Friday Friends, Firemen and Other Fun Folks

15 Jun

“Sometimes, the simple things are more fun and meaningful than all the banquets in the world …”

E.A. Bucchianeri

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Having one best friend is wonderful, but having a zillion best friends is a never ending blessing. One friend isn’t better than another. Each one is unique, special, wonderful, and I like to think of as a special gift from God. God has really blessed me.

After a steamy morning walk and a very cold shower, I scooted over to the Square for the McKinney Chamber Ribbon cutting ceremony at Sweet Spot Bakery. They had been closed for nearly 3 months for renovations. But, it is also their 5 year anniversary. I was honored to be included as part of their ceremony and special ceremony.

Sweet Spot has been my home away from home for 5 years and Kathy and Elizabeth have become best friends and family. When the chamber members asked Kathy about the bakery and what they offer the community, I had to chime in and say, “Everyone who walks in the door becomes a friend. It’s a very special place. These wonderful ladies are not only good friends, they’ve helped me get through some tough times. They even helped me move. Now, that’s friendship.”

After the ribbon cutting, I was meeting three other great girlfriends for an impromptu lunch. I love it when I get a text that just says, “Who can meet for lunch tomorrow?”

We had hot dogs over at Top Dog on the Square, then over to Fritos for cold refreshing popsicles.

The mounted patrol were stopping for lunch and cooling down the horses. I went over to say hi. Of course, they know me pretty well. We’re friends.

While I was chatting with Officer Lindsey about her recent trips, (We’re Facebook friends) Justice leaned over and gave me a nudge and a big kiss.

I’m just squinting from the sun, I look scared here. Justice is a sweet loving horse. He likes to give kisses.

After those adventures, I stopped back at Sweet Spot to meet another friend, Mercedes. But, I forgot to take a picture. Oops.

Now, for my firemen. This was from the other day, but I was waiting for Friday to post my picture. I like alliteration, if you haven’t noticed. I took some brownies and cookies over to the guys at our new Station 9. They’re always happy to get some goodies, but I think it’s even nicer that they know how much they are appreciated. Thanks guys!!!

Theme Song Thursday:) You’re a Grand Old Flag

14 Jun

I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.

~ John Thune

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Today is Flag Day. A pictures is worth a thousand words.

Wednesday:) When A Wagging Tail Follows You Home

14 Jun

“A dog has one aim in life… to bestow his heart.”

J.R. Ackerley

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I walked Bella this morning, then headed out for my hot steamy solo walk. I’ve been zigging and zagging the neighborhood, and going across the street to the older section with the taller more mature trees, because they offer more shade. It was already HOT before 9am.

When I rounded a corner, I saw a young boy petting and talking to a really cute dog. I said good morning to the mother trying to get in her car. She asked if that was my dog, as they were trying to leave, but the stray dog kept trying to jump into her car. I continued my walk, and the cute dog started following me.

I saw a few neighbors outside and asked if they recognized the dog. No one did, but several said they saw her coming from that way, as they pointed. So, I walked that way. When the dog ran towards a house around the corner, I rang the bell, thinking that was her home. Nope. Finally, after a few more steamy blocks, I decided to have her follow me home. We were both hot and thirsty and hungry, and my back yard afforded some shelter and shade.

She was very accommodating, scooting right into the back gate. I got her a big bowl of ice water and gave her some of Bella’s food. Bella, who normally growls and doesn’t play well with strange dogs or people, enjoyed her company.

I posted a picture and info on the lost dog on the neighborhood Nextdoor app, and also on Facebook. A neighbor recognized the dog and sent the owners over. It was a happy reunion.

The boy was very appreciative and thankful. I forgot to ask the doggie’s name, but they just live one block down if she ever gets out again. She’s a digger, and I have a big hole under my gate to prove it.

All’s well that ends well. A happy “TAIL” with a happy ending.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Terrific Blogging Adventure

12 Jun

“Life is short. Live it, taste it. Never waste it.”

“My daily blogging has become an intimate personal diary of my life. I have shared my joys, laughter, tears and sorrows. And, because of you, there is never a day that I can’t find something wonderful to write about.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’ve been anxiously awaiting this benchmark number. You may recall, my original challenge to myself was to write a daily blog for one entire year. That would be 365 consecutive days. Today, I have written and passed the 2,000 mark of consecutive posts, with over 92,000 views, and 49,000 visitors. I have 774 WordPress followers, 347 Facebook followers, 135 on Twitter, and 38 on Tumblr. I think that’s pretty awesome!

THANK YOU!

It’s been over 5 years of blogging, telling stories, taking pictures, and sharing my little world with the rest of you. If I have influenced, inspired, or brought joy to just one person, I have accomplished my goal. This has made my life so joyful and rewarding. Every day, I wake up wondering what I’ll write about. I see beauty that I’d never seen before. Writing helps me focus on what’s important. And that is… “Life is short. Live it, taste it. Never waste it.”

Montage Monday and My McKinney Senior Center

12 Jun

“I don’t understand people getting depressed about getting older. There is nothing you can do about it, so you might as well embrace it.”

~Twiggy

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It’s been a busy week and a fun week. My friend Loretta and I spent most of Saturday at a movie and on the Square. While we were chatting, she suggested that we go over to the McKinney Senior Center on Monday. They host an afternoon dance. I love to dance. Unfortunately, it’s like my singing. I love to sing, but I don’t do it well. I love to dance, but really never learned how to dance. I was married 39 years to someone who didn’t like to dance, I guess it’s never too late to learn.

Loretta and I met at 1 at the Senior Center. It was my first time to check out the dancing, and she had only been there once before. It was a 50’s day and some of the ladies had poodle skirts and the men had rolled up jeans and white t-shirts. It was cute. Of course, as is typical of any dance, there were a lot more women than men. So, they had a couple of segments called “chair dancing” where the ladies lined up behind a chair, and the men took turns asking the ladies in line to dance. They would stroll and dance around the floor, escort the lady back to the end of the line then dance with the next lady in line. They had a sign in sheet and there were 68 people, and I guess the ratio was about 40/28 or there abouts.

I hadn’t been to a dance like this since high school, and that was 1971. I had a blast.

At 2:30, they took a break for refreshments. I guess people sign up, like a pot-luck, and serve the others. That was so nice.

Then, back to the dancing.

You’re never too old or too young. It’s like the three bears, you’re just right. Enjoy! Life is short, eat dessert first, sing out loud, and dance till your feet

A week in a peek….

Sunday Sermon and Graduation Celebration Times 3

11 Jun

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

~ Abraham Lincoln

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Another steamy Sunday, but it’s always cool and comfortable inside the sanctuary of St. Gabriel’s. Today’s Gospel was according to Mark. Jesus was with his disciples and relatives and scribes gathered accusing him of being possessed and driven by demons. His reply was in parables. Some of the rhetoric might sound familiar.

“How can Satan drive out Satan?

If a kingdom is divided against itself,

that kingdom cannot stand.

And if a house is divided against itself,

that house will not be able to stand.

And if Satan has risen up against himself

and is divided, he cannot stand;

that is the end of him.”

My take on it… Let’s work together here, people!!!! Our country cannot flourish and prosper if we are divided. Our homes and families cannot flourish and prosper if we are divided. So, don’t let Satan into your heart, your families, or your country. Evil will try to divide us. Sometimes you have to remove, expel, just kick out the old damn devil. He can’t flourish where he’s not welcome.

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On a brighter note…🎼…, this afternoon, my friend Linda Grossman (World’s Greatest Realtor) and I went to a graduation party. This was a very special event. My little next door neighbors are all grown up now. The triplets were only five when I moved to McKinney, and now they graduated from high school. All off to different schools in different states. I have such fond memories of watching them grow up, playing games, having tea parties, throwing the football, doing crafts, and watching “Dinosaurs.” (Anyone remember that show? So funny. The baby called his father…”Not the Mamma.”)

But, my absolute favorite memory is of me and little Rebekah baking brownies pretty much every week. When she was 5 and 6 and 7, I would tie an apron around her tiny frame, and she would stand on the step stool while I cracked the eggs and she did all the rest of the brownie preparation, including licking the spoon and bowl. We would sit and chat and nibble on chocolate chips while we patiently waited for the brownies to bake. We did that for many years until I moved away in 2014. I miss those days.

I’d like to think that maybe a few years down the line, Rebekah will bring her little girl over to Miss Toni’s for a tea party and to bake some brownies.

Today, I baked a batch of brownies for my little chocolate buddy. There was a lot of chocolate at the party, including a chocolate fountain.

Here are my little neighbors all grown up. Mom and Dad are very proud of these three amazing young adults.

John (Dad), Rebekah, Joseph, Jacob, Mom (Margaret) Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with me. Love you guys!

Saturday on the Square:) My Little Town

10 Jun

“There may be no secrets in small towns, but there are no strangers either.”

R.A. Mathis

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McKinney feels like a little town when you are walking around the charming Square. The city itself is busting at the seams with growth. But, I still love my little town.

In the 2010 census, the city’s population was 131,117, making it Texas’s 19th-most populous city. The most recent population estimate, produced by the city as of January 1, 2018, is 179,804. As of May 2017, McKinney City was the third-fastest-growing city in the United States.

I spent the afternoon with my friend, Loretta. We went to a movie at the old McKinney 14 theater in the afternoon, (that’s for another day) then went over to the square for the Second Saturday.

We were so lucky to find a parking spot in the first lot right away. That alone was a miracle. Our first stop was to visit with Kathy, Elizabeth, and Kaylyn at Sweet Spot Bakery. Ice cream and iced tea on a hot day was perfect.

We sat and chatted and shared stories. Then, back out into the heat to check out the artists and musicians dotted along the Square.

Loretta and Annie became fast friends, with so many mutual interests and mutual friends.

As we walked around, we ran into other friends, and enjoyed checking out the artwork and music along the way.

Kim Guthrie, always among the talented artists displaying her work.

Unfortunately, with all the hustle-bustle and searching for parking, there was a car accident on the corner. It looks like no one was hurt, just a couple of banged up cars.

Our last stop was a few blocks away at The Cove. There was a special event called “Space, Time & Love: The 3 Dimensions of Life.” Featuring the paintings and music of Steven Wright.

I drove Loretta back to her car back at the theater, then home. It was a very busy fun Saturday.