Monday, February 25, 2013

Comfort Food

If I asked you to list your favorite comfort foods, what would they be?

Macaroni and cheese
Grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup
Scrambled eggs
Ice Cream

For me I'd have to add scalloped tomatoes to the list.

Scalloped Tomatoes

For my Granny and my Mother, scalloped tomatoes were their go to vegetable.
Quick and easy.

There are lots of recipes for scalloped tomatoes (Google and see) and
the recipes are basically all alike.

I cheated when I made this one.
I used a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano.
I sauteed some onion and celery, added the tomatoes and mixed well.
Dumped everything into a baking dish.
Added about 1/4 cup of bread crumbs to the tomatoes -- mixing well.
Then sprinkled a little more bread crumbs on top with some grated parmesan cheese.
Baked at 350 for around 30 minutes --
Bubbling and the cheese was melting.

Perfect as a side dish for On The Menu Monday and Meatless Monday.

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunlit Garden

Once again the mystery rose is blooming.
I call it the mystery rose because I don't know it's proper name.
It's a beauty.
Probably my favorite rose -- the wonderful peachy/apricot color.

Rose Collage

"The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper."
~ W.B. Yeats


Thank you to the hosts of Sunlit Sunday and Mosaic Monday.

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


As you know, Teddy is the man of the house now.
He will be nine years old soon.


On his annual exam earlier this month the vet found a heart murmur.
Further testing shows that Teddy has HCM - hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.


HCM causes the heart muscle to thicken making moving the blood more difficult.
It is the most common heart disease found in cats - especially in middle aged male cats -
just like Teddy.


There is no cure for HCM.
It can be treated - in Teddy's case with a beta blocker.
Hopefully, Teddy will be with me and the girls several more years.

He will be checked by his vet every 3 months.


He Came
He Purred
He Conquered all the hearts in this house.

Let this be a reminder.
Be sure you take your pet to the vet annually,
and, as they get older consider visits every 6 months.

Teddy and I wish YOU well and much joy!

Camera Critters

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Party Time!

It's time for Vee's Note Card Party.

I have to admit -- this party is one of my favorite in the Land of Blog.

So many nice bloggers, beautiful photos, wonderful ideas.

A big thank you to Vee for hosting.

I've searched for four photographs on my blog that would make a nice set of note cards.
I think they will warm you up and perhaps bring a smile to your face.
They were all taken at one of my favorite places -- the Japanese Garden in Hermann Park.
Nature is profoundly beautiful in this garden.
We can't forget the critters!

Turtles Sunning
Turtles sunning in the Japanese Garden

"Choose only one Master - Nature."

Black-crowned Night Heron
Black Crowned Night Heron

"Nature is the art of God."
~Dante Alighieri

Easter is Coming!

"I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars."
~Walt Whitman

Black Bellied Whistling Ducks
Black Bellied Whistling Ducks

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature."
~Anne Frank

A Haven for Vee

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Daybook

I'm not sure why, but I got up this morning with this song on my mind:
"Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be".

The day is starting off sunny, but rain is in the forecast.
With our drought conditions, I'm not going to complain about rain.

I am really tired of dealing with allergies. 
This year has been horrible and I'm tired of coughing all the time --
so are the kitties. My coughing disturbs Cassie's beauty sleep. 

I don't feel like doing anything -- including blogging!

But, as always, I am thankful for another day on Mother Earth.

There isn't much action in the kitchen.
I need to go to the grocery and replenish the pantry.
I have a yearning for baked tomatoes -- with some garlic and a little parmesan.

I'm a fashion plate today (yeah, right, sure) in my Land's End navy crop britches
and Seattle Mariners t-shirt. 
My feet are really happy in my pink and purple Eeyore socks. 

After finishing my circular scarf, I've taken out the counted cross stitch.
This is my first return to cross stitch since I had the cataracts removed.
So far, so good! 

I am reading THE SNOW EMPRESS by Laura Joh Rowland.
I love historical mysteries.
Snow Empress is the 12th book in the Sano Ichiro  series.
Sano is a samurai detective who has risen to power in the shogun's court.
As with most long running series, some books are better than others,
but I always enjoy visiting with Sano and his wife, Reiko.

I can hear Teddy meowing.
He and Cassie are running down the hall.
They sound like they are wearing combat boots on their paws! 
My kitties are definitely 3 of my favorite things.

College baseball season has started.
The Rice Owls had a three game series with the Stanford Cardinal this last weekend.
The Owls won 2.
Great way to start the season.

Time to dry my hair!

Wishing YOU well, much joy and a Happy President's Day!
(Do you have the day off? Going to do something fun?)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An Experiment

I won this lovely crochet pattern (Basic Circle Scarf) from Olivia at My Favourite Things.
I admire Olivia's crochet work and was delighted to try this pattern.

Circle Scarf

I had two skeins of Alpaca yarn.
One in a solid blue/grey and the other in a multi color.
The original pattern called for crocheting with two strands and since the Alpaca yarn
was quite chunky -- I decided to experiment and see what would happen.
Would I have enough yarn?

Crochet Circular Scarf

Olivia's scarf is 8 inches wide and mine is a tad over 4.
I was able to repeat the pattern once instead of the number called for in the original pattern 
 and held my breath on the last row.

Crochet Circular Scarf

I tried it on today and I love it.
The Alpaca yarn is so soft.
I want to cuddle the scarf.
Perhaps I'll sleep with it tonight! 

We have more cool weather (cool for us) coming. 
I will be ready.

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On This Date

Two years ago today,
the LOVE of my life,
My Knight in Shining Armor, 
left this earthly home and traveled on to the stars.


We were together over 30 years.
I miss him.

The Little Prince

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Happy New Year!

This is what greeted me in my email this morning.

Happy Losar!

A joyous year of the female water snake to you and yours.

In this, the 2140th year on the Tibetan calendar, may all the world, and every one of us in it, come to know peace and walk with kindness so that those born will be welcome, those passing will be at ease, and harmony reins in all our inner and outer realms.


A time to reflect, to start again.

There is no better place to celebrate the Lunar New Year than at the Japanese Garden 
in the early morning.

Tea House

Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

Mosaic Japanese Garden

Thank you to the hosts of Sunlit Sunday and Mosaic Monday.

Wishing you well and much joy in the Female Water Snake Year of 2140!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Do You Remember Impossible Pie?

If you said "yes" to this question,
then you remember or still use Bisquick.

I've been going through my cookbooks -- clearing out.
I have way too many -- so many that haven't been opened in ages.
Amongst the cookbooks, I found several smaller soft covered publications like:
Betty Crocker's Creative Recipes with Bisquick.

I'm sure this belonged to my Mother.
I remember her saving green stamps to buy things on her wish list.
I also remember her cutting out the stickers on Betty Crocker items.
With so many stickers and 50 cents she could buy the latest book on Bisquick!

One of the fun things about this little book - it was published in 1980 to celebrate
the 50th anniversary of Bisquick!
The creation of Bisquick in 1930 marked the beginning of a new era in home baking.
It was America's first biscuit mix.

Back to the Impossible Pie --
I made a lot of them when I was younger -- easy to make for dinner after a long day at work.
One of my favorites was the Impossible Vegetable Pie.

Impossible Vegetable Pie
From Betty Crocker's Creative Recipes with Bisquick

Impossible Veggie Pie Recipe
From Betty Crocker's Creative Recipes with Bisquick

I don't think I have ever made a recipe the same way twice.
I might start out as it was written, but the second time -- watch out!
For the veggie pie, I would have left out the green pepper and added a little Hatch green chili.
The two cups of veggies would have included what ever I had on hand.
We had a very successful veggie garden in New Mexico -- lots of squash -- so two cups
of veggies would have included different kinds of squash.
I do the same now -- squash, mushrooms, some garlic, perhaps some tomato.
You get the idea.

This little trip into the past got me thinking about Bisquick and I visited 
the Betty Crocker site and found a recipe I know I will try.

Impossible Spinach and Feta Pie
From the Betty Crocker website.


Dinner made in impossibly easy way. Enjoy this cheesy pie made using Bisquick Original baking mix and spinach - a wonderful meal.

Makes 6-8 servings

1 package (10 ounces) frozen choped spinach, thawed and squeezed to drain.

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

1/2 cup Bisquick Original or Reduced Fat baking mix

2/3 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 400. Grease pie plate, 9x1 1/4 inches. Mix spinach, cheese and onions in pie plate.
2. Stir remaining ingredients until blended. Pour into pie plate.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 

I think these recipes are good for a busy On The Menu Monday
and Meatless Monday.

Wishing YOU well and much joy.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Yungang Grottoes

I have a very special Postcard Friendship Friday to share with you.
My dear friend, Vivian, is a Fulbright Scholar studying in China this year completing her PhD.
I first met Vivian at the Museum of Fine Arts where we both worked on updating and
reinstalling the Asian Galleries.
We also spent a good deal of time temple hopping in Houston.
With a large Asian population, the city has many beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples.
When Vivian left for China she asked what I wanted (besides tea) and I said

Yungang Grottoes

Vivan was able to vist the amazing Yungang Grottoes in Datong city in the Shanxi Province.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site with 252 caves and 51,000 statues that
represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th centuries.

For a student of Art History, Buddhism and Archaeology -- what a wondrous place!

Yungang Grottoes

Vivian sent these to me in early December and they are just arriving.
Talk about the slow boat FROM China!

Yungang Grottoes

The Buddhist tradition of religious cave art achieved its first major impact at Yungang, 
where it developed its own distinct character and artistic power. The Yungang cave art represents the successful fusion of Buddhist religious symbolic art from south and central Asia with Chinese cultural traditions, starting in the 5th century AD under imperial auspices. At the same time it vividly illustrates the power and endurance of Buddhist belief in China. As Buddhism spread over Asia, it was able
to successfully assimilate with the local traditions and Yungang is a good example.

You can read more about the Yungang Grottoes here.
You can find many photographs of the grottoes by "googling".

Thank you to the lovely Beth for hosting Postcard Friendship Friday.
I'm also joining Mosaic Monday.

Wishing you well and much joy!