurfing in later.

8/6 Monday morning at the delta, hoping for another SUP session, but rode my mountain bike instead. Packed up and headed home to finish sharing Sunday Stills participants’ posts and some other blogging duties.

8/7 Good workout at the gym this morning, plus walked the dogs before the heat settled in. Spent most of the day on class prep.

8/8 Day at home waiting for our water company to reset our broken meter and for a package to arrive. I managed to walk the dogs and work on more school prep. What did I get? My inflatable SUP! You can read more about my paddleboard escapades!

8/9 Went to a Weight Watchers meeting. Weigh-in not good…I’m a two pounds over my lifetime weight and have gained 6 pounds over all since last December. You’d think with all the physical activity I do that I could keep my weight down! Got distracted and opened my new SUP and familiarized myself with all the goodies. Once inflated, it ended up on the bedroom floor with Brodie keeping a careful eye.

SUp in bedroom
Brodie approves of my inflatable SUP!

8/10 Woohoo! After 7 years, I paid off my car today!

Toyota Rav4
My Baby

8/11-12 Back at the delta—hot day here, not much wind. Several of us got together and created a SUP/Kayak flotilla and crossed the river (a mile across) and picked scads of blackberries. There is an art to balancing a small dog and a Ziploc bag of blackberries on slightly choppy water without falling in!

8/14 I was a featured guest on Hugh’s blog today for his weekly feature “49 Days in 1988.”

8/15 Took an hour-long walk with a gal pal today. Logged over 7200 steps with just the walk. She was gracious enough to take one of my dogs for the walk. Came home worked on school stuff then went out for sushi with hubby!

8/16 Early gym workout. I’ve been listening to a great audio-book (what I listen to on the hour-long drive back and forth to the delta every weekend). I borrow these from our library system in an app called Overdrive. I can borrow e-books to read on Kindle or listen to audio-books, which are converted to MP4 format that download right to the phone.

8/18 No delta this weekend. Off to Lake Natoma to try out my new inflatable SUP. I tried it at the delta last weekend, but it does best on really flat water. So interesting to see so many others with their inflatable SUPs.

Getting ready!

8/19 My hubby’s work schedule changed to accommodate his boss’ vacation, so he only gets Sunday off this week. I managed a morning walk with the dogs before it got hot. Hubby and I shopped for some gardening items then enjoyed a late lunch at a restaurant.

8/20 Put stakes in my sunflower garden. I think the sunflowers are happier!

sunflower garden

8/21 Great morning walk.  Got a haircut, then treated myself to a pedicure! All in time for our…

8/22 ….Happy 5th Anniversary to my hubby!

8/24 Faculty workdays officially began this week. Our annual meeting was cancelled, so I spent the day enjoying one of my last long weekends in the delta.

8/25 Saturday at the delta, did a SUP session with a friend, called a “downwinder.” In other words, we paddled with the river’s tide all the way to the local windsurf/paddlesports shop. Took 45 minutes but it was lovely and quite fun!

8/26 Back home today. Finishing touches and prepping for an early morning start for my first day of teaching tomorrow.

8/27 Fall classes officially start at Sacrament State University today. Got there bright and early at 7:30 to make sure I can park. First week of school traffic is always exciting.

8/28 Still energized from the first day of classes. Our secretary changed the locations of both my classrooms which helps tremendously with the space issue for the Wednesday evening class.

University classroom

8/29 First night of my Wednesday night class. I have an online class that uses the same curriculum. Looking forward to technology!

8/30-31 Official start to Labor Day weekend. Celebrating a couple of friends’ birthdays, too.

Interested in being part of A Sentence A Day? It is fun to jot your daily ideas down, even the seemingly mundane. Please visit Leslie at her blog Once Upon A Time & Happily Ever After. I have met some new bloggers and have enjoyed this challenge. Please visit the link-up for more Sentence a Day posts. 

 


If you are looking for a fun photography challenge, give my weekly feature Sunday Stills a try!

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Sunday Stills: Water, #Water Everywhere, My #Paddleboard Can Shrink

SUP session at the delta

How do you typically spend your last Sunday in August? For lots of folks, August is still a hot month in the Northern hemisphere, so the beach fronts of rivers, lakes, and oceans see huge crowds spending their last summer weekend around the water.

Weightless water

Water is our “over-arching” theme this week for Sunday Stills. Since interpretation is wide, I encourage you to go with a sub-theme.

You probably know I am an avid water-sports person. Although I dabble in windsurfing, I prefer stand-up paddling (aka SUP).

Stand-up paddling is my sub-theme today.
Delta SUP sesson
Delta SUP session

In the “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the sailor expresses his disdain of being surrounded by (ocean) water but none that he can actually drink.
“Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.”
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Now you understand the inspiration for the title of my post…or do you?

With water, water everywhere, theoretically, I can use my SUP anywhere there is a body of water over a foot deep. All summer long we have had fabulous windy days at our delta campground, which means lots of windsurfing. Conditions aren’t always right for me to get out on the water with my SUP, hence my disdain over water being everywhere but the conditions are at once too windy to SUP and not windy enough to sail!

I look forward to the calm weekend days at the delta when I can get my SUP out on the water and get my dose of physical activity. SUPing is a great workout which strengthens your core, back, upper body, legs and even your feet.

SUP session in Lake Tahoe
SUP session in Lake Tahoe

Because of logistical reasons, I leave my 11-foot fiberglass, stand-up paddleboard at the delta all summer. Our campsite is a few steps away from the levee fronting the Sacramento River, making it easy to carry my board to the water. This summer at the delta I only got out on my SUP three times! I don’t have an extra SUP laying around at home, so if I want to paddle on nearby Lake Natoma or the American River near my house, I have to rent a board. Renting is fine and I have done it, but the incentive is low.

When I’ve had my SUP at home, it takes some effort to load it on top of my car and properly tie it down. That being said, try re-loading and re-tying it after one-two hours out on the water!

Exhausted much? Also, no incentive unless I have help.

Years ago, I tried an inflatable SUP but I didn’t like the bouncy, unstable feel to it. Recently, I tried a new model and it was surprisingly stable even in small waves and a little wind. Major improvements have been made using carbon stringers and other technology for stability and durability.

View of SUP
Paddler View of my inflatable SUP

Bi-annually I receive e-mails from a water-sports store in the Columbia River Gorge near Portland, Oregon about their clearance items. Recently I saw their inflatable SUPs on sale and an idea brewed in my head about how convenient it would be to have one of these available at home.

Even on clearance, these boards are pricey, so I checked out Costco and what do you know, they had an inflatable SUP package that included the board, a break-down paddle, leash and other goodies (bag and pump included), all for half the price. (No affiliate marketing going on here, just information).

SUp in bedroom
Brodie approves of my inflatable SUP!

Imagine a SUP that fits in the trunk of your car, or in the carry bag that can also be packed for air travel. Sure, inflating takes about 5 minutes with a manual pump, but a pre-work out is all good! After a couple of hours on the water, carrying the board (less than 25 pounds) back to the car, then pushing the deflate button, and poof! Done! Dried off and rolled up and into the car in less than 10 minutes.

“…and all the boards did shrink.”

Now, my incentive is strong to simply grab the bag (just under 50 pounds total), drive the 6 miles to the lake, inflate the SUP in the parking lot or right on the beach and go!

And I did.

Getting ready!

Quite the Zen experience last Saturday at 9am. Cool breeze, calm, flat water…and a ton of people out on their inflatable SUPS and other watercraft!

No excuses!

My escape is to just get in a boat SUP and disappear on the water. ~Carl Hiaasen

Enjoy this gallery of previously posted photos.

Here is a little bit more about SUPing on Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma.

Link up here or create a pingback by linking to this post! I can’t wait to see how you will interpret water for Sunday Stills!

Be sure to check out the Sunday Stills page for the September themes!

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Sunday Stills: Objects Over #100-Years-Old

Greek Church

Attention globetrotters! This photo challenge theme is for you! Well, it’s for anyone, of course, but since our Sunday Stills theme this week is “Objects Over 100 Years Old,” your photos from countries abroad will likely showcase places and spaces that have been around for over 100 years.

Just be careful about publishing images of artwork, sculptures and paintings, because the objects are copyrighted, even though you took the photo with your own lens. I doubt the image police are going to find you if it’s something you do infrequently.

Some of you are adept at portrait photography like fellow blogger, Lucile de Godoy, who specializes in street and portrait photography. Perhaps she has photos of objects or folks over 100 years old!

I, myself, don’t photograph a lot of architecture, although now that I sometimes post for Thursday Doors, I try to look for interesting doors when I’m out and about.

I say this because I cheated a little for this theme and borrowed one of my daughter’s photos of her trip to Greece. In the featured image above, this is the Church Zoodochos Pighi, Megalochori, on Agistri Island, Greece.

Yes, I know I need to get out more, and by that, I need to get out of the US…one of these days. For now, I must rely on historic cemeteries, California missions or downtown churches to meet the criteria of this theme.

Double Headstone

The photo was taken in the Masonic Cemetery in the town of Michigan Bluff in the Sierra Foothills in 2014. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought hoards of homesteaders, prospectors and fortune-seekers from South America, Asia and the U.S. East Coast. Many died young from various illnesses, as their headstones reflect the dates of their lives and deaths.

Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament

Speaking of the Gold Rush, another fortune-seeker, Patrick Monogue, “saved his money to live in Paris where he planned to enroll in seminary college and become a Roman Catholic priest. In 1886, Manogue was appointed as Sacramento’s first bishop. Inspired by churches he’d seen in European plazas, he worked to secure property just one block away from the capitol building, with a dream of building a cathedral in Sacramento (from Wikipedia).”

Construction on this Catholic church in downtown Sacramento began in 1887. You can see the top of the California State Capitol Building at the bottom right of the image.

For a shot of nostalgia, here is a older post I did for the original Sunday Stills, showing a photo of  Sunday Stills: San Diego Presidio.

San Diego Presidio
The Spanish Presidio in San Diego

My annual plug to celebrate the National Park Service, which celebrated its 100 years of service in 2016. My photo of the fridge magnet, artfully framed with pine needles.

NPS Logo 2016

So there you have it. Whether you have a photo of something over 100 years-old or an image that represents age, be creative and show us what you’ve got!

Many folks have also submitted wonderful poetry or flash fiction to further depict the Sunday Stills theme of the week!

Thank you for your participation! Please link up or link to this post so I can share your selections!

 

Sunday Stills: #Lazy Days of Summer

Take time to relax

We are almost at the midpoint of August which means for many, summer is nearly over. Sure the weather will still be warm in the northern hemisphere, and maybe too hot on the West Coast (the wildfires aren’t helping matters), but school starts for many youth, teens and young adults in mid- and late-August!

The featured image above shows a strong leisure ethic in a college student the very first day of classes a couple of years ago.

Educators like myself are undoubtedly putting the finishing touches on course and classroom preparations, marking a clear end to the “lazy days” of summer which happens to be our theme this week for Sunday Stills. I know several students who are already back to school!

I remember as a kid growing up in San Diego, that we did not go back to school until the second week of September, well after the traditional Labor Day holiday. We did not get out for the year until mid-June, but my definition of summer always seemed like June through August to me.

Did you have time for some laziness this summer? I think I had more than my share after experiencing a crazy-busy spring. I took the whole month of June off where I didn’t do any course prep. I managed to write a few thousand words into my No Excuses Fitness book project, but I indeed felt lazy overall.

It didn’t help that we opened a Netflix account in May. Now both my hubby and I see the Millennials’ appeal of binge watching new and old movies or new-to-us Netflix series a couple of hours a night. However, that practice will need to be reigned in by early September!

Luckily my new Fitbit Charge 2 (not an ad) nags me every hour to get some steps in, so the appearance of laziness will stay in my own head!

I still have two more weeks before I step foot onto the college campus, so until that day arrives, I plan to experience a few more lazy days, now counted in just a few hours.

Here are my photo interpretations of “Lazy Days.”

I’ve been a little lazy capturing delta sunsets this summer. How perfect on a hot summer evening that the sun seems to rest a while among the wind turbines.

sunset among the windturbines 

Still obsessed transfixed with my backyard sunflowers, I captured the lazy opening of these petals on a newly-bloomed sunflower.

lazy opening of sunflower petals
Opposite of lazy? This bee on the same sunflower is heavily laden with sunflower pollen, giving “busy bee” a whole new meaning!

Busy bee is anything but lazy

All the photos in today’s post were captured by my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

How do you like to spend your lazy days?

If you are on Instagram and have some sunflower shots to share, please join me for the rest of August using hashtag #monthofsunflowers

Link here or share in the comments!

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The Wonders of the Public Pool

Children playing in swimming pool

I have managed to combine three photo challenges into this one photograph.

Summer in July finds children counting the minutes until their neighborhood public swimming pool opens for the day. Although I no longer oversee the daily operations of these pools, I do appreciate the lengths leisure professionals must go to to ensure clean, safe pools with well-trained lifeguards.

All that training and preparation for the opening of the pools makes no difference to a child.

Child plays in fountain

Inspired by these photo challenges

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Sunday Stills: Can You Capture the #Wind?

Windy clouds at sunset

Today’s Sunday Stills theme challenges you to capture the wind! Wind is a very broad theme which is open to much interpretation.

Like last week, I challenge you to get creative with your photography or other projects! Perhaps you captured the wind in a poem, a song, a quote. I’m sure there are hundreds of songs with “wind” in the titles.

This is one of my favorite quotes.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward

We can only see the effects of wind, whether it’s a gentle breeze fluffing a bird’s feathers, or hurricane force winds ripping piers from their docks, or clouds scudding across the sky blown by the beginnings of a storm.

The featured image above shows wind’s effect on the clouds and the ever-present wind turbines.

Wind plays a big part in my life since I became a windsurfer in 2009. The wind is ALWAYS the topic of conversation from April through September in our household and at the delta as every windsurfer I know checks their wind meters, their weather apps or asks if there will be enough wind for sailing.

When it’s a BIG day, it looks like this.

windsurfer getting air

Brodie loves the wind and waves. You can tell it’s windy by his flapping ear!

Wind blowing dog's ear

I manage to have good days windsurfing. Just last week hubby caught me coming off the water with a big smile on my face after 45 minutes of fun in the wind.

Smiling Windsurfer bringing in her windsurf gear

Did you know my logo for Second Wind Leisure represents stylized sails in an abstract “W”? A graphic artist friend created this for me years ago when I started blogging, and for my website Windigen Consulting (which is German for wind).

I’m looking forward to what your interpretation for WIND!

Link up here with your post! I share all posts on my Second Wind Leisure Facebook page, on Twitter and on Flipboard.



 

Sunday Stills: What Does #Summer Mean to You?

Sunday Stills Summer graphic

For the Sunday Stills challenge to celebrate the first week in July, share your favorite thing about summer. You can simply share one photo of your favorite summer experience or wow us with a gallery of what summer means to you.

And it’s not just about photos…perhaps you are inspired by a song, poem, artwork, short story or something else. It would be nice to have a photo of your idea, but please be creative!

What does “summer” mean to you? Is it the warm (or hot) weather? Or…

Witnessing a refreshing summer storm?

Variety of textures in the delta

Planting and enjoying your backyard garden?

Summer Zinneas

Enjoying a water sport?

Windsurfer getting some air
Windsurfer getting some air

Enrolling the kids in some swim lessons?

Swimming lessons for youth are inexpensive and necessary!

A beautiful hike in the mountains?

Lupine view of mountains at Mammoth Lakes
Lupine view of mountains at Mammoth Lakes

Calm sunrise at a Mexican resort?

The difference a new day makes in our quest for change

Chasing your dog on the beach?

Brodie at ocean Beach San Diego
Brodie at Ocean Beach in San Diego

Stopping to smell the flowers?

Bougainvillea
Bougainvillea

Visiting a national park?

Yosemite Valley with Bridalveil Falls
Yosemite Valley

Whatever it is, please share your idea of SUMMER this week!

Instagram meme Good times and tan linesSince we are on the subject of summer, feel free to join us on Instagram for the Summer Instagram Photo Challenge that starts today. You can join anytime!

Join our growing Sunday Stills Tribe

Bloggers who shared Sunday Stills posts in June

A Day In the Life

All the Shoes I Wear

Cee’s Photography

Geriatri’x Fotogallery

Grahams Island

Hugh’s Views and News

IScribler

Idaho Bluebird

Light Words

Misty Roads Blog

Mucho Spanish

Musin’ with Susan

Na’ama Yehuda

NorCal Zen

Now at Home

OnceUponaTime&HappilyEverAfter

PilotFish Blog

Proscenium

Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters

Retirementally Challenged

Sights & Insights

Smorgasbord Variety is the Spice of Life

Tales from My Lens

That Little Voice

The New 3Rs: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect

Tranature

Wind Kisses

ZestNZeal

If I left anyone out, please forgive me! I can add you!

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Sunday Stills: Who Are #Tourists?

Tourists gather on the beach in Coronado

The last week in June finds the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge exploring the theme “tourist.”

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere sees an abundance of tourists.

We all think we know who tourists are, but did you know that YOU are a tourist? Any time you step out of your locale, you become a tourist.

“Stop hating the tourist—after all, tourists are just us in other locations.” Dr. Greg Shaw

Tourism can be defined as the act of travel for the purpose of recreation, and the provision of services for this act.

In two of the classes I teach, we discuss the idea of tourism. In fact, the major in which I teach is called Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration. Adding “tourism” and changing the major from Recreation and Leisure Studies brought hundreds more students seeking courses in this major which include 14 career tracks beside the traditional public recreation services, parks & natural resources management, and therapeutic recreation.

Future students touring the university
Future students tour the Sacramento State Campus

Tourism and hospitality play a huge role in this major which opens doors for careers in event planning, professional and collegiate sports management, and theme park management, to name a few. One of our class discussions includes these questions:

  • What would you say are your hometown’s best tourist attractions or special features worthy of tourist visits?
  • What special places in your town would tourists ruin?

Food for thought!

“Move to a new country and you quickly see that visiting a place as a tourist, and actually moving there for good, are two very different things.”
― Tahir Shah, Travels With Myself

Photographer reflected in the mirror

Are you a tourist this summer? When we went to the Big Island of Hawaii last winter, I KNEW I was a tourist and was very happy to be one. How else can one learn about the places they travel?

Did I mention I have been to Yosemite National Park 25 times in my life so far? I do not feel like a tourist there at all, more like a local who has chased a few bears away, camped in tents in the frigid alpine nights, and enjoyed countless ranger-led hikes and campfires.

It’s all in our perspective.

SundayStills_blogbanner

Please join the ever-growing list of bloggers sharing for Sunday Stills!

Feel free to use this image for your posts.

The July calendar is posted on the Sunday Stills page.

 

 

Where was the last place you felt like a tourist?

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Horses in Black and White

White horse at the fence

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I share a LOT of photos, mostly in technicolor! I am happy to write that I am back to stretching my camera lenses with Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenges.

This week’s theme is “animals,” and my entry is this happy, cream-colored horse I met while walking with my Dad on Father’s Day. He lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills (Northern California), in a picturesque, quaint, but very “country” area of his small town.

She came right up to the fence as we approached and her buckskin friend dutifully came along side. This image is in color so you can see the difference from the black and white image above.

Friendly white horse

Dad and I chatted briefly about my old horse Cookie that I loved when I was a young girl living near Portland, Oregon. It got me very nostalgic for my horseback riding days.

For more about my love of horses, you can check out this oldie-but-goodie post, Borrowing Freedom.

“All horses deserve the chance, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.” Unknown

If you are looking for more photo challenges, head over to Cee’s Photo Challenge PageAnd don’t forget about my weekly feature, Sunday Stills. July’s themes will be posted next week!

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Can You Ride A Unicycle? 

Girl on unicyle rolls by motel door

Something unique for Thursday Doors today! As I turn my attention to taking part in new and old photo challenges, I came across these photos of not one, but two cute girls, with doors as their backdrop for some fun!

In the featured image above, I saw this cutie riding a unicycle around the hotel we stayed in near Yosemite a couple of years ago.  I asked her (and her mother) for permission to take her picture as she deftly rode around the hotel area on her unicycle.

In the photo below, while at San Diego’s Southern California Exposition (also known as the Del Mar Fair), one of the exhibits hosted an Alice in Wonderland theme complete with doors of varying shapes and sizes.

Del Mar Fair Doors

Those of you who posted for the weekly photo challenges, are you feeling a little lost? I joined hundreds of bloggers weekly for nearly four years posting for the WPC.

But there is hope for all of us. Our fellow bloggers are hosting other wonderful photography challenges. If you are looking for more challenges to show off your photography skills and inspire your writing, please join my weekly Sunday Stills Challenge  and take a look at Cee Neuner’s website for an expanding list of photo challenges hosted by herself and others!

And please join Norm at Thursday Doors each week with your fabulous doors!

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
— Aaron Siskind

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Sunday Stills: #Aroma

Mouthwatering Aroma of canapes

Mouthwatering Aroma of canapes

While the U.S. celebrates Memorial Day this weekend (holiday observed Monday), my co-host Aixa at Mucho Spanish chose the theme “aroma” for the Sunday Stills photo challenge.

Memorial Day weekend is the traditional “unofficial” kick-off to the summer season here in the Northern Hemisphere. I, myself, am at the Sacramento Delta for a long weekend as this publishes. Part of the tradition includes backyard BBQ filling the air with mouthwatering aromas of chicken, salmon, tri-tip (my hubby’s specialty) and other grilled treats!

The above image shows an array of canapes perfect to whet your appetite!

Deepest gratitude to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.

Last week as I rode my bike around the neighborhood, I noticed many folks preparing their RVs for a long weekend excursion.

Here in Northern California we are within two hours of either the Sierra Nevadas (Lake Tahoe, Gold Country, and Yosemite just 4 hours south east) and the San Francisco Bay area and the ocean. In between are countless campgrounds, lakes, rivers and other wonderful leisure places.

Each with their own, distinct aromas.

In one of the classes I teach, we study a concept called “smellscape,” sort of an exploration of the senses. Students are asked to think about their favorite leisure places and identify the scents, smells, odors and aromas associated with them.

For me, my favorite scent is the blast of pine that fills the cool mountain air as you enter the forest. As kids on our long drive into Yosemite from the Mohave Desert along the Eastern Sierra Nevada, we rolled down the car windows and drank in the scent, as soon as we reached 7000 feet elevation and saw the trees.

Morning glow on I-5

Similarly, there is such a distinctive smell associated with the ocean as soon as you pull into the parking lot at the southern California beaches.

The salt air, sun-warmed asphalt and sidewalks, BBQs, sand and ocean air create a cacophony of smells that announces “you are now at the beach.”

the beach is calling

So, take a moment, close your eyes and think of scents that bring you joy and remind you of your favorite leisure activities.

What are your favorite aromas? Please share photos that represent them!


May is National Water Safety MonthBeing that this post publishes during Memorial Day Weekend, I am compelled to share one more Water Safety post. 20+ years working in the public swimming pool and aquatics industry will do that to a person!

ABCDs of Being Water Safe

 


Too busy to post because of the holiday? You are never too late to post and link-up. Join us anytime!

Terri_sig_palm2

 

Sunday Stills: #Recreational

recreational fishing on Hilo Bay

recreational fishing on Hilo Bay

This theme is right up this blog’s alley…that’s right, when you’re the host of a photo challenge, you get to pick them! I know you will love it though, since recreation and leisure are essential in our lives.

I bet you find yourself participating in something recreational or leisurely every day. Why not share what you do for recreation for the Sunday Stills photo challenge?

In the above photo, I watched as these two fishermen enjoyed their experience on Hilo Bay juxta-positioned against the backdrop of the apartments. It was a Friday, a school holiday, and these fishermen shared the beach with several young surfers.

And I’ll bet you didn’t know that today is also “National Take Your Parents to the Playground Day.” Playgrounds appear in parks and in swimming pools.

Pool Playground

I would be remiss (as a former aquatics director) if I didn’t include my annual plug for May is National Water Safety Month.

May is National Water Safety Month

For more information on keeping yourself and your family safe in and around the water, visit these links:

Together We Play

National Water Safety Month

and a previous post: Is a Life Jacket in Your Beach Bag

Speaking of Liquid, this is also submitted for the Weekly Photo Challenge! I love it when this happens!

Don’t forget to link up your fabulous recreational-themed photos this week! You have all week to link up and I will share your posts!

 

My New Favorite Place

Chair at Hilo Bay

Chair at Hilo Bay

Surprise! No, your eyes do not deceive you, and yes, I am publishing a post a few weeks early!

It is spring break for me and while I am still busy creating lectures and grading papers for this new class, I actually have some down time.

Plus, I couldn’t resist posting for this week’s photo challenge Favorite Place.

For those who know me, I have filled my blog pages with images of Yosemite (my all time favorite place)…

Green helmeted cyclist (my hubby) admires stunning view of Yosemite Falls Spring 2016
Green helmeted cyclist (my hubby) admires stunning view of Yosemite Falls Spring 2016

…or the Sacramento Delta.

Sunset Sailing Session

Although I have several favorite places, my heart now lies in Hilo, Hawaii.

Since that magical trip in January, the warm, tropical climate, laid back atmosphere, and shockingly green vistas have been calling me back. The above featured image shows the serene park setting overlooking Hilo Bay, while the image below captures the lush green plant life near the black sands.

Black sand and lush palms

 

For more Big Island photography, visit Graham’s Island. Graham posts beautiful photos of life on the Big Island!

Sunday Stills Revisited…Preliminary Plans for My New Feature

Apparently, I must miss blogging because I tend to dream about it. Last night I suddenly got inspired by the now defunct feature, Sunday Stills, a photo challenge hosted by Ed for several years. Notice there are no links because he hung up his blog and deleted his site.

My addled and sleepy brain managed to churn out an idea that I am playing around with, to bring back the Sunday Stills photo challenge with the help of a couple of photobloggers! If you are intrigued by this notion, shoot me an e-mail through my contact page. More about this in early April, with the plan to launch the feature in May.

For now, think about your favorite place and I look forward to reconnecting with all of you soon! I miss you all and I appreciate you stopping in to say hello!

Mahalo!Tiki signature