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… so we’re celebrating this weekend with our
Camera Critters and Pet Pride fur-friends.

Scroll down for Pink Saturday

Molly as a pup
April of 2005 …
bundled energy

Earlier this year
Molly’s best friend moved away ..
Here’s their last play date

Dalmatian puppy
named Aloha now lives where
Jenke used to live

Molly currently …
older, wiser, more mature
bundled energy 😉

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

Molly sez …
“Mom made this award
for all of my virtual
fur-friends to enjoy”

Please ‘snag’ to enjoy
on your blogs and pass along
to all your fur-friends

Kitty sitting on
a PINK cushion watching me …
PINK Christmas roses

California views
for our friends buried in snow
… Christmas skies and blooms

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

Thought for Today
“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” Chili Davis

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

Ruby Tuesday, Mosaic and
Blue Monday are in the next post.
Scroll down for Thursday Thirteen


Alice Audrey of Alice’s Restaurant honored me with Nemo’s Award and I’m delighted to accept and to share it with others today.

Neno’s Award—-Rules and Regulations

1. As a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.

2. To seek the reasons why we all love blogging.

3. Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.

4. Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.

5. Answer the award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.

6. Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.

7. Don’t forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

Why I Blog

I’ve written about Why I Blog a few times already, and I’ve decided to revisit this July 2008 List of 13 Reasons here … just because.  I’ve amended that list in purple with some additional thoughts reflecting changes in my blogging over the past year or so.  I’m celebrating my 2nd Blogoversary at Small Reflections right now and at Sacred Ruminations on Friday, October 23rd. My first Blogoversary for this blog, Happily Retired Gal, will be on November 25th.

It’s clear to me that blogging …
** provides a way for me to experiment with sharing what I write … without having to sit face to face with someone as I do this thing, and I’ve discovered that I’m much more of an introvert than most people (including myself) generally realize
** allows me to become accustomed feedback from a variety of readers and get over my tendency to keep what I write to myself
** introduces me to others who write (and take photographs)
** keeps my mind active and learning new things all the time
** stretches my imagination and my boundaries
** fills free time with interaction when I’m alone
** opens my eyes to what is … and what might be … if only
** expands my world and opens me up to new possibilities & experiences
** allows me to make & interact with ‘virtual’ friends

Initially I blogged because others suggested I might enjoy it. They were right. I did ;–)
1. Each day at Small Reflections I wrote whatever entered my mind, pretty much as if I was writing in my journal, and at Sacred Ruminations I followed Carla’s example … celebrating My Sacred Life for a month in daily posts then changing to a weekly Sacred Life post, while sharing whatever came to mind each day.
2. I visited other bloggers to gain ideas & information, returning to my own blogs to experiment and share what I’d encountered.
3. When 2007 came to a close, I revisited my first ten weeks as a blogger and thanked my ‘blogging buddies’ … linking to various posts I’d written and activities in which I’d participated … surprising myself with what I’d discovered & accomplished in such a brief time.
4. In mid-January I pulled together my Small is Beautiful Top 7 in ’07 Blog Review at the request of Magpie Girl, and by the end of January I’d reached 100 posts.
5. Once again, at the suggestion Anglophile Football Fanatic … I created a list of 101 Things About Me on my 101st Post … sharing a brief history of my life … revealing more perhaps than I intended to, but leaving it ‘just because.’

A few days later (when I reached 106 posts on my 2nd blog, Sacred Ruminations) I created A Milestone Missed? in which I celebrated and reflected about blogging to that point.
6. I had participated in NaBloPoMo and Holidailies … posting daily on both blogs for two months straight, and with encouragement from Sandy of Momisodes (although I had reservations) I signed up for Blog 365, but began to do some rethinking.
7. I moved the initial information introducing myself from the About Me section of the sidebar to How I Became a Blogger and introduced myself all over again briefly in an updated paragraph which remains in my sidebar now but is in need of another revision soon.
8. Interestingly, fellow bloggers honored me with ‘awards’ that I displayed in my sidebar and passed along to others in posts with links … introducing my ‘virtual friends’ to one another and building a ‘virtual community’ of sorts.
9. I celebrated my 63rd birthday online … here and here … participated in the Ultimate Blog Party … joined a wide variety of new weekly activities … and generally had fun playing.
10. As my sidebar got cluttered, I created a special page for Awards & Bling at Small Reflections to make room for new things.
11. When folks complained about the site locking up and/or being slow … I created a 3rd Blog and moved them over there instead.
12. Gradually I’ve added sidebar links to my posts by category in the About Me section in hopes that visitors could locate, read, & comment on what interests them more readily.
13. To speed up things even more at Small Reflections, I moved my multiple Blog Rolls over to the 3rd Blog along with Logos and Links to memes I enjoy.  After several friends lost control of their Blogs, I decided to back up my 3 blogs at WordPress … then started this 4th blog to teach myself how to use the WordPress format.

So … to answer the question of Why I Blog

it’s FUN and I enjoy everything about it!!!

Sometimes ‘life’ intervenes and takes precedence over blogging, but when things calm down this Blogosphere remains … inviting us each to share & engage as much or as little as we choose.  These days I share more photographs  and mosaics than words (other than a bit of Haiku) … but I suspect that I’ll return to writing eventually and hope to achieve a better balance of images and words.  This is my 178th post here and I’ll be celebrating my 1st Blogoversary at Happily Retired Gal on November 25th ;–)

Since there’s no specified number of folks to give this award to, I choose to share this award with EVERYONE who would like to ‘snag’ it and pass it along on their blogs.  I just ask that you acknowlege & follow the rulez enough to share why you blog (as briefly or in as much detail as you choose) … include where you found it by linking here … then let me know when you’ve published your post so I can visit your blog.

Click image or here: 2nd Blogoversary at Small Reflections

and for others participating in T-13

Thought for Today
“Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind.” Marva Collins

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

Redneck Wins the Lottery: Courtesy of Comedy Central Daily Email

A Redneck buys a ticket and wins the lottery. He goes to Austin to claim it where the man verifies his ticket number. The Redneck says, “I want my $20 million.”

To which the man replied, “No sir. It doesn’t work that way. We give you a million today, and then you’ll get the rest spread out for the next 19 years.

The Redneck said, “I want all my money RIGHT now! I won it, and I want it.”

Again the man patiently explains that he would only get a million that day and the rest during the next 19 years.

The Redneck, furious with the man, screams out, “Look, I WANT MY MONEY!! If you’re not going to give me my $20 million right now, THEN I WANT MY DOLLAR BACK!”

Click for ChrisB at Ms Cellania where I’ve enjoyed Witty Wednesday for a while now and for more Witty Wednesdays at Small Reflections.

Thanks to Sandee of Comedy Plus for sharing these latest awardsI want to them with all my regular visitors.  Please snag, enjoy & share with friends … just because.  If you wish to follow rulezcheck them at Sandees.   If not, share as you choose.


Ivanhoe passed the Life is Grand award along to the first 5 visitors who commented on her post … with the following instructions: List 5 reasons why you think life is grand and pass the award on to 5 bloggers.  Those who know me are aware I’m not big on rulez … but here are 7 reasons why I think life is grand … and all who believe life is grand & leave a link are welcome to snag, enjoy, and pass this award along … just because.


My life is grand because:
1. I’m happily retired … grateful that I was raised to live within my means … avoiding debt and managing money responsibly … planning for the future throughout my life so I don’t have to work for a salary ;–)
2. I live near the ocean where I can walk daily with Molly and take photographs with my new camera.
3. My sister is back in town and we’re having wonderful times together. When she’s on the road we can talk to one another on our cell phones as often or as long as we wish thanks to Verizon’s free cell to cell minutes.
4. I’m blessed with wonderful friends and neighbors.
5. I’ve discovered this ‘virtual world’ known as the Blogosphere and met many interesting people.
6. I’ve discovered the local Adult School offers marvelous classes on a wide variety of subjects for reasonable prices. Many of my regulars have seen what I’ve learned about Photoshop Elements over the past year. My first Writers Workshop class begins tomorrow.
7. I’m blessed with good health, endless curiosity, and a willingness to teach myself whatever I need to know … when I need to know it. I’ve finally learned to ask for help when necessary.

The one below comes with RULEZ using your Music Player on Shuffle … but since I don’t HAVE a music player (with or without shuffle), I’m unable to participate.  Sandee did, however, so click on the link to find rulez and her responses if you have the requisite music player and wish to participate.


Thought for TodayThe foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.” James Openheim

Sylvia From Over the Hill honored Happily Retired Gal with this wonderful new Award that she received from Peggy of Musings of Meggie.

According to Sylvia:
“This award acknowledges the values that every Blogger displays in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values with each message they write. Awards like this have been created with the intention of promoting community among Bloggers. It’s away to show appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.”

Selecting just 15 other bloggers for their contribution to the Blogosphere, then letting them know that they have been chosen is a challenge because I’d prefer to pass it to all of the many ‘virtual friends’ who have made a difference over the last 16 months … all those who have made me think, learn, laugh, celebrate, feel a myriad of emotions over the moving things they’ve shared … so the hard part remains …  but here goes.

I received it from Aline & Akelamalu for Small Reflections and shared it with the following bloggers there …

Claudia of On a Limb with Claudia
Dianne at Forks off the Moment
Ivanhoe – From Ohio With Love
Karen of Journey to Authenticity
Kay of Musings in Hawaii
Jo of Teacher Says
Joyce of Mom’s Musings
Mary of Work of the Poet
Robin at Around the Island
Roger of Idaho Photo
Sandee of Comedy Plus
Sylvia of From over the Hill

Because I enjoy introducing my bloggy friends to one another, I’ve decided to pass it along specifically to …

1. Dianne at Do You See What I See?

2.  Sandy of Garden Path

3.  Akelamalu of Everything and Nothing

4.  Forgetfulone

5.  Gemma’s Greyscale Territory

6.  Mary’s Writing Nook

7.  Ellen of the Happy Wonderer

8.  George at Senior Moments

9.   BJ Roan at Rubbish by Roan

10.  Mama Zen at the Zen of Motherhood

11.  Carletta at Round the Bend

12.  AppleDebbie of Planet Ollie-wood

13.  TishBlack at Crazy Working Mom

14.  Christine at Quiet Paths

15.  Geraldine at My Poetic Paths

and to all my other regulars … please feel free to ‘snag the award’ if you wish and pass it along too … following the rules (or not).  I appreciate you all very much and believe in sharing the joy! Methinks you’ll enjoy the brief video below too ;–)

Lost Generation

A Video Worth Watching … You’ll be glad you did!
It’s quite cleverly conceived & created ;–)

Thought for Today
“Motivation will almost always beat mere talent!” Norman Augustine

Newspaper Clippings: Courtesy of Comedy Central Daily Email

Washer. Owned by clean bachelor who seldom washed — $100.

Snow blower for sale. Only used on snowy days.

Free puppies. Part German Shepherd, part dog.

Cows, calves never bred. Also, one gay bull for sale.

Free puppies: part Cocker Spaniel, part sneaky neighbor’s dog

Full-sized mattress. 20-year warranty. Like new. Slight urine smell.

Found: dirty white dog. Looks like a rat. Been out for a while. Better be reward.

Nice parachute. Never opened. Used once. Slightly stained.

Free Yorkshire Terrier. Eight years old. Unpleasant little dog.

Tired of working for only $9.75 per hour? We offer profit sharing and flexible hours. Starting pay: $7 – $9 per hour.

Click for ChrisB at Ms Cellania where I’ve enjoyed Witty Wednesday for a while now and for more Witty Wednesdays at Small Reflections.

Thanks to Sandee of Comedy Plus for sharing these latest two awards.  Like Sandee,
I want to share these two awards with all my regular visitors because you’re all my friends & you inspire me every day!


Thought for Today
“Humor is a rubber sword – it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.”
Mary Hirsch

Now for a little Blogthing fun …beachbuddiesblogthingaward-happilyretired


There Is 1 Gap in Your Knowledge

Where you have gaps in your knowledge:


Where you don’t have gaps in your knowledge:







Sigh! I suppose I should feel reassured, but I find myself wondering which science question I missed … wishing they’d provided that feedback. How silly when I could be focusing on the fact I got all the other questions correct even though I’m getting older & have been ‘happily retired’ for seven & a half years. Methinks I’ll choose to allow myself to feel reassured that my mind still works and simply release the ‘judgments’ altogether … just because. LOL

If time permits, I hope you’ll play along either in comments below or on your own blog … leaving me a link so I can read your results too. If you do decide to play … feel free to ‘snag’ the award above or any award at the bottom of my sidebar to enjoy and share as you choose ;–)


Recently Sandee of Comedy Plus received this Friend Award from Colleen of Life is a Story in the Making and passed it along to HER bloggy friends.  Thank you so very much.

Here are the rules:

“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find, and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

Sandy wrote: “Everyone knows I don’t follow the rules very often and I’m not going to disappoint anyone on this award either. If you want this cool award then please help yourself,” and I’m saying the same thing to YOU.  May we spread friendships throughout the Blogosphere by sharing generously with one another.  If you’d like to try out some new blogs, see the list of bloggers I highlighted for the Lemonade Award … and remember … I do LOVE comments and link-love too!!!

Thought for Today“The essence of pleasure is spontaneity.”


1. Sunrise-Sunset, Blog Your Blessings, & Sacred Life Sunday are at Sacred Ruminations along with Monday Motivator

2. Two awards are up for grabs (to enjoy & share with others) along a variety of Christmas music & fun activities are at Small Reflections (see sidebar links).  I hope you can drop by when time permits.

3. The Lemonade Award is up for grabs on this blog along with other awards in my sidebar to snag, enjoy & share with others in the spirit of the holiday season.

4. Hootin’ Anni’s Christmas give away starts today!  Be sure to drop by … check out her 2008 Holiday Tour, Faces of Christmas and be sure to leave her comments.

5.  I’m delighted to share that it’s raining (finally) in Southern California … gently & steadily here at the beach … with snow falling at the 3000 feet level.


I remember taking this quiz once before and sharing my results at Small Reflections (as part of a Whimsical Wednesday post), but when I saw it at Greyscale Territory on Friday and answered the questions again ... my results were different so I'm sharing here and will link the two posts for comparison.

What Tarot Card are You?

You are The Sun

Happiness, Content, Joy.

The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.

Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.

The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon’s Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thought for Today- "Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures." H. Jackson Brown, Jr. Life's Little Instruction Book

received the Lemonade Award from Page at The Road I’m Traveling for showing gratitude or a good attitude (from “if life hands you lemons, make lemonade”)! She explained how she felt both humbled and honored at the same time then passed this nifty award along to 10 others … and I happen to me one of the lucky recipients. She wrote: “Storyteller – You’ve been a wonderful encourager! I love seeing your name appear in my comment sections!” I feel similarly humbled & honored and want to say …Thank YOU Clara!

lemonade award

Here are the rules:

  • Put the logo on your blog or post.
  • Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
  • Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
  • Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  • Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Choosing specific recipients is always a challenge for me because I’ve made so many ‘virtual friends’ and enjoy so many blogs … so I’m breaking the rules to share this with anyone who believes THEY make LEMONADE from lemons.

That said … I do like to introduce my friends to one another and since this is a new blog I’ve decided to highlight a few friends … just because.  Each of the women listed below has impressed me in a different way. They’re listed in no particular order, some may already be recipients, and all truly deserve the Lemonade Award for having a great attitude.

  1. Yertle of Smile, Play, Dream – is a ‘working mom’ of two young boys who nurtures herself & others by sharing her journey honestly, expressing her gratitude for the many simple blessings in her life, offering motivational ideas on Mondays and visiting ‘bloggy friends’ whenever time permits … participating in ‘memes’ when they strike her fancy & sharing link-love generously.
  2. Joyce of Mom’s Musings lives a very busy life. Another working mom (and grandmother too), her attitude is always upbeat & cheerful, and her posts are thoughtful & uplifting.  She leaves wonderfully supportive, encouraging comments on the blogs of others and always responds with friendly emails to those who comment on her blog. Her joy in the Lord shines consistently.
  3. Lisa of Lisa’s Chaos takes and shares the most wonderful photographs on her blog.  Seeing the world through her eyes uplifts my spirit, enhances my appreciation of nature, and motivates me to look more closely at everything & take photographs differently.
  4. Sandy of Momisodes creates & shares entertaining and thought-provoking pieces regularly.  She writes from her heart, knows how to tell a story to draw readers in … and shares photographs with a quirky originality, sense of perspective, & clever titles or captions.  Along with a handful of other ‘virtual friends’ … she provided the support & encouragement I needed early on to make me into the (slightly obsessed) dedicated blogger I am today.
  5. Mama Zen at the Zen of Motherhood writes with a wry sense of humor about her life with Baby Puppy and Daddy Zen, displays a quick wit & succinct style of writing I envy, expresses her point of view on a variety of subjects and publishes book reviews too.  The comments she leaves when she visits always make me smile.
  6. Karen at Journey to Authenticity has been a wonderful friend & encourager from the beginning. We met at a Writer’s Retreat for Women at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico during the summer of 2007 and each started blogging a few months later.  She’s the only ‘blogger’ I’ve ever met in ‘real’ life!  Busily raising a young son with special needs, Karen’s blog presents a delightful mix of photographs, anecdotes about daily life and memories, entertaining stories, and an honest exploration of her life as a wife, mom, and aspiring novelist.
  7. Sandee at Comedy Plus consistently makes me smile and often laugh aloud with what she shares on her blog.  She has many friends in this virtual world, I see her upbeat, supportive, and encouraging comments all over the Blogosphere.  Sandee shares awards generously on her blog (methinks this might have been one) and is quick to participate in ‘memes & quizzes’ when they strike her fancy.  I’m always surprised when she finds my posts so quickly … often before I’ve finished ‘refining’ them ;–)
  8. Raven at View from Raven’s Nest shares wonderful photographs, well-written stories, lovely poetry, and expresses her opinion eloquently on a wide variety of topics when she feels passionately about it.  She’s the creator of Saturday’s Wordzlle Challenge and although I don’t participate, I do enjoy reading when others do.
  9. Sylvia From Over the Hill may not realize that she’s responsible (at least in part) for this fledgling WordPress blog.  When she lost control of her original blog (I’d add the link but my computer won’t load Google Reader for me to find it right now) she didn’t skip a beat but moved on and created this new one … publishing prolifically on a variety of subjects demonstrating passion & creativity along with a delightful sense of humor and a knack for photography.  I responded by quickly learning how to back up my blogs on Blogger and here at WordPress too … then decided to ‘experiment’ with this new blog as a way to learn how things work.
  10. Tammy of Mom Knows Everything & A Little Girl Talk generously helped me with some ‘technical issues’ when I experienced difficulties creating original ‘headers’ for my first two blogs.  She publishes daily on both blogs … shares her creative handiwork & photos of her children in the midst of their daily life … and frequently visits others leaving comments often.

So, if you want to read some uplifting blogs – those that promote an attitude of gratitude – check these out!  You can also click on the links in my sidebar here and/or at Blog Rolls, Bling, & Blurbs for more bloggy friends I like to visit … many are deserving of this award too and I hope they’ll ‘snag’ it to enjoy and share with others.

Other ‘holiday related links of interest:
Christmas Fun & a Quiz
SnowGlobe Fun & NORAD Tracks Santa (with games & activities for kids of all ages)
Holiday Fun (12 Days)- A Musical Revival of Sorts
Carol of the Bells – Straight No Chaser
A Doggie Guaranteed to Make you Laugh!

Thought for Today – “A wise man does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus


I’m exceedingly grateful to all those who responded to my pleas for help & offered suggestions in email regarding my ‘comment visibility’ issues. Things seem to be working at the moment and I’m relieved. Thanks also to ‘bloggy friends’ who have checked out this fledging WordPress blog. I offer each of you the ‘thank you’ above & below to snag, enjoy, and share with others as you choose. To keep it ‘animated’ when you post it, just right click to save the code to your computer then upload it to Photobucket, copy the code from there and add it to your blog.

And now … I’d like to wish everyone who is celebrating a very Happy Thanksgiving Day … and to those who aren’t, I hope you have a delightful day doing whatever you choose!


Here in Southern California, we’re FINALLY getting some much-needed rain. Gratefully, it’s not a gusher wreaking additional havoc on those in recently burned areas … just a rather steady gentle rain (at least where I’m located).

I’ll be posting at Small Reflections & Sacred Ruminations today as well … once I fix myself some breakfast and get another cup of coffee, so please drop by when time permits.


Thought for Today
“The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” Henry Ward Beecher

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


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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6th Blog Blast for Peace November 5, 2009

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If you don't see Camera Critters here on the weekend, check out Small Reflections ;-)

Camera Critters 1st Anniversary