Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yarn Along!

It's been awhile since I've joined Ginny at Small Things for her Yarn Along.
She believes folks who knit and crochet love to read and I agree!

Knit Blanket Buddy

This is the Bear Blanket Buddy I finished yesterday.
The little blanket and all the bear pieces are knit.
Mary Maxim has a kit for several different Blanket Buddies.  

Knit Blankie Buddy

He even has a tail!
My Grand God Son is due any day.
This little bear and a crochet blanket will be on their way soon. 

I finished HEARTSTONE the fifth book in the Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery series by C. J. Sansom. I love historical mysteries and this has to be one of the best series I've read. The detail in each book is amazing. You are in Tudor England while you are reading.

In HEARTSTONE it is the summer of 1545 and England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone wrong and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. Matthew is given a case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr which deals with the corrupt Court of Wards. Matthew and his assistant, Barak, travel to Portsmouth (where the French and English fleets are massing) to look into the case. While they are there, Matthew plans on looking into the mysterious background of Ellen Fettiplace, a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam hospital for the insane that he has befriended. Somehow, someway, Sansom weaves all of this together (in 600+ pages).

The other book I finished is THIS IS GETTING OLD: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity by Susan Moon. Susan is a writer and longtime Zen Buddhist who teaches popular writing workshops. This book is a collection of essays on the "sometimes confusing, sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious condition of being a woman over sixty." With chapter titles like "Where Did I Put My Begging Bowl" (those senior moments), "Leaving the Lotus Position" (joints that refuse to work), "The Tomboy Returns" (return to childhood), "Tea with God", "Alone with Everyone" (something I'm going through now after the death of Mr. Dragon), I really did think this would be the book for me. I was disappointed. I'm not sure what I expected, but I didn't get it ... then again ... maybe I did and I just haven't realized it yet!!!!! (I tried to upload a picture of the cover of the book and Poor Blogger ... it wouldn't let me.)

To see what fellow *yarners* are reading and working on,

Wishing YOU well and a lovely day. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tea Time and a Winner!

Before I announce the winner of my Celebrate My Blogoversary Give-a-way,
let's have a little tea time!

Tea Time

I found the tea cup, coaster and scatter tray at Homegoods.
I love blue and white.

Tea Time

The cup is China and the tray is melamine.

Tea Time

I thought you might be interested in seeing what other pieces are available.
The Time For Tea gift set was designed in Northamptonshire,
England, the Rose of the English Shires.
Check out the website:!

Tea Time

I used to select the winner of the Celebrate My Blogoversary
The winner is number 10, Wanda Lee!
Everything is wrapped and waiting for you to email me with your address!
A big thank you to everyone for helping me celebrate! 

Tea Time Flowers

Thanks to our tea party hostesses.
These are just a few of the tea parties in the Land of Blog.

Wishing YOU well and a wonderful cup of tea.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I've been busy scanning photos again.
I found one of those old, horrible, sticky paged photo albums.
What nasty things it does to the photos!
I thought I better get busy scanning.

When we lived in New Mexico,
we were part of a hot air balloon crew.

These photos are from my very first hot air balloon ride.

Hot Air Ballooning

Beautiful Barnes balloon.
Piloted by a woman who I worked with.
30 years later, she is still a friend.

Hot Air Ballooning

My first balloon ride was in beautiful Angel Fire, New Mexico, August 1981.
 A lifetime ago.
It was a small gathering of balloonists and their crews.
Silent running until the burner was turned on. 
Moved along by the wind.

Mr. Dragon wanted to become a balloon pilot in his spare time (!!!!).
Before he started lessons, we moved to Texas. 

Hot Air Ballooning

A beautiful place, a beautiful time, and beautiful memories. 

Thank you to our hostesses:

Wishing YOU well and a joy filled week!

Friday, June 24, 2011


a box of postcards
art turned into messages
a bargain priced find

Allow Nothing To Worry You

I found the box of postcards on one of my trips to Half-Price Books.
I never know what little treasure I might find when I visit!

I opened the wooden box and picked the first postcard in the box to show you.

The back of the card reads:
Allow Nothing to Worry You, 2002, mixed media on plexiglass, 20" x 24"
c. 2004 Inez Storer, From Mementos: 30 Postcards, published by Chronicle Books

On the bottom of the box:
"Slide off the lid of this wooden box and immerse yourself 
in Mementos - a visual feast of warmth and wit from 
Point Reyes, Calif., artist Inez Storer.
Each of 30 different postcards printed on heavy craft paper
features one of Storer's evocative paintings, collages, or drawings. 
Even after you send them, you'll have a keepsake of your own:
the beautiful silk-screened wooden lid you can hang as art."

I'm thinking there will be a few more posts featuring Mementos!

A big thank you to our hostesses:

We finally had some rain!
Two days of off and on rain.
Not nearly enough to break the drought,
but I'm thankful for the little moisture that we received.

Back to the old weather pattern of hot, humid and no rain.

Wishing YOU well and a fun-filled weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Healing After Loss

Black-crowned Night Heron
Japanese Garden Hermann Park

"I pray to the birds because I believe they will carry the messages of my heart upward.
I pray to them because I believe in their existence,
 the way their songs begin and end each day --
 the invocations and benedictions of Earth.
I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love other than what I fear.
And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen."
~Terry Tempest Williams

Several months ago I asked you to hold Roo and her Cowboy in your hearts.
Cowboy and Mr. Dragon fought the same horrible cancer.
Cowboy has gone on to the stars.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Treat Each Year

I love hand made objects. They have a certain spirit to them.
Each year I go to the student art sale at the Glassell school.
Each year it is my goal to come home with one tea cup.
Sometimes I come  home with a little something extra.
This year I came home with the kitty print.
His name is Emeril!
I thought he looks a lot like my Teddy.


The  tea pot came from Glassell, but not this year.
This is the new tea cup.
It is hand thrown porcelain and is very thin.

Tea Cup

I have criteria for the perfect tea cup.
It must be pleasing to my eye.
It must feel good.
It must feel good in my hands.
And, IT must have a good feel.
You know ... the spirit of the cup .. the feeling of the artist and the clay.
It's there! 

Some years I've picked up a cup and put it right back down.
Not this year. 
I knew immediately ... before I touched it ... that it was the one.
It called to me and I brought it home.


Just like the kitty print.
He called and I listened!

Thanks to our tea party hostesses.
These are just a few of the tea parties in the Land of Blog.

Wishing YOU well and a wonderful cup of tea.

Don't forget.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


The first official day of summer is next Tuesday.
We've been setting record high temps in three digits since the
beginning of the month.
I'm tired of summer already!

I never tire of watermelon!
For me, watermelon and summer go together.

I searched on Flickr and found some wonderful watermelon images.
Here are just a few:

Flickr Images

Happy Fathers Day.

Wishing YOU well and a joy filled week! 

Thank you to our hostesses:

Don't forget to check out my blogoversary give-a-way here.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Summer memories
Tall Ship Elissa Sailing
Wind blowing my hair


Back of the postcard reads:
Galveston, Texas was the leading port of the 
Southwest and a major trade center during the
Golden Age of Sail. Now that era has returned with
the restoration of the sailing ship ELISSA, whose
masts tower over the historic city's famous port.
Rescued from a Greek scrapyard after nearly 100
years at sea, ELISSA was restored by the Galveston
Historical Foundation and is now open for public
tours seven days a week. 
Photo by David Cannght

A big thank you to our hostesses:


The humidity is back and the feels like temperatures are 105 or greater.
Time to hibernate!

Have a lovely, cool, weekend! 

Help me celebrate my blogoversary here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Healing After Loss

Buddha and Zinnias
Buddha in Musashi's Garden

"I must learn to open bottles, move the furniture, open stuck windows,
go home alone, investigate the noise in the night, eat alone,
make decisions alone, handle money alone, go on trips alone,
fight with service companies alone, be sick alone, sleep alone,
sing alone."
~Sonja O'Sullivan

Monday, June 13, 2011


Once a year in June it's time to CELEBRATE my Blogoversary with a give-a-way.

Here's what you will receive if you are the winner:
- commemorative coronation mug of King Edward VIII
- King Arthur's Court at Camelot tea pot

- Two painted tea cups on canvas
(No, I didn't do the painting. I found them at Michaels.)

- and, a lovely tin filled with A Taste of Tea note cards.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post.
You do not have to do anything special.
You do not have to be a follower
(although, if you are the winner, it would be nice!)

On June 28, I'll use random number to pick a winner.

Thanks to our tea party hostesses.
These are just a few of the tea parties in the Land of Blog.

Wishing  You WELL and a lovely cup of tea!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Roses In Musashi's Garden

Every day I watch as the earth cracks.
We are in an extreme drought.
I am surrounded by huge oak trees and I don't think
even if my neighbors water,
they can water enough to keep them alive.

In Musashi's Garden, my postage stamp backyard,
I get a break from the drought.
I have small citrus trees and one Japanese Maple.

It's the roses that bring me great pleasure.
I have four new roses this year.


Enchanted Evening is a lavender floribunda rose.
It is a little darker purple at the center with a silvery reverse.
They have a citrus like scent.


Double delight is a hybrid tea that may be very familiar to you.
It has been a big favorite of rose lovers for quite awhile.
It received high honors in 1977 by AARS.
Creamy white flowers brushed with deep red and a wonderful spicy fragrance.


The Bill Warriner rose is a cluster floribunda filled with salmon colored flowers.
It is named in honor of Jackson and Perkins' chief hybridizer,
Bill Warriner.


The fourth new rose is Sun Flare.
Sun Flare is a rose hybridized by the legendary William Warriner.
Disease resistant, hardy floribunda with non-fading yellow blooms
and an unusual licorice fragrance.

All of these roses are compact enough to be in containers that I can move
around the garden to get the best location to make them happy!

Thank you to our hostesses:

Wishing YOU WELL and a JOY filled week.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kitties and Cream

I had so much fun last week combining postcards
 and haiku that I thought I'd try it again!

This postcard is from The Cat Postcard Book published by Running Press.

Kitties and Cream

The back of the postcard reads:
Little White Kitties into Mischief, 1871, by Currier & Ives (American).
Hand colored lithograph. Museum of the City of New York
Harry T. Peters Collection.

I'm pairing this postcard with the photo from the June calendar page
published by the United States Humane Society.
It's brought a smile to may face everyday.
It's a real awwwwwwwwww!!!!!

kitty and cream

early morning tea
kitty happily lapping
surprise starts the day

A big thank you to our hostesses:


So many of you have left wonderful comments and sent me emails 
asking how I'm doing and cheering me on.
I had a telephone call last week from the protocol nurse who was so helpful
during Mr. Dragon's chemo, radiation and surgery ... that all went for naught.
It was a rough telephone call. I'm afraid I wasn't very *nice*.
I told my step-daughter that I guess I'd too many good days and needed a really rough one!
I am managing. Almost through all the estate paperwork.
But I miss him and I know I always will.
He had my back and I had his.
My back is lonely.


Wishing YOU WELL and a JOY filled weekend.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tea and Cake

Last week I had a birthday.
I went out and bought myself a cake and some flowers.
Came home and put 6 candles on the cake.
One for each decade.
(I didn't want to burn the house down.)

Tea and Cake

Lucille, my sister by choice, knows me well.
She knows that two of my favorite things are tea and birds.

Porcelain Teapot with infuser

For my special day she gave me the lovely Audubon porcelain tea pot (with infuser).

Porcelain Mugs and Spoons

And, two mugs with spoons.
I'm a very lucky girl.

Tea and Cake

When I blew the candles out, I sent a special message up to the stars.
"I miss you and love you and I'm trying hard to LIVE."

Tea and Cake

The cake was a red velvet chocolate cake with cream cheese icing.
I had it for breakfast several days! 
It was not on my diet, but birthdays come only once a year.

Thanks to our tea party hostesses.
These are just a few of the tea parties in the Land of Blog.

"Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude 
and the pleasures of company."
~Author Unknown
365 things Every Tea Lover Should Know

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Look Back

A look back at the month of May.
It sure went quickly.

May Mosaic

A big thank you to

Wishing you WELL and a JOY filled week.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Just Look At That Face!

Just look at that face!
He seems to enjoy having his portrait taken.
He is a Saki Monkey and he lives in the Natural Encounters building 
at the Houston Zoo.

Saki Monkey

My BGD (beautiful god-daughter) and I were quite taken with him.
Look at his hands and his long fingers.

Saki Monkey

A New World Monkey, Sakis are small sized monkeys with long, bushy tails. They live in the trees of the rain forests and only occasionally go onto the land. They are generally very shy and cautious. Their range includes northern and central South America, extending from the south of Columbia, over Peru, in northern Bolivia and into the central part of Brazil.

While not endangered, they are vulnerable due to the destruction of their habitat by humans. They are also hunted for food and for the pet trade.

Wishing you WELL and a JOY filled week.

Friday, June 3, 2011

More Baseball

There's a lot of baseball going on around here.
My beloved Rice University Owl baseball team is playing at home this weekend
in the NCAA regional tournament as 64 teams reach for the stars
and the right to play for the College World Series in Omaha in late June.

So, I went back to
America Plays Ball: Historical Baseball Photographs from the Library of Congress
published by Pomegranate.

Little boys playing baseball.


The back of the card reads:
US Resettlement Administration project children's baseball game at
Granger (IA) Homesteads, May 1936.
Photograph by Carl Mydans
Prints and Photographs Division LC-USF33-T01-607-M5

Did you know that there is a book titled Baseball Haiku?
I've been following Haiku My Heart in the blog world for awhile.
I haven't tried my hand at writing one, although I feel the urge coming on.
Not too long ago there were comments that some weren't following the *recipe*
for Haiku and therefore *they* were doing something wrong.
Obviously, this well meaning person knew nothing about baseball haiku.
So, here is a little educational post!

the young grass
kids get together
to hit a ball

This haiku was written by Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)
"The last of the four great pillars of Japanese haiku and the first modern haiku poet, Masaoka Shiki revived the genre of haiku from its stagnant state near the end of the nineteenth century and gave it a new and vibrant life. Influenced by recent Western literature and art, he used common language and new subject matter to move haiku away from the classical vocabulary and conventional themes that had been stifling innovation. He wrote about glass doors, railroad trains, and even a new game -- baseball. In 1890 he created the world's first baseball haiku."*

We learn something new everyday!

Here's to baseball and haiku!

Thank you to our hosts:

Long may they flourish!

* From the book Baseball Haiku: The Best Haiku Ever Written About The Game by
Van Den Heuvel and Tamura

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Another wonderful email from Christine Kane:

9 Bodacious (and Simple) Ways to Uplevel Your Self-Care

by Christine Kane woman in bath
Just as there was a time when "google" was not a verb, there was also a time when "bodacious" was not a word. Bodacious is a blend of "bold" and "audacious" created in British English dialect late in the nineteenth century.

I love this word! Some days we need to be bodacious! And, as purposeful business owners and creators, we need to remember to apply it to our own self-care.

No matter how rewarding or noble it is to be of service to others -whether you're a coach, in retail, or taking care of an ailing parent - you cannot leave your self-care out of the picture. If you do, you'll burn-out, become ill or even resentful of the very people you serve, and you'll ultimately serve no one.

Besides, when you are healthy inside and out, you simply attract more success to you!

Here are 9 bodacious ways to uplevel your self-care and become a magnet for more opportunities:

1- Flowers!

This is so simple - and yet so powerful. Fresh flowers beautify any space. Right now, I have an orchid on my desk. I see it the minute I enter my office, and it reminds me to take a deep breath and cherish the beauty of my life. Create a Sunday ritual of getting fresh flowers to get your week off to a bodacious start!

2 - Take a nap.

Favorite thing: I climb into bed for a nap in the middle of the day. Within minutes comes the soft ploop of cat paws on the cover. I can almost hear the cat thoughts: Hmm. The human has decided to lie quietly. I'd like to take part. Then the paws walk all around me until they find the very best spot for settling.

Cats know the truth: Naps are bodacious!

3 - Pay full price.

The amount of energy we waste on trying to get "deals" is often not worth it. If you see something you love, then get it. I'm convinced that we'd all be so much happier and wealthier if we just got exactly what we loved without looking at price tags and wasting time looking for sales. (We'd probably have much less stuff too!)

4 - Trampolines and swings.

I was at a cocktail party last year. The adults were up on the deck watching the kids jump on the trampoline. At one point, all the kids ran inside. I kicked off my shoes and ran for the trampoline. Three other women joined me. We laughed and jumped for about 10 minutes. It was the most fun I'd had all week.

Swings are fun, too. And they're easy to find! Who cares if you look or feel stupid? Being an adult doesn't have to mean being boring!

5 - Truncate your To-Do's.

How many items are on your to-do list today?




A day should have no more than two or three mission-critical priorities for completion. The rest are extra credit! Give yourself the gift of completion. It is the ultimate self-care.

6 - Order out.

I love cooking. But some nights, it's just necessary to let someone else do it. We have a great delivery service in our town. I don't mind the extra expense if it allows me a night of no clean up, and a little extra time to write or just be with my husband.

7 - Take a long walk with your dog.

Are you one of those people who gets home from work and marches your dog around the block with a grim look on your face? (Another to-do item checked off the list!)

Try this: Take your dog for a long happy walk. Revel in the delight and presence of your dog. It will absolutely lift your spirits.

8 - Read for fun.

Do you relish your days on the beach because it's the only time you'll allow yourself the joy of a trashy novel or some "light" reading?

Why not get a little bodacious and bring the beach to your work-week? Curl up at night and get lost in some fun fiction.

9 - Step AWAY from the computer. (And the phone.)

The challenge of this internet world is that we are "plugged in" 24/7. You are reachable all the time now. No one waits for "business hours" anymore. This is not healthy for your precious creative spirit, my friend.

Take regular break from Facebook, blogs, texts, cell phones, and email. (Yes, even this eZine!) Don't include your computer in any of the above activities. And turn off your phone, too! I promise, your computer and phone won't take it personally! (Neither will this e-Zine!)

Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at