Monday, September 9, 2013

52 Weeks of Happy - 36/52

Thank you for entering my Carry It Forward giveaway! The entry period closed on Friday and I chose a random winner from the comment section this weekend, using the Random Number Generator at The winner of my CIF giveaway is TAMMY! Please send me your address via email, Tammy, and I will mail your package very soon!

Now, joining in with Jen, here are four happy photos from the past week.

I bought a new patio umbrella and I'm so happy with it. The previous one was purchased in 2001, and was well past its prime. It served us well, surviving a cross-country move even, but it was time to let it go. I waited all summer to see the umbrellas go on clearance at Target and then watched for awhile longer to see if the prices would drop even more, but it seemed I needed to strike while the iron was hot. I love the color of the new one and the size; it's almost two feet wider than the old one and it gives much more shade at the table. I was especially glad to have it for the GB's party, as we spilled out onto the patio for eating and visiting with our friends.

During the week, we had an evening storm roll through just before sunset. I took this photo as the rain curtain swept toward us from the east. You can just make out the silhouette of the mountain above my garden wall (the wooden roof belongs to my neighbor's play structure). The clouds were broken up here and there, blue sky showing through. The sun was still shining in the west, where the sky was clear, and it created this double rainbow against the rain clouds. One of the best things about living here is the rainbows. We have them often. I watched the curtain advance and the rainbow slowly disappeared. About three minutes after I took this photo, it began to rain. We got over a quarter-inch of rain in the next thirty minutes. Yay for rainbows and yay for rain.

With my small Bears back at school, I'm trying to build a little bit of "me" time back into my days. They both go to school just for the morning and will for years to come, so I don't have much time between driving them back and forth to their schools, running errands and completing household tasks. I needed to go to the grocery store for birthday-party provisions and treated myself to a cherry-and-cheese danish from the store bakery. I took it home, did about fifteen different chores, then allowed myself to sit down with my danish and a cup of milky tea. It was quiet in the house, my immediate tasks were done and I had a little while to myself. It refreshed me.

We have a few exotic birds in my area, but nothing like some of the gorgeous wild parrots and other birds I see on some of my favorite blogs. Nonetheless, we do have road runners here and they are very interesting birds. We happen to have a mating pair living in our front yard, near the courtyard portion of our house. We see the road runners all around the yard, sometimes together and sometimes apart, or with one of their offspring. I believe this fellow is the father. He was perched on the back garden wall in our backyard, looking out over the arroyo. They catch some of their prey down there, mostly small lizards and possibly mice. They are fascinating birds, but hard to photograph because they move fast. They sound like chickens, if chickens both clucked and buzzed. They don't say "meep-meep" like the Road Runner character on "Loony Tunes," I'm sorry to report, but they do zoom around almost as quickly as he does.


  1. Today I have seen two new birds to me, a chickadee and now a road runner! Disappointed to know the don't meep meep, but glad to know they are fast runners!. Loving the cloth under your danish with the cherries on, did you make that yourself. It is very nice.
    Congrats to Tammy on winning your giveaway.

    1. Thanks, Amy. The cloth is a tea towel that my mother-in-law embroidered for me. She made me a set of eight, with different fruits on them.

    2. She is obviously a talented lady, what a nice present.

  2. Do you know, I've never seen a Road Runner, not even a photo of one before, only the cartoon character. What an interesting bird. You've got a lovely garden, lots of space for that bigger parasol. I love the colour.

  3. Hi Jennifer,Love the color of your new umbrella!!!It looks cool and inviting!!!Love your road runner!!!He is really quite a big bird isn't he!!!Have a great week!!!

  4. Turquoise is a favorite color of mine, too. We had a forest green umbrella for years.. but it's retired since we put up the wood gazebo. LOVE the rainbow and especially the Roadrunner! We don't have those here, for sure! We have pheasant occasionally. And Pileated Woodpeckers - which coincidentally Woody Woodpecker is fashioned after! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. I have never seen a road runner before, how cool! But very disappointing that they don't say, "meep meep" - ha ha. I can imagine they are certainly very interesting, and they look like beautiful birds. I wish we had something like that near us. I think your garden parasol looks great, the colour makes me feel happy as it's so bright and cheerful. Ours is a boring old black, and we don't get to use it very often - sigh. Hope you have a great week, Jennifer. :)

  6. Oh how lovely! your photo of the road runner is fab. I've not seen one before only in the cartoon hehe. Lovely bird.

  7. Your new patio umbrella looks very summery & bright! It's always great to improve a well-used place. The road runner looks amazing ... such a big bird to have in your yard! I have the tiniest of birds visiting my fading flowers ... a bright green hummingbird comes every day. He'll be gone south soon though (just missed him at the zinnias as I was hoping to snap his photo). Have a great week Jennifer ... and congratulations to Tammy on the win! Wendy

  8. Love your tablecloth...and your time alone with the danish! hahaha!
    Lovely new umbrella..and gorgeous rainbow!
    Enjoy your week!
    My email is locked...:o(
    Hopefully my son can help me out!

    Linda :o)

  9. Love that little me time you get between drop offs and pick ups, errands and to do's. Glad you were able to enjoy it with something sweet

  10. Lovely grey Sky, what lovely contrast with the rainbow.your new garden set is fab x

  11. Hi Jennifer,
    The road runner bird looks amazing, I do have one seen them in cartoons. I always go for Danish pastries too that one looks so nice. Belated congratulations to your daughter on her 5th birthday
    Sarah x

  12. Jennifer lovely post! Oh my daughter would have loved that rainbow. She is amazed at how beautiful rainbows are. :)

  13. Jennifer,

    A roadrunner!! Only one of my favourite cartoons when I was young! What a fabulous bird to have hanging around your garden. And I'm glad that you are able to start factoring in some time for yourself. You seem to have a hectic schedule and I can't think of a better way to relax than with tea and cake.

    Leanne xx

  14. You have roadrunners!! That's so cool. I am disapointed that they don't in fact say "meep-meep", I really am. Oh well. That double rainbow is fabulous. Regular rainbows are already pretty great but a double rainbow is special. x

  15. More neat photos you took, Jennifer!!! I read through the comments above and am sitting here smiling, because everyone has taken my comments right out of my keyboard :) Thanks for another good post!
    Gracie xx

  16. I love the umbrella! The color is just gorgeous! It's so important to treat yourself from time to time. Your cherry-and-cheese danish with a cup of tea sounds like the perfect treat to me. The double rainbow is extra special and you captured it beautifully.

  17. wild parrots....not I would just love that! The cardinals would seem so ordinary! haha.

    Good for you for a little treat after the chores...I'm a true believer in rewards for us moms....we rock! ha.

  18. Lots of Happies Jennifer - love the colour of your new umbrella - you deserved that Danish pastry - and so nice to see a Roadrunner - had no idea what they looked like but now I know, thank you; a very interesting and attractive looking bird!
    Joy x

  19. Me too... never seen a roadrunner! Thanks for showing us one! And I love the colour of your new umbrella. Julie x

  20. Fancy having roadrunners in your garden, great colour umbrella.

  21. Thanks for sharing the photo of the road runner - somehow it doesn't look at all like I imagined!
    Marianne x

  22. You have a gorgeous back yard! I like your table set too!
    Who does most of the gardening? You or hubby? Love that view!
    I don't think I could be any happier!
    So excited to be receiving your parcel!
    Tammy x

  23. Lovely photos, we use our walnut tree as an umbrella!
    Amazing to see a real Roadrunner.
    Carol xx


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