Archive | March, 2017

Tuesday:) Technology Is Not Toni’s Friend

22 Mar

“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” 

― Aldous Huxley

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Okay, I’m going to rant about AT&T and Directv. First of all, they charge you an arm and a leg and other body parts for their service, THEN, when it’s time for a repair, adjustment, or installation, it’s like dealing with a pre-schooler at nap time.

Last week, my TV was acting up, popping in and out and then all my recorded shows could not be accessed. I made a call. You know how that goes. Press 1 for this, 2 for that, and 3 when you’re ready to shoot yourself . After a long wait of Muzak, telling a person with a mysterious accent my account number and secret passcode, I was asked what my problem was. After a lot of back and frothing, I mean forthing, I was told it sounded like a dead hard drive and they would send a new one in the mail in 2 to 3 business days. (Lucky I don’t watch a lot of tv.) 

Two days later, my new box arrived with installation instructions and return label for the old one. Seriously? I have to install this myself. Lucky I have that $9.99 a month service fee that replaces the box. It doesn’t come with a man that replaces it. I looked in the box, no man.

I’m a smart girl. I can do this. I opened the box, put on my glasses, and got the step stool and started reading the instructions. Yes, you heard it right. I actually looked at the instructions. Not like me. I went one step further. I put the new box on top of the old box so I could replace each wire and cable one at a time into the correct place. (I’ve learned that the hard way,) I’ve been known to put cables in places they shouldn’t go.


Wow, that wasn’t hard at all. I took out the old box, put it in the return box and was ready to watch tv. But, NOOOOOOO! Now it said, “Set up instructions.” Here’s the abridged version…I couldn’t figure it out so I called the technology support number. Another LONG wait, two different calls, different people, and didn’t get it to work. Finally, the last lady tried talking me through the steps for about an hour or more, then we both gave up and set up an installer to come out in the next day 8-12. I was beyond frustrated after 4 1/2 hours. Yep!

The tv was on, but only on the Directv info station. I turned it off and went about my day. Finally around midnight, I played around with the instructions and set up again, once last ditch effort. All of a sudden, it was working. Yay! 

I went to the website to cancel the installer, as the phone lines were unavailable, and I got the instant chat help. I said I wanted to cancel and install. They said they had no record of an install to cancel. Ok, I’ll just wait till morning when they call. Around 1 a.m., I realized, I didn’t check the tv upstairs. I just assumed both worked on the same box so it would be workingtoo, but NOOOOO! Dead as a doornail. But, that’s OK, the installer was coming in the morning.

But NOOOOO! When I called to check on the installation time in the morning, they told me it was cancelled. Do you see now, where I wanted to hurt somebody? They directed me to technology support again to reschedule. To my delight, a very nice and patient young man asked if perhaps he could walk me through the steps to set up the upstairs TV. 

I told the young man that I was old, so he needed to talk in old people language and be patient. He complied as I hobbled up and down the stairs getting pass codes from the tv downstairs to type into upstairs.  FINALLY, after about another half hour, both TVs were working, and I could set up to record with the DVR. The bad news, ALL my previous recordings and movies were GONE. All my Star Trek and Murder She Wrote and Artful Detective….GONE!

Did I mention that I hate AT&T and Diretv? Technology is not my friend! Where’s a twelve year old kid when you need one?


Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

21 Mar

Monday can be a blessing or a curse. It’s best to count your blessings and stop cursing. Just sayin’.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Just another manic Monday. Oops…. a song coming on. Hope you had a good week and have a great week coming up. My week in a quick peek.

Sunday Sermon, A Sunset and Some Other Stuff

20 Mar

“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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This morning I had the distinct pleasure of attending two church services. The first at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and the other, the First Presbyterian Church across the street. The good part was that both services had the same readings, so today, I actually remembered the Gospel without looking it up to write my post.

The Gospel was the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. First, Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along and weren’t supposed to speak to one another, and then, women were not supposed to talk to strange men, and this woman did not have the best reputation. But, Jesus not only spoke to her, but revealed Himself as the Messaih. This is an important lesson, and happens to be the longest recorded scripture reading in the Bible. 
My take on it…Jesus is showing, by example and words, that we should treat all people with respect, kindness, and compassion, whether it be friends, family, enemies or strangers. This is not necessarily a religious virtue, but should be just an everyday human kind virtue. It was a good lesson.
After church, Jim and I went to the local greasy-spoon diner and sat by the window at a vintage (nice way of saying real old) booth with torn red vinyl seats and a well-worn Formica table. The food was good, inexpensive, and the waitress was attentive. As we sat there, an elderly gentleman shuffled ever so slowly from his car to the door. It must have taken him a good ten minutes. He sat up at the counter and ordered a hamburger, no fries, no chips and water. The waitress poured him a cup of coffee, as he protested that he didn’t order it. She smirked and said to the regular, “Just drink your coffee John.” He smiled back and drank his coffee.

I made a smiley face in my hash browns, and you can’t beat biscuits and gravy with your omelette.

When we got our check, Jim asked our waitress to put John’s burger on our bill, and I handed her a $20 bill for her tip. That was probably the first time she ever got a $20 tip for a $17 check. And, maybe that was the first time someone bought old John a meal, maybe not. But, it was a nice way to share a little kindness and friendship on a fine Sunday with a couple of strangers. Also, a nice way to share today’s Gospel by example.

It was a beautiful warm day, and when we went out for an evening walk around Boomer Lake, God painted a picture perfect sky, and a red-winged blackbird squawked as he balanced carefully on a long bare limb, silhouetted by the setting sun.

 Happy Sunday!

Saturday:) A Special Sight ~ Mother and Child

19 Mar

“Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.” 

~ Alfred A. Montapert

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My favorite part of today, visiting the animal science pastures of OSU. Mamma horses and their babies. The young ones didn’t venture far from the safety and nourishment of their mother. 

If we could all learn from the animal kingdom, the world would be a better place.

Friday:)  A Few Irish Blessings

18 Mar

Irish prayer
“May God give you…

For every storm, a rainbow,

For every tear, a smile,

For every care, a promise,

And a blessing in each trial.

For every problem life sends,

A faithful friend to share,

For every sigh, a sweet song,

And an answer for each prayer.”

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day y’all.



I’m not Irish, so no green beer for me. But, it’s Friday, and I can drink like an Irishman. Thank goodness I can have my Black Russian. Oh, drat! I gave up ice cream for Lent. BUT,  I made giant chocolate almond milk ice cubes. I’ll have to make due for a few more weeks,


I did use a green ice cube tray in honor of the occasion.

Cheers!!!

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Q:Why do people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day?

A: Because real rocks are too heavy!

 

Knock, knock.

(Who’s there?)

Irish.

(Irish who?)

Irish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Theme Song Thursday:) Magic Penny

17 Mar

All that glitters is not gold

All that’s rusty is not old

Magic lies within your heart

That is where it all will start.

Believe!

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” 

― W.B. Yeats

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I hope that I never stop believing in lucky pennies, the magic of a feather, or a butterfly that stops to rest in my hand. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and a rusty penny can be magical.


Wednesday:)Words of Wisdom

16 Mar

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” ― Oprah Winfrey

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Everything I learned, I learned from Facebook. Just kidding, but I have learned some interesting things and have read many interesting words of wisdom that I will share with you now.


This is my favorite, as I recently became a grandmother for the first time. Amazing feeling.

I’ve been blessed with many “someones” like this.


Tuesday:) Tavern Talks, Forgiveness and Reconciliation

15 Mar

“Forgiving is not easy when you’re still hurting.” ― Ann Marie Aguilar

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Yesterday was the first Tavern Talk with Father Don. I noticed in the Saint Gabriel Sunday bulletin that Father would be at Delaney’s Irish Pub Monday night to talk about Reconciliation and forgiveness. No one was sure how many people would attend, and it was jam packed standing room only. How great!

Father Don explained the importance of Reconciliation, which us old Catholics still call Confession. It’s one of the sacraments that is often neglected, mostly because most people find it difficult to admit their faults and sins. But, the old adage, confession is good for the soul, does have its merit, especially during this Lenten season. There’s definitely something powerful about admitting your faults out loud, and more importantly, asking for forgiveness. 


After the presentation, Father opened up the forum for questions. There were some funny ones, meant to break the ice. One man asked, “Father, what’s the worst confession you ever heard?” Then, his friend, one of the many guys from the men’s club shouted out, “No, Father, don’t tell them that one.” Everyone laughed. There were several other more serious and interesting questions, and one in particular that I could relate to. I really appreciated the response. 
One woman asked, “What if you just can’t find it in your heart to forgive someone?” Father said that was a common question, and added that it is all part of being human.  When we are hurting and in pain, it is very difficult to forgive. It often takes a long time, and sometimes forgiveness never comes. Believe me, I know. As I said, I appreciated his response because Father shared these same words with me several years ago.

“If you recall, when Jesus was nailed to the cross and dying He said, ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.'” Then Father went on to say, “Did you notice that He didn’t say, I forgive you? He asked His Father to forgive them. If you aren’t ready yet, if you are still in pain, ask God to forgive this person. Pray for that person.” That was such a good answer. I have leaned on that answer many, many times. 

I thought it was a funny coincidence that this same afternoon, I went with my neighbor to see the movie, “The Shack.” It also addressed the subject of extreme pain and the struggle to forgive. It was a double dose of a thought provoking day.

What I learned from both events was, that forgiving someone for an excruciating painful hurt may take a long time, or perhaps may never come. But, you keep going, and you keep praying that someday you can forgive. You don’t have to feel guilty or selfish or hateful. Take care of yourself. In the meantime, you can ask God to  forgive them. Keep praying for them. I do.


Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

14 Mar

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” 

― Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living

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Another busy week, but not too busy. I did keep busy, cooking, (this time not burning), Art Club, learning new things, lunch with friends, meeting new people, going to church, singing karaoke, reading, writing, trying to figure out how to change the darn clocks to spring forward, and last but not least, my six seconds of fame on CBS news. My blessings are many and the days way too short. 

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” 

― Lin Yutang

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I’m not that wise and not that busy. There’s always time for friends and family.

Sunday Sermon and The Stupid Daylight Saving Time Change

13 Mar

“Nothing is predestined. The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” 

― Ralph H. Blum

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 It was still dark when the 7 a.m. alarm went off. Thank goodness the iPhone auotomatically changes the time because I HATE changing all the other clocks. And, seeing that I didn’t get to sleep until 3, so with only four hours of sleep, I wasn’t on my top game. 

I was doggie sitting, so I  fed Bella, took her for a walk, then got dressed for church. It was only in the 40’s, so I donned my sock monkey hat, scarf and gloves and off to church. More than half an hour greeting at the door, I was cold, but too tired to realize it.

Usually, I comment on the Gospel here, but today I was impressed by the Second Reading. It also went along with the hardships and frustrations in life. I’ve had my share, more than some, less than others, but I’ve always felt blessed.

Reading 2 2 TM 1:8B-10

Beloved:Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest  through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

My take on it…everyone has hardships to bear, but if you rely on the strength that comes from God, it makes it more bearable.

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After Mass, I stopped at Sprouts as is my tradition. Ah, dark chocolate covered raisins on sale $2.99 a pound. Score! I bought over 3 pounds and added it to my big container of mixed nuts that sits on the kitchen counter. I go through a lot of nuts. I’m a nut, what can I say? When I got back to my car, I realized that my clock needed to be changed because of Daylight Saving Time. You know what? This ain’t saving me any time. And, I don’t like change.

I turned on my car and attempted to change the time. I went to menu, then settings, then clock, then back to settings. I couldn’t figure out the dang thing. I do this every six months. Six months later, I forgot how I did it last time. But, what I do remember is that it took me several days to figure it out. I’d play with it, then give up. I was determined to figure it out before leaving the parking lot. I was prepared to sleep in the parking lot if necessary. 


Everything I tried seemed correct, but I couldn’t change the numbers. Help! I went back and forth for over fifteen minutes. Finally, I resorted to the unthinkable. I went into the glove compartment and took out the car manual. Duh!

The ten thousand page owners manual, (exaggerated, but close) was finally helpful after a good ten minutes of trying to find the section on changing the clock. Voila! I changed the time and didn’t have to sleep in the Sprouts parking lot after all. Yay!

I still have one old manual clock that I keep in the bathroom that I never change. I’ve had it nearly twenty years and have never figured out how to change it. It has no batteries and works on light or something, and it just won’t die. But, for six months it’s correct.

I had my share of hardships and frustrations and sleep deprivation today. I hope your daylight Saving Time frustrations were not as debilitating as mine.