You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘daily life’ category.

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

Scroll down for Shadow Shot Sunday and more …

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



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

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

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

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

gratitudelogo-daisies

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

29. to get my hair cut today 😉

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

Thank you Joy

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

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

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

Advertisements

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 ;–)

Scroll down for Mosaic Monday
Ruby Tuesday and more …

Roses photographed
in my yard and filtered with
Watercolor here



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


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

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


Happily today
Serena Williams achieved
13th ‘major win’


playing Wimbledon
against Zvonareva this
morning in straight sets


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

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

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

gratitudelogo-daisies

givingthankschallenge-southbreeze

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


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

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

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

5. for a good night’s sleep 😉

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Joy

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

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

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

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

Click for others participating in Friday’s Fave Five

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

Click any image to embiggen for better viewing

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



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


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

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




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

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

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

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

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 ;–)

One gladiola
survived ‘doggie play’ and PINK
loveliness emerged





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

If time permits … you might enjoy this brief inspirational video clip from Simple Truths entitled ‘The Push‘ … I watch it occasionally, just because … and it ALWAYS touches my spirit with its simple but powerful reminder 😉

Thought for Today
“We can never discover new continents until we have the courage to lose sight of all coasts.” Andre Gide

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 ;–)

Scroll down for Wordful Wednesday & Midweek Blues too

Warmer weather brings
people to the beach and pier
also the Street Fair

Do you see the seagull in the picture below?


How about in the next photo?
If you missed the one above, look up again 😉

If walking to the end of the pier and back is more exercise that one wants, there are folks who will give you a ride in one of these.

Kids can play in these colorful contraptions and people enjoy a variety of foods while enjoying the Street Fair on Tuesday evenings from 5-9pm.
Click to see more views and entertainment shared previously

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Ruby Tuesday, My World,
Outdoor Wednesday, Watery Wednesday,
Midweek Blues and Wordful Wednesday

Thought for Today
“Live out of your imagination, not your history.” Stephen R. Covey

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

This week’s Yard Art
and Earth Hour information
are in the next post …
Scroll down for Looking at the Sky, (belated) Midweek Blues
Pink Saturday and Today’s Flowers herein with my FAVES


1. Although he arrived very late (and by himself without his usual two helpers) on Wednesday, my gardener took time to plant my birthday ‘Veteran’s Honor’ rose bush as promised. I’m hoping it will do as well as the other roses I have growing in my yard.


2. My parkway is awash with color, brightening the neighborhood and my spirits. I feel so blessed to live here in Southern California near the Pacific Ocean where Spring arrives early, and it’s a joy to share such views on my blog for those in colder climates still waiting for the weather to warm up.


lookingatthesky

3. Our skies have been variable as clouds drift through the area but there have plenty of beautiful BLUES above like these:



4. I happened upon these lovely pink blossoms at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach while hanging out with my sister this past week. I’m not sure what they are but wonder if they might be Rhododendron. What do you think?




5. Finally … my 18-55mm lens for my Nikon D60 is back in my possession and working the way it’s supposed to! More than a month ago the Vibration Reduction went ‘wonky’ (shortly after I had it cleaned at my local ‘repair’ shop under the Ritz Camera warranty). They sent it to Nikon and when it was returned with the VR fixed, the lens wouldn’t take photos at the ‘infinity’ setting … so the repair shop sent it back to Nikon (with a ‘rush’ order). When it was returned in a couple of week with a note that nothing was done to it … my local guy sent it back once again with the instructions highlighted. All this took considerable time. Of course I’ve had my camera with the Tamron 28-300mm lens, but I’ve missed the smaller lens and am glad to have it back.

Click any image to embiggen for better viewing
and for others participating in Friday’s FAVE Five,
Midweek Blues, Looking at the Sky, Pink Saturday, and Today’s Flowers

Thought for Today
“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
Abraham Lincoln

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

Friday’s Fave Five, Weekend Reflections,
Camera Critters & Looking at the Sky are in the next post

Raphiolepsis
I just learned the name of this
bush with pink blossoms




I’m still searching for
the name of the plant below
blooming in my yard

shared previously
both in ‘normal view‘ and in
macro view‘ as well



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

For those following the continuing saga of my Dell Inspiron issues … this past week ‘Sanjay’ scheduled two 11am calls, one on Tuesday and the other on Friday. I waited Tuesday for 90 minutes before having to leave for an appointment (took his cell phone call at about 1pm but since I wasn’t home couldn’t do anything with my laptop) and waited Friday for two and a half hours (missing the 4:40pm call from ‘Sean’ by seconds trying to fish the cell phone out of my purse when it rang).


I called Dell Tech Support when I arrived home … around 6pm and spoke to Roy who listened attentively and made notes in my file. Specifically I needed to let Sean and Sanjay know that I would be unavailable at 11am for a while and that it would be better to call me early in the morning or late in the afternoon.


Roy scheduled a callback for Monday between 4 and 6pm. He also encouraged me to talk directly with Customer Service which I did. However, three different people assertively told me (multiple times) there was no way to replace my battery (even though it had clearly been faulty from the get go) unless I was willing to pay $159 for a new one. The 3rd representative (Angel) actually hung up (yup … you read that right) on me as I expressed my frustration and asked for yet another ‘supervisor’ to talk to after telling me that even during the first year they wouldn’t have replaced the battery, but would had me return the entire computer. That conflicts with what the Tech Support guys have told me. Apparently Customer Support personnel don’t have access to Tech Support case files and Tech Support can’t handle the ‘battery’ issue since it’s a Customer Service issue. Talk about a Catch 22!


So … my extended warranty will pay to have someone come to my house to ‘trouble shoot’ … even replace the monitor, but not the battery. There’s no way I’d spend that amount of money without assurances that a new bigger battery would actually FIX the dim monitor problem. Upgrading to Windows 7 and replacing the battery would cost about the same thing as new Dell notebook (not that I’d be likely to buy another Dell any time soon).


I’ve decided to let some time pass (to calm myself) before trying again … but I suspect this Inspiron 1720 notebook will remain a desktop indefinitely. Looking at the bright side, at least the machine is finally ‘stable’ and not crashing repeatedly any longer … and THAT’s a good thing. I do love my new Sony Vaio notebook. It’s bright enough to use on battery power without changing from the ‘balanced power’ settings and gives me about 3 hours of battery life before suggesting I plug it in … so I’m technologically ‘mobile’ again at last.

Thought for Today
“A great teacher never strives to explain her vision: she simply invites you to stand beside her and see for yourself.” Rev. R. Inman

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 ;–)

ALMOST

Beach town … Surf City
shares it’s history in this
Surfing Museum

today’s temp’ratures
will reach the low 80s and
draw more people here


Click to embiggen for better viewing and for
others participating in Almost Wordless Wednesday,
Watery Wednesday, Outdoor Wednesday, Window Views,
Midweek Blues and Wordful Wednesday

Thought for Today
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein

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

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 first contribution …
(NOT from my yard)


Click to embiggen and for others sharing Yard Art

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. the transfer of my sidebar gratitude list to Happily Retired Gal went a bit smoother this month.

2. my computer cooperated and allowed me to do some catching up on blog visits today … I really appreciate folks who make the entire post available in the feed (rather than just a few lines) because I actually get to SEE everything and can click over to comment periodically 😉

3. to Hootin’ Anni and Lori E (of Family Trees May Contain Nuts) for sharing Valentines with their visitors … reminding me to do likewise! I’ve added mine to the top of my sidebar (here too) .  I invite you to ‘snag’ a copy to enjoy if you wish … just right click on the image to save it to your computer.
[VALgiftHootinAnni.gif]

4. for a pleasant outing with my sister today … and a ‘fix’ for my Blogger photo upload problem.

5. to stay home most of this rainy day … leaving only briefly to assist a friend’s sister resolve some camera and computer problems.

6. that the two small leaks in my living room ceiling (from the deck off my upstairs bedroom) seem minor … especially as I watch the devastation caused by mudslides in the La Canada-Flintridge area and problems created by the record snowfall in the Mid-Atlantic east-coast states.

7. Molly & I went for a LONG walk today … enjoying the dry weather 😉

8. for another day of clear weather and the opportunity to connect with friends for lunch to catch up with one another.

9. today’s rain has been the gentle steady drizzily kind.

10. my pansies have survived the rain and some of my bulb shoots have already started to bloom … earlier than ever. I’m still trying to identify the pretty white blossoms shared previous.

11. for memories of my mom on the anniversary of her birth.

12. I’ve cleared off space on my DVR to record the Olympic broadcasts so I can watch them as time permits.

13. I’ll be spending the day with my sister (and possibly a good friend if she’s feeling up to it) starting with a camera class on ‘lighting’ at the sole remaining
Ritz Camera store in the Orange County area this morning then letting the rest of the day unfold spontaneously.

14. I had canned food for Ms Kitty when I ran out of dry food w/o time to get to the store. Methinks SHE was happy too 😉

15. Shen & Zhao have returned to participate in the Winter Olympics one last time … they skated beautifully Sunday night.

16. that (although they made some mistakes in their long program Monday night) Shen & Zhao had enough of a lead from their short program to win the Gold Medal finally on their 4th trip to the Olympics (at the age of 31 & 36) with Pang & Tong taking the silver after they’d just missed the podium (in 4th place) four years ago in Torino. What a night for China!

17. for a good night’s sleep after several ‘restless’ ones.

18. that Evan Lysacek skated two ‘complete programs’ beautifully in Vancouver, won the Gold medal and has handled all the petty ‘controversy’ over the ‘quad’ in men’s skating (stirred up by questions posed by the press to Evgeni Plushenko who seems upset that ignoring changes in scoring didn’t win him a second Gold medal on the strength of his jumps and intimidating bravado) magnificently. As Scott Hamilton & Dick Buttons eloquently point out, the event IS called Figure SKATING for a reason!

19. although things didn’t go exactly as planned … my sister & I spent a delightful afternoon together and I got a $49 refund from REI because the kewl Keen boots I bought there less than two weeks ago at full price were on sale yesterday. Lucky me 😉

20. for sunshine today after last night’s rain … especially since more rain is predicted for Sunday night and possibly throughout the entire week ahead.

21. for morning coffee with half & half 😉

22. that I finally managed to connect to the Internet after my ‘wireless router’ died overnight

23. it’s my 65th birthday and I’ll be celebrating with my sister!

24. that Channel 4 makes actual ‘video replays’ available on its website because for some reason my DVR didn’t record last night’s events so I missed the women’s short programs in Figure Skating (along with whatever else was broadcast). I’m looking forward to catching up as time permits.

25. I managed to fix my DVR so it recorded the Olympic broadcasts to view as time permits.

26. my sister & I celebrated my birthday again … this time at Duke’s as we planned to do (but didn’t) on Tuesday.

27. my neighbor gave me a lovely Veteran’s Honor rose bush for my yard on Friday … a gift from her father who has raised roses for a long time.

28. that even though more ‘wet stuph’ is predicted, yesterday’s rain has stopped for the time being making for lovely Southern California weather all day long.

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 – January
2009 Lists – December, November, October, September, August, July, June, May, April, March, February, January
2008 Lists – December, November

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

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

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 ;--)

Archives

Looking for something?

6th Blog Blast for Peace

Won't you join us?

6th Blog Blast for Peace November 5, 2009

Did You Know?

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

Camera Critters 1st Anniversary