Archive | August, 2017

Wednesday:) Words Of Wisdom…If It Ain’t Broke

31 Aug

“IF it ain’t broke, don’t try to get it fixed, because someone else is gonna break it.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I’m sure you’ve all had that experience of taking your car into the dealer for an oil change. Just an oil change, that’s it, right? Last Friday, I took my car into the Honda dealer for an oil change and my state inspection. My representative proceeded to read me a litany of maintenance issues that needed addressing. All the items probably would have totaled over $1,500. I think they have a special spiel for women, especially those of the elderly persuasion. Just sayin’. I asked the rep if they could do something with the little strip of plastic molding around he windshield. The tip of it had been bent since I bought it four years ago. He took a look and said it looked like maybe it got bent in a car wash, but if it’s been okay for years, it should be okay, unless I wanted to order a new part and replace it.

I refused all the extras and the new part, and said they could call me when they were finished with the oil change, as I was going to walk over to Whataburger across the way. I ended up at the thrift store instead. While I was there, I received a call that said I really needed two front tires. This, after they had previously suggested rotating my tires. Last time I got one tire at the dealer when it had a nail in it, it cost over $200. I said no thanks. They completed the oil change and inspection in about two hours.

I picked up my car, and drove home, stopping for gas at Walmart. While filling up, I got a paper towel to dry off the windshield because they always wash your car after service. Guess what? That piece of molding that was fine for four years was completely removed, exposing the entire edge of the windshield. I called the rep. I asked if it came off in the car wash, and he said, “Maybe.” Long and short, I said I drove in with it and drove out without it. He told me to come back and talk to a manager.

I went back Saturday to show them. They ordered the part.

Sunday morning, on my way to church, my dashboard had that sign that says there is a tire problem. I thought, “I thought they checked the air in the tires? When I looked when I got to church, I had a nail in my rear tire. I went to Walmart to see if it could be repaired. Nope! I ended up getting four new tires. Glad I didn’t get new tires at the dealer Friday. I would have had to replace one on Sunday.

 I went back Monday to get the molding replaced at the dealer. It took almost three hours. There was no charge. Great! I drove home with the yellow tape still securing the piece and letting the glue dry. There were a few streaks of glue on my windshield when I parked in the garage, but I figured I’d let it dry and check the next day.
When I got in my car to go to church Tuesday, there was about a fifteen inch crack in my windshield.

See the fine line crack? Well, I called up again today, and they said to bring it in. They looked at it and said they would call the windshield place and I made an appointment to get the windshield replaced tomorrow. 

Just crazy! I can’t help but think if I would have just not asked about the windshield molding, none of this would have happened.

Moral of the story, if it ain’t broke… don’t fix it! They keep breaking stuff! 

Tuesday:) Toni Finds Ten Thousand Bucks In Her Driveway

29 Aug

“A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.” 

~ Jonathan Swift


The good news is, I really did find $10,000 dollars in my driveway. The bad news is, it was just play money from a board game. You know those fortunate cookies, or when your horoscope says that you will be coming into a lot of money? Well, they fail to tell you that it may not be of a negotiable tender.

But, I still smiled when I reached down and picked up the scrap of paper that rested on my driveway. I looked up to the heavens and said in a Yiddish accent, “Thank you. It would have been nice if it was real money, but I appreciate the humor.” Knowing me, if it was real, I would have proceeded with an exhaustive search for the owner.  I remember the time I found a wallet with $300, with no ID on the plane going to Chicago, and through luck and the grace of God, I found the rightful owner a few days later. I mailed it to the elated young man with a note that said, “Pay it forward. Someday, you might be able to do something nice for a stranger too.” That made me smile.

So, when I picked up the funny money, crazy cash, I thought, how blessed am I? I have more than I need, and blessed with more than I deserve. When I looked closely at the piece of paper play money, I laughed out loud. “HA!”

It’s all in the game of LIFE. How appropriate! I always say, “If you’re waiting for a sign, this is it.” I took this to be another one of those signs, like the lucky pennies, or feathers, or butterflies that greet me. ” Money! It’s only paper, enjoy the game of life.”

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

29 Aug

“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

~ Jim Valvano


It was a great week with good friends, good food and good weather, not to mention an eclipse that mesmerized the country. 

Here in McKinney, we have been spared any of the nightmare hurricane horrors that Houston and our southern Texas neighbors are enduring right now. Sincerest prayers for all the people affected and those kind responders helping with the rescues. 

Sunday Sermon and Some Pancakes

28 Aug

“Knowing God is not enough; you must make Him known to others. Through your living character, you tell more about the living God!” ― Israelmore Ayivor


Happy Sunday! It was a wonderful morning, a bit overcast, with a chance of rain, but no sprinkles before or after church. The serious Hurricane Harvey devastation is hundreds of miles south, near Houston. Mary and I stood and greeted before Mass, reminding folks that the Knights of Columbus of St. Gabriel’s were hosting a free pancake breakfast after Mass.  Free? You can’t beat free.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus asking the disciples, “But who do they say I am?” Simon declared, “You are the Christ…”Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 

My take on it…Peter became the “rock” of the church because he believed in Jesus without physical proof, with faith alone.  Sometimes, we have to have blind faith. Also, whatever you do here on earth, that’s how it will be in heaven, reminds us that our earthly existence is where we prove ourselves worthy of heaven. “THROUGH YOUR LIVING CHARACTER..”

After Mass, most folks filed over to the community center for a very nice pancake breakfast, the Knights, K of C men, all dressed in their royal blue shirts, were busy cooking, serving, cleaning and hosting this event. It’s also a great time to chat and visit with old friends, or make new ones.

One of my new friends and CRHP sister, Danna. We enjoyed the fine meal and friendship.

Saturday:) Serious Canine On-Line Dating and a Sunset

27 Aug

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” 

– Charles De Gaulle


Today is National Doggie Day… In honor of this special day, I am reposting my adventures with Miss Bella and our “Doggie on-line dating.” She hasn’t been too helpful in finding me a good man, so I thought we’d check out the canine male species. Charles De Gaulle knew what he was talking about. 


National Dog Day is observed annually on August 26th.  

This day encourages dog ownership of all breeds, mixed and pure, and embraces the opportunity for all dogs to live a happy, safe and abuse-free life. Dogs give us companionship; they keep us safe, and they aid those in need. It is a goal for many on National Dog Day to find homes for all dogs in need of a loving family. The goal of the National Dog Day Foundation is to rescue 10,000 dogs each year.
A dog is man’s best friend. (And woman’s best friend.)


Use #NationalDogDay and post photos of your dog on social media. Take your dog for a walk. If you do not have a dog, ask to take your neighbor’s dog for a stroll or volunteer at a shelter. 

Now, for my sunset…

This was in a matter of just a few minutes. I’m sure you can see why I run out the door every evening to catch the sunset.

Oh, for those of you have have expressed concern about the hurricane, we are pretty safe here in McKinney. It was a beautiful day, as you can see. We may get some rain tomorrow, but nothing too severe. Prayers and good thoughts for those in harms way. 

Friday:) Friendly Firemen and More Murphy Moving Day Mayhem

26 Aug

The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope. ~Frank Lloyd Wright


I was meandering down Stonebridge Drive with a batch of mini cupcakes and brownies in the backseat, hoping to catch my dear friends, the Murphy’s packing up the old house. I was so spoiled. When I’d drive down the street after church or on my way home from the store, I’d pull in their driveway, call on the phone, and say,”Hi, what ya guys doin’?” Sherri would answer, “Not much, where are you?” I’d always reply, “In your driveway!” or “At your front door.” So this was going to be my last nostalgic drive-by. I didn’t call, I just pulled up and Michael was  loading up boxes. 

I’ve always gotten a big opened arms welcome. It was sad to see the once vibrantly decorated house all empty and boxes piled high everywhere. But, I’ve been to their new house, and Sherri already has it looking like home. It’s gorgeous. BUT IT’S NOT ON MY WAY HOME! And it’s not in McKinney. Granted it’s just a few miles further, but I was so spoiled. (Maybe they moved because of the drive-bys?- Hmm?) 

Sherri was up to her ears in boxes. I take that back. They were taller than her. And they were both so sweet to take out a few minutes to let me take some nostalgic pictures for my memory album and my blog.

I love these guys! Hopefully they’ll still drop in for Black Russian Fridays now and then, and I’ll get invited to family gatherings, and we can go sing karaoke at the VFW together. 

Besides my messing with the Murphy’s on moving day, I stopped at the fire stations to take some goodies. As you know, when I bake, I bake BIG.

The guys at Station 2 were sitting behind the truck and the bay door was open, so I just walked right in, and the treats were more than welcomed.

I had stopped at the 5 earlier in the morning, but they were out on a call, so I went back a few hours later. Still, no answer on the red phone or from me tapping on the window. So, not to waste another trip, I drove over to Station 8. I’ve been there a few times, but usually just at Christmas. A young trainee answered with a big smile and said, “Thank you Mam!”

Isn’t he cute? So young! I’ve got shoes older than him. But, thank God for strong young men and women who decide to serve their community and their country. 

It was a good day of visiting, reminiscing, and sharing…Now, for Black Russian Friday. Yay! 

Directions: Post blog, fix Black Russian, put feet up, watch tv. My day is done. 


Theme Song Thursday:) The Party’s  Over 

24 Aug

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


The party’s over, 

It’s time to call it a day

There’s still three cases of beer

Cupcakes up to here

That I must give away.

It was a great night,

With so many friends

We drank plenty of wine

Had a wonderful time

But, that’s not where it ends.

Off to the firehouse

To share some cupcakes and more

Then to karaoke I’ll go

Where I always know

They’ll smile when I walk in the door.

So, the party’s not over

I’ll never call I a day

I’ve still got plenty of zing

And I’m gonna sing

Till they cart me away!

These are just the left overs. I know…I know, I over bake. But, it was intentional. I like to share with my fire stations, neighbors and friends. You know the old saying, “Measure twice, cut once?” My motto is, “Bake big and share with many.”

Now, off I go to spread joy and sugar and calories to the world.

Wednesday:) What a Wonderful Celebration

24 Aug

“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.”

 – Charles R. Swindoll


As promised, my anniversary party with so many wonderful friends. Three years in my new house and my new life, and most of these friends were here last year to celebrate with me. Now, there are some new friends to add to the marvelous mix of McKinney friends.

Mr. Jerry was the first to arrive, and carrying a nice bottle of wine. I told him to hold still because I always take a picture of my first guess. He held still, but my picture wasn’t so great.

So many friends. People came and left at different times, but this was the first wave.

Oh, my dear friends Margaret and Johnny. My old neighbors. I miss them so much, but I really miss the triplets and Rachel. I watched them grow up right before my eyes.

The party’s over

It’s time to call it a day.

The party sublime

But now it is time

To put the left overs away.

Thank you my dear friends. You made this day very special.

Tuesday:) Tomorrow, Toni’s Trilogy Celebration

23 Aug

“We all have life storms, and when we get the rough times and we recover from them, we should celebrate that we got through it. No matter how bad it may seem, there’s always something beautiful that you can find.”

~Mattie Stepanek


If you read my earlier post on 7/11 about my Trilogy Testimonials, or you know my story, then you remember that tomorrow, August 23rd is the second awful date on the calendar that God transformed from a painful tearful date into a special celebration. August 23, 1975, I married my high school sweetheart, Tony Andrukaitis, in a beautiful church wedding in front of countless friends, family, and God. Thirty-nine years later, after disgusting discoveries, lies, cheating, and a painful divorce, my life and health was in turmoil. Being forced to leave my home and neighbors after ten years, I moved into my beautiful brand new home, to start my brand new life, on August 23rd, 2014. Another “God moment.”

Last year, I had a special anniversary of my new home party. Tomorrow, I will have another anniversary party, and will continue this tradition as long as I live in my beautiful new home.  A reminder of my rescue and blessings. 

I’ve been preparing for many days. Saturday, I went to the store and picked up a LOT of party food, drinks, and snacks. I invited friends and neighbors, and guess what? Most of them are coming. I’m so excited. But, this also means that I need to do a lot of baking, cooking, planning and cleaning. I LOVE IT!

Last year, so many good friends came to celebrate with me, and this year even more are expected.

Here are just some of goodies I purchased for the party.

After posting this blog, I will proceed to bake my little brains out. Tomorrow’s the big day! If you’re in the neighborhood, come on by. There’s always plenty, and plenty to be thankful for. 

Tomorrow night,  I’ll tell you all about it.

Montage Monday and the Moon Eclipses the Sun

22 Aug

“Every moment is the paradox of now or never.” ― Simon Van Booy


An exciting day. The solar eclipse was on everyone’s mind and television today. I was pretty nervous about the possibility of retinal damage or even blindness, so I was very cautious. I even made sure that little Bella, didn’t go outside, so I walked her a couple of times before 11 am. 

My sister sent me a pair of special solar eclipse watching glasses, but she called to say that they may not be safe. I’m a nervous Nelly, coward, scaredy pants, anyway, so I decided to not go outside and take my chances. 

Here I am being really over the top cautious. I’m watching the eclipse on tv while wearing my special glasses. 

Now, that’s safe! (I’m just kidding, I didn’t wear the glasses to watch tv. Just thought it would be funny.)

Total solar eclipses happen when the Moon completely covers the Sun, and it can only take place when the Moon is near perigee, the point of the Moon’s orbit closest to Earth. You can only see a total solar eclipse if you’re in the path where the Moon’s casts its darkest shadow, the umbra.

Montage Monday on its regular time and Station. A week in a peek.