Tag Archives: random acts of kindness

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day~Lead by Example

7 Jun

“I actually think that the most efficacious way of making a difference is to lead by example, and doing random acts of kindness is setting a very good example of how to behave in the world.”

Misha Collins

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As you go through life, you never know who is watching, listening, and learning from your example. Maybe you said something nice to a stranger, or you performed a random act of kindness. It really does “take a village.”

Sometimes I do these human nature experiments. Because I pretty much walk every day around the pond in my neighborhood, I’ll see lots of folks out walking, running, walking their dogs or playing with their kids. So, the other day, I saw a few trash items scattered in the grass or sidewalk. I purposely left them there for one day to test my experiment.

The next day, the trash was still there. The sad part is, we have 4 or 5 garbage cans or doggie do-do containers along this path. Dozens or more people would have had to pass or walk over these items. I’m sure they looked down at these things and thought, “What kind of slobs throw their trash around like this?” My thought is, “Who would pass by this trash and not pick it up? This is MY neighborhood.”

So, I picked the items up, tossed them in a container, just a few feet away, hoping that maybe someone walking nearby would think, “Hmm, that’s a nice thing to do,” and maybe next time, they might do the same. You never know?

Then, when I walked across the road to visit with my cute horse friend, I saw a plastic bag flapping around by his fence. Hey, a sign, a gift. I used the bag to pick up other bits of trash tossed around across the street. I’m sure Mr. horse appreciated it.
“Thank you, Miss Toni.” 🐴

Saturday In The Park- It Wasn’t Even the 4th of July

4 Jun

“One of the happiest sights to see is a family laughing and playing in the park.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I know I’ve mentioned my many blessing more than many times, but did I mention that I am so blessed to live right across from a little park. It’s just a tiny swatch of grass with a couple of outdoor exercise equipment stations. But, every now and then, I’ll see boys playing football or soccer, or families riding their bikes and scooters round and round, and people walking their dogs.

Lately, I’ve see this family from down the street riding their little bikes down the sidewalk with their dad jogging along behind them. They play frisbee and have conversations with Miss Kathy’s cats who think they’d like to play too.

Sammi the cat can’t catch the frisbee, but he can chase it as it spins in the air,

While I was on my way home from my morning walk, the dad and three kids rode and strode over to the park. We shared our hellos as they started to toss the frisbee. They are actually pretty good. This gave me an idea.

I had a couple of brand new frisbees that I got on sale after the 4th of July last year. They were sitting in the garage just waiting for such an occasion. I grabbed one of the frisbees and walked back over to the park. I told the dad, Rick, that I really enjoy watching him and the kids play practically every day. I handed him the frisbee gift and the kids all ran over to check it out, they all said “Thank you” and proceeded to test out the new flag frisbee.
As I walked back home, I could hear them commenting on how cool it was spinning and how it was bigger than their old one.

I didn’t know these neighbors before, but now I know their names and they know mine. I’ll probably be known as the nice frisbee lady if they forget. isn’t that what it’s all about?

A random act of kindness is just another way of sharing your smile and your heart. ❤️

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Thankful Thursday:) The Kindness of Strangers

3 Jun

“Schedule kindness in your day. Watch how small acts of kindness can change your mood, bring someone else joy, and give both of you a positive benefit. ”
― Germany Kent

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In a world where there is so much anger, hatred, and malice, what a breath of fresh air to find kindness among strangers. There are so many kind people doing kind acts, but we rarely hear about them. Here’s a little story.

The other day, I was scrolling through my Facebook pages. I belong to a Nextdoor neighborhood page that posts items for sale, news from the neighborhood, and complaints about pretty much everything. I just so happened to stumble across a post saying that if anyone in the neighborhood was in need of some moving boxes and papers, that they were helping a friend move and would have a bunch of boxes.

Well, my friend Helene was starting to pack for a move and I told her I’d be on the look out. This was just perfect timing. I replied right away and the gentleman who posted the giveaway said he’d contact me when he had the boxes. Yesterday, I got a text saying that he could drop off the boxes at my house on his way home. Wow!

This is my neighbor Aaron. He and his family live a couple of blocks away, across from the pond where I walk every day. We had never met or even seen each other in all these years, but now I have some new kind friends. I may have to make some of my awesome brownies tomorrow.
Not only did Aaron drive over to my house, but the boxes and paper were all neatly bundled, and he carried them up the driveway and placed them in my garage. Now, that is above and beyond kindness to a stranger.
Helene was beyond happy to receive all these boxes and papers for her upcoming move. We went to Wendy’s for lunch to celebrate.

Saturday:) Sunshine and Some Kind Words

20 Mar

“Encourage yourself, believe in yourself, and love yourself. Never doubt who you are.”
― Stephanie Lahart

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You never know how a simple kind word could encourage someone or make their day. In the same respect, remember what my Mom always used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all.”

It was a gorgeous warm sunny Saturday. I was looking forward to a nice invigorating evening walk around the pond.

I usually walk two laps around the pond, then sit a minute, then a couple more laps. Today, I was pumping my arms, determined to get three laps before a short rest. Kids were out riding bikes, and the birds were chirping away. I was rounding the third lap when I felt someone swish by me. It was a young lady jogging by. After she passed me on the right, she turned around and said, “GOOD JOB!” and gave me a thumbs up. Those two little words made me smile.
Not only did I finish that third lap, but I went on to walk a fourth lap before sitting on the bench for a breather. I sat a few minutes, stretched my weary back and rubbed my sore knees, then continued on. I was pumped.
I usually walk about four laps, five tops, averaging between 3 or 4 thousand steps. Those two little kind words of encouragement, “GOOD JOB,” found me losing track of the laps and time, and just enjoying the sunshine.

You never know how just a few kind words can effect someone. Remember… BE KIND!

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!

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

18 Feb

“When the going gets tough, the tough get cookin’ and bakin’ and eating junk food.” ~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Well, we’re still in a terrible deep freeze here in North Texas. I stayed under the covers till almost noon. No place to go, nothin’ exciting to do. Just an update… I’ve been very fortunate with no loss of power, not like the majorly of my friends and neighbors. I’m just hoping to hang in there for a few more days. Feeling blessed.

When we got our first layer of snow and arctic blast a couple of days ago, the dog started barking by the front door. Strange? When I looked out the window, the two neighbor kids nextdoor were shoveling my driveway and sidewalk. It was such a kind gesture, and I’m sure the two teenagers were freezing out there.

Before and after.

I decided to bake a few brownies for my kind neighbors. Nothin’ says thank you like my famous brownies. I have been blessed with the kindest neighbors and friends.

Seeing as I wasn’t going anywhere today, or for a few more days, what to have for lunch? Hmm? Pretty much whatever I want. Let’s see what’s in the fridge. Spicy Curly fries and grapes. Sounds good.

Well, Must be time to make some more brownies and my favorite peanut butter no bake cheesecake to top it off with. That should last a few days… maybe…

Sending warm thoughts to you and yours. 🤗🙏

Wednesday:) When Friends Request-Happy Birthday Vincent Corsini

1 Jul

“Take the risk to ask for whatever you need and want. If someone says no, you will not lose anything. If someone says yes, you have a lot to gain.”

― Abhishek Ratna

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Most of you know me pretty well and you know I don’t ask many favors… well, maybe just a few. My long-time WordPress friend, GP Cox, sent me a special request this morning. GP writes a regular blog that tells tales and stories about WWII and other historical events. He’s made it his mission to keep those stories alive, lest we forget all the sacrifices made by those that came before us. I appreciate that he also posts military cartoons, but also the sad news of veterans who have passed away.

I’ve corresponded with him about my dad who served in the Philippines in WWII, and we have exchanged stories and notes. I’ve never met GP, but I’m proud to call him FRIEND.

GP asked if I’d pass this request on to my readers. He wants to help make a special Birthday for Mr. Vincent Corsini, a decorated D-Day Veteran. Wouldn’t it be nice to see strangers cheer up and appreciate this fine man? As soon as I post this, I’m going to send out a card.

Even though his birthday is July 4th, I’m sure cards trickling in throughout the month will make him smile. If you’ve ever done a random act of kindness, you know how special you will feel, but nothing compared to the recipient. Thanks GP and CJ Kirkland.

Read about Vincent Dorsini..,

A Friend Asks For Cards To Make Veteran’s Birthday Special

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H/T War History OnLine.

We need to make this birthday real special for Vincent Corsini.

Courtesy of The Greatest Generation Foundation

D-Day veteran Mr Vincent Corsini (ICo/116th/29ID) will be celebrating his 96th birthday this July 4th (coincidentally).

His wife, unfortunately, has been hospitalized since early January and due to COVID-19 he has been unable to properly visit her.

In addition to his wife being in the hospital, he has been living alone under quarantine these past few months. I would love to flood his mailbox with birthday cards and well wishes.

Originally from Kings New York, Mr Vincent Corsini joined the Army in 1943 and served as a member of I Company, 116th Infantry, 29th Infantry Division. As such he participated in every major action involving the 29th from D-Day to the Siegfried Line.

Wartime portrait of Vincent Corsini. Photo from Vincent Corsini’s personal collection.

Of the nine companies landing in the first wave, only Company A of the 116th RCT at Dog Green and the Rangers to their right landed where intended. E/116, aiming for Easy Green, ended up scattered across the two beaches of the 16th RCT area.

G/116, aiming for Dog White, opened up a 1,000-yard gap between themselves and A/116 to their right when they landed at Easy Green instead. I/16 drifted so far east it did not land for another hour and a half.

Vincent Corsini in Paris, c. 1944. Photo from Vincent Corsini’s personal collection.

On 6 June, he was part of the 3rd assault wave to hit Omaha Beach around 7:30 am landing at Easy Green sector (original landing sector was Dog Red, but they had drifted).

After an exhaustive fight inward, Vince and company fought for ~30 days through the hedgerows of Normandy through to St Lo on to Vire and then Brest. Vince served with the 29th until Oct 1944 when he was evacuated IVO the Siegfried line, finishing the war with ADSEC.

After the war, Vince returned to NY where he pursued his college education eventually taking a job as a draftsman and engineer. He married in the 50’s raised a family and retired in North Carolina.

Vincent Corsini, WW2. Photo from Vincent Corsini’s personal collection.

When abled, Vince was heavily involved with the 29th Infantry Division Association, returning to Normandy 3 times for the 25th, 50th and most recently the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

I was lucky enough to be able to send him back for the 75th. In addition, I was able to petition his congressman and the NARA to have his records updated to reflect awards he should’ve received 75 years ago. Vince is the last original surviving member of his company.

Vincent Corsini today

His updated awards are as follows. Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, WW2 Victory Medal, EAME Campaign with 2 bronze star and Arrowhead device, French Croix de Guerre, French Legion of Honour

For those of you that would like to wish this hero a Happy Birthday, please use the address below. Thanks in advance.

Mr Vincent Corsini

c/o Charles Kirkland

PO Box 1048

Fort Mill SC, 29716

Written by his friend, CJ Kirkland.

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Theme Song Thursday:) Lend A Helping Hand

28 Jun

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I had breakfast with a few friends yesterday, then stopped at Walmart on the way home. There are a lot of jokes about people who shop at Walmart, and most of them are pretty funny and pretty true. I’ve seen people in their pajamas, people talking out loud to themselves, and other strange sights. Yesterday, there was a tall slim man pushing a cart, and he was dressed in a very short black frilly nightie and wearing high heals. A little unusual, but who am I to judge? In a way, I thought, wow, he has to be very brave and bold.

I walked up and down the aisles, not in search of anything in particular, just browsing. Hmm, aluminum foil, waxed paper, garbage bags. Ooh, they had some big fluffy towels on sale. My bathroom towels are looking a little shabby. I picked up four grey and two beige.

When I was checking out, I heard the young man swipe and ring them up. Ding, ding… I counted the dings, and I thought I heard seven. When he was finished, I asked, “How many grey did you ring up?” I told him I only had four and he looked at the receipt and said that was right. Well, I got to my car and looked at the receipt closely. He rang up five grey, so I turned right back around and waited while the young cashier rang up the next order.

I didn’t interrupt, but waited patiently. It was an older couple, and the man was hooked up to an oxygen tank, sitting in the scooter, and the lady had her arm all bandaged. I helped her lift the heavy things from the scooter and I put them back in the cart. She thanked me profusely. When they left, I showed the clerk the receipt and asked him if he remembered that he said there were only four grey towels, but I was charged for five. He apologized and he said I could go to customer service. I said that I’d just run over and get another towel, seeing as I already paid for it. That was easier and they were nice towels.

When I scurried back to my car, the older couple, parked in the handicapped zone, was struggling to get their groceries in their car. I walked over and said, “Hi, let me help you with that.” They had a heavy 24 pack of bottled water, detergent, and several heavy bags. I loaded up their car and was thanked again. I introduced myself and we exchanged names and hugs. Larry and Laura told me that I was an angel for helping them, not once but twice. All I could think of is, wouldn’t everyone help someone in need? I would hope so.

This is Larry and Laura. I told them I was sorry that I couldn’t help them unload when they got home, but they assured me that their son would help them when he got home from work. Then I said, “Selfie time.” Sweet couple.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday:) Toni’s Talking to Strangers Again 

26 Sep

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” ― Anonymous, Holy Bible: King James Version

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Today, I was asked to go over to Towne Creek Senior Apartments where I volunteer to be interviewed. The director said that the RHF Housing folks from California wanted to interview some residents and volunteers and ask them about the complex and the people. Well, you know me. I like to talk, so I said sure.

When I arrived, I didn’t realize that it was going to be video taped by professionals. I wore a little microphone, just like a TV celebrity. Cool! When they asked how long I’d been volunteering teaching art, I shared my story about how I journal every day, so I was able to look up when I started going. It was August 31, 2007. So, it’s right around ten years now. 

The folks interviewing me were total strangers, but I felt comfortable, especially since the lady asking the questions said that she had heard so many wonderful things about me over the years. She asked me to share a little bit about the art shows and guests that I had brought in to visit, including the mayor, and author, and other artists.

The last and most poignant question was, what would you like to tell people about Towne Creek and what you do? I said that the beautiful men and women that I’ve gotten to know have become like family.  But, I’d like people to know how much joy you bring to an elderly person who might not have family or friends nearby, and a few hours of your time can enrich their lives so much. The best part is, then you are blessed tenfold and the joy YOU receive is immeasurable. Strangers become best friends.

After the interview, I noticed my friend Karen’s car waiting by the back door. I forgot, it’s Tuesday. She picks up 91’year old, Miss Eleanor, and takes her to lunch almost every Tuesday. Another visitor who became a friend story. Anyway, I scooted out the door and asked, “Where are you girls going?” They couldn’t decide, so I suggested Braum’s Ice Cream. Yeah! I met them over there.

Here’s the really cool part. While I was waiting in line for my double scoop turtle sundae, I started talking to the man in line next to me. He said, “Oh, that looks good. What is that?” I explained and he said that he should get that too. Then, he ordered a root beer float. I asked him, “I thought you were going for the turtle sundae.” He explained that it had way too many calories. I replied, “Life is short! Enjoy! Go for the sundae.” He pointed to his non-existent belly and said he couldn’t. We laughed. 

He was checking out and paying when the girl at the register said, “One root beer float, one turtle sundae.” I chimed in and said, “No, no! That’s my sundae. I don’t even know this man. Well, unless he’s treating, then we are best friends.” Well, this kind man told the girl to put my sundae on his bill. I huffed and I puffed and said, “No, no! I was just kidding.” Then he turned to me after he paid anyway and said, “Life is short. Enjoy!” He also said that it was his last day in town. He was leaving tomorrow for Puerto Rico to help with the relief effort. 

Sometimes God sends you angels and kind people to show you that the world can be a wonderful place. “When you are kind, you are blessed tenfold.”

This is my new friend Rudy. I went over and gave him a big hug and said what I always say, “Selfie Time.”


There are no strangers, just best friends that I haven’t met yet,

Sunday Sermon, A Sunset and Some Other Stuff

20 Mar

“Each time you say hello to a stranger, your heart acknowledges over and over again that we are all family.” ― Suzy Kassem

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This morning I had the distinct pleasure of attending two church services. The first at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and the other, the First Presbyterian Church across the street. The good part was that both services had the same readings, so today, I actually remembered the Gospel without looking it up to write my post.

The Gospel was the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. First, Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along and weren’t supposed to speak to one another, and then, women were not supposed to talk to strange men, and this woman did not have the best reputation. But, Jesus not only spoke to her, but revealed Himself as the Messaih. This is an important lesson, and happens to be the longest recorded scripture reading in the Bible. 
My take on it…Jesus is showing, by example and words, that we should treat all people with respect, kindness, and compassion, whether it be friends, family, enemies or strangers. This is not necessarily a religious virtue, but should be just an everyday human kind virtue. It was a good lesson.
After church, Jim and I went to the local greasy-spoon diner and sat by the window at a vintage (nice way of saying real old) booth with torn red vinyl seats and a well-worn Formica table. The food was good, inexpensive, and the waitress was attentive. As we sat there, an elderly gentleman shuffled ever so slowly from his car to the door. It must have taken him a good ten minutes. He sat up at the counter and ordered a hamburger, no fries, no chips and water. The waitress poured him a cup of coffee, as he protested that he didn’t order it. She smirked and said to the regular, “Just drink your coffee John.” He smiled back and drank his coffee.

I made a smiley face in my hash browns, and you can’t beat biscuits and gravy with your omelette.

When we got our check, Jim asked our waitress to put John’s burger on our bill, and I handed her a $20 bill for her tip. That was probably the first time she ever got a $20 tip for a $17 check. And, maybe that was the first time someone bought old John a meal, maybe not. But, it was a nice way to share a little kindness and friendship on a fine Sunday with a couple of strangers. Also, a nice way to share today’s Gospel by example.

It was a beautiful warm day, and when we went out for an evening walk around Boomer Lake, God painted a picture perfect sky, and a red-winged blackbird squawked as he balanced carefully on a long bare limb, silhouetted by the setting sun.

 Happy Sunday!