Tag Archives: gratitude

Thankful Thursday:) Attitude of Gratitude

18 Mar

“Be mindful. Be grateful. Be positive. Be true. Be kind.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


I have signed up for and listened to soooo many podcasts and webinars in the past two years that I’m pretty sure that I could start and star in my own do it yourself, self help, fix your brain and fix your life talk show. I just finished one on BrainHealth today. Very insightful. Maybe more on that another day.

But, what I’d like to share today is that THE NUMBER ONE KEY, THE NUMBER ONE WORD, that every theme has focused on is GRATITUDE. You can’t be happy with yourself, your life or anyone else if you are not grateful and thankful for who you are, what you have, and how you can share it with others.

I am so grateful and blessed with the most wonderful family and friends. I think this and feel this every day. I share it in my morning prayer when I wake and when I close my eyes at night. My constant prayer is “Thank you for Your blessings.”

Along with feeling blessed is try and be a blessing to others. I try and share. This week, I was able to doggie sit a few days for my old neighbor Mr. Mike. (well, he’s not old, but he has moved away.) Just a small favor for a friend that makes me feel good, and he appreciates my help. I also was kitty sitting a couple of weeks ago for Miss Kathy. I try to explain to them that I get such joy by helping them out. That’s what friends are for.

It’s also cool to show your appreciation for others. After Mr. Mike picked up Bella, I went to Kroger to get my prescription and do some grocery shopping. The assisted check out line with a real person was so long, so I went to self-check out. I don’t like it because A. I feel that it’s putting people out of work, and B. I can’t figure out how to weigh my own tomatoes and cabbage.🤦‍♀️

I got started and got stuck with weighing. A young employee came over to help me. I kept her there until she weighed four different items for me. When I was finished, I noticed that one of my items didn’t ring up with the digital coupon sale price. I called her back and she fixed it. I thanked her profusely and asked her name, as her tag was covered up. “Riley.”

Oh man! It was Riley. A couple of months ago, I was going to check out, and this young lady who was closing to go on her break or go home, waved me on and checked me out anyway. I remembered her because when we were done with my order, she gave me a hug. I had told the dozen or so people trying to get in line behind me that she was closing, Saving her from having to continue checking. She was just too nice to say no. So, when I was leaving, I went to customer service to tell them how amazing she was, and also sent a note to corporate. Today, I said, “Riley, you may not remember me, but a while back you were so sweet and asked me if you could give me a hug, and that just made my day.” Her smile widened and I gave her a hug this time and asked for a selfie. She felt appreciated and I felt thankful for her kindness. Win-win.

After I got home and put away my groceries, I only had about 30 minutes before my BrainHealth Webinar at 7. Another thing I’ve learned in my vast research is “Take care of yourself physically and emotionally.” I love my walks, so I threw on my gym shoes and scurried out the door for a short brisk walk. It was getting dark and cloudy, so I picked up the pace. As I walked, I saw a lady walking her dog. I’ve seen this lady almost every day for months, but I never stopped to ask her name. So today, I was feeling grateful for my walks, my neighborhood, and the people in my world, so I asked her name.

This is Kelly. Her dog Waffles is not shown, but he’s a cute big white dog. I repeated Kelly’s name a couple of times so I’d remember. (I saw a podcast on memory and remembering last week.🤦‍♀️) I also learned to associate names in order to remember. I said, “Nice to meet you Kelly, on this lovely St. Patrick’s Day.” She laughed, but I’ll associate Irish and Kelly and St. Patrick’s Day.

I am thankful for all the cool people in my life, all the knowledge I have gained, and all the things that make Miss Toni…. AMAZING!!!!

“Never stop learning, never stop laughing, and never stop loving.”-Me

Thankful Thursday:) Always Find Something

27 Jan

“We can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning.”

Albert Barnes


Of ALL the words of wisdom or pieces of advice on how to be happy that I’ve learned in over 6 decades on this planet, the NUMBER ONE thing is just one word…GRATITUDE. There’s always something to be thankful for.

What you focus on is what you see. If you are focused on the negative and all the bad things that have happened to you or that will happen in the future, that’s all you see. That’s who you become. As Tony Robbins says, that negativity becomes your state of mind or your identity. So if you look at dark threatening clouds and see beauty, or rain for the crops, or you don’t have to water the lawn, then pretty soon you see the rainbow.

One way I use to keep on a positive track is journaling. It’s not a gratitude journal. It’s just me writing down what I did each day. Usually it’s fun positive things, sometimes it’s venting. But, it’s always who I am, and I can look back and see how far I’ve come.

The journal on the left, otherwise know as a spiral notebook covers from September 2004 until June of 2016. Just one line a day to sum up what happened. The first notebook got full, so the one on the right continues from June 2016 until now. Just one line. It takes less than two minutes a day. It’s very satisfying. Also, it’s a good record of my life. I can tell you what I did October 12th 2004 or what I did yesterday. Believe me, when you get old, this is very helpful. 🤦‍♀️

Another way to cultivate my gratitude is right here. I write my blog every day. I share my ups and downs, what I’ve learned and meeting new friends and visiting old friends. I started writing this blog on January 1, 2013. Unbeknownst to me, six months later, I discovered the worst betrayal of my life and a devastating divorce proceeded. But, I kept writing… every day… writing. The writing kept me grounded. You can think and feel, but when you write, it becomes a story. I have been writing a blog post every day for over 9 years. I can always find something to be thankful for and share.

Thank you ALL. You know who you are.

Some other ways to cultivate gratitude from our friends at Harvard…

Ways to cultivate gratitude

Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis.

Write a thank-you note. You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you letter or email expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself. (I am SO bad at this one,🤦‍♀️)

Thank someone mentally. No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.

Keep a gratitude journal. Make it a habit to write down or share with a loved one thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.

Count your blessings. Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings — reflecting on what went right or what you are grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number — such as three to five things — that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.

Pray. People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.

Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).

For more from this Harvard report…


Thankful Three Penny Thursday

24 Dec

“Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.”

William Faulkner


Well, I’ve been producing, discharging, and using up a whole lot of gratitude these last few weeks. The holidays are always a great time for being thankful, but so should the rest of the year. I just happen to be a little more thankful when spending time with family.

When I went for my long walk the other day, one of my stops was the Ace Hardware store. I was strolling through the parking lot, weaving between parked cars and dodging moving ones. When I looked down, I saw a shiny penny. Wow! It’s been a long time since I’ve found a lucky penny from heaven. As I bent over to pick it up, I found two more right next to it. THREE lucky pennies. I had to laugh because my sister and I have an inside joke about lucky pennies and Mom sending us a sign.

Three lucky pennies. I have two sisters, and Mom always wanted her three girls to get along. Of course, I’m the newer shiny penny. The other pennies are all old and worn🤦‍♀️. “I’m the baby, gotta love me.”

This afternoon, the granddaughters were putting together a gingerbread house. Lindsay had a brilliant idea that she had learned from a friend. Those darn walls are so hard to put together with the icing for the only support. Seeing as this gingerbread will not be eaten, she put the walls together with a hot glue gun. Instant wall construction. Cool!

The girls had a fun time decorating the house. A few. Uncooperative candies. Found. Their way into tummies, but not too many. The icing was pretty sticky and fingers needed occasional licking.
Pretty cool!
A fine looking abode for the holidays.

A very Thankful Three Penny Thursday .

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip For The New Year

2 Jan

“With full appreciation, count your blessings no matter how small they might seem. Gratitude and unconditional self-love are the best gifts that you could ever give to your inner-self.”

― Edmond Mbiaka


I have a few friends who have started the practice of writing down their blessings, special occasions, or reasons to be grateful and putting them in a jar. If I’m not mistake, my friend Blynda posted the idea on Facebook last year. You are supposed to start New Year’s Day and continue all year. Then, when the new year rolls around on January 1, empty the jar and read about the wonderful things that happened. I think it’s a great idea and I painted a jar and labeled it the “GOOD JAR.” I love to paint, so it’s also a daily reminder of the things I love to do.

This jar sits on my kitchen counter with little slips of white paper and pen next to it for those impromptu moments of inspiration. There’s something powerful about physically writing down your blessings. While you write, it reinforces your gratitude. Then, when you read the words again a year later, you can smile and relive those wonderful moments,

I’m not home today to read my notes, but I will be sure to jot down some blessings for the new year and place them in the jar when I get home. But first, I’ll empty the jar, sit with a cup of tea, put my feet up, pour the little slips of white paper on my lap, and relive the blessings of 2018.

Some other ideas for making your gratitude or blessings jar. Give it a try. There’s something exhilarating about starting your day with a grateful heart.

I like the idea of writing something every day. Personally, that’s what my blog is about. I like to share my blessings and gratitude with whoever is crazy enough to read my ramblings everyday, or even every now and then. I’ve made some wonderful friends this way. AND… for all you wonderful friends out there…I am truly grateful for YOU.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! I hope it’s the best year ever. I like the saying, “When I count my blessings, I count you twice.”

Thankful Thursday:) One Hundred Blessings

30 Mar

“Start each day counting your blessings, and each day will be blessed.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“With full appreciation , count your blessings no matter how small they might seem. Gratitude and unconditional self-love are the best gifts that you could ever give to your inner-self.”

~Edmond Mbiaka


Yesterday, while I was reading posts by several interesting bloggers that I folllow, I ran across a story by Rachel Mankowitz. It was about the Jewish tradition of thinking of a hundred blessings each day. I shared the post. Here is a short excerpt…

“Trying to come up with one hundred blessings a day forces you to think about what you really feel grateful for on a daily basis. There are formal Hebrew blessings for tons of things: for fruit, bread, wine, and cake; for thunder and rainbows; and for the ability to go to the bathroom (Blessed are you, Lord, Our God, King of the universe who created man with many openings…if one of them were to be ruptured or blocked it would be impossible to survive).
Here’s one of mine:

Thank you God, the Universe, and Mother Nature, for the water I drink, the food I eat, the bed I sleep in, and the puppies who make me laugh every single day.”


Instead of just sharing the post, I decided to go one step further by implementing the concept. I take long walks everyday, and this is my thinking time. I’ll admit, sometimes the thoughts are not that happy or uplifting, sometimes just mundane plans for my day. Once in a while, I’ll sing show tunes out loud…yes I do!

This morning, I decided to see if I could think of one hundred blessings as I walked. I started out with… I woke up, I have a beautiful home, my health is good, (for an old gal). Then, I started just listing things in my head that I was thankful for…sunny day, blue sky, birds in the tree, the butterfly that greeted me. I listed my family and friends that I love so much and who have blessed my life…my two sons, Mom, two sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. I listed more names…Ann, John, their children, Joe, Rose, their kids, and the list went on. When I got to friends, oh my, the names were endless…Shirley, Mike, Mikey, Debbie, Lin, Diane, Mary, Donna, and a hundred more, and all the friends back home. My wonderful friends here…Lynne, Sherry, Karen, Lynda, Sherri, and then all my neighbors who have become family…Diane, Richard, Kathy, Mike, Larry, Sandy, Sue, and so many more, Friends from tennis, church, artist and writing friends, police officers and firemen. Then, there are friends that I’ve never met, but we became friends on Facebook or WordPress or Twitter. I continued for over an hour and never ran out of names to add.

The moral of the story is, when you focus and try to think of one hundred blessings, it turns out there are hundreds, if not thousands. Also, when your mind is occupied thinking of blessings and positive things, you have no time to dwell on negativity. 

This evening, I shared this concept with my support group at church, and they thought that was a great idea. We decided to make that our homework assignment. Start each day counting your blessings and each day will be blessed.

Thankful Thursday:) Thank You BLUE!

14 Jul

“Today, I am thankful for all the men and women who endanger their lives daily to make my world a safer place. I have too many friends and family members who have put on a blue uniform to ever have anything but the utmost respect for their sacrifice. THANK YOU!”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I started my baking frenzy last night. I baked well over one hundred and fifty mini cupcakes. Last night, I took some next door to my neighbors. The dad is a police Liuetenant in a nearby city. He’s the one who always points at me when I drop something off and asks,”How ya doing over there. Need anything?” Then, I took some around the corner to Officer Rick, the state trooper and his family. They got the chocolate frosting. These are my favorite. Chocolate cake mix with a cherry in the middle. A surprise with every bite.

This morning, I started making my blue frosting for the rest of the frenzy. Freshly frosted to take over to the police department building. They have a lot of officers and employees coming and going, so I made over a hundred for them.

They were warmly accepted and appreciated. I didn’t capture the previous smile. This was the, “I’m a serious police officer” smile and someone is taking my picture. I also attached a long note of thanks, along with my business card, my photo, and the names of several McKinney officers that I’m friends with. I didn’t want them questioning or thinking that the cupcakes were not safe to eat. The only danger is eating too many and getting a tummy ache.

This was my THANKFUL THURSDAY! It’s always nice to be appreciated, especially in times when your honor is in question. 


To quote some scripture…

Have you thanked a cop lately?

Friday:) From Start to Finish

27 Feb

“Begin each day with a grateful heart, and they will end just the way they start.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

“Do not say something if you do not mean it.Do not do something if you can’t accept the consequences. 

Do not promise something if you can’t honor it.

In simple, do not start something you can’t finish” 

― Wendo L.


There is nothing better than having a perfect day, from start to finish. Today started with a leisurely cup of tea in my favorite girlfriend cup, reminding me that I am blessed with special friends. 

Then I walked my little visiting doggie friend, Bella, who was staying with me for a couple days.She’s so cute.

Then, off to kickboxing class at the YMCA. Oh man, that class always kicks my butt, but I love it. Then, home to walk Bella again, a quick shower, then off to lunch with my dear friend and neighbor, Diane. We went to Harry’s on the Harbor. It was such a beautiful day. We sat outside in the sun, enjoying a delicious lunch, and soaking up every minute.

So, what did I do when I got home? Well, I had to walk off that lovely lunch, and went for yet another walk. My mother often asks, “Why do you walk so much? I thought your feet hurt you.” I tell her, “I walk because I still can, and my feet will hurt if I walk or I sit still. Might as well walk.”

The reward for a long late evening walk is the glorious sunset that paints the evening sky. I count my blessings each day, from that first morning cup of tea to the last glimpse of a scarlet sunset. A perfect day from start to finish.

Now, I sit, writing my daily blog, sharing my perfect day, counting my blessings. It’s  Friday night, which is my Black Russian Friday. A sweet way to end a delightful day.

A beautiful sunset tonight.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom:MINDFULLNESS 

25 Feb

” Your attitude is a direct reflection of your gratitude.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaits


Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”

― James Baraz

Yesterday, I posted a somewhat satirical comment about tribute to all the things I’ve learned on Facebook, and sometimes, it’s actually true. Today, my Facebook friend, Sherry Tucker posted a link about MINDFULLNESS. I looked it over and did a little more research. It’s a wonderful meditative type concept, and I think everyone can benefit from the ideas. 

I already do wake up every morning grateful for my blessings. I’ve also found that writing everyday allows me to focus on the good, beautiful, and interesting things in my life. Then, when I share my thoughts, it’s another way to feel fulfilled. 

If you’d like to read a little bit about it, but you may already be familiar with it.


I like to think that I already practice many of these concepts, but there are a couple I still struggle with, like forgiveness and acceptance. The good news is, being Catholic, I can just go to confession and receive absolution for my sins and short comings. (Good attitude)


Wednesday Words of Wisdom:What One Thing Are You Grateful For Today?

14 May
“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” 
― Arthur Conan DoyleThe Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
“Wake every morning with at least one thing to be grateful for, and it will be a great day.”
~ Toni Andrukaitis
Another rainy gloomy day, but did this get me down? No! I looked in the mirror and said to myself, “Self.” I really didn’t say that, but I did say, “It’s going to be a great day.” Really, if you say that out loud, it works on your brain.

I had a nice lunch with friends. Ginger arranged a lunch meeting, and I was so excited that Miss Vicky, who I haven’t seen in ages, was there with her sweet smile and snappy sense of humor. Krys couldn’t join us, but stopped by just for a hug and to say hello. I was near Hobby Lobby, so I got my crafting withdrawal fix without spending too much.

The rain continued, so I couldn’t get out for my walk. Bummer. BUT, my neighbor Diane invited me over for a glass of wine and to watch the rain from her back porch.

Grey skies or blue, take the time to be grateful. What are you thankful for today?

Thankful Thursday

3 Apr
“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” 
― John Henry Jowett


There is always something to be thankful for. But, you know what is even more pleasant than a day full of personal gratitude? It’s when someone appreciates and is thankful for something you’ve done for them. 

Last week, when I made my cute little Peep bunny cupcakes, I took some to my local fire station, but I also took some to several of my new neighbors. Officer Rick, a Texas State Trooper was out throwing the football around with his two sons, so I took some over there. Then, there’s this adorable little girl, Carly, who lives a few houses down. She always runs out to say hi when I’m out walking. I took one over there,  and also to the two houses next door.

So, Sunday evening when I was out for a walk, little Carly ran out to the street and said, “Thank you for the cupcake,” and then she gave me a big hug. Later that evening, the doorbell rang. It was my neighbor with her daughter Hailey. She drew a beautiful thank you card with a picture of her cupcake.

Isn’t that precious? Needless to say, more cupcakes will be finding their way to Hailey’s house.
I can always find something to be thankful for, but being appreciated is very, very special.