Welcome to Small Reflections

"Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Duck photo source: Lisa's Chaos
I hope you enjoy your visit. If you're looking for something specific, check out the links to posts by category in my sidebar and down a ways. They'll assist with tracking down different types of posts found on each of my three blogs. You might also enjoy checking out the other sites: Sacred Ruminations, Blog Rolls, Bling & Blurbs, and Happily Retired Gal.

I hope you'll look around & leave comments
then visit me at my new blog ...

Giraffe Journal

and/or website ... Labyrinth Journal
both self-hosted at WordPress
where I publish as myself
rather than under a

I've not had much time for posting or blog visits, but if you're interested I hope you'll find time to check out my new blog, Giraffe Journal or my Labyrinth Journal website ... both self hosted at WordPress.

Thanks for your visit and have a delightful day ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

200th Post - Almost Wordless OSI: Flowering

(I'm grateful to Mary who created this special award
for me to give to my friends in this
'virtual' world)

I've shared this award once previously ...(in Friday Haiku near the end of February if memory serves)... and I choose to offer it again today to all who pass this way in honor of my 200th post here at Small Reflections. I've certainly come a long way in a relatively brief time ... and I'm blessed by the friends I've come to know in the Blogosphere. Thank you all for your supportive encouragement and assistance along the way!

It started out almost wordlessly ... before I got wordy ;--)

* * * * * * * * * *

Week 9's prompt for One Single Impression is 'Flowering' ... and I decided to consider my personal growth and blossoming as a blogger during my 1st 6 months in this 'virtual world' since this is my 200th post.

My friend Sandy gave
me these flowers several months
back to celebrate

blogging connections.
Today for my OSI
at Small Reflections ...

I'm delighted to
share in celebration of
my 200th post!

* * * * * * *

My other WW/OSI Week 9 post
at Sacred Ruminations: 'Flowering'

Others participating this week:

Wordless Wednesday
One Single Impression - Week 9

* * * * * *

In the last week or so, I've 'revisited' some of my 'earliest' posts on this blog and at Sacred Ruminations ... and as I've done so, I've created additional 'links' in the About Me section of my sidebar in an attempt to make finding particular types of posts a bit simpler for myself and others. Most are self-explanatory ... but I'm taking a few minutes here to add a bit of clarity ... just because.

101 Things About Me began as a challenge from Anglophile Football Fanatic and grew into a 'succinct' history of my life to date rather than a 'random' list.

2007 Blog Review was my 1st 'official thank you' to my 'real & vitual friends' ... and explains how I began blogging and 'evolved' during my 1st three months in the Blogosphere.

Top 7 in '07 - Small is Beautiful Review was my response to an invitation from
Rachelle (Magpie Girl) who asked members of Small is Beautiful to search our Archives for "jewels" to share with others, highlighting favorite bits of writing for 2007. Her intention is to share link-love on Saturdays indefinitely so that we can all get better acquainted.

100th Post Milestone Missed? is a reflective piece on my other blog, Sacred Ruminations, in which I consider things I'm proud of myself for ... and things for which I forgive myself.

How I Became a Blogger contains the initial information I shared in the 'About Me' section of my sidebar after I decided to update that area a few months back to provide a more 'relevant' look at who I am and what I'm doing in the Blogosphere ... while 'sorting things out' for myself.

I do respond to all comments specifically on each of my blogs in as timely a manner as possible, and I encourage each of you to take time to check the box to receive 'follow up' comments in email so my responses get delivered to your email box because I know how 'futile' it is to try to revisit old posts and comment areas. Most of us have no time for such returns ... finding it challenging to visit on any kind of regular schedule the first time around. I do visit your blogs when you leave a 'link' with your comment ... in as timely a manner as possible.

I wish Blogger made email addresses available with comment ... but for the most part it doesn't. It took me a long time to learn to 'check details' before writing & sending an email response ... only to have Blogger 'bounce' it back to me. Occasionally however, an email address IS available ... and that reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask in this public forum because no one I've asked yet seems to know why some 'Blogger based' blog comments have something like 'Blogger @ NoReply dot com for an 'address' ...(as mine does even though my email address IS available on my Blogger profile page)... and others show the person's actual email address. Do YOU know ... and, if so, could you please explain how I can change that for myself?

As for my remaining sidebar links ... some (like T-13, Haiku Friday and Wordless Wednesday) take you to a 'Contents Archive Page' with sequential 'links' to specific posts by subject matter and/or titles. Others bring up posts containing a specific 'label' ... such as 'blogthings' or 'poetry' ... and some to specific posts ... as with Message in a Bottle and Photobucket Memes 1 and 2.

In closing, I'd like to express my gratitude for and delight in all the connections I've made during these first six months ... and I look forward to continued interaction in this 'virtual' world. I'm learning all the time and sincerely appreciate all your feedback and assistance always.

I wish you a wonderful Wednesday!

Thought for Today
"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." Anais Nin

Monday, April 28, 2008

HoT#4 - Special Memory and ToT#5 - Quirks

This week's theme/prompt is:

TAILS - Share a special memory

Today I'm opting for a 'flashback' to a previous post on my other blog where I 'reflected' on my experience last summer at a week-long Writer's Retreat in Taos, New Mexico. I hope you'll take time today to enjoy Remembrance and Change ... one of my earliest offerings when I started blogging late in October last year ... back when no one (save a few friends) even knew I was venturing into this 'virtual' world.

* * * * * * *

The prompt this week is
10 Superstitions, Traditions, and/or Personality Quirks

I don't think I have any superstitions, so in this list I'll focus attention on personal 'traditions' and 'personality quirks' today ... illustrating them with links to previous posts.

1. As for traditions, I rise EARLY most mornings ... (around 3:30 or 4:00) ...waking without an alarm clock as I have all of my life ... even though there's no 'need' for me to do so.

2. I love to watch the sunrise through the French Doors of my living room as I meditate, read, and/or write in my journal.

3. I wrote of my 'morning routines' in two of my earliest Haiku Friday posts ... Volumes 3 and Volume 5. Each reveals a bit about me and the way my day begins with Molly and Ms. Kitty.

4. I enjoy writing in rhythmic poetry that rhymes (in addition to Haiku) and clicking the link will take you to posts containing such poems written by me.

5. I'm a fan of major 'tennis' competitions and tend to blog about the matches periodically as I did when Roddick finally defeated Federer at long last in Miami recently.

6. Gratitude posts are some of my favorites to write and to read ... and listing 'really good things' is one way I like to 'structure' them. A couple of my favorites are here and here.

7. I've been an avid reader all of my life and my house resembles a 'library' with bookshelves filled with books in every room ... and 'marginal' notations in all of the books I've read.

8. I'm a 'recovering packrat' ... working a little bit each day to get rid of 'stuph' I've collected but no longer want or need ... in an attempt to 'simplify' my life.

9. I've been blogging for about 6 months ... I try to end each post with a 'thought for the day' ... and I love to read & respond to comments visitors leave after my posts!

10. THIS is my 199th post already. I'm trying to decide what, if anything, I want to do on my 200th post on Wednesday. If you want to know more ... check the About Me section of my sidebar where you'll find a link to 101 Things About Me and a variety of other options.

Thought for Today
"A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen." Edward de Bono

FunMonday#4 - Favorite Walk, Awards and More

(Thanks to Betty for this nifty Fun Monday graphic)

Fun Monday is hosted this week by
the Lurchers

We're asked to take you on our favorite walk ... and here are photos of a favorite for Molly and me. We walk down to Dog Beach where she can run and play off leash ... interacting with fur-friends ... playing 'fetch' in and out of the water.

Clicking on the collage will enlarge the photos ;--)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I've been blessed with these awards during the past week


Chris B at Ms Cellania
for this cool award and a Monday Motivational Meme!
(Chris, please see the 1st question in the
Meme of Fives below for mine)

I offer this award to everyone on my Blogroll!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Grandy of Functional Shumunctional
shared this 'original' award made with
her own loving hands ;--)
This award is up for grabs to all who comment on
today's post (or any other from last week)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Betty of Betty's This and That
for this lovely rose!

This 'rose' goes to all my 'regular' readers
and anyone who decides to 'tag' themselves for the
Meme of Fives below and leaves me
a link to their post ;--)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Misty Dawn of My Dogs Keep Me Sane
made this award for participants
of Camera Critters

and for now ... I'm keeping this one for myself!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I think this is Week 7 or 8 for me ;--)

I was tagged by Peajay last week after she was tagged by His Girl Friday at Wellied on Life for this meme of 'fives'.

Ten Years Ago I was teaching History and Language Arts to 8th graders in a Middle School setting ... thinking I'd be doing that for another 7-10 years ... however in 2001 the District offered a 'Golden Handshake' that was simply too good to pass up ... and I decided to take early retirement. I've been retired for 7 years and couldn't be happier.

Five things on my To-Do list today:
1. Write and publish Monday's post at Small Reflections.
2. Play with and walk Molly ... maybe to the beach if the weather stays warm.
3. Get myself to the gym for an hour work out.
4. Spend an hour or two clearing out 'clutter' from the house.
5. Visit 'bloggy friends' and other Fun Monday participants.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Pay off my home mortgage and set up 'investments' to augment my current 'retirement' income.
2. Hire someone to clean my house weekly ;--)
3. Set up a 'Foundation' to support and encourage innovative strategies leading to meaningful learning for kids and teachers.
4. Buy a small RV to allow me to join my sister & her husband 'on the road' occasionally.
5. Donate sizable 'chunks' of money to my favorite charities.

Five of my bad habits:
1. P R O C R A S T I N A T I O N !
2. I have a hard time letting go of 'stuph' I've collected over the years ... even when I no longer want or need it.
3. I have a tendency to put things off for another day or time rather than tackling tasks immediately.
4. I'm a 'perfectionist' and 'obsess' over things much longer than is often necessary.
5. Did I mention I procrastinate?

Four places I've lived:
1. With my parents and siblings in our 'family' home ... until I was married at 23.
2. In an apartment with my husband (for about a year) after he returned from his tour of duty in Vietnam.
3. In our 1st house ... in Orange County, CA ... near South Coast Plaza and John Wayne Airport (for 10 years).
4. Where I live now in the home I bought from my 'ex' when we divorced. It's near the Pacific Ocean.

Five jobs I've had:
1. Playground Director for after-school and summer programs.
2. Elementary School teacher - grades 2-6
3. Staff Developer - providing support and conducting workshops for adults in educational settings.
4. Middle School teacher - grades 6 and 8
5. College Professor of 'Methods of Teaching' courses for Graduate students seeking Teaching Credentials.

Five books I've read recently:
1. Julia Cameron's WALKING IN THE WORLD
2. Stephen King's DUMA KEY
3. Karen Casey's (Daily Meditations) KEEPERS OF THE WISDOM, Reflections from Lives Well Lived
5. David Baldacci's STONE COLD
(Next up for me are A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini and A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle)

I'm supposed to tag FIVE people and/or communities ... but you know I don't 'tag' ... I do, however, encourage anyone who wants to play to do so and leave a link here so I can read & respond to YOUR answers.

Thought for Today
"Play fair. Don't hit people. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody." Robert Fulghum

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Camera Critters #2 - Unconscious Mutterings #3

Misty Dawn started the meme and explains the rules here:

Meet Ms. Kitty
(a 'feral cat' who adopted me
about a decade or so ago)
She's claimed the 'high ground'
outside my kitchen window ... looking in
and watches Molly from 'above' ;--)

Molly after being groomed ... sports a 'bandana' briefly
.. until she rips it off and chews it to shreds!
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

I'm playing for the 3rd time today.
How about you?

What comes to YOUR mind?
If you'd like to play here, copy and paste the clues in comments along with your responses ... or post on your blog and let me know so I can visit ;--)

Here are MY responses:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Thug :: Threatening or aggressive 'ruffian' or thief
  2. Slurp :: Soup
  3. Alley :: Access to my garage
  4. Sweater vest :: Old fashioned
  5. Targeted :: Thoughts (as in 'focused' on a single topic)
  6. Snazzy :: Dresser (as in 'cool' or 'sharp' or 'stylish)
  7. Oy! :: Vey
  8. Jury duty :: Been there, done that ... multiple times.
  9. Low fat :: Milk ... (not as 'tasty' but a healthier alternative)
  10. Responsibility :: Respect for self and others ... personal character

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Thug ::
  2. Slurp ::
  3. Alley ::
  4. Sweater vest ::
  5. Targeted ::
  6. Snazzy ::
  7. Oy! ::
  8. Jury duty ::
  9. Low fat ::
  10. Responsibility ::

Thought for Today
"If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much." Albert Schweitzer

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My 1st Photo Hunt and Saturday 9

1st Time
This week's theme is Unique or Funny Signs

I found & photographed this sign last summer outside
'Moon River Gifts'
(along the Enchanted Circle Drive near
Taos, New Mexico)

My regular readers have seen this sign previously
but it seems 'perfect' for my
1st Photo Hunt post.

Others participating this week

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I discovered the
Saturday 9 at The Daily Meme
(and decided to 'play' for the 1st time)

Today's Theme is 'The most recent ..."

1. Who called you most recently?
My friend Jackie called to confirm that she enrolled in the Adobe Photoshop Elements course starting on May 13th.

2. What was the most recent sports game you watched?
The 'final' of the Sony Ericsson Tennis Championship Men's Final in Miami and I blogged about it too ;--)

3. Who is your most recent friend?
My answer must be 'plural' as in 'friends' ... including fellow attendees of the Writers Retreat in Taos, New Mexico last summer ... Karen of Journey to Authenticity, Kara of Spiritdoll, Jan (my 'writing buddy' with whom I connect by phone weekly), and too many others to name here.

4. What was the most recent TV show you watched?
I'm watching 'Eyewitness News' on Channel 7 as I create this post.

5. What was the most recent music that you purchased?
Ohmygosh ... I have no clue because it's been so long since I've purchased anything (other than groceries).

6. What were the most recent clothes that you purchased?
(see answer to #5)

7. Who most recently did you say “I love you” to?
My sister in a recent phone call.

8. Who did you most recently text?
Sorry ... I don't 'text' anyone ... ever.

9. Who did you most recently kiss?
Molly, my 3 year old Labrador Retriever ;--)

Other participants this week

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thought for Today
"The things that stand out are often the oddities." Pierre Salinger

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Haiku Friday #33 - Baby Beagle Update

Remember the day
Molly had a visitor ...
inside our backyard?

(clicking on the link above will take you to that Haiku
in case you missed it or forgot)

After a long search
we discovered the pooch lived
across the alley.

Apparently the
baby Beagle outwore his
welcome ... and has been

adopted by a
friend of my next door neighbor.
Buster is his name!

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Soon Molly and I
will go visit Buster in
his new BIG back yard!

* * * * *

Volume#34 - I up and did it yesterday!
(Published this morning at Sacred Ruminations)

For a Mr. Linky to other Haiku Fridays
go to A Mommy Story or
Playgroups are no Place for Children.

To see more previous Haikus,
click on the Haiku Friday label below this post
or in the sidebar under About Me.

Thought for Today
"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconsditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive." Gilda Radner

ThursdayThirteen #21 - 2nd Photobucket Meme

Thanks to Hootin' Anni for the cool T-13 Header

13 Things About Me
(My 2nd Photobucket Meme)

I found this meme over at Hootin'Anni's a couple of weeks ago ... she invited folks to play along - and so I am... because I would just hate to disappoint her. It has different questions than the one I found at Thoughts from Miller Manor back in February ... and, of course, I know more about how to use Photobucket HTML codes these days. Here's the link to the 1st one in case you'd rather answer some of those questions.

The deal here is:

1. Go to http://www.photobucket.com/
2. Type in your answer to the question in the “search” box
3. Use only the first page
4. Insert the picture into your Blog.

Soooooo... here we go!

1. What is your current relationship stat?

for almost 20 years and I'm 'happily independent' now, but it was rough initially (see #25-29 in my 101 Things About Me post if you're curious about my marriage and #33-37 if you're curious about what followed).

2. What is your current mood?

HUNGRY because it's 6:21pm on Wednesday evening, I need to stop and make dinner soon ;--)

3. What is your favorite band/singer?

Andre Bocelli
Andre Bocelli

4. What is your favorite Movie?

Groundhog Day

5. Where do you live?

Southern California ... a block and a half from the beach ;--)


6. Where do you work?


7. What do you look like?


8. What do you drive?

my truck

9. What is your favorite TV show?

greys anatomy

10. Describe yourself?

Barefoot & Carefree ;--)

11. What are you doing today?

Walking the dogs on the beach

12. What did you do last night?

Blogging 2

13. What is your name?


Actually, I did a Photobucket Meme (see link in the About Me section of my sidebar) with different questions a while back. That time I didn't read the directions carefully enough and didn't understand about HTML codes, so those images aren't 'clickable' back to their 'creator' in Photobucket. This time I did it right ... although I did use a few pictures from my saved computer files because I couldn't find anything appropriate for a couple of the questions.

So, of course you know that I'm NOT tagging anyone... but like Hootin' Anni, I do HOPE you'll play along! Let me know if ya do!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

Get the Thursday Thirteeen code here!

For easy access, I’ve listed more T-13 links along with the
Thursday Thirteen Blogroll to the bottom of my sidebar.

Thought for Today
"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us." Helen Keller

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Colorful Comeback

(This makes #22 for me)

Colorfully my
Apricot Rose burst forth and
looks like this today.

Others participating this week:

Wordless Wednesday
One Single Impression - Week 8

My other Week 8 OSI post at Sacred Ruminations:
Colorful Images of the Mind Revealed

Thought for Today
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Heads or Tails #3 & Ten on Tuesday #4

This week's theme/prompt is:
HEADS - Direction
You can also use "direct(s)" or "directing."

Left or right only?
What about up, down
forward, back
inside, out
circular, elliptical, spiral
written, verbal, and/or visual?


Seldom, if ever, just ONE way!

Thread direction


occasionally totally unique


of course sometimes 'traditional'


inspirational &/or lovely


assembled creatively


but always, it's essential to


Others playing this week

Next week's theme/prompt is:
TAILS - Share a special memory

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This week's topic is
10 Things I Love About My Life

1. I'm happily retired with lots of 'discretionary' time to spend on things I enjoy ... reading, writing, gardening, blogging, visiting with friends, walking on the beach, playing with Molly, 'live' theater, watching 'tennis' tournaments ... and generally living the good life ;--)

2. Retirement also provides me time for things I don't necessarily 'enjoy' but that I'd like to accomplish ... like clearing out clutter accumulated over the years. Slow and steady wins the race ... and hopefully that will prove true for me.

3. I'm healthy ...(knocking on wood here)... and do what I can to stay that way by eating right and exercising regularly.

4. Molly and Ms. Kitty provide constant companionship and affection.

5. I enjoy 'blogging' as a way to 'express myself' and connect with others from the comfort of my home ... whenever I wish.

6. Participating in a variety of weekly 'activities' ...(like One Single Impression, Fun Mondays, Camera Critters, Unconscious Mutterings, Heads or Tails, Wordless Wednesdays, Thursday Thirteen, Haiku Friday, and Sacred Life Sunday)... in the Blogosphere provides a wonderful way to meet & get better acquainted with other bloggers with whom I may share interests. This, in turn, increases the 'comments' I receive on my posts ... making this 'virtual' experience all the more satisfying.

7. Learning how to do new things keeps my mind active and me alert. I've always enjoyed challenges, and blogging is a marvelous way to S T R E T C H myself and master new skills.

8. I love living a block and a half from the Pacific Ocean ... walking along the beach daily and letting Molly run free & play with fur-friends at Dog Beach ... falling asleep and waking to the sounds of surf ... enjoying gentle onshore breezes keeping the temperatures mild ... and being close enough to stores to 'walk' rather than drive everywhere constantly ...(especially with rising gas prices).

9. Electronic 'gadgets' like my computer, PDA, digital camera, cellphone and the like ... all of which make life simpler in some ways ...(though more complex in others).

10. I love finding COMMENTS after my posts ... so take a minute to say 'hello' and leave a link so I can visit YOU too ;--)

Thought for Today
"The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope. That is why the patient's hopes are the physician's secret weapon. They are the hidden ingredients in any prescription." Norman Cousins

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