Archive | September, 2021

Sunday Sermon and Some Stunning Sunsets

20 Sep

“Never be so busy as not to think of others.” -Mother Teresa


Another beautiful Sunday morning and great day for 9 o’clock Mass. I was able to run down the hall at church to catch the ladies from the Chateau Senior Living before they got off the bus. I greeted all the smiling ladies and escorted them inside, double checking that a Eucharistic minister could bring Miss Vi communion in her pew.

Father Don returned from his trip to Africa sporting a new beard and mustache. (I didn’t recognize him at first. Would it sacrilegious to say he looks like the Frito Bandito? Don’t tell him I said that.)

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus telling His disciples about upcoming events, death and resurrection. They spent time boasting about themselves.

30They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; 31for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him. 33And they came to Caper’na-um; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. 35And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37″Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

My take on it… another lesson for the disciples to learn and share. Instead of always trying to be first or the best or the fastest or the richest, these things will make you a servant, not a leader. You become a servant to earthly possessions and trappings. What you do for a helpless child or your fellow man, that’s what makes you a winner. That’s how you receive the grace of God. Good words to live by.

After church, Bonita and Jerry and I stopped for coffee at McDonald’s. This was so weird. I got there first, so I ordered two coffees and my iced tea. I got my iced tea, then stood there for maybe fifteen minutes. Still no coffee. Jerry and Bonita were glaring at me from across the room as they sat and chatted. I shouted, “I think Juan Valdez is bringing the coffee from Colombia by donkey. Hang in there.” I guess they said they had to make a fresh batch, but seriously, I think they forgot about me. 🤦‍♀️ Even the man waiting for only a few minutes for his pancakes said, “You’re a lot more patient than I am.”

The good thing about the long wait is, by the time we finished our coffee and tea, it was already after 11 and I could order a Happy Meal, that they don’t serve until after 11. I’m collecting those little toys. (See! There’s always a bright side.) N

Now, for some stunning sunsets.

Pretty awesome!

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) Special Sanctuary Sketches

19 Sep

“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.”

~Richard Bach


I have been finding great joy and peace during my visits to St. Gabriel’s for Adoration and meditative sketching in the Sanctuary. I started a sketch two weeks ago, but never got around to finishing it until this evening. It’s the stained glass window called, “The Visitation.”

Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, both pregnant. Elizabeth carrying the baby John the Baptist who leaps in her womb when in the presence of Mary and her son Jesus, in Mary’s womb. “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.”
My finished pencil sketch. Now, to apply the awesome Artisto applications.
A few of my favorites.

Friday:) Friends, Food and Fellowship

18 Sep

“Sometime food for the soul is mingled with food for the body.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Wow! I haven’t gone to morning Mass during the week in a long time. I tried going to Adoration yesterday, but it wasn’t available. I was going to do some sketching. But, that’s ok. I had planned on meeting my friend Mary on Friday morning at 8:30 Mass. We used to be greeters at the door on Sunday, but with all the Covid chaos, there has been no greeting, We were going to go to Adoration in the chapel afterwards and then stop for coffee to catch up.

When Mass was over, we found out Adoration was postponed until 1 because of a funeral. So, we sat in the sanctuary and whispered quietly, and showed her my many sketches of the stained glass windows and statues. She was impressed.

Here are a few.

We went over to a little outdoor coffee place and chatted for a couple of hours.

Me and Mary, such a sweet friend.
On my way home, I stopped at McD for a Happy Meal. I ate the tiny fries and drank the iced tea and brought the rest home. I went for the toy. I’m collecting the 50th Disney Anniversary Commemorative toys for the granddaughters. (Hey, If you want to save some for me, I’d appreciate it.)

Happy Friday, My friends…

Thursday:) Birds of a Feather

16 Sep

“Hope is a thing with feathers.”

– Emily Dickinson


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in a glass mosaic workshop with Wendolin Mercado over at The Art House. I wasn’t sure what kind of project we were going to work on, but I knew if Wendolin was leading the class, it would be wonderful. It always is.

We were cutting glass, nipping pieces, grinding and putting glass beads pieces strategically on a wooden feather base. Fun!

Here is what the other gals were working on. I was lucky. I got all my pieces glued down before I left. Three hours flew by. I decided that I would grout mine myself instead of waiting a week or so to go back and grout. (Patience is not my best attribute.)

Here’s my feather before the grout. All those tiny pieces were not easy to maneuver.

I had some pale grey grout, so I added a little black acrylic paint to darken it up a little.

Here’s my finished feather. It still needs to finish drying and buffing, I think it turned out pretty darn good. What do you think?

THANK YOU, Wendolin.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’, Miss Toni?

15 Sep

Cooking is like love: It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne


And to add to the above quote, it should also be entered into without a recipe or timetable.

Those of you who know me well, know that I love to cook. Yes, I do so with complete abandon. Hmm… I’ve probably abandoned a few projects too.

As I’ve mentioned before, being Mexican-American, I like to make “food.” You may call it Mexican food. So yesterday, when my neighbor Kathy asked if I wanted to go to dinner for Taco Tuesday, I said, “Why don’t you just come here and I’ll make FOOD.”

I made chicken quesadillas with all the fixins’ and Kathy brought all the liquid refreshments for margaritas.
I wanted to share my no-recipe recipe for black eyed pea and bean salsa stuff, just in case you missed it a previous time. It goes well with anything or just as an appetizer with tortilla chips. It also made a visit to my friendly fire stations for 9/11 and several friends and neighbors.
4 or 5 cans of corn, drained, dry roasted in a big pan (casueala above) When corn starts to brown, add a swig of vegetable oil, add two big cans of diced tomatoes, 5 or 6 or 7 cans of black eyed peas (drained), 2 or 3 cans of black beans (drained) 1 jar of salsa, and a jar of sliced pickled jalapeños (mushed) I put as many cans of stuff as will fit in the big casuela. (Secret ingredient- about a cup of apple cider vinegar.) I simmer for a little while, then let cool.
I put the cooled mixture in jars for sharing. The stuff is always better the next day or two after it’s coagulated and fermented.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Two Word Tip of the Day~ BE KIND

14 Sep

“Your life is your canvas, and you are the masterpiece. There are a million ways to be kind, amazing, fabulous, creative, bold, and interesting.”



I love this quote above. It’s like it was written just for me, especially the AMAZING part. I always say that jokingly, but it’s pretty true. I am all those things, and I believe there are SO MANY ways that we can be kind, amazing, fabulous, creative, bold, and interesting.

Today, I was thinking about all the mean, hurtful, petty, nasty, degrading, words and comments that people make and share. Some people have quit social media just for that reason, but I love to share my happy stories, fun and interesting people I meet, or awesome things that my friends and family are doing.

That being said, I decided that today I would make that call to Walgreens headquarters to tell them about Mr. Nathan who works at my Walgreens. A few weeks back, when I picked up 100 photos, and I did something wrong and the heads were cut off or pictures were cropped, He was kind enough to reprint them all for me, after showing me what I did wrong. Plus, he didn’t charge me. That’s above and beyond…

A few days ago, I was wandering around Walgreens looking at vitamins, and Mr. Nathan, I’m sure not even remembering me, politely stopped what he was doing and asked, “Anything I can help you with, Mam?” I said yes. I’d like to speak to your manager and tell him what an awesome employee you are. Wow! He was delighted, a big smile ran across his face.

Mr. Nathan called his manager, who hesitantly walked up to me, fearing the worst. When I explained the reason I wanted to speak to him, that same smile appeared on his unsuspecting face. He confided that he expected to get yelled at about something. Then, he said that was so kind, and if I really wanted to express my gratitude, that I could call the Walgreens headquarters.

I called the Walgreens Customer Care 800 number today. I was on hold for over 10 minutes, but I was determined. Miss Shirley, who answered, was also delighted about the call and took all my information, store number, etc. Now, Mr. Nathan has been formally recognized for going above and beyond by his employers.

In a world that is often unkind, BE KIND. Recognize and appreciate kindness in others. Give a smile to a sad face. Ask to talk to a manager and compliment an employee or waiter. Hesitate, then reconsider those unkind comments before they are said. What you say and what you do represents who you are. How do you want to be remembered? I want to be remembered as being….AMAZING! (But, you already knew that. 🤦‍♀️

I’ve got the weird part covered too!

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

13 Sep

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.”

~Muhammad Ali.


It’s Monday already. I’m not counting the days, but they sure do fly by like a sticky fingered kid in a candy store. Zoom! Flew by…

A week in a zippy-zappy Peek…

Feeling blessed.

Sunday Sermon and a Stunning Sunrise

13 Sep

“When my life is over, who will they say I was? Who will I say I was? Good question.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


A lovely Sunday morning. My Google assistant said it was on 69° at 7:30. I said “Bless you!” Siri said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t sneeze!” Just kidding. That really didn’t happen. But, I had you going for a minute, didn’t I? Actually, just now, I said, “OK Google. Bless you!” She replied, “I’m happy you’re happy.” That’s a true story.

The sunrise was stunning this morning. This photo doesn’t do it justice. The sun was actually a huge glowing red-orange globe in the misty tangerine sky.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus asking the disciples, “Who do people say I am?” Many thought He was a prophet. Jesus asked the disciples what they thought. Peter said He was the Christ. Jesus went on to describe how He was going to suffer, be rejected, be put to death and rise again. Peter was incredulous.

34 “He called the people and his disciples to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.35 Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”

My take on it… Well, you know me. I don’t take every word literally. To renounce yourself and take up your cross, I take to understand that we will all have crosses and hardships to bear. If we follow the teachings of Jesus, we live our lives honestly, respectfully, love God and one another, we will prevail. We don’t have to literally die to be saved. Gosh, there’d be a lot of dead people. “Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it,” to me suggests if we only think about ourselves, save our own skin, be selfish and egotistical, that’s when we lose the true meaning of life. If we “lose our life for His sake and the Gospel,” suggests that we lose ourself in kindness, honesty, helping one another, and following the Gospel teachings, THEN we save our life, our eternal life. That is the true meaning of life here on earth, paving the way for eternal life.

It was a fine Sunday. I hope you had a great day too.

Saturday:)Some 9/11 Memories~ Never Forget

11 Sep

“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”

~Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl


Twenty years later, the immortal phrase, “Never Forget,” still reminds us of the tragedy of 9/11 . But, what happened to the America that gathered together to support one another regardless of creed, color, or political views? Where is that America? Life is short indeed. There is no time for hate, yet so many hate. I’d love to see the America that I saw on 9/12/2001.

Here are some of my memories, my photos, my no time for hate memories…


Friday:) Honoring 9/11, Miss Denna Sikes, and Our Firefighters

11 Sep

“Honor is more than words. It’s gratitude, it’s actions, it’s saying thank you, and it is quiet thoughts and prayers.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today, our little group of good friends gathered to honor the 20th Anniversary of 9/11. We also had a memorial celebration of life for our good friend Denna Sikes.

Jerry led us in a prayer, followed by Everyone singing “Amazing Grace” and “Proud To Be An American.”

Everyone had on their red, white, and blue.
Miss Denna’s Family was very moved by our celebration and remembrances of their sweet mother. There were photos and balloons and flowers and lots of love.
Good friends, good food, and fond memories.
There was a lot of food left over. I told Miss Pat that I was going to my fire stations this evening to take them my brownies, homemade Texas Black eyed Pea Salsa, chips, etc. So, after we cleaned up, she sent me home with all kinds of goodies, bratwurst, cakes, cookies, etc. to add to my offerings.
There was a lot of good food to share.
I dropped off a few things at Station 9 on my way home. Then, I had to cut up my brownies, put my homemade salsa in jars, and wrap up the other goodies. I said I’d be back shortly.
Firefighter Mead was very appreciative over at Station 5. He said “Thank you. You didn’t have to do that.” I said, “Oh yes, I did. Thank YOU!”

That’s what it’s all about, my friends. Being thankful for our blessings and thanking those who deserve our thanks.