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Scroll down for Yard Art, Scenic Sunday, Shadow Shots,
Finding Beauty, Weekend Reflections, Today’s Flowers
Mellow Yellow and Macro Monday

Nifty colorful
bench behind art studio
in New Mexico


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participating in Pink Saturday

Whimsical metal
sculptures scattered in back of
Pat Woodall’s, Taos


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participating in Yard Art and Shadow Shot Sunday

more lovely vistas
from Henningsen Gardens in
Taos, New Mexico







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participating in Weekend Reflections, Finding Beauty,
Today’s Flowers, Scenic Sunday,
Mellow Yellow, and Macro Monday

Thought for Today
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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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.




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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.



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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 Shadow Shots,
Sky Watch, Midweek Blues, Yard Art,
Weekend Reflections & my May Gratitude List




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others participating in Pink Saturday,
Today’s Flowers, and Macro Monday



Straight out of the camera above & Poster Edges below

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others sharing Shadow Shots on Sunday



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others participating in Sky Watch and Midweek Blues

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for others sharing Yard Art


Straight out of the camera

Palette Knife Filter

Watercolor Filter

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for others sharing Weekend Reflections

“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. I’m glad to have transferred my April Gratitude List to Happily Retired Gal at WordPress this morning along with my post with miscellaneous weekend memes so I can begin my May list this afternoon.2. to have Internet access (with help this morning from Time Warner Cable Tech Support) after my D-Link router failed yesterday leaving me w/o access when I returned home from the ‘Eagles’ matinee performance at the Blue Moon Theatre and dinner at Knott’s Berry Farm.

3. for pleasant ‘gardening’ weather over the last couple of days … making the time pulling weeds, cleaning up my yard, and tilling the soil for new planting all the more enjoyable.

4. my $30 refund check from Staples (for recycling old printer cartridges) arrived in a timely manner to help defray the cost of a new wireless router … the Home Valet Plus from Cisco, an easy to use system.

5. one Gladiola shoot survived ‘doggie play’ and is beginning to produce lovely pink blossoms from the bottom up. I’ll share photos soon.

6. I remembered to celebrate (belatedly) my 500th post at Sacred Ruminations and plan to celebrate my 250th post at Happily Retired Gal tomorrow when I share my Fave Five on Friday (and possibly a few weekend memes) there.

7. for the folks at SimpleTruths.com and the resources they make available … like this brief inspirational video Dreams are Whispers from the Soul …

8. to hear from my sister (after more than a week w/o contact) and catch up on travel adventures in the Southwest …

9. for those who send me occasional emails that remind me of what I know, but tend to forget in the busy day-to-day activities of my life.

10. for the monthly opportunity to connect & catch up with retired friends over lunch today …

11. that I decided to cut myself some slack and skip this session at the local Adult School because it’s given me time to do other things with my mornings.

12. the small market a few blocks from home carries ‘half & half’ so that I can walk to replenish my supply when I run low rather than drive to the supermarket.

13. for the $20 I saved at Petco today (using my card along with coupons) when I stocked up on treats & chews for Molly.

14. to be able to help a friend with email issues by setting up a ‘gmail’ account for her that imports her verizon.net email and replies as if she was actually using the Verizon account without having to put up with its ‘quirks’ … pretty nifty.

15. to have finally found time to create and publish ‘a catch up post’ here at Small Reflections and to share lovely pink gladiola blossoms at Happily Retired Gal (after about a week of non-computer related activities kept me away from this virtual world). I appreciate continued your visits & supportive comments … thanks so much!

16. for delightful phone connections with friends & family during this weekend and a fun visit to a local nursery with a friend during which I picked up a variety of colorful bedding plants for my yard.

17. I saved almost $43 on my grocery shopping bill today using coupons!

18. to have fresh produce and food in the fridge this morning with numerous ‘options’ from which to choose for breakfast 😉

19. to get half of the new bedding plants in the ground this afternoon when the drizzles cleared.

20. for a lovely afternoon at the Laguna Playhouse followed by an early dinner at the Beachcomber on the beach in Crystal Cove … an absolutely delightful outing!

21. the remaining bedding plants are in the ground and everything seems to be surviving just fine.

22. that the French Open begins tomorrow so there will be TENNIS to watch for two weeks 😉

23. I won those free tickets to the three Pacific Chorale concerts … the 3rd concert is tonight: Rachmaninov Vespers.

24. for my DVR capturing matches so I’ve had TENNIS to watch today.

25. it rained in Paris so I could catch up on yesterday’s matches before the DVR dumped them to record new matches.

26. for a new perm … I love wash & wear ‘care-free- hair!

27. we’ve had warmer sunnier weather here in So Cal at the beach this week.

28. I learned about Google Docs in an Adult School class this morning.

29. the gal at Time Warner Cable ‘tech support’ got the Tennis Channel to work again fairly quickly this morning so I can record matches to watch later on today.

30. my neighbor picked up milk for me & BowWow Beanie toys for Molly at the market today … saving me a trip.

31. for an hour-long ‘catch up’ phone call from my sister who’s currently on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon after spending a week at Lake Powell without cell service.

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 –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

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Hydrangea blooms
in my neighbor’s yard … and new
bedding plants in mine


Dianthus …

Straight out of the camera above and
poster edges below …


Straight out of the camera above and
poster edges below …

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Pink Saturday’s 2nd Anniversary,
Today’s Flowers, and Macro Monday

What’s left of my one Pink Gladiola

Pink Diplodania in pots cast shadows …


New Pink Dianthus in Shadows

Onion Blossom in Shadow of Lime Tree

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others participating in Shadow Shot Sunday

Thought for Today
“After all is said and done, more is said than done.” Aesop

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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

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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

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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

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One gladiola
survived ‘doggie play’ and PINK
loveliness emerged





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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

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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

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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 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

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Scroll down for Monochrome Mania & My World

Enjoying the rain
Might the termites wash away?
Wishfully dreaming …

Click images to embiggen for better viewing
and the links for others participating in Macro Monday

Not our usual
Southern California skies …
lovely anyway

Click images to embiggen for better viewing
and the links for others participating in
My World and Monochrome Maniacs
Hmm … I see it’s become Monochrome Weekend
making this post late … sigh! Such is life.

A playful bonus … just because

Just for Fun … Creative Experiment
‘screened with exclusion’
(original is below)

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

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

One apricot rose
Just Joey … a lovely bloom

multiple versions ;–)

HappilyRetiredGal-small black

Nd60 482

Nd60 483

Nd60 483 cropped

Nd60 483 cropped b&w urban landscape

Nd60 483 b&w urban landscape

Nd60 482 b&w urban landscapes

Click for others participating in

Macro Monday, Monochrome Mania and Today’s Flowers

Thought for Today
“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.”
Henry David Thoreau


Mellow Yellow Monday #15

Springtime pansies bring
even flies together for
‘quickie’ connections …

Click to embiggen for better viewing …

Click for others participating in Macro Monday,
Thought for Today
“Flowers … are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

Mellow Yellow Monday #12

Click to embiggen for better viewing …

Click for others participating in Macro Monday,
Thought for Today
“Flowers … are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

Mellow Yellow Monday #7

Every May in the city of Huntington Beach is a fund raiser known as the Duckathon.  People purchase decorated ‘ducks’ that are gathered up and dropped into the ocean for a ‘race to the shore’ … winning donated prizes.  Here are photos I captured with my Casio Exilim in 2004.

Click either image to embiggen for better viewing.

Macro Monday #5
but I’ve lost count on Today’s Flowers.

unknown-yellowblossoms21

If anyone recognizes these blossoms, I’d appreciate knowing what they are.  All I know is they’re bulbs that come up each year in my yard dependably.  Addendum:  Thanks to Patty of Magpie’s Nest for identifying these blossoms as Freesia, and to Eaton Bennett of Silently Mine for confirming the identification.

unknown-yellowblossoms1Photos taken with my Nikon D60
using a Tamron 28-300 lens & collaged with PSE6

See also my Today’s Flowers at Small Reflections this week.

Click for others participating in  Mellow Yellow Monday,
Macro Monday and Today’s Flowers.

todays-flowers-logo1

Thought for Today
“After all, I don’t see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are mireacles like white dogwood.”  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Belatedly multi-tasking … Here’s

Mellow Yellow Monday #6Macro Monday #4

Ruby Tuesday & Today’s Flowers

… all in one!

rubyslippers-copy

Red Pansies with Yellow Centers
… slightly tinged with mud splatters after recent rains.

macromondayredpansies-copy

Photos taken with my Nikon D60
using a Tamron 28-300 lens & collaged with PSE6

Click for others participating in  Mellow Yellow Monday,
Macro Monday, Ruby Tuesdays, and Today’s Flowers.

todays-flowers-logo1

Thought for Today
“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.”  Henry David Thoreau

Mellow Yellow Monday #6

mellowyellow-five

Macro Monday #3
but I’ve lost count on Today’s Flowers.

My Lime Tree in Bloom

limetreemacromonday-5Photos taken with my Nikon D60
using a Tamron 28-300 lens & collaged with PSE6

Click for others participating in  Mellow Yellow Monday,
Macro Monday and Today’s Flowers.

todays-flowers-logo1
Thought for Today
“My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view.”  H. Fred Ale

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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