Friday, February 29, 2008

New DHARMA station - The Orchid Video

I listen to the ABC LOST podcast, and the producers told fans that they could find a new DHARMA station orientation video on You Tube. The video is for The Orchid Station. It's short, but to the point. I think we saw this coming...
And, for those of you who are total LOST fans, Lostpedia is a great website to check out facts and theories.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

China Cove

If I could jump into this photo, I would! When I turned 30 last April, my mom took me on a special birthday trip to California, to share the beauty of the Monterey Bay/Carmel/Big Sur area since I had never been there before. It was an AMAZING trip, and I took zillions of photos. This picture is from our hike at Point Lobos State Preserve in Carmel. I'm sure I'll be posting pictures from this trip on and off all the time because the scenery was just so photographic!
I plan on decorating the walls in my home with framed pictures from this of those projects I plan but haven't managed to complete yet. I've got lots of those...projects planned but uncompleted, I mean. My To Do list is a mile long, I swear. Do you keep a To DO list? I can't imagine life without one. I keep a notebook full of them, crossing them off as I complete them, adding more as I go.
Anyway, back to the picture. I wish I was hiking through Point Lobos right now with my family. The weather was wonderful, the scenery gorgeous and I'm so jealous of people who live there...although I'm not wild about the thought of earthquakes. That's a huge deterrant actually. My younger sister just moved to this area, and I can't wait to go visit her. She's having the time of her life exploring the area. I miss her!!!
Everyone needs to have a China Grove picture (or wherever appeals to you) posted near their computer or on their desk to remind them of the beauty of nature and to escape into just for a few moments. It's refreshing, it brings back memories, and has me planning my next vacation! I am using this photo as my desktop background on my computer right now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Do you Blokus?

So, with one son home sick, we've been playing lots of board games. Some of our favorites are Sequence, Scrabble, Monopoly, Sorry and Blokus.

Blokus is an awesome strategy game for all ages. Our youngest son, Remy, starting playing it when he was five years old. The rules take about a minute to explain, very simple and straightforward. The game was invented by a frenchman named Bernard Taritian who is a mathematician and biochemist.

The color blue always goes first...and when my son Donny is the color blue, he always wins! (He wins a lot as other colors also) We have now banned him from being blue. Unfair but true.

Remy saw The Simpsons version of Monopoly at a local Wal-Mart or Target store recently and really wants it. Of course, since then I haven't seen it anywhere, although I'm sure I could find it online.

Other things the sick flu child has been doing when he feels up for it are coloring and watching movies. We print coloring pages off the Internet of his favorite TV show characters.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tag, you're it.

The flu has hit our household. Despite the flu shot, my six-year-old son, Remy, has come down with it, poor little guy. We were told it hopefully wouldn't be as bad as it could be since he had the shot. Also, we caught it quickly, so he was able to go on the anti-viral medication.

He's been down and out, aching all over, coughing, diarrhea, throw-up, the works. I'm hoping the rest of the family doesn't catch it...

Wish us luck!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


This is another pleasure, albeit a not-so-guilty one. Sudoku is a logic-based number placement puzzle, for anyone who doesn't know, although it's hugely popular, and I expect everyone has seen it before by now. The game was invented by an American architect Howard Garns in 1979 and, published by Dell Puzzle Magazines and called "Number Place," but it became super popular in Japan where it was renamed. Sudoku roughly means "Single Number" by my understanding.

Why are these types of games and puzzles good for you? Because they are incredibly good "exercise" for your mind. Challenging your mind to "learn new tricks" and keep on its toes can actually help you prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia as you age. It can also relieve stress and keep you mentally balanced and socially connected.

Now I've done my part to enrich your brains, all you have to do is go out and do it!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

This is one of my guilty pleasures. I am totally addicted to Starbucks Chai tea. I don't drink coffee at all, but my mom introduced me to this drink, and I love it. The price is outrageous, I mean, we're just talking tea here, but then again, the price of tea can drive people to do pretty rebellious stuff (Boston Tea Party anyone?). There must be something addictive in their surely can't be MY fault I need to drink one all the time!
The people at my local Starbucks know me by my name now...or by my drink. One or the other. Speaking of which, I have noticed an inordinary amount of MEN at my Starbucks. They meet there in droves. Lots of them seem somewhat older and drive motorcycles. Have I discovered a new species? Motorcycle, retired, coffee-addicted biker dudes who live in Suburbia? Sounds dangerous!
But, seriously, I like the Starbucks atmosphere, even though I never stay to drink and hang out. They have good music going, the employees are all suspiciously cheerful (someting in the coffee/tea, I swear), and the quotes and photography on the walls all seem intellectual and clean and artsy. It's just a really nice atmostphere, I think. I could become a Starbucks rat, I think, (as opposed to a mall rat) but that name doesn't work. I'll have to come up with a new term.
For now I'll just call it my guilty pleasure. My venti Soy, No-Water Chai. Thanks, Mom.

Friday, February 22, 2008

More than just a name

I found this image on the Internet of the Greek goddess Rhea. She was a Titan, daughter of Uranus (the sky) and Gaia (the earth). She married Cronus, a really bad dude who ate all his children for fear they would overthrow him. Well, after Rhea gives birth to Zeus, she hides him away in a cave and hands her husband a stone bundled up like a baby, whom he promptly swallows (not a real smart god). So, Zeus grows up, overthrows Cronus and becomes king of gods. Rhea is usually seated in a throne flanked by lions or in a chariot drawn by lions in all the arwork. Neat, huh? The picture of the lion above is one I took when we visited the Fort Worth Zoo.

There is another character in mythology named Rhea Sylvia, who was daughter to a king. This king was overthrown and his brother took over. He didn't want to be challenged by Rhea Sylvia or possible heirs, so he forced her to become a Vestal Virgin. However, she by the god Mars and conceives twins. The Uncle puts these babies out to die and tries to do in Rhea Sylvia also, but she is rescued by a river god and the twin babies, Romulus & Remus, are rescued by a she-wolf. These twins grow up and found the great city of Rome.

Am I destined to be a mother to great men? I sure hope so. Meanwhile, it's fun to see history in names. I like the interesting mythology more than the Rhea bird (similar to an ostrich).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Greeks and the Rainforest

This is a photo from my trip last summer to The Dallas World Aquarium in Dallas, Texas. (
One of their main exhibits is this Rainforest. It is a four-story tour, starting with the top, the canopy, where you can see exotic birds and monkeys hanging out. As you work your way down, you pass a sloth, see a crocodile cave, view poison dart frogs and vampire bats and eventually end up by the river where there are huge fish, turtles and the star attraction, manatees. There is even a level below the water, where you can see into the river through an entire glass wall. It is just an incredible experience. If you are ever in Dallas, you should visit. I'm not even bringing up the jackass penguins or the aquariums featuring an example from every country. This place is amazing.

So, what does this rainforest have to do with the Greeks? They are both in aquariums. The above rainforest is in the Dallas Aquarium and in my home aquarium reside four fish named after Greek Gods.

Ok, the aquarium belongs to my eleven year old, and the four fish are his. He named them Zeus, Ares, Athena and Goldie (the odd one out). However, Ares has just bit the dust, our first casulty.

Why Greek Gods? Well, every night for about a month, I read Greek myths to my son before bedtime. He ate them up. Loved 'em. And, they make great pet names. When I was in high school we had a mammoth Mastiff named Vesta, guardian god of the hearth. She was a gentle giant.

So, that's the connection between the Greeks and the Rainforest, at least in my mind.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This is the most amazing drama on television. EVER!!

Let me start by saying that I didn't watch the first season of this show when it premiered. It didn't sound like something I was interested in: plane crash survivors on a mysterious tropical island. Then I eventually tuned in because I heard some interesting buzz about the show, and I was sucked in immediately.

The musical score for the show is incredible. It is performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphany Orchestra and composed by Michael Giacchino (who also did music for the show ALIAS and for the movie THE INCREDIBLES).

The show is filmed in Hawaii, which is obviously one of the most beautiful backdrops possible.

The cast is huge, which leaves room for lots of character interactions (and slowly revealing cioncidental unlikely character connections). Relationships are essential. The first few seasons are largely character motivated, which each episode focusing on one character with flashbacks to their life before the crash. The characters are flawed, all having major struggles in their lives. Their arrival on the island has given them a chance for change and to confront themselves and their issues. The discover mysterious inhabitants, The Others, and they find evidence of the DHARMA Initiative research stations throughout the island. This is no ordinary island.

The show explores huge issues like good versus evil, fate versus free will and faith versus science. Unlike most TV shows, they don't tell you WHAT to think. They leave it up to you. Each show brings up tons of questions...each episode might answer a little, but ask even more questions by the time it's over. It's a show that allows you to think for yourself and encourages thought long after it's over. Fans could spend hours researching electromagnetism or various other scientific ideas broached and essential to understanding the island.

Comedic relief is ever present and I find myself laughing out loud at some of the characters' actions and remarks. Some characters are con men, and I am forever trying to figure out if they pulling a con or not...and the bad guys...they can be really bad. In a delicious, bad, finger-licking way you'll love.

And, each episode reveals more clues...some obvious, some in the background that you have to really search for and study. There are so many fan sites devoted to exploring every possible clue and meaning. It is easy to get sucked in.

I could go on and on, and I probably will, but for now, this is my introductory speel on my favorite show ever. Run. Don't walk, RUN to your nearest video store and rent Season One. I dare you not to get hooked. The mythology, the intelligence, the leaves you wanting more.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Book Lover

I'm a huge book lover. I have tons of favorite authors, and I plan on blogging about them more soon. However, as I was browsing the Internet today, I found this interesting construction. You've got to check out this blog, where there's a picture of an awesome book staircase. Any avid reader and book lover will appreciate the fantastic use of space.

Weird Neighbors

We recently moved to a new town due to my husband's work. Having lived in apartments for the last ten years, our family was so excited about finally having a home, a yard, and yes, a neighborhood to call our own.

We found a great house with a nice yard and a pleasant looking neighborhood. However, turns out the people who live on our street didn't go out of their way to welcome us into their hood. I was shocked no one appeared on our doorsteps with freshly baked cookies or casserole dishes. No one showed up to introduce themselves or find out more about us. Am I naive in expecting this? What has happened to friendly suburb America?

Well, after being here six months now, we have met some neighbors (when they came to our door selling boy scout popcorn, girl scout cookies and other school fundraisers). We did our part by ordering a little bit of everything. Some neighbors have waved and smiled in passing. But, the most boggling of all, is this one house on our street where the inhabitants never make eye contact or wave or try to be friendly at all!

I thought it was in everyone's nature to be friendly. These people have shaken my faith. Are they totally weird or have we inadvertantly done something to turn them off? Certain that it couldn't be US, our family has now made a habit of trying to figure these people out. They're weird, and these are our reasons why, so far:

1. They don't recycle. (Everyone on our street recycles. It's so easy here. No sorting, you just throw it all in a big garbage can container.)

2. They don't put up any decorations at all for any holiday. (We've been here for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day so far. Not a hint of celebration.)

3. They never have guests.

4. They never wave, smile or make ANY eye contact at all.

5. They are obsessive about their yard work. My husband saw them yelling at an old man who walked on their grass.

6. They rev a loud, annoying car daily and rearrange it in the driveway obsessively.

I'll let you know if we discover anything more about them. They might as well live in a house like the one pictured above (but they don't).

OH, how could I forget. #7. Anytime we have guests, they park one of their cars across the entrance to their driveway, so that no one will attempt to use their driveway to turn around. A little strange...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Winter Weather

Where is the winter weather? Here in North Texas, we haven't had any really good ice days or snow days at all. We need at least one or two before Spring arrives. Ice always presents an excellent opportunity to take lots of fun photos. This icy leaf is from winter 2006 in Austin, Texas.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rocky Moments

The last month or so has been pretty rocky. I think things are looking up now. I hope.

A wise 11 year old once told me that "joy comes with cost." He's so right. We have to forage through the rough patches to really enjoy and appreciate the good ones.

Here's to smoother times ahead.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Awards

Thanks, Jules!

Thanks, Giggle!!

Thanks again, Giggle!!

Thanks, San!!

Thanks, Sandy!!

Thanks, Angie, Insana Mama & Amorette!

Thanks, Jeff!!

Thanks, Krystyn and Jen!

Thanks so much, Sidney!

Thank you, Sherri!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Family

This is me. My name is Rhea. You pronounce it "Ray-ah."

This is the hubby. He's an attorney. I call him The Barrister.

This is Donny, my first born. He's eleven.

This is Remy, my younger son. He's six.

This is the real star of Texas Word Tangle, Annie.
We adopted her from DFW Lab Rescue a year ago,
and she's the love our of life.