Wednesday, March 31, 2010

They Keep Me Company ....


They all keep me company. They've been especially helpful during the last few months, when Mr. Dragon was first diagnosed, through his chemotherapy and radiation, through his surgery. All the long days of sitting and waiting.

Some were old friends like Miss Julia (Ann B. Ross author). Miss Julia on a motorcycle is something I'll not soon forget! Bookplate Special by Lorna Barrett -- the street of my dreams -- a street devoted to books and (wait for it) .... FOOD! Or going on an adventure with Lyn Hamilton to find the Orkney Scroll (one of the last mysteries she wrote before her death). Knitting and crocheting with the gang at Lambspun in beautiful Colorado - thank you Maggie Sefton.

I made a few new friends like C. J. Samson and his historical mysteries with Matthew Shardlake. I'm in the middle of the third in the series and am still entranced by the time period (Henry VIII) and the wonderful writing. (Do any of you watch the Tudors on television? The new season is about to start. But that's a whole other post!)

Another new friend, Henning Mankell. I really like Inspector Wallendar. Thanks to a blogging buddy for the introduction. Mr. Dragon and I are both hooked! And, along came a baseball friend delivering some odds and ends like Brian Haig and Secret Sanction. Mr. Dragon is the military/spy guy, but we both enjoyed Secret Sanction so much, we will put Mr. Haig on our list.

That's a very short introduction to some of my friends -- old and new. I have my ever present cup or glass of tea and the pink scarf in the background is knitted. No pattern ... just fun yarns ... an experiment. I'll add some beads to the tail when it is done.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mosaic Monday

Mary at The Little Red House is the hostess for Mosaic Monday. Be sure you visit!

Redneck  Signs Mosaic

Before Mr. Dragon's surgery, we went to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. We had a great time walking around, looking, laughing. I think the "Caution Rednecks at Play" sign is one of my favorites of all time! We went to the arena to watch the cutting horse contest. Got a chuckle at of the cowboys on their horses with the Blackberries in their hands. How does a Bodacious Burrito or Fried Oreo sound?


I had never seen the Zucchini Weenie before. Didn't try the alligator on a stick, but we did have some good barbecue brisket. Easter is just around the corner and I slipped in this crocheted bunny to celebrate. The bunny is made from a Caron One-pounder. The pattern was in the latest Caron email newsletter.

Happy Mosaic Monday!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Camera Critters

Camera Critters is hosted each Saturday by the lovely Misty.

Be sure to visit to see all the other critters!

More from Photography Day in February at Houston Zoo.

Nagano, New Guenon Monkey Baby

A new baby Guenon Monkey named Nagano.

Welcome to the World, Nagano

Nagano and his Mom, Bongo, kept us entertained.

Nagano and Mom, Bongo

I would have stood on my head to get photos of this sweet face!

Nagano and Mom, Bongo

Too cute! (Even with the bars.)
The exhibit is really quite large (lots of trees) and they move around quickly.

Nagano and Mom, Bongo

MOM! The crazy lady with the camera is still here.

Guenon Baby and Mom

The crazy man with the camera got this shot.

Love their markings and they look so soft.

Welcome to the world, Nagano!

Guenon monkeys are from Sub-Saharan Africa and are forest monkeys.
They are threatened or endangered because of habitat loss.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Would you believe? I didn't have an Easter Postcard in my collection of *paper stuff*.

So I headed over to the New York Public Library and copied the first one that popped up!

Easter Greeting
Easter Joys Be Ever Thine

1912 Postmark

Love from Aunt Pauline
Love the *Master* title of the young man!

Beth is our hostess for Postcard Friendship Friday.
Be sure to visit!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shout Out!

When I first started blogging, once a week I'd post a Blog of The Week. It was loads of fun visiting new to me bloggers to find special ones to introduce to you. But, I was spending all my time out in cyberspace and not enough time in real life, so I slowly let the blog of the week drop. I also decided that every blog I follow and all that follow me are the REAL blogs of the week!

So, what am I doing today? I'm giving a shout out to someone I met in 2009 during the One World One Heart blogathon. Kate, at Shibori Girl, and I have become blogging buddies. We share a lot of things in common: we both love to cook, we both love animals, we both love art, she makes gorgeous jewelry, I wear jewelry -- you get the idea.

This is what Kate says about herself: " I started this journey as a shibori artist, making beautiful patterns on fabric. Many years (and injuries later) I find myself making beautiful patterns with beads, or cooking ingredients."

Kate recently started working with polymer clay and OH MY! You just have to see. This girl is flying high!

But first, when I say Kate is an artist -- she really is!
Look at these drawings.

Wonderful, yes?!!!

A couple of Kate's beaded necklaces.

This special bead was made using the tubular right angel weave method.
Once the structure was made, she added layers of czech beads, Swarovski crystals,
and seed beads. In addition, little silver-lined seed beads add sparkle.

The bead is strung onto a hand-dyed shibori ribbon with sterling silver end caps
and silver toned clasp.

And, last but not least, here is the cuff Kate made with polymer clay.


Please visit Kate's Blog Shibori Girl, introduce yourself and have a look around. Kate has two Etsy shops: one where she destashes (is that a word?) her beads, and one where you can buy her fabulous jewelry.

All of the photos belong to Kate and were used here with her permission.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Mosaic Monday: It's All About The Kids!

It's college baseball time and it's all about the kids - young and old!

Most of these shots were taken at the Rice Baseball Alumni game in February.

Baseball Mosaic

You'll see the front of Reckling Park where the Owls play.

Cheerleaders, the Rice Mascot Sammy the Owl, Coach Wayne Graham

Current Rice players signing autographs and posters for kids of all ages.

Mr. and Mrs. Dragon with Sammy

Be sure to drop by The Little Red House and visit Mary our hostess for Mosaic Monday.


I wanted to thank all of you for your prayers, good thoughts, chants, juju that you've sent to us. Mr. Dragon is home and gets stronger each day. It's a long road but we are on our way.
Thanks again.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Camera Critters

Our lovely hostess for Camera Critters is Misty.

Be sure you go and visit the other critters!


Lovely young lady, isn't she?
All of these shots were taken at the February Photography Morning at the Houston Zoo.


She posed for a long time.
I think she thought we were all nuts!
But then, she is a thing of beauty.

 Tiger and Reflection

The reflection is one of our favorite shots.
A portrait of two ladies.

Happy Critter Day!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

The lovely hostess for Postcard Friendship Friday is Beth.
Be sure to visit!

I've been away from the blog for awhile, but now that Mr. Dragon is home,
I hope I'll be able to catch up with all of you.

St. Patrick's Day Postcard

Since St. Patrick's Day was this week, I'm posting another of the Lillian Vernon Corporation's reproduction vintage postcards.

Hope your St. Patrick's Day was fun, with lots of green beer, corned beef and cabbage!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


As you can imagine, with everything that is going on in my life right now -- Mr. Dragon's surgery, the hospital stay (he may be home by the weekend) -- 9 Bodacious Ways to Practice Self-Care Really got my attention! Enjoy!

9 Bodacious (and Easy) Ways to Practice Self-Care
by Christine Kane
Just as there was a time when "google" was not a verb, there was also a time when "bodacious" was not a word. Bodacious is a blend of "bold" and "audacious" created in British English dialect late in the nineteenth century.

I love this word! Some days we need to be bodacious! And some days, we need to remember to apply it to our own self-care.

No matter how rewarding or noble it is to be of service to others - whether you're a coach, in retail, or taking care of an ailing parent - you cannot leave your self-care out of the picture. If you do, you'll soon burn-out, become ill or angry, and you'll ultimately be serving no one.

Here are 9 bodacious ways to practice self-care:

1 - Flowers!
This is so simple – and yet so powerful. Fresh flowers beautify any space. I always have an orchid on my coffee table. I see it the minute I walk in the door, and it reminds me to take a deep breath and cherish the beauty of my life. Create a Sunday ritual of getting fresh flowers to get your week off to a bodacious start!

2 - Take a nap.

Favorite thing: I climb into bed for a nap in the middle of the day. Within minutes comes the soft ploop of cat paws on the cover. I can almost hear the cat thoughts: Hmm. The human has decided to lie quietly. I'd like to take part. Then the paws walk all around me until they find the very best spot for settling.

Cats know the truth: Naps are bodacious!

3 - Pay full price.

The amount of energy we waste on trying to get "deals" is often not worth it. If you see something youlove, then get it. I'm convinced that we'd all be so much happier and wealthier if we just got exactlywhat we loved without looking at price tags and wasting time looking for sales. (We'd probably have much less stuff too!)

4 - Trampolines and swings.

I was at a cocktail party last year. The adults were up on the deck watching the kids jump on the trampoline. At one point, all the kids ran inside. I kicked off my shoes and ran for the trampoline. Three other women joined me. We laughed and jumped for about 15 minutes. It was the most fun I'd had all week.

Swings are fun, too. And they're easy to find! Who cares if you look or feel stupid? Being an adult doesn't have to mean being boring!

5 - Truncate your To-Do's.

How many items are on your to-do list today?




A day should have no more than two or three mission-critical priorities for completion. The rest are extra credit! Give yourself the gift of completion. It is the ultimate self-care.

6 - Order out.

I love preparing meals. But some nights, it's just necessary to let someone else do the cooking. We have a great delivery service in our town. I don't mind the extra expense if it allows me a night of no clean up, and a little extra time to write or just be with my husband.

7 - Take a long walk with your dog.

Are you one of those people who gets home from work and marches your dog around the block with a grim look on your face? (Another to-do item checked off the list!)

Try this: Take your dog for a long happy walk. Revel in the delight and presence of your dog. It will absolutely lift your spirits.

8 - Read for fun.

Do you relish your days on the beach because it's the only time you'll allow yourself the joy of a trashy novel or some "light" reading?

Why not get a little bodacious and bring the beach to your work-week? Curl up at night and get lost in some fun fiction.

9 - Step AWAY from the computer. (And the phone.)

The challenge of this internet world is that we are "plugged in" 24/7. You are reachable all the time now. No one waits for "business hours" anymore. This is not healthy for your precious creative spirit, my friend.

Take regular breaks from Facebook, blogs, texts, cell phones, and email. (Yes, even this eZine!) Don't include your computer in any of the above activities. And turn off your phone, too! I promise, your computer and phone won't take it personally! (Neither will this e-Zine!)

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 11,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at
See Christine's blog – Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous – at

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Brief Note...

(Image from Offerings: Buddhist Wisdom for Everyday by Follmi)

I wanted to fly by and let you know that Mr. Dragon's surgery went very well. It was long, but there were no surprises for the surgical team. He will be in the hospital 7 - 14 days. Lots of tubes and wires and he's cranky. Keep those good thoughts, prayers, juju, white light, chanting, and all coming ... we continue to need them and THANK YOU!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Friends Come In All Shapes and Sizes

I'd like to introduce you to two new friends.

They make me giggle.

Crochet Friends

I found the pattern in a Herrschners after holiday sales catalog.

 Crochet Friends

Crochet Pals

Red Penguin

I need to tack the hat on Mr. Red. It doesn't quite fit properly.

Blue Penguin

The big decision ... do I keep them or save them for gifts for Christmas.

Meanwhile, I think I'll make more!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Camera Critters

The hostess for Camera Critters is the lovely Misty. Be sure you visit.

I do love kitties. Here are a few shots of some large cats.

Photography morning at the Houston Zoo with the Lion Pride.


This is Johnathan and I believe I've introduced him to you before.

Cali and Johnathan

Cali and Johnathan. Cali is the last from the original pride. She is in her late teens.

Cali and Johnathan

Handsome couple, aren't they?!
Cali is finally putting up with the youngster, Johnny.

Dinner in the Crowd?

I wonder if she saw something in the crowd she wanted for lunch?

Because of Cali's age, three new, young girls have been added to the pride.
Here are two of them playing tug-of-war with their keepers at the training window.
The girls are about 18 months old.
They were given treats (large bones) after their play.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March Lesson

It's been so busy around here that I almost forgot the March Lesson!

"A koan is a public case, almost like a legal precedent, in which some issue of understanding is raised beyond the meaning of the words. ... Be alert to an opportunity to be of service. Use whatever you have to be of help. You don't necessarily know in advance how. Do the best you can."

The beautiful eleven-headed bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, approx. 1300, Western Tibet, Ladakh. The Avery Brundage Collection at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

(All from Dharma Days: Art, Musings and Meditations for the Spiritual Path by Dairyu Michael Wenger 2010 Calendar)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Eye Candy

I Love Vera Bradley!

In honor of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo -- Boots!

(From Houston Lifestyles & Homes/March 2010)