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Friday:) Friends, Food and Firemen

6 Feb

“It’s funny, the more friends you have in a room, the more room you have for friends.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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An early lunch with friends was a great way to start my day, sharing good times and good food. Then, off to the store to pick up some snacks and food for my senior art group, hotdogs, potato chips, cake, Coke, and vanilla caramel swirl ice cream. More sharing of food.

My friends at Towne Creek Senior Apartments are always glad to see me. Today, we were working on glass painting. They each painted two cut glass covered trinket containers. A little project for Valentine’s Day. One to keep, and one to give away. 

  
  

Mr. Angel is a wonderful artist. He also does wood carvings, and doesn’t mind being the only man in the group. 

  
Here they are, busy at work. While we were painting, an ambulance and fire truck pulled up to take one of the residents to the hospital. These happens quite frequently at a senior housing complex. 

  
Unfortunately, a common occurrence with seniors. Thank goodness, nothing too serious.

  
Then, we painted some small glass bowls, using reverse painting. Aren’t these cute?

  
  
Sharing food and friendship, art and painting. “It’s funny, the more friends you have in a room, the more room you have for friends.”

Theme Song Thursday:) My House

5 Feb

 “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” 

― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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While I was on my walk today, I saw the cutest little house drawn on the sidewalk with chalk. Obviously, the young artist loved his or her house, and wanted to share the drawing wih the world. That’s what artists do. It made me think of my house. I love my house, my neighborhood, and my many friends. 

My house is a very, very fine house, with no cats in the yard, life used to be so hard….

  
  
My first day in my new house, August 22, 2014. It’s a very, very fine house. 

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” 

― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

  
A lovely house complete with curtains in the window. It’s a very, very fine house. 

Wednesday:) What Do You See?

4 Feb

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

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“I see beauty in so many everyday things. Look closely and you’ll see it too.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

   
   
I crank up the music and enjoy the colors, and the movement, and the beauty. I love the drive-through car wash. What do you see? 

 

Tuesday:) Today’s Funny Face

3 Feb

“I see funny faces in the strangest places. Especially in the mirror.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

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I started off the day with a lively Zumba class at the YMCA. I was pretty sore from yesterday’s kickboxing class, and I was up late last night finishing up a calligraphy project. But, once I hit the floor and heard the energizing songs, weary muscles and only five hours of sleep just melted into the music.

Later in the afternoon, I went for a long walk with my neighbor, Diane. She said she had a pot roast cooking and the house smelled so good. I pretend-looked at my watch that I wasn’t wearing and said, “I’ll be by around 7.” I joke like that with everyone, but she invited me to come over for dinner at 7. Pot roast? Who says no to pot roast? Not me.

I don’t like to go anywhere empty handed, so I came home and made a batch of brownies. If you know me, and some of you do, I usually make a funny face with the brownie mix before I stir and bake. It’s a long-lived personal tradition and weird obsession that I have. “I see faces in the strangest places.”

 

 Now, isn’t that funny? Oops! Almost 7. On my way for dinner.
  

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

1 Feb

“The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.” 

― Paulo Coelho

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Wow! That’s a pretty powerful quote! Not only are we supposed to be patient, we have to be content wih what we encounter. Not a common trait in today’s fast paced, impatient, demanding, never satisfide, disposable world that we live in. 

Another beautiful McKinney morning. Mary and I greeted before 9 o’clock Mass, and she was also greeted with several hugs by her friends entering the doors. I in turn said, “I need a hug, too,” so I received several nice hugs from strangers. But, maybe now we’re friends too. 

There was another baptism this week, always special. Then the second reading was the well known verse, “Love is patient…” It’s such a good description of what love should be. If only it could always hold true.

From  1 Corinthians
Love is patient, love is kind.It is not jealous, it is not pompous,

It is not inflated, it is not rude,

it does not seek its own interests,

it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,

it does not rejoice over wrongdoing

but rejoices with the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things…

  
After Mass, I stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast and people watching. Not many people to watch, mostly drive through traffic. Once home, I worked on a few projects, then went for a long walk. I borrowed my doggie neighbor for part of my walk. She likes to walk and I enjoy her company.

  
After Bella got tired and returned, I continued my walk. There were a lot of kids out playing today. It was T-shirt weather today. (Enjoy while we can.)

  
Girls and boys, tall and short, bikes and basketballs strewn about. Just like summer in January.

A beautiful day in the neighborhood. A lovely Sunday.

  

Saturday:) Riding Off Into the Sunset

31 Jan

“At the end of the day, you can either basque in the glow of the sunset, or turn your back to the to the cold haze of the moon.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal.” ― Elbert Hubbard

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There are many choices to be made every day. It’s the old,”Is the glass half full or half empty,” scenario. Heck with that! I like to think of the glass as always full to the brim, and I just have to be careful not to spill any as I meander my way through life. 

Today was a perfect sunny day. It was in the 70’s, a bit windy, but it’s winter for goodness sake. I went to Zumba in the morning, did a few things around the house, and sat on the driveway in my chair to catch a few rays. Later, I stopped at Sprouts to get some flowers for Kaylyn, who had her baby boy, Jason, this morning, and while I was there, they just so happened to have some wine on sale. I usually go to Sprouts after church, and you can’t buy wine until after noon on Sundays, so today was my lucky day.

The Square was crowded with shoppers, diners, and folks like me just out enjoying the beautiful day. I’m lucky that I get to visit with my friends at Sweet Spot Bakery. My friend, Elizabeth, is the baker and Kaylyn’s mom, so I got to hear all the details of Jason’s arrival. She was in the back, in a tizzy, trying to get an order of cake balls done for a customer waiting up front. I asked what I could do to help, so I drizzled a few blue swirls, and sprinkled them, while she dipped and boxed the last few remaining treats. 

Later, Miss Kathy was out back talking and visiting with the mounted patrol officers. Ranger and Ontario, the magnificent horses, are frequent visitors because Kathy has them spoiled, giving them apples and treats all the time.

  
Ranger likes to give Miss Kathy kisses, and request more treats. 

   
 
The children love to pet the horses, and Ontario (L) and Ranger (R) love the attention.

  
Life is funny, beautiful and scary, all rolled into one. The horses made me think of this quote. We have to saddle up every day, even if we’re scared to death. Then, and only then, can we “ride off into the sunset.” SADDLE UP!

  
Riding off into the sunset.

A Fine Friday, Friends, and a Feather

30 Jan

“It is a very beautiful day. The woman looks around and thinks: ‘there cannot ever have been a spring more beautiful than this. I did not know until now that clouds could be like this. I did not know that the sky is the sea and that clouds are the souls of happy ships, sunk long ago. I did not know that the wind could be tender, like hands as they caress – what did I know – until now?” ― Unica Zürn

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It’s hard to believe that it’s late January. It was “a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” (Thanks Mr. Rogers.) I went for a morning walk, had an impromptu lunch with Lynda, visited the gals at Sweet Spot Bakery on the Square, sat in the sun, then home for another walk.

The ducks were enjoying the 75 degree temps as much as I was.

  
You know what I love about my neighborhood? I love to see all the kids playing in the streets, riding their bikes, throwing the football around, shooting some baskets, and enjoying being outside. I love that these kids are all sizes, all races, big kids looking after the younger ones, just out there playing instead of zombies in front of a computer screen or television. Makes me miss my boys!

  
Here’s a lucky feather I found.

  
It was a fine day. I hope you had a fine day too.

  

Theme Song Thursday:) The Moon is a Loyal Companion

29 Jan

“The moon is a loyal companion.It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.

Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.” 

― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

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Have you looked at the moon lately? It is so beautiful! When you look up in the clear dark expanse of sky, the tiny stars flecked all around, you can’t help but shudder in awe. When I saw the moon the other night, I thought to myself, “Wow! Everyone who is looking up at the sky right now, is seeing the same amazing moon.” I have a habit of wishing on the first star I see in the evening. You know, the old, “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.” But, then there’s the moon. We should be able to wish on the moon. I like to wish on the moon. 

So, when I saw the moon and made my wish on the first star and on the marvelous moon, I thought of the song from the movie “An American Tail,” about the moon. It’s a beautiful song. It will make you think differently about the moon, and about the people important to you.

  
   
 http://youtu.be/RkI-B2JWSZI

“The moon is a loyal companion.”

Wednesday:) What Do You See?

28 Jan

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer” ― Walter De Mulder

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 Who is an artist? What do artists see? Everyone is an artist in their own right. If you are a writer, painter, dancer, photographer, teacher, or student, everyone is an artist. Everyone who thinks, sees, feels, and shares, is an artist. 

What do you see?

  
This is just an oil spot on the street, but I see something different. Look closely. What do you see?

I see an elderly lady, her hair up in a grandma bun. Do you see her eye, protruding nose, dark lips. A profile of a pen old woman. She has a warm wooly scarf around her neck. She’s out in the snow. Do you see it now? Maybe you see something else.

 

“Always seeing something…” 

Tuesday:) Taking Chances

26 Jan

“Taking chances doesn’t mean you are brave. It means you are too scared to stand still.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Taking chances, trying new things, meeting new people, and all the other adventures that are flung at us on this hastily revolving planet, these are all part of life. Granted, some things may be awful, painful, or scary, but then again, some may be wonderful. You don’t know until you try.

Personally, I don’t like seafood. I’ve tasted different types of fish, yuck! I’ve tried to convince myself that I could like it, but I detest the taste, odor, appearance, well, I just hate it. But, I tried! I don’t like coffee either. It smells like skunk to me, and the taste is like bitter medicine, and it upsets my stomach. But, I tried it. We all have different palettes, and different tastes.

I’ve tried a lot of new things in the past few years. Some things I was forced to learn and experience as a result of a devastating divorce. But, after thirty-nine years of marriage, I was too scared to stand still. So, I bought a new house, started a new life, and learned to take care of myself. Granted, I had a lot of help and support along the way, but it was scary, none the less. 

Only my close personal friends know why taking a bubble bath on my birthday was a scary adventure, but I did it! Note: I am terrified of water. Baths, pools, lakes, oceans, yikes! They all make me nervous. I took a chance, (I also took a glass of wine) and I didn’t drown. I was very proud of myself. Maybe I’ll take another bath…next year…on my birthday.

  
 I have been blessed with so many old, true, and loving friends, and a wonderful family. And, I’ve  met some wonderful people, and made some new friends along my journey. How lucky am I?

  
 I’ll keep trying new things, meeting new people, and taking chances. “I’m too scared to stand still.”