Saturday:) Singing Quarantined Karaoke in the Kitchen- “The Rainbow Connection”

29 Nov

“Shine your soul with the same

egoless humility as the rainbow

and no matter where you go

in this world or the next,

love will find you, attend you, and bless you.”

― Aberjhani

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What an awesome quote. “Shine your soul…” how cool is that? I believe that works.

It’s been a kinda gloomy dreary drizzly Saturday. I worked a little on my Christmas decorating. (Very little.) That cheered me up a little. And, I went for an evening walk with this song in my head, and I was singing and walking and being silly. So, I decided that because I missed Karaoke Thursday, that I’d do some singin’ karaoke in the kitchen Saturday. Well, me and Kermit did some singin’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h_8L21VswQ

Another highlight of my day was Face-timing with my family. My sister Jo, my son Matt in CA, and my son Joe, wife Lindsay and the two adorable granddaughters. It was nice to be all together, if only on the little iPhone screen.

“Love will find you, attend you, and bless you.”

A gloomy grey drizzly sky out there this evening. I’m glad I got my walk in before it started to pour.

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Black Friday With a Holiday Black Russian Friday Twist

28 Nov

“Is it just me, or does Black Friday have a totally different vibe this year? Maybe we should call it “BLEAK FRIDAY.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I was out shopping the Black Friday sales all day today! Well, not really. But, I was out in my back yard sitting in a chair looking at all the on-line sales. I ordered a ton of stuff. Well, not really. I bought one gift card for my daughter-in-law. I did get a lot of exercise today. I was doing a ton of squats. Well, not really. I was doing DIDDLY SQUAT most of the day.

I did go in the garage to look for my Christmas decorations. I haven’t been home here in Texas for Christmas in five years. I’m usually back home in Chicago with family, but not this Crazy Covid Christmas. Man, where did I put all that stuff?

So, now I have my tree all up and decorated. I spent the whole day working so hard.

Well, not really. This is a tiny two foot table top tree that I plugged in to see if it worked. Remember, I was busy doing diddly squats most the day.

I did manage to create a big mess, and found that most the pre-lit or wound up lights on my tree and garland were only half working. So, I just left the pile there.

As is my custom, I did go out for a nice evening walk to catch the sunset. OK! I don’t feel too guilty and unaccomplished. I walked three mikes today. But, you can see why I love my walks.

NOW… it is my Black Friday Black Russian Friday. Wow! That only happens once a year. Cheers, my friends.

Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday and Some Tacos

27 Nov

“Tacos are like what the voices of a hundred angels singing Bob Dylan while sitting on rainbows and playing banjos would taste like if that sound were edible.”

― Isabel Quintero

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I am thankful for so many things, but my family is at the top of the list. My little granddaughters FaceTimed and said “Happy Thanksgiving.” It’s so wonderful to watch them grow before my eyes, even if from long distance. My son and daughter-in-law are so sweet to call all the time.

My son Matt in California called and we talked for almost an hour. I talked to both of my sisters, and I called my Tia’s. (Aunts) Two out of three answered, and we had a nice talk. I had a nice chat with my old friend Debbie.(Don’t tell her that I said she was old.) Another nice call to my sister-in-law Ann. Then, there were a lot of texts and emails from friends and family.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to be thankful and keep in touch with people to let them know how thankful you are to have them in your life. (You know who you are.❤️)

My neighbor and friend, Mr. Mike texted that he was going to drop of a plate of snacks, and just knock on the door and leave. That was nice. He knew I wasn’t going anywhere.

When I talked to my sister Jo Ann, I told her I was going to carry on the tradition that she and Mom had of having tacos for Thanksgiving. I found some shredded beef and avocado in the freezer. I had my Bernard’s salsa, tortillas, black beans, cheese, and lettuce.

Oh my. Fresh pan fried tacos right out of the skillet. Too good.

Then, the end to a perfect day. A beautiful two mile evening walk, catching the sunset at its finest.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

26 Nov

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

― Charles M. Schulz

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Every time I think I’ve found the perfect cookie, brownie or cheesecake recipe, I tweak and change and experiment and create something even more amazing,

My brownies are always delicious and special because I put mini marshmallows in the batter, then top with semisweet chocolate chips before baking. Then, I use Helene’s no bake cheesecake recipe, which I’ve added peanut butter before, but this time I wanted chocolate. Recipe: 1 package creamed cheese, 1/4 c. Cocoa powder, 3/4 c. Powdered sugar, 1 tub cool whip, blend and refrigerate. (I doubled mine because I’m an over achiever.)

And what would be even more chocolatey than combining a brownie, a scoop of chocolate cheesecake and a little bit of a Hershey bar? Put them in a festive holiday paper cupcake liner for easy packing. Oh so easy. Oh so good.

I shared with several neighbors, a whole bunch of friends, and both the garbage man and recycling garbage guy. I missed the mail lady today. (Darn- Miss Stephanie loves my brownies,)

I managed to save a couple for myself. Cheers!

Toni’s Tuesday Time-lapse Christmas Wreath

25 Nov

“‘Tis the season to be jolly, and silly, and creative, and festive, and I could go on. Don’t let anything or anyone squash your joy.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’m starting to get in the holiday season mode. It’s hard not to. I walk every evening, and some of my neighbors have had Christmas lights up since the day after Halloween. Did I miss the memo?

I thought a fun and easy Christmas wreath would get me in the mood. And yes, it looks pretty fast and easy, about 31 seconds. Man… I’m pretty fast, right? Well, it took a lot longer than that.

Acrylic paint on watercolor paper.

Since I had paint left over, waste not want not, I painted a few notecards with matching envelope.

Happy painting, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

23 Nov

” A good week is any week where the time flies by, no family member or friend is sick, and I open my eyes yet another day,”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Happy Monday, my friends.

A week in an uneventful peek…

Sunday Sermon, Social Security Scam, and Some Adorable Granddaughters

23 Nov

“Just when I thought I could trust Google to give me an accurate weather report, she goes and changes my mind. Never trust a machine.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Every morning when I wake up, I say, “OK Google, what’s the temperature.” My Google assistant always replies politely. Today, I asked her, “OK Google, is it going to rain today?” It was pretty cloudy out, but she replied, “The chance of rain today is very unlikely with only a 10% chance.” So, I put on my jacket, because she told me earlier it was 58°, I put the leash on the dog, and off we went for our morning walk. We got about two blocks away when it started to pour rain. We scurried home, and while I dried my wet hair with a towel, I asked Google, “OK Google, is it supposed to rain today.” She replied, “There is a moderate chance of rain this morning.” It was only 10 minutes earlier that she said unlikely. I won’t tell you what I said to her. Can’t even trust Google.

I dried off, made my tea and got my cracker ready for Mass on TV. (I get my tea and cracker blessed virtually on Sunday.)

Today’s Gospel was the very familiar story from Matthew saying when the Son of Man comes with His angels on the last day, all will be sorted out and placed either on His right or left. On the right will be those who will be rewarded with the kingdom of heaven…

“35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome,

36 lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.”

37 Then the upright will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

38 When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you?

39 When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?”

40 And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.”

Those placed on His left will be those who neglected to feed the hungry, give drink, clothing, mercy and kindness to strangers. “”They will go away to eternal punishment.”

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My take on it… It’s pretty obvious that the kindness we show to others, especially strangers and those in need will be rewarded. Personally, I think most kind and generous people do these things, not for the promise of heaven or a reward, but rather for the wonderful feeling you get when you help another human being and make them smile.

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Now, for the Social Security Scam. I received a text message from a very official looking Social Security alert, saying I have a new message. Click here and log in. It had the secure and the .gov words, but I didn’t trust it right off the bat. I Googled the phone number and found dozens of other reports of a scam from this same number. SO! LOOK OUT FOLKS!!!!

Here’s what I found on Google.

Yikes! Crazy, right? You don’t know who or what to trust anymore.

I ended my day with a nice FaceTime visit with granddaughters. I sure miss them like crazy, and I won’t get to see them this Christmas. 😔 Technology does have some saving graces.

And look, they take after Grandma and like to sing karaoke.

This was a great song. NJJVGHJYG NGCHMMM MKJGBBFGB. And she chewed on the top a few times for more crunchy sound effects.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) Some More Spectacular Skies and Sunsets

22 Nov

“I think of the sky as God’s awesome easel where He paints a spectacular sky every single day.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Today, the sky was cloudy with a chance of pizza. Just kidding. I was thinking of that animated movie, “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.” But, there is a good chance of leftover pizza from last night for my dinner.

My Saturday sky…

A few skies from earlier in the week…

Now this one, tell me if you see the Pterodactyl in the clouds, or is it a Velociraptor? Maybe an Eoraptor, but definitely some kind of Raptor. What do you think? You decide.

See it?

Oh my goodness, the night sky with the pale moon and stars against the midnight blue backdrop. Just WOW!

Masterpieces and magnificence in the sky.

Happy Saturday, my friends. I hope you look up in the sky now and then, pause, and see the awesome painting in the sky.

Friday:) From Sunrise to Sunset and More

21 Nov

Each time I see a beautiful sunset or sunrise, I have to pinch myself because I can’t believe that I’m awake and not dreaming.

– Anthony T. Hincks

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Friday’s are such fun days for me. I normally don’t get up early, but I offered to pick up my little furry friend, Bella and keep her for a few days while Mr. Mike is out of town. The upside is, I got to see the sunrise and morning sun. It was a beautiful day.

We took several walks during the day and enjoyed the perfect weather.

Sunset is my favorite time to walk and catch the amazing color show in the sky.

The time flew by and I hadn’t eaten all day. I was lucky that my good friend Jerry had given me a self rising supreme stuffed frozen pizza. I added a little spinach because I love spinach. Oh man… very yummy with a spinach salad on the side. Thank you, Jerry.

Now, I’m all nestled and snug on the couch, watching hokey Hallmark movies and enjoying my Black Russian Friday.

Cheers, my friends.

Quarantined Karaoke Thursday:) “Change Our Hearts”

20 Nov

“You’re just a prayer away from a change of heart.”

~ Henry R. Brandt

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This is another quick story (oops, not so quick after all) about how someone up in heaven sends me a sign. Sometimes I say, “God, you don’t have to hit me over the head.” But, sometimes He does, just the same, just to make His point.

About six years ago, I was walking into church on a dreary Sunday morning. I hadn’t slept much, and I was in a pretty dark place after going through a very devastating divorce. My heart was broken and I was in pain, inside and out. I wasn’t angry, but really, really hurt, with NO forgiveness in my heart. (I still can’t forgive some things, but that’s OK. Some things are unforgivable.)

I knelt down, made the sign of the cross and closed my eyes. My normal prayer was always just repeating, “Thank You for Your blessings.” I would repeat that over and over, wipe away a few tears and sit down, waiting for Mass to start.

This particular day, I knelt with eyes closed tightly to hold back the tears. That day, for some reason, I changed my prayer to “God, please, please, CHANGE MY HEART. Let me find some peace.” The organ started playing and the choir started to sing. Everyone stood up with song sheets in hand and began to sing… “Change Our Hearts This Time.”

Well, I couldn’t hold back the tears. Happy tears. I said to myself, “Well, if you’re waiting for a sign, this is it.” A song just for me, right when I needed it, right when I asked for it. “Ask and you shall receive.”

Guess what my favorite hymn is? Yep, “Change Our Hearts.” My heart is in a much better place now.

Happy Quarantined Karaoke Thursday, my friends.