Archive | February, 2015

Friday: Frozen and Frenzy

28 Feb
“Nothing is as tedious as the limping days,
When snowdrifts yearly cover all the ways,
And ennui, sour fruit of incurious gloom,
Assumes control of fate’s immortal loom” 
― Charles BaudelaireParis Spleen

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It was snowing most the day, big beautiful flakes that blanketed the roof tops and lawns in a shimmering veil of gossamer. OK, enough BS. It was a bloody cold and yucky day! I was so cold and crazed that I sat under the covers with a cup of tea and my ipad on my lap until well past noon. 

I was going stir crazy. I found myself playing the piano. Guess what? I don’t know how to play piano, that’s how bored I was. I washed dishes, cleaned the kitchen, paid some bills and went upstairs and tackled the craft room. Now, that’s a project! I can spend hours just sorting brushes and markers. But, I did stumble upon another stash of long lost watercolors that I’d forgotten about.



My craft room will never be neat or complete. It’s a work in progress, with no beginning and no end. Any artist will tell you that there will always be another project and you can never have enough art supplies.



Well, even though I was crazy and bored, I have to admit, the snow was beautiful. And, this being Texas, it won’t last too long. 



This is the view from my front door. That’s as far as I went. I didn’t even go out to get the mail. Maybe tomorrow?



I like this idea. Now, where’s my hair dryer?

Thankful Thursday:So Much To Be Thankful For

27 Feb

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you” 

Sarah Ban BreathnackSimple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

I have found that finding at least one thing to be thankful everyday makes each day a blessing. But, I am thankful for so many things that it’s impossible to list them all. Family, friends, my home, my art, writing, music, dancing, walking, Zumba, the Square, great food and Black Russians. The list goes on. 

I stopped to visit my friend Della this afternoon. She asked, “So how are you going? Really?” I told her I was doing fine, but she knows the real me, as do most my friends. I smile on the outside, even when I’m not so happy on the inside. But one thing is true, I am grateful for each and every day and thankful for all the wonderful people in my life.   I also said that writing and blogging everyday has helped me share my blessings with so many people, and that is what makes me smile at the end of the day.

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

26 Feb
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” 
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Wednesday started out with big fluffy flakes of snow. Another one of those stay in your jammies all morning kinda days. But, schools, transportation and businesses were all back up and running. By 2pm, the sun was glowing, melting away all the ice and snow. A long sunshiny walk also melted away my cabin fever. It was beautiful!

To add to the beauty outside, my friend Gaby said I should stop by and she would touch up my hair and add a few more highlights. Now, I could feel beautiful on the inside. I very rarely pamper myself…who am I kidding…I never pampered myself. So, I went over to Gaby’s and she worked her magic on my hair again. 

When you feel pretty on the outside, it certainly makes you feel pretty on the inside. 



First you have to feel silly and goofy!



Then, you get to feel beautiful. Thanks, Gaby!

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” 

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Yes, refuse to give anyone the power to make you feel like you are not beautiful, smart, or important. You are! It took me a while to figure it out.



Tuesday Tips From Toni: Don’t Go Stir Crazy

25 Feb

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~Wes Campton

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Another iced-in day here in north Texas. Yes, they close down the entire world here. Of course, the neighbor kids all love another snow day. They go out and play and enjoy the ice, while us old folks sit inside with a cup of hot tea, still in their Jammies till noon. OK, that was just me.

But, it warmed up later in the afternoon. I was going stir crazy, so I bundled up and went out for a long walk. Yes, I’m crazy! So, here’s my tip for Tuesday.

When the going gets tough and cold, the tough go out for a walk, listen to books on tape, and cook a lot of comfort food, just in case they get snowed-in for a week.



The ducks in the pond were enjoying the day, and so did I. Good to be outside.



I made a whole bunch of eggplant parmesan, pasta and salad. Enough to feed a small army or just me for a month. I’m prepared! 

The forecast for tomorrow is more snow. Oh no! Another stir crazy day!



Montage Monday: A Week in a Peek

24 Feb

“So when you’re cold
From the inside out
And don’t know what to do,
Remember love and friendship,
And warmth will come to you.”
― Stephen Cosgrove, Gnome from Nome
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It’s unusually cold here in north Texas. The Sunday night forecast for Monday was bleak and scary. School and municipal closings for Monday flashed on the TV during the Oscars.

So, this morning, when I heard the sleet pelting at my window panes, I pulled up the covers, rolled over and stayed in bed till noon. No walk, no Zumba, no plans, no nothin’. McKinney was closed for the day. The forecast looks the same for tomorrow. Yikes!

Here’s my week in a peek.

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Sunday Sermon: Sharing and Caring…Right Place…Right Time

22 Feb

“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.”
― Charles de Lint
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“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 25
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Today is the first Sunday in Lent. From as far back as I can remember, Lent meant a time of fasting, reflection, renewal and giving up something. But, for the past few years, I’ve decided NOT to give up something, but rather, try and Give more of myself and my time.

Here’s one of my sharing and caring moments. It is one of those “in the right place at the right time” kinda stories.

Friday afternoon, I was going to stop and visit my friend Lynne who was working on a big sewing project with Jill. I thought, “Oh man, I keep forgetting to stop at St. Gabriel’s to pick up that form to send to Joe’s parish priest in Chicago. I’ll just pop in the office. They’re open till 4.” Half way there I thought, “Oh forget it. I’ll just go Monday.” But, I kept driving. I’d been procrastinating long enough.

I pulled into the parking lot and parked behind a small U-Haul truck. There were several cars, so I figured someone would be there. When I walked inside, there was a young couple roaming around. By young, I mean, barely old enough to vote young. They were holding hands, and the girl looked about seven or eight months pregnant. They asked me if I knew where the office was. I wasn’t sure myself, so I said, “Well, let’s walk around and take a look.”

When we got to the parish office door, it was dark and locked up. A small sign read, Friday 9 till noon. Oops! It was after 3 pm. The website said till 4, so I figured I’d just come back Monday. I asked them what they were looking for, and just assumed that they wanted to get married or wanted to talk to a priest.

Well, the poor kids said that they were on their way to Oklahoma and they ran out of money. They needed gas and were hoping someone at the church could help them out. They said they saw some cars across the lot at the recreation building, so they walked over. Of course, it’s natural to think that maybe they were just scamming, but then again, what if they were truly desperate.

While I watched them walk out the door, hand in hand, I reached into my purse to see how much cash I had. I found a five and three singles. Well. that isn’t going to help much. Then, I remembered the emergency $20 that I keep in the little side zippered pocket. Ah, now here’s an emergency if I ever saw one.

I walked across the lot and found them talking to one of the Knights of Columbus volunteers who was setting up for the Friday fish fry. Basically, he told the couple that the office was closed and, “Sorry, I can’t help you. They’ll be back Monday.” I walked over, handed the young man the folded up cash, and said, “This might not get you very far, but I hope it helps.” They both smiled and said “Thanks,”

Walking back to my car, I thought…”Whatever you do for the least of my brothers…” And I was right when I had guessed that the U-Haul truck was theirs. Poor kids. They followed right behind me and thanked me again. I watched as the young man helped the soon-to-be mom into her seat in the truck and closed the door behind her.

I know it sounds corny, but I felt like I was in the right place at the right time for a reason. What if I was a few minutes earlier or later, or maybe decided not to go after all? Hmmm? Makes you think?

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“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.”
― Charles de Lint

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Saturday: Sometimes It’s the Little Things

22 Feb

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
—The 14th Dalai Lama
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A kind word, a small act of kindness, or a passing smile may not seem like much, but sometimes it can brighten up someone’s day. I know, I know, you already think I’m goofy, but I like to do little random acts of kindness whenever I can. I guess I’m just my mother’s daughter. I’ve learned from the master. Also, I don’t share these things with you because I’m looking for recognition or praise. I’m genuinely sharing some ideas with you, hoping that it may inspire you to give it a try. Maybe you already do, and I’d love to hear about it.

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Yesterday started out being a dark, gloomy, misty morning. I waited until the rain stopped later in the afternoon before I bundled up for my walk. It was still misting, but I put up my hood and ventured out for over an hour.

I was about five blocks away when I noticed the mail lady making her appointed rounds. It was pretty chilly out. I gave her a wave and thought, “That must be a tedious, lonely, thankless job.” I remember meeting Miss Penny when I first moved in. She was very nice when I stopped to ask her something about forwarding my mail.

When I got home from my walk and checked my mail box, it was still empty. I thought, “Hmm? What can I do for Miss Penny?” So, I ran into the house, grabbed a Dr. Pepper from the fridge, took the last mini cupcake that I was saving for my late afternoon tea time, and scurried back out to the mail box.

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I left a note saying, “Miss Penny, I saw you while I was out walking and thought you could use a treat.” Here is what I found later when I got my mail.

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“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”

I think Miss Penny felt appreciated and perhaps this made her day a little brighter.

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