Archive | October, 2021

Saturday:) Sanctuary Sketches

31 Oct

“ God brings men into deep waters not to drown them, but to cleanse them.”

James H. Aughey


My meditative sketches at St. Gabriel have now become a tradition and a personal challenge. Their are only three ways to get better at anything, and that is to practice, practice, practice.

The Baptism Of The Lord.

Because I’m still having trouble drawing faces, and features, and fingers, I try to pick a subject with not too much detail. But, that’s kind of hard to find. So, I sit there for a couple hours to just try and get the preliminary shapes and proportions. All the details take many hours, so I take a picture, and finish the rest at home. (I just finished a few minutes ago.)

I just do a pencil sketch so my Artisto app can create the interesting color schemes for me.
My finished pencil sketch.
A few of my favorites.

Happy Saturday my friends. I hope you are doing the things you love.

Friday:) Fun With Towne Creek Artist Friends

30 Oct

“Whatever you do together with friends is always a fun day.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another fun Friday with our friends over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. Helene and I made all kinds of food and snacks for our feast, and I was up late last night, coming up with some Fall projects.

A few snacks and gifts. Helene made BLT sandwiches and brought pudding and other snacks and drinks.
A fun fine day at Towne Creek. Thank you Helene!

Thursday:) This is THE BEST Potato Salad

29 Oct

“If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.”
― Linda Henley


I may have shared my secret potato salad recipe before, but it kinda changes each time I make it because I don’t really use a recipe, and I make massive quantities. I’m a grandma, we don’t use recipes and we also only know how to make massive quantities.

I boiled about 6 pounds of potatoes. I had a new 5lb bag and a few left over from a previous bag, just use them all, right? I just set out all the stuff I have, then decide how much to use. I boiled 7 eggs. How long? I set them in a covered pot to boil about ten minutes, then turned off the heat while I went for a walk. Same with the potatoes, except boil for about 20, then turn off heat and leave covered
I chopped up 2 big onions and about 7 stalks of celery, and sautéed in a little oil. The onions get sweet and the celery soft.

I softened I package of cream cheese, add about a cup or two of mayo. Actually, whatever was left in the jar. I put a few splashes of lemon juice and about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar into the empty mayo jar, then shake shake shake, to get the residual mayo. Does anyone else do that? I stirred that into the mixture. I broke down and put a few squirts of yellow mustard. Then of course, a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I put a few dashes of garlic powder in almost everything. Well, maybe not brownies.

I mixed it all up in the big ol’ pot. It’s really thick and doesn’t get runny because the cream cheese keeps it thick and adds body. Man, my wrist was hurting. I’m taking most of this over to Towne Creek tomorrow for our senior art group, so I made a lot.
I had to use a lot of containers. I may actually keep one for myself. Sometimes I give it all away. I tasted it and it was pretty darn good and it’s usually better the next day after melding in the fridge a day. Is melding a word?

So, that’s my no recipe recipe. It’s pretty similar to most, but the cream cheese adds body and flavor and sautéing the onions and celery adds a special somethin’ somethin’.

Wednesday:) Wonderful Fall Memories

27 Oct

“When words are not enough, wonderful memories are just a photo away. “

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I was glancing at my Facebook just a few minutes ago and saw a memory from two years ago today. I was in Chicago visiting my family, and babysitting a few days for my little granddaughters. It was Fall and the trees were all dressed in their glory. It just made my heart sing, so I had to share it again today.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so a several pictures and a video are worth a zillion words. Happy Fall, Y’all!

Tuesday:) Travels with Toni and Helene

26 Oct

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

~Dalai Lama


Not one single person on this planet is too small to make a difference. A little love and kindness and generosity goes a long way.

Today, Helene and I went on a little road trip to the east side of town. Our first stop was a visit to Wendolin Mercado’s studio. Wendolin had this awesome idea of offering some friends the chance to have some special custom handmade jewelry made and attend a workshop with her for a contribution of only $50 or more to her class tool fund. The proceeds would go to purchasing an expensive piece of jewelry making equipment that she has been yearning for. Plus, the students will be learning how to use professional jewelry making tools in their classes. Win-win.

I have taken several of Wendolin’s workshops and she is just the sweetest and most talented artist. She works magic with children and adults alike. So, we stopped by to drop off my envelope. Not only did she show us around the studio, but right there on the spot, she custom measured, sized and tarnished a beautiful silver ring for me. I told her that there was no rush, but she insisted. It’s beautiful.

How she performs her jewelry magic, I don’t know.

Our next stop was Holy Family School. Helene and I have been doing our shopping and gathering all month. And an added bonus surprise was an extremely generous check for the kiddos from Joni and Bob Goen. They are so kind and thoughtful.

Some drinks and snacks That I’ve been collecting. Gotta love Unicorn Jello Pudding. No… it’s not made with real unicorns, although maybe they help with the transporting.
Helene had her trunk load of treats and milk and water to add to the donation.

Thank you Joni and Bob for your generous check. You guys ROCK!

Well, all that exhausting running around got us hungry, and we were so close, we had to stop at One and Only Burger for their famous fries, to die for. Literally, I think we almost died trying to finish the one regular size fries. $3.73 with tax, and more freshly cut delicious fries than two people could consume. We did our best, but couldn’t quite finish.

Luckily, we only go out that way once a month after our Holy Family School visit. 🤦‍♀️

So, that was a peek at our Tuesday Travels with Toni and Helene. Just a couple of mosquitos, doing their little thing, buzzing around, trying to make a difference.

Happy Tuesday, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

26 Oct

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”

― Henry David Thoreau


I seem to be busy all the time, doing what, I’m not exactly sure. But, the days and weeks and years just seem to slip away. I must be very successful.

A week in a busy peek…

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

25 Oct

“Profession and possession [of faith] are not the same thing.”

Tom Wells


Another lovely Sunday. My first chore was to scoot across the street at 7:30 to feed Miss Kathy’s cats while she’s gone a few days. Sammi has been sick, so he had a couple of different meds to be administered. Did you ever try and give a cat a pill, much less two pills? Plus, he doesn’t like wet food and only eats dry, thus eliminating the old hide the pill in some tuna. I brought a towel over to wrap him a little so he wouldn’t put the death claw grip on me like yesterday’s adventure. It took a little chasing under tables and chairs and few attempts, but we got them in. We nuzzled for a while. Poor Sammi.

Then, home to change out of my kitty fur covered clothes and into my Sunday Goin’ to church clothes, and off to Mass.

Another baptism today, baby Blaise Antonio. Adorable.

Today’s Gospel was a reminder of persistence and faith.

Gospel, Mark 10:46-52

46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus — that is, the son of Timaeus — a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road.47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and cry out, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.’48 And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’49 Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here.’ So they called the blind man over. ‘Courage,’ they said, ‘get up; he is calling you.’50 So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus.51 Then Jesus spoke, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘Rabbuni, let me see again.’52 Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has saved you.’ And at once his sight returned and he followed him along the road.

My take on it…the blind man was persistent and begged Jesus to have pity on him, even after being scolded by the others. His sight was restored because of his faith. Sight could be a symbol of seeing clearly, perhaps not just with your eyes, but your soul. Even when you cannot see what you desire, never give up.

Jerry and Patricia invited me and Helene to join them for a burrito breakfast brunch in Princeton. Then, Helene and I stopped at Tom Thumb to pick up some sale stuff. For some reason, my app wasn’t working and I asked the young man if I got the sale prices. He said yes. When I got to the car…NO! So, I marched back in and had to get all my items returned and re-rung.

Even Miss Barbara couldn’t understand why it didn’t work. All the items were on my stupid app. I hate those stupid apps where you have to have the special super duper digital deal in order to get the sale. Forgive my French, but just have a DANG sale, already.

The rest of my day was busy talking to family and FaceTiming with friends and the grandkids. A strange cloudy drizzly full moon crazy kinda day.

Always the highlight of my Sunday.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) Some Scary Zombie Brownies

23 Oct

“Cooking and baking is so much more fun when you are a silly, experimenting , no measuring, no rules or recipes kinda gal!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I was trying to think of something fun and silly for my Halloween baking. I researched and googled and really didn’t see anything easy. So, I decided to just walk through the candy aisles at Kroger for inspiration. I was looking for eye balls, skeletons, witches, zombies or something cool for ideas. They used to have Peeps with ghosts or Frankenstein. When I looked if they made them, I saw they had some at other stores, BUT.. they were only 3 in a package for $1. What? That would be a fortune just for the Peeps. I like to bake on a shoestring and a prayer, especially since I like to bake a LOT and give it all away.

Just when I was about to give up, I saw that KitKats came in green with a little witch on the package. Hmm? I could get two green sticks per pack. And even more if I cut them in half. ZOMBIES! Yes, I’ll try to make some zombies 🧟‍♂️ and put on top of my world famous brownies.

I separated the sticks, cut them in half again, and used some mini chocolate chips for the eyes.
If I wasn’t making so many, I would have left the stick whole. I used melted white chocolate to attach the eyes, then put in the fridge a few minutes to set. I cut some large marshmallow in half with scissors for a base, also the sticky side up helped the zombie stick with a little knife slit and a little white chocolate to stand.
I melted some white vanilla candy coating to drizzle the white bandages all over the zombies. I think next time I’ll avoid the eyes. This was all an experiment, a work in progress.
I put a little slit in the center of the marshmallow, added a dab of the melted candy coating and pushed into the middle. I put them in the fridge a few minutes to set. Then, a dab on the bottom of the marshmallow to put on the brownie.
I put the brownie square in a cupcake paper for easier handling. So, for next time… I’ll keep the sticks whole and taller and avoid the eyes with the white drizzle. well, at least they tasted great. I hope my firemen like them. I know my friends did.

Well, I’ll keep experimenting. Suggestions always welcome.

Friday:) Friendship, Fun and Food

23 Oct

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”

~Woodrow Wilson


A very busy Friday. My neighbor Kathy was in need of a ride to pick up her car at ServicePro this morning. She was going to take an Uber. So, I volunteered. That’s what neighbors are for, right. Plus, I’m going to be cat sitting for her a few days, so I needed some instructions. Her kitties love Miss Toni.

Kitten kisses.

Seeing as I was so close to Discount Tire, I remembered my email reminder that my tires needed checking. Just pull up, no appointment, no charge. A young man was out there just checking car after car, courteous and diligent. I only had a couple of singles, so I told him, “It’s not much, but maybe you can get a Coke.” He gave me a big appreciative smile.

On my way home, I stopped over at GRACETOCHANGE, to meet Kim Hughes. Kim is an awesome community volunteer and advocate for folks in need. I had a trunk load of men’s clothing donated by my great friend Sherry Joplin. Kim is collecting for a men’s clothing closet at Turtle Creek Manor, a community center for men on the road to sobriety.

Kim Hughes, such a blessing to our community.

Another stop. Time to check out McDonalds to see if they got any new Happy Meal toys. I’ve eaten a lot of French fries these past few weeks. The people there are so sweet and friendly and we chat.

Miss Kim was kind enough to tell me what day they get new deliveries of toys (Monday and Friday) and Michael was telling me how it was a great job. I was on the phone with my sister when I got excited and said, “The McDonald’s truck is here.” I wanted to see if they got any new toys. I’m easily impressed.

A lot more to my busy day, but it’s getting late. Happy Friday, my friends.

Throwback Thursday:) Popsi

22 Oct

“We’re all immortal, as long as our stories are told.”
― Elizabeth Hunter


I really like this quote. “We’re all immortal, as long as our stories are told.”
And, the only way that are stories will be told is if we share them with others.

I have an entire wall of photos in my bedroom. One side of the wall displays photos of my ancestors, those not with us anymore. The other side has photos of my current family. There are stories to share from both sides.

One of my favorite photos is the one of Popsi. Everyone just called him Popsi, but his name was José. He was my great-grandfather. I heard a few stories from my mom about this sweet and gentle man, it Nothing was ever written down. Mom is gone now, so I can’t ask her and record the stories. Fortunately, my Auntie Frances is still going strong, well in her 90’s, and my cousins are recording stories of her life and our family.

This is our Popsi. The only story I remember about this photo was, Popsi was a valet for a matador. One day, he “borrowed” the ornate clothing and posed for a photograph. This is the original photo that I remember seeing when I was a little girl, visiting my great-grandparents. It was passed down to my grandmother Antoinette, who passed it on to her daughter Trini, who passed it down to me.
I looked in my family Bible, also passed down to me from my mother, to see if there was any information about Popsi. Nope! But, Mom’s siblings, births, weddings, etc. are recorded. I guess we have to start somewhere. I guess I should update my Bible with my family history too, before it’s too late.

Tell your story… become immortal.