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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 ;–)


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 ;–)

This LOVELY pink rose
didn’t last for long because
Aloha ‘gallumphed’ …

Click images to embiggen for better viewing …

It’s not easy to
catch crisp views of Aloha
… always on the move!

Her exuberance
often takes a toll on the
blossoms in my yard

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

Walking recently
these window views caught my eye
with palm reflections

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

If YOU loved PacMac the way I did, you’ll enjoy Google’s home page  … celebrating the game’s 30th anniversary! You can actually PLAY the game there … Enjoy 😉

Thought for Today
“Inside all of us is a Wild Thing.” Maurice Sendak

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

Scroll down for Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
Shadow Shots, Camera Critters, Pet Pride,
Macro and Mosaic Monday

1. Setting up a new wireless network when my ancient D-Link router failed proved to be quite simple. I used my $30 refund from Staples (for recycling old ink cartridges) to help defray the cost of a Home Valet Plus by Cisco and found the set up quite simple … using the enclosed flash drive they refer to as a ‘key’ to do most of the work for me. So far it works great and hopefully it will last as long as the D-Link did.

2. I’m grateful I wasn’t watching yesterday’s crazy ‘free-fall’ of the stock market when it dropped 998 points in just a few minutes and that I didn’t have ‘stop-losses’ in place that would have kicked in automatically. What a mess! Learning about it after the fact is distressing enough. I thought automatic ‘stops’ were in place to keep this kind of thing from happening … but I guess they don’t take effect that late in the day. Interestingly, I received a letter from Vanguard just yesterday that they’ve reduced the trading costs from $25 to $7 … probably to compete with the likes of Scottrade and other inexpensive trading companies. Once upon a time (a few years back … before blogging) I used to trade stocks more actively than I do currently … and I would have been in front of my computer when it happened.

3. Walking through the neighborhood recently I discovered and photographed these beautiful pink hibiscus blossoms to share for Pink Saturday and Macro Monday …




… and am delighted to share my newly cleared off parkway in this mosaic … featuring a few remaining rose blossoms and one pink gladiola (that survived Aloha’s exuberant play this Spring) … ready to burst forth in bloom any day now.

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

4. Once upon a time, Ms. Kitty was a ‘hunter’ … but once I started to feed her she stopped and the birds returned. Unfortunately one of the neighbor’s cat hunts quite patiently. One morning this past week I noticed him on the prowl when I went outside to feed Ms. Kitty … grabbed my camera to capture a few shots. Ms. Kitty doesn’t have much to do with him, but with me nearby … she DID approach … perhaps to remind the younger cat not to encroach upon her territory. It’s good to know she can hold her own at her advanced age.

Straight out of the camera above and
poster edges below

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

lookingatthesky

5. The skies have been blue for the most part this past week, but I did capture some interesting wispy clouds I’ve decided to share with you this week … just because.



… and I’ve enjoyed looking at the skies from my blue patio chairs (Ms Kitty and Molly keeping me company) whenever possible because the weather has been so pleasant. It amazes me to realize that THIS is my 250th WordPress post … that more than 5200 comments have been left by visitors here (with more than 2000 SPAM comments caught by Askimet). Taken with the 520 posts at Sacred Ruminations, 692 at Small Reflections, and 35 at Blog Rolls and Bling … I’ve published 1476 times in this virtual world since I started blogging on October 21st of 2007. Who knew I’d be so prolific? I’m grateful to all who have assisted and encouraged me along the way.


Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Friday’s FAVE Five,
Looking at the Sky and Midweek Blues

WordPress does provide interesting ‘stats’ in the ‘Dashboard’ that don’t seem to be available at Blogger. Here are a few from today:

Blog Stats Summary Tables

Total views: 29,429

Busiest day: 177 — Saturday, September 12, 2009

Views today: 12

Totals

Posts: 250

Comments: 5,268

Categories: 86

Tags: 13

Email Subscribers

Blog:3 active

Comments: 19 subscribers, 23 subscriptions

Spam

Akismet has protected your site from 2,163 spam comments.

Google is commemorating Tchaikovsky’s 170th birthday
with this nifty logo … very kewl isn’t it.

Thought for Today
“Consciously cultivating thankfulness is a journey of the soul, one that begins when we look around us and see the positive effects that gratitude creates.” MJ Ryan

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

Scroll down for Camera Critters, Shadow Shots, and
My April Gratitude List transferred from
the sidebar at Small Reflections

My early pink Spring roses took a beating from recent rains followed by strong winds … but are still fascinating to me. I hope you enjoy my pink floral views.







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

Molly Smells the Fading Roses
on a Sunny Spring Afternoon

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Camera Critters, Pet Pride,
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. for a pleasant day spent with my sister while accomplishing a few necessary tasks.

2. for the day to rest & recover at home 😉

3. to spend the afternoon with a good friend … enjoying lunch then helping her run some errands and trouble-shooting some computer problems for her.

4. I’ve learned about and signed up for the 2010 Summer Writers Retreat at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House & Conference Center in Taos, New Mexico … I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and meeting new people too.

5. there’s room for Molly at Camp Ilene when I go to Taos this summer so she’ll get a ‘doggie’ vacation … with the opportunity to play with fur-friends for a couple of weeks while I’m away from home.

6. to connect & catch up with another friend for brunch … using a ‘buy one breakfast – get one free’ coupon at Mimi’s Cafe.

7. for the opportunity to reconnect with my cousin & his wife (along with my sister & her husband) at the Knott’s Berry Farm Chicken House this morning.

8. today at home to rest & recover after watering the yard this morning before the winds kicked up outside.

9. to spend today with my sister … hanging out & having lunch later at Matsu, my favorite local Japanese restaurant.

10. I’m beginning my days writing ‘morning pages’ as I used to do for decades …

11. my roses have started to bloom already 😉

12. the rain stopped long enough to squeeze in a walk with Molly this morning before I went to my Windows 7 class.

13. for one final breakfast at the Harbor House Cafe in Sunset Beach shared with my sister this morning before she and her husband head for Yosemite and places beyond.

14. I drove into my sister’s after today’s Windows 7 class to teach her (one final time) about labeling photos in Windows Photo Gallery before she & her husband leave on this trip and hopefully she won’t spend HOURS ‘renaming’ the photos as she’s done on previous trips.

15. that through sheer persistence and experimentation, I’ve managed (finally) to correct some of the frustrating ‘glitches’ on the Dell Inspiron resulting from all those dreaded Blue Screen of Death Crashes during the first 20 months I owned it … before (with Dell Tech Support’s assistance over a month or so) finally ‘stabilizing’ the system.

16. for all the beautiful ROSES blooming in my yard currently … pink, red (scroll down for these), and apricot (I’ll add the link soon once I share them – see the end of my April 23rd post here at Small Reflections).

17. I’m getting my files backed up on an external drive, slowly but steadily. One of these days I’ll figure out how to make that happen automatically.

18. to be attending a ‘Spring concert’ this afternoon with friends.

19. I’ve managed to find and copy most of the photo & data files from an old backup of the Dell that ‘crashed’ a few weeks ago and I’m very relieved.

20. I ran errands after class today so the Explorer has a full tank of gas, Molly has food & treats and I have fresh groceries in the house.

21. It’s started to rain late this afternoon … and I’ve moved Ms. Kitty’s bed and the blue chairs to a dry alcove by the front door.

22. the weather cleared enough for a pleasant camera walk this afternoon and I remembered to pay my bills online today.

23. to have connected by phone this morning with my sister and her husband as they were leaving Yosemite … headed up and over the Sierra Nevada Mts.

24. for beautiful clear sunny weather to spend time in my garden (after a sleepless night due to noisy neighbors) and an evening phone call from my sister letting me know they made it safely over the mountains … staying in Bishop, CA for the night before heading to Death Valley on Sunday.

25. for a good night’s sleep … and David Pogue’s Windows 7: The Missing Manual. What an incredibly useful (not to mention entertaining) resource!

26. I’ve set up an automatic backup for my Sony Vaio and shifted relevant files from an external backup of the old Dell Inspiron 9100 that crashed a while back.

27. my brother-in-law managed to share three ‘snow photos’ from their recent visit to Yosemite with help from their oldest son. Here’s one … I’ve shared the others on Friday at Sacred Ruminations: (They’ve been resized to be smallish files but you can click to embiggen a bit for better viewing)

28. for all I’ve learned in my Windows 7 class that ended today and the week-long ‘break’ before the next session begins.

29. I’ve checked out Goldstar.com … finally! What a nifty way to save money while getting out to enjoy entertainment opportunities.

30. for my sister’s sons … Happy 28th birthday to Daniel and happy 30th ‘gotcha-day’ to Casey! I love you both 😉

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 –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
“It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, it only matters where you’re going.” Brian Tracy

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

Scroll down for Thursday Thirteen, Haiku Friday Sky Watch,
Camera Critters, Midweek Blues, Window Views
and Weekend Reflections

Mary the teach at Work of the Poet
has asked bloggers to share Yard Art on Thursdays …
Lots of people who live near the beach
in Southern California ‘decorate’ their yards
(often in unique ways) so I’ll have a steady supply!

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

113-hfskywatch-hrg

Thirteen photographs
of a sparrow hanging out
in local palm trees





Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Thursday Thirteen,
Haiku Friday, Sky Watch,
and Camera Critters

Window Reflections
near Long Beach Marina with
beautiful blue skies

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

Thought for Today
“”Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Albert Einstein

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

lookingatthesky


1. Although it finally cooled off yesterday, we’ve had amazingly warm weather the past few days here in Southern California at the beach and I’ve been able to take advantage of it … walking with my camera in hand several days.

Click to embiggen for better viewing
and if you missed them, I shared some
‘kewl’ pelican shots at Small Reflections
(see #5 of 13 things on my list)


2. While celebrating my sister’s birthday recently (sharing a delicious frozen dessert with nuts), I bit down on something hard. Thinking it was a piece of shell, I retrieved it from my mouth only to discover it was metal and looked suspiciously like a filling. Fortunately it wasn’t (a visit to my dentist confirmed that it did indeed LOOK like a filling but I didn’t have one missing) so I don’t have to have any work done on my teeth. At the urging of a friend whose husband used to manage a restaurant, I returned to share the incident with the manager. Upon checking with the head chef, we learned their ice cream containers have metal fasteners … and the piece in question was part of that. As a thank you for bringing the problem to their attention, they’re mailing me a gift certificate … adding an unexpected bonus to the experience.


3. Last Friday I drove by Costco for gasoline and went inside with my sister who wanted to buy some bananas. I stopped to look at laptops and ended up buying this …

a Sony Vaio (running Windows 7) … appearing here alongside the Dell Inspiron 1720 (running Vista) that I’ve had nothing but trouble with since I bought it in July of 2008. I’m working with Dell Tech Support to resolve continuing issues since it’s covered for 4 years by an extended warranty … and I’m delighted that it’s no longer crashing regularly, but when disconnected from the power supply, the screen still becomes so dim as to be unreadable … making it essentially non-functional away from my desk unless I carry the power supply with me and find an outlet wherever I go. I’ve suggested a larger more powerful battery … and there’s been talk of a new monitor. Hopefully I’ll find out more today when Sanjay calls me around 11am. In the meantime, I’ve got a new ‘toy’ to keep me connected and it’s pretty kewl. The software I own and use regularly with Vista (Microsoft Office and Photoshop Elements) seem to run just fine so far even though it’s a 64-bit machine running Windows 7.


4. The local Adult School is offering classes in Windows 7 and I’ve signed up … changing from the class I’d intended to take to this one figuring I could use a bit of help making this transition. In addition, I enjoyed a delightful afternoon with friends yesterday visiting over lunch in Laguna before seeing The Second City in Can You be more Pacific at the Laguna Playhouse. Before heading home, we purchased advance tickets for a May performance of Hershey Felder in ‘Beethoven As I Knew Him’ … we hear it’s quite entertaining.


5. Once I finish with Sanjay from Dell Tech Support this morning, I’m spending this afternoon with my sister once again. We’re trying to maximize the time we have left before she and her husband hit the road again on April 15th. I want to share one more view from this week containing reflections of the sky and the beach in the windows of this Lifeguard Tower on the pier … pretty nifty, eh? Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Thought for Today
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” Anne Frank

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

Scroll down for Pink Saturday,
Today’s Flowers and Macro Monday
More ‘Critters’ are with my Wednesday images
in the next post

Shades of Hitchcock


Mary the teach at Work of the Poet
has asked bloggers to share Yard Art on Thursdays …
Lots of people who live near the beach
in Southern California ‘decorate’ their yards
(often in unique ways) so I’ll have a steady supply!
Here’s MY second contribution …
(click here for my first)
Neither is from my yard!

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

I’m sorry to be a bit late with Pink Saturday, but I’m doing what I can to catch up so please bear with me.  Actually, the Yard Art photo (shared Thursday evening) has a touch of ‘pink’ if you look closely … so perhaps it was enough?  In any case, I’ve decided to ‘amend’ this  post since I published it so late that almost no one got a chance to visit and see this cute  pooch.  Methinks he deserves another chance, don’t you?


In last week’s Pink Saturday/Today’s Flowers post, I shared bushes with pink blossoms that surround a palm tree in my front yard and asked for help identifying them. Several visitors suggested I needed ‘macro shots’ … so this week I experimented with my Tamron lens and am sharing some close ups in hopes someone will recognize and name this plant for me, thus I offer a ‘review of last weekend’ …

If you recognize
these pink blossoms, please tell me
what you think they are


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

Thought for Today
“Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.” Maya Angelou

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

ALMOST

Last week I shared a goose
from Cerritos Regional Park

… and today I share some interesting bird activity.

occasionally
these pigeons took flight ‘en masse’
in sweeping circles







Click to embiggen for better viewing
and for others participating in (Almost) Wordless Wednesday,
Outdoor Wednesday
, Watery Wednesday, Wordful Wednesday,
Midweek Blues, and Camera Critters too

Thought for Today
“People learn something every day, and a lot of times it’s that what they learned the day before was wrong.” Bill Vaughan

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

… 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 ;–)

113-hfskywatch-hrg

13 more photos
from my sister on the road …

RV traveling


Collaboration..
I create the mosaics

then share on my blogs.

Bald Eagles in trees
Canadian Geese in flight

Soaring Hawks and more …

Straight Out of the Camera

Poster Edges

Poster Edges – Pinched

Click to embiggen & for others participating in

Thursday Thirteen, Sky Watch and Haiku Friday

Thought for Today
“Never interrupt someone doing something you said couldn’t be done.” Amelia Earhart

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

This is my 85thMisty Dawn started the meme and explains the rules here.

You may recall that
Jenke & Molly have been

friends for quite a while


Jenke and her ‘guy’
left our neighborhood to move

into their new home

one last chance to play
after the U-Haul was packed

… then they drove away

HappilyRetiredGal-small black

Click to embiggen for better viewing …

and for others participating in Camera Critters
See my other Camera Critters posts at
Small Reflections and Sacred Ruminations
you can see Molly at play with a NEW friend.

Thought for Today
“Happiness is when what you think,
what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Mahatma Gandhi

ALMOST

This is my 78thMisty Dawn started the meme and explains the rules here.


Early morning … long
shadows fall across the yard.

Roses in full bloom ;–)

HappilyRetiredGal-small black

Click to embiggen for better viewing …and for others participating in

See my other Camera Critters posts at
Small Reflections and Sacred Ruminations

Thought for Today
“All of us do not have equal talent,
but all of us should have and equal opportunity
to develop our talent.”
John F. Kennedy

Belatedly …

This is my 73rdMisty Dawn started the meme and explains the rules here.

Sleepily … Molly
observes from the back of the
Explorer as I

snap some photographs.
What a fun day it has been …
first to Doggie Beach

where she romped & played
in the water … on the sand
chasing tennis balls …

and making new friends.
Afterward … a visit to

a local groomer ;–)

HappilyRetiredGal-small black

Click  to embiggen & for others participating in Haiku Friday & Camera Critters.

See my other Camera Critters post
featuring Ms. Kitty at Sacred Ruminations

Thought for Today
“You don’t understand anything until you learn it in more than one way.”
Marvin Minsky

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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