Sunday Sermon, Sunset and Other Stuff

18 Jan

“I will do today that which is of today and pay no heed to the tomorrow; nor waste regrets on that which was yesterday.”

~Walter Russell

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Today’s Gospel was the story of how Simon Peter received his name from Jesus, the Rock. Peter would later become the Rock which Christianity was founded upon.

“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and say to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ — which means the Christ- and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ — which means Rock.”

My take on it… Peter was chosen to lead the church and was given a new name and challenge, Sometimes you are chosen to step up. From the slightest calling to the most important ministry, heed the call.

The rest of my Sunday was calm and quiet. But, there’s always room for an evening walk and a beautiful sunset.

Another awesome painting in the sky… “This is the day the Lord has made..”
I am gonna keep practicing, too.

Saturday:) Serious Procrastinators Unite! But, Maybe Tomorrow.

17 Jan

“Procrastination always gives you something to look forward to.”

― Joan Konner

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Well, I finally put away my Christmas tree and decorations. Being a procrastinator, I used the excuse that I needed to wait till after January 6th, Feast of Epiphany, when the Three Wise Men (Wise Guys) brought gifts to the Baby Jesus. Then, I used the excuse that I love the lights and decorations, so I’d wait till after my birthday. That came and went.

I just hate to put away the happiness of Christmas.

Then, the last few days have been cold and really windy, and as I store the bins and bags in the garage, it was too cold to drag them out.

Today, there was no excuse. I’d procrastinated long enough. It was a beautiful sunny day.

Now, I’m feeling sad. The lights and the glitz and the Christmas cheer will be tucked away until next year.

Doesn’t it look sad and lonely?

I Even put away a few of my beautiful birthday gifts. The flowers remain to cheer me, and the wine will soon be consumed. No sense putting everything away. Maybe tomorrow?

Even though the beautiful reminders of Christmas and birthdays are gone, the warmth will remain in my heart until next time.

Frosty Friday:) Sunsets and Die Hard Dandelions

16 Jan

“Spectacular sunsets and amazing friends warm the heart and nourish the soul.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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The cold wind has been howling for days. I didn’t even venture out for a walk yesterday. It’s Texas, for goodness sake. what’s 5he deal? But today, I swore “hell or high water,” I was going out for my evening walk. Well, I didn’t have the high water, but it was colder than… (You know), and windy. I was all layered up with my fighting Illini hat and my Notre Dame winter coat and warm gloves. I literally had to hold on to my hat. But, I put in 2.4 miles and was rewarded with a series of beautiful sunset skies each time I made a loop around the pond.

Welcome to sunny Texas.
The sun slowly setting in the west.

The grass has gone dormant, the bare trees have lost all their leaves, but the die hard dandelions remain an inspiration of resilience and fortitude. I strive to be as beautiful and resilient as a dandelion in winter.

Happy Friday, my friends. CHEERS!!!!!

Quarantined Karaoke Thursday:) “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You.”

15 Jan

“Where there is love there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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It is absolutely wonderful to feel loved and appreciated and admired and complimented. I’m very lucky because Christmas and my birthday are just a few weeks apart. I receive SO many calls, texts, gifts, cards and well wishes that it’s hard not to feel extra special and truly loved.

On this Quarantined Karaoke Thursday, I can’t help but feel… “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You.” (You know who you are.) ❤️

https://youtu.be/uPZNRctHBu0

Keep singing, keep dancing, and keep loving, my friends.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

14 Jan

“Art, music, and dance are good for a happy soul, it sometimes you need something for a happy tummy.“

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Do yo ever start a project for one reason and end up getting carried away? Well, the other day, I bought some milk. I usually don’t buy real milk, just almond milk. But, it was on sale for 77cents a half gallon. Gotta buy it, right? So, I figured that I would make some pudding. Pudding is kinda boring, so I decided to make some Black Forest cupcakes with chocolate pudding and cherry pie filling in the middle.

With the extra pudding, I made chocolate frosting, using cream cheese, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and butter. I ate one of the finished products and it was pretty darn good. The problem was, I made a dozen and had 11 left over, so how do I package the rest to give them away?

When I removed the paper, the bottoms were kinda moist from all the pudding and cherries, and how would I get the frosting on top and not smoosh it? That would be messy. Put on my thinking cap.

Light bulb 💡 moment. I decided to make upside-down Black Forrest cupcakes. I put 3 heaping tablespoons of frosting on the bottom of a plastic cup, and put the cupcake on top. Now, just eat with a spoon. (I hope it worked. I didn’t save any for myself.)

Now, how to package them. I used those fold over plastic sandwich bags, cut the little fold over flap, and pulled up the sides. A twist tie, and a little curling ribbon, Voila!

Sometimes I improvise, get creative, and just AMAZE myself because I am so…. AMAZING.

I kinda like that… upside down cupcakes. Less messy, more fun.

Toni’s Tuesday Time-lapse Painting Video: Easy Elvis

13 Jan

“Elvis has not left the building. He lives on forever in our hearts through his songs.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

This needs to dry and add another coat of paint, but I wanted to share this quick video and demo now.

I just found an Elvis silhouette on the internet, printed it out, put in under the glass of a Dollar Store frame and painted with gloss black acrylic paint. I also printed out the song “Blue Christmas” to put under the glass. You really can’t really see the title or many of the notes, but I know it’s there.

In honor of Elvis’ birthday last week.

Montage Monday:) A Birthday Week in a Peek

12 Jan

“ The nice part about having so many wonderful friends and family member is that when it’s your birthday, you get to celebrate all month and you get all kinds of awesome gifts and well wishes.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’ve been celebrating my birthday all week. I’m still getting cards, phone calls, and gifts in the mail. I must be pretty AMAZING! Just sayin’.

Here’s a week in a peek…

Little angels singing Happy Birthday…

Sunday Sermon and the Ghosts of Birthdays Past

11 Jan

“Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed. “

Charles Schulz

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Well, it was a cold dark morning and they were calling for snow storms. There was about ten minutes of fluffy flakes and that’s it. I’m not disappointed. I watched Mass in my pajamas.

I was a happy girl. Today’s my birthday. I’m happy to be one year older, still healthy, alive and AMAZING.

Today’s sermon was short and sweet. Jesus was being baptized and God acknowledged His son.

My take on it… I know how it is to have a beloved son, except I have two. Lucky me.

7And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; 11and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”

A lot of phone calls, FaceTime and birthday wishes from friends and family. I am truly blessed.

My friend Helene made me this awesome enchilada dinner and I have enough for a couple more days.

Lynne stopped by and left a beautiful gift at my door with a fantastic piece of artwork made jus pt for me with a secret message.

Thank you Lynne,

Ghosts of Birthdays past…

Happy birthday to me! ❤️

Sentimental Saturday:) A Mother’s Tears

10 Jan


“A mother understands what a child does not say.”

— Jewish Proverb

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This morning, I was still in bed when the doorbell rang. I wasn’t going to run to the door, but I checked my handy-dandy Ring Doorbell app on my phone. I saw the FedEx man dropping off a package and walking away. Cool! Someone sent me a present. Tomorrow is my birthday, hmm, let’s see who it’s from.

I crawled out from under the covers, walked barefooted to the front door, peeked outside to make sure no one would see me in my penguin pajamas, then grabbed the box. It looked like flowers, it it didn’t say from who. The label said, “Find gift message under this label.” So, I got a knife and slit open the label and found this message.
I read the note and burst into uncontrollable tears. I couldn’t stop. I had to sit down, holding the message against my heart. It wasn’t that my son in California sent me some beautiful flowers. It was because he signed the note. “Love you. From: Matty. I’m the only one who calls him Matty. He’s 37 years old, and I’m pretty sure he cringes whenever I call him that, but to me, he’ll always be my little baby, and my little Matty. His using that name told me more than a thousand words or a long beautiful poem could express. He was telling me that he knew how important it was to me that he’d always be my little Matty. That one word said it all.

Like the opening quote says…
“A mother understands what a child does not say.” — Jewish Proverb

The little tree came in a lovely ceramic container with a black Japanese garden type tray with tiny rocks. So precious. (It took quite a while to stop sobbing.)

I placed the lovely gift on the counter along with some other early birthday gifts and cards I’ve received from friends. I am SO blessed, and I have So many people who love me. You can’t ask for more than that.

At the end of the day, another gift. God painted this amazing sunset for me to enjoy on my chilly evening walk. Look at That!

Friday:) Elvis Has Left the Shelvis

9 Jan

“If Elvis was alive today, he would be 83 years old. He’d be ALL SHOOK UP if he had to sing with a face mask to his HOUND DOG wearing his BLUE SUED SHOES.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Today is Elvis’ birthday, and he would have been 83 years old. Like most talented performers who died too early, he will be missed. If Elvis was around today, he’d be in the senior category, getting his Covid 19 vaccine and wearing his face mask. In honor of “The King,” Elvis on the Shelvis has left the building… until next Christmas.

Note: Even Elvis is wearing his face mask and social distancing.

In honor of “The King,” I’m wearing my new hat and toasting to Elvis on this crazy Covid Black Russian Friday.

Cheers, Salud…