Archive | June, 2013

Saturday: Strangers and Other Friendships

30 Jun

Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
Walt Whitman

Wow! I love that quote. That totally describes my philosophy. Thanks Mr. Whitman, well said. The majority of my friendships have been made in just that manner. I talk to strangers.

After Zumba class on Thursday morning, my friend Karen and I stopped at McDonald’s for a cold drink. We met over a year ago, hiding in the same back corner at the YMCA, commiserating, mumbling, and laughing at our attempts to zig when we should have zagged. (Strangers now friends.) As we stood by the iced tea dispenser, we noticed a couple of ladies chatting and showing off an embellished Fourth of July T-shirt. We admired the home-made shirt, commented and proceeded to our table.

Karen and I spent over an hour visiting, talking about friends and family, joking to the point of tears. We walked out to our cars, but then, I felt compelled to turn around and talk to the two friends with the T-shirt. I plopped my iced tea at their table and said, “Would you ladies mind if I join you for a few minutes?” They were most cordial, and after brief introductions, we were talking like old friends.

Brenda and Debbie explained how they met at church less than a year ago. They agreed that sometimes just extending a kind word or talking to a stranger could result in a special friendship. That’s how they met. We exchanged names and Facebook info and promised to keep in touch. It’s funny! I told them that people give off a distinct electrical energy, and I knew when I first glanced over and saw them laughing, that I knew they were fun, welcoming friends.

Brenda and Debbie (My new friends) Walt Whitman knew what he was talking about.

Friday Friends: Baubles, Bangles and Beads

29 Jun

The fabulous Young At Heart senior artists of Towne Creek were thrilled to have guest jewelry maker, Krys Watson, visit today. Krys gave us a quick and easy paper bead demonstration and brought supplies for us to make dozens of our own beads. Everyone had great fun! Thanks Krys.


While everyone was busy making lovely beads, I had yet another light bulb moment. What’s a good song to go along with a bead making video? Then, being the “show tune queen” of North Texas, I remembered the song “Baubles, Bangles, and Beads.” I found the song on You Tube and played it on my iPhone while recording on my iPad. I’m not techno savvy enough to figure out how to dice and splice sound and video like the young folks, so I cheated. (Tip: cheating is OK if you’re old and challenged.)

Here’s Miss Bonnie. She’s very proud of her handmade beads.

Sharing art, crafts, music or anything with a group of friends is always fantabulous.

Theme Song Thursday: Dog’s Best Friend, Bunny’s Worst Enemy

27 Jun

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent.
Milan Kundera

Our dog, Bucky, doesn’t realize he isn’t a puppy anymore. He wants to play all the time and doesn’t understand why his old buddy doesn’t share his enthusiasm. He’s always doing something goofy. Thank goodness a camera is always nearby.


As I was writing this post, our dear little Buck scratched at the door, wanting to come in. He had something in his mouth. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but it wasn’t the usual stick or rock. No!!! The tiny legs protruding from his mouth, wiggling in desperation led me to believe a small creature had been captured. Yikes! Now what? I chased Buck around the yard with a broom for ten minutes yelling, “Drop it!” He jumped up on the levered door handle and ran in the house with his conquest. I finally cornered him in the family room, spritzed him with one of the many handy water spray bottles and clobbered him with the broom. (Gently clobbered) I grabbed a page from the newspaper to retrieve the stunned baby bunny and then carried him back outside. He was still alive as I placed him safely beyond the fence and away from harms way.

Poor Buck didn’t know it was bad to capture and toy with the bunny. He’s a hunting dog. It’s instinct, not malice. I think he just wanted to play with the little fury thing. It reminded me of Lennie from Steinbeck’s, “Of Mice and Men.” He just wanted to hold the soft bunny. (I hope the little thing makes it.)


Wednesday Words of Wisdom

27 Jun

“Perhaps one day, all these conflicts will end, and it won’t be because of great statesmen or churches or organisations like this one. It’ll be because people have changed. They’ll be like you, Puffin. More a mixture. So why not become a mongrel? It’s healthy.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, When We Were Orphans

One of the Crepe Myrtle trees in my front yard makes a definite statement. For some reason, whoever planted this tree decided to integrate three different color trees in one grouping. They are intertwined and blossom with bursts of bright pink, white and pale pink. Looking at the trunk and protruding branches, it’s difficult to see where one color starts and the other finishes. This made me think of the integration of our world. Why can’t people of different colors, races and religions blossom as one. The varied colors are so beautiful. The strength of the many roots and branches are much stronger.

When I was a little girl growing up in Chicago in the 50’s and 60’s, our neighborhood schools were integrated, but we didn’t think of it as something special. The kids were just kids. We noticed the different colors, but we didn’t think it was a bad thing or a big deal. We all studied, played and went to the same church. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I learned that the whole world didn’t see through a child’s colorblind eyes and heart. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could keep those eyes and heart of our childhood?

In the lower left you see white, the middle is pale pink, the right is bright pink and the rest mingles here and there.

1954: Students in an integrated classroom in Fort Myer, Va., the year of Brown v. Board of Education.
Photo: Bettmann/Corbis. New York Times


Tuesday Tips and Tricks: Blogging, Marketing, and Magic

26 Jun

I recently watched a free webinar by author and marketing expert, Guy Kawasaki. His advice focused on using social media to help authors sell their books, but the information is useful for anyone trying to sell anything, share info, or just be heard. If you have time, check it out on this link or on YouTube. Great tips!


What I also noticed on Guy’s Twitter page is that he posts like…all the time. I have no desire to be plugged into a device all day. All good things in moderation. He must be Type A. I’m Type L.(L for lazy) But again, he is very successful and has some excellent advice. Another of my favorite tips: unplug once in a while and talk to REAL people.

Now for the magic. Want to make your own slurpees or frozen Cokes at home, fast and easy? Check out this link.


Monday Montage: Pinteresting

24 Jun

Pinterest is addicting and interesting…thus Pinteresting. There are so many pictures, posts and pins, that one could not scratch the surface of the bazillion possibilities on this site. I love getting ideas for my home, my art and my heart.

Here’s a montage of some cool images that have inspired me. Happy Monday!


Sunday Sermon: The Stanley Cup vs Women of the World

23 Jun

I’ll admit it, all I know about the game of hockey could fit in a thimble with room to spare. A bunch of big burly guys (always bearded during the playoffs) skate around with long wooden sticks, pushing and smashing each other, all to get a black rubber disk into a netted goal. There’s a blue line, wait, two blue lines, and the guys aren’t suppose to do something while passing the puck around that line. Maybe it’s like red rover. I’m not sure. They don’t have quarters or halftime, they have three periods. How goofy is that? Not very symmetrical. So there…that’s all I know about hockey.

Last night, during game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, those big guys were really being rough. Yes, I was watching hockey. I’m from Chicago and the Blackhawks were up against the Bruins…youse know I gotta watch. One of the Bruins guys, Bergeron, was hurt so bad, they announced that he was taken away in an ambulance. I blurted out, “OH NO!” My husband interjected, “It wasn’t a Hawk, it was a Boston player. It’s OK.” I said, “I know. It doesn’t matter who it was, someone got hurt.” He just shook his head.

Here is where the woman factor comes in. Now, I’m just speaking for myself, but I’m sure for the majority of women. Someone was seriously hurt and taken away in an ambulance. Women are mothers, sisters, healers and nurturers. We don’t understand why any player getting hurt is a good thing. It’s a hockey GAME. Note the word GAME.

I was telling Mom this story this morning, and she agreed with me and said, “It kinda reminds me of the ancient Romans. They made them fight to the death for all the people to watch.” Woa! Great analogy, Mom. But, I hope we are better than that. Maybe, maybe not. GO HAWKS!!!


Saturday: Sultry Summer and Serious Sinning

22 Jun

The summer sunshine called my name today. I grabbed my iPad, my iPhone, and my iMagination. (I was hoping I made that up, but Mr. Google said otherwise.) My favorite way to spend a Saturday is sitting at Snug on the Square with a tall iced tea and friends. I usually don’t have an agenda other than to see who I bump into or do some painting or sketching. Today, I ran into Pernie Fallon, (fabulous local McKinney artist) and her friend, Donna Simmons. Guess what? Now, I have a new friend named Donna. Don’t you just love making friends by osmosis? Me too!


A few hours slipped away under the shade of the outdoor umbrella, with pleasant conversation and a warm Texas breeze, it was a perfect morning. Driving home, I was mentally making a long list of all the things I should be doing. You noticed I said, “should be.” Ever since I became a self-proclaimed writer, (I’m the only one who thinks I’m a writer) I spend more hours checking emails, scanning Facebook, and writing my daily blog, than I do housework and chores. So, what do you think I did when I got home. Yep? You’re right.

Now, for the serious sinning. During the adventures of writing my blog, I’ve found many extremely interesting blogs to follow. Today, I noticed a link from Jennifer on that had some tips on what photos you can and cannot post on your own blog. I am a very BIG sinner when it comes to that. I pretty much thought anything that you Google is fair game as long as you give credit to the source. I guess not. The only absolute safe photo to post is one that you take yourself. Then you can let other people unknowingly steal your photos. Works for me.

Hope you learned something new. I did.

Random photo: McKinney Performing Art Center… I took it myself…feel free to steal.

Friday: First Day of Summer

22 Jun

The first day of summer in North Texas was warm, to say the least. It was only in the 90’s, so everyone was happy. It’s only gonna get hotter. The inside of a car becomes a self-contained convection oven. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

The First Day of Summer Lyrics

The curtains are closed
and veiled in the light of morning
The windows sealed, black mirrors to the void
The books of magic line the empty hallway
The oval prtrait hanging on the wall, it will fall

It’s the first day of summer,
but you are frozen in the fields
It’s the first light of the summer,
but you are wrapped in high ordeals

The orchards green and overgrown with sorrow
This house is now a harbour for the last
The final notes, they break in our hymn to beauty
The face of life, a vain and tragic mask of the past

It’s the first day of summer
but you are frozen in the fields
It’s the first light of the summer
but you are wrapped in high ordeals

The sky above, not filled with gods or angels
The soul on its path of no return
I hear a voice, a stirring in the silence
But is this just an echo of the dearth in the earth?


Theme Song Thursday: Anything Goes

21 Jun

The song “Anything Goes” was written in 1934, but certainly applies just as well today. The First Amendment to the Constitution is brief and concise, but all sorts of liberties have been taken with its interpretation. Along with these rights, we have responsibilities, don’t we? Is shocking or offending the only way to get attention? I think not. How about…”Anything Goes”… as long as no one gets hurt or offended? Put THAT in the Constitution!

“I live in America. I have the right to write whatever I want. And it’s equaled by another right just as powerful: the right not to read it. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend people.”
Brad Thor

Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion and Petition
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Cole Porter: Anything Goes 1934

Times have changed,
And we’ve often rewound the clock,
Since the Puritans got a shock,
When they landed on Plymouth Rock.
If today,
Any shock they should try to stem,
‘Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock,
Plymouth Rock would land on them.
In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Anything Goes.
Good authors too who once knew better words,
Now only use four letter words
Writing prose, Anything Goes.
The world has gone mad today
And good’s bad today,
And black’s white today,
And day’s night today,
When most guys today
That women prize today
Are just silly gigolos
And though I’m not a great romancer
I know that I’m bound to answer
When you propose,
Anything goes ……


Celebrations honoring songwriter Cole Porter 1913, whose senior year at Yale was exactly a century ago, begin Thursday witha cabaret Centennial Gala. Photo by Anya Grenier.