August 2015 Desktop Calendar - Full Moon

As I type this up, the 2nd full moon for July is looming, so I think it is appropriate (and totally serendipitous) that the upcoming desktop calendar features a full moon. Two full moons in one month is called the Blue Moon.

As always, you can download the August 2015 calendar for free at
Free August 2015 Calendar - Full Moon


Along My Run | 17 - Running in Poipu, Kauai

AKA, running in paradise. AKA, the most amazing return to running after an injury.

My previous run transpired in mid-May, so I was laid off 6 weeks. During those 6 weeks, I swam, pool ran, did yoga, took some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes and took spinning classes to keep from going crazy. My ankle / calf is all better now, so the break from running was worth it.

In the week leading up to our vacation, I started easing back into running using a run/walk method. The morning we embarked on our travel to Kauai (an epic, 20 hour door-to-door trip), I ran two miles continuously, so I knew I could use the time in Kauai to build upon that distance.

We stayed on the southern part of Kauai, in the Poipu / Koloa area, along the ocean and right along the Maha'ulepu Heritage Coastal Trail, which starts at Shipwrecks Beach in Keoneloa Bay.(click on the map below to for a detailed view)

Scott and I explored part of the trail that winds up through the cliffs, and Friday morning, I set off on a trail run at sunrise, heading east. It was so beautiful, I ended up stopping frequently to take pictures and simply revel in the scene unfolding in front of me, to hear the waves crash and breathe in the salt air.

Running in Kauai #shirleyruns
Reaching the Makawehi Cliffs

It's experiences like this that really make me appreciate how fortunate, how lucky I am to have this life, this opportunity to be in this place at this time.
Running in Kauai #shirleyruns
Sandstone / Limestone Pinnacles

I couldn't pass up the chance to take a yoga selfie:
Running in Kauai #shirleyruns

I ran over two miles out and came across signs to the Makauwahi Cave. I reached the cave and the filled pond.
Running in Kauai #shirleyruns
It was at this point I decided to turn around and head back to the hotel. If I had followed the stream out of the cave, I would have found the hidden Mahaulepu beach. We would eventually get to the beach during a horseback ride later on our trip.

Some scenes on my way back. Of course, I got lost (I don't recall seeing the arm chair on the cliff earlier), but eventually made it back to familiar territory.
Running in Kauai #shirleyruns
Chair with a View - Punahoa Point

I never ran this trail again - this 4.4 mile run took me over an hour to complete at a pace of 14 minutes / mile and I was exhausted at the end. Running trails and through sand is hard work! At one point, I wasn't paying attention (looking at the amazing scenery) and as a result, lost my balance, tripped, fell and scraped my left leg. I was a sweaty, bloody, dusty, sandy mess afterwards.

On subsequent runs, I opted to run to the west, across some easier trails combined with roads, reaching Poipu Beach Park and beyond.

Bespoke #shirleyruns #seenonmyrun #irunoutside #kauai #paradise
Maka-Hu'ena Point

Running in Poipu Kauai
Keoneloa Bay

Running in Poipu Kauai

I really enjoyed all my Paradise runs, even the killer hills, warm temperatures and blazing sun (once the sun comes out, wow, it is super strong). Hopefully, some day in the future I'll get to experience it again.


Five Amazing Sights - Kauai, Hawaii

I have a few sights to share from our trip to the island of Kauai, Hawaii!

Yes, that's why its' been so quiet here - between the trip, the 4th of July holiday, catching back up at work and my photo hard drive crapping out, I've been too busy to blog. No worries on the hard drive - I had a full back up of all my files. More on that in a later blog post. I know you would rather see photos of Kauai instead of hearing about file back ups (but seriously, if you haven't backed up your files / photos, please DO IT NOW!).

1. The southern part of Kauai - the Poipu Beach area. This beach is called Shipwreck's beach and was great for boogie boarding.
Shipwrecks Beach

2. Hule'ia Stream, where you can kayak or SUP downstream, flanked by the Hau’pu Mountains
It was a SUP Kind of Day #kauai #Hawaii #sup

3. The Kilauea Lighthouse - on the north east side of the island
Shine Your Light On #kauai #ocean #Hawaii #cliff #lighthouse

4. The Waimea Canyon - dubbed the Grand Canyon of Hawaii
Overlook #kauai #outfitterskauai #waimeacanyon

5. The Na Pali Coast - a truly amazing and magical place, only accessible by boat, foot (difficult hike) or helicopter. The background setting of several Hollywood films.
Na Pali Coast

All photos were taken with my iPhone 6. Once I get my hard drive situation stabilized, I'll be able to get the photos off my big camera and write up proper blog posts on our amazing adventure!

Shared with Five on Friday


July 2015 Desktop Calendar - Dragonfly

The lovely and harmless dragonfly of summer, very prevalent by our little fish pond. You can read more about this twelve spotted skimmer here. And enjoy him all the month of July if you wish!

Here is the link to Download July's free desktop calendar, hosted by
Free July 2015 Calendar - Dragonfly


Lego Brickworld

I got a chance to attend the Lego Brickworld Exposition in Chicago Land with my friend Jill, her boys, a bunch of the boys' friends, and my son. The event was part of a birthday celebration for one of Jill's boys.

What is Lego Brickworld? Imagine a large convention center with over 60,000 square feet dedicated to Lego creations - some small, many big, all very creative and amazing. Here are some of my favorite photos from our visit.

Numerous street scenes
Somewhere in France


Trains galore
Yard Work

The Pacific Northwest

The Heartland

Medieval Scenes:
The King and Queen

Nordic Scene

Even an Amusement park with moving rides.
Ferris Wheel Ride
The ferris wheel not only went around and around, but it would occasionally pause with a car at the bottom, as if new passengers were coming aboard. Very clever!

The Haunted Mansion

The Smurfs were right at home.
A Perfect day, Right Smurfette?
I overheard the creator of this scene - the Smurf figurines were custom produced!

The Lego figurines lead such interesting lives!
Head Banging Time

Of course, the visit isn't complete without a group picture of the boys with Batman!

If you ever get the chance to attend one of these expositions, they are totally worth it - admission was a mere $10.

Here is the entire collection of photos, in a (flash) slide show:

Or, click on the link: Lego Brickworld Photos by Shirley LeMay


Friday Five Randomness

It's Friday and this Friday's Five contains random snippets from our lives.

  1. I encountered a fellow runner Thursday morning while I was out walking. We only know each other very casually through some mutual friends, but we pass each other frequently while running. She came upon me and slowed down enough to inquire “Not running?”, to which I replied “No - injury”. She threw up her hands and declared “Oh, I HATE injuries” and proceeded to provide encouragement like “Oh, you’ll be back before you know it…. Take your time to get healed up properly“. And that is what I love about the running community.
  2. The Girl turned 18 this week. Eighteen. Which means (in Illinois), she can legally purchase cigarettes and lottery tickets! She is no longer bound to the various driver’s restrictions (number of people in the car and curfew). But she still struggles with reading a map and navigating unfamiliar areas.
  3. Her Senior Year
  4. Our cat, Louie gave us a scare Wednesday evening, when we thought he had been let outside and was nowhere to be found. We searched high and low, even enlisting the help of neighbor friends. At 9pm, I figured he was going to be out all night long (and I was not going to get any sleep worrying about him) when he sauntered up from the basement, looking groggy. We had searched the basement previously, so who know where he goes and hides himself! I swear, his stealth mojo is super strong.
  5. Trouble Maker #cat #siamese #catsofinstagram #blueeyes
    So Cute, Such a Troublemaker
  6. I had an unexpected trip to Chicago - I had to drive to O’Hare early Tuesday morning to pick up Scott and the Boy after their flight home was canceled Monday night. What craziness - there were storms in the area that impacted flights leaving O'Hare for a couple hours, but the little puddle jumper from here to ORD simply goes back and forth, so I'm not sure why it got canceled. With their flight canceled they were left stranded - there were no available hotel rooms, no rental cars and not even a guarantee of getting on a Tuesday flight.
  7. I don't like celery, but my friend, Jill, left me with a bunch of celery sticks. I don't like throwing perfectly good food away, so I did some research and learned that celery can be used in fruit smoothies. The best part - you can't even tell it's there.
Fresh and Frosty #smoothie
Can't Taste The Celery in the Final Product

I'm looking forward to the weekend! I will probably drive back up to Chicagoland with my friend and our boys to celebrate one of her boy's birthdays. Hope you have a great Friday and weekend!

Shared with Five on Friday


Black and White Wednesday - Skeletal

It's time for a photography challenge - to exercise my creativity. Fellow blogger, Nicki at Bended Road Photography, posts a black and white photo on Wednesdays and I'm a member of a Black and White photography group on Facebook, which is hosted by Susan Licht. So black and white challenge on Wednesdays it is.

I personally find it hard to visualize in black and white. One can't simply convert any photo to monotone and call it done. Some scenes don't work in black and white, while others are completely transformed. Therein lies the challenge.

When I shot this, I knew the final image would be black and white.

A Skeleton of My Former Self #blackandwhite
A Skeleton of My Former Self

Shared with Black and White Wednesday



Copyright Notice

All images on this blog (unless stated) are the intellectual property and copyright of Shirley LeMay Photography and Shirley Behind the Lens (© 2005-2014). Do not steal, borrow or pirate the images here.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code. and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) prohibits the use of digital property to be used without the consent of its owner.

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