Archive | April, 2017

Saturday:) Sights and Sounds

30 Apr

man has an irrepressible tendency to read meaning into the buzzing confusion of sights and sounds impinging on his senses; and where no agreed meaning can be found, he will provide it out of his own imagination.
Arthur Koestler


As I sit and write, the wind is howling and the trees are swaying with an erratic salsa beat.  Must be my Latin blood. The skies are a threatening grey mass outside my window. 

Fortunately, the morning and afternoon were warm with only intermittent clouds. The news said the storms and hail would be rolling in this evening…here they are.

I decided to get a double dose of walking in this afternoon. Instead of one zip-zagging loop around the neighborhood, I took two loops, about 90 minutes. My first fun sighting was a lucky feather on a neighbor’s lawn. Just waiting there for me.

I also have this thing with butterflies, they keep following me around, they greet me outside my door, flying past my face, or landing near my feet. I think that’s a good omen. Right?

Then, a lovely lady bug crossed my path. Good luck all around.

On my walk, I stopped a few minutes to chat with neighbors here and there…thus the 90 minutes. On the last leg of my walk, and my last leg of energy, a few drops of rain plopped on my head, so I walked really fast. But, it disappeared.

I decided that if the storm was going to hold off a while, I’d scurry over to church and light a candle and go to Reconciliation at 3:30 (Confession- in Catholic talk) 

The first glow of a candle under the painting of St. Joseph. It was a good day…”spent with the sights and sounds of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, and the search of truth.”

Friday:) Funny Faces in Funny Places

29 Apr

I like to be silly, both by day and by night.

If being silly is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Most of you already know that I see faces in the brownie mix, but I see faces everywhere. They are always silly faces. I see funny faces in funny places. I hope I never lose my sense of humor and weird imagination. Friday night Black Russians always helps.

I saw a cute grey fox on this tree bark. No, it didn’t bark at me, but it did speak to me, visually.

This was the chocolate cake mix for Easter Peep cupcakes. Kinda scary, but they were yummy.

This is an oldie but a goodie. Halloween pirate face on the brownie mix. Yes, sometimes I use costumes and props.

Thankful Thursday:) Thankful That An Empty Bowl Can Be Filled

28 Apr

“An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.” 

― Albert Einstein


This evening, the annual McKinney Empty Bowls event took place on the square at the McKinney Performing Art Center. This is the sixth year, and each year it has expanded and better attended. 

Hundreds of people, comprised of volunteers, sponsors, artists, vendors, and visitors packed the square for a beautiful evening of community support. Proceeds for today’s event will provide support for Community Lifeline Center.

I’ll just show you some pictures, as they will tell the story better than my words. 

I am very thankful to be a part of such a loving community.

 My donation that I created was a featured bowl for the Showcase Collection raffle. I was honored.—Toni-Andrukaitis-Georgene-Wood-and-Michele-Johnson

Wednesday:) Warbles and Words of Wisdom

27 Apr

Sing free as a bird, alone in a tree

With no one around, with no one to see 

Perched high on a branch, you know where to start

Sing free as a bird, a song in your heart. 

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. And birds fluttered around her, writing “yes” in the sky.” 

― Monique Duval


It was cool and damp after the morning storm. The streets were wet and the skies grey when I set out for my walk. I never get bored on my regular route because Mother Nature has a funny way of showing me some wondrous sights. Every day the sky is different, the trees change with each day in each season, and the crawling and flying creatures are always entertaining.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day…Take Your Time

26 Apr

“Wisely and slowly; they stumble that run fast.” ― Hugh Howey


Fortunately for me, I can’t run fast any more, so there’s no chance of me stumbling. Well, at least not while running fast, maybe just tripping over my own big feet. 

Before I went to Chicago on April 5th, I made several trips to Home Depot for mulch and top soil. Three trips in all, with lots of heavy lifting and stacking. (I’m really getting too old for this stuff.)

I bought 25 bags of mulch and 10 bags of top soil in all. I could barely lift them out of my car, and the nice men who put them in the back for me were not able to come home with me. I asked. 

The bags sat around dispersed in front and in the back. Today, I actually had a little ambition, and decided to tackle a few bags. I had to do a little digging, raking, and trimming beforehand, but I decided, “Slow and steady wins the race.” I’m going to take my time working on the mulch and dirt. “It ain’t going nowhere.” (Had to throw in some Chicago talk.)

Take my advice… and in all things, not just with tedious tasks…take your time.

It was getting dark, so I came in. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and completion. But, don’t hold your breath.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

25 Apr

“There is no mile as long the final one that leads back home.” ― Katherine Marsh


I’m back home after two weeks in Chicago and Elgin. It’s good to be home, but sad to leave family and friends. Catching up and getting back to my routine,

A week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon, Sales and Other Stuff

24 Apr

“We can’t see the air, yet we still breathe. We can’t see love, yet we still love. We can’t see God, yet we believe.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.” ― Paul Tillich


A very chilly morning. I was very tempted to wear my sock monkey hat to church, just one last time, but changed my mind. It was good to be back greeting at 9 o’clock Mass with Mary. Today is Divine Mercy Sunday.

The Gospel was the story of Jesus appearing to the apostles. Thomas was not there and said unless he saw the wounds and put his hands there, he could not be sure that Jesus resurrected and returned. Jesus then appeared again and told Thomas to put his hands in His wounds so he might believe, then said…

“You have come to believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (Jn 20:29)

My take on it…you have to have faith and believe and trust in things that you may not see. We can’t see air, yet we breathe. We can’t see love, yet we still love. We can’t see God, yet we believe. Some need proof and others just believe.

Being Divine Mercy Sunday, I went to the Novena and Chaplet at 3 p.m. The theme of this day is forgiveness and mercy, asking for and giving forgiveness. I still need A LOT of help in that regard, so I decided to attend. The quiet prayers and solemn songs were motivational. 

After church, I went to Sprouts and had a field day with all the great sales, fruit and vegetables, and my favorite, dark chocolate covered pecans, only $5.99 a pound. Does anyone else get excited about red peppers, 3 for $1? 

I put away my  exciting groceries, then went for a long walk, bumping into neighbors, chatting here and there, and not landing at my front door until it was dark. But, before I went inside, I made a wish on the first star. You know the old…”Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight…” I believe in magic wishes, too. Don’t you?

Saturday:) A Salute To Statues

23 Apr

“As a sculptor sculpts a statue, an educator educates our future generation. Beauty depends on the creator.” ― Debasish Mridha

I’m a quirky kinda gal, if you haven’t guessed that already. I have my weird traditions and goofy superstitions. I’ve talked about saying “Our Fathers” and “Hail Marys” when I walk or can’t sleep. It keeps my mind from wandering to those dark painful places that I don’t want to go. When I find a lucky penny or feather, I look up to heaven and say thank you. A sign that someone up there is watching out for me.

One of my newer traditions is, when I take my daily walks around the neighborhood, and I pass the same houses, often several times a day, I have a ritual. Some new people moved in a couple of blocks away, and they have this neat statue of a soldier saluting. Yes, you guessed it… every time I pass the soldier, I have to salute.


Right next door, at Mr. VInce and Ms. Bernadine’s house, they have a statue of St. Francis. So, when I pass by their house, I say a little prayer. “Thank you St. Francis for protecting all the little creatures and animals.

A few houses away, there is an adorable statue of a winged fairy, usually surrounded by pretty flowers and greenery. I always say, “Thank you little fairy for watching over the other little fairies, gnomes, woodland and mythical creatures that hide all around us.” ( Anything is possible. Right?.) That’s for my friend Brenda who writes lovely poems and stories about fairies. 

Then, I get silly when I pass by this other house with this statue in the front yard. All I can think of is, “I wish I had some bacon! Maybe a BLT sandwich.” That’s the best I can come up with.

That’s my salute to statues.

Friday:) Friends, Feathers, and Freshly Picked Lettuce

22 Apr

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.~Emily Dickinson

Now that I’m back home, I’m back to my usual running around. I was doggie sitting, walking my usual route, and catching up with chores around the house. Last night, I met some new friends at Panera, joining a new writing group. They are children’s and young adult writers and illustrators. New group, new beginnings and challenges for me. 

Right from the writing group, I went over to the Lone Star VFW Hall, where another group of friends was meeting for karaoke night. I just walked in the place when Danny, the DJ said, “Toni, you’re up next. What ya singin’?” I said,” Bob and I will do our duet. Let’s Give them something to talk about.” The rest of the night, there was a lot more singing, dancing and laughing by all. A little drinking too, but my drink of choice was Diet Coke. (No drinkin’ and drivin’) Fun fun, night with friends.

Today, I did more morning walking, visited and with my friends Sandy and Larry. When I saw them working in their garage, it was a good time to take a break for us both. They missed me, being somewhat of a daily walking institution and visitor. They invited be to see their latest projects and the progress in their garden.

After a nice visit, I was sent home with a bag of freshly picked lettuce. I may have to stop by more often. The tomatoes will be ready in a few weeks.

Another fun find this week was a beautiful handpainted rock with feathers that I found by my front door when I came back from my Chicago trip. (Hmmm… lots of alliteration.) Perhaps the Fun Feather Fairy left it there to welcome me home? Thank you!

Good to be home…miss my family and friends, though.

Theme Song Thursday:) Seasons Change and So Must We

20 Apr

The seasons  change, and then so must we

The reasons are not for us to see.

The harsh cold winter begets the Spring

Blaze of Summer will cool Autumn bring.

Inspired by life, inspired by pain

The snow always melts, followed by rain.

Barren brown trees, and lifeless black earth

Blossoming into a wondrous rebirth.

One thing is certain, one thing is true

Your life will change, and now so must you.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” 

― Albert Camus

These two trees were barren and lifeless, while the others right next to them were budding fresh with bright green leaves. We all grow and change at our own pace. TO EVERY SEASON…