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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.

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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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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.




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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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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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Raindrops and Sunshine on Roses …
Pretty in Pink





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others participating in Pink Saturday, Today’s Flowers, and Shadow Shots


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others participating in Weekend Reflections and Window Views

Thought for Today
“The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything — or nothing.” Lady Nancy Astor

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stormy skies above
as we walked out on the pier …
surveying the scene


very different
from the ones I shared last week
at this local beach


just a few people
brave enough to swim, walk, and
lay upon the sand



For Ruby Tuesday
here’s the bright Barefoot Bar sign
and menu outside


My sister likes her fish tacos ‘battered’ …

I prefer mine Cajun style

and THIS is Hula Pie … delicious!

Click for others participating in
My World, Ruby Tuesday,
Outdoor Wednesday, Watery Wednesday, and Midweek Blues

Thought for Today
“Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year: The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again.”
Menachem Mendel Schneerson

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Sky Watch is in the next post

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

Click for others participating in Pink Saturday

Corner Bakery
Reflection as I left the
Retired Gals lunch

Click for others participating in Weekend Reflections

More reflections and
shadows at the bakery …
Retired Gals Lunch

Click for others participating in Shadow Shot Sunday

Thought for Today
“Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracker or a holding pattern over Philadelphia.” Judith Viorst, Redbook

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Mellow Yellow Monday
(along with Pink Saturday & Today’s Flowers)
is in the next post


More views from my walk
on Balboa Island
this
weekend with my sis …

Kewl ‘ruby’ brick work,
blossoms, and ‘accents’ on the
yard’s ‘inhabitants’



More ‘rubies’ below …
Cyclamen blossoms I think,
if not mistaken

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others participating in My World,
Ruby Tuesday and Outdoor Wednesday

“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 all the new & old friends in the Blogosphere who visit and leave comments on each of my blogs. Thank you all 😉

2. I managed to successfully transfer my December Gratitude List to Happily Retired Gal this morning on the 4th try. I’m not sure why, but I kept losing my sidebar there this morning … but all’s well that ends well, right? Right!

3. Molly got to play with the 3 pugs (Jake, Alle, & Noah) this morning … see Pug Invasion if you’ve forgotten or missed this post from mid-March.

4. I opted for the extended warranty when I purchased my Nikon D60 & Tamron lens last January at Ritz Camera. I should have them back in less than a week since I chose to drop them off at the camera repair shop this afternoon (rather than the one remaining local Ritz store in Fashion Island) to be cleaned & adjusted (something I was advised to do at least yearly).

5. I found my old Casio Exilim camera and it held a charge, so while I’m experiencing a bit of ‘withdrawal’ without my Nikon,
I have something to use in the meantime.

6. for time to create a mosaic with Monday’s surprise sunrise photos and to publish it at Small Reflections before leaving for class tonight.

7. to be home after spending the day at my sister’s house making 247 tamales (about a hundred more than usual) … I’ll be catching up on blog visits tomorrow and sharing photos from the day soon since she let me use HER camera since mine’s in the shop getting cleaned & adjusted after it’s first year of almost continual use.

8. for a day at home to catch up on blog visits, create multiple ‘tamale and critter mosaics’ then write Haiku reflections to share at Sacred Ruminations as a follow-up to the ‘big day’ of tamale-making.

9. I added to yesterday’s tamale post … (Blogging my Blessings there and providing a bit more info in response to questions). Spending time with my ‘reader’ last week … cleaning house (eliminating blogs no one has posted on in a long time), marking older entries as ‘read’ & reorganizing entries into functional categories is helping me manage time for blog visits more easily already.

10. my sister & her husband met me at the Harbor House Cafe in Sunset Beach for ‘brunch’ this morning. Since my ‘all-in-one’ HP printer still doesn’t work, my BIL is going to scan my sister’s tamale recipe then email it to me so I can share it with those who asked for it.

11. the camera shop called to say my camera & lenses are ready for pickup … HOORAY!

12. for Tuesday with my sister. We had a wonderful time together. I’ve shared ‘fountain photos’ from the Shops at Mission Viejo at Happily Retired Gal.

13. her husband emailed the tamale recipe to me so I could share it with those who asked for it.

14. that I’d saved often while creating my Thursday Thoughts … so that when Mozilla crashed this morning (as it does all too often due to a problem with my wireless card and/or driver that no one seems to be able to find or fix) … I was able to pick up where I left off rather than starting over.

15. for the ‘free ticket’ (worth $10) for a Friday Class at Adult School … (apparently M-W classes got these because of the Monday holidays making the courses shorter than T-Th classes so this was how they ‘evened things up’.
I used it this morning to learn about Facebook. I don’t know that I’ll find time to actually USE the information, but at least I understand how Facebook works now … sort of. LOL

16. we’ll be getting some much needed rain in the coming week. I’m hopeful the folks in the recently burned areas won’t suffer mudslides however.

17. I remembered to answer the Simple Woman’s Daybook questions to share with my Blues & Mosaics at Sacred Ruminations and to publish Macro & Monochrome photos at Happily Retired Gal … so I’m ‘set’ for Monday.

18. my DVR recorded the Day One tennis matches overnight at the Australian Open … so I can watch today as I visit blogs.

19. there were breaks in the rain so Molly & I could get outside for some much needed exercise.

20. for this afternoon’s (much needed) appointment to get my hair cut … and I’m hoping for a break in the weather to drive into Long Beach … then on to my sister’s in Cerritos and back home to feed Molly before my Adult School class tonight at 6pm. I’d kind of like to just stay home in this kind of weather, but I’ll drive carefully and hope for the best.<

21. last night’s class was canceled … (because the HB police asked yesterday afternoon that residents not drive for the next 48 hours unless absolutely necessary ) … so I didn’t have to go out in the storm again … at night.

22. that I took the initiative and drove to the local Social Security office (in the rain) to get my paperwork scanned into my file rather than continue to wait for the ‘secure envelope’ to arrive. Wish I’d done this a week ago!

23. the rain seems to have stopped this afternoon and it’s supposed to be clear on Sunday.

24. the laptop still ‘boots’ after multiple ‘Blue Screen of Death’ crashes this past week … so I’ve had time to back up my recent files & photos before I call Dell again, but the crashes have been frustrating when I try to visit blogs and leave comments!

25. I was able to help my sister get started on a computer related photo project over the phone and still get myself to class last night to learn some kewl new ‘digital media’ techniques.

26. my faulty wireless LAN card & Mozilla let me visit some blogs this morning before crashing …

27. for the ‘kewl’ new skills & techniques presented in tonight’s Digital Media class. Now what I need is time to practice 😉

28. my persistence paid off with Social Security. After spending MANY hours on the phone with multiple calls (asking many questions until I connected with the right person), I finally have my ‘claim number’ for Medicare, allowing me to finish signing up for a ‘supplemental care’ & ‘drug plan’ … so coverage should begin on February 1st (barring any unforseen issues).

29. I rewarded myself for a challenging week dealing with Beaurocracy by spending the day with my sister today and signing up for two ‘review’ Digital Photography classes with her tomorrow … one in the morning & the other in the afternoon.

30. for the Digital Photography 1 & 2 classes at Ritz Camera in Fashion Island letting me get my settings right again … and learning a few new things about the Nikon D60 to practice in the future.

31. to watch Roger Federer play well to win his 16th Major Championship in straight sets against Andy Murray at the Australian Open … regaining that title after losing there the last two years, putting him at #1 again … the first father to win a Major Championship since Andre Agassi did it in 2003.

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:
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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Weekend Reflections and Window Views are in the next post
I’m having computer crash problems still …
please bear with me … I’ll visit as I’m able
and catch up eventually.

Pink and yellow blooms
Lantana by name (I think)
… if not mistaken

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

Thought for Today
“All things are difficult until they are easy.” John Norley

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Weekend Reflections is in the Next Post

Colorful blossoms …
subtle shadows photographed
on a recent walk


Straight out of the camera above and Poster Edges below

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and for others participating in
Pink Saturday and Today’s Flowers


Straight out of the camera above and Poster Edges below

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and for others participating in
Color Carnival and Shadow Shots

Thought for Today
“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.” Walt Whitman

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ALMOST

Scroll down for Wordful Wednesday and T-13

I spent yesterday
with my sister walking and
taking photographs

“Walking gets the feet moving, the blood moving, the mind moving. And movement if life.” Carrie Latet

“Walks. The body advances, while the mind flutters around it like a bird.”
Jules Renard

I intended to take and share additional photos this morning (since steady soft drizzles are falling outside) and add a brief update about yesterday with my sister as a follow up to my Wordful Wednesday post at Sacred Ruminations … however methinks I’ll allow the two quotes about WALKING augment the eleven watery reflective photos to make ‘requisite’ thirteen. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the disastrous earthquake in Haiti.

9:30am Addendum
While visiting blogs this morning I found this lovely award at Hootin’ Anni’s. Since she shared so generously … I wanted to pass it along as well to all of you who bring ‘sunshine’ to MY life by visiting and sharing your thoughts. Hope you’re having a lovely day.

Thought for Today
“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.” Soren Kierkegaard

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ALMOST

Each day at the beach
just a wee bit different …
always beautiful

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and for others participating in Outdoor Wednesday,
Watery Wednesday, Midweek Blues, (Almost) Wordless Wednesday
and Wordful Wednesday at Seven Clown Circus

Thought for Today
“By all means use some times to be alone.  Salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear.” George Herbert

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After Christmas Sales
are YOU out there exchanging
gifts … seeking bargains?

South Coast Plaza Mall
views during the holiday
season … delightful

Click mosaic to embiggen for better viewing
and to see more South Coast Plaza Views shared previously
at Small Reflections and Sacred Ruminations

Click for others participating in
My World, Ruby Tuesday and Color Carnival

Thought for Today
“Next to a circus there ain’t nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit.” Kin Hubbard

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… so we’re celebrating this weekend with our
Camera Critters and Pet Pride fur-friends.

Scroll down for Pink Saturday

Molly as a pup
April of 2005 …
bundled energy

Earlier this year
Molly’s best friend moved away ..
Here’s their last play date

Dalmatian puppy
named Aloha now lives where
Jenke used to live

Molly currently …
older, wiser, more mature
bundled energy 😉

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

Molly sez …
“Mom made this award
for all of my virtual
fur-friends to enjoy”

Please ‘snag’ to enjoy
on your blogs and pass along
to all your fur-friends

Kitty sitting on
a PINK cushion watching me …
PINK Christmas roses

California views
for our friends buried in snow
… Christmas skies and blooms

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and for others participating in
Pink Saturday and Today’s Flowers


Thought for Today
“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” Chili Davis

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113-hfskywatch-hrg

Returning from a
sunset ‘photo shoot’ my eyes
spotted reflections

in the windows of
these houses facing the beach
… sunset with palm trees.

The older I get
I find traditions changing
each and ev’ry year

but it seems we will
gather as a family
once again this year 😉

Click to embiggen for better viewing
and for others participating in Haiku Friday, Sky Watch,
Pink Saturday, Weekend Reflections and Window Views

Experimenting
in Photoshop Elements
I came up with two

versions that I found
pleasing to my own eyes and
decided to share

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

[CCsm.JPG]

Multi-tasking at
busy times of year is the
best that I can do

Wishing everyone
joyful celebrations with
family and friends

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and for others participating in Color Carnival and Window Views

Thought for Today
“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.”
Bill Watterson

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Festive mailboxes
greet the postman … waiting for
holiday greetings

Straight out of the camera above
and Poster Edges below

Click to embiggen and for others participating in Ruby Tuesday

RubyMissBug

Thought for Today
“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!”
Hamilton Wright Mabie

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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

Invert

Accented Edges Solarized

Click to embiggen for better viewing

[ruby-slippers-door-stop+copy.jpg]

Accented Edges

Poster Edges

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ALMOST

Colored Pencil

Solarized

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Thought for Today

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



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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 ;--)

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