Friday, May 27, 2016

This and That






Kids and Drums



1. Last Saturday the Houston Zoo opened early for its annual family Spring fling.
It's always more fun if you go with little kids. 
Face painting, slides, jump ropes, hula hoops, a DJ and zoo animals.




Winston



2. Then there are the animal ambassadors.
This is Winston and he is a Juliana Pig.
He's a big favorite with the kids and adults.



Dingo


 The Dingos have only been at the Houston Zoo for about 8 months.
The wild dog of Australia.
Did you know the Dingo is a separate taxonomy from the dog?




Charlie


This is Charlie the Chuckwalla.
The Chuckwalla is one of the largest of the  native American reptiles. 
Charlie is very handsome!

3. Because it was so early, before the zoo opened to the public,
we had the African Forest and the gorillas to ourselves.

The bachelor group was outside and entertaining us.
They can sure move fast!



Western Lowland Gorilla


4. This is a pretty time of year at the zoo.
Before it gets too hot and humid and the flowers are blooming.




Hibiscus



Canna




5. I finished crocheting a baby blanket.
It's one of my favorite patterns - quick, easy- and looks fancy!
You can find the free pattern here.


Baby Afghan


Wishing YOU well and much joy!

I'm joining:

Willy Nilly Friday

Five on Friday

Random Five Friday

















Friday, May 20, 2016

I'm Feeling a Bit Moldy






1. Im feeling a bit moldy after rain all week. 
April showers bring May flowers. 
In my case, April showers bring more May showers. 
Lots of tropical downpours meaning I'm taking water OUT of the pond. 
I don't want the water going over and the fish going over, too. 



Water Garden




I've read each and every one of the Maisie novels. 
I'm happy to report that Maisie is back. 
She is dealing with the deaths of her husband and child. 
In Journey to Munich Maisie is sent undercover to Berlin to bring back a British citizen who has been imprisoned in Dachau. 





3. The regular home season for the Rice University baseball season is over. 
I'm going to miss my little buddy Sofie. 
Sofie is six months old and is in training to be a service dog. 
Her people are parents of a Rice baseball player . 
Sofie is a great baseball fan and I'm going to miss her (and her people).




sofie



4. I finished another knitted shawl. 
I'm calling it a shawl/scarf as it is smaller in size than the shawl I finished earlier.




Knit Shawl




5. I've been gathering my index cards. The 2016 version of ICAD (Index Card A Day) will start on June 1. This will be my fourth year and it is always fun. A little bit of art every day is good for everyone!  



ICAD Meow
Meow 2013 ICAD




Wishing YOU well and much joy.


Willy Nilly Friday
















Friday, May 13, 2016

Your Dreams, Your Dreams






Peach



1. It's that time again at the Farmers Market.
Fresh Peaches
YUM

I've also been getting fresh picked strawberries.

Amazing how different they taste from the store bought berries.

I'm on the look out for tomatoes, blueberries and blackberries, too.


I also came home with Blue Heron Farms new flavored chèvre

cinnamon roll.
Just the thought makes my mouth water!

2. It's also the time for an iced chai from Starbucks. 



Robin

3. I love my morning walks.
I love listening to the birds.
The doves are always in the background cooing to each other.
This morning, I heard a something I hadn't noticed before.
It was as if the bird was saying "Your Dreams, Your Dreams".
Imagination is a great thing.

4. This weekend is the last home stand for the Rice U. Baseball team .. the Owls.

And, summer temps will be here ... hot and humid to end the regular season.

5. Empty Bowls Houston is this weekend.
A great way to support the local food bank.
The bowls make great gifts, too.

Empty Bowls is a grassroots effort by artists and craftspeople in cities and towns across the country to feed the hungry in their communities. Empty Bowls Houston is presented by Whole Food Market and implemented locally by Houston-area ceramists and artists working in various media, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and Houston Food Bank.
For a minimum $25 donation, attendees have the pleasure of selecting a bowl from hundreds of one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted bowls donated by Houston area ceramists and craft artists, then receive a simple lunch of soup donated by Whole Foods Market and freshly prepared by Houston Food Bank Community Kitchen. Pottery and woodturning demonstrations and live music will be featured.
The empty bowls serve as a reminder of all the empty bowls in our community and around the world.

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

















Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rainy Days and Sunshine






Zinnia
Zinnia in Musashi's Garden



1. Finally, the rains have come to an end for a few days. No more flooding. We can dry out a bit before the chances of rain go up again. Figures. Just as the rains stop, Daily OM sends out an email about rainy day ideas! So, to be prepared for the next time, here is that email.

May 2, 2016
Rainy-Day Ideas
Uplifting Showers
by Madisyn Taylor


The arrival of one or more rainy days can also be interpreted as a signal to slow down and contemplate life.


The simple miracle of water falling from the sky has been interpreted in many ways by many cultures. In various areas of the world, rain was viewed as a nourishing gift, given by well-pleased deities. Rain also served as a symbol of emotional cleansing and represented the unending union between earth and sky. Today, rain is often seen as an annoyance—something to be borne doggedly while attending to one’s usual duties. But the arrival of one or more rainy days can also be interpreted as a signal to slow down and contemplate life. When Mother Nature darkens the sky and causes drizzle to fall, freshly opened buds close and many animals settle into their nests for a period of repose. We can honor rainy days by following the example put forth by the flora and fauna around us. Even if we must venture out into a shower, we can still slow down and appreciate our connection to nature. 

A rainy day spent indoors can be wonderfully uplifting. As the rain pours down, fill your home with light, sound, and comfort so that you can fully appreciate the loveliness of being snug and dry during a downpour. Storms literally change the energy in the air, and you may feel driven to follow suit by burning incense or sage, ringing bells or chimes, lighting candles, or singing. You may even feel compelled to talk to each room in your home in order to express your gratitude for the protection they give you. If, however, you feel claustrophobic rather than calm because you cannot venture outdoors, you can clear away negative energy by getting rid of clutter, sweeping away dust, and freshening your up spaces. The happier you are in your home, the more beautiful and wondrous a simple rain shower will seem. 

A sheltered spot like a covered porch, sunroom, or bay window can provide you with a wonderful vantage point from which to meditatively observe raindrops as they make their descent to earth. And the pitter-patter of rain on a rooftop or car window can even be a therapeutic and soothing sound—one that reminds us that while the unforeseen will always be a part of our lives, we should never forget that nearly every cloud that comes into our lives will have a silver lining.

From an email from Daily Om.

At least, with all this rain (the wettest April in recorded weather history here), it will keep the temperatures down a little. We will still hit the 90s but maybe the 100s will be few and far between! 


2. We are enjoying the last of the cool mornings until next October.  It's been a perfect time to plant. For me, my garden is not complete without zinnias. Zinnias remind me of my Granny and that makes me smile. I picked up a flat of yellow zinnias and some dusty miller. Can't forget the herbs. I added some dill and chives to my already full herb pots by the back door.


3. Fresh Market is closing its stores in my city. I'm sad. Fresh Market was the closest grocery to my neighborhood. I'll miss a lot about this store ... the classical music playing. The welcome of the flower shop as you entered -- always beautiful orchids. The produce -- especially the already prepared "sides" of veggies .. especially the asparagus seasoned and ready to be roasted. The smell of the coffee as I made my way around the store. The great selection of cheese. Italian Roast Beef by the pound. The wonderful bakery -- breads and pies. The smiles on the employees faces. You get the idea. Too bad they never advertised! I knew the specials because I was on the email list. There was never an ad in the paper like the rest of the groceries in town. 


4. I am knitting another shawl -- different pattern. I'm calling it a scarf shawl. Also have a baby blanket in the works with the crochet hook. 


5. I am reading The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. I should finish it in a couple of days. The English countryside before the war. The study of a town and it's inhabitants. Characters that will steal your heart. The end of innocence as the war starts. I loved Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and knew I'd have to read The Summer Before the War. Two different books. Each charming in their own way. 



Wishing YOU well and much joy!






Monday, April 25, 2016

Never Too Early








I figure it is never too early to try out patterns for possible Christmas gifts.
and sponsored by Red Heart Yarn (using Red Heart Soft).
I haven't done any knitting in some time so it was an adventure for me.
But it is done and I really like it.



Shawl



I learned some new tricks (you CAN teach an old dog new tricks),
and finished the shawl with the Icord bind off.



KAL Shawl


Love the texture of the shawl.
Now to weave-in the ends.

So, now that the shawl is done what's next?
Don't worry -- I have two more projects in the works!
But today I'm going to take a break.



*



Book

With summer soon to be upon us - lets dream of gardens by reading
 GARDENS OF AWE AND FOLLY  by the delightful and talented Vivian Swift.
I love all of Vivian's books.
Wonderful journal like travel books with watercolor illustrations done by Vivian.
Gardens of Awe and Folly is her newest travel book.
I actually squealed with delight when the book arrived.
Now I can settle down with my tea and kitties and travel to Paris,
Key West, Marrakech, New Orleans, Long Island, Edinburgh, London, and
Rio De Janeiro
all in the comfort of my home.
I might even learn something new and something about life itself. 

Open the book, any page, and you'll find illustrations like these.



Gardens of Awe & Folly


gardens


book


Beautiful!


Wishing YOU well and much joy!

No Place Like Home with Sandi
Yarn A Long with Ginny