Sunday Stills: Mellow #Yellow

yellow bee sunflower

Isn’t yellow a lively, cheery color? When I think of August, I think of heat, which makes me think of cloudless, sunny skies, at least out here in the West. I’ve always associated the month of August with the color yellow.

You guessed it, this week’s Sunday Stills theme is anything yellow.

I added “mellow” to my yellow to take the edge off, but our summers here are anything but mellow. Maybe it won’t seem so hot!

Jennifer Bourne, fellow local blogger and co-producer of the Sacramento WordPress Meet-Up and lead organizer for WordCamp Sacramento shared:

“Studies show that the meaning of the color yellow can be warmth, cheerfulness, increased mental activity, increased muscle energy. The color yellow helps activate the memory, encourage communication, enhance vision, build confidence, and stimulate the nervous system.”

https://www.bourncreative.com/meaning-of-the-color-yellow/
sunflower garden

Lest you think this post is all about my backyard sunflowers, I assure you there is more to see.

This busy bee was anything but mellow as I watched her pollen-laden body flit among the sunflowers last week. I luckily caught her in flight!

yellow bee sunflower

Even my miracle pink plumerias have stolen a little sunflower yellow!

To keep us cool in the hot August heat, I share these images of fun in the sun on and near the water.

A great start to the morning. Sunrise over the Sea of Cortez in La Ventana, Baja Mexico.

The difference a new day makes in our quest for change

Windsurfer getting the last of the wind and golden rays before sundown.

Sunset Sailing Session
Sunset sailing in Sacramento River Delta

These kayaks and yellow stand-up paddleboards at Lake Natoma beckon visitors to come take a ride and cool off!

Reflections of yellow SUPs

These boys had the right idea of playing on the beach in Coronado.

Playing on the beach

Later in the Fall, the color yellow will be everywhere. This is a look at last Fall’s ginkgo trees on the Sacramento State University campus.

yellow ginkgo leaves

Flower images are inspired in part by Cee’s Flower of the Day photo challenge.

Welcome new Sunday Stills participant IBall Round the World!

Are you feeling mellow yellow? Show us your images of something yellow, tell us a story or share a poem with yellow as the subject, or why yellow is your favorite color!

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Sunday Stills: #Daylight Hours

Day is Done

Today marks Daylight Saving Time in North America and 81 other countries in the world. We “spring forward” in March and lose that precious hour of sleep in order to get more daylight in the afternoon.

Quote coffee
Original photo by Lexi Ruskell on Unsplash

I preferred DST to begin in April and end in October like it used to. It is so dark in the mornings!

As a result, I feel that hour difference for as long as 4 weeks. Even my dogs look for their dinner when the sunlight hits the sky at a certain angle.

DAYLIGHT is this week’s theme for Sunday Stills.

Enough complaining though…let’s celebrate daylight with some fabulous photos!

There is nothing like starting the day with a glorious sunrise!

Sunrise over Sea of Cortez
Sea of Cortez, in Baja Sur, Mexico

Daylight casts shadows…

Shadow of the dog walker
Long shadows, short dog!

Aero casts a shadow and a reflection!

Aero cavorts on dog beach accompanied by his shadow and reflection
Aero loves the beach!

How about a sunset paddle?

sunset paddle session
Sun sets on stand-up paddlers on the Sacramento River in the Delta

Daylight would not be complete without a beautiful sunset!

Day is Done
Spring delta sunset

The sunset on the wind turbines is my entry to Becky B’s March Spiky Squares.

Please share your original images, poems, favorite quotations, and more that depict what daylight means to you.

And if it applies, I hope you remembered to set your clocks forward (yes, I have several manual clocks that need to be re-set). Enjoy the daylight!

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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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Opening a Thousand Windows

Quote by John Muir "Opening a Thousand Windows"

Pine Trees make a window onto the world of Yosemite Valley

While the featured image is not your typical glass-pained window, the frame of the pine trees yields a glorious view of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.

“Oh these vast, calm measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.” John Muir

For all its natural beauty, sadly, this very mountain endured a recent rock-slide where reports from bystanders described “rocks the size of an apartment building” randomly detached and fell onto the valley floor.

John Muir’s sublime quote can be applied to any leisure experience we choose. Our leisure time spent enjoying wonderful places on our vacations and every day lives also opens countless windows to the wonders of our world.

This can be as adventurous as spending a day exploring an old, abandoned lighthouse in Mexico…

Framed in what's left of the Lighthouse window
Framed in what’s left of an abandoned lighthouse window

…to discovering a partially submerged window in an old abandoned pumphouse on Lake Natoma while stand-up paddling…

Old pumphouse window partially submerged plays trick on the eyes
Old pumphouse window partially submerged plays trick on the eyes

…Or as simple as enjoying the view of the swimming pool from a condo window…

Condo Window looks out onto leisure.

 

Feel free to share this on Pinterest!

Quote by John Muir "Opening a Thousand Windows"

 

Posting these Windows  of leisure for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

What windows open for you in your leisure time?

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Safely Secure at Leisure

At least the pups wear their PFDs.

At least the pups wear their PFDs.

Many outdoor leisure activities require a measure of Security. Kayaking with the pups is no exception! Though Gideon and Aero sport their Pup PFDs, I’m guessing my daughter’s PFD is behind her instead of on her.

Sigh.

However, the kayak offers supreme flotation in an accident, and paddles can be used as reaching devices in water sports.

In my attempts to be water safe and set a good example while stand-up paddling and windsurfing, I received two cool birthday gifts last December in anticipation of spring and summer. Older daughter bought me the pink self-inflating PFD for when I am kayaking or SUP-ping. It came with two replaceable CO2 cartridges that can be set to inflate manually or automatically.

Security dressed in pink!The impact vest is to be worn while windsurfing to help with flotation while water-starting or swimming (as I tend to do more than my share). My hubby bought me this while up in the Columbia River Gorge during Thanksgiving last winter. It is designed to be worn under my waist harness (also pink). A girl can be fashionable out on the water, right?

“Impact” has meaning when your windsurf gear turns on you. I’ve been clocked on my chest with the mast, and have been thrown onto my boom…multiple times. Any windsurfer will tell you it is part of the rites of passage in learning to sail. These vests are designed for impact for sure and offer plenty of protection.

If armor could float, I would wear it, as klutzy as I am!

Summer water activities will be here before we know it. Make sure you and your family are safe and secure in and around the water. For more information on personal flotation devices (PFDs), also called life-vests or life jackets, please check out my post from last May: Is a Life Jacket in Your Beachbag?

University Students belay rock wall climbers at the Challenge CourseOn dry land, other outdoor leisure activities require a certain level of security, especially if climbing is involved. Our university has it’s own Challenge Ropes Course on campus. Each semester, students in one of my classes attend a day of climbing and team-building led by the Peak Adventures team. The staff leads them through putting on the harnesses and demonstrates belaying techniques for the climbing wall and cargo net. For students afraid of heights, they can opt to help belay, thus supporting their fellow classmates who want to try climbing.

The staff tell us that the ropes and belaying equipment can safely hold up a small car.

One would think that this bit of knowledge would aid our minds in the idea of security, but if you have ever climbed a rock wall, or walked across a catwalk 30 feet in the air, harnessed in, you might still quiver with fear.

What keeps you secure in your outdoor leisure activities? Do tell!

 

 

Symbols of Leisure

Symbol-of-Fun

Symbol

Human beings love their symbols. Creating symbols is how we deal with the abstract concepts that can’t always be explained in simple terms or words.

Leisure is one of those theoretical concepts that defy only one definition. For the weekly photo challenge, here are two symbols of leisure.

This first one of me shown after just falling off of my stand-up paddleboard, demonstrates the symbols of adventure and fun. Despite having a 60-minute paddle session on a less-than-glassy ocean, it was not perfect. I did not land my dismount! Regardless of my less than stellar finish, my huge grin should show the sheer fun and delight of a wonderful workout.

Symbol of Fun

This next photo shows college students climbing a wall during a class session. Many of these young people have never climbed before. The staff of Peak Adventures Challenge Ropes course use their team-building skills in leadership to provide a safe environment for learning a new leisure skill. The feelings of risk, the adventure and subsequent fun and satisfaction felt after trying to climb a wall are unmatched anywhere.

Climbing-Wall

These are the places that leisure takes us. What are your symbols of leisure?

Dear Dock: What if You Never Existed?

Dock

I have written about the Sacramento State University’s Aquatic Center before. Here is a new twist on the writing 101 prompt. I am combining Day 14 and 15.

Dock
The dock at Lake Natoma is at your leisure

Dear Dock,

The Sacramento community is surrounded by lakes and two major rivers. It gets very hot here in the summertime, some days reaching up to 110 degrees, with a summer average of 90 degrees. Your docks are needed with all of their potential for recreational and competitive water sports. Very few universities have their own Aquatic Center, so you are unique.

You provide endless amounts of recreation and leisure activities to college students, high school students and to the public.

Your director, Brian, has been dedicated to you for over 25 years, raising you from just a little one-ramp dock flanked by a metal shed. You have grown up into a gorgeous facility that inspires people to learn new water sports such as wakeboarding, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and even windsurfing. In fact, Brian, was named California State Boating Educator of the Year in 2013.

But what if you did not exist? What if the grant Brian wrote all those years ago was not awarded? What would have become of you?

In the spirit of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” if your docks did not exist on the lovely banks of Lake Natoma, this would be your story.

Your beautiful docks that could have been the centerpiece of the Sacramento area would have never existed. There would be no inland Aquatic Center to attract university students from around the country and beyond.

The annual events such as the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships, the Pac 12 Rowing Championships and various regattas and triathlons would not happen.

Aquatic-Center-Dock
The docks are still colorful even in dreary February

The university students that would have come from all over the country to represent their schools with pride would not be able to experience Northern California. The economic impact from the sizable tourist industry to Sacramento would never be realized.

The jobs that you would have provided to teens and young adults would cease to exist, as well as the valuable internship opportunities for college students. Local folks in the Sacramento community would not be able to rent your classrooms for events. The thousands of children that would have registered annually for your day camps would not learn valuable water skills. Without your presence on Lake Natoma, a child never learns to swim and drowns.

Generations of people looking for leisure activities would never experience the hot trend of stand-up paddling, nor be able to spend an idyllic, fall Saturday morning kayaking near your peaceful shore.

But…
Because of the vision of the university, the state of California, the counties of Sacramento and El Dorado, and the local water district, your docks will remain pristine and available to all. Your expressive dock eagerly awaits visitors!

Thank you, dock, for being you. Sacramento is blessed to have you!

Sincerely yours,

An Avid Water Enthusiast


Writing 101 Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You
Today’s Prompt: Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force. How does that make you feel?

Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern
Today’s Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there. My word was “dock.” Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter. You have a number of options: you can write a letter to the word or an image, or an open letter to the world inspired by the word.

San Diego’s Pacific Beach and Downtown Skyline

San-Diego-Skyline

We are enjoying a short vacation in beautiful San Diego. Spent Sunday morning on Mission Bay, stand-up paddling with my husband, step-daughter and step-son.

Stand Up Paddling
Morning stand-up paddle session. Original image by V.Schrandt

After paddling we had lunch at a little Greek bistro, then walked over to Pacific Beach boardwalk.

Mission Beach Boardwalk
Cyclists cruise Mission Beach Boardwalk

Later we went to dinner in Point Loma at a wonderful seafood shop and experienced this unbelievable sunset that set downtown San Diego buildings aglow.

San Diego Skyline
Setting sun paints the buildings of downtown San Diego