Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Watery Wednesday

It's Wednesday and that means Watery Wednesday! Be sure to visit to see more water posts!

Mallard Ducks

The Japanese Garden in Hermann Park.
I think Mom and Dad Mallard have a nest under the bridge.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tea Cup Tuesday

Tea Cup Tuesday is hosted by Martha and Terri.
Be sure to visit to see all the other tea cups on parade!!!!!

Aren't these sweet?
They are tea bag holders.

They are designed by Alberto Pinto for Raynaud.
Made of fine Limoges porcelain.
Handcrafted and hand-painted.
Measure 4.7 inches long x 3.5 inches wide
(Mr. Dragon says that's one big tea bag!)

Si Kiang Tea Bag Holder

Villandry Tea Bag Holder

Metamorphoses Tea Bag Holder

Wing Song Tea Bag Holder

Cristobal Tea Bag Holder

Alle Royale Tea Bag Holder

Another Wing Song Tea Bag Holder

Hope your week is off to a good start!

Joy to You!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mosaic Monday: 4th of July

Mosaic Monday is hosted by the lovely Mary. Be sure you visit to see the other mosaics.

I'm jumping the gun a bit for the 4th of July.
Maybe that's because Mr. Dragon wanted fried chicken and corn on the cob for lunch on Sunday!
Can you say *Kentucky Fried*? !!!!
He needs the calories and it's been ages since we've had either! It was a tasty treat.

Mosaic of 4th of July Crochet Projects

Lily makes the Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. They have a nice newsletter and always include free patterns for crochet and knit goodies for various holidays. The last newsletter had these wonderful crochet goodies for patriotic holidays ... even the apron is crochet! You can sign up for the newsletter and see the free patterns here.


How about a recipe for the Red, White and Blue -- featuring blue!

Blueberry Cobbler with Sugared Star Shortcakes

This is straight out of the July issue of Southern Living. Doesn't it look good?

Here's the recipe:
Makes 10 servings. Hands-on Time: 10 min. Total Time: 18 min

2 pt. fresh blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. almond extract
2 (12 0z.) cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 Tbsp. coarse sparkling sugar
Sweetened whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until bubbly and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

2. Separate biscuits, and flatten each into a 3 1/2 inch circle. Cut with a 3-inch star-shaped cutter, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet; sprinkle with sparkling sugar, pressing to adhere. Bake at 400 for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

3. Place 1 biscuit on each serving plate. Spoon blueberry mixture over half of biscuits; top with remaining biscuits. Serve with whipped cream.

Note: Tested with Pillsbury Grands!Jr. Golden Layers Buttermilk Biscuits.

Have a wonderful week.

Joy to You!

Blog Love

First, let me say that I love awards. But they embarrass me.
I enjoy blogging. It brings me pleasure. I've met so many wonderful folks and made some very good friends through the blogging world. Friends who have been very loving and supportive throughout our recent adventure with the Big C.

Debra at She Who Seeks sent me The Versatile Blogger Award awhile ago.
I did thank her when I received it, but didn't post. I had to think about it!
I love the idea that my blog isn't just about one thing. That I do try to post on different things -- books I've read, things I've crocheted or knitted, photos I've taken, spots in the Houston area that we really enjoy, some of our real life ... the cancer ... our enjoyment of the zoo ... our furbabies, THE grandson.

I'm supposed to list a bunch of things about me that you don't know ... it was hard coming up with a list ... I've shared just about all the interesting stuff!

My favorite movie may be Enchanted April. It has no blood and gore, no swearing (that I remember). It has beautiful scenery, nice music, a fun story about 4 women who rent a villa in Tuscany for one month after the Great War. It's about change, friendship. For me, it is a magical movie. I loved the last scene when the older woman drives her cane into the ground and then, as the seasons change, we see the cane sprout into a tree. YeeHaw!

My favorite musical score for a movie has to be The Last of The Mohicans. It brings tears to my eyes.

I don't care much for dark chocolate. Of course, that's the chocolate that's good for you. When I was growing up my Granny gave my Mother a box of chocolate covered cherries every year at Christmas. I looked forward to the gift almost as much as my Mother. When Granny died, my Daddy took over making sure there was a box of chocolate covered cherries under the tree. And when he died, I made sure Mother had her box of cherries. Both of my parents have been gone many, many years and last year I felt the call of chocolate covered cherries once again. Good thing CVS is just across the street!

That's all I could come up with that was, perhaps, new and different!

The hardest part about awards is the passing them on part. I'm not good at that. I don't want to hurt anyone's feeling by not picking them. In fact, I think all of you should share this award. There are many of you who don't receive awards and I understand that. So, here are a few of my favorite blogs that I think are worth a visit from you and should have the versatile blogger award. Please take some time to visit them and say Hello.

Jinksy at Napple Notes

Noni at Peacock Blue


For a little more Blog Love, have you visited with the Country Girl? If you haven't, you a missing a good time. She had a meme on her blog this last Friday. Here it is for you to do or pass on ....

"And now, folks, because it’s Friday night and because inquiring minds need to know, here’s a few questions for you:

1. When is your usual bedtime?

2. In the past month, what was your biggest OOPS?

3. How many relatives do you have named “Bob”.

4. Tea, or coffee, or juice in the morning?

5. Right now, I hear __________________ ."

Here's what I said:

1. When is your usual bedtime? We wonder up the stairs about 9.Get settled in by 9:30 (have a new kitten), a little weather on the news and perhaps some Tonight Show. Sleep by 11.

2. In the past month, what was your biggest OOPS? Amazing! I don't think I had one ... does that mean in July I'll have a real whopper?

3. How many relatives do you have named “Bob”. One ... brother-in-law

4. Tea, or coffee, or juice in the morning? Tea, juice or just milk.

5. Right now, I hear the shower running.

Happy Blog Love Everyone! Here's to All Of You!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Postcard Friendship Friday is hosted by the lovely Beth. Be sure to visit!

More postcards from Fibber McGee and Molly's closet!

San Jose Mission

"In the Gardens of San Jose Mission, San Antonio, Texas"

San Jose Mission

"San Jose Mission. Outstanding among the old buildings which link the modern city of San Antonio with its glamorous past is Mission San Jose de Aguayo. This mission called "Queen of the Missions" its Rose Window is considered a masterpiece of sculpture."

HIghest Point in Texas

"The End of Guadalupe Range, The Highest Point in Texas, Elevation 10,000 FT."

Highest Point In Texas

"The End of Guadalupe Range, The Highest Point Texas"

"The Signal Peak, as seen from highway to White's City, N. M. and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It is the highest oint in Texas and is just across the New Mexico state line on El Paso - Carlsbad Caverns Highway."

(I love that there is no highway number ... just the El Paso-Carlsbad Caverns Highway ... times have certainly changed. Note the highway has two lanes.)

Linen postcards were printed from 1930 through 1945. They have a unique and appealing look. The thick paper was embossed on the picture side to give the card a “linen” texture, and the cheap inks created vivid colors.

The postcards I've been sharing with you were printed by Curt Teich & Co. (Chicago). They used a color printing technique they called “C.T. Art-Colortone”. Until it closed in 1978, The Teich Company was the world’s largest printer of view and advertising postcards.

Vintage linen postcards have become prized by some collectors, and there’s even a book about them. The linen postcards usually portrayed landmarks, landscapes, and roadside attractions from photographs, but some were more illustrative. They were printed on a lithography press using color separation.

Beginning in the late 1940s, linen postcards fell out of fashion when polychrome printing was invented. However, Curt Teich still used the C.T. Art-Colortone technique on smooth-surface “French Fold” postcards from 1951.

There was a question about French Fold ... here's what I found:
"French Fold" postcards where a number of images were printed on a long strip. These were then folded "concertina" style.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Watery Wednesday

Back to the Japanese Garden in Hermann Park!

Small Bridge

Be sure to visit other Watery Wednesday posts.

Energy of A Home

This was in today's email. I liked it and wanted to share.

June 21, 2010
The Dwelling Pulse
Energy Of A Home

Our homes and your belongings within them all contain energy. Tend to the energy of your home as you would tend to anything you love.

Our homes are filled with energy that we create and allow to flourish. In many cases, our relationship with the pulse of our homes is passive rather than active because we do not pay particular heed to the energy that has been established. It is only when we regard these spaces as unique entities that we begin to understand why it is necessary to take charge of the energy that fills our homes. Stagnant, inharmonious energy can find its way into our dwellings through many avenues. Previous occupants, builders, visitors, and the individuals who maintain a home leave a strong energy imprint behind. Objects and symbols can also have an effect on the energy of a residence. When we are aware of all that can influence the energy of our spaces, we are empowered to create harmonious homes that do more than meet our need for shelter.

Exercising care with regard to who and what we invite into our homes is one of the easiest ways we can ensure that the energy within remains loving and supportive. It is not always possible to keep potentially harmful people and possessions from entering our homes, but we can take precautions. Individuals can be kept from private spaces like bedrooms and meditation areas, while property can be purified through cleansing or smudging. During periods of remodeling or construction, Reiki symbols and other positive imagery can be printed on surfaces that will later be covered by walls or flooring. Though hidden, these will continue to attract good energy and cleanse the existent energy. Blessings can also be drawn in plain sight, where they remind us of how potently our home's energy can affect our own.

A home can appear beautiful, comfortable, and stable while still serving as a dwelling place for negative or otherwise offensive energy. If you care for your home conscientiously and with great care, you will instinctively look beyond the surface qualities of your home when assessing how it feels. Since you actively guard your home against the intrusion of unwelcome energy, you will have the time and vigor necessary to cope with it constructively when should it appear in your midst. The spirit of your spaces will respond to your thoughtful ministrations, nurturing and supporting you for as long as you choose to reside within her walls.

For more information visit dailyom.com

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mosaic Monday

Mary is our hostess for Mosaic Monday. Be sure you visit the Little Red House.

What kinds of things do you collect?

I have tea pots, teddy bears, dragons, bird *things*, cat *things* ... too much stuff, but it all gives me pleasure.

I remember, when I was very young, going with my Mother every year to look for salt and pepper shakers for a cousin of mine. We'd start the search for just the right set just after Christmas and put the treasure away when we found it. I can only imagine how many salt and pepper shakers she collected over the years.

When Mr. Dragon and I moved to Houston, one of the first house warming gifts we received was a chicken salt and pepper shaker. It was a gag gift (a chicken in every pot sort of thing) and boy, what that gift started!

Salt and Pepper Shaker Mosaic

I'm not sure that I have a favorite. I found the Teddy Bears at Urban Outfitters and the Parrots at Pier One. The original set is the one on the bottom left. I thought it would be easy to find others that I like at thrift stores, but haven't had much luck. I guess I'm too picky!

Have a wonderful week.

Joy to You!

Playing Catch Up

First on my list are the winners of my Blogoversary, 100+ followers, 400+ post Give-a-way (that was a mouthful)!

  • The winner of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women is Crafty Christina.
  • The winner of the first three Matthew Shardlake Historical Mysteries is Pixiewinkle.
  • The winner of the Hooked on Murder book by Betty Hechtman is dosfishes.
  • The winner of the 10 recycled cards and envelopes in the reusable box is Kate T.
  • The winner of the small stone trinket box is the Queen herself, Kim Mailhot.
Please send me your address. I will send the gifts off as soon as I can and a big THANK YOU just for being YOU!


Next: Where have I been?
Have you seen these tutorials? And this is just a few. They've been going on for weeks!

Weather: It is summer here. Hotter than the hinges of Hades and with humidity.
Plans for the Day: Sit back, relax, read, watch a little baseball on TV. Have a steak to celebrate Father's Day.
Mr. Dragon: All the tests the last two weeks came back negative. He did have a pleural effusion that had to be drained, but that is often seen in patients who have this surgery. We were reminded once again ... he had LOTS of surgery. Getting a little stronger with each day. Baby steps.


Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Camera Critters

Camera Critters is hosted each Saturday by the lovely Misty. Be sure you visit to see more critters!

I'd like to introduce you to one of my favorite critters - the fossa.
This male and female live in the small cat area of the Houston Zoo.
The photos were taken at during a special event at the zoo. The keepers gave each of the small cats a treat while they talked and answered questions about them.

First the photos and then information about the Fossa.

Fossa Female

Here's the female working on getting to her treat.

Fossa male

This is the male Fossa.


The female Fossa taking a short rest!

A relative of the mongoose, the fossa is unique to the forests of Madagascar, an African island in the Indian Ocean. Growing up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) long from nose to tail tip, and weighing up to 26 pounds (12 kilograms), the fossa is a slender-bodied catlike creature with little resemblance to its mongoose cousins.

It is the largest carnivore and top predator native to Madagascar and is known to feed on lemurs and most other creatures it can get its claws on, from wild pigs to mice. Unlike mongooses, and more like felines, the fossa has retractable claws and fearsome catlike teeth. Its coat is reddish brown and its muzzle resembles that of a dog.

The fossa is also equipped with a long tail that comes in handy while hunting and maneuvering amongst the tree branches. It can wield its tail like a tightrope walker's pole and moves so swiftly through the trees that scientists have had trouble observing and researching it.

The elusive fossa is a solitary animal and spends its time both in the trees and on the ground. It is active at night and also during the day. Females give birth to an annual litter of two to four young, and adulthood is reached after about three years.

Madagascar is home to an enormous variety of plant and animal life, and a number of species are unique to the island—including over 30 species of lemur, the fossa’s prey of choice. Explorers first arrived on the island some 2,000 years ago, and scientists believe that they would have been met by a bizarre assemblage of now-extinct beasts, including lemurs the size of gorillas and a ten-foot-tall (three-meter-tall) flightless bird.

Presently, fossas are endangered creatures due to habitat loss. Less than ten percent of Madagascar’s original, intact forest cover, the fossa’s only home, remains today.

(Text information from the National Geographic.)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Back to San Antonio and the linen look postcards I found in the closet.

What wonders one can find when cleaning, searching, looking for something else!

Lion Postcard

I'm not sure you can see it on this card, but Breckenridge is spelled Breckinridge.

Flamingo Postcard

Bear Postcard

Back of Bear Postcard

The Bear Pit card was the only one with a description (sort of) on the back.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teacup Tuesday

Today is my first day with the meme Teacup Tuesday!

My mother was the teacup collector, not me. I kept several of her cups, but most I gave to her friends and fellow teacup collectors. However, I do LOVE tea and tea pots, so I thought this was a meme I'd enjoy. Thank you Martha for being our hostess.

We have a dear friend who visited his family in Taiwan shortly before Mr. Dragon had his surgery. He visited with us in the hospital and brought these wonderful gifts.

Almost too pretty to open!

Look what was inside!
They are lucky cups.

The lucky cup originated in the Sung Dynasty.
Made of porcelain clay and fired at 1260 C after shaping.
How to make it "sing"?
Just pour tea or water in it, one hand holds the bottom of the cup and with the other hand use your forefinger, rubbing the edge of the cup slowly and gently, and the cup will create melody.
And it does!

What about the design?

"In our memory, we could often see the colorful floral print bedding in the old granny's home, which was very trendy in Taiwan during the early 50's. True red color with peony, floral prints which represent luck and wealth, are often used on the beddings of the newly wed couples. Shin Tay Yuan Co., Ltd, with 38 years of experience in the transfer-printing industry for ceramics, brings the retro floral print into the new era by application of the prints onto the ceramics for daily usage."

Jim knows how I love ceramics and also included this wonderful book on the exhibition of Blue and White Wares. Like so many other cultures, there has been some dismay over the loss of their artisans, with mass produced wares. These exhibitions bring together ceramacists who keep the art alive.

I wanted to include this wonderful blue and white multi-functional tea set from the catalog.
"The set has 12 individual pieces, including a fruit plate, a candy box, tea plate, tea pot, tea cups, tea saucers. It combines practicality, an attractive appearance and is easy to put away!"

Joy To You!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mosaic Monday

The hostess for Mosaic Monday is the lovely Mary. Be sure you visit to see the other posts.

I've mentioned before about the damage that this last winter did to our garden. We lost so many beautiful blooms. We decided to take advantage of Hobby Lobby's Garden Decor sale to add some *pop* to Musashi's Garden while we wait for the plants to come back.

One of the first things we saw were the crazy male and female flamingo with their welcome signs. We both laughed out loud and they were the first of the Garden Decor in the shopping cart!

Mosaic Musahi's Garden

We already had the beautiful cat -- the symbol for our kitty Musashi and Musashi's Garden, the Buddha and the sun. I've wanted a gazing ball for awhile now and we added the lovely red one to the garden.

Do you know about gazing balls?

To many, the gazing globe seems to be a fairly new piece of garden decor. In truth, gazing balls have a history dating back to gardens in the 13th century. And depending on its use, has been called many different names. The Garden Ball, Gazing Globe, and Garden Globe are all names we use today. Throughout history it's been called a Witch Ball, Butler Globe, Globe of Happiness, and Victorian Ball.

The ball also carries with it a few legends. It was said to bring happiness, good luck and prosperity to anyone who owned it. That's a good enough reason to own one. The globe was also said to ward off evil spirits, misfortune, and illness.

The gazing globe had some practical purposes. In Victorian times, the "Butler Ball" served as a mirror for servants to see when guests were needing assistance without staring at them throughout the meal. Another practical use was in the foyer of the home. Parents could keep a close eye on their daughter and her date as he bid her goodnight.

Today, the gazing ball is used as an enhancement to the garden and landscaping. The reflective ball lets you see the whole garden, including the sky, in one glance. A group of different colored balls peeking out from between shrubs gives a whimsical appeal to the garden. It is a simple but elegant piece of garden decor that fits well in almost any application.

Joy to You!

Sunday Smile

Found in this mornings newspaper.
Mr. Dragon cut it out and placed it on the top of the lap book where I would see it first thing.
Too funny!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Camera Critters

Camera Critters is hosted each Saturday by the lovely Misty. Be sure you visit to enjoy the other participants.

Our vet told us about a very nice lady who was fostering some kittens.
She lives nearby and we just HAD to go see them.


Two males and two females (we think -- they are so tiny -- hard to tell for sure).
This was their first day on solid food and they loved it.

Kittens at Play

It was very hard to get them all in one shot.


Too much fun! You could sit and watch them for days and never get bored!


This little blond furred, blue eyed beauty will be coming to join our family in a week or so.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

The hostess for Postcard Friendship Friday is the lovely Beth.
Be sure you go visit to see the other participants.

I wanted to share some more of the wonderful, colorful, linen look, postcards I found while cleaning out my Fibber McGee and Molly closet!

The Covered Arch Walk in The Alamo, Postcard

The Covered Arch Walk in The Alamo

Postcard Back

"Within the walls of the Alamo - Built 1718. The brave David Crockett, Bowie Travis and 176 others gave their life battling for liberty against the Mexicans under Santa Anna."

The Alamo Garden, San Antonio, Texas (U.S. Post Office in Background), Postcard

The Alamo Garden, San Antonio, Texas. (U.S. Post Office in Background)

The Alamo Garden, San Antonio, Texas (U.S. Post Office in Background), Postcard

"This peaceful garden adjoins the famous Alamo,

where, in 1836, some 200 Texans fought an army of 5,000 Mexicans in the cause of Texas Independence. The Texas men were all killed!"

Good Morning!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Watery Wednesday

This is not exactly Mr. Starling's best side, but he was sure having fun taking a bath!


Bath time



Weather: It's been sauna like. Rain everyday. At least I don't have to water!
Reading: Getting ready to start The Mapping of Love and Death: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear
Appointments: Lots going on this week. It's been 3 months since Mr. Dragon had surgery so we are back to Anderson for endoscopy this week and CT scans next week. Keep those good vibes, prayers, juju, white light, thoughts coming! Thanks!

Joy to You!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Postcard Friendship Friday is hosted by the lovely Beth. Be sure you visit!

Today Beth has posted a card about our wonderful national flag.

I would like to say I did some closet cleaning this week, but that wouldn't be the truth.
I have this closet. It houses a little of everything. Extra pillows, yarn, beads, photos. I am happy to report that the door does close and nothing falls out when I open the door. In my search for the objects I was looking for, I found some old postcards. I didn't remember them at all and it was a very pleasant surprise. Here is one of them - The San Antonio River Walk. I have to admit that I love the painted look and the wonderful colors of the older cards.

River Walk Postcard San Antonio

The very top of the card reads: "Where Sunshine and Shadows Meet". Scene on the San Antonio River, San Antonio, Texas.

River Walk Postcard San Antonio

My parents and I did live in San Antonio for a very short time when I was 6 years old.
That was some 50 - cough, cough - years ago. I'm guessing that is when this card was purchased ... a remembrance of sorts.

Happy PFF!