Archive | March, 2020

Friday:) Food Frenzy Makes Me Happy

21 Mar

“If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it’s not good cooking for yourself; the joy is in cooking for others – it’s the same with music.”

~ will.i.am

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I can’t even remember how many days it’s been since the world has “Gone to hell in a hand-basket.” And, if you have a hand-basket, make sure you stay six feet away from everyone, wash your hands carefully, and sanitize your hand-basket. It seems like forever, but in reality it’s only been a few weeks for us here in the states. And, it looks like no foreseeable end in sight.

Today, I did my usual routine of staying in bed until the cows came home. No cows, so I got moving around noon. I worked on a couple of small projects. One was framing one of my paintings to add to my personal home art gallery. (Wait till you see it when I’m done. Amazing.)

For the last three days, I’ve eaten the same thing every day for dinner. That was my only meal. For some reason lazy days slip into night before I think about eating. Here’s what I made each day. One flour tortilla, warmed in a dry pan till crispy, add a three bean and corn salsa mixture. I topped it with cheese, lettuce and a few dollops of plain yogurt. Yum! I’m not a vegetarian, I just happen to like this.

So, today I needed to cook. Ah, pasta. Massive quantities of pasta. That makes me happy.

I sautéed some Italian sausage and made a huge pot of pasta sauce, and boiled up two pounds of mostaccioli. When I cook, I cook tons so I can share. While the pasta was cooking, I made my famous Snicker peanut butter no bake pie. A big pie and some little ones. I made enough to share with Mr. Mike and my neighbor Kathy, and still have plenty for me.

Boy! I sure did make a mess, but that’s ok. It was fun.

Now, here’s the funny part. I finally realized today was Friday and I put sausage in the pasta and it’s Lent. Oops! No meat on Friday. It looked pretty good. I’ll have to wait till tomorrow. So, I made a big salad for dinner.

Oh well! The joy was more in the cooking and sharing than the eating it myself.

Now…. FINALLY… Black Russian Friday, my friends. Cheers!

Thankful Thursday:) Rosaries, Rainbows, and Karaoke

20 Mar

” If you can’t go out with your friends to laugh and drink and sing karaoke, stay home and laugh and drink and sing karaoke.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This was a very lazy hazy Thursday. I didn’t get out of my jammies till 2 in the afternoon. I made a lot of phone calls to friends and family while sipping tea under the covers. Then, at 3 o’clock, I got my favorite rosary that belonged to my mother, and joined Father Don from St. Gabriel on a live streaming of praying the rosary. Thank you Debbie for telling me about this yesterday.

Amid worsening conditions related to the global coronavirus outbreak, Pope Francis urged Catholics to unite spiritually to pray the rosary simultaneously on the Feast of St. Joseph.

The pope invited every family, every individual Catholic, and every religious community to pray the Luminous mysteries on Thursday, March 19 at 9:00 pm Rome time. The initiative was initially proposed by the bishops of Italy.

With all the sadness, doom and gloom going on in the world, it was uplifting just knowing that millions of people were praying, not just for themselves, but for the entire world.

The rest of my afternoon slipped into evening. Storms and rain raged for a while, with tornadoes threatening. But 7 pm, the eerie clouds drifted away, and the sun peeked through. I needed desperately to get out of the house and get some fresh air. I was greeted by a glorious sunset, followed by a spectacular rainbow peeking between the trees.

Thursday has always been our karaoke night at Delaney’s Irish Pub. Our gang of great friends always get together for food, fun, song, dance, and assorted beverages. I was really missing that tonight. So, instead of feeling sad, I was inspired by the beautiful rainbow. I decided to have my own karaoke night and sing my solitaire quarantined version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDlyS_df54A

And yes, the singing is off key and warbley, but that’s me and that’s as good as it gets. I love to sing.

Wednesday:) Working From Home

19 Mar

“Working from home and quarantined could be a gift or a curse, depending on who you’re quarantined with.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I had to laugh this morning when I looked at the time, because it wasn’t even 8 AM, and I was already depressed that I had nowhere to go. With everyone self-quarantined, schools libraries, theaters, and restaurants all closed, I had nothing exciting planned for my day. I made a cup of tea, got my phone and iPad, and climbed back under the covers, placing everything on a tray on my lap.

That’s when I said to myself, “I’ll just stay under the covers and work from home.” The only problem is… I don’t have a job, so I can’t work from home. Then, to make things even worse, my internet was still down. This is day two without internet. It just ain’t right. 🤦‍♀️

I have to use the HOTSPOT from my iPhone to check email, Facebook, and other internet stuff. Bummer. So much for working from home.

Stay safe, my friends, and never take your internet connection for granted.

Tuesday:) Toni’s St. Patrick’s Day Dilemma

18 Mar

” When life gives you lemons, keep them in the fridge and bring out the Bailey’s.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Today was a very strange surreal day. With all the pandemic panic, schools closed, store shelves empty, you start to think what else could possibly go wrong.

Well, my internet has been down all day. Not just mine, but the entire neighborhood. My neighbor across the street, Miss Kathy, was supposed to be working from home, but her internet has been down too. Guess who she works for? Yep… AT&T.

I spent the afternoon at the doctor’s office for some tests, and came home to take a nap. The highlight of my day was dinner at Miss Pat’s place for an amazing corned beef and cabbage dinner with friends. This may be our last chance to get together for a while.

As you may remember, I don’t drink and drive, so I came home and fixed myself a Bailey’s over chocolate ice cream in honor of St. Patty’s Day. After all, my Ancestry DNA says that I am 8% Irish, so it’s mandatory that I celebrate my heritage. Can’t wait till Cinco de Mayo for margaritas. Olé!

The internet is still down. Thank goodness I learned how to tag my hot spot from my iPhone to my iPad. Not bad for an old lady.

Cheers! Sláinte!

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

17 Mar

Albert Camus

“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.”

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My weeks are always so beautiful and busy. I have a feeling that with this crazy world being on lock down, I’m not going to have a lot of fabulous adventures. But, who knows, I may actually get something productive done around the house.

Be safe, my friends!

A week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon, or Lack There Of

16 Mar

“Panic causes tunnel vision. Calm acceptance of danger allows us to more easily assess the situation and see the options.”

~Simon Sinek

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My Sunday morning routine was all discombobulated today. I didn’t set my alarm for 7 am, and I stayed in bed most the morning, feeling kind of sad. St. Gabriel was not celebrating Masses, and will cancel until the end of March. The church is still open for individuals to pray or worship, weddings, funerals, etc., but no Masses. As I said yesterday, I never thought I’d live to see the day.

But, like many other churches and denominations, a celebration of the Mass was recorded on video to share with the parishioners. It’s still not the same.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. Jews did not associate with Samaritans, but Jesus spoke with her and made her a believer….

13 Jesus replied: Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again;

14 but no one who drinks the water that I shall give will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will become a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life.

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My take on it… faith and salvation are not narrow concepts, meant only for a particular group or religious belief. The earthly water we drink and the earthly food we eat will only sustain our bodies. All who believe in a supreme being, a creator, are sustained from within. In my book, which is pretty short, there are only two rules, Honor and love God, and honor and love your fellow man. All the rest falls under those two headings.

The rest of my Sunday was pretty much a blur. I only left the house to walk the dog a few times. I made a few phone calls, and then of course, the highlight of my day… FaceTime with the granddaughter. Gosh, they are getting bigger by the day. I guess the Chicago area is pretty much on lock down, too.

I just pray that we all survive this mass panic and confusion and illness. It would be nice to leave the world a better place than we found it for our future generations… like these little angels that God has blessed me with.

Happy Sunday my friends. Stay healthy, stay strong, and keep the faith.


Sentimental Saturday:) Stories, Stories, and More Stories

14 Mar

“Nothing stirs up old memories like a big box of old photographs, letters, magazine clippings, and handwritten stories.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I was inspired by a good friend to dig out some of my old stories that I used to write when I was part of a weekly writing group. My old dusty Dell laptop that hasn’t been used since the Kennedy administration, (just kidding, not quite that old) has dozens of my old stories on there in Word documents. But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to forward or print them or get them out of that antiquated machine.

So, this morning, I rummaged through my cluttered jam packed closet and found an old box that housed many of the afore mentioned stories, along with magazine stories that I had written for McKinney Living Magazine, and newspaper clippings from the time I was a guest columnist for the Dallas Morning News NeighborsGo.

Wow! Talk about nostalgia.

Now, I will meander down memory lane and read some of these old stories. I’m hoping some might be worth revising and sharing. But, I have a feeling some will be a bit boring. Wait! I take that back… I almost forgot. I AM AMAZING! I’m sure all my stories are AMAZING!

Happy Saturday!

Friday Friends, The Art Club of McKinney and Frightening Forecast on Life

14 Mar

” I never really felt afraid or overly concerned about the Corona Virus threat until the notification from my church that all Masses were cancelled until further notice. When the Catholic Church shuts down, time to be afraid.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’ve been trying to go about my business without panicking or hoarding like many folks around me. But, just a few minutes ago, I saw an email from my pastor saying all Masses and gatherings and ministries at St. Gabriel’s were cancelled until further notice. Now, that scares me!

Yesterday, The Art Club of McKinney had its usual monthly meeting, and attendance was down a little, but not much. We are mostly older retired type folks, so we just plug along. We have so many talented artists in the club, and our guest speakers are always fascinating, and the hostesses provide a fancy spread of delicious food.

We had new officers nominations.

And, I was very excited that I won second place for artist of the month. Members are encouraged to bring a painting to share, and everyone votes on artist of the month, and I always forget. I had to laugh because I literally grabbed a painting off the wall next to the garage on my way out the door.

Diane Boudreaux’s “Kissing Sunflowers” was awesome. My snowy trees had fine prisma glitter. Who doesn’t love glitter.

Our guest speaker was the fabulous Pete Quaid. Oh my goodness. His paintings are magnificent, and his presentation was so informative. A lot of the concepts of setting, triangulation, contrast, hues, etc., I’ll have to admit, I had no idea what he was talking about. I paint cute snowy trees with glitter, and yellow roses on wine glasses.

Look at these…

We have the most talented artists right here in McKinney. Check out his website.

https://www.petequaid.com/

Speaking of artists, today Helene and I went to Towne Creek Apartments to work on some bowls for our donations to the Empty Bowls Charity Event. We had a few new faves joining us today. It was a lot of fun painting, drawing, and sharing a nice meal afterwards.

Even though the forecast may be frightening, I certainly don’t plan on being afraid of living. There’s too much to do and see and share in this big ol’ beautiful world.

Oh yes, and don’t forget Black Russian Friday. It’s almost midnight. Yikes! I better hurry up.

Throwback Thankful Thursday:) My Sister, JoAnn and Women’s History Montho

12 Mar

“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble. ”

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With March being Women’s History month, I thought it only appropriate to recognize the women in my life who have made a difference in making this a better world. Of course, the most important influence in my life was my mother, Trini Armenta, who was an inspiration and role model for, not only her own children and siblings, but for everyone who came to know her. In her own way, she played an important role in making the world a better place by raising her daughters to be strong, hardworking, talented and courageous women.

By her example of strength and tenacity, she was an inspiration for my sister, JoAnn Armenta, who pioneered and persevered her way through a male dominated field many years ago. Jo Ann is my inspiration of what a strong independent and determined woman can achieve.

Jo Ann Armenta was the very first Latina Illinois State Trooper, serving her community from 1979 until her retirement well over twenty years later. She blazed a trail for other Latinas, and all women for that matter, in the field of law, enforcement, back in the day when women were still expected to be home cooking dinner for their husbands, and raising a brood of children.

I can’t imagine how tough it was to get through the grueling training and studying to become a State Trooper, much less dealing with the less than generous or cooperative male counterparts who outwardly showed their disrespect for women “on the job.” Jo Ann never backed down from any challenge and never let her gender dissuade her from being the best State Trooper that she could be. That is inspirational, and that determination has never ceased.

Jo Ann Armenta’s photo may never grace the cover of any magazine, nor will she be recognized in a book or on the news as an outstanding woman in history, but she, like many other women just like her, have paved the way for all women to step up, step forward, and make a difference.

This tenacious woman still carries on her legacy through her generous support of Latina women in her community by sponsoring scholarships to college students, serving on the local library board, she has volunteered with the Salvation Army, and currently has spearheaded the CHEF program, Community Harvest Educational Foundation, whose goal is to bring healthy nutritious food and lifestyle awareness to the community. These are just a few of her many accolades and accomplishments.

Jo Ann Armenta may not be mentioned in any history book, but in “my book,” she is worthy of outstanding recognition for Women’s History Month.

Wednesday:) When You Find a Treasure

12 Mar

“God hides treasure in dirt, so that only those humble enough to dig through it find it.”

― Matshona Dhliwayo

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It’s the little things in life that seem bring me the most joy. This past Saturday, my neighbor Allison and I went to the Farmer’s Market in the morning, then we stopped at Goodwill to do a little thrift store shopping.

As we were scouring every shelf, Allison pointed out a beautiful framed jeweled cross in a shadow box that she thought I might like for my very extensive, ever growing, cross collection. Wow! It was gorgeous, and I couldn’t believe the price. Lately, I’ve found that the thrift store pricing isn’t that thrifty. Sometimes items are priced more than what I can find new at the Dollar Store or Walmart.

This treasure was only $4. Woa! It was all dusty and dirty, but when I brought it home and cleaned all the mirrored crevices with a Q-tip, it definitely was a treasure.

It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the longer inset part of the frame is mirrored glass, and the cross has lovely jeweled crystals. On the back, on a gold sticker it says Belinda Miley Collection. I looked up the name, and these are pretty popular and pretty expensive collectibles.

So, my $4 thrift store find turned out to be quite the treasure. I just loved it because it was beautiful and would be a lovely addition to my collection. I’m pretty humble, and I don’t mind digging through the dirt to find treasure.

“God hides treasure in dirt, so that only those humble enough to dig through it find it.”

― Matshona Dhliwayo