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Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Where There’s a Will…

23 Jan

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
-Mahatma Gandhi
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I’ll be the first to admit, I had to look up the word “indomitable.” I kinda figured out what it meant, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve never used it in a sentence, spoke it out loud or recall hearing anyone use it. Mr. Gandhi has expanded my vocabulary. Now, I will try and use this word often and add it to my extensive repertoire of fancy words like “y’all” and “fixin’ to.” Here’s what I learned…
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indomitable

in·dom·i·ta·ble\in-ˈdä-mə-tə-bəl\
adjective
: impossible to defeat or discourage
Full Definition
: incapable of being subdued : unconquerable
in·dom·i·ta·bil·i·ty \(ˌ)in-ˌdä-mə-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
in·dom·i·ta·ble·ness \in-ˈdä-mə-tə-bəl-nəs\ noun
in·dom·i·ta·bly \-blē\ adverb
Examples
an indomitable spirit was needed to endure the rigors of pioneer life
Origin: Late Latin indomitabilis, from Latin in- + domitare to tame — more at daunt.
First use: 1634
Synonyms: bulletproof, impregnable, invincible, insuperable, insurmountable, invulnerable, unbeatable, unconquerable, unstoppable
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Even though the weather in Chicago has been more suited for the abominable snowman, (not to be confused with the indomitable snowman), I have tried to keep up my spirits by teaching painting classes for mom’s friends, shopping, visiting with old friends and a little exercise. ( I even did some indoor jogging. I haven’t jogged in ten years. Now, I know why!) The great thing about the Midwest is, a little thing like five months of frigid temps, shoveling snow, and pelting sleet never deters the INDOMITABLE will of the hearty citizens. (See, I used it in a sentence!) “Where there’s a will… there’s a new word.”

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Sunday Services and Sharing

20 Jan

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
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If this is true, which I sincerely hope it is, there is a very good chance that I will never grow old. I have so many dreams and plans and hopes, and I certainly will never stop pursuing them.

This morning, I had the pleasure of joining Mom at her Sunday service that takes place in their activity room. A very sweet lady from St. Thomas More came to lead the service and pass out communion. About fifteen residents attended, most shuffling in behind their walkers, but determined to recite prayers, sing hymns, and give thanks. I certainly admire their faith and commitment.

I’ve been staying with my mom for a couple of weeks now, and the seniors here are very inspirational. Mom is one of the most loved little ladies at The Greens. Everyone knows and loves Trini, and a lot of her friends have come to know and love me, too. (The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree… We are both nuts…sing show tunes…and do arts and crafts.)

I’ve missed my senior art group back in McKinney, but I’ve had the opportunity to share a few artsy-craftsy projects with Mom’s friends. They really enjoy my funny stories, off key singing and art demos.

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We’ve been making notecards.

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Life is all about sharing, loving, and dreaming. May you always have dreams to pursue, and may all your dreams come true…and NEVER GROW OLD!

Wednesday: Words of Wisdom- Aging Gracefully

8 Jan

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”
― George Bernard Shaw
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My mother is always laughing. She will never grow old. Trini is a very young 86 1/2 years old, always smiling, singing, sharing and loving. When you get in your eighties, it’s kinda like when you are 4 1/2 and you add that 1/2 to make sure people know that pretty soon you’ll be 5. In your eighties, every year and every half year is a badge of honor to be worn proudly, mostly because you’re still around and kicking.

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Mom is always learning. She may forget how to do something, but she’ll ask for help and keeps on trying. Mom is an avid surfer. Don’t worry, it’s not the scary ocean surfing activity, but rather, the Internet computer surfing kind. Today, she spent some time checking her e-mail, listening to her niece singing on YouTube, and of course, reading my latest blogs. (Thanks Mom.)

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Mom is my role model, my hero, and the love of my life. I can only aspire to be a little like my talented, beautiful mother.

Tuesday Tunes and Croons

8 Jan

“I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained”
― Walt Disney Company
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Mom lives at a lovely place that often has live entertainment. Today, a talented singer/musician, Richard Gersten, performed for the seniors gathered around the piano. His charming voice enthralled the group with several Broadway classics and familiar sing-a-long tunes. I’ll be the first to admit that I have an unusual penchant for knowing the words to a plethora of old songs and show tunes. I also tend to sing along, solicited or not. Life is short…so, belt out a show tune if you so desire. I always desire.


Richard Gersten

Another melody. Pretty nice, huh?

Mom and I thoroughly enjoyed the music, the songs and a cozy afternoon with friends.

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Montage Monday: HOME

6 Jan

“Home is the nicest word there is.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder
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A week in a peek is never so bleak when you are home!

Even the -37 degree wind chill temperature today could not put a damper on the warmth of being with my family. I even ventured out with my mother’s friend, Miss Dottie. She needed to go to Walgreens to get a prescription, so I volunteered to join her. She is 89 years old and still gets around like a teenager. I told her that I needed some things too, but I really didn’t want her braving the subzero temps all alone. Wow! Pretty darn cold out.

Life is good…very cold… But good. I’m sitting by the fire downstairs in the vestibule writing this now. (I just like to say vestibule.)

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Sunday: Focus, Faith, and Friends

25 Nov

When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.
Joel Osteen
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Another wonderful Sunday. “It was a dark and dreary morning.” That’s just a writer’s joke, but it was cold and drizzly all day, but I woke up with a little pep in my step because I was looking forward to going to church, “praying for us sinners,” and having brunch with some friends at Snug on the Square.

I was mesmerized by the lovely young family sitting in front of me at 9 o’clock Mass. The couple had a tiny infant and a little boy, about three years old. The baby rested on daddy’s shoulder, while the boy sat or knelt quietly. The sense of faith, respect, and love was evident with every gesture. I think that’s what it’s all about; families raising their children in faith, teaching by example.

After mass, there was a bake sale in the vestibule. I do like to say, vestibule. I bought some yummy looking home-made pecan bars. (Sharing later.) I drove home, checked on a few things, then picked up my friend Karen T., heading off to Snug. We met Mercedes there and had a long and leisurely breakfast. Of course, we bumped into several friends.

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Karen, Mercedes and Moi.
After I dropped Karen off at home, well, I was two seconds away from Towne Creek Senior Apartments with yummy pecan bars in the back seat that needed to be shared. So, I stopped and visited with Miss Eleanor. We had a cup of jasmine tea and savored little bites of our treat. I usually don’t even touch sweets, but this was too tempting. I meant to stay only an hour, but it drifted into two-and-half. Miss Eleanor has a lot of great old stories. She was so delighted that I dropped by to visit on what would normally be a quiet, lonely Sunday.

I don’t purposely focus on trying to be a blessing, but rather, I enjoy spending time with people, sharing special moments. God has made sure that I have been blessed in abundance. Yes, I am truly blessed.

Saturday: Sharing Sites, Sage Words, and Stoup

24 Nov

Hope is that beautiful place between the way things were and the ways things are yet to be…
Ritu Ghatourey quotes
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Saturday has become a special day, sharing time with friends and/or strangers. Today, I snapped a few pictures while traipsing around the Square. It was a chilly, gloomy day, but when you are with friends and visiting your favorite places, it becomes a happy, special day.

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I enjoy researching quotes that relate to my day or how I’m feeling. Sometimes, I just enjoy sharing inspirational words of encouragement. Then there are times when I’m “ticked off,” and I want to scream and get something off my chest.(not today, thank goodness.) Here are a few sage words from Helen Keller:

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And now for the “stoup.” I thought I had invented the word, but noooooo! Rachel Ray uses it all the time. Friday, I made a big pot of beef vegetable stew/soup. It started out as stew, but I kept adding more vegetables and broth until it was a giant pot of stoup. I took it over to Towne creek to share with my senior artists and told them I made stoup. They thought it was pretty funny, not to mention delicious with fresh garlic bread. Life is much happier when you share!

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Friday: Friends, Fun and a Feast

16 Nov

Don’t get up from the feast of life without paying for your share of it.
Dean Inge
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I had a pretty fun day today. Stein Mart was having an early bird special sale, so I got my bird up early and went shopping. Normally, I shop for an hour or two and come home empty handed. Not today. Everything fit perfectly, was unbelievably cheap, and my only problem was trying to haul it all back to my car. I got home in time to grab a bite to eat and pack up some supplies and food to take to my Towne Creek senior art group.

You know that old saying, “It’s either feast or famine?” Well, today we feasted. I brought taco chips and cheese dip, Karen brought homemade beef stew! Kris brought a platter of chips, cheese curls, and pretzel mix, and Della brought roasted chicken and strawberry cheesecake. Oh man! It was like Thanksgiving on steroids.

Kris brought her jewelry supplies to make angel book marks with our paper beads, and and Della brought things to make homemade gift bags. Everyone was working on fun projects and then we feasted. It was a wonderful day with friends.

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Kris assists miss Nelma with her project.

20131115-221813.jpgMiss Bonnie decorated a bag with a bird and glitter. A little white trim was added to her birdhouse.

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Mr. Angel was working on a painting, but came over to join “bag ladies.”

Then, the magnificent feast!

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Don’t we have fun every Friday? I guess it’s either feast or feast. We never do the famine thing. Life is good when you pay for your share of the feast.

Freelance Friday

19 Oct

Day one of the big garage sale. We didn’t do a lot of advertising, just Facebook, friends, word of mouth and a few signs. We had a pretty nice turnout. Ed and Melanie were amazing to offer to host it at their home. Miss Sherry worked her little butt off helping all day.( Yes, she is a little bitty thing and has a little butt.) Hundreds of items and treasures found their way to new homes, but many more treasures available for tomorrow. It was a lot of work, but good work. We hauled so many things from my house to Melanie’s, and many unopened boxes and bags from previous moves were transported. While Sherry helped me open boxes and display items, a few precious items found their way back into my car. I found Joe’s Cabbage patch doll from the 80’s and a beautiful cross stitch gift from Vivian. Some things must be saved. NOW, the funniest thing was, my good friend Michele came and found a huge pile of great bargains… unfortunately, one of the items was a lovely journal that she had given me as a gift for Christmas just a couple years ago. I felt terrible. I said, “Oh no, let me save that!” She said, “That’s OK, I’ll just buy it and re-gift it.” Now, that’s a new twist on re-gifting! Buy your gift back at a garage sale and give it to someone else!

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Embarrassing moment! Michele’s sad face.

It was a long day, but a fun day. It started to sprinkle around 2 pm, so we closed up early. I stopped at Dairy Queen and had nutritious lunch before going to my volunteer group with the seniors at Towne Creek.

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Yes, nutritious. Ice cream and whipped cream…dairy. Hot fudge…chocolate comes from the cocoa bean…beans are legumes. The cherry on top is a fruit. All very good for you. NOT!!!!

After Towne Creek, Karen and I had pizza at the new Mellow Mushroom Pizza Place in McKinney. It was very good. More nutritious food.

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When I got home, I called my sister, Jo, who said I was rambling and hyper and she recommended that a I have a drink, put my feet up and relax. Well, I am an obedient sister, so I fixed my famous Black Russian with chocolate ice cream. I did add some chocolate almond milk to the concoction of Kahlua and vodka. More healthy choices. Wow! I made some very excellent food and drink choices today, didn’t I? Tomorrow is another day, Scarlet!

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Friday: Better Late Than Never

12 Oct

Holy procrastination Batman! It’s after midnight. Where did the day go? It was busy, but I must have been exhausted. Today, we planned on celebrating Miss Bonnie’s and Mr.Angel’s birthday at Towne Creek. I went to the store for a few things, picked up a pizza, gathered the gifts and off I went. We had a nice celebration. Krys was there to celebrate and then guide us finishing our handmade paper bead angel project. So, here’s the procrastination part. After I got home, I decided just to crash in front of the television. Better yet, I’ll just lay down, put my feet up and watch my favorite shows. Fast forward…I must have really been tired… I fell asleep, woke up with a start, and it was after midnight. Holy cow! But, I can’t miss a post, so I grabbed my IPad to write this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK_DVuECIrg
Birthday celebration at Towne Creek-senior art group.

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Mr. Angel and Miss Bonnie and the gang- Happy Birthday.

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Krys Watson, jewelry designer, guided us in making a paper bead angel project. It was a good day! It’s really Saturday morning, but just pretend it’s Friday. Have a great weekend.