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,

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Milestone: My 501st Small Reflections Post CameraCritters#48 and PhotoHunt too

Make Time for Small Reflections
Who knew I'd take to blogging like this?
Certainly not me, but I'm delighted
to have encountered all of you
in this virtual world!

Click for HF#118 - SkyWatch#31

This is my 48thMisty Dawn started the meme and explains the rules here.
Snowy Egrets
Click to embiggen for better viewing.

This week's theme is ... Thankful
Gratitude is one of my favorite subjects. I've been keeping 'thankful lists' in my sidebar here since November & move
them to Happily Retired Gal at the beginning of each month
as I start a new one. After Monday's Amazing Rainbow ...
spending my birthday with my sister at the wetlands with
my Nikon 60 & Tamron 28-300mm lens in hand
I gratefully captured this Snowy Egret in flight!
Click to embiggen for better viewing.
Click for others participating in Wordless Wednesday on Friday,
Camera Critters and other Photo Hunters this week.
Small Reflections ... Smile Back

Thought for Today
"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." Thornton Wilder

Friday, February 27, 2009

HF#119 - FaveFive#4 - Today'sFlowers

Make Time for Small Reflections
Scroll down for Five Favs & and Today's Flowers
HaikuSkyWatchFriday is at Happily Retired Gal

Friday already?
Don't know how this week vanished
without any posts

since Monday when I
celebrated my birthday ...
Seems my scheduled

activities were
just a bit too much because
today I feel sick ;--(

Sore throat ... drippy nose
body aches from head to toe ...
I'm 'holed up' alone

hoping that Zicam
Vitamin C and bed rest
helps me recover!

Thanks to everyone
for lovely birthday wishes ...
Gratitude abounds!!!
... in addition to the Cumulative Gratitude List in my Sidebar this month, here are Five Favorites from this past week:

1. My purple iris buds (click for last week's collage) burst forth gloriously this week in tantuple blossoms!

2. Other bulb blossoms burst forth as well ... if anyone knows what these yellow flowers are, I'd love to know myself ... and would appreciate any insight visitors might provide about them.

3. Although it's been just a couple of weeks since I cut back my roses, new growth is springing forth already. Isn't that amazing? I certainly hope the wintry weather over many parts of the country comes to an end soon and that others see signs of Spring in the days & weeks ahead.

4. Excellent weather followed Monday's birthday surprise rainbow permitting my sister & I to spent several hours walking the nearby wetlands with cameras in hand ... birdwatching. I hope to share some of those photos for Camera Critters this weekend.

5. I enjoyed the second meeting of my Writers Workshop last night. I look forward to reading the pieces of writing submitted by classmates this week and participating in discussing the work next Thursday in addition to receiving feedback on the writing I shared.

This is my 4th ...
Click for others participating in Friday's Fave Five
Small Reflections ... Smile Back

Thought for Today
"I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden." John Erskine

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me - Marvelous Morning

Make Time for Small Reflections
I apologize for the lateness of today's post and appreciate those of you who have visited already this morning ... leaving lovely birthday wishes on Sunday's offering. Thank you!

I had a BIRTHDAY post ready to publish this morning, but when I went out front to feed the cat ... I looked up and saw this:

... then turned around and noticed this ;--)

so I grabbed my camera and headed for the beach to capture unobstructed views of this glorious rainbow and here are a few of the photographs collaged with PSE6 in two versions because I can't decide which I like best.
Click to embiggen for better viewing
This feels like a MARVELOUS GIFT today ... as do the blossoms in my front yard. I snapped a few more images and will share them in the days to come, rather than trying to do it now making it even later. For those who might have missed them over the weekend, I did share glimpses of Spring in Friday's post for Today's Flowers with a bit of Haiku.

It's sprinkling here this morning with significant rain predicted for later on, so perhaps my sister and I will need to reschedule our planned afternoon photography walk at the nearby Wetlands. We'll celebrate tonight at Z'Tejas (one of our favorite restaurants) starting with:
Grilled Shrimp & Guacamole Tostada Bites - Tostada rounds topped with fresh hand-hacked guacamole, a dash of chipotle and cilantro pesto marinated grilled shrimp.
and whatever else strikes our fancy from the menu. Everything is delicious. Perhaps we'll share an entre and end with:
Ancho Fudge Pie - Our famous fudge pie with walnuts, pecans and a pinch of ancho chile to bring out the rich chocolate flavor. Served warm with whipped cream.
Or ...
Cast-Iron Skillet Fresh Fruit Cobbler - Seasonal fruit cobbler with a brown sugar cinnamon crumb topping, served sizzling in a cast-iron skillet with a bourbon ginger caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream
Today I turn 64 ...

I feel much YOUNGER ... though my body doesn't move with the agility or speed I remember from earlier years ;--)

Each day brings new things to discover & learn ... opportunities to share with others in a myriad of ways ... moments to savor with delight ... challenges to meet with excitement & creative energy. I believe LIFE is an adventure ... that unlimited possibilities abound & meaning is generated when we follow our dreams ... giving generously while receiving with gratitude.

I received this lovely cake in email from Blingee this morning.
It certainly LOOKS tasty & festive so feel free to have a slice while you visit if you wish.

There's lots here ... and when I stop to think about the fact that I've been blogging for just 16 months, I'm astonished to note that
THIS is my 499th post here at Small Reflections ...
there are another 341 posts at Sacred Ruminations ...
24 at BlogRolls, Bling & Blurbs ... and 62 at Happily Retired Gal
for a Grand Total of 927!!! Who knew I'd be so prolific ... certainly not me!

As my gift to all who visit ... please accept this Rainbow Award to enjoy yourselves & pass it along to others who practice gratitude in their lives on a daily basis.
Click to embiggen for better viewing
The quote is a Chinese Proverb that says:
"To know the road ahead ...
ask those coming back."

you missed them over the weekend, click for:
Unconscious Mutterings #44 - Camera Critters #48
Haiku Friday #117 - FaveFive #3 - Today's Flowers

Small Reflections ... Smile Back

Thought for Today
Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest." Larry Lorenzoni

Sunday, February 22, 2009

UM#44 - CC#48 - Morning Musings

Make Time for Small Reflections
Scroll down for
Camera Critters
and Unconscious Mutterings
Click for FaveFive & Today's Flowers
1. After a hazy day yesterday, we had drizzles overnight with more rain predicted for tomorrow, but at the moment it's dry out. Looks like there might be showers tonight in Hollywood for the Oscars after all.

2. My sister and I attended another Ritz camera class Saturday ... enjoyed a tasty lunch at the Olive Garden ... then took a photo walk at the beach. She purchased the Nikon 18-2oomm lens and wanted to compare her results with photos taken with my Tamron 28-300 lens. Below are a few 'surfer' shots I captured from the pier.

Click to embiggen for better viewing

3. Time Warner Cable installed my new Sony LCD flat screen HDTV on Friday afternoon and it's very 'kewl' ... not only is the picture amazingly better than on my 20+ year old television but the sound is much improved as well.

While here, the Cable Guy discovered that the 'grounding wires' need to be redone to meet current standards so they're returning next Saturday to fix that issue. At that time they'll also trade out my old DVR for a new updated one, so that gives me time to watch some of what's recorded between now & then.

4. I neglected to remember to put my birthday countdown in my sidebar this month, but tomorrow is my 64th birthday so I hope you'll drop by and help me celebrate! You can see my 63rd birthday celebration here and here.

5. If you missed the Birth of a Masai giraffe video clip, let me encourage you to check it out as time permits. It's quite amazing ;--)

This is my 48thMisty Dawn started the meme and explains the rules here.

I snapped these photos
while walking on a pier with
my sister this week

and used Photoshop
Elements to create the
collage just below.

Click to embiggen for better viewing
and for others participating in Camera Critters this week.

This is the 317th issue of ...
I'm participating for the 44th 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 ;--)

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

  1. Carpet :: Magic
  2. William :: Macy
  3. Oh! :: my gosh ...
  4. Board game :: Scrabble
  5. Sunlight :: helps my garden grow
  6. Delay :: put off for a while
  7. Winner :: Lottery - Golden Globe - Oscar
  8. Concubine :: 'The Russian Concubine' by Kate Furnivall
  9. Comatose :: unconscious & unable to wake up
  10. Satisfy :: fulfill or gratify
Your turn: I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Carpet ::
  2. William ::
  3. Oh! ::
  4. Board game ::
  5. Sunlight ::
  6. Delay ::
  7. Winner ::
  8. Concubine ::
  9. Comatose ::
  10. Satisfy ::
Click for others muttering this week.
Small Reflections ... Smile Back

Thought for Today
Seagulls... slim yachts of the element." Robinson Jeffers

Friday, February 20, 2009

HF#117 - FaveFive#3 - Today'sFlowers

Make Time for Small Reflections
Scroll down for Five Favs & and Today's Flowers.
Click for ...

HaikuSkyWatchFriday @ HappilyRetiredGal
HaikuFriday#116 & SkyWatch#30 will be at
Sacred Ruminations later ... but there's
a 'kewl' video showing the birth of
a Masai Giraffe
there now.

I'm looking forward
to this afternoon when the
Cable Guy will set

up my new Sony
LCD flat screen TV
& rewire the

connection. I hope
everything unfolds as planned ...
If you missed the first

two 'installments' of
my frustrations earlier
this week click to read

Monday & Tuesday
where I shared the unfolding
saga ... bit by bit.

... in addition to the Cumulative Gratitude List in my Sidebar this month, here are Five Favorites from this past week:

1. The rains of the past couple of weeks in Southern California blessed my garden with Spring bulbs bursting in bloom earlier than usual. The 1st purple Iris bud I mentioned last week opened along with a few more pictured below:
Click to embiggen for better viewing
I've forgotten the names of the flowers in the 2nd collage above and would appreciate knowing if anyone recognizes them.

2. Molly's still clean & sweet smelling from last week's unexpected visit to the groomer ;--)

Drgngirl at Creative Self Belief gave me a Warm'N'Fuzzy award. I shared it yesterday with all my bloggy friends & visitors who leave me comments in my Witty Wednesday post.

4. Watching the birth of a Masai Giraffe in a video discovered at Ms Cellania was so fascinating that I decided to share it too.

5. I've enjoyed wonderful connections with family & friends throughout the week and am excited about some upcoming activities including (but not limited to) tomorrow's camera class, my birthday next week, reconnecting with a good friend who's moving back to my neighborhood soon, and getting my new Sony set up today.

This is my 3rd ...
Click for others participating in Friday's Fave Five
Small Reflections ... Smile Back

Thought for Today
"Assumptions are the termites of relationships." Henry Winkler

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Witty Wednesday #6 - Cat Rescue

Make Time for Small Reflections
My 6th Witty Wednesday
Cat Rescue: Courtesy of Comedy Central's Jokes.com Newsletter ...
Larry, a local football star, is jogging down the street when he sees a building on fire. A lady is standing on a third story ledge holding her cat in her arms.

"Hey, lady", yells Larry, "Throw me the cat!"

"No," she cries, "It's too far!"

"I play football. I can catch him!"

The smoke is pouring from the windows. The woman kisses her cat goodbye and tosses it down to the street.

Larry keeps his eye on the cat as it comes hurtling down toward him. The feline bounces off an awning and he runs into the street to catch it. He jumps six feet into the air and makes a spectacular one-handed catch. The crowd that has gathered to watch the fire breaks into cheers.

Larry does a little dance, lifts the cat above his head, wiggles his knees back and forth, then spikes the cat into the pavement.

Click for ChrisB at Ms Cellania
where I've enjoyed Witty Wednesday for a while now
and another Witty Wednesday at Happily Retired Gal today.

I'd like to than Drgngirl at Creative Self Belief for this ...
and share it with my bloggy friends
& visitors who leave me comments because
reading them always makes me feel warm & fuzzy.

Small Reflections ... Smile Back

Thought for Today
"Humor is the instinct for taking pain playfully." Max Eastman

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ruby Tuesday and Today's Thoughts

Make Time for Small Reflections
Scroll down for Ruby Tuesday ...
Click for
for Fun Monday and
Creative Photography & Unconscious Mutterings
Rain continues to fall ...
I took these photos this morning in the alley as I put out the trash ... getting soaked in the process. Looking up there was one bright spot in the dark grey skies and that's what made me get my camera.

Yesterday afternoon in a brief break in the rain I snapped these photos of puddles and reflections out front ... surprised to discover the two iris blossoms featured below.
Click to embiggen for better viewing ...

The Saga of the new Sony Bravia LCD continues ...
Click for the beginning of the story if you missed it yesterday.

After waiting patiently from 8am-noon, I made a series of phone calls ... leaving multiple messages. Finally (around 1:45pm) I connected with a person and was informed that the technicians had encountered problems but were enroute & should arrive by
2 o'clock. I asked why no one had bothered to let me know but didn't get a satisfactory answer ... so I didn't feel confident, but I waited since I'd already paid for the service and wanted the work done.

It was about 3:30 when two fellows showed up at the front door. I'd been chatting on the phone with a friend who 'talked me down' from my frustration & anxiety so I greeted them amicably ... acknowledging that the weather might have made their day challenging. They muttered about problems as I led them to the back of the house and pointed out what needed to be done ...
I almost lost it totally
when they told me they couldn't move the cable connection but they'd be happy to take the TV out of the box, plug it in for me and attach the DVD player.

I took a moment to collect my thoughts (as I screamed internally with frustration about my wasted day) ... then asked (as calmly as I could) why I was paying $170 for something I could probably do myself with the help of a friend.

As they shrugged and moved to toward the box I stopped them ... established eye contact and said, "If I was your grandmother, would you think me foolish for agreeing to such a silly thing?" They both laughed as I walked to the phone and called INSTALLS Inc. LLD ... and was connected to someone in New York yet again.

As I explained the situation to her and expressed my frustration she expressed surprise and wanted to reschedule different technicians, but eventually agreed to credit my account with the $170 and I sent the two fellows on their way to their next job w/o allowing them to touch anything.

Next I called Time Warner Cable ... explained my plight ... and they've arranged to have a cable guy come to the house Friday afternoon to do the work for $19.95 ... so the TV & DVD remain in the box. The good news is that I'll save myself $150 by waiting a few more days. This morning I'm feeling relieved and figure what's done is done ... I'm simply grateful once again.

I've lost track of how many times I've participated
and it seems Mary, the teach, at
Work of the Poet may be having problems
like I experienced yesterday because I see no posts there.

All the same ... here are photos captured on my 'Marina walk'
last week & collaged with PSE6.

Click to embiggen for better viewing
and for others participating in Ruby Tuesday.
Small Reflections ... Smile Back

Thought for Today
"If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want." Oscar Wilde

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fun Monday #26 and Morning Musings

Make Time for Small Reflections
Scroll down for Fun Monday
Click for Creative Photography & Unconscious Mutterings
It's raining steadily this morning (at the rate of about an inch per hour) after raining throughout the night and apparently there's danger of flash-floods & mud slides in parts of California because this is unusual rainfall for our drought-ridden state.

The 'Grapevine' the El Cajon pass has been closed as of 4am because of snow & ice so commuters are stuck on the highway hoping for a break in the weather. Chains are required for folks in the coastal mountains ... but I'm happily at home waiting for someone to arrive between 8 and noon to install my new Sony Bravia LCD digital flat screen television ;--)
Wow ... that was worrisome!!!
It's been about an hour or so that I've been trying to figure out why no posts showed up here at Small Reflections but the header and sidebar remained and the posts showed up on all my other blogs too. I still don't know what happened, but I'm relieved that things are finally restored. I'm hopeful my posts will remain visible. Now ... back to my new television story!
While taking classes at the Ritz Camera store in Irvine, I noticed they had televisions at quite reasonable prices and inquired about why they were so inexpensive. Apparently it's related to the financial mess & the fact that consumers just aren't spending money the way they used to. The regular 'marked down' price for this particular unit was $949 but the SALE price through the weekend was $779 plus a free Samsung DVD player. Since my current TV is about 20 years old, this seemed like a good time to upgrade to a digital flat screen television.

I've been clearing clutter from my family room/office for a while now and intend to reorient the space ... eventually purchasing new furniture when I can afford to do so. Today's installation will be the first step in that process. This is what it looks like now ... I'll share photos of 'after' when the work is done.

It's almost 11am as I type this part and the installation guy hasn't arrived yet ... but hopefully he'll arrive soon.

Sigh ... 1pm addendum
I called an hour ago and left a message ... called again about
15 minutes ago when I hadn't received a call back. Apparently they've run into difficulties today and are running way behind ... but someone's on the way and should be here before 2pm.

I really don't like this much, but I guess there's not a whole lot I can do at this point but hang around ... so that's what I'm doing. I fixed myself a tuna sandwich and am sipping a glass of milk at the moment ... thinking about 'cookies' but I don't have any in the house. Perhaps that's a good thing?

Interestingly I've tried to visit Fun Monday participants on Gattina's list but most don't have a post up about their Feet Coverings yet and that's frustrating too because I could have used the time to open up Google Reader and/or respond to comments folks have left on my blogs & emails. I don't like to be grumpy, but at this rate I'll never catch up!

Once again I can't SEE my posts on this blog ... though the header and sidebar show up just fine. Is anyone else having problems like this today?

Gattina is today's Fun Monday hostess, and
she wants to know what we wear on our feet at home.
I live in Southern California at the beach ... and it's my front yard pictured in my Fun Monday logo ... so THIS is what my feet look like year round ... (yes even on rainy days like today). When I do put on shoes, they're usually sandals as in the upper right photo in collage.
Small Reflections ... Smile Back

Thought for Today
"Make your feet your friend." J.M. Barrie

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Creative Photograph #3 and UM #43

Make Time for Small Reflections
Click for this week's Camera Critters & a Valentine at
Small Reflections and Happily Retired Gal

This is my 3rd effort at Creative Photography

Original Photo

Nikon D60 with Tamron 28-300mm Lens
f/6.3 ... 1/60 sec exposure ... ISO-400

Focal length 300mm ... Max Aperture 5.3
Metering Mode - Pattern ... No Flash
(Cropped for Collaging)
I've labeled each variation in the collage below
so click to 'embiggen' for better viewing.
Which do YOU prefer & why?
Click to embiggen for better viewing
and for others participating in Creative Photography

This is the 316th issue of ...
I'm participating for the 43rd 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 ;--)

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Be mine :: Valentine!
  2. Ecstatic :: elated
  3. Orderly :: methodical mind
  4. Sebastian :: John - songwriter
  5. Sore :: sight for sore eyes!
  6. Don’t need :: 'Why People Buy Things They Don't Need' ... book by Pamela Danziger
  7. Rockstar :: 2001 film
  8. Tinfoil :: what we used in the 'good old days' before 'aluminum foil'
  9. Addiction :: to blogging
  10. Where? :: in the World is Waldo?
Your turn: I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Be mine ::
  2. Ecstatic ::
  3. Orderly ::
  4. Sebastian ::
  5. Sore ::
  6. Don’t need ::
  7. Rockstar ::
  8. Tinfoil ::
  9. Addiction ::
  10. Where? ::
Click for others 'muttering' today.
Small Reflections ... Smile Back

Thought for Today
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle
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