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13 photographs
Dramatic skies … Window
Views and Reflections


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

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

A playful bonus … just because
cropped then ‘screened with exclusion’ and lightened

Thought for Today
“To repeat what others have said requires education; to challenge it requires brains.” Mary Pettibone Poole

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


Scroll down for Blue Monday, Ruby Tuesday,
My World
and Wordless Outdoor Wednesday too

After being sick
last week I am catching up
by multi-tasking

Here in Southern Cal
we don’t see many color
changes, but walking

recently I found
colorful deciduous
trees and snapped a few

photographs to share
in mosaics … splendidly
this week, just because

Originals … straight out of the camera

Palette Knife
Click to embiggen for better viewing

Accented Edges, lightened


Accented Edges Solarized

Click to embiggen for better viewing


Accented Edges

Poster Edges

Click to embiggen for better viewing


Colored Pencil


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Thought for Today

“Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.” Dalai Lama

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


13 photos from
my sister in Alaska

RV traveling

I create the mosaics

then share on my blogs.

Follow up from my
Outdoor Wordless Watery

Midweek Blues today

published earlier
at Sacred Ruminations …

Click to see it too!

Until embiggened
dif’rences seem minimal …

Click and you will see!

Original Mosaic

Ink Outlines – lightened


Solarize – lightened

Solarize – lightened with Poster Edges

Click to embiggen and for others participating in

Thought for Today
“Renew your passions daily.” Abbe Yeux-verdi

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

Haiku Sky Watch Friday is in the next post

These Plumeria
bloom in a yard down the street …

beautiful in pink ;–)

Neon Glow with Chalk & Charcoal – Poster Edges

Neon Glow with Chalk & Charcoal

Neon Glow with Chalk & Charcoal – Infared

Straight Out of the Camera

(Click to ‘embiggen’ any or all for better viewing)

Poster Edges

Nifty shadows cast
captured and collaged by me …

of course, then I played ;–)



Polar Coordinates

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Thought for Today
“Everywhere is walking distance
if you have the time.
Steven Wright

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


Thirteen Mosaics

created with 13 views

straight across the street.

Amazing to me
how varied that view can be …

Note the cluster of

palm trees in each shot
underneath the various

sky vistas … then tell

me what’s strange about
the ‘view’ in the center … Do

you see something odd?

HappilyRetiredGal-small black

Original – straight out of the camera

Posterized – 9

Poster Edges


Palette Knife

Dry Brush

Smudge Stick

Black & White – Scenic Landscape

Black & White – Scenic Landscape with Poster Edges

Photoshop ‘filters’
create ‘kewl’ effects … it’s fun
to experiment!


Black & White – Infared

Bas Relief

Zig Zag

Click to embiggen & for others participating in

Thursday Thirteen, Sky Watch and Haiku Friday

Thought for Today
“The road to wisdom?  Well, it’s plain and simple to express:
Err and err again, but less and less and less.”
Piet Hein

Playing with ‘templates’
in Photoshop Elements …
enjoying process!

Thirteen ‘windows’ through
which to examine pansies
growing in MY yard.

Click  to embiggen & for others participating in

Wordless Wednesday, Thursday Thirteen, and Color Carnival,

See my other Wordless T-13 Colorful posts today at
Small Reflections and Sacred Ruminations

Thought for Today
“Joy is not in things!  It is in us!”
Benjamin Franklin


Scroll down for Window Views

While rains fell Midwest,
early morning drizzles brought
me a bit of hope …

here in So Cal, but
soon it became clear I’d be
‘watering’ by hand

Click to embiggen for better viewing …

A few more windows
snapped around the neighborhood
on my daily walks …

filtered and collaged
cutouts … posterized … and some
poster edges too.

HappilyRetiredGal-small black

and for others participating in
See my other Wordless posts this week at
Small Reflections and Sacred Ruminations

Thought for Today
“Our life is frittered away with detail.  Simplify.  Simplify.”
Henry David Thoreau

In my Digital Media Arts class I’ve learned to create and use templates with Photoshop Elements … and here is my first attempt.  Each lettered space is a different layer on which to insert photos.  Our instructor is a Scrapbooker and wanted us to use a 12 by 24 inch format to create two book pages together.  I’m not sure I’ll continue this practice for blogging purposes … but I see why she likes it.

Using this template in last night’s class, I entered ten photos of Molly and Ms. Kitty … used the Control G (or ‘group’ command) to link each photo to the appropriate layer … added stroke outlines (blue for Molly and red for Ms Kitty) … shadows … and bevels to each … then used one photo with the opacity lowered as a background.

I separated the left and right pages using the cropping tool,

In order to make this a T-13, this morning I repeated last night’s steps to add 3 additional photos … below.  I do love the Control G command because it doesn’t require me to crop photos and finesse them into the correct spot.  I suspect that with practice (and some experimentation) I’ll figure out simple ways to combine these new skills with ones I’ve mastered previously … and discover new techniques of my own.

Click to embiggen for better viewing
and for others participating in Thursday Thirteen

Thought for Today
“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.’ “ George Bernard Shaw

This week’s theme is bridge(s) …

This ‘apparent stairway’ leads to a 2nd bridge across the same stream on the grounds of the Mabel Dodge House in Taos, New Mexico seen spanned by a flatter wooden structure (in similarly various forms) at Sacred Ruminations in another Photo Hunt this weekend.  The ‘original photo’ at the top was snapped with my Casio Exlim ‘point & shoot’ while attending the 2007 Writers Retreat during the summer.  Below are 9 variations using filters in Photoshop Elements …

Original Snapshot


3-D Transform


Accented Edges


Smudge Stick


Ink Outlines


Ink Outlines & Find Edges


Fresco Filter


Glowing Edges


Poster Edges




Click images to ’embiggen’ for better viewing.  Which do YOU like best & why?

This is my 3rd effort at Creative Photography (my 1st is at Small Reflections). Click for others participating in Creative Photography and Photo Hunt this week.

Thought for Today
“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” Eudora Welty

How to Remain Young!

1. Try everything twice. On Madams tombstone (of Whelan’s and Madam) she said she wanted this epitaph: Tried everything twice…loved it both times!

2. Keep only cheerful friends.
The grouches pull you down. (keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches;)

3. Keep learning:
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening,
whatever. Never let the brain get idle.
“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”
And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s!

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.

6. The tears happen:
Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love:
Whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.
Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health:
If it is good, preserve it.
If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.


9. Don’t take guilt trips.
Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.


10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.

A Thank You (& a Plea for Help!!!)

I appreciate those of you who have checked out my new Happily Retired Storyteller blog here at WordPress & left me comments.

I apologize that they’re not visible for all to see, and I’m doing what I can to figure out what the problem is. They show up in my dashboard and I’ve ‘approved’ them (though I’ve figured out how to remove the ‘approval’ function altogether) … they’re ‘counted’ but all that appears in the sidebar is your ‘identity’ … so if anyone who uses WordPress knows what’s going on, I’d appreciate some help with this situation.

I’ve spent considerable time searching the ‘Forums’ for help (to no avail on this issue) but I’ve learned there are significant differences in ‘available features’ on the WordPress platform depending on whether you’re using ‘’ and simply ‘’ … so there’s more complexity that I realized initially.

Belated Addendum:

For the benefit of others who might encounter such a problem in the future, I was able to fix the ‘invisible comment’ issue by dumping all the widgets in my sidebar and starting over.  It turns out that a couple of the graphics were causing the problem, so I’ll watch out for that in the future.

It was Dona of Clutch Cargo Lips & Cedar Waxwing’s Nest who suggested I disable all widgets (and, if necessary, reset to the default theme) to see if comments showed up … and then to add widgets one at a time … simple & effective stragegy for sure!

Thought for Today – “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society.  The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.  ~Gil Stern

This was a sticky post, but not any more ;–)

After blogging for about 13 months, I’ve established a WordPress account primarily as a ‘backup’ for my three ‘Blogger’ sites (see links in the abbreviated  ‘About Me’ in the sidebar), but I’m also intrigued (now that I’m here) to see ‘how things work’ … just because.  Methinks I’ll use this Happily Retired blog to post experimentally to see what happens, at least for a while.


I’m hoping for a gentle rain in Southern California today, but it’s more likely that we’ll experience heavier rain showers.  I certainly ‘feel’ for the homeowners in the recently ‘burned areas’ where mud slides are likely to add insult to injury … wreaking more havoc in their already disrupted lives.

Thought for Today – “Learn all you can from the mistakes of others.  You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ~Alfred Sheinwold

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)

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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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