Tag Archives: family

Tuesday:) Time for Friends, Toasts, and Tiny Toes

21 Jun

I have no idea what I’m going to say when I stand up to give a toast. But I do know that anything I say I find funny. 

~Don Rickles
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Here’s a toast to all my dear friends, here and there and everywhere. Cheers to all my family and friends, the ones I leave behind and will miss here in Chicago, and to all the ones I’ll see when I get back home to McKinney. Both places are home.


Toasting with Debbie. Friends for forty years.


More old friends for nearly twenty-five years.


Mom and cousins. Family and friends.


Now, for the tiny toes… the cutest toes I’ve ever seen. Grandbaby toes.



Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

18 Jun

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” 

― Mahatma Gandhi

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An early morning getting ready for 8 o’clock Mass at St. Mary of the Angels on Hermitage in Chicago. The church is only about a ten or fifteen minute walk from Matt’s apartment. The city streets are quiet early on a Sunday. St. Mary’s is a gorgeous traditional ornate church both inside and out.


The Gospel today was about “the bread of life,” celebrating Corpus Christi. A Communion we are called to share with God and each other, a symbol of nourishment for the body as well as the soul.

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:”I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

My take on it… everyone needs nourishment for the body, bread to sustain us, BUT, we also need nourishment and food for the soul, a faith, a bread to feed our inner beings. The bread is a symbol, and Catholics believe that when the  Eucharist is consecrated, it indeed becomes the flesh of Christ. It is food for the soul.



I always light a candle and say a prayer for family and friends when I visit a different church. Today, I lit two different candles. It is such a huge beautiful church, I couldn’t decide.


When I walked outside after Mass, taking pictures, and looking at the vantage points, a couple of little white butterflies, or they could be moths, but I call them butterflies, fluttered around me, almost hidden by the matching white flowers. I have this thing about butterflies being a good sign, lucky symbol.

After Mass, Matt and I walked a few blocks and had breakfast at a nearby deli and sat up on the rooftop to enjoy the morning.

It’s been a great Sunday so far. I hope you are all having a good day AND 

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the fathers out there.

Saturday:) Sittin’ and Singin’ “Up On the Roof”

18 Jun

“The sky’s the limit if you have a roof over your head.”

~Sol Hurok

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I told you that last night Matt and I had pizza up on he roof. Before it got dark, Matt went back downstairs, but I stayed up on the roof, enjoying the cool night air, the sounds of the city, and the magnificent skyline.


Chicago is a fun city with a beautiful skyline. It’s the city where I was born. It’s home even though I don’t live here anymore. They say you can’t go back home again. Why not?


My view from the roof.


My view from the car.

Thursday:) Those Crafty Girls

16 Jun

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.

He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” 

― Francis of Assisi

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This morning was the monthly “craft and chat” gathering at The Greens. Mom’s friend, Mary Ann, leads the group, sets up all the supplies, brings cookies, and flits around with a super-silly disposition that lights up the room. Today, we were making clothes pin note holders. Mom made a whole bunch. 

Mary Ann is the redhead standing on the left. Mom is the redhead in yellow on the right. There were so many little stickers, flowers, jewels, and more.



I love crafting and painting with Mom. She is my hero, my teacher, and my inspiration. Here are some of the things we made. 



I really do…especially at Christmas time. My friends will attest to that.

Sunday Sermon and Some More Firemen

12 Jun

“And there’s you. You’re just beautiful. Effortlessly beautiful, like nature. You have the trinity of beauty: a beautiful heart, a beautiful mind, and a beautiful soul.” ― Kamand Kojouri

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Today is Trinity Sunday. The visiting Eucharistic Minister her at The greens asked the group who knows what the Trinity means. Mom is the only one who raised her hand and said, “The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” The minisypter asked,”But, what does that mean?” No one was sure how to answer. He replied, “You know what, no one is really sure what it really means, and the concept has been studied and explained and pondered for centuries. We may never know for sure. But, we believe and have faith and continue, even without all the answers.”

I liked that concept of, you don’t have to have all the answers or have everything in black and white, concrete and crispy clear in order to believe in something or someone. 

At the end of the Mass, Mom and I had brought a couple dozen cupcakes leftover from her party. I told them all that Mom’s name is Trinidad in honor of Trinity Sunday.  They thought that was cool. Mom said she was born on Trinity Sunday. But, actually, when I looked it up, she was born the day after, on a Monday, but that was probably the inspiration for her name. Still cool.

Mom and I stayed afterwards and chatted with the other residents while they ate cupcakes and talked about how nice the 90th birthday party was. Mom was still beaming from the afterglow of all the friends and family who celebrated her special day with her Saturday. A good day.
She was so exhausted last night that she didn’t get around to opening her many presents until after church, when she could carefully unwrap and savor each gift.


Here she is reading out loud, a beautiful letter written by her dear friend and almost-daughter, Lin. Dozens of more gifts and pictures…but, I’ll spare you.

Now, for the Firemen. Last night, after the clean up and gathering up all the leftover food and baked goods from the party, we decided that we should take a couple of trays over to the local firehouse. Cousin Jeff went with me and took a picture after the guys invited us inside. They were just about to sit down to dinner. They said it was spaghetti Saturday. I think a tray of cupcakes and brownies made a nice dessert. Great guys. 


Oh, I wanted to show you why there was so much left over. This isn’t even all of the goodies that I baked for the party. There was more in the kitchen. We ran out of room on the counter. And there was a ton of other food and drinks and an official birthday cake that my sister Jo brought. But, my mother always raised us with the rule that it is better to have too much food than not enough. This way people can take some home. We like to share…and we did. 


Cheers!!!

Friday:) My Feverish Baking Frenzy

10 Jun

“A baking frenzy is good for the soul, and for the tummy. Not so much for the diet.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’m taking a short break to put my feet up and rest a minute before I get back to my baking and food frenzy. Tomorrow is Mom’s big 90th birthday bash. My sister JoAnn and I have been running around, preparing, shopping, and getting ready for the big day. 

I love to bake, so that is my favorite task. Yesterday, Inwas busy making the chocolate cake bon bons, that still need to be dipped in chocolate. I’m not into recipes, but this is how I made about 100 of these yummy treats. 

I made two chocolate cake mixes, following directions. Then, I made some homemade cream cheese chocolate frosting. My recipe, hmmm? A package of cream cheese, 3 or 4 sticks of softened butter, a pound or more of powdered sugar and some cocoa powder, a few teaspoons of milk as needed. All just by eye and feel.


Then, I mush up the cooled cake with a few big scoops of frosting, then, mush and knead, until it’s smooth like clay. And roll into balls. Then ai freeze them, to be dipped in chocolate later, after I post this.



I made two trays of these.

Today, I made two pans of brownies and about four dozen cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes with marshmallows and a little cherry filling, to be frosted in the morning.



Well, that’s enough of a break. I better get back to my frenzy. Stay tuned for party pictures tomorrow.


Here’s Mom, all excited about tomorrow. Her sister Frances and family sent her some gorgeous flowers.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom~ What a Difference a Day Makes

18 May

“Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You’ll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today.” ― Amy Leigh Mercree

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Sunday was Mother’s Day. I went to Mass and stopped at McDonald’s for an iced tea and sat there all alone. I was feeling sorry for myself and all alone, just a little bit. But, as I sat and watched people zip in and out, and cars shimmy by in the drive-through, I counted my blessings. I have two fine sons, a wonderful family, and more wonderful friends than I can count.

When I arrived home, barely putting my key in the front door, when I saw the box of flowers that my son Matt sent, especially to be delivered on Mother’s Day. I brought the box inside and opened it. The waterworks streamed down my face. I cried uncontrollably. I’m still not sure why. They were happy tears, but I just couldn’t stop. A flood of memories and photos of two small boys flashed through my mind in an instant. Kinda like a brain freeze of memories. (Teary eyed)


The flowers still hadn’t opened when I put them in the decorative pink mason jar that came in the box, along with a box of gourmet chocolates. The amazing thing is, hour after hour during the course of the day each iris and lilly opened up just a little bit. By evening, they were about half way  opened. Matt called me and wished me a happy Mother’s Day and we talked a long time. He was talking to his elderly mother, (not really that old) but I was talking to my five year old who just barely out of diapers, and not the grown man in his thirties.

Joe called later and asked if I received their card. I hadn’t, but thanked him in advance. I got to talk to Lindsay, my lovely daughter-in-law, and wished her a happy Mother’s Day, her first. This was my 35th. 

When I woke up Monday morning, the flowers were in full bloom in all there glory. What a difference a day makes. 


When the mail came Monday in the afternoon, there was a beautiful card from Joe, Lindsay and Belle. My sister sent me a beautiful card with a heartfelt message and some cool stamps. What a difference a day makes.


Cheers! I always start each day counting my blessings. Some days I may be a little sad, some days hysterically happy, but EVERY day, there is something to be grateful for. What a difference a day makes.