Archive | December, 2014

Wednesday Words of Wisdom and the Wonders of Christmas

25 Dec

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
― Calvin Coolidge
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Christmas Eve, it’s almost Christmas! How exciting, yet how disappointing all in the same breath. It’s not just that all the build up, hype, and present giving is over in a day, but sometimes all the holiday goodwill and kindness gets thrown away with the crumpled gift wrap and decorative bags. Why is that?

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
― Bob Hope
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Last week, when I was in that dreaded long line at the post office, waiting to mail a last minute package to my mom, I started chatting to a few of the other exasperated patrons. It was kind of humorous to watch each face as they opened the door, looked down the hall at the snake-like line that wrapped around the corridor, and grimaced, winced, and occasionally turned around and left.

At one point, an elderly woman waddled in with her walker and small package. She scooted to the back of the line. By now, there were about forty or more people in line and I was nearing the front. I felt sorry for her and wondered if anyone would say something or do something nice. It was Christmas after all. About ten minutes later, it was my turn. I turned to everyone in the long line and said, “Merry Christmas everyone. Would anyone one mind if we let the young lady back there with the walker go to the front of the line? Anyone?” They all smiled and waved her forward. She was very appreciative.

I ran into one of the post office patrons at the grocery store a few minutes later. She came up to me and said, “That was a very nice thing you did!” All I could think of was, maybe the old “pay it forward” spirit will motivate others to do something nice, maybe not just during the holiday, but all year long.

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Focus on your strengths

24 Dec

I love this.

Give me 5 minutes a day and I'll give you a happier, more successful life

0000000000000000000049484This is an example of why it is important to focus on your strengths, not weaknesses.

I recently heard a lecture by Bo Sanchez. He said that a man in the Philippines applied for a job cleaning floors. He got the job, but when the HR person found out he didn’t have an email address, he decided not to hire the man.

The man was very disappointed. He left discouraged, but he had to do something to make money. He had only 300 Pesos (less than $7 US) in his pocket and a young daughter to feed. So he went to the market and spent all his money on tomatoes. He then went door-to-door selling them. After an hour or so he had sold all of them for 600 Pesos. He went back to the market and spent all 600 Pesos on more tomatoes, which he sold. He doubled his…

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Tuesday Tunes and Time With Family

24 Dec

Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you’ve done will have mattered as much.”
― Lisa Wingate
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Another fun day with the kids. I am cherishing every minute with them. Matt and I did some grocery shopping while Joe and Lindsay waited for a delivery at the house.,Matt suggested we go to Cadillac Pizza for dinner because it was Tuesday Singer Song Writer Night on the Square. The pizza was good, Dillon Myers was great, and spending the evening with the kids was
WONDERFUL.

December 23rd • 7:30pm
Singer-Song Writer Night featuring Dillon Myers

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I even had a couple of Lone Star beers…I don’t drink beer. But, Matt was driving, and I was celebrating.

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My children ARE the greatest gift that God has given me. I have spent a lot of time with them these many years, taught them to have faith in God, and I’d like to think that I am a person in whom they can have complete faith.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

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Montage Monday: A week in a Peek

23 Dec

“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. ”
― Mary Ellen Chase
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Sitting around by the television, watching old movies, after shopping and lunch, that’s what makes the holidays memorable. It’s not a bunch of fancy gifts, expensive vacations, or elaborate meals. It’s family. My boys, Joe and Matt are here, and Joe’s fiancée, Lindsay. Life is good!

A week in a peek…

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Sunday Sermon and Such Things

22 Dec

“For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God’s will, to be what God wants us to be.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
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Today’s Gospel was about acceptance. The Angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that she was going to become the mother of Jesus. She didn’t understand, but accepted God’s plan.
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The story of the Annunciation calls to our attention God’s wondrous action in human history. God chose a human person to give birth to his Son so that all humanity would know God’s salvation. Mary, already full of God’s grace, was able to cooperate in this great plan for our salvation. Thus Jesus was born as one of us, fully human and also fully divine. This is the mystery we prepare to celebrate at Christmas, the mystery of the Incarnation. In the model of Mary, we pray that we will be people of faith who recognize God’s saving plan for us and are able respond with obedience.

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Father Jovita reminded us that we should try to be accepting and welcome what we may not understand. It isn’t always easy, but we have to realize that God has a plan for us. I’d like to say that I will follow his advice, but I will say that I will do my best.

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After Mass, I had a chance to chat with a few people that now have become friends. Just when I thought my life was spinning out of control like a roller coaster in the dark, my family, new friends and old friends were placed in my path to stop the spinning.

When I came home, Matt was here waiting. We ate breakfast and spent the day together. Joe and Lindsay are on their way. My family will be here for Christmas, we’ll be together. It may only be a few days, but I feel so blessed. I’m not sure what God has planned, but I have to try and accept that there is something better and brighter ahead.

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Saturday: Some Sensational Holiday Tips and Ideas

21 Dec

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ”
― Norman Vincent Peale
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TIP NUMBER ONE: Surround yourself with family, friends, and people you absolutely adore.

I picked up my son, Matt, from DFW late last night. His flight was delayed over an hour, but I never heard a complaint about it. He’s not a complainer, (Doesn’t take after his mother. Well, yes he does. Thank goodness.) it was so wonderful to see him, hug him, and smother him with Mamma smooches.

This morning, he planned on watching the Manchester United soccer match on TV, and I went to my writing group. What fun! We did a little critiquing, a lot of joking and laughing, then a gift giving extravaganza. I have the sweetest friends, and so talented. It’s days like this, and friends like these that make the holidays brighter, and the difficult, dark days a lot easier.

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GIRLFRIENDS!
When I got home, Matt and I sat around watching TV, mostly the Illinois basketball game…they won in the final seconds…YESSSS! Then, we went to Blue Goose Cantina for dinner. I drove there and her drove home. I had a margarita. My policy…I don’t drive after even one drink. Good policy. That’s TIP NUMBER TWO.

Oh yes, the holiday ideas. I decorated the table with a few shiny plate chargers, and used nutcracker ornaments that I got on sale at Michael’s for $1 as napkin rings.

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Look how pretty the table looks with a little glitz.

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I also had some sparkly mirrored ornaments that I found on sale after Christmas a few years back, put them in a glass trifle bowl, and tossed in a few candy canes. Voila! Instant holiday magic.

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I arranged some silk poinsettias in a milk glass bowl, and put out a few accessories, more holiday charm.

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So, Christmas has waved it’s magic wand around my house and sprinkled holiday magic on my heart. Everything IS softer and more beautiful.

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Friday:From Your Friends at Towne Creek ….Thank You

20 Dec

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~G.K. Chesterton
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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog about my senior friends at Towne Creek. TAPS, the local transportation system for McKinney, had cancelled their bus route, leaving many senior residents without transportation. Several of these lovely ladies asked for my help. I told them that all I could to is enlist my friends, post a plea for support on Facebook, and let the friendship networking do its magic.

I posted a video on my blog and Facebook page, but I also had the opportunity to speak to the Mayor’s wife, Donna Loughmiller, at the tree lighting ceremony on the Square. She said she would see what they could do to help. Several people sent emails, made call, and offered monetary support if needed. Well, long and short…their bus route was reinstated, and everyone is thrilled.

A few people tried to tell me that I was instrumental in getting this done, but all I did was share a few stories and post a video. All the friends, relatives, Towne Creek management, and neighbors who called and emailed TAPS made it happen. Thank you TAPS!

McKinney is a very loving and generous community. “It takes a village.” We certainly have a great village. Thank you to all who supported these seniors.
My sister, JoAnn, suggested that I also post a video of the happy, smiling seniors saying thank you. It’s easy to complain when things go wrong, but not everyone says thank you when the problem is resolved.

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