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: Your Favorite #Sport or #Hobby

SUP session at the delta

This week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge is all about showcasing your favorite sports and/or hobbies. Your images of sports might show others participating or yourself engaged in one. The same is true for your hobbies. Please share any image depicting doing what you love and engaging in leisure!

I will start you off with some of my examples.

Hobby 1: Gardening

Last teddy sunflower of the summer

Most of my summer was confined to my backyard due to foot surgery and lack of mobility afterward. Many of my photos featured my new-ish hobby of gardening, with great success in growing (yes, and bragging about) my two favorite flowers: plumeria and sunflowers.

I was so excited to grow the Tall Sungold or Teddy Bear from seeds this season, shown in the above image.

My sunflowers are just about done, but even as they go to seed there is still beauty and hope for the next season!

sunflower seed harvest

My hearty little plumeria plant is still blooming and I hope by next season that the other three plants will reveal their blooms.

Unexpected Plumeria blooms

Hobby 2: Photography

I take at least 200 photos a week and perhaps like you, I share a few on my blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

Since I am not yet interested in trying to sell my photos, freely sharing through these creative outlets simply makes me happy. I have enjoyed much positive feedback and encouragement about my photography (and I am sure you have, too)!

One day, I may print images on canvases and sell them in local craft fairs. But for now, these are a fun and creative outlets to help me enjoy my hobby.

I enjoy seeing the astounding photographic talents on Instagram and on WordPress from the fellow bloggers who link with Sunday Stills Photo Challenge each week.

Hobby 3: Writing

I have mostly finished the first draft of my next book, No Excuses Fitness. My daughter, an aerospace engineer and CrossFit enthusiast, is reading it with a critical eye and has already made some excellent suggestions and edits!

Cycling-for-Exercise

I would have never thought about self-publishing if it not been for my blog. I have met many self-published authors through blogging and am now a fan of their published works.

Hobby 4: Caring for my Dogs

Brodie swims for the stick

I don’t know if caring for my fur-babies counts as a hobby since I consider Aero and Brodie part of the family, but they do provide us with endless shenanigans and smiles!

At the Sacramento River Delta a few weekends ago, I enjoyed photographing Aero chasing a ball on the beach, while making sure Brodie chased sticks in the river. They know the word “delta” and stop in their tracks when I utter the word.

Aero the dog chases the ball on the beach

Sport 1 & 2: SUP and Windsurfing

When I met my husband 10 years ago, I had no idea my life would have ever been this exciting! His passion for windsurfing has opened unexpected doors to leisure pastimes I had never considered. He remembered I was athletic in high school, so it was natural for me to jump into windsurfing and stand-up paddling.

SUP session at the delta

I have not windsurfed at all this summer and I’m told there were many non-windy days. I prefer SUPing anyway!

The next evolution of board sports is foiling, giving board sports enthusiasts another way to enjoy these sports. Riding on this foil lifts the board out of the water and creates a smooth ride even on a light-wind day.

Windsurf foiling

Here, you can get an idea of the special board and the size of the foil.

Brodie keeps a watchful eye as his “dad” prepares to launch!

Brodie watching a windsurfer.

Hobby 5: Weekend Camping and Beyond

Truck and Trailer

We have had our travel trailer since spring 2018 and have made excellent use of it, by camping two summers in the delta at our windsurf club’s campground. Alas, the season ends this month and we move our trailer back to storage. However, we hope to camp with the trailer a couple of weekends this fall, perhaps driving north to Lake Siskiyou or to Lake Tahoe before it gets too cold.

We are repeating our winter road trip in late December into January as we head south to San Diego and into Arizona and Nevada. If you are new to my blog, you can read more about our travel travails from earlier this year!

Need some hobby inspiration? Check out Kaiser Permanente’s article on the benefits of having a hobby and enjoying leisure time.

I’m betting you will find a selection of images of sports and hobbies to share and I can’t wait to see what you come up with this week!

Go forth and enjoy your leisure time!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: The Essence of #Zen

Perched hummingbird
Zen of SUP

The idea of “Zen” seems to be everywhere I look these days. I have to admit that I googled the definition just to be sure I understood its components.

Zen: a state of calm attentiveness in which one’s actions are guided by intuition rather than by conscious effort.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Zen

The essence of Zen is attempting to understand the meaning of life directly, without being misled by logical thought or language.

What is the joke about the pizza vendor, as the Dalai Lama walks in and asks, “Make me one with everything?”

All kidding aside, I have high respect for those who practice Zen Buddhism, as well as all world religions, and would not make light of this spiritual practice.

I, for one, could adopt a more Zen-like attitude in my life. My mind, because of my temperament, constantly goes to the details, logic and mostly un-Zenlike ideas which keeps my poor brain in constant agitation. But, I experience Zen in moments of reflection when I am out in nature, in a forest or near the water.

The image above was taken last year by my husband from his vantage point on the bike trail bridge looking down on Lake Natoma, about 15 minutes east of Sacramento. I chose this Painnt filter to give it a more ethereal “Zen” feeling to it.

Last weekend I finally got to play in the water at the Sacramento River Delta.

Modified SUP with Kayak paddle

Instead of trying to stand-up paddle, I purposely brought my kayak paddle and simply sat down on my SUP board and, yes, experiences a little Zen (as well as a sunburn!). Thanks to husband’s photography skills (using my camera) in capturing the moment. I further edited the image with the Painnt filter. Because I am a huge fan of any water sports, I am also linking this to Jez Braithwaite’s “Fan Of…” challenge.

Lately, my own backyard has yielded Zen moments that captured by my lens, like this sweet hummingbird perched right above my head.

Perched hummingbird

My hummer is partly inspired by Granny Shot It’s Bird of the Day.

My pink plumeria is still blooming. I could stare at these all day, photograph them, and blow up Instagram with their images.

Plumerias

The plumerias are submitted to Cees Flower of the Day Challenge.

Perhaps that is the zen of gardening—you become one with the plants, lost in the rhythm of the tasks at hand.

Irene Virag

I’ve mentioned before that I like to inspire myself with my own Sunday Stills photo challenges! This challenge is open for any interpretation or perspective and I hope you are challenged to better understand your place in the world.

I am looking forward to seeing your Zen moments captured in photos, music, lyrics, poetry or short stories.

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Blue July #Squares: Surf’s Up in Hilo

Boogie Boarder

I caught these young surfers shredding waves on Hilo Bay last January. Three boys and one girl surf and boogie board on a warm winter’s day. It was a school holiday; the temps were warm and who wouldn’t surf if they could?

four surfers ride the waves

Even more amazing was how they managed to dodge the large lava rock formations found all around the Big Island of Hawaii.

Boogie Boarder

Inspired by Sue’s Journaling in July challenge, I’ve managed to journal some thoughts on this week’s prompts.

July 9 My Favorite Place

I have been blessed to travel to destination places like the Hawaiian Islands and to various areas of Yosemite National Park. Within the last 10 years, thanks to my adventurous, globe-trotting husband, I have also traveled to Mexico and countless places in the West. Plans for more road trips and abroad also include Europe and South America.

Although Yosemite’s high country, Tuolumne Meadows, feels like my own backyard after over 25 visits in my life, my emotional attachment to Hawaii developed in my teenage years, spurred future plans for travel to the islands.

I was obsessed with Hawaii for years.

It wasn’t until my mid-forties that I visited Honolulu and Waikiki on the island of Oahu, and this first visit was everything I thought it would be. The soft tradewinds, the colors of the sunsets, and the astounding varieties of blues of the ocean were sensations and sights I could only previously imagine.

Two trips to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018 and 2019 found me in love with the laid-back lifestyle, riots of tropical flowers, and the impossible greens and stunning blues, all within the shadow of the looming, active volcanoes Mauna Loa and Kilauea.

SUPing the waves

Surprisingly, I have not yet found the right spot to stand-up paddle on the Hilo side, due to the shore being made up of volcanic rock formations. But like the man SUP-ing in the photo, it’s just a matter of time.

I shared a post about this in 2018 after I spent my first week in Hilo. My New Favorite Place.

Join Becky B’s quarterly photography challenges with your own square photographs!

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Sunday Stills: Is #Danger Closer Than You Think?

Dogs alert for Danger
Dogs alert for Danger
Dogs appear to be guarding me on the water.

What could be dangerous about a sublime day paddling on the river?

Don’t get me started.

As the former aquatics director for a public parks and recreation organization, it continues to be my duty to remind people to be safe in the water.

This week’s Sunday Stills theme is “danger.”

In the photo above, our dogs seem to be on high alert for danger as I kayak on the river. You can barely see me. Thanks to my daughter for the cool image!

And I was wearing a life vest, like the one in the shot below.

SUP transportation

Even Aero wears his life jacket when we go out on the paddle boards or kayak.

Dogs-Wear-PFDs
Aero hoping to shake off the life jacket.
May in National Water Safety Month

Every May, I post something about the importance of water safety, which coincides with National Water Safety Month, as the traditional start to summer begins this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

In a previous post from 2015, I share five tips for keeping your family safe on the water. Interestingly, “danger” was the prompt for this post when Ed hosted Sunday Stills!

A beautiful day out on a calm river or lake may look dreamy and fun, but danger is closer than you think. Regardless of what you believe about your own swimming abilities and others with you, the calm water can quickly change. A lifejacket WILL save your life!

Sadly, this is a common sight to see–too many lifejackets are still hanging up!

Kids-don't-Float-2015
Kids Don’t Float Campaign sign at Sacramento County Access on Sherman Island

At least these school children exhibited good safety behavior as they explored shallow areas of the American River.

Middle school kids avert danger by wearing life jackets even in knee-deep water.
Averting danger by wearing lifejackets around the river.

We continue to celebrate National Water Safety Month to bring awareness to the dangers of playing in and around the water without a life jacket. Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe by wearing one and insisting they do, too!

Terri Webster Schrandt https://secondwindleisure.com/2017/05/09/danger-averted-too/

I’m posting some news and Sunday Stills themes for June on May 31st. Stay tuned!

I predict many of you will share your unique perspectives on danger this week for the Sunday Stills photo challenge, and they do not have to be water-related.

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

Being Amazing Over 50

SUP transportation
SUP transportation

I am thrilled to be featured as Sam’s guest this month in her series Amazing Over 50’s. Her blog Loving the Fifty-Something caught my eye a while back and I’ve been following Sam’s outdoor adventures ever since! We seem to have a lot in common, and I have enjoyed reading about her previous 50-something guests.

Sam herself is a wonderful inspiration to a healthy fit and leisure lifestyle. If I ever get over to Yorkshire, England, you will find us together on a bike ride or out on the water!

I also want to acknowledge this post is the first for my newly launched Fitness Fridays, a monthly feature highlighting the importance of physical activity in our lives.

Here is a short excerpt from the post:

What are the things you are most proud of achieving after turning 50? My short list would include obtaining the master’s degree, remarrying at age 53, retiring at 55, writing my blog and becoming a self-published author. Adding skilled photographer to that list is also satisfying!

Comments are closed here so please click over to Sam’s page to read the full article.

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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!

Camera graphic

 

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!

Terri_sig_palm2

 

 

Sunday Stills: Refreshing

Hans & Brodie on SUP

Welcome to the inaugural post for the rebirth of the popular photo challenge Sunday Stills! Aixa at Mucho Spanish and I are thrilled to co-host this weekly feature!

What is different about this reincarnation of Sunday Stills is that we have added a link-up using InLinkz. Link-ups are a popular way to share your posts with others. We ask that you participate in the link-up and read others’ Sunday Stills posts. For now, this will be a continuous link-up. If it grows into a large link-up, we may change it to a weekly link-up.

May 6th’s Sundays Stills theme is “Refreshing.” Refreshing can have many meanings from sipping a cold beverage* on a hot day to diving into a cold mountain stream. The act of refreshing can also manifest into just sitting and enjoying a sunset after a long day working or playing!

The photo below is a macro view of my St Patrick’s Day green margarita. It was very refreshing!

Macro view of green Margarita

(*according to the National Days Calendar, today is also National Beverage Day and the first Sunday in May is “National Lemonade Day!”)

In the next photo, my hubby is stand-up paddling with our Boykin Spaniel Brodie on a hot, windless, July day at the Sacramento River Delta. With no wind, it can be rather warm (temps can get to 100 degrees), so hanging out in and near the water is a must for campers.

Hans & Brodie on SUP

Simple Rules for Linking Up Your Post

SundayStills_blogbannerYou are invited to participate in Sunday Stills, but you do not have to link your post to the link-up.

However, linking up is a great way to show off your fab photos to other like-minded bloggers and maybe meet some new friends!

  1. Have fun and meet other bloggers!
  2. If you link a post, please stop by one or two other blogger’s links and spend a few moments reading, commenting, and sharing. Isn’t that what building a blogging community is about? You are not expected to read every post shared, but try to find a few that look interesting to you and leave a meaningful comment.
  3. If you share yours or others posts, please use the hashtag #SundayStills
  4. When linking up be sure to consider these two important steps:
    • When entering the URL, do NOT link up to your homepage. You must link up to a SPECIFIC blog post.
    • Where it prompts you to include “Name” do NOT enter your name! Use the title of your post here.

Click here to see the themes for May!

What is refreshing to you? Show us in a photo!

And don’t forget to link-up here:

False Alarms and the Silence of Leisure Spaces

The silence of nature is very real...

The silence of nature is very real...

In early January, my husband and I spent a glorious week in Hilo, on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Silence of Leisure Spaces

We spent several days exploring the nearby beaches and waterfalls just enjoying the sounds of nature.

Hilo Surfers

We sat and ate our lunch in silence and simply enjoyed the show the surfers and boogie-boarders put on.

To sit in silence at the shore, watch the waves and hear the surf, is to appreciate the very breath and heartbeat of the earth. – Doe Zantamata

A look at a spot near Rainbow Falls. We did a lot of walking to various locations, taking in the “noises” of leisure.

leisure is a form of silence contemplated in the form of a waterfall

“Leisure is a form of silence, not noiselessness. It is the silence of contemplation such as occurs when we let our minds rest on a rosebud, a child at play, a divine mystery, or a waterfall.” – Fulton J Sheen

Our first night we were greeted by the sublime and not-so-silent sounds of Coqui tree frogs whistling through the night. Here is a short YouTube clip of their sound. The Coqui frogs are an invasive species on the Big Island and many folks are irritated at their nocturnal noise. Strangely, we could sleep to their sweet serenade.


Though we had a TV in our room, we chose to play Hawaiian music on our Spotify app. Imagine no news, politics or ridiculousness for 6 days!

A Not-So-Silent Alarm

Many readers have asked me if we were in Hawaii when the false missile alarm sounded. Yes, we were. We were heading to breakfast in Hilo before we drove to Kona to catch our flight back to San Diego.

The alarm burst through on millions of mobile phones ending in deadly silence as shocked people read “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

Umm, we’re on an island, how do we take shelter?

I had left my purse and phone in the car to run back to our room at the B&B and didn’t hear the first alarm. My hubby looked at me oddly and said “Something’s happening. I’m afraid to tell you…it’s on your phone.” I looked at the alert, feeling strangely detached and simply said, “it’s bullsh*t!” I immediately googled “missile threat Hawaii” and nothing came up, convincing me that this was fake.

All I could think about was, we’re flying off this island in 6 hours, and what’s for breakfast? We went to one restaurant which abruptly closed due to the missile. That was aggravating. You might as well go into eternity on a full stomach.

Not to be deterred, we drove further down the street to Ken’s House of Pancakes for their specialty macadamia nut pancakes. My hubby asked the waitress for the “Missile Special” and she howled with laughter! Looking around the place, most of the diners didn’t seem upset or worried that their lives were about to end.

As we waited for our orders, the silence was broken again as the klaxon alarm blared once more on everyone’s phones. This time telling us it was a false alarm. Almost in unison, diners looked at their phones, put them down and continued eating.

Talk about “no worries” mentality!

My bucket list item of visiting the Big Island for the first time with my husband was not going to end with us kicking the actual bucket that day. We enjoyed our breakfast and drove over to the Kona side and went on with the rest of our day.

Do you enjoy the silence that nature or leisure can offer to you?

Silence is the theme for the WordPress Weekly photo challenge.

Mahalo for reading!

Tiki signature

What Does Waiting Look Like to You?

Leisure Connects Us

Each week, I eagerly await the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge that asks bloggers to share appropriate images based on that week’s theme.

As I anticipate my last weekend at the Sacramento River delta, I keenly recall animated conversations during the late winter and early spring of how we were going to spend every weekend windsurfing. “Best laid plans” and how quickly time flies!

While we anxiously waited and dreamed of our new season, I am sharing some older photos that have been waiting to see the light of day and work for the theme of windsurfing and Waiting.

Waiting for ??

Almost two years ago to the day, I posted this image of a man observing the windsurfers and kiteboarders waiting for wind.

Leisure Connects Us
Waiting for wind in Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Waiting to Sail

This photo taken by my husband (with my phone) illustrates the wait and the fear involved in ocean windsurfing.

To see the whole story, click Breaking Barriers of Self-Doubt in Leisure

Face your fears. Windsurfing in Baja, Mexico.

 

Waiting for Fish

While campers wait for the late morning winds, pelicans wait for their breakfast in La Ventana, Mexico, a winter windsurf venue.

35 Pelicans
35 pelicans waiting for fish

More Waiting for Wind

Smart windsurfers use their non-windy times wisely by enjoying a SUP session.

Stand-up Paddle
Morning SUP session while waiting for the wind.

 

Waiting for a Weekly Cigar

Not me!!

Hubby and some friends love their weekly cigar after a weekend on the water. I included this because of the surf motif of the ashtray.

Waiting to be smoked

What does waiting look like to you? I will leave you with this quote (author unknown):

“Two of the hardest tests in life: The patience to wait for the right moment, and the courage to accept that you have waited for nothing.”

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!

 

 

Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Wrong Position?

Holding his daughter in the palm of his hand

Have you ever taken a photo that did not come out the way you expected? Most of us have seen the strange things growing out of heads or bodies in an otherwise beautiful picture.

This week, Hugh is challenging us to share a photo of something in the wrong position. Either I take really great photos or I have deleted the bad ones–more likely the latter. Still wanting to “play” along with this challenge, I found this gem.

My husband, step-daughter, and I were playing on our stand-up paddle boards at the delta in late August. She was doing some yoga poses and I took several photos!

Holding his daughter in the palm of his hand

You tell me; hand photo-bombed or artfully planned?

Whatever your opinion, these are hard to capture (at least for me). Sorry, Hugh, this was the best I could find in my seemingly endless photo collection.

Hugh's weekly photo challenge

Feel free to join Hugh’s Photo Challenge each week for fun and frolic!

 

Leisure Connects Us

Leisure Connects Us

Connected

Leisure-Connects-Us

Participating in leisure connects us like nothing else.

To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization. 

Arnold J. Toynbee

A man looks toward the beach as kite-boarders get ready to launch their kites. Behind him are stand-up paddle boards waiting for customers to come out and play.

Perhaps he is a former kiter or windsurfer reflecting on the good old days? Perhaps he is a merely a tourist taking in the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge. His contemplation of the view connects him in ways we cannot imagine.


This photo is also submitted to Nancy Merrill Photography for her weekly challenge A Photo a Week: From the Back.