Archive | October, 2019

Wednesday:) What Wonderful Friends I Have

31 Oct

” The nice thing about reuniting with old friends is no one seems to be getting older. We just don’t notice. Plus, we are old, so our vision is as bad as our memory.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I had the privilege of meeting some old friends for dinner tonight. They aren’t really old. Well OK, yes they are, but don’t tell them I said so. We usually only get to see each other once a year or so when I come to Chicago for Christmas. So this was a special treat.

First, Vicky picked me up from my son’s house around 1pm. We were meeting the other girls for dinner at 6, so she invited me to her house for lunch. I had mentioned that I had a bad cold, cough, runny nose etc., so she made me some homemade lentil soup. She was also going to show me how to make her world famous baklava. She knows I love it.

When we arrived at her house, we headed straight for the kitchen to start the baklava and get it in the oven.

She makes it look so easy. Actually, it didn’t seem too bad. I may try it sometime. Nah! It’s never going to taste as good as hers.


We sat and had our soup while the baklava baked in the oven. After the simple syrup was drizzled over it, and it cooled off, we had a tea party. Lin texted around 4, asking what I was up to, I said I was at Vicky’s having tea, so she joined us. Vicky made a big pot of tea and set out a big plate of the fresh out of the oven baklava. I asked her, “Well, I see my plate. Where is yours?”

Before we knew it, it was time to meet Vivian and Diane at Carson’s for dinner at 6. Carson’s is famous for their ribs and steaks. I’m not a huge fan of either, so I had the Greek chicken. Oh my. That was delicious. We sat and visited and reminisced and giggled like school girls for a couple of hours. Oh yes, and passed around grand baby photos on our phones. It wasn’t that long ago we were passing around photos of our own little ones. But, not photos on our phones. Those were the prehistoric hard copy Kodak kind of photos.

We had a great visit and planned our Christmas reunion dinner for when I return in December. Wow! Twice in a year!

I am blessed with the greatest friends all over the country, old and new. But, there are no friends like your old friends. We share a lot of memories. And sometimes we share our reading glasses, and our arthritis medicine, and our BenGay, and our Tylenol, and I could go on….

I’m sorry… this was too funny not to share…

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day

30 Oct

“Always listen to small children. They are the sincerest and wisest people.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Well, Gamma duty is officially over. Mom and Dad got home this afternoon, and I survived without incident. Whew! Oh, my little grand-daughters shared so many hugs and kisses… and their colds, runny noses and sore throats. Well worth the price of admission.

Tip of the day: Here’s what I learned from my little grandchildren. We should all follow this advice. Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired, wear exactly what you want every day, and make all your demands clearly known by screaming them out at the top of your lungs until all your demands are met.

More food Gamma, and make it snappy!

Apply makeup like this… you always want to look pretty.

Keep a tidy house. You never know when you’re going to have company.

Life is like a board game. Sometimes you have to be sorry and occasionally some of the pieces are missing. Move on.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Grandma Peek

29 Oct

Child of my child, and heart of my heart

Whether together, or miles apart.

A grandmother’s love is what it implies

It’s grander each day, and just multiplies.

The warmth of her heart will never grow old

The gleam of her eye, more precious than gold.

Stars up in heaven could never outshine

This child of my child, now child of mine.


~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Sunday Sermon and Some More Grandma Stuff

28 Oct

8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

“1Timothy 5:8


I have no Sermon. I didn’t go to church today. I was up to my elbows in babies, bottles and diapers. Ah, living the good life and enjoying being a grandma. God’s reward for being a wonderful mother is giving you adorable grandchildren. I am blessed. My personal Sermon for today… enjoy the little things in life and the little ones in your life.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) Saving Some Sultry Texas Sunsets For A Gloomy Rainy Day

27 Oct

“Nana always said the rain was nature’s way of adding sparkle to the outdoors.” –

~Mehmet Murat Ildan


It’s been a horrible gloomy rainy day here in Chicago. Where’s the sparkle?

Not much new to report except this old Gamma is exhausted. Another full fun-filled day with the grand-daughters. Two down, three more to go.

So, I decided today would be a good day to share some spectacular McKinney, Texas sunsets and skies, to brighten up the gloomy day. Oh… and just one more Gamma in Chicago picture.

Happy Saturday my friends!

Friday Fun With Family:) More Grandma Adventures

26 Oct

“Grandparents make the world … a little softer, a little kinder, a little warmer.”



More fun with the grandkids. Today, Gamma Toni was on her own after mom and dad went to work around 7:30am till around 4. It was a test run for the next four days when I’ll be on my own with a 10 month old and a 2 3/4 year old. It may not sound that difficult, but I haven’t seen them since last Christmas, which means Gamma is still a little bit of a stranger. Well, I survived day one.

The good news is, the 2 year old is very fastidious and neat. She likes to clean, sweep, organize, and rule the roost. “Gamma, oh no! This is so messy here. Get my broom.”.

The bad news is, she likes to clean, sweep, organize and rule the roost. Maybe when she grows up, she can come and visit Gamma. She also loves her artwork, so Gamma will have a lot in common with her. Just not the housework stuff.

There is something really special about holding the child of your child. You look in their eyes and see the future, and you see the past.

Well, it’s Black Russian Friday, even in Chicago. The only difference today is, Gamma is having a virgin Black Russian. Basically, it’s just chocolate almond milk. I’m on Gamma duty.

Cheers, my friends.

Thankful Thursday:) Family

25 Oct

“I am blessed to have so many great things in my life – family, friends and God. All will be in my thoughts daily.”

~Lil’ Kim


Today, I am thankful for my beautiful loving family. The first part of my visit to Chicago started out with my sister picking me up from wild and crazy O’Hare Airport Tuesday. We stopped for dinner and then back to her house. Wednesday, we ran errands and stopped at the AT&T store, where my sister bought me an early Christmas present. Merry Christmas to me. No more dropped calls and garbled interrupted conversations. iPhone 8 with LOTS of GBs.

Wednesday afternoon, my sister drove me to Northbrook, where I’ll be staying with my son, daughter-in-law, and two adorable grand daughters for a few days. I haven’t seen these little angles since last Christmas.

Aren’t they adorable? Yes they are. The little one was only a couple of weeks when I saw her in December. Yikes! She’s gotten so big.

I went for a walk with the dog this afternoon. The fall colors are really spectacular. We walked the neighborhood for a little over a mile.

A budding artist in the making. We may have to do some artwork while Gamma’s here.

Yes, I’m very thankful today, and every day.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? I’ve Been Baking Up A Storm

24 Oct

“It’s not what’s in the oven that counts, it’s what’s in the heart of the cook.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Well, we had a busy day. My sister and I did a lot of running around and errands. Then, she drove me over to Joe’s house. She got to visit with the granddaughters a little bit, then she went home. I’m staying here and going to practice the Grandma routine a few days, then I get to babysit while mom and dad have a little get away. I didn’t have a chance to take any pictures, but you know there will be a lot…coming soon.

So, today I decided to share one of my last baking projects. No, not brownies or cupcakes. You know all those late night painting sessions lately? This was the latest painting/baking project.

I call them my purplebonnetts, because they look like my bluebonnets, just purple. But, you might call them lavender.

I baked them in the oven, per directions to heat set, along with the previous week’s red roses. My oven was full and blossoming with color.

I have quite the collection of lovely hand-painted wine glasses now. A busy October, painting and baking. And these colorful concoctions are calorie free.

Tuesday:) Takin’ A Trip~ Beam Me Up, Scotty

23 Oct

“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go. I’m standing here outside your door.”

John Denver


Some people love to travel. I don’t like to travel, especially the preparation part of travel. Once I get there, I’m fine. I was looking forward to my trip to Chicago to see my granddaughters, and visit with friends and family.

Here’s how I prepare. I send out annoying emails to friends a week ahead of time to see who is able to take me to and from the airport. I have great friends, so I always get volunteers, but I know it’s a pain in the butt. Then, I spend endless hours, spinning my wheels cleaning the house before I leave. You never know! If something happens to me, I’d be embarrassed if someone went into my dirty house.

Last night, I decided I wanted to spot clean a small area of my carpet in the family room because it is so darn dirty from foot traffic. Mostly my dirty foot. So, at 11 pm, I’m trying to read complicated directions on the handheld carpet cleaner while laundry is spinning in the dryer. I spilled water all over myself. I was leaving this the morning, so of course I hadn’t packed, and there I am spot cleaning and doing laundry at midnight.🤦‍♀️

I finally went to sleep a little after 2am, my unpacked suitcase sitting on the far end of the bed. My dear friend and designated airport driver, Karen, was picking me up around 10:30 this morning. Plenty of time to pack. Right?

Instead of packing this morning, I was wiping down kitchen counters, putting away dishes, wiping the stove and fridge, oh my, spots on the handles and side of the fridge door. Better open it up and clean. Look at those sticky shelves, better give them a wipe too. Oops, I should water that new crepe myrtle tree in the back yard. I get crazy. Does anyone else do that?

10 o’clock, I should probably pack my suitcase. I pack light. Fifteen minutes, done! I walked around the house, looked to see that everything was tidy, then sat in the piano room by the front window. I tinkered at the piano while I waited with a poor prehistoric version of, “As Time Goes By.” Karen was right on time and off we went.

Traffic was smooth, so we got to the airport in less than an hour. I walked in, went to the kiosk and printed out a boarding pass. Granted, I had a scanner boarding pass on my phone, did a back-up screen shot, printed it out, but still needed to print an official pass. You can never be too prepared. As I proceeded to Gate C33, I noticed a sign that said Chapel. Hmm? Maybe I should stop in and say a few prayers, just for extra back up.

Well, the Chapel was WAY down on the other end of the terminal, but I had over an hour to spare. About a Mike later, I finally arrived, plopped my bags down and closed my eyes. The empty and quiet Chapel was what I needed to sooth my restless spirit. Ah, yes.

The flight started boarding on time, but I was in section 9, the last to board. That’s OK, I got a cheap flight and didn’t have a lot to carry. The flight was packed, and I had a middle seat between two young 20 something people. They were quiet and both strangers slept almost the entire way there, I tried to doze, but my head kept bobbing and my mouth kept dropping open. Most embarrassing. I probably made strange noises too.

When we landed, the pilot came on the PA to request we all remain in our seat until the paramedics arrive to take care of our medical emergency, Woa! What emergency? I guess someone behind us got very sick and they had to check it out. I think the lady was OK. We all deplaned without incident.

See, if that was me being sick and having an emergency, I’d say to myself. “Aren’t you glad you cleaned the house before you left?”

My sister Jo picked me up at O’Hare 3D, and traffic wasn’t to bad, so we went out to dinner on the way home. I’ll see the grand-daughters in a couple of days. So, all is well with the world.

But, I really would like it much better if I didn’t have to go to the airport and just be teleported or beamed up to my destination. Let’s work on that, Scotty.

Montag Monday:) A Week In A Peek

22 Oct

“If I tried to squeeze in one more activity in this crazy busy week, my calendar would spontaneously combust.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


My life is busy and blessed. How lucky am I? I hope you had a great week, too.

A week in a pictorial peek…