Archive | May, 2018

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

21 May

And the only sin that the blood of Christ can’t wash away is the sin you don’t ask forgiveness for.”

Matthew 12


This morning, while I was getting ready for church, I heard that ping on my cell phone. When I looked, it was the weather app saying, “Chance of showers at 8:27.” I always laugh and think, “Yah, right. How do they know exactly.” But, I was thankful, because I grabbed my umbrella on the way out the door at 8:15. I drove down the street and at 8:27, it started to sprinkle. Ha!

Instead of being annoyed at the dreary rainy day as I drove, I thought, “Thank you God for washing off that big plop of bird poop that’s been sitting smack in the middle of my windshield all week.” It’s not that I was too lazy to wash it off. I just am old and kept forgetting until I jumped into the car and put it in reverse. Thanks for the free car wash.

Today is Pentecost Sunday. The first and second readings were read in English, German and Swahili. Then, Father Don read the Gospel John 20:19-23. And, he read it only in Spanish. He did a pretty good job for a Gringo. Jerry, standing next to me whispered,”Did you understand any of that?” I smiled and said, “Yep, all of it.”

On the evening of that first day of the week,

when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,

for fear of the Jews,

Jesus came and stood in their midst

and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.

The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.

As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,

“Receive the Holy Spirit.

Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,

and whose sins you retain are retained.”

My take on it… Jesus asked the disciples to go out and spread His word. He breathed on them so they could receive the Holy Spirit. Here’s the interesting part, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Even Jesus and the Bible tries to explain the meaning of forgiveness. Yes, it is important to forgive sinners of their sins, BUT it is not a blank check, free for all, do as you please without remorse blanket of forgiveness. God knows what’s in your heart and will forgive the truly penitent and remorseful. There are just some people who are evil, just don’t care, and don’t deserve forgiveness.

Matthew 12:31 KJV

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

The unpardonable or unforgivable sin, it is to deliberatly refuse to acknowledge God, to turn your back on him. It is blaintantly refusing the Holy spirit when he is trying to tell you or lead and convict you of your wrong doing. Anyone who has committed such a sin has removed themself from the only force that leads them to repentance, in so doing their hearts are harden, and sin no longer feels sinful and there is no longer a need to ask for forgiveness. And the only sin that the blood of Christ can’t wash away is the sin you didn’t ask forgiveness for.

Well, that being said….Amen.

After Mass, the sky cleared up a bit and it turned out to be a nice day, so I took my long walk around the neighborhood. I stopped in Mr. Larry’s garage, but I didn’t have a beer today. Too early. We just chatted with Miss Sandy, and I was showing them a few things on their new smart phones. They are a little bit older, (not much compared to me) and finally gave up the old flip phone. There’s a lot to figure out.

I lobe my neighborhood. There’s a nice combination of young families, old people like me, many races and religions, cops and firemen, and cats and dogs running all around with the kids. A nice community.

Yesterday, our HOA hosted a gathering at the splash pad across from the pond. Lots of kids and laughing. Neighbors brought picnics and the kids splashed around. It was pretty hot. They even hired one of those icee trucks that serves snow cones. I got one, but was thinking it would have been better with margarita splashed on top instead of wild colored syrupy stuff.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday at Fire Station #9

19 May

“But sound aloud the praises, and give the victor-crown
To our noble-hearted Firemen, who fear not danger’s frown.”
~Frederic G.W. Fenn, “Ode to our Firemen,” 1878


It was a warm McKinney morning, and after a long walk, I went over to the new Fire Station 9 just about a mile from my house. I’ve been there a few times already, but today, they were hosting an open house to meet and greet their new neighbors.

The halls and inside the walls were busy with small children with big eyes, excited to see real firemen and giant red trucks. Oh, when they got to sit behind the wheel of the big truck, and ring the bell, now that was elation.

Captain Novatzyk and I had a brief conversation. I told her the reason I stop by the fire stations with brownies, cookies and cupcakes all the time. Over fifteen years ago, my mother had a stroke and collapsed in my arms. The paramedics and fire fighters were there in a matter of minutes. They saved my mother’s life, and for that I am eternally grateful. We had her with us for many more years. So when I bake for any occasion, I make a double batch and share with my local fire station. I also bake for 9/11, Christmas, and gosh, sometimes I just because I feel like baking and sharing. The Captain also was kind enough to search through all the cabinets for my plastic bowl that had my name on it from when I brought a bunch of food for Cinco de Mayo. It was on top of the middle fridge. Found!

The entire station was busy entertaining the guests, children and a few want-to-be dads.

There were games and snacks for the kids, and of course, every child wanted to shake hands with a fireman and wear an official red plastic firefighter helmet.

It’s so nice to have the community participate and see what our local fire stations are like. I saw a few young boys and girls there that might just grow up to be one of our finest in blue.

Friday:) Women in Service 6th Annual Luncheon

19 May

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”

~Douglas Adams


I had the pleasure of attending the 6th Annual Women in Service Luncheon today, hosted by the LoveLife Foundation and Maylee Thomas-Fuller. The even was held at the Sanctuary in McKinney. The charity event supports at-risk women and children in Collin County.

Guest speaker, Holly Snell, is executive director of Hope Women’s Center right here in McKinney. Holly spoke about how God turned an extreme tragedy in her life into restoration, and a blessing to others. Her story had the entire room in tears.

It was also wonderful to see many McKinney friends, all women who support their community in many ways. There was a wonderful lunch, door prizes, raffle, and gifts for each guest. Oh, let’s not forget the lovely hand-painted vases and gift bag for our table, created by yours truly, commissioned by my good friend…and World’s Greatest Realtor, Linda Grossman.

The bottom inscription says 1COR 13:13. Faith Hope Love ❤️

Just a few of my good friends attending.

When I first arrived, I was busy setting up the table, so I didn’t purchase any raffle tickets. I wasn’t going to, but then a thought popped in my head, “I always win something.” So I purchased just one little lonely $10 raffle ticket and put it in the little box in front of the wine basket filled with wine accessories and gadgets. Well, you know what’s coming next. Maylee said, “Now, for the wine basket, number ending in 546… I looked at my ticket…Yep, it was my number.

At the closing, Maylee asked for prayers and support, not only for LoveLife Foundation, but also for the city of McKinney. Her husband, and also mayor of McKinney, George Fuller, has had to deal with some recent controversial events. The Fullers hope to raise awareness and bring our community closer, instead of dividing it.

Maylee’s closing words…

So, what is our purpose here on this planet? I think it’s to love one another, help one another, and be happy. Today was a good happy day.

Thursday:) Do What You Love

18 May

“The ultimate dream in life is to be able to do what you love and learn something from it.”

~Jennifer Love Hewitt


My two great passions are my artwork and my writing. So, what better way to spend a day than writing about my art. Lately, I haven’t been too inspired to doing anything artsy-craftsy. I usually need a bunson burner under my butt to get me motivated. So, when my friend, Linda Grossman, (World’s Greatest Realtor) asked me if I’d paint some glass vases as gifts for a special luncheon, I was excited.

I got out my glass paints and started painting my signature bluebonnets. It took a few days. Then, I got a brainstorm and decided to buy some fancy white bags to paint on those, an even more special presentation for the gifts.

I really do love creating hand-painted gifts for special people. Nothing says love like home-made.

It’s also fun to make a mess and be able to leave it upstairs on the table. After I painted a dozen bags, I had some paint left on my palette. I thought hmm… I’m running low on hand-painted note cards. Yep, I painted a dozen cards with matching envelopes to add to my depleted stash of cards.

It’s always so rewarding to do what you love, and sharing that talent with others.

Wednesday:) Honoring Our First Responders

17 May

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

~Ambrose Redmoon


This evening, St. Gabriel the Archangel hosted a special Mass at 6 pm to honor our First Responders and their families. George Fuller and his wife Maylee also attended, along with other local officials.

Father Don welcomed the attendees and expressed the community’s appreciation for the sacrifice and commitment of not only the Responders, but also their families. After Mass, all in attendance applauded and gave a standing ovation. I don’t know why, but I always get a little misty when we sing “God Bless America.”

Father Don and Father Charles walked outside to say a prayer and bless the fire trucks, emergency vehicles, and police cars.

Father Don blessed the vehicles with holy water. There were also Responders and vehicles from Plano, and nearby cities.

A reception with punch and cookies followed the blessing. During these turbulent times, it’s very nice to know that we have so many people serving and protecting our community. But also, it’s important that we show our appreciation.

Thank you!

Tuesday:) Talking Your Dreams Outloud

16 May

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.”

~A lan D. Wolfelt


Yesterday was our monthly McKinney Creative Community potluck gathering. We had a great turnout, fabulous food, and a talented guest speaker, Brooke Carter.

Brooke discussed her passion for baking from the time she was a little girl. Being raised in a loving Italian family where cooking, baking, and sharing were an every day event, she took that childhood passion and decided to pursue her dream.

If Brooke looks pretty young for such a talented and experienced baker, it’s because she is only in her twenties. But, she’s probably been baking for more than twenty years. Brooke told us all about her culinary studies and apprenticing in France, honing the art of foraging for local herbs and spices, incorporating unusual flavors in her culinary creations. Her eyes sparkled when she described the process of kneading the dough, getting her hands gooey, and using her sense of touch for the perfect bread dough. Her dad was proud to extol the praises of the young lady who was now taking her dream and making it a reality.

Currently, Brooke sells her delicious breads and pasties at the McKinney Farmer’s Market, but also caters events in the metroplex. Her wonderful creations are made with love, and locally grown organic ingredients.

Brooke Carter is hoping to open up a storefront bakery sometime in the near future where the aroma of fresh crispy breads and savory concoctions will fill the air. But for now, visit The Rosemary Bakery on Facebook or the website.

We have a wonderful supportive community here in McKinney. All are welcome to join us the second Monday of the month at The Cove at 5:30 pm. I guess that’s why it’s called McKINNEY CREATIVE COMMUNITY. Come join us!

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

15 May

I’ve learned that all a person has in life is family and friends. If you lose those, you have nothing, so friends are to be treasured more than anything else in the world. “

Trey Parker And Matt Stone


Another good week. Warm weather, warm friends, sunshine, silliness. A week of learning, lunches, sharing, singing, and special Mother’s Day affections.

Sunday Sermon and Mother’s Day Memories

14 May

“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

― Abraham Lincoln


My favorite picture of my mother and ME. (I cringe when people say my mother and I. Improper grammar.)

On my way to church this morning, I couldn’t help but feel sad on my first Mother’s Day without Mom. I miss my daily morning calls. I miss her sweet voice and her giggles on the phone or her hugs and laughter when we were together.

This morning, as I greeted at the door before Mass, I felt a comfort knowing that Mom was in heaven and smiling at me. She has sent me many signs, lucky pennies and butterflies that follow me around. So, I know there’s a heaven and Mom is there patiently waiting for her family and friends.

Today, being Mother’s Day and Ascension Sunday, made it even a more beautiful service. The children came up and sang as they put flowers by the statue of the Virgin Mary.

Today’s reading was about Jesus telling the disciples to go out and proclaim the gospel.

MK 16:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Go into the whole world

and proclaim the gospel to every creature.

My take on it… back then, we didn’t have radio, television, the internet, Facebook and Twitter. People had to travel and send letters to share news. We have all these gifts and technologies at our fingertips. You would think that we could spread love and hope and goodwill throughout the world. You would think we could end war and hatred and evil. Hasn’t worked so far. So, let’s keep trying.

At the end of Mass, Father asked all the mothers to stand up for a special blessing. As we stood, and all the other congregation raised their hands to join in the blessing, Father asked God to bless all the mothers, mothers in heaven, women who are loving caregivers, and all the nurturing women who take care of so many people. Uncontrollable tears rolled down my face. I tried to look up to stop them from trickling further. That didn’t work, so I just went with the flow…literally.

Reposting my poem for my angel mother.

My Angel Mother

If you don’t believe in angels

I’m here to say it’s true

There are angels up in heaven

They’re watching over you,

So, I asked my angel mother

I whispered in her ear

When you get up there in heaven

Please show us you are near.

If only you could send a sign

As only angels can

We will know you’re safe in heaven

And that you have a plan.

To watch and guard us every day

You’ll guide us from above

So, you left two lucky pennies

Beneath your painting, signed with love.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


When I went for my long afternoon walk, I said,”Well, its Mother’s Day Mom. Are you going to send me a sign?” Almost an hour later, I’d forgotten my request. I was a couple of blocks from home, and that annoying smooshed beer can was still by the curb on a neighbor’s lawn. I didn’t want to carry it all the way home, but turned around to pick it up. As I picked up the grungy can, just a few inches away was a lucky quarter.

I guess it was my Mother’s Day bonus. 25 times as lucky as a penny. Thanks Mom.

Saturday:) Signs, Sunshine, and CRHP Sisters

13 May

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”

Shannon L. Alder


I found a lucky penny on my walk. It was there in the street on a route that I normally don’t take, crossing in the middle of the street. Another sign of my guardian angel who is watching over me. I am never alone.

This evening, my CRHP 28 sisters from St. Gabriel’s were meeting for dinner. We try to get together once a month for a social gathering. These are the ladies that spent two spiritual and intensely emotional days together last summer, then six months learning and sharing, preparing for hosting the next woman’s retreat group this past January.

A very fun evening with friends.

Friday:) Friends Don’t Let Friends Paint Alone

12 May

“Friends can create our most cherished memories.”

― Fennel Hudson


The Texas heat and warm weather has finally arrived, so getting up early for a walk is a good idea. There was a nice breeze and a few morning clouds, so I got a good four miles in before it got too warm. I planned on getting to Market Street before 11 so I could get some bottles of wine engraved by Ken Brown. You just buy the wine at Market Street and Ken engraves them with a personal message and date for free. They make fabulous gifts.

May 10

11 am – 6 pm


Market Street – 700 N Denton Tap Rd.

May 11

11 am – 6 pm


Market Street – 6100 W Eldorado Pkwy.

May 12

11 am – 6 pm


Market Street – 11999 Dallas Pkwy.

May 26

11 am – 6 pm

Wichita Falls

Market Street – 4590 Kell Blvd.

I got home just in time to prepare a little lunch before the girls arrived. We had an impromptu painting gathering at my house. Lynne wondered if maybe we could get together to paint some wine glasses that she was wanting to try. I wanted to paint some vases, Sherry thought it would be fun to paint some rocks, and Karen, well, Karen wanted to sit and visit and chat.

It was a very creative fun afternoon, because friends don’t let friends paint alone.