Archive | July, 2020

Montage Monday and McKinney PD Memory

21 Jul

“What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

― Karl Lagerfeld

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Another Montage Monday. The weeks keep slip-sliding away. Thank goodness for photographs and memories.

This cool memory popped up on my Facebook page of McKinney PD doing the ever popular Lipsinc Challenge from two years ago. MY! How things have changed.

https://www.facebook.com/mckinneypolice/videos/801896940020018/ 

Have a good week, my friends. Take some pictures and make some memories.

Sunday Sermon and Some Special Numbers ~123,456?

20 Jul

Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.

~ Pope Francis

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Well, you guessed it, another Sunday watching Mass in my pajamas, and another steamy hot Texas day. While I was thanking God for my blessings, I including air conditioning.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus spoke to the crowds using three parables to convey His message. 1. A man sowed good seed in his field and his enemies came in the night and planted weeds. When the servants reported the weeds in with the wheat, the master said let them grow, and that at harvest, they could gather the weeds to burn then harvest the wheat to store in the barn. 2. The kingdom of heaven is like the mustard seed, the smallest seed yet the largest of plants for the birds of the sky to dwell. 3. The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast mixed with three measure of wheat flour until all was leavened.

Later, he explained to the disciples that the good seeds were His children and the weeds were the children of the devil. In the end, the evil-doers will burn and the righteous will shine like the sun in heaven.

My take on it… sometimes you have to ignore the weeds until the end of the season, then you sort out the good from the bad. Also, sometime those weeds are deceiving, with pretty flowers and leaves, but they can choke out and overpower the good seeds. This happens with people too. I think most of you can relate to those weeds in your gardens and in your life.

Now, for the crazy numbers. I’ve been blogging for a long time now. I’m always in awe of how many people actually read my posts and visit my site. It’s such an honor. I’ve made many new friends and, my old friends and family are able to keep in touch with me. Most everyone knows I’m pretty goofy.

So, I noticed that the number of visits on my WordPress website was getting close to this awesome cool number- 123,456 visits. I’ve been watching it get closer for the last two days. So, last night, the number was at 123,450. I decided I would try and stay up and capture a screen shot when it got to the magic number. It was after 2am when it got to 123,453. I figured I could stay awake for just 3 more views. Guess what? No one is viewing at 2 am, no matter what the stats say. I finally went to bed, but took my iPad with me so I could check it in the middle of the night. Do you ever play those goofy mind games? I checked at 4 am and it hadn’t changed. I finally fell fast asleep, then woke up about 6:30.

DANG! Wouldn’t you know it, I missed the magic number. It shot up to 123,459 while I was fast asleep and I missed the perfect number screen shot. Goofy me! But, the good news is, I’ve had 123,459 views on my goofy blog since I started way back when. I also have 1,593 followers. I think that’s pretty awesome! Thanks! Love you all!!!!!

Saturday:) Seriously Over Extending My Brain

19 Jul

“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”

~Voltaire

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Well, now I’m pretty certain that I know NOTHING! With all this quarantining quandary and distancing dilemma, I find myself on my electronic devices and social media way too much. That may sound bad, but there are some good aspects. I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve been meditating for many months now, and being home most the time, it isn’t such a hassle to squeeze in 45 minutes to an hour every day. I never used to be home that long. When I saw a 21 day meditation series on Facebook a while back, I signed up for it. I’ve done several since. There are also some great YouTube meditations that I listen to.

So, here’s the deal. Once you sign up for one of these things, you get dozens and dozens of other offers for free workshops and challenges. And, since the Covid confinement conundrum, everyone and their uncle is offering free workshops, videos, on-line courses, etc. Just today, I counted over 30 possible free workshops I could take. Where do I start?

Being the idealistic seeker of knowledge, truth, enlightenment, writing, poetry, art, and junk food junkie, I’ve signed up for several of these. Seriously, my head is about to explode from all this new found knowledge.

So far, I’ve done a 5 day writing challenge, a 5 day poetry challenge, two different 21 day meditation series, a calligraphy workshop, a few painting and drawing workshops, 3 Novenas, (A Catholic thing.), and I’ve watched countless Ted Talks and YouTube how-to videos. I’ve also signed up for several new workshops starting Monday. Yikes! 🤦‍♀️But, my all time favorite, still a work in progress, is my 10 Week Coursera Course, offered by Yale University on the Science of Well Being. I have learned SO much from this course and I’m only on week 7. And yes, it’s a real college course, and there’s homework, notes, extra reading, videos, quizzes and tests.

Indeed, my head is going to explode!

From all these challenges and new found self-assessments, the most profound idea I’ve taken away from all of this is very simple…Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and live each day as if it were your last, and love each day as if it was your first. That’s very profound, isn’t it. SEE! I told you I’ve learned a lot.

I have learned to pay closer attention to the good things in life, get more sleep, and exercise every day. I am grateful for the chance to learn, to share my thoughts, be grateful for my many blessings, and for another beautiful evening walk.

Friday:) Fiery Hot Texas Days, Friends, and a Fabulous Sunset

18 Jul

“If these Texas days were any hotter, I would think I died and went to the opposite of heaven. Just sayin'”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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It was another scorcher here in North Texas. It was soooo hot, the farmers were feeding their chickens ice chips so they wouldn’t lay hard boiled eggs. (I borrowed that from somewhere?) when I went outside early this evening, around 6, the heat and humidity crushed my chest like an anvil weighing on it. I only stayed out about 15 minutes, and decided to postpone my long walk until right before sunset. That’s my favorite time anyway.

I went to Tom Thumb this afternoon and picked up a few great sale items, which always perks me up. Then, I made some phone calls, and talked to my best friend from back home a while this evening. It was good to catch up. Also, I got to FaceTime with the most adorable granddaughters on the planet. Thank goodness for technology.

I’m sure, like most of you, the extent of your activity and communication these days is done via some electronic device. That’s why it’s good to revel in the beauty of nature once in a while. I need this at least once a day. Here is my sunset from tonight. Yes! Amazing!

I walked 2.2 miles and admired and appreciated every second.

Now, for my Friday night tradition. Black Russian Friday. Cheers, my friends!

Quarantined Karaoke Thursday:) “Close to You”

17 Jul

“Maximize the potential of everyone close to you”

― Sunday Adelaja

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Well, it only took me a few months to figure out how to set up my own mini recording studio and use my cool karaoke microphone and record myself singing. Well, the verdict’s not in yet…not sure if I like it. I’ll have to ponder this a while. 🎤

Still missing my karaoke friends, singing, dancing and laughing every Thursday night. Love you guys! ❤️

Then of course, our good friend, Bob Goen, singing to his beautiful wife of 50 years, Joni, “Ebb Tide.” Happy Anniversary!Cheers!🍷🍷

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

16 Jul

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”

~Harriet van Horne

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Do you like Mexican food? Well, I just call it food. We grew up eating fresh tortillas that Mom made every Saturday, tacos, enchiladas, beans, rice, etc. Mom was a great cook and always made sure we had plenty of great meals. Tacos were always my favorite. When I go to a restaurant and they have those pre-made cardboard-like shells, I just want to scream. Needless to say, I very rarely order tacos at a restaurant.

Yesterday was Taco Tuesday, and I didn’t want to risk going out to eat, so I made my own tacos. Yum! I had taco meat in the freezer, so using something in the freezer was a win-win. Being Mexican-American, I always have tortillas in the fridge.

Also, a great time to use some of my delicious Bernard’s Tomato y Red Pepper Salsa. Thank you Michele and David Bernard.

Today was so hot and muggy, I didn’t even feel like cooking. I had a bunch of grapes for lunch and now I’m drinking my dinner. What goes well with grapes? Wine!

I love sweet wine, so I made these cute fruit juice frozen balls to put in my wine. These are the same molds I use with chocolate almond milk for Black Russian Friday. I froze cranberry raspberry juice in the silicone forms, popped one in my wine glass, and poured the wine. Awesome!

Cheers, my friends!

Tuesday:) Toni’s Time-Lapse Painting With Coffee

15 Jul

“I don’t drink coffee, and can’t stand the taste or smell of coffee, but I sure do enjoy painting with coffee.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’m rather enjoying coming up with a time-lapse video every Tuesday, mostly because it entices me to do something creative or artistic at least once a week. Now, here’s a BIG TIP for those of you thinking about doing a time-lapse painting video. Pay attention… Make sure the camera is on time-lapse NOT on plain old video! MAN!

I did the entire video in regular speed, moving very slowly, not speaking, with several different canvases in different stages of dryness. When I went to check the cute rapid video, it was almost 15 minutes long. 🤦‍♀️ That wouldn’t be half bad, but in order to create a time-lapse video, I had to start from scratch with new canvases and paper. Yikes! But, that’s OK, what else do I have to do all night, right? Here ya go…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8aJMpA9xv4

Montage Monday and My Joe’s Birthday

13 Jul

“Son, you will outgrow my lap, but never my heart.”

~Unknown

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Another week flew by. July is a special month for me in so many ways. Both sons were born in July, Matt a couple of weeks ago, and Joe’s today. I’m one lucky mom. Here’s a week in a peek, and Happy Birthday, My Joe.

Thank you for blessing me all these years and blessing me with these beautiful granddaughters and beautiful daughter-in-law.

A week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon and Some Sowing of Seeds

13 Jul

“You sow wheat once, you feed the world once! You sow ideas once, you feed the world a thousand times!”

― Mehmet Murat ildan

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Well, I didn’t watch Mass in my pajamas this morning. I actually got up early enough to take a short morning walk, make some fresh ginger green tea, and sit a minute before 11 o’clock Mass. Helene was kind enough to text me that it would be on channel 27 instead of channel 11 today. It’s always interesting to see the different churches and hear different priests or bishops. Today was at the Dallas Cathedral. St. Gabriel is now open for Sunday Masses, but I’m trying to be a little careful, and as long as I can watch on tv, I’m good.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the parable of the sower of seeds. Some seeds fell on the path, then eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, withered and dies because they had no roots. Others fell upon thorns and were choked. Then, some seeds fell on good soils and the grain flourished. He goes on to explain…

“Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

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My take on it, of course, is just common sense. Good rich earth and good rich hearts will be rewarded and plentiful. But, like any seed, it must be tended with loving care and nurtured. It does take work, and doesn’t come easily.

My Catholic friends laugh at me because I tell them that I hold up my cracker or cookie and my cup of tea to get virtually blessed while I watch the Mass, but hey… my perception is my reality. To me. It’s blessed.

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So, while I was thinking about the Gospel and sowing seeds, I remembered that I often save the large pit that comes inside each avocado, and when I have a bunch, I throw them in a flower pot I have out back. I don’t expect them to grow anything, as I rarely water it or take care of it, but sometimes they do grow. (I do NOT have a green thumb.)A couple of weeks ago, I had quite a few shoots pop up, but I think a bunny or two came and ate all the green sprouts. But that’s OK. If someone or something benefits from the seeds that I sow, it’s a win-win.

I like to do my writing every day and sow a few seeds, something to think about, to learn, or to share.

On a brighter note… 🎼. I haven’t killed my flowers that I planted in the backyard yet. I’ve actually been watering them… when I remember. 🤦‍♀️

My Google assistant says it 96° out right now, but feels like 105°. I always walk around this time. Hmm…should I or shouldn’t I? Maybe a short one.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) Miracles and Anniversaries

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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(I share this miracle every year on this day. It’s the first of three, and everyone who has heard my trilogy of miracles will agree that only God could do this.)

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 tears, trauma, heartache, hospitalization, and betrayal that followed. That’s the day I confronted my now ex-husband about his affair with the waitress at his country club. We were married 39 years. 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 and my health was in turmoil. I said it was the “day that will live in infamy.” For two years, when I saw that day on the calendar, I cringed and I cried. Not any more. Now it’s a celebration.

Fast forward two years later…7-11-2015 was the day my son got married to the most beautiful and amazing girl of his dreams. That beautiful July 11th day, 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 5th Anniversary Joe and Lindsay!!! I love you “To the moon and back.”

It’s been five years now, and this beautiful couple has also blessed me with two beautiful granddaughters. Even more reason to celebrate. I love 7-11.

7-11-2015 A celebration and miracle.

More celebrations!

Look at this ever growing miracle!