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Sunday Sit and Doodle

7 Jul

The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
Robert M. Pirsig

Saturday is usually my sit at Snug on the Square day, but the 4th of July being on Thursday, no writing group Saturday and a full moon combined with belated daylight savings time, I’m so confused. So, today I had breakfast at Snug and ran into some old and new friends. Tommy, the wandering troubadour is back from his travels and playing his guitar.

My new friend, Laura Bartlett was there having coffee with a friend. We said, “Hi.” I had my iPad, checked my emails and Facebook, and had a mango smoothie. Then I did a little doodling on a torn book page. Here’s Laura!

Sometimes doodling is a Zen-like distraction. That’s probably why the creation of Zendoodle and Zentangle. Very fun! Here’s my amusement for today.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept, just Google Zentangle. Just saying, ” Google Zentangle,” is very disturbing. Are we speaking a foreign language? Yes!

Theme Song Thursday: Yankee Doodle- Happy 4th

4 Jul

The 4th of July in downtown McKinney is always a fun celebration with friends, family, and neighbors. A big city with a small town atmosphere is the best description.

I met Laura Bartlett, of Four Funny Females fame, for breakfast at Snug on the Square before the parade. She’s hilarious, creative and a general goofy gal, that’s why we get along so well. We’ve only known each other a couple months, but it seems like we’ve been friends forever. Karen was going to meet us, but when she walked into the lined-up out the door crowd, she didn’t see us and went over to Coffee2 for an iced tea. Thank goodness she texted and found us later. We watched the parade together and then Karen and I walked around the Square afterwards.

This is why the horses come at the end of the parade.

We bumped into the two sailors that I’d met on Tuesday. They were at The Pantry Restaurant with their families.

Jeff Pass and family. I guess he got a PASS from the Navy for the day.

Very blurry camera work of Manny Muldanado and family. Sorry!
Hope everyone had a delightful Fourth of July!!!

Last but not least, today was the one year anniversary of SNUG on the Square. Happy Anniversary!


Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Anchors Aweigh!

3 Jul

As we look forward to freedom, the shining city on the hill and the best days of America lying ahead, it is the men and women in uniform who protect, defend and make us proud to whom we should look and give thanks every night.
Robin Hayes (

This is a very appropriate quote for our upcoming Fourth of July celebrations. Why in the world do they call it Independence Day? How ironic that we celebrate being independent, but actually, we are very dependent on our men an women in uniform who insure we retain our freedom and liberties. I vote that we rename it Dependence Day or TYFYS Day, Thank You For Your Service Day. OK, all those in favor, raise your hand.

The last place in the world I expected to see a couple of military uniforms was at my local Starbucks. Not that they don’t drink coffee, it’s because, I don’t drink coffee, and not a big fan of Starbucks also.(No offense to my “Starstruck caffeine-a-maniac friends.) It just so happened, I was meeting my friend, Julia, after Zumba class yesterday, and that was a convenient location. We were catching up and discussing our writing adventures or lack there of. As we said our goodbyes, I noticed two gentlemen in black-grey camouflage uniforms seated across from me. It wasn’t the typical green camo that I was familiar with.

Well, if you know me, I had to go over and shake their hands and thank them for their service. Then I noticed the U.S. Navy on the pocket. Ah, they were Navy guys. So, I plopped myself down and chatted with the delightful young sailors. Turns out that they were currently assigned to the recruiting station up on Route 380 in McKinney. The gentleman on my left had the word Pass on his shirt, and the other had Muldanado on his. I turned to my right and said, “I guess you didn’t get a PASS.” I asked the poor young man named Pass, who probably has endured that joke a million times, “I bet you never heard that one before, did ya?” He smiled and agreed, “Oh no, that’s a new one!”

We talked a while. I learned about their wives and families and where they were from. How cool is that? You meet the most interesting people by just sharing a kind word or a friendly hello. As I was leaving, I asked them what plans they had for the Fourth of July, and they said they were going to be in the parade on the Square. I told them that I’d see them there. I’d be the one waving and yelling, “Hey Jeff! Hey Manny!…ANCHORS AWEIGH!!!”

Jeff Pass…I asked him where he was from, he said, “All over. My dad was in the Navy and we moved around a lot.”

Manny Muldanado… Manny and his family are from the Dallas area. He’s pleased to be stationed around family right now.

Tipsy Tuesday: Sideways Zumba

2 Jul

Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (

No, sideways Zumba is not the newest exercise or dance craze sweeping the country. What it entails is, a ditzy camera person, (yours truly) an iPad, and a room full of energetic women in a Zumba class at the local YMCA. I never know when the iPad is going to switch directions on me, or how to change it in movie mode afterwards. I did figure out though, how to pick out stills from the movie and turn those right-side-upways.(I made that word up too. Feel free to borrow it.) So, that’s not too ignorant, is it?

OK, I’m sure a 9 year old could explain all this techno-editing-enhancing mumbo-jumbo to me, but I’m old and I don’t have any 9 year olds around. Consequently, I will be forced to stumble around through the cyber world totally confused and alone. Thank goodness most of my friends are in the same boat without a life jacket, so they will understand.

If anyone knows how to fix this, let me know, or just tilt your head sideways like the rest of us.



Monday Montage: A Week in a Peek

1 Jul

From dancing dogs to putting out fires, it’s been a busy week, and as they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Wait a minute. Who is they, anyway? Hold on! I’m gonna look that up…. OK, here it is…from Wikipedia…or just scroll down and look at the photo… much easier and faster…

[The adage[citation needed] “A picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image. It also aptly characterizes one of the main goals of visualization, namely making it possible to absorb large amounts of data quickly.
The expression “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” appears in a 1911 newspaper article quoting newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane discussing journalism and publicity.[1]
1913 newspaper advertisement
A similar phrase, “One Look Is Worth A Thousand Words”, appears in a 1913 newspaper advertisement for the Piqua Auto Supply House of Piqua, Ohio.[2]
An early use of the exact phrase appears in an 1918 newspaper advertisement for the San Antonio Light which says:
One of the Nation’s Greatest Editors Says:
One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
The San Antonio Light’s Pictorial Magazine of the War
Exemplifies the truth of the above statement—judging from the warm
reception it has received at the hands of the Sunday Light readers.[3] ]

So, there you have it. TMI


Sittin’ Around Sunday: Fighting Fires and Other True Stories

1 Jul

Sunday is my sit around and do nothin’ day. I thought to myself, “Self, what are you going to write about today? You don’t go anywhere or do anything exciting on Sunday.” This will be a tough one.” I fed the dogs, made my tea, grabbed my iPad and went to sit out in the backyard. It wasn’t so hot this morning and there was a powerful breeze. As the bright pink blossoms from the crepe myrtle trees started snowing crimson, I thought, maybe I’d make another music video. (Saving that for another day.)

I sat with my green tea, and the dogs tussled and ran around the yard. When I glanced up from my emails, I saw black billowing smoke coming from my next door neighbor’s back yard. The trees between our yards have gotten very tall, maybe fifteen feet or more. At first I thought, maybe someone was barbecuing or using a smoker.The dark smoke rose high above the trees.

I ran over to the fence, only to see huge white flames flashing almost to the garage roof. Panic! I yelled out, but no one was in the yard. The dogs were confused and barking, so I put them in the house and ran next door. I rang the bell and pounded on the door. No one was home.They were probably at church. Now what? If I ran home and dialed 911, it might take ten minutes or more for a fire truck to get there. The house could burn down.

A garden hose was just a few feet from the fence. Should I try and put out the fire myself? What if gas or electricity was involved and I made it worse, or God forbid, something explodes. The fire was coming out of melted pipes and singed connections from the pool equipment. My greatest concern was, if I didn’t act quickly, the house might catch on fire, so I grabbed the hose and said a prayer. After only five minutes or more, the fire seemed contained, but I gave it a few more minutes, wedging the still spraying hose between pipes, aimed at the black melted pipes. Then I ran home to dial 911.

The dispatcher asked for my name, location, etc., and I tried to be calm, but I’m sure my adrenalin induced voice sounded more like panic. I explained that the fire was out, but I’d feel better if the fire department checked it out. The truck arrived in just a few minutes. They turned off the circuit breakers for the equipment just to be safe and inspected the damage.

I felt pretty good when they said I did a good job and may have saved the rest of the equipment from catching on fire, and perhaps reaching the house. They were kind enough not to say anything like, “What were you thinking, lady? Just call 911!” Firefighter Simmons recognized me from my last cupcake drop-off at Station 5 last month, so I think he was being kind.

Needless to say, the neighbors were more than grateful when they got home. I told John, “Well, you saved me from that big snake that climbed into my dryer vent. I think we’re even.” A lot of hugs were exchanged and I was SO happy that I was in the right place at the right time. And yes, now I had something interesting to write about on an otherwise sleepy Sunday.


If I told you the nickname that my Mom calls me, you wouldn’t believe me. But, that’s another long story.

Saturday: Strangers and Other Friendships

30 Jun

Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
Walt Whitman

Wow! I love that quote. That totally describes my philosophy. Thanks Mr. Whitman, well said. The majority of my friendships have been made in just that manner. I talk to strangers.

After Zumba class on Thursday morning, my friend Karen and I stopped at McDonald’s for a cold drink. We met over a year ago, hiding in the same back corner at the YMCA, commiserating, mumbling, and laughing at our attempts to zig when we should have zagged. (Strangers now friends.) As we stood by the iced tea dispenser, we noticed a couple of ladies chatting and showing off an embellished Fourth of July T-shirt. We admired the home-made shirt, commented and proceeded to our table.

Karen and I spent over an hour visiting, talking about friends and family, joking to the point of tears. We walked out to our cars, but then, I felt compelled to turn around and talk to the two friends with the T-shirt. I plopped my iced tea at their table and said, “Would you ladies mind if I join you for a few minutes?” They were most cordial, and after brief introductions, we were talking like old friends.

Brenda and Debbie explained how they met at church less than a year ago. They agreed that sometimes just extending a kind word or talking to a stranger could result in a special friendship. That’s how they met. We exchanged names and Facebook info and promised to keep in touch. It’s funny! I told them that people give off a distinct electrical energy, and I knew when I first glanced over and saw them laughing, that I knew they were fun, welcoming friends.

Brenda and Debbie (My new friends) Walt Whitman knew what he was talking about.

Wednesday Words of Wisdom

27 Jun

“Perhaps one day, all these conflicts will end, and it won’t be because of great statesmen or churches or organisations like this one. It’ll be because people have changed. They’ll be like you, Puffin. More a mixture. So why not become a mongrel? It’s healthy.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, When We Were Orphans

One of the Crepe Myrtle trees in my front yard makes a definite statement. For some reason, whoever planted this tree decided to integrate three different color trees in one grouping. They are intertwined and blossom with bursts of bright pink, white and pale pink. Looking at the trunk and protruding branches, it’s difficult to see where one color starts and the other finishes. This made me think of the integration of our world. Why can’t people of different colors, races and religions blossom as one. The varied colors are so beautiful. The strength of the many roots and branches are much stronger.

When I was a little girl growing up in Chicago in the 50’s and 60’s, our neighborhood schools were integrated, but we didn’t think of it as something special. The kids were just kids. We noticed the different colors, but we didn’t think it was a bad thing or a big deal. We all studied, played and went to the same church. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I learned that the whole world didn’t see through a child’s colorblind eyes and heart. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could keep those eyes and heart of our childhood?

In the lower left you see white, the middle is pale pink, the right is bright pink and the rest mingles here and there.

1954: Students in an integrated classroom in Fort Myer, Va., the year of Brown v. Board of Education.
Photo: Bettmann/Corbis. New York Times


Monday in McKinney: Neighbors Making a Difference

18 Jun

A community came out to support one of their own. Officer John Libby served on the McKinney Police Department from 2007 until May 27, 2013, when he was lost in an off-duty motorcycle accident. Officer Libby left behind a wife and two young children.

Sicily’s Pizza and Pasta in McKinney hosted a fundraiser today at 1502 W. University Drive. Owners Eddie and Merita sponsored this special event at their restaurant, which is normally closed on Mondays. They are donating 100% of all proceeds to the Libby family. Local police officers and firefighters volunteered as servers to help with the constant crowds. Neighbors, friends, and strangers stopped by for a great meal and to support the Libby family. People who couldn’t stop by to eat, phoned in donations or dropped off cards and cash. The restaurant was packed from 11am till 8pm.


When I arrived around 4:30, the place was pretty full. I saw a young man sitting alone, so I asked if I might join him. His name was Jacob Sample from Frisco. He said that an email was sent to all the employees where he works about the fundraiser. Jacob had never been to Sicily’s, nor did he know Officer Libby, but he felt compelled to pay his respects and make a donation for the family. That’s what happens here in North Texas. People help strangers all the time. But actually, there are no strangers, just a lot of extended family. Y’all know what I mean!

Jacob Sample from Frisco

Eddie thanked each and every patron personally. Thank you, Eddie!

Saturday on the Square

16 Jun

The skies were overcast and the temps only in the 80’s this morning. A slight breeze made it a perfect Texas day. With no plans on my calendar, I headed off to the Square in downtown McKinney. I had a lovely breakfast at Snug, bumped into a few friends, and sat with my iPad, checking emails and Facebook. At 11am, the cutest little singer/songwriter played her guitar and belted out several of her own original songs. She is 13 year old Dori Grace, with the voice of an angel and the schedule of Justin Biener.

Photo: Dori Grace Facebook page

After taking up space for two hours inside Snug, I sat outside and did a little drawing. I often take paper, pencils, watercolors, brushes, etc. when I spend the day on the Square, just in case I get inspired. All the coffee drinkers made me think of coffee cups. Here’s a drawing I started with watercolor pencils. I’ll show you when I finish it.


Then, I did my good deed for the day. As I sat outside, I noticed three men talking by their motorcycles. They were parking their bikes on the striped lines next to a handicap parking spot. I have a dear friend,(you know who you are) who got a $400 parking ticket for parking her bike in the very same spot. So, I walked over and informed the three friends about the possible violation. 3 times $400 would have been a costly $1,200 day on the Square. They were very appreciative and moved their motorcycles down the street.


Now, I’m home watching endless episodes of “Murder She Wrote” on the Hallmark Channel. Oh no! Someone just pushed Jessica down a flight of stairs. Note to self: Never invite Jessica Fletcher over for dinner or visit her in Cabot Cove. Someone always dies, five murders in five hours!