Archive | April, 2016

Tuesday:) To Every Season…

20 Apr

Ecclesiastes 3King James Version (KJV)
3 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace………..
*************

My daily walks are often the inspiration for blog posts, and today was such a day. It was a “ducky” kinda day. On my way to Zumba, I had to wait a few minutes while a family of ducks meandered across the road right outside my driveway. They’ve been strangely marauding the neighborhood the past few weeks. Usually, they are nestled by the pond two blocks away, but these crazy ducks have been sightseeing. 

  

 
Why did the duck cross the road? …I give up! They could just fly, right? If I could fly, I wouldn’t be walking. 

Now, this brings me to the sad part of the …”To every season…” Yesterday, on my walk, I saw the dozen or so duck eggs neatly clustered under a tree, waiting to be hatched.

  
So safe and secure. I couldn’t wait to see the new fuzzy babies waddling around in the pond. 

  
This morning, most of the eggs were sprawled on the grass, several feet from their safe haven. A predator? I prayed it wasn’t some mean children. I felt so sad. Then, I wondered if the duck parents saw this. Do ducks mourn, feel loss, get upset? How could they not. New life without a chance to begin.

When I looked closer, I noticed one egg on the grass that hadn’t been harmed. I had a plastic bag in my pocket, so I used it to place the egg back under the tree with the remaining two or three that were not taken. 

  
I hope these eggs have a chance to come into the world. Just when I was the most sad, I saw a momma duck under a different tree. She was either laying eggs or sitting on her brood, but it made me realize that life goes on. There are losses, and there are renewals. “To everything there is a season.” As in nature, as in life.

  
Can you see the mamma all huddled and protective under the tree? Let’s hope these eggs have a chance. New life, new beginnings.

  

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

19 Apr

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!” 

― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

**************

Appreciating each sunrise, each day, each person, until each sunset, that’s the only way to live. 

  
  

Sunday Sermon and Some More Rainy Days

18 Apr

“The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty.”

~Abraham Lincoln

**************

Today’s Gospel was short and to the point. Jesus is our shepherd. If we follow Him, we are given eternal life. My take on it… A shepherd guards and cares for his flock. God takes care of us, but we also need to follow in His footsteps, and help care for His flock, our children, our families, our neighbor’s. 

***************

Gospel JN 10:27-30
Jesus said:

“My sheep hear my voice;

I know them, and they follow me.

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.

No one can take them out of my hand.

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,

and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.

The Father and I are one.”

****************

  
Another cloudy day, and pretty much rained all day. It was pouring this morning, but I put my hood up and enjoyed my greeting before Mass. My friend Mary and her husband were more welcoming, as they went out with big umbrellas and guided people in. They were soaked by the time the service started. 

  
That’s Mary by the white car in the red coat, and her husband Pat with the black and white umbrella escorting a lady to the door. I just held the door open, mostly under cover, but still managed to get pretty soggy.

After Mass, I stopped at McDonalds for iced tea and to watch the rain. Too gloomy to go home and just sit. No walk for me today. 

  
Looks like more rainy days ahead. Oh no! 

Saturday:) Some Exercise, Some Errands, and Some Lack of Selfie-Control

17 Apr

“And from the midst of cheerless gloomI passed to bright unclouded day.” 

― Emily Brontë

************

I started my day simply, a cup of tea, my phone call to my sweet mom, and off to Zumba. After Zumba, I rode the bike for fifteen minutes. It felt good to ride fast and go nowhere. I rode 3.38 miles and didn’t get anywhere. 

  
Then, the bank, a quick stop at church, Walmart, stop for gas, and home for a long walk, all before noon. Wow! Busy morning. I was originally going to go to the square after my hour walk, but I was exhausted, my knee was killing me, and the clouds started rolling in. So, I did what any smart old lady would do…I took a long nap. Smart old lady!

  
Dark skies and clouds make me think of serenity, silence, and a nap.

Awakened refreshed and hungry, I warmed up yesterday’s leftover pizza, then texted my neighbor, Kathy, across the street. She wanted to go for an evening walk. So, we walked a couple three miles before it got dark. But, boy, was it windy!

  
 
Selfie time…”I have NO selfie-control.” It was a good day!

  

Friday:) From My Window

16 Apr

From my window I can see

All the things I want to be.

Barren winter’s chill has fled

Roses grace my flower bed.

I long to be like that rose

Once asleep, now thrives and grows.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

*********************

  
The beautiful thriving rose bush outside my front window made me wax nostalgic about the season. Not just the seasons of the earth, but of our lives. Both are ever changing. We appreciate the colorful beauty of Spring after a harsh cold winter. 

I planted that knockout rose bush just a year ago. It came in a small black plastic container, and barely snuck up above the dirt when first planted. Now, in its second season, it’s strong and bold and more beautiful than before. (A metaphor. Perchance a metamorphosis.)

  
I cut a few of the roses from back behind the bush where no one gets to see or appreciate. I brought them into the house and placed them in different rooms to brighten my day. A reminder of sorts.

  

Theme Song Thursday:) Help Feed the Hungry

15 Apr

“An empty belly makes a stern taskmaster.~Victor Radcliff” 

― Harry Turtledove

****************

Downtown McKinney was packed this evening with visitors attending the annual Empty Bowls event at MPAC, McKinney Performing Art Center. Hundreds of volunteers, students, and artists created and donated handcrafted bowls and volunteer hours.  Local restaurants, bakeries, breweries and wineries donated the soups, sweets, and beverages, but more importantly, their time to help raise funds to feed the hungry in our community. Profits would directly benefit hunger inititiatives at Community Lifeline Center. 

The purchase of your ticket allowed you to choose from the hundreds of handcrafted bowls, a reminder of the many people who go hungry every day, who have empty bowls. Then, samples of delicious soups and sweets were offered at various stations scattered around the building. There was also a silent auction for many fabulous museum quality fine art bowls crafted by local artisans.

   
A few of the auction bowls. Oh my, what a beautiful hand-painted glass rose bowl right in the front. I wonder who could have painted that one? (Moi)

 Amazing! There was some heated bidding at the end. 

  
My friends from Sweet Spot Bakery provided around 800 brownie bites and gooey butter cake bites. Miss Kathy couldn’t put the delicious bites out fast enough. I helped out a little while, mostly by sampling for quality assurance. 

  
My friends Michele and David Bernard provided a yummy gourmet Chipoltle Corn soup.There were dozens of other great soups to sample. 

   
   
The beautiful weather allowed the bowls to be set up and displayed out on the front lawns of MPAC. 

   
 
These little girls liked the bowls painted by my senior art friends at Towne Creek. 

  
I caught Donna Loughmiller, the mayor’s  wife, off guard for a quick photo.Beuatiful bowl. 

  
  
They even gave me a free t-shirt. I must be very special.

Wednesday:) My Weird, Whacky, Wazy Week

13 Apr

“My get-up-and-go didn’t have the energy to get out of bed today.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

*********************

The dark threatening clouds hovered over the tiny town. Suddenly, the skies opened up, enveloping the land  with a fierce pelting rain…

Wow! I’ll have to save that for the opening line of my next novel. Wait a minute…I haven’t written my first novel yet…but I’ve got a good opening line now. 

Actually, it was a dark and gloomy morning. No Zumba, no kickboxing, nothing I had to get up early for, so I stayed under the covers all morning, and to be honest, half of the afternoon. I sipped my tea, checked emails, did some reading, called my mom, then finally got up, got dressed, and had breakfast around 2 pm. Yep, a weird and wazy Wednesday. (I like alliteration.)
   
Yesterday, I made brownies for our McKinney Creaive Community potluck meeting. I always make a funny face, then post it on the Facebook page. I get a few chuckles, and everyone loves my brownies, once they’re baked, of course. Yes, I’m weird.

 
I had my follow-up dentist appointment yesterday. It was to remove the barrier from where my tooth was extracted last month, and the future home of my $8,000 implant fiasco. But, I made the best of it. I stole a Snow White sticker meant for the little kids on my way out. YEP, I’m whacky. Kept it on all day. Why do they have all those stickers next to the lollipops anyway? Job security? 

 
  That was yesterday. Today, I accomplished NOTHING, NADA, ZILCHO! No zip-a-dee in my doo-dah. Well, I did post this blog! That’s somethin’!!!
 

Tuesday:) Toni’s Turtle Wisdom

12 Apr

“Slow and steady wins the race, but if you get tired or you’re in trouble, tuck your head in and wait out the storm. Turtle Wisdom.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis 

**********************

I was able to get a walk in before the storm rolled in with scary dark skies. I didn’t get any hail or damage, but people just a few miles away had terrible hail damage. While I was walking, I saw this big ol’ turtle just sitting at the top of a ridge of hedges and flowers. He was nowhere near the pond or any water, just laying in the mulch. I noticed he was all tucked in, probably smart enough to know that a storm was coming, and get all cozy and prepared. Just shows I don’t have the sense of a turtle. I kept walking till the sky started flashing and rumbling.

  
The turtle got me to thinking about how we can protect ourselves from fatigue, enemies, and danger. We just use our hard protective shell to rest or keep us from harm until it’s safe to come out again. I like that! Turtle wisdom.

  

Montage Monday and Menacing Clouds

12 Apr

“Thirty-nine years of my life had passed before I understood that clouds were not my enemy; that they were beautiful, and that I needed them. I suppose this, for me, marked the beginning of wisdom. Life is short.” 
― Iimani David
************
When I search for quotes for my daily blog, I find so many that express how I feel or what many people feel. Sometimes I like to write my own original quotes to express my thought for that day. Today, I stumbled upon this quote that really rang true and personally spoke to me. Thirty-nine years living under a cloud, now, marking the beginning of wisdom, and yes life is short. 
It was a dreary cloudy day, with a menacing sky. I went for a walk as the dark clouds rolled in and the lightning flashed in the grey sky. The emergency weather siren went off in the evening, warning people to take shelter. 
“The clouds were not my enemy, they were beautiful, and I needed them.”

  
The skies only got darker, but I kept walking, admiring the the deep rich shades of grey, that is of course, until the flashes of lightning brought me to my senses. Then, I scurried home. 

  
Montage Monday:) A week in a peek.

  

Sunday Sermon and Surprise Sunday Supper

11 Apr

“Leftovers are those mysterious nondescript white containers crammed in the freezer that are too numerous to throw out, yet too arcane to consume.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

*********************

Today is the Third Sunday of Easter. Father Don was back saying Mass after his scary collapse on Easter during Mass. He’s doing better and he received applause from all. 

Today’s Gospel was the one where after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples yet again. This time they were out fishing, catching nothing all day, when Jesus called out to them to cast there nets out again on the right side. They cast the net out and this time the yield was almost too full to bring into the boat. Also, he asks Peter if he loved HIM three times, to make up for denying HIM three times. Then, the disciples were asked to become fishermen of men, to spread the word of the Lord. 

My take on it… Sometimes we are asked to “cast the net out,” or rather, keep on going when we think there’s no hope. When you’ve done something wrong, we have to say we’re sorry and try to make up for it, even if it’s three times or three million times, but it must be genuine remorse or it just doesn’t count. Then, of course, share your gifts through kindness, by sharing, and by example. 

***********************

After Mass, I stopped and had coffee with Mr. Jerry at McDonald’s. Then, over to Albertson’s to pick up groceries for the week. My goal,has been to try and eat some leftovers in the fridge and freezer, but dang it, I just go out to lunch or dinner to often. Then, I usually end up bringing home even more leftovers. So today, my huge weekly shopping consisted of three items.

  
Greek yogurt, chocolate frozen yogurt, and toasted oats (generic Cheerios) to put in my yogurt for breakfast. Big purchase…all on sale.

I was motivated by my Friday night visit from Diane. I promised her a Black Russian, and when I opened the freezer, a container of ice cream came tumbling out onto my foot. (This happens a lot.)

  
Today, I decided I was going to have surprise leftovers for supper. I do this once or twice a week. I close my eyes and pull out a mysterious container or ziplock bag of …who knows what. Or, whatever happens to pop out at me, literally.

 
Tonight is mystery chicken with potatoes, corn and other weird things that I’ll heat up, put on a tortilla with cheese and fresh spinach. Looks bad…tastes good. Just a tiny dent out of the leftover saga.