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Finding Beauty, Weekend Reflections, Today’s Flowers
Mellow Yellow and Macro Monday

Nifty colorful
bench behind art studio
in New Mexico

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
participating in Pink Saturday

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

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

more lovely vistas
from Henningsen Gardens in
Taos, New Mexico

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
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

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

Mellow Yellow Monday #13

Parked out front Sunday
this bug brings back memories
of the seventies

when I bought my first
1970 yellow
‘bug’ with a sunroof

and drove it for years
happily maneuvering
highways in So Cal.


Click for others participating in Mellow Yellow Monday.
My Today’s Flowers is in the next post.
Thought for Today
” The past is never dead, it is not even past.”  William Faulkner

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


1. Sunrise-Sunset, Blog Your Blessings, & Sacred Life Sunday are at Sacred Ruminations along with Monday Motivator

2. Two awards are up for grabs (to enjoy & share with others) along a variety of Christmas music & fun activities are at Small Reflections (see sidebar links).  I hope you can drop by when time permits.

3. The Lemonade Award is up for grabs on this blog along with other awards in my sidebar to snag, enjoy & share with others in the spirit of the holiday season.

4. Hootin’ Anni’s Christmas give away starts today!  Be sure to drop by … check out her 2008 Holiday Tour, Faces of Christmas and be sure to leave her comments.

5.  I’m delighted to share that it’s raining (finally) in Southern California … gently & steadily here at the beach … with snow falling at the 3000 feet level.


I remember taking this quiz once before and sharing my results at Small Reflections (as part of a Whimsical Wednesday post), but when I saw it at Greyscale Territory on Friday and answered the questions again ... my results were different so I'm sharing here and will link the two posts for comparison.

What Tarot Card are You?

You are The Sun

Happiness, Content, Joy.

The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.

Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.

The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon’s Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Thought for Today- "Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures." H. Jackson Brown, Jr. Life's Little Instruction Book


Remembering Daddy

My dad was born on December 7th in 1903.  He was 2nd youngest of 13 kids and grew up in rural Kansas ... went to school until the age of 13 when the family needed his help to work the farm.  He used to tell us stories about his early life ... (like cracking open watermelons & eating the center before feeding the rest to the pigs) ... and wished he could move his family back to Kansas (or Colorado where he lived on another farm with his family as a teenager before moving to California in his twenties).  Mom was a 'city gal' who wouldn't hear of it!

He married my mom in May of 1933 (or possibly '34?) in the Dutch Reformed Church.  I don't know much about their early years other than that they met through their respective relatives in a 'traditional' manner.  Mom's favorite brother who had married a cousin of my dad's introduced them and they fell in love.

My brother was born in October of 1936 ... my sister in March of 1941.  Both were extremely ill as infants and required stomach surgery to survive.  Each was skinny throughout their lives.  I was born in February of 1945 as healthy as they come.  They delighted in my 'sturdy chubbiness' and I grew up 'chunky' ... struggling with weight-related issues most of my life until I joined Weight Watchers in my 40s and learned to eat right.

Dad worked long hours as a maintenance electrician in a rubber plant that manufactured battery cases (among other things).  It was his job to keep the ‘Banbury machines’ running, and whenever they broke down … the plant called & dad went back to work at all hours.  He never complained, and when WE did … he reminded us always that he was fortunate to HAVE a job to bring home a paycheck each week.

We always ate meals together … said grace before … engaged in conversation during … and listened to Dad haltingly read from the Bible afterward.  We took turns drying the dishes, but Mom always washed because she didn’t trust us not to break anything in the large sink filled with soapy water.

We played Canasta, Pinochle & board games as a family. Dad enjoyed tossing the baseball, playing ‘catch’ with each of us … and pushed us in the HUGE SWING he constructed in the back yard (so high that Mom would worry & tell him to be careful) but we knew we had to hold on tight and no one ever fell.

He taught me to turn a somersault when I was 3-ish … sang silly songs & told stories in the car when we went as a family for Sunday drives … loved baseball and listened to 2-3 games at a time when he was home … looking through ‘change’ to find missing coins for his ‘collection’ …

Dad was a gentle spirit with a kind heart.  He never drew attention to himself, would give you his last dollar if you needed it, always had a joyful twinkle in his eye, shook hands with people as they left church through the side door … telling them he was glad they’d come … making friends we didn’t know about everywhere he went.

After ‘Scratchy’ … our feral cat got into a fight that resulted in half of his face being torn off and there was no money to take the cat to a vet, Dad climbed the tree in the back yard twice daily for weeks to apply antiseptic medicine that undoubtedly saved that cat’s life.

Everyone in Dad’s family lived to a ripe old age … well into their 90s & even over 100.  What no one realized when he returned from work covered from head to toe in coal dust looking much as if he was wearing ‘black face’ make-up like Al Jolson was that breathing that coal dust for all those years would result in the wide-spread cancer that killed him in the Bicentennial year … 1976.

As I remember Dad on what would have been his 105th birthday, I offer this ‘quiz’ … suspecting it would produce that wry grin.

Click pie image above for other Slice of Life participants and these links for more of my family memories shared previously at Small Reflections.

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Thought for Today
“If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.” Haim Ginott

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


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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