Archive | February, 2018

Wednesday:) What To Do On A Rainy Day?

28 Feb

“As a writer, artist, crafter, baker and avid cook, I find that my favorite past-time on a rainy day is cleaning and organizing my house… said NO writer, artist, crafter, baker or avid cook EVER!”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


What a yucky rainy day today! Last night, I chipped my front tooth, so first thing in the morning, I made an appointment to get that fixed. They were able to get me in at 9:30 am. Yay!

I quick got dressed, grabbed my umbrella, hopped in the car, and drove over the two blocks to walk my little doggie friend, Bella. Her daddy was working. She didn’t mind the drizzle.

I raced over to the dentist. They said my two top front teeth were jagged and worn away from bumping into my lower crooked teeth. Perhaps, I should consider Invisalign to straighten those out. (Hmmm, maybe another time…NOT!) One tooth had a tiny sliver of enamel come off the back, not noticeable from the front, but the other tooth was getting ready to do the same thing. I asked if it could be repaired. Of course, no problem.

A quick X-ray…always X-rays…I’m going to glow in the dark. Maybe I already do. The assistant asked if I wanted gas? For a filling? Seriously? My pain threshold is comparable to an entire Special Forces unit. Not, really, but it’s pretty good.

So, drill, drill, fill, fill, Polish, polish, and about ten minutes later, the two tiny fillings the size of an eyelash were done and polished. I probably could have used the gas or some Oxy when they told me how much it would be. $590!!! Yikes!

But, I was grateful to get it taken care of. By the time they fix all my teeth here and there, it will be time for dentures. Why would I get Invisalign to straighten out my already old terrible teeth. I just need a good pair of choppers?

After the dentist, I stopped on the square to visit with friends at Sweet Spot Bakery and the Visitor’s Bureau. I hadn’t been on the square in ages. Then, on the way home, I stopped at a couple of stores. (Rainy days call for shopping) I bought a few of those wire coated racks for organizing the kitchen cabinets. Rainy day project.

When I got home, I did not pass go or collect $200, I proceeded to organize just one kitchen cabinet with all the cups, saucers, plates, etc. I was very proud of myself.

Aren’t you proud of me too? Well, that’s the extent of my ambition on this rainy day. I think I need a nap. Rainy days require a nap.

Tuesday:) Two More Pennies and a Butterfly

28 Feb

“When God becomes glad with our good works, then He sends the cute animals, birds, butterflies etc. near us like a signal to express His happiness!”

Md. Ziaul Haque


Well, you’re probably tired of hearing about my pennies from Heaven and other such things, but for those who can relate and believe, they’re pretty interesting stories.

After I got back home, back to reality, it was time to unpack, go through the stack of mail, check bills and do some laundry. I only had a small carry on bag that only had photos, cd’s, some paperwork, my iPad and my pills, etc.

I opened up the washer to throw in some dirty clothes, reached up on the shelf for the detergent, and there it was, a lucky Penney. I just smiled.

Then, I emptied out the small blue bag, that I borrowed from Mom’s house on my last trip, and there in the tiny side pocket was … a lucky Penney. I smiled.

I had read on a friend’s Facebook post about cardinals being signs from heaven. I thought that was pretty cool. I hadn’t seen any cardinals in a while. But, when I went for my walk yesterday, there were two cardinals in the tree in my front yard. One male, one female. I smiled. I ran in to get my phone to take a picture, but they’d flown off.

Then, the grand finale was, near the end of my walk, a little white butterfly let me say hello and take her picture. Then, she flew past my face and hands. I waved and said hello…and smiled.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

27 Feb

“Maybe God created the rain to remind us that life isn’t always a sunny day.”

Val Irvin Mabayo


Wow! A long week, a busy week, airports, jet lag, and a weak week. But, it’s all good, all a part of life. Life goes on, with or without me.

A week in a peek.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

26 Feb

“There is no place like home.”

L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


My first morning and full day back in beautiful McKinney. THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. I heard that while I was gone, they had seven or more days of gloom and rain. I must have brought the sunshine back home with me. Wait! I came from Chicago. It was cold and gloomy there, too.

It was nice to back at the door greeting before 9 o’clock Mass with Mary and Jerry. I had my little Matchbox car for little Liam, and I picked him up and spun him around while I got my hug. His Mom smiled and said, “Say thank you to Miss Toni.” Poor kid was probably still dizzy. I had a little bracelet for Avery, and there were lots of hugs and condolences from good friends. It was good to be home.

I liked the second reading today. If God is for us, who can be against us? Good question. My take on it.. Faith goes a long way. Start out each day with a positive attitude. If you are looking for the bad in people or focus on the negative, that’s what you will find. If you focus on the good and positive, that’s what you’ll find. Hey, I’m not saying there aren’t horrible things in the world, just try not to focus on only that.

Reading 2

ROM 8:31B-34

Brothers and sisters:

If God is for us, who can be against us?


After Mass, I wanted to get back to my routine. I stoped at McDonald’s for an iced tea, stopped at Tom Thumb for groceries for my empty fridge, looked through my stacks of mail and bills, then… took a long nap. When I got up, I went for a long walk along my usual route.

The ducks were in the pond, the sun was shining, and it was good. I walked past Mr. LArry’s and Miss Sandy’s house. I called them and asked if they were busy having dinner, Sandy said they were just about to eat. I said, “What are we having?” I invited myself to dinner. I hadn’t eaten since Chicago pizza on Friday. Yep, good to get back home, good friends, and my routine.

Saturday:) Sending some More Angels

25 Feb

“When I’m felling down, Angels come to lift me up.”

~ ToniArmenta Andrukaitis


I couldn’t get my iPhone to send this post, so I am late. It’s after midnight. But, I did write this before midnight, the little downloading symbol kept churning and turning, but nothing happened. Technology, not my friend!

I didn’t have a ride from the airport Saturday morning. I was in a panic. I called a couple drivers. No one was available or called me back. I figured I’d just use Uber, Out of the clear blue, my friend, Linda Grossman, (World’s greatest realtor) texted me and asked how I was holding up and did I need a ride from the airport? God sends me angels.

My sister took me to O’Hare this morning for my flight back home. I feel like I’ve been gone more than I’ve been home. Everything went smoothly. When I sat at the airport, Linda texted me, “I’ve got a couple ticket for a concert tonight at 7 at Guitar Sanctuary, do you want to go with me?” I thought, why not. A diversion would be good.

Linda picked me up at DFW, and dropped me off at home. I went over to my neighbor Diane’s to pick up my mail, and told her my plans. Her husband looked up who was playing at the venue tonight. John Waite. A sold put concert. They were jealous, and I had no idea who that was…until I hear some of the songs. Oh my!

I took a shower, looked in my closet to see what I might wear, and there, on the carpet was…. a lucky penny. Seriously…. Mom telling me to go, have fun, enjoy life, listen to some music and have a glass of wine.

Linda picked me up around 7. Great concert. We sat with a young man named David, with the most adorable Scottish accent. We became instant friends. The concert was awesome!!!!

John Waite, oh my goodness! Songs that I remembered and sang along with…

Back on my feet again, Missing you, Change, Every time I think of you, and more…

Linda and I stopped at Zin Zen around the corner for a glass of wine and listen to a young couple playing some popular music. The diversion, conversation, and friendship was what I needed. David joined us. It was a lovely night.

It’s after 1 am. I’m tired, but happy. Life is good!

Friday:) Fireside Chat

24 Feb

“We remember though all the firelit glow

Of a great hearth’s gleam and glare,

And we looked for a space at each happy face

And the love that was written there.”

Caris Brooke


I’m sitting down in the foyer at Mom’s condo, next to the cozy fireplace.

I thought, what a perfect place to write, and what a perfect topic for Friday. A fireside chat. Some of you may remember from history, FDR’s fireside chats, or some of you may have heard them on the radio yourself. Radio? What is a radio?

Hers a great FDR quote. “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Today was another busy day, cleaning, sorting, running to the bank, cemetery, monument place, the store and lunch. I asked my sister if I could, “Please, please, please, get some Chicago pizza for lunch.” I’ll be back in Texas tomorrow and will miss the pizza. She humored me and I ate half a pizza. Oh, so good right out of the brick oven.

It’s been a long, busy, sad, painful, happy, grateful, bitter-sweet few weeks. All I can say is, I am truly blessed.

Happy Friday!

Thankful Thursday:) Thank You, One and All

23 Feb

“You need a really solid foundation of friends and family to keep you where you need to be.”

~Lilly Singh


It’s only been one week since Mom passed away. It sure does seems like a lot longer. But, today, I’d just like to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all the friends and family who have prayed and called and sent good wishes and love.

I have been blessed with a “really solid foundation of friends and family.”

For once, I am at a loss for words. Just two keep coming to mind, “Thank you,” Oh, also these two words, “Love you.”

Pennies From Heaven:) A True Story About An Angel

22 Feb

If you don’t believe in angels

I’m here to say it’s true

There are angels up in heaven

They’re watching over you,

So, I asked my angel mother

I whispered in her ear

When you get up there in heaven

Please show us you are near.

If only you could send a sign

As only angels can

We will know you’re safe in heaven

And that you have a plan.

To watch and guard us every day

You’ll guide us from above

So, you left two lucky pennies

Beneath your painting, signed with love.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This is a true story of faith and love and angels. As my sweet mother grew weaker and less alert, my sister and I would talk to her and sing to her. I prayed the rosary out loud to comfort Mom during her final days. One of the last things I whispered in her ear was, “Please Mom, when you get up to heaven, could you show us a sign that you’re OK, that there really is a heaven? I know if anyone could do it, you could. I know you’ll always be my guardian angel.”

We’ve done a lot of crying since Mom passed away last week, but today, the crying was a celebration. Mom left us a sign. Those of you who know me, you already know that I believe in lucky pennies. They always appear out of nowhere when I need them most. I always look up to heaven and say, “Thank you.”

This afternoon, my sister and I went out for some lunch. We’ve spent days and days sorting and reminiscing and making arrangements and crying, It’s been a whirlwind, so it was good to get out of the house for a little while. My sister said, “Let’s go to the library so I can vote. They have early voting, and we can return Mom’s audio-books.”

Well, early voting hadn’t started yet, so we just returned the books and got a bit teary-eyed, because Mom loved the library and all the people. She had donated her very large “Cinco de Mayo” painting to the library several years ago. It takes up an entire wall on the second floor. When I asked my sister if she needed any books or videos while we were there, she said, “Not really, let’s just go home.” Then I said, “Should we go upstairs and see Mom’s mural before we go?” Of course, we needed to do that.

The elevator opened and we walked ever so slowly towards the mural.

There on the bench, right beneath her painting, were two lucky pennies from heaven. We both burst into tears as I blurted out, “Here’s our sign. I asked Mom to send us a sign. Here it is! Two pennies, not just one. What are the chances that they would be here waiting for us today, right beneath her painting?”

I hadn’t told my sister the story about asking Mom to send us a sign until that moment. If she didn’t believe in angels before, I’m pretty sure she does now. We both knew Mom was an angel here on earth, but now, we both know that she’s up in heaven. She gave us a sign.

Thanks Mom.

What does “Pennies from Heaven” mean?

You might have come across this phrase “pennies from heaven?” It’s meaning is not as simple as it sounds. Thinking about it just means pennies being tossed down from the heaven, which has no significant meaning. But, let me enlighten you about the true meaning of this phrase. Pennies from heaven indicate the occasion when angels miss you and therefore, toss down a penny from the heaven that you receive. That penny signifies the fact that some angel in heaven is missing you and therefore wants to communicate with you.

Spiritual meaning of finding pennies

We all are aware of the fact that numbers are attached with a significant spiritual meaning but, have you ever wondered that pennies might have spiritual meaning attached to them too? If not, you will know soon.

The spiritual meaning of finding pennies from heaven is that there is more to this world than what meets the eye. It is a sign from the Heaven and our loved ones who have passed away. The sign indicates that there is magic in the world we live in, and those that have passed away are watching over us in a spiritual way; it’s their way of showing love and reminding you that they still are a part of your life.

(From Blog of the Angels)

Toni’s Tasty Tuesday~ Chicago Style

21 Feb

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Chicago, gobble up all the great food before you go back home,”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Three little words…Maxwell Street Polish. Oh my, this was so good. I haven’t had one since last year, and it was worth the wait. A huge grilled polish sausage, almost crispy on the ends, smothered in grilled onions with a goodly squirt of yellow mustard. Portillo’s is one of the best places to get one, besides going down to Maxwell Street in the city.

I remember back when I was in college at UIC. (Just a few years ago…ha ha) The Maxwell Street food truck would park by the administration building, tempting us with the aroma of hot dogs, polish, and fresh greasy fries. Brings back memories. Good memories.

I’ve tried duplicating this cuisine back in Texas. Can’t be done. I guess I’ll have to keep visiting to get my Chicago food fix. Home and home cooking, well, food from home, just can’t beat it.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

20 Feb

“Mothers are the fountain of creation”

Ernest Agyemang Yeboah


Five days later, and it all seems surreal. Writing and sharing is healing for the soul.