Archive | January, 2018

Tuesday:) Toni’s Taking Off

31 Jan

“Airports are a great place to meet new people, have a gourmet meal, go shopping, and sometimes, even get on a plane and go somewhere.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I’m not a big fan of traveling. I think it’s more about the preparations and anxiety before the trip that make me nervous, But, I’m fortunate that I have friends and family that take me to and from the airport. Karen and Brad drove me to the airport this morning, arriving several hours before my flight. This gives me plenty of time to relax, get something to eat, people watch, and talk to strangers. My son was going to pick me up.

Here’s a cool thing. You may or may not know my thing with lucky pennies. Well, when I was dropped off at Terminal E6, I stepped out of the car, and there, right beneath my feet was a shiny lucky penny.

When I went to the kiosk to check in, it said I had to speak to a United representative. A very helpful gentleman waved me to the counter and took my information and printed out a boarding pass. Then, the security line was so quick, I couldn’t believe it. This gave me plenty of time for a gourmet meal.

Chick Filet in a paper bag. It doesn’t get get more gourmet than that.

I still had a couple of hours to kill, so I went over to the information desk. The nice gentleman asked, “Can I help you with something?” I just told him that I had a few hours to kill so I thought I’d chat with him.

This is Ron, a volunteer. He used to be a school counselor, so when he retired, he wanted to help people. He said his wife teaches fourth grade, and hasn’t retired yet. We had a nice chat. I waved to him later when I passed by after I sat at the wrong gate for about an hour. Hmm? I really didn’t want to go to Houston. I’m glad I noticed that the board never changed to say Chicago.

The plane was packed, but I was fortunate enough to get the very furthest seat at the very back of the plane. So, there no one was behind me. I got to lean against the window and close my eyes. My seat mate was a pilot, so I felt confident. If our pilot fell asleep up front, we had a back up in the back. Also, I didn’t have to fight the mob de-planing because I was the very last soul in the back.

Oh, then it was very exciting when the beverage and snack cart came by. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to eat again. I was so full from the 16 mini pretzels and half of a cup of orange juice.

It was a good flight, and we even touched down about fifteen minutes earlier than expected.

Travel doesn’t have to be traumatic. But, if it is, make a few new friends, take some pictures, and savor the moments.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

30 Jan

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”

~Earl Nightingale


Another week. This week didn’t have too much exciting to shout from the rooftops. But, like the quote says, “Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”

A week in a peek.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

29 Jan

“When you are posessed by evil spirits, it is crafty manipulations that you follow; but when you are posessed by the Holy Spirit of God, it is wise discretions you pursue!”

Israelmore Ayivor


It was a different kinda Sunday. I was at the St. Gabriel’s Women’s CRHP Retreat, so I wasn’t greeting at the door, but I was behind some screens and in the pre-school classrooms with about fifty other ladies. We attended Mass, but it was at 7am in the chapel. We had no cell phones or watches, so only one coordinator had her phone for emergencies and telling time. When the alarm went off at 5am, we all yelled at Mary, running on very little sleep.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus teaching at the temple. He commanded an unclean spirit to leave the body of a man…

Jesus rebuked him and said,

“Quiet! Come out of him!”

The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

All were amazed and asked one another,

“What is this?

A new teaching with authority.

He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”

His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

My take on it…sometimes evil spirits, the devil, negative vibes, whatever you want to call it, that entity can get into people. It takes them over. Then, they become evil people. The only good spirit should be the Holy Spirit. For that you need faith in God.

The retreat this weekend, not only strengthened my spirit, it stretched out my waistline. Previous retreat volunteers made and served all the meals.

Good quotes. I’m working on that.

Here’s another good quote. Never let an exhausted person write a blog. I keep nodding off.

Saturday:) Somethin’s Cookin’

27 Jan

“My idea of an all nighter is baking cupcakes and brownies till the wee hours of the morning.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It’s officially Saturday morning. I just got done baking about ten dozen mini cupcakes and a couple dozen mini brownies. In just a few hours, three to be exact, my alarm will go off. It’s our CRHP retreat weekend. We spent all afternoon at church decorating, organizing and preparing for this amazing spiritual renewal.

Last year, I was a participant of CRHP 28. This weekend, our group will host the women of CRHP 29. We all volunteered to help,with different projects. My contribution was baking and painting the bases for he table decorations.

God gives us all gifts, but they don’t mean anything unless you share them.

We are not allowed to bring a cell phone, watch, or any form of communication. That’s why I’m writing now. It’s Saturday morning, and I won’t have my iPad back until Sunday. (I hope I don’t go through withdrawals.

So, here’s what I’ve been cookin’, or should we say bakin’. I didn’t take a photo of the brownies because I’m not going to cut them until 5am. We have to be at church by 6. Maybe I should just stay up. Hmmm?

Chocolate cupcakes with a cherry and lemon with a dab of lemon pudding.

Then, the vases for the centerpieces.

Well, I better get my show on the road. I guess three hours of sleep is better than none.

Friday:) Friends From the “YMCA”

27 Jan

“Friends who sing together, cling together.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


You all know that I’ve been blessed with the greatest friends in the world. I have my long-time friends from high school, college, and dear friends and neighbors from raising children stages, and my friends here in Texas. Every stage in life builds new friendships.

I belong to this fun group of, shall I say, older and wiser people, who meet every other week for dinner, occasional trips, and now karaoke at the McKinney VFW every Thursday night. They’re called “Single Mingle,” but a few of them are married. It’s a fun group.

Last night, I sang a few of my favorite songs. My newest favorite is “LaBamba.” I get to practice my Spanish, and my friends get to get up and dance. I got the group, some of who don’t ever go up to sing, to go up as a group to sing, “YMCA.” They had a blast.

Theme Song Thursday:) Reflections

26 Jan

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.



It was a beautiful afternoon for a walk here in McKinney. The sun was warm and bright, with glorious reflections on the pond. I thought, hmm? What will I write about today. Thursday is usually theme Song Thursday. So, I thought of the Supreme’s wonderful Motown song, “Reflections.” An oldie but a goodie.

Isn’t that a cool photo?

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

25 Jan

“Art is food for the soul, and an artistic climate is a healthy climate because it breeds empathy.”

~ Amanda Palmer


Well, last week I showed you some vases that were cooking in the oven. I painted another ten vases and baked them, but I also bake some real food. I love baked vegetables. So, when I went to Sprouts, I picked up a bunch of fresh vegetables and cut and chopped and diced and got carried away, as I often do. I started with potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and green beans. After they were washed and chopped, I put them in a huge Tupperware bowl with some olive oil, garlic, salt and peppers and did the shake, shake, shake thing. I poured them into a huge baking pan.

I couldn’t fit more in this pan, so I got two more pans for a huge red cabbage, three eggplants, and two onions.

I baked all of the above, covered with foil at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, not sure, I just peeked to see if they looked done. Then, I baked uncovered for another half hour or more. Oh my. When everything get toasty and yummy and sticks to the bottom, that’s the best part.

I kept nibbling on the crispy parts, then put three bags of veggies in containers for the freezer, and kept the rest out for several more meals.

Here’s what I’m having for dinner tonight.

I put a flour tortilla in a dry pan with cheese and veggies. Cooked on a low heat, covered.

Then, I added avocado and tomatoes. A veritable vegetarian delight. I’m not even a vegetarian, but I love this meal. I could eat this every day.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day~ Key” To Success

24 Jan

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.

~Alexander Graham Bell


I’m always amazing myself at my amazingness. (Is that even a word? Amazingness?) I needed to change the locks on my three doors. I had contemplated calling a locksmith, but I remembered that when I moved into my house, the builder showed me how the Kwikset lock system worked. All my doors had these locks. I didn’t pay much attention, because he re-keyed all the locks.

I decided to do what every clever and inquisitive techno savvy person does. I watched a few YouTube videos about resetting keys for the Kwikset locks. I didn’t need to change the locks, just reset New keys.

Now, here’s the first tip. If you are building a new house, or changing your locks, start out with the Kwikset locks. I looked them up to see if they were expensive. They are pretty darn cheap.

Then, all you have to do is go to the hardware store and buy the Re-Key Kit. It came with four new keys and two temporary keys. I paid a whopping $11.88 with tax.

I was able to change the keys on all three locks in less than twenty minutes.

Another tip, I put a dab of red nail polish on the keys for easier recognition. So now, I have changed the keys on all my doors, all by myself, and it cost me less than $12. I’m pretty sure a locksmith would have charged me a whole lot more.

Yep, I am amazing!

Last tip…have confidence in yourself. You can do anything you put your mind to. Also, don’t forget Google and YouTube videos.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

23 Jan

“Monday roars in like a lion and rolls out like a yawning lion. Dang, it’s Monday again!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


A week in a peek, just trying to sneak in and freak me out till I shriek!!! Just sayin’.

The weeks go by too fast, but this past week saw a lovely wedding, lunches with friends, singing and dancing at the VFW, painting vases, talking to my granddaughter, and enjoying life…one day at a time.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff:) A Special Wedding

22 Jan

“I believe there’s a calling for all of us. I know that every human being has value and purpose. The real work of our lives is to become aware. And awakened. To answer the call.”

Oprah Winfrey


Last Sunday, it was frigid and I wore my sock monkey hat while greeting before Mass. This morning, people were filing in wearing only a sweater, if that. The clouds threatened rain off and on, but held off until afternoon.

The Gospel was the story of Jesus going down to the sea, finding the fishermen that he would call to follow Him, and to become his disciples.

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,

he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;

they were fishermen.

Jesus said to them,

“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.

My take on it… You never know when or where you will find your true calling. But, when you do, the virtual “light bulb” will go off and you should drop what you are doing and follow, just as the disciple knew they had to put down their nets and become fishermen of men.


Now, for the other stuff. Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of a beautiful young couple, Rachel and Mason. This, somewhat ties into the Gospel reading. These young people were called to join their individual lives and become one, a family, a union blessed by faith, family and friends.

Rachel was just a little girl when I moved in next door in 2004. Now, a gorgeous, talented young woman, I was honored to be invited to celebrate this special day. I may have moved away a few years ago, but the Reynolds family has always considered me part of their beautiful family.

Officially Mr. Mason And Mrs. Rachel Kerr.

First dance. Wishing you a many more dances, songs, and years together.