Tag Archives: quotes

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

27 Oct

A full description of a person’s life, however uneventful or uninteresting, fills a large folder.

~Henning Mankell

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A very uneventful week.

Cold and gloomy here again today.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

26 Oct

“A new religion with only one commandment: Thou shalt not tell others how to live.”

― Marty Rubin

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A Gloomy misty cloudy chilly Sunday here. But alas, I didn’t have to wake up early, and I was able to watch Mass on TV. I’m getting very spoiled and lazy. With my tea and cookie in hand, (bread and wine for the blessing) I was ready for the service.

Today’s Gospel was the story of another group trying to have Jesus incriminate Himself…

Gospel

MT 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,

they gathered together, and one of them,

a scholar of the law tested him by asking,

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 

He said to him,

“You shall love the Lord, your God,

with all your heart,

with all your soul,

and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 

The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

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My take on it… Well, this Gospel I’ve been agreeing with and professing forever. There really should be only two commandments. Love God, love your neighbor, all the others just refer to the first two. Actually, I wouldn’t even say “Love your neighbor as yourself,” because some people don’t love themselves. How about, love your neighbor better than yourself.

Well, the rest of my day was pretty quiet, peaceful, and lovely.

Happy Sunday, my friends. I love God, and I love you all.

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.

Friday:) Black Russian Karaoke Friday

24 Oct

Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.

~Joseph B. Wirthlin

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My week is all discombobulated. Without my regular routine, I’m all mixed up. I need routine, stability, schedules… I need a drink, is what I need. (Thank goodness it’s Friday.) I don’t do change well. This Covid stuff has me going crazy. Wednesday became Thursday, and Thursday I wrote a throwback Thursday memory, and today I’m singing karaoke instead of yesterday. Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and I will not know what day it is. Ah, but if that’s the least of my worries.

I was still awake when the rain and storm blew in between 2 and 3 a.m. I rejoiced at the sound of the pelting rain, we needed the rain. Plus, my sprinklers are all messed up, so I haven’t been watering like I should. Thanks up there.

So, today I’m singing my Quarantined Karaoke Black Russian Friday.

“”Rainy Days and Mondays.”

Ah, now for my famous Black Russian Friday… Cheers, my friends!

Throwback Thursday: Tommy and Mabel

22 Oct

Modern storytellers are the descendants of an immense and ancient community of holy people, troubadours, bards, griots, cantadoras, cantors, traveling poets, bums, hags and crazy people. – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

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Normally, my Thursday is my Quarantined Karaoke Thursday post, but when I was checking Facebook today, I saw my old story about Tommy the wandering troubadour. No one has seen him around McKinney for a few years. I sure hope he is O.K. and singing, laughing and making new friends. (Tommy singing “Homeward Bound,” below. Check out the YouTube video. Has anyone seen Tommy?)

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TOMMY AND MABLE

Tommy sat on the cold metal bench outside a little coffee shop in downtown McKinney. His raspy muffled voice crooned a soft country song, while aged yet agile fingers strummed across the well worn strings of a blue acoustic guitar. Salt and pepper hair brushed across a ruddy bearded face as a crisp north wind kicked up. Tommy reached over to secure the two wrinkled dollar bills flapping inside the open guitar case. He carefully tucked the ends of the bills under the small stack of prized CDs bearing his image and that of Mable, his faithful companion of thirty-seven years.

Johnny Cash’s, “Ring of Fire,” soulfully echoed across the Square, and Tommy’s foot tapped along with each rhythmic beat. I dragged a wooden chair across the brick sidewalk, and then parked myself a couple feet away from the real-life Texas troubadour. I enjoyed each rendition of old familiar tunes, as well as the original compositions inspired by nearly forty years of life on the road.

“Tommy, would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself, ” I asked when he took his first cigarette break. “Where are you from?”

“I was born in McKinney, Texas. Haven’t been back here in over thirty years.” His tone and demeanor became a bit more serious when he described his early childhood.

“Yep, I was born right here in McKinney. My folks got killed when I was thirteen. They wanted to put me in foster care, so I took off and rode the rails. Never looked back. Been traveling ’round the country ever since.”

His eyes brightened and a little crooked smile appeared when he started talking about Mable. “We’ve been together for thirty-seven years now. I was rummaging around in a dumpster looking for cans one day, when I ran across this old black guitar with a broken neck. She was in bad shape, but I fixed her up with some glue and tightened up her strings.”

The adventures were mixed with making new friends and happy times, sprinkled with the hard hungry days.

“We’ve walked across all these forty-eight states, just playing music for folks and living off what they put in my guitar case.”

Tommy went on to describe the nomadic life of a traveling troubadour. “I’ve never run into anyone else who does this. It’s an honest livin’. I don’t beg. I just play my music and if folks like what they hear, they drop a dollar or two in my case. Sometimes I’d ride the rails from one town to the next or just walk ’till I couldn’t walk no more.”

I listened as he carefully crushed the tiny cigarette butt beneath his worn out walking shoe and tossed it in the trash can beside the bench. “I don’t stay in one town for more than a few days. Never had a wife or kids. Wouldn’t be right, with me movin’ round so much. Wouldn’t change a thing if I could.”

When I asked about Mable, he said she was named after his beloved grandmother. The old black acoustic guitar with hundreds of scrawled signatures from front to back, now sat in the window of Snug on the Square, just a few feet away. I asked if I could take a picture of him and Mable, so he walked over and took her out of the window. I could see the jagged repair on her neck and her strings were missing.

“Mable’s retired. When you retire a guitar, you take off the strings. Need ’em for the next one.” Then he pointed out the spot where Elvis had scribbled his name one rainy night in ’69 in Mobile, Alabama. But, he was just as proud of the signatures from a group of women that signed her after a Susan B. Koman walk a few years back.

“ I decided that it all began here, so it should end here. I’m leaving Mable with Sandra and these nice folks. I know they’ll take good care of her.”

Tommy mentioned that when he came back to McKinney after being gone for so long, he strolled along the unfamiliar streets and asked around at a few shops and restaurants downtown to see if he could set up somewhere and play his guitar. Sandra Nichols, owner of Snug on the Square, was the only one who welcomed him and treated him with respect. “That’s when I knew my Mable would have a good home and a good family right here. They’re going to keep her right there in the window.”

I was intrigued by the story of Tommy and old Mable, especially the long and loving relationship the two shared. So, of course, I was curious about the new acoustic.

“Tommy, what’s the name of your new guitar? I was sure it would be another interesting story.

He turned his whiskered face and answered, “Haven’t named her yet. She’s gotta earn it.”

After taking a few pictures and recording a couple segments of Tommy serenading and smiling at passers-by, I said farewell to the wandering minstrel from McKinney. I shook his talented weathered hand and dropped all the cash I had in the old black guitar case. Who knows when Tommy will be passing this way again?

Tommy and Mable

With silver hair and a crooked smile

Strumming tunes that make you want to sit awhile

As you tap your toes and start to sing along

He shares each word, and has lived each song

His guitar is closer than any family

And the road, the only home he’ll ever see

But he and Mable have a need to play

Her frame is worn and her strings won’t stay

They’ve seen the whole country from east to west

And the town they’re in, is the one that’s best

Mable’s been signed by many a star

Even Elvis scrawled his name on that old guitar

But the real country singer never settles down

‘Cause there’s another ballad and another town.

Toni Andrukaitis

Wednesday:) Wellness, Words of Wisdom and Be Wary of the Narcissist

22 Oct

“Narcissists have poor self-esteem, but they are typically very successful. They feel entitled; they’re self-important; they crave admiration and lack empathy. They are also exploitative and envious. The malignant types never forget a slight. They may kill you ten years later for cutting them off in traffic. But they act perfectly normal while plotting their revenge.”

— Janet M. Tavakoli

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I’ve done a lot of reading and research on NARCISSISM these past few years, for obvious reasons. Today, this story was in my inbox from a site I follow at healthyresearch.com. It confirmed a lot of information that I already knew and have already lived. But, I didn’t realize that they suggest that narcissists cannot learn from their mistakes. Basically saying, they will rarely, if ever, change their ways. It does make sense now because they don’t feel they make mistakes. Everyone else makes the mistakes. Duh!

I’m sure everyone has come across, has lived with, or has dealt with one or more narcissists in their lifetime. (Don’t even get me started on politicians.) I read the entire article and the best advice came at the very end…

“You cannot expect narcissists to learn from or admit to their mistakes. Ultimately, you may benefit most by caring for yourself as you interact with the narcissists in your life. For additional guidance, talk with a mental health specialist.”

In other words…”Run, Forrest, Run!”

Wellness Pursuits

Read Wellness Pursuits to live life to the fullest.

Why Narcissists Cannot Learn From Their Mistakes

(WellnessPursuits.com) – Most of us learn when we’re kids about the importance of admitting our mistakes. As we grow, we also acquire the ability to look back on and learn from those errors.

However, a new study has shown that narcissists feel so superior to other people that they do not own up to their mistakes. Moreover, the researchers discovered why narcissists cannot learn from their errors.

Why Narcissists Never Learn

When we make mistakes, most of us reflect on what we did wrong so we can avoid similar errors in the future. But researchers found that narcissists don’t believe they made mistakes. Rather than look back at the past in order to recognize what they could have done differently, narcissists blame others.

The act of reflecting on previous actions to analyze what we could have done differently is known as “counterfactual thinking.” When we engage in counterfactual thinking, we mentally envision a different scenario to learn from past mistakes.

Narcissists, however, put the blame for any errors on external forces, according to the study’s researchers. They protect their own egos because they truly believe they are superior to other people. As a result, narcissists are unable to learn from their mistakes.

The researchers noted that we all occasionally protect our egos by taking credit for success while putting the blame on others for failures. But few of us consistently protect self-esteem in the way that narcissists do.

Inside the Narcissist Study: ‘I Think I Am A Special Person’

Researchers at Oregon State University – Cascades formed four groups of participants. To rank the participants’ narcissism, they had them choose between two statements:

• “I think I am a special person” versus

• “I am no better or worse than most people”

Participants were then asked which hypothetical job candidate to hire. After reading how the employee performed, they had to answer questions about whether they made the right hiring decision.

The researchers used their responses to determine if the participants used counterfactual thinking and if hindsight bias affected their counterfactual thinking.

Hindsight bias is when we falsely believe we know the outcome of something before it happened. Someone experiencing hindsight bias will say, “I knew it all along” — even though they didn’t actually know. For example, if you were to make a bet with a friend and they lose, they might try to convince you they knew all along that they were going to lose.

The study’s researchers found that narcissists:

• Were more likely to exhibit the “I knew it all along” mindset when their predictions were inaccurate, a tactic they use to protect their egos.

• Do not believe they need to change.

• Do not take part in self-criticism.

All of these characteristics explain why narcissists are unable to learn from their mistakes and make better choices in the future the way the rest of us are.

How Can We Deal With Narcissists In Our Lives?

Does that research study remind you of any acquaintances in your own life? Those of us who know people with narcissistic tendencies may face challenges in maintaining relationships with them.

It’s helpful to understand that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is considered a mental health condition. However, experts say that some individuals may have narcissistic qualities without NPD.

For example, we may know people who seem to require constant admiration. Other individuals with narcissistic tendencies may appear extremely egotistical, or seem to lack the ability to respect others as equals.

Experts say that we can deal with individuals with NPD or narcissistic characteristics by following these precautions:

• Observation: Individuals with narcissistic tendencies may concoct grandiose promises and concepts. By observing these types of people when they are not performing in front of others, we can be watchful of toxic behavior, such as disrespect or manipulation, and know to keep our distance.

• Self-Care: Narcissists don’t just seek the spotlight. They feel they deserve it. Take care of yourself by recognizing your own needs and strengths. Make time for yourself.

• Support: If you are working with or for a colleague with narcissistic tendencies, focus on building healthy relationships and a support system outside of work. If this individual is a family member or friend, consider expanding your support system through activities such as volunteer work or a class.

If you have a colleague with narcissistic tendencies or a loved one diagnosed with NPD, you may wonder how you can help that person. However, as essayist Mason Cooley cautioned, “Withhold admiration from a narcissist and be disliked. Give it and be treated with indifference.”

Before you try to change a narcissist, remember the NPD study results: You cannot expect narcissists to learn from or admit to their mistakes. Ultimately, you may benefit most by caring for yourself as you interact with the narcissists in your life. For additional guidance, talk with a mental health specialist.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!

Copyright 2020, WellnessPursuits.com

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Toni’s Tuesday Time-Lapse Painting Video-Horse at Sunset

21 Oct

“What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.”

― Simon Sinek

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I was going through a mess of art messes yesterday, in an attempt to straighten up my work table upstairs and get some ideas on what to paint today. I had seen a cool painting on Pinterest a while back and thought I’d use the idea. An experiment. I’m not sure how they did their painting, but now I now how not to do it. But, it was a fun attempt.

Spray paint… open window, ceiling fan, and a mask. Stinky up there. I should have done the spraying outside, but it’s dark out. Maybe I should do some plein air painting next time. Live and learn.

First I did a large watercolor background, adding just a touch of acrylic to spruce up the trees. The paper was very large and the watercolor made it buckle up a bit. The good part is, I painted one ahead of time so it could dry before I did the time-lapse video. (Sometimes two steps and drying time are necessary for one project,) So, I have one with the spray painted black background and one without.

I thought a soft spray of black paint would let some of the background show through, and it did, but the jury is still out if I like this concept.

“What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.”

― Simon Sinek, Together is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration

Well. I experimented… now… to change the world.

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

19 Oct

“Once I acknowledge that life owes me nothing, I have positioned myself so that I can begin to enjoy everything.”

― Craig D. Lounsbrough

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Another beautiful Sunday, a walk in he park with the dog, check on the neighbor’s cats, shower and get ready for church… on TV… in my sweats.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the Pharisees trying to trick Jesus into commenting negatively about the census tax imposed by Caesar. He didn’t fall for it.
Tell us, then, what is your opinion:
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?”
Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
“Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax.”
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?”
They replied, “Caesar’s.”
At that he said to them,
“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”

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Well, that was pretty smart thinking. My take on it… Sometimes people try to trip you up with their words and questions. And don’t even get me started on taxes. Too many people pay too little and too many pay too much. It should all be fair, but it isn’t. But, I do agree with paying what is expected of you here on earth. Money belongs to man, and how we live our lives and love one another is how we belong to God.

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The rest of my day was splendid. I made some yummy quinoa for dinner. It had sautéed onions, sweet potatoes, chicken, with dried cranberries. It was SO delicious. I just used chicken because I had left overs to use up, but next time I’m going vegetarian with it.

Then of course, my marvelous Sunday tradition of FaceTime with the granddaughters. They are just so adorable. I get to watch them run around screaming and laughing and being silly.

Another wonderful Sunday. Thank YOU for being a part of my “vortex.” You know who you are.

A Super-Duper Spectacular Special Saturday

18 Oct

“Did you very have one of those days where absolutely everything was going right? Well, me either. But, today was pretty close.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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No alarm to wake me today. I fed the dog and let her out back, then did some meditation. Then, off for a morning walk with the dog around the pond. My neighbor is out of town for a few days, so she asked if I’d keep an eye on the cats, feed them, etc. Sure, why not? I am the neighborhood pet whisperer. Animals love be me.

Here’s the cool part… when I was feeding the cats the other day, I noticed Miss Kathy’s garbage disposal was broken. Dead as a doornail. As per instructions, I’ve always put the old cat food down the disposal. Oops! That wasn’t working.

Last year, or earlier this year, I don’t remember, maybe you do, my disposal stopped working. I googled to see how much it would cost to have one replaced and it was crazy expensive. So, I did some research and watched some YouTube videos and after one trip to Lowe’s for the right tool, I fixed my disposal. I decided that I’d give it a try on Miss Kathy’s.

I fed the cats, came home and got my tool that I had cleverly taped to the disposal under my sink and went over to give it the old college try. The hardest part was getting my old cranky knees and crinkly body down on the floor and under the cabinet, after removing all the bottles, cleaners, and stuff.

I remembered what I did with mine, and put the tool in the right spot and turned a few times, pressed the reset button, then crawled and strained to get up to test the switch. Nope! Dang!

I had my phone, so I did what most folks would do… I sat on the floor and watched a few YouTube videos on the subject. Back under the cabinet, more twisting, turning, unplugged, plug back, and say a few prayers to St. Joseph, (Patron Saint of carpenters and fathers- I didn’t have time to research who is the Saint for plumbers-St. Vincent Ferrer-just looked it up.) I dragged my old body up again and tested the switch. Voila!!!! Fixed it! I took a video and sent it to Miss Kathy, just saying, “I fixed your broken garbage disposal! I am AMAZING!” She replied… “I know you Are!”

Well, I was SO proud of myself, I could barely fit my big swollen with pride head out the front door, and my back was sore from patting myself on the back. A perfect start to my day.

Later, back at the ranch…my house… I was going through closets and boxes looking for more things to take over to church for the St. Vincent DePaul donation drive. I already had a ton of stuff, but I wanted to take three or four king size comforter sets that were upstairs in closets. When I grabbed the last one in the guest room, under the black trash bag that held the comforter, I found the long elusive crate with Joe’s 30 year old Dick Tracey lunch box and action figures that I had been desperately searching for to send him. It was under the bag. If I hadn’t been generously donating items, I wouldn’t have found it. Yay… thank you St. Anthony.

I was on a roll. I packed up the car and headed over to church with my donations. I met Helene over there, as she was donating, too. We stopped for a Coke and a chat.

I stopped at the store and got a great sale, eggs were 49cents a dozen, a case of water 3 for $5, and I had a coupon for free bananas-3 pounds, yes free! (Is there a saint for that?)

Now, even more good luck. I decided that if the line wasn’t too long outside Fire Station 5 on my way home, I would do my early voting today. Yep, perfect timing. No wait at all. In and out in less than 10 minutes.

Then, home to walk the dog… again… and catch the perfect sunset.

Now, wouldn’t you say that was a pretty darn good day? (And it’s not over yet. I know… I should have bought a lottery ticket.)

Happy Saturday, my friends!