Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bernie (The cat)

It turns out Bernie is a girl. I had already gotten used to the name Bernie so now it's just short for Bernadette. Bernie and Lida Rose are adjusting to each other better than expected.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


This little tuxedo cat showed up on my patio last weekend and it looks like he has found a new home. I named him Bernie.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Fun Weekend

On Saturday Lida Rose and I were joined by my neighbor and her 2 dogs at the Pughearts adoption event at Hugs and Donuts in the Heights. I didn't end up adopting another pug and Lida Rose was very happy about that. She was also happy that people shared donuts with her. My neighbor came over on Sunday and the pups got to visit again. We had smoothies and the pups had dinner at my house. It pretty much rained all weekend but we managed to get a few walk in anyway.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Lida Rose

My Kiva Portfolio

Since learning about Kiva I have made 15 loans totaling $375 to people or groups in Honduras, Kenya, Peru, The Philippines, Uganda, Paraguay, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Ecuador. The loans have been for Education (almost 50%), Agriculture, Food, Retail, Services, and Health.

2 New Kiva Loans

My daughter sent me a gift certificate to Kiva for Mother's Day. Kiva is a non-profit that loans money to people and institutions who have little or no access to traditional banking systems. I like Kiva because you can pick the area of the world you want to help, the sector, such as education or agriculture, and any other attributes such as green, fair trade, or water and sanitation. When the loan is re-paid you can choose another borrower.

Here are the 2 loans I choose. The photos and descriptions are from the Kiva website.

Greetings from Uganda! This is Godfrey. He is the Head Teacher of Timuna S. School, a mixed school in the rural area of Nakaseke with 350 students. Timuna S. School has requested a loan to cover the cost of installing and maintaining a UV water filtration system to provide clean drinking water for its students.
The school does not currently have access to consistent clean drinking water and therefore has to spend a considerable portion of its budget on firewood, which is used to boil water for the children. Installing a water filtration system will therefore save the school money in the long-term as the cost of firewood will be reduced. The loan will enable the school to purchase a UV water treatment system with a 1,000 liter tank, which will be big enough to store clean drinking water for the students every day.
Timuna S. School will repay their loan from their school fees, which they collect each term. Godfrey ultimately hopes that having access to safe drinking water will improve his student’s concentration and attendance by reducing the number of children that fall sick from water-borne diseases as well as increase the number of students coming to the school.

Erlyn is a 23 year old, young man who lives in the city of Tegucigalpa. He currently lives alone as his family lives in his birth town, outside the city limits. He is studying medicine and is in the last years of his program. With great effort he has been able to reach his goal.

He comes from a close knit, very united and very hardworking family, made up of his mother and his ten year old brother. From a very young age they faced very difficult situations as they lost their father to a terminal illness. This required Erlyn to work and fight for his family. Today his situation has worsened, due to the demands his university studies place on his time.

His mother is a dressmaker, but due to health issues cannot work. She has inspired him to continue on this long road. Erlyn is a respectful, responsible young man. He is enterprising and enthusiastic, and motivated by a desire to succeed in order to reach his academic goals. This will help his younger brother in the future to fight for his own dreams, as Erlyn plans to support him in his studies.

Erlyn wants to contribute to the development of his country through the health field, offering his talent to others and his family, by providing better conditions of life, health, food and education, leading to a more prosperous life and success. Erlyn has been marked by the difficult stages illness has caused his family. One of these took the life of his father, and caused his mother to suffer. Little by little she recovered her faith and hope in both the love of God and the love of her children, in order to continue being the pillar of her family.

Erlyn's future goals are to work, to strive to move his family forward, to provide his mother the care she needs, and to provide his brother the education he deserves.
His mother,the person who is very proud of her son and with a wish to always grow, she is Francisca and accompanies Erlyn in the profile picture.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The first two pictures were taken at Rice during the BARK for BARC Pet Walk sponsored by the BARC Foundation. It was pouring down rain earlier in the morning but the rain stopped just in time for the walk.
The next two pictures are just Lida Rose being cute on our daily walks.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016


I bought this beautiful lettuce plus two other heads of green lettuce at the Farmer's Market at Rice. The lettuce is grown using the aquaponics method by Sustainable Harvesters in Hockley Texas. In case you don't know what aquaponics is (I didn't) here is a brief definition from Wikipedia: Aquaponics refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrification bacteria into nitrates and nitrites, which are utilized by the plants as nutrients, and the water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system.
This lettuce is as tasty as it is beautiful. I bought this particular head because of it's resemblance to a rose.
The lettuce comes with the roots left on and can stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
The third picture is from an article in the Houston Chronicle.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Before I had a chance to fold this and put it away for the summer after washing it, Lida Rose discovered it. Now this is her favorite place to sleep if my lap isn't available.

Monday, March 21, 2016

"You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way"--Walter Hagen

Pearl and Dundee

Pat took this picture of her pups posing in front of a beautiful azalea bush.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Loquat Thief

My friend stealing loquats. A neighbor gave me the collard greens she is holding. I made a smoothie with them when we got home. The pups had salmon jerky and green beans.

“I must have flowers, always, and always” ― Claude Monet

A few pictures from our walk yesterday. As you can see, the flowers are in full bloom.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hearty French Lentils


2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 Tsp. Salt or to taste
2 Tsp. ground cumin
3-4 carrots peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp. Garlic, minced (about 3-4 large cloves)
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1 cup French lentils
3 cups water


Sauté the onions and salt in olive oil. Add the carrots, cumin, and garlic and sauté another 5 minutes. Add the lentils, water, bay leaf, and tomato paste and cook covered over a medium to low heat for 20 minutes stirring a few times. Remove the lid and rest on the side of the pot so a little air can escape and cook another 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

I'm making this right now and the house smells wonderful. Every time I cook a pot of beans I think of my father. He cooked a pot of beans every Saturday, although never lentils. I usually cook black beans or white Cannelini beans but decided to try this after I found the recipe on the internet yesterday.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Lida Rose

Sunday at Rice

Here are a few pictures from our visit to Rice yesterday.