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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.

Click any image to embiggen for better viewing

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.

Click to embiggen for better viewing and for others
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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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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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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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 😉

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and for others participating in Haiku Friday, Sky Watch,
Pink Saturday, Weekend Reflections and Window Views

in Photoshop Elements
I came up with two

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

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and for others participating in Mosaic Monday and Blue Monday


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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13 photographs
Southern California skies

Thursday Mosaic


usual blue skies
with a touch of wispy white

heavy now with smoke

from the wildfires
burning in the Angeles

Forest uncontrolled

Click to embiggen & for others participating in

Thursday Thirteen, Sky Watch and Haiku Friday

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

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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

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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


Wispy white against
deep azure paints abstractly …
ever changing skies

HappilyRetiredGal-small black

Click to embiggen & for others participating in

Sky Watch and Haiku Friday

Thought for Today
“Live out of your imagination, not your history.”
Stephen Covey


Roses against my
dusky evening skies … full moon
captured fuzzily

HappilyRetiredGal-small black

Click to embiggen & for others participating in

Sky Watch and Haiku Friday

Thought for Today
“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.”
Victor Hugo


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

Delicate Pastels

grace this morning’s skies, but hot

weather’s on it’s way.

HappilyRetiredGal-small black

Click  for others participating in Haiku Friday,


Thought for Today
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”  Thich Nhat Hanh


Looking at the sky
everyday and creating
collages to share

keeps me astonished
… as it changes constantly
causing me to smile

even though the clouds
don’t release much needed rain
here … while others cope

with deluges that
cause flooding and destruction …
’tis a puzzlement!
HappilyRetiredGal-small black

Sky Watch 5-8-09

Click  for others participating in Haiku Friday,


See also today’s Haiku Sky Watch Friday at
Small Reflections and Sacred Ruminations

Thought for Today
“You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.”   Laurence J. Peter


Earlier today
I shared two collages of

from March 8th & 10th.
These collages show skies from
seven days ago.


when March winds blew through.
Notice Palm frond positions
especially in

the second collage.
Those winds continue today
but are now ‘off-shore’

Santa Ana winds
rather than the usual
gentle on-shore breeze.

skies-3-21-09-collaged Click for others participating in

Thought for Today
“Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.”
Soren Kierkegaard

Click for this week’s Camera Critters posts …

This is my eleventh …

You’ll find …

Colorful murals
decorating downtown spots
HB “Surf City’




Crowds gather to watch
street performers entertain
in the palmed ‘Plaza’

Click for others participating in Scenic Sunday
and Shadow Shot Sunday at Hey Harriet
This is my 3rd …

Thought for Today
“Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week.”  Joseph Addison


Moonrise from my front
yard captured and perhaps shared
once before, but worth


looking at once more
with a closer shot from which
I removed the dark

electrical wire
just above the rooftop but
leaving two others.


Turning toward the beach
sunset turning sky bright orange …
palm tree silhouettes.
Thought for Today
“Beauty … is the shadow of God on the universe.”  Gabriela Mistral, Desolacion


More rain on the way …
here in California
we’re feeling grateful

because we NEED rain!
Once again … here’s a glimpse of
our dramatic skies!

Yesterday in my
Small Reflections T-13
I shared Haiku and

photographs collaged
with Photoshop Elements
just because I can!


Click for another
and for others participating in


Thought for Today
“Walking through puddles in my favorite metaphor for life.”
Jessie Lane Adams

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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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