Archive | May, 2017

Saturday In Santa Fe:) Colors, Culture and Catholic Churches

21 May

“Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.” ― Albert Camus

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We spent the entire day in and around the plaza in Santa Fe. The bright and vibrant colors in the markets were contrasted by the soft reverent hues of dimly lit churches.


A very talented artist, Julie Salazar, had a magnificent display of colorful paintings and photographs, with interesting textures and themes.


The San Miguel Mission is a lovely old church with a fascinating history. San Miguel Mission, also known as San Miguel Chapel, is a Spanish colonial mission church in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Built between approximately 1610 and 1626, it is the oldest known church in the United States.


I knelt, said a prayer, and lit a candle, and I could almost feel the millions of prayers and petitions that had been said before me. Simple walls, statues, and icons, but built and crafted with love and devotion.



Another great day in Santa Fe.

Friday:) Food, Fun, and Some Not So Friendly Skies

20 May

“Thunderstorms are as much our friends as the sunshine.” 

― Criss Jami, Killosophy

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It’s funny, when someone asks me if I like Mexican food, I say, “We just call it food. We’re Mexican.” Maybe a little bit of a joke, but it’s mostly true. Pretty much anything tastes great when placed in a tortilla. Don’t even get me started on avocados.


Road trip fun…



Not so friendly skies…


Theme Song Thursday: Fourteen Feathers and a Penny

19 May

“It’s not enough to have the feathers. 

You must dare to fly!” 
― Cass van Krah

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I believe in lucky feathers and angels and pennies from heaven and the power of prayer and positive thinking. I believe that your own perceptions and beliefs are your reality. The mind is a powerful instrument and the soul its receptor.

When I went for my walk the other day, I noticed a feather in the grass in the park. Then another, and another. The feathers were a sign of good luck for me, but not so lucky for he bird or birds that obviously lost these feathers. The trail of feathers continued along my path. I had picked up the first couple, then decided to see how many I could find. Fourteen in all.


These may look a little rumpled, but I always wash them with antibacterial soap when I get home. 

Later that day, I went to the store, dropped off some groceries to a friend, had ice cream on the square with a new friend, visited with Miss Kathy and Miss Elizabeth at Sweet Spot Bakery, and took some canned  goods over to the Little Free Food Pantry. A long busy fun day. When I got back to my car, right there by my car door was a lucky penny. 


Fourteen feathers and a lucky penny. 

Here’s the theme song for today. The theme Song from Forrest Gump. FEATHER…

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom~ What a Difference a Day Makes

18 May

“Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You’ll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today.” ― Amy Leigh Mercree

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Sunday was Mother’s Day. I went to Mass and stopped at McDonald’s for an iced tea and sat there all alone. I was feeling sorry for myself and all alone, just a little bit. But, as I sat and watched people zip in and out, and cars shimmy by in the drive-through, I counted my blessings. I have two fine sons, a wonderful family, and more wonderful friends than I can count.

When I arrived home, barely putting my key in the front door, when I saw the box of flowers that my son Matt sent, especially to be delivered on Mother’s Day. I brought the box inside and opened it. The waterworks streamed down my face. I cried uncontrollably. I’m still not sure why. They were happy tears, but I just couldn’t stop. A flood of memories and photos of two small boys flashed through my mind in an instant. Kinda like a brain freeze of memories. (Teary eyed)


The flowers still hadn’t opened when I put them in the decorative pink mason jar that came in the box, along with a box of gourmet chocolates. The amazing thing is, hour after hour during the course of the day each iris and lilly opened up just a little bit. By evening, they were about half way  opened. Matt called me and wished me a happy Mother’s Day and we talked a long time. He was talking to his elderly mother, (not really that old) but I was talking to my five year old who just barely out of diapers, and not the grown man in his thirties.

Joe called later and asked if I received their card. I hadn’t, but thanked him in advance. I got to talk to Lindsay, my lovely daughter-in-law, and wished her a happy Mother’s Day, her first. This was my 35th. 

When I woke up Monday morning, the flowers were in full bloom in all there glory. What a difference a day makes. 


When the mail came Monday in the afternoon, there was a beautiful card from Joe, Lindsay and Belle. My sister sent me a beautiful card with a heartfelt message and some cool stamps. What a difference a day makes.


Cheers! I always start each day counting my blessings. Some days I may be a little sad, some days hysterically happy, but EVERY day, there is something to be grateful for. What a difference a day makes.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day~ Be Wise, Be Frugal, Share Your Blessings

17 May

” I may be frugal, cut coupons, and shop the sales, but you know what I do with my savings? I share.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“Help others without any reason and give without the expectation of receiving anything in return.” 

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

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I am the queen of coupons, the sister of sales, the babe of bargains. Do I need to be thrifty? I’m pretty comfortable, but I’ve always appreciated a bargain. Take yesterday for instance. Well, you don’t have to take the day, just the concept. I was out for my morning walk when I heard my cell phone go … “Bing.” No one texts me during the day. I thought great, another solicitor telling me that because I recently stayed at a Marriott Hotel or some casino resort, that I won some kind of prize. Wrong Toni…that’s the EX and his girlfriend. I get those annoying robo calls all the time. I wish there was a person on the other end. I’d give them the right number. 

But this time, it was my McDonald’s app telling me that because the Texas Rangers hit a homerun or something like that, that I could get a free double cheeseburger that day only. Guess what I had for lunch? Yep!


Lunch! A whopping $1.08. Score!

Afterwards, I walked over to Albertson’s…now Tom Thumb and checked out the bargains. Avocados were only 48 cents, yes, really. All kinds of other great bargains. Frosted Flakes, 99 cents for a big box, strawberries 99 cents, and canned corn and diced tomatoes, I think 39 or 49 cents. There were limits on how many you could get, but I took full advantage.


I took some of these to my senior friend Miss Eleanor. She doesn’t get out to the store very often, so when I find a great bargain, I pick up fresh fruit and veggies and stop by for a short visit.

Then, last week when I went over the the Little Free Pantry in front of HUGS on the square to drop some things off, the shelves were pretty bare. So, I stopped over there today with the Frosted  Flakes and a bunch of canned goods. I was happy to see the shelves had a few more items today. I like the motto…Take what you need, leave what you can…


I only spent around $28 at the store, but it was enough for me, and enough to share with a friend and others in need. And besides, I had a free double cheeseburger, so I wasn’t that hungry.

It has been my experience that when you share your blessings with others, you are blessed tenfold. It’s true.

When I walked back to my car, guess what was there waiting for me right next to the driver’s side door! A lucky penny from heaven.


Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

16 May

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ― Ansel Adams

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It was a good week, with Mother’s Day the exclamation point at the end of the sentence. 

A week in a peek.


Sunday:) Mother’s Day Memories

15 May

Abraham Lincoln“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” 

― Abraham Lincoln

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I use that Lincoln quote all the time when I refer to my angel mother, Trini. She is by far the sweetest, kindest, most loving mother ever placed on this planet. I have been blessed and honored to be raised and loved by this lovely lady. She will be celebrating her 90th birthday in just a few weeks. She has been an inspiration to her three daughters, all her siblings, family and pretty much everyone who has ever met her. Love you Mom.

 

This is one of my favorite pictures because it captures our silly nature, not to mention our common love of ice cream.

I have also been blessed with two wonderful sons, Joe and Matt. They are grown men, but will always be my babies. I miss them very much, but now being a new grandma, I plan on visiting more often. Look out! Nothing sillier,  mushier, crazier and more annoying than a new grandmother.


Matt and Joe, the loves of my life. I wrote a little poem way back in 2010 when I stumbled across some of the silly keepsakes I had tucked away in a drawer. There are literally hundreds of letters, school papers, school crafts, baby clothes and toys. I still have all those gifts and memories and I will never part with them. 

NOODLE NECKLACE

I miss that noodle necklace

And the handprint plaster plaque

Those earrings made of Play dough
How I wish those days were back
When you raced home after school
A secret present just for me
 I had to keep my eyes closed
To wrap before I could see
Several yards of gift wrap needed
Two big rolls of tape were used
Then my hands were gently treated
To a huge package wrapped and glued 
I tore it open with pleasure
There printed in glitter of blue
The gift I always will treasure
With a card that said, “I LUV YOU.”
I miss that noodle necklace……
~Toni Andrukaitis Mother’s Day 2010
Now, I’m a grandmother and there is yet another generation to cherish and love with all my heart. Motherhood is the best gig ever.


Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful ladies out there who are mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, but especially those wonderful women who were not blessed with children of their own. They give their love and share their gifts and nurture and take care of so many people. This is their day too. It should also be called…HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY.

Saturday:) Sitting Still Just Ain’t My Thing

14 May

“Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.” ― David Foster Wallace

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I have come to the conclusion that sitting still just ain’t my thing. I like to keep busy. I like to be with people. I like to keep moving. I’m probably like the bee in the quote, I have to move very fast to stay still.

This morning I got up and called Mom, and talked her ear off. She calls me “motor mouth,” Then, I called my sister, talked a while, put on my gym shoes and went for a walk. I walked in the door and immediately started making two pans of brownies. One for the party I was going tomat 4:30 and the other for neighbors and friends. I always say, “It’s just as easy to make two batches of anything, as it is to make one.” Of course, I had to make my funny face in the mix before adding all the ingredients and stirring.


While the brownies were in the oven, I put together the containers, chips, and my corn/bean salsa to take to the party.


While the brownies finished baking, I turned on some music and did 150 sit ups. Yes, I’m crazy, but I also have a big belly. The brownies were cooling while I was on the phone with a friend for about half an hour, then quick, a super fast shower, and scurry off to the party. But, first, a quick stop with some corn salsa on my way to my neighbor Diane. They were having a barbecue with out of town family. I thought they’d like some.

The party at Linda’s was very nice. Friends, family, little kids jumping in the pool and running around, karaoke, and tons of food.


I left the party around 7:30, walked in the door around 7:45, did not pass go, did not collect $200, put on my gym shoes and went for a long walk until well after dark. I was able to capture a glimpse of sunset on my way.


When I got home, I walked over to Diane’s to give her some brownies. She was already in her Jammies. Then, I knew Kathy across the street was out to dinner, so I just got my key to her house and put some brownies on her kitchen counter. She loves my drop by surprises.

Ah, now, I put my feet up, drank two tall glasses of water and started to write about my adventures. I need to clean up the messy kitchen, wash the dishes, maybe have a glass of wine, and perhaps do a few more sit ups.(Remember the big belly? Remember the brownies?) 

Nope! I don’t sit still. Life is too short to sit still.

Friday Friends and Festivities

13 May

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. 

~Thomas Aquinas

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This afternoon, Sherri Murphy and I were invited to the Annual Women in Service Luncheon at The Sanctuary in McKinney. Our friend, and World’s Greatest Realtor (blatant plug) Linda Grossman, invited several friends to the gala event sponsored by the Love Life Foundation. Fine food, fun music, and friendship was the theme of the day. 


Linda, Me, Sara and Sherri enjoying the Women in Service Luncheon.


(Photos above compliments of Sherri Murphy)

After the luncheon, I stopped at Papa Murphy’s to visit my friend Karri.


A stop at the store, then home to take a walk and do some actual cooking and cleaning. (What’s that?) Then the nicest part of the evening, a surprise visit from my dear friends the Murphy’s. They have an open invitation for Black Russian Friday, and they took me up on the offer. 


Sherri and Michael, thanks for the visit. Love you guys.

It was a fun Friday with fabulous friends.

Theme Song Thursday:) Clean Up Crew

12 May

It’s easy to impress me. I don’t need a fancy party to be happy. Just good friends, good food, and good laughs. I’m happy. I’m satisfied. I’m content. 

~Maria Sharapova

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The Art Club of McKinney had their end of the year luncheon and new officers installation today. The program was at the historic Heard Craig House. The setting, food, and friends were fabulous. ( You know I love alliteration.)


This year’s officers.


Next year’s officers. Many returning to continue making the oldest art club in Texas the best art club in Texas.

After the meeting and lunch, I’m always amazed at how many people just pick up and leave the table without even picking up their own dishes and cups. My sweet mother always taught her girls to always stay and help clean up. I think these girls had the same kind of momma. This is the clean up crew.



The clean up crew treated themselves to a glass of wine at Landon Winery on the square afterwards. It was a great day with friends.

Here’s a cute song that says it all. It’s a lot easier to do anything if everyone pitches in.