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Spectacular Saturday

24 Aug

I want every day to be a fresh start on expanding what is possible.
~Oprah Winfrey.
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It was a very long day. I’m talking mikes long. It started out when I picked up Matt from the airport. His flight was delayed, then road construction, we didn’t get hone till almost 1 am. I stayed up packing more boxes till almost 5. Then up at 7:15 to wait for the movers.

I will summarize…they were amazing.

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Matt was up early unhooking tv’s and pacing more boxes. Matt was amazing!

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Lynne, Karen and Linda Grossman each stopped by for a visit. Can you say girlfriends? They came to wish me well and brighten my spirits.

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I have the bestest friends in the world. Lynne brought pizzas and Linda brought my favorite beverage. Matt and I enjoyed the pizza, and I christened “the goose. ‘

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Matt and I stopped back at the old house to pick up some things. Look what was waiting for me on the bathroom counter.

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I am so exhausted now. that I’ve actually nodded off several times while writing this. Time to finish my drink and get to bed. Tomorrow I will get up early to go to church and thank God for HISang blessings. Miles to go before I rest
Bye! See y ‘a ll later.

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Montage Monday: A Christmas Week in a Peek

31 Dec

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”
Peg Bracken
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I certainly hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! In between the stress and bliss, the heartache and the heartwarming aspects of life, we need to give thanks for the blessings we do have. I’d like to thank the many friends and family members, old and new, (some pretty darn old, you know who you are) for being that special spark in my life.

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A week in a peek.

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Wednesday Words of Wisdom: There Is Only One Religion

26 Dec

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
My religion is simple. My religion is kindness.
Dalai Lama
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It’s Christmas Day, a day for family, friends, laughter and joy. Not everyone is so lucky or blessed. I happen to be one of the lucky ones. My sons called me today, as did many of my dear friends. My friend Karen and her husband invited me to their home for dinner so I wouldn’t be alone for Christmas the first time in my life. I baked and dropped off some more cookies to take to Fire Stations 2 and 8 on my way. After a lovely dinner, I stopped to visit my sweet friend, Della. We shared a cup of tea, cookies and conversation. What could have been a sad and lonely day, turned out to be a delightful day, all due to the kindness, love and sharing of time with others. Yes, I am truly blessed. Feliz Navidad!

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Why, what did you have for breakfast today, Toni? Well, chocolate chip cookie dough, of course!

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Firefighter Craig Ferguson over at Station 8.

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Firefighter Brent Jones at Station 2. Don’t we have the nicest, most handsome firefighters? And they like cookies, too!

Yes, there is only one religion! When you share kindness, you receive kindness in return.

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Tuesday Tips and Chocolate Chips: When the Going gets Tough

24 Dec

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
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When the going gets tough, the tough bake cookies.
ME
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Yes, I’ve been baking my Christmas cookies. Yesterday, I took the first batch over to McKinney Fire Station 5, as I have since we moved here in ’04. Firefighter Dave Paranteau answered the door and welcomed me. I asked if I could see their Christmas tree, and was delighted when I saw that all the ornaments I had painted over the years were prominently displayed.

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Dave and I ended up chatting for about half an hour. Turns out he is a graphic designer and we exchanged art, painting, and creative stories. That is, until the alarm sounded and a call came in. Dave said he’d try and make it to a McKinney creative Community gathering sometime.

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Well, that was yesterday. Today was a tough day. It’s Christmas Eve and my mind and spirit are not in a very happy place. I went to my 8:30 Zumba class in the morning and wiggled and jiggled out a lot of frustration. Then, there was an even tougher afternoon. When I finished feeling sorry for myself, I took out the huge bowls of cookie dough and started baking cookies. Thus, when the going gets tough…

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The holidays can be wonderful or they can be difficult, but one thing is always true. If you hold Christmas in your heart, love in your soul, and you know there are people out there that care about you, everything will be OK. Share your love AND share your chocolate chip cookies. Merry Christmas!

Montage Monday: Happy Holidays

24 Dec

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.
Washington Irving
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Christmas is just a heart beat away. The frantic shopping and wrapping and hustle and bustle probably has most people in a panic. Not me! I’m enjoying the leisurely baking of cookies, some now, some later. I have no hustle in my bustle. It was a good joyous week spent with good friends and good thoughts.

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Sentimental Sunday: Christmas Traditions

23 Dec

There are so many Christmas traditions that connect us to our past. Many of my family traditions have been discarded or omitted this year, literally. While cleaning and purging the garage this summer, I gave away my nativity set and several bins of decorations, lights and ornaments. They just didn’t seem important anymore. Those traditions would never be the same. My family would never be the same.

But, one tradition I will never give up is my Christmas cookie baking marathon. I may not bake the hundreds and hundreds of cookies as in previous years, but I’ll be baking. Another sentimental tradition is taking a big batch of cookies to my local fire station. I’ve been doing this for over a dozen years and I don’t plan on stopping now.

So, after Mass, I stopped to take a picture of the nativity scene out on the lawn outside of church. If I didn’t have my own, I could look at the photo. That would have to do.

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Then, I went to the grocery store to buy fresh eggs, butter, flour and all the other ingredients for my baking marathon. My pristine kitchen would soon become a big gloppy mess. I’m tired of trying to keep the house meticulously clean in case a realtor called for a showing. I had flour flying and goo gliding along every surface. It was invigorating.

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Before.

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After.
I made a huge double batch of chocolate chip and peanut butter cookie dough. I put the two big bowls of batter in the fridge so I can bake them tomorrow afternoon. This way I can take nice warm cookies to the lucky recipients. “Nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the oven.”

This is the reflection of MY values, desires, affections, traditions. Merry Christmas!

Saturday:Sharing, Caring and a Smile

21 Dec

A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.
Denis Waitley
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I don’t know if it’s just the holiday season, or the hustle and bustle of the world swirling around me, but I’ve been busier than a horsefly at a rodeo. Everyone seems to be smiling and saying, “Merry Christmas.” I love it!

Today, when I opened up my email, I noticed a coupon from Walgreens for a free 8×10 photo for today only using the coupon code today8x10. So, I quick downloaded a photo of the TOTS from our party on Thursday and in an hour, I’ll be the proud owner of a free enlargement. Of course, aim not running over there in an hour. I’ll get it tomorrow after church. Thus, the sharing, quick…go order a free 8×10. You have until midnight.

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We exchanged gifts at our writing group this morning. Mandy had given me a pair of beautiful 1 carat diamond earrings…and they’re REAL? Well, they look real, so they probably are.

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Julia gave me a lovely set of two handmade soaps embellished with real fragrance rosebuds. I hung them on my Christmas tree. So beautiful.

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Liz brought us each a cute ceramic mug with hot chocolate mix inside, which is perfect, because I detest coffee and adore hot chocolate. My friends know me so well. Thus, the caring.

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While I was traipsing around the Square all afternoon, I had a big bag of those little wrapped candy canes on my arm. I passed them out to friends I bumped into and strangers having lunch or walking past me outside. Everyone said , “Thank you, Merry Christmas!” And you know what? Everyone gave me a big smile! PRICELESS!!!!!!!!