Monday, November 30, 2009

My World - Bright Future Opening

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

Last week we were invited to a reception and dinner
to celebrate the opening of
Your Bright Future:
12 Contemporary Artists from Korea.

We started with the exhibition viewing and cocktails.

Fallen Star by Do Ho Suh
(publicity photo from

From one of the videos
(also a publicity photo at

Christine Starkman (curator) and one of the artists posing.

Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup with Galangal and Shiitake Mushrooms
Grilled Sea Bass with Tomato Confit and Sorel Butter Sauce
Thai Basil and Pea Shoots
Saffron Rice Patties
Warm Chocolate Cake with Coconut Sorbet and Pepper Tuille
Not to mention the different wine with each course.

We had a lovely time and thank Christine for the invitation.
Sometimes it pays to do research for art exhibitions!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Camera Critters

It's Saturday so it must be time for Camera Critters!

One of my favorite animals at the Houston Zoo
is the meerkat.

I could watch them all day long.


The meerkat or suricate Suricata suricatta is a small mammal and a member of the mongoose family. It inhabits all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a "mob", "gang" or "clan". A meerkat clan often contains about 20 meerkats at a time, but some superfamilies have had 50 or more. Meerkats have an average life span of 12 to 14 years.


Here he is on sentry duty.


He caught me taking his portrait!
He turned his head as I snapped.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.

Be sure to visit Camera Critters to see other wonderful critters.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday - Thanksgiving Greetings

Postcard Friendship Friday is brought to us by our lovely postmistress, Marie.

Many years ago (20+), the Lillian Vernon Corporation
sold reproduction vintage postcards for the holidays.

This is one from Thanksgiving that I hadn't sent on its way.

Thanksgiving Greetings
A Turkey I bring you for Thanksgiving Day,
With wishes that plenty may e'er with you stay.

(The back is marked with "printed in Hong Kong exclusively for Lillian Vernon Corp". No date.)

I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with delight.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Be sure to stop by Postcard Friendship Friday to see more postcards
and visit with the lovely, Marie.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Why Gratitude Makes You Happy and Wealthy
by Christine Kane

Gratitude is more than being thankful one day a year. Gratitude is a practice. For some, it's a way of life.

Why do some people swear by the practice of gratitude? Why do these people have joy-filled and abundant lives?

In other words, why does gratitude make you happy and wealthy?

• Because gratitude is about presence.

It's about waking up in this moment and being here - really being here - and noticing what's around you. Most people are so busy thinking about the next thing, or about their horrid past, that they don't wake up and look around at their present moment - the only moment there is.

• Because gratitude is about honoring YOUR precious life.

Do you ever compare your life with someone else's? Do you ever wish your life were better and more like [insert famous person's name here]? Sometimes we can lose ourselves in wondering how we "measure up" to some standard set by our families or by the media. Comparison is the mind killer. The antidote is gratitude.

Gratitude requires that you validate your own life. (And you really don't have any other life, do
you?) It forces you to say YES to the gift that is you. The choices you've made and the changes you've gone through - they have brought you here. Even if here is a place that needs a little adjustment, that's okay. There are always gifts in any present moment.

• Because gratitude is about attracting.

It's difficult to attract abundance and joy if you are constantly saying "no" to what IS. You say "no" each time you focus on the future or past, or when you criticize something that is in your present moment.

Attraction is about saying Yes. When you say Yes, you shift.

Gratitude says, "Yes, I love this!" And then more of this is attracted, because the this is what you're focusing on.

• Because gratitude is about choice.

How you translate any situation is the situation. What you choose to see is the truth (for you).

This isn't proposing that you live in denial or phoniness. It's reminding you that your translation of any life situation is your choice. We've all heard stories of people who have ignored others' translations of their talent, their projects, their art, their looks, their lives. These people chose their own translations and succeeded. You always have a choice when it comes to how you look at things. Choose to choose gratitude.

• Because gratitude is about wisdom.

I think people believe they're being smart if they criticize, complain, and focus on the problems of the world around them.

Smart? Maybe.

Clever? Sure.

But not wise.

It is wise to look for and find the knowing place in your heart. It is wise to choose joy. It is wise to honor your riches. It is wise to focus on and grow the blessings of your life.

• Because gratitude is about recognition.

Use your power of focus to hone in on beauty and on what makes your heart sing. Recognize the spirit in your life. It's all around you waiting to be noticed. In the words of Franz Kafka, "It will roll in ecstasy at your feet."

• Because gratitude is about receptivity.

Gratitude makes you receptive. It makes you a vessel, waiting to be filled.

I carry a tiny notebook with me everywhere I go. In it, I write down song ideas. I write down quotes I hear. I write down ideas for stage stories. As I do that, I become more receptive, and more ideas and songs come to me. It's a tool that says to my subconscious, "Send more my way!" And the subconscious always responds.

Gratitude is the same way. It says, "I am receptive! Send more!" And more arrives.

• Because gratitude is about creativity.

Creativity is really all about attention. (So is genius.)

When I write a song, I build a relationship with that song. I spend time with it. I get to know it. I pay attention to it. Artists do the same thing with drawings. They spend time in rapt attention, and the drawing is born.

Gratitude is how we Live Creative. It is a creative act to notice and pay attention to the moments of your life. Some days it's an enormous act of creativity to find things for which to be thankful.

Start today.

And have a Thanksgiving of presence, creativity, and gratitude!

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 8,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Some Last Minute Goodies for You!


Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies With Glaze

Makes 3 dozen

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheets.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle Glaze over cookies.

For Glaze:

Combine 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding With Brown Sugar-Yogurt Sauce

Makes 15 servings

12 slices cracked or wholewheat bread, cut into cubes (12 cups)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
2 cans (12 fluid ounces each) Nestle Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk
1 can (15 ounces) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup refrigerated egg substitute or 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt

For Bread Pudding:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Combine bread and cranberries in large bowl. Combine evaporated milk, pumpkin, egg substitute, sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture; stir. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish; let stand for 10 minutes.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with Brown Sugar-Yogurt Sauce.

For Brown Sugar Yogurt Sauce:

Combine 2 containers (6 ounces each) or 1 1/2 cups nonfat plain yogurt and 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar in small bowl.

(These recipes are from our little local neighborhood newspaper. More pumpkin recipes can be found at The Very Best Baking.)

Get cozy with cranberries. The cranberry is an herb—but you already knew that, didn't you? For the latest word on the medicinal qualities of this favorite holiday fruit, check out the Encyclopedia of Herbs. And for some berry good cranberry recipes, there's Cranberry Cooking for All Seasons, featuring such delectables as Cranberry Maple Syrup, Cranberry Tangerine Loaf Cakes, Shaker Cranberry Pie, and (oh my goodness!) Nantucket Roast Loin of Pork with Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing. ( Cranberry information from All About Thyme: A Weekly Calendar of Times and Seasonings by Susan Wittig Albert.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

My World - Happy Thanksgiving!

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

I thought I'd take you on a walk around our neighborhood
and look at the Thanksgiving and Autumn decorations.

Autumn Door

Welcome Autumn Door

Leaf Flag

Looking Through The Fence

Double Doors

Pumpkins and Curlycues

Autumn greetings


And, finally, Home Sweet Home!

From Twisty Lane to you,
this brings a wish for happiness-
Joy and laughter, warmth and cheer -
and peace and plenty through the year!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Camera Critters

It's Saturday and that means Camera Critters time!

It's back to the Houston Zoo.

This time for a little something different:
Feast With The Beasts.

An evening with 50 different restaurants,
live entertainment (animals and a band).

Money raised from this event goes to feeding the zoo animals.

Feast With the Beasts 2009

We were greeted at the front gate by these little critters.

A zebra first.

Feast With the Beasts 2009

How many lions have you seen like this one?

Feast With the Beasts 2009

Just look at this really talented giraffe!

Feast With the Beasts 2009

Some of the zoo animals got special treats.
The wild dogs were given a hide to munch/play on/with.

Feast With the Beasts 2009

He really does look like a wild dog!

Be sure to visit Camera Critters for more critters.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

Postcard Friendship Friday is brought to you by our lovely postmistress, Marie.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the postcards last week that I found
at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

I thought I'd share some more photos from that 50 cent collection!

"From the back of the postcard: "The Cockrell Butterfly Center is a spectacular four-story glass and steel structure housing a lush tropical environment, where you can see over a thousand brilliantly colored butterflies from around the world."

"Dryas iulia - the Julia or Flambeau" " The brilliant orange julia is a common sight in sunny areas of tropical Central and South America. Here a male nectars at an equally brilliant Mexican sunflower. Females are slightly duller in color and have black edging on the forewings."

"Citherias menander - Dawn Satyr" " Although there is no official common name for this etheral Central American butterfly, a good choice would be Dawn Satyr, in recognition of the rosy flush on the hind part of the otherwise transparent wings. Shown here is a mating pair."

"Danaus plexippus - the Monarch" " The black and orange monarch, famous for its incredible yearly migration to central Mexico, is one of our most familiar butterflies. This one is nectaring at a Liatris or blazing star flower."

Be sure to visit other Postcard Friendship Friday participants.

Happy PFF!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Pumpkin Man
(Photo taken on The Strand in Galveston)

Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

(Makes 4 dozen)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Libby's 100% pure Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup raisins

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets

Combine flour, oats, pie spice, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, bown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and set in centers. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

(Recipe from our neighborhood newspaper the Village News)


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My World

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

Last weekend was Homecoming at Rice University.


Lots of barbecue and fun for the kids.


It was soon time for the football game.
The Owls did really well last year.
Had a 10 - 3 season and played in a bowl game that they won.
This year hasn't been near as exciting.
This is the Marching Owl Band.
Better known as the MOB.


As you can see,
the MOB is a little different from most college bands.
No uniforms.
How many marching bands have string instruments
and musicians in long dresses.
I'd hoped we got a photo of the girl with the bubble machine
on her hat, but missed it.
The sound they provide the crowd with is sensational.

Owls Win

Most importantly,
The Owls won their Homecoming Game
defeating Tulane 28 - 20.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Camera Critters

Camera Critters

It's Saturday and that means Camera Critters!

Back to the Houston Zoo Photography Day in the rain
and another kitty -- this beautiful leopard.





Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Christmas Carol

Mr. Dragon and I went to see Disney's A Christmas Carol on Monday at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Strange place to see a movie? Not at all if you want to see it in 3D IMAX and try to catch the snowflakes! What is a bit out of the ordinary -- it was the second movie we went to see this year. We just aren't big movie goers. Julie and Julia was such a hit with us, we thought we'd try a holiday movie before the lines got too long.

A Christmas Carol

Disney has presented two other adaptations of A Christmas Carol: Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983 and the Muppet Christmas Carol in 1992. They are all so different -- hand-drawn animation, puppetry and now, 3D and IMAX 3D. In this movie, actions of human actors are recorded and then used to animate digital characters -- as in Polar Express.

Jim Carrey plays Scrooge and the three ghosts of Christmas. Gary Oldman is Bob Cratchit. I read a review in one of our local neighborhood newspapers that said "the film is so jam-packed with effects that it seemed more like a Disney amusement ride than a motion picture."

We enjoyed A Christmas Carol. We enjoyed the Houston Museum of Natural Science, too! I wouldn't recommend this movie for very young children (or for older children who frighten easily) -- too many frightening ghostly effects.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Have you Visited?

Have you visited Craftside?

It is a "behind the scenes look at the crafty world."

I've been following them for a few months now.

If I bought every book that they reviewed
that I was interested in,
the bank would be empty!

Just look at the variety!

Can you believe it? This is just a sample!
A new book everyday.

Check them out.
You'll be reading for days!

Monday, November 9, 2009

My World

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

We were walking around the campus of
Rice University on Halloween
going to the Howl-o-ween Barkathon
when we came across this:

It is a portion of the Berlin Wall.
It sits outside the Baker Institute for Public Policy.
I believe today is the anniversary of the wall coming down and thought
I'd share this small portion with you.

Here are a very few of the participants in the Barkathon.
It was held as a fund raiser for women's athletics
and for a local animal rescue group.
They raised over $35,000.

This family came as the Jackson 5 -- complete with gloves and hats.
They and their dog were one of the winners.

None of the little lady dogs wanted their faces in the pictures.
But they sure enjoyed showing off their dresses!

Loved the little elf.

This little guy was in constant motion
as you can tell by the blurry photo.

Click here to view all participants of My World Tuesday.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shame on Me!

I've received some lovely awards from some of my favorite BlogLand buddies and I'm late in thanking them.

The lovely Sarah at Cottage Garden Studio passed the very special Deborah Award on to me and several other blogs. In Sarah's words, "one common virtue, they are loyal friends regardless of race, creed, political affiliations and geography. To honor womanhood and friendship and there is nothing more wondrous a blessing for anyone than for a friend who came and never left your side." I hope I can live up to this award. Deborah is described as someone who is "perpetually pleasant and cheerful, kind and gentle, diplomatic and tactful. She exudes courage, hope and faith." Oh, my! Thank you, Sarah!

The Sugar Doll award came by way of McGillicutty. I love reading her "Inner Ramblings of a Mid Life Momma". She's a wife, mother, photographer and she's been to Blog Camp! Sounds like someone everyone should meet.

The Dragon's Loyalty Award came from Alicia at Boylerpf. I've been reading Alicia's beautiful and fun blog for awhile now. It's always interesting. I think she gave me this award because I'm a dragon!!!!!!

A big think you to all you lovely ladies. Please forgive me for not passing them on, on being slow about acknowledging your awards to me. Please drop by and visit these wonderful ladies and say Hi!