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Montage Monday: A Week in a Peek

25 Mar

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.”
― Napoleon
It was a good week to keep on keepin’ on. A busy week filled with activities, friends, road trips and a lot of exercise really helped fill the days. It’s getting a little warmer and HOPE springs eternal…or something like that.




Saturday Safety Net:Keep On Keeping On

23 Mar

“One of the best protections against disappointment is to have a lot going on.”
― Alain de Botton
The twenty-four hours that make up each and every day are difficult to fill. At least five or six hours can be successfully occupied with sleep, but what about the rest?

Normally my writing group meets Saturday morning, but we didn’t today. So, I went to Zumba instead. That’s only an hour, and it went by too fast. I came home, put on my gym shoes and went for a fast walk, twice around. Then, straighten up the house, shower, change and head off to the Square.

A leisurely lunch at Snug while checking emails on my ipad. The yogurt parfait with all that yummy fruit and granola is divine. Plus, I got my usual “Hey, Miss Toni, ” and a big bear hugs from Daniel and Austin.


Off to Art On The Veranda to visit with Dana and Judy. Their shop is filled with fabulous artwork and handcrafted items made by local,artisans. There was a jewelry making class going on, so I stopped to check it out. Tammy Gilchrest was teaching a riveted stamped pendant class.


Afterwards, I spent several hours chatting with Elizabeth and Kathy at Sweet Spot Bakery. I had some paints, brushes and notecards in my car, so I decided to sit there and paint a while, just trying to fill up a few more hours.





It was a pretty chilly day. By the time I got home, but it was only 6pm and still light. Well, not to waste more day light or hours, I strapped on those gym shoes again and went for another brisk walk. Only a single this time.

Now, I’m just writing this blog, thinking about what to make for dinner and how to fill the rest of the night before those few hours of restless sleep.

Having a lot going on still isn’t a protection against disappointment, it just fills up the time.



Tuesday: Tea Time and Tunes

19 Mar

“When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?”
― Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Our Tuesday tea time and tunes at Sweet Spot Bakery has become quite the ritual. Different friends pop in and out. We chat, sing, sip tea and enjoy a lovely afternoon. Today, a young mom and her ten month old son joined us. The little guy enjoyed the music and running up and down the entire length of the shop.

It was a gorgeous afternoon on the Square in downtown McKinney. The sun was shining and the air was filled with laughter.

Kay, the famous ukulele player.

Andromeda and Elijah.


What better way to spend the day! Karen T. and Carolyn stopped by for a visit, and spent time chatting. Nice day.


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.


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.


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!