I suspect I’ll continue to share photos & tidbits here (as well as on my two blogger sites) from time to time … but I publish more regularly at my NEW self hosted blog called Giraffe Journal and my Labyrinth Journal website so I hope you’ll visit me at either (or both) as time permits.

Scroll down for Shadow Shot Sunday and more …

Just these two roses
blooming on the parkway now …
and pink Azaleas



Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Pink Saturday and Today’s Flowers

Potted plant shadows
playing on my patio …
amidst STRANGE weather!

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Shadow Shot Sunday

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” Thich Nhat Hanh

gratitudelogo-daisies

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

South Breeze Farm hosted the Giving Thanks Challenge and I participated at Small Reflections in November of 2008 and decided to continue indefinitely … generating the following list one day at a time throughout the month of August. I’ve decided to transfer the lists at the end of each month from Small Reflections to Happily Retired Gal … just because. Click to see previous lists already published here.

1. my Explorer is ready to hit the road again next week after having some maintenance work completed today.

2. for a productive morning at home followed by a pleasant afternoon with my sister ending with ‘fish tacos’ at Duke’s … delicious day & dinner!

3. the sun’s breaking through earlier again this morning after a couple of overcast days here at the beach.

4. a lovely lunch with a good friend, the kindness of strangers, learning to use Skype today and helping someone else get started with Skype too.

5. that I discovered and am participating in a Festival of Change at Online Clarity.

6. I watered the yard deeply in anticipation of the trip and that my neighbor will feed Ms. Kitty in my absence.

7. I’m packed & ready to drive to Phoenix, AZ tomorrow with my sister where we’ll spend the next 6 days.

8. that Molly loves to visit Camp Ilene when I travel & can’t take her with me … for 4 additional free Buttermilk Spice muffins from Mimi’s Cafe to bring with us … and that my sister wanted to stop at the Cabazon outlets yesterday because I found an excellent ‘deal’ on a lovely white bag at the Brighton store.

9. to be attending the Your Purpose Summit with Baeth Davis this weekend even though I’m thoroughly confused at the end of the first day’s sessions.

10. Barb encouraged me to attend the VIP party last night even though I felt overwhelmed because this morning clarity has come through my journaling and I’m ready for what comes next.

11. for yesterday’s ‘private analysis of my hand’ along with the many people I’ve met who have helped me figure out my ‘purpose’ and the book I’m going to publish with the help of the people at Vervante.

12. for some ‘down time’ Sunday afternoon to relax around & swim in the pool at the resort & spa after the event ended … finally!

13. for the delightful & surprising ways things fell together on the drive back from Phoenix. It’s good to be home again.

14. for emerging clarity about the books I’m going to publish & the business I’ll begin based on them.

15. all 8 of the domain names I wanted were available at GoDaddy so I bought them all … and I’ve connected with a website designer I met last weekend who I’m hoping will develop my site with me so I can devote my attention to other things.

16. Michelle at GoDaddy ‘tech support’ called this morning and helped me set up ‘LabyrinthJournal.com’ to be hosted at WordPress as a ‘site under construction’ with an email attached to it for ‘business’ purposes clear signs of progress.

17. for a good night’s sleep and breakfast out with a friend this morning since I’ve not yet gotten myself to a grocery store since returning home from Arizona on Monday.

18. I’ve created a new place to playfully share stories online called Giraffe Journals and hope you’ll want to check it out & play with me there … just because.

19. a friend told me about the Surf City Surf Dog contest at Dog Beach this morning … it was great fun and I took lots of photos to share, but for now … here’s a ‘kewl’ YouTube video is from the Los Angeles Times:

20. for visitors to my new self-hosted WordPress blog, Giraffe Journal, who left supportive, enthusiastic comments as I step out into this virtual world to be known … just as I am.

21. for all the wonderful resources coming my way to help with this huge transition in my life.

22. to know I’m changing in small but significant ways each day as I step into my future … pursuing my purpose passionately!

23. I’m one of the first six to sign up for the six-month Get Your Book Done Live training with Christine Klosur & Lynne Klippel. That means I receive a free one-hour ‘coaching’ call as a bonus in addition to big savings on the cost by paying in full up front!

24. for people like Marianne Williamson who inspire millions to step up & take meaningful actions … making a difference. I highly recommend watching this interview on ‘mashable tv’ that won’t seem to appear here (as it did at Small Reflections) no matter what I do, but (fortunately) DOES show up when I click the preceding ‘interview’ link.

25. for a pleasant lunch & visit at Z’ Tejas with a friend this afternoon … sharing a delicious enchilada entree & yummy skillet cobbler dessert!

26. for ‘Rick’ at GoDaddy tech support who exhibited great patience and resourcefulness in assisting me with ‘access’ issues at my new self-hosted Giraffe Journal site last night after I changed the URL earlier in the day.

27. for a lovely afternoon at the Lyceum Theater viewing ‘Alice’ followed by dinner at Mimi’s Cafe in Newport Beach with friends yesterday. Life is good indeed!

28. I spent the morning on my front patio writing & occasionally visiting with passers-by while Molly played with a new neighborhood puppy named Guapo.

29. to get my hair cut today ;-)

30. for the Women on Purpose Online Telesummit … the first 3 calls have been filled with useful information!

Thank you Joy

FYI – My previous Gratitude Lists can be found here at Happily Retired Gal, my WordPress site. It is my intention to keep this ‘Daily Gratitude List’ in my sidebar at Small Reflections indefinitely because I believe it makes sense to focus on what’s right in our lives regularly. Click for:
2010 Lists -September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2009 Lists – December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2008 Lists – December, November

Thought for Today
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?'” William A. Ward

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

I suspect I’ll continue to share photos & tidbits here (as well as on my two blogger sites) from time to time … but I have a NEW self hosted Website called Giraffe Journals Just for the JOY of it, and I hope you’ll visit me there as time permits.

With apologies, belatedly I share …

A wild rose bush
climbs around the old palm tree
trunk in my front yard …

producing tiny
multi-colored short-lived blooms
you can see below

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
Mellow Yellow Monday, Finding Beauty and Just for the JOY of it!

I invite all to participate and
spread the word far and wide …

Thought for Today

“When you arise in the morning, I invite you to think of one thing. What is going to change today? And what part will you play in creating that change, in being the conscious cause of it?” Neale Donald Walsh

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)





Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
Finding Beauty and Just for the JOY of it!

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” Thich Nhat Hanh

gratitudelogo-daisies

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

South Breeze Farm hosted the Giving Thanks Challenge and I participated at Small Reflections in November of 2008 and decided to continue indefinitely … generating the following list one day at a time throughout the month of August. I’ve decided to transfer the lists at the end of each month from Small Reflections to Happily Retired Gal … just because. Click to see previous lists already published here.


1. for another long & good night’s sleep … time this morning to write & wander the grounds around K’s house by myself while enjoying morning coffee … perusing & taking a few notes from the lovely books about Labyrinths that K left on the night-stand … walking her labyrinth alone (after walking it with her last night) … connecting with her over coffee on the patio later, sharing personal stories (along with laughter & tears) … reading & responding to her ‘black book’ … savoring breakfast on the patio with K & R … watching & photographing hummingbirds at the feeder before showering and packing up to hit the road for Flagstaff. I’m so happy the Mountain Lion fetish spoke to her!

2. an easy drive from Placitas to Flagstaff yesterday (gaining back the hour I lost as time changed from Mountain to Pacific) … with gentle showers along the way that paused for me to carry in my luggage before starting up again & falling through the night … another wonderful night’s rest … and morning pause in the rain for me to load ‘stuph’ into the Explorer … followed by an easy drive today from Flagstaff back to Corona where I picked up Molly who was ‘tired, clean, sweet-smelling, & happy to see me’ … then home again where we’re happy together.

3. for time to transition back into life as I live it while holding on to the energy & ideas from the retreat … telephone connections with friends ‘C’ and ‘S’ … making plans to connect later this week … a lovely visit in the blue chairs on the patio with neighbor ‘B’ who looked after the yard & Ms. Kitty in my absence …

4. for another restful night … writing while getting laundry done this morning … checking out & listening to the first 3 of 21 ‘Successful Authors Secrets’ talks after Jen shared a link in a follow up email … being reminded of ‘abundance & support’ … realizing I don’t have to do anything alone.

5. I picked up mail yesterday afternoon so I could pay bills electronically this morning after doing some writing because this afternoon I’ll be driving with friends to the Laguna Playhouse to see ‘Life Could be a Dream’ …

6. for a lovely long visit with ‘C’ to catch up over lunch … sharing a bit of my Taos experience while learning what’s being going on with her.

7. I could help out neighbors with guest parking issues on this BUSY ‘surfing contest’ weekend ;-)

8. I responded to Facebook ‘friend’ requests and sent friend requests of my own using the ‘retreat roster’ (along with ‘invites’ to retreat participants without FB accounts) as a way of reconnecting after being back home almost a week … then added links to recent blog posts.

9. for a lovely & longer than usual visit with friends at this months Retired Gals Lunch.

10. fascinating & practical information from the daily Successful Authors Secrets calls this month.

11. I managed to share some photos from the Taos Writers Retreat with other participants at the Google Group & Facebook today.

12. for a delicious ‘taco meal deal’ at Mimi’s Cafe for $9.99 … starting with salad & ending with a petite dessert (bread pudding) currently in my refrigerator waiting to be enjoyed later along with a free 4 pack of muffins in my freezer ;-)

13. the Verizon Wireless store in Newport Beach had a Palm Pre Plus I could look at … even though they couldn’t give me the low ‘online price’ of $29.99 in the store.

14. for leftovers from Mimi’s Cafe, time to write & organize photos to share, and sunshine finally here at the beach!

15. I ordered a Palm Pre Plus online this morning and learned it was FREE with a ‘smartphone’ upgrade & 2 year contract renewal (rather than the $29.99 online deal I saw last week that seemed pretty good at the time especially considering it lists for $699 and I’ve always liked Palm OS products)


16. my sister and her husband arrived home this evening where they’ll stay for a few weeks taking a ‘breather’ and dealing with ‘necessary stuph’ before they hit the road again right after Labor Day next month.

17. my Palm Pre Plus arrived this morning and I managed to get it activated and data transferred from my old LG phone.

18. with help from Palm Tech Support I managed to get my 6 year old old Palm Life Drive (that hasn’t been backed up for months since my old Dell running XP crashed) to HotSync with my newer Dell laptop running Vista after which another Tech Support person helped me successfully transfer other data from my computer to my new smartphone … pretty nifty ;-)

19. for a new perm & haircut yesterday and time to ‘play’ with my new Palm Pre Plus today … teaching myself how to use it effectively.

20. for a pleasant lunch & catch up visit today with a good friend after which I ran a bunch of errands which included using my 20% coupon at Staples on writing supplies.

21. for this 5th day in a row of BLUE SKIES & SUNSHINE here in Southern California at the beach … it’s been a long time coming since summer is almost over and school will begin soon.

22. I uploaded three more albums of Taos photos to my Facebook page and picked up LOTS of 3×5 cards to begin a writing project.

23. I signed up for an online challenge for a 40-day ‘Inner Mean Girl Cleanse’ & shared at Facebook after which a few of my Taos friends joined too. We’re ready to release old toxic habits that no longer serve & replace them with more loving ones.

24. I called Palm Tech Support with my questions this morning because I learned nifty new editing shortcuts & lots of other tips too ;-)

25. I met my sister & her husband for breakfast at Mimi’s Cafe in Long Beach this morning … we had a delightful catch up visit.

26. for this entire day spent with my sister … visiting as we ran errands together, shared a tasty ‘sushi’ lunch at Matsu in Huntington Beach & free lattes at Peet’s later in the day when we stopped by to purchase a pound of specially ground coffee for the new ‘French Press’ mugs (purchased at Sur Le Tab in Newport beach earlier in the day).

27. I’ve signed up for a 4-day event in Phoenix, AZ designed to help me clarify my purpose for a writing project … and my sister has agreed to come along as my free guest so we’ll have 6 days together since we’ll drive both ways. Molly will enjoy another week at Camp Ilene in Corona ;-)

28. I finished & mailed off a hand-written letter to a friend from the Taos Retreat this morning and enjoyed a lovely phone connection with another retreat friend in the late afternoon.

29. for today’s wonderful celebration with family & friends at McIntyre House in Los Angeles … as a loved one celebrated a year of sobriety!

30. I’ve signed up for a Festival of Change at Online Clarity … “a celebration and exploration of how we align ourselves with the flow of change – simply, naturally, and with a deeper, richer awareness” … and am looking forward to participating ‘virtually’ in another event tomorrow night: A Call to Conscious Evolution: Our Moment of Choice at Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles.

31. I’m meeting my sister, her husband, and friends for breakfast this morning … after which my sister & I will spend the day together again.

Thank you Joy

FYI – My previous Gratitude Lists can be found here at Happily Retired Gal, my WordPress site. It is my intention to keep this ‘Daily Gratitude List’ in my sidebar at Small Reflections indefinitely because I believe it makes sense to focus on what’s right in our lives regularly. Click for:
2010 Lists – August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2009 Lists – December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2008 Lists – December, November

Thought for Today
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?'” William A. Ward

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

I don’t have a clue
what this plant is called, but it
captures attention

reminding me of
things I’ve taken for granted …
Daily Miracles

when I slow my pace
enough to observe our world
clarity evolves

relearning to trust
intuition from within
guides us on our path

with intention I
move ahead with purpose and
grow my gifts to share

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
Finding Beauty and Just for the JOY of it!

Thought for Today
“Miracles happen every day and people need to know this … they can look for miracles in their lives. The Good New is — there’s still good news.” Mary Ellen

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

Beautiful surprise
pink blossoms peek through this old
gnarly Jade plant

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
Finding Beauty and Just for the JOY of it!

Thought for Today
“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” Claude Monet

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

Scroll down for Yard Art, Scenic Sunday, Shadow Shots,
Finding Beauty, Weekend Reflections, Today’s Flowers
Mellow Yellow and Macro Monday

Nifty colorful
bench behind art studio
in New Mexico


Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Pink Saturday

Whimsical metal
sculptures scattered in back of
Pat Woodall’s, Taos


Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Yard Art and Shadow Shot Sunday

more lovely vistas
from Henningsen Gardens in
Taos, New Mexico







Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Weekend Reflections, Finding Beauty,
Today’s Flowers, Scenic Sunday,
Mellow Yellow, and Macro Monday

Thought for Today
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

Scroll down for Weekend Reflections,
Scenic Sunday, Shadow Shot Sunday
and more …

It was lovely to find roses of many colors
blooming in my yard when I returned from Taos …
Today I’m sharing the PINK ones because it’s Saturday!



Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
and Mosaic Monday

Reflective Scenic Shadow Shot Photo taken at
Henningsen Gardens in Taos, New Mexico

(straight out of the camera above, watercolor filter below)

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Weekend Reflections, Scenic Sunday,
and Shadow Shot Sunday

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” Thich Nhat Hanh

gratitudelogo-daisies

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

South Breeze Farm hosted the Giving Thanks Challenge and I participated at Small Reflections in November of 2008 and decided to continue indefinitely … generating the following list one day at a time throughout the month of August. I’ve decided to transfer the lists at the end of each month from Small Reflections to Happily Retired Gal … just because. Click to see previous lists already published here.


1. Serena Williams won her semi-final match against Kvitova and will play for her 4th Wimbledon and 13th Grand Slam title on Saturday.

2. both men’s semi-final matches at Wimbledon were competitive and fun to watch … especially the one with Nadal and Murray.

3. Serena Williams has played beautifully throughout the entire tournament (setting a new record for ‘aces’ served, dropping only 3 games in 7 matches) … winning the Ladies Championship match at Wimbledon … surpassing the Grand Slam totals of Billie Jean King.

4. the Rafa Nadal-Tomas Berdych final match at Wimbledon was competitive for the three sets it took for Rafa to win the Championship for the 2nd time, though I confess I was hoping for a 4 or 5 setter.

5. this year’s 4th of July weekend was less chaotic & disruptive than the norm here at the beach in So Cal … (probably because the weather was cooler driving loud party-goers indoors earlier than usual) and the fireworks (provided by Disneyland this year) were quite spectacular!

6. the sun came out … FINALLY this afternoon around 4:30.

7. for Lee who keeps my hair ‘care-free’ … although this time he cut it quite a bit shorter than ever before & I’m not quite sure I like how it looks at the moment.

8. to be writing regularly again in my journal, even though I’m not blogging much these days.

9. my season tickets for the Laguna Playhouse arrived in the mail this afternoon … finally.

10. an email coupon from Mimi’s Cafe for $5 off my delicious Blackened Salmon lunch today … and another to use at dinnertime in the next couple of months.

11. for a long (2 hour) catch up call from my sister (currently just outside of Glacier National Park) last night.

12. that today is Retired Ladies Lunch because it’s always fun

to reconnect with friends ;-)

13. for late afternoon sunshine after another overcast day.

14. the folks at Allen Tires take such good care of my Explorer … checking & rotating the tires at no cost … letting me know when work needs to be done.

15. for trustworthy mechanics at Gustafson Brothers who keep my car running safely and well.

16. for last night’s fascinating skies and this morning’s beautiful double rainbow ;-)

17. for beautiful sunny mornings and warm weather at the beach … finally!

18. life with Molly — especially the joy-filled way she delights in simple things each moment … reminding ME to do likewise.

19. for good friends who help me remain calm in the face of challenges, reminding me to breathe & relax.

20. I got everything packed for my trip to the 2010 Writer’s Retreat in Taos, New Mexico … though it took longer than anticipated and I was watering the yard until rather late this evening.

21. I made it safely from Southern California to Flagstaff, AZ and found a room for $69/night … more reasonable than the $130/night I paid in 2007.

22. for a good night’s sleep in Flagstaff (from 9pm until 6am) with no train whistles disturbing my rest every 15-20 minutes all night long (as happened at the more expensive lodgings in 2007) … and a safe drive from Flagstaff to Santa Fe, New Mexico today where I’ve secured lodging at the lovely old El Rey Inn for two nights so I can do some sight-seeing with my Nikon D60 in hand this evening & tomorrow … (snapping photos to share when time permits) … before driving up to Taos on Saturday morning ;-)

23. to be in Taos at the Mabel Dodge House connecting with other writer-participants and beginning our journey together this evening.

24. for the delicious Southwestern meals prepared & presented with love, art, and attention to detail in addition to the Dance of Shiva shaking up & altering the patterns in my brain … opening me up to new possibilities.

25. for cool gentle rain showers moving through the area and LOUD cracks of thunder now and again.

26. to be writing in this awesome place … surrounded by energy & support.

27. for fellowship with my house-mates … sharing & responding to our writing … asking & answering questions leading to new insights & directions for my writing.

28. I talked with Jen today … (following up on conversations with Luna & Jill last night) … leaving with a ‘theme’ for my project … running into Luna at the gardens & taking in her suggestion for a book title … wandering with my camera taking photos … eventually settling down near Kara to write before eventually heading back to MDL for lunch … then on to Jen’s afternoon session on ‘structure’ … just what I needed.

29. I’m HERE now … on retreat … learning, writing, connecting with others, listening and sharing … growing, accepting, grounding, receiving, sensing, giving, protecting, opening with the Dance of Shiva … practicing a bit of gentle Yoga … savoring delicious Santa Fe meals … wandering the MDL grounds & Henningsen Gardens, snapping photographs … taking everything in with gratitude … exhaling to breath in when I find myself holding my breath too long.

30. for the authentic emotional validation received in K’s response as she listened to me share a bit of writing from this morning … suggesting the path ahead may be precisely correct in this moment. What a delightful & surprising gift as I prepare to head toward home …

31. to stay in Santa Fe at the El Rey Inn again last night where I slept long & soundly … enjoying delicious warm home-made flour tortillas with breakfast this morning … meeting & chatting with ‘Midge’ (an early-riser like myself who was traveling with ‘late-rising’ friends) … before walking Canyon Road to see & photographic public art … finding & purchasing lovely ‘basket photos’ as gifts … then shopping at Keshi for ‘fetishes’ to give friends back home … and finally driving to Placitas to stay with K & her husband overnight … getting a guided tour of their lovely home … wandering later alone to take pictures … walking K’s labyrinth with her & having R take photos of us, then taking pictures of them together … sharing a delicious meal on the patio and tasty ice cream later in the living room over pleasant conversation as we watched & listened to the storm before turning in for the night! I feel blessed and oh so grateful ;-)

Thank you Joy

FYI – My previous Gratitude Lists can be found here at Happily Retired Gal, my WordPress site. It is my intention to keep this ‘Daily Gratitude List’ in my sidebar at Small Reflections indefinitely because I believe it makes sense to focus on what’s right in our lives regularly. Click for:
2010 Lists – July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2009 Lists – December, November,
October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2008 Lists – December, November

Thought for Today
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?'” William A. Ward

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

Molly and Laila
each love Bow Wow Beanie toys
… also ‘tug of war’

This pink toy is tough
withstanding significant
raucous play from both

Fortunately they
share their toys in friendly ways
each taking a turn

Always fun to watch
these two pooches make us laugh
every time they play

If you’d rather see
my PINK ROSES, click the link …
I shared LATE last week

Click to embiggen for better viewing & for others participating in
Pink Saturday, Camera Critters, Pet Pride and Mosaic Monday

Thought for Today
“There is a brilliant child locked inside every student.” Marva Collins

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

Rose buds & roses photographed and treated
with the Watercolor filter in Photoshop Elements
Finding Beauty … Just for the JOY of it!






Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
Finding Beauty and Just for the JOY of it!

Thought for Today
“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” Claude Monet

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

Scroll down for Mosaic Monday
Ruby Tuesday and more …

Roses photographed
in my yard and filtered with
Watercolor here



One more strawberry
from my yard … delicious treat
as I wait for more


Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Pink Saturday and Today’s Flowers

Strawberries and Cream
is the name Serena gives
to this year’s outfit


Happily today
Serena Williams achieved
13th ‘major win’


playing Wimbledon
against Zvonareva this
morning in straight sets


passing Billie Jean’s
total of 12 major wins …
What a sight to see!

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Mosaic Monday and Ruby Tuesday

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” Thich Nhat Hanh

gratitudelogo-daisies

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

South Breeze Farm hosted the Giving Thanks Challenge and I participated at Small Reflections in November of 2008 and decided to continue indefinitely … generating the following list one day at a time throughout the month of August. I’ve decided to transfer the lists at the end of each month from Small Reflections to Happily Retired Gal … just because. Click to see previous lists already published here.


1. that I’m feeling healthier after a weekend of cold symptoms.
2. my DVR hasn’t deleted tennis matches I’ve not had time to watch yet.

3. for caller ID … allowing me to ignore annoying calls from people I don’t know who ignore ‘Do Not Call’ listings hoping to sell me things or services I neither need nor want.

4. that (after uninspired & disappointingly short women’s semi-final matches yesterday) both men’s semi-final tennis matches at the French Open were competitively entertaining … although I hoped that Melzer would win the 3rd set against Rafa so the match would have continued to a 4th (and possibly 5th) set like the Berdych-Soderling match did … just because.

5. for a good night’s sleep ;-)

6. both the men’s and women’s Championship Tennis Matches were competitively entertaining this year.

7. a fun catch-up visit with my sister last night on the cell phone.

8. for a free medium latte when I purchased a pound of decaf coffee beans at Peet’s today.

9. for a delicious breakfast at Mimi’s Cafe, leftovers for tomorrow, and a free 4-pack of muffins currently in my freezer ;-)

10. for afternoon sunshine bringing blue skies following morning drizzles all week.

11. after weeks of tendonitis in my elbow limiting activity, I’ve been able to toss a toy for Molly to fetch this past week and we’re BOTH happy about that.

12. for a tasty home-cooked meal at a friend’s house after which we watched ‘The Blind Side’ … what a wonderfully uplifting film about real people!

13. my neighbor from across the street who loves Molly came over today to play fetch with her … saving MY arm for another day’s play.

14. to connect with friends at Retired Gal’s Lunch this afternoon and catch up on summer plans.

15. my friend ‘S’ wasn’t injured physically when she totaled her Forrester this afternoon while driving home.

16. I was available to drive ‘S’ to her last craft class this morning so she could collect her ‘creative stuph’ … it was fun to meet the people she’s talked about for the last couple of years.

17. to hear from my sister finally … (this time from Colorado) … they’ve not had cell service and I was beginning to worry just a bit because it had been quite a while since her last call, but they’ve been enjoying their adventures on the road and that’s a good thing.

18. to all the ‘virtual friends’ who continue to visit my blogs whenever I find time to post something … hopefully one of these days I’ll be able to catch up with each of you ;-)

19. for the 1st bloom ever on a relatively new Day Lily in my yard … a little lighter in color than my older one.


20. Wimbledon starts tomorrow and my DVR is cleared off & set to record ESPN’s coverage so I can record matches to watch as time permits.

21. that Roger Federer found a way to come back from 2 sets down in his first 2010 match at Wimbledon against the Columbian Alejandro Falla (who played the match of his life even though he couldn’t quite pull off the upset) to win his 200th match in a major tournament (saving match points along the way) … joining the likes of Jimmy Connors at 233, Andre Agassi at 224, Ivan Lendl at 222 and Pete Sampras at 203. That could have been the worst 1st-round upset ever at Wimbledon!

22. the veterinarian had a big bag of Molly’s Royal Canin Duck & Potato food in stock today.

23. for a tasty breakfast and a free 4-pack of muffins at Mimi’s Cafe this morning … with leftovers for tomorrow too ;-)

24. John Isner won his 3-day 1st round Marathon Match against Nicolas Mahut … though I do feel bad that either had to lose this multi-record breaking 5-setter!

25. for all I’ve learned about Photoshop Elements, allowing me to ‘fix’ and share pictures I’ve snapped of ESPN’s tennis coverage with my Nikon D60 … quite fun ;-)

26. Andy Roddick is through to the Round of 16 and seems to have a good draw against Yen Hsun Leu, a player I’ve not heard of or seen play before.

27. American Sam Querrey and Australian Leyton Hewitt made it through to the Round of 16 … with Sam to play Rafa Nadal and Leyton to play Novak Djokovic on Monday. I’d like to see those matches ;-)

28. that both Serena & Venus are through to the Quarter finals in both singles & doubles, but saddened at the upset of Andy Roddick along with losses by Leyton Hewitt and Sam Querrey (both in untelevised matches) … and I confess that I’m upset with NBC’s coverage starting so late on the West Coast pretty much after all matches have been concluded in England.

29. Serena has made it through to the Semi-finals though what a surprise to see both Kim Clijsters & Venus Williams upset in their matches today.

30. to watch competitive men’s Quarter-final matches today at Wimbledon … but saddened to see Roger Federer out of the tournaments & learn of his injuries.

Thank you Joy

FYI – My previous Gratitude Lists can be found here at Happily Retired Gal, my  WordPress site. It is my intention to keep this ‘Daily Gratitude List’ in my sidebar at Small Reflections indefinitely because I believe it makes sense to focus on what’s right in our lives regularly. Click for:
2010 Lists – June, May, April, March, February, January
2009 Lists – December, November,
October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2008 Lists – December, November

Thought for Today
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say ‘thank you?'” William A. Ward

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

Scroll down for
Sky Watch, Midweek Blues,
Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers, and Mosaic Monday

Click for others participating in Friday’s Fave Five

1. The first four days of tennis at Wimbledon have been most memorable …
(FYI – I shared my thoughts about Day 3 at Small Reflections on Thursday and more photos at Sacred Ruminations on Saturday in Windows & Reflections at Wimbledon)… especially the first round ‘marathon match’ between John Isner of the USA and Nicolas Mahut of France that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes over a three-day period. Because I’m in Los Angeles (not in England), I’m grateful for the excellent coverage by ESPN though it’s been challenging setting the DVR to switch back and forth from ESPN2 and ESPNU.  Amazingly Mahut (who lost the epic match 68-70) was back on court 18 just about an hour after it ended … playing doubles with his friend Arnaud Clement and that match was suspended for darkness (after the they lost the first set), so play will continue Friday.  They’re 4th up, so it’s possible play could be suspended yet again if they take the second set.  In addition on court 5, Isner will take on his 2nd round opponent Thiemo de Bakker of Holland (who played a shorter 5-setter over two days but had Thursday off to rest) finally on Friday.  If he makes it through this match (and the next against Xavier Malisse) he could come up against Rafa Nadal in the 4th round for one more hurdle in his second Wimbledon appearance ever.

Click any image to embiggen for better viewing

2. I’m relieved that Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Leyton Hewitt, and Rafa Nadal have survived the early rounds and hope things continue ‘on track’ for them. On the women’s side, Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Justine Henin, and Kim Clijsters are all off to an excellent start and I’m hopeful all my favorite players will make it to the Quarter Finals. In addition, I’ve enjoyed using my Nikon D60 to take photos of ESPN’s television coverage and Photoshop Elements to ‘crop & edit’ them to share … just because. Here are a few more from the Isner-Mahut match … and (although a totally accidental capture), the first is my personal favorite.



3. Once the morning low clouds (otherwise known as ‘June gloom’) disappears here at the beach in Southern California, skies have been blue for the most part this week with a few wispy white clouds.


Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Sky Watch and Midweek Blues

4. While eating breakfast out with a friend at Coco’s recently we happened upon pink impatiens in parking lot planters. Below I’ve shared the mosaic I made with images straight out of the camera, then with the palette knife, watercolor, and finally poster edges filters … just because.




Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
and Mosaic Monday

5. My sister called twice from the road this past week … we talked for more than an hour each time. It’s good to catch up with their travels this way. Her husband sent photos in email and I enjoyed seeing them in the midst of their travels too. This one is my favorite because I remember how much my sister loved to sit in trees and watch from above when we were kids.

Thought for Today
“Be an experimental person. Break up fixed routines. Expose yourself to new restaurants, new books, new theatres, new friends; take a different route to work someday, take a different vacation this year, do something new and different this weekend.” David J. Schwartz

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)


Beautiful Pink Azaleas around their home …

their cat, Sam … looking in from the outside

and this amazing dragonfly capture

Click to embiggen for better viewing
and for others participating in Camera Critters,
Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers, Pet Pride,
Shadow Shots and Macro Monday

Thought for Today
“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” Albert Einstein

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

Scroll down for
Sky Watch, Midweek Blues,
Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
Weekend Reflections, Window Views, Just for Joy,
Camera Critters, Pet Pride, Mosaic and Macro Monday

Click for others participating in Friday’s Fave Five

1. I’ve enjoyed watching the skies change from ‘drizzily grey’ in the morning to pretty blues with wispy clouds drifting by in the afternoon … and capturing views with my camera to share here today and at Sacred Ruminations yesterday.




Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Sky Watch and Midweek Blues

2. My struggling Endless Summer Hydrangea remains small but is finally producing some lovely pink blossoms … and I’ve enjoyed creating and experimenting with filters on this mosaic … the first is straight out of the camera, in the middle is Paint Daubs (with the mosaic flipped horizontally) and at the bottom I used the Watercolor filter.



3. After enjoying and sharing photos of African Lily blossoms from around my neighborhood a couple of week ago, I was delighted to discover two buds on my own potted African Lily … and photographed them over the three day period they lasted.



Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
Mosaic Monday, and Macro Monday

4. With tendonitis in my elbow, it’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to toss a toy for Molly to fetch … but this past week my elbow felt better and we played several days. I love trying to capture her catching the toy in the air and returning it joyfully (with her ears flying) … just for the JOY of it!




Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
sharing Camera Critters, Pet Pride and Just for the JOY of it!

5. I enjoyed a tasty breakfast at Mimi’s Cafe on a drizzily Wednesday morning this week and took these photos for Window Views & Weekend Reflections.


Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Weekend Reflections and Window Views

Thought for Today
“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

Scroll down for Shadow Shots,
Sky Watch, Midweek Blues, Yard Art,
Weekend Reflections & my May Gratitude List




Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Pink Saturday,
Today’s Flowers, and Macro Monday



Straight out of the camera above & Poster Edges below

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others sharing Shadow Shots on Sunday



Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Sky Watch and Midweek Blues

Click to embiggen for better viewing and
for others sharing Yard Art


Straight out of the camera

Palette Knife Filter

Watercolor Filter

Click to embiggen for better viewing and
for others sharing Weekend Reflections

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” Thich Nhat Hanh

gratitudelogo-daisies

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

South Breeze Farm hosted the Giving Thanks Challenge and I participated at Small Reflections in November of 2008 and decided to continue indefinitely … generating the following list one day at a time throughout the month of August. I’ve decided to transfer the lists at the end of each month from Small Reflections to Happily Retired Gal … just because. Click to see previous lists already published here.


1. I’m glad to have transferred my April Gratitude List to Happily Retired Gal at WordPress this morning along with my post with miscellaneous weekend memes so I can begin my May list this afternoon.2. to have Internet access (with help this morning from Time Warner Cable Tech Support) after my D-Link router failed yesterday leaving me w/o access when I returned home from the ‘Eagles’ matinee performance at the Blue Moon Theatre and dinner at Knott’s Berry Farm.

3. for pleasant ‘gardening’ weather over the last couple of days … making the time pulling weeds, cleaning up my yard, and tilling the soil for new planting all the more enjoyable.

4. my $30 refund check from Staples (for recycling old printer cartridges) arrived in a timely manner to help defray the cost of a new wireless router … the Home Valet Plus from Cisco, an easy to use system.

5. one Gladiola shoot survived ‘doggie play’ and is beginning to produce lovely pink blossoms from the bottom up. I’ll share photos soon.

6. I remembered to celebrate (belatedly) my 500th post at Sacred Ruminations and plan to celebrate my 250th post at Happily Retired Gal tomorrow when I share my Fave Five on Friday (and possibly a few weekend memes) there.

7. for the folks at SimpleTruths.com and the resources they make available … like this brief inspirational video Dreams are Whispers from the Soul …

8. to hear from my sister (after more than a week w/o contact) and catch up on travel adventures in the Southwest …

9. for those who send me occasional emails that remind me of what I know, but tend to forget in the busy day-to-day activities of my life.

10. for the monthly opportunity to connect & catch up with retired friends over lunch today …

11. that I decided to cut myself some slack and skip this session at the local Adult School because it’s given me time to do other things with my mornings.

12. the small market a few blocks from home carries ‘half & half’ so that I can walk to replenish my supply when I run low rather than drive to the supermarket.

13. for the $20 I saved at Petco today (using my card along with coupons) when I stocked up on treats & chews for Molly.

14. to be able to help a friend with email issues by setting up a ‘gmail’ account for her that imports her verizon.net email and replies as if she was actually using the Verizon account without having to put up with its ‘quirks’ … pretty nifty.

15. to have finally found time to create and publish ‘a catch up post’ here at Small Reflections and to share lovely pink gladiola blossoms at Happily Retired Gal (after about a week of non-computer related activities kept me away from this virtual world). I appreciate continued your visits & supportive comments … thanks so much!

16. for delightful phone connections with friends & family during this weekend and a fun visit to a local nursery with a friend during which I picked up a variety of colorful bedding plants for my yard.

17. I saved almost $43 on my grocery shopping bill today using coupons!

18. to have fresh produce and food in the fridge this morning with numerous ‘options’ from which to choose for breakfast ;-)

19. to get half of the new bedding plants in the ground this afternoon when the drizzles cleared.

20. for a lovely afternoon at the Laguna Playhouse followed by an early dinner at the Beachcomber on the beach in Crystal Cove … an absolutely delightful outing!

21. the remaining bedding plants are in the ground and everything seems to be surviving just fine.

22. that the French Open begins tomorrow so there will be TENNIS to watch for two weeks ;-)

23. I won those free tickets to the three Pacific Chorale concerts … the 3rd concert is tonight: Rachmaninov Vespers.

24. for my DVR capturing matches so I’ve had TENNIS to watch today.

25. it rained in Paris so I could catch up on yesterday’s matches before the DVR dumped them to record new matches.

26. for a new perm … I love wash & wear ‘care-free- hair!

27. we’ve had warmer sunnier weather here in So Cal at the beach this week.

28. I learned about Google Docs in an Adult School class this morning.

29. the gal at Time Warner Cable ‘tech support’ got the Tennis Channel to work again fairly quickly this morning so I can record matches to watch later on today.

30. my neighbor picked up milk for me & BowWow Beanie toys for Molly at the market today … saving me a trip.

31. for an hour-long ‘catch up’ phone call from my sister who’s currently on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon after spending a week at Lake Powell without cell service.

Thank you Joy

FYI – My previous Gratitude Lists can be found at Happily Retired Gal, my new WordPress site. It is my intention to keep this ‘Daily Gratitude List’ in my sidebar indefinitely because I believe it makes sense to focus on what’s right in our lives regularly. Click for:
2010 Lists -May, April, March, February, January
2009 Lists – December, November,
October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2008 Lists – December, November

Thought for Today
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say ‘thank you?'” William A. Ward

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

Hydrangea blooms
in my neighbor’s yard … and new
bedding plants in mine


Dianthus …

Straight out of the camera above and
poster edges below …


Straight out of the camera above and
poster edges below …

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Pink Saturday’s 2nd Anniversary,
Today’s Flowers, and Macro Monday

What’s left of my one Pink Gladiola

Pink Diplodania in pots cast shadows …


New Pink Dianthus in Shadows

Onion Blossom in Shadow of Lime Tree

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Shadow Shot Sunday

Thought for Today
“After all is said and done, more is said than done.” Aesop

Click for comments at the TOP of the post under the title, rather than at the bottom ;–)

My Avatar

I'm a happily retired teacher. Originally blogging as storyteller, I've changed my avatar early in 2010 to reflect my recent growing interest in photography. You might recognize me from one of my three original Blogger-based sites:

Small Reflections

Sacred Ruminations

Blog Rolls, Bling and Blurbs

If you don't, click to learn more about me.

Welcome to my first WordPress site. I hope you'll look around, leave me a comment or two, and check back as often as time permits.

Hugs and blessings,
happily retired gal
(formerly known as storyteller)

1st Blogoversary celebratory post

Copyright

All words, images, and art on this site (unless otherwise noted) belong to storyteller, a most Happily Retired Gal. Please ask for written permission before using anything here. Thanks ;--)

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