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 Random.org. 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.