Monday, August 31, 2009

My World

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We had to drop by Texas Art Supply last week to pick up some supplies for Mr. Dragon. He is taking color theory this semester. Someone should have told me we needed to buy stock in Texas Art Supply! This time I had my camera with me and took pictures of the murals on the building.

I've saved some for next week!

Remember to click on photo to enlarge.

Have a wonderful day!

Joy to You!

Click here to view all participants of My World Tuesday.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This and That

I'm posting early again. Busy Monday morning, but I can't leave you without some Monday Mullings!

I was presented with the MeME award by Barbara over at A Bird In My Hand. Barbara is a writer, mother, sister, new blogger and just plan fun. Go visit her and say HI! And, Barbara, thank you again. I hadn’t decided what I was going to write about today. You made my decision for me!

I’m supposed to mention seven things you may or may not know about me and then pass the award along to seven other blogs of my choice. I worked on this list all weekend and only came up with six things!

1. I’m an only child. My parents were not young when I came along and I’m sure I was a surprise. Poor things. Looking back, I don’t think they ever quite knew what to do with me! That meant that I learned a lot about what was acceptable and not, by watching other kids and their families. My birthday gifts and holiday gifts were what my cousin received. She was 5 years older and so the gifts were not age appropriate. One of my grandmothers would take me shopping and was very good about buying me a stuffed lovie. Something I COULD play with!

2. I had singing and dancing lessons from a very early age. It got me out from under foot! When I was five, I was on television in Dallas. That was when televisions were small and black and white. (Remember those?) I don’t remember much about it except that the dress I was wearing was very scratchy and I think it was green with tiny white polka dots. I had on my patent leather shoes and white socks with lace around the cuffs. Dressed to the nines for my singing debut on television! Let’s see: “How Much is That Doggy in the Window?” and “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue (Has Anybody Seen My Gal)”. I also took gym classes. I enjoyed them, I think! I gave up singing at university, something I am now sorry I did. Singing is good for you. Increases lung capacity!

3. I love Kool-Aid. My mother saved S&H Green Stamps, saved the coupons off of General Mills and other things. She ordered a Kool-Aid pitcher. It was plastic and had the Kool-Aid man on it. I loved it. The mascot of Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid Man is a large anthropomorphic frosty pitcher filled with Kool-Aid (usually cherry, though other flavors have been used). He was introduced in Kool-Aid advertising shortly after General Foods acquired the brand (according to Wikipedia). Now, when I get a grape urge, I buy one packet and make a pitcher full of Kool Aid. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, its FUN!

4. I graduated from the University of New Mexico and worked to pay my way. It took me five years, but I did it! Later I went back and did some graduate work.

5. Mr. Dragon and I, while we lived in New Mexico, were part of a balloon crew. I had my first hot air balloon ride in Taos, New Mexico. It was spectacular. It was so calm, peaceful (except for the burner blast). I was hooked. The landings could be a little rough -- depending on the winds. The balloon pilot was someone I worked with. We became part of her crew and to this day count her as one of our very best friends. None of us fly balloons anymore.

6. I was THE llama lady at Moody Gardens when they had a petting zoo. School kids from Galveston would come and we’d introduce them to pigs, sheep, snakes, guinea pigs (they made me itch), turtles, chinchillas, some other small animals and the llama. I had been off for awhile (I was a professional volunteer and got too busy with other things). I received a phone call saying would I please come in and see what was wrong with the llama. Seems he had started to spit. I went in and right away had a good idea what was wrong. They had moved him into a smaller stall and he was mad. I would have been mad too if my living quarters had been changed from the suite to the efficiency. Once we changed that around and I started walking and talking to him everyday, he was fine. Moody Gardens quickly outgrew the petting zoo and it was closed. The llama went to a farm with other llamas.

Passing on the award is always the most difficult part. Everyone deserves to be special. So, if you are one of my followers, and you need a lift today or you just feel like playing along - grab yourself the MeME award and tell us a little about yourself!


I’m making a list of Snap’s Rules. I started writing them down because I forgot them almost as soon as I thought “that should be a rule”. So, every now and then, I’ll throw some out. Here are the first two:

Rule #1: When having guests over for dinner, any fancy new golfing equipment should be removed from the dining room table.

Rule #2: I love bubbles. You know, the kind that come in the jar with the little wand and you dip and blow and there go the bubbles. Or, you can dip into the jar and swing around and around holding the wand out from your body making bubbles. I also enjoy blowing bubbles (chewing gum type) and I think Double Bubble makes the best kind. Bubbles make you laugh. They make you joyful. They loosen you up. They remind you of what it was like to be a kid and that’s not bad. (Bath bubbles are pretty good, too.) Add bubbles to your life.


Better Homes and Gardens is getting ready for their free 100 Days of Holidays e-newsletter (YIKES). Starting September 24, you’ll get “daily inspiration with scrumptious recipes, festive decorating ideas, easy entertaining tips and more”. You can sign up here:


One last thing. You have to go visit Ashley Anna Brown and her Fern animals. All I can say is HOW CUTE ARE THEY?!!!

A little something to remind you of childhood!

I am thankful for another day on beautiful Mother Earth.

Joy to You!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Camera Critters 73

Camera Critters

Everyone seemed to like Theodorable (Teddy) so much last week, I decided to post some more Teddy photos. I was lucky to get these. He was sunning himself, cat-napping. The light was just right.

Sweet innocent little guy!

Yep. Here I am with the camera again.
Poor Teddy. Too gorgeous for words!

Remember, you can click on the image to enlarge.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Critter Day to You.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday 29

First, a big welcome back to our postmistress Marie! We missed you!

For more participants in Postcard Friendship Friday go here.

This postcard is dated 1906.
This is Houston’s produce area, looking east on Congress Avenue from Milam Street.

This area today, with City Hall (on the right), is in a park area known as Market Square.
Many events are held near and around Market Square including the Bayou City Art Festival (coming up in October).

(This postcard is from An Album of Old-Time Postcards From Houston and Galveston.)

I've Been Reading...

I have three books to tell you about. All of them brain candy for me, one more than the others and I’ll start with the most candy!


Night Huntress by Yasmine Galenorn is the fifth book in the Otherworld Series. It is urban fantasy and Berkley calls it paranormal romance. Each book features one of the the D’Artigo sisters: sexy, savvy operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. Being half-human, half-Fae means their supernatural talents always go haywire at the wrong time. Camille is a wicked-good witch who attracts men like honey attracts flies. She has three husbands. Menolly’s a vampire who’s still getting the hang of being undead. Delilah, is a werecat who’s been marked by the Autumn Lord as one of his Death Maidens.

Night Huntress features Delilah. Her boyfriend, the human Chase, mutters another woman’s name in his sleep. Then the Autumn Lord has very special plans for her. Karvanak - the Raksasa and really, really bad guy returns. In order to get his greedy hands on both the fourth spirit seal and his former associate, Vanzir, he kidnaps Chase.

Did I mention one of Camille’s husbands is a dragon?

If you are at all interested in this book, start at the beginning of the series to keep all the characters and ins and outs straight. First book is Witchling and features Camille. Galenorn has several other urban fantasy series.


Next is the novel Turning Angel by Greg Iles. The first Iles book I read was Quiet Game. We read it in preparation for the trip to Natchez that we made last year. Both books, Quiet Game and Turning Angel are set in Natchez and Iles really does justice to Natchez as a place. The turning angel really is an angel in the cemetery that looks as if she turns to watch you. Iles is from Natchez and he gets it right -- even the folks living there say so!

“After winning the most dangerous case of his career, prosecutor Penn Cage decides to remain in his Southern hometown to raise his young daughter in a safe haven. But nowhere is truly safe - not from long-buried secrets, or murder. When the nude body of prep school student Kate Townsend is found near the Mississippi River, Penn’s best friend, Drew Elliott, is desperate for his counsel. An esteemed family physician, Drew makes a shocking confession that could put him on death row. Penn will do all he can to exonerate Drew, but in a town where the gaze of a landmark cemetery statue - the Turning Angel - never looks away, Penn finds himself caught on the jagged edge of blackmail, betrayal, and deadly violence.”

Mr. Dragon and I both enjoyed Quiet Game and The Turning Angel. Set in Natchez, Penn Cage is in both novels.


Lastly, another book in a mystery series I finished last night: the sixth Jane Austen Mystery, Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House by Stephanie Barron.

“On a raw February morning, Jane Austen first learns of the case of Captain Tom Seagrave, who faces execution for a murder he swears he didn’t commit. Together, she and her brother Frank, a post captain in the Royal Navy, set out to uncover the truth.

It is a journey that leads from the troubled heart of Seagrave’s family, through the seaport’s worst sinkholes, and finally to the prison of Wool House. Risking contagion or worse, Jane comes away with more questions than answers. Did one of Seagrave’s jealous colleagues frame the unpopular captain? Was a veiled political foe at work? And what of the sealed orders under which Seagrave embarked that fateful night on his ship, the Stella Maris?”

All of Barron’s Austen novels are filled with history and written in the style of Miss Austen. This one is set in 1807. Lots of naval history. I admit that this is not my favorite in the series, but I must have enjoyed it as I finished it in two days! If you like historical mysteries set in England, you should try one. Again, it’s probably best if you start with the first one in the series: Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor. There are some repeating characters and you don’t want to miss any of Jane’s relatives!


Joy To You on This Thursday!

Read a Book.

Any Book!

Monday, August 24, 2009

My World

Visit My World to see more of our world or to participate yourself!

Today I'm taking you to The Path of Tea.

You can see all the teapots in the window.
They were everywhere inside.

This is the sniffing bar.
133 organic teas to pick from.

You pick the tea cup you wish to drink from.

Here's Mr. Dragon with his red velvet cupcake.
We need to go back to more pictures of the TEA!
We had such a good time, we forgot all about the camera!

They had wonderful goodies to pick from.
Here's my cupcake.
Several bars and cookies were made with tea.
We picked a green tea called Jasmine Dragon Pearl.

The girls had a black tea flavored with Lychee.

What made this tea drinking special were our two guests.
The one on the left is the curator for Asian Art at the museum.
The one on the right used to be her assistant, Vivian.
Vivian may look familiar to those of you who have followed me for awhile.
Vivian went temple trekking with us before she went to China to study.
Now she's off to Michigan to work on her Ph.D.
This was a farewell and good luck tea.

Click here to view all participants of My World Tuesday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Horizontal Surfaces

How many horizontal surfaces in your home? Just count them. Tables (kitchen, dining room, library, coffee, end), the floor, beds, kitchen and bathroom counter tops, bookshelves. You get the idea. Now, how many of them collect things? More things than they should have. I really think you are getting the idea now!

Remember Hurricane Ike? We had to take everything off the walls downstairs, unload all the shelves, move furniture in order to repair our water soaked walls. Remember me telling you that we moved a lot of *stuff* into the guest bedroom. Well, some of that stuff is still on that bed and covered with plastic (we started to paint in that room -- got one wall finished and stopped, but the plastic is still there).

When Mr. Dragon was working I didn’t say much about where he dropped his *stuff* when he came in the door. I was just glad he was home and I understood how stressful his job was. I wasn’t going to pick on where stuff was dropped. I also knew what his office looked liked. Most of the time you couldn’t get in the door. His most important filing was done on the floor.

So, in walks retirement and WOW. I’m not a clean freak. I’m not particularly neat. But I’m learning fast! I do admit that I love that we LOVE living in our home and I guess it looks like it!

So, what about horizontal surfaces? Just this .... when you have folks over for a meal -- it is nice if you remove the fancy new putter from the dining room table.


We went to an Astros baseball game on Friday. They won. Then the roof at Minute Maid Stadium opened up for the Friday night fireworks display. Did I have my camera? NO! You can take my word for it -- the fireworks were beautiful.


You just knew I couldn't get away from Julie or Julia. Amazing isn't it? Maybe I'm channeling Julia or something! I was looking at the NYTimes and found an article that you can read here.
Here is a quote from the first part:

"Almost 48 years after it was first published, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child is finally topping the best-seller list, bringing with it all the butter, salt and goose fat that home chefs had largely abandoned in the age of Lipitor.

The book, given a huge lift from the recently released movie “Julie & Julia,” sold 22,000 copies in the most recent week tracked, according to Nielsen BookScan, which follows book sales. That is more copies than were sold in any full year since the book’s appearance, according to Alfred A. Knopf, which published it."


I’m posting this late Sunday evening for Monday morning. I’m off early on Monday for a session with my trainer. Yep. You read that right. I’m doing everything I can to put off the neurosurgeons knife as long as possible. My trainer is great. She knows me well and we are working on core strength and balance.


I'm thinking I might need a little of this before Monday is over!


I am thankful for another day on beautiful Mother Earth.

Joy to You!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Camera Critters 72

Camera Critters

I have a potpourri of Critters for you today.
Clicking to enlarge the photos may help!

Starting in Musashi's Garden.
If you look carefully, you'll see a fly on the zinnia leaf --
up there on the left.
Tiny little fly with WOW colors!

One of the baby dragons!
Anole trying to turn himself red to blend in the bricks.

This is not a honey bee.
He sure likes the duranta flowers.

Last, but not not least, Theodorable (Teddy)
after his morning drink in the bathroom sink!
You'll also notice the whale.

(Paper towels to clean up a hairball.)

Wishing all of you a happy weekend.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

Before I tell you about my postcard, I'd like to send out a few special dragon vibes to our hostess, Marie. We miss you and hope to see you back with us soon!

A new Sea Wall protected Galveston's homes after the hurricane of 1900.

This post card is dated 1909.
These lovely homes were located somewhere between the present Galvez Hotel
and the Stewart beach. Unfortunately, they no longer exist. I don't have dates for
their destruction. This is mostly restaurants and hotels now -- tourist trade.

Postcard Friendship Friday is hosted by Marie.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Sometimes no words are necessary.

I Never Post on Wednesday...

Never say Never!

A very quick post.

This is what I did yesterday.

Bag lunch with Mar.

Helped rip pages from magazines so that her art students
could build pizzas and fish!

She starts all grades out with the same thing.

Eases everyone into the start of school.

Aren't these fun?!!!!!

See, Mar, you made the blog again!

Thanks for lunch and fun!

Off to adventuring.........

Monday, August 17, 2009

My World

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Last week we walked around the Museum District in Houston a little more and this week I thought we'd return to Hermann Park and walk a little there.
Hermann Park is nestled between the Texas Medical Center, Rice University, and
the Museum District.

This is the reflection pool. It is 740 feet long and 80 feet wide.
We are looking toward the Pioneer Monument (obelisk 50 feet tall) and
the Miller Outdoor Theatre.

There is a jogging trail that winds it's way through the park --
about 2 miles long.
You can sit along the way and relax under the old live oak trees.

How about some Tai Chi?

If you are tired of walking, you can always take the train!

Or sit and share your lunch with a friend.

(Click to enlarge photos.)

Click here to view all the participants of My World Tuesday.

Thanks for visiting.

Joy to You!

It's Amazing!

I just can’t get away from Julie and Julia! I was going through some old Cooking Light Magazines and found this article on Julie Powell from March 2004. I seem to be haunted by Julie, Julia and food! Did you know that Julia Child’s birthday was August 15? They are everywhere I go. Every book I touch!

I am reading The Best Thing I Ever Tasted: The Secret of Food by Sallie Tisdale. I think I mentioned a while back that I do (did) tours for a college literature class on food and feasting at the museum. This book by Tisdale is one of the books the instructor uses in his class and I thought I should read it. It is quite good and when I’m finished I’ll do a short review. It is worth a read. At any rate, I’m reading along and what do I find on page 128 -- JULIA!!! Here’s the quote:

“Martha Stewart, cooking on television with Julia Child, couldn’t stop correcting Julia’s work. She quietly picked, picked, picked away at this and that, and Julia Child, in her inimitable, breezy way, just let the criticism float by.”

“Julia Child, for all the years of complaints about her technique, has never failed to express her firm belief that good food is part of a well-lived life with rough edges and a few untidy corners. She is a woman of appetite and undenied pleasure. Martha Stewart’s vision of a well-lived life has no untidy corners; tidy corners may be her vision of heaven. Control, not comfort, is her joy. Julia Child once told a friend she didn’t think Martha Stewart would ever be happy.”

No wonder I never got hooked on Martha! Perhaps Julia was a closet Buddhist??!!!!!!!!!!

I wonder what might pop up this week about Julie or Julia. If something does, I’ll report next Monday!


Hurricane season started June 1. So far, it has been a very quiet year, but we are starting to watch the waves coming off of Africa as the hurricane business heats up. We’d like some rain, but please, no repeat of Ike. Guess that’s why I haven’t done a proper rain dance. I don’t want it to be misinterpreted by the powers that be.


I am thankful for another day on beautiful Mother Earth.

Joy to You!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Camera Critters 71

Camera Critters

Today we are back in Musashi's Garden
for some good eating
by Mom Dove and her baby.

(Click to enlarge photos.)

I took lots of photos of Mom and Babe
from inside the house.

Breakfast must have been good!

Hurry up Mom!

That's more like it!

Mom flew down here somewhere to get the food.
I should be able to find something for myself!

Hope you enjoyed this little family.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

Bathing in the Gulf of Mexico at Galveston, about 1908.
Other postcards of the same image were found that say --
Bathing in the Gulf of Mexico at Corpus Christi!
Guess it doesn't matter what city the bathers were in long as they were in
the Gulf of Mexico.

(This is one of 32 cards published in An Album of Old-Time Postcards From Houston and Galveston.)

For more Postcard Friendship Friday go here.

Mail Call

A month or so ago, Karen Harvey Cox had a give-a-way on her blog, the beautiful Scrapbook of Inspiration. The winner received a custom water color painting by Karen. You can go here to see the winner's painting. It is amazing.

Karen decided that everyone who entered the give-a-way should receive a gift from her -- a miniature water color of their favorite flower! Picking my favorite flower was the hardest part. I finally decided on the pansy because of their happy little faces and wonderful color.

My pot of pansies has arrived. What a mail call! Karen is talented, generous and sure knows how to spread the joy around!

Thank you again, Karen.

Joy To You All On This Beautiful Friday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Learn Something New Everyday

I really do believe everyday should be an adventure - that you should do something different, try something new (put your socks on differently), learn something new, do something you love. You get the idea. It doesn't have to be anything big. Look around and you might find a surprise. I did!

I do love to crochet. I find it very meditative and relaxing. I finished my Christmas doily and have enough yarn to make another. While reading blogs the other morning, I headed over to see what Julie at Moments of Perfect Clarity was up to. She mentioned her friend Beth who was learning to crochet. So I headed off to meet Beth at A Measure of Things and found something that was truly amazing and was crochet -- a coral reef! ( You can read about the Coral Reef project here.) I think I'm going to start my own coral reef. I have left over wool yarn (it felts) in various colors. What fun!

Because of Beth, I also found and I'm going to share with you the video Beth has on her blog. When I started watching the video -- geometry and all its glory (don't let that frighten you) -- ( I have to share that I didn't do well in geometry in school -- way back in the medieval ages) -- I was fascinated and I knew I had to stop the video and go find Mr. Dragon because he would find this as fascinating as I did (math major and medical physicist) ... and he did! So enjoy the video and learning something new that I hope is fun for you!

Monday, August 10, 2009

My World

Visit My World to see more of our world or to participate yourself!

The museum district of Houston is a lovely area of town.

Lots of beautiful old oak trees.

Across the street from the Museum of Fine Arts
are two churches.
One Methodist.

And one Presbyterian.

(Click to enlarge photographs)

Click here to view all participants of My World Tuesday.

Have a wonderful day!

To Mull

Monday Mulling


It might have been because it had been such a long time since I had seen a movie in a movie theater. It might have been because I had read both books. It might have been because I now qualify for the senior ticket price now that I’m 60. It might have been just because Julie and Julia is a good movie. For whatever reason, I thought the Julie and Julia movie was wonderful.

This is a story about two women who are looking for something “to dooooooo” with their life. Julia decides to take cooking classes at the Cordon Bleu. Julie decides to prepare every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days and blog about it.

This is a love story. A love story about food. At the same time, you can’t ignore the love story between Julia (Meryl Streep) and Paul (Stanley Tucci) or Julie (Amy Adams) and Eric (Chris Messina). These women aren’t looking for love. They’ve found it.

There is a funny scene with Julie and three of her friends at their weekly “cobb salad lunch”. I can remember having a few lunches like this one. But I couldn’t remember the scene from her book. That’s because it isn’t in her book, but is something Ms. Ephron added.

Go see Julie and Julia. If you remember Julia Child you’ll enjoy Meryl Streep’s reincarnation of Julia if nothing else. Don’t eat before the movie. You’ll want a nice meal after!


We had some rain yesterday and may get more today. Enough to raise the humidity level, but take us out of the heat advisory for a little while. I’m not going to complain. I’m just going to say that I will be very glad when it isn’t so darn hot.


Mr. Dragon is hitting golf balls this week with the kids (our god-daughter and her beau and our god-son). They’ll have a good time -- even in the heat. Their mom and I will think about lunch for them when they decide to come home and cool off. It’s nice to have them all together before they are off to their various universities.

On another day I'm having lunch with another of my "sisters". We are bag lunching at her school while she prepares her classroom for school to open. Seems like the summer vacation just started. Time is flying!

Mr. Dragon has decided to take an art history class along with his studio class this next semester. I think the title is something like art history between the wars. Lots of "isms"!


I finished reading another of the Miss Julia books by Ann B. Ross, Miss Julia Throws a Wedding. This is the third book in this cozy Southern series and what a hoot Miss Julia is. From the back cover: “Miss Julia is feeling a little wistful when Hazel Marie, once her late husband’s paramour and now her best friend, prepares to move out and live in sin with that marriage-shy Mr. Pickens. Suddenly, to Miss Julia’s delight, a wedding is in the offing: Handsome Deputy Coleman Bates and attorney Binkie Enloe announce their plans to run down to the courthouse and tie the knot. But Miss Julia insists that they have a real wedding ceremony and vows to make it happen. When a lost preacher, a crowd of uninvited guests, and a queasy bride threaten the blessed event, Miss Julia is there to restore order, confirming her undying motto: if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!” Miss Julia has come a long way since her husband’s death. She is ignorant of the plight of many of those who are less fortunate than she, but watching her learn is a lot of fun! She continues to grow emotionally and spiritually with each novel. That’s not easy for an old-fashioned widow in a small southern town. Go get ‘em Miss Julia!


I am thankful for another day on beautiful Mother Earth.

Joy to You!