Friday Friends and a Few Camels

24 Jul

“Just like a caravan of camels walking in the desert, be durable against the adversities of life and walk with decisive steps.”

~Mehmet Murat Ildan

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What a wonderful day! Life is good! I have the most wonderful family, the greatest friends, and more blessings than I can count. After a most awesome afternoon, Helene, Bonita and I went to a gathering of friends from church in Prosper.

Oh my gosh. The 60+ group met at Mike Millen’s home in Prosper this evening. I have never seen such an awesome home, with acres of land, animals grazing in the pastures, and get this… camels. Yes, camels. Everyone should have camels grazing in their backyard.

It was a beautiful evening, perhaps a little warm, but with fans cooling and friends chatting, it was just a perfect evening. It was a potluck dinner, and there was sooooo much food and drink.

The camels seem to enjoy carrots and nibbling on Bonita’s fingers.
A big thank you to Mike and the co-hosts who made this fun evening possible.
Well, it is Friday, after all!
Cheers, my friends! Happy Black Russian Friday.

Thursday:) This Is Me Trying To Get Back To Normal

23 Jul

“It’s funny, but it doesn’t matter if it’s two weeks or two months or two years away from home, it takes a long time to get back to normal.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I can’t believe I was only gone two weeks visiting family and friends in Chicago. When I got home, I felt like had I run ten consecutive marathons with a full army pack, with no food or drink, then run over by a Sherman tank. Basically, I was fried. I took a long nap, and didn’t unpack or look at the mail. I just vegged.

This morning, I didn’t open my eyes until 11 am, then rolled over for a while. I did muster up the energy to go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and check my emails and Facebook on my recently rescued iPad. But, I was still under the covers. My friend Helene called about 1:30 and asked if I’d eaten lunch. Heck, I hadn’t eaten since yesterday afternoon. No energy, no food. So, we met for lunch and caught up on all the latest gossip and world events.

Since my refrigerator was almost totally empty, (quite the miracle) I stopped at the store on the way home. I walked up and down each aisle, deciding what delicacies would grace my cart. Seeing as tomorrow is Friday, I definitely needed ice cream and chocolate almond milk, and some fresh fruit and veggies to counteract the decadence.

I unpacked the groceries on top of the counter, already cluttered with two weeks worth of bills, newspapers and junk mail.

Before I left two weeks ago, Miss Kathy across the street offered to bring in my mail, check the house, and water my plants. I only had one planter in front that she helped me carry to her house, so she could water them when she watered hers. She has so many beautiful plants and flowers. I have one lonely planter box with four little plants still alive and two that were at deaths door. When I walked over to retrieve my garden in a box this evening, my little feline friend ran across the street to greet me.

He said, “Miss Toni, where have you been? I’ve been coming over every day, and you weren’t here! See, I’ve been taking care of your flowers.”
“I missed you so much!”
He tried to follow me in the house. “Sorry, Sammi! I missed you too, but you can’t come in.”

Well, the mail is still on the counter, the suitcase isn’t put away, the clothes not washed, the dishwasher not emptied, but the ice cream and perishables got put away in the fridge. That’s something, right? After all, “Tomorrow is another day.”

That’s right, Scarlet.

Wednesday:) Where In the World Is Miss Toni?

22 Jul


“She felt a little bit worse – and a little bit better – than she had when she got here. Maybe that was the true meaning of going home.”
― Sonali Dev

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Yes, my two weeks visiting family and friends in Chicago is over. Back to Texas.

But, first for my harrowing experience at the airport. My son dropped me off at O’Hare bright and early. I never sleep well before a trip, checking my phone every hour on the hour, in fear of over sleeping. Off to the airport before 7am.

The lines in security weren’t too bad. I almost forgot to put on my mask until I noticed all the masked people. Yikes! I got to security, took off my shoes, sweater, put all my belongings in the bin, and had my iPad on the side. The security person said, “Get another bin for your tablet.” There was a nun in front of me in line, and they had the toughest time with her big rosary and crucifix around her neck. She held up the line going through the metal detector. They had to wand her and pat her down. After I finally got through, I grabbed my shoes, luggage and purse, and just scooted further down to redress.

With plenty of time, almost 2 hours before boarding, I took my time going to gate K19, which was the absolute furthest gate in the terminal. It was quite a jaunt. I stopped at the gift shop, looking at all the Chicago souvenirs. By the time I shuffled to the gate, I was exhausted. My right knee and ankle have been bothering me for a couple of days, so it was good to sit down after that long long walk.

They started boarding at 9am. I knew it would be a little while since I was in group 6 on my boarding pass. I double checked my purse and realized… OH NO… 🤦‍♀️. My iPad was not in my purse. “PANIC!” I forgot to pick it up at security because it was in a separate bin. “SH…….! #*@#¥€£.” Now what? I’d never see it again if I didn’t go back and look for it. Did I have time? It was probably a mile back to security. Decision? I decided to go back and look for it even if I missed my flight.

I ran back through the airport like O.J. Simpson in that old Hertz commercial, for those of you who are old enough to remember.

Yikes!

The only exception was, I ran like O.J. with two casts on, a broken leg, and his arm in a sling. Basically, I hobbled at a turtle’s pace, my heavy Tumi luggage slung over my shoulder, huffing and puffing Through my double mask. I got back to security, pleaded with a gentleman behind a big plexiglass desk. “My iPad, I left my iPad! It was left in the bin. Do you have a lost and found?” I’m sure my red face, obvious limp, and desperation persuaded him to help me. He walked me over to a tiny enclosed office and asked if anyone turned in an iPad, YES! There it was! I thanked him profusely, but I had to prove it was mine. So, I opened it up, and typed in the code. I started to scramble off, but I had to sign a release and signature a line. All I could think of was, do I have time to get back?

I didn’t care, even if I missed my flight, I had my iPad. Now, to limp and hobble at a high speed all the way back to K19 on the other side of the world. I shuffled and scooted and pranced like an old wounded mare. I envisioned me pounding on the closed door, pleading for the plane to wait for me.

Yes! They were still boarding. When I finally got on the plane, I collapsed. Instead of being upset at my negligence, I was impressed with my countenance and good fortune. Life is good! It’s so good to be home!

When I got home, I changed my clothes, took two Tylenol and had a very long, well deserved nap.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Last Day in GrandmaLand

21 Jul

“Time Really flies when you’re having fun or your a grandma visiting the grandkids,”

-Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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We had a fun adventure at Wagner Farm yesterday, NO! That’s not a real cow that Sophie is sitting on, BUT if a real cow was out there, she would have insisted on sitting on it.
Disco Dancing with Grandma and lots of playing outside.
It was a beautiful day today, a long walk around the neighborhood, playing doctor and Barbies. Let’s not forget the water table and the ever popular garden sprinkler.

Well, my bags are packed… bye, bye, grand babies. Oh…news flash… the dog just got skunked outside…the adventures aren’t over.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Busy Peek

20 Jul

“I don’t think quantity time is as special as quality time with your family.” — Reba McEntire

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Well, my week has been so busy with family and friends, I figured I’d just post the pictures and leave it at that.

Happy Monday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Some More Family Fun

19 Jul

“The single most important factor in our long-term happiness is the relationships we have with our family and close friends.”

— Clayton M. Christensen

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An early morning walk with Joe and Belle to St. Norbert’s for morning Mass. It’s exactly a 1/2 brisk mile walk each way, and a quick prayer was said on the way that we didn’t catch a freight train crossing on our way. Yesterday when we walked to the park that way, there was a very long train that impeding our progress. No train.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus telling the apostles that they needed to get away and rest. They had been preaching so long that they had no time to even eat or rest. But, people continued to come and follow them.

“So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.”

My take on it…. a good shepherd, a good parent, or a good leader of any kind, always puts his flock or followers first.

St. Norbert’s is a beautiful parish in Northbrook. I’m very pleased that we were able to attend Mass today. We lit a candle and said a prayer for family and friends.

The rest of the day was busy with chasing, changing diapers, snacks, constant feedings, playing and fun.

Dr. Sophie attended to her patients, her puppy assisted her in her art project, and after her bath, she was transformed into a colorful unicorn.

I sat outside for a few minutes before dusk, and a cute bunny scampered by for a photo op.

Life is good! Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) Some More Grandma Adventures

18 Jul

“Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you’re just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric.”

Pam Brown

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A fun morning at the park.

A two seater.
Double trouble slide,
A beautiful sunny afternoon. Lunch at The Landmark.
Tradition! Lin came for a visit, a late lunch, and the grand finale, Turtle sundaes at Culver’s.
The girls making big bubbles with the bubble wands from Lin.

Another busy fun day with friends and family. Only a few days left. I sure am making the best of my short visit.

Friday:) More Family Fun

17 Jul

“So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty.”

Haniel Long

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Well, the days are flying by, and soon I’ll be on my way… I thought this sentence would turn into a poem, but I cut stuck. Oh well.

Another fine day playing, laughing, and enjoying the granddaughters. I’d forgotten how children under the age of five have more energy than a nuclear power plant and need to be fed more than an entire battalion of well seasoned combat soldiers. Just sayin’.

Today, while the little one was taking her nap, big sister and I worked on an art project for mommy and daddy. The parents were able to get away for a quick lunch and some grocery shopping while the Grandma Whisperer was on patrol,

A special heart card. Wait till you see how it turns out.
It’s a pop-up card. How cool!
The human eating machine!

Life is good. It’s Friday night, the kids are all safely nestled and snug in their beds. Guess what time it is?

Cheers, my friends.

Throwback Thursday:) Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Present

16 Jul

“When you have the greatest friends, time stands still.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I looked back at some old photos from past visits and gatherings with my old friends and found a few old classics from Christmas’ and summers’ past when I came in from Texas to visit family in Chicago.

Today, my friend Vicky came over to pick me up. We stopped to pick up some lunch at Pita Inn, went back to her house, and she made a big batch fresh baklava.

I said, “Well, there’s my baklava, where’s yours?.”

Today, we laughed and ate, drank wine, and time stood still, just like the old days.
Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza. Yum! I think I’m going to explode.
Love these girls!!!!!

Wednesday:) What’s Cooking Miss Toni?

15 Jul

“I sustain myself with the love of family.”

Maya Angelou

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Two little chefs cooking in the kitchen.
Perhaps peanut butter funny face bread,
Now, for the grand finale of the day. Miss Toni is in CHICAGO TRADITION HEAVEN, PORTILLO’S…..yay!
Maxwell Street Polish, fries and a Coke, perfect!!!! I was dreaming of theirs for almost 2 years.
Thank you Debbie for an awesome afternoon and driving all over creation and spending half a day on backed up expressways to come and visit. Love ya!