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Montage Monday: happy St. Patrick’s Day Y’all!

18 Mar


Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Y’all. (Combination Irish/Texas expression.) here’s another week in a peek. I already have a host of friends that never ends…so wishing the same for you!



Saturday: Ladies With Class…Painting Class, That Is.

16 Mar

“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
― Albert Einstein
I had the pleasure of teaching a painting class at Art on the Veranda in downtown McKinney this afternoon. Our goal was to paint two wine glasses after an hour or so of practicing different single stroke painting techniques. I demonstrated several examples of flowers, leaves, vines, etc. before we started to practice. The four ladies in the class had never painted with this method, and honestly, I have to say, they were amazing. See for yourself…
(It also helps to have a wonderful teacher. That would be me…ha…ha…)

I agree with Mr. Einstein. I really don’t teach my pupils, I provide the conditions, give them a few tips, show them some examples, and hold their hands along the way. Really, I hold their hands. They double load their brush , then I guide their hand so they can feel the angle and pressure of each stroke. You’d be surprised how helpful that is. I’ve never had a student that wasn’t more than thrilled with their finished artwork, especially the novices. A few more pictures. Aren’t they great?

Everyone was so quiet, but having fun.

Debbie loved her “yellow rose of Texas” wine glasses and bottle.

Anna was a natural. I told her she could teach the next class.

Trudy was practicing her wine pouring skills. Very nice. Don’t spill.

Linda painted some lovely flowers. When they were on the table next to my examples, I couldn’t tell which were hers or mine. Beautiful.

I had a great time, but you know what I love the best about these classes? I love the proud smile that everyone has when they hold up their work for the photo op. I know a few ladies who will be enjoying a glass of wine a little bit more than usual.


Friday Friends, Art, and More Friends

15 Mar

“Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected.”
― Charles Lamb
Yesterday was yet another busy day. I went to my Zumba class at 8:30, changed really quickly and ran, (actually drove) over to the Heard Craig for the monthly Art Club of McKinney meeting. I missed some of the 9:30-10 meeting, but arrived in time for the guest demonstrator.
Program: Darla Bostick, “Dramatic Watercolors”
Darla gave an informative and humorous demo of using acrylic paints with a watercolor technique.


Very interesting.
After the meeting, a bunch of us went over to Snug for lunch. It was a beautiful day, so we sat outside and enjoyed one of the rare warm days we’ve had lately. I have the nicest friends!

I walked around the square and visited with friends at Sweet Spot bakery and Art on the Veranda. My car was filthy, so I stopped at the car wash! drove home and ran in, put on my gym shoes and went for a walk. Half way through my walk, I ran into my neighbor Debbie. She said her daughter, Kat, was home from college and would love to see me. Another couple hours visiting and chatting. I finished my walk, getting home around 7:30.

Well, that was around eleven hours of running around with friends and having fun. Yep, I keep busy, talk a lot of nonsense, but my nonsense is respected and actually…it’s expected.


Theme Song Thursday: Community ( This one’s cute! )

14 Mar

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”
― Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist
The second Tuesday evening of every month, a really cool group gets together here in our awesome city. It’s called McKinney Creative Community. It’s a pot luck dinner and networking group of artists, writers, dancers, musicians, educators, etc. (You can find it on Facebook. Everyone’s welcome.)

We now have a permanent home at SPARC, a neat old house where creative classes are taught. We bring food to share, do a lot of socializing, then have a meet and greet, where we introduce ourselves and say what’s new and good in our lives. I’ve met a lot of new and interesting people here, and of course, I always make my famous brownies.

I just love McKinney and all the talented, creative, and loving people that make up our city. There is a true sense of “community” here, and everyone is welcome.

It was a beautiful evening and we sat outside and chatted and shared.

There was so much delicious food that I even had left over brownies to take home. Seeing as I kinda quit eating sweets, I took a few over to the kids next door and then took the rest over to my usual brownie drop off location, Fire Station 5.

I picked up the outside lobby phone and pressed Station 5. “Hi, it’s Toni with some brownies.” A quick reply of, “I’ll be right there,” followed.

I asked if I could take a quick picture for my blog, and Firefighter Stephens said, “I believe we’ve done this before.” I said, “Yep, and we’ll be doing it for a long time.” He said it was perfect timing, as they had just eaten and hadn’t had dessert.

I love my community!

Tuesday: Tips and Tunes

11 Mar

“How cruelly sweet are the echoes that start, when memory plays an old tune on the heart!”
― Eliza Cook
OK! I made my brownies this morning and wasn’t going to make a funny face. What? I was in a hurry after Zumba, and still wanted to come up with an idea for my Tea and Tunes gathering, and pack up all that stuff before noon. Well, I grabbed a cowboy hat and some western paraphernalia. VOILA! Funny Face Brownie Mix!

Remember my tip? Always play with your food!

Then, off to Sweet Spot Bakery. Miss Kay played a few fun tunes on her ukulele. It’s Spring break here, so there were kids all around, and they enjoyed singing along.

Kay Griffith’s magical melodies.


Me and Margie

Had a fun day so far. I’m going to McKinney Creative Community tonight with afore mentioned brownies.(Baked of course.) Another busy day in McKinney.


Montage Monday: A Week in a Peek

11 Mar

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
― Vincent van Gogh
My week was jam-packed with friends, food, art, music, singing and writing my blog every evening. Every week, I say how the days fly by, because they really do. Really!


I love many things and many people, therein lies my strength. It’s a good thing! I am strong, I am blessed.


Second Saturday on the Square: McKinney Rocks

9 Mar

“If I cannot fly, let me sing.”
― Stephen Sondheim

McKinney, music, and making memories. Second Saturday on the Square always rocks. I can spend an entire day going from place to place, listening to the great musicians, young old, singing their hearts out.

Young Jaden Farnsworth serenaded us at Snug on the square in the afternoon. Later, my writing group, Mandy, Julia and Liz and ai met at Lone Star Winery for wine, cheese and singing along with Mike Allyn. Then the perfect sweet ending to a great day of fun and friends at Sweet Spot Bakery with John Wynn and a whole bunch of jammin’ friends.

Mike Allyn

Jaden Farnsworth

Mike Allyn

John Wynn and friends at Sweet Spot bakery.

Another great Saturday. I CAN fly!

Tuesday Tea Time, Treats and Tip for Today

5 Mar

There’s nothing wrong with me a little ice cream won’t fix.
~Author Unknown
Another fun Tuesday Tea Time at Sweet Spot bakery on the Square. Miss Kay brought her ukulele and is tried to teach me a few chords. I’ve got C down, that’s about it. We had a few delicious treats, did a little singing, and made cute initial notecards.





Miss Elizabeth was baking in the back kitchen and working on a seriously decadent red velvet concoction topped with ice cream and gooey chocolate and caramel sauces. YIKES! Fat Tuesday was appropriately named. Look at this!

Now for my tip. I’ve shared this one many times, but a little reminder couldn’t hurt. When cooking, baking, or doing just about anything…make it fun…laugh…share. I made these brownies last week for our tennis team’s home match. First, I make a funny face with the batter, then cut up a bunch of Snickers bars and sprinkled on top of the batter and baked. YUMMMM!!!



Montage Monday: “What is done in love is well done.”

3 Mar

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
― Vincent van Gogh
Why am I not surprised that it’s Monday already? If time flies, then I’m in a spaceship, traveling faster than the speed of light. Thank goodness today was a sleet/ice/weather shut down day in McKinney. The schools, federal buildings, and many businesses were closed. Even my doctor’s appointment was cancelled. The sun did grace the sky for most the day, so the roads had a chance to melt, and I think things should be back to normal by tomorrow. (Whatever normal,is nowadays.)

So, here is my week in a peek. Some crafty drawing and art classes, good weather, bad weather, lucky feather, with a side of vodka. A good week!



Saturday: Sights, Sounds and a Little Smirnoff

2 Mar

“Ignorance is a lot like alcohol: the more you have of it, the less you are able to see its effect on you.”
― Jay M. Bylsma
It was a glorious day today. I started out with an exhilarating one hour walk around the neighborhood. The birds were chirping with the promise of another delightful day. I called Mom after a quick shower. It’s always such a joy to hear her cheerful voice every morning. We laugh and talk and laugh some more. Then off to the Square.

Look at that, folks! Wow!

Our writing group met at 10 at Sweet Spot Bakery. We sipped our teas and coffees and solved all the problems of the literary world. Well, almost. Then a yummy lunch at Snug on the Square, followed by a leisurely stroll around, popping into shops and visiting with friends. Art On The Veranda had a jewelry making class going on. They were making box pendants from real silver clay. Way cool!

Well, not to take full advantage of the beautiful weather would be a sin, so, when I got home around 4:30, I put on my well worn sneakers and went for another walk. (The forecast for tomorrow is cold and rainy, possible sleet. Yikes!)
So, those were the sights and sounds of the day, and here’s the Smirnoff’s story. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you are getting ready to make your famous chocolate ice cream Black Russian cocktail and you can’t open the new vodka bottle. (Well, maybe if you didn’t have a new bottle.) Having weak wrists, arthritis and no wrench available, I twisted and yanked and cursed at the metal seal on the impenetrable bottle. I resorted to drastic measures, grabbed a knife, and slit its neck. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Ah, finally!