Friday, April 30, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday: Monet's Gardens

Our hostess for Postcard Friendship Friday is the lovely Beth.
Today Beth celebrates Mother's Day.

I didn't have a Mother's Day postcard, so I thought a visit to France
and Monet's Gardens at Giverny might be nice.
Tulips abound!

Postcard Monet's Gardens

The back of this card reads:
Monet's Gardens at Giverny
A monochromatic island flower bed of soft pink tulips and rose-colored English daisies (Bellis perennis) is planted in front of Monet's house, repeating its color scheme of pink and green.

Pomegranate publishes books of postcards on a wide range of subjects.
You can imagine how lovely "Monet's Gardens at Giverny" is.
Photographs by Elizabeth Murray.

Happy PFF!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Releasing and Welcoming

(Image from Cottage Witchery by Ellen Dugan)

You already know I like the Daily OM and on occasion share with you. I love the idea of sweeping the old energy out and sweeping new energy in.

Sounds easy, doesn't it.

April 26, 2010
Releasing and Welcoming
Energetic Sweeping

Sweeping your porch each day is regarded as an important cleansing ritual that prepares your home for new energy.

In some of our lives, sweeping has become an activity performed without much thought. In many cases, sweeping is a lost art, replaced by the noisy, efficient vacuum cleaner. But in several cultures and religions, sweeping the front and back porch every morning is regarded as an important cleansing ritual that prepares the ground for new energy on every level—physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. It is often employed to sanctify a space and prepare it for a ceremony. This seemingly simple action has the power to clear away the old and make space for the new. It stirs up the energy in a place, clearing out the astral buildup that is the natural by-product of the presence of humans.

This kind of sweeping is not about cleaning the area of dust. In fact, the broom doesn’t have to actually touch the ground to be effective. You might want to consider having two different brooms, one you use for cleaning dust and dirt, and one you use for energy clearing. If you are so inspired, you could decorate your broom by carving its handle, painting it, decorating it with gemstones and ribbons, or any other creative adornment that appeals to you. You can also make your own broom out of tree branches and twigs, or choose a naturally appearing broom from nature, such as a pine bough.

Sweeping each morning prepares the ground for the new day at the same time as it deepens our awareness of the importance of letting go of the past to welcome the present. As we clear the energy of our space, we clear our own energy systems. In addition, we create a space that feels clean, clear, and open to all who enter. Be sure to think welcoming thoughts as you sweep, manifesting what you need for the day. Making sweeping part of our daily ritual tunes us into the continuing cycle of releasing the old and welcoming the new that is the hallmark of a healthy energy system.

For more information visit

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Bath Time!

Spring has sprung in Musashi's Garden with lots of action at the bird bath.

Here's Mr. Robin -- always entertaining!

Robin Mosaic

The hostess for Mosaic Monday is the lovely Mary at The Little Red House.

Joy to You!
Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Camera Critters

It's Camera Critters time! Misty is our lovely hostess. Be sure you visit!

Here's more of the Houston Zoo and Photography Morning with one of my favorite kitties ---

the beautiful cheetah.


"You again? Here I am. Beautiful as usual."


"Is that breakfast I see in your hand? Let me get closer."


Have a wonderful day!

Joy to You on Critter Day!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

This week Beth has a beautiful little girl posted to start off Postcard Friendship Friday. I looked for a beautiful little girl and stopped when I saw this postcard. She definitely has the cat by the tail! Poor kitty. Just wanted his fair share of dinner!

Cat By The Tail Postcard

This postcard is from The Cat Postcard Book (a celebration of cats, with 30 full-color portraits to mail, share and cherish) published by Running Press Book Publishers.
The back of the card reads:
Mischievous Kitty, 19th century (American).
Advertising trade card for E. G. Southwick & Co.
Northampton Historical Society, Northampton, Massachusetts.

Happy PFF!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Catch Up!

We all know about the generosity of the blogging community. I've been remiss in acknowledging two gifts I've received in the mail. They both arrived within a day of each other and I've thought everyday that I have to say "THANK YOU". So, here's a big THANK YOU to Kelley and Donna.

Kelley at Dragonfly Reflections gathered a group of women together - women she felt safe with and invited them to come and watch the Brene Brown video with her. At the end of the evening she shared a copy of Brown's book with them and had two copies left over. Those two copies she offered to her blog readers and I was fortunate to receive one.

I knew the first time I visited Kelley that I would like her. How could I not like someone whose blog was named Dragonfly Reflections!!!! Kelley has done some major remodeling of her blog and it's even better than when I first *met* her. Kelley also likes working with paper. The wonderful "Celebrate Spring" is one of her creations that she included with a little note in the book. Thank you Kelley!

My second thank you goes to Donna at Brynwood Needleworks. I don't think there is anything Donna can't do with a needle -- of any kind! She recently celebrated her first Blogoversary and I won one of her fabulous Alice In Wonderland Bookmarks. The bookmark was packaged so beautifully I almost didn't want to open the package. But I did ... ripped it open with one move! I believe you can't have too many bookmarks or too many books. Thank you Donna.

I hope you'll drop by the blogs of these lovely ladies and say "Hello, Snap sent me"!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mosaic Monday

Mr. Dragon and I headed over to the beautiful Rice University campus to see the seven James Surls sculptures that are visiting for six months. The public exhibition, "Magnificent Seven: Houston Celebrates Surls," features monumental bronze and steel outdoor sculpture, some of which were unveiled and exhibited along New York's Park Avenue last year.
Ranging between 750 and 2,200 pounds, the sculptures include Surls' signature forms of flowers, diamonds and eyes. The Rice Public Art Program joined with the Houston Arts Alliance to sponsor the exhibition.

Mosaic Surls Sculptures at Rice

Surls has deep roots in the Houston arts community. Among other endeavors, he taught at the University of Houston and helped create Lawndale Art Center, a nonprofit alternative space for the exhibition of contemporary works in all media, which helped launch Houston as a significant player in the national art scene. He and his wife now live in Colorado.

Mosaic Surls Sculptures at Rice

"I like to take things that you see in the natural world and cast them in a new light," Surls said. "I like to make art of the things we see in the natural world that are repeated over and over again, like the spiral -- it's in a baby's cowlick, a blowing seed, the wind."

(Information and quote from Rice University News Media.)

I was in such a hurry to get this posted that I forgot one of the most important parts: Mosaic Monday is hosted by the lovely (and forgiving) Mary at The Dear Little Red House. Be sure to visit to see the other participants.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Camera Critters

Camera Critters is hosted each Saturday by the lovely Misty.
Be sure you visit!

I haven't posted anything about our little Miss Riley in sometime.
I thought today I'd bring you up-to-date.

Riley was Mr. Rocky's litter mate. If you remember, Rocky died of a sudden heart attack.
On Riley's regular visit to the vet, he spent extra time with her and found a heart murmur.

She had an echocardiogram and has a little thin sided heart that has trouble beating.
It is probably the most difficult of the heart conditions to treat.

Right now she is doing fine. She's on two medications that have to be specially compounded into tuna flavored treats. Believe it or not, she quite enjoys her *treats* twice a day.


Here is the little Miss in the bedroom we call the studio.


Miss Riley with one her best friends, Raggedy Ann!

Miss Riley

We don't know how long we will be blessed with her presence.
She's a little doll we call the Impress!

Happy Critter Day!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Postcard Friendship Friday is hosted by the lovely Beth over at The Best Hearts Are Crunchy.

Be sure you visit.

Murdock's Bath House Galveston

This is a postcard we received in the mail asking us to SAVE THE DATE.

I really liked how they combined the old with the new.

The old - the photo of the old Murdock's Bath House as it once stood on the beach on Galveston Island.
The image is one of those in the Rosenberg Library on the Island.
Murdock's was destroyed during hurricane Ike and is being rebuilt.
The grand-reopening scheduled at the same time as the fund raiser for the Ronald McDonald House.
Should be a lot of fun.

Murdock's Bath House Galveston

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2010

I've found a new to me meme thanks to a new blogging friend over at A Garden of Threads.

The meme is called Garden Bloggers Bloom Day and once a month, on the 15th, you blog what is in bloom in your garden. I can do that! And, I'm going to have fun seeing what's blooming in all the other gardens.

Pink Rose

I love the pink roses blooming on our balcony.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what they are called.
They have been in a pot on the balcony for 10 years and supply us with these lovely blooms.

Pink Rose

Purple Trumpet Vine

The lavender trumpet vine I can tell you a little about.
I found most of this information at HGTV!

Lavender trumpet vine may be one of the most exquisite vines for residential landscapes in warmer regions. Originating in Argentina, Clytostoma callistegioides is hardy to Zone 10 but will die back and re-grow in winters of Zone 9. The large trumpet flowers are four inches long, striped in lavender and purple. When blooming, the vine is engulfed in color for weeks in spring but may produce occasional flowers through the rest of the growing season, too.
What makes this vine so appealing is its modest size and lacy look. Foliage is sparser than the jessamines, which makes it a popular subject for spider web espalier with invisible anchors on colored stucco walls. Its heavy bloom production has made it a favorite for draping over the tops of walls and fences for a virtual waterfall of purple spilling down the front. Moderate growth makes this vine slower to become established, but once it feels at home there is virtually no pruning or special care required.


The hibiscus originally in these pots did not make it through our winter.
It was a lovely, dwarf Hawaiian hibiscus.
I replaced them with the Jane Cowel hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Jane Cowel') .
I'll have to keep them trimmed, but love the peachy color.


Joy to You!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mosaic Monday

Winter was very hard on Musashi's Garden.

The lime trees did not survive along with the red and gold Ixora.

We weren't sure what Spring would bring us, but we aren't disappointed.

Here are a few of the Spring blooms in Musashi's Garden.

Blooming in Musashi's Garden

A little of everything: ranunculus, roses, wild flowers, dragon lady crossvine,
freesia, dianthus, Mexican lavender, hibiscus, camellia.

We will replant the Ixora -- eventually. We love that they bloom year round.
And there are more citrus trees in our future.

Happy Mosaic Monday. Be sure to visit Mary and the other participants.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Comfort Food

My buddy, Carole, had a post about her favorite comfort food -- macaroni and cheese -- complete with recipe. This girl can cook and you should go visit and get the recipe. I told her I had been thinking about a comfort food post myself and had just been lazy. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the horrible photo I took of the turkey tetrazzini I made and planned on sharing with you. I'll share the recipe ... it really is good!

What is your favorite comfort food? Macaroni and cheese, BLT sandwich, Granny's chicken soup, cheese enchiladas (we did live in New Mexico for many, many years), chocolate .. what else says comfort to you?

For us (besides the above), we really like turkey tetrazzini. I use the recipe out of one my favorite cookbooks: Campbell's Great American Cookbook: A culianary treasury of more than 500 best-loved recipes from Colonial times to the present. It was published in 1984 by the Campbell's Soup Company. It's a little worn around the edges, but still holding together. Not only are the recipes down home good, but there are little snippets (don't you just love that word?) of information included with many of the recipes.

Here's the recipe for Chicken/Turkey Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini

Although the name sounds Italian, Chicken Tetrazzini is a thoroughly American dish created in San Francisco early in this century (20th) in honor of the great coloratura Luisa Tetrazzini. This version has become popular as an elegant last-minute dish for company meals.

Begin: 1 Hour Ahead 6 Servings

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup light cream
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
1/4 cup chopped pimentos
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
8 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. In 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, in hot butter, cook mushrooms and onion until tender. Stir in flour and salt until blended. Gradually stir in chicken broth. Cook until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Stir in cream, sherry, chicken, pimentos and parsley; heat until just boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat.

2. In 12 by 8 inch baking dish, spread spaghetti. Pour chicken mixture over spaghetti. Top with cheese. Bake at 450 degrees F. 15 minutes or until cheese is golden.

Easy Tetrazzini: Use ingredients as above but use only 2 tablespoons butter or margarine and omit flour, salt, chicken broth and cream. In 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat, heat only 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. In butter, cook mushrooms and onion until tender. Stir in 2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, 1 cup water and sherry; heat through. Stir in chicken, pimentos and parsley; heat until just boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat. Proceed as in step 2.


And because this is a food post, I found this while browsing through a catalog and couldn't resist sharing it with you.

Don't forget to smile today!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mail Call!

I won a book from the folks at Craftside. All I had to do was post an answer to a question.


Look what arrived in the mail!

The purrrrfect book for a cat lover: Cat Lover's Daily Companion:
365 Days of Insight and Guidance for Living a Joyful Life with Your Cat
by Kristen Hampshire, Iris Bass and Lori Paximadis

Monday listings provide practical information, from welcoming a cat home to understanding his basic needs.

Tuesdays (like the one below) contain engaging tales of cats in history and literature.

Wednesday (like the one below) explore feline health and wellness topics, from acupuncture to the zodiac.
To find out about Thursdays, Fridays and the weekends -- you'll need to find your own copy! I can't share everything! I'm going to enjoy every single page and so will my kitties.

And, last but not least, gorgeous photos of cats.

If you don't regularly follow Craftside, you should. They have almost daily reviews of books on all kinds of crafty subjects -- you name it, they've done it. Try it. Leave a post and win a book! Books are good for you. You can never have too many books!

(Special thank you to Lindsey at the Quayside Publishing Group. Lindsey, the book arrived!)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter


"Of course there are such things as angels only sometimes they don't have wings and we call them friends."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Camera Critters

Today is a very special day at Camera Critters.

Today Misty celebrates two very successful years sharing critters from around the world.

Be sure you visit.

I decided to put together a mosaic of some of the critters I have shared on Camera Critter day.


My first post with Camera Critters was in January 2009 and it was of our dear little dumpling boy, Rocky. I've given the place of honor in the mosaic to Rocky. We were blessed with his presence for three years. I wish he had been with us for many more years. He taught us a lot about love and, Rocky, we are still learning and miss you every day.

Big kitties, little kitties, animals from the Houston Zoo, birds in Musashi's Garden ... just a few of the critters I've shared with you.

Misty, happy two years and here's to many, many more!

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Lesson

Here is the April lesson from Dharma Days: Art, Musings and Meditations for the Spiritual Path by Dairyu Michael Wenger.

It got my attention -- "Disease and medicine are all in a life's work."

The beautiful medicine buddha is from Dharma Crafts.

We celebrate Easter in April.
The Buddha's Birthday on April 8.
Don't forget Earth Day April 22.
(Everyday should be Earth Day -- don't you think?!

Blessings to All.