Tag Archives: Elvis on the Shelvis

Sunday Sermon and Elvis on the Shelvis

7 Dec

“The best view comes after the hardest climb.”



Another lazy Sunday morning watching Mass in my pajamas. Today’s Gospel from Mark was the story of how John the Baptist was destined to prepare the way for the Lord, preaching and baptizing people in the river Jordan…

“After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

My take on it… Just like John the Baptist, we are called to prepare ourselves and be ready for when the Lord comes on the final day. You may or not believe the ancient teachings and prophecies, but isn’t better to live a kind and good life just for yourself and the sake of others, than to lead a bad and selfish life for the earthly rewards and pleasures?

Cool clear skies for a beautiful evening.

Now, for today’s Elvis on the Shelvis.

Elvis is checking out the Shelvis in my craft room. He’s impressed.

Happy Sunday my friends.

Saturday:) A Special Birthday and Sittin‘ in the Sun

6 Dec

“Children are the rainbow of life. Grandchildren are the pot of gold.” ― Irish Blessing

Happy Birthday to my beautiful princess Belle. December 5th is one of my three miracle days. A sad memory from 50 years ago became a joyous day when this little angel came into the world. The trilogy of miracles complete.

Princess Belle

I don’t get to hold you and smother you with kisses this year, but maybe next year. It was nice to FaceTime with you and sing “Las Mañanitas.”

The rest of my Saturday is a blur. I had a bad headache last night and most of today. I know the reason. I got a stupid flu shot yesterday. But, feeling much better now. I went out to get some fresh air and sunshine. That really helped. I walked over to the pond and sat on the bench with my face in the sun. Nice.

Fresh air, sunshine and a picturesque setting, you can’t beat that.

Now, for another episode of Elvis on the Shelvis.

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Friday:) Fixin’ This and That, and Mixin’ It Up With Elvis on the Shelvis

5 Dec

“ Elvis on the Shelvis is back for a repeat holiday performance this year. I’m all shook up.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Friday already? I went for a flu shot this afternoon. I’ve only gotten one flu shot in my life about five or six years ago. I figured this year is not a good year to take my chances.

When I drove over to the Baylor pharmacy just a mile away, I noticed my low tire symbol on my car was still glowing red at me. It started the other day when it got cold. Silly me, I thought it would go away. No such luck.

So, I came home, got out the old handy Black and Decker air pump thingamajigy and the long extension cord. I even knew to check the inside of my car door for the recommended air pressure number. PSI in fancy dancy automotive lingo. I used the gauge to check the pressure. Man, each tire was pretty low, only in the 20’s. One tire didn’t even have the valve cap thingy. I remember buying some back ups a few years ago. I found it hidden at the bottom of the messy middle console storage. I had to take a bunch of stuff out to find it. Needless to say, I cleaned that up and organized it and threw out a lot of stuff. Why I have eight pairs of sunglasses, I don’t know. I did find a $20 bill. Woo hoo!

I plugged in the air pressure machine and proceeded to fill the tires. The old machine is pretty slow and makes a big racket. Then, my elderly neighbor Elke walked over and asked in her thick German accent, “You know how to do dat yourself?” She was impressed. I was detained by a long one sided neighborly conversation. About an hour to fill four tires. (Mostly distractions)

Later, I was looking for an electric power strip for my outdoor Christmas lights,p. When I looked in a mysterious buried bin, I found Joe’s old Elvis telephone. Last year I was in Chicago for Christmas and I used Joe’s holiday Elvis doll for the Shelvis at his house, but I didn’t think I had one here in Texas. It was Joe’s from a long time ago. I hope he doesn’t want it back. Yay! Now, I can keep up the tradition of Elvis on the Shelvis here at my house.

Since it’s Friday, Elvis is on the bar Shelvis .

Happy Black Russian Friday, my friends. Happy Black Russian Friday Elvis.

Merry Christmas All and To All a Good Night~ Elvis Has Left the Building

26 Dec

“Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it — you feel it. You know it. You believe it.”

~Kevin Alan Milne


The house is always joyous and exciting on Christmas morning when there are little ones. The girls slept a little less ne’er than usual this morning, mostly because they both did some crying, and waking during the night. Everyone is still sick. This includes Gamma.

But, we all managed to open mounds of presents and throw wrapping paper all around. This is my beautiful family. I am truly blessed.

We all went to lunch at a local Chinese restaurant as per tradition.

” Where’s the food, folks! I’m getting hungry.”

After lunch, it was a perfect day for a walk. Who would ever think that the Chicago area would be sunny and in the 50’s on Christmas Day? I don’t think anyone was disappointed that there was no white Christmas.

We spent a couple of hours making Christmas cookies. There’s a funny story that goes along with that. I’ll have to save that for tomorrow.

Now, the children are nestled and snug in their beds while the grown ups are watching tv and shaking their heads, “All this commotion for one day?” Yes, and making new memories and following old traditions,

Back to the real world. And, I guess my last day of Elvis on the Shelvis.

Elvis has left the building. Merry Christmas from Elvis on the Shelvis…

Tuesday:) Toni’s Christmas Eve and Elvis On The Shelvis Waiting For Santa

25 Dec

“Christmas gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us.”

~David Cameron


It was a beautiful sunny morning, so the family bundled up the little ones and thy went to the park. I stayed home to wrap a few presents. They’re still not 100% after colds and ear infections, but everyone was hoping a little fresh air would do them some good. It was in the 50’s, which is SO unusual for this late in December.

I think the fresh air did the trick. The girls took a morning nap and when they got up Daddy, Belle and I walked down to the Dairy Queen for french fries.

A lot of other activities during the course of the day. There was cookie decorating, dancing, playing, making homemade pizzas, lighting the Menorah candles, changing the Advent calendar, reading, painting, and visiting with Nana. Of course, there were intermittent bouts of crying, fussing, whining, and watching Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol. Ah, the joys of parenthood. I certainly could not do this again…I’m too old.

It was a good day. I’m sure there’s still a lot to do before morning. There are presents to finish wrapping and put under the tree, and stockings to be filled.

Speaking of Christmas stockings…

Day 15~ Elvis on the Shelvis. Elvis is checking out his Christmas stocking that Santa brought him when he came down the chimney. Look! Elvis got a new guitar. Now, he won’t have a “Blue Christmas.”

Merry Christmas Eve, my friends.

Sunday Sermon, Family, and Hanukkah With Elvis on the Shelvis

23 Dec

“Happy is the son whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged.”

Louisa May Alcott


Everyone got a little more sleep than usual last night. The baby and three year old only woke and cried a couple of times during the night, as opposed to a zillion times like the last few nights. Everyone has been sick, cranky, stuffy and feverish, including Gamma.

The girls were fairly manageable this morning, so my son Joe and I went to 9:30 Mass at St. Norbert’s, while mommy stayed home with the girls. I always feel very special and blessed when I’m able to attend Mass with my son.

Today was especially nice because the Gospel reading was about St. Joseph.

When Joseph learned that Mary was with child before their marriage, an angel appeared to him in a dream and told him not to be afraid to take Mary for his wife because she would bear a son conceived by the Holy Spirit.

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”

When Joseph awoke,

he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him

and took his wife into his home.

Well, there might be a lot of controversy about what actually happened or didn’t happen, and questions. So, my take on it is… the story of Joseph having faith in the Lord, and obeying His command showed that his faith was more important than any controversy or possible conflict. He was a good man, a good husband, a good father, and obedient to God. That’s all that matters.

St, Joseph is the Patron Saint of several things including fathers, families, travelers, working people, and of the dying, But, I like to think of him as the role model for all men. I was honored to be at church today with my son Joseph, who is a good son, a good husband, a good father, and a good man.

“Happy is the son whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged.” I certainly hope and pray that my sons will always have faith in their mother.

When we got back, the baby was napping, and all was well… for a while. There’s a lot of hustle bustle chaos in a house with two little ones, especial when they’re sick. I try to help out where I can, but sometimes they just want mommy or daddy.

In the evening, Joe took the baby up for the night and rocked her a while. Then, about twenty minutes later, she woke up crying. I said, “Let Gamma go up this time.” I took her from her crib and rocked her in the chair and sang a few songs. She fell asleep in my arms after a while. But, I sat there another half hour or so longer, just enjoying every Gamma minute. I’ll blink and she’ll be grown and married and a mother herself.

A good Sunday.

Day 13~ Elvis on the Shelvis. Elvis celebrating the first day of Hanukkah and having a “Blue Christmas.”

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) Sick Gamma and Some More Elvis on the Shelvis.

22 Dec

“If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I’d have had them first. ”

~Lois Wyse


Well, I knew it was too good to last. After holding sick babies for a couple of weeks, Gamma is officially pretty darn sick. The good thing is, the girls are already sick, so I can’t give them anything they haven’t already shared with me.

Mommy took the baby back to the doctor this morning. Last week he couldn’t find anything warranting medication. Today, oh boy, double ear infection. No wonder she couldn’t sleep and screamed all night. Hopefully, she will perk up soon and not keep Mommy and Daddy up all night again. Not so sure about Gamma getting better soon, 🤦‍♀️

Doesn’t it seem that everyone gets sick during the holidays or on vacation?

But, even not feeling well, the grandchildren are such a blessing and always able to make me smile. Even the fierce pirate kind.

Day 12~ Elvis on the Shelvis. Serenading “Snoofy” Santa by the fireplace. (The 3 year old calls them Snoofy and Elvie.

Then today, I was delighted when my old friend from high school posted a picture of her own Elvis on the Shelvis. Thanks for sharing Jolene. Keep ’em coming.

Hope you had a great Saturday.

Friday:) Family Adventures and More…Yes…More Elvis on the Shelvis

21 Dec

“Love is staying up all night with a sick child- or a healthy adult.”

~David Frost


The baby still had a temperature this morning, so Gamma stayed home with her today. I love Gamma duty. We spent a lot of quality bonding time. Shortly after Mommy and Daddy went off to work, I gave her some breakfast. She squealed a little, then barfed all over Gamma, all over the high chair, and herself. Poor baby, still with a constant raspy cough. I changed her and wiped her down from head to toe, and did the best I could with my clothing. It was almost time for a nap, so I rocked her and sang a few off tune songs until she drifted off. I was able to get into the shower when she went down, and wash a load of clothes.

She woke up in very good spirits, and we played and talked and sang. An afternoon nap allowed Gamma to finish some laundry, straighten up a little and make something to eat. (Leftover deep dish pizza. Yum!)

When I sat there in the quiet dark room, rocking my beautiful granddaughter, all I could think of was, “Hold her close and never let her go. I’ll blink and she’ll be all grown up.” Mom used to say that to me when my boys were babies, and I thought I’d never survive the trials of motherhood. She was right. Now, my babies are grown, and I’m a Gamma. It’s a wonderful occupation.

Hey, I should remember that. Sometimes people ask me, “So, what do you do?” I should say, “I’m a Gamma.”

Day 11~ Elvis on the Shelvis. “You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog,”

And now, my friends, it’s Friday. Black Russian Friday. Well, not exactly. Gamma has been around the sick babies for over two weeks. Guess what! Gamma has a cold now. No cough yet, but a bad runny nose, watery eyes, and a sore throat. And you know what else? I wouldn’t change a thing. So, I’m doing the virgin version Black Russian. A little chocolate ice cream and chocolate milk always helps.

Cheers, my friends!

Thursday:) There’s Nothing Better Than Old Friends and More Elvis On The Shelvis

20 Dec

“There’s nothing better than old friends, except maybe old friends shopping all day, and stopping for Chicago deep dish pizza.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Wow! I am blessed with the greatest friends. Debbie and I met somewhere around 1977 while we were both teaching at Conrady Junior High. That was a zillion years ago. She is one of the kindest, most generous and outgoing people I have ever met. My sons, now in their 30’s, still call her Auntie Debbie, and even though she isn’t a blood relative, she is truly family. When I’m in town, she always goes out of her way to visit.

Debbie drove all the way in from Chicago out to Northbrook to spend the day with me, over an hour each way, We had no shopping agenda planned. We got on the road and just stopped at any and every store that struck our fancy. Trader Joe’s, Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, Ulta, just to name a few. Our ultimate destination was Pizano’s Pizza in Glenview. There were a lot of stores on the way there and back.

There’s nothing like Chicago pizza, deep dish or thin crust. It’s the best. You can’t get pizza like this in Texas, my friend.

Da Bears! The place had a zillion Chicago sports pictures, autographs and memorabilia everywhere.

Thanks for a fun day and a great visit, Auntie Debbie.


Day 10~ Elvis on the Shelvis. Thirsty Thursday~ Elvis Having a cold beer on the Shelvis.

Wednesday With Old Friends and Day 9~ Elvis on the Shelvis

19 Dec

“I love coming back home and seeing old friends and family. I would say it keeps me grounded.”

~Coy Bowles


I spent most of the morning entertaining and holding my one year old grand-daughter who still wasn’t feeling well. She finally fell asleep in my arms. I was afraid to move her, so there I sat for an hour and a half or more. It was nice Gamma bonding time,

My friend Vicky was picking me up around 1 pm, and we were going to visit and have tea and she made some of my all time favorite, her homemade baklava. Then, we were meeting our old bowling team and long-time bestest girlfriends for dinner at 6.

Vicky was kind enough to pick me up from my son’s house and chauffeur me around today. When we arrived at her house, I said, “I hope you have plenty of food. I’m starving, and I may pass out in your kitchen.” I knew that would get her going. She brought out an extensive variety of her homemade Middle Eastern specialties that I can’t pronounce, and it was all delicious. I started with a couple of pieces of the baklava sitting on the counter while she cooked up a storm. “Life is short. Eat dessert first.” Normally, I’m pretty reserved about asking for food or drink at people’s houses, but not at Vicky’s.

After a great meal, leisurely tea, dessert and conversation, we went into her family room to see her decorations. Of course, her tree is her focal point, and also a homage to Miss Toni. Most of her ornaments are my hand-painted personalized ornaments that she has collected over the years. I think she said the earliest one she has is from around 2001. I paint a different one every year, and she had many with her children’s names, too. There were dozens. So, we needed to take a selfie.

When we were clearing the dishes and getting the tea ready, Vicky noticed the beautiful sunset outside her kitchen window. Another photo op. Sunset in Buffalo Grove.

Our next stop was D & J Bistro in Lake Zurich to meet our old bowling team. We had a marvelous meal and exchanged wonderful gifts. You’ll be proud of me. I didn’t even take a picture of my food. But, we did take a group picture.

Lin, Vivian, Diane, Vicky and yours truly. Our annual Christmas dinner and gift exchange. The nicest group of ladies you’ll ever find.

“I love coming back home and seeing old friends and family. I would say it keeps me grounded.” Coy Bowles. I agree with Coy.

Now, More Elvis.

Day 9~ Elvis on the Shelvis. Elvis “Hanging” out with some friends, just having a ball.