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Not So Sunny Sunday

14 Oct

This morning was cloudy, overcast and drizzly. My neighbors next door offered to help trim some trees and bushes in my front and back yard this weekend, and Mr. Johnny came over yesterday and today with his handy power trimmer. The boys hauled away branches, and not to be out done, I got out the hand trimmer and pruned the rose bushes. It wouldn’t sound that tedious, but it was raining on me the entire time. Not a heavy rain, but a fine penetrating mist that actually felt refreshing. Did I mention that I have the best neighbors ever? Well, I do.

The mist stopped around noon, just in time for me to get cleaned up and off to the Square for lunch at Snug with my friend Karen. ( Karen T. From Zumba. I have a couple Karen friends.) It was her first Snug visit, and she loved the food and atmosphere. We strolled around after lunch and enjoyed the cooler temps that the clouds and north winds brought. Another great day. Not a sunny Sunday, but a lovely day, none the less.



Wednesday: When It Rains, It Pours

9 Oct


“When it rains, it pours.” I really know what that means lately, and I’m sure you do to. Even though the North Texas skies are clear and bright, I’ve had a big old rain cloud over my head lately. Boo-hoo! I know, I sound like a whining five year old, but sometimes I feel better sharing and moaning. I get it off my chest and move on.

Last night, I came home to discover a drip, drip, drip from the ceiling. I thought it was the ceiling sprinkler system. Well, to make a long story longer, after getting help to turn off the water source for the sprinklers, I went to sleep. The next morning, the drip, drip, drip had continued all night. My new best friend, Bob the handyman, came over at 8:30 and went up into the attic and discovered that it was actually the hot water heater leaking. He couldn’t replace it, but gave me all the info of where to go and what to ask for. He shut of the water to the tank, and while he was here, he did a few electrical tasks for me. So, I went to Home Depot, ordered a new tank, scheduled an installation and now I’m back up and running. Well, actually, I’m laying down and typing. I’m exhausted.

I just leaned over and knocked on wood…and said, “What else could possibly happen?” I’m going to send out positive thoughts and vibes into the universe and pray that this is the end of my trials and tribulations.


Montage Monday: A Week in a Peek

17 Sep

Honor is simply the morality of superior men.
H. L. Mencken
From honoring September 11th to sharing time with friends… another great week.

Another week in a peek.


Wednesday Words of Wisdom: On 9/11

12 Sep

If Prometheus was worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the gods honor the men who make it their professional business to put it out? ~John Godfrey Saxe
But sound aloud the praises, and give the victor-crown
To our noble-hearted Firemen, who fear not danger’s frown.
~Frederic G.W. Fenn, “Ode to our Firemen,” 1878

My brownie baking reputation is well known throughout the land, as are the weird and amusing faces that I make and photograph with the mix and eggs. Yes, I dress up my brownies before baking! Who doesn’t? I have many traditions, but one of the most important is baking for my local fire station on holidays, 9/11, or just because I’m in a baking mood. They genuinely appreciate the thoughtfulness. Today is a special day. A day to say thank you to those who serve and protect.

Fire Station #5 is our local station just down the road. Here is Braxton Hines, who has been at the 5 for about a year.

Quite a few of the former firemen and EMTs from the 5 were transferred over to Station 2 last year, so of course, I had to take some brownies over there too. It’s just as easy to bake for 2 as for 5, Stations that is. THANK YOU GUYS!!!!

Firefighter Rodney Smith said that a lot of people stopped by to say thank you and show their appreciation today. Never forget!


Tuesday Tip of the Day: Give

4 Sep

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
Maya Angelou
When you have been blessed, it is an honor and privilege to share your blessings with others.
I feel sorry for the people who have never experienced the joy of giving, sharing, teaching or volunteering. It is a feeling like no other. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money. Sometimes, just a few kind words, a smile, or a simple gesture could impact another human being.

When did the world become so self-absorbed in personal self-gratification? What’s in it for me? How can I get more? This just isn’t right! Every religion or faith promotes kindness to others and sharing our blessings. Why have so many lost their religion, lost their faith? Thank goodness for those who follow the golden rule, not the almighty golden coin.

So, my tip for today is GIVE! Share a word, a smile, a few hours. You will be blessed in return thrice-fold. What do you do to share…what will you do? I’d love to hear from you.

I have the pleasure of volunteering every Friday with some beautiful seniors.

A load of back to school supplies found their way to The Samaritan Inn Shelter.

Some stickers and supplies heading to CASA for the children.

Saturday: On the Square…Be There or Be Square

24 Aug

I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.
Pablo Neruda

Now, that is an inspirational quote! Sometimes the town you live in can make you or break you. McKinney, especially the atmosphere and vibe of the Square, with its quaint buildings and charming people, is a place to make you complete.

After a rowdy rollicking Friday night on the Square with the gals, Saturday morning brought me back to our writing group and more downtown McKinney adventures. Here are some highlights of Friday night. (A bunch of gals out on the town is a lot more tame than your imaginations might assume, but feel free to simulate.)

Thanks, Woody, for the tour of the town. A little too fast, but exciting.


Saturday morning brought us back to the Square and our writing group. Cathy and Elizabeth are baking away at SWEET SPOT, and the place is all dolled up with a new look and attitude and awesome tempting treats.They even offered to display some of my artwork. Ran into Tommy, the wandering troubadour and he asked me to sign his new guitar, Mariah. Nice folks.


Then, a walk down the street over to SNUG. The talented 15 year old, Dori Grace was playing her guitar and belting out some tunes.


Always something to do, new people to meet, and old friends to frolic with. Yes, we always frolic.

Saturday on the Square

18 Aug

Life is a song – sing it. Life is a game – play it. Life is a challenge – meet it. Life is a dream – realize it. Life is a sacrifice – offer it. Life is love – enjoy it.
Sai Baba

Another Saturday on the Square. We had our writing group at 10. Miss Cathy is gearing up for the new and improved Sweet Spot Bakery at 120 W. Louisiana.

Julia and Cathy chat about the new look for Sweet Spot.

Walking around the Square, I ran into Tommy, the wandering troubadour playing his guitar.


Over at Snug on the Square, a group of young musicians were playing music in the tiny storefront window, with all their proud family and friends taking movies.

On my way out the door, I heard, “Toni, Toni!” My friends Gaby and Ivette from my tennis group were having lunch with their kids. That’s what makes McKinney so fun. You always see a friendly face or two or twenty.


Tuesday Tips and Tricks

14 Aug

This evening was our monthly meeting of McKinney Creative Community. The Alexander’s hosted at their beautiful home. Artists, writers, musicians, dancers, and creative people, sharing and caring. Yes, always surround yourself with dreamers and your dreams will come true.

Now for some tips for life.


Creative tricks and a different kind of slight of hand.

Friday Friends: Young At Heart (YAH-YAHs)

10 Aug

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
― C.S. Lewis

Friday afternoon is my special day with special senior artist friends. Miss Della, our guest artist, surprised us today with a beautiful still life set up, complete with illuminating spotlight for an artistic flair. We first practiced gradations on paper with pencil, watercolor and crayon. Then, pencil sketches of the still life. We all did our sketches and used our newly acquired sense of lights and darks to fill in the drawing. The results were amazing.

Miss Marie

Miss Nelma

Miss Kathy

Mr. Angel

Miss Toni (That would be me)

Our beautiful still life. Thank you Miss Della. Sorry, I forgot to take your picture.

Friday friends forever!!!!!

Tuesday Tip of the Day: See if you knew this one.

9 Jul

Tip: Take your cap off! Did you know that many city recycling plants throw out water bottles and do not recycle if the cap is left on? I didn’t know that, did you? A teacher friend of mine took her students on a field trip and they were told that. Yikes! If you think about it, it takes less time not to put it back on when your done. But better yet, use more of those safe environmentally friendly travel bottles and save the planet.

Often these caps end up as litter or trash, ending up in landfills and beaches or migrating into our rivers and oceans. Birds and other marine creatures mistake them for food with tragic results. The magnitude of this pollution problem is devastating to our oceans and wildlife.

What most people don’t realize is if you recycle your plastic bottles and don’t remove the caps most places will not recycle the bottle. Reason is because it would take too long and too many employees to sit there all day unscrewing the caps form the bottles. So it gets tossed in the garbage pile. All along you thought you were recycling. REMOVE YOUR CAPS!!!

You can be part of the solution by joining Recycle Caps with Aveda.