Tag Archives: blessings

Thankful Thursday:) Good Friends

24 Jun

“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have.”

~Irish Proverb

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It’s always good to count your blessings and count your friends, of which I have so many. Today, I am thankful for my crazy catholic side-kick and partner in crime, Helene. She was going to Sam’s Club to get gas and shop today, so I asked her if I could ride along and go shopping with her. I don’t have a membership.

Tomorrow is our visit to Towne Creek Senior Apartments for our arts and craft day. We are always on the look out for sales and deals for our projects and dinner feast. Helene has been volunteering with me for… hmm, at least a couple of years, if not more. I’ve been going for 15 years. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Today, I’m especially thankful for all her help, kindness, and sweet friendship.

A friend is someone who keeps you out of trouble. A good friend is someone who keeps you company while you’re getting into trouble. Thanks Helene.

So, tonight I’m busy getting ready for tomorrow, making pasta salad, bad ass peanut butter brownies, and I still need to go upstairs and think of our art project. It’s gonna be a long night. 🤦‍♀️👩🏻‍🎨

Here’s just the beginning of the kitchen chaos tonight. Stay tuned tomorrow for the grand finale. Miles to go before I rest.

Thank you Helene. See you tomorrow.

Thankful Thursday:) Fabulous Friends, Feeling Blessed, Life is Good

17 Jun

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

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What a fabulous group of Friends I have. It seems like every day, there’s something to do, someone to visit with, and don’t get me started on how many lunches I have on my calendar. I am blessed with friends galore.

Yesterday, a few of us gathered for lunch to celebrate Jerry’s birthday. He’s a busy guy, so it’s not easy to pin him down. We had a nice lunch at Uncorked, and we were the only ones in the place, so it made it very nice. We could get rowdy. You know how old folks get rowdy. I was especially excited to give Jerry a very special gift that I made for him. He loved it. (I’ll show that another time along with a time-lapse video.🤦‍♀️👩🏻‍🎨)

Jerry’s the handsome gentleman in red.

Today, I had lunch with my old friend, Zelda. Well, she’s not old. We’ve just been friends for about 18 years or so. One of my first friends in McKinney. We met playing tennis in 2014. It takes a good friend to put up with my tennis game and be my partner. My favorite call on the court was, “YOURS!”

We don’t play tennis anymore, but we still manage to meet for lunch occasionally. And when the check comes, I usually say, “YOURS!” (Just kidding.)

After lunch, I stopped over to visit with Helene. I just saw her yesterday at lunch, but she lived just down the street from Palio’s. So, why not!

Miss Helene is up to her ears in boxes, getting ready to move. I didn’t offer to help, but I did offer to chat a while, distract her from her chores, and take her mind off her packing for a while.

On the way home, I stopped at Walmart. Guess who I ran into? Miss Zelda was there doing some shopping. I didn’t run into any more friends there. Unusual.

After I got home, I went across the street to Miss Kathy’s to get my instructions for kitty sitting tomorrow. Her cats love Miss Toni. I also appreciate them checking on my yard to make sure there are no mice or other annoying critters. That’s what kitty friends are for.

My life is good. Feeling blessed.

Saturday In The Park- It Wasn’t Even the 4th of July

4 Jun

“One of the happiest sights to see is a family laughing and playing in the park.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I know I’ve mentioned my many blessing more than many times, but did I mention that I am so blessed to live right across from a little park. It’s just a tiny swatch of grass with a couple of outdoor exercise equipment stations. But, every now and then, I’ll see boys playing football or soccer, or families riding their bikes and scooters round and round, and people walking their dogs.

Lately, I’ve see this family from down the street riding their little bikes down the sidewalk with their dad jogging along behind them. They play frisbee and have conversations with Miss Kathy’s cats who think they’d like to play too.

Sammi the cat can’t catch the frisbee, but he can chase it as it spins in the air,

While I was on my way home from my morning walk, the dad and three kids rode and strode over to the park. We shared our hellos as they started to toss the frisbee. They are actually pretty good. This gave me an idea.

I had a couple of brand new frisbees that I got on sale after the 4th of July last year. They were sitting in the garage just waiting for such an occasion. I grabbed one of the frisbees and walked back over to the park. I told the dad, Rick, that I really enjoy watching him and the kids play practically every day. I handed him the frisbee gift and the kids all ran over to check it out, they all said “Thank you” and proceeded to test out the new flag frisbee.
As I walked back home, I could hear them commenting on how cool it was spinning and how it was bigger than their old one.

I didn’t know these neighbors before, but now I know their names and they know mine. I’ll probably be known as the nice frisbee lady if they forget. isn’t that what it’s all about?

A random act of kindness is just another way of sharing your smile and your heart. ❤️

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Thankful Thursday:) Just Horsin’ Around

22 Apr

“There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” – Winston Churchill

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When I go for my evening walks, I enjoy listening to the birds, watching the sun sets, and appreciating the view. For the longest time, the horses across the way on Wilmeth have not been around. I was afraid the owner had sold them off and was going to sell his property that is now being surrounded my new housing developments. But alas, this beautiful horse was outside grazing in the pasture just waiting to make me smile.

We had a nice conversation. (I speak fluent horse, cardinal, cat, butterfly, and dog. Just sayin’)

Even last Sunday, he was out when I was walking and FaceTiming with the granddaughters. They got to see him too. Isn’t he cute! I took a little video.

Precious days like this are such a blessing. Beauty is all around us, we just need to open our eyes. Feeling blessed.

Thankful Thursday:) So Many Blessings

15 Apr

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

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I have so much to be thankful and so many blessings.

Yesterday, I went to my new writing group over at The MillHouse. This was only my second time joining this group, but I already love these talented ladies. Melissa led the group with some cool impromptu writing exercises and prompts. Everyone came up with some interesting stories.

Lovely talented ladies.

After writing group, I scooted over to my Spanish group at the Cotter’s house. The Charlatintos is the name of our group, and we spend about an hour and a half hablando en español. Very fun. Good friends.

Today, I am thankful for my many friends. I received a beautiful Easter card from my friend Donna in Ohio. I will keep it displayed all year long.

Such a blessing. So pretty.
I met Helene for lunch at Sali’s. The lasagna was yummy, with salad and garlic bread.

Afterwards, we went over to Tom Thumb. Butter was on sale with digital deal coupon. 99 cents, limit two. Helene got two also and will take them over to Miss Pat the Cookie Lady. Look what I found in the parking lot when I was putting away my cart. see, when you share your blessings, you get blessed back.

Lucky me! Forget one lucky penny. Look at this lucky find!

When I got home, my neighbor cat was sitting on my front porch just waiting for me.

“Finally, I’ve been waiting for you. Please scratch my belly.”

I returned a missed call to my old friend Debbie in Chicago. We just got off the phone. 1 hour and 8 minutes. A lot of catching up.

Yes, I am very thankful for my many blessings and my many friends. Life is good.

Toni’s Tribute to Trini Armenta:) Another Angel in Heaven

16 Feb

ANOTHER ANGEL IN HEAVEN

There’s another angel in heaven

Today her soul took wing

She’s up in heaven dancing

While the other angels sing

All were waiting for her

Their arms stretched open wide

To greet my angel mother

There on the other side.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis 2/15/2018

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Today is the four year anniversary of my sweet mother going up to heaven. I miss talking to her every morning on the phone. But, we still talk every morning. We just don’t need the phone any more.

You’d think I’d be very sad today, but I’ve been smiling, reminiscing, looking at old photos and videos, and remembering the sweetest woman who ever graced this earth.

Love you Mommo! ❤️❤️
Then of course, my favorite painting that I did of my mother from a photo when she was a a young lady.

I celebrated my mother by going to Mass this morning and thanking God for sharing this beautiful woman with us for over 90 years. That is such a gift. A few tears slipped down my face, but they were loving tender tears. I was so consumed in my nostalgia that when I left church, chatting with a few friends as I left, I totally forgot to light my candle. Oops! So…. later in the afternoon, after lunch, I went back to church to light my candle and thank God Again for His blessings. This time, I was all alone in the quiet sanctuary.

Thankful Thursday:) So Many Blessings, Even in the Blizzard

4 Feb

“I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood.”

– Bill Watterson

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Well, the winter storm has hit North Texas. It was sleeting all night, so the roads are slick. Schools, businesses, and city and country offices are cancelled. The snow started falling this afternoon, and we already have a scary 1 to 2 inches accumulated snow in the driveway. 🤦‍♀️ (My Friends Up North are giggling right now.)

View from my front window. I am thankful for a warm home, and plenty of things on my to-do list that I don’t plan on doing.
I am thankful for electricity that allows me to binge watch Star Trek Episodes and Hallmark all day and night.
I am thankful for the beautiful gift that my cousin Kathy sent me from Indiana, and the gift Joni and Bob dropped off the other day. (A gift card to Total wine? Why would they think that I use alcohol?)
I am thankful that Liquor King was kind enough to text me this morning to inform me that they were open today. They are just I looking out for me. Is the universe trying to tell me something? I’m not leaving the house.
I am thankful that I have enough wine to last me a few more days if we’re snowed in any longer.
Now, I am thankful for a warm cup of tea, a cozy blanket, and all my many blessings.

Happy Thankful Thursday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

13 Dec

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
― Booker T. Washington

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A beautiful sunny not too chilly but windy day here in the northern Chicago suburbs. I walked to 9:30 Mass at St. Norbert this morning. Here’s the miracle. I actually remembered my way without my GPS. Yay.

It was a little chilly, but I had my ND hat on and hood up, and the sun was shining. You can’t ask for much more.

Today’s Gospel was the story of John the Baptist telling the crowds wanting to be baptized how they should live their lives.

Gospel

Lk 3:10-18

The crowds asked John the Baptist,
“What should we do?”
He said to them in reply,
“Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none.
And whoever has food should do likewise.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,
“Teacher, what should we do?”
He answered them,
“Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”
Soldiers also asked him,
“And what is it that we should do?”
He told them,
“Do not practice extortion,
do not falsely accuse anyone,
and be satisfied with your wages.”Now the people were filled with expectation,
and all were asking in their hearts
whether John might be the Christ.
John answered them all, saying,
“I am baptizing you with water,
but one mightier than I is coming.
I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Exhorting them in many other ways,
he preached good news to the people.

My take on it… so many of us have been extremely blessed and have more than we could possibly use, so it is our obligation to share with those who are not as fortunate. Makes sense! You’d appreciate it if the shoe was on the other foot. (Or the sandal, or the CHANCLA.)

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On my walk home, there was a long freight train crossing where I needed to walk. Oh no! Then, at one point, the train just stopped all together on the tracks. So, I walked around the quiet downtown area until I found a little coffee shop that was open to warm up and get a hot chocolate, and to wait for the darn train to get moving. It was only about 15- 20 minutes or so. A nice way to start the morning.

I’ll admit, I did have to turn my GPS on my phone on for a few minutes until I found my way back to a familiar street, as I had wandered around the town and was a little turned around, Thank God for phones with GPS. See… another thing to be thankful for.

The rest of the day was spent enjoying family time and playing with the grandkids. I am blessed.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday:) Feeling Blessed

26 Nov

“I try counting my blessings every day, but I just can’t count that high.“

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I know we should count our blessings every day, but Thanksgiving is that special national holiday that we are reminded to take time out to think about all the things and people we have to be thankful for.

Today, I am especially thankful for my beautiful family. I was able to FaceTime with my sister, my oldest son, his wife, the granddaughters and Nana. They may be far away, but FaceTime keeps us close.

So adorable!

I also talked to my California boy, and wished him a Very Vegan Happy Thanksgiving.

I was invited to have dinner with my friend Helene and her family today. Instead of turkey, they made a festive Mexican meal of chicken enchiladas, rice, beans, and awesome desserts. Right up my alley. It’s three hours later and I still feel like “I’m goin’ to splode!”

Four people but enough food for 40. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Before dinner, we played a round of Cribbage. I never played before, and learning all the rules and point system was overwhelming. My brain was “goin’ to splode.” I still don’t get it. I’m going to stick with War or solitaire or something less stressful.

Today, I am also thankful for the rest of my awesome family all over the country. I am thankful for my many, many friends all over the world. I am blessed with a fine home, health, love, happiness, great neighbors, my faith, my fears, and my strengths.

Most importantly, today, I am thankful for stretchy pants and baggy sweaters.

Happy Thankful Thanksgiving Thursday, my friends.

Quarantined Karaoke Thursday:) “Change Our Hearts”

20 Nov

“You’re just a prayer away from a change of heart.”

~ Henry R. Brandt

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This is another quick story (oops, not so quick after all) about how someone up in heaven sends me a sign. Sometimes I say, “God, you don’t have to hit me over the head.” But, sometimes He does, just the same, just to make His point.

About six years ago, I was walking into church on a dreary Sunday morning. I hadn’t slept much, and I was in a pretty dark place after going through a very devastating divorce. My heart was broken and I was in pain, inside and out. I wasn’t angry, but really, really hurt, with NO forgiveness in my heart. (I still can’t forgive some things, but that’s OK. Some things are unforgivable.)

I knelt down, made the sign of the cross and closed my eyes. My normal prayer was always just repeating, “Thank You for Your blessings.” I would repeat that over and over, wipe away a few tears and sit down, waiting for Mass to start.

This particular day, I knelt with eyes closed tightly to hold back the tears. That day, for some reason, I changed my prayer to “God, please, please, CHANGE MY HEART. Let me find some peace.” The organ started playing and the choir started to sing. Everyone stood up with song sheets in hand and began to sing… “Change Our Hearts This Time.”

Well, I couldn’t hold back the tears. Happy tears. I said to myself, “Well, if you’re waiting for a sign, this is it.” A song just for me, right when I needed it, right when I asked for it. “Ask and you shall receive.”

Guess what my favorite hymn is? Yep, “Change Our Hearts.” My heart is in a much better place now.

Happy Quarantined Karaoke Thursday, my friends.