Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Music ABC: C

Today I am coming back back to my 'music series'. Here are some remarks on the (chosen) Cs.

I discovered this band by accident. My neighbor (the same who had "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" record) owned also "Valentyne Suite" by Colosseum. The neighbor did not like the album at all, I loved it.  Especially certain tracks, including #1 'The Kettle'. I borrowed the record and listened to it many times. Since my knowledge of English was quite basic then, I listened to the song and listened, and did not quite understand how could the kettle die. The point was, I thought the lyrics were 'Why the kettle died?'. I found it rather strange but who cared - the music was so amazing and that was what mattered to me. Not a dead kettle.
Well, if you do not know this piece, I need to explain the song text is 'Why the kettle dry?'

Cream & Clapton
Cream - one of the groups I neither saw live nor in any pictures at the time when I found their music (there was no Internet then). Cream and Clapton - together and later, when apart, they made quite a brand in their own class.

Traditional Irish music has always charmed me. I first heard Clannad on the radio. The songs presented on-air then, made me look for some more music by the band. In my opinion, the way they interpret traditional tunes is quite special. 'Siúil A Rún' by Clannad is my favorite version of the song.

Many years later after I learned about Clannad, my husband introduced me to 'Celtic Woman'. We both like Irish music, and it actually made us meet each other. Living in two different parts of the world, we found each other thanks to the Irish music and a website on Ireland.

You can read my other posts on irish music and Celtic Woman here:
About Irish music & Celtic Woman
My Texas Alphabet: N for NTIF (North Texas Irish Festival)

Clash and some other bands - I am going to mention them when I reach the letter 'P'.

Classical C

Chopin - his music will always be a symbol of Poland to me. Growing up in the country, I was quite exposed to the creations of this Polish composer. The Chopin piano contests were transmitted on the main state channel. Every five years we observed the competition on TV, then discussed who was likely to win and so on. It was a kind of national event and many people were interested in it. I still find the names of some past winners familiar when I hear their concertos announced somewhere.
Last year, first time I think, the Chopin piano contest was not broadcast on TV at all. Apparently, viewers no longer find it entertaining and the station would not benefit from the transition at all. Well, times and people have changed, but I find it sad.

Anyway, these days, hearing a piano piece I most often can recognize it is something by Chopin, even when I am not able to say what the title of the tune is.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Our Cats & Friends: Kaytek Is Gone / Nie ma Kajtka

Kaytek Is Gone / Nie ma Kajtka 

Not long ago after his sister died, Kaytek started hiding himself in a wardrobe. At first we thought he was grieving, missing Pusia. Since he was not eating much, mum took him to the vet's. Some test had been done and it appeared, six of Kaytek's teeth needed to be extracted. And so it happened.

Click on the link above to

Friday, February 19, 2016

Holy Pictures: Our Lady Patiently Listening in Rokitno

Holy Pictures: Our Lady Patiently Listening in Rokitno: The town of Rokitno (Lubicz Voivodeship in Poland) is known for its
Marian Sanctuary visited by many pilgrims who are willing to see the
miraculous picture Our Lady Patiently Listening (painted at the
beginning of 16th century on a piece of linden tree)...

Click on the link above to see and read more :)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

My Cosmetic Side: Body

It is said that the body is the temple of the soul. That is why, in my opinion, we need to take care of our body - just to feel and look good. In this post on My Cosmetic Side, I am sharing how I mind my body.

The easiest thing which we can do for ourselves is moisturizing the skin with a lotion or body balm. After having a shower and drying the body with a towel, I always use one of them. Applying a lotion to the skin when the skin is saturated, helps to lock the moisture in its cells.
There are many body care products which I have tried, some of them I liked more, some less. However, I have found most body balms really fine too. As far as I know, baby cosmetics formulas are usually more restrictive, considering their (more delicate) ingredients. Therefore, I think - if a balm is good for a baby, it is good for my skin as well.

My skin is pale and sensitive to sunlight. That is why I use sunscreen with high SPF number in the summer. I also cover my arms and wear hats to avoid sunburn. As for the sunbeds and solarium - I do not do it, I know my skin would not like it either. I used to work with a lady who was a kind of sunbathing and sunbed addict. She was not very much older than me, but the skin of her decolletage area looked like the soil in a desert - dry and cracked. It looked awful not only according to me but also to the lady's doctor. She told me the physician advised her not to sunbathe anymore but she did not care about that at all. Well, the look of her skin aged her a lot. I do not know how she is doing and how she looks now as I have not seen her for a very long time.

'The beauty comes from within' - it is well known that eating habits and what we eat are important to us and our bodies. Personally, I believe that most our food likes and dislikes are connected with our childhood experiences. There are certain things which I did not eat when I was little and nowadays, being an adult, I do not care much for those food items. When I was growing up, there were no fast food places in Poland, no hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizzas - they appeared on our menus much later,  when I was older. And even then I did not eat them often. We always had a salad or vegetables as a side dish for dinner. The main meals were also accompanied by homemade fruit drinks cooked by my mom. Breakfast was always quite light - as a child, I often had milk based soups, later mostly dairy products and jam sandwiches. At primary school, I had lunch at school canteen - it was always a meal cooked by school cooks - no junk food was served. I remember the time when students could get hot milk (it was a cold season - winter or autumn maybe) during a recess, I often put a little piece of chocolate in my hot milk. It was so good!

These days I tend to like eating similar kinds of meals as well. Of course, my menu is not entirely the same as it used to be in the past, but I usually have one big meal a day only. I do enjoy a pizza or a hamburger from time to time, it is not my favorite food, though. I prefer an apple or some other fruit to sweets. Moreover, I try not eat anything late in the evening, before going to sleep.
There are times than I happen to pack myself with food and have more sweets and cookies than I usually do (especially around holidays), but later I check my weight, cut down on candies and come back to my everyday eating routine. Although we do have a dessert almost every day, we do not eat it straight after dinner, just some time later. Besides, when I make a cake, I add a bit less sugar than a recipe calls for.
Of course, a proper diet may mean something different, considering particular people, and may depend on their personal health needs. If you do not know what is good for you, perhaps you can consult a dietitian or a doctor on that matter.

'Move yourself' is our family motto. It is not easy to follow it as, presently, we all tend to sit a lot during the day. Walking is not always possible and not everybody is a gym person. I am certainly not. Nevertheless, there are different groups you can join to make your body move. Some friends of mine like Zumba classes for example. As for ourselves, we do walking and dancing (no, not Zumba). In my opinion, it is not important what you do, the more important is whether you enjoy it. If you do not, you will not fancy doing it and, very likely, you will quit it soon. If you do like some activities, you will be more into them and, at the same time,  you will exercise more effectively.

If you think you need any dietary supplements, I advise you to consult a doctor first (on what to use, how long and when). Some of them - their ingredients - may not be good for you and/or may make you feel unwell. It happened to me, so to avoid my mistake ask your GP about it all.

Whatever you put on the skin, no matter what you eat, how many times a week you jump or jog, it is not enough. Some time ago, having had a routine check up appointment, I received a reminder from my health care provider. I found the message quite interesting as it contained the information on  suggested screening tests for women - how often and when we should have them done.
To find out more on this topic, visit the website.

Take good care of yourself and your body!

More on My Cosmetic Side:

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

World & Stamps - Twins' Drawer Collection: European Honey Bee

World & Stamps - Twins Drawer Collection: European Honey Bee: Theme: Nature/ Insects Country: Poland Design: M. Dąbrowska Year: 2013 European Honey Bee, which is also called Western Honey Bee...

Click on the link above to read and see more :)

Twins' Drawer Collection: Holy Pictures: Annual Priestly Visit

Holy Pictures: Annual Priestly Visit: Theme: Mary & Baby Jesus From: annual priestly visit Year: 2007 Every year during Christmas season in Poland, local parish...

Click on the link above to read and see more..

World & Stamps - Twins' Drawer Collection: Chambered Nautilus

World & Stamps - Twins' Drawer Collection: Chambered Nautilus: Theme: nature/ ocean Country: Philippines Year: 2010 Chambered nautilus (a mollusk) is the most known kind of nautilus. The name of the nautilus relates to...

Click on the link above to read and our collections. :)

My Pocket Calendars: Booklet by DAV

My Pocket Calendars: Booklet by DAV: Year: 2013 Country: USA Issued by: Disabled American Veterans Artwork by: Nicky Boehme The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is an organization which helps disabled military veterans and their families...

Click on the link above to read and see more. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Our Cats & Friends: The Bat Tunnel & State Park

Our Cats & Friends: The Bat Tunnel & State Park:
Not far from Fredericksburg, in the Texas Hill Country (off the old San Antonio Road) there is an old tunnel. It used to be part of the Frederickburg and Northern Railway Co. (1913 to 1941). These days it is famous for about three million Mexican free-tailed bats and three thousand myotis bats, which live there and which emerge from the tunnel every evening... - click on the link above to read more.

In The Kitchen With Tobo: Soups On Our Menu: Ground Beef & Beans Soup

In The Kitchen With Tobo: Soups On Our Menu: Ground Beef & Beans Soup: I found this recipe on Leanna's pages here . When I first read it, I thought I would make the soup for us. The day came yesterday - I was ready to cook... - click on the link above to read more.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cellular Performance Extra Intensive Face Care by Sensai

Disclaimer: I received the products described in this post for free. I have not been compensated for writing this post. All the opinions expressed in the text are my own and they are based on my own, personal experiences.

I was introduced to SENSAI brand when I was seeking advice on my wedding day make up. The make up artist whom I consulted then, suggested using cosmetics by SENSAI. That was the moment when I discovered the world of wondrous Japanese silk and its benefits, considering the face and general appearance as well. I fell in love immediately with those SENSAI make up items which were presented to me - they were quite sensational indeed and the make up felt so good and light on my face too! It all happened quite a few years ago but I have used the SENSAI Cellular Performance Foundation,  their smoothing make up base and eyelid base ever since.
I wrote more about them here.

When I came to the USA, I also found out that, unfortunately, products by SENSAI are not available in the local stores. I missed the time when (in Europe) I was able to watch and try 'live' at least some items of the SENSAI cosmetics collection. Luckily, I still could get them in certain Internet stores.
Not long ago, I was quite happy to see the Twitter account of @SensaiBeauty as I thought it would let me follow the company news and updates. I was amazed and so delighted when I received SENSAI Cellular Performance Extra Intensive Series Introduction Kit sent by @SENSAIBEAUTY.

I knew that SENSAI cosmetics contain Koishimaru Silk - a unique and exclusive fibre which, in the past, used to be available to Japanese royal family only. This extraordinary ingredient and excellent moisturiser, stimulates the production of the hyaluronic acid and makes the skin beautifully saturated, silky soft and wonderful. I had never had used any SENSAI face care treats though, so I was more than ready to try the gift on my face!

What is so special about the SENSAI Cellular Performance products? They also contain SENSAI's ENE-ACTIVE Complex and exceptional, activating, anti-aging ADVANCED CPX VITAL Extract, which make the face skin look and feel fabulously refreshed.


The Cellular Performance Extra Intensive Series Introduction Kit consists of:


SENSAI Prime Sollution

Face care morning and evening primer - has a special ingredient Sanzashi (hawthorn) Extract which softens the skin and, boosting its cellular activity, makes your face more than ready for the next stage (eg. your favorite face cream treatment). The pump at the top of the bottle allows, very conveniently, dosing the right amount of the lotion. Depending on how strongly you press the pump - you can get a tiny drop of it or a bigger dose - enough to apply over the entire face.

It did make my skin smoother and firmer!


Extra Intensive Essence 

Thanks to its Deep & Quick Penetration Formula, it moistens the skin stupendously and visibly effectively as well.

The Extra Intensive Essence with the Extra Intensive Cream make a perfect team which smooths the skin and fine lines immediately. And it makes you feel gorgeous!

 Extra Intensive Cream

Stunning moisturizer for tired (and not only!) skin which contains the Immediate Firming Formula, and HA/COL Booster (part of anti-aging ADVANCED CPX VITAL Extract). To be applied on the face after using the Extra Intensive Essence.
I would say it is magic in an elegant jar - why? Read my notes at the bottom of the post.

How I am using them

So called 'Saho Skincare' is, in other words, double moisturizing skincare approach recommended by SENSAI. Following the Japanese beauty techniques, first of all, our clean skin needs to be saturated to make it ready for the enriching ingredients of a face cream.
That is why, after washing my face, I have applied the SENSAI Prime Solution to half of my face. Then I used my regular face moisturizer (not included in the set). To observe the properties of the Prime Solution lotion and simply see how it works on my skin, I also used it on its own. I am amazed with the results! It does saturate the skin instantly and noticeably smooths the lines. What is more, it also makes the complexion silky soft and nice.

I am using the Extra Intensive Duo - the Essence and the Cream - on the other half of my face. It may seem strange but the reason of it are some nasty fine lines, which have appeared there, caused also by the fact that I tend to sleep on the same side (and cheek) every night. When I received the Kit by SENSAI, I thought that maybe the Intensive team could do something for me and my wrinkles.
Anyway, I put a drop of the Extra Intensive Essence on my face, tapped it with my finger tips and next, I did the same with the Extra Intensive Cream. Next day, when I looked in the mirror to see how the things were - Ah! Magic! The fine lines on my cheek were smoother and much less visible.
After a week time (morning and evening application), the lines are almost gone - at least they are not noticeable. I am really delighted!

In addition to this, I need to mention, that the scent of these SENSAI products is really light and delicate. I have also applied it close to the under-eye area, to check whether my eyes like the cosmetics or not.
I am happy to say, the lotions and cream, despite their anti-aging and active ingredients, are really gentle, easily absorbed by the skin, do not irritate my eyes and do not trigger my allergic reactions either. And you need to know, due to my picky face skin, I usually have big problems with finding a cream/under-eye cream which does not cause painful allergies and/or irritation. Most often, the more anti-aging active a product is, the more stingy my face and eyes find it. But not the SENSAI products! They are truly wonderful. Since they do not leave any greasy film on the skin, they can be used also as make up routine complexion preparation.

All in all, I have been quite overjoyed with the beauty kit from @SENSAIBEAUTY.
The products are not only top quality but also work for me really well! And they make me look and feel good! Which is all what I wish for when I get new cosmetics for myself.

Visit SENSAI website and learn more above the brand and its products.

Disclaimer: I received the products described in this post for free. I have not been compensated for writing this post. All the opinions expressed in the text are my own and they are based on my own, personal experiences.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

World & Stamps - Twins Drawer Collection: Ralph Ellison

World & Stamps - Twins Drawer Collection: Ralph Ellison: Theme: people/ writer Series: 'Literary Arts'   Country: USA Stamp Artwork: K. Nelson Design: E. Kessler   Year: 2014 Ral...

For quite a long time I was thinking about writing posts on some stuff which we had collected - and here they are.. - click on the link above to read more.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

My Pocket Calendars: Three Page Calendar by AMUN

My Pocket Calendars: Three Page Calendar by AMUN: Year: 2013 Country: Poland Issued by: AMUN AMUN (Poland) is part of the global association (AMFPA) of artists who paint wonderful pictures... - click on the link above to read more.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Luckenbach Pets

Here are the pets which we met during our last visit in Luckenbach, Texas.

They are so much used to visitors that they do not really care for their presence.

Inside the store

Dog - inside the pub - he enjoyed listening to a concert by a local country artist: singer and guitar player.


As usual,  cocks rule in Luckenbach. However, that day, due to small number of guests visiting the place, the cocks did not jump on the tree branches. They just walked freely here and there, shouting loud to let everybody know who the master is.

There were also other creatures..

... a guest from Australia


a local Texas guy

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Movies Monthly - January

Last year in December, I came across a blog post in which the author stated that they had read 25 books in 2015. I thought to myself: 'It is easy to count books, but how should I know how many movies we watched during the year?' I asked my husband what would an approximate number of  the films would be in his opinion, and he said: ' About a thousand'.

To make the number clear and accurate, I have decided to make notes and count the films we watch this year. You will see my diary entries in monthly posts on the blog.

We enjoy watching various kinds of movies but, as you can see below, one of our most favorite category is detective stories - Columbo is my no.1 detective of all time. Then goes DCI Barnaby (Midsomer Murders), William Murdoch (Murdoch Mysteries), DI Poole (Death in Paradise) and others, including Miss Fisher (and her gorgeous wardrobe!). We like not only detective and crime stories though. There are many more. Some films on our list are brand new and/or are new to us as well. Some of them we watched in the past - a long time ago. Long enough not to recall the entire plot. However, no matter when a film was made, if it is really interesting, it is worth seeing it again. Especially, if they (meaning old movies) had interesting settings and costumes which were all real and non computer made, comparing to most recent productions.

Our movies of the month were:
'The Thin Man' series and the two films directed by Alberto Cavalcanti: 'Went the Day Well?' and 'They Made Me a Fugitive'.

Colors (related to movie genres) which I use in my diary notes:

Detective/Crime Story
Fantasy, SF

Some of the films are marked with asterisks (if we really like them/do not care for them much). Most of the titles on the list are not marked at all - we simply generally enjoy watching them because of different reasons.

1. Scary Movie 4 - 2006
2. The Thin Man - with William Powell & Myrna Loy -1934 (detective story, comedy) ****
3. After the Thin Man - 1936 *****
4. Another Thin Man - 1939 ****
5. Shadow of the Thin Man - 1941 ****
6. The Thin Man Goes Home - 1945 ****
7. Song of the Thin Man - 1947 ***

We very much enjoyed watching the series about the Thin Man. The costumes worn by Myrna Loy were gorgeous!

8. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - 2015 (drama) ****
9. Downton Abbey VI.1 - 2015 (drama) ****

It was quite interesting to see two of the main actresses in both movies - different looks, different female characters, the same persons.

10. The Twilight Zone: Number 12 Looks Just Like You - 1964 (SF)

11. The Twilight Zone: Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross - 1964 ( SF)
12. Are You Being Served: The Hand of Fate - 1975 (hilarious comedy series!) ****
13. Columbo: Columbo Goes to College - 1990 (detective story)
14. Gang Wars - with Charles Bronson - 1958 (crime story) - seemed to be a pre 'Death Wish' series movie
15. The Twilight Zone: I Dream of Genie - 1963 ( SF)
16. The Mystery Cruise - 2013 (detective story) **
17. Murder on a Bridle Path - 1936 (detective story) ****
18. The Twilight Zone: The Long Morrow - 1964 ( SF)
19. Brannigan - with John Wayne - 1975 (detective/crime story) ***
20. Independent Lens: Chuck Norris vs Communism - 2016 (documentary) 

21. Shall We Dance - with Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers - 1944 (musical)
22. Went the Day Well? - by Alberto Cavalcanti - 1944 (based on a novel by Graham Greene - thriller, war) ****
23. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries III.1 Death Defying Feats (detective story)
24. They Made Me a Fugitive - by Alberto Cavalcanti - 1947 (crime story) ****
25. The Twilight Zone: A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain - 1963 (SF)
26. Out of Reach - 2004 (action) **
27. Downton Abbey VI.2 - 2015 (drama)
28. Diagnosis Murder: 35 Millimeter Murder - 1996 (detective story)
29. The Murdoch Mysteries: Kommando - 2011 (detective story)
30. The Murdoch Mysteries: Buffalo Shuffle - 2011 (detective story)

31. Whitechapel ep.1 - 2009 (detective story)
32. Open All Hours  (watched by mistake/accident instead of Are You Being Served - TV schedule was altered)
33. The Twilight Zone: Ring-A-Ding Girl - 1963 ( SF)
34. Mad Max: Fury Road -2015 (action, SF)* - in our opinion, a 15 minute Twilight Zone episode has more plot than this Mad Max part. We found it very little involving, however a bit more interesting than 'Gravity'.
35. The Twilight Zone: You Drive - 1964 (SF)
36. Face/Off - 1997 (action, SF)****
37. The Twilight Zone: Probe 7, Over and Out - 1963 (SF)
38. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders - 1970 (fantasy) - quite a different movie
39. Death in Paradise 4.1 - 2015 (detective story)
40. 100 Rifles - 1969 (western)

41. Shallow Hall - 2001 (comedy)
42. Nothing Sacred - 1937 (comedy, drama)
43. Death in Paradise 4.2 - 2015 (detective story)
44. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Murder and the Maiden - 2015 (detective story)
45. The Twilight Zone: Uncle Simon  - 1963 (SF)
46. Blue Skies -1946 (musical) - lots of great dance and song numbers including my favorite "Puttin' on the Ritz"
47. Whitechapel ep.2 - 2009 (detective story)
48. The Murdoch Mysteries: Downstairs Upstairs - 2011 (detective story) 
49. Downton Abbey VI.3 - 2015 (drama)
50. The Twilight Zone: Ninety Years Without Slumbering - 1963 (SF)

51. Sherlock Holmes: The Abominable Bride - 2016 (crime story, drama)
52. Are You Being Served?: Up Captain Peacock - 1975 (comedy)
53. Diagnosis Murder: The Murder Trade - 1996 (detective story) 
54. The Twilight Zone: Living Doll - 1963 (horror) 
55. The Twilight Zone: The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms - 1963 (SF)
56. Muppets from Space - 1999 (family)
57. Knocked Up - 2007 (comedy)
58. Midsomer Murders: The Straw Woman Part I - 2004 (detective story)
59. Midsomer Murders: The Straw Woman Part II - 2004 (detective story)
60. The Fly - 1958 (SF) - quite a good plot/movie as for the time when it was made

61. The Thief of Bagdad - 1940 (fantasy, family) - great movie considering the time when it was made -interesting plot, efects and amazing colors by Technicolor
62. The Taking of Pelham 123 - 2009 (crime, thriller)**
63. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Murder and Mozarella - 2015 (detective story)
64. Whitechapel ep.3 - 2009 (detective story)
65. Death in Paradise 4.3 - 2015 (detective story)
66. Downton Abbey VI.4 - 2015 (drama)
67. British Intelligence - 1940 (thriller/war)
68. Are You Being Served?: Cold Store - 1975 (comedy)
69.  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - 1949 (fantasy, family, musical)
70. The Prize - with Paul Newman - 1963 (crime story, drama

71. Blood Feuds: Gangs of New York - 2016 (history)
72. Blood Feuds: Yukon Gold Rush - 2016 (history)
73. The Twilight Zone: A Kind of Stopwatch - 1963 (SF)
74. War Peace 1 - 2016 (drama, history)
75. War Peace 2 - 2016 (drama, history)
76. Our man in Havana - 1959 (comedy, drama)*** - based on a novel by Graham Greene
77. Forced Vengeance - with Chuck Norris - 1983 (crime story)**
78. McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force - 1965 (comedy, war)
79. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Blood and Money - 2015 (detective story)
80. Death in Paradise 4.4 - 2015 (detective story)

81. Whitechapel ep.4 - 2010 (detective story)
82. True Story - 2015 (drama)*  
83. Downton Abbey VI.4 - 2015 (drama)
84. The Murdoch Mysteries: Monsieur Murdoch - 2011(detective story) 

In January, we also saw a couple of episodes of TCR (Texas Counrty Reporter). It is not on the list as it is a TV show, not a movie.

With eighty-four movies watched during one month, it seems very likely that, by the end of the year,  we will reach the one thousand, estimated by my husband.

And what kind of movies do you like watching?