Author Archives: Miriam Hurdle

Lens-Artists Challenge #80 – Leading Lines

This week Tina introduced us the important rules in photography – the leading lines and illustrates with her fabulous photos and quotes.

Leading lines are my favorite compositions of photos. I included in this post some of my favorites as well as some quotes on leading lines.

 

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Elliot

1.Maui

Maui Bamboo forest, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

It was our fourth trip to Maui last year. We drove through the Road of Hana during the previous trips but not the last trip. I decided to go hiking and see the waterfalls. The Seven Sacred Pools is a beautiful series of pools at the base of waterfalls in the Oheo Gulch. This is on the ocean front part of Haleakala National Park on Maui, Hawaii.

There is a 2-mile trail (Pipiwai Trail) along the gulch that takes us past Makahiku Falls. Along the Pipiwai Trail is a majestic Maui bamboo forest. As far as our eyes can see, dense groupings of bamboo stalks are everywhere. The trail ends at the base of the 400-foot Waimoku Falls.

 

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

2.Maui

The road leading to Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

We took this road to the Seven Sacred Pool, the same road leads us to the Road to Hana, but we didn’t go through the Road to Hana on this trip.

 

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

3.Yellowstone

Uncle Tom’s Trail, Yellowstone

My family and I hiked down then up the Uncle Tom’s Trail in Yellowstone.

 

“Make sure you visualize what you really want, not what someone else wants for you.” — Jerry Gillies

4.Alaska

Alaska Railroad between Anchorage and Denali Park

Hubby and I took the train back to Anchorage from Denali Park. The train stopped here for the north bound train to switch crews.

 

“You have to see failure as the beginning or middle but never entertain it as the end.” – Jessica Herrin

5.Bergisel ski jump stadium, Olympic site, Innsbruck, Austria

Bergisel Ski Jump stadium, Innsbruck, Austria

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Bergisel Ski Jump stadium, Innsbruck, Austria

The Bergisel Ski Jump stadium has a capacity of 26,000. It is a ski jumping hill located in Bergisel in Innsbruck, Austria. It was the Olympics site in 1964 and 1976. I climbed the steps to the top of the ski jump.

 

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney

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Hiking trail leading to the Monkey Park, Kyoto, Japan

We visited Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan in January 2019. The Park is on top of this mountain. The hiking trail was quite steep to me and I had to slow down a few times to catch my breath while Hubby waited for me.

 

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Christopher Columbus

8.Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, California

Huntington Beach is 23 miles from our home. It is less than an hour drive with traffic to get there. It’s our frequent place for outing or just going for walks.

 

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe

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Kasuga-Taisha Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

While we were in Kyeto, Japan, after visiting the Nara Deer Park, we visited Kasuga-Taisha Shrine which is the most important Shinto shrine in Nara. More than just the shrine buildings, Kasuga-Taisha is a mysterious world of forest, pathways, lanterns and wandering deer.

 

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

 

10.tunnel to Eagle's Rock, Germany

Tunnel leading to Eagle’s Nest, Kehlsteinhaus, Germany

Bavarian Alps.Germany

Bavarian Alps, Germany

 

We visited the Eagle’s Nest at Kehlsteinhaus when we were in Germany. It is situated on a ridge atop the Kehlstein which is an 1,834 m (6,017 ft) sub-peak rising above the town of Berchtesgaden. The tour bus took us to a parking lot, we then walked through a 124 m (407 ft) tunnel leading to an ornate elevator that ascends 124 m (407 ft) to the building. We could see the spectacular view of Bavarian Alps, the most majestic mountain range with rivers and lakes at the foot of the enormous limestone.

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #80 – Leading Lines

 

 

 

 

 

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #79: A Window With A View

This week, Amy invites us to explore “A Window With A View” and asks us to share some photos we’ve captured through windows.

“Throw open your window and let the scenery of clouds and sky enter your room!” – Yosa Buson

Summer Palace, Beijing

Summer Palace, Beijing, China

Several years ago, nine people from our extended family traveled to China and Hong Kong. While in China, we visited Beijing, Xi’an and Guilin. This photo was the view from looking out the window of the Summer Palace.

 

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Great Wall, China

The tour guide took us to one entrance where some of us went to a steep side of the Great Wall and some went on the other side for a leisure walk. The Wall seems to go on forever from the view of the Wall window. As of Jul 31, 2019, the length of the Great Wall is 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers).

 

“I feel that it is healthier to look out at the world through a window than through a mirror. Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever is behind you.” – Bill Withers

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I saw this beautiful design of a mirror at Laguna Beach, California where we visit often. After positioning myself several times, I found an angle to take this photo without seeing my reflection in the mirror.

 

“The window of opportunity opens and closes as fast as a camera’s shutter.” – Warren Criswell

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Alhambra, Granada, Spain

Hubby and I went to Spain three years ago for our anniversary. We visited Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona in that order of our itinerary. I love the architecture in Spain.

Alhambra is the palace and fortress of the Moorish monarchs of Granada. The name Alhambra, signifying in Arabic “the red,” is probably derived from the reddish color of the tapia (rammed earth) of which the outer walls were built.

 

“My favorite journey is looking out the window.” – Edward Gorey

Innsbruck, Austria

Our hotel room in Innsbruck, Austria

Hubby enjoyed the view from our hotel room in Innsbruck, Austria.

When we travel, hubby likes to have a hotel room with a nice view. I argue that we don’t stay in the room long enough to enjoy the view. Eventually, I understand that we are not “on the go” all the time during the trip. A window with a nice view makes our stay pleasant.

 

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #79: A Window With A View

 

 

 

Happy New Year to You!

Happy New Year my friends!

 

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Did you watch the New Year count down last night? Many countries put on the stunning lights and fireworks shows. Hubby and I started watching from 10:00 p.m. until midnight and said Happy New Year to each other with hugs and kisses before going to bed.

 

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Hong Kong

This morning, we watched the Rose Parade on TV. The Rose Parade is held at Pasadena, California, 31 miles from our home. In order to get a prime spot to watch, some people camped out overnight. The parade traveled leisurely at 2.5 miles per hour for 5.5 miles from start to finish. There were forty Floats, twenty Marching Bands and seventeen Equestrian Units.

Floats – The Rose Parade’s elaborate floats has stayed true to its floral beginnings. Each inch of every float must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark. The most delicate flowers, including roses, are placed in individual vials of water, which are set into the float one by one.

 

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Marching Bands –  Hundreds of thousands of musicians from all over the world have made the famous march through Pasadena on New Year’s Day. The Rose Parade has welcomed high schools, colleges and universities, and Military bands.

 

Equestrian Units – Each year, the Rose Parade features a wide variety of horse breeds who entertain spectators, each with their own style and grace, including Curly Horses, American Saddlebreds, Gypsy Cobs, Andalusians, Miniature Horses, Draft Horses, and more. Equestrian units offer a variety of special skills and colorful costumes that tie into the Rose Parade theme.

 

Wishing you a wonderful year of 2020!

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

It has been a challenging time for me since the beginning of November. I have an allergic reaction toward something, possibly medications. After having gone to the Urgent Care twice, Emergency Room twice, hospitalized for five days and seeing eight doctors, no doctor could pinpoint what happened to the constant inflammation of my skin. All they could say was to ask me to discontinue this and that medication. I will discontinue ALL my medications in less than a month. What a motivation for me to get rid of all the medications I have been taking. They gave me some treatments such steroids and antibiotics. I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital and was hoping not to miss all the celebrations in Christmas.

 

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Messiah Performance

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Messiah Performance

With great effort and determination, I gathered my energy and ensured a pleasant appearance; I managed to sing in one of the two performances of Messiah. I couldn’t sing in the first one because I was still miserable. Laying in my bed, I could hear the choir singing. My disappointment was no greater than my motivation. I quietly plead for good health the next day so that I could sing. Oh, what a miracle! I woke up feeling the coolness of my body. It was a great joy for me to spend hours to prepare myself. The photos showed my red face (with no make-up) from the inflammation. My friends in the audience were happy to see me.

 

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Retirees singing to the retirees

I also got to sing in one of the two chorale concerts. I missed the first one when the group sang in a retirement home. The second one was as fun when we sang to the fellow retirees.

 

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Precious group of ladies at the Christmas dinner

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Joy to the World celebration

There were two Christmas parties I was delighted to go and had fun seeing my friends of thirty years. One was the ladies Christmas dinner, and the other was the adult fellowship Christmas party.

I haven’t seen the end of the tunnel yet. I’ll still must take a blogging break until my health is fully recovered. Until then, I wish you all

A Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72–Waiting

This week, Amy invites us to the theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72–Waiting.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaven; a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.” Proverb 3:1-2

 

Waiting is a relative state. There is a time to wait and a time to go forward. Growing is a process that we can’t rush through. We must be patient with ourselves. Yet on the other hand, if we wait for the perfect moment to act, that moment may never come.

 

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House finches waiting to grow

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Mourning doves waiting to mature

“I had tended to view waiting as mere passivity. When I looked it up in my dictionary however, I found that the words passive and passion come from the same Latin root, pati, which means to endure. Waiting is thus both passive and passionate. It’s a vibrant, contemplative work. It means descending into self, into God, into the deeper labyrinths of prayer. It involves listening to disinherited voices within, facing the wounded holes in the soul, the denied and undiscovered, the places one lives falsely. It means struggling with the vision of who we really are in God and molding the courage to live that vision.” – Sue Monk Kidd

 

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Fairness is the sun to the nature that receives it.

“Whatever we are waiting for — peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance — it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

 

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Seize the moment to show the blossom

“Don’t Wait! Start on your dreams, your impulses, your longings, your special occasions today. Because this is your moment.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

 

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“Don’t be shy, show your inner beauty!”

“If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes.” – Senegalese Proverb

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72–Waiting

 

 

 

A visit from the bossy muse, a free book, and a couple of awards – Diana Wallace Peach

Original post from Diana Wallace Peach https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/11/12/a-visit-from-the-bossy-muse-a-free-book-and-a-couple-of-awards

Please visit her post, congratulate her and grab your free copy of Catling’s Bane.

 

A visit from the bossy muse, a free book, and a couple of awards

Way too early in the morning, my muse drops down beside me on my couch and tosses her hat onto the coffee table. The howler monkey that’s been riding her shoulder for a year leaps onto my kitchen counter, curls back its rubbery lips, and flashes a yellow-toothed grin. The muse hands me a latte. “Nice progress on the draft… finally.”

“Thanks.” I’m still leering at the monkey but manage to sip my latte. Yum. “So, why the visit?  You know I’m under NaNo pressure.” I somehow forget to mention that yesterday I logged zero words.

She arches an eyebrow but for once shrugs off her annoyance. “I’m running a promotion for a couple of days. Catling’s Bane is free today and Wednesday. Your sales blah blah blah…” I’m not listening. The howler’s opened my refrigerator and taken a bite from a head of lettuce. He’s going for the orange juice.

I bolt up. “Hey! Out of there!” The beast roars at me, a sound capable of bursting eardrums. He grabs a tuna sandwich I made for my husband’s lunch, darts across the cabin’s single room, and climbs halfway up the stairs. Suspended from the banister, he gobbles and spills bits of sandwich on the furniture below. UGH. I sink back onto the couch and glower, afraid any further intervention will make it worse.

“What else,” I ask, wanting to get this over with as quickly as I can.

She smiles at me. My muse never smiles. “Two of your books were semi-finalists in the 2019 Kindle Book Awards.”

“What?” I’ve now forgotten all about the howler and the globs of tuna sprinkling my floor. I’d also forgotten that I submitted books. “Both of them?”

Sunweilder and Soul Swallowers.” She tips back her latte, stands, and snaps her fingers at the monkey. Not two seconds later, the creature swings from the banister onto her shoulder. My muse heads for the door, her familiar bossy ill-humor sliding onto her face. “Get to work.”

“I plan on it. After I clean up this mess.” As she walks out the door and into the forest, I call after her, “Hey, if I finish my first draft, can we lose the monkey?”

She glances back and slips me an evil smile.

***

I guess the muse’s visit could have gone a lot worse.

Click on the cover if you’re interested in a free kindle of Catling’s Bane:

 

 

And here are those semi-finalists:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Writing!

 

 

 

Flash Fiction 2019.11.07 – No Water, No Walk in Life

November 7, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes Water Walkers. It does not have to be in the Anishinaabe tradition; in fact, it would be more interesting to see interpretations from across all nations and walks. It can be a title or used as a phrase. Go where the prompt leads!

 

 

Josephine is a respected Anishinaabe elder from Canada who began walking around Lake Superior in 2003 to raise awareness and to pray for the water. She carried in her hands a copper pail that contained lake water. When she took a break, she would lie on her stomach embracing mother earth. Then she would resume her journey.

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. The shoreline is well over 2,500 miles. Grandmother Josephine wanted to call attention to care for our water. After all, Lake Superior contains about 20% of all the earths fresh water.

By the time her final river walk started in April 2017, there were over a thousand participants all together. She and a group of Water Walkers left from Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Minnesota. In 97 days, they followed the southern shoreline of Lake Superior, then the North and Eastern shores of Lake Huron. They then followed the northern shore of Lake Erie.  After a stop at Niagara Falls, they followed the northern shore of Lake Ontario to Matane, Quebec Canada, where the Saint Lawrence River connects through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the Labrador Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. In total, over little more than three months, they traveled 3,197 miles and over 6,394,000 footsteps for the Water. Grandmother Josephine announced that she was retiring after that walk and urged the next generation to pick up the copper vessel and carry on what she started.

Note: Josephine Mandamin passed away on February 22nd, 2019, at the age of 77.

https://www.wxpr.org/post/water-walker-josephine-mandamin#stream/0

 

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No Water, No Walk in Life

“Dad, what is the most powerful of the five elements of nature? Metal, wood, water, fire or earth?”

“If you were deserted in an island, or a drifting boat in an ocean, what is one thing you need to survive?”

“You made a point. I guess it’s water.”

“A human can be without food for more than three weeks, but he can only go without water for a week.”

“Lost at sea could drink seawater.”

“Seawater contains salt higher than human can process and makes us thirstier.”

“Only fresh water helps us survive then.”

“You got it, Son.”

 

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Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge: 2019.11.07 – No Water, No Walk in Life

 

 

 

 

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