Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Signs You Are Doing Better Than You Think

Every now and then something is shared with me in an email,
or I see something on Face Book and think it's worth passing on.

This came from Face Book and The Mind Awakened.

19 Signs You Are Doing Better Than You Think
Ryan Maxwell

Even in uncertain times, it’s always important to keep things in perspective.
True wealth is the ability to fully experience life. ‘-Henry David Thoreau

  1. You are alive.
  2. You are able to see the sunrise and the sunset.
  3. You are able to hear birds sing and waves crash.
  4. You can walk outside and feel the breeze through your hair and the sun’s warmth on your skin.
  5. You have tasted the sweetness of chocolate cake.
  6. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.
  7. You awoke this morning with a roof over your head.
  8. You had a choice of what clothes to wear.
  9. You haven’t feared for your life today.
  10. You have overcome some considerable obstacles, and you have learned and survived.
  11. You often worry about what you’re going to do with your life – your career, your family, the next step, etc. – which means you have ambition, passion, drive, and the freedom to make your own decisions.
  12. You live in a country that protects your basic human rights and civil liberties.
  13. You are reasonably strong and healthy – if you got sick today, you could recover.
  14. You have a friend or relative who misses you and looks forward to your next visit.
  15. You have someone with whom to reminisce about ‘the good old days.’
  16. You have access to clean drinking water.
  17. You have access to medical care.
  18. You have access to the Internet.
  19. You can read.
The truth is, you’re doing better than a lot of people in this world.  So remember to be thankful for all the things you do have.


Speaking of the good old days, a dear friend of mine from my university days (back in the middle ages) is coming to visit.
So, I'm going to take a short blog break.
Lots of museums to visit and walking to do.
I'll be sure to take my camera and I'll see you all again soon.

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Camera Critters: All Grown Up!

When I visit the Houston Zoo, I always start with the Chilean Flamingo.
I've been watching the babies grow up.
From this-- 
Fluffy little grey balls.

Chilean Flamingo

Chilean Flamingo Chicks

To this -- almost all grown up!

Chilean Flamingo

Still grey, but beginning to get their pink coloring.

Young Chilean Flamingo

Very handsome!

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Thanks to Eileen at Saturday Critters.

Camera Critters
Thanks, Misty!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It Is Earth Day

Today is Earth Day.
To celebrate I'm sharing a few images from Musashi's Garden, the Japanese Garden and the Houston Zoo.


Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

Chliean Flamingo

Don't you think every day should be Earth Day?

Wishing YOU well and much joy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Little Things

A few little random things:

- I bought two four inch pots of basil at Trader Joe's several weeks ago.
They are ready to be cut and the first batch of pesto made.

- Once I finished reading THOSE ANGRY DAYS by Lynne Olson (it was excellent),
I started to clean my reading palette by reading some chick lit.
JOY FOR BEGINERS by Erica Bauermeister
SHADOW SPELL by Nora Roberts
DEATH COME QUICKLY by Susan Wittig Albert
I enjoyed them all and am now ready to take on another history book.
I just haven't decided which one.

- Early Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market
Smoked Black Pepper Chevre from Blue Heron Farm
Golden beets, turnips, cabbage, cauliflower
Apple cinnamon rolls
Fresh picked strawberries

- Another rose blooming in Musashi's Garden.

Wild Blue Yonder Rose

This one is Wild Blue Yonder.

Wild Blue Yonder Rose

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Little by Little
Thanks, Kim!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Liberate Your Art 2014

Liberate Your Art 2014 has come to a close.
This is the second year for me to participate and I had a great time again.
It's always fun to see what surprises might be in the mail box.

Kat Sloma puts this swap together each year and it is because of her that it is such a big success and so much fun.

Last year, I made five different postcards to swap.
I only heard from two of the folks who received my cards and I was disappointed.
So, this year I picked one image and had Moo make the postcards for me.
They did a great job.

This is the image on the cards I sent to Kat for swap.
Two of my favorite things: the baby Buddha and Iris.


The first card I received was from Lynne Foerster of a lighthouse near Cape May.
She used the pallet effect on photoshop.



Collage of Postcards

The cute little shore bird is a photo by Annie Kelleher of Crimson Cove Photography.
I love shore birds. They are very entertaining. So much fun to watch.

The second photo is by Eric Muhr
He was in the right place at the right time to capture the morning sun along the crest of the young fir trees.

Both of these cards speak to the beauty of nature, contemplation, quiet. 


Postcard Collage

The watercolor circles are by Carlyn Clark.
I love watercolor and the colors on this card are so bright. Cheerful!
The mixed media LOVE postcard is by Tina.
Clicking on Tina will take you to her Flickr page.

Unfortunately, I have not received Kat's postcard.
I'll keep looking and hoping that it is just slow or that the mail people
are enjoying it before they deliver!

I'm already looking forward to Liberate Your Art 2015.
I hope Kat will be able to put together a video of all the postcards like she did in previous years. This year she was unable to do so. 

See you next year!

Wishing YOU well and much joy!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Hoppy Spring!

It's time for some tea and for Vee's Note Card Party.
I'm going to take a trip back in time and share some of my posts
celebrating Spring and Easter. 

Easter Tea

Rules of Chocolate Easter Eggs:
1. If you get melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating too slowly.

Easter Bunny

2. Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices, and strawberries all count as fruit,
so eat as many as you want.

Easter Bunny

3. Diet tip: Eat an Easter Egg before each meal.
It'll take the edge off your appetite, and that way you'll eat less.

Easter Tea

4. If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer.
But if you can't eat all your chocolate, what is wrong with you? 

Wishing YOU well, much joy, a wonderful cup of tea, and a Happy Easter!

Vee, thank you for hosting the Note Card Party each month.

A big thank you to our tea party hosts:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Little Things

It's the Little Random Things:

-Comfort food like Mushroom Risotto with Peas.

- A trip to the bookstore -- browsing heaven.

- Lunch with my "sister by choice".

- Friends who wait with you while the locksmith drills out the locks so you can get into your house after you lock yourself out and can't find the key.

- A rose blooming in Musashi's Garden


It's the Little Things.

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Little by Little
Thanks, Kim!

Thanks, Nancy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


According to Emma Bridgewater
Happiness is a Bunny Rabbit
and I have to agree.

The Teddy Bear is all dressed up in his bunny costume ready for tea and scones.

Tea With A Bunny

The orange cranberry scone is from Trader Joe's.
TJs makes my favorite scone better than I do. 

Tea With a Bunny

The mug of the month for April is Emma Bridgewater's 
Happiness is a Bunny Rabbit.
This is a child size mug that I fell in love with.
The mug and scone are on a bunny plate I found at Pier One several years ago. 
The tea is TAZO Awake -- I'm running slowly today and needed an extra wake up call!

A French Tea Garden

This is Tea Garden by Frederick Childe Hassam (October 17, 1859 - August 27, 1935.
He was a prolific American Impressionist painter, noted for his urban and coastal scenes.
He produced over 3,000 paintings, watercolors, etchings, and lithographs over the course of his career, and was in influential American artist of the early 20th century.

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

A big thank you to our tea party hosts:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Meet Belle and Willow

Meet Belle and Willow, the two new American Black Bears at the Houston Zoo.

Black Bear Cubs

*They were hanging around a bar in the mountains near Maricopa, California when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were notified. The older of the two orphans had made herself right at home and regularly wandered into the bar. A few weeks later, she was joined by another young cub. They quickly learned to paw at the ice cream freezer until someone gave them a treat and even made friends with local kids.

Black Bear Cub

Unfortunately, these adorable baby behaviors translate into a dangerous nuisance as the bears grow up. They were taken to DPW holding facility after their adventures at the bar. Calls were made to different zoos to see if anyone was looking for bears. These two girls gave the Houston Zoo the opportunity to talk about conservation efforts of bears in the wild. No one knows what happened to the mothers of our girls. It is illegal to hunt black bears in Texas, but is legal in other states. The cubs' appearance a the bar coincided with the California hunting season so it is likely their mothers were shot by hunters.

Black Bear Cubs

Historically black bears ranged throughout Texas, but they were largely eradicated by hunting in the early 1900s. The bears are making a come back in Texas. Because it is illegal to hunt them here, they are migrating into the state from neighboring states.

Blcak Bear Cub

You notice that they are called American Black Bears but they are, in fact, brown in color. There are several subspecies of black bears in North America and this difference in coloration reflects the differences in subspecies.  Most of the bears east of the Great Plains are black in color while the bears west of the Great Plains are brown or a lighter cinnamon color.

Black Bear Cubs

*All written information about Belle and Willow from Wildlife published by the Houston Zoo.
Photography of Belle and Willow by me! 

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Camera Critters

Thank you, Misty!

Thanks to Eileen at Saturday's Critters.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Little Things

It really is the little things.

-A cat (or two) curled up next to me while I read.

-A good book ... this week a police procedural:  Roseanna by Sjowall and Wahloo.

- Stepping into Musashi's Garden (my postage stamp backyard) and smelling orange blossoms. The citrus trees are full of blooms.

- Coming into the house from the garden and smelling like rosemary and basil.

- I'm used to seeing Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal, their blue jay, dove and sparrow friends,
but when I looked out the door yesterday I saw this little guy and his friend.
I grabbed the camera to try to capture this little house finch, but all I got was cute little tail feathers. Perhaps they will be back today.

house finch

Wishing YOU well and much joy!

Little by Little
Thank you, Kim!