Archive | April, 2017

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

10 Apr

“The future is certain. It is just not known.” ― Johnny Rich


It was a lazy Sunday morning. Poor Mom really wasn’t sure if she wanted to go down for Mass at 10:30. She’s still recovering from a recent fall, and hasn’t been down in six weeks or so. Volunteers from St. Thomas More Parish come every Sunday to officiate the service in the community room. Mom was concerned that her back might start hurting and she wouldn’t want to walk out. I gave her a Tylenol, and said, “It’s Palm Sunday. We can’t miss Palm Sunday.” 

Here’s Mom saying, “No, not another selfie!!!”

We went downstairs and when Mom entered the room, about twenty-five people applauded and welcomed her back.

Mom was glad to be back in her old routine. She always does the Second Reading, and today was no different.

The Gospel today was a long story about Jesus being betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and turned on by his followers. He was sentenced to crucifixion even when the crowd had the choice of releasing Him or the criminal Barabbas. They chose to release the criminal. Jesus, “suffered, died and was buried.” The story continues…

My take on the Gospel…this story is filled with betrayal, lying, suicide, anguish, suffering, and death. Jesus knew this was his destiny and He chose to die for us and our salvation. After so much pain and suffering, He did not go back on His word or promise to His Father.

If we could all be just the tiniest bit as sincere, honest, and brave as this. It’s difficult to keep going after betrayal and cruelty and lying and evil. If faith can help you through your trials, reach into your heart. If friends and family can help you through your pain, reach for their hand. Some things cannot be changed, it’s how YOU choose to live and accept your lot in life is what determines your future. CHOOSE WISELY.

Happy Sunday, my friend.

Saturday:) Some Special Smiles Across the Miles

9 Apr

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh


My dear friend Debbie came to visit Mom and me today. ( Debbie is my English teacher friend and we’ve been friends since the 70’s. She taught me proper use of grammar, including that it’s “Mom and me,” not “Mom and I.” It’s a long trek from her house in the city out to Elgin, but she always makes the journey. 

A nice visit with Mom, then we were off to a craft show, a wonderful lunch with deep dish pizza, and best of all… a visit to see my new granddaughter. Oh yes, and their parents, my handsome son and lovely daughter-in-law. 

Look at that smile! Isn’t she just the cutest!

Thanks Debbie. You’re a wonderful friend.

Friday:) Finally, A Fresh New Dramatic Change

8 Apr

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” ― C. JoyBell C.


Those of you that know me know that “I DON’T DO CHANGE!” I’m a nervous Nelly scaredy-pants kinda gal. But today, when I went over to the beauty shop with Mom, I thought, hmmm….maybe time for a change. Mom was getting a haircut, so I thought maybe I should get a haircut too. I’ve had long hair for six decades. Yep, time for a change. A big change.

When I was going through my messy divorce in 2013, I went to my local Great Clips and told the lady that I wanted my hair cut short like a boy, “Just whack it all off.” I was distraught and ready for an extreme change. The nice Polish hairdresser immediately said, “No, no. I no cut short. I cut, you cry.” I told her I was serious, but she insisted that I would cry. She said, “One lady ask me cut hair short. I do and she cry.” After her warning, I changed my mind and just got a trim of about four inches.

But today, I was ready for a big change.  I asked the nice hairdresser, Maria, for a short short haircut. She didn’t try and talk me out of it and started snip-snipping away. Huge piles of brown locks lay on the tile floor. She styled and curled it and I think it looks pretty good. What do you think?

Afterwards, I made us some lunch. A couple of Toni Tacos. It’s Lent, so I made pinto bean tacos. Mom doesn’t like oil, so I fried them in butter. They were yummy,

Later, we went downstairs to listen to one of the residents play piano.

Now, it’s time for my Black Russian Friday. Change and tradition. It’s all good. Cheers!

Well, it’s not even April Fool’s Day, but I thought I’d see if you liked my short haircut. It’s really my Mom’s wig. It looks much better on her than me. I’m brave, but not that brave. And…I don’t do change.

Theme Song Thursday:) Clouds

7 Apr

“A compassionate heart radiates rays of beauty that removes the clouds of million hearts.” ― Amit Ray


The day slithered away. It was a cool and cloudy day in Elgin. I was going a bit stir crazy, being used to going to Zumba, walking, lunches, shopping, and constant running around, usually all in one day, by 5:30 pm, I decided to bundle up and go for a walk on the nice path around Mom’s place. I think it’s almost a 1/4 mi. path or 1/5, not sure. My goal was to get around ten times. I went for fifteen instead. Walking inspires me. It’s my thinking time. Then, I rode the stationary bike for twenty minutes up in the exercise room. 

Today, I was inspired by the beautiful clouds that followed me around as I walked. I even sang a few tunes as I walked. Yep. I sing out loud when no one is around.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down and still somehow

It’s clouds illusion I recall

I really don’t know clouds at all.

Wednesday:) What’s Up Miss Toni? 

6 Apr

“Home is where you go to find solace from the ever changing chaos, to find love within the confines of a heartless world, and to be reminded that no matter how far you wander, there will always be something waiting when you return.” ― Kendal Rob


What’s up? Me…in a jet plane. “All my bags are packed. I’m ready to go. I’m standing here outside your door…” off to see Mom, family, and friends back in Chicago.

Thanks for the ride to the airport Lynne. All went smoothly.

Arrived at O’Hare. It’s like a city within a city. I didn’t get to walk my usual neighborhood trek today, but it seems like a got a couple of miles in just with airport walking.

My sister, JoAnn picked me up in the pouring rain, just in time for the long stressful rush hour traffic. Then, the best part of the day…seeing and hugging my precious mother. She is an angel.

Good to be home. My other home.

Tuesday:) Taking My Peeps On The Road

5 Apr

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” ― Henry James


I’m finally done! I spread a lot of sunshine, choclate cupcakes, and marshmallow Peeps around town. I didn’t get to everyone, sorry if I missed you. But, I did get to my two fire stations, my senior artists, my single/mingle group, my neighbors, and the two adorable little boys across the street. Last night, I actually rang a few doorbells in my neighborhood. I said, “Put out your hands. You’ve been Peeped. Hoppy Easter.” I put a cupcake in each hand and walked away.  I know I’m early for Easter, but better too early than too late.

I made 122 cupcakes in all. I only had 120 Peeps, so I was forced to eat two cupcakes without the colorful bunny.. The sacrifices I make.

Road trip. “On the road again.”

Buckle up boys!

Are we there yet?

“Every Bunny loves some Bunny sometime.” Lead the way. On the way to see my Peeps

Nothing says kindness like a cupcake.

Montage Monday:) A Week In Peek~ Spring

4 Apr

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”― Anne Bradstreet


Spring is in the air, dreary skies, rainy days, storms, hail, sunshine, and green growth everywhere. All this in the same week. This is spring. 

A week in a peek.

Sunday Sermon and Some Special Firefighters

3 Apr

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” 

― Ralph Waldo Emerson


A gloomy rainy dreary Sunday here, but that’s OK. It was a good day to grab an umbrella and go to church, stop at the store, catch up on chores and more. 

I was still outside greeting at the front door when Mass started. The opening hymn was “Change Our Hearts.” I love that song now. The first few times I heard it and sang it over three years ago, tears would come streaming down my face. Now, I smile and sing with a happier heart. 

The Gospel was the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after he had been dead for four days. 

I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? She said to him, Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world. (Jn 11:25-27) 

Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, said that they believed and had faith that Jesus could perform this miracle, and He did. 

My take on it…a very common theme. If you believe, truly believe and continue to have faith, miracles can happen. Ask me how I know. That’s rhetorical. 

After church, I stopped at the store and scurried home just in time to beat the big storm that roared in. A lazy rainy day.


Yesterday was a fun sunny day. I had to write my April Fools Day story, so I’m saving my firemen post for today. I’ve been baking my Peep bunny cupcakes for several years, and I always take some to neighbors and my local fire stations. They appreciate the effort, not to mention my wonderful baking skills.

Firefighter Thrasher answered the door at Station 5. He gave me a big smile and invited me back into the kitchen to say hi to the other guys.

My neighbor Diane went with me to Station 2 on our way to lunch. When I went to the front door, no one answered, but the large bay garage door on the side was open, and the fire truck was gone. They must have all been out on a call. Seeing as I was very familiar with the station, we just walked in the back unlocked door by the kitchen. I called out, “Hi, anybody here?” No one answered, so I just left the cupcakes on the counter with a note that just said, “Thanks for all you do.” They all know who brings the blue Peep cupcakes.

It was a good weekend. I hope you had a good one too.

Saturday:) Starting Something New~ Chocolate-Taco

2 Apr

“Once you believe that you can do something, there is not a single person in the universe who can convince you otherwise.” 

― Germany Kent


After a lot of dreaming, thinking, hoping, baking and cooking, I finally decided that I need to follow my passion and open a small bakery/cafe in McKinney. The Cake Stand on the square in McKinney closed recently, and the space was for lease. So many friends and family members have told me for many years that they love my brownies, cupcakes and fun chocolate concoctions, and that I should open my own place. Plus, everyone loves my homemade tacos, nachos, and quesadillas. So, the concept of Choco-Taco popped into my head. I’m always baking and cooking, giving away and sharing my delicacies. Why not actually make some money doing what I love to Do? I know it’s a tough job trying to start a new business, but I’m a tough old gal.

The shop I’m leasing already has all the ovens, freezers, equipment, and refrigerators needed. I’ve enlisted the help of several friends to get started and who work side by side with me at the shop. The revamping, decorating, and getting ready starts April 15th with a soft opening on May 5th, Cinco de Mayo.  If all goes well, this will be the most exciting time of my life.

If you are around downtown McKinney, be sure to stop by for a sweet treat or a tasty taco on Toni. 

Now, that you’ve seen some the yummy things I love to bake and cook, I’m sure your mouth is watering or your eyes are watering from laughing so hard. Either way, you’d be right. 

Happy APRIL FOOL’S DAY!!! I would no sooner open a restaurant or bakery than I would eat chocolate covered ground glass. That is way too much work and it is a 24/7, seven days a week pain in the… So, for now, I will continue to bake and cook and share with my friends. And, do not be disappointed, if your in McKinney, give me a call, stop by my house, and I’ll fix you a fine meal and a Black Russian. CHEERS!!!!

Friday:) Friends, Fun, and Food

1 Apr

Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young. A good laugh makes us better friends with ourselves and everybody around us. 

~Orison Swett Marden


I’ve been doggie sitting Ms. Bella. She is such a good dog, and very good company. Bella likes to keep an eye on me every minute, so when I was baking cupcakes this morning, she sat  on top of the couch, a much better vantage point.

It’s almost Easter, so it’s time to make my famous Peep cupcakes for all my peeps. I got up early to start the the first wave for my senior artist friends at Towne Creek. I thought I had some homemade cream cheese frosting in the freezer, but I couldn’t find any packages. They might be buried in there somewhere, but…have you ever seen my freezer? So, I started from scratch with two packages of cream cheese, three sticks of butter and almost two packs of powdered sugar. Did I mention I love to bake and get carried away?

By the time I finished baking four dozen cupcakes and making a truckload of frosting, it was already time to leave, but I didn’t have time to frost the cupcakes and put the Peeps on. Then, I had a great idea. Why not take all the ingredients and let them have fun decorating their own? I packed up all my art supplies, cupcake fixin’s, tuna sanwhiches, chips and drinks for our Friday feast.

They had a good time making a cupcake to eat and one for a snack later tonight. They enjoyed biting the heads off the bunnies. Then, our little feast. We all held hands and Miss Nelma said our thankful prayer.

John, the amazing mailman enjoyed his cupcake too. 

Another fun Friday with friends.