Archive | March, 2016

Friday:) Fog, Feathered Friends, and Friday Night Balck Russian

12 Mar

“Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul 

And sings the tune without the words 

And never stops at all.” 

― Emily Dickinson

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Kickboxing this morning at 8:30 kicked my butt. I am officially calling it buttkicking class. It drizzled, rained, and was misty out all day. There were only a few windows of opportunity to go out for a walk. I put up my hood and went out around 3. As I walked across the street, three friendly ducks were enjoying a misty picnic in the park. Perfect duck picnic weather.

  
I not only admire a glorious glowing evening sunset, but I am also enamored with the foggy mist on the horizon with its subtle shades of gloomy greys.

   
 
  
Friday night tradition. A Black Russian, complete with chocolate ice cream.

  
Unless they drink Black Russians…

 This Is Thursday:) Through The Eyes Of An Artist

11 Mar

“Artists see with their hearts. They bring beautiful color, magical music, and wonderful words into a not so perfect world. A gift they share with everyone.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I like to think of myself as an artist, writer, and amateur philosopher. Student of many, master of none. I am a work in progress. Here is my day in a nutshell. (Because I’m a nut.)

I woke up at 7 am, checked emails, wrote a letter, called Mom, drove to Zumba, busted a move and thank goodness not a hip for an hour, glowing red faced, changed, drove to Art Club of McKinney meeting by 10, lunch with fellow artists, visited friends at Sweet Spot Bakery on the Square, went over to the Martin Place for Elaine Adam’s memorial art exhibit by 4, scurried home, went for a walk 5-6, and now writing this blog, then off to a divorce support group at 7-9. This is a typical day for me. I LOVE IT!

Well, never got this posted before my support group. It’s after 9:30 pm, and I’m finally able to take a breath and finish this post. This group session tonight was an eye opener. It makes me realize how very lucky and truly blessed I am. All I can say is…and this is not like me at all…but the world is truly F’d up. I need a drink!

Now, for some photos of my day… Art Club of McKinney guest speakers.

    
    
 
Lynne and Jeni won prizes for the monthly member artwork.

  
Lunch with the art gals at Cookie’s Mexican Restaurant.

   
Elaine Adams’ fantastic art show memorial at the mARTin Place. A beautiful tribute to a lovely and talented woman.

 
Elaine’s sweet husband of 61 years, Gil, family, and friend, Lynne.

  
The sky was gloomy and drizzly, but the sun kept trying to peek through while I walked.

  
The local ducks two blocks away from their pond were having a picnic on a neighbor’s front lawn. 

  
“Here comes the sun…”

Wednesday Words of Wisdom:) What Do We See Outside Our Window?

9 Mar

“If you want the people to understand you, invite them to your life and let them see the world from your window!” 

― Mehmet Murat ildan

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It’s true. I invite people to see my life from my window, sharing funny stories, sad tales, uplifting acts of kindness, but mostly, my blessed life filled with wonderful friends and family. I share the world that I see outside my window.

  
The view out of my front window.

We’ve had some pretty gloomy rainy days, but when the clouds rested their sprinkling for a while, I managed to get out for a walk. There is always something beautiful to see, even on a dreary day.

  
This photo says a lot. Yesterday, a glimpse of sun and a promise of blue skies.

  
The sun did come out in full force yesterday afternoon. The banks of the pond were flooded, but the ducks enjoyed the extra lap lane.

I bumped into Miss Bernadine while walking. We walked back to her house, where Mr. Vince offered us chairs and conversation. We probably talked for over an hour about Catholic school, nuns, children, politics, religion, etc. We pretty much managed to cover every topic known to man in our brief visit. 

  
  
This morning, it was just gloomy with unforgiving low lying clouds and sprinkles, with no hope of clearing. But, we could use the rain. The thirsty ground, grey-brown grass, and budding trees and flowers are most appreciative.

  
A not so timid rabbit, munching on a neighbor’s plants and grass, was enjoying the morning, and was kind enough to pose for a close-up.

Well! Now, you’ve seen my world outside my window. Each day a story. Each day a blessing.

Tuesday:) Toni Tales~True Stories

9 Mar

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ― Desmond Tutu

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I generally don’t like to toot my own horn…wait a minute…yes I do! It’s not really tooting, it’s more like sharing warm and uplifting stories from my notebook that I call my life.

Yesterday, I was coming home from my walk, strolling up my driveway, when I saw the mail truck two houses down. I figured I’d just wait a few seconds and grab my mail. I didn’t have quite enough time to run into the house to get a Dr. Pepper or some cookies. Usually, if I see the mail truck close by, I’ll run in and get something for the carrier. They put in a long day, and I like to show my appreciation. Last week, I had time to run and get a Dr. Pepper for the mail lady, a different one, not our usual Miss Penny. I hadn’t seen this lady before. She was on the phone, so I just gave he a wave, and she nodded and mouthed the words thank you. 

So, after putting the mail in the box, she pulled up to my driveway and said, “I wanted to thank you for the Dr. Pepper the other day. I apologize. I was on the phone with my brother in Louisianna, and I didn’t get a chance to thank you properly. That was so nice. I feel bad.” 

We talked a few minutes, and she told me about her family. Her brother rarely calls her, and she needed to talk to him. I asked her where Miss Penny was and she said, Penny got transferred to Fairview, but trained her on the route, and calls her every day to see how it’s going. She said, “I told Penny that this nice lady gave me a Dr. Pepper the other day, and I felt terrible that I didn’t get a chance to thank her.” 

Then, I smiled when she said that Penny told her,”Oh, that’s Toni! She’s always doing nice things. She’d bring me cookies or brownies or something to drink. She’s a real nice lady. You’ll love her.” Well, I was honored that Miss Penny remembered me by name, and that I made her day a little brighter. Now, Miss Desra is my new mail lady, and now she knows my name, too. 

It’s funny how just a small act of kindness or a simple hello, can really make a difference in someone’s day. Do you know your mail carrier’s name, or the guys who mow your lawn, or the cashier at the grocery store? 

  
   
 

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

8 Mar

“A gloomy rainy day is like a plush grey blanket that envelops the sky. So, I take a nap.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Rainy days and Mondays! It threatened rain most of the day. I made it to kickboxing at 8:30, got a walk in for about an hour, with just a few drops, off to lunch with Miss Zelda, a quick stop at Michael’s, filled up the car with gas, home in time for another walk in between drizzles. And, I still felt pretty gloomy and unproductive. So, instead of tacking a project, I took a nap. A good thing to do on a dreary rainy day. Life is good!

   
 
A week in a peek.  

Sunday Sermon and Some Sidewalk Sketches

7 Mar

“It’s never too late to say you’re sorry. But first, you  have to say it, then more importantly, you have to mean it. Otherwise, it’s just more lies.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“You never depart from us, but yet, only with difficulties do we return to You.” 

― Saint Augustine, Confessions

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Today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent. We had a different Gospel at 9 o’clock Mass than all the other Masses, so we didn’t hear the Prodigal Son story. I always liked that one, so I’ll give you my view on it. The prodigal son returns home after taking off, and squandering away his inheritance, while the other son remained home, faithfully working hard for his father. The father rejoiced and prepared a feast for the repentant, starving son, and the good son was mad. So here’s the thing. A father can’t help but love his children. The prodigal son was very sorry, repentant, and knew how wrong he was. There’s the key…he was sorry. Unless you are sorry and repentant, I don’t think you can be forgiven. Just sayin’.

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The Gospel is from St. Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

 This reading recounts the parable of the Prodigal Son, one of Jesus’ most beautiful parables. It teaches us once more that God is a kind and understanding Father. 

This is what he tells the faithful son…

He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;

everything I have is yours.

But now we must celebrate and rejoice,

because your brother was dead and has come to life again;

he was lost and has been found.’”

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After Mass, I took a two hour walk around the neighborhood. It’s a good time to think. I do a lot of thinking. I do a lot of walking. But, I’m never too contemplative to ignore the beauty along the way. I love when I stumble upon fun things like kids drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. It’s refreshing to see budding artists sharing their masterpieces.

   
   
 
Very talented children. 

  

Saturday:) Some Special Senior Artists and Some More Sunset Snaps

6 Mar

“You are never too old to care, and you are never too old to share.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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The first Friday of the month is my day to visit and paint with my artist friends at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. The last three meetings,  we’ve been working on painting bowls for the EMPTY BOWLS fundraiser on April 14. The event raises money to combat hunger in our community, and this year proceeds will be donated to Community Lifeline Center.

I stopped at the store on my way to pick up a few more bowls. I thought we might get 6 or 7 painted, but I picked up a dozen, just to have extras. I had painted a few examples at home to give them some ideas. I always bring a snack or something fun to eat. I brought a delicious and beautifully decorated chocolate cake and baked potatoes.Weird combo, but they enjoyed it.

After a quick demo of dip dot daisies and then an abstract swatch/dot method, all 12 of the bowls got painted with time to spare. Time for the bowls to dry somI could bring them home to bake, and time for our snack. 

The ladies not only had a great time, but they also felt very accomplished and proud that they would be able to help the hungry with their painted bowls. 

   
   
Look how proud they are and how beautiful the bowls turned out. Miss Nelma(left top), Miss Kathy (right top) Miss Bonnie (center). It was a good day.

Here’s my sunset snaps from this evening. Always a miracle in the sky.

   
 

Fantabulous Friday:) 50, 000 Views and Counting

5 Mar

” I never thought I’d get 500 views on my blog, much less 50,000. Now, I believe anything is possible.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“What the mind can conceive and believe, and the heart desire, you can achieve.” ― Norman Vincent Peale

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My goal when I first started writing my blog on January 1, 2013 was to see if I could write a blog every day for one entire. Well, I haven’t missed a day yet, more than three years later, I haven’t run out of things to say. Blog writing is like a drug. Once you start, you get hooked and can’t stop. 1,168 consecutive posts, hundreds of followers, this is what writing is all about.

I’ve made many interesting friends along the way. People that I probably will never meet, but I’ve become a part of their lives, and they have become a part of mine. It’s a very interesting world out there if you take the time to open your eyes.

I thought a few weeks ago that I was  getting very near to a landmark 50,000 views, but I thought I had a long way to go. When I looked yesterday at my stats, I found that I had already passed that magic number. Amazing!!! I am proud and honored and humbled and excited, all rolled into one bundle of ecstatic achievement. Thank you for reading., looking at all the goofy pictures, and not laughing too hard at me.Thank you for being a part of my life and my journey.

   
 Is this cool or what??????? Try and stop me from writing now! 

  

Theme Song Thursday:) Under Texas Skies

4 Mar

“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

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We’ve had some beautiful warm weather here in McKinney, Texas. I went to Zumba at the Y this morning, then a nice long walk at 10. The sun was shining and the wind was strong, but exhilarating. I was pumped, and decided to get some massive housework done. I cleaned two bathrooms from stem to stern, including floors, mopped all the tile floors in hall and kitchen, and vacuumed. All this before I ate lunch…well, lunch was at 2. 

I was going to try and do some painting, but I decided an evening walk would be better served. Plus, I like to catch the sunset. It’s true… The skies at night are big and bright…da-da-da-da… Deep in the heart of Texas.

  
Every sunset is a miracle in the sky.

   
   

Wacky Wednesday:) Oh Well!

2 Mar

Wacky is as wacky does

I hear a bee, I see the buzz

Strangest sights in every place

My brownies make a funny face

I can’t control my wacky brain

To try would only be in vain.

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I made brownies today for our St. Gabriel’s DAS Divorced And Separated Support group tonight at 7. ” I see faces in the brownies!” Some faces from the past… (PICASSO AIN’T GOT NOTHIN’ ON ME)…