Archive | September, 2019

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

30 Sep

“An arrogant rich and a humble poor both need help! The former needs help to be human; the latter needs help to live humanely!”

― Mehmet Murat ildan


Another delightful Sunday. I was happy because Mr. Jerry was feeling strong enough to go to Mass this morning, so I picked him up a little after 8. He maneuvered like a champ with his cane and back brace, but those hard wooden pews and an extra long service paid their toll. But, he was delighted to be able to get back to Mass and receive the sacraments this morning after several weeks of convalescing after back surgery.

Today’s Gospel: Jesus told the Pharisees the story of the rich man who dined like a king every day, yet never gave a single scrap to poor Lazarus lying outside his door, sick and starving.

When the poor man died,

he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.

The rich man also died and was buried,

and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,

he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off

and Lazarus at his side.

And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.

Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,

for I am suffering torment in these flames.’

Abraham replied,

‘My child, remember that you received

what was good during your lifetime

while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;

but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.

My take on it… You can have all the money and possessions in the world, but if you are selfish, never helping those in need, then you are a very poor sad excuse of a human being.

Even in death, the selfish rich man asked for pity, begging Abraham to send Lazarus to quench his thirst. Did he have any pity on Lazarus while he was alive? No! You can’t take it with you, so why don’t you share a little while you’re alive? When you’re dead, you can’t help anyone.


After Mass, Jerry needed a few things from the store, so we stopped at Tom Thumb, then back home. I’m sure he was exhausted. I got home by 11:30 and called Zelda, as we had made plans to go to the movies this afternoon. We decide to check out “AD ASTRA.”

I didn’t know anything about the movie, but I like sci-fi type movies, and I like Brad Pitt. Win-win.

We sat in the comfy reclining leather seats at the new McKinney North Cinemark. With the dark screen, eerie soft music, feet up and all relaxed, and quiet dialogue, I’ll have to admit, I think I nodded off about 27 times. Zelda said she enjoyed the movie, and I think I did too, from what I saw of it. Oops! I think I was tired after getting up early for church and maybe about six hours of sleep. I have trouble sleeping at night. Maybe I should go to the movies every now and then, and get in a good nap. Sorry Brad Pitt. It’s me, not you.

After the movie, Zelda and I had a nice lunch at Panera. When I got home, I was able to FaceTime with my little girls. I have the most adorable grand daughters.

Someone was painting with watercolors bequeathed from her great-Grandma and namesake. Someone up in heaven is smiling.

And, she loves to play piano like her great-grandma, too.

And this little angel has the most delightful smile and giggles. The highlight of my Sunday.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday on the Square:) Octoberfest

29 Sep

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

–Benjamin Franklin


Just when I thought it was going to be a lazy uneventful Saturday, I got a text from Sherri Murphy asking if I wanted to go down to the Square and check out the Octoberfest festivities. Well, I dropped what I was doing, which was cleaning bathrooms, and changed my clothes and put on my shoes. I hate housework. It doesn’t take much to distract me.

I hadn’t eaten all day, so by the time we got to The Pantry, I was starving. I love their chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes and fried okra. It was a lot nicer eating indoors with the air conditioning, instead of waiting in the hot and steamy long lines outside for bratwurst and beer.

We walked around, listened to music, stopped by the booths and chatted with friends. It was so crowded and noisy, but fun to people watch and see the children running around.

You’ve heard of having a senior moment, this is my senior moment.

Thank you Sherri Murphy.

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Friday:) From Sunup to Sundown

28 Sep

“Be the morning in everyone’s eyes and make their day turn into a thing of beauty.”

― Anthony T. Hincks


The busier and dizzier the day, the better I like it. There were some early morning phone calls, then a quick walk for Bella before I went to Zumba. As we walked in the park, a lovely butterfly and I had an in depth conversation.

Maria worked us pretty hard in our Zumba Gold class. It’s supposed to be geared for seniors. I think Maria didn’t get the memo. Just kidding. It was fun, but I was sweating before the hour was done. Feeling invigorated, I rode the stationary bike for three miles, then off for some errands.

I stopped at the post office then over to St. Gabriel’s for Adoration in the chapel. It was good to sit in the quiet, eyes closed, and saying the rosary. I could feel my heart rate calm. Afterwards, a visit into the sanctuary to light a candle and put a small donation by the newly dedicated St. Vincent DePaul statue. They do such kind and generous ministries.

Since I was in the neighborhood, I stopped to visit Mr. Jerry, still convalescing from his back surgery. Then, I wanted to get some more boxes of granola bars at Kroger for Holy Family School while they’re still on sale. NEVER go to the store on a very empty over-exhilarated stomach. My cart was very full, and frozen pizzas and Dr. Peppers found their way into my cart. I did get some almond milk yogurt, just to feel healthier. Also, a few things for Mr. Mike.

I dropped off Mr. Mike’s groceries, walked Bella again, then later, took an evening walk. I always like to capture the sunset. On my walk, I found a dangerous screw in the middle of the street, thus saving the world from flat tires…again. My superpower.

Now, for my sunset. A lovely way to end the day. Oh yes, my pizza is out of the oven and it is BLACK RUSSIAN FRIDAY. Woo hoo!

Theme Song Thursday:) On The Road Again

27 Sep

“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.”

― Angela N. Blount


My dear friend Sherri called me early this morning asking if I wanted to go on an adventure. We always have such fun, and she always has wonderful adventures planned.

Our first stop was Preston Trail Farms where we saw the most adorable animals and Fall photo ops.

Then, we were off to Bebo’s Cafe in Pilot Point. There was so much to see, and the food was SO yummy.

I haven’t seen that much rock ‘n roll memorabilia since my trip to Memphis. We even had a photo op with the real live Mr. Bebo.

Thank you, Sherri Murphy, for another adventure… on the road again.

Wednesday:) What Wonderful Things Did You See and Do Today, Miss Toni?

25 Sep

“It is good people who make good places.”

― Anna Sewell


The greatest way to way up every morning is THANKFUL. When you start getting old, like me, (Well, I’m not THAT old, but I’m Medicare old) the first thing I do in the morning is open my eyes, say thank you to the “Big Guy” upstairs, (No, I don’t have a sumo wrestler tenant) and begin my day with gratitude. I think of all the projects and people that will fill my day, and I feel blessed.

This morning, I got up around 7:30 so I could walk Bella before I met the JULIETS for breakfast. JULIETS- Just Us Ladies Into Everything Together Sisters. That’s a mouthful, but a rebuttal to the ROMEOs-Retired Old Men Eating Out that some of our guy friends belong to.

It was a beautiful morning. The sun was bursting through the clouds, as if to say… “ready or not, here I come.”

After walking Bella, I wanted to get a little solo walking in. (2 miles) As I walked briskly through the neighborhood, thoughts started popping into my head. They are not always happy pleasant thoughts. It’s been six years, but some of those dark memories of lies, betrayal, and pain filter into my brain, even on a gorgeous morning. Then all of a sudden, as if to say, “Don’t go there, Mija,” a beautiful dark butterfly fluttered right into my face and circled around me. I had to laugh and say, “OK, OK! Focus on your blessings.” I twirled around and tried to whip out my phone to take a picture, but I wasn’t quick enough. But, a few steps down the street, a similar, if not the same butterfly was sitting patiently on the sidewalk. I was able to take a picture, but it flew away when I tried to place it in my hand. (Butterflies come and talk to me sometimes.) This one wasn’t chatty.

Now, I was smiling and walking and singing show tunes in my head, and planning my day. I saw beautiful clouds, colorful crepe myrtle trees, and waved to the garbage truck as it passed me by several times. That’s more like it.

I met Pat, Linda and Loretta for breakfast at Starwood. Pat, the Cookie Lady, brought cookies, of course. Carlos, our server, was the grateful recipient of the ones we didn’t eat. While we chatted, I asked the ladies if they’d be interested in helping out Holy Family School with some food donations, maybe once a month or so. I told them that Kroger had Quaker granola bars on sale for 99cents this week, and if they picked some up, I’d be happy to take them over. Loretta and I stopped at Kroger after breakfast and purchased a bunch. (Loretta didn’t want me to take her picture, but I had to capture that lovely smile.

I ran a few errands on the way home, then took Bella for another walk. She loves her walks in the park. It was already getting warm, so we take short walks in the shady parts.

I just asked Google what the temp is and she said, “The temperature in McKinney is currently 97, but with the humid, it feels like 104.” Yikes! I think I said a bad word. It’s Fall, y’all. What’s with this weather?

A lazy afternoon, with a quick visit to the Vet for Bella to get some routine shots and such. She was a trooper. I think I was shaking more than she was.

I’ll finish up with my evening view from the park.

A wonderful Wednesday. I hope your day was just as wonderful. Oh wait, there’s chocolate ice cream in the freezer… it gets even better.

Tuesday:) To Do Good is Noble

25 Sep

“To do good is noble. To tell others to do good is even nobler and much less trouble.”

― Mark Twain


Teaching by example is the most effective way I know to influence others. Sometimes I wonder if people think I share my “goodie-two-shoes” adventures for the recognition, or a pat on the back. Quite the contrary. I like to write about these things so others might say to themselves, “Hmmm! That’s a great idea. I should do that too.”

When I read about the Little Free Food Pantries placed around town a couple of years ago, I started taking can goods there. Someone shared that idea on Facebook and influenced me, and I shared my stories, hoping to do the same.

After learning a little more about Holy Family School at the recent fundraising gala, I asked my friend Michele, a board member, if the non-profit pre-school could use some peanut butter that I’d been collecting. She said they could use pretty much anything. The grocery stores always have some really great bargains and coupons to get you in the store, so I love to take advantage of the sales and share with those less fortunate. Last week, Kroger had baby wipes on sale, so I thought, perfect. Yesterday, I gathered my jars of peanut butter, baby wipes and some cans of tuna, and drove over to Holy Family School on the east side of town.

The director greeted me with a big smile and a hug, as she examined the contents of the bags. I asked her if there were any special items the young pre-schoolers could use. She mentioned granola bars, cereals, bread, milk, and a few other items. I popped that into my memory banks for the future.

When the director asked my name, I said, “Toni. The last name is way too long and confusing.” I think she was going to write it down because I would want a tax deduction letter. I told her that I didn’t need any letters or recognition, I just wanted to do something for the little ones.

Today, when I was looking through the grocery store sale ads, aha, I saw that Kroger has Quaker chewy granola bars on sale for 99cents with Kroger card. That’s a great sale. I know what my next donation will be. When you do your grocery shopping, maybe consider picking up a few things to donate to a food pantry, shelter, or other non-profit organization. Something to think about.

My philosophy is, “When you’ve been given so much, it’s nice to give back a little.”

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

24 Sep

“Never be so busy as not to think of others.”

― Mother Teresa


A very fun and busy week. Fun FaceTime with my grandchildren, sunsets, music with the awesome Texas Bluesmen, the beautiful Holy Family School Fiesta Fundraiser, and all the friends, faith, and family that fill my days with joy every day. I am truly blessed.

A week in a peek….

Sunday Sermon and a Sunset

23 Sep

“If money’s where you find happiness, you’ll always be poor.”

~ Unknown


A beautiful Sunday morning. I arrived at church just in time to scurry down the hall to greet my friends at the side door, getting off the bus from the Chateau Senior Living. The smiles and hugs are heartwarming. More smiles and hugs greeting at the front door, greeting families, and oh, the beautiful babies and toddlers are so precious. A wonderful way to start my day.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus telling the disciples about a rich man confronting his steward for squandering his property. The owner asked the steward to prepare the accounts. The steward feared he would be dismissed with no where to go, so he decided to call each of the master’s debtors and change each of their notes to half of what they owed. This way, the steward would have won their favor and perhaps they would help when he was dismissed.

When the master learned this, he wasn’t angry but rather commended the dishonest steward for being prudent.

The person who is trustworthy in very small matters

is also trustworthy in great ones;

and the person who is dishonest in very small matters

is also dishonest in great ones.

If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,

who will trust you with true wealth?

If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,

who will give you what is yours?

No servant can serve two masters.

He will either hate one and love the other,

or be devoted to one and despise the other.

You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

My take on it…if you spend your life just worrying about yourself, and doing dishonest things, and cheating, lying, stealing, and MONEY becomes your only master, then you are just cheating yourself. You may die rich, but then guess what? Then, you’re dead. A lot of good money does you then. Money isn’t the root of all evil, it’s how you attained it and what you do with it that matters.


After Mass, I stopped at McDonald’s for an iced tea. I was by myself, but I saw three ladies from church there, so I asked if I could join them. We chatted a while, and talked about where we were from and families, etc. Then, I went over to the store for a few things. I called Mr. Jerry to see if he needed anything, as he’s been laid up a while after back surgery. He didn’t, but said I could stop by for a visit. I arrived in time to watch the start of the Cowboy’s game, and watch Mr. Jerry squirm and moan after each bad play. I didn’t stay long.

It’s been a good Sunday. I took an evening walk, but it was pretty cloudy and muggy out. But, I do have some cool sunset pictures from the other day. We’ve had some really gorgeous sunsets lately.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) Spectacular Holy Family School Fundraiser at The Sanctuary

22 Sep

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

― Calvin Coolidge


I was honored to be invited to this lovely fundraising event supporting Holy Family School. Linda Grossman, (World’s Greatest Realtor) purchased a table and invited nine friends to join her. There was a wonderful silent auction and The Who’s Who of McKinney attended. It was great to bump into good friends, dancing, eating, and of course, bidding on wonderful auction items.

Linda and I joined a host of volunteers who went over to The Sanctuary around 2pm to set up and organize before the gala. I knew it would be a good night because when I was putting away some things in the storage room, I found a lucky penny.

Everyone had a great time, and thousands of dollars were raised for a very worthy cause. Holy Family School has been providing education, care, love, and spiritual guidance for young children since 1951.

Mayor George Fuller, Maylee Thomas, Rick Wells, and other McKinney dignitaries attended, and also made very generous donations.

Selfie with the Mayor. Fun night. A successful fundraiser for Holy Family School. Thank you Linda Grossman for all you do, including volunteering to be the newest board member of Holy Family School.

Friday:) Friends and Fun Times With the Texas Bluesmen Band

21 Sep

“You know we are big fans because we drove an hour and a half in crazy Dallas rush hour traffic to see the Texas Bluesmen Band.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


The gals planned a road trip into Dallas yesterday to go and listen to our good friends Paul and Justin perform at the Neon Cowboy. The guys are our regular DJs, or properly called KJ’s, from Daleney’s Irish Pub on our regular Thursday night karaoke. So, we carpooled in two cars and braved the Dallas rush hour traffic. Did you know that use of turn signals and speed limits in Texas is strictly optional? (Not really, but seems that way. Glad I wasn’t driving.)

We arrived safe and sound, and got there early enough to chat, eat, take pictures, and visit before the performance.

The guys were awesome. If you’re familiar with the movie, THE BLUES BROTHERS? Then, you know how much fun we had. And I’ve said this before, if you haven’t seen the movie before, or it’s been a while, rent it, or Netflix or whatever folks are doing these days. It’s a classic. And tell them you’re on a mission from God and it’s for the Penguin.

Happy Friday, my friends. Now, time for my Black Russian. It’s been a long day.