Archive | January, 2017

Montage Monday:) Carpe Diem

24 Jan

“Seize the day, then let it go.” ― Marty Rubin


The days seem to fly by and melt into months, flashing past my eyes in a minute. It was a good week, busy, fun, and lazy all rolled into one blur. Here’s another week in a peek. 

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

23 Jan

“I have found that the road less traveled often has the best view.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.” 

― Guy Gavriel Kay


Another fine Sunday, greeting with Mary before Mass, and saying good morning to all with occasional hugs from a few. My friend, Dorrie, joined me this morning. Yes, a fine day.

The Gospel today was about Jesus finding and gathering his apostles and followers, teaching and curing the sick along the way…

“As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them,”Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”At once they left their nets and followed him.He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.”

My take on it…sometimes we are called to follow a certain path. It is our own personal decision which path to choose. There may be many challenges and obstacles along the way, but we have to be strong and faithful, taking the right path, even if it is not always the easiest one.


Now for the other stuff…Here are a couple of pictures of the stormy sky that threatened last night while I was walking. I find a stormy sky more intriguing than a plain old bright shiny sunny sky. Don’t you?

I had to wander off my usual path to take these pictures. My shoes got a little muddy, but my soul loved the view. The road less traveled…

Saturday:) St. Anthony Saves The Day…AGAIN!

22 Jan

“Sometimes when you lose your way in the fog, you end up in a beautiful place! Don’t be afraid of getting lost!” 

― Mehmet Murat ildan


Catholics have a Patron Saint for just about everything. Really, we do! But, one of the most important and most called upon, is St. Anthony. Well, at least at my house. I have him on speed dial prayer.

This afternoon, I took Bella for a walk around the pond. At one point, I reached into my pocket to get my phone to take a picture of a big ol’ hawk gliding through the sky. No phone. I just assumed that I left it at home. After a long walk around the pond, we walked home. I looked everywhere for my phone. Grabbing the land line phone, I dialed my cell, walking around, listening for the ring. No ringing anywhere. That usually does the trick. Nope!

The next step was look on the “find my phone” link on my iPad. I was already in a panic, and couldn’t  remember my Apple password. Is there a Patron Saint for passwords? Thank goodness I had it written down in a safe place. The app showed that my phone was somewhere two blocks away. It looked like near the pond, not really specific, but general vicinity.  I ran out the door, trying to retrace my steps. I didn’t have a spare cell phone to call myself. Now what?

I almost knocked on a neighbor’s door to borrow a cell phone, but I thought I’d try the exhaustive search approach first. I retraced the entire walk, scanning and panning and panicking every minute. My walk was more like a jog. No phone. Then, I remembered how just last week, I told my friend Sherry to pray to St. Anthony for lost items when she couldn’t find something very precious that she misplaced. She’s not Catholic, but St. Anthony doesn’t care. She found her lost item.

I started chanting to myself, “Please St. Anthony, please!” Over and over, I prayed, my heart racing. Within a minute of my desperate fervent prayer, I looked down, and there it was, laying on the grass. I had already walked that way, but there it was.

It doesn’t matter if you believe in prayer or Patron Saints or miracles. The important thing is, I BELIEVE. And, Saint Anthony, my personal Patron Saint,  has been a good friend of mine and called upon quite frequently. Just yesterday, I asked him to help me find my American Express card that I couldn’t find, as I had put it in a very safe place for safe keeping while I was out of town. I said my prayer and, voila, I  found it. Thank you Saint Anthony…AGAIN.

Friday:) A Fine Day and Fine Friends, Furry and Otherwise

21 Jan

“When you start to do the things that you truly love, it wouldn’t matter whether it is Monday or Friday; you would be so excited to wake up each morning to work on your passions.” ― Edmond Mbiaka


Wow! A fabulous Friday here in McKinney. The sun was shining, and I was out walking little Bella, no jacket needed. The temps were in the upper 60’s, maybe more. Is this really January?

My little furry friend was just as happy as I was to be strolling through the sunny park.

After our late afternoon walk, I dropped Bella off back home, and continued my walk around the neighborhood. I had a feeling that Ms. Sandy and Mr. Larry would be sitting in their usual spot in the garage, waiting for Miss Toni to pass by. 

Yep, there they were, and Mr. Joe from across the street was sitting in MY chair. Oh no! He jumped up really quick, beer in hand. I found a pink folding chair behind the tall red toolbox and assured Joe that I was fine. I nonchalantly walked over to the well stocked fridge and grabbed a beer, plopping myself down next to big ol’Wolf, (he’s a dog, not a wolf) making myself at home. A fine way to finalize a fun Friday.


The time flew by and before I knew it, the sun went down, and it was time for me to stagger home. Just kidding. I only had one beer. But as I strolled home, I couldn’t help but smile and think how blessed I am. I had a good day, I have good friends, I live in a great neighborhood, and there are a lot of people out there that truly care about me.  

I hope you had a great Friday too. 

Theme Song Thursday:) There’s No Place Like Home…Depot

20 Jan

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” 

― James Baldwin


I’ve been back home for a week now. Chicago is home, but McKinney is where I live. So, this is home. My first night back, I woke up around 5 a.m. Startled and disoriented, sleeping in my own bed was unfamiliar. It took about a week, but now I’m all back to normal. I take that back…I’ve never been normal, so that would be impossible to accomplish.

The last few days were rainy, but today the sun came out and I went to Zumba in the morning, went for a long walk, had lunch, another walk, went down to the Square to visit Kathy and Elizabeth at Sweet Spot Bakery, then ran some errands. I ended up at Home Depot. I love hardware stores.

I was looking at vacuum cleaners, but found myself wandering the tile aisle. It took all my self control not to buy some ceramic tiles to paint on. Artists always look at hardware stores as possible treasure troves for creative ideas.

While I wandered somewhere between the tile and caulk aisle, I stumbled upon a hands-on workshop in the tool aisle. Two female Home Depot clerks were demonstrating power tools  to a group of women. I think it was a workshop or class. After the demonstration, volunteers from the audience were asked to use the power saw. The first woman was a bit nervous. After she chopped a section of two by four, the other ladies all applauded, taking pictures, showing support and admiration. I was tempted to sit down and join the group, but I am terrified of power tools.

There’s no place like HOME…DEPOT.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni~ Waste Not,Want Not

19 Jan

“The best remedy for a gloomy rainy day is a yummy batch of freshly baked cookies. Ask me how I know?”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Holy Crazoli, it was a gloomy day today. But, I was in a great mood. With no agenda in the morning, I didn’t roll out of bed until 11. Wow! Haven’t done that in a while. I actually had some interesting dreams that I remembered for a couple of hours, forgotten now. They involved intrigue, and some foreign Russian spy type people, but it was better than no dreams or bad dreams.

I took a couple of misty walks during the day, just bundled up, put on a hat and gloves, and enjoyed the moisture. I like to think of it as a free facial.

This evening, I decided to bake some cookies for my divorce support group at church. I usually try to bake something for the group. I had several rolls of cookie dough in the freezer that I made at Thanksgiving. Plus, I really need to make room in my over stuffed freezer. I freeze pretty much everything. I also had a zip lock bag with left over Russel Stover and Godiva fancy chocolates that I had frozen for a rainy day. Hey! It was raining!

I sliced and shaped the dough into small rounds and cut the fancy candy to place on top. I know, hard to believe that I have left over chocolates,  but I do. I receive many gifts of chocolate candy, and couldn’t possibly consume it all.

Well, I don’t want to brag…well, yes I do. These were probably the best cookies I ever made. They were enjoyed by many. 

The best remedy for a gloomy day…lots of cookies.

Tuesday:) Two Cups of Tea, a Tree, and Spacey Me

18 Jan

“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” ― Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living


I have this daily ritual of starting my day with a big pot of tea. The pretty pot usually sits on the counter for most the day. I pour a little in the cup, microwave it for a minute, and go about my business. Did you notice that I didn’t say that I actually drink the tea? Most of the time, that one minute it takes before the mircrowave sounds it’s annoying beep, I find myself distracted by some other project or activity, i.e., laundry, Facebook, emails, a walk, and so on. 

An hour or two later, I say to myself, “Self, did you forget to drink your tea?” Sometimes I respond and answer out loud, but most of the time I just tap the 1 minute again on the microwave. I’ve been known to do this four or five times before I actually remember to sit down and sip my tea. Does anyone else do that?

Well, it happened again today. I made my tea in the morning, but ran out the door for Zumba class at 8:15. My first time back to class in over a month. I’m a little sore right now. A little too much jiggle in my wiggle, and “Lanza in my panza.” (Mexican inside joke-my belly) When I got home, my tea was more than steeped, so I popped it in the micro 1 minute. I stepped in the other room to make the bed and hang up some clothes and put on a warmer jacket for my walk. Then, off I went for my walk. 

About an hour later, I walked in the door, a little chilly and decided to have a nice hot cup of tea. Where’s my cup? It’s not on the counter. Did I leave it in the bedroom? Nope! Bathroom? Nope! I know I was walking around with it this morning. Oh well. I grabbed another cup from the cabinet and poured. Off to the microwave to warm it up. (You can tell I’m not a tea connoisseur.) Aha! There it is!

Which one do I warm up? Heck! Just do both or I’ll forget again. This time I stood there the entire minute and waited for the beep. I get too easily distracted. Only one cup was consumed.

It was still chilly around 4p.m. I took little Bella for a walk through the park and we admired the knarly old tree that is sprawled across the grass, taking a few pictures.  I can relate to the old tired tree with thick weary limbs and bare winter branches. We’ve both seen better days, but…here we are, still hanging in there. A few limbs trimmed and worse for wear. But, a few specks of green. A sign of a little life still left.

I walked in the door, warmed up the second cup of tea still in the microwave, and decided, even if I’m old and spacey, there’s still a little life left in this old knarly tree.