Archive | January, 2016

Saturday:) Riding Off Into the Sunset

31 Jan

“At the end of the day, you can either basque in the glow of the sunset, or turn your back to the to the cold haze of the moon.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal.” ― Elbert Hubbard


There are many choices to be made every day. It’s the old,”Is the glass half full or half empty,” scenario. Heck with that! I like to think of the glass as always full to the brim, and I just have to be careful not to spill any as I meander my way through life. 

Today was a perfect sunny day. It was in the 70’s, a bit windy, but it’s winter for goodness sake. I went to Zumba in the morning, did a few things around the house, and sat on the driveway in my chair to catch a few rays. Later, I stopped at Sprouts to get some flowers for Kaylyn, who had her baby boy, Jason, this morning, and while I was there, they just so happened to have some wine on sale. I usually go to Sprouts after church, and you can’t buy wine until after noon on Sundays, so today was my lucky day.

The Square was crowded with shoppers, diners, and folks like me just out enjoying the beautiful day. I’m lucky that I get to visit with my friends at Sweet Spot Bakery. My friend, Elizabeth, is the baker and Kaylyn’s mom, so I got to hear all the details of Jason’s arrival. She was in the back, in a tizzy, trying to get an order of cake balls done for a customer waiting up front. I asked what I could do to help, so I drizzled a few blue swirls, and sprinkled them, while she dipped and boxed the last few remaining treats. 

Later, Miss Kathy was out back talking and visiting with the mounted patrol officers. Ranger and Ontario, the magnificent horses, are frequent visitors because Kathy has them spoiled, giving them apples and treats all the time.

Ranger likes to give Miss Kathy kisses, and request more treats. 

The children love to pet the horses, and Ontario (L) and Ranger (R) love the attention.

Life is funny, beautiful and scary, all rolled into one. The horses made me think of this quote. We have to saddle up every day, even if we’re scared to death. Then, and only then, can we “ride off into the sunset.” SADDLE UP!

Riding off into the sunset.

A Fine Friday, Friends, and a Feather

30 Jan

“It is a very beautiful day. The woman looks around and thinks: ‘there cannot ever have been a spring more beautiful than this. I did not know until now that clouds could be like this. I did not know that the sky is the sea and that clouds are the souls of happy ships, sunk long ago. I did not know that the wind could be tender, like hands as they caress – what did I know – until now?” ― Unica Zürn


It’s hard to believe that it’s late January. It was “a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” (Thanks Mr. Rogers.) I went for a morning walk, had an impromptu lunch with Lynda, visited the gals at Sweet Spot Bakery on the Square, sat in the sun, then home for another walk.

The ducks were enjoying the 75 degree temps as much as I was.

You know what I love about my neighborhood? I love to see all the kids playing in the streets, riding their bikes, throwing the football around, shooting some baskets, and enjoying being outside. I love that these kids are all sizes, all races, big kids looking after the younger ones, just out there playing instead of zombies in front of a computer screen or television. Makes me miss my boys!

Here’s a lucky feather I found.

It was a fine day. I hope you had a fine day too.


Theme Song Thursday:) The Moon is a Loyal Companion

29 Jan

“The moon is a loyal companion.It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.

Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.” 

― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me


Have you looked at the moon lately? It is so beautiful! When you look up in the clear dark expanse of sky, the tiny stars flecked all around, you can’t help but shudder in awe. When I saw the moon the other night, I thought to myself, “Wow! Everyone who is looking up at the sky right now, is seeing the same amazing moon.” I have a habit of wishing on the first star I see in the evening. You know, the old, “Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.” But, then there’s the moon. We should be able to wish on the moon. I like to wish on the moon. 

So, when I saw the moon and made my wish on the first star and on the marvelous moon, I thought of the song from the movie “An American Tail,” about the moon. It’s a beautiful song. It will make you think differently about the moon, and about the people important to you.

“The moon is a loyal companion.”

Wednesday:) What Do You See?

28 Jan

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer” ― Walter De Mulder


 Who is an artist? What do artists see? Everyone is an artist in their own right. If you are a writer, painter, dancer, photographer, teacher, or student, everyone is an artist. Everyone who thinks, sees, feels, and shares, is an artist. 

What do you see?

This is just an oil spot on the street, but I see something different. Look closely. What do you see?

I see an elderly lady, her hair up in a grandma bun. Do you see her eye, protruding nose, dark lips. A profile of a pen old woman. She has a warm wooly scarf around her neck. She’s out in the snow. Do you see it now? Maybe you see something else.


“Always seeing something…” 

Tuesday:) Taking Chances

26 Jan

“Taking chances doesn’t mean you are brave. It means you are too scared to stand still.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Taking chances, trying new things, meeting new people, and all the other adventures that are flung at us on this hastily revolving planet, these are all part of life. Granted, some things may be awful, painful, or scary, but then again, some may be wonderful. You don’t know until you try.

Personally, I don’t like seafood. I’ve tasted different types of fish, yuck! I’ve tried to convince myself that I could like it, but I detest the taste, odor, appearance, well, I just hate it. But, I tried! I don’t like coffee either. It smells like skunk to me, and the taste is like bitter medicine, and it upsets my stomach. But, I tried it. We all have different palettes, and different tastes.

I’ve tried a lot of new things in the past few years. Some things I was forced to learn and experience as a result of a devastating divorce. But, after thirty-nine years of marriage, I was too scared to stand still. So, I bought a new house, started a new life, and learned to take care of myself. Granted, I had a lot of help and support along the way, but it was scary, none the less. 

Only my close personal friends know why taking a bubble bath on my birthday was a scary adventure, but I did it! Note: I am terrified of water. Baths, pools, lakes, oceans, yikes! They all make me nervous. I took a chance, (I also took a glass of wine) and I didn’t drown. I was very proud of myself. Maybe I’ll take another bath…next year…on my birthday.

 I have been blessed with so many old, true, and loving friends, and a wonderful family. And, I’ve  met some wonderful people, and made some new friends along my journey. How lucky am I?

 I’ll keep trying new things, meeting new people, and taking chances. “I’m too scared to stand still.”


Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

26 Jan

“Procrastination gives me a little extra time to make a list of the things that I’m not going to get done tomorrow.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I would say it was a busy week, but it wasn’t really. It was a fun week. I’ve been checking off a lot of “firsts” and “bucket list” events on my life calendar these past few months. I was invited to the Fort Worth Rodeo this week, that was a first. Very cool, a very Texas thing to do.

Now, I need to get productive and get some things done around the house. Or, maybe I’ll just make a list and think about it tomorrow.

Here’s a week in a peek… 


Sunday Sermon and More Sunsets

25 Jan

“The more I see, the more I write, and the more I write, the more I see.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Writing is like breathing, it’s possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.” 

― Julia Cameron, The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life


It was a sunny Sunday morning, cool and windy, but lovely, none the less. I went to church early to do my “greeting thing.” There were two baptisms during 9 o’clock Mass, which always brightens the day. The Gospel was about writing a narrative, which made me reflect about my own writing. To record daily events, feelings, and thoughts is the best told story. I find my daily blogs have become my personal journal and journey.

Gospel LK 1:1-4; 4:14-21
Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events

that have been fulfilled among us,

just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning

and ministers of the word have handed them down to us,

I too have decided,

after investigating everything accurately anew,

to write it down in an orderly sequence for you,

most excellent Theophilus, 

so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings

you have received…


 For me, “writing is like breathing.” If I breathe, I write. As I breathe, I observe and record with words and with pictures.


Saturday:) Sturdy Shelves, Stubborn Streaks, and a Sunset

24 Jan

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


This morning, I got up early to take Bella for a walk before going to writing group. I didn’t have anything to share or that needed critiquing, but I enjoy the comraderie of the group of wonderful writer’s and friends. Aelle paid me the nicest compliment. She said, “Toni, when are you going to work on your novel? I read your blog, and you are a wonderful writer.” Good question! I guess it’s part of my stubborn streak. Until my mind and soul feel at peace, I don’t want to write something that isn’t coming from my heart. But, perhaps that’s what I need to write about.

Now, what does that have to do with sturdy shelves, you ask? It’s all part of getting organized, my life, my mind, and my “crap/craft room.” Pardon my French. I was talking to Sherry the other day about organizing craft rooms, and decided if I had another wall of shelves, I could display and organize better. I went to Home Depot and bought four more shelf units. AND, ta-da…they were on sale. Even better.

I managed to get all four units in a big shopping cart, with two inside the cart and two dangling precariously off the bottom. Of course, there was no clerk to help lift them or offer to help me out. I am a sturdy stubborn woman, and I intended to tackle it by myself. But, after paying, as I was teetering across the parking lot, a kind gentleman offered to help me. He grabbed the two bottom shelves as they slipped off the cart and into the street. He said, “You steer and I’ll follow.” Then, to add to my damsel in distress blonde moment, I forgot which aisle I parked my car. I was close, but turned the cart one aisle too soon , and we had to remove and carry each unit across a wide curb to my trunk.

I was pleased to find that chivalry is not dead, and there are still considerate, kind, and helpful people still on the planet. I thanked the gentleman and drove away thinking, he’s probably still shaking his head saying to himself, “Spacey woman!” 

You’ll be pleased to note that I managed to remove all four shelves from my car all by myself. Now, it might be quite a while before I muster up the energy to tackle the organizing. That will be another story.

I got home just in time to capture another glorious sunset on my evening walk. And the moon…oh my…the moon was spectacular.



Friday:) From Last Night’s Friendly Rodeo to the Fiery Friday Sunset

23 Jan

“As long as you keep on walking on the old paths, you will never have footprints on the new paths!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan


I’ve been “walking on old paths” for many, many years, but must admit that lately, my footprints have been on many new paths. As, promised, I wanted to share a few photos from the Fort Worth Rodeo Shoot Out from last night.

“This ain’t my first rodeo!”    Well, yah…it was! New paths to travel. 

First of all, y’all gotta wear some boots if y’all are goin’ ta the rodeo.

Then y’all gotta get a burger and cheese fries at the RODEO GOAT before the event. Sooooo good!

A lot of pageantry and patriotism, a Texas tradition.

It’s all a big blur. The riders, Broncos, and Bulls move so fast…impossible to get a photo. Each event is over in seconds. I found myself holding my breath and grabbing my chest as each rider got flung and bucked and thrown to the ground. 

It was a fun evening with my dear friend Sherry, her momma and daddy, and sister and other kin. (Don’t I sound all Texan like?) I was exhausted just from watching all the Cowboys, men and women ride and race and fall and chase.

To contrast the excitement from last night, here are a couple of tranquil firey sunsets from this evening’s walk.

 These sunsets are also from my new path, my new life, my new journey.

Theme Song Thursday:) “Cowboy Up”

21 Jan

“Sometimes life is like the rodeo. You just have to hold on tight and pray you don’t get thrown off before the final bell.”

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Cowboy Up. It was the slogan of the Pro Rodeo Tour, the slogan of bull riders and rodeo competitors at every level of the game. No matter how hard the hit, whatever the level of injury, a cowboy didn’t stay down. he got up and shook off the pain…’Cowboy Up’ the words had come to define the cowboy mentality, the rodeo way of life. Riders had two choices: Cowboy Up or go home. If cowboys didn’t look past their injuries, the rodeo would no longer exist. Everyone rode hurt; it was the nature of the sport.” 

A Thousand Tomorrows


My dear friend Sherry Joplin invited me to go to the SW Expo & Livestock Show in Fort Worth. In other words…the rodeo. This was my birthday gift, along with a cute cowgirl type bracelet. I’m looking forward to a great evening of new adventures and laughter with a great friend. I’ll take pictures to share tomorrow.  Yee-haw!