Archive | December, 2021

Thankful Thursday:) Feeling Blessed

31 Dec

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

Robert Brault


Today was my first full day being back home after the holidays and birthday celebrations back in Chicago. The first order of business was to stay under the warm cozy covers until the cows came home. Seeing as I had no cows, I got up somewhere after 10 am.

I checked my bare refrigerator in search of some sustenance for the morning, and found none.

I could have had a mustard, mayo, relish, cheese sandwich, but I had no bread. So, I made a cup of green tea, without fresh lemon, and called Helene to catch up after being gone all month. I said I was going to run over to church, sketch a little in the Sanctuary, get something to eat and run to the store. I asked if she’d like to meet me, and she agreed. Off to church on an empty stomach.
St. Gabriel was totally empty, the offices were closed and there was no Adoration. The beautiful bright red poinsettias lined the front steps and flanked the altar. A serene scene.
I lit a candle and put money in the St. Vincent de Paul donation box, as is my tradition. I said my prayer of , “Thank you for Your blessings,” then, I sat alone with my sketchpad and pencil in the complete stillness of the church. (I need to finish the sketch and post another day.)

Helene met me later and we went for a quick taco at NomNom, then off to Tom Thumb to replenish my very sad and empty refrigerator. They had a good sale, and I was in need of a lot.

Now, my fridge is happy. Tomorrow is Friday, so I needed my chocolate almond milk, and a pizza for dinner and spinach. I need my spinach.

I started opening some of my mail, but there were just too many items, so I opened a few bills and such. I opened a package from my friend Mary, from church. She sent me a couple of lovely kitchen towels with a Southwestern theme. Helene gave me a cute towel, too. And somehow, I’m still receiving monthly issues of THE WRITER magazine, from I don’t know who.

Later, I opened the big box that Joe and Lindsay sent me for Christmas. I had to hang it up right away. It is a very appropriate Biblical quote.

I think the Book of Guacamole is somewhere between Psalms and the Book of Paul to the Corinthians. 🤦‍♀️

As you can see, I am very blessed and have much to be thankful for on this lovely Thursday, and just about every day. It’s good to be home, but it’s sad to be away from family.

Happy Thursday, my friends.

Wednesday:) Where in the World is Miss Toni?

30 Dec

“It’s funny, when I’m in Texas and I say I’m going back home, everyone knows I mean I’m going to Chicago to visit family. But then, when I’m leaving Chicago, I say I’m going back home. I’m so blessed to have two wonderful places to call home.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Where in the world is Miss Toni? Yep, O’Hare International, heading back home.
The airport lines and my plane were jam packed. But, there were no delays or cancellations on my flight. (I said a lot of “Hail Mary’s”) I left the snowy rooftops and a couple of hours later, landed at DFW to sunny skies and 73°. (I think the guy behind me thought I was goofy taking a selfie on the plane. He’s lucky my Elfie Selfie hat was in my suitcase.)

Sid picked me up from the airport, we stopped and had a nice lunch, and Miss Kathy’s cats were sitting in front of my house waiting for me.

How did they know I was coming home today? Miss Kathy thought I was coming home Friday. So, she didn’t tell them.

Miss Kathy stopped by to bring me a few more pieces of mail that she had been collecting for me. I said, “It’s so nice outside, why don’t we sit on the bench across the street, enjoy the sun, and catch up.” The cats joined us and we sat and chatted until it got chilly and the sun was going down. The cats followed me home, and I had to shoo them away.

Now, I have a lot of mail, cards, sale papers, and gifts to go through.

My fridge is totally empty, but there’s plenty of wine, so I’m good till the morning grocery store run. Sounds good to me.

Happy Wednesday, my friends! 🤗

Taco Tuesday, Toni’s Last Day In Grandma-Land, and the First Snowfall

29 Dec

“Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.“

~Khalil Gibran


Gee! Just like that, four weeks slipped away, and I go back to Texas in the morning…”God willing and the Creek don’t rise.” So many flight cancellations. Cross your fingers.

The girls and I did some crafts and painting this afternoon. I still had a couple of projects I never got to.

Look at those little adorable artists.
Dry creative and silly. I wonder who they take after?
The snow started coming down around 11 am. The first real snowfall of the year. By noon, they couldn’t stand it any more. They wanted to go out and play in the snow.
Daddy and Mommy went outside and played with them. Daddy helped them build a snowman. Grandma took photos from inside. Grandma is a Texas gal now.
Here’s their ND Irish O’Snowman. Do you think Daddy influenced the theme? Let’s Go Irish!
There wasn’t a lot of snow, but this little angel managed to make a snow angel.
Grandma made vegetarian tacos for our last dinner together. And that’s all she wrote….

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Merry Christmas Peek

28 Dec

“Thank goodness that Christmas only comes around once a year, because I’m exhausted. I’ll need an entire year to catch my breath.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It was a busy week with little ones running around, Christmas excitement, and toys everywhere. Did you know that the average 3 and 5 year old says, “I’m hungry ,” about 37 times a day, and never at the same time? I recently found that out, 🤦‍♀️

A week in a crazy Christmas peek…

Happy Monday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Some oTher Stuff

27 Dec

Well, it’s the day after Christmas, and it’s mostly been merry

But, with all of this Covid, it’s kind of been scary.

We’re trying to keep safe, staying home, and not dwell

But, this has been more like the Christmas from hell.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Let your child be the torch of truth and they shall shine over the entirety of the human society brightening even the darkest corners.”
― Abhijit Naskar


I didn’t go to Mass today because of the new Covid outbreak, warnings and. Scary stuff going on, so I watched Mass on Facebook from my Church in McKinney. It was kind of nice, felt like home.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus being found in the temple when He was only 12. His parents were frantic looking for Him. He answered that He was in His Father’s house.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 2,41-52.

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
And Jesus advanced (in) wisdom and age and favor before God and man.

My take on it… Even though Mary and Joseph were worried about Jesus, He was not concerned because He felt like that is where He was supposed to be, learning and asking questions. Sometimes our own children are much wiser than we can imagine. It’s good to listen to them sometimes.


The rest of my day was pretty quiet. The aftermath of Christmas presents, and wrappings, and playing and food had set into calm. All that preparation for just one day.

The sun popped out for a while and Saint Francis was catching a few rays out in the backyard.
The girls bundled up and Mommy went out and played with them a while, I went for a nice long walk and got around 5,000 steps in.

I hope you had a delightful day after Christmas, too.

Saturday:) A Special Merry Christmas

26 Dec

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”

– Burton Hills


Christmas isn’t about the presents, but the presence of those around you. The wide eyes, smiles and laughter from the little ones is always the best part of Christmas. I feel very blessed to share this special day with my family.

Very happy Grandma.
Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

Friday:) ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

25 Dec

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through each home

The families all gathered, but mostly on Zoom.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nick would arrive, if he dare.

The children were nestled and snug in their beds

While the parents wore masks as they sorted their meds.

And Mom in her jammies and Dad in his sweater

All just hoping that someday things would get better.

Then, they heard on the rooftop the sound of the sleigh,

And Santa brought gifts for one and all anyway.

When the future looks grim and you just want to leave,

Remember the spirit of Christmas is for those who believe.

Merry Christmas. Hang in there. ❤️

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It’s Christmas Eve and I believe. Merry Christmas to all.

I have been blessed with the greatest family and friends in the world.

Working on a couple more gingerbread houses, thanks to my friend Vivian.
Homemade pizza night. A family tradition here.

The girls are sleeping and can’t wait for Christmas morning.

The girls left cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.

Thankful Three Penny Thursday

24 Dec

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”

William Faulkner


Well, I’ve been producing, discharging, and using up a whole lot of gratitude these last few weeks. The holidays are always a great time for being thankful, but so should the rest of the year. I just happen to be a little more thankful when spending time with family.

When I went for my long walk the other day, one of my stops was the Ace Hardware store. I was strolling through the parking lot, weaving between parked cars and dodging moving ones. When I looked down, I saw a shiny penny. Wow! It’s been a long time since I’ve found a lucky penny from heaven. As I bent over to pick it up, I found two more right next to it. THREE lucky pennies. I had to laugh because my sister and I have an inside joke about lucky pennies and Mom sending us a sign.

Three lucky pennies. I have two sisters, and Mom always wanted her three girls to get along. Of course, I’m the newer shiny penny. The other pennies are all old and worn🤦‍♀️. “I’m the baby, gotta love me.”

This afternoon, the granddaughters were putting together a gingerbread house. Lindsay had a brilliant idea that she had learned from a friend. Those darn walls are so hard to put together with the icing for the only support. Seeing as this gingerbread will not be eaten, she put the walls together with a hot glue gun. Instant wall construction. Cool!

The girls had a fun time decorating the house. A few. Uncooperative candies. Found. Their way into tummies, but not too many. The icing was pretty sticky and fingers needed occasional licking.
Pretty cool!
A fine looking abode for the holidays.

A very Thankful Three Penny Thursday .

Wednesday:) What’s Up? Another Time-lapse Video~Pop-up Paper Christmas Tree

23 Dec

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

Sophia Loren

I’ve had a little time to check out some cool Pinterest ideas. I saw a cool paper cutting tutorial, so I thought I’d give it a try and see if it works. I won’t be quitting my day job. (Oops, I don’t have a day job.) Here ya go…

Here’s the inspiration. I guess I need a little more practice and patience.

My motto is, “Keep learning, keep trying, keep on keepin’ on.“

Hope you had a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day~ Getting Your Steps In

22 Dec

“ If you want to get your Exercise and steps in, just visit with the grandkids. That oughta do it.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I am so very blessed to be able to spend time with my family and grandchildren over the holidays. We had birthdays, and parties, and a lot of running around. And most the running around was in the house.The latest game craze is called, “Chase Grandma.” I’m old so they have to give me a head start.

Today, I did some walking into town, went to the Ace Hardware, Sunset Grocery, and the Dollar Tree. I took the dog for a couple of walks, and there were several rounds of “Chase Grandma” around the house.

I got in quite a few steps today…

My little girls sure do keep me hopping. Sometimes I just stare at their adorable little faces and smile. Other times, I hold my ears while they screech high pitched deafening screams for what seems like eternity. Either way, I wouldn’t miss a second of this visit for anything.

This is called “Gramcrastinating.” In other words, making up excuses to Grandma why we can’t go to bed yet.

Now, the children are nestled and snug in their beds, while Grandma searches for her Tylenol and a few other meds. 🤦‍♀️ Just kidding… or am I?

Happy Tuesday, my friends,