Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom From My Fabulous Facebook Friends

6 Jan

“You’ve heard that it’s wise to learn from experience, but it is wiser to learn from the experience of others.”

~Rick Warren


I always enjoy catching up with old friends and family on Facebook. It’s fun to see the babies growing, and cousins at Christmas, and all the faces and fun times being had by all. I also enjoy the “words of wisdom” that they share, most of which are very heartfelt sentiments or sometimes just funny.

Words of wisdom just from today…

Gratitude heals, shields, enhances and improves everything.
Everyday is a new chance.
We don’t meet people by accident…

I hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday. And now you are a little wiser.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Time-Lapse Video~Paper Snowflakes

5 Jan

 “Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.”

– Vesta M. Kelly.


When I was visiting with the grandkids a couple of weeks ago, I made a few paper snowflakes. The girls are too small to work with sharp scissors, so I did the folding and cutting, and they did the “unveiling,” and opening up the intricate folded and cut paper to reveal a beautiful snowflake. We hung them in the front window.

Snowflakes inside and outside.

Some other cool shapes for making snowflakes above. I haven’t tried any, but you might want to.
I cut these today. A lot of little hearts are pretty fun and easy.
Just like real snowflakes, no two are ever alike. It’s always interesting to see the results after you open it up. It’s always a surprise. I never use a pattern, just snip and cut and snip. That’s kind of how I bake and cook. No recipe, just wing it. Always different, always amazing.

I hope you’re having a terrific Tuesday… or whatever day you’re reading this. ❄️

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Back Home Peek

4 Jan

“From home to home, from an old year to a new year, your life is what you decide to make of it. Make is amazing.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


A week in a peek… starting last week in the cold winter of Chicago and returning to the cold of Texas. Sorry folks, I brought the cold back with me.

Happy New Year!

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

3 Jan

“For it is in the giving that we receive.”

~Saint Francis of Assisi


My first Sunday back for morning Mass at our beautiful St. Gabriel the Archangel in a month. The frigid temperatures did not chill my spirit. Actually, I was excited to wear my winter sock monkey hat.

Everyone should have a sock monkey hat. Right?

I arrived at church in time to greet the ladies when the Chateau Senior Living bus drove up. It was so good to see their charming faces.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the “Three Wise Guys.” Sorry, I just had to throw that in. It’s an old family inside joke. Actually the celebration of Epiphany Sunday, when the Three Magi traveled to Bethlehem, following the star to find the newborn king…

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.

Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.


I love this joke about if the THREE WISE WOMEN went in search of the newborn king. If you think about it, why would a newborn baby need gold, frankincense, and myrrh?

With this new year, it is a great time to make a new start. And a good way to start is by giving from your heart because it’s good for your soul.

“For it is in the giving that we receive.”~Saint Francis of Assisi

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) New Year’s Day Superstitions and Resolutions

2 Jan

“What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.”

~Vern McLellan


I’ve completed the first item on my very short list of New Year’s resolutions. There were only 2.

The first was to stay in my jammies all day, sipping green tea, when I had no pressing engagements. The second was to never make more than one New Year’s resolution.

Done and Done!

I do have a few New Year’s traditions that I like to follow, though. I have a GOOD JAR that I place little notes to myself of good things that happened throughout the year, along with notes that others have placed inside. I also put my lucky pennies and coins that I find. On January 1st, I read all the notes and smile.

Everyone should try this. It’s really a great idea.

Another tradition that I adopted when I moved to Texas was eating black eyed peas for good luck on New Year’s Day. . I make my homemade Texas Caviar. Some know the back story for the tradition, and some don’t.

My secret ingredient is Bernard’s Jalepeño Habanero Salsa. I just add about 3 tablespoons for a huge pot of roasted corn, onions, diced tomatoes, black eyed peas, black beans, and northern beans, and apple cider vinegar. It’s pretty potent stuff. 🌶

“The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. Originally they were used as food for livestock and later as a food staple for enslaved people in the South. Because of their lowly reputation, the Union Army troops of General Sherman ignored the fields of black-eyed peas while razing or stealing other crops. During the harsh winter, the Confederate soldiers survived on the remaining black-eyed peas, promoting this humble and nourishing legume into a symbol of fortune and prosperity in the American South.”

Now, to finish out my day and resolutions. I’m sitting in my jammies, sipping wine, eating black eyed pea/corn salsa (Texas Caviar) with chips, binge watching “Yellowstone.” A good way to start off the New Year.

Happy New Year, my friends. May all your dreams come true. Dream BIG!

Friday:) Family & Friends & Wishing You a Fabulous New Year

1 Jan

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one!”
~ Brad Paisley


On this last day of 2021, I’m wishing each of you a very Happy New Year.

Looking back at this wonderful, weird, and whacky year, all I can think of is all the amazing people, friends and family who have filled each day with love. Hopefully, you are celebrating with friends and family tonight. Or, if you are like me, sitting in front of the TV in your jammies tonight, I’ll be raising a glass to all of you, wishing you a very Happy New Year.

My iPhone photo app has this cool feature called People & Places. (I’m sure you know that already, but I’m old, and I love these features.) It recognizes faces and places and organizes them, also making short movies. I thought this would be a nice way to share a few of the people who have made my life so “AMAZING.” They may have missed a few faces, and a few are not with us any more, but all of you are certainly in my heart, always.

Another tradition of mine is writing notes, and asking friends to drop a note into my GOOD JAR throughout the year. On New Year’s Day, I read all the notes, reflecting on the blessings and kind words placed inside. I also look at all the lucky pennies and coins that I’ve found. Thus, counting, or should I say, recounting my blessings.

Happy New Year, my friends.

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.