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Saturday on the Square:) And the Cove

20 Aug

“Saturday night is perfect for writers because other people have “plans.”― Mike Birbiglia

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Oh that’s a perfect quote. Here I am writing while “all y’all” have plans. I had to throw that in. My favorite Southern expression is “all y’all.” Only in the South can they make a double plural and it sounds cute. I guess it’s better than my native Chicago “you’se guys.”

But, I did have a good and busy Saturday. I started out walking Bella, then went to the YMCA. I did the Zumba class at 9:45 and then rode the exercise bike. I was very proud of myself. I was telling my sister about it a minute ago on the phone. I said my goal was to ride 3 miles very fast and get my heart rate up. Then I coerced my brain to go for 4 miles. Then I said, I bet I can do 5 miles in less than 25 minutes. I know I can. So I did! A quick stop at the bank,  and visit with Miss Karri at Papa Murphy’s, followed by a VERY long shopping adventure at Tom Thumb. That’s another story. Back home, walk the dog, check on the neighbor’s cats, work on some bills, feed the dog and walk her again, then off to the car dealer to complain about the moulding that got torn off my car windshield in their car wash yesterday. After that, a visit at Sweet Spot Bakery, over to The Cove art show and a stop at Lone Star Wine Cellars to chat with Bob. Finally home, walk the dog again and check on cats. I NEED A DRINK! Or better yet, I should eat something.
Oh wait, I guess my Saturday wasn’t all that slow and boring after all. Now, I have something to write about.


Sweet Spot Bakery.

Now, fun at the Cove. If you live in or near McKinney, you should check out the Cove. So many talented artists and great exhibits. You can also snap up some fantastic original artwork at a pretty good deal from a local artist. I love art shows where all the artists are good friends. Lots of hugs.


Mr. Guy is an amazing photographer, but also works in other mediums.


Pernie and Lynne. (Sorry Lynne- didn’t check the picture.)



Miss Jeni is so talented. This is a landscape, but her horses and animals are so life-like.

It was a fine Saturday.

Friday:) Freezer Frenzy 

19 Aug

“To me, it’s sort of funny that wasting food is not taboo. It’s one of the last environmental ills that you can just get away with.”
– Jonathan Bloom (@WastedFood)

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I love to cook. I love to eat at restaurants. The dilemma that follows is called…leftovers. I hate to waste, so I generally wrap up and pile up the leftovers in the freezer. My freezer is packed to the gills, and there isn’t room for even a teeny-tiny gill. So, I decided to go through the maze and the mess of frozen leftovers.


I emptied a couple of shelves at a time and piled the stuff on the counter. It’s pretty darn hot out, so I couldn’t leave the freezer door open too long. I organized bins into fruit, leftover doggie bags, frozen meals, vegetables, baking stuff like frosting and cookie dough.


Then, I had a light bulb moment. 💡.   Why don’t I make a big pot of leftover train wreck stew? Mrs. Johnson, a wonderful old friend of the family, used to take out leftovers and feed all the kids, grandkids, and their friends and she called it “train wreck.” 


I had four littlebaggies of taco meat, two bags of okra, a couple bags of vegetables, and a bag of rice medley. I threw it all in a pot and started to simmer. I added a can of diced tomato with green chile, and VOILA! 

Toni’s Jumbled Up Jambalaya.

 

Pretty tasty. Tasty and no wastey.

Look! There’s a little room on one of the shelves in the freezer. I can go get some ice cream tomorrow for my Black Russians. Yay!


The bad news… not much room in the fridge for all the leftover Jambalaya. Want to come over for dinner tomorrow? Bring containers.

Theme Song Thursday:) Thinking Outside the Box

18 Aug

“Thinking outside of the box is unnecessary when there are no boxes in your imagination.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo

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Thursday night is Karaoke night at the VFW. A few years ago, I would have NEVER thought of going up and singing in front of other people. I was very content in my little suburban box and singing in the shower or singing karaoke on my iPad, with no one around, no one to hear. But, a lot has changed since then, hasn’t it? Now, on Thursday nights, I meet a bunch a really neat friends at the VFW. Some of the folks sing, some just sit and listen and drink, and all are too kind, applauding after each song. 

Oh, and I’m not saying I’m a great singer. Quite the contrary. I love to sing, but I know it’s pretty darn bad. But, you know what? It doesn’t matter. Everyone appreciates the tenacity and bravery. Sometimes, we even get up and dance. A bunch fun folks of sixty or more years, enjoying music, laughter, and good company. All of us taking a few hours outside of our ticky-tacky boxes and having fun.

I have a couple of favorite songs, but tonight, I decided to sing a new one. I love Bonnie Raite, so I sang “I can’t make you love me.” I told Danny, the DJ, that it was gonna be scary and off key, but I was going for it. A few more thousand times and it might get better.

I don’t bother to think outside the box anymore. I just say, “What box?” 

Havin’ fun in McKinney, Texas!

Wednesday Words of Wisdom:) Walking With the Angels

17 Aug

“If you seek creative ideas go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes fora walk.” 

― Raymond I. Myers

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I walk pretty much everyday, sometimes twice. This is a great time for thinking, coming up with creative ideas, chatting with neighbors, but most of all, it’s the best time to pray. I’m not talking about praying the old fashioned way. Although, a few thousand Our Fathers and Hail Marys have been said, but, this is the time that I see a spectacular sunset or commune with fluttering butterfly. This is when I say “Thank you” to the Creator. This is when “the Angels whisper” to me.

The best advice I can give you is “GO FOR A WALK.” It’s good for your body, your mind, and your soul.


Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day

16 Aug

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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I’m out of the house for many hours during the course of the day, or sometimes, I go out of town for a few weeks. I always raise the temp on the thermostat in the summer and lower it winter. I had someone, (who thought he was always right) tell me once that it was not a good idea and insisted that it didn’t save energy or money. So, I looked it up. That person was wrong and is gone. It just seemed like common sense to me. 

Even though I live in Texas, my hot Latin blood doesn’t like it too chilly in the house. I am comfortable between 80 and 81 in the summer. I know, some of you think I’m crazy. So, when I go out for the day or days, I raise the thermostat to at least 84 or 85. When I get home, I turn it back down, and it cools back down in just a few minutes. Sometimes, the ceiling fan overhead makes me too chilly at 81. 

In the winter, I wear a sweater and lower the temperature. If everyone conserved just a little bit, we’d save a lot of energy for the planet and our future, and maybe even save a little money along the way. 

Recommended Thermostat Settings  
During the warm weather, it is generally recommended that you set your home’s cooling system to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home. If you will be out of the house for four or more hours, consider raising the setting so the cooling system only comes on if the temperature tops 88 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It is estimated that for every degree higher you set your thermostat over 78 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months, you could save approximately six to eight percent off your home energy bill, per degree.
So, keeping your home’s temperature slightly higher and using the best settings for spring and summer can ultimately help save you money.


Something to think about! 

Montage Monday:)A Week In A Peek

14 Aug

“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

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A busy week, meeting new people, art club, lunches with friends, beautiful sunsets and a trip to Oklahoma. A good week. Here’s a peek….


Sunday Sermon and Some Spectacular Sunsets

14 Aug

Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible. 

~Mary McLeod Bethune

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This morning, I had the pleasure of attending Mass at at St. Francis Xavier Church in Stillwater, OK. It’s a beautiful old church, and I hear they are nearly finished with construction of an even bigger and more charming church a few miles away.


I love the beautiful stained glass windows, and the alcoves where the candles are.



Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus walking on the sea and calling Peter to walk out towards him.

“Jesus said, ‘Come.’ Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord,’ he cried, ‘save me!’Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘You have so little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ ”
My take on it…sometimes we get distracted or scared and lose faith that God will take care of us. But, when we call out and ask for help, He will “put out His hand at once” and save us. 

I guess we’re all guilty of losing faith once in a while. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a wonderful family and fine friends, and when I get scared or hurt or discouraged, there is always someone there to reach out with a hand to help me back up. I have helping hands here on earth and “upstairs”, whenever I call out. Lucky me!


Now, my spectacular sunset…


Boomer Lake at sunset. These three shots were taken just minutes apart.