Tag Archives: Friends

Sentimental Saturday

25 Oct

“I find myself becoming increasingly nostalgic for the past, but after all I suppose that is the only thing one can be nostalgic about.”

― James Rozoff

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The life of a long distance grandma is challenging. Thank goodness for technology and a wonderful caring family. I received a FaceTime call from my sweet daughter-in-law, asking if I was able to FaceTime with the girls. Princess Belle wanted to show Gamma her new outfit. She was Minnie Mouse today. The girls love to play dress up.

While I had them on camera, I asked if they’d like to open their Sunday Surprise package from Gamma today. I had this cool idea that if I sent a box of little packages for the girls, labeled Week 1, Week 2, etc., enough to last a couple of months, then I could watch them open up their little gifts when they called on Sunday. They called today, so I asked if they could open their gifts today.

The girls were excited and immediately went to the table to use their new colored pencils, and Belle was enchanted with the pencil sharpener, needing to sharpen the already sharpened pencils, but just the colors that she liked. Black and brown did not need re-sharpening. Lovely sentimental things like this just warms my heart.

After we said our goodbyes, I was going through some of my old photos on my iPad. I have over 10,000. It takes a while. I lingered over the more nostalgic memories. I won’t share them all. You’re welcome.

Some of my favorites.

The Reynolds triplets a long time ago. I bade them this silly school bus cake for back to school which was also around their birthday. I miss these little faces.

One of Mom’s beautiful murals.

A chilly cloudy day here in North Texas, but a warm nostalgic Saturday here at my house.

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

19 Oct

“You gotta know when to be lazy. Done correctly, it’s an art form that benefits everyone.”

― Nicholas Sparks

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Wow! What a crazy lazy Monday I’m having. Hey, what’s wrong with that? Oh yah, that’s pretty much my day every day. “No rest for the wicked.” I’m safe and well rested.

A week in a lazy peek…

Happy Monday, my friends!

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

5 Oct

“Don’t think there are no second chances. Life always offers you a second chance… It’s called tomorrow.”

~Nicholas Sparks

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An absolutely gorgeous Sunday morning, and to make it even more exciting, it was my first Sunday back to attending Mass at St. Gabriel. I am proud to say that I remembered to put on regular clothes and not go in my pajamas. Both of my dear friends, Jerry and Helene, were there. We’ve been talking about this for weeks. When will we feel comfortable attending church again. Today was the day.

I’ll be honest, it felt wonderful to be kneeling and praying and singing inside our beautiful church again. Tears formed as I knelt and prayed upon my arrival. It was like going home.

Today’s Gospel was the parable of the landowner he leased out his vineyard, but when it was time to collect his produce from the tenants, who not only refused to pay, but harmed or killed the servants who were sent. When the owner sent his son, they killed him too.

When asked what the owner should do, they all responded that the owner should seek vengeance and find new honest tenants. The reply was this….

42 Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this is the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it?

43 ‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’

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I’ll be honest. I didn’t get it. I get the rejected stone part. All stones don’t have to be perfect, but the rest I didn’t get. So, I looked up some explanations. I found this one from the University of Notre Dame Reflection.

Ah… I didn’t even think of the correlation. God sent His only son, and they denied Him, tortured Him and killed Him. Yet, God still loves mankind and gives us a second chance. But again, God talks to us every day and calls us. He gives us a second chance, but we have to listen. It’s not a blank check or a blank “get out of jail free card.” God will forgive even the worst sinners if they turn away from their sin and repent. How merciful is that?

Reflection: faith.nd.edu

Tom Jackson ’10 M.A.

God has tried to speak with people ever since there have been people. The Bible can perhaps be summed up as a series of stories about God’s attempts at communication and the various responses people have made. 

Today, Jesus takes a focused look at that history, and his interpretation is less than glowing. Through a parable, Jesus calls to mind the stories of the prophets. God sent many prophets over the ages to preach about God’s love and our responsibilities. Nearly every time, these prophets were dismissed or killed for speaking unwelcome words. God then sent his very own son, as the landowner in the story did, in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, this time people would listen. “While God will always welcome us back, we must accept that welcome and act upon it by responding to God’s call.”

God has sent countless messengers to each of us, too, to call us to greater relationship with him. Sometimes it is not easy to hear this message, either because God is sending a difficult message or because we do not know how to truly listen. Such listening requires great patience and practice, and we must set aside time in our lives to better hear that voice. Hearing God’s voice is not an easy task, but it is one we must all strive to do.

The good news is, as we learn from this parable today, God is immensely patient with us. God continues to speak to us each day, no matter how far we have drifted or how long it has been since we tried to listen. No matter what we do, God will continue to try to speak to us and will always give us a chance to return. 

While God will always welcome us back, we must accept that welcome and act upon it by responding to God’s call. God speaks to us incessantly. Each day, God tries to speak to us. Today, we try to listen to that word and act upon it.

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The rest of my Sunday was just beautiful. It was great to see old friends at church, with masks and at a distance, of course. Special moments to “savor.” Several walks in the park with the dog, FaceTime with my little girls, and a beautiful sunset.

“Saying goodnight to Gamma and blowing kisses.”

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

8 Sep

“The best part about a long weekend is that Friday comes a little bit quicker.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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It was a long Labor Day Weekend. I didn’t do any Labor, so it was just a regular weekend for me, I hope you enjoyed yours, ❤️

A week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

7 Sep

“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”― Germany Kent

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This morning, I actually got dressed and got ready for 11am Mass. No pajamas today. I only had to take about twelve steps from the bedroom to the living room, but it was the preparation and the journey that counts, right? I prepared my cup of tea and got out my cracker for my virtual communion. (I know, it’s silly, but virtual communion is better than none.)

Today’s Gospel was interesting.

MATTHEW 18:15-20

15″If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

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My take on it… we should try our best to forgive people and listen to their side of the story and live in peace. Go directly to the person who has wronged you. Try and solve your differences. If they refuse, look for outside help or mediation. If that doesn’t work, just step away. Sometimes there’s just NO reasoning with bad hurtful people. Not everyone deserves forgiveness, nor do they want it. How you live your life on earth now will be reflected in the next life.

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This morning, after watching Mass, I was looking at my Facebook posts and catching up with friends’ photos and comments. I also spent a lot of time deleting UGLY political commentary posted by friends and family. I just don’t want to see it. I don’t get it. They can have their opinion, but I don’t understand why they have to post mean, ugly, hurtful, negative pictures and comments. Seriously? What purpose does it serve? Does it make them feel better? I just lose respect for them.

After much deleting, I ran across an uplifting story about Heratio Spafford, posted by my friend Joni Goen. She has such a wonderful loving spirit.

Heratio Spafford endured such pain and heartache throughout his life, but still had the strength to survive, appreciate his life and his gifts and his family and friends. He didn’t blame man or blame God. Even after all this suffering and loss, he wrote “It Is Well With My Soul.”

IS IT WELL WITH YOUR SOUL???????? Let’s be kind to ourselves and one another.

Did you know⁉️The song “It Is Well With My Soul” was written by a successful Christian lawyer Heratio Spafford. His only son died at age 4 in 1871. In 1872, the great Chicago fire wiped out his vast estate, made from a successful legal career. In 1873 he sent his wife & 4 daughters over to Europe on a summer trip on the ill fated SS Ville du Havre. Since he had a lot of work to do, he planned to follow them later. The Ship sank and he lost his 4 daughters with the wife being the only survivor. She sent him a famous telegram which simply read, “SAVED ALONE….” On his return home, his Law firm was burned down and the insurance company refused to pay him. They said “It’s an Act of God”. He had no money to pay for his house and no work, he also lost his house. Then while sitting and thinking what’s happening to him, being a spiritual person, he wrote a song – “Whatever, my Lord, You have taught me to say – It is well, it is well with my soul”. My dear friend, a good attitude will determine your altitude. When you look at your life, career, job or family life, what do you say? Do you praise God? Do you blame the devil? A good attitude towards God makes Him move on your behalf. Just sit down and say, “Today, God, it is well with my soul, I am thankful I had a peaceful sleep, I am thankful I am alive with possibilities, I am thankful I have a roof over me, I am thankful I have a job, I am thankful that I have Family and Friends. Above all, I am thankful that I have the Lord Jesus Christ on my side.” Be blessed and don’t be envious or shocked when others are prospering because you don’t know what they have been through to get there (test, trials and tribulation) so thank God for what you have. “Little is much when God is in it. It Is Well With My Soul!” Touch someone’s life with this message. If God is for us, who can be against us? A blessing is coming your way, my friend.

Saturday on the Square and Elswhere

6 Sep

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”

~Tim Cahill

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When it’s a gloomy Saturday evening, the skies just finished pouring rain, and there’s nothing on TV, it looks pretty bleak. Then, my phone rang at 5:48 pm. It was my good friend Sherri Murphy…”Whatcha doin’?” Well, knew an adventure was in my future.

Sherri said that she wanted to run down to the Square and go see Maribeth Jagger’s art show over at The Cove, and would in like to join her. Well, Maribeth is one of the most awesome local artists and instructors around McKinney. I said, “Sure!”

She said she was driving down Prosper Trail Road and would be at my house in ten minutes. I’m glad she gave me some notice. (I’ve been known to call her from her driveway.)

The Square was pretty hopping as we drove through on our way to The Cove. It was so good to see Maribeth and a few artist friends that we haven’t seen in many months. I think we were all smiling. Hard to tell under all the masks. Maribeth had a clear shield, so we could see her smile. It was great to see Steve and Minda Macias. Alex was there too, but no photo op. (Amazing ceramic and pottery artisans.)

After we visited a while, we drove back through the Square to look for the Butterflies on display. Here’s the one in front of Chestnut Square.

We probably visited for around an hour all together, but it was wonderful to go on a short adventure with Sherri Murphy.

I’m still not sure if I’m Thelma or Louise… I guess it really doesn’t matter. We do have fun. Thanks Sherri!

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

31 Aug

“He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses much more; He who loses faith, loses all.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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We had a lovely rainstorm during the night. It’s been so dry, that the welcome pelting of rain and flashes of lightning were most welcome as I slept. I woke up around 4am because I was warm. I looked up and noticed that I had forgotten to turn on the ceiling fan. NOPE! The power was out, no electricity. That’s ok, I was happy for the rain, and went back to sleep. The power came back on around 9 am and I was more than happy to go reset all the clocks. Rain, glorious rain.

I took the dog for a walk in the park, had a little breakfast, and got ready for Mass on TV.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus told his disciples how His life would end with death and resurrection. Peter told Jesus that this should not happen, but Jesus declared that Peter was thinking like a human and not as God ordained…

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.

25 Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.

26 What, then, will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life? Or what can anyone offer in exchange for his life?

27 ‘For the Son of man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his behaviour.

My take on it… this is a pretty old and well shared passage… You can have all the money, power, wealth, or status in the world, but if you lose your soul, you have lost everything. At the end of your life, wealth, power, and status mean nothing. You can’t take it with you.

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It was a lovely day. I decided it was a perfect bake cookies day. All the work was already done. I took out one of my rolls of chocolate chip cookies from the freezer. If you didn’t catch that recipe…OMG…Only Magnificently Great. I sliced the dough, placed some caramel bits on top and sprinkled with kosher salt.

I’ve done a lot of baking in my life, but I’ll attest to the fact that these are the worlds greatest cookies ever.

And when paired with a cup of green tea in my brand new “I ❤️ my Friend” mug that my friend Sherri Murphy gave me yesterday, that makes for a perfect day.

A Saturday evening sunset saying goodnight.

Friday:) The Most Fabulous Talented Friends

29 Aug

“I’m inspired by artists and musicians. There are so many wonderful and talented people in the world. I love discovering new music, new writers, or new art.”

~Alicia Keys

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One of the perks of being an artist, writer, and all around busy-body, is that I’ve made friends with the most fabulous talented people.

A few weeks ago, my friend Krystyna Watson posted some adorable hand-made gifts and accessories for little girls. When I saw some pink princess patterns and Mini Mouse items, I asked Krys to save me a few for my granddaughters. I usually can pick up some great Christmas gifts at her booth at St. Gabriel’s Holiday Craft Show. It was cancelled is year…oh no!

Not only can Krys sew up a storm, but a few years back, she joined me volunteering over at Towne Creek a few years, and taught our senior friends many artistic techniques, origami, paper crafts, jewelry making, knitting, crafting and other cool projects that I have no clue about. I learned a lot. She also cooked and baked yummy treats for us all. Krys is KOOL!

We arranged to meet yesterday so I could pick up my little girl gifts and check out some new projects she’s been working on. Wow!

Here are some of my treasures…

A couple of back to school totes. My little girls will love these.

These little dolls are also little shoulder bags to store all kinds of treasures.

A few hats, scarves, scrunchies, and Kleenex pouches.

Then, she gave me about a dozen or more handmade scarves to share with our senior friends at Towne Creek this Christmas. What a special gift.

I’ll be sure to share more info on Krystyna Watson’s beautiful projects when she gets ready for holiday sales. (I’m lucky to be on the inside track, and have such a talented friend.)

Yes, I’m blessed with the best talented friends.

Cheers, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Anniversary Celebration

24 Aug

“Each day offers a reason to celebrate. Find it and experience true bliss.”

― Amy Leigh Mercree

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Another lovely Sunday, and so much to celebrate. A morning walk, the warm sun, and a fine day to watch Mass on TV.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus asking people who they thought He was. When He asked Simon, Simon acknowledged Him as the Son of God.

16 Then Simon Peter spoke up and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’

17 Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a blessed man! Because it was no human agency that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven.

18 So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my community. And the gates of the underworld can never overpower it.

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven: whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

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My take on it… faith is a very powerful force. Peter had such faith in the Lord that he was given the honor being the foundation and head of the church, the rock, the cornerstone.

Now, for the celebration. Today is August 23rd, which is one of my three miracle days. Six years ago today, I moved into my brand new house to start my brand new life. What once was a sad day and mournful memory, became a beautiful celebration. Forty-five years ago, what I thought would be one of the happiest days of my life, turned out to be an awful painful nightmare. My happily ever after turned into a dark disaster. I was rewarded for my faith and trust in God, just like Peter in today’s Gospel, and I started my new life on that same day, 39 years later. Now, I celebrate my new home Anniversary every year.

I usually have a huge party and celebration with friends, but with Covid and quarantine craziness, NO PARTY for my sixth anniversary. Hopefully, next year will be amazing and celebrated with twice as many friends.

Past celebrations…

Now, for a glass of champagne and some hand-dipped chocolate covered strawberries. Cheers, my friends. Cheers to another wonderful year and celebration of life. Cheers to many more celebrations to come.

Friday:) From Here to There and Two Pennies

22 Aug

“Every day is your lucky day. It’s all in your perception.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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A nice morning walk with a few fun encounters. I decided to extend my walk by going down some streets that I normally don’t venture down. I crossed in the middle of the street to avoid some sprinklers and found a lucky penny. Cool!

Because it’s Friday, I wasn’t sure if I was going to feel like an evening walk, so I decided to just push myself and extend my morning routine. Playing that little mind game, I said, ” Let me see if I can do 3 or 4 miles today. I don’t think I’ll take my usual sunset stroll.” When I finally gave up and arrived home, I had gone over 5 miles. I am AMAZING! (But, you already knew that.)

It was starting to get warm, but I trudged on, crossing streets occasionally to get on the shady side. Another mid-block crossing offered yet another penny. Two lucky pennies in one day.

Later in the day, I got a text from my neighbor, Allison, saying that she had a brand new outdoor rug that she couldn’t use, and would I like it? Why yes! So, she threw it in her truck and dropped it off on her way to the store.

I took this opportunity to sweep up the back patio, hose down the cement, hose down all the really dirty furniture, and water all the plants, before putting down the new rug. Butterflies and dragonflies were fluttering around me as I worked, as if to say, “Nice job. Keep up the good work.”

BEFORE.

AFTER.

It was a good day, a lucky day, a gifted day, and…. of course, a Black Russian Friday. Cheers, my friends.