Archive | December, 2014

Montage Monday: A week in a Peek

23 Dec

“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. ”
― Mary Ellen Chase
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…



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
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.

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.

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.

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.



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
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.

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.

Look how pretty the table looks with a little glitz.

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.

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

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


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
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.




Theme Song Thursday: Baking and Singing

19 Dec

Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance — each beautiful, unique and too soon gone.
Deborah Whipp
Not only do I like to dance in the kitchen, but I also like to sing while I’m baking. With the holidays coming up, I’m doing a lot of both.

You’re welcome to stop by and dance, sing, and frost mini cupcakes with me any time.



Wednesday: Wild, Whacky, and Wonderful Women (TOTS)

18 Dec

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Today, we celebrated our annual TOTS (Table of Talent Sisters) Christmas extravaganza. Normally, we meet a a local restaurant, but this year, the girls agreed to meet at my house. This way I could celebrate my new home and my new life with my old friends. Very special!

What makes our gathering so special is that each creative and talented girlfriend usually makes, designs, bakes, or paints a fabulous gift for our exchange. We used to make one gift for each member, but as our group multiplied in numbers, we started having a drawing, or we’d be crafting till the cows came home. Wait, I think Gail has cows, or is that horses and sheep?

We have such a fun group of wild whacky women. Everyone brought tons of food, so, we ate, laughed, chatted and got down right silly. (As evidenced in this video.)

I totally forgot to take individual pictures of each gift. Duh! Silly me. I did take pictures of the food. Shows where my priorities are.



Now, a picture of the original TOTS. Lynne, Sherry and me, in front of my beautiful TOTS tree with handmade ornaments.



Tuesday: Timeless Wisdom

17 Dec

Wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself. ~Tom Wilson
Today was Miss Eleanor’s actual birthday. We celebrated her birthday at our Towne Creek art group a couple of weeks ago, but today was a big day, she turned 90. Karen called a few friends and arranged a lunch and celebration at Snug on the Square. What could have been a quiet lonely birthday for a lovely lady, turned out to be a boisterous blow-out event with many friends and lots of presents.

Miss Kathy, her neighbor, had been working on this handmade wreath project for months. She told us that she was helping her daughter with a project, when in reality, she was making this gorgeous wreath for Miss Eleanor, all made with circles cut out from book pages. Fabulous!

Miss Eleanor and Miss Kathy are admiring the beautiful handmade throw/blanket crocheted by Karen.

Gail crocheted a dozen or more scarves as a gift, and even incorporated one into a holiday wreath. Very cute and very clever.

Sandra Nichols, the always delightful owner of Snug, stopped by to give Miss Eleanor a big hug and well wishes. (Snug hugs,)

If that wasn’t enough excitement for the day, we went over to Sweet Spot Bakery for dessert and to sing Happy Birthday. Miss Kathy White, owner and sensational singer, joined our celebration and sang a few holiday songs. Miss Elizabeth also popped out of the back from her busy baking schedule to visit.

It’s a wonderful feeling to bring joy to someone special. Someone who has lived 90 years and still going strong. Thanks Karen for arranging this special day. Miss Eleanor will remember this for a long time. Hopefully, a very long time.


Montage Monday: A Week in a Peek

16 Dec

At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.
— Thomas Tusser
A busy week of holiday celebrations, surgery, and healing. Friends help make the season bright, and a little less stressful. A week in a peek.

Let the celebrating and healing begin!!!

Now, to play, and make good cheer! Hmmm? How do you make good cheer? Is it a craft, AND can I put glitter on it?

Sunday Sermon and Rose Colored Glasses

15 Dec

One can be optimistic without looking at the world with rose-colored glasses, be happy and positive and if dark clouds emerge deal with them realistically..
~Senora Roy
Today is the Third Sunday of Advent. It is also called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete from the Latin meaning rejoice, On Gaudete Sunday rose-coloured vestments may be worn instead of violet. Father Don wore rose today, and I wore black. He said it was time to gather, rejoice, and prepare for the Nativity. I was there to say thank you and ask for continued strength.
Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

This may be translated as

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.

— Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):1
This reminded me of going through life looking through rose colored glasses. I was guilty of that for a long time. Decades actually. But, sometimes, something or someone comes up and slaps those glasses right off your face, and your choices are, pick them up and place them back on your face or dust yourself off and see the world in the real light.

As the quote says, “One can be optimistic without looking at the world with rose-colored glasses, be happy and positive and if dark clouds emerge deal with them realistically.” Reality isn’t always rosy and perfect, but we can learn to handle the dark clouds and make the best it. It isn’t fast. It isn’t easy, but it’s possible. At least I hope so.


Saturday:Sometimes You Just Can’ Sit Still

14 Dec

Inspiration doesn’t favor those who sit still, it dances with the daring.
– Toyota
I’ve never been one to sit still for more than a couple of hours. So, after sleeping more than ten hours after my surgery, I was going stir crazy. It was Saturday, and I hadn’t been to the Square for a while. Downtown McKinney was having their annual Parade of Lights. It’s another gala event where friends, neighbors and families gather to watch the marching bands, fire trucks, and floats all lit up, and parade around the Square. It was a lovely night and the huge crowd was enjoying the small town atmosphere.

I ran into a few old friends. Well, they aren’t old. I’m a lot older. Michele and David Bernard were there. Michele said something profound. She said, “It’s funny how the smaller the town, the bigger the parade.” It wasn’t a huge parade, mostly because half the town was in the parade and the other half was watching.

David and Michele. Aren’t they cute?

Michele and I are cute too!

Of course, there’s MURPHY’S LAW. I always run into Michael and Sherri Murphy. It’s the law.


I walked over to Sweet Spot Bakery for a yummy hot chocolate and some holiday music. The little kids were eating ice cream and peering into the window, enchanted by the decorations and Christmas tree.

A lovely Saturday. Sometimes you just can’t sit still!