Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute

I first saw Tuesday's Tribute on Christina's Blog. She has a way with words and I always enjoy reading whatever she has to say. I finally *clicked* and visited Jay's blog and the Tuesday Tribute. Today I'm going to join. I have something to say! When don't I? But, today, it is important.

It's the time of year when you start seeing walks or runs being organized as fund raisers for various organizations. I want to talk a little about the March of Dimes. Much of the following was taken directly from the March of Dimes web site.

The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. They carry out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies' lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birth weight.

Premature Birth
Each year, more than 460,000 babies are born too soon, some so small they can fit in the palm of a hand. Many of these babies must fight just to survive; others will struggle with lifelong health problems. No one knows what causes half of all premature births. No one is working harder than the March of Dimes to find out.

Genetic Research
Genetic birth defects leave our children unable to walk, to hear, to think, or even to fight off disease. March of Dimes investments in genetic research already are starting to yield results. Two March of Dimes-funded grantees have used gene therapy successfully in treating hemophilia and retinitis pigmentosa in the lab, giving hope that we are closer to a cure for these genetic birth defects.

Health Care
No parents should have to choose between feeding their child and buying the medicines he or she needs. Yet, this happens every day in America because more than 9 million children have no health coverage. For many of these children, this means they can't get preventive checkups, immunizations, or treatment for common childhood illnesses. The March of Dimes is fighting so that all babies, children and pregnant women get health insurance.

Has any of the above affected me or mine? No. We've been lucky. I'd like to tell you about a family who has dealt with premature birth -- the Kolkhorst family. Coy was born December 3, 2007 at 23 weeks gestation -- a micro premie. One of those babies that fit in the palm of your hand. Thankfully, today he is thriving. A miracle. A reason for Coy's early birth was never found.
Ann Marie is pregnant again and on bed rest. That doesn't keep Ann Marie or her family for preparing for the upcoming March of Dimes walk.

From the Kolkhorst blog:
In honor of our precious miracle, Coy Christopher Kolkhorst, the Kolkhorst family is participating in the annual March of Dimes March for Babies on April 26, 2009. Coy is the reason we have joined together to raise money and participate in this event. We are praying that it will soon be discovered why babies are born prematurely or with birth defects so that other families will never experience this. All of you have played a special part in supporting Coy through the last fifteen months, and we would appreciate any additional support you can offer to help March of Dimes.

Please think about supporting the March of Dimes in your area. If you have a moment, go visit Ann Marie, Chris and Coy. Read Coy's story. Keep them in your thoughts.

Thank you.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bayou City Art Festival

If you missed us on Friday, sorry! We went to the Bayou City Art Festival. The festival is held twice each year. In October it is held downtown and in the spring, it is held in Memorial Park.

It's really very pleasant ... out under the trees. It had rained the night before and if you walked off the path you were in deep muck.

These wild and crazy critters were the first things we saw as we entered the grounds.
There is no public parking at the festival. Everyone drives to a mall where the buses pick you up and deliver you to the festival.

Aren't they fun? Mr. Dragon and I talked awhile about liking things in bright colors.
We wondered if, as we grow older, with older eyes, we just prefer the brighter, wilder colors.
Do old eyes have something to do with color preference?
Then again, why have a reason? The critters are just cool!
Unfortunately, (or fortunately) we have a postage sized yard and the critters won't fit.
Frederick Prescott is the artist and I didn't find a web site for him.

Aren't these grand? I laugh every time I see them.
The artist is Kimber Flebiger.
She is usually at both festivals and I love her work.

Love Humpty!

These nice folks are the Bailey's from Dripping Springs, Tx.
I love their jewelry. I love bracelets and I have several that they have made.
Easy to wear and they don't break the bank!

I think I need a pair of earrings.
Good to make the shopping list and have it ready for October!

Lot's of sculpture.
Anyone need a giant ant?

We've reached the end. I guess we could start over!

Here are a few more artists that we both were taken with.
You might want to check out their web sites.

Lisa Kristine is a photographer. I wanted Eightfold Path from Laos (I may still order it) and also loved Arches from Morocco. There wasn't much I didn't like!

Nancy Eaves' thing is making jewelry from found objects. She had a wonderful dog necklace at the Festival made from dog tags and found *doggy* charms. Her web site (Conceits) doesn't do her things justice.

Ping's art work is just fun, bright, cheerful and full of meaning.

We missed seeing several artists. I guess the economy kept them at home.
I need to add art festivals/fairs to my list of favorite things.
Already looking forward to October!

Have a good week everyone!

Monday Morning

You Are Sunset

Even though you still may be young, you already feel like you've accomplished a lot in life.

And you feel free to pave your own path now, and you're not even sure where it will take you.

Maybe you'll pursue higher education in a subject you enjoy - or travel the world for a few years.

Either way, you approach life with a relaxed, open attitude. And that will take you far!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Camera Critters 51

Camera Critters

Camera Critters is getting ready to celebrate it's One Year Anniversary!


It was time for the annual dinner at the zoo.

Before dinner there was a little animal entertainment in Natural Encounters.

Black Headed Python from Australia

Vulturine Guineafowl from Africa

They are really a pretty bird, if you ignore their featherless vulture-like head!

The Two Toed Sloth was being, well, slothful.

Laid back and eating.

Lesser Anteater

She was a little scene stealer!

She is getting a treat. This evening it was apricots and yogurt.

Sounds good to me!

You get an idea of her prehensile tail.

They can eat 9,000 ants a day.

Happy Weekend To All.
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Musashi's Garden

I walked through Musashi's Garden with the camera.

Here is Part One of what is blooming.

Trumpet Vine


Apricot Rose


Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday Hangout

It's the beginning of a new week and I thought I'd show you where I hang out on Monday. Monday is my research day at the museum. I get in around 9:15 AM and settle in the library. This is a view from *my* table. I could spend most of my time looking out the window, but I don't! Sorry about the glare. It was a cloudy, partly cloudy, partly sunny, sunny day ... all four at once!

It's a nice place to eat lunch ... listening to the water over the sound of the traffic.
Soon it will be too hot to enjoy.

I love the dog. He's become a friend!

This is where I settle down and work. The museum is closed to the public on Monday as is the library. I have it to myself. Sometimes a docent will come in or a staff member.
I can get my research done. Go to the galleries or the curatorial offices.
The library staff is the greatest. They are all so helpful.

Hope you enjoyed your day!
I did!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Camera Critters 50

Camera Critters

Today's subject is Grizzly bears.

To be more specific ... Bailey and Boomer at the Houston Zoo.

I thought we had taken pictures of Bailey and Boomer.

Looking through our photos I found bears like these:

This guy lives in our hallway and greets us every morning.
He's made from a cottonwood tree.

We did find a photo of the bear that lives next to the Grizzly's,
but no Grizzly.

So, I borrowed photos from the zoo because I thought
it was important to tell the story of Bailey and Boomer.

Bailey and Boomer, the Houston Zoo's grizzly bears, were rescued by the Houston Zoo and the Houston SPCA from squalid conditions at an illegal animal holding facility just two years ago. They were kept in cages that didn't allow the bears to stand up. They were matted horribly. Their claws were so long it made walking (if there was space to walk) difficult. The Zoo did not have any grizzly's, had room for them, and gladly gave them a home. They'll be cared for here for the rest of their lives.

Today is Bailey day. Since coming to the zoo, with the help of hard-working animal keepers, he has undergone extensive dental work, successfully lost weight, and regularly takes arthritis medication.

I hope you'll take the time to watch the video about Bailey.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I'm thinking that I should name Friday posts "potpourri". I seem to collect things during the week that I want to share and Friday would be a good time to do that.

Here's a quote I received from Big Happy Buddha in my email. Several of you are Pema Chodron fans (like me) and I thought you'd like it.

"When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space."

Nice, huh?

Look! I did a journal page that didn't come out all green and blue! Pink, red, coral and a little green.

I was going through my bin of collage elements that I've been collecting and these popped into my hands. They will go on the pink journal page ... who knows where. I'll journal on favorite things (food, cooking) and memories.


I finished A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg last night. Some of us grow up never knowing what we want to do with our lives. Some of us never find that certain something that makes our heart sing. Molly found her calling early and sings.

I've been following Molly, her writing, her recipes, her life with her love, Brandon for some time now. I must have read about her blog while searching out information about Seattle. After all, Seattle is where THE grandson is, so anything Seattle is important! What I found was a blog called Orangette and Molly. The first time I posted was this morning when I told her I had finished her book and loved every minute. Molly is a freelance food writer. She got there in a round about way (degrees in human biology, French and cultural anthropology) and that's part of the story in A Homemade Life. I don't want to give anything away, but you'll find the kitchen and food at the center of the action. And the recipes ... yum! Like Butternut Soup with Pear, Cider and Vanilla Bean, or Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Coriander and Slow Roasted Tomato Pesto. How about Cider Glazed Salmon or Scottish Scones with Lemon and Ginger? No? Well, let's try Tomato Soup with two Fennels, Sliced Spring Salad with Avocado and Feta or Custard-Filled Corn Bread. I found out that Molly and I both love tomato soup (soul food) and Brandon and Mr. Dragon both have a thing for maple syrup. Way to go, Molly!

And finally, the universe called this morning by email (Tut.com) with this:

Excuse me, Snap, but I don't think I noticed, "do a little dance," on your "to-do list."

You do plan to dance today, don't you?

Get down,
The Universe

I mean, it is 2009 and all, Snap, but you're still a supercoolhappylovething, and that comes with certain responsibilities.

Happy Friday everyone. I'm off to do a little dance.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shopping (Part 2)

We did visit the Livestock Show one more time and finished up the window shopping adventure. Remember the candy store? Well, we didn't go back, but we did find a shop that sold fudge. We bought 4 different kinds: Chocolate Pecan, Chocolate Mint, Peanut Butter and Maple Pecan. Sorry, no pictures. We ate it all!

Mr. Dragon couldn't pass up a photo of the eagle and friends.

How about some cowgirl bling? A belt or two?

More belts and the handbags with the dog faces were adorable.

Closeup of a handbag. There were no bags with cats.
I'm thinking cowpokes think cats are only good for ratting.
They are missing something.

Jackets were lovely.

Think these were my favorites.

I've felt like this more than once!
I'll have one of those to go, please!

Love the *unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy*!!!

It wouldn't be a livestock show without saddles.

Just in case you needed a reminder that you're in Texas.

We are already looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May the heavens smile upon you.

May bright sunshine fill your days.

May the joy of special blessings

Warm your heart in countless ways.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here's a recipe for you from Zabar's. Enjoy!

Anna Marie's Corned Beef and
Cabbage Dinner with Applesauce

From Tiffany Ludwig

Corned Beef Ingredients:
1 pre-seasoned Corned Beef (leanest cut available)
2 cups Dry White Wine
Water to cover
Side Dish Ingredients:
12 – 18 Small Red Potatoes
7 – 8


1 Large White Onion
1 Cabbage
Butter, Salt and Pepper to taste
Water for boiling
Applesauce Ingredients:
12 Macintosh Apples
Water for boiling
Corned Beef Instructions:
1. Put corned beef into large pot or Dutch oven.
2. Add wine and enough water to cover.
3. Add seasoning packet (seasoning packet should be included in package of corned beef).
4. Bring to boil and cover.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes per pound of meat or until tender.
(You can also cook this in a slow-cooker on low heat 8-9 hours or until tender.)
6. Remove Corned Beef from pot and let sit covered for about 10 minutes.
Slice against the grain.
Potato Instructions:
1. When Corned Beef is almost done, put 12 – 18 (depending on size and appetites of diners) washed red potatoes in a large pot of enough water to cover twice over.
2. Simmer 15 – 25 minutes or until just beginning to get tender.
3. Once cooked toss potatoes with a pat of butter, salt and pepper to taste.
Cabbage Instructions:
1. Wash, scrape and cut 7-8 carrots into 1-1 ½ inch lengths.
2. Add to pot of boiling water along with one large white onion, sliced.
3. Simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Add the head of cabbage cut into eighths.
5. Simmer 15 minutes more or until tender.
Serve with Homemade Applesauce and Irish Soda Bread and Dijon Mustard.
Homemade Applesauce Instructions:
1. Put 12 Macintosh apples, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces into steamer basket.
2. Place in pot over boiling water.
3. Steam until apples are tender.
4. Remove from basket and mash.
5. Allow to cool to room temperature or may be chilled.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


This great YouTube video marries two distinctly different musical styles. Red Chamber is a quartet of traditional Chinese musicians. Its members play Chinese string instruments. The Jaybirds, on the other hand, are a band of bluegrass all-stars.

It’s tough to imagine a world where these two would meet. But it happened. And they sound great together. These incredibly accomplished musicians play a unique rendition of Katy Hill.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more traditional bluegrass song. But the ancient Chinese instruments fit in perfectly. Who would have guessed?

This was sent to me by a very good friend -- another of my tribe members. She knows I have the Arts of China Gallery to work on very soon and thought I would enjoy this. She was right.Enjoy!

Camera Critters 49

Camera Critters

It's back to the Livestock Show!

Start off with a long horn.

Mr. Dragon had to take this picture over kids (the two-legged variety).
It's kind of hard to see the lambs ... one lying in the straw in the corner
and the other standing up by his Mom. His little tail was going 90 miles an hour!
Too cute!

This is a lion head bunny.

Same bunny. Apparently as they mature the hair around their neck
and face gets very long like a lion's mane. The fur/hair on
their body gets much shorter.

This is the little lamb in the corner.

This mom had two black lambs.

This is what I remember about going to the state fair ...
Elsie, Beauregard, and Elmer (the steer).
No Elmer at this livestock show, but Elsie was there ...

and Beauregard (who didn't want his portrait taken)!

Happy Weekend!