Archive | October, 2016

Theme Song Thursday:) I Believe

20 Oct

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” 

― Albert Einstein


I choose to live my life as though everything is a miracle. Some people say they need proof. I open my eyes every day, that’s proof enough for me. With those eyes, I see a beautiful world with glorious sunsets, wonderful people, and sights that sends my heart soaring. With that heart, I feel the love of friends and family, and even when broken or torn apart,  that heart keeps beating and feeling and loving.

Here’s my theme song for to day. “I Believe,” sung by the King…Elvis.


Here’s why I am a firm believer in prayer, positive thinking, and miracles. Last night, I went over to St. Gabriel for our weekly support group. I always walk in the sanctuary before and after the meeting to bless myself with holy water from the font. Sometimes I light a candle with a general prayer or special intention. When I arrived, with a heavy heart and arms full, I set my stuff down on a chair and pushed my offering inside the little donation box next to the candles. I reached for the tall skinny stick that lights the votives, when I noticed something shiny on the floor beneath my feet. It was a single shiny penny. 
Well, if you don’t know my stories about lucky pennies, the short version is, anytime I was troubled or needed a sign that everything was going to be ok, I’d find a lucky penny from heaven. It was always right beneath my feet, and always at the right time. When I lit the candle for the very important prayer and intention that was weighing heavily on my heart last night, that shiny penny was my sign, the assurance that my prayer would be answered and everything was going to be ok. I smiled, looked up and silently said, “Thank you.” 

( I just posted this a few minutes ago and rushed out to take Bella for a walk. Look what we found by the curb on our way home. I had to come in and add this to my post. Yep! I believe. )

I believe.

Wednesday:) Why, What a Wonderful Compliment!

19 Oct

“It is a great mistake for men to give up paying compliments, for when they give up saying what is charming, they give up thinking what is charming.” 

― Oscar Wilde


You are reading this right now, aren’t you? I’d just like to say, “Thank you and you are wonderful.” Really, you are. You are taking the time to read the daily ramblings of an aging self-proclaimed healing optimist. You are the best part of my journey. You are amazing…but then again, so am I. We are amazing! (That’s for Mom)

I’ve mentioned many times that I enjoy giving people compliments because it makes them feel good. They are always honest and sincere compliments like, that color is perfect for you or I love your blouse, or what an adorable baby. All honest compliments, and it costs nothing to share.

But, you know what’s even better than giving a kind compliment? Yes, you guessed it, receiving a wonderful compliment.

I was running around all day today, feeding and walking Bella, doing laundry, taking a long walk, cleaning bathrooms, then running over to Michael’s and Joann Fabrics. I bought a bunch of things on sale at Michael’s that I really didn’t need,  because I am a crafter, and that’s what we do. When I was looking on my phone for different coupon offers, I noticed that Joann’s had an additional 20% for seniors today only. Woo hoo! Right up my alley. Plus, you only have to be 55 years or older. I’ve got that more than covered.

I was buying a bunch of glass paint for painting my wine glasses and vases, because the paint rarely goes on sale, and 20% off is pretty good. But, please don’t ask me why I needed ten pounds of air dry clay. I’m a crafter. I may want to make some more crucifixes for my cross collection. Or not?

Now, here’s the cute part. I used my 40% off one regular priced item for my clay, but then I asked the gal, “Today is senior discount day, right?” She said, “Yes, but you’re not a senior. You have to be 55 or older.” AND… She was dead serious. I said, “Seriously? You don’t think I’m a senior? I’m 63.” She looked at me again and said, “You’re kidding!” She really wasn’t joking.

That’s when I professed my undying love and devotion to this kind woman at the counter of Joann’s. But, I did ask her how old she thought I might be, and she said maybe late 40’s-early 50’s. I couldn’t quite reach behind the counter to give her a big hug, but I did tell her that she just made my day. Then, of course, I whipped out my phone and said, “I’ve got to get a picture and blog about this today.”

This is the very kind and perhaps far-sighted Miss Donna. Well, she does wear glasses. Maybe they were all smudged up. Actually, it was a very nice compliment, and I’m going to run with that.

Have a great Wednesday, my friends. You are amazing!

Tuesday:) Two Feathers and Taking Care of Business,Again

18 Oct

“Self-discipline is self-caring.” 

― M. Scott Peck


The alarm was set for 7am. I needed to get up early, feed my house guest and take her for a walk. (Bella, the dog) Then, a quick shower and out the door by 8:15. I got a call last week about the results of my mammogram. They needed to do a follow up and recheck, something different from last year’s film. I wasn’t too concerned until I was asked to remain after the initial rescan for an ultrasound. After an extensive ultrasound with the the technician, the doctor/radiologist came in to talk to me. She said not to be too concerned, but I should come in for another ultrasound and follow-up in six months. I will do that. We all need to be taking care of business and ourselves.

Ah, another lovely shot of the blue angel gown before the exam. Yes, I take pictures of everything.

After nearly two hours of prodding, smooshing, and squishing, I decided to do some retail therapy at one of my favorite stops, Steinmart. I found a few comforting items. New happy clothes, new happy spirit. Plus, every thing was on sale. Even happier.

Taking care of business…retail.

I stopped at Half Priced Books on the way home. I haven’t been there in ages. I love to browse at all the beautiful books, especially the art books. Too many choices. I found a lucky feather right outside my car door.

By now I’d worked up an appetite and stopped at McD’s for a chicken sandwich and an iced tea and people watching. I promised myself on the way home that I’d stop and Walgreens and take care of the vaccines and immunization so that I needed and have been putting off. I needed the DPT booster that is strongly recommended for anyone coming in contact with a new born baby. Yay! That will be me in Decemeber when I get to meet my new granddaughter. Then, I needed the dreaded shingles shot, because, well, I guess because I’m old and don’t want to get shingles unless they are on the roof of my house. I was so brave. You’d be proud of me.

I had the pharmacist take the picture. I couldn’t do a selfie and squeal at the same time. Just kidding. It didn’t hurt. 

While I was waiting for the shots, I started chatting with a lady waiting for her prescription. We waited and chatted a good ten minutes before I said, “If we have to wait any longer, maybe we should open your bottle of wine. I’ll go buy some plastic cups.” She concurred. Her name is Margaret. We’ll probably never see each other again, but who knows. She likes wine. Me too!

I scurried home to let Miss Bella out. Later, I fed her and we went for a long walk. I found another lucky feather. This was a big one.

It was a good day to take care of important business…namely ME. Two feather Tuesday is always a good sign.

Monday Morning Meeting Mary at McDonalds and My Montage

18 Oct

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. ~Douglas Pagels


Wow! That’s a lot of alliteration, isn’t it? Monday morning… Lots of m’s. Yesterday, while greeting before Mass, Mary and I agreed that we needed to get together sometime for coffee and conversation. It’s hard to talk in between all the “Good morning. How are you? Nice day.” We agreed on Monday morning.

Mary is one of those sweet, soft spoken, behind the scenes boundless bundles of energy. We met last year at church one morning before Mass. We had volunteered to greet at the door, and we immediately became good friends. During our brief half hour chats at the front door of St. Gabriel’s, we shared snippets of friends, families, hopes, dreams, joys, and sorrows. It’s amazing how much you can learn about someone in just a few minutes on a Sunday morning. After a few weeks of small talk and pleasantries at the door, I shared the story of my divorce and healing process. We’ve met for coffee a few times and have had great conversations. That’s when I found out why I was meant to meet Mary.

One of the many avenues that Mary generously shares with her community is being an advocate for Catholics going through the annulment process. It can be a confusing and tedious venture. Mary is helping me as I start with the mounds of paperwork. I’m a firm believer in God putting people in our path for a reason. Mary has literally been a God-send to me. 

This morning, we agreed to meet at McDonald’s at 9:30. Here’s a cute story. So, I got out of my car and started walking towards the door just as Mary was doing the same. I opened my arms from a distance and said loudly, “Good morning Miss Mary!” Then we hugged, just like we do at church. A lady about our age was walking out of McDonalds and giggled as Mary and I hugged like school girls in the parking lot. I walked over to this stranger with open arms, smiled and said, “Good morning,” and gave her a big hug. She smiled, hugged me back and said, “I needed that today! Thanks.” Then, she walked over to her car and drove away.

Hmm? You never know how you can influence someone with just a smile or a hug or a kind word. It doesn’t cost a thing. “We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.”

Here are a few pictures of me and Mary. 

Here we are, “dishing the dirt,” literally, at the ground breaking ceremony at church a few weeks back.

I have been blessed with the greatest friends, old ones and new ones. God puts many wonderful people in our path. We get to choose which paths to take.

A week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff:) Perseverance 

17 Oct

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” 

― Confucius


A beautiful Sunday morning here in McKinney. My friend Mary was already greeting at the door when I arrived at church at 8:30. Always good to see her smiling face.

Today’s Gospel was about the persistent widow who kept returning to the judge for vindication. ..

Jesus told his disciples a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Vindicate me against my adversary.’ For a while he refused; but afterwords he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming (Lk 18:1-6).'”

“Ask and you shall receive,” not perhaps what you wanted, but what God knew you needed. “Seek and you shall find,” not the easy way which you thought you deserved, but the harder way which would make you more deserving of heaven. “Knock and it shall be opened unto you,” not the door you were standing at, which would have delayed or endangered your progress, but the door further down the street where refreshment and new courage to continue on your upward climb were awaiting you.

— Excerpted from The Sunday Readings Cycle C, Fr. Kevin O’ Sullivan, O.F.M.

My take on it…never give up, be faithful and persistent, and if all else fails, do like the widow did. Bug the “heck” out of the judge until you are vindicated.

Sunday’s sermon is always thought provoking. I thought about things that we pray for and wish for. We don’t always get the things we asked for. It’s kind of like Christmas when you were a kid. Sometimes you got socks and school clothes instead of a new bike. You really needed the clothes, didn’t you? Life is like that sometimes. 

Saturday Surprises

16 Oct

“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.” ― Samuel Johnson


It was nice to sleep in this morning, no alarm set, no agenda. I called Mom and headed out for my morning walk. As I rounded the park, I noticed a bunch of kids running around and a little train scooting through the park. I stopped and asked one of the moms what was going on, she said it was the neighborhood HOA fall festival. They had face painters, popcorn, candy, and the kids had costumes on. When I sat to watch, I was enlisted to be a judge for the Halloween costume. A nice surprise.

Here was our first place choice. An adorable Minnie Mouse.

Second place was a pretty pirate girl.

I sat with some neighbors and chatted a while, snacking on some popcorn. Then, off to finish my walk. It was already getting warm. I came home, contemplating what I’d have for lunch and how to waste the rest of my day. I decided maybe a trip to Michaels, a little craft shopping always makes for a fun day. 

As I was checking emails, my phone pinged with a text. It was my friend…and world’s finest realtor (plug), Linda Grossman. She asked what I was doing, and I replied, just sitting around. She asked if I wanted to go to Tupps Brewery for a beer. Well, what a nice surprise! Tupps is a local brewery with live music, tours, and today they were having a chili cook-off. 

Maylee Thomas and George Fuller performed. It was a fun venue. 

We tried five or six different chili samples. By now I’d already had two beers, one too many for me. It was a great afternoon and evening. 

I told Linda, it never fails, when I start thinking what I should do on a lazy Saturday, and wish that someone would call, someone calls. It’s like I manifest it. It’s so cool. Such a nice surprise!

Then, my evening walk surprised me with a misty glowing full moon. Lucky me. Amazing!

Friday Friends:) Four and Two Legged Friends

15 Oct

Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.

~ Sidonie Gabrielle Colette


Our four-legged friends are special. They are no drama, always happy to see you, and would never break your heart. They don’t have the capacity. Some two-legged friends are the same, but not all. I’ve been blessed with many of each.

This morning, my good friend Zelda texted, “Call me when you wake up.” It was after 10 a.m. See, a good friend knows you don’t go to bed till 2 or 3 in the morning, so doesn’t text till after 10. We planned on having lunch and going to a movie.

Our usual ritual is Olive Garden. I love it! Always good food, good service, and reasonably priced. Plus, I usually have a coupon for a free dessert. Yum! After lunch we went to the 1:50 movie, “The Girl on the Train.” I didn’t know anything about the book or movie. Zelda had read the book, and said that the movie got good reviews. 

I thought it was very good. (Spoiler alert) There were a few scary and gorey parts, but I closed my eyes. There was a little adult language and nudity, but I’m a big girl. I enjoyed the twists and turns and mystery. At one point, I could almost relate to some of the situations and thought, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Sometimes the people you least expect to be evil are truly evil. No one would suspect it. I know!

After the movie, we drove back to my house to walk around the pond. The horses across the street were enjoying an early evening stroll. Both mamma and baby trotted over to say hello.

We walked for about half an hour and then Zelda went home. I continued my walk down to the other end of the subdivision, waving to neighbor’s, getting a high five from a toddler playing in his front yard, and taking some grand pictures along the way.

I stopped by Mr. Mike’s and took Bella for a little walk around the pond, then went home, grabbed my neighbor’s key, and went to visit with her cat, check food and litter while she’s out of town. It was a busy day with fine four legged friends and nice humans.

Little Bella is always happy to see me.

Parcel likes to nuzzle up and purrrr.

A beautiful evening. An amazing sunset. A lovely day. 

Thankful Thursday:) Things Money Can’t Buy

14 Oct

“You can buy a fancy car, a big house, and a round of drinks for your phony friends, but you can’t buy love, loyalty, friendship, respect, or integrity. Those are gifts that you earn.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I wake up thankful every day, but Thursday is a good day to share the many things I am thankful for. Plus, I love alłiteration. And, by the way, I would love to hear some of the things that you are thankful for. Really! Please share. Sharing gratitude is like sending up a prayer to heaven. 

This morning started out with the loud humming of lawn mowers and leaf blowers. The three men that mow my lawn on Thursdays were in the yard before 8 this morning. I’m always happy when I’m home to catch the, because I run out and give them some cold drinks, cookies, or ice cream bars on a hot day. Why do I do this? Simple! These are the people who work hard, in the heat or the cold, with rarely a thank you or appreciation. I appreciate the fact I don’t have to go out and mow my lawn. It’s my belief that everyone who does a service for you should be thanked. 

Now, here’s the cute part. I went out there this morning, handed them the bag of Dr. Peppers and some cookies, and said, “Gracias.” The grateful recipient nodded and returned the reply.

As I peeked out the window, I noticed one of the gentlemen pulling some weeds and tall grass under the trees. That is not part of the service. He didn’t have to do that, and didn’t know I was watching. He was showing his appreciation. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Isn’t it nice to feel appreciated? You can’t buy that. Appreciation is a wonderful feeling. 
This week I am grateful for my family who love and respect me implicitly, and my many sweet and loyal friends who are always there for me. I am thankful for a fine home, good health (for an old lady), my faith that gives me strength, and my talents and gifts that I share with others. I pray every day for the health and happiness of everyone I know, and those that I don’t know. When I get a chance, I light a candle at my church or a church that I visit and say, “Thank you.” Last night, it was at St. Gabriel. 

This prayer’s for YOU! 

Wednesday:) What would I do Without My Map App?

13 Oct

“Not all those who wander are lost.” 

― J.R.R. Tolkien


What would I do without my map app on my phone? Why, I’d bet lost, of course. I have come to rely so heavily on my iPhone map app that this morning, I almost had a panic attack. I was driving home from Stillwater, Oklahoma, some four plus hours away. I hopped in my car, and typed in HOME. The little wheel thingy kept going round and round, and I couldn’t get a signal. I was sitting in the car, it was pouring rain, and I didn’t know how to get home. Seriously! I knew I needed to go south  and west, but I didn’t know what roads to take to get me to I35. I am directionally impaired. Everyone knows that. My only hope was that the signal would resume once the storm subsided.

I’m not the world’s best driver and traveler, but old Siri on my iPhone guided me the 258 Miles up there without a hitch on Saturday. I didn’t even have to think. She did the thinking for me. So, on the way home, when I couldn’t get a signal, I got nervous. I had written directions with a map portion for the way up, but not back. I carefully studied the map, and decided if I reversed  the directions and just changed all the lefts to right, and rights to left on five pages of directions, that maybe it would be be correct.

Well, thank goodness, twenty minutes later, straining my brain and marking the maps with L’s, R’s, N’s, and S’s, the signal re-emerged. Yay! Thank you Siri!!!! She led me down farm fields and back roads until I got to the interstate. Then, follow I35 for 250 miles. Phew! Close one!

Zooming down roads at 70/80 miles an hour with big ol’ trucks passing you on the left can be daunting, but I had my old friend Siri, a cold Coke, Broadway show tunes, and an angel on my shoulder. I’M HOME!

“Not all those who wander are lost.” Mostly…just me.

Tuesday:) Tell Me, Teach Me, Involve Me

12 Oct

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin


Today, I was invited to sit in on Jim’s OLLI lecture, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, at the Stillwater library. Lectures for adults, retirees, and seniors. There were about fifty people in the room. The topic was Early Colonization of America. There were familiar names and pictures presented, like Isabella and Ferdinand, Columbus, King James, Queen Elizabeth, etc., but putting all the history, obscure facts, dates, and background in an interesting format, made it very stimulating. It was an interesting two hour session with a ten minute cookie/coffee/bathroom break in the middle. Seniors eat a lot of cookies.

Dr. Jim had to rush off to Langston University to teach his first history class, so I wandered around the library a few minites, then mozied across the parking lot to the Multi Arts Center. It’s a nonprofit city operated facility, offering a multitude of classes from stained glass to pottery, with an artist gallery to sell their work. Wonderful facility. I wish we had something like this in McKinney.

I bumped into a lady who had been at the library lecture earlier. She was there to look for Christmas gifts, because she said they had some beautiful handcrafted items. I asked her if she was an artist, and she giggled like it was a joke. She proclaimed that she had no artistic talent, but in the next breath, she said she was an avid quilter. Oh my, that is an amazing gift. I always say that I can’t sew worth a stitch, and that’s true. But, not because I don’t  have the talent, but it’s just not my passion. I truly believe if I gave it a try, took some classes and learned some tips, I could be a great quilter. The same could be said of anyone trying a new craft or art form. The key word is “TRY.”

There are a lot of fun, educational, and not too expensive learning venues available out there, especially to us “older folks.” I know that I’ve been a “Capricorn” type of person most my life, (feet firmly on the ground) but lately I’ve been trying new things and spreading my wings. You’re never too old to learn something new. 

P.S. All that learning, art work, and brain activity made me hungry. I turned on my google maps on my phone, hopped in my car, and found the nearest McDonalds. 

Ice cream! Some things Don’t change.