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

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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.

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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.


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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.




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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

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Sky Watch, Midweek Blues,
Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers,
Weekend Reflections, Window Views, Just for Joy,
Camera Critters, Pet Pride, Mosaic and Macro Monday

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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.




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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.



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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!




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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.


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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

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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.

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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

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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.


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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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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