Adventures in Birds

Adventures in Birds is a wonderful place that’s one of a kind in Houston! Opened in 1980, this is a bird lover’s paradise!

 

You’ll see this sign at 7414 Westview Drive, Houston, TX 77055 to welcome your arrival.  There are so many bird cages there my lens couldn’t capture it all!

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This sweet little cockatiel greeted me in the bird room.

 

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Peachfaced Love Birds happily looked at me with curiosity – I think they’re so cute!
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Beautiful little yellow canaries (sorry about the pix but hard to do while in cage)
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Ecectus Parrot – Now that is one stunning bird!!! The color is amazing!! (They have a gorgeous red one too!)
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Want a little guy with some pizazz? How about this Red Fronted Macaw?
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This Cockatoo was so sweet and bashful looking!
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Of course they have (Budgies) Parakeets, Finches of all kinds, Canarys of all colors and tons more if you want a smaller bird.
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I loved the striking colors of this Rose Breasted Cockatoo!! Gorgeous!!
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Love that this guy is right at home – not a care in the world!! I also spotted two cute cats running around too – one black and white sporting a super shiny coat who was rather curious and one doing what cats love to do – napping!

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This little one was visiting for grooming while I was there.  The lovely couple had him for over 20 years!!

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Beautiful right?!
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So you want some toys for your special little bird??? Pretty sure you will find it here!!
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Need any kind of seeds, treats, etc. – This is only a PORTION of what’s available here!
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It just goes on and on of the things you’ll be able to get your feathered friend!
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The nice gentleman working there on Sunday, took this huge guy/gal? out for a little photo shoot for me 🙂 – thanks! It’s a Blue and Gold Macaw who was very friendly.
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How could you not LOVE that face!?!
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What a character!!!

If you are in the Houston area and looking for bird grooming, need to safely board your feathered buddy or want to get a new friend, why not support this independent instead of some big chain store – these people care and are very knowledgeable! My Dad went to them for years for his African Grey or I may not have known they existed! Great place to visit and fulfill all your birding needs!

Thanks as always for taking time out of your day to stop and visit!

Elizabeth and Max (who is a bit scared of birds so he passed on this trip).

 

 

 

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! Livestock Show – Part II

As promised – Part II of my trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo…minus the rodeo as I haven’t decided if I want to deal with the traffic in order to see the Rodeo and Concert yet. Saw Kid Rock last time I went a few years ago and he was great!  Then, back a million years ago, I saw KC and The Sunshine Band there back when they were popular, (and he was hot :)) – wow, I’m dating myself now!!  Just to put it in perspective, in 2016 the total attendance was  2,462,030 for the Rodeo Season.

This year’s concerts, held immediately after the rodeo each evening feature these artists: Banda El Recodo, Siggno, ZZ Top, Fifth Harmony, Willie Nelson, Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Demi Lovato, Sam Hunt, Alan Jackson, The Chainsmokers, Alicia Keyes, Chris Stapleton, Aaron Watson, Cody Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Chris Young, Blink-182, and Florida Georgia Line. (Would love to see Alicia Keyes!! But good luck on those tickets/price!).

Oh, there’s also the traditional Bar-B-Que Contest each year before the Rodeo begins to kick off the rodeo and it’s VERY competitive!!! Typically 250 team entrants or so – this year’s Grand Champion Overall, Champion Ribs winner was American Royal Winner – Iowa’s Smokey D’s BBQ, Darren Warth (Chief Cook). The winner gets a belt buckle, trophy and banner.

Before the Rodeo begins there is also a massive Trail Ride and YES, they ride all these horses, carriages, etc. right down the major streets of Houston –  from various starting points and will eventually end up in the parade, which I missed, but it was in early March. It’s quite the site to see in Houston traffic! One of the Trail Riding Teams, Los Vaqueros Rio Grande rides for 333 MILES from Hidalgo, Texas!!! Ouch!!! They began February 25th and arrived March 3rd!!!! My behind hurts even thinking about that trip!!!

Ok, so on to the Livestock show we go….

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Onward! Not near as many cowboy hats this year 😦 but this gentlemen was ready to get his “Texan” on!
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There was row after row of these little piggies waiting to be judged, name a pig breed and it was there!
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Gotta wear your cowgirl clothes! (They were super sweet, cute young ladies)
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Cute little piggie! (I loved the nose)
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Now THOSE are some horns!!   (Not sure about the ring in it’s nose though… I bet his Mama was mad when he came home with a pierced nose and my guess is a tattoo too! 🙂
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I even got to see a calf born about 2 minutes after I got there! (not this cow – I wasn’t gonna bother Mama Cow!)
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And Chickie #18 was born!
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Love the cowgirl boots! Cute! (The little ones are cute to watch and see their excitement!)
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Yes, they are just strolling along the aisle… walking their cows around!
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Time to go outside now little cow.
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These students get their pigs to move by tapping them with these little wands (not hurtful in any way) but very funny to observe and see how well some of the pigs mind their students while some are just not gonna have any part of direction! 
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Isn’t she beautiful?! She was just soooo relaxed!!!
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Outside in the parking lot there were like a bazillion cows!!!
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Mr. Cow here was being a bit stubborn!
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This guy reminded me of one of those wrinkly pups and his fur felt like velvet!
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Your animal better be sparkling clean for the judges! Yep, we have Texas Car Washes here 🙂 
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Want some Texas style?? Plenty of vendors here!!
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Need those rodeo boots shined?
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Shop ’til ya drop….or go broke!
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Notice what’s hanging from the ceiling?
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All sorts of scholarships are awarded here but they displayed them all in sort of an odd manner, behind glass so it was harder to see the inside artwork which kinda bummed me out a little as I would have liked to have a better visual of the art but still…great job these students do – some are quite phenomenal artists!
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Ya don’t have a cowboy/girl hat???! What???? (Get a rope!! :)) Well, don’t leave without one!!! (In truth, no,  I don’t have any “Cowgirl clothes” except a ridiculous cowboy hat I got at a local thrift store for work for crazy hat day).

Until next time, Cowgirl Elizabeth and Cowpup Max wish ya’ll happy trails 🙂 – (sorry, couldn’t resist being cheesy!)

It’s not Houston without the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo! (Photo overload!!)(Carnival and Food)PART I of II

Every year since 1932, Houston hold’s the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  Since then, it has given $430 MILLION to Texas kids.

(Taken from The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s website)

2017 EDUCATIONAL COMMITMENT

  • Scholarships: $14,272,000
  • Graduate Assistantships: $525,400
  • Educational Program Grants: $3,614,360
  • Junior Show Exhibitors/Calf Scramble Participants: $7,653,750
  • TOTAL: $26,065,510

“The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was organized for charitable, educational and scientific purposes to encourage and promote the breeding, raising and marketing of better livestock and farm products at public fairs and to promote and maintain research and educational functions within the livestock industry.”  

This year I just decided to check out the Livestock Show and Carnival and skip the rodeo. My post was filled with so many photos, I broke it down to Food and Carnival, then Part II will be inside the Livestock Show area. No Rodeo photos yet as I’m still undecided.

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$10 will get you entrance to the Houston Livestock Show and the Carnival.  Note:  The gentleman with the black hat is one of MANY volunteers that you’ll find doing various tasks throughout the event – VERY nice of all these folks to volunteer!!!
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Even Reliant Energy (one of our local power companies), gets into the annual event!
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Upon your arrival you can head in the direction of the giant boot or…go to the mega tent with all the food options.  I know it gets crowded fast so….
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A passerby said I HAD to get THEIR funnel cake…well, you know I didn’t want to be rude right?!! I just didn’t have the guts to try the “Fried Desserts”.
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He was telling the truth for sure! Yum! (One Funnel Cake and Coke – $11.00)
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Of course this was another option but I passed on it. 
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Yep…Fried EVERYTHING!!!! On to the Carnival next….
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Even the benches are Texas themed!
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You can ride this and be Superman!
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Within the hour everything was packed!! Early bird gets the best Carousel Horse!!
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Seeing the little kids all decked out in their Rodeo gear is the best part!!!

The little kids (and this big kid…me) enjoyed the petting zoo but the Kangaroo is certainly random and not exactly “Texas like” but still – super adorable!!

Cute place to stick your hand under the horses chin to activate the water to wash your hands afterwards (preferably before too) and cute places for photo ops with the kids throughout the event.

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Different local schools compete in all kinds of agricultural projects like this planter box.
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Yes, it’s March 19th and 81 degrees so the flying swings are a good way to cool off.
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Old fashion fun!
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Now we “Texans” don’t typically ride around on camels but…sure is fun for the kids!!
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Yes, the crowds are slowly arriving!
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The Houston Astrodome is right next door! Opened on April 9, 1965 to a sell out crowd of 47,879 for the exhibition game of The Houston Astros vs. The New York Yankees, it was the world’s first multipurpose domed stadium for sports.  It’s often referred to as “The Eight Wonder of The World” but sadly its hey day was over in 1999.The 18 story Dome was also used as a shelter for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans, LA) in 2005 – an estimated 25,000 called it home at that time!  I miss the Dome aka “The House of Pain” back in the day when the Houston Oilers played there! (Yes, I am THAT old :)) Oh, it was also the first sports venue to have artificial turf rather than grass…thus….”Astro Turf”! We had the first animated scoreboard too called “Astrolite”.  The dome is 18 stories high. Mikey Mantle hit the first home run of the Dome too. Judy Garland was the first artist to perform their too for a sum of $43,000 for one show. Just a little Dome trivia thrown in 🙂 
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My Ariel shots
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No way would I bungee jump from a crane!!!
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The tea-cup ride is more my speed!

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I wasn’t kidding about Fried EVERYTHING!!!
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Love these cows!!

Stay tuned for PART II and thanks as always for visiting!

Elizabeth and Max

 

 

Happy St. Paddy’s! 39th Annual FM 1960 Saint Patrick’s Parade in Houston, TX

Is it true that : “Everyone Loves a Parade”?? I do!!

March 12, 2017 was the 30th Annual FM 1960 Saint Patrick’s Parade in Houston, Texas.  I just happened to hit it right and be nearby – yea! Best part is I got a great seat and parking spot right next to someone playing my kind music! As Houstonian’s also love Mardi Gras there were TONS of colorful beads being thrown from the parade participants along with candy that was a huge hit with all the kids!!

Ok, I lied…best part???? Seeing the Budweiser Clydesdales!!!! I’ve always wanted to see them in person so that was a real treat! They’re soooo pretty!!!

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Had to show this – it was literally hovering right over my head!
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This man was hilarious selling his St. Paddy’s day goods!
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Has a St. Paddy’s Day Parade without Bagpipes?! Yea!
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So happy I got to see the Budweiser Clydesdales!!
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Aren’t they gorgeous!!
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Lucky  Candy!
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Loved her enthusiasm for the Parade!
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There’s plenty of Mardi Gras beads to go around for the kiddos!
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I sometimes feel I need a cart this size to shop!
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The kids on this fire truck had a blast tossing candy and beads!
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I want one of these! 🙂 
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Glad the community was so involved! 

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These kids were flipping around the entire parade! Bet they’ll sleep well tonight!

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Max and I will leave you with this Irish Blessing… and Thanks for visiting!!!

Elizabeth and Max

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St. Paddy’s Day Max

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Bessie Smith & Janis Joplin – What’s The Connection?? (This is for my Dad)

“The Empress of Blues” – That’s the nickname given the late, great Bessie Smith.  While most people have no idea who Bessie Smith is – I certainly do!!

My Dad might have been her biggest fan – although later in life he ADORED Lady Gaga, Eminem, Drake and of course his Mozart – my Dad was quite a character!!

Looking back at some of her lyrics, I’m honestly surprised she was “allowed” to sing some of them! They were pretty racy for “back in the day”! I post this in honor of my Dad 🙂

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Bessie was one of seven children born to William, (a Baptist minister and laborer) and Laura Smith. Two of her brothers, along with her Mom and Dad died before Bessie was 9 years old – her older sister raised her and the rest of her siblings.  She knew she had a good voice and would perform with her younger brother Andrew playing guitar on street corners when they were kids. By 18 years of age Bessie was performing in various minstrel shows – this is how she came to meet “Ma” Rainey (Gertrude).  There was by then drugs, men problems, booze amongst other issues. Then in 1923, Bessie produced “Down Hearted Blues” and “Gulf Coast Blues”as record executives realized they had stumbled on a new market and over 780,000 sold in a six month time frame! Soon Frank Walker at Columbia Records gave her a recording contract from 1923-31 where she recorded over 155 songs. She even paired with Louis Armstrong for “St. Luis Blues”, “I Aint Gonna Play No Second Fiddle”, “Careless Love Blues” and more.  However, with her success and crazy schedule, she and her husband, Jack Gee split up in 1929 – her drinking was pretty out of hand by this point but she did still have a role in St. Louis Blues that same year.

Bessie Smith’s life would be cut short though by a car wreck on September 26 ,1937 with Richard Morgan, her lover, by her side – not harmed, near Clarksdale, Mississippi. It’s estimated over 10,000 people attended her funeral service.  There have been lots of stories that have now been shown not to be true, that she was left at the side of the road to die as a “White Hospital” refuse to treat her, etc.  While we may never know what indeed would have happened if she had been taken by ambulance to a “White Hospital”, the story has since been challenged and changed to Bessie was sent by ambulance to a “Black hospital” where her right arm was amputated but she didn’t survive past the next morning.

One might think with over 10,000 mourners, that her gravesite would be lavish.  No, in fact there was NO grave stone ever until Janis Joplin decided to pay for it herself along with a lady who had worked for Bessie, Juanita Green and that didn’t happen until August of 1970!!! Janis Joplin was said to have stated it was listening to Bessie that taught her how to sing. She also allegedly said that she (Janis), thought she was Bessie Smith reincarnated – as for me, I think Bessie reminds me a lot of Alanis Morissette (lyric wise).

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

bessiesmithgrave

Outside of That (Youtube by cdbpdx of Cliff’s Vintage Music Shoppe)

I’ve got the meanest man in the land
But his love is that sticking brand
His kiss just lingers on my lips
And thrill me to my fingertips
People say I’m a fool
He’s heartless and also cruel

But outside of that, he’s all right with me
Outside of that, he’s sweet as he can be
I love him as true as stars above
He beats me up, but how he can love
I never loved like that since the day I was born
I said for fun, I don’t want you no more
And when I said that, I made sweet papa sore
He blacked my eyes, I couldn’t see
Then he pawned the things he gave to me
But outside of that, he’s all right with me

I said for fun, I don’t want you no more
And when I said that, I made sweet papa sore
When he pawned my things I said: you’re a dirty old thief
Now, then he turned around and knocks out both of my teeth
Outside of that, he’s all right with me

You’ve Been A Good Old Wagon Lyrics

Looka here, Daddy, I want to tell you, please get out of my sight.
I’m playin’ quits now, right from this very night.
You’ve had your day. Don’t sit around and frown.
You’ve been a good old wagon, Daddy, but you done broke down.

Now, you’d better go the blacksmith shop and get yourself overhauled.
There’s nothing about you to make a good woman fall.
Nobody wants a baby when a real man can be found.
You’ve been a good old wagon, Daddy, but you done broke down.

When the sun is shinin’, it’s time to make hay.
Automobiles operate. You can’t make your wagon pay.
When you were in your prime, you liked to run around.
You’ve been a good old wagon, Daddy, but you done broke down.

There’s no need to cry and make a big show.
This man knows more about lovin’ than you will ever know.
He is the king of lovin’. This man deserves a crown.
He is a good old wagon, Daddy, and he ain’t broke down.

 

The Menil Collection – A FREE Museum in Houston, Texas!

Like FREE and an ever-changing display of wonderful artwork? You’ll find it here at The Menil Collection in Houston, TX (Free Parking is at Mandell St. near W. Alabama) along with some beautiful trees!!!  The founders, John and Dominique de Menil have various pieces from their collection from  the 1940s -1990s and continues to expand. I’ve taken my kids their since they were small and found I have a bend towards the Surrealist style but there are always plenty of other types of paintings and sculptures, Native art, Medieval, Byzantine and wonderfully old artifacts.  There is something for everyone!! We’ve seen Andy Warhol’s works there before too – my son is a big fan of his works.  You’re permitted to take photos in the main corridors but not in the actual display rooms but wow we would have photo overload if you could!!! This visit, Paul Cezanne’s Bather from the Back (1877-80), Edward Degas’s “Study for The Daughter of Jephtham” (1859), Robert Rauschenberg’s “Cage”(1958), “Mona Lisa” (1952), Arshille Gorky’s “Study for Agony I” (1946-47), Jackson Pollock had 6 Surreal pieces from the 1930’s and “The Mask” (1944) , Rene Margritte had “la Lunettee d’approache” (1963), “The Siren’s song” (1952), “The Heater” (1952) just to name a few but I about fell over when I saw George Herm’s “Day of Bessie Smith” (1962) as hardly anyone these days seems to know of Bessie Smith! Bessie was my Dad’s all time favorite singer and was way before her time!!! (More on Bessie in a future post). I really love this museum as it’s free for starters, they have great selection of featured artwork and you can get super close to any of the artwork (especially important for those of us with bad eyes) and it’s never packed! Great way to spend a few hours! Enjoy!

The Days of Bessie
George Herm’s “Day of Bessie Smith” (1962)
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Mark di Suvero’s “Bygones” (1976)
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Christian Luycks “Still Life with Globe” (1650)
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David Smith, “Stainless Window” (1951)

Rene Margritte

René Magritte, Belgian, 1898 – 1967
The Telescope (La lunette d’approche), 1963 (Had to snag this online as no photos allowed)
Untitled, c. 1943-47
Jackson Pollock’s (1943-47) (snagged online)
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This piece is outside near the Menil Bistro and Bookstore
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Menil Bookstore
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I asked this attractive gentleman if I could photography him as I am trying to learn photography – He just seemed the perfect ending to our trip 🙂  – Have fun!

Thanks for stopping by!

Elizabeth and Max (Ruff Ruff!)

Doggie Party On The Plaza (Saturday, April 1, 2017 from Noon – 5pm)

My perfect little pup, Max (co-author of this blog), is a rescue dog.  I thank God for him everyday and can’t imagine life without my buddy!!

Every year now for the past 7 years, there’s an event in Houston, Texas called Doggie Party On The Plaza.  This year it’s April 1, 2017 – the 8th event – yea!  If you love dogs,  you have to go and bring your best friend with ya!!

Here are a few of my older photo’s but I hope to make it this year to see all the cuties!!! The “Rescue Me” Parade begins at 2:30pm and the pups and floats are all always adorable!  As usual, Citizen’s For Animal Protection will be there as will Rover Oaks Pet Resort, which are of course personal favorites of mine as without both of them I wouldn’t have my best buddy today..Max!! I try to support them both any time I am able! You can get a FREE 5″x7″ photo of you and your best friend, watch the parade, see what over 80 vendors have to offer, participate in the K9 Costume Contest, visit “Rescue Row” and learn about our city’s various rescue organizations and learn how you can help, get some FREE give-aways, eat, drink, get your face painted, play games, watch demonstrations and just have fun walking around and seeing all the cute pups!!!

P.S.   Just sayin’ Citizen’s For Animal Protection has a link on their site under the DONATE tab where you are able to set up recurring monthly, quarterly or annual donations of ANY amount and I know every cent helps 🙂 or you can do a one time donation. Thank you folks out there that are doing whatever you can to help out in ANY capacity to help Rescues!!

Doggie Party On The Plaza in Houston Texas
Doggie Party On The Plaza in Houston Texas

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Thanks for taking your time to read this and helping these pups!

Max and his Human Elizabeth

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Max says, “Come on out and make some new friends!”