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Friday:) Fury Friends, Food, Fluffy Clouds and a Fiery Sunset

5 Jun

“It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens.”—Cynthia E. Varnado


Well, I was kitty sitting for Miss Kathy last week. She’s back home now, but Sammi sits outside on my front lawn and comes running when I open the door. Then, he throws himself on my feet and waits for a little scratch on the belly.
Juno, comes over too. What can I say, I’m the animal whisperer of McKinney.
When I’m not whispering with kittens, I’m sharing food with friends. Last night, I made a batch of my famous “bad ass brownies” for Helene to take over to her son’s house this afternoon. She told him how awesome they were, so I baked them a few for her visit. Then, of course, they needed some of my black eyed pea salsa.

On my evening walk, the clouds were strange, some fluffy and some just bizarre.

Look at this weird one. What does it look like to you? At first, I thought maybe an elephant standing up on his hind feet.
And just a few minutes later, the fiery red sunset.

Thank goodness it’s Friday…


Thoughtful Thursday:) Sharing, Caring, Adoring

4 Jun

“The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


If you know me well, and many of you do, you know that I just love to cook and bake and paint and do creative things, but nor just for myself, it to share with others. Yesterday, I showed my huge bowl of black eyed pea/corn/bean salsa that I made. Well, today was my sharing day. I got out my many recycled containers and divided up the salsa for sharing.

I was able to get ten containers full. Yay!
My first stop was Station 9. Then, a quick stop at Kroger to get more tortilla chips.
Then, off to Station 5.

I had other containers in the cooler, but I wanted to stop at church a little while for Adoration. It’s quiet with just a few people in the chapel for Adoration, but after a few prayers, I always like to walk over to the sanctuary, main church, to light a candle.

This morning, while I was meditating and listening to a podcast by Dr. Caroline Leaf, (I love her scientific based mind healing) she was talking about the benefits of daydreaming to replenish the mind/brain. She said that our minds work 24/7 and that when we dream while asleep, our minds are very active. But, sometimes we need to daydream while we are awake, to slow down the pace and calm our busy brains. I like that. She gave examples, but also said that absolute quiet or stillness isn’t necessary. You can listen to soft music or sketch, etc. Ah ha! Sketch… I’ve been meaning to take a sketch pad and pencil and sketch in the quiet solemnity of St. Gabriel’s sanctuary. Today was a good day for that.

I’m not great with faces and people, but the peaceful setting and sketching was very relaxing and prayerful.

After Adoration, Helene and I visited with Mr. Jerry, as I had more salsa and chips to share. After that, I stopped at Karen’s to drop off a couple of containers for her. After all, she was the reason I made the salsa in the first place. She asked for my recipe, and I don’t use no stinkin’ recipe. Then, seeing as we both hadn’t eaten dinner, we went out and had a burger. I have the bestest friends.

On my way home, the sunset was so awesome. When I turned the corner and went up the hill, I had to stop a second and say, “WOW!” Out loud.

When I got home, I started to go over to check on Miss Kathy’s cats and feed them. Sammi always runs across the street to my front door to meet and greet me, and he throws himself on my feet. Funny!

Oh, I wanted to share some Artisto App photos I made of my sketch from church. Pretty fun app.

Pretty cool, right?

Well, it was an awesome day of sharing, caring, and adoring. Feeling blessed!

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? ~Cha-Cha~ Cha

3 Jun

“Compliments will get you everywhere, or at least something good to eat.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Last Saturday, I had lunch with my friend Karen at Panera. We had a lot of catching up to do, and our leisurely lunch turned out to be a four hour lunch. Even Giligan and the crew only had a three hour tour before being stranded on the island.

During the course of the conversation, talking about kids, grandkids, friends, crazy rainy weather and dumb ass stupid ex-husbands, (did I say that out loud? It was just me) and we started talking about cooking. I was telling her about some of the vegan meals I made when my son came to visit. Then, I told her about my bad ass brownies (trade mark protected-not really.) So, out of the blue, she asked me for my recipe for my black eyed pea/bean salsa dip that I make. Uh oh! 🤷🏻‍♀️

If you know me, I don’t follow recipes. I just throw in stuff I have handy and wing it. I told her the basic ingredients, and she looked like maybe she got the idea.

So today, I decided just to make a big batch of the stuff and then she wouldn’t have to use the trial and error system that I’m known for. She was so kind to invite a bunch of us to the Smiles Charity Concert on Sunday, so this would make a nice thank you. Better than a card. You can’t eat a card. Well, you can if you’re a goat. She’s not a goat, but she’s a great KID. Ha, ((Did I say that out loud?)

I started out by pan roasting 5 cans of corn in a little vegetable oil until it starts to brown and crackle a little, then add salt, pepper and a ton of garlic powder. Well, not a ton, but a whole lot. (Use you’re judgement)
Then, I added about 5 or 6 cans of black eyed peas, 3 or 4 cans of black beans, a few cans of diced tomatoes, one was Rotel. (Drained, of course- beans, not tomatoes) Not pictured- 2 big jars of salsa (not Bernard’s-I save that for special meals) Then, maybe a cup or 2 of apple cider vinegar (that’s the secret) and a little more oil, maybe 1/2 cup? And maybe more garlic powder. I love garlic.

Now, you mix that all together in the largest big ass bowl (did I say that out loud?🤦‍♀️) that you have. I counted. I used about 20 cans and 2 big jars of ingredients. I just used what I had in my pantry. Yes, I keep a lot of stuff in my pantry… just for such occasions.

It’s good to refrigerate at least a few hours before serving. But, a day or two is even better. Serve cold with some tortilla chips. My favorite are Great Value Salsa Verde Chips from Walmart, but I rarely can find them. I have friends scouting them out for me when they shop. I’m down to my last bag. Oh no!

Now, when you serve this black eyed pea/salsa dip, (I think they call it Texas Caviar), try and get the salsa verde chips and wash it down with a margarita.

Ta- da… you’re welcome…de nada… adios!

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day~Trying to Fix Winona

2 Jun

“If at first you don’t succeed, call in a professional.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


My refrigerator has had a bladder control problem for several weeks now. Can you relate? Well, it’s not even 7 years old, and I started finding little puddles on the floor. Not every day, but about every 3 days, there it would be. It’s on the tile floor, so I just stopped it up with a towel. It continued.

Of course, I Googled and looked at YouTube videos on what could be the problem and how to fix it. The most common advice was to remove all contents, unplug it, remove all the hex screws from the back panel, and check for blockage of ice or debris. Yikes! I was lucky to scoot that big ol’ sucker from out of its cubby hole. Needless to say, both sides were jam crammed full.

It took quite a while, but I emptied about half of the freezer and took it out to an Igloo cooler that I keep on the back porch. The other half went into the fridge part. Then, I unplugged it and checked the very small back panel, but I couldn’t see much of anything. So, I just got a long swiffer duster and gave it a few swipes. Then, back to the front. There was a small sheet of ice that filled the lower bottom shelf, and I dusted the lower front vent panel that I was able to remove without too much effort.

Well, we know it was leaking from the freezer section.

I took the hairdryer on the hot setting and blasted it at the back vent and panel. I didn’t unscrew the panel because I was afraid I wouldn’t get it back together. It made some strangle clunking noises now and then, and some ice melted. I sopped up the water and left that side open for a while. When it looked like nothing more was melting, I plugged her back in and closed the door.

Oh yes, I usually name my appliances. She had no name. I guess being a Whirlpool, I’m going to call her Winona. Well, Winona got cold pretty fast and started making ice after a while. I put most of the contents back into the freezer, except for a few things I decided to throw out, and a few things I left out to make soup. (Another recipe for another time.) And of course, there was a pint of pistachio ice cream that never made it back inside. 🤦‍♀️

The freezer is more organized now with fewer items in there. (That pint of Blue Bell ice cream… it be gone.)

I haven’t heard any strange noises, except for the clunk of the new ice cubes falling into the empty plastic bin. So far no new puddles on the floor, but I’m not taking any chances.

Winona will remain in the middle of the kitchen for a few more days just in case she continues leaking. If she does, I’ll call a repairman…because….”If at first you don’t succeed, call a repairman.”

Montage Monday:)A Week in a Memorial Day Weekend Peek

1 Jun

John F. Kennedy

memorial day quote by john f kennedy


“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.

A very strange week. So much rain with intermittent glimpses of sunshine. It’s been pouring all day today. Yuk! But, the weather yesterday for the Smiles Charity Event was just perfect. So, I’m not complaining. Well, just a little bit.

I hope you were able to spend time with friends and family this week. So many sacrificed their lives so we could enjoy our freedom.

A week in a peek….

Sunday Sermon and Smiles Charity Event

31 May

“They say charity begins at home, and when a home is built for an amazing veteran through a community charity event, that’s the meaning of home.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It was a delightful Sunday morning, finally. No rain, partly cloudy, and a nice refreshing breeze. It was a pleasure to get up early and leave for Mass by 8:15.

Continue reading

Saturday Sunset and My Sharona

30 May

“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless. “

~Bill Watterson


Well, Mr. Waterson, I’ve taken your advice today. I had a lazy morning, followed by a long lunch with my good friend Karen, that I haven’t seen in ages. I don’t know what I did with the rest of my day. Then, when I looked at the time, it was almost 8pm. I still wanted to get out for a walk before it got too dark.

The only productive thing I had done all day was to take out MY SHARONA, from the closet and put her next to the kitchen garbage can to empty the dust canister. Sharona is my Shark vacuum cleaner. You may recall that Henrietta, my Hoover, was getting old, looked kinda beat up, and not working well like when she was young, so she was replaced. I can relate. Ha!

My Sharona.

I did empty the canister, but she’s still sitting there in the kitchen. But, as God is my witness, I’m going to vacuum before I go to bed tonight… or tomorrow…or at least by Monday.

But, I did get out for an evening walk. The warm humid day had cooled and the weather was perfect. I look forward to my sunset walks.

I love the awesome glow of sunset with the American flag overlooking the pond. “The land of the free, because of the brave.”

It was a quiet unproductive delightful Saturday. You know what? I think I will take My Sharona for a spin when I get done here. Then, I nice glass of wine will be in order. Happy Saturday, my friends.

Friday:) Friends, Food, Fun Art, and Miss Toni Being Foolish at Towne Creek

29 May

“If you can’t be silly with your old friends, where can you be silly? We are all old…it doesn’t matter.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Helene and I went and visited with our artist friends over at Towne Creek Apartments today. We worked on several watercolor book mark and note card projects. I brought them each a red rose that they could use for artistic inspiration. We painted, laughed and had a late lunch. Of course, I got up and did a little singing and dancing for half-time entertainment. Miss Dorothy was being sneaky and recorded a video of me being silly. She said she was going to post it on Facebook and embarrass me. I said, “Bring it, Girl,” and kept on dancing.

Here’s me being silly and singing “Proud Mary” and dancing and just being me.

We certainly do have fun.

Now, it’s getting late and it’s time for…. Black Russian Friday.

Cheers, my friends. Happy Friday!

Thursday:) Thoughtful Words of Wisdom From My Facebook Friends

27 May

“All the wisdom that I have gleaned over the years I have learned from my Facebook page. Thank goodness for all the accurate and insightful posts.🤦‍♀️”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I always find it amazing and amusing to see what goes on in the world through posts from my Facebook friends. I love keeping up with family, friends, and neighbors. I enjoy seeing the grandkids, funny stories and words of wisdom. All the other negative and political “crap,” excuse my French, I just delete.

A few words of wisdom and thoughts that I read just today. Thanks for sharing…

Something to think about.
A few things to make you smile.

Happy Thursday, my friends.🤗

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’, Miss Toni? Apple Cinnamon Roll Bake

26 May

“Here’s another one of my detailed recipes… Grab stuff out of the fridge and pantry and bake it . You’re Welcome!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I made this dessert quite a few days ago, but I didn’t get a chance to share it till now. Or did I? I don’t remember. Old age and sugar overload.

I had 2 cans of cinnamon rolls in the fridge. Last time I bought some, I forgot they were hidden under stuff. They got old and tossed. Not this time. I had these from and center. I had a can of apple pie filling in the pantry, and a few apples in the fridge that were just sittin’. I always have brown sugar, and I had some leftover almond crunch cereal that I smooshed up with a rolling pin.
I layered the bottom of a parchment paper lined pan and smooshed the rolls with my fist until it made a uniform crust.
I spread the can of apple pie filling on top, and thinly sliced my apples.
I put the crunched up cereal in a bowl with a stick of butter and a big handful of brown sugar and “forked it” until it made a crumbly topping that I could sprinkle on top.
I baked it at 350°, but here’s the thing, I put a cookie sheet on top so it would be covered and bake those raw apples and melt that sugar/butter topping. How long you ask? 🤷🏻‍♀️ I dunno? I checked after about 1/2 an hour, then left it in some more. I guess and estimate everything. I took the cookie sheet off a while and let it Brown. When it was bubbly and awesome looking, I took it out. I drizzled on the icing stuff that came in the tube of rolls.

This looks pretty good, but I had mine with a scoop of caramel praline ice cream while it was still warm. 🤦‍♀️

I gave most of the rest away, except for a small portion that I shoved in the freezer. Maybe I jammed it in the freezer? There’s no room in the freezer. 🤦‍♀️

Give this easy no-recipe recipe a try. It feeds approximately a whole bunch of people. (don’t forget the ice cream.)