Archive | June, 2017

Theme Song Thursday:) Get Your Act Tohether

30 Jun

“Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination” ― Christina Scalise, Organize Your Life and More


Wow! In August, it will be three years in my new house. The inside is pretty much settled, but I wouldn’t say perfect. I haven’t really hung up any of my artwork and paintings. The problem is there is just too much to pick from. I literally have hundreds of watercolors, acrylic, oils, mixed media paintings lying around or stacked up. It’s my own work, but I just can’t make decisions.

Now, the garage is another story. When I moved in August 23, 2014, (which is a whole new amazing story in itself) the movers set up the shelves in my garage and were kind enough to fill all the shelves for me. The problem is, I had no idea what was in all the boxes and bins. 

Today, my friend Jim said he would help me tackle the debacle that was in my garage. There was no rhyme or reason to any of it. I needed to get my act together. An example of the goofy stuff in my garage…a bin of Old Comiskey Park bricks from the old ball park when they tore it down, tools, three battery chargers, two air compressors, painting supplies, and hundreds of other buzzard items. All these were left for me to sort through when the EX left. All his stuff that he didn’t feel like dealing with, and I didn’t have time to sort through. I threw it all in boxes, packed it up and moved it to my new house. I also have bins and bins of sentimental toys and baby things from my sons. Can’t part with those. Then, don’t even start with my crafts and glassware and picture frames. Yikes!

We spent a good seven hours tackling the garage, without rest, a few sips of water, and no food all day. By 7p.m., we made a big dent in the organizing. Jim did all the heavy lifting and toting, and I sorted and made piles to donate or toss. The once over stuffed shelves now are organized, labeled and there are even a couple of empty spots.


Not only did my valiant helper work his butt off, he took me to dinner when we finished. Afterwards we stopped at Lowes, and he bought me a tool box, a saw, a new drill, (I didn’t have one) and a bunch of other necessary tools that every home should have.

Look at me all organized and professional! Don’t I have the best friends ever?

Wednesday Words:) Preachin’ Politics In The Parking Lot

29 Jun

We are apt to forget that children watch examples better than they listen to preaching.

~ Roy L. Smith


My excitement for today was a trip to Home Depot with Jim. I love hardware stores, and we walked up and down the aisles admiring toolbelts, screwdrivers, and various power tools. We were looking for some treated wooden fence posts for my back yard. My fence is falling apart. The last windy day, an entire section was almost horizontal, flapping in the wind. A couple of posts are rotten at the bottom. Jim offered to fix and repair the problem, but they didn’t have the posts we needed. As for now, I have bags of mulch holding up the fence.

But, I did buy a new ladder. Finally! My sister, Jo Ann, will be happy. She sent me a check a long time ago to get a new ladder to replace my old wooden rickety one. Then, we spent over an hour enjoying the tool aisles, 2 by 4s, solar lighting, and outdoor landscaping materials. Wow! Fun!

As we wheeled our shopping cart, complete with a new six foot ladder, we said hello to the lady getting into her car right next to us. She had some paving stones in her cart, and Jim offered to load them in the back of her Honda. The conversation started off with comments about her Honda and his Honda and what great cars they are. A few cordial words later, somehow unbeknownst to me, the subject slipped into politics, news reporting, taxes, and the great state of Texas. 

Uh oh!!! Jim, who has been a university history professor in Oklahoma for over thirty years, started rattling off dates, places, presidents, national policy, and more information about liberals and conservatives than I could keep,up,with. Fortunately, we were parked under a shady tree, and the conversation probably continued for over  twenty minutes or more. Since we had become so well acquainted in a short time, I finally introduced myself, and we shook hands.

As well you know, if you know me well, it was “SELFIE TIME.”

This is Jamie on the left, and Jim and me in the Home Depot parking lot. Jim apologized for preaching politics in the parking lot, but I always find it interesting because he is so well read and has such a wealth of knowledge about history, that he can share information and make you  really think about our society and government, past and present.

Before we parted, I gave my new parking lot friend my card with my name, phone, and email address, and told her to feel free to call me sometime, as she was new to McKinney. 

When we got into the car, I told Jim, “You could talk the fleece off a lamb.” I think he’s the smartest person I’ve ever known, and those are the kind of teachers and professors we need teaching our young people. He also practices what he preaches. It’s really nice to have friends who are very smart and  yet handy with a table saw and a hammer. Thanks, Jim.

Tuesday:) Turbulent Skies and a Turkey Carcass.

28 Jun

“Always seek less turbulent skies. Hurt. Fly above it. Betrayal. Fly above it. Anger. Fly above it. You are the one who is flying the plane.”

― Marianne Williamson

The sky threatened storms that never appeared, but the clouds were amazing. I love clouds.

Is it just me, or do you see a face in these clouds too? I see a mother with wispy hair holding her baby. Can you see it? Look at the nose in the center of the picture, the eye to the left, the mouth below. 

Today, I made a turkey dinner. My extra frozen turkey had been in Mr. Mike’s freezer since Thanksgiving. It was buy one get one free. Couldn’t pass it up, but also had no room in my freezer. I cooked it today. No picture of the beautiful finished product. But, here are the “remains of the day.” It will be soup tomorrow, or whenever I get around to it. Lots of leftovers.

I’m sure I’ll keep you posted.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

27 Jun

“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.” 

~Langston Hughes


Wow! The time sure flies. Last week I was in Chicago, this week I am back home, all settled in, unpacked and back to my old routine. It’s summer now, with longer days and hotter nights. Happy summer, y’all!

Here’s my week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon, Smiles, and Some Other Stuff

25 Jun

“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


A gorgeous Texas morning, not too hot, not too cold. It was great to be back at St. Gabriel’s again and greeting at the door with Ms. Mary. We hugged, talked in between our, “Good morning” salutations, and of course, I showed her some new grandbaby pictures. Actually, I showed a bunch of people. Mary has the sweetest smile and the sweetest heart to match. Selfie time.

Today’s sermon was about Jesus telling the apostles that God sees everything, knows everything, and watches over us all…

Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.

My take on it, it’s kinda like Santa Clause, “He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.” Or something like that.

After Mass, a quick trip to Sprouts. Not again! A great sale on fruit and vegetables and nuts that I couldn’t pass up. I’ll share some with Miss Eleanor at Towne Creek and maybe others. Tomatoes 48 cents a pound! That’s crazy cheap! Can you O.D. On tomatoes? Peaches and nectarines and grapes 88 cents. Crazy!

Then, home to walk my little furry friend, Bella. Getting warmer outside. Well, it is Texas after all. Now, all I have to do on this beautiful Sunday is decide what to have for dinner. Maybe a fruit and tomato salad.

I’d rather have friends than wrinkles!

Saturday:) Sometimes You Need To Call A Friend

25 Jun

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know. 

~W. H. Auden*************

Sometimes you need to call a friend…with power tools….not afraid of ladders and electricity ….and will crawl in your steamy attic when it’s 100 degrees outside. Now, that’s a friend.

My neighbor and good friend, Mr. Mike, (yes, I call him Mr. Mike) was kind enough to install that new RING DOORBELL security system in my house a few months ago. I have the greatest neighbors and friends. I doggie sit for Mr. Mike when he has to travel, and sometimes I’ll pick up some groceries for him if I’m at the store. If I’m out walking, I’ll stop by and take Bella for a walk around the pond. Whenever I need something or have a problem around the house, I just call Mr. Mike and he’s on the computer researching or at my house with his tools.

While I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, for some reason, the RING system stopped working. When I told Mr. Mike about it when I got home, he came right over with his power tools and a flashlight. Yesterday was a very hot day, well over 100 with the heat index, and even Mr. Mike couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the doorbell. It wasn’t getting power. He crawled up in the attic, which was more like an Easy Bake Oven up there. After taking everything apart, removing devices, and spending over an hour testing and sweating,  he went home to investigate possibilities on his computer. 

After ordering a part on next day Amazon and stopping at the hardware store for a new doorbell unit, Mr. Mike came over today and climbed back up into the attic, installed a new transformer, reattached the RING system at the door, changed out the old doorbell system that was broken, and VOILA, I was back up and running.

OK, don’t tell him I was taking pictures of his handy work. (I did ask if his last will and testament was up to date when he was joining the live wires.)

The RING system is pretty cool. It takes pictures of people and motion near your door, even at night. It notifies you on your cell phone or computer, even if you are away. It takes great pictures, doesn’t it? “Hi, Mr, Mike!” (Don’t tell)

The point of the story is, I have the greatest neighbors. I’ve always been blessed with great neighbors who have become good friends. 

Thank you, Mr. Mike. I owe you A LOT of doggie sitting and frozen pizzas. Lots!

Friday:) Furry Friends and a Fiery Sunset

24 Jun

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


Back to my routine, back to friends, grocery stores, walking, lunches and visiting furry friends. I’ve always loved animals, but I’ll admit, it’s been VERY nice these past few years not having to take care of two big active dogs. I can travel whenever I want without kenneling, running around, and working my world around my pets. 

The good news is, having neighbors and friends with pets, I have the pleasure of walking a dog whenever I like, visiting with cats, and guess what? I get to go home or go out for the entire day. It’s like being a pet grandma.

Bella is Mr. Mike’s little dog. She is so cute and sweet and loves me to death. When I go out for a walk,I check   and see if Bella wants to take a walk with me. She always does.

Sometimes, my neighbor Diane goes away for a couple of days, and she asks me to stop in and check on her cat. He’s cute and sweet and loves me to death. (Are you seeing a pattern here?)

This evening, after I took Bella for a walk, then visited with Parcel, I continued my walk in the unbearable heat. The air was thick and steamy with a storm on the horizon. Hopefully it will cool off a little. But, it’s just the beginning of summer, AND it is Texas, after all.

A fiery sunset to end the day. 

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

― C. JoyBell C.

Thursday:) This Is Just How I Roll

23 Jun

“Life is full of confusion. Confusion of love, passion, and romance. Confusion of family and friends. Confusion with life itself. What path we take, what turns we make. How we roll our dice.”

~Matthew Underwood*********************

I thought I’d share one of my favorite tips for not wasting leftover birthday cake, or cupcakes, or regular iced cakes. After Mom’s birthday party, there were a lot of leftovers. I took a couple of trays of my homemade goodies to the local Fire Station, but we still had half of the store bought birthday cake. The second day, cakes start drying out, and I’m not a super fan of leftover store bought cakes.

No one else wanted any more cake, so as not to waste it, I did my famous mush up the cake, frosting and all, and knead until the consistency of smooth clay. Then, I roll them  into small cake balls. Waste not, want not.

It’s really messy, but really fun. The cake had bright pink flowers and piping with white frosting, so the resulting cake balls were made with yellow cake and pink frosting. They turned out kinda peachy or salmon color. (Yellow and pink make peach-art lesson) I put them on a baking sheet and popped in the freezer.

Then, a few hours later, I put them in small freezer bags. Now, if Mom wants a little treat, or a friend stops by, she can take one or two or a bunch out of the freezer. They’re even yummy frozen.


Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom~ Don’t Talk to Strangers ~ NOT

22 Jun

“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”

~Fyodor Dostoevsky*******************

Back home to McKinney today. My sister took me to O’Hare early this morning to catch my flight to Dallas. No traffic jams, and we arrived in record time, so I had two hours before my flight boarded. I like to get to the airport early so I can 1.Not stress about being late 2.Relax and have some breakfast 3.Talk to strangers and meet new people.

I printed out my boarding pass at the kiosk, tsa approved, so I got through security in just a few minutes, THEN, when I went to get my bag off the rollers, there on the floor, right at my feet, was a lucky penny. (Good sign.)

I walked through the crowds and over to the food court, stopping at McDonald’s. With my brown bag with Golden Arches in hand, I scouted around to see where I would sit. Here’s what I always do at the airport…I look for someone sitting alone, and I go over and say, “Do you mind if I join you?”

I saw a gentleman with an airport employee badge on who just sat down. When I asked to join him, he was more than cordial. I introduced myself, and he said his name was Ray. Ray, a baggage handler, was on his lunch break at 9:30 a.m. I asked how he was doing, and he said tired. He started work at 4 a.m. 

(Ray had his serious selfie face on here, but he mostly had a wonderful smile when we talked.)

Ray and I talked a long time about family, work, Chicago, McKinney, hopes, dreams, faith, and more. It’s amazing how you can get to know a person pretty well in less than an hour. Subtle cues, gestures and words tell a lot about a person. Ray was very polite and called me Mam when I asked to sit down. He stood up to shake hands upon introduction. Before he started eating, he folded his hands and said a prayer before he ate. He smiled and joked and was open and honest when we talked, sharing stories about his life and his family. So, within a short time, I met a man of faith, a caring father, a man who admitted to having a turbulent troubled youth, but now blessed with a good happy life. Conclusion: a good, kind, sincere, hard working, optimistic, honest man of faith.

That’s why I like to talk to strangers. Everyone has an interesting life. Everyone has an interesting story. You’ll never hear that story unless you talk to them. It was a pleasure to meet Ray. We shook hands and said goodbye, wishing the other a good day. I said, “Take care Ray. Maybe I’ll see you next time I visit Chicago.” 

It was a good day, smooth flight, and safe arrival. My friend Karen picked me up at the airport, we stopped for an early dinner, and caught up on the latest news. 

When I got home, I unpacked, which entailed pretty much just throwing all the laundry in the washer. Then, I went for a long needed walk. I talked to a few neighbors on my journey, and caught the evening sunset. The sun was out till well after 8p.m. Because it’s the first day of summer.

It’s good to be home. Happy First Day of Summer!!!

Tuesday:) Time for Friends, Toasts, and Tiny Toes

21 Jun

I have no idea what I’m going to say when I stand up to give a toast. But I do know that anything I say I find funny. 

~Don Rickles

Here’s a toast to all my dear friends, here and there and everywhere. Cheers to all my family and friends, the ones I leave behind and will miss here in Chicago, and to all the ones I’ll see when I get back home to McKinney. Both places are home.

Toasting with Debbie. Friends for forty years.

More old friends for nearly twenty-five years.

Mom and cousins. Family and friends.

Now, for the tiny toes… the cutest toes I’ve ever seen. Grandbaby toes.