Archive | July, 2021

Friday:) Artist Friends, Fun, Food and Frolicking at Towne Creek

31 Jul

“Anyone who says that they can’t draw or paint or do any kind of art has never come to our art class at Towne Creek.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I’ve been volunteering sharing art and having fun with the seniors over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments for about 15 years now. We have the most fun, and we laugh and eat and play. That’s what art is… just playing with life. I find the toughest part for me is coming up with new and interesting projects to demonstrate and share.

One of our favorite activities is snack time.
Busy and having fun.
I showed Miss Kathy how to make a cute feather with markers.
The mark of a good art teacher is when the students are even better and more talented.

It was a long day. Helene was kind enough to meet me at the Honda dealer at 2, so I could get my car inspected, oil change, etc. We had to transfer all my bins and bags into her car and then drop me back after class at 6. Much better than sitting a few hours at the dealer just down the road from Towne Creek.

It was a fabulous Friday with friends. Cheers…..

Black Russian Friday!

Thursday:) The Girlfriend Birthdays Continue

30 Jul

“When you are lucky enough to have a couple good friends, you enjoy celebrating a couple of times a year. When you have a whole bunch of awesome amazing fantastic good friends, you pretty much celebrate all year long.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


As you may know already, I have been blessed with a multitude of awesome friends. Not just casual acquaintances, but friends that would go trough fire for you, or give you the shirt off their back. Except for the skinny ones, the shirt just wouldn’t fit me, but they’d offer anyway. That always means a lot of birthdays to celebrate.

Today, we celebrated Karen Thomason’s birthday up in Sherman. We were meeting at The Iron Post Restaurant. Sherri Murphy picked me up, and as we got closer to Sherman, she talked into her phone for directions. She just said, “Directions to The Iron Post.” I said, “Sherri, what if Siri directs you to the nearest iron post on the road and asks you, would you like a rusty iron post or the nearest iron post with a little patina on it.”Then she whacked me on the arm going about 70 mph on Central Expressway. I was being serious.

Girlfriends! (No, we weren’t drinking beer. It was only 11:30 in the morning. We always wait till at least noon.)
Karen loved her presents. Girlfriends think of the greatest presents.
I always try to give a hand-painted or homemade gift. Yellow rose of Texas, also yellow roses are for friendship.
Sherri and I spotted a few cute murals on our way back to the car. Selfie time. I think Sherri is the only friend I know that takes more photos than I do. That’s why we’ve been friends for so long. “Great minds…”
I have wings to soar!
Look at this cool mural. There were several other paintings Of cowboys and cattle and longhorns along the long brick wall.

Great friends, great times, life is good!

Wednesday:) Well, Look Who Just Came Out Of The Closet!

29 Jul

“The closet can be a dark and lonely place.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Well, my Sharona finally came out of the closet. It’s a dark and lonely place in there, but my floors haven’t been vacuumed in a very long time. My Sharona Shark vacuum cleaner sat in the kitchen for a couple of days before I took her for a spin.

I vacuumed all the downstairs rooms in the morning, then took a break.
In the afternoon, I dragged My Sharona upstairs to vacuum all the upstairs rooms, getting every nook and cranny. I filled and emptied two dust canisters by the time I finished. Whoa! Where did all that dust, dirt and hair come from?
I was so exhausted, red faced, and sweating. I didn’t have the energy to bring My Sharona back downstairs. No closet for her tonight. It’s a dark and lonely place, after all.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Teeny Tiny Art Class

28 Jul

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
― Vincent Van Gogh


You know what I love better than creating art? I love sharing ideas, techniques, and my love of art, writing, baking, cooking, singing, dancing, well, I can go on. I love a lot of things.

Yesterday, I met my good friend Helene and her granddaughter for lunch. Then, they came over to My studio (otherwise know as the crap room) to work on some painting and craft projects. The little 9 year old is very artistic, and was eager to learn some new techniques.

We made some butterflies by pouring blobs of paint on one side, then folding over and smooshing together to get a beautiful symmetrical pattern. Me Me (Helene) joined in on the fun. (I forgot to take a picture of the finished large butterflies. They took a long time to dry.)
One small 3-D butterfly was placed on a painted Jello Pudding box.
Kiera painted a small canvas with sky and clouds to put her other butterflies.
Then we painted some silk scarves with fabric markers. It was all playing and experimenting and fun.

We will play again on Friday when Helene and Kiera join me at Towne Creek for our monthly art group with the seniors.

“And what is done in love is well done.”

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

27 Jul

“I’m too lazy to look up or make up an interesting quote so…. What do you call a donkey with only 3 legs? …WONKEY.”



A week in a quick back at home Peek….

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

26 Jul

“God is our great provider!
The Lord’s blessings are our greatest wealth.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita, Think Great: Be Great!


Well, it’s heating up here in Texas, with the highs in the 90’s. The good news is that it wasn’t over 100 today, The bad news, we’re supposed to get there the rest of the week. Oh well, it’s Texas after all. What do we expect? I spent most of the day in the air conditioning, so today I’m grateful for electricity and air conditioning.

It was nice to get back to St. Gabriel for morning Mass. We were also celebrating our 25th Anniversary as a parish after all the services this weekend with donuts in the community center. We also welcomed a new priest who is replacing Father Dankasa. Father Don introduced Father Bart, who was warmly received.

Today’s Gospel was the very famous story of the 5 loaves and 2 fish that fed the multitude of hungry followers.

11Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” 13So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. 14When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!”

My take on it… even in our darkest hour, if we have faith and trust in the Lord, He will provide. What may seem impossible can be possible. Heck, not only did He feed the crowd of thousands, there was a lot more left over than they even started with.

I had to smile, this story reminded me of the many times that I started to bake mini cupcakes, thinking that two cake mixes wouldn’t be enough. Then, I ended up with about 144 little cupcakes, enough to feed an army and plenty left over.

After Mass, I stopped in the community center to say welcome to Father Bart. I ran into a few friends and said hello. I was good and didn’t even have a donut.

But, here’s a neat story of my own. A lady in the crowded cafeteria came up to me and said, “Hi, Toni. You probably don’t remember me, but I was in the CRHP Womens Retreat with you a few years ago, and I still remember your witness testimony that you told us. It was so moving. Thank you.”

Wow! I was so honored, and I thought, if my story of reconciliation, and how God took tragedy and pain, and turned it into celebration and joy, if I could inspire even just one person, then I feel very accomplished. I’ve had a few other ladies over the past four years say the same thing. I didn’t recognize their faces, but they remembered me and my story. Awesome! That made my day.

The rest of my afternoon was awesome. I stayed inside with air conditioning, so I had no idea how hot it got out there. I made a couple of phone calls and talked to my sisters. And of course, the highlight is when my little girls FaceTime and talk to Grandma. I think they miss me just a little.

Feeling blessed. Happy Sunday, my friends,

Saturday:) Some Silly Grandma Tips and Tricks

25 Jul

“When you are a mom, you have to be sensible, vigilant and on call 24/7. When you’re a grandma, you can be silly, decadent and goofy because you get to send the grandkids home and take a nap.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Tip #1- When the grandkids are little, they eat, drink and snack constantly. So, to make snacking healthy, make it fun.

Peanut butter bread with a runny face. Just add a few banana slices and raisins.

Tip #2-Almost any food that is messy for little hands can be put on a stick.

Strawberry on a stick and frozen banana on a stick. Plus, the frozen banana is refreshing in the summer and takes longer to eat.

Tip #3- If you want completely edible fruit on a stick for smaller items, use the small pretzel sticks, and you don’t worry about a wooden stick for small pieces of fruit like pineapple, apple, cantaloupe or vegetables, or cheese.

Apple chunks on a pretzel stick. Just make a small X incision with a knife and poke in the pretzel. Fun! This would work great for grown ups too. Imagine a fruit or veggie platter with pretzel sticks instead of toothpicks.

Tip #4- Baking with the grandkids is always fun and special. Make it even “funner “ by making a funny face with the eggs, oil, mini marshmallows for teeth, and chocolate chips for eyes in brownie mix or cake mix. For other types of cakes you can use peach or apple slices for a mouth, cherry pie filling eyes, etc, The marshmallow teeth just melt away and get yummy in the baking process.

Look at that adorable smile! Actually, both smiles. (Don’t do what I did. We were so busy making a funny face, I forgot to add the two other eggs. We used two boxes of mix and needed 4 eggs. Thank goodness I remembered before baking. I started pouring the mixture in the parchment lined pan and it seemed way too thick Duh! It was missing 2 more eggs. Scraped back into the bowl and added the other eggs. Good save!)

Tip #5- Fun baking and eating isn’t just for the little ones. I like to make chocolate covered frozen bananas and dipped strawberries for me and my friends sometimes. If the kids aren’t allowed chocolate, consume all the evidence while they are asleep.

Put bananas on a stick on waxed paper, freeze, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips with a few drops of vegetable oil in the microwave 30 sec. at a time, dip or spread on frozen bananas. Keep frozen until eating.
Use the rest of the melted chocolate on the strawberries. Yum!

Top #6- Last but not least… after all that baking, eating sugar, and horsing around, Grandma needs to take a nap. 😴

Friday Friends and a Few Camels

24 Jul

“Just like a caravan of camels walking in the desert, be durable against the adversities of life and walk with decisive steps.”

~Mehmet Murat Ildan


What a wonderful day! Life is good! I have the most wonderful family, the greatest friends, and more blessings than I can count. After a most awesome afternoon, Helene, Bonita and I went to a gathering of friends from church in Prosper.

Oh my gosh. The 60+ group met at Mike Millen’s home in Prosper this evening. I have never seen such an awesome home, with acres of land, animals grazing in the pastures, and get this… camels. Yes, camels. Everyone should have camels grazing in their backyard.

It was a beautiful evening, perhaps a little warm, but with fans cooling and friends chatting, it was just a perfect evening. It was a potluck dinner, and there was sooooo much food and drink.

The camels seem to enjoy carrots and nibbling on Bonita’s fingers.
A big thank you to Mike and the co-hosts who made this fun evening possible.
Well, it is Friday, after all!
Cheers, my friends! Happy Black Russian Friday.

Thursday:) This Is Me Trying To Get Back To Normal

23 Jul

“It’s funny, but it doesn’t matter if it’s two weeks or two months or two years away from home, it takes a long time to get back to normal.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I can’t believe I was only gone two weeks visiting family and friends in Chicago. When I got home, I felt like had I run ten consecutive marathons with a full army pack, with no food or drink, then run over by a Sherman tank. Basically, I was fried. I took a long nap, and didn’t unpack or look at the mail. I just vegged.

This morning, I didn’t open my eyes until 11 am, then rolled over for a while. I did muster up the energy to go to the bathroom, brush my teeth and check my emails and Facebook on my recently rescued iPad. But, I was still under the covers. My friend Helene called about 1:30 and asked if I’d eaten lunch. Heck, I hadn’t eaten since yesterday afternoon. No energy, no food. So, we met for lunch and caught up on all the latest gossip and world events.

Since my refrigerator was almost totally empty, (quite the miracle) I stopped at the store on the way home. I walked up and down each aisle, deciding what delicacies would grace my cart. Seeing as tomorrow is Friday, I definitely needed ice cream and chocolate almond milk, and some fresh fruit and veggies to counteract the decadence.

I unpacked the groceries on top of the counter, already cluttered with two weeks worth of bills, newspapers and junk mail.

Before I left two weeks ago, Miss Kathy across the street offered to bring in my mail, check the house, and water my plants. I only had one planter in front that she helped me carry to her house, so she could water them when she watered hers. She has so many beautiful plants and flowers. I have one lonely planter box with four little plants still alive and two that were at deaths door. When I walked over to retrieve my garden in a box this evening, my little feline friend ran across the street to greet me.

He said, “Miss Toni, where have you been? I’ve been coming over every day, and you weren’t here! See, I’ve been taking care of your flowers.”
“I missed you so much!”
He tried to follow me in the house. “Sorry, Sammi! I missed you too, but you can’t come in.”

Well, the mail is still on the counter, the suitcase isn’t put away, the clothes not washed, the dishwasher not emptied, but the ice cream and perishables got put away in the fridge. That’s something, right? After all, “Tomorrow is another day.”

That’s right, Scarlet.

Wednesday:) Where In the World Is Miss Toni?

22 Jul

“She felt a little bit worse – and a little bit better – than she had when she got here. Maybe that was the true meaning of going home.”
― Sonali Dev


Yes, my two weeks visiting family and friends in Chicago is over. Back to Texas.

But, first for my harrowing experience at the airport. My son dropped me off at O’Hare bright and early. I never sleep well before a trip, checking my phone every hour on the hour, in fear of over sleeping. Off to the airport before 7am.

The lines in security weren’t too bad. I almost forgot to put on my mask until I noticed all the masked people. Yikes! I got to security, took off my shoes, sweater, put all my belongings in the bin, and had my iPad on the side. The security person said, “Get another bin for your tablet.” There was a nun in front of me in line, and they had the toughest time with her big rosary and crucifix around her neck. She held up the line going through the metal detector. They had to wand her and pat her down. After I finally got through, I grabbed my shoes, luggage and purse, and just scooted further down to redress.

With plenty of time, almost 2 hours before boarding, I took my time going to gate K19, which was the absolute furthest gate in the terminal. It was quite a jaunt. I stopped at the gift shop, looking at all the Chicago souvenirs. By the time I shuffled to the gate, I was exhausted. My right knee and ankle have been bothering me for a couple of days, so it was good to sit down after that long long walk.

They started boarding at 9am. I knew it would be a little while since I was in group 6 on my boarding pass. I double checked my purse and realized… OH NO… 🤦‍♀️. My iPad was not in my purse. “PANIC!” I forgot to pick it up at security because it was in a separate bin. “SH…….! #*@#¥€£.” Now what? I’d never see it again if I didn’t go back and look for it. Did I have time? It was probably a mile back to security. Decision? I decided to go back and look for it even if I missed my flight.

I ran back through the airport like O.J. Simpson in that old Hertz commercial, for those of you who are old enough to remember.


The only exception was, I ran like O.J. with two casts on, a broken leg, and his arm in a sling. Basically, I hobbled at a turtle’s pace, my heavy Tumi luggage slung over my shoulder, huffing and puffing Through my double mask. I got back to security, pleaded with a gentleman behind a big plexiglass desk. “My iPad, I left my iPad! It was left in the bin. Do you have a lost and found?” I’m sure my red face, obvious limp, and desperation persuaded him to help me. He walked me over to a tiny enclosed office and asked if anyone turned in an iPad, YES! There it was! I thanked him profusely, but I had to prove it was mine. So, I opened it up, and typed in the code. I started to scramble off, but I had to sign a release and signature a line. All I could think of was, do I have time to get back?

I didn’t care, even if I missed my flight, I had my iPad. Now, to limp and hobble at a high speed all the way back to K19 on the other side of the world. I shuffled and scooted and pranced like an old wounded mare. I envisioned me pounding on the closed door, pleading for the plane to wait for me.

Yes! They were still boarding. When I finally got on the plane, I collapsed. Instead of being upset at my negligence, I was impressed with my countenance and good fortune. Life is good! It’s so good to be home!

When I got home, I changed my clothes, took two Tylenol and had a very long, well deserved nap.