You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘awareness’ category.

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 ;–)


“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.”
John Ruskin



“Pluck not the wayside flower;
It is the traveler’s dower.”

William Allingham


“Flowers really do intoxicate me.”

Vita Sackville-West

“Bread feeds the body, but flowers feed also the soul.”

the Koran

Click to ‘embiggen’ and for others participating in


curecancer
American Cancer Society

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Celebrating 25 years of Awareness, Education, and Empowerment

Click for more information about breast cancer awareness:
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
The National Breast Cancer Foundation

Click for more information about Cancer Awareness ribbons


“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 televised tennis to watch from the US Open in New York.

2. for a lovely visit with retired friends this morning as our working buddies begin the 2009 school year with students.

3. the Americans are doing well at the US Open Tennis Champion-ships. Many are already into the 3rd round and that hasn’t happened in quite some time.

4. for family & friends … phone calls & face to face visits. Today I shared a delightful lunch with a friend at Dukes where I ate my favorite dish (Seven Spice Ahi with steamed veggies substituted for the rice) and Hula Pie since we were celebrating J’s birthday belatedly.

5. for time spent with my good friend L who called to ask for a favor … and I was happy to oblige.

6. there’s been amazing tennis to watch on television today (detailed in my Sunday BYBS post at Sacred Ruminations) … catching up on yesterday’s matches too … gotta luv DVRs ;–)

7. for the continuing success of Melanie Oudin at the US Open Tennis Championships in New York.

8. for my happily retired life ;–)

9. Adult Ed classes start today and my morning Power Point class was kewl. I’m looking forward to experimenting on my own with what the instructor covered and to returning on Monday for the next class.

10. for this afternoon’s amazingly colorful sunset … viewed & photographed from my upstairs deck out back. Perhaps I’ll share a few tomorrow.

11. Molly & Aloha are becoming friends … gradually.

12. the rain finally stopped long enough for Rafa & Gonzo to finish their match and for Kim & Serena to play theirs, but I’m a bit sad at how both unfolded so strangely.

13. the weather in New York is clear … permitting match play to continue this morning, a day behind schedule ;–)

14. the Williams sisters were able to play in the Doubles Finals after the unfortunate incident on court Sunday night.

15. for some free time this morning to do some catching up on blog visits after falling WAY behind for a few days.

16. Adult School survived the High School District’s Budget cuts earlier this year. My Power Point class meets this morning (I love to learn new things) and I’m getting a new perm this afternoon (very much needed since I’m swimming regularly these days). Life is good!

17. My neighbor has hired a trainer to help her with Layla.

18. I participated in Pink Saturday for the first time last week and remembered to get my link to Beverly in time for tomorrow’s Pink post too ;–)

19. for the lovely pink sunset this evening.

20. to find the recent reminder from Bobbie of Almost There about the Pinwheels for Peace Project in time for me to share my thoughts at Sacred Ruminations this morning.

21. for the companionship of Molly and Ms. Kitty.

22. for considerably cooler than predicted weather here at the beach in the midst of the HEAT WAVE in Southern California.

23. that the winds have been weaker than predicted creating better conditions for fire fighters to gain control of the wildfires currently burning in Southern California.

24. for the smell of coffee and early morning sunshine ;–)

25. I attended this morning’s Publisher class and learned quite a bit about how the program has changed over time.

26. to learn a bit about Medicare options at a meeting this morning … gathering information to read as I make this health care decision over the next few months before my 65th birthday.

27. for a ‘catch up’ phone call with my writing buddy from Taos giving me a ‘break’ from computer issues at just the right moment.

28. the weather has cooled off a bit … finally.

29. for all I’ve learned about Power Point this month.

30. Allen Tires had time to check & rotate my tires, Gustafson’s made time to change the oil in, do a safety check, and even wash the Explorer (all without an appointment) … before tomorrow’s drive up the mountain to Lake Arrowhead.


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:
2009 ListsSeptember, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2008 ListsDecember, 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

My world near the beach
simple … relaxed … colorful
Just Joey Roses

not so hurried now
that I am retired from

teaching … sharing life

with Ms Kitty and
Molly who meets visitors

joyfully each day


Click to embiggen for better viewing …

My wider world
has wildfires burning and
watching coverage

on the TV news
generates sadness for all

those affected by

the destructive flames
more than 200 thousand

acres already

4 years without rain
generates unlimited

fuel for wildfires


Click to embiggen for better viewing …

for others participating in My World

and Midweek Blues t00.


“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 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 ‘perfect messages from the Universe’ arriving as needed this morning.

2. for a phone call from my sister this morning … she wanted me to know they’re back in the USA … in North Dakota.

3. for the way I combined Mosaic Monday with Mellow Yellow, Ruby Tuesday, and Midweek Blues … gotta luv multi-tasking and I really like the way that collage turned out.

4. ‘D’ was at home when I called and had time to chat.

5. for attending last night’s free concert in the park with ‘S’ … another enjoyable evening

6. my hair is short again … good to go for another 6 weeks

7. my neighbor told he about the free Ukelele concert down by the pier. Molly & I walked down there with a friend, enjoyed the music, and just got back a little while ago because we decided not to stay for the free movie afterward.

8. for my Florian rachet garden clippers ;–)

9. I got to swim laps last night in a friend’s pool then watched an entertaining funny film.

10. for lunch with the other Retired Gals today ;–)

11. for a morning swim before getting on with the day’s activities and errands.

12. the skies eventually cleared allowing the sun to shine, even though it was almost sunset as that occurred ;–)

13. the LOVELY colorful sunset this evening! I’ll be sharing photos soon.

14. the sun came out earlier today so the weather was warmer for my morning swim and Molly made a new friend of a 3 month old Damation puppy named Aloha!

15. my sister had a cell signal (after being w/o one for several days) and called from Minnesota tonight … allowing us to catch up with one another as we chatted for about an hour.

16. for the free Dixieland Concert in the Park this evening.

17. the sun FINALLY came out even though it was late afternoon when it did so.

18. I swam yesterday & today because I’m thinking of taking tomorrow off to meet a friend for brunch at 10:30.

19. my sister thinks seeing her photos on my blogs will be fun.

20. my neighbor Mike volunteered to help me pick the limes from the TOP of the tree and ended up trimming those high branches for me. What a guy ;–)

21. for a beautiful SUNNY morning to swim (finally) … especially since later in the day the weather got cold & nasty and ‘thunderstorms’ are predicted for tomorrow. I’ll believe THAT when I see it!

22. I managed to get myself over to swim for 45 minutes this morning even though the skies LOOK LIKE we MIGHT get some rain after all … and that would be a good thing given the minimal rainfall we’ve had this year.

23. to experience unexpectedly glorious sunshine for my morning swim, a delightful free late afternoon concert by the Pacific Chorale at the Orange County Performing Arts Center followed by a delightful dinner & visit with friends.

24. Osh carries liquid Terro so I could pick some up for a friend who has ant scouts in her condo.

25. for CLEAR BLUE SKIES and a bright sunrise! It feels like summer finally ;–)

26. for the 2 dozen or so Apricot colored roses on my Just Joey rose bush plus another dozen buds. What an amazing burst of color ;–)

27. I’m building my swimming stamina a little more each day.

28. for cell phone connections with my sister, no matter where she is on the road. Her most recent call was from Boulder, Wyoming. They’re headed for Colorado soon and will spend Labor Day with friends who live there.

29. the winds aren’t blowing as the wildfires burn here in Southern California. I’m praying for quick containment.

30. for fire-fighters and support staff to combat these devastating fires burning all over our state. I’m praying for their safety as they battle the flames and provide aid & comfort to those displaced from their homes.

31. Serena & Venus Williams and Andy Roddick made it through their first round matches at the US Open Tennis Championship in New York and there will be TENNIS to watch on TV for the next two weeks ;–)


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:
2009 ListsAugust, July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2008 ListsDecember, 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

113-hfskywatch-hrg

13 new sky views
unique cloud formations each

day … fascinating

experimenting
with filters for kewl effects …

‘cuz I’m curious ;–)

Click to embiggen & for others participating in

Thursday Thirteen, Sky Watch and Haiku Friday

Morning Musings …

Daily musings from
my penciled musings in my

hand-written journal

Click to ‘embiggen’ for better viewing …

and for other ‘morning musings’ at Sacred Ruminations

Click for other ‘musings’ at Small Reflections

and if you’d like to listen to the Simple Truths video clip

Every Monday Matters

https://happilyretired.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/morningmusings-granny.jpg


Thought for Today
“The person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
Albert Einstein


ALMOST …

wordlesswednesdayfromsarcasticmoms

Finally … drizzles
Monday morning brought moisture
everyone could see

for a little while.
As summertime approaches
we’re many inches

short on rain this year
causing water rationing.
Day Lily Droplets!

Click to embiggen … for others participating in

“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 and decided to continue indefinitely … generating the following list one day at a time throughout the month of MAY.  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 the possibility of rain coming our way.

2. I’m able to keep my plants alive with my garden hose when rain fails to fall as predicted … yet again.

3. for my washer, dryer & dishwasher.

4. to feel healthy & energetic.

5. my sister learned about how to use ‘Exposure Compensation’ while talking to a professional photographer on an excursion up the Stickeen River … then shared that information with me in a phone call later.

6. I’ve freed up considerable memory on my laptop so it runs a bit faster again.

7. I live close to the ocean where I walk daily.

8. for friends & family ;–)

9. time to visit the annual Mother’s Day Craft Faire in Sunset Beach.

10. for telephone connections with my sister and several friends too.

11. for a delightful lunch with the Retired Gals today.

12. my WordPress blog is fixed this afternoon (thanks to Anthony in Tech Support) after being ‘broken’ earlier today.

13. I remember enough from my PSE6 classes so that I’m able to keep up in the Digital Media class I’m taking this session Mondays & Wednesdays from 6-9pm.

14. for Ibuprofen helping me cope with aches & pains in my aging body.

15. I’m finally getting my photos organized and tagged in a methodical manner.

16. I’m gradually figuring out a useful set of ‘keywords for tagging’ photos & learning to use the ‘software tools’ to integrate previous tags into the new system I’ve generated experimentally.

17. I’m able to access my blogs even though something has gone crazy with my ‘C-drive’ leaving less than 8mb of ‘free’ space after running a Back Up to my 1TB ‘G-drive’ last night.

18. With the help of a good friend on the phone, I managed to remain calm in the face of potential technological failure & eventually get things working … reasonably well (for the time being at least).

19. I made time to spend several hours in my yard this morning … watering as deeply as possible while weeding & pruning plants … something I’d put off for too long.

20. for all the new & review PSE6 skills covered so far in my evening Digital Media class.

21. books to savor & enjoy ;–)

22. I finally figured out how to create a symmetrical template for my T-13 photo posts using stroke outlines.

23. to help my friend Lynne celebrate her 60th birthday Saturday night.

24. I’m obsessive enough to keep track of comments I leave on other’s blogs … I’ve reached 985 comments in May, so I have just 15 comments to go to reach 1000 and win Harriet’s trophy this month!!!

25. time to do a bit of catch up on a variety of neglected tasks today.

26. for a TRIPLE CELEBRATION today here at Small Reflections. Click to read all about it!

27. Molly’s feeling better … finally! I’ll need to keep a closer eye on what people feed her so her stomach doesn’t get messed up like it’s been for the past week.

28. the red Mr. Lincoln Rosebush has TWO gorgeous blossoms currently ;–)

29. my computer’s up & running again after yet another MAJOR crash this morning!

30. ESPN2 is covering the French Open so I can watch tennis!

31. Molly’s clean & sweet-smelling after her visit to the groomer this week ;–)


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:
2009 Lists – May, April, March, February, January
2008 ListsDecember, 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
This is my ninteenth …

and my 6th …

Walking recently
looking for doorways to share
I found shadows too.

Click to embiggen for better viewing …

Click for others participating in Scenic Sunday
and Shadow Shot Sunday at Hey Harriet
Thought for Today
“Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
Albert Einstein

Haiku Sky Watch Friday is in the next post and at Sacred Ruminations too.  Mellow Yellow Monday, Macro Monday, Ruby Tuesday & Today’s Flowers are in ‘Belatedly Multi-tasking to Catch Up‘.

This is my 49thMisty Dawn started the meme and explains the rules here.

Click to embiggen for better viewing.

Baby birds encountered recently.


This is my seventh …
(#1-4 at Sacred Ruminations)
but my 3rd here at Happily Retired Gal

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

South Breeze Farm hosted the Giving Thanks Challenge and I participated at Small Reflections in November and decided to continue indefinitely … generating the following list one day at a time throughout the month of February.  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.

valentine-2009valentine-2009-3

I’m Thankful for

1. the Australian Open Men’s Tennis Championship Match was exciting from the first game … with highly competitive play throughout the first four sets. I do feel empathetic for Roger Federer who didn’t play to his full potential in the 5th set. It does seem as though Rafa Nadal is in Roger’s head at this point. I hope Federer decides to get a coach to help him figure out a clear game plan for future matches between these talented rivals.

2. Molly played with 3 different neighborhood dogs today … Jenke (a yellow lab), Rusty (a Collie- Australian Shepherd mix), and a Min-Pin named Dude … as I snapped photos to share over the next few weeks for Camera Critters.

3. for the beautiful sunny weather here in Southern California right now and rain on the way for Thursday through the weekend.

4. for the Ritz Camera classes my sister & I attended today in Irvine and the ones upcoming on Saturday. There’s still much to be learned about my Nikon D60, but I’ve begun and will continue to experiment as I’ve been doing.

5. it’s RAINING … finally! We need this wet weather so very much and I’m hoping it will continue as predicted through Sunday … possibly even into next week.

6. for the photos I’ve been able to capture these past two days while experimenting with the Tamron 28-300mm lens I purchased on Wednesday (on a 10 day cash back trial) and I’m thinking I’ll most likely keep it.

7. for the excellent ‘hands-on’ photography classes my sister & I attended today because we explored what ALL the bells, whistles and buttons DO on our cameras. It’ll take time to ‘master’ the technology … but at least we now have a glimpse of how to experiment with the possibilities.

8. I’ve managed to stay healthy in the face of my overly busy schedule, minimal sleep, and walking Molly in the rain lately.

9. it’s Retired Gals Luncheon today so I’ll be connecting with friends I’ve not seen for a few weeks.

10. I recorded Monday’s Presidential Address so I could listen and watch for a 2nd time this morning. It’s refreshing to hear & see President Obama provide direct information about the financial crisis we face … explain where things stand currently … then respond thoughtfully to non-screened questions from the press without trying to ’sugar-coat’ or oversimplify the situation into a few buzz words or slogans … conveying the complexity while demonstrating his understanding of the political process … modeling acceptance and civility toward those who differ ideologically .

11. for good neighbors to talk with … garden to work in … and the ocean nearby to walk along daily with Molly. Each helps me maintain a sense of balance & calm in the face of the current financial mess & general chaos in the world.

12. I’m meeting my sister & her husband for breakfast in Long Beach … looking forward to sharing an omelet and good conversation before returning to tackle clutter projects at home.

13. that I don’t suffer from ‘triskadecaphobia’ …

14. for a break in the rain and a bit of sunshine for Valentine’s Day!
I left gifts at
Small Reflections & Happily Retired Gal for all bloggy friends and visitors … just because.

15. to spend the day at home clearing away clutter to create a space for my new Sony Bravia 37″ LCD digital flat screen television … purchased for ‘a song’ at Ritz Camera (see Morning Musings for details) … to be installed tomorrow morning between 8 & 12.

16. I’ve been able to remain calm & centered in the midst of this chaotically frustrating day … coping with Blogger issues while waiting for a television technician to install my new Sony. Happily, my friend Carol ‘talked me down’ by chatting with me on the phone several times over the course of the day. I’ll share the details tomorrow, but for now … I’ll add that the TV is still in the box.

17. for the iris blooms bursting out in my front yard … there seem to be 3 buds along with the one fully open iris already.

18. I’m getting my hair cut today and having lunch with my sister too.

19. for the first session of my Writing Workshop this evening. The teacher and other students seem interesting and the structure of the class is designed to maximize feedback.

20. my new Sony is set up and working beautifully after the Cable Guys came on time today.

21. for a most delightful day spent with my sister … attending a camera class, enjoying a tasty lunch of soup & salad followed by a long walk at the beach … taking photographs together. I collaged some brown gull photos and shared for Camera Critters this weekend.

22. for a few pleasant ‘catch up phone calls’ from friends today.

23. for the BEAUTIFUL RAINBOW greeting me this morning when I went outside to feed the cat … and the absolutely delightful day I spent with my sister ‘birding’ in the Wetlands and dining at Z’Tejas this evening!

24. for all the thoughtful birthday wishes left on my blog posts and sent in email.

25. I’m accomplishing tasks on my to-do list each day even as I fall farther behind on blog posts & visits … while striving to achieve some balance in my busier than normal life currently.

26. for Gustafson Brothers … the folks who have maintained my car for decades.

27. I have the option to stay home today … resting to recover from whatever ails me. Perhaps I can catch up on some of the interesting programs cluttering my DVR … if I can stay awake.

28. to be feeling a bit better today after resting yesterday. I appreciate the well wishes and will do what I can to visit around the Blogosphere … perhaps later today or tomorrow.

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

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

South Breeze Farm hosted the Giving Thanks Challenge and I participated at Small Reflections in November and decided to continue indefinitely … generating the following list one day at a time throughout the month of January.  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’ve successfully moved my December list to Happily Retired Gal and created & published a ‘kewl’ Blog 365 Award Collage to share this morning at Small Reflections.

2. I managed to post on all 4 blogs today (a rare fete) … shared recent awards others have given me & that I’ve created myself … and discovered that I received another from Roger of Idaho Photo that I’ll share tomorrow.

3. I’ve cleared out the Christmas ‘decor’ from my sidebars and planned ahead for a change, creating two ‘ROSE’ collages to post for Today’s Flowers … (probably the last until Spring unless I dig into my archives because there are just a few apricot roses left & I’ll be cutting the bushes back soon) … and two SKY collages, all to share tomorrow.

4. for a long phone conversation with my sister tonight (currently in Mesa, AZ) … learning she’ll be home at the end of this week after spending the last few years traveling the USA with her husband in an RV … Yippee!

5. I accepted the invitation to meet friends for lunch on Monday even though it meant I wasn’t home to visit blogs as intended. Methinks ‘real’ life needs to take priority over the ‘virtual’ world, right?

6. for the breath-taking sunsets here at the beach the last two days. I took pictures with my Casio Exilim and will share soon.

7. to have a new perm and Nikon D60 camera!!! I’ll be experimenting and sharing photos soon ;–)

8. the sun FINALLY came out late this afternoon (after a long cool foggy day) so I was able to take sunset photos with my new camera ;–)

9. to spend the afternoon with my sister … walking at the beach and out onto a pier … snapping photos of pelicans, seagulls, dolphins, a seal & a whale as we chatted together, catching up after her lengthy RV adventure traveling the USA.

10. to enjoy half a vegetarian omelet with fresh salsa and Hobo potatoes at the Harbor House Cafe in Sunset Beach this morning while visiting with my sister & her husband.

11. the gusty Santa Ana Winds laid down around sunset permitting me to walk down to the water’s edge to capture amazingly colorful images I plan to share soon.

12. so many friends showed up at Retired Gals Lunch though I would have enjoyed eating INSIDE out of the wind better than sitting outside on the patio.

13. my sister & I are signed up for our first ‘Digital Camera’ class together on Wednesday … that’s tomorrow ;–)

14. that it’s been a week since my perm so I could wash my hair this morning … finally!

15. for spending a lovely after- noon with my sister yesterday (including a delicious lunch at Z’Tejas) even though the computer class was canceled due to a corporate meeting at Ritz Camera. Such is life … we’re scheduled for another in early February & hopefully all will go as planned with that one.

16. the Santa Ana winds calmed down significantly permitting a friend & I to walk along the beach and enjoy a delicious lunch at a beach-side restaurant.

17. for the 3 baskets of large juicy and delicious strawberries I purchased at a Farmer’s Market
on Friday, and realizing that the Australian Open Tennis Champion- ships begin tomorrow in time to set the DVR … it’s TENNIS TIME again ;–)

18. for awakening to the sounds of surf pounding on the shore early this morning … signaling the shift from off-shore to on-shore breezes.

19. for tennis matches to watch today. I’ve watched Andy Roddick take his first match easily, and Ana Ivanovic win hers with a bit more difficulty already.

20. it’s Inauguration Day … and I’m (uncharacteristically) glued to the television watching coverage of the preliminaries … amazed at the vast numbers of people braving the cold to witness this historic event in person.

21. a friend called around 11:15 and invited me to join her for lunch. We shared a tasty vegetarian omelet at the Harbor House Cafe in Sunset Beach and chatted for hours … after which I shopped for groceries on the way home … so I didn’t have time to visit many blogs yesterday. I’m hoping to watch recorded Australian Open tennis matches tomorrow & visit blogs during commercial breaks. Such are the simple joys of retirement ;–)

22. for onshore breezes bringing rain clouds and drizzles while I stayed home and watched more tennis matches recorded on the DVR!

23. the rain continues today with ‘periodic breaks’ so that Molly & I can get outside to walk, play, and capture ‘raindrops’ on roses, pansies & other flowers too.

24. for all those who visit my blogs & leave comments on my posts.

25. to Clara, Michelle, Alice Audrey, & The Gal Herself for each bestowing the Lemonade Award on me so I’m able to share it on all 3 blogs … introducing many bloggy friends to one another.

26. Serena & Venus Williams are playing well in doubles together again … taking out one set of opponents after the next.

27. Andy Roddick is playing excellent tennis ‘down under’ this year & took out Novak Djokovic today … so he’s still ‘alive’ in the Australian Open draw!!! Serena managed to turn around the quarter final match against Kuznetsova after dropping the first set in the heat before the roof was finally closed … big relief.

28. Serena’s semi-final match with Dementieva was competitive from the start … close & exciting to watch from the first point! It’s good that she won in 2 sets … 6-3, 6-4 … because she and Venus played their doubles match later in the day. I’ve not seen those results yet. Currently I’m watching the other women’s semi-final between Safina & Zvonareva and am looking forward to the men’s semi-final between Roddick & Federer played afterward.

29. I’m finally caught up with the recorded tennis matches so perhaps I’ll be able to catch up with blog visits & email too over the next few days!

30. for the highly competitive, exciting marathon 5 set men’s semi-final match between Fernando Verdasco & Rafa Nadal … lasting 5 hours 14 minutes … fun to watch from start to finish! That means Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal will play for the Championship on Sunday.

31. for a long visit with my sister, her husband, and a high school friend I’ve not seen in over 20 years. How fun to catch up after so much time.

Thank you Joy

Thought for Today
“Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.” Bill Meyer

Mary at Work of the Poet asked Ruby Tuesday participants to take this quiz …
and these are MY results. (See next post for my Ruby Tuesday sign)

Given the fact that I’m a Pisces born on the cusp near the end of February and Amethyst IS my birthstone, the description ‘fits’ and purple IS a favorite color of this Red Hatter ;–)

You Scored as Amethyst

“Like the healing and symbolic properties of the amethyst you have a strong and clear mind. Blessed with an inner calm and peace you are not one to break and fall mentally. Being such a clear minded person (assuming you are one) you may possibly have some strong psychic links.”

So Which Mystic Gemstone are You? Give it a try!

Thought for Today
“These gems have life in them: their colors speak, say what words fail of.” George Eliot

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

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

1. for this new day and the opportunities it presents to each of us to live life richly & fully through freedom of choice

2. I found a Motorola Portable Bluetooth Car Speakerphone at Best Buy (encountering no crowds) & figured out how to make it work … all by myself.

3. gasoline prices were down to $1.79/gallon at Costco yesterday and I got $4 off the 2.5 lb bag of Starbucks Winter Blend coffee beans.

4. finding some interesting links at Schmutzie’s Milkmoney that led to a series of posts on all 4 of my blogs … but the funniest of all is this doggie playing in the snow.

5. for the changes in the WordPress Dashboard that appear to make everything a bit simpler & faster to navigate.

6. for the timely arrival of the inspirational Eat the Frogmini-clip from Simple Truths that I’ve shared in today’s post here are Small Reflections.

7. fond memories of my Dad on what would have been his 105th birthday today.

8. my friend Jackie sent email this morning reminding me of ‘Retired Ladies Lunch’ so I didn’t miss it!

9. Clara of Coming Back to Life selected me as a recipient of the Lemonade Award! She thinks I’m a ‘wonderful encourager’ and she enjoys seeing my name in her comment section.

10. I managed to get online for a little while yesterday despite some ‘connectivity’ issues and several ‘blue screen crashes’ of my new Dell …sigh! Hopefully tech support can help solve these continuing issues.

11. for cards & notes from family members and friends arriving in the mail each day … (though they’re definitely reminders that I do need to stop blogging long enough to create, print, write notes on, address & send Holiday Greetings of my own).

12. for the amazing view of the ‘larger than usual’ full moon this morning and the possibility of a meteor shower tonight.

13. for a pleasant afternoon spent with friends having lunch together … then attending The Masters of Harmony Christmas Concert at Carpenter Theater in Long Beach. It was WONDERFUL and methinks I’m feeling the holiday spirit finally.

14. Hootin’ Anni’s comment on Wednesday’s ‘One Hundred Things’ meme here caused me to send her a link to my 101 Things About Me post (created last January on my 101st post), because her email this morning prompted ME to read my list (and visitor’s comments again). I see kernels of ‘stories’ (or reflections) contained within … and suspect I’ll return to it for ‘motivational reminders’ in the days, weeks, and months ahead. If you’re curious about any aspect of what’s there, feel free to add a question to comments or send email and I’ll make those a priority.

15. it’s raining in Southern California … finally! I’m grateful that the hillsides in burn areas are ‘holding’ & I pray there will be no mudslides.

16. for the generosity of virtual friends generously sharing blog awards to enjoy & pass along to others.

17. to sit by the warmth of the living room fireplace as the rain continues here in Southern California, gently & steadily falling in my neighborhood after a brief ‘break’ yesterday & the snow covers the mountains down to 3000 feet, falling in places that seldom if ever see the white stuph creating a winter wonderland … delighting kids of all ages.

18. I finished all the holiday projects in my PSE6 class … finally. I’m 3rd on a waiting list for the next computer class I’m hoping to take in January, and have signed up for a Writer’s Workshop beginning February 19th, and I’m finished with classes until January.

19. The pansies I planted a few weeks ago are all alive & well after the recent downpours so I bought some more to plant this weekend.

20. My sister and I finally connected for a ‘real phone chat’ catching up as she & her husband drove down a Texas highway after having no cell service for the past 7-8 days.

21. for beautiful clear blue skies with fluffy thin white clouds moving through … a ‘break’ before the rains descend again for the next 5 days … giving me LOTS of material for future Sky Watch posts.

22. I spent the day sitting by the fireplace, listening to holiday music, watching the rain while writing personal notes on my Christmas Cards … addressed, stamped, stuphed, & sealed and dropped them off at the Post Office, so they’re in the mail to family & friends and will hopefully arrive BEFORE Christmas.

23. catching up with a few friends on the phone, more regular contact with my sister now that she’s in New Mexico with better cell service, and finding Starbucks coffee beans on sale for 20% off this morning so I could ‘stock up’ on Christmas Blend at more reasonable prices … getting an additional 10% off with my Starbuck’s card.

24. Lynne invited me to spend Christmas Eve at her beautifully decorated home … enjoying laughter, love, good food … shared with new friends & old. An added blessing was that the predicted deluge of rain that didn’t materialize after all so driving there & back was no problem.

25. for a lovely Christmas dinner & evening with friends at Dennis & Carol’s … over delicious food in a festive atmosphere … topped off with coffee and Pecan Pie or Peppermint Ice Cream from Baskin-Robbins (a long-standing tradition for them).

26. clearing skies … a toasty fire after a chilly walk with Molly on this windy beach day … hot tea & gingerbread cookies as I visited blogs and caught up with my sister on the phone as she did laundry while her husband searched the Internet for good buys.

27. I was able to spend a restful day around home in an attempt to stave off the cold symptoms threatening my body, after taking Z-cam & Vitamin C then drinking lots of water and hot tea … retiring very early last night to get extra sleep.

28. for sleeping more than ten hours last night and awakening with the belief that I might be able to remain healthy if I continue my ‘isolation’ and usual ‘healthy’ eating & exercise regime.

29. for the beautiful roses blooming in my yard right now even though it’s time to cut them back. I shared one red rose at Happily Retired Gal for Ruby Tuesday this week.

30. for a 2nd week of ‘vacation’ from Adult School so I can be around home with Ms. Kitty and Molly … accomplishing things & crossing them off my list.

31. Blog 365 has ended … though I suspect I’ll continue to post daily on at least ONE of my blogs just as I’ve done since entering this ‘virtual’ world in late October of 2007. Happy New Year to everyone. If you’ve not yet visited ‘Tut’s New Year’s Note from the Universe’ at Sacred Ruminations … I hope you’ll do so when time permits.

Thank you Joy

FYI – My November Gratitude List 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.

Thought for Today
“Something that has always puzzled me all my life is why, when I am in special need of help, the good deed is usually done by somebody on whom I have no claim.”
William Feather


Photobucket

Remembering Daddy

My dad was born on December 7th in 1903.  He was 2nd youngest of 13 kids and grew up in rural Kansas ... went to school until the age of 13 when the family needed his help to work the farm.  He used to tell us stories about his early life ... (like cracking open watermelons & eating the center before feeding the rest to the pigs) ... and wished he could move his family back to Kansas (or Colorado where he lived on another farm with his family as a teenager before moving to California in his twenties).  Mom was a 'city gal' who wouldn't hear of it!

He married my mom in May of 1933 (or possibly '34?) in the Dutch Reformed Church.  I don't know much about their early years other than that they met through their respective relatives in a 'traditional' manner.  Mom's favorite brother who had married a cousin of my dad's introduced them and they fell in love.

My brother was born in October of 1936 ... my sister in March of 1941.  Both were extremely ill as infants and required stomach surgery to survive.  Each was skinny throughout their lives.  I was born in February of 1945 as healthy as they come.  They delighted in my 'sturdy chubbiness' and I grew up 'chunky' ... struggling with weight-related issues most of my life until I joined Weight Watchers in my 40s and learned to eat right.

Dad worked long hours as a maintenance electrician in a rubber plant that manufactured battery cases (among other things).  It was his job to keep the ‘Banbury machines’ running, and whenever they broke down … the plant called & dad went back to work at all hours.  He never complained, and when WE did … he reminded us always that he was fortunate to HAVE a job to bring home a paycheck each week.

We always ate meals together … said grace before … engaged in conversation during … and listened to Dad haltingly read from the Bible afterward.  We took turns drying the dishes, but Mom always washed because she didn’t trust us not to break anything in the large sink filled with soapy water.

We played Canasta, Pinochle & board games as a family. Dad enjoyed tossing the baseball, playing ‘catch’ with each of us … and pushed us in the HUGE SWING he constructed in the back yard (so high that Mom would worry & tell him to be careful) but we knew we had to hold on tight and no one ever fell.

He taught me to turn a somersault when I was 3-ish … sang silly songs & told stories in the car when we went as a family for Sunday drives … loved baseball and listened to 2-3 games at a time when he was home … looking through ‘change’ to find missing coins for his ‘collection’ …

Dad was a gentle spirit with a kind heart.  He never drew attention to himself, would give you his last dollar if you needed it, always had a joyful twinkle in his eye, shook hands with people as they left church through the side door … telling them he was glad they’d come … making friends we didn’t know about everywhere he went.

After ‘Scratchy’ … our feral cat got into a fight that resulted in half of his face being torn off and there was no money to take the cat to a vet, Dad climbed the tree in the back yard twice daily for weeks to apply antiseptic medicine that undoubtedly saved that cat’s life.

Everyone in Dad’s family lived to a ripe old age … well into their 90s & even over 100.  What no one realized when he returned from work covered from head to toe in coal dust looking much as if he was wearing ‘black face’ make-up like Al Jolson was that breathing that coal dust for all those years would result in the wide-spread cancer that killed him in the Bicentennial year … 1976.

As I remember Dad on what would have been his 105th birthday, I offer this ‘quiz’ … suspecting it would produce that wry grin.

Click pie image above for other Slice of Life participants and these links for more of my family memories shared previously at Small Reflections.

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Thought for Today
“If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.” Haim Ginott

whats-going-on-storyteller-copy

I found this ‘kewl’ Typealyzer at
Schmutzie’s Milkmoney on December 3rd.

The analysis indicates that the author of https://happilyretired.wordpress.com is of the type:

ISFP – The Artists

The gentle and compassionate type. They are especially attuned their inner values and what other people need. They are not friends of many words and tend to take the worries of the world on their shoulders. They tend to follow the path of least resistance and have to look out not to be taken advantage of.

They often prefer working quietly, behind the scene as a part of a team. They tend to value their friends and family above what they do for a living.

Gender Analyzer Results

Silhouette of a woman

We think https://happilyretired.wordpress.com is written by a woman (68%).

Click to check the Gender and/or Type of YOUR blog(s).

Click to see results for my other blogs
Small Reflections and Sacred Ruminations


Thought for Today“Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or late, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you.” Fanny Brice

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

South Breeze Farm hosted the Giving Thanks Challenge and I participated at Small Reflections … generating the following list one day at a time throughout the month of November.

1. family, friends, & neighbors
2. my happily retired life
3. my cozy home near the ocean
4. Molly & Ms. Kitty
5. good health
6. authors & the books they write
7. all I’ve learned about PSE6 from local adult school classes
8. the Blogosphere & blogging
9. my bloggy friends
10. comments on my posts
11. freshly brewed morning coffee
12. watching the sun rise & set
13. fresh lemons & limes from the trees in my front yard
14. fire-fighters and rescue workers who do their best to save lives & keep us safe when disaster strikes
15. The Red Cross and other ‘service organizations’ that provide comfort and assistance to those in need
16. this morning’s phone call & conversation with my Taos writing buddy, Jan
17. a break in the gusty winds in Southern California allowing firefighters to gain 40% containment of the nearby Triangle Complex Fire that’s burned 27,000 acres since Saturday morning
18. the generosity of strangers helping those in need
19. learning that the Triangle Complex Fire is 100% contained and the Sylmar Fire is 80% contained
20. catching up with my friend Jackie during a leisurely lunch at Z’Tejas this afternoon
21. Melissa at Part of Everything explaining how to back up blogs and create ‘identical sites’ both at Blogger & on WordPress … just in case some unforseen disaster strikes
22. two 8-hour nights of sleep in a row (almost unheard of for me these days)
23. the prospect of rain here in Southern California … finally. My prayer is that it will be a gentle one over an extended period of time so as not to generate mudslides in the burn areas
24. the gift of laughter to relieve stress and lighten things up
25. bloggy friends who took the time to check out my new Happily Retired Storyteller site at WordPress and leave comments there.
26. rain last night … finally!
27. getting my hair cut Wednesday morning, then picking Satsuma tangerines from my sister’s tree to give to friends & enjoy myself ;–)
28. the world’s best dentist with the gentlest hands, kindest manner & latest technology ever!
29. just one more day until the end of NaBloPoMo … 30 posts in 30 days on two different blogs … Yikes! For me that’s 60 posts in 30 days in addition to creating my new WordPress site … whew! No wonder I’m behinder than ever … sigh!
30. that I’ve learned enough in the past year to create my own original awards to enjoy & share.

I like the idea so much that I’ve decided to continue a daily Gratitude List in my sidebar at Small Reflections during the month of December … and beyond.  At the end of each month, I’ll transfer the list to this blog and begin again … indefinitely because I believe counting blessings is always a good idea.

Thought for Today – “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” Meister Eckhart

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

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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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