Archive | June, 2014

Montage Monday

30 Jun

“To achieve the impossible dream, try going to sleep.”
― Joan Klempner
Another trying Monday. What’s trying about it? I’m not sure, but I keep trying! See, Jo, you’re not the only trying daughter. It’s Monday, keep on keepin’ on, my friends. It will be Friday in a blink of an eye.

A week in a peek.




Sunday: A Time to “Gather”

29 Jun

I am so blessed with good friends and family…I honestly have been gathering all the words of wisdom and have been applying them to my life. -unknown
Wow! I wish I said that. Wait, I have been living that quote, so, in a way, I have been saying that all along. I have been blessed, I’ve been gathering words of wisdom, “trying” to apply them to my life, but also sharing them with you. (Or y’all, as we say here in Texas, even if we’re born and raised in Chicago.”

My day: out the door before 7am for a 3 mile walk, shower, and off to 9am Mass at St. Gabriel’s. (I was even early, extra prayer time.) Sunday church service is an important time to “gather” and show your appreciation for God’s grace and gifts. Home by 10:15, a cup of tea, emails, phone calls and over to Towne Creek by 1pm to pick up my senior artist friends, Miss Eleanor and Miss Kathy. We met Miss Della over at “GATHER” on the Square.

Gather is a delightful and quaint restaurant that also serves a lovely Sunday brunch. A great place for small weddings, showers, parties, etc. The old brick walls, antiques, and rustic charm provide a peaceful atmosphere for fine dining with friends and family.


We enjoyed a leisurely brunch, and I consumed massive quantities of yummy bacon, eggs, fruit, salad and pastries. Did I mention key lime pie? Yikes! Those of you concerned that I am not eating…rest assured, I have witnesses, I’m eating, I’m eating!
Gather is located at 207 E Virginia St, McKinney, TX
(972) 548-8882

If you haven’t been there, maybe give it a try. A great place to “Gather.” Something new and different.


Sentimental Saturday: Sitting, Sipping, and Sharing

29 Jun

Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”
― Charlotte Brontë
Another busy Saturday. A quick five mile walk in the morning, off to the Square for writing group, lunch and socializing. (Lots of hugs today.) Back home to put my feet up a bit, check emails, watch tv, and work on some writing. Then, another fast three mile walk before dark. The sipping isn’t too exciting. Not a tall tempting alcoholic drink, rather three glasses of cold water with lime. All that walking makes me thirsty.(I’m not saying a beverage is not in my future.)

So, here are a few photos that I’d like to share from my last couple of days.

Miss Bonnie finished painting her bird feeder Friday at Towne Creek.

Miss Marie painted a quaint little scene complete with a cat amidst the flowers.

Miss Nelma put the finishing touches on her ocean scene. Pretty awesome!

O.K. Here’s my beverage from last night’s Black Russian Friday. I’m always happy to share my day, my photos, my words and… Feel free to stop by for a chocolatey Black Russian.


Friday Fire and Brimstone

28 Jun

“There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.”
― Vincent van Gogh
I’m not sure what brimstone is, but if it is anything as spectacular as the fabulous raku pottery that was being fired this evening at SPARC (St. Peter’s Artist Run Community), then you can see that “there may be a great fire in our soul.”

SPARC celebrated their grand opening this evening with guest potters, including Kym Owens from Sunset Canyon Pottery, Steve Macias, Laura Canfield, and other local potters.

Steve, with the help of other potters, demonstrated outdoor raku firing all evening, while inside, beautiful pottery was on display, and potters were on hand to share their creative expertise.

It was a warm McKinney night, the kiln was crazy hot, the company warm and friendly, but the artists, potters and friends enjoyed a wonderful evening of creativity.

SPARC is located at 405 N. Sherman Street, McKinney, TX 75069 and can be found on Facebook at There offer weekly hand-building, private wheel and pottery classes, workshops, parties, date nights and girls night out.


Steve Macias is an amazing potter.



Local artists display their work.





Theme Song Thursday: Try Something New

26 Jun

Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is? ~Frank Scully
I’m a creature of habit. I don’t like change. Very rarely will I order something other than my usual, go-to-written-in-stone favorite meal at a restaurant, much less go to a new place. Sandra, Daniel and Beth at Snug will attest to that. (Yogurt parfait story.) Miss Zelda and I meet at Olive Garden and I ALWAYS get the eggplant parmasean. See, I don’t do change well.

But, how will I know if something out there is better, or the food more delicious, or a new place more exciting? But then again, if where you always go, or what you always order, always makes you happy, then why change? You see my dilemma???

Yesterday, when Lynne and Karen invited me to join them for lunch at a Mexican restaurant (not on the square and I’d never been to before) for lunch, I actually said, “Sure.”

Taqueria Hernandez is on Tennessee, a couple of miles north of the square. It’s a tiny “mom and pop” type place with a handful of tables, one waitress and maybe half a dozen things on the menu. I ordered the crispy tacos and they were just like I make at home, and how my mom makes them. They were delicious. I may go back there again real soon. But, you guessed it, I’m going to order the same thing every time. (Baby steps…)

Sometimes I have to go out on a limb, isn’t that where the tacos are?
Every day is a brand new day, and each day holds new possibilities.

Here’s the theme song for today…

20140626-181716-65836739.jpgdoesn’t that look yummy?

1105 N. Tennessee St. McKinney


Wednesday Words of Wisdom

25 Jun

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”
― William Blake
Trees are an inspiration, with roots firmly planted well beneath the earth. They can withstand the savage cold of winter and the sweltering heat of summer. Trees stand strong, tall, and resolute against the harshest winds. They age gracefully, offering shade, refuge and beauty with limbs open wide.
I am inspired by strong old trees, my metaphor for life, for aging gracefully, and lovingly. My roots are strong and firmly planted. I will enjoy and share the beauty of life, and I will stand tall and resolute against the harshest conditions. These are my personal reflections and words of wisdom for today. Amen. ( Sounded like a sermon, didn’t it? I may have to go on the road.)



Tuesday Tips and Tales

25 Jun

“Things to do today:
1) Breathe in.
2) Breathe out.”
― Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Tip for Tuesday…there are only two things you need to do today…breathe in and breathe out. I think we can all accomplish that. That’s a good tip.

Now, a heartwarming tale. My friends Debbie and Kat stopped into Snug on the Square to grab a quick lunch today. Kat asked Daniel for the ” special Toni yogurt.” (I always order the yummy yogurt parfait that’s loaded with fresh fruit, yogurt, granola and drizzled with honey.) Pretty much every time I come in, they see me and get it started before I even get in line. So, they ordered, sat down and waited. Debbie got her lunch and then they brought out a brown bag with the yogurt parfait in a to-go container. Well, the pictures explains the rest.


Daniel wrote on it, “Love You Miss Toni.” Now, isn’t that just adorable? I always get a big bear hug from Daniel and Beth when I come in. Acquaintances say hello. Friends give big bear hugs and write “love you” on your lunch.


Montage Monday

24 Jun

“The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing—a blanket—the comfort of a friend. Without at least some rain in any given day, or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water.”
― Douglas Coupland, Life After God
My alarm was set for 7:30 so I could be out the door by 8 for my morning walk, When I heard the pelting rain around 6am, I turned off the alarm, said, “Thank you God! We need the rain, and I’m going to roll over and sleep in.” Both rain and sleep have been in short supply lately. It was a good morning.

We got out for a cloudy walk at 10:30, but then the sun came out in all its steamy glory by noon. “Rainy days and Mondays” don’t always get me down. Happy Monday!



Sunday Sermons and Sunsets

23 Jun

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
― Jo Walton

One of the Gospel readings at Mass today was about Moses and the 40 years wandering through the dessert. (See, I wasn’t sleeping.)

Moses recalled the ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea. He reminded them that during their years of wandering the desert, “the clothing did not fall from you in tatters, nor did your feet swell” (Deuteronomy 8:4). And most important, he reminded them how God had fed them every day with manna. If they could just remember God’s goodness, the people would be more willing to serve the Lord and put their trust in him.

Here’s my rendition. If you have faith and believe, God will provide. It’s not fast and free and easy. You have to be patient, work hard and never give up.

Now for the sunsets. Summer has provided some glorious sunsets.




Saturday: Simple Sights and Sounds

22 Jun

“What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. … In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.”
― John Lubbock, The Beauties of Nature and the Wonders of the World We Live in
This morning started out with a morning walk with my neighbor, Kat. The birds were chirping and the squirrels and bunnies were romping in the cool morning grass. The sun was gearing up for another warm, muggy day. Then, a quick shower and off to the Square. (I love downtown McKinney.)

Our Saturday morning writing group met at Sweet Spot Bakery, but more socializing, sipping coffee, and gossiping took place. Three hours later, oh my, time for lunch at Mellow Mushroom for some yummy pepperoni pizza.

Liz, Mandy and I walked across to “Mom and Pop Popcorn Shop.” They have the best popcorn and old fashioned candy. Bins, jars, and fun displays in every corner. Liz treated me to a bulls eye candy. Just one is all I needed to bring back that 5 year old feeling and fun childhood memories.



Then a quick stop into Loco Cowpoke Salsa Shop. Two rooms of any kind of salsa, jams, jellies, pickles and condiments your little heart could desire.

After our wanderings, I stopped in to visit the gals at Art on the Veranda, just plopped myself in a chair and chatted for a while. A quick stop into the McKinney Visitors Center to say hi to Miss Sue before heading home. That pretty much sums up my sights on the Square.

Now, just finish up this post, get my gym shoes on and see what evening sights and sounds will be discovered. The sunsets have been amazing.