Saturday Sights and Sounds

16 May

“Having a lot of friends and family around you – that’s all a part of wellness.”

Stella Maxwell


My good friend Helene invited me to share the day with her and her family. Her son invited her to a special post-Mother’s Day lunch and celebration. And, he told her to invite a friend if she liked. Guess who got invited? Yeah! Me.

Mark and Angie, Thank you for an awesome lunch and an even more awesome day.
Good friends, good times, good food. Thanks Helene!

Yikes! Tasted even better than it looks.
When I got home, I found that a special Mother’s Day flower arrangement was waiting for me. It was sent by my son Joe, Lindsay and girls. Another surprise! Part of the surprise was it was supposed to be sent on Mother’s Day and it arrived today, 🤦‍♀️ Surprise! It just added to the perfect day.

I walked the dog when I got home, and little Sammi, the kitten across the street, kept trying to follow us around, hiding behind trees, then chasing after us. Cute!

“Where are ya goin’? Don’t you want to play?”
“Where is that crazy cat? I know he’s around here somewhere!”

Another fine day here in TONI-LAND. I hope you had an awesome day too.

Friday Friends, Furry Creatures and Other Fun Stuff

15 May

“ Still amazed at my amazing life. Life is good.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


My Friday was delightful. A lazy morning, walked Bella, had lunch and planned my evening. Joni and Bob texted me and said they would be happy to pick me up for karaoke at the VFW. I accepted and appreciated the ride. It was good to see old friends and dance and sing and drink a little too much wine. And now, it’s still Friday, so I have to have my Black Russian. I’m a creature of habit.

Speaking of creatures, during my many walks with Bella, I had the opportunity to see a few creatures. I wasn’t fast enough to capture the squirrel, but I did catch a few other creatures.

A crazy bird was carrying around some food source, fluttering about from tree to sidewalk.
Sammi, across the street, was playing hide and seek with me and Bella, the dog.
Bella had Sammi scurrying up the tree for safety and I was thinking, hmm, maybe I should call the cute firemen to rescue the cat. But alas, Sammi climbed down on his own. Darn.

It was a fun night at the VFW for Karaoke. I sang and danced and had wine, and it was fun. Joni and Bob were so kind to transport me both ways, as they know I won’t drink and drive.

Richard even told Danny, the DJ, that I wanted to sing “Proud Mary,” NOOOO! I never sang that before, but the wine convinced me that I could do it. Hopefully it wasn’t too bad. It was nice to sing and dance and have a good time, like the olden days.

I even convinced Jerry to dance one song with me, despite his painful back.

Now, it’s nearly midnight and I have to get my Black Russian in under the wire. Please forgive any typing and grammatical inebriated errors. CHEERS!

Just under the wire. 11:56

Thankful Thursday:) Counting My Blessings

14 May

“Don’t count your dollars to see how rich you are. Count your memories. Count your friends. Count the hugs you get every day. Count what really matters.”
― Toni Sorenson


That is a perfect quote, and look, the author has a perfect name just like mine. I know too many people who are SO busy counting their dollars that they can’t see the blessings right before their eyes. And, while they’re busy counting their dollars, they puff up their chest and pound their fist and say, “I’m not blessed. I earned everything that I have.” Oh, very sad. (True story. Glad he’s gone.)

I count my blessings every day, living modestly, but I am the richest person on the face of the earth. Just this week, my baby boy came from California to visit me on Mother’s Day and stayed until today. He had a lot of work to do, but he made time for his mom.

We fixed some great vegan meals, and Monday, we went to Trivia Night over at Guitars and Growlers. He explained what a growler was. I thought someone was going to growl at us.🤦‍♀️
I even had a beer, and I’m not a beer drinker. When in Rome.

We had storms and gloomy rainy weather all week, except for today. The sun was out and shining, just in time to go back to the airport. 😔

I didn’t mind the rain or the short visit. I am one happy mom. I also got to visit a little with friends, and the granddaughters called to FaceTime. I have been so blessed.

On my way home, I stopped at the store and found a lucky penny right by my feet. Another penny from heaven. A reminder that Angels are watching over me.

A nice evening walk, and another perfect day. I hope you are counting your blessings too.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? Vegan What?

12 May

“You know the old saying, ‘When in Rome, eat Vegan.’ “ Well, no one ever said that but me.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


So, my baby boy came out to visit me on Mother’s Day from California. He is staying a few days, and it’s wonderful to see him, as it’s been almost a couple of years. Well, my son is a vegan, and a very strict one at that. Plus, he eats healthy! What’s that all about? Was he switched at birth In the hospital?

But, when in Rome… I decided that I would cook for him and eat healthy. (At least until he leaves tomorrow.) Actually, I jest. The food we bought and prepared is delicious, so I’m going to share a few meals.

A nice breakfast of avocado toast with cucumber and tomatoes.

Later, we just snacked on chips and salsa and vegan queso. (Bernard’s Salsa, Of course.)

Yesterday, he made me breakfast. English muffin with scrambled vegan eggs, vegan sausage and bacon, topped with avocado. Yum!

Last night, we had mushroom ravioli with marinara sauce topped with Spinach, vegan cheese, and a spinach salad on the side.

My poor baby, he has been working on the computer almost non stop since he arrived. He works from home, and the home office is in LA, but he probably puts in a 12-15 hour day on his computer, even at Mom’s house. Fortunately, he comes down for meals, a quick break, and even an evening movie, but with his laptop on his lap, and his phone dinging with emails and texts.

Today is our last full day, so I said I’d make my famous tacos. Homemade right out of the frying pan tacos are killer. It’s easy to make them vegan, just use veggies and black beans. But, he Also bought some vegan chorizo, so I mixed that in with the rest of the v-eggs.

Looks good, right?

All the fixin’s ready, and a couple of choices of Bernard’s Salsa, and I’m ready to go.
Now you see them…
Now you don’t! All gone!

Well, I’ll have plenty of left overs after he’s gone. Now, if I could only give up ice cream, brownies, pizza and Whataburger, I might be able to go vegan. Vodka is vegan, right? 🤦‍♀️

Toni’s Tuesday Time-lapse White Pencil Portrait Video

12 May

“One pencil can say just as much as a hundred.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I did a white pencil portrait of my oldest granddaughter quite a while ago. I ran across the reference photo of the youngest granddaughter today while I was straightening up my desk. Hey, there’s no time like the present.

My Sophie

My reference

My video….

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Positively Perfect Peek

10 May

“Just when you think life can’t get much better than this, something comes along to prove you wrong.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


My quote says it all. It’s been a great week, and then yesterday I went to the airport, didn’t get lost, and picked up my California boy for a perfect Mother’s Day gift. Life is good!

A week in a perfect peek…

Sunday Sermon and a Very Special Mother’s Day Visit

10 May

“When you are looking at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” —Charley Benetto


A beautiful Mother’s Day and awesome Sunday. I didn’t get over to church for Mass, but I watched it on my iPad. I was toooo tired to get up and moving at 7:30 am. I stayed up late to clean, wash linens and get ready for my youngest son’s visit. He was flying in from LA to visit me for Mother’s Day. Now, is that an awesome gift or what! I’m one lucky mommy. Then, the grandchildren called to FaceTime not once, but twice. The girls got to say hi to Uncle Matt, too.

Today’s Gospel is one of my favorites. My take on it… just love one another and keep the commandments. That’s it! God loves us, Jesus laid down His life for us, and chose us, and all we have to do is be good and love one another. Then, if we do that, He will answer our requests. (Within reason, of course.)

JOHN 15:9-17

9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.12″This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17This I command you, to love one another.

Now, for the most awesome part of my special Mother’s Day celebration. I drove to DFW airport to pick up my youngest son, Matt. And… I didn’t even get lost. Me and airports… not my best sport. His flight was on time, I waited at the curb a few minutes, and there he was. My baby! We stopped at Sprouts to get some special groceries for my vegan boy, then had an early dinner at Palio’s Italian Restaurant. I like that place because it’s usually empty. There was only one family of four on the other side in the atrium, and us. Cool!

We just walked in the door when my Chicago clan called for the second time. Belle wanted to show me the picture she was coloring for me. It was finished and ready to go in the mail.

Belle talking to Uncle Matt.
Sophie laughing at Grandma making silly faces.

Here’s the best present for Mother’s Day. My baby boy.

Happy Mother’s Day to me.

Happy Mother’s Day to you.❤️

Saturday:)So,What’s Been Happenin’ at the McKinney Senior Center?

9 May

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” Eleanor Roosevelt


Last week, Helene and I went and visited the newly renovated McKinney Senior Center. We hadn’t been there in over a year, but was because of a combination of Covid and construction closures. The renovations are really awesome. We paid our annual dues and got the grand tour.

The new state of the art exercise equipment would rival any fancy health club. It’s awesome that the city is taking care of its senior citizens.

The classes, group activities, dances, and swimming pool hours have begun May 3.

“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s always good to see our community showing a little respect and interest in our seniors, especially since I’m a senior. Thank you McKinney.

Friday Friends, Food, and My Feet Are Killin’ Me

8 May

“You know you’ve had too much fun when you can’t stop smiling, even when your feet are killin’ ya.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


A very super busy day today. I was up late last night, well, actually early this morning making my special egg salad for my senior friends over at Towne Creek. Why egg salad? Eggs were on sale, 99c for an 18 pack. I boiled 24 eggs, softened a package of cream cheese, added about a cup or more of mayo, (I don’t measure), then sautéed an onion and celery. I made 16 sandwiches and still had some egg salad left over.

I also made up some snack bags with pretzels, popcorn and cheese balls, I also made up some chocolate dipped strawberries, and put together some of my now famous peanut butter topped brownies. We had lots of snacks and drinks. Helene brought fresh fruit and topped it with praline ice cream. OK, I bet you’re wishing you could come to our art class, right?

It was a fine fun day. Now, I need to put my feet up and have a drink. It’s Black Russian Friday.

Thankful Thursday:) Best Family and Friends

7 May

“Sometimes we spend so much time and energy thinking about where we want to go that we don’t notice where we happen to be.”
― Dan Gutman


Happiness and blessings are usually sitting right in front of us, we just need to open our eyes. I feel blessed and thankful every day.

Today, was the annual “Friends” Picnic over at Hudson Crossing Apartments. (I forgot to wear my “Friends” T-shirt. 🤦‍♀️) There are about ten or more friends that live in the complex, and they host a big potluck picnic for the gang.

It was Doug and Linda’s birthday this month, so we all sang Happy Birthday. There was plenty of food and drink and friendship.

On my way home, I stopped at church for Adoration and to light a candle. The main sanctuary was totally empty and the silence felt sacred and comforting. As usual, I don’t pray for something I need, I thank God for my many blessings, my friends, and the most wonderful family.

When I got home, I took a brisk 3 mile walk and had a nice conversation with a bunny in my front yard.

She may or not be the mommy of the baby bunnies that may have encountered an early demise by Bella
last week. . Nonetheless, I apologized if I brought harm to her young family. She really didn’t respond, but she sat and listened without budging. I think she accepted my apology. I hope so.

Thus was My Thankful Thursday so far. Feeling blessed.