Tag Archives: friendship

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

13 Oct

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

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An absolutely perfect Sunday morning. I couldn’t have asked for nicer weather, in he 60’s and the sky a crystal clear blue. That’s why this Psalm and song popped into my head.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus entering a village where ten lepers asked, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” He cleansed them, but only one returned, fell at the feet of his healer and thanked Him. He was a Samaritan, a foreigner.

Jesus said in reply,

“Ten were cleansed, were they not?

Where are the other nine?

Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”

Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;

your faith has saved you.”

My take on it… sometimes we ask for God’s help, but we forget to thank Him when our prayers are answered. But also, how many times do friends and family do something special for us, and we often take it for granted. It’s funny, I was thinking about that e other day. I thought, I need to make some special hand painted cards and send to people that have been so kind and generous to me, and just say “Thank you for all the times I forgot to say thank you.” This Gospel reading spoke to me.

After Mass, Mr. Jerry, Helene and I stopped for coffee and conversation, then I stopped at the grocery store to buy more stuff that I really don’t need, but… it was on sale.

Another walk around the neighborhood with Bella. She loves the cooler weather. So do I. Then, I decided to work outside a couple of hours. It’s been too hot for weeks, but… this is the day the Lord has made… for working outside.

I had a nice chat with my friend Debbie, from back home in Chicago. She texted me a cool shadow picture of her Halloween decorations and I did an Artisto application to it. My friend Debbie is awesome. We’ve been friends since BC… before children. I think about 1977. Thanks Deb, for all the friendship and kindness all these years. (Your other best friend is kinda skinny there.)

Now, I have to walk the dog again and think about getting something to eat. Yikes! It’s almost 7 and I haven’t eaten anything but a handful of Bugles and nuts. Crazy!

Happy Sunday, my friends.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.