#WQWWC #23 Writer’s Choice: Blogging Challenges and Tips

#WQWWC #23 Writer’s Choice -My Choices Sunday Stills- Water Details, LAPC – Details, Cee’s FOTD & Sunday Poser from Sadje.

Today I’m leaving the Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays Writing/Photo Challenge topic up to you. Since you know I love challenges, I’m aligning my post this week with challenges and some tips for better blogging.

Insert quote made in Canva

Start with Details from #LAPC #146

Patti Moed of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge inspires us this week to look for the details in our photographs. While doing Becky B’s challenge, there were times I focused on details, and other times I tried to take a picture of the entire car, but I ended up cutting off part of the body when I squared the picture.

Photographer, Cee Neuner’s solution to that was much the same as Patti’s solution to photographing architecture – focus on the details. Armani suggests that even the smallest detail is important.

Prescott Bike Trail #1 Peavine Trail to Hwy 89A

We saw the most beautiful display of red flowers along the Peavine Trail two weeks ago, but we were on a roll to get to the end of the trail, and we didn’t stop. On the way back, Vince suddenly pulled over, got off his bike and started taking pictures. I followed suit, first taking the landscape view, the a little closer and finally a close up with lots of details.

These photos are also submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

You can see at a distance how scrubby the trees and shrubs are, which is nice to know as a reference that they don’t look impressive. Up close, when you see the details of the flowers, they are quite beautiful.

Vince looked it up on an app on his phone called Picture This. The plant brought up several names: Desert Paintbrush, Indian Paintbrush, or Northwestern Indian Paintbrush. Further details reveal that the scientific name is Castilleja and believe it or not it is in the subclass of Magnoliids like Magnolia trees.

Wikipedia defines it as a “perennial herbaceous” plant meaning it doesn’t have a woody stem and you can’t easily get rid of after one season.

Sunday Stills Focus on Water Details

Before you get to the Hwy 89A cut-off on Peavine Trail, you come to Watson Lake. Of the four lakes within a five mile radius of our home, Watson, Willow, Lynx and Goldwater, Watson is my favorite because of the rock formations and the fabulous the fact that Peavine Trail is broad and flat – the perfect learner’s trail.

Riding or walking along the trail you are close to the water and can hike even closer if you like. The lake houses many types of wildlife. We see a lot of different ducks.

We walked when we took these pictures. We are not experienced stupid enough e-bikers to take pictures at 12-20 MPH.

Terri reminds us that May is Water Safety Month. Our neighbors took their kayaks out for the first time this week. Keep in mind that it almost snowed – I’d call it spitted on Monday and by Thursday the air temperature here was 80 degrees. The water is still COLD!

Sunday Poser Question: Which Human Trait Inspires You the Most?

I love the spirit of adventure. Maybe that is not a human trait, but it is an outcropping of curiosity, which is a human trait. When someone is adventurous, their spirit inspires me to learn, which is what I love to do most.

I appreciate it when my husband plans adventures for us. He bought me an e-bike for my birthday and took care of all the details to assemble it. He shopped for, bought the hitch, and got it all set up safely so we could travel with our bikes.

I love that he plans exploration outings so we can discover the wonderful sights around us. It is fun to be on this adventure of life with him.

Willow Lake, Prescott,
Vince spots a picture, shadow,

I also admire and am inspired by creativity and try to emulate it every chance I get. We can all learn to be more creative, and that is why I love blogging and why I loved teaching. Blogging, like teaching, gives me a chance to LEARN to be creative, to improve the details that define my creativity both in writing, photography, and graphic design – all by-products of blogging.

Blogging Detail Tips

Whether you are new to the WordPress Blocks, or an experienced in-a-rut block user, it sometimes pays to take a break from blogging and learn about blogging. This morning I discovered the detailed list of blocks you can use to make your blog more attractive and easier to write. The most interesting one to me, T.C. History Gal, was the TIMELINE block.

Whether you are a history teacher creating a post for your students, a student doing a portfolio assignment, sharing your family history, or writing a post about your latest vacation, this is the coolest block ever. You don’t have to create a line and try to add text boxes. It’s all done for you.

Once you experiment with that one, there are about 30-40 more blocks that you don’t see on your six choices when you add a block.

Thank you to last week’s participants

thanks for joining me this week in Writer’s quotes wednesdays? do you have any details you would love to share?

Embarrassing and Dangerous Falls and Five Tips to Avoid Them

Three Challenges

Falls – My Most Embarrassing Moment

Sadje asks pertinent questions and even though I’ve told this story to some, it bears repeating because embarrassing to me can be funny to others. Right?

roller skating, living room 1960s Randy, Marsha
This photo submitted for Friendly Friday’s Hands and Feet

In the late 1960s our mother worked in Lloyd Center, the largest mall in the Northwest at that time.  We often went to work with her where there was more to do than at our house.  Our favorite recreation at the mall was ice skating.  

Lloyd Center still has a large ice rink at the center of the mall surrounded by shops and the largest department store in the city on the top floor.  A railing prevented people from hurling themselves from the top level onto the rink and getting a free skating session.  Shoppers stood around the perimeter of the high railing and watched the skaters whirling around below.  On the lower level, where the skating rink was, people sat in the upscale restaurant that lined the rink for better viewing.

Like we did about most things, my brother, Randy and I competed over everything, who got to sit in the front seat of the car, who was fastest, who could eat the most French Fries on the shared plate. You might know the scenarios.

The weirdest thing had happened to Randy that year.  When we moved to Portland, at 15 I stood a proud 5 feet 4.5 inches tall.  Randy topped out at 5 feet 3 inches.  (ha ha) The way younger brothers are supposed to be.  He started growing when he turned 14 or 15.  He stopped one year later at 6 feet 3 inches tall.  I didn’t make the adjustment immediately, I was still older and bigger in my mind.

On this particular night I prepared hurriedly, pinned my hair up, and hastily threw on a frosted gray, page boy wig which, for some STRANGE reason, must have been popular at the time.  No make-up and I was ready to go.  Mom didn’t want to be late to work!

We got out on the ice and I challenged him to a race. We were neck in neck all the way through the first corner.  Then he put his giant legs in gear and with one easy stride glided past me.  As I crossed my legs around the last stretch of the corner for just one more great push, part of my skate stayed cemented in the ice.  Just one little prickly pointy part of my skate refused to budge, and the rest of the skate decided to stay with it.

 Randy gracefully rounded the next corner before he noticed that his spunky sister was MIA.

He was the only one who didn’t see it, however.  The floor guard instantly sped to my aid, spraying ice chips in my red face as he turned to make the rapid stop to help me up.  “Are you OK?” he asked politely.

Of course I was OK.  I was mad and my wig was out of my reach. I ignored his outstretched hand to use both of mine to crawl invisibly over to my wig and get it on as fast as possible.  Which I did.  Even so, I could still see the guard bent over double laughing after he was sure I was all right.

My hair pinned back, I threw on my wig, jumped up and skated for the bathroom trying to get the hair out of my face.

The bathroom – at last –  I looked in the mirror.  My wig was on backwards. I never wanted to go out again.  I took it off and threw it in a locker.  I sat for a few minutes debating about what to do.  Mom would get off work at 9:00.  It was only minutes after 6:00.   The night was young.   I proceeded to unload my hair of bobby pins.  Style was a moot point.  Fine hair blows around anyway.

Fast Forward a Few Years

All my life I have been a faller, and it’s always been a joke in the family. Branches and rocks on the bike path caught in my inline skates causing me to fall on my face. fell in a parking lot three times, on a college campus in a puddle, going up stairs in high school, and those are just the memorable times when people saw, or might have seen me.

However, there were times in the last ten years it’s been funny because I wasn’t seriously hurt, but not a joke. I tripped on a landscape rock while running to take pictures of the night time Christmas Parade. An uneven sidewalk tripped me as I struggled with a purse in one hand and a glass of water in the other. I tripped on our own porch stair carrying an armful of something. Walking alone, texting I tripped on a rock and fell in the middle of a country road. I

Fortunately I always fall forward on my face, except when I’m sitting with my feet in the sink.

Tips to Avoid Falling at All Costs

Older people simply SHOULD NOT FALL. Since I have not fallen in a couple of years, I consider myself somewhat of an expert. LOL

  1. Wear good shoes if you fall a lot. Avoid heels, straps, flip flops and anything with slippery soles. I wear a stability shoe which looks like a running shoe but keeps your foot more stable.
  2. Don’t carry anything between your eyes and your feet. If you can’t see your feet, you could be in trouble.
  3. Be mindful. I am learning what this means, and I haven’t always been mindful. My right foot doesn’t come up as far as I think it does. I know that now, so when I go up steps, I am mindful of what my right foot is doing.
  4. Don’t walk and do other things at the same time – focus. If you are not going to practice mindfulness, then leave your phone in your pocket and camera behind. I’ve broken two cameras and one phone falling.
  5. Use walking sticks (or a cane I dread the day) I don’t use either, but I am holding on to my husband more on trails if I feel nervous about stepping up or down on uneven or slippery slopes.

Do you have a moment in time where you wished you could disappear forever?  I shared ONE of my many embarrassing moments.  Now fair is fair.  It’s your turn!

  • Two shoes, two different colors to an interview?
  • Something broke?
  • You fell off when you were standing on the table? (I did that, too in a school cafeteria after school.)
  • You were onstage when…

More Hands and Feet for Friendly Friday

#WQWWC #22: Balance

Balance

We have been talking about eating nutritious meals and exercising. The topic of this week’s Writer’s Quotes Wednesday challenge is balance. Balance has many meanings and is broad enough to give you a lot of ways to go with it.

It may simply be the challenge of staying upright while walking on a tightrope, paying your bills and coming out with money still in the account, eating from all the right food groups, or holding one or more babies on your hips without dropping them.

We just watched the movie “Adrift,” a true story in which a storm caused a sailboat to lose its balance. Children should have a well-balanced education which includes physical education, art, music, science, social studies, literature and time and ways for exploring their interests.

Artists balance colors to make a beautiful painting. Music lovers enjoy a balance of types of music. Readers read a balance of fiction and non-fiction.

Architects design buildings that will be balanced and create a sense of beauty and balance in the city. All of us balance the hours in our day.

These photos were all from a weekend trip I took to San Francisco with a good friend in May, 2013. We balanced work, family, and still managed to get a girls weekend out.

Where is balance leading you this week?

My Response to Quotes

“I have the feeling that in a balanced life one should die penniless. The trick is dismantling.”

Art Garfunkel

My grandmother told me when she neared the end of her life that it was so hard to figure out how much money she might need to make it through life. She lived through the Great Depression and pinched pennies all her life. A few years before my grandparents retired they invested all their savings in Certificates of Deposits which earned two digit interest. It wasn’t a fortune, but she could have been very comfortable.

Yet when the car needed new tires to replace unsafe bald ones, she wouldn’t purchase them because she was afraid she might run out of money. I understand her fears but I am trying to be a little more balanced as I age and dismantle as I go.

Unlike Art, I don’t want to die penniless because I want to leave something to our son and other family members who might need it.

“The critical part of a balance in life is choosing priorities. If you are trying to balance a family and a career, the choices are complex because both are important.”

Byron Pulsifer

Graduation from high school marks the entrance into adulthood and a time for choices. For some it is time to start work in a family business or at a first job. For others a time to finish education, and for others time to start a family. Some people put off family to build a career, and others put off the career to raise a family. Others balance both successfully.

We all make choices each day to keep our lives balanced. We save money so we can retire, or we don’t and we work until we drop. Or we don’t work hard, don’t stress and when we get old we have start working with no skills or rely on others when emergencies arise. We stress about everything or we stress out others.

Some of us have our lives balanced enough we retire early so we can work or play at something we have always dreamed of doing if only we had the time. A few of us super balanced souls work because it is what we love to do. We are writers, race car drivers, photographers, artists, mechanics, bakers, realtors, teachers, fitness experts, nurses, consultants, clothes designers, own our own business, law, medical or dental practice. We balance and adjust our lives to fit the schedules we have etched out.

We upsize, downsize, and right-size our lives, our belongings, our homes, our social lives, our giving, even our community service so that our lives stay in balance.

How to Play #WQWWC

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Have fun with this topic and some quotes and expound in words, pictures or both. Feel free to use the logo in your post, or as a widget in your sidebar.

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Thanks to Last Week’s Top Players

happy hump day. enjoy the rest of your week and stay balanced!

#WQWWC #21: Nutrition or Nourishment

Components of Nutrition

Our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are our gardeners.

William Shakespeare
#Nutrition, fresh fruits and vegetables
a bevy of berries

Every morning for the past few years, I walked around my garden collecting the fresh fruits and vegetables, popping many into my mouth as I walked. Will power has never been my strong suit when it comes to food. My suggestion is that if will power is not your thing, grow a garden and get full on what grows in it. Chocolate cake doesn’t grow on trees.

Even in this high-tech age, the low-tech plant continues to be the key to nutrition and health.

Jack Weatherford
justify pavlova, #nutrition
pavlova with kiwi, blueberries, and strawberries with a passion fruit sauce drizzled over the top

I can go for low-tech plants, can you? Carol’s relatives introduced me to pavlova on my trip to Australia. Fruit never tasted so good!

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

Doug Larson
Spiky green vegetable. Can you guess what it is?

I’ve shared this picture before because it is so green. It doesn’t smell a bit like bacon when it’s cooked. In fact my husband has been known to come in and say, “What’s that terrible smell? What are you cooking?” That’s not a great recommendation for eating well. Are there green vegetables that you love to smell when they cook?

Old people shouldn’t eat health foods. They need all the preservatives they can get.

Robert Orben

We did not buy a single treat at this stop. That’s not saying we didn’t help ourselves elsewhere, but we practiced Shakespeare’s advice for the moment. Of course, we’re not old!

Diet + Exercise

Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.

Jack Lalanne

 As a teen, LaLanne suffered from headaches and bulimia, and temporarily dropped out of high school at age 14. The following year, at age 15, he heard health food pioneer Paul Bragg give a talk on health and nutrition, focusing on the “evils of meat and sugar. Bragg’s message had a powerful influence on LaLanne, who then changed his life and started focusing on his diet and exercise.” Wikipedia

Grandma Golda, my mother’s mom, and I exercised in front of the television with Jack LaLanne. I’m glad nobody had a video camera on us. I was about five. Grandma was about 50 and neither of us could do the exercises.

Exercise is easy in the open air if you are having fun, learning something, or exploring new territory. We hiked miles or kilometers in the Bunya Mountains, and it was great fun and with good company and at a slow pace, not even a struggle. Walking doesn’t make you skinny, though. Jack L. is right, you have to eat right, drink moderately or not at all, and exercise.

#Nutrition and hiking for exercise
Friendly critter in the Bunya Mountains found while hiking.

My goal this month was to lose seven pounds. During the first few days, I put on two. I am back down to my original weight after fifteen days. I’m hoping that my goal of no sweets and 7,000 steps a day will take me closer to my goal.

pumpkin pizza #nutrition
pumpkin pizza at Turret Restaurant on Sturt Street

This Australian “health food” was to die for! Pumpkins abound in Australian cuisine. I believed that Carol and her friends and family and I hiked enough miles over the Australian landscape for me to deserve this treat.

Fair Warning

The second day of a diet is always easier than the first. By the second day you’re off it.

Jackie Gleason

After finding this quote, I read an article about Jack Gleason’s like. Even though I grew up seeing him on television, I didn’t know much about him. He died when he was 71, just two years older than I am now. Perspective makes a huge difference. He was just old to me when he died. Now, not so much! No only was he overweight, but he drank huge amounts of whiskey.

Unlike Jack LaLanne, he was never the poster child for fitness and nutrition.

My Story

President Kennedy pushed exercise and fitness when I started high school, and it probably changed the lives of our generation. Even though I’m not in great shape, I’m 69 have survived cancer, and I still hike, bike, and workout in the gym irregularly. Sadly, I am the poster child for someone who loves to eat.

Submitted for #BrightSquares Diet and Exercise is a bright idea no matter what age you are.

Jackie Gleason joked about diet and exercise and sadly, I do too even though I didn’t think he was funny. What wrong with that picture?

It is no joke. I am a little schizophrenic about diet and exercise. My mother was obese, and I never wanted to do that to my body. But I learned at her knee to eat sweets and and they still tempt me. She had heart issues and survived kidney cancer living to the age of 80.

My father was not overweight, but could and did eat a half pound of bacon a day and a cup of hot chocolate made with real cocoa and sugar every morning for most of his adult life. He boasted that he could eat a 12 oz. bag of Hershey’s Kisses at a sitting. He seldom exercised either, and he died of colon cancer at age 63.

What’s Your Story?

Please take a few minutes to visit one or two posts and get acquainted with the #WQWWC community.

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Thanks to Last Week’s Participants

#WQWWC #20: Faith, Trust, Belief, Hope, Expectation

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

Corrie ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom was famous for writing her family’s story during the Holocaust. The book, The Hiding Place, came out in 1971, and the movie followed in 1975. Wikipedia

Corrie ten Boom book covers The Hiding Place

A Time and Place for Faith

Corrie ten Boom spoke from a the roof of a drive-in movie theater snack shack in probably 1972 or 1973 in Portland, Oregon. As she spoke, I listened in the privacy of a friend’s car through the loudspeaker hanging on the driver’s window.

I didn’t know too much about the Holocaust at the time I heard Corrie ten Boom. My father did not fight in the war because of a disability. History doesn’t officially become history – in textbooks – until 25 years after the event. That meant that the end of World War II wasn’t officially history until after I graduated from high school. I listened blindly, to her story of faith, without even reading her book first.

The day she spoke it probably was raining, at least drizzling, it usually was during winter months. Corrie ten Boom was a short, plump older woman, and she sat on a high stool so people in their cars could see her. The pastor held a big, black umbrella over her head to keep her dry. Cars honked and blinked their headlights to welcome her.

She spoke for about twenty minutes telling us the story of how her family defied the Nazi’s by hiding and protecting Jews and Resistance leaders in their home. I remember being impressed with hers and her family’s faith and their determination not to be dominated by fear. Instead, they did what they felt God wanted them to do.

Even after they were arrested and sent to concentration camps under deplorable conditions, they continued to trust God rather than fear their persecutors. During those cold, damp twenty minutes on the snack shack roof, she did not dwell as much on the horrors of the Holocaust. She impressed on us, as we sat in the warmth of our cars, of the hope that she and her sister tried to share with the other prisoners as they leaned against each other in the bunks to try to sleep.

She told of many miracles. But the miracles did not save her sister’s or her father’s lives. The pastor and his wife put their arms around her back and stood close to her to keep her warm. She did not sound bitter about what happened to her and her family. Of course, she was sad especially that her sister died, but amazed and baffled that she survived. She told us that she trusted that there was a reason that she lived and the rest of her family did not. She said that her sister had more faith. Yet, it was Corrie that lived to tell the story on the cool day from the roof of the 82nd Street Drive-In snack shack in Portland Oregon

Great tragedies need and produce great faith and can inspire others to call on faith during their own times of tragedies. New Hope Community Church exposed us as young people to many speakers like Corrie ten Boom who shared their faith with us. It was an amazing time in my life.

We all die. We all lose people that are important to us. We get sick, lose jobs, go broke, and have unwanted responsibilities thrust on us. We face fear, and people who hate us for no reason. But we can all face our tragedies with faith. And in doing that, there is an inexplicable joy that bubbles up in us.

Do you have a story of faith you’d like to share?

Thank you to those who shared their Inspiring stories of Fitness last week.