Tag Archives: everyday life

Saturday:) Sometimes You Need To Call A Friend

25 Jun

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know. 

~W. H. Auden*************

Sometimes you need to call a friend…with power tools….not afraid of ladders and electricity ….and will crawl in your steamy attic when it’s 100 degrees outside. Now, that’s a friend.

My neighbor and good friend, Mr. Mike, (yes, I call him Mr. Mike) was kind enough to install that new RING DOORBELL security system in my house a few months ago. I have the greatest neighbors and friends. I doggie sit for Mr. Mike when he has to travel, and sometimes I’ll pick up some groceries for him if I’m at the store. If I’m out walking, I’ll stop by and take Bella for a walk around the pond. Whenever I need something or have a problem around the house, I just call Mr. Mike and he’s on the computer researching or at my house with his tools.

While I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, for some reason, the RING system stopped working. When I told Mr. Mike about it when I got home, he came right over with his power tools and a flashlight. Yesterday was a very hot day, well over 100 with the heat index, and even Mr. Mike couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the doorbell. It wasn’t getting power. He crawled up in the attic, which was more like an Easy Bake Oven up there. After taking everything apart, removing devices, and spending over an hour testing and sweating,  he went home to investigate possibilities on his computer. 

After ordering a part on next day Amazon and stopping at the hardware store for a new doorbell unit, Mr. Mike came over today and climbed back up into the attic, installed a new transformer, reattached the RING system at the door, changed out the old doorbell system that was broken, and VOILA, I was back up and running.


OK, don’t tell him I was taking pictures of his handy work. (I did ask if his last will and testament was up to date when he was joining the live wires.)


The RING system is pretty cool. It takes pictures of people and motion near your door, even at night. It notifies you on your cell phone or computer, even if you are away. It takes great pictures, doesn’t it? “Hi, Mr, Mike!” (Don’t tell)

The point of the story is, I have the greatest neighbors. I’ve always been blessed with great neighbors who have become good friends. 

Thank you, Mr. Mike. I owe you A LOT of doggie sitting and frozen pizzas. Lots!


Friday:) Furry Friends and a Fiery Sunset

24 Jun

“Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under!” ― C. JoyBell C.

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Back to my routine, back to friends, grocery stores, walking, lunches and visiting furry friends. I’ve always loved animals, but I’ll admit, it’s been VERY nice these past few years not having to take care of two big active dogs. I can travel whenever I want without kenneling, running around, and working my world around my pets. 

The good news is, having neighbors and friends with pets, I have the pleasure of walking a dog whenever I like, visiting with cats, and guess what? I get to go home or go out for the entire day. It’s like being a pet grandma.

Bella is Mr. Mike’s little dog. She is so cute and sweet and loves me to death. When I go out for a walk,I check   and see if Bella wants to take a walk with me. She always does.


Sometimes, my neighbor Diane goes away for a couple of days, and she asks me to stop in and check on her cat. He’s cute and sweet and loves me to death. (Are you seeing a pattern here?)


This evening, after I took Bella for a walk, then visited with Parcel, I continued my walk in the unbearable heat. The air was thick and steamy with a storm on the horizon. Hopefully it will cool off a little. But, it’s just the beginning of summer, AND it is Texas, after all.

A fiery sunset to end the day. 

“Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under!” 

― C. JoyBell C.


Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom~ Don’t Talk to Strangers ~ NOT

22 Jun

“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”

~Fyodor Dostoevsky*******************

Back home to McKinney today. My sister took me to O’Hare early this morning to catch my flight to Dallas. No traffic jams, and we arrived in record time, so I had two hours before my flight boarded. I like to get to the airport early so I can 1.Not stress about being late 2.Relax and have some breakfast 3.Talk to strangers and meet new people.


I printed out my boarding pass at the kiosk, tsa approved, so I got through security in just a few minutes, THEN, when I went to get my bag off the rollers, there on the floor, right at my feet, was a lucky penny. (Good sign.)


I walked through the crowds and over to the food court, stopping at McDonald’s. With my brown bag with Golden Arches in hand, I scouted around to see where I would sit. Here’s what I always do at the airport…I look for someone sitting alone, and I go over and say, “Do you mind if I join you?”

I saw a gentleman with an airport employee badge on who just sat down. When I asked to join him, he was more than cordial. I introduced myself, and he said his name was Ray. Ray, a baggage handler, was on his lunch break at 9:30 a.m. I asked how he was doing, and he said tired. He started work at 4 a.m. 

(Ray had his serious selfie face on here, but he mostly had a wonderful smile when we talked.)


Ray and I talked a long time about family, work, Chicago, McKinney, hopes, dreams, faith, and more. It’s amazing how you can get to know a person pretty well in less than an hour. Subtle cues, gestures and words tell a lot about a person. Ray was very polite and called me Mam when I asked to sit down. He stood up to shake hands upon introduction. Before he started eating, he folded his hands and said a prayer before he ate. He smiled and joked and was open and honest when we talked, sharing stories about his life and his family. So, within a short time, I met a man of faith, a caring father, a man who admitted to having a turbulent troubled youth, but now blessed with a good happy life. Conclusion: a good, kind, sincere, hard working, optimistic, honest man of faith.

That’s why I like to talk to strangers. Everyone has an interesting life. Everyone has an interesting story. You’ll never hear that story unless you talk to them. It was a pleasure to meet Ray. We shook hands and said goodbye, wishing the other a good day. I said, “Take care Ray. Maybe I’ll see you next time I visit Chicago.” 


It was a good day, smooth flight, and safe arrival. My friend Karen picked me up at the airport, we stopped for an early dinner, and caught up on the latest news. 

When I got home, I unpacked, which entailed pretty much just throwing all the laundry in the washer. Then, I went for a long needed walk. I talked to a few neighbors on my journey, and caught the evening sunset. The sun was out till well after 8p.m. Because it’s the first day of summer.



It’s good to be home. Happy First Day of Summer!!!

Tuesday:) Time for Friends, Toasts, and Tiny Toes

21 Jun

I have no idea what I’m going to say when I stand up to give a toast. But I do know that anything I say I find funny. 

~Don Rickles
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Here’s a toast to all my dear friends, here and there and everywhere. Cheers to all my family and friends, the ones I leave behind and will miss here in Chicago, and to all the ones I’ll see when I get back home to McKinney. Both places are home.


Toasting with Debbie. Friends for forty years.


More old friends for nearly twenty-five years.


Mom and cousins. Family and friends.


Now, for the tiny toes… the cutest toes I’ve ever seen. Grandbaby toes.



Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

18 Jun

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” 

― Mahatma Gandhi

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An early morning getting ready for 8 o’clock Mass at St. Mary of the Angels on Hermitage in Chicago. The church is only about a ten or fifteen minute walk from Matt’s apartment. The city streets are quiet early on a Sunday. St. Mary’s is a gorgeous traditional ornate church both inside and out.


The Gospel today was about “the bread of life,” celebrating Corpus Christi. A Communion we are called to share with God and each other, a symbol of nourishment for the body as well as the soul.

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:”I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

My take on it… everyone needs nourishment for the body, bread to sustain us, BUT, we also need nourishment and food for the soul, a faith, a bread to feed our inner beings. The bread is a symbol, and Catholics believe that when the  Eucharist is consecrated, it indeed becomes the flesh of Christ. It is food for the soul.



I always light a candle and say a prayer for family and friends when I visit a different church. Today, I lit two different candles. It is such a huge beautiful church, I couldn’t decide.


When I walked outside after Mass, taking pictures, and looking at the vantage points, a couple of little white butterflies, or they could be moths, but I call them butterflies, fluttered around me, almost hidden by the matching white flowers. I have this thing about butterflies being a good sign, lucky symbol.

After Mass, Matt and I walked a few blocks and had breakfast at a nearby deli and sat up on the rooftop to enjoy the morning.

It’s been a great Sunday so far. I hope you are all having a good day AND 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the fathers out there.

Saturday:) Sittin’ and Singin’ “Up On the Roof”

18 Jun

“The sky’s the limit if you have a roof over your head.”

~Sol Hurok

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I told you that last night Matt and I had pizza up on he roof. Before it got dark, Matt went back downstairs, but I stayed up on the roof, enjoying the cool night air, the sounds of the city, and the magnificent skyline.


Chicago is a fun city with a beautiful skyline. It’s the city where I was born. It’s home even though I don’t live here anymore. They say you can’t go back home again. Why not?


My view from the roof.


My view from the car.

Friday:) Firsts and Seconds and Pepperoni Faces

17 Jun

“Whenever a thing is done for the first time, it releases a little demon.”

~ Emily Dickinson

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In the past few years, I’ve had a lot of firsts in my life, some some good, some bad, some happy some sad. I remember on July 10th, 2014, I checked into the hotel for my son’s wedding rehearsal and wedding the next day. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was 60 years old, and had never checked into a hotel by myself. I’d never stayed alone in a hotel. It was the beginning of many FIRSTS. Oh yes, first divorce and it will be the last.

Since then, I’ve been to the movies alone, have gone to restaurants and parties alone, driven hundreds of miles, and many other things that some people do without thinking. I’ve always been such a scaredy cat, but now I’m turning into Wonder Woman. (Just a little movie plug.)

Today, I rented a car for the first time. Can you believe that I’ve never done that? It was empowering, and I’ll admit, a little scary. Mostly because I’m directionally challenged and a pretty lousy driver. But, thanks to the iPhone and navigation systems, I’m a new liberated woman. 

I actually took a picture of the car and license in case I park it somewhere and forget what the car looks like. Challenged people take extra precautions.


So, that was a first, and now for the seconds. I’m in Chicago, and one cannot go Chicago without having some deep dish pizza. My son, Matt, picked up the pizza, and we sat on his rooftop deck, overlooking the magnificent skyline in the distance. We ate pizza, enjoyed the view, and I had seconds. Two pieces of pizza,


Oh, it never fails. I always seem to see funny faces in my food. Here is Mr. Pepperoni Face. 


I bit off his chin before I noticed his face.

Firsts, Seconds and Mr. Pepperoni.