Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day…About Writing

27 Jul

“You’re never too old or too young to learn, to write, or to tell your story.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


Three and a half years into writing this blog, I still feel like I have something to say, to share. Mostly, my posts are mundane, monotonous, or melodramas of my medieval existence. I also love alliteration, not to be confused with illiteration. It has become an addiction of sorts, a self-proclaimed challenge. I started out challenging myself to write every day for one year. That was January 1st, 2013. I haven’t missed a day yet. Need I say more?

The idea or theme of what to write each day does not always come easily. I may scan through my photos or Facebook for inspiration. Today, I was checking my Twitter entries and reading posts that I follow. My writer friend, Liz, had several re-tweets from writers that she follows. One that caught my eye was from author, Katie Lewis, kathryndlewis.com.

Ms. Lewis explained that if you are a writer and you are not writing, there is only one reason for that…you are lazy. Hmmm? She has a point! She suggested seven points to help avoid being a lazy writer. I will summarize for the lazy writer.

1) Go to the library and look at the books.

2) Read, read them, everyone, everything, including cereal boxes. (I do that, not all the books, but cereal boxes, toothpaste labels.)

3) Learn which writers work for you and which don’t. (Read what you enjoy)

4) Write EVERY DAY. (I do that)

5) Create a space in your home for writing. (Does the couch with the TV on and an iPad on my lap count?)

6) Set a daily writing goal.

7) Play an active role in the creative community.( Funny she should say that. I belong to McKinney Creative Community. Nice talented folks, meeting every second Tuesday)

Then, her final words of advice were profound, if not profane, so I have to abbreviate…


Good advice. My advice…you’re never too old or too young to learn, to write, or to tell your story.

Monday:) Music, Monte Montgomery, and My Montage Momday Monday.

25 Jul

“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” ― George Harrison


Saturday night, my friends Diane and Richard invited me to a concert over at the Guitar Sanctuary, with up front VIP seating. I hadn’t heard of Monte Montgomery before, but now I’m a huge fan. Amazing guitarist and singer/song writer.

Zack King opened, an up and coming musician in his own right, and cute as a button.

Monte came out and rocked the house with amazing songs and skills.

A great evening with great friends.

Then today on Facebook, I was nominated yet again to post pictures of why I love being a mom. So, instead of my usual Montage Monday, I have my Montage Momday.

I have two amazing sons, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and the cutest mom. I am truly blessed. Happy MOMDAY!

Sunday Sermon, and Sitting With the Shark.

25 Jul

God is able to do more than you ever imagine!

Keep trusting God. Your miracle will surely come true.” 

― Lailah Gifty Akita


Today’s Gospel, Luke 11, was about one of the disciples asking Jesus how to pray. The answer was the words of The Lord’s Prayer, or as some call it, The Our Father. Then Jesus went on to say, if you are persistent in asking God for something, he will answer your prayers.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;seek and you will find;

knock and the door will be opened to you. 

For everyone who asks, receives;

and the one who seeks, finds;

and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 

My take on it…yes, this may be true, BUT, and I believe there is a BUT, your petitions must be sincere, your heart honest and true, and your request must be worthy. You can’t say, “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedez Benz…” That’s been done. You need to pray for strength, or health, or help, not a new car or television or to win the lottery.


After Mass, I stopped for coffee at McDonald’s with a couple of friends from church. While I was there, I received a text from my good friend Sherri Murphy. She asked if I’d like to join her and her family and go over to her parent’s house for lunch and swimming. I said sure. I just needed to go home and change out of my church clothes. (I didn’t tell her that, not only do I NOT swim, but I’m terrified of water.) It sounded like a fun afternoon, none the less.

I arrived at their house before 1, and we packed up their truck with a ton of food Sherri prepared, and snacks to take to Mom and Dad’s. Sherri had this huge inflatable toy that I sat in the back with. I thought it was a shark, as it had a fin at the top and I couldn’t see his nose. So, we all laughed because I was sitting with the shark in the back of the truck. The thing took up the whole back seat and then some. Help!

It was a fun afternoon. We had a great lunch followed by ice cream sundaes. Everyone went swimming except me and Grandma and Grandpa. We watched the kids play and swim, and even Mr. Murphy was wresting the shark in the pool…which was actually a dolphin or porpoise?  It was funny. It was a terribly fun afternoon on a terribly hot day in Texas. 

Thanks Murphy Clan!

Saturday:) Sunrise to Sunset

23 Jul

“So dawn goes down today. Nothing gold can stay.”

~Robert Frost


Today is a good day to merely share some gorgeous sunsets and sunrises. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Friday:) From the Front Porch to the Front Door

22 Jul

The people in your life are like the pillars on your porch.Sometimes they hold you up, and sometimes they lean on you.

Sometimes it’s enough to know they are standing by.

Merle Shain


Last night, I was sitting on the front porch in the cool Colarado night. Now, back to the blistering reality of the Texas summer heat. It was beautiful and scenic, hard to leave, but it’s also good to be home.
A view from the front porch in Estes Park at the YMCA Camp.

There were deer wandering around the cabins.

On the way to the Denver airport at sunrise, around 5:30, the sky was on fire.  The shuttle picked me up at 4:30 am.

The flight was on time. I even got an aisle seat, and everything went smoothly. Karen was there to pick me up from DFW. Friends…airports…say no more! 

It’s good to be home. It’s sad to leave.

From the front porch to the front door. The best of both worlds.

Theme Song Thursday:) Colorado Rocky Mountain High

21 Jul

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” ― John Muir


My last day in Colorado. Today, hiking by the Colorado River Trail, and through the lush green woods, just another reminder of the beauty that nature provides.

Wednesday:) What Wild Wonderful Creatures Have You Seen?

21 Jul

The smaller the creature, the bolder its spirit.― Suzy Kassem

Mother nature not only provides beautiful vistas and flora, but her creatures great and small are a wonderment to behold. My first wildlife sighting in Colorado was not only amazing, but also amusing. A herd of elk had the tourists all stopping to take pictures. (Me included.) The amusing part was the elk were walking smack in the middle of town in front of the liquor store. (My kind of elk.)

Then, I saw a mamma deer and her baby fawn munching some dry grass on the side of the road at the YMCA camp.

There were ground squirrels and chipmunks all over looking for food.

All creatures great and small. This one was very small and very cute.

This little guy was looking for food in our backpack. Not shy at all.

The smaller the creature, the bolder its spirit.” 

― Suzy Kassem


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