Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom… “Squeeze the Day”

23 May

“Life is like a tube of toothpaste. Just when you think you’ve squeezed every single tiny last drop out, you surprise yourself and get a little more.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I was thinking about this analogy this morning. Last week, I was just about ready to throw out my old tube of toothpaste. It was looking pretty empty. I started from the end and rolled it up, getting another tiny bit. Every morning and every evening for over a week, I rolled and squeezed and this morning, there was still a dab left.

And you know what? I think I can still squeeze few more dabs out of this old tube.

That’s my analogy on life. Keep squeezing all you can out of life. There’s a few more dabs left. Don’t give up. “Squeeze the Day… Carpe Diem.”

Tuesday:) Toni’s Movie Review: BOOK CLUB

23 May

“Since our society equates happiness with youth, we often assume that sorrow, quiet desperation, and hopelessness go hand in hand with getting older. They don’t. Emotional pain or numbness are symptoms of living the wrong life, not a long life.”

~Martha Beck


I decided last minute to go and check out the movie, “Book Club.” I went by myself and just assumed the theatre would be empty. It usually is during the week at 2 pm. Today, there was a long line, and it looked like everyone was going to see that movie. I was also surprised that there were a lot of men in the audience.

Diane Keaton (Diane) is a straight laced recent widow whose daughters treat her like an ancient old lady.

Jane Fonda (Vivian) is a free-spirited, no-strings attached, never married wealthy maven.

Candace Bergen (Sharon) is a Federal Judge dealing with an old ex-husband who is engaged to a young bimbo, as she struggles with her own self-esteem.

Mary Steenburgen (Carol) is a housewife trying to spice up a boring marriage of 35 years.

The four women started a book club when they were just school girls and continued meeting over the years. When they decide to read “50 Shades of Grey,” the plot thickens. The steamy book changes their outlook and lives. They decide that they aren’t getting older, they’re getting better. And, you’re never too old for love and happiness.

There were a lot of giggles and outright laughter in the audience, even among the male viewers. I thought it was going to be a “chick-flick,” but I think men could learn a lot about how women think by watching this movie.

I especially related to Candace Bergen’s character, watching her Ex acting like an old fool with the younger bimbo girlfriend. She eventually decides that she deserves some happiness, and should get on an on-line dating site and test the waters. She’s older, not dead.

Well, I thought it was going to be a goofy chick flick, but it turned out to be a realistic commentary on real life. It was a funny happy movie about friendship, aging, love, dreams, and possibilities.

I would recommend “Book Club.” I’m not sure about a younger audience. But, I think 30-40 and older will really like it and can relate.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

21 May

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.

~Douglas Adams


This was a great week for honoring men and women in service to their community and others. I like to think if we support our local community and city with time, integrity and service to others, we would have a much better world. One little town at a time.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

21 May

And the only sin that the blood of Christ can’t wash away is the sin you don’t ask forgiveness for.”

Matthew 12


This morning, while I was getting ready for church, I heard that ping on my cell phone. When I looked, it was the weather app saying, “Chance of showers at 8:27.” I always laugh and think, “Yah, right. How do they know exactly.” But, I was thankful, because I grabbed my umbrella on the way out the door at 8:15. I drove down the street and at 8:27, it started to sprinkle. Ha!

Instead of being annoyed at the dreary rainy day as I drove, I thought, “Thank you God for washing off that big plop of bird poop that’s been sitting smack in the middle of my windshield all week.” It’s not that I was too lazy to wash it off. I just am old and kept forgetting until I jumped into the car and put it in reverse. Thanks for the free car wash.

Today is Pentecost Sunday. The first and second readings were read in English, German and Swahili. Then, Father Don read the Gospel John 20:19-23. And, he read it only in Spanish. He did a pretty good job for a Gringo. Jerry, standing next to me whispered,”Did you understand any of that?” I smiled and said, “Yep, all of it.”

On the evening of that first day of the week,

when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,

for fear of the Jews,

Jesus came and stood in their midst

and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.

The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.

As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,

“Receive the Holy Spirit.

Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,

and whose sins you retain are retained.”

My take on it… Jesus asked the disciples to go out and spread His word. He breathed on them so they could receive the Holy Spirit. Here’s the interesting part, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Even Jesus and the Bible tries to explain the meaning of forgiveness. Yes, it is important to forgive sinners of their sins, BUT it is not a blank check, free for all, do as you please without remorse blanket of forgiveness. God knows what’s in your heart and will forgive the truly penitent and remorseful. There are just some people who are evil, just don’t care, and don’t deserve forgiveness.

Matthew 12:31 KJV

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

The unpardonable or unforgivable sin, it is to deliberatly refuse to acknowledge God, to turn your back on him. It is blaintantly refusing the Holy spirit when he is trying to tell you or lead and convict you of your wrong doing. Anyone who has committed such a sin has removed themself from the only force that leads them to repentance, in so doing their hearts are harden, and sin no longer feels sinful and there is no longer a need to ask for forgiveness. And the only sin that the blood of Christ can’t wash away is the sin you didn’t ask forgiveness for.

Well, that being said….Amen.

After Mass, the sky cleared up a bit and it turned out to be a nice day, so I took my long walk around the neighborhood. I stopped in Mr. Larry’s garage, but I didn’t have a beer today. Too early. We just chatted with Miss Sandy, and I was showing them a few things on their new smart phones. They are a little bit older, (not much compared to me) and finally gave up the old flip phone. There’s a lot to figure out.

I lobe my neighborhood. There’s a nice combination of young families, old people like me, many races and religions, cops and firemen, and cats and dogs running all around with the kids. A nice community.

Yesterday, our HOA hosted a gathering at the splash pad across from the pond. Lots of kids and laughing. Neighbors brought picnics and the kids splashed around. It was pretty hot. They even hired one of those icee trucks that serves snow cones. I got one, but was thinking it would have been better with margarita splashed on top instead of wild colored syrupy stuff.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday at Fire Station #9

19 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


It was a warm McKinney morning, and after a long walk, I went over to the new Fire Station 9 just about a mile from my house. I’ve been there a few times already, but today, they were hosting an open house to meet and greet their new neighbors.

The halls and inside the walls were busy with small children with big eyes, excited to see real firemen and giant red trucks. Oh, when they got to sit behind the wheel of the big truck, and ring the bell, now that was elation.

Captain Novatzyk and I had a brief conversation. I told her the reason I stop by the fire stations with brownies, cookies and cupcakes all the time. Over fifteen years ago, my mother had a stroke and collapsed in my arms. The paramedics and fire fighters were there in a matter of minutes. They saved my mother’s life, and for that I am eternally grateful. We had her with us for many more years. So when I bake for any occasion, I make a double batch and share with my local fire station. I also bake for 9/11, Christmas, and gosh, sometimes I just because I feel like baking and sharing. The Captain also was kind enough to search through all the cabinets for my plastic bowl that had my name on it from when I brought a bunch of food for Cinco de Mayo. It was on top of the middle fridge. Found!

The entire station was busy entertaining the guests, children and a few want-to-be dads.

There were games and snacks for the kids, and of course, every child wanted to shake hands with a fireman and wear an official red plastic firefighter helmet.

It’s so nice to have the community participate and see what our local fire stations are like. I saw a few young boys and girls there that might just grow up to be one of our finest in blue.

Friday:) Women in Service 6th Annual Luncheon

19 May

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”

~Douglas Adams


I had the pleasure of attending the 6th Annual Women in Service Luncheon today, hosted by the LoveLife Foundation and Maylee Thomas-Fuller. The even was held at the Sanctuary in McKinney. The charity event supports at-risk women and children in Collin County.

Guest speaker, Holly Snell, is executive director of Hope Women’s Center right here in McKinney. Holly spoke about how God turned an extreme tragedy in her life into restoration, and a blessing to others. Her story had the entire room in tears.

It was also wonderful to see many McKinney friends, all women who support their community in many ways. There was a wonderful lunch, door prizes, raffle, and gifts for each guest. Oh, let’s not forget the lovely hand-painted vases and gift bag for our table, created by yours truly, commissioned by my good friend…and World’s Greatest Realtor, Linda Grossman.

The bottom inscription says 1COR 13:13. Faith Hope Love ❤️

Just a few of my good friends attending.

When I first arrived, I was busy setting up the table, so I didn’t purchase any raffle tickets. I wasn’t going to, but then a thought popped in my head, “I always win something.” So I purchased just one little lonely $10 raffle ticket and put it in the little box in front of the wine basket filled with wine accessories and gadgets. Well, you know what’s coming next. Maylee said, “Now, for the wine basket, number ending in 546… I looked at my ticket…Yep, it was my number.

At the closing, Maylee asked for prayers and support, not only for LoveLife Foundation, but also for the city of McKinney. Her husband, and also mayor of McKinney, George Fuller, has had to deal with some recent controversial events. The Fullers hope to raise awareness and bring our community closer, instead of dividing it.

Maylee’s closing words…

So, what is our purpose here on this planet? I think it’s to love one another, help one another, and be happy. Today was a good happy day.

Thursday:) Do What You Love

18 May

“The ultimate dream in life is to be able to do what you love and learn something from it.”

~Jennifer Love Hewitt


My two great passions are my artwork and my writing. So, what better way to spend a day than writing about my art. Lately, I haven’t been too inspired to doing anything artsy-craftsy. I usually need a bunson burner under my butt to get me motivated. So, when my friend, Linda Grossman, (World’s Greatest Realtor) asked me if I’d paint some glass vases as gifts for a special luncheon, I was excited.

I got out my glass paints and started painting my signature bluebonnets. It took a few days. Then, I got a brainstorm and decided to buy some fancy white bags to paint on those, an even more special presentation for the gifts.

I really do love creating hand-painted gifts for special people. Nothing says love like home-made.

It’s also fun to make a mess and be able to leave it upstairs on the table. After I painted a dozen bags, I had some paint left on my palette. I thought hmm… I’m running low on hand-painted note cards. Yep, I painted a dozen cards with matching envelopes to add to my depleted stash of cards.

It’s always so rewarding to do what you love, and sharing that talent with others.