Archive | March, 2014

Friday: Hats Off For Friday

21 Mar

“Some hats can only be worn if you’re willing to be jaunty, to set them at an angle and to walk beneath them with a spring in your stride as if you’re only a step away from dancing. They demand a lot of you.”
― Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys
It’s Friday again? Man… I said that just a couple days ago. Well, hats off for Friday! It’s always a good day, looking forward to the weekend or just slowing down after a hectic week.

In honor of “hats off,” I’d like to share some hilarious “hats on” pictures with some dear friends on a road trip. Lynne, Sherry, and I spent Wednesday afternoon at a bunch of thrift shops and antique stores. We were trying on hats and being silly, giggling, snapping pictures, and looking around the corner to see if the owner was going to yell at us. It was like being in high school again. ( We didn’t get caught, but got a few odd stares from the more gentrified customers.)

WE WERE JAUNTY! (What is jaunty?)



Theme Song Thursday: Busy

21 Mar

“Busyness chokes deep thinking.”
― Todd Stocker, Refined: Turning Pain Into Purpose
Keeping myself off the charts busy every day is the only thing that keeps me going. This morning started out with making brownies, cleaning the house and tidying up for a showing, changing into work-out clothes, snarfing down some yogurt, scrambling off to Zumba while calling Mom in the car. Then, a great hour of Zumba, scurry back home, five minute shower, change, turn on all house lights, grab brownies, stop at bank, run over to Walmart, then stop and watch my tennis friends play their home match.( reason for the brownies.) I joined them for lunch, but just had an iced tea, chatted and drove home, threw on my gym shoes and went for a double walk, about an hour. Paid some bills, made my dinner, checked emails and working on this blog now.

I try to keep very, very busy. It chokes deep thinking. I hate deep thinking, it’s usually not a good thing.

I liked this little song. I like BUSY!

I made brownies…and a funny face. Makes me smile.

It was a beautiful day to watch tennis. Maybe I’ll play again someday.

20140320-212215.jpgtook brownies over to Station 5.

Lunch, a stop at the store, and a long walk. The trees are starting to blossom. Today’s the first day of Spring. Hope springs eternal!


Wednesday Words of Wisdom: When the Going Gets Tough

20 Mar

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going…on a road trip with their dear friends who call them up out of the blue and say let’s go.” –Me
The morning sun and promise of a warm day wasn’t enough to cheer me up this morning. I had no plans, no Zumba, no classes, no lunch, no nothin’. I was just about to make a cup of tea and go for a long walk when the phone rang. It was Lynne, “What are you doing today?”

I told her that Wednesday was the only day that wasn’t totally jam-packed to the gills, and I was struggling to think of a way to occupy an entire day. To my complete delight, she said, “Would you like to take a road trip and go up to Lake Texoma and visit Sherry?”

Woo-double-hoo. An all day adventure with dear friends. Say no more! I’ll just share of few of our adventure with photos.

On the floor at one of the many antique and thrift shops we visited.




Yes, we live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, and there is no end to the adventure when you have friends to share them with.

Tuesday: Tea Time and Tunes

19 Mar

“When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?”
― Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Our Tuesday tea time and tunes at Sweet Spot Bakery has become quite the ritual. Different friends pop in and out. We chat, sing, sip tea and enjoy a lovely afternoon. Today, a young mom and her ten month old son joined us. The little guy enjoyed the music and running up and down the entire length of the shop.

It was a gorgeous afternoon on the Square in downtown McKinney. The sun was shining and the air was filled with laughter.

Kay, the famous ukulele player.

Andromeda and Elijah.


What better way to spend the day! Karen T. and Carolyn stopped by for a visit, and spent time chatting. Nice day.


Montage Monday: happy St. Patrick’s Day Y’all!

18 Mar


Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Y’all. (Combination Irish/Texas expression.) here’s another week in a peek. I already have a host of friends that never ends…so wishing the same for you!



Sunday: Sitting, Standing, Singing and Other Aerobic Catholic Exercises

17 Mar

“We are all born like Catholics . . . in limbo, without religion.”
― Yann Martel, Life Pi
Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the comedy performance of FOUR FUNNY FEMALES in McKinney. One of the funny ladies had a bit about all the confusion with standing, sitting, and kneeling during her first visit to a Catholic Mass. That got me to thinking, wow, that could be very confusing to someone who didn’t have the routine already ingrained. So, what do you think I did? Yes, I recorded all the aerobic maneuvers, gestures, recitations, and sing-a-longs. Well, I may have missed a couple things because it’s more like a memory marathon.

The first thing you do when you come in is dip a finger in the holy water font and make the sign of the cross (soc1). Then you find a pew or chair, kneel (k) and make the sign again (soc2), say your prayer, make the sign (soc3), and sit (s1). And that’s all before anything has started. Father comes in and we all stand up (su1) and we sing a hymn (sh1). Oh yah, there’s a lot of reciting of prayers, greetings, and verses. Father blesses us, another sign (soc4), then we recite The Confiteor (r1).

Now, that’s all in the first five minutes, so I m going to spare you all the details and cut to the chase. Here are my totals, give or take… 10 signs of the cross, 14 songs or singing verses, (it’s Lent so we didn’t sing a closing hymn), sit 5, stand 5, kneel 4, group reciting 8, shake hands and greet 2, and hold hands for The Lord’s Prayer 1. Are you getting dizzy just trying to keep up?

I can’t imagine what it would be like to attend a religious service where you just walk in and sit the whole time. That would be kinda boring, not to mention not being able to burn off hundreds of calories. We only get that thin little wafer and a tiny sip of wine, so it’s a very calorie friendly service.

If you’d like to worship and get a great workout at the same time, give the Catholic Church a try.



Saturday: Ladies With Class…Painting Class, That Is.

16 Mar

“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
― Albert Einstein
I had the pleasure of teaching a painting class at Art on the Veranda in downtown McKinney this afternoon. Our goal was to paint two wine glasses after an hour or so of practicing different single stroke painting techniques. I demonstrated several examples of flowers, leaves, vines, etc. before we started to practice. The four ladies in the class had never painted with this method, and honestly, I have to say, they were amazing. See for yourself…
(It also helps to have a wonderful teacher. That would be me…ha…ha…)

I agree with Mr. Einstein. I really don’t teach my pupils, I provide the conditions, give them a few tips, show them some examples, and hold their hands along the way. Really, I hold their hands. They double load their brush , then I guide their hand so they can feel the angle and pressure of each stroke. You’d be surprised how helpful that is. I’ve never had a student that wasn’t more than thrilled with their finished artwork, especially the novices. A few more pictures. Aren’t they great?

Everyone was so quiet, but having fun.

Debbie loved her “yellow rose of Texas” wine glasses and bottle.

Anna was a natural. I told her she could teach the next class.

Trudy was practicing her wine pouring skills. Very nice. Don’t spill.

Linda painted some lovely flowers. When they were on the table next to my examples, I couldn’t tell which were hers or mine. Beautiful.

I had a great time, but you know what I love the best about these classes? I love the proud smile that everyone has when they hold up their work for the photo op. I know a few ladies who will be enjoying a glass of wine a little bit more than usual.


Friday Friends, Art, and More Friends

15 Mar

“Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.”
― Charles Lamb
Yesterday was yet another busy day. I went to my Zumba class at 8:30, changed really quickly and ran, (actually drove) over to the Heard Craig for the monthly Art Club of McKinney meeting. I missed some of the 9:30-10 meeting, but arrived in time for the guest demonstrator.
Program: Darla Bostick, “Dramatic Watercolors”
Darla gave an informative and humorous demo of using acrylic paints with a watercolor technique.


Very interesting.
After the meeting, a bunch of us went over to Snug for lunch. It was a beautiful day, so we sat outside and enjoyed one of the rare warm days we’ve had lately. I have the nicest friends!

I walked around the square and visited with friends at Sweet Spot bakery and Art on the Veranda. My car was filthy, so I stopped at the car wash! drove home and ran in, put on my gym shoes and went for a walk. Half way through my walk, I ran into my neighbor Debbie. She said her daughter, Kat, was home from college and would love to see me. Another couple hours visiting and chatting. I finished my walk, getting home around 7:30.

Well, that was around eleven hours of running around with friends and having fun. Yep, I keep busy, talk a lot of nonsense, but my nonsense is respected and actually…it’s expected.


Theme Song Thursday: Community ( This one’s cute! )

14 Mar

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”
― Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist
The second Tuesday evening of every month, a really cool group gets together here in our awesome city. It’s called McKinney Creative Community. It’s a pot luck dinner and networking group of artists, writers, dancers, musicians, educators, etc. (You can find it on Facebook. Everyone’s welcome.)

We now have a permanent home at SPARC, a neat old house where creative classes are taught. We bring food to share, do a lot of socializing, then have a meet and greet, where we introduce ourselves and say what’s new and good in our lives. I’ve met a lot of new and interesting people here, and of course, I always make my famous brownies.

I just love McKinney and all the talented, creative, and loving people that make up our city. There is a true sense of “community” here, and everyone is welcome.

It was a beautiful evening and we sat outside and chatted and shared.

There was so much delicious food that I even had left over brownies to take home. Seeing as I kinda quit eating sweets, I took a few over to the kids next door and then took the rest over to my usual brownie drop off location, Fire Station 5.

I picked up the outside lobby phone and pressed Station 5. “Hi, it’s Toni with some brownies.” A quick reply of, “I’ll be right there,” followed.

I asked if I could take a quick picture for my blog, and Firefighter Stephens said, “I believe we’ve done this before.” I said, “Yep, and we’ll be doing it for a long time.” He said it was perfect timing, as they had just eaten and hadn’t had dessert.

I love my community!

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Dreams

13 Mar

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Dreams can be a blessing or a curse, it all depends on how you look at it. I always considered myself a dreamer, not because of idealistic lofty goals, but because I always remembered my dreams. I’d wake up suddenly, grab a pen and jot down what I could remember. I didn’t always understand the dream, but they were always fascinating.

I haven’t been able to remember my dreams for months. Maybe my mind is not in a very good place. Perhaps my stressful waking thoughts are interrupting my restless nocturnal dreams. I can’t seem to remember anything. This morning I woke with sopping wet eyes. It must have been a very bad one, but I had no idea why I was crying. I miss my dreams, good or bad. Sure hope they come back someday.