Archive | July, 2019

Tuesday:) Toni’s Traveling Adventures

31 Jul

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”

― Lao Tzu

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It’s been a long day, so just a few photos. Day one with my baby boy.

Yes, that’s the ocean behind me. That’s about as close to the ocean as I get. I may venture a little closer tomorrow.

Hope you had a terrific Tuesday. I sure did.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

30 Jul

“One of the best ways to make yourself happy in the present is to recall happy times from the past. Photos are a great memory-prompt, and because we tend to take photos of happy occasions, they weight our memories to the good.”

~Gretchen Rubin

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Another fine week. So many friends, so much to do, and so little time.

A week in a peek.

Sunday Sermon and My CRHP Sisters

28 Jul

“The need of the immaterial is the most deeply rooted of all needs. One must have bread; but before bread, one must have the ideal.”

― Victor Hugo

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After a late night at the Elvis concert Saturday, and getting ready for this morning’s early rise for serving breakfast for our new CRHP sisters, the four or five hours of sleep I think I got, wasn’t that refreshing. But, I happily jumped out of bed before the 6 am alarm, so I could get to church by 7:30.

I individually prepared the two dozen roses, each in a plastic baggie with a wet napkin at the stem, then tied with twine, so each new CRHP retreat sister could have a red rose and remembrance with their breakfast. I had baked three fruit upside down cakes, (one for my Fire station) bought 24 Yoplait yogurts, brought a couple bottles of apple juice, and had a rose for each lady. There were enough roses so our CRHP 28 sisters could have one too.

If you’re not familiar with CRHP, it stands for Christ Renews His Parish, and there are two men’s and women’s spiritual retreats each year. I went a couple of years ago, and it was a wonderful life changing experience. The previous retreatants are then asked to provide meals for the new groups. I made such wonderful friends at my retreat.

There was SO much wonderful food. We could have fed the entire parish. Not, really. We have thousands of parishioners.

Just a few of my CRHP 28 sisters.

Father Don stopped by for a quick bite before 9 o’clock Mass.

The ladies all had a fine breakfast and when they finished and left, our group sat down to eat. It was 8:30 by now, and I asked my sisters if they wouldn’t mind if I ducked out early before clean-up so I could walk across the way to church, then I could greet and attend Mass. I thought we wouldn’t get done till 10 or so. Perfect timing. I still got to greet at the door, go to Mass and stop for coffee with Jerry and Helene afterwards.

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So, the Gospel reading message for today was quite appropriate: Share bread with your friends. When we were asked to provide and serve a meal for this retreat, most of which were strangers, everyone went above and beyond the call of duty, and we loved every second.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus was asked by the disciples how to pray. That’s where we get the “Give us this day our daily bread” from. He uses the example of a man knocking on his neighbor’s door in the middle of the night wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. He had a visitor but no food to offer. What if the friend turns him away? Persistence and a good heart will have the friend get up and give the bread.

9 ‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

My take on it… always share your blessings with others. Not just share, but share from your heart and with love. Just like you take care of your children and friends, when you ask God, your Heavenly Father, for something, you will receive it. It also mentioned you have to be persistent. I think sometimes you have to do a lot of “knocking” before your prayers are answered. All in God’s good time. (I’m still knockin’ Lord!)

Happy Sunday my friends. (PS- I took a little nap when I got home. I was exhausted. Now, to clean up my messy kitchen. 🤦‍♀️)

Saturday:) Singing Along With Elvis

28 Jul

“Elvis is alive and well. He sings in our hearts every day.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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What a great time this evening. We all met at Miss Pat’s house for a potluck dinner and drinks before going down to the Square. We had tickets to see Kraig Parker – The King Lives. Miss Pat loves Elvis. Who doesn’t?

Joni and Bob brought a larger than life stand-up Elvis for us to pose with before the concert.

It was a beautiful summer evening and the show was awesome. Kraig Parker was magnificent, you could close your eyes and hear Elvis singing.

Miss Pat is going to have sweet dreams of her idol tonight. Sweet dreams Elvis.

Good night. Elvis has left the building.

Friday:) Fun, Friends and Of Course, My Firefighters

26 Jul

“Without Friday, the weekend would be half over already.”

― Anthony T. Hincks

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Happy Friday, my friends. It’s been a fun week. Yesterday was busy and crazy, and the rest of the weekend looks about the same. After my busy adventures yesterday afternoon, the evening was more relaxed. Our group was over at Delaney’s Irish Pub for karaoke. Paul and Justin had a gig, they are THE TEXAS BLUESMEN, so neither guy was our DJ for karaoke. We had a really nice young man named Shoji. SP? Paul had mentioned on Facebook that the Bluesmen might make an appearance after their gig, along with the Blues-mobile. If you’re not familiar with the movie, “The Blues Brothers,” well, shame on you. Go rent it, or Netflix it or something, it’s so funny.

A few of the usual suspects.

Justin and Paul AKA The Texas Bluesmen. Check them out on Facebook or on-line. They may be performing at a place near you. (If you live in Texas, that is.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH9TjY6sDnk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiBc3b-d8jE

We had a blast…from the past and the future.

Today, all I did was go to Zumba, stop for lunch with the Silver Sneakers YMCA group, a visit to church for Adoration and say the rosary, stop at Kroger, clean the kitchen, pay some bills, make a late lunch, (I just had water at the restaurant), veg for a while, then when I’m done here with my blog, I’ll take my evening walk and maybe catch an awesome sunset, and finish with my traditional Friday Black Russian.

And last but not least… a visit to Fire Stations 9 and 5 with some brownies. McKinney FD is the best.

Happy Friday my friends.

Theme Song Thursday:) The Road Less Traveled

25 Jul

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

― Guy Gavriel Kay

~Tigana

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Speaking of walking, I got up fairly early (for me) and went for a walk. In the summer when it’s hot outside, I have a regular walking route. I walk mostly on the other older side of the subdivision where they have taller, more mature trees that provide shade and relief from the oppressive sun. I also don’t walk as many miles in one shot.

This morning it was barely 80 degrees, so I decided to take a longer different route.. the road less traveled. As I turned the corner past the houses that I hadn’t seen in quite a while, I thought to myself, “Let’s see what adventure unfolds on this path.” Well, the words were barely out of my subconscious when I saw a gorgeous butterfly perched on a purple sage bush. I giggled out loud and realized that I was meant to walk down this way today. I said good morning, took a picture, admired her for a while, and went on my way.

As I walked, I appreciated the canopy of trees that partially shaded my trek. It was warming up already. About a mile later, a lovely dragonfly sat sunbathing on the sidewalk, and didn’t even budge for his closeup photograph.

When I checked my phone app for my steps, it said I’d only walked 1.5 miles. Hmm? I could do better than that on such a lovely day, so continued on. Well, I’m glad I did because I found an old rusty screw in somebody’s driveway. Thus again, saving the world from flat tires.

By the time I got home, I had walked 2.4 miles. I saw beautiful sights and sounds of nature, saved a neighbor from a flat tire, and all by taking the road less traveled.

My day didn’t end there. Quick summary… I vacuumed the carpets, made myself some lunch, went to GoodYear for my vehicle inspection, sat at NomNom with an iced tea and a book while I waited an hour for the inspection, stopped at church for Adoration and prayed the rosary, ran into Helene and made plans to meet for dinner, and all this before 4 pm. We will have dinner at Delaney’s at 6:30 before Karaoke at 7:30. Then, I’ll come home around 10, and either collapse, or hang some pictures that have been impatiently sitting on the floor for weeks.

Well, it’s almost 6. I better get a move on.

Have a wonderful Thursday, my friends. And, I hope that every now and then you decide to take the road less traveled.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom About Fences

24 Jul

“Good neighbors make good fences.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“Good fences make good neighbors.”

~Robert Frost

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Several weeks ago, as you may recall, we had a big gusty storm that had my back fence flopping in the wind, and teetering on the brink of collapse. I didn’t know the neighbors behind me, (quite unusual) but I went and rang there bell a few times and never found them at home.

I had a call into the man who repaired other sections of my fence previously, because the fence looks like it was put together with chewing gum and popsicle sticks. (Pretty much) Every minor storm wreaks new havoc. The entire neighborhood is the same, with many brand new fences being put in on homes just a year or two older than mine. Well, my fence guy never called me back with his estimate. I waited patiently for a couple of weeks, and still no neighbor to discuss our mutual back fence.

Then one day last week, I heard hammering and sawing and other strange noises. My neighbor was repairing and shoring up the fallen fence. I went out to introduce myself and discuss the fence.

Well, long and short, my kind neighbor Bob, said that he would repair the fence, put in strong metal posts instead of the flimsy wooden posts previously installed, and he would do all the work himself. Instead of paying a contractor hundreds of dollars, he said we could just split the costs of materials. Wow!

Bob spent three or four different days shoring up, cutting down, digging up, sawing, mixing cement, and I’m not sure how many trips to Lowe’s. When he removed the old ragged posts, he said only one of the three was actually cemented in. This kind neighbor also reinforced with new wood, a different section of my fence that wasn’t even on his side.

Yesterday, I got to meet Bob’s wife, Christy, as we talked between torn out picket fence posts in the back yard. Such nice people. I asked if they would be home later because I wanted to make them some brownies. They said they would. I still can’t believe all the work my neighbor did.

Well, anyone can make brownies, so I decided to also bring them a nice bottle of wine and a couple of my hand painted yellow rose wine glasses. Neighbors sharing their gifts with neighbors.

So, the proverb about “Good fences making good neighbors,” should actually read, “Good neighbors make good fences.”

Here are my very good neighbors Bob and Christy. Thank you for my very good fence, and a new friendship.

Good fences make good neighbors

Until it falls apart

Then, your neighbor comes to fix it

From the goodness of his heart

A fence is just a symbol

The means unto an end

When you have a special neighbor

You also have a friend.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

(For Bob and Christy, my new friends)

The proverb ‘Good fences make good neighbours‘ is listed by Oxford Dictionary of Quotations as a mid 17th century proverb. Robert Frost gave the proverb a boost in the American consciousness with his 1914 poem Mending Walls. … He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’