Archive | July, 2018

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

31 Jul

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

Marcus Aurelius


Every day is a blessing, then multiply that by seven. Another wonderful week with friends, fine food, feathers, singing, dancing, and beautiful sunsets.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

30 Jul

“Your most precious, valued possessions and your greatest powers are invisible and intangible. No one can take them. You, and you alone, can give them. You will receive abundance for your giving.”

~W. Clement Stone


It’s still pretty darn hot here in McKinney, but it was only in the 80’s early this morning when I walked the dog. It was still a little overcast, so I was a happy camper. I love Sundays. I look forward to greeting at church before 9 o’clock Mass, hugging friends and strangers. Well, they’re not really strangers. We just don’t know each other yet.

I enjoy the big smile I get from little Avery when I hand her a little gift. I always have a Matchbox car for Liam, but he’s so fast, he gives me a hug and runs in the door before I can take a picture.

It was great to get a hug and chat with Gil before Mass. We haven’t seen him at our St. Helen’s Church group for several weeks.

Mr. Jerry is always kind and saves my seat while I’m outside greeting. Then, we usually stop for coffee after Mass.

Today’s Gospel was very appropriate. It was the story of Jesus performing a miracle by feeding the multitude with only five barley loaves and two fishes. Then, after all had eaten their fill, there were twelve baskets of fragments left…

Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,

and distributed them to those who were reclining,

and also as much of the fish as they wanted.

When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,

“Gather the fragments left over,

so that nothing will be wasted.”

So they collected them,

and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments

from the five barley loaves

that had been more than they could eat.


Father Arthur, a visiting priest, had an interesting homily. He works with college students at SMU, and asked us all, “How many of you are familiar with the term FOMO? Well, I was clueless. He explained that it stood for… Fear Of Missing Out. He went on to describe how so many people are obsessed with what they are missing or what they don’t have or how much more other people have instead of appreciating their blessings and the abundance they already have been given.

My take on it….

If we put our trust in God, have faith, and appreciate what we have been blessed with, He will always take care of us. Our blessings will multiply like the loaves and fishes, and there will be more than enough. If you think about it, the people who always want more and more, and they are jealous of everyone, those people are never satisfied, and they will never be happy. I count my blessings every day. They are endless. I can’t even count that high.

Saturday:) Strolling and Sitting Around the Square

28 Jul

“Walking . . . is how the body measures itself against the earth.”

Rebecca Solnit


A few of my CRHP sisters decided to have an impromptu coffee/Bible/shopping meeting this morning on the Square. Jamie invited the group to join her at Snug at 8 am to discuss this weekends’ Gospel readings, then walk over to the farmer’s market.

Well, 8 am is pretty early for me, especially since I rarely get to bed before 2 am. Last night, I went to bed early, around 1:30. When the alarm went off at 6:45, I didn’t groan or hit the snooze button, I jumped up and fed the dog, got dressed, took Bella for a long walk, and still had time to check my email for a few minutes.

There were just four of us, but that made for a cozier discussion. I plum forgot to take a group picture. Hmm? I must be slipping. After we discussed the readings, talked about families, and shared our thoughts, we strolled a few blocks over to the farmer’s market. (I remembered to take pictures.)

The colorful homegrown fruit and vegetable were very tempting. Most of the vendors had samples of their wares. My first stop was the Tamale Company booth. I’ve been on the search for a delicious homemade tasting tamal, like my mom and dad used to make. That will never be achieved, but I’m still on the quest. I just bought half a dozen chicken to check it out. I’ll let you know.

But, one thing I’m sure of is, the world’s best salsas. My dear friends, David and Michele Bernard have been making this sumptuous salsa for years, and started selling their yummy concoctions to the public. They are currently finalists in the H-E-B Quest for Texas Best in the salsa contest. Their charming son, Chase, was selling salsa like “hot cakes,” forgive the pun. “Hi Chase!”

Around the corner, I ran into my friend Leslie Luscombe, from Luscombe Farms in Anna, TX. Seeing as I was already on a Mexican food theme, I bought a jar of jalepeño peach jelly. This is divine mixed with softened cream cheese on crackers.

The quaint Square atmosphere would not be complete without a visit with the McKinney Mounted Patrol. Officer John and Ontario were appreciative of the partly cloudy skies and a shady tree. The visitors and children always love petting Ontario’s friendly nose. I know, I did.

After the farmer’s market, I stopped at Sweet Spot Bakery to visit with Miss Elizabeth and Kaylyn.

The McKinney Square is not just a quaint friendly place to visit, it’s a fun place with endless friends, fine food, and unique shopping. Gotta love McKinney!

Friday:) Finding Feathers

27 Jul

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”

~Emily Dickinson


It’s funny, the things that most people don’t even notice, mean so very much to me. I went walking early this morning before the excruciating oppressive Texas heat set in. I’m never looking for lucky pennies or lucky feathers, they just seem to appear beneath my feet. (Signs)

About two miles into my walk, a beautiful black and white feather was waiting for me on a warm speckled gray driveway. I smiled.

“Hope is a thing of feathers….”

I continued my walk, enjoying the temporary cloud cover and the glorious sky that painted the eastern sky. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”


Theme Song Throwback Thursday

27 Jul

“Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuse.”

~Robert A. Heinlein


Where do the years go? It seems like yesterday that I was a little girl. Now, when I look in the mirror, that little girl has has grey hair and wrinkles. But then God gives me a beautiful little grand-daughter to watch grow up. I look in her big brown eyes, and I can see myself, my mother, and my little boy now a man. Where do the years go?

Throw back Thursday… “When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what will I be?”…

My little Belle. May all your big dreams come true.

Wednesday:) What I See When I Walk

26 Jul

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”



Not everyone sees beauty in the simple every day sights and sounds in their world. There’s a big secret in being able to do this…

just open your eyes.

When I walk around my neighborhood, I can’t believe all the beauty around me. Thank goodness for my iPhone that takes such wonderful pictures. From dawn till dusk, every new day is a miracle.

This is what I see when I walk…

From dawn till dusk, every new day is a miracle.

Tuesday:) Take A Little Time To Share

25 Jul

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.”

~Howard Schultz


I never run out of reasons to extol the praises of our wonderful community here in McKinney. A couple of weeks ago, a friend posted on Facebook that the little food pantry box in front of The Art House had been very low on donations. The box relies on friends and neighbors dropping off food and supplies for those in need. It works on the honor system. “Take what you need. Give what you can.”

When I go shopping, I always keep an eye out for some good sales or specials. Usually canned goods are a good value, and they hold up well in all kinds of weather. When I arrived, the little box was pretty low. I try and stop by with a few things whenever I’m over by the Square. I have been blessed with more than enough in my pantry, so why not share with those not as fortunate.

My meager contribution wasn’t much, but hopefully it helped out a little. I even remembered to take some extra plastic bags to carry items home.

If you happen to be in the area and have a few food items to share, I know it will be greatly appreciated.

If many people share just a little, well, that adds up to a lot.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Pretty Peek

23 Jul

“You have to surround yourself with really good people and have a very thick skin.”

~Cindy Margolis


Another fine week of fun, friends, faith, food, painting, being artsy, and being a lazy lizard. It’s been sooo hot. How hot was it, Miss Toni? It was so hot, I took my wet laundry outside to dry because it would dry faster than in my Maytag dryer. Actually, I only did that with one shirt that I was going to wear right away. It dried in ten minutes.

It was a great week. A week in a peek….

Sunday Sermon, Scorching Heat and Some Other Stuff

23 Jul

“There are quite enough sheep already – be a shepherd: be somebody who’s bold and who leads.”

~Matt Bevin


Wow! Another really scorchin’ Sunday. I’ll let the picture do the talking.

Today’s Gospel was about Jesus feeling sorry for the weary apostles. He told them they needed to rest. When the people continued to follow, Jesus felt sorry for the crowds. He continued to preach despite everyone being hungry and tired.

My take on it… Like a good shepherd, Jesus loved his flock and thought about their needs above His. As parents, friends, neighbors, and leaders, we should be good shepherds and think of others before ourselves. There are too many selfish people in the world. We need to teach by example.


MK 6:30-34

The apostles gathered together with Jesus

and reported all they had done and taught.

He said to them,

“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

People were coming and going in great numbers,

and they had no opportunity even to eat.

So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.

People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.

They hastened there on foot from all the towns

and arrived at the place before them.

When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,

his heart was moved with pity for them,

for they were like sheep without a shepherd;

and he began to teach them many things.

After Mass, I usually stop for coffee or the store. But, today I went straight to the Walmart auto repair. When I started my car this morning, the symbol for tire problems was lit up. Not again! A couple of months ago, I had a nail in my tire.

A nice young man came out to help. He checked all my tires, added air in one that was low, but couldn’t find any nails or punctures. Another man came out to help check, and neither could find a problem. Keep in mind, it was 109 degrees out there. They told me to drive around a day or two and see if the light comes back on. If it did, bring it back and they’d check again,

Since I was at Walmart anyway, I popped in and walked around to pick up some more cherry pie filling. Uh oh! They already had huge displays of back to school supplies. An artist can’t have too many school supplies, especially when they’re on sale, even when there are no kids at home.

I was very proud of myself. I exercised amazing restraint. I only bought some glue sticks, Elmer’s glue and a pack of index cards.

That was just in the school aisle. I went wild in the baking aisle and bought about a dozen cans of different pie fillings, more bags of chocolate chips, and some ice cream. Then, I found a new king size comforter set in the bedding aisle. Oops! I should have gone straight home. Too much temptation.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday:) Somethin’s Bakin’ In the Oven…Again

22 Jul

“Baking is like washing–the results are equally temporary.”

― Patricia Briggs


Well, there’s always something baking in my oven. If it isn’t a dozen hand-painted wine glasses, it’s a zillion cup cakes and brownies. That’s just how I roll. Oops! And that’s how I attained that big roll on my belly. Truth be told, I really don’t eat very many things that I bake. I mostly give it all away. I’m a lot smarter than I look.

Today was another one of those baking marathon days. Our CRHP 28 group from St. Gabriel’s was providing dinner for the women’s retreat today. I signed up for… you guessed it, brownies. We were expecting to serve around 50 ladies, including our group. I thought that maybe brownies alone might be a little boring, so I decided to also make some of my marvelous mini chocolate cupcakes with cherry in the middle.

Of course, since I was baking anyway, it’s just as easy to double the recipe and have some extra to take to my friends at the fire stations.

First, I have to tell you that I always have that warm nostalgic feeling when I take out my ancient harvest gold General Electric mixer. I smile, thinking how Mom gave that to me the summer of 1975. Man! It still works like new. They don’t build them like that anymore.

I made 2 batches of brownies and 72 mini cupcakes. Everybody loves the surprise cherry in the middle and the homemade frosting.

I packed up my containers, 3 to take to church and 1 for station 9 down the road, and 1 for my old friends at station 5. I decided to stop at the fire stations on the way to church. It is sooooo hot outside, the frosting would slip off and liquefy if they stayed in the car more than ten minutes. It was around 108 when I left the house at 5 pm.

Here are a couple of appreciative lads over at the 9.

Then, this young firefighter, Jeff, was so considerate. He asked my name, and where I was from. I said I live up by the Baylor Hospital. He thought maybe I was from an organization. I think he must be new. He doesn’t know Miss Toni, the crazy brownie lady yet. I just told him that I like to bake, and I like to share with the fire fighters. I really appreciate what they do for us all.

Then, off to church. Our CRHP 28 was providing and serving dinner for the retreat. Our theme was Mexican food. I told them my little joke. “Growing up, we just called it food.” Sometimes I get funny looks because no one realizes that I’m Mexican-American.

Oh my goodness! There was so much wonderful food. There were about 50 ladies all together, 14 from our group, 36 on the retreat, and then Father Don stopped by and joined the retreat ladies for dinner. We still had a ton of food left over. Everyone was taking doggie bags home, enjoying the home cooking and specialties of their friends. I didn’t take anything home. Have you seen the inside of my fridge? I ate a huge plate of rice and beans and beef, and nachos and taquitos and guacamole, and more. I was stuffed. Actually, it’s been so hot, this is the first solid food that I’ve eaten since Wednesday. I’ve been living on smoothies, ice water, cold drinks and a Black Russian on Friday.

Here are some of my beautiful CRHP 28 Sisters. We had such a good time cooking, preparing, and serving others. Isn’t that the purpose in life?

I am so blessed to be part of this gorgeous group of sisters.