Sunday Stills: Favorite #Vacation Spot

Sunday Still banner vacation

To wrap up the month of May at Sunday Stills, let’s share our favorite vacation spots. As more of the world gets vaccinated against Covid-19, masks are coming off and the world is opening up! Hallelujah!

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

John Muir

This week, I am sharing my favorite vacation images from my archives. Now, some of you world travelers, like Sarah, will have to choose your favorites, (aren’t they all though?).

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.”

Seneca

While you think of your favorite vacation spots, remember why we take vacations. In my retired world, every day seems like Saturday and I’ve been on a perpetual vacation for a few months. But think of a vacation in broader terms, like leisure and travel, and how they are all connected. My point (finally) is this: How do the concepts of leisure, vacation, and travel make you feel? Would you say that these words invoke healing when you experience their manifestation?

According to Marsha at Always Write, her newest WQWWW (Writer’s Quote Wednesday) is “healing” and I suggest this is what time off does for us in the form of a vacation, leisure time in a hobby or physical activity, or travel! This quote speaks volumes:

“In matters of healing the body or the mind, vacation is a true genius!”

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Join me as I share my galleries of trips down memory lane and hum along to the song titles. I apologize in advance for any earworms created. You will notice how many of my favorite vacation spots feature the colors blue and green, which ties in nicely to Tina’s Lens-Artists challenge this week!

I Left My Heart in … a US National Park

“Within National Parks is room–glorious room–room in which to find ourselves, in which to think and hope, to dream and plan, to rest and resolve.”

Enos Mills

My family spent a LOT of time visiting national parks, notably Yosemite and Sequoia, since they were in California. Last July, I spent a couple of hours in Sequoia with Marsha, when she lived 30 minutes away in Central California.

Down In Mexico

“Never underestimate the healing power of these three things – music, the ocean and the stars.”

Unknown

My windsurfing husband dragged me to Baja, Mexico three times to the La Paz area. In nearby La Ventana is incredible windsurfing and kite boarding. I took my turns windsurfing in the Sea of Cortez as well as some stand-up paddling. A great vacation spot!

California Dreamin’

“Nature itself is the best physician.”

Hippocrates

Because I lived in California most of my life, I spent the first 20 years in San Diego and the rest in Sacramento (Northern California). On two San Diego vacations, I met fellow blogger, Janis, for lunch twice, and one lunch there with Liesbet, who I met in Sacramento! Since 2009, my vacations consisted of summer weekends at the Sacramento River Delta, with occasional visits to Yosemite. It has been my goal to stand-up paddle on every significant body of water on vacations!

By the Time I Get to Phoenix

“Walk in nature and feel the healing power of the trees.“

Anthony William

Arizona was and still is a winter vacation choice. Not only did we meet fellow blogger, Ingrid and her husband in North Phoenix two years in a row, my brother and recently my stepdaughter now live in the Phoenix area. Winter roadtrip 2022 is in the works!

Blue Hawaii

“Leisure, some degree of it, is necessary to the health of every man’s spirit.”

Harriet Martineau

I’ve been lucky to travel to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018 and 2019 with the goal to fix up and sell my husband’s house on the Hilo side. The house is dilapidated and needs work that we just cannot do at this time in our lives. This year we will make final arrangements for its sale. During these weeks, we did manage to do a bit of relaxing and exploring after taking care of the home. Hilo is not the tourist mecca like Kona is, but it serves as the county seat where most of the government infrastructure is housed. Hilo is also the wettest city in the US. In 2018 we visited Volcanoes National Park before the last eruption took place. In 2019, I got to visit the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Gardens with fellow blogger, Graham. We had a blast taking tons of photos!

Viva Las Vegas

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

Lia Mishell

Las Vegas, Nevada is known for its casinos and nightlife. It’s also a great place for winter RV camping. In 2018, our winter roadtrip to the Southwest was cut short by unseasonable cold and snow, so we high-tailed it to Las Vegas as our last stop and enjoyed a pleasant week. Unable to visit Antelope Canyon that borders southern Utah and northern Arizona, we stumbled on the Valley of Fire State Park just an hour northeast of Las Vegas. I still got my slot canyon fix and plenty of hiking! In 2018, we met up with fellow blogger Maria, formerly of Sagittarius Viking, still on Instagram.

I sum up my vacation experience thus far with this meme I created when I was teaching leisure education and management at Sacramento State University. These surfboards were situated at a windsurf resort. I took the picture and added this thought to help make the point about taking time off of work or other obligations and enjoying leisure time!

Sorry, couldn’t make it…had a mandatory board meeting.

You Are My Home

“Come to the woods for here is rest.“

John Muir

One year ago almost to the day (May 2020), my husband and I stood together on our property for the first time.

Happy on our half acre

We’ve come a long way in one year, figuratively and literally! We are moved in and enjoying everything that goes along with building! All during a pandemic, no less.

New mfg home

Our vacation of choice in 2021 will be a “staycation” since we are new to our home and hoping people visit us as we continually move in. Will the unpacking and getting everything just right never end?

If camping in an RV counts as a vacation, then our 2-month stay in North Spokane RV Park was quite lovely despite winter/early spring-living while we waited for our home to be ready.

Like this Canada Goose family enjoying their home near a local lake, we expect to enjoy all the area has to offer. Submitted for Lisa’s Bird Weekly.

Canada Geese Family

We plan to take some local overnight and weekend trips to the German/Bavarian town of Leavenworth; the Columbia River Gorge near Mt Hood, Oregon—motivated by windsports; and Sandpoint, Idaho; and beyond.

I know several bloggers who live near these areas, so lets meet up when the time is right!

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.

June Themes are on my Sunday Stills Photography Page

Sunday Stills is a wonderful community of bloggers and photographers who desire to connect with one another. Each week I share the links from the previous post so you can continue to meet and support each other. And with that…

Good Gray Matter in these Blogger’s Links

I am looking forward to seeing your favorite places where you vacation and relax! Speaking of relaxing, Sunday Stills is taking a break next Sunday as my family celebrates a long Memorial Day weekend. See you in June and have a great week!

SUPSIG

© 2021 Copyright—All rights reserved—secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: The Rise and Set of the Sun

Sun sets on Hilo Bay fisherman

Sharp-eyed bloggers may remember this theme offered by the now-defunct WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge a few years ago. I thought it would fun to challenge ourselves again by sharing our images of sunsets and sunrises as we celebrate yesterday’s solstice.

Winter Sunrise over swimming pool

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”

Jo Walton

I scoured years of images from my Dropbox files to find a variety of sunrises and sunsets. Apparently, I capture many more sunsets than sunrises. This time of year, in Northern California, sunrise comes quite early, 5:40am! I rise at about 6:30am most days in the summer. Sunset on the solstice was 8:33pm, with last light at 9:05pm. Plenty of time to capture sunsets.

To help inspire you, I’ve chosen new and previous images of sunrises and sunsets.

Sunrises

“The secret to a good morning is to watch the sunrise with an open heart.”

Anthony T. Hincks

How about a foggy Malibu sunrise to start your day?

Malibu Sunrise

I shared a version of this sunrise from Spokane, WA in February. This was post-edited with the Painnt app.

Pixelated Sunrise

Sometimes a sunrise looks best with its light shone on the subject and reflected in the windows as depicted in this sunrise in Baja, Mexico.

Sunrise in Baja Mexico

This one shows the sunrise in the Mojave Desert near Victorville, California. We stayed with friends at their home on Silver Lake. The countless ducks enjoyed feeding on insects common with the sunrise.

Mojave Desert Sunrise

Sunsets

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

My sunset images have a theme…they show the setting sun over water. The first photo is the Painnt version of a sunset in the Sacramento River Delta.

Delta Sunset Painnted

Another delta image shows us enjoying a sunset paddling session near the end of summer. Notice there were no wind turbines in the nearby hills then.

SUP Sunset

In this view of San Diego’s harbor, the setting sun highlights the downtown high-rise windows and creates a gentle reflection on the calm waters of the bay’s surface.

San Diego Harbor Sunset

The final image is one of my favorites, from Hilo Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii. I called a similar image “The Lonely Fisherman.”

Sun sets on Hilo Bay fisherman

I used LightRoom to edit the lighting in this photo and added a sunflare in the post-editing process.

To sum up the idea of Rise/Set, I offer this quote by John Muir:

“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”

Did you know the WordPress Weekly Challenge Photo pages are still available to view? Here is the link to 2018’s Rise/Set.

Does a sunrise or sunset bring you a quiet moment? I’m pleased to link this post to the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, A Quiet Moment.

What is your favorite time of day? Does the sunrise kick start your day and provide you with inspiration? Or are you an evening person who chooses to linger over a sunset with an adult beverage? Saturday’s solstice meant you had to be up very early or stay up rather late to see the sunrise or the sunset. Did you see both?

If you enjoyed seeing sunrises and sunsets, you might like these previous post:

I can’t wait to see your favorite sunrises and sunsets!

Camera graphic

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Sunday Stills: Life in a #Waterworld

Color Planet

Memorial Day in the US is the traditional start to summer, which brings throngs of people to lakes, rivers and oceans.

Perhaps, but not in 2020…

…as the threats of exposure and illness from the coronavirus keep people home and away from their favorite leisure spaces.

Even as most US states have opened up for some recreational activities, social distancing and closed parking lots to beaches, trails and parks may still keep people away.

This week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge theme is waterworld. If you are one of the lucky ones who can enjoy being in or around the water, tell us about your favorite water world. Show us in recent photos. Can’t enjoy the water where you live? Share your favorite water photos from your archives.

Did you know…? “About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is water-covered, and the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth’s water.”

Water Science School

Our seasonal windsurf campground in the Sacramento River Delta opened this weekend with rules for social distancing in place. Not hard to keep your distance while sailing or paddling…in light wind conditions…

Beginner windsurfers enjoy a light wind day for practice
Social Distancing

Or in 40 mph winds!

Trio of Sailors Windsurfing

After a busy day on the water, we can enjoy the sunset,

Molten Delta Sunset

…then wake to a new day.

Quiet Delta Morning

Some more of my favorite places to play in and around the water.

From Northern California’s Lake Tahoe, Lake Natoma and Yosemite National Park…

Boats in Tahoe Marina
Tahoe Keys Marina
Dock
The dock at Lake Natoma
Lake Tenaya, Yosemite National Park
Lake Tenaya, Yosemite National Park

…heading South to San Diego Harbor,

Shelter Island Marina San Diego
Shelter Island Marina San Diego

to Baja, Mexico in the Sea of Cortez…

Symbol-of-Fun
In the Sea of Cortez
Weightless water
La Ventana, Baja Mexico

…and Westward to the Hawaiian Islands…

SUPing the waves
Wave Paddling, Hilo Bay
Hilo Surfers
Hilo Surfers

We enjoy life and live in a Water World!

Please wear a life jacket. Or borrow one.

Kids Don't Float

For Sunday Stills this week, show us your own water world and what you love about it!

May is National Water Safety Month

May is National Water Safety Month. Please stay safe in and around the water.

Flag

Thank you to the servicemen and women who have sacrificed for our country.

The sunset photo is submitted for Jude’s Photo Challenge.

© 2020 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: The Legacy of Favorite #Places

Tuolumne Meadows

Friday was the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of the official state legal lockdown here in California. It was a beautiful sunny day with mild temperatures. My neighbor and I walked our dogs, of course keeping the appropriate 6-feet of social distance.

I was struck by how many people were out and about, enjoying their front yards, walking their dogs, even some riding bikes around the neighborhood. I feel this crisis, just like 9-11 in 2001, will bring community together even more so.

This week’s theme is Favorite Places

A Favorite Backyard

To spark the creativity for this post, I share a previous photo of my lovely sunflower from last year. You might remember I was home bound for two months recovering from foot surgery last summer, so my back-yard, lush with sunflowers and plumerias was my favorite place for a while. I guess it will be again while we languish at home.

lazy opening of sunflower petals

A Leisure Legacy of Favorite Places Instilled

Some of you may know that my mother passed away in early March. While I am sad and still find myself weeping for no reason, I am content that she is at peace.

For recreation, Mom always insisted we all go somewhere every Saturday or Sunday, whether it was to church, the beach (we lived in San Diego), the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Sea World, or trips to the Cuyamaca Mountains to enjoy winter snow or summer picnics.

Summers found us all at La Jolla shores beach or tide pools. During my younger teen years, we also enjoyed weekly warm summer evening excursions to Pacific Beach after a quick dinner at Wienerschnitzel or Taco Bell.

Pier at Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach Pier

My mom and dad loved camping and spent two-three weeks each summer enjoying the Sierra Nevadas. When we kids were old enough, we joined them.

Woman Hiking
Mom at 41, hiking in the Sierras

I just love seeing this photo of my mom back in 1981, when she was healthy.

Before our 2-week camping trips, a trip to the local library was in order to stock up on books. We did a lot of reading on those 8-hour road trips and read on our down time at the campsite.

We camped in Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, but always seemed to land in Tuolumne Meadows, in Yosemite’s high country. Less crowded than the Valley, with its onslaught of tourists and hot summer temps, Mom preferred Tuolumne’s campground, with Ranger-led evening campfires, endless hiking trails and daily fishing!

Tuolumne Meadows
Tuolumne Meadows

A Leisure Legacy of Favorite Places Continues

“Our camping trips and excursions instilled a strong leisure ethic in me that exists to this day and has been passed down to my daughters, my brothers and their children.”

A Disappointed Daughter’s Perspective
Family enjoying a hike on mountain
Sunset Walk on Lembert Dome, Yosemite, with my daughters and my brother

I had the honor of writing and preparing her obituary for publication in a local San Diego area newspaper. Diane loved her community of Lemon Grove. Services will be conducted in early June, around the date of what would have been her 80th birthday, in a beautiful park near the home where she grew up.

Obituary Image

We have obtained a permit to scatter her ashes in her beloved Tuolumne Meadows, in July, where she loved to fish in the meadows, where we hiked as a family for over 15 years.

At last, she will be at peace in her favorite place.

Today’s post is chattier than usual as I remember my mom and her legacy. Remember, your post should focus on the theme rather than reflect on what I’ve written.

Sunday Stills is taking a one-week break March 29. I will be back to the blog in April to participate in Becky B’s April Squares and resume Sunday Stills on April 5.

Winter Road Trip Preview: Walking in the Desert Light

South Rim of the Grand Canyon in snow

Join me today as I share a preview of my winter road trip and where some of my walks took me. With a camera and phone in hand, I took loads of photos on my daily walks. I managed to walk over 10,000 steps a day as recorded by my Fitbit. I needed to with all the good food I ate!

We spent 18 days traveling to Southern California, Northern Arizona, and Las Vegas, Nevada during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Christmas in San Diego

After an eleven-hour drive to San Diego where we would spend our first week of the trip, we enjoyed time with my daughter and her boyfriend. They graciously let us park our trailer in their driveway and hook up to electricity. We loved having our own sleeping space in our trailer and it made a temporary escape space once the whole family arrived at her house for Christmas day.

We spent Christmas Eve at my stepdaughter’s new apartment in Pacific Beach. Even the kite surfers were out enjoying a cold but sunny afternoon as we walked along Sail Bay.

Kite Surfer Pacific Beach
Kite Surfer in Sail Bay, Pacific Beach

Arizona Walks

We traveled on to North Phoenix, Arizona where we met up with Ingrid and her husband at the Pioneer RV Park. This time we stayed six nights and enjoyed a lot more of what Phoenix has to offer. Ah, those sunny winter days! Later in the week, Ingrid and I visited the Desert Botanical Garden and walked the gorgeous trails.

Cactus Light in Botanical Garden
Cactus Backlight in Botanical Garden

“Wild Rising” was the theme with more than 1000 sculptures adorning the park.

Desert Botanical Gardens
Walking through the Botanical Gardens

A Check Off the Ole’ Bucket List

While staying in North Phoenix, early Monday, December 28, we drove three hours one way to … drum roll please…the Grand Canyon!

Yes, I shed a tear as I walked the short distance to the magnificent sight of the canyon! The light from the snow provided amazing contrasts to the warm red and orange rocks. This was one of my first images!

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

Unlike last year’s US government shutdown of national parks, the park was alive and well with a few brave tourists bundled up for the cold, wintery conditions. Even our dogs got their walk in on the South Rim trail.

Winter in South Rim of Grand Canyon
Cold Winter’s Day in South Rim of Grand Canyon

On our drive back to North Phoenix, there was snow on the ground, but thankfully no ice on the roads.

If you are new to my blog, you can read more about our crazy 2019 Winter Road Trip.

For the rest of January, I will share more of my photos from the road trip.

That just about does it for this post, which is inspired in part by Jo’s Monday Walk, Cee’s New On the Hunt for Joy Challenge and Becky B’s January Squares Photo Challenge.

A hearty shout-out and thanks to Hugh for hosting Sunday Stills while I took my break.

Sunday Stills resumes right here next week! I hope to see you back with your creative ideas and images.

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Wordy Wednesday: Summer Blues

Boats in San Diego Harbor

The middle of July finds me reflecting on the fact that half of my summer is gone! Most of you know, it has been a very different summer for me as I recover from foot surgery, spending almost two months in a cast.

Prior to the early June surgery date, I spent a few weekends at the Sacramento River Delta and a weekend in San Diego.

This late spring image of the Sacramento River at the spot where we camp, shows the calm early morning stillness that sets the mood for the day.

Quiet Delta Morning

The first weekend in June, I spent in San Diego for my brother’s 50th birthday. We enjoyed Sunday breakfast in this hotel and took a stroll next to the harbor.

Boats in San Diego Harbor

These images made me feel relaxed and centered as the anxiety of the anticipation of surgery took hold of me.

With only 10 days left to live in my cast, I have found myself feeling blue most of July, due to lack of activity and loneliness. Mostly, my energy levels are lower because of the healing process and because as I use assistive devices (knee scooter and crutches), I must think twice about every task and plan that anything I do will take longer to accomplish.

Mind you, I am not complaining, but it would be silly to ignore my feelings. I have been trying to keep up with journaling this month, prompted by fellow blogger, Sue’s Journaling in July.

Journaling in July Prompt: 7/16 My Family

When I’m feeling blue, one thing that perks me up is spending time with my family. While I was in San Diego, my youngest daughter and I spent some quality time together and visited my mom in the nursing home. My oldest daughter visited me at home last weekend to celebrate her dad’s birthday. Even hubby stayed close to home instead of windsurfing! My brother and his wife and their four adopted daughters drove up during the week before July 4th holidays to spend time with our dad who just turned 83 on July 15th. Being surrounded by my family lifted my spirits and swept those blues away!

This is an older photo of dad enjoying a short fishing break in Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite.

My 80-year old dad loves Tuolumne Meadows.
My now 83-year old dad loves Tuolumne Meadows.

Despite this temporary onset of the summer blues, I have managed to get a lot of writing done, so that is a bonus. I miss my daily physical activities, but I know I will be on both feet very soon.

This post inspired in part by Becky B’s Blue July Squares.

Before I know it, I’ll be back in the classroom at the end of August and back to normal routines.

have a good week
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On the Edge of Unusual

Early morning steam on fence

Today I am catching up with my own Sunday Stills photo challenge. I missed the first two weeks in June due to travel and foot surgery, while Hugh graciously hosted.

If you recall, the first two June themes were “edge” and “unusual.”

I wanted to take this opportunity to share a little about the beginning of June as I offer my interpretations of edge and unusual for Sunday Stills.

The first weekend in June, on the edge of my foot surgery, scheduled for June 4th, I traveled to San Diego to celebrate my youngest brother’s 50th birthday.

The day before the party, my daughter and I had lunch at the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego’s Shelter Island. The last time I was here I was 4 years old attending my great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

During the entire weekend, my thoughts and subsequent anxiety drifted toward my pending surgery in a few days. My daughter captured this rare moment of contentment as I enjoyed the ambiance and adult beverage.

Terri enjoying a beverage at Bali Hai
Slightly content on the edge of surgery

After my brother’s birthday celebration, he hosted a small after-party at a nearby hotel in the San Diego harbor. After scurrying around with my daughters and their boyfriends, we found a place to park.

We stopped a moment to take a few pictures and I caught this unusual sight with my cell phone of a dark figure fishing off the edge of the jetty framed against the San Diego night-time skyline. Unusual because it was nearly 10:00 pm, but even more so when the fisherman walked by me and took off HER hoodie!

Fisherman on edge of jetty

Once back home from San Diego, I enjoyed a quiet Monday, slightly on edge as I contemplated the next day’s surgery. As I settled on my sofa with my coffee, I caught this sight of water vapor streaming off our fence in the backyard. The morning sun caught everything just right. Rather unusual.

Early morning steam on fence

To say the least, June has proven to be an unusual month that has kept me on the edge.

Join me this Sunday for June’s final theme, the Great Outdoors!

Terri_sig_hib1

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Sunday Stills: #Gates to Fun

Pergola Gate with Quote

Today’s photo challenge is that indeed, at least for me. I had a whopping total of five gates in my vast digital photo file, including one I had posted over 4 years ago! I found lots of doors, windows, fences, and marinas with ramps, but few gates.

To assist with inspiration for this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge, I enlisted the help of my daughter who visited Athens last year and she graciously let me borrow this photo she took of Hadrian’s Arch.

Hadrian's Arch Athens
Hadrian’s Arch, Athens. Original Image by Megan Matal

Hadrian’s Arch “is a monumental gateway resembling a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, Greece, to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus.”

At the Southern California Expo, also known as the Del Mar Fair north of San Diego, a building had this pretty, white welcoming gate into the State Exhibition building.

Gateway to Del Mar Fair

Friends have a beautiful vacation home in Los Barilles, Baja, Mexico and this pink wall with its bright green gate faces their property.

Pink and Green Gate

Not a fabulous image of a gate, but here is my hubby (who is pretty fabulous) standing next to the gate to the Ocean Beach Pier in San Diego.

Gate at Ocean Beach Pier
Gate to Ocean Beach Pier

Funny how my limited choice of gates are from southern and Mediterranean geographical locations.

I will leave you with this lovely quote from JRR Tolkien.

Pergola Gate with Quote

What is the secret to finding great gate images? I am looking forward to your creative ideas on the theme this week.

Camera graphic

Squares in September: Pink #Plumeria

pink plumeria

I am excited to contribute to Becky’s photo challenge Squares in September, In the Pink!

While in San Diego for my 40th high school reunion last week, we stayed at my daughter’s house. All around her neighborhood are yards and gardens lush with plumeria, my other favorite flower!

I love how this cluster peeked at me from its leaves! I was “tickled pink” to discover these, and then take multiple photos!

Plumeria are native to Hawaii, but each time I have visited there was during January, a month they do not bloom! 

My daughter has been busy with her garden and I hope to have convinced her to plant a couple plumeria!

What is your favorite flower?

Terri_sig_hib1

Sunday Stills: Back to #School

graphic for back to school

graphic for back to school

Last week I took a short break from Sunday Stills to travel to San Diego for my high school’s 40th year class reunion (1978).

Did you enjoy the break? I know a few bloggers posted a couple of Sunday Stills’ favorites!

By the looks of my e-mail inbox, I see more folks are posting more often now that summer is over, and we are back to our normal routines.

By mid-September, everyone who is going to school is back by now, even the universities on quarter system. The traffic on the roads has definitely picked up in my area!

This week’s theme is “back to school’ which can have the potential for a lot of ideas. As a university lecturer, I went back to school at the end of August. I mentioned before that I love the beginning of the school year where everything seems fresh and new as the Fall gets under way.

Back to School Ideas

I’m looking forward to what your posts will cover for the theme, whether you find a fantastic image of an actual school or write a poem or haiku about the subject or just reminisce about a topic related to school. I can see someone posting about adult education, online learning or a myriad of other ideas. Did someone in your family have their “first day” at kindergarten, or high school? Those are important milestones that I’m sure you celebrated to some degree.

The sky is the limit. Here are a couple of mine to get you started.

Nothing says “back to school” in the non-traditional sense than celebrating with fellow classmates at a class reunion.

Classmates at a high school reunion
Photo credit: A friend’s husband took the pic!

I can’t say I miss the teenage drama of those days, but fortunately, after 40 years, most everyone has grown up (I say “most” with tongue planted firmly in cheek) and become responsible, wiser adults who have proven to be good friends over the years. There were two events: a Friday night mixer at a San Diego bar and grill, then the reunion itself. I have to say it was the best reunion I have attended (I went to my 10th, 20th, & 30th). Lots of talking, dancing and catching up. Many thanks to the ladies on my immediate right and left who were part of the reunion event committee.

Sadly I’ve heard that class reunions are becoming a bit of an anachronism these days, now that social media keeps people together in some sense. But there is nothing like seeing your fellow classmates in person years later with glasses, wrinkles and extra weight to level the playing field of teenage angst and insecurity that defined high school.

Of course I am back to school on my university campus as the semester has gained a foothold into September. A variety of competing coffee shops provides much needed caffeine for overworked students.

Students walking through library breezeway
Spurred on by the promise of campus “Grumpy Mule” coffee, student pedestrians make their way to the library.

Last spring, I took my leisure education class out onto the campus bridge and had them play by blowing bubbles, but not without coffee!

In this photo, a group of youth tour the campus in hopes of becoming future university students.

Future students touring the university

Almost four years ago I wrote a post about The Haunting of Old Coloma School House, which is a historical look at a building where I worked.

Share your “back to school” themed posts and images for Sunday Stills. Link up below or simply create a pingback to this post!


Terri_signature_red

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: A Plant’s Life

Thank you to Betty Louise, at Idaho Bluebird, whose blog I have followed for several years. She suggested the theme “plant life” for this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge.

I am enjoying a wonderful weekend in San Diego attending my brother’s wedding. Today’s shots of plants and flowers are mostly associated with the San Diego area, where I was born and raised and lived there until age 20. With family still there, three step-children, my daughter and fiancé, and a grand-baby, you can bet I visit there two-three times a year.

Bougainvillea
I love this plant, so much so that I managed to plant one in my front yard here in Northern California, although it may struggle with the dryer, hotter summer air. San Diego is more humid with more even temperatures year ‘round.Bougainvillea are everywhere! It is beautiful, but watch out for its thorns! 

Pink and white bougainvillea
Bougainvillea

Jacaranda
This gorgeous purple tree flowers mostly in June in San Diego (and I’m sure many other places). It is a large tree and a sight to behold.

Jacaranda tree
Jacaranda tree

Jasmine
White Star JasmineAnother favorite plant is “night-blooming jasmine.” I don’t have a photo of one, although while visiting I will try to find some to photograph.

Night jasmine has a tubular yellow flower, much different from the star jasmine pictured. Since they open only at night, I never notice them, but I can smell their heady scent that is mostly apparent at night!

My grandfather had an amazing backyard filled with Bougainvillea, jasmine, magnolia, honeysuckle and two huge date palms, among other tropical plant life that prefers the even temperatures and ocean breezes. He took pride in his yard and spent hours pruning and planting.

Sadly, when he passed away over 20 years ago and the home was sold, the owners sold the two date palms! I guess they are popular trees! Even these days, when visiting, I drive by his old home and still see where the palms resided. I hope they are happy where they are now.

Thank you so much for all the participation with this photo challenge. I’m noticing other comments on Sunday Stills posts of yours which means you are connecting with each other!

Also, one word of instruction to help your blogging journey. When titling your Sunday Stills post, you do not have to use “Sunday Stills” in the title, and it is best NOT to title your post the same title as mine. Our blogs are found on google searches using SEO and having several blog posts with the same title can be confusing. Please be as creative as you wish with your titles!

Because I am traveling when this post publishes, I may not be able to share and comment until Monday evening, but no later than Tuesday!

Do you love the plants of the Earth? Share one or some of your favorites in Sunday Stills. I can’t wait to see what images you share!

 

Terri_sig_hib1

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!

Terri_sig_palm2

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

 

“Filed Under ‘Unlikely'”

SpaceX Launch

SpaceX Launch

What is the likelihood of watching a live satellite launch appear above your family home? Unlikely perhaps, but as you can see by the photo it was real!

On December 22, after just arriving in San Diego after a long road trip, we piled into my daughter’s new car preparing to meet the rest of the family for dinner.

As we pulled out of the driveway, suddenly, my daughter exclaimed “What is that?!” We could not believe our eyes as we saw this sight.

I leaped out of the car and took several photos and texted one to my other daughter (she’s an Aerospace Engineer) and asked her.

Of course she knew that Space X launched 10 satellites from Vandenberg AFB in the Palm Desert area of Southern California just moments before.

The small object in the middle of the jellyfish-like shape is a system navigator that eventually burned up. It spun and shifted adding to the incredible sight.

I shared this photo on Instagram. As it moved quickly through the sky it appeared just over my neighbor’s house.

Space X satellite or Santa

I figured it was Santa taking a dry run to break in some of his new reindeer.

“In infinite space, even the most unlikely events take place somewhere.” Max Tegmark

If you are old enough to remember the original Twilight Zone episodes hosted by Rod Serling, oftentimes he would sign off the end a show by saying, “filed under … in the Twilight Zone.”

Yes, I’m back to blogging, unlikely as it may seem! Watch for this Sunday’s post for the brand new Sunday Stills Photography Challenge!

And to continue the spacey theme, “May the Fourth be with you!”