Archive | February, 2017

Friday:) Funny Faces In Funny Places

18 Feb

“Art is the child of nature in whom we trace the features of the mothers face.” ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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A picture is worth a thousand silly words.


I see faces in the strangest places!


Thankful Thursday:) Old Friends and New Friends

17 Feb

“Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you” ― Rasheed Ogunlaru

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This Thursday, I had the pleasure of spending the entire day with old friends and new friends, from early in the morning till late at night. I count my blessings. Lots of counting. Much to be thankful for.

I started out the day with a fun Zumba class with my neighbors Diane and Sue, and a lot of other wriggling jiggling dancing ladies. When I got home, I took a long walk with my little doggie friend, Bella. After I got home, I asked my friend, Dorrie, to help me remove and carry my new file cabinet from the back of my car into the garage. I had about ten minutes to change and meet a couple of old friends for lunch at JC Burgers at 12:30. 

After lunch, I stopped at Albertson’s to pick up some eggs and canola oil. I go through a lot for brownies and cup cakes. I said hi to Miss Sherry, the feisty elderly clerk at the checkout. Pizzas were on sale, so I picked up a couple for my neighbor, Bella’s daddy, Mr. Mike, who basically lives on frozen pizza, and rarely goes to the store. He appreciated the gesture.

Wow, by now it was almost 5 pm.  Last week, I met a charming lady, Barbara, who had invited me to join her and her writing group that meets at Panera once a month at 5:30. More new friends, and writers, to boot. Cool!


Barbara, Deb, and Korey, all new and talented writers. Deb and Korey  also do their own illustrations. I’m excited to make some new writing friends.

Half Price Books was just a few doors down from Panera, so I went over there to check out the books. I especially love finding old vintage books. I had a nice conversation with Elena, the cute store cashier. We exchanged stories about our love for old books and finding interesting inscriptions, pressed flowers, and other memorabilia tucked away in between the pages. 


Another old friend…an old vintage book with yellowed and well worn pages. J. Fenimore Cooper, “The Deerslayer.”


Now, I sit here, writing my blog, with my old television friend, Jessica Fletcher and “Murder She Wrote.” 

Good night to all my old and new friends. I am very thankful for a wonderful day with old and new friends.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

16 Feb

“If you look in the mirror and are unhappy, you’re looking at the only person who can change that.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”

Aristotle

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It was a great weekend, and a good week so far. I drove home from Stillwater, OK today, taking over four and a half hours of zipping along I35 at over 80 miles an hour in some sections with cars flashing past me in a blink. 

I stopped at the first Texas rest stop to stretch my weary legs. Almost home, the sun shining, it felt great to be just an hour from McKinney.


Tired and thirsty and my right leg falling asleep on the accelerator, it was nice to get home. I unpacked my car, collapsed, and took a short refreshing nap. Then, I  went for a long walk  with my little neighbor doggie friend, Bella, before my support group at church. Back home, back to my routine. Ah!


We always discuss how our week went at our Wednesday divorce support group. With Valentine’s Day yesterday, a few people were feeling sad. We had a discussion on being lonely, and being happy. For some reason, there’s an extreme marketing pressure for people to do something special or be with someone special on Valentine’s Day. Why is that? 

I recounted a discussion I had with my now EX about being happy while we were going through our ugly divorce. He said, “I’m not happy.  I haven’t been happy for ten years. Are you happy?” I told him that I was happy.  I told him, “I can’t make you happy. You’re the only one who can make YOU happy.” Forty-three years together, he never once said that he wasn’t happy. Funny, how when you get caught lying and cheating, that suddenly you haven’t been happy. 

Here’s the thing, I look in the  mirror EVERY morning, and I like who I see, and I like who I am. No one gave me that, and no one can take that away. I like myself. I’m happy.


I hope you look in the mirror every morning and see a beautiful, loving, and happy person. I do.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day…Practice, Practice, Practice

15 Feb

“Art is like love, and love is like art. Both require patience and practice.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.” 

― Miguel Ruiz

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Art is like love, and love is like art. Both require patience and practice. On this  Valentine’s Day, I decided to practicice my love of art. I don’t paint as often as I’d like to. I get wrapped up with the day to day, mundane trivial pursuits of life. So today, I took out my watercolor paints, paper, brushes, and scoured through my hundreds of photos for a reference to practice. I sat down without television, phone, or any distraction. I chose this reference of cardinals enjoying the cool evening and a full bird feeder. 

Remember, a photo is just a reference, guide, or suggestion for a painting. That’s my excuse, and I’m stickin’ to it. 


This photo was a bit dark and monochromatic, so I decided to brighten it up a bit.


Practice, practice, practice. I know I need a lot more practice, but each step leads me closer perfection. Practice makes perfect. I’ll never be perfect, but will enjoy myself on the journey.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

14 Feb

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ― Lao Tzu

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A strange week of warm sunny days in the 80’s, then plunging into the 30’s, then back again, a virtual weather yo-yo. But, it is February and we’ll take what we can get. It’s just that the poor trees, and flowers, and birds are all confused, almost as much as the weathermen.

Here’s a week in a peek.



Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

13 Feb

“Dreams and freedom are the same. In order for them to be, they come with a price.” 

― Criss Jami

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This morning I had the privilege of attending Mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Stillwater, OK. It’s a lovely church, lined with beautiful stained glass windows, and a very large congregation. When I walked in, I asked one of the greeters if there was a particicular pamphlet or book to follow along, as I was just visiting. I found that all churches are different. One lady said that everything needed would be right at each pew. I stood in the back a couple of minutes until the priest processed in with the opening song. Then, one of the greeters stood next to me and asked if I had a place to sit. When I said I didn’t, she said, “Come sit with me.” That was so nice.

The Gospel today was a long involved explanation of all the things we need to do or not do to follow the Commandments. You shall not kill, but you should also not be angry with your brother. Don’t come to the altar if you have not reconciled with your brother. You shall not commit adultery, even in your heart. Do not take a false oath. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’Anything more is from the evil one.”

“Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandmentsand teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

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My take on it, and this is just my unworldly opinion.  There are many rules, regulations, commandments, and examples to follow, all open to interpretation. I think there is a basic good and evil.  In your heart, you know right from wrong. Basically, don’t make a promise you can’t keep, don’t lie, cheat, steal, kill, or harm anyone or any creature. You don’t need to do this for God or a promise of heaven. You do it so you can look in the mirror every morning. You do it for yourself. 

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After Mass, I thanked the nice lady who showed me such hospitality. I gave her my card and asked her to friend me on Facebook. I sure hope she does. I stayed after Mass to light a candle In the far alcove. I was delighted to find the iconic Virgen of Guadalupe.


I lit my candle and said my prayer. The pictures always say so much more than I can express in words.


A good Sunday. Prayers said. Prayers answered.

Saturday:) Some Spectacular Art at the Philbrook Museum

12 Feb

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” 

― Albert Einstein

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We went to the Philbrook Museums in Tulsa today. There are two art museums. One is downtown with a fine combination of Native American and Contempory art downtown.




Then, the Philbrook Mansion not only houses amazing artworks, but the structure itself is an over the top architectural magestic structure.



I get so inspired by all these fabulous artists and artworks. It makes me want to go home and paint, and take classes, and create more. But then, I get distracted by television, lunches with the girls, writing, and Black Russian Fridays. Maybe someday…I’ll keep you posted.


I guess I am truly artistic. I love people. Love you guys!!!!!

Friday:) A Firey Sky and Some Firey Firemen

11 Feb

C. JoyBell C.“Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under!” 

― C. JoyBell C.

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A beautiful fiery sunset in Stillwater, Oklahoma.


I would like to thank my friend Justin Crader for the gift of several 2016 McKinney Firefighter caklenders. They are greatley appereciated, appreciated by many. Thank you. Last year’s calendar, but who’s looking at the dates?

 

Have a great Friday!!! 

Theme Song Thursday:) Where Flowers Never Fade

10 Feb

I will be the gladdest thing under the sun!

I will touch a hundred flowers

And not pick one.

– Edna St. Vincent Millay

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 Every now and then, I’ll buy some roses or other flowers just to brighten my day and dress up my table. I don’t buy live plants because, as my good friends will attest to, I have a black thumb and everything dies. On January 15th, I bought some flowers at Sprouts in the reduced clearance section for $3.99. I remember the date because it was after Mass, the day before the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. For $4, even if they lasted a few days, it would be well worth the expenditure.

I have no idea the name of these flowers, but whatever they are, they are spectacular. Anyone know what these are? Today is February 9th, and these are the same flowers sitting on my kitchen table. Twenty-six days later, they still look beautiful. It made me think that wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world “where flowers never fade.”
I know that eventually they will whither and die, but for now, I’m living in a world “where flowers never fade.”

Wednesday:) Wow! What a Wonderful Performance~ Shen Yun

8 Feb

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.

~ Chinese Proverb

鸟儿唱歌不是因为它们有了答案,而是因为它们有歌要唱。

niǎor chànggē bú shì yīnwèi tāmen yǒule dáàn ,érshì yīnwèi tāmen yǒu gē yào chàng 。

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Sunday afternoon, my friend Dorrie and I went down to Dallas to the AT&T Performing Arts Center to see The performance, Shen Yun. I don’t watch much TV lately, so I didn’t know anything about it, but she showed me some video clips on her phone, and I was all in. The costumes and dancing and music looked spectacular.

I drove and Dorrie navigated. It wasn’t hard to get to, but those of you who know me, know that I can get lost at the far end of my own subdivision. We arrived in about fifty minutes, found a great place to park on the street under a tree only a block away. Cool!

We walked around looking for a place to eat, but most places weren’t open until 5 pm, and the show started seating at 5:30. It was only 4 when we started searching and feeling hungry. I asked a police officer, who was coming out of the Seven Eleven, for any suggestions. He had none. So, Dorrie and I had a gourmet picnic lunch with fantastic finds and a Big Gulp Slurpee. It was a glorious sunny afternoon, so we sat at an outdoor table and feasted on our snacks. 


Now, doesn’t that look like a fabulous before the theatre dinner? Actually, it was pretty good.

We were pretty lucky that we had tickets for the Sunday evening showing because, guess what? It was Super Bowl Sunday, and the earlier performance was sold out, and the 6 pm seating was half full. (Did you notice I didn’t say half empty? I’m a half full kinda gal.)

From the very beginning, the narration, the orchestra, and the performers, everything was amazing. We weren’t allowed to take pictures. I found out the hard way when I tried to just get a selfie of me and Dorrie before the curtain even went up. A nice usher lady tapped me on the shoulder and said “No Photography” in a stern voice and pointed to the sign reflected on the closed curtain. Jeepers! I didn’t think you couldn’t take a selfie beforehand. Here’s my illegal photography….

The meaning of Shen Yun: Shen (神) is a general term for divine being, indicating the myriad deities, Buddhas, and Taoist immortals in Chinese spiritual traditions. Yun (韻) means rhythm and conveys a person’s entire bearing. … Shen Yun means: the beauty of divine beings dancing. (Or something like that.)

There were 19 different segments with colorful dancers or singers portraying or telling a different story. My favorite was Yellow Blossoms, with intricately choreographed dancers with fluffy yellow fans that undulated across the stage. No pictures of that, of course, but here are some Google approved photos.


Well, it was a fantastic evening. My senses and spirit were certainly stimulated and elevated. I think it was the best performance I’ve ever seen. A true cultural experience.