Category Archives: My own little world

I get the message

I livew in my own little world

I have always been a people person, generally enjoying being around people, interacting with people , visiting people….

If your blog is marked private, and I apply for a password to come visit you, and you never respond, well, I get the message.

Poop in a wheelbarrowIf the “WELCOME!” page on your blog (new since last time I camped there) says, “This is a “Like”, “Share” and “Comment” free blog and I am not big on Social Media either,” well, I get the message. I’m curious, though, about your purpose for blogging….

If, during my campout on your blog, I find several posts about how despicable and inherently evil I am because I’m gay, well, I get the message. I’m openly gay and will be celebrating my 20th anniversary with Jim on May 26, 2014. Trust me, I’m not going back in the closet for you, your fairy tale god, or anyone else. Again, though, I get the message.

Poop on them!

If everything (defined as the most recent 30 posts) you have to say on your blog is ultra-right-wing-tea-party-conservativism or ultra-religious, well, I get the message.

Effective today….

If I can’t get to your blog, can’t comment on your blog, can’t leave a simple LIKE on your blog, don’t even agree with (or LIKE) a single one out of the most recent thirty of your posts, well, I am keeping you in my Excel Spreadsheet but you will be marked in orange, the color I dislike the most.

You get the message

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I won’t be back anytime soon.
Won’t even try to visit you.
I get the message.
Do you?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Use code FTNSD to get a 20% discount through April 14, 2014.

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I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Blog love

I livew in my own little world

The end of my WordPress problems on March 29 have provided me with the daily pleasure/privilege of going blog camping again.

Morning glory, my wise old grandmother's favorite flowerMany of you who have not heard or seen me in several months have been seeing me camping out in your blogs again, even though they have been mini-campouts, defined as any combination of LIKEs and comments adding up to three.

Those of you who have been visiting here regularly, even daily, have been getting National Park-like campouts, defined as any combination of LIKES and comments adding up to four or more. My Excel spreadsheet tells me the winners for last week, defined as the recipients of the most LIKEs and comments from yours truly, Russel Ray Photos:

  1. Unknown flowerjeteliot, 26 total

What’s my purpose in providing that list? Notice that those blogs are linked? I get excellent Google juice here on my blog, so when Google, Yahoo, and Bing come by here a couple of minutes after I publish this post, their spiders will see my links to those blogs and will see the love, giving a little extra weight to them!

Unknown flower in La Mesa, California, on January 23, 2012When my WordPress problems ended, I was about four months behind in visiting the blogs of those I follow. I’m pleased to say that as of last night, I was exactly 30 days behind. If you’ve seen me in your blog this past week leaving likes and comments, that’s an excellent indication that I follow your blog and have you in my Excel spreadsheet!

Flower and rain dropsWhat all of that really means is that I have more time to do things in my blog rather than waiting on WordPress to load LIKE buttons, or load the comment box, or post the comment so I can move on. Click on my menu items and look at the submenu items. Those are the various series that I enjoy doing, and now I can get back to doing them. I re-started yesterday with my San Diego Historical Landmarks post. It had been ten months between posts in that series; I promise the next post will be in days rather than months.

Another series that I really like is my History Through Philately series. I’ll have a post in that series up later today.

Yellow Flower 4Lastly, I liked doing this Blog Love post and think I will make it a regular Sunday series. I’m even putting a Blog Love submenu item under SNIPPETS to make all of these Blog Love posts easy to find.

The cool thing here is that the top love recipients for next week will be completely different than this weeks. Once you make it into a Blog Love post, you’re ineligible until everyone has had a chance. With 3,787 followers, it will take me about 30 days to get to everyone, so those getting blog love today will have to wait about 30 days for their next chance. However, you can leave lots of blog love here because my Excel spreadsheet loves blog love!

Sunflower and clouds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Use code FTNSD to get a 20% discount through April 14, 2014.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

My new (and temporary, hopefully) blog camping protocol

I livew in my own little world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Now that I have solved my WordPress problems, I can go blog camping again, a bog visiting tactic that I thoroughly enjoy and which, I do believe, I invented way back in 2008 on another blogging platform.

FireMy theory behind blog camping was that I wanted to visit lots of blogs, but I also wanted to get to know the person whose blog I was visiting, and I wanted that person to get to know me. I didn’t think that reading just one post in any blog would allow me to get to know the other blogger, and I didn’t think that leaving just one LIKE or one comment would let the other blogger get to know me.

Additionally, I knew from decades of experience that the 80/20 rule that my wise old grandmother taught me probably worked in the blogging world. It does. In a nutshell, if you do unto others what you would like others to do unto you, 80% of them will do unto you that which you did unto them. The other 20% won’t.

In blogging from July 2008 to January 2012, I proved that. If I left a LIKE, the other blogger would be by soon to leave a LIKE on my blog. If I left 10 LIKEs, I’d get 10 LIKEs in return. If I commented four times, I would get four comments in return. If I followed, I was followed. I quickly realized that one way to get a huge number of followers was to follow, LIKE, and comment on blogs. When I did that, 80% of those bloggers would follow, LIKE, and comment on my blog.

I have proved it again here on my WordPress blog, which I started on January 7, 2012. Before my WordPress problems began on January 2, 2014, I was visiting hundreds of blogs a day. My world record was on September 10, 2012, when I visited 401 blogs, leaving a total of 2,388 LIKEs along with 1,433 comments.

Yes, I really do keep track.

Here’s the portion of my Excel spreadsheet showing that world-record day:

Likes and comments

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Evelyn Woods Speed Reading course, which I took in 1973, helps, as does Dragon Naturally Speaking, which I have been using since 2001.

Notice that those statistics are in columns I through M. Column H is blank. Wonder what’s in columns A through G? Those columns contain the links to the blogs I follow, the date the other blogger first visited my blog and last visited my blog, when I last visited that blogger’s blog, and how many comments and LIKEs I left on that blogger’s blog the last time I visited it.

Fire danger in East San Diego CountyThe only problem with blog camping is that each time I leave a LIKE or comment, YOU! get an email notification. My world record for the number of LIKEs and comments left in any one blog at any one time is 66 LIKEs and 24 comments. I did have one person ask that I never visit his blog again, but if I did, not to leave LIKEs and comments because he hated getting all of those email notifications at one time. Request granted. I don’t visit his blog anymore.

My problem today is that after not being able to go blog camping for the past three months, I’m now way behind. I kind of follow the tit for tat protocol, so if someone came by my blog and left two comments and four LIKEs, when I visit that blogger, I am going to leave at least two comments and four LIKEs.

Fire Mitigation TeamSince I am so far behind, I am going to change my protocol for at least the foreseeable future to try to get to as many people as possible of those who have been by to see me these past three months. When I come by to visit these next few months, I am going to leave only a total of three, i.e., three LIKEs, or three comments, or two LIKEs and one comment, or one LIKE and two comments.

I know everyone will understand, and as soon as I go through my list of people whom I follow at least one time, I’m pretty sure I will revert to my old way since I really, really enjoyed that.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Happy birthday to me!

I livew in my own little world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you were wondering what happened to me today since I didn’t post anything, well, I was celebrating my last birthday before the sun sets on my life. Yep. Sixty is just 365 days away. I turn 59 at 11:58 p.m. today. As I write this, that is only 34 minutes away. Of course, technicalities aside, I have been celebrating all day. Who needs to be exact in life?

My intent was to go to the San Diego Zoo from 9:00-10:30 this morning, then over to SeaWorld from 11:00-12:30, then to teach my chess class at an exclusive rich private school, then to On The Border for Taco Tuesday and a margarita!

I didn’t make it to SeaWorld because I was delayed at the Zoo due to a fire in a car parked just three cars from me. Here’s the smoke as seen from inside the Zoo, when I thought to myself, “That looks like where I parked my car.”

Car fire at the San Diego Zoo on March 11, 2014

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The police and firefighters had several rows blocked off, including, of course, the row I was parked in, so I stood and watched the fire for 43 minutes. By the time the fire was out and we were allowed to go to our cars, there was no way to get to SeaWorld to make the trip worthwhile.

It’s alright, though, because for my birthday, SeaWorld sent me a buy-one-get-one-free “Dine With Shamu” dinner, so Jim and I will be dining with Shamu real soon. We dined with Shamu a couple of years ago and it was awesome. You get real up close and personal! Here’s Shamu from our last Dine With Shamu dinner:

Dining with Shamu at SeaWorld

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

After eating lunch, I went to teach chess for the first time at Francis Parker school, a rich private exclusive school.  3:30-4:30 class.  A bell rings at 4:00 and my eight students jumped up and went screaming out of the room!

Huh?

Turns out that they get a 10-minute break every hour. What do they do? The school—remember, a rich private exclusive school—feeds them junk food. The kids came back with Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos, cheese & peanut butter crackers, etc.

These are K-6 students, and this rich private exclusive school is serving them junk food?

Confused, I am.

I did, of course, make it to On The Border for Taco Tuesday and margaritas:

Taco Tuesday at On The Border in El Cajon, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Margaritas at On The Border in El Cajon, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Little birds, pretty birds, ugly birds, big birds, not-birds, and really big birds

I livew in my own little world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A selection of birds from the past couple of months, some from Balboa Park, some from the Zoo, some from Mission Bay Park, some from Little Italy.

Hummingbird in storm clouds at Balboa ParkHummingbird and storm clouds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mallard at Balboa ParkMallard

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not-bird (Bird of Paradise flower)Bird of Paradise flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (next two pictures) at the San Diego ZooIMG_3124 framed

Blue-crowned hanging parrot

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mallard ducklings (next two pictures) at the San Diego ZooMallard chicks

Mallard ducklings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove at the San Diego ZooYellow-breasted Fruit Dove

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Flamingo at the San Diego ZooFlamingo at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Flamingo mommy and egg at the San Diego ZooFlamingo egg at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Always someone who has to stand out from the crowd
San Diego ZooFlamingos at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mandarin Duck at the San Diego ZooMandarin Duck at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

California Condor at the San Diego ZooCalifornia Condor at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Secretary Bird at the San Diego ZooSecretary Bird at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Steller’s Sea Eagle at the San Diego ZooSteller's Sea Eagle at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Great White Pelican at the San Diego ZooGreat White Pelican at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Great Blue Heron visiting the San Diego ZooGreat Blue Heron visiting the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you’re not going to share….
Chollas Lake ParkRock Pigeon and Ground Squirrel at Chollas Lake Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Unknown bird at Mission Bay ParkUnknown bird at Mission Bay Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Flash video of the unknown bird fishing at Mission Bay Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Black-crowned Night Heron at Mission Bay ParkBlack-crowned Night Heron at Mission Bay Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Surprise
Rose Garden at Balboa Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Really big bird flying over Little Italy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Is it a ladybug?

I livew in my own little world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m always looking up at trees to see what kind of bird might be preparing to poop on my head if I walk under them.

Tree

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Do you see it? I zoomed in on it:

Kite in tree

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m pretty sure that was flying through the sky before landing in the tree, so it must be some kind of bird or flying insect. I’m thinking ladybug. You?

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Amtrak at San Diego's historic Santa Fe Depot

Self-portraits

I livew in my own little world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There is some sort of challenge going on somewhere about self-portraits.

Here are my two entries, although since since I only know that it is a “challenge going on somewhere,” I’m pretty sure I have no clue where somewhere is.

Thus, I’m pretty sure I’ll not be able to enter my self-portraits.

Alas, if my WordPress readers LIKE them, then I’m a winner!

Self-portrait

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This second self-portrait is a video. Turn the audio off before watching and see if you see me. If you don’t, watch it again with the video on because I tell you in the video where I am.

There is a monitor at the upper left of the video which shows you the view from the front car of the train that comes along in the center of the video.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The video was taken this past Thursday while I was with Bryan & Liz Flint at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum which claims to be the largest in the nation and one of the largest in the world. Bryan & Liz are railroading friends from Houston whom I met online in 2008 on my previous blogging platform (July 2008 to January 2012).

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Stuffed dog

The end of my budding forgery career

I livew in my own little world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A few days ago I commented on someone’s blog that I still had my stuffed dog that I got in 1966 or so.

Looks like this:

Stuffed dog

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Stuffed dog

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back in 1968 or so, that stuffed dog had a zipper on its belly so one could take out the stuffing and actually wash the dog. Yours truly found a different use for it.

Long-time readers will remember that I was a juvenile delinquent when my wise old grandmother adopted me. She gave me love and discipline, and ultimately straightened me out. However, before she did….

All of the businesses in my hometown of Kingsville, Texas, had parcel post openings in the alley doors. I was just skinny enough to fit through most of them, including the one at the post office.

One night I slipped into the post office, rummaged through all the mailboxes, and stole lots of boxes of checks. I went around forging checks and cashing them at the stores. Ultimately I think I had something like $1,800. Remembering that my wise old grandmother had a savings account at the Missouri Pacific Railroad Credit Union, I went down to open a savings account. Since I was under age, it required my wise old grandmother’s signature. No problem. I simply forged it, opened my account, and deposited $1,800 in it. I hid the savings account booklet — you remember those, don’t you?! — in the tummy of my little stuffed dog.

Each month I would go down to the Credit Union and let them put the interest amount in my account booklet. I was watching my money grow. So proud…………

One night I was looking at my savings booklet and my uncle saw the light in my room, came in, and saw me with the savings booklet with $1,800+ in it. That was the end of my savings account, and that was the end of my little stuffed dog with the zipper in its tummy. My wise old grandmother made a complete new tummy, without a zipper, and turned me in to the authorities, which solved a lot of their open forgery cases.

Fortunately, when my dad died, some of the life insurance proceeds went to set up a trust account for the children to get them through college. The trustee just happened to be the Kleberg County judge, and he helped my wise old grandmother work through the system so that I wasn’t taken away and put into some juvenile detention facility somewhere. That’s when I learned that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

And my budding forgery career? Came to an end very quickly.

Before Zoey the Cool Cat would give her approval for this post, she thought that a cat should be in it so that the dog didn’t get all the glory. So here’s a flash video of Zoey the Cool Cat doing what she does best, looking very queenly in her favorite late afternoon/early evening spot:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Barb of Life in the Foothills

Will YOU be next on the list?

I livew in my own little world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have always had a hard time meeting new people.

That was a contributing reason why I joined Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service fraternity, while I was at Texas A&M University. Since I enjoy helping others, I could do that while basically being forced to meet others through the fraternity system.

I think the main (maybe the only) reason I like Facebook is because I can meet people without having to meet people. Then, once I’m comfortable meeting them, if I go to where they are, I will try to look them up.

Blogging is the same thing. People find my blog, I find theirs, we become Internet friends, and maybe somewhere down the road we’ll meet, either at their place or mine.

Yesterday, Barb (Life in the Foothills) and her husband (Paul), came to San Diego after their Carnival cruise had docked in Long Beach. Long Beach is about 110 miles from me, so they certainly didn’t have to go out of their way to come down here instead of going directly back home to life in the foothills. I don’t know whether or not they came here specifically to see me, but they sure made me feel like they did.

Jim and I took them to the San Diego Zoo, where we spent 4½ hours traipsing around watching the animals and, of course, taking pictures:

Barb of Life in the Foothills

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

After we wore ourselves out at the Zoo, we had drinks and food at On The Border.

Barb makes the fourth WordPress blogger that I have met in actual reality since I started using the WordPress platform on January 7, 2012. Here is my complete list now:

  1. Rommel (The Sophomore Slump) — Rommel and I went to the USS Midway Museum on May 27, 2012. See his pictures and my pictures.
  2. Bashar A. (2 Rivers Photos) — Bashar, Jim, and I went to the La Jolla Cove on October 17, 2012, to take pictures of a negative tide and a beautiful sunset. See his pictures and my pictures.
  3. Marsha Lee (Marsha Lee) — Marsha came down with some long-time friends of hers on January 5, 2013, just to spend some time in San Diego. She and her friends introduced Jim and me to a new restaurant here in San Diego. See her pictures and my pictures.
  4. Barb (Life in the Foothills) — Barb and Paul were on a cruise that originated in Long Beach. After their cruise, they came down to San Diego to visit Jim and me. They just got home today so keep an eye on her blog for pictures of their cruise and trip to the San Diego Zoo. I’m still cataloging the 380 pictures I took, so stay tuned here, too, and I’ll have some pictures this week.
  5. Will YOU be next on this list?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Flower art

Seek and ye shall find (accompanied by flower art)

I livew in my own little world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pink flowerA fellow blogger asked me about my “irreligious views.” He said he thinks I’m agnostic. According to Wikipedia: “[A]gnosticism is the view that humanity does not currently possess the requisite knowledge and/or reason to provide sufficient rational grounds to justify the belief that deities either do or do not exist.” I think he’s right.

Yellow flowerI have no problem with religion per sé. If religion helps someone refrain from raping, stealing, killing, etc., then by all means, go for it. However, when religion exercises mind control over its followers — Mormon, Islam, and Jewish religions, for example — then I do have a problem with it. Blindly following a religion simply because you were born into it is, in my humble opinion, a little strange.

Flower artI find it entirely plausible that people of old — i.e., prior to the Age of Enlightenment — needed a way to explain thunder, earthquakes, the sun, the moon, eclipses, falling stars, rain, snow, volcanoes, earthquakes, clouds, the desire to kill each other, life, death, etc. Enter religion. However, once people became enlightened, and science was able to explain all those things (except, perhaps, the desire to kill each other), I find it interesting that they still need to believe in a deity in order to explain those things.

Flower artSome of my friends ask, “What if there’s an afterlife?” What if there is?

If I spend my life helping the poor, the hungry, the sick, the homeless, the disabled…. and someone’s God doesn’t want me, I’m okay with that because I don’t want that God either.

Flower artIf someone’s God will take the rapist, the killer, the thief…. simply because he says as he’s dying, “I repent of my sins and accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior,” well, I also don’t want that God.

Some of my friends don’t believe that the Big Bang “just happened.” My response is, “How did God happen?” That usually ends the conversation.

My wise old grandmother, a devout Catholic, often said, “Seek, and ye shall find.” I think she was on to something.

Flower art

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos