Archive | November, 2016

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

10 Nov

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” 

― Ann Landers


I seriously thought that after all the election hoopla and hysteria were over, that today we could all get back to normal, back to living. Well, I was wrong. 

After staying up till the wee hours of the morning to watch the final election results, I was pretty exhausted. But, I thought to myself, “Thank goodness it’s over.” Whether your candidate won or lost, it’s done, over, finito. The country made a decision and we have to abide by our democratic process. Not everyone has that luxury. 

When I finally got up this morning, nothing had changed. The world was still spinning on its axis, and I felt blessed to open my eyes, in my own bed, in my own house, and in the greatest country in the world. But, all I saw on TV or heard on the radio, was rehashing, moaning, complaining, protests, gloating, and people afraid for their country. When I looked at Facebook this morning, instead of happy puppies and recipes for Christmas cookies, there were cuss words, fearful messages, disappointment, anger, and confusion, all mixed in with an occasional smiley face or hopeful promise for a better country.

America has spoken, and we don’t have to agree, we just have to move forward. Personally, I’m exhausted from seeing all the angry people and reading all the mean messages. If you voted, you had your say. If you didn’t vote, you have no say. The election is over. Now it’s time to let go, no more whining, no more gloating, just living. (Personally, I’ll be praying.) THE END

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day~ Patience and Procrastination 

9 Nov

“Patience and a prayer can fix most problems.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Never trouble another for what you can do for yourself.”

~ Thomas Jefferson


I consider myself a pretty patient person. That concept tends to go along with my tendency to procrastinate. Things can wait, I’ll get to it eventually, I am patient, so it will get done. 

My garage door has been acting up for a couple of months. It won’t close with the remote control, but it will close if I stand there and depress the panel inside the garage by the door, and keep it held down until it closes. The bad part is, I have to back up my car, run inside the garage, hold down the button until totally closed, go out the front door, and lock the house with my key. I’ve been doing that for quite a while, and it’s a pain in the…

When it first happened, I thought something was jammed. I looked everything over, and didn’t see anything. I tried adjusting the sensors. Maybe they were off kilter, or maybe something was blocking the signal. Still not working. I kept saying I was going to call Mr. Bob, the handyman. He can fix anything, but I kept procrastinating. What’s a little more exercise, running back into the garage, holding down the button, running out the front door, locking up, and hopping back into the car? Well, winter is coming. That won’t be fun.

My months of patient procrastination finally paid off. Today, I decided to give it one more shot. I went over to both of the sensors on the base of the garage door, and wiggled, wiped, cajoled, and said a couple of “Our Fathers.” I moved some nearby wood that might have been in the way. I swept away cobwebs, leaves and yucky stuff from the area, then checked the light beams. The light seemed to be working ok. Hmmm?

As I walked towards the door to push the button, finishing up the…”and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,” I really didn’t think it was going to work…but it did.

I just tapped the button, didn’t hold it down, and the garage closed. Yippee! I did it my self! I fixed the door and didn’t have to call Mr. Bob. (I am AMAZING- inside joke)

Now, I’m not sure if it was the physical adjustment of the beams, or sweeping away the dirt and webs that may have blocked the signal, or moving that piece of wood, or just plain ol’ patience. But, now I’m starting to think that maybe it was the prayer that fixed the problem. 

“Patience and a prayer can fix most problems.”

Rainy Days and Mondays and a Montage

8 Nov

“The unwelcome November rain had perversely stolen the day’s last hour and pawned it with that ancient fence, the night.” 

― F. Scott Fitzgerald


It was a dark and gloomy day, the rain embodied the entire day. I braved the drizzle with my umbrella, determined to get my morning walk in. How bad could it be? Well, I got around two blocks away when the bellowing thunder convinced me to turn around and go home.

It was the perfect day for a leisurely lunch at Olive Garden with my friend Zelda. Then, a late afternoon movie. We went to see the Ben Affleck movie, “The Accountant.” If you haven’t seen it yet, no spoiler alert, but it was a little difficult to follow at times and a bit drawn out in places. Slow in the beginning, then too much bang-bang, action, shoot-kill at the end. I give it a 3 out of 5. 

After the movie, the rain still pelted. Rainy days and Monday’s don’t always get me down. It was a good day. We could use the rain, it’s a welcome blessing.

A week in a peek.

Sunday Sermon, a Sunset, and Other Stuff

7 Nov

Franz Kafka

“Even if no salvation should come, I want to be worthy of it at every moment.” 

― Franz Kafka


Sunday morning was cool and cloudy. The parishioners of St. Gabriel’s scurried through the doors after a long walk through the parking lots still under construction.

The Gospel today was the story of Jesus being asked about the resurrection and marriage. According to Moses, if a man dies without a child, his brother should marry her. A woman was married, her husband died, and his brother married her, then he died, and this continued through seven brothers. Then the wife died. Jesus was asked, at the resurrection, whose wife will the woman be. Jesus explained that all are children of God and basically all angels.

My take on it…first of all…the Gospel is very serious, but I’ll admit, I giggled to myself for a minute. Is that sacrilege? Maybe just Catholic guilt. I thought to myself,  I don’t have to worry about bumping into my husband, now ex-husband, up in heaven. He won’t be there to bump into. I felt a little guilty for thinking that, but still I was being honest and amused at the same time. So, my take on it is…perhaps heaven is only happiness, love, and joy, with no boundaries, ownership, or relationships. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. But, you won’t have to worry about bumping into bad people.

Gospel LK 20:27-38
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,

came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,

“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,

If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child,

his brother must take the wife

and raise up descendants for his brother…


After Mass, I stopped at McDonald’s and chatted with my friend, Gil, then off to the store. Albertson’s had canned goods on sale, just in time for all the Thanksgiving food drives. I came home and went for a drizzly walk. My umbrella came in handy, so my walk was short lived. I stopped and visited with my neighbor’s on the corner and finished watching the Cowboys’ win. 

Later, after about an hour of sitting at home, checking emails and fooling around on Facebook, the rain stopped, so off for the rest of my walk. I was rewarded with a beautiful sunset.

Sometimes I look at the glorious sunsets and imagine that perhaps this is what heaven might look like.

Saturday:) Some Amazing Crafters

5 Nov

“Crafting is not a hobby, it’s glitter for the soul.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today was the St. Gabriel Holiday Boutique. I got up early to make brownies for their bake sale. They were collecting baked goods Friday, but my brownies are best right out of the oven. So, that’s what I did. One batch had marshmallows and dark and semisweet chocolate chips.mthe other had cut up Mars bars and chocolate chips. My favorite. 

I wrapped them up in a clear plastic bag and took them over, still warm. I needed up buying some back to give to some of my crafter friends who were volunteering or displaying. Silly, right?

Father Don says, “Hi.”

My friend Bonita and other volunteers.

The sweet volunteers behind the scenes in the kitchen, serving lunch.

Here are just some of the wonderful treasures I found.

It was a nice day, good turnout, and fun afternoon visiting with friends and finding holiday treasures.

I even saved a brownie for the mailman. He or she will be surprised when they open the mailbox.

Friday:) Flying and a Few Friends

5 Nov

“The reason birds can fly and we can’t is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” 

― J.M. Barrie, The Little White Bird


The clouds were dark and the sky gloomy most the day. (Oh, I Forgot… “It was a dark and gloomy night.”-inside joke.) I took my morning walk and observed and absorbed the thickness and stillness of the cool air. It was rather invigorating instead of depressing. It’s been pretty darn warm for autumn.

I went over to the store to pick up snacks for my senior art group, also popping into Papa Murphy’s Pizza to say hi to my good friend, Karri.

The birds have been interesting lately. They seem to be congregating on telephone posts and wires, swarming down over cars at the stop lights. The gloomy skies made the swarm of black birds really eerie. But the birds fly with perfect faith beneath their wings.

My plan for my seniors at Towne Creek was to paint some votives that had butterflies on them. Forgot to take pictures. Miss Nelma was not feeling well, so I went  upstairs to visit her later, but Miss Kathy was there with her grandson, Mason. Miss Bonnie came. I made hot dogs, and we had chips, brownies, and root beer floats. They love root beer floats, as do I.

I was able to get home in time for a walk before dark. I ran into my neighbor Terry, so I joined her for a walk. It was more like a trot. She walks so fast, I was huffing and puffing and sweating, barely able to keep up. It was great.

It was a good day. 

Theme Song Thursday:) We Are The Champions My Friend

4 Nov

“Champions are made from something they have deep inside of them-a desire, a dream, a vison.” 

― Mahatma Gandhi


CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN! The World Series was exciting. Being a Chicago native living in McKinney, Texas didn’t  deter my enthusiasm for the Cubs. I’m not a super sports fan in general, but this was a once in a life time event for Chicago fans. 

I went to several World Series watch parties, and I’ll be honest, I’ve consumed more Chicago hot dogs and beer than I have since my college days. It was great. I celebrated with my friend, Linda Grossman (World’s greatest realtor- blatant plug). I’ve met some very fun former Chicago folks along the way. It’s been a great experience, and if you watched the games, you know how exciting the entire series was.

This evening, we celebrated the victory with some friends at Zin Zen.


Wednesday:) Words Of Wisdom

2 Nov

“Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin


Very seldom do I leave McKinney. Today, I was on a mission to find more four inch frosted ornaments. Hobby Lobby is no longer going to carry them, and the distributor in China isn’t making them for Hobby Lobby anymore. Now what?

I have enough for this year, but I usually order four cases in November for next year. (Always be prepared.) I’ve been doing this for about twenty years or more.

I called yesterday over to the Hobby Lobby in Allen. The gal that answered was so nice, she went rummaging around and found me 27 boxes. I asked her if she’d hold them. She said she’d have to ask the manager. I told her to tell Mr. Jerry that they were for Toni. He agreed. He remembered me and my crazy big orders every year.

I picked up my boxes in Allen and drove over to the store in Plano. No four inch frosted ornaments. None. Nada.

So as not to have wasted my time, the liquor store is just down the road. Because I rarely leave lovely McKinney, which does not sell hard liquor, I decided to stock up. I only go once or twice a year.

So, a great day. The craft store and the liquor store. It doesn’t get better than that.

I have all supplies for celebratory Black Russians that I need for the Cubs big win tonight and to celebrate when they win the World Series.

I’m prepared. Feel free to stop over.

Ready or not!

Topsy-Turvy Tuesday:) Turning the World Upside Down

2 Nov

The sound principle of a topsy-turvy lifestyle in the framework of an upside-down world order has stood every test.
Karl Kraus


My simple little world pretty much revolves and is surrounded by my life here in McKinney. It’s a great place to live, and the people are great. So many of the things I share here are about the people, places, and things I encounter every day.

My daily walks are always inspirational, a time for thought, a time for observation. This morning was no different. I was in my zone, striding long and fast around the pond, when I noticed a small black bug on the sidewalk. He was on his back, struggling, with all his many legs wiggling and flailing about. Poor thing. I stopped and gave him a little nudge, but his frantic pace impeded my efforts. Every time I tried to flip him over, he just ended up on his back again. Did you ever have one of those days?

I know, some people might think I’m weird, rescuing worms, and butterflies, and little discumbobbled black bugs, but I try to put myself in their shoes. Not that they wear shoes, but you know what I mean.

After many futile attempts, and asking the creature to relax, I finally flipped him into the grass. But…he landed on his back again. Dang! I found a small leaf and was able to maneuver him back onto his feet. Phew!

As I continued my trek, I couldn’t help but think of all the times I felt like that helpless black bug. There was always someone there to lend a hand and help me back on my feet. 

Now, let’s see if the Cubs can win the World Series. That really would be topsy-turvey.

Go Cubbies!

I’m sitting here biting my nails. Only the sixth inning, but looking good so far, 

Monday:) Monsters, Mobsters and a Montage

1 Nov

“The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of our past, the more we’ve come to need Halloween.” ― Paula Guran


I’ve always loved Halloween. It was fun when I was a kid, it was fun when I took my own kids out, and it’s fun to see the little ones now that I’m an old lady. (I’m not that old, and I’d love to go trick or treating again. I just shouldn’t be eating all that candy anymore.)

It was an absolute perfect day for Halloween here in McKinney. I remember some frigid Chicago Halloween excursions when I’d have to bundle the kids up in hooded jackets with their costume on top. Tonight, the temps were in the upper 70’s. 

Now, here’s the sad part. Hardly any kids came out this year. I thought for sure with perfect weather and so many young families, that it would be crazy busy. I probably only had 30 kids in total. Sad! This is a fun childhood tradition. I heard one youngster ask his mom, “Can we go home now?” That’s just sad. 

I sat outside in my chair and took my painting project out with me to work on between the throngs of kids,..that never arrived. The good news is I got a lot of painting done.

Miss Sandy and Mr. Larry  were out in front of their house pretty early. They told me their dog Wolf wanted to dress up as a chihuahua, but his costume didn’t fit.

While I sat outside and painted and waited, I thought about how much things have changed since I was a kid and when my kids were little.  I hope all this technology and instant gratification hasn’t taken the fun out of being a kid.

Happy Halloween! I’ve got a ton of leftover candy if you want to come over and O.D. On sugar.

Montage Monday. A week in a peek. Go CUBS!