Archive | July, 2015

Friday: Frenzy Before the Wedding

11 Jul

Just as you can’t rehearse your way to success, you can’t design your way there either.Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger

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Almost midnight…have to get this in under the wire, or at least my deadline. 

Started out my morning with a walk/ run, last chance for a couple of days. Then, get ready, pack up and go to the hotel for Joe and Lindsay ‘s rehearsal and dinner. Tomorrow is the big day. My son is getting married to an adorable girl, and I am so happy for them. 

My sister, Jo , has been driving me all over town for over a month. Today, she put in a zillion miles, taking me shopping and to the hotel. Thanks Jo!

  
The guys. 

  
The girls. 

  
The Moms. 

  
 
The guys with Joe up in the air doing push ups, in Notre Dame jerseys per tradition. 

  
The end. 11:59

Theme Song Thursday: High Hopes

10 Jul

Friends are like ants, they walk into your life unnoticed and take over your life as if its like their own. But unlike ants they leave behind million smiles, uncountable memories.

Hanif Hassan Barbhuiya

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When you do as much walking outside as I do, you can’t help but notice the wonders of nature, and embrace all the sights and sounds. I love to hear the chirping birds, a distant train whistle, or admire the wild flowers and weeds on my path. 

The other day, I stopped to admire a huge colony of ants, busy at work, all with a job to do. It made me think how ants work so tirelessly for the good of the colony. They don’t give up and they think they can move mountains. I bet they can. 

I’d like to be strong, hard working, faithful, and as energetic as an ant. It made me think of the theme song for today…

Like the little ant… I have “high hopes.”

  
Now , these ants are working hard.  

 
Strong is my only option!

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Play With Your Food

9 Jul

The measuring and mixing always smoothed out her thinking processes – nothing was as calming as creaming butter – and when the kitchen was warm from the oven overheating and the smell of baking chocolate, she took final stock of where she’d been and where she was going. Everything was fine.Jennifer Crusie, Maybe This Time

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There are many things in the world that can make your life happier…family, friends, sunshine, good health, and let’s not forget… CUPCAKES. 

I baked two dozen cupcakes and made homemade cream cheese frosting. Yum! I made them for my mom’s lady friends who play bunco Wednesday mornings. 

Because I am not one to follow directions or recipies, I experimented with some fillings. I made one dozen with a folio of chocolate frosting and three mini marshmallows in the center, then the other dozen with just marshmallows, in case someone didn’t like chocolate. But , seriously, Eli doesn’tike chocolate. 

But, first, I had to make a funny face with the mix. In honor of my mom, the red head…

  
  
I frosted half with chocolate and the other dozen with white cream cheese frosting. 

My words of wisdom. Play with your food and be creative… It tastes better. 

   

Tuesday: Trains, Planes and Automobiles

8 Jul

“Each time you say hello to a stranger, your heart acknowledges over and over again that we are all family.” ― Suzy Kassem

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Saturday evening, I took the Metra train into the city to meet my son. There was a 30 minute delay because of a police matter at one of the stops. It was Fourth of July, I could only imagine the dilemma. 

When the train finally arrived, it wasn’t crowded, as it was only the second stop on the route. I plopped down by a window , then a lady about my age sat down next to me. I said hello, and we started chatting. 

After a few minutes, I thought, duh, I didn’t even introduce myself. Her name was Ina. She was meeting her son downtown and they were suppose to go to the ball game, but now running late. I told her about the upcoming wedding of my eldest son, and I was going to meet my younger son for the weekend. 

Long and short, Ina and I shared our lives and stories on our hour long train trek. Turns out, Miss Ina is a physical therapist who frequently visits patients at Mom’s place at the Greens of Elgin. Before our last stop, we became Facebook friends. Such a sweet lady. 

“HI MISS INA!!!!”

  
I absolutely love talking to strangers and meeting new people, and making new friends. 

It was a pleasure meeting you, Miss Ina. Keep in touch. 

   
 

Montage Monday

7 Jul

When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!Ted Grant

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How I See The World
I see the world in color

But my heart sees black and white

No shades for good and evil

There is only wrong or right. 

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis (Me)

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A week in a peek without color. These are a few of my favorite things.  ( Show tunes, anyone?)

  
  

Sunday Sermon and Some Spectacular Churches. 

5 Jul

Being a parent wasn’t just about bearing a child. It was about bearing witness to its life.Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care

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It’s wonderful to visit new churches and see the artistry of these structures in different cities. 

Today, I had the pleasure of visiting Saint John Berchmans Parish in the Logan Square neighborhood in Chicago. Father Wayne Watts was saying Mass at 8:15. Father Wayne will be one if the officiates at Joe and Lindsay’s  wedding next Saturday. It was nice to meet and talk to him after Mass. What a beautiful church. The stained glass windows were glorious. I miss that aspect in modern churches. 

Sermon after the Gospel. Father Wayne just got back from a conference in Rome, where clergy met with the Pope. So, Father spoke about how we can best serve our faith and give witness. He said we just need to lead good lives and be kind to everyone, thus representing our Catholic beliefs. ( My take…I think all faiths and religions, actually, everyone should bear witness in this manner.)

So, as a patent, I hope I not only bore two children, but bore witness to my faith through my life.

  
Father Wayne in the green vestments. 

   
   
There were so many windows. Too many to post. 

  
Many statues lined the walls, but St. Joseph is close to my heart for obvious reasons. I lit a candle. 

  
St. Helen’s across the street from Matt’s. Also lovely inside. 

  
Chicago is a city of many cultures with many beautiful churches in each neighborhood. 

Saturday: May the   “Fourth Be With You” and With Your Spirit. 

5 Jul

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.” — Louis D. Brandeis

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Wow! I’ve got a Star Wars and Catholic thing going on. It’s 4th of July, Independence Day. A day to be grateful for our freedom, our families, and our future. Not everyone has these privileges. A day to count your blessings and to honor those who sacrificed so much. 

The American flag is displayed with pride, and there are several explanations of the meaning of the colors , but according to the American Legion…According to custom and tradition, white signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

  
I stand in your shadow

Oh , long may you wave 

We are home of the free

Because of the brave. 

I honor my country

With colors so true

The stars and the stripes

Of red, white, and blue. 

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

  
My house.  

 

Friday Family, Fun, and Food

4 Jul

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.Mark Twain

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A beautiful day in Elgin, sunshine and 70’s. Couldn’t ask for a better day. When I woke up, Mom was making pancakes. I don’t eat breakfast before noon, so I passed. BUT, I suggested that she make a funny face in her pancakes. She doesn’t see faces in her food, so I took the liberty of embellishing her breakfast. 

   

I see faces in the pancakes!!!

I went for a long leisurely walk, and soaked in the sunshine, birds chirping, racoons roaming. 

It was too nice to stay inside. Mom doesn’t like to venture out that much anymore, but my sister and I coerced her into joining us for lunch at Olive Garden.  She said that she doesn’t like their food, so I told her to just order dessert then. She loves dessert. So, off we went. 
  
Their black tie chocolate mousse cake is fantastic. “Life is short, eat dessert any time.” (Me)

  
I am a very considerate and helpful daughter, so I helped Mom with her lunch. 

   
 

Theme Song Thursday

3 Jul

I’d gone heavy on the black eye makeup until raccoons and I could pass for cousins.

(Jeaniene Frost, “At Grave’s End”)

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Just in time for my Thursday Theme Song Blog. I was sitting on Mom’s balcony this evening when I heard a rustle in the bushes down below. When I looked down, there was an adorable mischievous racoon staring up at me. He scurried behind the corner of the building, but when I called out to him,  ” Hey , Mr. Racoon,” he came out and posed for a picture. 

  
Here’s the theme song for today. 

Yes ,Mr. Racoon was cute, as long as he was a good 50 feet away down below. 

  

Wednesdsy Words of Wisdom:Play Like a Child

2 Jul

I am often accused of being childish. I prefer to interpret that as child-like. I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things. I tend to exaggerate and fantasize and embellish. I still listen to instinctual urges. I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind. I never water my garden without soaking myself. It has been after such times of joy that I have achieved my greatest creativity and produced my best work. ~Leo F. Buscaglia, Bus 9 to Paradise**********

This afternoon, my sister and I grabbed some fast food and drove over to a park near the river to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine. It was rather cool, in the upper 60’s, but the children were screaming, laughing, and skipping through the spurts of very, very cold water. Why is it that little ones at play do not feel extreme cold or heat? They just feel the fun. 

We can’t go back in time, but we sure can play like a child every now and then. 

  
 “I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things.” How about you?

   
 
Look for the magic!