Tag Archives: sharing

Tuesday:) Time to Visit Our Friends at Holy Family School

3 Aug

“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.”

~Toy T. Bennett

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Ah, today Helene and I drove over to Holy Family School to drop off our treasure trove of snacks, drinks, and school supplies that we have been collecting for over a month. We try and get over there at least once a month with our Kroger, Tom Thumb and Walmart bargains and sales that we find for the little ones during the course of the month. We get so excited when we find a great sale… “Oh look, yogurt is 3 for $1. Crayon’s are 2 for $1. Wait, wait…Goldfish Mickey Mouse crackers, only 99cents?” We are easily excited. This is just our little way to share our smiles and love with the adorable pre-school children and staff and our community.

My snacks and drinks, sales and bargains.
Helene found a ton of crayons and markers to add to her fantastic finds.
Miss Sondra was upstairs in her classroom with the children, but took a few minutes to come down and say a quick hello. We hadn’t seen her in months. Such a sweet loving lady. so good to see her smiling face.
Look at those adorable faces.

After our quick visit, we stopped at One and Only Burger on HWY 5 and 380 for lunch. OMG! The fries are so fresh and hot and delicious, and the medium bag is enough for two line backers and their brother . The burgers are handcrafted, not frozen, with anything you want on it. I had lettuce, tomatoes, mustard, avocado, mushrooms and grilled onions. (No extra cost) PLUS, get this, when we got our receipt, I couldn’t figure out why it was so darn cheap. We usually spend a lot more for one meal, much less two. The girl gave us a senior discount. (Hmm? Should I be happy or insulted? I went with happy,)

We did our best, but couldn’t finish all the fries.

A great day with friends, food, smiles, and our Holy Family School Family.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom~What Are You Doing For Others?

15 Apr

“Life’s persistent and most urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

Martin Luther King Jr.

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Sometimes I wonder if people reading my stories about taking brownies to the firemen, or volunteering with local senior artists, or taking food and treats to the preschool, well, I wonder if they think I’m trying to toot my own horn or show off. The truth of the matter is, I have found that when I share some of these random acts of kindness, often times, other people are influenced to join in on the fun. Yes, fun. Friends have given me checks to donate, others have given me cookies to take to my firemen, and others have joined me in volunteering. And guess what? They had fun and felt joy, too.

There is no greater satisfaction in the world than making someone smile. It could be something as simple as paying a compliment to a stranger, or writing a note or making a call to an old friend. And, my firemen love my brownies and always smile. From my own experience, I have found that the more I give, the more I receive.

I always say that my cup isn’t half full or half empty, but rather, it’s always overflowing. I have been blessed with so much that I try and share a little of my blessings with others. Then, right when the cup starts getting a tiny bit lower, it gets filled to overflowing again, so I need to share again. That’s how my universe works.

Monday, Helene and I went over to Holy Family School over on the east side. During the course of the month, we shop the sales at different stores for items that the little ones can use, anything from baby wipes to cookies to, the ever popular, Mickey Mouse Goldfish crackers. We delight in sharing our bargains. Then, about once a month, we gather a trunk load of items and take it over.

This month, I hit the jackpot, apple juice was only 99 cents, as well as the bags of cookies. Helene had puddings, cookies, and a bunch of other treats at her house.
Between the two of us, we had a trunk load of goodies for the little ones.
Miss Melody greeted us with the biggest smile, even under her mask. She knows that we are just two ladies that appreciate what the school is doing to help the young children and families in the neighborhood.

If we all just give back a little to our community, the world could be a better happier place. I know Helene and I are happier every time we visit.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

18 Nov

“Saints have no moderation, nor do poets, just exuberance.”

― Anne Sexton

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I must be a saint because I have NO sense of moderation, just exuberance. Or maybe I am a poet. Let me see…

Roses are red

Violets are blue

If one meal is good

Than make twenty-two.

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I made a huge pot of pasta sauce on Monday. I didn’t cook the pasta until Tuesday, because I didn’t have room in my fridge. Then, I could share fresh off the stove meals with friends and neighbors and still have a few for my already jammed freezer. (I did squeeze in two)

Miss Kathy doesn’t like a lot of sauce, so hers was more like mac n cheese. I think I like that too.

Helene was kind enough to take a few off my hands and disperse others to our mutual friends across the street from her. Mr. Jerry enjoyed his, and I dropped off the last container to my neighbor, Mr. Danny, on my evening walk tonight. Guess what I’m having for dinner.

Yep! I do not know moderation, but I do know that “Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven.”

Sharing is caring. Happy Wednesday, my friends.

Wednesday:) What’s Happenin’, Miss Toni

3 Sep

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” —

~Audrey Hepburn

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Yesterday was a dark and stormy day. My good friend Helene and I had made plans to go over to Holy Family School, over on the east side of town. We both have been including our friends at the school in our shopping trips. We get excited when we find a great bargain on apple juice, peanut butter, snacks, baby wipes or school supplies for the little kiddos over there. We purchase a few items every week, and when we’ve accumulated a trunkload of goodies, we drive over with our donations and visit.

This wonderful non-profit preschool in McKinney is dedicated to providing a safe, loving, education environment for children in the community. Our good friend, Miss Sondra, and her staff always welcome our modest contribution with delight.

Helene picked up a whole bunch of crayons and markers, along with snacks.

I found some deals on juice, peanut butter, etc. And, when I mentioned our trip to the school the other day, my friend Zelda, reached in her purse and handed me some cash to donate to the cause. How sweet.

When you have two hands, it’s nice to reach out with one and help someone else, especially a little child.

A big thank you to all the teachers and staff at Holy Family School. A great legacy carried on to honor the works of the Vega family.

On The Square and Elsewhere ❤️ McKinney

26 Jul

“I always say that I bloom where I’m planted, but I sure have been blessed to be planted in McKinney, TX.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Blessings are to be shared, that’s for sure. It seems like the more you care and the more you share, your blessings multiply tenfold. If you’re anything like me, when you see a great sale at the grocery store, you stock up. OK! Maybe you don’t, but I do. My favorite items to stock up on are items to take over to Holy Family School, over by the Square, to share with the adorable pre-schoolers.

Helene, my partner in crime, and I stock up for a few weeks on snacks, drinks, cereals, baby supplies, or whatever we think they could use. Then, we stop by for a quick drop off about once a month. Miss Sondra and the staff are always so appreciative. Lately, with the distancing thing, we generally just ring the bell and pop the items inside the door and scurry on our way. That’s what we did yesterday.

Since we were so close to The Pantry Restaurant on Louisiana, and it was after lunch time, we stopped by to get a to-go order of their famous chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and crispy fried okra. It’s enough for two meals. (But, we each got one. Yum!)

Right across the street from The Pantry is the awesome wall mural on the side of Fair and Square Imports, painted by our amazing artist friend, Andrea Holmes, so I had to get a photo op. (I do have my mask on. Safety first.)

McKinney is a great town. Now, saving the best for last, here is just one of the amazing sunsets that blesses the end of my day. Just awesome.

Friday:) Food Frenzy Makes Me Happy

21 Mar

“If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it’s not good cooking for yourself; the joy is in cooking for others – it’s the same with music.”

~ will.i.am

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I can’t even remember how many days it’s been since the world has “Gone to hell in a hand-basket.” And, if you have a hand-basket, make sure you stay six feet away from everyone, wash your hands carefully, and sanitize your hand-basket. It seems like forever, but in reality it’s only been a few weeks for us here in the states. And, it looks like no foreseeable end in sight.

Today, I did my usual routine of staying in bed until the cows came home. No cows, so I got moving around noon. I worked on a couple of small projects. One was framing one of my paintings to add to my personal home art gallery. (Wait till you see it when I’m done. Amazing.)

For the last three days, I’ve eaten the same thing every day for dinner. That was my only meal. For some reason lazy days slip into night before I think about eating. Here’s what I made each day. One flour tortilla, warmed in a dry pan till crispy, add a three bean and corn salsa mixture. I topped it with cheese, lettuce and a few dollops of plain yogurt. Yum! I’m not a vegetarian, I just happen to like this.

So, today I needed to cook. Ah, pasta. Massive quantities of pasta. That makes me happy.

I sautéed some Italian sausage and made a huge pot of pasta sauce, and boiled up two pounds of mostaccioli. When I cook, I cook tons so I can share. While the pasta was cooking, I made my famous Snicker peanut butter no bake pie. A big pie and some little ones. I made enough to share with Mr. Mike and my neighbor Kathy, and still have plenty for me.

Boy! I sure did make a mess, but that’s ok. It was fun.

Now, here’s the funny part. I finally realized today was Friday and I put sausage in the pasta and it’s Lent. Oops! No meat on Friday. It looked pretty good. I’ll have to wait till tomorrow. So, I made a big salad for dinner.

Oh well! The joy was more in the cooking and sharing than the eating it myself.

Now…. FINALLY… Black Russian Friday, my friends. Cheers!

Tuesday:) Two Tips of the Day: Share Your Blessings and Try to Ignore Ignorance

19 Feb

“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

― Mark Twain

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I’m a firm believer of “The more you give, the more you receive.” There are many ways to give and share besides writing a check or swiping your credit card. Your time, thoughtfulness, sharing a kind word, or sharing your talents are ways to share your blessings,

One of my favorite places to visit and share is Holy Family School on the east side of McKinney. This Episcopal Christian school and daycare provides a safe educational and faith based environment for children ranging in ages from babies to kindergarten, and just seeing those adorable faces is enough to melt any heart.

So, when I see these great sales at the grocery store, I purchase items that I know the school can use for the children’s meals, snacks or care. I also enlist friends to participate, then we drop it off at the school. Today, Helene and I dropped off some cereal, fruit snacks a 10 cans of tuna.

Miss Sondra always greets us with a smile and a big thank you. She’s the greatest.

Look at these adorable children.

There are many ways to give back and share your blessings with your community. If you’d like to see more about Holy Family School, follow them on Facebook.

https://m.facebook.com/HFSMcKinneyTX/

When I got home, I walked Bella thorough the park back to Mr. Mike’s house. I keep an eye on Bella when Mr. Mike travels, and he just got home from the airport. He’s my neighbor and a great friend. I watch his dog when he travels and he’s always looking out for me when I need help. Being the president and owner of a large security business, I’m all hooked up with the latest security technology. We look out for each other. He provides security and manpower, I provide brownies and doggie daycare. A win-win.

Today, Mr. Mike brought me a gift from the airport gift shop on his way home. Does he know me or what? I’m enjoying the chocolates now with a glass of wine.

Surround yourself with sharing and caring people. The more you give, the more you receive. (And chocolate is very caring.)

Now, for the ignorance…When I got home from my walk, I checked the mailbox, and I had a bunch of mail. One letter was from the neighborhood HOA. I assumed it was just a receipt from our absorbent yearly HOA fee that I paid last month, but NOOOOO! It was a citation warning me about the “weeds along the curb around and/or in front of your property need to be removed.” I have ten days to comply.

It’s the middle of winter, for goodness sake. Who goes pulling weeds in the winter? We’ve had a lot of rain and a few warm days, and my grass is turning green and the weeds are popping up like crazy. Here’s the thing, I pay hundreds of dollars a year to a landscaping company that supposedly takes care of my weeds. They already did the first pre-emergent application. Seeing as it’s not mowing season yet, and the grass is supposed to be dormant right now, well, the weeds are flourishing. They were even kind enough to provide a photo of a clump of weeds by the curb. There must be four or five clumps of weeds in my front yard. Oh my gosh!!! Sacrilege!!!! I certainly hope EVERY house in the neighborhood with a clump of weeds received a warning.

I’m trying to ignore ignorance, but it’s not that easy. Give me strength!

Theme Song Thursday:) LEAN ON ME

24 Jan

” There’s nothing we can’t accomplish if we just lean on each other.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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What a wonderful day of sharing, caring, friendship, peaceful prayer, and silly singing. I am so blessed.

When it comes to blessings, I have more than my fair share. I started out my morning running errands, bank, post office, and grocery store. One of my stops was at St. Gabriel for Adoration. A few prayers for those in need, light a candle, but most of all, just to say THANK YOU FOR MY BLESSINGS, my constant prayer.

When I got home, I gathered up several bags of food donations that I had for Holy Family School and a couple of bags for Community Lifeline. When the store has a great sale, I stock up to share with others, and every couple of weeks, I drive over with my donations.

Last week, I took some cereal and granola bars for the adorable preschoolers over at Holy Family School. This week, I took some oranges, gold fish crackers, peanut butter and apple juice.

My visits and donations are always appreciated by Miss Sondra and the staff. My thought is if everyone helps just a little bit, so much would get accomplished.

My next stop was Community Lifeline with some canned goods and pasta for the food pantry.

It seems like the more I give, the more I get back. When I got home, my neighbor and good friend, Mr. Mike, came over to replace my broken Ring Doorbell security system, and to install a security camera in my back yard. Needless to say, Mr. Mike is in security, and he takes very good care of me. I have the best neighbors. We look out for each other. While he worked on the installation, I made a huge pot of mostaccioli for his dinner. More like enough for a few days. I love to cook.

Now, for the rest of my fun evening. Tonight was karaoke at Delaney’s with the regular suspects, more great friends. We tend to lean on each other and share good times and bad. Just like the song says, “Lean on me..” We have the greatest time. How lucky am I!

https://youtu.be/82BmY4VhQUU

Life is good. Thanks Miss Loretta.

Friday:) Sharing and Caring and My Firefighters

30 Nov

“For pleasure has no relish unless we share it.”

― Virginia Woolf

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Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I am am very thankful for the wonderful meal I shared with my friends the Murphy’s. I am also thankful that I didn’t bring home any leftovers that were so kindly offered. I did a lot of baking, so I had no room in my fridge or my tummy.

I have to admit that this batch of brownies I made were probably my best ever. Not only did I use mini marshmallows and chopped up Mars Candy Bars, but I also chopped up several dark chocolate gourmet chocolate bars that I sprinkled on the top. Can you believe that I didn’t get a chance to eat them? My friends always give me chocolate gifts.

The brownies were going over to Station 9 because they got a Snicker Peanut Butter pie last week. Station 5 was getting a Snicker pie. Both stations were receiving a hand painted Christmas ornament for their tree.

Station 9 has only been around for a couple of years, and they just so happen to be less than a mile from my house, so they get a lot of Miss Toni visits.

Fire Station 5 was the first station I started visiting with my baked treats back in 2004 when I first moved to Texas. I don’t get there as often as station 9 since I moved, but I absolutely had to give them one of my special hand painted ornaments for their tree. It’s a tradition. They should have about 15 of them by now. I remember running into a few Station 5 fire fighters last year at the grocery store, and one young man said, “You’re the Christmas ornament lady.” What a nice compliment.

Well, there were a few brownies left over, so I know the mailman always appreciates a surprise.

“For pleasure has no relish unless we share it.”

― Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader

Oh, I almost forgot it was Friday… Thanksgiving always confuses my internal calendar.

I can’t forget Black Russian Friday… my personal Friday tradition.

Cheers, Happy Friday, my friends!

Thankful Thursday~ Holy Family School

17 Oct

“Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.”

~John Wooden

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Well, Mr. Wooden pretty much covered all the bases on how to live a perfect life. Now, if we all could follow these guide lines, it would be a perfect world. As much as we try to make that happen, we don’t always succeed. So, all we can do is do our best. I try to follow these steps, but I’ll admit, I’m not much of a reader, the “Good Book” or otherwise. I do a lot of short reading, but not novels or classics or even the Bible. I think I just can’t sit still that long.

Today, I was feeling particularly thankful for my wonderful life, great friends, and fantastic family. And, I do consider each day a masterpiece and try to be true to myself. I have made friendship a fine art, and I do love to help others.

This morning, my side-kick Sherri and I went over to Holy Family School on the east side. Sherri had some early childhood instructional books and materials to donate, and I had apples and several boxes of cereal, and Zelda had picked up more granola bars, and Helene more cereal for the children.

Miss Sondra and Miss Maria were thrilled to see us. Sherri had also inquired about volunteering occasionally, perhaps doing craft projects, and I said I’d like to read some stories in Spanish. Wouldn’t that be fun? The children are so adorable. We arrived during lunchtime, and the 4 year old group loved the visit. We were treated to hand shakes, high fives, fist pumps, and a rousing medley of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

After lunch, they were getting ready for nap time and our presence had made them a little loud and distracted. We exited with more fist pumps and giggles. What adorable children. Miss Sondra said we were welcome any time.

Sherri and I left the school all invigorated and looking forward to sharing our talents and time with these youngsters.

Sherri and I had lunch, stopped at the thrift store, then ventured home. I had errands to run later, but I took a few minutes to stop at St. Gabriel’s for Adoration and a few prayers of thanks and pray for guidance.

There’s always something to be thank for, and I could use all the guidance I can get. Amen…