Archive | May, 2015

Theme Somg Thursday: “Who’ll Stop the Rain”

22 May

“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” 

― Bill Watterson, The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book

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It started out rainy again today, storming all last night. Yikes! Enpugh already. But, the skies eventually cleared. The rain can’t last forever. Or,can it?

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Creedance Clesrwater Revival

Long as I remember the rain been comin’ down 

Clouds of mystery pourin’ confusion on the ground. 

Good men through the ages tryin’ to find the sun. 

And I wonder still I wonder who’ll stop the rain. 
I went down Virginia (I did drive down Virginia Avenue) seekin’ shelter from the storm 

Caught up in the fable I watched the tower grow 

Five year plans and new deals wrapped in golden chains. 

And I wonder still I wonder who’ll stop the rain. 
Heard the singers playin’, how we cheered for more. 

The crowd had rushed together tryin’ to keep warm. 

Still the rain kept pourin’, fallin’ on my ears 

And I wonder, still I wonder who’ll stop the rain.

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“Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” 

― Bill Watterson, The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book

   
 

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Sometimes You Have to Let Your Hair Down

21 May

Sometimes you just have to let your hair down, even if it gets all tangled and messy.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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The story of my life has pretty much correlated with my hair styles over the years. This is a very profound observation, if I don’t say so myself.

When I was a young girl, my hair was so thick and curly, that I cried when Mom tried to comb the mass of tangles out. Thus was childhood, tangled, confusing, and unruly.

  
Then, high school and the 70’s happened. Long straight hair was in. What do you do when you have long frizzy Hispanic hair? Why, I put horrific smelling, scalp burning , chemical straighteners on it. Or, I asked my sister to iron it. Yikes! Teenage and young adult years, trying to fit in, conforming, straightening up, growing up.

Life happens, I had kids, raised my family, and basically, I just didn’t  care what my hair looked like. I was too busy. My hair was in a ponytail 99% of the time. Adult years and motherhood, no time to worry about my hair, too busy worrying about my family, friends and life.

Eventually, things slowed down. I decided to be natural, honest and live simply. Back to the curly hair. Naturally curly hair is a blessing, so I’m told. I never appreciated it when I was younger. Time to appreciate your blessings.

  
Now, getting older, trauma, drastic change, time to let my hair down. No more tightly wound buns, crazy curly tresses, or death grip pony tails. Time to straighten out again. 

Today, I called my friend Gaby, who is an amazing stylist, and I asked her what she could do with my frizzy curly unruly hair. Three long hours of tedious work later, she worked her magic, yet again on my goofy hair. 

  
Time to let my hair down. Here we go! 

   
Golden years, golden hair. My hair is shiny, smooth, untangled and beautiful. Now, time for a beautiful, smooth, untangled life.

See the correlation?

Tuesday Tributes and Farewells: What Would You Like?

20 May

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” 

― Shannon L. Alder

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Today, I had the honor of attending the funeral of my dear friends’ father. It was literally standing room only, and the family and pastor had touching stories and humorous tales to share. It was a special tribute to a great man. This is not the time or place to talk about this fond farewell, but this day really got me thinking about how fleeting time is and how we never know when we will leave this earthly life.
When I thought about what my funeral would be like, I didn’t get sad. I actually was quite pleased. I’ve been so blessed with so many people who love me, and I them. I thought of all the things that I thought would make a perfect tribute to my life. I told my friend Lynne about it and she said, “Why don’t you write it down and tell your family now?” I think I will. Here ya go.
Here’s my funeral…I’d absolutely love for ALL my friends and family (actual  family) to attend if they are able to, but, if they are far away and it’s a lot of trouble, by all means, just raise a glass and toast to me with a shot of Tequilla or a Black Russian (with chocolate ice cream of course.) I’ll be with you in spirit.
Then, ABSOLUTELY NO fancy flowers and huge sprays of roses. This is not necessary and this is not me. I’ve always lived a simple and frugal life. I wouldn’t ask for donations to a certain charity in lieu of flowers, but rather ask you to go have dinner with your family and friends, and spend time with each other. Maybe share a few stories about me. Good ones only, please. What am I thinking? That’s the only kind there could be.
Because I do love flowers, mostly painting them, if you’d like to bring a single rose to place in one of my handpainted vases, it would be wonderful to see the vases filled with single roses from people I loved. (And I will be watching, so I will see.) A single rose is supposed to signify simplicity and gratitude. I like that.

   
 
Red (Single) “I Love You”

Light Pink Admiration, Sympathy, Gentleness, Grace, Gladness, Joy, Sweetness

Yellow Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight, Promise of a new beginning, Welcome Back, Remember Me, Jealousy, “I care”

Single – any color Simplicity, Gratitude

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Then, there must be chocolate, lots of chocolate. Please bring brownies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, chocolate anything to share. If there is a gathering afterwards, no fancy dinner, how about a chocolate fountain? Don’t forget to invite my firemen buddies at stations 5 and 2. Now, that’s a celebration of my life.

   
 

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ― Shannon L. Alder

   
 

Montage Monday

19 May

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” 

― Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

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A very wonderful week. Friends, firemen, horses, walking, music, and mayhem. A week in a peek.

  
   
 

Sunday Sermon and Some More Songs and Stuff From Saturday Night.

18 May

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” 
― Maya Angelou

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Sunday sermon. This week we celebrated the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, leaving behind his earthly body and promising to return again. My take… the ultimate sacrifice, God sent his son to live among us, teach us, and show His unconditional love by dying on the cross. He rose again, ascended into heaven and will return. If we follow His teachings, we will enter the kingdom of heaven. Good stuff.

Another moving part of the service is the singing. I enjoy singing along and hearing the choir. Music touches my heart.

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Speaking of music, I wanted to share the fun Saturday evening at Cadillac Pizza Pub on the Square. My friend Linda Grossman said she was going to listen to Maylee Thomas-Fuller Band and asked if I wanted to join her and some friends. Well, of course. I love live music, especially if it’s right here in McKinney. 

I’ve heard the band before at outdoor venues, but at the pub, close quarters and sitting just a few feet away, it was an awesome experience. I still have ringing in my ears. Maylee was burning up the stage, starting off with a tribute to B B King.

http://youtu.be/vYrfOwVNSt4

  

We had a big table by the stage. Johnny B, DJ from KLAK and his lovely wife Julie joined us, along with  a few more of Linda’s friends. Everyone sang along to the classics, especially when Johnny got up and sang “Johnny Be Good.” When I left at midnight, the band was still rockin’.

  
Linda and me.

  
Linda and Maylee.

  
 

Johnny B belting out “Johnny Be Good.”

Whether it be a soft church choir hymn or a deafening rendition of “Purple Rain,” I love music. All music.

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” 
― Maya Angelou

Sentimental Saturday:What a Didifference a Year Makes

16 May

When life clips your wings, God sends you angels to help you fly.

~Toni Andrukaitis

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“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” 
― J.M. BarrieThe Little White Bird

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Yesterday, after rain, running, and a broken tooth, I was looking forward to an evening of uplifting spiritual music and friendship. My friend and world’s best realtor (blatant plug), Linda Grossman, had invited me to a Texas God Chicks event at the Sanctuary in McKinney. It was a Christian women’s dinner and musical celebration.

The funny thing is, my friend and neighbor, Sheila Johnson, had invited me to this same event last year. It came at a very low dark time in my life, but the comraderie, friendship, songs, and prayers shared by a room full of faithful loving females was overwhelming. At the end of the function, women who were in need of healing were encouraged to walk up to the front and have one of the many spiritual friends hug them and pray with them.

I remember last year, Sheila held me tight and prayed for God to give me strength and help me heal. This year, I went up to Sheila again, and she said, “Girl, you have come such a long way. You are beautiful and happy and God has smiled on you. We are going to pray for His continued blessing.”

What a difference a year makes. My wings had been clipped, but God sent me many, many, many angels to help me fly. I’m still not soaring on my own, and who knows if my wings will heal completely and I’ll be able to fly solo, but I always have my angels. You know who you are. 

 

Thank you Linda Grossaman for being one of my many angels.

   
 

  


Friday Free Throws and Fulmination

16 May

“All at once, I couldn’t figure out why I was methodically tossing a spherical object through a toroidal object. It seemed like the stupidest thing I could possibly be doing.” 

― John Green

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Yoga is not for me. I can’t sit still, balance or pretend I’m all calm inside. So, when my friend Diane asked if I wanted to go to yoga his morning, I said I’d go to the YMCA with her, but no yoga. I’d work on some machines or something. When I arrived, I rode the stationary bike a while, then went into the empty gym to run a few laps. (I hate treadmills and refuse to use them.) Sometimes I grab a basketball and shoot a few hoops. 

I made a startling discovery while trying to make a basket. Sometime in the past forty years, while I wasn’t looking, I think they changed the distance of the free throw line. I couldn’t make one single free throw. After about thirty failed attempts, I decided to just run and dribble cross court, make a few lay ups then run across again. It felt pretty good, just like the old high school days when we hung out in the park. The only difference now is, I’m not sixteen, I’m in my sixties. Imdid pretty good for an old lady.

  
I’m going to go back there next week and measure.

When I got home, I ate a little breakfast then went out later for a brisk walk in the drizzly  afternoon. Did I mention That I’m an old lady? I keep forgetting.

So, now for the “fulmination.” I was munching on a handful of mixed that I keep in a big glass jar on the counter. I felt and heard a crunch. Thinking it was just a shell, I spit the contents into the garbage. A few minutes later, I realized I had a gaping hole in my mouth. My crown on my lower back tooth was gone. I carefully sifted through every inch of the garbage. No crown to be found.

  
I called the dentist and was able to get in right away. That’s the good news. The bad news…$1,500 to replace the crown. Yikes! The end.

  

Theme Song Thursday: What a Wonderful World

15 May

“This world can be quite wonderful once you let yourself be a part of it. It’s on your side, you know?” 
― Charlotte Eriksson

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Another fun-filled, jammed packed, busier than a bumble bee day. Zumba at 8:30 followed by a quick change into nice clothes at the Y, and off to the Square for Art Club end of the year lunch at Snug. Very nice. Afterwards, I walked around and visited with friends. My plan was to hang out on the Square until 5, as our writing group was meeting for dinner at Square Burger. I didn’t want to go home for two hours, then turn around and come back again. (Plus,I didn’t want to lose my good parking spot.)

The sun had come out, finally, but I was missing my afternoon walk. I decided to go back to my car and was going to go home when the light bulb went off. Duh, my Zumba clothes and gym shoes were in the car. I grabbed my bag and did another quick change at Sweet Spot Bakery, then I went for a long brisk walk through the historic district of McKinney. I’d never done that. The older historic homes with their beautiful gardens were amazing.

   

     

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnbLRCIJKbE&sns=em
I stopped at Michele’s house for a short visit, then back to the Square two hours later for a quick change, then dinner at 5. When I got home around 7:45, it was still light out. Yet another quick change for a short walk. Yes! I know, I’m crazy, but with all this rain, I need to squeeze in every minute of sunshine. Plus, I stopped and met some new neighbors around the corner. 

A good, busy, beautiful day…

“So I say to myself, what a wonderful world.” 

 

Wednesday Words of Wisdom:What One Thing Are You Grateful For Today?

14 May
“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” 
― Arthur Conan DoyleThe Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
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“Wake every morning with at least one thing to be grateful for, and it will be a great day.”
~ Toni Andrukaitis
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Another rainy gloomy day, but did this get me down? No! I looked in the mirror and said to myself, “Self.” I really didn’t say that, but I did say, “It’s going to be a great day.” Really, if you say that out loud, it works on your brain.

I had a nice lunch with friends. Ginger arranged a lunch meeting, and I was so excited that Miss Vicky, who I haven’t seen in ages, was there with her sweet smile and snappy sense of humor. Krys couldn’t join us, but stopped by just for a hug and to say hello. I was near Hobby Lobby, so I got my crafting withdrawal fix without spending too much.

The rain continued, so I couldn’t get out for my walk. Bummer. BUT, my neighbor Diane invited me over for a glass of wine and to watch the rain from her back porch.

  
Grey skies or blue, take the time to be grateful. What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday Towne Creek Tribute to Our Fire Fighters

12 May

But sound aloud the praises, and give the victor-crown
To our noble-hearted Firemen, who fear not danger’s frown.
~Frederic G.W. Fenn, “Ode to our Firemen,” 1878

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Today, the seniors and folks at Towne Creek Apartments in McKinney hosted their annual Fire Fighter Appreciation Lunch. The charming residents and staff wanted to thank the many dedicated people who put their lives on the line every day, and who more often than not, receive 911 calls to help one of the residents there. Everyone bakes, cooks, decorates, sets up and anxiously awaits their arrival on this special day.

  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLQEaCCApUQ
   
 

I made my famous brownies. 

 

There is always a lot left over, so Miss Nelma, Miss Augustina and I went over with tons of barbecue, rolls, salads, and desserts for Station 2 and Station 5. They truly appreciated it.

Station 2 guys.

   

Here are the happy Station 5 guys. 

   
 

Thank you all you guys and gals in blue, we appreciate all you do.