Tag Archives: kindness

Thankful Thursday:) There’s Always Something to be Thankful For

15 Oct

“There’s always something to be thankful, but if you don’t think so, then you need to open your eyes. I’m thankful for my eyes that can see the wonders around me every day.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This morning, I started out my day by visiting my friend Sherry Joplin who donated a trunk load of clothing for a great cause. My Facebook friend, Kim Hughes, had posted this request for men’s clothing…

“Partnering with my high school buddy C.j. at Turtle Creek Rehab to help fill thier MENS clothes closet, ensuring everyone that walks through the doors to begin the road to soberity has their basic clothing needs met! So men let’s clean out those closets! #beofservice #roadtosoberity”

Sherry and her husband Jud went through his closet and found so many suits, shirts, slacks, belts, ties, etc. that I was able to pick up. That was so kind.

Later in the afternoon, I had an appointment for my mammogram at Solis Mammography of McKinney. Everyone was so nice, kind, and very careful. Well, except for the squishing part, that part can’t be avoided. But, all went well, oh, except for the part where I went over to the hospital building. Wrong place. I needed to go to the medical building across the street. A nice nurse gave me directions. Oops! I am thankful for all the medical people who keep us healthy and kind people who give me directions when I’m lost.

(You noticed I didn’t take my usual selfie. 🤦‍♀️ That would have been scary.)

After that, a quick stop at the Dollar Tree. I needed a few more headbands for my Dia de Los Muertos project. They are turning out cute. (Of course, I bought a bunch of other stuff that I really didn’t need… but it’s $1. How do you pass that up?

I am also very thankful for the much needed rain that gave us a good soak over night, and the sunshine that followed in the afternoon. The scattered clouds with a peeking sun made for another glorious sunset.

See!!!! So much to be thankful for. Happy Thursday, my friends. ❤️

Tuesday:) Toni’s Two Word Tip of the Day~ BE KIND

14 Sep

“Your life is your canvas, and you are the masterpiece. There are a million ways to be kind, amazing, fabulous, creative, bold, and interesting.”

Kerli

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I love this quote above. It’s like it was written just for me, especially the AMAZING part. I always say that jokingly, but it’s pretty true. I am all those things, and I believe there are SO MANY ways that we can be kind, amazing, fabulous, creative, bold, and interesting.

Today, I was thinking about all the mean, hurtful, petty, nasty, degrading, words and comments that people make and share. Some people have quit social media just for that reason, but I love to share my happy stories, fun and interesting people I meet, or awesome things that my friends and family are doing.

That being said, I decided that today I would make that call to Walgreens headquarters to tell them about Mr. Nathan who works at my Walgreens. A few weeks back, when I picked up 100 photos, and I did something wrong and the heads were cut off or pictures were cropped, He was kind enough to reprint them all for me, after showing me what I did wrong. Plus, he didn’t charge me. That’s above and beyond…

A few days ago, I was wandering around Walgreens looking at vitamins, and Mr. Nathan, I’m sure not even remembering me, politely stopped what he was doing and asked, “Anything I can help you with, Mam?” I said yes. I’d like to speak to your manager and tell him what an awesome employee you are. Wow! He was delighted, a big smile ran across his face.

Mr. Nathan called his manager, who hesitantly walked up to me, fearing the worst. When I explained the reason I wanted to speak to him, that same smile appeared on his unsuspecting face. He confided that he expected to get yelled at about something. Then, he said that was so kind, and if I really wanted to express my gratitude, that I could call the Walgreens headquarters.

I called the Walgreens Customer Care 800 number today. I was on hold for over 10 minutes, but I was determined. Miss Shirley, who answered, was also delighted about the call and took all my information, store number, etc. Now, Mr. Nathan has been formally recognized for going above and beyond by his employers.

In a world that is often unkind, BE KIND. Recognize and appreciate kindness in others. Give a smile to a sad face. Ask to talk to a manager and compliment an employee or waiter. Hesitate, then reconsider those unkind comments before they are said. What you say and what you do represents who you are. How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as being….AMAZING! (But, you already knew that. 🤦‍♀️

I’ve got the weird part covered too!
Amen!

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

2 Aug

“God has given us two hands – one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing.”

~ Billy Graham

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Another Sunday watching Mass in my pajamas. I don’t miss setting my alarm for 7am, but I REALLY do miss greeting fellow parishioners at the door, and the hugs and handshakes, and the smiling children, and the holding hands reciting The Our Father. I miss the community of worship. I can still pray and sing and celebrate the Mass in the comfort of my cozy couch… but it’s not the same.

Today’s Gospel was the famous five loaves and two fish story. Jesus just learned that His cousin, John the Baptist had been killed, so he wanted to go to a secluded place to mourn. His followers learned where He was and followed Him. Instead of being upset and sending them away, He spoke to the crowd and healed the sick. When it was late and all were hungry, He performed a miracle and fed the crowd…

“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”

Then he said, “Bring them here to me, ”

and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,

he said the blessing, broke the loaves,

and gave them to the disciples,

who in turn gave them to the crowds.

They all ate and were satisfied,

and they picked up the fragments left over—

twelve wicker baskets full.

Those who ate were about five thousand men,

not counting women and children.

My take on it… even the Lord, in His sadness, gave of Himself to others by sharing His word and teachings and blessings. He healed the sick and fed the hungry. You and I can’t perform miracles like this, but in a small way, we can perform tiny miracles by sharing with the less fortunate, sharing The Word by being kind to others. It doesn’t have to be something huge. Just a kind word to a stranger, a cold drink for the workmen at your house, or the mailman. (Brownies for the firemen) So many tiny acts of kindness do not go unnoticed, because they are huge to the recipient.

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It’s a pretty hot Sunday here in McKinney. I haven’t even ventured out or even peeked out the window blinds to see what kind of day it is. (“My house is dark and my pots are cold…” ~ Santana) Google Girl said it was 95°, so I’m staying in the air conditioning, at least until sunset.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Topsy-Turvy Tuesday:) Turning the World Upside Down

2 Nov

The sound principle of a topsy-turvy lifestyle in the framework of an upside-down world order has stood every test.
Karl Kraus

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My simple little world pretty much revolves and is surrounded by my life here in McKinney. It’s a great place to live, and the people are great. So many of the things I share here are about the people, places, and things I encounter every day.

My daily walks are always inspirational, a time for thought, a time for observation. This morning was no different. I was in my zone, striding long and fast around the pond, when I noticed a small black bug on the sidewalk. He was on his back, struggling, with all his many legs wiggling and flailing about. Poor thing. I stopped and gave him a little nudge, but his frantic pace impeded my efforts. Every time I tried to flip him over, he just ended up on his back again. Did you ever have one of those days?


I know, some people might think I’m weird, rescuing worms, and butterflies, and little discumbobbled black bugs, but I try to put myself in their shoes. Not that they wear shoes, but you know what I mean.

After many futile attempts, and asking the creature to relax, I finally flipped him into the grass. But…he landed on his back again. Dang! I found a small leaf and was able to maneuver him back onto his feet. Phew!

As I continued my trek, I couldn’t help but think of all the times I felt like that helpless black bug. There was always someone there to lend a hand and help me back on my feet. 


Now, let’s see if the Cubs can win the World Series. That really would be topsy-turvey.

Go Cubbies!


I’m sitting here biting my nails. Only the sixth inning, but looking good so far, 

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of The Day

13 Jul

“Sometimes the little opportunities that fly at us each day can have the biggest impact.” ― Danny Wallace, Yes Man

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How often do the smallest things go unnoticed, the smallest creatures unattended? My tip for today…Be kind, be attentive, be generous to all creatures great and small. Why? Because you will be blessed in return tenfold. 

I was out for my walk this morning, and it was already between really hot and dang near deadly hot. I didn’t get that far, when I saw this tiny creature trying to maneuver across the blistering hot sidewalk.


All I could think of was, “Ouch! That must be scalding his tiny little feet and belly.” I found a small stick and let Mr. Crawly Creature climb up the stick, then I carefully placed him in the cool green grass. I’m not sure if that’s where he wanted to go, but I thought, if that was me, I’d take the grass over the hot sidewalk. 

That’s what we need to do. Think about, “If that was me.” I think I’ve heard that somewhere before. Hmm? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,”

I’ve been lucky in life, and I’ve have had people help me off the scalding hot sidewalk of life. 

Saturday: Sometimes It’s the Little Things

22 Feb

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
—The 14th Dalai Lama
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A kind word, a small act of kindness, or a passing smile may not seem like much, but sometimes it can brighten up someone’s day. I know, I know, you already think I’m goofy, but I like to do little random acts of kindness whenever I can. I guess I’m just my mother’s daughter. I’ve learned from the master. Also, I don’t share these things with you because I’m looking for recognition or praise. I’m genuinely sharing some ideas with you, hoping that it may inspire you to give it a try. Maybe you already do, and I’d love to hear about it.

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Yesterday started out being a dark, gloomy, misty morning. I waited until the rain stopped later in the afternoon before I bundled up for my walk. It was still misting, but I put up my hood and ventured out for over an hour.

I was about five blocks away when I noticed the mail lady making her appointed rounds. It was pretty chilly out. I gave her a wave and thought, “That must be a tedious, lonely, thankless job.” I remember meeting Miss Penny when I first moved in. She was very nice when I stopped to ask her something about forwarding my mail.

When I got home from my walk and checked my mail box, it was still empty. I thought, “Hmm? What can I do for Miss Penny?” So, I ran into the house, grabbed a Dr. Pepper from the fridge, took the last mini cupcake that I was saving for my late afternoon tea time, and scurried back out to the mail box.

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I left a note saying, “Miss Penny, I saw you while I was out walking and thought you could use a treat.” Here is what I found later when I got my mail.

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“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”

I think Miss Penny felt appreciated and perhaps this made her day a little brighter.

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Sunday Sermon and the Spiritual Samaritan

4 Aug

“A Spiritual Samaritan lives knowing that if we were to leave this world tomorrow, we were the best humans we could be and we touched the lives of as many souls as possible. We are not asked to be perfect. We are asked to make a difference.”
― Molly Friedenfeld
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Today’s Gospel was the story about Jesus feeding the multitude with only five loaves and two fish. Here’s what I derived from the words. I’m very good at boiling things down into a few words…If you believe, He will provide.

“Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples,
who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied,
and they picked up the fragments left over—
twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men,
not counting women and children.”

After church, I walked three miles, worked on packing up a few more boxes, then realized it was 2:30 pm and all I had to eat was that little communion wafer.(Not so filling) I called my friend, Della, and we had a yummy late lunch at Olive Garden. Then, I drove over to the Art House where my friend Jill Luigs was working on some sewing projects. I had a few bags of fabric to give her. She makes the most amazing projects out of scraps and fabric that is often shared by friends and neighbors.

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Jill and I had an in depth conversation about how sometimes our needs and wishes are met when we have faith. I’ve always believed that the more you give, the more you receive. I’ve always tried to share my blessings, my time and my gifts with others.

It’s funny, at Olive Garden, I had a $4 off coupon on two dinners, so Della and I each saved $2. So, I left a 30% tip for our nice waiter. Pay it forward. After my visit with Jill, I had to pick up a few things at Lowe’s. On my way back to my car, I saw a lucky feather near my car. Another sign?

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Leaving Lowe’s, there was a young family standing on the corner. A mother, three small children, and a dad holding a sign saying, “I lost my job. Can you help us?” Well, I’ve heard that sometimes these are scams, but you know what, what if they were hungry and thirsty after being out in the sun and heat all day? I am wanting for nothing, and have more than many, I can share my blessing. I pulled over, reached into my purse. I had a bunch of singles, and a twenty. That little voice inside my head said, “You can spare a twenty.” I rolled down my window and handed the man $20. He touched his hand to his heart and said, “Bless you! Bless your family!” I drove away thinking, “Yes, I’m already blessed.”

I’d like to think that if I were to leave this world tomorrow, that I was the best I could be, made a difference, and that I touched the lives of many souls, just like the quote says.

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Wednesday Words of Wisdom:Kindness

30 Jul

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
Henry James
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Happy is as Happy does.
Me
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I believe that, of all the attributes anyone can have, kindness is the most important. I’ve always found that what goes around comes around. The more you give, the more you seem to get back. A lot of clichés, but it’s true.

Blessings are not bestowed upon us. We create our own destiny and our own blessings. Life is too short to be unkind, selfish, heartless, and cruel. I hope when my days are done, that I will be remembered as a good, kind, loving, and loyal person. That’s all I can ask for. That’s all anyone can ask for.

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Unfortunately, it’s quite true. It is devastating when your heart gets broken, especially by someone you loved and trusted with all your heart. But, no one can steal your joy, your heart or your kindness.

I’ll be singing and dancing in the kitchen as long as I can move and breathe. Heck, I’ll be dancin’ and singin’ in my walker or my wheelchair if need be.
“Happy is as Happy does!”

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Wednesday Words of Wisdom: There Is Only One Religion

26 Dec

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
My religion is simple. My religion is kindness.
Dalai Lama
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It’s Christmas Day, a day for family, friends, laughter and joy. Not everyone is so lucky or blessed. I happen to be one of the lucky ones. My sons called me today, as did many of my dear friends. My friend Karen and her husband invited me to their home for dinner so I wouldn’t be alone for Christmas the first time in my life. I baked and dropped off some more cookies to take to Fire Stations 2 and 8 on my way. After a lovely dinner, I stopped to visit my sweet friend, Della. We shared a cup of tea, cookies and conversation. What could have been a sad and lonely day, turned out to be a delightful day, all due to the kindness, love and sharing of time with others. Yes, I am truly blessed. Feliz Navidad!

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Why, what did you have for breakfast today, Toni? Well, chocolate chip cookie dough, of course!

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Firefighter Craig Ferguson over at Station 8.

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Firefighter Brent Jones at Station 2. Don’t we have the nicest, most handsome firefighters? And they like cookies, too!

Yes, there is only one religion! When you share kindness, you receive kindness in return.

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Sunday: Strangers or Friends

21 Oct

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows that he is a citizen of the world.
Francis Bacon
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I’m a huge proponent of talking to strangers. A simple kind word to someone you’ve never met could lead to an interesting conversation or even a possible friendship. I know, I know…it’s been drummed in your head, “NEVER talk to strangers!” Why is that? What does it hurt to say, “I love that necklace,” or “That blouse is beautiful. Where did you get that?”

This weekend, during my garage sale, I had the opportunity to talk to dozens of strangers. While strangers rummaged through my treasures, many different conversations arose. A woman who recently moved here from Kentucky told me about the craft projects she was working on. I even had a couple in depth conversations with some women that ended with exchanging hugs and well wishes. These were strangers, but we talked, shared stories, and exchanged kind words.

When I was checking my Facebook page earlier, one of my friends posted a video by photographer, Richard Rinaldi entitled, “Touching Strangers.” I LOVE this idea. Complete strangers were asked to pose and touch, hold, or embrace one another. That short connection brought them together, if only for a few moments, realizing that we are all part of the same large world. Wouldn’t it be great if all prejudice, barriers and fears could be erased by something as simple as accepting all people with a kind word or a simple touch. Watch the video. You’ll be impressed.

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