Tag Archives: family

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

27 Jan

“The past is behind: learn from it. The future is ahead: prepare for it. The present is here: live it!”

<Thomas S. Monson


A cloudy misty morning later gave way to a lovely sunny Sunday. After an early morning doggie walk through the park, it was off to church to greet before Mass. It’s always wonderful to shake hands and share hugs. I ran down the hall to the east doors to meet the lovely ladies on the Chateau Senior Living bus. Oh, the smiles.

Today’s Gospel was about Jesus, after hearing of the arrest of John, He left Nazareth and went to live by the sea, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah…

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

My take on it… We gotta be prepared folks. You never know when your last day is. Live life to the fullest, enjoy, share, love, be kind, be a friend, be the best you can be.


After Mass, I stopped for coffee with Mr. Jerry, then I went over to Tom Thumb for some groceries. Such a sale! A dozen eggs, 29 cents each, limit two. A pound of butter $1.99 limit two, a package of bacon 99cents limit two. Who needs more than two? Of course, the butter and eggs I’ll give to Miss Pat, the cookie lady. She goes rough that stuff like … butter.

After the store, I stopped at Sprouts to pick up some vegetables and fruit. Then, I invited myself over to Lynne’s house for a short visit. I was just down the street and did a drive by.

Fire Station 9 was my next stop. I had some brownies to drop off. They’re always glad to see me. Smile…

Home to walk the dog and catch the sunset.

A little FaceTime with the cutest granddaughters in the whole wide world.

A few phone calls. Debbie called and we did some catching up. Then, I called Helene to see if she was feeling better. Then, last but not least, a long phone call with my Matt in California. The perfect ending to a great day. I am blessed.

Sunday Sermon, a Sunset, and Some Other Stuff

20 Jan

“Every day is a good day. There is something to learn, care and celebrate.”

― Amit Ray


A glorious Sunday morning, a little cool, 34 degrees, but I was happy because it was sock monkey hat weather. A lot of hugs and handshakes greeting before Mass. I always look forward to Sunday morning.

Today’s Gospel was the story of John the Baptist seeing Jesus walking towards him and proclaiming Him the Son of God.

John testified further, saying,

“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven

and remain upon him.

I did not know him,

but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,

‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,

he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’

Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

My take on it… John the Baptist believed that a savior was coming, and that a spirit like a dove who came down upon Him was the sign and was proof to John that Jesus was the Son of God. Faith is a very powerful thing. We aren’t always given a sign or miracle to substantiate our beliefs, but some of us have. I truly believe that if you believe, you will receive. I’ve experienced a few miracles in my life.

After Mass, Jerry, Helene and I stopped for coffee and conversation, then a quick stop at the store.

Another birthday celebration planned for the afternoon with my friend Zelda. Nom Nom was my lunch choice. Normally we go to Olive Garden, but we were thinking something different. Can’t beat Nom Nom for great Mexican food that you pick and choose every item in your meal.

The next stop was a movie. There aren’t too many good movies out there that one of us hasn’t seen already. Zelda suggested “Just Mercy.” At first I poo-pooed the suggestion because it sounded sad, but I thought I’d give it a chance, seeing the alternatives were slim to nothing. I was so glad we decided to go see it.

We were both pleasantly and positively surprised. It was kind of sad in the respect that such tragedies and travesties of justice have, and still take place in our country. But, this was based on a true story, and it gives us hope that there are still some good honest caring people in the world. I give it 4 stars **** out of 5. It was a little long in some stretches, but on a whole, very entertaining.

When I was at the movies, there were no less than 10 or 15 buzzing texts on my phone. Only one was from my son Joe, seeing if I wanted to FaceTime with the girls. Missed it. Oops! When we walked out of he theatre, the flaming sunset was blazing in the sky. Look at these colors! The actual colors! Picture perfect.

When I got home, I was able to FaceTime with Belle, but the baby was already asleep. We had a nice conversation, always ending with “Bye, bye. Love you.” Perfect ending to another perfect day. Feeling blessed.

Happy Sunday, my friends. 🙋

Saturday:) Sitting Around Just Counting My Blessings

19 Jan

“Don’t count your dollars to see how rich you are. Count your memories. Count your friends. Count the hugs you get every day. Count what really matters.”

― Toni Sorenson


When people are asked how much they are worth, I’m sure they usually have a dollar amount in mind. How sad. It’ not how much money you have in the bank, or what kind of house you live in, or what kind of car you drive, it should be how many blessings you have and how much love you feel and receive and share. You can’t put a dollar value on any of that.

Today, I FINALLY got around to reading the little slips of paper in my “GOOD JAR.” I’ve been doing this for a few years. Starting in the beginning of the year, I write down blessings, fun memories, special phone calls or visits with family and friends. I’ve even asked friends to jot something down when they come for a visit. I was still in Chicago January 1st, so I didn’t start recording until I got home. I took the slips of papers, coins, etc., and put them in a bag until I had a chance to sit down and savor each notation. Today was the day.

Some notes were about my sons calling on a Sunday, FaceTime with the grandkids, fun lunches with friends, holidays with my family, Thanksgiving with the Murphy’s, my oldest dearest friend calling to say her lab results were good and the tumor benign, and friends saying how much I mean to them. There were many more blessings in the GOOD JAR.

Also, in the jar were the lucky pennies and coins I would find along my walks or travels. Here’s the run down… A dollar bill, 36 pennies, 8 dimes, 2 nickels, 2 quarters, a 10 centavos coin from España, 1 shiny plastic Texas Lottery coin, a rusty washer, and 3 tiny sea shells from my visit with Matt in CA.

So, if you ask me how much I’m worth today, there’s my breakdown, a couple of dollars in lucky coins to signify my endless luck, and a jar full of memories reminding me of my countless blessings, fabulous friends, and loving family.

After relaxing all day in my warm comfortable house, with nothing to do and nowhere I had to be, counting my blessings and feeling so blessed, I did slip on my shoes and drove over to Fire Station 9 to take them the cute cupcakes Miss Pat sent home with me last night to share with our friends in blue. The guys said, “Thank you, and the peanut butter and jelly cake you sent earlier in the week was fantastic.”

You see, my life is so blessed. And, I’ll keep counting my blessings and put them in a jar for safe keeping. ❤️

Wednesday:) What a Wonderful New Year Ahead!

2 Jan

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing.


Happy New Year! January 1st is always the day we make resolutions and set goals and make plans to reinvent ourselves. Let’s face it, that rarely ever happens, does it? But, here’s the thing. It’s better to have resolved and lost, than to never have resolved at all. Even a short lived goal is an achievement.

This year, my New Year’s resolution is the same as last year’s. MAKE NO RESOLUTIONS I CAN’T KEEP. I only have hopes. My hope is to do a little more, live a little more, love a little more, and be a little more. That I can do. How about you?

Today is my last day in Chicago visiting family and friends. My first day is my last day. I’ve been here a month. So, what did I want to do on my last day? Well, I needed one last indulgent meal of my favorite…pizza. My sister took me to Chicago Pizza Authority in Elgin. The thin crust pizza was excellent, and the crust was so thin and crispy, you could snap it like a cracker. Their large pizza is the size of anyone else’s extra large, and toppings piled on high. Nothing skimpy here. And the waitress was so sweet, she even gave us a coupon we could use, so our huge sausage pizza was only $9.99. (You’re getting hungry, aren’t you?)

We only managed to eat half the pizza, and I was trying to figure out how I could smuggle the other half in my suitcase tomorrow morning. Just kidding, or am I? Our meal was excellent, and our waitress was wonderful. My sister left her a $10 tip. She is very generous. I always believed that how you start your year is how the rest of the year will follow you.

After lunch, we stopped at a few stores. Our first stop was Big Lots to check out the after Christmas sales. On the way in, I found a lucky penny. A good sign and good way to start the year.

I bought a lottery ticket earlier. I haven’t checked it yet. If I’m a big winner, I’ll let you know tomorrow. If you don’t hear about my big win, it just means I’m lucky in life, and maybe not so much at gambling.

On our way home, the sunset was spectacular, even through the dusty windshield. Now, this was an end of the day gift in the sky. Look at these colors!

On this first day of 2020, I wish you all health, happiness, and may all your dreams come true.

(Now, I’ll have to go scratch off my lottery ticket that I almost forgot about. Wish me luck)

Toni’s Tasty Tip Tuesday:) Vegan Black Bean Burgers

31 Dec

“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.”

Bethenny Frankel


A great way to end the old year and start the new year is deciding to eat healthier and take better care of yourself. Food is a good way to start.

I’m visiting with my sister for a few days before I go back home to Texas, One of the things we wanted to do is to try making our own black bean burgers. She looked up a few recipes, and we kind of added our own flare. (I don’t follow recipes well.)

The first thing JoAnn did was to rinse and soak the black beans last night. Yes, starting from scratch. No canned stuff for us. She cooked them this morning, so they were ready to use by the afternoon. I’d share the recipe, but we didn’t exactly measure. But, I know most of the ingredients. I think?

One big pot of black beans. We used about 6 cups.

Chop fine 1/2 red onion, a few carrots, a handful of mushrooms, 1/2 bag of frozen corn, 4 cloves of garlic, Sauté in a little vegetable broth. While I was sautéing the vegetables, Jo was smooshing the beans with a masher, (that’s a professional cooking term…smooshing.) we added some cumin, smoked paprika, pepper, onion powder, low sodium soy sauce, and some hot sauce.

The binder was 2 tbsp.flax seed mixed with about 5 tbsp. water (let sit to thicken) and about 2 cups of ground oats. Mix that all up and let sit a bit.

For the patties, we mooshed ball sized rounds, bigger than golf and smaller than tennis balls. Then, squish, form a patty, and put on a plate of bread crumbs and flip. Place on plastic wrap in piles of 4 or 6 to freeze extra for the future.

We had no idea what we were doing, but the ingredients were all good and healthy, so what could go wrong?

JoAnn cooked them in a frying pan with a tiny bit of oil until crispy, with a side of spring greens on a slice of whole wheat toast. They were DELICIOUS!

It was a big productions and we made a huge mess, but I think they turned out great. She has about 20 patties in the freezer for future meals.

I’m not saying that I’m going to become a vegetarian or vegan, but I think if I have some healthier alternatives, I’ll try to incorporate them into my lifestyle. But, I’m still going to need pizza, burgers, fries, and some chicken fried chicken, fried okra and mashed potatoes smothered in gravy every now and then. Just sayin’! .

Old photo from this summer at The Pantry on the McKinney Square. Oh no, this is making me hungry.

Happy New Year’s Eve, my friends. I hope your new year is a healthy and happy one.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

31 Dec

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

Andy Rooney


I hope you still have a messy living room, with toys, wrapping paper, and holiday decorations strewn everywhere. Sometimes a happy mess is better than a sad tidy room. Savor the holidays while you can.

Another great week with family and friends. I’m still counting my blessings, but unfortunately, I can’t count that high.

A week in a peek….

Have a marvelous Monday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon, Saying Goodbye, and Some Amazing Maxwell Street Polish Sausage

30 Dec

“Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.”

― Shakespeare


I started out my Sunday in the most beautiful way. Lindsay was downstairs early with the baby, before 6:30. I offered to give her a bottle and play with her so mommy could go back up and get some sleep. Sophie and I played, I sang songs and read books, and had breakfast. The rest of the family came down after 8. Everyone was in a great mood.

I was pleased that Joe was going to 9:30 Mass with me again this Sunday. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of the house with two little ones early in the morning. It means a lot to me to be able to attend church with my son, a special bonding time.

Today was the Feast of the Holy Family. The Gospel was again about Joseph, and he was again warned in a dream. He was told to take his family and flee to Egypt. Harod was looking for Jesus and planned to kill him. Joseph obeyed.

I smiled because Father talked about St. Joseph, and how he was a good, loving, and patient father, and how he provided for his family, and he was a good husband, and obedient to God. I thought about my Joseph.

When the magi had departed, behold,

the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,

“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,

and stay there until I tell you.

St. Norbert’s was beautifully decorated, and we lit a candle after Mass.

I took a few pictures.

The family was going to meet some friends for brunch around 11, and my dear old (she’s not old- we’ve just been friends since the 70’s) friend Debbie was coming over around noon. So, I said my goodbyes to the grand babies and family before they left for their brunch. I’d be gone when they came home. Belle drew me a picture and the girls gave me big hugs.

Debbie arrived and helped me load up all my stuff into her car. I’m not sure how I’m going to get all that stuff in my suitcase? She asked me where I’d like to go for lunch. Well, Portillo’s was on my bucket list of all time favorite Chicago “gotta have” meals

before I go back to Texas.

When we walked toward the entrance, there by the door was a new shiny lucky penny. l thought that was a good sign.

Oh man! Maxwell Street Polish sausage with grilled onions, fries and a coke. To die for, (Probably literally)

After lunch, Debbie was driving me all the way to my sister’s in Elgin. Debbie is such a great friend. She lives in Chicago, drove out to Northbrook, which is a good hour drive, we had lunch. Then, she drove me to Elgin, almost another hour, then over an hour back to Chicago. Only a VERY good friend would volunteer to do that. I have the greatest friends.

So, it was a good Sunday. It was sad to say goodbye to the grandchildren, and family. But, I’ll have a couple of days with my sister, then back home to Texas. The time really did fly by.

Happy Sunday, my friends.