Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tea Bliss

A dear friend and I were running errands when we drove past The Guild Shop.
We both said out loud, The Guild Shop, the car turned around and
off we went to an adventure.
I've been in The Guild Shop a dozen times and there won't be a tea cup anywhere.
There are always tea pots, but no tea cups.
On this visit there were tea cups!

Clarence Tea Cup and Tea Pot

I found the little Price&Kensington tea pot at T.J. Maxx.
It makes a nice tea for one for my new Clarence tea cup.

Clarence Tea Cup Mosaic

I really like the dainty flowers and the unusual shape of the cup.

Clarence  Tea Cup Mosaic

Tea Bliss

I'm still reading The Chinese Art of Tea by John Blofeld, it is interesting, but can be very dry, so I picked up the next tea book in my never-ending book stack, Tea Bliss byTheresa Cheung. The reviews on Amazon are very mixed, but I found this at less than half price and just couldn't pass it up. The illustrations alone were worth the price! I've enjoyed scanning through the book to oooooh and ahhhhh over the photography. The book is full of tea quotes. Here are a few:

"In the taste of a single cup of tea you will eventually discover the truth of all ten thousand forms of the universe." ~ Kyongbong Sunim, Ch'an (Zen) master

"Pour me a little more tea, would you, dear? I can drink it till it comes out of my ears." ~Garek, Star Trek: Deep Space 9

"It's liquor is like the sweetest dew from heaven." ~Lu Yu (733-804), Chinese writer

"Tea is a religion of the art of life." ~Katuzo Okakura (1862-1913), Japanese writer

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently as if it is the axis on which the whole world revolves -- slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live in the actual moment. Only this moment is life."
~Thich Nhat Hanh (1926 - ), Vietnamese-born Buddhist monk and author (one of my favorites). 

I have some fun reading ahead of me, just reading the tea quotes! 

Thanks to our tea party hostesses.
These are just a few of the tea parties in the Land of Blog.

Wishing YOU well and a wonderful cup of tea! 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our World: Cicada

I went outside to turn on the water and waiting for me at the faucet
was this little guy.
Staring right at me.


He molted recently and his shell is in the  back on the right.
Look carefully.
Can you see his three extra eyes?
(Between the two large ones.)


Did you know there are over 2500 different species of cicada?
Only the males sing.
Believe it or not, even in our horrible heat, the guys have been singing
late in the evening.

Be sure to see what else is happening in the world and visit

Wishing YOU well and a JOY filled week.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Look Back: August

It is almost the end of August and time for a look back!

August Mosaic

Looking forward to September!

Thank you to our hostess:
Wishing YOU well and a JOY filled week!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Elephant Bath

Earlier in the summer, before it got too hot for man or beast,
the Houston Zoo had a open house at the elephant barn.
Tess and her calf, Tupelo were the stars.

Asian Elephant

They love having their bath.

                                   Asian Elephant

Little Tupelo was helping.

Asian Elephant Sitting Up

Tess was a very happy elephant!

Be sure to visit Camera Critters to see the other critters.
I'm also linking to and thanking 

If you are on the east coast, please stay safe.

Wishing YOU well.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This and That

It's time for a little This and That.

One of the churches in the neighborhood has a Sticks and Hook group.
This knit and crochet group would like to make 400 scarves to distribute
to the homeless during the holidays.
I thought that was something I could help with and hit my stash.

There are no rules for the scarf -- just that it be 6 ft in length.
They didn't care about pattern or what kind of yarn.
Here are my first three ... one skein of Homespun in each scarf.
Each is a little different in pattern -- to keep me from getting bored!

Knit Scarf

I think this one is my favorite.


A girl can't live by scarves alone, so I took a little break and am
making 14 of these.
Fourteen before I can go on with the pattern.
Hmmmmm ... what is it going to be?!

(A big thank you to Mr. Brown for being the model. He is my grandson's
lovey when he visits.)


I am sure at least one of these is in my future!
Who knew there were so many Amineko fans on Flickr?!!!


Color Pencil Sketch Robin

I wanted to share with you my very FIRST color pencil sketch.
Mr. Robin at the bird bath in Musashi's Garden.

A little story.
Mr. Dragon always bought a teddy bear for me --
on my birthday, our anniversary (we had two).
On February 1st this year, he looked at me and said he was
sorry he didin't have a bear for me on our 30th anniversary.
To be sure, when it was all over, to get a bear.
I promised him I would ... a very special bear.

I'd like you to meet Holland.
He arrived yesterday.
He is the perfect -- very special bear.

Holland came from Ginger.
She is a wonderful bear artist and has a delightful blog.

Wishing YOU well and a wonderful weekend.
To my friends on the East Coast ... hunker down and please be careful.
Hurricanes are no fun. 
I know. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Healing After Loss

Ganesh - remover of obstacles

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."

  ~The Buddha

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Heart Faces: Pets


I couldn't resist entering a photo of Teddy
when I read I Heart Faces wanted Pets this week! 
I like to share Theodorable! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Monthly Look Back

It's almost the end of August,
and I haven't taken a look back at July yet!

So, here it is ... a short review of July.


I can't forget the red, white and blue of the 4th of July!

Mosaic for 4th of July

Thank you to our host:

Wishing YOU well and a joy filled week!

On This Date

On this date, seven years ago,
the doorbell rang and my good friend and neighbor
brought a little gray furbaby to live at Twisty Lane.
His name is Teddy.


He grew from this little squirt into a big, beautiful boy.


He supervises everything that goes on in the house.


Does he look better against blues or pinks?!!!

Crochet Baby Afghan

He likes baseball, too.
And does a great Owl imitation!


Happy seven years, Teddy!
Cassie and I love you!

Be sure to check out the other Camera Critters.

Wishing YOU well and a fun weekend!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer Time

Houston Wading Pond
Reproduction postcard: Wading Pond at City Park, Houston (now Sam Houston Park), 1907

the end of summer
flying by, where has it gone
it is TOO darn hot

Galveston Bath House
Reproduction postcard: The Breakers Bath House, Galveston, 1911

A big thank you to our hostesses:

Wishing YOU well and a joy filled weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Healing After Loss

Japanese Garden

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
~E. M. Forster

Monday, August 15, 2011

Drink More Tea

I would like to share a new tea cup and my favorite tea pot with you.
I found the tea cup at Ross. Pretty in Pink!
On the bottom it reads:
Fine China
Dishwasher Safe
Made in China

Drink More Tea

I've had the Bridgewater Tea Pot (for Past Times) for years.
I love that is says Drink More Tea on one side
Love and Live Happy 
on the other!


I'm still reading The Chinese Art of Tea by John Blofeld.
It can be rather dull reading, but is fascinating at the same time!
Mr. Blofeld collected tea stories, tea songs, tea poetry his entire lifetime
and shares some of those in this book.
Here is one I especially liked and will share on 
Food and Feast tours at the museum:

Under Rare, Legendary and Otherwise Curious Teas he lists
Monkey Tea.

"The first Monkey Tea came from a lonely place haunted by wild beasts, but in the hidden valleys there used to be numerous monasteries with monks or tenants engaged in farming and fruit growing.

According to an old story, a very young novice from Heavenly Wisdom Monastery was looking after some pear trees covered with ripening fruit. Suddenly a large tribe of monkeys came swarming from the forest and set about gobbling up the pears. By the time a few monks came running to help, the trees had been stripped and branches broken, so they all walked back to the monastery with dragging steps, expecting a severe scolding from the abbot. Instead, the old man said resignedly: 'Heaven commands us to show compassion to all living creatures, and so does the teaching of the Buddha. Things come and go. Moreover, monkeys, like all sentient beings, have a spiritual nature. They have taken our pears. Well, so be it.'

Henceforward those holy men allowed the mischievous animals to come and go freely, and the latter, gradually losing their inborn fear of humans, came to regard the monks as friends. The winter that year was unusually cold: heavy falls of snow lay upon trees and mountains, and hundreds of pitiful beasts starved to death. After some weeks a horde of ravenous monkeys invaded the monastery grounds and ran agitatedly around, half-pleading, half-menacing, as though to say:
'Please give us food, or else we shall just have to break in and take it."
So the abbot ordered that bags of food be taken out and distributed to the monkeys;  whereupon the animals uttering loud cries seized the bags and ran back into the forest.

With the arrival of spring came the time for harvesting tea leaves. While this arduous labour was being performed, monkeys came swarming down from the peak dragging along the old bags which now bulged with freshly picked young tea leaves. 'It was as though one's friends were to come back with baskets of peaches to make return for a gift of pears!' The tea, having been picked in places inaccessible to man, was found to be of unrivaled quality. In view of these circumstances, fine tea from that locality became known as monkey tea."

Thanks to our tea party hostesses.
These are just a few of the tea parties in the Land of Blog.

Wishing YOU well and a wonderful cup of tea!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dry Creek

Dry Creek is part of the Creek Group in my fair city.
Located in The Heights (one of the funkier neighborhoods),
Dry Creek was originally a 1930's gas station.
Now it's a burger joint ... and a good one.

The Creek Group is a charming group of cafes dedicated
to the 'country folk' mentality.
Slow down and listen to some good ol' country and blues
and have a good time. 
It's like fishing without the pole.

Dinner at Dry Creek

THE KIDS are getting married later in the year.
Dry Creek was a good place to get the families together and for
his folks to meet the Auntie (the woman behind the camera)!

Dinner at Dry Creek

Funky Decor

Dinner at Dry Creek

His folks.
Can you tell we had a great time?
And, the food was good too!

Dry Creek Mosaic

I had the regular burger with a side of jalapeno and sweet potato fries.
Then there was a West Coast Burger -- turkey burger with avocado and sprouts.
THE KID tried the house specialty--
the Triple Bypass Burger -- cheese, bacon and fried egg.
He liked it .

Good Food.
Good Company.

Thank you to our hostesses:

Wishing YOU well and a joy filled week!

Set Yourself Free

This Daily Om arrived in my email box this morning. It just hit the spot!

August 12, 2011
Set Yourself Free
Letting Go of Perfection

Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

It is good to remember that one of our goals in life is to not be perfect. We often lose track of this aspiration. When we make mistakes, we think that we are failing or not measuring up. But if life is about experimenting, experiencing, and learning, then to be imperfect is a prerequisite. Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t strive to be our best. We simply accept that there is no such thing as perfection—especially in life. All living things are in a ceaseless state of movement. Even as you read this, your hair is growing, your cells are dying and being reborn, and your blood is moving through your veins. Your life changes more than it stays the same. Perfection may happen in a moment, but it will not last because it is an impermanent state. Trying to hold on to perfection or forcing it to happen causes frustration and unhappiness.

In spite of this, many of us are in the habit of trying to be perfect. One way to nudge ourselves out of this tendency is to look at our lives and notice that no one is judging us to see whether or not we are perfect. Sometimes, perfectionism is a holdover from our childhood—an ideal we inherited from a demanding parent. We are adults now, and we can choose to let go of the need to perform for someone else’s approval. Similarly, we can choose to experience the universe as a loving place where we are free to be imperfect. Once we realize this, we can begin to take ourselves less seriously and have more fun. Imperfection is inherent to being human. By embracing your imperfections, you embrace yourself.For more information visit dailyom.com

Friday, August 12, 2011

Remembering Love

Kiss Postcard
From a Box of Kisses postcards published by Chronicle Books

remembering love
the look in the eyes, the smile
YES, we were lucky

Wedding Day

A big thank you to our hostesses:

Wishing YOU well and a joy filled weekend.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Is it cool yet?

As you can tell, the sun is shining here.
We set heat records every day and
I'm getting tired of the weather!
So, in an effort to feel cooler,
I finished this little scarecrow.

Crochet Scarecrow and Pumpkin

The little scarecrow was easy to crochet.
He's lots of fun.
The design is by Sheila Leslie for Crochet World/DRG.
I purchased him as a kit from Mary Maxim.

Crochet Scarecrow

And, NO, I don't feel cooler.
But I am smiling!

Wishing YOU well and joy filled day!

For those who might be interested, I found a pattern for 
a scarecrow online that is very similar to the one I made.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My World: Street Art

Street Art

I was walking in my Village one Sunday morning and noticed,
painted on the control box for the traffic light,
this little guy.
Think his name is Coolidge?

To see more of the world be sure to visit Show Your World.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dim Sum

I had a wonderful lunch with friends.
We had been talking about having Dim Sum together for years.
Mr. Dragon, me and his colleagues, our friends. 

Fung's Kitchen

One thing or another kept us from dim sum, 
but finally success!

Fung's Kitchen

We ate.
Talked about old times.
Cried a little.
Toasted with tea, to Mr. Dragon.
Wishing he was still here with us.

Dim Sum

I found out I like seaweed!
(Pictured on the far right.)

Thank you to our hostesses:

Wishing YOU well and a joy filled week!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sit and Listen

listen carefully
can you hear the melody?
serenity here

Japanese Garden, Hermann Park

Monet's Garden
Postcard, Monet's Gardens at Giverny

A big thank you to our hostesses:

Wishing YOU well and a joy filled weekend.