Tag Archives: Friends

Thursday:) THIS IS THE DAY!!!! North Texas Giving Day

20 Sep

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”

― Abraham Lincoln



I wrote a blog the other day asking friends and family if they had just $10 or $20 to spare or to share, would they consider donating it to a very worthy cause? Today is North Texas Giving Day, and there are hundreds of charities that are hoping for donations. But, I have become very involved in the Bella House organization here in North Texas. There are many charities helping homeless animals, or maintaining historic buildings, or preserving wildlife, BUT, Bella House lovingly reaches out to young homeless expectant women who have no place to live and no one to turn to. They are scared and alone. I can’t even imagine that feeling. Can you?

I know you have charities near and dear to your heart, but if I asked you, “Hey, do you have $10 to spare?” You most likely would reach into your pocket and hand it to me, no questions asked. So, that’s what I’m doing today.

You may have already donated today, but “Hey, do you have $10 to spare for ME?”

My sister, Jo Ann, has already made a very generous donation directly to the address below. You don’t have to use the NTX Giving Day site. You may feel more comfortable sending a check. Any amount is greatly appreciated.

Love you! ❤️

The Bella House

P.O. Box 940802

Plano TX 75094

10 Reasons why donors should give to the Bella House via NorthTexasGivingDay.org/the-bella-house

1. It’s a Community-wide Celebration! North Texas Giving Day is an event that lifts up giving by engaging the entire community to support The BELLA HOUSE; celebrating the important part it plays in strengthening the region.

2. Your Gift Matters – Everyone can be a philanthropist on North Texas Giving Day! Every gift, no matter what size, truly makes a difference!

3. Fundraising Efficiency – North Texas Giving Day is an efficient way to raise funding for providing a safe haven for pregnant homeless mothers in the Dallas area.

4. Powerful One-Stop Shop – NorthTexasGivingDay.org/the-bella-house   provides an easy way for everyone to give while providing a one-stop shop website featuring more than 2,700 nonprofits. Support all your causes in one place.

5. To Make Tomorrow Better – North Texas Giving Day creates a sense of urgency and excitement to support the needs in our own backyard.

6. Be a Part of Something Bigger! When we all give together on one day, it shows how much we believe that our nonprofit sector makes North Texas a great place to live.

7. Prizes! By giving through North Texas Giving Day, you’re helping the Bella House qualify for one or more of approximately 100 prizes.

8. “We” is Greater Than “Me.” Giving together is more powerful (and fun) than giving alone.

9. Pride Point – Our Big-as-Texas giving spirit also becomes a great pride point to share with prospective new

families and businesses who may relocate here. A community that gives together, grows together!

10. Set a National Record! We’re Texan – we do things bigger and better. What’s more fun than setting a world record in giving!?

The Bella House

P.O. Box 940802

Plano TX 75094


Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

10 Sep

“The only way to keep a secret is to keep it to yourself.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Secrets are things we give to others to keep for us.”

*Elbert Hubbard


A cool refreshing Sunday. I wore a sweater to church this morning, Yes! A sweater. A brief relief from the Texas heat. Everyone was so cheery and friendly as I greeted, shook hands and dispensed hugs at the door before Mass. As always, I had a little gift, a stuffed toy for Avery, and a Matchbox car for Liam. I love those precious genuine smiles as they walk into church. I’m sure their parents enjoy the smiles as much as I do. It’s been fun to watch these youngsters grow up before my eyes, from Sunday to Sunday.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus being begged to heal the deaf man brought before Him. He performed this miracle but ordered the people not to tell anyone. They did not obey…

then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,

“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —

And immediately the man’s ears were opened,

his speech impediment was removed,

and he spoke plainly.

He ordered them not to tell anyone.

But the more he ordered them not to,

the more they proclaimed it.

They were exceedingly astonished and they said,

“He has done all things well.

He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

My take on it… As I said, “The only way to keep a secret is to keep it to yourself.” Sometimes, the people you try and help don’t always appreciate your efforts. They get what they want and don’t respect your wishes. It’s all about them.

After Mass, I met Mr. Jerry for coffee at McDonald’s, then stopped at Tom Thumb for groceries. I met another friend at Sweet Spot Bakery in the afternoon, then home for a walk. Well, my neighbors Mr. Larry and Miss Sandy weren’t sitting in the garage in their usual 4-5pm spot, so I rang the bell. The garage opened soon after, and we sat in the garage for conversation, catching up and a cold beer.

It was a good day for visiting and chatting with friends. Happy Sunday.

Saturday:) A Soggy Sad Celebration Day

9 Sep

“Celebrate each day, rain or shine, sad or glad, because life is too darn short.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It rained pretty much all day today. This morning, the dark grey skies mourned along with the family and friends of Jim Woodcock. I only knew Jim and his wife Trisha for a few months, but they were a sweet couple who met not that long ago at our Single Mingle group after their spouses had passed away. Jim had been married for over fifty years, raising a beautiful family, and blessing the world with his love and kindness. Jim and Trisha started out sharing their grief and stories, and ended up sharing their love. Even while bravely battling cancer since 2001, he always had a smile on his face and a kind word for all.

James William Woodcock passed away September 8th. Today, we celebrated the life of a very fine man.

Pat, Doug, Jerry and I were there to express our condolences and celebrate the fine life of a fine man.

It was such a gloomy afternoon. I stopped at Sweet Spot Bakery to visit with friends, then drove home in the pouring rain. I wasn’t able to get a walk in, and it was bugging me. I need my walk. So, when the going gets tough and rainy, the tough take a nap.

It didn’t stop pouring till almost dark. I grabbed my umbrella for the light drizzle and scurried out for a quick walk. The sunset and glorious glowing clouds were my reward for being patient.

I walked in the dark and celebrated the day, remembering to “Celebrate each day, rain or shine, sad or glad, because life is too darn short.”

Theme Song Thursday:) Here Comes the Rain Again

7 Sep

“Into each life some rain must fall, but if you are with friends and family, it doesn’t matter.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Into each life some rain must fall,

Some days must be dark and dreary.”

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


We had some well needed rain off and on today. It was also garbage day, so I decided to let God rinse out my garbage cans. (I’m so smart) Yesterday, He was kind enough to wash my car. Isn’t it nice when He saves you time and money?

This evening, my weather app sounded a

warning of possible flooding and severe weather in Collin County. I was supposed to meet my friends at the VFW for karaoke. Should I go or stay home? I decided to go anyway because my dear friend Sherri Murphy was going to meet me there. We texted and decided to take a chance. It never did rain.

We arrived at the same time and I asked Bob to take our picture in front of the big green tank.

I told Sherri that I had the perfect caption for our photo…


Well, even though we braved the possible storms, it turned out that Danny, the DJ had mechanical difficulties and his music hard drive had crashed, so there was no music. Oh no! We all sat in the quiet hall while Danny went somewhere to try and get some help. We thought, maybe we should leave. I took my cell phone, found the Cupid Shuffle on YouTube, and put it next to a microphone. A bunch of us got up to dance.

If you can’t sing, you might as well dance. Then we went home. There’s always next week.

Good to see you Sherri, and thanks for recording our silly dance.

Wednesday:) What a Wonderful Auction at Towne Creek

6 Sep

“You have to be excited about your life.”

― Lailah Gifty Akita


This afternoon, the residents at Towne Creek Senior Apartments had their first TC BUCKS AUCTION. Such an inspirational idea to promote participation of the senior residents. People were given TC Bucks, play money, for attending meetings, social events, health workshops, etc. This idea enticed people who normally stayed in their apartments to become more active and social.

The service coordinator, Christy Sadler, solicited donations from local businesses, churches and friends for the auction. I even received a mention for gathering items and asking friends to participate. The outpouring of fantastic donations was nothing less than amazing. Christy put together wonderful baskets and displays and booklets to promote the auction.

The residents had cute little paddles with their number for bidding, and the charming, Jim Smith was the ever enetertaining auctioneer.


My dear friend, and member of my art group, Miss Bonnie, scored three adorable baskets filled with goodies, gifts, lotions, jewelry, snacks, etc.

I overheard one lady, after the auction was over say, “This is the most fun I’ve ever had.”

A big thank you to all the donors, churches, businesses, and especially my friends who gave me bags and boxes filled with treasures and trinkets, and Mr. Mike for all the art work, wall art, canvases, and that beautiful big metal clock.

A good time was had by all.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day and A Taste of Home

5 Sep

“A Pizza Slice a day keeps Sadness Away.”

― Jet Paacal


A very nice Tuesday. It wasn’t a scorching day, but rather comfortable, cool, and overcast this morning. Zumba at 8:30 am at the YMCA and then a long walk when I got home. While I started out on my walk, enthralled by the glorious day, I found a rusty nail in a neighbor’s driveway. I need to save a stranger from a flat tire. I thought, there’s no trash to throw this away for miles, but I can’t just leave it here or throw it in the grass. I’ll just carry it in my hand as a reminder.

Tip of the day… keep a reminder close by, close to your heart, an object that symbolizes something special. The nail I carried around with me reminded me of the nails on a cross. Someone who gave His life for us. He suffered for our sins, and He said, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” That’s why it’s important to look out for your neighbor. It may sound hokey, but that’s how I think. As I continued my walk, I picked up newspapers in driveways that had two or three strewn on the sidewalk and street. I carefully placed them by the front door behind a bush or pillar. I had just seen a video from a burglar who said how he targeted houses to rob. One thing he looked for was more than one newspaper in the driveway, a possible sign that people were not home or on a vacation.

We need to look out for one another. Not just your family, friends, and neighbors, but even strangers.

The afternoon flew into evening. I made plans to have dinner with my good friend Linda Grossman (World’s Greatest Realtor-blatant plug). Linda and I have our Chicago ties, so we decided to go to Rosati’s for pizza. Ah… they have wonderful deep dish pizza, almost as good as Chicago pizza…almost. It was great and I ate too much. Yum! Look at this!

A reminder of home. This reminder will be in my heart and on my hips for quite a while. Well worth the price.

Saturday:) Smiles For The Bella House

2 Sep

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh


This morning, I met with my friend Mary. We greet at St. Gabriel before Mass on Sunday, and last week, she asked me if I’d be interested in helping with the Bella House newsletter. The Bella House is an organization that assists expectant mothers in urgent need of housing, medical help and a nurturing environment before and after childbirth. Mary knows I love to write and that I’d be a strong asset to the charitable organization. We drove over to Panera and met with Kristen Fislar, another volunteer, and the newsletter coordinator.

Me, Kristen and Mary.

I learned a lot about the wonderful work that the Bella House has done and the many women and babies and families that have been assisted. One of the things that I found very interesting is that there are ways to help support a charity that really doesn’t require much effort. I had never heard of smile.amazon.com. I’ve ordered a few things on Amazon and I know many people who order regularly. The only effort required is ordering from this link and typing in the charity that you’d like .5% of your purchase price to be donated to. Easy peasy. I signed up when I got home. I SMILED!

If you order from Amazon and don’t have a charity that you already support, please consider signing into the smile link and typing in The Gabriel House DBA The Bella House.

After meeting with Kristen and Mary, we drove over to the Plano house for a tour. I met the charming House Manager, Rachelle Ritch.

Miss Rachelle explained the ongoing need for supplies for mothers and babies. “We always need diapers and wipes. But, there is so much more we need every day.”

Also visiting today was another volunteer, Ron Engler. He was setting up a computer, but he is also the “go to guy” who gets called to change light bulbs, small repairs, computer graphics, printing, and whatever he can help out with.

There are so many amazing people giving their time, money, and most importantly, giving love for this wonderful organization. A little goes a long way and many hands make the task easier.

North Texas Giving Day is coming up soon. A little goes a long way…


It was a good day, an informative day, a day for smiling.