Tag Archives: friendship

Wednesday:) Words From Friends That Melt Your Heart ❤️

3 Oct

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”–

~Marcel Proust

**************

To say that I have been blessed with the best, most loving friends in the entire world, is quite an understatement. Yesterday, one of my best friends from high school, (we’ve been friends more than 50 years) sent me a gift. Just out of the blue, for no particular reason, just because she was thinking of me. She saw a cute coffee cup with the words “Hola Bonita,” and thought of me.

Linda and I haven’t seen each other in years. She lives in South Carolina, but we keep in touch via Facebook now. Her beautiful card said that she saw the cup and thought of me. She said that she enjoys my daily blogs and all my silly Facebook posts. My old friend from high school was a Spanish teacher for many years. How a Polish girl becomes a Spanish teacher, I don’t know. How a Mexican girl becomes an art teacher, well, that was my forever passion.

People cross our paths for a reason, and sometimes our paths lead us in different directions. But, true friends always stay in our hearts.

Thank you for making my day. I love you Linda Tomczak Ribskis!!!

❤️❤️

My soul blossoms…

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”– Marcel Proust

Wednesday:) 9/11 NEVER FORGET

12 Sep

“September 11 is one of our worst days but it brought out the best in us. It unified us as a country and showed our charitable instincts and reminded us of what we stood for and stand for.”

~Sen. Lamar Alexander

**********************

September 11th is one of those days that we will always remember what we were doing in 2001. Everyone has each detail imbedded in their brain. Everyone remembers and grieves in their own way. I bake. That’s what I do. That’s how I say THANK YOU.

This year, my dear friend, Linda Grossman, (World’s Greatest Realtor) offered to go with me to deliver brownies and cupcakes to each of our nine McKinney fire stations. That’s a big task because they’re spread all over the city.

I started my baking frenzy last night. I made a zillion mini chocolate cupcakes with the cherry in the middle, then frosted them this afternoon, also baking two pans of brownies. My kitchen is still a disaster, but well worth the chaos. The smiles and grateful handshake and hugs were the greatest reward. Also, because Linda joined me, she was able to capture some great photos on her much better camera. And, ham that I am, I was able to get in the photos too.

It took about three hours to get to all nine fire stations. And, I’ll have to say, I was a little disappointed that more folks hadn’t stopped by with treats or cards or some kind of recognition today. We went back into a few of the kitchens and saw one or two containers on the counter.

I know it’s been eighteen years, but what happened to the “NEVER FORGET” part? Anyway, I’m glad we stopped by and each station welcomed us with big smiles.

What a wonderful way to spend the day. Here’s a funny thing… when we stopped at Station 5, Linda looked at the clock to check on our time, and the clock said 5:55 and we were at Station 5. She said, “Is that some kind of sign?” Spooky? Cool! Then, I walked behind my car to go around and get the cupcakes from the back seat, and there on the ground was… a lucky penny. Spooky? Cool!

When we stopped at 5, I asked the young firefighter if he might possibly have my container from last week when I dropped off cookies? He went back and checked and said, he didn’t see one, and apologized. I said that was fine, no big deal. As we were driving away, Linda said, “What’s that noise?” I thought my car was making a noise. Turns out, two of the guys came running out and yelling as they we’re chasing the car in the parking lot. They found my container. That was so funny. I asked Linda to take a picture of the out of breath firemen.

We are so blessed to have the finest first responders right here in McKinney. You don’t have to wait till 9/11 to say thank you to a firefighter or police officer. There are 364 other days in the year that you have the opportunity to thank them. (Thank You!)

Thank you, Linda, for all your time and photos. You rock!

Monday:) McKinney Creative Community

10 Sep

“Creative geniuses redefine the desired solution. They don’t just push the envelope; they create a whole new courier system.”

― Puneet Bhatnagar

*****************

McKinney has become quite the cultural arts district in North Texas, and it continually grows and expands. The behind the scenes art community is well represented at the monthly McKinney Creative Community potluck meeting every second Monday of the month at The Cove.

Our meetings begin with a yummy potluck, sharing food, beverages, laughter, hugs, and friendship. Then, we gather in a big circle for our “new and good” portion, sharing a little bit about ourselves, our recent creative endeavors, and the highlights of our month since last we met.

Our guest speaker this month was Angi Burns, the Executive Director of the Ovation Academy of the Performing Arts. Angi had an informative and inspirational presentation of how her vision for this academy evolved. After many years of teaching in public schools and having talented children of her own, she realized the great need for a special school for young people whose talents and creativity often get lost in the public school system.

With an in depth presentation of plays, performances, and accolades of the academy’s students, our group was thoroughly impressed with this new school and the possibilities it brings to our local young people.

One of the important things I learned from the presentation was that not all young people are comfortable or able to blossom in the average public school system. Often, talented and creative students are considered odd, different, or weird in the mainstream classroom. Unfortunately, they sometimes are ridiculed, teased or taunted. Ovation Academy provides a nurturing safe place for these young people to learn, flourish and to express their unique talent. We are very fortunate to have this innovative school here in McKinney, a welcome addition to our “Unique by Nature” arts community.

Ovation Academy of a Performing Arts is located at 301 W. Louisiana St. and more information available at http://www.ovationpa.org

Saturday:) Strangers On A Plane

18 Aug

“When strangers start acting like neighbors… communities are reinvigorated.”

~Ralph Nader

*****************

I finally had a lazy uneventful day. It’s too hot to go for a long walk, and no one called to invite me on an adventure. How lovely.

Today, I wanted to tell you about a lovely lady I met on the plane when I was returning home from California last week. If you’ve done some traveling, I’m sure you know that cramped uncomfortable feeling of sitting elbow to elbow on a jam-packed airplane. It’s a giant sardine can in the sky. The only redeeming grace is meeting interesting people along the way.

I have a tendency to talk to strangers, but I also have a keen sense of who is approachable and who I should avoid. I strongly believe that people give off an electrical energy that can be sensed if you just pay attention. A slight smile and friendly body language are other indicators. I’ve been fortunate to meet the most interesting people when I travel,

My new friend Judith and I started our conversation with a few pleasantries. By the time the coffee/beverage cart came around, we were sharing family photos and funny stories. I showed her pictures of my artwork and of course, my grand-daughters. She has identical twin daughters and a wonderful husband.

Judith was traveling to Dallas with her husband, but he was up in business class and she was way in the back with me in “low class.” We laughed about that. He was speaking at a conference on business with his ticket provided, and she wanted to tag along and see Dallas and had to buy her own ticket. He walked back later and apologized, saying that he was going to come back and switch seats with me, but he had fallen asleep. I told him that I was happy that he fell asleep because I got the chance to spend time with his charming wife. His name is Tony…HA! That was easy to remember.

I also shared several baking tips with my new friend. The next day, when she texted me from her hotel, she reiterated the tips I gave her on using mini marshmallows in brownies, aluminum foil at the bottom of upside down cake, and putting fresh bread slices on top of day old brownies to keep moist. I was honored that she remembered. She also sent me a lovely picture of her family.

The world is filled with beautiful people, you just have to take a little time to say hello and meet them. You never know, you just might make a new friend.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

11 Aug

“What we spend, we lose. What we keep will be left for others. What we give away will be ours forever.”

― David McGee

*************

A beautiful, yet steamy Sunday morning. It’s going to be pretty darn hot all week. It was nice to be back greeting at the door before Mass. All my little children, “the usual suspects” were there today. I gave away three matchbox cars and a little stuffed doggie, and a lot of hugs were exchanged.

Today’s Gospel according to Luke was about living this life in preparation for the next. Sell your possessions and share with those in need.

“For wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.”

Be vigilant, like the servants waiting for their master to return.

“Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. In truth I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them.”

My take on it… This life is just a preparation for the next, a testing ground, so to speak. We aren’t sure how long we have on this earthly planet, but we should make the most of it. Not just for ourselves, but for all of those around us.

Haven’t you felt that wonderful warmth in your heart when you do something nice for a friend or neighbor, or a random act of kindness for a stranger? That’s a wonderful feeling. The more you give away, the more you receive. It’s not a one time deal, or an occasional act, it’s should be a way of living.

I’m sure you are all feeling the aftershocks of the tragedies going on in our world right now. Instead of condemning and blaming, let’s rally together and support and help one another. Baby steps… one step at a time. We are all one family.

After church, I stopped at McDonald’s as I usually do with friends, but this morning, the usual friends weren’t there. So, I sat alone a while, drank my iced tea, looked at the church bulletin and did my traditional people watching. Being a writer with an active imagination, I always imagine who these strangers are and what their lives are like. Everyone has a story. I make up stories in my head about these folks, just from their mannerisms or who they are with or what they are wearing or eating. It’s a fun pastime.

The rest of my day has been very quiet. It’s too hot out to do anything outside or go for a walk. I miss my walks. But, tomorrow is the dance at 1 and Creative Community in the evening, so I’ll get some baking and running around in. Well, no actual running. It’s too darn hot. Google says it’s 98 degrees now. Yikes!

Friday Friends at Towne Creek

10 Aug

“Friends, food, and fun art projects. What more could you ask for””

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

**************************

Well, I’m back from vacation in California, and back to my hustle bustle aching sore muscle daily routine. I started out the morning with a service call from Joplin’s AC and Heating. My AC was acting up before my trip, so I made an appointment for first thing this morning.

The good news is, Grant, the repairman was very nice and helpful. The bad news is I need a complete new AC unit for my house that isn’t even 5 years old. Gehan put in the crappiest units in all their homes and all the neighbors have been complaining about it on Facebook and Nextdoor. So, I wasn’t at all surprised. Grant was kind enough to fill up the coolant to get me through till installation on Tuesday, and to have enough time to sell my first born child, auction off my car, hoc the furniture and pawn my wedding ring to pay for it. (Just kidding! Got rid of the wedding ring 6 years ago.) I’ve spent the past few days with the house at a steamy 88 degrees or more. Thanks Grant from Joplin’s AC.

This afternoon was my volunteer day with my lovely senior artist friends at Towne Creek. I got some inspiration for a project while we were visiting The Last Gallery after art Club yesterday.

I did a quick demo on a small 8×10 canvas of just dripping, splattering, and scraping paint for a background, then dropping blobs of watered down acrylic for flowers, and then playing with it for different effects.

I told my ladies that their paintings turned out even nicer than mine. They didn’t agree, but I think it’s true. Plus, I told them that it’s a huge compliment if the student’s work is better than the instructor’s. Then, I’ve done a good job.

Didn’t they do a great job? Oh, and the neat part is, we put our paintings outside the door to dry because the paint was very thick and very wet, and it was VERY hot out there. When we went to look at them, Miss Dorothy noticed that some pink flowers from the crepe myrtle tree out front had fallen on Miss Nelma’s painting. So, we plucked a few pink blossoms and placed them on the thick white paint of her flowers, right where God had dropped them for a special 3-D effect. (Upper left)

Miss Dorothy did a special larger painting that was inspired by a beautiful spiritual dream that she had a while ago. She says she is not an artist, but had a dream that she was doing a painting and talking to God. It’s a beautiful story, and it’s Miss Dorothy’s to tell, so she’ll have to share it. The colors all have a special meaning. It made us all cry.

After our little feast of hot dogs, chips, and ice cream sandwiches, Miss Dorothy had arranged a big pizza party for all the residents at 6 o’clock. She also invited a couple of friends from church to entertain. So, of course, I stayed for the festivities.

After the music, a few people gave some inspirational testimony of God’s influence on their lives. I told my beautiful story of Mom leaving us those two lucky pennies from heaven.

Thank you for a fun evening, Miss Dorothy.

Happy Friday, my friends.

Tuesday:) Toni’s… Just Another Manic Monday

24 Jul

“There is no such thing as too busy when your day is filled with joy and laughter.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

“I try to meditate every morning. It relaxes me, clears my mind, and sets my day off on the right foot before things get too manic.”

~Elle Macpherson

***********************

That’s a great idea Elle. Now, to follow up on meditating is another thing. Personally, I find my own version of “Manic Meditation” to be helpful. I’m not talking about the clinical version of any kind of disorder. I’m talking about just everyday life. I keep myself happy, mindful, and centered by keeping very busy with beautiful people and surrounding myself with beautiful thoughts and things to do.

Here was my Monday… I got up early and walked before it got too hot, made 10 sandwiches for the country dance at the senior center, took a shower, curled my hair while I checked emails and Facebook, changed, then scurried off to the dance by 1pm.

Someone brought these cute cowboy hat desserts made with chocolate dipped Pringles and Rolos for the potluck. (Ideas?) I’ve made some very nice friends over at the McKinney Senior Center dance. The best part is all the fun I have dancing. According to my phone app in my pocket, I put in a good 2 miles of steps just dancing. When I’m sitting there, I think to myself how blessed I am. I smile and the music is my mindful meditation.

After the dance, a group of us go over to Whataburger for an iced tea and conversation. We laugh and tell jokes and just be silly. Now, we’re talking about people in their 60’s and 70’s. Even us old folks like to dance, laugh and be goofy.

We sat there till after 5pm, and Helene and I laughed because we were meeting Miss Pat and the gang over at Braum’s for dinner or ice cream at 5:30. We were just going from one thing to the next. Jack asked which Braum’s were we going to because he’d like to join us. We thought he was kidding, but he showed up. Jack and a dozen single ladies. I had my usual frozen yogurt waffle cone. Yum! He had a great time and the ladies enjoyed meeting Jack.

It was after 7, and driving home my fuel gauge actually blinked red and I was on empty. That rarely happens. I was waiting for the prices to go down. Well, that wasn’t happening, so I stopped to fill up. I got home in time to put my feet up a minute, check emails and head out for an evening walk before dark. The heat of day had cooled off and it was pretty nice. I stopped off at Mr. Mike’s to take Bella for a walk. I always love to catch the sunset.

How can you not feel blessed and grateful when you have such a fun busy day with good friends and fine food and dancing and laughing?

There’s no such thing as too busy when your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

23 Jul

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”

― Anthony G. Oettinger

(I thought this was funny, but it took me a couple of seconds to get it.)

********************

Another fine week filled with good friends, good food, and lots of other stuff.

Saturday:) Sharing Is Caring

21 Jul

“When we share, we open doors to a new beginning.”

― Paul Bradley Smith

******************

My friend Linda asked me the other day if I’d be able to help her with her Facebook page. I told her that I wasn’t an expert, but I knew how to do a few things. The only reason I know how to do most things on my computer or iPhone or iPad is because someone showed me some tips and tricks and encouraged me to use the trial and error method.

I remember when I got my first iPhone, I was totally clueless. I used it to make calls and then shut it off. It made me nervous. But, I wasn’t afraid to ask for help. When I went to lunch with friends, I’d ask Sherry or Lynne to stay after to give me a few pointers. That was quite a while ago, and now my cell phone is just another appendage. Now, I’m an app totin’, photo shootin’, karaoke croonin’, obnoxious selfie takin’ grandma. Ain’t technology grand?

This morning, Linda and I met at McDonald’s for our first Facebook and photo sharing rendezvous.

I brought my older iPad and she had her newer iPhone. Some things were a little different, but we figured them out. I showed her how to get a photo from her picture albums, enhance, add color, and crop, and then get onto her Facebook profile. It took a while, she took notes, and we practiced. I remember doing the same thing with my mentors. I was just “paying it forward.”

After an intense technology immersion session, we sat and relaxed, talking about children, grandkids, friends, faith and our mutual love of McKinney. When we started our morning, we were just friendly acquaintances. Now, we are girlfriends. You really don’t get that closeness until you sit, one-on-one with someone and share your entire life in a couple of hours of personal conversation. We have so much in common. I wouldn’t have known any of that from our usual big group gatherings.

A little tip… always try to spend some quality one-on-one time with friends. Share your time and talents, and remember to pay it forward.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

16 Jul

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

********************

A wonderful week here in north Texas. It’s gettin’ hot, but it is Texas, after all. No standing still, always keeping busy and moving forward.

A week in a peek…