Archive | August, 2022

Wednesday:) Words From Illinois Governor~ LILE~Latinas in Law Enforcement

31 Aug

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

~Dale Carnegie


A big congratulations to my sister, Jo Ann Armenta, a retired Illinois State Trooper. She spent many years protecting and serving her community then and now. As the first Latina Illinois State Trooper, she has made it her mission to promote the betterment and advancement of Hispanics, especially Latina women. As founder of LILE, Latinas In Law Enforcement Scholarship Fund at Elgin Community, she was honored when Governor Pritzker recently gave a shout out to her and the organization regarding the upcoming scholarship luncheon and fund raising event Jo Ann is hosting. September 22. Congratulations!

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Way to go, Jo Ann.

Tuesday:) Toni and Helene Visit Holy Family School

30 Aug

“Sharing is caring, according to my 3 year old granddaughter.”

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Helene and I stopped over at Holy Family School over on the east side this afternoon. We both have been picking up snacks, drinks, baby wipes, and Helene also purchased a bunch of crayons for the kiddos, besides all her snacks.

We had a trunk load of goodies, plus, our dear friends Joni and Bob gave us a very generous check for the preschool to use for arts and craft supplies. Thank you Joni and Bob.
Some of my goodies.
Our donation was much appreciated, and this little guy actually stopped crying when we came to visit. He had been fussing caused by some new teeth coming in, so he wasn’t napping with the rest of the children.
A little quiet or nap time upstairs.
While we were on that side of town, we stopped to see the awesome silo murals. The ribbon cutting ceremony is tomorrow, weather permitting. We just got a downpour here. Appreciated, it not really conducive for outdoor painting.
After our sharing is caring, then staring at silos adventures were over, a quick stop at One and Only Burger over off of 380 and HWY 5. The best French fries ever. That was our lunch. We split one medium bag of French fries and were stuffed. $4.00 for that huge bag. They have great burgers too, but we couldn’t do both.

We stopped at the Purple Store thrift shop right down the street, always on the hunt for some great glassware to paint. Nada! Nothing today.

A lovely cleansing rain, good friends, sharing, caring, and blessings.

It was a terrific Tuesday. I hope yours was too.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

30 Aug

“Summer came in like a lion and is going out like an angry thirsty crazy lion with his fur on fire.” 🤦‍♀️

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another busy week in a peek…

Have a great week, my friends. 🤗

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

29 Aug

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”

~John Lennon


A lovely Sunday morning. But, I woke with a nagging headache, more like a lingering migraine that I had since yesterday, but I took yet another Tylenol and got ready for church. Distraction and fresh air always helps. Greeting at the door before 9 o’clock Mass always brightens my day.

Father Cristian has a very charismatic charm about him, with his distinctive Spanish accent combined with a pleasant sense of humor.

Today’s Gospel was the parable about how a guest being invited to a wedding should not choose a place of honor…

Gospel, Luke 14:1, 7-14

1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone to share a meal in the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely.7He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this,8 ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited,9 and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you willhave to go and take the lowest place.10 No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” Then, everyone with you at the table willsee you honoured.11 For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be raised up.’12 Then he said to his host, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relations or rich neighbours, in case they invite you back and so repay you.13 No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;14 then you will be blessed, for they have no means to repay you and so you will be repaid when the upright rise again.’


My take on it… always be humble and considerate instead of arrogant and boastful. Your reward is knowing your own worth, and others will see that too.

After Mass, I stopped for coffee at McD with Patricia. Rich joined us later. When I was standing in line, a familiar face walked in the door. She said hello, recognizing me from greeting at church. I introduced myself. Her name is JoAnn. That’s my sister’s name, so I won’t forget. You can see someone a hundred times, but if you don’t introduce yourself, you are just passing ships in the proverbial night. After she placed her order, I slipped my credit card into the little machine and paid for her breakfast. She was pleasantly surprised and grateful. She said she would pay it forward. Nice.

Miss JoAnn. Sweet smile.

I spent some time visiting and chatting with friends until noon, when I was going back to church for a Connection-Orientation meeting. Father Don and Connection Ministry wanted to welcome new parishioners and talk to those interested in different ministries after 11 o’clock Mass. There was a quick lunch, slide presentation, question-answer session and guided tour of the sanctuary. Helene joined me there. She went to 11 o’clock.

I chatted with some new parishioners at lunch, extolling the praises of St. Gabriel and the ministries available. One couple had young children, and they were interested in the children’s programs. They were originally from Mexico, so I got to practice my rusty Spanish. Hopefully that didn’t dissuade them. Father Don escorted us outside, and told us about all the statues, gardens, and architecture. Then, he walked us through the sanctuary, pointing out the meaning of each stained glass window, etc. We see these walls and windows every Sunday, but when you know the meaning behind each piece of artful architecture, it’s so much more meaningful.
I was especially impressed and inspired, seeing as I have sketched and drawn many of these windows and statues. There are still many more to draw.

It was a fine Sunday, ending with a nice FaceTime call with the granddaughters.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) Showing Off Some Super Savings

27 Aug

“As the price of groceries has skyrocketed, it’s so exciting to find some bargains.”



OK, I was so excited about my last shopping spree at Tom Thumb that I had to share. The sale started on Wednesday, but Helene and I usually stop after church and coffee on Sunday. But, quite often, the sale items are all gone and they don’t give rain checks. Helene’s car was in the shop Thursday and Friday, so I said I’d run over and see if I could pick up some 99cent sale items for her and me to donate to Holy Family School. We try and stop over about once a month with snacks, drinks, baby products, etc. for their little preschoolers and babies. (They’re so cute!)

Look at my grocery cart! 🤦‍♀️
Look at the trunk of my car!
🤦‍♀️ 13 bags of groceries! Guess how much I spent? I did buy a few things that weren’t 99cents, like vegetables, eggs, mayo, BUT, they were on sale. Miss Toni rarely buys anything that’s not on sale. I’m not fussy. Peaches are on sale, I eat peaches. They ain’t on sale, I ain’t eating peaches.

OK, did you guess? 13 bags of groceries, 71 items?

Look at that receipt! 🤦‍♀️
* $68.46 * Wow! I also had a special coupon from when I had my booster at the pharmacy there. It was for 20% one shopping visit, so that saved me $17.12. Then, my Tom Thumb card saved me $68.39 and my digital deals saved me $8.29 for a total savings of $93.80. OMG I saved more than I spent.

Granted, the majority of items will be donated to Holy Family School, and a lot of the produce and snacks I used for our dinner at Towne Creek art group yesterday, but still. Look at all the money I saved!!!!

I am…… yes….. you know the drill…. “I am AMAZING!”

Friday:) Friends and Fun Art at Projects Towne Creek

27 Aug

“Sharing and caring and creating with friends is the best!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another fun art day at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. The smiles are worth gold, and we have a good time.

I do spend a lot of time preparing food, snacks, and projects to work on. I never know if we will have 3 or 13 folks, so we have to be prepared.

Our theme today was Fall leaves. Wishful thinking. Hoping Fall weather
will soon be here.
We drew leaves, painted on leaves, and collaged with leaves. Then, when all was said and done, everyone agreed, “Miss Toni is Amazing,” and I had to agree.
Then for our feast. We sure know how to have a good time. Good friends, awesome artwork, and fine food.
Happy Friday my friends!

Thankful Thursday:) Friends and Family

25 Aug

“I am Very thankful for my wonderful family and my awesome friends who are like family. And, I got to pick the friends all by myself.“

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many interesting people as I walk through this winding mysterious glorious life on planet earth. When I was a kid, I always thought by 2001, A Space Odyssey would be a reality by now. But alas, we are still stuck on this planet and we are not driving in flying cars on Mars. Darn! But, that’s OK. I’ve met some interesting earthlings in my travels.

Last week, I finally got to meet up with Kathy Todryk. We have been Facebook friends for a while, but never ever met in person. We met for coffee on the Square at Layered. She is an Optavia health and wellness coach, and has helped many many people lose weight, get fit, and stay that way. She is very inspirational and spiritual, and loves to share her philosophy on wellness, both in body and spirit. It was the first, of I hope many more visits. Thank you Kathy.

After our coffee visit, I went over to the McKinney Visitor Center. I was hoping to find Beth Shumate busy at work behind her desk. Yay! She was there and came out to chat a few minutes. It’s good to catch up with what’s happening around McKinney, and Beth is the go to person for that.

If you need any McKinney or Texas type souvenirs, maps and brochures, Visit McKinney has all kinds of cool stuff. Especially cards and licensed gifts and souvenirs created by my good friend and awesome artist, Kim Guthrie.
Today, I stopped over to visit Miss Joni, to take her a hand painted birthday gift. Happy birthday Joni. (More on how to paint the vase another time.) I’m not sure if it’s 29 or 30, something like that. I got the grand tour of their newly constructed and decorated backyard beach themed bar and living space. So cool.
The neat part is Joni and Bob live just a few blocks away from me. So, when they’re out of town, I can sneak over and hang out in their back yard.
Shhhh! Don’t tell them. Maybe they won’t find out. (Unless they notice a lot of liquor is missing.)

I am very thankful for these new friends and old friends. I am thankful for my beautiful family who keep me grounded and well loved. My blessings are many.

This afternoon, I went over to church for Adoration and a little Sanctuary sketching time. It’s so peaceful and inspirational. I had quite a few names and intentions to add to the prayer book. I lit my candle, thinking of my intentions, and worked on my sketching. (More on that another day.)

Happy Thankful Thursday, my friends.

Wednesday:) Words With Friends and More Words and a Sunset

25 Aug

“Words challenge us to express what the heart cannot say.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


We had another great meeting of our McKinney Words With Friends writing group over at The MillHouse. Melissa Cantu is so sweet and inspirational. She always has a creative writing activity for us to work on and-or has a talented guest speaker to share information with us. I really appreciate it when someone goes so far out of their way to encourage other women to excel.

Last Saturday, when Karen and I visited Melissa at Native McKinney, her new wellness venture on the Square, I thought of the perfect gift for her. The shop had just opened, so there wasn’t much in the way of artwork on the walls yet. We were talking about all the old haunted buildings on the Square and the history and stories of ghosts. I told her about the poem I’d written about the old Collin Country Prison down the street, and the watercolor I had done. Ah ha! Perfect gift.

I found an extra print I had in my craft room and I had a frame that worked just perfectly. So, I framed it and I printed out the poem and taped it on the back. She loved it!


They gazed at stars, through prison bars

Awaiting judgment day

From days gone by, we know not why

These restless souls must stay.

Within these walls, when darkness falls

The haunted halls are filled

With eerie light, throughout the night

Perhaps for blood they spilled.

Small orbs of gold, the tales are told

Imprisoned here within

Doomed to roam, their eternal home

The night watch must begin.

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


A very fun group of talented writers.
Now, for tonight’s amazing sunset. Wow!

Toni’s Awesome Tuesday

24 Aug

“Memories are the strings that play a sad son or a happy song. The same instrument does both.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


We all live with memories, some happy, some sad, and just plain ol’ every day memories.

Today is one of those happy sad lessons kind of memory days. One of my three miracle days.

August 23rd is the anniversary of the day I moved into my new house and started my new life in 2014, exactly after 39 years of lessons. Each year has gotten easier and happier. So, I’ve learned the lessons after all the bad days. Now, only happy days ahead, with an awesome family and amazing friends. God is good.

I celebrated this anniversary with a great Mexican dinner and margaritas at Cristina’s with Sid.


Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

23 Aug

“Well, I prayed for rain, but I forgot to put in a stop order.” 🤦‍♀️🙏🏼



If you know me, you know that I don’t watch the news. Today, I received a dozen or more calls and texts from friends around the country concerned about flooding in the Dallas area. I am about an hour north of Dallas, and we just got a nice well needed, sweet, steady and welcomed rain. No flooding. I guess the national news reported serious flooding in Texas. I had no idea. I’m lucky to have good friends who worry about me.

Well, here’s a week in a not too rainy Peek…. Have a great week, my friends.