Friday, April 21, 2017

Exercise Your Mind Not Just Your Abs





I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend.
I had a quiet one.
Did some digging in the garden which is always good.

*

I put my crochet hook and my knitting needles aside giving my hands a rest.
I haven't been to Michaels yet to get the yarn.
It's on the "to do" list.

*


The Fortune Cookie Journal suggested I exercise my mind not just my abs 
(which I did in the garden)
and I guess I did that by completing some reading.


Reading


My 88 year-old godmother loves to read.
She really enjoys the China Bayles mystery series by Susan Wittig Albert.
The new one - THE LAST CHANCE OLIVE RANCH is out. 
Number 25 in the series!
It's a good thing that my godmother doesn't mind if I read it first!
It's on it's way to her house for Mother's Day. 
One of the reasons I enjoy this series so much is the business China owns--
an herb shop.
In this book -- olives take center stage along with murder.
All the favorite characters are back and in fine form.

*

The second book I want to share with you is
MY CITY HIGHRISE GARDEN by Susan Brownmiller.

Most people know Susan Brownmiller as feminist and journalist. She is probably best known for her 1975 book, AGAINST OUR WILL: MEN, WOMEN AND RAPE. Now 80 years old, Brownmiller takes us on a delightful tour of her 20th floor high-rise garden, something she has been tending with care for 35 years. 
 Small space gardening is not easy (I know), but on the 20th floor of a high-rise is definitely an unnatural environment with high winds and bad weather, along with the occasional maintenance of the building. She talks about the garden with humor and honesty. I got lots of ideas for my balcony (on the second floor) and my postage stamp backyard. I even ordered day-lilies from the company that she uses. If you love gardens, this a short (154 pages), sweet description of an oasis in the city with all its trials, tribulations and successes. I'm going to keep my copy for future reference!

*

The third book is THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER
by Phaedra Patrick.

Charming and delightful, Arthur Pepper is nearing the one year
anniversary of his wife's death. It's time to clean out the closet and get rid of her things. While separating clothes and shoes, he finds a charm bracelet in a pair of boots. He doesn't remember ever seeing the bracelet before.
This bracelet and it's charms take Arthur on an adventure of healing and self-discovery. 

Three different books and all good.
Although if you are interested in the Mystery,
you should start with book number one -- not number twenty five!

 *

I went out to feed the fish and look what I found in the pond!
A whole lot of "something" going on. Ha!
This must mean that spring is definitely here.

Spring In The Pond



*

This week instead of lunch it was breakfast with a friend.
Spinach Quiche at Croissant Brioche -- French Bakery and Cafe.
Authentic French breads baked fresh daily.
YUM!


Croissant Brioche


Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Five on Friday

Willy Nilly Friday

Mosaic Monday




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tenth Tea Cup and Mug Exchange





Today is the big reveal.




Stephanie is definitely the hostess with the mostess! 
She makes the exchange so much fun and I can't imagine what a lot
of time and energy must go into arranging the exchange.
And, the amount of LOVE that Stephanie pours in.

So, here we go!  


This was the second time that I participated in both the mug and teacup exchange.


Mug Exchange


The pretty mug is from Grace Bone China.
The decoration reminds me of a water-color painting.
I smiled when I opened the package.
The sugar cookie mix with the bunny on the front was the first thing I saw.
Cute carrot cookie cutter, too!

I've put the pretty towels directly to work in the kitchen.
Such pretty spring colors.

I love lemon everything 
so I am really enjoying the Lemon organic tea by Moringa Tea.

This was Stacey Keeling's first time to participate in the exchange.
I was so lucky to be paired with her.
You can visit with Stacey at her lovely blog: Poofing The Pillows.
Thank you, Stacey!


*

The beautiful Chatsworth Duchess Bone China teacup
came from Caroline (Carrie) May.
You can visit Carrie at her blog: Tea Time Journeys.

I love the cup with it's spring flowers -- especially the Morning Glory.
The box Carrie sent was filled with goodies:
an assortment of teas,
(I really enjoy trying all sort of teas and this was perfect.)
hand lotion,
chocolate,
a wonderful counted cross-stitch of a cat
(can't wait to start)
and
an iced fortune cookie strategically placed in the tea cup!


tea cup collage


I had never tried an iced fortune cookie
and was in such a hurry to taste it that I ate part of the fortune!
Nevertheless, the fortune said good things were coming and tasted yummy.

Thank you, Carrie.
It was such a joy to open my spring tea package.


Another big thank you, hugs and love to Stephanie.


Wishing YOU well and much joy!





Friday, April 14, 2017

Location, Location, Location






How many times have you heard location, location, location?
One of the best things about living where I do is definitely location.
Living near Rice University there's always plenty going on...
athletics, art, music, community education.
I'm also near the museums and Hermann Park.

There's lots of shopping and good eats in Rice Village.


Mabry Owl


The latest public art installation in Rice Village is an owl by California artist Nathan Mabry.

A blue origami-like aluminum owl, along with four smaller lifelike owls, 
are a nod to Rice University.

"While researching Rice Village, I became interested in the vibrant history of the neighborhood and proximity to Rice University. I find myself particularly engaged with the mascot of Rice University, the Owl," Mabry said in an announcement.
"It's a powerful symbol in both antiquity and contemporary life. My work has long explored the depiction of birds from all facets of art history."

The Owl weighs 868 pounds and took 8.3 hours to install.
It's a fun addition to the neighborhood.
Mabry Owl


*

Speaking of location.

I'm also near the Zoo.
The zoo always celebrates Spring with a Spring Fling for some of its members.
Usually it is a breakfast.
This year the zoo decided to make it Breakfast for Dinner and hold the event in the evening.
It was a beautiful night.
Breakfast was delicious -- with the best biscuits and gravy I've had in awhile!



Kids



I invited my next door neighbors and can say that a good time was had by all!
There was a hula hoop competition for the kids,
face painting, endless carousel rides and the children's zoo was open with
the petting zoo. 


Cute Kids


And even the adults had fun watching the zebu.
He put on quite a show.
His keeper asked him to walk in a circle.
He did and he was given a treat.
Then he kept walking in a circle and back to his keeper --
"treat please"!
We were all laughing --
all except the Llama who seemed quite put out!

Zebu and Llama


*

A good friend took me to lunch.
We went to one of our mutual favorite spots --
the Hobbit Cafe.
The Hobbit has been around since 1972 and for some time was the 
only spot to get good, fresh vegetarian food.
They have now added the "regular" food for those who just can't live without their burger.



Lunch

I had the "slim" Gandalf.
(Believe it or not, there is a larger version of this sandwich.)
Their wheat bread is amazing.
Avocado, mushrooms and melted cheese.
You can pick your side - black beans for me.

My friend had the Fatty Lumpkin -- tuna salad, tomato, melted cheese
with carrots on the side.

They are knife and fork sandwiches -- 
no way I could get my mouth all the way around to take a bite. 

*

Last and not least for locations--
there is no place like home! 

Wishing you well, much joy and a "Hoppy" Easter!


hoppy Easter











Friday, March 31, 2017

The best cure for boredom is crayons!






From the Fortune Cookie Journal
"The Best Cure for Boredom is Crayons"

Today is National Crayon day!
Crayola has announced that one of their colors is going to be retired!

In the spirit of crayons and art ---

Liberate Your Art 2017 is underway.
I received my first postcard last week --
all the way from Ireland -- Connemara Cottage, an acrylic painting.
The artist is Jacinta Moore.
You can find more of her artwork and photos here.



LYA 2017




*


It's been busy around here.
Spring cleaning outside.
The last of the freeze damaged plants are gone.
I found some very old flower and veggie seeds 
that I've "thrown" out into the bare garden spots.
If they come up -- great -- if not -- that's okay, too.
The pond/water garden has been cleaned.
All the water out, the fish out, the plants out.
Power wash and then everything back in.


Pond Cleaning


Two pretty, new water lilies.
One pink and one purple.


Water Lily - 2017



Some fun floating grass for the fish to play in.
Now I'm waiting for the fish to spawn.



Purple Water Lily


*



Think Spring




The balcony is ready for spring and Easter.
The Gerbera Daisy and geranium are blooming.


Blooming



*

A  very handsome visitor stopped by.

Hawk



At least once a year there is a hawk in the backyard.
They know I feed the birds in the morning.
No critters were harmed during his visit.

*

I've been busy weaving in the ends on the Cottage Charm lapghan
and trying to decide what I might like to tackle next.
I have yarn for more shawls.
Never too early to make Christmas/Birthday presents.
Be prepared!

These are also calling:

Projects

I enjoyed the Cottage Charm lapghan.
I found another pattern with similar flowers.
Or
Some cute potholders.
Both projects should be good stash busters!

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Five On Friday

Willy Nilly Friday

Mosaic Monday

Monday Social

Craft On








Friday, March 17, 2017

Celebrating the Green!






St. Patrick's Day is today.
This year I started celebrating a little early with a 
Green Tea Frappuccino from Starbucks.
Matcha and Green heaven! Ha!


Green Tea



And, if it is too cold for a Frappuccino,
perhaps some hot tea will do the trick.
Always nice to get out the Belleek for St. Patrick's Day.




St Patrick's Day Tea

Corned beef and cabbage are usually on the menu.
This year I'm changing things up a bit and plan on having
Pasta, Peas, Asparagus, Spinach and Pesto!
Adapted from a friends recipe that you can find here.

*

Daffodils have arrived at Trader Joe's and I'm in heaven!


Easter



Spring is definitely arriving around Twisty Lane.


Daffodils



In almost every room.
The daffodil is such a happy flower!


Easter




Spring 2017




“Daffodils are an optimistic flower, and foolproof. 
You know what Shakespeare said: 
"Daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty."

...I plant them in big clumps with a trusty shovel. 

I make several large holes all around and put quite a few in. 
That's why it makes such a spectacular look when they bloom.” 
― Tasha TudorThe Private World of Tasha Tudor



Spring!


*

I finished the Cottage Charm Afghan.
Yes, I ran out of blue and had to get more.
The color is a close match, but the texture is a little different.
I always make the first of a project for myself.
The difference in texture won't bother me! 




Cottage Charm Afghan


I think my favorite part of the afghan is the little white bow!
It's going to work well as a lap-ghan for me.
Most importantly -- It has Mr. Oliver's approval!
The blue matches his eyes...... 



Cottage Charm Afghan






I'm reading the last of the Amish mysteries - A Churn for the Worse.
I'll be sad to finish. I really like the characters and the setting.
I hope there are more to come in the series.


*



St. Patrick's Day Postcard


May your joys be 
as deep as the oceans

Your troubles 
as light as its foam

And may you find
sweet peace of mind

Wherever you
may roam.


Wishing YOU well and much joy on this St. Patrick's Day.


Five on Friday
(Thank you Amy for hosting!)

Willy Nilly Friday

Monday Social

Mosaic Monday

Make It Pretty Monday

Keep Calm Craft On




Friday, March 10, 2017

Like Raindrops in Spring!





February was the hottest month here since "they" started keeping records.
Bodes ill for summer.

March has come in with rain... all weekend and most of the week.
But it was a nice rain, slow steady raindrops and about 4 - 6 inches worth.


*

It's March and thoughts have turned to Spring!

I've been slowly finding my Easter decorations.

My favorite Easter Bunnies.



Easter



They make me smile.


Easter Bunny


Sitting at the kitchen table
surrounded by some of my favorite things
is a great way to start the day!


*

Working on the Cottage Charm Afghan.
I bought the kit from Mary Maxim.
Nice yarn and the pattern is easy to follow.


Crochet Afgna



However, I've run out of yarn twice.
I'm a "tight" crocheter so I was a little surprised.
I had one more pink flower to make.
Thankfully, I had some yarn at home that was a close enough match.
Then I ran out of the green.
I had to go out and find a green yarn to match.
I now have enough of the green to make another afghan.
Feast or famine! Ha!

Now adding the blue to the squares and wondering if I will have enough yarn.

*


Tea and Books


I started a "new to me" cozy mystery series by Laura Bradford.
They are set in Amish country -- Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
I visited the area some 15 years ago.
Came home with a Quillow (a blanket that folds into a pillow)
 which is mentioned in the first Amish mystery Hearse and Buggy.
I thought Hearse and Buggy was one of the best first books in a cozy series I had read in a long time - so much so that I dashed out and bought the next four! 
The books pictured here are the ones that I've read.
I like the characters, the story line, the mix of the "English" and Amish life styles. 



Tea and Books



The lovely teacup was a Christmas gift from one of my sister's by choice.
It is an Aynsley.
Aqua is one of my favorite colors.
Pretty waves on the cup and saucer with gold rims.
Fun spring-time flowers on the inside of the cup.



Tea and Books



Tea and Books





Five on Friday

Willy Nilly Friday

Mosaic Monday

Monday Social



From the Fortune Cookie Journal:
"Good fortune will shower you like raindrops in spring."

Wishing YOU well and much joy!


SaveSave

Friday, February 24, 2017

Opening Night







It's Opening Night at home for the Rice University Owl baseball team.
Astros spring training is also going on.

Opening Night



And, Sofie is back!
She is now a year old and doing well in her service dog training.
Here she is with her Mom.
Sofie's boy is on the baseball team.


Sofie


*

It's Mardi Gras time.
That means King Cake!



King Cake

This one has a Strawberry Creme filling.
Yum.

Here on the Gulf Coast the King Cake is associated with the pre-Lenten celebrations of Mardi Gras/Carnival.

In the southern United States, the tradition was brought to the area by colonists from France and Spain.

The King Cake comes in a number of styles. The most simple, said to be the most traditional, is a ring of twisted cinnamon roll-style dough topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green and gold (traditional Mardi Gras colors) with food coloring. King cakes may also be filled with additional foodstuffs - the most common being cream cheese, praline, cinnamon or strawberry.

Finding the baby in the cake is said to bring good luck and you must supply the King Cake for the next years party.

*



Reading and Crochet

I've started adding the green to the flowers for the afghan.

Almost finished  The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala by Laura DiSilverio.

I enjoy the readholics series.
 Book club members that always seems to get caught up in murder
and the book they are reading offers clues!
This time they are reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.



Mosaic

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Five On Friday

Monday Social

Mosaic Monday


Friday, February 17, 2017

This and That





My Robin friends are back.

Robins


I took their portrait through the dirty glass door.
Wonder what they were saying to each other?


*

Did you do anything special for Valentine's Day?
I had a lovely dinner and some Prosecco.



Valentine's Day


My knight-in-shining-armor and I would have been together 36 years this year.
I still feel like we are together.
Just living in different spots -- one on earth and one in the stars.

He liked Valentine's Day.
It's one reason why I have so many Teddy Bears! 
My favorite flowers -- iris and tulips.


*

I'm a big tea lover.
Nothing better than a cup of tea.
Taking the time to brew the tea.
Then taking the time to sit and enjoy the tea.
Sometimes I have tea in a fancy cup and saucer.
Other times I have tea in a mug.


Valentine's Day Mug

The mug for February is BIG LOVE by Emma Bridgewater.
Tea and Chocolate!!!

*

College baseball is starting!
Rice Owls held their second annual Baseball Fest.
An opportunity for the fans to come out and meet the team.
Get autographs.
Take batting practice with Andy Pettitte or Jose Cruz, Jr. pitching. 



Baseball collage

Phillip Humber was there.
He was on the Rice team that won the 2003 College World Series.
On April 21, 2012, Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history
for the Chicago White Sox, defeating the Seattle Mariners.

Things were just getting started when I was there.
I picked up my season tickets. 

*

I'm still crocheting.
I finished making all the patterns in the Mirror Image Scarf book.
Now, I'm putting the patterns together for different looks.
Have to use up the stash!


Crochet and Reading

I did order the cottage charm baby afghan (pattern and yarn) from Mary Maxim.
I loved the pattern and thought it would make a pretty lapghan.
The pink flower is the beginning of the lapghan.

Now reading I Shot The Buddha by Colin Cotterill.
It is a Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery set in Laos.
I've been reading the series from the beginning and always look forward
to the next Dr. Siri and friends adventure. 
You get a feel for what Laos was like in the 70's.
Fear, angst, and amazingly, humor. 
In this one animism, Buddhism and communism are center stage.
If you think you might be interested in this series you must start with the first one --
otherwise you will get lost and only Dr. Siri will be able to find you......!




Mosaic: Crochet and Reading

Oliver had to supervise while I was taking photos. 

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Five on Friday

Willy Nilly Friday

Mosaic Monday

Make It Pretty Monday