Archive | July, 2019

Saturday:) Sharing Is Caring

21 Jul

“When we share, we open doors to a new beginning.”

― Paul Bradley Smith

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My friend Linda asked me the other day if I’d be able to help her with her Facebook page. I told her that I wasn’t an expert, but I knew how to do a few things. The only reason I know how to do most things on my computer or iPhone or iPad is because someone showed me some tips and tricks and encouraged me to use the trial and error method.

I remember when I got my first iPhone, I was totally clueless. I used it to make calls and then shut it off. It made me nervous. But, I wasn’t afraid to ask for help. When I went to lunch with friends, I’d ask Sherry or Lynne to stay after to give me a few pointers. That was quite a while ago, and now my cell phone is just another appendage. Now, I’m an app totin’, photo shootin’, karaoke croonin’, obnoxious selfie takin’ grandma. Ain’t technology grand?

This morning, Linda and I met at McDonald’s for our first Facebook and photo sharing rendezvous.

I brought my older iPad and she had her newer iPhone. Some things were a little different, but we figured them out. I showed her how to get a photo from her picture albums, enhance, add color, and crop, and then get onto her Facebook profile. It took a while, she took notes, and we practiced. I remember doing the same thing with my mentors. I was just “paying it forward.”

After an intense technology immersion session, we sat and relaxed, talking about children, grandkids, friends, faith and our mutual love of McKinney. When we started our morning, we were just friendly acquaintances. Now, we are girlfriends. You really don’t get that closeness until you sit, one-on-one with someone and share your entire life in a couple of hours of personal conversation. We have so much in common. I wouldn’t have known any of that from our usual big group gatherings.

A little tip… always try to spend some quality one-on-one time with friends. Share your time and talents, and remember to pay it forward.

Friday:) Friends, Furry and Otherwise…and My Firemen, Of Course

20 Jul

“Give of yourself to others and others will give of themselves to you.”

― Matshona Dhliwayo

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My morning started out by walking through the park and picking up my little furry friend, Bella. I keep Bella with me when Mr. Mike has to travel on business. She has become part of my family, and we do a lot of walking together. Unfortunately, it’s been really hot here, so I only take her for short walks. Then, I go out and walk a few more blocks alone. I put in 2.5 miles this morning before it got too hot.

Then, a quick shower and meet the TOTS, the Table Of Talented Sisters, for lunch at Petra’s Mexican Bistro. I hadn’t been to this new location because it was a sad reminder of where “WE” (the EX and I) used to go together about once a week. It’s been six years, and I’m getting better at doing things and going places that remind me of what “WE” used to do. Now, I’m happy to start new traditions with my amazing long time friends. Good food, good friends.

I had a dull headache all day, so I decided to lie down a while. But, a few minutes later, Mr. Mike called from D.C. to ask me a favor. His tailor had called him and said she accidentally gave him the wrong suit that she had tailored for him, and the other man needed his suit for a wedding tomorrow. He was in D.C. and she was in a panic. Her voice trembling and desperate on the phone. So, he asked if I’d go into his house, get the suit and take it over to the tailor. I said, of course. The sweet lady gave me a big hug when I returned the suit and took the correct one for Mr. Mike. (My good deed for the day.)

Since I was just a couple of minutes away from St. Gabriel, I thought maybe that was a sign to stop in for Adoration and say the rosary. I did that yesterday, but I figured twice is even better. Couldn’t hurt.

To finalize my good deeds for the day, (hey, good deed Friday) I stopped at Fire Station 9 to drop off some cookies. Miss Pat gave me the left over cookies from karaoke yesterday to take to my firemen. I picked up the outside phone, and someone answered, “Station 9, how can I help you?” I said, “It’s Miss Toni with some cookies.” The connection was staticky, and he said, “Sorry, who is this?” I said, “Miss Toni.” Then, the reply was, “Oh, Miss Toni! I’ll be right there.” I guess the phones were acting up.

He said that they’ve had a very hot and busy day, and I suggested some cookies and milk would make for a nice break.

This was Tuesday. Chocolate dipped strawberries. We have the nicest firemen , and look how skinny they are. I’m doing my best to fatten them up.

Happy Friday, my friends.

Theme Song Thursday:) Everything’s Coming Up Roses

18 Jul

“She who loves roses must be patient and not cry out when she is pierced by thorns.”

― Sappho

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I’ve said this many times, I don’t have a green thumb, I can’t grow roses, but I do love to paint them. I haven’t been doing much painting lately, but when I am on a mission, or a commission, so to say, then I bet productive. My good friend, Miss Pat, the Cookie Lady, loved the vase and wine glasses that I have given her. She asked me if I’d paint a few for her to give as gifts. Such a compliment.

So, I got busy painting some vases with pink roses. It took a couple of days, but I think they turned out ok.

A 30 minute bake in the oven and let’s see how they turned out.

Well, I guess everything’s coming up roses.

Weird and Whacky Wednesday:) Phony As A $100 Bill

18 Jul

“Fake; it’s the latest trend, and everyone seems to be in style.”

― Haleigh Kemmerly

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I was walking around my neighborhood the other day when I noticed a strange piece of paper on the ground that resembled money. I stepped on it to stop it from blowing down the street, then picked it up. I’ve found lucky pennies, dimes, dollars, and even a $20 bill once, but this looked like $100.

On closer inspection, I noticed some sort of Chinese writing or symbols on both sides. I thought maybe it was some kind of play money, but it sure looked and felt pretty darn real. I just tucked it in my pocket and decided to Google it when I got home.

Oh my! I guess the story goes that some banks in China, supposedly, make pretend $100 bills for their employees to practice handling American money. Is it just me, or does this sound very bogus? When I read further, I guess some folks are trying to pass this phony money off on unsuspecting businesses and other people. Then, I Googled, what to do if you encounter such counterfeit currency. The article said it was illegal to have said currency, and that you should do the following…

Real or Fake?

The United States Secret Service recommends if you receive a counterfeit:

• Do not return it to the passer.

• Delay the passer if possible.

• Observe the passer’s description, as well as that of any companions, and the license plate numbers of any vehicles used.

• Contact your local police department or United States Secret Service field office. These numbers can be found on the inside front page of your local telephone directory.

• Write your initials and the date in the white border areas of the suspect note.

• Limit the handling of the note. Carefully place it in a protective covering, such as an envelope.

• Surrender the note or coin only to a properly identified police officer or a U.S. Secret Service special agent.

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I found this one on the sidewalk, just around the corner from my house. So, I put it in a plastic ziploc bag and went next door. My neighbor is a police lieutenant, so I surrendered the bill, and asked him to look into it. I don’t think I have any U.S. Secret Service special agents on my block. If I knew that they were, then I guess they wouldn’t be that “secret” , would they? Who knows? If I found this one lying around in the street, there might be a lot more going around town.

Later on, I looked up more info about counterfeit or “play money.” I always thought it was illegal to sell or distribute money that even remotely looked like real currency. I guess not! You can buy phony money at Kohls, Amazon, Etsy, and a zillion other online sites. Call me crazy but, I don’t think that’s right.

The world is getting so fake and pretentious, who knows what’s real anymore?

Happy Wednesday, my friends. Stay real!

Tuesday:) Two Coins, and Too Hot In Texas

17 Jul

“Sometimes it is good to fly close to the flame, see and experience the heat, but then fly away again, to survive, more wise in the art of heat.”

― Robert Black

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I believe in lucky pennies and coins that are signs from heaven. When I find them, I feel blessed. I found two coins today, a penny and a nickel. Even if you don’t believe these are signs of luck, just think, I’m 6 cents richer than I was before. Pretty cool!

It got pretty hot today, but I pretty much stayed in the air conditioning, except for venturing out a few times. I went to the McKinney’s Newcomers meeting this morning. Quite a few of my friends are members, so I thought I’d check it out. The guest speaker was Mrs. Bozema Cloutier. She shared her childhood experiences of her family fleeing her homeland in Poland during World War II when she was only six years old. Her memories were vivid, painful, sad, joyous, and uplifting, all rolled up together.

For some reason, when the weather is really hot outside, everywhere I go, the air conditioning is cranked up so high that I’m always freezing. I shouldn’t have to wear a sweater when it’s 100 degrees out, but I do.

After the meeting, I had lunch with my birthday sister, Bonita. We have the same birthday in January and this is the first time we’ve been able to have lunch together to celebrate, 7 months late, but better late then never. We went to Italian Garden on Custer. It was freezing in there, but the food was good, and the company even better.

I came home, prepared two large containers of chocolate dipped strawberries, and took a little nap. I had to rest up before going out to dinner. Miles to go before I rest. Helene invited a few ladies over for dinner to celebrate her new apartment. We have the nicest girlfriends.

Driving home after a lovely dinner, sharing stories, and laughing, the moon was just glorious up there in the evening sky.

Happy Tuesday, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

16 Jul

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

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A wonderful week here in north Texas. It’s gettin’ hot, but it is Texas, after all. No standing still, always keeping busy and moving forward.

A week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon:) Good Samaritan and a Sunset

15 Jul

“Like the Good Samaritan, may we not be ashamed of touching the wounds of those who suffer, but try to heal them with concrete acts of love.”

Pope Francis

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A lovely Sunday morning, and the 7am alarm was more then welcomed. Driving to church, I had the car radio blasting Rod Stewart oldies songs while I sang along. Greeting, hugging, and shaking hands before Mass is the highlight of my day.

This morning, I ran down the three big steps to help Miss Dorothy, with cane in hand, maneuver up the cement obstacles. We walked arm in arm inside. She always has a big smile and a thank you. We both wore pink today, so I said we were sisters.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the Good Samaritan. A lawyer asked Jesus how can one attain eternal life, and Jesus replied with the question of what does the law say?

“He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.”

Then, Jesus told the story of a priest and a Levite avoiding contact with a man who had been beaten and robbed and left on the side of the road. But the Samaritan, (detested by the Jews) showed compassion and helped the man.

My take on it… We shouldn’t put labels on people because of their race, religion, origins, or political beliefs. A good compassionate person comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and affiliations. As do the bad people.

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After Mass, I stopped for coffee with Helene and Jerry, a quick stop at Tom Thumb, (eggs and bacon were on sale), then off to water plants for my traveling friend.

I met Linda Grossman, World’s Greatest Realtor, for a quick dinner and catching up at Panera, then home for a walk. Oh, and a little FaceTime with my family.

It was a lovely evening, with a cool breeze, (In the 80’s, but that’s cool for Texas.) and the clouds drifting by.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Sing-a-long Saturday:) My Son Sings to His Bride and Some Awesome Karaoke Singers at Delaney’s

13 Jul

“Sing like nobody’s listening and dance like nobody’s watching, because most likely they’re not. They’re on their cell phone.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“Music is the greatest communication in the world. Even if people don’t understand the language that you’re singing in, they still know good music when they hear it.”

~Lou Rawls

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Today is my eldest son’s birthday. I texted him with a “Happy birthday” this morning. I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. Where does the time go? Now, he’s married with two children of his own. I like to think that he takes after his mother, well, I know he does. He has a kind and generous heart, loves people, and has many friends. He loves music and loves to sing. And, he’s directionally impaired and gets lost a lot like me. (I’m sorry about that part.)

After we talked and did FaceTime with the family, I was looking at old videos of their wedding. Their anniversary was two days ago. The video portion was blurry, but I wanted to share a couple of songs of my son singing to his bride four years ago. He has a great voice and plays a mean guitar. He didn’t get that from me or the other side. That’s a gift from God.

Happy birthday Mijo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r8c6cKIVrg

Then another song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wap_KwActO8

With all these songs in my heart, I thought I’d share some songs from some really awesome singers at Karaoke night last Thursday at Delaney’s Irish Pub in McKinney. Such a fun night with friends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4jIgdSO364

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRNRgWaUHP4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-_HHG2uvPk

Sing like nobody’s listening and dance like nobody’s watching, because most likely they’re not.

Happy Saturday my friends.

Friday:) Friends, Faith, Fiery Skies, and My Firemen

13 Jul

“I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors.”

~Joel Osteen

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Friday again! How did that happen? Where do the days go? I left the house this morning around 11:20 to go to Zumba at theYMCA and didn’t get home till after 6pm. After Zumba, I rode the redundant bike for a couple of miles. (One time Mom called it the redundant bike, and I can’t get that funny name out of my head. So funny and appropriately named.) Then, I met Helene at Palio’s for lunch and had a nice long lunch and visit.

Miss Pat had called me during lunch and had a computer question, so I stopped at her place to see if I could help. It was an easy fix. Plus, I had some butter and eggs to give her for her massive cookie baking war chest. Another nice visit. By now, it was after 4pm and I still needed to stop and water plants for my vacationing friend, then over to Walmart to buy a 12 volt battery that I needed to replace at home.

I was driving down Stonebridge drive when I remembered that St. Gabriel has all day Adoration on Thursday and Friday. I stopped into the sanctuary for a quiet prayer before going to the chapel for Adoration. I love this alone private time when I’m the only one there.

There were several people in the back chapel for Adoration with the Eucharist on display. I closed my eyes and said a rosary. It’s been a while since I’ve said the rosary. I keep a one decade rosary in my purse at all times. You never know when you need one, right?

Scooting to Walmart was my next stop. It wasn’t too crowded. I was sad to see that the back to school supplies were already out. Come on, it’s July! Scouring the shelves for my 12 volt battery had me asking a nearby clerk stocking the shelves where they were. They don’t carry them. 😔 Unfortunately, I found a lot of other things that I didn’t need, filling my cart to the brim.

I went to the check out lines where they only had two real live people checking, and the lines were long with loaded up carts. The rest of the lanes were self check-out only. I hate to use them because it seems like those dang machines are putting people out of work. They used to have at least eight cashiers at all times, now only two. Where are those other six people? Out of work! That’s where they are, and those folks didn’t make all that much to begin with. But, I didn’t want to wait an hour in line, so I went to the self check-out,

Who was in front of me scanning a zillion items under the bar code reader but my dear friend Sherry Joplin? I would have taken a selfie, but she was fuming mad at Walmart. She had put all her MANY items on the counter after waiting in a long line with a cashier, then I think something happened, and she had to put all her stuff back in the cart and go to self check-out. She had just gotten back from vacation and had to stock up. She was flustered. After a few mumbled possible expletives, we hugged. We chatted a few minutes about her fun vacation and grand babies and such. Then she said, “Thanks for calming me down.” Which is funny because Sherry is the most laid-back, mild mannered sweetie pie in the world.

So, a busy fun day. I went for a walk later before the sun went down. I love the sunsets. Look at this great sunset. I stopped at Mr. Mike’s to walk Bella and ask him about my 12 volt battery. He ordered me one from Amazon. He has Prime and it will be here tomorrow. Cool!

Now for my firemen. I did a lot of baking this week, so I was able to stop at three different stations with my famous candy bar brownies.

Happy Friday, My friends.

Thankful Thursday:) The Trilogy of Miracles

11 Jul

“When God sends you a sign, you are blessed. When He sends you three, there’s no doubt in your mind that God performs miracles.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Today is 7-11. July 11, 2013 was the worst, most painful and devastating day of my entire life. I will never forget that awful day, and all the trauma, heartache and betrayal that followed. That’s the day I confronted my now ex-husband about his affair with the waitress at his country club. But, there was so much more, and such unfathomable disgusting behavior that I can’t even begin to reveal. My heart was broken and my life was in turmoil. I said it was the “day that will live in infamy.” When I saw that day on the calendar, I cringed. Not any more.

Fast forward two years later…7-11 was the day my son got married to the most beautiful and amazing girl. 7-11-15, I danced at my son’s wedding and celebrated with friends and family. Now, this is a day of celebration and joy and love. They had no idea that this particular day was the worst day of my life, and was now transformed into a day to celebrate. BUT, God did.

Happy Anniversary Joe and Lindsay. May all your dreams come true. Thank you for blessing me with your beautiful family and my adorable grand-daughters.

There were only three dates on the calendar that were painful memories for me. 7-11, 8-23, and 12-5. This was just the first miracle. I’ll share the others when they come up. God erased all three horrible days, and now all three are celebrations. All my friends and family can be witness to this. One date, luck? Two dates, coincidence? Three dates, miracles. Yes, only God could have done that.