Archive | August, 2020

Quarantined Karaoke Thursday:) Virtual Duet-“Chances Are”

21 Aug

Mark Zuckerberg

“The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it’s different from anything they’ve ever experienced in their lives.”

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Still missing Thursday night karaoke with my friends. Bob and Joni always post an awesome karaoke song on Facebook on Thursday. Tonight, when Bob sang Johnny Mathis’ “Chances Are,” I started to sing along. Hey! Why not sing a virtual duet with Bob. Yes!

I hope you don’t mind the virtual duet idea Bob and Joni. I have a feeling it’s going to be a while before we get to get back to our old karaoke nights. 🎤

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And NOW, for my other SUPER POWER… (singing isn’t exactly my super power) But, I am proud of my determination and tenacity. I’m always pushing myself to walk a little bit more each day, as the weather permits. I think this is about my limit for one day. My feet are killing me!

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? PB&J Cookies

20 Aug

“If you have a good recipe, use it often. If you want a great recipe, tweek it, play with it, be creative, and make it awesome.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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You may have seen my Better than Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe last week, where I doctored it up with chopped up Snicker bars, Kraft caramel bits, and sprinkled with kosher salt. Well, if you didn’t… you missed out. It was awesome. A handful of neighbors and friends got to taste a few. Am I right or what?

Well, today I took the peanut butter cookie dough that I made at the same time last week, with the same recipe, minus the chocolate chips, adding peanut butter. I decided to experiment with Peanut Butter and Jelly cookies. You heard me right. PB&J cookies. I also made a few with cut up Reese’s peanut butter cups.

In case you don’t believe me, I made a video. (Wasn’t easy- I had to figure out how to record it.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAtKNkYa9vc

The cookies were awesome and would make a perfect after school or virtual-school snack with a glass of milk or virtual milk… just kidding. I drink almond milk.

When you bite the cookie and find the surprise Jelly inside… WOW!

If you missed the basic recipe before creativity set in…

Now, the making of this film was not as simple as it looks. I had to figure out a way to set up my iPad to overlook the kitchen island for the demonstration. I tried propping it up on the garbage can on top of a chair. Nope! It fell down with a thud. iPad safe. Then, I tried a step stool, nope, then the step stool upside down on top of the chair, then turned that around, then used a huge rubber band to suspend it at an angle. Phew! About half an hour later, Voila! I’d like to change the old saying to …”Motherhood is the necessity of inventions.”

I took a picture for next time. Like the song says, “‘Cause I’ll never have that recipe again…”

Well, the cookies were awesome. So now, I’m two for two. Who knows what’s next? After the last batch came out of the oven, I went out for an evening walk to catch the sunset. It was 90°, but a little breeze. Between my morning walk and evening walk, I think I may have burned off that one huge cookie that I was forced to taste test for quality control. Maybe not.

Another great sunset. Life is good and the cookies and sunsets are gooder. (Literary license.)

Toni’s Tuesday Time-lapse Painting~ Bluebird

19 Aug

Faith is a bluebird you see from afar, it’s for real and as sure as the first evening star. You can’t touch it or buy it or wrap it up tight, but it’s there all the same, making things turn out right.

~Rufus Wainwright

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I always look forward to painting something on Tuesday, but I never look forward to deciding what to paint. It’s always a puzzlement. I got my inspiration today from some outdoor pillows that I bought at Walmart a couple of weeks ago. They were on super sale, so I bought 4. How much… you are wondering? $2.50 each! What? Yep! So cute, too.

I liked the birds, so I decided to paint them on my repurposed, can’t throw anything out, saved brownie boxes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-YeO1BgwfA

Just something to fool around with and throw out some ideas for others to repurpose and play with some paint.

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I was very proud of my over-achieving walking today. I pushed even a little more today with a morning walk, an evening walk and a few little walk the dog in the park walks. Woo hoo!

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

18 Aug

“I am lazy, but for some reason, I am so paranoid that I end up working hard.”

~Seth Rogen

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It was a pretty hazy lazy week, hot and humid and I felt pretty lazy. But, I did manage to walk every day and write my blog every day. Besides that, everything is a blur. 🤦‍♀️

A week in a peek…

My goal was to get at least two miles of walking in each day, but yesterday I did a little over 3 and today… tada…

It was finally cool enough (88) to add a little evening walk to my morning steps and catch the sunset.

I was missing my sunset walks.

Sunday Sermon, Storms and Other Stuff

17 Aug

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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This morning, I woke before the alarm, deciding to get out for my morning walk before the grueling afternoon heat set in. It was only in the mid 80’s, so I was determined to push myself for a long brisk walk.

As per my ritual, when I marched past Miss Bernadine’s house, a few blocks away, I gave St. Francis a tap on his head for good luck. The bunnies and squirrels were scurrying around, probably with the same idea of getting out before the heat.

I try to challenge myself and push a little further each day. Yesterday, over 2 miles, and this morning, over 3 miles.

I got home in time to shower and get ready to watch Mass on TV from the Dallas Archdiocese at 11. This time, no church in my pajamas.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus being confronted by a Canaanite woman pleading for her daughter to be cured from demon possession.

Matthew 15:21-28

21And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.” 23But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” 24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26And he answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

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My take on it…people might say that Jesus was insensitive and uncaring at first. But, I think it was more of a test of faith. Just like in our everyday lives, things aren’t always easy and perfect. What would happen if every time we wanted something, it was just handed to us? That might sound ideal to some, but there’s something to be said for working towards your goals and having faith and determination. “If at first you don’t succeed…”

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It was a very good day. I got to FaceTime with my adorable granddaughters for a while. Then, about 6pm, the skies got very dark and rumbled. A severe thunderstorm was issued, and a little while later, the power went out. It was scary out there. I searched for my flashlight, and decided with no television or internet, that it was a good time to take a well deserved nap. My theory is, if there’s a tornado, the siren will wake me, and if the house blows away, at least I’ll be well rested. Not much I can do about it. I turned off my cell phone to conserve battery in case it was a long outage. I got in a nice nap, and the power kicked on about 8:30.

I turned my phone back on and found a message from my neighbor nextdoor saying our fence was down on her side from the high winds. I guess I’ll have to wait till morning to check it out. Thank goodness the other side was fine, seeing as that was a brand new fence section, replaced just last month.

Another interesting Sunday, to say the least. I hope yours was a good one. ❤️

Saturday:) Staying Away From the Sunny Side of the Street

16 Aug

“The more you spend your time in the ordinary streets, the more extraordinary things you will learn!”

― Mehmet Murat ildan

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I didn’t get up early today. I was “this close” to saying, “Forget your morning walk. You don’t need to walk every single day.” I asked my pleasant companion Miss Google, “OK Google, what’s the temperature?” She replied, “”In McKinney, it’s 92°, but with the heat index, it feels like 98°. Well, I decided it was only going to get hotter, so I put on my shoes and my cool wrap around my neck and sauntered out.

In the morning, there are sections of sidewalks that have some taller trees and houses that block the intense sun here and there. In the winter, I like to walk on the sunny side of the street and in the summer, I go for the shady streets.

I always challenge myself and say, “OK, you can make it just one more lap down to the corner and back before heading home.” My Challenge managed 1.9 miles before saying, “ENOUGH!”

I got home, drank a lot of water and put my feet up for a little while, checking emails and Facebook. Then, I did what any other exhausted old lady would do. I baked some more of my awesome world famous chocolate chip salted caramel cookies. Oh yah!

I made enough to share with a couple of friends. Sharing is caring. ❤️🍪

It was a pretty hot day, and a very hot week, for that matter. But, I see that we have a cold front coming in on Monday, and it’s only going to be around 91°. When I’m done writing this, I’m going to go rummage through my closet and look for a sweater. (Just kidding) I usually don’t look for my sweater until it gets down into the 80’s.

I hope you had a great day. Stay cool! 😎

Friday From My Kitchen:) COOKIES!!!!

14 Aug

In the ‘kitchen of your life’, you have a choice as to what ingredients you want to use to build yourself up. 

Selorm Betepe Alfred

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COOKIES!!!!

I have this very old, weathered, worn, spilt upon awesome recipe for chocolate chip cookies. It’s from a newspaper clipping, and I’m not sure who sent it to me, but it’s my go to recipe for decades…. and I don’t usually use recipes. But, because I’m a renegade cook and baker, I usually like to jazz it up or make massive quantities or BOTH, as in my many cookie marathons.

I haven’t made cookies in such a long time because that was always my Christmas marathon, but the past few years, I’ve been in Chicago all of December visiting family and friends. I sure hope I can make it out this year.

So… here it is.,,.Better Than Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (My variation with Snickers and salted caramel,)

Now here’s where it gets tricky. I always double the recipe SO… I used

4 c. Butter, 4 c. Sugar, 4 c. Brown sugar, 8 eggs, 8 cups flour, 10 cups of oatmeal (5 ground up, 5 whole) 2 bags of chocolate chips, some cut up Snicker bars, 2 tsp. Salt, 4 each baking soda and powder, Kraft Caramel bits (no nuts)

So, when you’re talking 18 cups of dry ingredients alone, you know it’s gonna get messy. More bowls were used in the production of this marathon.

The cookies bake better when chilled, so I made tubes to slice later.

(I also saved some dough mixture to make peanut butter, too) I put in the fridge to cool. The rolls slice nicely and uniformed for baking.

I ALWAYS use parchment paper so the cookies don’t stick or burn. I sprinkled each with the caramel bits and smooshed them on top and some chopped snickers and a tiny kosher salt on top. OMG! Best cookies I ever made. Yum!

The cool part is I still have 5 more rolls to keep in the fridge or even freeze a couple. The bad part is, I checked with my friend who is the McKinney Fire Department liaison, and she said the stations still can’t accept homemade goodies from the public… not even from Miss Toni. So sad… they are getting so skinny.

Look at the size of these cookies!

Quarantined Karaoke Thursday:) “The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.”

14 Aug

“Hitting bottom and hitting it hard was the worst thing that ever happened to me and the best thing that ever happened to me.”

~ Dave Ramsey

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Another Quarantined Karaoke Thursday, missing my old friends. I love this song. What is THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO YOU? I happen to have two best things, and I call them sons, Joe and Matt. But, there are a LOT of other wonderful things, family and friends.

Also, good to hear that Bob is feeling better and he is singing a few Elvis songs on Facebook for Elvis Week. ThankS Joni for sharing. “I Believe.”

Keep singing in the shower, in the kitchen, and in the comfort of your own homes, my friends. Be safe!

Wednesday:) What Wondrous Sights I Saw Today

13 Aug

“A success and happiness principle that all animals except humans know – you can achieve wonders by loving what you do”

― Dr Prem Jagyasi

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Wow! It’s been very hot here in North Texas, so I’ve been trying to get out for my walks before 9am. That sounds easy for most, but I don’t get to bed before 1 or 2 am. Too hot for evening sunset walks.

I found a lucky feather on my walk. It was standing straight up in the grass, so I had to take a picture.

There were some busy bees buzzing around, popping into flowers. They were too busy to pay attention to me… thank goodness.

A cute squirrel was keeping an eye on me from up in a tree. I stopped and chatted with him. I did. I said, “Hello Mr. Squirrel. Can I take your picture?” No… he didn’t respond, but his posing was response enough for me.

And as always, I enjoy my daily walks and always follow my heart. Signs, signs, everywhere signs.

Toni’s Tuesday Time-Lapse Painting~ Bloom Where You Are Planted

12 Aug

“I’ve always said that I can bloom wherever I’m planted, but sometimes I think that my roots have grown too deep to be transplanted.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Well, another time-lapse Tuesday painting video. I spend hours trying to think what to video, and a couple of hours gathering materials and capturing the moment. The time-lapse is usually over in less than 30 seconds, which makes it look pretty quick and easy. Trust me… it ain’t. But, I love it.

Here ya go…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z46Ibfw0SM