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



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

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