Archive | May, 2016

Tuesday:) Trials and Tribulations

11 May

“Life is hard and unfair. It is cruel and heartless, painful, trying, disappointing, unapologetic, and frequently downright awful. But that’s not important. What’s important is that through it all you learn how much you need your Heavenly Father and how much your friends need you.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich, Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year


We’ve all had our shares of trials and tribulations. No one knows better than I do that friends and family are vital to get through the tough times. I’ll take a minute here to thank all of you, too many to list, for being there for me.

Another aspect to being thankful for your blessings is to help others through their trials and tribulations. Kelle knew that I’d write about our adventure today. She even said, “I’ll probably read about this tonight on your blog.” Yep!


Those of you who know me already know that I stay up way too late and get up way too early. When I finally fell asleep around 2:30 this morning, my alarm was set for 7 for Zumba class. My phone went off and I thought, “Dang, it’s 7 already?” Well, it was my phone ringing.

“Hi Toni, it’s Kelle. Sorry to wake you up, but I was wondering if you could come over.” 

I was more then half asleep when I asked, “What time is it?” When she told me it was 5:30, I sat up and tried to listen more closely. She said her bathroom sinks were clogged and backing up. She knew what to do to fix the problem, but with her left hand all bandaged up, she needed…”a hand” removing the p-trap and plunging the sink. I said that I’d get dressed and be right over.

I typed her address in my phone gps to talk me to her house. I’m directional impaired, to,say the least, and it was dark and I had no idea where I was going. After I arrived, what followed was more like a “Three Stooges” episode, minus one stooge. We plunged, and removed p-traps, and bailed water. When it looked clear, she turned on the water, and it backed up again. She tried putting a little more Drano, but the container was almost empty. “We need to go to Walmart!” she suggested.

I said I’d drive so she wouldn’t have to change clothes or move cars. I still had no idea where I was, so she guided and told me where to turn. The sun was up now, making it a little easier. BUT, when she said, “Turn left here,” on a divided road, I turned…GOING THE WRONG WAY ON A ONE WAY STREET!” Kelle screamed bloody murder, I slammed on the brakes and the cars coming my way stopped in their track, thank God. I made a clumsy u-turn, and we proceeded to Walmart, alive, but shaken…not stirred.

I went in, picked up the bottle of Liquid Plumber, ran to the check out way across the building, then realized she said Drano, so I called her in the car and asked if that was ok. She said, no, it should be Drano, because that is what was already in there. I ran across the entire store to grab the Drano. More fiasco festivities. We got back to her house, then she discovered that she left her keys in the house and the door was locked. We both were still half asleep.  Yike! By now, it was just getting slap-happy silly. Thank goodness she had a garage keypad and a spare key in the garage. We poured the Drano, and Kelle had to hurry to get to the dentist, and I made it home in time to change for Zumba. (After Zumba, I took a long nap.)

Now, that I’ve written a long short story, the moral to the story is…sometimes you have to get up at 5:30 in the morning to help a friend, because someone was there for you once. Sometimes you drive the wrong way down a one way street because you don’t always know where you are, but you know why you’re there. 

Kelle, I hope the sinks are doing ok. (I’m turning my cell phone off tonight.) Just kidding. I was more than happy to help.

“Through trials and tribulations strength is found.”

Montage Monday:) A Mother’s Week In A Peek

10 May

Mothers are all slightly insane.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


I had a good Mother’s Day, being remembered by my two great sons, with flowers and phone calls.  Earlier in the  week, I had a quick chat with my new daughter-in-law, and on Friday, I spent a great afternoon with my senior artist friends, painting scarves and having snacks. 

A good week, filled with friends, fun and blessings. You can’t ask for more than that.

And yes, Mothers are all slightly insane, as Mr. Salinger kindly pointed out.

A week in a peek.


Sunday Sermon:) And a Blessed Mother’s Day

9 May

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” 
― Mitch Albom, For One More Day


The clouds threatened this morning, but no rain before church. It was an especially good morning to be greeting before Mass. All the mothers were  dressed in their finest, with smiling faces, with children and babies in tow. It was good to say, “Happy Mother’s Day,” and be greeted in return. 

Then, to add to the lovely Ascension Sunday service, several children were making their First Communion. Proud reverent young faces. Handsome boys sporting white shirts and grown up ties, and the girls all dressed in white, with veils and ribbons, like little brides. The best part was watching them return to their seats. They had that angelic look of receiving a special gift.

Father also my made sure to have a special prayer for all the mothers and women who care for others. 


Gospel Jn 17 20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:

“Holy Father, I pray not only for them,

but also for those who will believe in me through their word,

so that they may all be one,

as you, Father, are in me and I in you,

that they also may be in us,

that the world may believe that you sent me.

And I have given them the glory you gave me,

so that they may be one, as we are one,

I in them and you in me,……………..


Now, for my Mother’s Day. I talked to my beautiful Mom this morning, as I do every morning since I can remember. That’s the best way to start my day. She has been my inspiration, my best friend, and the joy of my life.

Then, being a pretty awesome mother myself, (all modesty aside) my wonderful son, Joe and his lovely wife, Lindsay, sent me some beautiful pink roses that came with a cute clear vase that will be painted in the future.

Then, when I got home from church, more beautiful flowers and chocolates from my dear son, Matt. I’m one lucky mom.

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” 

― Mitch Albom


I hope you all had a great day. I sure did. I am truly blessed.

My babies! They are in their 30’s now…or are they still babies?

Saturday:) Sights and Sounds

8 May

“It is good people who make good places.” ― Anna Sewell, Black Beauty


I’ve mentioned before, many times, that I love walking around my neighborhood. I don’t use headphones to listen to music. That would distract me from the sounds of the ducks quacking, the horses winny, and the laughter of children in the park. I need my sights and my sounds every day. Then, it’s always fun to stop and chat with a familiar neighbor, or say hello to a stranger. That’s how strangers become familiar friends.

Here are a few sights from my walk. Imagine the sound of the “whoosh” from the hot air ballon and all the neighborhood dogs going nuts and barking at the strange orbs in the sky. Beauty all around, every day. 


Friday:) Friends and Fun Art Projects 

7 May

Rumi“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about… say yes quickly, if you know, if you’ve known it from before the beginning of the universe.” 

― Rumi


My senior artist friends at Towne Creek have been a constant joy for me for a long time. I just looked up when I first started volunteering there, teaching arts and crafts, but mostly sharing  food and friendship. It was August 31, 2007. Wow! We’ve come a long way. We’ve lost some friends, we’ve gained some friends, but the one thing we’ve always had in common is, we love art and each other.

Today, in honor of Mother’s Day coming up, we painted some white scarves.i also brought sandwiches, chips, vanilla ice cream and coke to make black cows, and a coconut meringue pie. We snacked while our first layer of paint dried on the scarves.

We hung them out to dry on the tree outside.

The next layer needed to dry flat out on the grass. It was sunny and warm and they dried fast.

They were very proud of their projects, as was I. We had fun. You can’t beat that. 

Selfie time. “I have NO selfie-comtrol!”

Theme Song Thursday:) Cinco de Mayo

6 May

“I’m not above using obscure Mexican battles to justify my drinking.”


Most people, well, at least a lot of people, still think Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day. Probably because we celebrate the 4th of July here in the States, Los Estados Unidos, so we relate the 5th with independence celebrations. WRONG!

Never the less, we are more than happy to celebrate, drink margaritas, and eat Mexican food. I know I did. My neighbor, Diane, came over for chips, salsa, cheese dip, and…the mandatory margaritas.


Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

4 May

“Icons are only visual reminders for the eyes. The truth lies within the soul.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I have a wonderful crucifix and cross collection. I’ve been wanting to hang them all and display them on one designated wall in my family room. I have procrastinated for well over a year, but the other day I was given a special gift that has motivated me. It’s very special, and worthy of a special story, so that will have to wait. 

In the mean time, I took out all my other crosses from their safe haven, and arranged them on the floor for a visual layout. Some needed tags removed, others needed hooks glued in the back.They still lay strewn on the floor, all but one. I went upstairs, carried down the old wooden ladder, and hung one special cross above the doorway in my bedroom. It was made in Jerulalem and has a tiny plastic dome at the base with sand from that location. 

I told a friend about my crucifix collection and the comment was, “Ah, you Catholics and your icons.”  My reply was my quote…

“Icons are only visual reminders for the eyes. The truth lies within the soul.”

I like visual reminders. I have pictures of my children, family and friends all over my house. Icons! I have beautiful gifts, paintings, jewelry, etcetera as reminders. Also icons. 

The cross above my door. And I didn’t even fall off the ladder. I believe the sun in the morning sky and the moon at night are icons. All reminders for the soul. I’m sure you have your icons too. 

It started out like this. 

A special cross I made out of clay at a ceramic class with Laura Canfield. 

Tuesday:) Telling Tales and Sharing Dreams 

4 May

You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.
~Erin Morgenstern


I enjoy writing every day, sesrching for something interesting, clever, beautiful or heartwarming to share. In the course of blogging every day, you become friends and followers of other writers with fascinating stories. I know I’ll probably never meet any of these wonderful writers, but I feel we have become friends, as we have opened up our lives, our stories, and our hearts to one another. 

This morning, I started reading a short story that really moved me. The words flowed like a gentle stream, and the story was heartwarming. So much so, that I decided to share this story instead of boring you with my mundane life today.

A story by Kim


The Bible camp lay down a long dirt road that left our car brown by the time we arrived. We had packed for the week and waited in line, luggage in tow for our cabinet assignments. The scent of the horses was down wind from where we stood but we could hear them neighing and […]

Into the sunset

nature, life, poetry, story, thoughts, self, photo, writing, memories, beauty, human, childhood

Montage Monday:) A Week in s Peek

3 May

“Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart. Love yourself and the world will love you.”

-Amy Leigh Mercer


Another week of celebrations, hugs, friends, storms and making memories. 

A week in a peek. 

Sunday Sermon and Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

2 May

Everyone in this world is nuts, the difference is some of them just really good at disguising it.

Rea Lidde


A beautiful day in McKinney, sunny and cool. Greeting before 9 o’clock Mass was blessed with endless smiles and hugs. There was a baptism, wonderful hymns and songs, and a good sermon by Father Charles. 

Today’s Gospel…

Gospel JN 14:23-29Jesus said to his disciples:

“Whoever loves me will keep my word,

and my Father will love him,

and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.

Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;

yet the word you hear is not mine

but that of the Father who sent me…


My take on it…being a good person, being honest and faithful, following the commandments, and loving one another is all that is necessary for eternal life, not to mention, a good life here on earth.


After Mass, I usually stop at Sprouts to see what’s on sale. Oh my! Say it isn’t so. I have no will power. 

They had dark chocolate covered almonds on sale. $4.99 a pound. 3.75 lb.  Then dark chocolate raisins only $2.99 a pound.  3.52 lb. Also walnuts $3.99 a pound. 2.51 lb. I was in nut heaven. After all, dark chocolate is good  for you. Nuts are healthy and raisins are good, too. 

Great sale! Unfortunately, there were several stop lights, so I probably ate a pound on the way home. But, all good for me, right? 

I’m just a nut, and not very good at disguising it.