Tag Archives: Home

Wednesday:) Where in the World is Miss Toni?

29 Dec

“There’s nothing half so pleasant as going home again.”

~Martha Elizabeth Sangster


“All my bags are packed. I’m ready to go…🎼.” After 25 days in Grandma-land, time to go back home.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do after 25 days of non-stop excitement with the grandchildren, family, and awesome friends. Back to the quiet world of Miss Toni in Texas.

Happy Wednesday, 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! 🤗

Saturday:) Sights and Sounds of Home

5 Jan

“One never reaches home,’ she said. ‘But where paths that have an affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home, for a time.”

― Hermann Hesse


Well, the suitcase is still scattered at the foot of the bed, and most of the mail is still in a huge pile on the kitchen counter. The good news is, I didn’t roll out of bed till after noon. I needed to catch up on sleep and lazy time.

I did spend nearly four hours today trying to change all my auto pay billings to my new credit card, I received an email right before I went on vacation from my credit card company telling me that they were sending me a new card. I’d be gone when it arrived. I didn’t request it, and there was no problem, but they just wanted to make sure there was no compromise. YIKES! Do they realize what a pain it is to change everything? I got most of them changed, but there are still a couple I couldn’t get to. 🤦‍♀️

It was a fairly nice day, the sun was out, and only a light jacket needed for my well deserved, much missed walk through the neighborhood. On my way down the block, the skies were filled with beautiful hot air balloons and that wooshing sound they make while sailing over the roof tops.

A couple of blocks down, I passed Miss Bernadine’s house. I always tap her St. Francis statue on the head when I pass. It’s a ritual. He had his winter hat and coat on in preparation for the upcoming cold snap.

It had been ages since I stopped to visit Mr. Larry and Miss Sandy’s garage for a beer. I needed to catch up on all the neighborhood gossip.

On my way, I was able to enjoy all the Christmas decorations that I missed by being gone all of December. I’m glad they we’re still up.

It’s good to be home and back to my old routines, and all the familiar sights and sounds. There’s no place like home,

Thankful Thursday:) Home Safe and Sound

4 Jan

“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”

~Thorton Wilder


It always feels good to be back home after a long trip. It’s good to sit in your kitchen, get back to your favorite tv shows, not live out of a crammed suitcase, and sleep in your own bed. It’s a good thing, but I’m not sure if leaving the warmth of family and friends outweighs returning to your comfortable routine.

Being a big Star Trek fan, I wish I could just beam back and forth from Chicago to McKinney. Until that day comes, I’ll just have to savor all the special times and memories.

I am thankful for my wonderful family. I am thankful for my sister who took such good care of me, drove me all over town, fed me, and even gave up her bed for me. I am thankful for God sending us a beautiful new baby girl, my second grand-daughter to love and smother with kisses. I am thankful for my son and his beautiful wife for their unconditional love and hospitality, and sharing their growing little family with Gamma. I am thankful for my dear old friends that I was able to visit with and who came to visit me. Although I didn’t get to see him, I am especially thankful for my strong, smart and caring son Matt, who takes care of me from afar. So much to be thankful for.

It was a bitter-sweet day as my sister drove me to the airport. The weather was questionable, and my flight was delayed several hours, then updated to less than an hour delay. The flight was smooth and it was a great big 787 with little tv screens at each seat. I played Trivia, Sudoku, and solitaire. Cool!

My friend Mary picked me up at DFW, after circling, then parking, and racing around looking for me, she found me at baggage claim.

I’m back in McKinney, missing my family, but happy to be home safe and sound.

Thankful Thursday…thankful every day.

Wednesday:) Where in the World?

15 Mar

“To pray is to communicate with the essence. Praying is calling home.”

J.R. Rim


Ok, guess where I am?

Yes, you are correct. Back in Chicago. Feels like I never left.

I told you about my terrible cold yesterday. Well, it’s a little better. I couldn’t sleep well last night, wheezing and coughing. So, I finally slept from about 3-5 am when the alarm went off. Leaving at 6 am for the airport.

Arriving with plenty of time to spare, I sat at the airport by the gate, busy texting away, when I heard, “Hey! Toni. How are you!” I looked up and saw a very handsome American Airlines pilot dressed in his navy blue uniform. Ah, my old neighbor Bob. Well, he’s not old. I’m old. So we hugged and talked about the grandkids and the neighbors. He and his wife, Erin, are very good friends. Such a huge airport. What are the chances of bumping into someone you know, much less a pilot. He was off to Baltimore or some place, I don’t recall. Always nice to see a friendly face. After he left, I thought, dang, I forgot to get a selfie of the two of us. How could I be so lax? Must be the cold. Oops! I hope I didn’t give Pilot Bob my cold germs.

My sister picked me up at O’Hare, we stopped for a nice lunch, then over to Mom’s place. It’s strange being here without her. It’s almost like she’s still here. I guess in a way she is.

After making a big pot of ginger/lemon, honey tea, sorting through a couple of things, I crashed and took a LONG winter’s nap. I woke up in the dark, with only the annoying ticking clock sound in my head. I got up, removed the clock from the wall, and took it to the spare bedroom. That’ll teach it.

So, the adventure begins. I hope your day was good.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

26 Feb

“There is no place like home.”

L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


My first morning and full day back in beautiful McKinney. THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. I heard that while I was gone, they had seven or more days of gloom and rain. I must have brought the sunshine back home with me. Wait! I came from Chicago. It was cold and gloomy there, too.

It was nice to back at the door greeting before 9 o’clock Mass with Mary and Jerry. I had my little Matchbox car for little Liam, and I picked him up and spun him around while I got my hug. His Mom smiled and said, “Say thank you to Miss Toni.” Poor kid was probably still dizzy. I had a little bracelet for Avery, and there were lots of hugs and condolences from good friends. It was good to be home.

I liked the second reading today. If God is for us, who can be against us? Good question. My take on it.. Faith goes a long way. Start out each day with a positive attitude. If you are looking for the bad in people or focus on the negative, that’s what you will find. If you focus on the good and positive, that’s what you’ll find. Hey, I’m not saying there aren’t horrible things in the world, just try not to focus on only that.

Reading 2

ROM 8:31B-34

Brothers and sisters:

If God is for us, who can be against us?


After Mass, I wanted to get back to my routine. I stoped at McDonald’s for an iced tea, stopped at Tom Thumb for groceries for my empty fridge, looked through my stacks of mail and bills, then… took a long nap. When I got up, I went for a long walk along my usual route.

The ducks were in the pond, the sun was shining, and it was good. I walked past Mr. LArry’s and Miss Sandy’s house. I called them and asked if they were busy having dinner, Sandy said they were just about to eat. I said, “What are we having?” I invited myself to dinner. I hadn’t eaten since Chicago pizza on Friday. Yep, good to get back home, good friends, and my routine.

Theme Song Thursday:) There’s No Place Like Home…Depot

20 Jan

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” 

― James Baldwin


I’ve been back home for a week now. Chicago is home, but McKinney is where I live. So, this is home. My first night back, I woke up around 5 a.m. Startled and disoriented, sleeping in my own bed was unfamiliar. It took about a week, but now I’m all back to normal. I take that back…I’ve never been normal, so that would be impossible to accomplish.

The last few days were rainy, but today the sun came out and I went to Zumba in the morning, went for a long walk, had lunch, another walk, went down to the Square to visit Kathy and Elizabeth at Sweet Spot Bakery, then ran some errands. I ended up at Home Depot. I love hardware stores.

I was looking at vacuum cleaners, but found myself wandering the tile aisle. It took all my self control not to buy some ceramic tiles to paint on. Artists always look at hardware stores as possible treasure troves for creative ideas.

While I wandered somewhere between the tile and caulk aisle, I stumbled upon a hands-on workshop in the tool aisle. Two female Home Depot clerks were demonstrating power tools  to a group of women. I think it was a workshop or class. After the demonstration, volunteers from the audience were asked to use the power saw. The first woman was a bit nervous. After she chopped a section of two by four, the other ladies all applauded, taking pictures, showing support and admiration. I was tempted to sit down and join the group, but I am terrified of power tools.

There’s no place like HOME…DEPOT.

Sunday Sermon and Home Sweet Home

27 Jun

We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” ― Pascal Mercier


Today was my day to go home, leave Chicago and go back to McKinney. But, which one is really home. Like the quote says, “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place.” It was sad to leave my mother, sister, sons, family, and friends. That’s home, or back home, but that’s not where I live.

An early morning start, with Mom waking me at 5:15 to ask if I needed to get up. I told her not till 6, but then couldn’t go back to sleep. Then she teased me with a big smile and outstretched arms and said, “Don’t go!” My sister came at 6:30 am to pick me up for a ride to the airport, but I wasn’t quite all packed. O’Hare is a zoo, so we left plenty early so I had more then enough time to allow for traffic and for security. Everything went smoothly and on time.

O’Hare is a nice airport, but it’s crazy huge, chaotic, and more like a small city surrounded by planes. I had over two hours before boarding, so I made some calls, wrote a little and read. When I got to my seat, 22E, the overhead was empty and I was even able to lift my heavy suitcase up there without male assistance. I was so proud. When the next two passengers arrived, it turned out to be a mother and daughter. One had the window, and the other had the aisle, with me in the middle. The mom offered me her aisle seat. Wow! Glad I didn’t pay the extra $55 for an aisle seat. Got it for free. My lucky day.

The plane was packed, but it was a smooth ride, no delays, and on time back to DFW. My friend Zelda came to pick me up and arrived just as I was walking out to the curb. Perfect timing. Then to make it even “perfecter,” (I like to make up words) we stopped for lunch, had a big salad, then stopped for ice cream. YES! The diet starts tomorrow! (Maybe )

By the time I got home, it was almost 4. The first thing I did was crank up the air, turn on the ceiling fan and lay my head on my very own pillow. But then…I felt guilty. I didn’t go to Mass. I was traveling all day. But, St. Gabriel’s has a 5:30 Sunday evening Mass. So, I got my sorry…self up, and changed my clothes and went to Mass. Of course, to feel back into the swing of things,  I went early and greeted at the door, saying “Good evening,” instead of my usual morning greeting. I missed my usual morning ministry, so it was great to see the smiles and hear the return greetings. It was a nice service with lots of singing, a wonderful singing group with guitars and a young woman with the voice of an angel. Sometimes change is good.


The Gospel was the one where Jesus tells some of His followers that difficult choices and sacrifices must be made to follow Him. My take on it…pretty much the same as Father Mike’s, the visiting priest from Oklahoma. Being good, doing good, and following the word of Jesus is not always easy, but the reward is everlasting.

Gospel. Luke 9:51-62

To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plowand looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”


So which place did I leave behind something of myself? Where is home? I guess it can be both.

We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” 

― Pascal Mercier

Saturday:) Sights, Sounds and Smells of Home

29 May

“Memories establish the past;Senses perceive the present;

Imaginations shape the future.” 

― Toba Beta


We are surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of home, but how often do we appreciate them? This morning, I started my day by making a batch of brownies. Today is my neighbor’s birthday. Mike doesn’t believe in birthdays or celebrating, but that’s too bad, because I do. So, I made him some brownies. The house smelled divine.

My secret recipe: brownie mix on sale, sprinkle a big handful of chocolate chips and half a dozen cut up Snickers or other candy bars on top of batter. Bake per directions. Tastes divine.

I took a couple of walks this afternoon and early evening. The kids were playing in the park, laughing and squealing in the splashing water.

The duck family enjoyed the water too. There’s a new baby duckling paddling along.

The sights and sounds and smells of home. 

Theme Song Thursday:) My House

5 Feb

 “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” 

― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


While I was on my walk today, I saw the cutest little house drawn on the sidewalk with chalk. Obviously, the young artist loved his or her house, and wanted to share the drawing wih the world. That’s what artists do. It made me think of my house. I love my house, my neighborhood, and my many friends. 

My house is a very, very fine house, with no cats in the yard, life used to be so hard….

My first day in my new house, August 22, 2014. It’s a very, very fine house. 

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” 

― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

A lovely house complete with curtains in the window. It’s a very, very fine house.