Archive | January, 2013


12 Jan

TGIF! Friday means the end of a long exhausting work week for many people. For others, it’s just another day. Today, while I was trying to think of an interesting, yet alliterative theme for a story to share, I decided that Friday means freedom to me. Friday is pizza and movie night at our house. It means no setting the alarm clock and staying up late. And when you get old like me, late usually means around 11:30.

I am especially delighted with my new found freedom of expression here in the cyber world. Now, I have the ability to share my thoughts, stories, poetry and artwork. Let’s face it, writers need to write and artists need to paint, but if there is no one out there to share it with, well, it really doesn’t mean anything.

The original acrylic painting below entitled, (you guessed it), FREEDOM, is an acrylic painting on canvas. I was inspired by the beauty of a horse running free in an open field. I very often write a poem to accompany my paintings, but I’ve also had this desire to start an interactive poetry blog. I thought it would be interesting to write an opening line for a poem, and ask people to finish the poem, or just add a line or two. Or, my painting might inspire someone to create a poem of their own? It would be fascinating to read other people’s responses. So…here goes! Please feel free to add your thoughts. Thanks!


A timeless gift where freedom reigns


Thankful Thursday

10 Jan

They say that sixty is the new fifty. First of all, who are THEY? I tend to agree, but more from a cerebral mathematically calculated perspective. My current deteriorating and saggy sixty year old body feels more like an antique eighty year old body. But, on the other hand, my relentlessly inquisitive and creative mind feels like its only twenty years old. So, do the math. 80+20=100.To find the average or median, add the two integers and divide by two… VOILA… 50! I’ll take fifty. I prefer thirty, maybe even forty, but I’ll settle for fifty.

Today is only the first day in my newly acquired sixty year old skin. I remember when I thought sixty was soooo old. Now that I’m there, it’s not lookin’ so bad. I started off the day with an invigorating rockin’ Zumba class at the YMCA, a quick shower, off to my art club meeting followed by a weaving workshop, and home by 2pm. Once home, did my old bones collapse in the nearest leather recliner? No! I hadn’t eaten all day and was starving. So, I had a quick lunch, checked emails, played with the dogs, wrote this story and got ready for a fancy-dancy dinner.

The outside may be rusted and antiquated, but the inside still has a lot of mileage left. Happy Birthday to me!


Wonderful Wednesday

10 Jan

You know what’s better than girlfriends? NOTHING!!! When you’re feeling down, they’re there. When you need help, their hands and hearts are always extended. When you are crazy and goofy, they laugh along with you, not at you. And the number one greatest thing about girlfriends is….when you have a birthday, they make it the best day ever. Girlfriends rule!


Tackling Tuesday

9 Jan

“When the going gets tough, the tough…” well, they just go out to lunch and don’t worry about it. Words to live by. Feel free to borrow that.

Today was going to be my tackle tasks Tuesday. It started out with a great early morning Zumba workout at the YMCA, then I rode the stationary bike for a couple miles, and came home all pumped up with grandiose plans of tackling some of those to-do chores from my New Year’s resolution list.The tea kettle was boiling while I prepared a healthy breakfast of Greek yogurt, chopped apple, and organic granola. Very impressive! Off to a great start.

Ring…ring…ring. “Can you meet for lunch later?” Well, say no more. All my plans went out the window. It certainly doesn’t take much to derail my train. I’ve been known to wrap up a sandwich in mid-bite when I get an impromptu lunch invitation. Therefore, all the tasks got put on hold.

After lunch and a few errands, I procrastinated even more when I got home with the mandatory checking of e-mails and Facebook. Heaven forbid, it had been at least three hours since they’d been checked. Who knows what important messages and events had been posted in my absence? Then, of course, being new at this blogging thing, I felt compelled to read all the comments on my blog. Then, common courtesy demanded that I check out all the stories posted by my new found blogger friends. The techno-world can be so tedious and time consuming.

By this time, it was getting dark and time to start thinking about dinner. It was a gloomy and rainy evening, so a big bowl of healthy homemade soup was the order of the day. A couple hours zipped away watching NCIS and the Los Angeles version that followed. Now, the entire day had gone to hell-in-a-hand-basket, (whatever that means?). To make things even worse, I followed that up with a bowl of chocolate ice cream. An overwhelming feeling of guilt coursed through my cholesterol clogged veins. How could I redeem myself?

A little voice in my head kept repeating, “Baby steps, baby steps.” I had foolishly whiled away an entire day. I walked into the kitchen, opened up the first cluttered drawer within arm’s reach, and dumped all the contents onto the counter. I threw out the old yucky stuff and organized the vitally important items, such as the twenty different measuring spoons and paper wrapped fast food chop sticks. The little junk drawer is completely organized. Now, I feel better. One small drawer for mankind, one giant leap for procrastination.


Monday and Mayhem

7 Jan

Monday and mayhem always follows a lazy Sunday. I don’t know why, but it does. All the procrastination of just one lazy day, rolls into an upheaval of piled up chores, bills to pay, errands to run, and people to see. The coup de grĂ¢ce, (pardon my French), is always “waking up to Folgers in your cup,” and a living room strewn with shredded puppy toys and miles of cotton as far as the eye can see. Yes, we have a puppy. Not your average, cute as a button puppy, but a humongous, big as a pony puppy.

Today was just another waking nightmare, one of many, with no end in sight. Now that the pup is able to stand on his hind legs and leisurely place his front paws on the kitchen counter, island or table, he has decided that it is his God-given duty to grab anything that isn’t nailed down, or chew on anything that is. This morning he helped himself to entire bag of dog treats, a green highlighter pen, a dish cloth and the Wall Street Journal. Not a bad days work…more like thirty seconds! He’s “Thunderbolt and lightning. Very, very frightening me! Gallileo, Gallileo.” You know the rest, and the song will be in your head for the rest of the day.

My friends and family enjoy the stories, photos and videos. They smile and empathize, but I know in their hearts that they think I’m just plain ol’ crazy. Why am I taking pictures and writing about the mayhem? Well, it’s the only thing that keeps me hanging on. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and man…I’m getting pretty strong. When I am asked, “So, how long does this terrible stage last?” I reply, “Just two or three years!” The sad part is, that’s the truth.

Thank goodness for nap time. His, not mine. I don’t get a nap.That’s the only time I can get any writing done. Oops! Nap time over. Back to very, very frightening me!



What Dreams Are These?

6 Jan


What dreams are these in hidden haze
That haunt our nights and plague our days?
The morning sun relieves the night
Where endless darkness fills with light.
What dreams are these unveiled at dawn
To play the game or be the pawn?

Toni Andrukaits
Poem and painting


Salutations and Reflections

6 Jan

It’s another lazy Sunday. It’s my day off…ha…ha…ha…! Every day is my day off. But, on Sunday, my only task is to peruse (did I spell that right?) the paper, have a cup of tea, and ruminate over what to make for dinner in about eight hours. That’s pretty lazy! It’s a good thing.

My iPad rests on my knee while I check my emails and watch the dogs sprawled out for their morning nap. It’s their day off too. My husband is watching one of his hunting shows on TV, where goofy men dressed in camo, toting guns, are slurring something in an indiscernible Southern accent. It doesn’t get better than this!

Sunday is a day for reflection. Whether sitting alone, at your local place of worship, or lounging in your jammies on your sofa, (that would be me), it’s a great time to reflect on the past week and make plans for the days ahead. All in all, I had a good week and a great start to a new year. I’m writing more, reading more, and contemplating my next painting project.

Yesterday, I was inspired by my dear friends, Mandy, Julia and Liz, at our Saturday morning writing group. They loved my new blog and encouraged be to “keep up the good work.” They also mentioned that I should share other blogs that I enjoy with my friends. So, if you like to write, I love Patricia Burroughs. She is an excellent teacher, awesome author, and entertaining blogger. I took a writing class with her a few years back and really learned so much. Check her out.

Also, I’d like to share a cute photo that I took yesterday at Snug on the Square in downtown McKinney. It’s my favorite little coffee/sandwich shop. There was an adorable little girl sitting in an overstuffed comfy chair, with her faithful companion at her feet. Just too cute to pass up.

Have a great day!


Today:Fulminations- Mea Culpa

5 Jan

I knew it wouldn’t take long before the jubilant fizz of my New Year’s Eve champagne would fizzle out into the stale flat beer of reality. Wow! That was pretty profound! The promise of a productive new year had my mind dancing with all the new stories I was going to write, paintings I was going to be cranking out, and all the procrastinated projects I was going to complete.

New Year’s Day, I packed up the Christmas decorations, cleaned the open kitchen shelf that housed about forty dusty glasses, and cleaned and dusted all the bottles on the bar. By 6pm, I was exhausted, so I fixed myself a tall rum and Coke from afore mentioned sparkling clean bar. When in Rome…! All that dusting made me thirsty.

Once I was snuggled on the couch with my iPad on my lap and my tall libation nearby, I started clicking away on my new blog. How bright and shiny life was looking! Day 1: Let’s write happy, funny blogs about faithful friends and playful puppies. Day 4: Man… they’re driving me crazy!

Day 4: I started off my day at 6am with a barking puppy wanting to go out, eat and play. Who wants to play at 6am? Not me. The morning continued with checking e-mails, cleaning the kitchen, sipping tea, and more puppy play. Then my dear husband woke up, turned on the tv to his financial channel, read the Wall Street Journal and sipped his coffee. Later, he decided to prepare an omelette while I was busy making a huge pot of soup for my senior art group, where I volunteer every Friday. I ran to the store to get a birthday cake for Miss Nelma at Towne Creek, and pick up a pizza for our dinner, while the soup was simmering. When I got home, I only had about an hour to finish the chopping, boiling the pasta, and gather the art supplies to take.

I’ve been volunteering every Friday for about six years now, same “bat time, same bat channel.” So, about ten minutes before I had to leave, my husband asks, “Do you have a minute?” I’m thinking, hmm…must be something important. He know I have to leave in a minute. He sees me scrambling around, stirring, packing up, etc. He plunks down his laptop on the kitchen counter and says, “Watch this!” When I twirl around, there on the screen is a video of our two dogs romping through the woods during their last hunting trip. Then, just when I thought he was done, there is yet another video, and another.

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. I should have just said, “I have to go already. I don’t have time to watch dogs running in the woods when I should be gone.” But, nooooooo! My fault. I don’t like to be rude. As I rushed out the door, with the dogs trying to sneak out behind me, and a huge mess of pots and pans all over the counter and in the sink, he was already back in his office, watching more of his fascinating dog videos.

When I was driving home four hours later, I thought… how wonderful it would be, if when I got home, my dearest husband would have washed all the dishes, pots and pans and cleaned the kitchen. He had nowhere to go, nothing to do. Ha, ha, ha! When I walked in, every single item was still in its original spot, with a few added messes. I dragged in my stuff, turned on the oven, put the pizza in, and proceeded to work on a sink load of dirty dishes. Even the mess he made at breakfast was at the bottom of the pile.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa! If you didn’t attend nine years of Catholic school, or are not familiar with the ancient Latin language, it means…MY FAULT! If you try and be nice all the time and do it all, guess what? You end up doing it all. That’s the fulmination (ranting and raving.) Now that I got that off my chest, the good news is, my pizza tasted especially delicious with the very tall rum and Coke I prepared from my sparkly clean bar.



Today: Inspiration

3 Jan

Today, I was inspired by my friend Liz. She sent me a link to a writer, Cathy C. Hall, that she follows. Cathy’s message was, that as writers, we need to write every day. But also, we need to encourage other writers. Well, consider me encouraged. My young friend, Jacque, in New York, inspires me with her daily photos. My sister JoAnn and my mom encourage me with words of praise. All my friends all laugh at my stories and comment on their commiseration. My friend, Stan Crader, is always an inspiration with his third published book on my night stand. The class I took with author Patricia Burroughs was an accelerant, if that’s a word? She also stresses reading every day. So, that is what I plan on doing.

The book I am reading today is very inspirational. It will not help me in my writing endeavors, but certainly will be helpful in my daily struggles.




Goodbye 2012…Hello 2013

2 Jan