Archive | July, 2015

Theme Song Thursday: Lucky Coins

31 Jul

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” Carl Sandburg 


When I was visiting Mom last month, I took a lot of pictures, did a lot of walking, observing, and contemplating life. Outside her building, there is a lovely fountain that provides a bit of ambience and a respite for thirsty birds.  After my morning walk/run, I would sit on the shaded bench, cooling off and thinking about my day. 

Now, those of you that know me already know that there is always a song or a show tune in my head. So, when I stood up to go inside one morning, I noticed that there were two pennies in the fountain. Well, that just wasn’t right! There must be three coins , because I started singing, “Three coins in the fountain.”  (I’m sure if you are younger than 60, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.) I went upstairs, grabbed a penny from my purse, and returned to the fountain to make a wish and sing a show tune.  ( Yes, I’m a nut!)
There were only two, now there are three. 

Frank Sinatra sang it for the movie, but Doris Day did much better. No offense to Frank. I adore Frank.   

If you never saw this old 1954 classic, give it a try. 

Three Coins in the Fountain is a 1954 American romantic comedy film directed by Jean Negulesco and starring Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Rossano Brazzi, and Maggie McNamara. Written by John Patrick, the film is about three American women working in Rome who dream of finding romance in the Eternal City.[4]
The film’s main title song “Three Coins in the Fountain” (sung by an uncredited Frank Sinatra) went on to become an enduring standard. The story was adapted by John Patrick from the novel Coins in the Fountain by John H. Secondari. It was made in Italy during the “Hollywood on the Tiber” era.

Wednesday Words of Wisdom 

30 Jul

You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.Andy Warhol


I set my sights on an early walk/ joggle this morning before it got too hot. I was out the door by. 7:22 and back by 8:45. This time I decided to walk a little then run a little, so as not to get faint and queasy like the last time. Much better. The ducks were swimming in the pond and the horses grazing in the pasture. 

I love seeing these little things that brighten my day. 

So , today I’m going share a few pictures of simple little things and sites that thrill me. Boring to some, fascinating to me. 

Thrilling !


Tuesday: Trains, Planes, and NO Automobiles

29 Jul

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” ― Anonymous, Holy Bible: King James Version


I’ve been saving this story since June 6th. That’s the day I flew to Chicago from Dallas, to visit family, friends, and for my son’s wedding. It was going to be a five week stay, and my heart and soul were filled with mixed emotions. (It all turned out to be wonderful, for those wondering.)

Karen dropped me off at the airport with plenty of time to spare. I went over to my gate, only to find it had changed to a gate clear on the other side of the terminal. I scurried to the tram , hopped on , only to discover I was going the wrong way. I got off at the  next stop , turned around , back to where I started , then got on the one going the other way. (I could get lost in a phone booth!)

After bustling around , heart palpitations mixed with anxiety , the plane boarded on time. No more glitches. I was in row 14, a nice man helped me shove my bag in the overhead, and I buckled up. I said. “Hello ” to the gentleman next to me, then tried to relax.  ( I hate to travel )

The plane taxied and started its ascent. The man dressed all in black seated next to me proceeded to make the sign of the cross on take off. Being a Catholic, I surmised that he was either very nervous, very Catholic , or we were in very big trouble. 

I asked him, “I couldn’t help but notice that you made the sign of the cross. Are you Catholic ?” He told me that indeed, he was a Catholic Priest returning to his Parish , St.Viator, in Chicago. (Phew! Good news ) 

We talked the entire two hours plus about his ailing father in Beliz that he had been visiting , his country , his parish in Chicago , etc., while I shared my stories of family, friends, my son’s wedding, and McKinney. I so enjoy meeting new and interesting people. 

I asked if I could take his picture and get his email address so we could correspond, which he graciously agreed to. 

Father Moses from St. Viator. 

The sky was bright and beautiful on our journey.  

Our flight “flew by” quickly, and before I knew it we were taxiing at O’Hare. Father Moses made the sign of the cross when the wheels touched down, and that’s when I did something unusual. I asked,  “Father, may I ask you a big favor? May I have a special blessing?”

Without hesitation, he  replied, “Of course. ” Father Moses placed his right hand onto forehead, and said a special prayer, asking God to bless me , for my safe journey, and to thank Him for the opportunity to meet one another. 

Father had no idea what this blessing meant to me. It was not a coincidence, but rather divine intervention. My heart felt lighter and more at ease. Yes, I am truly blessed…literally. 

We landed safely. I landed safely !

In case you were wondering , Father Moses and I have corresponded a few times. You never know who you will meet on a train , plane , or automobile.  


Montage Monday: A Week in a Peek

28 Jul

Share your knowledge.It’s a way to achieve immortality.

Dalai Lama


Another fun busy week. 

Well , if a picture is worth a thousand words, a lot of pictures must be priceless. 

 ~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I had so much fun teaching these ladies how to paint on wine glasses. The hot weather hasn’t  held me back or stopped me from walking and running, ‘Cuz I’m one cool mamma ! 


Sunday Sermon and Sharing

26 Jul

This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving. I choose to live life this way. I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, ‘aw shit, he’s up!

Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience


Today ‘s sermon was from the the Gospel  John. 6:1-15 , the one about Jesus feeding the huge crowd with only five loaves and two fish. He gave thanks over the food, and not only did the crowd eat their fill, there were twelve baskets of left over food. 

In Father’s homily, he related the story his mother told him as a child. When you have something special that you hold tightly in your closed fist, there is room for nothing else. If you hold your gifts in your open hand, willing to share, you will be blessed with much more. 

My take on this… You can’t receive with closed fists or closed hearts, never sharing, always selfish, only thinking of yourself. If your hands are open, willing to share what you have, or lending a helping hand, or just giving a handshake or a hug, you will be blessed tenfold. I know this from personal experience. 


Just ask the guys at the fire stations .



Saturday: Simple Silly Determination

25 Jul

If you try anything, if you try to lose weight, or to improve yourself, or to love, or to make the world a better place, you have already achieved something wonderful, before you even begin. Forget failure. If things don’t work out the way you want, hold your head up high and be proud. And try again. And again. And again!Sarah Dessen


I’ve tried to do all of the above. Trying is the start, not giving up despite all the odds is the reward. I do hold my head up and try again. 

After I went for my short 1/4 mile run/joggle yesterday, I thought to myself… “Self, how far can you joggle today?” It was only about 84 degrees when I laced up my running shoes at. 8 am. My goal was to go as far as I could go before I felt queasy. I set my phone app to log my jog, or loggle my joggle, and proceeded. The streets were quiet, the sites were lovely, except for the dead armadillo by the sidewalk, (didn’t take that photo), the horses were grazing across the street, and I was determined. 

I went a lot further than I expected, around the pond, and down a few streets, and back to my door to get some water before a cool down walk. 

 1.28 miles, PDG… Pretty “darn” good for an old gal. Except … When I got to the house, tried to unlock the door with my key, it wasn’t opening right away. My ears started tingling and I got light headed. Uh oh! I felt faint. I went from rapid heart rate to a complete stop too quickly. Finally, the door opened, I grabbed some water, turned on the ceiling fan and plopped on the couch. I recovered in about ten minutes, drank more water, then went back out to walk the same route of 1.28 miles to cool down. 

Now, that’s determination. Either that, or just plain crazy. I’m thinking the latter. 

“Sometimes plain  ol’ crazy is the best inspiration.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Friday : Feathers, Friends, and a Fridge Full of Fast Food

25 Jul

A heart without dreams is like a bird without feathers.Suzy Kassem


Friday again? Man… where did the week go ? Kickboxing class this morning was such a rush that I came home, grabbed my sunglasses, ND visor and went for a run. Did I say run? It actually was a joggle. That’s what I call my slow run, half jog and half jiggle wiggle. I only lasted about 20 minutes in the heat, but in my defense, I had to get home and shower  before my 11 o’clock dentist appointment. 

My appointment was quick, just adjusting a crown, and I was out in 18 minutes. Off to the square to visit friends at Sweet Spot Bakery, then lunch with Lynda at The Pantry. Awesome chicken fried chicken. Shoulda taken a picture. You’d be jealous. 

Stopped to run some errands on my way home , and found a lucky feather. A sign!

Did I mention I go out to eat a lot? Well, when I came home to put my doggie bag of chicken in the fridge, there wasn’t much room. Can you tell where I’ve been in the last few days?

You should see the freezer! Maybe another time. Everytime I open the jam- packed freezer full of leftovers, invariably something hard and frozen slides out and falls on my foot. 

It was a good day. Oooh! Not done yet. It’s Black Russian Friday. Yay !


Theme Song Thursday:  I Walk Alone

24 Jul

When I walk alone, I wish I could reach the end of the road soon. But, when a FRIEND walks with me, I wish the road never ends. Unknown quotes 


This morning, I walked alone. You may ask why, and the answer is,  ‘cuz it’s so dang hot out! No one is crazy enough to go out and walk with me. After my 8:30 zumba class, I was so energized that I came home , grabbed a bottle of water, (in my very special beer koozie) put on my new Notre Dame visor, (also a gift from Joe and Lindsay’s wedding) and scurried out for a long walk. It was only 11 am and only 92 degrees, so I wanted to get out before it got too hot. Ha ha! But, there was a breeze, so I walked about  1 1/4 hours. 

Funny, I didn’t bump into anyone else out walking today. Hmm? Nor yesterday when I was walking… 

So here comes the theme song part. While walking down the boulevard… of broken dreams… I walked alone… and thought of this song. Most apropros. 

Green Day “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” 

I walk a lonely road 

The only one that I have ever known 

Don’t know where it goes 

But it’s home to me and I walk alone 
I walk this empty street 

On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams 

Where the city sleeps 

and I’m the only one and I walk alone 
I walk alone 

I walk alone 
I walk alone 

I walk a… 
My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me 

My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating 

Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me 

‘Til then I walk alone …

And here is “my shadow that’s the only one that walks beside me.” I found a lucky penny. I may walk alone, but someone up there is looking out for me. 

Here is another lucky sign. 

I guess I don’t walk alone after all. 


Wednesday Words of Wisdom

23 Jul

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.Benjamin Franklin


Last night was my fun painting on wine glass class. I was well prepared, hauled bags and bins of wine glasses, paints, and probably 50 or more painted examples for inspiration. After a short demonstration of one- stroke painting of roses, bluebonnets, trees, leaves, etc., it was time to practice a while on paper , then  ” boldly go ” onto the wine glasses. A few ladies even practiced on empty wine bottles first. (We were at Lone Star Wine Cellars. Plenty of empty bottles)

What I love about teaching this way is, everyone practices, experiments, loses that initial fear of painting, then they create something wonderful and totally unique. No two were alike. 

I always say, “I ‘m not a great artist , but I sure am a great teacher.”


Tuesday Teaching Time

21 Jul

 “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso

I’m headed off to teach a painting class at Line Star Wine Cellars on the Square. We are going to paint wine glasses. I have a trunk load of examples, materials, and a lesson prepared for ” everything you ever wanted to know about painting on glass … and more. 

Well , better run. I’ll keep you posted. (You know I will )