Friday, July 31, 2009

Unfinished Business

Mr. Dragon finally photographed his art work from this summer. These are my favorites from that photo session and the ones that were too big for me to scan.

This is one that I will frame.

This one his instructor loved.
He wanted him to do more with the "blobs".
(Another one of those technical terms.)

Mr. Dragon likes this one.

Look what I got yesterday! Two awards at one time from the lovely and talented Shelly, the Blue Ridge Lady. Thank you, Shelly. I'll try to continue with the *variety feast*!

You must go and visit Shelly. She has been collaging for a little over a year -- bright, beautiful, fun collages. She also does some beaded jewelry and she is a cat lover. It's always hard to hand the awards off to other blogs. There are just too many blogs that make me smile. So, if you don't already have these awards, would like them, or need to make yourself smile -- please grab an award with my blessing and a big YeeeeeHaaawww!

Last, but not least, the Julie and Julia articles at the New York Times continue today with a marvelous post by Michael Pollan whose latest book is In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.

Have a wonderful day.

Joy To You!

(I hear rain! I'm going to go sit on the balcony before it stops!)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

This and That

I thought this journal page went well with my reading of Happiness is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life by Sylvia Boorstein, Ph.D. So you get two for the price of one today!

Sylvia Boorstein is a co-founding teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California, and a senior teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She writes a regular column in Shambhala Sun and that is where I first *met* her. For many years now, I've enjoyed her columns and her books. I find her thoughtful, kind, funny and a wonderful teacher.

Happiness is an Inside Job is a small gem of a book. Using examples from her own life, she shows how the mind can fall out of its caring connection. "Opinions embedded in neurons take a long time to erase. Peace of mind derives in its own time." "Restoring caring connection when it is disrupted, and maintaining it when it is present, is happiness".

The book is divided into four parts: Equanimity, wisdom, and kindness; wise effort; wise mindfulness; and wise concentration (the last three being the three meditative steps on the Buddha's Eightfold Path).

I took my time reading this book. I wanted to fully digest each part. I keep finding little scraps of paper with quotes around the house -- nice little presents to myself. From Boorstein's friend Tamara "Worrying is futile! You don't know what to worry about first." "May I meet this moment fully. May I meet it as a friend."

She told a story about her uncle who, when he was talking about someone, if deceased would say "Uncle Clyde - May he rest in peace" or if the person was alive would say "may he live and be well" and then go on with "was sure cranky those last days" or "is sure cranky about his garage". Sort of like the Southern, "my neighbor, god bless him, ...". It reminded me of Mr. Spock on Star Trek and the Vulcan greeting "live long and prosper" !!! But, when her uncle died, no one had a bad thing to say about him because he meant - may he rest in peace or may he live and be well - even if they were cranky!

She also talks briefly about her teacher Sharon Salzberg - someone else I enjoy reading.

I'd like to leave you today with this quote--

"Here are the two formulas that I use for formal metta (friendliness or loving kindness) practice:

May I be free of enmity and danger.
May I have mental happiness.
May I have physical happiness.
May I have ease of well-being.


May I feel contented and safe
May I feel protected and pleased.
May my physical body support me with strength.
May my life unfold smoothly with ease. "

Remember to Breathe!

Joy to You!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bon Appetit

From the NYTimes

You know that I don't normally post on Wednesday. Wednesday is errand/adventure day. But, I couldn't resist when I found this article on the Julie and Julia movie. Here's the link: Film Food, Ready for Its Bon Appetit. Enjoy!

Try something new today!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My World

Visit My World to see more of our world or to participate yourself!

We can't spend all our time in Hermann Park
or the museum district.
Eventually we have to eat!
I'd like to take you for a midday meal at one of our favorite places.
It's not too far from the museums.

This is Baba Yega located in the Montrose area of Houston.
Two older houses put together to make this restaurant.
Simple fare for vegetarians or carnivores.

We got there early to take a few photos.
It fills up fast.

But the real reason we love Baba Yega's is the garden.
We try to get a table on the enclosed porch so that we can
hear the waterfall.

There are koi in the pond.

There's a waterfall and several fountains.

This looks back to the covered porch.
A very popular place!

There are small sculptures hidden in the garden.
This funny little pig is one of my favorites.

(Click to make the pictures larger.)

I hope you enjoyed your midday tour!

Click here to view all participants of My World Tuesday!

Joy to You!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Mull

Mull: verb. Mull over, ponder, pore over, consider, reflect on, deliberate, think about for a while, give thought to, study, meditate, weigh, ruminate.

Here are my Monday Mullings for July 27, 2009.

First, I’d like to thank David McMahon for shouting out my last Tuesday’s MY World post as one of his POTD (post of the day). That was a wonderful surprise. Welcome to those of you visiting from David’s blog. Thanks again, David. What a nice thing to do!



Mr. Dragon and I are wondering what we will watch on television now that the Tour de France is over. I guess it’s back to the news, weather and baseball. We’ve been watching the Tour for about ten years now and think, finally, we are really getting all the ins and outs of bicycle road racing. It is very much a team sport and teams from all over the world compete. The Tour de France is 3 weeks long -- 21 days on a bicycle over roads, cobble stone streets and mountain passes, through fields of sunflowers and mown hay. In fact, one reason we watch the tour is to see the countryside, the Pyrenees and the Alps. This year the tour started in Monaco, traveled through Spain, Italy, Switzerland and France to finish on the Champ Elysees. There is an individual winner, a sprint winner, a king of the hill, the best young rider (under 25) and a team winner. There is a team time trial and two individual time trials. A little something for everyone. I think I’ll take the list we made this year of places to see and add it to the 9 other lists we’ve made of places to visit. It doesn’t hurt to dream.


From Space

I mentioned the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing last Monday. Seems I just can’t get away from astronomy in one form or another! Last week it was the solar eclipse and the discovery by many amateur astronomy lovers that something hit Jupiter leaving a very large spot. Several days after the Jupiter discovery was made, many of the television channels had it on the news. Sorry guys, you are a few days late. We already knew thanks to Space Weather!


It is still hot (so what's new). We did get some rain last week, but could use more. Drought conditions are no fun. It’s bad for my farmers market. My favorite egg guy says the girls don’t like this weather and we have to get on a waiting list for eggs.


The pigs are on their way to California and I miss them! I started a Christmas project. Now, I don’t know about you, but the idea of starting something for Christmas is a little frightening. Time is passing too quickly. At any rate, I like making a few things that I can use for hostess gifts or little surprises for the holidays. Mr. Dragon says this looks very festive and it does, but I don’t like the yarn. The silver metallic thread running through the yarn has a mind of its own and the thread itself is a little thin. Live and learn. I have another round to put on and then it is finished. I have enough yarn to make two. The first one I make is always for me. It has all the mistakes, the trial and error phase.


We aren’t movie goers. Thought I could talk Mr. Dragon into seeing Star Trek, but we never went. I’ve seen some of the trailers for Julie and Julia. I went over to the Sony site, and after watching what they had there have decided I must see this movie. Meryl Streep as Julia Child is something I don’t want to miss! I read the Julie book that was based on her blog. Speaking of blogs, the sony site is posting a foodie blog a day. I figure I owe you a few blogs of the week so here are some of the blogs they’ve mentioned:

These are just a few, but enough to get you started!


There is nothing on the calendar for the week. Good thing, Mr. Dragon has a cold.


I’ll leave you with this picture thought. I thought it fit well with the food theme!

I am thankful for another day on beautiful Mother Earth.

Joy to You!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Today's Flowers

Go visit Today's Flowers to visit a virtual flower garden from around the world.

Written information on this post is from Gardens Ablaze.

Pictures were taken in our backyard - Musashi's Garden.

All our zinnias were planted by seed and in pots.

I remember my grandmother seeding zinnias and how lovely they were.
I'm so glad this old-fashioned flower is back in style!

If you didn't grow any Zinnias this year, put them on the top of the spring wish list for next year, and you will thank yourself over and over all season. This is a plant that is started incredibly easily from seed, flowers very quickly, has a wide range of flower types and colors, withstands full sun and heat, makes an excellent cut flower, attracts bees and butterflies, and can make the difference between so-so garden bed and a spectacular garden showcase. Whether a beginner or a seasoned gardener, there is a Zinnia out there for every taste, budget, and style. Creating a Zinnia garden is the perfect way to teach children about gardening, and they will delight in the big, bright, bold colors.

Zinnias are another member of the large Aster family of plants and originate in Mexico and the Southwest United States. They come in a form suitable for every garden situation, including single, double, cactus, dahlia, ruffles, and pompon. Colors include every shade except blue, and many are multicolored. Most are prolific bloomers that add beautiful color to the landscape, and many have growth habits that make wonderful additions to container plantings. The uses for Zinnias in the home garden are almost endless. Use them as border plants, fillers for bare spots in perennial gardens, or massed in a garden all their own.

Zinnias are quite easy to start from seed, grow quickly, and adapt well to many gardening situations. Seed can be started indoors and seedlings can be transplanted easily outside for earlier bloom, or the seeds can be started in the garden after the last frost date when the soil has warmed. Germination is not as good in cold soil.

In a Habitat type situation, Zinnias are veritable beneficial insect magnets, and they will thrive in less-than-perfect soil conditions as long as their minimum sun (at least 6 hours a day) and water requirements are met (though they do come from the hotter zones, they do still need an adequate water supply).

Zinnias are not a poisonous plant and are safe for gardens frequented by children and pets. However, they are not a culinary flower, and are not used as food garnishes, etc., though cut flowers do make a colorful and elegant centerpiece for the table.

Where flowers bloom, so does hope. - Lady Bird Johnson

Have a beautiful day!

Camera Critters 68

Camera Critters

Today is a special day. It is the kitlets birthday.
Rocky and Riley are three years old.
Hard to believe that they have been with us that long.
Time flies when you are having fun!

I wanted to take new birthday photos of the siblings.
Rocky saw the camera coming and took off.
We tried and tried and caught him the kitchen waiting for a treat.
That's as good a shot as we got.
So, I decided to have some Funky Fun and Funked one of his other photos.

Here's Rocky a la Andy Warhol!

We did get a lovely shot of Miss Riley (the Impress).

Have fun today, you two!
Mom, Dad, and Theodorable

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

(You can read more about the kitlets and Teddy by clicking on their
pictures on the sidebar.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Feast or Famine

Isn't that the way it always is? It's either Feast or Famine.
It's no rain or too much rain (at one time).
I am happy to report that, without having to do a rain dance,
we have had rain twice this week.

Each time Mrs. Dragon ...

and Mr. Dragon sat on their balcony and watched the storm.

There is nothing like a good storm
with lightning and thunder
to enliven the soul.

The rain fell

and the street filled with water
(Lake Dragon).

May I Sit
And Listen To the
Sounds of Nature

The perfect journal page for a wonderful rainy Thursday!

(Affirmation inspired by Kind Over Matter)

Joy To You!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My World

Go visit the My World site to see more of our world or to participate yourself!

The museum district in Houston is on the northern edge of Hermann Park.
This is the original building of the Museum of Fine, Arts.
It opened in 1924.

This was the original entrance.
This entrance is no longer used.
If we could go in this door, we would enter the new Arts of India Gallery.

As you walk around the building to the *new* front door
you see this lovely surprise.

Looks like a horse made of driftwood.
It is actually bronze.
The artist (Butterfield) is a horse lover.

Keep walking and you'll reach the entrance to the Law Building.
(The backside of the original building that has had many additions over the years.)
The photo was taken from across the street, outside of the sculpture garden.
This is the part of the museum designed by Mies VanderRohe.

The sculptures outside the building were from the Red Hot exhibition
that featured modern art from China.

We like reflections!

The dinosaur was also part of the Red Hot exhibition.
It's cage is the same size as one of the containers you see on container ships.

Enjoy your day and I hope you visit My World for a trip around the world.

Monday, July 20, 2009

To Mull

Mull: verb. Mull over, ponder, pore over, consider, reflect on, deliberate, think about for a while, give thought to, study, meditate, weigh, ruminate.

Here are my Monday Mullings for July 20, 2009.


I do love when the post arrives. On Friday, I made a trip to the post office to pick up a package from my friend, Kim. Inside was my Pay It Forward prize and I had such fun opening everything. I saw the collage first on Kim’s blog. I loved it there and I love it even more in person. The birds and the bees in a garden with a kitty. Couldn’t be more perfect. (Kim said she couldn’t get the thought of Musashi’s Garden out of her mind).

The meditation string of beads is in my pocket. She based them on the 17 bead bookmark she saw at the Daily Om. Every time I touch the beads (each one different), I smile and spread a little joy out into the universe.

Thank you so very much, Kim. Everything is perfect and sooooooo me! You aren’t late. Everything in its own time and I get to celebrate a little more, my good fortune in knowing you.


Do you remember where you were when Apollo 11 landed on the moon? I was at university. I do remember watching and crying and being amazed that we were on the moon. Amazed that we got the men there and we got them back home -- all in one piece. The whole world seemed to hold it’s breath and watched as one, the trip to the moon.

I watch each and every shuttle launch and watch the NASA channel to see what the latest news is or to watch a space walk. We seem to take so much for granted now. Everything is old hat. Where’s the joy, the imagination, the knowledge, the excitement, the fascination that life seemed to have *way back then*?! Was going to the moon the last frontier and now there is no interest in science or space? Ruminate on that!

There was a lot going on in 1969. The Jets won the Superbowl and the Mets won the World Series. Nixon was sworn in as president. The Beatles’ had their last public concert. Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel. The premiere of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In was in 1969. That’s just a few of the happenings in 1969.


It is still hot. The weathermen promised us rain. Actually, I believe they said 60 percent chance for two days and then chances would lessen. Well, we got one day of a 20 minute gully washer. In other words, didn’t do much good. We need a day long, soaking rain. I’m afraid I may have to resort to a rain dance. Not pretty.


You might have noticed on other Mondays, I have said prayers for Ann Marie and Cydney Marie. I am happy to report that after 14+ weeks in the hospital Ann Marie, by C-Section, gave birth to Cydney Marie on July 17 (also Ann Marie’s birthday). The story of Cydney Marie and her big brother, Coy is an amazing one and I invite you to visit their blog to read more.


The piglets are finished. Mrs. Piggy and the little ones will be traveling to California this week for a birthday celebration at the end of the month.


I haven’t decided what to read next. I finished The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz and really enjoyed reading this novel. Here’s info from the back cover: “In 1959, a young woman, Haruko, marries the Crown Prince of Japan. She is the first non-aristocratic woman to enter the mysterious, hermetic monarchy. Met with cruelty and suspicion by the Empress, Haruko is controlled at every turn, suffering a nervous breakdown after finally giving birth to a son. Thirty years later, now Empress herself, she plays a crucial role in persuading another young woman to accept the marriage proposal of her son, with tragic consequences.”

On the calendar I have a dermatology appointment and we have an Astros baseball game. Still trying to stay cool!


I’ll leave you with this picture thought:

I am thankful for another day on beautiful Mother Earth.

Have a beautiful week.

Joy to You!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Camera Critters 67

Camera Critters

It's another trip to Musashi's Garden to see more parent and kid pairings -
this time with Robins.

Here's Mom.
When she saw me come to the door to take her picture
she stayed just long enought to have her portrait done
and off she went.
She had been feeding this little one.

Junior looked very surprised to have Mom fly off.

Are you the reason why Mom left?
Hey! You! The one with the camera!
Is it your fault?

I think I'll just ignore her.

While Mom is gone, I'll take a bath.

(Click to see the photos larger.)

Enjoy your weekend.

Joy to You!