Winter Shutdown in North Texas

31 Jan

Because the birdsong might be pretty,
But it’s not for you they sing,
And if you think my winter is too cold,
You don’t deserve my spring.

Erin Hanson


Frigid winter storms have hit here in NorthTexas. All the schools and municipal buildings are closed today, maybe tomorrow, who knows? Police are suggesting everyone just stay home unless it’s an emergency. I agree. People here don’t know how to drive in ice and snow, and there are no salt trucks and plows on constant patrol like up north. (Chicago girl, here.) The good news is… it’s Texas. We will be complaint about the heat in a couple of months. 🤦‍♀️

Yesterday, I saw some doves hovering by my front window. I have a bird feeder out there, but it was empty. I stopped putting seed in when my pest control guy said that the seed attracts rodents. I had lots of rodents in my attic this winter. But, these shivering birds melted my heart, so I went out and filled my bird feeder.

Many different birds came and shared the seed. THE COOLEST PART, almost made me cry, was that the small birds went up to the feeder and carefully put seeds in their beaks and threw it down for the many birds patiently waiting below. Nature is wonderful. Why can’t we all be like birds, sharing and caring with all? Watch my little homemade video….

Sunday:) Happy New Year~ A Decade, A Year of Goals and Accomplishments

2 Jan

“Looking back at this decade, I can see how far I’ve come, learned, grown, suffered, healed, blossomed, and accomplished. Life is good.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today is January 1, 2023…….. On January 1, 2013, I gave myself a daunting challenge to start a blog on WordPress and see if I could find something to write about EVERY DAY, for one entire year. Well, I met that challenge, and today, I have written a blog post EVERY DAY for ten years, an entire decade. Wow!

When I started out in 2013, I was married, with a beautiful family and a host of wonderful friends. My life was great. My stories were about fun activities on the square, tennis matches, art venues, visits with my sons, Mom, and sister in Chicago, and great times with friends. By the middle of that year, my life was turned upside down by a blind-sided betrayal and looming divorce. 2013 was not a great year. I was a mess, but I kept writing and sharing my stories. Some were painful and others promising. That’s when I discovered that sharing my stories with family, friends and complete strangers helped me heal and grow. THANK YOU ALL!

I’ve decided that this will be my last day of daily journaling here on WordPress. Not because I’m out of stories, but because I’m out of data storage here, and they charge a lot of money each year to add more storage. Once I stop paying, all my posts will be deleted. But, Sid is trying to back-up my posts so I can have a 10 year journal of my life. It’s fun to look back and see my journey. I’ll still post on Facebook and maybe find another site, but I’m retiring my WordPress renewal. So when that’s up, “That’s all she wrote.” Ten years is a pretty awesome accomplishment. 👍🏼 “I AM AMAZING.”

Over the course of my ten years of blogging, I have posted 3,665 stories, with 158,100 views, 86,500 visitors and 1,850 followers. That is AMAZING!

Another tradition of mine is on January 1, I read all the little notes in my GOOD JAR. These are notes that I put in about good things that happened, and also notes that friends pop in there when they visit. I love looking back at the good times and reading the messages. I also count up the coins and lucky pennies that I’ve found along the way. I put them in a ziploc bag and mark the year. Everyone should have a GOOD JAR. Awesome memories.

Other accomplishments have been my walking and photographing sunsets. I try to get out every day and walk, enjoying the sunshine or braving the cold. The best part are the awesome sunsets. I looked at my phone and it said I took 1,493,945 steps in 2022. I looked up about how many miles that would be… around 653.4 miles…give or take. Cool!

Living here in Texas, another tradition is to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for luck. So, I made a big pot from scratch, with the dried beans. I never did that before. Now, I’m going to turn it into my awesome Texas Caviar Salsa, with roasted corn, jalepeño diced tomatoes and salsa. Yum!

My New Year’s Eve was pretty quiet. I stayed up till midnight and toasted with water. I’m taking strong pain meds for my back, restless night. Sid and Kira (German shepherd) stopped by for a little while this afternoon, and we had pizza and toasted the New Year with sparkling cider. Then, I got to FaceTime with the grandkids. It was so different after seeing them live in person every day for 25 days. It’s been a good day… except for the nagging back pain.

The past ten years have taught me SO much, and with each year I have blossomed into the AMAZING person that I am today. OK, that’s an inside joke with my friends. I always say, “Miss Toni is….?” And they have to say, “AMAZING!!!!” (But, it’s true.)

Happy New Year and may you have an AMZING 2023! ❤️


Saturday :) Starting Out New Year’s Eve With a Bang

1 Jan

“The last day of this year has been exciting, hopefully tomorrow will bring a wonderful New Year.“



Started off my day still in pain. I made an appointment to go to the local Urgent Care at 1:30 pm. I was in and out in less than 45 minutes. The Dr. phoned in my prescription to my Kroger pharmacy. I drove over at 2:30, but they said it wouldn’t be ready till 5:30.

When I picked up my 3 prescriptions later, I expected a huge charge at the pharmacy. I was beyond delighted when the technician said, “That will be $1.91. Happy New Year to me!

I hadn’t eaten all day, so when I came home, I made a bowl of soup and took my drugs. Now, I just wait. Hopefully, I’ll be able to sleep tonight. I don’t know about staying awake till midnight. Wish me luck.

I am wishing you a most JOYOUS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday:) Friends, Food, and Filling Up The Fridge

31 Dec

“Normal life continued on, heedless of the occasion.”~ Alison Fox


Well, I woke up this morning still suffering some with back pain. I decided to call my doctor to see if I could get in right away. After nearly 20 minutes on hold, the first available appointment would be next Tuesday at 3 with the PA, physician assistant. By then, I should feel better or be dead. I figured if the pain gets unbearable, I’ll just go to one of those walk-in urgent care places or the ER.

Today I was a little better, but not great. I hadn’t eaten much in the past 3 days and had nothing interesting in my fridge, so I asked my neighbor, Miss Kathy, if she wanted to go out to lunch. We went to Palio’s for Italian food. Miss Kathy drove, this way I could see if I was mobile enough for a car ride.

It’s good to get back to normal, or at least as normal as I can get. 🤦‍♀️ Instead of Black Russian Friday, Kathy invited me over for hot tea and coffee Friday. Her cats are so happy to have me back home, too.
After lunch, I came home, hopped in my car, (not really hopped, more like slowly slithered into) and drove over to Kroger to buy groceries to fill up my empty fridge. I only spent $77 and got a lot of good stuff. I even bought some raw black eyed peas so I can make my traditional Southern New Year black eyed peas. (It’s a Southern thing.) I’ve never soaked and cooked them from scratch before. Wish me luck.

It’s almost New Year’s Eve and hopefully a great New Year is ahead for us. Happy Friday my friends.

Thankful Thursday:) So Many Blessings

30 Dec

. “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue but the parent of all other virtues.” — Cicero


Today is my first full day home after visiting my Chicago friends and family for 25 days. It was a wonderful busy wild and crazy visit.

I came home to a clean house and tons of mail to go through, and an empty fridge. I haven’t unpacked, checked the mail or gone to the store to restock the fridge. Sometime last evening, my back that had been a little funky and sore for a few days really acted up. It was so bad during the night that I almost called 911. It’s a bit better today, but not great. So, I’ll see what tomorrow brings. I’m just glad I got home before this all happened and not far away, being a burden on family. Feeling thankful and blessed.

The fridge may be empty, but not my thankful heart. (Note the fuzzy green moldy muffins that I came home too.🤦‍♀️) Cheers!

Wednesday:) Where in the World is Miss Toni?

29 Dec

“There’s nothing half so pleasant as going home again.”

~Martha Elizabeth Sangster


“All my bags are packed. I’m ready to go…🎼.” After 25 days in Grandma-land, time to go back home.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do after 25 days of non-stop excitement with the grandchildren, family, and awesome friends. Back to the quiet world of Miss Toni in Texas.

Happy Wednesday, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week in an After Christmas in Grandma-land Peek

27 Dec

“Every house needs a grandmother in it”

-Louisa May Alcott


And here I am…

Happy day after Christmas.

Sunday:) Merry Christmas from Grandma-land

26 Dec

“Christmas is the season of joy, of holiday greetings exchanged, of gift-giving, and of families united.”

—Norman Vincent Peale


Lots of excitement, presents, toys, games and playing today. ❤️

Saturday:) Christmas Eve in Grandma

26 Dec

“Merry Christmas Eve, or better know as the calm before the storm.” –

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


We had a good day. Grandma was babysitting while mommy and daddy had a night off. Everyone did great and slept well. All of us in the same bed. Even the dog. 🤦‍♀️

We got up, watched cartoons, did crafts, ate Cheerios and had fun. We played until the parents got home after lunch.

Later in the afternoon, Joe and I went to 3pm Mass at St. Norbert. It was VERY crowded. And…. Sooo cold out.

The rest of the day was busy. Nana came over with Hanukkah presents, and the evening was getting ready for Christmas. These are two lucky little girls. They get to celebrate both. Can you say… SO MANY PRESENTS?

Friday:)Frightfully Freezing Adventures in Grandma-land

24 Dec

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”

Ranulph Fiennes


Well, the temperature here in Northbrook is currently -1°, but the wind chill says -33°. That’s some serious cold. I didn’t even poke my nose outside the door today except to give the pizza delivery guy an extra tip.

Continuing adventures in Grandma-land.

The girls worked on gingerbread houses while daddy shoveled the snow.
We played beauty salon and Belle painted my nails purple and her sister’s pink. Her red lipstick was stunning. (And all over her face) 🤦‍♀️
Pizza for dinner, playing, stories, and fooling around until bedtime… then more fooling around. 🤦‍♀️

Happy Friday/ almost Christmas. ❤️