Archive | February, 2016

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

29 Feb


Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, 

Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” 

― Alfred Lord Tennyson


Today’s Gospel was different at 9 o’clock Mass than the others, because we were celebrating the catechumens. It was the story of the Samaritan woman that Jesus asked to draw water from the well, and she didn’t feel worthy…

The story of the woman at the well teaches us that God loves us in spite of our bankrupt lives. God values us enough to actively seek us, to welcome us to intimacy, and to rejoice in our worship. As a result of Jesus’ conversation, only a person like the Samaritan woman, an outcast from her own people, could understand what this means. To be wanted, to be cared for when no one, not even herself, could see anything of value in her—this is grace indeed.



My take on it…even if we don’t feel worthy, or important, or we give up on our dreams, God doesn’t give up on us. There’s always hope. 

After Mass, I went for a nice long walk under dark puffy cloudy skies. The afternoon eventually cleared up. Then, I met my friend, Kelly, at the movies to see “The Lady In the Van.” Maggie Smith was excellent in the British  comedy/drama about an old homeless lady living in her van, befriended by a quirky playwright. 


It’s been a nice, quiet Sunday. 


Saturday:) Sunrise to Sunset

28 Feb

“There’s always a story. It’s all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything’s got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.” ― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky


A beautiful day here in McKinney Texas. An early morning walk displayed a spectacular sunrise and a sun that enveloped the crystal blue sky.

Then, off to Zumba, which was a Bali X version, very fun and invigorating with beautiful music and flowing movement. Back home for another walk with Bella, my doggie house guest. By now, it was t-shirt weather, no jacket required. 

A couple of hours on the square visiting friends, is a fun way to spend the afternoon. Miss Kathy, over at Sweet Spot Bakery, was torn between which horse from the mounted patrol would get his treat first. Ranger, on the left, is usually a bit more assertive, and Ontario, on the right, is more patient. Both are spoiled by Miss Kathy’s loving generosity.

The square was bustling today with shoppers, diners, and visitors.

I stopped at Towne Creek to visit a few of my senior artist friends on my way home. I had bought 10 lbs of bananas on sale for 24 cents a pound, so I wanted to share with some of the ladies who don’t get out to the store often, much less get such a great sale. I love a great sale.

Back home in time to catch the glorious sunset. “The sun coming up every day is a story.” YEP, every day is a story, a beautiful story.

Friday:) From Start to Finish

27 Feb

“Begin each day with a grateful heart, and they will end just the way they start.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

“Do not say something if you do not mean it.Do not do something if you can’t accept the consequences. 

Do not promise something if you can’t honor it.

In simple, do not start something you can’t finish” 

― Wendo L.


There is nothing better than having a perfect day, from start to finish. Today started with a leisurely cup of tea in my favorite girlfriend cup, reminding me that I am blessed with special friends. 

Then I walked my little visiting doggie friend, Bella, who was staying with me for a couple days.She’s so cute.

Then, off to kickboxing class at the YMCA. Oh man, that class always kicks my butt, but I love it. Then, home to walk Bella again, a quick shower, then off to lunch with my dear friend and neighbor, Diane. We went to Harry’s on the Harbor. It was such a beautiful day. We sat outside in the sun, enjoying a delicious lunch, and soaking up every minute.

So, what did I do when I got home? Well, I had to walk off that lovely lunch, and went for yet another walk. My mother often asks, “Why do you walk so much? I thought your feet hurt you.” I tell her, “I walk because I still can, and my feet will hurt if I walk or I sit still. Might as well walk.”

The reward for a long late evening walk is the glorious sunset that paints the evening sky. I count my blessings each day, from that first morning cup of tea to the last glimpse of a scarlet sunset. A perfect day from start to finish.

Now, I sit, writing my daily blog, sharing my perfect day, counting my blessings. It’s  Friday night, which is my Black Russian Friday. A sweet way to end a delightful day.

A beautiful sunset tonight.

Thankful Theme Song Thursday:) Day Moon

26 Feb

” I always used to think of the moon as only an amazing nocturnal gift, but when I see it in the early morning, it affirms my belief that glorious beauty is out there all the time. Sometimes it’s hidden by the light of day or the dark serenity of night, but it’s always there.”
~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Yesterday, I posted about Mindfulness. It’s interesting how being aware of your surroundings, being grateful for your blessings, and allowing yourself to feel, experience, and share everything that life throws at you, good and bad, can bring joy into your life. Mind you, it’s not a euphoric constant state of la-la-land. But, I think starting each day with gratitude helps you with the hurdles. 

I was out walking Bella this morning around 7:30. Right as I stepped out of the front door, there it was. The soft pale moon up against the crisp blue sky. I stood there in awe for a few seconds, then did what I always do…took out my phone to take a picture.

 There it is! How often do we notice the wondrous things around us every day? This morning, I was grateful for the beautiful moon up in the early morning sky. What are you thankful for today? I bet if you sat down and thought about it, you would come up with a long list. I know I could.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom:MINDFULLNESS 

25 Feb

” Your attitude is a direct reflection of your gratitude.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaits


Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”

― James Baraz

Yesterday, I posted a somewhat satirical comment about tribute to all the things I’ve learned on Facebook, and sometimes, it’s actually true. Today, my Facebook friend, Sherry Tucker posted a link about MINDFULLNESS. I looked it over and did a little more research. It’s a wonderful meditative type concept, and I think everyone can benefit from the ideas. 

I already do wake up every morning grateful for my blessings. I’ve also found that writing everyday allows me to focus on the good, beautiful, and interesting things in my life. Then, when I share my thoughts, it’s another way to feel fulfilled. 

If you’d like to read a little bit about it, but you may already be familiar with it.

I like to think that I already practice many of these concepts, but there are a couple I still struggle with, like forgiveness and acceptance. The good news is, being Catholic, I can just go to confession and receive absolution for my sins and short comings. (Good attitude)


Tuesday:) Time To Share 

24 Feb

“Every important fact I ever learned, I learned on Facebook.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I spend way too much time on Facebook. But, I must confess, I rarely watch the news or read a newspaper, so I get all my news upsdates and vital information on Facebook. And we all know, everything on Facebook is true. Right? 

Then, when I learn something fantastic, I always click “share.” Of course, I click “like” on every friend’s post and picture of what they had for lunch, where they went on vacation, and every grandchild’s ballet recital or baseball game. I expect the same in return.  

I get the most comments and likes on my Friday night ritual of having a Black Russian. And, I post this pretty much every Friday night. What would we do without Facebook, my friend? Oh, if you’re reading this and we’re not Facebook friends, hey, send me a friend request so you can find out where I’m going to lunch tomorrow. See ya!


Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

23 Feb

A social butterfly prefers to soar in the clouds amongst the eagles, than to hover in the dark with the caterpillars. 

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


One thing I have to say for myself, I sure do keep busy. It was a another busy week with friends, activities, Zumba, kickboxing, walking…lots of walking, and of course writing. A good week!


Sunday Sermon and a Special Visitor

22 Feb

“I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.” 

― Ralph Waldo Emerson


I always look forward to Sunday and going to 9 o’clock Mass. As a kid, going to church was not always my favorite thing to do. Going to Catholic school back in the 50’s and 60’s, that meant daily Mass before school every morning AND Sunday Mass. It meant fasting, running to school on an empty tummy, and trying to get through the day without fainting until lunch. I just wanted to sleep a little longer, eat breakfast, and not have to rush off to church six days a week.

But now, I’ve had the opportunity to get a little more involved in my church, in my faith, and my own personal growth. It was recently wrought in pain and confusion, but it brought me closer to my faith and the sense community that I had been missing. And plus, I only attend on Sunday and holy days, not six days a week.

Today was going to be a special day at St. Gabriel the Archangel. Newly ordained just last week, Bishop Kelly, was returning to his old parish to celebrate the 11 o’clock Mass. Everyone was excited and honored to welcome him back home for a visit. I didn’t know Father Kelly, the original pastor of St. Gabriel’s, but I felt wrapped up in the excitement of the parish. I always greet before 9 o’clock service, but my friend Mary and I decided that we would still go to Mass at 9, and just stay afterwards to greet for the special 11 o’clock Mass. Actually, people started arriving before 10.


Mayor Loughmiller (L) visited with Father Don, awaiting the Bishop’s arrival. He would later present Bishop Kelly with a certificate declaring today Bishop Kelly Day in McKinney. Sort of like getting the key to the city for the day.

There were many greeters today at 11, when there are usually none. The church was packed, and bursting out the doors well before the service started. It was standing room only, even in the vestibule, with folding chairs and crammed like sardines attendees. Mary and I just wanted to hear the Bishop’s homily after the Gospel, then leave, as we had already gone to Mass and had communion. We stood way in the back by the doors where we had greeted. 

Bishop Kelly visited with old friends before entering, changing, and putting on the big Bishop hat. I was able to snap a picture and shake his hand.

The Knights of Columbus were all decked out and ready to prosess the Bishop into the sanctuary.

Bishop Kelly presented a fine homily, even making several jokes about his ordination. He said, when he called his mother to tell her the exciting news that he was nominated and would be ordained a bishop, she said, “You?” Everyone laughed. He said that his mother could barely believe it, nor could he. 

It was a good service and a proud day for the members of St. Gabriel’s.

Saturday:) No Sittin’ Around For Me

21 Feb

“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” ― Emily Dickinson


What started out to be a fairly ordinary Saturday, turned out to be a super busy fun day.

I went to Zumba at 9:30, had some breakfast, then felt kinda mopey because it was cloudy and gloomy out. So, I grabbed the bull by the horns…not really, no livestock available. I put on my gym shoes and went for a long walk. I stopped by the model homes sales office to say hi to Michael and Derek, as I do very often while walking. They always have a smile and a hug for me. Michael sold me my house. I love my house! 

We got to talking about food and lunch. Michael said that all that food talk was making him hungry. I said, “How would you boys like some tamale casserole for lunch? I made two, and I have an extra.” Well, they were excited, not to mention hungry. I scurried home, nuked the casserole, popped it in the broiler to melt the cheese, warmed up some tortilla chips, grabbed a jar of salsa and a couple of cans of Dr. Pepper, and drove over with a wonderful Mexican meal for my two friends.

They REALLY appreciated the gesture. I love to cook and sharing makes me happy. While they ate,  I continued with my long walk. About an hour later, I picked up the dishes nearly licked clean, and went home. I was tired, the sky had cleared up a bit, but I wondered what I’d do with the rest of my day. 

I was going to run over to the square, but I get tired of going places or doing things alone all the time. I’m a people person, and I tend to get melancholy on the lonely weekends? I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if someone called me and said, “Hey, you want to do something?” I’m always calling people, looking for something to do, but most friends are busy with family on the weekends. 

I resigned myself to just stay home and just take a leisurely nap. Maybe tackle some housework. I grabbed a blanket and plopped myself on the bed and fell asleep. About an hour later, my phone pinged with a text. My dear friend, Linda Grossman, (Texas’ finest realtor) texted, “What you up to today? Want to go grab a bite?” (Wow…that was kinda eerie.)

Well, that just made my day, also answering my subliminal query to the universe about wishing I had something to do. Linda picked me up, and we went off to the square, my favorite place to hang out. A couple of the restaurants we tried were too crowded with long waits. We ended up at The Celt Pub. Perfect choice. Beer, appetizers, and music from a young group of fabulous performers.

Afterwards,,we went over to Spoons, sat outside on the patio, sipping coffee and tea. A great singer was playing guitar across the street and Landon’s Winery. The night was warm and pleasant for February. Enjoying the stars, the square, and a lovely evening with a lovely friend.

No sittin’ around for me. It was a wonderful Saturday.

I enjoyed every minute.

Friday:) Friends of a Feather, New and Old

20 Feb

“There’s always a good lesson in meeting new people, its enlarging your circle of friends. And though there are times you don’t match with their likes, there are some whom you just blend well.” ― Solita


My morning started out with kickboxing class. Yikes, it kicked my butt, again. My arms were still sore from assembling those four shelves and moving heavy bins. But, I punched, and kicked, and shuffled, and jabbed for a solid hour, watching the clock, determined to finish without calling 911. Accomplished!

Another beautiful sunny day. I walked around the pond a few times with Bella, my neighbor, Mike’s dog. He was at the office, so sometimes I just pop over and pick her up. Bella, is not too friendly to strangers, but she loves me.

 Later, decided to sit in the sun. It was another tank top kinda day. It’s February…how amazing.?..don’t be jealous.
It started to get cloudy in the early evening, so I grabbed a sweater for my evening walk. Guess what? The clouds sauntered off and the sun burst through again, had to remove the sweater. On my walk, the kids a few blocks down, were playing basketball. An older gentleman in a lawn chair, sitting with his dog, just watching the kids play, gave me a big wave and hello. So, of course, I walked over to chat and introduce myself.

This is Gary and Maggie. Very friendly dog. Gary says that she runs to the window every day at 3:30, and asks to go out to greet the kids getting off the school bus. I made a couple of new friends today.

Miss Claudia lives on the corner. We chatted quite a while about her great-grandchildren, her husband, Willie, and the weather, of course. (Do you notice the theme? I don’t get much walking done.)

Michael and Derek, over at the sales office always have a wave and a hug for me. We talked a little while.

These are friends in my neighborhood, new friends and old friends. And, last but not least, the friendly feathered friends down by the pond. We don’t chat much, but they’re always quacking about something. I just don’t understand  duck talk.